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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Can you break a Druid?

    Hey there,

    I know i have had a few says about Druids and whatnot but as its gets closer to me getting my hands on my Druid (who still isnt 100% complete)

    I kinda had to know:
    a) Is there a best kind of Druid?
    Summoning 'Monsters' - Blasting lightning out from the back of the party or - Turning into a bear/crocodile (as i am not allowed a fleshraker) and getting into the thick of it.

    And b) Can you break a Druid? I hear people saying its hard to - but i wanna know how NOT to break a druid just in case lol.

    This is the only class i have wanted to play for a while and i really dont wanna end up hating it.

    Thanks for any replies

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    Yuki Akuma's Avatar

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    How to break a Druid.

    Step 1: Play a Druid. Get a class feature as powerful as the party's Fighter right off the bat.

    Step 2: Take Natural Spell at level 6. Spend all day as a bear that casts spells.

    Step 3: Be a full caster.

    It's hard not to break a Druid really. Druids are incredibly broken out of the box.
    There's no wrong way to play. - S. John Ross

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeo View Post
    Man, this is just one of those things you see and realize, "I live in a weird and banal future."

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    Druid 20 is considered a reasonably optimized build, just be sure to get Natural Spell at six and you have three class features that are each more powerful than some entire classes. If you have Faiths of Ebberon toss on some Planar Shepard just for fun.

    Some big breaks:
    Being a Druid
    Get a minor poison for your natural attacks and Venomfire
    Planar Shepard and the x10 time plane
    Being a Druid
    Wilding Clasps
    Did I mention being a Druid?

    Edit: Go go Ninja Yuki!
    Last edited by The Mentalist; 2010-05-15 at 07:01 AM.
    Having trouble writing up hard stat blocks but I'm doing a lot of sharing ideas and soft mechanics lately.

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaskos View Post
    a) Is there a best kind of Druid?
    Summoning 'Monsters' - Blasting lightning out from the back of the party or - Turning into a bear/crocodile (as i am not allowed a fleshraker) and getting into the thick of it.
    All three at the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaskos View Post
    And b) Can you break a Druid?
    It's hard not to.
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    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaskos View Post
    Hey there,

    I know i have had a few says about Druids and whatnot but as its gets closer to me getting my hands on my Druid (who still isnt 100% complete)

    I kinda had to know:
    a) Is there a best kind of Druid?
    Summoning 'Monsters' - Blasting lightning out from the back of the party or - Turning into a bear/crocodile (as i am not allowed a fleshraker) and getting into the thick of it.
    Druid's power comes from the fact that you have Animal Companion (roughly equivalent to an equal level Fighter, lagging a bit behind on higher levels with buffs making up for it), your Wildshape self (again, roughly equivalent to an equal level Fighter) and your spellcasting (not as potent as a Wizard's, but you have plenty of control spells along with some rather economical offensive magic).

    The "best" kind of Druid simply uses all of these. As you have spontaneous Summoning, it's something you'll want to master even if it's not what you want to do every time. It's an option; when your prepared spells aren't of much use, summon something. When an opponent you can't really reach is hitting you, summon something to pin it down; maybe Wolves or if it's flying, few Hippogriffs? When you need healing (or magic circles against evil), summon Unicorns. And so on and so forth. Summons are a good strategy, but not your only strategy.

    Note that you need few levels for them to be really good as it takes 1 round to summon them and they only last 1 round/level; you don't want to spend 1 round for one attack from a Wolf, but if they last for 5-6 rounds, it's much better. Also, don't forget Rods of Maximize; you can Maximize a Summon-spell (when in Humanoid-form, anyways) for 5 (as opposed to 1d4+1) creatures of 2 levels lower. Then you e.g. buff them with Animal Growth and have fun. Remember the general spellcaster summons:
    SNAIV: Unicorn (healer), Yellow Musk Creeper [Fiend Folio] (not caster per ce, but Fort save-or-be-screwed)
    SNAVI: Pixie (Dispels & few other spell-likes), Oread [Fiend Folio] (Earthquake, Transmute Rock to Mud, Stone Shape)
    SNAVII: Pixie (Otto's Irresistible Dance!)
    SNAVIII: Sporebat [Fiend Folio] (Enervation!)

    And Elementals have handy special abilities, especialy when they get big. This is a lot of versatility and something Druids have access to spontaneously so it definitely pays to do your homework.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaskos View Post
    And b) Can you break a Druid? I hear people saying its hard to - but i wanna know how NOT to break a druid just in case lol.
    It depends on the context. Out of the box, Druid is stronger than just about any class on low levels, and stays up there for his entire career. So with "poorly optimized" allies, a Druid can easily be overpowering. Holding back with the spells a bit tends to do wonders though, as does just sticking to melee combat with your companion, holding spells in reserve. And buffing everyone (e.g. Barkskin is a fine buff for the whole team) helps. But yeah, a Druid can be a one-man party if he so desires.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaskos View Post
    This is the only class i have wanted to play for a while and i really dont wanna end up hating it.
    Druids are tons of work, but oodles of fun when you've mastered them. As said, there's a lot of options so it pays off to do some work in memorizing some of the more interesting summons for each level (or just writing them down on paper; just check their stats, remember you can opt for more of a lower level alternative and so on), and figuring out the most common Wildshape forms you'll use (early on, Leopard, Deinonychus and depending on sources, simple Eagle or something like Dire Hawk [Races of the Wild]; then Bears and felines, especially Tigers, and so on) along with specialized uses like spying (there are many rather inconspicuous forms you can assume, like simple domestic animals), burrowing (e.g. Badgers can do it) and more specialized brawling (various plants have interesting abilities, Treants break stuff and so on).

    Then just figure out your spells: Early on damage spells like Produce Flame are alright since they last for an entire fight and make up for your probably poor physicals. Early and late, Transmute Rock to Mud, Entangle and similar control spells are great, and summoning some Elementals can have similar effects (air elementals' Whirlwind-ability, for example). You'll want buffs, especially Barkskins and Greater Magic Fangs, consistently and then you'll want to pick feats with a focus on brawling (and picking stuff like Multiattack, Power Attack, mayhap Improved Grapple, etc.), or casting (Extend Spell, Quicken Spell, Spell Penetration, etc.) or such, in addition to the obvious (Natural Spell, maybe Augment Summoning).


    Oh yeah, Druid Handbook.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2010-05-15 at 07:12 AM.
    Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World - A Player's Diary in Low-Magic D&D (Latest Update: 8.3.2014)
    Being Bane: A Guide to Barbarians Cracking Small Men - Ever Been Angry?! Then this is for you!
    SRD Averages - An aggregation of all the key stats of all the monster entries on SRD arranged by CR.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    As a note, if you want to make sure your druid doesn't outshine the party, you can take the shapeshifter ACF from PHB2. It trades your animal companion and wildshape for shapeshifting, which gives you a few specific forms with predefined abilities. They're generally weaker than wildshaping, but they do require a LOT less bookkeeping and bring the druid down to a more reasonable level.
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    Troll in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    Quote Originally Posted by PId6 View Post
    As a note, if you want to make sure your druid doesn't outshine the party, you can take the shapeshifter ACF from PHB2.
    As another note, if you want to make sure your druid doesn't outshine the party, there are easily half a dozen ways to do it without losing your animal companion and most of the versatility of your wildshape.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    In this campaign, our most experienced player is the DM so the Uber Cleric wont be around this time.
    I obviosuly want to be able to turn the tide in a battle if i have to - but i dont wanna be a one man party.
    However, i dont want to go with the PHB2 variant yet tili have at least got to grips with the normal Druid

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    I saw the thread title, and I luled.

    Anyway, here is the brilliant gameologist handbook for druids. Just pick and choose.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alabenson
    Evil Intelligence is knowing the precise ritual that will allow you to destroy the peaceful kingdom that banished you.

    Evil Wisdom is understanding that you probably shouldn’t perform said ritual while you’re standing in the estimated blast radius.

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    Yuki Akuma's Avatar

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaskos View Post
    In this campaign, our most experienced player is the DM so the Uber Cleric wont be around this time.
    I obviosuly want to be able to turn the tide in a battle if i have to - but i dont wanna be a one man party.
    However, i dont want to go with the PHB2 variant yet tili have at least got to grips with the normal Druid
    Just because you're a one man party doesn't mean you have to be overt about it. In general, stick to your wild shape, give yourself and your allies a few buffs, and tear stuff up. Your allies won't cry foul.

    If you start getting into trouble, you can pull out the rest of your spells and save the rest of the party.
    There's no wrong way to play. - S. John Ross

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeo View Post
    Man, this is just one of those things you see and realize, "I live in a weird and banal future."

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    Yeah, it's actually hard NOT to break a Druid. Consider it this way; when I started playing a Druid in my group when they had never had a real Druid before (last guy played a Druid Archer that didn't use Animal Companion and didn't cast spells) I was actually accused of cheating because I was doing so much.

    Their BAB is the same as Monks and they get Wildshape, which basically nullifies their MBAB. They have some of the best Battlefield Control spells in the game. Entangle is awesome; even if they save it still does something.

    If you want you break a Druid, here's the build:

    Gnome Druid 20
    Wisdom: 18
    Constitution: 20

    Feats:
    1: Toughness
    3: Heavy Armor Proficiency
    6: Natural Spell
    9: Multi-attack
    12: Toughness
    15: Toughness
    18: Toughness

    Put skills into Craft and use Wood Warp and Iron Wood to make Wooden Fullplate Armor that is meant to fit a Dire Bear. Wildshape, have your friends help you put it on. You can be Core only against a full splatbook Fighter or ToB class and still utterly destroy them. Ohh, and you are STILL a full caster.

    Going outside of Core, Spellbound Companion gives you a 30 foot range on Share Spell meaning that you can fallback while Woofer still is a juggernaut. If your DM allows you, a Fleshraker is the best Animal Companion in the game. Good AC, awesome attack, and a super nasty poison to boot. Get his ability focus: poison, Virulent Poison, and Venomfire and watch the fighter cry. Remember, Order of the Stick was not joking here.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    The shapeshift variant serves dual purpose. It not only balances wildshape, but also resolves the problem of it being too confusing to use. Previously, druids had every incentive to dump their physical stats, and determining the stats of the animal they were turning into in the midst of combat was a real game-stopper (since wildshape references alternate form, so you have to tediously work out just what gets granted and what doesn't).

    To this day, I am pretty sure no one really knows just how wildshape and polymorph are supposed to work.

    Now, shapeshift simply improves your base stats (so you still have an incentive to raise your str and dex), and no longer have to reference any outside splatbooks, so it is fairly easy and straightforward to use.

    Nor do you have to agonize over which of the 100 animals is the best to change into.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    What is the easiest way to work out what you are allowed as animal companions and wildshape forms?

    I mean is Wildshape initially ANY animal type that is small or Medium?

    and how can i work out what animal i am allowed at each level?
    Example - Level 6 (i am not allowed a fleshraker) I wouldnt mind a Tiger - can i have one?
    If so, how come?

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobVosh View Post
    I saw the thread title, and I luled.

    Anyway, here is the brilliant gameologist handbook for druids. Just pick and choose.
    Try reading the original post first, at least...
    Common sense is not so common.

    Nanfoodle the Maverick, Conjurer of expensive tricks

    Spoiler
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    Quote Originally Posted by I'm da Rogue!
    You make sense in an annoying way.

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Runestar View Post
    The shapeshift variant serves dual purpose. It not only balances wildshape, .....
    Nor do you have to agonize over which of the 100 animals is the best to change into.
    1. Picking animal forms isn't nearly as hard as the shapeshift crowd likes to pretend. It is easy to pick your favorite 3-6 forms, stat them up, and use them for daily use while keeping the ability to take another form if you realize there is something in particular you need. It is easy to have the discussion of what works in wildshape privately, with your DM, and not spend any game time. It is even easier to take a different WS nerf, like Pathfinders, which specifically spells out which abilities you get at which points.

    2. If the ability to dump your physical stats or ease of decision making were REALLY the point behind shapeshift, it wouldn't take away your animal companion. The point behind shapeshift is to nerf the druid. Maybe that is even a good idea, but there are other nerfs available which are less limiting to your options.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaskos View Post
    I mean is Wildshape initially ANY animal type that is small or Medium?

    and how can i work out what animal i am allowed at each level?
    Example - Level 6 (i am not allowed a fleshraker) I wouldnt mind a Tiger - can i have one?
    If so, how come?
    The 2 limiting factors are size and hit dice (which can't be over your druid level). Tigers exceed both. You could be a smaller great cat like leopard (medium, 3-4 hd), and ask your DM to flavor it as a young tiger.

    The easiest way is to look in one of the druid guides that make AC suggestions and stat up one to three forms (I like using index cards for this). Later, when you have time, look through monster manuals available under Animal (also Dire Animal and Dinosaur).
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2010-05-15 at 08:18 AM.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    Well that sucks - i think Leopard played as a young tiger would be good from a play perspective.

    What kinda HD am i looking at for Tiger?
    (I havent got my MM on me to check unfortunately)

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    1. Picking animal forms isn't nearly as hard as the shapeshift crowd likes to pretend. It is easy to pick your favorite 3-6 forms, stat them up, and use them for daily use while keeping the ability to take another form if you realize there is something in particular you need. It is easy to have the discussion of what works in wildshape privately, with your DM, and not spend any game time. It is even easier to take a different WS nerf, like Pathfinders, which specifically spells out which abilities you get at which points.
    Just speaking for myself here:

    I could, and I could stat out the second character that is the AC and I could track its HP and condition status and all the effects that are currently active on it. That doesn't mean I like to. Shapeshift is the only way I can tolerate playing a Druid (well, it and the Spontaneous Druid variant). Paperwork and number-tracking are not things I like to spend a lot of time on. It's still a 3/4 BA full-caster with an interesting spell list, a strong skills list and a build-in natural attack routine, so it's hard to be sore about the loss of an AC or WS.
    Last edited by Pluto; 2010-05-15 at 08:30 AM.

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaskos View Post
    Well that sucks - i think Leopard played as a young tiger would be good from a play perspective.

    What kinda HD am i looking at for Tiger?
    (I havent got my MM on me to check unfortunately)
    It is only 6 HD (I just looked it up) but you need large wildshape, which Is level 8.

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaskos View Post
    Well that sucks - i think Leopard played as a young tiger would be good from a play perspective.

    What kinda HD am i looking at for Tiger?
    (I havent got my MM on me to check unfortunately)
    Why would you need a copy of the Monster Manual when you have an Internet connection?
    There's no wrong way to play. - S. John Ross

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeo View Post
    Man, this is just one of those things you see and realize, "I live in a weird and banal future."

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    It is only 6 HD (I just looked it up) but you need large wildshape, which Is level 8.
    Ahhh - so a couple of levels to go yet
    So if DM will allow, i think a 'young' tiger will be allowed with stats etc of a leopard. Nice idea, thanks


    (is starting at 6 because my Ranger wasnt part of the original party and had the option to leave if he wanted and i hated him, so i did)

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    When i typed in Tiger all o managed tog et was a list of the animals in the MM, not the actual information no the Tiger i was after

    Now i see i was looking in the wrong place

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pluto View Post
    Just speaking for myself here:

    I could, and I could stat out the second character that is the AC and I could track its HP and condition status and all the effects that are currently active on it. That doesn't mean I like to. Shapeshift is the only way I can tolerate playing a Druid (well, it and the Spontaneous Druid variant). Paperwork and number-tracking are not things I like to spend a lot of time on. It's still a 3/4 BA full-caster with an interesting spell list, a strong skills list and a build-in natural attack routine, so it's hard to be sore about the loss of an AC or WS.
    Fair enough. Speaking for myself I like WS not for the power but for the versatility. I couldn't tolerate playing a shapeshift druid unless they included burrowing, climbing and aquatic forms at least.

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    Chimera

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    1. Picking animal forms isn't nearly as hard as the shapeshift crowd likes to pretend. It is easy to pick your favorite 3-6 forms, stat them up, and use them for daily use while keeping the ability to take another form if you realize there is something in particular you need. It is easy to have the discussion of what works in wildshape privately, with your DM, and not spend any game time. It is even easier to take a different WS nerf, like Pathfinders, which specifically spells out which abilities you get at which points.
    Which is still a fair amount of prep work. I admit I was exaggerating about the "100 animals to choose from" part, but I still feel shapeshift is the most intuitive to use. You don't even need to waste any time haggling with your DM. You don't have to prepare 6 separate stat blocks and best of all, you don't have to waste your DM's time.

    2. If the ability to dump your physical stats or ease of decision making were REALLY the point behind shapeshift, it wouldn't take away your animal companion. The point behind shapeshift is to nerf the druid. Maybe that is even a good idea, but there are other nerfs available which are less limiting to your options.
    I would say it is both. The druid's arsenal was powerful and it slowed down the game at the same time. So it was simply a matter of finding a solution which tackled both simultaneously. Rather than addressing one while ignoring the other. Why not kill 2 birds with one stone?

    The animal companion is undeniably strong, but it, together with summons (which a druid can cast spontaneously) can also make him longer to run (because you are juggling 3-5 npcs at any one time). This is why PHB2 recommended trading away spontaneously summoning for fast healing and did away with animal companion. True, a druid can still prep summon spells, but their underlying intention - for summons to be a less integral part of combat, is crystal clear for all to see.

    The 3rd problem isn't widely publicised (though the designers did hint on it briefly in rules compendium). Basically, the open-ended nature of wildshape meant that it would only become more powerful with the release of every new splatbook which added new animals (though nowhere are bad as polymorph and shapechange).

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaskos View Post
    And b) Can you break a Druid? I hear people saying its hard to - but i wanna know how NOT to break a druid just in case lol.
    Know how in "Knightfall" Bane broke the goddamn Batman's back?

    Druids are like that, except that don't become need steroids to do it, and thus don't become a vegetable latter in life.
    Last edited by deuxhero; 2010-05-15 at 08:55 AM.

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Runestar View Post
    You don't have to prepare 6 separate stat blocks and best of all, you don't have to waste your DM's time.
    Or you can take the PF nerf, which also saves the DM time later in figuring out whether to ban or nerf polymorph and shapechange.

    Quote Originally Posted by Runestar View Post
    I would say it is both. The druid's arsenal was powerful and it slowed down the game at the same time. So it was simply a matter of finding a solution which tackled both simultaneously. Rather than addressing one while ignoring the other. Why not kill 2 birds with one stone?

    The animal companion is undeniably strong, but it, together with summons (which a druid can cast spontaneously) can also make him longer to run (because you are juggling 3-5 npcs at any one time). This is why PHB2 recommended trading away spontaneously summoning for fast healing and did away with animal companion. True, a druid can still prep summon spells, but their underlying intention - for summons to be a less integral part of combat, is crystal clear for all to see.
    Does your PH2 suggest it? Mine only includes it as an ACF. An optional, different way to play the class.

    Regardless of whether Shapeshift is better or worse as a system than WS, it has NOTHING to do with animal companion. No one seriously argues that Shapeshift is so much stronger than WS that it justifies taking your animal companion away.

    They could of course, have separated the two. Put in "No Animal companion" as an ACF, where the druid could just choose not to have an animal companion (of course, they can anyway). Or they could have been honest and said that they were intentionally nerfing the druid to bring it more into line with melee or for time saving reasons, so that people who took issue with the class could see what they were getting. If time savings was actually the issue, they could have offered the druid some passive benefit for the loss of the animal companion, like a damage bonus or more AC or Hp or mettle or something, that did not take up a lot of extra time in combat.

    But they didn't do any of those things. They included it as an alternate feature, thereby suggesting that it was a roughly equal option, then they intentionally nerfed it further by banning the AC. They made it into a trap for the unwary. People who advocate it without pointing out that it is not remotely an equivalent option from a power perspective are furthering that lie.

    Finally, shapeshift does not "balance" the druid as you suggest. It brings it more into line with lower tier melee (which could be called "balancing") while weakening it compared with other full casters (which could just as easily be called "unbalancing").

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    OP: I can't really answer your question without knowing what the rest of your party looks like. Druids are in an odd place in terms of class power, because they are extremely powerful compared to non-casters, are very strong in any environment that isn't highly optimized, and then drop off dramatically at higher levels of optimization.

    So if your party is a Fighter, Monk, and blasting Wizard, you're going to be way more powerful by them just by picking a normal animal companion and wildshaping into a bear - because blasting Wizards are usually almost useless, and because a Fighter and a Monk are dramatically weaker than a druid's animal companion and a druid turned into a bear. Oh, and you're a full caster with some really strong battlefield control options.

    If your party is a well-built Barbarian, a Rogue, and a Sorcerer using smart spell selection, the Barbarian will out-damage you most days, the Rogue will be glad to have easy flanking from your animal companion, and the Sorcerer will appreciate the versatility that a free morning re-spec brings to the party.*

    If your party is a Ruby Knight Vindicator with a Prestige Paladin dip for Battle Blessing, a Beguiler who skillmonkeys but has a few levels in Shadowcraft Mage too, and a Halruaan Elder who has a wide selection of strong wizard spells and Arcane Thesis: Enervation, you actually might have to work hard just to stay even.

    *I used core classes, but this party probably uses a hell of a lot of non-core material for the Barbarian to qualify as "well-built" and the Rogue to have Darkstalker and wands of Gravestrike. Don't take this as a recommendation of the core rules, they suck.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    For some reason, I read the title and got the funny idea you wanted a ranger or something to teach a perma-wildshaped druid tricks..
    Last edited by Skaven; 2010-05-15 at 02:02 PM.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    Normal Wild Shape is fun. Master of Many Forms is where it gets really crazy. Getting (ex) special qualities, Diminuitive-Gargantuan sizes, and being able to turn into pretty much any type apart from Magical Beast (odd, dunno why though. I mean, you can turn into an Ooze, but not a magical beast?)? Yes please.

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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    Greenbound summoning. Combined with speak with plants ALL your summoned animals can cast wall of thorns and entangle. Oh and they get plant type. Summon several with a single spell and battlefeildcontroll AWAY!
    Thanks to BRC for the Wizard Avi!
    And the science gets done and You make a neat gun for the people who are still alive!
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    Default Re: Can you break a Druid?

    Quote Originally Posted by volthawk View Post
    Normal Wild Shape is fun. Master of Many Forms is where it gets really crazy. Getting (ex) special qualities, Diminuitive-Gargantuan sizes, and being able to turn into pretty much any type apart from Magical Beast (odd, dunno why though. I mean, you can turn into an Ooze, but not a magical beast?)? Yes please.
    How about Planar Shepherd? Wish as SLA? Sure, why not.
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    I define [optimization] as "the process by which one attains a build meeting all mechanical and characterization goals set out by the creator prior to its creation."
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