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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2018

    Post Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (v1.2)


    My guide to the other Druid Circles is available here.

    Table of Content:

    Post1: Introduction
    Post2: Ability Scores & Races
    Post3: Feats, Skills, Languages, and Equipment
    Post4: Wildshape Forms, Shapechange, & Polymorph
    Post5: Creature Forms Availability, & Wild Shape Communication
    Post6: Conjuring Spells
    Post7: Druid Spells Analysis
    Post8: Multiclassing, Party Synergies, & Builds

    Color Scheme:

    Sky Blue: Amazing
    Blue: Good
    Black: Decent
    Purple: Bad
    Red: Horrible

    Spoiler: Main Features of the Guide
    Show

    This distinguishes itself from the other Druid guides through the following:

    Extensive Bestiary: My guide constitutes the largest collection of creatures for Wild Shape, Polymorph, & Conjure spells. It covers every AL Legal source, plus GGtR & WGtE. Every other list, app, and guide I've consulted is missing some of the creatures listed here.

    Every Beast/Fey/Elementals Reviewed: Every creature listed has been reviewed, and the color of its name indicates how good I believe it is. This allows the viewer to rapidly zoom in on the most useful creatures.

    Every Spell Reviewed: Every spell on the Druid's list has been reviewed, and the color of its name indicates how valuable I believe it is.

    Extensive Analysis of Druid Features: The guide goes beyond the usual analysis of Races / Skills / Feats, and describes often ignored aspect of the Druid such as Languages, Communication while in Wild Shape, Party Synergies, and more.


    Spoiler: Introduction to the Moon Druid
    Show
    The Circle of the Moon Druid is a powerhouse – it combines the full spellcasting abilities of the Druid with the power & utility of the numerous beasts published in DM resources. Highly versatile and extremely resilient, the Moon Druid can fill numerous roles during combat: debuffer, tank, healer, summoner, grappler, etc.

    The main limiting factor of the Moon Druid is that it requires a high level of knowledge. To perform optimally, a Moon Druid needs to be intimate with his spells, his Wildshape options, as well as the creatures it can summon through Conjure Animals, Conjure Woodland Beings and Conjure Feys. To keep track of the extensive list of creatures involved, I strongly recommend players consult the free Companions for D&D 5e app.

    The Moon Druid has a strongly uneven growth curve. Widely considered broken at level 2, Wildshape does not improve until level 6, when CR2 forms become available. The next big jump occurs at level 10, with the new possibility to Wildshape into Elementals. Players who stick with the Moon Druid until level 18 will be happy to gain the ability to cast spells while Wildshaped, and those who reach level 20 can Wildshape every turn to become near unkillable.

    Although Wildshape can deal immense damage at low levels, other martial classes easily surpass it starting at level 5. After this level has been reached, the Moon Druid will find itself relying on its spells more and more. This doesn’t invalidate the use of Wildshape – to the contrary, perhaps the optimal way to play a Moon Druid is to concentrate on a powerful spell (typically Summon Animals) before Wildshaping and entering the fray.

    This guide is designed to lead players to maximize their Druid PC by helping them choose the right Wildshape form and to combine it with spells, feats, and racial abilities.


    Spoiler: Moon Druid Features
    Show
    Druidic, 1: Knowing the language of the druids. For fluff.

    Spellcasting, 1: The Druid spell list is excellent, but tends to rely heavily on Concentration.

    Ritual Casting, 1: A few of your spells can be cast as rituals to save spellslots. Some such as Speak with Animals can be used almost every session.

    Wild Shape, 2: Your Wildshape forms can grant you damage, utility, HP, and can inflict conditions on enemies. Later on, you'll almost always want to Concentrate on a spell before Wildshaping.

    Combat Wild Shape, 2: Using a Bonus Action to Wildshape typically saves you a round of action, if you Wildshape during combat. Burning spellslots to heal is not efficient but can be occasionally helpful.

    Circle Forms, 2: The max CR of beasts you can Wildshape into starts at CR1 and increase as you level up.

    Wild Shape Improvement, 4, 8: You gain access to forms with an aquatic speed at level 4, and forms with a flying speed at level 8. Some of the aquatic forms (Giant Toad, Giant Octopus, Giant Constrictor Snake) are amazing when you get them, and the flying forms are helpful for scouting.

    ASI/Feats, 4, 8, 12, 16, 19: Wisdom helps with spells, although some of your best options don't use DCs. Feats can be immensely helpful, both in caster form and during Wildshape.

    Primal Strike, 6: Your attacks count as magical. Helpful if you want your forms to do damage instead of concentrating on inflicting conditions.

    Elemental Wild Shape, 10: You get access to four powerful Elemental shapes with resistance to nonmagical weapons.

    Thousand Forms, 14: You can cast Alter Self, a level 2 spell, at will. Awful.

    Timeless Body, 18: You age at 1/10 the rate. A fluff ability, although potentially helpful for races with a short longevity.

    Beast Spells, 18: You can now cast spells without material components while Wildshaped! Its now much easier to concentrate on a powerful spell while Wildshaped.

    Spoiler: More on Beast Spells
    Show
    Can be cast with Beast Spells:

    • Cantrips: Control Flames, Create Bonfire, Druidcraft, Frostbite, Guidance, Gust, Magic Stone, Mold Earth, Poison Spray, Primal Savagery, Produce Flame, Shape Water, Thunderclap,
    • 1st: Absorb Elements, Charm Person, Cure Wounds, Detect Magic, Earth Tremor, Entangle, Faerie Fire, Fog Cloud, Healing Word, Purify Food & Drink, Speak with Animals, Thunderwave
    • 2nd: Beast Sense, Earthbind, Find Traps, Healing Spirit, Lesser Restoration, Protection from Poison, Skywrite, Warding Wind
    • 3rd: Call Lightning, Conjure Animals, Daylight, Dispel Magic, Flame Arrows, Meld into Stone, Plant Growth, Protection from Energy, Speak with Plants
    • 4th: Blight, Charm Monster, Conjure Minor Elementals, Dominate Beast, Elemental Bane, Giant Insect, Gasping Vine, Guardian of Nature
    • 5th: Antilife Shell, Commune with Nature, Contagion, Control Winds, Geas, Mass Cure Wounds, Tree Stride, Wrath of Nature
    • 6th: Bones of the Earth, Conjure Fey, Heal, Investiture of Flame, Investiture of Ice, Investiture of Stone, Investiture of Wind, Primordial Ward, Transport via Plants
    • 7th: Fire Storm, Mirage Arcane
    • 8th: Animal Shapes, Tsunami
    • 9th: Storm of Vengeance


    Cannot be cast with Beast Spells:

    A: Also can't be cast with Archdruid

    • Cantrips: Infestation, Mending, Resistance, Shillelagh (A), Thorn Whip
    • 1st: Animal Friendship, Beast Bond, Create/Destroy Water, Detect Poison&Disease, Goodberry, Ice Knife, Jump, Lonstrider, Snare(A)
    • 2nd: Animal Messenger, Barkskin, Darkvision, Dust Device, Enhance Ability, Flame Blade, Flaming Sphere, Gust of Wind, Heat Metal, Hold Person, Locate Animals/Plants, Locate Object, Moonbeam, Pass without Trace, Spike Growth
    • 3rd: Erupting Earth, Feign Death, Sleet Storm, Tidal Wave, Wall of Water, Water Breathing, Water Walk, Wind Wall
    • 4th: Confusion, Conjure Woodland Being, Control Water, Freedom of Movement, Hallucinatory Terrain, Ice Storm, Locate Creature, Polymorph, Stone Shape, Stoneskin (A), Wall of Fire, Watery Sphere
    • 5th: Awaken (A), Conjure Elemental, Greater Restoration (A), Insect Plague, Maelstrom, Planar Binding (A), Reincarnate (A), Scrying (A), Transmute Rock, Wall of Stone
    • 6th: Druid Grove, Find the Path (A), Heroes' Feast (A), Move Earth, Sunbeam, Wall of Thorns, Wind Walk
    • 7th: Plane Shift (A), Regenerate, Reverse Gravity, Whirlwind
    • 8th: Antipathy/Sympathy, Control Weather, Earthquake, Feeblemind, Sunburst
    • 9th: Foresight, Shapechange (A), True Resurrection (A)


    Archdruid, 20: You can Wildshape an unlimited number of times, and you can ignore the verbal, somatic, and material (lacking a price) components of your spells. You can now cast almost all your spells in Wildshape, plus you can turn into a new form (with full HP) as a bonus action every round. Game breaking.




    Spoiler: D&D Sources Used
    Show
    Core Books: These three are the primarily books; most content listed here come from them. DMs will usually let you freely use material from these books.

    • Dungeon Master's Guide (DMG): Rules for crafting, and most magical items.
    • Monster Manual (MM): Most Beasts, Fey & Elementals.
    • Player's Handbook (PHB): The Druid class, plus most races, spells, feats, circles, & equipment.


    Supplement Books: These five supplements are widely available but not as prevalent as the core books. Many DMs will let you use material from these sources but might ban some options.

    For Adventure League (AL), the "PHB + 1" rule says your character creation & advancement can only use material from the PHB plus one of these sources.

    • Elemental Evil (EE): Spells & races. Free PDF. The spells are reprinted in XGtE.
    • Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes (MToF): A few races options, and the Frost Salamander.
    • Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide (SCAG): A few races variants, new cantrips, & Spiked Armor.
    • Volo's Guide to Monsters (VGtM): 12 races, and more Beasts, Fey & Elementals.
    • Xanathar's Guide to Everything (XGtE): Two new circles, many spells, racial feats, and crafting rules.


    Non-AL Legal WotC Sources: These are published by WotC but not AL Legal. Most of the races are not native to the Forgotten Realms.

    • Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica (GGtR): Five races, the Circle of the Spores, three Elementals and the Conclave Dryad.
    • One Grung Above (OGA): The Grung race.
    • Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron (WGtE): Four races, and the Clawfoot Raptor.


    WotC Adventures: These contain magical items to find, and Beasts to observe for Wild Shape. Whether or not you are allowed to conjure the various Beasts, Fey & Elementals included in these adventures is up to the DM.

    • Curse of Strahd (CoS): Sangzor the Goat.
    • Ghosts of Saltmarsh (GoS): Giant Coral Snake, Giant Sea Eel, Sea Lion, Giant White Moray Eel.
    • Hoard of the Dragon Queen (HotDQ): Insignia of Claws.
    • Lost Mine of Phandelver (LMoP): Staff of Defense & Snarl the Wolf.
    • Out of the Abyss (OotA): Many new Beasts & Beast variants.
    • Princes of the Apocalypse (PotA): Crystal Scale Mail & Stone Breastplate, & Elemental Myrmidons.
    • Storm King's Thunder (SKT): Stone Breastplate, Ice Spiders, Hulking Crab, & Tressym.
    • Tales from the Yawning Portal (TftYP): Six Beasts, and the Nereid & Siren.
    • Tomb of Annihilation (ToA): Scorpion Armor, Chwinga, & Jaculi.
    • Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage (DotMM): Flying spider.


    Guild Adept (AL Legal): These third party supplements have been judged AL Legal through the Guild Adept program. They contain additional Beats, Fey, and Elementals to use for Wild Shape & for conjuring spells. Unfortunately, few DMs own them, so you might trouble getting them into play.

    • DDHC-TOA-2 - The Tortle Package (TTP): Tortle Race, & the Geonid
    • DDHC-TOA-3 - Beasts of the Jungle Rot (BotJR): 12 extra dinosaurs
    • DDHC-TOA-8 - Return of the Lizard King (RotLK): Krenshar, Giant Spitting Lizard, & 3 Mutated Beasts
    • DDHC-TOA-14 - Xanathar's Lost Notes to Everything Else (XLNtEE): 3 Urban Dryads & 4 Gens
    • DDHC-WDH-04 - Durnan's Guide to Tavernkeeping (DGtT): Alewife & Yeastling


    AL Adventures: These AL missions give you magical items as rewards. The Staff of the Woodlands is especially worth seeking out.

    • DDEX2-09 Eye of the Tempest: Giant Snow Spider.
    • DDEX3-11 The Quest for Sporedome: Mushroom Half-Plate.
    • DDAL05-13 Jarl Rising: Shroud of the Mourning Warrior.
    • DDAL05-16 Parnast Under Siege: Young Mammoth.
    • DDAL07-08 Putting the Dead to Rest: Staff of the Woodlands, & Awakened Giant Ape.
    • DDAL08-11 Poisoned Words: Awakened Flying Snake.


    Spoiler: Version History
    Show
    1.2 (5/26/2019): Added beasts from Ghosts of Saltmarsh.

    1.1.1 (4/21/2019): Added information about Wizard 2 multiclass.

    1.1 (4/19/2019): Edited information for Korred, and added Conjure Elemental & Fey information.

    1.0 (4/16/2019): First complete version.
    Last edited by Merudo; 2019-05-28 at 03:58 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2018

    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide

    Ability Scores


    Spoiler: Introduction
    Show
    The Moon Druid is arguably the character that is the less dependent on ability scores. Physical attributes are replaced while Wildshaped and are thus relevant only when in caster form. Additionally, many of the strongest Druid spells do not depend on Wisdom. The Moon Druid is thus an excellent choice if you rolled poor stats at character creation.


    Spoiler: Ability Scores
    Show
    Strength gets replaced by Wildshape. For melee combat in caster form, Shillelagh does a far better job. It’s mainly useful for Athletics rolls, and multiclassing into Barbarian.

    Dexterity gets replaced by Wildshape, but helps with Initiative, saving throws, and AC outside of Wildshape. Also helps with the Monk multiclass. Typically your 3rd most valuable attribute.

    Constitution gets replaced by Wildshape, but helps with hit points and saving throws outside of Wildshape. If multiclassing Barbarian, can also improve AC. Your 2nd most valuable attribute.

    Intelligence helps with some niche skills, and with saving throws against Mindflayers.

    Wisdom helps with some spells as well as important skills (mainly Perception). If you multiclass into Monk, it can also provide a bonus to AC in all forms. Your most useful attribute.

    Charisma helps with social interactions outside of Wildshape, and a few saving throws. Somewhat
    better if playing as Ghostwise Halfling because you can still socialize while Wildshaped.


    Races


    Spoiler: Introduction
    Show
    While Wildshaping, the Moon Druid retains the benefit of any feature from its race and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so. Since a Moon Druid spends a considerable amount of time Wildshaped, this puts a premium on races that provide such features. You have lot of room to be creative with your race choice here, as stats do not matter much to the Moon Druid.

    Determining if a features carry over while Wildshaped requires close examination to the wording of the feature – for example, the Dragonborn’s Breath Weapon ability technically only requires a mouth and can thus be used while Wildshaped. When in doubt, ask your DM if the features of a race work with Wildshape.


    Spoiler: PHB Races
    Show
    Dragonborn: Element resistance is good and the breath can be used while Wildshaped.

    Dwarf (Hill): +2 Con, +1 Wis, +1HP/level, and Poison Resistance.

    Dwarf (Mountain): +2 Con, and Poison Resistance. Go Hill Dwarf instead.

    Elf (Drow): 2 Dex: Drow Magic is better taken from the Half-Elf Drow Variant.

    Elf (High): +2 Dex, the Wizard cantrip can be semi-useful out of combat, and bow proficiency is okay.

    Elf (Wood): +2 Dex, +1 Wis, 35' speed and improved stealth in natural settings. The later two can be used in Wild Shape.

    Gnome (Forest): +1 Dex, Gnome Cunning is amazing, minor illusion is one of the best cantrips, and Speak with Small Beasts works while Wildshaped.

    Gnome (Rock): +1 Con, Gnome Cunning is still amazing but the other features are of dubious utility.

    Halfling (Lightfoot): +2 Dex, Brave & Lucky are great but the Stout variant is much better.

    Halfling (Stout): +2 Dex, +1 Con, Brave & Lucky + Resistance to Poison are great.

    Half-Elf: Alright stats, and decent features. The Drow variant is probably the best one.

    Half-Orc: +1 Con, Savage Attacks work in Wildshape and Relentless Endurable makes you even more unkillable, but the rest is bad.

    Human (Standard): Awful choice. The extra stats are wasted on you, and you don’t get any cool ability or feature.

    Human (Variant): Arguably the strongest choice as most feats will help you in Wild Shape form.

    Tiefling: Resistance to Fire (the most common element) is quite helpful, and the spell are fine.


    Spoiler: DMG Races
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    Aasimar: +1 Wis, the resistance & spells are great, but the options in Volo's are even better.

    Elf (Eladrin): +2 Dex, Misty Step 1/rest in elf form is rarely useful – you’d be better off using the bonus action to Wild Shape


    Spoiler: Elemental Evil Races
    Show
    Aarakocra: +2 Dex, +1 Wis, 50' flying speed while wearing light armor, but contrarily to the Winged Tiefling no resistance or spells.

    Genasi (Air): +2 Con, +1 Dex, & Levitation 1/day is okay

    Genasi (Earth): +2 Con, Earth Walk works while Wildshaped, and Pass with Trace 1/day is good but redundant with your spelllist.

    Genasi (Fire): +2 Con, fire spells & resistance.

    Genasi (Water): +2 Con, +1 Wis, resistance to acid, swim speed & some utility water spells. Decent.


    Spoiler: SCAG Variants
    Show
    Dwarf (Grey): +2 Con, Duergar Resilience protects against multiple ailment & Duergar Magic is top notch. Sunlight Sensitivity doesn’t apply while Wildshaped.

    Gnome (Deep): +1 Dex, Gnome Cunning is still amazing. Superior Darkvision & Stone Camouflage while awesome do not work with Wildshape.

    Halfling (Ghostwise): +2 Dex, +1 Wis , Lucky, Brave, plus the option to talk during Wildshape makes this one of the best options around.

    Half-Elf Variants: The Drow variant is rather strong – the Darkness is good if you Wildshape into a form with Blindsight (Giant Spider).

    Tiefling Variants: Fire resistance and some Fire spells. Feral gives slightly better stats, while Winged gives a flying speed


    Spoiler: Chult Race Packages
    Show
    Grung (OGA): +2 Dex, +1 Con, Poison immunity, & your piercing attacks do extra Poison damage. Sadly not compatible with Wild Shape or Shillelagh.

    Tortle (TTP): +1 Wis, and Natural Armor provides good AC. Wildshape doesn't benefit from this race, though.


    Spoiler: Volo’s Guide Races
    Show
    Aasimar (Protector) : +1 Wis, Healing Hands might work while Wildshaped, Celestial Resistance is always helpful, & you get a flying bear at level 3.

    Aasimar (Scourge): +1 Con, Healing Hands might work while Wildshaped, Celestial Resistance is always helpful, you can do extra damage with your ability

    Aasimar (Fallen): The worst of the Aasimar, you don't get a useful stat boost or a good ability.

    Bugbear: +1 Dex, Reach doesn’t appear to work while Wildshaped. Surprise Attack is decent but doesn’t scale.

    Firbolg: +2 Wis, Speech of Beast and Leaf & Firbolg Magic are neat but don't work in Wild Shape & are ultimately made obsolete. Hidden Step is an amazing use of a bonus action while Wildshaped but limited to 1/rest.

    Goblin: +2 Dex, +1 Con. Nimble Escape is great to use while Wildshaped and is near broken when combined with forms with Charge/Pounce or the Fire Elemental. Fury of the Small is quite hard to use while Wildshaped but can work against Huge creatures.

    Goliath: +1 Con, Good damage mitigation 1/rest but little else

    Hobgoblin: +2 Con & Saving Face are helpful but the rest isn’t.

    Kenku: +2 Dex, +1 Con, and interesting social abilities.

    Kobold: +2 Dex, Pack Tactics is amazing for the Wildshape forms that don’t have it. Grovel, Cower, and Beg can be used in Wildshape and combo extremely well with the summoning spells.

    Lizardfolk: +2 Con, +1 Wis. Natural Armor helps a lot with the Druid’s armor restriction, & Hungry Jaws can be used while Wildshaped. Natural Armor may work if Wild Shaped into a Beast with "tough scaly skin" such as the Deinonychus or Giant Constrictor Snake.

    Orc: +1 Con, Aggressive is great to use while Wildshaped. The rest of the package isn’t – I’d rather pick Goblin.

    Tabaxi: +2 Dex, Feline Agility while Wildshaped is quite powerful but the rest of the race is mediocre for the Druid.

    Triton: +1 Con, resistance to cold damage is helpful. The spells are okay, and Emissary of the sea can work in Wildshape. Good for a sea campaign.

    Yuan-Ti Pureblood: Magic Resistance & Poison Immunity are almost broken, plus you get some spells.


    Spoiler: Mordenkainen's ToF Races
    Show
    Elf (Eladrin): +2 Dex, the bonus action Fey Step is excellent while Wildshaped.

    Elf (Sea): +2 Dex, +1 Con, and Friends of the Sea can be used while Wildshaped. Better in an aquatic campaign.

    Elf (Shadar-Kai): +2 Dex, +1 Con, necrotic resistance, and a bonus action teleport that gives damage resistance

    Githyanki: Okay spells but not much else.

    Githzerai: +2 Wis, advantage on charmed & frightened saving throws, and good spells.


    Spoiler: Guildmasters' GtR Races
    Show
    Centaur: +1 Wis, but not much else. It's unclear to me if the Charge feature works while Wildshaped into a Giant Elk - if so, it could make this race great.

    Loxodon: +2 Con and +1 Wis, advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened, and possibility to dump both strength and dexterity and keep good AC. Less good if your DM provides you with magical armor.

    Minotaur: +1 Con, with nothing else useful.

    Simic Hybrid: +2 Con and +1 Wis. Carapace gives +1 AC, but the enhancements go away while in Wild Shape.

    Vedalken: +1 Wis and advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws is good


    Spoiler: Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron Races
    Show
    Changeling: +1 Dex, some tools & skills proficiency and a shape changing ability. Sadly, the later doesn't synergize with the Druid's abilities at all, plus you can already Wild Shape.

    Kalashtar: +1 Wis, +1 to something else, and you can use up your reaction to gain advantage on Wis saving throws. You also gain telepathy, one social skill, and you gain advantage on all checks using that skill. A strong alternative to the Ghostwise Halfling.

    Shifter (Beasthide): +2 Con, +1 Dex, proficiency in Athletics & Perception. You can shift 1/rest for Level + Con Mod + 1d6 THP and 1 AC, which works in Wild Shape.

    Shifter (Longtooth): +1 Dex, proficiency in Intimidation & Perception. You can shift 1/rest for Level + Con THP and the ability to do a 1d6 + Str Mod as a bonus action.

    Shifter (Swiftstride): +2 Dex, proficiency in Acrobatics & Perception, +5' speed. You can shift 1/rest for Level + Con THP and another +5' speed.

    Shifter (Wildhunt): +2 Wis, +1 Dex, proficiency in Survival & Perception, plus the ability to "mark" a target to find it more easily. You can shift 1/rest for Level + Con THP and advantage on Wisdom checks.

    Warforged (Envoy): +1 con, +1 to two abilities, resistance to Poison, plus an excellent AC.

    Warforged (Juggernaut): +1 con, resistance to Poison, plus an excellent AC.

    Warforged (Skirmisher): +2 Dex, +1 con, +5' speed, resistance to Poison, plus an excellent AC.
    Last edited by Merudo; 2019-05-30 at 05:40 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2018

    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide

    Feats


    Spoiler: Good Feats
    Show
    Feats are extra valuable for the Moon Druid - they often offer substantial benefits, both when Wildshaped and when not.

    Alert: Bonus to initiative is always useful for casters.

    Athlete: A +1 to Dexterity and some minor movement bonuses.

    Lucky: An excellent feat that can be invaluable. Using it right requires some skill and foresight, though.

    Mage Slayer: With your movement and grappling you could be an okay mage slayer.

    Magic Initiate: Find Familiar: The Owl can perform the Help action without triggering OAs, and it can feed your Goodberries to allies with 0HP. If you Wildshape into a tiny creature the Owl can carry you while it flies around. Fun, versatile and occasionally powerful.

    Magic Initiate: Mage Armor: A 0-3 bonus to AC for beast & elemental forms - but hopefully you have a better way to get the spell.

    Mobile: Highly useful for the Wildshape forms that charge. Can also help using hit and run tactics with the more fragile animals.

    Observant: +1 Wisdom and a significant bonus to passive perception.

    Resilient: Res(CON) is decent - you don't get the +1 con while Wildshaped but you do get a better proficiency bonus to concentration checks.

    Ritual Caster: Lets you cast Find Familiar, as well as all the wonderful rituals available to the Wizard.

    Sentinel: Lets you defend your teammates better, although if you concentrate on a spell you might not want to be damaged.

    War Caster: Best way to keep concentrating on spells until the high levels. Also help with casting with hands full & for better OAs.

    Spoiler: War Caster & Somatic Components
    Show
    A Druid can cast spells with both Somatic & Material components while holding a druidic focus (such as a quarterstaff) and a shield.

    However, by RAW, a Druid cannot cast a spell with Somatic components and no Material components unless either one hand is free or the Druid has the War Caster feat. In practice, this rule is ignored at most tables.

    If you play by RAW, War Caster is required cast the following spells with your hands full:

    Cantrips: Control Flames, Create Bonfire, Druidcraft, Frostbite, Guidance, Gust, Magic Stone, Mold Earth, Poison Spray, Primal Savagery, Produce Flame, Shape Water, Thunderclap
    1st: Absorb Elements, Charm Person, Cure Wounds, Detect Magic, Earth Tremor, Entangle, Fog Cloud, Purify Food and Drink, Speak with Animals, Thunderwave
    2nd: Beast Sensne, Find Traps, Healing Spirit, Lesser Restoration, Protection from Poison, Skywrite
    3rd: Call Lightning, Conjure Animals, Daylight, Dispel Magic, Flame Arrows, Meld into Stone, Plant Growth, Protection from Energy, Speak with Plants
    4th: Blight, Charm Monster, Conjure Minor Elementals, Dominate Beast, Elemental Bane, Giant Insect, Grasping Vine, Antilife Shell
    5th: Antilife Shell, Commune with Nature, Contagion, Control Winds, Mass Cure Wounds, Tree Stride, Wrath of Nature
    6th: Bones of the Earth, Conjure Fey, Heal, Investiture of Flame, Investiture of Ice, Investiture of Stone, Investiture of Wind, Primordial Ward, Transport via Plants
    7th: Fire Storm, Mirage Arcane
    8th: Animal Shapes, Tsunami
    9th: Storm of Vengeance




    Spoiler: Racial Feats
    Show
    Bountiful Luck (XGtE): Somewhat decent in large parties.
    Dragon Fear (XGtE): You don't need the stat boost but the roar is a decent improvement over the breath.
    Dragon Hide (XGtE): The hide doesn't work while Wildshaped.
    Drow High Magic (XGtE): Detect magic at will is okay but you can't use it in Wildshape.
    Dwarven Fortitude (XGtE): : Can be used while Wildshaped but you have better ways to heal hit points.
    Elven Accuracy (XGtE): Sadly, only applies to beast with dexterity attacks.
    Fade Away (XGtE): Decent invisibility as a reaction 1/rest
    Fey Teleportation (XGtE): Can't be used while in Wildshape
    Flames of Phlegethos (XGtE): You don't have that many good fire spells.
    Infernal Constitution (XGtE): Multiple resistance that carry over while Wildshaped.
    Orcish Fury (XGtE): The second ability doesn't work while in Wildshape.
    Prodigy (XGtE): Can be decent, depending on the skill. Athletics helps a lot if you Grapple often with Elementals.
    Second Chance (XGtE): Since you don't care about the stat boost, Lucky is much better.
    Squat Nimbleness (XGtE): Doesn't apply if you Wildshape into a beast size Medium or larger.
    Svirfneblin Magic (MToF): The spells are just not good enough to be worth it.
    Wood Elf Magic (XGtE): The spells are good, you just know them already.


    Spoiler: Bad Feats
    Show
    Actor: You can already impersonate other creatures
    Charge: The bonus action requirement makes this incompatible with most charging forms
    Defensive Duelist: Works with scimitar but the bonus isn't worth it
    Dual Wielder: Terrible feat for everyone, but especially for the Druid
    Dungeon Delver: With your tons of hit points you're not a bad choice to send on traps, but there are better feats
    Durable: You have so many ways to regain hit points that this is unnecessary
    Elemental Adept: You don't use that many elemental spells.
    Grappler: Grappling is great but this doesn't really help. You are better off just pushing the grappled enemy prone.
    Healer: Unless your DM lets you use a Healer's Kit while Wildshaped, this is a bad feat.
    Heavily Armoured / Heavy Armor Master: Sadly, almost all heavy armors are made of metal.
    Inspiring Leader: Sadly, almost all Wildshape forms can't speak.
    Keen Mind / Linguist: You have little value for intelligence
    Martial Adept: Could be fun to do maneuvers as a beast but one superiority dice is just not enough.
    Medium Armor Master: Doesn't increase AC in Wildshape form at all
    Mounted Combatant: You can't really use a mount while Wildshaped.
    Polearm Master: Could be used with Shillelagh with a Quaterstaff but you have better things to do
    Savage Attacker: Can help damage done while Wildshaping, but the feat just doesn't do enough
    Sharpshooter: You won't be using a ranged weapon much.
    Shield Master: At least this has some defensive value. Still awful though.
    Skilled: You can't use most skills well when Wildshaped.
    Skulker: If can use your Wildshape when you really need to hide
    Spell Sniper: The extra cantrip is neat but not required. The extra range is rarely useful.
    Tavern Brawler: Your Wildshape use their natural weapons, not improvised weapons.
    Tough: Doesn't affect Wildshape hit points.
    Weapon Master: Your quarterstaff is pretty much all the weapons you need.


    Skills

    Spoiler: Class Skills
    Show
    Arcana: Most useful Knowledge skill, which isn't saying much. Sadly, you can't tell the result of this check to your party while Wildshaped.
    Animal Handling: You can cast spells to deal with animals, but you can use this while Wildshaped. Especially useful if you pick a race that can easily interact with animals (Firbolg, Forest Gnome, Triton & Sea Elf).
    Insight: Very helpful social skill that works well with your high Wisdom
    Medicine: The most useless skill in the game. A 5gp Healing Kit can replicate most of its effects.
    Nature: Generally tells you obvious lore. For you though, it could justify having seen so many animals forms.
    Perception: The best skill in the game, it comes up multiple times per session.
    Religion: Can be occasionally helpful to identify supernatural effects
    Survival: Better than Nature, as it allows you to do practical things such as tracking. Especially helpful to track & locate beasts you need to observe to Wildshape into.


    Spoiler: Other Skills
    Show
    Acrobatics: Fewer uses compared to Athletics - and the later is more effective to defend against Grapples during Wildshape (almost all beasts have Str > Dex). Can help defend against Grapples in caster form, and to keep your balance.
    Athletics: Helps with all kind of movement while Wildshaped, and Grapples. Most Wildshape forms don't have proficiency in it.
    Deception: Useful social skill, plus could reasonably apply to body language while Wildshaped.
    History: One of the least useful skills in the game.
    Intimidation: Decent social skill, plus you can definitely use it while Wildshaped.
    Investigation: Without hands, its hard to investigate complex mechanics.
    Performance: I guess it could be used to make a cute little dance as a Wildshaped animal
    Persuasion: The most useful social skill
    Sleight of Hand: Your animal forms don't have the hands to pick pockets.
    Stealth: Great for scouting, and helpful both in and out of Wildshape. A must for races that grant advantage to stealth (Wood Elf, Deep Gnomes).


    Languages

    Spoiler: Languages for Conjured Creatures
    Show
    Although your conjured creatures can understand any verbal commands you issue them, you can't understand them back unless you know their own language.

    Blink Dog: Blink Dogs could make okay scouts, but Giant Eagles/Owls are better.

    Giant Elk: Pretty useless, unless the DM says its the only language you can speak while Wildshaped into a Giant Elk.

    Giant Eagle: Decent if you plan on using them as scouts.

    Giant Owl: Decent if you plan on using them as scouts.

    Dragonic: For the GGtR Blistercoil Weird & Fluxcharger. Mainly used to spy on creatures including Kobolds and Dragons, but most of them also speak Common.

    Primordial: To understand virtually all of the Elementals you can conjure. Crucial to work with the Invisible Stalker.

    Sylvan: To understand Boggles / Pixies / Yestlings, and Darklings/Darkling Elders/Dryads if nobody knows Elvish.


    Spoiler: Other Languages
    Show
    Abyssal: To communicate with Demons.
    Giant: Giants are plentiful, and can be reasoned with.
    Goblin: To spy on Goblins, but quickly becomes useless as you stop facing these foes.
    Infernal: To communicate with Devils.
    Undercommon: Most intelligent creatures from the Underdark speak it.


    Equipment

    DS: Disadvantage on Stealth checks

    Spoiler: Weapons
    Show
    Club: For Shillelagh use only. Lighter than a Quarterstaff, but less damage without Shillelagh.

    Dagger: Darts are cheaper and lighter than Daggers.

    Darts: If you really need Piercing ranged damage that uses Dex. Slings have better range and do Bludgeoning damage.

    Javelin: Your best ranged option if you have good Strength.

    Greatclub: The Quarterstaff is strictly better than this

    Mace: The Quarterstaff is strictly better than this

    Quarterstaff: Best option for Shillelagh or for Strength melee damage. Can also work as a druidic focus.

    Scimitar: Best melee weapon that uses Dex, or of the Slashing type.

    Sickle: Less damage than a Scimitar and without the Finesse tag.

    Sling: Your best ranged option if you have good Dexterity. Less damage than a Javelin but cheaper to use.

    Spear: Like a Javelin but heavier, twice as expensive, and with worse range.

    Magical Weapons

    Staff of Defense: Increases your AC by 1, and more importantly lets you cast Mage Armor. Found in LMoP.

    Staff of Fire: Lets you cast Fireball, as well as Wall of Fire & Burning Hands. Druids get few direct damage options, so this can be wonderful. Found in HotDQ & SKT.

    Staff of Frost: Lets you cast Cone of Cold, Fog Cloud, Ice Storm, & Wall of Ice. A good variety here. Cone of Cold is decent damage, and Wall of Ice is a Wizard-exclusive spell that is quite efficient. Found in CoS & TftYP.

    Staff of the Woodlands: Excellent staff for any Druid, although it does not help your Wild Shape. Found in DDAL07-08, DDEP07-01 & DDHC-TOA-13.



    Spoiler: Armors
    Show
    Druids cannot wear metal armor. A kind DM might allow you to buy or craft "natural" armor equivalent to metal armor, opening up options. By default though, you are only allowed to wear these few types of armor:

    Shield, +2 AC: You can start with a shield and should always have it equipped

    Padded, DS, AC11 + Dex Mod: Awful, you should upgrade as soon as possible

    Leather, AC11 + Dex Mod: Decent if you are saving up for better armor

    Studded Leather, AC12 + Dex Mod: Your best choice if you have great Dex.

    Hide, AC12 + Dex Mod (Max 2): If you have less than 16 Dex, this works like a cheaper, lighter Studded Leather

    Spiked Armor, DS, AC14 + Dex Mod (Max 2): Rare armor made by dwarves & costing 75gp, your best option for AC unless you have 18+ Dex. From SCAG.

    Ring Mail, DS, AC14: Heavy armor, for which you don't get proficiency by default. Sadly your best option for AC if you have less than 14 Dex and don't have access to Spiked Armor.

    Magical Armors

    Crystal Scale Mail +1, DS, AC15 + Dex Mod (Max 2): Found in PotA (p. 140)

    Dragon Scale Mail, DS, AC15 + Dex Mod (Max 2): Bonus to Saving Throws against Dragon abilities, and Resistance to a type of damage.

    Mushroom Half-Plate of Poison Resistance, DS, AC15 + Dex Mod (Max 2): Provides Resistance to Poison. From DDEX3-11.

    Scorpion Armor, AC18: Cursed Heavy Armor made of Scorpion parts. Gives +5 to Initiative. Found in ToA.

    Shroud of the Mourning Warrior, DS, AC15 + Dex Mod (Max 2). Functions as a +1 Scale Mail but is made of wood. From DDAL 05-13.

    Stone Breastplate, DS, AC14 + Dex Mod (Max 2): Found in PotA (p.136) and SKT (p.103)


    Spoiler: Crafting Armor
    Show
    As seen in the previous section, Magical Armor not made of metal is extremely rare and outright absent from many published WotC adventures. Unless your DM tweaks the treasures in published adventures or runs homebrew, your best bet is probably to craft the armor yourself.

    The DMG and XGtE both contain optional rules for crafting magical items - ask your DM if you can use them.

    According to these rules (p.128 of both books), to craft a Magical Item you'll need:

    • A formula describing the item's construction
    • Special materials, decided by the DM
    • Gp, determined by the item's rarity
    • Time, determined by the item's rarity
    • A high enough level, determined by the item's rarity (DMG only)
    • Spells, if the item will produce them (DMG only)
    • Appropriate equipment, tools, & tools proficiencies (XGtE only)

    The gp & time requirement are much more relaxed in XGtE; for example, a Legendary item takes 100,000gp and 1 year in XGtE but 500,000 gp and 55 years in the DMG!

    Crafting Materials

    The materials needed are up to the DM. To procure them, XGtE suggests that the PCs face a creature with a CR appropriate to the rarity of the item to be crafted.

    The list of magical armor listed above suggest the following materials are suitable: Crystal, Scale, Petrified Giant Mushroom, Scorpion part, Stone, and Wood.

    The Wood could be mundane such as Cedar, Ebony, Oak, or Yew, or magical such as Darkwood, Greenwood, Ironwood, or Wyroot.

    Alternatively, other materials might be appropriate: Bone/Hide/Mane/Skin, Chitin/Shell, Bark/Cord/Leaf, Gem, Obsidian, Spidersilk, etc.


    Spoiler: Equipment for Wildshape
    Show
    Most magical items do not help the Druid while in Wildshape. DMs may thus struggle to reward a Moon Druid PC with exciting loot. Here are a few ideas:

    RAW Legal Items

    Animated Shield: Can be activated before Wildshaping to retain the +2 Bonus to AC.

    Dancing Sword: Can be activated before Wildshaping to gain an extra attack as a Bonus Action. Only lasts four turns, though.

    Ioun Stones: These can orbit your head while Wildshaped. Among other things, they can provide a +1 bonus to AC, a +2 to a stat, and Regeneration.

    Insignia of Claws (HotDQ): Can be worn while in Wildshape and provides +1 bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls

    Scarab of Protection: Gives advantage on Saving Throws against Spells. The medallion only needs to be "on your person" to work, so carrying it is enough.

    Stone of Good Luck: Provides a +1 bonus to Ability Checks & Saving Throws. The stone only needs to be "on your person" to work, so you could make a pendant out of it or something.

    "Up to the DM" Items

    Amulets/Belts/Bracers/Capes/Gloves/Handbands/Lenses/Medallions/Rings/etc.: "The GM decides whether it is practical for the new form to wear a piece of equipment".

    Barding Armor: Can dramatically increase the AC of some Wildshape forms. However, some DMs may claim that the Druid is not proficient in Barding Armor and thus has disadvantage on ability checks, saving throws, and attack rolls involving Strength or Dexterity while wearing Barding.

    Saddle of the Cavalier: Attacks have disadvantage against the Moon Druid so long as they are wearing this and have a rider. It's unclear under which form(s) a PC qualifies as a mount.
    Last edited by Merudo; 2019-06-03 at 01:34 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2018

    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide

    DG: Expected damage if all attacks are non-critical hits

    Wildshape Forms

    Spoiler: CR < 1, No Swim/Fly
    Show
    These forms are generally terrible at combat, and that's the point: by looking non-threatening, you can infiltrate and spy on others. The best form is probably one that is inconspicuous: a cat in a city, a frog in a marsh, a weasel in the forest, etc. Still, a few forms provide benefits that may not be obvious:

    Ape, AC12, 19HP, 13 DG: Has a ranged rock attack for 6.5DG, hands to manipulate objects, and Athletics +5 for Grappling.

    Badger, AC10, 3HP, 1 DG: 5' burrow speed.

    Cranium Rat (VGtM), AC12, 2HP, 1 DG: Telepathy, immunity to divination & mind read effects.

    Giant Badger, AC10, 13HP, 10.5 DG: 10' burrow speed.

    Giant Centipede, AC13, 4HP, 15 DG: 30' Blindsight.

    Mastiff, AC12, 5HP, 4.5 DG: An extremely fragile Medium size mount that can knock Prone (DC11).

    Pony, AC10, 11HP, 7 DG: A fragile Medium size mount.

    Spider, AC12, 1HP, 3.5 DG: Has Spider Climb.

    Weasel, AC13, 1HP, 1 DG: +5 stealth, and less conspicuous than the Almiraj.

    War Horse, AC11, 19HP, 11 DG: 60' speed mount.

    Adventure-specific Beasts

    Almiraj (ToA), AC13, 3HP, 5.5 DG: 50' speed, advantage on Sight/Hearing checks, +5 stealth.

    Cave Badger (OotA), AC12, 13HP, 10.5 DG: 15' burrow & 60' Tremorsense. Variant of the Giant Badger.

    Giant Riding Lizard (OotA), AC12, 19HP, 6.5 DG: 30' speed, but 30' climbing speed and Spider Walk. An excellent mount for vertical travel.

    Jaculi (ToA), AC14, 16HP, 9 DG: 30' Blindsight.


    Spoiler: CR1, No Swim/Fly
    Show
    Brown Bear, AC11, 34HP, 19.5 DG: 40' speed. Good HP and damage, but terrible AC.

    Deinonychus (VGtM), AC13, 26HP, 19.5 DG: 40' speed. Pounce attack to knock Prone and give extra attack (DC12), but low HP. Outdamages the Brown Bear if Pouncing every round - works amazingly with the Mobile feat. Medium size.

    Dire Wolf, AC14, 37HP, 10 DG: 50' speed, Pack Tactics. Excellent defensive form. Relatively weak damage but can knock Prone (DC13).

    Giant Hyena, AC12, 45HP, 10 DG: 50' speed. If Rampage procs, can be as damaging as the Brown Bear.

    Giant Spider, AC14, 26HP, 16.5 DG: Spider Climb, 10' Blindsight, good Poison damage (DC11), a Web attack that auto-restrain on a hit (no saves).

    Lion, AC12, 25HP, 7.5 DG: 50' speed. Has Pack Tactics and a Pounce attack (DC13). Weak damage and defense.

    Tiger, AC12, 37HP, 8.5 DG: 40' speed. Has a Pounce attack (DC13), but unlike the Lion doesn't have Pack Tactics.

    Adventure-specific Beasts

    Crag Cat (SKT), AC13, 34HP, 8.5 DG: 40' speed, Nondetection, Spell Turning, and a Pounce attack (DC13).

    Dilophosaurus (BotJR), AC13, 26HP, 6.5 DG: Has a ranged spit attack that does no damage but can Blind and Paralyze an enemy (DC12).

    Female Steeder (OotA), AC14, 30HP, 16.5 DG: Crazy 90' jump, Spider Climb, 120' darkvision, good Acid damage (DC12).

    Giant Rocktopus (OotA), AC11, 52HP, 10 DG: A variant of the Giant Octopus that evolved to live on land. Has a 20' speed on land & advantage on stealth checks, but no swim speed.

    Mutated Hunting Dog (RotLK), AC14, 39HP, 9 DG: 40' speed. Its attack can knock the target Prone (DC12). Has Pack Tactics. Can do 1 extra damage as a BA if it had advantage on the attack roll. Immune to Cold but Vulnerable to Fire. Roughly as good as the Dire Wolf.

    Sangzor (CoS), AC11, 33HP, 8 DG: 40' speed. Resistance to nonmagical attacks. Has a Charge attack that does 5 extra damage & knocks Prone (DC13). Has advantage against most Prone effects. Excellent at defense but poor offense. Unique variant of the Giant Goat. Unfortunately, by the time you encounter Sangzor you'll likely have access to CR2+ creatures.

    Spider (Giant Snow) (EotT), 14AC, 26HP, 16.5DG: A variant of the Giant Spider with Cold resistance and Ice Walk.

    Spider (Ice) (SKT), AC14, 26HP, 16.5 DG: A variant of the Giant Spider with Cold resistance. Its Webbing does 1 cold damage per turn but is no longer immune to bludgeoning damage.

    Spider (King) (OotA), AC14, 44HP, 16.5 DG: Unique variant of the Giant Spider with Proficiency in Perception, Constitution & Wisdom saving throws. Advantage on Perception checks, and against many debuffs.

    Troodon (BotJR), AC13, 22HP, 7.5 DG: Has Pack Tactics & Improved Critical. Pretty much strictly inferior to the Dire Wolf.


    Spoiler: CR1, Swim
    Show
    Giant Octopus, AC11, 52HP, 10 DG: 10' speed, 60' swim. Its 15' range tentacles auto-restrain enemies on hit (escape DC16). Low mobility on land, but can be improved with the Mobility feat or Longstrider.

    Giant Toad, AC11, 39HP, 13 DG: 20' speed, 40' swim. A Bite that auto-restrain (escape DC13). Can Swallow the grappled enemy to inflict 10.5 acid damage but the process is very slow (takes 3 turns minimum for the acid to kick in).

    Adventure-specific Beasts

    Archelon (BotJR), AC14, 26HP, 12 DG: 10' speed, 40' swim. Terrible stats, plus no special features.


    Spoiler: CR2, No Fly
    Show
    Allosaurus, AC13, 51HP, 15 DG: 60' speed. Has a Pounce attack (DC13). Okay form, but much inferior to the Zealoraptor.

    Aurochs (VGtM), AC11, 38HP, 14 DG: 50' speed. Has a Pounce attack (DC15) for 9 extra damage. Has offensive & defensive capacities close to the Brown Bear, which is pretty outdated by now.

    Giant Boar, AC12, 42HP, 10 DG: 40' speed. Has a Charge attack (DC13) for 7 extra damage. Relentless 10. About as bad as the Aurochs.

    Giant Constrictor Snake, 12AC, 60HP, 13 DG: 30' swim Amphibian, 10' Blindsight. Has auto-restrain attack (escape DC16). Slightly better than the Giant Octopus in almost every way, and has much better mobility on land.

    Giant Elk, AC14, 42HP, 11 DG: 60' speed. Can Ram an enemy from 10' away, then retreat. If Charging, can knock the target Prone (DC14) and do 7 more damage. You can speak while in this form.

    Hunter Shark, AC12, 45HP 13 DG: 40' swim. Blood Frenzy gives advantage very often, but the damage is lackluster and it lacks the restraining ability of the Giant Constrictor Snake & Giant Octopus.

    Plesiosaurus, AC13, 68HP, 14.5 DG: 20' speed, 40' swim. Great defenses but little else.

    Polar Bear, AC12, 45HP, 21.5 DG: 40' speed, 30' swim. Slight upgrade to the Brown Bear, but by now there are much better forms. The Cave Bear variant has 60' Darkvision.

    Rhinoceros, AC11, 45HP, 14 DG: 40' speed. Has a Charge attack (DC15) for 9 extra damage. Another mediocre charging/pouncing form.

    Saber-Tooth Tiger: 12AC, 52HP, 12 DG: 40' speed. Has a Pounce attack (DC14). Yawn.

    Adventure-specific Beasts

    Giant Crayfish (TftYP), AC15, 45HP, 14 DG: 30' swim, 30' Blindsight. Has two claw attacks that can auto-grapple.

    Giant Spitting Lizard (RotLK), AC12, 45HP, 13.5 DG: A ranged attack that can hit two adjacent creatures for 13.5 damage, and a melee grapple attack. Oh, and a reaction that pushes enemies away, knocks them prone, and ends their movement. What!?

    Giant White Moray Eel (GoS), 12AC, 60HP, 13DG: 40' swim, 10' Blindsight, can only breath underwater. A variant of the Giant Constrictor Snake that can't breath air or constrict, but with a +4 to stealth checks. The constrict attack is the main draw of the Giant Constrictor Snake, so this variant is pretty useless.

    Ice Spider Queen (SKT), AC14, 44HP, 16.5 DG: A variant of the Giant Spider. Its webbing does 2.5 cold damage per turn. Resists cold damage, and does 5 cold damage to creatures that start their turn near it.

    Krenshar (RotLK), 13AC, 28HP, 14DG: 40' speed. Has a 60' Frightening Roar (DC11 Charisma) that knocks enemies Prone and Frighten them. A creature making the saving throw becomes immune - use this before combat until your team is immune. Beside its roar, the form is mediocre.

    Pachycephalosaurus (BotJR), AC13, 68HP, 8.5 DG: 40' speed. Has a Charge attack (DC14) for 5 damage. Great defenses but its damage is a joke at this point.

    Zealoraptor (BotJR), AC15, 52HP, 19 DG: 50' speed. Has a Pounce attack (DC13) and Pack Tactics. Excellent at offense and defense.


    Spoiler: CR <= 2, Fly
    Show
    Non-combat forms

    Bat (AC12, 1HP, 1 DG): 30' fly & 60' Blindsight, Keen Hearing
    Bat (Giant), AC13, 22HP, 5.5 DG: 60' Fly & 60 Blindsight', Keen Hearing
    Owl, AC11, 1HP, 1 DG: 60' fly & 120' Darkvision, Keen Hearing & Sight, Flyby
    Owl (Giant), AC12, 19HP, 8 DG: 60' fly & 120' Darkvision, Keen Hearing & Sight, Flyby
    Raven, AC12, 1HP, 1 DG: 50' fly, can speak through Mimicry

    Combat forms

    Giant Eagle, AC13, 26HP, 16.5 DG: 80' fly speed. The main draw is that you can speak while in this form.

    Giant Vulture, AC10, 22HP, 16 DG: 60' fly speed, with Pack Tactics. Can do decent damage, but fragile.

    Quetzalcoatlus (VGtM), AC13, 30HP, 12.5 DG: 80' fly speed. Dive Attack is easy to trigger and can do 10 extra damage. Has both Flyby and Reach 10 to keep it out of trouble. By far the best flying form so far.

    Adventure-specific Beasts

    Flying Monkey (ToA), AC12, 19HP, 13 DG: 30' fly, and has hands.

    Nemicolopterus (BotJR), AC12, 1HP, 1 DG: 50' fly, adv. to hide in the Jungle/Forest.

    Tressym (SKT), AC15, 3HP, 1 DG: 40' Fly and 50' Detect Invisibility .

    Flying Spider (DotMM), 14AC, 26HP, 16.5 DG: 40' Fly, good damage, a Web attack that auto-restrain on a hit (no saves), and Blindsight 10'. Variant of the Giant Spider.

    Mutated Giant Vulture (RotLK), AC10, 37HP, 16 DG: 60' fly speed, with Pack Tactics. Can do 2 extra damage as BA. Much more durable than the Giant Vulture.


    Spoiler: CR3
    Show
    Ankylosaurus, AC15, 68HP, 18 DG: 10' Reach attack that can knock creatures Prone (DC14). Works similarly to the Giant Elk but more durable.

    Giant Scorpion, AC15, 52HP, 42.5 DG: 40' speed, 60' Blindsight. Multiattack with 2 claws that auto-grapple, and a stinger that does poison damage (DC12). Great offense but poor defense.

    Killer Whale, AC12, 90HP, 21.5 DG: 60' swim, 120' Blindsight. Has tons of HP.

    Adventure-specific Beasts

    Amphisbaena (TftYP), 12AC, 60HP, 24 DG: 30' swim Amphibian, 10' Blindsight, and its attack auto-restrains (escape DC16). A variant of the Giant Constrictor Snake that can attack twice.

    Giant Lightning Eel (TftYP), AC13, 42HP, 29 DG: 5' speed, 30' swim. Blindsight 60'. Only to be used underwater, where its Lightning Jolt can stun multiple creatures (DC12).

    Giant Snapping Turtle (ToA), AC17, 75HP, 18 DG: 40' swim. By far the most defensive form yet.

    Mutated Crocodile (RotLK), AC12, 60HP, 11 DG: 30' swim. Its attack auto-restrain (DC13), and it can reduce the HP of the restrained enemy by 3 as a Bonus Action. Worse than the CR2 Giant Constrictor Snake.


    Spoiler: Elemental Forms
    Show
    Elementals can speak and resist nonmagical weapons.

    Air Elemental, AC15, 90HP, 28 DG: 90' fly. Arguably the worst of the Elementals for combat, it has bad HP and a weak Whirlwind ability (DC13). It does make for an excellent scout, and it can fight well against flying enemies or highly maneuverable opponents..

    Earth Elemental, AC17, 126HP, 28 DG: 30' burrow, 60' Tremorsense. No-nonsense elemental with excellent defense and good offense. With Earth Glide, it can burrow at the end of its turn to be fully protected against AoE and other attacks. Works wonderfully with abilities that obscure vision.

    Fire Elemental: AC13, 102HP, 20 DG: 50' speed. Set enemies on fire, by walking into them or touching them. An enemy on flame takes 5.5 damage per turn unless an action is spent to douse the flame. With such low AC, it may be preferable to take the Disengage action & just walk through them. Works amazingly for a Goblin Moon Druid because they can Disengage as a Bonus Action.

    Water Elemental: AC14, 114HP, 26 DG: 90' swim speed. Its Whelm ability is its main feature. It can restrain up to two creatures and has a relatively high DC (15). Cold damage destroys its mobility.


    Spoiler: CR4
    Show
    Elephant, AC12, 76HP, 19.5 DG: 40' speed. Trampling Charge (DC12) to knock Prone & attack again for 22.5 DG. Sadly, the DC is too low to work reliably.

    Stegosaurus (VGtM), AC13, 76HP, 26 DG: 40' speed. Similar to a Ankylosaurus that doesn't knock enemy prone but does a tad more damage.

    Adventure-specific Beasts

    Giant Coral Snake (GoS), AC13, 90HP, 8DG: 30' swim. On a hit, stuns for a round and inflicts a short-term madness (DC12), most of which are incredibly debilitating. Unfortunately, the low DC and damage makes this beast highly unreliable.

    Giant Subterranean Lizard (TftYP), AC14, 66HP, 28 DG: 50' swim. Multiattack with a Bite that auto-restrains and a Tail with Reach that knocks Prone (DC15). Can also Swallow a grappled creature for 16 damage immediately and 10 Acid damage every round. Good but barely an improvement over the Amphisbaena.

    Mammoth (Young) (PUS), AC11, 90HP, 14DG: 40' speed, 10' Reach. Charge attack to knock Prone (DC16) & do a BA attack (21.5 DG). Compared to the Elephant, this has 14 more HP, a slightly weaker attack, better reach, and a much better Charge.


    Spoiler: CR5
    Show
    Brontosaurus (VGtM), AC15, 121HP, 32 DG: 20' reach. Also has alternative tail attack that does 27.5 damage but knocks enemies Prone (DC14).

    Giant Crocodile, AC14, 85HP, 35.5 DG: 50' swim. Multiattack with a Bite that auto-restrains and a Tail with Reach that knocks prone (DC16). Good amphibian animal.

    Giant Shark, AC13, 126HP, 22.5 DG: 50' swim, 60' Blindsight, Blood Frenzy gives advantage against the wounded.

    Triceratops, AC13, 95HP, 24 DG: 50' speed. Like the Elephant, has a Trample attack that knocks Prone (DC13) & gives extra attack. The Brontosaurus has better stats overall.

    Adventure-specific Beasts

    Hulking Crab (SKT), AC17, 76HP, 41 DG: 20' speed, 30' swim, 30' Blindsight. Multiattack with two claws that auto-grapple (DC15), and an interesting Camouflage ability. The Crocodile inflicts better debuffs.

    Large Subterranean Lizard (TftYP), AC14, 85HP, 35.5 DG: Multiattack with a Bite that auto-restrains and a Tail with Reach that knocks prone (DC16). This variant of the Giant Crocodile has no swim speed, a 30' climb speed, and 60' darkvision.

    Therizinosaurus (BotJR), AC14, 104HP, 35 DG: Okay damage and defense but no abilities.


    Spoiler: CR6
    Show
    Mammoth, AC13, 126HP, 25 DG: 40' speed. Has a Trampling Charge with Reach and a wonderful DC18 that knocks an enemy prone & allows an additional 29 damage attack.

    Adventure-specific Beasts

    Brachiosaurus (BotJR), AC16, 145HP, 40 DG: 20' Reach. Also has alternative tail attack that does 34.5 damage but knocks enemies Prone (DC15). Gargantuan size. Alternative to the Mammoth if its Charge can't work. A straight upgrade to the Brontosaurus, and has excellent defenses.


    Shapechange Forms

    Spoiler: Shapechange
    Show
    The level 9 spell Shapechange works similarly to your Wild Shape, letting you adopt the form of a creature you have have seen. The CR of the creature can't exceed your level, and the creature can’t be a construct or an undead.

    This section heavily depends on what creatures you have seen through your adventuring career, but here are a few ideas:

    Aboleth: To enslave other creatures.

    Adult Dragon: 60' Blindsight, excellent mobility, legendary resistance, Frightful Presence, and a powerful long range Breath weapon. Best used to harass enemies with the Breath while staying out of their range.

    Androsphinx: Has 3 Roars that affect everyone hearing them within 500 feet, immune to nonmagical attacks.

    Beholder: 150' Antimagic cone.

    Chwinga (ToA): Magical Gift lets you give a charm to one of your allies.

    Couatl: Cure Wounds, Lesser Restoration & Greater Restoration, immune to nonmagical weapons.

    Death Slaad: Regeneration 10 & Plane Shift

    Neothelid/Ulitharid/Elder Brain: Sense every creature within 1/2/5 miles

    Pit Fiend: Amazing in combat.

    Planetar: 120' True Sight, 120' fly, resists nonmagical attacks, magic resistance, Divine Awareness (lies detection), & Healing Touch.

    Rakshasa: Immune to nonmagical attacks & Limited Magic Immunity, Plane Shift


    Polymorph Forms

    Spoiler: Debuff Forms
    Show
    Cranium Rat (VGtM), AC12, 2HP, 1DG: 30' speed. Makes your target immune to divination, in case its allies try to locate it. Sadly, this also gives your target Telepathy & immunity to mind read effects.

    Frog, AC11, 2HP, 0DG: 20' speed & 20' swim, & can jump well. Can't attack.

    Killer Whale: AC12, 90HP, 21.5DG: Can't move on land but can breath air, & decent HP in case someone attacks it.

    Rat, AC10, 1HP, 1DG: 20' speed and 1HP attack.

    Scorpion, AC11, 1HP, 5.5DG: 10' speed (slowest), but it can do some damage.

    Sea Horse, AC11, 1HP, 0DG: 20' swim, & can't attack. Great for underwater battles.


    Spoiler: Buff, CR 5, 6, & 7
    Show
    Brontosaurus (VGtM), AC15, 121HP, 32DG: 20' Reach. Also has alternative tail attack that does 27.5 damage but knocks enemies Prone (DC14). Inferior to the CR6 Brachiosaurus.

    Giant Ape, AC12, 157HP, 45DG: 40' speed, 10' Reach. Has a ranged attack for 30.5 damage. May be your best CR7 bet if you don't have access to BotJR.

    Giant Crocodile, AC14, 85HP, 35.5DG: 50' swim. Multiattack with a Bite that auto-restrains and a Tail with Reach that knocks prone (DC16). Decent aquatic animal if you can't get the Sarcosuchus.

    Giant Shark, AC13, 126HP, 22.5DG: 50' swim, 60' Blindsight, Blood Frenzy gives advantage against the wounded. Decent aquatic animal if you can't get the Sarcosuchus.

    Mammoth, AC13, 126HP, 25DG: 40' speed. Has a Trampling Charge with Reach and a wonderful DC18 that knocks an enemy prone & allows an additional 29 damage attack. If you can use its Charge well, its a good alternative to the Giant Ape.

    Triceratops, AC13, 95HP, 24DG: 50' speed. Like the Elephant, has a Trample attack that knocks Prone (DC13) & gives extra attack. Get the CR6 Mammoth instead.

    Adventure-specific Beasts

    Brachiosaurus (BotJR), AC16, 145HP, 40DG: 20' reach. Also has alternative tail attack that does 34.5 damage but knocks enemies Prone (DC15). Gargantuan size. Better version of the Brontosaurus. If you have access to this, get the Titanosaurus instead.

    Hulking Crab (SKT), AC17, 76HP, 41DG: 20' speed, 30' Blindsight. Multiattack with two claws that auto-grapple (DC15), and an interesting Camouflage ability. Decent aquatic animal if you can't get the Sarcosuchus.

    Large Subterranean Lizard (TftYP), AC14, 85HP, 35.5DG: Multiattack with a Bite that auto-restrains and a Tail with Reach that knocks prone (DC16). This variant of the Giant Crocodile has no swim speed, 30' climbing speed, and 60' darkvision. Low HP. For battles on land, there are better options.

    Sarcosuchus (BotJR), AC15, 137HP, 47.5DG: Reach 10'. 40' speed, 50' swim. Reach 10'. Multiattack with a Bite that auto-restrain and a Tail that knocks Prone (DC17). Good impact on the battlefield, and arguably the best aquatic form.

    Therizinosaurus (BotJR), AC14, 104HP, 35DG: If you have access to this, get the Titanosaurus instead.

    Titanosaurus (BotJR), AC17, 201HP, 45.5DG: 20' reach. Has a Stomp attack for 40 damage and knocking Prone (DC16). Good offense and excellent durability. Sadly, you can't use the Legendary Actions.


    Spoiler: Buff, CR8
    Show
    Tyrannosaurus Rex, AC13, 136HP, 53.5DG: Has a Bite attack with auto-restrain (DC17). Better than the Mammoth & the Giant Ape, but the CR7 Titanosaurus is more durable.


    Spoiler: Buff, CR10
    Show
    Adventure-specific Beasts

    Giganotosaurus (BotJR), AC14, 217HP, 60DG: 60' speed. 15' reach. Its Bite auto-restrains (DC18). Can swallow enemies for 21 acid damage every turn. A definite improvement over the T-Rex, but the Titanosaurus has superior AC. Sadly, you can't use the Legendary Actions.
    Last edited by Merudo; 2019-05-26 at 07:15 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2018

    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide

    Creature Forms Availability

    Spoiler: Requirements
    Show
    Existence: The first requirement of Polymorph, Wild Shape and the Conjure spells is that the target form must exist in the game universe. The existence of dinosaurs is typically the primary concern here - dinos are among some of the most powerful and versatile Beasts available, but some DMs exclude them from their world.

    AL: If you play in Adventure League (AL), the creatures available are those listed in AL legal sources. These include the MM, most WotC supplements, published WotC Adventures, and content from the Guild Adept program such as BotJR.

    All of the creatures I list in this guide are AL legal, except for those in GGtR and WGtE.

    Additional restrictions: Beside the existence of the creature, there are some additional restriction on the target form:

    • Polymorph: your character must know about the creature.
    • Wild Shape: your character must have seen the creature before.
    • Conjure Animals / Minor Elemental / Fey : the creature(s) are selected by the DM.
    • Conjure Elemental: the elemental is appropriate for the area you choose, and selected by the DM.


    Polymorph has the least restrictive requirement: having heard or read about the Beast is sufficient. The DM could reasonably ask for a Nature or History check if the Beast is rare or foreign.

    For Wild Shape, observing a polymorphed or conjured Beast may be enough to let you Wild Shape into the form.

    With the Conjure spells, you can request specific creature(s), although the DM is free to ignore your suggestions. Some DMs may also be more likely to oblige if your character knows about or has seen the creatures before, or if they are native to the land you are visiting.

    DM Courtesy: Not a requirement, but if you wish to use a creature from a source your DM doesn't own, it is common courtesy to show him a picture or printed copy of the relevant stat block.


    Spoiler: Awakened Beasts
    Show
    Awaken: The Awaken spell (level 5) can "awaken" a Beast of size Huge or smaller, increasing its Intelligence to 10 and allowing it to speak one language.

    By RAW, there is nothing preventing a PC from using Wild Shape or Polymorph to turn into an Awakened Beast, or to conjure Awakened Beasts. Of course, some DMs may object to this.

    Benefits: Choosing an awakened version of a Beast instead of the regular yields the following benefits

    • Wild Shape: you retain the ability to speak while Wild Shaped.
    • Polymorph: the target's intelligence becomes 10 (instead of the usual 1-2), and it can understand (but not speak) a language.
    • Conjure Animals/Fey: the conjured Beasts obey your orders more intelligently, and can report verbally to you.


    Wild Shape Requirement: To Wild Shape into the awakened version of a Beast, you must have seen such awakened Beast before. If you are level 9+, the most straightforward way to do so is to awaken a member of the specie yourself.

    The following adventures feature Awakened Beasts:

    • Ghosts of Saltmarsh: Giant Crab (Barnacle Bess).
    • Poisoned Words: Flying Snake (Zsoksia).
    • Putting the Dead to Rest: Giant Ape.
    • Tomb of Annihilation: Giant Constructor Snake (Azi Mas).
    • Waterdeep Dragon Heist: Draft Horse (Maxeene), Giant Shark (Obliteros), & Rat.
    • Waterdeep Dungeon of the Mad Mage: Brown Bear, Elk, and Giant Wasp.


    Polymorph Requirement: I assume you need to know about a specific awakened Beast; knowing that a given beast could be theoretically awakened is not sufficient.


    Spoiler: Unique Beasts
    Show
    Some Beasts have a name and unique stats. By RAW, these Beasts are legal forms for Wild Shape, Polymorph, and the Conjure Animals / Fey spells.

    In practice, the DM is unlikely to conjure these creatures, and some may even prohibit Wild Shaping and Polymorphing into them.

    The following adventures feature unique Beasts:

    • Curse of Strahd: Sangzor the Giant Goat (p.160).
    • Lost Mine of Phandelver: Snarl the Wolf (p.40).
    • Out of the Abyss: The Spider King (p.74).
    • Tales from the Yawning Portal: Guthash the Giant Rat (p.21), Huge Giant Crab (p.103)

    The Spider King is rather problematic here - the form is a greatly buffed Giant Spider yet remains CR 1. Although not RAW, the fluff of the creature suggests to me it should be an Monstrosity instead of a Beast, and thus not a valid target for Wild Shape.


    Spoiler: Variant Beasts
    Show
    Some Beasts do not have their own stat block, but are instead variants of existing monsters with some changes. By RAW, there is nothing stopping you from using these altered forms for Wild Shape, Polymorph, & conjuring spells.

    The MM & VGtM have the following variants:

    • Monster Manual: Cave Bear, Diseases Giant Rat, Giant Lizards (Swiming/Climbing), & Satyr (Pipe)
    • Volo's Guide to Monsters: Ox, Rothe, & Stench Kow.


    Additionally, some easily missed monster variants are described in the middle of an adventure:

    • Out of the Abyss: Cave Badger (p.96), Fiendish Giant Spider (p.97), Giant Rocktopus (p.28)
    • Storm King's Thunder: Ice Spider (p.127), Ice Spider Queen (p.128)
    • Tales from the Yawning Portal: Amphisbaena (p.83), Four-Armed Gargoyle (p.129), Large Subterranean Lizard (p.176)
    • Waterdeep Dungeon of the Mad Mage: Flying Spider (p.150)



    Spoiler: Excluded Creatures
    Show
    While looking for creatures for the summoning spells, I've decided to exclude the following:

    • Encounters in Port Nyanzaru: Cursed Water Elemental (p.19, unique).
    • Chelimber's Descent: Stone Mephit (p.22, obscure & too powerful).
    • Giant Diplomacy: Oblivillish (p.23, unique).
    • Szith Morcane Unbound: Azer Acolyte & Priest (pp. 26-27, weak & obscure forms).
    • The Iron Baron: Ironmonger (p.41, unique Earth Elemental Myrmidon), Vigorel (p.43, unique).
    • Uneasy Lies the Head: Wobbles (p.36, magically enhanced).
    • Waterdeep Dragon Heist: Lady Gondafrey (p.152, unique).
    • Waterdeep Dungeon of the Mad Mage: Big Xorn (p.51, unique), Haungharassk (p.258, magically enhanced), Poison Weird (p.127, dies out of brew).



    Wild Shape Communication


    Spoiler: Telepathy / Beast Speech
    Show
    Telepathy: Telepathy is the most straightforward method of communicating while Wild Shaped. Most Telepathy effects are one-way and only work with a single person.

    • Races: Ghostwise Halfling, Kalashtar
    • Beast: Cranium Rat
    • Item: Helm Of Telepathy
    • Class: GOO Warlock (Awakened Mind)
    • Spells: Telepathic Bond, Telepathy
    • Find Familiar: You can communicate telepathically with a Raven familiar, and have it say your words through Mimicry.


    Understanding Beasts: While Wild Shaped, you qualify as a Beast. Features & effects that let someone understand Beasts will work on you.

    • Class: Shepherd Druid (Speech of the Woods)
    • Spell: Speak with Animals



    Spoiler: Giant Eagle, Elk & Owl
    Show
    The Giant Eagle, Giant Elk and Giant Owl all speak their own language; the Druid can thus communicate to some extend while Wild Shaped into them.

    However, there is some ambiguity regarding what language(s) you can speak while Wild Shaped into these forms:

    • Native Language: By RAW, you automatically learn the Giant Eagle/Elk/Owl's language while Wild Shaped, because Languages are part of a Beast's statistics. Your DM might disagree.
    • Prohibited Languages: These Beasts can understand, but not speak, Common and either Elvish&Sylvan or Primordial. If it's because they just don't know how, you'll be able to speak the languages while Wild Shaped. If it's because they physically can't, you won't be able to either.
    • Other Languages: If these Beasts cannot vocalize properly, then they likely won't be able to speak other languages as well.


    Under the harshest interpretation, you'll only be able to speak the native tongue of these Beasts and only if you learnt them beforehand.
    Under the most related interpretation, you can speak any language you knew before and you even learn an extra language.

    How it works is really up to the DM.


    Spoiler: Single-Word Pointing
    Show
    A simple communication method is to make a physical list of frequently words such as "Danger", "Treasure", "Fight", etc. While Wild Shaped, you point at the correct word(s) to communicate.

    Examples of lists: a wooden board, a large scroll, a series of flash cards with words of them, shield engravings, embroidered words in a cloak, etc.

    The main advantage of this method is that it doesn't require any extra work from other players; you just say "I point at the words "Danger", "Traps", and "Ahead" and everyone will get what you meant.

    The main problems is that the list itself may have to be physically large (especially if you become a Huge or larger Beast) and that you need to be physically close to the list. The later makes it near impossible to communicate this way during combat.

    Here are examples of words to use.

    Basics

    • Yes
    • No
    • I
    • You
    • They
    • Thanks
    • Sorry
    • Numbers 0-9


    Things

    • Danger
    • Enemy
    • Friend
    • Door
    • Traps
    • Treasure


    Actions

    • Fight
    • Retreat
    • Scout
    • Search
    • Listen
    • Go
    • Get
    • Hide
    • Heal
    • Rest


    Directions

    • Ahead
    • Behind
    • Above
    • Under
    • Left
    • Right



    Spoiler: Creating a Beast Language
    Show
    At the most basic, you can have your Druid attempt to communicate through Charades. Although Charades can be hilarious, they can be quite imprecise and inefficient; after a few, your party risks getting bored & may start ignoring you.

    At the other extreme, you and your friend could learn the Morse language; you'd then be able to communicate freely regardless of the Beast form. The commitment for this is substantial, though.

    An alternate approach is to come up with a rudimentary "language" making use of the signs & sounds a Beast can make. For example, moving a right paw to the ground could mean "Watch for Traps", while a Growl could mean "Let's attack".

    The advantage of the pseudo-language approach is that the Druid can communicate at any time (including combat) with his allies.

    The disadvantage is that it requires some work to come up with the language & memorize it. Also, it may be difficult to make up a language for Beasts with unusual appendages (Giant Spider, Constrictor Snake, etc)

    A kind DM might assume the characters themselves memorize the language, so you can just say "My character does the sign for Danger".

    Example: Bear Communication

    Yes: Nod.
    No: Shake head.
    I / You / They : Point one paw at person.
    Thanks: Bow
    Sorry: Paws cover both eyes.
    Numbers: Clap paws.

    Danger: Put a paw around head with mouth open (as if scared).
    Enemy: Punches in front.
    Friend: Paw over heart.
    Door: Make the outline of a door with a paw.
    Traps: Stomp paw on ground.
    Treasure: Lick lips.

    Fight: Punch both paws together horizontally.
    Retreat: Wave paw toward the back.
    Scout/Search: Paw horizontally above eyes while slowing shaking head.
    Listen: Paw behind ear.
    Go: Point paws at place to go.
    Get: Put both paws together on the floor and raise them (as if picking up an object).
    Hide: Two arms in front, as if hiding behind them.
    Heal: Make a cross with both pawns.
    Rest: Crossed pawns on the chest.
    Last edited by Merudo; 2019-05-31 at 07:44 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2018

    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide

    DG: Expected damage if all attacks are non-critical hits.

    Conjure Animals

    Spoiler: CR Options
    Show
    Conjuring Animals gives the Druid four options for summoning:

    • Eight CR 1/4 Beasts
    • Four CR 1/2 Beasts
    • Two CR 1 Beasts
    • One CR 2 Beast

    Technically, the DM gets to pick the creature(s) you get; in practice, most DMs let the player choose the creatures.

    Conjuring Eight CR 1/4 Beasts: Extremely powerful option - the total HP pool and damage of eight CR 1/4 creature are generally superior to those of four CR 1/2 creatures, two CR1 creatures or a single CR2 creature. It's also better to have 8 chances of restraining or knocking Prone instead of one or two.

    There are three main reasons why you'd prefer to conjure higher CR beasts instead:

    1. CR 1/4 creatures are extremely vulnerable to AoE damage.
    2. It can be difficult to maneuver so many creatures around, especially if they are Large.
    3. It can take too long for a player to control so many creatures around

    Conjuring Four CR 1/2 Beasts: These creatures are barely more durable than the CR 1/4 options, and don't do much more damage either. Frankly, you are almost always better off getting twice as many CR 1/4 creatures instead.

    Conjuring Two CR1 Beasts: A few creatures at this rating (Dire Wolf, Giant Octopus, Giant Toad, etc.) have decent hit points - enough to have a good chance to survive a Fireball. Summoning these creatures is a good compromise between damage and durability.

    Conjuring One CR2 Beast: Almost all the creatures at this tier are durable but getting half as many as the CR1 option hurts. Good choice if you need durable creatures and the best CR1 options don't work for you.


    Spoiler: CR <= 1/4
    Show
    Axe Break, AC11 19HP, 6.5DG: 50' speed. Poor damage and no features.

    Boar, AC11, 11HP, 4.5DG: 40' speed. Awful stats and a mediocre Charge for 3.5 extra damage, and can knock Prone (DC11).

    Constrictor Snake, AC12, 13HP, 6.5DG: 30' swim, 10' Blindsight. The auto-restrain attack (DC14) is great.

    Cow/Ox/Rothe (VGtM), AC10, 15HP, 7.5DG: Powerful Charge for 7 extra damage but no Prone effect.

    Deep Rothe (VGtM), AC10, 13HP, 7.5DG: Like the Cow, but with 2 less hp and the ability to cast dancing lights.

    Dimetrodon (VGtM), AC12, 19HP, 9DG: 20' swim. Okay stats.

    Draft Horse, AC10, 19HP, 9DG: 40' speed. Slow mount with good HP.

    Elk, AC10, 13HP, 6.5DG: 50' speed. Has an amazing Charge that does 7 extra damage & knocks Prone (DC13).

    Giant Badger, AC10, 13HP, 10.5DG: 10' dig speed and good damage.

    Giant Bat, AC13, 22HP, 5.5DG: 60' Blindsight and impressive durability, but low damage.

    Giant Centipede, AC13, 4HP, 15DG: 30' Blindsight. Great poison damage (DC11) but extremely fragile.

    Giant Frog, AC11, 18HP, 4.5DG: 30' swim & Amphibious. Auto-restrain attack (DC11) & can swallow the restrained creature. Substantially more durable than the Constrictor Snake. Medium size.

    Giant Lizard, AC12, 19HP, 6.5DG: Poor stats but has variants with Swimming / Spider Climb.

    Giant Owl, AC12, 19HP, 8DG: 60' fly. Quite durable and versatile, and can avoid damage through Flyby.

    Giant Poisonous Snake, AC14, 11HP, 17DG: 30' swim, 10' reach, 10' Blindsight, the best AC and the most damage if not resisting poison (DC11). An amazing beast with low hp.

    Giant Wolf Spider, AC13, 11HP, 11.5DG: 40' speed, Spider Climb, 10' Blindsight and good Poison damage (DC11).

    Hadrosaurus (VGtM), AC11, 19HP, 7.5DG: 40' speed. Okay stats but no features.

    Mastiff, AC12, 5HP, 4.5DG: 40' speed. An extremely fragile Medium size mount that can knock Prone (DC11).

    Panther, AC12, 13HP, 5.5DG: 50' speed. Underwhelming Pounce for Prone (DC12) & chance to do 4.5 extra damage.

    Pony, AC10, 11HP, 7DG: 40' speed. A fragile Medium size mount.

    Pterandon (VGtM), AC13, 13HP, 6DG: 60' fly. Has Flyby. A worse version of the Giant Owl, but that's still pretty good.

    Riding Horse, AC10, 13HP, 8DG: 60' speed, can act as a fast mount.

    Stench Kow (VGtM), AC10, 15HP, 7.5DG: Like a Cow, but has resistance to Fire/Cold/Poison and automatically poisons creatures (DC12) within 5' of it with (!).

    Velociraptor (VGtM), AC13, 10HP, 10DG: Pack Tactics and good damage. Tiny size.

    Wolf, AC13, 11HP, 7DG: 40' speed, Pack Tactics, and its attack can Prone (DC11).

    Adventure-specific Beasts

    Cave Badger (OotA), AC12, 13HP, 10.5DG: 15' dig speed, Tremorsense 60', and does good damage. Variant of the Giant Badger.

    Giant Riding Lizard (OotA), AC12, 19HP, 6.5DG: 30' speed, but 30' climbing speed and Spider Walk. An excellent mount for vertical travel.

    Guthash (TftYP), AC12, 16HP, 4.5DG: Pack Tactics but awful damage. Unique variant of the Giant Rat.

    Male Steeder (OotA), AC12, 13HP, 12DG: Has Spider Climb and good Acid damage (DC12).

    Snarl (LMoP), AC13, 18HP, 7DG: Unique variant of the Wolf with 7 more HP.


    Spoiler: CR 1/2
    Show
    Ape, AC12, 19HP, 13DG: Has a ranged rock attack for 6.5DG, and Athletics +5 for Grappling.

    Black Bear, AC12, 19HP, 12.5DG: 40' speed. Faster than the Ape but without the ranged attack or Grappling.

    Crocodile, AC12, 19HP, 7.5DG: 20' speed, 30' swim. Auto-restrain on a hit (DC12). Slower on land than Giant Frog but otherwise slightly better.

    Giant Goat, AC11, 19HP, 8DG: 40' speed. Has a Charge attack that does 5 extra damage & knocks Prone (DC13). Advantage against Prone. Similar to an Elk but with 6 more HP.

    Giant Sea Horse, AC13, 16HP, 4.5DG: 40' swim. Charge attack does 7 extra damage & knocks Prone (DC11). The best aquatic animal that charges.

    Giant Wasp, AC12, 13HP, 16DG: 50' fly. Good poison damage (DC11). Essentially a Giant Poisonous Snake without reach but that can fly.

    Reef Shark, AC12, 22HP, 6.5DG: 40' swim, 30' Blindsight. Has Pack Tactics.

    Warhorse, AC11, 19HP, 11DG: 60' speed mount. Has a Trampling Charge that knocks Prone & give another attack (DC14). Beside the charge, it's very similar to CR1/4 horses.

    Adventure-specific Beasts

    Clawfoot Raptor (WGtE), AC14, 16HP, 10DG: 50' speed, has a Pounce attack to knock Prone (DC13) & allow a Bonus Action attack for 8 damage. Medium mount quite similar to the Warhorse, but with more AC and less HP.

    Fiendish Giant Spider (OotA), AC13, 11HP, 11.5DG: 40' speed, Spider Climb, 10' Blindsight, resistance to Cold/Fire/Lightening and Immunity to Poison. Variant of the Giant Wolf Spider that isn't worth the extra CR.

    Giant Sea Eel (GoS), AC14, 19HP, 13DG: 40' swim, can only breath underwater. Great damage but doesn't have the Reef Shark's abilities.

    Jaculi (ToA), AC14, 16HP, 9DG: 30' Blindsight. Can do a "spring" attack that can grant advantage and do 7 extra damage.

    Sea Lion (GoS), AC16, 15HP, 18.5 DG: 15' speed, 30' swim, hold breath for 15 minutes. Amazing AC and damage.


    Spoiler: CR1
    Show
    Brown Bear, 11AC, 34HP, 19.5DG: 40' speed. Good HP and damage, but terrible AC.

    Deinonychus (VGtM), 13AC, 26HP, 19.5DG: 40' speed. Pounce attack to knock Prone and give extra attack (DC12), but low HP. Why not get four times as many Elk instead?

    Dire Wolf, 14AC, 37HP, 10DG: 50' speed, Pack Tactics. Excellent defensive form. Relatively weak damage but can knock Prone (DC13).

    Giant Eagle, AC13, 26HP, 16.5DG: 80' fly. Why not get four times as many Giant Owls instead?

    Giant Hyena, 12AC, 45HP, 10DG: 50' speed. If Rampage procs, can be as damaging as the Brown Bear.

    Giant Octopus, 11AC, 52HP, 10DG: 10' speed, 60' swim. Its 15' range tentacles auto-restrain enemies on hit (escape DC16). Low mobility on land.

    Giant Spider, 14AC, 26HP, 16.5DG: Spider Climb, 10' Blindsight, good Poison damage (DC11), a Web attack that auto-restrain on a hit (no saves). Summoning four times as many Giant Wolf Spiders may be preferable.

    Giant Toad, 11AC, 39HP, 13DG: 20' speed, 40' swim. A Bite that auto-restrain (escape DC13). Can Swallow the grappled enemy to inflict 10.5 acid damage but the process is very slow (takes 3 turns minimum for the acid to kick in).

    Giant Vulture, AC10, 22HP, 16DG: 60' fly speed, with Pack Tactics. Decent offense & defense for a flyer.

    Lion, 12AC, 25HP, 7.5DG: 50' speed. Has Pack Tactics and a Pounce attack (DC13). Weak damage and defense.

    Tiger, 12AC, 37HP, 8.5DG: 40' speed. Has a Pounce attack (DC13), but unlike the Lion doesn't have Pack Tactics.

    Adventure-specific Beasts

    Archelon (BotJR), 14AC, 26HP, 12DG: 10' speed, 40' swim. Terrible stats, plus no special features.

    Crag Cat (SKT), 13AC, 34HP, 8.5DG: 40' speed, Nondetection, Spell Turning, and a Pounce attack (DC13).

    Dilophosaurus (BotJR), 13AC, 26HP, 6.5DG: Has a ranged spit attack that does no damage but can Blind and Paralyze an enemy (DC12).

    Female Steeder (OotA), 14AC, 30HP, 16.5DG: Crazy 90' jump, Spider Climb, 120' darkvision, good Acid damage (DC12).

    Giant Rocktopus (OotA), AC11, 52HP, 10 DG: A variant of the Giant Octopus that evolved to live on land. Has a 20' speed on land & advantage on stealth checks, but no swim speed.

    Mutated Hunting Dog (RotLK), AC14, 39HP, 9DG: 40' speed. Its attack can knock the target Prone (DC12). Has Pack Tactics. Can do 1 extra damage as a BA if it had advantage on the attack roll. Immune to Cold but Vulnerable to Fire. Roughly as good as the Dire Wolf.

    Sangzor (CoS), AC11, 33HP, 8DG: 40' speed. Resistance to nonmagical attacks. Has a Charge attack that does 5 extra damage & knocks Prone (DC13). Has advantage against most Prone effects. Excellent at defense but poor offense. Unique variant of the Giant Goat.

    Spider (Flying) (DotMM), 14AC, 26HP, 16.5DG: 40' Fly, 10' Blindsight, good Poison damage (DC11), a Web attack that auto-restrain on a hit (no saves). Variant of the Giant Spider.

    Spider (Giant Snow) (EotT), 14AC, 26HP, 16.5DG: A variant of the Giant Spider with Cold resistance and Ice Walk.

    Spider (Ice) (SKT), AC14, 26HP, 16.5DG: A variant of the Giant Spider with Cold resistance, and its Webbing does 1 cold damage per turn but is no longer immune to bludgeoning damage.

    Spider (King) (OotA), AC14, 44HP, 16.5DG: Unique variant of the Giant Spider with Proficiency in Perception, Constitution & Wisdom saving throws. Advantage on Perception checks, and against many debuffs.

    Troodon (BotJR), 13AC, 22HP, 7.5DG: Has Pack Tactics & Improved Critical. Pretty much strictly inferior to the Dire Wolf.


    Spoiler: CR2
    Show
    Allosaurus, AC13, 51HP, 15DG: 60' speed. Has a Pounce attack (DC13). Okay form, but much inferior to the Zealoraptor.

    Aurochs (VGtM), AC11, 38HP, 14DG: 50' speed. Has a Pounce attack (DC15) for 9 extra damage. Has offensive & defensive capacities close to the Brown Bear - so why not get twice as many of the later?

    Giant Boar, AC12, 42HP, 10DG: 40' speed. Has a Charge attack (DC13) for 7 extra damage. Relentless 10. About as bad as the Aurochs.

    Giant Constrictor Snake, 12AC, 60HP, 13DG: 30' swim Amphibian, 10' Blindsight. Has auto-restrain attack (escape DC16). Slightly better than the Giant Octopus in almost every way, and has much better mobility on land.

    Giant Elk, 14AC, 42HP, 11DG: 60' speed. Can Ram an enemy from 10' away, then retreat. If Charging, can knock the target Prone (DC14) and do 7 more damage.

    Hunter Shark, 12AC, 45HP 13DG: 40' swim. Blood Frenzy gives advantage very often, but the damage is lackluster and it lacks the restraining ability of the Giant Constrictor Snake & Giant Octopus.

    Plesiosaurus, 13AC, 68HP, 14.5DG: 20' speed, 40' swim. Great defenses but little else.

    Polar Bear, 12AC, 45HP, 21.5DG: 40' speed, 30' swim. Slight upgrade to the Brown Bear, but at this CR there are much better forms. The Cave Bear variant has 60' Darkvision.

    Quetzalcoatlus (VGtM), AC13, 30HP, 12.5DG: 80' fly speed. Dive Attack is easy to trigger and can do 10 extra damage. Has both Flyby and Reach 10 to keep it out of trouble. Barely stronger than a Giant Eagle.

    Rhinoceros, AC11, 45HP, 14DG: 40' speed. Has a Charge attack (DC15) for 9 extra damage. Another mediocre charging/pouncing form.

    Saber-Tooth Tiger: 12AC, 52HP, 12DG: 40' speed. Has a Pounce attack (DC14). Yawn.

    Adventure-specific Beasts

    Giant Crayfish (TftYP), 15AC, 45HP, 14DG: 30' swim, 30' Blindsight. Has two claw attacks that can auto-grapple.

    Giant Spitting Lizard (RotLK), 12AC, 45HP, 13.5DG: A ranged attack that can hit two adjacent creatures for 13.5 damage, and a melee grapple attack. Oh, and a reaction that pushes enemies away, knocks them prone, and ends their movement. What!?

    Giant White Moray Eel (GoS), 12AC, 60HP, 13DG: 40' swim, 10' Blindsight, can only breath underwater. A variant of the Giant Constrictor Snake that can't breath air or constrict, but with a +4 to stealth checks. The constrict attack is the main draw of the Giant Constrictor Snake, so this variant is pretty useless.

    Ice Spider Queen (SKT), AC14, 44HP, 16.5DG: A variant of the Giant Spider. Its webbing does 2.5 cold damage per turn. Resists cold damage, and does 5 cold damage to creatures that start their turn near it.

    Mutated Giant Vulture (RotLK), AC10, 37HP, 16DG: 60' fly speed, with Pack Tactics. Can do 2 extra damage as BA. Beside the HP, extremely similar to the Giant Vulture.

    Krenshar (RotLK), 13AC, 28HP, 14DG: 40' speed. Has a 60' Frightening Roar (DC11 Charisma) that knocks enemies Prone and Frighten them. A creature making the saving throw becomes immune - use this before combat until your team is immune. Beside its roar, the form is mediocre.

    Pachycephalosaurus (BotJR), 13AC, 68HP, 8.5DG: 40' speed. Has a Charge attack (DC14) for 5 damage. Great defenses but its damage is a joke at this point.

    Zealoraptor (BotJR), 15AC, 52HP, 19DG: 50' speed. Has a Pounce attack (DC13) and Pack Tactics. Excellent at offense and defense.


    Conjure Minor Elementals

    Spoiler: CR Options
    Show
    Conjuring Minor Elementals gives the Druid four options for summoning:

    • Eight CR 1/4 Elementals
    • Four CR 1/2 Elementals
    • Two CR 1 Elementals
    • One CR 2 Elemental

    Technically, the DM gets to pick the creature(s) you get; in practice, most DMs let the player choose the creatures.

    Conjuring Eight CR 1/4 Elementals: Decent enough choice. The Mephits can fly, have excellent HPs for their CR, trigger Deathburst on death, & use breath weapons that can either inflict status or do damage. Sadly their ability DC are really low (10-11). Its also nice to ask for a single Chwinga, for Pass without Trace.

    Conjuring Four CR 1/2 Elementals: You get this for the spells; Dust Mephit for Sleep, Ice Mephit for Fog Cloud, & Magma Mephit for Heat Metal. The Mephits of this tier are not any more durable than their CR 1/4 cousins. The Gens can cast Tongue which isn't on your spell list. They have other cool spells but their HP are really low.

    Conjuring Two CR1 Elementals: These creatures are not any sturdier than the CR 1/4 options, and their increased damage doesn't compensate for the fact that there are 4x less of them.

    Conjuring One CR2 Elemental: The Gargoyle makes a decent scout. If you have access to the four-armed Gargoyle, this is actually really nice.


    Spoiler: CR <= 1/4
    Show
    Mephit (Mud), AC11, 27HP, 4.5DG: 20' fly. Single target Mud Breath & AoE Deathburst that can both restrain (DC11) Medium or smaller creatures. Creatures restrained by the Breath have a saving throw every turn (with disadvantage) to end the effect. A more durable alternative to the Constrictor Snake & Giant Frog.

    Mephit (Smoke), AC12, 22HP, 4.5DG: 30' fly. Cinder Breath cone that can Blind (DC10), Dancing Lights 1/day. Death Burst creates a cloud of smokes which works against its Breath: Blinded enemies can just go inside the cloud to negate the penalties.

    Mephit (Steam), AC10, 21HP, 5DG: 30' fly. Steam Breath cone and Death Burst AoE both do 4.5 damage, Blur 1/day. For pure damage, Conjure Animals probably works better.

    Adventure-specific Elementals

    Chwinga (ToA), AC15, 5HP, 0DG: 60' Blindsight, Evasion & Natural Shelter, can cast Druidcraft/Guidance/Pass without Trace/Resistance at will. Can also give a Supernatural Charm, which is so easy to abuse that no sane DM would allow it. Getting one Chwinga for Stealth is useful, but I wouldn't get more.

    Geonid (TTP), AC17, 26HP, 3.5DG: 30' tremorsense & excellent defenses, but no offensive abilities beyond spamming the Help action.


    Spoiler: CR 1/2
    Show
    Magmin, AC14, 9HP, 7DG: Resistance to nonmagical attacks. Has Deathburst for 7 damage within 10', and its attack sets an enemy on fire for 3HP every round. Decent offensively, but vulnerable.

    Mephit (Dust), AC12, 17HP, 4.5DG: 30' fly, Blinding Breath cone and Death Burst can both Blind with DC10. The Blinding lasts 1 minute or until the creature makes its saving throw. Can cast Sleep 1/day. Good against lower CR minions.

    Mephit (Ice), AC11, 21HP, 6DG: 30' fly, awful Bludgeoning & Fire vulnerabilities. Has Frost Breath cone & Death Burst for 4.5 damage, Fog 1/day. Steam Mephits are a better choice, unless you combine Fog Cloud with a Wild Shape form with Blindsight.

    Mephit (Magma), AC11, 22HP, 6DG: 30' fly, Fire Breath cone & Death Burst for 7 damage. Can also cast Heat Metal 1/day, which is amazing.

    Adventure-specific Elementals

    All Gens can cast Detect Evil and Good & Tongues.

    Gen (Air) (XLNtEE), AC12, 7HP, 11DG: 60' fly, Resistance against nonmagical attacks & Magic Resistance, Fog Cloud & Tongues 2/day. Not a lot going on with this, but you could combine Fog Cloud with a Wild Shape form with Blindsight.

    Gen (Earth) (XLNtEE), AC11, 10HP, 9DG: 40' fly. Magic Resistance, Tremorsense 30', can cast Entangle & Earth Tremor (DC12). Useful spells but extremely fragile.

    Gen (Fire) (XLNtEE), AC12, 9HP, 11DG: 50' fly, Resistance against nonmagical attacks & Magic Resistance. Can cast Heat Metal 1/day, which is amazing. Faster version of the Magma Mephit, but without the Fire Breath & Death Burst.

    Gen (Water) (XLNtEE), AC12, 10HP, 9DG: 60' fly, 90' swim Amphibian, 30' Blindsight, Magic Resistance. Has a Tidal Wave attack that does 5 damage in a cone and can knock Prone (DC 13). Extremely fragile.


    Spoiler: CR1
    Show
    Fire Snake, AC14, 22HP, 14DG: Resistance to nonmagical attacks. Does 3.5 damage if hit by a melee attack. For raw damage, the lower CR options are superior.

    Adventure-specific Elementals

    Galvanice Weird (GGtR), AC12, 22HP, 10.5DG: Resistance to nonmagical attacks. Deathburst for 7 damage within 10'. Its attack can cause the target to lose its reaction for a turn (DC13). Mediocre damage & debuff.


    Spoiler: CR2
    Show
    Azer, AC17, 39HP, 15.5DG: Does 5.5 damage if hit by a melee attack. Mediocre damage.

    Gargoyle, AC15, 52HP, 11DG: 60' fly. Resistance to nonmagical attacks. Excellent at defense but awful at offense. Good scout, especially if someone in the party can understand its language.

    Adventure-specific Elementals

    Gargoyle (Four-Armed) (TftYP), AC15, 63HP, 16.5DG: Strictly better version of the Gargoyle, with three attacks instead of two and 11 more HP.


    Conjure Woodland Beings

    Spoiler: CR Options
    Show
    Conjuring Woodland Beings gives the Druid four options for summoning:

    • Eight CR 1/4 Fey
    • Four CR 1/2 Fey
    • Two CR 1 Fey
    • One CR 2 Fey

    Technically, the DM gets to pick the creature(s) you get; in practice, most DMs let the player choose the creatures.

    Conjuring Eight CR 1/4 Fey: You get this to exploit the heck out of Pixies & Boggles. Absolutely devastating.

    Conjuring Four CR 1/2 Fey: What's the draw of this, exactly? The special abilities are underwhelming, the HP & damage aren't good... I guess you can get this if you want semi-durable critters with Magic Resistance. The exception here is getting four Satyrs with Panpipes, which is almost as broken as getting eight Pixies.

    Conjuring Two CR1 Fey: Good options if you can make good use of the Quickling's absurd speed or the Dryad's charm.

    Conjuring One CR2 Fey: The Nereid is excellent around water but the rest is quite mediocre.


    Spoiler: CR <= 1/4
    Show
    Blink Dog, AC13, 22HP, 4.5DG: 40' speed. Can teleport 40' and attack in the same turn. A kind DM might let a small PC ride on the Blink Dog & teleport with it.

    Boggle (VGtM), AC14, 18HP, 2.5DG: Makes Oil Puddles that last one hour each - amazing to prepare a battlefield. Can secrete sticky oil from its body, giving it Spider Climb & advantage on Grapples. It can also teleport Grappled creatures 30' through Dimensional Rift - great for moving PCs around or for dropping enemies into hazards.

    Pixie, AC15, 1HP, 0DG: 30' fly, Magic Resistance, Superior Invisibility, and an almost broken spell list including Confusion, Fly and Polymorph.

    Sprite, AC15, 2HP, 1DG: 40' fly. Can turn invisible, and its Shortbow can Poison (DC10). Its main draw is its touch (Heart Sight), which reveals a creature's emotions and can break social campaigns by revealing its alignment (DC10, auto-fails against Celestials/Fiends/Undead)

    Adventure-specific Fey

    Willow Wilden Watcher (RotLK), AC12, 11HP, 7.5DG: +3 THP when an ally goes down 1/rest. At will Thorn Whip, & can cast Cure wounds, Faerie Fire, & Longstrider (DC13, 1 slot). Good damage, and the Thorn Whip could be abused.


    Spoiler: CR 1/2
    Show
    Darkling (VGtM), AC14, 13HP, 5.5DG: 30' Blindsight but Light Sensitivity. Does an extra 7 damage if it has advantage on the attack roll. Death Flash blinds in a 10' radius (DC10 Con). Very low HP.

    Satyr, AC14, 31HP, 6.5DG: 40' speed, Magic resistance, ranged attack and good defense but awful damage.

    Satyr Pipes, AC14, 31HP, 6.5DG: Variant of the Satyr with Panpipes to Charm / Frighten / Put to Sleep creatures within 60' (DC13). Creatures that make their saving throws become Immune. Excellent for mass debuff.

    Adventure-specific Fey

    Alewife (DGtT), AC13, 22HP, 5.5DG: 20' speed. Magic Resistance, 30' Intoxicating Aura (DC14) to become Charmed & compelled to drink alcohol. Can cast useful spells: Charm Person, Grease, & Tasha’s Hideous Laughter. It's unclear if the Aura works during battle, but in any case it isn't party friendly.

    Pine Wilden Warrior (RotLK), AC13, 22HP, 7.5DG: +5 THP when an ally goes down 1/rest. Has a Sentinel-ish ability that does 3 damage as a reaction (DC11). Okay HP & damage, but lacks interesting features.

    Urban Sproutling (XLNtEE), AC11, 13HP, 9DG: 20' speed, 60' Blindsight, Magic resistance. Too slow & weak to be of much use.

    Yestling (DGtT), AC15, 28HP, 5.5DG: 40' speed, 30' Tremorsense, Intoxicating Sludge can Poison a creature (DC11) at 30' range, and Death Burst also Poisons within 10'. Similar enough to the Mud Mephit, but you only get half as many.


    Spoiler: CR1
    Show
    Dryad, AC11, 22HP, 8.5DG: Magic Resistance. Fey Charm is amazing & can work against 1 Humanoid or up to 3 Beasts (DC14). Can cast excellent spells including Entangle & Pass without Trace. Tree Stride makes it highly maneuverable in forests.

    Quickling (VGtM), AC16, 10HP, 25.5DG: 120' speed. 20' Ranged attack and absurd speed means it can harass melee enemies relentlessly. Low HP but resilient thanks to AC, Blurred Movement, and Evasion.


    Spoiler: CR2
    Show
    Darkling Elder (VGtM), AC15, 27HP, 13DG: 30' Blindsight, 21 extra damage if the attack roll has advantage. Can cast Darkness 1/rest, and on death causes 7 damage and Blindness (DC11) in a 10' radius. Good if you can fight among it inside its Darkness spell with a Wild Shape form with Blindsight/Tremorsense, but its low HP make it unreliable.

    Meenlock (VGtM), AC15, 31HP, 7DG: Its attack can paralyze, and it has a party unsafe 10' Fear Aura against Humanoids (DC11). Also has Telepathy, Light Sensitivity and a Shadow Teleport. Hard to use well.

    Sea Hag, AC14, 52HP, 10DG: 40' swim. Horrific Appearance can Frighten Humanoids in a 30' radius (DC11), but those who make their saving throws become immune. Death Glare can be used on any Frightened creature to drop them to 0HP (DC11). The later works best when combined with other Frightening effects such as the Fear spell.

    Adventure-specific Fey

    Nereid (TftYP), AC13, 44HP, 16DG: 60' swim. Its attack automatically Blinds an enemy. Also has a 17 damage Water Lash that can knock Prone and a Drowning Kiss that does 22.5 damage (DC13). Has permanent Invisibility while in water, and can cast Control Water at will. Excellent choice in water.

    Pine Wilden Ranger (RotLK), AC14, 55HP, 20.5DG: : +10 THP when an ally goes down 1/rest. Has a Sentinel-ish ability that does 5 damage as a reaction (DC12). Good damage & HP, but little else.



    Giant Insect

    Spoiler: Giant Insect
    Show
    10 Giant Centipedes, AC13, 4HP, 15DG: 30' Blindsight. Great poison damage (DC11) but extremely fragile. You only get 2 more than from Conjure Animals.

    5 Giant Wasp, AC12, 13HP, 16DG: 50' fly. Good poison damage (DC11). Essentially a Giant Poisonous Snake without reach but that can fly. You only get 1 more than from Conjure Animals.

    3 Giant Spiders, 14AC, 26HP, 16.5DG: Spider Climb, 10' Blindsight, good Poison damage (DC11), a Web attack that auto-restrain on a hit (no saves). You get 1 more than from Conjure Animals.

    Giant Scorpion, 15AC, 52HP, 42.5DG: 40' speed, 60' Blindsight. Multiattack with 2 claws that auto-grapple, and a stinger that does ridiculous poison damage (DC12). Can't get this from Conjure Animals.


    Conjure Elemental

    All Elementals have resistance to nonmagical attacks
    Exceptions: Flail Snail, Xorn, & Frost Salamander

    Spoiler: Upcasting Options
    Show
    Conjure Elemental can be upcasted to summon stronger Elementals.

    No Upcasting: The 4 Elementals & the Salamander offer a wide variety of good options.

    CR6: Great if you need a Invisible Stalker, but unimpressive choice otherwise. The Galeb Duhr is finicky to use and not appreciably stronger than the Earth Elemental.

    CR7: The Elemental Myrmidons have Plate Armor and Magical Weapons, but very little else. Their Strikes only recharges on a 6, too. You are probably better off getting a Fey instead.

    CR9: The Frost Salamander is a decent choice, if you can use its Breath every turn. Just have a minion poke at it with a torch or something.


    Spoiler: CR3
    Show
    Flail Snail (VGtM), AC16, 52HP, 32.5DG: 10' speed, 60' Tremorsense. Can stun within 30' for a turn 1/rest (DC13) and it has a very random pseudo Anti-Magic shell. Doesn't have weapon resistances. Too vulnerable to compete with the CR5 Elementals.

    Water Weird, AC13, 58HP, 13.5DG: 60' swim, 30' Blindsight, Water Bound & Invisible in Water. Its attack has 10' reach and auto-restrains. The CR5 Water Elemental is much better.


    Spoiler: CR4
    Show
    Adventure-specific Elementals

    Blistercoil Weird (GGtR), AC13, 45HP, 14.5DG: 40' speed, 60' swim. Can feed on fire to become larger, increasing its DG to 27 and eventually creating an explosion for 28 damage in 30' (DC12). Sets creatures on fire if they hit it with a melee attack or if they share the same space. Fun creature but its low HP make it extremely vulnerable.


    Spoiler: CR5
    Show
    Elemental (Air), AC15, 90HP, 28DG: 90' fly. Arguably the worst of the Elementals for combat, it has bad HP and a weak Whirlwind ability (DC13). It does make for an excellent scout, and it can fight well against flying enemies or highly maneuverable opponents.

    Elemental (Earth), AC17, 126HP, 28DG: 30' burrow, 60' Tremorsense. No-nonsense elemental with excellent defense and good offense. With Earth Glide, it can burrow at the end of its turn to be fully protected against AoE and other attacks. Works wonderfully with abilities that obscure vision.

    Elemental (Fire), AC13, 102HP, 20DG: 50' speed. Set enemies on fire, by walking into them or touching them. An enemy on flame takes 5.5 damage per turn unless an action is spent to douse the flame. With such low AC, it shines brightly but doesn't last long.

    Elemental (Water), AC14, 114HP, 26DG: 90' swim speed. Its Whelm ability is its main feature. It can restrain up to two creatures and has a relatively high DC (15). Cold damage destroys its mobility.

    Salamander, AC15, 90HP, 34.5DG: Excellent damage and an attack with auto-restrain (DC14). Too bad it has such low HP.

    Xorn, AC19, 73HP, 20DG: 20' speed, 20' burrow. Doesn't resist bludgeoning damage. Has a "Treasure Sense" ability, but otherwise inferior in every way to the Earth Elemental.


    Spoiler: CR6 (Upcast Required)
    Show
    Galeb Duhr, AC16, 85HP, 12DG: 15' speed (30' when rolling, 60' downhill). 60' Tremorsense. Can create two copies of itself for 1 minute 1/day (requires Concentration) and has a Charge that does 7 damage and can knock Prone (DC16). Mediocre if it loses concentration or after the 1 minute is up.

    Invisible Stalker, AC14, 104HP, 20DG: 50' fly. Always invisible, and can track down a quarry anywhere on the same plane. Knowing Primordial is recommended to work with this.


    Spoiler: CR7 (Upcast Required)
    Show
    All Elemental Myrmidons yield magical weapons.

    Elemental Myrmidon (Air) (MToF), AC18, 117HP, 25.5DG: 30' Fly, has a Lightning Strike attack for 26.5 damage that can Stun (DC13).

    Elemental Myrmidon (Earth) (MToF), AC18, 127HP, 22DG: Has a Lightning Strike attack for 27.5 damage that can knock Prone (DC14). Awful mobility, and the Stun effect of the Air Myrmidon is much more useful.

    Elemental Myrmidon (Fire) (MToF), AC18, 117HP, 22.5DG: 40' Speed, has a Fiery Strikes attack for 39 damage. Low HP and regular damage for a Myrmidon.

    Elemental Myrmidon (Water) (MToF), AC18, 127HP, 22.5DG: 40' Speed & 40' Swim, has a Freezing Strikes attack for 39 damage that also reduces mobility. Almost strictly better than the Fire Myrmidon.

    Adventure-specific Elementals

    Fluxcharger (GGtR), AC16, 60HP, 60DG: 60' Fly. Lightning spells with the Fluxcharger in their area do 9 more damage. Its Arc Lightning can damage a second target as well (DC15 to avoid), but using it costs 5.5 HP. Powerhouse offensively but the low HP combined with the self-hurt attacks makes it quite hard to keep alive.


    Spoiler: CR9 (Upcast Required)
    Show
    Frost Salamander (MToF), AC17 168HP, 49DG: 60' Speed, 40' burrow, 60' Tremorsense. Attacks with Reach. Can do a Cone of Cold Breath for 44 damage, which recharges if the Salamander takes Fire damage. Vulnerable to Fire, and no resistance to weapons. Powerful choice if you can keep it alive and recharge its Breath reliably.


    Conjure Fey

    Spoiler: Upcasting Options
    Show
    Conjure Fey can be upcasted to summon a stronger Beast or Fey.

    No Upcasting: The Elder Dryad is the only powerful choice here, if you don't have access to the form, this is really weak.

    CR7: Access to the amazing Korred, plus the Bheur Hag, Titanosaurus & Sarcosuchus. If you have lack access to either BotJR or VGtM, the Giant Ape is your only option, which is awful.

    CR8: The extra dinosaurs are less useful and weaker than the CR7 Fey.

    CR9: The Conclave Dryad has the unique ability to disable magic items, can cast spells, and can stun with its multiattack. Decent enough choice.


    Spoiler: CR3
    Show
    Ankylosaurus, AC15, 68HP, 18DG: 10' Reach attack that can knock creatures Prone (DC14). Worse than the CR6 options.

    Giant Scorpion, AC15, 52HP, 42.5DG: 40' speed, 60' Blindsight. Multiattack with 2 claws that auto-grapple, and a stinger that does poison damage (DC12). The CR6 Beasts are much stronger than this.

    Green Hag, AC17, 82HP, 13DG: Can turn invisible, hide, or cast cantrips. Weak without being part of a covenant.

    Killer Whale, AC12, 90HP, 21.5DG: 60' swim, 120' Blindsight. Has decent HP, but the CR5 Giant Shark performs much better.

    Redcap (VGtM), AC13, 45HP, 27DG: 25' speed. Has a attack that moves 25' & trip, and terrible stats.

    Adventure-specific Beasts & Fey

    Amphisbaena (TftYP), 12AC, 60HP, 24DG: 30' swim Amphibian, 10' Blindsight, and its attack auto-restrains (escape DC16). A variant of the Giant Constrictor Snake that can attack twice.

    Giant Lightning Eel (TftYP), AC13, 42HP, 29DG: 5' speed, 30' swim. Terrible defenses. Blindsight 60'. Its Lightning Jolt can stun multiple creatures (DC12), but that's not enough to prefer it to CR6 options.

    Giant Snapping Turtle (ToA), AC17, 75HP, 18DG: 40' swim. The CR6 Beasts are much stronger than this.

    Mutated Crocodile (RotLK), AC12, 60HP, 11DG: 30' swim. Its attack auto-restrain (DC13), and it can reduce the HP of the restrained enemy by 3 as a Bonus Action. Worse than the CR2 Giant Constrictor Snake.

    Siren (TftYP), AC14, 38HP, 7.5DG: 30' swim. Magic resistance, a Stupefying Touch that stuns (DC13), & can cast Greater Invisibility once per day. Extremely fragile compared to the CR6 options.


    Spoiler: CR4
    Show
    Elephant, AC12, 76HP, 19.5DG: 40' speed. Trampling Charge (DC12) to knock Prone & attack again for 22.5 DG. The CR6 Mammoth is much better than this.

    Stegosaurus (VGtM), AC13, 76HP, 26DG: 40' speed. The CR6 dinosaurs are much superior to this.

    Yeth Hound (VGtM), AC14, 51HP, 11DG: 40' fly. Immunity to nonmagical attacks that aren't silvered, which is huge. Has Telepathy, and a Bay that frightens every enemy within 300 feet (DC13). Does 14 more DG to frightened creatures. Is evil & banished by sunlight. CR6 creatures are preferable for damage, but this makes a great scout & AoE debuffer.

    Adventure-specific Beasts & Fey

    Giant Coral Snake (GoS), AC13, 90HP, 8DG: 30' swim. On a hit, stuns for a round and inflicts a short-term madness (DC12), most of which are incredibly debilitating. Unfortunately, the low DC and damage makes this beast highly unreliable.

    Giant Subterranean Lizard (TftYP), AC14, 66HP, 28DG: 50' swim. Multiattack with a Bite that auto-restrains and a Tail with Reach that knocks Prone (DC15). Can also Swallow a grappled creature for 16 damage immediately and 10 acid damage every round. The CR5 Giant Crocodile is superior.

    Mammoth (Young) (PUS), AC11, 90HP, 14DG: 40' speed. Charge attack to knock Prone (DC16) & do a BA attack (21.5 DG). Strictly inferior to the Mammoth.

    Willow Wilden Sentinel (RotLK), AC12, 66HP, 8.5DG: +15 THP when an ally goes down 1/rest. Cannot be surprised and has advantage on its initiative rolls. Is a level 8 spell caster (DC14), with spells like Heat Magic, Call Lightning, Dispel Magic, Confusion, & Ice Storm. Decent spells, although they are probably not worth your concentration & a level 6 slot.


    Spoiler: CR5
    Show
    Brontosaurus (VGtM), AC15, 121HP, 32DG: 20' reach. Also has alternative tail attack that does 27.5 damage but knocks enemies Prone (DC14). Inferior to the CR6 Brachiosaurus.

    Giant Crocodile, AC14, 85HP, 35.5DG: 50' swim. Multiattack with a Bite that auto-restrains and a Tail with Reach that knocks prone (DC16). Decent aquatic animal.

    Giant Shark, AC13, 126HP, 22.5DG: 50' swim, 60' Blindsight, Blood Frenzy gives advantage against the wounded. Decent aquatic animal.

    Triceratops, AC13, 95HP, 24DG: 50' speed. Like the Elephant, has a Trample attack that knocks Prone (DC13) & gives extra attack. Get the CR6 Mammoth instead.

    Adventure-specific Beasts & Fey

    Hulking Crab (SKT), AC17, 76HP, 41DG: 20' speed, 30' swim, 30' Blindsight. Multiattack with two claws that auto-grapple (DC15), and an interesting Camouflage ability.

    Large Subterranean Lizard (TftYP), AC14, 85HP, 35.5DG: Multiattack with a Bite that auto-restrains and a Tail with Reach that knocks prone (DC16). This variant of the Giant Crocodile has no swim speed, a climbing speed of 30', and 60' darkvision. The CR6 creatures are better.

    Therizinosaurus (BotJR), AC14, 104HP, 35DG: The CR6 creatures are better.

    Urban Dryad (XLNtEE), AC13, 78HP, 38DG: Resistance from nonmagical attacks & Magic Resistance. Has a few level 1 & 2 druid spells, but otherwise the CR6 Elder Dryad is much better.


    Spoiler: CR6
    Show
    Annis Hag (VGtM), AC17, 75HP, 46.5DG: 40' speed. Resistance from nonmagical attacks. Has a Crushing Hug that Grapples and do 36.5 damage, which prevent the Hag from attacking but repeats the 36.5 damage every round. Can cast Disguise Self and Fog Cloud 3/day. Evil alignment. Good if you can combine the Fog Cloud with a Wild Shape form with Blindsight/Tremorsense.

    Mammoth, AC13, 126HP, 25DG: 40' speed. Has a Trampling Charge with Reach and a wonderful DC18 that knocks an enemy prone & allows an additional 29 damage attack.

    Adventure-specific Beasts & Fey

    Brachiosaurus (BotJR), AC16, 145HP, 40DG: 20' reach. Also has alternative tail attack that does 34.5 damage but knocks enemies Prone (DC15). Gargantuan size. Alternative to the Mammoth if its Charge can't work.

    Elder Dryad (XLNtEE), AC15, 105HP, 52.5DG: 40' speed, 60' Blindsight. Resistance from nonmagical attacks & Magic Resistance, Blight 1/day, & a pseudo Entangle power (DC15). Good offense & defense.


    Spoiler: CR7 (Upcast Required)
    Show
    Bheur Hag (VGtM), AC17, 91HP, 13.5 DMG: 40' fly (with broom) and cast 3/day Cone of Cold, Ice Storm, & Wall of Ice, as well as 1/day Control Weather. Can devour a dead enemy to incapacitate enemies in a 60' radius (DC15). Can also cast Hold Person at Will. Excellent spellcasting, but fragile. Evil alignment.

    Giant Ape, AC12, 157HP, 45DG: 40' speed, 10' reach. Has a ranged attack for 30.5 damage, and that's it. Hardly worth the slot.

    Korred (VGtM), AC17, 102HP, 48DG: 30' burrow, 120' Tremorsense, & Resistance from nonmagical attacks. Small Size & 60' ranged weapon. Does half damage if not on ground. Can use its Hair as a Bonus Action to restrain (DC13), but said hair is easily destroyed (20HP). Can cast a restricted Conjure Elemental 1/day (Earth Elemental & Galeb Duhr are the best options), which means this spell could potentially create a whooping 4 minions for you (the Korred, Galeb Duhr, and two Galeb Duhr clones). Can also cast Otto's Irresistible Dance 1/day, but with DC it is unlikely to stick more than a round. Stone Shape at will, which is near broken for building fortifications or tearing apart a stone dungeon. Amazing ranged support.

    Adventure-specific Beasts & Fey

    Sarcosuchus (BotJR), AC15, 137HP, 47.5DG: 40' speed, 50' swim. Reach 10'. Multiattack with a Bite that auto-restrain and a Tail that knocks Prone (DC17). Good impact on the battlefield, but vulnerable for a melee animal. Arguably the best aquatic form, but lacking otherwise.

    Titanosaurus (BotJR), AC17, 201HP, 45.5DG: 20' reach. Has a Stomp attack for 40 damage and knocking Prone (DC16). Good offense and excellent durability. Sadly, you can't use the Legendary Actions.


    Spoiler: CR8 (Upcast Required)
    Show
    Tyrannosaurus Rex, AC13, 136HP, 53.5DG: Has a Bite attack with auto-restrain (DC17). Despite the coolness factor, not any better than the CR7 options.

    Adventure-specific Beasts & Fey

    Huge Giant Crab (TftYP), AC15, 161HP, 27DG: 30' swim. 10' reach. Has a Claw attack that grapples (DC14). A variant of the Giant Crab that is weaker than CR7 creatures.

    Mosasaurus (BotJR), AC13, 159HP, 33DG: 50' swim. Can't move or breath outside water. Has a Bite attack with auto-restrain (DC17), and can Swallow. Not any better than the CR7 Sarcosuchus.


    Spoiler: CR9 (Upcast Required)
    Show
    Adventure-specific Beasts & Fey

    Conclave Dryad (GGtR), AC16, 143HP, 36DG: Comes with an Elk mount (speed 50'). Magic Resistance. Can disable any magic item within 120' with no saves. In melee, attacks three times with each hit restraining (DC17). Can cast Dispel Magic, Moon Beam, Wall of Thorns, & Entangle. Very nice Fey, but rather fragile in melee. Is it really worth a level 9 slot?
    Last edited by Merudo; 2019-05-26 at 07:11 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2018

    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide

    Druid Spell Analysis

    B : Bonus Action Spell
    C : Concentration Spell
    R : Ritual Spell
    X : Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    Spoiler: Cantrips
    Show
    Control Flames (X): One of the few effects that can create 40' bright light and 80' dim light. Better if playing on roll20 with dynamic lighting.

    Create Bonfire (C, X): If you can reliably have it hit twice, it becomes the most damaging cantrip in the game. Sadly, its 5-foot cube area is too small to let it have a reliable impact on the battlefield, and you have much better spells to concentrate on.

    Druidcraft: Cute spell, but the practical applications are limited to predicting the weather & making magical imitation of natural sounds. Better in RP heavy groups or a group without the Minor Illusion cantrip.

    Frostbite (X): d6 cold damage that inflicts disadvantage on the next weapon roll. The Constitution save is the worst part of the spell. Significantly less useful against enemies with multi-attack.

    Guidance (C): Provides a d4 bonus to an ability check. Extremely useful when your druid is not using Wildshape or Concentrating on a spell.

    Gust (X): Push a Medium or smaller creature, or an object less than 5 lbs. Occasionally useful, but Thorn Whip is much more valuable for battlefield control.

    Infestation (X): Con save, low range, unreliable effect

    Magic Stone (B, X): 1d6 Shillelagh at range. Weaker & requires casting every 3 pebbles, but said pebbles can be given to another minions/allies. Like Shillelagh, doesn't scale well at all.

    Mending: Repairing broken objects does come up every now and then. Better during long wilderness trips where replacing gear is difficult.

    Mold Earth (X): You can now excavate 5-foot cube of loose earth every 6 seconds. Lets you create trenches, dig pits, dig out coffins, etc. in a blink of an eye.

    Poison Spray : Great damage but poor type, range, & saving throw.

    Primal Savagery (X): Decent melee spell. Typically better than Shillelagh starting level 5, unless you specifically build your Moon Druid for Shillelagh (and why would you).

    Produce Flame: Can be used as a Light cantrip with a 1/2 the area of affect, or as a decent ranged attack. Depending on the form, the spell might continue to work after you Wildshape.

    Resistance (C): You have much better spells to concentrate on during combat.

    Shape Water (X): Moving a 5-foot cube of water is far less useful than moving a 5-foot cube of dirt.

    Shillelagh (B): Turns your staff into a d8 magical weapon that uses your Wisdom modifier. Good at early levels, but loses steam fast after level 5.

    Thorn Whip: Slightly less damage than Produce Flame but has great battlefield control potential.

    Thunderclap (X): Decent AoE damage, although the Con saving throw is bad.


    Spoiler: Level 1 Spells
    Show
    Absorb Elements (X): Excellent defensive spell in caster form. A must at higher levels.

    Animal Friendship: The "charmed" condition is of limited use in 5e - all it does is prevent the target from attacking the caster and give you advantage on social rolls. Bribing the animal with food may be preferable to casting this spell.

    Beast Bond (C, X): The beast gets advantage to combat roll on enemies within 5 feet of you. Could be useful if the party has a powerful beast as a pet (think Beast Master). The 10 minute duration is too short.

    Charm Person : An alright spell to use out of combat to befriend someone and get advantage on social rolls.

    Create or Destroy Water: Only ever useful in settings where the party may run out of water (think Tomb of Annihilation)

    Cure Wounds: Goodberry and Healing Spirit do much better out-of-combat healing. Healing Word is typically better in-combat healing as well, unless you use your bonus action to direct a Flaming Sphere or Wildshape or something.

    Detect Magic (C,R): Pretty useful ritual to identify traps, magical items, illusion effects, curses, etc.

    Detect Poison and Disease (C,R): Extremely niche uses, but at least its a ritual

    Earth Tremor (X): Knock enemies Prone in an area around you. The effect is decent, but the area makes it hard to avoid friendly fire. Better if you have some allies with flying or with spiderclimb.

    Entangle (C): Being restrained is a rather punishing effect. One of the rare spells with a strength saving throw. Remains useful at higher levels.

    Faerie Fire (C): Gives advantage to attack rolls and cancels out invisibility. Use this instead of Entangle when the enemies have high strength but low dexterity, such as an heavily armored fighter.

    Fog Cloud (C): Typically, this is a niche spell, because of 5e non-intuitive vision rules. However, if you Wildshape into a beast with Blindsight such as Giant Spider or Giant Constrictor Snake, it effectively works as an Improved Invisibility spell for you.

    Goodberry: Extremely efficient way to heal up after a battle, and can be cast before you Wildshape so you have a reserve of berries to use. Can be feed to 0hp allies during battle to bring them back, although some DMs may object to this as the spell does not explicitly allow you to do so. You can also give some berries to a Familiar and other minions so they can bring back a party member without spending your action. Even better, you can cast this at the end of a day if you have some spellslots left, to start the next adventuring day with a stack of berries and all your spell slots. I always prepare this.

    Healing Word (B): Efficient way to bring back an ally at 0hp. Significantly less useful if you have a Familiar that can feed a Goodberry to an unconscious ally.

    Ice Knife (X): Decent single target damage with some minor splash damage. Quickly becomes obsolete, though.

    Jump: Cast this on a PC to let them jump from tree to tree, on top of rooftops, across ravines, etc. which could be beneficial to an archer or in a chase scene. In most terrains, this is useless though.

    Longstrider: One of the most underrated spells in the game, this concentration-free buff gives the target an extra 10 feet of movement. Handy to let archers kite better. Rogues can attack an enemy, then disengage and move out of reach. And it's basically required if you plan on Wildshaping into aquatic forms such as the Octopus on land. With a coordinated party, this can be amazing.

    Purify Food and Drink: You can Create Water outright, and Goodberry feeds you. If you suspect foul play at a banquet you can Detect Poison and Disease as a ritual instead. I have a hard time finding a use for this spell.

    Snare (X): Spend 10 minutes to create a restraining trap. With some planning, can be used to trap the battlefield before engaging the enemy there. Excellent use of a spell slot at higher levels.

    Speak with Animals (R): Probably the best ritual on your list. Make sure to carry ample seeds, dry fruits, veggies, etc. to bribe the various animals you'll meet. You can talk the animals into being scouts, giving you directions, spying on you, etc. Even better if you can buy a pet animal or a mount (the Urchin background gives you a free pet mouse). I always prepare this.

    Thunderwave: Good AoE damage at low levels, but becomes obsolete fast.


    Spoiler: Level 2 Spells
    Show
    Animal Messenger (R): Excellent alternative to the Sending spell that can be cast as a ritual. If you afraid that a predator might eat the animal, you can cast it multiple times to make sure at least one of the messengers makes it.

    Barkskin (C): Okay spell to cast before you Wildshape for a long period of time. Can really improve the AC of some forms such as Brown Bear. Near useless if you have access to Mage Armor or if you multiclass into Barbarian or Monk.

    Beast Sense (C, R): You can send a beast to spy for you. You are a Druid though, so you could just as well Wildshape into a beast yourself. At least it's a ritual...

    Darkvision: Give Darkvision to allies, or let you have Darkvision in a form that doesn't have it.

    Dust Devil (C, X): A terrible spell for a Sorcerer or Wizard, this is actually decent for you. You can use it together with a Wildshape with Blindsight to get yourself pseudo Improved Invisibility that can do some damage/area denial to boot. The Giant Spider's Web ability can keep enemies in the Dust Devil's area and the webbing is immune to the Dust Devil's Bludgeoning damage.

    Earthbind (C, X): Brings a single flying enemy to the ground. Only single target, but has a large 200 feet range and doesn't allow a save at the end of the target's turn. Good against a flying archer but extremely situational.

    Enhance Ability (C): Excellent buff. Can give advantage to all checks related to one ability - so you choose Dexterity before stealth missions, Charisma before a long social encounters, etc. In combat, Dexterity gives advantage on Initiative rolls and Strength gives advantage on Grapple checks.

    Find Traps: Low range, & doesn't tell you anything about the traps it detects. One of the worst spells of all D&D.

    Flame Blade (B, C): Your cantrips do about the same damage and don't take up your concentration. You are most likely better off with the Flaming Sphere spell.

    Flaming Sphere (C): Okay damage as a bonus action. Best used as area denial in narrow corridors, and for long battles. Sadly, enemies in the area only take damage if they *end* their turn in the 15' by 15' area of effect. Works great together with grappling forms to hold an enemy in the spell's area.

    Gust of Wind (C): Enemies can just use their diagonal movement to sidestep this. Better if you can combine it with area effect spells from other casters.

    Healing Spirit (B, C, X): Best out-of-combat spell. Keep in mind you can drag others PCs through the spell effect to heal them on your turn. At the very least this will heal your whole party for 20d6.

    Heat Metal (C): Amazing against armored enemies, significantly less helpful if you expect to fight monsters.

    Hold Person (C): Attacking a paralyzed enemy with result in auto-crits for tons of damage. Upcasting this works amazingly well too.

    Lesser Restoration: Decent if you expect to fight monsters that can induce the status effect. Dispel Magic can often replace it in a pinch.

    Locate Animals or Plants (R): Mostly a way to learn new Wildshape forms.

    Locate Object (C): Useful to locate a lost or stolen item. Can also work as a Locate Person spell if the target is carrying an unusual object. The low range, duration, and inability to detect through lead significantly worsen the spell.

    Moonbeam (C): Good Radiant damage (1d10 per spell level), and can hit enemies every turn in a 10' by 10' area. Especially strong against creatures with the "shapechanger" tag, but those are rare. The main problem is that it costs you an action to move the beam. Best used if you can reliably hit 2+ enemies, or if the enemies can't easily move out of the beam. Works well with grappling forms to hold an enemy in the spell's area.

    Spoiler: Shapeshifters List
    Show
    • CR 1/2: Jackalwere
    • CR 1: Quasit
    • CR 2: Mimic, Werebat, Wererat
    • CR 3: Deep Scion, Doppelganger, Werewolf, Yuan-ti Malison
    • CR 4: Barghest, Incubus, Succubus, Wereboar, Weretiger, Yuan-ti Nightmare Speaker, Yuan-ti Mind Whisperer
    • CR 5: Werebear, Yuan-ti Pit Master
    • CR 7: Yuan-ti Abomination
    • CR 8: Green Slaad
    • CR 9: Gray Slaad
    • CR 10: Death Slaad, Yochlol
    • CR 12: Yuan-ti Anathema
    • CR 13: Vampire
    • CR 24: Graz'zt

    Pass Without Trace (C): Gives the party an enormous +10 to Stealth. Keep in mind it doesn't actually turn you invisible.

    Protection from Poison : Good but situational. Can be used ahead of time, or on the spot to remove a poison. Amazing if you can accurately predict when you will encounter poison.

    Skywrite (C,R, X): Like Animal Messenger but for shorter distances.

    Spike Growth (C): Excellent area denial spell, and can be combined with Thorn Whip and other movement effects cause extra damage.

    Warding Wind (C, X): Decent to protect your party against a mass of archer but near useless otherwise.


    Spoiler: Level 3 Spells
    Show
    Call Lightning (C): Similar to Moonbeam, with a worse type (Lightning) but a better save (Dex). The killer here is that Call Lightning doesn't do area denial like Moonbeam, and requires a large environment. Highly situational spell - best for prolonged outdoor fights such as sieges where can you get the full 10 minutes worth of blasting. Otherwise, stick with the Moonbeam.

    Conjure Animals (C): The Wizard gets Fireball, the Cleric gets Spirit Guardians, the Druid gets this. Incredibly versatile spell. Need damage? Summon 8 Elks and do a deadly charge that knocks enemies prone. Need movement? Conjure 8 Giant Owls to carry your party. Someone invisible is around? Conjure 8 Giant Bats to locate the creature. Need something restrained? Conjure 8 Constrictor Snakes that inflict the Restrained condition on a hit. A must-have.

    Daylight: A waste of a slot. The light radius is barely larger than a torch + Control Flame cantrip. It can be used to counter Magical Darkness - but so can Dispel Magic, or an upcast Continual Flame spell. And contrarily to its name, Daylight doesn't even create real sunlight.

    Dispel Magic: Use it to remove buffs or debuffs, magical barriers, magical traps, etc. Amazing if you expect to fight a spellcaster.

    Erupting Earth (X): Deals about 70% of the damage of Fireball in a much smaller area. It does leave an area of difficult terrain, but the area is too small for it to be really helpful.

    Feign Death (R): Casting Feign Death is awful during combat - it removes one of your allies from the fight. Its out-of-combat utility is also extremely limited.

    Flame Arrows (C, X): A single Erupting Earth targeting two creatures will do roughly the same damage in a much shorter time and without using concentration. And Conjure Animals is a much superior spell to cast ahead of time.

    Meld into Stone (R): You can take a rest while melded into stone. That's about the extend of this spell.

    Plant Growth: Battlefield control spell that doesn't take up concentration and that has a permanent duration. Massive area of effect. Stacks with difficult terrain so that 1 foot of movement costs 5 feet of speed.

    Protection from Energy (C): Requires Concentration, which makes it substantially less useful than Protection from Poison.

    Sleet Storm (C): Large area of effect. Creates difficult terrain & heavy obscuration, knocks creatures prone, and forces concentration checks. Works best when combined with Plant Growth.

    Speak with Plants: Speak with Animals can do roughly the same, as a ritual, at level 1.

    Tidal Wave (X): Low damage AoE that inflicts the Prone status.

    Wall of Water (C, X): Pretty weak spell compared to Wall of Wind, which itself isn't that good. I guess it could be of some use against Red Dragons and other fire related creatures.

    Water Breathing (R): 24h duration and ritual tag means you should cast this every time there is a risk of ending up in the water. Definitely cast this before Wildshaping into an aquatic form in case you receive enough damage to be transformed back.

    Water Walk (R): Prepare this if you expect to travel on liquid surfaces. The 1h duration makes the spell somewhat awkward to use.

    Wind Wall (C): Excellent protection against ranged weapons and gases, and does 3d8 damage. Note that you can shape the wall in any continuous path, so you can shape this to hit multiple enemies while avoiding your party.


    Spoiler: Level 4 Spells
    Show
    Blight: Mediocre damage. Only prepare it if you know you'll fight some plants.

    Charm Monster: Hostile monsters you'd want to use this on are likely to attack you on sight, granting them advantage on the saving throw.

    Confusion (C): One of the few Wisdom based debuff for the Druid. Tends to be much less effective than Wizard/Bard spells Hypnotic Pattern & Fear because of the tiny area of effect, and relatively high chance (20%) of the enemy acting normally.

    Conjure Minor Elementals (C): Conjure Animals & Conjure Woodland Being are much more likely to be helpful, and the 1 minute casting time makes it impossible to cast during combat. Summoning 4 Dust Mephitis for their Sleep spell and blinding breath, or 4 Magma Mephit for their Heat Metal are good options.

    Conjure Woodland Beings (C): Conjuring Pixies that can buff your party with Polymorph and Fly is probably the best option.

    Control Water (C): Excellent for sinking ships, but too specific for most other purposes.

    Dominate Beast (C): The target gets an extra saving throw every time it receives damage, and the duration is quite short (1 minute).

    Elemental Bane (C, X): A meager 2d6 extra damage is quite underwhelming. Unless you have a large party or multiple minions using the same damage type, I can't see why you'd want to cast this.

    Freedom of Movement: A decent non-concentration buff that protects against multiple conditions. The main issue is that these conditions don't come up all that often. By RAW, it doesn't protect against Plant Growth.

    Giant Insect (C): Compare this to Conjure Animals: this spell has much shorter duration (10min vs 1 hour), uses a higher level slot, requires you to have some insects on hand, and only lets you conjure 4 types of beasts. The centipede, spider, and wasp could already be summoned through Conjure Animals - this spell only lets you get 1 or 2 more. The CR3 Giant Scorpion is the main reason to get this spell - it can restrain two enemies & do damage way above what its CR would suggest.

    Grasping Vine (B, C): Could be of some value to pull enemies into a hazard such as a trap or pit, but requires an intimate knowledge of where the battle will take place at preparation.

    Guardian of Nature (B, C, X): The main benefit of this spell is granting advantage on your attacks. It's probably preferable to Conjure Animals and ask them to perform the Help action.

    Hallucinatory Terrain: One use is to hide something - the spell can work like a much larger Leomund's Tiny Hut. Another use is to lure enemies into unfavorable terrains or into traps. You can also create illusionary cover that your team can see through. Its 24h duration means you can spam it before taking a long rest.

    Ice Storm: About 3 damage less on average than an upcasted Erupting Earth, but at 2.5 times the range and with a much bigger area of effect.

    Locate Creature (C): Alright spell to use for a rescue mission in a BBEG's lair. The short range makes it extremely limited.

    Polymorph (C): Can turn any level 8 ally into a T-Rex with 136 hp. Or, polymorph a strong monster into a slug, throw it into the enemy's camp and drop concentration. Note that Conjure Woodland Beings can summon 8 Pixies that each can cast this once for free.

    Stone Shape: Can create doors into stone walls, or topple stone pillars. Only rarely worth a level 4 spell slot.

    Stoneskin (C): Pricey spell that gives you resistance to non-magical weapons. If you take this often, consider a Barbarian dip instead.

    Wall of Fire (C): A "wall" that does 22.5 damage when people go through it. You are typically better off casting off Erupting Earth / Ice Storm to do about the same damage without using up concentration. Much better if you can force enemies to take the damage multiple times.

    Watery Sphere (C, X): The Strength save together with having to spend an action to move the sphere makes this underwhelming.


    Spoiler: Level 5 Spells
    Show
    Antilife Shell (C): A great anti-melee spell with a 1h duration. Sadly, it doesn't work well at all with melee Wildshape forms.

    Awaken: Highly DM dependent spell. This could potentially let you build an army of beast/plant minions. Or, a DM could very well have the awaken creatures/plants refuse to help you.

    Commune with Nature (R): By this level, you can Wildshape into a Eagle or send a hoard of Owls to survey a territory. Still, it's nice to be able to do this as a ritual.

    Conjure Elemental (C): The Elementals have nice immunities and resistances, but are somewhat bad at offense. Losing control of the elemental can be catastrophic. The Water Elemental can restrain up to two creatures and is my favorite. Best when combined with an upcast Planar Binding.

    Contagion: Impressive concentration-less debuff: on a hit, guaranteed to make the target Poisoned for at least 3 rounds. If the target fails the 3 Constitution saves, Slimy Doom will shut it down completely. The 7 days duration makes it perfect for a hit-and-run.

    Control Winds (C, X): Downdraft is a strong anti-air option, the other effects are rather mediocre.

    Geas: Best used on hired NPCs if you suspect they will betray or abandon you once you turn your back. The long duration means you can prepare and cast this in downtime.

    Greater Restoration: Heal some very nasty ailments.

    Insect Plague: Similar damage to Wall of Fire but in different area and in a more advantageous damage type.

    Maelstrom (C, X): Similar damage to Wall of Fire. It also doesn't cause immediate damage, and a saving throw negates its effects outright. The only saving grace is its relatively large area of effect.

    Mass Cure Wounds: Heal up to six PCs / minions for roughly 18 hp each. Best used to bring multiple unconscious allies back on their feet with one spell.

    Planar Binding: With a little bit of work and 1000gp, it can grant you a decent ally for a day. The duration increases dramatically to a month or year if you use a higher level slot, which makes this spell far more cost-effective. Less good if the DM gives the creature a share of the party XP.

    Reincarnate: An alternative to Raise Dead, but changes the race of the target. Min-maxers won't like it - it will hurt their build. Try to find a high level Cleric before casting this.

    Scrying (C): Excellent to spy on a foe or to find out what happened to someone who disappeared.

    Transmute Rock (X): One of the rare battlefield control spell that doesn't require Concentration. Too bad Rock to Mud has a Strength save, and that the restrained condition can automatically be removed by spending an action.

    Tree Stride (C): An emergency Dimension Door that only works near trees and that can't bring anyone with you. In optimal conditions, you can use it to move about a mile in a minute.

    Wall of Stone (C): A decent Wall spell, though strong creatures can burst through its 180hp relatively quickly. The best part is that it can be made permanent by concentrating 10 minutes on it.

    Wrath of Nature (C, X): Party friendly spell that can restrain an enemy and knock another one prone each round. Also causes Difficult Terrain and does some minor damage. Situational, but can be highly effective if in a terrain that supports all effects. You could also carry some rocks and potted trees with you to take advantage of this spell wherever you are.


    Spoiler: Level 6 Spells
    Show
    Bones of the Earth (X): Can Restrain 6 creatures, or make a pseudo wall without using up your Concentration. The brittleness (30hp) of the pillars is the main issue with this spell.

    Conjure Fey (C): Arguably the worst of your Summoning spells when you get it, I would only use this together with Planar Binding at first. Upcasted to Level 7, it is significantly better, able to summon two powerful fey spellcasters (Bheur Hag & Korred) as well as a dinosaur with Legendary Actions (Titanosaurus).

    Druid Grove (X): Hallucinatory Terrain does a better job at keeping your campsite safe. Hard to use offensively - most enemies will just avoid the area.

    Find the Path (C): You are a Druid. By now you have tons of tools to find your way, and they don't require a Level 6 slot.

    Heal: Decent healing spell that cures blindness, deafness, and diseases.

    Heroes' Feast: Amazing buff that should be cast the night before any major fight if the funds permit it. Note that Familiars, pets, minions, etc. can also partake in the feast.

    Investiture of Flame (C, X): The immunity to fire is decent but the rest is garbage. Using your concentration and action to do 4d8 damage is almost a bad joke at this point.

    Investiture of Ice (C, X): The immunity to ice is okay but not as valuable as fire. The combo here is for the form to create difficult terrain and then use the cone of freezing wind to reduce the speed of enemies by half. If you really want to delay enemies, you'd probably be better using Sleet Storm / Plant Growth / Transmute Rock outside, and Antilife Shell indoor.

    Investiture of Stone (C, X): If you want non-magical weapon resistance, you are better off with Stoneskin. Contrarily to your Earth Elemental form, this allows you move through any solid earth or stone (including worked stone), which can be occasionally useful.

    Investiture of Wind (C, X): Essentially a Fly spell + Warding Wind rolled into one. Decent if you need to cast spells while flying and nobody in the party can cast Fly on you.

    Move Earth (C): Mold Earth does essentially the same thing, at as cantrip.

    Primordial Ward (C, X): You can use up the spell to get Immunity to one elemental attack for a turn, which can be life-saving. Too bad the duration is so short.

    Sunbeam (C): Beam of sunlight that blinds enemies and do 27 radiant damage. Useful against the Undead because they have disadvantage on the save.

    Transport via Plants: Similar to Teleport, but requires large plants. Excellent to travel around the world in a blink, but can't be used to escape a dungeon.

    Wall of Thorns (C): Like Plant Growth & Transmute Rock, it creates "double" difficult terrain. Unlike these two lower level spells, it takes up your concentration to do some mediocre damage.

    Wind Walk: Transform your party into clouds to travel quickly and stealthily. Characters are vulnerable while transforming out of the cloud form, though.


    Spoiler: Level 7 Spells
    Show
    Fire Storm: Flexible area, good range, lackluster damage. Unless you are facing a horde, you are better off casting other spells.

    Mirage Arcane: Hallucinatory Terrain is more flexible at a lower spell level.

    Plane Shift: Excellent spell to escape danger or visit other planes. You cast also cast it twice in a row to teleport anywhere on your current plane of existence.

    Regenerate: Restore 1hp a turn, which is negligible in combat. Out of combat, you can just cast Healing Spirit. Why is it good? It can work as a Death Ward that doesn't go away after activation.

    Reverse Gravity (C): Can outright neuter melee-centric creatures. Also do alright damage from the fall - typically 10d6 but up to 20d6. Note that a creature auto-fails the save if there are no fixed object within their reach.

    Whirlwind (C, X): Alright (~35) damage, and can inflict the restrained condition. The Whirlwind can be moved each round to hit multiple enemies while ideally avoiding your party. The main flaws of the spell are that creatures have to fail two saves to be restrained, and that moving the Whirlwind takes an action.


    Spoiler: Level 8 Spells
    Show
    Animal Shapes (C): Transform any number of willing creatures into CR3 Large or smaller beasts (there are no CR4 beasts eligible). The key words here are "any number". You can potentially transform a whole army into Giant Scorpions, Giant Elks, Giant Owls, etc. Note that you can spend your action to transform them into new shapes, which also restores their hps. With the right preparation, this spell can be absolutely insane.

    Antipathy/Sympathy: If you know you are against a specific creature kind, you can spend several days casting the related Antipathy on every party member. Once you met said creature kind, they'll have to succeed on multiple Wisdom saves or become Frightened. The range on this is absolutely insane too (60 feet OR sight).

    Control Weather (C): It takes a long time for the full effect of this to kick in, and even then it won't last more than a few hours.

    Earthquake (C): Many effects are quite weak (difficult terrain, knocks enemies prone, creates pits). The good parts: its range and radius are humongous, it can damage structures, and it can break concentration of multiple enemy spellcasters.

    Feeblemind: Concentration-less debuff that will completely wreak Bards, Clerics, Sorcerers, Warlocks, and other spellcasters with poor Intelligence saves.

    Sunburst: A giant (60' radius) radiant fireball that does an average of 42 damage and blinds for a minute. Undead and oozes have disadvantage on the Con save. Good mass debuff that doesn't take concentration, but for consistent damage you might be better served by Sunbeam.

    Tsunami (C): The main use of this is to damage an army. It works best if the Tsunami pushes the creatures in a natural hazard such as a cliff. The range is Sight - so buy yourself a Spyglass and cast this from miles away.


    Spoiler: Level 9 Spells
    Show
    Foresight: Grants advantage on all attack rolls, ability checks, & saving throws; attacks against the target are made at disadvantage. The best buff in the game, and it doesn't take Concentration.

    Shapechange (C): The value of this spell heavily depends on the creatures you've seen. The Adult Dragons are especially strong with Legendary Resistance, top notch mobility, Blindsight, Frightful Presence and a powerful Breath.

    Storm of Vengeance (C): Does about 39 damage spread over 10 rounds to creatures in a gigantic 360' radius. The main issue is that creatures can dash away from the area of effect, avoiding most of the damage.

    True Resurrection: Finally, you can bring someone back to life without changing their race! The 25k cost is quite disheartening, though.
    Last edited by Merudo; 2019-05-31 at 08:09 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2018

    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide

    Multiclassing

    Spoiler: When to Multiclass:
    Show
    Level 0: By Level 0, I mean starting in a different class before switching to Druid. Do this to get Constitution save proficiency.
    Level 1: The Moon Druid is a powerful house at level 2 - you don't want to multiclass now!
    Level 2: The biggest power spike in the game. The two next levels don't get you that much, so its an excellent time to multiclass if you expect the campaign to end at level 5 or lower.
    Level 3: To get Level 2 spells and double the spellslots.
    Level 4: Getting Conjure Animals is better than what you get from a multiclass
    Level 5: For Conjure Animals. Not bad, but the next level is better.
    Level 6: Your can Wildshape into CR2 creatures and your attacks become magical. The next big boost will be at level 10.
    Level 7: For Conjure Woodland Beings & Polymorph. But, since you need your target to be Level 8 for T-Rex, you might as well multiclass at level 6 instead.
    Level 8: For the ASI/feat. The flying forms are not that desirable.
    Level 9: The elemental forms are more valuable than a multiclass.
    Level 10: The elemental forms, at last! The next Moon Druid improvement is at level 18, and most campaign don't reach that level.
    Level 11: For Heroes' Feast. The rest of the spells are rather underwhelming.
    Level 12: For the ASI/feat and the Giant Subterranean Lizard form
    Level 13: For Planeshift & Reverse Gravity. The next 4 levels don't get you that much.
    Level 14: You get... Alter Self at will. Garbage level.
    Level 15: CR5 forms. You also get Level 8 spells, which require some thinking but can be powerful
    Level 16: An ASI/feat. By now they aren't really adding much.
    Level 17: You want Beast Spells as soon as possible
    Level 18: You are so close to Archdruid, only multiclass now if you have no chance of getting it.
    Level 19: Why would you throw away the chance to get Archdruid?


    Spoiler: What to Multiclass Into:
    Show
    Barbarian 1: Starts with Con saves proficiency. Unarmored Defense increases the AC of some forms by as much as +3. Raging gets you resistance to physical damage while Wildshaped. Combined with the high hp of some forms, this can let you absorb outrageous amounts of damage. The +2 damage is also quite useful on forms with multiple attacks such as the Deinonychus. Later on, you'll prefer to concentrate on spells instead of raging, although raging can still be useful if you lose concentration while in Wildshape form.
    Barbarian 2: You get Reckless Attack & Danger Sense. Reckless Attack is excellent if you have Reach or a way to disengage, but is not compatible with Dex based attacks.
    Barbarian 3: For a Primal Path, of which some are decent (Ancestral Guardian & Totem), and an extra Rage per day.

    Bard: The Bard spells you would get are largely redundant with your Druid spells.

    Cleric 1: You get spells, including Bless & Command. Life Cleric buffs your healing spells (including Goodberry), Light has Warding Flares, Tempest give you a damaging reaction, War gives you extra attacks (but not if using Multiattack).

    Fighter 2: For Action Surge. You can't make use of the Fighting Style while in Wildshape. The 2 levels represents a delay of almost a full CR for your Wildshape. Not worth it.

    Monk 1: For Unarmored Defense. Amazing if you have high Wisdom - can provide a +5AC bonus to some forms such as the Air and Fire Elementals, and usually helps in caster form too. Note that Beasts of CR4 or more gain very little from Unarmored Defense.The following section on Monk AC provides more information.

    Paladin 2: You can now Smite while Wildshaped! Works best with Multiattack forms. Would be ranked higher, but the attribute requirements for this multiclass are quite difficult to meet.

    Paladin 3: For the oath. Most useful is probably Oath of Vengeance for Vow of Enmity & Hunter's Mark.

    Ranger: Similar to the Bard, this gives you stuff you already have.

    Rogue 2: Sneak attack doesn't work while Wildshaped. The reason to get this is Cunning Action. I suggest yo take the Mobile feat or pick the Goblin race instead.

    Sorcerer 1: Starts with Con save proficiency. Gets you Shield, Mage Armor, and a bunch of cantrips. Divine Soul is probably the best bet with the extra spell and the Favored by the Gods ability for saving throws.

    Warlock 1: Eldritch Blast is of little value to you, and most other abilities are underwhelming. Armor of Agathys would be nice to have, though.

    Wizard 1: For Find Familiar, some rituals, and Shield & Mage Armor.

    Wizard 2: Bladesinger provides a defensive dance that gives bonuses to Concentration, AC, and speed. War Magic provides better Initiative & a +2AC/+4 saving throw reaction. Divination gives Portent, which is of course amazing. All three subclasses give benefits that work with Wild Shape.


    Spoiler: Wildshape AC: Monk & Mage Armor
    Show
    The Monk's Unarmored Defense lets you calculate your AC as 10+ Dex Mod + Wis Mod. This means forms with strong Natural Armor don't benefit much from Unarmored Defense, while forms without it gives you a straight Wis Mod bonus to AC.

    Here I list the effect of Unarmored Defense on Wildshape forms. I assume a Druid with 20 Wisdom; the maximum bonus is thus +5. If you have 18-19 Wisdom, reduce all numbers by 1; if you have 16-17 Wisdom, reduce them all by 2; etc. Note that Mage Armor gives you the same bonus to AC as Unarmored Defense with a Wisdom of 16.

    CR1:
    Archelon: AC16, +2
    Brown Bear: AC15, +4
    Crag Cat: AC18, +5
    Deinonychus: AC17, +4
    Dilophosaurus: AC17, +4
    Dire Wolf: AC17, +3
    Female Steeder: AC18, +4
    Giant Eagle: AC18, +5
    Giant Hyena: AC17, +5
    Giant Octopus: AC16, +5
    Giant Spider: AC18, +4
    Lion: AC17, +5
    Tiger: AC17, +5
    Troodon: AC17, +4

    CR2:
    Allosaurus: AC15, +3
    Aurochs: AC15, +4
    Giant Boar: AC15, +3
    Giant Constrictor Snake: AC17, +5
    Giant Crayfish: AC16, +1
    Giant Elk: AC18, +4
    Giant Spitting Lizard: AC15, +3
    Hunter Shark: AC16, +4
    Krenshar: AC18, +5
    Pachycephalosaurus: AC17, +4
    Plesiosaurus: AC17, +4
    Polar Bear: AC15, +3
    Quetzalcoatlus: AC16, +3
    Rhinoceros: AC14, +3
    Saber-Toothed Tiger: AC17, +5
    Utahraptor: AC19, +4
    Zealoraptor: AC19, +4

    CR3:
    Ankylosaurus: AC15, +0
    Giant Lightning Eel: AC18, +5
    Giant Scorpion: AC16, +1
    Giant Snapping Turtle: AC17, +0
    Killer Whale: AC15, +3

    Elementals:
    Air Elemental: AC20, +5
    Earth Elemental: AC17, +0
    Fire Elemental: AC18, +5
    Water Elemental: AC17, +3

    CR4:
    Elephant: 14AC, +2
    Stegosaurus: 14AC, +1

    CR5:
    Giant Crocodile: AC14, +0
    Giant Shark: AC15, +2
    Hulking Crab: AC17, +0
    Triceratops: AC14, +1
    Therizinosaurus: AC15, +1

    CR6:
    Brachiosaurus: AC16, +0
    Mammoth: AC14, +1


    Spoiler: Wildshape AC: Barbarian
    Show
    The Barbarian's Unarmored Defense lets you calculate your AC as 10+ Dex Mod + Con Mod. This means forms with low Con & strong Natural Armor don't benefit much from Unarmored Defense, while forms without Natural Armor gives a straight Con Mod bonus to AC.

    Here I list the effect of Unarmored Defense on Wildshape forms:

    CR1:
    Archelon: AC14, +0
    Brown Bear: AC13, +2
    Crag Cat: AC16, +3
    Deinonychus: AC14, +1
    Dilophosaurus: AC14, +1
    Dire Wolf: AC14, +0
    Female Steeder: AC15, +1
    Giant Eagle: AC14, +1
    Giant Hyena: AC14, +2
    Giant Octopus: AC12, +1
    Giant Spider: AC14, +0
    Lion: AC13, +1
    Tiger: AC14, +2
    Troodon: AC14, +1

    CR2:
    Allosaurus: AC14, +1
    Aurochs: AC14, +3
    Giant Boar: AC13, +1
    Giant Constrictor Snake: AC13, +1
    Giant Crayfish: AC15, +0
    Giant Elk: AC15, +1
    Giant Spitting Lizard: AC12, +0
    Hunter Shark: AC13, +1
    Krenshar: AC13, +0
    Pachycephalosaurus: AC15, +2
    Plesiosaurus: AC15, +2
    Polar Bear: AC13, +1
    Quetzalcoatlus: AC13, +0
    Rhinoceros: AC11, +0
    Saber-Toothed Tiger: AC14, +2
    Utahraptor: AC16, +1
    Zealoraptor: AC16, +1

    CR3:
    Ankylosaurus: AC15, +0
    Giant Lightning Eel: AC16, +3
    Giant Scorpion: AC15, +0
    Giant Snapping Turtle: AC17, +0
    Killer Whale: AC12, +0

    Elementals:
    Air Elemental: AC17, +2
    Earth Elemental: AC17, +0
    Fire Elemental: AC16, +3
    Water Elemental: AC16, +2

    CR4:
    Elephant: 12AC, +0
    Stegosaurus: 13AC, +0

    CR5:
    Giant Crocodile: AC14, +0
    Giant Shark: AC15, +2
    Hulking Crab: AC17, +0
    Triceratops: AC13, +0
    Therizinosaurus: AC14, +0

    CR6:
    Brachiosaurus: AC16, +0
    Mammoth: AC14, +1


    Party Synergies

    Spoiler: Helping your Wildshape
    Show
    Bless: You need to keep your concentration, and you make attack rolls pretty much every turn. This helps with both.

    Beast Bond: If you rolled horribly and have 3 in Intelligence, this will work on you during Wildshape.

    Darkness/Fog Cloud/etc: Spells that impair vision combine excellently with your Blindsight shapes to give you pseudo Improved Invisibility.

    Feather Fall: You like flying as a flying beast or an Air Elemental? This is your safety net.

    Fly: Only a handful of Wildshapes have ranged attacks. This lets you engage with flying foes.

    Haste: Some forms (Brontosaurus, Brachiosaurus, etc) have a single really powerful attack. This lets you do it twice.

    Mage Armor: This simple Level 1 spell can increase the AC of your forms by up to 3, and it lasts 8 hours. Can make some otherwise fragile forms (Air Elemental) tanky.

    Mounted Combatant: Gives you Evasion and gives the rider advantage on attack rolls. Some DMs might not allow it: its unclear under which conditions you qualify as a mount.

    Speak with Animals: The caster can understand you while you are in Wildshape. Said caster can than act as an interpreter for you. It's a ritual, so it can be cast every 10 minutes for free.

    Stinking Cloud / Cloud Kill: Your elemental forms are immune to Poison and can fight in the cloud. The Earth Elemental also lets you see.

    Telepathic Bond / Telepathy: Lets you communicate while in Wildshape.

    Web: Your spider forms can move freely on webs, and your Air & Water Elemental forms are immune to being restrained.


    Spoiler: Helping your Summons
    Show
    Crusader’s Mantle: Every ally in a 30' radius of the caster can do an extra 1d4 damage per attack. If you summoned 8 Giant Badger, that's a potential extra 16d4 damage - not too bad.

    Earth Tremor / Grease / Thunderous Smite / etc: Combine attacks/spells that knocks Prone with summons that can Grapple to keep enemies Prone.

    Inspiring Leader: This can give free temporary hp to some of your summons, if they can understand the speaker. Sylvan helps with fey, Primordial with elementals.

    Magic Circle: For your Planar Binding spell with Conjure Elemental / Conjure Fey. It's strange that this is not on your spell list.


    Spoiler: Other Combos
    Show
    Find Familiar & Wildshape: You can Wildshape into a small or tiny beast and ask the flying familiar of the Wizard to carry you in its claws. Can be helpful before you get access to the flying forms.

    Minions & Goodberry: Give your familiars/minions a Goodberry each so they can bring back unconscious PCs in combat.




    Action Economy

    Spoiler: Bonus Action Uses
    Show
    Spells (Casting Time):

    • Cantrips: Magic Stone, Shillelagh
    • 1st: Healing Word
    • 2nd: Flame Blade, Healing Spirit
    • 4th: Grasping Vine, Guardian of Nature


    Spells (Ongoing Effect):

    • 2nd: Dust Devil, Flame Blade, Flaming Sphere, Gust of Wind, Heat Metal, Healing Spirit
    • 4th: Grasping Vine


    Class Powers:

    • Moon Druid: Wild Shape
    • Barbarian (Multiclass): Rage


    Races:

    • Firbolg: Hidden Step
    • Goblin: Nimble Escape
    • Lizardfolk: Hungry Jaw
    • Shifter: Shifting


    Wild Shape:

    • CR 1/4: Panther (Pounce)
    • CR 1/2: Clawfoot Raptor (Pounce), Warhorse (Trampling Charge)
    • CR 1: Crag Cat (Pounce), Deinonychus (Pounce), Giant Hyena (Rampage), Lion (Pounce), Tiger (Pounce)
    • CR 2: Allosaurus (Pounce), Saber-Toothed Tiger (Pounce), Utahraptor (Pounce), Zealoraptor (Pounce)
    • CR 4: Elephant (Trampling Charge)
    • CR 5: Triceratops (Trampling Charge)
    • CR 6: Mammoth (Trampling Charge)


    Spoiler: Reaction Uses
    Show
    • Spells: Absorb Elements, Primordial Ward
    • Giant Spitting Lizard: If a creature moves adjacent, you can push it away & prone, ending its movement
    • Races: Githzerai (Shield), Kalashtar (Advantage on Wis saving throws)
    • Sentinel: Extra attack when a creature within your reach makes an attack against a target other than you


    Example Builds

    Spoiler: VHuman Build #1: Druid 2/Barb 1
    Show
    Strength: 13
    Dexterity: 14
    Constitution: 14
    Intelligence: 9
    Wisdom: 16
    Charisma: 8

    Feat: Mobile

    Favorite Forms: Brown Bear & Deinonychus

    Strategy: Try to Wildshape into Deinonychus ahead of time. Once the fight start, Rage then Pounce the enemies. Mobile lets you disengage if you catch too much heat, and Pounce more easily. A full charge can knock two enemies Prone and will cause an average of 34 damage if every attack hits, which is quite impressive given your utility and immense resilience.


    Spoiler: VHuman Build #2: Druid 2/Barb 1
    Show
    Strength: 13
    Dexterity: 14
    Constitution: 14
    Intelligence: 9
    Wisdom: 16
    Charisma: 8

    Feat: Sentinel

    Favorite Forms: Dire Wolf
    Strategy: Stick close to your teammates and draw all the aggro through Sentinel. You can take it.



    Spoiler: VHuman Build: Druid 10/Monk 1
    Show
    Strength: 8
    Dexterity: 16
    Constitution: 14
    Intelligence: 8
    Wisdom: 20 (+4)
    Charisma: 10

    Feats: Warcaster

    Favorite Forms: Air Elemental, Fire Elemental, Giant Constrictor Snake, Giant Octopus

    Strategy: Cast spells such as Transmute Rock, Hold Person, etc. that inflict conditions before turning into an Elemental. Air Elemental now has AC 20 and Fire Elemental has AC 18 and both should be tanky.



    Spoiler: Goblin Build: Druid 20
    Show
    Strength: 8
    Dexterity: 16
    Constitution: 18 (+1)
    Intelligence: 8
    Wisdom: 18 (+3)
    Charisma: 10

    Feats: Warcaster, Resilient(Con)

    Favorite Forms: Deinonychus (CR1), Giant Elk (CR2), Zealoraptor (CR2), Fire Elemental, Mammoth (CR6)

    Strategy: Rely heavily on using forms that can charge/pounce together with the Disengage action to keep yourself safe and avoid OAs. Since these types of attacks can knock an enemy Prone, try Concentrating on Conjure Animals and other summoning spells that will work well against Prone enemies.
    Last edited by Merudo; 2019-04-21 at 01:41 AM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2018

    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    Reserved for later. Please leave your comments below.
    Last edited by Merudo; 2019-04-15 at 12:07 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2016

    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    I like Druids and Moon Druids even more, so it's nice seeing guides on them.

    Spoiler: Minor word edits
    Show
    The Moon Druid has a strongly uneven growth curve. Widely considered broken at level 2, Wildshape does not improve until level 6, when CR2 forms become available. The next big jump occurs at level 10, with the new possibility to Wildshape into Elementals. Players who stick with the Moon Druid until level 18 will be happy to gain the ability to cast spells while Wildshaped, and those who reach level 20 can Wildshape every turn to become near unkillable.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    I am very surprised that Gnome isn't listed higher on the list. Moon Druid + Barbarian Gnome means:

    You have high HP.
    You take half damage from weapons.
    You have high Strength or Dexterity.
    You have high Constitution.
    You have Advantage to save against spells targeting your non-physical stats.
    You retain any Saving Throws granted by your Druid and your Wild Shape forms.

    How exactly would someone plan to take down something like that? Because I could expect to attempt to cripple a Moon Druid Barbarian with some kind of crippling spell (Tasha's Laughter, or Banishment), but Gnome no longer makes anything an option. Tack on Sentinel, and now even ignoring the darn thing isn't an option.
    Last edited by Man_Over_Game; 2019-03-20 at 10:53 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by KOLE View Post
    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas I’ve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. You’re a gem of the community here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post

    5th Edition Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes while maintaining balance with default options.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
    Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.
    Fate Sorcery, lucky winner of the 5e D&D Subclass Contest VII!

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2018

    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    I am very surprised that Gnome isn't listed higher on the list. Moon Druid + Barbarian Gnome means:

    You have high HP.
    You take half damage from weapons.
    You have high Strength or Dexterity.
    You have high Constitution.
    You have Advantage to save against spells targeting your non-physical stats.
    You retain any Saving Throws granted by your Druid and your Wild Shape forms.
    I ranked the Forest Gnome high, but I did not give it the highest rating.

    The Yuan-Ti Pureblood is ranked higher still, because it has Magic Resistance (advantage against all spells) and Poison immunity.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Merudo View Post
    I ranked the Forest Gnome high, but I did not give it the highest rating.

    The Yuan-Ti Pureblood is ranked higher still, because it has Magic Resistance (advantage against all spells) and Poison immunity.
    Ah, right, the damned Yuan Ti.
    Quote Originally Posted by KOLE View Post
    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas I’ve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. You’re a gem of the community here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post

    5th Edition Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes while maintaining balance with default options.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
    Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.
    Fate Sorcery, lucky winner of the 5e D&D Subclass Contest VII!

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    How exactly would someone plan to take down something like that? Because I could expect to attempt to cripple a Moon Druid Barbarian with some kind of crippling spell (Tasha's Laughter, or Banishment), but Gnome no longer makes anything an option. Tack on Sentinel, and now even ignoring the darn thing isn't an option.
    You only get rage twice per day unless you bump up barbarian levels, in which case your druid forms and spellcasting fall behind more and more, so the ability to even do this is limited. If you do use rage, you lose the ability to maintain things like conjured creatures. Sentinel is grossly overrated online. It just means you get a single bonus attack using your reaction, it doesn't mean people can't ignore you; a potential 10 damage each round from a bear is not bad, but it's not encounter breaking. Same thing with advantage, it doesn't mean 'immune to effects that target this save', it means 'gets something that generally works out to around +5 on this save'. You're probably not proficient with any of the mental saves (assuming you took barbarian at first level for the higher HP and con proficiency), so if someone hits you with a DC13 CHA save with your 10 CHA, you're looking at going from a 40% chance to save to a 64% chance to save - an improvement, but you're pretty unlikely to stay up through two casts of it and it's not exactly unheard of for you to fail. Same thing with doubled hit points - it's a literal beast in tier 1, where moon druids are overpowered anyway, but in tier 2 and tier 3 enemies can just burn through form hit points even with resistance, especially since you're generally going to have low AC and you're going to be behind on form progression (if you're in tier 4 you sob pitifully as you realize you've given up the chance to be a nigh-unkillable god at 20).

    It really doesn't help people who look at a guide to grossly exaggerate how good abilities are.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    Quote Originally Posted by OverLordOcelot View Post
    You only get rage twice per day unless you bump up barbarian levels, in which case your druid forms and spellcasting fall behind more and more, so the ability to even do this is limited. If you do use rage, you lose the ability to maintain things like conjured creatures. Sentinel is grossly overrated online. It just means you get a single bonus attack using your reaction, it doesn't mean people can't ignore you; a potential 10 damage each round from a bear is not bad, but it's not encounter breaking. Same thing with advantage, it doesn't mean 'immune to effects that target this save', it means 'gets something that generally works out to around +5 on this save'. You're probably not proficient with any of the mental saves (assuming you took barbarian at first level for the higher HP and con proficiency), so if someone hits you with a DC13 CHA save with your 10 CHA, you're looking at going from a 40% chance to save to a 64% chance to save - an improvement, but you're pretty unlikely to stay up through two casts of it and it's not exactly unheard of for you to fail. Same thing with doubled hit points - it's a literal beast in tier 1, where moon druids are overpowered anyway, but in tier 2 and tier 3 enemies can just burn through form hit points even with resistance, especially since you're generally going to have low AC and you're going to be behind on form progression (if you're in tier 4 you sob pitifully as you realize you've given up the chance to be a nigh-unkillable god at 20).

    It really doesn't help people who look at a guide to grossly exaggerate how good abilities are.
    I mean, compare all that to how a stock Barbarian would be able to handle it.

    Raging twice per day, while also bumping the AC of your beast forms with Unarmored Defense, is a very solid investment.

    You don't necessarily lose the ability to cast your Concentration spells, you gain an alternative to them. Rather than casting Conjured Animals to lose it partway through your Wildshape, you now have the advantage of having Proficiency on your Concentration Saving Throws, having a harder time being hit by rapid-fire mooks due to Unarmored Defense. Worst case scenario, you lose your Conjured Animals a hit or two later than you would have without the level of Barbarian, and THEN you Rage so that you don't lose any effectiveness during your Wildshape. With Rage running, you're unlikely to lose your Wildshape AND lose all of your Druid HP before you can flee/Wildshape again. Rage also increases the damage of your Multiattack.

    What Concentration spell would enhance your stats to the point of being more valuable than Rage (which is to say, roughly increasing survivability by 50% and increasing damage by about +4 per turn?)

    My question to you is, in what reasonable scenario would a full classed Barbarian outclass a Moon Druid with Barbarian 1?
    Quote Originally Posted by KOLE View Post
    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas I’ve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. You’re a gem of the community here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post

    5th Edition Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes while maintaining balance with default options.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
    Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.
    Fate Sorcery, lucky winner of the 5e D&D Subclass Contest VII!

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    I mean, compare all that to how a stock Barbarian would be able to handle it.
    That's dodging by moving the goalposts. Your claims were incorrect, I pointed out how they were incorrect, now you're trying to shift to something else.

    My question to you is, in what reasonable scenario would a full classed Barbarian outclass a Moon Druid with Barbarian 1?
    One area where the barbarian comes ahead is raw damage output. In T2 a full classed barbarian with PAM and GWM using reckless attack to hurl 3-4 (2 class, 1 bonus action, 1 reaction when an enemy approaches) +5/-10 attacks a round with advantage is hard to beat, and when he adds higher level barbarian features it just keeps getting worse. If it goes to level 20, the barbarian tacks on a ton more stuff, including 24 strength for damage. (And of course at that level the straight moon druid is just shaking his head in a different form every round at the 1/19 barb/druid who doesn't have a capstone).

    But this is silly and I'm not going to continue doing it; responding to 'this combo is a neat gimmick that is really good at some levels and not bad overall, but not the invincible juggernaught you claim it is' with 'OK, take another class and do specific scenario comparisons' is just an attempt to move the goalposts to another field entirely.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    Quote Originally Posted by OverLordOcelot View Post
    One area where the barbarian comes ahead is raw damage output. In T2 a full classed barbarian with PAM and GWM using reckless attack to hurl 3-4 (2 class, 1 bonus action, 1 reaction when an enemy approaches) +5/-10 attacks a round with advantage is hard to beat, and when he adds higher level barbarian features it just keeps getting worse.
    Nitpick for the sake of clarity: he doesn't get advantage on the reaction attack because Reckless Attack applies only on your turn.

    I'm sure you're aware of this but just stating it for the record in case anyone didn't already know.

    Edit: BTW, I agree with your argument. I see the theoretical value of Barbarian 1 for a Moon Druid that will never reach high levels, but I don't like to play PCs that are permanently gimped, so I would never play a Barb/Moon Druid except at a table where the DM had rules for going above level 20 or dropping unwanted levels. It's not like regular Moon Druids aren't plenty durable already anyway.
    Last edited by MaxWilson; 2019-03-20 at 02:32 PM.
    June 17, 2019: No longer on GITP due to frustrations with forum technology and culture. Find me on Reddit as hemlockR.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    Hi,

    Druid Guides are always a good thing, so thanks.

    Notes:

    Monk 1 does not provide +Wis to AC. It allows a different way to calculate AC, based on Dex+Wis. This will often be better than a critter's AC, but often rather worse because many creatures don't have good Dex and do have ACs that include bonuses for carapaces and similar features. Pretty much never +5, even with Wisdom 20. Going Monk for better AC isn't all that great. If your GM rules that animal attacks count as unarmed attacks and can therefore be used with Flurry of Blows, monk becomes more attractive (as does wildshaping into creatures with one awesome attack).

    RAW, the druid does not get to pick which creatures are summoned. The GM does. So a druid can say that he wants CR 1/4 creatures, but the GM decides which ones he gets. A druid therefore cannot "summon pixies to get Polymorph." He gets pixies only if the GM gives them to him, and has absolutely no control over this other than bribing, threatening or cajoling the GM, either to give him pixies or to ignore RAW and let the druid choose.

    A section about magic items is worthwhile for any class guide, but is particularly important for a moon druid guide because many items that might seem great are useless when Wildshaped. (If I missed this section, apologies!)

    Anyway,

    Ken

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    Finally Moon Druid makes sense to me!
    Thank you!

    Still wrapping my head around the multiclassing bit. I'll figure it out eventually.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    I feel like you should mention the awesome synergy of being the mount for a cavalier with mounted combatant. Getting Evasion, +1d8 AC, and a whole host of other nice bonuses is no joke in the right campaign.

    Other than that, don't really see anything you missed and it looks good.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Edit: BTW, I agree with your argument. I see the theoretical value of Barbarian 1 for a Moon Druid that will never reach high levels, but I don't like to play PCs that are permanently gimped, so I would never play a Barb/Moon Druid except at a table where the DM had rules for going above level 20 or dropping unwanted levels. It's not like regular Moon Druids aren't plenty durable already anyway.
    And it's not just the level 20 bit; you're always one level behind in your spellcasting and forms. The barbarian level makes you acquire your crazy power one level later, then boosts your forms a lot during the time when they're already overpowered, but it becomes much less impressive when you move into high T2 and low T3 when you find yourself needing to do more casting. You get constrictor snake (and the other CR2s) and a magic weapon at 7 instead of 6, get your elemental forms in T3 instead of at the end of T2, get your conjured elementals at 10 instead of 9, and so on. And feat choices are low-level oriented too - the sentinel feat you loved at level 5 for that extra 2D6+4 bear bite that could crush an orc isn't really scaring people now that it's upgraded to a whopping 2d8+5 in elemental form. If you know your campaign will peter out in the middle of tier 2 then the barbarian dip is great, but if the campaing goes long you'll really feel the cost of that level.

    And yeah, moon druids are tough to kill without barbarian, it's really offense and 'aggro' that you have to work on. You'd be amazed how many T2 and T3 enemies don't do magical attacks, which makes elemental form as defended against their attacks as the raging barb is. Boosting defense when you're already very hard to kill just doesn't give you much, and doing so at the expense of your offense and utility is counter productive.

    And the whole thing about gnome bearbarian being invincible is just over the top, and was the main thing I objected to. Gnomes are a great race choice, but don't make the mistake of confusing 'advantage' and 'immune'.
    Last edited by OverLordOcelot; 2019-03-20 at 06:25 PM.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    Quote Originally Posted by OverLordOcelot View Post
    And the whole thing about gnome bearbarian being invincible is just over the top, and was the main thing I objected to. Gnomes are a great race choice, but don't make the mistake of confusing 'advantage' and 'immune'.
    Especially when you've already traded away saving throw proficiency. Proficiency + advantage is sort of like immune in the sense that enemies would be wise to acid targeting that save; but advantage alone is worse than proficiency after a certain point. So really the gnome barbarian is just getting Con saves and Cha saves "in addition" to his regular Int and Wis saves. Not terrible, but as you say nothing like immune.

    If a gnome barbarian feels invulnerable, it's because 5E is designed to make everything a curbstomp, at least with vanilla 5E, out of the box.

    P.S. Also, Rage and Combat Wildshape both compete for your bonus action.
    Last edited by MaxWilson; 2019-03-20 at 08:40 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rara1212 View Post
    I like Druids and Moon Druids even more, so it's nice seeing guides on them.

    Spoiler: Minor word edits
    Show
    The Moon Druid has a strongly uneven growth curve. Widely considered broken at level 2, Wildshape does not improve until level 6, when CR2 forms become available. The next big jump occurs at level 10, with the new possibility to Wildshape into Elementals. Players who stick with the Moon Druid until level 18 will be happy to gain the ability to cast spells while Wildshaped, and those who reach level 20 can Wildshape every turn to become near unkillable.
    Thank you! I've corrected the typos.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ovarwa View Post
    Druid Guides are always a good thing, so thanks.
    You are welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ovarwa View Post
    Monk 1 does not provide +Wis to AC. It allows a different way to calculate AC, based on Dex+Wis. This will often be better than a critter's AC, but often rather worse because many creatures don't have good Dex and do have ACs that include bonuses for carapaces and similar features. Pretty much never +5, even with Wisdom 20.
    I've added a new subsection describing the AC bonus of Monk 1. You'll find that multiple animals give the full bonus (including Giant Octopus, Giant Constrictor Snake, Air Elemental & Fire Elemental) and that many more have a +4 bonus. Monk 1 is admittedly pretty useless for beasts with CR3+, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ovarwa View Post
    A section about magic items is worthwhile for any class guide, but is particularly important for a moon druid guide because many items that might seem great are useless when Wildshaped. (If I missed this section, apologies!)
    Thanks for the suggestion! I've added a subsection describing equipment compatible with Wildshape.

    Quote Originally Posted by rmnimoc View Post
    I feel like you should mention the awesome synergy of being the mount for a cavalier with mounted combatant. Getting Evasion, +1d8 AC, and a whole host of other nice bonuses is no joke in the right campaign.

    Other than that, don't really see anything you missed and it looks good.
    Thanks! I've now added this to the guide.
    Last edited by Merudo; 2019-03-21 at 02:56 AM.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    A couple of comments on the guide itself:

    I don't see languages mentioned anywhere. While it's not required, having primordial as a language is useful later on - it lets you communicate with conjured elementals, most notably the invisible stalker. While the elemental will obey commands regardless of language (the wording of the spell says they obey any command), it's possible to use them for scouting, but you can't get any information out of them without the language. The earth elemental (gliding through rock) and invisible stalker (see the name) are especially good at it. Sylvan is also good for conjured fey, but a lot of them speak common so it's not as big of a deal.

    I would rank acrobatics as black. My experience is that if you're in melee, there are a number of 'make an acrobatics check' environmental hazards/obstacles that you run into. It's not nearly as useful as Athletics, but it's something you will sometimes find yourself missing if you skip it.

    Should specifically mention athletics proficiency as useful in the prodigy feat, at higher levels you tend to use elementals or the higher CR forms that don't have built in grapple.

    Also you left the Salamander and Xorn out of conjure elemental. The Salamander is a very nice choice that has an attack with a grapple/restrain rider, which is quite useful.

    EDIT: Also, I disagree with some of your rankings of elemental. I think fire elemental should be ranked a bit better, and definitely should mention the persistence of the 'set on fire' ability. A fire elemental can take the disengage action and move through all enemies in a 50' long, 10' wide path to set them on fire. It's only 1d10 damage a round, but once it's done it happens every round with no save or to-hit roll, and that adds up pretty fast, unless they want to give up an entire round to put it out (and possibly have the elemental come up and touch them again).

    Air elemental definitely should not be purple. The fact that it moves 90' per round and flies is very, very good. In 'white room' combat simulation the ability to move is often not taken into account, but in actual combats, especially with moving or flying creatures, it can be a big deal, and for exploration being able to fly over any terrain at triple speed and move through 1" wide gaps is incredibly useful. If I'm trying to think of a form to shift into and stay in for exploring, it's usually a decision between air for mobility and earth for durability.
    Last edited by OverLordOcelot; 2019-03-21 at 06:37 AM.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    If a gnome barbarian feels invulnerable, it's because 5E is designed to make everything a curbstomp, at least with vanilla 5E, out of the box.
    IMO the biggest problem for a moon druid in hard combats is not 'how can I survive getting attacked' it's 'how can I make enemies attack me'. If your DM just says 'oh, you have sentinel, everyone attacks you because they are terrified of giving one extra attack' then sure, the bearbarian is going to be effective. But if he just has enemies soak the potential 12 damage per round and do whatever they want otherwise, you start to feel like a lump. Yeah, it's cool that theoretically you're hard to kill, but the fact that you could keep on fighting the enemy for several rounds after the rest of the party dies really isn't that great. That's the problem with the 'what spell is better than resistance to damage' line of thinking - resistance to lots of damage types doesn't matter if the enemy doesn't target you in the first place.

    P.S. Also, Rage and Combat Wildshape both compete for your bonus action.
    Usually I don't lose sleep over conflicting bonus actions that you fire and forget, but in this case it distinctly hinders your ability to get into the fight. You have to spend your entire round one getting into fight mode if you don't cast a spell, you don't get to 'wild shape and attack' or 'rage and attack' or 'cast concentration spell, then wild shape'. Since a lot of combats are decided by round three, that's a pretty significant lump of time.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    Quote Originally Posted by OverLordOcelot View Post
    Usually I don't lose sleep over conflicting bonus actions that you fire and forget, but in this case it distinctly hinders your ability to get into the fight. You have to spend your entire round one getting into fight mode if you don't cast a spell, you don't get to 'wild shape and attack' or 'rage and attack' or 'cast concentration spell, then wild shape'. Since a lot of combats are decided by round three, that's a pretty significant lump of time.
    I'm not sure if I get the problem.

    If you are planning to cast a spell, you cast the spell during Turn 1, then Wildshape. During Turn 2, you Rage & Attack. The Rage hasn't slowed anything down.

    If you don't plan to cast a spell, you just Wildshape ahead of time. During Turn 1, you Rage then Attack. Again, nothing slowed down.

    There are a few times where you can't Wildshape ahead of time - in which case you just cast a spell in the first round anyway. It's not nearly as problematic as you make it out to be.
    Last edited by Merudo; 2019-03-21 at 11:55 AM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Merudo View Post
    If you are planning to cast a spell, you cast the spell during Turn 1, then Wildshape. During Turn 2, you Rage & Attack. The Rage hasn't slowed anything down.
    Then you don't have your super defense array up in turn 1, which is 20-33% of a typical combat.

    If you don't plan to cast a spell, you just Wildshape ahead of time. During Turn 1, you Rage then Attack. Again, nothing slowed down.
    Then you're stuck wandering around in animal form, unable to cast even OOC spells and unable to pick which wild shape is best for the combat you get into. At lower levels, it's quite possible that you end up running out of time on your wildshape before you get to a combat. So you have to give up a lot of your versatility just for being tougher in a form that already can take a lot of punishment.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    Quote Originally Posted by OverLordOcelot View Post
    I don't see languages mentioned anywhere. While it's not required, having primordial as a language is useful later on - it lets you communicate with conjured elementals, most notably the invisible stalker.
    I added a subsection on language - I agree knowing Primordial is highly important to a Druid.

    Quote Originally Posted by OverLordOcelot View Post
    I would rank acrobatics as black. My experience is that if you're in melee, there are a number of 'make an acrobatics check' environmental hazards/obstacles that you run into. It's not nearly as useful as Athletics, but it's something you will sometimes find yourself missing if you skip it.
    True. It's limited, but then again most other skills are even more limited.

    Quote Originally Posted by OverLordOcelot View Post
    Should specifically mention athletics proficiency as useful in the prodigy feat, at higher levels you tend to use elementals or the higher CR forms that don't have built in grapple.
    I agree, Expertise in Athletics is very useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by OverLordOcelot View Post
    Also you left the Salamander and Xorn out of conjure elemental. The Salamander is a very nice choice that has an attack with a grapple/restrain rider, which is quite useful.
    Thank you, I've now added these Elementals.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    FYI, when you polymorph or shapechange into a creature with legendary actions, per the MM legendary creature rules you don’t get to use the legendary actions. You DO get to use legendary resistances, if any.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Unleash Your Inner Beast: A Moon Druid Guide (5e)

    Quote Originally Posted by OverLordOcelot View Post
    Then you don't have your super defense array up in turn 1, which is 20-33% of a typical combat.
    .
    My moon druid is always concentrating on a spell when i enter wildshape. Rage is for the next turn IFF i lose concentration. No turns lost.

    Consistenly the top damage dealer cuz i live longer than the barb
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Just, please don't. Insisting on that technicality improves nothing.

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