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Thread: Druid Help

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default Druid Help

    My character in a pathfinder game is a 10th level Druid, but I'm having problems with the amount of effect they're having. I am not a character optimizer, I like to focus more on the roleplaying aspects, but recently I've been getting steamrolled by the other players. Does anyone have any advice on how to make the character better. I hate the idea of the Druid sitting in the back casting buff spells, because we already have a cleric to do that. I like to play slightly offensive. Please help!!

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Druid Help

    Quick tip: Natural Spell + Wild Shape. Learn better wild shapes. Team up with your animal companion and tear into things.
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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Druid Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Zagaroth View Post
    Quick tip: Natural Spell + Wild Shape. Learn better wild shapes. Team up with your animal companion and tear into things.
    Pathfinder. Much less useful.

    In Pathfinder you really have to choose as a Druid whether to focus on Wildshape combat or Spellcasting. The former requires good physical stats, the latter wants a high Wisdom.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Druid Help

    The key to breaking the world in half as a Druidzilla is spell selection. Druids have one of the most versatile spell lists in the game, which allows them to do a little bit of everything: buff, heal, battlefield control, and direct damage.

    What sourcebooks do you have available? We need to know which spells you have access to.

    Some highlights:

    0th

    Dawn (Spell Compendium). Good to have one of these handy for your watch shift, so there are no messy arguments over Listen checks or how many PCs you can wake up with a standard action (just one, per the sleep spell description). Speaking of which, can also be used to counter sleep.

    Fire Eyes (Masters of the Wild). Negates concealment when looking through smoke, fire, and fog. However, it doesn't work against magical fog, such as from obscuring mist or fog cloud, and thus for the longest time I thought this spell was useless. However, I recently realized that by RAW, magical smoke isn't the same thing as magical fog. Thus, this spell should allow you to see through a wall of smoke (Spell Compendium) or pyrotechnics (Core) effect. Likewise, it should also work with a smokestick or Eversmoking Bottle (DMG).

    Silvered Weapon (Mintiper's Chapbook). Handy to have around if you stumble into something with DR/silver that you weren't prepared for, such as a lycanthrope or vampire. Also, it does not distinguish between natural or manufactured weapons, so you could use this on your animal companion or summoned creatures if need be.

    1st
    Entangle (core). Your bread-and-butter debuff, particularly at low levels, and unless you have Sculpt Spell you want to get this off early before everyone closes to melee and friendlies get in the way. If there are no plants available, fungus = plants so cast spore field (Complete Scoundrel) first. If your DM gets all up in your grill about the "no plants" thing, consider impeding stones (Cityscape) instead for a similar debuff.

    Faerie fire (core). Negates invisiblity, blur, blink, and most other forms of concealment (except for magical darkness). Another good spell to "paint" enemies on the first round, and then follow up with obscuring mist/fog cloud so you can pepper them with ranged attacks while they stumble through fog/entangle squares.

    Produce flame (core). The "druid crossbow", ranged touch attacks out to 120', or shift into wildshape and add fire damage to one of your claw attacks. Can also be used to light things on fire, such as oil, webs (via the spell or monstrous spider summons), incendiary slime, or wall of thorns (hey it's magical fire).

    Instant of Power (Forge of War). As an *immediate* action, grant an ally (including yourself) a +4 enhancement bonus on an attack, save, or damage roll (great way to add damage after someone confirms a crit). Buy a wand (750 GP) and put this in a wand chamber (100 GP, Dungeonscape).

    Aspect of the Wolf (SC). Who says you have to wait until level 5 to wildshape? Even better, unlike wildshape, it changes your type to animal, so now all those animal-only buffs work on you as well as your animal companion.

    Cloudburst (SC). Debuff vs. ranged attacks, but mostly useful for getting 3d10 damage on call lightning.

    Lesser Vigor (SC). CLW cures an average of 5.5 to 9.5 HP, this one does 11-15 HP, so much more efficient outside of combat.

    Wood Wose (SC). Everything an unseen servant can do, only in a more druid-friendly color palette.

    Conjure Ice Beast I (Frostburn). Gives you access to the summon monster list, and some interesting special attacks: frigid touch, ice breath, cold aura, and engulf (more on this one later). Cold aura is particularly nifty: free action every round, 1d6 cold damage in a 10' burst, *no save*. Summon a bunch of beasts at once to do Xd6 damage to a small area with no save. Check with your DM if the phrase, "In all other ways, conjure ice beast I functions like summon monster I" allows you to use Augment Summoning, Golden Desert Honey (Complete Mage), or Ring of the Beast (Complete Champion) with your ice beasts.

    Snowsight (Frostburn). The first half of the Snowglobe of Murder (see obscuring snow below). Allows your party to see through obscuring snow and sleet storm.

    Impeding Stones (Cityscape). Grease for treehuggers, but has a much bigger area than either grease or ice slick (40' radius), and may be even better than entangle: -2 penalty to attacks, difficult terrain costs double movement, and creatures are considered flat-footed while balancing. Unlike entangle, it can be cast pretty much anywhere you have dirt, earth, or stone floors.

    Blockade (Complete Scoundrel). Swift action to drop a 5' cube of wood into a square, which can be a nifty way to block a door/tunnel or create a choke point. Another good spell to put in a wand chamber.

    Spider Hand (Book of Vile Darkness). Oddly enough, this is easiest way I've found for a druid to summon a monstrous spider with the Web (Ex) ability (conjure ice beast and summon desert ally spiders lose their special attacks). You can attack with the web, similar to a net (ranged touch attack, range increment 10', max 50', up to medium size), or create sheets over doorways or narrow passages (unfortunately, the MM doesn't say how long it takes to create these).

    Winged Watcher (Complete Scoundrel). Fly as a swift action, to do scouting, or a "Get Out of Death Free" card. With Natural Spell, might also let you do some low-level aerial bombardment.

    2nd
    Fire Trap (Core). This costs some money (25 GP per casting), but aside from discouraging pickpockets and other undesirables from pilfering your equipment, it's also a good way to increase the damage on splash weapons (alchemist's fire, flask of acid, etc.).

    Flame Blade (Core). Melee touch attacks with a scimitar, so it's like getting wraithstrike for free. If you're running into too many creatures with fire resistance, switch to scimitar of sand (Sandstorm).

    Spider Climb (Core). Standing on the ceiling gets you out of melee, and lets you to rain down fire and lightning.

    Summon Nature's Ally II (Core). Dire badgers are one of the few creatures that leave tunnels behind them when they burrow. If you're trying to tunnel through solid rock, try soften earth and stone to turn it into mud/dirt. When DMs design impregnable fortresses and deathtrap dungeons, they hardly ever anticipate tunneling.

    Summon Swarm (Core). Battlefield control, area-effect damage, and nausea all wrapped up into a single spell.

    Blinding Spittle (SC). Ranged touch attack (with a -4 penalty), target is blinded, *no save*.

    Creeping Cold (SC). Chill metal without the training wheels. Add Extend Spell or Fairy Dust (100 GP, Complete Mage), and it becomes creaping DEATH: 21d6 damage over 6 rounds. Suck on that, Mr. Fireball Wizard.

    Embrace the Wild (SC). Blindsense 30', which allows you to pinpoint invisible creatures for your faerie fire or torchbug paste (25 GP, Complete Scoundrel).

    Kelpstrand (SC). Grapple to set up sneak attacks, debuff high-dex opponents, immobilize an enemy, or shutdown a spellcaster. Particularly useful after everyone closes to melee range and entangle becomes impractical.

    Snake's Swiftness, Mass (SC). Turn your standard action into an extra attack for the entire party + animal companion + summoned creatures.

    Splinterbolt (SC). Treehugger version of scorching ray. It's not a touch attack, but same damage, and has an 18-20 crit range.

    Drifts of the Shalm (PHBII). Blanket your enemies in snow that slows movement and deals cold damage. Then add blood snow (Frostburn) for 1d2 Con drain and save vs. nausea. Or create a leaf drift and light them on fire with produce flame. Or skip the produce flame with ashes that are already on fire. Best of all, the damage is no save/no SR.

    Conjure Ice Beast II (Frostburn). Large monstrous centipede can engulf medium-sized enemies, or two wolves for 2x cold aura.

    Frost Weapon (Frostburn). Another damage buff you can cast on your claws or your animal companion's.

    Icicle (Frostburn). You need a ceiling or doorframe for this spell to work, but great damage for a 2nd level spell: 4d6 piercing damage over a 10' square section, no save. Anyone adjacent to the affected area takes half, or none if they make a Ref save. Unfortunately, the damage is fixed and doesn't scale up at all.

    Obscuring Snow (Frostburn). The second half of the Snowglobe of Murder. Creates a 30' globe of whiteout conditions that moves with your treehugger and lasts 1 hour/CL. Add snowsight to the party and they can see perfectly but your enemies can't.

    Alicorn Lance (Silver Marches Web Enhancement). This spell creates a horn of force on your forehead, which is sorta similar to spiritual weapon. However, even though it has a duration, the horn can only be used once. The horn can be launched as a free action, hits on a ranged touch attack with 3d6 force damage, and outlines your target with a faerie fire effect.

    3rd
    Call Lightning (Core). Your basic druidzilla artillery spell. Cast cloudburst to increase the damage to 3d10, and add Sculpt Spell to go from artillery to carpet-bombing.

    Sleet Storm (Core). Battlefield control to block LOS and force balance checks (slippery surface = more sneak attacks). Add snowsight (Frostburn) to the party and they can see through it, add snowshoes (SC) or ice skate on the party and they can move through it normally.

    Summon Nature's Ally III (Core). Upgrade your dire badger burrowers to a thoqqua, the only other creature in core that leaves a tunnel behind when it burrows, only this one can dig through solid rock without softening it up first.

    Heart of Water (Complete Mage). Swim speed, water breathing, and freedom of movement all in the same spell.

    Conjure Ice Beast III (Frostburn). Huge monstrous centipede now available, which can engulf large-sized creatures, or four wolves for 4d6 cold aura.

    Venomfire (Serpent Kingdoms). As if a fleshraker animal companion wasn't bad enough... Xd6 acid damage on a bite attack, and no maximum damage cap.

    4th
    Flame Strike (Core). You get this before any of the other top-tier casters, and it remains one of your best blasty-spells up to 15th level.

    Ice Storm (Core). Not quite as satisfying as flame strike, but a good area-effect damage spell, particularly if you get tired of hearing "Evasion, no damage" or "roll for Spell Resistance".

    Boreal Wind (Frostburn). As far as blasting goes, Xd4/CL (max 15) with a Fort negates seems a little lackluster for a 4th level spell, but on the other hand, it's a 20' wide/680'+ long area effect that lasts for several rounds and can be redirected with a move action. In a small room or narrow 10' corridor, it's particularly nasty.

    Call of Stone (PHBII). Interesting way to put an ally in "stasis" to prevent some horrible effect that you can't quite fix at the moment (while turned to stone, creatures aren't considered either alive or dead... another nifty way to foil divination trying to target a "creature" rather than an object).

    Feathers (Masters of the Wild). An obscure spell from a 3.0 source, but should still be valid for 3.5 games. Lets you polymorph the entire party into a feathered animal with a 1 hour/CL duration, so it essentially becomes an overland flight spell, but you get it a spell level before wizards and at double the speed (eagle = fly 80').

    Heart of Earth (Complete Mage). Temp HP, +8 to resist bull rush, <snore>... but hey now, stoneskin at the same level as wizards get it, and no material component? Yes, I'll have some of that!

    Sheltered Vitality (SC). Immunity to fatigue, exhaustion, ability damage, and ability drain. While DMM Persist shenanigans aren't really part of your standard repertoire, this spell is still useful to cast if you want to do something with Sanctified magic (see Valiant Steed below).

    Vortex of Teeth (SC). Area effect, 3d8 force damage, no save.

    Wall of Salt (Sandstorm). Since salt is a trade good (1 lb salt = 5 GP), this spell is also known as "free money" or "collapse the local economy".

    5th
    Wall of Thorns (Core). Treehugger version of solid fog, only it also does damage when someone gets caught inside or tries to move through. Another perk: highly flammable when hit with magical fire.

    Dire Hunger (SC). Causing an enemy to "switch sides" and attack his (former) allies can be a huge game-changer, and this SoL (Save Or Lose) is particularly potent against enemy spellcasters as it targets their weaker Fort save. While charm/dominate spells are a staple for bards and specialist enchanters, they have a glaring weakness, as many creatures are immune to [mind-affecting] and immunity to charm/complusion effects can be pretty easy to get. Not a problem with this spell, though, because it's transmutation.

    Wall of Sand (SC). Another variation on solid fog, but also adds blindness and deafness. This spell first appeared in Sandstorm at 4th level, but was reprinted later in the Spell Compendium. Although it's higher level, the 5th level version is a better spell: you can trap creatures inside the wall when you cast it, and there's no save to avoid the blindness/deafness.

    Flesh to Salt (Sandstorm). This is one of the quintessential "Druids Win D&D" spells. It's no-save damage plus a save-or-die like flesh to stone, only you get it a whole spell level before flesh to stone. On top of that the target's equipment isn't included so you get to keep/sell it, and you can sell the body as a trade good for GP or effectively distintegrate the body by just adding water.

    6th
    Aspect of the Earth Hunter (SC). Change into a Land Shark.

    Fire Seeds (Core). Throw acorn grenades up to 100' (20d6 max damage), or create remote-activated claymore mines.

    Dinosaur Stampede (SC). Actually somewhat lackluster on damage, but on the other hand, you get to trample things to death with phantasmal dinosaurs. Even better, you can redirect the spell to chase down anyone lucky enough to get out of the initial area of effect.

    Extract Water Elemental (SC). This spell allows you to combine direct damage and summoning into the same spell. It's particularly effective as a "finishing move" on large and huge creatures near death, which allows you to create large and huge water elementals, duplicating the effects of a SNA5 or SNA6. With a single spell, you finish off an enemy and turn it into a summoned ally.

    Mummify (Sandstorm). This is a refluffed disintegrate, except on a successful save it does 6d6 damage instead of 5d6 and if the target survives, it's dehydrated (similar to fatigue, -2 Str/Dex). If the target doesn't survive, you've got a cool knick-knack for your trophy room or some excellent kindling for your next campfire!

    Scalding Mud (Sandstorm). Of all the spells that create molten lava, this may be the most effective, although it creates steaming mud rather than lava (details, details... feh). Transmute rock to lava (Spell Compendium), deadly lahar (Complete Mage), storm of fire and ice (Complete Mage), and lava splash (Serpent Kingdoms) allow a Ref save for half, which means anyone with Evasion (Ex) will be laughing at you. Wall of magma doesn't allow a save, but the damage output is kind of lackluster for molten lava (5d6 + 1/CL while inside the magma). Scalding mud works like transmute rock to mud, so anyone caught underneath it takes 8d6 bludgeoning damage, Ref save for half, but then the fun starts: 5d6 damage for being stuck in the mud, 10d6 for being completely submerged, and 1d6 for standing on top of it. Once you're out of the mud, you continue to take 1d6 damage for 1d3 rounds. And none of that fire damage has a Ref save.

    Valiant Steed (Book of Exalted Deeds). This isn't a Druid spell, it's a Sanctified spell, but since Druids can prepare spells, they automatically know how to cast Sanctified spells. Casting this spell calls either a pegasus or unicorn to serve you for a year. For... a... YEAR! The drawback to this is it takes an hour to cast, and you take 1d3 Str drain (just cast sheltered vitality first). If the pegasus/unicorn gets killed, you just cast the spell again.

    7th
    Fire Storm (Core). Up to 20d6 fire damage with a bunch of 10' cubes.

    Word of Balance (SC). All the no-save fun of the various holy word spells, only it works on devils/demons/angels/archons/inevitables/etc.

    Flesh to Salt, Mass (Sandstorm). As if the non-mass version wasn't overpowered enough.

    8th
    Deadfall (Spell Compendium). Not nearly as impressive as Frostfell, but 1d6/CL untyped damage in a 20' radius, no save. Actually, there is a Ref save, but it's to avoid being knocked prone. The dead wood created by this spell is also permanent, creating a pile of rough terrain that's 5' high with a 20' radius.

    Frostfell (Frostburn). When you absolutely, positively must turn everything around you into a popsicle. A better save-or-die/direct damage spell than most 9th-level spells, including cometstrike and meteor swarm.

    9th
    Shapechange (Core). Tops most if not all lists of "broken spells".

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Druid Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    Buy a wand (750 GP) and put this in a wand chamber (100 GP, Dungeonscape).

    Aspect of the Wolf (SC). Who says you have to wait until level 5 to wildshape?
    He's posted he's in a Pathfinder game.

    But thanks anyway for the list, good for a 3.5 game.

    EDIT: Pathfinder Druid Handbook, 3 Parts.
    Last edited by Malachei; 2011-11-08 at 06:56 PM.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: Druid Help

    Thank you for the help, I just get sick of being forced to stay in the back and buff the fighters.

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