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Playtest (A5E) Level Up Playtest Document #4: Druid

Welcome to the fourth Level Up playtest document. This playtest contains a candidate for the first 10 levels of game’s druid class.

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Are you ready to level up your 5E game? Welcome to Level Up, the standalone 'advanced 5E' backwards compatible tabletop RPG coming in 2021!

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

NotAYakk

Legend
I wonder if it could even be THPs of d4 x Druid Level, with no max. The creature often has higher HP than the druid and it seems a little unfair that the druid-wolf or druid-tiger is the scrawny one in the litter. With a5e having less transforms (but lasting longer), that shouldn't be OP.
I'd even argue "temp HP equal to half of the HP of the creature" if you want to go the temp HP route and drop the 5e "two HP pools" route.

XP is basically offence times defence.

High damage creatures at a given CR can have lower HP, and vice versa. By using the offence of a monster, but ignoring its defence, you end up with something a bit off.
 

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It would be a mistake to have a shared knacks chapter because then it means top shelf quality knacks need to be more limited to account for the fact that any cladss can get them rather than the class(es) they were designed for & you take them from a few cool options for your class to one or two must take options for everyone but this or that unlucky class..

I didn't explain my self well. What I mean is, think like spells now. All spells share the same chapter, but most spells are only available to a few of the spellcasting classes. Stick all the knacks in one chapter. Something like Burst of Strength (from the Fighter playtest) might be available to Fighters and Barbarians, and Mountaineer might be available to Fighters, Druids, Rangers, and Rogues. We've already seen that there's a bit of overlap just with the three classes we already god; I imagine that there will be more among the spellcasters.
 

DeviousQuail

Explorer
I didn't explain my self well. What I mean is, think like spells now. All spells share the same chapter, but most spells are only available to a few of the spellcasting classes. Stick all the knacks in one chapter. Something like Burst of Strength (from the Fighter playtest) might be available to Fighters and Barbarians, and Mountaineer might be available to Fighters, Druids, Rangers, and Rogues. We've already seen that there's a bit of overlap just with the three classes we already god; I imagine that there will be more among the spellcasters.
I'm okay if they want to stay the course during these initial playtests but I like the idea of paring down the list of knacks and assigning them to multiple classes. This makes more sense when combined with each class also getting specific features like Untamed Demeanor, Druidic Lore, and Serenity or Ferocity.
 

EzekielRaiden

Adventurer
I'm okay if they want to stay the course during these initial playtests but I like the idea of paring down the list of knacks and assigning them to multiple classes. This makes more sense when combined with each class also getting specific features like Untamed Demeanor, Druidic Lore, and Serenity or Ferocity.
The main concerns will be the same as they always are with this: universal options require universal design, and mass chapter-flipping to put your character together. Obviously the first is the greater concern, but the second shouldn't be discounted. Cutting down on page-flipping is a good thing at the table. 5e gave up 4e's all-in-one stat blocks, and while this wasn't a huge sticking point, it was definitely a criticism I saw frequently at launch that...never really got an answer. Replicating that choice further without a specific reason seems unwise.

As for the "universal design" thing: while it is nice in an abstract, conceptual, symmetry-focused way to have such universal "pools" from which everything else draws, in practice it really can be a problem. That ship has already long since sailed with spells, but consider subclasses. If 5e's designers had to make every subclass compatible with every class, well, firstly we'd have a hell of a lot fewer subclasses, but more importantly those subclasses would have to be much blander and more self-contained. They couldn't do special things with class-specific resources, actions, or features, because odds are pretty good that those features won't be present, even if the subclass is intended for one specific class or set of classes (e.g. a divine-focused "generic subclass" couldn't presume the existence of Channel Divinity, and would thus either have to have its own CD features, or forego any benefits related to that feature).

Reductionism and "one-stop shopping" organization are popular ideas with often-ignored downsides on both design and play-experience levels. If the breadth/reuse of the knacks is sufficiently high, and if there's not much need for class-specific knacks, then collecting them together and condensing them down may be worth it. We shouldn't presume that these conditions will be met--it's worth thinking about, keeping an eye out for as it were. But I find that an awful lot of "pop design" (for lack of a better term) has incentives that are much more driven by an aesthetic desire for structural symmetry, consequences be damned, and am thus skeptical that these conditions will be met.
 

Alright our first spellcaster! This one is interesting, for the rogue and fighter you could argue that they were operating in roughly the same design space as their standard counterparts. With this druid, its really a shift away from spellcasting towards more wild shape use.

It can be a bit hard to read the class and understand the wildshape differences at first, so here is a little comparison to help people understand.

Wildshape Comparison
Attribute5eLevelup
Uses2 / short restProficiency Modifier / long rest
Duration½ Druid LevelDruid Level
Wildshape Forms KnownUnlimitedLimited
CR of Forms¼ at 2, ½ at 4, 1 at 8½ at 2, 1 at 4, 2 at 8*
Fly/Swim FormsSwim at 4th, Fly at 8thSwim and Fly at 5th
HPWildshape HP
(at 0, lose form and return to normal HP)
Normal + 1d4 x CR
(at 0, lose form and fall unconscious)
SpellcastingNone in Wild ShapeSelf, Touch spells that don’t deal damage or negative conditions.##
Legendary/Lair Actions***Can’t use in Wild ShapeCan use
AC ImprovementNoneAC =12 + ¼ druid level, unless form has better AC
EquipmentMerge, drop on ground, or remain wornMerge only
LanguageBeast’s LanguageYour languages**
*The document text and table are inconsistent here. The text says ¼ at 2nd, while the chart shows 1/2.

**It is unclear whether the inclusion of language in the wild shape description is more for flavor, for clarity (aka you understand people around you), or if it is an intentional benefit of the levelup Druid (you can speak in your normal languages while in wild shape).

*** I don't actually know if this ever comes up, but since the vanilla Druid makes a specific note about it and levelup does not, I noted it for completeness.

##While the document does not specifically say how spell casting components work in wildshape, a designer has clarified that there are notes in future documents to explain this. Therefore for now the assumption is that a druid would be able to cast spells with components while in wild shape.

It would be extremely useful if in the playtest pdf it will be inserted a table like that to summarize and quickly analyze the difference between standard baseline and enhanced rules.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
That
No the knacks feel really bad, take this easy example
Rogue climb related knack gives expertise on all athletics checks & a climb speed
View attachment 127568
Fighter climb related knack gives a climb speed, the option to spend exertion to reroll athletics when climbing, and you ignore nonmagical difficult terrain.
View attachment 127569
druid climb related knack gives a climb speed and an expertise die on athletics checks specifically limited to climbing(perhaps if you were using athletics rather than your climb speed to climb?) in comparison to the rogue's unrestrained athletics check expertise die, then it tops it all off with being "acclimated" to a situation likely to almost never come up in any game ever.
View attachment 127570

The others don't really feel like they hold a candle to their rogue/fighter counterpartsare generally feeling lacking. Compare te rogue's observer giving an expertise die on all perception checks & a +3 passive perception
View attachment 127571
to the druid's aerial surveyor also giving one expertise die to perception but limiting it to perception checks made from great heights or while flying without the passive perception bump making it worse in an extra way.
View attachment 127572


Eldritch survivor might actually be good depending on what the skills changes look like, but lets be honest & admit that some of that should be stuff nature should probably do by default from a druid given all the fluff & restrictions elsewhere trying to reinforce the fact that the druid is designed to interact with those things & stop the bad ones.
View attachment 127573

The expertise dice are a dramatic improvement over double proficiency
That is a great point.

Knacks that are attached to fluff (like the druids ones) don't have to be weaker than ones that aren't (rogue ones), but in this pass they are.

I'm not certain that expertise dice are such a dramatic improvement; they are more effort at the table for possibly less result. They are more granular. Remember, there is an alt rule in core 5e that replaces proficiency with proficiency dice, and people don't like it in play.

The druid class & knacks don't have that kind of "this is my skill niche & I will use it in ways you can't just from your background proficiency." You could blame some of that on the fact that druid skills are largely bottom of the barrel while rogue skills tend to be top shelf ones among skills, but doing that raises the question of why the addons that go with the expertise die on $skill knacks are so limited & so bad rather than stronger to make up for the bottom rack skills in other ways.
Maybe we need to hang the Knacks on something more than just skills.

What if druid knacks hung off their wildshape? Ie, each knack gives them a wildshape ability and a skill use.

Learning to fly in wildshape would be tied to, say, a perception expertise die.

Except maybe there will be 5 ways to learn to fly in wildshape (tied to specific animals even?), so you have more than one exploration choice.
 
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tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
That

That is a great point.

Knacks that are attached to fluff (like the druids ones) don't have to be weaker than ones that aren't (rogue ones), but in this pass they are.

I'm not certain that expertise dice are such a dramatic improvement; they are more effort at the table for possibly less result. They are more granular. Remember, there is an alt rule in core 5e that replaces proficiency with proficiency dice, and people don't like it in play.
I was using Proficiency dice & hero points in a couple campaigns from dmg263/264 prior to covid so have experience with something similar. Yes it took a session or two for players to get used to, but it did a few things that work great. One thing is that any given die roll has a roguhly 50/50 chance of being above/below average cutting the sting of rolling lower than average on one. The second is that it bumps the curve without destroying it... Everyone's seen games where someone with expertise doesn't even need to bother rolling to passively succeed or that rogue/bard becomes the only one capable of making it even if it's something like a campaign important knowledge skill that the wizard/cleric should dominate in... the expertise die stops those. The third thing it allows is magic items that tighten the curve without further expanding it by raising the floor on the expertise die so 1 or 2=2 then later you might improve to 1/2/3=3 with a new one.
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Maybe we need to hang the Knacks on something more than just skills.

What if druid knacks hung off their wildshape? Ie, each knack gives them a wildshape ability and a skill use.

Learning to fly in wildshape would be tied to, say, a perception expertise die.
Linking knacks to stuff like that could be cool & isn't bad but wildshape has two problems to be aware of. One is that they already get fly capable wildshapes at 5th or whatever so if it simply removed that & tied it to wildshape without further improving things it's literally making them weaker unless they spend a choice to be weaker elsewhere in lost opportunity cost in order to maintain the same strength there. The other is that they are limited to flying creatures & short of quezticotal(?) there are very few worthwhile flying creatures a druid is capable of wildshaping into. Even if it was some super owlbear/pegasus/etc hybrid thing that literally gave them a hypothetical fly&hover peed with perfect maneuverability equal to walk speed it's still of dubious use because there are no forms they can wildshape into with ranged attacks & all the cool/powerful "I can fly so $cheeze" stuff is sealed to them when in wildshape.

Sadly all of the needless restrictions plastered over druid have consequences in places that should be in their favor. When a GM looks at those & reads someything like
1603040495463.png

1603040927589.png

1603040545495.png

1603040558201.png

1603040570228.png
The two tend to collide & result in pushing the gm to think "I need to be careful here so I don't break my game" & reflexively lean towards always saying no even when things are meant to be written towards permissiveness.
 
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The main concerns will be the same as they always are with this: universal options require universal design, and mass chapter-flipping to put your character together. [...] Reductionism and "one-stop shopping" organization are popular ideas with often-ignored downsides on both design and play-experience levels. If the breadth/reuse of the knacks is sufficiently high,

Well, as Tetrasodium pointed out, there's already three knacks involving climbing, and that are quite similar, although not identical. Let me look at the knacks we've been given so far (and knowing nothing of what's going to be in the next nine playtest packets) (spoilered for length):

Fighter Knacks

Amphibious Combatant: Swim speed, spend 1 exertion to reroll a failed Athletics check, and can add proficiency bonus bonus to the number of minutes you can hold your breath, can spend 1 exertion to add +1 minute.

I think this could be given to rangers as well.

Burst of Strength: Can add Prof bonus to your Strength check 1/rest.

I think this could be given to barbarians as well.

Campaigner: Adds prof bonus to Strength to determine carrying capacity and the number of hours you can force-march.

This feels very soldier-y. I suppose you could also give it to barbarians (because they're so mighty), but it would be fine as fighter-only.

Extreme Leap: When you Dash, your jump distance is double; can spend 1 exertion to triple it.

I think this could be given to barbarians and rangers as well.

Mountaineer: Climb speed, sped 1 exertion to reroll a failed Athletics check, moving through nonmagical difficult terrain doesn't cost extra movement.

As Tetrasodium pointed out, each of the three classes has their own climbing knack, and at the very least, rangers and barbarians are likely to have one as well. When I get to the other class' climbing knacks, I'll do a compare/contrast. Also, we have no idea if the other warrior classes are going to get exertion dice or not. I would think that barbarians and paladins, both never-say-die classes, should (can't say if rangers and monks would), which means that if either of them a climbing knack--and the barbarian should--would they need one different than this?

And here's a thing about this particular iteration of this knack: while I realize that the LU team were likely thinking nonmagical difficult terrain = scree and other mountainous debris, in D&D, this would also include very thick undergrowth (like briar patches) and knee-deep pools of water--which "mountaineer" shouldn't cover.

Perhaps knacks could have various options here:

Climber (Druid, Fighter, Rogue only): Climb speed, you can reroll a failed Athletics check 1/rest. If you are a Druid, nonmagical terrain consisting of plants or water doesn't cost you extra movement. If you are a Fighter, nonmagical terrain consisting of unworked earth and stone doesn't cost you extra movement. If you are a Rogue, nonmagical terrain consisting of worked materials (such as loose roof tiles or a shifting gravel pathway) doesn't cost you extra movement. (And then you could add abilities for the other classes that get this knack: barbarians and fighters might share the extra ability while druids and rangers share the other.)

As it is, if I'm a rogue, and I take their climbing knack, and I multiclass to fighter, there's almost no reason to take their climbing knack. This way, multiclassing opens up a new option to me.

Nightwatch: Add your prof bonus to the number of hours you can spend in light activity instead of resting.

Like campaigner, this one also feels very soldier-y, so it could remain Fighter-only.

Rogue

Agile Athlete: Climb speed, expertise die on Athletics.

This rogue climbing knack is fairly low-flavored compared to the fighter or druid knacks, or to my combo-knack above.

Boobytrapper: Expertise die with Sleight of Hand, can use SoH to conceal Tiny traps.

Clearly a rogue-only trap.

Delay Trap: Expertise die with Thieves' tools, have Spidey Sense that detects mechanical traps just in time for you to duck.

If it weren't for the expertise die, this could also be used by rangers (who could use it to avoid pit traps, those loop snares, bear traps, etc.).

Expertise Training: Expertise die with specific skills/tools.

This could be used by bards.

Extra Skill Training: Extra proficiency with specific skills/tools.

This could also be used by bards.

Hide in Shadows: Expertise die on Stealth, can hide in dim light.

While there are a few archetypes that could use this (shadow monks, e.g.), this is pretty clearly a rogue knack.

Observer: Expertise die on Perception, increase passive Per by 3.

This could be used by bards, but could also work as purely a rogue knack.

Scout Leader: Expertise die on Stealth; when Stealthing with party, you can apply your roll to one other person as well; can travel stealthily at a normal pace.

This is another one that could be used by rangers.

Sense for Secrets: Expertise die on Investigation, can find hidden things after 1 minute of observation.

As with Observer, this could work as a rogue-only, or could be given to bards.

Tuck and Roll: Expertise die on Acrobatics, can reduce falling damage my amount rolled on Acrobatics check.

This could be one given to monks, to replace their weird ability to withstand falling damage.

Druids

Mountain Climber: Climb speed, expertise die on Athletics, acclimated to high altitudes.

The druids have that extra acclimation ability--but there's really no reason that other climbers can't get that sort of bonus, honestly.

I'm not going to list all of the other druid knacks, because depending on your point of view, they're clearly all druid-only, or can also be used by rangers.

So anyway, as you can see, while there are plenty of knacks that (IMO) can be shared by two or more classes, there are also plenty that are single-class only. I don't think you have to fear that shared knacks would lose flavor or versatility.

Yes, knacks shouldn't be generic. But you also have to worry about having multiple knack that do one primary thing, but one having a secondary ability that is objectively better or worse than the other, or having no secondary ability when the other knack has one.
 

I'm not certain that expertise dice are such a dramatic improvement; they are more effort at the table for possibly less result. They are more granular. Remember, there is an alt rule in core 5e that replaces proficiency with proficiency dice, and people don't like it in play.

I'm in an Eberron game, and there's one dragonmarked character who gets that extra d4 to a skill based on his House. In this particular case, he has zero problem rolling that extra die. Of course, that's in addition to regular expertise, not instead of it.

It could just be that the proficiency die was New And Scary, which is why people didn't like it.
 

rules.mechanic

Craft homebrewer
I think there's a lot to like about the A5E druid, esp Untamed Demeanor, Druidic Lore and Ferocity/Serenity, and I really like the concept behind the changes to Wild Shape and of the Exploration Knacks. It's maybe a little rougher round the edges than the other playtest releases, so hopefully open to some re-adjustments, and will need to be careful how each Circle fits. But what's got me really intrigued is this:

"You still retain the benefit of any features
from your class, destiny, or culture and can
use them if your wild shape is physically
capable of doing so."

What's a destiny? I don't think we've seen it before and it doesn't appear again, have I missed something? Are we in for some goodies after 10th level?
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I think there's a lot to like about the A5E druid, esp Untamed Demeanor, Druidic Lore and Ferocity/Serenity, and I really like the concept behind the changes to Wild Shape and of the Exploration Knacks. It's maybe a little rougher round the edges than the other playtest releases, so hopefully open to some re-adjustments, and will need to be careful how each Circle fits. But what's got me really intrigued is this:

"You still retain the benefit of any features
from your class, destiny, or culture and can
use them if your wild shape is physically
capable of doing so."

What's a destiny? I don't think we've seen it before and it doesn't appear again, have I missed something? Are we in for some goodies after 10th level?
I was wondering if anybody would notice that!
 


NotAYakk

Legend
Linking knacks to stuff like that could be cool & isn't bad but wildshape has two problems to be aware of. One is that they already get fly capable wildshapes at 5th or whatever so if it simply removed that & tied it to wildshape without further improving things it's literally making them weaker unless they spend a choice to be weaker elsewhere in lost opportunity cost in order to maintain the same strength there.
Yes, you wouldn't get "fly capable wildeshapes" by default if you tied knacks to wildeshapes or wildeshape capabilities.

---

As people have mentioned, the ability to pick any beast in the MM is a logistical headache.

Having a menu of known forms that grows with level is a minor limitation, but one that removes a headache.

I am arguing that we could tie exploration knacks to each form. So you both learn "raven" form, and you get a raven-related exploration knack, as one package.

Each form could have a minimum level (for CR purposes).

The moon druid would get both more forms, and higher-CR "combat" forms, at a given level. Those extra knacks would provide non-combat utility for the moon druid.
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
Yes, you wouldn't get "fly capable wildeshapes" by default if you tied knacks to wildeshapes or wildeshape capabilities.

---

As people have mentioned, the ability to pick any beast in the MM is a logistical headache.

Having a menu of known forms that grows with level is a minor limitation, but one that removes a headache.

I am arguing that we could tie exploration knacks to each form. So you both learn "raven" form, and you get a raven-related exploration knack, as one package.

Each form could have a minimum level (for CR purposes).

The moon druid would get both more forms, and higher-CR "combat" forms, at a given level. Those extra knacks would provide non-combat utility for the moon druid.
there are a few things wrong with that statement. I've seen people say their experience, mine included was that the headache you claim doesn't exist. Many enjoy the flexibility & don't find the "problem" you note to be a problem worth fixing any more than reducing spell choice for casters to simplify the wizard experience is something worth the effort to consider.

The idea of linking exploration knacks to an even more limited wildshape is absurd because other classes aren't giving up things from the core class to make a space for their knacks to simply exist. The druid knacks are decidedly weaksauce due to fluff supported mechanical restrictions that in some case are on top of an ability already poor in other ways as many commented on. Wildshape forms already have a min cr for both moon & non-moon druids based on a fraction of the druid level & weakening wildshape by taking away from it in order to give options to claw back some with knacks seems like an especially bad idea given how many comments mention how weak the druid seems absent other stuff that might be important but not yet ready.
 


tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
I now that it's been mentioned a few time that wildshape gies from recoverng uses n a long or short rest to recovering on a long rest. I feel like this has the potential for broader implications we can't judge yet.
  • in stock 5e there are a few classes & multiclass combos that can o things like nova >nova>rest forcing the gm to invoke constant excuses, invisible walls, & doom clocks while things like the environmental hazards in ToA that restrict rests only apply to long rests to further skew the power towards short rest classes & away from long rest classes. This shift could be one of a couple things.
    • A:There is a deliberate effort to move away from that by linking the bulk of everyone's power to long rests.
      • In the case of A that can be compared to the fighter & rogue recovering exertion points for maneuvers on long & short rests but amid the obvious nerf in how hp in wildshape is changed & how "you can cast spells now but not these" limits the casting to almost nothing of value. Absent the spellcasting & equipment changes this certainly does not seem to be for the purpose of A because the possible scouting/possible transportation features added to wildshape during an average campaign are of fairly low value for a non-moon druid at best & the moon druid could already do that stuff. If these changes are intended to offset power gained through new equipment/spell changes we can't even guess if the results are reasonable, too much, targeting the wrong areas, or something else at this point.
    • B:This is a mistake
      • Mistakes happen, what's important is what comes next.
    • C:This is a deliberate nerf to correct some perceived imbalance.
      • Given the large number of new things like a narrowly restricted expertise die, generally lacking feel of knacks when compared to fighter/rogue knacks, nerf to wildshape hp handling & forms known, & limitation of what spells are currently castable in wildshape with the new "you can cast but not these" added to wildshape it's reasonable to worry that C is absolutely the goal. Since wildshape can't be used to nova even by a moon druid that takes a point away from A.

Whatever the case the fact that C is even plausible is extremely problematic for this version of druid.
 

  • C:This is a deliberate nerf to correct some perceived imbalance.
    • Given the large number of new things like a narrowly restricted expertise die, generally lacking feel of knacks when compared to fighter/rogue knacks, nerf to wildshape hp handling & forms known, & limitation of what spells are currently castable in wildshape with the new "you can cast but not these" added to wildshape it's reasonable to worry that C is absolutely the goal. Since wildshape can't be used to nova even by a moon druid that takes a point away from A.

Whatever the case the fact that C is even plausible is extremely problematic for this version of druid.

Standard druids can't cast any spells in Wildshape until 20th level, so the fact that LU allows for even minimal spellcasting is a hit. However, th e spells that LU is allowing for wildshaped druids is rather odd. I can see why we probably don't want a wolf casting call lightning, though, but I feel like there should be a medium. Personally, I'd be fine with limiting it to self or touch spells and ignoring the restriction on inflicting damage or conditions.

I agree with you on the change from short rest to long. However, LU druids have a feature (Embraced Serenity) where you can exchange Wild Shapes for spell slots, which may be why they did that (instead of just to nerf the class). Personally, I don't like that ability--just give all druid's Natural Recovery, if you want them to be able to recover slots--and return Wildshapes to 2/short rest.
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
Standard druids can't cast any spells in Wildshape until 20th level, so the fact that LU allows for even minimal spellcasting is a hit. However, th e spells that LU is allowing for wildshaped druids is rather odd. I can see why we probably don't want a wolf casting call lightning, though, but I feel like there should be a medium. Personally, I'd be fine with limiting it to self or touch spells and ignoring the restriction on inflicting damage or conditions.

Don't get me wrong, it's unquestionably an improvement that looks great at first glance but look at the spells it actually allows them to cast & things change fast. It lets them cast spells limited to "spells with a range of Self or Touch, and you can’t cast spells that deal damage or inflict conditions."
  • Cantrips
    • Guidance
    • Magic stone: Granted you can't use them but you can be a bird on your bud's shoulder providing them magic stones?
    • Mending
    • Resistance
    • You could make an argument that you could cast shillelagh on a friend like magic stone since technically the spell s enhancing their weapon not dealing damage. But that' a massive stretch because it does "deal damage" remotely
  • 1st level spells
    • Absorb Elements
    • Cure Wounds
    • Goodberry
    • Jump
    • Longstrider
    • Speak with animals
  • 2nd level spells
    • Barkskin
    • Beast Sense
    • Darkvision
    • Enhance Ability
    • Gust of Wind
    • Lesser restoration
    • Locate animals & plants
    • Locate object
    • Pass without trace
    • Protection from Poison
  • 3rd level spells
    • Feign Death
    • Meld into stone
    • Protection from energy
    • Speak with plants
  • 4th level spells
    • Freedom of movement
    • Locate Creature
    • Stoneshape
    • Stoneskin
  • 5th level spells
    • Awaken
    • Commune with nature
    • Greater restoration
    • Reincarnate
    • scrying
    • Tree stride
  • 6th level spells
    • Find the path
    • Druid Grove
  • 7th level spells
    • Planeshift
    • Regenerate
  • 8th level spells
    • NONE
  • 9th level spells
    • Foresight
    • Shapechange
    • True Resurection
The uses for those are minimal at best when paired with even the improved wildshape for land druids. For a moon druid it's not especially different & light years from making up for the massive nerfs wildshape takes elsewhere. Druid is a complex class with different isolated components that combined make up the core of the class. Restrictions intended to prevent the return of CoDzilla must be put in place as a part of a thought out rather than balanced in isolation as if no other component has any restrictions. It doesn't matter that druids in this form can cast some spells simply because almost none of those spells even rise to the level of mattering even slightly enough to be worth taking wildshape to cast & the edge cases where one might need to unexpectedly cast it while in wildshape are extremely slim even if the druid in question has the perfect spell prepared
I agree with you on the change from short rest to long. However, LU druids have a feature (Embraced Serenity) where you can exchange Wild Shapes for spell slots, which may be why they did that (instead of just to nerf the class). Personally, I don't like that ability--just give all druid's Natural Recovery, if you want them to be able to recover slots--and return Wildshapes to 2/short rest.

That's fine & all but that sort of thing should come with careful "let me make sure wildshape is improved elsewhere to make up for this" & the hit point changes alone should have been a flashing light visible from orbit. We don't know what the new spell list, equipment, & so on will eventually look like; but we do know that the current druid without those things makes the likely A:C ratio troubling

edit: The range: self or touch alone filters out a huge number of spells that would otherwise meet the requirements. Those spells might not make it meaningful improvement but at least they might occasionally be useful enough to remember it can be done.
 
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