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As I wrote the title Circle of Chaos, I noticed another bearing the same description, but it has little to do with my subclass other than flavor.

This druid class focuses less on the Wild Shape druid and more on the spell side of things. Chaos runs throughout these druids, and they use it in to invigorate their spells.

I will provide a commentary on each individual trait. Here we go:

Circle of Chaos

Druids of the Circle of Chaos hail the chaos of fire and rain as the forces that revitalize nature. They believe that nature itself is chaotic, and from the ashes of destruction there can be regrowth. These druids are especially chaotic, and channel chaos itself into their spells.

Chaos Shape

At 2nd level, when you cast a spell, you may use your bonus action to use your Wild Shape or to heal 1d4 hit points.

Pretty much a more peaceful Combat Wild Shape. A bit of healing on a bonus action for free, though, might be a problem I need to address.

Spell of the Storm

At 6th level, when you target a single creature with a spell, you may choose to deal 1d6 Lightning damage to the creature, regardless of the spell's effect. At 11th level, this damage increases to 1d10.

A bit of free damage for a class that lacks huge amounts of it.

Aura of Chaos

At 10th level, your spells seem to emanate from the chaos surrounding you rather than you yourself. You may ignore the Verbal and Somatic components of spells you cast. Additionally, when a creature hostile to you enters your reach, as a reaction, you may cast a Druid cantrip that you know.

Powerful if your hands are tied, or if you need to cast a spell quietly, without alerting an enemy. Also, the image of a silent nature-guy walking down a hall, doing nothing, while dark energy snuffs out the torches behind him as he goes is just plain cool.

Oh, also reaction spellcasting, probably one of the few damage cantrips druids can get.

Chaos Magic

At 14th level, your power seems to be flow without stopping. When you cast a spell using a slot of 5th level or lower, roll a d6. On a roll of 1 or 6, you cast the spell at the level you wished to cast it at without expending that spell slot.

33.3% chance of a free spell. Makes the Druid one of the more sustainable spellcasters. Maybe a bit overpowered.

Is this circle balanced against the other official druid circles? I'd like to think it is, but I have a feeling it needs more work.

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    \$\begingroup\$ For the Spell of the Storm feature, does the target take 1d6 (or 1d10) damage regardless of the result of the spell? Or is the damage contingent on the spell effecting the target? \$\endgroup\$ – Saladani May 8 at 0:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is contingent on the spell actually affecting the creature. I do need to fix that wording. \$\endgroup\$ – TheCentaur May 8 at 0:07
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This needs a lot of work

You've said this is meant to be a spellcasting focused druid. Therefore the most appropriate circle to compare it to is the Circle of the Land. I will go through each of your features and compare them.

Level 2

At second level you grant Wild Shape as a bonus action, provided you cast a spell. This is the same as part of the Circle of the Moon feature but way way weaker, and situational. This isn't a problem but probably not as useful as you think. Caster druids don't really want to be in Wild Shape since they can't cast in it.

1d4 healing as a bonus action when you cast a spell is a weird feature. Basically you are giving out a free 1st level spell worth of self healing for every other spell cast. As written this includes cantrips. This feature is entirely busted. There is a reason healing cantrips don't exist. With this feature you could cast Druidcraft a bunch of times to completely heal yourself at no cost. You need to at least limit this to leveled spells only.

The Circle of the Land gain an extra cantrip at 2nd level. An extra druid cantrip isn't a big deal since there aren't many great choices here, but it does make you more versatile and suits the caster focus of the circle. More importantly they gain Natural Recovery. This allows them to regain 1/2 their level in spell slots 1/day on a short rest. This is a great feature and something that makes them a much better caster than your circle.

Circle Spells

Starting at 3rd level and then again at 5th, 7th and 9th level the Circle of the Land gains circle spells that are always prepared. These spells are highly thematic but they also significantly expand your casting repertoire, granting spells that are not usually on the druid list. You have no equivalent feature to this. Making your circle a significantly inferior caster.

Level 6

1d6 additional damage on all spells? No range, material components or restrictions? This feature needs a lot of work to re-word it. I would look at the evocation wizard's Potent Cantrip feature or Empowered Evocation as a better version of this feature.

In contrast the Circle of the Land gain a movement buff against non-magical terrain. They also get situational advantage on saves that restrict movement. Your feature is very different to this and is likely more powerful as a direct damage buff.

Level 10

Circle of the Land gain immunity to charmed and frightened conditions caused by fey. They also become immune to poison and disease. These are useful but situational benefits.

Ignoring the verbal and somatic components of a spell is one of the best feature of the subtle spell metamagic of the sorcerer. Subtle spells can't be counterspelled so this is a powerful feature. For sorcerers this is resource limited by their metamagic, you are giving it as an always on feature. That is too strong.

On top of an already overpowered ability you are granting the effects of both War Caster and Polearm Master feats combined, albeit limited to druid cantrips. This feature is also overpowered.

Level 14

Circle of the Land gain an always on casting of Sanctuary against beasts and plants. This is a cool thematic ability and situationally quite strong. But only against those creatures. You are granting a 33.3% chance of free casting of any spell of 5th level or below. This is not only a very strange feature but completely overpowered.

Creating additional spell slots is one of the major features of the sorcerer, again it is a resource limited feature by their meta-magic. You are granting it as a chance roll. A 14th level druid has 15 spell slots of 5th level or below. You are effectively increasing this to 20. And that isn't accounting for the chance of getting free castings from your free castings. (If someone wants to do the math on 33.3% replacement chance I would appreciate it) This feature is way too strong.

Conclusion

This class is missing most of the features that make Circle of the Land druids such good casters. It replaces them with multiple very strange features that lack balance. I suggest you spend some more time trying to make this resemble the other druid circles in terms of features style and progression. Draw inspiration from existing features of other classes rather than making completely new abilities.

Particularly I would suggest you include some kind of expanded spell list or circle spells. Use the Natural Recovery feature instead of your Chaos Magic. Look at the Wild Magic sorcerer is chaos is really the thematic you want.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with you on many of the lower level features, but have a problem with your 10th level analysis. Subtle spell is situational by itself, as it assumes that you are going against a spellcaster that has counterspell. Also, at tenth level, it is no big deal to spend 1 sorcery point out of 11. I do, however, get your point. \$\endgroup\$ – TheCentaur May 8 at 19:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ On the second part of that feature, reaction spellcasting of a cantrip doesn't seem very powerful, given the nature (no pun intended) of druid cantrips. I may limit this feature to only one of these features, debuffed. \$\endgroup\$ – TheCentaur May 8 at 19:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TheCentaur Subtle spells is actually pretty strong in social situations and anytime you face another caster. 1 out of 11 might not seem like much but they are also using those for quicken or twin. They run out pretty fast. Reaction spellcasting of a cantrip would be fine if it didn't also grant the additional trigger of when they move in. Though most druid cantrips are ranged attack so this possibly isn't that big a deal. Just not a great feature. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin May 8 at 23:37

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