One of the most basic and readily available sources of terrain is vegetation. From trees tall enough to provide total cover, to grass thick enough to count as difficult terrain plants can be scenery, set piece, obstacles, tools and even enemies and none understands this better than the Botanist. The Botanist is a versatile and interesting class that can handle combat and utility with equal style and grace.
The class’ chassis is decidedly dead in the middle of the road; Medium base attack, D8 for hit die, good fortitude and will, 4+int skill points. It’s a frame that screams “multi purpose” and this class lives up to that very well with a host of abilities allow them to…..branch into any role.
The Botanist takes action through several types of abilities. A light sprinkling of druid spell like abilities allows them to work basic magical functions that the class would be sorely lacking without but the real shine comes from their other talents. Even at first level your bulbasaur, I mean Botanist, has a razor leaf, a vine whip, and a seed attack. These abilities are flavorful in their execution and continue to gain new abilities allowing them to scale great with your level so no matter how strong you get you’ll still come back to your old standby weapons. Complimenting their multitalented status the Botanist receives a healing touch that is useable at will, ensuring your party starts every battle fully healed without having to rely on healing spells, wands or potions. On top of that they have my personal favorite, growing yourself a powerful treant companion and, if desired, investing them with your own personal energy to make them stronger. The class is topped off with the ability to gain magical buffs related to different sorts of trees and a selection of other unique abilities chosen from a decent sized list.
The overall feeling of the class is exciting, it renders you with a plethora of options for every situation and allows you to take your own approach to playing. Combined with versatility the class has built in style. A Botanist drawing power from cherry blossoms and wielding a cherry blossom blade feels very different from a Botanist who stands behind an ancient gaia dark hazel treant while laying on thick layers of healing. Everything about this class fells fun and exciting and different, it’s a great example of what homebrew can and should be.
Suffice to say this class gets my seal of approval and I highly recommend it for anyone looking to play a plant based natural character or druid but with less spell casting and more truly unique abilities.