Here are a couple of new Druidic Circles, one because my spouse wants a Druid Circle that plays up the “animal friendship” aspects of being a Druid and the other because I wanted to come up with a version of an old NPC variant that I had in my 1e game…
The Circle of the Well
Druids of the Circle of the Well are the center of circle of animal companions and friends, much like a wild spring that both predator and prey will drink from side by side. Most often the members of the Circle of the Well are friendly and outgoing, though some of these druids definitively prefer the company of their animal friends to that of others of their kind, unimpressed with even the most basic interactions with civilization. Druids of this order are the eyes and ears of their land, gossiping with squirrels about nuts, singing with wolves and frogs at sunset, and listening to news from far away brought by hawks and ravens.
Friendship of the Beasts
When this Circle is chosen at 2nd level, the druid gains ¼CR worth of Unaligned Beasts per level as friendly companions who accompany the druid wherever they travel. These beasts must be Intelligence 3 or lower, and no single Beast (or Swarm) may have a CR higher than ⅕ the druids level. CR0 Beasts count as CR⅛ creatures.
Also, the druid is able to speak as well as understand each of his animal companions within the limits of their intelligence. They will help the druid as they are able, but this is a willing choice on their part to help a dear and respected friend, not magically compelled obedience. This includes combat and other dangerous activity.
Defense of Friends
Starting at 6th level, as long as there are animal companions within 5′ of the Druid, attackers have Disadvantage to attack (Constructs, Elementals, & Oozes are Immune to this feature).
Friends of Friends
At 10th level, creatures of the same subtype of any of the druids companions have Disadvantage to save against all Enchantments cast by the druid.
Kith & Kin
When 14th level is reached, the druid is able to summon (arriving in 1d10 rounds) up to three beasts of CR2, 6 beasts of CR1, 12 beasts of CR½, or 24 beasts of CR¼ (mixing and matching allowed if the proper ratio is retained) as the kith and kin of his animal companions are called for aid. These beasts must of the same subtype as the druids companions, and they will remain for up to an hour of time, being treated in all ways as temporary companions. At 17th level the numbers increase to 4 of CR2, 8 of CR1, 16 of CR½, and 32 of CR¼ beasts. This feature cannot be used again until after a long rest.
The Black Circle
During the Wars of Binding, some Druids of the Old Faith fell into darkness, reviving old and fell rituals and sorceries that had been buried since the days of the Black Empire. Reviled by other members of the Old Faith, the Druids of the Black Circle become infused with necrotic energies and communing with the spirits of death and darkness. The senior and most powerful members of the Circle are often a blight upon normal landscapes, needing to travel constantly or to seek out the most desolate of locations to have their presence betrayed by their surroundings.
After choosing this Circle at 2nd level, the Druid can induce the Fear condition for 1 round per level if the target fails a Wisdom save (DC = 8 + Druid’s Proficiency Bonus + Druid’s Charisma Modifier) by focusing their attention on a target. If the target makes their save the duration is halved, and the target is immune to this effect for 24 hours. This feature may not be used again until after a short rest.
Also at 2nd Level, a Druid of the Black Circle become Resistant to Necrotic damage. At 10th level this becomes Immunity, and they are receive half the potential damage as Healing. Also at 10th they become Vulnerable to Radiant damage.
At 6th level, when attacking with natural weapons, the Druid does additional Necrotic damage equal to their level and their attacks cause the Poisoned condition for one round (Con save, DC = Druids Spell DC). If the save is made, the target take half the Necrotic damage and is unaffected by the Poisoned condition.
Life feeds on Life
When a Druid of the Black Circle reaches 10th level they can use a spell slot to attack all creatures within a 20′ of themselves for 2d8 Necrotic damage (Plants take double damage with Disadvantage to save). +1d8 per spell slot above 1st used. Save for half.
Finally at 14th level, a Druid of the Black Circle may use their Wild Shape ability to transform themselves into Undead for short periods of time. As an Undead they become Resistant to Cold, Lightning, Piercing, Slashing, & Bludgeoning damage, and the Charm, Exhaustion, Fear, Paralysis, & Poison conditions. Their Unarmed attack does a base 1d4 Bludgeoning + 1d6 Cold (+Necrotic as above), plus does Life Drain (the target must make Con Save vs. the Druids Spell DC or it’s HP maximum is reduced by the damage of the attack. This reduction lasts until after a Long Rest, and if 0HP is reached the target is slain. They also have Undead Fortitude, if any attack would bring them below 1HP, the Druid may make a Con save (DC = 5 + Half the Damage of the Attack) or merely reduced to 1HP. Finally, they become Tomb-Tainted, Healing energies harm them, while Necrotic Energies heal them.