The Grand Druid and Hierophant Druids

The highest ranking druid in the world is the Grand Druid (15th level). Unlike great druids (several of whom can operate simultaneously in different lands), only one person in a world can ever hold this title at one time. Consequently, only one druid can be 15th level at any time.

The Grand Druid knows six spells of each level (instead of the normal spell progression) and also can cast up to six additional spell levels, either as a single spell or as several spells whose levels total to six (for example, one 6th-level spell, six 1st-level spells, three 2nd-level spells, etc.).

The Grand Druid is attended by nine other druids who are subject only to him and have nothing to do with the hierarchy of any specific land or area. Any druid character of any level can seek the Grand Druid and ask to serve him. Three of these nine are archdruids who roam the world, acting as his messengers and agents. Each of them receives four additional spell levels. The remainder are normally druids of 7th to 11th level, although the Grand Druid can request a druid of any level to serve him and often considers applications from humble aspirants.

The position of Grand Druid is not won through combat. Instead, the Grand Druid selects his successor from the acting great druids. The position is demanding, thankless, and generally unexciting for anyone except a politician. After a few hundred thousand experience points of such stuff, any adventurer worthy of the name probably is ready to move on to something else.

For this reason, the Grand Druid reaches 16th level after earning only 500,000 more experience points. After reaching 16th level, the Grand Druid can step down from his position at any time, provided he can find a suitable successor (another druid with 3,000,000 experience points).

Upon stepping down, the former Grand Druid must relinquish the six bonus spell levels and all of his experience points but 1 (he keeps the rest of his abilities). He is now a 16th-level hierophant druid, and begins advancing anew (using the progression given in
Table 23). The character may rise as high as 20th level as a hierophant druid (almost always through self training).

Beyond 15th level, a druid never gains any new spells (ignore the Priest Spell Progression table from this point on). Casting level continues to rise with experience. Rather than spells, spell-like powers are acquired.

16th level: At 16th level, the hierophant druid gains four powers:

Immunity to all natural poisons. Natural poisons are ingested or insinuated animal or vegetable poisons, including monster poisons, but not mineral poisons or poison gas.

Vigorous health for a person of his age. The hierophant is no longer subject to the ability score adjustments for aging.

The ability to alter his appearance at will. Appearance alteration is accomplished in one round. A height and weight increase or decrease of 50% is possible, with an apparent age from childhood to extreme old age. Body and facial features can resemble any human or humanoid creature. This alteration is not magical, so it cannot be detected by any means short of true seeing.

17th Level: The character gains the biological ability to hibernate. His body functions slow to the point where the character may appear dead to a casual observer; aging ceases. The character is completely unconscious during hibernation. He awakens either at a preordained time ("I will hibernate for 20 days") or when there is a significant change in his environment (the weather turns cold, someone hits him with a stick, etc.).

A 17th-level hierophant druid can also enter the Elemental Plane of Earth at will. The transference takes one round to complete. This ability also provides the means to survive on that plane, move around, and return to the Prime Material Plane at will. It does not confer similar abilities or immunities on the Prime Material Plane.

18th level: The character gains the ability to enter and survive in the Elemental Plane of Fire.

19th level: The character gains the ability to enter and survive in the Elemental Plane of Water.

20th level: The character gains the ability to enter and survive in the Elemental Plane of Air.

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