Excerpts Archive | 10/18/2010
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Essentials: Druid
Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms Excerpts

Imagine a world of bold warriors, mighty wizards, and terrible monsters.

Imagine a world of ancient ruins, vast caverns, and great wild wastes where only the bravest heroes dare to tread.

Imagine a world of swords and magic, a world of elves and goblins, a world of giants and dragons.

This is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. You take on the role of a legendary hero—a vigilant druid, a resolute paladin, a versatile ranger, or a charismatic warlock. In today’s excerpt from the forthcoming Players Essentials book, Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms, we preview the druid.


Primal Leader: You wield the magic of the natural world, using your connection to the primal spirits to tend the wounds of your allies and lead them to victory.

Why This Is the Class for You: You want to play a weapon-wielding master of primal magic who has an animal companion.

The world experiences perpetual cycles of life, death, and rebirth. The four seasons are signposts that mark the world’s progress through time, each with its own recognizable traits. The mortal races have learned to live in harmony with this cycle, using the bounty of spring, summer, and autumn to enable them to endure the desolation of winter. In you, that harmony manifests itself in a special way. You have learned to harness the greatest power of the natural world—that of primal magic.

Druids are guardians of the world. They provide guidance to the common folk and tend to villages, towns, and vast stretches of unspoiled land in the same way that a gardener keeps watch over his flowers and vegetables. A druid works to ensure that the natural order remains strong. A wise druid allows a band of hunting goblins to gather food and game for their survival. But if those same goblins wreak havoc purely for the joy of destruction, the druid calls upon primal magic to smite and scatter them. As long as creatures live within the cycle of nature, a druid lives and lets live.

Druids provide guidance and protection to farmers, wild animals, and plants in equal measure. In a druid’s eyes, all living creatures have the same right to live within the world. A druid might help a village plant crops, but then turn against the villagers if they hunt to near extinction the wolves that prey on their cattle. Balance is the key to maintaining nature’s integrity.


Key Abilities: Wisdom, Constitution

As a sentinel, you use primal power to shelter your allies and defeat those that would disrupt the balance of the natural world. Some sentinels take up the profession with the expectation of becoming the leader or advisor of a frontier village. Others become hermits or wanderers, which leads naturally to the adventurer’s life. However, all sentinels use their mastery of primal magic to help the people of the frontier survive hardships and maintain a respectful relationship with the natural world.

As a sentinel, you draw power from the primal spirits—ancient guardians of the world that represent the countless aspects of nature. Although many denizens of the wild feel a connection to the primal spirits, you take that connection to its highest level. You are a creature of both the natural world and the spiritual world, whose task it is to stand against the forces that threaten both.

Class Traits

Hit Points: You start with hit points equal to 12 + your Constitution score. You gain 5 hit points each time you gain a level.
Bonus to Defenses: +2 to Fortitude
Healing Surges per Day: 7 + your Constitution modifier
Armor Proficiencies: Cloth, leather, hide; light shields
Weapon Proficiencies: Simple melee, simple ranged
Implement Proficiencies: Staffs, totems
Class Skills: Arcana (Int), Athletics (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Endurance (Con), Heal (Wis), History (Int), Insight (Wis), Nature (Wis), Perception (Wis)
Trained Skills: Nature, plus three more from the list of class skills

Heroic Sentinel

In the heroic tier, you master the basics of primal magic. Your skill in battle also increases as you and your animal companion learn to fight together as one.

Total XP Level Feats Known Class Features and Powers
0 1 1 Acolyte of the Natural Cycle
Animal Companion
Primal Guardian
Combined attack
Healing word
At-will power
Daily power
Wilderness knacks
1,000 2 +1 Utility Power
2,250 3 -- Improved Combined Attack
3,750 4 +1 Ability score increase
5,500 5 -- Daily power
7,500 6 +1 Utility Power
10,000 7 -- Improved Combined Attack
Hear the Voice of Nature
13,000 8 +1 Ability score increase
Restore life
16,500 9 -- Daily Power
20,500 10 +1 Utility Power

Level 1: Acolyte of the Natural Cycle

As a sentinel, you are charged with maintaining the balance inherent in the seasonal cycles of growth, death, and rebirth. At 1st level, each sentinel chooses a season that demonstrates his or her affinity for that aspect of nature’s power. Your choice of season determines some of your class features, including the animal companion you gain (see page 89).

When you choose to become a druid of one of the four seasons, you gain the benefit associated with that season. Two of the seasons—the most common paths followed by sentinels—are offered here.

Druid of Spring: You draw your strength from the spring, a time when life emerges once more from the bleakness of winter and reaches for the sun. You believe that all things can be renewed, and you show your allies how to shrug off pain and injury, just as the spring sun melts away the last remnants of winter’s snow.

Your chosen weapons are the scimitar, the spear, the dagger, and the sickle. The bright steel of these weapons gleams like the spring sun. In battle, you rely on accuracy and precision rather than brute force to defeat your foes.

Benefit: You gain the following benefits.

  • Your animal companion is a wolf.
  • You gain proficiency with the scimitar.
  • You gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls with scimitars, spears, daggers, and sickles.
  • You gain a +2 bonus to Heal checks.

Druid of Summer: You feel the strongest association with the high heat of summer, a time when the life of the natural world stands in full bloom. You are a symbol of the power and vibrancy of life, embodying the full resilience of nature. You draw strength from the light of the sun, the green of the forest, and the blue of the sky, demonstrating to your allies that the present is always the season of their greatest strength.

Your chosen weapons are the staff and the club. They represent summer’s enduring strength, the trees that flourish in that season and persist through the darkest winter. Your fighting style reflects that strength, as you rely on overpowering force to batter your foes into submission.

Benefit: You gain the following benefits.

  • Your animal companion is a bear.
  • When wielding a one-handed mace, you use a d10 for its weapon damage. When wielding a staff or a two-handed mace, you use a d12 for its weapon damage.
  • You gain a +2 bonus to Athletics checks.

Level 1: Animal Companion

Your primal connection with the natural world allows you to draw forth a spirit that manifests as a creature of flesh and blood. This bond grants the animal special characteristics shaped by your connection to the primal spirits. A druid of summer gains a bear companion to reflect the indomitable strength and power of summer. A druid of spring gains a wolf, a cunning, agile hunter filled with energy and determination.

Your animal companion obeys your commands without hesitation, making it more responsive to your commands than even the most well-trained beast. The bond also allows you to communicate with your animal companion, enabling you to work together toward mutual goals.

Benefit: You gain an animal companion associated with the season you chose for your Acolyte of the Natural Cycle class feature.

Your animal companion is considered an ally of you and your allies. It can be affected by powers in the same way as any other creature can be.

You can communicate telepathically with your animal companion as long as it is within 20 squares of you. You do not need line of sight or line of effect to do so.

Your animal companion has only animal intelligence, so it cannot communicate or understand complex topics.

Your animal companion’s level is equal to yours, and its hit points, defenses, and attacks are determined by your level, as noted in its stat block.

Your animal companion shares your healing surge total. Whenever an effect requires your animal companion to spend a healing surge, the surge is deducted from your total. Whenever you use your second wind, your animal companion also regains hit points equal to your healing surge value. At the end of a short rest, your animal companion regains all its hit points.

If you die or your animal companion drops to 0 hit points, it disappears as the primal magic that sustains it dissipates. You have two ways of calling your companion back:

  • Minor Action: You take a minor action and lose a healing surge. Doing so causes your animal companion to appear in the nearest unoccupied space, with hit points equal to your healing surge value.
  • Short or Extended Rest: You lose a healing surge at the end of a rest. Doing so causes your animal companion to appear in the nearest unoccupied space, with full hit points.

Druid of Spring, Wolf: Wolves are stealthy predators that prowl the forests and tundra. Your primal bond with your wolf enhances your connection to the wilderness and gives you a stalwart companion at your side.

Wolf Animal Companion
Medium natural beast
HP your bloodied value Initiative equal to yours
AC 15, Fortitude 13, Reflex 13, Will 13 Perception equal to yours + 2
(add your level to each defense)
Speed 8 Low-light vision
Aura Faithful Pack HoundAura 1
Enemies grant combat advantage while in the aura.
Standard Actions
Melee Animal AttackAt-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); your level + 5 vs. AC
Hit: 1d8 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution modifier damage.
Level 13: 1d8 + 2 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution modifier damage.
Level 23: 2d8 + 4 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution modifier damage.
Str 14
Dex 20
Wis 14
Con 17
Int 2
Cha 6

Druid of Summer, Bear: Found throughout the forests of the world, the bear is a powerful lord of beasts. Your animal companion packs a greater punch with its attacks, even as its presence invigorates your allies.

Bear Animal Companion
Medium natural beast
HP your bloodied value Initiative equal to yours
AC 13, Fortitude 15, Reflex 11, Will 15 Perception equal to yours + 2
(add your level to each defense)
Speed 6 Low-light vision
Aura Guardian CompanionAura 1
Allies gain a +2 power bonus to all defenses while in the aura.
Standard Actions
Melee Animal AttackAt-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); your level + 5 vs. AC
Hit: 1d12 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution modifier damage.
Level 13: 1d12 + 3 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution modifier damage.
Level 23: 2d12 + 5 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution modifier damage.
Str 20
Dex 12
Wis 16
Con 17
Int 2
Cha 6

Level 1: Primal Guardian

Your innate connection to nature grants you the resilience of the primal spirits.

Benefit: While you are not wearing heavy armor, you can use your Constitution modifier in place of your Dexterity or Intelligence modifier to determine your AC.

Level 1: Combined Attack

The iconic expression of the link you forge with your animal companion, combined attack lets you use your own attack to inspire your companion to greater fury. Used at the height of battle, this power allows the two of you to attack with the speed and grace of a single creature, unleashing a devastating combination strike.

Benefit: You gain the combined attack power.

Combined Attack
Druid Attack
Your animal companion waits for the signal of your own attack, then pushes in with a devastating follow-up that your foe never sees coming.
EncounterPrimal, Weapon
Standard Action Melee weapon
Target: One creature
Attack: Wisdom vs. AC
Hit: 1[W] + Wisdom modifier damage.
Level 17: 2[W] + Wisdom modifier damage.
Level 27: 3[W] + Wisdom modifier damage.
Effect: Your animal companion can take a free action to move up to its speed and then use its animal attack.

Excerpt Schedule

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October 18

Druid: Sentinel

October 22

Paladin: Cavalier

October 25

Ranger: Scout

October 29

Warlock: Hexblade