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5E What race for Druid?

daddystabz

Villager
What race(s) do you all recommend for Druid and what are your overall recommendations for making the most effective Druid I can make? I've never played a Druid before in any edition of D&D.
 

Paraxis

Registered User
I like wood elf or human(variant) personally for the bonuses.

I like stout halflings because lucky is wonderful and the idea of a little halfling becoming a big bear/dire wolf/giant spider is just very cool.
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
play whatever race you want that fits the type of character you find most appealing. If you prefer to play D&D based on min/maxing rather than flavor, then I'm afraid I can't provide an answer because I don't play that way.
 

GameDoc

Villager
The best race for a Druid is the triathlon. Bike as a human, run as a cheetah, and swim as a marlin. Gold medal all the way. USA! USA! USA!
 

Kobold Stew

Adventurer
Hill dwarf is very solid, I feel, but it's hard to get around the extra feat if you can play the human (variant).
 

jimmyjimjam

Villager
play whatever race you want that fits the type of character you find most appealing. If you prefer to play D&D based on min/maxing rather than flavor, then I'm afraid I can't provide an answer because I don't play that way.
I on the other hand, can recommend something to the OP. Play Fourth Edition.
 

Zaruthustran

The tingling means it’s working!
Most effective? This should probably be moved to Character Optimization.

My recommendation: Human. The variant, that gets you the feat at first level. If playing Point Buy then put your highest stat in Wisdom and your lowest in Strength--who needs Strength when you can wildshape into a bear?

For the feat: I recommend Observant. Wildshaped druids make terrific scouts, and the +5 to Perception and Investigation means you'll spot most every secret door and trap. The feat's +1 Wisdom means your starting Wisdom can be 14 instead of 15: you'll still net out at a 16 Wis (thanks to one of human's +1), and save 2 points in Point Buy.

Criminal is a good background for Druid, as you'll probably have a high Dex. That proficiency in Thieves Tools, and your high Wisdom (and Observant feat) make you an effective alt-thief.

Human Druid
Str 8
Dex 16 (15, +1 from human)
Con 12
Int 14
Wis 16 (14, +1 from human, +1 from Observant feat)
Cha 8

Languages: Common, Druidic, Sylvan (human bonus)
Background: Criminal
Proficiencies: Druid weapons, light armor, medium armor, shield, herbalism kit, thieves tools, gaming set.
Skills: Stealth, Deception, Perception, Nature, Investigation (human bonus). [if allowed, swap Deception for Athletics--this will help with grappling in animal form]
 

77IM

The Grand Druid (level 22)
Wood elf is nice. It gets you a wisdom bonus, longbow proficiency, and bonus speed, which can all come in handy when you are not wildshaped and have to resort to spells and such. I assume you are going moon circle, right?
 

Ragmon

Villager
play whatever race you want that fits the type of character you find most appealing. If you prefer to play D&D based on min/maxing rather than flavor, then I'm afraid I can't provide an answer because I don't play that way.
I have to say, I disagree. The fluff can be made to fit any combination (IMO its even more fun to try to make a back-story for a miss-matched race/class/background). But you can't make a optimized character design fit all race/class/background combos.


To the OP.

- Human (variant, you can't o wrong with it)
- Half-Elf (Half-elf, is always a good choice for anything)
- Wood Elf (Its fluffy and crunchy at the same time)
- Hill Dwarf (the one with the +WIS)
- Halfling (The re-roll is always useful)
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
I have to say, I disagree. The fluff can be made to fit any combination (IMO its even more fun to try to make a back-story for a miss-matched race/class/background). But you can't make a optimized character design fit all race/class/background combos.
I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with. I said that if he's putting the primary focus on min/maxing rather than fluff, I can't help because I don't play that way. I didn't say he couldn't have fluff, just that the priority is on the numbers rather than the role-playing part of it. Your statement of "fluff can me made to fit...." doesn't contradict that.

However, that being said, when I think about it, I think that in some circumstances you can't force the fluff to fit with the most min/maxed version. So maybe you preemptively disagreed? ;)

For example, if I want to play a PC who is a half orc, a lone child survivor from a raid and grew up to be a druid of the land in the wilds, that cannot be forced into any of the optimized builds you just posted. In fact, a common response to that would be, "why would you want a half orc? The don't get the stat bonuses for your class and you're not gonna be a front line fighter so you're wasting the half orc abilities."
 

Zaruthustran

The tingling means it’s working!
Actually, Sacrosanct, Half Orc is a pretty solid Druid build. Relentless Endurance is an amazing combo with Wild Shape. :p

More to the point, though: I think what he disagreed with was the OP asked for an effective build, and your initial comment kind of pooh-poohed min/maxing by painting a false dichotomy of min/max vs flavor. They're not mutually exclusive.

And, again, the OP asked for advice on efficacy so it's kind of a record-scratch to diss efficacy.
 
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Snapdragyn

Villager
I'm currently working up a druid build as well, so I can share what I've got going.

I initially wanted to go tiefling. I loved the contrast between 'stereotypical druid' & 'stereotypical tiefling'. However, the more I looked at it, the more I worried about what I would be missing out on that way. Starting WIS of 15 - vs. 16 for human, wood elf, or hill dwarf. No starting feat (human variant). Racial abilities not that great for a druid (other than darkvision - but plenty of races offer that).

I finally went with human, & took the variant. For starting feat I had initially thought Resilient (Constitution) to help with maintaining concentration while wildshaped (I plan to go Circle of the Moon). However, I've since read about the advantages of Magic Initiate, and selecting Mage Armor as the 1/day first level spell. That's AC 13 + Dex for 8 hours, no concentration, & it remains through wildshaping! Although I can't wear armor in human form without dropping the spell, I can use a shield - so my 'human form' AC actually ends up 1 point higher than it would've with armor anyway. Score! Resilient will still be a great feat for later, but definitely starting with this one.

Finally, for background I looked to what would help me get the 'must have' skills I wanted: Nature, Survival, Perception, & Religion. Three of those I can get through class + human, so I only needed a background that provided any 1 of the 4 - plus a nice bit of flavor. Outlander would be a good fit for my 'wild man of the frozen wastes' concept, but I don't care for the musical instrument thing - seems a wasted proficiency slot. Acolyte - meh, not quite how I picture the character (but a good effective choice). Hermit - for a home game, I probably would, depending on what the DM would do for a 'hermit secret'; for Adventurer's League play that I'm building the character for, that feature seems pointless. I finally settled on Folk Hero - with the idea that he's a bit of a spoiled sort, with the whole 'hero of the tribe' thing going to his head.

So - Hrath Winter's Chosen, favored of Auril. Winter is coming - with his help.
 

GreenTengu

Registered User
If you are a powergamer, then human. Always human. Unless your game is going to be taking place underground and will involve stealth then always, always human.

If you aren't a power gamer?

Well then, consider what flavor mixes well with Druids.

Wood Elf is an obvious choice. They are already thematically about living in the forests and being in tune with nature.
High Elves and Drow are generally bad choices because High Elves are thematically about being clean, snooty and generally aloof. While it isn't inconceivable for one to become a Druid, it wouldn't fit quite so neatly and you'd probably end up just playing him like a Wood Elf anyway. Drow are all about living in underground cities within giant lifeless caverns. While that might technically be a place of nature, it really isn't much of a place of life and so, again, you'd probably just end up seeming like a purple-skinned Wood Elf that no one likes.

Forest Gnome is the #2 most likely Druid candidate. Again, they already have the hook of empathy with forest animals. They are a perfect fit for Druid.
Rock Gnomes are a particularly poor choice, particularly now that the race's only offering in terms of flavor if offering you techno gadgets and that couldn't be more opposed to Druid.

Half-Orcs would be a great choice. In this case the "Druid" class is a stand-in for Shaman. One could easily imagine a Half-Orc born among Orcs who is deeply in-tune with the spirits and becomes the tribal Shaman.

Hill Dwarfs are obviously more suitable than Mountain Dwarfs, however Druids being at peace with nature and living in the present massively conflicts with pretty much every basic character concept offered by Dwarfs. No matter how often you describe your character as a Dwarf, you'll have a hell of a time selling it.

Halflings... well... either one will do, really. The Halfing subtypes are horrible indistinct. One is thinner, one is bulkier. Since they are generally stand-ins for the common folk, it isn't difficult to imagine Halflings adopting a pagan-like nature/spirit faith that probably starts with herbalism and ends up blossoming into Druidic arts. There could certainly then be Halfling hamlets where Druidism is the main faith or maybe in others the Druid is the weird witch who lives on the edge of town and sometimes people consult her when they have problems.

Half-Elves can obviously be whatever you want because they are the "blah... whatever" race.
Tieflings and Dragonborn? Look... legally you can connect them, but one would have a hell of a time causing the race and class concepts to coexist in a single character.

Forest Goblins, Orcs of any sort and Gnolls are obviously great Druid races as well, though there are no official stats for them yet.
 

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