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This is the second iteration of my homebrew Circle of Chaos druid. I debuffed and buffed in (hopefully) all the right places, and added an expanded spell list as per popular demand.

The original question can be found here.


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.

Same as last time, the weak combat Wild Shape feature, but wait, there's more:

Circle Spells

Chaos druids believe that damage eventually will help their comrades, and take the time to learn spells that do both. At 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th level you gain access to circle spells.

Once you gain access to a circle spell, you always have it prepared, and it doesn't count against the number of spells you can prepare each day. If you gain access to a spell that doesn't appear on the druid spell list, the spell is nonetheless a druid spell for you.

Circle Spell List

  • 3rd level: Gentle Repose, Blindness/Deafness
  • 5th level: Life Transference, Revivify
  • 7th level: Death Ward, Aura of Life
  • 9th level: Dawn, Destructive Wave

Hopefully all spells that fit the life/death theme. They also give the Druid much more powerful offensive capabilities.

Death to Life

At 6th level, when you kill a creature, you may regain a number of hit points equal to that creature's number of hit dice. You may use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier before regaining all uses after a short or long rest.

Some not-on-demand healing. Not particularly powerful with the cap on usage.

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 components of spells you cast. Additionally, when a creature hostile to you exits your reach, you may cast a Druid cantrip that you know as a reaction.

I took away the part about eliminating both verbal and somatic components because of the counterspell issue. I also made the Cast a cantrip as a reaction thing essentially an opportunity attack.

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 6, you cast the spell at the level you wished to cast it at without expending that spell slot.

I cut the chance of this happening in half.


All in all I think that this version is more balanced. Is this homebrew druid subclass balanced vs. the other official Circles?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you play tested yet? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch May 8 at 22:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ No. I usually try to balance things reasonably before playtesting. \$\endgroup\$ – TheCentaur May 8 at 23:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking if this is balanced? There isn't an actual question in here. \$\endgroup\$ – GreySage May 8 at 23:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GreySage "The question is, is it balanced vs. the other Circles?" Is pretty specific, is it not? \$\endgroup\$ – Akixkisu May 9 at 0:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm confused. This is the Chaos circle, but almost all of the abilities lok like it's a "Balance between life and death druid". I this you should be inspired by wildmagic features from the wild magic sorcerer \$\endgroup\$ – Rorp May 9 at 9:22
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This version is better and could be playtested

You've done a good job of removing the strange or broken abilities. This is much closer to a balanced circle overall. I would probably allow this for playtesting in my games. However there are still a few issues that I want to highlight.

Level 2

Wild Shape as a bonus action is super weak for second level. It is part of what the Circle of the Moon gets without the buff to wild shape forms. As a casting focused circle this is strictly inferior to the extra cantrip and Natural Recovery of the Circle of the Land. I would consider also granting Natural Recovery, this will make your class right between Moon and Land which should be balanced.

Alternatively, to keep more with the theme of Chaotic Shape. Make this non-voluntary but not expend a use of Wild Shape. You could make it have a % chance of happening, similar to your Chaos Magic feature.

Circle Spells

I'm glad to see you have included these. Expanding the spell list of a primary caster is an important feature. The spells you have picked are all of appropriate level and this should be balanced.

I do have a concern about the theme of these spells though. The class is about chaos, not life or death. This seems confusing and doesn't fit with the overall theme. You say your intent is to add to the offensive capabilities of the class, but only the spells available at 9th level actually deal damage. The rest are control/healing/buff spells. I don't think this quite hits the theme you were going for.

Level 6

The usage cap on this ability is never likely to come into play. Most druids will struggle to kill more than 5 creatures per short rest themselves. I would make this Wisdom modifier per long rest only. Otherwise it is mostly balanced.

Similar to the selection of circle spells this version of the circle seems more themed around Life/Death than Chaos. If that is what you are going for that's fine. But it makes the class confusing.

Level 10

This feature is fairly balanced now. Ignoring only Verbal components isn't really a very powerful feature though it does allow casting while deaf or underwater (depending on DM rules). Limiting the reaction to druid cantrips is a pretty big restriction so this isn't a powerful ability either. I would consider changing the wording though, look at the War Caster feat and make it "when a hostile creature's movement provokes an opportunity attack from you, you can use your reaction to cast a druid cantrip you know as a reaction."

Your feature is now fairly weak and is mostly useless if they take the War Caster feat. However the Circle of the Land also gets only situationally useful features. Theirs is slightly better and the Circle of the Moon get Elemental Forms which is better again. Overall this feature is likely under-powered.

Level 14

This is the feature that makes up for the lack of Natural Recovery at 2nd level. However it comes pretty late in the game when the druid already has enough spell slots to last through most combats. Most players will never use this feature and will simply feel this circle is lacking as a caster. Those that do reach this level will suddenly get a big boost to the number of spells they can cast.

Reducing the chance of this happening was a good call but it is likely still overpowered compared to other circles 14th level abilities. Even with a 1/6 chance this still grants effectively 3-5 additional spells during combat rather than during a short rest like Natural Recovery.

Instead of this feature I would grant some limited way to regain slots at 2nd level, like Natural Recovery and make this feature something different entirely.

Conclusion

This class overall is likely underpowered. Particularly in the early levels where is lacks offensive spells and slot recovery abilities. Once the 14th level ability kicks in, it is probably ok in balance terms but could use some work on thematics.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay, I may buff a few features and get back to this. I will definitely work on re-theming the abilities. \$\endgroup\$ – TheCentaur May 9 at 11:41

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