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Peterrco's guide to Druids


Advice

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5 people marked this as a favorite.

I thought i'd try my hand at writing at guide.

I hope you enjoy it. Let me know if I've made any errors and I'll make changes.

Go to Peterrco's guide to Druids

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

ok i started looking and the very first thing i notice is that you need color and some kind of break. i would also suggest an appendix or some kind of guide to let people know what all is covered in the guide. that is my initial response ill read all of it throughout the day. but thanks for taking the time to share whatever knowledge you have aqucired.


Nephil makes some good points but otherwise awesome advice thanks for taking the time to do this

The Exchange

saying that a druid needs a feat or he will suck is a little insulting to the class. i agree spell focus conjuration is a feat tax but augment summoning is not. i think you have a slightly different understanding of feat tax than most people do. a feat tax is generally described as a crap feat you have to take to qualify for something else.
i also think you mean powerful shape not powerful form.
again these are not feat taxes.
but overall there is alot of good advice in here. i think the introduction of a color coding system and the redaction of some of your opinions may make it come off alot more formal and much less a 14 page grouping of opinions. one thing i like about many of the great guides out there is that they come across as unbiased. they will say that some things are horrible or that some things are a must have but they usually explain it a bit better.
also when saying spells that are great i would suggest not just listing the spells but maybe a short blurb as to why they are great. it may be apparent to you but remember alot of people that look for guides are first time players to that class that may not be familiar with it. so by referencing spells and not giving explanations you are causing them to constantly pull up the srd site to look them up and that makes reading your guide much longer and more laborious.
over all though you seem to be a smart guy with some good ideas and a desire to help new druid players so i say keep up the good work and someday you may be refered to wtih as much reverence as walter (magus guide) or treantmonk (guide of several)
if you havent read any of treantmonks guides i would suggest it so you could maybe get his formatting and color coding scheme down as its kinda becoming a standard for guides.

The Exchange

if someone were to take your recommended style of play for a druid and then all there feats get eaten up trying to be decent at everything.
1st spell focus conj
human augment
3 eschew material
5 natural spell
9th powerful shape

this may lead people to understanding why so many other guides suggest specializing.

The Exchange

your poison guide deserves its own section. that is a SUPER helpful section that i have already copy and pasted into word then printed out and attached to a druid ive been working on for a friend GREAT WORK. will this be expanded on as its a great idea?
sorry i am posting so many times im trying to cover alot as i read.

The Exchange

maybe your not american but you consistently spell armor as armour. i know this is a first draft so i was just pointing it out nicely before some angry person calls you an idiot that doesn't know anything about druids that also cant spell. it happens a lot to posters so for a refined guide i would spell check this guy.


Nephril wrote:

your poison guide deserves its own section. that is a SUPER helpful section that i have already copy and pasted into word then printed out and attached to a druid ive been working on for a friend GREAT WORK. will this be expanded on as its a great idea?

sorry i am posting so many times im trying to cover alot as i read.

just a question on the subject isn't poison save DC based on (DC 10 + 1/2 the poisoning creature’s racial HD + the creature’s Con modifier) so it would change as you gain levels and/or you raise your Con?

Nephril wrote:

if someone were to take your recommended style of play for a druid and then all there feats get eaten up trying to be decent at everything.

1st spell focus conj
human augment
3 eschew material
5 natural spell
9th powerful shape

this may lead people to understanding why so many other guides suggest specializing.

why the eschew material feat?

The Exchange

5 people marked this as a favorite.

He is spelling armour correctly in my book.

Toodlepip

The Exchange

French Wolf wrote:

He is spelling armour correctly in my book.

Toodlepip

i figured it was a non american thing. that's why i pointed that out.

and to eos yes if you increase your hit dice and your con then the poison dc should scale accordingly. since what the wildshape does is give you the ability to use a specific poison ability. that ability should still be based on your form.
the only thing i have thought of since posting my original thing is that back in 3.5 there was a ruling that when you dismissed wildshape that any part of your wildshape separate from you ceased to exist. this stopped people from doing the poison gathering and also farming different reagents then just shifting back to caster form.
now the typical understanding of rules clarification in pathfinder has held that if 3.5 made a ruling to further explain something (that has not been changed) and paizo has not yet done so that you go with the 3.5 ruling. the problem here is that wildshape has undergone a drastic change so i believe all the 3.5 rulings go out the window the question then becomes: if i were to polymorph and remove something from my form does it revert back to normal after i shift back. this may not be a widely abused ability yet but think of wildshaping into something with a valuable appendage, cutting off the appendage shifting back to human form and healing then still having the piece left. or maybe the case of the poison gathering is an even better example. to get so many free doses of poison a day merely by wildshaping into something then milking the poison then selling it after you have taken back your humanoid form seems a little off. however if you enjoyed a form that produced poison i would see no problem with harvesting that poison and allowing someone else to use it before you returned to your natural form.

i will concede i have not looked into this very deeply for pathfinder just pointing something out that i wouldnt mind seeing clarified.

The Exchange

oh and eos eschew materials so you can cast spells while in your wildshaped form that require material components. this is nice since your spell component pouch would be absorbed when you assume a wild shape or change to a new wildshape. being able to fly above a group of people as a roc while still casting crowd control spells and summoning monsters is pretty bad ass.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Nephril wrote:
oh and eos eschew materials so you can cast spells while in your wildshaped form that require material components. this is nice since your spell component pouch would be absorbed when you assume a wild shape or change to a new wildshape. being able to fly above a group of people as a roc while still casting crowd control spells and summoning monsters is pretty bad ass.

First thank you for the advice. This is my first attempt at a guide, and it does need reworking.

The Natural Spell feat does state: "You can also use any material compenents or focuses you possess, even if such items are melded within your current form"

My actual suggested feat at third level is Craft Wondrous items.

I had thought of options for abuse when creating poisons in terms of the cost, and purposely left that out of my guide. Some of the poisons available are worth several thousand gp per dose, and you could make an argument that you could produce one dose per round. I'd expect most GM's to make it very difficult to sell them on the open market, almost an adventure in itself ;) ...... There are other ways of milking poison if you really want to. Wizards familiars, Diabolists imps. Normal animals, that with the new spells are easy to call, and can then be trained and harvested. wildshape is easy and convenient, but I think that the genie is out of the bottle on this one.

By the way, I'm English, and we spell Armour with a "u" here. We don't understand why you yanks changed it....LOL


A few notes: It's not really important to have Augment Summoning at level 1. Summon Nature's Ally is a bad spell at level 1 (the duration is too short - it's fine for things like triggering traps, but it's not for combat). Even if you do use it once in a while at level 1, it's not sooo important to have augment summoning when you do that you must be a human just so you can get it then. Not having a little bonus to your summoned guy's attack during the whopping one round it's in existance does not make you "suck". Nonhumans can simply get Augment Summoning at level 3, around the time that SNA starts to become a non-bad idea. Human IS a great choice for a druid because they do benefit from so many feats, but there's not a strong reason to grab AS at level 1.

Additionally, while you may not be a fan of empty spell slots, they're of great utility to a druid, who has a bunch of really situational spells. Rather than randomly preparing the situational spells and converting them to SNA when you need them, you can leave a small number of slots open (not too many obviously), and then if you suddenly need to cure a disease or talk to a gopher or shrink a gopher or warp some wood, you can. It's often more economical than carrying a bunch of scrolls. As the day wears on, you can just dump your normal spells into those empty spell slots. (Or prep cures in them right before people go to sleep, to save wand charges, if you REALLY ended up not needing them.)

@Nephril: Natural Spell takes care of material components for you. Eschew Materials is a waste.

The Exchange

good catch joyd i hadnt seen that about natural spell thats a HUGE increase from my 3.5 days.


You didn't need Eschew Materials in 3.5, either - "You can also use any material components or focuses you possess, even if such items are melded within your current form." (It's possible that that was added to the SRD in an update at some point, but I'm pretty sure that nobody has ever needed Eschew Materials.)

The Exchange

Would you like this added to d20pfsrd.com?

The Exchange

yeah I have an old pub it must have been erratad


As others have pointed out you may want to add colors and go a bit deeper into the details, but from a first glance this guide is full of interesting advice. Thank you for your contribution!

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

You might want to consider the colour-coding from TreantMonk's guides, it has become a bit of a standard on the boards and I like it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Like the guide - great addition to TM's (unfortunately) outdated guide.
Adding colour coding would be great; if you use TM's standard coding comparability would be easily achieved and it lowers entry barriers for the reader, too.

Nephril wrote:
maybe your not american but you consistently spell armor as armour. i know this is a first draft so i was just pointing it out nicely before some angry person calls you an idiot that doesn't know anything about druids that also cant spell. it happens a lot to posters so for a refined guide i would spell check this guy.

You do recognize there are non-US gamers on these boards, right? BTW, adding capital letters and punctuation would improve your text, too. ;-)

Ruyan.


GeraintElberion wrote:
You might want to consider the colour-coding from TreantMonk's guides, it has become a bit of a standard on the boards and I like it.
RuyanVe wrote:

Like the guide - great addition to TM's (unfortunately) outdated guide.

Adding colour coding would be great; if you use TM's standard coding comparability would be easily achieved and it lowers entry barriers for the reader, too.

And Treantmonk's Guide to Druids can be found here.


I tend to agree with a lot of Nephril's points.

There are a lot of things that are really good for druids but ou can't feasibly take them all or really need to. A wildshape druid can get away with never casting a summon spell. Likewise a casting druid may never have to make a single attack roll while wildshaped.


Eos wrote:
Nephril wrote:

your poison guide deserves its own section. that is a SUPER helpful section that i have already copy and pasted into word then printed out and attached to a druid ive been working on for a friend GREAT WORK. will this be expanded on as its a great idea?

sorry i am posting so many times im trying to cover alot as i read.

just a question on the subject isn't poison save DC based on (DC 10 + 1/2 the poisoning creature’s racial HD + the creature’s Con modifier) so it would change as you gain levels and/or you raise your Con?

No. The DC for any ability that you gain while wildshaped (This goes for ANY Polymorph spell/ability) is equal to the DC of the spell cast.

polymorph rules:
The DC for any of these abilities equals your DC for the polymorph spell used to change you into that form.

You get poison at Beast Shape III. So the DC of the poison would be 15+Wis Mod.

Edit: The wildshape effect is not permanent effect. I would rule that the poison can only be used as long as that druid is still in the particular wildshape. We are talking about a magical polymorph effect. When the druid stops wildshaping in the creature you milked, the poison turns back into the original tissue of the druid (probably spit or blood).


TarkXT wrote:

I tend to agree with a lot of Nephril's points.

There are a lot of things that are really good for druids but ou can't feasibly take them all or really need to. A wildshape druid can get away with never casting a summon spell. Likewise a casting druid may never have to make a single attack roll while wildshaped.

I actually think that summoning is a GOOD option for wildshape-primary druids, once your summons last for an acceptable amount of time, and assuming that you can manage to get the summon off before combat starts. (The window is unfortunately narrow.) Wildshape-primary druids want to use most of their actions in combat on hitting people; because they're not casting spells in combat much, they want to use their spells/day on things that are beneficial but that don't require actions in combat. Buff spells are a great example, but summoned creatures (if you can time it well enough) work too. Summoning also largely doesn't care if you have the bare minimum Wisdom required to cast your spells, unlike offensive spells where you want to up the DC.


OK, just started work on the re-write. With lots more detail, and the standard colour code.

I'll certainly be updating the information on poisons, with the correct save DC's, based on level of spell plus Wisdom bonus. This actually makes a lot of the poisons, especially the plant based ones, much stronger than they otherwise would be, and expanding this section. I hadn't expected the couple of paragraphs on poisons to be so debated when I wrote the guide.

Whilst I sympathise with the suggestions that make wildshape poisons temporary, only effective whilst the wild form lasted, having re-read the relevant parts of the book, I think that they would have to count as house rules at the moment. (Although I think I'd still impose them on a player who wanted to play a Druid in a game that I ran myself).

I'm certainly still open to ideas and suggestions if anyone has anything else to add?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
d20pfsrd.com wrote:
Would you like this added to d20pfsrd.com?

Maybe you should wait until the snark and the obvious errors have been fixed first.

It's a badly flawed guide which is cookie-cutter focused and it's not a great cookie mold at that.

My spouse plays a very effective Flame Druid who has made very good use of the spell focus feat he derides as a "feat tax".

Augment Summoning is a nice extra but it's hardly "neccessary" and not having does not mean "you suck". Summoned animals have their value just by being there. Their presence redefines the battle map as obstacles, as hazards, as hit point sinks, whether or not they are augmented.

He also neglects a perfectly viable path of the Druid... that of the pure spellcaster. It's a flawed guide if for no reason but it's attitude.


Joyd wrote:
TarkXT wrote:

I tend to agree with a lot of Nephril's points.

There are a lot of things that are really good for druids but ou can't feasibly take them all or really need to. A wildshape druid can get away with never casting a summon spell. Likewise a casting druid may never have to make a single attack roll while wildshaped.

I actually think that summoning is a GOOD option for wildshape-primary druids, once your summons last for an acceptable amount of time, and assuming that you can manage to get the summon off before combat starts. (The window is unfortunately narrow.) Wildshape-primary druids want to use most of their actions in combat on hitting people; because they're not casting spells in combat much, they want to use their spells/day on things that are beneficial but that don't require actions in combat. Buff spells are a great example, but summoned creatures (if you can time it well enough) work too. Summoning also largely doesn't care if you have the bare minimum Wisdom required to cast your spells, unlike offensive spells where you want to up the DC.

There are spells that fit the description you've given for decent wild shapers that don't require a whole round to cast. Some can even have a much more drastic effect on the battlefield then one or two weak summons. Don't get me wrong druids make amazing summoners when built towards that way (and I'm building my druid exactly towards that goal) but a wild shaper would rather spend those two feats on things that make him a better wild shaper, not a better summoner.

The Exchange

looking forward to your refurbished guide if you feel like it you can private message my account a link id be happy to go over it in case i miss its addition on the forums.

Dark Archive

LazarX wrote:
d20pfsrd.com wrote:
Would you like this added to d20pfsrd.com?

Maybe you should wait until the snark and the obvious errors have been fixed first.

It's a badly flawed guide which is cookie-cutter focused and it's not a great cookie mold at that.

My spouse plays a very effective Flame Druid who has made very good use of the spell focus feat he derides as a "feat tax".

Augment Summoning is a nice extra but it's hardly "neccessary" and not having does not mean "you suck". Summoned animals have their value just by being there. Their presence redefines the battle map as obstacles, as hazards, as hit point sinks, whether or not they are augmented.

He also neglects a perfectly viable path of the Druid... that of the pure spellcaster. It's a flawed guide if for no reason but it's attitude.

Wow, rude.

The Exchange

bumped and agreed. its really easy to let your personal opinions flow over into your guides this had been pointed out to the op higher up by myself. and no guide has to be all encompassing its just nice to have a conglomeration of information. maybe lazrx should have there spouse write a guide. being the first person to show open hostility on a forum is always cool in my book.


OK - first re-write in place

It definately needs some tidying up, which i'll get on with over the next few days.

A fair bit more detail in here, so if you find any errors or ommissions, please let me know.

I'll add the ratings and the colours in later (Within the next couple of days)

Advice would be appreciated on how to break this up into different sections like I see on other guides.


Looks like your guide was added to the Guide to the Guides.


Why is Saurian Shaman rated so high considering the dire tiger is the best combat form level 6 and the best animal companion at lvl 7 is dire tiger? Also why can't you just use the medium sized ape companion form considering it's an animal you know of? Also, why do you think combat maneuvers are more effective then damage considering how weak they are in pathfinder? I'm also why you rate improved natural attack so high but rate power attack so low. I'm just curious because power attack is better for most animals that benefit from damage bonuses considering they have different types of attacks. Also why do you rate Armor Proficiency light so high when you can just get masterwork studded leather and take no penalties to attack rolls and get +3 to ac? Why do you rate the
Stegosaurus higher then the ape when it comes to levels 4-6 when the ape is clearly better considering it's damage output, mobility, and health? Why do you rate the Giant Chameleon so high when it only gets one attack and will have a hard time hitting btw? My main questions are why do you like dinosaurs so much and combat maneuvers?


Robespierre wrote:

Why is Saurian Shaman rated so high considering the dire tiger is the best combat form level 6 and the best animal companion at lvl 7 is dire tiger? Also why can't you just use the medium sized ape companion form considering it's an animal you know of? Also, why do you think combat maneuvers are more effective then damage considering how weak they are in pathfinder? I'm also why you rate improved natural attack so high but rate power attack so low. I'm just curious because power attack is better for most animals that benefit from damage bonuses considering they have different types of attacks. Also why do you rate Armor Proficiency light so high when you can just get masterwork studded leather and take no penalties to attack rolls and get +3 to ac? Why do you rate the

Stegosaurus higher then the ape when it comes to levels 4-6 when the ape is clearly better considering it's damage output, mobility, and health? Why do you rate the Giant Chameleon so high when it only gets one attack and will have a hard time hitting btw? My main questions are why do you like dinosaurs so much and combat maneuvers?

Saurian Shaman is rated so highly because it allows for so many options. In terms of the combat forms Dire Tiger, might be by itself the best pounce, grab and rake option. But what if you want to trip someone, or tank them, or poison them? And it isn't all about combat, what about movement, a Dire Tiger does not get a swim speed or a climb speed, or a fly speed. In terms of wild shapes, by having a bonus on all "Dinosaurs and Reptiles", then you get a bonus wildshape ability on not just one or two animals, but on Dinosaur's, Lizards, Snakes, Crocodiles, Turtles etc.....The Saurian Shaman is actually better at wildshaping into Lizards than the Dragon Shaman, which supposedly specialises in it. More important than the wild form is the summoning, which again includes "Dinosaurs and Reptiles", so you can pick and choose amoungst many more different options to cast as a standard action than any other Achetype. It's not often that a mid-high level Saurian Druid will actually need to cast Summon Natures Ally as full round action. The versatility of the option is what makes it so powerful, not any particular animal.

I rate combat manoeuvres so highly for a Druid, because you DON'T give up the damage. Unlike a typical, for example, trip attack, when you use a natural weapon with the trip property, you make the attack, and if you are successful, you roll your damage and then you get a free attempt to trip your opponent.....no attack of opportunity....no counter trip. So throughout the guide I have rated animals with attacks which have attacks which deal damage and give a combat manoeuvre more highly than animals where the attacks just deal damage. This is also my answer to your question about why I rate the Stegasaurus over the Ape, it's about the stegasaurus having the trip ability, whilst the Giant Chameleon is not just about the damage, it's about the grab, the pull, and the relatively fast land and climb speeds.

I haven't tried to write a guide to the druid in combat, but to the druid out of combat as well, so damage and attacks, whilst a major factor in ratings, is not the only factor.

In terms of armour..I take your point


But because of your specialization you're actually limiting your options. Not only that but poison sucks and a lot of creatures you're not going to effect them with trip. On top of that the Giant Chameleon can't grab and attack in the same turn and has 17 strength at level 4. Another thing to consider is the Stegosaurus sucks at until level 7. It only has a strength of 10 so it's not going to hit anything.


Robespierre wrote:
But because of your specialization you're actually limiting your options. Not only that but poison sucks and a lot of creatures you're not going to effect them with trip. On top of that the Giant Chameleon can't grab and attack in the same turn and has 17 strength at level 4. Another thing to consider is the Stegosaurus sucks at until level 7. It only has a strength of 10 so it's not going to hit anything.

Any choice that you make limits your options, the reason that I rate the Saurian Shaman so highly is that they have such a wide range of options that the restrictions hurt less..

I think we will have to just disagree on the suckiness of poisons. I am not saying that they are always the best option, but I would rather have them in my tool kit than not.

There are a lot of creatures that cannot be effected by tripbut that does not mean that we should ignore the value of the attack on the creatures that it does effect.

In your Str calculations, have you remembered to add in the normal Str progression of animal companions?


It doesn't matter their strength still sucks. an ape at level 4 has 22 strength. it has 11. Poison isn't worth investing in considering that anything with okay saves can ignore the effects. The DCs on poison are pathetic and should be treated as such.


Robespierre wrote:
It doesn't matter their strength still sucks. an ape at level 4 has 22 strength. it has 11. Poison isn't worth investing in considering that anything with okay saves can ignore the effects. The DCs on poison are pathetic and should be treated as such.

The save DC's on poison's are pretty good when you take on wild shape. With polymorph's the DC is based not on the poison DC of base creature, but 10 plus the spell level plus your wisdom, so making a conservative assumption that your druid would have a Wisdom of 16 at level 8, even normally quite poor creatures start to look pretty nasty.

Take the Viper (Familiar), one of the weakest poisons in the Bestiary.

Base animal Poison is: Bite - injury; save Fort DC 9; Frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect; 1d2 Con; cure 1 save.

Not good, but apply wildshape to it, using Beast Shape 3, a 5th level spell, and the save jumps to Fort DC 18, which is something that you can't just handwave away.

Take one of the better poison options, the Snake, Emperor Cobra:

Bite - injury; save Fort 17; Frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d3 Con; cure 2 consecutive saves.

Increase the Save to Fort 18 in wildshape, and keep biting. Sooner or later the target is going to lose the initial save and will then have to make 2 consecutive saves to get out of the mire. Unlikely whilst it's losing 1d3 points of con per round.

Plant poisons are potentially even better, as Plant Shape 3, a seventh level spell, at lvl 12, with a 16 wis (how likely is that?) would have a save of 20.

I don't think that you can just write of the power of the poison attacks that the druid has available, especially when you consider that you get the attack damage on top, and unlike manufactured poisons, your not limited to one attack and then re-apply to your weapon. You get to keep on biting for the whole fight.


Why do I care about poisons when they effectively do less damage than an attack? Let alone an 18 dc fort save is pretty easy to pass at level 9 for a good amount of creatures. Let alone a lot of things a immune to poison. 1d2 con damage and some pathetic attack damage for two standard actions? On top of that you have to hit their ac and they have to fail their save. I know it's not saying much but my level 4 druid saves on an 8 against that. I just don't see how you can justify trying to take a weak poisonous snake over a pouncing, grabbing, raking tiger.


Robespierre wrote:
Why do I care about poisons when they effectively do less damage than an attack? Let alone an 18 dc fort save is pretty easy to pass at level 9 for a good amount of creatures. Let alone a lot of things a immune to poison. 1d2 con damage and some pathetic attack damage for two standard actions? On top of that you have to hit their ac and they have to fail their save. I know it's not saying much but my level 4 druid saves on an 8 against that. I just don't see how you can justify trying to take a weak poisonous snake over a pouncing, grabbing, raking tiger.

Hmm, I think we agree on the point that the Dire Tiger is a truly great combat form to take. No argument on that.

Where we disagree, is that I don't think that just because we have the Dire Tiger available to us, that this means we can draw a line, and stop thinking about the class.

Dismissing all other options out of hand, without considering the situational (perhaps even non-combat) benefits that they have, seems a little complacent at best.

Please don't take this as a criticism. I am sure that you have an amazing game just turning into Tigers, that you have great fun doing it, and that you maximise the role playing opportunities of the "Tiger Only Druid" to the full.


Hmm... I could be sold on poison being useful, but only with a different mindset than the one you are currently using...

Are there any creatures that a caster druid could wildshape into that spit poison?

As stands, I can't see it being used by a wildshape druid, due to their low DCs. (No, DC 20 at level 12 isn't good... My 3rd level conjuration spells have a DC 20 at level 5.) But a caster druid is already sporting a good wisdom, ahd I could see a good poison-spitter form being better than call lightning style spells when the caster doesn't want to waste spells.


chaos_redefined wrote:


Are there any creatures that a caster druid could wildshape into that spit poison?

What a sweet idea. Sadly it doesn't work. Even if there was a creature that could spit poison, the "spit" special attack is not on the list of abilities available on Beast Shape 3. It would make an interesting house rule though.

chaos_redefined wrote:
Hmm... I could be sold on poison being useful, but only with a different mindset than the one you are currently using...

The mindset that I am currently using is that poison is ONE of MANY options that a druid can choose from dependent on the situation.

I'll admit to being a little surprised that a thread which I thought (and hoped) was going to be about druids has turned out to be a thread about poisons.

That said, the question has been asked, and I stand by my position that poison is an interesting and useful part of the much larger druidic toolkit, so I'll try and answer.

chaos_redefined wrote:
As stands, I can't see it being used by a wildshape druid, due to their low DCs. (No, DC 20 at level 12 isn't good... My 3rd level conjuration spells have a DC 20 at level 5.) But a caster druid is already sporting a good wisdom, ahd I could see a good poison-spitter form being better than call lightning style spells when the caster doesn't want to waste spells.

If I was to choose a form with purely with combat in mind, then I agree, a poison using form is not the first (or even second or third) option that would come to mind. I don't see poison as a primary attack form for druids in wildshape.

There are situations where I could see it coming into play. For example an Emperor Cobra, with it's climb and swim (which comes with a free waterbreathing effect) would be an excellent form for exploring a tomb raider style dungeon with lots of climbs and flooded sections. The sort of environment that a Dire Tiger is not built for, but an Emperor Cobra is. If I was to be attacked in that situation then I would certainly want to get the benefit of the poison attack.

Remember that in this case it would be a natural poison attack, not one that is stuck to a blade. Which means that every time I successfully attack, the opponent has to make a save or be poisoned. It only takes one failed save with a poison that does 1d3 con and requires 2 consecutive saves to cure for the poisoned creature to be on a very slippery slope.

That said, this is a fairly restricted situational benefit where poison might assist a druid in wildshape.

I think that poisons actually become a powerful part of the druids arsenal if you see the druid not as a USER of poisons but as a SUPPLIER of them.

There are a number of classes that provide the poison use, the alchemist being the most obvious. Yet most of the time these classes just don't get the full benefit of all their abilities because poisons generally take an age to make, cost a fortune and because they have a save are not sure to work. This also removes from the general role playing table builds that are based on poison use. With a Druid to supply large quantities of free poison either from a wildshape or from a captured animal you can activate the poison users ability, and at the same time increase their enjoyment of the game and the effectiveness of the party as a whole.

Alchemists (and to lesser extent the Poisoner archetype of rogue) can pull all sorts of tricks with poisons, increaseing their potency, making them sticky and most interesting of all changing their form.....There are role playing opportunities in having quantities of snake/octopus etc venom converted from injury poisons to contact/inhaled and injested poisons.

Of course most parties don't have a specialised poison user, but that doesn't mean that the option loses it's value. Its fairly easy to convert a normal character into a temporary poison user. It's not much use to a melee character because the poisons wipe of the blade after a single use, but an archer or crossbowman would benefit.

First: cast Delay Poison on them, so that "The subject becomes temporarily immune to poison"

Second: Give them a selection of poisons to put on their arrows (100 doses would allow an efficient quiver to be filled)

Third: Make sure that you have a Neutralise Poison in memory or on a scroll in case there is an accident so that you can cast it before the end of the delay poison spell.

......Which character would you rather have at your side, the archer with normal arrows, or the archer with poisoned arrows?.....

But again. To stress, I am not saying that a druids main ability is with poisons, all I am saying is that creative use of the tools that you have is the key to playing a versatile class, and that as poisons are one of the druids tools, then he should make sure it is used to its full effect, for the benefit of the party even if it does not directly benefit himself.


nice guide +1

Dark Archive

This is a nice guide.

I would point out that in your section on domains, you note that the Animal domain is a poor choice regardless of the sub-domains. I agree that by itself, this is true. I feel you should add to your explanation that the feat "Boon Companion" (Seeker of Secrets), which grants you a +4 to your effective level for the purposes of calculating your animal companion's level, offsets the normal penalties while giving your druid an extra spell slot for all nine levels of spells. Yes, the spells are all from the druid list, but each is one more than you would otherwise be able to cast. This makes the Feather and Fur sub-domains more viable as well.

To recap, the Animal domain plus one feat equals full level companion and nine extra druid spells.


drayen wrote:

This is a nice guide.

I would point out that in your section on domains, you note that the Animal domain is a poor choice regardless of the sub-domains. I agree that by itself, this is true. I feel you should add to your explanation that the feat "Boon Companion" (Seeker of Secrets), which grants you a +4 to your effective level for the purposes of calculating your animal companion's level, offsets the normal penalties while giving your druid an extra spell slot for all nine levels of spells. Yes, the spells are all from the druid list, but each is one more than you would otherwise be able to cast. This makes the Feather and Fur sub-domains more viable as well.

To recap, the Animal domain plus one feat equals full level companion and nine extra druid spells.

Yes, I agree, I've kind of focused on the core rulebooks on this version, but I will add this to my next update. Thank you for the idea.


peterrco wrote:
Robespierre wrote:
Why do I care about poisons when they effectively do less damage than an attack? Let alone an 18 dc fort save is pretty easy to pass at level 9 for a good amount of creatures. Let alone a lot of things a immune to poison. 1d2 con damage and some pathetic attack damage for two standard actions? On top of that you have to hit their ac and they have to fail their save. I know it's not saying much but my level 4 druid saves on an 8 against that. I just don't see how you can justify trying to take a weak poisonous snake over a pouncing, grabbing, raking tiger.

Hmm, I think we agree on the point that the Dire Tiger is a truly great combat form to take. No argument on that.

Where we disagree, is that I don't think that just because we have the Dire Tiger available to us, that this means we can draw a line, and stop thinking about the class.

Dismissing all other options out of hand, without considering the situational (perhaps even non-combat) benefits that they have, seems a little complacent at best.

Please don't take this as a criticism. I am sure that you have an amazing game just turning into Tigers, that you have great fun doing it, and that you maximise the role playing opportunities of the "Tiger Only Druid" to the full.

I'm not saying that you should always go dire tiger that would be silly. What I'm saying is that I'd never consider poison a viable option considering how weak it is. Unless the form itself had other redeeming traits. Of course you want other forms of movement for various things. However I'm not going to suggest a weak ass steggo because it has trip even though it'll never hit anything and is sub optimal at best. Please don't make personal attacks against how I roleplay because you've never seen how I do roleplay. If you can't back up your claims don't post them.

Dark Archive

Hey, I just want to say thank you for the guide, especially the sections on animal companions and handle animal, which are terrific.

If you plan to add more details in the future, I think equipment could use some more details and strategy, and the same goes for spells. And you might want to go through each level of summon nature's ally to point out the preferable summons, since summoning is such a useful tactic.

Here's a sample build that tries to incorporate the suggestions in this thread. No particular focus in this case.

Akal-Saris, Human Druid 20
20 PB Stats: Str 18, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 7, Wis 16, Cha 7
Archetype: Saurian Shaman
Bond: Domain (Animal) (Companion: Stegosaurus)
Feats:
1: Spell Focus (Conj)
1: Augment Summoning [B]
3: Superior Summoning
5: Natural Spell
7: Boon Companion
9: Wild Speech
9: Vital Strike [B]
11: Powerful Shape
13: Quicken Spell
13: Power Attack [B]
15: Divine Interference
17: Planar Wildshape
17: Nimble Moves [B]
19: Sunlight Summons


Thanks for the guide!!


Akalsaris wrote:

Hey, I just want to say thank you for the guide, especially the sections on animal companions and handle animal, which are terrific.

If you plan to add more details in the future, I think equipment could use some more details and strategy, and the same goes for spells. And you might want to go through each level of summon nature's ally to point out the preferable summons, since summoning is such a useful tactic.

Yes, I'm planning an update, and more detail on Summon Nature's ally is definately going in there. I like the idea of going into more detail on equipment as well. Thank you for the input. Glad you enjoyed the guide.

Akalsaris wrote:

Here's a sample build that tries to incorporate the suggestions in this thread. No particular focus in this case.

Akal-Saris, Human Druid 20
20 PB Stats: Str 18, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 7, Wis 16, Cha 7
Archetype: Saurian Shaman
Bond: Domain (Animal) (Companion: Stegosaurus)
Feats:
1: Spell Focus (Conj)
1: Augment Summoning [B]
3: Superior Summoning
5: Natural Spell
7: Boon Companion
9: Wild Speech
9: Vital Strike [B]
11: Powerful Shape
13: Quicken Spell
13: Power Attack [B]
15: Divine Interference
17: Planar Wildshape
17: Nimble Moves [B]
19: Sunlight Summons

This is going to be a brute of a character once you hit level 7, and should be more than playable before then. My only thoughts are that you probably don't need superior summoning quite so early, and I think Powerful Shape is so useful to a druid, particularly a shaman where animal wild shapes are a key part of the mix, that I would want to try and slip it in at ninth level if possible. Looks an awesome build though, have fun.


This is a really good guide. I love the detail on everything, especially the animal companions and summoning options. The feat options for animal companions only seems to include the base option feats though. Once the companion has some int, a lot more feats open up and teamwork feats become amazing. Nothing like having Outflank with your companion. Or Lookout with a high perception companion.

I'm still reading through it all, so I'm not sure if you have touched on effective 1 level dips or multiclassing at all. I really like 1 ranger/19 worldwalker druid. You have to take a feat (from UC, can't remember name right now) but effectively you end up with full favored enemy and terrain on top of all the normal druid goodies.

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