Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Dungeons and Dragons: The Druid Class


I have been eager to create my own D&D boardgame custom Heroes for some time now, in particular for the Druid, Necromancer and Mage/Wizard classes. I happened across GeckoTH's nifty set of D&D template repository files for doing just that and have the Druid class build completed. The Necromancer class is sourced directly off of boardgamegeek -  User Wuley -  has already done an awesome interpretation on this worthy character's stats and powers so I just decided to go ahead and use this.
(Please note that all the artwork and content for the Necromancer class are not my own and may not be used for any commercial interests.)

After an initial playing through and a few tweakings to the Druid, I found both Heroes a fantastic play, each with their own unique set of skills with exciting gameplay mechanics. I am currently busy working on a Mage/Wizard class but that is still a work in progress which I will post at a later stage. In the meantime, here's a look at the Druid class. A special thanks and acknowledgement to Tomasz Chistowski for allowing me to use his awesome artwork.

Note: For the Druid & Wolf figurines, I used the Drow wizard from The Legend of Drizzt and wolf monster mini from Castle Ravenloft but feel free to use any mini you see fit.

"I am Aldred, Druid of Dal Haleth. Our forests were thick with greenery and leaf and a place for resting and peace for friends, travellers and strangers. Then our vales were overrun by shadow and darkness as the magic of the Shimmer waned." - Aldred: The Gathering of the Wardens

Druid Character Card Side 1

Druid Character Card Side 2
Aldred's stats are fairly standard in terms of AC, HP, Speed and Surge and I wanted his character to have that well rounded approach and then balance it off with really powerful At-Wills & Daily Powers.
Nature's Healing: As for the Druid's unique ability, I needed healing and lots of it. Because of the potent At-Will Wolf Form, Aldred will be taking damage every time he transforms which makes the regenerative ability all the more needed. Note that the key word is 'regenerate' so you can only heal up to maximum HP and not exceed this (unlike our Necromancer which we will look at next). While it may seem counter-intuitive to forfeit a movement action to regain 2HP and then have to draw an encounter (since you probably would not have explored), my thought behind it was to create the idea that the Druid was 'resting' in this period. Also, you could still move and choose to rather forfeit an attack instead. So, it's kind of like Dazed but with the benefit of regaining HP.

At-Wills:
Druid At-Will: Wolf Form
Wolf Form:
Aldred's primary At-Will attack allows him to transform into a Wolf. The Wolf-form attack stats are taken directly from the Ravenloft's Wolf Monster card with a Bite attack against an adjacent monster dealing 2 Damage and a Pounce attack rendering a 1 Damage and slowed (the monster can then only move 2 squares until it's next activation). In addition, pounce allows the Druid in Wolf-form to 'jump' to a new tile without exerting any additional movement points. While the Wolf-form At-Will may at first seem a bit of an OP (over-powered) ability, it is balanced by the fact that the Druid has to lose 1 hit point in order to transform. I felt that this kept in line with the theme of the character as he is still low-level and I wanted the transition from Man to Wolf to be both powerful and painful at the same time.

Druid At-Will: Flaming Blade
Flaming Blade:
Nothing too spectacular as far as this At-Will goes. The +9 attack is an almost always direct hit against most monsters that get too close. Useful for any tight situations you may find yourself in!

Druid At-Will: Piercing Thorn
Piercing Thorn:
A ranged At-Will that allows for an attack on a monster 2 tiles away is particularly useful when paired with the Druid's innate Nature's Healing; it allows you to snipe out a monster in one turn so that you have enough time for regeneration in the next. Plus on a roll of 18 or higher you deal +1 Damage.

Daily Powers:

Druid Daily: Thorn Strike
Thorn Strike:
So this daily reduces the range of Piercing Thorn to 1 tile but instead deals out a ton of hurt, providing your rolls are good. And if not, a miss will still dish out 1 damage to all which should hack away at most of the annoying monsters.

Druid Daily: Spiked Growth
Spiked Growth:
Think Cleric's Blade Barriers but with 5 tokens and useful for  'clumping up' over an entrance or a narrow passage. It's all about placement with this Daily Power and you can practically guarantee damage to enemies moving through. The ability to move the tokens, again, ties in with the Druid theme in that the growth is 'alive' and after a monster absentmindedly and foolishly tramples through, it quickly reforms itself into this thorny impenetrable hedge.

Druid Daily: Spiked GrowthTokens

Druid Daily: Wolf Fangs
Wolf Fangs:
I wanted to do some more work with the Wolf-Form than just a regular At-Will which is where the idea of a rabid Wolf-Form came in. Again, there is some damage sustained due to the hasty transformation but the damage being dealt out to adjacent monsters make this a worthy addition to your Druid's power cards.

Utility Powers:
Druid Utility: Lizard & Lace

Lizard & Lace:

Okay, I admit - a Druid summoning dinosaurs doesn't quite fit the forest theme but I have no battle cats or lynx minis and until then, it's going to be these little drake critters from The Legend of Drizzt board game. With 8 movement points between both Lizard and Lace,you could easily move them both for a dual attack of up to 4 damage and then, provided they survived, use them again as attackers or blockers for the next onslaught. One thing to note is that you cannot use Lizard or Lace for exploration. If you were wondering about the naming of this card, it was actually my daughter's idea - she's a huge fan of Marvel's Runaways and the dinosaur in that series is named 'Old Lace'.

Druid Utility: Nature's Gifts
Nature's Gifts:
This is the one utility card that you would want to keep flipping back as it provides so much benefit to your party in the form of healing, condition elimination and movement.

Druid Utility: Charm Beast
Charm Beast:
This Utility Power is all about timing. If you're in a sticky situation and surrounded by all sorts of monsters, a Bear, Wolf or Spider suddenly becomes your new BFF and turns on it's fellow monsters. Then, after its sudden betrayal, it just stands one side looking confused and doesn't attack you!
Note: You might want to house rule the definition of a creature/beast. For our gaming it was anything that was an actual living animal (beast, bear, spiders, rat swarm, spider swarm, wolves & drakes)

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