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I want my next character to be a spontaneous casting Druid, but i see no options


Advice


Clerics have Oracles,
Wizards have Sorcerers,

But Druids don't have anything. In 3.5 i never liked prepared casters, and went for the spontaneous ones whenever i could, then I got ahold of the unearthed arcana and it showed rules to convert the cleric and more importantly the Druid into Spontaneous Caster. I loved it, yet I haven't seen anything like that with Pathfinder yet. Even amongst archetypes I've seen nothing. Is there something on the horizon for us intuitive casters?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hunter is as close as you're going to get, as things stand. Nature-mystery oracle would be the next-closest, but meh, you're already pretty far afield at that point.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Shaman?

I guess it might help to know what specifically you want from the Druid class. The spell list? The Animal Companion/Domains? The Wild Shape?


The Spell-list and Wild Shaping really.


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If your GM allows it, just use the spells known and spells per day of the sorcerer. Big picture, it is less powerful than prepared casting and shouldn't break anything.


Rysky wrote:
Shaman?

Are prepared casters, unfortunately.

Liberty's Edge

Ventnor wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Shaman?
Are prepared casters, unfortunately.

Take a look at the shaman class from Kobold Press - it is very much a spontaneous druid type of class. I'd post a link but I'm on my phone ...

Shadow Lodge

Ciaran Barnes wrote:
If your GM allows it, just use the spells known and spells per day of the sorcerer. Big picture, it is less powerful than prepared casting and shouldn't break anything.

Agreed.


Marc Radle wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Shaman?
Are prepared casters, unfortunately.
Take a look at the shaman class from Kobold Press - it is very much a spontaneous druid type of class. I'd post a link but I'm on my phone ...

Linky


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The fey trickster is an archetype of Druid with spontaneous casting, I believe?

I'll have to look later to be sure.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Mako Senako wrote:
The Spell-list and Wild Shaping really.

Feral Hunter will give you most of that. 6th level casting instead of 9th, but the early access ranger spells help offset that.


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Tacticslion wrote:

The fey trickster is an archetype of Druid with spontaneous casting, I believe?

I'll have to look later to be sure.

It doesn't. It does have Charisma-based prepared spellcasting though, which I think no other class or archetype does.


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Tacticslion wrote:

The fey trickster is an archetype of Druid with spontaneous casting, I believe?

I'll have to look later to be sure.

Feyspeaker is a druid with prepared 9-level Cha-based casting. Fey Trickster is an archetype of the mesmerist (!) with spontaneous 6-level Cha-based casting, using the hunter list.


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Weirdo wrote:
Ciaran Barnes wrote:
If your GM allows it, just use the spells known and spells per day of the sorcerer. Big picture, it is less powerful than prepared casting and shouldn't break anything.
Agreed.

Maybe grant bonus spells from s domain?


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Ventnor wrote:
It does have Charisma-based prepared spellcasting though, which I think no other class or archetype does.

Apart from, you know, paladin?

Liberty's Edge

Serisan wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Shaman?
Are prepared casters, unfortunately.
Take a look at the shaman class from Kobold Press - it is very much a spontaneous druid type of class. I'd post a link but I'm on my phone ...
Linky

Much obliged!


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Avoron wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
It does have Charisma-based prepared spellcasting though, which I think no other class or archetype does.

Apart from, you know, paladin?

Well, I did mean 9th-level casting, but touché nonetheless.


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Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Witch list has the flavour of the Druid list, ley-line witch is a spontaneous caster.
or
Arcanist using both Unlettered Arcanist and Brown furred transmuter.
this gets you the witch list and some wildshapey stuff.

Other option is an oracle with the Nature or moon mysteries


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a Storm Druid VMC Cleric can spontaneously cast spells from two domains and all cure spells.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ventnor wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

The fey trickster is an archetype of Druid with spontaneous casting, I believe?

I'll have to look later to be sure.

It doesn't. It does have Charisma-based prepared spellcasting though, which I think no other class or archetype does.

==

avr wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

The fey trickster is an archetype of Druid with spontaneous casting, I believe?

I'll have to look later to be sure.

Feyspeaker is a druid with prepared 9-level Cha-based casting. Fey Trickster is an archetype of the mesmerist (!) with spontaneous 6-level Cha-based casting, using the hunter list.

==

Thanks, you two! I'd conflated them! XD


You're forgetting that the druid, itself, isn't a 'base class'. It's a modified Cleric, oriented around nature rather than a divine entity or guiding principal. A sorcerer, for combat casting, is f-ing OP for raw output. That's why sorcerers have their spell selection so limited. Same with Oracles (or Favored Souls, in 3.x+). They get 50% more raw spell casting power over their prepared classes. The spontaneous casting is, itself, highly powerful.

Druids? Druids have disease immunity boosts to saves that few other classes get, shapeshifting - and if you take feats to amp it, bloody crap storms can you OP yourself, you can actually have a Druid shift and start slamming as if they were a step ABOVE a colossal creature - their companion animal... I mean, seriously, the Druid is already a heap of bad a**ery. And that's WITH nerfs from the 2.x stuff.

Giving them spontaneous casting on top of that is just broken.


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Zarius wrote:
You're forgetting that the druid, itself, isn't a 'base class'. It's a modified Cleric, oriented around nature rather than a divine entity or guiding principal. A sorcerer, for combat casting, is f-ing OP for raw output. That's why sorcerers have their spell selection so limited. Same with Oracles (or Favored Souls, in 3.x+). They get 50% more raw spell casting power over their prepared classes.

They really don't, at least for Sorcerer vs. Wizard. That ~50% extra is only at even levels. It drops to ~20% if the Wizard is a specialist. It drops further if they have bonus spells raising both numbers and reducing the percentage difference.

An example: At 10th level a specialist Wizard has 16+5=21 spells. A Sorcerer has 26. That's a 23% advantage. At 11th level a specialist Wizard has 18+6=24 spells. A Sorcerer has 28. That's a 17% advantage, and the Wizard has two 6th level spells compared to zero for the Sorcerer. That's a big plus for the Wizard.

Oracles have legitimate advantages over Clerics, however, since Clerics can't specialize for extra spells and their class abilities are much better.

In any case, the real advantage of spontaneous casters is the ability to cast one particular good spell many times, not their overall spell slots. Their practical advantage in being able to spam one particular relatively high level tool is a lot more than 50%. But they better be really good at that one particular thing and it better be broadly useful.


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In a game with varied challenges, prepared casting is more powerful than spontaneous.


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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Clerics get an extra domain spell slot, giving them the same spells per day as a Wizard. The extra spells are less flexible, but can be taken from off list.

And Zarius, if Druids aren't a 'base' class but just a modified Cleric, then you might as well call Cleric a modified Druid, or everything a heavily modified Commoner.


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There are so many classes/archetypes that we should be able to help you find a build that works if you narrow down on what type of character you want. Nature Oracles feel a lot like druids, or hunters depending on the character you are aiming for.

Feral Hunter is a 6th level spontaneous caster with wildshape. If it is the wildshape elemental spontaneous blaster you are after, the Elementalist Oracle is a close fit.


@Plausible, you bring up a salient point, but the sorcerer will always have more spell output than a wizard of the same level, even on odd levels, even factoring in specialists. Anything outside of class perks (feats, etc) that a Wizard can take to bolster number of spells per day, so can a Sorc. Though, frankly, I think the Magus is way over powered on that point...

@QuidEst the difference between calling a Druid a modified Cleric and saying it the other way around, or calling "everything a heavily modified commoner" is very simple... to the later point first, commoners are just that. Common. Even the "npc classes" are fairly common, from a world perspective. 95% + of your actual casting-capable priests in a temple are going to be Adepts, not clerics, paladins, or oracles. 95% of your guards, knights, etc, are going to be either Warriors or Experts, not fighters. The vast, VAST bulk of your "paladins" are going to be multiclassed Adept/Warrior builds, not true paladins. Especially since most of them will not be Lawful Good. PC classes? Rare. Frighteningly rare, if you actually were to do a statistical analysis. And, to boot, Commoners and Aristocrats (literally poor folk and not-poor folk)make up 99% + of the population. You can't call even the non-basic NPC

To your first point, the origins of the Druid in gaming terms can be traced back to 1st/2nd edition AD&D (possibly even D&D). Where they were expressly described as specialist clerics. Even the Players Options books for customizing classes expressly listed druids as a subset of Clerics in both the Skills and Powers and Spells and Magic manuals. (In case you're wondering, I have a set of them sitting on my bookshelf.) In DnD-like games, the Druid has always been a subset of the cleric, a prepared divine spell caster that venerates nature over a deity or ideal.


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Zarius wrote:
the sorcerer will always have more spell output than a wizard of the same level, even on odd levels, even factoring in specialists.

Level 5 specialist wizard with bonded object and 20 Int:

Spells per day:
Level 1: 6 (3 base, 1 from specialisation, 2 from stat)
Level 2: 4 (2 base, 1 from specialisation, 1 from stat)
Level 3: 4 (1 base, 1 from specialisation, 1 from stat, 1 from bonded object)
Total: 14

Level 5 sorcerer with 20 Cha:
Spells per day:
Level 1: 8 (6 base, 2 from stat)
Level 2: 5 (4 base, 1 from stat)
Total: 13

The wizard has more spells per day, but gets higher level spells to compensate. Wait, did I get that right?


I feel like it would be easy enough to house rule a archetype for it.


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@Zarius: Also consider: runestones of power cost twice as much as pearls of power, while it does restrict them wizard thassilonian specialists can absolutely crush a sorcerers spells/day, and most wizards get scribe scroll for free at first level.

Sorcerers can be very good specialists but they don't have an edge in spellcasting endurance.


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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Zarius, the gaming origins of Druid vs. Cleric in old editions of another game by a different company (before it got bought by yet another company) don't seem relevant. Druid and Cleric are both core classes now, with their own mechanics and archetypes. Sure, Druids can borrow a nature domain from Clerics, but nature Clerics can borrow a terrain domain from Druids. Pathfinder actually has hybrid classes based on other classes. Dismissively saying that somebody has forgotten that Druid isn't a 'base' class like Cleric is just needless grognarding.

Anyway, back to the discussion, Mark Seifter mentioned that Feysworn was originally designed as a spontaneous caster, but switched for two reasons. One was that the Druid list isn't great for spontaneous casters. The other (possibily just a side benefit) was breaking the charisma-must-be-spontaneous (or a weak 4/9 casting exception) perception.

Druid will probably get a lot of attention in Ultimate Wilderness, so cross your fingers for a spontaneous archetype there. In the meantime, it's an easy and fair homebrew.


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Ventnor wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

The fey trickster is an archetype of Druid with spontaneous casting, I believe?

I'll have to look later to be sure.

It doesn't. It does have Charisma-based prepared spellcasting though, which I think no other class or archetype does.

The Elder Mythos Cultist archetype for the Cleric has the following class ability:

Unhinged Mind (Ex): Bartering sanity for unspeakable knowledge, an Elder Mythos cultist props up his crumbling sanity with a darkly enigmatic personality. An Elder Mythos cultist uses Charisma instead of Wisdom as his key spellcasting ability score (to determine his spell DCs, bonus spells per day, bonus on concentration checks, and so on), to determine the effects and number of uses of his domain powers, and to modify his Will saving throws. However, because of the fragile state of his mind, the Elder Mythos cultist takes a –2 penalty on Will saves to resist mind-affecting effects. An Elder Mythos cultist automatically fails any save to resist the effects of confusion, insanity, and nightmare, and other similar effects so long as the effect’s caster level is higher than his character level.


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Zarius wrote:

@Plausible, you bring up a salient point, but the sorcerer will always have more spell output than a wizard of the same level, even on odd levels, even factoring in specialists. Anything outside of class perks (feats, etc) that a Wizard can take to bolster number of spells per day, so can a Sorc. Though, frankly, I think the Magus is way over powered on that point...

@QuidEst the difference between calling a Druid a modified Cleric and saying it the other way around, or calling "everything a heavily modified commoner" is very simple... to the later point first, commoners are just that. Common. Even the "npc classes" are fairly common, from a world perspective. 95% + of your actual casting-capable priests in a temple are going to be Adepts, not clerics, paladins, or oracles. 95% of your guards, knights, etc, are going to be either Warriors or Experts, not fighters. The vast, VAST bulk of your "paladins" are going to be multiclassed Adept/Warrior builds, not true paladins. Especially since most of them will not be Lawful Good. PC classes? Rare. Frighteningly rare, if you actually were to do a statistical analysis. And, to boot, Commoners and Aristocrats (literally poor folk and not-poor folk)make up 99% + of the population. You can't call even the non-basic NPC

To your first point, the origins of the Druid in gaming terms can be traced back to 1st/2nd edition AD&D (possibly even D&D). Where they were expressly described as specialist clerics. Even the Players Options books for customizing classes expressly listed druids as a subset of Clerics in both the Skills and Powers and Spells and Magic manuals. (In case you're wondering, I have a set of them sitting on my bookshelf.) In DnD-like games, the Druid has always been a subset of the cleric, a prepared divine spell caster that venerates nature over a deity or ideal.

AD&D classification of a class has absolutely zero bearing on what a pathfinder class can or should be able to do.

As for the sorcerer/wizard comparison, there's also the thassalonian specialist archetype. It always has at least as many spells per day as an equal level sorcerer. More than that, half the time.


@QuidEst, @Ierox Pathfinder is HEAVILY based off of 3.x. Virtually all of the mechanics are the same, with modifications to timing (especially to feat progression). The core of the classes are the same, with modification to some of them to bring them in line with the power of other classes (the Unchained classes, for example). The origins of it are perfectly salient. Details may have been removed for copyright purposes (which, arguably neither TSR nor WotC can hold over historical figures), but they are still what they were.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

AD&D =/= 3.5

As I recall at the time, many fans of AD&D were extremely furious for 3rd (and later 3.5) "no longer being D&D" (to the point that quite a number of the same people complained that 4E was the same as 3.X...).

The thing is, ever since any iteration of d20, the druid has not been a "sub-class" of cleric.

* You said "a modified cleric" not "a sub-class of" but if you're talking their original style, they were called a "sub-class" - since you'd equated them, I accept the premise (as established by you) that "a modified cleric" and "a sub-class" are interchangeable terms.

I will list several modern sub-classes of cleric, however:

Modified Cleric:
- Angelfire Apostle
- Appeaser
- Asmodean Advocate
- Cardinal
- Cloistered Cleric
- Crusader
- Devilbane Priest
- Devout Pilgrim
- Divine Paragon
- Divine Scourge
- Divine Strategist
- Ecclesitheurge
- Elder Mythos Cultist
- Evangelist
- Herald Caller
- Hidden Priest
- Iron Priest
- Merciful Healer
- Roaming Exorcist
- Sacred Attendant
- Scroll Scholar
- Separatist
- Stoic Caregiver
- Theologian
- Undead Lord

Admittedly, these are not called sub-classes either, but they are "modified cleric(s)."

Of a notable curiosity, druid isn't on that list.

Weirdly, druid actually has modified versions, too:

Modified Druid:
- Ancient Guardian
- Animal and Terrain Domains
= Ape/Bat/Bear/Boar/Dragon/Eagle/Lion/Saurian/Serpent/Shark/Wolf Shaman
= Aquatic/Arctic/Blight/Cave/Desert/Jungle/Mountain/Plains/River/Storm/Swamp/ Tempest/Urban Druid
- Death Druid
- Devolutionist
- Draconic Druid
- Drovier
- Elemental Ally
- Feral Shifter
- Feyspeaker
- Goliath Druid
- Green Faith Initiate
- Kraken Caller
- Leshy Warden
- Life Channeler
- Menhir Savant
- Mooncaller
- Nature Fang
- Pack Lord
- Reincarnated Druid
- Restorer
- Season Keeper (Triaxian)
- Skinshaper
- Supernaturalist
- Survivor
- Swarm Monger
- Toxicologist
- Troll Fury (Troll)
- Urushiol
- Veiled Adept
- Wild Whisperer
- World Walker

Curiously, none of those are the same.

Now, it's true that clerics partially share a class feature with druids... except they really don't. Clerics get the "domain" class feature that actually grants two domains limited by their choice of god, while Druids get the Nature Bond class feature that grants an animal companion or a single domain from a specific and limited list, regardless of their god.

By the logic that druids are simply variant clerics - sorry, "a modified cleric" - you would have to say paladin is "a modified cleric" - after all, a cleric actually shares a a class feature is a divine spell caster which actually share a preponderance of spells between the lists and the same save progressions! Of course, that's right: they were a sub-class of the "fighting man" - a class that doesn't actually exist anymore.

But, of course, there is another modified cleric that's still hanging around: the monk. I mean, after all they share hit dice, base attack, and saves! Basically the same class!

... except that a cleric casts divine spells and the monk does not, the classes have zero class features in common, different skill sets, different skill points, different proficiencies, and, in fact, while any cleric at all can wear any armor at all without any penalty beyond what the armor would apply to anyone, a monk actually loses a lot of class features with that same armor.

I mean, by the exact same token a bard is actually a prestige class. Except, of course, we know that's not correct, because, not only are they not a prestige class, the closest equivalent in 3.5 is Fochlucan Lyrist, which is, you know, an actual prestige class that blends bard and druid (thought it lacks the thief/fighter aspect...).

The thing is, PF is definitely a form of D&D, but it's also it's own game. This is the exact same as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and now 5th - none of those are the same game, even though they're the same game. That's weird, and seems impossible, but it's true.

Each version has been a new game, to some extent, and PF is no different in that regard.


Zarius wrote:
@QuidEst, @Ierox Pathfinder is HEAVILY based off of 3.x. Virtually all of the mechanics are the same, with modifications to timing (especially to feat progression). The core of the classes are the same, with modification to some of them to bring them in line with the power of other classes (the Unchained classes, for example). The origins of it are perfectly salient. Details may have been removed for copyright purposes (which, arguably neither TSR nor WotC can hold over historical figures), but they are still what they were.

"PF=3.5e", fair enough.

Then allow me to argue that, much as AD&D has squat for impact on class design in pathfinder, it has squat for impact on class design in 3.5e.

Shadow Lodge

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QuidEst wrote:
Anyway, back to the discussion, Mark Seifter mentioned that Feysworn was originally designed as a spontaneous caster, but switched for two reasons. One was that the Druid list isn't great for spontaneous casters.

That's interesting. I've definitely made good use of the druid's situational spells, whether we're talking about things that depend on terrain (eg Entangle) or target animals, or oddballs like Quench. And I think that's a particular advantage of divine prepared casters, since unlike wizards they don't need to worry about the cost of writing all those situational spells into their books.

But I don't think I'd say that the druid's list is that much worse for spontaneous casters than a cleric's is. For example, oracles don't get as much value of condition removal spells like Remove Disease or Remove Blindness/Deafness since they can't prepare them as needed. And druids get some spells that are good to cast spontaneously, like Cures, Resist Energy, Air Walk, Dispel Magic, and many of their blasts. If you're in a wilderness-heavy campaign spells like Entangle are worth taking as well.

Ciaran Barnes wrote:
Weirdo wrote:
Ciaran Barnes wrote:
If your GM allows it, just use the spells known and spells per day of the sorcerer. Big picture, it is less powerful than prepared casting and shouldn't break anything.
Agreed.
Maybe grant bonus spells from s domain?

I'd add them to spells known. Probably the summon nature's ally spells as well, since the prepared druid casts them spontaneously (just like the oracle gets cure or inflict spells known automatically).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah. I might go ahead and give SNA and their choice of a druid's domain's spells as bonus spells, but otherwise, seems like it could work to me.

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