D&D 5e: Aarakocra Druid Guide

An owl arrakocra druid dressed in green and holding a staff.

D&D 5e: Aarakocra Druid Guide

Aarakocra is a hard-to-spell race originating from the Elemental Plane of Air and are most notable among D&D players for their immensely powerful innate ability to fly. Before playing an Aarakocra, make sure your table approves of characters who can fly starting at level 1; the dungeon master needs to keep it in mind when designing challenges in their campaign, and the other players need to be fine with someone starting with this power.

The Monsters of the Multiverse version of the Aarakocra is both newer and more well-designed, so this guide will assume you’re using that version. The version in the Elemental Evil Player’s Guide is a lot faster but lacks some of the other features in the new version.

A white female arrakocra druid with a wooden scythe.

How to Make an Aarakocra Druid

Your highest ability score should be wisdom, then you can prioritize dexterity and constitution: remember, you can’t fly while wearing medium or heavy armor, so a high dexterity will help you get the most out of light armor. Talk to your dungeon master about whether or not studded leather is considered “metal armor” for a druid’s aversion to wearing metal armor; most DMs agree that it isn’t, but it’s always good to make sure.

Innate flight is powerful and will protect you in tons of scenarios, but it won’t protect your allies; because of this, the Circle of Dreams might be your subclass of choice. The bonus action healing ability will keep your ground-based allies alive, and the higher-level features let you double down on your high mobility. Shepherd is also tempting, but if you’re using your flight to its fullest potential, you may not be included in the aura of your level 2 feature when you need to be.

How to Play an Aarakocra Druid

In combat, you will usually want to fly into the air if you aren’t already there, then cast some powerful concentration spell like Entangle or Spike Growth. Use non-concentration spells to deal damage and support your allies, and save your wild shape for out-of-combat utility; most of your forms aren’t very good anyway, and the Circle of Dreams doesn’t come with alternative wild shape uses.

Anything that boosts your walking speed also boosts your flying speed, so a Longstrider spell or a similar effect can be useful. But remember that flying is not always a good idea: if an enemy creature can knock people prone from a distance, never fly around them unless you are willing to go prone and take fall damage.

Additionally, if your allies are near death and you’re at full hit points, you should consider making yourself a target of enemy attacks by flying close to that enemy; even if the enemy brings you to low health with a single multiattack routine, you at least possibly saved a party member from death.

How to Roleplay as an Aarakocra Druid

There are a lot of ways to roleplay an Aarakocra, but the elephant in the room is your flight. Do you fly whenever you can just for fun, or do you treat flight like humans treat running and just do it only when necessary? Do you even try to fly indoors during boring meetings just because you can’t stand being on the ground for too long? Do you get uneasy when forced to spend time in narrow underground tunnels? Do you point and laugh at other people who can’t fly? The typical Aarakocra is good-aligned and loves flying, but you don’t need to adhere to these norms.

As for the druid part of your personality, consider your relationship with nature and how you feel about other humanoids and their interactions with it. And don’t forget, you have a personality beyond being a druid or being a bird person, but that’s entirely up to you.

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