Ready-To-Play D&D Character – Ged, The Dwarf Druid
Recently, I fell in love with druids again. The first book in, legendary D&D author, R A Salvatore’s The Cleric Quintet, Canticle, there is a Dwarven cook who dreams of becoming a druid. That Dwarf, called Pikel, is adorable. I don’t want to give too much away about the book, but he is a really fun character, wearing sandals, full heavy armour, and a cooking pot on his head. He uses a club and has died his beard green to be more druidy.
Pikel, and his innocence, made me re-evaluate a dislike I have of the D&D druid because of how awesome he is as a character. In the old AD&D rules, Dwarves couldn’t be druids due to them living underground. I wanted to create then, off the back of that, a Dwarf Druid who would be interesting and fun to play. A bit of an outcast, but one with a lovable streak. This is not Pikel, but, as a kind of nod to Pikel, this is a D&D 5E Dwarf Druid build in his honour. Maybe, one day, I will create Pikel. This is not that day though – for today belongs to Ged Stonebrew, the Hill Dwarf Druid.
Ged Stonebrew, the Hill Dwarf Druid – Character Sheet
Now, due to changing computers recently and going from Mac to PC, I no longer have an editable version of the character sheet I drew up for my previous characters. So, I’ve created a new one below. I’m still working out a few kinks so please bear with me.
Like with Thokk, when I created him, there are a few quirks on the below sheet and we will go into these in the rest of the article.
Ged’s Dwarven and Druidic Abilities
Ged has a few basic abilities for being both a Hill Dwarf and a Druid. First, his stats, to begin with were 15, 14, 14, 14, 10, 8 using the traditional method of rolling 4D6 and removing one. He then gets a +2 to Constitution for being a Dwarf, and a further +1 to Wisdom for being a Hill Dwarf. This is important as the Druid’s primary statistics are Wisdom and Intelligence.
He has a few other basic abilities for being both Dwarven and Druidic.
- Dwarven Combat Training – Dwarven Ability – Gives Ged proficiency in the use of hand axes, battleaxes, throwing hammers, and warhammers (Player Handbook, pg 20)
- Darkvision – Dwarven Ability – Ged can see in a dim light as if it were a bright light for 60ft (Player Handbook, pg 20)
- Dwarven Resilience – Dwarven Ability – Ged gets resistance to poison due to his fortified constitution, and advantage on saving throws against poison damage (Player Handbook, pg 20)
- Tool Proficiency – Dwarven Ability – Ged gets proficiency in Smith Tools, Masonry Tools, or Brewer’s Supplies. For this aspect, Ged gets Brewer Supplies (Player Handbook, pg 20)
- Stonecunning – Dwarven Ability– Whenever taking an Intelligence (History) check related to the origin of stonework, Ged doubles his proficiency bonus and has that rather than his standard proficiency bonus (Player Handbook, pg 20)
- Dwarven Toughness – Hill Dwarf Ability – Ged gets +1 maximum hit points and +1 hit point every time he gains a level (Player Handbook, pg 20)
- Druidic – Druid Ability – Ged understands the language of the druids. He can spot hidden messages and leave them for others (Player Handbook, pg 66)
- Spellcasting – Druid Ability – At first level, Ged gets 2x Cantrips and 2x Level 1 Spell Slots (Player Handbook, pg 66)
There are some neat abilities in there.
Looking at Ged’s Statistics
We sort of explored this above, however, for those who skipped that section, Ged is a Hill Dwarf. This gives him a +2 to his Constitution for being a Dwarf, and a +1 Wisdom for being from the hills. His other statistics are fairly straight forward.
There is only one other that deems some kind of explanation. Ged has a very low Dexterity. The reason for this is two fold. Firstly, he’s a Dwarf so I wanted him to be fairly strong. Secondly, I also wanted him to be average if not entirely likable. Ged is a jolly chap, in my mind at least, so this left his weakest statistic to be Dexterity.
There is a bit of a tradition to give Druids bows in D&D. Ged breaks that rule, like he breaks his past racial restrictions by being a Druidic Dwarf at all. Good ol’ Ged – bending all expectations.
The Guild Artisan
Backstories are always interesting in D&D as they don’t always fit quite how you see a character developing. For this case, rather than using something like the Hermit background, Ged has the Guild Artisan background. What this means is he manages to have a speciality that he wouldn’t have before. For this, Ged specialises in Masonry, which, when you think about it, makes complete sense.
It is from being a Guild Artisan that Ged gets a few other special abilities. He gets an extra set of tools. He is also part of a guild, which in this case is a clan as well, who will back him should he get into trouble.
Through being an Guild Artisan, Ged gets the following benefits:
- Proficiencies – Guild Artisan Trait – Ged gets additional proficiencies in insight and persuasion (Player Handbook, pg. 132)
- Stone Mason – Guild Artisan Trait – Ged is proficient with Stone Mason tools (Player Handbook, pg. 132)
- Guild Membership – Guild Artisan Trait – Ged is a member of the Mason’s Guild. This costs him 5gp per month. If he doesn’t pay he can make up for back payments later on; however, he will not get reduced benefits of being a guild member (Player Handbook, pg. 133)
The Guild Artisan backstory guided Ged’s motives in life. He is a generous character, believing his talents should be used to benefit all. He is also fascinated with the way that people tick. His guild were who gave him a start in life, and they are also his clan and family. Finally, he once stole from them. That is the fact he finds most shameful in life, and will hide it to save shame becoming his father.
Of course, Ged is a Dwarf, and he is Lawful Good. He is also a lonesome adventurer, being someone who ventured out into the world on his own to learn the ways of nature. This, although not necessarily a bad thing or an active choice, has guided Ged’s magic learning skills to what he needs most in the wilds.
Being a Dwarf, Ged is used to fighting with his hands. He is strong. He is tough. He gets down to business with his preferred weapon – his quarter staff – and is competent at it (some may say…proficient).
However, without a guarantee of having company, Ged has to rely on certain other things he is not necessarily comfortable with, and for that he uses magic. This includes being able to Mend broken equipment on the road or when in a forest. It means being able to Produce Flame to stay warm on winter nights. Ged also needs to be able to Cure Wounds in case he find himself injured. Finally, the Druid nature in him has Animal Friendship.
Ged is a practical Dwarf. He is lawful. He has what he needs, no extravagance needed.
Backstory: Ged Stonebrew – Hill Dwarf Druid
The reputation of the Frostbeard Clan is well known in the North West fringes of Faerun. The towns and villages of the cold North have known of Bombur Frostbeard and his seven sons, each carving a name for themselves in the ice and stone. There was Eberk, the eldest of the sons and master runesmith, second only in his masory and magic to Bombur himself. Baern, the second son, was a smith of such fine weaponry that even the Drow families of Menzoberranzan knew of their finery. Next, twin brothers Flint and Fargrim were warriors, known especially for their strength in warfare and their whirling battleaxes, Orcbane and Firestone, making them a double team of chaos on the battlefield. The third from youngest, Dain, had trained under Bombur himself, becoming a renowned mason. By the time Bombur hung up his chisel, Dain was not only just as good as the great Dwarf, but better. The second youngest son, Dwali, knew of alchemy, and could create elixirs that would cure any wound, and concoct strength potions that would give the tribe the strength of ogres. Finally, the youngest, Ged, was one who had an interest in most things.
Ged studied magic under Eberk, but wasn’t interested in the runes. Instead he wanted to know more about the applications and effects. He studied smithing under Baern, but lost interest, preferring to make elaborate scimitars to the traditional warhammers. He studied fighting under Flint and Fargrim, but preferred faster weapons to the battleaxes of his brothers.
Ged learned masonry, finding a love of the craft, it becoming not just a way of work but a favourite past time of his and he would chisel away happily, for hours, in his quarters. When he finally learned from Dwali, who was arguably one of the wisest of the brothers, Dwali knew that Ged did not have the heart of a true alchemist. Instead, Dwali taught Ged simple brewing techniques.
Over the next decade, Ged’s interest in brewing grew and grew. He would brew hops and barley, and when the seasons changed his beers would change to moss and lichen. Ged would travel out of the Frostbeard Halls, where the whole clan would speculate where he was going, and disappear for days. When he returned he would have a new recipe dreamed up, mixing fresh new ingredients in a stone bowl, and adding them to his mix.
What was more, Ged found he had a penchant for brewing. He would brew large casks, and share them out to the clan. In return, the clan, although considering him a bit light headed at times, loved his work. They gave him the honorary title of Stonebrew to show their respect.
That being said, Ged started to grow restless. Each day he would find himself wondering more and more about what was outside of the clan halls. He would pass days outside, even weeks, and not return. When he did he would be melancholic. He would mope around the clan halls, watching his brothers work, watching his father coaching the clan folk, and feel only emptiness. He wanted to be outside. He longed for something more.
Bombur noticed his son’s disinterest and one day took him aside.
“My son,” he said, “I feel your heart is no longer with us or with your brewing. What is it that would make you happy?”
Ged explained his sadness to his father. He explained how he wanted to be more a part of nature, how he had found an interest in the animals, and how he wanted to see more of the world.
Bombur pondered Ged’s words a moment. His face grew grave and, after a few more moments, he simply nodded.
“It is not usually the way of our people,” Bombur sighed, “But if it is what you need to do to find happiness then you must.”
They clasped hands, and when they let go, Bombur began preparations for his son, only making him promise one thing – when he returns, Ged Stonebrew will have a new batch of ingredients for his Dwarven beer. That, and to never forget his masonry past.
Ged left his home with no idea of where he was going. He did not worship any specific god, nor know what path to take. Instead, he found himself learning as he went along. He spoke to the animals, although they did not always seem to understand. He taught himself about trees, and the ways the river flows. What is more, Ged was finally truly happy.
He met many different people along the road. Some rangers, some warriors, some farmers and merchants, some were even druids. When he met druids in particular he would learn from them, spending a few days in their company, and piecing together gaps in his own knowledge. Now, several years later, he is an adequate Druid with a reputation that is starting to proceed him.
Of course…this is only the start of his journey.
Optional Rules and Items for Ged
Here are a few additional items and rules for Ged, for use at the Dungeon Master’s discretion.
Part of the Clan
Under the Guild Artisan rules it gives the player access to a guild for 5gp per month. This gives them access to important political figures, access to guild halls, and additional support. Due to the highly respected nature of Bombur Frostbeard, Ged’s father, as a mason and leader in Dwarven community, Ged does not need to pay. His reputation is enough to guarantee him the support of the guild in Northern Faerun. Likewise, so long as his father is respected, Ged will be respected.
If, however, something happens to interject with Bombur’s standing then it will also affect Ged.
Levelling Ged Stonebrew, Hill Dwarf Druid
Although it is entirely up to you, as the player, how you want to level Ged up, there are a few options that make sense over the others.
- Level 2 – At level 2, a Druid can choose on a Druidic Circle to join. It is recommended to join the Circle of the Land, choosing to specialise in Arctic, Grassland or Forest.
- Level 4+ – Starting at level 4, and then again at level 8, 12, 16, and 19, you can increase an ability score by +2 to a maximum of 20. It is recommended to take these in Dexterity first. Getting the modifier up is imperative, as at the moment it damages the armour class of the Hide Armour.
Ready-To-Play D&D Character – Ged, The Dwarf Druid
Ged should be a fairly fun character to play in D&D; however, in order to play him properly you will need to invest fairly heavily in the roleplay. Ged is not a violent character nor one who will fare well if played as a “bull-rush, run in head first” kind of character. He thinks his problems through, finding the best solution to his problems with his Wisdom and his Intelligence.
I hope you enjoy Ged Stonebrew, the Hill Dwarf Druid. Quite a few people took Thokk for a test after I created him, so please let me know if you try Ged.
Also, let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Are there any characters you would like to see built next? Let me know your thoughts.
Rudolph Underroot, The Halfling Bard
Other Articles About Druids:
Dropping the Druid – How a Level 8 Druids Can Do 182 Damage In One Turn
If you want to play Ged as he is in this article then you will need the following:
- Player’s Handbook – This is essential for playing most characters in D&D.
There are a couple of novels worth reading as well:
- The Earth Sea Trilogy by Ursula K Le Guin – Ged, as a name, is inspired by this series of books.
- Canticle by RA Salvatore – For Pikel
Tree hugging stunty… don’t see that everyday. (How to start a fight)
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Just out of interest; what do you think to Salvatore’s books? I read the Dark Elf Trilogy, and thought it was brilliant. I the managed to get hold of a signed copy of The Icewind Dale Trilogy, but I just can’t get into it, I find it very slow at the start, and to be honest, boring! I’ve tried twice now to read it, and am disappointed with myself more than anything; I think If I could just persevere, it has to get better.
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I’ve read the Dark Elf Trilogy and absolutely loved it as well. I’m going to listen to the second in the Cleric Quartet as I did enjoy the first one. I’m about to move onto the Icewind Dale trilogy – which, from what I understand, was actually his first set of books for the Forgotten Realms. The Dark Elf Trilogy was written later. I have struggled with the first Servant of the Shard book – tried it three times and just can’t get into it.
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It sounds like he’s one of those writers that, when he’s good, he’s very good, but when he’s not, he’s…. (insert your own descriptive term here!). I don’t usually invest in authors that I find are like that, there are so many other good, consistent writers out there, and I can’t read everything, so have to be picky.
Thanks for your thoughts.
Loved playing as a dwarf when i played. I once had a priest and later had a fighter with 4 wisdom🤣. He skydived of a airship when harpies struck, but forgot to put his parashute on
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😂 I bet that hurt!
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