Whatever Your Problem, The Druid Can Fix It
But despite being inspired by the druids of ancient Britain, they share almost nothing in common… no white cloaks or long beards or “henges”.
Except perhaps the most important detail: they draw their power from the elemental forces of nature. If I could sum up the druid character class in one sentence, it would be this: DRUIDS LOVE NATURE.
Players That Read Too Many Animorphs
This reference might date me a bit… but do you remember Animorphs? Those books back in the 90s and 2000s that always had a picture on the cover of the kids turning slowly into an animal?
If not, here are a few examples:
That is the biggest and most distinctive thing the D&D 5e Druid does…they can “wild shape” (ie turn into) animals. Every single Druid class and subclass has this marquee ability.
The circle of the moon druid does this particularly well, not only able to transform as a bonus action but also able to turn into bigger animals.
Now… There are some limitations. You can’t turn into a T- Rex at level one. You can’t pick an animal that can breathe underwater until level four. And you can pick an animal that can fly until level eight. You can only wild shape 2x every short rest.
But… how many bad guys do you think are going to raise the alarm when they see a rat scurrying about the castle floor? How many ruffians and bandits talking in the tavern are going to change the subject when they see a cat purring by a windowsill. The possibilities for a wild shaping druid are limited only by your imagination!
Players that Want to Do EVERYTHING for the Party
The 5e Druid class’s wild shape ability makes them pretty versatile. Some of the animals they turn into confide, others can scout, others are really good at surviving.
But the Druids versatility doesn’t stop there! Druids have one of the most unique spell lists the game. They not only have access to some essential utility and healing spells, but many of their distinct spells are theirs alone: no other major spellcaster can cast them!
And best of all, the druid doesn’t have to spend money on a spell book or pick a tiny number to know forever… druids know ALL their spells. Every long rest their entire spell list is available to them! They just have to choose which spells they want to prepare at the beginning of the day.
They can cast Spike Growth and lockdown a fast enemy attempting to flank their allies
They can cast Lightning Bolt and deal a bunch of damage like a sorcerer.
They can cast Fog Cloud, obscure enemy sight, and allow the party to escape a deadly encounter.
They can cast Identify so you never accidentally attune to a cursed magic item.
The conclusion: a druid can fulfill just about any role in the party with their diverse spells!
Players That Want To Be The “Cool Healer”
Speaking of “any role”... one of the most important ones is that of “healer”. Druid’s know some essential healing spells like Healing Word, but druid healers aren't like judgy, self-righteous clerics or stuffy, know-it-all wizards. They are chill, grounded, salt of the earth people that rely on more than just magic. Druid’s have access to medicine, survival, and nature skills, AND can craft healing potions with an herbalism kit.
In other words… Druids are cool. Having lived in and with nature, they detached from the cares of common folk. They are so-not-mainstream that everything they encounter in the civilized world is new and interesting to them. They are great “fish out of water” characters, allowing some very fun role playing as players pretend ignorance over mundane things.
Speaking of cool… Druids have their own language: druidic! Now it is highly unlikely that many NPC’s in your campaign will speak druidic (except for other druids of course) but it’s still pretty cool for your character to speak a dead language that causes friends and enemy alike to scratch their head in confusion!
Players That Are REALLY in Touch With Nature
Similar to paladins, the awesomeness of the druid class comes with an asterisk… a role playing restriction. Though much smaller than the paladin’s, it does significantly impact armor class: Druids cannot wear or wield anything made of metal.
The idea is that druids value life and the circle of life. They guard and appreciate all living things following their natural course. And since metal is not only an artificial substance, but often requires the burning of wood, it is an affront to the Druidic way of life.
The rest of the druid subclasses elaborate on that “nature honoring” theme in their own specific way. Now, each of them are a little complex (learn more about them here), making them difficult for new players. But with careful reading you’ll be able to master your subclass, making you a force to be reckoned with in your campaign.
Circle of the Moon: Get bigger, better, combat – worthy wild shapes as early as level two. No need for sneaking around, you can turn into a wolf and just bite them in the jugular!
Circle of the Shepherd: You become a Disney princess capable of defending all the animals of the woods. Summon eight velociraptors in battle, each with their own initiative, and win the day (at the cost of your DMs sanity)
Circle of the Land: If a druid and wizard had a baby. This true or emphasizes spellcasting, getting access to more spells in connection with a particular environment in terrain of the choice.
Circle of Dreams: Fey inspired druids wishing to make the world more enchanting. Tired of reality? Higher levels enable you to teleport to and fro.
Circle of Stars: This “astrology druid” draws power from the stars. A well- balanced subclass, with abilities that do ranged damage, heal allies, predict the future, maintain concentration, fly… honestly its a bit OP.
Circle of Spores: This druid is a “fun guy” (lol)... totally obsessed with mushrooms and mold! A complex subclass that stacks poison damage and creates pseudo-undead “zombies” (kinda like in The Last of Us). Has access to Necromancy spells.
Circle of Wildfire: Want to summon, but just summon like one fire thing instead of flocks and packs of things? Want to die and rise again like a Phoenix? Play this class, which feels like an excuse to give the druid tons of fire spells (except fireball…)
If you are one of these 4 types of players, we suggest you give the druid a try in your next Dungeons and Dragons campaign!
Liked this blog, but not sure you wanna hang out in forests?
Check out some of our other posts on the D&D character classes:
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Based out of Spokane, Riley is a freelance copywriter that combines his love of reading, writing, and people into something useful! He is thankful to be applying his passion for imaginative role-playing to help DnD related businesses communicate their value in the best way possible. He's kinda like a bard giving inspiration, except without the annoying pop covers!