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    Default 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon

    5th edition D&D Druid Handbook

    Version 4.2

    Druids are full spell casters, and as such both powerful and versatile PCs. In addition, they sport a few other abilities - most notably Wild Shape, which allows them to assume animal forms. These two abilities give the druid a lot of potential flexibility, but also require that the player does a lot of reading and bookkeeping, if s/he wants to play a druid to full capability.
    You will eventually be required to choose between two druid Circles, Land Circle and Moon Circle. Broadly speaking, Land druids get bonuses to spellcasting, while Moon druids get better wild shape options. The path you wish to tread can be a factor in almost every other choice you make for your druid build, and it will be referenced numerous times.
    I will refer to Ďcaster formí now and again, by which I mean the druidís form without wild shape or other shapeshifting in effect. Druids arenít able to cast spells in wild shape until level 18.

    First post deals with various options in character creation:
    Ability Scores
    Common Races
    Uncommon Races
    DMG Races
    Elemental Evil Races
    Land vs. Moon: Druid Abilities
    Land Spells
    Skills & Background

    Second post has these sections, discussing how to use your druid abilities, including much on spells and wildshape:
    The Role of the Druid: What you can do for your party and how
    Regarding Concentration: Why the Concentration mechanic is important and how to handle it
    Picking Prepared Spells: General discussion, see the ĎQuickspell Guideí below if you want concrete advice
    On Spells that Restore Hit Points: Analysis of Cure Wounds, Healing Word and Goodberry
    On Beasts: Conjuration spells and wild shape
    On Elementals: Conjuration spells and wild shape
    On Fey: Conjuration spells

    Third post has these sections:
    Equipping a Druid at Level 1: Purchasing your starting equipment
    Quickspell Guide: Sample prepared spell lists, broken down by level and druid circle
    Spell Analysis levels 1 through 4: Pros, cons, subtleties and uses of individual spells

    Fourth post contains the following:
    Spell Analysis levels 5 through 9: Pros, cons, subtleties and uses of individual spells
    Analysis of Land Circle Spells: Pros, cons, subtleties and uses of individual spells

    Fifth post contains:
    Elemental Evil Cantrips
    Elemental Evil Spell Analysis
    Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide: Dealing with a few races and a suit of armour
    Volo's Guide to [various]: More options for player races, and for wild shapes and conjuring
    Beasts and Fey from the Yawning Portal: Two beasts and two fey for wild shapes and conjuring
    Beasts and an Elemental from Tomb of Annihilation: One elemental and four beasts for wild shapes and conjuring

    Click here for my Multiclass guide. Click here for a discussion of magical items for druids.

    Colour codes are as follows:
    Great stuff
    Good stuff
    Decent stuff
    Could be a waste of your stuff
    Borderline useless stuff

    This is based on making a versatile and/or powerful character. I do not advocate picking the strongest option if another suits the player, character and/or campaign better, and there will be some allusions to less than optimal choices.
    Note that Bold Red is the only out-and-out bad grade. Even simple red is likely to have uses, albeit situational and/or with somewhat slighter punch.

    Spoiler: Ability Scores
    Strength: You wonít be needing much of this. You can fight with your wisdom via cantrips, and while wild shaped your original strength wonít matter. If your table is big on carrying capacity, you are one of the most wasteful ones to invest in strength to overcome this problem. Mules, carts and bags of holding are better for you.

    Dexterity (Land/Moon): This is likely your third most important stat, as it gets you both initiative and AC. Dex saves are also common. If you're a +dex race you can run with it and put your second best number here, especially if you intend to be a stealthy druid. Moon druids are likely to value this stat somewhat less, as the caster formís score doesnít apply while wild shaped.

    Constitution: Important to everyone. Even moon druids need to rely on spells some of the time, and use caster form. Constitution is also the stat for concentration saves, which allow you to maintain concentration spells when you take damage.

    Intelligence: Intelligence has little utility. You are proficient in Int saves, which deal with illusions a lot. It is not among the most common saves so far. You may want to put points in it to avoid having a dumb character, or if you have important skills attached to it. If your table use a lot of knowledge/lore rolls, int becomes more important.

    Wisdom: As your casting stat, this will determine save DCs on your spells, and it adds to your prepared spells. This is nearly always where you put your highest available number. You also happen to be proficient in wis saves, which are fairly commonly targeted. It is also an important stat for skills; Perception in particular, probably the most used skill.

    Charisma: You may have some skills attached to it, but apart from that charisma has very little utility. Charisma saves are not common. You may want to put points in it to avoid having a nasty character, especially if you pick up some party face skill(s).

    Spoiler: Races
    +2 to constitution is good. Darkvision and resistance to poison are okay, but less useful to you than most characters; you get darkvision as a spell and canít take your racial darkvision with you into forms that donít already have it. Moon druids will face poison problems more often being in melee, and arenít as free to cast to overcome them. But they can shift to elementals that are immune to poison from level 10. Land druids are immune to poison from that level too. The 25í speed is felt more by land druids, though it isnít a deal breaker.
    Hill Dwarf mechanics are perfectly suitable for a druid, with +1 hp per level and +1 wisdom. Ask your DM if those bonus hit points do something for your wild shapes; but donít get your hopes up.
    Mountain Dwarf gets you nothing useful.

    +2 to dexterity is good for caster form. Itís not a waste for moon druids, but you will often use wild shapes and their physical scores. Darkvision is less useful to you than most (you get darkvision as a spell and canít take your racial darkvision with you into forms that donít already have it). Proficiency in Perception may be boring, but itís possibly the most used skill in the game, and it deals with important stuff like ambushes. Trance is best if youíre not the only one with it, as two elves in the party means itís easy to have someone proficient in Perception awake all night.
    High Elf: Extra weapon proficiencies can be quite useful at low levels, but they matter less and less as you advance. The boost to intelligence is pretty useless unless you build specifically for it (with skills and/or multiclassing). The free cantrip may be something to look into, but you probably wonít have the int to back up an offensive choice; too bad, because druid offensive cantrips arenít very good.
    Wood Elf: +1 wisdom is right up your alley, and +5í movement is a nice bonus, more so for Land druids. If the DM allows this to carry over to wild shape, then Moon druids like it even more. Mask of the Wild may come in handy while scouting in animal form, and stealthy druids in general can use this, but you are highly dependent on the environment and the DM for just how often it will come into play. Longbow and short sword proficiencies may well outdo your offensive cantrips, at least until level 5.
    Dark Elf: Charisma is a poor score to advance for a druid. The superior darkvision is the best part of the dark elf, but as with all darkvision it goes away in wildshape. Drow Magic is somewhat less of a boon to a full caster. Then thereís the harsh Sunlight Sensitivity, which pulls this choice down, meaning it's the least attractive elf subrace. Hand crossbow and short sword might be useful proficiencies early on. If youíre in an underground campaign (or perhaps a Moon druid and your group say that Sunlight Sensitivity goes away in wild shape), Dark Elf creeps up between high and wood.

    +2 to dexterity is good for caster form. Itís not a waste for moon druids, but you will spend less time using caster form and its physical scores than a land druid. The 25í speed is conversely felt more by land druids. Lucky is nice for anyone. Brave, along with your proficiency in high-wisdom saves should keep you from getting scared much. Being able to move through the space of someone just one size larger than you is most useful for Moon druids, who are much more likely to spend time in melee range. They are, however, also a lot more likely to spend time in large or huge forms, especially as you advance in level.
    Lightfoot: Nothing really great here. You donít get much out of hiding in combat, even as a stealthy druid. You might use it to hide while concentrating on a critical spell, but ideally you should at least be pelting your enemies with some cantrip in battle.
    Stout: +1 con is good. Resistance to poison is okay, but you do get spells from level 3 and circle abilities from level 10 to deal with poison.

    Standard Human
    +1 to all stats is not so useful to you, needing mostly wisdom. It may let you get a temporary advantage e.g. with a 15/15/15/8/8/8 score buy (putting the 15s into con, dex and wis and playing a Land druid), but in general this isnít a very inspiring or powerful choice, granting no new options or abilities, merely more of what you already have.

    Variant Human
    A starting feat is very useful, especially if youíre playing from level 1, and a free skill is nothing to be sniffed at. See the Feats section for discussion on feats. Moon druids are generally more feat hungry than land druids, but both can do with an extra feat.

    Spoiler: Uncommon Races
    The stat advances are really poor for almost any druid. The 1/rest breath weapon is hardly impressive either, beyond very early levels. Itís a little more interesting if your DM will let you use it in wild shape as a Moon druid. The best thing about dragonborn might well be resistance to one sort of elemental damage.
    Iíd pick something dealing fire, cold or lightning damage, as these are probably the most commonly encountered. This means your breath weapon is also less versatile, however; energy types are about as commonly resisted as they are encountered. But since your breath damage doesn't scale very well, but enemy damage does, this is a good long term trade-off.

    The intelligence boost is probably not that useful to you. Darkvision is nice, but not essential due to incompatibility with wild shapes and you having Darkvision as a spell. Gnome cunning, however, gives you advantage on a lot of saves against the most common source of saves Ė magic.
    Forest Gnome
    The extra dex is decent at least for caster forms. An illusion cantrip is versatile, and is a kind of magic you wonít find much of in your druid spell list. The ability to speak with small animals is very fluffy, though your Speak with Animals spell is strictly better Ė if you have it prepared.
    Rock Gnome
    A highly eccentric choice for a druid. The bonus to con is nice, but the rest is more cute/funny (if you like that kind of thing, unlike me, admittedly) than outright useful.

    If you pick this race, youíre probably going for a charismatic PC, in which case the boost to charisma isnít so bad. The darkvision is nice, though hardly essential for someone who can cast the spell and canít bring darkvision along into wild shapes that donít already have it. Getting two bonus skills is a pretty good deal, and it lets you capitalize on that extra charisma if you so choose.

    The strength boost is pretty much a waste on a druid, but the con is always welcome. Darkvision is good, but you can cast the spell and canít bring this ability along into wild shapes that donít already have darkvision. Proficiency in Intimidation is a matter of taste, but generally you wonít have the charisma to take full advantage of it. Relentless Endurance is either close to useless, or pretty good. It depends on how it interacts with your wild shape forms. If it can save a form, itís good. If it canít, its usefulness is somewhat situational (standing with 1hp left is often quite dangerous, so you wonít always want to use this ability even when you can). So ask your DM about that. Savage Attacks isnít as useful to a druid as it is to a great-axe wielder (getting +1d12, much better than the average beast or elemental form). On the other hand, as a Moon druid youíre hungering for more damage, and every little helps.

    The ability increases (cha and int) donít work well for druids, and Darkvision isnít a big thing. Some extra spellcasting is nice. At least the tiefling spells are not on the standard druid list. The best thing about Tiefling is probably the resistance to fire damage, which is good (probably the best energy resistance all-round considering how often itís encountered compared to other types), but rather dependent on what foes you will face. And you can, of course, cast Protection from Energy from level 5 if it does become a big deal for a while.

    Spoiler: DMG Races

    In the DMG p. 286 are two race options, used as examples on how to design new races and subraces. They may or may not be available to players.

    Eladrin is a subrace of elf, game technically almost identical to high elves. They lose the bonus cantrip, and instead get to cast Misty Step once per rest. Itís likely a pretty good trade, unless you happen to be aiming for coastal land druid, who gets Misty Step as a land spell.

    Aasimar are very similar to Tieflings, but get a nice +1 to wisdom. The +2 to charisma is likely not that useful. Their racial spells are almost entirely covered in the druid spell list, and their energy resistances are not likely to play much of a role until mid or high levels.

    Spoiler: Elemental Evil Races
    The Elemental Evil Player's Companion (availble here) contains some optional races.

    Aarakocra: Unlimited, non-Concentration flight from level 1 is a big thing in many situations, though you will eventually be able to fly via spells and wild shape. The ability-bonuses are good (+dex and wis). Mechanically speaking, this is a very strong option for land druids (if you can stand being a humanoid bird). Less so for moon druids, as most of the good stuff goes away in wild shape. The option does depend somewhat on the campaign, as flying is not nearly as useful indoors and underground.

    Deep Gnome: Compared to forest gnome, this is an option around the same level of goodness. In caster form youíll get some use out of 120í darkvision, and if you are a stealth druid, advantage in caves and mountains is nice, if situational. The racial feat is pretty strong compared to many spellcasting feats, and the spells are not bad Ė though cast with Int as your casting stat. They are not generally covered by the druid list.

    Genasi: A constitution bonus never hurts, but most of the stuff is in the subrace.
    Air: +1 dex is decent (less so for moon druids); the ability to hold your breath indefinitely is highly situational, and you do get water breathing as a spell; levitate 1/day is a moderately cute option at low levels, but not that big a deal. You get other options for manoeuvring.
    Earth: Strength bonus is a waste. Land druids get something better than earth walk from level 6; does it stay with a wild shape? Then moon druids might like it. Pass without Trace is a great spell, but you can already cast it from level 3.
    Fire: Bonus to int is likely a waste for you. Darkvision is nice enough, though you lose it with wild shape and can get it with a spell. Fire resistance is very nice. The spellcasting options are not so great, as you either have them (and with a better casting stat), or they donít scale.
    Water: +wis is of course just what you want. Acid resistance wonít come into play so often. Being able to breathe water is cute, but youíll be able to cast spells to deal with that from level 5, and wildshape does it from level 4. The swim speed is situationally useful. Create or destroy water you already have (and itís not that good), and though shape water is a cool cantrip, it isnít exactly powerful or versatile.

    Goliath: A slight variation on half-orc. +str is a waste, +con is nice. Proficiency in Athletics is good. Stoneís Endurance can be a nice little panic button (could save your wild shape too), although its numbers donít scale with level. Powerful build is rather a waste on a shapechanger who doesnít favour strength. It might even reduce your ability to carry, push, drag and lift with an ungenerous interpretation and a Huge wild shape. Mountain Born is highly situational.

    VGtM races in Post 5.

    Spoiler: Land vs. Moon: Druid Abilities
    Your best choice here depends very much on the group youíre with. Moon druids are able to soak up an awful lot of punishment starting from level 2, but their damage dealing ability comes out less impressive than almost any dedicated melee character on most levels. They do retain the option of caster form and spells as required to compensate.
    Personally, I would choose Moon either to fill in a need for someone who can confidently step into melee, or to keep combat simpler. Well, thereís also the coolness factor. However, the default choice here is the Land druid, as it plays to the druid's main strength, spellcasting.

    Land druid rundown

    Druidic, 1: You know the secret language of the druids. Canít hurt, but not a big deal.

    Spellcasting, 1: This is where most of your power and options come from.

    Ritual Casting, 1: If a spell is marked ĎRitualí and you have it prepared (youíre not a wizard, Harry), you can cast it without expending a spell slot by adding 10 minutes to the casting time. Not bad, but wonít save you many spell slots on most days.

    Wild Shape, 2: Not a bad thing, even for a land druid. Gives more options (movement, stealth, ability scores), and can be used for some fighting in the low to mid levels.

    Bonus Cantrip, 2: An extra cantrip is always nice. Cantrips are often situational, so more options get you better covered.

    Natural Recovery, 2: Recovering some spell slots during a short rest, once per long rest. Adds to your stamina, and makes you less resistant to taking short rests Ė many PCs are likely to be more interested in them than a land druid.

    Circle Spells, 3, 5, 7 and 9: Adds spells permanently to your spell list and your prepared list; can be a nice addition to your options. See the spoiler ĎLand Spellsí below for a quick rundown of the possibilities.

    Ability Score Improvement, 4, 8, 12, 16, 19: Youíll probably want to up your wisdom score to 20, and there are some feats well worth taking for land druids. See the spoiler ĎFeatsí below for options on that.

    Landís Stride, 6: Makes you better at avoiding reductions to your mobility. Mobility and positioning is your first line of defence, so this is a welcome addition, if somewhat situational.

    Natureís Ward, 10: Immunity to poison and disease; and the conditions charmed and frightened if caused by fey or elementals. The latter part are quite rare problems, but the first are more likely to come in handy. All in all not the worst addition to your defences.

    Natureís Sanctuary, 14: Makes it harder for beast and plant type creatures to attack you. Situational, bordering on useless in most campaigns.

    Timeless Body, 18: From now on, you age at 1/10th the normal rate. Cool, but with few practical implications.

    Beast Spells, 18: You can now cast certain spells while in wild shape. Not bad, at least you can use your wild shape to add an additional layer of defences.
    Giant 2005 posted about this in another thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Giant2005 View Post
    This part inspired me to investigate a little bit, so I went and listed all of the Druid spells they are capable of casting while Wildshaped. They aren't bad - there are still a lot of good spells in there. Here is the list if anyone cares:

    Cantrips: Druidcraft, Guidance, Poison Spray, Produce Flame
    1st: Charm Person, Cure Wounds, Detect Magic, Entangle, Faerie Fire, Fog Cloud, Healing Word, Purify Food and Drink, Speak with Animals, Thunderwave
    2nd: Beast Sense, Find Traps, Lesser Restoration, Protection from Poison
    3rd: Call Lightning, Conjure Animals, Daylight, Dispel Magic, Meld into Stone, Plant Growth, Protection from Energy, Speak with Plants
    4th: Blight, Conjure Minor Elementals, Dominate Beast, Giant Insect, Grasping Vine
    5th: Antilife Shell, Commune with Nature, Contagion, Geas, Mass Cure Wounds, Tree Stride
    6th: Conjure Fey, Heal, Transport via Plants
    7th: Fire Storm, Mirage Arcane
    8th: Animal Shapes, Tsunami
    9th: Storm of Vengeance
    Archdruid, 20: Unlimited wild shapes. You can freshen up your wild shape as you like, giving you more flexibility. Not the best of capstones, but decent. Better if you're using Stealth, for the ability to cast without using components.

    Moon druid rundown

    Druidic, 1: You know the secret language of the druids. Canít hurt, but not a big deal.

    Spellcasting, 1: This is where most of your versatility comes from. Spells will be a far more powerful tool than Wild Shape for the better part of your career, even with the great bonuses to wild shape you get as moon druid.

    Ritual Casting, 1: If a spell is marked ĎRitualí and you have it prepared (youíre not a wizard, Harry), you can cast it without expending a spell slot by adding 10 minutes to the casting time. Not bad, but wonít save you many spell slots on most days.

    Wild Shape, 2: Starts outrageously strong, then declines steadily. Gets another (lower) peak at 10 when you get elemental shapes, then it tapers off a bit. At the three final levels it peaks again.

    Combat Wild Shape, 2: Lets you assume a wild shape as a bonus action. Meshes well with spellcasting, and keeps you from wasting a round when surprised in caster form. Also lets you spend spell slots to heal your wild shape as a bonus action. It gives you something to spend your spell slots on in wild shape, and adds another layer to your damage sponge.

    Circle Forms, 2: This is the madness that lets you take brown bear shape from level 2, and keeps your wild shape furnished with new and stronger beast forms as you level.

    Ability Score Improvement, 4, 8, 12, 16, 19: There are many feats worth considering for you, and you are probably the least dependent on your ability scores of all classes and subclasses. So you should get some of those feats. But be wary of neglecting your spell DC completely. Casting is still more powerful than wild shape most of the time.

    Primal Strike, 6: Your wild shape attacks count as magical. A bear necessity (if youíll pardon me), or your damage dealing would collapse completely when faced with resistance or immunity to non-magical weapons.

    Elemental Wild Shape, 10: Four strong, fresh options for your wild shaping.

    Thousand Forms, 14: Cute, but rather meh by now. Better if you're a high charisma person with Deception.

    Timeless Body, 18: From now on, you age at 1/10th the normal rate. Cool, but with few practical implications.

    Beast Spells, 18: You can now cast certain spells while in wild shape. Wonderful news for you, pairing the two most powerful features in your arsenal. See the quote from Giant2005 above for details.

    Archdruid, 20: Unlimited wild shapes. You can freshen up your wild shape as you like, giving you more flexibility, and unparalleled hit point recovery - a damage sponge of epic proportions. Probably the strongest capstone in the game. And then you get even more spells castable in wild shape.

    Spoiler: Cantrips
    Suggested cantrips in prioritized order (elves can usually wait a bit with offensive cantrips if they want).
    Land: Offensive Cantrip 1, Druidcraft, Guidance, Offensive Cantrip 2, Mending.
    Moon: Offensive Cantrip 1, Druidcraft, Guidance, Offensive Cantrip 2.

    Your choice of cantrips is considerably dependent on how many you have. At level 1, the base number is 2, which increases gradually until it reaches 4 at level 10. Land druids get a bonus cantrip at level 2. With eight PHB cantrips to choose from, you need to weigh the pros and cons and choose ones that will fit your needs. Moon druids will be less dependent on attack cantrips. They may still want one (or even two) depending on their preferences. Moon druids are also much more likely to spend their concentration on long-term buff spells, making Concentration cantrips less attractive to them.
    Non-elf land druids should pick an attack cantrip to start with, and maybe add another at some point (to get around resistances or immunities, likely to be a big problem). Elves can usually put this off a bit, and rely on their good dexterity and racial proficiencies to deal decent damage at least until level 5 (or even longer if their dex is high enough).

    Druidcraft: General purpose cantrip. The most significant mechanical abilities are lighting or snuffing out small bonfires and torches; and making a magical imitation of a natural sound. High in versatility (and fluff), low on punch.

    Guidance: If it werenít for the need for concentration to use this, it would be a must-have. It grants a small bonus to skill checks, giving it out-of-battle use, as long as you have concentration free and can cast spells - i.e. in caster form or free to drop wildshape. It's better for Land druids, because they do not use concentration on long duration spells so often, spend less time wild shaped, and can feel more free to drop a wild shape if they do have it on.

    Mending: Quite situational, but good when it comes up. If your group often deals with things getting broken, this could be a very useful option. Maybe you use a homebrew critical hit or fumble mechanic, which can break equipment. Or the DM focuses on the wear and tear of adventuring. It can also be used to leave fewer clues during breaking and entering, for instance.

    Poison Spray: Attack cantrip. It deals the highest damage of cantrips, but at a very poor range, and with a damage type that is quite unreliable (between one in five and one in four creatures in the MM are outright immune to it). If you pick this, you should have some other way to deal damage for all those times it won't work, and you should be sturdy enough to spend time so close to the enemy.

    Produce Flame: Attack and lighting cantrip. Deals mediocre damage at 30í and can be used to light your way or set fire to flammable stuff. This is likely your go-to offensive cantrip, feeble though it is. Don't neglect to pack some ranged weapon, because fire immunity is not that uncommon.

    Resistance: As it requires concentration and deals with combat, this is not a very useful or reliable choice. Better for Land druids who do not use concentration on long duration spells so often.

    Shillelagh: Allows you to use wisdom as your fighting stat, making this a great choice for a melee druid (which probably means multiclassing). Land druids might have it for emergencies, Moon druids for when they get knocked out of wild shape and need to finish the job. Good damage at low levels, but scales poorly or not at all. Reliable damage type, but melee range. You will need some way to attack more than once in a round to make it passable, and you have to be sturdy enough to stand on the front lines in caster form.

    Thorn Whip: 30í melee attack (!), dealing little damage, but drawing the target 10í closer. Generally speaking, druids donít want their caster form to be particularly close to their opponents. But if you can accept this extra danger, this is an interesting option. Itís the only PHB control cantrip available to druids. It may be able to bring about the occasional spectacular success, pulling enemies into dangerous terrain, off cliffs, into reach of your party's Sentinel and/or Mage Slayer feat'ed melee, etc. The better your movement, the better you'll be able to manoeuvre to use the control effect to its maximum.

    Spoiler: Land Spells
    Land druids get special circle spells which they add to their druid list and prepared spells for free. The usefulness of land spell lists is mostly in what new spells they add. Another consideration is how commonly you would want to have the spells on the list prepared. Spells you would want to prepare anyway frees up a slot, while highly situational spells sit there all the time you have no use for them. A quick rundown follows, and you can find analysis of each of these spells under the spoiler ĎLand Druid Circle Spellsí in post 4.

    Arctic: Expands your options with Slow and Cone of Cold. Commune with Nature is not a spell you usually need at a momentís notice.

    Coast: Expands your options with Mirror Image and Misty Step. Has Water Breathing, Water Walk, Control Water and Scrying as spells you wouldnít be preparing on a daily basis.

    Desert: Expands your options with Blur, Silence and Create Food and Water. Hallucinatory Terrain and Create Food and Water are very situational spells, Silence less so.

    Forest: Grants Spider Climb and Divination. Spider Climb, Divination, Commune with Nature and Tree Stride are spells you could probably prepare as needed.

    Grassland: Expands your options with Invisibility, Haste, Divination and Dream. Daylight, Divination and Dream are spells that wonít be cast during most adventure days.

    Mountain: Expands your options with Spider Climb, Lightning Bolt and Passwall. Spider Climb is the only one Iíd single out as situational here.

    Swamp: Expands your options with Darkness, Melfís Acid Arrow and Stinking Cloud. Water Walk, Locate Creature and Scrying are spells not obviously prepared.

    Underdark: Expands your options with Spider Climb, Web, Gaseous Form, Stinking Cloud, Greater Invisibility and Cloudkill. Spider Climb and Cloudkill are less than run-of-the-mill.

    Spoiler: Skills and Background
    In 5e, skills are very dependent on the DM. They decide most of what skills can and can't do. I've tried discussing these skills from what I can be certain of rules-wise, and what I expect to be average for games. The better you know your table's ways and your DM's way of thinking, the better you'll be able to judge skills. For example, I tank medicine hard, finding it to be nearly a complete waste, especially for a druid. But if your table is heavy on medical stuff and explore diseases and illness routinely, this skill will come to the front more often, and may indeed be key to many situations.
    Also, never forget that anyone can attempt to use any skill and most tools (crafting being the exception). Whether you're proficient or not makes at most the difference of +6 to the roll, and most of the time much less.

    Herbalism Kit: You get proficiency in this thrown in with your skills. This can be used during downtime to brew healing potions. See PHB p. 187 for details on crafting, but basically you can craft a healing potion in ten days for 25gp. This is different from the optional Crafting a Magic Item downtime activity in the DMG (p. 128).

    Arcana: The best lore skill in the game, it deals with anything magical or extraplanar. It's also the skill you use to activate scrolls of spells otherwise too high level to cast (DC 10 + spell level), which may be a big deal depending on how many scrolls there are in the campaign. It even governs the detection and handling of many magical traps.

    Animal Handling: While highly fluffy for a druid, you can ride well enough without it. In dealing with animals in general, you have excellent spells for it, should it become necessary.

    Insight: Rather campaign dependent, but any time you spend with intrigue, this is gold. It may also be useful for spying on people while scouting.

    Medicine: Stabilize the dying with a check, and diagnose disease. A Healerís Kit will stabilize the dying without a check and costs 5gp for ten uses. Your spells include Detect Poison and Disease and Lesser Restoration, so you can diagnose and treat disease out of the box.

    Nature: Hard to run from, as this is pretty much your shtick. Unfortunately, it doesnít do much, and there is some overlap with Survival. It is possibly the weakest of the lore skills, as it tells you so much obvious lore. If you, the player, donít know much about these things, this makes the skill more useful.

    Perception: Youíll be making a lot of these checks, so this is a good choice, even if it is a bit boring. It also helps avoiding ambushes, giving it clear combat potential.

    Religion: There can be some pretty strange facts you can pick up with religion, though it is not as commonly called on as Arcana. Ask your DM if knowledge of undead belongs here. Itís a long shot, but it might, and would make the skill more useful.

    Survival: Better than Nature, as it does some practical things for you, like tracking. While not generally a skill I'd rate as blue, the average druid should have some sort of skill like this. Since you can only wild shape into beasts you've seen, being skilled at Survival could expand your options via background, downtime, and being aware of the opportunity when you come across tracks from beasts you haven't seen yet.

    Other skills
    Remember that when you already have a skill, and it is then given again by a background, you get to choose any skill you want to replace it. The same goes with tool proficiencies; you can pick a different tool if your background gives you one you already know. Tools arenít nearly as likely to come up as skills, but if they do, Thieves' Tools are the most mechanically useful set of tools.
    You can create your own background, which basically lets you get the exact skill/tool proficiencies or languages you want, as long as you can work out the fluff. Working with your DM, you can even make custom features.
    Out of the box, Folk Hero (animal handling, survival), Guild Artisan (insight, persuasion), Noble (history, persuasion), Outlander (athletics, survival), Sage (arcana, history) and Sailor (athletics, perception) give interesting and at least semi-useful skill proficiencies. Skills are the most important long term, mechanical effect of backgrounds.

    Acrobatics/Athletics: These can be used to resist shoves and grapples, and may come into play a lot depending on your gaming groupís style. Athletics is generally the superior of the two skills. It can be used to make shoves and grapples as well as resist them, and it also deals with climbing, jumping and swimming. But if you (remember wild shape) have better dex than str, acrobatics may be the better choice for you between the two. If your DM is a particular fan of fighting on rooftops or in icy conditions, say, then Acrobatics does have the use of helping you with keeping your balance.

    Deception/Intimidation/Persuasion: Your charisma is not likely to be high unless you planned to take a social skill. One of them (depending on your groupís style) along with Insight can let you be party face. I generally rate Persuasion higher, as people don't usually react so poorly to being not persuaded as they do to feeling they've been lied to or threatened. Often you can try Persuasion, and if it fails, you can fall back on Deception ("Okay, the real reason I want you to do this...") and then Intimidation ("Are you calling me a liar?!").

    Stealth: Some druids may rely on stealth, both in and out of wild shape. Halflings and elves may be particularly interested in picking up this skill due to their high dex and special stealth capabilities. See the top paragraph of this spoiler for ways to pick it up.
    Combining Pass without Trace (a 2nd level spell) and an innocuous wild shape, druids have the potential to be among the stealthiest PCs around.

    Spoiler: Feats
    If your group plays with feats, there are some things that need to be interpreted for your druid. According to the wild shape rules (PHB p. 66-67) you keep features from your class, and this includes feats. But how exactly? Resilient, for instance, gives +1 to the score chosen for it. Does your new animal form sport an extra point in that score, then? How will that affect its combat stats? You will need to talk this out with your DM.
    Land druids will be casting more spells that are affected by their Wisdom, and as such they prioritize advancing ability higher than moon druids. Moon druids have half their stats switched during wild shape, and are more attracted to feats in the low-mid levels. But they need their spells to keep up when their wild shapes are at their lowest ebb, and anyway Beast Spells (letting you cast spells in wild shape) comes online at level 18.

    Alert: The initiative boost is good for anyone, the rest is just gravy. And good gravy, too. If you are the party scout, this feat inches into blue territory, helping you to survive if you get found out.

    Athlete: Moon druids could consider this feat if their forms get the ability bonus from feats. The rest should really be covered between your wild shapes and spells, but it can't hurt. Land druids are unlikely to find much of any use here.

    Charger: This requires use of your bonus action, which means you can't use it with a lot of otherwise charging forms Ė those who activate a second attack if their first hits when they charge. Only those that add bonus damage to charges (Giant Boar and Rhinoceros are the obvious MM beneficiaries; the Elk can get a little too, though only making their charge about as damaging as their hooves) get anything from this feat. In general this is too little, too seldom to be worth considering, even for damage hungry moon druids.

    Durable: While the +1 to constitution is nice, you have better options for recovering hit points than this. I just might take this in a corner case, like having uneven con, maxed wis, and every other stat an even number. If I already had Resilient.

    Elemental Adept: Land druids might consider taking this for fire. It is more readily available as damage from druid spells than any of the other options. And fire is commonly resisted, so there should be something to gain if you use a lot of fire spells. If you cast many cold spells, this is an even better choice, with more resists.

    Healer: This is highly dependent on when you take it. If you get it early (and play through those levels), it's a very reasonable feat, freeing up spell slots from healing. However, it scales poorly, and there will often be higher priority feats you want first.
    Some people donít notice right off that it can be used on a given target once per rest, so I'll just note that here.

    Inspiring Leader: At first glance this is poor for you. But for land druids who like to conjure beasts, elementals and fey, this could give them some extra durability. Pixies and Sprites could particularly benefit from this, frail as the poor little buggers are.

    Lucky: This is an interesting feat on any character, an extra panic button to press. You will likely feel less pressure than most character types (as you're usually ensconced in a wild shape or guarded by your party's melee), but itís still a nice feature.

    Mage Slayer: If you meet many spellcasters, this could be a worthy choice for wild shapes. In general, Iíd leave this to the all-out melee, though.

    Magic Initiate: For casting, you might pick this for some more cantrips and maybe a useful first level spell. If you pick cleric, you can get Sacred Flame as a decent attack cantrip with your strong wisdom to back it up. It's much more reliable than your druid cantrips. For other classes, you may want to pick something that does not involve saves or attack rolls, as you are unlikely to have sufficient Int or Cha to back it up.
    For a first level spell, Find Familiar could be useful throughout your career, or Feather Fall if you worry about losing a flying form. Look around, there are a lot of options here. You could even pick druid as your spell list if you're desperate for more druid cantrips. Certain first level spells (like Entangle, Faerie Fire and Goodberry) never go out of style.

    Medium Amor Master: A very unlikely choice, but in caster form with a suit of non-metal medium armour (such as dragon scale mail) and dex 16, this can actually be a good feat.

    Mobile: Generally, you should have pretty decent mobility between wild shaping and spells like Longstrider. But there are cases where another 10í of movement can make a great deal of difference. Being able to avoid opportunity attacks by making an attack yourself can be nice for wild shapes, but probably not worth a whole feat. Soaking up damage should be your speciality, anyway.

    Observant: The 5-point bonus to passive perception is a great boon - if the DM uses (and lets you use) passive checks. If you scout ahead often, this goes double. The +1 to wisdom is the main reason this is an attractive feat, but only as long as it fits in your stat advancement scheme.

    Polearm Master: Though you can use this with Shillelagh, that cantrip stops being a good option around level 5 if you don't find ways to attack more than once per round. It could also have a niche if you know you won't be playing much past 4, but then you might want to play a moon druid if you're looking to take advantage of strong low level options.

    Resilient: Taking this for Constitution is a good choice. Con is probably the most common saving throw made by spellcasters, as it is made to maintain Concentration. This one actually get better the higher level you are.

    Savage Attacker: One of the few ways to up wild shape damage. Many forms attack only once per turn, and very few more than twice, so this affects a large percentage of their damage rolls. Be aware that the amount gained is mathematically not very much, but it is likely to feel pretty good at table.

    Sentinel: For wild shapes, this is probably a good choice. When your job is to keep the enemy away from your partyís squishies, this feat is very good at just that.

    Skilled: Depending on what you want your character to be able to do, and what the partyís needs are, this could be a useful choice.

    Skulker: On a stealthy druid, this may have its place. Dim light is what most darkvision works as, so the two work well together.

    Tough: The usefulness of this feat depends very much on how it is interpreted. If this adds 2 hp per level (and whose level, yours or the animalís?) to your wild shape, it may well be worth taking. The sage says it doesn't work that way. Otherwise, it could still be worth taking, at least for druids with poor Con. It could mean something like +20% hp.

    War Caster: The advantage on those important saving throws to maintain concentration is the real thing here, especially so for Moon druids. Caster forms may also get some mileage out of the other bits, clearing up any issues about casting spells while using a shield.
    Generally speaking it shouldn't be a problem, as you can sheathe or draw a weapon as part of your action. But if you want to have a particular (probably magical) thing in one hand both before and after casting, and a shield strapped on the other (and why wouldn't you want a shield?), you won't have to worry about needing a hand free, or ending up with an empty hand you'd rather were filled. This is very technical and borders on pedantry, and some DMs won't be bothered with it to begin with.
    You may want to consider taking Resilient first, if your proficiency bonus is big enough by the time. Advantage is approximately worth +3.3, meaning you'll likely take this feat before picking up Resilient, which gives you proficiency (+2 to +6 as you level). In the end, you're likely to want both, as they are good (if boring) options.
    Last edited by hymer; 2017-09-25 at 02:34 AM.
    My D&D 5th ed. Druid Handbook - My D&D 5th ed. Campaign Wiki

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Feb 2012

    Default 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon Post 2

    Spoiler: The Roles of a Druid
    Being a full caster with some extra goodies tagged on, with low dependence on stats, druids are remarkably versatile. The druid can fill many, many roles with varying degrees of competence.

    Battlefield Control and Debuff: Druids have quite good spells that accomplish these things, starting right at level one with Entangle and Faerie Fire. Often enough, druid BC spells also have a debuff or damage element (or even all three, see the Whirlwind spell in the Elemental Evil supplement for a particularly amusing example), but you will generally pay with your Concentration. There are a few non-Concentration BC spells (Speak with Plants funnily enough, and Plant Growth).

    Buffing: Most buff spells are Concentration spells, so buffing isnít what it used to be. But there are a handful or so non-Concentration buff spells in the druid list (like Longstrider, Freedom of Movement, and Regenerate), and several good Concentration buffs. For out of combat, Enhance Ability and Pass without Trace stand out.
    You can also buff indirectly, using conjured minions to do your Concentrating for you. While this limits your buffing options to what your minions can do, it is (partially at least) a way to get past the Concentration issue.

    Damage Dealing: While druids do have some blasting spells in their arsenal (especially if you play with the Elemental Evil spells), druid damage spells often work rather slowly, or do less damage but with an additional effect. As a consequence, druids can do some blasting, but their style is not generally as time efficient as stronger blaster classes.
    Moon druids are generally mediocre damage dealers at best. There are notable exceptions (particularly levels 2-4), and you can sometimes combine a damage over time spell with a wild shape, constituting a moon druidís burst capacity. But in general the wild shapes do not compare well to expert at-will damage dealers, particularly if those get magical weapons.
    Druid combat cantrips are also mediocre at best in damage dealing.
    It seems that druids in general are designed to outlast opponents and gradually wear them down, rather than taking them out in quick bursts.
    There is one way druids can compete on damage dealing, however, and thatís by minionmancy. See below.

    Damage Sponge: In general, and particularly at the right levels, the moon druid is an unparalleled stack of hit points (level 2 and level 20 being the most notorious - but mostly early on with plenty of options for wild shaping the highest CR they are capable of). It depends mostly on the wild shape forms available, but also on what spells you have to back them up with. Defensive buffs like Barkskin, Protection from Energy and Stoneskin can, when used at the right time, squeeze a lot of extra mileage out of those wild shape hit points. And to add to that, you can of course heal those extra hit points with bonus actions.
    Land druids need to have external damage sponges to be workable here. See under minionmancy below.

    Face: While lacking Expertise for double proficiency, druids can still be decent party faces. Insight is a class skill, and you will have good wisdom to use it. Picking up Persuasion (or, if you prefer, Deception or Intimidate) shouldnít be too hard. You can also enhance your social skills with spells (Charm Person, Enhance Ability). While charisma is not a key ability for druids, you could invest in it easier than most classes that donít depend on charisma. Druids are not very stat dependent, especially Moon druids.

    Healing and Restoration: Druids have access to spells that heal (some with splendid spell slot economy, like Goodberry and Conjure Woodland Beings for dryads), and most of those that remove conditions (Lesser and Greater Restoration, Dispel Magic). A group can generally get by on druid restoration. Moon druids are somewhat at a disadvantage as emergency healers, as any emergency is likely to see them in wild shape. Druids as healers could do with a backup healer in the party, or better still they could play that role to a Life Cleric.

    Minionmancy: Druids make first rate minionmancers in 5e, competing only with wizards for the top spot. There are many spells in the druid list that can give you minions. Conjured allies are splendid spell slot economy and nicely versatile. The Conjure X spells are the obvious mainstays, and you can use Planar Binding on conjured elementals. Depending on your DM, you can also use spells like Animal Friendship, Charm Person and Awaken to round up some extra friends before the fighting begins.

    Scouting/Stealth: Between innocuous wild shapes and Pass without Trace, every druid is an able infiltrator and scout from level 3. Having proficiency in Stealth, the Skulker feat, and/or a stealthy race can stretch this further. Land circle spells like Invisibility and Gaseous Form are also possibilities. Dealing with traps and locks may be a bit of a bother, though bypassing them can often be done (very small or supple wild shape; shapes that can burrow, earth glide, fly or climb; using Stoneshape spells, etc.). You can use conjured minions (flying and invisible pixies or sprites are quite good) and charmed or otherwise friendly beasts (and maybe Beast Sense) to do your scouting for you. And finally you have a few divination spells that can do a lot of scouting, like Scrying and Commune with Nature.

    Spell Slot Economy: Druids have quite a few spells that heal or hurt big numbers for their level, but slowly. Goodberry is a cumbersome healing spell, but it heals a big number of hit points. Flaming Sphere takes some time to get going, but it can deal a lot of damage over its duration. Druids also get some spells that give you something to do for a while without expending further spell slots, like Call Lightning and Sunbeam. Using Conjure X spells can potentially give you a lot of action for a single spell slot.

    Utility: Between wild shape and being a prepared caster, druids can cover a lot of ground as they level up. They can teleport, fly, climb, go underwater, shape earth and stone, talk to plants, change the weather, scry, and many more things. They also get basic healing and debuff removal, though not to the degree of the cleric.

    Spoiler: Regarding Concentration

    The strongest spells are generally limited by requiring concentration. Since you can only have one spell with concentration running at any given time, there are two basic approaches:
    You can keep concentration generally free, and then use it as the need arises. Battlefield control spells like Entangle and Spike Growth wonít last past the encounter, e.g.
    The other way to go about it, is to find a spell that will last a good long while, and depend on that. Conjure Various and buffs like Barkskin and Protection from Energy can be cast well in advance, and as long as you can maintain concentration you can rely on their very considerable advantages.

    As usual, land druids and moon druids have each their own approach to the question. Moon druids may start the adventuring day in caster form, relying on the bonus action shift to wild shape to avoid losing precious combat rounds. That way, the moon druid can cast some early spells if the situation calls for it, but once shifted is likely to remain in wild shape as long as possible. If the group take many short rests, the moon druids become more versatile in this regard, much better able to use both spells and wild shape resources.

    With this in mind, the moon druid is likely to prefer long-lasting buffs over BC or summoning. Since the moon druidís place tends to be on the front line, a defensive buff is exactly what they need, as it both protects their hit point pool and makes it easier for them to maintain concentration.
    Once concentration is lost, itís time for the moon druid to evaluate whether itís worth it to drop wild shape (as a bonus action), get some spell with concentration up, and then use the second (and until level 20 final) wild shape of the rest. It likely won't be worth doing in the middle of a fight, but there will be exceptions.

    Land druids have a more flexible approach. Since they generally hang back in the party, and are less likely to feel compelled to keep a wild shape, they can better afford to spend their concentration on other things. A summoning or controlling druid will likewise prefer to spend their concentration on spells that will keep them safe, but they are much better able to recover from those cases when concentration does get lost. Another batch of summons or a fresh BC spell is just an action away. Dropping a wild shape is also less of a loss for land druids, whose wild shapes are weaker anyway. In addition, due to their usual role in the party, land druids are less likely to lose concentration in the first place.

    Thereís nothing inherently preventing moon druids from, say, summoning a bunch of bears, turn into a bear, and then hang back while the summons keep them safe (except that summons respond to verbal commands, and you can't speak as a bear). The druid just wonít be doing as much to stop the enemy as s/he would, if they were on the frontline, where the wild shape can attack. But being on the frontline would risk the summons.
    Likewise, a land druid may well find occasion to put on a wild shape with a big hp pool and get in harmís way for a while. Itís just not generally the most efficient use of time, as land druids' wild shapes are weaker, and their spells more plentiful.

    Two closing remarks on Concentration: Casting a spell with a longer casting time than an action takes up your concentration while casting - and that includes Ritual casting. And dropping Concentration ends the spell, which takes no action, giving a bit of extra flexibility to Concentration spells. It can be done outside your own turn (which is how you lose Concentration to damage, e.g.). The latter bit is surmised rather than stated outright, so the DM may disagree.

    Spoiler: Picking Prepared Spells
    See the Quickspell Guide in Post 3 for concrete advice on which prepared spells to pick.
    The basic formula you need to contend with is druid level + wisdom bonus spells prepared at a given time. You can change your prepared spells after a long rest, and doing so takes one minute per spell level prepared.
    As a rule of thumb, you have two spells to prepare per spell level available, and your wisdom modifier for bonus spells.
    Land druid spell preparation is less famished, as they keep their circle spells (two at level 3, rising gradually to eight at level 9) prepared in addition to those from the general formula. This gives them some leeway to be flexible with their chosen preparation list. See the comparison of land spell lists in the previous post.

    When picking spells, the aim is to provide yourself with the most useful options. If you knew exactly what would happen that day, this would be easy.
    Spells tend to range between versatile and situational. Take a spell like Faerie Fire, which can be used to counter invisibility. This is a pretty useful thing to be able to do, and with a first level spell slot to boot. But what if you have no reason to counter invisibility? Itís not every day you come across invisible enemies. But Faerie Fire has a strong use beyond dealing with invisibility: It gives advantage to those who attack the targets of the spell. This duality of purpose makes Fearie Fire a very versatile spell, and one you will rarely regret preparing (unless your approach to concentration dictates otherwise Ė see the discussion on Concentration earlier in this post for that).
    Other spells are highly situational, and should only be prepared when you have reason to think youíll need them. A spell like Water Breathing can potentially open a whole slew of options for the druid and the party. Having it on your class spell list is a clear point in favour of the druid. But in most campaigns you will cast the spell a handful of times or less. Itís a spell that should be prepared very judiciously.

    Another factor to consider, when youíre choosing your prepared spells, is what you are expected to be doing for the group. Dealing damage in combat is essential for a group, but less so for an individual in the group. You should have an attack cantrip or two to fall back on, and probably let the rogue and the fighter (if you have them in the party) beat the enemy down, rather than fill your list with every damage-dealing spell you can. If the party wizard focuses on summoning, you should probably prepare something in a different vein, or your summons could be getting in each othersí way. If the group likes to rely on stealth, youíll be everyoneís favourite if you cast Pass without Trace. And so on.
    Evaluate your spellsí performance at the end of the day, so you can rotate those out that donít live up to your expectations. Bringing some of them up in discussion with your party is often a good idea (and an opportunity to roleplay). You may have thought little of your Daylight spell, but perhaps the party archer thought it was great to be able to get some distance to your foes. Or maybe you thought keeping a water elemental was great, but the sorcererís player noticed how close you really came to losing control of it, and the thing kept getting in the way of his area of effect spells. Maybe heíd be happier with a fire elemental, letting him cut loose with his big fire spells without worrying about damaging your summons.
    While you should not let the group dictate to you any more than you should dictate to them, making plans and putting your collective efforts in line will make your party more succesful - or just less dead.

    If you find yourself with spell slots to use, and nothing to use them on, take note and learn from the experience. One of your greatest advantages as a druid is your freedom in changing your arsenal and tool box from day to day.

    Spoiler: On Spells that Restore Hit Points

    Ideally, you should not need to heal at all, but you probably wonít be playing in an ideal world. Bad luck, bad planning and bad blood may each make it necessary to heal. At level one and two, youíll have three spells that can do so; Cure Wounds, Goodberry and Healing Word. Which ones should you spend your precious preparation and slots on?

    Goodberry is generally the healing spell out of combat. It heals 10 hp for a first level spell slot. These can be distributed among anyone who is able to take actions as you like. This insures against overhealing and allows filling up the gaps, but it does not help unconscious characters. Goodberry does not scale with higher level spell slots, but throughout your career, it is a possible way for you to spend your first level spell slots. In addition, thereís the bit about anyone eating a goodberry not needing to eat anything more that day. You can feed 10 people per spell slot indefinitely.
    This spell is very useful for a moon druid. You can cast this spell early in the day, and still get some healing done to other people without dropping out of wild shape.

    On the opposite extreme is Healing Word. It heals 1d4 + wis modifier with a bonus action, making it very useful for in-combat healing even if it heals less than the other options. Healing Word also has a bit of range, and it needs only a Verbal component to cast. It scales rather poorly, adding only 1d4 per spell level.
    Moon druids use their bonus action to wild shape, meaning there can be something of a conflict here for them if the DM takes the position that they can't also shift with a normal action.

    In between is Cure Wounds, which will heal 1d8 + wis modifier with an action, a touch and a first level slot. It scales far better with higher level spell slots than Healing Word, but when cast from a first level slot, the difference is not too big.

    In summary, youíll likely come to rely more on Cure Wounds for healing both in and out of battle as you advance to middle levels. But at the lowest levels, Healing Word will likely be the better choice, at least for land druids. Later, its poor scaling makes it hard to get enough healing from it to make it able to salvage a bad position (and that is after all the primary purpose of in-combat healing). You will want to get or keep people on their feet long enough to get their actions. Out of combat, Goodberry gives the most hit points for your spell slot (even at +5 wisdom CW heals on average 9.5 to Goodberryís stable 10), and remains something to consider for your first level spell slots indefinitely.
    At level 7, you can use Conjure Woodland Beings to summon two Dryads, each of which can cast three Goodberry spells, which makes for very cost-effective (but also very slow) 60 hit points of healing (and that's just part of what the dryads can do for you).
    At level 11 you get Heal, which is a very efficient way to recover hit points in or out of combat. Healing 70 hit points with an action, it is over twice as efficient as casting Cure Wounds from a sixth level slot, and it has range to boot.

    Spoiler: On Beasts

    If you donít have the stats of beasts, you can download PDFs containing them here. There are some goodies (such as the polar bear variant) only to be found in the MM, but all the basic stats are in the PDFs.
    There are more beasts in post 5 from VGtM and TftYP.

    Two things I wonít be going into here are aquatic creatures and how likely it is that you will have seen the beast I'm discussing (as that is highly campaign dependent, but still something to keep in mind). Conjure Animals has no restrictions on animals seen, but Wild Shape does.
    Donít forget, the poorer the AC of your wild shape, the more attractive is Barkskin, as it sets your AC to 16 (which is better than nearly all beast forms, probably no coincidence).
    If you have Darkvision and intend to Wild Shape into something with Darkvision, you should ask your DM for an interpretation on what happens. The reason is, most beast Darkvision is shorter than PC race Darkvision, so which one do you get?
    And finally, don't forget the delayed ability to get wild shape fly and swim speeds (lvl 8 and 4, respectively), regardless of a form's CR.

    CR 0 creatures are not likely to be much use in combat, but they will still have some uses for scouting, blending in, or utility. A few special mentions:

    Badger: Burrow speed.

    Cat: A common sight in many places, which makes it a useful spying form. It also has climb speed.

    Crab: Amphibious and sporting a swim speed. Also has blindsight.

    Deer, hyena: Fastest ground speeds at this tier, though not as fast as the CR ľ Riding Horse.

    Frog: Amphibious and a swim speed. Also has darkvision.

    Owl: Excellent flyer, including flyby, darkvision, keen senses and a fast flight speed.

    Tressym (SKT p. 242): Fly and climb speeds, detect invisibility and poison. As a winged cat, they draw rather a lot of attention, which is generally bad.

    CR 1/8 beasts are generally lacking in combat prowess, but are less vulnerable than CR 0. Two worth pointing out:

    Flying Snake: Extremely versatile creature with both fly and swim speeds, blindsight, flyby and even a respectable damage capability for the tier, coupled with very good aim.

    Giant Crab: Like the smaller cousin, it sports blindsight, swim speed and it is amphibious. Its defences are also noteworthy, with better native AC than youíll find in CR 1/4. With its grappling claws, it is a possible combat form if you like control better than damage, despite the CR.

    In the CR 1/4 tier, we find the first combat forms of the land druid. A small swarm of eight of these creatures can be summoned with Conjure Animals and a third level spell slot. Some standouts:

    Draft Horse: If you need muscle and can apply it with the equine form, hereís strength 18 on a large animal (carrying capacity 540 lbs) for you. At a pinch, this beast can defend itself, with its decent hp and damage. It has AC 10, however.

    Giant Badger: The basic damage dealer of the tier, but not particularly resilient. Sports burrowing and darkvision.

    Giant Poisonous Snake: If youíre up against enemies not resistant to poison (whether directly or via good con save), this is the damage dealer of the tier. It has poor hp but the best AC youíll see outside giant crabs and ankylosaurs. It even has a bit of blindsight.

    Giant Wolf Spider: Spider climb and web senses, and an impressive +7 Stealth. 10' blindsight and 60' darkvision. Not a straightforward combat form, being rather squishy, but it has it uses.

    Panther: A fast animal with fine climb speed, but its punch is poor in toe-to-toe slugging and if its pounce fails to come off in charges. As usual for large cats, it has expertise in Stealth for a total of +6.

    Riding Horse: The fastest land speed you are likely to find.

    Wolf: Mediocre fighter and somewhat fragile, but comes into its own when fighting alongside other melee. You can help them by knocking enemies prone (make sure your ally has their turn between you and the enemy), and they can help you by activating your pack tactics.

    CR Ĺ is accessed at level 4 for land druid wild shape, meaning it may still make good sense to put on an animal form and fight, especially when youíre low on spells. Conjure Animals can get you four of these for a third level slot if you want a bunch of apes to pelt your enemies, or if you need warhorses for your party. Defensively, everyone here is very similar, with 19hp and 11 or 12 AC.

    Ape: Decent all-rounder, and the only wild shape that has a ranged attack, though the melee attack option is twice as effective. Thereís also a climb speed to help you if you come up against enemies with strong melee but weak missile capability.

    Black Bear: Slightly faster than the ape, and potentially harder hitting. But it aims worse than anyone else in the tier (don't ask me why).

    Crocodile: If you have a speed boost to overcome the sluggish ground movement, you may like the grappling effect of the bite. Crocs have the least impressive basic attack damage to compensate for that advantage.

    Giant Goat: When charging it deals as much damage as the ape, and it has the same AC and hp, with faster movement. It is only actually better when you want to knock people prone or avoid the same happening to you (well, no help against shoving, unless your DM decides to be a little generous with the 'surefooted' ability). Or when you encounter someone guarding a bridge: Have the bard tell them this tale, while you take this form.

    Warhorse: In a successful charge, the warhorse deals impressive damage, and decent enough for just standing and stomping on people. Very fast, but poor AC. Note the MM errata that fixes its to-hit to +6.

    CR 1 is where the moon druids start their wild shape. Land druids can shift to this tier from level 8. Conjure animals can bring two of these along with you for a third level spell slot.

    Brown Bear: All-round damage dealer, strong hp, good movement, lousy AC. When in doubt, brown bear.

    Crag Cat (SKT p. 240): Very similar to the tiger below (the crag cat has one bettter dex modifier, three fewer hp), but with some anti-magic goodies added on. Nondetection is something otherwise hard to get, spell turning is funny.

    Dire Wolf: Good hp and AC, a little on the low end damage wise. Has pack tactics, so works best in groups. Pretty fast.

    Female Steeder (Out of the Abyss p. 231): Decent defences and a venomous attack. Not the most obvious of combat forms (though not terrible, either), but between being able to jump a staggering 90', spider climb, 120' darkvision and +7 stealth, you may well find uses for this tarantula form.

    Giant Eagle: On the wing, this is the fastest beast form in the MM. It is also the most durable flying beast, able to deal respectable damage for the tier, even compared to ground beasts.

    Giant Hyena: Big hp pool, decent damage, pretty fast and with the interesting Rampage ability, which lets you run a bit and bite again if you down an opponent.

    Giant Octopus: Theoretically possible choice, but many tables (including mine) would consider this cheese as well as lacking the right narrative tone. If your table feels otherwise: Huge hp pool, able to hold its breath out of water for a while, 15 foot reach and so able to grapple enemies where they canít hit back. 10í land movement makes it something of a push in many situations.

    Giant Spider: Fragile but good AC. Has Spider Climb and various web abilities. Also deals decent damage against those who arenít too resistant to poison. A bit of blindsight and 60í of darkvision.

    Giant Toad: Solid hp, interesting choice for swallowing your opponents as a means of battlefield control. What happens if you revert to caster form after swallowing an orc? I guess there's only one way to find out.

    Lion: If they can get all their little ducks in a row, lions are pretty good. They pounce, have pack tactics, good mobility and +6 stealth. But when they fail, they deal unimpressive damage and are fairly vulnerable.

    Tiger: A heavier version of the lion, less mobile and vulnerable, slightly more likely to deal good damage solo. Has darkvision for some reason, and the customary +6 Stealth for a big cat.

    CR 2 is the form the land druid never wild shapes. The damage output becomes more important to the moon druid here, as the other melee get their second attack around now, and the druid is rather stuck for ways to increase damage beyond picking animals that deal more. Conjure animals can bring one of these beasts to your aid for a third level spell slot.

    Allosaurus: If the pounce can be made correctly, this dino deals impressive damage, but itís a gamble as it leads with its lesser attack in a pounce. Allosaurus has AC as can be expected (i.e. poor), but a good hp pool. The real advantage to this creature is the movement rate (or the coolness factor - itís a goddamn carnosaur), but between its mediocre slugging damage and risky charge, Iíd probably pass this one by for other options.

    Giant Boar: The poor cousin of this tier. Itís simply surpassed in every regard, having only the passive/responsive Relentless to fall back on to make it special.

    Giant Constrictor Snake: Huge; but maybe the DM will cut you some slack because of its suppleness and shape. Impressive hp pool, mediocre damage, but does hinder the target considerably, with a fairly high DC to get out of its coils.

    Giant Elk: Huge; four-footed, lumbering brute. If you ever wanted to stomp people to death, hereís your chance, because the giant elk is good at it - at least against prone enemies. It has poor hp but compensates somewhat with the best AC in the tier (don't ask me why). In a slugging match it is highly dependent on the enemy being prone for its damage to be good. Setting someone's speed to 0 means they can't get up from prone, and getting them prone in the first place can be done e.g. by charging them, allies using Shove, or maybe summoning some (dire) wolves.

    Plesiosaurus: Another case of an aquatic animal which can hold its breath above water and has a bit of land movement. If your DM is like me, s/he wonít like the image. If your table is fine with it, plesiosaurus has huge amounts of hp and decent AC for the tier, and it even deals reasonable damage with reach.

    Polar Bear: If you can get the cave bear version, those are strictly better. That said, this bear is the glass cannon of the tier. It deals big, reliable damage, but has poor hp and AC. When in doubt, polar bear.

    Rhinoceros: The reliable charger of the tier. Not great on hp or AC, but can lay down good smack when charging. In a slugging match, it does just a tad better than the allosaurus because it hits better, but it does not hold a candle to elks or bears.

    Sabre-toothed Tiger: Very much like the allosaurus; slightly less risky in the charge (leading with its good attack unlike the allosaurus), but also slightly less powerful in slugging matches. +6 Stealth for being a large cat.

    CR 3 has only three beasts, one of which is a whale. Moon druids can take these forms from level 9, but they get elemental shapes at level 10, leaving a rather small window - although elemental shapes do use up both your wildshape Ďchargesí, so thereís that. CR 3 is too much for Conjure Animal, but Conjure Fey could let you summon from this list. It could do much better for you, though (CR up to the spell slot used to cast it, and not just beasts). Still, for what itís worth:

    Ankylosaurus: Huge. This dino has solid defences for a beast, and an attack that knocks opponents prone, something that may make your melee allies happy but makes the archers annoyed. Does not deal more damage than CR 2 bears and elks, but has better AC and far more hp.

    Giant scorpion: A bit of a gamble. Hp pool comparable to CR 2, aims like CR 1. But it has AC 15, and can deal good damage if it does manage to hit enemies not too resistant to poison. In most situations, it wonít compare well to CR 2 bears or elks. The grappling claws may be useful under the right circumstances.

    CR 4 consists of the Huge elephant, which you can summon with Conjure Fey (though I don't see why you would, stats-wise). In a slugging match, they do slightly worse than CR 2 bears, despite having better to-hit - they do a little better against prone targets. But they also have the option of charging, which leads with tusks and forces a pitiable DC 12 strength save on the victim to avoid activating a stomp (which is where the better part of elephant damage lies).
    The elephant has slightly more hp than the CR 3 options, slightly less than CR 5, as could be expected. It has worse AC than those two tiers.

    CR 5 is a small club with three MM members. One is aquatic and shanít be mentioned here. You could summon one of these with Conjure Fey if you don't fancy a mammoth.

    Giant crocodile: Huge. Actually able to deal more damage than elementals. You canít tail slap people you have in your mouth, but releasing a grapple doesnít cost an action, so you should be able to lay down the smack on a single target if you so choose. Tail slap first (ideally knocking the target down while you're at it), then put your enemy in your mouth with a bite, and keep it there for its turn. If you grapple a prone opponent, they can't get up again until they break the grapple. Unimpressive hp, and AC above average for beasts (i.e. poor).

    Hulking Crab (SKT p. 240): Huge. The only beast I've seen that has a native AC (17) better than Barkskin (16). Shell camouflage is interesting in that it takes Int, not Perception, to see through this 'stealth', which can be used in the open - open water at least, depending in the DM.
    The giant croc has harder control, more hp, and better damage due to hitting better, so it won't be for those reasons you want this crab.

    Triceratops: Huge. More hp than the croc, one worse AC. Hits slightly better, but deals much less damage in a slugging match. Its charge leads with the good attack, but the DC to avoid being knocked prone (and potentially get stomped on for about 22 damage) is an unimpressive 13.

    CR 6 is another single-elephantidae tier. Conjure Fey can give you a a Huge mammoth, but don't lose concentration or you'll wind up in traction. Summoning an elemental with Conjure Elemental is probably a better use of your resources.

    The mammoth has hp like an earth elemental, though not the AC or the weapon resistances. It has an impressive +10 to-hit (two points better than the best air and earth elementals; though not so impressive compared to any dedicated melee comrades you have). Without that, the mammoth deals slightly less damage in a slugging match than the elementals (and still less than the giant crocodile) unless fighting a prone enemy. The mammoth is a charger, however, and the DC to avoid being knocked prone (and probably trampled for another 26 damage) is a healthy 18.
    Fortunately for moon druids, by now they have Beast Spells, and can cast many spells in wild shape, so some of the earlier forms come into prominence when damage dealing becomes less crucial.

    Spoiler: On Elementals
    Elementals are a druid thing. You can summon them with Conjure Minor Elementals from level 7 and Conjure Elemental from level 9 (1 minute casting time for those; beware of losing your concentration with the latter!); and moon druids can wild shape into an elemental from level 10.
    There are not a lot of elementals to choose from, but letís take a look at what we have. CME can summon CRs 2 and below, so Iíll be looking at those tiers. Then there are the four elementals that need looking at from a summoning and a wild shape perspective. And finally, you can cast Conjure Elemental with a higher level spells slot, and get stronger elementals. That boils down to two CR 6s.
    There is another elemental in post 5 from VGtM.

    Elementals come with an array of immunities and resistances (and the occasional vulnerability). I wonít be talking a lot about them here, unless the comparison needs them to be pointed out. But they are something that sets elementals apart from your beast summons, and they (along with other specials) are probably the reason you have to use a higher level spell to summon the same CR elementals compared to beasts.
    Elementals also come with darkvision built in, with a few exceptions (of which only the Azer is one you can summon).

    CR ľ contains three mephits. All mephits have flight. You can get up to eight summons here, but the choices are rather lacking.

    Mud Mephit: Slow, no spellcasting, low damage output, but the biggest hp pool of any mephit. The best use of these is probably to send them in close to use their restraining breath and death burst to tie the enemy down. Expect to lose a lot of them, but that would hardly be catastrophic. Not likely to be the better option here.

    Smoke Mephit: Pretty weak casting ability (dancing lights), but its breath and death burst can blind. They can take less of a beating than mud mephits, but must get close to the enemy to do much of anything. Again, not the obvious choice of summons.

    Steam Mephit: Fewer hp, AC 10, poor to-hit and only reasonable damage. Steam mephits can cast Blur to shore up their horrible defences, but that's the best I have to say about them.

    CR Ĺ has another three mephits and the flightless magmin. You can get up to four summons from this tier.

    Magmin: A glass cannon with single digit hp. The best use of them is to send them in against enemies with no resistance to fire and watch them blow everything up, including themselves. You and your allies are at risk of getting caught in the explosions, so watch out.

    Dust Mephit: The smallest hp pool of any mephit, able to cast sleep 1/day. Under the right circumstances it could be a useful summon for that, or because their breath and death burst are blinding effects. But generally speaking, they are not the most attractive option.

    Ice Mephit: Able to cast fog cloud 1/day, so you can get four fog clouds and someone to cast them and concentrate on them for you. Might be worth it. Isnít a strong combatant, dealing a little damage with its breath and death burst.

    Magma Mephit: These guys are probably the best choice, at least if you fight enemies subject to Heat Metal, because they can each cast one. While their breath and death burst only deal damage, that damage is at least comparable to Magmins. Once youíre done using Heat Metal, send the mephit into the thick of it, but be sure to warn your allies before the explosions.

    CR 1 contains only the fire snake (look under Ďsalamanderí in the MM, p. 265), which you get a pair of. If they can hit, and if the enemy is not resistant to fire, they can deal some reasonable damage, but they are only about as durable as mephits.

    CR 2 contains two creatures, and you get one of your choice for your fourth level spell slot and concentration.

    Azer: A fairly decent fighter with AC 17, they suffer from mediocre hit points and no resistance to weapon attacks. While they have no darkvision, they are always illuminated, which can make them obvious diversions, or rain on the rogueís parade.

    Gargoyle: Over half a hundred hp and resistance to weapon attacks makes the gargoyle a durable, flying tank if you need that. It does not deal very impressive damage (a single CR 1 fire snake does better, unless thereís fire resistance involved), but if you speak Terran (it obeys your commands because of the spell, but it canít report to you via that bond), you may be able to use it as scout - for a living piece of ground, it is pretty fast at 60í fly speed.

    The four CR 5 basic elementals can be found on pages 124 and 125 in the MM. You can summon any one with the Conjure Elemental spell.

    Air Elemental: Swift, flying, able to get through cracks, packing a punch equal to the earth elemental; this could well be your preferred choice for summons or wild shaping. This is the fastest, most durable flying form moon druids can pick, something to consider at level 18 when you get Beast Spells. The downside is the Ďmereí 90 hp in this elementalís pool. Whirlwind is the most straightforward AoE damage dealing elementals get (and the most fun), but it does come with a recharge, and hasn't the control/debuff effects of the water elemental or the liberal application of the fire elemental.
    Its very mobility makes the Air Elemental a greater threat if you lose control of it, as you likely wonít be able to outrun it, and it will be hard to keep it from delivering its strong punches to your face if it feels inclined to attack you.

    Earth Elemental: Tough as nails with 126 hp and AC 17, and packing punches only equalled by the air elemental. To compensate, it is fairly slow, but with the abilities Burrowing and Siege Monster, few circumstances can stop it cold. If your role is to tank, this is the obvious choice of wild shape. If youíre summoning elementals, the slow earth elemental is less likely to be able to catch you should you lose control, and its durability makes it a less risky investment of your resources. Just mind any slow party members if you lose concentration; dwarves are known for holding grudges.

    Fire Elemental: Low AC and poor aim makes this an elemental you pick for (at least) one of two reasons: Youíre expecting lots of fire and want immunity; and/or you expect to fight lots of lesser beings you can use the elementalís Fireform on. That ability forces multiple creatures to take damage or spend actions to avoid it. This is caused by moving, leaving the elemental free to hammer away as well. If you use this in wild shape, this is a great use for the Mobility feat.
    Fire Elemental is something of a niche choice (you must be especially wary of anyone resistant or immune to fire), but certainly not without its uses.

    Water Elemental: Somewhat less durable than the earth elemental, and with a little less outright punch than the two top hitters, the water elemental needs to find its niche in water (90í swim speed is pretty impressive) or in using its Whelm. This can grapple and drown foes. Taking cold damage reduces the elemental's mediocre land speed to 10, so this should be taken into account. The Ray of Frost cantrip nails a water elemental to the floor when it hits. Knowing this could be useful if you summoned it and lost your concentration.

    CR 6 elementals can be summoned by using a sixth level spell slot for Conjure Elemental.

    Galeb Duhr: Most notable for its ability to animate rocks, it can, for ten rounds, let you have what amounts to three of it. Outside of that, it is similar, but rather inferior, to the earth elemental.

    Invisible Stalker: Not as powerful, manoeuvrable or AoE capable as an air elemental, but it does have the advantage of being permanently invisible. It also has the interesting Faultless Tracker ability, which you can use to find specfic individuals. Speaking Auran will make it a lot easier to work with this summon.

    Spoiler: On Fey
    Between Conjure Woodland Beings (spell level 4) and Conjure Fey (spell level 6, 1 minute casting time; lose concentration and they go hostile and may turn on you), you can summon all the fey creatures in the MM to work for you. Thatís not a big list, however, so Iíll go through each of them.
    There are more fey in post 5 from VGtM and TftYP.

    Blink Dog (ľ): A pack of eight for a fourth level slot, up to twentyfour for an eighth level. Pretty durable for the CR, and with the ability to teleport short distances and attack in the same turn. Their sheer offensive abiity is less than the CR ľ wolf, and the dogs have no knockdown or pack tactics like the beast - but it does have twice the hp. The main advantage here is obviously the blink, allowing the dog to deal easily with terrain, obstacles and enemy formations, and it helps out with crowding issues. Certainly has its uses.

    Pixie (ľ): You can get eight to twentyfour depending on slot level. They can cast such powerful spells as Polymorph and Confusion, and useful ones like Dispel Magic and Entangle, and some others you may want. If you can keep them alive, this is a hugely versatile and powerful choice. They can also scout for you if you speak Sylvan, as they are invisible when they arenít concentrating on spells. They also fly, albeit not fast.

    Sprite (ľ): Eight, sixteen or twentyfour (depending on spell slot level) of these little archers will do little damage, but their arrows are poisoned, applying that condition if the target fails to save. If you have eight, and half of them hit your target, thatís four DC 10 saves to be made. And if the save is missed by five or more, the target falls asleep. While not nearly as versatile as the Pixies, there are things to be said for summoning a group of sprites. They also make good scouts, (being invisible and flying) and they speak Common and can report back.

    Satyr (Ĺ): Four satyrs for a fourth level slot make pretty durable fighting summons compared to CRĹ beasts. Their damage dealing isnít so impressive, but they can do it at good range, which beasts generally lack. They also get advantage on saves against magical spells and effects, making them less vulnerable on the battlefield as you get higher level and see more enemies that use these.

    Dryad (1): Two dryads make decent spellcasting batteries and utility help. They can cast three Goodberry spells (effectively letting you heal 60hp out of combat) and three Entangles for you, and one each of Barkskin and Pass without Trace (+10 to stealth checks for a group is pretty amazing). They can speak with plants and animals for you, if you speak Elvish or Sylvan. They can defend themselves at a pinch, but are not strong combatants.

    Sea Hag (2): One of these can do some tanking for you, although she doesnít compare too well in that department to CR 2 beasts. But she gets some things to compensate, which may make her a worthwhile consideration.
    She can get people frightened with Horrific Appearance (though not too reliable at DC 11, it is an area effect), and anyone frightened is subject to Death Glare (DC 11 wisdom save or drop to 0 hp Ė if someone in your party likes frightening your foes, this ability gets that much more applicable). Finally, her ability to mask herself with Illusory Apperance may make it easier to bring her places than a cave bear or an allosaurus (in addition to being a good setup to take advantage of Horrific Appearance).

    Green Hag (3): Only available through Conjure Fey, this is not the obvious choice for a summon, unless you are desperate for some minor illusion effects.
    Last edited by hymer; 2017-03-31 at 11:02 AM.
    My D&D 5th ed. Druid Handbook - My D&D 5th ed. Campaign Wiki

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon Post 3

    Spoiler: Equipping a Druid at Level 1
    If youíre going to buy your equipment at level 1, you get 2d4x10gp. You could ask your DM if you get further money to reflect your choice of background (5-25gp), although by RAW you don't get this if you buy your equipment.
    What you need to consider:

    Druidic Focus: You need this to cast spells with a Material component. Cheapest options are 1gp, the most expensive 10gp.

    Offensive melee: If you have the Shillelagh cantrip, all you need is a 1sp Club or 2sp Quarterstaff and youíre set here. Even if you donít, you may not want to spend much more, maybe the 1 or or 2 gp for a Spear (Str high or equal to Dex) or a Dagger (Dex high). A dagger is a good thing to have, anyway. If youíre an elf, consider spending the 10gp on a Short Sword for Dex to melee fighting. If youíre not an elf, still have better Dex than Str, and have enough money to spare, the Scimitar (25gp) has the finesse quality as well.

    Offensive ranged: Even your longest ranged PHB cantrips go a mere 30í, so if nothing else you should get the lowly Sling (1sp) and a Pouch (5sp) for 20 sling bullets (4cp). If your dex is good enough, a ranged weapon will generally do better for you at least until level 5.
    If youíre an elf, you are proficient in stronger ranged weapons: Shortbow (25gp) and Longbow (50gp); or Hand Crossbow (75gp). The bows use arrows from a Quiver (1gp), the crossbow uses bolts from a Case (1gp). 20 pieces of ammo for 1gp for either. If you can afford it after purchasing equipment, you can get one of those options. They may well outperform your cantrips for quite a while, so even if you canít afford them now, keep them in mind for later.

    Armour and shield: Depending on your pecuniary capabilities and your Dex, you will want to pick 10gp Hide (the obvious starter option), 45gp Studded Leather (for the rich and agile) or simple Leather (for the really agile, dex 18+, who can't afford studded leather). A shield is 10gp and well worth it. Even if you intend to use a bow, you want a shield in your pack. But if youíre that hard up for cash, you can leave it off for now.
    If you have access to stuff from Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, look at page 121. For 75gp, you may be able to do something for your AC with a suit of spiked armour, albeit at the cost of disadvantage on Stealth. Maybe something for the future, when you can wild shape for stealth.

    Fire/light: The Produce Flame cantrip may be all you need for now. If you donít have that: A tinderbox (5sp) is a must if you donít have the Druidcraft cantrip (which can also light small fires). If you donít have darkvision, you need to consider buying lamps or lanterns (5sp to 10gp for those options) and oil (1sp per pint) to fuel them. If youíre really hard up for money, torches cost 1cp a piece. Even if you have darkvision, you could consider packing some candles (1cp) at least Ė darkvision is considered dim light and you canít distinguish colours with it.

    Food: With the Goodberry spell on your prepared spell list, you donít really need food in your pack. But itís good to have some for emergencies, to hand over as a gesture of goodwill, to give to animals, etc. Rations are 5sp per day.

    Rope: Someone has to get it. Rope plays a role in many a zany scheme, and has any number of uses for the practically minded. Hemp rope is cheap and heavy (1 gp per 50í), silk rope is expensive and light (10gp per 50í).

    Healerís Kit: 5gp for ten uses, make sure you never run out. This kit stabilizes a dying character with an action with no roll needed. Make sure the whole party can find this in your luggage quickly, just in case youíre the one who needs to be stabilized. Chance to roleplay, too.

    Herbalism Kit: Youíre proficient with this, so spare a thought for it. You likely wonít need it until you want to start producing healing potions. But if you have the money and the carrying capacity, you might as well get a kit now. 5gp.

    Beast of burden: For 8gp you can get a donkey or mule, capable of carrying 420 lbs. Maybe the party should consider buying one or more as a group. Useful for large hauls, more so when some of your party are incapable of transporting themselves.

    More stuff could certainly be bought, but if you have all the above taken care of, you should be all-right. For a discussion of magical items, click here.

    Quickspell Guide
    Here you will find some quick and dirty advice on how to put your prepared spell list together at lower levels. There is separate advice for land and moon druids, but it does not take land druid circle spells into account. Adjust as needed.
    These lists are meant for days of general adventuring with potential for lots of combat. They include the number of spells in it at a glance. Adjust for your wisdom bonus as required. The number of spells in your prepared list is druid level + wisdom bonus.
    Some places you will pick between options, indicated with a /. So when it says Heat Metal/Flaming Sphere, you pick one of those.
    * indicates a spell, which can be cast with higher spell slots for increased effect.

    Spoiler: Quickspell Druid Level 1
    4 spells: Entangle, Faerie Fire, Goodberry, Healing Word*

    Spoiler: Quickspell Druid Level 2
    Land 5
    Detect Magic, Entangle, Faerie Fire, Goodberry, Healing Word*

    Moon 5
    Detect Magic, Entangle, Goodberry, Healing Word*, Longstrider

    Spoiler: Quickspell Druid Level 3
    Land 6
    1: Entangle, Faerie Fire, Goodberry, Cure Wounds*/Healing Word*
    2: Darkvision/Pass without Trace, Heat Metal*/Flaming Sphere*

    Moon 6
    1: Detect Magic, Goodberry, Longstrider
    2: Barkskin, Pass without Trace, Darkvision

    Spoiler: Quickspell Druid Level 4
    Land 8
    1: Entangle, Faerie Fire, Goodberry, Cure Wounds*/Healing Word*
    2: Darkvision, Heat Metal*/Flaming Sphere*, Pass without Trace, Lesser Restoration

    Moon 7
    1: Detect Magic, Goodberry, Longstrider
    2: Barkskin, Pass without Trace, Darkvision, Lesser Restoration

    Spoiler: Quickspell Druid Level 5
    Land 9
    1: Entangle, Faerie Fire, Cure Wounds*/Healing Word*/Goodberry
    2: Darkvision/Pass without Trace, Heat Metal*/Flaming Sphere*, Lesser Restoration
    3: Conjure Animals*, Dispel Magic*, Plant Growth/Speak with Plants

    Moon 8
    1: Detect Magic, Goodberry, Longstrider
    2: Barkskin/Darkvision, Pass without Trace, Lesser Restoration
    3: Dispel Magic*, Protection from Energy

    Spoiler: Quickspell Druid Level 6
    Land 10
    1: Entangle, Faerie Fire, Cure Wounds*/Healing Word*/Goodberry
    2: Darkvision, Pass without Trace, Heat Metal*/Flaming Sphere*, Lesser Restoration
    3: Conjure Animals*, Dispel Magic*, Plant Growth/Speak with Plants

    Moon 9
    1: Detect Magic, Goodberry, Longstrider
    2: Barkskin, Pass without Trace, Darkvision, Lesser Restoration
    3: Dispel Magic*, Protection from Energy

    Spoiler: Quickspell Druid Level 7
    Land 11
    1: Entangle, Faerie Fire, Cure Wounds*/Healing Word*/Goodberry
    2: Darkvision/Pass without Trace, Heat Metal*, Lesser Restoration
    3: Conjure Animals*, Dispel Magic*
    4: Conjure Woodland Beings*, Freedom of Movement, Stoneshape

    Moon 10
    1: Detect Magic, Goodberry, Longstrider
    2: Barkskin, Pass without Trace/Darkvision, Lesser Restoration
    3: Dispel Magic*, Protection from Energy
    4: Freedom of Movement, Stoneshape

    The Moon Druid may find their Wild Shape to be rather ineffective in combat around now, and more so at level 8. If so, pick spells more like a Land Druid until you get sufficiently strong wild shapes.

    Druid Spell Analysis

    Spells I want to comment on are arranged here by level, except most healing spells, which are analyzed under the spoiler ĎOn Spells that Restore Hit Pointsí in post two. A spell having a place here doesnít in itself mean it is good or bad, nor does exclusion mean any of those things. Wall of Stone is a wonderful spell, but it seems so self-explanatory and unsurprising that I canít find much to say about it.
    Usually, spells are commented on when (and an example in parentheses) they are strong (Heat Metal); weak (Dominate Beast); versatile (Conjure Woodland Beings); situational (Tree Stride); surprising for people coming from other editions (Animal Friendship); in need of DM clarification or interpretation (Contagion); unusual for the list (Blight); or when they are very complex, and I want to help in pointing to some options (Polymorph).

    Spoiler: Spells not analyzed here
    1: Cure Wounds, Goodberry, Healing Word (see ĎOn Spells that Restore Hit Pointsí in post two for those three), Jump, Purify Food and Drink
    2: Animal Messenger, Locate Object
    3: Feign Death, Water Breathing
    4: Control Water, Hallucinatory Terrain, Locate Creature
    5: Geas, Greater Restoration, Wall of Stone
    6: Heal (see ĎOn Spells that Restore Hit Pointsí in post two instead)
    7: Mirage Arcane
    8: Antipathy/Sympathy
    9: True Resurrection

    The following is meant for looking up specific spells, rather than general reading. So the entries can be rather lengthy, and yet you will still need to look the spell up in the PHB for a full understanding.

    Spoiler: Spell Level 1
    Animal Friendship, Charm Person: If you have played prior editions, you may find that applying the Ďcharmedí condition doesnít do very much these days. AF and CP spells are not useless, but neither are they easy ways to remove an enemy and add a meat shield to your party in one swoop. Individual DMs may have their own interpretations here. Mostly, these spells augment your social skills and prevent the enemy from attacking you. Therefore, the use of these spells has a lot to do with just how much social skills can do at your table.

    Create or Destroy Water: Drinking water aside, this spell can also have the water come down as rain and douse flames. If your party are prone to causing fires and only you can prevent them, this spell is something to consider. Otherwise it is definitely prepared at need only.

    Detect Magic: Ritual, Concentration. You need to find out from your DM if it pings off itself (as it informs you about magic within 30í, which may well mean itself). If it does, its only use is for when you spend your action. When doing that, it can give useful clues, especially about illusions (but generally not invisibility, as it is specified to only show you auras on visible creatures).

    Detect Poison and Disease: Ritual, Concentration. In the right circumstances, this is a very useful spell, which can tell you a lot about what you are dealing with and how to handle it. It identifies specific poisons, poisonous creatures and diseases simply by the caster being close to them. Of course, if youíre not encountering any of these things, the spell doesnít do anything for you, except maybe make you feel safe enough to drink the wine offered by the dark stranger. It doesnít detect magical effects, though (say, philtre of love), so donít get complacent.

    Entangle: Concentration. Can apply the Ďrestrainedí condition, and is resisted with strength saves (action to save again if restrained). Combined AoE debuff and battlefield control, this spell is likely to be useful to you through most of your career, at least as long as you meet ground-creatures with less strength than you have wisdom. The party rogue will particularly enjoy the easy sneak attacks.

    Faerie Fire: Concentration. Debuff and anti-invisibility tool in one. Dexterity save to avoid. The anti-invisibility helps all your friends fight the invisible enemy, but it does require that you guess the general location you need to target. One way could be to utilize wildshape or summons: Giant Poisonous Snake and Giant Spider have a bit of blindsight. Teaming up with someone who can run through a lot of squares and see if they can bump into someone could be another way. Flour, sand or gravel thrown by an ally is a time-honoured trick, but depends a lot on the DM. So does listening for the enemyís position.

    Fog Cloud: Concentration. Quick and dirty way to mess up line of sight if you find clear fields of vision isnít to your advantage. Exactly how the DM chooses to interpret this effect can make a big difference (can you hide on the edge and still see out, for example? The rogue would love to be able to use the cloud to hide to get sneak attack like that. How do NPCs react to being effectively blinded? If they are prone to panic, so much the better.), but except for the most unusual interpretations, you should be able to hide from that company of archers in relative safety (placing the cloud around them if they canít very well move, or around you if it wonít be too much of a nuisance for your party Ė or simply in any place between your two groups where it will provide the cover you need without actually blinding anyone), or throw up some cover before beating a hasty retreat.

    Longstrider: A rare buff that lasts a decent while and doesnít require concentration. If you are going to wildshape, this could well be a good buff to get up first, to help you get into melee and generally manoeuvre. Look at how combats go and see if it makes a difference at your table (more likely to do so if you use a grid and miniatures rather than Theatre of the Mind combat). If you are in caster form, the usefulness depends a lot on your group and how you work together. If you are already safely cared for as a behind-the-lines caster, you probably donít need this. Consider casting it on your friends or someoneís mount instead, if they can make good use of it.
    The spell doesnít specify movement type, so it should affect swim and fly speeds too, but as always, itíll be up to your DM.

    Speak with Animals: Ritual. People donít usually keep secrets from their mounts or the birds in the garden, so consider the usefulness in opening up investigations to these witnesses too. Donít hesitate to bribe them with carrots and bird seed as needed, and perhaps even use Animal Friendship to get advantage on your skill checks. This is obviously highly dependent on the situation and the DM. At some tables this spell will be next to useless, at others it will open up a whole world of NPCs to you.

    Thunderwave: Short-range damage dealer and knockback in an AoE package. It should be useful, but I find it very rarely comes up in actual play. As moon druid, it might be an interesting option after you get knocked into caster form, but itís a prepared spell for something you try to keep from happening. As a land druid, being next to a bunch of melee monsters is very much not where you want to be. And you don't want your friends caught in the effect, either.
    If your DM likes to set up situations where the enemies form up in close formations that suit this spell, youíll likely find it more useful than I have; especially if you can use the knockback to push them off heights, or into fires, or something.

    Spoiler: Spell Level 2
    Barkskin: Concentration. This is a general purpose defensive buff for moon druids, although its efficiency is closely based on what type of beast you choose. The worse the AC of the beast, the more appealing this spell becomes. If you have Warcaster and/or Resilient for Constitution, the odds of maintaining concentration when taking damage are pretty good.
    You can of course cast this spell on others, but there are few cases where people are enough of a target, and yet donít have similar or better defensive capabilities already. A vulnerable mount or an unarmoured NPC you must escort could be worthy targets, but generally speaking you could probably protect them better by casting, say, Entangle on the people meaning to attack them, as long as you arenít surprised.

    Beast Sense: Ritual, Concentration. Can probably be combined with Animal Friendship and/or Speak with Animals for some good scouting of an enemy position or the path youíre taking (or the one not taken). Could also be combined with a friendly rangerís beast, or any trained animal the party has. Rather a niche spell, but not completely ineffective under the right circumstances.
    It has no verbal component, making it a quiet spell you can probably cast while sneaking or hiding.

    Darkvision: A rare, long-duration, non-Concentration buff. 60í darkvision for 8 hours. Can be cast on the one person in the party who lacks darkvision to up your stealth capabilities, or to keep/get darkvision when you wildshape to something without it.

    Enhance Ability: Concentration. A possible non-combat buff to use. Gets advantage on checks made with one ability, so if you are going to speak with the mayor you can get charisma, or if you are calling on a lot of investigation and knowledge checks get int. And so on. Could also be used to buff someone who uses Athletics in their fighting a lot, but thatís a niche use of your Concentration. Picking dexterity will affect your initiative.
    Affects more people with higher level spell slots. It seems to me the text will let you choose different effects for different targets with the same casting, but ask your DM.

    Find Traps: The nichy of niche spells. It is quite unspecific, doesnít help you disarm the traps, and is instantaneous, so you canít examine a large area with it. The DM may be generous enough to key you in on damage type, which could help mitigate damage from a trap youíve sensed, but I fail to see the real use of this spell. Does not replace a patient, competent trap-finder at all. Barely, if at all, complements such a person.

    Flame Blade: Concentration. Since itís cast as a bonus action, this spell need not be completely useless. RAW is that you attack with it once with your action, though some DMs may rule that multiclass druids with more than one attack could combine the two.
    The amount of damage you can deal with one spell slot here is pretty good, although the damage type (fire) and means of application (melee spell attack) arenít the best you could hope for. Compared to a shillelagh cantrip, the basic version of the spell doesnít measure up too well, dealing an average of 10.5 damage to the shillelaghís 4.5+wis modifier. Combining the two (Shillelagh on a club in the off-hand) doesn't really work by RAW, but if the multi-attack was acceptable, this may be too.
    If you find yourself on the front lines in caster form a lot, this spell could have some uses for you. But generally speaking, this spell is more cool than useful.

    Flaming Sphere: Concentration. Despite the damage type, flaming sphere can deal pretty good damage over its duration, particularly if you can put it next to people who canít or wonít move away from it. Grappling melee are obvious candidates to keep a foe next to the sphere, which also deals damage when someone ends their turn next to it. This effect can also be used for area denial, although enemies can of course move next to it, deliver their action, and then move away after, and so avoid the extra damage.
    The spell is a lot more useful in cramped quarters than in open spaces, where enemies can avoid it by spreading out. It is similarly far better in a long battle than in a short one, as it lets you use your bonus action to deal some damage for the duration.

    Gust of Wind: Concentration. Niche, but it is admittedly highly amusing when it works. The idea is to blow someone backwards, and then watch them struggle up through the area of effect on their turn. Then you move and blow them back again with a bonus action.
    By RAW it does not affect archery in its area, but your DM may choose to have some effect, which you should try and find out if you intend to use this spell.
    If your table plays with full diagonal movement on a grid, this spell is somewhat handicapped by it, unless you can set it in a sufficiently narrow passage.

    Heat Metal: Concentration. Situational (because it only targets metal), but highly effective when it does work. Target a powerful enemyís (metal) body armour, and you will deal persistent damage while hitting them with disadvantage on their attack rolls and ability checks. No save (because they canít drop their armour; doffing body armour takes at least a minute by RAW, the duration of Heat Metal anyway), and there is very little they can do about it, save break your concentration. This is extremely effective for hit and run attacks, as there is no indication you need to have line of sight or be within range to cause the recurring damage with your bonus action. If your group doesnít like hit-and-run, try at least to have them target other enemies first. The one youíve got HM on will at least have disadvantage on attacks, and slowly be drained of their hp.
    You can also target a weapon, but then you or your allies need to be able to snatch that weapon up before that enemyís turn comes around again (if it gets dropped, no guarantee of that). Otherwise it wonít have as much of an effect as targeting armour, because picking a weapon up is one of the minor things you can do as part of movement or action.
    Against enemies with no metal on them, you could possibly team up with someone to plant metal on them, particularly if you have an Arcane Trickster in the party. This is rather DM dependent, but if you can make it work, it expands the target list greatly.

    Hold Person: Concentration. Potentially a really effective way to inconvenience your enemy, but also highly unpredictable given the Ďsave endsí condition. This is a spell Iíd consider noticeably more effective cast with a higher spell slot, as it spreads the risk. Targeting enemies with good wisdom saves can easily be a complete waste. Mage and Archmage have proficiency in wisdom, and acolytes, priests and druids have decent wisdom scores (all those are NPCs from the MM). So as much as weíd like to lock down spellcasters, this is something of a gamble for that purpose. Goblins, grimlocks and kobolds have penalties to their wisdom save as a rarity among humanoids, but they still may not be worth targeting.

    Lesser Restoration: Ends a disease or one of the following conditions: Blinded, deafened, paralyzed, or poisoned. Not an everyday spell, but very useful when you do need it. Try talking with your group about what you expect to face, and see whether it seems worth the prepared spell to have this handy. Three of those effects are sufficiently debilitating that countering them, even for a few roundsí worth of duration, can be worth it in many cases.

    Locate Animals or Plants: Ritual. Can be used to locate the closest of a specific kind of animal or plant within five miles. Since you need to see animals for wild shape use, this can be a strong tool to point out to your DM. It seems rather unlikely you will be playing out most of your sightseeing hikes, so merely pointing it out may be enough.

    Moonbeam: Concentration. Dealing the attractive radiant damage type in an area, the main worry with this spell is to keep or get enemies inside the AoE for as long as possible. Otherwise it doesnít do quite so impressive damage for a second level spell. If you can control one or more opponents, this spell is very attractive. Casting this spell and then wildshaping into a grappling form (Giant Constrictor Snake and crocs have ways to keep people locked down) could be one way for moon druids. The DM may decide that if youíre grappling someone, youíll be in the AoE too, which makes this a lot less attractive. Purely RAW, though, that isnít the case.

    Pass without Trace: Concentration. Much stronger than in previous editions, this spell now gives a group +10 to Stealth. Let me just say that this is a huge boost to a very useful skill. It can make even the heavily armoured people passable stealthers, and at the same time make the able stealthers so good they may not need to roll at all unless you houserule natural 1 to be automatic failure.

    Protection from Poison: 1 hour resistance to poison damage and advantage on saves vs. poison, and it eliminates one active poison in the system. Can be really good at times when you deal with a lot of drow, spiders, assassins, etc. But it is, of course, useless when thereís no poison.

    Spike Growth: Concentration. Potentially very strong for its level, especially against onrushing hordes of lesser creatures. Deals piercing damage to those passing through the AoE for every five feet of movement, potentially dealing damage eight times before the enemy is through. Thatíd be 16d4 damage (!). Only the stupidest of enemies will be cut to shreds en masse in that way, but even just for its BC effect, this is a useful spell.

    Spoiler: Spell Level 3
    Call Lightning: Concentration. Another damage-dealer that performs well in damage per spell slot, but not so well in how fast it deals the damage. This one is unusually situational, as it requires 100í of open air above you that you have line of sight to, and presumably (though it isnít spelled out completely) line of sight between that point and your targets. If they can get under a roof of some sort, or around a corner, they are safe. On top of that, this spell deals extra damage if the weather is stormy. If your DM ever bothers about the weather, you may actually see this effect some day, but I wouldnít bet on it.
    To me, there are too many little niggling problems with this spell for me to want it prepared on general adventures, but it is situationally useful. The classic time to cast this spell is during a siege, whether attacking or defending a keep. That ought to give you full boom for your spell slot.

    Conjure Animals: Concentration. See the spoiler ĎOn Beastsí in post two for options here. Itís a very useful way to achieve damage dealing, protection via meat shield and possibly BC, depending on the kind and amount of summons you get. You can ask the DM for something specific, but s/he's supposed to make the final decision as per the Sage.
    Aside from providing you with this movable feast (as long as you get animals that can move about as fast as you, and can go where you go), they can cover a retreat, be left in ambush, sent to scout (if you can communicate with them Ė theyíre mentioned as both beast and fey, so consult your DM on how you can talk to them if you need them to report back to you; Speak with Animals, Sylvan, Druidic?), and anything else you can think of, as they donít need to remain within range once conjured.

    Daylight: Light, and lots of it. It dispels darkness magiks of level 2 or less if they get covered by Daylightís AoE. This spell, despite the enticing name, is not sunlight, and so does not trigger various sunlight-based problems in various undead or subterranean monsters.

    Dispel Magic: Eminently useful in many circumstances, and it will grow in usefulness as you advance your career. Use it to pass magical barriers, remove buffs or debuffs, clear magical effects from an area, etc.

    Meld into Stone: Ritual. You should ask your DM two things about this spell: Can you take rests while melded into stone? And does the Ďtouchí range indicate you can cast it on other people, or that you must touch the stone you wish to meld into?
    If you can rest while melded, this is an obvious use, at least when you are on your own. Otherwise, this spell is mostly for going to ground and be hard to find and affect. You can still cast spells on yourself while melded, so keep that in mind if you cast it. Buffing, restoring and healing yourself before emerging back into a hard fight could be a good use of this spell.

    Plant Growth: BC spell, with an additional out of combat use. The effect is double-difficult terrain (4 feet of movement will get you 1), and the area is quite large and can include subareas not affected. But be sure to ask your DM whether this works in places without plants, as the text could support either interpretation. It will make a big difference on when this could be a spell worth preparing. If youíre a land druid, you should also ask your DM how this spell interacts with Landís Stride (which you get at druid level 6).

    Protection from Energy: Concentration. Resistance to the picked energy type. If you know you will be dealing with a particular kind of energy a lot in the next hour, this can be an excellent buff for you, for someone very vulnerable, or for someone expected to bear the brunt of the damage.

    Sleet Storm: Concentration. The most interesting thing about this BC spell, is that it forces saves to maintain Concentration by anyone inside the AoE. It could be seen as a generally upgraded version of Fog Cloud (lvl 1), but probably not one youíd want to hide inside. It can also be used to put out large fires quickly. So if your group has a tendency to cause fires, this might be something you can do about it, and yet keep the prepared spell useful in other situations as well.

    Speak with Plants: Affects plants around you, allowing them to speak and move slightly Ė not to the point that they fight for you. They can perform some BC effects, removing difficult terrain or causing it, maintaining it for the duration. A surprisingly versatile spell as long as there are plants around, although it does lack the sheer power of other spells of its level. Much of its capacities are left up to the DM. Note that plants animated by this spell only remember what has happened within the past day.

    Water Walk: Ritual. Also works on many other kinds of surfaces, such as snow and mud, even acid is mentioned as being harmlessly traversable. Lava can be crossed, but you will still take damage from the heat. Very situational, but a great spell for moving effortlessly under otherwise difficult circumstances. Can also be cast on submerged people to get them to the surface quickly. If you somehow get a scroll or two of this, keep them handy and free up your prepared spells for something more commonly useful.

    Wind Wall: Concentration. Puts down a wall of any shape you like, as long as it is contiguous, up to 50í length. Keeps archery from working across it, and keeps out small flying creatures, gaseous creatures, gases, fogs, etc. Swarms arenít specifically mentioned, so ask your DM. In addition, it can deal 3d8 bludgeoning damage to anyone in it when it starts (str save for half), which gives it the additional ability to knock out quite a few lesser creatures in one go if they (and it) are situated right.

    Spoiler: Spell Level 4
    Blight: A quick, direct damage dealer to one target, which isnít very common in the druid arsenal. The amount of damage is decent for the level, unless you cast it against a plant creature. Then itís spectacular. The damage type (necrotic) is one of the better possibilities, and the inability to use the spell on undead and constructs isnít so bad. At least itís a warning against using it on the two types most likely to have immunity or resistance to necrotic damage anyway. Range is a mere 30í, however.
    Only prepare this if you have a special reason (ďI really, really wanted toĒ is a perfectly acceptable reason for amusement purposes, of course). By now, damage dealing shouldnít be hard to do for you and your party.

    Confusion: Concentration. One of the more spectacular BC spells, this can make short work of a tight group of foes. Or it can fail utterly. Or anything in between.
    If taken at average, it is quite similar to Hold Person (wis save or be out of the fight until you save). But Confusion can target non-humanoids, and it also targets any number of creatures inside the 10í radius of its AoE. A fourth level Hold Person could target three humanoids, but they wouldnít need to be quite so close to each other, and you could avoid targeting allies stand among them.
    Personally, I prefer more dependable spells. If you like a bit of chaos, though, this spell has undeniable charm. At any rate, Iíd rather conjure a bunch of Pixies (if the DM lets you) and have them cast and concentrate on this for me (see Conjure Woodland Beings below).

    Conjure Minor Elementals: Concentration. Much like Conjure Animals at spell level 3. While you get the same CRs as with that spell, there may be reason to use a 4th level spell slot for this option. See the ĎOn Elementalsí spoiler for suggestions and overview of choices. Their main advantage over beasts is their special abilities. Some have AoE attacks, some cast spells, and many explode when killed. Isnít that delightful?
    Note the casting time of 1 minute.

    Conjure Woodland Beings: Concentration. When in doubt, conjure a bunch of pixies. See the ĎOn Feyí spoiler for options, but note that the DM is supposed to have the final say. This is an almost ridiculously versatile and powerful spell, unless the DM screws with you, in which case it's useless. It likely wonít do much for your damage dealing (unless you get fey from Volo's), but for Concentration solutions, debuffs, and spell slot economy, this is one of the very best spells in the game. Abuse it at your own peril; the DM has final say, and won't forget the time you turned the whole party into flying T-rexes.

    Dominate Beast: Concentration. This is a surprisingly weak spell. While you can technically take control of some major beast for a while (stealing an enemyís meat shield for your own use is always nice), you would have to know that this beast would be encountered and worth dominating for a minute to prepare the spell. And this beast would have to compete with so many useful options for your Concentration. Too little, too seldom.

    Freedom of Movement: A defensive buff that makes the target immune to a whole range of annoying or outright debilitating conditions and effects for an even hour. Yes, this is the good stuff.

    Giant Insect: Concentration. Take a group of poisonous critters, make them big, and send them to fight your enemies. This is very similar to your Conjure X spells, but with some noteworthy differences. You actually have to have some critters to enlarge. Your range of choice is limited to four options. Duration is only ten minutes, where youíd expect an hour. The DM is specifically resolving what these critters do and where they go. And finally, the creatures you get are a little stronger or a little more numerous than what you get from Conjure Animals. The poison all these critters have is both a selling point and comes with the usual warning label: Poison is by far the least dependable damage type in the game.
    I think the main selling point for this spell is atmosphere. An Egyptian-themed campaign, for instance, would make this spell so cool to cast. But in general there are many annoyances and hurdles, so Iíd just choose a different minion-making spell.

    Grasping Vine: Concentration. Apparently intended to control enemiesí position. As for the obvious use, Iím inclined to think itís a niche spell. You need some specific reason to control an enemy like this, and most of those reasons would require your Concentration. Perhaps in conjunction with an allyís abilities this spell can shine, but I canít think of anything offhand. Otherwise, some enemy with a movement of less than 20í and no good ranged attack could be kept off of you, as long as it fails its dex save.
    This spell has a less obvious use: Pulling allies free from grapples, because the vine causes no damage. Grapples are automatically broken if the grapplee is moved by someone else. If fighting a majorly grappling foe, this spell could get you and your allies free once per round, as long as you remain within 30í of the place you plant your vine. But you would need to know about this in advance to put this spell on your prepared list.
    A note on targeting friends with spells that give saving throws: There is no explicit rule allowing targets to voluntarily fail a saving throw. The saving throw description, however, gives some wiggle room, as it describes a saving throw as an attempt to resist. If the target isnít resisting, why need there be a saving throw? So ask your DM.

    Ice Storm: Direct AoE damage plus a small, short-duration BC effect. The damage type is bludgeoning and cold, so your eggs (magical bludgeoning good, cold less good) are at least in two baskets. The amount is decent for the level as long as you avoid resistance or immunity Ė or enemies who specialize in dex saves. The size of the AoE is 20í radius on the ground, so thatís pretty decent. The range is nice.

    Polymorph: Concentration. There are two basic uses for this spell. It can buff an ally, or it can debuff an enemy. This is your excuse to get some cool beasts, like dinosaurs, onto the battlefield, because there is no requirement that youíve seen these beasts before (unlike wildshape). Of course, the caster would have to know of the beast to pick it, so visit some scholars who do palaeontology (or some equivalent) in your downtime if theyíve gone extinct. If dinosaurs are too high CR, look in the ĎOn Beastsí spoiler for options by CR up to 6.
    Most of the buffed allyís abilities disappear, so a worthwhile target could be someone conserving their spells, or a ranged attacker who needs to step into melee, or perhaps a tank too low on hp to stay in the front line. The spell gives them a fresh hp pool as normal for the creature chosen. You can get pretty decent CR beasts, as you can pick a CR up to the targetís level. This, too, points to dinosaurs, as contemporary beasts generally have CRs of four or less. Also note the CR 7 Giant Ape.
    For the debuff, you want to turn enemies into something that wonít give you trouble. An obvious choice is a Quipper, a fish, with zero ground movement. This will give you about seven rounds before the fish suffocates, and the target assumes its normal form again. Other aquatic options with better constitution (and therefore longer time before they suffocate) exist, but they are also more dangerous to blunder next to. So weigh your options in advance, and donít keep the table waiting for you any longer than they have to.
    An option that gives you more time is the frog. It has no attack, and only 20í movement. You donít want to lose track of your foe, either, so this choice depends a lot on where you are. The DM may well choose to have the target behave appropriately for the selected beast, so it may simply run off and hide. If the DM will let you choose an unstatted creature, you could consider a tortoise, a phasmid (stick insect or walking stick), or a sloth, depending on the area youíre in.
    Don't be surprised if smart opponents react to their leader being turned into a frog by whacking him, though. That would bring him back in the fight quickly.
    Note that you can summon pixies with Conjure Woodland Beings to cast this for you.

    Stone Shape: Instantaneously turns stone (up to a certain size) into the shape you want. This is one of those versatile spells, which can do so much if you can only think of it (and if you donít annoy the DM too much). You can get various items you need, get through walls, undermine columns, strengthen weak structures, make heavy things movable or cumbersome, wall off a small compartment, impress people with instant art, smooth the rough or rough the smooth, and so on and on.

    Stoneskin: Concentration. Resistance to nonmagical weapon attacks. Itís expensive, but if you can afford it, it is a wonderful defensive buff for heavy fighting.
    It is worth noting, however, that it does not always outperform the simple Barkskin. If Barkskin raises your AC enough to halve the enemiesí chance to hit, it does better, does it cheaper, and for a lesser spell slot. Magical weapons and many spells have to overcome AC as well, and they would not be subject to Stoneskin. But we are talking fairly niche circumstances, here, such as goblin archers at long range (+4 to-hit with disadvantage) against a brown bear wild shape (AC 11, or 16 with Barkskin). Generally speaking, if youíre being challenged, Stoneskin is very likely to be stronger, but possibly not quite as much as youíd think.

    Wall of Fire: Concentration. A 60í wall of a shape of your choosing, or a 20í radius circle. The wall has two sides, a safe, and a searing side, and you pick which is which. For maximum damage with no save, you want to put the wall in a place, where people canít get more than 10í away from the searing side, unless they pass through the wall. This forces the damage without a save. The wall also blocks line of sight, so you can use that to your advantage.
    This spell can split opposing groups and deal damage, not so bad for a wall spell Ė although the split is predicated on the enemy not accepting the damage. If you can force the no-save conditions on the enemy, the damage amount is good for the level, though it will come after the enemy gets to act or while they act. And the type is still fire. But if you can find ways to get opponents to take the damage more than once, this spell will have done quite good damage for the slot. If you have friends who like Shove or other ways to control enemy movement, make good use of them.
    Last edited by hymer; 2017-02-01 at 04:15 AM.
    My D&D 5th ed. Druid Handbook - My D&D 5th ed. Campaign Wiki

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Feb 2012

    Default 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon Post 4

    Druid Spell Analysis Continued

    Spoiler: Spell Level 5
    Antilife Shell: Concentration. For someone who wants to avoid melee while retaining options for ranged attacks and spell effects, this could be the very spell. Exactly what happens if someone is inside the AoE with you when the spell is cast should be interpreted by the DM, as the language is a little ambiguous. If you can use this to protect more than yourself, the usefulness increases considerably. But anyone who leaves the barrier (or gets left behind when you move with it) canít get back in. In combat, it would be mechanically impossible to walk side by side 30í in a round, for instance. The DM may choose to be lenient, but youíll have to ask.
    Regardless, this spell is heavily defensive and specialized (non-reach melee attacks from living creatures are kept out perfectly, and nothing else is affected). Under the right circumstances, it can turn a lethal situation on its head, creating a safe fortress for your party to fight from. But in many other circumstances it is less than useful. It hinders you alliesí movement as much as your enemiesí. Iíd prepare it with a specific reason in mind, or if I wanted a panic button, but likely not as a general adventuring spell.

    Awaken: This is one way for a druid to get a (semi-)permanent ally, whether beast or plant. The cost is considerable and the casting time long, so itís not something done on a whim. The effect is also conditional on the DMís ruling, as it mainly applies the Ďcharmedí condition to the awakened creature. It seems it ought to last indefinitely, as long as the target is treated well. But how faithful is the target after? A tree in the druidís grove could conceivably be expected to watch over the grove, perhaps even fight to defend it while the druid was gone. What about more ruminant creatures? And could large predators be relied on to leave innocent people alone?
    There are more question up to the DM to answer: Can the druid bring the target along for adventures? How would that affect XP? How brave would the target be? Who would control it, and would it take actions to give it orders/suggestions? What is the natural behaviour of an awakened creature?
    All in all, this is a highly subjective spell, which may well differ wildly in its uses from table to table. But it is also a highly druidic spell, with superlative D&D druid fluff.

    Commune with Nature: Ritual. This spell serves mainly to get your bearings quickly in a new area. Most of the things it does can be accomplished by non-magical means (and spending more time), often by walking through the area. It does do one particular thing you canít expect to hike your way to: It can show if there is any planar influence in the area (whatever that means, exactly). And it can tell about various powerful creatures in the area before you encounter them. It could conceivably make it easier to pretend you are a local, if that is of importance.
    Itís a niche spell, and Iíd prepare it when I had particular reasons, not for general adventure. It is also a spell that can annoy the DM if you cast it in an area that isnít fully developed, or not completely read up on, or only partially recollected Ė or just very intricate and detailed. Imagine casting this on the edge of Westgate or Waterdeep (large, detailed Forgotten Realms cities, with plenty of supernatural influences and things that can ping on this spellís radar). You might want to alert the DM to your intention to prepare this spell.

    Conjure Elemental: Concentration. Another minion-making spell. See the ĎOn Elementalsí spoiler in post 2 for options. Note the casting time of 1 minute, and that you must have a considerable amount of the element in question to hand. Air and earth are unlikely to be a problem, but you may want to prepare yourself if you like to conjure fire or water elementals.
    Also note that the elemental could break free if you lose Concentration, and whether it attacks you in that case is left for the DM to decide. If you can speak to the elemental, and if you treated it respectfully, you may be able to talk your way out of being attacked, but it will all be very DM dependent.

    Contagion: This spell needs your DMís interpretation, a warning, and a heads up for people not familiar with 5th edition disease.
    The interpretation: The save mechanism against this spell is unusual. Saves are made one at a time on the targetís turn, and itís a race to get to three successful or three failed saves. If three successful comes first, the spell ends. If three failed wins, the spell lasts for a week. But does the spell function while these saving throws are being made? It seems to me (but not everyone) that the text says that the disease takes effect while the saves are being made.
    Now, if thatís true, this means there are at least three rounds, where this spell has its full effect, even on legendary creatures with legendary saves and +20 to their constitution saves. One of these possible effects (with the mouth-watering name ĎSlimy Doomí) is that any damage stuns the target for a round.
    The warning: That interpretation makes this spell an extremely powerful debuff against single enemies. Yes, you have to land it with a melee spell attack, but it stuns (and thereby incapacitates) almost anything for three rounds at the least, as long as a single point of damage gets through every round. Legendary creatures would be reduced to taking Lair actions.
    The opposite interpretation (that the spell only takes effect after the race to three has been won by failed saves) makes the spell much less useful. It is not entirely useless even as a combat spell, especially for a druid with a penchant for hit-and-run. This, by word of the Sage, is the design intent.
    Regardless, the full consequences of this spell should be grasped by the table, and the DM should make rulings before you prepare this spell, so there are no surprises.
    The heads-up: No creature type is inherently immune to disease in 5th edition. Iron golems, skeletons and air elementals are all equally as subject to disease as humanoids and beasts.

    Insect Plague: Concentration. Minor BC, minor damage, medium AoE, good range. The question I canít answer is Ďwhy?í. This spell seems so paltry. It is similar to Wall of Fire (AoE damage, BC), and has a few differences (doesnít block line of sight, creates an area of difficult terrain, causes piercing damage rather than fire, different AoE). I could see some cases where this spell might be useful, but most of those deal with mobs of minor creatures that could be dealt with by other spells. Maybe itís the image, or the deniability thatís supposed to play for it. In general, this seems too inflexible and too weak to be worth preparing over other options.

    Mass Cure Wounds: Heals up to six targets at once. Compared to the efficiency of other healing spells, it does pretty good in total numbers, if it heals to full capacity. Assuming 6 targets (the maximum) and 20 wisdom, it heals 111 hp on average, 18.5 per target. Thatís serious healing for a fifth level slot and a single action. But it is a best-case scenario. For one thing, how many people are in the party? In many cases that number is just four. And is everyone even injured? Damage doesnít seem to add up so evenly across most groups. And anyone with less than 15 hp lost is almost bound to get overhealed, further reducing the actual efficiency of the spell.
    This is something of a niche healing spell, despite the impressive numbers. If itís a big party, or you regularly have a lot of fighting minions that could soak up some healing usefully, it may be worth preparing on a regular day. If you do use it, Iíd suggest keeping an eye on just how much you actually get for your trouble, so you know youíre not wasting your magical potential.
    There is one case, however, which fully qualifies this spell for daily preparation, depending on whether the group sees it often. If you regularly find yourself with something like three members of your party unconscious from hp damage, this spell gets all three back on their feet in one swoop. But if youíre in such dire straits that this happens often, Iíd consider that a possible sign that something isnít working as intended.

    Planar Binding: At the cost of 1000gp, you can keep a summoned elemental (or technically fey, but thatís probably not worth it) for longer than the Conjure X spells otherwise allow, and without using Concentration. Thus you avoid the risk of losing control, too. The duration for Planar Binding starts at 24 hours, and goes up when you use higher level slots on it. That makes the spell all the more cost effective with higher level slots. Elementals arenít too bright in general, but smarter than animals, so you may be able to use them for independent missions. The Invisible Stalker is practically made for messenger or assassination missions, e.g.
    The sticky part of using this spell on your own elemental summons is that it has a casting time of one hour. This means you must start casting it as soon as you've summoned your elemental, and that you use Concentration while casting. This means setting the elemental free. How the elemental then behaves is up to the DM, so being able to speak with it should give you an edge. Otherwise, you have a lot to gain by teaming up with another caster. You may want to ask the DM what to expect using this spell, as there may be a different interpretation at your table.
    Another thing the DM may want to think about is whether bringing a bound elemental along on adventures costs a share of the XP. It is fairly similar to hiring an NPC for 1000gp. The gold cost may be sufficient, but you should ask before you risk depriving party members of a grudging share of XP.

    Reincarnate: Inferior to the cleric's Raise Dead, with two possible exceptions. The recently deceased will be fit to go adventuring without penalties right away with Reincarnation, and it sidesteps any curses or magical diseases on the target, unlike Raise Dead. Most people will want to retain their original species, but some players love randomness. Anyway, this is the only way druids can bring people back from the dead before they get True Resurrection (a 9th level spell).

    Scrying: Concentration. You will need to go shopping for a focus, though it may be difficult to come up with a thematically appropriate one for a druid.
    But Scrying is a very useful tool to have in your back pocket. You can use it for any number of things, but the ability to get a sense of what youíre up against is of course particularly useful to a prepared caster like the druid. Note that you can see as if you were at the location you scry on, so you can cast spells that help you perceive better. Unfortunately, youíre already using your Concentration for Scrying, but there are still some spells (Darkvision and Detect Disease and Poison spring to mind) that may help your enquiries. And an allied caster could buff you with Enhance Ability, e.g. Ė wisdom or intelligence being the likely options.

    Tree Stride: Concentration. The druidís answer to Dimension Door is unfortunately much less widely applicable. It can be useful enough if you are in a forest, and in that case it can move you much farther than Dimension Door (though without being able to bring anyone along). But in most campaigns, wilderness adventures are only a fraction of those youíll wind up in.
    You can somewhat widen your options with Quaalís Feather Token (Tree). You may need more than one, and obviously the more prep time the better. But thatís a resource costly thing to do, to put it mildly, as well as something itís hard to rely on. But if the DM does put some of those tokens in your way, hereís another use for them.

    Spoiler: Spell Level 6
    Conjure Fey: Concentration. The highest level minion-making spell you get. Fey are covered in their appropriate spoiler ('On Fey' in post 2), but you can also pick an animal. The options at this level are quite limited. You can get a tyrannosaurus if you cast it with a eighth level slot.
    Note the casting time of 1 minute, and be aware of the risk of losing Concentration and having the conjured minion turn on you.

    Find the Path: Concentration. I wonít say that youíll never cast this spell, but this is unspectacular, niche, and well beneath what I would expect for a sixth level slot. The Concentration requirement makes it even worse.

    Heroesí Feast: Expensive and time consuming, but a way to make todayís spell slot buff tomorrow. The buffs are pretty varied, including immunity to poison and fear, advantage on wisdom saves, and some temporary hit points. Up to thirteen people can enjoy the feast, which is nice.

    Move Earth: Concentration. Not your everyday spell, but itís an interesting tool you can drum up. It should be useful in various construction and fortification schemes, and help to cover or uncover bodies, buried treasure, dungeons, Wells of Souls (mind the snakes), etc. It specifies that it does not disrupt plant life, which is of course important to many a druid.

    Sunbeam: Concentration. Weíre back to damage over time spells. This one has a new AoE (line) and a wonderful damage type (radiant). It also comes with a blinding debuff for one round to anyone failing their save. It does require you to get pretty close to the enemy. Having Longstrider up, and anything else you can think of to boost your mobility, should help make the most of this spell, and/or keep you as safe as possible while using it.
    The spell also causes you to radiate real sunlight, discomfiting any nearby creatures subject to that particular vulnerability (undead and subterranean species mostly). It also makes it hard or impossible to hide, so there are swings and roundabouts.
    At least, this is a pretty definite, not-situational use for your sixth level spell slots. There isnít as much competition for making the prepared spell list for an adventuring day on this level as on the previous five.

    Transport via Plants: The druidic version of Teleport. Itís a level sooner, and can potentially transport more people. On the downside, it requires a nearby plant, and it can only get you to places youíve seen or touched, and there must be plants there too. Ask your DM whether the exit plant must be of a certain size as well, as the text doesnít specify. Combine with Scrying to widen your potential destination list.
    That you canít use this to get out of a sticky situation in most dungeons is a blow in the comparison with Teleport. If you can get your hand on a Quaalís Feather Token (tree), you can Transport via Plants in two rounds, as long as youíre outside, and as long as you have tokens to spend. If the DM rules fungi as plants, you may find some subterranean entries and exits, but you will generally be stuck aboveground. Not that this isnít a very useful spell, as it will still cut large chunks of travel out of your life, and let you and your party respond quickly to situations virtually all over the plane.

    Wall of Thorns: Concentration. Much the same as Wall of Fire, but with a different damage type (piercing initially, then slashing). It doesnít have the ability to damage people standing near it as the WoF does. But it does cost 4 feet of movement to move 1 foot through the WoT. WoF has a no-save possibility for damage, which the WoT lack. And a WoF cast with a sixth level slot causes the same amount of damage as WoT.
    All in all, the biggest difference between the walls is the damage type, which greatly affects which creatures are susceptible to it. Magical slashing and piercing are much more reliable than fire, but the fire wall can be cast with 4th level slots or higher, while thorn wall needs at least 6th level slots.

    Wind Walk: You and a bunch of friends turn into clouds, which canít attack or cast spells, but fly at a really fast 300í speed. Since this isnít a Concentration spell, you could couple it with Find the Path. For actual travel from A to B, Transport via Plants is generally superior, but for scouting an area, sending people to various locations, and more, there are advantages in this spell.
    A noteworthy drawback is that it takes a full minute to revert to normal form after being a cloud. Wind Walk is therefore something of a liability in combat drops.

    Spoiler: Spell Level 7
    Firestorm: Nice range, large and flexible AoE, not so good damage, and the usual caveat of fire as a damage type Ė it is among the most resisted or immunized by MM monsters. This spell is very effective against a vast horde of weaker creatures, possibly incinerating the lot in one casting. But against creatures closer to your own capacities, the damage is not impressive. So unless you have reason to believe youíll need it, you should probably leave this out of your prepared list.
    The fact that you can cast this spell so it does not affect plants in the area is a nice touch for druids.
    Note that this is one attack spell that canít be cast for a higher effect for a higher spell slot.

    Planeshift: Yes, this spell will indeed let you shift to another plane (with friends), so no surprises there. Acquiring the focuses for the various planes may be easy or hard depending on the campaign. Let me just say that first priority is to get one that can get you back home.
    Planeshift is able to tap into teleportation circles as destinations, so you could cast this spell twice, in order to appear at your current plane in a circle you know the cipher for (see the Teleportation Circle for details on that Ė you should have some allies willing to trust you by now). You can also do general teleportation by plane-hopping back to the plane you want a destination on. This is of course mostly for cases, where you are the partyís teleporter, and need to stretch your options.
    The spell can also be used to send an unwilling creature to another plane. Itís something of a gamble, as it involves both landing a melee spell attack, and them failing a save. This probably makes more sense as an effect used against a restrained target, or at least taking precautions to push the odds of both rolls in your favour first. On the other hand, most people sent to a different plane are out of your hair for good. Especially if you pick a plane they wonít do well on.

    Regenerate: Heals hp and grows back missing extremities. The hit points this spell can potentially heal is enormous Ė 3d8+615 over an hour. But thatís theory. Itís a buff to consider for the partyís main damage sponge (which may well be you if youíre a moon druid), all the more since it doesnít take Concentration.

    Reverse Gravity: Concentration. Among the most darkly amusing damage spells in the game, reverse gravity offers more than mere chuckles. It has decent range, good AoE, and can potentially pack a terrific wallop Ė 20d6 damage under perfect circumstances. Crawford says that fall damage is a perfect damage type. Flying creatures probably have ways to avoid this damage, although the spell doesnít specify. It may depend on how nimble they are. Do note that taking damage from falling means you end up prone. Not a big deal, but you should milk it for all the pratfalls you can get, right?
    In the open, or when there is a ceiling less than 100í high (or in other words, nearly always), the damage drops accordingly. But the BC effect remains, and it may actually be worse for someone who makes the save, as a successful save means you manage to grab hold of something, and so are dangling over a reversed gravity area. Well, they avoid the damage at least. It could be that there will be no save, if it is cast in sufficiently featureless surroundings, but thatís rather DM dependent.
    If youíre casting this mostly for the damage, remember that you can end Concentration at any time without an action. This also means you can drop the spell at an opportune moment (like when the poor saps that got smacked in the face with the ceiling have just got their bows out to try and shoot at your party), even when itís not your turn.

    Spoiler: Spell Level 8
    Animal Shapes: Concentration. This is like a mass wildshape effect. It doesnít seem to be a very strong option on the individual level, but it does allow you to transform a big group of little or no combat capability into beasts of CR 4 or less, retaining their minds (though the size requirement actually blocks CR 4, as those beasts are Huge). If you ever need a herd of giant scorpions, this is exactly the right spell for it. And you can turn those scorps into owls and back again by spending your actions. Iím having trouble seeing how this would fit into a normal adventuring day, but the options are of course legion on a mass battlefield, in construction, for mass infiltration or escape, etc.

    Control Weather: Concentration. Use this to help the local peasants with drought, punish them with hail and turn hurricanes on or off. Changing the weather takes time, and you canít turn, e.g., a calm, sweltering heat wave into a howling blizzard if the dice are really against you. If you can, it will take hours.
    Extreme cold and heat can lead to exhaustion of people not able to cope with such weather. It seems the major effect, however, is the winds. Strong enough winds make it impossible to fly very much Ė fliers who donít land between rounds fall.
    If youíre at sea, weather is of course highly important to movement and survival, though by now the chance youíll need to go anywhere by ship has dropped dramatically.
    Weather effects can be found in the DMG, p. 110, and 118-119 for maritime weather.

    Earthquake: Concentration. This spell is a lot like Sleet Storm, but gives a much larger rush of blood to your ego. Stern wrath or maniacal laughter is encouraged. As a BC spell, it can really inconvenience people caught in it; more so if the DM puts fissures in their way; and much more so if there are buildings near them that the spell causes to collapse. Flying creatures are presumably exempt from these problems, where Sleet Storm has some height as well.
    Earthquake deals 50 hp damage per round to Ďstructuresí caught in it. Unfortunately, Iíve been unable to find out how many hp buildings have. A galley or warship has 500 hp, and so would be destroyed over the full duration, and any siege equipment is even more vulnerable, if these are considered Ďstructuresí and caught in the spell. A Wall of Stone panel (a 10 foot long section) has up to 180 hp.

    Feeblemind: Shuts down the targetís spell-casting and use of magical items, and reduces intelligence and charisma to 1. Thereís a save to resist. It also deals some minor psychic damage with no save. Noticeably, the saving throw is Intelligence, which means the most obvious targets, wizards, are both proficient in the save and can be expected to have a high modifier. Clerics, on the other hand, are much easier targets. This goes for MM NPCs aping these classes, too. As a druid, you are at least proficient in the save (the NPC druid isnít).
    The spell is potentially crippling for many powerful creatures, but is also nearly an all-or-nothing affair. The chance that you will encounter a good target that day is also a matter for consideration.

    Sunburst: Direct AoE damage and a debuff rider. Decent range, good AoE, wonderful damage type, and a 1-minute-but-save-ends blindness debuff. The damage is much less than a perfect Reverse Gravity, but who dares hope for that? Undead and oozes have disadvantage on the save.

    Tsunami: Concentration. I was surprised to find that this spell can be cast anywhere thereís 300í of space upwards. Water is provided for your convenience.
    Itís a BC spell with added damage over time, pushing people caught in it away. Creatures larger than Huge wonít get caught up in the ongoing BC effect, but Huge or less can be affected. Those caught in the wave can use Athletics checks against the save DC to move out, so for many targets this is not a reliable counter.
    It seems to me that there are just a bit too many chances to get out of the AoE for this to be really good. And targets get an initial Strength save for half of 6d10 damage, and then each round gets a strength save to take no damage. The damage levels off by 1d10 per round from the initial 6d10.
    The spell is likely meant to be used on a mass battlefield, considering the casting time, range and large AoE.
    The height of the spell may make it a counter to flying enemies, as anyone escaping from the wave is specifically said to Ďfall to the groundí. Interpretation is needed (Fall damage? Can fliers avoid it?), so it depends on the DM.

    Spoiler: Spell Level 9
    Foresight: A major buff for defences, and also buffs attack rolls. It also gives immunity to surprise. The duration is nice, and without taking Concentration. People who make attack rolls and get attacked a lot make the most of this, so more likely to be for buffing a moon druid than a land druid. If you are of the latter persuasion, the partyís front fighter is likely to be a better target than you.

    Shapechange: Concentration. This is a lot like wildshape, except you arenít limited to beasts or elementals, and you can change it again as you like with an action. You donít get legendary actions, and you donít get access to the formís spell-casting. Another abuse-stopper is that you donít get fresh hit points when you pick a second (or third, fourth...) form.
    But you can pick and choose from any creature with a CR equal to or less than your own level. Thereís no mention of your own spell-casting, so presumably you can cast freely, except if your new form canít speak (which would render you unable to perform verbal components). Until level 20, when you ignore most components via Archdruid.

    Storm of Vengeance: Concentration. Looks impressive, but is very niche. At this point you can already wreck communities with storms and earthquakes, and eradicate large groups of lesser foes with Fire Storm. Storm of Vengeance wants to do this too, and it can Ė unless the enemy runs away first. As such, itís a tool you already have, and an unwieldy one at that, given the duration. And it will cost you your 9th level spell slot.
    Only round three comes close to the sort of thing you would demand from a ninth level AoE damage spell. Thatís much too long to wait, as well as being mediocre lightning damage with a dex save for half, 6 targets maximum. The rest can deal only with minor foes, and slowly, to the tune of 3.5 to 7 average damage per round. The BC effect doesnít happen until round 5, at which time most of the targets will have left the AoE. There is a minor debuff on the first round, but it is only deafening, and there is a save.
    I guess what it has going for it is the very long range and the very large AoE. Itís not enough to convince me, though.

    Spoiler: Land Druid Circle Spells

    The parentheses indicate spell level and the land circle(s) that grant(s) access to the spell. Once you get them, these spells will be permanently attached to your prepared spells list. So for these I pay extra attention to versatility.

    Blur (2, Desert): Concentration. Defensive Buff that causes disadvantage on attack rolls against the target. Casting this when you need to be the damage sponge can save a lot of slots in healing if you pick the right fight. It will almost inevitably outperform Barkskin in the short run, but then Barkskin lasts 60 times longer.
    Itís a decent defensive buff, and worth having, at least around the level you get it. Later, itís mostly an on-demand way to shut down sneak attacks, should you run up against those.

    Cloudkill (5, Underdark): Concentration. Damage over time with a BC element, as the cloud obscures heavily. The damage amount is about what you would expect, but the type is poison, and therefore likely to fail you. The area of effect is also somewhat unwieldy. Admittedly, this spell can be a terror if everything lines up in its favour: The DM rules that obscurement means no looking out of the cloud too. And that the cloud stops when it reaches a solid barrier and doesnít flatten against it. And that the enemies stay inside that area. And that they are susceptible to poison. If all those things fall in place, this spell will wreck them and their ability to hit back.
    Can you expect the situations you encounter to conform well enough to it be worth having this spell on your list permanently? I think not.

    Cone of Cold (5, Arctic): Cold damage dealing is surprisingly rare on the druid list, and as such a welcome addition. The AoE is also a rarity, although you could emulate it to some degree with some of your more flexible spells. And the damage is decent enough, if you consider the capacity to hit multiple foes. As instant damage dealing spells go, you could do far worse than Cone of Cold.

    Create Food and Water (3, Desert): Between Goodberry (and if the DM rules that doesnít provide fluids, Create or Destroy Water), you already have this covered. And in most campaigns, food is going to be a non-problem anyway. You certainly donít need it filling up your prepared spells list on an everyday basis.

    Darkness (2, Swamp): Concentration. BC spell comparable to Fog Cloud. This one is potentially movable, but on the other hand it cannot pretend to be natural, so itís bound to attract attention. A point in its favour is that it can be turned off temporarily by covering the targeted object. In a ranged contest, for instance, you could go for turning it off while your side shoots, and turning it on when the enemy shoots, (with a Ready Action if initiative otherwise prevents).
    It is not the greatest of spells to have permanently on your list, competing as it does for your Concentration, and considering BC options that come available as you advance, but there are far worse possibilities.

    Divination (4, Forest, Grassland): Ritual. Attempts an answer about things to happen in the next week. Problematically, the more shrewdly you ask, the more likely it is that the DM is simply stumped for an answer. Though a ritual, casting this spell multiple times between long rests comes with a risk of getting a false reading. It also costs 25gp per casting, though that should not be prohibitive unless you cast it virtually daily.
    This is a hard spell to judge. Very much is up to the DM, both in willingness and ability to predict, and just as much up to your ability to ask good questions. At its best it is a huge boon, and at its worst itís a waste of spells, money and effort.

    Dream (5, Grassland): The ability to communicate in dreams with known persons on the same plane, or attack them. Itís a nice thing to have in your arsenal, allowing quick communication despite distances and whereabouts that could hinder it. It can also be used to attempt to kill known characters with sufficiently few hp. NPC stats for acolytes, commoners and nobles are all well within the capacity for this spell to murder.
    So all in all, itís a spell that gives you more options. But it is not a spell youíll be casting so often that itís a good thing to have it permanently on your prepared list.

    Gaseous Form (3, Underdark): Concentration. The ability to turn someone gaseous has multiple uses. It can help hide someone, help infiltrate a place, help protect the target (as being gaseous has numerous defensive advantages), and it lets them fly, albeit slowly. All in all a good and versatile spell.

    Greater Invisibility (4, Underdark): Concentration. Strong defensive buff, and if youíre into making attack rolls, it buffs those too. A particular favourite of rogues, who can sneak attack to their greedy little heartsí content with this on. And being invisible, albeit for a fairly short time, can be used for stealthy purposes, too, of course.
    Totally worth it.

    Haste (3, Grassland): Concentration. Strong offensive buff, with some good defensive and manoeuvrability uses too. As a land druid, youíre less likely to use this on yourself, though it isnít out of the question. Someone who can make the most of the extra attack is the most likely candidate, though, and they will love it. Note that when the spell ends, the target effectively loses a round.
    Only the dead have seen the end of casting Haste.

    Invisibility (2, Grassland): Concentration. Hour-long duration stealth buff. Multiple targets when using higher level spell slots. It can also be considered an offensive and defensive buff, but it ends as soon as you cast a spell or attack, so it wonít work like that for long. By the time you get it, and for some levels after, you can still get some mileage out of your wildshape for combat purposes, and activating that doesnít break invisibility.
    There are many, many uses for Invisibility.

    Lightning Bolt (3, Mountain): AoE lightning damage, a decent amount for an instantaneous spell. By the time you get it, this can devastate groups of foes, as long as they canít find a way to handle it. Due to the AoE shape (a line), the ability to target this spell in a convenient way is somewhat dependent on your mobility. The spell makes long, narrow hallways a terror through the mid levels.
    Good enough.

    Melfís Acid Arrow (2, Swamp): Acid damage is fairly rare, and not so often resisted. The amount, however, is rather paltry, especially since some of it comes after the target gets to act. Compared to Heat Metal (which you have) or Scorching Ray (which you donít have), this spell falls well behind in impressiveness. By the time the damage type begins to be important, you will likely have moved on to other spells.
    Not worthless, but not so good either.

    Mirror Image (2, Coast): A nice defensive buff, mostly because it does not require Concentration. Commonly touted as a great spell, but I canít really rate it much above average from my experience. It comes with some noticeable drawbacks: The duration is so short, you will likely have to cast it in competition with spells that would work towards ending the encounter, because it will be unusual for you to be able to cast this before a battle (where buffing ideally takes place). The short duration also means it can burn through your spell slots faster than you would like. Finally, it would be a better fit to a moon druid than a land druid. You should have other ways to keep yourself safe, positioning being the most cost effective.
    That said, this is a spell that can see use in many combat scenarios, and those shouldnít be in short supply, so the permanent space of a lesser panic button on the prepared spell list is acceptable.

    Misty Step (2, Coast): Bonus action short range teleport. Itís excellent for getting you out of trouble, through a wall of force, safely over a chasm, etc. Remember that you canít cast a spell both with your action and bonus action in the same round, not counting cantrips.

    Passwall (5, Mountain): As you might expect, this is used for getting through walls and other stone or construction, up to 20í per casting. The hole disappears when the duration runs out, and the magic keeps the structure stable, so you donít risk (and you canít cause) a collapse. Itís an interesting option for putting a twist on a dungeon crawl, and can of course be used to get in and out of many places you werenít meant to go. But it is rather situational for a permanent place on your prepared spell list.

    Silence (2, Desert): Concentration. An immobile area of utter silence comes into being. While this stops most spellcasting (as it prevents verbal components), you can usually walk out before casting, as the AoE isnít too big. That it canít be moved also makes it a lot less useful, as it canít be used to sneak about with.
    The best use of this is likely to lay it down over a caster, and then restrict their movement (perhaps via grapple), so they canít escape. Plan it in advance with your team mates, as you may be unable to communicate once the Silence is cast. Also remember that you and the party are as spell-less in the AoE as any enemy, and that there are a few spells that donít require verbal components. Counterspell and Hypnotic Pattern are two Iíd keep in mind for Silence purposes.

    Slow (3, Arctic): Concentration. Multi-debuff (affecting both attacks and defence), wisdom save ends. But what a debuff! People from previous editions might expect this to affect spellcasters little, but it is quite as harsh on them as it is on other foes. Affects up to six creatures.
    Slow is good, and worth having on your daily list.

    Spider Climb (2, Forest, Mountain, Underdark): Concentration. By itself, this isnít such a bad spell. It lets you get to places otherwise hard or impossible to reach, and can often be used to be immune to enemy melee by climbing up a wall out of reach. The first half is something druids have covered via wildshape since level 2 (spider forms do this naturally). The second half is still a thing, but low level druids in particular are rather dependent on their Concentration for their best combat spells. In combination, this makes an otherwise decent spell a lot less useful to druids compared to other classes.

    Stinking Cloud (3, Swamp, Underdark): Concentration. Nasty BC that can seriously inconvenience targets for a little while, unless they are immune to poison. The main problem with this spell is that it does not prevent anyone from leaving, even if they lose their action to the spellís effect. The next round they are likely free to act. Still, if you can get enough enemies inside the AoE, you will cause sufficiently many of them to lose an action for this to be worth doing. And if you have friends that like to use control effects, maybe they can push enemies back into the cloud for further effect. Once you get to level 10, you can go in the cloud yourself, and maybe use Thorn Whip to pull people back in.
    The main use of this spell is against large groups of enemies, the more the better. It is also an area denial spell. That should come in handy in a lot of fights, so the spell rates decently for being permanently on your prepared spell list.

    Web (2, Underdark): Concentration. A slightly stronger version of Entangle. It can last a lot longer, it can add some height, and it affects creatures that enter the area after the initial casting (which is a double-edged sword, as it affects your party too). It does have some small drawbacks (besides being a higher level spell): It is susceptible to fire. And those in the spell donít save until itís their own turn, which delays the onset of the Restrained condition a bit, and means you wonít know immediately who will be affected.
    Good BC spell, perfectly valid to have on your prepared spell list on a permanent basis.

    Finally, a big 'thank you!' should go to all the wonderful playgrounders who have given advice and encouragement or acted as sounding boards on the previous thread:
    @ archaeo, AvatarVecna, Chambers, Chronos, CyberThread, edge2054, Demonic Spoon, Giant2005, Grynning, Invader, Iolo Morganwg, MaxWilson, MeeposFire, Perseus, Person_Man, Rummy, SharkForce, SlicandDiceKid, Strill and Yorrin:
    Thank you so much, guys!
    Last edited by hymer; 2017-04-29 at 12:59 PM.
    My D&D 5th ed. Druid Handbook - My D&D 5th ed. Campaign Wiki

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Post 5

    The Elemental Evil Player's Companion is available online here.

    Spoiler: Elemental Evil Cantrips
    The Elemental Evil Player's Companion adds a range of optional cantrips to the druid list. You can get it here.

    Create bonfire: Comparable to Produce Flame. Better range, is nice. Save rather than to-hit is not usually good, but depends on the save in question. But it can only target enemies on the ground, it requires concentration, and it doesnít give you movable light like Produce Flame.

    Control flames: Cool, but not that useful cantrip. It requires some non-magical flame to have an effect. If you deal with fire hazards a lot, this grows in usefulness, but you do have other options that can extinguish flames or cause them.

    Frostbite: Damage and debuff cantrip. The targeted save is a bit of a bother (constitution), and the damage amount is small. Still, for a druid this could make an interesting attack cantrip combined with Produce Flame. At least Frostbite has better range than any of the PHB druid cantrips.

    Gust: The control effect of this cantrip is interesting, but limited to medium or smaller creatures. It is also limited by a mere 30í range. Not the worst of the EE Ďdo something with an elementí cantrips, but not a shining light either. Presumably, this effect should be able to accomplish more than the rules indicate, such as blowing out small fires, or perhaps (if used as a ready action) affect a missile attack. But youíll have to ask the DM.

    Magic stone: A ranged version of Shillelagh with a few differences. It does deal one point less damage on a normal hit. Early on, this is probably the best ranged attack cantrip on the druid list (60í range, only shillelagh deals more damage), but its damage scales only with your wisdom Ė and there is no mention that it deals magical bludgeoning damage. Thus it is a poor choice in the long run.

    Mold earth: Too specific in its uses to be really worth it. Two 5í squares of difficult terrain (canít enemies just jump them?) or being able to draw in earth (get some coloured chalk) arenít very enticing. The digging effect might be something, but how often do you really need to dig? And canít you pack a spade, which can presumably also handle earth that isnít Ďlooseí?
    Certain people do like the digging aspect very much, as I've been informed at great length. If you are one, be sure to ask your DM exactly how s/he interprets 'loose earth', and how the cantrip will do with mud, pebbles, rocks, plant roots and similar. If the DM is sufficiently liberal, also with allowing you to stack your diggings, you can quickly make them regret their leniency by having more dig power than most modern machinery (125 cubic feet of dirt per six seconds).

    Shape water: Like the rest of the Ďcontrol an elementí cantrips, it is flavourful, but rather lacks real uses.

    Thunderclap: Unless you play a non-moon melee-druid, this spell takes you much too close to the enemy for comfort. The fact that it is exceedingly loud only makes it worse. It is, however, one of very few cantrips that can deal AoE damage, which is something to think about. That your friends are liable to be in the AoE is another.

    Spoiler: EE Spell Level 1
    Absorb elements: The sudden resistance could be nice, a small panic button to keep you alive. The extra melee damage is unlikely to be of use to a druid. Perhaps a moon druid in caster form could use this to get a small extra bit of damage to the first melee hit of a form.
    Seems a bit too situational for my taste, but if you know you will be getting lots of energy attacks, (especially of various kinds) this will of course be a nice panic button once you get up enough in level to use your low level spell slots more freely.

    Beast bond: Concentration. Basically a buff to an animal fighting for you, giving it advantage on attack rolls against enemies close to you. If your DM lets you use Animal Friendship to get fighting pets, this is an interesting buff, more so if you generally have problems getting it to understand what you want it to do. Otherwise, this is quite situational for a druid. You should have better things to spend your Concentration on and better ways to communicate with animals.

    Ice knife: Direct damage dealing, something of a rarity in the druid spell list, especially at this level. The amount (except on one target) and the likelihood it will be landed are not particularly impressive. Due to the centre needing to be a creature, the targeting is also somewhat clunky. Can be cast in Silence, though.

    Earth tremor: Very similar to Thunderwave, except it is centred on you; it knocks targets prone rather than back; and the damage type is bludgeoning. Knocking enemies prone is generally more useful than knocking them back 10í (it costs them more movement to stand up than to move 10' generally, and your melee friends get advantage against the prone), but prone does not allow for the occasional spectacular success of knocking them off cliffs or into some dangerous effect. And it doesn't spare you Opportunity Attacks, although from prone foes they will be with disadvantage.

    Spoiler: EE Spell Level 2
    Dust devil: Concentration. A bludgeoning version of Flaming Sphere, sacrificing some damage (particularly the ability to attack one specific target) for the chance to knock people 10í away and to cause some obscurement. Knocking people away is both good (because itís control) and bad (because enemies need to be near the dust devil to be subjected to it). It scales much better with higher level slots than flaming sphere, and presumably it can affect airborne targets.

    Earthbind: Concentration. Stops enemies from flying, and brings those already flying slowly down. Potentially nice debuff, but rather specific and unspectacular.

    Skywrite: Concentration. Ritual. Extraordinarily situational spell, but not entirely useless. Can communicate over vast distances (anyone looking up will see Ė but will those you want to reach know to look up?), or maybe earn you some money if you stoop to doing adverts.

    Warding wind: Concentration. A defensive buff that makes it harder to shoot you (or past you) with missile weapons, and makes it harder to approach you (area within 10í of you counts as difficult terrain for others). It also deafens you, which is mostly a bad thing, unless you are subjected to hostile effects relying on speech or sound. Rather situational, and not likely the best use of your Concentration. But it might go on your prepared list every now and again, if you expect large numbers of archers and you canít think of better ways to inconvenience them.

    Spoiler: EE Spell Level 3
    Erupting earth: A lower-strength bludgeoning version of Fireball, which leaves an area of difficult terrain. The damage scales very well with higher spell slots, however; it deals respectable and reliable (magical bludgeoning) damage with a fifth level slot. There's a typo here in the original text about Ďusing a spell slot of third level or higherí Ė the spell is already third level.

    Flame arrows: Concentration. Not very useful in most circumstances. If you have, say, a necromancer friend specializing in archer skeletons, this spell will be a better option. It is still somewhat unimpressive, and should probably only be prepared with specific situations in mind (like a buff for the party archer when you canít otherwise be a part of the fight).

    Tidal wave: Interesting AoE, but deals little damage. Knocking enemies prone could be a saving grace, if you have allies who can make particular use of that (and get to act between you and the affected targets). Seems unlikely, though.

    Wall of water: Concentration. A pretty weird spell (note the effect with cold damage), which doesnít seem to compare very well with wall of air Ė except in duration and in its ability to halve damage of fire effects. Situationally useful.

    Spoiler: EE Spell Level 4
    Elemental bane: Concentration. Perhaps, when used in conjunction with an allied caster without the Elemental Adept feat, this could be good. Otherwise, it needs to work in conjunction with lots of little attacks dealing elemental damage. Maybe a group of mephits summoned by someone else could breathe on the target. But this is a spell that requires some planning if it is to be worth it.

    Watery sphere: Concentration. A rather peculiar AoE control spell, potentially letting you restrain and move beings of size large or smaller around without harming them. It can conceivably be used to get a group of beings off a cliff or other drop without taking damage.

    Spoiler: EE Spell Level 5
    Control winds: Concentration. Fairly versatile, big AoE, good range. This spell can be a terror to fliers, knocking them prone on failed strength saves (presumably causing fall damage). It can also be used to put disadvantage to missile attacks. And it can help people jump 10í higher. Not an everyday spell, but if you know you will be facing fliers, this can be a strong BC effect with a damage rider and some additional uses.

    Maelstrom: Concentration. Unimpressive damage (and save for none), a small control effect, and some difficult terrain. Not likely to be worth a 5th level slot, as it tries to be too many things and ends up doing them all poorly.

    Transmute rock: The spell description mentions effects that turn something into something else Ďfor the spellís durationí. The spellís duration, however, is Ďinstantaneousí. So thatís odd, and whether this is supposed to be a Concentration spell or not will hugely affect its usefulness. The spell also doesnít say anything about what happens (assuming a non-instantaneous duration) if you turn an area into mud, someone walks into it, and you cancel the effect. Maybe the same as Ďtransmute mud to rockí? That would make the spell much more useful. And thereís no indication about what happens if you cast this spell on a rocky foundation under a building, for example.
    All in all, there are so many unanswered questions, I wonít presume to judge this spell.

    Spoiler: EE Spell Level 6
    Bones of the earth: Six (brittle; 30hp) pillars or less rise out of the ground. They can be used to hedge people in or lift them up. If there is a ceiling within 30í, you can catch people between the pillar and the ceiling, causing some damage (not much for the slot), and possibly pinning them. Getting out of the pin is a strength or dex check (not a save, nor Acrobatics or Athletics), which at least makes it less likely a target will get free Ė except that they pick their own check.
    There is some versatility in the spell, as there are plenty of uses for emerging pillars, such as blocking enemies and lifting friends out of danger. If you expect to fight inside, where you can pin people against the ceiling with it, it's a definite contender for preparation. And it doesnít require concentration; nice for a BC effect. But the total effect does come across as somewhat undeserving of a sixth level slot. It may depend very much on whether you feel you have the slots to spend.

    Investiture of flame: Concentration. Immunity to fire and resistance to cold could be a really good defensive buff if you know itís coming up. The extra fire damage to people is cute for a moon druid, but the amount is rather paltry. OTOH, moon druids canít turn down extra damage lightly. The line of fire compares poorly to Sunbeam (of the same level), so that wonít be the main reason for picking this spell. But it should be possible to activate even in wild shape, though you still need to cast the spell before shifting shape.

    Investiture of ice: Concentration. Immunity to cold and resistance to fire could be a really good defensive buff if you know itís coming up. Ignoring slippery ice is highly situational, more so for land druids who have Land Stride. Making the area within 10í of you difficult terrain is a fun little item; wild shaped druids like that the enemy are obstructed in manoeuvring away, and caster form druids like that getting closer is difficult. Itís not great, though, and your allies are also affected. The cone of freezing deals too little damage to compare to Sunbeam (also sixth level), so it wonít be the main reason to cast this spell. But it should be possible to activate even in wild shape, though you still need to cast the spell before shifting shape.

    Investiture of stone: Concentration. Stoneskin for the duration without the component cost, and some extra little things tagged on; like moving through earth (but not too far, and not between turns). For moon druids who arenít taking the form of an earth elemental around now, this could very well be their buff of choice. Itís much more situational for a land druid, but definitely not without its uses.

    Investiture of wind: Concentration. Decent speed flying and a defensive buff against missile weapons, making it a likely combat flight spell. The damage effect is weak, but it does have a control effect, so that part is situationally useful.

    Primordial ward: Concentration. The short duration is a pain, but it is a remarkably useful spell. No need to guess at the type of resistance youíll need (though no help against necrotic, radiant, poison or psychic), and outright immunity to damage types isnít that easy to come by. Itís a spell to take note of, but probably not an everyday spell.

    Spoiler: EE Spell Level 7
    Whirlwind: Concentration. Big damage over time, debuff, and control; all in one, neat package. It does seem to need 30í of space vertically (especially after the errata), and some of its effects donít work on Huge enemies. But other than that, you have acquired a vast and violent vacuum cleaner, and you will love it. Tell your friends!

    Spoiler: Sword Coast Musings
    From a pure druid perspective, there are very few game mechanic elements worth noting in SCAG. I noticed a few things that a druid might find of interest, however. The numbers in parentheses indicate page numbers.

    Ghostwise Halfling (110): A rare, halfling subrace native to FaerŻn.
    It gives +1 wisdom, and the ability to communicate telepathically; useful while in wild shape. This is a nice subrace, easily comparable to Stout. Ghostwise is clearly better for land druids from level 10 (when Stout poison resistance is superseded by druid immunity), and probably moon druids long before that (for wild shape communication).

    Tiefling (118): FaerŻnian tieflings hark back to the editions, when tieflings could have very varied features. This can also affect their mechanics.
    Feral is preferable to standard tiefling, as it gives a boost to dex rather than cha.
    Winged is mighty good (possibly too good), comparable even to the EEPC aarakocra. Tiefling gets resistance to fire, darkvision, +2 cha and +1 int and 30í land movement. Aarakocra gets better stat increases (+2 dex, +1 wis), and only 25í land movement.

    Spiked Armor (121): If you can get spikes that arenít made of metal (as the description implies that you can), this armour type is something to consider. It has 2 points better AC than Hide, but on the downside it gives disadvantage on Stealth. Land druids are generally more concerned with armour, and more likely to use wild shapes for stealth (thus bypassing the disadvantage problem), so they are the most interested. But moon druids around levels when wild shape doesn't cut it should spare a thought, too.

    Spoiler: Volo's Guide to PC Races
    Charisma is not a priority for druids in general. Darkvision is nice, but can be managed without, with the spell if needs be; itís lost with wild shape anyway. Celestial Resistance will come up rarely, and mostly at higher levels. It is, at least, not easily emulated with druid spells. Healing Hands is, however. Having the Light cantrip (while also having Darkvision) is, again, not completely useless, but not that useful, either.
    Protector: Bonus to wisdom is good. Radiant Soul is a minor boost to damage dealing, so if youíre focusing on that, it could be okay. Damage dealing isnít generally the druidís strong suit, and this doesnít fundamentally change that - especially since activating it is an action and the duration short. The flight should likely be for combat purposes. Perhaps a flying bear, if the DM allows it?
    Scourge: Con is a nice ability boost. A moon druid during one of the tops of the wild shape power curve could probably have some fun with Radiant Consumption Ė if the DM lets you activate it in wild shape. Otherwise a bit of extra damage at the cost of being a danger to allies near you and losing hp is not particularly attractive, and you donít need extra threats to Concentration.
    Fallen: A Strength boost is pretty much a lost opportunity to a druid. You likely donít have the charisma to make Necrotic Shroud really work for you. Again, the extra damage is a little something, but likely not that big a deal.

    This one seems a great fit for a druid, but there is too much overlap and redundancy to really make it shine. +2 to wisdom is obviously great, and a rare opportunity for so great a bonus to your casting stat. +1 strength is rather a waste, however. Firbolg Magic is somewhat covered by druid spells and ability to shapeshift. Hidden Step is a cute ability, which among many other things can be used to surreptitiously turn into a small animal when you were being observed. Powerful Build is so-so at best, but may factor into something cheesy if the DM lets it work while youíre an elephant, say. Being able to speak to animals and plants is very fluffy, but you can already do this with spells as a druid.

    Already covered in post 1. See the spoiler ĎElemental Evil Racesí for details.

    Dex and wis are attractive stat boosts. Expert Forgery is probably not right up the druidís alley. Grabbing Stealth and one of the other skills is nice. Deception and Acrobatics could be something, while Sleight of Hand is unlikely to see much use. Adventurers just kill people and take their stuff. Mimicry is not that hot. You can already imitate plenty of things by turning into them, and with much better success rate.

    Con and Wis are attractive stat boosts. Bite isnít generally useful; you donít have the strength to use it, and you can just turn into something with a bigger maw and higher strength if you really need to bite someone. Cunning Artisan fits the druid armoury pretty well, and could come in handy now and again Ė but itís mostly cute rather than useful. Holding your breath for long periods can be done with spells and wild shapes. Proficiency in some appropriate skills is a nice touch. Iíd suggest Perception and Survival, but thereís something to be said for a druid proficient in any and all of those. Natural Armor is as good as +1 studded leather, and likely to serve you perfectly well for a large part of your career. Hungry Jaws would be used in desperation in caster form, but if the DM allows it, you can use it in certain wild shapes for a little extra offensive oomph and a tiny pool of temporary hp.

    +dex is pretty nice, +cha is not much of anything. Darkvision is nice enough, but not critical to someone who canít take it along to wild shapes, and who has a spell that will give it. The burst of speed is a sort of free dash action, which can be quite useful in getting out of melee or into a useful position for spellcasting. Climb speed is nice, letting you get around and climb out of melee range, though you can also climb in many wild shapes. Being able to cattily claw at people is much better if you do it in wild shape. Proficiency in Perception and Stealth is quite welcome.

    +con is nice, +cha and +str is not much use. All the rest is basically covered between spells and wild shapes. Having access to it all as a bonus in caster form is cute, but really doesnít add to your overall options.

    Spoiler: Volo's Guide to Monster PCs
    +str is wasteful, +dex is nice. Darkvision, as usual, isnít a big priority to those who can cast the spell at need, and who lose it in wild shape anyway. Melee attacks at a little extra range would require some very specific druidic choices to be useful. Melee isnít generally your forte, though if it carries over to wild shapes you may be able to have some fun with that. Powerful build is justÖ there. Doesnít hurt, helps very little. Surprise attack is pretty good at low levels if you can get it off; helpful if youíre a stealthy druid, and you happen to be proficient in Stealth as a bugbear. The extra damage fades in importance fairly soon, as it doesnít scale.

    +dex and +con are both quite welcome. Darkvision isnít a big deal for druids, but itís there. Dealing extra damage once per rest may be quite funny if you shift to a small goat and deal it, but generally it wonít make a huge difference. Being able to disengage and hide as a bonus action can get you out of trouble Ė and works better if you happen to be stealthy.

    Red/green early on for land druids with the dex to make use of martial weapons, but drops to red after a while. +con is good, +int isnít really. Darkvision is the usual nice-but-not-huge. Getting proficiency in a couple of martial weapons can be pretty good at low level if you have the dex to use them. A bow and a rapier springs to mind as useful choices. Saving Face works best when you have plenty of friends around, which incidentally is also the time when youíre most likely to get help if you screw up. But a bunch of conjured minions watching you may help you make a critical Concentration save.

    Land, Moon with Pack Tactics working in wild shape. +dex is nice, and Ėstr is unlikely to hamper you. Darkvision is nice to have, but if you must you do already. Grovel, Cower and Beg is amusing, and potentially strong; likely better use of an action than flinging a druid cantrip. But it does mean you have to be pretty close to the enemy. Pack tactics, if the DM will let it, could be very nice for a wild shaping druid at those times when wild shape combat works well, but there are many PCs that can make far better use of this pretty powerful ability than druids. Sunlight Sensitivity sucks.

    +str is sad, +con is happy. Darkvision is so-so. Aggressive could be nice for a wild shape if the DM lets it work. Intimidate isnít the best of skills, and youíre not likely to have the charisma to use it well. Powerful build is quite minor.

    Yuan-ti Pureblood
    Level 1-9, level 10+. +cha and +int are both low priority to druids. Darkvision is what it is, nice but no large deal. The innate spellcasting is something you can do most of, except the Suggestion. Thatís a little something at least, if you have the charisma for it (which, as a druid, you probably don't). Magic Resistance is pretty nice, and so is poison immunity until you get to level 10 (when land druids are also immune to poison, while moon druids can turn into poison-immune elementals).

    Spoiler: Volo's guide to Beasts
    Volo adds a fair number of beasts, particularly filling out the tiers 2, 4 and 5 a bit. Cranium Rats are on page 133, Dinosaurs on pages 139 and 140, and the Aurochs and Cow on 207 and 208.

    CR 0
    Cranium rat: Not much use for conjuring, but wild shaping into one for the Telepathic Shroud could come in handy. Immunity to divination spells is a powerful tool to have in your box, though only sporadically needed. Telepathy is also useful in overcoming language barriers, and of course lets you communicate with your party freely while in this shape.

    CR ľ
    Cow: Low AC and slightly elevated hp for the tier, the lowly cow is str 18 on a Large frame, and it charges so you can feel it. Considered a Huge frame if it's an Ox variant. Rothť are smaller and slightly less durable underdark cows with flashing lights and infravision. And Stench Kows have resistances to three damage types and a stench aura that can poison those nearby. A straight upgrade over the basic cow.

    Dimetrodon: One to one comparison with the CR ľ wolf has the dimetrodon come out on top. They have considerably more hp and deal more damage. In packs, the wolves are more useful with their special abilities. So this one is best used for fairly specific circumstances, where each summon must fight pretty much alone, and should last a while Ė such as a series of small tunnels.

    Velociraptor: Tiny. Comes close to a straight upgrade over the CR ľ wolf. The raptorís size allows four of them to attack from the space occupied by one wolf (though the front row may give the target cover from the second row), allowing them to better concentrate attacks and helping with spacing issues. They retain the pack tactics (and can apply it at times when wolves canít due to space limitations), and deal slightly more damage than the wolf.
    The downsides are one less hp, their size making them more vulnerable to various pushy-grabby tactics, and the wolfís ability to knock enemies down for allies to get advantage. The wolf goes very well with party melee for this reason, something you wonít get from the raptor. The size also means that medium or larger enemies can wade through their space, limiting their usefulness as wall of meat. On the flipside, the raptors can slip through many enemiesí spaces, too.

    Hadrosaurus: Large. Conjuring these would probably be in order to take advantage of the mobile wall of scales and meat it gets you. Between their size and considerable hp pool, they can fill up a battlefield and make it hard or impossible for the enemy to manoeuvre. And theyíll deal non-negligible damage while theyíre at it.

    CR 1
    Deinonychus: In a movement fight, where it can get off its pounce, the deino can actually out-damage a brown bear, unless attacking a quite high AC. The deino has better AC than the bear, but is also considerably less durable. It has its niche, particularly as wild shape for druids with the Mobile feat (or for coolness, though I personally rate bears every bit as cool).

    CR 2
    Aurochs: Nearly identical to the same-tier rhino, a charging form. The aurochs is faster, and in balance has fewer hp.

    Quetzalcoatlus: Huge. A bigger flier even than the CR 1 giant eagle. Having flyby attack and a dive-for-extra-damage ability, this Huge flappy bastard does well in hit-and-run against land-based melee, and it wonít get as much in the way of your allies as many other Huge forms or summons. Be advised: In a slugging match, it does not outperform the CR 1 giant eagle, with one less to-hit and less damage overall, and only four extra hp in its pool.

    CR 4
    Stegosaurus: Huge. Outperforms the CR 4 elephant in slugging matches both in damage and slightly in tankiness, but loses the charge-for-knockdown-and-stomp-in-the-face in balance. For wild shape you may also take into consideration the elephantís agile trunk, which can be very useful out of combat.

    CR 5
    Brontosaurus: Gargantuan. This contested sauropod is considerably tankier than the Giant Croc (also of CR 5), paying it off with less control and damage. The brontosaurus has an impressive 20í reach, which could be useful (attacking past an ally, attacking enemies in melee who canít opportunity attack when you move away after) or annoying (letting enemies roam a vast area without provoking opportunity attacks), depending on the circumstances.

    Spoiler: Volo's Guide to Fey
    Volo adds quite a few fey, especially adding something to use Conjure Fey for and get full CR for your spell slot.

    CR 1/8 is not taking full advantage of the mechanics of Conjure Woodland Beings (or even Conjure Fey), but it's technically possible to conjure from this tier.
    Boggle: You may be able to find use for the bogglesí oily puddles, which last an hour. You could prepare an area for a coming fight, e.g. Their ability to make dimensional rifts is amusing, and excellent for pranks. They could probably be used for practical things, too, like opening containers and doors suspected of being trapped. Though fairly durable for the tier, boggles are rather weak offensively, and so arenít the obvious choice for straight combat.

    CR Ĺ
    Darkling: A fighting minion about on par with beasts of this tier (slightly fewer hp and a little better AC, and a little less damage). In order to justify the higher spell slot, you need to use these where their blindsight and long darkvision gives them an edge. Their death burst needs to be taken into consideration; it can annoy an enemy considerably, but your relative lack of control of when it happens makes it quite capable of backfiring on your own side. Note the light sensitivity.

    CR 1
    Quickling: As the name implies, this little fellow is fast, to the tune of 120í movement speed. Heís made of glass with a pittance of 10hp, but at least attack rolls against him are at disadvantage due to his speed. Offensively heís quite impressive, with a huge +8 to-hit and attacking three times for a high total per round.
    When this minion works, itís going to work well, able to deliver your punch just about anywhere on the ground youíre fighting on. But if the enemy lands a hit, the quickling is likely out of the fight, making him a fragile speedster glass cannon.

    CR 2
    Darkling Elder: When fighting in its own Darkness effect, this is a pretty effective combat minion for the tier (good damage, and the darkness to shore up its defences), and worth the higher slot than CR 2 animals cost. However, the darkness can quickly turn into a nuisance for your own side, as can the death burst. Note the light sensitivity, although it can be mitigated with Darkness.

    Meenlock: Slippery and frightening little fey, the meenlock can be more of a nuisance than a help. Its aura of fear can be as annoying to your side as to the enemyís (or more if youíre not fighting humanoids or beasts). Its main advantage for your side is in the paralysis induced by its claw attack (which does only modest damage). It can also make short teleport jumps as a bonus action, as long as thereís shadow and the ability is charged, making it manoeuvrable and somewhat mitigating the problems of the aura.

    CR 3
    Redcap: Too high to get them with Conjure Woodland Beings, too low to really bother with for Conjure Fey.

    CR 4
    Yeth Hound: Too high to get them with Conjure Woodland Beings, rather low for Conjure Fey. The yeth hound can communicate telepathically with you at any distance on the same plane, so you might consider it for some scouting mission. Its baleful baying might function as a bit of control with its impressive area of effect. But the hound goes to the ethereal plane in sunlight.

    CR 6
    Annis Hag (p. 159): Between its size (Large), AC and damage resistances, this makes a handier and often more durable tank than the Huge CR 6 mammoth. In a slugging match the hag also deals more damage, and it has the crushing hug option to get some control. The mammoth is still deadlier in a trampling charge, and much tankier if the hagís resistances donít apply.

    CR 7
    Bheur Hag (p. 160): A spellcasting battery giving you a bunch of cold-related (or cold-fluffable) spells, and early access to Control Weather. Sheís pretty mobile with 50í flight speed, and should use this for safety during fights. Sheís a little vulnerable for the CR.

    Korred: Another spellcasting battery. You already have access to the spells, but you may not have prepared them for the day. The Korred also has some control from its hair-rope, and it can hide fairly well to keep safe Ė or burrow at 30í speed for even greater safety. It can give some combat backup by flinging rocks for more damage than youíre likely to do with your cantrips.

    Spoiler: Volo's Guide to One Elemental
    CR 3 Flail Snail: Though you can conjure one of these with Conjure Elemental, itís really rather below the capabilities of that spell. The snail is immune to poison and fire, and can eat pretty much any material. You might summon it for one or more of those reasons, or to get the glass it apparently leaves behind.

    Spoiler: Beasts and Fey from the Yawning Portal
    There are five stat blocks in TotYP that can be used for wild shape and/or conjuring purposes, though one is an aquatic animal and so will be overlooked in this guide.

    Giant crayfish, CR 2 beast: Fills out a niche in the tier, with decent defences for a beast, and some considerable control options to boot. Blindsight can come in handy. Has rather poor aim to balance its advantages.

    Giant subterranean lizard, CR 4 beast: Huge. I love this one. This is only the third CR 4 beast Iíve seen, and so it is much appreciated. Though it has fewer hp than the VGtM stegosaurus and the MM elephant, it has three different means of control to the elephantís one, and the lizard can use them all without charging. Its damage is fully comparable to the stegoís in a slugging match, and surpasses it if any of its control effects are taken into account. It even inches out both stego and elephant for AC.

    Nereid, CR 2 fey: In a fight, the nereid is less tanky than the Sea Hag, but she sports better damage options and some decent, single-target control options with those attacks. In water, the invisibility is hard to beat for usefulness, as it does not end on attacking. Combined with her four languages and a good swim speed, the nereid makes an excellent scout in the wet element. The control water effect seems to be quite limited (30í cube), and most of the things control water can do just arenít that impressive in such a small body of water.

    Siren, CR 3 fey: Not a good CR for the spells you can use to get her. She may serve as a spell battery, adding greater invisibility to your options. She also has various spells you already have access to, but may not have on your prepared list just then. If you are fighting some powerful, low-int brute, the siren may be able to shut it down with her stupefying touch (int save damage and stun), though sheís likely to get gobbled up if the save is successful, being so low CR for when you can conjure her.

    Spoiler: Beasts and an Elemental from Tomb of Annihilation
    I found more than a dozen stat blocks in ToA that can be used for wild shape and/or conjuring purposes. The flail snail (elemental) and the dinosaurs (beasts) are also found in Voloís Guide to Monsters, so see above for my comments on those.

    Almiraj, CR 0 beast: Although an affront to evolution and aesthetics both, the lowly almiraj does sport advantage on most Perception checks, as well as decent stealth. In an area where they occur, uh, Ďnaturallyí, you could use one as a scouting form.

    Chwinga, CR 0 elemental: Between Evasion and Natural Shelter, the Chwinga is surprisingly hard to kill for CR 0, if you can even find it given its stealthiness (effectively +17!). Not a creature you would want to conjure, but since each can cast pass without trace, you may want them to concentrate on a whole bunch of those spells for you; say youíre splitting a party, or sending numerous scouts or assassins out in various directions, or the like.
    The Magical Gift is in the DMís purview, so just might be worth it if the DM is feeling particularly generous or jolly. It wonít last if you tap into it like this, I expect.

    Flying Monkey, CR 0 beast: Since it can fly, you wonít be able to wild shape into this until level 8, by which time there seems less reason to use this over. Even then, an owl is a good, nimble and unobtrusive scout. But a monkey does have little hands, allowing it to manipulate some things like door handles, so maybe if you need to enter a home, or rifle through some papers? Of course, you will attract more than a little attention if you use this in an area they arenít normally found.

    Giant Snapping Turtle, CR 3 beast: The nearest MM equivalent is the CR 3 ankylosaurus. The dino has fewer hp and worse AC (at least compared to right-side-up turtles), but has slightly better to-hit, and the ability to knock enemies prone with its attack. So the turtle is somewhat tankier, and loses mostly the control element for it. The turtle also has a nice 40í swim speed and can breathe both above and below water.

    Jaculi, CR Ĺ beast: A rare snake that neither kills with venom nor coils around its prey. As a surprise predator, these are good at lying in ambush, though less good at moving into an ambush position, as their advantage on Stealth only works for hiding, not sneaking. They are deceptively mobile in combat, as they can make a Spring attack, allowing them to move 30í as part of their attack, leaving them their normal movement in addition. When using this Spring, they deal pretty good damage for the tier, but lose some in a slugging match. They have climb speed and 30í blindsight.
    Last edited by hymer; 2017-09-25 at 02:30 AM.
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    Default Re: 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon

    I dare say that Feat Human is wonderful for a Moon Druid. It's a +1 WIS and CON and a feat!

    My Bard and a friendly Druid discovered a devastating combo: faerie fire + fog cloud. Make 'em pink then surround the area in fog. You can see them with advantage. They can't see you.
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    Default Re: 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon

    Perhaps a little off topic, but was there ever a consensus that the player got to pick his own summons?

    If not, you may want to mention that under the conjure spells.

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    Default Re: 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon

    A human moon druid using all his boosts as Feats can walk away with six; a tidy package to build a specialized combat package out of

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    Default Re: 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon

    Thanks for the replies guys. I'll try to get back to you, but right now i can't sit at my desk. I think maybe I've pinched a nerve.

    Edit: Some quick replies standing up:

    @ Endarire: It's pretty good, I agree. But there is no equivalent to, say, Heavy Armor Master og Great Weapon Master for druids - feats are good, but not as good as those. For druids, I don't rate humans higher than wood elf or hill dwarf - somewhat depending on the DM, of course.
    As for the combo trick, have fun! But I feel I should point out that by RAW Faerie Fire does not overcome Fog Cloud. It would defeat darkness and is specifically mentioned to defeat the 'invisible' condition; but not blanket heavy obscurement.
    Thanks for your thoughts!

    @ mephnick: I don't want to open up a can of worms. Let's just say I've seen the discussion, and I didn't forget it while writing my bit on Conjure Woodland Beings.
    Thanks for the thought, though.

    @ Naanomi: I can't think of six feats I'd be so desperate to get as a moon druid, to be honest. Resilient, Sentinel, Warcaster and +4 wisdom seems about right to me. Mileage may vary, of course.
    Thanks for weighing in!
    Last edited by hymer; 2015-02-14 at 01:18 PM.
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    Default Re: 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon

    Quote Originally Posted by hymer View Post
    Thanks for the replies guys. I'll try to get back to you, but right now i can't sit at my desk. I think maybe I've pinched a nerve.

    @ Naanomi: I can't think of six feats I'd be so desperate to get as a moon druid, to be honest. Resilient, Sentinel, Warcaster and +4 wisdom seems about right to me. Mileage may vary, of course.
    Thanks for weighing in!
    I can! In addition to the ones you listed, I think the Mobility feat is an excellent choice for any Pounce or charge forms, allowing you to pounce and then still move up to 40 feet away without provoking. And allowing you to dash across long distances of difficult terrain as well as just always been 10 feet faster for all your modes of movement is pretty sweet.

    Alert is also a great feat, A better than improved initiative feat that also gives you improved uncanny dodge and the ability to act in any surprise round? Seems pretty good letting you get into your beast form before you get hit with anything, which may be a necessity depending on how hard you tanked your physical stats.
    Last edited by Ozimandius; 2015-02-22 at 03:22 PM.

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    Sentinel, Mageslayer, Mobile, Alert, Resiliant, Warcaster

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    Default Re: 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon

    Although not explicit in the rules, the Wildshape feature describes that you can transform into an animal you have seen. Many DM's will ask you to roll a Nature skill check to decide whether your character actually posesses the lore about the animal you want to transform into. This is also the case for Conjure Animals, and other conjuration spells. If you're in a Scandinavian styled setting, it will be difficult to recall knowledge about animals endemic to the african savanna for example.

    You might reconsider your evaluation of Nature. It should be blue in my opinion, especially for a class that relies so much on the knowledge of animal shapes and plants, and other things related to nature. Besides, from a roleplaying pespective it is hard to take serious a druid who skipped this skill.
    Last edited by Edenbeast; 2015-02-23 at 07:56 AM.

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    Default Re: 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon

    I'd also like you to re-evaluate Cha not being red...

    Cha mod would be what you would roll to interact with animals and creatures you come across. Sure you can cast animal friendship on them... But as a real druid shouldn't need to. (I'd make befriending animals be mostly role play) But the relevant skill + mod would be Nature+Cha and/or Animal Handling + Cha.

    If you or your DM puts animal friendship as a sub part of animal handling (+wis) then yes, cha should be red.

    wisdom = read body language, understand someone's feelings, notice things about the environment, or care for the injured.

    charisma = ability to interact effectively (confidence, eloquence, and charming/commanding personality)

    swaying a beast to be friendly would most assuredly be charisma...

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    @ Ozimandius: Your advice is duly noted in the thread for anyone who cares to read it! I'll just add a point or two:
    1: A moon druid with Sentinel cannot make much use of it 40' away from the enemy. Keeping the enemy off the guys in the back makes them much more useful to the party. And many, many enemies have ranged attacks, unlike practically all wild shapes (ape is the only one I can think of off-hand that packs a ranged attack).
    2: Be careful about opening the game up for the goblin conga line - the peculiarity in 5e RAW that lets large groups of lesser creatures all attack the same fighter in a narrow gap every round. If the table already has that, by all means take advantage. If the table think you're free to do it, maybe because you invested a feat, fine. But I'd suggest not lifting the lid off this can of worms in other cases.
    3: Thanks for speaking up!

    @ Naanomi: Fair enough, and the list is now there for anyone to consider. Thanks!

    @ Edenbeast: I think you may confuse Survival (the being out there and seeing) and Nature (the studying of nature, quite possibly in a warm library). If what you need is mere knolwedge of a creature (like for conjuring it), all you need is a big book of animals with illustrations. Just pick one up before level 5. You may be right that many DMs will use Nature for what you suggest. But that seems too contrary to the intention of the two skills for me to make note of it in the handbook.
    But now it is here, voiced for all to see. Thanks!
    On a final note, I really wish Nature was a better skill. Or that the rules had simply amalgamated Survival and Nature. But they didn't and here we are.

    @ Myzz: Well, Animal Handling is a Wisdom skill, so I think you're wrong in your conclusion there. But thanks for taking the time!
    Last edited by hymer; 2015-02-24 at 07:25 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hymer View Post
    @ Myzz: Well, Animal Handling is a Wisdom skill, so I think you're wrong in your conclusion there. But thanks for taking the time!
    I actually quoted the players hand book for wisdom and charisma...

    wisdom = read body language, understand someone's feelings, notice things about the environment, or care for the injured.

    charisma = ability to interact effectively (confidence, eloquence, and charming/commanding personality)
    so swaying beasts to be friendly would indeed be charisma, understanding a beasts body language would be wisdom. Also in the players handbook it talks about using skills with stats other than the ones normally associated with them. In this case, Animal Handling - Charisma would be the most apt fit. BUT that is a variant... If that variant is used at all, then Charisma would play a very significant role in a druid's stats.

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    Default Re: 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon

    Yeah, note that the 5e rules explicitly say that skills can sometimes be used with a different stat than their usual one. I think that befriending an animal would fit pretty well under Charisma (Animal Handling).
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    Default Re: 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon

    In my party we are 2 druids(1 moon druid and 1 land druid), we paly 2 urchin wood elf brother, the moon one is a barbarian 4/moon druid 6 and me in druid 8/ and i must decide 2 lvs.
    In my team we have also a monk a life cleric and an aoe blaster sorcerer. The DMN house rule we can't use divination school, and only conjure animal works( so forget conjure element and conjuer fey), contagion works differently( houserule, now it sucks hard). My combat strat is conjure 8 wolves, monkeys, or octupus and cast non concentration spell. We lack of a sigle-target dmg( the monk and the bear are kore tankish than dmg dealer). So i'm thinking to multiclass in a cleric( tempest, light, DEATH or trickery). What do you think?
    Last edited by Chelios; 2015-02-24 at 10:28 AM.

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    Default Re: 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon

    You might want to make notes of spells that can be cast while wildshaped (because of lack of material componants); some spells that are pretty bad look better when other options disappear at that spell level (Storm of Vengeance)

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    @ Myzz: That Animal Handling is a Wisdom skill is from the PHB, too. Thereís no doubt that a DM may choose to see things the way you see them, and Iím not saying you make no sense. But for the purposes of a handbook, I find too many suppositions in your case for it to bear mentioning, because I have to stick with the bookís notion of Animal Handling. Otherwise Iíd be writing an endless number of scenarios and caveats into everything. I mention the occasional thing of this sort I think could come up, but this one I donít see as coming up enough for it to be worth it, and I would certainly want to discourage anyone reading the handbook from making the druid's rapport with animals dependent on charisma.
    To elaborate somewhat, I think that picking wisdom over charisma for Animal Handling was a very deliberate choice. Because the gruff ranger or aloof druid should and would be able to handle animals better than the charming diplomat who thinks about animals in terms of what sauce heíd serve them with.

    @ Chronos: Iím aware. But the DM could also rule that strength could be used to wrestle with a big dog and gain its respect, or dexterity to handle a captured bird deftly, or any other idea that comes into his mind. Being good with people and being good with animals may have some overlap, but they are hardly the same.
    If DMs want druids to be good at handling animals, theyíll let them use the default stat, because druids are good at that. If a DM wants to penalize a druid, thereís nothing you can really do to protect yourself. And if a DM simply has some notion that druids must have high charisma or animals in the forest will hate them, thatís rather table specific, and not really the subject for a general handbook. Hopefully the player will be aware of such a DMís peculiarities before character creation commences.

    @ Chelios: I think youíd be hard pressed to deal a lot of damage quickly. Even sans summoning, land druids can deal very respectable damage per spell slot, but they do less well in dealing a lot of damage per round. Multiclassing will set your advancement in spellcasting back, and I donít see how that should improve the damage in the long run.
    I donít feel qualified at this point to talk much about what cleric dips would do for you, but hereís my feeling: Sacred Flame is somewhat better as an attack cantrip than what druids get, but it wonít bring you anywhere near the at-will damage a fighter, rogue or warlock can do. Nor will access to first level cleric spells.
    Upping your direct damage dealing from straight druid is likely difficult. If you have a really high charisma, then maybe a warlock dip for some Eldritch Blastíing could make sense.
    Iíd ask the DM if heís willing to give something back from what heís taken from you in the summoning spells. Even if he isnít, Iíd go straight druid in your case (as I would as a general rule with druids), forget about being a big damage dealer, and go BC/debuff if you donít feel Conjure Animals is cutting it any more. You can conjure animals too with Conjure Fey, you may want to ask about that. The animals of low CR will be getting rather vulnerable as you level past their prime. And there are plenty of people in the party, so space concerns are likely to crop up. Apes have a ranged attack, so your moon druid and monk wonít have to compete with them for front space, so thatís something to keep in mind. That will also keep them a tad safer than on the front lines. And you can summon more animals with a 5th level spell slot Ė just be mindful of the spacing problem.
    A final note, and it goes for every class in 5th: When in doubt, single-class. There are multiclass traps aplenty, but single class characters are not, as a rule, traps.

    @ Naanomi: Giant2005 already did. See under the spoiler Land vs. Moon: Druid Abilities.
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    Default Re: 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon

    After looking closely at some of the beast entries, I noticed something about the Giant Elk that I don't think has been mentioned. The target for its Hooves attack that does so much damage is against "one prone creature". Meaning you have to attack with your Ram unless they are prone. This brings them down in power significantly. Guess Polar Bear becomes a no brainer comparatively.

    Same goes for the Elephant's and Mammoth's Stomp.

    Also, thanks so much for this guide, it is great, and you are awesome for answering everyone's questions so diligently. I'm new here but it seems like a pretty great place.
    Last edited by Ozimandius; 2015-02-24 at 02:01 PM.

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    @ Ozimandius: Good catch on the stomping, thanks a bunch! I'll see that it gets amended quickly, because you're absolutely right.
    And thanks for the praise, too.
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    Default Re: 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon Post 3

    Quote Originally Posted by hymer View Post
    If youíre going to buy your equipment at level 1, you get 2d4x10gp plus what you got from your background Ė 5-25gp.
    What you need to consider:

    Armour and shield: Depending on your pecuniary capabilities and your Dex, you will want to pick 10gp Hide (the obvious starter option), 45gp Studded Leather (for the rich and agile) or simple Leather (for the really agile, dex 18+, who can't afford studded leather). A shield is 10gp and well worth it. Even if you intend to use a bow, you want a shield in your pack. But if youíre that hard up for cash, you can leave it off for now.
    I just wanted to know if Druid's could actually use Studded Leather due to the fact they can't use armor with metal.

    Also in your Land druid rundown section you have ritual spells listed in red (Could be a waste of your stuff); however later in the spells section you have them blue (Good stuff). I was wondering if one of these was a typo.

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    Default Re: 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon Post 3

    Quote Originally Posted by rlh7yc View Post
    I just wanted to know if Druid's could actually use Studded Leather due to the fact they can't use armor with metal.
    You can probably talk your DM into allowing it if you read the description of Studded Leather:
    Studded Leather. Made from tough but flexible
    leather, studded leather is reinforced with close-set
    rivets or spikes.
    Doesn't say they have to be metal rivets or spikes...

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    Default Re: 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon

    The "no metal" thing is stupid anyway. There isn't a much more natural element than metals. Hell, it's even considered an element with water, air etc in a lot of philosophies.

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    Default Re: 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon

    @ rlh7yc: About studded leather: Iím in line with Nod_Hero. If you read the descriptions, the key word with studded leather is that itís made 'from leather'. The medium armour descriptions (except hide) mention metal specifically, where studded doesnít. Presumably there may be metal buckles on the armour straps too, for instance, without this counting as the armour being 'made of metal'. The wording of the prohibition is up to interpretation, as is the description of individual armour types.
    Of course, your DM may see it differently, but you should have some arguments to hand at least.
    About Rituals: Since you donít have a choice about being able to use rituals, the Ďit-might-be-a-wasteí is merely in comparison to everything else you get. In the context of a specific spell, it is of course a good thing that you have the option of casting it without expending a spell slot. I wanted something to draw attention to Ritual and Concentration spells, and the colours (and their connotations of 'nice' and 'look out') seemed the obvious choice.

    @ Nod_Hero: I agree completely. Thanks!

    @ mephnick: Itís a taboo, itís not supposed to make sense. But it's not caught out of thin air; the unwillingness to use certain metals for certain tasks is a religious taboo youíll find from a Flamen Dialis of ancient Rome to an American native shaman. The ability to work metals can be seen as a (or the) major step in moving away from humanityís Ďnaturalí stone-age state, and so defying it may seem proper for a druid. Your mileage may vary, of course.
    Last edited by hymer; 2015-02-25 at 07:14 AM.
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    Default Re: 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon

    @ hymer
    Thanks for the response. I guess I was just over thinking it then on the ritual/concentration stuff.

    I was thinking of how real studded leather was made:

    Also sometimes called a Jack, Brigandine is made of small steel or iron plates sandwiched between layers of leather or canvas and riveted in place. It was a popular defense on its own for less wealthy soldiers and as a second layer over mail for richer knights. This type of armor sees fairly widespread use in the High Middle Ages, and slowly tapering off (although not disappearing completely) in the Late Middle Ages.
    What many role playing games refer to as "studded leather" armor is likely a confused interpretation of medieval artwork that depicted Brigandines (as the only visible metal part of the armor is the rivet structure holding the plates underneath in place).
    Most of what is known about this type of armor is taken from either iconographic sources, or - like the Coat of Plates - from a mass grave site near Wisby largely excavated between 1928 - 1930, and full of remains from a battle fought in 1361.

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    Default Re: 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon

    @ rlh7yc: As the little article suggests, studded leather is largely fictitious. The range of armour in use in D&D is in itself pretty unrealistic, mixing time periods and cultures and throwing in some inventions or misinterpretations. I think it's safe to say that the armours available are chosen more for cinematic reasons or D&D traditions, than for simulating realism.
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    Default Re: 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon

    Personally, I want to smack whichever designer it was back in the day who came up with the abomination that is splint mail. Now, banded mail, that's practical: It puts a lot of solid metal between you and the pointy bits, while still maintaining most of your flexibility. But splint mail would give you exactly as much protection as banded, while greatly restricting your movements, for no added benefit.
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    Default Re: 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon

    Update: Elemental Evil races, cantrips and spells added to the guide. The races are in post one, and the spells and cantrips in post five. Look out for Dust Devil (lvl 2) as a possible replacement for Flaming Sphere, the Investiture spells (lvl 6) for something more to cast at that level, and Whirlwind (lvl 7) which looks promising as well as highly amusing.
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    Default Re: 5e Druid Handbook - Land & Moon

    Quote Originally Posted by Myzz View Post
    I actually quoted the players hand book for wisdom and charisma...

    so swaying beasts to be friendly would indeed be charisma, understanding a beasts body language would be wisdom. Also in the players handbook it talks about using skills with stats other than the ones normally associated with them. In this case, Animal Handling - Charisma would be the most apt fit. BUT that is a variant... If that variant is used at all, then Charisma would play a very significant role in a druid's stats.
    Handle animal is under wisdom... Cha for animal handling was a poor fit in previous editions. Interacting with animals and people are vastly different. It's a good thing they finally distinguished between the two (as far as primary stats). Cuts down on RP based MADness.

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