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Treantmonk's Guide to Druids (Optimization)


Advice

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Whew...finally done. This handbook was pretty challenging. It appears in 3 chapters - all are interlinked so shouldn't be too hard to navigate. Link is at the bottom of this post.

This handbook is way overdue. While writing this I discovered a thread where someone claimed that Druids were the WEAKEST class in Pathfinder, and that they could PROVE it.

When asked to prove it, they related personal experience and this screamed to me "WE NEED A HANDBOOK!", so here it is.

As with the wizard handbook, I'll begin with a HAQ (Hypothetically asked questions)

I found a math error in your summoning stats, should I let you know?

Yes. If you find a math error in my summoning statistics, reply here and I'll correct the error. I'm pretty certain that there are some errors, as my eyes were going buggy as I did that part.

So I'm going to play a Druid, what do you think of my build? I've used the same strategy as a 3.5 Druid...

STOP! Druid is the one class in Pathfinder that you must use a different creation strategy for, or you will find yourself sorely dissapointed. You'll find yourself writing posts where you claim the Druid is the weakest class in Pathfinder!

What if I wanted to play a Druid that mixes Spellcasting and Melee combat? Can't I do that now?

You can't do it as easily. However, if that's what you're looking for, I would suggest the Spirit of the Beast build. Just make sure you pick up Augment Summoning. Avoid direct offense spells, stick to battlefield control, buff, healing and summmoning. You should be fine.

Where do I put suggested grammatical and spelling error corrections?

I have a suggestion...

...but what if spelling and grammatical errors are a pet peeve of mine?

Guess what my pet peeve is? I did the work. Write your own spelling error free and grammatically correct guide.

You rated a spell incorrectly. Will you change it?

Spell ratings are opinion based, so no, my rating is an exact and correct reflection of my opinion. Changing my opinion would be necessary to get me to change my rating, and I'm notoriously stubborn.

That said, I have changed spell ratings before, and will do so again. However, relating your own personal experience doesn't cut it.

SO without further ado:

Treantmonk's Guide to Druids


Treantmonk wrote:

Whew...finally done. This handbook was pretty challenging. It appears in 3 chapters - all are interlinked so shouldn't be too hard to navigate. Link is at the bottom of this post.

This handbook is way overdue. While writing this I discovered a thread where someone claimed that Druids were the WEAKEST class in Pathfinder, and that they could PROVE it.

When asked to prove it, they related personal experience and this screamed to me "WE NEED A HANDBOOK!", so here it is.

As with the wizard handbook, I'll begin with a HAQ (Hypothetically asked questions)

I found a math error in your summoning stats, should I let you know?

Yes. If you find a math error in my summoning statistics, reply here and I'll correct the error. I'm pretty certain that there are some errors, as my eyes were going buggy as I did that part.

So I'm going to play a Druid, what do you think of my build? I've used the same strategy as a 3.5 Druid...

STOP! Druid is the one class in Pathfinder that you must use a different creation strategy for, or you will find yourself sorely dissapointed. You'll find yourself writing posts where you claim the Druid is the weakest class in Pathfinder!

What if I wanted to play a Druid that mixes Spellcasting and Melee combat? Can't I do that now?

You can't do it as easily. However, if that's what you're looking for, I would suggest the Spirit of the Beast build. Just make sure you pick up Augment Summoning. Avoid direct offense spells, stick to battlefield control, buff, healing and summmoning. You should be fine.

Where do I put suggested grammatical and spelling error corrections?

I have a suggestion...

...but what if spelling and grammatical errors are a pet peeve of mine?

Guess what my pet peeve is? I did the work. Write your own spelling error free and grammatically correct guide.

You rated a spell incorrectly. Will you change it?

Spell ratings are opinion based, so no, my rating is an exact and correct reflection...

I have not read the guide yet, but thanks in advance.


I skimmed over the guide, and I did not know summon nature's ally was that good. Great job. Is there a way to download it? My internet is prone to bouts of going on strike.


Thanks again treantmonk. What a king-size job! :D


FYI, I like using the Dire Ape form with Shillelagh on a large sized Greatclub. That's a 6d8 weapon you can actually use as a large creature. It also needs a feat, or you just take -4, but it could be a great combo for the SotB at mid-levels.

The biggest pain is carrying around a large sized greatclub everywhere you go...


What no 'How do I end Treantmonk's reign of terror?' question. Hardly seems like a complete F.A.Q. :P


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Very nice- the druid has indeed changed. It's a little sad, it was one of my favorite classes (up there with the bard) and now it's a shadow of it's former self- but nonetheless still quite usable.

One thing of note- I noticed you built you recommendations on a very low point buy. This is quite understandable as any character should manage to get at least those stats, and if you build your suggestions on a higher point buy not everyone could use your advise. However- if you get a higher point buy, new options start to build up- a character with a 25 point buy could afford these stats: Str15 Dex14 Con14 Int10 Wis16 Cha8- adding on your racial bonus, you could get a fairly well-rounded character who could in theory balance the two builds without sacrificing much. Not available to all campaigns, to be sure but it is an option to many. (funny how the SAD-est class in 3.5 is now among the MAD-est ones.) You may point out that a better point buy would be useful for building more powerful versions of each build, rather than a watered-down balancing act, but as you pointed out- neither build is effective across all levels, and a balance approach might be, even if it never hits the sweet spots.

Overall, a very nice guide though- makes me wonder if I should write another one myself. You've written ones for my favorite classes though, and better than I could have done at that.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

One other question- which build is better in your opinion?


Nice job this has given me an idea for a druid character if I am ever get the chance to play one.

Doug


Quote:

What no 'How do I end Treantmonk's reign of terror?' question. Hardly seems like a complete F.A.Q. :P

Good point.

'How do I end Treantmonk's reign of terror?

It's too late. Optimization is here, you can jump on board or ignore it, but it's got a life of its own now.

Quote:
if you get a higher point buy, new options start to build up...you could get a fairly well-rounded character who could in theory balance the two builds without sacrificing much

Indeed you could. I would recommend using the point buy for the Spirit of the Beast and use any extra points to pump up Wisdom towards the 16 mark. If you can get that 16, then any extra points into the tertiaries like Con and Dex.

Quote:
One other question- which build is better in your opinion?

At low levels the Spirit of the Beast, at high levels the Wild Mystic.

However, they perform two very different functions and are hard to compare...

Hard to say which is better, but I think the Spirit of the Beast is more versatile, and I like versatility, so that one's probably my favorite of the two.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am unable to access your guides for some reason (the pages won't load). Can you help me out?


Cesare wrote:
I am unable to access your guides for some reason (the pages won't load). Can you help me out?

Not good!

Well - you can try accessing the Google Doc's directly:

Try this link - let me know if it works:

Druid Guide: Chapter 1

If it does work - there's direct links to the other 2 chapters on the page.

If it doesn't work - let me know, we'll try something else.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Looks good (and I'm normally not a fan of Char-opt)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

That was a long read...but good stuff as usual, however with the Druid being one of my least favourite classes I still can't see me playing one, just doesn't "do-it" for me!


stuart haffenden wrote:
That was a long read...but good stuff as usual, however with the Druid being one of my least favourite classes I still can't see me playing one, just doesn't "do-it" for me!

I can understand that. If you don't like the flavor of the class, then there's no reason to play one, optimized or otherwise. Same reason I don't play Clerics.

And yes, long read - long write too!!!


Kevin Mack wrote:
Looks good (and I'm normally not a fan of Char-opt)

Thanks!!!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The link still doesn't work...


Cesare wrote:
The link still doesn't work...

this link


Might be worth mentioning (many forget) that domain slots can be used to memorise domain spells.

It turns the unhappy forgetful players into happy campers.

It makes for some easy endurance. e.g a fire domain druid (likes the blasting archetype) at 3rd has 2 domain burning hands and 7 fire bolts per day from the domain power. So with a produce flame memorised in the normal 1st level slot means the blasting never stops even when their supprised at night.


Still looking through stuff. I envy your thoroughness, I start on a project like this and get bored well before It's this done.

The link for Spellstaff is incorrect, it goes to Spell Turning instead.


Treantmonk wrote:

Well - you can try accessing the Google Doc's directly:

Try this link - let me know if it works:

Druid Guide: Chapter 1

If it does work - there's direct links to the other 2 chapters on the page.

If it doesn't work - let me know, we'll try something else.

Thanks for putting that up. I cannot access through the original link due to firewall issues. Now I can read at leisure. :)


Do your stats for the natures ally section the represent monster's base stats or do they include other modifiers? I am asking because the storm giant is slightly off. I did not check any of the others.

Osirion

Excellent work, Treantmonk, as always. You're writing such good guides, that I'm at a loss which class to play in our upcoming game... so many good options. Thank you!


Thank you very much!

My problem with the druid is that the archetype I leked was te Batman Druid but it can{t be acomplished with the limited spell list he has. Spontaneous SNA helps but can{t accomplished the feeling of ridiculously crazy prepared.

Humbly,
Yawar

PSD: back in I loved entering Arcane Hierophant with 1 level of Wizard and Precocious Aprentice.


Hello, TM!

We need to talk about Control Winds.

Control winds is simply godly. It deserves blue, or some sort of trasncendent, superior color. I'm going to rant about it for like 5 paragraphs now.

a.) Area. At level 12, Control Winds affects a 480-foot radius cylinder. Which is to say, the entire g$%@*@n battle map. There is almost no other spell in the game with the ability to wipe out an entire army.

b.) Range: At level 12, 480 feet. This is good - it means you can put yourself right on the edge of it, and have a practically unlimited number of enemies inside it.

c.) Effect: This is no normal save-or-screwed spell. This is a save-every-round-you're-in spell. The appropriate way to use this is to choose the Updraft effect, and put the enemy in the middle of it. They are then, -all of them-, under the following effect:

Fort save, or:
Unable to make ranged attacks.
-12 penalty on flying
DC 15 strength check for medium sized creatures or blown backwards. DC 25 fly check at -12 for flying creatures or blown backwards.

The real power of this spell, further, is that they're going to have to make 2-3 of these fortitude saves. Possibly more. A lot of creatures won't even be able to get out of the cloud.

Once you can make a tornado, it's over. Creatures who fail the fort save are sucked upwards, take 6d6 damage per round for d10 rounds.

This is just an absolutely brutal AOE crowd-control spell. Nothing else on the druid's spell list comes close.

-Cross

Edit: I note further that there is nothing that prevents you from getting a tornado at level 9 by casting this twice. Repeat, this spell is dominant. Is it just getting put at green because it's of limited use indoors?


Control Winds is brutal. A mere cohort in our campaign: Druid 6, StormCaster (stormwrack) has practically the best survivability, no equipment needs and between stunning lightining, area su sonic stunbursts and control weather/control winds combo all the while flitting about ignoring arrows and wind with a eagle companion as fodder Turul the darfellan dominated far more than a porpise man fish thing should be allowed. Even a flight of dragons was dispersed effectively enough so we could pick them off and the wind the wind..

Worth noting that winds over 'windstorm' strength put out unprotected fires automatically and protected fires 75% chance. No better way to save a burning city single handedly and be held in higher honour than the rest of your party...


Regarding the Control Winds Tornado of posts ;) I was asked to re-examine this spell on another forum, and I promised to think it over. Thanks for your input on the matter. I may very well upgrade this spell. Let me think on it for a day or so first though...

Quote:
My problem with the druid is that the archetype I leked was te Batman Druid but it can{t be acomplished with the limited spell list he has. Spontaneous SNA helps but can{t accomplished the feeling of ridiculously crazy prepared.

Sounds like you would be better off with a Wizard.

Quote:
Excellent work, Treantmonk, as always. You're writing such good guides, that I'm at a loss which class to play in our upcoming game... so many good options. Thank you!

That's the kind of problem I like to hear about! Thanks!


wraithstrike wrote:
Do your stats for the natures ally section the represent monster's base stats or do they include other modifiers? I am asking because the storm giant is slightly off. I did not check any of the others.

bump


wraithstrike wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Do your stats for the natures ally section the represent monster's base stats or do they include other modifiers? I am asking because the storm giant is slightly off. I did not check any of the others.
bump

Missed this!

The Stats are supposed to include Augment Summoning - so +4 Str and Con.

If the adjusted stats are off - let me know and I'll fix up.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I think is my favorite guide so far, TM. The SoB seems awesome, IMHO. Great work...


One question:

How do you manage to cast your spells with a Wisdom of 13 and boosting Strengh?


YawarFiesta wrote:

One question:

How do you manage to cast your spells with a Wisdom of 13 and boosting Strengh?

Wis 13 gets you through to 3rd level spells. I'm assuming that by level 7 (4th level spells) - you should have a headband of Wisdom +2 - so then you're good until level 11.

By level 11, you should have +4 - which should do you until level 15, and then by level 15, you should have +6 - which gets you through to level 20.

Wouldn't work in 3.5, but in Pathfinder, you should be golden.

Quote:
I think is my favorite guide so far, TM. The SoB seems awesome, IMHO. Great work...

Thank you! Definitely good to hear. This one was I think the most work of any of the guides.


Treantmonk wrote:
YawarFiesta wrote:

One question:

How do you manage to cast your spells with a Wisdom of 13 and boosting Strengh?

Wis 13 gets you through to 3rd level spells. I'm assuming that by level 7 (4th level spells) - you should have a headband of Wisdom +2 - so then you're good until level 11.

By level 11, you should have +4 - which should do you until level 15, and then by level 15, you should have +6 - which gets you through to level 20.

Wouldn't work in 3.5, but in Pathfinder, you should be golden.

Okay, but wouldn't any exposure to an antimagic field or a targeted Dispel Magic to the headband, since they would reset the 24 hours temporary/permanent time, would suprese your spell casting for the reminder of the day and the next day also.

Finally, are you aware of the new rules for purchasing items?

Now there´s a big insentive for picking craft feats, since there's no reliable way of getting any given magic item without a party member with the feat.

Humbly,
Yawar


YawarFiesta wrote:
Treantmonk wrote:
YawarFiesta wrote:

One question:

How do you manage to cast your spells with a Wisdom of 13 and boosting Strengh?

Wis 13 gets you through to 3rd level spells. I'm assuming that by level 7 (4th level spells) - you should have a headband of Wisdom +2 - so then you're good until level 11.

By level 11, you should have +4 - which should do you until level 15, and then by level 15, you should have +6 - which gets you through to level 20.

Wouldn't work in 3.5, but in Pathfinder, you should be golden.

Okay, but wouldn't any exposure to an antimagic field or a targeted Dispel Magic to the headband, since they would reset the 24 hours temporary/permanent time, would suprese your spell casting for the reminder of the day and the next day also.

Finally, are you aware of the new rules for purchasing items?

Now there´s a big insentive for picking craft feats, since there's no reliable way of getting any given magic item without a party member with the feat.

Humbly,
Yawar

What rules are these? If you dont want to type it out a link or reference page in the core book would be appreciated.

Cheliax

Bonjour Treantmonk,

I have to say I love your writings on char-op. I am not a big fan for min-max just for the sake of it but it really helps to show what one can do with it.

I also have to say : "You've got style". I like the way you write.

Thanks for sharing your opinion, your information and take time for this (I believe it must take a huge amount of your time).

Merci !


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Seriously Treantmonk, you need to stop this. Now I want to play a druid 2 of them in fact...I am just going to have to create some of these ideas you keep putting in my head as villians in my campaign or something because I just dont have the time for this.

On a serious note, as always top notch work. You attention to detail is quite astounding. Thank you for putting in the work to do this, and make life easier on those of us not as good at sorting this stuff out. I think I am going to make your guides required reading for my players, so I have less requests to change character options by 3rd level.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Treantmonk wrote:
YawarFiesta wrote:

One question:

How do you manage to cast your spells with a Wisdom of 13 and boosting Strengh?

Wis 13 gets you through to 3rd level spells. I'm assuming that by level 7 (4th level spells) - you should have a headband of Wisdom +2 - so then you're good until level 11.

By level 11, you should have +4 - which should do you until level 15, and then by level 15, you should have +6 - which gets you through to level 20.

Wouldn't work in 3.5, but in Pathfinder, you should be golden.

Ok, but don't go getting familiar with any Lamia's!


wraithstrike wrote:


What rules are these? If you dont want to type it out a link or reference page in the core book would be appreciated.

Purchasing Magic Items Section.

Now is extremely difficult to get any item above 16000 GP without the crafting feats. Unless extreme luck or direct GM benevolence you would need several journeys across the cities of the world just to find a particular item.

Now, Magic Item Creation Feats aren't just money savers, they ensure that you you get the item needed for the build.

This can be negated with a freindly wizard with crafting feats, but thats something I wouldn´t allow easily in my campaing

Humbly,
Yawar


Thank you Treantmonk for these optimization guides, especially this one (me like druids :-)). After reading it all, I have two small discrepancies to address:

About Timeless Body, you wrote:


when they get to level 15, the penalties to physical stats all disappear.
...while PRD wrote:


Timeless Body (Ex): After attaining 15th level, a druid no longer takes ability score penalties for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any penalties she may have already incurred, however, remain in place.
About Quicken Spell Like Ability, you wrote:


That's 3 quickened Wild-shapes per day.
...while PRD wrote:


Wild Shape (Su)


Yeah, I caught that Quicken Spell-Like Ability discrepancy too. I suppose a kind DM might let you get away with it but I think Treant was referring to the fact that it was in the Bestiary and not the fact that it was meant for the wrong ability type.

So far a great guide as I've come to expect out of the stuff you write. Thanks for putting it together.

And this...

"Expect to run out of spells at low levels very easily, and feel the pain of pulling out a sling. Look longingly at the Wizard firing his crossbow. Lucky wizard."

Love it. Still has me cracking up every time I reread it.


Louis IX wrote:

Thank you Treantmonk for these optimization guides, especially this one (me like druids :-)). After reading it all, I have two small discrepancies to address:

About Timeless Body, you wrote:


when they get to level 15, the penalties to physical stats all disappear.
...while PRD wrote:


Timeless Body (Ex): After attaining 15th level, a druid no longer takes ability score penalties for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any penalties she may have already incurred, however, remain in place.
About Quicken Spell Like Ability, you wrote:


That's 3 quickened Wild-shapes per day.
...while PRD wrote:


Wild Shape (Su)

*Feels stupid* - yep - both good calls. I'll change over both those things tonight (going to work right now)


Sorry to bring more possible bad news. If someone else caught this and
Anywho's

From the hand book
Shields: As of the current rules, Shield bonus to AC translates into Wildshape. As such, a large wooden shield seems like a pretty obvious starting item. As you progress,a magic shield should be of greater priority than magic armor, as the enhancement bonus to shield should also translate. Not needing a "wild" enchantment means you can open the door for other enchantments like Fortification, though you may just want the highest enhancement bonus possible instead.

From the PRD and the core book:
Wild: The wearer of a suit of armor or a shield with this ability preserves his armor bonus(and any enhancement bonus)while in a wild shape. Armor and shields with this ability usually appear to be covered in leaf patterns. While the wearer is in a wild shape, the armor cannot be seen.


YawarFiesta wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:


What rules are these? If you dont want to type it out a link or reference page in the core book would be appreciated.

Purchasing Magic Items Section.

Now is extremely difficult to get any item above 16000 GP without the crafting feats. Unless extreme luck or direct GM benevolence you would need several journeys across the cities of the world just to find a particular item.

Now, Magic Item Creation Feats aren't just money savers, they ensure that you you get the item needed for the build.

This can be negated with a freindly wizard with crafting feats, but thats something I wouldn´t allow easily in my campaing

Humbly,
Yawar

Thanks. I never even read that section. It won't affect my group, but if I end up in someone else's group it is good to know.


Treantmonk wrote:
*Feels stupid* - yep - both good calls. I'll change over both those things tonight (going to work right now)

No need to feel stupid. Writing all these guide proves you are anything but.

I kind of learnt Timeless Body by heart since I think it's the most impressive ability for a druid (fighter/caster) who wants to last an era or two (built two NPCs that way). At venerable age, that's a net +18 for your physical stats (compared to what you would have without it).

As for the other thing, I had to check because Quickened Wild Shape has always sparked my interest for a Spirit of the Beast-like character: "Round 1, Wildshape, Charge!" I have found the feats Fast Wild Shape and Quicken Wild Shape in 3.5 material, but having only one feat doing it (even a fixed times per day) would have been great.


wraithstrike wrote:


Shields: As of the current rules, Shield bonus to AC translates into Wildshape. As such, a large wooden shield seems like a pretty obvious starting item. As you progress,a magic shield should be of greater priority than magic armor, as the enhancement bonus to shield should also translate. Not needing a "wild" enchantment means you can open the door for other enchantments like Fortification, though you may just want the highest enhancement bonus possible instead.

From the PRD and the core book:
Wild: The wearer of a suit of armor or a shield with this ability preserves his armor bonus(and any enhancement bonus)while in a wild shape. Armor and shields with this ability usually appear to be covered in leaf patterns. While the wearer is in a wild shape, the armor cannot be seen.

There were a couple threads discussing this. It's true that your citation wasn't reported at that time (it was in "Wild" description and not in the Polymorph school description, which, added to the Druid's and the spells', already makes 3 places to check).

However, even if the shield's armor bonus wasn't taken into account, what Treantmonk wrote about Fortification stays - even when speaking about armor. As I see it, your armor and shield could have any enchantment not related to AC (Fortification, Shadow, Slick, etc.) and they would transfer when wildshaped.


Hi Treantmonk, amazing work you do with your guides.

BTW, the stats on the riding dog entry in the SNA I table in the guide do not correspond to the ones in the PRD creature's description.

Hp and attacks are listed respectively to be 17 and +5 and should be 13 and +3.

Maybe you included the benefits of augment summoning to this particular entry? +4 Str +4 Con?

Thanks again for your effort.

edit:

Treantmonk wrote:


Missed this!

The Stats are supposed to include Augment Summoning - so +4 Str and Con.

If the adjusted stats are off - let me know and I'll fix up.

oops, sorry. I said nothing.


Louis IX wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:


Shields: As of the current rules, Shield bonus to AC translates into Wildshape. As such, a large wooden shield seems like a pretty obvious starting item. As you progress,a magic shield should be of greater priority than magic armor, as the enhancement bonus to shield should also translate. Not needing a "wild" enchantment means you can open the door for other enchantments like Fortification, though you may just want the highest enhancement bonus possible instead.

From the PRD and the core book:
Wild: The wearer of a suit of armor or a shield with this ability preserves his armor bonus(and any enhancement bonus)while in a wild shape. Armor and shields with this ability usually appear to be covered in leaf patterns. While the wearer is in a wild shape, the armor cannot be seen.

There were a couple threads discussing this. It's true that your citation wasn't reported at that time (it was in "Wild" description and not in the Polymorph school description, which, added to the Druid's and the spells', already makes 3 places to check).

However, even if the shield's armor bonus wasn't taken into account, what Treantmonk wrote about Fortification stays - even when speaking about armor. As I see it, your armor and shield could have any enchantment not related to AC (Fortification, Shadow, Slick, etc.) and they would transfer when wildshaped.

I thought all magical items were melded into the form and rendered useless. That is how it was in 3.5 anyway. My character is too low of a level to have this stuff now, but it will matter later on. I guess if we can't clarify it within the next two or three post I will open a thread on it, so as not to hijack this one.


Shields and Wildshape

I know the entry under "Wild" enchantment mentions shields with a Wild enchantment work when wildshaped. This is part of the reason I expect errata on the subject.

Because, according to the rules, the shield bonus isn't eliminated when wildshaped (though very possibly the designers intended otherwise - and your DM may agree).

Specifically, the rules state this on the subject, "all of your gear melds into your body. Items that provide constant bonuses and do not need to be activated continue to function while melded in this way (with the exception of armor bonuses, which cease to function)."

Since a Shield bonus is not an armor bonus, it does not cease to function under the rules as written.

Yawar - you've convinced me that Craft Wonderous Item is a good idea for a SotB. I will add that to the guide.

Taldor

I just want to say that I have greatly enjoyed reading the Druid guide and will now read those you wrote for the other classes as well. The way you've written the guide, with the color codes, is extremely reader-friendly. Thanks a lot for sharing this information with us.


As always, great food for thought. A couple of comments:

Liveoak: This spell specifically requires a healthy, Huge Oak. Obviously this is DM and campaign specific on just how available these are....but I know that if a player was recasting this every day because he kept getting his treants killed, I'd certainly start limiting the availability...

Summon Monster 1 Riding Dog...there's a recent post on the rules forum about downgrading it to the normal dog.

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