View Full Version : Guardian of The Grove; a pathfinder hybrid of Barbarian and Druid

2018-02-19, 12:41 AM
Hey all so this is my attempt at blending Barbarian and Druid (with a dash of ranger). Please let me know what you think.

Guardian of the grove

Good Will and Fort, Same skills as barbarian, 4+int skill points, Spellcasting as Ranger, 3/4 BAB, D10 HD

Guardians of the grove are proficient with all simple and Melee martial weapons. They are also proficient with all medium and light armor. They are only allowed to willingly wear non-metal armor, if they choose to don metal armor they lose natures bond, wild empathy, Nature sense, woodland stride, spellcasting, wild shape, and venom immunity. They return to normal in 24hours. Guardians of the grove are proficient with all shields (except tower shields)

Level 1
Natures bond:

Level 2
Rage power
Wild empathy

Level 3
Nature sense
Woodland stride

Level 4
Rage power
Spellcasting unlocked (same as ranger)

Level 5
Uncanny dodge
Wild shape (1/day)

Level 6
Damage reduction 1/-
Rage power

Level 7
Wild shape (2/day)

Level 8
Rage power

Level 9
Wild shape (3/day)

Level 10
Damage reduction 2/-
Rage power
Venom immunity

Rage: same as the barbarian ability of the same name except for the rounds equal 1+WIS mod+CON mod

Natures bond: same as the druid ability of the same name with minor differences. you must select 1 cleric domain, such as; Air, Animal, Earth, Fire, Plant, Water, or Weather. You may only use domain spells when you can cast a spell of that level. You can however use domain powers at their normally gained level.

Rage power: a guardian of the grove may select any rage power that they meet the prerequisites for.

Wild empathy: a guardian of the grove can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person. The a guardian of the grove rolls 1d20 and adds her a guardian of the grove level and her Charisma modifier to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.
To use wild empathy, the a guardian of the grove and the animal must be within 30 feet of one another under normal conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.
A a guardian of the grove can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but she takes a –4 penalty on the check.

Nature sense: a Guardian of the Grove gains a +2 bonus on Knowledge (nature) and Survival checks.

Woodland stride: a guardian of the grove may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at her normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. Thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion, however, still affect her.

Spellcasting unlocked: starting at level 4 a Guardian of the grove is able to cast spells. They may cast any spell off of the ranger spell list that they know. They calculate spells in the same manner as a ranger.

Uncanny dodge: a guardian of the grove gains the ability to react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She cannot be caught flat-footed, nor does she lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if the attacker is invisible. She still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A guardian of the grove with this ability can still lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action against her.

Wild shape: at 5th level a guardian of the grove gains the Wild shape ability. This works the exact same except all additional things granted by this ability happen one level later than for the druid.

2018-02-23, 03:43 PM
Hybrid classes are something of an interesting animal, as they have to strike a balance between being true to their parent classes and creating a unique experience. I'm assuming you've looked up the bloodrager (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/hybrid-classes/bloodrager/) and skald (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/hybrid-classes/skald/)?

I'm looking at this, and there are a couple of questions that I need to ask:

What is the basic theme of this class, the essence? When someone plays this class, what do you want it to feel like? Can you sum it up into a one sentence "elevator pitch?"

What differentiates it from other nature based classes? This goes back to the basic thematics. You could create a handful of new spells or rage powers that complements the playstyle. You might design a primal fury, manifesting some sort of elemental connection when raging instead of simple anger. Maybe merge the rage and wildshape powers into a partial transformation, similar to the hybrid forms of lycanthropes.

What would attract a player to using this class over simply multiclassing between druid and barbarian, or using a couple of alternate class features? When I saw this, my immediate thought was "This looks like the Druidic Avenger (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#druidVariantDruidicAve nger) from Unearthed Arcana."

Don't feel bound to include a feature just because it's used by one of the parent classes. Oftentimes, you can define a classes flavor by giving it a certain number of options, such as the power list of the psychic rogue (http://archive.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/psm/20040723b).

2018-02-23, 04:29 PM
I decided to place its power level at that of a skald, this is mainly because I think the Bloodrager is a tad bit too weak. The theme is that of someone who devoted themselves to nature, while still staying strong. Overall if I had to sum it up in a quote it would be, “the weak should fear the strong”. I think the main reason would be either wanting to play a divine Barbarian, a non-Lawful nature themed paladin, or wanting to play a Druid without a companion but still not focusing on spells. I didn’t include a lot of the abilities between the two classes because I thought they’d be too distracting.

2018-02-23, 08:17 PM
Thank you for providing your vision for the class. I like the idea of a barbarian empowered by nature.

As far as mechanics go, let's go down the list and see what works and what works and what could use a tweak.

Since you're looking at a primarily warrior role the BAB should be increased to full. D10 hit dice is fine. I really wish that there were a middling save growth, as that seems most appropriate for a will save

In keeping with other classes which have spell casting, I would add Spellcraft to the class list.

I'm not familiar with the spell lists in Pathfinder, but those can make or break the usability of a class. That one is probably going to be harder to finetune than virtually any other part of this whole shindig. While it might be easy to simply say "Use the ranger list," it might be worth exploring other ways of putting together spell lists. A number of classes have a limited list that they can prepare from, which significantly helps in defining the character's role, as well as making it easier on the DMs. Then there is the method that Beguilers from the 3.5 Player's Handbook 2 takes, where they can spontaneously cast any spell on their limited list. Again, think about what sort of purpose you want the spells to serve, and figure out the casting specifics from that.

I am glad that Pathfinder added rage powers. Given that, I think that gaining supportive spells is worth a handful of those, so reducing the rage power growth to one every three levels would be a good idea to power balance. Will the stats granted by raging scale with greater and mighty rage? I would also figure out some explicit clause about being able to cast spells and wildshape while raging.

Wild shape in 3.5 is often regarded as capable of creating a high powered character without the aid of spells or any other ability, but Pathfinder has toned down the maximum gains you can get from a form. You've already delayed its effects by a level compared druids which is a good call. I'd take a second look into the growth rate and figure out what sort of growth is and isn't appropriate, especially in combination with rage. Truthfully, I have no idea how powerful wildshape is in Pathfinder, so this will need a bit of attention

I keep looking at the combination of rage and wildshape and getting the feeling that it needs something to mesh fully. A number of barbarian powers are focused around some sort of a totem, maybe you could do something similar with a preferred form or something of the sort?

Overall, I think it's an interesting concept that has been touched on before, but never really explored in depth. I'm curious to see where you go with it.

P.S. Figuring out how tables work on these forums would help a lot with presenting your information. There's a good guide about it here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?341034-table-s-in-the-Playground-All-you-want-to-know-about-the-table-code).