D&D 5E Looking for a "Nature Wizard" Subclass [+]


Another late entry: Deep Magic 2 from Kobold Press includes styles of magic: spell lists (including KP and SRD spells) gathered around a theme, along with other bits and pieces mostly to help GMs add the flavour of that magic to their campaigns. Access to the spells can be granted to players of any class if it suits the story. One of those is Hedge Magic, which sounds like a good fit for your player and would avoid multiclassing.

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Steeliest of the dragons
Things that make sense for a druid-turned-Wizard, just straight out the gate would include Schools of Conjuration (animal, fae, elementals, and earth-/vegetation-shaping and weather-summoning) or Illusion and/or Enchantment (either a fae/sylvan kind of based magic) make sense. Pulling from Storm Sorcerer or an Elementalist (who deals in all four elements) seem thematic no-brainers.

Or, as I have seen others suggest, there are no shortage of straight-up wizard spells that are completely in line with Druids/"nature-based" spells, all their own...Personally, I'd probably do these in combination with re-skinned/-flavored various "arcane" spells into nature-y iterations (cuz I just like doing that kind of thing).

For a basic, "starter" spellbook "gift/reward"...let's saaaay...5 cantrips, 5 1st level spells. 2 2nd level spells...
"Nature Wizard Spellbook"
Cantrips: Dancing Lights, Fire Bolt, Mending, Prestidigitation, Shocking Grasp
1st lvl: Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic, Featherfall, Fog Cloud, Magic Missile (reskinned to fire unerring missles of various colored energy shaped like leaves)
2nd level: Misty Step, Web

That should be plenty to get the arcane studies ball rolling with a thematic overlap with the druidism (And some general utility).


Limit Break Dancing
We're all now cheering for your player and invested in them finding a solution. Would you let us know if they find something that excites them?
Heh, I didn't know you guys were so invested!

Well, we talked about it off and on, but we didn't get to a conclusion yet. (Every year, our gaming group gets together for a gift exchange and fancy dinner. This was our 12th annual dinner party, and we were pretty distracted.) But here's what I remember of the different ideas I pitched.

When I asked him "what would you change about your character if you could?", I gathered the following info.
  1. The player is not interested in Wild Shape. Like, at all. He hates that class feature, and he's never fully explained why. His druid is 9th level and he's never used Wild Shape, not even once, not even when other players were begging him to do so. He wants this ability to be gone, maybe replace it with something else ("literally anything else," in his own words).
  2. He loves everything else about the druid, though. He said he wants to play a "Shannara" druid: they aren't shapeshifters or animal-summoners, they are cloistered mages and healers that draw their power from the earth itself. He has styled his character after Allanon or Walker Boh, and picked the Circle of Wildfire because the spell selection and abilities were very close to the "druid fire" ability in the Heritage of Shannara trilogy.
  3. As a Circle of Wildfire druid, he already has plenty of fire-based attacks and spells and class features; he doesn't want to add more of them. He said that the biggest reason for taking levels of Wizard was so that he could "finally get some abilities that aren't fire-based." He said he'd like to expand his character in "other directions."
So after having that little chat with him, I slapped my forehead. Why didn't I think of that? The Shannara druids are the perfect analog for a wizardy-druid (or a druidy wizard). I can't believe it never occurred to me. The Druids of Paranor don't wild-shape, they don't live outdoors, and only a single Druid even had an animal companion (Coglin, who traveled with a moor cat named Rumor.)

Then later, after dinner, we were preparing for the Christmas one-shot. I asked him, "So now that you've multiclassed with wizard, what are you hoping to get out of it?" He thought for a minute, then said:
  1. More interesting abilities and class features. The features that his druid will get after 8th level aren't inspiring. He feels like the druid doesn't have anything to offer him going forward.
  2. Fewer concentration spells. He finds the concentration mechanic of 5E to be a little too limiting for his tastes, and all of his favorite 'heavy hitter' druid spells require it.
  3. More combat cantrips. Shillelagh is fine, and Thorn Whip is cool and all, but he wants more options--especially at range.
  4. Arcane Recovery is his favorite class feature of the Wizard class. Nothing is worse than running out of spell slots, he said, and this will give him a little more mileage between long rests.
So anyway, that's where we landed.

And it looks like I need to create an Arcane Tradition that is based heavily on the Druids of Paranor from the Heritage of Shannara series. If anyone has any ideas or notes laying around, I'd love to see 'em.

I also just wanted to say that @EzekielRaiden 's homebrew feature of "Ley Communion" is an ideal fit for my campaign, and I'm going to expand a bit on that. (Leylines are already a thing in my campaign setting--a pretty major part of the world, actually. Without boring you guys with too many details: leylines of magic crisscross the world like cracks in a mirror. And where two or more leylines cross, it creates a focal point that spellcasters can attune to. They're sort of like magic items that you can't carry with you.)


Prince of Dorkness
Another alternative would be to multiclass into a Cleric of the Nature Domain. That would make it an easier transition since I’m sure he already has a high Wisdom.


Limit Break Dancing
Another alternative would be to multiclass into a Cleric of the Nature Domain. That would make it an easier transition since I’m sure he already has a high Wisdom.
Yep, I agree--and I tried to pitch that idea to him first. (Well, technically, I first tried to talk him into taking the Magic Initiate feat, then I offered to rewrite parts of his current Druid class as well. I really don't like multiclassing in 5E, so I try to avoid it as much as I can.)

But no dice. He decided to multiclass with Wizard and his firbolg is now a Druid8/Wizard1. He has a whole other level to go before he has to pick an Arcane Tradition, so that's where we landed.
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Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
It's been a few decades, but besides name, I remember little in common between the Shannara druids and D&D druids outside the name. Could he want to swap entirely to Wizard, perhaps with a Shannara-themed Tradition?

EDIT: Or possibly Warlock with a custom pact, and EB changed to fire damage (and maybe giving it something it exchange for going from a almost-never-resisted damage type to the most common one).

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