One can never have enough player options, and the Dungeons & Dragons team are taking this to heart, by releasing almost a constant stream of new test rules on their website. These rules, titled Unearthed Arcana, are available as a free PDF, however, I do hope we see many of these class options in upcoming hardcover books. It’s been a blast covering these options on the site, and I would love these sub-classes to see more use at the table. That being said, we have another new option for the Druid. Devoting themselves to the constellations above, players can now join the Circle of the Stars.
Starting at 2nd level, a Druid can choose to join the Circle of the Stars, which is an ancient tradition centered around the power of starlight. Studying these heavenly bodies, the Druid learns to interpret signs from the cosmos. To do this, the Druid crafts a Star Map that they use to track the movement of stars and other cosmic bodies. This star map can take the form of anything from a scroll to tempered glass disks, and the rules encourage the player to decide what kind of object is used. Acting as the Druid’s casting focus, the star map allows the player to cast Augury and Guiding Bolt without preparing or using a spell slot, though, this can only be done a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier. Guiding Bolt provides the Druid with a strong spell damage ability, while Augury plays into the theme of studying the heavens by seeking insight from the Cosmos. Right off the bat, we can see this new circle will focus more on the caster element of the Druid. Much like the Wildfire Druid which we reviewed Here. So, if transforming into a variety of animals isn’t your thing, than consider focusing more on spell casting with the Circle of Stars Druid.
Starting at 2nd level, the Druid gains the ability to alter themselves into luminous constellation-like form. Stars and glowing lines connect themselves together to create the characters form. Taking place of your Wild Shape feature, this Starry Form lasts 10 minutes and allows you to choose one of the following constellations to glimmer on your body:
Chalice: A constellation of a life-giving goblet appears on you. Whenever you cast a spell using a spell slot that restores hit points to a creature, you or another creature within 30 feet of you can regain hit points equal to 1d8 + half your level in this class.
Archer: A constellation of an archer appears on you. You gain a bonus action that you can use to make a ranged spell attack, hurling a luminous arrow that targets a creature you can see within 60 feet of you. On a hit, the attack deals radiant damage equal to 1d8 + your Wisdom modifier.
Dragon: A constellation of a wise, ancient dragon appears on you. When you make an Intelligence or a Wisdom check or a Constitution saving throw to maintain concentration on a spell, you can treat a roll of 9 or lower on the d20 as a 10.
Player choice and flexibility have been a focus across many of these Unearthed Arcana sub-classes, and we see it again here with the Circle of Stars Druid. This ability allows the Druid to choose either between enhancing their healing affects, causing additional spell damage, or increasing their concentration ability. Concentration most often being used to hold strong support type spells, however, the Druid is gifted another way to assist the party starting at 6th level. The Druid gains the Cosmic Omen ability, which like the Augury spell, plays into the fantasy that your character can read signs written in the sky . Using your star map, the Druid searches the heavens for an omen, and can roll a d6, and gaining one of the following affects:
Weal (even): Whenever a creature you can see within 30 feet of you makes an attack roll, a saving throw, or an ability check, you can use your reaction to roll a d6 and add the number rolled to the total.
Woe (odd): Whenever a creature you can see within 30 feet of you makes an attack roll, a saving throw, or an ability check, you can use your reaction to roll a d6 and subtract the number rolled from the total.
The Druid can use this affect a number of times equal to their Wisdom modifier; granting them a strong support feature. Obviously, the Druid’s spell casting will increase as they advance in level, so we only get two more abilities for the Circle of Stars Druid. Starting at 10th level, when the Druid uses their Starry Form, they also become partially incorporeal. This allows resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage. This adds a nice defense bonus that shouldn’t be overlooked. However, the D&D team certainly saved the best for last. Level 14 sees the Druid gaining the Star Flare ability. Conjuring a sphere of light with a 30ft radius, which can be cast on any point you can see within 120ft, each creature within the sphere takes 4d10 radiant damage and is blinded until your next turn. The player also has the ability to teleport friendly creatures to an unoccupied outside of the sphere. Though, a Constitution save negates all affects, this is a large radius that will only harm your enemies, and coming pretty early on as far as levels go. As a capstone ability, Star Flare will be fun to play with, just be sure your Wisdom is your Key stat, and this Druid Circle is centered around it’s spell casting ability.
With power gained by studying the Cosmos, the Circle of the Stars Druid will be a strong spell caster in any adventuring party. I encourage players to role-play the cosmology aspects of their character. When rolling for Cosmic Omens, play into the theme. If you roll a Woe, be more cautious and warn your party members of the stars ill fate. I’m excited to see what the community does with this sub-class as it has the potential to be one of my favorite spell casters!
As always, we want to hear from you! What do you think of the Circle of Stars Druid? Do you like the focus on spell casting? Let us know down below in the comments!