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5E Why the Druid Metal Restriction is Poorly Implemented

Ohmyn

Villager
I think this post sums up that we simply think differently. Here in the UK we have a saying 'it's just not cricket' - referring to the 'spirit' of a contest. The idea being that traditionally you are meant to play honestly and not try to push your luck, it's why we get annoyed here in the UK when sportsmen try to fool an official, eg a soccer player diving to win a penalty, or an American footballer claiming a catch when the ball is clearly not under control... we generally consider such behaviour to be unacceptable. It might be judgmental of us, or old-fashioned, but it's a general part of the British psyche.

It's the approach I use when playing D&D, I'm a firm but fair DM who tries to work within the spirit of the game with my players, and I expect the same in return. I have the same approach when playing a character, work with the DM, not against him. Work with the setting. Try not to push the boundaries.

Thus in the case of lawyer-style arguments regarding precise RAW language, for me it's the spirit of the rule that matters, NOT technicalities over preciseness of wording.

Trying to get around component costs of Find Familiar, trying to get around the 'no metal armour' restriction for Druids (along with other issues such as players trying to get around Drow sunlight sensitivity, etc) all come under this 'spirit of the game' heading. And thus my robust response when people have the approach advocated by yourself (and Maxperson). It's an unpleasant style of play, it derails sessions, it's disrespectful to Dm and fellow players, and the game is simply better for the group as a whole if it is avoided... so don't do it. And if you see this approach in AL games - I've played a couple, and I never saw this happen - then it's another reason to avoid them.

(my problem player I mentioned above was not British)
The issue is that what one person finds to be a loophole, another might not. For example, you say it's a loophole to try and circumvent the cost of Find Familiar, but literally the purpose of foraging skills and crafting tools is to reduce or bypass costs. Crafting your own armor cuts the cost in half, and if you also spent the necessary time in a mine to gather your own raw materials, it could reduce the cost to zero. Foraging reduces the cost of eating to zero because you don't need rations. A Healer's Kit costs 5GP, so should be craftable in a day, and it shouldn't be unexpected that a player taking a background to gain Nature, Survival, and proficiency in Herbalism, then spend a feat to gain Healer, would expect they can spend 8 hours crafting it in town for 2.5GP, or to be able to spend a bit more time out of town gathering their own ingredients to cut that cost to 0GP, so long as they had sufficient time to both craft it and gather the materials.

If all of the above is true, there's no reason why a player should not be able to do this with Find Familiar. Personally I'd find it silly if a DM told me I was just trying to loophole the system if I went out of my way to obtain all of the skills and tools built into the system for that purpose, all in order to utilize them for that purpose. Whether they utilize it to bypass food costs, bypass armor costs, bypass ammunition costs, etc, etc, that's what they're there for. In the case of your example, the issue definitely wasn't someone trying to loophole the system, but rather a whole other can of worms in terms of maturity and actually understanding the mechanical implications of the rules they were trying to utilize.

As for the Drow example, there's tons of ways to get around it that don't require anything exceptional. Use spells and cantrips that require a saving throw instead of an attack roll, utilize heavy obscurity, shade, or the Darkness spell, or otherwise apply disadvantage to any part of the battlefield that you're on if in direct sunlight, since you have disadvantage anyway. The sensitivity also shouldn't provide much penalty too often when it comes to detecting enemies, because it only applies to sight, and you can still hear a hidden enemy if they're moving. If they're in direct sunlight, you don't get further penalty for attacking them while unable to see them, so long as you can pinpoint them by sound, because you can't get double disadvantage. Unless the enemy is somehow in direct sunlight (which will actually often not be the case, since in order to be hidden they need to be behind something obstructing line of sight, which usually will block off direct sunlight), or the Drow is in direct sunlight (which he can bypass during travels by staying in the party's wagon), and the enemy is remaining stationary as to not need to move silently, there is no reason why the Drow cannot ignore most of the penalties. It absolutely should not be considered bad for the player to utilize the nuance of an ability and how it applies in actual play mechanics in order to mitigate its severity on their character. That's not using loopholes; it's smart gameplay.

And to repeat earlier points, this isn't a matter of just precise RAW language. The issue here is the "spirit" of the rule is that it's just a taboo, and is a tag on from previous editions, with no mechanical implications, going so far as to even grant the Druid proficiency in all medium armors (metal included). If the spirit of the rule was that they have a reason as to why they can't wear metal, the Sage Advice could have clarified this, but instead they clarified there is no such reason, which is good, because fits in the spirit of the game in terms of player choice. All class lore is within the spirit of the rules, but most class lore is ignored at most tables unless there's a mechanic that applies to ignoring it. How often do you see a DM force a Warlock's pact into their game, or a Monk's monastic past, force their Cleric to choose a deity (in systems that don't penalize not doing it), or tell a Paladin they can't choose to ignore their oath? Far less often than they allow a Druid to ignore elements of their lore. Sage Advice clarified that a Druid has nothing stopping them from putting on the armor, so if a character's backstory is built around the concept of being a Druid that focuses on stone and metal (I don't personally see that as unlikely for a Mountan Dwarf Circle of Land (Mountain) Druid), or a Druid that has decided that the old ways are silly and that they need to get with the times (much as a Cleric can denounce the worship of deities for a variety of reasons), I'd say the DM is the one being a rules lawyer by saying that the player can't make a decision because of a single unclarified (without Sage Advice) lore blurb saying they will not do it due to a belief system that by nature of the game should be able to change at any time anyway. Again, every other character can do it at any time, without reason, so why can't a Druid do it with reason?

If we're going to enforce the lore of the Druid to the "nature of the class", especially if going as far as to utilize the original lore to do it, I'd say that Druids don't belong in 99% of adventuring parties at all, as most parties aren't acting "in the spirit of the Druid class". They're all about defending nature, and shunning civilization (eww, no metal please, that's a civilization thing), so what the hell are they doing with an adventuring party that's taking on a mission to protect a human settlement from goblins? Why would they ever take a job for payment by the king? Why would they ever protect a kingdom? Why do they care if there's bandits in or out of town? Why are they going to help the elves take out the kobolds? What do they care about the kidnapped or eaten children? Why would the canonical Druid care about anything that is not simply a direct assault on nature?

The only way for these things to make sense is that the player character is an exception to the typical Druid's overzealous beliefs. This is why I would personally call it rule lawyering, and not in the spirit of the game in the state it's currently played, for the DM to force the player's actions (and even possible backstory) based on outdated lore mechanics that aren't even addressed in this edition.
 
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5ekyu

Explorer
The issue is that what one person finds to be a loophole, another might not. For example, you say it's a loophole to try and circumvent the cost of Find Familiar, but literally the purpose of foraging skills and crafting tools is to reduce or bypass costs. Crafting your own armor cuts the cost in half, and if you also spent the necessary time in a mine to gather your own raw materials, it could reduce the cost to zero. Foraging reduces the cost of eating to zero because you don't need rations. A Healer's Kit costs 5GP, so should be craftable in a day, and it shouldn't be unexpected that a player taking a background to gain Nature, Survival, and proficiency in Herbalism, then spend a feat to gain Healer, would expect they can spend 8 hours crafting it in town for 2.5GP, or to be able to spend a bit more time out of town gathering their own ingredients to cut that cost to 0GP, so long as they had sufficient time to both craft it and gather the materials.

If all of the above is true, there's no reason why a player should not be able to do this with Find Familiar. Personally I'd find it silly if a DM told me I was just trying to loophole the system if I went out of my way to obtain all of the skills and tools built into the system for that purpose, all in order to utilize them for that purpose. Whether they utilize it to bypass food costs, bypass armor costs, bypass ammunition costs, etc, etc, that's what they're there for. In the case of your example, the issue definitely wasn't someone trying to loophole the system, but rather a whole other can of worms in terms of maturity and actually understanding the mechanical implications of the rules they were trying to utilize.

As for the Drow example, there's tons of ways to get around it that don't require anything exceptional. Use spells and cantrips that require a saving throw instead of an attack roll, utilize heavy obscurity, shade, or the Darkness spell, or otherwise apply disadvantage to any part of the battlefield that you're on if in direct sunlight, since you have disadvantage anyway. The sensitivity also shouldn't provide much penalty too often when it comes to detecting enemies, because it only applies to sight, and you can still hear a hidden enemy if they're moving. If they're in direct sunlight, you don't get further penalty for attacking them while unable to see them, so long as you can pinpoint them by sound, because you can't get double disadvantage. Unless the enemy is somehow in direct sunlight (which will actually often not be the case, since in order to be hidden they need to be behind something obstructing line of sight, which usually will block off direct sunlight), or the Drow is in direct sunlight (which he can bypass during travels by staying in the party's wagon), and the enemy is remaining stationary as to not need to move silently, there is no reason why the Drow cannot ignore most of the penalties. It absolutely should not be considered bad for the player to utilize the nuance of an ability and how it applies in actual play mechanics in order to mitigate its severity on their character. That's not using loopholes; it's smart gameplay.

And to repeat earlier points, this isn't a matter of just precise RAW language. The issue here is the "spirit" of the rule is that it's just a taboo, and is a tag on from previous editions, with no mechanical implications, going so far as to even grant the Druid proficiency in all medium armors (metal included). If the spirit of the rule was that they have a reason as to why they can't wear metal, the Sage Advice could have clarified this, but instead they clarified there is no such reason, which is good, because fits in the spirit of the game in terms of player choice. All class lore is within the spirit of the rules, but most class lore is ignored at most tables unless there's a mechanic that applies to ignoring it. How often do you see a DM force a Warlock's pact into their game, or a Monk's monastic past, force their Cleric to choose a deity (in systems that don't penalize not doing it), or tell a Paladin they can't choose to ignore their oath? Far less often than they allow a Druid to ignore elements of their lore. Sage Advice clarified that a Druid has nothing stopping them from putting on the armor, so if a character's backstory is built around the concept of being a Druid that focuses on stone and metal (I don't personally see that as unlikely for a Mountan Dwarf Circle of Land (Mountain) Druid), or a Druid that has decided that the old ways are silly and that they need to get with the times (much as a Cleric can denounce the worship of deities for a variety of reasons), I'd say the DM is the one being a rules lawyer by saying that the player can't make a decision because of a single unclarified (without Sage Advice) lore blurb saying they will not do it due to a belief system that by nature of the game should be able to change at any time anyway. Again, every other character can do it at any time, without reason, so why can't a Druid do it with reason?

If we're going to enforce the lore of the Druid to the "nature of the class", especially if going as far as to utilize the original lore to do it, I'd say that Druids don't belong in 99% of adventuring parties at all, as most parties aren't acting "in the spirit of the Druid class". They're all about defending nature, and shunning civilization (eww, no metal please, that's a civilization thing), so what the hell are they doing with an adventuring party that's taking on a mission to protect a human settlement from goblins? Why would they ever take a job for payment by the king? Why would they ever protect a kingdom? Why do they care if there's bandits in or out of town? Why are they going to help the elves take out the kobolds? What do they care about the kidnapped or eaten children? Why would the canonical Druid care about anything that is not simply a direct assault on nature?

The only way for these things to make sense is that the player character is an exception to the typical Druid's overzealous beliefs. This is why I would personally call it rule lawyering, and not in the spirit of the game in the state it's currently played, for the DM to force the player's actions (and even possible backstory) based on outdated lore mechanics that aren't even addressed in this edition.
One man's lore is another man's extremism and one man's burr in saddle is another man's opportunity.

I tended from 1e on as seeing druids as about balance in things not "shunning" civilization. Many druids eould be fine with villages and towns as long as it was not too disruptive to the nature around it.

As for your laundry list of whys? I see these as opportunities, not problems. You might as well be asking why a thief is heading into undead crypts instead of local taverns. Most of the time, the lore doesnt define 100% the character motivations - that's why for instance now in addition to race and class we have backgrounds more formalized and ideals, flaws, bonds to help flesh out and structure more of the "what do I care about" for characters.

Protect settlement from goblins? Well, does your gtoup hafe deal with settlement? Are the folks in the settlement better than the goblins with nature friendly?

Payment by king - getting leverage for keeping advancement into woods in check.

Elves vs kobold, kidnapped children - again who is worse for nature affects who you side with and help out when they need it.

These are all opportunities a competent or even half-awake GM knows and likely utilizes in play a lot more option than trying to tell the player their "nature gocus" is the only motivation they have because he has decided classes limit them in that way.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
[MENTION=6919838]5ekyu[/MENTION]

You quoted me, but it may have been in a response to Lowkey. He blocked me earlier for asking him to say please, which is very ironic as he has a personal rule he has mentioned here where he stated that he asks nicely first, then gets serious if quoted again, then blocks the person if quoted a second time. He violated his own rule in a thread about rules violations where he was on the side of not violating the rules. Oh, well. Maybe he had DM approval.

Anyway, if you could quote me separately so that we can continue our discussion that would be great. :)
 

Ohmyn

Villager
One man's lore is another man's extremism and one man's burr in saddle is another man's opportunity.

I tended from 1e on as seeing druids as about balance in things not "shunning" civilization. Many druids eould be fine with villages and towns as long as it was not too disruptive to the nature around it.

As for your laundry list of whys? I see these as opportunities, not problems. You might as well be asking why a thief is heading into undead crypts instead of local taverns. Most of the time, the lore doesnt define 100% the character motivations - that's why for instance now in addition to race and class we have backgrounds more formalized and ideals, flaws, bonds to help flesh out and structure more of the "what do I care about" for characters.

Protect settlement from goblins? Well, does your gtoup hafe deal with settlement? Are the folks in the settlement better than the goblins with nature friendly?

Payment by king - getting leverage for keeping advancement into woods in check.

Elves vs kobold, kidnapped children - again who is worse for nature affects who you side with and help out when they need it.

These are all opportunities a competent or even half-awake GM knows and likely utilizes in play a lot more option than trying to tell the player their "nature gocus" is the only motivation they have because he has decided classes limit them in that way.
The 1E Druid was true neutral. That means not good, nor evil. It was even written in their class description in 1E AD&D that even if they observed any creature destroying their charges, they were still unlikely to risk their lives to prevent the destruction. This is because good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings, which Druids are not. Characters who are neutral by definition don't have any desire to kill the innocent, as that would be evil, but they lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others. They're more like animals, who are the epitome of true neutral, where they'll kill to survive, and they'll protect their own pack, but they don't give a damn about anyone else. Some animals are willing to do more than others to protect their own, and are thus less likely to flee when the pack is threatened, but it was made pretty clear that AD&D Druids typically did not have this level of commitment to others.

Why is a thief heading into undead crypts instead of local taverns? I can come up with a million reasons. Thieves can steal for money, or steal for the thrill. If the king offers a bounty that exceeds what they'd get from months in the tavern, that alone is motivation enough. Likewise, perhaps they're just hoping to find treasure, or perhaps they're just looking for the adrenaline rush of danger, which can be why they're a thief.

The Druid? Druids absolutely do "shun" civilization. Consider the original lore that they're not typically willing to risk their own lives to protect their charges, which would consist of their human and animal followers alike. Now consider if there's no penalty to them wearing armor, but they refuse to do so because it's worked metal that is associated with civilization. The fact that they're willing to enter the battlefield but risk their safety to make a point over some taboo against metal because it's too much of a mark of civilization, but they're not willing to risk their safety to save the creatures that follow them, shows they shun civilization more than they care about even the lives of their followers.

I could see them going into the undead crypt, as undead are inherently magical and unnatural, and thus a threat to nature. However, that's one of the few situations typical adventurers find themselves in that Druids would actually ever get into. Bandits in town? No inherent threat to nature. Kidnappings? No inherent threat to nature. They're not willing to risk their lives for their own charges, so why would they be willing to risk their lives for some random villager? How is the human village any less of a threat to natural balance than a random primitive tribe of goblins? They're willing to risk their own safety on the battlefield to make a point against the tools of civilization, but they're going to stand next to armored knights that are fighting off the leather wearing, pointy stick wielding goblins riding in on their pet wolves? A Druid being stuck in their overzealous ways simply doesn't work out well when adventuring.

For the specific examples, the rest of the party is okay with their payment being a halt on woods advancement? Most low level adventurers are taking jobs to make a little bit of coin. You think the king is going to delay the advancement of their kingdom for a 100GP job? Good luck with that.

Goblins versus settlement? I find it unlikely that goblins are more nature unfriendly than humans, especially since goblins are more primitive and therefore their behavior is more in line with the natural order that Druids prefer, as indicated by the fact that Druids have a taboo against the advanced technology of civilization. As soon as those humans rise up with their swords and armor, and the goblins rise up with their leather and sticks, I can only see one side the Druid would prefer.

Elves vs. kobolds? Same thing. If the kobolds are just kidnapping some elven children, then how is that worth the Druid's attention? Unless the kobolds are performing some egregious affront to nature, there's no reason for the Druid to get involved.

The problem is that it always assumes the Druid is able to see some way in which one side is worse to nature than the other. The main issue with this is that requires the DM to literally add some footnote into every adventure that emphasizes that the side that's supposed to be stopped is bad for nature. The issue there becomes if everything that is happening against civilizations from the outside ends up being the bigger affront to nature than the things that are attacking the people in these civilizations, then how the heck can the Druid's belief about civilization not be possibly swayed by their experience? If every situation deems that the civilization is the one that's more on the side of nature, and thus is the side that must be protected, that goes against their very belief structure.

This all meshes better with the current model of the game, where the character has more freedom in their alignment, but it doesn't mesh well with any sort of forced belief, especially when that belief has no mechanical implications. Druids can be of any alignment, and therefore can have literally any belief system. Why is a chaotic evil Druid going to be as caught up in a silly taboo as a lawful good Druid is? Why do evil Druids from the Underdark that worship an evil nature deity have the same taboo as neutral desert Druids that get their power from nature, who follow the same taboo as the lawful good coastal Druids that get their power from a good deity (note that both the good and evil nature deities grant their clerics proficiency in the heaviest of armors)?

With the amount of different beliefs that Druids can hold, and the fact that by nature of the game system a character can change so completely throughout a campaign that they could start as a lawful good Paladin and end up as a chaotic evil Oathbreaker, or start as a lawful good Life Cleric and end up as a chaotic evil Death Cleric, how the heck is it out of the spirit of the game to assume a Druid could make the decision to break their taboo, especially when unlike the other examples, the Druid suffers no consequence as a result?
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The 1E Druid was true neutral. That means not good, nor evil. It was even written in their class description in 1E AD&D that even if they observed any creature destroying their charges, they were still unlikely to risk their lives to prevent the destruction. This is because good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings, which Druids are not. Characters who are neutral by definition don't have any desire to kill the innocent, as that would be evil, but they lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others. They're more like animals, who are the epitome of true neutral, where they'll kill to survive, and they'll protect their own pack, but they don't give a damn about anyone else. Some animals are willing to do more than others to protect their own, and are thus less likely to flee when the pack is threatened, but it was made pretty clear that AD&D Druids typically did not have this level of commitment to others.

Why is a thief heading into undead crypts instead of local taverns? I can come up with a million reasons. Thieves can steal for money, or steal for the thrill. If the king offers a bounty that exceeds what they'd get from months in the tavern, that alone is motivation enough. Likewise, perhaps they're just hoping to find treasure, or perhaps they're just looking for the adrenaline rush of danger, which can be why they're a thief.

The Druid? Druids absolutely do "shun" civilization. Consider the original lore that they're not typically willing to risk their own lives to protect their charges, which would consist of their human and animal followers alike. Now consider if there's no penalty to them wearing armor, but they refuse to do so because it's worked metal that is associated with civilization. The fact that they're willing to enter the battlefield but risk their safety to make a point over some taboo against metal because it's too much of a mark of civilization, but they're not willing to risk their safety to save the creatures that follow them, shows they shun civilization more than they care about even the lives of their followers.
That's why I loved the 3e incarnation of the druid far more than the 1e and 2e. There are aspects of nature that if looked at individually, are good, evil, lawful and chaotic. I can easily see druids devoting themselves to aspects of nature and having alignments other than true neutral.

This all meshes better with the current model of the game, where the character has more freedom in their alignment, but it doesn't mesh well with any sort of forced belief, especially when that belief has no mechanical implications. Druids can be of any alignment, and therefore can have literally any belief system. Why is a chaotic evil Druid going to be as caught up in a silly taboo as a lawful good Druid is? Why do evil Druids from the Underdark that worship an evil nature deity have the same taboo as neutral desert Druids that get their power from nature, who follow the same taboo as the lawful good coastal Druids that get their power from a good deity (note that both the good and evil nature deities grant their clerics proficiency in the heaviest of armors)?

With the amount of different beliefs that Druids can hold, and the fact that by nature of the game system a character can change so completely throughout a campaign that they could start as a lawful good Paladin and end up as a chaotic evil Oathbreaker, or start as a lawful good Life Cleric and end up as a chaotic evil Death Cleric, how the heck is it out of the spirit of the game to assume a Druid could make the decision to break their taboo, especially when unlike the other examples, the Druid suffers no consequence as a result?
That's why the only real reason for the "taboo" is if it's not a taboo at all, but a mechanical limitation like it was in 1e-3e.
 

5ekyu

Explorer
The 1E Druid was true neutral. That means not good, nor evil. It was even written in their class description in 1E AD&D that even if they observed any creature destroying their charges, they were still unlikely to risk their lives to prevent the destruction. This is because good implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings, which Druids are not. Characters who are neutral by definition don't have any desire to kill the innocent, as that would be evil, but they lack the commitment to make sacrifices to protect or help others. They're more like animals, who are the epitome of true neutral, where they'll kill to survive, and they'll protect their own pack, but they don't give a damn about anyone else. Some animals are willing to do more than others to protect their own, and are thus less likely to flee when the pack is threatened, but it was made pretty clear that AD&D Druids typically did not have this level of commitment to others.

Why is a thief heading into undead crypts instead of local taverns? I can come up with a million reasons. Thieves can steal for money, or steal for the thrill. If the king offers a bounty that exceeds what they'd get from months in the tavern, that alone is motivation enough. Likewise, perhaps they're just hoping to find treasure, or perhaps they're just looking for the adrenaline rush of danger, which can be why they're a thief.

The Druid? Druids absolutely do "shun" civilization. Consider the original lore that they're not typically willing to risk their own lives to protect their charges, which would consist of their human and animal followers alike. Now consider if there's no penalty to them wearing armor, but they refuse to do so because it's worked metal that is associated with civilization. The fact that they're willing to enter the battlefield but risk their safety to make a point over some taboo against metal because it's too much of a mark of civilization, but they're not willing to risk their safety to save the creatures that follow them, shows they shun civilization more than they care about even the lives of their followers.

I could see them going into the undead crypt, as undead are inherently magical and unnatural, and thus a threat to nature. However, that's one of the few situations typical adventurers find themselves in that Druids would actually ever get into. Bandits in town? No inherent threat to nature. Kidnappings? No inherent threat to nature. They're not willing to risk their lives for their own charges, so why would they be willing to risk their lives for some random villager? How is the human village any less of a threat to natural balance than a random primitive tribe of goblins? They're willing to risk their own safety on the battlefield to make a point against the tools of civilization, but they're going to stand next to armored knights that are fighting off the leather wearing, pointy stick wielding goblins riding in on their pet wolves? A Druid being stuck in their overzealous ways simply doesn't work out well when adventuring.

For the specific examples, the rest of the party is okay with their payment being a halt on woods advancement? Most low level adventurers are taking jobs to make a little bit of coin. You think the king is going to delay the advancement of their kingdom for a 100GP job? Good luck with that.

Goblins versus settlement? I find it unlikely that goblins are more nature unfriendly than humans, especially since goblins are more primitive and therefore their behavior is more in line with the natural order that Druids prefer, as indicated by the fact that Druids have a taboo against the advanced technology of civilization. As soon as those humans rise up with their swords and armor, and the goblins rise up with their leather and sticks, I can only see one side the Druid would prefer.

Elves vs. kobolds? Same thing. If the kobolds are just kidnapping some elven children, then how is that worth the Druid's attention? Unless the kobolds are performing some egregious affront to nature, there's no reason for the Druid to get involved.

The problem is that it always assumes the Druid is able to see some way in which one side is worse to nature than the other. The main issue with this is that requires the DM to literally add some footnote into every adventure that emphasizes that the side that's supposed to be stopped is bad for nature. The issue there becomes if everything that is happening against civilizations from the outside ends up being the bigger affront to nature than the things that are attacking the people in these civilizations, then how the heck can the Druid's belief about civilization not be possibly swayed by their experience? If every situation deems that the civilization is the one that's more on the side of nature, and thus is the side that must be protected, that goes against their very belief structure.

This all meshes better with the current model of the game, where the character has more freedom in their alignment, but it doesn't mesh well with any sort of forced belief, especially when that belief has no mechanical implications. Druids can be of any alignment, and therefore can have literally any belief system. Why is a chaotic evil Druid going to be as caught up in a silly taboo as a lawful good Druid is? Why do evil Druids from the Underdark that worship an evil nature deity have the same taboo as neutral desert Druids that get their power from nature, who follow the same taboo as the lawful good coastal Druids that get their power from a good deity (note that both the good and evil nature deities grant their clerics proficiency in the heaviest of armors)?

With the amount of different beliefs that Druids can hold, and the fact that by nature of the game system a character can change so completely throughout a campaign that they could start as a lawful good Paladin and end up as a chaotic evil Oathbreaker, or start as a lawful good Life Cleric and end up as a chaotic evil Death Cleric, how the heck is it out of the spirit of the game to assume a Druid could make the decision to break their taboo, especially when unlike the other examples, the Druid suffers no consequence as a result?
Have zero desire to get into rehashing. 4 decades old slignment disputes. Alignment in DnD has, for PCs, as i recall always been non-straightjacket. It could be violated and often had cnsewuences for some classes and was often pretty up to GM determination for when violations occur.

So, no big deal.

And, yes, if a player chooses to play a character so mono-focused and the gm allows it in, then the GM wil likely have to work a bit to hook their character in.

If thats not gonna be done, them there is definitely a mismatch of expectations thst can be problem. Just like if i play a thief who is mono-focused as a pick-pocket who avoids "adventures".

Did you really have these problems in play 4 decades ago? We didnt?
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
And, yes, if a player chooses to play a character so mono-focused and the gm allows it in, then the GM wil likely have to work a bit to hook their character in.
It's the druid lore, though, which makes it taboo to go against it.

Did you really have these problems in play 4 decades ago? We didnt?
In 1983 we did. The true neutral alignment and non-interference portions caused an issue once or twice. Not all the time, or even most of the time, but it did crop up now and then as an issue.
 

5ekyu

Explorer
It's the druid lore, though, which makes it taboo to go against it.



In 1983 we did. The true neutral alignment and non-interference portions caused an issue once or twice. Not all the time, or even most of the time, but it did crop up now and then as an issue.
Our first games had true neutral druid as I recall and he played it pretty aloof as I recall, but since alignments were not straight jackets even then, it created flavor, challenges but not problems, for us at least.

Obviously, that time is known for some folks making alignments into a problem with paladins being the notable extremes.

Mismatches can occur anytime the player and the GM are on different pages, which is still true today.

But hey, if you wanna keep rehashing 4 decade old gm-player beefs, by all means, enjoy.
 

Ohmyn

Villager
Our first games had true neutral druid as I recall and he played it pretty aloof as I recall, but since alignments were not straight jackets even then, it created flavor, challenges but not problems, for us at least.

Obviously, that time is known for some folks making alignments into a problem with paladins being the notable extremes.

Mismatches can occur anytime the player and the GM are on different pages, which is still true today.

But hey, if you wanna keep rehashing 4 decade old gm-player beefs, by all means, enjoy.
What you're saying is actually our point. Alignment is not a straight-jacket, because player agency overrides what the alignment says they would do. If they're a good character they'll have a taboo against killing the innocent, but they're still within their right as a player to have their character kill whoever or whatever they want. They can start as Anakin and end up as Darth Vader. It's up to them as the player, not their alignment nor the class lore, to decide what they're going to do. All the player has to consider is whether or not they're willing to deal with the consequence of their actions.

The primary thing we've been saying is that lore is exactly as you just explained. Every class has lore, and the lore varies to great degrees even within that class. When a class has a taboo, or an alignment has a taboo, it is intrinsically known that the game system allows the player to have their character violate that taboo, unless there is something put in place that makes it an impossible action for the player to perform. Clerics can be unfaithful to their deity, Paladins can violate their oaths, Warlocks can violate their pacts, and so on. The rules do not have to specify that they can act in opposition of any of these elements, which is why even though Paladin oaths are written with absolute language, it's assumed by (nearly) everyone that the player character can make their Paladin do whatever they want.

If they're lawful good and they want to murder some orphans for fun, they can do that, but that enables the DM to shift their alignment to match with their behavior. If they're a good Paladin, and they have a tenet to protect the innocent, then odds are that's going to grant the DM discretion in either forcing them to seek penance, to adopt a different class, or becoming an Oathbreaker, as listed in the game rules.

You can't say player agency trumps lore for one class, but then say class lore trumps player agency for the next. If a Paladin is allowed to ignore class taboo because RAW assumed player agency inherently trumps taboo imposed by class lore, as well as taboo placed by alignment, then it only stands to reason that this be true for Druids. If a Druid chooses to ignore their taboo, what happens? The official answer to that so far is absolutely nothing. Does the fact that Druids don't get punished for breaking their taboo somehow make it more egregious for them to break it than if a Paladin does so? Because personally I say the implication there is the exact opposite.
 

5ekyu

Explorer
What you're saying is actually our point. Alignment is not a straight-jacket, because player agency overrides what the alignment says they would do. If they're a good character they'll have a taboo against killing the innocent, but they're still within their right as a player to have their character kill whoever or whatever they want. They can start as Anakin and end up as Darth Vader. It's up to them as the player, not their alignment nor the class lore, to decide what they're going to do. All the player has to consider is whether or not they're willing to deal with the consequence of their actions.

The primary thing we've been saying is that lore is exactly as you just explained. Every class has lore, and the lore varies to great degrees even within that class. When a class has a taboo, or an alignment has a taboo, it is intrinsically known that the game system allows the player to have their character violate that taboo, unless there is something put in place that makes it an impossible action for the player to perform. Clerics can be unfaithful to their deity, Paladins can violate their oaths, Warlocks can violate their pacts, and so on. The rules do not have to specify that they can act in opposition of any of these elements, which is why even though Paladin oaths are written with absolute language, it's assumed by (nearly) everyone that the player character can make their Paladin do whatever they want.

If they're lawful good and they want to murder some orphans for fun, they can do that, but that enables the DM to shift their alignment to match with their behavior. If they're a good Paladin, and they have a tenet to protect the innocent, then odds are that's going to grant the DM discretion in either forcing them to seek penance, to adopt a different class, or becoming an Oathbreaker, as listed in the game rules.

You can't say player agency trumps lore for one class, but then say class lore trumps player agency for the next. If a Paladin is allowed to ignore class taboo because RAW assumed player agency inherently trumps taboo imposed by class lore, as well as taboo placed by alignment, then it only stands to reason that this be true for Druids. If a Druid chooses to ignore their taboo, what happens? The official answer to that so far is absolutely nothing. Does the fact that Druids don't get punished for breaking their taboo somehow make it more egregious for them to break it than if a Paladin does so? Because personally I say the implication there is the exact opposite.
Actually, no my point us not yours. Alignment has never been straightjacket. They were from day one established as reactive to sctions, choices and changeable.

Rules about what one class can do and another cant are, if you will, straight jackets. There is no rule that says a nature cleric can suddenly decide to cast bard spells - they have to do that by some other means. They cannot just decide all their cleric spells now cast spontaneously instead of requiring morning prayers or preparation.

Paladin path rents express what they try to do but the paladin class **rules** make it clear they can fail at these. They can not get there. They can make wrong choices, other choices.

It's not just that it establishes punishments, it establishes that paladins can go against these oath tenets.

There is no such rule for druids in the RAW for their armor proficiencies. Its has neither the "reactive" definition of alignment or the clear notations that they can choose to not do that.

Obviously a GM can choose to add that, by ruling or case by case or whatever and frankly I wholly endorse that just as much as i support exotic medium armors to open options even more.

But it's well past my time to stop feeding the troll socks.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Actually, no my point us not yours. Alignment has never been straightjacket. They were from day one established as reactive to sctions, choices and changeable.
So were taboos.

Rules about what one class can do and another cant are, if you will, straight jackets. There is no rule that says a nature cleric can suddenly decide to cast bard spells - they have to do that by some other means. They cannot just decide all their cleric spells now cast spontaneously instead of requiring morning prayers or preparation.
Again with the conflation of hard rules with soft ones. There simply is no equivalence between trying to break a hard mechanic that is impossible for the character to break, and for no good reason being unable to break a soft rule that isn't based on anything more than a taboo.

Paladin path rents express what they try to do but the paladin class **rules** make it clear they can fail at these. They can not get there. They can make wrong choices, other choices.
So does the druid. From the get go they could break it and not be able to use magical powers.

There is no such rule for druids in the RAW for their armor proficiencies. Its has neither the "reactive" definition of alignment or the clear notations that they can choose to not do that.
They make it a bloody choice. It doesn't get more optional than a choice to follow(or not) a taboo. Will not is objectively not cannot. You are trying to treat a choice as an impossibility and that doesn't work.

But it's well past my time to stop feeding the troll socks.
Disagreeing with you doesn't make someone a troll. Calling someone who disagrees with you a troll does, though.
 

Ohmyn

Villager
Actually, no my point us not yours. Alignment has never been straightjacket. They were from day one established as reactive to sctions, choices and changeable.

Rules about what one class can do and another cant are, if you will, straight jackets. There is no rule that says a nature cleric can suddenly decide to cast bard spells - they have to do that by some other means. They cannot just decide all their cleric spells now cast spontaneously instead of requiring morning prayers or preparation.

Paladin path rents express what they try to do but the paladin class **rules** make it clear they can fail at these. They can not get there. They can make wrong choices, other choices.

It's not just that it establishes punishments, it establishes that paladins can go against these oath tenets.

There is no such rule for druids in the RAW for their armor proficiencies. Its has neither the "reactive" definition of alignment or the clear notations that they can choose to not do that.

Obviously a GM can choose to add that, by ruling or case by case or whatever and frankly I wholly endorse that just as much as i support exotic medium armors to open options even more.

But it's well past my time to stop feeding the troll socks.
As Max and I have both stated many times, you're still comparing a hard mechanic that a character cannot control to something a character could literally choose to do at any point in time during gameplay. On that note, it's important to remind you that we agree that the rules about what one class can and can't do are indeed straight-jackets (if you don't have multi-attack then you can't attack more than once per attack action). This is why it's important to note that the Druid class says will not, not cannot, and the clarification on Druids in the Sage Advice practically states that not removing their ability to was intentional. If they wanted to remove their ability to, it would have taken them seconds to add that to the errata instead of clarifying the contrary in Sage Advice, and the fact that they addressed it in Sage Advice is enough to know they had been made aware of the issue and could have opted to errata it, but chose not to change it.

Not sure how many ways this needs to be explained, but I'll try again anyway. A player cannot randomly choose spells for their character that fall outside of their class, and a character cannot attack twice in one attack action without multi-attack, because their character lacks the ability to do so. However, a character can choose in the middle of the game as to whether or not they want to put on something they've found. It's literally in their hands, and there's nothing in the game system that stops them from making a choice with it. If someone hands a Druid metal armor, the Druid could put it on at any point in time, unless something is literally restraining them or otherwise making it impossible to do so. To further exemplify how possible this is, even if they were dead set on maintaining their taboo, someone could pin them down and put the armor on them, a suggestion spell could force them to put it on, or a good deception could convince the Druid it's not metal. Unlike preparing spells of a different class, there's no mechanical barrier preventing them from donning the armor except their choice, and players always have full control over their character's choices.

Also, the rules never actually gives the Paladin permission to break their oaths. It merely states in a side box that they're fallible, which should already be known to everyone by default, and then adds three sample situations that may cause the Paladin to break their oath (I've added sample situations above that may cause the Druid to break their taboo, even if they don't want to). Providing samples of situations that may cause an oath to be broken, and granting explicit permission to break an oath, are two very different things. It's merely assumed they're allowed to break their oath, because regardless of the class's tenets, the player is allowed to control the character's actions in any way they wish.

It's effectively worded as "Paladins must follow these tenets, but if they don't, this is a potential penalty." It's practically the same way it's worded in 3E. Paladins in that edition must not only be lawful good, but it also states all Paladins "swear to follow a code of conduct that is in line with lawfulness and goodness." They then explain the Code of Conduct, but never once does it say they're allowed to break this code of conduct, or that it's optional to follow. Later it proceeds to list the punishment for a Paladin that grossly violates the code of conduct anyway, but a lack of punishment for violation would not inherently make the code any more binding, but rather it would weaken how necessary it is to follow.

Side note, if someone wants to argue Druids are not fallible because they don't have a box stating they are, then I refuse to accept that a Druid could ever fail a check that it could possibly succeed on, because it doesn't make mistakes (that means especially no natural 1s), and I expect it to always know the right answers because it's never erroneous. If I'm ruled not fallible, then I demand the benefits of my infallibility.
 
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lingual

Villager
Big difference between a Paladin slipping up and committing a sin and a Druid putting on plate mail.

It's silly to equate the two. Violating a "vow of chastity" or something similar or eating delicious non-kosher meat is a very natural thing to do and human nature. Putting on uncomfortable metal armor is entirely different.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Big difference between a Paladin slipping up and committing a sin and a Druid putting on plate mail.

It's silly to equate the two. Violating a "vow of chastity" or something similar or eating delicious non-kosher meat is a very natural thing to do and human nature.

Vow of chastity, vow to stick to paladin oaths, vow to be kosher, and vow not to put on metal armor. They all seem equal to me.

Putting on uncomfortable metal armor is entirely different.
This has never in any edition been the reason for not wearing metal armor. And for that matter, why is putting on uncomfortable metal armor worse than putting on uncomfortable hard leather armor? Discomfort is discomfort.
 

lingual

Villager
Facepalm ok u win.


DMs that dont allow plate wearing druids are tyrants and railroad engines. Any rule with no explicit penalty is fluff.
 

Psyzhran2357

Villager
Facepalm ok u win.


DMs that dont allow plate wearing druids are tyrants and railroad engines. Any rule with no explicit penalty is fluff.

THE ENTIRE POINT IS THAT ANY RULE WITHOUT A SPECIFIC IMPLEMENTATION OR ENFORCEMENT IS POORLY IMPLEMENTED, MAYBE TRY READING THE THREAD AND ACTUALLY CONSIDER OUR POINT OF VIEW BEFORE JOINGING THE REST OF THE THREADCRAPPING DUNKING DUNCES, CAPISCE?
 

lingual

Villager
THE ENTIRE POINT IS THAT ANY RULE WITHOUT A SPECIFIC IMPLEMENTATION OR ENFORCEMENT IS POORLY IMPLEMENTED, MAYBE TRY READING THE THREAD AND ACTUALLY CONSIDER OUR POINT OF VIEW BEFORE JOINGING THE REST OF THE THREADCRAPPING DUNKING DUNCES, CAPISCE?
Wow. All caps and blue and bold. Thats pretty cook
 

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