Druid - Base Class

Duncehack Edition

So who are you?

Just some tosser with an over inflated sense of self importance.

Send verbal abuse via Minds.com

What is the Duncehack?

It emerged from a place of frustration. There's quite a number of areas where 5e could be improved but... it's not going to happen for various reasons.

The Duncehack is my attempt to fix these problems I have. Plan is to go through the whole game - all of it - and homebrew it into the game I think is should have been.

Feel free to disagree with me, but ultimately I think there's no harm in putting my thoughts out there, at the very least if even one DM decides to adopt these rules, then my job is done.

No DM Guild? No OGL Release?

I chafe under binding contracts and both of these are exactly that.

The DM Guild gives you more room to mess with established rules, but basically demands that all be under the service of flagship settings.

The SRD on the other hand gives more room for interesting settings but clamps down extremely hard on what established rules you're allowed to use. Their biggest contention is that they don't want someone to sell a sourcebook that removes the need for core books. Translation: they don't want Pathfinder to happen all over again.

More to the point, both assume money will change hands. I don't want money, I just want Wizards to fix their game.


Groundrules for the Duncehack are as follows:

  • No Nerfs: the goal is to bring weaker archetypes on the level of the stronger ones.

  • Remove Traps: incentives built into classes and archetypes should provide an active payoff, rather than be the suboptimal choice.

  • Frontload Agency, Backend Power: Generally speaking, people like having more options to do things, rather than more raw power. As a design rule: things that feel like core class features, or are defining class mechanics, should happen in the first ten levels, sheer numeric increases in power should come after that.

No money changed hands here

This is a passion project. I want to keep it that way.

I also want to avoid legal issues for self-evident reasons.

No UA?

Too much changes between UA and official release.

The fewer corrections I have the do between UA changes, the better.

Obligatory Natural Crit Plug


Someone else made a thing that lets me make homebrews without having to post them on pastebin or something. They deserve a lot of credit for that.

Obligatory /tg/ Plug

The feedback I got from various Anons on this helped me build it into something that wasn't bad and stupid.

I love you all in a way only abused spouse can possibly understand.

No Images?

Needed to get it under 8mb so I could upload it literally anywhere.

So what in Druid needs fixing?

Not much really, Druid's in a good spot. Mostly I think their core chassis lacked in stuff that really evokes the fact that Druids are 'one with nature' types.

What if I think this is too much?

Then... you don't do anything. Druids are widely considered one of the best classes out there.


Level Proficiency Bonus Features Wild Shapes Cantrips Known 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +2 Druidic, Spellcasting, Wild Companion 1 2 2 - - - - - - - -
2nd +2 Wild Shape, Druid Circle 2 2 3 - - - - - - - -
3rd +2 Land's Stride 2 2 4 2 - - - - - - -
4th +2 Wild Shape Improvement, Ability Score Improvement 2 3 4 3 - - - - - - -
5th +3 Nature's Sanctuary 3 3 4 3 2 - - - - - -
6th +3 Druid Circle feature 3 3 4 3 3 - - - - - -
7th +3 Nature's Ward 3 3 4 3 3 1 - - - - -
8th +3 Wild Shape Improvement, Ability Score Improvement 3 3 4 3 3 2 - - - - -
9th +4 Beast Spells 4 3 4 3 3 3 1 - - - -
10th +4 Druid Circle feature 4 4 4 3 3 3 2 - - - -
11th +4 Natural Attunement 4 4 4 3 3 3 2 1 - - -
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 4 4 4 3 3 3 2 1 - - -
13th +5 - 5 4 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 - -
14th +5 Druid Circle feature 5 4 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 - -
15th +5 - 5 4 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 -
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 5 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 -
17th +6 - 6 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 1
18th +6 Timeless Body 6 5 4 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 1
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 6 5 4 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
20th +6 Archdruid Unlimited 5 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1

Class Features

As a Druid, you gain the following class features

Hit Points

  • Hit Dice: 1d8 per Druid Level
  • Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + Consitution Modifier
  • Hit Points past 1st: 1d8 (5) + Constitution Modifier


  • Armour: light armor, medium armor, shields (druids will not wear armor or use shields made of metal)
  • Weapon: clubs, daggers, darts, javelins, maces, quarterstaffs, scimitars, sickles, slings, spears
  • Tools: Herbalism kit and your choice of: Poisoner's Kit, Woodcarver's Tools, Leatherworker's Tools, Pan Flute, Flute, or Drum.

  • Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom
  • Skills: Choose two from Arcana, Animal Handling, Insight, Medicine, Nature, Perception, Religion, and Survival.

In addition, you gain a language of your choice from: Sylvan, primordial, or giant.


You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a wooden shield or (b) any simple weapon
  • (a) a scimitar or (b) any simple melee weapon
  • (a) a sling and 20 bullets or (b) 10 darts
  • Herbalism kit and any other tools you are proficient in.
  • Leather armor, an explorer's pack, and a druidic focus

Wild Companion

At 1st level, you gain the ability to summon a spirit that assumes an animal form: as an action, you can expend 1 Wild Shape use to cast the find familiar spell, without material components. Find familiar is also added to your spell book.


You know Druidic, the secret language of druids. You can speak the language and use it to leave hidden messages. You and others who know this language automatically spot such a message. Others spot the message's presence with a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check but can't decipher it without magic.



Drawing on the divine essence of nature itself, you can cast spells to shape that essence to your will. See chapter 10 for the general rules of spellcasting and chapter 11 for the druid spell list.


At 1st level, you know two cantrips of your choice from the druid spell list. You learn additional druid cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Druid table.

Cantrip Versatility

Whenever you gain a level in this class, you can replace one cantrip you learned from this Spellcasting feature with another cantrip from the Druid spell list.

Preparing and Casting Spells

The Druid table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your druid spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these druid spells, you must expend a slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

You prepare the list of druid spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the druid spell list. When you do so, choose a number of druid spells equal to your Wisdom modifier + your druid level (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

You can also change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of druid spells requires time spent in prayer and meditation: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.

Spellcasting Ability

Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your druid spells, since your magic draws upon your devotion and attunement to nature. You use your Wisdom whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Wisdom modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a druid spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier

Ritual Casting

You can cast a druid spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you know the spell. You don't need to have the spell prepared.

Spellcasting Focus

You can use a druidic focus as a spellcasting focus for your druid spells.

Wild Shape

Starting at 2nd level, you can use your action to magically assume the shape of a beast that you have seen before. You can use this feature twice. You regain expended uses when you finish a short or long rest.

Your druid level determines the beasts you can transform into, as shown in the Beast Shapes table. At 2nd level, for example, you can transform into any beast that has a challenge rating of 1/4 or lower that doesn't have a flying or swimming speed.

Beast Shapes
Level Max. CR Limitations Example
2nd 1/4 No flying or swimming speed Wolf
4th 1/2 No flying speed Crocodile
8th 1 - Giant eagle

You can stay in a beast shape for a number of hours equal to half your druid level (rounded down). You then revert to your normal form unless you expend another use of this feature. You can revert to your normal form earlier by using a bonus action on your turn. You automatically revert if you fall unconscious, drop to 0 hit points, or die.

While you are transformed, the following rules apply:

  • Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the beast, but you retain your alignment, personality, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. You also retain all of your skill and saving throw proficiencies, in addition to gaining those of the creature. If the creature has the same proficiency as you and the bonus in its stat block is higher than yours, use the creature's bonus instead of yours. If the creature has any legendary or lair actions, you can't use them.
  • When you transform, you assume the beast's hit points and Hit Dice. When you revert to your normal form, you return to the number of hit points you had before you transformed. However, if you revert as a result of dropping to 0 hit points, any excess damage carries over to your normal form. For example, if you take 10 damage in animal form and have only 1 hit point left, you revert and take 9 damage. As long as the excess damage doesn't reduce your normal form to 0 hit points, you aren't knocked unconscious.
  • You can't cast spells, and your ability to speak or take any action that requires hands is limited to the capabilities of your beast form. Transforming doesn't break your concentration on a spell you've already cast, however, or prevent you from taking actions that are part of a spell, such as call lightning, that you've already cast.
  • You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so. However, you can't use any of your special senses, such as darkvision, unless your new form also has that sense.
  • You choose whether your equipment falls to the ground in your space, merges into your new form, or is worn by it. Worn equipment functions as normal, but the DM decides whether it is practical for the new form to wear a piece of equipment, based on the creature's shape and size. Your equipment doesn't change size or shape to match the new form, and any equipment that the new form can't wear must either fall to the ground or merge with it. Equipment that merges with the form has no effect until you leave the form.


Druid Circle

At 2nd level, you choose to identify with a circle of druids from the list of available circles. The available circles are: Land, Moon, Spores, Shepherd, Dreams

Land's Stride

Starting at 3rd level, moving through nonmagical difficult terrain costs you no extra movement. You can also pass through nonmagical plants without being slowed by them and without taking damage from them if they have thorns, spines, or a similar hazard.

In addition, you have advantage on saving throws against plants that are magically created or manipulated to impede movement, such those created by the entangle spell.

Ability Score Improvement

At 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th levels you gain +2 to one ability score, or +1 to two ability scores. You cannot raise an ability score above 20 this way.

Nature's Sanctuary

When you reach 5th level, creatures of the natural world sense your connection to nature and become hesitant to attack you. When a beast or plant creature attacks you, that creature must make a Wisdom saving throw against your druid spell save DC. On a failed save, the creature must choose a different target, or the attack automatically misses. On a successful save, the creature is immune to this effect for 24 hours.

The creature is aware of this effect before it makes its attack against you.

Nature's Ward

When you reach 7th level you are immune to poison and disease.

Beast Spells

Beginning at 9th level, you can cast many of your druid spells in any shape you assume using Wild Shape. You can perform the somatic and verbal components of a druid spell while in a beast shape, but you aren't able to provide material components.

You may only cast cantrips when you learn this feature.

At first the casting is inelegant. Until 17th level, this feature cannot be in a form that is not either small, medium or large sized - the somatic components are harder to perform on wildly differing size scales.

Every Druid level you gain from here increases the spell slot level you can use in your beast shape by 1, ending with access to 9th level spell slots at your 18th Druid level.

Natural Attunement

When you reach 11th level, you can't be charmed or frightened by elementals or fey.

Timeless Body

Starting at 18th level, the primal magic that you wield causes you to age more slowly. For every 10 years that pass, your body ages only 1 year.


At 20th level, you can use your Wild Shape an unlimited number of times.

Additionally, you can ignore the verbal and somatic components of your druid spells, as well as any material components that lack a cost and aren't consumed by a spell. You gain this benefit in both your normal shape and your beast shape from Wild Shape.

Beast Spells

I was very hesitant on this one as Beast Spells open up all sorts of shenanigans. Want to turn into a fly and cast tsunami and have no one be aware that you're there?

At the same time though, one of the groundrules is to frontload options.

So I settled with scaling what you can do with it by level and locking off the kinds of forms you can cast in until 18th.

Why all these Land Druid Features?

Despite being a very strong archetype due to functionally being a "Nature Themed Wizard", everything past their 2nd level feature is largely irrelavent - it just doubles down on the base class for it's 6th, 10th and 14th features.

That sounds fine... until you realise that everything provided by the archetype is accessable through the spell list. Sure it costs spell slots to do it, but it's not like Land druids need help in that regard. What should be competing with Moon as an archetype D&D players complain about for its power (the way they complain about Wizards) is instead... forgotten.

Land's Stride

Was the Land Circle 6th feature. It's an extremely situational feature that is likely only relevent in the first few levels of most campaigns.

Nature's Sanctuary

Similar to Land's Stride, but the 14th level feature that was very much not worth the effort.

Nature's Ward

Was the Land Circle's 10th level feature. Broke it up into two parts because the Fey/Elemental stuff, while situational, is a bit much at 7th level.


  • Acid Splash
  • Control Flames
  • Create Bonfire
  • Druidcraft
  • Frostbite
  • Guidance
  • Gust
  • Infestation
  • Magic Stone
  • Mending
  • Mold Earth
  • Poison Spray
  • Primal Savagery
  • Produce Flame
  • Resistance
  • Shape Water
  • Shillelagh
  • Thorn Whip
  • Thunderclap
    1st Level
  • Absorb Elements
  • Animal Friendship
  • Beast Bond
  • Ceremony
  • Charm Person
  • Create or Destroy Water
  • Cure Wounds
  • Detect Magic
  • Detect Poison and Disease
  • Earth Tremor
  • Entangle
  • Find Familiar
  • Faerie Fire
  • Fog Cloud
  • Goodberry
  • Healing Word
  • Ice Knife
  • Jump
  • Longstrider
  • Protection from evil and good
  • Purify Food and Drink
  • Snare
  • Speak with Animals
  • Thunderwave
2nd Level
  • Animal Messenger
  • Augury
  • Barkskin
  • Beast Sense
  • Continual flame
  • Darkvision
  • Dust Devil
  • Earthbind
  • Enhance Ability
  • Enlarge/reduce
  • Find Traps
  • Flame Blade
  • Flaming Sphere
  • Flock of Familiars
  • Gust of Wind
  • Healing Spirit
  • Heat Metal
  • Hold Person
  • Lesser Restoration
  • Locate Animals or Plants
  • Locate Object
  • Maximilian's Earthen Grasps
  • Moonbeam
  • Pass without Trace
  • Protection from Poison
  • Skywrite
  • Spike Growth
  • Warding Wind
    3rd Level
  • Aura of Vitality
  • Call Lightning
  • Conjure Animals
  • Daylight
  • Dispel Magic
  • Elemental weapon
  • Erupting Earthfeet
  • Feign Death
  • Flame Arrows
  • Meld into Stone
  • Plant Growth
  • Protection from Energy
  • Revivify
  • Sleet Storm
  • Speak with Plants
  • Thunder Step
  • Tidal Wave
  • Wall of Sand
  • Wall of Water
  • Water Breathing
  • Water Walk
  • Wind Wall
    4th Level
  • Blight
  • Charm Monster
  • Confusion
  • Conjure Minor Elementals
  • Conjure Woodland Beings
  • Control Water
  • Divination
  • Dominate Beast
  • Elemental Bane
  • Fire shield
  • Freedom of Movement
  • Giant Insect
  • Grasping Vine
  • Guardian of Nature
  • Hallucinatory Terrain
  • Ice Storm
  • Locate Creature
  • Polymorph
  • Stone Shape
  • Stoneskin
  • Wall of Fire
  • Watery Sphere
    5th Level
  • Antilife Shell
  • Awaken
  • Commune with Nature
  • Cone of cold
  • Conjure Elemental
  • Contagion
  • Control Winds
  • Dawn
  • Geas
  • Greater Restoration
  • Immolation
  • Insect Plague
  • Maelstrom
  • Mass Cure Wounds
  • Planar Binding
  • Reincarnate
  • Scrying
  • Transmute Rock
  • Tree Stride
  • Wall of Stone
  • Wrath of Nature
    6th Level
  • Bones of the Earth
  • Conjure Fey
  • Druid Grove
  • Find the Path
  • Flesh to stone
  • Heal
  • Heroes' Feast
  • Investiture of Flame
  • Investiture of Ice
  • Investiture of Stone
  • Investiture of Wind
  • Move Earth
  • Primordial Ward
  • Sunbeam
  • Transport via Plants
  • Wall of Thorns
  • Wind Walk
    7th Level
  • Fire Storm
  • Mirage Arcane
  • Plane Shift
  • Regenerate
  • Reverse Gravity
  • Symbol
  • Whirlwind
    8th Level
  • Animal Shapes
  • Antipathy/Sympathy
  • Control Weather
  • Earthquake
  • Feeblemind
  • Incendiary cloud
  • Sunburst
  • Tsunami
    9th Level
  • Foresight
  • Mass polymorph
  • Power word heal
  • Shapechange
  • Storm of Vengeance
  • True Resurrection

Two additions...

find familiar and flock of familiars.