The Ultimate Guide to the Druid Class in Dungeons and Dragons 5E
What’s the best druid build in D&D? Can I get a Complete Beginners Guide to Druids?
Even if you aren’t willing to give up the benefits of civilization, you can be whoever you want to be while playing Dungeons and Dragons. So if you are tired of noise, air pollution, cell phones constantly ringing, and other irritations, and you sometimes dream of being a hermit who lives in the forest, you may love playing a D & D druid.
Druids are cool. They live in the forest, away from all of the hustle and bustle of cities. They communicate and make friends with animals. They use magic to protect the Earth from vampires, zombies, and other unnatural beings. And druids are expert at both healing and fighting. So if this sounds like fun to you, you may want to play a druid.
But once you’ve made the decision to play a druid, you may not know how best to use a druid’s skills to protect your friends and help fight evil. That is where this guide comes in. Read on to find out how to maximize the benefits of the druid class.
This section will tell you how to protect your friends from danger. Xanathar's Guide to Everything includes a lot of new Druid circles which give additional healing options.
Druids don’t have many spells that buff their friends, but what they do have is the ability to quickly incapacitate enemies and heal wounded allies.
If your party is faced with a big monster that does lots of damage, cast Entangle on it. The monster will have to make a Strength saving throw to avoid being ensnared in plants that spring from the ground in a 20ft. radius.
Even if the monster makes the saving throw, the area around it will still be turned into difficult terrain. And if it is successfully restrained by the plants, this may give your friends a long enough reprieve that they can figure out how to kill it.
Another option to get out of harm’s way is to cast Fog Cloud. This will spread fog all around you, making it easy for you and your friends to slip away, unseen.
Druids are great at healing. If a wounded ally is standing near you, use Cure Wounds to get him back into shape. If he is too far away for you to touch, use Healing Word instead.
When the battle is over, use the Goodberry spell to conjure some food, providing nourishment and healing for your whole party.
The Guidmaster's Guide to Ravnica opens up a new and interesting option with the Spore Druid. You should definitely check it out if you haven't already.
If standing back and protecting people is not your cup of tea (or ale, or mead, or, well, you get the picture), go attack the bad guys and beat them up.
At level 1, you can use Shillelagh to imbue your staff with nature’s power, allowing you to make attack and damage rolls using your spellcasting ability instead of Str. This only lasts for a minute. But if you’re lucky, the fight might be over by then. And if not, you can always run when it wears off!
The real fun starts at level 2 though. That is when you get the Wild Shape ability. Transform into a boar, constrictor snake, elk, or giant badger. Now rush to your enemy and bite or claw it to death. Take the Mobile feat to keep from getting hit with opportunity attacks while doing this.
An even better way to attack the enemy is to transform into a riding horse and let a fighter from your party ride you into battle. If the fighter has the Mounted Combat feat, he can redirect attacks away from you and onto himself. Meanwhile, you can use the Sentinel feat to get opportunity attacks against the enemies within your reach.
Druids for Utility
Druids are also great for non-combat scenarios. Use Wild Shape to turn into a weasel, spider, or rat to spy on enemies. Charm guard dogs or other animal guards using Animal Friendship or get information from the more intelligent animals using Speak with Animals. If the target is humanoid, druids can use Charm Person to achieve these aims instead.
Healing Spirit - Introduced in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything this spell can significantly amp up healing outside of combat. The best tactic for this is to have a choo choo train of the party running around in a circle with it.
Druid ability scores, armor, and weapons
When creating a druid, always place your highest ability roll into wisdom. This will maximize your chances of success when casting druid spells.
Druids do not believe in wearing metal armor, including chainmail and plate. So your dexterity AC modifier is important. If you are planning on wearing light armor, dexterity will be your second most important attribute.
If you are planning on wearing medium (hide) armor instead, your Dex AC modifier will max out at +2 (14 or 15 Dex). So in this case, you may want to use ability rolls higher than 15 on something other than Dex.
While it is a lower priority than Wis or Dex, Constitution is also useful for a druid. Having a high Con will help to prevent you from losing concentration while casting spells and will let you last longer in a fight. However, if you expect to be charming animals frequently, you may want to make charisma a higher priority than Con.
Intelligence and strength are not very useful to a druid. These are the stats you want to dump your bad rolls into.
As far as weapons are concerned, druids can use slings, spears, darts, staves, daggers, and many other types of weapons. But because of the Shillelagh cantrip, a staff is almost always your best choice.
**Xanathar's Class Updates**
Circle of Dreams (Xanathar’s Guide to Everything)
Dreams is an interesting mix, you gain a really strong healing power along with a free teleport ability and a strange tiny hut ability, all flavored around dreams and fey magic. The healing ability alone is enough to warrant taking the option, if you want a druid with both healing, mobility, and oddly useful utility, I highly recommend it.
Circle of the Shepherd (Xanathar’s Guide to Everything)
This is the summoner druid, every ability they gain either summons a spirit or augments and buffs the normal druid summoning spells. Considering the kind of things you can potentially summon, this circle can get pretty busted. The special spirit you can summon is a massive party buff and the critters you can manifest can really gum up the board. Grab this option if the idea of summoning a swarm of pixies and a magic bear sounds fun.
In conclusion - druids are awesome
The bottom-line is that druids are awesome, jack-of-all trades characters. If you’re a druid, you can stand back and heal, transform into an angry beast and slice the enemy to bits, befriend animals and find information, spy on foes, and more.
And besides, druids are fun to roleplay. They are instruments of nature, devoted to destroying undead, mindflayers, beholders, and other unnatural things, and always working to protect the earth against corruption.
We’ve discussed how to get the most benefits from being a druid. If you liked this article, please share it with your friends. And if you have any questions, comment below so we can all continue the discussion.
Better yet, tell us your stories of how you have played a druid. We want to keep the lore of the druid class alive, and the best way of doing that is to read the trials and tribulations of your character. What obstacles did you encounter? And how did you use the skills of a druid to overcome them?
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Last updated: January 27, 2019
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