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Druids Exist, Part 1

November 10, 2011

I created a D&D-style character sheet for myself, and I highly recommend that anybody else who is interested do the same.  For me it provides an occasional self-esteem boost, as well as giving me a way to track my progress through life.  When I spend an hour on something worthwhile, I can usually add a skill point to one of my classes.

Why do I find so much inspiration in this game?  Because it is fundamentally about discovery and personal growth.  The theme of D&D is adventure, which is also the theme of my life.  In the game you create a character who goes on adventures, gains experience, and improves in skill.  To me, this gets to the heart of having a spiritual purpose for being alive.  My life is my adventure, and my personality is my character.

D&D has several character classes to choose from, but I invented a few extras to represent certain modern-world occupations.  These are the classes that I identify with:

Monk – Monks are warriors who pursue perfection through contemplation as well as action.  They are versatile fighters, especially skilled in combat without weapons or armor.  They channel a subtle energy, called ki, which allows them to perform amazing feats.

I identify with this class as a lifelong martial artist following the contemplative tradition.  Anyone whose activities incorporate physical conditioning, hand-to-hand combat training, or contemplation as a spiritual discipline might identify as a monk.

Ranger – The ranger is a warrior and a woodsman.  He is skilled with weapons and is knowledgeable in the ways of the forest.  The ranger often protects and guides lost travelers and honest peasant-folk.  A ranger needs to be strong and wise to the ways of nature to live a full life.

Growing up playing in the woods ingrained a bond with the natural world in my spirit.  Anyone who has trained in the ways of combat and survival but who looks to nature as a home or a guide might identify as a ranger.

Rogue – To accomplish his goals, for good or ill, the rogue is a skilled pilferer.  Cunning, nimbleness, and stealth are his hallmarks.  Whether he turns his talents against innocent passers-by and wealthy merchants or oppressors and monsters is a choice for the rogue to make.

A rogue’s primary skill is looking out for number one, and he is likely to be privy to the means of trickery, deception, and manipulation, whether used offensively or defensively.  Whether selfish or compassionate, a rogue is someone who follows his own moral compass.  Anyone who believes in making and following their own rules in life regardless of the status quo might identify as a rogue.

Bard – The bard’s strength is his pleasant and charming personality.  With it and his wits he makes his way through the world.  A bard is a talented musician and a walking storehouse of gossip, tall tales, and lore.  He learns a little bit about everything that crosses his path; he is a jack-of-all-trades.

A bard is a teller of tales as well as a connector of people.  Anyone who considers themselves a performer, a storyteller, or a public figure to any degree might identify as a bard.

Merchant – You have devoted yourself to winning the money game and escaping the rat race.  You are a student soaking up knowledge of the ways of wealth, an entrepreneur, a financially free individual.

A merchant is someone who is savvy in the ways of money.  Anyone who chooses to be in control of their financial destiny might identify as a merchant.

Scholar – You follow a path of scholarly study and research, in a specific subject or in life in general.  You are a collector of knowledge and your energies are devoted to constantly learning and making sense of the world.

A scholar is a person who makes intellectual study a part of their life.  Anyone active in academia or who is an expert in the literature of a particular field may identify as a scholar.

Spiritualist – You have incorporated one or more spiritual practices into your life to the extent that you live and breathe them.  You are conscious of life as a journey and your body as a vessel.  You are a devoted practitioner, sensitive and intuitive, and your energies are directed towards growth and development and the perfection of your arts.

A spiritualist can be anyone who has taken up an identifiable spiritual practice or tradition.  If spirituality is not just something you believe in but something you do, you might identify as a spiritualist.

Technologist – You have embraced technology as a profession or as a pursuit of pure passion.  Perhaps you have a natural affinity for technological innovation, perhaps you enjoy the stimulation of it.  Your skills are related to technology and your energies are devoted to keeping pace with rapid change.

A scholar knows things, a technologist knows how to do things.  People who might identify as technologists are those in the engineering or applied science professions, or anyone who is adept at coordinating technology to achieve a particular outcome.

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