Posted by : David Guyll February 19, 2011

In case you're one of those people that think that the Essentials line divided classes pre-and-post release well, this article is geared for both druids and sentinels, as indicated by the Player's Handbook 2 and Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms stamps of approval. So, ha. You know, if they're going to put little icons in the article that denote which book they pertain to, they could at least make them not so blurry/more stylish.

The article is kind of a throwback to 2nd Edition, in which you could only advance to a certain level before you had to start offing other druids of your level, as there could be only a set number of a given level. Mostly, it's about an organization that tries to blend primal magic with elemental forces, something that most druids don't like due to the Primordials' prior agenda of keeping the world in a constant state of elemental flux.

The article also provides a couple new evocations, intended as benefits for Hierophant members, but technically anyone can pick them up. Unfortunately, you have to be at least 22nd level, which severely limits the scope.

  • Elemental passage is a 22nd-level daily utility that lets you vanish, presumably into the Elemental Chaos, and reappear when your turn starts. When you return, there are four different effects that can occur, each tied with an element: push, pull, create difficult terrain around you, or impose fire vulnerability. It's a standard action to use, which is a turn-off.
  • Summon elemental warrior is a 25th-level daily attack that, as the name implies, lets you summon an elemental. The exact element is up to you, and there are four stat blocks to choose from. They all mark targets that they hit (along with a kicker effect, like ongoing damage or forced movement), and have an opportunity action that works on marked creatures. About what I'd expect.
EDIT: A buddy of mine pointed out that the evocations have the Elemental keyword (and Primal). Does this mean that Wizards is considering a class with the Elemental power source, or is this just a keyword that serves to globally encompass the four classic elements (instead of printing out a bunch of keywords). Frankly, I don't see how much different an Elemental class could be, especially considering that wizards can summon elementals, and chaos sorcerers tap into it a bit as well.

And to wrap things up, the master hierophant epic destiny. I think the coolest part is the Immortality part: you eventually leave the world, drift through the Astral Sea, and become a new world. It's kind of like radiant child, but for druids instead of warlocks...and a planet instead of a star. I could see this being used for an adventure hook, where the players have to explore the Astral Sea for a new world forged from the body of an ancient druid. Hell, you could use this as the basis for having a solar system, as the worlds don't have to look like our own.

  • Level 21: You gain a Wisdom bonus, as well as a bonus to something else.
  • Level 24: You are immune to disease, stop aging, and can enter suspended animation once per encounter, during which you gain regeneration and make saves when you turn starts and ends. The regen only works while bloodied, and it renders you unconscious. On the plus side, you can end it when your turn also ends.
  • Level 26: You gain elemental transmogrification, which makes you a Huge elemental with a variable benefit based on the element you choose.
  • Level 30: You can use two options from elemental transmogrification, and once per day if you get dropped below 1 hit point, you immediately regain a shitload of them.

The article has some nice inspiration for campaigns of any level, but the provided crunch is intended entirely for epic-tier play, which reduces its utility. Personally, I'd like to see elemental evocations for a wider level spread, allowing players to be Hierophants from a lower level. Great for druid players approaching epic tier, also good for DMs.

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