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General Nature Clerics vs. Druids?

Xeviat

Adventurer
Supporter
Hi everyone.

In one of my games, I have a Nature Cleric. I'm curious what everyone feels like the story and world difference is between a Nature Cleric and a Druid. I'll save my answer for later.
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Hi everyone.

In one of my games, I have a Nature Cleric. I'm curious what everyone feels like the story and world difference is between a Nature Cleric and a Druid. I'll save my answer for later.
To me a Nature Cleric is someone who loves a god first and nature second, and therefore receives his power from his god and that devotion. A Druid loves nature first and foremost, and is basically nature incarnate, receiving his power directly from the nature he serves and loves.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
A Nature Cleric worships a particular god(dess). Their deity may or may not have all of nature in their portfolio. They are likely connected to a church.

A druid can get their power directly through their connection to nature and need not worship a nature deity. Even if they do, they might not get their powers through them. If they are associated with anything organized it is likely a grove, which has less civilized needs at heart than most organized religions.
 


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
It depends on the setting really.

But in general terms
  • Nature Clerics worship a god of Nature whereas Druids worships Nature and whatever gods take care of it.
  • Nature Clerics belong to religion that is integrated into civilized society whereas Druid isn't because it is either wild, secretive, or primitive
  • Nature Celries worship a god whereas a Druid has the option not worship a god or worship a nondivine
  • Nature Clerics are always Divine power source whereas Druid can be Divine, Primal, Arcane, or Elemental.
In dum dum terms
  • Nature Clerics live in cities and towns and get nature power from above.
  • Druid live in villages or the wilds and get nature power from around
 


GlassJaw

Hero
Druid: "I am Nature!"

Nature Cleric: "I am wearing plate."
I never understood why Nature clerics get heavy armor. Conceptually they overlap too much for my taste but then heavy armor totally breaks any sense of logic.

I did some brainstorming on a new class that took the druid chassis, removed wild shape, and added in the Nature cleric domain features. Call it the Warden or Shaman or something. Makes way more sense to me and felt really balanced as a separate class.

You could even move Wild Shape to a Druid Circle path altogether so a player has a choice between a druid with or without wild shape, although that would require a bit more tweaking.
 

TarionzCousin

Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
Initially I would think that the cleric is more civilized and can deal with people and towns better. Maybe he is more on their side as the druid may be more indifferent towards people and favors the natural cycle.
Agreed.

Nature Cleric "I study the ways and laws of nature to know it better."

Druid "I eat dirt and wear bark and grass to become one with nature."
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Long ago we simply renamed Druids as Nature Clerics, made them divine-based, and never looked back.

Also, the name 'Druid' is very much tied to a single culture (Celtic) and thus often appears to be very out of place.
 

MGibster

Legend
Druid: "I am Nature!"

Nature Cleric: "I am wearing plate."
Druids often wear leather armor which, like plate, is created by harvesting a natural resource and using it to manufacture something that's very artificial.

I think the biggest difference is that a cleric acts as an intermediary between the divine and its followers. This isn't always played out in D&D games, but clerics should be involved in things like enforcing orthodoxy, interpreting and/or making religious edicts, and performing rites for the benefit of worshipers from time to time. For examples, a cleric of nature might tell the people how to thank their god properly, might interpret religious text, and lead a ceremony at the start of hunting season to ask their god for a good harvest. A druid, even one who worships the same nature god as our cleric, isn't really concerned with ministering to worshipers. Instead, the druid works with nature in the manner their god requires.

There's probably some overlap though. A druid who is responsible for maintaining a sacred grove can likely count on assistance from a cleric dedicated to the same god.
 

MGibster

Legend
Long ago we simply renamed Druids as Nature Clerics, made them divine-based, and never looked back.

Also, the name 'Druid' is very much tied to a single culture (Celtic) and thus often appears to be very out of place.
In my last home brew creation (monstrosity), I decided that people as a whole looked at all spell casting as a manifestation of the divine. Whether we're talking about a cleric, druid, wizard, or sorcerer, your character was viewed as a holy person by the masses. The more educated persons viewed the wizard as someone who unlocked the secrets of the universe, a sorcerer had divinity in their veins, and clerics/druids were favored by their gods. Even warlocks had aspects of the divine though they were generally distrusted as it was believed they traded their souls for power.
 


Voadam

Hero
Different traditions.

Greek cleric of Demeter, Roman cleric of Ceres.
Celtic/Gaulic druid.

Generally clerics are from the pantheon or the more civilized pantheon and connected to temples and churches.
Generally druids are more connected to older more barbaric cultures, to nature more directly rather than a pantheon's gods or where you can have both for a nature god they are the more nature versus people oriented aspects of the religion.

Clerics are a public cult/religion, druids are generally the old faith, sometimes a secret society, more of an outsider.
 

A lot of people in this thread have been saying that Druids don't have to worship a deity, but clerics do, but that isn't true in D&D 5e. In 5e, clerics don't have to worship a deity, they can worship a process of the multiverse (like death, life, nature). Druids in D&D 5e do draw their power from nature spirits and deities, but don't have to worship them.

So, how I would distinguish between the two is that nature clerics worship nature or a nature deity, while druids are the embodiment of nature, drawing power from certain aspects of it (the moon, the land, death, fire and rebirth, etc).
 

Krachek

Adventurer
The domain feature have place the cleric in multiple overlap with other classes.
a nature cleric is a bit of Druid,
an arcane cleric is a bit of wizard,
a trickery cleric is a bit of a rogue,
and so on,
in fact cleric is the only class that can be used in a single class setup, and still having the possibility to give the favor of all other classes.
and Dm that want sharp frontier between classes should make a cleanup before starting its game.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
A lot of people in this thread have been saying that Druids don't have to worship a deity, but clerics do, but that isn't true in D&D 5e. In 5e, clerics don't have to worship a deity, they can worship a process of the multiverse (like death, life, nature). Druids in D&D 5e do draw their power from nature spirits and deities, but don't have to worship them.

So, how I would distinguish between the two is that nature clerics worship nature or a nature deity, while druids are the embodiment of nature, drawing power from certain aspects of it (the moon, the land, death, fire and rebirth, etc).

I think the key difference is that nature cleric don't simply and soley worship nature. There are other aspects like the relationship of civilization and nature, "man"'s place in nature, and the glorification of nature. This is how nature gods get in as it's not all about nature. Nature clerics woship the HUNT or the HARVEST. Humaniod aspects and relationships with nature.

Druid don't do that. It's 100% nature. The wolves, trees, fey, and people are equals.
 

cbwjm

Hero
It was easier in 2e since nature gods tended to just have druids as their specialist priests. I have the following as things that they each represent depending on how I want to run things.

Civilisation vs. Wilderness
Nature priests are follows of civilised gods of agriculture or taming the wilderness so that people can thrive. Druids teach ways for people to live in harmony with nature.

New Gods vs. Old Faith
Druids follow the old faith whereas clerics are followers of the new gods. This would be like the Romans coming in and stomping on the tribes who follow the old ways and bringing in their new gods.

Priests vs. Shamans
Sometimes nature clerics are from more civilised societies whereas druids are tribal shamans. This ties into the new gods vs the old faith above.

Same God, Different Focus

I have a goddess called the Earthmother. She has both nature clerics and druids following her. The clerics are more active in settled areas whereas the druids are out tending to the natural world.
 



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