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First World Druid (Druid)


Round 2 - Top 32: Create an archetype

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 aka Vigil

First World Druid (Druid)
The First World is a place of wild vitality and bizarre creatures. In places where the fabric of reality has worn thin it can bleed over into the material plane. Druids dwelling near such breeches often display an affinity for a natural world that doesn't really exist.

Nature Bond (Ex): A first world druid may not select an animal companion or the Animal domain. Instead, she adds the Travel and Trickery domains to those usually available to druids.

Beast Empathy (Ex): A first world druid can improve the atttude of magical beasts with an intelligence of 1 or 2 as a normal druid can with animals. She can also use this ability to influence animals, but she takes a –4 penalty on the check. This ability replaces Wild Empathy.

Wild Shape (Su): A first world druid gains this ability at 6th level, except that her effective druid level for the ability is equal to her druid level -2. At 10th level she can assume the form of a Small or Medium magical beast, at 12th level a Tiny or Large magical beast. This effect functions as beast shape IV.

Tane's Power (Su): When wildshaped into a Huge plant or Large magical beast, or shapechanged into a Huge plant, Large magical beast or Huge dragon, the first world druid gains an additional ability based on the creature type she assumed.

Sard's Electrical Jolt: When in plant shape, every time a creature strikes her with a metal melee weapon, arcs of electricity deal 2d6 points of damage to the attacker.

Thrasfyr's Entangling Chains: When in magical beast shape she grows six chains from her body. As a standard action, she can cause these chains to snake outward to a radius of 20 feet and thrash about violently. All creatures in this area take 10d6 points of slashing damage and become entangled - a Reflex save halves the damage and negates the entangled condition. An entangled creature can escape with a Reflex save or a DC 30 Escape Artist check made as a full-round action. The chains can also be sundered (hardness 10, hp 5, Break DC 26). The save DC is Dexterity-based.

Jabberwock's Burble: When in dragon shape she can burble once every 1d4 rounds as a standard action. This blast of strange noises and shouted nonsense affects all creatures within a 30-foot-radius spread - these creatures must make a Will save or become confused for 1d4 rounds. This is a mind-affecting sonic effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

These are in addition to the normal benefits of the assumed forms. This ability replaces Timeless Body.

Paizo Employee Developer

I love the flavor and theme of this one, David. You've found a niche case wherein the by-the-book druid and a prominent element of the natural world don't line up, and provided fun and exciting ways of making them align better.

You show a real grasp of established Golarion canon here too, which I'm a stickler for. You could have easily taken this in a generic fey direction, but instead took the risk and focused on specific elements of the First World (specific Tane and the Tane in general). I think that risk paid off.

I like the new abilities granted by Tane's Power, but I think you could improve the clarity of the first sentence in that paragraph. I had to read it several times to understand exactly what situations allowed access to the additional power.

In general, however, this is a simple, straightforward archetype that fills a specific hole in the game and provides a vast amount of flavor, both character and setting specific. Great job.

I RECOMMEND this archetype for advancement. I hope the voters feel the same, as I can't wait to see what more creative material you have in store for us!

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

This is fairly solid work. Well-designed. Good attention to detail. And, more importantly, a pretty clever idea to find an archetype that goes beyond the material plane to reach into the First World. Now, most people by now know I'm a huge fan of all things related to the First World. However, there were bits and elements I didn't like as much about this one. Specifically, the Tane's Power effects feel more like extra monster abilities layered onto the Wild Shape. And I would have preferred to see some kind of shout out to the exact level at which it becomes available. Clearly, it's based on the creature type and size, but including a simple phrase of "At XXth level..." would help clarify it better for me.

I love the different Nature Bond domains. The Travel and Trickery domains dovetail really nicely with a First World druid and gives him some surprising options. I like where you headed creatively with this idea. I like most of how you couched it in the rules and Golarion canon. This show good Superstar mojo and chutzpah. And, interestingly enough, I see the same with your wondrous item submission with the candle of viscous ephemera and how it works against haunts. You're finding very special elements of the Pathfinder RPG and campaign setting to help yourself stand out. That's both innovative and smart.

So, I RECOMMEND this design to advance. Best of luck in the voting.

CEO, Goblinworks

Total Points: 2.5 points
Recommendation: Not recommended for advancement

Comments In Detail

Name & Theme (.5 point)
I'm not a Golorian historian or loremaster. I have only the most basic concept of a first world. However I do read a lot of history and "First World" means something much different to me - it means "Europe". I know that there's Golarian difference but the Golarian IP isn't universal for Pathfinder. I think you could have found a better name for the archetype that didn't have other likely connotations.

Mechanics (.5 point)
You took away the animal companion. Right off that concerns me. Druidic animal companions are a critical balance factor and they provide tactical options that make Thinkers get excited. Removing that class feature makes me wonder why you didn't base this on a Cleric instead.

By making the "Wildshape" feature have a penalty to class level you've introduced a wrinkle that may be often overlooked. Why did you do this? Are those 2 levels meaningful?

From this archetype I have no idea who or what a Tane is. That's a big leap of assumption and puts this squarely into "sourcebook" material in my opinion. That immediately degrades its commercial value.

The three abilities this conveys just seem like a grab-bag of stuff: Electrical bolts, chains, and burbles?

At 10th level you have a character that is doing 10d6 points of damage + entanglement. EVERY ROUND in a 40-foot diameter circle. Unless there's a meaningful limitation I missed in the description, that's a massive amount of damage to be inflicting especially out of touch range and that concerns me.

Awesomeness (0 points)
Its not awesome to me.

Template (1 point)
You did a great job following the template.

Context (.5 point)
It's all in on Golaria for this archetype. Outside of the IP, this probably makes very little sense and will be a very strange swiss army knife. Inside the IP it might be better but you've still gone out of your way to make a marginal case for your submission. I'll reward you for your courage but not for your decision.

Contributor

Nature Bond (Ex): Cool.

Beast Empathy: Interesting switch!

Wild Shape: Hmm, I'm not sure about the allowing of magical beasts. You can get some crazy powers there and it hasn't been strongly evaluated for balance. I mean, you could wild shape into some badass creature with a breath weapon. This was a big giant alarm for me.

Tane's Power: All three of these are powerful offensive abilities, and to get them you're swapping out a very weak ability. This is a big power up.

This was ambitious, but you gave it too much. The wild shape is probably too good, and the Tane's Power is definitely to good for what you're giving up.

RECOMMENDATION: I do NOT recommend this archetype design for advancement in the competition.

Shadow Lodge

Ryan Dancey wrote:

I know that there's Golarian difference but the Golarian IP isn't universal for Pathfinder. I think you could have found a better name for the archetype that didn't have other likely connotations.

I think an important point to remember here is there seems to be almost a "have a cookie" reward when the contestants can add some Golarian fluff into their entires. (See Mark and Neil's commentary on th entry for example) So there shouldn't be any surprise when it shows up entries. Just a thought.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ryan Dancey wrote:

Mechanics (.5 point)

You took away the animal companion. Right off that concerns me. Druidic animal companions are a critical balance factor and they provide tactical options that make Thinkers get excited. Removing that class feature makes me wonder why you didn't base this on a Cleric instead.

By making the "Wildshape" feature have a penalty to class level you've introduced a wrinkle that may be often overlooked. Why did you do this? Are those 2 levels meaningful?

While many comments of Ryan make good sense, I do feel this specifically is a bit unfair. The contestant followed examples from Core and APG while fitting to the concept of the archetype he was creating.


I voted for this archetype. I feel it offers good flavor reasons to take it, and has mechanics that balance flavor with function. The choice of two domains instead of an animal companion is already common in druid archetypes as is the reduction in wild shape ability. The fey tie in is a wonderful way to justify allowing magical beast shapes. The Tane's Power is a bit more powerful than the timeless body ability but I take the slight hit to power from the domain choices to even it out and see it as a great way to incorporate new material from the bestiary 2 without running roughshod over the rules as they currently stand.

Shadow Lodge

I like Golarion tie-ins, and I agree with others that have chimed in that there was definitely a vibe going into this year that Golarion specific got you extra special kudos, so I'm going to disagree with Ryan there.

That said, I think it might be -too- specific. I dont know what a Tane or a Thra-who-what is. It wasnt until Jabberwock that I made some vague assumption about them being associated with fey. Until then, I was wondering why the author was using random druid names, which would be a HUGE no-no.

As is, I'm fairly meh on this one.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

I'm with Ryan on this one, to me the first world is where the rich live and quality of life is high. The choices and substitutions seem alright, but taking away the animal companion, and delaying and penalizing wild shape clips some of the druids greatest powers. Then you go and give us 10d6 to a 40 foot area every round. This is like unlimited 10th level fireball with a seemingly higher save DC, no chance of spell resistance and no energy resistance. It's a little too much.


I`m in agreement on some of the balance issues with this.
All those extra abilities in Wildshape for Timeless Body?
A bit too much, even if Wildshape is delayed by 2 levels.
I don`t really see why Timeless Body is inappropriate for the theme either, i.e. why it was removed.
That much damage is really just not something to be casually thrown around, so I think balance issues are what is going to hit you the hardest. Overall flavor-wise, I think it`s great and you would have had my vote if it wasn`t for balance issues.

Magical Beast and Dragon Form:
First off, I thought Magical Beasts are a great idea and make sense for a Fey-focused Druid... but I want a solid implementation.

Secondly, Tane`s Power references being Wildshaped into a Huge Dragon. OK, but I don`t see ANY refernce to the Druid being able to Wildshape into this form in the first place. I think you forgot to mention this.

Thirdly, somebody mentioned the new abilities of Magical Beasts, which are indeed powerful and need to be given in measured doses. But as written, the Class DOESN`T grant any new abilities (besides those of Tane`s Power) because you`re still limited to the ability list of the Beast Shape spell!

That certainly tones down the power implications of turning into Magical Beasts (though Magical Beasts can offer more powerful combos of mundane abilities), but then again, if you can`t gain any abilities beyond what regular Animals can, I think that is removing alot of the reason for turning into Magical Beasts in the first place.

To truly give such an ability it`s due, I think it`s clear that one would need to write up specific lists of abilities gained, normally thru a series of Magical Beast Shape spells at different Spell Levels, which would be the basis for the Magical Beast Wildshape. I don`t know how you could best have done that within the context of this contest, i.e. whether an `empty` reference to Magical Beast Shape spells and ability lists (which aren`t within the Class itself) would be accepted as pointing the direction to how the ability would work, or not.

I really liked the flavor, and tie-in with Golarion/1st World lore, it just came down to not all the crunch details working for me.


My archetype was also going to be a first world variant of the witch. I think theres alot of potential with the first world. However i disagree that the thane was a good thing. Im more with ryan but i think the first world flavor was good.
That being said, i dislike the powers he gave. Good flavor nad archetype.


Ryan Dancey wrote:


You took away the animal companion. Right off that concerns me. Druidic animal companions are a critical balance factor and they provide tactical options that make Thinkers get excited. Removing that class feature makes me wonder why you didn't base this on a Cleric instead.

By making the "Wildshape" feature have a penalty to class level you've introduced a wrinkle that may be often overlooked. Why did you do this? Are those 2 levels meaningful?

I, too, am not sure these two criticisms are quite fair.

Ryan, are you aware that getting a domain instead of an animal companion is a core option in Pathfinder? Your phrasing makes it sound like you think this is taking away a class feature altogether, when it is merely limiting the Druid's choice as to what form her Nature Bond will take.

Are you also aware that making the Wildshape ability have a penalty to class is one of the most frequent ways Paizo has used to balance new Druid archetypes? You sound as though you are confused as to why he did this, but it has strong precedent, as it was done in over half of Paizo's existing Druid archetypes.


As someone who knows very little about established Golarion canon (I've only bumbled around Sandpoint and bonked goblins in my wife's RotRL game), this archetype is cool enough that I want to learn more about the setting.

That's a point in your favor, in my estimation.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka Steven T. Helt

I thought the names for the archetypes seemed largely uninteresting (though I accept there's only so many ways to say "pole arm fighter"), so I went with this one first as most interesting.

I sense it's gonna be a tough round for me to critique - much like the first villain rounds. I can't asay I couldn't vote for this but I kind of hope I don't have to.

So, this druid is from the First World, a place that is overgrown and more feral than the modern world. And as a result, you get the Trickery and Travel domains? Is that because of the ancient fey connection? Because fey aren't mentioned anywhere in the archetype.

Tane abilities smack of "how can I get some references to new monsters in here". How many magical beasts have metal chains? What would that have to do with a feral and unmined world of great beasts of legend and the ancestors of quintessential natural animals?

I also think the writing smells very "got to get under 450 words". The description of wild shape is cut short, for example. I think a Superstar entry would maintain the normal language for an ability, and specifically wild shape is exemplified half a dozen times in the APG.

Be careful of misapplying buzz words. The burble should affect creaturs within 30 feet, like bardic performance. But not in a spread. Does a door get in the way if the effect is still audible?

Clear the chains are ust superpowerful. First, why NOT change into a magical beast most of the time? And then why not change into a magical beast that deals 10d6 damage to everything within 20 feet, in addition to normal combat. Woot! Now my druid/gorgon can cast spells, petrify folk, break apart the statues within 20 feet and trample. Go me!

I do think it was classy and smart of Sean and other judges to prime the whole audience for this round, in terms of archetypes being new and design issues being a really tough challenge. Maybe the very cool core concept will win over voters, but I don't really want to see eight other entries offer less desirable choices than this one. Good luck to ya!

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

David,

This. Is. Awesome. I really like the way you've gone about and captured the flavor and essence of the First World here with a druid archetype. Great Job. Nicely written. Overall a fantastic piece of archetype mechanics. I love that you've allowed the First World druid to gain magical beasts with their wild shape. (In the 3.0 or maybe v.3.5 era) there was a feat that allowed druids to have a "Magical Beast Shape" and of course "Master of Many Forms" also allowed for assuming a magical beast as well. So, as I said, I really like what you've done here.

Another vote earned.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

Neil wrote:
Specifically, the Tane's Power effects feel more like extra monster abilities layered onto the Wild Shape. And I would have preferred to see some kind of shout out to the exact level at which it becomes available. Clearly, it's based on the creature type and size, but including a simple phrase of "At XXth level..." would help clarify it better for me.
Ryan wrote:
At 10th level you have a character that is doing 10d6 points of damage + entanglement. EVERY ROUND in a 40-foot diameter circle. Unless there's a meaningful limitation I missed in the description, that's a massive amount of damage to be inflicting especially out of touch range and that concerns me.

It looks to me like all of those powers are gained at 15th, since Tane's Power replaced Timeless Body. Or am I not reading that right?

Getting that stuff in exchange for Timeless Body is a different debate.

Edit- OK, yeah, he doesn't have the level specified for when some of these abilities kick in. I was just going with the same level as the swapped ability. Needs to be specified, though.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

Expanding a bit: I like the concept, I like the fluff. I'm not big on Golarion, but it didn't take that large a leap to figure out what was going on.

I'm not crazy about Tane's Power, even if it were dialed back a bit. I guess I'd just like to see something fey-themed that didn't relate back to wild shape / magic beasts.

Still, it's pretty good over all and is certainly in the running for one of my votes.


I love druids, so when I saw this entry on the list I excited to learn about it. I wanted to love it.

Unfortunately, I've only been playing Pathfinder for a few months and I'm not familiar with First World. So I don't really get the flavor of the archetype. Thus, the addition of the travel and trickery domains don't have any apparent reason to me. The two opening sentences don't seem to clearly tie into these domains.

The Tane's Power description was muddied by discussing wildshape and shapechange at the same time.

The powers didn't seem to quite fit in with the magical beast theme that I thought was going on.


David Vigil wrote:

First World Druid (Druid)

The First World is a place of wild vitality and bizarre creatures. In places where the fabric of reality has worn thin it can bleed over into the material plane. Druids dwelling near such breeches often display an affinity for a natural world that doesn't really exist.

Nature Bond (Ex): A first world druid may not select an animal companion or the Animal domain. Instead, she adds the Travel and Trickery domains to those usually available to druids.

Beast Empathy (Ex): A first world druid can improve the atttude of magical beasts with an intelligence of 1 or 2 as a normal druid can with animals. She can also use this ability to influence animals, but she takes a –4 penalty on the check. This ability replaces Wild Empathy.

I'm not fond of the name (because it sounds like an MMO achievement and adds confusion sometimes when talking about the archetype), but the concept is rather interesting. Focusing on magical beasts as opposed to real beasts is a neat concept and you're doing okay thus far.

David Vigil wrote:


Wild Shape (Su): A first world druid gains this ability at 6th level, except that her effective druid level for the ability is equal to her druid level -2. At 10th level she can assume the form of a Small or Medium magical beast, at 12th level a Tiny or Large magical beast. This effect functions as beast shape IV.

This reads rather poorly. Do all of the abilities function as beast shape IV or just the last one? What does it function as at level 6 or 10?

David Vigil wrote:


Tane's Power (Su): When wildshaped into a Huge plant or Large magical beast, or shapechanged into a Huge plant, Large magical beast or Huge dragon, the first world druid gains an additional ability based on the creature type she assumed.
Sard's Electrical Jolt ...
Thrasfyr's Entangling Chains ...
Jabberwock's Burble ...

These are in addition to the normal benefits of the assumed forms. This ability replaces Timeless Body.

Tane's Power took reading over twice to figure out what you meant as you sort of state the same thing multiple times. Should probably say something more only the lines of "When using either wildshape or shapechange and taking the form of a Huge plant, Large magical beast or Huge dragon, the first world druid gains an additional ability based on the creature type she assumed." After that, you've got a bunch of offensive abilities that have no limits. Some interesting utility stuff would also be nice, though.

Sard's Electrical Jolt: This should have a fort save halves or negates otherwise that damage can add up way too fast. Also, it needs a limit or how often it can happen. 3+Wis rounds per day or it can only trigger once per round. Something to take the power out of it. Otherwise, someone takes a full attack on you and gets jolted for up to 8d6 (or more) each round.

Thrasfyr's Entangling Chains: There is no reason not to just be a magical beast and use the chains every attack. A full-round attack once or twice per day would significantly change the power of this as would referencing something like just entangle for the DC.

Jaberwock's Burble: Again, needs a limit on the number of uses per day. Instead of stating how often it is usable at the beginning as 1d4 without context, list how often it's usable at the end. Something about not being able to start burbling again until the first one has finished.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Magical Beasts, just like Fey and Outsiders pose significant risk to game balance. Handicapping druids by taking away 1st level ability and slowing Wildshape progression will make the class less balanced (too weak at first, possible gamebreaking later).

Verdict: Not recommended.

Regards,
Ruemere

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter 2013

I'm on the fence on this.

On the one hand, the concept is solid, and the power progression/replacement mesh well.

On the other hand... the replacement powers are more powerful than the core druid's bag of tricks. Especially the timeless body/tane's power switch. Still, I think that the editor would (after reducing those powers to bloodied stumps) work with you to get a more balanced power. I could see a revised version of this in a Golarion book.

Edit: Maybe the oomph came from concerns that you had made your candle were too weak? Goldielocks syndrome "The first entry was too weak, and the second entry was too strong." If you make it to round three, we'll see if you can get "Just Right." :-)


David Vigil wrote:
First World Druid (Druid)

I honestly know so little about Golorian that I can't make a fair assessment of this archetype. That said, I obviously can't vote for it either, without becoming intimately familiar with the Golorian background.

If this were being judged only by the writers of Golorian, I would say it's probably got a good chance. Unfortunately you didn't consider that many of us voting don't play that campaign world and can't really vote for something that has allusions that we don't understand.

Sorry. I hope, if it's a good archetype, it overcomes this problem.

Ken


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

The name says it all; I right away know where this AT is going - I like that.

I love the flavor and think the AT fills a good niche.

I think the Tane Power ability is too strong and confusing to read. I suggest it be reworked.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

David Vigil wrote:
Druids dwelling near such breeches often display an affinity for a natural world that doesn't really exist.

Breeches are pants. I think you mean "breaches." Either I'm wrong, or I'm surprised no one caught that yet.

Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In spite of not being really familiar with Golarion all that well, and having never heard of the First World concept before this, I felt that the first paragraph alone both told me enough to conceptualize what the First World was about, as well as make me want to either learn more or develop it further for my own campaign world.

The mechanics seem interesting, if in need of a bit of tweaking- although the Tane's Power ability doesn't exactly wow me (and seems a bit random).

This was still one of my first votes in the contest, though. I like what I see here!

Qadira RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor , Dedicated Voter 2013

Another on the fence entry for me. I like the flavor of it, and generally like the abilities, but think it needs some time in the cage with the nerf bat. The timeless body replacement seems more appropriate as a 20th level power. Also, missing the level on that last power - it should always be there, because if someone manages to make a lower-level druid who can shapechange into a larger than expected creature (perhaps a feat or something for giants), you don't want them gaining your capstone ability early.

Tentatively in the keep pile, but it's already clear I'll have to cut that down to get my final eight. But this is solidly in the top half of the 32.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor , Dedicated Voter 2013

Svevenka wrote:
Breeches are pants. I think you mean "breaches." Either I'm wrong, or I'm surprised no one caught that yet.

You're correct. Both breach and breech have a lot of meanings, but they don't overlap, and a rupture is a breach. "Breech baby" comes from the lower half coming first, for example, and has nothing to do with a gap or rupture.


David Vigil wrote:

First World Druid (Druid)

The First World is a place of wild vitality and bizarre creatures. In places where the fabric of reality has worn thin it can bleed over into the material plane. Druids dwelling near such breeches often display an affinity for a natural world that doesn't really exist.

Disclaimer:

You should know the drill by now, but in case you missed it the first time round, Ask A RPGSupersuccubus is posting from the point of view of a CE aligned succubus:
Spoiler:
Fairness is an adjective applicable to hair coloration, balance is what a couple of mortals rapidly losing it on opposite ends of a plank pivoted on a rocky spire a couple of hundred feet above a slowly rising pool of molten basalt try to do, and logic is one of those things which you could swear is there when you rattle the piggybank but if anyone other than a demon opens it the contents turn out to be a couple of dead moths and a three week old shopping list.
;)
Although it's a bit unkind of the presenter to assert that there's no such thing as a 'natural world' on the prime material plane, (perhaps he's fallen victim to a jabberwock's burble) I shall get on with addressing his remarks regarding druids who live in the First World but may occasionally wander out to visit other planes.

Would you want this person sitting next to you as a guest at a formal evening dress dinner party?
Ahh, the druids of the First World, a place of wonders with seldom a dull moment. So long as she hadn't taken a dislike to me for some reason (first world druids can be an odd lot - it comes of some of the other residents that they have to deal with) it would be fascinating to sit alongside a first world druid at a dinner party.

How effective a flower-picker does this person seem likely to be?
The First World is a place with bushes bigger than regular material plane bushes, and flowers sometimes so big you can sail across them in a boat. It's downright weird (wyrd, too, if you like it that way) and keep in mind here that this is a succubus saying that.
All of which is to say that, given the perils they face on a daily basis in the first world, I'm reasonably certain a first world druid could handle a spot of conventional flower-picking. (Although they obviously might experience difficulty 'back home' if it's a flower *that* size, but I'm feeling charitable and will allow that faced with a challenge of that scope almost anyone probably would.)

Could you hire one person like this to do a better job than one other trained mercenary and/or to do the jobs of two (or more) other trained mercenaries?
Yes. If you're in the first world, having a local to show you around is invaluable. If nothing else, in a place where losing your way can happen in more than just the regular dimensions, they are the guides you want ahead of anyone else.

Other comments?
Don't upset a first world druid. They tend to cliquishness back home and if you offend a first world druid dignitary visiting your 'neck of the woods' (so to speak), once she goes back to her home plane she may well spread the word about what an uncivil person you are to her associates. Even if you weren't ever planning to visit the first world, your unwise words or actions may come back to later bite you in a myriad of unpleasant ways.

Desirability:
Hireable.

Further Disclaimer:
Ask A RPGSupersuccubus (with half an eye on Lord Orcus) would like to clarify that mortal voters should probably rely on more than just her own (impeccable) assessments in making up their minds on how to vote. Thank You.

Grand Lodge Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I really liked the feel of this concept...almost primal.

Nice work.


David Vigil wrote:

First World Druid (Druid)

Disclaimer: My ranking scheme for this round consists of given marks form 0 to 4 in the following three categories:

1.Is the Archetype conceptually interesting?
2.Are the mechanics of the Archetype interesting?
3.Are the mechanics of the Archetype balanced and well executed?
But rather than simply adding up the marks for a final score I'm gonna interpret them as a point in 3-dimensional space and the final mark of your submission will be the length of the vector between the origin and this point.
Note that my ranking doesn't need to directly correspond with my votes, as other factors like: Strength of your item submission, mood, my horrorscope and other random stuff still factor in. Also note that this scheme is highly subjective and only mirrors my perception and opinion about your archetype submission.

Conceptual Mojo (CM): 3, Druids influenced by the first world? Count me interested. But I would have liked to see more fey related stuff.
Mechanical Mojo (MM): 2, Thanes blessing is very cool from a flavor POV, but the other things are a bit too tame, especially in comparison. And I would really have loved to see a first world inspired animal companion.
Mechanical Execution (ME): 1. Your coolest ability is also your most troublesome, but allowing wildshape into magical beasts also is a can of worms. The rest is bland.

Final note: Cool basic idea, but a bit too much focused on magical beasts for my tastes, and the mechanical problems are a big hit to the concept.

Total Score: 3.741

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you hadn't gone a little overboard with the abilities I could not have found fault with this entry. I like the name, style and tone. The writing fits right in with the rest of the published archetypes. Good work!

Osirion RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

The concept is solid and the flavor is great and nicely integrated with Golarion lore... but maybe too much so. Someone with no particular IP knowledge of Golarion will go WTF with several of these abilities. I think Travel and Trickery are good moves for a druid who's in bed with the fey.

The higher level your abilities get, though, the farther you get off the rails. The Tane abilities (all uber) swapped for Timeless Body (almost more flavor text than actual ability)? Ouch baby, very ouch.

In fairness to some critics, he did say if you were shapechanged into a dragon you could use the Tane powers - druids do get that as a 9th level spell, so it's legit.

Overall, good flavor, nice writing (though a little jam-packed in places; less is more), but mechanics start good and then go off the rails. A mixed bag.

Congrats on making round 2, and best of luck!

Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

I like the concept and the feel of this archetype and also your writing is evocative and compelling.

That said I must say I was somewhat disappointed about the abilities. Not that these are not great, in fact, they are absolutely super!

But the druid is already a very strong class from the get go and your archetype makes it even stronger. On top of this sits the possibility to wildshape to magical beasts which opens up all sorts of ridiculous power gaming combinations that easily could push a char over the brink into the unplayable.

Also the fact that your class likes to dwell near to medieval clothing implements subtracts a bit from his first world cool ;)

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 4 , Star Voter 2013 aka raidou

David, your Candle from last round took on some of the game's new rules for haunts, and I thought that design space was a great one to work in. I suggested kicking it up a notch this round, so let's see if your Fey-based druid does just that.

first world druid wrote:
Nature Bond (Ex): A first world druid may not select an animal companion or the Animal domain. Instead, she adds the Travel and Trickery domains to those usually available to druids.

Slight concern that these domains grant the druid too many cross-class spells, adding versatility at little cost.

first world druid wrote:
Beast Empathy (Ex): A first world druid can improve the atttude of magical beasts with an intelligence of 1 or 2 as a normal druid can with animals. She can also use this ability to influence animals, but she takes a –4 penalty on the check. This ability replaces Wild Empathy.

Nice touch on this one. I think that's a fun little switch.

first world druid wrote:
Wild Shape (Su): A first world druid gains this ability at 6th level, except that her effective druid level for the ability is equal to her druid level -2. At 10th level she can assume the form of a Small or Medium magical beast, at 12th level a Tiny or Large magical beast. This effect functions as beast shape IV.

Very good, still gaining magical beast abilities. But what are you losing in return for being able to transform into magical beasts? I'm detecting an upward power slope here.

first world druid wrote:

Tane's Power (Su): When wildshaped into a Huge plant or Large magical beast, or shapechanged into a Huge plant, Large magical beast or Huge dragon, the first world druid gains an additional ability based on the creature type she assumed.

Sard's Electrical Jolt: arcs of electricity deal 2d6 points of damage to the attacker.
Thrasfyr's Entangling Chains: creatures in this area take 10d6 points of slashing damage and become entangled
Jabberwock's Burble: save or become confused for 1d4 rounds.

These are in addition to the normal benefits of the assumed forms. This ability replaces Timeless Body.

So we're at the end of the archetype and the only real trade is that you actually age. Which, to be honest, feels very strange given that you're drawing your power from the immortals in the First World. You definitely upped the excitement factor of this archetype, though. Unfortunately you did so in what I feel is a reckless sort of way.

David, this is a fantastic idea for an archetype but it's way overpowered. You get a ton of cool stuff and give up very little. The magical beast chains alone are over the top... 10d6 at-will, escape DC 30, plus entanglement, in a 20' diameter? That's an uber at-will fireball, every round.

So in the end it's visually and thematically appealing, but I can't vote for the execution.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

Here we have another entry that takes the power ball and runs away with it. I was really set to love this archetype, and it is pretty neat. The flavor is nice, the magical beast trade-outs look fun and balanced for the most part, but Tane's Favor? Ouch. There's no reason to ever not be a magical beast and get your aura of entangling death on. And it swaps for Timeless Body, the lamest of all druid powers. Perhaps a small upgrade could be warranted here, but this is far too much.

Will I vote for it on the basis of its flavor? Perhaps. Perhaps not. I've read most of the entries at this point and need to start sorting through my maybes. You have my attention, but I don't know yet if that translates into a vote.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Typo: atttude

Nature Bond: Ok, I get the Travel domain, that certainly isn’t weak.

Beast Empathy: is interesting, nice idea to be able to communicate with the strange beasties.

Wild Shape: -2 levels is fine, and getting the abilities of magical beasts might seem way too good but it is based on beast shape IV which is a 6th level wizard spell. The abilities that you get are clearly defined. Definitely worth the -2 levels, in fact a tiny bit better than normal wildshape but only a tiny bit, in my opinion. Also giving up the animal companion for the domain tends to balance this out for me.

The Tane’s powers are too much, they take up way too many words and cost the druid virtually nothing. They also assume that you know about Golarion’s First World. These are either going to make your entry for people, or break it. I liked the Jabberwock one because I got it, the others not as much.

You took a risk with this entry and I hope it pays off for you. This is certainly not a ‘safe’ entry and I applaud you for that. Next round, aim for solid, not way out there, not safe, but really solid. Good luck.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Name and concept: The name sounds intriguing, but unspecific, then the description doesn't much expand on it (which I might say about Paizo's mentions of the First World that I've seen). I'm not sure it's right to say the First World doesn't really exist. I shouldn't see word usage problems such as "breeches" in the later rounds of Superstar.
Archetype mechanics, expression of the concept: Nature Bond: Interesting change. I'd have to know more about Pathfinder canon to know whether picking out only the Animal domain from the standard druid options is appropriate.
Beast Empathy: Nicely done, but contains another error.
Its modified Wild Shape gives the druid the ability selections of beast shape IV at least a level early, but that's probably minor. Generally it's well handled.
Tane's Power: The Thrasfyr's Chains (even at 14th level) and generally the ability swap for this look like serious missteps. In a published rulebook, it would need a full explanation for "based on the creature type she assumed".
Wider relationships: Like the candle, this shows a strong grasp of up-to-date Pathfinder elements.

Possibly a few times too often, this stuffs complex allusions and mechanics into the allotted word count by assuming knowledge that ordinary players couldn't be expected to follow. The only aspect of the First World that it really seems to cover is the ubiquity of magical beasts - which admittedly is a pretty neat visual theme.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Standback

David, kudos on a lovely concept.

My commenting rubric focuses mostly on concept, writing, and theme; I've got a lot less to add to wiser forumgoers than I on the mechanics side of it.

Resonance
Is the concept a cohesive, identifiable archetype? Do I understand the concept? Is it colorful, interesting, innovative?

Absolutely. Great concept - fresh and original, yet flows naturally from the Golarion setting. Compelling - it gives a cool, meaningful twist to the druid trope, in a direction a lot of players will really like. Furthermore, while Golarion-specific, the concept would be easy to adapt to any campaign where fey folk have any sort of presence.

Implementation
Does the implementation of the archetype do justice to the concept? Can the archetype character do the type of things we'd expect him to?

Nature Bond, Beast Empathy, and Wild Shape are spot-on. Tane's Power is odd to me, though - mechanics aside, it's basically an extra power-up to a FWD in a fey-related shape. That's not bad, per se, I just don't feel like it adds much to the concept - you've already let the druid wildshape into magical creatures; isn't there a more interesting direction you could take the rest of your wordcount?

I found it interesting that you focused so entirely on magical beasts, save for the Travel and Trickery domains. I would have liked to see something emulating the fey and their land in a wider sense - or else, perhaps, more focus on the magical beasts in the intro text. Magical beasts makes a lot of sense for a First World Druid, but I wish the focus hadn't been so exclusive. I think some different awesome things could have been done with this archetype.

So in summary, I feel like you did a good, solid job with a major aspect I'd expect to see in this character; I felt the implementation didn't provide me with other aspects I'd expected and hoped to see.

Playability
Would players want to play this archetype? Would this character archetype have a place in a game? Will the archetype's unique flavor be evident in actual gameplay?

Yes they would; yes it would; somewhat, but not overwhelmingly. As I said, the focus on magical beasts meant less focus on other fey/First World elements. That also means that in-game, a lot of the difference will be in the type of animals the druid can affect, wildshape into, etc. That's certainly a flavor difference; it's just not an overwhelming one. The addition of Travel and Trickery might actually make themselves felt more; the combination of all these probably comes out pretty good.

All in all, you had a great concept, some great ideas to go with it, and a big misstep with the "Tane's Power" ability, both mechanically and thematically. I'd love to see you rework this entry afterwards; I think it'd really shine. As it is, it's got a lot to recommend it, and it's very likely to get a vote from me, but it does fall short of its promise.

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