i have an issue with druids.


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


if Druidic is a secret language. and they kill anyone who learns it. and you stop being druid if you teach anyone. so where do baby druids come from? >.> apprentice druids. this is not a conversation about the birds and bees... i mean you can't teach them the secret if you do you can't be a druid any longer and if they learn it they die so the secret is kept.

so where do baby druids come from?


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Baby druids come from hippies.


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An exception is likely made for a certain point in initiation, when the language is learned.

Of course, this is conjecture, because I learned it from someone who recently left the sect for other reasons.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

.... Druids are a class, not a race.


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There is no such thing as an "apprentice druid" in class terms. Your supposed paradox arises from a category error, confusing game mechanics with in-game cultural terms. The rules clearly state that at 1st level a druid learns Druidic (except the feral child archetype). So they are a druid when they learn the language. You might as well ask "where do baby CLASS X come from, unless children have always had a class level in CLASS X?"

The game mostly elides origin stories, childhood, and adolescence in mechanical terms. To try to reconcile non-mechanical societal constructs like learning a trade or role with mechanical structures like being a 1st level anything doesn't work.

MST3K principle.


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Rysky wrote:
.... Druids are a class, not a race.

That's what they used to say about dwarves... times change, times change...


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quibblemuch wrote:
The game mostly elides origin stories, childhood, and adolescence in mechanical terms. To try to reconcile non-mechanical societal constructs like learning a trade or role with mechanical structures like being a 1st level anything doesn't work.

This is the sorta game which makes rules for things most others wouldn't bother to.


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That would be why I used the word "mostly," yes.


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Despite mechanics learning a language is a process, and druid is a trained class, meaning it takes at least two years to become one (leaving aside muticlassing because it creates a whole other set of problems). So at a certain point in your training you're considered sufficiently a druid that they can start teaching you, and by the time you're a first level druid you're fluent.
Or hey, maybe its an enlightenment thing and Druidic is just the secret language of nature, and anyone who's sufficiently in tune with nature will come to understand it.


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The mechanics of language learning aren't really that accurate of a simulation of how language learning works IRL. Trying to make them line up doesn't ever seem to lead to anything useful.

It's possible, for instance, to gain a level in a week or two of game time, put a point into Linguistics, and speak a new language--and the way the core mechanics work, you go from not knowing the language to knowing it, with no levels of proficiency.

This doesn't particularly bother me (see: MST3K principle), but trying to enforce a rational, real-world interpretation on a game design choice of abstraction is like using a hammer to play chess with a pigeon.


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Aldrakan wrote:
Despite mechanics learning a language is a process,

Yes, and it's a different process in Golarion and other Pathfinder universes than it is in our own. In Golarion, people can and do routinely learn languages overnight (those courses about "teach yourself XXX in six easy steps" actually work!)

What? You find this unrealistic? You're happy with fireballs, dragons, and teleportation telling the laws of physics to go sit in a corner and be quiet, but insta-fluency is too improbable for you?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd always assumed that prospective druids were first initiated into the order through a process that probably required months or maybe years of apprenticeship. Only after that lengthy period and a final ordeal would they be accepted and become a full (first-level) druid.

The druidic language would be taught in dribs and drabs during and after this apprenticeship, probably mostly after it.

The trouble with this in game terms is reconciling the lengthy period required to learn a language, the apparently overnight process of gaining a level and the inherent conceptual conflict between druids as a class and druids as a secretive organization. Seems to me that druids of radically different races and cultures wouldn't necessarily have a shared language at all, especially if you posit geographically remote druidic orders with very different or even opposing principles and goals.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

As I once said in character, "Sorry, I don't speak Osiriani -- but if you are willing to wait until tomorrow, then I will be able to speak Osiriani and Vudrani." (My PC had just earned enough XP to level up and was putting two ranks into Linguistics.)


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Druids are nice people.... Stonehenge et al... :)


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Wheldrake wrote:
Seems to me that druids of radically different races and cultures wouldn't necessarily have a shared language at all, especially if you posit geographically remote druidic orders with very different or even opposing principles and goals.

Except that there is presumptively some "power" behind druidic magic that enforces principles and goals across the universe, in the same way that clerics of Asmodeus are all required to follow his precepts.

That's implicit in the "ex-druid" aspect of the class. "A druid who ceases to revere nature, changes to a prohibited alignment, or teaches the Druidic language to a nondruid loses all spells and druid abilities (including her animal companion, but not including weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She cannot thereafter gain levels as a druid until she atones (see the atonement spell description)." The same magical source that grants a druid, for example, the ability to shape-shift to a bear can and will take it away if you behave wrongly. Even wearing the wrong armor will cause you to temporarily lose spell-casting abilities.

I don't have any more problem with geographically remote druids all following the same code that gives them access to spells than I have with geographically remote army bases all being subject to the same UCMJ. When there's oversight and enforcement, there will be uniformity. It looks like the enforcement of the Druidic code is, if anything, more pervasive and uniform than the enforcement of the UCMJ. I might be able to get away with something while the lieutenant isn't watching, but "nature" is always watching.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

As mentioned above, matching mechanics with real-world realism is a dangerous game to play. Any system, analyzed closely enough, breaks down.

That being said, here are a few in world potentials for getting around that pesky rule:

  • When a would-be druid is accepted for training, the materials to learn druidic are available, but only through aptitude in the druidic arts can they understand their significance and/or identify their existence. "Nature's power is through its myriad harmonies. Birds live in branches as beetles live in wood as badgers live amongst the roots. You must expand your perceptions of nature's many wonders if you are to learn its mysteries."

  • A patron fey/kami teaches the apprentice and, being a spirit of nature themselves, they are immune to losing nature-based magic. (Flies contrary to rules, but again, magic.)

  • The druid goes on a vision quest (a la Native American vision quests) and some force within that quest reveals the cipher for decoding druidic signs.

  • A strong psychic influence grants them the ability to see connections where they could not before. (Apophenia, but useful.)

  • (For reincarnated/samsaran/android druids) They knew it in a past life. Somehow it stuck with them.

  • They don't consciously understand it, but receive its information subconsciously and act accordingly. Just in the way that a wolf doesn't announce its intent to eat your face, by recognizing its presence, slavering fangs, and hostile body language, you get the idea.


but you are not a druid unless you learn/know druidic.


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zainale wrote:
but you are not a druid unless you learn/know druidic.

Nope. Nope. Nope.

Rules wrote:
A druid also knows Druidic, a secret language known only to druids, which she learns upon becoming a 1st-level druid...

Not:

Not the Rules wrote:
A druid also knows Druidic, a secret language known only to druids, which she learns before becoming a 1st-level druid...

Prepositions. Matter.


you think that's where druids get their human sacrifices? failed apprentices? >.>


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zainale wrote:
you think that's where druids get their human sacrifices? f

Objection! Assumes facts not in evidence!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Naaah! They get their human sacrifices when misguided tourists bumble into camp and try to speak a few words of druidic.


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I have always played it that "Druidic" is somewhere between a standard language and a philosophy. Becoming a Druid means you have "understood/grocked" it. You can also lose the mindset required to understand it when you are no longer in accord with the philosophy. It only makes sense when you understand and are part of the balance and interconnectedness of all things. We've been playing it that way since Eldritch Wizardry came out. {There are no true Druids at Paizo or they would have gotten this right ;) }


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Daw wrote:
I have always played it that "Druidic" is somewhere between a standard language and a philosophy. Becoming a Druid means you have "understood/grocked" it. You can also lose the mindset required to understand it when you are no longer in accord with the philosophy. It only makes sense when you understand and are part of the balance and interconnectedness of all things. We've been playing it that way since Eldritch Wizardry came out. {There are no true Druids at Paizo or they would have gotten this right ;) }

How does this interact with the ability to get the language without taking a level?

Druidic Decoder:

You have a natural understanding of the Druidic language.

Prerequisites: Linguistics 1 rank, cannot be a druid.

Benefit: You gain a +5 bonus on Linguistics checks made to decipher writings in the Druidic language. If you have 10 or more ranks in Linguistics, add Druidic to the list of bonus languages available to you.


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zainale wrote:
you think that's where druids get their human sacrifices? failed apprentices? >.>

traitors, though historically, condemned criminals were also a favored source.


The Sideromancer wrote:
Daw wrote:
I have always played it that "Druidic" is somewhere between a standard language and a philosophy. Becoming a Druid means you have "understood/grocked" it. You can also lose the mindset required to understand it when you are no longer in accord with the philosophy. It only makes sense when you understand and are part of the balance and interconnectedness of all things. We've been playing it that way since Eldritch Wizardry came out. {There are no true Druids at Paizo or they would have gotten this right ;) }

How does this interact with the ability to get the language without taking a level?

** spoiler omitted **

LOL, because not being true Druids, Paizo made a silly mistake including such a ridiculous idea as Druidic Decoder. Alternately, taking the feat signifies that you at least partly "Get It". Not enough to draw upon the Spirits of the Land and Sea, but not wholly head dead. Actually I like the second bit, Druidic Decoder is allowed at my table I think.


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Someone with 10 ranks in linguistics is a world class linguist (how many people in the world even get to level 10?). So they probably would have the chops to piece together enough Druidic to get by just from whatever fragments they can track down.

Similar to how people on earth figured out how to decipher certain scripts of lost Mediterranean civilizations by looking at statistical and combinatorial regularities in the scripts.

So Druidic Decoder is flavorful, and appropriate, feat. Certainly the Druids wouldn't leave a lot of stuff in druidic lying around, but there should be the odd fragment here or there.


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With all of the magic available to aid in translation, not even going into ways to steal knowledge, if there isn't something special about Druidic, how is it not taught at every university? If the Druids are so powerful to be able to prevent this, why does the progress of civilization keep making inroads into the wilderness?


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Just being silly, but maybe Druidic is taught at every university, only it’s not as popular as Thassilonian this and Thassilonian that, or Infernal, or any of those other newfangled wizard-speak languages, with their fancy, well-groomed enchanters and conjurers? *Squinnies balefully at the Acadamae.* ;)

Maybe, with magical translation tools or mind probes and all that, of people interested in what’s written down in Druidic, basically only true believers actually think the original language is important enough to learn, and most others aren’t going to learn the language just to spite the druids, as opposed to carelessly profaning the mysteries by mucking about with rubbish translations. The traditions surrounding Kabbalah strike me as a vague real-world parallel, without the magical translation stuff, naturally. (Well, unless that’s part of how the ars notoria worked. One of these days I’ll get around to the Sworn Book of Honorius. :) )

Anyway, back to Pathfinder: from the druids’ point of view, it mostly comes out in the wash, with druids being the only ones who actually do grok the language, and everyone else not serious enough to really bother about, unless they start talking serious smack about the Green Faith. (OK, and that idiom just really dated me, I think.)


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There are real-world examples of "secret" languages, e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damin.

According to Wikipedia, this one was not actually "secret", since they didn't actively prevent the uninitiated from learning it -- except for teaching it in private to those who were considered eligible. Still, this contrasts with the situation of certain other ritual languages -- e.g. in non-Hebrew-speaking Jewish communities, where Hebrew is used as a ritual language, but by the entire community rather than a small subset of initiates.


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Mmmh? not sure what you mean there, if you take Hebrew use in, say, pre WWII Eastern Europe, it was a semi secret language really known only to rabbis and those studying to be rabbis... the population at large and women in particular oused a German dialect for everyday use and knew no more of Hebrew than was necessary for ritual use, much as Catholics and other Christians use Hosannah, Allelujah and Amen without any true knowledge of Hebrew.


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I recommend:

Speak Druidic.

School Divination; Level Druid 0
Casting Time 1 swift action
Components V
Range Personal
Target You
Duration 1 minute/level
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

You gain the ability to speak a magical language only comprehensible to others also under the effect of this spell.


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From the core rulebook:

LOREMASTER. As far as I can tell these guys can learn druidic without needing a teacher.


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Kadence,
I would rather see it as a class ability than as a spell. Wait, knowing the language IS a class ability.

Druid Class Description wrote:

Languages: A druid's bonus language options include Sylvan, the language of woodland creatures. This choice is in addition to the bonus languages available to the character because of her race.

A druid also knows Druidic, a secret language known only to druids, which she learns upon becoming a 1st-level druid. Druidic is a free language for a druid; that is, she knows it in addition to her regular allotment of languages and it doesn't take up a language slot. Druids are forbidden to teach this language to nondruids.

Druidic has its own alphabet.

Knowing Druidic isn't a bonus language, the Druid just knows it. Since a "fallen" Druid loses all class abilities, he loses the Druidic Language. Maybe Paizo Does have True Druids squirreled away. :)

It is a special bonus language for Loremasters, who are pretty strange, so they could have reasonably come up with a way around this, and they only ever have two shots ever at picking it up as their class ability gained bonus languages.


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IIRC, the official write up for "the Green Faith" in whichever AP that's in the back of mentions that some of the priests of the Green Faith are oracles and rangers. Do those people get to speak druidic?


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The trait Feral Speech can allow you to get Druidic as a bonus language.


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Cabbage,
Good question, I have the Green Faith write-up in Faiths and Philosophies.

Faiths and Philosophies: Druidism wrote:
Druids revere and draw power from the natural world, seeing in the endless cycle of creation and destruction a single great pattern into which all existence is interwoven. Although most people see no difference between druidism and the Green Faith, the distinction is an important one. While anyone capable of drawing on the magic of nature's essence can become a druid, the Green Faith refers specifically to the most prominent tradition of druidism and nature-worship, with its own histories, techniques, and dogma. Adding to the confusion is the fact that while druids make up the majority of the Green Faith's adherents, members of other classes are also welcome to share the faith—if not the deepest secrets of druidism.

Nothing is mentioned specifically, either way, but I would tend to rule No as to gaining it as a free language like Druids get. However...

Druidism:Green Faith wrote:

NATURE WORSHIPER FEATS Any worshiper of nature, regardless of whether she associates with any particular religion, can choose to take one of the following feats to express her connection to the living world.

>>>>>>>>Text Skipped<<<<<<<<
Druidic Decoder: You have a natural understanding of the Druidic language. Prerequisites: Linguistics 1 rank, cannot be a druid. Benefit: You gain a +5 bonus on Linguistics checks made to decipher writings in the Druidic language. If you have 10 or more ranks in Linguistics, add Druidic to the list of bonus languages available to you.

It IS partially available to Nature Worshippers of any class at the cost of a feat, and, further, is fully available as a bonus language at a cost of 10 ranks in Linguistics.

It does not look like it is generally available to non-Druid Green Faithers.

EDIT/ADD: You know, since this isn't Rules Forum, I would want to allow a Divine Caster worshipping Gozreh to waive the Linguistics requirement. (Gozreh worship underlies Green Faith worship.)

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