Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Gender
    Male

    Default Swarm druid: Circle of the Many

    Hello, new member, first homebrew attempt on the forum. Been passing some ideas to my play group but thought I'd try some out on a larger audience.

    This is an attempt at a druid that wild shapes into swarms instead of individual beasts. There are a few versions of these kicking around the DMGuild and on blog sites and I was dabbling at my own homebrew, but what bugged me was the available swarms just didn’t translate well to the druid: all the flyers were CR ¼, at second level you basically could only be rats, and things like Cranium Rats and Rot Grubs in Volo’s didn’t fit.

    So I chose to make a 'build your own swarm-form kit' as part of the class feature. I think it worked out; it lets the player tailor make the swarms and their powers the way they want, or have different swarms do different things. And since the player is only choosing from a couple of swarms, the bookkeeping isn’t that complicated. (I don’t think)

    These swarms scale (by the DMG) at about the same rate as Circle of the Moon shapes, so a 2nd level druid swarm shape is a CR 1, while - even factoring in all of the potential extra abilities - a 20th level swarm shape is about a CR 6.

    Let me know what you think.

    Spoiler: Circle of the Many
    Show
    Circle of the Many

    Druids that find themselves in the Shadowfell find little of the natural world that hasn’t been either perverted and twisted by the pervasive gloom or forced to huddle in the dark corners of the land. But even there, life of a sort prevails, and druids that join the Circle of the Many have learned that in numbers, there is strength.

    The ritual to join the circle is a dark one, and not for the faint of heart, for the druid must willingly let himself be consumed by a seething swarm of vermin so that he can be reconstituted, and reborn. Many young druids change their minds, to their regret, midway through the ritual, and are eaten alive. Those with the stomach and the will to endure it are forever changed.

    Personality trait

    Being one who is many is a difficult transition, and even those who manage the change show subtle differences in their personalities. Choose from one of the following traits or create one you think is appropriate:

    1. I talk to myself, taking on multiple voices to represent my different selves.
    2. I refer to myself as ‘we’ and use the plural form of verbs when speaking about myself, e.g. ‘We are hungry.’
    3. I am fidgety, have trouble standing in one place for too long, and often scratch myself in odd places when I think no one is looking.
    4. Insects, spiders and other tiny creatures are attracted to me, and can often be seen in my hair, clothes, and bedroll. It is... disconcerting for others.
    5. I chew my food in tiny little bites, using mostly my incisors.
    6. I am indecisive.
    7. I sleep upside down or clinging to a wall. If I do sleep on the ground, I toss and turn. A lot.
    8. I make noises that sound much like the swarm forms I have taken, such as the hissing or a snake or the cawing of a raven.


    Swarm shape

    At 2nd level, you gain a special swarm shape ability that replaces the druid’s wild shape ability. In all respects re: equipment, ability scores, communication, spell casting, it is similar to wild shape, except that instead of single animals you veer into a swarm of vermin, insects or similar creatures. You are still bound by the swimming and flying limitations of the basic wild shape ability.

    As with Wild Shape, you may shift into swarm shape twice. You regain any uses once you have finished a short or long rest.

    These swarms are somewhat different from those presented in the Monster Manual.

    • Each form has an AC equal to 10 + your Wisdom modifier.
    • Your hit points = 10 + (your druid level multiplied by three).
    • You have the swarm feature: you can occupy another creature’s space and vice versa, and can move through any opening large enough for a tiny creature. You also can’t regain hit points or gain temporary hit points while in this shape.
    • Your attack bonus is your spell attack bonus. Your attacks have a range of 0 and may only target a creature whose space you occupy.
    • Your damage is 2d6 piercing + your Wisdom modifier. You add a d6 to your damage dice at 6th, 10th and 14th level.
    • Should your swarm form have less than half of its hit points, you reduce the number of damage dice you roll by half, rounding up.
    • As with other swarms, you have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage. You are also immune to the grappled, paralyzed, petrified, prone and stunned conditions. But you can be charmed or frightened, and you can be restrained, but only by a physical area effect such as a web spell.


    At second level you chose two swarm forms. You gain another form at 4th and again at 8th level. At either of these levels you may opt to swap out one form for another.

    Each form also has its own unique ability scores, movement and senses. For a complete breakdown of each swarm, see Tables A to C.

    Collapsing form

    At 2nd level, you may shift into swarm shape, as a reaction, in response to damage. In doing so, the swarm’s resistance to piercing, slashing and bludgeoning damage is applied retroactively to the hit.

    The shift counts as one of your uses of your swarm shapes, and is not possible if you have no uses of your swarm shape left. You can also not shift if the damage - after any resistance is applied - would reduce your swarm shape to zero hit points.

    Penetrating swarm

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

    Swarm maneuvers

    Starting at 6th level, you may choose a special maneuver from the list below, provided that at least one of the swarm forms may use it. You gain additional maneuvers at 8th, 10th and 14th level. Some maneuvers only become available at higher levels.

    One who is many

    At 10th level, your shifting, changing form is hard to target, even in humanoid form. You have advantage on saving throws against spells or other harmful effects that target only you.

    Unrelenting swarm

    At 14th level, your swarm shape bites use all of your damage dice, regardless of how many hit points your swarm currently has.


    Spoiler: Swarm forms available
    Show
    Table A: Swarm forms available at 2nd level

    Swarm form Speed Str Dex Con Skills Senses
    Beetles 20', 20' climb, 5' burrow 4 13 10 blindsight 10'
    Centipedes 20', 20' climb 3 13 10 blindsight 10'
    Lizards 30', 30' climb 9 11 10 Darkvision 30'
    Rats 30' 9 11 9 Keen smell darkvision 20'
    Spiders 20', 20' climb 3 13 10 spider climb, web sense/walker blindsight 10'

    Table B: Swarm forms available at 4th level


    Swarm form Speed Str Dex Con Skills Senses
    Crabs 20', 20' swim 11 10 12 Amphibious Blindsight 30'
    Quippers 40' swim 11 14 9 Water breathing Darkvision 60'
    Snakes 30', 30' swim 8 16 11 blindsight 10'

    Table C: Swarm forms available at 8th level

    Swarm form Speed Str Dex Con Skills Senses
    Bats 30' fly 5 15 10 Echolocation, keen hearing Blindsight 60'
    Mosquitos (flys) 5', 20' fly 2 13 10 Blindsight 10'
    Ravens 10', 50' fly 6 14 8 Perception
    Wasps 5', 30' fly 3 13 10 Blindsight 10'

    Spoiler: List of swarm maneuvers
    Show

    Swarm maneuvers

    Camouflage (Bat, beetle, crab, lizard and snake)
    You can blend in with your environment, regardless of terrain. You have advantage on stealth checks to hide when you don’t move and are not swimming or flying.

    Carrier (Bat, mosquito, rat, raven)
    Prerequisite: 10th level.
    Your bite attack carries with it a plague. On a successful hit, you can choose to expend a spell slot to force the target to make a successful Constitution saving throw against your spell save DC. If it fails, it takes 1d6 necrotic damage for each level of the slot (up to 4th level) and has disadvantage on strength checks and saving throws until the disease is cured.

    Distract (Any)
    When you occupy the same space as another creature, that creature has disadvantage on skill checks and concentration saves and on attack rolls against creatures outside the swarm.

    Frenzy (Quipper, rat, raven)
    Prerequisite: 10th level.
    You have advantage on melee attack rolls against any creature that doesn’t have all of its hit points.

    Glow (Any swimmer or flyer)
    You are bioluminescent. As an action, you can cause your swarm to glow, shedding bright light in a 10’ radius and dim light for an additional 20 feet. You can also, as an action, cast the Dancing Lights cantrip, as you cause some members of the swarm to glow, and send them off in different directions as per Dancing Lights.

    Grapple (Crab, lizard, rat, snake)
    You can latch onto, constrict or otherwise grip a foe whose space you share. When you make a Strength (Athletics) check to grapple the creature, you have advantage on the roll. The creature must be Large or smaller. While grappled, your attacks against the creature are made with advantage.

    Obscure (Any flyer, quipper)
    Prerequisite: 14th level.
    Your mass of creatures is so thick that it blinds your opponents. When you occupy a space, it is considered heavily obscured to those occupying the same space and attempting to look out, and to those outside the space trying to look in or past it. Even creatures with blindsight find the swarming mass confusing and make attacks against targets outside the space at disadvantage.

    Overwhelm (Beetle, crab, rat)
    You attempt to overpower a creature and knock it prone. When you make a successful hit on a creature, you can make a Strength (Athletics) check as a bonus action to knock it prone. You have advantage on this check.

    Paralyze (Centipedes, Lizards, Spiders only)
    Prerequisite: 10th level.
    Your bite carries an immobilizing venom. When you hit with an attack, you can choose to expend a spell slot to force the target to make a Constitution saving throw against your spell save DC or be paralyzed. If the creature is reduced to 0 hit points, it is stable but remains paralyzed for one hour, even if it later regains hit points. Otherwise, the creature may make a saving throw at the end of each of its turns to end the effect.

    Persist (Any flyer, quipper)
    You are hard to shake. When you occupy the same space as another creature and they move to another location, you may use your reaction to move with them, though you cannot move more than your normal movement rate. You do not provoke opportunity attacks when you move this way.

    Poison (Lizard, snake, spider, wasp)
    Your bite or sting releases painful toxins into your opponent. When you hit with an attack, you can choose to expend a spell slot to force the target to make a Constitution saving throw against your spell save DC. If they fail, the creature takes 2d6 poison damage plus an additional d6 poison damage for every slot above 1st (up to a 4th level spell slot).

    Scatter (Any)
    Prerequisite: 14th level.
    Your swarm shape allows you to avoid the worst of certain area of effect spells. When your swarm shape is subjected to an effect that allows a Dexterity saving throw that allows you to take only half damage, you can use your reaction to instead take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, and only half damage if you fail.

    Terrify (Any)
    Prerequisite: 10th level
    The sight of your swarm can strike fear into your enemies. You can, as an action, chose to expend a spell slot to cause opponents within 30 feet to become frightened of you. You can frighten one target per level of the spell slot, up to 5th level. Each must make a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC or be frightened of you for 1 minute. At the end of each of their turns they can reroll the saving throw to end the effect. A creature that makes its saving throws is immune to this effect for 24 hours.

    Web (Spiders only)
    You can use an action to create a mass of sticky webbing which fills a 5’ cube for each spell slot you expend (up to 4th level). The webs are difficult terrain and lightly obscure the area. The webs must be anchored to solid masses, as per the spell web. Each creature that starts its turn in the webs or that enters them must make a Dexterity saving throw or be restrained until it can escape. A restrained creature can use its action to make a Strength check against your spell save DC to break free. The webs are flammable and burn away at a rate of 5’ cube per round, dealing fire damage to those trapped inside as per the web spell.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2017

    Default Re: Swarm druid: Circle of the Many

    Let me know how this goes for you. I have a Water Genasi, Circle of the Moon Druid and would love to turn into a murder of crows and fly away.

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

    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Swarm druid: Circle of the Many

    Right now I'm testing it out as a DM npc villain class so I can try it at different levels of power and with different swarm powers. So there's a few of them banded together, one who is lizards/centipedes/snakes, one who is rats/spiders/quippers etc, and each with different powers.

    The first time a player hit one the druid collapsed into a pack of rats that quickly scurried under a door. That was worth it.
    Part-time DM, part-time player in 5e. I aim to be reasonable.
    Homebrews on the stove (5e):

    Wizard School: Black Magic
    Druid Circle of the Many
    Druid Circle of the Silver Moon
    Bard College of the Chord

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGirl

    Join Date
    Oct 2016

    Default Re: Swarm druid: Circle of the Many

    This is a really cool subclass and quite polished. Its an interesting take on the Swarm Druid idea, in 4e the Swarm Druid was a build entirely focused around Wildshaping into insects and doing massive AoE nova rounds with spells (Wildshape was very different).

    That Druid got a damage reduction based on their Con (more swarm meant more things to soak up damage) but I think I like your iteration of the damage reduction much better.

    Also, have you considered how the Enlarge/Reduce and Giant Insect spells will interact with this? Unless you specify the stats of swarms of large creatures then I think it could be very strange.
    Last edited by The Ship's dog; 2017-01-21 at 01:41 PM.

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

    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Swarm druid: Circle of the Many

    Quote Originally Posted by The Ship's dog View Post
    Also, have you considered how the Enlarge/Reduce and Giant Insect spells will interact with this? Unless you specify the stats of swarms of large creatures then I think it could be very strange.
    Thanks for the feedback. I was mostly unaware of the 4e version, maybe that's why they are so different. (I played 1e, played 2-3.5 only on CRPG and returned for 5e).

    As to the enlarge/giant question, I guess I 'd imagine it the same way I would as a DM.

    Enlarge only targets one creature, so would it work on a single creature in a swarm? And since it would only grow it to small size, what would that creature's stats be? My thought is unraveling all of that is probably not worth it and I'd ust say it doesn't work on the swarm.

    Giant insect is interesting because it implies control once you grow the insects (or Arthropods if you actually look at the examples), but I assume that control comes from the actual creature's low intelligence, so I would say the swarm druid retains control.

    So if a swarm druid was in centipede shape and someone cast giant insect on parts of him (in error or otherwise) I might rule the creatures grow and stay under the swarm Druid's control. However, I would take away (6 hp x the number of creatures x the CR of the beast) from the druid swarms hp. So making centipedes and wasps would cost the druid 15 hp, and making the spiders would cost 18 hp. If that total would reduce the Druid's swarm form to 0 hp, I'd say the spell fails.

    Mind you, that's the ruling I'd make as a DM. I don't know that it needs to be explicit in the class archetype itself.
    Part-time DM, part-time player in 5e. I aim to be reasonable.
    Homebrews on the stove (5e):

    Wizard School: Black Magic
    Druid Circle of the Many
    Druid Circle of the Silver Moon
    Bard College of the Chord

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •