D&D (2024) Should moon druids have elemental form?

Moon druids should..

  • be beasts only.

    Votes: 27 57.4%
  • keep the old elemental forms.

    Votes: 5 10.6%
  • Be able to mix elements and beasts

    Votes: 11 23.4%
  • Something else.

    Votes: 6 12.8%


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I think as soon as you have two "wildshape into combat forms" subclasses, then that will be the end of new subclasses that aren't "wildshape into combat forms." It is too easy to make the next one, and I doubt the rangers will complain if 3/4th of new primal spells for the next decade are "not smite because they are primal, but otherwise are smite spells". Now, as a fan of the 4e Warden, I would be good with that, but I think that is the kind of thing people need to go into with open eyes.
 


FitzTheRuke

Legend
I mostly agree with this, but I consider Circle of the Sun a better name than Circle of the Forest for a plant based Druid.
Nice! I like it. I couldn't come up with one on the spot, and I hadn't given it much thought ahead of posting. You've got it. I like how it's an indirect reference, just like Moon is. Mine was far too on-the-nose. Elemental might be better as Circle of the Storm (though I guess that's used as a domain.) But something that's perhaps more weather-related rather than Earth-Air-Fire-Water. More Mud-Wind-Brushfire-Rain.
 
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DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I just said in my survey that I didn't think "elemental" beasts and attacks was the right way to make Moon druids more powerful. I'm fine with 2014E's decision to let druids wildshape into elementals separately at higher levels if they chose to, but it shouldn't be the default and only choice of power upgrade for Moon druids.

I also said in my survey that I thought that if they were really wanted to go with their three primary druidic foci that they gave through Channel Nature-- wildshaper, healer, and animal companion owner-- then what they really should do is rather than give them all three, that they let all base druids choose TWO of the three (one at 1st level, one at 2nd level), and then at 3rd level their subclass could be a more powerful version of whatever they chose at 1st.

This way players who didn't want to wildshape AT ALL could be a powerful healer druid with a small companion/familiar or a druidic "beastmaster" with additional healing and never have to deal with wildshaping at any point. Likewise you could have a wildshaper Moon druid with a minor in healing, or with a small animal familiar/companion if they wanted instead. Or any of the other combinations. With three options, that's a total of six pairings players could choose from.
 

Amrûnril

Adventurer
I think as soon as you have two "wildshape into combat forms" subclasses, then that will be the end of new subclasses that aren't "wildshape into combat forms." It is too easy to make the next one, and I doubt the rangers will complain if 3/4th of new primal spells for the next decade are "not smite because they are primal, but otherwise are smite spells". Now, as a fan of the 4e Warden, I would be good with that, but I think that is the kind of thing people need to go into with open eyes.
That's definitely a trap the developers could fall into, but I'm not convinced it would be automatic. In Tasha's, for instance, there are two Druid subclasses focused on what are essentially alternate forms of combat wildshaping (Circle of Spores and Circle of Stars), but that didn't stop the Circle of Wildfire from having a summoning ability as a substitute for wildshape.
 

Personal vote:
Have druids get two subclass splits (similar to how warlocks get patrons and pact type). First choose themes (such as animal, elements, star charts, fungi, etc.), then also choose between shapechange focus, pet focus, and neutral/caster/default-ish focus. Whether 'Moon' qualifies as the animal theme of the shapechange focus is a matter of semantics. Regardless, the druid that focuses on changing into brown bears at level 2 should not be focusing on turning into air elementals at level 10+ (those guys should be changing into dust devils or mephits at level 2).
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Druid Circles:

Land (Alternate uses of channel nature)
Moon (Beast Forms)
Elements (Elemental Forms - eats the Wildfire subclass)
Forest (Plant Forms)
I mostly agree with this, but I consider Circle of the Sun a better name than Circle of the Forest for a plant based Druid.

Land/Earth- Caster Druid. Upgrades Healing Blossoms for more healling
Moon- Shapeshifter Druid. Upgrades Wildshape to stronger beasts
Stars-Hybrid Druid. Gains Starry Form
Sun- Elemental Druid. Gains Elemental Shape and Cauterize
 

Amrûnril

Adventurer
Land/Earth- Caster Druid. Upgrades Healing Blossoms for more healling
Moon- Shapeshifter Druid. Upgrades Wildshape to stronger beasts
Stars-Hybrid Druid. Gains Starry Form
Sun- Elemental Druid. Gains Elemental Shape and Cauterize
I mostly like this list, but I would prefer to include a summoning/animal companion focused option. Circle of the Primeval from the Giants UA had a good framework for this, albeit with flavor that was more specific than it needed to be. Putting aside the Circle of Stars (which is a good option in Tasha's but recent enough and narrow enough to wait for a revision), this would give a PHB lineup with a Beast Shape Druid, Elemental Druid, Healing Druid and Animal Compainion Druid, which I think would cover a wide range of character concepts and would have at least one subclass enhancing each Channel Nature option.
 

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