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truekender
2010-09-05, 06:44 PM
I'm curious to see if this build I thought up would actually work. I don't know a whole lot about mounts, companions and summoned creatures, but I think this should work.

For low levels (3-5ish) a summoning druid.

Point buy 28

Strongheart Hafling Druid 3
Str 10
Dex 12
Con 14
Int 12
Wis 16
Cha 10

Weight 30 - 35 lbs

Eagle companion
MEDIUM (HD +2 for being a third level druid, advances to medium size)
Ride the eagle as a mount as it will have 14 Str (light load 58 lbs)

Handy haversack to carry everything in.

Skills

Feats:
Strongheart: Spell focus (conjuration)
1: Augment Summon
3: Combat Riding

Skills:
Concentration +8
Handle Animal +6
Knowledge (Nature) +9
Ride +7
Survival +11

So the druid can fly on his eagle companion (let's say 100 feet high) at level 3 and summon creatures using Summon Nature's ally spells I and II that are augmented with +4 Str and Con. These summons last three rounds each.

(I believe each time you use a summon nature ally spell it summons the same creature, so if it dies it needs to reform and you can't summon it again)

Summon Nature's Ally II:
Hippogriff - since it's the same hippogriff every time you can teach it (probably practicing out of combat) to grapple (+13 to grapple checks) whatever it's next to after being summoned and fly upwards (fly speed 100ft).

"Move: You can move half your speed (bringing all others engaged in the grapple with you) by winning an opposed grapple check. This requires a standard action, and you must beat all the other individual check results to move the grapple." SRD

round 1: grapple
round 2: maintain grapple, fly at half speed upwards (a light load for your hippogriff is 519 lbs [augmented +4 str])
round 3: maintain grapple, fly at half speed upwards (a light load for your hippogriff is 519 lbs [augmented +4 str])

So if every round it succeeds on its grapple check it will fly a total of 100 ft upwards before the spell ends. The enemy will take 10d6 falling damage.


And if the enemy is too heavy (what's that heavy at CR3?) I guess the hippogriff would just attack it after realizing it was too heavy? Not sure how this would work...

So? Does this build seem workable? You're a summoner that's pretty much safe from danger as most CR 3 encounters are a lot easier when you're 100ft in the air and can summon foes to keep them busy on the ground. Not to mention the little hippogriff trick.

Urpriest
2010-09-05, 06:48 PM
Animal companions don't advance in size with additional hit dice.

Lev
2010-09-05, 06:52 PM
Why bother with companion or summon when you can have a pet hippogriff?
Just add it's CR as ECL to your ECL total for determining CR the dm throws at you.

Urpriest
2010-09-05, 06:56 PM
Why bother with companion or summon when you can have a pet hippogriff?
Just add it's CR as ECL to your ECL total for determining CR the dm throws at you.

The guy seems to have a shaky enough grasp of certain rules as-is, don't confuse him with unlabeled houserules.

Lev
2010-09-05, 07:31 PM
See arms & eq guide

Urpriest
2010-09-05, 09:12 PM
See arms & eq guide

If you're talking about the sidebar on page 87, you're reading it wrong. That sidebar covers the challenge rating of an NPC with a mount, not the ECL of a character with a mount. Otherwise, I'm not sure what you're looking at.

truekender
2010-09-05, 10:54 PM
Animal companions don't advance in size with additional hit dice.

they don't? i'm confused... why don't they?

Animal Companion (Ex): A druid may begin play with an animal companion selected from the following list: badger, camel, dire rat, dog, riding dog, eagle, hawk, horse (light or heavy), owl, pony, snake (Small or Medium viper), or wolf. If the campaign takes place wholly or partly in an aquatic environment, the following creatures are also available: crocodile, porpoise, Medium shark, and squid. This animal is a loyal companion that accompanies the druid on her adventures as appropriate for its kind.
A 1st-level druidís companion is completely typical for its kind except as noted below. As a druid advances in level, the animalís power increases as shown on the table. If a druid releases her companion from service, she may gain a new one by performing a ceremony requiring 24 uninterrupted hours of prayer. This ceremony can also replace an animal companion that has perished.

(SRD)

If it's completely typical for its kind wouldn't it advance in size with additional hit dice as its kind typically does? Or is there a rule that I'm missing? :S

@ Lev

Like through wild empathy and handle animal?

edit: Sorry guys! I've never played a druid before, I have no idea about animal companions, the ride skill and handle animal checks.

I usually play a bard, so the druid is really strange to me.

Mystic Muse
2010-09-05, 10:58 PM
The reason I've been informed of is that advancing by HD is the creature's racial hit dice which bonus hit dice from companion and/or mount don't qualify as.

truekender
2010-09-05, 11:07 PM
ah that makes sense, thanks for the explanation. Hmm, oh well. I'll stick to bards - they're prettier and less confusing. :P

Boci
2010-09-05, 11:08 PM
If you're a bard, you could always charm monster.

Jack_Simth
2010-09-05, 11:13 PM
Animal companions don't advance in size with additional hit dice.That's half-true. The rules aren't crystal clear whether the animal companions grow or not, so under some DM's, they will, under others, they won't.

You can, of course, bypass the issue starting at 4th by taking the Dire Bat as your animal companion....

mobdrazhar
2010-09-05, 11:16 PM
If you're a bard, you could always charm monster.

and then take the Mind Bender PrC

truekender
2010-09-06, 12:11 AM
and then take the Mind Bender PrC

plus captivating melody.

-

but really, I like playing Chaotic Good bards. I have a recurring bard that I'm in love with, really great for buffing and versatility.

Talen Human Bard 3 Chaotic Good (played very good aligned, seeker of freedom and equality)
Point buy 28
Str 8
Dex 14
Con 14
Int 14 (I like skill monkeys, if DM allows words of creation I pump this up at level 4)
Wis 8 (Talen's rp'd as very naive, but likable)
Cha 16

Hp: 19
AC: 15 = 10 + 3 (masterwork studded leather) + 2 (dex)
Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +2

Skills: bluff +9, diplomacy + 11 [most dms don't like diplomancers or let them work anyway], Perform (sing) +9, Hide + 8, Move Silently + 8, Spellcraft +7, Use Magic Device + 9, Tumble + 8

Feats
human: Melodic Casting
1: Dragontouched
3: Dragonfire Inspiration

Class Features:
Bardic Music 3/day
Fascinate
Inspire Courage (+3 with inspirational boost and song of the heart - +3d6 fire damage with dragonfire inspiration)
Spellbreaker song (alternate class feature for countersong)
Bardic Knowledge +5 (I kind of use this instead of knowledge skills... HEY SO WHAT? He's really versatile, but not really the best at anything in a group other than buffing)
Song of the Heart (alternate class feature for inspire competence)

Cantrips known
Prestidigitation
Message
Dancing Lights
Detect Magic
Mage Hand
Ghost Sounds

Level 1 spells
Silent Image
Improvisation
Inspirational Boost

not really a SUPER optimized build, but parties love the bonuses and his versatility. I feel like I can really do a little bit of anything with him (I kind of get bored of roles easily), that's why I love him.


he's like 1/3 rogue, 1/3 sorcerer, 1/3 cleric...

Lev
2010-09-06, 12:43 AM
@ Lev

Like through wild empathy and handle animal?

edit: Sorry guys! I've never played a druid before, I have no idea about animal companions, the ride skill and handle animal checks.

I usually play a bard, so the druid is really strange to me.
You don't need a companion feature to have a pet, just as you don't need a Horserider class to buy a hose and ride the thing. You can start off with any animal you can afford, if it's trainable it's assumed trained. If it's not trainable you have to have already had some way of keeping it under wraps like in a cage or charmed or the like.


Rangers and Druids get "Companions" which are animals that have an innate empathic connection with them, you can just make a bond. Casters often have familiars which are magically infused animals.
Paladins get mounts, but theirs are celestial, gain features, are bound and can be summoned. All of these make class feature pets superior to regular ones, especially because their ECL does not effect how difficult the encounters you face are.
Having a pet just means having a lackey you've hired to truck around with you, cept it's int is less than 3, or <3 =]

You can hire peasants to work for you for like 3cp a day, hell for the price of food if you pay them 100 gold pieces each they probably will work for you for a year. Not the most reliable or necessarily useful companions, but get an army or a guild running and you've got some decent world-changing power right there. Even if all their work is social, information is worth the gold by far in most campaigns.



Pet example, in my campaign one of the druids playing has an elephant pet, it knows how to attack, carry stuff, and sit down. It is unbelievably strong (does disgusting amounts of damage, +26 to grapple, trample over 10' reflex DC23 or flattened) but it's CR is 7 in the monster manual. This means I treat her as having bought a level 7 player and I control what the elephant does just like if it were a person in the game she was talking to.

http://www.penpaperpixel.org/tools/d20encountercalculator.htm

Here's a tool to help you figure out what your players can handle, yet its only a guideline, throwing impossible monsters at your plays is part of the fun, sometimes you just have to run.

There are 3 level 4's in my campaign, this makes their party level 3.2 because 4 level 4's would be a level 4 party level, it assumes you have 4 players.

Adding the elephant you can just add 1 level 7 making a total of 3 level 4's and 1 level 7, the party level would then be 5.1.

The difference of that would be a party who encounters 10-12 goblins (for a 3.1 level) and a party who encounters 18-20 goblins and one goblin with a class level.

Volthawk
2010-09-06, 12:56 AM
If you want to play a non-druid but still want an animal companion, this feat (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118a)may be useful.

truekender
2010-09-06, 01:09 AM
If you want to play a non-druid but still want an animal companion, this feat (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118a)may be useful.

I've seen that one before, it looks pretty neat. the thing is the druid I had thought of was using his eagle as a flying mount, so that doesn't help for the idea I had. :( oh well, I think I've decided to stick with bards haha, I'm charm animals into helping me :P

@ Lev
thanks for clearing that up for me!

Urpriest
2010-09-06, 09:13 AM
snip

Again, unless you're in Pathfinder, CR=/=ECL. It can be an ok houserule at times, but the way you phrased your post you made it sound like that was how the rules worked RAW.

Greenish
2010-09-06, 09:18 AM
If you're a bard, you could always charm monster.Because the world really needs more half-humans. :smallamused: