Hello everyone, and welcome to another great edition of Best in Class, where each week we bring you new archetypes, class features, and prestige classes to excite and amaze. This week’s offering will be devoted to a staunch and potent servant of nature. That’s right kids: it’s time to talk about the druid once again.
New Druid Archetype
A primal visionary is a druid who believes wholeheartedly in the inherent beauty and moral superiority of the natural world, and seeks to both preserve and promote the natural world. She accomplishes her goals with a wide variety of powers stemming from her potent bond with the nature, which allows her to influence and guide its primal forces in her quest to enlighten society about the errant course of civilization. Some primal visionaries become a sort of eco-terrorist, leading devastating assaults against encroaching civilizations, while others are devoted to convincing people to come around to their way of thinking by providing a superior quality of life for those who choose a natural path. Whatever their methods, all primal visionaries share the common goal of bringing society back into the natural world and away from civilizations that spurn nature in favor of man’s corrupt whims.
Skill Ranks Per Level: A primal visionary receives only 2 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Nature’s Allies (Su): A primal visionary can use her magic to form a potent bond with natural creatures, which strengthens both their bodies and their dedication to her cause. At 1st level, the primal visionary can attempt to form a bond with any creature of the animal, plant, or fey types. Forming a bond in this fashion requires a 1-minute ritual in which the primal visionary and the creature to be bonded share water taken from a natural source (water created by the create water spell is insufficient, though water from a stream, lake, or even bog would suffice).
A bonded creature gains bonus hit points equal to the primal visionary’s level, and the primal visionary can attempt to guide a creature bonded to her as a swift action. Guiding a creature using this ability requires a successful Handle Animal check for animals with an Intelligence score of less than 3 (this functions exactly like using Handle Animal on a normal animal, and uses the DC for the task described); or a successful Charisma check (DC 10) for mindless plant creatures and plants with an Intelligence score of less than 3; or a successful Diplomacy check (typically DC 15, though particularly dangerous or loathsome tasks may cause the DC to increase at the GM’s discretion) for creatures of any type that have an Intelligence score of 3 or higher. If the check is successful, the bonded creature performs the requested action to the best of its ability. Failure means the bonded creature acts in whatever manner it chooses, though it may still attempt the communicated task if it feels it was a good idea.
At 6th level, the primal visionary can speak with any creature bonded to her as though she were affected by the spells speak with animals, speak with plants, and tongues. At 8th level, the natural attacks of any creature bonded to her bypass damage reduction as though they were magical weapons.
A bonded creature is generally free to do as it pleases, though most feel inclined to remain near to the primal visionary and help her in her aims and goals, provided they don’t prove too unsavory for the bonded creature. A bonded creature only receives the benefits of the bond as long as it remains within 1 day’s travel of the primal visionary. A creature who wanders further than 1 day’s travel from the primal visionary is no longer considered to be bonded by the primal visionary. A primal visionary can release a bonded creature in a 1-minute ritual, in which she bestows upon the bonded creature an offering of food (typically worth at least 1 sp).
In order to bond a creature, it must have a disposition of helpful toward the primal visionary. At any one time, a primal visionary can only bind a number of creatures whose total Hit Dice do not exceed twice her primal visionary level.
This ability replaces the nature’s bond class feature.
Wild Empathy: A primal visionary’s increased bond to nature exceeds that of a typical druid, and she can use Diplomacy to influence the attitudes of plant creatures, as well as animal creatures, even if their Intelligence score is below 3 or they are mindless.
This ability modifies the wild empathy class feature.
Influence Nature: A primal visionary’s bonds to the natural world allow her to more easily affect natural creatures with her magic. Beginning at 4th level, whenever she casts a spell that targets an animal, plant, or fey creature, she treats her caster level as though it were 2 levels higher than it actually is.
This ability replaces the resist nature’s allure class feature.
Wild Shape: At 4th level, the primal visionary gains the wild shape ability as normal with the following exceptions. At 6th level, the primal visionary does not gain the ability to become an elemental and can never use wild shape to replicate the effects of elemental body I, elemental body II, elemental body III, or elemental body IV. Similarly, at 8th level, the primal visionary does not gain the ability to shape-shift into a plant and cannot use wild shape to replicate the effects of plant shape I, plant shape II, or plant shape III.
This ability modifies the wild shape class feature.
Curse Immune (Su): Beginning at 9th level, a primal visionary’s hatred of the unnatural makes her immune to the effects of curses.
This ability replaces the venom immunity class feature.
Controlled Growth (Sp): A primal visionary can spontaneously grow to great height or wither to demure stature. At 13th level, the primal visionary can cast the spells enlarge person and reduce person at will as spell-like abilities, but can only target herself, and multiple instances do not stack.
This ability replaces the man of many faces class feature.