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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Druid Archetype: Natures Ally; Putting the companion back in animal companion (PEACH)



AmbientRaven
2016-02-24, 08:34 AM
Hi Folks,

A friend of mine was lamenting druids losing their iconic animal companions. And as I lay there in bed, i started brain storming ideas for a druid animal companion archetype.
It draws a little upon the Ranger archetype (NO WAIT! Don't hit back, I swear it isn't as terrible as the Ranger archetype!), but implements some of the house rules used in my D&D game to make animal companions not useless.

Some feedback and tips on balance would be fantastic!



Druid Archetype: Natures Ally

http://paizo.com/image/content/PathfinderRPG/PZO1121-ElfDruid_360.jpeg

Bonded Companion
At 2nd level, you gain a natural companion that accompanies you on your adventures and is trained to fight alongside you. Choose a beast or plant that is no larger than Medium and that has a challenge rating of 1/4 or lower. Add your proficiency bonus to the companionís AC, attack rolls, and damage rolls, as well as to any saving throws and skills it is proficient in. Its hit point maximum equals its normal maximum or four times your druid level, whichever is higher. The companion obeys your commands as best as it can. It takes its turn on your initiative, and can move on its own accord, and will follow any verbal commands you give it on where to move. You can use your bonus action to verbally command it to take the Attack, Dash, Disengage, Dodge, or Help action.
If the companion dies, you can obtain another one by spending 12 hours magically bonding with another beast that isnít hostile to you, either the same type of beast as before or a different one.

Shared Spells
Beginning at 6th level, when you cast a spell targeting yourself, you can also affect your companion with the spell if the companion is within 30 feet of you.

Ferocious Companion
Beginning at 10th level, your companionís attacks count as magical for the sake of ignoring DR. Likewise you may select 6 points worth of Ability Score Improvement for your companion, as well as one feature from the following list. You may not select a feature the pet already has, or one that is similar to it (so a Boar may not select charge/pounce as it is too similar to its charge ability).

Multi Attack
The companion may attack twice in a round

Pack Tactics
The companion has advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one ally within 5 feet of the creature and, the ally isn't incapacitated.

Awareness
The companion gains advantage on perception checks

Charge/Pounce
If the companion moves at least 20 feet straight toward a ∑target and then hits it with an attack on the same turn, the target succeed on a Strength saving throw equal to 8+Druid prof Bonus+Creature Strength or be knocked prone. The companion may then immediately make another attack against the creature

Trip attack
Select one of your companion attacks. When performing that attack successfully, the target must succeed on a Strength saving throw equal to 8+Druid prof Bonus+Creature Strength or be knocked prone

Locked Jaw
Select an attack. When performing that attack successfully, the target must succeed on an Athletics (Strength) or Acrobatics (Dexterity) saving throw equal to 8+Druid prof Bonus+Creature Strength or be grappled.

Sure-Footed
The companion has advantage on Strength and Dexterity saving throws made against effects that would knock it prone.

Hit-and-Run
The companion doesn't provoke opportunity attacks when moves out of an enemy's reach if there is another ally within 5ft of the same target.

Running Leap
With a 10-foot running start, the companion can long jump up to 25 feet.

Natural Recovery
Beginning at 14th you may use a bonus action to spend an amount of hit die equal to your wisdom modifier to heal yourself. This healing is shared with your companion through the Shared Spell feature. This feature then cannot be used again until you complete a short or long rest.

Edit 1: Changes the text, removing beast and replacing with companion

Ninja_Prawn
2016-02-25, 04:17 AM
Looks pretty good. I can't speak to the balance of the 'bonus action command' as I have not seen either system in practice or done any of the maths, but I know there's enough debate about it that it's not obviously wrong. I can't see any animal companions that would be too problematic, though some of the plants (shriekers, violet fungi and myconid sprouts) are going to have trouble keeping up with the party... :smalltongue:

The only thing I would say is that 'Natural Recovery' is already the name of a land druid feature. Maybe 'Natural Healing' would be better.

AmbientRaven
2016-02-25, 06:59 AM
Looks pretty good. I can't speak to the balance of the 'bonus action command' as I have not seen either system in practice or done any of the maths, but I know there's enough debate about it that it's not obviously wrong. I can't see any animal companions that would be too problematic, though some of the plants (shriekers, violet fungi and myconid sprouts) are going to have trouble keeping up with the party... :smalltongue:

The only thing I would say is that 'Natural Recovery' is already the name of a land druid feature. Maybe 'Natural Healing' would be better.

Thanks for the feedback :)

I have used the Bonus Action to command Attack/Dash/Disengage/Dodge for about 6 months in a game with a ranger and it worked fantastically to be honest. both classes have abilities that use BA, so it isn't an auto use ability. Also with pets not scaling amazingly well, there were risks involved.

Also thank you for pointing that out, I'll rename it :)

PoeticDwarf
2016-02-25, 02:47 PM
You can use a bonus action to let the beast (plant) take the attack action. Druids were one of the few classes except moon druid who were bad using bonus action. This gives free damage with the bonus action. Seems overall cool but just too strong. Moon CAN break the game if you are smart (before level 20). This one is always strong

On level 10 your beast is WAY stronger than the ranger's (two attacks, bonus action attacks). Giving a fullcaster such a boost...:smallconfused:

ImSAMazing
2016-02-26, 04:17 AM
You can use a bonus action to let the beast (plant) take the attack action. Druids were one of the few classes except moon druid who were bad using bonus action. This gives free damage with the bonus action. Seems overall cool but just too strong. Moon CAN break the game if you are smart (before level 20). This one is always strong

On level 10 your beast is WAY stronger than the ranger's (two attacks, bonus action attacks). Giving a fullcaster such a boost...:smallconfused:

That's a problem on the Ranger's side. And CR1+ Wildshape isn't 'such a boost' for a fullcaster? I mean go blame on the Moon druid too.

AmbientRaven
2016-02-26, 05:36 AM
You can use a bonus action to let the beast (plant) take the attack action. Druids were one of the few classes except moon druid who were bad using bonus action. This gives free damage with the bonus action. Seems overall cool but just too strong. Moon CAN break the game if you are smart (before level 20). This one is always strong

On level 10 your beast is WAY stronger than the ranger's (two attacks, bonus action attacks). Giving a fullcaster such a boost...:smallconfused:

That is a problem with the Ranger. In my games I change the Ranger to have the exact same benefit the druid has here. "implements some of the house rules used in my D&D game to make animal companions not useless."

Druids also have several spells that require bonus actions to use, so it limits their spell selection (primarily damage spells). Like wise, rangers also have bonus actions either from dual wielding or from spell selection.

Again, the BM Ranger is terrible, it is almost universally known. The Stat changes and BA attacks i implement in my game, which is why I brought them here. The rules have been play tested for about 7 months and I know they work well with Ranger :)

PoeticDwarf
2016-02-26, 03:37 PM
That's a problem on the Ranger's side. And CR1+ Wildshape isn't 'such a boost' for a fullcaster? I mean go blame on the Moon druid too.

Makes no sense. This isn't about the ranger but about the druid. And I thought the was too strong because the base damage each round without an action and all the opties you even get early. The wildshape isn't that strong because druids lose (till level 18 and even then) their flexibility and druidness, and martials will outdamage the form...

On one side you say the ranger has the problem so you shouldn't look at it, but you also say that this is not OP looking at the moon druid so it's OK

You don't even give feedback. You just say I'm wrong

PoeticDwarf
2016-02-26, 03:40 PM
That is a problem with the Ranger. In my games I change the Ranger to have the exact same benefit the druid has here. "implements some of the house rules used in my D&D game to make animal companions not useless."

Druids also have several spells that require bonus actions to use, so it limits their spell selection (primarily damage spells). Like wise, rangers also have bonus actions either from dual wielding or from spell selection.

Again, the BM Ranger is terrible, it is almost universally known. The Stat changes and BA attacks i implement in my game, which is why I brought them here. The rules have been play tested for about 7 months and I know they work well with Ranger :)
That's not the rangers problem. This druid is just too much. At level 2 you can deal 3+3d4+1d8 damage at will a round. With above average to hit. Where most fighters -and especially caster- can do that

And you are a druid. It's just free damage. Instead of 4d8 you deal at the end 4d8+6d4+14 damage and that's just straight. You can do better easily.

Dpr isn't anything but this is giving one of the strongest classes a damage boost without being MAD and with extra goodies