June 17, 2015

Unspeakable Circle

Druid Circle
Comments from the Finger: Never let it be said that there's no room in Lovecraft for druids. This class takes the druids natural ability to transform into a new shape and merely defines the entire theme by transforming into something that belongs in your nightmares. Balance was tricky, but I think we've nailed down something at least near playable.
     Interestingly, this class takes some cues from the design decisions we made with the Magitech Hero class, in giving a list of features and allowing you to pick from them. Naturally, this made the Hero extremely versatile in character creation, but somewhat specialized when complete. This druid circle looks to patch that versatility by offering a number of sublists (the number of which you have access to increases as you level) and allows you to choose from these each time you transform, allowing you to specialize in melee for one transformation and scouting the next.

Circle of the Unspeakable

Druids of an Unspeakable Circle are abominations to the natural world. Whereas normal druids venerate nature and assume the shape of beasts, Unspeakable druids can transform into creatures originating from terrifying remote regions of time and space. As they grow in power and influence, the other form further mutates from comprehensible physical bodies and becomes more deadly and bizarre. The Masters of this circle transform into hideous monstrosities, unrecognizable as creatures from our own reality.


Aberration Form
When you choose this circle at 2nd level, you gain the ability to use Wild Shape on your turn as a bonus action, rather than as an action, however, you lose the ability to assume the shape of a beast. Instead you may use it to take an Aberration Form with a number of additional traits.

Additionally, animals are instinctively wary of you, giving disadvantage on Handle Animal checks.

Lesser Traits
At 2nd level, when you assume your Aberration Form, you can choose one of the following traits:
Bestial Hide. Your skin is thicker, scalier, or furrier than normal. Your armor class equals 15. At 6th level, your armor class equals to 17.
Inhuman Vision. Your eyes are numerously scattered about your body, or are segmented an extremely sensitive to movement. You gain the effects of see invisibility at all times. Also, you gain darkvision, the ability to see in dim light within 30 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Poison Breath. On you turn, you can create a poison spray effect from your mouth as an action.
Unnaturally Quick. In spite of your size, you can move inexplicably fast, due in part to two extra legs. Your speed increases by 15 feet. In addition, you also have advantage on Dexterity checks.
Moderate Traits
At 6th level, when you assume your Aberration Form, you can choose one of the following traits:
Additional Limbs. You grow and extra set of appendages, which are ambiguously neither arms nor legs. When you take the attack action on your turn, you can use these to attack twice, instead of once.
Durable Form. Your maximum hit points increase by an amount equal to your Druid level times two. In addition, you also have advantage on Constitution checks.
Inhuman Reach. Your arms elongate, allowing you to touch the floor with your hands. In addition, you can bend them in strange and unnatural ways. Your reach increases by 5 feet. Your elongated arms also give you advantage on Strength (Athletics) checks made to climb.
Razor Claws. Your claws are incredibly deadly, indicative of a hunter not native to this world. Your claws deal 1d12 slashing damage and are considered magical weapons.
Intermediate Traits
At 10th level, when you assume your Aberration Form, you can choose one of the following traits:
Acid Blood. When a creature adjacent to you deals damage to you with a melee attack, your acidic blood sprays on them, dealing 2d6 acid damage.
Colossal Form. Your form is that of a strange, primordial titan. Your size doubles in all dimensions, and your weight is multiplied by eight. This growth increases your size by one category—from Medium to Large, for example. You also have advantage on Strength checks. While you are enlarged, your melee attacks deal 1d4 extra damage.
Invisibility. You can phase in and out of the visible spectrum, as if light is a strange afterthought this form has never experienced before. You can cast invisibility without using a spell slot. After using this ability, you cannot use it again for 1d4 + 1 rounds.
Tentacles. You have long, whipping tendrils that sprout grotesquely from your form. These tendrils automatically attack hostile creatures adjacent to you, each of which must make a Dexterity saving throw at the beginning of your turn. On a failed save, the creature takes 4d6 bludgeoning damage, or half as much on a successful one.
Greater Traits
At 14th level, when you assume your Aberration Form, you can choose one of the following traits:
Antimagic Eye. You have a single colossal extra eye, which you can open and close as a bonus action. While the eye is open, it requires your concentration, you may cast no spells, and the eye creates an area of antimagic, as per the antimagic field spell, in a 15-foot cone. At the start of each of your turns, you may decide which way the cone faces. Your eye closes if you lose concentration on the effect.
Extract Brain. You can remove and consume the brain of a helpless victim. As an action, make an attack against one humanoid that is grappled by you. On a hit, the target takes 6d10 piercing damage. If this damage reduces the target to 0 hit points, you kill the target by extracting and devouring its brain. This ability has no effect on creatures without nervous systems, such as oozes, elementals, and constructs.
Hideous Appearance. Your appearance is profoundly disturbing, even moreso up close. Creatures adjacent to you have disadvantage on melee attacks against you.
Membranous Wings. You sprout pronounced, slimy wings and gain a fly speed equal to your movement speed. 
Aberration Form 
Medium aberration, neutral evil
Armor Class 13
Hit Points 15 + 5 * your druid level
Speed 30ft.
STR 16 (+3), DEX 16 (+3), CON 16 (+3), INT 13 (+1), WIS 10 (+0), CHA 8 (-1)
Senses passive Perception 12
Languages –
All Around Vision. You add double your proficiency bonus on Perception checks involving sight in this form.
ACTIONS
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: your spell attack bonus to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 3) slashing damage.




Changelog: 6/19/15: Clarified that inhuman sight only confers advantage on sight.
6/20/15: Removed darkvision from the base Aberration Form and added double your proficiency bonus to Perception checks in All Around Vision. Inhuman Vision now grants see invisibility, and no longer grants advantage. Unnaturally Quick, Durable Form, and Colossal Form now only grant advantage on saving throws checks. Antimagic eye only has a range of a 15 feet cone, rather than 30 and requires . Tentacles deal 4d6 with a save. Base Aberration form has 15+5*level HP. Extract Brain deals 6d10 damage. Wording changed on Bestial Hide to no longer allow for many bonus AC sources.
10/5/16: Extract Brain: Incapacitated clause removed

29 comments:

  1. Gotta admit, I'm in love with this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad! It was a blast to write. Hard to say how balanced it might be in different configurations though

      Delete
  2. Sorry if this is completely obvious, but I'm new to D&D and still unsure about some things. Since the Aberration Form is Neutral Evil, does that mean you become Neutral Evil when you wild Shape into it? or can only Neutral Evil Druids take this circle?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's actually a great question. Because Aberration Form is a modification on Wild Shape, we look to those rules for guidance. Specifically, Wild Shape states "you retain your alignment, personality".

      Delete
    2. Thanks, I'll definitely use this for my next character, it looks really cool

      Delete
  3. Thanks so much for making this. Its my dream archetype I've always wanted to play.

    Here's a link to the psion class. http://www.reddit.com/r/DnD/comments/3ac3h8/5e_psion_class_homebrew/

    If you have any comments on it finger just post it there or message me on there. Any ideas or changes or anything you think would be helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm a bit confused about one thing. When you transform do you pick a trait from each category or only one trait from all of them. So in a sense if a level six druid transformed could he take a lesser trait and a moderate trait or only one trait from either lesser or moderate?

    ReplyDelete
  5. One trait from each category. You may choose a lesser and a moderate trait each time you wild shape, and you can even choose a different one each time you do so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, and WOW THAT'S AWESOME!

      Delete
  6. Can you cast spells as in aberration form?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Also, do you have languages in this form?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Abberation Form follows the same rule as Wild Shape, so I would refer to the PHB for answers. Off the top of my head, I think the answer to both your questions is no, but at a higher level, a Druid feature let's you cast spells in Wild Shape

      Delete
  8. I'm considering using the Aberration From basics to create a bunch of assorted experiments for a mad wizard's lab, is there any simple way to calculate their CR?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, I haven't figured out the CRs of the Abberation forms yet (though I plan to make proper stat blocks for the second Lovecraft Update)

      Delete
    2. There's a second Lovecraft update coming? Great to hear! The Lovecraft pack is so far my favorite, I especially like the 'Pied Piper' feel of the Fiddler of the Mad God.

      Delete
    3. I plan to give it the same treatment as I did with the second magitech update: lore, monsters, trinkets, magic items, and subclasses.

      Delete
  9. Enjoyed the fuck out of playing this, but Moon Druids can burn spell slots to heal in animal form. Is there a reason these guys don't have access to that feature? Do you feel that would leave them too strong?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup. It's a trade of versatility and customization for raw survivability. Unspeakable druids just have better wild shape forms.

      Delete
    2. Alright, that's reasonable. Just my impression from playing this class in a limited fashion was that I felt extremely powerful levels 2-3 but was starting to fall behind heavily in terms of damage, but was still a very solid tank.

      Just like normal Moon Druids I feel the class has a very long drought range from levels 2-10 before Tentacles and Elementals go online. While Unspeakable have pretty respectable utility through the mutations, (Invisibilty, fucking baller) I'm not sure if it quite matches the utility of a wildshaping druid who at this point is hitting his elementals and almost any animal.

      I was wondering if you guys had gone over comparing Mastadons and elementals with High Level Unspeakble morphs to see if the Unspeakable continues to hold up.

      Once again this is one of the few homebrews that I've ever looked at and said. I need to play this. Really fascinating class that I really enjoyed playing.

      Delete
  10. I would recommend changing the verbage on a few things. You wrote in your change log "Unnaturally Quick, Durable Form, and Colossal Form now only grant advantage on saving throws." But they read advantage on checks. Checks and saving throws are two different entities. Advantage on one doesn't give advantage on the other. RAW now is that they would have advantage to climb (dex) or hold breath (con). Otherwise I love this and I am going to use it immediately!! Is there a printer friendly version of the PHB pages you created?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, this is a problem in my change reporting in the log. Those features only apply to checks, but not saving throws (this was a change from applying to both in earlier versions, which proved to be too powerful.)

      I'm afraid I don't have some form of printer-friendly version, but one of the big features I refuse to drop from the blog is plaintext HTML in every post. You should be able to copy things directly from the page with few formatting errors to mock-up a printable version very easily.

      Delete
  11. How does additional limbs stack with extra attack?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They don't. Additional limbs and extra attack both state that you can attack twice, not that you get an additional attack.

      Delete
  12. So for this circle, there's virtually no use for spell slots while transformed?
    How would you feel about changing the traits as an action/bonus action at the cost of spell slots?
    They way it is written makes it so that many of the earlier traits at pretty much obligatory at higher levels (at least for combat) and having to break your form and reshape is way too impractical to do in between encounters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, there's not a lot of use for spell slots while transformed, but then again, there's not much use for spell slots when a normal druid is transformed, either (at least, until higher levels.)

      Delete
  13. For "Extract Brain," can you further explain this: "As an action, make an attack against one incapacitated humanoid that is grappled by you."

    Do you only need to grapple the humanoid or do they have to be under an effect that incapacitates them first? If so, please tell me what the idea was to activate this ability. (Party member stuns the enemy, allowing you to use "Extract Brain?")

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, it's been a very long time since I've looked at this feature, and I can't remember the initial rationale. Right now, I think it probably makes more sense if I drop that 'incapacitated' clause altogether. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

      Delete
  14. Why do the abilities stop coming at level 14? Maybe throw in an extra lesser trait at 18 and Moderate at 20?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The reason is because in 5e, a druid's final circle ability happens at 14th level.

      Delete