D&D 5e: Goliath Druid Guide

A pair of female goliath druids garbed in animal furs and skulls.

D&D 5e: Goliath Druid Guide

Goliaths are an unpopular but ultimately decent choice of race for a druid; people playing spellcasters tend not to consider stereotypically strong and beefy races, but this can be a mistake.

The Goliath is the prime example with its unique mountain-dwelling culture emphasizing the survival of the fittest, and potent defensive and utility benefits; prospective druid players should at least consider picking it.

Remember that there are multiple versions of the Goliath: the Monsters of the Multiverse version is newer and more powerful, so this guide will assume you’re using that one. 

A male goliath druid stands next to his bear companion.

How to Make a Goliath Druid 

Wisdom should be your highest ability score, followed by constitution and dexterity. Distribute the remaining three “dump” ability scores however you like, although a Goliath with a strength score of 8 is strange, so it’s up to you if you want to embrace being the weakest Goliath in town or attempt to bump it up to a 12.

You may want to pick a thematic subclass; the easily forgotten Circle of the Land druid has a mountain sub-subclass that gives you a bunch of stone related spells, Lightning Bolt, and more. The higher level features are not great though; consider playing a Stars druid instead if you’re going to a high level. Goliaths likely have a good view of the stars from their mountain homes.

Solid spells include Entangle, Spike Growth, Plant Growth, and any spells that summon one or more creatures; Summon Beast is the least inconvenient summoning spell to use, but keep its (thankfully not consumed) costly component in mind. Conjure Animals may be appropriate for some tables, but talk to your table and dungeon master about the spell and see how they feel about it; it’s an extremely strong spell that requires the DM to do a lot of work and for you to handle lots of creatures turns very efficiently.

How to Play a Goliath Druid 

Solid spells for combat use include Entangle, Spike Growth, Plant Growth, and any spells that summon one or more creatures; Summon Beast is the least inconvenient one to use, but keep its (thankfully not consumed) costly component in mind.

Stone’s Endurance is one of the most potent low level features out there; at the cost of one reaction, you can reduce an attack made against you to nothing by rolling 1d12+con mod and preventing that much damage. The extra uses from the proficiency bonus don’t quite scale as fast as monster damage does, but it’s still an okay feature even at high levels unless you have some other reliable reaction defense such as the Shield spell. Specifically at levels 1-2, you might be the tankiest party member, but not so tanky that you make anyone else feel bad.

Unlike most druids, going the Circle of the Land (Mountain) route means you can shoot an 8d6 Lightning Bolt out of your hands starting at level 5: it’s not as good as Fireball, but for a druid, it’s a fantastic spell since it gives you something to do while concentrating on another spell.

Lastly, don’t forget that being a MotM Goliath gives you resistance to cold damage! It could save your life when the enemy wizard uses Cone of Cold on you.

How to Roleplay as a Goliath Druid 

Unlike most Goliaths, your character has eschewed physical prowess for mystical nature magic; decide what motivated you to do this, and if you lived in a Goliath tribe, decide how they feel about it. Were you kicked out after cheating in a rock climbing contest with what you thought was a sneaky casting of Spider Climb? Or are you well respected for the wisdom you offer?

The good news is, even with a poor strength score, you still have your Little Giant feature; this lets you not be entirely useless in out of combat situations where physical might is required due to the various benefits it offers.

Finally, it’s entirely up to you to decide how closely your character conforms to the traditional Goliath mindset; do you have a sense of fairness, competition, and self-sufficiency like most Goliaths, or do you differ on one or more of these? It’s all up to you.

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