View Full Version : Melee/Tank Druid 3.5

2009-10-18, 11:39 PM
Hello, I am currently in an eberron campaign at level 11, and I was wondering If I could have some help with a druid. We play a campaign with fairly decent optimization, and where we tend to fight small numbers of higher cr type monsters very commonly. The group has 5 members in it (one recently deceased). The deceased was a rogue/fighter/teleporter type. He had the dragonmarked feats/pc that allowed him to teleport/dimension door. Technique was to teleport our other fighter (changeling fighter/barbarian warshaper) around so he could get full attacks, then assist as needed. He will probably come back as a wizard. We also have a war wizard (blasty), and a cleric (healy/buffy/blasty). I am currently assisting in various ways, but with the demise of one of our frontliners, I was looking for a way to help defend the more squishy folks. So, to summarize i would like help restructuring my druid to be level 11, and to be somewhat frontline oriented. Most/any books are allowed minus psionics and book of nine swords.

Stats basic array with a +2 anywhere, and the 8 is a 10. I think i've got this figured wis>con>anything else.
-other notables, hp is higher than normal for everyone, we get 2 bonus skills, and all "trained" skills are level +3
-also - we get 2 spell levels worth of spells back per cl, once per day
-To use spells that aren't core we must pay 1,000 gp per spell level to acquire it.

Race - currently strongheart hafling
Class - currently druid 11
Feats - currently extend spell, spellbound companion, ashbound (summoning feat from eberron that adds +3 luck bonus to summons). spell penetration, spell focus conjuration
Animal companion - fleshraker

- current general tactics - 1x - blast w/ flame strike and or call lightning, 2x help heal/buff when needed 3x summon monsters and enlarge animal for big baddies wildshape into pouncy type monster, buff and attack with raker.

With another wizard coming in, even if he isn't terribly blasty, we probably won't need me to help with that. Healing sometimes doesn't hurt anything, and I know the summoning is good. Still the summoning tends to eat up a lot of time, even if I'm fairly prepared, and with another caster coming in to look up spells I'd rather "trim the fat" if possible to save time. Finally, a lot of our monsters have many different DR types (a lot of evil outsiders/aberrations) and it seems hard to get through that, so mr. dino and I have trouble getting through. Oh, and mr. dino goes splat alot. In fact I have to go into the woods to get a new mr. dino almost every session. I know fleshraker is supposed to be awesome, but 50 hp just doesn't add up to much survivability. Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate the help!

Keld Denar
2009-10-18, 11:54 PM
One trick with summons when DR starts to really becomes a problem is to use your summons for things OTHER than claw/claw/bite routines. There are some summons with really high grapple mods, and those can be used to immobilize and disable while you use other methods of destroying foes. Other summons have nifty SLAs and SUs that you can utilize. Look for ones that have SLAs for spells that don't have saves, or have SLAs that have partial effects even on a made save.

To regear into more of a melee character, you definitely want to look into Natural Spell. This allows you to keep casting spells while in Wildshapes. I'd have to do a bit more digging to figure out exactly what you should be WSing as, but you should be able to do Giant Squid at your level, which is really fun with Fires of Purity (SpC, consider buying it). If you want to go with a more beat-friendly build, get the highest level "Bite of the X" spell you can afford/cast, and rely on that to overcome DR by brute force.

I guess if you are gonna go primary melee druid, look into grappling as its a very effective form of "winning" against things, regardless of how high their HP are. Less effective when there are lots of foes, but against a smaller number of foes, you can rely on your party to distract/disable some while you grapple another and wreck it before moving onto the next and so on.

Other options include Frozen Wildshape (feat, Frostburn) + Cryohydra. Thats pretty freakin awesome.

2009-10-19, 12:09 AM
Wait, so tier 1s are allowed, but not psionics?

I'd complain about ToB not being there, but I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and figure that you don't have the book. :smalltongue:

At least psionics is in the SRD...

Oh well.


2009-10-19, 12:10 AM
How much can you rework and change? I'm sure you could be much more efficient a tank, but it would require some feat changes. Same goes for buffing your Fleshraker. Spell Penetration should be the first to go; you've got so many better options available (starting with Natural Spell [if you wanna be a tank, you need it], Augment Summoning [though I'd rather axe both, it and Spell Focus: Conjuration for others], Natural Bond [to mitigate the adjustment to Druid-level for stronger companion; works by RAW], Quicken Spell, Reach Spell, Rapid Spell & co.).

The other huge area are your items. How much access to new items do you have? Giving your baby Fleshraker Con-booster, +1 Mithril Chain Barding (have the party Cleric cast Magic Vestment on it) and some Str/Dex-boosters would go a long way, already. Add to that Beads of Karma for your morning buffing, along with Monk's Belt on your person (maxed Wis of course) and Wis-booster and Con-booster with Wilding Clasps.

Then morning buffs: A casting of Greater Magic Fang on each of your and your companion's Natural Weapons is a good idea; preferably done through Reach Spell + Rod of Chain Spell, but you lack Reach Spell currently. Extended Barkskins already last a decent amount of time and there's this spell called Venomfire in Serpent Kingdoms, which is absolutely incredible with Fleshraker. Superior Resistance (Chained) would be +6 to saves for the entire party.

With a couple of buffs and items, the Fleshraker's durability will be greatly enhanced. Also note that you can pick its feats; some kind of charging buffs like Shock Trooper > Leap Attack could go a long way towards enhancing its power. Ability Focus & Virulent Venom would also make for some really scary poison attacks (note that as you pump its Con, the Poison DC goes up as it does when its HD grows).

If I was going to rebuild your guy as a tank+tank Druidzilla, I'd go:
1. Extend Spell
S. Open feat (e.g. one of the Initiate-feats or Quicken Spell or Ashbound or such; Companion Spellbond is a fine option up until you can chain all your buffs too)
3. Reach Spell
6. Natural Spell
9. Natural Bond
(12. Quicken Spell)

Note that this isn't very summoning-focused; for that you'd want Rapid Spell, Augment Summoning, Ashbound (and preferably some of the cross-settings summoning feats like Greenbound Summoning [Lost Empires of Faerun] or rather on these levels, Rashemi Elemental Summoning [Unapproachable East]) and such.

Note that Natural Bond is only worth it if you can discount the levels from the adjustment to your Druid-level for choosing a level 4 companion; otherwise it should become another feat, e.g. Multiattack (for your own combat prowess) or Quicken Spell or such.

And equipment would be Mithril Chainshirt Barding for Fleshraker along with +2 Con item and possibly some Str-enhancer, and +1 Animated Heavy Mithril Steel Shield too (just about 10k). You'd personally wear Monk's Belt, own Beads of Karma and be saving for Rod of Chain Spell to cheapen buffing. Some Pearl of Power IIIs are useful too, and obviously you want as good a Wisdom enhancer as you can afford. Really helps if there's someone with Craft Wondrous Items in the party; makes it all much cheaper.

Then you cast the spells listed above, get the Cleric in the party to chain a Magic Vestment at all the protective equipment you've got under Beads of Karma and go to town. Your Fleshraker should have ~35 AC quite easily and with ~24 Wisdom and Mage Armor from your Wizard (which can be further enhanced with Magic Vestment), you'd personally easily be at +15 just from equipment, let alone your Wildshape form (if you'd turn into Fleshraker, for example, you'd be at 35 AC; some bigger Bear would still be in the 30s even without Barkskin).

Your saves are obscene and with Superior Resistance, the Fleshraker isn't gonna be fumbling any time soon either (especially with Devotion; though have "Protection from Evil/whatever" cast on it just in case to cover it vs. mind-affecting). You'd obviously have a lot of Con and a Con-enhancer or two making you very, very tough to pass. Deathward seems absolute must at that point.

DR would easily be penetrated with Venomfire. Barring that, you can still slam the opposition down, and use Bigger Damage-forms like a Rhinoceros or some such; your animal companion will still Pin, Trip and so on at them so even if the DR isn't penetrated, the opposition should be heavily inconvenienced by the Fleshraker's Pounce.

2009-10-19, 07:36 AM
Im pritty sure you can be tanky and summony if you want

I would change your feat selection to
1. spell focus conjuration
B. Ashbound
3. rapid summon or augment summon
6. natural spell
9. natural bond if discounts fleshraker or multiattack

you can summon and tank. just remember to pick tanky like wild shapes and your good.