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Xarra
2017-09-23, 06:34 PM
Hi,

My GM is letting me homebrew a Circle for a drow druid and has asked me to get opinions on the Circle I've come up with (he's also had input but would like opinions!) It's the first thing I've homebrewed so...

The concept is focused on spiders, and shifting into spider creatures - note some monstrosities might be on the 'Allowable spider list' to give more options!

Circle of the Spider

Extra Spells

At each level you learn the following and these always count as prepared (as per Circle of the Land):

Level Circle Spells
3rd Detect Poison and Disease, Web
5th Protection from Poison, Darkness (both 2nd level spells),
7th Blight, Insect Plague (change to 4th level - 4d10 damage but only spiders which don't fly and don't obscure, can be cast as normal as a 5th level spell as normal when you have access to 5th level)
9th Cloud Kill, Contagion,

You also know Poison Spray as a cantrip from level 2.

Arachnid Born

At 3rd level you are able to cast speak with animals (spiders only) and web - you have 2 special spell slots which can be used for either of these spells which reset each long rest (to make up for the 2nd level not 3rd level spells at 5th level)

These slots increase to 3 at 9th level and 4 at 14th level.

Spider Shape

From 2nd level using Wildshape to transform into a spider form (see list) is a bonus action rather than an action.
Additionally, while you are transformed by Spider WildShape, you can use a bonus action to expend one spell slot to regain 1d8 hit points per level of the spell slot expended.

Becoming Arachnid

The rites of your circle grant you the ability to transform into more dangerous animal forms. Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Wild Shape to transform into a spider form with a challenge rating as high as 1.

Starting at 6th level, you can transform into a spider form with a challenge rating as high as your druid level divided by 3, rounded down.

You can also transform into a swarm of spiders where the number of spiders is your CR max for Spider form x 16 spiders (so a level 6 druid can do 32 spiders (2 x 16 = 32)

You are not counted as 'dead' until all the swarm are destroyed, the swarm members must stay within 5ft of each other (excluding dead ones). When you transform back, your HP are multiplied by (number of spiders alive/total number of spiders), except that you are only unconscious (regardless of the amount of damage done to the swarm Ė which is different to the normal wildshape rules) (in order to not make it a HUGE disadvantage)

Magical Attacks

6th level: Starting at 6th level, your attacks in beast form count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.

Arachnid Body

10th: Immunity to poison, and a climbing speed of 30ft (and canít fail climb checks), you get proficiency in stealth or if you already have proficiency, you get expertise

Arachnid Poison

14th level: Can secrete poison that can be applied to a weapon (bonus action for self or action for someone else) con save DC as per spell DC, damage is 2d8 poison. 2 per long rest. Can cast speak with animals (spiders only) and web 3 per day (total between the 2)

Special Swarm Rules:

HP = number of swarm creatures x 1
AC = 9+CR
Movement = 20ft/climb 20ft
Skills Stealth +4
Senses darkvision 30 ft. , passive Perception 10
Spider Climb. The spider can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.
Web Sense. While in contact with a web, the spider knows the exact location of any other creature in contact with the same web.
Web Walker. The spider ignores movement restrictions caused by webbing.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 (+druid prof) to hit, reach 5ft The size of the swarm varies depending on number of spiders) (target has to be IN the swarm)
Hit: 1 piercing damage per alive creature in swarm and the target must succeed on a DC spell save saving throw or take (druid level d4) poison damage.
If an AoE hits a fraction of the swarm, then it does that fraction of that damage (so a spell hitting half the swarm, will do half itís damage)
If a creature ends their turn in the swarm, can use a reaction to do an attack on the creature.

Arkhios
2017-09-24, 03:51 PM
Circle spells really need to be of proper levels if you wish that this circle is to be considered balanced towards official ones. Adding/changing spell levels isn't how things are done in 5e (unlike in 3.PF)

Xarra
2017-09-24, 04:48 PM
Circle spells really need to be of proper levels if you wish that this circle is to be considered balanced towards official ones. Adding/changing spell levels isn't how things are done in 5e (unlike in 3.PF)

I know - I'm just unsure what I'd do as there's no other way to get the thematic spells in?

Arkhios
2017-09-24, 07:42 PM
I know - I'm just unsure what I'd do as there's no other way to get the thematic spells in?

Detect Poison and Disease, Protection from Poison, Blight, Insect Plague, and Contagion are in the druid's spell list already.

Are you sure you're not overthinking it?

Wouldn't this be good enough?
3rd level: Darkness, Web
5th level: Slow, Vampiric Touch
7th level: Giant Insect, Greater Invisibility
9th level: Cloudkill, Insect Plague

Composer99
2017-09-24, 09:41 PM
I know - I'm just unsure what I'd do as there's no other way to get the thematic spells in?

Detect Poison and Disease, Protection from Poison, Blight, Insect Plague, and Contagion are in the druid's spell list already.

Are you sure you're not overthinking it?

Wouldn't this be good enough?
3rd level: Darkness, Web
5th level: Slow, Vampiric Touch
7th level: Giant Insect, Greater Invisibility
9th level: Cloudkill, Insect Plague

I think Xarra's aim is to have those spells available the way circle spells are available:

Once you gain access to a circle spell, you always have it prepared, and it doesn't count against the number of spells you can prepare each day.

That being said, I don't see contagion, for instance, as being really all that spider-related (I don't see much relation between spiders and disease).

OP, if you really want to keep the spells you had in your list, I would suggest keeping Arkhios' circle spell list and changing the Arachnid Born feature to something like the following:



Arachnid Born
You learn the poison spray and speak with animals cantrips, although you can only use the latter cantrip to speak with spiders unless you have learned it from the druid (or another class') Spellcasting class feature.

In addition, you can cast detect poison and disease without expending a spell slot. You can't do so again until you finish a long rest.

Finally, beginning at 10th level, you can cast protection from poison without expending a spell slot. You can't do so again until you finish a long rest.


Also, I feel like getting Arachnid Born, Spider Shape, and Becoming Arachnid, all at 2nd level, is too much for that level. Altogether, they give this druid circle the feeling of being the Circle of the Moon with bonus spellcasting. If that's your aim, well and good, but it strikes me as realllly powerful.

In addition, the rules for transforming into a swarm of spiders seem rather kludgey. I'm at a loss on what to suggest at the moment for dealing with the swarm, so I'll leave it aside. If I get a chance to come back to it, I will.

For now, I'd suggest merging Spider Shape and Becoming Arachnid as follows:


Spider Shape
When you join this circle at 2nd level, you learn secrets of taking on the form of a spider. When you use your wild shape feature to transform into a spider, you can do so using a bonus action on your turn instead of an action.

Beginning at 6th level, when you transform into a spider, you can take a form with a challenge rating no greater than one third of your druid level (round down). In addition, while in your spider form, you can use a bonus action and expend a spell slot to regain 1d8 hit points per level of the spell slot expended.


The poison feature is, I think, weak for 14th level. You could comfortably tag it onto one of the other features if you keep it as is, although if the Spider Shape feature allows you to become a swarm starting at 14th level, then the feature as is is probably fine.

I'd also consider moving the Arachnid Body feature to 6th level, the magical attacks (plus poison) feature to 10th level.

Arkhios
2017-09-24, 10:23 PM
I think Xarra's aim is to have those spells available the way circle spells are available.

Yeah, I know. My approach was mainly to include those spells Xarra wanted from lists other than the druid's and then fill the gaps with those spells from druid's list or spells I felt thematically appropriate when necessary (for example, in my opinion Blight and Contagion felt inappropriate)

Xarra
2017-09-25, 08:57 AM
Oooh, thank you both!

Contagion I felt fit due to disease and some of the results seemed rather 'poisony'. I'm also trying to keep the idea (utility vs attack) of the other Circles the same?

Version 2.0:

Circle of the Spider

Extra Spells

At each level you learn the following and these always count as prepared (as per Circle of the Land):

Level Circle Spells
3rd level: Darkness, Web
5th level: Slow, Vampiric Touch
7th level: Giant Insect, Greater Invisibility
9th level: Cloudkill, Insect Plague

Arachnid Born

You learn the poison spray and speak with animals cantrips, although you can only use the latter cantrip to speak with spiders unless you have learned it from the druid (or another class') Spellcasting class feature.

In addition, you can cast detect poison and disease without expending a spell slot. You can't do so again until you finish a long rest.

Finally, beginning at 10th level, you can cast protection from poison without expending a spell slot. You can't do so again until you finish a long rest.

Spider Shape

From 2nd level using Wildshape to transform into a spider form (see list) is a bonus action rather than an action.
Additionally, while you are transformed by Spider WildShape, you can use a bonus action to expend one spell slot to regain 1d8 hit points per level of the spell slot expended.

Spider Shape

When you join this circle at 2nd level, you learn secrets of taking on the form of a spider. When you use your wild shape feature to transform into a spider, you can do so using a bonus action on your turn instead of an action.

Beginning at 6th level, when you transform into a spider, you can take a form with a challenge rating no greater than one third of your druid level (round down). In addition, while in your spider form, you can use a bonus action and expend a spell slot to regain 1d8 hit points per level of the spell slot expended. You may transform into a swarm of spiders where you have 16 spiders in the swarm per CR level (so 32 spiders at 6th level, 48 spiders at 9th, etc) (I was thinking that it would be good to be able to do a swarm of 16 at 3rd level but?)

Arachnid Body

6th: Immunity to poison, and a climbing speed of 30ft (and canít fail climb checks), you get proficiency in stealth or if you already have proficiency, you get expertise

Magical Attacks

10th level: Starting at 6th level, your attacks in beast form count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage. Can secrete poison that can be applied to a weapon (bonus action for self or action for someone else) con save DC as per spell DC, damage is 2d8 poison.

14th level: ??? (I have NO idea what to put here.......... Maybe increased poison? My 8th level party in another game is facing 7d6 wyvern poison on every shot from about 20 goblins atm!)

Special Swarm Rules:

HP = number of swarm creatures x 1
AC = 9+CR
Movement = 20ft/climb 20ft
Skills Stealth +4
Senses darkvision 30 ft. , passive Perception 10
Spider Climb. The spider can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.
Web Sense. While in contact with a web, the spider knows the exact location of any other creature in contact with the same web.
Web Walker. The spider ignores movement restrictions caused by webbing.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 (+druid prof) to hit, reach 5ft The size of the swarm varies depending on number of spiders) (target has to be IN the swarm)
Hit: 1 piercing damage per alive creature in swarm and the target must succeed on a DC spell save saving throw or take (druid level d4) poison damage.
If an AoE hits a fraction of the swarm, then it does that fraction of that damage (so a spell hitting half the swarm, will do half itís damage)
If a creature ends their turn in the swarm, can use a reaction to do an attack on the creature.

Xarra
2017-09-25, 02:32 PM
Circle of the Spider

A spider skitters along the rocky wall of the dungeon. Then another. Another. Through the cracks in the stone and under the door, a swarm of tiny creatures appears, dropping down to the cold floor dotted with golden coins. The dragon sleeping on the floor doesn't even wake as the swarm rushes over his body - until searing poison rushes through his veins. He roars, and the door swings open to reveal the rest of the party members as the spiders retreat to a corner and coalesce into a smiling drow, her spear drawn and dripping with venom.

Extra Spells

Your mystical connection to spiders infuses you with the ability to cast certain spells. At 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th level you gain access to circle spells connected to arachnids. Once you gain access to a circle spell, you always have it prepared, and it doesnít count against the number of spells you can prepare each day. If you gain access to a spell that doesnít appear on the druid spell list, the spell is nonetheless a druid spell for you.

Level Circle Spells
3rd Darkness, Web
5th Slow, Vampiric Touch
7th Giant Insect, Greater Invisibility
9th Cloudkill, Insect Plague

Arachnid Born

You learn the poison spray cantrip.

In addition, you can cast detect poison and disease without expending a spell slot. You can't do so again until you finish a long rest.

You can also cast speak with animals as a ritual without needing the spell prepared, although you can only use it to speak with spiders. The spell can be used to talk to other animals as per the normal spellcasting rules, but requires preparation.

Finally, beginning at 10th level, you can cast protection from poison without expending a spell slot. You can't do so again until you finish a long rest.

Arachnid Shape

When you join this circle at 2nd level, you learn secrets of taking on the form of a spider. When you use your wild shape feature to transform into a spider, you can do so using a bonus action on your turn instead of an action.

Beginning at 6th level, when you transform into a spider, you can take a form with a challenge rating no greater than one third of your druid level (round down).

In addition, while in your spider form, you can use a bonus action and expend a spell slot to regain 1d8 hit points per level of the spell slot expended.

Additionally, while you are transformed by Arachnid Shape, you can use a bonus action to expend one spell slot to regain 1d8 hit points per level of the spell slot expended. You cannot use this ability in Arachnid Swarm form.

Arachnid Swarm

Beginning at 3rd level you may transform into an Arachnid Swarm where you have 16 spiders in the swarm per one third of your druid level rounded down (32 spiders at 6th level, 48 spiders at 9th, etc). See the Swarm bar for special rules.

If the swarm is reduced to zero hitpoints you transform back to your normal form where the last spider died and are knocked unconscious. Unlike in normal wildshape form, you cannot be not killed outright by any damage carried over to your normal form, however you automatically fail a death saving throw.

When you transform back voluntarily, your remaining hitpoints are multiplied by (number of spiders alive/total number of spiders).

Arachnid Body

At 6th level your body takes on more features of a spider even in your normal form. You gain advantage to saves vs poison, and a climbing speed of 30ft. You gain proficiency in stealth. If you already have proficiency in stealth, you gain expertise.

Your attacks in spider form count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.

Arachnid Venom

At 10th level you can secrete a poison in your normal form via your teeth that can be applied to a piercing or slashing weapon (as a bonus action for a weapon you hold or an action to apply to someone else's weapon). You can choose from the following poisons with a con save to prevent the effect:

Type Damage Effect
Paralysing 1d4 Stunned for 1 round
Necrotic 1d6 Reduce HP maximum by half total damage taken (removed by a short rest)
Damage [prof]d4 Poisoned (removed by a short rest)

Arachnid Toxin

Starting at 14th level, you can secrete your venom via your teeth in any form that isn't an Arachnid Swarm. If the form already has poison as part of its attack, you may replace that poison with the venom. If the form does not have poison then one bite attack per turn may gain the poison to its attack. You can still apply this to a piercing or slashing weapon as per Arachnid Venom.

Additionally, your venom becomes more potent.

Type Damage Effect
Paralysing 1d4 Paralysed for 1 round
Necrotic 1d6 Reduce HP maximum by total damage taken (removed by a short rest)
Damage [prof]d6 Poisoned (removed by a short rest)

Your venom causes half damage and the effect is resisted on a successful save.

You gain immunity to poison.

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Arachnid Swarm

A swarm of spiders formed from a druid's body

Armor Class 10+(one third druid level rounded down)
Hit Points Number of swarm creatures x 1
Speed 20ft/climb 20ft

Stats (per spider)
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
2 (-4) 14 (+2) 8 (-1) As per druid As per druid As per druid

Senses Darkvision 30 ft., Passive Perception 10
Skills Stealth +4
Languages None (cannot speak)
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, slashing
Condition Immunities grappled, paralyzed, petrified, prone, restrained, stunned

Actions

Spider Climb The swarm can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.

Web Sense While the swarm is in contact with a web, the druid knows the exact location of any other creature in contact with the same web.

Web Walker The swarm ignores movement restrictions caused by webbing.

Bite Melee Weapon Attack: +4 (+proficiency) to hit, target must be within swarm. Damage 1 piercing damage per alive creature in swarm and the target must succeed on a spell DC save saving throw or take ([Prof]d4) poison damage.

Special

If a creature ends their turn in the swarm, the druid can use a reaction to do an attack on the creature.

The swarm can't regain hit points or gain temporary hit points, even with the Arachnid Shape ability.

A swarm takes double damage from any effect that targets more than a single creature.

Swarm Sizes

Number of Spiders Size Space
1-20 Small 5 by 5ft
21-40 Medium 5 by 5ft
41-70 Large 10 by 10ft
71-100 Huge 15 by 15ft

Xarra
2017-09-25, 03:19 PM
Yes the Venom might be a little OP, but bear in mind that the magical weapons at 6th level only applies in spider form, and they're not exactly hard hitters, so I think it kind of offsets this?

And to apply to another person's weapon takes up your whole action.