View Full Version : Druid build help

2010-04-07, 08:08 PM
Helping my wife put together a Druid for a new campaign, our current campaign is going on hiatus temporarily. All WotC books are fair game.

Build: Druid 20 with Favored Soul spell progression instead of Druid (spells will not be a big part of her character, so she'll have an easier time being a spontaneous caster). Basically, The Big Guys are with Me build.

Race: Strongheart Halfling

Level: starting at 1st

Trait: Not sure, but if she takes one it'll be the animal friend one.

Feats: 2 bonus feats from flaws + Strongheart bonus feat.
1: Wild Cohort, Wild Cohort, Skill Focus: Handle Animal, Companion Spellbond.
3: Natural Bond
6: Natural Spell
9: Initiate of Nature
12: Natural Bond
15: Natural Bond
18: Natural Bond

Wild Cohorts will be Riding Dogs, Animal Companion will probably be start as a Riding Dog or flyer but will be upgraded at each opportunity. All animals will end up being trained with the Warbeast template. She's basically just going to heal and buff (buffs will include spells and equipment) her animals and back them up with a sling. We already ran a mock combat with her and 2 riding dogs - it's not pretty.

Spells will not be that important to her. Wildshape will mostly be for utility or to discourage opponents (they'd rather play with the armored human than the dire bear). Most of the focus will be getting, buffing and keeping her animals.

So, better feats? Equipment suggestions for her animals? She's putting ranks in craft and making padded armor for her dogs to start with. Animal Companion trade-outs at each available level?

2010-04-07, 08:14 PM
Beastmaster (CAdv) seems perfect for the character concept, but I don't know if it's good, as I haven't played one.

2010-04-07, 08:37 PM
Why so many Natural Bond?

2010-04-07, 08:47 PM
Beastmaster is a maybe, she'd get a lot of AC's, but they'd be weaker. She'd also lose Wildshape and Spell casting (maybe? AFB). Good suggestion though, will look into it.

Natural bond is so her primary animal companion keeps full druid AC bonuses. So at 20th level she can have a Dire Bear with evasion.

Gotta check into halfling druid substitution levels when I get home. Extra skill points (plus hide / move silently) will help her out.

Anyone know of a way to get a horrid animal companion? I'm thinking a Horrid Dire Rat at 1st level (or slightly above) as her primary beast would be over the top.

2010-04-08, 12:02 AM
It sounds like you're allowing house rules, so maybe this isn't an issue, but I'm fairly sure that by RAW neither Wild Cohort nor Natural Bond can be taken more than once. Neither Feat mentions being able to be taken more than once in its description, and Feats that can be taken more than once usually explicitly state it.

2010-04-08, 01:53 AM
Special: Druids and rangers who take the wild cohort feat gain an animal cohort in addition to their animal companion. Although the two abilities are similar, they follow different sets of rules and must be tracked separately.

You can only ever have one wild cohort at any given time.

Like a druid's animal companion, your wild cohort improves as you gain experience. Although the animal cohort improves significantly compared to others of its kind, its abilities do not rival those of a druid's animal companion.
Furthermore, a Wild Cohort is very intentionally not an animal companion, so Natural Bond cannot apply to it without a houserule.

Akal Saris
2010-04-08, 01:55 AM
For a different build, she might want to look into beast heart adept for more companions from a list that includes wyverns, owlbears, chimeras, and the like.

For this build, I'd drop Skill Focus (Handle Animal) and replace it with something else. Maybe another wild cohort. Later on I'd drop a natural bond for Quicken Spell, so she can use her swift actions every round (even just for quickened snake's swiftness or quickened bear's endurance).

Are you guys ruling that natural bond stacks, and that it applies to the animal companion and all of the wild cohorts?

By the way, if you're using warbeasts in the game, you could also just buy them. A warbeast dire tiger is only about 1,350 gold - you could buy one at 3rd level, and then run in terror as it devours your entire party on a whim.

2010-04-08, 03:33 AM
Taking the same feat twice does not give twice the benefit unless that feat specifically says it does. Taking Improved Initiative three times will still only give you a +4 to initiative, because it does not stack with itself. Taking Natural Bond more than once is just as redundant, it does not say that if taken more than once its effect will stack, so it does not stack with itself. You cannot take Natural Bond for a Wild Cohort, because it is not an animal companion. A character gets one Animal Companion class feature, regardless of how many classes grant that feature, and Natural Bond always applies to that and it can only ever apply once. No matter how many times you've taken Natural Bond, a Dire Bear companion will still end up at 'level -9' staying single-classed.

Taking Wild Cohort (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118a) multiple times is just as redundant. The feat says right in its description that you can only have one such companion at any given time.

As for the build itself, I'd probably put in Leadership and get a Bard cohort, who has Obtain Familiar and Improved Familiar and possibly also Wild Cohort.

2010-04-08, 03:37 AM
Anyone know of a way to get a horrid animal companion? I'm thinking a Horrid Dire Rat at 1st level (or slightly above) as her primary beast would be over the top.

Page 288 of the ECS has a Table with Horrid Companions
Horrid Rat is listed as 4th level so doable with Natural Bond if allowed

2010-04-08, 07:38 PM
Thanks Leon, I forgot about the table in ECS (kinda dumb since thats where the rats from).

Yes, we have house-ruled that she can take the Wild Cohort feat more than once (she's going to be a druid that rarely casts spells and tries to stay out of combat, it doesn't seem too game breaking to us.)

Yes, we have also house-ruled that she can take Natural Bond more than once. It will only affect her Animal Companion, not her Wild Cohorts (which will probably stay as riding dogs unless they die).

My apologies, I should have mentioned the house-rules in the opening post. Like I wrote earlier: she's gonna let her dogs do her dirty work while she does her best to keep them alive. No super-optimizing on her part, no venom fire etc.

Looks like she will be taking the Halfling Druid racial substitutions at 1, 5, and 13. Extra skill points and class skills, more wild shape uses (less useful for combat will be ok with her).

Ranger Mattos
2010-04-08, 08:23 PM
Taking Natural Bond so many times seems redundant to me, as even with that houserule your effective Druid level can't exceed your character level.

@V: Ah, I forgot.

2010-04-08, 09:48 PM
Taking Natural Bond so many times seems redundant to me, as even with that houserule your effective Druid level can't exceed your character level.

The more powerful animal companions impose a 'Level -X' which Natural Bond can counteract, since you can apply your own bonuses and penalties in the most beneficial order.