Tag: Druid

What’s My Motivation? – D&D

What’s My Motivation? – D&D

This ties into the articles I’ve written on different characters class, backgrounds, and most recently on having a happy backstory instead of having a darker backstory, so it’s area that I’ve covered a fair amount, but I wanted to write about it really focusing in…

TableTopTakes: Fae

TableTopTakes: Fae

A couple months ago I had a chance to play the game Fae where you’re playing a fae creatures who are trying to get the most druids matching their color to complete successful rituals. It’s a fun pretty light weight game in terms of your…

D&D Background: Soldier

D&D Background: Soldier

Whether you were conscripted into the army at young age or are a grizzled veteran of many wars who hasn’t known anything but the army, there are a lot of different ways to play someone with a soldier background. You can play anywhere from a rough and tumble infantry who was born for the brawl or the cook keeping busy trying to feed a thousand troops, you can have a lot of different options when looking at someone involved in the military. In D&D Fifth Edition, that is more of what the background looks like, from the lowliest stable hand to the highest ranking general, all of those can be the soldier background. That diversity definitely makes the background more interesting to play. Without it, you could have plenty of other unique character traits, but the background would be pretty vanilla.

Image Source: D&D Beyond

Skill wise, it is what you could expect. You have better abilities with athletics and with intimidation. Both of those are good skills to have, so for that reason, the soldier background is one of the stronger ones to have. It is interesting though, because intimidation is based off of charisma, and charisma is often a dump stat for someone who is playing a fighter character, it can make the proficiency a whole lot less useful. You also get a rank which people recognize as part of your background. Even if you were just a cook, they recognize that you were in the military, but if you were a general, the common folk still might defer to you.

So, what about some backgrounds?


I was taken away from my family when I turned fourteen. The hundred years war was going full swing and they needed more bodies. I was small for my age, though, so instead of sticking me on the front lines, they had me run water, help with the cooking, and wash clothes. It wasn’t a glamorous job, but it kept me away from the fighting, for the most part. I was running water out to a band of troops when a sneak attack was sprung on them and I was caught in the midst of it. Most of the troop was routed, and I froze not knowing what to do when the retreat was sounded. I was staring at a horse and rider that were prepared to skewer me when I finally was able to move. I grabbed a sword from the ground, ducked under their swing and cut their saddle from the horse tumbling them to the ground. I killed that man, and that was the first person that I killed, ever. Turns out that he was a leading commander on the other side. And while it didn’t change the outcome of the war, it turned the tide of that battle and I became a hero. I was offered my own division, but I declined. I knew that it had been pure luck and I would have been dead. Now I travel around and I’ve found a group where I can help around the camp and cook. Lately though, I feel like enemies from the war are trying to hunt me down and I’m not sure I will be able to stay safe.

Class: Ranger/Rogue
Alignment: Lawful Neutral

Image Source: D&D Beyong

No one appreciates my true genius. I know so many ways to make people burn that it isn’t even fair. And at this point in time I’ve gotten it pretty much under control. Even my breath and make someone burn. That’s why the army loves me to so much and why I love them so much. I can be a siege weapon by myself. It was such a wonderful life in the army, I got to lead a division of troops who all we did was burn things, it was my dream. Now that was an issue that they had with me, I started burning things that weren’t meant to be burned, but I was effective, and that is what matters. When they complained that I had burned down a whole village when it really wasn’t needed, just their opinion mind you, I was understandably annoyed. Now, I’m not saying that I started my superiors tent on fire, and I think it was unfair that they blamed me, because no one saw me do it. Dishonorable discharge wasn’t too bad, but what is someone like me supposed to do in the outside world? I have a fire inside me and all I want to do is burn.

Class: Sorcerer/Wizard/Warlock
Alignment: Chaotic Evil/Neutral
Comments: I’d try and play this chaotic neutral. Play off the idea that it is an internal struggle inside the character that it’s almost a voice telling them to burn things. A Warlock would work well for this. A Wild Magic sorcerer is also interesting for the idea of being out of control.


There is nothing better than a bit of order in your life. According to my mother, the last time I saw her, I was always someone who  loved order and who wanted things to be in a specific order. I’d cry as a small child if something wasn’t where I expected it to be. It made perfect sense for me to join the military for that reason. It gave me order. I was disappointed when I joined, the drills had solid order, but many of the other soldiers weren’t nearly disciplined enough. I quickly rose to the top of my class because I was disciplined and then worked my way up through the ranks until I was commanding large numbers of troops. I drilled those troops until they met  the order that I demanded of them, and we were a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield. When i was getting older, I saw that the new troops coming in were lacking order, and I couldn’t get them to respond like I used to. So I decided it was time to take my leave of the army. I founded an adventuring guild where I can take a team with me and we can become well known that way. It helps with the itch that I have to still be in that disciplined environment.

Class: Battle Master Fighter
Alignment: Lawful Good/Lawful Neutral
Comments: This might seem like a dull character, but it would actually give a lot of role playing chances, because the other characters won’t be as disciplined, so how does the character deal with things that aren’t going as planned or characters who don’t act like they expect?

Image Source: Geek & Sundry

I never thought that I would fight, and for the most part I tried avoid fighting when I did join the army. I was an ideal scout for them and a spy. It kept me out of the fighting at most times, but I did have to fight once in a while. It was not something that I relished. I wouldn’t have even joined the army if I wasn’t trying to keep my lands protected. Once the war was over I wanted to leave, but I was too good, and they refused to let me go. So I ran away. Now I’m a deserter and they have an eye out for me to bring me back in if I were to resurface. I’m looking for a team that I can help guide somewhere so I can make enough money to leave these lands.

Class: Rogue/Ranger/Druid
Alignment: Neutral Good
Comments: I like this as a wild shape druid who changes into an animal to spy/scout. Ranger and Rogue work as well, but the druid seem much more like the reluctant member of the military.


Have you played a character with the solider background before? Were they a willing member of the military or someone conscripted into it?

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D&D Backgrounds: Outlander

D&D Backgrounds: Outlander

The Outlander background generally focuses in on a character who has grown up or chosen to live alone from the rest of the world. In the information on the background, it actually gives you various ideas for why your character might be a long ways…

D&D Backgrounds: Hermit

D&D Backgrounds: Hermit

This is an interesting background to look at. Generally, as a player, I’d steer clear of it, unless you wrap your head around a strong concept of why your character isn’t a hermit anymore? The most common way that people use this background that I…

D&D Backgrounds: Entertainer

D&D Backgrounds: Entertainer

Sorry for the slow week of posting last week, I’m getting into a new schedule at a new job and figuring out when and where I have time to work on the blog. I’ll be back to a more regular schedule probably next week when I start going into the office earlier so that I have more afternoon/early evening free. But I wanted to get a post up today about the Entertainer background in Dungeons and Dragons.

Image Source: Wizards

Entertainer is probably one of those backgrounds that you can see going so many different directions. There are many different things you can do as an entertainer, though, music is going to be the one that people think of first with the entertainer background. The fact that you get a musical instrument that you’re proficient with makes it lean that way. As a player, I’d just look at that as optional, or that your character is proficient with the harp, and you can’t really lug one of those around, so what does it matter. Let’s jump quickly into these backstories and see what other ideas I might have for an entertainer.


The life of a dancer is all that I ever wanted. As a young age I trained under the greatest tutors that my parents could afford and I wanted for nothing. I grew up wanting for nothing and being the most graceful creature most people had ever seen. Life took a turn for me when my parents lost everything. A conman came and swindled them out of everything that they had. We were left on the streets, my fancy tutors were gone, and I had nothing. My parents couldn’t even feed us most nights. I decided to run away and found a convent that would take me in. There I was able to learn more fluidity and grace. A traveling troupe passed by there and I decided it was time to leave when I saw who the leader of the troupe was, the same man who had conned my parents. He didn’t recognize me, and I quickly ingratiated myself into the group and was performing and stealing from the rich with them. He wouldn’t have caught onto who I was and I would have had my revenge, but unknown to me, my parents had sent my youngest sibling to work at an old family friends so they could have a good life. My sibling exposed not only the conman but myself as well. He escaped, though most of his troupe didn’t and I had to run as he swore revenge on me, even though I hadn’t done anything. I’ll still get my revenge against that man who ruined my family.

Image Source: D&D Beyond

Class: Monk
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
I’ve tossed around this characters idea for a while and it’s a character I’d love to play,  either as this character, or as a character who is still part of the troupe and everyone is playing as troupe members and we’re going around and conning people. It seems like a fun twist, and having an entertainer who isn’t a bard is nice.


Circus life was great as an oddity. No one ever thought I fit in, expect when I was in the circus. I was taller than most of my peers and stronger than them as well. People called me a freak in my home town, but when the circus came around, I had a chance to run away and fit in. Things were great until a horde of villagers blamed us for children going missing in the town. We had to scatter, each running in our own direction. I wasn’t able to find anyone. I might not be the smartest, but I took it upon myself to find out what was actually going on in this town, clear the circuses name, and get the circus back together. I need to find someone smarter than me though, who will have an idea of where to look, if anyone will talk with me because of how I look.

Class: Barbarian
Alignment: Neutral Good
The gentle giant type of character, has to be strong though, and probably is Dragonborn of Half-Orc as both of those would stand out from the crowd and probably freak people out.


Marvelous Magic is the name of my act. Conjuration is my favorite trick. People ooh and ah over flashy things like that, and I have plenty of gigs going around my home city.  I came here when I was young, but I already had a knack for magic and making things appear. The city was going to be the spot where I made it big, and I definitely did. I made it so big that people looked up to me, and not just that, I got a rival. That sounds cooler than it is. We were trying to one-up each other all of the time, and I was almost always ahead of them in terms of talent, but I’ve had more time to practice than they have. One day at my Marvelous Magic Shop (all about the merchandising), I got a knock at the door, which is odd, but I didn’t think much of  it, it isn’t that great a shop, maybe they hadn’t thought it was open. It was the city guard, apparently someone had stolen a broach from one of my places I often perform at, and they had a tip it might have been me. Sure enough, they found the broach in my apartment and that was enough to send me to jail for a little bit. You guys can guess how it went, my rival had set me up, I knew it, but I had no way to prove it. Now I’m disgraced and just out of jail after spending ten years in prison, do I want revenge, yes, but I want to take him down as the scum he is, and ruin his reputation, not just some petty revenge, and with the rash of thefts that have been happening at the places he’s been performing at, but not while he’s performing, I think I know how I can take him down and clear my good name.

Image Source: Wizards

Class: Wizard
Alignment: Lawful Neutral


The royal acting company is not an easy place to get into, and you have to be well known indeed before you can step foot on their stage. It’s even hard to get a ticket to a show, but I remember one summer when my parents and I went on our yearly trip into the big city, they surprised me for my birthday with tickets to the show. They were standing room in the back, but I have been bitten by the acting bug. One could say that it bit me a little bit too hard. I spent all my time neglecting my chores, putting on little plays with my friends. My parents liked it well enough, but those tickets had been expensive and acting lessons would be even more expensive, but it was my dream to make it onto that stage. During one of my one person shows that I put on back by the river, a man in a floppy green hat happened to see me. He applauded and asked me if I was going to be an actor, I said I was going to be the greatest one of all time. He said that he could help with that if I was willing to make a deal. I wasn’t the smartest kid, but I told him that I would as long as I would be the greatest actor of all time and perform with the royal acting company. We shook on it and that’s when I got my powers. They helped me get to that stage, and my performances were talked about as the greatest that had been seen on the stage. One evening, the man in the floppy green hat showed up and told me that it was my turn to keep my end of the bargain. Had performed on the stage and was called the greatest of all time, it was time for me to leave and help him. I had no choice, but I’ll figure out a way to break his hold on me and get back to that stage.

Class: Warlock (Fey)
Alignment: Chaotic Good


There are so many different entertainer stories that you can tell for your character and so many interesting ways to go with it. The jaded artist, the author who is looking for an adventure to write about, the bard who is collecting stories which Tate was in the first season of Dungeons and Flagons. Lean into all the weird arts as well, maybe you have a druid who is a musician but a musician as part of a drum circle that keeps a sacred grove alive. Or you have a paladin who wants to be a famous poet, but really can only write about their deity. There are lots of great entertainers waiting to take the stage of your Dungeons and Dragons game out there.

Have you played a character with an entertainer background before? What did you go with for that?


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D&D Background: Charlatan

D&D Background: Charlatan

Continuing the series, lets talk about about charlatans. It’s an interesting one because the next one on the list is criminal, so they are clearly making a bit of a distinction between the two. Your con might not be completely legal, but if people knew…

Dungeons and Flagons Episode 84: The Beholder

Dungeons and Flagons Episode 84: The Beholder

Finja, Nimrose, and Torin finally face off against the Beholder. What will happen to them?   If you have questions for Nerdologists: Dungeons and Flagons emails them to nerdologists@gmail.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter! We’ll be doing a recap and Q&A every twenty-five…

D&D Classing it up: Druid

D&D Classing it up: Druid

Getting back to a classier note, it’s time to class it up some more with Dungeons & Dragons. This time, we’re going to look at how you might want to play a druid.

Image Source: Wizards

One thing I want to mention first about all of these classes is that playing against type, as I sometimes suggest, is going to be for your more roleplay-focused player versus a more combat-focused player. The reason I want to call it out is because the first example of a druid player I want to mention is Torin from our Dungeons & Flagons podcast. He is not your typical druid in some ways — his background is that of a soldier, and he’s not the hippie-granola character that’s common for this class. Yes, he is a pacifist in a sense, but still has to fight against the urges to destroy.

With that idea out of the way, what is a druid? Most of the time, they are that hippie or granola type I mentioned. They love Mother Earth and all creatures upon it that aren’t humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes, etc. (who are probably messing up the land). A druid is often connected to a specific grove or glade that they watch over, and often, their impetus for going exploring is that something is happening to their grove or something is threatening it, so they have to keep whatever it is from happening. People often play druids as lone ranger types (as compared to playing a ranger who likes to be alone, which would be a lone ranger ranger).

Image Source: D&D Beyong

Mechanically speaking, druids are spellcasters first and shape-changers second. All druids have the ability to shape-change into various beasts, and this is the feature that normally draws people to the druid. Being able to change into a bear and then run through bad guys seems cool. It isn’t a super-effective means of combat, but can be used well at times (especially for humorous effect). Also, druids tend not to be focused, traditionally anyway, on charisma. Their spell-casting ability is based on wisdom, and with the lone ranger archetype that most people think of for druids, they wouldn’t be too used to conversing with humanoids, so it makes a lot of sense.

Now that we have our framework in mind, let’s look at some possible backstories you could use for a druid character:

Growing up in the city, you always felt a connection to nature — the rats running around, the pigeons that would sit in the market trying to find scraps. When you got older, you ventured out into the country, and you loved it there. The fresh air, the creatures running everywhere — you found that you belonged in nature. However, as you spent time in the country, it laid heavily on your heart that there were some people from the city you grew up in who never got to really see nature. Finding a patron back in the city you had come from, you created a druid grove so that all people could come visit and see what matters so much to you, but now your patron has passed away, and his heir isn’t willing to support you anymore. If you want to keep your little bit of nature alive in the city, you’re going to have to find a way to support yourself.


Your people’s calling was to protect the island you grew up on. There were amazing creatures there that weren’t found anywhere else in the world. One day, however, strange ships showed up to your island. You and your people hid, but these humans had come on a mission to search out exotic creatures, and even cut down some of your trees. What could you do? These people weren’t peaceful like your tribe; they weren’t living in harmony with nature. One day, they left, and things seemed to get back to normal — until you saw more ships on the horizon. They came again and again, and finally, you knew what you had to do. Stowing away aboard one of the ships, you sailed back to the mainland to see if you could find a way to stop this and people who would help.


You don’t remember what your parents looked like. There are blurs of what could have been them, and you remember hearing screams. You were just a baby when they were killed. Out all alone by yourself in the woods, you wouldn’t have made it if it weren’t for a kindly wolf who had taken you in. Or that is what you had thought at first — in reality, the wolf was the druid who would raise you and keep you safe as you grew up. Now she is old, and you are tasked with keeping her safe. However, there are goblins raiding in the woods and cutting down trees. What will you do about it? Your mother told you to find help in the outside world, but how do you do that? What is the outside world even like?


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Dungeons and Flagons Episode 83: Best Laid Plans of Elves and Orcs

Dungeons and Flagons Episode 83: Best Laid Plans of Elves and Orcs

After a long delay we’re back leading up to the epic conclusion of Dungeons and Flagons Season 1 in Episode 84 (coming out next week). Facing off against several Yuanti and knowing a beholder is waiting for them our fearless adventuring group, Torin, Nimrose, and…