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

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Druids Lini Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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Silver Crusade

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Lucas Yew wrote:
Yeah, and why must I have to declare "Give fighters more skills!" in the middle of the Druid preview?! It's so depressing...

That was just an example. I wanted to use a class and skill that I was sure wouldn't match where the skill unlocks for the high proficiencies would be things with material meaning anyone irl should be able to learn to do.


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Having a hard time understanding why this thread is so negative... This is probably the coolest class preview! It shows how you can do all of the most popular Druid builds and the abilities all seem decently strong and thematic. It also shows the full text on a bunch of abilities so you really get a good idea of how the class plays.

Somehow people complain they don't want X ability, when every single thing shown is optional Class feat or lv1 selection. This class seems like the most modular so far, many old baseline abilities are selectable now.

Is it just because the word "Anathema" is written in it? Does that invoke automatic hate from the community?


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I find it funny that an Animal Druid can freely eat animals for food, but a Leaf Druid can only eat plants for survival. Feels a bit backward there, but maybe that's what Goodberries are for, to add nutrition to that carnivore diet.

As for tying "faith" to "vitality", I think much of the issue is from the current transition in the U.S. of "faith" or "having faith" from a positive connotation associated with wisdom & morality to a negative one associated with foolishness & belief beyond the evidence (or worse!).

Since PF takes place in a setting where divine revelations occur and conviction can & does change the nature of reality, I don't find an issue with usage here. In such a supernatural context, divine infusion could very well aid one's otherwise natural vitality.
It still might be prudent to shift to a synonym w/ less baggage like spirit, spirituality, conviction, animating force, essence, or whatnot. I suppose many of those overlap w/ the other magical types though...
*sigh* Such is the way of woo.


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ChibiNyan wrote:

Having a hard time understanding why this thread is so negative... This is probably the coolest class preview! It shows how you can do all of the most popular Druid builds and the abilities all seem decently strong and thematic. It also shows the full text on a bunch of abilities so you really get a good idea of how the class plays.

Somehow people complain they don't want X ability, when every single thing shown is optional Class feat or lv1 selection. This class seems like the most modular so far, many old baseline abilities are selectable now.

Is it just because the word "Anathema" is written in it? Does that invoke automatic hate from the community?

No, it's because "Druid" is written in it. I'm of the opinion that nature is so much larger than this, and that having one class nail down the be-all and end-all of nature as such a restrictive thing is not good. Of course, none of that is particular to the PF2 druid, but the name echoes in my mind like Paladin does for so many others.


ChibiNyan wrote:

Having a hard time understanding why this thread is so negative... This is probably the coolest class preview! It shows how you can do all of the most popular Druid builds and the abilities all seem decently strong and thematic. It also shows the full text on a bunch of abilities so you really get a good idea of how the class plays.

Somehow people complain they don't want X ability, when every single thing shown is optional Class feat or lv1 selection. This class seems like the most modular so far, many old baseline abilities are selectable now.

Is it just because the word "Anathema" is written in it? Does that invoke automatic hate from the community?

I think some of it comes down to the fact that there was a good deal of the druid that was shown in the PaizoCon video, so rather than "Oh cool, druids can wild shape at first level now" or "Ooh, the work together mechanic of the animal companions looks really interesting" a greater percentage of the new info is in stuff like anathemas and stuff like that.

Now, I agree in large parts that not wanting X ability in a class this modular is a bit silly, but you get that in other threads too. It's only a greater percentage here, because we already got a good deal of druid info previous.


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Overall, I like it.
I think the "Playing/Roleplaying a Druid" is good intro to new players re-enforcing mindset of game in way that simply being familiar with historic/fictional analogs might not.
I like the structure of Orders, but personally I think you're missing a major concept:

Caster Druid, both better at normal Druid spells and non-standard Druid spells, straying into mental, ethereal, normally arcane stuff. This could be Fey-flavored (pro/con), Witch-y / Shaman-y territory, or just straight up Wiz/Sorc casting/powers that don't directly conflict with Druid flavor. Besides casting these with slots/powers, there is also defensive aspect to dealing with this kind of magic, and of course appropriate Skill(s). I feel this angle had been alluded to in different Archetypes/PrCs in P1E, although not fully to my taste, and really hope you could do good job delivering this aspect front and center.

Animal Druid: The issues people have raised re: Evil/domineering Druids are valid IMHO. Not even strictly related to that is the "animal endangerment" angle concerning animal companions brought into high stakes combat. I hope the wording can adequately address these angles.

Leaf/Verdant Metamorphosis: "You transform into a plant version of yourself." ("...that mostly looks like your old self")
Is this a permanent transformation? Can you transform from plant-self to humanoid-self at will? Is that an action?
If it is permanent, I think that can be made alot clearer. ("Become" might be better phrasing for permanent type change)
Either way, it shoud be clearer on what you look like.
Are you green? Can others discern that you are no longer standard humanoid? Is there a DC for that?
Are the "plant-self" or "tree" modes magical, Polymorph effects?
(Leaf Order Special) "if you transform into a non-creature plant (...you photosynthesize/heal...)"
"Non-creature plant" is awkward allusion to something that wasn't clearly defined previously.
This line specifically also gives me impression the "plant-self" form is not permanent, but can be reversed (to humanoid)
since otherwise there would be no need to so awkwardly distinguish transformations into "tree" form.
IMHO simply naming it "tree form" or "plant form" while clarifying it could be a bush or patch of moss allows more succinct referencing.
"Plant form" may be confusing IF "plant-self" is not permanent, but other form you can swap with normal humanoid form.
If "plant-self" IS permanent there isn't confusion of multiple potential transformations/forms, "plant-self" is just new normal.

EDIT: Although question might be if this benefit should apply while using standard Plant Form polymorph spells i.e. Shambler-form.
Really, I don't see what the big deal is trying to avoid them getting the healing benefit in "plant-self" mode.
It's a f#!$ing 18th level power. Getting healed and condition removal while you rest probably won't break anything.

Storm: I get your clarification re: un-natural weather damaging environment, although I think that points to need for clarification. Storms may naturally damage environment, it needs to be clear the focus is not on things which could occur thru normally destructive storm. Although your example "snow in Sahara" seems off, I just saw some pics this winter of snow in the Sahara, and snow per se isnt' damaging. Clear wording is all that's needed though.

Bear/Work Together Benefit: "Your bear mauls your enemies when you create an opening. Until your next turn, all your weapon Strikes... deal 1d8 additional slashing damage."
Mechanic isn't matching fluff. The BEAR isn't mauling your enemies, it is letting YOU maul them harder (by this Work Together which is it's own action apparently). If we want to keep that fluff text, the mechanic should be YOUR threatening allows Bear's own attacks to do more damage (possibly with Druid themself using "Work Together" action?). OR, the fluff should change to acknowledge the Druids attacks are being intensified. I had to read this several times just to make sure I got it right.

Bear Hug: I feel weird about the "Your last action" "If your Strike hits" "as if you succeeded" wording. This isn't a general Feat, it's a baked in ability of the Bear, so why not phrase these to acknowledge that? Possibly the sentence structure could be changed in way that "the Bear" isn't just substitution for "you". But considering the Work Together wording is distinguishing "the Bear" and "you", for "you" to casually be conflated with "the Bear" just seems very ill advised IMHO.

Snake: Hmm... I like Snake Companions, but didn't expect it to be top direct damage dealer. I think Cat companions were revealed to use Sneak Attack, but still not sure if Snakes need top direct damage dealer status (as opposed to Grab/Poison, possibly with AoO, movement modes, etc). Good AC also feels weak relevance for Snakes, IMHO, although other Lizards certainly could be appropriate for that. Good Reflex seems appropo for Snakes kind of.


ThePuppyTurtle wrote:

What is going on in-universe to stop my fighter from continuing to learn to pick ever more complicated locks if he wants to?

I had forgotten that there were other sources of signature skills besides classes... but there still needs to be a generic way of getting them for me to find this system acceptable. Do we know if there's a skill feat to grab an extra one? I think that'd be good enough, sort of like how you can grab armor proficiencies you didn't start with and get extra class skills with Additional Traits. I certainly can accept that a fighter has to go farther out of his way to learn lock-picking, which is what that would represent.

I believe there was a skill feat alluded to by a dev in a thread that gave you other skills as signature skills, though idr where.

I'd be surprised if there weren't multiple ways to get signature skill with differing costs, e.g. background determines your ability bonus, ancestry ditto, class is well class skills, skill feats may require stats or proficiency levels in "related" skill.


Quandary wrote:
Caster Druid, both better at normal Druid spells and non-standard Druid spells, straying into mental, ethereal, normally arcane stuff. This could be Fey-flavored, but also could be appropriate to Druid who routinely fights Fey, could go into more Witch-y / Shaman-y territory. Besides casting these with slots/powers, there is also defensive aspect to dealing with this kind of magic, and of course appropriate Skill(s). I feel this angle had been alluded to in different Archetypes/PrCs in P1E, although not fully to my taste, and really hope you could do good job delivering this aspect front and center.

Others have speculated upthread that this may be the domain of the Leaf druid, which the fact that it's a Leshy familiar, not a Leshy companion, inclines me to, if not believe, at least hold hope for. I could see the familiar serve as a pseudo-witch familiar, where you can learn spells that aren't on your list, by virtue of the familiar. But this is speculation. Still, since there isn't a lot of plant-specific stuff in pathfinder, the same way that an animal companion is a specific thing, and wildshape is a thing and blasty spells are a thing, I could see the leaf druid being a sort of base for the (non-blasty) caster druid.


Captain Morgan wrote:
I will say druids getting one more skill from their order widens the gap between them and fighters, which I dislike.

Why would you want them to be the same as fighters? If every class was the same, wouldn't that get boring?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

If I were to say a few words about the Druid?

.
.
.

Stupendous!
Marvelous!
Unbelievable!
Radical!
Fantastic!


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Well, I'm with the people that loved this article ^^


Igwilly wrote:
Well, I'm with the people that loved this article ^^

I mean I don't dislike it as such.

But it seems I'm already pretty set on being pumped for Alchemist and Sorcerer, with a side order of Bard and Paladin. Blasty McDinobear just doesn't like, nab me, is all.

I do like the leshy familiar and the baby animal companions though.


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A question about druid abilities: how soon can you take abilities that your order doesn't provide as feats (Animal Companion, Wild Shape)?


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Ok, most of this is interesting. I have a few points of worry but those have already been covered multiple times by others.

For new points, I wish we would have gotten to see more lower level abilities that will see actual play: seeing 18th and 20th level feat I don't think I'll ever see in play are FAR, FAR less exciting than seeing a 4th and 8th level feat/ability that are very likely within reach.

Shadow Lodge

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Wish I could say I like this.

Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
This is beginning to look more like 5E.

Beginning?


"Hey Nature Lore expert, what kind of tree is that?"
"I don't know... I don't think it's from around here."
"Wait, I thought you were the expert."
"I am... I guess... It must just be an 18th level tree."


One thing I really hope for in the future is more support for elemental orders like Fire (plus Ash), Water, or environmental ones like a Desert Druid.


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graystone wrote:
18th and 20th level feat I don't think I'll ever see in play are FAR, FAR less exciting

you seriously underestimate how exciting it is to be a tree.


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Gavmania wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I will say druids getting one more skill from their order widens the gap between them and fighters, which I dislike.
Why would you want them to be the same as fighters? If every class was the same, wouldn't that get boring?

I'm pretty sure the idea is that if anything Fighters should get more class skills than Druids, not that they should necessarily get the same amount... The fact that 10th level casters seem to get the same access (or better, in the case of the Bard) as martials to a system that has been advertised as a route for the non-magical to compete with the magical is deeply worrying.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Gavmania wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I will say druids getting one more skill from their order widens the gap between them and fighters, which I dislike.
Why would you want them to be the same as fighters? If every class was the same, wouldn't that get boring?
I'm pretty sure the idea is that if anything Fighters should get more class skills than Druids, not that they should necessarily get the same amount... The fact that 10th level casters seem to get the same access (or better, in the case of the Bard) as martials to a system that has been advertised as a route for the non-magical to compete with the magical is deeply worrying.

What they said.

Scarab Sages

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Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
This is beginning to look more like 5E.

You never played 4e, did you? :P


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Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
This is beginning to look more like 5E.

Personally I'm down with the "Medieval Shadowrun" comparison.


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Quandary wrote:
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
This is beginning to look more like 5E.
Personally I'm down with the "Medieval Shadowrun" comparison.

I'm going to go with "Specific and Particular GURPS."


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Quandary wrote:
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
This is beginning to look more like 5E.
Personally I'm down with the "Medieval Shadowrun" comparison.

This curses the layout of the book:

I mean, seriously. I loved making characters in shadowrun, but that bit between "knowing pretty much every aspect of character creation, where to find specific rules, and knowing all the supplements" and "How does any of this work? Where are the rules? Why are the rules conflicting? Why do I need a computer program to make a character?" is hell.


My thoughts:

  • Social encounter interesting, I don't remeber those mentioned before.
  • Maybe I didn't understand something but Verdant Metamporphosis looks kinda lame for 18th level feat.
  • Contro Weather now is 9th level, more nerfs >:v
  • "POWER 1/SPAN>" on Tempest Surge looks super weird
  • I don't like the association between Str and Wild Shape
  • OK I have said this enough times but it still bothers me a lot: "new spell levels at every odd level save 19th" booo
  • Looks like cooldowns are really going to be thing in PF2 eh? Looking at Frequency
  • 8 HP seems like too few for a bear, even a small one


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I particularly like the fact that an 18th level feat allows you to do what a 3rd level Pathfinder spell let you do.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Quandary wrote:
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
This is beginning to look more like 5E.
Personally I'm down with the "Medieval Shadowrun" comparison.
I'm going to go with "Specific and Particular GURPS."

What if it is a game within a game, the RPG that GURPS characters play and debate it's realism?

BTW, not to pick on "Tree Life" (Verdant Metamorphosis) too much,
but I'm sure there is good reason to prefer this to 2nd level Tree Shape or even (more broadly useful) Tree Stride... right?
18th level kind of reasons...?

On that note, would "Heightened Tree Stride" allow further distances, interplanetary or interplanar? (1st World etc)
I could dig that. Also should have Communal option.


Quandary wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Quandary wrote:
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
This is beginning to look more like 5E.
Personally I'm down with the "Medieval Shadowrun" comparison.
I'm going to go with "Specific and Particular GURPS."

What if it is a game within a game, the RPG that GURPS characters play and debate it's realism?

BTW, not to pick on "Tree Life" (Verdant Metamorphosis) too much, will Tree Stride "Heighten" allow further distances, interplanetary or interplanar? I could dig that. Also should have Communal option.

But can you tree stride through a level 18 druid who has verdant metamorphosis? I that what happens when your boss druid calls you back to the home grove?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
edduardco wrote:

My thoughts:

  • Social encounter interesting, I don't remeber those mentioned before.
  • Maybe I didn't understand something but Verdant Metamporphosis looks kinda lame for 18th level feat.
  • Contro Weather now is 9th level, more nerfs >:v
  • "POWER 1/SPAN>" on Tempest Surge looks super weird
  • I don't like the association between Str and Wild Shape
  • OK I have said this enough times but it still bothers me a lot: "new spell levels at every odd level save 19th" booo
  • Looks like cooldowns are really going to be thing in PF2 eh? Looking at Frequency
  • 8 HP seems like too few for a bear, even a small one

Verdant feels a little late, Control weather is a ritual, meaning it doesn't use a spell slot. /SPAN> is a typo probably. Frequency/cooldown effects seem to be uncommon and for rare effects, such as using the shield cantrip to block and this effect. 8 HP is probably just the Racial HP, which probably stand to be 10, and they'll have a high natural con for the massive pool of HP.


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Richard Crawford wrote:
I particularly like the fact that an 18th level feat allows you to do what a 3rd level Pathfinder spell let you do.

2nd level.


Quandary wrote:
Richard Crawford wrote:
I particularly like the fact that an 18th level feat allows you to do what a 3rd level Pathfinder spell let you do.
2nd level.

I stand corrected. It's third-level for rangers. It shows how powerful an effect it is that I made that mistake.


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Isn't the neat thing about Verdant Metamorphosis that it isn't a spell - you just are a tree when you want to be; it's an aspect of yourself rather than a thing you can do.

Like presumably one could tree-up in an anti-magic field, which is a neat trick.


How cool Verdant Metamorphosis is depends on how strong plant traits are. It would be very strong indeed in PF1.


Yeah, seriously,
I think I do remember something about type traits being toned down, re: stuff like mind-affecting protection and so on...?


Quandary wrote:
graystone wrote:
18th and 20th level feat I don't think I'll ever see in play are FAR, FAR less exciting
you seriously underestimate how exciting it is to be a tree.

LOL Don't forget you have to be 18th level before you can root in place and stand there for hours on end... :P

PS: and that's all you get if you don't start off as plant. ;)

edduardco wrote:
  • Maybe I didn't understand something but Verdant Metamporphosis looks kinda lame for 18th level feat.
  • If you're plant, it's ok. Free "restores you to maximum Hit Points and removes all non-permanent drained, enfeebled, sluggish, and stupefied conditions" per day is unexciting but fine. It would look a better if the feat you can get in just 2 more levels wasn't 'cast a free spell every minute of every day'.


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    I feel like y'all are focusing in on the ribbon part of Verdant, which is the plant impersonation. I feel like the functional part of that is that you gain the plant trait. You know what being a plant creature meant in PF1?

    Low-light vision.
    Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms).
    Immunity to paralysis, poison, polymorph, sleep effects, and stunning.
    Plants breathe and eat, but do not sleep.

    That's a pretty solid list of immunities, and is comparable to the capstones of many PF1 classes. Check out what the oracle gets, for example. The Nature mystery is almost exactly this, minus the plant impersonation trick.

    Shadow Lodge

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    I'm happy to see that druids can finally do Diplomacy with people AND animals/plants now!

    My personal minor nitpick, though: do they still get proficiency with scimitars, even though they aren't really based on an agricultural tool at all? Or will they just not be "THE best weapon a druid can have," or what? I know I'm basically asking for them to get a thing withheld, so I won't mind if they can keep their scimitars.


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    I'm not concerned by Goodberry given over to Leaf Druids. The only reason it was iconic was because it was pure cheese. I imagine a limited amount of it's function could be covered in the primal version of Prestidigitation or by more mundane means through Survival skill feats.

    I'd prefer 'Circles' to 'Orders' as, to me, that is more thematically aligned. Think Stonehenge.

    I think some of the concerns about the Anathemas are warranted, particularly where differing interpretation causes a Druid to fall. Comments here highlight that there is a significant gulf between RAW and RAI. I recommend a rewording to close off that gap and prevent character bullying. I think good progress was made with the Paladin on this front but because what is being added to the Druid is relatively new, more thought is needed.

    Looking at how Animal and Wild is split, I was hoping there'd be a greater overlap where the Animal Lord archetype sat (taking on characteristics of the animal in a non-shifter sense as well as bonding with those beasts exclusively). Will something like that be achievable in core or maybe something down the line?

    I like the role play suggestions, not too restricting and aligns with the various facets I identify in a druid. It'd be good to see a darker reflection included for more misanthropic druids to inspire GMs and illustrate how the Anathema can be bent to accommodate Neutral Evil.

    On that, I think there is also a current in this thread that being Evil automatically requires a character to kick puppies. I think an evil Druid can have the utmost respect for animals and plants because they are free of the sin that corrupts nature but their attitudes to wards civilisation and humanoids is outright malicious, or callously indifferent for the more Neutral leaning. A an evil Wild Druid may be savage in their combat, even against animals, but they may also use all of the kill or at least honour it in some way (e.g. eating the heart to gain it's strength); leaning into the 'apex predator' concept.


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    Felinus wrote:
    Looking at how Animal and Wild is split, I was hoping there'd be a greater overlap where the Animal Lord archetype sat (taking on characteristics of the animal in a non-shifter sense as well as bonding with those beasts exclusively).

    Just to re-iterate, there isn't any exclusivity between Orders, not even different level pre-reqs have been indicated. So a given Druid can very reasonably draw from Feats associated to other Orders, they just won't get Order-specific benefits from them. I could even imagine a Wild Order Feat with Animal Order Feat pre-reqs, nothing in system prevents that.


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    Felinus wrote:
    On that, I think there is also a current in this thread that being Evil automatically requires a character to kick puppies. I think an evil Druid can have the utmost respect for animals and plants because they are free of the sin that corrupts nature but their attitudes to wards civilisation and humanoids is outright malicious, or callously indifferent for the more Neutral leaning. A an evil Wild Druid may be savage in their combat, even against animals, but they may also use all of the kill or at least honour it in some way (e.g. eating the heart to gain it's strength); leaning into the 'apex predator' concept.

    Indeed, I very much prefer my "evil druids" to be invested in the destruction of civilization and putting humanity (etc.) in its place, than I am in the "kicking puppies" kind of evil.

    Or just druids deeply committed to entropy, rot, and decay (which need not be evil druids, but evil druids fit in well here.)


    edduardco wrote:

    My thoughts:

    • Social encounter interesting, I don't remeber those mentioned before.
    • Maybe I didn't understand something but Verdant Metamporphosis looks kinda lame for 18th level feat.
    • Contro Weather now is 9th level, more nerfs >:v
    • "POWER 1/SPAN>" on Tempest Surge looks super weird
    • I don't like the association between Str and Wild Shape
    • OK I have said this enough times but it still bothers me a lot: "new spell levels at every odd level save 19th" booo
    • Looks like cooldowns are really going to be thing in PF2 eh? Looking at Frequency
    • 8 HP seems like too few for a bear, even a small one

    I think it was revealed elsewhere it's not 8hp for a bear. It's 8 hp in addition to the hp from con and the hp from being a companion, totaling to 16hp

    Also, I wonder what it would take to play a smurf-like druid. Maybe gnome, with the Order of the Leaf?


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    It also feels worth pointing out that the anathema only means you have to protect one particular aspect of nature. You can totally be a Poison Ivy type who wants plants to consume every bit of animal life on the planet from my reading, or vice versa. (With the possible exception of the Storm Order, which feels a little hard to parse right now.) Heck, the Wild Order doesn't even require, just that you don't go domestic and become an accountant or something. (Deadmanwalking's example strikes me as probably fine. If you are homeless in a city you are still homeless and not fully domesticated.)

    In some ways, this is a cleaner concept than the druid's generic nature respect thing. Nature means a lot of different things for a lot of different people.


    Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

    I'm genuinely surprised no one has asked the question that I've wondered since the playtest banquet Druid reveal:

    Can we get both an animal companion and a leshy (or other) familiar (and keep them competitive)? I always thought it was weird that everything was almost always worded in such a way that you absolutely couldn't have both actually tied to the same class for advancement in PF1.

    PF1 aside:
    Although there are probably a few ways I don't know in PF1, I do know one: Alchemists could take the Promethean Alchemist archetype from Occult Adventures for a homunculus companion + the Tumor Familiar discovery for a familiar.

    Is there an upper limit on how many companions like this you can get? Is there just a functional one based on the action economy? Can I play a gnome druid and have an druid's animal companion, a druid's leshy familiar, and a gnome ancestry familiar, then spend all my actions every turn telling them what to do?


    I don't see why it would cause a huge problem, but I don't think familiars will be relevant in combat. (They barely were in PF1, so.) So two familiars may or may not be redundant.

    Certainly, they've have specifically said you can get the 1st level benefits of any order through feats, so the leshy familiar/animal pet combo seems guaranteed. I am not sure on the gnome feat, or if you can get a 3rd by multiclassing wizard. That said, familiars are supposed to be sort of magically bound to your essence or whatever, so I could see not allowing more than 1. Maybe you can't have to animal companions either for similar reasons.


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    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Haven't tried to follow this thread, but since at least one of my playtest characters will be a druid, I'll make time eventually. I'm not certain of the specific orders laid out, but I'll hold my opinion until the playtest doc is in hand.

    I do like the flavor presented, and some of the mechanics. I'm not fond of familiars or companions, and the wild anathema is right out for me, so I guess I'll go storm. Or play a sorcerer instead.

    I will say that I like the anathemas presented a LOT more than the example on the barbarian blog. Fits the order and adds a lot of flavor IMO.


    Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    Captain Morgan wrote:
    I don't see why it would cause a huge problem, but I don't think familiars will be relevant in combat. (They barely were in PF1, so.) So two familiars may or may not be redundant.

    It's almost certainly ridiculously sub-optimal, but who cares. So many minions.

    Seriously, though, I wouldn't count on the guarantees because I don't think I ever saw a way to get two familiars (they'd always "stack" with each other). In PF1, using feats for getting a familiar on a druid probably works best with Eldritch Heritage, but it's two feats, and you end up with a familiar that's acts as your level minus two (which isn't too bad, since HP aren't based on that).

    The other key Druid build for me is obviously being wild shaped into an Allosaurus with an Allosaurus animal companion and a Compsognathus familiar. Just one big dinosaur family. (Cats are probably the lesser but thematically similar version).


    Quandary wrote:
    Felinus wrote:
    Looking at how Animal and Wild is split, I was hoping there'd be a greater overlap where the Animal Lord archetype sat (taking on characteristics of the animal in a non-shifter sense as well as bonding with those beasts exclusively).
    Just to re-iterate, there isn't any exclusivity between Orders, not even different level pre-reqs have been indicated. So a given Druid can very reasonably draw from Feats associated to other Orders, they just won't get Order-specific benefits from them. I could even imagine a Wild Order Feat with Animal Order Feat pre-reqs, nothing in system prevents that.

    Yep, totally get all that. Just querying about the middle ground Totemist, rather than Menagerist and Shapeshifter. Also, the ability to specialise in a particular group of animals over others Feline/Lupine/Ursine etc.


    RicoTheBold wrote:


    The other key Druid build for me is obviously being wild shaped into an Allosaurus with an Allosaurus animal companion and a Compsognathus familiar. Just one big dinosaur family. (Cats are probably the lesser but thematically similar version).

    That one certainly seems doable, albeit not all day unless we get some big wild shape extenders we haven't heard yet. But that wouldn't be crazy once we start getting into legendary feats.

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