Design & Development: The Druid

I've been on and off working on the druid for awhile now—mostly trying to figure out how I wanted its magic to work—and it's at a point where we can finally playtest it (which we'll be doing this Thursday in place of our A Sundered World campaign).

Here's what it looks like right now:

Stats & Proficiencies
Wounds and Vitality would be on par with the cleric.

They can use claw bracers, clubs, daggers, darts, greatclub, longbow, quarterstaff, shortbow, sickle, sling, and spears.

They can wear light armor and use a light shield. Not restricting them from wearing metal armor (right now, anyway), because they can wield metal weapons.

This is an at-will thing, but it takes a minute (so you can't go back and forth in combat).

Now, our Dungeon World druid lets you turn into basically anything that's your size: you gain all of the new forms features and limitations (including, for example, flight and the inability to speak), and chose x options from a list, such as thicker skin, better natural weapons, and complete mastery over one of the form's abilities (ie, if your form lets you fly, you don't fly so clumsily).

I'm thinking a similar approach would work here, too, but with a generic stat block or two to determine things like default Speed, AC/Armor, and natural weapon damage. When you turn into an animal, you get to pick x options to beef yourself up, such as increased Strength, Speed (and flight, climbing, and swimming Speeds), and darkvision.

Also like our Dungeon World druid, you suffer a penalty to your Intelligence and Charisma (reflecting your mind becoming more primal).

Ranking this up and/or taking related talents lets you transform into things bigger and smaller than you are, plus plants and elementals, choose more options, and transform more quickly.

Druid Magic
From what I could find druids were, among other things, religious leaders, so the easiest way to handle druid magic would be to just give them Favor like a cleric. Clerics already have a sacrifice mechanic (a way to regain Favor sooner by sacrificing valuables), which also works well with druids what with all the human sacrifice.

Other things I'd considered (and might use for other classes):

Commune With Nature
You make a Wisdom check to do something, and if you succeed it happens. If you fail nothing happens, but like our nomad I could also have seen a kind of Calamity table if you nat 1'd the check.

Universal Recharge
If you haven't played 4th or 5th Edition, some monsters had abilities that would say something like recharge 5+. When they used that ability, at the start of their turn you'd roll a d6, and if you roll that number or higher they could use it again.

With this mechanic, when you use a recharge ability you can't use any other recharge abilities until you make the roll, but you could suffer Wound damage to give yourself a bonus on the roll in case you really want to use a recharge ability when your turn comes around. 

Weaker abilities would recharge on something like a 3 or 4+, while more powerful magic would require a 6. Also could have played with using larger dice, and letting you roll multiple dice and take the highest result.

Druid Talents
Here's a bunch of potential talents I also whipped up.

Grants AC/DR bonus when not wearing armor (or rather, doesn't stack with armor), but adds fire vulnerability 5. Rank ups increase AC/DR and reduce fire vulnerability.

Call Lightning
Single-target attack. Requires stormy weather or a bound storm elemental. Costs 1 Favor.

Chain Lightning
Prerequisite: Call Lightning
Spend additional Favor to have lightning bolt arc onto another creature.

Charm Animal
Prerequisite: Wild Speech
Charms on animal of your level or lower. Can only have one charmed animal at a time.

Command Water
Control water in an area. Can also make it attack. Costs 1 Favor.

Area-effect attack that can restrain. Costs 1 Favor.

Pack Master
Can summon more animals. Takes longer. Limit by total level.

Ritual that brings someone back to life as something else.

Ritual that requires target buried in ground to increase healing.

Touch a creature and heal them (prolly 1d8+Wisdom Wound points). Costs 1 Favor.

Speak With Plants
Communicate with plants. At-will, no cost. Might be required for Wild Speech.

Summon Animal
Prerequisite: Charm Animal
Ritual that takes x minutes (or spend 1 Favor to get it right away). Animal requires an offering of food or it flees. Can be up to your level, and you can only have one at a time helping you.

Summon Elemental
Ritual that lets you summon and bind elementals. Limited by your level.

Transfer Health
Living sacrifice grants health to another. Can also transfer Wounds between willing creatures (including yourself).

Tree Shape
Ritual, at-will. Turn into a tree that can slowly move about. Rank ups let you attack and move faster.

Tree Stride
At-will, teleport from tree touched to another you can see. Rank ups increase distance and let you teleport as a swift action and even an immediate action.

Wall of Wood
Prerequisite: Entangle
Exactly what it says on the tin. Extra ranks increase size and add thorns. Costs 1 Favor.

You can breath underwater. At-will. Can use a ritual to grant water breathing to others for a limited time.

Can change local weather. Ritual effect, or spend 1 Favor if you want it right away.

Wicker Man
Ritual that basically lets you make a wood golem. Level is yours when you make it, and rank ups increase the size.

Wild Speech
Can talk to any animal. At-will, no cost.

If you're curious about FrankenFourth and/or Dungeons & Delvers, you can find public alpha documents here and here respectively.

The Rogue is our latest alternate-addition to the Dungeon World core class roster. If you want something different and/or more flexible than the thief, be sure to check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

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