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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    DruidGirl

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    Default Most Damage out of Spore Druid Melee

    So I'm trying to optimize the amount of damage you can get out of a melee spore druid. Ultimately I think the conflicting point is that it would deal less damage than a rogue would in melee after a certain point.

    Lvl 2 Spore Druid get's halo of spores which gives a 1d6 poison rider to all melee attacks made by the druid. So at lvl 2 if I was dual wielding clubs, since they are light, I could cast shillaylay on one as a bonus action and activate halo of spores which takes a full action.

    Then I can attack for 1d8+wis+1d6 poison, bonus action 1d4+1d6 poison

    If I take variant human I can take dual wielder which would give me +1 AC and let me use non-light weapons so I can upgrade that 2nd club to a scimitar.

    1d8+wis+1d6 poison, bonus action 1d6+1d6 poison

    I can also spend my reaction each turn to do 2d4 necrotic damage to anything within 5 ft (for a con save or suck)

    Now all in all I'd say this is a pretty decent damage output for a lvl 2 druid, especially if you look at a Rogue of the same level, where if they were also using TWF at most they could be getting 1d8+dex+2d6 sneak, bonus action 1d8

    the additional 2d4 reaction damage would put you above the rogue in terms of damage (provided all the attacks land of course)

    Now the big issue with Spore Druid is keeping the ability to add the poison damage. Since at lvl 2 it's just 4 temp hp away from no poison riders and only 1d4 necrotic damage.

    The other issue is that this is it, Druid's don't get any additional attacks so by 5th lvl a Rogue will be doing more single turn damage then a Druid.

    At most I could further that to rogue lvl 7 by taking 1 lvl of rogue myself to get an additional d6 immediately.

    While I could just do spore druid/rogue which would give me a similar scale of single target damage and give me a rogue with great utility in the ability to wildshape if I need to, pass without trace, Rogue probably wouldn't go in for two weapon fighting since with cunning action they could extend the amount of time before their hit and lose their small amount of temp hp, which would only warrant dipping to 3rd lvl in spore just for Pass Without Trace.

    I suppose the next alternative to look at is monk. Who similarly gets a lot of attacks up front in the form of bonus actions, and would still work with the poison for the fists since unarmed attacks at least count as melee weapon attacks.

    I dunno, this is sort of a mess of my thoughts and I was wondering if anyone else had some insight.

    Yes I know it seems fruitless to try and optimize Spore druid when Moon druid exists but I find it fun.
    "I see now that the circumstances of one's birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are." Mewtwo

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Goblin

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    Default Re: Most Damage out of Spore Druid Melee

    Horizon Walker Ranger.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Crucius's Avatar

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    Default Re: Most Damage out of Spore Druid Melee

    I would look for a way to get a reach weapon in this build somehow. 4 thp per level is formidable yes, but at a certain point monsters can deal some serious damage if you stay put right next to them. That means losing your symbiotic form which is a costly action to set up again.

    To that end I would recommend dual wielding whips (as you seem to want to go the dual wielding route) to stay out of reach of most medium and large enemies and then backpedal to a safe(r) distance. Should they pursue you can still use your halo of spores to punish that.

    Otherwise stuff like hex/hunter's mark/divine favor or shadow blade can work here, but both kinda block your dual wielding and you already have an elaborate and costly setup round for this. Though a level of war cleric is actually not bad here now that I think of it. Gives you martial weapon prof for polearms or whip, heavy armor if you or your dm is not a stickler for the no-metal druid thing, and gives you bonus action attacks similar to two weapon fighting but better.

    Edit: shoot, I forgot that shillelagh only targets clubs and quarterstaves. It makes the build a bit more mad that it also requires dex or str but I still think it can be worthwhile. I would love to hear your opinion on it :)

    Edit edit: I like the idea of a glaive reflavored as a scythe. Fits with the spores vibe imo. That is all.
    Last edited by Crucius; 2020-08-14 at 10:18 AM.

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Most Damage out of Spore Druid Melee

    Without multiclassing, I don't think you'll get better than Polearm Master: Quarterstaff/Shillelagh (still being able to use a shield), with the possibility of up to 3 Wisdom-based melee attacks per turn cycle (Attack action, bonus action from PAM, "incoming" opportunity attack from PAM). The PAM opportunity attack is contending with the Halo of Spores for your reaction, but I'd think the attack is more likely to hit than for them to fail the Con save anyway? (Maybe you need to decide on a case-by-case basis.) In the early game (especially with the poison rider), the opportunity attack might actually knock out a bad guy, protecting your Symbiotic THP even longer.

    (Edit: As mentioned above, whip is good too, but note that you need a martial multiclass or Weapon Master to get proficiency.)

    Symbiotic Entity really wants you to have lots of melee weapon attacks, and I'm not aware of anything in Druid (non-Moon) that can get you more melee weapon attacks beyond PAM or Two-Weapon Fighting, so you'd need to multiclass into something that gives you more attacks.

    Rogue wants you to have at least one really good finesse/ranged weapon attack (and lots of Rogue levels): I don't see much synergy there.

    Monk is the obvious choice: Martial Arts, Flurry of Blows, and Unarmored Defense keyed to your Wisdom anyway. However, Flurry of Blows is gated by ki (tied to Monk levels) and Symbiotic THP are tied to Druid levels. Until Monk 5, seems pretty similar to PAM.

    Ranger offers a few things: Extra attack at Ranger 5, Hunter's Horde Breaker, Gloom Stalker's Dread Ambusher, Horizon Walker's conversion of damage to force (vs weapon + poison, mentioned above).

    Paladin and Barbarian don't seem like good candidates to me.

    Most Fighter subclasses don't look appealing to me besides Extra Attack at Fighter 5. However, Echo Knight looks like it may actually be tailor-made for this, starting as early as Fighter 3! (Inspired by the build here: https://forums.giantitp.com/showsing...5&postcount=38 .)
    * "remote" melee attacks!
    * a shield for your THP (with reasonable AC), including "stopper" opportunity attacks and bonus action "teleport"!
    * a useful bonus action for your first turn in combat if your Symbiotic Entity isn't already up!
    * Action Surge to bring up Symbiotic Entity on the first turn!
    * extra melee attacks via Unleash Incarnation a few times a day

    Sentinel is GREAT here (as described in the cited thread). Unfortunately, PAM is not as good: it doesn't look like the echo gets "incoming" opportunity attacks from it, and the bonus action is "clogged" with Manifest Echo.

    Echo Knight levels 3 and 5 are the two obvious break points for class features, with honorable mention for the ASIs at levels 4 and 6. Dueling and Defense are the obvious Fighting Styles.

    PS. I would like to say thanks to @LudicSavant (and indirectly @Treantmonk) for bringing Echo Knight to my attention--I've been looking for a Spores multiclass for a while, and it took that thread (along with this one) to help me find it.
    PPS. Spores downsides in general: many monsters are resistant or even immune to poison damage and sometimes necrotic; it's a bummer to spend a full action at the beginning of combat to bring up Symbiotic Entity, to have it last "only" 10 minutes vs hours; multiclassing gets rid of the "dream" of capstone infinite Symbiotic Entity.
    Last edited by x3n0n; 2020-08-14 at 09:58 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
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    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: Most Damage out of Spore Druid Melee

    Quote Originally Posted by Crucius View Post
    Edit: shoot, I forgot that shillelagh only targets clubs and quarterstaves. It makes the build a bit more mad that it also requires dex or str but I still think it can be worthwhile. I would love to hear your opinion on it :)
    Edit edit: I like the idea of a glaive reflavored as a scythe. Fits with the spores vibe imo. That is all.
    Shillelagh can also only ever be on one weapon at a time since casting it again removes the previous casting, otherwise I'd just dual wield Clubs.

    Dex is more easily doable since you'll be wanting it for AC not using Wildshapes and taking Dual Wielder feat means you can sub out your secondary weapon for Scimitar, which if you went into Rogue you could use for sneak attacks, though it's debatable on if you'd want it as your main or off hand at this point.

    I honestly hadn't considered whips, since doing so severely puts your damage down. And in the grand scheme of things 5ft isn't going to stop the character from being unable to disengage. So I either need to be unable to be hit while disengaging (likely a feat) or I need AC to not care about it, especially if I go multiclassing where I'll have less temp hp to go around, in which case avoiding damage outright would be better.



    Quote Originally Posted by x3n0n View Post
    Without multiclassing, I don't think you'll get better than Polearm Master: Quarterstaff/Shillelagh (still being able to use a shield), with the possibility of up to 3 Wisdom-based melee attacks per turn cycle (Attack action, bonus action from PAM, "incoming" opportunity attack from PAM). The PAM opportunity attack is contending with the Halo of Spores for your reaction, but I'd think the attack is more likely to hit than for them to fail the Con save anyway? (Maybe you need to decide on a case-by-case basis.) In the early game (especially with the poison rider), the opportunity attack might actually knock out a bad guy, protecting your Symbiotic THP even longer.

    (Edit: As mentioned above, whip is good too, but note that you need a martial multiclass or Weapon Master to get proficiency.)

    Symbiotic Entity really wants you to have lots of melee weapon attacks, and I'm not aware of anything in Druid (non-Moon) that can get you more melee weapon attacks beyond PAM or Two-Weapon Fighting, so you'd need to multiclass into something that gives you more attacks.

    Rogue wants you to have at least one really good finesse/ranged weapon attack (and lots of Rogue levels): I don't see much synergy there.

    Monk is the obvious choice: Martial Arts, Flurry of Blows, and Unarmored Defense keyed to your Wisdom anyway. However, Flurry of Blows is gated by ki (tied to Monk levels) and Symbiotic THP are tied to Druid levels. Until Monk 5, seems pretty similar to PAM.

    Ranger offers a few things: Extra attack at Ranger 5, Hunter's Horde Breaker, Gloom Stalker's Dread Ambusher, Horizon Walker's conversion of damage to force (vs weapon + poison, mentioned above).

    Paladin and Barbarian don't seem like good candidates to me.

    Most Fighter subclasses don't look appealing to me besides Extra Attack at Fighter 5. However, Echo Knight looks like it may actually be tailor-made for this, starting as early as Fighter 3! (Inspired by the build here: https://forums.giantitp.com/showsing...5&postcount=38 .)
    * "remote" melee attacks!
    * a shield for your THP (with reasonable AC), including "stopper" opportunity attacks and bonus action "teleport"!
    * a useful bonus action for your first turn in combat if your Symbiotic Entity isn't already up!
    * Action Surge to bring up Symbiotic Entity on the first turn!
    * extra melee attacks via Unleash Incarnation a few times a day

    Sentinel is GREAT here (as described in the cited thread). Unfortunately, PAM is not as good: it doesn't look like the echo gets "incoming" opportunity attacks from it, and the bonus action is "clogged" with Manifest Echo.

    Echo Knight levels 3 and 5 are the two obvious break points for class features, with honorable mention for the ASIs at levels 4 and 6. Dueling and Defense are the obvious Fighting Styles.

    PS. I would like to say thanks to @LudicSavant (and indirectly @Treantmonk) for bringing Echo Knight to my attention--I've been looking for a Spores multiclass for a while, and it took that thread (along with this one) to help me find it.
    PPS. Spores downsides in general: many monsters are resistant or even immune to poison damage and sometimes necrotic; it's a bummer to spend a full action at the beginning of combat to bring up Symbiotic Entity, to have it last "only" 10 minutes vs hours; multiclassing gets rid of the "dream" of capstone infinite Symbiotic Entity.
    My issue is things like sentinel and polearm master will end up making the character a much bigger target to any dm that employs reasonable tactics in their relatively intelligent enemies. But I'd definitely want more AC, I always would, but it seems like this sort of build would benefit more from being able to avoid attacks outright over having a high AC, i mean if you can do both that's great but I'm not sure I can here.

    I will have to take a look at Echo Knight as I haven't yet, I was more focused on synergy with Monk, Rouge and Ranger at first, I hadn't even considered fighter all that much.
    "I see now that the circumstances of one's birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are." Mewtwo

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    Default Re: Most Damage out of Spore Druid Melee

    Quote Originally Posted by x3n0n View Post
    Without multiclassing, I don't think you'll get better than Polearm Master: Quarterstaff/Shillelagh (still being able to use a shield), with the possibility of up to 3 Wisdom-based melee attacks per turn cycle (Attack action, bonus action from PAM, "incoming" opportunity attack from PAM). The PAM opportunity attack is contending with the Halo of Spores for your reaction, but I'd think the attack is more likely to hit than for them to fail the Con save anyway? (Maybe you need to decide on a case-by-case basis.) In the early game (especially with the poison rider), the opportunity attack might actually knock out a bad guy, protecting your Symbiotic THP even longer.

    (Edit: As mentioned above, whip is good too, but note that you need a martial multiclass or Weapon Master to get proficiency.)

    Symbiotic Entity really wants you to have lots of melee weapon attacks, and I'm not aware of anything in Druid (non-Moon) that can get you more melee weapon attacks beyond PAM or Two-Weapon Fighting, so you'd need to multiclass into something that gives you more attacks.

    Rogue wants you to have at least one really good finesse/ranged weapon attack (and lots of Rogue levels): I don't see much synergy there.

    Monk is the obvious choice: Martial Arts, Flurry of Blows, and Unarmored Defense keyed to your Wisdom anyway. However, Flurry of Blows is gated by ki (tied to Monk levels) and Symbiotic THP are tied to Druid levels. Until Monk 5, seems pretty similar to PAM.

    Ranger offers a few things: Extra attack at Ranger 5, Hunter's Horde Breaker, Gloom Stalker's Dread Ambusher, Horizon Walker's conversion of damage to force (vs weapon + poison, mentioned above).

    Paladin and Barbarian don't seem like good candidates to me.

    Most Fighter subclasses don't look appealing to me besides Extra Attack at Fighter 5. However, Echo Knight looks like it may actually be tailor-made for this, starting as early as Fighter 3! (Inspired by the build here: https://forums.giantitp.com/showsing...5&postcount=38 .)
    * "remote" melee attacks!
    * a shield for your THP (with reasonable AC), including "stopper" opportunity attacks and bonus action "teleport"!
    * a useful bonus action for your first turn in combat if your Symbiotic Entity isn't already up!
    * Action Surge to bring up Symbiotic Entity on the first turn!
    * extra melee attacks via Unleash Incarnation a few times a day

    Sentinel is GREAT here (as described in the cited thread). Unfortunately, PAM is not as good: it doesn't look like the echo gets "incoming" opportunity attacks from it, and the bonus action is "clogged" with Manifest Echo.

    Echo Knight levels 3 and 5 are the two obvious break points for class features, with honorable mention for the ASIs at levels 4 and 6. Dueling and Defense are the obvious Fighting Styles.

    PS. I would like to say thanks to @LudicSavant (and indirectly @Treantmonk) for bringing Echo Knight to my attention--I've been looking for a Spores multiclass for a while, and it took that thread (along with this one) to help me find it.
    PPS. Spores downsides in general: many monsters are resistant or even immune to poison damage and sometimes necrotic; it's a bummer to spend a full action at the beginning of combat to bring up Symbiotic Entity, to have it last "only" 10 minutes vs hours; multiclassing gets rid of the "dream" of capstone infinite Symbiotic Entity.
    Oh hey, it's my build!
    Quote Originally Posted by Expected View Post
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  7. - Top - End - #7
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Most Damage out of Spore Druid Melee

    Quote Originally Posted by elyktsorb View Post
    I honestly hadn't considered whips, since doing so severely puts your damage down. And in the grand scheme of things 5ft isn't going to stop the character from being unable to disengage. So I either need to be unable to be hit while disengaging (likely a feat) or I need AC to not care about it, especially if I go multiclassing where I'll have less temp hp to go around, in which case avoiding damage outright would be better.
    Whip, bonus Disengage via Goblin/Rogue/Monk(especially Open Hand/Drunken Master), and Mobile/Swashbuckler all help on this front. Whip in particular keeps you out of range of most enemies if you're the one closing and then running away. Using a d4 weapon isn't actually that much of a downside if most of your damage comes from the riders and ability bonus damage anyway, but it does mean you need more Dex than you would if you were relying on Shillelagh.

    Quote Originally Posted by elyktsorb View Post
    My issue is things like sentinel and polearm master will end up making the character a much bigger target to any dm that employs reasonable tactics in their relatively intelligent enemies.
    I'm not sure what this means. How can a monster tell if you have Sentinel or PAM before combat starts?

    I may not have been clear in my initial post: I think PAM and off-hand attacks end up being pretty similar in the first tier, but PAM/Shillelagh lets you remain SAD, since there's no second non-Wisdom weapon to worry about, and gives you a more potent/protective use for your reaction.

    Sentinel would be only for the Echo Knight build. You definitely don't want the enemies to stay close to your "real body" with crappy armor and beat on you. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by elyktsorb View Post
    But I'd definitely want more AC, I always would, but it seems like this sort of build would benefit more from being able to avoid attacks outright over having a high AC, i mean if you can do both that's great but I'm not sure I can here.

    I will have to take a look at Echo Knight as I haven't yet, I was more focused on synergy with Monk, Rouge and Ranger at first, I hadn't even considered fighter all that much.
    I highly recommend it. I was surprised at how well low-level Fighter (Dueling, Action Surge) synergized with Shillelagh/Spores, and Echo Knight in particular lets you make "remote" Shillelagh melee attacks, while also providing one level of "shield" (via opportunity attacks, positioning, and having a hit point to absorb at least one attack) between the enemies and your THP.

    One note: Spores and Echo Knight can't both be in the same AL (PHB+1) character.

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    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: Most Damage out of Spore Druid Melee

    Quote Originally Posted by x3n0n View Post
    Whip, bonus Disengage via Goblin/Rogue/Monk(especially Open Hand/Drunken Master), and Mobile/Swashbuckler all help on this front. Whip in particular keeps you out of range of most enemies if you're the one closing and then running away. Using a d4 weapon isn't actually that much of a downside if most of your damage comes from the riders and ability bonus damage anyway, but it does mean you need more Dex than you would if you were relying on Shillelagh.

    I'm not sure what this means. How can a monster tell if you have Sentinel or PAM before combat starts?


    One note: Spores and Echo Knight can't both be in the same AL (PHB+1) character.
    I was entirely thinking things that let you move without using your bonus action seeing as getting the two weapon hits was part of my initial strat.

    They can't, but enemies you might fight more than once, or enemies that don't die after the first round will know and I feel like it's a common theme for dm's to have their units (of decent intelligence) attack players who have an obvious strategic advantage against them. Which I think is fair after all, so I'm trying to avoid making the character seem like the pivitol one enemies want to strike first.

    Also if I never play AL again it'll be too soon.


    After taking a look at Echo Knight I'm just not sure how it would even work. The Poison Rider and Halo of Spores indicated that the actions are only available around YOU and have to be attacks made by YOU, so I'm not sure the echo would get the poison damage. I'm certain it wouldn't get halo of spores. Figured this out, Rider yes, Halo no
    Last edited by elyktsorb; 2020-08-14 at 01:16 PM.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Most Damage out of Spore Druid Melee

    Quote Originally Posted by elyktsorb View Post
    I was entirely thinking things that let you move without using your bonus action seeing as getting the two weapon hits was part of my initial strat.

    They can't, but enemies you might fight more than once, or enemies that don't die after the first round will know and I feel like it's a common theme for dm's to have their units (of decent intelligence) attack players who have an obvious strategic advantage against them. Which I think is fair after all, so I'm trying to avoid making the character seem like the pivitol one enemies want to strike first.

    Also if I never play AL again it'll be too soon.


    After taking a look at Echo Knight I'm just not sure how it would even work. The Poison Rider and Halo of Spores indicated that the actions are only available around YOU and have to be attacks made by YOU, so I'm not sure the echo would get the poison damage. I'm certain it wouldn't get halo of spores.
    The poison rider looks ok to me:
    Quote Originally Posted by from Symbiotic Entity
    Your melee weapon attacks deal an extra 1d6 poison damage to any target they hit.
    Quote Originally Posted by from Manifest Echo
    When you take the Attack action on your turn, any attack you make with that action can originate from your space or the echo’s space. You make this choice for each attack.
    Quote Originally Posted by from Unleash Incarnation
    Whenever you take the Attack action, you can make one additional melee attack from the echo’s position. (Con mod per long rest)
    Given those wordings, I think all of the melee attacks get the poison rider, regardless of 'origin'.
    However, I don't think the echo can do any off-hand attack (since it's not part of the Attack action), which would also affect PAM. (PAM looks worse and worse for Echo Knight builds all the time.)

    Agreed about Halo of Spores not triggering on approaching the echo, just on approaching you (much like PAM would).

    What level range are you looking for? If you're only doing 1-4, I'd probably do VHuman(PAM or Dual Wielder or Mobile) straight Spores.
    If starting from 5+ with a similar build, I'd probably want to start from Spores 2/Echo 3, building to Echo 5 for Extra Attack, then Spores the rest of the way. Mobile and Sentinel look particularly good here.

    I figure you walk around with your echo active all the time, with it near the front of the marching order. At beginning of combat, bonus action Shillelagh, echo moves to front edge of melee, you are 30' back, Symbiotic Entity. If they attack it, fine. If they try to walk past, you get a Shillelagh opportunity attack with poison rider, potentially hooking one if Sentinel. (Optional Action Surge for attack + maybe even Unleash Incarnation.)

    If they kill it, bummer, but you just manifest a new one next turn with your BA, then keep beating on them with the Shillelagh. If it's still alive, Mobile would let the real you come in for a bonus action off-hand attack and then retreat safely. You get lots of use for your reaction: either echo OAs or Halo of Spores.

    This is also compatible with using real Druid spells for crowd control (Entangle, Spike Growth etc) while giving you opportunities to contribute to the melee damage without risking your Concentration.

    I guess it depends on how many realistic attacks you expect to get, plus how likely you think you are to keep your Symbiotic THP.

    Feats:
    * Dual Wielder (off-hand attack + 1AC)
    * Mobile (attack-without-OA, walk speed)
    * PAM (+BA Shillelagh + incoming OA Shillelagh competing with Halo of Spores)

    Multiclass options:
    * Monk (Open Hand, Drunken Master, Astral Form UA): ki-limited attack-without-OA options, walk speed, lots of BA attacks, Unarmored Defense
    * Ranger: fighting style, extra attack at 5
    * Hunter: Horde Breaker for extra attack
    * Gloom Stalker: Dread Ambusher extra attack (if Symbotic Entity already active somehow)
    * Horizon Walker: BA to add +1d8 to a hit and convert weapon/poison damage to force
    * Fighter (Echo Knight): discussed extensively above: fighting style, action surge, Echo Knight stuff. In particular, note how it diverts significant potential damage away from your Symbiotic THP while giving lots of attacks use your Shillelagh and don't eat your BA
    * dip Cleric (War): BA attack Wismod times per day, Divine Favor (another damage rider that isn't poison) or Bless (get more hits, save more concentration), keep slots, low level investment

    Among those, my favorite for a game that ends before level 8 or so would be straight Spores + PAM: keep your spell progression (which can also protect you) and accept that you'll only get 2 attacks per turn (+ incoming OA sometimes)
    Favorite multiclasses personally:
    * Echo Knight Fighter
    * Astral Self Monk
    * Hunter Ranger with Horde Breaker
    * War Cleric for 1 or 2 levels

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: Most Damage out of Spore Druid Melee

    Quote Originally Posted by x3n0n View Post
    What level range are you looking for? If you're only doing 1-4, I'd probably do VHuman(PAM or Dual Wielder or Mobile) straight Spores.
    If starting from 5+ with a similar build, I'd probably want to start from Spores 2/Echo 3, building to Echo 5 for Extra Attack, then Spores the rest of the way. Mobile and Sentinel look particularly good here.
    Well I don't know, I'm playing that keep on the borderlands thing so I have no idea what the level range even is.

    Also our dm has given us a unique point buy in where we can take a 6 in a stat for 2 additional points (7 gets you 1 additional point) and that Races with a +2 stat can move 1 point of it to another stat we aren't getting a bonus from of that race. But our races are limited to human, elf, half elf, dwarf, halfling, half orc, and gnome.

    So as it stands, with a Wood Elf

    I have

    STR 10
    DEX 16
    CON 14
    INT 12
    WIS 16
    CHA 6

    I'd probably tank STR as well if we weren't using variant encumbrance
    Last edited by elyktsorb; 2020-08-14 at 03:18 PM.
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Most Damage out of Spore Druid Melee

    Doing a couple of searches, I see you've already had a discussion about this in June: https://forums.giantitp.com/showthre...he-Spore-Druid

    If your goal is to specifically maximize the damage from Symbiotic Entity's poison rider, you already know what you need: melee weapon attacks while not losing your pool of THP.

    You can address that in both directions:
    * add attacks: PAM, off-hand attacks (at the cost of AC), martial classes
    * preserve THP pool: higher AC, more Druid levels, reach weapons, movement that doesn't provoke OAs

    You probably need to decide whether you really want to be a Druid or a martial that happens to have 2+ Druid levels and light (or no) armor.

    I see from the earlier thread that you don't really like the undead bits of Spores. If so, maybe you'd be happier treating this as a few Druid levels on top of a martial character that gets lots of attacks, starting with (say) 3-5 levels of that class (for subclass, ASI/feat, and/or Extra Attack, respectively), followed by 2-5 levels of Druid. It would end up functioning kind of like dipping Warlock for a weird version of Hex that casts as an action (boo) and "moves" for free like Divine Favor (yay), plus getting real Druid spells.

    Ranger (Hunter with Horde Breaker) seems particularly synergistic, both mechanically and flavorfully: extra attacks from multiple features, spell slots for multiclassing, Hunter's Mark, "tradition" of two-weapon fighting. This pairing also benefits from Druids granting access to a much wider variety of spells than Ranger usually gets.
    Monk (Drunken or Open Hand) looks good too, and benefits for its own survivability from the Symbiotic Entity THP, although there are no spell slots to be gained there.

    that keep on the borderlands thing
    Is it someone running this? https://goodman-games.com/store/prod...e-borderlands/
    If so, that's an adventure that runs from levels 1-3. Any ASIs and relevant multiclassing would happen after you've already completed it.
    Sounds like fun, but not a lot of room for character creation optimization unless you take VHuman.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Orc in the Playground
     
    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: Most Damage out of Spore Druid Melee

    Quote Originally Posted by x3n0n View Post

    Is it someone running this? https://goodman-games.com/store/prod...e-borderlands/
    If so, that's an adventure that runs from levels 1-3. Any ASIs and relevant multiclassing would happen after you've already completed it.
    Sounds like fun, but not a lot of room for character creation optimization unless you take VHuman.

    To my knowledge it is that, but it was re-released for 5e. And I'm fairly certain we will be branching out from it.

    Also as it stands, thinking of Monk. Drunken Master seems like a good way, also because the idea of a Spore Druid having a penchant for making alcohol sounds amazing as a character concept. Haven't considered feat options for it. Since rolling a human over a wood elf would give similar stats with this method we're using.
    Last edited by elyktsorb; 2020-08-15 at 08:27 AM.
    "I see now that the circumstances of one's birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are." Mewtwo

  13. - Top - End - #13
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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Most Damage out of Spore Druid Melee

    Scimitar is already light, you don't need Dual Wielder to use it with TWF.
    It's Eberron, not ebberon.
    It's not high magic, it's wide magic.
    And it's definitely not steampunk. The only time steam gets involved is when the fire and water elementals get loose.

  14. - Top - End - #14
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    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: Most Damage out of Spore Druid Melee

    Posting on this again because the whole 'attribute choosing' thing is pretty relevant to this build since now I can cherry pick races that are more aligned to making this work. My first thought is the Shifter Race, Swiftstride, since I can swap that +Cha to Wis, and their shifter ability of being able to move 10 ft away as a reaction lets this character move out of the way without having to strictly invest into a Drunken Master Monk to get a similar feature, or investing into feats. Likewise Bugbear could also be shaped to be more favorited attribute wise and reach means I wouldn't need to spend a reaction getting away if I just move away after an attack. Mountain Dwarf gets you a +2 to both Dex and Wis which on a monk is amazing.
    "I see now that the circumstances of one's birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are." Mewtwo

  15. - Top - End - #15
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Most Damage out of Spore Druid Melee

    Quote Originally Posted by elyktsorb View Post
    Posting on this again because the whole 'attribute choosing' thing is pretty relevant to this build since now I can cherry pick races that are more aligned to making this work. My first thought is the Shifter Race, Swiftstride, since I can swap that +Cha to Wis, and their shifter ability of being able to move 10 ft away as a reaction lets this character move out of the way without having to strictly invest into a Drunken Master Monk to get a similar feature, or investing into feats. Likewise Bugbear could also be shaped to be more favorited attribute wise and reach means I wouldn't need to spend a reaction getting away if I just move away after an attack. Mountain Dwarf gets you a +2 to both Dex and Wis which on a monk is amazing.
    I think Bugbear/Mobile are more useful than Swiftstride, which only triggers "when a creature *ends its turn* within 5 feet of you" (like Scout rogue), which would usually be after they attacked you.

  16. - Top - End - #16
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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Most Damage out of Spore Druid Melee

    I'd do 5 levels of Primeval Guardian ranger alongside it. You get an extra guaranteed d6 of damage, regardless of form, plus the extra attack feature. The ability to grow large and gain reach as a bonus action is just icing on the cake.

    I'd also suggest you pick up the UA Poisoner Feat - it allows you to ignore resistance, and also cake on even MORE poison. That way you're looking at swings of d8 + 2d6 normal hits, with the occasional 2d8 after dc14 Con Fail.
    Always looking for critique of my 5E homebrew!

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  17. - Top - End - #17
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Most Damage out of Spore Druid Melee

    Going Tortle solves a _lot_ of your meleeing druid problems. AC 17 is very good for any druid. Tortles also get a strength bonus if you want to 1-dip say Fighter and use a polearm - or put the points elsewhere and use Tortle more for the AC (do shilelagh for your club).

    Druids have wonderful concentration spells. Why are you so focused on melee and forgetting you're a caster??? (maybe you're not, but from what I've read it looks like it - and I hope I don't sound like a jerk here - I want to help). Don't compare your melee output to a rogue, compare your melee output _plus_ a concentration spell's damage output to the rogue. You'll be much happier!

    It's slow to set up, yes, but you can do your spores and shilelagh on round one and Flaming Sphere on round 2 (if it's going to be a long fight - true FS competes w/ dual wielding but maybe use a shield if you use FS). Or if a swarm of creatures is charging the party, cast Spike Growth round one and do the spore thing round 2. At 5th level summon animals on round one and pop shilelagh, on what looks like will be a long fight, and do the spore thing on round 2 if it looks like it's still justified - conjured animals do so much more than the spores - they do damage - they impose effects like Prone or Restraint - some can grapple or shove - they can block off parts of the battlefield - and they can trick monsters into attacking them and not party members.

    Once you look to combine what Druids can do - the concentration spells they can cast (they're wonderful) - with the melee/spore damage, I think you'll be much happier.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Most Damage out of Spore Druid Melee

    Quote Originally Posted by elyktsorb View Post
    So I'm trying to optimize the amount of damage you can get out of a melee spore druid. Ultimately I think the conflicting point is that it would deal less damage than a rogue would in melee after a certain point.

    Lvl 2 Spore Druid get's halo of spores which gives a 1d6 poison rider to all melee attacks made by the druid. So at lvl 2 if I was dual wielding clubs, since they are light, I could cast shillaylay on one as a bonus action and activate halo of spores which takes a full action.

    Then I can attack for 1d8+wis+1d6 poison, bonus action 1d4+1d6 poison

    If I take variant human I can take dual wielder which would give me +1 AC and let me use non-light weapons so I can upgrade that 2nd club to a scimitar.

    1d8+wis+1d6 poison, bonus action 1d6+1d6 poison

    I can also spend my reaction each turn to do 2d4 necrotic damage to anything within 5 ft (for a con save or suck)

    Now all in all I'd say this is a pretty decent damage output for a lvl 2 druid, especially if you look at a Rogue of the same level, where if they were also using TWF at most they could be getting 1d8+dex+2d6 sneak, bonus action 1d8

    the additional 2d4 reaction damage would put you above the rogue in terms of damage (provided all the attacks land of course)

    Now the big issue with Spore Druid is keeping the ability to add the poison damage. Since at lvl 2 it's just 4 temp hp away from no poison riders and only 1d4 necrotic damage.

    The other issue is that this is it, Druid's don't get any additional attacks so by 5th lvl a Rogue will be doing more single turn damage then a Druid.

    At most I could further that to rogue lvl 7 by taking 1 lvl of rogue myself to get an additional d6 immediately.

    While I could just do spore druid/rogue which would give me a similar scale of single target damage and give me a rogue with great utility in the ability to wildshape if I need to, pass without trace, Rogue probably wouldn't go in for two weapon fighting since with cunning action they could extend the amount of time before their hit and lose their small amount of temp hp, which would only warrant dipping to 3rd lvl in spore just for Pass Without Trace.

    I suppose the next alternative to look at is monk. Who similarly gets a lot of attacks up front in the form of bonus actions, and would still work with the poison for the fists since unarmed attacks at least count as melee weapon attacks.

    I dunno, this is sort of a mess of my thoughts and I was wondering if anyone else had some insight.

    Yes I know it seems fruitless to try and optimize Spore druid when Moon druid exists but I find it fun.
    You might look at magic initiate. BB with Shil.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Most Damage out of Spore Druid Melee

    I really wanted to work up a gloomstalker/spore tortle build. DM is doing UA class variants, so Ranger has some nice things. The initiative boost and movement buff and 1st round nova. Considering Magic Initiate for BB and FF. Even with all that I think the cost of doing so is really high. No ASI till 7th level and spells are slow in progressing. Only going to level 14 in the campaign and starting at 3. I think straight druid is better but I like the theme of a SporeStalker.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chugger View Post
    Going Tortle solves a _lot_ of your meleeing druid problems. AC 17 is very good for any druid. Tortles also get a strength bonus if you want to 1-dip say Fighter and use a polearm - or put the points elsewhere and use Tortle more for the AC (do shilelagh for your club).

    Druids have wonderful concentration spells. Why are you so focused on melee and forgetting you're a caster??? (maybe you're not, but from what I've read it looks like it - and I hope I don't sound like a jerk here - I want to help). Don't compare your melee output to a rogue, compare your melee output _plus_ a concentration spell's damage output to the rogue. You'll be much happier!

    It's slow to set up, yes, but you can do your spores and shilelagh on round one and Flaming Sphere on round 2 (if it's going to be a long fight - true FS competes w/ dual wielding but maybe use a shield if you use FS). Or if a swarm of creatures is charging the party, cast Spike Growth round one and do the spore thing round 2. At 5th level summon animals on round one and pop shilelagh, on what looks like will be a long fight, and do the spore thing on round 2 if it looks like it's still justified - conjured animals do so much more than the spores - they do damage - they impose effects like Prone or Restraint - some can grapple or shove - they can block off parts of the battlefield - and they can trick monsters into attacking them and not party members.

    Once you look to combine what Druids can do - the concentration spells they can cast (they're wonderful) - with the melee/spore damage, I think you'll be much happier.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Most Damage out of Spore Druid Melee

    My Grung Mercy Monk/Spore Druid with the poisoner feat is the Oprah of tummy aches. You get some poison and you get some poison... He is druid 4 / monk x currently 6.
    Last edited by Falconcry; 2020-10-15 at 12:23 AM.

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