View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Circle of Awakening - Druid Subclass based on M:tG's Nissa Revane

2018-10-23, 11:05 AM
With the upcoming Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica on the horizon, here's a Druid Circle based on Nissa Revane. Let me know what you think!


Circle of Awakening

Circle Spells
At 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th level you gain access to the spells listed for that level in the Circle of Awakening Spells table
Once you gain access to one of these spells, you always have it prepared, it doesn't count against the number of spells you can prepare each day. If you gain access to a spell that doesn't appear on the druid spell list, the spell is nonetheless a druid spell for you.

Circle Spells


Misty Step, Web

Conjure Animals, Elemental Weapon

Vitriolic Sphere, Aura of Life

Legend Lore, Creation

Worldwaker (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=383328)
At 2nd level, when you use your Wild shape feature, you expend two uses of wild shape at the same time to summon an earth elemental or plant rather than transforming. The summoned creature appears in an occupied space you can see. You can summon an elemental or plant with a challenge rating as high as 1. You can never have more than one summoned creature with this feature.

The elemental or plant is friendly to you and your companions. Roll initiative for the creature, which has its own turns. It obeys any verbal commands that you issue to it. If you don't issue any commands, it defends itself and you from hostile creatures, but otherwise takes no actions. You may expend a use of Wild Shape to heal the summoned creature to full health.

Starting at 6th level, you can summon an elemental or plant with a challenge rating as high as your druid level divided by 3, rounded down.

Animist's Awakening (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=398437)
At level 6, You establish a telepathic link with the creature you summoned with your Worldwaker feature. The link is active while you and the creature are within sight of each other. Through the link, the creature:

can understand your telepathic messages to it.
can telepathically communicate simple emotions and concepts back to you.
gains advantage on attack rolls against any creature within 5 feet of you.
ignores difficult terrain created by your spells.
In addition, when you cast an spell that affects other creatures that you can see, your summoned creature and any creatures you choose within 5 feet of it automatically succeed on their saving throws against the spell, and they take no damage if they would normally take half damage on a successful save.

Sylvan Scrying (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=402065)
At level 10, whenever you finish a short or long rest, you instantly gain knowledge as though you had cast Commune with Nature

Elemental Grove
Starting at level 14, you can also choose fire, air or water elementals when you use your Worldwaker feature.

In addition, your Transport via Plants spell can link plants of the same type on other planes of existence, and with destination plants that you had not seen or touched before.

Nissa is clearly a Druid, but from what little I've read, and what is available on the cards, she does not shapeshift. She does, however, communicate with the land around her, and fought alongside an elemental named Ashaya, an incarnation of her home plane of Zendikar. However, in 5e, the term "elemental" is quite narrow, so I included plants, as Ashaya looks like an awakened Tree (CR2). This also allows you to have more options to choose from in a way.
I think this works really well simply because a Druid's strongest abilities are spells, but the most interesting thing about them is Wild shape, and those can't be done simultaneously. This subclass allows you to do both. However, since it requires both uses of their Wild Shape ability, if the summoned minion is knocked out, you can't get it back until the next rest... unless you're level 20. Which makes sense.
I used the moon druid skeleton for the Worldwaker feature.
Animist's Awakening is an always-on Beast Bond (XGtE) that targets the summoned Elemental or plant. I later added the Sculpt Spells ability.
Sylvan Scrying is a neat ribbon that shows her communication with whatever plane she happens to be on.
Elemental Grove is a combination of expanding her Worldwaker features - both immediately and when she reaches CR5 at level 15 - and, Like Gideon (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?572015-Oath-of-the-Hieromancer-Paladin-Oath-based-on-M-tG-s-Gideon-Jura)'s Oath Spells, allows her to travel the planes in her own way. If you have a birch tree, you can go to any other birch tree! Players can also create a network by transplanting flora across planes, which makes me smile.

This is the second of a series.
Previous: Oath of the Hieromancer (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?572015-Oath-of-the-Hieromancer-Paladin-Oath-based-on-M-tG-s-Gideon-Jura), a paladin oath based on Gideon Jura.
Next: The Soulless Patron (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?572227-Soulless-Patron-Necromancer-Warlock-Subclass-based-on-M-tG-s-Liliana-Vess&p=23461022), a Warlock subclass based on Liliana Vess

2018-10-23, 12:17 PM
I don't have a lot of time to do a full review, but a couple things that stand out are:

There's no reason not to summon the creature at the end of a rest. There's no real benefit to waiting to summon it (other than an edge case where seeing your enemy helps determine your summon choice), and it also means that you can never shift into an animal and have your pet out at any given point in time. If you shape shift into an animal at all, you're no longer allowed to use your primary feature until your next rest, so people would never shift into animal forms in fear of not having any combat tricks. Which means they'll always have their summon out and never be allowed to animal shift ever again.

You'd run into a very difficult conundrum where you're constantly asking yourself "Is it worth transforming twice into an animal for a utility effect now and one later, or is it worth summoning my pet once? I don't know if my transformation will be worth it later, but I really need it right now."

My recommendation is to either allow you to keep your pet through rests, but allow you to heal it to full health by spending a Wildshape use or summon it with two uses,
Have some kind of special effect that occurs when you summon it. Like maybe have it cast things like Earth Tremor, Entangle, Spike Growth, and tack on the effect that it's immune to any harmful effects from your spells. Or maybe just have it so that you can choose to cast a spell, with it as its center, with the same action you use to summon it.

That last part gives me an idea. Maybe your ability to control the forces of nature so specifically means you can shape spells around your allies so they aren't hurt. Just a thought, but maybe your plant has an ability that states it cannot be effected by harmful effects or difficult terrain caused from your spells, and this benefit extends to allies within 5 feet after a certain level (like maybe level 6, where the current feature is pretty weak as is).

It'd fill a niche that'd made this more than "Shephard Druid with less summons". Even though Shephard Druid does focus heavily on summoning, that's not the only thing it does when you consider it's including class specific aura abilities, so it's not just a one-trick pony. Druids have a lot of AoE abilities that can control a lot of the battlefield, but they can be difficult to work around. An Evocation-like shaping ability specific to Druids would be very cool.

2018-10-24, 08:45 AM
That's a good point - I made that little tweak to the worldwaker feature. While themeatically, the character doesn't wild shape, it's better design to not punish players by poor design.

I like the Sculpt spells effect... I think that mechanically more defines the class as a "Caster + Minion" class rather than just a Minion class.

2018-10-24, 09:28 AM
It's looking really good, great improvements!

It's worth noting that a decent number of spells that the Druid uses don't rely on saving throws but rather use movement (difficult terrain, Moonbeam, Spike Growth, etc.) rather than explosions or a saving throw effect (like what the Evoker uses). That might be intentional that the safety aura doesn't protect against those (your call), but I'd probably add a clause where at least the summon was immune to these effects (or maybe just immune to difficult terrain, based on the fact that it's a plant/earth elemental).