A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Aug 2013

    Default Homebrew Challenge: Tier 3 Spellcasting Druids

    I've been trying to build and collect class-fixes for the Tier 1-2 classes for Tier 3-4 campaigns. I looked in Morph Barks' Homebrew Tier Compendium, and I didn't see any casting-focused Druid fixes.

    Now some parts are obvious--no wildshaping takes away a lot of the druid's melee power. A caster-type probably shouldn't have d8 HD and 3/4 BAB either.

    But you still have a Tier 1 spell list. Spontaneous Divine Caster is one way to go, but that's Tier 2 by analogy. Just the Summon NAture's Ally line might put you at Tier 3 based on flexibility. And do we want the druid to be limited to the Sorcerer's spells known plus SNAs?

    Limiting to 6-level Bard-progression casting is an option too, but I think the spellcasting Druid *should* have access to the high-level city-wrecking wrath-of-nature spells.

    Does the spells-only Druid need to be split up into a bunch of fixed-list casters by climate region? Forest druids and arctic druids and desert druids and mountain druids and desert druids?

    Thoughts?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    dspeyer's Avatar

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    Mar 2008

    Default Re: Homebrew Challenge: Tier 3 Spellcasting Druids

    Just off the top of my head, I may have overlooked important things...

    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special Spells/Day (major) Spells/Day (minor)
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5
    1 0 0 2 2 Wild Empathy 3 1 1
    2 1 0 3 3 4 2 2 1
    3 2 1 3 3 4 2 1 3 1
    4 3 1 4 4 Second Minor 5 3 2 3 2
    5 3 1 4 4 5 3 2 1 4 2
    6 4 2 5 5 6 3 3 2 4 2 1
    7 5 2 5 5 6 4 3 2 1 4 3 1
    8 6 2 6 6 Animal Companion (half ranger) 6 4 3 3 2 4 3 2
    9 6 3 6 6 6 4 4 3 2 1 4 4 2
    10 7 3 7 7 6 4 4 3 3 2 4 4 2 1
    11 8 3 7 7 6 5 4 4 3 2 1 4 4 3 1
    12 9 4 8 8 Third Minor 6 5 4 4 3 3 2 4 4 3 2
    13 9 4 8 8 6 5 5 4 4 3 2 1 4 4 4 2
    14 10 4 9 9 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 4 4 4 2 1
    15 11 5 9 9 6 5 5 5 4 4 3 2 1 4 4 4 3 1
    16 12 5 10 10 Rebuke Animals and Plant Creatures 6 5 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 4 4 4 3 2
    17 12 5 10 10 6 5 5 5 5 4 4 3 2 1 4 4 4 4 2
    18 13 6 11 11 6 5 5 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 4 4 4 4 2 1
    19 14 6 11 11 Fourth Minor 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 3 3 4 4 4 4 3 2
    20 15 6 12 12 Second Major 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3

    Prepared wis-based caster. Track major and minor spell slots seperately. You may use a major list as one of your minors, but you never get the high level spells on it.

    Major Lists

    animal
    Spoiler
    Show

    0
    1
    • Calm Animals
    • Charm Animal
    • Detect Animals or Plants
    • Hide from Animals
    • Speak with Animals

    2
    • Animal Messenger
    • Animal Trance
    • Hold Animal
    • Reduce Animal

    3
    • Dominate Animal

    4
    • Giant Vermin
    • Repel Vermin

    5
    • Animal Growth
    • Awaken

    6
    • Antilife Shell

    8
    • Animal Shapes

    9
    • Antipathy
    • Shapechange
    • Sympathy


    healing
    Spoiler
    Show

    0
    • Cure Minor Wounds
    • Virtue

    1
    • Cure Light Wounds
    • Goodberry

    2
    • Delay Poison
    • Restoration, Lesser

    3
    • Cure Moderate Wounds
    • Neutralize Poison
    • Remove Disease

    4
    • Cure Serious Wounds
    • Reincarnate

    5
    • Cure Critical Wounds
    • Death Ward

    6
    • Cure Light Wounds, Mass

    7
    • Cure Moderate Wounds, Mass
    • Heal

    8
    • Cure Serious Wounds, Mass

    9
    • Cure Critical Wounds, Mass
    • Regenerate


    plant
    Spoiler
    Show

    0
    1
    • Detect Animals or Plants
    • Entangle

    2
    • Tree Shape
    • Warp Wood
    • Wood Shape

    3
    • Diminish Plants
    • Plant Growth
    • Speak with Plants

    4
    • Antiplant Shell
    • Blight
    • Command Plants

    5
    • Tree Stride
    • Wall of Thorns

    6
    • Liveoak
    • Repel Wood
    • Transport via Plants

    7
    • Animate Plants
    • Changestaff
    • Transmute Metal to Wood

    8
    • Control Plants

    9
    • Shambler



    summoning
    Spoiler
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    0
    1
    • Summon Nature's Ally I

    2
    • Summon Nature's Ally II
    • Summon Swarm

    3
    • Summon Nature's Ally III

    4
    • Summon Nature's Ally IV

    5
    • Insect Plague
    • Summon Nature's Ally V

    6
    • Summon Nature's Ally VI

    7
    • Creeping Doom
    • Summon Nature's Ally VII

    8
    • Summon Nature's Ally VIII

    9
    • Elemental Swarm
    • Shambler
    • Summon Nature's Ally IX


    survival
    Spoiler
    Show

    0
    0
    • Create Water
    • Detect Poison
    • Guidance
    • Know Direction
    • Mending
    • Purify Food and Drink
    • Resistance

    1
    • Detect Snares and Pits
    • Endure Elements

    3
    • Snare

    4
    • Scrying

    5
    • Commune with Nature

    6
    • Find the Path

    7
    • Control Weather
    • Scrying, Greater
    • True Seeing

    9
    • Foresight

    violence
    Spoiler
    Show

    0
    1
    • Magic Fang
    • Magic Stone
    • Shillelagh

    2
    • Barkskin
    • Bear's Endurance
    • Bull's Strength
    • Chill Metal
    • Heat Metal

    3
    • Contagion
    • Magic Fang, Greater
    • Poison

    4
    • Rusting Grasp

    5
    • Baleful Polymorph
    • Stoneskin

    6
    • Bear's Endurance, Mass
    • Bull's Strength, Mass
    • Ironwood

    7
    • Fire Storm

    8
    • Earthquake
    • Finger of Death

    9
    • Storm of Vengeance


    Minor Lists

    air
    Spoiler
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    0
    1
    • Obscuring Mist

    2
    • Fog Cloud
    • Gust of Wind

    3
    • Wind Wall

    4
    • Air Walk

    5
    • Control Winds


    earth
    Spoiler
    Show

    0
    2
    • Soften Earth and Stone

    3
    • Meld into Stone
    • Spike Growth
    • Stone Shape

    4
    • Spike Stones

    5
    • Stone Tell
    • Transmute Mud to Rock
    • Transmute Rock to Mud


    energy
    Spoiler
    Show

    0
    0
    • Light

    2
    • Resist Energy

    3
    • Call Lightning
    • Daylight
    • Protection from Energy

    5
    • Call Lightning Storm


    fire
    Spoiler
    Show

    0
    0
    • Flare

    1
    • Faerie Fire
    • Produce Flame

    2
    • Fire Trap
    • Flame Blade
    • Flaming Sphere

    3
    • Quench

    4
    • Flame Strike

    5
    • Wall of Fire


    magic
    Spoiler
    Show

    0
    0
    • Detect Magic
    • Read Magic

    2
    • Owl's Wisdom

    3
    • Dispel Magic

    5
    • Atonement
    • Hallow
    • Spellstaff
    • Unhallow


    motion
    Spoiler
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    0
    1
    • Jump
    • Longstrider
    • Pass without Trace

    2
    • Cat's Grace
    • Spider Climb

    4
    • Freedom of Movement


    water
    Spoiler
    Show

    0
    1
    • Obscuring Mist

    2
    • Fog Cloud

    3
    • Sleet Storm
    • Water Breathing

    4
    • Control Water
    • Ice Storm
    Last edited by dspeyer; 2015-08-26 at 12:53 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default Re: Homebrew Challenge: Tier 3 Spellcasting Druids

    I would recommend splitting the druid up into 2 different classes, the spll casting animal companion one. and a wild shape focused one

    dspeyer has a good idea there. though I think that igving them 1.5 the number of spells per day is a not going to drop it down to 'tier' 3. but giving an animal companion at 8th level is pointless if anything sneezes its dead.. I am just against handing over class abilities that are actually hindraces

    if you are taking the druid's casting down a few notches then I see no reason with letting the druid get an animal companion at 4th ( I switched ranger and druid companions myself) also I think it be ok to give the Druid 7th level spells


    I have the Primal, wildshape in a class with invocations. If you wanna take a look at what a wildshape class would look like.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Aug 2013

    Default Re: Homebrew Challenge: Tier 3 Spellcasting Druids

    Quote Originally Posted by ngilop View Post
    I would recommend splitting the druid up into 2 different classes, the spll casting animal companion one. and a wild shape focused one
    I think that's a given. The problem is that, with or without an animal friend, the Druid's spellcasting is way above Tier 3.

    dspeyer has a good idea there. though I think that igving them 1.5 the number of spells per day is a not going to drop it down to 'tier' 3.
    I like it as a start, too. I like that it keeps 9th level casting--the Beguiler and Dread Necromancer etc have 9th level casting in their niche, so should the Tier 3 Druid.

    The majors-and-minors is an idea that has promise. Maybe instead of two separate lists, just a rule that you can't prep more than 1 spell/spell level from a minor list, and nothing above 5th or 6th?

    The PRimal doesn't look too bad, but it's the opposite focus--it replaces the already-serviceable Wildshape Variant Ranger. Cool bells and whistles, I like it.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Alent's Avatar

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    Sep 2013

    Default Re: Homebrew Challenge: Tier 3 Spellcasting Druids

    It's nowhere near ready for use, but I'm working on a Psionic druid that currently looks something like this:

    Druid

    Hit Die: D6
    Spoiler: Beta Table, subject to change
    Show

    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special |
    Power Points/Day
    |
    Powers Known
    |
    Maximum Power Level Known

    1st|+0|+2|+0|+2|Animal Companion, Nature Sense, Wild Empathy|
    3
    |
    3
    |
    1st

    2nd|+1|+3|+0|+3|Woodland Stride|
    5
    |
    5
    |
    1st

    3rd|+1|+3|+1|+3|Trackless Step, Wild Shape (Animal) |
    7
    |
    7
    |
    1st

    4th|+2|+4|+1|+4|Resist Nature's Lure|
    12
    |
    9
    |
    2nd

    5th|+2|+4|+1|+4||
    15
    |
    11
    |
    2nd

    6th|+3|+5|+2|+5|Wild Shape (Large)|
    28
    |
    13
    |
    2nd

    7th|+3|+5|+2|+5||
    36
    |
    15
    |
    3rd

    8th|+4|+6|+2|+6||
    52
    |
    17
    |
    3rd

    9th|+4|+6|+3|+6|Wild Shape (Plant)|
    67
    |
    19
    |
    3rd

    10th|+5|+7|+3|+7|Venom Immunity|
    81
    |
    21
    |
    4th

    11th|+5|+7|+3|+7|Wild Shape (Tiny)|
    97
    |
    22
    |
    4th

    12th|+6/+1|+8|+4|+8||
    111
    |
    24
    |
    4th

    13th|+6/+1|+8|+4|+8|A Thousand Faces|
    127
    |
    25
    |
    5th

    14th|+7/+2|+9|+4|+9|Timeless Body|
    141
    |
    27
    |
    5th

    15th|+7/+2|+9|+5|+9|Wild Shape (Elemental)|
    157
    |
    28
    |
    5th

    16th|+8/+3|+10|+5|+10|Wild Shape (Huge)|
    171
    |
    30
    |
    6th

    17th|+8/+3|+10|+5|+10||
    187
    |
    31
    |
    6th

    18th|+9/+4|+11|+6|+11||
    201
    |
    33
    |
    6th

    19th|+9/+4|+11|+6|+11||
    217
    |
    34
    |
    7th

    20th|+10/+5|+12|+6|+12|Wild Shape (Magical Beast)|
    233
    |
    36
    |
    7th

    [/table]


    Balance points I'm working on:

    Wild Shape:
    Spoiler
    Show
    The maximum HD of creature you can wildshape into is limited by your BAB. This will limit you to 10 hit dice forms at the high end.

    Wildshape will cost PP/hr to use as if it were a psionic power. This will put it in direct competition with your spellcasting resource. When I start cost testing I'll also look at the duration of Wildshape. It seems too cheap as an hourly resource.

    The more wildshape features you manifest, the more expensive the PP cost. Wildshaping into a medium animal is cheap. Wildshaping into a Large Elemental is expensive. Exact costs need to be mathed out still, but I was thinking a 10 HD Elemental would be equivalent to a level 9 power, or 17 points.

    When Wildshaping into a creature you gain bonus hit dice equal to the creature's that function as the temporary HP gain from Rage, instead of magically healing you to full or giving you their exact HP.

    Under this model, Natural Spell would not be a requirement to manifest powers in Wild Shape, it would however still be a requirement to cast spells from other classes in Wildshape.


    Spellcasting:
    Spoiler
    Show
    I'm limiting it to 7ths because as I recall, that's how 2e druid domains worked. You can swap it to 9ths if you want.

    Druids gain all levels of Summon Nature's Ally when appropriate, it does not count against powers known.

    Druids choose a domain (Animal, Plant, Earth, or Air) and gain powers from either it or the Druid powers list. Domains would go to 7th level, the druid powers list would only go to 6th level.

    I've been busy with day job stuff and haven't been able to flesh this out as much as I'd like, but on my todo list is to build the domain powers list and the generic druid list.


    Druidic:
    There is no Druidic. You gain Mindlink as a bonus power.

    Assumptions:
    You houserule that PP regen exploits don't work.

    Again, this is still horribly unfinished, until I actually get a day or two to sit down and finish reviewing the Psionics rules, build the spell lists, and math out appropriate PP costs for Wildshape, it probably only moves it to T2 at best.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    dspeyer's Avatar

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    Mar 2008

    Default Re: Homebrew Challenge: Tier 3 Spellcasting Druids

    Quote Originally Posted by ngilop View Post
    giving an animal companion at 8th level is pointless if anything sneezes its dead.. I am just against handing over class abilities that are actually hindraces
    Good point.

    I needed to put something at 8th and 16th levels, and aggravatingly the druid doesn't have much in the way of features. Three powerful *progressions*, yes, but things to stick at a single level, not so much.

    Maybe there's a more elegant solution...

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default Re: Homebrew Challenge: Tier 3 Spellcasting Druids

    I think the most promising approach is to give druids a poor selection of weak combat spells, but complement it with the ability to get animal allies (either the SNA line or multiple animal companions with fewer boosts) and with extremely powerful, but slow-to-cast, "wrath of nature" type spells at higher levels.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Jan 2012

    Default Re: Homebrew Challenge: Tier 3 Spellcasting Druids

    you can improve woodland stride at 8th level to make it work against magical thorns and terrain.


    but that is just an idea and I am against giving spellcaster class abilities that increase their power.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    dspeyer's Avatar

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    Mar 2008

    Default Re: Homebrew Challenge: Tier 3 Spellcasting Druids

    Hmm, maybe this will be more elegant.

    One set of spell slots, but each list goes into your class spell list at a different rate. Which means you could use a 6th level slot for a minor list spell with metamagic on it. Pick 4 lists and then get the very bottom of all the others at high level.

    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special Spells/Day Max Spell Level Known
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1st 2nd 3rd 4th All
    1 0 0 2 2 Wild Empathy 3 1 1
    2 1 0 3 3 4 2 1 1
    3 2 1 3 3 4 2 1 2 1
    4 3 1 4 4 5 3 2 2 2
    5 3 1 4 4 5 3 2 1 3 2
    6 4 2 5 5 6 3 3 2 3 2 1
    7 5 2 5 5 6 4 3 2 1 4 2 1
    8 6 2 6 6 6 4 3 3 2 4 3 1
    9 6 3 6 6 6 4 4 3 2 1 5 3 1
    10 7 3 7 7 6 4 4 3 3 2 5 3 2 2
    11 8 3 7 7 6 5 4 4 3 2 1 6 3 2 2
    12 9 4 8 8 6 5 4 4 3 3 2 6 4 2 2
    13 9 4 8 8 6 5 5 4 4 3 2 1 7 4 2 2
    14 10 4 9 9 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 7 4 3 3 1
    15 11 5 9 9 6 5 5 5 4 4 3 2 1 8 4 3 3 1
    16 12 5 10 10 6 5 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 8 5 3 3 1
    17 12 5 10 10 6 5 5 5 5 4 4 3 2 1 9 5 3 3 1
    18 13 6 11 11 6 5 5 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 9 5 4 4 1
    19 14 6 11 11 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 3 3 9 5 5 4 2
    Last edited by dspeyer; 2015-08-26 at 01:05 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Alent's Avatar

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    Sep 2013

    Default Re: Homebrew Challenge: Tier 3 Spellcasting Druids

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    I think the most promising approach is to give druids a poor selection of weak combat spells, but complement it with the ability to get animal allies (either the SNA line or multiple animal companions with fewer boosts) and with extremely powerful, but slow-to-cast, "wrath of nature" type spells at higher levels.
    As I understand it, the action economy hack of Summon Nature's Ally, by itself, is one of the more imbalancing things about Druids. You can give yourself an ever increasing number of turns. Who needs to tumble when you can run your opponent out of AoOs by giving him a "Bad either way" situation where he can AoO one of a few summoned bears, your bear, your bear mount or you in bear form. Odds are he doesn't have more than the one AoO, and even if he does, you still would have more summoned bears. Just have a bear grapple him and forget about AoOs, anyway.

    For how abusive SNA can be, I'm not sure you can remove it without taking away one of the staples of what makes 3.5 druid a druid.

    On the other hand, giving them weak combat spells? Yeah, Blasting makes casters overpowered.

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