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Circle of the Elements

In addition to the animals of her realm, a druid may also call upon the aid and service of the very elements themselves.

Elemental Cantrip

At second level when you choose this circle, you gain one evocation cantrip of your choice from the wizard or sorcerer spell lists. This cantrip must be elemental in nature and is in addition to your existing druid cantrips.

Elemental Familiar

A druid who belongs to the Circle of the Elements gains a special familiar who serves as their connection to the elemental forces that govern all natural laws. This familiar is granted by the elemental guardians and helps the druid to understand and serve the demands and desires of the forces these guardians represent.

Elemental Guardians

The elemental guardians are powerful creatures who have often served as both ally and enemy to the druids of the world. From their homes deep within the vast reaches of the elemental planes, they watch over their domains in the natural world, tending to them from afar.

In game terms, elemental guardians are elder elementals with above average Intelligence and Wisdom. Most are powerful druid sorcerers.

Summoning An Elemental Familiar

In summoning an elemental familiar, a druid calls out to one of the guardian elementals watching over her realm. First, the druid must gather a large sum of the guardian’s element together. Collecting a large pile of rare rocks, casks of purified water, stoppered bottles of rarefied air, or even setting a large fire could all accomplish this, depending upon which element is being beseeched. The druid then meditates near the element she has collected for one day, performing a ritual using rare ingredients (the worth of which is determined by the type of familiar the druid is requesting). At the end of the day, the druid must make a successful Nature Lore check (DC equal to 10 + the HD of the elemental) in order to successfully contact the guardian elemental. If the check fails, the ritual has been wasted and the druid must try again another day (at least one week is required before the attempt may be made again). If the check succeeds, however, the guardian elemental has been successfully contacted.

Once contacted, the guardian elemental judges the druid. If, in the druid’s time as caretaker, she has acted with good conscience and treated her companions and charges well, the guardian sees fit to bestow an appropriate elemental (particularly if the druid has done something to further or improve the guardian’s own elemental domain). The reaction of the guardian may also be swayed by appropriate gifts. If there is any question in the guardian’s mind, it may ask the druid to complete a quest or task to prove her worth (the particulars of which are left to the GM’s whim).

If the druid possesses merit in the guardian’s eye, the guardian grants her an elemental familiar. An elemental familiar is a true elemental of air, earth, fire, or water, but disguised in the form of a normal animal chosen from the animal types included herein.

At the GM’s discretion, a druid may also ask an elemental guardian to grant her a lesser elemental creature (such as a mephit) to serve as her familiar.

Elements Without Guardians

Guardian elementals may or may not be an appropriate addition to every campaign world. Even if they don’t exist, there’s no reason that druids can’t summon elemental familiars –they’ll simply do so in a way similar to their other familiars or from another source, depending on the cosmology of the campaign.

Elemental Familiar Abilities

An elemental familiar does not gain the same abilities that a druid’s typical familiar does. A separate table is given below for the advancement of all elemental familiars. Unlike a typical druid familiar, an elemental familiar’s primary advantage comes from its natural abilities.

Commune With Elements: The familiar can commune with nature, as per the spell, but with the limitation that it applies only to those areas in the immediate vicinity of its elemental type.

Elemental Growth: The familiar can grow to twice its normal size. This doubles the elemental’s height, width, and length, increasing its weight by a factor of eight. This increase in size has a number of effects:

Hit Dice: The familiar’s HD type increases, its natural attack bonus and save bonuses double. (Continue using the master’s total if it is higher.)

Size: The familiar’s size increases one step. Increase attack bonus by half, damage increases by one die type, and the space, reach and other abilities are determined by its new size.

Ability Scores: Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution increase by +4.

Special Abilities: Treat the familiar’s special abilities and attacks as if they were one size larger, increasing damage by one die type and any bonuses by half. (Its familiar type, however, does not improve. An enlarged standard familiar does not become a greater familiar.) The effect lasts a number of minutes equal to the master’s level. When it ends, the familiar’s hit points return to normal, and all damage the familiar has taken while enlarged is divided by 2.

The familiar can only use this ability once and then must engage in a long rest before it can be used again.

Elemental Nimbus: As a standard action, the familiar can form an elemental nimbus around its master. While in its nimbus state, the familiar is visible and can be targeted and affected normally by attacks and spells. In addition, it takes half damage from any physical attack which hits its master. The familiar can take no actions in its nimbus state, but grants special abilities to its master depending on its size and type:

Air: The master gains a +2 deflection bonus to AC.

Earth: The master gains damage resistance to slashing, piercing, bludgeoning.

Fire: The master gains fire resistance.

Water: The master gains a swim speed of 30 feet, the ability to breathe water, and the advantages of the familiar’s drench ability.

Elemental Nimbus, Greater: As per an elemental nimbus above, except the abilities granted to the master by the familiar are more powerful:

Air: The master gains a +4 deflection bonus to AC.

Earth: The master gains damage resistance to all nonmagical damage.

Fire: The master gains damage resistance (fire) and advantage on all fire-based saving throws.

Water: The master gains a swim speed of 60 feet, the ability to breathe water, and the advantages of the familiar’s drench and water mastery abilities.

Elemental Nimbus, Supreme: As per an elemental nimbus above, except the abilities granted to the master by the familiar are more powerful:

Air: The master gains a +6 deflection bonus to AC.

Earth: The master gains damage resistance (all nonmagical) and advantage on all Constitution-based saving throws.

Fire: The master gains fire immunity.

Water: The master gains a swim speed of 90 feet, the ability to breathe water, and the advantages of the familiar’s drench, water mastery, and vortex abilities.

Elemental Attacks: The elemental familiar’s natural attacks deal extra damage of its elemental type. Fire creatures deal fire damage, air creatures deal lightning or sonic damage (chosen when the familiar is gained), water creatures deal acid damage and earth-based creatures deal force damage. A standard elemental familiar does 1d6 elemental damage, a greater familiar does 2d6 elemental damage and a supreme familiar does 3d6 elemental damage.

Table 5-9: Standard Elemental Familiar
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Special
1st-2nd +1 6 Empathic link
3rd-4th +2 7
5th-6th +3 8 Elemental nimbus
7th-8th +4 9
9th-10th +5 10
11th-12th +6 11 Commune with elements
13th-14th +7 12
15th-16th +8 13
17th-18th +9 14 Elemental growth
19th-20th +10 15

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s existing natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Commune with elements: This ability may be used once, after which the familiar must take a long rest before it can be used again.

Elemental Growth: This ability may be used once, after which the familiar must take a long rest before it can be used again.

Table 5-10: Greater Elemental Familiar
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Special
1st-2nd +1 6 Empathic link
3rd-4th +2 7
5th-6th +3 8 Greater elemental nimbus
7th-8th +4 9
9th-10th +5 10
11th-12th +6 11 Commune with elements (2)
13th-14th +7 12
15th-16th +8 13
17th-18th +9 14 Elemental growth (2)
19th-20th +10 15

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s existing natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Commune with elements: This ability may be used twice, after which the familiar must take a long rest before it can be used again.

Elemental Growth: This ability may be used twice, after which the familiar must take a long rest before it can be used again.

Table 5-11: Supreme Elemental Familiar
Master Class Level Natural Armor Adj. Int Special
1st-2nd +1 6 Empathic link
3rd-4th +2 7
5th-6th +3 8 Supreme elemental nimbus
7th-8th +4 9
9th-10th +5 10
11th-12th +6 11 Commune with elements
13th-14th +7 12
15th-16th +8 13
17th-18th +9 14 Elemental growth (Short)
19th-20th +10 15

Natural Armor Adj.: This number noted here is an improvement to the familiar’s existing natural armor bonus. It represents a preternatural toughness of the familiar.

Int: The familiar’s Intelligence score (if higher than the familiar’s natural Intelligence). Familiars are as smart as people, though they are not necessarily as smart as smart people.

Commune with elements: The familiar requires only a short rest between uses of this power.

Elemental Growth: The familiar requires only a short rest between uses of this power.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Familiars & Companions, Copyright 2017, Troll Lord Games; Author Casey Christofferson, Justin Bacon, Tommy Ruteledge, Josh Hubbel, Lance Hawvermile, Luke Johnson, Stephen Vogel and Dave Zenz.