DMs Guild Review – The Garradrugh

A nature-themed warrior based on Celtic lore, featuring six subclasses.

DMs Guild Review

A review copy of “The Garradrugh” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Designed by: Daylight Productions (Cameron Day)

The Garradrugh is a new character class inspired by Celtic culture, specifically nature worship. Mechanically it’s a Fighter with nature-themed abilities, including a special bond with a sentient nature spirit that can take different forms depending on your chosen subclass.

If a Paladin is rigorously devoted to a certain deity, a Garradrugh is devoted to the Grove, and bestowed a sentient symbiote called a beocryd. The beocryd gains new abilities and takes new forms spending on which subclass we choose at level three, with six different options.

There’s a bit of confusion on what a beocryd is until then, however. At level two it can aid us in combat, replacing a Fighter’s fighting styles with more interesting abilities like copying a one-handed weapon to deal poison damage, or creating a 30 HP wall for allies. I’m picturing a plant-like symbiote, though it also has its own HP and AC and can be targeted by enemies (though immune to AOE attacks, for some reason).

The class gets more confusing at fifth level. The Beocryd “gains an attack action” but it’s unclear if that functions as Extra Attack, or if it adds the new traits that are listed immediately after, including a long-range, Firebolt-like targeted blast, and a 10-ft tendril attack. Both are neat, but would ultimately pale in comparison to a standard Fighter’s Extra Attack, causing a Garradrugh to fall way behind the power curve.

The problem with making a new class as oppose to a subclass is competing with the dozen existing classes. In this case, as a d10 martial weapon user, the Garradrugh is directly competing with the Fighter, Ranger, and Paladin classes. New abilities have to be balanced with those classes, and also interesting enough to warrant taking them.

The beocryd is the only thing that makes the Garradrugh interesting, and half of the six subclasses squander it with lame skill enhancements, AC bonuses, and bonuses to initiative. It’s also odd that most of the new abilities or spellcasting rely on Charisma, but the Quick Build for the class suggests STR and WIS.

At least two of the subclasses are a step in the right direction. With the Bond of Ash the Garradrugh’s beocryd becomes a horn that can summon a wood elemental (stat block provided), and later a pair of dryads, with many of their abilities themed around healing and protection.

The Bond of Yew is themed around death, adding the Toll the Dead cantrip, bonus necrotic damage, and later the ability to cast Create Undead. Death is a natural part of life. Undead I’m not so sure, but at least it makes for some more interesting abilities.

A separate multi-classing errata .PDF is also available, adding role-playing ideas for PCs who want to become Garradrugh during their adventuring career, as oppose to starting as one. This was a missed opportunity to update the existing document (or even re-release it) to integrate these story ideas into the main class description. The direct examples taken from comic book tropes is effective, and helps reinforce the class with potential role-playing opportunities.

Pros:

  • Highly thematic combination of a fighter and druid.
  • Six different subclasses themed around different trees and tenets.

Cons:

  • Unattractive formatting and layout.
  • Multi-classing (or how to become a Garradrugh) should’ve been integrated into the main product, rather than separate errata.

The Verdict: The Garradrugh could offer interesting role-playing opportunities for nature-themed warriors, but isn’t significantly more interesting than a garden-variety fighter.

A review copy of “The Garradrugh” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s