A Druids magic is bestowed upon them by a god or by nature itself, they have taken up the cause of preserving and protecting nature, maintaining the natural order of things and the balance between the elements. Druids could be sworn protectors of a sacred grove or they could take a more active role and take the fight to those who pose a threat to nature.
The best example of a fictional druid has to be captain planet because after all he’s “Captain Planet he’s a hero, gonna take pollution down to zero”. Another good example of a druid is Radagast the Brown from The Hobbit.
The Mechanics of Druids Spellcasting
Druids can choose (prepare) a completely new set of spells after every long rest, provided they are from the Druid spell list found on page 208 of the Player’s Handbook, and that they are a high enough level to access the spell that they want. A druid can prepare a number of spells equal to their wisdom modifier plus their level.
How druids make an attack
When druids make a spell attack they use their wisdom modifier as their spell casting modifier. This means that when they make an attack roll they add their proficiency bonus and their wisdom modifier to the roll, to see if they can beat the armour class of the enemy.
Some spells call for the enemy you targeted to make a roll to escape the effects of your spell, if so, they need to make a roll equal to, or higher than your spell save DC to avoid the spell. Druids use their Wisdom modifier to calculate their spell save DC. A druid’s spell save DC is calculated like so: 8 + their proficiency bonus + their wisdom modifier.
Druid’s Unique Abilities
Starting at 2nd level druids have the ability to transform into any animal that they have encountered before, this is called “Wild Shape”. To transform into an animal during combat, requires that the druid use up their action, to use their wild shape ability.
At 2nd level you can’t transform into an animal that can fly or swim. At 4th level you can now transform into a creature that can swim. At 8th level you can choose any type of animal. Druids can only use their wild shape ability twice, before they have to regain the ability again by taking a short or long rest. However at 18th level a druid can use this feature as many times as they want.
To prevent transforming into a raging animal, from being too powerful, at level 2 you can only transform into an animal with a challenge rating of 1/4th at 4th level you can transform into a animal with a challenge rating of 1/2 and at 8th level you can transform into a animal with a challenge rating of 1. An example of a challenge 1/4 animal is a Boar a 1/2 animal would be a Black Bear and a challenge rating of 1 would be a Tiger.
There are 2 main variations of Druids Called “Circles” these circles are “Circle of the Land” and “Circle of the Moon”.
Circle of the Land
Circle of the Land druids have the benefit of gaining an additional cantrip at 2nd level. Also at 2nd level, Circle of the Land druids can regain spell slots during a short rest. Check page 68 of the Player’s Handbook to see how many spell slots your druid can regain based on their level.
Circle of the Land druids also get to choose extra spells at 3rd 5th 7th and 9th level. Based on the type of natural habitat they swore to protect, they will get different abilities. To find these spells look on page 68 of the Player’s Handbook.
At 6th level they also can ignore movement penalties from moving through non magical “difficult terrain”, this would usually slow a player character down, but circle of the land druids can easily move through thorns, vines and icy terrain, so long as it is non-magical terrain.
At 10th level circle of the land druids cannot be charmed or frightened by elementals or fey, they also become immune to poison and disease.
At 14th level animals and plants that would usually be hostile, will become reluctant to attack you and must succeed on a wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC in order to make an attack against you.
Circle of the Moon
Circle of the Moon druids have less restrictions on turning into beasts and are more powerful, in animal form, than druids of the land.
Circle of the moon druids, when transforming, can use their bonus action instead of their main action, this means that they can also make an attack on the same turn in which they transformed. As well as this once transformed into a beast, a Circle of the Moon druid can regain Hit Points (health) by expending a spell slot. For example, by expending a 1st level spell the druid would regain 1d8 hit points or by expending a 3rd level spell slot the druid would regain 3d8 hit points. (This means the latter druid would roll an 8 sided dice, 3 times, add up the values and regain hit points equal to the total.)
Circle of the Moon druids can change into more powerful beasts, at an earlier level, than other types of druid. At 2nd level Moon Druids can transform into a beast of challenge rating 1, these are more powerful animals, with higher stats. Moon druids , unlike land druids, can transform into beasts of challenge rating higher than 1. At 6th level and beyond, you can transform into a beast with a challenge rating equal to 1/3 of your level, rounded up. Therefore, at 6th level you would be able to choose a beast of challenge rating 2 (6/3 = 2) and at 8th level you would be able to choose a beast at challenge level 3 (8/3 = 2.6666 rounded up).
Some creatures are resistant to physical damage such as blades, claws and teeth, so at 6th level your Moon Druids attacks count as magical attacks, therefore overcoming any resistance the creature may have.
At 10th instead of turning into a beast you can use up 2 of your uses of wild shape to instead transform into an earth air, fire or water elemental, which are creatures who are made up of, and embody the 4 elements.
At 14th level you also get an extra spell called Alter self, the details of which can be found on pages 211 and 212 of the Players handbook.
Druids can be very fun to play, especially when you consider the druids wild shape ability and spellcasting potential. Now that you now the mechanics of the Druid class, think about the roleplay aspect of the character you are creating and why your druid has decided to venture out and go out on adventures.