[RPG] the motivation for a druid to go adventuring


My friends and I are about to start a Pathfinder campaign and I am going to be playing my first druid character. I really like the character class but I don't understand why a druid would leave his/her home to go adventuring with a gang of misfits. It seems to me like the primary motivation for a Druid would be to stay at home and keep nature in balance, why would they join a band of mercenary style groups or even the Pathfinder Society?

For example, I want to create a jungle druid from the wild and uncharted Mwangi Expanse in Golarion, the Pathfinder campaign setting. My party will be various classes and races from all over the world. What would motivate a druid to leave the inner jungle and journey into civilization and go far, far away from his homeland to go on a series of adventures?

I could always just say that my character wants adventure and to see the world, but that seems a little forced for a character who has devoted his life to serving nature in one particular geographical location.

Best Answer

The last character I played was an Elf Druid. She left home and started wandering as an adventurer because she never got along with her mother, and as she got older she got rebellious. The person who enabled her escape was a Human Druid who took a liking to her, and she wound up learning how to be a Druid from him after they eloped.

Did she care about nature, and want to protect the balance and all that? Sure (along with a dislike for large concentrations of people, like cities). But it wasn't what actually motivated her in the first place. Being a Druid is part of her, not her literal definition.

My point?

Druids Are People, Too

You're over thinking it. A Druid is a person. People have all kinds of motivations for doing things. Many of them have nothing at all to do with what their calling or career is. If you're not sure of "Why would a Druid leave and join an adventuring party?", instead try asking "Why would Bob leave and join an adventuring party?" When you answer that, then ask "Does that work as a Druid?" Most of the time, the answer is yes.

Off the top of my head, some possible answers:

  • Tracking down a poacher who was in the jungle but fled
  • Hearing rumors about bad things happening to natural areas elsewhere in the world and wanting to check it out
  • Some issue at home that means you're forced to leave (see: mommy issues, above)
  • A simple desire to travel. Humans have been motivated to see beyond their borders for centuries. Considering their love of the natural environment, it seems entirely normal that a Druid would want to go see more of it.

A list for why a Druid might join an adventuring party is just as long as one for why pretty much any other class would join one. Some of those entries are "Druid-y" things, and some of those entries are just "people" things. You shouldn't limit yourself to just the stereotype that Druids are one dimensional tree huggers.