I have examined the lunar druid and I see many recurring problems regarding their resources, their health and their sustainability. Are they too strong compared to other classes? If not, what do I miss?
To simplify things, I will focus on levels 2 to 6, because level 2 is where the lunar druid is considered the strongest and level 6, the place where they are often considered "trays".
From what I understand, the lunar druids, from level 2, can be transformed into CR 1 beasts, including the brown health bear 34, which can do two attacks per turn ( +5 to the touch, 9 damage per shot). This adds to all the abilities and health of a druid.
For comparison purposes, a player with 14 Constitution and an average die score (halfway between a 1d8 and a 1d10, or an average score of 5) will:
Average character health by level
- Level 1: 11 HP
- Level 2: 18 HP
- Level 3: 25 HP
- Level 4: 32 HP
- Level 5: 39 HP
- Level 6: 46 HP
- Level 7: 53 HP
- Level 8: 60 HP
Not only does the Brown Bear Druid form of the Moon have as many life points as a Level 3 character, but she also has about as many life points as a Level 2 character. Combined (52 HP), they actually have as many health points as a level 7 character.
In addition, the druid can Wild Shape several times a day. Two times per rest and estimating approximately 1.5 rest per day, this corresponds to approximately 5 uses, which gives an effective bonus of 170 HP if the combat is held throughout the day, or 68 bonuses before requiring a short rest.
And it's at level 2.
Even when you know that lunar druids are "disappearing" around level 6, they have access to a creature with 60 health, and have about 40 HP themselves. At this point, the Druid's casting potential begins to play, allowing access to spells such as Call Lightning, Sleet Storm, and other spells that few other classes / groups have access to.
Most of the features of the Beast include abilities or attacks that completely obscure other melee classes, such as multiple attack in addition to the brown bear, allowing them to attack twice ( +6 to the touch, 9 damage on average) when a fighter of the same level can attack only once. (about +5 to hit, 8.5 points of damage on average).
A barbarian, who has Rage for doubling the hit points, would actually have twice as much health as other characters. With a 1d12 and +3 Con modifier, a level 2 barbarian would have about 25 real HP, and with Rage halving all the damage, and assuming we only worked with damage types that Rage can resist, we are talking about a 50 HP. It's the same as the combined health of the Druid with the Brown Bear shape, but this value needs to be rationed for the whole day.
At level 6, this value increases significantly, with about 63 HP, or 126 HP effective with Rage that they can absorb in a day. At this level, there are two uses of the wild form of the Druid or, in fact, the equivalent resource of a short rest.
At level 6, a druid can suffer as much punishment as a short rest as a barbarian can take a whole day.
It's hard to compare Moon Druids to other casters, because it's not possible to cast a cast when it's signed. However, thanks to its full casting capabilities, it is an obvious choice in terms of projection power on half-casters, such as Arcane Trickster, Eldritch Knight, Ranger or Paladin. The easiest cast to compare is probably Druid's Circle of Dreams, which, like the Lunar Druid, does not have passive abilities to cast spells directly.
In terms of casting, the only weakness of Moon Druid is the fact that his melee form can not be cast and is just as good in the case of a pitcher.
As far as power is concerned, their druid form is on its own between the effectiveness of an Eldritch knight for the lower limit and that of a "Gish" type of thrower (such as a College of Swords Bard or a Bladesinger wizard) for the upper limit.
Combined / Summary
Lunar Druids are as effective as the most powerful martial classes in melee combat and at least as effective as a caster as half throwers, if not more.
My goal is to make the Moon Druids use all their resources and not overshadow other players. When the Wizard runs out of resources and uses Cantrips at the end of the day, I also want Moon Druid to do the same.
But before that, I want to understand how much change is needed to bring the lunar druid to this level, or if it is justified.
- Is my Moon Druids analysis correct?
- Are they more powerful than the other characters?
- And if that can be quantified, by how much?