5E PEACH: Druid Circle: Coven Witch

fedosu

Garbage Bear
Okay, so this has been stewing in my brain for a while, finally wrote it out this morning. How unreasonably overpowered have I made this subclass. At what would need to change to make it reasonable?

Druid Circle: Coven Witch v1
Coven Spells
2nd-level Coven Witch feature
You learn the vicious mockery cantrip, and the hex and witch bolt spells.
When you reach certain levels in this class, you gain access to the spell listed for that level in the Coven Witch Spells table. Once you gain access to one of these spells, you always have it prepared, and it doesn’t count against the number of spells you can prepare each day. If you gain access to a spell that doesn’t appear on the druid spell list, the spell is nonetheless a druid spell for you.
You can ignore the somatic components (but not the material components) of spells granted by this feature.
Coven Witch Spells
Druid Level
Spells
3rd​
augury, blindness/deafness
5th​
revivify, vampiric touch
7th​
compulsion, polymorph
9th​
danse macabre, hallow
Knowledge of the Coven
2nd-level Coven Witch feature
Choose one skill from: Arcana, Medicine, Nature, or Religion. You gain proficiency in that skill. If you are already proficient in the skill, you add double your proficiency bonus to checks you make with it.
In addition, you can use an arcane focus as a spellcasting focus for your druid spells.
Uncanny Voice
2nd-level Coven Witch feature
While in beast shape, you can speak with your own voice. You can cast spells in any shape you assume using Wild Shape. You can perform the verbal components of a druid spell while in beast shape, but you aren’t able to perform somatic components or provide material components.
Uncanny Forms
6th-level Coven Witch feature
You can now use your Wild Shape to transform into a monstrosity or a plant instead of a beast. You must still abide by the limitations in the Beast Shapes table.
If a shape you transform into uses equipment, you do not gain the benefit of that equipment, but you can substitute similar equipment that you are already wearing or carrying.
  • If the form you transform into wears armour, you use any armour you are wearing instead to calculate your AC.
  • If the form you transform into has weapon attacks that aren’t from a natural weapon (such as bite, claws, hooves or something similar) you can use a weapon you are wielding of the same type (melee or ranged) instead for those attacks.
  • If the form you transform into has a multiattack action including weapon attacks that aren’t natural weapons, you can use a weapon you are wielding of the same type (melee or ranged) instead for those attacks. Any melee weapon used must be one you could use for two-weapon fighting.
For example, a harpy wields and club as a melee weapon attack; if you are wielding a sickle, you can use it for the Club and Multiattack actions (dealing the damage of a sickle). If you are wielding a quarterstaff, you can use it for the Club action, but not for the club attack of Multiattack action.
In addition, you can spend two uses of Wild Shape at the same time to transform into a beast, a monstrosity, or a plant with a challenge rating as high as your druid level divided by 3, rounded down (you ignore the Max. CR column of the Beast Shapes table).
Knowledge of the Ancients
10th-level Coven Witch feature
You can cast any spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag, even if it isn’t a druid spell and you don’t have it prepared.
If it is a druid spell, but you don’t have it prepared, the ritual version of the spell takes 1 hour longer to cast than normal.
If it is not a druid spell, the ritual takes 8 hours longer than normal to cast, and you must be assisted by at least two other creatures, each with the ability to cast at least one spell. You must also spend 200 gp of rare herbs and animal parts for each level of the spell, in addition to any material components required for the spell.
Witch's Sight
14th-level Coven Witch feature
You gain truesight to a range of 30 feet.

Okay, here's a new pass:
  • Removed Uncanny Forms, replaced with the more boilerplate Uncanny Reflexes.
  • Clarified that Uncanny Voice allows you to cast Verbal only spells in beast form.
  • Removed the clause that ignores somatic components of spells granted by coven spells.
  • Traded witch bolt for find familiar, because it's more thematic.
  • Traded danse macabre for immolation, because immolation is verbal only (and it's like produce flame turned up to 11 5.)
  • Clarified the functions of the ritual feature, adjusted the additional costs.
Druid Circle: Coven Witch v2
Coven Spells
2nd-level Coven Witch feature
You learn the vicious mockery cantrip, and the hex and find familiar spells.
When you reach certain levels in this class, you gain access to the spell listed for that level in the Coven Witch Spells table. Once you gain access to one of these spells, you always have it prepared, and it doesn’t count against the number of spells you can prepare each day. If you gain access to a spell that doesn’t appear on the druid spell list, the spell is nonetheless a druid spell for you.
Coven Witch Spells
Druid Level
Spells
3rd​
augury, blindness/deafness
5th​
revivify, vampiric touch
7th​
compulsion, polymorph
9th​
hallow, immolation
Ancient Gifts
2nd-level Coven Witch feature
Choose one skill from: Arcana, Medicine, Nature, or Religion. You gain proficiency in that skill. If you are already proficient in the skill, you add double your proficiency bonus to checks you make with it.
In addition, you can use an arcane focus as a spellcasting focus for your druid spells.
Uncanny Voice
2nd-level Coven Witch feature
While in beast shape, you can speak with your own voice. This allows you cast spells in any shape you assume using Wild Shape. You can perform the verbal components of a druid spell while in beast shape, but you still aren’t able to perform somatic components or provide material components.
Uncanny Reflexes
6th-level Coven Witch feature
While in beast form, if you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you can use your reaction to take only half damage on a failed save, and no damage on a success.
Knowledge of the Coven
10th-level Coven Witch feature
You can cast a druid spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and it is of a level you could prepare, even if you don’t have the spell prepared. If you don’t have a druid spell prepared, the ritual version takes 1 hour longer than normal to cast.
In addition, other spellcasters can aid you in casting rituals. You can cast any spell from any spell list if it has the ritual tag and it is of a level you could prepare.
When you cast a spell as a ritual that is not a druid spell, the ritual takes longer to cast and you must spend additional rare herbs and animal parts depending on the level of the spell, as shown in the Coven Ritual table. You must also be assisted by at least two other creatures, each with the ability to cast at least one spell; higher level spells require more assistants, as shown in the Ritual Assistants column of the Coven Ritual table.
Coven Ritual
Spell Level
Additional Time
Additional Materials
Ritual
Assistants
1st​
+2 hours​
100 gp​
2 others​
2nd​
+4 hours​
250 gp​
2 others​
3rd​
+6 hours​
500 gp​
2 others​
4th​
+8 hours​
750 gp​
3 others​
5th​
+10 hours​
1,000 gp​
3 others​
6th​
+12 hours​
2,000 gp​
4 others​
Witch Sight
14th-level Coven Witch feature
You gain truesight to a range of 30 feet.
 
Last edited:

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
My first impression is it’s too powerful.

This subclass gives extra spells prepared like a Land Druid AND as good if not more varied wild shaping than a Moon Druid plus other benefits like Ritual casting On non-prepared Druid spells and even non-Druid spells, bonus proficiencies.

I assume you’re talking about those non-Druid spells on the Coven list only which have the ritual tag for this feature right?

It’s all a lot of good things happening at each feature level so it seems too much.

It is definitely more powerful than a Land Druid, hands down. Probably a Moon Druid in some ways too, theough they’re effectively immortal.

Thematically I like the Vicious mockery and Hex. Not sure why witchbolt other than it has “witch” in the name?

I’d give Find Familiar instead of witchbolt for theme reasons, witches always have familiars!
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Do people still know what PEACH means around here? It's not that common a term anymore. So if anyone is curious, it means "Please Evaluate And Criticize Honestly"
Was that a general statement or directed at my response.

I thought I was pretty honest!

EDIT: I do know what PEACH stands for, but thanks for posting it up.
 

Mistwell

Hero
Was that a general statement or directed at my response.

I thought I was pretty honest!

EDIT: I do know what PEACH stands for, but thanks for posting it up.
Oh no, sorry, had nothing to do with your post! Just figured some people who came to D&D with 5e might not know what it meant.
 

fedosu

Garbage Bear
Yea, as I was writing this I knew it was too much. But I figured just post and adjust from there.

Yes, witch bolt is there literally only because it has "Witch" in the name. Find familiar is definitely better, I'm changing that.
I realize I'm pulling in a few different directions with this subclass, perhaps It would be better served splitting out uncanny forms into a separate bodyhorror druid that like the circle of the moon but with monstrosities and abberations. Circle of the Fallen Stars?
I have to go to work now, but I'll continue thinking.
 

fedosu

Garbage Bear
Also, the concept for Knowledge of the Ancients is that is any ritual, from any spell list, as long as you're high enough level. Get together a coven and there is no limit to your power!
Like I said, I know this is too much in this form.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Also, the concept for Knowledge of the Ancients is that is any ritual, from any spell list, as long as you're high enough level. Get together a coven and there is no limit to your power!
Like I said, I know this is too much in this form.
So, I would probably limit it in some way like a Hag coven is limited. Get three together and they get X list of spells they can also cast. 2 together and you get X list - levels 7-9.

Though, to be fair, there's only something like 35 ritual spells in the whole game right now and only 8 of them are 5th level or higher (6th being the highest). So maybe this isn't TOO powerful for a 14th level ability... hmm.

Of those 37, 13 are already on the Druid's spell list... so it's really only 24 spells you're talking about access too and since they're ritual spells they're not TOO powerful.

Probably Commune, Contact Other Plane, Forbiddance, Telepathic Bond or Divination are the more powerful of the high-level rituals available not normally available to a druid already and 3/5 of those are divination so not too powerful either.

Maybe they can take Hag form with their wild shape. if they have formed a coven? That could be fun. I'd have to look at Hag abilities to see if it would be too over the top still though.
 
There are issues around how you want to define a witch, the term being nebulous and potentially loaded, and why you think "witch" is a good fit as a druid subclass. Since it seems you're looking for mechanical feedback, I've left those issues aside, but they are worth considering.

I'll also note that calling it "Coven Witch" set me up for an expectation of some kind of cooperative casting ability, but there's nothing like that in the subclass. There's a mismatch there.

Uncanny Voice
2nd-level Coven Witch feature
While in beast shape, you can speak with your own voice. You can cast spells in any shape you assume using Wild Shape. You can perform the verbal components of a druid spell while in beast shape, but you aren’t able to perform somatic components or provide material components.
This one steps on the toes of the druid's 18th level Beast Spells, which states:

Beginning at 18th level, you can cast many of your druid spells in any shape you assume using Wild Shape. You can perform the somatic and verbal components of a druid spell while in a beast shape, but you aren’t able to provide material components.

Try explaining to a player that yes, you can talk as a squirrel, but no that talking in squirrel form does not constitute a verbal component for spellcasting because...uh...your cheeks are full of acorns. I just don't see that being a productive debate to provoke/encourage at the table.

Uncanny Forms
6th-level Coven Witch feature
You can now use your Wild Shape to transform into a monstrosity or a plant instead of a beast. You must still abide by the limitations in the Beast Shapes table.
If a shape you transform into uses equipment, you do not gain the benefit of that equipment, but you can substitute similar equipment that you are already wearing or carrying.
  • If the form you transform into wears armour, you use any armour you are wearing instead to calculate your AC.
  • If the form you transform into has weapon attacks that aren’t from a natural weapon (such as bite, claws, hooves or something similar) you can use a weapon you are wielding of the same type (melee or ranged) instead for those attacks.
  • If the form you transform into has a multiattack action including weapon attacks that aren’t natural weapons, you can use a weapon you are wielding of the same type (melee or ranged) instead for those attacks. Any melee weapon used must be one you could use for two-weapon fighting.
For example, a harpy wields and club as a melee weapon attack; if you are wielding a sickle, you can use it for the Club and Multiattack actions (dealing the damage of a sickle). If you are wielding a quarterstaff, you can use it for the Club action, but not for the club attack of Multiattack action.
In addition, you can spend two uses of Wild Shape at the same time to transform into a beast, a monstrosity, or a plant with a challenge rating as high as your druid level divided by 3, rounded down (you ignore the Max. CR column of the Beast Shapes table).
You'll want to be super careful here. I suspect letting the druid wildshape into plants would be plenty powerful on its own – given that plants often have condition immunities, poison immunity, false appearance, and/or blindsight! Those are some potent abilities! And on top of it, you're letting the druid speak as a plant! And you're breaking the CR limits of druid's wildshape, putting this druidic circle on equal footing to the Circle of the Moon (whose whole schtick is wildshaping)! I think the CR bump is unnecessary – there are plenty of low CR plant monsters.

As for monstrosities...I just wouldn't go there because there is way too much variability in the abilities, resistances, and immunities of monstrosities to be able to properly analyze. I mean, you could turn into a cockatrice at 6th level and start petrifying foes, when a wizard has to wait until 11th level for flesh to stone? How could that be balanced in any way, shape, or form?
 

fedosu

Garbage Bear
Added a version 2 to original post.
  • Removed Uncanny Forms, replaced with the more boilerplate Uncanny Reflexes.
  • Clarified that Uncanny Voice allows you to cast Verbal only spells in beast form.
  • Removed the clause that ignores somatic components of spells granted by coven spells.
  • Traded witch bolt for find familiar, because it's more thematic.
  • Traded danse macabre for immolation, because immolation is verbal only (and it's like produce flame turned up to 11 5.)
  • Clarified the functions of the ritual feature, adjusted the additional costs.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Looks much tighter.

I'd say see if you can playtest it and let us know how it goes in actual gameplay!

If you're the DM, tell us if it was a TPK or an easy combat for the PC's of appropriate level and we'll go from there :)
 

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