View Full Version : DnD 3.5e Wild Shape and Animal Companion questions

2009-01-24, 05:02 PM
My first question is about Wild Shape. My druid has finally reached level 9 and can take Aberration Wild Shape to turn into said creatures. I'm looking for recommendations for useful forms for this. Feel free to recommend strong non-Aberrations as well.

And my second question is about animal companions. If I'm level 9 and have the Natural Bond feat, does that mean I can get an animal companion up to 12HD? If a pet dies, and I get a new one, does it start out at the same level as my druid? And when it levels, does it get feats like a PC? Sorry about all of these questions, but this is my first time playing a Druid, and no one in the campaign I'm playing knows much else about them either.

Frog Dragon
2009-01-24, 05:05 PM
Druids cannot wildshape into aberrations. Where did you get that from? And about the animal companion you must do the 24 hour ritual to get a new one and it will be at the same effective druid level

2009-01-24, 05:18 PM
I got the Aberration Wild Shape feat from the book, Lords of Madness.

2009-01-24, 05:20 PM
Druids cannot wildshape into aberrations.
Aberration Wild Shape lets you wildshape into aberrations.
The druid's handbook (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=733400) has a list of aberrations that are useful, and I'm just going to copy it.
* Level 5
o Rust Monster - Useful for sabotage, removing metal walls, etc.
o Tako (OA) - Seven arms for weapons or Improved Grab/Constrict, aquatic, Multidexterity bonus feat.
* Level 8
o Cloaker - Area-effect moan, and goofy Engulf ability.
o Ineffable Horror (Und) - Flight, grapple and blood drain.
o Rukanyr (FF) - High AC at 7hd, one stunning attack, 3 poisoning attacks, 6 other claw attacks
o Mimic - adhesive (auto-grapple, can trap weapons)
* Level 9
o Stonesinger (MM3) - High nat armour, burrow+climb speed, poison bite+6 claws, decent Str
o Lifeleech Otyugh (MM3) - 4 tentacles+bite, imp grab+Constrict, high Str
* Level 10
o Hook Horror (MM2) - Imp Grab, power sunder, decent stats, climb speed
* Level 11
o Chuul - An alternative to Dire Bear. Lower grapple check and less damage in straight attacks because of lower Str, but its Constrict does comparable damage in a grapple, it can paralyze grappled foes, and it has better AC.
* Level 12
o Death Kiss Beholderkin (MonOF) - 10(!) tentacle attacks, each doing Con damage
o Urophion (LoM) - 50' range melee touch attack that does strength damage and lets you drag the victim in to eat his brain. One of the best aberration forms.
o Ocularon (FF) - Large 12HD, 90' fly speed (perfect) decent ac (21), imp grab w/ 4 tentacles, steal eyes and gain poison attack with those eyes
o Darktentacles (MM2) - 12 attacks (up to 3 at a single square), can use weapons at lowered penalties, decent stats, imp grab w/ +16 racial bonus
* Level 15
o Athach - Human-shaped form, with high stats and a poison bite.
o Deepspawn (PGtF) - Three "hands," great reach, good stats, lots of natural attacks, Improved Grab/Constrict
o Delver - High AC and an acid attack that is exceedingly effective against metallic or stony foes.
* Level 18
o Nagahydra (Serp) - seven bites with potent poison, massive stats
o Moonbeast (MM2) - 10(!) powerful attacks, plus Constrict AND bite on a grapple
* Level 20
o Chilblain (Frost) - A flier that deals respectable damage and has massive AC.
o Maulgoth (FF) - Send enemies (or allies) to ethereal plane with a touch.

Sorry I can't give more specific advice, but I've not played with the feat...

Edit: Here's one they missed: At level 11, try a guardian naga to spit poison (1d10 con) 30ft.

Keld Denar
2009-01-24, 05:26 PM
Lifeleech Otyugh (MM3) - 4 tentacles+bite, imp grab+Constrict, high Str

This one...use this one.

Also, if you really wanna get freaky with the Abberitions, you should probably pick up the Assume SU Ability feat from Savage Species, which allows you do all kinds of fun stuff, like Illithid Mind Blasting or Beholder Eye Raying.

2009-01-24, 05:27 PM
Rust Monster is a great choice when fighting anyone with metal weapons or armor.

2009-01-24, 05:28 PM
Natural Bonded level 9 Druid can get a Level -6 Animal Companion with +6 levels adjustments. That doesn't exactly equal to 12 HD, but close enough. Next level you could have a Level -9 Animal Companion with +3 adjustments.

That said, the best animal companion on those levels would still be Fleshraker Dinosaur [MM3]; it's a Level -3 so you'd have full 9 levels of adjustment giving it the delicious Multiattack (for Fleshraker especially, it's just plain awesome) and crazy HD and stuff. The best Core-only AC on those levels would probably be a Brown Bear.

As far as Wildshape goes, a few solid level 9 forms:
Sabertooth Tiger (Frostburn)
Polar Bear (MM1)
Fleshraker (MM3; yes, it's still good)
Rhinoceros (MM1)
Cave Triceratops (Mini)
Dire Eagle (RoS)
Dire Wolf (MM1)

Cloaker (MM1) / Cloaker Lord (Monsters of Faerun)
Darkweaver (FF)
Folugub (XPH) - for breaking crystal only
Rust Monster (MM1) - for breaking/smelling metal
Will-O'-Wisp (MM1) - Touch attacks are fun

On higher levels, stuff like Hook Horror (MM2), Moonbeast (MM2), Octopus Tree (FF), etc. become quite good; in general, lots of attacks tend to kick ass, and the easiest way to get a ton of attacks is to take a form with tentacles. Just avoid any hentai-references and it should be no problem. Really, Aberration Wildshape is rather mediocre since much of Aberrations' power tends to come from their Su and SL abilities, which you cannot replicate. The best you get is some interesting Ex attacks (such as Cloaker's Moan) and tentacle-rich forms (although those are available as Plants later on anyways). The biggest is probably the ability to turn into Folugubs/Rust Monsters to break things.

Take look at the Master of Many Forms Bible (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=639448), just remember that you don't get all the special qualities of your new forms.

2009-01-24, 05:36 PM
As for the Animal Companion questions...

If I'm level 9 and have the Natural Bond feat, does that mean I can get an animal companion up to 12HD?
Animal companion HD is only indirectly based on your druid or effective druid level, so that's not a question one can really answer. It depends on what animal you've chosen, in combination with the extra HD granted by your druid level (as shown on the animal companion chart.)
However, it is important to note that Natural Bond increases your effective druid level by 3 for purposes of animal companions, but can't increase your effective level above your character level. So if you're a pure Druid with Natural Bond, I'm not sure how you could even make use of it. (Though you might be able to use an Alternative animal companion to lower it back to an effective level of 9).

If a pet dies, and I get a new one, does it start out at the same level as my druid?
If you get a new animal companion, it is still based off of your Druid level, so it has the same bonuses as any animal that you possess at your level should have.

Just keep in mind that animal companions do not gain levels. They gain bonuses based off of your level.

And when it levels, does it get feats like a PC?
Again, it doesn't level. But it DOES gain HD as you progress, and gains one feat for every 4 hit dice it possesses.

2009-01-24, 05:52 PM
Again, it doesn't level. But it DOES gain HD as you progress, and gains one feat for every 4 hit dice it possesses.

Every 3 HD just as any other creature, no?

2009-01-24, 06:14 PM
Wow, that guide that was posted was incredibly useful, and not just for the Wild Shape forms.

I think I understand the Animal Companion stuff now, and I guess I'll just stick with a Fleshraker. I had one before it died, which is why I picked up the Natural Bond feat (I was told on this forum that taking that feat would balance out having a 4HD creature at druid level 1).

2009-01-24, 06:28 PM
Every 3 HD just as any other creature, no?

...hmm. Maybe that was a 3.0 rule that I still hadn't gotten around to correcting in my mind.
Yes, every 3 HD then.

Paul H
2009-01-24, 09:37 PM

Don't have Lords of Madness myself, but Master of Many Forms (CAd) is a Tank concept I've always wanted to use. Only problem is Feat Prereq's.

There's also a 4th lvl Druid spell that allows you to gain all the extraordinary abilities of the creature you shift into (SC).

MMF 1st level allows you to shift into Humanoids. (And gain their language). 2nd Lvl allows Giants. 3rd allows Monstrous Humanoids & can Fast Wildshape. (Move action now, not standard).

With MMF you'd probably need Bonded Companion, so it would keep up with your Druid levels.

My favourite forms with MMF would be Trolls, then Firbolgs (MM2), though Hags aren't too bad.

Hope this helps
Paul H

2009-01-24, 10:36 PM
If you get a more powerful companion with a -3 adjustment to your effective Druid level, Natural Bond can be used to negate the drawback. Therefore, a Druid 9 with Natural Bond would have a Fleshraker companion with 10 HD (4 base, +6 from Druid 9). Another strong choice is a Dire Eagle from Races of Stone, which would have 11 HD at Druid 9 and could even be trained and used as a mount.

A Carrion Crawler is also a decent form due to its eight paralyzing attacks/round. I usually prefer taking the form of a Dire Lion or a Smilodon (saber-toothed tiger) from Frostburn for combat at that level. The "best" use of Aberration Wild Shape is to get Assume Supernatural Ability from Savage Species and take the form of a Beholder to use all of its eye rays at will for the entire duration. Another approach which isn't quite so overpowered would be to make a Maenad to get Metamorphic Transfer, using the racial psi-like ability to qualify, which is better for passive abilities that can take one use of the feat to always be active such as a Choker's Quickness.

Keld Denar
2009-01-24, 11:00 PM
No, the most abusive thing to do with Wildshape, which requires MoMF, is once you hit MoMF2, can you can qualify, turn into a Lesser Dusk Giant. MMII, IIRC. Then you can eat folks, like a Behir does, and gain HD. Once you have enough HD, turn into something really really really big...like a Titan. Enjoy!

2009-01-31, 06:00 PM
Do you gain the feats that a Wild Shape form has? From what I read on d20srd.org about Wild Shape, you don't, yet that Druid Handbook page always mentions feats in the recommended forms to use.

Edit: Er, maybe they don't mention them. The only one I could find was this:

Tako (OA) - Seven arms for weapons or Improved Grab/Constrict, aquatic, Multidexterity bonus feat.

For some reason, I kept looking at Improved Grab as a feat, but I guess it's just a special ability. How do you explain the example above though?