If you haven’t already seen the trailer for Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, there’s a scene where the druid Wild Shapes into an owlbear. Take a peek at that if you haven’t already:
Of course, when the first video was released the D&D world was riven with equal parts “That’s cool” and “that’s not a legal creature to beast shape into”. The rules were meant to be built upon. Below is my proposed druid circle to fill that gap. I haven’t had the chance to playtest it, but I’ve run it past a bunch of my players, and it seems pretty solid.
The movie is intended to be a romp, and it looks like the druid is played pretty lightly. I designed this circle to have some legs for roleplaying more seriously if that is what the player wants. Druids in the circle learn to use their Wild Shape to turn in to aberrations and monstrosities. They do this as a way of protecting the natural world. They sacrifice their wellbeing, corrupting their bodies for the greater good. You can play it super grimdark and arch if you want. Or, you can just have fun with it. The D&D: Honor Among Thieves Druid doesn’t have a price to pay for their power. This one does Here it is:
Circle of Purification (D&D: Honor Among Thieves Druid, mostly…)
Druids of The Circle of Purification scorn unnatural entities such as monstrosities and aberrations. They know that these creatures malign the natural order and are a blemish on the face of the Prime Material Plane. They understand that not all of these being are destructive through their own intention. Some monstrosities are the creations of wizards tampering with the natural order. Some aberrations are lost souls from other planes of existence.
Druids of the circle seek to know their enemies as intimately as they possible can: by becoming them. They turn the power of these creatures back upon themselves, and upon those who would burden nature with their foul magics.
Defensive Wild Shape
When you choose this circle at second level, you gain the ability to use wild shape as a reaction. This reaction is triggered by taking damage from any source. After transforming, you may make a single weapon attack.
The rites of your circle grant you the ability to transform into monstrosities. Starting at 2nd Level, you can use your wild shape to transform into a monstrosity with a Challenge Rating as high as 1 (you ignore the Max. CR column of the Beast Shapes table, but must abide by the other limitation there).
When transforming into a monstrosity or aberration, you must make a Wisdom saving throw with a DC of 10 + the CR of the creature you are transforming into. On failed save, you are out of control. You are unable to revert to your normal form unless you fall unconscious, drop to 0 hit points, or die. At the start of your turn, you must use your movement to approach the nearest creature, and use your action to attack. At the end of each of your turns, you can make another Wisdom saving throw. On a success, you regain control and can act and move normally. You can willingly fail this save.
Starting at 6th level, you can transform into a monstrosity or aberration with a Challenge Rating as high as your druid level divided by 3, rounded down.
Starting at level 10, when you are Out of Control, you gain the following benefits:
- You gain a +2 bonus to AC
- You gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls
- You roll 1 additional weapon damage die in extra damage
Starting at 6th level, when you revert to your normal form, you release the corruption caused by your transgression of the natural order into the world around you. Each creature in a 5 foot sphere origination from you take Xd6 of psychic damage where X equals the CR of the monstrosity or aberration you reverted from, and must make a Wisdom saving throw with a DC equal to your Spell Save DC. On a failed save, the creature is stunned until the end of your next turn.
Stare Into Darkness
At 10th level, you gain the ability to see your enemies beyond the edges of the Prime Material Plane. During a long rest, you may scry a monstrosity or aberration on any plane of existence. You may choose a particular target that you have, at least, second-hand knowledge of (e.g. you have read about it, or had it described to you), or the DM may select the creature. You can see and hear the creature sufficiently to allow you to transform into it if it meets the CR requirements for Wild Shape. If the creature is on the same plane of existence as you, you know its location for the next 24 hours. At the end of the long rest you take one level of exhaustion.
At 14th level you have either mastered the corruption or succumbed to it. Whenever you make a Wisdom saving throw, you can treat a d20 roll of 9 or lower as a 10.
This druid can do what the D&D: Honor Among Thieves druid can do, and a little bit more. You can play it madcap and careless if you want, or you can go for the drama of this tortured soul.
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