View Full Version : Ideas and advice needed for misunderstanding(superlong)

2010-01-29, 01:37 AM
Heylo guys

I've run into a problem in my current 3.5e game, though its not necessarily unique to 3.5e. Im in a 4 person party currently working our way through the Shackled City adventure path.We are just hitting level 4 after last session. I'm playing a druid, one guy is playing an archivist aiming for malconvoker, so obviously summoning oriented, one guys a halfling fighter, and one guys a human rogue who plays like its AD&D.

Obviously theres some wildly varying levels of optimization. Our rogue currently focus's on using feint to try to get sneak attacks, without imp. feint mind you. The fighter is a halfling using small size weapons who does so little damage he actually switched to throwing axes because pointblank shot was a significant damage increase over melee. The archivist is reasonably optimized, using a spiked chain currently to take advantage of the small difference in BABs at this level to pump out solid damage from 10' away.

Our DM is pretty solid about sticking with RAW, though she adds in some homebrew stuff, like each character acquires perks every few levels based on playstyle. For example the archivist acquired some halfplate and has been wearing it for protection so shes planning to give him heavy armor prof as a freebie. She doesn't seem to have a problem with optimizing, but that seems to be because shes not very good at it, or at recognizing it, this is where my problem comes in.

We are fairly roleplay heavy, my druid is a 14 year old boy named Timothy who was a survivor of a village massacre and is somewhat disconnected from everyday life. The classic distant and worldweary child. After the first few levels adventures he has been somewhat losing faith in humanity. For those not familiar, the first few levels of shackled city involve children being captured by slave traders. It had an impact on timothy. I wanted to represent this by Timothy slowly coming to rely more and more on nature for protection. I had difficulty representing this mechanically until i stumbled back through the warlock and eldritch theurge/disciple PRCs.

Having played 4e I immediately thought of fey based warlocks. To give a bit more explanation of my current character, I am the druid variant off the SRD that trades wildshape for monk speed/wisdom to ac/favored enemy. Combine this with no other healer in the party, and I spend most of my time running around obscenely fast while my wolf AC eats things. Mostly I dont feel its appropriate for my character to be much of a melee combatant, and I have to save my spells. I carry around a masterwork greataxe for occassional use, for example when we fought the BBEG of the slavers, my wolf tripped him and I axed him repeatedly in anger. This all runs somewhat contrary to my original concept, exemplified by me taking spelltouched(think thats the name) trait that gives +1 cl to one school of magic, and -1 to all others. I chose evocation to be a blasty type of druid.

Because Im constantly having to hold my spells for healing, I thought I may be able to acquire some easy consistent direct damage by picking up some warlock levels, the 24 hour buffs also seemed to fit the bill for some fey wild personal enhancement. For example the handle animal/speak with animal buff, and spiderclimb, fell flight. I wouldnt want to use any of the blast invocations. So I inquired of my DM possibly modifying one of the dual progression classes to fit druid/warlock. The one that fit best was the eldritch theurge since the disciple is really too cleric specific. It would give me some blastiness and 24 hour invocations that would free up my actual spells for party buffs and healing. Due to the 3 warlock levels, even in the best case of full dual progression and animal companion advancement which I asked for, I would still have to take natural bond and practiced spellcaster to make up the levels.

This seemed like a reasonable setup to me, obviously less powerful then arcane heirophant at any rate, and very much so less powerful then straight druid20. My DM almost immediately attacked me (this was all via email) for worrying about power and optimization too much, how warlock and druid made no sense, advancing the companion was obviously overpowered, and basically said that I was being a power gamer for even suggesting I would have to take practiced spellcaster and natural bond. I pointed out I'd even lose my variant bonus's to speed and AC in the following levels. I pointed out that if my animal companion didnt advance, Id essentially lose it completely because theres no way any nature loving druid would take an underleveled companion into combat, it would simply die messily over and over.

This variant, while somewhat odd, is clearly less powerful then straight druid. I obviously didnt even build my druid for power or I wouldnt be a variant focus'd on evocation isnstead of a crazy greenbound summoning machine of destruction. How do I explain this to my DM???Im tryin not to be upset to be honest about how much she seems to be calling me out as a powergamer and non-roleplayer, but I dont know what to do.

2010-01-29, 01:46 AM
How about picking up one of the reserve feats from CMage for your constant blasty needs? It ties up a highest spell slot (for optimum usage anyway), but it'd give you consistent blasting without homebrew. Personally, I prefer fiery burst, but as a nature-druid, you might go for storm bolt or winter's blast.

Also worth considering:
Touch of healing reserve feat
Craft Wand -> Wands of Vigor, Lesser.

2010-01-29, 01:52 AM
I'd given some thought to reserve feats early on but had honestly forgotten since, thank you for reminding me. I know she has a chip on her shoulder about the summoning reserve feats, but may be okay with the damaging ones. I just hate feeling like I have to play the system with the DM because she just doesnt understand.

Crafting wands may be a good option, though its hard to keep track of XP expenditures because she occassionally just grants us levels when she doesnt want to calculate... and gives us very little downtime....this could take some work lol.

2010-01-29, 01:59 AM
Now in regards to your actual problem, the first thing to do is: don't get defensive and don't take things personally. Dual-progression classes look intimidating to the common non-op person, and potentially with good reason, seeing as how you can use them to get dual-9s and somesuch, and frankly, many DMs aren't comfortable with allowing material they're not familiar with or homebrewing things that increase perceived power.

What you'll want to do is take a few steps back, remember your DM is obviously not someone that spends a lot of time on boards like this. I'd begin any response with an apology for any appearance of powergaming and explain that that was never your intention. Frankly, you're a druid in a group with a rogue, fighter and an archivist. You literally represent half the party between you and your AC, so any perceived increase of power for you should be looked on with skepticism.

In this particular case, I'd strongly recommend just picking up those two reserve feats, Touch of healing to ensure no one has to be below half hp after battle ever, and blasting feat of choice. Neither are particularly cheesy.

If healing is seriously an issue, just pick up a few wands of lesser vigor at your next major metropolis or shift up tactics.

2010-01-29, 02:10 AM
Yeah, I am definitly trying, especially since as far as Tier 1 classes go, the druid is probably the least obvious as far as raw power. I know everyone in the party except the archivist was shocked by the power of my pet. That player seems to be the only one with real optimizing knowledge. My DM actually suggested when I originally considered going arcane heirophant, that I just go druid 10//wizard 10.

As far as healing being a concern, we've had an average of 2 party members down in the negatives per combat. One encounter ended with my druid at 0 and only my wolf up at the end. We're having to rest generally every other fight due to weakened party members, and thats with heavy potion use.

I guess I will just have to look into the reserve feats as I level, its less elegant then a refluffed warlock PRC, but sometimes thats the way of it.

2010-01-29, 02:11 AM
Due to the 3 warlock levels, even in the best case of full dual progression and animal companion advancement which I asked for, I would still have to take natural bond and practiced spellcaster to make up the levels.

Techinically, Eldritch Disciple can be entered with just 1 warlock level (it only requires 1 least invocation). You could take it without bothering with animal companion or practiced spellcaster.

Rather than picking up blasty stuff, just look up the X to Y list (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=125732). Grab a feat or two that let you apply your Wis bonus to your to-hit (and possibly damage, but that is comparatively hard to get), and then crank up Wisdom, and just full attack.

2010-01-29, 02:15 AM
That's true, but since I was asking for a refluffed PRC, I defaulted to the most stringent requirements and specifically asked for warlock3 as a requirement just to limit myself from it being a random dip.

Edit: While I could pick up one of those feats, with the druids poor BAB it wouldnt scale up efficiently at all. Whiffing isnt fun.