Druid Class Preview

Monday, July 23, 2018

Druids are practitioners of primal magic, which blends vital essence (the essence of life, instinct, and faith) with material essence (the essence of matter and the natural world). Thus, primal traditions are rooted in an instinctual connection with and faith in the surrounding world: the cycle of day and night, the turning of the seasons, and the natural selection of predator and prey. Druids are the iconic primal spellcasters; they call upon the power of nature for magic through their deep faith, as opposed to primal sorcerers, who harness the power of fey or other natural creatures that flows through their blood to access the same sorts of primal energies.

Since this is the last class, before we go deeper into the druid's mechanics, I want to show you some extra pieces each class has that you might not know about. Every class entry starts with some bullet points to help you get a feel for what playing the class might be like.

Playing a Druid

Players of druid characters might approach gameplay in the following ways:

  • During combat, you call upon the forces of nature to defeat your enemies and protect your allies. You can cast spells drawing upon primal magic to summon deadly animals to fight at your side, grant resilience to you and your friends, or heal their wounds. Depending on your bond to nature, you might also call upon powerful elemental magic or even change shape into a terrifying beast to fight with tooth and claw.
  • During social encounters, you represent balance and a reasoned approach to problems, looking for solutions that not only are best for the natural world, but also allow the creatures within it to live in harmony and peace. You often propose compromises that allow both sides to gain what they truly need, even if they can't have all that they desire.
  • In exploration mode, your skills in nature are invaluable. You can track down enemies, navigate through the wilderness, or use your spells to detect any magical auras around you. You might even ask wild animals to assist your group in your travels with their extraordinary senses and scouting abilities.
  • In downtime mode, you might craft magic items or potions. Alternatively, your tie to nature might lead you to tend to an area of the wild, befriending its beasts and healing the wounds caused by civilization. You might even attempt to teach people sustainable techniques that allow them to subsist off the land without harming the natural balance.

Roleplaying a Druid

Druids are the living embodiment of nature, acting as its agent; you protect the wild places from harm and speak for their interests in more civilized lands.

If You're a Druid, You Likely...

  • Have a deep and meaningful respect for the power of nature.
  • Are in constant awe of the natural world, eager to share it with others but cautious of their influence.
  • Treat plants and animals as allies in your quest, working with them toward your goals.

Others Probably...

  • View you as a representative of nature, and might even assume you can control it.
  • Assume you're a recluse who avoids society and cities, preferring to live in the wild.
  • Treat you as a mystic, similar to a priest, but answering only to the forces of nature.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Spellcasting

Druids are full prepared spellcasters, able to cast the same number of spells per day as the cleric and bard, rather than gaining extra spells through bloodlines or schools as the sorcerer and wizard do. However, just as the cleric has channel energy and the bard has compositions, the druid has more than enough tricks up her sleeve to make her a primal powerhouse. And figuring those out starts with...

Orders

As the druid's initial architect, Jason pulled the concept of orders from the sidelines of lore directly into the spotlight, making your choice of order a major part of your druid. As with the bard's muse, you can choose abilities that belong to another order, but unlike for the bard, you gain extra benefits from feats and abilities that belong to your own order, incentivizing you to check out your own order's feats first. An order member gains a new skill and an order power that druids of other orders can't gain, and each order adds its own component to the basic druid anathema forbidding actions like despoiling nature. The four orders presented in the playtest are animal, leaf, storm, and wild, though more orders are all but certain to arise.

Animal

An animal druid (known by names like druid of the claw or druid of the wing depending on her preferred animal) has a strong connection to animals. She is trained in Athletics, which is a signature skill for her. She also gains the heal animal order power (exclusive to that members of order) and the Animal Companion feat. Committing wanton cruelty to animals or killing them unnecessarily is anathema to her. (This doesn't prevent her from defending herself against animals or killing them cleanly for food.)

This is the order that's all about having the coolest animal companion. Other druids can easily get an animal companion (and they're a solid choice for all druids) and take the same upgrade feats, but with each feat, the animal order druid will get something cool or extra for the animal. As an example, an animal druid's companion can have multiple specializations, which are like animal companion archetypes, if the animal druid commits more to this path.

Leaf

A druid of the leaf reveres plants and the bounty of nature, acting as a caretaker and warden for the wilderness, teaching sustainable techniques, and helping areas regrow after disasters or negligent humanoid expansion. She is trained in Diplomacy, which is a signature skill for her. She also gains the Leshy Familiar druid feat and the goodberry order power (exclusive to that members of order). Committing wanton cruelty to plants or killing plants unnecessarily is anathema to her. (This doesn't prevent her from defending herself against plants or harvesting them if necessary for survival.)

This style of druid is all about plants, with options including Verdant Metamorphosis, where you flat-out become a plant, and the druid of the leaf's leshy familiar, which has more powers than a typical familiar. Let's check out Verdant Metamorphosis to see a special benefit only druids of the leaf receive:

Verdant Metamorphosis Feat 18

Druid

Leaf Order

You transform into a plant version of yourself. You gain the plant trait and lose any trait that's inappropriate for your new form (typically humanoid). You can change from a form that looks mostly like your old self into a tree or any other non-creature plant as an action (this action has the concentrate trait). Perception checks don't reveal your true form, but a creature can attempt a Nature or Survival check against your class DC to determine that the plant is new to the surrounding area. While in this form, you can observe everything around you, but you can't act other than to spend an action (this action has the concentrate trait) to change back, which ends your turn. In this form, your AC is 30, your TAC is 20, only conditional bonuses, conditional penalties, and circumstance bonuses and penalties can affect you, and you treat all successes and critical successes on Reflex saves as failures.

Special If you are a druid of the leaf order, if you transform into a non-creature plant and take your daily rest during daylight hours, the rest restores you to maximum Hit Points and removes all non-permanent drained, enfeebled, sluggish, and stupefied conditions.

Storm

A druid of the storm carries nature's fury within her, channeling it to terrifying effect and riding the winds and storms. She is trained in Acrobatics, which is a signature skill for her. She also gains the Storm Born druid feat and the tempest surge order power (exclusive to that members of order). Creating unnatural weather patterns that could be damaging to the local environment (such as by using a 9th-level control weather ritual) is anathema to her.

In addition to healing magic, the primal list contains powerful energy blasts, including fireball and other spells newly available to druids. Armed with this magic, druids of the storm are elemental dynamos who focus on the power of the tempest, flying around in storms and ignoring penalties from weather. Notably, their tempest surge order power is an extremely good blast for a 1 Spell Point power, particularly after if they take a feat that ups the d10s to d12s. Let's take a look, since you'll be slinging it around a bunch of times each day.

Tempest Surge Power 1

Air

Electricity

Evocation

Casting [[A]] Somatic Casting, [[A]] Verbal Casting

Range 30 feet; Targets one creature


You surround a foe in a swirling storm of violent winds, roiling clouds, and crackling lightning. The storm deals 1d10 electricity damage to the target, depending on their Reflex saving throw.

Success Half damage.

Critical Success No damage.

Failure Full damage, and the target is sluggish 1 for 1 round.

Critical Failure Double damage, and the target is sluggish 2 for 1 round.

Heightened (+1) The damage increases by 1d10.

After increasing the damage to d12s, the damage scales at the same rate as lightning bolt. But it doesn't just deal damage! The sluggish condition penalizes AC, attack rolls, and Reflex saves, so taking double damage on the critical failure is just the beginning of the horrible pain. When we were playtesting, every creature that critically failed against tempest surge was in for a very bad round.

Wild

The savage, uncontrollable call of the natural world infuses a druid of the wild, granting her the ability to change her shape into the ferocious form of a wild creature. She is trained in Intimidation, which becomes a signature skill for her. She also gains the Wild Shape druid feat and the wild claws order power (exclusive to that members of order). Becoming fully domesticated by the temptations of civilization is anathema to her. (This doesn't prevent her from buying and using processed goods or staying in a city for an adventure, but she can never come to rely on these conveniences or truly call such a place her permanent home.)

Notice the wild order druid starts with Wild Shape? Any druid with Wild Shape feats gets a free extra casting of certain polymorph spells, heightened to her highest possible level, eventually rising up to two free castings if the druid takes enough Wild Shape feats. But the thing that makes a wild order druid particularly different is that, in addition to these, she gains a number of additional bonus castings of these spells equal to her Strength modifier (if it's more than 1). That means a druid of the wild tends towards higher Strength than a typical member of other orders.

Druid Features

Aside from an order, you gain spellcasting and primal spell proficiency at the same levels as all the other spellcasters, new spell levels at every odd level save 19th, expert proficiency in primal spells at 12th level, master proficiency at 16th level, and legendary proficiency at 19th level. You also get the secret Druidic language (don't teach it to nondruids—that's anathema!) and wild empathy, which lets you use Diplomacy to Make a Request of animals, and possibly of plants if you're a leaf order aficionado.

Druid Feats

I covered many feats that connect to orders, but many feats aren't affiliated, like this powerhouse:

[[F]] Leyline Conduit Feat 20

Druid

Metamagic

Frequency once per minute

Trigger You start to cast a spell of 5th level or lower that has no duration and a maximum of 2 spellcasting actions.


You add a Somatic Casting action to the casting of the triggering spell, and you don't expend the prepared spell as you cast it.

This means every minute, you can cast a 5th level or lower spell without expending it. That's really useful! There are some interesting effects of how Jason designed this feat, though, that make it more than just a simple repetition, particularly the fact that you can use Leyline Conduit only if you were already able to cast the spell, meaning you had to prepare it and then avoid using it up by casting it without Leyline Conduit. So the feat gives you somewhat limitless uses of the spell, but if you really need to cast it again before the minute is up, while Leyline Conduit is unavailable, you'll expend the spell for real (at least for the rest of the day).

Animal Companions

Before I go, let's talk about animal companions. While Jason was deep in preliminary design of the druid, he bestowed upon me a strange primal chart of flowing options, almost in Druidic itself, and explained it to me. This chart combined all the best aspects of the 4th- and 7th-level animal companion advancements with animal companion archetypes and new unique features for each different animal, all while moving away from having to make tons of basic feat selections for the companion. What I built from that chart was the first draft of the animal companion system in the playtest. Let's show off the companion most often overlooked in Pathfinder First Edition, the noble bear. The bear has generated a plethora of threads dedicated to how neglected it is, so let's see how the playtest handles it.

Bear

Your companion is a grizzly, panda, polar bear, or other type of bear.

Size Small

[[A]] UnarmedStrikes jaws, Damage 1d8 piercing;

claw (agile), Damage 1d6 slashing

Abilities Str, Con

Hit Points 8

Skill Intimidation

Senses scent

Speed 35 feet

Work Together Benefit Your bear mauls your enemies when you create an opening. Until your next turn, all your weapon Strikes against a creature your bear threatens deal 1d8 additional slashing damage. If your bear has a specialization, the additional slashing damage increases to 2d8.

Advanced Maneuver Bear Hug

[[A]]Bear Hug

Requirements Your last action was a successful claw Strike.


Make another claw Strike against the same target. If your Strike hits, the target is also grabbed, as if you had succeeded at the Grapple action.

The bear starts out Small. Don't worry—when it grows up, it can eventually become a Large bear (in the first book, too; there's no need to wait). The bear's boost in Strength and d8 damage die for its jaws make it the most directly damaging companion, tied with the snake, which it edges out in terms of Constitution, Hit Points, and land Speed. (The snake, for its part, has better AC and lots of special Speeds.) The Work Together benefit is something you can have the bear do instead of attack, and it again deals the most direct damage, adding 1d8 (later 2d8) to the damage of your weapon Strikes. The bear is a great companion for someone who plans, much like the bear itself, to wade into the thick of the fight. Finally, the bear can eventually learn the Bear Hug advanced maneuver. This maneuver essentially means that if the bear hits twice in a row, it gets a free automatic grapple. Handy for keeping foes in place!

So that about wraps up the druid. If you were a druid, which of the four orders would you be?

Mark Seifter
Designer

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Tags: Druids Lini Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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Mark Seifter wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

For purposes of fantasy biology is a mushroom a plant? So if I wanted to do a fungus druid, would I pick leaf or wait for that option later?

(IRL a fungus is about as genetically close to a plant as it is an animal, but nobody is here for cladograms.)

Fungi are considered to be different than plants this time around because of the reasons you said. Effects vary as to whether they handle fungi and plants or just plants.

That's mi-go fault, right? You didn't want druids to command armies of mi-go to harvest brains of their enemies...


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Wandering Wastrel wrote:


Paizo Blog wrote:
During social encounters, you represent balance and a reasoned approach to problems, looking for solutions that not only are best for the natural world, but also allow the creatures within it to live in harmony and peace. You often propose compromises that allow both sides to gain what they truly need, even if they can't have all that they desire.
OMG, for reals? I thought this had died a (richly-deserved!) death with AD&D >.<
These are some ideas of how you might play a druid, or what people might think of you, just a kickstart Jason (in this case) or whoever was working on the class chassis wrote up to get your creative juices flowing.

Ok, fair enough - but I have some awful memories of players saying 'that's the way my character has to play this situation' or - worse - DMs saying 'that's the way your character has to play this situation.'

I just really, really hope it's made clear that these are just suggestions, and that it is appropriate (nay, encouraged) for players to go in other directions.

EDIT: Actually, thinking about this further, and with a genuine attempt to be a little more constructive: if I were going to put roleplay suggestions into the rulebook for this class, I would base them on the following question:

What does a Good aligned druid have in common with an Evil aligned druid?

In the thin, thin, overlap on the Venn diagram illustrating how the two would solve problems, you have the essence of the druid class. Everything else is morality and personal preference.

EDIT II: And thanks, Mark - again! - for engaging with the various comments/gripes/complaints below the line. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.


Mark Seifter wrote:
EDIT: Cantriped is pretty insightful and faster than me!

Thank you very much! I like to practice coming up with special effects for mechanics on the fly (a useful skill as the other system I use completely divorces Game Mechanics from Special Effects).

I am curious how Mounts will work in PF2?
In AD&D they were never used because they simply died too fast (horses only ever having a few hit-dice), or were too hard to acquire (GM Fiat required at every stage). I expect that in PF2 using non-scaling mounts will be even less encouraged.
In Pathfinder 1, the most/only viable mounts were those granted by Companion Features (Animal Companion, Mount, Eidolon, etc...). So the question is this:
Is there an equivalent to the Mount Feature in PF2? (read as "is there a way for non-druid, non-rangers to acquire a viable mount of their choice aside from GM Fiat?").


DFAnton wrote:

Jesus, are shapeshifters getting shafted AGAIN?

Guys, it's okay for people to have fun.

Dino-form is one minute duration (flat), and prepared casters decide the form on casting at the start of the day. It sets your AC and attack modifier to a fixed amount, and grants temp hitpoints. At 10th level (assuming Druid gets the dino-form before then, very likely), Druid can extend wild shape to one hour by reducing the heightened spell level by 1.

Druid 14 can turn into a dragon with some feats.

Spell details.

I don’t have the full details, but Druid’s all-day shifting seems to be gone until level 20.
You can augment wild shape with spells, so dedicating a character to it should cover all your fights at least.

Edit: One-hour wild shape is a tenth-level feat that reduces the spell’s heightened level by one.


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Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Wandering Wastrel wrote:


Paizo Blog wrote:
During social encounters, you represent balance and a reasoned approach to problems, looking for solutions that not only are best for the natural world, but also allow the creatures within it to live in harmony and peace. You often propose compromises that allow both sides to gain what they truly need, even if they can't have all that they desire.
OMG, for reals? I thought this had died a (richly-deserved!) death with AD&D >.<
These are some ideas of how you might play a druid, or what people might think of you, just a kickstart Jason (in this case) or whoever was working on the class chassis wrote up to get your creative juices flowing.

Ok, fair enough - but I have some awful memories of players saying 'that's the way my character has to play this situation' or - worse - DMs saying 'that's the way your character has to play this situation.'

I just really, really hope it's made clear that these are just suggestions, and that it is appropriate (nay, encouraged) for players to go in other directions.

I think that this line should do that:

blog wrote:


Players of druid characters might approach gameplay in the following ways:

Both of the other bits on Roleplaying are prefaced with 'likely' and 'probably', too.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

For purposes of fantasy biology is a mushroom a plant? So if I wanted to do a fungus druid, would I pick leaf or wait for that option later?

(IRL a fungus is about as genetically close to a plant as it is an animal, but nobody is here for cladograms.)

Fungi are considered to be different than plants this time around because of the reasons you said. Effects vary as to whether they handle fungi and plants or just plants.

So given that Fungi are no longer plants, Fungi are about the only thing that grows in the Darklands, Leaf Druids can only become Plants, and Verdant Metamorphosis states

Blog wrote:
a creature can attempt a Nature or Survival check against your class DC to determine that the plant is new to the surrounding area

Does that mean that it can take a DC 30-something Nature check to identify that a Redwood should not in fact be growing in a dark cave miles below the surface?


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My one complaint (already mentioned): goodberry is too iconic nature spell to make it leaf druid's only.

Some of the issues: make the companion wording generic enough so it could be later used for new classes or options that will have non-animal companions - starting with plant, vermin, and fey companions for druids, followed by eidolons for the future summoner, undeads for necromancers, etc.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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Happy to see that you can finally create a shapeshifting druid at 1st level. I'm extremely curious how polymorph spells will play out. Shapeshifting has been a historically underserved despite how broad the design space is.


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Shinigami02 wrote:
Blog wrote:
a creature can attempt a Nature or Survival check against your class DC to determine that the plant is new to the surrounding area
Does that mean that it can take a DC 30-something Nature check to identify that a Redwood should not in fact be growing in a dark cave miles below the surface?

"Hey Bhalqex, why is this tree growing so close to the city limits of Zirnakaynin?"

"I don't know, man, you know that wizard Xonya has a weird fascination with the surface, she probably just planted one here to study it."


Mark Seifter wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Tamago wrote:

I like the orders, but the Anathemas seem overly restrictive to me. I tend to GM more than I play, so my first thought when reading the Animal anathema was, "You mean I can't make an evil druid who dominates the animals around him and beats up his animal companion?"

I get that it's not something a good PC should be doing, and I even see how it makes sense from a class design and flavor standpoint. But I also really like the villain concept of an evil druid who blights the land and the PCs need to go stop him. Making these "out of balance" things into anathemas seems to nix those concepts. Unless we get an "anti-druid" class/archetype/whatever down the road, I suppose.

In that case you would create non-animal order druid with animal companion. I mean, no matter how you put it, it doesn't really make sense to create character that has deep respect for animals and abuses them <_<
I could easily see a wild order druid that has a feral predator inside and is absolutely vicious to animals she dominates, including her own companion.

Yeah, nature can be kind of cruel. I think as a GM I'll allow Druid players to tweak their own anathemas provided that the new anathema is a decent plot hook. After all, you guys did say that the only "mechanical" anathema was Superstition Totem, right? So I shouldn't be afraid to play "fun and loose" with the anathemas?

(P.S. At my table, if a player picks an anathema, it's guaranteed to come up when it's dramatically interesting <Chandler ' s Law>. Which anathema is less important, because it will come up regardless.)


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QuidEst wrote:
DFAnton wrote:

Jesus, are shapeshifters getting shafted AGAIN?

Guys, it's okay for people to have fun.

Dino-form is one minute duration (flat), and prepared casters decide the form on casting at the start of the day. It sets your AC and attack modifier to a fixed amount, and grants temp hitpoints. At 10th level (assuming Druid gets the dino-form before then, very likely), Druid can extend wild shape to one hour by reducing the heightened spell level by 1.

Druid 14 can turn into a dragon with some feats.

Spell details.

I don’t have the full details, but Druid’s all-day shifting seems to be gone until level 20.
You can augment wild shape with spells, so dedicating a character to it should cover all your fights at least.

The issue is bigger here, for me. This is Druids dedicating their entire spec to wild shaping. What's going to happen with polymorphers, then? Polymorphers who were already gutted in PF1e compared to 3.5e. I was never one of those metagamer/minmaxer shapeshifters, so I was very much annoyed that PF1e's solution to the problem was complete castration of the spec.

Now it's looking like it will never come back into real viability without either a 3pp or extensive house ruling.


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Never got around to playing a druid in PF1, so I'm interested to see how they'll play in PF2.

The general class entry for roleplaying and what the class can do in each mode of play seems like a very good idea. Especially considering that if the designers have to write a suggestion for social/exploration/downtime for each class, then maybe they've put more thought in what each class can actually do in those modes to set them apart. Non-combat options and interactions are always something I love to see.

Orders seem like a nice addition. I'm always for big signature class features which can help define a build.

Somewhat worried about the druid anathema, as many seem to be a bit vague and overly leaning towards a good/peaceful view of nature. Nature can be violent and unforgiving, with even herbivores killing other animals for little reason. Not to mention that evil druids are a thing, and shouldn't have to worry about anathema being written with an assumption of good/neutral behavior.

Wildshape seems to just be extra castings of polymorph spells? Hopefully there is a feat or something to extend the duration, because I thought most polymorphs were measured in minutes compared to the PF1 Druid's wildshape being measured in hours. Actually being able to stay in wildshape for a long period of time and do noncombat things was always the more interesting part of the ability for me.

I'll keep saying it every time I see it, but 12th level seems to be pretty high for spell proficiency to reach expert. Most campaigns never get that far, meaning that spellcasting will only ever be either trained or untrained for the majority of characters, which kinda sucks.

Not sure how to read the animal companion statblock... I can only assume that it is written related to a section that isn't previewed here?


Shinigami02 wrote:
Does that mean that it can take a DC 30-something Nature check to identify that a Redwood should not in fact be growing in a dark cave miles below the surface?

Yes... probably.

As a GM, I might award a darklands native a signigicant circumstance bonus if you picked a plant that cannot grow there (as opposed to one that is simply not found there). Same way they get a 'bonus' if you try to tell an unbelievable lie.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Drejk wrote:
Also, can we finally cut off that dumb a**-pulled association of life magic with faith, please?

Vital essence is the prana, or life force, that animates living things and presides over things like instinct, intuition, and faith. Even a creature with limited mental essence, or in some cases mindless creatures with no mental essence at all, can have instincts that cause them to take particular actions or push them towards such actions. A creature with neither mental or vital essence would need to basically be programmed to respond in very specific ways.


Oh! Speaking of mindless creatures! Are vermin still mindless?

Paizo Employee Designer

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DFAnton wrote:
Oh! Speaking of mindless creatures! Are vermin still mindless?

No, they are animals now, and they have minds.


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My people will not take this slight in stride.


Charon Onozuka wrote:
Wildshape seems to just be extra castings of polymorph spells? Hopefully there is a feat or something to extend the duration, because I thought most polymorphs were measured in minutes compared to the PF1 Druid's wildshape being measured in hours. Actually being able to stay in wildshape for a long period of time and do noncombat things was always the more interesting part of the ability for me.

I'm guessing that extending the duration will probably be the result of one of the Wildshape feats.


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DFAnton wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
DFAnton wrote:

Jesus, are shapeshifters getting shafted AGAIN?

Guys, it's okay for people to have fun.

Dino-form is one minute duration (flat), and prepared casters decide the form on casting at the start of the day. It sets your AC and attack modifier to a fixed amount, and grants temp hitpoints. At 10th level (assuming Druid gets the dino-form before then, very likely), Druid can extend wild shape to one hour by reducing the heightened spell level by 1.

Druid 14 can turn into a dragon with some feats.

Spell details.

I don’t have the full details, but Druid’s all-day shifting seems to be gone until level 20.
You can augment wild shape with spells, so dedicating a character to it should cover all your fights at least.

The issue is bigger here, for me. This is Druids dedicating their entire spec to wild shaping. What's going to happen with polymorphers, then? Polymorphers who were already gutted in PF1e compared to 3.5e. I was never one of those metagamer/minmaxer shapeshifters, so I was very much annoyed that PF1e's solution to the problem was complete castration of the spec.

Now it's looking like it will never come back into real viability without either a 3pp or extensive house ruling.

It depends on what you want, I think. A Sorc can tackle three or four fights with a top-level polymorph with even less investment now. Your stats don’t matter anymore (except for health, and even that has some temp hp). Druid invests a bunch into not touching spell slots.

But, PF1 let you use a metamagic rod of extend spell and be a dragon for 24 minutes, enough for a social encounter. My shapeshifting bloodline Sorc can spend 24/7 as a dragon. It seems like that sort of thing is gone. I’m bummed about that, since it’s what I liked about polymorphs- being something else.

Paizo Employee Designer

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DFAnton wrote:
My people will not take this slight in stride.

I thought being mindless was more of the slight, to be honest; arthropods in the real world can do some exceptional things, some of which we can't explain like some spiders' sense of direction and dead reckoning, which experiments showed was not based on scent markings or following a trail. Not saying they're geniuses, but they surely have a mind.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
...I'm a little less clear on where the leaf druid fits though. Is "I do Plants" such a broadly applicable thing that this is a reasonable choice for a wide variety of campaigns? Having diplomacy as a signature skill seems great for a druid in a more urban campaign, but there aren't going to be a ton of trees around.
Just because there aren't trees, doesn't mean there aren't plants. Leaf makes a lot of sense as an urban druid, encouraging window boxes and community green space.

I'd like to see at least one Golarion city set aside a "central park"/greenspace area for druids to rest/recuperate in tree shape. If the druids assume tree form when no one is looking (at night), the residents might get used to the idea of a park/greenspace that looks different each morning. It'd be a good place for kids to play, families to picnic, and festivals to be held. Just make sure there are copious signage explaining how harvesting or harming the trees is strictly prohibited and enforced.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Shinigami02 wrote:
Charon Onozuka wrote:
Wildshape seems to just be extra castings of polymorph spells? Hopefully there is a feat or something to extend the duration, because I thought most polymorphs were measured in minutes compared to the PF1 Druid's wildshape being measured in hours. Actually being able to stay in wildshape for a long period of time and do noncombat things was always the more interesting part of the ability for me.
I'm guessing that extending the duration will probably be the result of one of the Wildshape feats.

Correct. You wind up not heightening the spell to its max level to get a much much much longer duration, so it's perfect for noncombat things and lots of utility.


Friendly Rogue wrote:

I really like what I see so far! The order of the leaf scratches my itch for an Urban Druid that tries to improve society and lead communities away from harming the local environment.

I do need to ask, though, since I don't see mention of it in here and I'm genuinely curious as to what's going to happen... what's the situation looking like with metal armor? Are they anathema for Druids still, or is that being toned back in the Playtest?

I have heard around that they are not proficient in them by default, but are not restricted from gaining said proficiency. This is secondhand info, and is still pretty uncertain depending on the quality of armour proficiency feats and multiclassing.

Scarab Sages

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Above someone said you determine your shape at the beginning of the day? That really takes some the utility out of the wildshape ability that allows you to pick what shape you need as circumstances arise.


Ramanujan wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
DFAnton wrote:

Jesus, are shapeshifters getting shafted AGAIN?

Guys, it's okay for people to have fun.

Dino-form is one minute duration (flat), and prepared casters decide the form on casting at the start of the day. It sets your AC and attack modifier to a fixed amount, and grants temp hitpoints. At 10th level (assuming Druid gets the dino-form before then, very likely), Druid can extend wild shape to one hour by reducing the heightened spell level by 1.

Druid 14 can turn into a dragon with some feats.

Spell details.

I don’t have the full details, but Druid’s all-day shifting seems to be gone until level 20.
You can augment wild shape with spells, so dedicating a character to it should cover all your fights at least.

If that's how shapeshifting and wild shape work, then I am really, really disappointed.

I spent the entirety of my PF1 gaming time hoping they'd make a decent shapeshifter. I was briefly hopeful when I read the implication in this blog saying Wild shape from level 1, but if what you are saying is true, then it looks like PF2 may be just as devoid.

Can you even use the wild shape you get at level 1, if it decreases the spell's level by 1?

You misunderstand. It’s a tenth-level feat to make Wild Shape last for an hour, and that reduces the level by one to do it. Sorry I didn’t say that very clearly.


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Drejk wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

For purposes of fantasy biology is a mushroom a plant? So if I wanted to do a fungus druid, would I pick leaf or wait for that option later?

(IRL a fungus is about as genetically close to a plant as it is an animal, but nobody is here for cladograms.)

Fungi are considered to be different than plants this time around because of the reasons you said. Effects vary as to whether they handle fungi and plants or just plants.
That's mi-go fault, right? You didn't want druids to command armies of mi-go to harvest brains of their enemies...

You leave my beautiful and cute fungus lobsters out of this.


Tallow wrote:
Above someone said you determine your shape at the beginning of the day? That really takes some the utility out of the wildshape ability that allows you to pick what shape you need as circumstances arise.

Nope, if you prepare the spell in a slot you decide then. Sorry for the confusion. I’ll stop trying to pass on the banquet info, I don’t think it’s working very well...

I misunderstood something. There’s no weird beginning of the day restriction.

Scarab Sages

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QuidEst wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Above someone said you determine your shape at the beginning of the day? That really takes some the utility out of the wildshape ability that allows you to pick what shape you need as circumstances arise.
Nope, if you prepare the spell in a slot you decide then. Sorry for the confusion. I’ll stop trying to pass on the banquet info, I don’t think it’s working very well...

So just for preparing the "shape" spells, not for wildeshape. Ok. That's good.

But even for preparing the "shape" spells, this really neuters them. I have to pick between Veloceraptor and Pteranodon. A fighting form and a flying form before I'll know if I want to fight or fly. I'm not a fan of removing versatility.

This also has the appearance of setting the precedent that spells like Resist Energy, Protection from Energy, Lesser Restoration (should those still actually be spells in PF2), would need to be prepped with a specific energy/stat in mind, which really hinders the versatility of those spells.

If that is true, I don't like it, a lot.


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for folks critical because a concept that they have in mind can't be done in the existing order, I am almost certain that future volumes will expand the orders available, and make more concepts possible. These existing orders should cover the basics though.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Tallow wrote:
Above someone said you determine your shape at the beginning of the day? That really takes some the utility out of the wildshape ability that allows you to pick what shape you need as circumstances arise.

Not sure where they got that idea.

Silver Crusade

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So on a round you command an animal to perform two actions on your behalf, what does it do with its third action? The answer had better not be that Animal Companions randomly have one fewer action than every other creature in the world.

Please don't turn them into immersion breaking metagame constructs in the name of balance.


Oh, I forgot to ask, does druid still have alignment restrictions?


Mark Seifter wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Above someone said you determine your shape at the beginning of the day? That really takes some the utility out of the wildshape ability that allows you to pick what shape you need as circumstances arise.
Not sure where they got that idea.

You know what, I must have misinterpreted Jason talking about preparing which heightening of the spell with which form.


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maybe it takes an action for them to listen and process the command.

Scarab Sages

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ThePuppyTurtle wrote:

So on a round you command an animal to perform two actions on your behalf, what does it do with its third action? The answer had better not be that Animal Companions randomly have one fewer action than every other creature in the world.

Please don't turn them into immersion breaking metagame constructs in the name of balance.

I'd imagine their 3rd action is "receiving and understanding the command"

EDIT: Ninja'd!


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QuidEst wrote:
You misunderstand. It’s a tenth-level feat to make Wild Shape last for an hour, and that reduces the level by one to do it. Sorry I didn’t say that very clearly.

Welp. If that requires a 10th level feat then I guess I can forget about ever using it. I've never had a game go past 8th level and unless the relative power of spell levels significantly changes in PF2, I kinda doubt that'll change in PF2 for my group.

Which is kinda sad. "Wildshape at level 1" really doesn't have the same appeal when it just means a a minute or two.

Scarab Sages

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Charon Onozuka wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
You misunderstand. It’s a tenth-level feat to make Wild Shape last for an hour, and that reduces the level by one to do it. Sorry I didn’t say that very clearly.

Welp. If that requires a 10th level feat then I guess I can forget about ever using it. I've never had a game go past 8th level and unless the relative power of spell levels significantly changes in PF2, I kinda doubt that'll change in PF2 for my group.

Which is kinda sad. "Wildshape at level 1" really doesn't have the same appeal when it just means a a minute or two.

Seems most of the classes are getting a significant reduction in power right from the get go and things you used to get right away or early on are now level 10 and 13 powers.


I keep seeing signature skill, but I missed the definition and can't find it. Thanks


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BryonD wrote:
I keep seeing signature skill, but I missed the definition and can't find it. Thanks

Signature skills are ones you can eventually raise to master and then legendary, non signature can't be raised past expert it seems.

Silver Crusade

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willuwontu wrote:
BryonD wrote:
I keep seeing signature skill, but I missed the definition and can't find it. Thanks
Signature skills are ones you can eventually raise to master and then legendary, non signature can't be raised past expert it seems.

Yuck. Very video gamey. Do not like.


I'm forgetting if it's been said if Druids are still unable to use metal gear or not.

If they can, I might have an idea for the playtest.


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Charon Onozuka wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
You misunderstand. It’s a tenth-level feat to make Wild Shape last for an hour, and that reduces the level by one to do it. Sorry I didn’t say that very clearly.

Welp. If that requires a 10th level feat then I guess I can forget about ever using it. I've never had a game go past 8th level and unless the relative power of spell levels significantly changes in PF2, I kinda doubt that'll change in PF2 for my group.

Which is kinda sad. "Wildshape at level 1" really doesn't have the same appeal when it just means a a minute or two.

Well, one of the major design goals of PF2 is to make the game more usable at high levels. I have high expectations about that, and the previews so far have shown a lot of steps in the good direction (spells per day reduced, spell don't auto-scale with caster level, simplified action economy, less bonus types, 4 degrees of success sharply reducing save-or-die situations, etc). We'll have to see at the playtest how this goes.

Paizo Employee Designer

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QuidEst wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Above someone said you determine your shape at the beginning of the day? That really takes some the utility out of the wildshape ability that allows you to pick what shape you need as circumstances arise.
Not sure where they got that idea.
You know what, I must have misinterpreted Jason talking about preparing which heightening of the spell with which form.

I think it might have been from the prepared spell part.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Drejk wrote:
Also, can we finally cut off that dumb a**-pulled association of life magic with faith, please?
Vital essence is the prana, or life force, that animates living things and presides over things like instinct, intuition, and faith.

*sigh*

There is a far away distance between vital force/instincts and faith.
The vital force presides equally over things such as intellect, doubt, and skepticism, physicality, and all things organic with no shred of spirituality in them.

Quote:
A creature with neither mental or vital essence would need to basically be programmed to respond in very specific ways.

Yeah, vital and mental essences might be necessary for a creature to function independently and voluntary but this sentence has ABSOLUTELY ZERO to do with forceful association of faith with vitality. Both mental and vital essences can exist without faith.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
gwynfrid wrote:
Charon Onozuka wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
You misunderstand. It’s a tenth-level feat to make Wild Shape last for an hour, and that reduces the level by one to do it. Sorry I didn’t say that very clearly.

Welp. If that requires a 10th level feat then I guess I can forget about ever using it. I've never had a game go past 8th level and unless the relative power of spell levels significantly changes in PF2, I kinda doubt that'll change in PF2 for my group.

Which is kinda sad. "Wildshape at level 1" really doesn't have the same appeal when it just means a a minute or two.

Well, one of the major design goals of PF2 is to make the game more usable at high levels. I have high expectations about that, and the previews so far have shown a lot of steps in that the good direction (spells per day reduced, spell don't auto-scale with caster level, simplified action economy, less bonus types, 4 degrees of success sharply reducing save-or-die situations, etc). We'll have to see at the playtest how this goes.

And that is a noble goal, but sometimes it feels like instead of fixing high level play they are stretching the low levels.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Drejk wrote:
Both mental and vital essences can exist without faith.

Sure can! Faith is a manifestation of the vital essence, but you can easily have vital essence and have a distinct lack of faith (but if you lack all vital essence, you don't have the capacity for it). Just like squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.


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I like very much.

Especially the Leaf and Animal orders; I have had several ideas for an Urban Druid that would fit nicely here (Gardener, Stable Master, Master of the Hounds, etc.). The other orders are cool too.

A Wild Druid may be a good candidate for multiclassing with Fighter (or ranger).


willuwontu wrote:
BryonD wrote:
I keep seeing signature skill, but I missed the definition and can't find it. Thanks
Signature skills are ones you can eventually raise to master and then legendary, non signature can't be raised past expert it seems.

thank you

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