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Circle of Bones

Most druids see the undead as unearthly and think of them as abominations to the balance of nature. To them, the balance of nature is something that is common to all life, and the fact that all creatures who are born are destined to die when their time comes is only natural. They do not seek what lies beyond death, as they are concerned with the essence of the living.

As a druid from the Circle of Bones, such beliefs make you laugh. How could nature, in all its mysticism and its glory, fail to involve the risen dead? How could what lies beyond life be ignored on a journey to seek mystical enlightenment, when the faith of druids is not made up of religious dogmas, but rather the freedom of discovery? To you, other druids are perhaps just as blind in their beliefs as many clergies are.

You are not bound by such limitations, nor limited by prohibitions on your magic. Others see necromancy as taboo, but you know taboos are nothing but sentimental make-believe that are made up by creatures, and nature has no place for them. Thus, you are able to work with souls and the undead, and cast spells of the beyond.

You may have seen beyond the threshold of death and the dreadful immensity that you faced enlightened you. You feel life force draining when you cast spells that drain life energy, and are subtly tempted towards evil. Yet, these are sacrifices you must make to reach your full potential: To be a free child of nature as nature intended. For nature is limitless, and it does not discriminate between life and death.

Bonus Cantrips

When you choose this circle at 2nd level, you learn two additional cantrips from the school of necromancy.

Magic of Bones

Your connection to the Circle of Bones provides you the ability to cast spells of the dead and the beyond. At 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th level, you gain access to spells associated with the dead and with spirits.

Once you gain access to the spells of the Circle of Bones, you always have them prepared, and they don’t count against the number of spells you prepare each day. If you gain access to a spell that is not on the druid spell list, the spell counts as a druid spell for you.

Additionally, any spell from the school of necromancy counts as a druid spell for you. You can prepare and cast a spell from the school of necromancy as a druid spell.

Circle Spells
Druid Level Circle Spells
3rd gentle repose, ray of enfeeblement
5th revivify, speak with dead
7th boneball*, shroud of undeath*
9th raise dead, rotting curse*

Magic of Souls

Because you are not limited to life, you learn how druid magic is influenced by the vitality of the soul. Starting at 6th level, you can choose to cast a spell by expending your own life force instead of expending a spell slot. To do so, you drain from your soul and decrease your hit point maximum by a number of d6s equal to the level of the spell. For example, when you cast a 4th level spell, your hit point maximum is decreased by 4d6.

This reduction lasts until you finish a long rest.

The Threshold and Beyond

Starting at 10th level, as a bonus action, you can gaze into the ethereal world. You can see 60 feet into the ethereal plane whenever you wish.

Additionally, you can force an ethereal creature to manifest itself in the plane you are in. As an action, you grasp the essence of a creature within 60 feet of you that has the etherealness feature and incorporeal traits. The creature must succeed on a Charisma saving throw against your spell save DC or it cannot use its Etherealness feature for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum one).

Once you force an ethereal creature to manifest, you cannot do so again until you finish a long rest.

You also learn the Ritual of the Threshold. This is a secret ritual performed by your circle in search of the knowledge of the beyond, by standing on the threshold between life and death.

Ritual Of The Threshold

In this ritual, you bring yourself to the brink of death in order to seek knowledge from the beyond. While in this state, you see visions and hear the voices of spirits.

You start by reducing your hit points to 0, and start to make your death saving throws. When you start, it counts as though you have succeeded 1 of your death saving throws. While you are in this state, you can benefit from the effects of one of these spells: augury, divination, contact other plane, or legend lore without expending a spell slot. In order to use the spell within the ritual, you must be able to cast spells of that level.

If you have three failed death saving throws, you stay unconscious for 1d4 hours and wake up with no recollection of your experience (and thus lose any benefits of this ritual). The ritual also fails if you are healed or a creature casts a spell such as spare the dying on you.

For the contact other plane and legend lore spells, you first spend an amount of minutes equal to their casting time, focusing on your intention, before you get into the dying state. For effects that require concentration, you can maintain your concentration after you become stable.

When you make your death saving throws for this ritual and have three successes, you return to life with 1 hit point.

If you fall unconscious in combat and start making death saving throws, you can still make use of this ritual. However, if you start to perform the ritual this way, you do not start with 1 success on your death saving throws, you cannot benefit from the effects of the spells above that have a casting time greater than 1 action, and you do not return to life with 1 hit point if you become stable.

Transcend

At 14th level, the limitations of death become insignificant to you. You learn how to cast the etherealness spell. You can prepare this spell just as you do your other druid spells.

If you die, you can cast revivify or similar spells on yourself to rise from the dead. You don’t have to have the spell prepared, but you expend a spell slot of the level of the spell cast. If the spell has a casting time that is longer than 1 action, you spend the amount of time necessary to focus on the spell in soul form. The material components of the spell are taken from your belongings if your corpse is within 120 feet of your soul.

Additionally, if you are down to 0 hit points and fall unconscious, you can get up in soul form as a risen soul. To rise in this way, you must expend a spell slot. You gain temporary hit points equal to a number of d8s equal to the level of the spell slot. For example, if you expend a 3rd-level spell slot, you have 3d8 temporary hit points in soul form. While in this form, you retain all your character abilities and traits, although you cannot make weapon attacks. You can cast spells and can consume any material components from your corpse. You revert back to your normal form if your temporary hit points drop to 0 or after 1 hour. When you revert back to your normal form, you fall unconscious.

You have the following properties as a risen soul:

Risen Soul

Armor Class 11
Hit Points as stated under “Transcend”
Speed 0 ft., fly 40 ft. (hover)
Damage Resistances acid, fire, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities cold, necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained

Special Traits

  • Incorporeal Movement. You can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. You take 5 (1d10) force damage if you end your turn inside an object.
  • Turn Vulnerability. You can be affected by turn undead.

Actions

  • Etherealness. You enter the Ethereal Plane from the Material Plane, or vice versa. You are visible on the Material Plane while you are in the Border Ethereal, and vice versa, yet you can’t affect or be affected by anything on the other plane.
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