I’m just going to do the druid here, because I want to do the fighters all at once. Remember the situation. A Druid (or other PC) is partnered with a pretty boring and unoptimized 5th level Champion fighter.

The Druid will be a complicated fight, I think, because I don’t fully understand the shapechanging and hit point rules . . . but I’ll give it a go.

The first thing I’ll need to decide is if I go animal form first, or second. The druid I wrote up is Circle of the Moon, so let’s throw down with fighters and brown bears and dinos, oh, my.

Remember Hilde?

Hilde is a great-weapon fighter, armed in chain mail armor and carrying a halberd. 

Key Stats

This is a knock-down, drag out brawl to the finish. The only stats Hilde has that matter are 

Attack: 1d20+7 to hit, 1d10+4 slashing damage, two attacks.

Total damage: 11 per hit, and Orcs have AC 13. 75% chance to hit, so 8 damage per attack on the average, twice.

Basically, Hilde will kill one orc (15 HP) per turn. A bit more, actually, if you let fractional damage carry over. On the defense, Hilde has AC 16 and 44 HP, plus 11 more due to Second Wind. 1d20+5 for the orcs will hit 50% of the time, so 4.5 damage per round, so Hilde will last about 12 rounds of combat before hitting 0 HP, and will kill 13.2 Orcs in the process.

So the basic, unbuffed OrcPower even without a friend is 13.

Buffed or Unbuffed

The circle and spells are not helpful to the fighter, so although Hilde provides a bit more than 13 Orcpower, there’s not much the Druid can do to buff that. 

6th Level Druid

I’m not sure it matters, but lets use the animal forms first. While I’d love to go the all dinosaur route, I think a better call is to summon two bears and then change into the druid’s animal form, in this case an allosaur (though Polar Bear has strong appeal, the allosaur has higher HP, higher AC, and higher damage).

Circle of the Moon Revisited

I seem to have wandered far afield in my original writeup, so for clarity, here’s a new Moon Circle Hill Dwarf summary

  • STR 11; DEX 13; CON 18; INT 14; WIS 18; CHA 13
  • AC 13; HP 63
  • Melee Attack: 1d20+3 to hit and 1d10 damage
  • Cantrip Attack: 2d12 damage on a failed DC 15 CON save
  • Spell slots: 4 1st level, 3 2nd level, 3 3rd level. 10 spells known
  • Wild Shape: Assume CR 2 shape (Allosaurus and Polar Bear are good choices)
  • 1st level spells of note: Cure Wounds, Thunderwave
  • 2nd level spells of note: Flame Blade, Moonbeam, Heat Metal
  • 3rd level spells of note: Call Lightning, Conjure Animals, Erupting Earth, Tidal Wave


The Druid will be AC 13 in either human or allosaur form. As a human, facing 1d20+5 attack and 9.5 damage per strike (including another half-point for critical hits), the orcs will hit rolling 8 or higher, or 65% of the time. So damage per turn is 65% of 9.5 = 6.2 points per attack.

Erupting Earth: This is an interesting thing, because if you just want to run away, Erupting Earth will seal the narrow opening that is the premise of the contrived environment. a 20′ x 20′ grid erupts to 20′ high – easily sealing the opening and letting the combatants settle down for a beer or something. We won’t do that, but it is a viable low-Orcpower, high survival strategy. Erupting Earth also does not appear in the PHB – it must be some other source.

Given 63 HP, the Druid will last as a human for 11 rounds. With 42 more as a Polar Bear, AC 12, this keeps the Druid standing another 7 rounds (6 if you have to change back rather than die). Total 19 rounds vertical.

Cure Wounds

The cure wounds spell cast at 1st level is 1d8+4, which is close to 2 extra rounds per casting. This can come at the end, so we’ll change into an Allosaur early on (8 rounds), and then buff the fighter a few times near the end.

When Animals Attack

The Druid has some big guns to bring out first, so he’s going to have to stand there for a moment casting spells and preparing the field.

  • Round 1: Erupting Earth  to clear the field a bit. Hits 16 orcs, 1d20+1 vs DC 15, so fails 65% of the time, being knocked prone and taking 16 bludgeoning – so this spell will kill every orc in a 4×4 grid, and reshape the battlefield while at it. 16 orcpower. 
  • Round 2: Conjure Animals to bring 2 brown bears into the fray. Each bear will get in two attacks per round vs. AC 13 at 1d20+5, one attack doing 8, the other 11 on average. So 65% of the time will hit, averaging 12.3 HP per strike. So Da Bears are each 0.8 orcpower per round, and at AC 11 and 34 HP, will last 5 rounds before expiring. Each bear is thus 4 orcs, so this is an 8 Orcpower spell.
  • Round 3-10: Change shape as a bonus action to a Polar Bear. Attack everything that moves. 1d20+7 and an average of 21 on successful hits, for 15 expected. Basically 1 orc per round for 6 rounds. Change back to human as a bonus action at the end, with 51 HP remaining.
  • Aside: The allosaur comes out to 5.6 or so. It lasts longer, but does less damage.
  • Round 11-14: Buff the fighter with cure wounds. +2 Orc power each for 8 total.  26.2 HP remain.
  • Round 15-17: Thunderwave with 2nd level slot. 7.6 HP remain. 10.5 points per orc in a 3×3 grid. So 6.3 orcpower per casting, 18.9 orcpower total.
  • Round 18: Erupting Earth. 3d12 on a failed DEX save, half-damage otherwise, in a 4×4 grid. So 16 creatures will fail to save vs 19.5 damage 65% of the time. Average is 16, making this a 16 orcpower spell. 

Total Orcpower

Hilde the Fighter: 13.2 base, plus 8 more for the healing buffs: 21.2
Druid: 16 from the first Erupting Earth. 8 from the two brown bears. 6 from the shapechange to the polar bear. 18.9 for thunderwave, and 16 for erupting earth to end the fight and seal off the doorway. 65.9.

Total Orcpower: 87.1 . . . and both combatants walk away alive.

Parting Shot

In order to have both combatants walk away alive, I used Erupting Earth, a spell not in the PHB but found in the Forged Anvil character generator. So it appears somewhere.

The Druid is in a similar situation as the barbarian, oddly enough – staying power due to lower rates of HP loss (or in this case, for the Druid, bonus HP for animal forms). The animal form isn’t quite as able as one would like, but this will evolve.

The dense packing of the foes make, again, for high orcpower counts when dealing with area effect spells. Still, even all melee with animal form, plus the Thunderwave (and not even invoking Call Lightning), you’re dealing with over 30 Orcpower just for himself, and the buffing of the fighter pushes the pair to 50. Another two castings of Conjure Animal would bring in another 16, so no matter how you slice it, you’re talking 65-85 Orcpower, more or less. 

As seemingly always, the best thing you can do for offensive power next to area effect blasting spells (and truly, we have not seen those yet, since Fireball hasn’t been evaluated) is simply attack more often. The law of large numbers takes hold, and you will tend to be less swingy in your results.

The Druid is surprisingly strong in this situation. Against more dispersed foes, the animal form and allies may well be stronger, since you might be able to close the distance, kill a small cluster of bad guys by overwhelming them, and move on, perhaps taking no injury to yourself in the bargain.

4 thoughts on “Even More Orcpower (Druid)

  1. _Erupting Earth_ is in the Elemental Evil Player's Companion – the rules-crunch-only portion of Princes of the Apocalypse, which WotC made available for free as a PDF.

    This is an interesting analysis, and the first article in this series that I've happened to read. Thank you for taking the time!

    1. The best thing you can do for me, if you like what you see, is reshare it or talk it up in other forums. Getting the word out is the best thing you can do for a blogger. Thanks for reading some of my stuff, & I hope you enjoy what you find.

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