Welcome back to this series where we dive into the world of Midgard and the magical currents of ley lines that course through it. If you’ve not had a chance to read prior entries in the series, you can find them here. Given that only one subclass (that is, geomancer wizards) can truly interact with ley lines, it is probably no surprise that many of you have not had a chance to use them in your adventures. This month’s entry presents an opportunity to alleviate this problem with the introduction of a new subclass that greatly benefits from the weave of ley lines intrinsically embedded in the fabric of Midgard. Wizards step aside—let’s talk about druids.
Druid Subclass: Circle of the Living World
Druids of the Circle of the Living World take their worship of nature to the ancient source of its magic: the ley lines that form the lifeblood coursing throughout the world of Midgard. These druids meet at sites of strong magical power where ley lines converge into a nexus or even at natural and artificial anchor points for titanic ley lines such as ley monoliths, the peaks of enormous mountains, towering cliffs, volcanoes, forest heartlands, or a glacier’s heart. Circle members act as natural caretakers for the primordial web of crisscrossing ley lines flowing throughout the land, and they work vigilantly to maintain the balance of eldritch energies, stabilize erratic ley lines, and restore corruptions in the mystical network.
Senior members of the circle also act as independent advisors to other groups and societies invested in safeguarding the arcane fabric of ley energies and the shadow roads they power, including the ramagi ley wardens, the mythical bards of Skaldholm, Nuria Natal’s Honorable Society of Portal Wizards, the mages of Bemmea, and other wizardly factions.
Starting at 2nd level, you can see ley lines and draw on their power. You gain the following benefits:
- You can sense the presence of every ley line within 1 mile of your location.
- If you have line of sight to the line itself, it is visible to you in some obviously magical fashion.
- You can tap nearby ley lines located within 30 feet for their inherent powers.
- You are considered bound to a ley line for the sake of spells with specific effects when cast by a geomancer bound to a ley line (that is, Ley under Cover, Line Extension, and so on) but you cannot bind yourself to a ley line or channel their power from any distance like geomancers.
- You can recharge some of your magical energy by sitting in meditation and drawing power from ley lines around you. When you finish a short rest within 1 mile of a ley line, you can regain one expended spell slot whose level is no higher than your Wisdom modifier (minimum of 1st level). You cannot use this ability again until you finish a long rest.
Your mystical connection to the primordial energies that course through the world infuses you with the ability to cast certain spells. You learn a ley line cantrip of your choice. When you reach certain levels in this class, you gain access to circle spells powered by ley lines, as listed in the Circle of the World Spells table.
Once you gain access to a circle spell, you always have it prepared, and it does not count against the number of spells you can prepare each day. If you gain access to a spell that does not appear on the druid spell list, the spell is nonetheless a druid spell for you.
Circle of the World Spells
|3rd||ley disruption, ley on hands|
|5th||ley energy bolt, ley sense|
|7th||ley restoration, ray of life suppression|
|9th||amplify ley field, lesser ley pulse|
Ley Line Attunement
Starting at 6th level, you become more closely attuned to ambient ley lines, facilitating your ability to channel their power. As an action, you can expend a use of your Wild Shape feature to awaken your ley line attunement state, your body glowing with raw magical energies rather than transforming into a beast form. You gain a number of temporary hit points (non-stackable) equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1) for each level you have in this class. While this feature is active, you gain the following benefits:
- Your body glows and emanates bright light in a 60-foot radius and dim light for an additional 60 feet.
- You extend the reach of your Ley Initiate abilities, allowing you to tap nearby ley lines located up to 120 feet away.
- You roll your spellcasting ability check with advantage to determine if you successfully harness the power of a nearby ley line.
- If no ley line is present nearby, you can extend yourself to tap any distant ley line on this plane of existence, but you must roll at disadvantage for your spellcasting ability check. If successful, roll on the weak ley line effects table.
- Your spell attack rolls and spell concentration checks are made with advantage, and your spell targets roll at disadvantage when attempting to save against your spell effects.
- Due to the vulnerability of your physical nature in this state, attacks against you are made at advantage, and you have disadvantage on Strength, Constitution, and Dexterity saving throws.
These benefits last for 1 minute, until you lose all these temporary hit points, or until you use your Wild Shape again. You can also end your attunement on your turn as a bonus action. Regardless of the cause, you must succeed a DC 10 Constitution saving throw when your attunement ends or suffer one level of exhaustion.
Ley Spirit Form
At 10th level, you can expend two uses of Wild Shape at the same time to transform into a ley elemental spirit (lesser).
You do not gain the innate spellcasting abilities of this spirit form and instead use the spellcasting abilities of your normal form. Any spell innately available to the spirit form is considered a known and prepared druid spell for you, which you can cast with a spell slot of the appropriate level. All your equipment (carried, worn, and held) is merged into your new form. Your spirit form acts as a spellcasting focus but you are unable to cast any spells that consume material components or where a cost is indicated for a material component.
At 14th level, your connection to the network of ley lines allows you to act as a momentary ley anchor. You can cast the line extension spell as if you had cast it using a 5th-level spell slot without expending a spell slot and without preparing the spell. Additionally, the connection or extension created by this spell acts as a temporary weak or strong ley line (your choice). You can cast this spell in this way a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of once), and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
New Ley Line Spells
Here are some new spells to accompany your new found power.
evocation cantrip (ley line) (druid, sorcerer, warlock, wizard)
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self (60-ft.-radius sphere)
Components: V, S, M (quartz taken from a ley-influenced area)
Duration: 10 minutes
Drawing upon nearby ley energies, you create an aura of illumination centered on you. Until the spell ends, all ley line segments located within 60 feet of the caster become visible to all, appearing as delicate shimmering waves, and shed light covering an area that extends in all directions within the area of effect along the path of the ley line. The brightness of the illumination is based on the strength of the ley lines. Weak ley lines project bright light for 15 feet and dim light for an additional 15 feet; strong ley lines project bright light for 30 feet and dim light for an additional 30 feet; titanic ley lines project bright light for 60 feet and dim light for an additional 60 feet.
The ley illumination can be colored as you like. The aura of illumination remains centered on you as you move.
If there are no ley lines within range of the caster, an aura of illumination that sheds bright light in a 15-foot radius and dim light for an additional 15 feet per strength level of the ley line (15 + 15 ft. for weak lines, 30 + 30 ft. for strong, and 45 + 45 ft. for titanic) projects from the caster.
Have you played a geomancer before? Do you have any questions about ley lines? What fun events have emerged from the use of ley lines in your campaigns? How are the new ley line spells, feats, and items working out in your adventures? Leave your feedback below and come back for the next installment in this series.
7 thoughts on “Midgard Ley Magic: Circle of the Living World”
Sorry but that 6th level feature is terrible.
Binding yourself to a ley line makes you actively weaker? With disadvantage on Strength, Constitution, and Dexterity saving throws, AND attacks against you get advantage? All for a pool of temp HP, at the cost of a wildshape?
I mean, its a decent pool of HP, assuming maxed wisdom 30 temp hp is nothing to sneeze at at L6, but with advantage against you and disadvantage on most of the important saving throws, they’re going to be gone SO FAST.
Sure you get to use ley lines that are a little further away (but without official maps of where ley lines actually are, that’s a DM fiat thing)..
I really don’t think anyone will ever use this feature.
Whoops, my response below was meant as a reply to you. See my other comment.
I completely retract this comment in light of the response below. I have no idea how I missed that!
Hi there, thanks for the feedback. I welcome the conversation.
I think you might have missed the part where Ley Line Attunement grants advantage on ALL your spell attack rolls and spell concentration checks, and your spell targets roll at disadvantage when attempting to save against your spell effects. This is regardless of the presence of nearby ley lines.
That is an extremely powerful ability given that it lasts for a full minute (i.e. full encounter). Given that it’s tied to a single use of a druid’s wild shape and made available as early as 6th level, the “weakening” of the physical nature of the druid during this time is a necessary offset to keep things in check.
I encourage you to test it out and report back on your findings. I’d love to hear how it works out.
Oof, not sure how I missed that. I failed my reading comprehension check for sure!
That definitely changes things, with that the feature isn’t terrible at all… its freaking fantastic!
This ability is a very nice risk-reward mechanic and I quite like it. The physical weakness of the druid is easily offset by the massive increase in spellcasting potential.
I do worry a little bit about the possibility that a single really solid hit can deactivate the ability by taking out all the temp HP, but that is part of the risk I suppose.
I really like that this is different enough from the School of Geomancy to justify its existence as well.
I will also reiterate a request I made on a previous article, which is to see an update to the Deep Magic pdf that deals with Ley Magic that consolidates all this information into one place with a nice polish.
Keep up the awesome work.