November 7, 2016

Circle of the Scale

Druid Circle
Comments from the Finger: I'm working on making it possible to have a character of any class that has a dragon theme, mostly for giggles.

Circle of the Scale

Druids who join the Circle of the Scale hold dragons in higher esteem than all other works of creation. These druids believe, as many dragons do, that wyrms are perfect creatures, the pinnacle of all life brought into existence by the gods. Likewise, these druids aspire to perfect wyrmhood, and gradually become like dragonkind.

Dragonkin
Starting when you choose this circle at 2nd level, your beast shapes resemble dragons. You gain the ability to use Wild Shape on your turn as a bonus action, rather than as an action.
     While transformed, your skin is covered in a layer of scales, and your AC is increased by 2.
     Also, while transformed, you can use your bonus action to expend one spell slot and breathe fire from your mouth. Each creature in a 30 foot cone must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 1d8 fire damage per level of the spell on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one.

Primal Strike
Starting at 6th level, your attacks in beast form count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.

Draconic Wild Shape
At 10th level, you can spend two uses of Wild Shape at the same time to transform into any dragon of challenge rating 6 or lower. You can't use a dragon's Innate Spellcasting feature, if it has one.

Wyrm Perfection
By 14th level, you have achieved the majesty of a dragon. Even when not transformed, you have majestic dragon wings, and your skin is covered in a layer of scales. While not carrying a shield, you have a +2 bonus to AC, and while unarmored or wearing only light armor, you have a flight speed equal to your base movement speed.

16 comments:

  1. The 10th level feature looks overpowered for it's level as a 10th level circle of moon druid can't transform into a CR6 beast while this one can. How about incorporating a half dragon template for these transformations instead allowing regular wild shape flights, elemental resistance etc.

    Also can the player choose what type of breath attack they want or are they stuck with the fire breath?

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    1. At 10th level, a circle of the moon druid can transform into a CR 5 elemental. This is a CR 6 dragon, so I'd say we're fairly close. The added level of CR is to balance for the abysmally low health on the transformation options. (These feature are really remarkably close.)

      I locked the breath weapon in for fire breath to simplify things. I felt like including the entire dragonborn Dragon Ancestry table to sort out the breath weapon would have really distracted from the thrust of the feature.

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  2. I have a couple of issues with this
    The one that's really bugging me is the picture of a displacer beast with scales, because you can't even turn into that as a druid because they're monstrosities, not beasts, and even if they were beasts, they're CR 3 so this subclass can't turn into them. I know art is whatever sometimes but that really bugs me, because it ties to my next thing of turning into an animal being a horrible idea for this type of druid.
    The first level feature can make the CR 1/4 a little more tankey with that +2 to AC, but the fire breath is awful because it's just 1d8 damage on a failed dex save, which is crappier than using a real spell. Sure it's only a bonus action and you can do it while being a cow, but it might just be better to turn into a human and just use the ice knife spell/some other damaging spell.
    Everything else is pretty much fine, turning into a dragon of CR 6 does offset the whole sucking for awhile, though I imagine it'd be miserable to trudge through 10 levels before getting to it.

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    1. I wonder if a scaling (see what I did there?), dragon-only list would work. Like, pseudo-dragon at level 2, wyrmling at 6, etc.

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    2. Some scattered responses:

      I considered a scaling dragon list, but the problem is that most of the time, the dragons you'd be transforming into are pretty pathetic. There's a pretty large CR gap between the dragons we /want/ to play and those we should reasonably be /allowed/ to play. I figured it made more sense to give it out in one feature so you don't waste your time becoming pseudodragons for a ton of levels.

      The fire breath might indeed need a damage boost. I think I'll make it 1d8 + your Wisdom modifier for starters (maybe 1d10 + Wis.) The fact that it's a bonus action is really the draw here -- too much damage and it ends up being too powerful.

      If you're a dragonborn, you can transform into a /double dragon/.

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    3. Adding wis mod won't make it less of a waste for your spell slots. Seriously, Burning Hands is half the size but over twice the damage for the same slot. It needs to be an action or it is a noob trap, bar none.

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    4. Why do you think this is a trap? As a bonus action cast, it's an option you can throw on top of doing your normal attack thing. Also, in wildshape, you can't cast spells anyway

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    5. a d10+wis per spell level sound reasonable even good. But the kind of damage (fire, cold, necrotic, lighting and so on) should depend on the dragon type you choose, and for other wildshapes it can be fire (or your own if your a dragonborn).

      i guess double dragon is a joke that i dont get?

      Asides from that: pretty damm awesome.

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    6. By making it a bonus action, it /seems/ like you are getting value for your spells... But you really aren't.

      This is AoE, using one of the most resisted types in the game. On top of this, the fact it is a bonus action means that it has to be balanced around a full set of actions alongside it, and thus will /never/ reach the levels of 'punch' that a mythical dragon's breath weapon is supposed to have.

      I strongly suggest making it a full action, using your staple 2/3d8 per Point of Profficiency, unlocking the element or choosing from a list, and giving it wis-mod uses per long rest.

      Then, it might be actually worth the bonus action. But straight up, this will never be worth the opportunity cost of a spell slot that could have been used for an out of combat problem solve or battlefield control before wildshaping. Not when it does 1d10+wis for /save half/.

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    7. Worth the action* 1d8 no wis mod*

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  3. Awesome! I was actually thinking of working on a dragon shaman, and now I don't have to.
    This feels pretty much balanced, although I agree with little bear that before 10th level wild-shaping is hardly combat-relevant (extra hp aside). Maybe it should give proficiency bonus to AC, damage and attacks while wild shaped into a beast?

    Also, currently you get the +2 ac also while you're a dragon.

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  4. The dragonkin feature reminds me of a certain Yugioh card.
    http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/yugioh/images/c/c0/DTribe-DR1-EN-C-UE.png/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/300?cb=20140209024529

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  5. you guys really need to do a dragon themed compilation like you did for the warlock

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    1. Sidebar: Is there a Great Wyrm Patron for Warlocks?

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    2. Both the book and the warlock are on the way. It might be a couple of months out (we're working on some very fun books right now), but this is definitely coming.

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