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Naturalist

Naturalist

Holding high a gnarled staff wreathed with holly, an elf summons the fury of the storm and calls down explosive bolls of lightning to smite the torch-carrying orcs who threaten her forest.

Rough and wild looking, a human stalks alone through the shadows of trees, hunting the orcs he knows are planning a raid on a nearby farm. Clutching a shortsword in each hand, he becomes a whirlwind of steel, cutting down one enemy after another.

After tumbling away from a cone of freezing air, an elf finds her feet and draws back her bow to loose an arrow at the white dragon. Shrugging off the wave of fear that emanates from the dragon like the cold of its breath, she sends one arrow after another to find the gaps between the dragon’s thick scales.

Crouching out of sight on a high tree branch in the form of a leopard, a half-orc peers out of the jungle at the strange construction of a temple of Evil Elemental Air, keeping a close eye on the cultists’ activities.

Far from the bustle of cities and towns, past the hedges that shelter the most distant farms from the terrors of the wild, amid the dense-packed trees of trackless forests and across wide and empty plains, naturalists keep their unending watch.

Naturalists and the Gods

Some naturalists venerate the forces of nature themselves, but most naturalists are devoted to one of the many nature deities worshiped in the multiverse. The worship of these deities is often considered a more ancient tradition than the faiths of acolytes and urbanized peoples. In fact, in the world of Greyhawk, the druidic faith is called the Old Faith, and it claims many adherents among farmers, naturalists, fishers, and others who live closely with nature. This tradition includes the worship of nature as a primal force beyond personification, but also encompasses the worship of Erastil, Gozreh, Beory, the Oerth Mother, as well as devotees of Obad-Hai, Ehlonna, and Ulaa.

In the worlds of Greyhawk and the Forgotten Realms, circles are not usually connected to the faith of a single nature deity. Any given circle in the Forgotten Realms, for example, might include naturalists who revere Silvanus, Mielikki, Eldath, Chauntea, or even the harsh Gods of Fury: Talos, Malar, Auril, and Umberlee. These nature gods are often called the First Circle, the first among the naturalists, and most naturalists count them all (even the violent ones) as worthy af veneration.

The naturalists of Eberron hold animistic beliefs completely unconnected to the Sovereign Host, the Dark Six, or any of the other religions of the world. They believe that every living thing and every natural phenomenon—sun, moon, wind, fire, and the world itself—has a spirit. Their spells, then, are a means to communicate with and command these spirits. Different druidic sects, though, hold different philosophies about the proper relationship of these spirits to each other and to the forces of civilization. The Ashbound, for example, believe that arcane magic is an abomination against nature, the Children of Winter venerate the forces of death, and the Gatekeepers preserve ancient traditions meant to protect the world from the incursion of aberrations.

Power of Nature

Naturalists revere nature above all, gaining their spells and other magical powers either from the force of nature itself or from a nature deity. Many naturalists pursue a mystic spirituality of transcendent union with nature rather than devotion to a divine entity, while others serve gods of wild nature, animals, or elemental forces. The ancient druidic traditions are sometimes called the Old Faith, in contrast to the worship of gods in temples and shrines.

Naturalist spells are oriented toward nature and animals—the power of tooth and claw, of sun and moon, of earth, fire, water, wind, and storm. Some Naturalists also gain the ability to control animals or take on animal forms. Some druids make a particular study of this practice, even to the point where they prefer animal form to their natural form.

Preserve the Balance

For naturalists, nature exists in a precarious balance. The four elements that make up a world—air, earth, fire, and water—must remain in equilibrium. If one element were to gain power over the others, the world could be destroyed, drawn into one of the elemental planes and broken apart into its component elements. Thus, naturalists oppose cults of Elemental Evil and others who promote one element to the exclusion of others.

Naturalists are also concerned with the delicate ecological balance that sustains plant and animal life, and the need for civilized folk to live in harmony with nature, not in opposition to it. Naturalists accept that which is cruel in nature, and they hate that which is unnatural, including aberrations (such as beholders and mind flayers) and undead (such as zombies and vampires). Naturalists sometimes lead raids against such creatures, especially when the creatures encroach on the naturalists’ territory.

Naturalists are often found guarding sacred sites or watching over regions of unspoiled nature. But when a significant danger arises, threatening nature’s balance or the lands they protect, naturalists take on a more active role in combating the threat, as adventurers.

Creating a Naturalist

When making a naturalist, consider why your character has such a close bond with nature. Perhaps your character lives in a society where the Old Faith still thrives, or was raised by a naturalist after being abandoned in the depths of a forest. Perhaps your character had a dramatic encounter with the spirits of nature, coming face to face with a giant eagle or dire wolf and surviving the experience. Maybe your character was born during an epic storm or a volcanic eruption, which was interpreted as a sign that becoming a naturalist was part of your character’s destiny.

Have you always been an adventurer as part of your druidic calling, or did you first spend time as a caretaker of a sacred grove or spring? Perhaps your homeland was befouled by evil, and you took up an adventuring life in hopes of finding a new home or purpose.

Archetypes

Choose an archetype, which grants you features.

Whether calling on the elemental forces of nature or emulating the creatures of the animal world, druids are an embodiment of nature’s resilience, cunning, and fury. They claim no mastery over nature. Instead, they see themselves as extensions of nature’s indomitable will.

Health

Health Dice: 1d6 per level
Health: 1d6 (or 4) + your Constitution per level

Proficiencies

Armor: Leather, Hide, Shields
Weapons: You are unable to become proficient with Weapons.
Saving Throw: You are capable with Will saving throws. Choose Fortitude, Reflex, or Will saving throws to become capable with, or proficient if you are already capable.
Skills: You are proficient with [Primal](/rules/skills/#primal) and capable with [Wilderness](/rules/skills/#wilderness) and three skills, one of which must be the weapons skill. If you choose a skill you’re capable with from your species or background or a skill (other than Weapons) twice, you become proficient instead.

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • Leather armor

  • (a) a wooden shield or (b) any simple weapon

  • (a) a scimitar or (b) any simple melee weapon

  • An explorer’s pack

  • A druidic focus

Circles

Across the wilds, naturalists come together to form circles—loose associations whose members share a similar outlook on how best to protect nature from those who would despoil it.

As stewards of the natural order, naturalists find affronts to nature anathema. The following acts are anathema to all naturalists:

  • Despoiling natural places
  • Committing wanton cruelty to animals or plants or killing animals or plant creatures unnecessarily

If you perform enough acts that are anathema to nature, you lose all your naturalist class features. You can demonstrate your repentance by atoning for your actions. Work with your GM to devise an appropriate atonement.

Choose a Circle

Choose a circle, which grants you features.

Botanists delve more completely into the ancient rituals and hidden knowledge of nature. These naturalists draw upon the power of the forests they protect to heal, defend, or help others understand them. As a member of this circle, your magic allows you to be one with your surroundings, gaining control over the plants around you.

The Druid

Features

Primal Power

The essence of nature itself flows through you.

Power source

You can learn spells from themes you know in the Primal power source.

Themes

You know one theme of your choice and the Plants theme which is considered to be from your power source.

Wild Offerings

You gain two wild offerings as shown on the Wild Offerings column of the Druid table. A wild offering grants one of the following options:

  • Learn a new theme and a cantrip from it if the theme is from your power source.
  • Learn two cantrips from the themes you know.
  • Learn a new spell from a theme you know in your power source. The spell must cost equal to, or less than, your mana limit. If the spell costs 2 or more mana, you must know a number of feats or spells from the spell’s theme equal to the spell’s mana cost minus 1.

When you gain a level, you gain two additional wild offerings and you can choose a cantrip you know and replace it with another cantrip from a theme you know or you can choose a spell that costs 1 or more mana and replace it with another spell that costs 1 or more mana from a theme you know. You cannot replace a cantrip if you would then know zero cantrips from that theme and your choices must follow the restrictions above.

Starting Spells

You know three cantrips and three spells of your choice from the themes you know.

Mana

The Druid table shows how much mana you have to cast spells. To cast a spell, you must expend mana based on the spell’s cost.

You regain half your total mana (rounded up) when you finish a short rest and all expended mana when you finish a long rest.

Mana Limit

There is a limit on the amount of mana you can spend to cast a spell. The limit is based on your level, as shown on the Mana Limit column of the Druid table.

High mana spells

Spells using 4 or 5 mana are particularly taxing to cast. Once you cast a spell using 4 mana, you can’t cast another spell using 4 mana until you finish a short or long rest and once you cast a spell using 5 mana, you can’t cast another spell using 5 mana until you finish a long rest.

Spellcasting Ability

Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your spells, since your magic draws on your attunement to nature. You use your Wisdom whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. The [Primal](/rules/skills#primal) skill describes how to cast a spell.

Ritual Casting

You can cast a spell you know as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag.

Second Wind

You have a limited well of energy that you can draw on to protect yourself from harm. As an action, you can spend up to half your Health Dice. For each Health Die spent in this way, roll the die and add your Constitution. You can decide to spend an additional Health Die after each roll. You regain health equal to the total.

Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.

A feat represents an area of expertise that gives a character special capabilities. It embodies training, experience, and abilities beyond what a class provides.

You gain a feat of your choice from the general feats or from a theme you know.

You gain additional feats at 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 16th, 18th, and 20th level.

When you gain a level, you can choose one of the feats you know and replace it with another feat that you could have learned when the replaced feat was chosen.

Natural Boons

You gain two of the following features of your choice.

Competency

Choose a skill to become capable, or proficient if you are already capable, with.

Additionally, you become capable, or proficient if you are already capable, with a Lore skill.

Feral Instinct

Your instincts are so honed that you have advantage on initiative rolls.

Additionally, if you are surprised at the beginning of combat and aren’t incapacitated, you can expend your primal call to act normally on your first turn.

Wanderer

You can learn languages as if you picked the Linguistics skill.

Wild Companion

You have bonded with a creature which you can summon as outlined in the find familiar spell. Your familiar always appears in the same form. If your familiar drops to 0 health, it reappears next to you in the same form after you finish a long rest or if you expend 1 mana to bring it forth.

Wild Empathy

You have a connection to the creatures of the natural world or to elemental creatures. Choose animals and plants or elementals. You can comprehend and verbally communicate with creatures of the chosen type.

The knowledge and awareness of many creatures is limited by their intelligence, but at a minimum, a creature can give you information about nearby locations and creatures, including whatever they can perceive or have perceived within the past day.

Natural Explorer

You are a master of navigating the natural world. You gain the following benefits when traveling for an hour or more:

  • Your group moves at three-fourths speed instead of half speed through nonmagical difficult terrain.
  • Even when you are engaged in another activity while traveling (such as foraging, navigating, or tracking), you remain alert to danger.
  • If you are traveling alone, you can move stealthily at a normal pace.
  • When you forage, you find twice as much food and water as you normally would.
  • While tracking other creatures, you also learn their exact number, their sizes, and how long ago they passed through the area.

Primal Call

Naturalists follow an ancient tradition rooted in powerful primal magic. You start with three such effects.

When you use your Primal Call, choose which effect to create. You must then finish a short or long rest to use your Primal Call again.

Some Primal Call effects require saving throws. When you use such an effect from this class, the Difficulty equals your spell save Difficulty. If you do not have a spell save Difficulty, the Difficulty is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom.

You learn an additional effect at 4th, 6th level, and 8th level. Beginning at 7th level, you can use your Primal Call twice between rests, and beginning at 17th level, you can use it three times between rests. When you finish a short or long rest, you regain your expended uses.

Aqueous Form

Prerequisites: You know the water theme

You can cast aqueous form without expending mana. If you have mana, you can augment it further by expending mana.

Bestial Aid

Prerequisites: You know the beast theme

You can call forth an animal as the call animal without expending mana. If you have mana, you can augment it further by expending mana.

Charm Animals and Plants

As two actions, each animal or plant creature that can see you within 5 meters of you must make a Will saving throw. If the creature fails its saving throw, it is charmed by you for 1 minute or until it takes damage. While it is charmed by you, it is friendly to you and other creatures you designate.

Commune with Nature

You can cast commune with nature without expending mana.

Dampen Elements

As a reaction, which you use when you or a creature within 5 meters of you takes acid, cold, concussion, fire, or lightning damage, you can use your reaction to grant resistance to the creature against that instance of the damage.

Gaseous Form

Prerequisites: You know the air theme

You can cast gaseous form without expending mana. If you have mana, you can augment it further by expending mana.

Rebuke the Defilers

You can cast any 1 mana spell you know which targets a creature that recently caused anathema to nature without expending mana. If you have mana, you can augment it further by expending mana.

Self Regrowth

You can cast regrowth on yourself without expending mana. If you have mana, you can augment it further by expending mana.

Tree Shape

Prerequisites: You know the plant theme

You can cast tree shape without expending mana. If you have mana, you can augment it further by expending mana.

Wild Shape

Prerequisites: You know the beast theme

You can cast wild shape without expending mana. If you have mana, you can augment it further by expending mana.

Primeval Awareness

The presence of those that commit anathema against nature registers on your senses like a noxious odor. As an action, you can focus your awareness on the region around you. You can sense the direction to the nearest creature that has committed anathema against nature. The following acts are anathema to all naturalists:

  • Despoiling natural places
  • Committing wanton cruelty to animals or plants or killing animals or plant creatures unnecessarily

Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again unless you expend your Primal Cass to use it. Beginning at 7th level, you can use your Primeval Awareness twice between rests.

Abilities Increase

Increase two abilities of your choice by 1 and one of your lowest two abilities by 1. If multiple abilities are tied for one of your lowest abilities, you can choose any of them. As normal, you can’t increase an ability above 5 using this feature.

Increase your abilities again at 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th level.

Choose any skill to improve your proficiency with. If you are untrained, you become capable. If you are capable, you become proficient.

Extra Action

You can use two actions on your turn instead of one.

Focused Concentration

If you fail a saving throw to maintain your concentration on a spell, you can use your reaction to reroll the saving throw.

Once you use this feature, you must finish a long rest before you can use it again.

Resilient

Choose Fortitude, Reflex, or Will saving throws to become capable with, or proficient if you are already capable.

Choose another saving throw at 10th level.

Land’s Stride

Your walking speed increases by 1 meter and you move three-fourths speed instead of half speed through nonmagical difficult terrain. For example, moving 1 meter costs 2 meters, moving 2 meters costs 3 meters, moving 3 meters costs 4 meters of movement, moving 4 meters costs 5 meters of movement, moving 5 meters costs 7 meters of movement, and moving 6 meters costs 8 meters of movement.

Timeless Body

The primal magic that you wield causes you to suffer none of the frailty of old age, and you can’t be aged magically. You can still die of old age, however.

Ancient Power

You can comprehend and verbally communicate with any animal or plant.

Additionally, as an action, you can assume the form of an ancient force of nature, taking on an appearance you choose. For example, your skin might turn green or take on a bark-like texture, your hair might become leafy or moss-like, or you might sprout antlers or a lion-like mane. For 1 minute, you gain the following benefits:

  • At the start of each of your turns, you regain 10 health.
  • Whenever you cast a spell that has a casting time of two actions, you can cast it using an action instead.
  • Enemy creatures within 2 meters of you have disadvantage on saving throws against your maneuvers and spells.
  • Once on your turn when you hit an enemy with an attack, you can deal an additional 2d8 damage and the creature must make a Fortitude saving throw against your spell save Difficulty. If you do not have a spell save Difficulty, the Difficulty is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom. On a failure, the creature is blinded, deafened, frightened, or incapacitated (your choice) for 1 minute. At the end of each of its turns, a target can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on a success.

Once you use this feature, you must finish a long rest before you can use it again.