The Burnt World of Athas

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Druid by Aernout van Pallandt

Druid Kits

Druids are a popular class in 2e Dark Sun – they have the widest selection of spells and enjoy access to the most powerful non-elemental spells in the game. Unless you have a templar in your party, your druid may well be the only character capable of casting raise dead and similar spells. There’s more to druids than just seducing hunting cacti. The current season of To Tame a Land has two druids in the party and the first season also featured a druid. One of our current druids uses a version of the Hivemaster kit from the Complete Druid’s Handbook, but the other two use homebrew kits. In this week’s blog, I’m sharing those with you: the Landless Druid, who has no single guarded land, and the Living Conduit, who specializes in harnessing the energies of the Sphere of Cosmos for healing purposes.

Landless Druid

Not all druids tie themselves irrevocably to a single locale. Some elect to wander Athas, listening to the spirits of the world wherever they travel, protecting the lands and creatures of Athas wherever needed.

Landless druids typically have a better idea of the “big picture” in the world than other druids, and usually remain on good terms with rangers and the tribes of the desert. More powerful druids often use landless druids as messengers or missionaries. Landless druids tend to be more gregarious than other druids, enjoying meeting and talking with people – especially those who dwell outside the great cities of the Tablelands. Although they may seem carefree, bereft of ties to any one place, this attitude masks a keen mind and a strong interest in everything going on around them. Many landless druids have animal companions, finding friendship with them during their travels.

Recommended Weapons: Quarterstaff.
Recommended Non-weapon Proficiencies: Animal handling, expression, healing, herbalism, knowledge (religion), mountaineering, running, survival, tracking.
Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: None.
Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Navigation.
Equipment: The landless druid should spend their initial allotment of wealth entirely on equipment, as they lose any unspent starting money in excess of 1 cp.

Special Benefits

Pathfinder: A landless druid is expert at finding the best and quickest route in overland travel. The druid and anyone who travels with them receives a 3 point bonus to their movement rate for overland travel (e.g., MV 9 becomes MV 12).
Respected: The landless druid receives a +2 reaction bonus from rangers, travelers, and any member of a desert tribe or small settlement.
Wanderer: The landless druid still has a guarded land, but is not tied to one area. Each day, the druid may spend one hour in communion with the local spirits of the land and choose a new guarded land for that day. The druid’s major Elemental Sphere is chosen at character creation but their minor Sphere is chosen during this consecration ceremony.

Special Hindrances

Loner: Constantly on the move, a landless druid never allows themself to be burdened. The druid cannot have followers, retainers, hirelings, mercenaries, or even servants until they reaches 12th level (but animal companions can travel with the druid).
Restricted Gear: The landless druid cannot possess more treasure than they can carry; they must either convert the excess into a portable form (gems, etc.) or donate it to a worthy cause.
Wealth Options: Standard.

Living Conduit

Most druids feel an intense kinship with the flora of Athas – the grasses, trees, cacti, fungi, and other similar forms of life - but not all druids feel this way. For some, the connection with fauna - the creatures of the world - is far more intense. These druids experience a deep harmony with the spirits of the land and see themselves as a conduit between those entities and the creatures that call Athas home. Such druids are often filled with a deep compassion for life and can draw increased powers of healing through this connection.

The living conduit is a druid who experiences a particularly strong connection to the spirits of the land and, through them, the greater powers of the cosmos beyond. This manifests in them being able to cast healing spells with greater potency and frequency than other druids. The living conduit also feels great compassion for the lifeforms of Athas. This does not mean that the druid eschews combat or refuses to kill when necessary – many are the creatures that prey unnecessarily on those around them – but a living conduit will always weigh the consequences of such actions carefully.

Recommended Weapons: None.
Recommended Non-weapon Proficiencies: Animal handling, animal lore, herbalism, riding (any), survival.
Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: None.
Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Healing.
Equipment: The living conduit has no particular preference for equipment but does not favor weapons that cause unnecessary suffering such as scourges, master’s whips, or the like.

Special Benefits

Bountiful Healing: A living conduit gains one additional spell slot per spell level that can be used to cast a healing spell from the following list: cure light wounds, cure moderate wounds, cure serious wounds, cure critical wounds, heal, heroes’ feast, regenerate.
Maximize Healing: Starting at 5th level, the living conduit may cast a spell from their Bountiful Healing list at maximum efficiency – all dice are treated as if they rolled the maximum amount. The living conduit can use this power a number of times per day equal to their Will Bonus.
Twin Healing: Starting at 9th level, the living conduit rolls twice as many dice when casting a spell from their Bountiful Healing list. The living conduit can use this power a number of times per day equal to their Will Bonus.

Special Hindrances

Blighted: The living conduit’s resistance to the elements is weakened due to their focus on the powers of the cosmos. The druid loses the Boon class ability, no longer receiving a bonus on saving throws against fire or electricity.
Floral Ineptitude: The living conduit is intensely focused on the creatures of Athas and, as a result, has little time for its plants. The druid does not gain the ability to speak with plants when on their guarded lands at 5th level, and does not gain the ability to speak with plants wherever they are at 9th level.
Intelligent plants automatically view the living conduit as a threat, with reactions starting at Hostile. No matter what the living conduit does, reactions from intelligent plants may never improve beyond Indifferent.
Wealth Options: Standard.