Druid: Revised

In the Class: Revisited series, I’ll be posting some simple revisions to the various classes based on experiences with my group, and those I’ve talked with. We won’t hit all 13 classes, as some are fine, and some I don’t have a good answer for, but in general these are some suggested changes that should fix some common complaints about the clases. I’ll also use this as a chance to fill out high level class features, which are basically absent past level 12 or so. None of these should be major rewrites, or take much adaptation to add in, but some are straight power ups or downs.

The druid has a lot of areas that need a little help. Especially around wildshape. I don’t know that I know anyone satisfied with how that works, but there are some other things that could step up a little too.

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Cantrips

Cantrips are unchanged with the following exceptions. 

  1. You gain three cantrips at first level, one of which must be Druidcraft. 
  2. You begin play with 3 cantrips known. At 4th level you learn a fourth, and at 10th level you learn a fifth. 

Druid Spell List

The Druids spell list is expanded to include the following spells at each level.

  • Level 0: Light, Message, Sacred Flame
  • Level 1: Alarm, Feather Fall, Sanctuary, Sleep
  • Level 2: Aid, Augury
  • Level 3: Create food and water, Magic Circle
  • Level 4: Divination, Guardian of Faith
  • Level 5: Commune, Flame Strike
  • Level 6: Forbiddance, True Seeing
  • Level 7: Symbol
  • Level 8: Demiplane
  • Level 9: Imprisonment

Animal Friend

At third level, a druid gains the devoted friendship of an animal from the list below. This animal has statistics as normal for its kind, but the druid can speak with it as though they shared a language. The animal can be directed to travel to specific locations as an action, but otherwise remains on the druid’s person, and is treated as an object, or article of clothing. If the druid has used wild shape, the animal melds into the druid’s form (and cannot use any of its abilities) or can be dropped to an adjacent square. 

The animal can also be tasked with concentrating on a spell for the Druid, allowing them to maintain concentration on two effects at once. If the animal is concentrating on the spell, they must be able to target any effects, not the druid, meaning it may require line of sight. This ability can be used once per short rest. 

If the animal is slain, a new one can be sourced from the appropriate terrain during a long rest. An animal can be dismissed at any time. 

  • Animal Friends: Bat, Cat, Crab, Fish, Frog, Hawk, Lizard, Owl, Rat, Raven, Scorpion, Sea Horse, Spider, Weasel.

Wild Shape

Wild Shape receives a major overhaul. It has been reprinted in its entirety, with modifications. Please use this instead of trying to note all minor updates. 

Starting at 2nd level, you can use your action to magically assume the shape of a beast. You can use this feature twice. You regain expended uses when you finish a long rest. Alternatively, you can expend spell slots to use this ability without expending charges, based on the CR of the form you wish to take on the table below. You can expend multiple lower level spell slots to achieve higher level uses if you are normally able to take those forms. For example, two level 1 slots, to take the form of a CR 2 creature.

Your druid level determines the beasts you can transform into, as shown in the Beast Shapes table. At 2nd level, for example, you can transform into any beast that has a challenge rating of 1/4 or lower that doesn’t have a flying speed.

Level MaxCR LimitationsSpell Slot RecoveryExample
2nd1/4, no flight1Wolf
4th1/21Crocodile
8th11Giant Eagle
12th22Rhinoceros
16th33Ankylosaurus
20th44Elephant

You can stay in a beast shape for a number of hours equal to your proficiency bonus. You then revert to your normal form unless you expend another use of this feature. You can revert to your normal form earlier by using a bonus action on your turn. You automatically revert if you fall unconscious, drop to 0 hit points, or die.

While you are transformed, the following rules apply:

  • Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the beast, but you retain your alignment, personality, Hit Points, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. You also retain all of your skill and saving throw proficiencies, in addition to gaining those of the creature. If the creature has the same proficiency as you and the bonus in its stat block is higher than yours, use the creature’s bonus instead of yours. If the creature has any legendary or lair actions, you can’t use them.
  • You can’t cast spells, and your ability to speak or take any action that requires hands is limited to the capabilities of your beast form. Transforming doesn’t break your concentration on a spell you’ve already cast, however, or prevent you from taking actions that are part of a spell, such as call lightning, that you’ve already cast.
  • You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, feat, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so. However, you can’t use any of your special senses, such as darkvision, unless your new form also has that sense.
  • You choose whether your equipment falls to the ground in your space, merges into your new form, or is worn by it. Worn equipment functions as normal, but the DM decides whether it is practical for the new form to wear a piece of equipment, based on the creature’s shape and size. Your equipment doesn’t change size or shape to match the new form, and any equipment that the new form can’t wear must either fall to the ground or merge with it. Equipment that merges with the form has no effect until you leave the form.

Circle of the Moon

Circle of the Moon Beast Shapes

Level MaxCR LimitationsSpell Slot RecoveryExample
2nd11Wolf
6th22Polar Bear
9th33Killer Whale
12th44Elephant
15th55Triceratops
18th66Mammoth
20th77Giant Ape

Combat Wild Shape

You gain the ability to use Wild Shape on your turn as a bonus action, rather than as an action.

Additionally, when you Wild Shape, you immediately gain 1d8 temporary hit points, per point of proficiency modifier. While you are transformed by Wild Shape, you can use a bonus action to expend one spell slot to regain 1d8 hit points per level of the spell slot expended.

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