September 7, 2018

Circle of Yin and Yang

Druid Circle
Notes from the Nails: we've been kicking around an idea for an East Asian setting setting for a while. This druid is one of the ideas I came up with in relation to that.

Circle of Yin and Yang

Druids belonging to the circle of yin and yang are common throughout the Orient. Known as 'onmyoji', they are relied upon by both nobles and the peasantry for their skills in divination and disaster aversion. These priests practice and eclectic blend of mysticism, druidry and conventional religion, blending the philosophies of knowledge clerics with a kind of primal, esoteric reverence for the natural world.
     The most powerful onmyoji are able to bring their bodies and minds into perfect harmony with the natural world and take on the forms of various beasts. These shapeshifters are regarded with both awe and fear: the wisdom of their counsel is legendary but, in order to maintain their spiritual balance, many retreat into the mountains to live solitary lives, thus forcing petitioners to undertake challenging journeys to seek their advice.

Reverse Duality
Beginning when you choose this circle at 2nd level, you gain a number of Duality Points equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of 1), which you can use to manipulate opposed energies. You regain all expended Duality Points when you finish a short or long rest.
     You can reverse the positive and negative energies of a druid spell that you cast -- as long as its duration is instantaneous -- causing a spell that would deal damage to heal its target, and vice-versa. This costs a number of Duality Points equal to the level of the spell (1 point for cantrips.)
     When you use this ability to convert healing into damage, spells that affect a single target require a spell attack roll (melee if the spell has a range of touch; ranged otherwise), while spells that can affect multiple targets require a Constitution saving throw against you druid spell save DC, with the damage being halved on a successful save. The damage dealt is necrotic.
     When you convert damage into healing, no attack rolls or saving throws are required. Otherwise, the spells are unchanged.

Mystical Epistemology
By 6th level, you have gained such abundant knowledge that divination is second-nature to you. Whenever you cast a druid spell from the divination school, make an Intelligence (History) check. If the result is equal to or greater than 10 + the spell's level, you can cast the spell without expending a spell slot.
     In addition, augury and divination are added to the druid spell list for you.

Supreme Balance
At 10th level, you are able to balance you offensive and defensive powers, attacking and defending with the same move. If you deal damage to another creature on your turn, you can use a bonus action and expend one Duality Point to gain resistance the type of damage that you dealt until the beginning of your next turn.

Avert Disaster
Starting from 14th level, you have an uncanny ability to avoid catastrophe. Whenever you roll a natural 1 on an attack roll, ability check or saving throw, you can re-roll the die. Each die can only be re-rolled once; you must accept the second result.

Changelog: 09/08/2018: Reverse Duality only applies to instantaneous druid spells.


  1. Hey all! Sorry again for the late post!

    As a topic for discussion, I think Reverse Duality might be too strong for healing purposes at Wis/short, but I think making it Wis/long is too weak. Thoughts? Suggestions?

    1. I would suggest making it per long rest.
      My biggest concern is spells like Call Lightning that get reversed into 3d10 healing for all allies in a 15ft AoE every 6 seconds. Makes sense enough to work, but being able to do that every short rest, players wouldn't need to use their hit dice anymore.
      Another concern is a Int/Wis full-caster multiclassing into wizard to grab an extra spell list for Burning Healz and Chromatic HP to really buff the health of allies. Maybe change the ability to specify Druid spells.

      Other than that ability, subclass looks really good. Really hits the idea behind Druids on the nail.

    2. I have a few thoughts on a quick read through.
      I agree that the class looks good as whole, I love most of the content I see on this site. But I do think Reverse Duality needs some tuning to limit abuse. I'm not super familiar with the druid spell list, but spike growth also stuck out to me as potentially problematic: just make a wondrous field of flowers and joy, while all your allies run around and get 6d4 healing every turn for 100 turns for 1 point and a 1st level slot. Could also make a nifty hospital that way...
      I think wis/long rest might be underwhelming, short rest seems better to me. But maybe limit it to one instance of reversed damage/healing per casting? Call Lightning could still function like a stronger cluster version of Mass Healing Word at the same level

    3. Spike growth is a second level spell.

      Restricting it to druid spells is a good call; I'll put that straight in.

      The other easy fix is to only allow it on instantaneous spells. What do you think of that?

    4. Only on instantaneous seems the best option, as almost all abuse is because of the druid's long-lasting damage spells.

    5. Agreed ^. If it's just a one-hit spell, I'd say it could be Wis/sr. Biggest problem is those spells that stick around.

    6. I would like to amend one thing. I want to be able to Reverse Duality Goodberry. 1 Point of Damage ingestable, causes Poisoned/Exhaustion (I'd like to say that Exhaustion is the opposite of a full days worth of food and water, but poisoned is probably the more fair option here.)

    7. That's probably too complicated and niche to write into a class feature. It's a fun image though!

    8. Alternatively, we could just add the spell Badberry to the 2nd level Feature as a Bonus Spell ;)

    9. Oops, brain-fart on Spike Growth. But yeah, instantaneous Druid spells seems good, while still allowing for a good bit of variety. Personally, I generally prefer more uses with less power. I feel freer to use the cool abilities that way.

      And I'd probably allow Badberry on this as a houserule in my games, definitely a fun option!

  2. Lol, at first I thought this was a Shugenja subclass. Ah well, time to dive in!

  3. I think the level 14 ability is too weak, considering if you're a halfling, you get this basically at level 0. I changed it myself to essentially, you can reroll any 1 you roll on any die and must keep the new result.