How would you RP an evil druid?

MarkB

Hero
Eco-terrorist. Civilization is a blight upon Nature, and it's time to help Nature reclaim its rightful lands, regardless of the cost.
 

Seramus

Explorer
Go one step further. You’re a Druid of the Earth, and all plants and animals are a cancer that has grown across the pure stone you protect.
 
I've always wanted to do a militant nature's rights activist. Bent on destroying civilization and returning to a hunter/gatherer society. Freeing horses from stables, and animals from farms. Burning down remote homesteads. If the druid had enough power, destroying small towns.
 

Bitbrain

Adventurer
Reply to OP.

1. Type in Goblinpunch Blogspot.
2. Go to "7 myths everyone has about Druids" post
3. Try not to look at the pictures too much.
 

aco175

Explorer
Wow, I just skimmed that Here, and think you can get a good idea on how a druid can be looked upon as evil, but be doing things according to his doctrine, except the part about druids hating dogs like they are undead.
 

gyor

Adventurer
I've always wanted to do a militant nature's rights activist. Bent on destroying civilization and returning to a hunter/gatherer society. Freeing horses from stables, and animals from farms. Burning down remote homesteads. If the druid had enough power, destroying small towns.
It's too predictable. I'd go with something different, a Druid who is evil not because of their beliefs, but because they sold them out for personal gain. Like a Druid who pretends of be a protector of a forest to trick people into a situation where he or she can sell them to slavers.

Or a Planar Druid of Hell where damning mortal souls is vital for Hell's ecosystem and the greater balance of the multiverse.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
I'd play him like Kraven the Hunter from marvel comics. Turning into different animals to hunt down his prey.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
Nature, red in tooth and claw. Only the strong survive, everything is either predator or prey, and you are the alpha predator.
 
I

Immortal Sun

Guest
Survival of the fittest is my recommendation. Bonus points if you DON'T go for the obvious "savage" route. Because lets face it: sentient and civilized creatures beat out nature for the fact that they are not savage. Elves became one with nature. Humans dominated it.

You're not "evil" because you're a savage animal. You're "evil" because you represent the opposite of what druidism usually represents, instead of nature and natural law, you're culture and order. You awaken trees not to have them defend the forest, but so that they can create a tree civilization and compete with other civilized species by playing the same game.

So it's "evil" because perspectives, not "evil" because you kill babies.
 
I had an evil druid NPC in my last D&D campaign, he was the main boss villain of a "save the town" quest. His name was Yarrow, and I played the eco-terrorist angle. Yarrow was once a loving and intelligent man named Saldor, who was driven mad by grief over the loss of his wife and child. Now he will make them pay.

He will make them all pay.

Here, let me paste in my campaign notes. (Full disclosure: this was for a steampunk-styled Pathfinder campaign that allowed firearms and gunpowder...it might not translate perfectly. Yarrow was a human Druid8/Alchemist4.)

[SBLOCK="Yarrow the Druid's Backstory"]It's unfortunate, but it has to be done. These people do not deserve to live, not after what they have done. Not after all they continue to do. Justice must be served, and only then will I receive my reward.

The druid who now calls himself "Yarrow" holds a bulbous flask up to the sunlight and gives it a swirl. A thick yellow liquid coats the edges of the glass, and he scrutinizes the small specks of crystal that form as the mixture cools. This is a good batch, the crystals are large and abundant.

These people are responsible for the iron mine, and it's poisoning of the environment that led to the destruction of the Eastern Enclave. The loss of the Enclave displaced hundreds of druids and left the entire eastern half of Kestrel Lake undefended from the unnatural horrors that now prowl the forest. The ancestral lands of his people are now the breeding grounds for monsters.

Yarrow carefully pours a quantity of solvent into the flask, and notes the change in color from clear yellow to cloudy white. He is forcing impurities out of solution, attempting to isolate and purify the crystals. He pours the mixture through a filter-lined funnel and separates the white powdery material from the clear and colorless liquid. A quick rinse with more of the solvent, and he is finished. He pours the tincture onto a thin glass dish, and moves it to the warm side of his lab table to dry with the others.

He collects one of the dishes from yesterday, now completely dried and covered with a thick layer of white powder. He moistens it with a few drops of red liquid to make it less volatile, then scrapes the pink paste off of the plate with a thin wooden scraper. This is the delicate part of the operation. Without the liquid, he might generate too much friction and ignite the mixture. And at this quantity...well, there wouldn't be much left for the local government to investigate. He collects a few tablespoons of the pink paste and spreads it into a wooden mold. When the inhibitor dries, the pink paste will become a hard white cake, roughly the size and shape of an apricot.

These people are responsible for the death of his lovely wife and beautiful child. His son was struck by a carriage and gravely wounded, and his wife had cried out to the crowd for help. But the driver of the cart cared more for his own reputation than the life of a stranger, even the life of a child. He denied any involvement, instead claiming that the woman had beaten the child herself and tried to frame him. As he was a wealthy member of the Ardenward family, owners of the iron mine and life-blood of the town, nobody in the crowd would dare contradict him. So no witness stepped forward, and when Yarrow's son perished from his injuries, his wife was also hanged for murder.

He carries a few of the dried cakes over to the shelf with the others. For safety's sake, he places the cakes in an airtight glass jar...excess moisture won't really affect them, but any stray spark or sudden impact would put an end to his mission. He takes a moment to count them. One hundred nineteen finished, another twenty-six in process, and each one powerful enough to splinter a house in the blink of an eye.

He remembers the trial. He remembers the name of the carriage driver, Garret Ardenward. He smiles now as he remembers how long it took Garret to die, how he cried out for help, how he begged for his life, how he promised wealth and power...

And he remembers spending the last two years tracking down the names and whereabouts of every person in the crowd who witnessed the disaster and said nothing, condemning his family to death with their silence. People who would later fall victim to a series of "accidents" at the Ardenward mine. You see, Yarrow learned a valuable lesson during the trial: nobody in this town will dare speak out against the Ardenward Mine or the family that operates it. The town guard, the temple priests, even the mayor himself all turn a blind eye to their affairs, so long as they keep producing that valuable ore. Terrible, but easy to exploit: as long as Yarrow made these "accidents" occur in or around the Ardenward mine, nobody would ever witness it, nobody would ever report it, and nobody would ever be punished for it. Terrible tragedy, the papers would say. The person was careless, or shouldn't have been trespassing, or should have been wearing the proper safety equipment, they would say. Nobody would investigate. Families would be turned away.

And now, of those twenty-seven witnesses, only five remain today.


He takes his wife's wedding ring down from the mantle, the only part of her that he has left. "It won't be long now, darling. I have enough cakes, all I need to do is plant them." He has gotten into the habit of speaking to it, sometimes even addressing it by her name. "The festival will be here before you know it, and every day brings me closer to you. We will be together again soon." Something in Yarrow's mind cracked in the years since she died, and his fractured mind believes that once all who were involved in her death are suitably punished, she will be restored to him.

Justice, he learned, was not merely an ideal. Justice is a devil, a very wrathful devil, a devil that does not like seeing the law avoided, and the guilty go unpunished. On the day that he stood beside the graves of his family, Yarrow made a vow to serve that devil who called itself Justice, and he hatched a plan to deliver the townsfolk into it's hands. And his reward for doing so will be to have his old life back, his family restored to him. But he's not stupid. Yarrow knows the dangers of making deals with devils, so he has a plan for that too. He also knows something the devil doesn't: he knows the devil's true name.

He smiles at the thought of it, and places the ring back on the shelf.

No one will be spared. He has waited long and planned carefully. When he has finished the entire Town of Kestrel will be gone, the mine abandoned, and all of the greed and selfishness and corruption and demons contained therein will be purged from the land. Only fields of yarrow will remain...the same yarrow that now grows over the ruin of the Eastern Enclave, the same yarrow that now covers the graves of his wife and child. [/SBLOCK]
 
Last edited:

Nevvur

Explorer
[MENTION=6863864]Bitbrain[/MENTION] - Thanks for guiding us to that article! I'll second your recommendation.
[MENTION=6670153]gyor[/MENTION] - Love the hell druid concept. Awhile back I was examining unlikely class/race combos, and the tiefling druid presented immediately. This would be a plausible background for him.

As for the OP... Motive and methods are both important considerations. I made a mid-level NPC druid oriented toward swarms and disease as the Big Bad for a low-level one shot. They were the most effective tools for addressing an aggressive push to colonize a land he held in stewardship. It made him an extremist in his own circle, but he escaped punishment and went about distributing plagues til the PCs caught up with him.

Do you ask because you're looking to implement something in a game, or is this more just picking the forum's brain?
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
No one except a psychopath is evil in their own story. They are doing what they think best. Perhaps it's releasing (natural) rats with a (natural) plague to wipe out a logging settlement that deforesting at a ruinous rate, or the miners. Perhaps they see domestication of animals as unnatural and liberate flocks of cattle and sheep. Perhaps they see arcane magic and it's owlbears and other hybrids as evil and is raising an army of treants and blink dogs to destroy the wizarding college.
 

jgsugden

Explorer
Look at the three evil alignments in the PHB.

Lawful evil (LE) creatures methodically take what they want, within the limits of a code of tradition, loyalty, or order. A druid devoted to restoring the natural order with no regard for the destruction he inflicts on society would be a possible example. So would a druid that uses the power of nature to inflict wrath upon his enemies on behalf of his monstrous ruler.

Neutral evil (NE) is the alignment of those who do whatever they can get away with, without compassion or qualms. A druid that takes from nature and uses that power to destroy his enemies would fit this description, as would a 'Poison Ivy' protector of nature that follows no rules but her own.

Chaotic evil (CE) creatures act with arbitrary violence, spurred by their greed, hatred, or bloodlust. A druid that fully embraces his wildshape and emobodies a wild and savage animal might be an excellent example of this, as would a druid that sees the chaos in nature and wishes to bring that chaos everywhere.
 

Advertisement

Top