Most Objectionable TSR Art Ever Published!
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:39 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:Druids in all my campaigns are NG or NE...no one, I'm sorry, could ever be TRUE neutral without eventually going bonkers at some point in their lives... Enough! Dimbulb the 1st level druid should never have to wrestle through existential questions of existance that a Tibetian Zen Master could only begin to fathom. Also, true neutral IMO means you can never go adventuring....what party in their right mind harbors a guy who any moment might yell "Run away, grizzly bear, the party wants to take your fur!"

Marlith wrote:My campaign had the Good Druids being the friendly environmental types who wanted to protect the environment but if civilization was really going to suffer they would agree to what was for good of civilization (within reason). The Dark Druids were the radical environmental types. They were anti-civilization and would often go out of their way to disrupt things they saw an encroachment on their "wilds".

:D

Excellent stuff, y'both!

Sad to say never managed to adopt such an interesting take on the class, here: PC druids (such as there were) tended to appear more like refugees from small, besieged Gaulish villages...

  

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:48 pm 
 

my druids (as NPC's, nobody ever played one), used to live out in the remote wilds and i used to use them for info in relation to quests etc or help in finding places....i used to use them as sorta going a little on the mad side etc

worked for me really.

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 5:17 pm 
 

I once had a small community druids in my campaign who lived on the edge of a dangerous forest.  The PC's would stop there to spend the night before going in and they would pass back through on their way out.

   The head druid would always make some sort of lofty prediction about their coming adventure, such as:  "One of you shall not return from the forest," or "One of you shall be changed."

   These predictions had an aggravating and ironic way of turning out to be true.

   Finally, one evil player destroyed the druid village by flying over it at night and polymorphing small animals into elephants as they fell onto the huts below...splat!  Very amusing.

   Mostly I do not like druids because the earth-moron game rationale makes for so many dumb and time consuming spells and unbalanced rules such as the ability to stay a bird all day.

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:04 pm 
 

Besides, female druids don't shave their armpits, and they inevitably have an earth-mama muff which makes it impossible to wear the +5 chainmail bikini bottom.
Other than the basic classes, almost any exotic class is easily abused. They used to be very rare in my campaigns. It's a lot easier now using a classless system. If someone wants to defend Bambi, they can. If they want to eat him, they can.

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Post Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:29 am 
 

MShipley88 wrote:"Balance" is another fantasy gaming concept that I find amusing.

 I could accept the Balance between Chaos and Law of Michael Moocock's writings. That works.

  But a "Balance" between Good and Evil makes me laugh:

  "I need some evil to balance all the good I have done. What do you suggest?"

  There is too much good? We need some evil?:


"El, you really must try this because it's puerco pibil. It's a slow-roasted pork, nothing fancy. It just happens to be my favorite, and I order it with a tequila and lime in every dive I go to in this country. And honestly, that is the best it's ever been anywhere. In fact, it's too good. It's so good that when I'm finished, I'll pay my check, walk straight into the kitchen and shoot the cook. Because that's what I do. I restore the balance to this country. And that is what I would like from you right now. Help keep the balance by pulling the trigger. "

:twisted:

  


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Post Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:26 pm 
 

I personally never understood the interpretation that the neutrality balance has to have such granularity that each individual act has to be balanced.  That indeed is just silly.

I always interpreted it as more of a Daoist big picture concept of balance, or better yet, a position above/beyond moral classifications & judgments, as in Nature itself.  I.e., in nature nothing judges whether a lion eating an antelope is good or evil, or whether a beaver cutting down a tree is good/evil.  Nature just happens, and is self-regulating through maintenance of balances.  (e.g., get too many prey species, and predator species flourish...until there are are too many predators, and they die down a bit.  Anything that throws off that self-regulating mechanism is bad, but there's no moral component to it.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:53 pm 
 

as i said, i used to just tread neutral characters as simply that. they stayed neutral and just didnt get involved in any struggles involving either of the other factions.

Al



  


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Post Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 4:12 pm 
 

"That's funny. She doesn't look Druish."

I have never had a player be a Druid, nor have I ever had a player wish to play a Druid. As for making Druids one with Mother Earth, a few of my players have done this. :twisted:

  

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Post Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:32 pm 
 

DungeonDelver wrote:"El, you really must try this because it's puerco pibil. It's a slow-roasted pork, nothing fancy. It just happens to be my favorite, and I order it with a tequila and lime in every dive I go to in this country. And honestly, that is the best it's ever been anywhere. In fact, it's too good. It's so good that when I'm finished, I'll pay my check, walk straight into the kitchen and shoot the cook. Because that's what I do. I restore the balance to this country. And that is what I would like from you right now. Help keep the balance by pulling the trigger. "

:twisted:


Johny Depp as Agent Sands  8)

  


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:12 am 
 

Druids, imho, are a very underestimated class. I played one for two years (also evidenced by my ebay name) and was the first in my group to ever try one. She became reasonably high level and the shapeshifting abilities saved our asses so many times. In fact, once when being swallowed by something, our DM let me roll initiative against the thing swallowing... I won, and was able to shapeshift into a whale in the creature's throat. It was quite an explosion. :D

Plus, Earth Maw (in the Druid's Handbook), is a kickass spell. And should a party need a mouse to sneak in somewhere small, or a dolphin or whale to swim them to safety from a sunken ship, or an eagle to scout ahead... druids are very, very useful. (Plus they heal from shapeshifting, so that's good for them, too.)

We always allowed any neutral alignment to play a druid for the same reasons stated in above posts. It just seems to make sense that there would be a "good" type druid that would care for both nature and mankind, and the "evil" type that would be totally anti-establishment. Kind of like... what was it... the shadow druids in Baldur's Gate?

Mm... at any rate, I never took into consideration that my druidess wouldn't have shaved her armpits... great mental image. :}


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:45 am 
 

And the muff. Don't forget the muff.

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 2:08 am 
 

8O My druidess much prefers it to be called "pure, un-pruned foliage", thanks. :lol:

Edit: Watch the plant growth spells, in that case.


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:36 am 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:And the muff. Don't forget the muff.


lol frank you crack me up :D you have such a way with words :)



  

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 4:37 am 
 

Achizar wrote:I personally never understood the interpretation that the neutrality balance has to have such granularity that each individual act has to be balanced. That indeed is just silly.

I always interpreted it as more of a Daoist big picture concept of balance, or better yet, a position above/beyond moral classifications & judgments, as in Nature itself. I.e., in nature nothing judges whether a lion eating an antelope is good or evil, or whether a beaver cutting down a tree is good/evil. Nature just happens, and is self-regulating through maintenance of balances. (e.g., get too many prey species, and predator species flourish...until there are are too many predators, and they die down a bit. Anything that throws off that self-regulating mechanism is bad, but there's no moral component to it.


    The druid as presented is not a medieval point of view.  It is much closer to a modern, secular whatever-ism.  The game druid does not even match the historical druid.  The concept of a defender of nature is entirely modern.  Medieval Europeans (the people of 90% of fantasy game worlds) would not have even been able to understand the concept...would have returned only blank and puzzled stares even if you explained it to them.    8O

    The concept of "no moral component" is alien to heroic fantasy role-playing.  Good and evil are starkly contrasted.  The idea of remaining neutral in such a clash is incomprehensible.  Even when the characters and the conflicts take on modern tones (such as the Elric novels), even the evil guys know they are evil.   :evil:

   So, the druids on the sidelines, yawning enormously, are not one of the better components of the game.   :roll:

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 8:32 am 
 

MShipley88 wrote:The druid as presented is not a medieval point of view. It is much closer to a modern, secular whatever-ism. The game druid does not even match the historical druid. The concept of a defender of nature is entirely modern. Medieval Europeans (the people of 90% of fantasy game worlds) would not have even been able to understand the concept...would have returned only blank and puzzled stares even if you explained it to them.  8O

  The concept of "no moral component" is alien to heroic fantasy role-playing. Good and evil are starkly contrasted. The idea of remaining neutral in such a clash is incomprehensible. Even when the characters and the conflicts take on modern tones (such as the Elric novels), even the evil guys know they are evil.  :evil:

 So, the druids on the sidelines, yawning enormously, are not one of the better components of the game.  :roll:

Mark


Well, Daoism is hardly modern OR secular.  That leads to the question of (1) whether D&D druids are meant to represent Daoist principles and (2) if so, whether they belong in the default D&D milieu any more than monks do (and EGG is on record as saying that the latter really didn't).  As for what historical druids did or what medieval Europeans would have understood, I doubt they would have comprehended killing orcs or finding the Eye of Vecna, either, so that's not really the litmus test.  Obviously the game is not intended to be a realistic historical simulation.

Your strongest point is the one about heroic fantasy.  I admit it's hard to imagine how true neutrality fits in this scheme, though I wonder whether that's more to do with the conceit or our lack of imagination.  I also admit that it's hard to picture a true neutral adventurer, and easier to picture someone more cloistered as a true neutral.  Given that D&D ultimately has allowed druids to be neutral good, neutral evil etc. rather than only TN probably reflects this-- if you're going to go out and affect the world, even just a small corner of it, you're probably going to skew NG or NE.  Even EGG seems to have made this concession (see Curley Greenleaf from the Gord novels.  Definitely NG, at the very least!).  

On the other hand, one might argue that someone out there trying to make sure that neither good nor evil dominates, because the dominance of either leads to disharmony and suffering, could be interpreted as TN.  That can work in the short term in a typical party of PCs (killing orcs to prevent them from overrunning the countryside), but could be difficult long term (because inevitably a TN will have to prevent someone good from overreaching as well).  All this speaks more to the difficulties of TN as a concept than it does the druid as a PC class, though, at least if you concede that druids can be NG/NE.

It's hard.  People struggle with paladins, too, for I think the same reason.  The alignment requirements of these classes require a very fine sense of moral subtleties and if you paint them with too broad a brush, the classes become caricatures at best and unplayable at worst.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 8:52 am 
 

Sooooooo, about that objectionable art..............

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:11 am 
 

Ya know, I never looked at Druids like the way you guys are. Maybe 'bout time I give 'em another look-see. The odd part is that I studied a bit of their culture in school, I just plumb forgot 'bout them. Thanks guys!

As for objectionable art, I still say the cover of AC2 is a bit weird. It reminds me of the Little Mermaid cover. Ya know, hidden in plain site type stuff.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:03 am 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:Sooooooo, about that objectionable art..............


Not hinting that the thread had gotten way off topic are you 8O


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:46 am 
 

What was the topic?  * Looks up at the title*  Ah, yes.  The TSR artwork that I find most objectionable:

    Just about anything that depicts female drow.  These paintings tend to show what female drow would look like if encountered at the Playboy Mansion...or if the mansion were in Menzobarranzan.  (Erelhei Cinlu?)

    The result is a superhero/dominatrix look that is entirely too lust-filled for a game publication....IMHO.   :?

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 11:26 am 
 

Achizar wrote:Well, Daoism is hardly modern OR secular. That leads to the question of (1) whether D&D druids are meant to represent Daoist principles and (2) if so, whether they belong in the default D&D milieu any more than monks do (and EGG is on record as saying that the latter really didn't). As for what historical druids did or what medieval Europeans would have understood, I doubt they would have comprehended killing orcs or finding the Eye of Vecna, either, so that's not really the litmus test. Obviously the game is not intended to be a realistic historical simulation.

Your strongest point is the one about heroic fantasy. I admit it's hard to imagine how true neutrality fits in this scheme, though I wonder whether that's more to do with the conceit or our lack of imagination.

It's hard. People struggle with paladins, too, for I think the same reason. The alignment requirements of these classes require a very fine sense of moral subtleties and if you paint them with too broad a brush, the classes become caricatures at best and unplayable at worst.


Very interesting post, enjoyed reading it.
Besides Taoists, Hindu vedics and Buddhist ascetics also fit some of the Druid paradigm.  I remember Gygax saying monks didn't really fit in because they were Eastern, and not western archetypes, and then thinking well neither is magic missile, avatars, kirin, clerics curing light wounds and pretty much everything in the game.  The game is meant to be fun and the Scarlet Brotherhood post-Istus just isn't the same.  If one looked hard enough in the Western tradition there is probably something remotely similar to the game druid... perhaps the Franciscans to some extent.  St. Francis was pretty out there....
Your point about heroic fantasy is well-taken and why I pretty much don't read it except for light plane reading.  It's too cut and dry good and evil.... without moral ambiguity there is little tension in the narrative.  Give me Dostoyevsky instead.   :wink:

  
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