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 monsters 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.
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.
Your Wisdom increases by 1, and one other ability increases by 1.
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
(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
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 beasts or plants or killing beasts 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 action. 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.
|Level||Proficiency Bonus||Features||Wild Offerings||Mana||Mana Limit|
|1st||+2||Primal Power, Second Wind||2||2||1|
|2nd||+2||Feat (1), Feral Instinct, Natural Explorer, Primal Call (1/rest), Wild Empathy||4||3||1|
|3rd||+2||Abilities Increase (1), Skilled (1)||6||5||1|
|5th||+3||Focused Concentration, Resilient||10||8||2|
|6th||+3||Feat (3), Skilled (2)||12||9||2|
|7th||+3||Abilities Increase (2), Land’s Stride, Primal Call (2/rest)||14||11||2|
|9th||+4||Resilient, Skilled (3)||18||14||3|
|11th||+4||Abilities Increase (3)||22||17||3|
|12th||+4||Feat (6), Skilled (4)||24||18||3|
|13th||+5||Feral Senses, Quickened Cantrips, Timeless Body||26||20||4|
|15th||+5||Abilities Increase (4), Skilled (5)||30||23||4|
|17th||+6||Primal Call (3/rest), Quickened Cantrips||34||26||5|
|18th||+6||Feat (9), Skilled (6)||36||27||5|
|19th||+6||Abilities Increase (5)||38||29||5|
|20th||+6||Ancient Power, Feat (10)||40||30||5|
The essence of nature itself flows through you.
You can learn spells from themes you know in the Primal power source.
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.
- 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 spells from the spell’s theme equal to the spell’s mana cost minus 1.
When you gain a level in this class, 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, following the restrictions above.
You know three cantrips and three spells of your choice from the themes you know.
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 all expended mana when you finish a long rest and regain half your total mana (rounded up) when you finish a short rest.
There is a limit on the amount of mana you can spend to cast a spell. The limit is based on your naturalist level, as shown on the Mana Limit column of the Druid table.
Spells using 5 mana
Spells using 5 mana are particularly taxing to cast. Once you cast a spell using 5 mana, you can’t cast another spell using 5 mana until you finish a long rest.
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. In addition, you use your Wisdom when setting the saving throw DC for a spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom
Spell attack = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom
You can cast a spell from a theme you know as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag.
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 (minimum one). 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.
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.
You are a master of navigating the natural world. You gain the following benefits when traveling for an hour or more:
- Non-magical difficult terrain doesn’t slow your group’s travel.
- 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 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.
Naturalists follow an ancient tradition rooted in powerful primal magic. You start with three such effects.
When you use your Primal Call, you 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 DC equals your naturalist spell save DC.
You learn an additional effect at 4th, 7th level, and 9th 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.
You perform a ritual to call forth an animal from the wilderness to serve as your faithful companion, known as an animal companion. You can spend 10 minutes to cast call beast without expending mana and without concentration. You always call the same beast. You can augment it further by expending mana.
Charm Animals and Plants
As an action, each beast or plant creature that can see you within 9 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.
As a reaction, which you take when you or a creature within 9 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.
You can cast gaseous form without expending mana. You can augment it further by expending mana.
|Naturalist Level||Destroys CR ...|
|2nd||1/8 or lower|
|5th||1/2 or lower|
|9th||1 or lower|
|13th||2 or lower|
|17th||3 or lower|
Rebuke the Defilers
You can rebuke those that commit anathema against nature. As an action, you can censure any undead and any creature that you know to have committed anathema against nature within the last month without atoning. Each such creature that can see or hear you within 9 meters of you must make a Will saving throw. If an undead creature fails the saving throw, it is destroyed if its challenge rating is at or below a certain threshold, as shown in the Destroy Defilers table. If a creature fails the saving throw, but is above the threshold it is turned for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from you as it can, and it can’t willingly move to a space within 9 meters of you. It also can’t take reactions. For its action, it can use only the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there’s nowhere to move, the creature can use the Dodge action.
As an action, primal energy heals your body. You regain an amount of health equal to 3d8 + your Wisdom. Alternatively, you can channel primal energy to cleanse your spirit, curing one disease or neutralizing one poison affecting you.
You can augment this feature further by expending mana, increasing the healing by 5d8 for each additional mana expended. Treat this feature as a 1 mana spell.
You can cast tree shape without expending mana. You can augment it further by expending mana.
You can cast watery form without expending mana. You can augment it further by expending mana.
You can cast wild shape without expending mana. You can augment it further by expending mana.
You have a connection to the creatures of the natural world. You can comprehend and verbally communicate with Small or smaller beasts and plants. The knowledge and awareness of many beasts is limited by their intelligence, but at a minimum, beasts can give you information about nearby locations and monsters, including whatever they can perceive or have perceived within the past day.
Increase two abilities of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability above 5 using this feature.
Your abilities increase again at 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th level.
Choose a skill you know or from from your skill list to improve your proficiency with.
- If you are untrained, you become capable
- If you are already capable, you become proficient
- If you are already proficient, you gain expertise with that skill.
At 6th level, 12th level, and 18th level you can choose a skill that is not from your skill list.
If you fail a Fortitude 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.
Choose Fortitude, Reflex, or Will saving throws to become capable with, or proficient if you are already capable.
Choose another saving throw at 9th level.
Moving through nonmagical difficult terrain costs you no extra movement and you can use the Dash action as a bonus action.
You gain preternatural senses that help you fight creatures you can’t see. If you are able to hear, you are aware of the location of any hidden or invisible creature within 3 meters of you and when you attack a creature you can’t see, your inability to see it doesn’t impose disadvantage on your attack rolls against it.
When you cast a 1 mana spell as an action, you can cast a cantrip as a bonus action. Starting at 17th level, when you cast a 1 or 2 mana spell as an action, you can cast a cantrip as a bonus action.
The primal magic that you wield causes you to age more slowly. For every 10 years that pass, your body ages only 1 year.
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.
Using bonus action, you undergo a transformation. 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 1 action, you can cast it using a bonus action instead.
- Enemy creatures within 3 meters of you have disadvantage on saving throws against your spells.
- Once per turn when you hit an enemy with an attack, you can deal an additional 1d8 damage and the creature must make a Fortitude saving throw against your spell save DC. 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.