Posts Tagged With: Druid

Gift of the Ancients and the Shield of the Faithful

Nanietharil – Gift of the Ancients

A vest of Masterwork Leaf Armor made of overlapping layers of Ironwood carved into the form of tiny leaves. It’s dark hue is broken by a leaf-and-branch pattern of bronze and gold.

Requirements:

  • Proficient in Medium Armor
  • Survival Skill
  • Elven or Half-Elven Blood

Properties:

  • +2 Ironwood Leaf Armor Vest (AC 13)
  • Resistance to Non-Magical Slashing, Piercing, and Bludgeoning Damage
  • Considered Enchanted
  • Treated as Light Armor
  • May re-roll any Survival skill check, 1/day.
  • When wooded or grassy areas, the leaves shift in shape and hue to match the native flora.

Level Bonuses:

  • 5th: One with the Wild – Characters with the Animal Handling skill may use it with non-domesticated animals.
  • 6th: Walk Unseen – The character has Advantage on Stealth checks in natural surroundings.
  • 7th: Walker in the Wild – The character has Advantage on Survival checks.
  • 8th: +3 Ironwood Leaf Armor Vest (AC 14)
  • 10th: Voice of the Wild – 3/Day – May Speak with Animals as the spell.
  • 12th: Armor of the Wild – A character wearing this while using the Wild Shape class feature gains all the benefits of the armor.
  • 13th: +4 Ironwood Leaf Armor Vest (AC 15)
  • 14th: Predator’s Dash – Base speed increases by 10′ per round.
  • 16th: Shape of the Wild – A character with the Wild Shape class feature gains one additional use of this ability per day.

The Aegis Inviolable – Shield of the Faithful

A Kite Shield of Fine Quality and sized for a Medium creature made of fire-blackened steel. It is bordered in bright sunsteel, with the sunburst symbol of the same metal in the center.

Requirements:

  • Proficiency with Shields
  • Proficiency with Heavy Armor
  • Religion Skill
  • Good Alignment

Properties:

  • +1 Kite Shield (+3 AC)
  • Considered Enchanted
  • The wielder is considered one level higher for the purposes of Turning and Destroying Undead as long as they already have that class feature.
  • When strapped onto the wielders arm, the sunburst symbol glows brightly. While not bright enough to provide any illumination, it makes it impossible to hide or sneak about unseen.

Level Bonuses:

  • 5th: Light Fortification – 25% to negate Critical Hits or Sneak Attacks
  • 6th: Energy Aegis – 1/Day – Can choose Resistance to a single type of energy as a Reaction, this last 1 round.
  • 8th: Holy Vessel – For Clerics and Paladins of Good Alignment, the Aegis Inviolate functions as their Holy Symbol.
  • 9th: +2 Kite Shield (+4 AC)
  • 10th: Protection of the Gods – 1/Day – The wielder may use the Shield of Faith spell.
  • 11th: Energy Aegis Inviolable – The Resistance (q.v.) becomes Immunity.
  • 12th: Medium Fortification – 50% to negate Critical Hits or Sneak Attacks
  • 13th: +3 Kite Shield (+5 AC)
  • 16th: Divine Ward – 1/Day – The wielder may invoke a Death Ward as a Reaction.
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Druidic Foci and Tools

Druids as a character class actually cover a wide range of related, even similar but still quite different religions, commonly referred to as the Old Faith. Similar to Priestly Vestments, the tools and instruments of the Druids are a sign of their religious status as well as being regular ritual tools and foci. Of these, only the Torc, Crane Skin Bag, and Cloak are possible to be found used by related classes (such as Rangers or Bards of the College of the Old Faith) and the Druid’s tend to keep their secrets close. All of these items must be attuned, and while Druid’s themselves are not generally punished for losing such items – the uninitiated and thieves are often cursed or worse by the Old Powers.

 

Druid’s Cloak – Woven to be warm in cold weather and cool in the heat, the Druid’s Robes grant them Advantage on Survival Checks, these robes mark the wearer as a Druid. The robes also grant the Druid Advantage on Stealth Checks when in the wilderness. It also provides Resistance to damage from Beasts, and allows the Druid personal use of Invisibility to Beasts once between rests.

Druids Boline – Druids are steeped in tradition, and the boline is an ancient design – a curved, bronze blade that are used primarily for ritual work (Archdruids often have one made of Orikalkium). Enchanted to be as hard as steel, it is a Bane to Aberrations, Demons, and Lycanthropes. It is also used to harvest herbs and perform sacrifices – it is not to be used against mundane foes or for profane tasks. It can function as a Druidic Focus.

As Druids gain levels, they often increase the magical power of their tools and instruments, as in the following examples:

Druid’s Torc – An often ornate neck ring of bronze or precious metals with a variety of animal motifs worn by women, warriors, and those of higher social station. They are meant to be worn at all times, and are invariably damaged removed. The Druid’s Torc allows them to cast spells while wearing it in animal form during Wild Shape. It also increases the Spell Slots by one of each level. It also allows the use of Animal Friendship once per Long Rest.

Druid’s Crane Skin Bag – Traditionally made of crane skin in the Heartlands, the bag is a small repository of various small items of personal, mystic and spiritual significance for the Druid that must remain secret from all others. Of all the Druid’s Tools, this is the most precious as if it is held by another the Druid has Disadvantage in all things and the bearer has Advantage against the Druid in all things. If opened and scattered, the Druid loses all spell-casting abilities until the next new moon, and creating a new one (which generally does not remove the power of the old one) takes about two months per level of the Druid. It has a number of abilities:

  • It grants the Druid Inspiration, once between Rests.
  • It grants the use of the Guidance cantrip for the sole use of the Druid.
  • It allows the recall of a single Spell Slot, no higher than half the Druid’s level, once between Long Rests.
  • It can function as a Druidic Focus.
  • The Druid always knows where their Crane Skin Bag is.

Druid’s Anguinum – A small construct or occasionally a natural stone or crystal in the shape of an egg containing precious herbs and the essence of serpents, it is an aid to healing and herbalism. It provides Advantage on all skill checks related to healing and medicine (and, poison lore). It also allows the use of the Detect Poison and Disease ritual. It can be used as an Druidic Focus.

Druid’s Cauldron – Sometimes plain but more often ornate, the Druid’s Cauldron is a large container used in various rituals. In addition to these uses, it also has a number of other abilities.

  • It can Purify Water as a Ritual.
  • It can create a refreshing draught that can heal each member of the party once between Long Rests. This heals 2 Hit Dice worth of damage (without costing Hit Dice), removes a single level of Exhaustion, and cures Poison and grant Inspiration.
  • It can cast Scrying as a Ritual.
  • Grants Advantage to Alchemy Checks when used during the process.

Druids Staff – Traditionally two handspans in length taller than the Druid, the Druid’s Staff allows the use of the Shillelagh Cantrip on itself at any time. At its most basic the staff has the following characteristics.

  • Treated as an Enchanted, +1 weapon per five full levels of the character.
  • The staff does additional damage of an elemental type chosen by the Druid equal to their Proficiency bonus.
  • When held and planted on the ground, the Staff provides Advantage on Saving Throws against and Resistance to Arcane damage.
  • It increases their Spell Slots by one of each level.
  • It can function as a Druidic Focus.
  • The Druid always knows where their staff is located.

Archdruid’s rarely have any special items that mark them as being particularly different from lesser Druids. They are far more likely to simply have more puissant magic, and just generally more items at their disposal. Archdruids is less the actual term of strict hierarchical rank in this instance and more a term denoting the higher ranking Druids in their orders.

In the Heartlands, the Old Faith is a relatively structured with matching orders of male and female Druids and related groups of Rangers and Bards – with occasional Paladins and Warlocks in the mix, not to mention the occasional solitary Druid out in the woods, disconnected from any hierarchy. In Kistath there is a similar Old Faith that is focused on the Old Powers of the deserts, and in Ith you can find occasional, isolated shaman who follow their own path based on the spirits of the jungle.

Wood Elves are primarily Druid in spirituality, but like all elven spirituality it is often a more personal matter rather than an organized religion in the way that humans practice – but also with a strong connection to their Berserkers. That said, those E’lin who practice Druidry are highly respected and their Tools are often similar to those of human Druids – suggesting a strong connection. Instead of a Staff that are quite likely to use a Warspear instead.

Gnomes are also highly Druidic, worshipping a Great Mother and a Green Man with a respect for the Old Powers. Their tools are similart though instead of a Staff they common use a Wand of some sort it it’s place. They do not have the highly structured religion of humans, but do have an organized structure along clan lines.

Finally, some Khazan follow the Old Faith as well. Often a more bloody and dire sort, with Hunstman Archtype Rangers in attendance. Again, their Tools and Foci are often quite similar to other Druids, but they do not have an structured hierarchy or an organized religion.

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Animal Companion (Druid Spell) and Familiar Bond (Wizard Spell) (DnD 5e)

Animal Companion

2nd-Level Enchantment (Ritual)

  • Casting Time: 1 Day
  • Range: 20 Feet
  • Components: V, S, M (100sp of Charcoal, Herbs, and Incense that must be consumed in a fire)
  • Duration: Instantaneous

The Druid gains the companionship of a Beast of no more than CR½ that is present during the course of the ritual, popular animal choices include, but are not limited to, Black Bears, Boars, Deer, Hawks, Owls, Panthers, Ravens, and Wolves. A Druid of 11th level of greater may gain the companionship of a Beast up to CR1.

The Druid may speak with their animal companion at all times in a way similar to the Speak with Animals spell (q.v.)

The animal companion acts independently of the Druid and is a “boon companion” rather than a familiar or other similar spirit aide. In combat it rolls its own initiative and takes its own actions. The animal companion gains hit dice such that it always has the same number of hit dice as their Druid companion, and they are allowed either Ability Score Improvements or Feats at the same time as their Druids gain the same improvement. Their proficiency score is always equal to that of their Druid, and they may use the Druid’s Intelligence and Wisdom saves instead of their own

The animal companion remains with the Druid until death or until it is released – while amazingly hale and hearty it’s lifespan is not greater than that of its wilder brethren. Released companions often stay near to Druidic places of Power and act as guardians as the Druids take care of them in their final years. Additionally, nothing prevents a Druid from Awakening (q.v.) an Animal Companion – often making these guardians quite dangerous.

A Druid may only have one Animal Companion at a time.

 

Familiar Bond

2nd-Level Enchantment (Ritual)

  • Casting Time: 8 Hours
  • Range: 10 Feet
  • Components: V, S, M (30sp of Charcoal, Herbs, and Incense that must be consumed in a fire in a brazier)
  • Duration: Instantaneous

Unlike the 1st-Level Find Familiar (q.v.) which summons a spiritual “Fetch” to aid the magic user, the spell Familiar Bond creates an oath-bound alliance between the Wizard and an allied creature. Often performed with infant animals (or possibly with the animals parents in some cases), the spell creates an intense bond that cannot be broken save by either the violation of the agreement by the Wizard – these creatures rarely exceed CR½. In exceedingly rare cases, bonds may even be formed with Fey, Celestials, or Fiends if the Wizard can contact appropriately powerful entities from the appropriate Court to negotiate with – these creatures can be CR1 or possibly even higher if the oath’s are worthy of it.

The Familiar rolls its own initiative and takes its own actions. The hit dice of the Familiar is always at least equal to their Wizard, and the Familiar may always use the Wizards proficiency bonus as well. If the Wizards saves are better the Familiar may also substitute those saves for their own. The Familiar also gains Ability Score improvements and Feats at the same time as their Wizard.

The Wizard may communicate telepathically with the Familiar if they within 100 feet of each other, and they may also, as an Action, “ride along” with one or more senses of their Familiar (being oblivious to their own matching sense at while doing so).

The Familiar can maintain Concentration for one spell that the Wizard has cast as long as they are within 100 feet of the caster. The Familiar may act as the “point of origin” for purposes of range for the Wizard as long as they are within 100 feet.

If the Familiar takes damage, the Wizard takes an equal amount of Psychic damage (that bypasses any Resistance or Immunity). The Wizard is also Stunned for one round (Charisma Save, DC15, for no effect). If the Familiar is reduced to zero hit points then the Wizard immediately takes Psychic damage equal to the Familiar’s Hit Points (Charisma Save, DC15, Half Damage, other bypassing any Resistance or Immunity). They are also automatically Stunned for one round. Both Wizard and Familiar have Advantage on Death Saves while the other is still alive. If the Familiar is slain, the Wizard is affected as if by a Feeblemind spell (DC10+ Familiar’s Hit Dice).

A Wizard may only have one Familiar at a time, though they may also have a Fetch as summoned by the 1st-Level Find Familiar spell.

 

NOTE: Yes, a multi-classed Druid/Warlock/Wizard could have an Animal Companion, a Pact of the Chain Familiar, a Fetch, and a Familiar. If they were also a Ranger with the Beast Master Archtype they could also have Ranger’s Companion as well.

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Circle of the Well and the Black Circle

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.

Beastspeech

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.

Baleful Gaze

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.

Unnatural Vitality

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.

Dark Infusion

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.

Dread Presence

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.

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The Old Faith and Ranger Lodges

This was, as with the previous post, the intersessionary email for the Old Faith folks.

So, shortly after you all get back to Seraph Keep, after treasure is divided up, a trio of members of the Old Faith show up. Jezebel is happy to see Ru (short for “Kharukash”) show up, her sponser into both the Ban Draoi and the Rangers. Ru is a half-elven Ranger/Druid/Mage that she knows from her past training, and who generally serves as liaison between the Rangers and the Ban Draoi (the distaff side of the Druidic Orders) – as well as being a member of the Circle, a kind of larger, over-arching organization of rangers, druids, mages, and bards (as well as other classes, but these are the most represented).

Ru takes Jezebel back to Áine, a Druidess whose grove is deep in the mountains, and where she undergoes her initiation into the 1st Circle of the Ban Draoi Order. Imagine lots of dancing naked around fires, sleeping in caves, and meditation under the night sky wrapped in animal skins. Jezebel also spends time under the eye of Ru herself as she gets inducted into Dragonblood Lodge – this involves lots of sweatlodges, running naked in the woods hunting things with your bare hands and teeth, and being painted in woad and blood – possibly some tattoos as well. Now, this isn’t free, each of these costs you in the neighborhood of 1000sp. If you don’t have the money, or don’t have things you can offer up in place of money – so after treasure picks (and yes, you do know that this sort of thing is going to take cash, this isn’t a surprise) we’ll see where you are at. But don’t worry, you’ll get your initiations and inductions no matter what. Ru isn’t going to let a prospect of your potential slip through the cracks.

The other two who show up are the ranger Laighhean and the Caedmon the Druid. Laighhean is a pretty well-respected ranger (he’s like 8th level) and he takes Arvid and Taloth off into the mountains after they get a blessing from Caedmon where they meet up with a handful of other rangers and they get inducted into the Blackmoon Lodge. Similarly to Jezebel, this involves lots of sweatlodges, lots of hunting things with nothing more than your hands and teeth, being painted in woad and blood, possible tattoos, and meditating under the night sky wrapped in animal skins. This is going to cost each of you roughly 1000sp, let me know if you don’t think you’ll have enough cash or trade after the treasure picks. It will get figured out.

This shows the players a bit more about what they can expect from both being members of the Old Faith, but also introduces them to a couple of “movers and shakers” when I say Druid (and Druidess) I’m talking the 12th level ones – the folks that are important. Plus Ru is pretty darn spiffy as well, the Circle is one of those groups that was spawned a million years ago in my game, by a mention of a group of rangers and druids of the same name by Ed Greenwood long before he was ever talking about the Harpers. I think it was in one of his Pages from the Mages articles.

The other part is that as we discussed this all in person, it also “came out” that there had been at least a couple of days spent all together doing said ranger-y things off in some hidden valley where the rangers and the druids hang out. Not sure where exactly that will go, but it’s good to know that I have that in the wings as well if I need it. Plus, Taloth’s new broadsword let’s him Teleport once per day – and he spent some time making a point of memorizing the teleport terrace in the hidden valley. So, if all else fails, he has a spot to bamf out to for safety.

D.

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