March 23, 2018

Circle of Earth Science

Druid Circle
Notes from the Nails: this week feels extra druidy, with the Spring Equinox on Tuesday and Earth Hour tomorrow! I hope you're all doing your bit to save the planet!

Circle of Earth Science

Druids as a group are famed for their rejection of modern technology; the way they eschew the trappings of civilization in favor of a more natural life, closer to the land. Different circles express this in different ways: many will refuse to use smelted metals and the most hardcore radicals shun all human artifice altogether. For some druids, however, this technophobic approach is a mistake.
     The Circle of Earth Science is a small but energetic faction that seeks to advance the traditional druidic agenda of environmental protection and spiritual harmony via the enthusiastic embrace of technology and innovation. The druids of this circle advocate the use of new gnomish instruments to measure, record. and analyze the environments they seek to protect, as well as the deployment of alchemical compounds to control pests and disease.

Organic Pesticide
Starting when you choose this circle at 2nd level, you develop techniques that enable you to selectively target pests while leaving other creatures unharmed. Whenever you cast a spell with an area of effect, such as faerie fire, you can grant immunity to the spell to any number of creatures of your choice.
     In addition, you gain access to the following spells at the levels indicated. They count as druid spells for you, and you always have them prepared; they do not count against the number of spells you can prepare each day.

Druid LevelSpells
5thstinking cloud
7thvitriolic sphere

Clean Energy
Starting at 6th level, you can draw energy from the environment to fuel your magic. If you are in direct sunlight, within 30 feet of natural magma, and/or experiencing strong winds (faster than 10 miles per hour), you can cast a spell with a casting time of 1 action as a bonus action instead.
     Once you use this ability, you must complete a short or long rest before using it again. Starting at 14th level, you can use this ability twice between rests.

Environmental Monitoring
At 10th level, you always know where in the world you are, which way is north, and what the weather will be for the next 48 hours. Any air or water vehicle you pilot moves at double its usual speed.
     Furthermore, you can cast the spell detect poison and disease as a ritual, even if you do not have it prepared. You can cast this spell on a volume of natural air, water or soil to gain in-depth knowledge of its properties, including pollution levels, nutrient breakdown, and microbiology.

Climate Control
By 14th level, your ability to manipulate the environment around you has reached new heights. As an action, you can fully control the atmosphere in a 120-foot sphere centered on yourself. When you do so, you can raise or lower the temperature by up to 36 degrees Fahrenheit, change the relative humidity to any value from 0 to 100% (values above 95% fill the sphere with mist, which lightly obscures it), expel and exclude noxious vapors and bad smells from the sphere, or increase the light level from darkness to dim light or from dim light to bright light. You can also choose to prevent any natural or magical lightning bolt from striking anywhere in the sphere, if you so wish. The effect persists (and travels with you) until you use an action to dismiss it, use this ability again, or become incapacitated.

03/26/18: Climate Control: Temperature change switched from 20C to 36F.


  1. And remember, the power is yours! :)

    Seems like a fun concept, though a bit niche for a druid. Clean Energy feels like it should do something for spell slots instead of spell casting, though I'm not sure how you'd tweak that. Letting them cast free spells feels like it'd be overpowered. Maybe let them regain lost spells in some fashion?

    I'd be curious to see this one in action. The Organic Pesticide spell seems very potent, but in a fun way.

  2. Maybe they could recover spell slots over a short rest if in sunlight, near lava, or in high winds. Kind of like the Wizard's arcane recovery

    1. That was how I had it at first, but the land druid already has that feature, so I thought this would be more fun.

  3. Wow. I this this might be my favorite druid circle ever. Extremely cool and thematic. The 14th level ability seems a little weird, but not over or under powered.

    Btw, nails, if you want something more else for Clean Energy you can allow to cast spells at one level higher (probably more than 1/rest).
    However, the ability as it is is alright IMO; druids have a lot of actions to use, so it allows you to cure wounds+use call lightning, for example.

    1. Thanks!

      I had actually considered upcasting for that feature (as well as spell slot recovery), but the wild magic stuff we've been putting into the Fey Folio used that mechanic a few times. I didn't want to repeat it again so soon.

      I'd also note that you're still going to be restricted to casting a cantrip for your action on the turn you use Clean Energy.

    2. But if you cast Call Lightning the turn before, then you can use the call lightning action (which isn't casting a spell) and cast another spell as a bonus action.

    3. Oh, yeah you could do that. Neat.

  4. That 14th level ability seems really fun... oh! Farenheit, Celcius, or some other measure? (For the 20°)

    1. Considering 0C is 32F and 22.5C is 72F, I'd go on the safe bet of Fahrenheit, but who knows, being a 14th level ability it could be that it is Celsius.

    2. Sorry, to be clear: I *meant* 20 Celsius when I wrote this. That's the RAI. The only reason the RAW is unclear is because the possibility of it being any other unit didn't enter my head. Degrees Fahrenheit are not things that exist in my life.

      However, Levi's comment has reminded me that the PHB and DMG use US Imperial units for *everything*. Therefore, I will change to F to make sure I'm being consistent with WotC.

  5. The only questionable thing for me would be the part of climate control where you become immune to lightning bolt... Like, if one is shot in the sphere by a wizard, can you just say "no it's not" or would it have to be the druid's call lightning?

    1. Well, the intent is that it works against call lightning, lightning bolt, storm sphere, chain lightning, and perhaps others at the DM's discretion. I don't think that's too crazy, since the feature is otherwise quite thin on specific mechanics. That's only a handful of spells, really.

      I guess I could make that part cost a reaction?