View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Moving Druid under Cleric

2018-11-17, 11:06 PM
I've been tinkering with class design, trying to consolidate classes back closer to the feel of 2nd edition. I'm looking for feedback on a proposal to move druids back under clerics in 5th ed.

Basically, the idea is Nature Clerics lose heavy armor mastery, gain Druidic as a language, and switch to the druid spell list at 1st level.

At 3rd level, they choose a Circle: Dreams, Land, Moon or Shepard. Dreams and Moon are the only Circles that grants wildshape - Dreams as the PHB base druid and Moon as PHB Moon druid. Land still grants access to their extra spells, and Natural Recovery as well as access to the Cleric spell list. Shepherd also grants access to the Cleric spell list on top of their current abilities.

Are there any major pitfalls I'm not seeing by doing this? It's a slight lowering of power for Moon Druids, but 2nd level Moonies are arguably the strongest 2nd level class bar none, so dropping them down a notch doesn't seem particularly harsh. Land might be a bit too strong, granting Natural Recovery to a cleric - but the opportunity cost of not gaining wildshape I think makes up for it.. There's literally no change to Dreams, so that should be ok - though maybe slightly less powerful than Land...

2018-11-17, 11:33 PM
What's the point of this?

I mean, it could work. But I don't see what's to be gained from it.

Morphic tide
2018-11-18, 03:30 AM
The big thing is that you'd want to bring in more 2e mechanics, such as the Sphere lists. Then the Druid subclass could focus on introducing the stuff specifically Druidic like the Wildshape, while the spell access is baked into Sphere options that divvy up the various functions and themes to pin down your Cleric better. A slight touch of 3e Cleric, with Domain Powers being attached to the Spheres you get, could help out in that regard by adding an extra set of options.

This would mean the Cleric's subclasses are about the style of Clerical organization your character represents, while the current Domain system is set into the spell list mechanic. Similar changes could let you "boil down" more classes in a similar way, returning the subclasses to the overarching thematic changes the Kits of 2e were. So instead of your Wizard using that function to pick a School to specialize in, they're picking their overall Tradition of magic, with Schools being specialized in separately.

2018-11-18, 08:11 AM
That's basically the idea, Morphic.

I'm working on moving all class archetypes to first level, with a 3rd level boon ala Warlock. This would allow moving Paladin and Ranger under Fighter; Warlock and Sorcerer under Wizard.

I'm currently not sure about Barbarian, Bard and Monk - while Barb and Monk could be moved under Fighter, it would be a pretty bloated class, and make some pretty iconic multiclass builds impossible.

@ JNA, at this moment, it's just one piece of a larger reorg. In general, I love the engine 5E is built on, but running vanilla, I'm finding players (and I'm one) start viewing classes less as a profession and more as mechanics they can pick and choose parts they like from. There's basically two routes one can take to emphasis one or the other - return classes to a profession, as this is an attempt to do, or remove classes all together and go with a more piecemeal build of choosing "powers" or "abilities" as you level up.

I'm ok with either, but the former seemed far easier to achieve than the latter.

I suppose, updating Dungeon Crawl Classics to the 5E engine might be the simplest move and get the same result... but I just started reading the DCC core rules last night after I had started this project...

Morphic tide
2018-11-18, 03:17 PM
Paladin and Ranger could be rolled into a half-caster jack-of-all-trades Bard instead of Fighter, while Monk could go to Rogue. After all, the 2e kits did do a lot of fluff overhauls, so switching up the fluff on the class to handle a rather different theme can very much be on the table.

Also, the original Bard class was Druid-based, so Ranger wouldn't be much of a stretch on that fluff baseline.