Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Yes. Although the dungeon Svenny and those guys had their delve into in pursuit of the wizard and Balrog and retrieving the magic sword was already more akin to a D&D dungeon than a castle basement/prison dungeon, as the accounts I've read depicted it. It was already a large multi-level complex.A while back, I had a conversation with someone who kept insisting that Tom Bombadil was the reason D&D had bards, because Tolkien. Of course, that's not why. It's actually laid out in the first article about bards, and it also explains why Bards had such a weird mix of abilities. Or people who insist that Druids are really just Radagast the Brown. Again, not true. Not even close.
You cannot ascribe things to Tolkien simply by saying that it must be because everyone had Tolkien on the brains. They didn't. Tolkien had a decent influence on D&D, and the places where it was obvious (Chainmail, races) it's really obvious. But it quickly devolves into error when you begin to ascribe everything to Tolkien. It's a tautological argument that eventually turns into "It must be Tolkien."
Adventuring bards, of course, have clear pulp fiction antecedents in two of the authors Gygax cites in Appendix N- Poul Anderson's Cappen Varra, and Manley Wade Wellman's Silver John and Kardios of Atlantis. While the original class write up doesn't mention them, in favor of citing historical and mythical Irish and Welsh antecedents instead, those three heroes seem pretty clear inspirations.
Druids getting to shapechange into the forms of various woodland animals 3x/day at 7th level is not very similar to Beorn at all. Druid prestige classes which are more similar (focusing on shapechanging, or on bear form more specifically) date back to 3rd ed. Maybe a kit in 2nd? Certainly the 0E and 1E Druids bear virtually no resemblance to anything in Tolkien.Nah, Tom Bombadil is why we have DM PCs.
A good case could be made for Beorn including Druids, though moreso over time as Wildshape became a schtick.
Well, the mistletoe bit and a number of other things come from Pliny the Elder, some other details are based on stuff in Commentarii de Bello Gallico.Druids are based in a very 1970s conception of Celts as reported by Romans, that, for whatever reason, took hold in the popular imagination of the time (this was when environmental consciousness was taking off).
The entire class is, putting it nicely, based on a bizarre misunderstanding of history that was popular in the 70s. I guess we're just lucky that they didn't have a class that had pet rocks.