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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Guildies' Guide to Ravnican Druids - WIP

    Work in progress
    Part of my druid handbook.

    Spoiler: Races
    Show

    Centaur
    +str is not very useful to druids, but +1 wis is. 40í speed is nice for caster forms. Being fey is a mixed bag. You avoid trouble with Charm Person and Hold Person, but give you worries with Detect Evil and Good and Protection from Evil and Good. Charge and Hooves work better for the more fightery types. Equine build is less of an annoyance, as you can wild shape to avoid it. The extra skill proficiency fits well with druidic capabilities.
    Is close to being green, but probably only so for spore druids.

    Elf
    +2 to dexterity is good for caster form. Darkvision is less useful to you than most classes (you get darkvision as a spell and canít take your racial darkvision with you into forms that donít already have it). Proficiency in Perception may be boring, but itís probably the most used skill in the game, and it deals with important stuff like ambushes. Trance means you can take your long rest in 4 hours according to errata, so switching your prepared spell list need not inconvenience the groupís itinerary. Two elves in the party means itís easy to have someone proficient in Perception awake all night.
    Dark Elf: Charisma is a poor score to advance for a druid. The superior darkvision is the best part of the dark elf, but as with all darkvision it goes away in wildshape. Drow Magic is somewhat less of a boon to a full caster. Then thereís the harsh Sunlight Sensitivity, which pulls this choice down, meaning it's the least attractive elf subrace. Hand crossbow and short sword can be useful proficiencies early on. If youíre in a campaign that takes place mostly indoors or underground, Dark Elf creeps up between high and wood.
    High Elf: Extra weapon proficiencies can be quite useful at low levels, but they matter less and less as you advance. The boost to intelligence is pretty useless unless you build specifically for it (with skills and/or multiclassing). The free cantrip may be something to look into, but you probably wonít have the int to back up an offensive choice. Thatís too bad, because druid offensive cantrips arenít too reliable or hard hitting. Booming Blade or Greenflame Blade (SCAG melee cantrips) can effectively be governed by Wis if you use them with the Shillelagh cantrip. GFB wonít do much for you until level 5, though, and BB needs a little thought to work to full potential.
    Wood Elf: +1 wisdom is right up your alley, and +5í movement is a nice bonus. Mask of the Wild may come in handy while scouting in animal form, and stealthy druids in general can use this. But you are highly dependent on the environment and the DM for just how often it will come into play. Longbow and short sword proficiencies may well outdo your offensive cantrips, at least until level 5.

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

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

    Human, Variant
    A starting feat is very useful, especially if youíre playing from level 1, and a free skill is nothing to be sniffed at. See the Feats section in post 3 for discussion on feats. Spore druids can make particular use of the Polearm Master feat, combined with the Shillelagh cantrip and the Symbiotic Entity feature. See more in the rundown on that combo.

    Loxodon
    Con and wisdom bonuses are very welcome. Being able to carry extra is minor. Advantage on saves against charm and fear is situational. Natural Armor is nice for druids with poor dexterity, but strong con Ė at least early on. Once the magical armour starts appearing, this effect has trouble keeping up, and Bracers of Defense do not work with a shield. The trunk is situationally a little useful, given that you probably like to have a shield strapped on at most times. Grappling is the obvious boon, but you probably wonít have the strength to make much use of it, nor would you want to be in melee range routinely. Smell is not the usual way to detect enemies, but it is a time-honoured way of following tracks, and perhaps making identifications that no eyes can see.

    Minotaur
    Str bonus is wasted. Con is good. All your horn options are for melee types much more than for druids. The free proficiency is nice.
    Spore druids are somewhat more able to make use of the horns, but even they are likely to see a little conflict on bonus action use between Shillelagh and horn use, and they are unlikely to have high enough Str to make the most of it.

    Simic Hybrid
    Bonus to con is sugar, and a freely placed bonus is spice. Darkvision helps a little, though it goes away in wild shape, and you do have the spell. First level Animal Enhancement look a lot like stuff you can get from wild shapes. Nimble Climber is likely to work best for you, letting you climb away from melee range in caster form. The two others are more situational. At fifth level, Grappling Appendages are melee and strength based, so do your control effects via spell instead. But the extra AC from Carapace is quite nice, and acid spit is an interesting alternative to an attack cantrip. The damage die is d10, and the type acid, but it depends on your Con rather than Wis, itís a save rather than an attack roll (though Dex isnít the worst as you get higher CR creatures). Carapace probably wins that competition most times.

    Vedalken
    Int bonuses do not make the druid happy, but the wisdom bonus obviously does. Bonus on all mental saving throws is a handy boon. Proficiency +d4 for one skill is an interesting touch, though more to shore up your likely low score than to allow you high results. Arcana is the obvious choice, but Investigation seems a good choice for a Ravnica campaign, too. Partially amphibious is situational, and wild shape can cover it pretty soon. A bonus language is always nice, but hardly a major concern.


    Spoiler: Spore Druid
    Show
    Spore druid rundown

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

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

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

    Wild Shape, 2: Iconic, fluffy, versatile. Gives more options (movement, stealth, ability scores), and can be used for some fighting in the low to mid levels. Though you will probably prefer Symbiotic Entity for that.

    Circle Spells, 2: Nifty feature that gives you Chill Touch as a cantrip (which is a good compared to druid attack cantrips in general; good damage type, good range, good delivery, mediocre damage, and a little extra to annoy the target), and some extra spells on your prepared list. These are a handful of spells not on the druid list, and a few you already know. Since the latter are combat spells, they are likely to be considered for general adventuring. The list is as desirable as the best among the land druid lists.
    Spoiler: Circle Spells
    Show
    Blindness/deafness (2): A no-Concentration debuff spell, which can target multiple opponents with higher level spell slots. Constitution save isnít great, and every round there is a save to end the spell. You could find a particular use for this against casters, who traditionally have mediocre con, and get severely hampered by not being able to see to target their spells.

    Gentle Repose (2): Ritual. Highly situational.

    Animate Dead (3): Adds some non-concentration minions to your options. Potentially a very strong spell, though walking around with a bunch of undead minions can cause some annoyances and problems.

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

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


    Halo of Spores: People can die just from being near you. Dealing a small amount of necrotic damage on a failed con save to anyone within 10í with a reaction. It works well to fell enemies on their last legs just as they are about to get their turn, and gives you a recurring use for your reaction. Not great, but cute, and sometimes useful.

    Symbiotic Entity: Bonus hit points, and bonus damage while active for your Halo of Spores and your melee attacks.
    This is a tricky one. It allows you to step into melee with some protection, getting extra damage with melee attacks and with Halo of Spores. In that sense, it works a lot like a moon druidís wild shape. It even lets you use your own AC, which is an improvement over wild shapes, often a big one. But it comes with some considerable downsides. It only lasts ten minutes or until your bonus hp run out, and it takes an Action to activate.
    The result is that you must strive to activate it before a fight, but only a little before given the 10 minute duration. And when you do step into melee, you will come under attack, and likely lose the bonus. It also scales poorly, though this also means it can do very respectable damage early on with the right investment.
    While it is understandable that the spore druid should not be as good at melee as the dedicated melee classes, this feature can be quite frustratingly ineffective. It does make spore druid an interesting dip for monks and rogues, though.
    Spoiler: Strategies for Symbiotic Entity
    Show
    There are various ways you can treat this ability in terms of investment and use. Here are three overall strategies:
    Fire and Forget: You do not invest in this ability. You use it mostly for the bonus hit points. This is the best option for high level play, where what damage you do in melee is a minor matter, but the bonus hit points remain valuable as they pile up. And it is of course the best option if you do not want to invest in this ability.
    Fight from a Distance: Get proficiency with a reach weapon. Whip for dex, giving you the best defence. Glaive, halberd, lance, or pike for str, giving you the best damage. Hobgoblins and Variant Humans with the Weapon Master feat can get you reach weapons without dipping. Reach will allow you to fight from a little distance against enemies with 5í reach, and so manoeuvre freely without provoking opportunity attacks. High movement is useful, but in confined spaces you may be able to just stand behind your partyís melee Ė perhaps your own minions.
    As enemies become larger, they also start having greater reach, making this trick less tenable. The effect also tends to move you out of range for your Halo of Spores, unless enemies follow as you retreat.
    I would pick this option if I happened to have the race and stats to support it, and then I would phase it out of use as it slips down in effectiveness as levels rise.
    All In: Fight with wisdom via a club and the Shillelagh cantrip, and get access to a bonus action attack by having a light weapon in the offhand. Alternatively fight with dexterity for maximum AC to protect those bonus hp. Since your extra poison damage applies to all attacks, dual-wielding is more attractive than usual. Once you can get Polearm Master, you can switch to just using your Shillelagh staff and a shield (much as I hate the visual of that combo), and deal a pretty impressive amount of damage for level 4 while the effect lasts. This method does more damage than a wild shaped moon druid most of the time, mostly through hitting better. But dedicated melee should slip by you and keep gaining on you, as the damage scales very poorly. 25-30 damage at level 4 is great. But 30-40 damage at level 14 is hardly worth the danger to your Concentration.
    I would pick this option if I was playing at lowish level, and did not expect to get very high Ė and wanted to mix it up in melee regularly.

    A twist (Probably to All In, but perhaps to Fight from a Distance) is to take a two-level dip.
    Monk can give you an easy bonus action attack (and the poison damage from Symbiotic Entity works with unarmed strikes; unarmed strikes are melee weapon attacks, just not attacks with a melee weapon, if you can believe it), and ki enough for two bonus action Disengages or Patient Defenses to protect your bonus hit points. The wisdom bonus to AC works with dual wielding or two-handed weapon use, but at other times it wonít do much for you given your proficiency in shield.
    Paladin allows you to add further melee damage via Smites, and it gives you proficiency in martial weapons.
    Rogue would give you all the bonus action disengages you could want, and a little extra damage from Sneak Attack.


    Ability Score Improvement, 4, 8, 12, 16, 19: Youíll probably want to up your wisdom score to 20, and there are some feats well worth taking for Spore druids. See the spoiler ĎFeatsí in the main guide for options on that, but note that Polearm Master is more useful to you than other druids, if you want to go all in with Symbiotic Entity.

    Fungal Infestation, 6: A different use for your reaction, this gives you a 1hp zombie for an hour or until it gets destroyed. Any attack aimed at the zombie is one not aimed at your party, and zombies sometimes survive their blows due to their Undead Fortitude ability. The zombie is rather limited in scope compared to other minions, and maybe it cannot even open doors (as it may only take the Attack action, not Use an Item). But ask your DM. Regardless, this is a fun little ability, though it does require beast or humanoid foes to function.

    Spreading Spores, 10: By now, going into melee is probably less effective than at earlier levels, so it is nice to get a use for your spores at more range. Since it is a bonus action effect, you can use it in the same round you cast a spell that keeps enemies in place. This can be an encounter-ending combo in some cases, and just a severe pain to the enemy in others.

    Fungal Body, 14: A handful of immunities, mostly minor ones. I like the immunity to critical damage, as it helps keep the DC on Concentration saves manageable.

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

    Beast Spells, 18: You can now cast certain spells while in wild shape. Better for other druids, who like turning into beasts more. By now, your Symbiotic Entity gives 72 bonus hp, and with your own AC.
    Giant 2005 posted about this in another thread:

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

    Cantrips: Druidcraft, Guidance, Poison Spray, Produce Flame
    1st: Charm Person, Cure Wounds, Detect Magic, Entangle, Faerie Fire, Fog Cloud, Healing Word, Purify Food and Drink, Speak with Animals, Thunderwave
    2nd: Beast Sense, Find Traps, Lesser Restoration, Protection from Poison
    3rd: Call Lightning, Conjure Animals, Daylight, Dispel Magic, Meld into Stone, Plant Growth, Protection from Energy, Speak with Plants
    4th: Blight, Conjure Minor Elementals, Dominate Beast, Giant Insect, Grasping Vine
    5th: Antilife Shell, Commune with Nature, Contagion, Geas, Mass Cure Wounds, Tree Stride
    6th: Conjure Fey, Heal, Transport via Plants
    7th: Fire Storm, Mirage Arcane
    8th: Animal Shapes, Tsunami
    9th: Storm of Vengeance
    Archdruid, 20: Unlimited wild shapes. You can reapply Symbiotic Entity regularly, and never run out of time. Even better if you're using Stealth, for the ability to cast without using components.


    Spoiler: Guild Backgrounds
    Show
    Guilds
    Taking the background associated with a guild allows you access to the guild's spell list, adding it to your known spells. As a prepared caster with automatic access to your whole list, this is a significant deal. Perversely, if you pick a guild with a druidy theme, you get a smaller portion of spells. Many of the spells offered by a druidy guild will already be on your druid list. This is disappointing to me, as it rewards painting outside the lines more than inside them. I'll try to contain my disappointment and be as clinical as I can in evaluating the guilds.
    The colours of the guilds is when these backgrounds are compared to one another. It's pretty clear that even Selesnya is superior to the regular backgrounds, which provide no extra spells.

    Azorious: Save for Hold Person, none of the spells offered by Azorius are found on the druid list. There is a small overlap with certain Land druid lists from Divination. The highlight of the list is Counterspell, which can be a powerful tool against enemy spellcasters. But the list also adds some social control that druids usually have little access to. Such tools can be used in battle as well, but the druid is already well supplied with BC effects. There are also some additional divination tools for that compartment in your toolbox.
    Insight is a useful skill in most campaigns, and keys off wisdom. Intimidation is the least useful of the social skills in my opinion, but considering all the spell-list goodies, it is a small sacrifice.
    Legal Authority is pretty solid as background features go.

    Boros:The spell list offered by Boros is new to druids with the exception of Wall of Fire. The cantrips deal more damage, or with a more reliable damage type than comparable druid cantrips. The list adds a few instant, direct damage spells at low levels (guiding bolt, scorching ray), and flamestrike is a welcome option at level 5. The list deals with temporary hp and healing as well, though not in ways that particularly change druid priorities.
    Athletics is a good skill in general. Intimidation is less interesting to me. But with such a spell list, this is a good package.
    Legion Station is nice at low levels, when your own resources are small, but as you advance, it will fall in relative value.

    Dimir: There is some overlap between Dimir spells and those of druids (and gaseous form is in the Underdark land druidís package). However, if you are looking for stealth, infiltration, and intrigue, this spell list is a treasure trove. Detect thoughts, nondetection, and modify memory are spells that accomplish new things for druids (though a crag cat wild shape can also give nondetection).
    Deception is a decent skill, and stealth is good.
    False Identity is only interesting if it gets you Ďmembershipí of a guild otherwise inaccessible. Or perhaps just one with a poor spell selection.

    Golgari: There is quite a bit of overlap with druid spells and the Golgari list, and many of the additions are lacking in interest for druids (or just in general). It does get you animate dead (so does spore druid), and while generally a strong spell, you do have the minionmancy side pretty well covered already. Then there's the possible trouble of going about town with half a dozen undead creatures around you.
    Nature and survival are skills right down the druidís lane (though of the two, Nature is the least impressive), and if you picked them as class skills, you can pick any skills you like now.
    Undercity paths is a nice feature, but rather DM dependent. Though it wonít do so much for your own strategic mobility or ability to remain undetected (druids are pretty good at those things already), it lets you bring your party along.

    Gruul: There is a lot of overlap in the Gruul spells for a druid. It does get you some AoE direct damage, so if you are hungry for that, you may like it. Fire bolt is slightly stronger than the general druid cantrip.
    Animal handling is not the best of skills, and you can do better with spells. But athletics is a nice skill. The herbalism kit proficiency doubles to a free choice (and if nobody else has thievesí tools, hereís your chance).
    Rubblebelt refuge is a decent enough background feature, though the getting food and water is not much of a boon for a druid. But having a place to hide out can come in very handy, and itís an area you as an adventurer are likely to see quite a bit of.

    Izzet: Not the most inspiring of these spell lists, Izzet provides animate objects as its most noteworthy addition. But youíre already pretty good at minionmancy, so do you really need it?
    Arcana is a good skill, and investigation can be good, depending on the DM and the campaign.
    Access to blueprints from Urban Infrastructure can be a nice element, at least until you get full access to your divination spells. Though it can be rather DM dependent.

    Orzhov: Plenty of new spells here, although none stand out as a real catch. Bestow Curse is interesting for its ability to inflict disadvantage on saving throws. Death Ward could be an interesting spell if your DM likes instant kill effects like disintegrate against your wild shapes. In general, you get some utility, especially in social contexts.
    Intimidation is my least favourite social skill, and religion not the most inspiring of lore skills.
    Leverage at least is a feature that grows in power with you. Allowing you to move on to important stuff while underlings do your busywork can be very helpful in a complicated plot.

    Rakdos: Rakdos grants spells mostly not available to druids, including some interesting attack cantrips. Hellish rebuke is noteworthy as a reaction attack spell. Haste is a strong buff spell, and worth consideration even to druids.
    Acrobatics is a decent skill, particularly if your dex is high and youíll be using it to avoid grapples and shoves. Performance is pretty wasteful.
    Fearsome reputation is a minor boon, but at least it is flavourful.

    Selesnya: You gain few new spells from Selesneya membership. Aid is a nice one, though healing it after a fight may be as efficient with Healing Spirit. Aura of Life gives you access to resistance to necrotic damage, which is new for a druid (and it lets you heal everyone over time, but again it pales in comparison with Healing Spirit in that department). Warding Bond is a cute spell, but as a Concentration-focused druid, you have no place taking other peopleís damage.
    Nature is not the most impressive of skills, but Persuasion is generally useful, unless you are playing a hack-n-slash campaign.
    Conclaveís shelter gives free healing, and presumably cheap raise deads. This can be very useful, particularly early in the campaign. Safety from pursuit, even from the law, is also nice. A solid background feature.

    Simic: Simic spells adds six spells to your options. Acid splash is an interesting cantrip, dealing low damage, but on up to two targets, and of a better type than most of what you get as druid. The main attraction in spells is probably creation, which can be a money machine. Gaseous form is also nicely versatile, giving flight, the ability to fit through cracks, and resistance to physical attacks.
    Arcane is a good skill. Medicine sucks.
    Researcher is very DM dependent. The DM may let you get creative with this, or may decide only to give you stuff you were going to get anyway.
    Last edited by hymer; 2019-05-25 at 05:20 AM.
    My D&D 5th ed. Druid Handbook

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Guildies' Guide to Ravnican Druids

    Just grabbing this to be sure I have enough space. Feel free to comment below.
    My D&D 5th ed. Druid Handbook

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGirl

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    Default Re: Guildies' Guide to Ravnican Druids - WIP

    Thanks again, this has sure given me some food for thought!

    As I told you in the other thread, I had to start playing my druid at lvl 4, and there sure are A LOT of choices to be made. I am definitely not in the game to optimise my damage output, but there are some things above that would also fit the story, which I might want to incorporate because ... good fluff = win! This above will help me veer away from obvious bad choices, which is good because the nickname for our DM is "DM of Doom"... I will still make choices based on fluff, but they will be better!

    My druid is an Eladrin elf who just stepped into the material plane, and she found herself having to help this group of people out of a sticky situation after spending some time befriending a Spectator in a dungeon :) There's a very interesting monk in that party (water genasi; my dear Eladrin druid thinks she's constantly melancholy!), so that dip into monk will be perfectly viable in the future, fluff wise!
    Last edited by emelynilsson; 2018-12-12 at 02:35 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Guildies' Guide to Ravnican Druids - WIP

    @ emelynilsson: You're very welcome!
    And it sounds like you have an interesting character, and the makings of a fine campaign in that group. Best of luck!
    My D&D 5th ed. Druid Handbook

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGirl

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    Default Re: Guildies' Guide to Ravnican Druids - WIP

    @hymer
    Thanks, it is a great campaign! For the first 13 sessions I've been playing a wizard, so when my character died I decided I'd take on the ultimate challenge and go druid. All those bonus actions... Getting in the headspace for the character per se is easy, but the gameplay mechanics are a lot to keep on top of, and that is why I'm here :)

    I had actually written down a list of actions for her to take as she went into battle (shillelagh, symbiotic entity, and so on), but then found myself without my quarterstaff in the first fight *facepalm* Contingency plans are in the making, based on your posts!
    Last edited by emelynilsson; 2018-12-13 at 01:25 AM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Guildies' Guide to Ravnican Druids - WIP

    Would love to see your thoughts on the guild backgrounds, or rather, how specifically useful some of them are to druids in particular. And some of them *are* very good at covering what druids aren't great at (or give more wildshape utility, etc).

    Anyway, keep up the good work. Yours is an excellent guide for any aspiring druid. Thanks!
    Last edited by sambojin; 2018-12-13 at 07:19 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Guildies' Guide to Ravnican Druids - WIP

    @ sambojin: Thank you much!
    I intend to get around to the guilds, the relevant creatures for conjuring (I don't think there are any beasts, but if there are I'll deal with those too), and any relevant magical items. The guilds are proving rather a bigger task than I thought at first, as I'd like to have at least some notion about how fluff-appropriate the options are. But I'm getting there.
    My D&D 5th ed. Druid Handbook

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Guildies' Guide to Ravnican Druids - WIP

    The 'colors of magic' provide a pretty good shortcut to figuring out which guilds do or don't fit with Druid characters. Druids are associated with plants, animals, growth, life, nature, and the wild places - and in MtG all of those associations fall under Green. The guilds were each associated with two colors, so any of the guilds that included green as one of their two colors make sense for druids, including:

    Selesnya: Blending nature magic with that of light, order, and community, Selesnyan druids tend to the guild's ordered arcadias of terraced gardens and city parks.

    Gruul: blending nature magic with that of destruction and elemental fury, Gruul druids call on great beasts, raging elementals, and crushing roots and vines to lead the reclamation of abandoned regions of the city.

    Golgari: blending nature magic with that of death, darkness, and decay, Golgari druids cultivate fungal forests upon the guild's great subterranean mulch beds, simultaneously disposing of the city's garbage and providing the city's staple food.

    Simic: blending nature magic with that of academic knowledge and scientific experimentation, Simic druids used controlled breeding and magical manipulation to engineer new forms of life better suited to ravnica's unique environment.

    ....

    Of that lot, Selesnya and Gruul are closest to stereotypical druids of other settings, with Selesnya being the flower-child druids who want nature and civilization to coexist in harmony while Gruul are more the eco-terrorst druids who see civilization as an enemy that must be destroyed. Golgari and Simic are the outliers, not surprising as they mix green with the 'opposed' colors black (death) and blue (science) respectively.

    None of the other guilds are associated with the magic of life and growth, so none of them are natural (if you'll pardon the pun) fits for Druid characters. That said, PCs are often the exception to any setting norms, so with that in mind 'blue' magic also covers the classical elements of wind and water, while 'red' magic also covers the classical elements of earth and fire, so that elemental connection could be used to justify druids of any of the non-green guilds apart from the Orzhov*. Wild Shape in particular would make Dimir druids effective at infiltration and espionage, while summoned elementals could be used to power any number of Izzet contraptions, so leaders in those guilds might actively seek to recruit druidic agents even if their activities and motivations aren't an especially good fit for a druidic ethos.

    The Orzhov, as the banking guild, really are about as non-druidic as you can get, so an Orzov druid really would be especially hard to justify. Maybe you could run it as a druid forced into indentured servitude to the guild due to some monetary debt?


    But yeah, guild includes green (the four listed above) = druids are a fluffy fit. guild doesn't include green (all the rest) = not so much.
    Last edited by Malisteen; 2018-12-14 at 09:52 AM.
    The pursuit of knowledge requires a mind unfettered by the petty constraints of ethics, faith, or ... mortality.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Guildies' Guide to Ravnican Druids - WIP

    @ Malisteen: Thanks very much for the summary!
    It looks very much like you get rewarded more for joining a guild that fits your class poorly, fluff-wise. This is becoming a recurring theme in 5e.
    My D&D 5th ed. Druid Handbook

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    Default Re: Guildies' Guide to Ravnican Druids - WIP

    Ritual casting rated red.

    What.
    Quote Originally Posted by Crucius View Post
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Guildies' Guide to Ravnican Druids - WIP

    Quote Originally Posted by hymer View Post
    @ Malisteen: Thanks very much for the summary!
    It looks very much like you get rewarded more for joining a guild that fits your class poorly, fluff-wise. This is becoming a recurring theme in 5e.
    This is an unfortunate and seemingly unavoidable byproduct of the guild spell rules. Yeah, guild spellcasters get a set of thematic spells, but if you're playing a class that caters to the themes of the guild then chances are those spells will already be on that class's spell list. Druids fit naturey guilds, which grant naturey spells, which are exactly the spells that druids already have.

    A better system might have been giving guild spellcasters bonuses when they cast the listed spells (automatic upcasting? Chance of retaining the spell slot? idk), but *not* giving access to the spells if characters dont already have them. Then casters only get the bonus if they pick a class/guild combination with overlapping themes?

    As it is, at least the golgari get animate dead. That's pretty good for a good chunk of levels, and something druids don't normally get. And it also means there's no reason for anyone actually playing in ravnica to bother with the smoldering remains of the spore druid. You can play a golgari druid with an actually functional subclass and still have all the necromantic fun you want.

    Edit: i agree that ritual casting's underrated. Yeah its less good than it is for wizards, who dont have to memorize ritual spells to cast them, but it still means you can reserve your spell slots for combat spells while still casting important non combat utility spells, and that's pretty significant.
    Last edited by Malisteen; 2018-12-14 at 05:41 PM.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Guildies' Guide to Ravnican Druids - WIP

    Quote Originally Posted by Malisteen View Post
    A better system might have been giving guild spellcasters bonuses when they cast the listed spells (automatic upcasting? Chance of retaining the spell slot? idk), but *not* giving access to the spells if characters dont already have them. Then casters only get the bonus if they pick a class/guild combination with overlapping themes?
    I'd put the spells on the class list of anyone who doesn't have it already, an always-prepared spell for those who do, and in cases where the spell is already always prepared by another feature (like Golgari Spore druids with Animate Dead) I'd give them one free casting which recharges on a long rest, as if it were a racial spell. A kind of a three-tiered system of benefit depending on your normal access to the spell.
    Last edited by Damon_Tor; 2018-12-14 at 06:52 PM.

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    Default Re: Guildies' Guide to Ravnican Druids - WIP

    There's not a bad explanation for absolutely any class or race joining any guild they please on p31 with the Loyalists/ Opportunists/ Rebels/ Anomalies bit.

    And so on and so forth.

    They left it very open on character creation, even to the point of convenience. So, yep, Boros Druids, Orhzov Druids, whatever. Make up your reason. You don't even have to share every/any value of the guild in question if you think it will further your own ability to do what you want. Colours of magic be damned, I want to be able to cast Counterspell or Shatter is a perfectly valid reason.... Even for a druid..... Lol.

    (and, yes, you might be a bit of an outsider in your guild. But if you're still kicking enough arse, in the guild's name, or furthering the guild's aims, come one, come all!
    You're not a planeswalker/MtG player tapping mana from the very land and city-scape the guilds reside in. You're just a guild member. You've got *your* reasons. Even if that reason is "I think, as a druid, having tonnes of skeletons would make me more able to do that whole protect nature/life/death cycles stuff.")

    I'm not sure you really have to look at the reknown side of things, but having a squad of Boros meatshields (with hands!) to fly around with you on Rocs, fully knowing that you're going to back them up with even more flyers, and turning into a Giant Eagle/Queztlcoatlus yourself to help your own Roc, sounds kind of fun. You could 1-man-party plenty of adventures in Boros. Yes, we're druids. Justice and fire is one of the things we do (and flying around the place being a-holes at our leisure). I mean, having a medusa just petrify/help you out for favours might be better, or a lawmage hold person/slow battery to take out BBEGs, but these are loyal soldiers of Boros. They'll do as you command :)
    It's like 5e's leadership feat, in a background, with some ok'ish spells to boot.
    Last edited by sambojin; 2018-12-14 at 11:43 PM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Guildies' Guide to Ravnican Druids - WIP

    Maybe something like:

    Guild: super quick overview of goodness to druids.

    Skills/tools gained from background: druid use?

    Spells: forum guide colours for spells of each level. A bit of diatribe on why good/bad/etc.

    Guild Charm: extra spells useful? Why? Druidy? Hole filler for mission? More druid, or "oh, wow!".

    Reknown 3/lvl5/reknown 10 abilities on a very quick, very powergamery viewpoint (absolutely no guide can know how any DM would run Ravnica or GGtR characters, so just how any would synergize "overall" with what some druids could do)

    "Guild" magic items: there's some doozies on a "hey, druids might finally snag something like that, legit, just for doing stuff".

    I'll be happy to fill a few of them out, even if it's from a very clinical viewpoint on what I think of the backgrounds. Would love if some other druid PCs would chuck in their 2c as well. Might help the guide, might not.
    Last edited by sambojin; 2018-12-15 at 08:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Guildies' Guide to Ravnican Druids - WIP

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Ritual casting rated red.

    What.
    Not all ritual casting is the same.
    Tome Warlocks and Wizards can ritually cast anything they know.

    Druids can only ritually cast what they have prepared already for that day.

    So you could ritually cast, say, Water Breathing or Detect Magic, but you still would have had to prepare it for the day.

    You can only prepare Level + WIS number of spells/day, so to have things like Water Breathing or Detect Magic available for ritual casting, they have to be already prepared. Sacrificing a "spells prepared slot" (for lack of a better term) or two is fine when you're a level 10 with a +4 wisdom modifier, and that is only 2 out of 14 prepared spells... but when you're level 3 with a +2 Wisdom mod, maybe you won't want to sacrifice a fifth of your day's prepared spells for Detect Magic.
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    Default Re: Guildies' Guide to Ravnican Druids - WIP

    Quote Originally Posted by Vogie View Post
    Not all ritual casting is the same.
    And?

    The fact that Wizards have better ritual casting doesn't mean that Druid ritual casting is bad. It's still a very powerful and useful feature, and how well you use that feature makes a significant difference in your effectiveness as a Druid player.
    Quote Originally Posted by Crucius View Post
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    Default Re: Guildies' Guide to Ravnican Druids - WIP

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    The fact that Wizards have better ritual casting doesn't mean that Druid ritual casting is bad. It's still a very powerful and useful feature, and how well you use that feature makes a significant difference in your effectiveness as a Druid player.
    This. Level + Wis mod is already significantly more different spells than most druids will actually burn actual spell slots on on in a given day, especially in your first 10 levels or so, where most actual game time happens. You'll generally have 2 to 5 go-to, regular use combat spells, plus maybe a prepared healing spell, and if you burn slots on anything else than you're wasting those slots. Ritual spells, which can be xast without slots, significantly increase you're overall daily utility. Spells like detect magic are great if you're a ritual caster and pants if you aren't.

    So yeah, the feature isnt /as/ good as it is for wizards or tomelocks, but it's still a very important part of a druid's tool set. Saying the feature is bad and should be ignored is bad advice that should be ignored.
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    Default Re: Guildies' Guide to Ravnican Druids - WIP

    Quote Originally Posted by Malisteen View Post
    So yeah, the feature isnt /as/ good as it is for wizards or tomelocks, but it's still a very important part of a druid's tool set. Saying the feature is bad and should be ignored is bad advice that should be ignored.
    Agreed. Water Walk is a spell that I abuse far more often than most players between Transmute Rock and Control Water shenanigans, and being able to keep it up without burning spell slots is precious. Meld Into Stone is a spell I use as a panic button, but being able to Ritual Cast it for long rests or ambushes is great. Not to mention the spells I save on Speak With Animals. On an average adventuring day, ritual casting saves me about 10-12 spell levels as a Coastal Druid, between Water Walk, Commune with Nature, Beast Sense, Speak with Animals, and Animal Messenger. Particularly Animal Messenger on conjunction with Beast Bond, and Water Walk.
    Last edited by Fable Wright; 2019-06-07 at 06:21 PM.
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