View Full Version : Elemental Druid Idea

2010-11-22, 12:40 AM
Hello everyone! I'm new to the forum (as a poster but not as a lurker (hence my avatar choice)) and was hoping I could get some input on a character idea I have. I'm having issues finding the perfect templates and classes that will make things work, so my hope was that I could gain the support of the collective knowledge that is the internet. Thank you your input! :D

Game Background/DM Allowed Stuff: We're starting out as 10th level gestalt characters with nearly everything open to choose from. Most class variations are strictly forbidden unless we can convince the DM otherwise (which is rare in our group), and LA are maxed at 2. We're facing a BBEG who is after an unholy relic, who uses an assortment of evil henchmen to do his bidding (the most recent being dire-werewolves).

The game is very high powered, in that our DM is allowing 4d8, dropping the lowest, as our ability scores. But at the same time it's not because rules are interpreted very differently from time to time (even in the middle of a game). One such interpretations is the gestalt class features. I am under the assumption that NO prestige class with a increase in class levels may be taken. While the rest of the group is under the impression that the prestige class CAN be taken, if it ups a level in a class you are not combining with the prestige class (essentially upping it twice). Another interpretation of the rules is that one can't Hide in a shadowy area and then move out of it to backstab someone. Because if they did they'd lose their concealment and thus their Hide check, unless they have Hide in Plain Sight. >.>

So something that is straight forward in abilities would be great. :)

The Idea: I'm in love with the idea of a Druid/Wizard (or some form of arcane caster). My idea is very much inspired by the picture of the Druid that has an air elemental as an animal companion (within the Complete Mage). However, this is a class variant that I am sure would be smacked down by my DM. My idea around this is to add templates to a creature; more specifically a Panther (Leopard).

However this raises the question of CL for animal companion abilities. Does LA increase the negative in CL for determining the abilities of an animal companion? Or is there no way of adding templates? The templates that I was looking at were the Dark and Elemental Creature templates. My vision is an ethreal-like panther that comes from the plane of air. The Panther would be my character's guardian of sorts, watching from the shadows and attacking the enemies when they least expect it. :)

Also I am at a loss of what feats or what direction I should go with my druid/wizard (or maybe sorcer) and what would be best for the campaign. I was hoping for a play style that would include defensive and offensive spells, with either healing or buffing as a sideline power. The Wildshape isn't as important to me but isn't necessarily something to be thrown away. Also, if I do this character change there will be no dedicated healer (which wasn't his main focus to begin with anyway).

Min/Maxing: We are starting out with money on the table (wealth by character level) in the DM's guide. Any items that would up AC is a must (or allows a miss chance). Also, my group is also very...jealous, of powerful creations. If there's even a slight chance of "questionable" rules in place they'll tear the character up if he's stealing the spotlight...so I hope this one isn't TOO powerful. D:

2010-11-22, 05:47 AM
Great concept! I'd personally try to go with Improved Familiar on the wizard side and take levels in Elemental Savant. Just re-fluff the attendant air elemental familiar as panther-shaped.
I'm not sure about adding templates to an animal companion without feats that let you take a magical beast as a companion, since most templates change the animal's type. (Animal Companions have to be of the animal type.) But if the type stays animal, then I think it does make the companion a higher-level option if you add templates.

2010-11-22, 09:55 AM
Gestalts - The rule about PrC's is that you can take them on ONE side of the gestalt level track, but not the other. And when two classes add the same thing on the same level, you take the better of the two, not both. (So if one adds druid casting and one adds wizard casting you're fine, but if they both add druid casting, you only get one of them.) Part of the trick of making a powerful gestalt is to make sure that any holes in gaining base attack bonus, saving throws, bonus feats, sneak attack, etc, fall on different levels. (example... taking Rogue 5 during a level when you're also taking Wizard 4... so you get a +1 BAB from Wizard level.)

Is it really considered an alternate ability if it's spelled out clearly in Complete Mage? I'd run that by him, as Elemental Companion is so much simpler than dipping into Familiar feats.

With Druid/Wizard, you can afford to go with a Wizard specialist since you have Druid magic to back you up, so losing Conjuration and one other school is easy, and allows you to focus in something crunchy like Transmutation or Evocation. And taking one feat (Spontaneous Healer) would allow you to convert any memorized Druid spell to a cure spell, which covers back up healer nicely.

Also, my group is also very...jealous, of powerful creations. Then why on earth are you guys playing gestalt? Tell them to deal with it, jeez.

2010-11-23, 07:04 AM
Thank you so much for the replies!

@Dsmiles That actually occurred to me a few minutes after posting... So my next approach would be to get a magical item that does similar things. I was thinking of an Umbral Collar (I think it's called, from the Tome of Magic). Our group allows modified magical items for animals, with an increase in price, so now I need to figure out how to get elemental aspects in as well.

@Gbprime I guess I was wrong then...that's the same argument they share. I guess I was just confused on the wording. So I guess that means even more powerful creations. :P

I never thought about specialist wizard; that opens up more possibilities. Thank you for that. And I know what you mean, but they'll watch everyone's abilities like a hawk to make sure they're not being outdone. :P