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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Ent's Avatar

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    frown 3.5 Core Drd 9's strengths?

    What is a (Core Only) Druid supposed to be doing at 9th level?

    I was playing this character until 5th level when I had to stop attending sessions and am now rejoining at 9th. I had relied heavily on my spells to be useful, mostly sitting in the background and summoning. Coming back to the character I'm confused as to my class's strengths; it looks like I'll be most effective utilizing Wild Shape, my Animal Companion and buffing with Share Spells.

    Which are the nastiest Companions at 9th (Dire Ape, or something with less level and more bonuses from my level)?

    What should I be shifting into? (Animal Growth + me as a Dire Ape + Dire Ape Companion looks fun)

    Wealth is very limited (I had a Ring of Feather Fall at 5th lvl, and just enough gold for a boat ride home), what Core Items would shine? Wands like the Cures, Entangle, Faerie Fire, Lesser Restoration, Resist Energy?


    Character info:
    Gnome Drd 9, Stats 8 10 18 10 19 10, Endurance, Diehard, Natural Spell, +1 more feat to choose (was thinking Quicken, Empower, or Maximize Spell).

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 3.5 Core Drd 9's strengths?

    [/sarcasm]
    FAQ is not RAW!
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Core Drd 9's strengths?

    Is Diehard a must? Spell Focus: Conjuration > Augment Summoning would be much more useful. Level 9 is too early for Quicken Spell: I suggest Extend Spell to make buffs (like Greater Magic Fang) last all day.

    Anyways, Brown Bear would be a fine animal companion at this point. Get it a Barding and you're good to go. Later, go with Dire Bear > Dire Tiger and enjoy.

    As for items on yourself, Monk's Belt is awesome for Druids. Other than that, Metamagic Rods, Wis-boosters, Pearls of Power, etc. Don't forget that equipping your animal companion can be a fine plan too, especially with smaller buff items to keep 'er running. Oh, and your party should get Wands of Cure Light Wounds to heal out of combat (although optimally someone else does this as you are much more cozy in your animal forms, which can't really use tools).

    The better half of your present Wildshape options:
    Polar Bear (or Brown Bear, but Polar Bear swims too)
    Giant Crocodile
    Dire Lion
    Rhinoceros
    Dire Bat
    Giant Octopus
    Large Shark
    Dire Wolf


    Errata states Wildshape doesn't grant you the Animal-type, so you can't use all the wonderful buffs on yourself. Do make use out of them for your animal companion though. Don't forget to cast Greater Magic Fangs each morning (preferably on each of your companion's natural weapons; use on yourself too once you Wildshape), along with Barkskins, Death Ward, Air Walk, et al when you expect trouble. You've got solid offensive magic in form of Baleful Polymorphs, Call Lightning (Storm)s, Poison, Entangle, etc. and utility in Tree Stride, Stoneshape, Freedom of Movement, Scrying, etc. You may want to keep a scroll of Control Winds around when you need to break something (although you really want to be level 13 before you start using it; at that point, you get a Hurricane from no winds). And use Animal Growth and summons; the results are awesome.

    Also, don't forget what your spontaneous summons can get. Among others, SNAIV can get an Unicorn for a healbot. SNAV can get Large Elementals (they have lots of uses).

    Check The Druid Handbook for more stuff. It's by no means complete, but it does have some solid advice.
    Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World - A Player's Diary in Low-Magic D&D (Latest Update: 8.3.2014)
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 3.5 Core Drd 9's strengths?

    If you're going to be using magic items, make sure you get wilding clasps so you can use them while wildshaped.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: 3.5 Core Drd 9's strengths?

    Quote Originally Posted by monty View Post
    If you're going to be using magic items, make sure you get wilding clasps so you can use them while wildshaped.
    Wildclasp are not core so it's invalid...
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Core Drd 9's strengths?

    Yes, you'll have to go with the "let allies strap them on you after you've Wildshaped"-plan. Of course, if it's an item-poor campaign, that's not much of a factor anyways. Cram 'em on your AC.
    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.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 3.5 Core Drd 9's strengths?

    1) Ditch crappy feats.

    2) Your strategy with buff sharing with your AnC and wild shaping is the right one. Also, use utility spells and AoE disables to bypass other problems and prevent your enemies from running from you/past you to your 'party'.

    3) Without access to even basic splat, its hard to get you better feats, but we can manage to do better then what you have selected:

    Level 1: Improved Initiative, Track (hey it beats endurance)
    Level 3: Power Attack
    Level 6: Natural Spell
    Level 9: Cleave
    Level 12: Improved Critical (attack form you use alot, such as bite or claw)
    Level 15: Quicken Spell
    Level 18: Spell Penetration


    There, that's much better for core-only options. If you like, you can ditch track at level 1 (if you have a ranger in your party, or like abusing divination spells instead) for Quicken Spell (its useless to you then, but it saves on the slot when you qualify for other things later).

    As for items, just get Periphat of Wisdom +amount you can afford and call it a day. If you got wealth left over after that in a wealth-poor campaign (good call on class choice btw, as druid is even more rediculous in this setting), get rings like Ring of Freedom of Movement, Ring of Protection +X, etc. No reason most animals can't wear rings. Also, bracers, same logic.
    Last edited by Kizara; 2008-12-11 at 12:32 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Core Drd 9's strengths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kizara View Post
    Level 1: Improved Initiative, Track (hey it beats endurance)
    What about Spell Focus: Conjuration > Augment Summoning (he's a Druid), Extend Spell, Empower Spell, Craft Wondrous Items and all the feats you should actually be picking in Core? Any of those beats up Track, Improved Initiative (for non-arena scenarios), Cleave, Improved Critical and Spell Penetration (it's not like Druid doesn't have SR: No/non-spell options for dealing with things). And he doesn't qualify for Power Attack so meh.

    Casters actually have feats worth picking in core, so go with those (of course, PA tends to be worth it if you can qualify...it's just non-trivial to get that high Str, and generally not worth it).
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2008-12-11 at 12:32 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.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 3.5 Core Drd 9's strengths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    And he doesn't qualify for Power Attack so meh.

    Casters actually have feats worth picking in core, so go with those (of course, PA tends to be worth it if you can qualify...it's just non-trivial to get that high Str, and generally not worth it).
    Turn into a bear. Your Strength is now high enough to use Power Attack. You'll lose the feat and anything that depends on it when you aren't Wildshaped, but frankly you shouldn't be trying to hit anything personally when you're in normal humanoid shape anyway.

    Not to deny your point- there certainly are more useful feats that could be chosen, even in Core- but a Druid can indeed make good use of Power Attack if he's focusing on his melee abilities.
    Last edited by tyckspoon; 2008-12-11 at 12:56 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Core Drd 9's strengths?

    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    Turn into a bear. Your Strength is now high enough to use Power Attack. You'll lose the feat and anything that depends on it when you aren't Wildshaped, but frankly you shouldn't be trying to hit anything personally when you're in normal humanoid shape anyway.

    Not to deny your point- there certainly are more useful feats that could be chosen, even in Core- but a Druid can indeed make good use of Power Attack if he's focusing on his melee abilities.
    True, it's possible to allow qualifications through Wildshape (and temporary scores). It's far from universal though. I'd prioritise Multiattack if going Melee-focus anyways though (or use somewhat weaker one-attack forms like Giant Crocodile, Rhinoceros, Elephant, etc.).
    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.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 3.5 Core Drd 9's strengths?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    True, it's possible to allow qualifications through Wildshape (and temporary scores). It's far from universal though. I'd prioritise Multiattack if going Melee-focus anyways though (or use somewhat weaker one-attack forms like Giant Crocodile, Rhinoceros, Elephant, etc.).
    Ah, I forgot about Multiattack. Yes, you should get that. Replace Improved Crit with it in my build if you can pick it up.

    Improved Initiative is always useful, for any character. Some especially benefit (rogues), but going first always gives you more options.

    You could grab Extend Spell if you want I suppose, but he is already at level 9, and that feat is already becoming unneeded (as levels go up, spell durations passively go up but combat durations go down as effects become more potent and enemies fewer).

    Unless you really want to focus on being a summoning druid (not that this is terrible, but one has to make that their priority), you don't want to take rounds to summon stuff in when you could be mauling it in wild shape. So, those are two feats that you don't need anymore.

    I forgot about the str pre-req on PA, so unless his DM will allow him to qualify through Wild Shape I suppose he can't pick that up. But PA, Cleave and Improved Crit are all large damage multipliers and the latter are underrated, especially in core-only.

    Why would you want to use Empower Spell? That feat is almost always a trap, just cast a spell 2 levels higher instead of using a feat to get a limited use out of a lower level one. Also, druids are hardly blasters.

    Spell Penetration might not be needed, but I couldn't think of anything else. Its level 18 anyways, most campaigns don't get there, so it doesn't really matter.

    As for Track, I find it useful in most campaigns if you 1) don't have any better options (like core only level 1) and 2) don't have a party ranger. Its situational though, if you don't think it will come up a lot don't take the feat.

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