Jump to content

Badger: A Druid's Story

Recommended Posts

So, I am playing Dungeons & Dragons again. Playing is not accurate. I have played since 1980. I have played Basic and Expert, Advanced (now 1e),  2e, 3e and 5e. Mostly, I have DM'd. I played Taus the Fighter Elf and Talks Like Falling Rain the Halfing Rogue in college playing  first ed. I played Thair Bannock, a Human Cleric in 2e, and Monsta, a Half-Orc Barbarian in 5e. Playing a character is a gift. Over of 40 year, I have played a character for about 6 years. 

My good friend and old school Ordo regular, Bkieft, offered to DM a few weeks ago.  I was delighted. With two characters in ind, I went with the biggest push for me: a forest gnome druid. 

My weakness is spell casting, so I went with a non-fighting character. I thought Gnome since, I have never gone there. I am playing with my wife, a seasoned a player as there is (she has played in my campaigns since 1991), one newer player, one brand new player, and another very creative player.  I wanted to play a supporting role and let the newer players shine. Druids seems to be to be in that line (at least at lower levels).  

The party has an Elf Ranger, a Human Bard, a Human Wizard, and Goliath Barbarian.  With two half healers, all the roles of the party are mostly filled. There is no rogue. I wanted to be a rogue, but that was not a a stretch to my gaming weaknesses. 

We have played the into game (the level zero game) and the first session. When I am not on mandatory OT, we will play the next session. 

So far, Entangle and the Minor Illusion cantrip (Forest Gnome ability) are my best gifts. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Background -


Before its end, the Forest Gnome village of Meeting Creeks had six families. Even now, Badger can imagine what the village looked like and remember place full of his kind with forest animals living side by side with the gnomes, each helping the other in a symbiotic relationship. In those lost time, Badger does not remember Mother Badger, but she was there, a Dire Badger somewhere around the village.

With a vague recollection of a nightmare of the village's destruction, Badger only knows  it was very loud and scary. What he most remembers is the quiet afterwards and Mother finding him hidden in the warrens.

As Badger grew, Mother Badger taught him to care for himself and the woodland animal remnants of the village, who returned days after the village’s destruction.

When Badger was a teen, he asked Mother Badger about the All Tree standing in the middle of the village since it was different than all of the surrounding trees and appeared dead. Mother Badger showed him the dead tree was an illusion to keep the Golden Helms and other treasure seekers away. He asked what the outsider sought and she answered the magic of the All Tree.

A few years later, a group of men and women came to the village. They did not show the reverence to it made Badger angry.  Mother Badger showed him, and the other defenders of the village, how to scare away the invaders that she called Leather Bound. This and the haunting illusions of the All Tree drove the interlopers to paranoia. After the fear set it, she attacked the more stalwart of the party, driving the invaders away.

Mother, then, showed Badger how the All Tree fed and nourished the land of the village its surrounds, keeping it more vibrant than the forests beyond. She even took him as far as a Leather Bound homestead to show Badger that not all humans were destructive, but warned she never met a Golden Helm that did not worry her.

Within the next year, Mother Badger died leaving Badger maintains  to maintain the village. There has been no attacks, but without Mother, Badger is lonely.

One day Badger wakes to sense that something is different, he almost has a sense that Mother is with him, a feeling that he has not felt in some time, comfort but urgency.

Link to post
Share on other sites

After Mother Badger died, the world stilled. The seasons changed, but the world did not move on. And so Badger waited and then the dreaming came. In the dreaming, the All-Tree sundered and was reborn, placed into the hands of Badger. Time started again. The world opened and transformed.  When the Gold Helms arrived and rent the tree, Badger knew his fate. He would protect the All-Tree. Fate brought the strangers. Where they on the same path or spirits walking in their own dream? Surely the woman, bigger than a bear, and savage like winter storm, was sent by the dreaming to be there. She cried after the destruction of the great tree. And the Silent One, invisible in the wood, she is as much of a spirit as Mother Badger. Both could protect the Acorn of the All-Tree. But the others, the Iron Bound, what path do they take? The woman shares her food and knows odd runes. But the other two, the one who carries heavy things and the sword bearer, are they actors or images in the dream? With the stone path to the Roots of the All-Tree is revealed, Badger is eager to learn more.

Link to post
Share on other sites


BADGER, Forest Gnome Druid


Armor Class 14     Proficiency Bonus +2        Speed 25        Hit Points 9


St 8  (-1)           Inspiration Points  2


In 12 (+1)        Passive Investigation 11


Ws14 (+2)       Passive Perception    14 ,      Passive Insight 12


Dx16 (+3)        Initiative +3


Cn12 (+1)


Ch 13 (+1)      Dark Vision: 60 ft


Saves:  St (-1),  In +3,  Ws (+4),  Dx (+3),   Cn (+1),  Ch (+1)

Advantage on Magic Saves vs. Int, Ws, Ch


Acrobatics (Dx)              +3         Wander: You have an excellent memory for geography, and can always

Animal Handling (Ws) +4*                                recall the general layout of terrain, settlements, and other

Arcana (In)                     +1                                       features around you. In addition, you can find food and fresh

Athletics (St)                  +1*                              water for yourself and up to five other people each day,

Deception (Ch)               +1                                     provided the land offers berries, small game, water, etc.

History (In)                     +1

Insight (Ws)                    +2                 Age: 23    Hgt: 38”   Wgt: 36 lbs  Size: Small

Intimidation (Ch)            +1

Investigation (In)            +1                  Hair: Black   Eyes: Amber w/ Green Flecks

Medicine (Ws)                +2

Nature (In)                      +1                  Skin: Pale and elusive to tan

Perception (Ws)            +4*

Perfomance (Ch)            +1                  Appearance: Badger looks like a feral gnome, dressed in skins and pelts.

Persuasion (Ch)              +1

Religion (In)                   +1                  Personality Traits: I treat my friends like a litter of newborn pups.

Sleight of Hand (Dx)      +3                                                   I was, in fact, raised by a badger.

Stealth (Dx)                    +3               Ideals: Life is like the season and in constant change.

Survivial (Ws)              +4*              Flaws: Being raised by a badger, I have little social graces.


Languages: Druidic, Small Woodland Animals, broken Gnomish, Common, and Sylvan


Spell Casting Modifier: 12 (+4)

Link to post
Share on other sites



Cantrips: (3)




Minor Illusion


Mold Earth


1st Level: 3 known, 2 slots




Cure Light Wounds touch         2d4 +2


Earth Tremor             10 ft          d6


Entangle                     90 ft range


Fairie Fire


Good Berry

Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, Wisdom 14 is perfectly fine for a Druid or Cleric. I know, I know, the collective wisdom of the internet will always tell you to maximize the prime attribute(s) for a class... But, really, the difference between a WIS 14 and WIS 16 is basically only a 5% modifier on skill checks and saving throw target numbers (and a pip of damage on some spells).

Maybe it’s because I’m an old grognard that cut my teeth on “3d6, in order, no re-rolls, no adjustments, no whining” but I’ve never quite felt the need to maximize every pip of every attribute. I mean, I’m not gonna run with a STR 8 CON 8 Barbarian or anything. There’s a big difference between “not maximized” and “not viable,” but the armchair experts seem to be unable to make the distinction.

(I would say you missed out on the Shillelagh spell. I find it absolutely invaluable as a druid or cleric... But I also tend to favor the “Oh, you wouldn’t deprive an old man of his walking stick would you son?” approach.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

We used the standard array from 5e, so all characters are generally equal in their creation, so no rolling up characters.  I like everyone has an 8 to deal with, it helps give the party a variety where the players need to rely on other to boost their flaws. 


Shillelagh is a great spell,  but I am not a front line character. The Barbarian and the Ranger are efficient in combat and the wizard is a battle mage.  Aiding them with Entangle or Fairie Fire and using the remaining spell slots for healing seems the way to go. If I was going for a combat cantrip, Primary Savagery would be more thematic for a gnome raised by a Dire Badger.😀

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, I have the second full game in. 

Two of the players were a bit distracted and unorganized in their play, leaving pauses in play. I pulled out Fairie Fire for the first time and it really aided the sole combat. I really like the advantage concept in 5e, it allows for a better consistency in roll results. 

As to the mechanic, we have discovered the operating mechanic of the game, forgotten teleportation circles that access other teleportation circles set on linear ley lines like a compass. Now, we need a plot push to direct us to our next mission and over all purpose. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I adore the Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic. After decades of playing games where I memorized table after table of +1 from this, +2 from that, –1 because of something, –3 for whatever... It was just so amazingly, stupidly, incredibly easy to use. One of those rare inventions that’s so obvious in hindsight that you wonder why no one came up with it eons ago.


Link to post
Share on other sites

So Badger, being an isolated forest gnome, know of the two different nations of humans. One is inherently bad, the others has raiders and bandits, but also farmers and people who are kind to the land. He did not know what elves, dwarfs, or goblins are. At this point, most reacts to other races are a blank slate. 

Elves seem like forest spirits, so they fine. Badger is shy around humans, including those in his own party. The party discovered a massive abandoned Dwarf city that was stripped an abandoned without sign of war or death. Why who a race spend so much energy building a place and then leave without being forced to? The goblins are cowardly and crass, attacking when they have numbers.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

After DMing yesterday, I sat down and re-crayoned my old dice. When I was in college, I splurged and bought new dice. I had been using dice from the original box sets from the early 80's. Like all dice of the time, you needed a crayon to "ink" the number in a contrasting color. You would take a white or black crayon and rub/smash it around the numbers until the recessed print was filled with the crayon debris. Using a paper towel, you would rub the crayon residue in the number and wipe away the excess. I haven't re-crayon my dice in a decade (they are 30 years old now), so I sat down and worked on a dozen dice last night.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Sunday was another gaming session. We accessed the portal my character has the key for and met a blue dragon. Fortunately, in Brehk's world, the color of the dragon means little to character or intent. This one  gave each character secret instructions, answered a few questions, and pointed us to a quest. Magic users are breaking the natural order of the world and we should stop them. Our characters trekked to the east to find one of these potential threats. 

Badger reacted poorly to a town that smelled to him of human waste and disease. At the inn, he spent time surreptitiously casting ritually casting Purify Food and Drink under the party's table and near the inn's kitchen and food stores causing the ranger to eventually pull me out of the common room and to our quarters.

The ritual casting mechanic is nice. It gives casts more spell options if they have the time. 

The rest of the time was spent traveling and according to the DM, avoid other encounters, so Badger with his decent stealth and  survival scores acted as a second ranger and scout.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We played a mini-session with three of the characters. Silence, the elven ranger was caught in the Dream World, so Badger took Brae the Barbarian into the Dream World and brought Silence back. It was a fun adventure as in the Dream World, Badger spoke in complete sentences and not in a hodge-podge of Gnomish, Common, Sylvan, and woodland animal.  He was far smarter and less weird than the barbarian thought. Second, the he had spoke about the Dream World and every one thought he was crazy or very weird. Not only did Brae and Silence find it to be true, but he could show how the mages were unravelling the Dream World by destroying natural magics to use in their spells by finding a corrupted area to explore down the river. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, another session is in the books and I had something happen that hasn't happened since I was in junior high school (and that was in the early 1980's). 

After the mini-session, the party was seeming like it was gelling and had a purpose. Brae, the Goliath barbarian, saw the Dream World and saw the unravelling. Badger was learning common words and phrases from Goro the Bard. Silence, the Elf ranger, convinced the party to pursue the goblins in the area to their lair.

Then, it turned out that Khora, the noble born wizard, was hoarding magic items given to the party from the Dragon. Khora had taken all the treasure from the original battle at Meeting Creeks with the Gold Helms and their wizards. Badger watched her and when she cast a detect magic ritual on the acorn from the All-Tree, detected the items Khora had collected, but said nothing. Pak, Khora's retainer had been given the items, magic imbue scales, Badger talked to Khora and then, Pak. As Badger tried to get Pak to tell him what the Dragon had said, Khora blasted Badger with 3 magic missiles. There was no warning. Badger was left wounded and using Mold Earth to dig a hole to escape in.  Silence pulled her blade and seethed. Goro made a bad joke. Brae tried to separate Khora and Silence. In the noise and fury, the Goblins attacked. After 15 were slain and the battle done, Badger fled for a safe spot. Goro followed him and joined Badger in the burrow he made when he felt he a found a safe spot. Silence tracked us and Khora followed.

The next morning, Badger tried to center, per the Dragon, he has been directed to care for party and keep them together, but being attacked by Khora was hard. As the day went on, it seemed goblins were all around, the group, after another attack and ten more goblins slain (Faerie Fire helped save the party by turning crit misses into hits...), we centered on scouting out possible weaknesses and avenues of attacks in the goblin lair and found a group of local militia doing the same. 

We agreed on an attack plan from two directions an hour after dawn with badger trying his Minor Illusion spell enhance raccoon fury keen.

Now, Badger has not forgotten the attack and ask the party goes to rest for the night will agqan confront Khora and tell her she is unravelling and soul sick. Her elders did not teach her properly and she needs help. 

We will see how it works. 

The character on character attack was a gobsmacking moment. It shocked the rest of the players and the DM. The DM is reveling in the opportunities and repercussions. I was happy because I ran off afterwords like a hurt animal and did not do the RD instinct of kill Khora or drive her away.  

The next game is Friday.



When we play, both Brehk and I like to use maps and models as probs and to add to the play. This is the Canyon Side Crossing ferry. The goblins had raided it and left ruins. I took a photo of the map and later produced the map to memorialize the event. 


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brehk's World


The Catarn

Brehk has used the same world over the years creating  great depth and thought to his games. Previously, played a long campaign in the Midlands and a short campaign in the Ullirim States. This campaign has started in the northeast of Catarn. 



Silence, the Elf, hails from the Kinwood, an elven state. The Elves charge themselves with protecting the world from Orcs and Goblins that raid and invade from the Tempest Sea.

Brae, the Barbarian, was raised in Zona Stall, a rural farming town built along the ruins of an old stone barrier wall. 

Khora is a noble from a mage family in Seibal to the west of Zona Stall. 

Badger is from Meeting Creeks, the remnants of a Forest Gnome village, in a smaller version of the Kinswood. 

Goro is tight lipped about his past. He did admit to Badger that his parents are dead. 


Link to post
Share on other sites



In the ravine, where the road leads from the ruined castle of Canyon Side to the Canyon side Crossing, a tribe of goblins took root and built a fort in the dense forest in the ravine. The goblins flushed out the weedier members of the tribe and sent them away. They were the 25 we killed in two different battles. The weedy goblins have 5 hit points and rush to attack as if they are half starved.

The goblins in the fort are stout and canny.  



After Badger, Brae, and Silence returned from the ruins of Canyon Side Castle and small force of Iron Bound, Badger sat the party down and shared what the dragon told him and told Khora she was unravelling a sick. Badger said it was his job to teach her and help her, but she would be driven away if she attacked the party again.  Brae told the party, the party was her new family. Khora apologized and said she was wrong. Silence was silent. 

The next day, the party set up and tried to bait out the goblins to attack them on the road in front of the fort. Goro played the didgeridoo and Badger used Minor Illusion to make his keening cry, but the goblins would not come out. Only when,  Silence began to pepper the goblin fort with arrows, did the goblins began enraged that elves were about. Badger switched tactics to make an "elfish"  mage stand on the road. Some goblins began to advance on to the road and out of the dense woods. The battle was on.

These goblins had a minimum of 11 hit points and an AC of 13. The there were three goblin chiefs, two warriors, and lighting throwing shaman. Each was a boss in its own right. One had a horn to call the weedy goblins that had been driven out. 


During the battle, ehe Iron Bound men shoot arrows at the goblins emerging from the fort. 



Brae and Goro fight off a charging wave of goblins. Badger used the best Druid combat spell, Faeirie Fire, and helped protect the flanks in the fight. Silence and Khora were sniping the goblin chiefs. Brae killed one boss in hand to hand combat. Khora and Silence killed the other two. 

The last of the goblins hunkered down in the fort. Brae heroically leapt  on to the walls of the fort and climbed up to finish the fight. Badger used Infestation to pest the goblins in their precarious perches as he climbed up to aid Brae. 


A single small band of goblins returned, Goro fell unconscious trying to fight them off. Pak, Khora's retainer, fell in combat, but was rescued by a pair of Iron Bound who climbed down the ravine from the ruins to help him. 

Goro was given a healing potion and lived.

Brae gathered the fallen bodies of the 32 goblins and burned them in the camp fire stoked up by Badger. 

In the end, the Khora rushed to Pak's side to care for him as the Iron Bound celebrated the victory. 

(Of course, Badger fell in a big pile of goblin poop and could not clean off the smell in the nearby stream).

The party is now Level 2. Badger has an extra spell slot 17 hit points, and took Circle of the Moon.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

So I spent sometime at Brehk's working on projects. We painted terrain and models. I painted two fo the Dwarven Forge for me wife: her Elf Ranger and an Gnome Artificer. The models take well to paint, but they lack the fine detail quality I am used to in GW or Infinity models. Still, being to make a design a model for your character and make it makes it worth the money. At home over the weekend, I started painting up badger. I tis the higher lever of Dwarven forge plastic, The model has more details and I and far from done, but I will let you know home it goes. 


We played on Sunday and it was a disaster. The player who previous shot my character with magic missile, decided to be a problematic and argue every decision, he if decided to do what he wanted, the he would argue to do something else instead. It was frustrating and according to my wife, a waste of time (and she loves playing D+D). That player said they were quitting the campaign, so I am hoping they do, so the rest of us can have fun and play.  We play again on Sunday......

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...