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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I think Druid's Circle sounds better than Druid's Order. Order implies organization. IMHO, Order sounds better for more lawful oriented, like Knight or paladin orders.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
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.)

Definitely would love a Fungal Druid that focus on decay as part of the natural cycle. I imagine they'd hate undead and magic that extends lifespans unnaturally (outside those granted by primal attunement ;D). Also, has cordyceps-esque fungal 'zombies'!


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
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.

With cats, it's clearly the crazy cat lady druid build. (Bonus points for summon nature's ally, for as many cats as possible.)

Edit: I guess I should add that I don't actually think these are key builds that need to work in PF2. I just like the theme, and as perpetual GM, most of my full class/level rules NPCs are built on weird one-off theme builds because I never use them for that long anyway. I'd totally play one of these as a player in PF1, though, in part because non-archetype druids were so flexible it wouldn't even be that bad.


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RicoTheBold wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
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.
With cats, it's clearly the crazy cat lady druid build. (Bonus points for summon nature's ally, for as many cats as possible.)

Crazy cat person thank you very much!


No alignment restrictions?


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Felinus wrote:
Crazy cat person thank you very much!

Fair point on the gender stereotyping. Crazy catfolk cat person druid build. I totally forgot that it would have to be a catfolk druid (mostly because I forget catfolk exist).

Dark Archive

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battlebaby wrote:
I think Druid's Circle sounds better than Druid's Order. Order implies organization. IMHO, Order sounds better for more lawful oriented, like Knight or paladin orders.

Golarion lore already has various Druidic Orders - I don't see why they'd make up a new term for something that already exists in-world.


Felinus wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
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.)

Definitely would love a Fungal Druid that focus on decay as part of the natural cycle. I imagine they'd hate undead and magic that extends lifespans unnaturally (outside those granted by primal attunement ;D). Also, has cordyceps-esque fungal 'zombies'!

There's also this whole blighted Fey thing that could be leaned into for an evil fungus druid.


Wolventad wrote:
battlebaby wrote:
I think Druid's Circle sounds better than Druid's Order. Order implies organization. IMHO, Order sounds better for more lawful oriented, like Knight or paladin orders.
Golarion lore already has various Druidic Orders - I don't see why they'd make up a new term for something that already exists in-world.

And adopting their competitors language, no less.


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I just wanted to say...
Casting Lightning Bolt outside of natural stormy conditions is both unnatural weather and potentially harmful to wildlife.

It also seems like a pretty staple action of a Storm Druid.

Also, basically any use at all of Control Weather. Making a thunderstorm worse than it already is isn't something you cast high level magic to do - making a tornado or four on a sunny day is *exactly* what you use high level magic to do!
...
And it's anethema...

So... Uh... Rewording plzkthx?

Also, I'm really not liking the sound of shape shifting being tied to Polymorph spells.
Prepared at the beginning of the day? Limited by number of times you can cast?
This makes the class fantasy of a shapeshifter basically impossible to fully realize... Unless I'm missing something.


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Neo2151 wrote:

I just wanted to say...

Casting Lightning Bolt outside of natural stormy conditions is both unnatural weather and potentially harmful to wildlife.

It also seems like a pretty staple action of a Storm Druid.

Also, basically any use at all of Control Weather. Making a thunderstorm worse than it already is isn't something you cast high level magic to do - making a tornado or four on a sunny day is *exactly* what you use high level magic to do!
...
And it's anethema...

So... Uh... Rewording plzkthx?

Also, I'm really not liking the sound of shape shifting being tied to Polymorph spells.
Prepared at the beginning of the day? Limited by number of times you can cast?
This makes the class fantasy of a shapeshifter basically impossible to fully realize... Unless I'm missing something.

Mark mentioned the Anethema earlier:

Mark Seifter wrote:
Something like mega drought in the rainforest, snow in the Sahara, anything that is so far off that the local environment isn't ready to handle it and could be truly damaged as a whole should be off limits. Damaging a few things in the environment is one thing, damaging the environment itself is another.


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Right, but Mark's examples are exactly what you would use Control Weather to do. Kinda makes the spell pointless, no? (Or if not pointless, terribly unexciting.) :P


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"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."

But that's exactly the sort of stuff that I hoped to do with a Storm Druid! Not to harm the environment per se. But controling the weather left and right is something I expected to do.

Disappointed that Leaf druids only get a plant familiar instead of a plant companion. I mean, I love leshies, but I want the option of getting a combat oriented plant companion just like the Animal druid straight forward gets a combat animal.

When Jason showcased one of the polymorph spells at Paizo Con and I saw that I didn't need to invest in physical stats to make them useful, I though "Great! No more just ability score boosts from polymorph spells!" But now seeing that the Wild druid has to invest in Stregnth is just disappointing, just seems forced. At least Constitution would make a bit more sense to me.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Wolventad wrote:
battlebaby wrote:
I think Druid's Circle sounds better than Druid's Order. Order implies organization. IMHO, Order sounds better for more lawful oriented, like Knight or paladin orders.
Golarion lore already has various Druidic Orders - I don't see why they'd make up a new term for something that already exists in-world.
And adopting their competitors language, no less.

I don't disagree with using the term for Druids outright. However, I think in the game it should be reserved for religious groups, where druids are more a philosophical group.I'd also happily accept sect, fellowship or lodge (though that may be better saved for Rangers) in place of Circle.

I don't think WotC has exclusive licence of the term.


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"Tries to repair an environment from desertification" *Falls*
:P


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I think the thing about the anathemas of the various orders is that the order which gives you the most power over a thing also expects you to use those powers most responsibly when dealing with that thing.

So a Leaf druid can make it snow in the Sahara desert, a Wild druid can kick every puppy she sees, an Animal Druid can cut down every tree in the forest, and a Storm Druid can enjoy every vice civilization has to offer, but a Storm, Animal, Leaf, and Wild druid respectively cannot do those things.

Since no feats are order-locked (you just get extra benefits with them if you have the right order) this is just a "Great Power = Great Responsibility" thing.


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Neo2151 wrote:
Right, but Mark's examples are exactly what you would use Control Weather to do. Kinda makes the spell pointless, no? (Or if not pointless, terribly unexciting.) :P

I think there is room for interpretation. I mean, you could create torrential rain or even a snowstorm (in a climate where it snows) to hamper an invading army, particularly if it is deforesting a wilderness area to build camp and siege equipment. In the case of snow, as long as it isn't a long term duration, it'll have negligible effect on the environment, melting within a day or two depending on the seasonal weather patterns naturally expressed at the time.

Snow in the desert though...wouldn't a sand storm be preferable both in ease to accomplish and general function?


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Milo v3 wrote:

"Tries to repair an environment from desertification" *Falls*

:P

If an ecosystem has been a desert for a while, that means it is a desert - all the local animals, plant life, etc. have specifically acclimated to that environment, and to suddenly attempt to change local weather patterns could have devastating effects on all that live in that area.

In Las Vegas, when it rains for extended periods of time, the ground can't absorb all the rain water, which causes intense flooding that, were it not for a complex and meticulously crafted drainage system created around the city, would cause extreme structural damage. It can handle short bouts of heavy rain (albeit it happens extremely uncommonly), but long-term torrents of rain would be absolutely devastating to all that live there, even with the draining system.

There's a difference between changing the weather for a short period of time (causing a rainstorm to appear in a desert to create lightning) and actively causing long-term damage to an ecosystem in a futile attempt to change the environment (giving a desert long term weather patterns more akin to a rain forest).


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I feel like "should we make this area that was once not-a-desert but is now a desert" is a thing that Druids should disagree on. I can see Leaf and Fang/Wing druids wanting to reverse desertification and the Storm druids wanting to do the opposite.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like "should we make this area that was once not-a-desert but is now a desert" is a thing that Druids should disagree on. I can see Leaf and Fang/Wing druids wanting to reverse desertification and the Storm druids wanting to do the opposite.

Conflict between different philosophies among druids is definitely a good thing, especially from a narrative perspective; in one of my games, I had the party run into a Druid who actively sacrificed human chattel in order to improve the yield of his crops because he was a Life Channeler, a rare and extreme order of Druids who saw humanoids as a corrupting force and transferred their life essence to animal and plant life to maintain the closest approximation to natural superiority. While all the other druids in the rural area where he lived were extremely against what he was doing when it came to light, it still hurt their overall reputation among the non-druids once the news left the town.

Conflict is crucial to most good story telling, so Druids belonging to different orders with different priorities should definitely have differing values and anathemas to maintain the potential for conflict.

Paizo Employee Designer

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I think the thing about the anathemas of the various orders is that the order which gives you the most power over a thing also expects you to use those powers most responsibly when dealing with that thing.

So a Leaf druid can make it snow in the Sahara desert, a Wild druid can kick every puppy she sees, an Animal Druid can cut down every tree in the forest, and a Storm Druid can enjoy every vice civilization has to offer, but a Storm, Animal, Leaf, and Wild druid respectively cannot do those things.

Since no feats are order-locked (you just get extra benefits with them if you have the right order) this is just a "Great Power = Great Responsibility" thing.

That's good insight on the way the orders work.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
1of1 wrote:

I wonder what our magic animals do when we aren't paying attention to them.

If a bear is stabbed by a goblin, and the druid isn't around to donate actions, does the bear make a sound?
There's a default, but basically in most situations they try to use actions to get out of danger and protect themselves. Also, animal order druids can eventually always get at least one chosen action out of their companion even when they aren't using an action to Command it.

So they are essentially stupider than a real-world trained dog?


Friendly Rogue wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:

"Tries to repair an environment from desertification" *Falls*

:P

If an ecosystem has been a desert for a while, that means it is a desert - all the local animals, plant life, etc. have specifically acclimated to that environment, and to suddenly attempt to change local weather patterns could have devastating effects on all that live in that area.

In Las Vegas, when it rains for extended periods of time, the ground can't absorb all the rain water, which causes intense flooding that, were it not for a complex and meticulously crafted drainage system created around the city, would cause extreme structural damage. It can handle short bouts of heavy rain (albeit it happens extremely uncommonly), but long-term torrents of rain would be absolutely devastating to all that live there, even with the draining system.

There's a difference between changing the weather for a short period of time (causing a rainstorm to appear in a desert to create lightning) and actively causing long-term damage to an ecosystem in a futile attempt to change the environment (giving a desert long term weather patterns more akin to a rain forest).

What if it was established change but of anthrogenic origins? I'd probably allow that, though maybe discuss the timeframe so it isn't a sudden change like a life's quest(alla Robo in Chrono Trigger).


On the topic of altering landscapes and environments I am reminded of something that occurred to me while reading the post that I haven't commented on.

It pertains to Leyline Conduit and where it can be used. Given it functions by tapping into Leylines, are there areas where it wouldn't function, such as cities, where the strength of the conduit is dampened by destruction of the natural environment?


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Would fungi and molds be considered plants for the leaf druid anathema, or might there be a fungus-based druid introduced later? Because a druid focused on mold and decay sounds pretty sweet.

Edit: Nevermind, saw that they were considered different! Decay Druid, here I come!


So, I have a question: Does Goodberry (the spell in spell lists) still exist? Is it going to be exclusive to Leaf druids? Or is it a spell any druid can prepare but Leaf druids can cast it using spell points, or extra times per day, or with better effects?

It would feel weird that a spell that some consider to be a core Druid feature became exclusive to a particular kind of Druids, but on the other hand it would also feel weird that the first level power/feat/whatever of the Leaf order was just "you can make more berries than that one druid who can electrocute their enemies to death".

Overall impressed with the druid. Always liked Druids as a concept but never got to play one neither in 3.5 or PF. Mostly because the thing I liked the most about them was the shapeshifting and it didn't come into play until they leveled up a little (I like combat shapeshifters a lot and I want my characters to have what I consider their core or unique abilities at least in a very basic form at first level, as it helps me coming up with a core for a backstory). Now I can do a level 1 guy who mauls their enemies with shapeshifted claws! That's good. Even if the Storm Order looks pretty awesome too.


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Hurray, bear love!

One thing that's been bothering me from the beginning, and I'm gonna voice it now, is the way the levels of success are ordered. This is just the way my brain works, I guess, but it seems the most intuitive way to look at them is Critical Success = +2, Success = +1, Failure = -1, and Critical Failure = -2. And yet, in an ability's entry, the different effects of different levels of success are ordered

+1
+2
-1
-2

When it should be ordered

+2
+1
-1
-2

Thank you in advance for changing this; I love you.


Cuup wrote:

Hurray, bear love!

One thing that's been bothering me from the beginning, and I'm gonna voice it now, is the way the levels of success are ordered. This is just the way my brain works, I guess, but it seems the most intuitive way to look at them is Critical Success = +2, Success = +1, Failure = -1, and Critical Failure = -2. And yet, in an ability's entry, the different effects of different levels of success are ordered

+1
+2
-1
-2

When it should be ordered

+2
+1
-1
-2

Thank you in advance for changing this; I love you.

Or like this:

+1
As +1, but +1 more.
-1
As -1, but -1 more.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Regarding unnatural weather and harming the environment, here’s what my test would be:
- Weather is not considered unnatural if the weather event could plausibly happen naturally this time next year. Weather that is just out of season is only considered both unnatural and harmful if the environment would handle the weather better in the proper season. (Hurricanes may be seasonal and destructive, but unless you’re creating one in cold temperatures, it’s not worse on the environment for happening out of season.)
The environment is not considered harmed if the harm dealt falls within the normal expectations of a typical day. Striking a tree with lightning isn’t harming the environment, because losing a tree isn’t outside what could happen in a typical day. Clearing sections of the forest with a twenty-four hour tornado is well outside the harm occurring naturally in a day.


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Mewzard wrote:

Mark mentioned the Anethema earlier:

Mark Seifter wrote:
Something like mega drought in the rainforest, snow in the Sahara, anything that is so far off that the local environment isn't ready to handle it and could be truly damaged as a whole should be off limits. Damaging a few things in the environment is one thing, damaging the environment itself is another.

It snowed in the Sahara earlier this year, in fact. Environments are both more and less resilient than they seem, and a short-term effect like that won't do real harm. Permanently altering the general weather pattern of a region seems like something that shouldn't be magically trivial.


Bluenose wrote:
Mewzard wrote:

Mark mentioned the Anethema earlier:

Mark Seifter wrote:
Something like mega drought in the rainforest, snow in the Sahara, anything that is so far off that the local environment isn't ready to handle it and could be truly damaged as a whole should be off limits. Damaging a few things in the environment is one thing, damaging the environment itself is another.
It snowed in the Sahara earlier this year, in fact. Environments are both more and less resilient than they seem, and a short-term effect like that won't do real harm. Permanently altering the general weather pattern of a region seems like something that shouldn't be magically trivial.

I believe he meant snowing every day in the Sahara, which would be similar to making the rainforest experience a drought.


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

I'm pretty sure there's nothing preventing a Pathfinder druid from putting ranks in diplomacy.

And there are several traits that make it a class skill...


Felinus wrote:

On the topic of altering landscapes and environments I am reminded of something that occurred to me while reading the post that I haven't commented on.

It pertains to Leyline Conduit and where it can be used. Given it functions by tapping into Leylines, are there areas where it wouldn't function, such as cities, where the strength of the conduit is dampened by destruction of the natural environment?

Ancient peoples placed megalithic structures, holy sites and cities on ley lines and nexus points to tap their energy; chose battle sites where ley lines were strong etc. Depending on your milieu/campaign setting ley lines might be enhanced or weakened, nullified or supercharged.

But I agree with you that although the ability mentions ley lines, there is absolutely no requirement in the ability for an actual ley line to be described, located or even exist.


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* The four Orders presented do not make a modular class. They make a segregated approach that divides options, from signature skills with only one choice to Orders you might want to pick and choose from. Not a fan. More and more I see the streamlining as removing the choices, while all the while folks are saying - but there are so many more options bcoz ABCD in character creation. Which mostly means "Feats!" Like Animal Companion being a feat. So sad. "But anyone can take the feat so...modular right!?!?"

* Flavor text will always be useless to folks that can actually create a theme or story. I do like the Mode functions breakdown, but it seems a bit hamfisted and the the Downtime version needs a bit more than you can make potions and magic items. Really?

* I see the druid is still yet to escape the outdated expectation of nature warden, and the sustainability angle, while laudable in our time feels again, hamfisted. Super totes evil druids are not welcome in the playtest.

* Storm Order feels a lot like the 5e Druid storm/lightning option. Not sure why that theme keeps cropping up.

* Leaf Order - I just can't get behind the "leshy is the new hotness" thing that has grown over the boards like a feral lantana vine. Confused as to why only a leshy familiar, nor generally why the Order segregation into "you get an AC, you get a familiar, you get a wildshape and you get to go wee wee wee aaaaaallll the way home, unless y'all anyone of you choose the AC feat, but it still won't be as super AC as the Animal Order personage's AC".

* "non-creature plant". Wut?

* Super dislike the meta of your bear auto-biting to add a dice to your attack. I agree the logic is super headscratchy, and I'm really hoping we don't see this exploded into everything going further. It does feel a lot like 4e DnD, but I'm not an edition hater. So what?

* I'm a fan of druids, but not really a fan of how this class is being presented nor what the design decisions mean for the game. Oh well, I'm sure I'll have changed mymind in a year's time. Except about the Orders. and the leshy.


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@Wayne: Lini is the only Pathfinder gnome I like - she is every kind of awesome, from her clothes to her accoutrements to her stance/wild vigor to her pensive/emotional side to her powerful animal friend. No need for professional standards to force you to limn the wee folk here - and though she doesn't appear to this poor viewer to be too distinct from previous incarnations the level of pathos oozing from her eyes is palpable.

Really nice one, and I'd love to see that one in colour...Lini's color scheme is a greenophile's verdant dream.


As the druid has been my favorite class since 3.0 D&D I have been looking forward to this. My takes on things:

Animal Companion: Looks good, but if I have to spend and action every turn to keep telling them to do the thing they are already doing I will never use one. This is unfortunate, as it is one of my favorite parts of druids, and I have spent sooooo much money on minis for companions.

Plant stuff: I like the familiar. Seems cools all around, just not my thing.

Storm Druid: Very cool. Blasty druids can be fun to play sometimes, and it's nice to see that concept get a boost.

Wild: This is where it's at for me. You had me at Level 1 wild shape! I like the Str based bonuses as well. Dino Shape looks awesome, especially at higher levels. I just hope the other shapes have more options. I like having a lot of choices to change into.

Overall looks to be my favorite class again, though I wish we had info about proficiencies.


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Diego Rossi wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
1of1 wrote:

I wonder what our magic animals do when we aren't paying attention to them.

If a bear is stabbed by a goblin, and the druid isn't around to donate actions, does the bear make a sound?
There's a default, but basically in most situations they try to use actions to get out of danger and protect themselves. Also, animal order druids can eventually always get at least one chosen action out of their companion even when they aren't using an action to Command it.
So they are essentially stupider than a real-world trained dog?

I feel like you might be overestimating the intelligence of dogs, even trained ones.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I think the thing about the anathemas of the various orders is that the order which gives you the most power over a thing also expects you to use those powers most responsibly when dealing with that thing.

So a Leaf druid can make it snow in the Sahara desert, a Wild druid can kick every puppy she sees, an Animal Druid can cut down every tree in the forest, and a Storm Druid can enjoy every vice civilization has to offer, but a Storm, Animal, Leaf, and Wild druid respectively cannot do those things.

Since no feats are order-locked (you just get extra benefits with them if you have the right order) this is just a "Great Power = Great Responsibility" thing.

That's good insight on the way the orders work.

It would also be insightful to see that some people don't want it to work that way. Me included.


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necromental wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I think the thing about the anathemas of the various orders is that the order which gives you the most power over a thing also expects you to use those powers most responsibly when dealing with that thing.

So a Leaf druid can make it snow in the Sahara desert, a Wild druid can kick every puppy she sees, an Animal Druid can cut down every tree in the forest, and a Storm Druid can enjoy every vice civilization has to offer, but a Storm, Animal, Leaf, and Wild druid respectively cannot do those things.

Since no feats are order-locked (you just get extra benefits with them if you have the right order) this is just a "Great Power = Great Responsibility" thing.

That's good insight on the way the orders work.
It would also be insightful to see that some people don't want it to work that way. Me included.

And that other people, like me, feel it's both thematically appropriate and a light burden in terms of normal roleplaying.

Scarab Sages

Am I forgetting something or is the Bear Hug advanced maneuver literally identical with simply using Bear Hug as your second action whenever your first attack hit?


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Catharsis wrote:
Am I forgetting something or is the Bear Hug advanced maneuver literally identical with simply using Bear Hug as your second action whenever your first attack hit?

I think you're confused by the listing. Bear Hug is listed as the Advanced Maneuver, and then it's described below that.

So when the Bear gets his Advanced Maneuver (which is I think 14th level), it can then use the Bear Hug Action, which is basically just a second Claw Strike except if it hits it also Grapples (so, a direct upgrade).

Acquisitives

Interesting to see that the Wild order gets extra polymorph based on Strength. I am not following the logic of that decision. What about physical strength drives the extra polymorph spells? If it were polymorph self spells, I would think it would be more tied to a higher Constitution. If it is polymorph spells on others, I still don't see why that would be tied to Strength, as opposed to Wisdom.

I assume the logic is more mechanical: it gives a motivation for a druid who will mostly be fighting in an alternate form (with alternate stats) to invest in a physical ability score.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

PF2 Druid sound cool I think. Feels closer to its PF1 roots than most other classes

What I am most delighted to discover though is that PF2 has typed penalties, which I guess do not stack


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
1of1 wrote:

I wonder what our magic animals do when we aren't paying attention to them.

If a bear is stabbed by a goblin, and the druid isn't around to donate actions, does the bear make a sound?
There's a default, but basically in most situations they try to use actions to get out of danger and protect themselves. Also, animal order druids can eventually always get at least one chosen action out of their companion even when they aren't using an action to Command it.
So they are essentially stupider than a real-world trained dog?
I feel like you might be overestimating the intelligence of dogs, even trained ones.

Technically, training has no impact upon intelligence. In any case, this seems more a reflection of wild animals being less tame than domesticated ones. Which makes sense to me.

Either way, as in PF1, Animal Companions are NPCs albeit ones a PC has strong influence over. Thus, I strongly suspect they will act at the GM's discretion in the absence of their mistress. Alternately, if the bond is represented as a supernatural subordination of the animal's will to that of their bonded Druid then it makes perfect sense for them to stand around in a stupor when not actively directed by her.

Shadow Lodge

I see Druidzilla is coming back. Aside from Strength(if Wild) you don't really need the other physical scores...


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I feel like I still haven't got a proper peekaloo at the actual system, somehow with these classes, it is all looking rather busy, quite granular, a lot of different little sub-systems within a class: Class-Feats, Features, Spell Points, Spell Slots, Powers, Order/Muse; and then you have Proficiencies, Skills, Ancestral Feats, General Feats, Skill-Feats...whew.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
I feel like I still haven't got a proper peekaloo at the actual system, somehow with these classes, it is all looking rather busy, quite granular, a lot of different little sub-systems within a class: Class-Feats, Features, Spell Points, Spell Slots, Powers, Order/Muse; and then you have Proficiencies, Skills, Ancestral Feats, General Feats, Skill-Feats...whew.

Agreed. That said, the previews are trying to preview a range of character types over 20 levels in a small space. It may be that the actual characters created using thesystem will be less... Cluttered?


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Crayon wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
I feel like I still haven't got a proper peekaloo at the actual system, somehow with these classes, it is all looking rather busy, quite granular, a lot of different little sub-systems within a class: Class-Feats, Features, Spell Points, Spell Slots, Powers, Order/Muse; and then you have Proficiencies, Skills, Ancestral Feats, General Feats, Skill-Feats...whew.
Agreed. That said, the previews are trying to preview a range of character types over 20 levels in a small space. It may be that the actual characters created using thesystem will be less... Cluttered?

Totally, if I could just get a look at a full class entry, table and all, that might help it fall into place, but as of right now, the classes are making my head swim a bit.


Dragonborn3 wrote:
I see Druidzilla is coming back. Aside from Strength(if Wild) you don't really need the other physical scores...

It's really limited in duration. You need your best slots to roughly meet a martial in base stats (but you won't have their special abilities) and if you buy more duration with lesser stats you won't be able to fight even that well.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Blave wrote:

Judging by the Dino Shape spell shown at paizocon, your attributes (physical or otherwise) don't seem to affect the effectiveness of polymorph spells at all.

So making a wild druid's wild shaping dependent on his strength, which he probably doesn't even want to use (because he wants to fight in animal form), seems odd.

What's the reasoning behind this?

Magic-pseudo-explanationwise, the more you've trained up your muscles, the more they can handle shifting into these more taxing forms.

Conceptually for the character, it's good to have a strong incentive for the specialist in beating things up who gains powerful claw options and is otherwise a scrapper when in their wild form to not be a weakling when in natural form, especially so you don't wind up playing a character that has to wait around for several levels until it gets a nasty battle form before it kicks in (you can still do that and play the scrawny weakling who becomes a powerful animal if that's your concept, but the added benefits for putting in some Strength make it an actual question of what you'll want to do).

EDIT: Cantriped is pretty insightful and faster than me!

wouldn't the strain not also be well presented with con instead of str as additional attribute for shapeshifter?

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