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Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana: Druid Circles And Wild Shape

Dreams is right up my alley, and may lead to me creating my first druid character in 5e. Starting to feel like we are getting a lot of Fey and Shadowfell themed options in these. Perhaps that's a clue to where the 2017 Fall supplement is going to focus? Elminster's Journey's across the Planes, a guide.

Dreams is right up my alley, and may lead to me creating my first druid character in 5e. Starting to feel like we are getting a lot of Fey and Shadowfell themed options in these. Perhaps that's a clue to where the 2017 Fall supplement is going to focus? Elminster's Journey's across the Planes, a guide.


Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
I wish they'd stick with iconic archetypes and stop exploring loony la-la land. Most of the archetypes released so far are just plain weird.

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I'm a little worried about how powerful Dream is, that Balm of the Summer Court ability is crazy good. Maxes out as a bonus action 10d6 healing, with 10 temp hp, and 50ft of increased speed. In smaller chunks it is cool, but that is a lot of healing potential. Plus teleporting ability, and the ability for free dispel magics 3 times a day.

I love it, but is it too good?

Shepherd reminds me of the 4e Shaman, I'd like to see someway to get more auras or get them more often as the Druid levels, because otherwise... it isn't terribly impressive. Though the last three abilities seem rather powerful and cool. 2 of them require you to fall in battle first, but it definetly gives this druid staying power, with a free Death Ward once per day and a summoning of some respectfully powerful beasts to protect you when you fall.

I want to like Twilight more than I do, it has some big damage potential, but I'm with most people in the confusion of why the person killing undead is using necrotic damage. Too many of the undead are resistant or immune to that type. I get the flavor that they are calling upon the realm of death, but it makes them worse at killing undead, not better.

Speech beyond the Grave needs to be a little more clear, I think it uses a spell slot to cast it, but I'm not certain, It is useful in that you can talk to someone whose body you don't have. So, if you have the name of an ancient king you could ask him questions about where the macguffin is. Very cool, but needs to be clearer in the intent.

Over all they look pretty good, but Twilight needs force or radiant damage instead of necrotic and Shepherd needs more auras in the late game.

I concur that there are a lot of borderlands (feywild, shadowfell, and parts of the elemental planes) in these UAs. If they are going to be in the big book of crunch, the AP related to all this might come out next fall/winter (I think the next AP will be related to the sci fi monsters from Volo).

I am not sure I am happy with these font/pools of energy ideas--seems like that is stepping on the sorcerer's gimmick a bit too much.

These add some interesting options to the druid, although Circle of Twilight is the second "I hunt the undead, but I am not much better at it then other subclasses for my class" subclass in a row. On the plus side, at least this subclass gets some benefit from fighting undead, so that is progress--enough for me to look forward to a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fighter subclass.

I was wondering if they were going to inflict a fixed set of beasts on the druid like the last UA ranger. Glad to see that isn't what we got.


"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
Not a big fan of the Wildshape rules. Putting together a list of the MM creatures valid for wild shape is a spreadsheet, not a rules expansion. :) And "trade some of that flexibility for ease of use" is a long-winded way of saying "nerf".

Do the temp hit points from Bear Spirit Bond last past the minute? If so, that's Inspiring Leader as a level 2 class feature, which is pretty strong.

I like the "pool of dice" concept for abilities, but the abilities themselves seem overly finicky. Add Xd10 to spell damage, heal 2 per X die IF target is killed, or heal 5 per die if target undead is killed. That being said, that's a good chunk of damage to add onto AoE spells. A 2d8 + 2d10 thunderwave at level 4 is nothing to sneeze at.

I like most of Circle of Dreams. The 6th level ability is fantastic for a ribbon, but something else needs to go there overall.


First Post
The Circle of Dreams is probably the best from all three, it gives the druid a healing/support oriented subclass and touches the interest of people who were interested in the fey theme.

Circle of the Shepard... they are wanting to put together summoner druid and shaman. In a way i understand the decision, especially because conjure animals spell basically summons spirits that take animal forms. . I would have preferred something more on the spirit side than summoner.

Circle if twilight I think it's the weakest and worst, although i like something in its concept.

I'm not suprised that we didn't get an "companion druid," considering the issues with beast master and lets be honest druid has access to full spellcasting and a strong core ability (shape already) so it's no surprise that they decided to avoid it.


I thought my player who's making a hippy druid who smokes a pipe would like the Circle of Dreams, but he said it was "naff" and "stink" compared to the Circle of the Land. Oh well ... I still like it.

Don't really like the Circle of the Shepherd.

The Circle of Twilight has a cool concept.


Jedi Master
It's interesting how they are introducing new play concepts in these releases, and I'd wager a bet that the info gained in response to those concepts will be some of the most valuable to WotC.

With that said I love the cool-down mechanic introduced with the Circle of Dreams feature Hidden Paths. The 1d4 rounds before you can use it again makes it a skill you can only count on once per encounter, but which could let you use every round. Very appropriate both for the Fey nature of the ability and the general 5e mindset that random is good because it produces more interesting results than if everything is known and planned for.

Thinking it would be a good idea to start a thread to list of all the new play mechanic/concepts being introduced in these UA articles.


I love the flavor of the Dream Druid.

I don't think I'd ever play one but I'd like there to be one as an official class.

Though my favorite part is the Wild Shape Form at the end. I like having an optional rule that works as a neutral 3rd party on shapes known and how to learn more shapes. More tools to run my game, please.

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