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This is the 3rd iteration of my original homebrew. The last version was said to be a bit underpowered and the flavor was off, so I revamped a couple abilities. Here is the new version:

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.

Bonus Cantrip

When you choose this circle at 2nd level, you learn the Spare the Dying cantrip. This cantrip counts as a Druid cantrip for you, but does not count towards your number of cantrips known.

A cantrip that is situational, but very good in said situation.

Uncontrollable Shape

At 2nd level, when you cast a spell, roll a d20. On a 1, you use your Wild Shape feature without expending a use immediately after the casting of the spell.

A page from the Wild Magic sorcerer's book (though usually only wizards get books XD), as per suggestions given to me earlier. Free Wild Shape is quite good, but there is a VERY low chance of this happening.

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: Crown of Madness, Shatter
  • 5th level: Bestow Curse, Vampiric Touch
  • 7th level: Death Ward, Greater Invisibility
  • 9th level: Dawn, Destructive Wave

I took a suggestion to re-theme these, and I also made them A LOT more tuned towards damage output.

Life From Chaos

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 long rest.

Not overwhelming, as Druids aren't so great at killing things, but this Circle might be a bit better than average. A potential 5 times per long rest might be too many uses, but this feature isn't overwhelming.

Aura of Chaos

At 10th level, you have attuned yourself to chaos so much that you are ready for most things that magic can throw at you. You have advantage on saving throws against spells and their effects. Additionally, 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.

I essentially re-worked this entire feature to make it more powerful. I may have overdone it with (essentially) Magic Resistance, but there is even a race that lets you get that at level 1.

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 may take one additional action this turn. If you choose to use this action to cast a spell, you do not roll the d6 again.

I changed this up. It used to grant additional slots, but that doesn't quite fit the style of this chaotic circle. Essentially what this grants is a chance at an action surge, which may be too powerful.

No offense to those who say that this class needs a way to recover spell slots, but that doesn't quite fit the flavor that I am going for. The cost of a high-damage druid will be the rapid expending of spell slots, and this will be the trade-off.

Is this balanced against other circles? This may or may not be the final iteration, depending on the answers I receive.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I would LOVE if downvoters would post comments telling me why they don't like this question. \$\endgroup\$ – TheCentaur May 10 at 0:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Correct, but it does leave me unsure if there is an inherent balance problem with this. Otherwise, it could just be someone that thinks negatively of homebrew questions. \$\endgroup\$ – TheCentaur May 10 at 2:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ The last version was answered as ready to play test. Have you done so and what are your notes from it? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch May 10 at 11:54
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This is almost balanced and ready for playtesting

In balance terms I think you have got this about as balanced as you can without playtesting, except for the 10th level feature. Fixing that then playtesting should be your next step. I expect you will find that some features are overpowered but the lack of slot recovery and the few underpowered feature balance it out overall. As usual I will still go through each feature and give some feedback.

Level 2

Bonus cantrip is good, you are giving access to something druids don't normally get so that makes up for that lack of choice compared to the Circle of the Land. I'm not fussed about the theme of Life/Death from Chaos but that is clearly what you are going for so that's alright. I would grant a more damaging cantrip like firebolt or acid splash to better suit the offensive theme.

1/20 chance of a free Wild Shape is cool and on theme. Though without the forms of Circle of the Moon and no casting in Wild Shape it isn't super useful. This feature is likely slightly underpowered compared to Natural Recovery but not too bad.

Circle Spells

  • Crown of Madness: Yes! Totally on theme, a perfect choice
  • Shatter: A good AoE attack spell that suits the theme. Good choice.
  • Bestow Curse: Pretty good debuff spells that suits the theme. Not bad.
  • Vampiric Touch: This is a little more death than Chaos to me. But I get that you want the healing from death type thing. Not a terrible spell choice.
  • Death Ward: Not sure about the chaos part of this spell. It feels more like preventing chaos than causing it.
  • Greater Invisibility: Not a bad option, it doesn't not suit the theme. Though you do have a lot of concentration spells to compete with it.
  • Dawn: Was good before, still good now.
  • Destructive Wave: Destructive chaos, basically built of this class. Good choice.

Most of your spell choices are pretty good. Some alternate suggestion for 7th level are: banishment, Evard's black tentacles, confusion, phantasmal killer and vitriolic sphere.

Also the suggestion by Rorp to give chaos bolt is awesome from a theme point of view. Unfortunately it is level 1 and doesn't suit the circle spell progression. I would consider finding a way to fit it in. Maybe instead of the free cantrip at 2nd level you give a 1/rest casting of Chaos Bolt.

Level 6

This is more balanced recharging only on a long rest. I'm not sold on the theme of it but it isn't an issue.

Level 10

Compared to the Circle of the Land this feature is way better. They get immunity to poison and disease, and charm and frightened from fey or elemental. Circle of the Moon get Elemental Wild Shape, Circle of the Shepherd get healing aura for summoned creatures, Circle of Dreams get a limited use teleport. You give advantage on all spell saves, all the time, with no restrictions.

As you say Yuan-ti Pureblood get this as a racial trait from 1st level. While this is support that the feature is not unbalance in general, it is still much stronger than anything the other circles get at this level.

The cantrip as a reaction thing is fine. It might be a little strong if you take my earlier suggestion to give a high damage cantrip but still not a huge deal. Combined with the other benefit is definitely pushes this into overpowered though. I would add some restriction to the magic resistance and cut this part for playtesting.

Level 14

Casting two spells in a turn 1/6 of the time could be really strong. However you will burn spells very quickly. I would limit it to not work on cantrips as that would just make it free damage with no cost. If this proves too strong during playtesting you could consider limiting this action to one weapon attack, Dash, Disengage, Hide, or Use an Object; the same as the action granted by the haste spell.

I love the theme of this ability and think you should stick with it, but be prepared to modify it if it proves too strong.

Why I think spell recovery is important

You say you want this class to be a primary caster druid. Every other primary offensive caster (Circle of the Land druid, wizard, sorcerer, warlock) have a way of regaining some spells on a short rest (sorcerer via sorcery points). Bard and cleric regain other magic-like abilities (Bardic Inspiration and Channel Divinity receptively) on a short rest. Circle of the Moon druids get their main offense (Wild Shape) back on short rests.

Most of these classes also have better offensive cantrips than the druid and don't rely so heavily on spell slots for damage. You are relying on spell slots and not giving a way to recover them. This puts you at a significant disadvantage compared to every other primary caster. That is why I have suggested it multiple times.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ By the way, on my content (not this post), I am editing my ex. spell list to include Enemies Abound instead of Vampiric Touch, and Confusion instead of Death Ward. I am seriously toying with the idea of either giving this class Eldritch Blast or the aforementioned Chaos Bolt. Eldritch Blast might be too unbalanced. \$\endgroup\$ – TheCentaur May 10 at 11:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TheCentaur I like those spell changes. Chaos Bolt will take some work to fit as I said. I would lean toward firebolt instead of eldritch blast, especially if you keep the feature about cantrip as AoO. Not really a big difference though. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin May 10 at 11:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is the current wording for my 2nd level chaos bolt feature as of right now (Will change probably after playtesting): When you join this circle at 2nd level, you may cast Chaos Bolt at first level once per short or long rest. At 8th level, you may cast it twice per short rest, at 14th three times, and at level 20 four times. \$\endgroup\$ – TheCentaur May 10 at 12:01

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