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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Shadow Lodge

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Xenocrat wrote:
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.

Wild Shape sounds like free slots just for shaping, so your actual spells are free for other things. I'd be more worried about being behind, say, a fighter if one of the fighter's 14th level feats wasn't god awful. Being a point or two behind might be a bigger deal than it used to be, but not much.


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I like Strength as a wild shape attribute because it is the ability that governs our capability to shape the physical world. The stronger you are, the better able you are to force your body into a new shape. You don't need endurance to assume the more taxing forms, you need strength.


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Cheburn wrote:
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.

It will never not dismay me to see the bolded as something still being pursued for the purpose of being inflicted on others.


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

IIRC; Mark has said elsewhere that Str is undervalued (read has too little influence), so of the two it makes sense for the shapeshifter to choose str over con for balance reasons. Plus it makes them more competent in their chosen role (melee) when their magic runs out.


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Tectorman wrote:
It will never not dismay me to see the bolded as something still being pursued for the purpose of being inflicted on others.

Well we certainly can't be having those other people out there enjoying their badwrongfun, can we?


Dragonborn3 wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
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.
Wild Shape sounds like free slots just for shaping, so your actual spells are free for other things. I'd be more worried about being behind, say, a fighter if one of the fighter's 14th level feats wasn't god awful. Being a point or two behind might be a bigger deal than it used to be, but not much.

You still have to burn two(?) actions casting one at the beginning of every fight (1 minute durations are probably the norm for combat forms) and then you have the base stats but none of the enhancers (Power Attack, babarian rage, etc.) so you're not actually as good. This seems to give you flexibility to be a backup frontliner at the opportunity cost of being able to cast spells during the fight. That seems fine.


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I have to admit I'm a bit lost. Reading the comments, I no longer can say if PF2 is a clone of 5e, exactly identical to 4e, or too much like it's 3e roots.

Need some way to break the tie.


gustavo iglesias wrote:

I have to admit I'm a bit lost. Reading the comments, I no longer can say if PF2 is a clone of 5e, exactly identical to 4e, or too much like it's 3e roots.

Need some way to break the tie.

I think that might be what they are going for with the new and shiny 4-degress of success deal and Proficiency/UTEML; I am just guessing, here. I really like the action economy, and monster Reactions.


Xenocrat wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
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.
Wild Shape sounds like free slots just for shaping, so your actual spells are free for other things. I'd be more worried about being behind, say, a fighter if one of the fighter's 14th level feats wasn't god awful. Being a point or two behind might be a bigger deal than it used to be, but not much.
You still have to burn two(?) actions casting one at the beginning of every fight (1 minute durations are probably the norm for combat forms) and then you have the base stats but none of the enhancers (Power Attack, babarian rage, etc.) so you're not actually as good. This seems to give you flexibility to be a backup frontliner at the opportunity cost of being able to cast spells during the fight. That seems fine.

I very much hope you're wrong. If the shapeshifting druid is just "don't you wish you were as good as a Fighter" X/day, then... well, you should've just been a Fighter.

Scarab Sages

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TheFinish wrote:
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).

D’oh! Thanks for clearing that up. So no special animal ability until 14th level, apart from base stats?

The Work Together bonus sounds interesting. Is that something the companion does on its own when you’re not directing it, or does it also cost an action?

Spending one’s third action for two animal attacks (at 0, –5?) instead of a third attack at –10 seems like a fantastic deal; why are some people complaining about it?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Neo2151 wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
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.
Wild Shape sounds like free slots just for shaping, so your actual spells are free for other things. I'd be more worried about being behind, say, a fighter if one of the fighter's 14th level feats wasn't god awful. Being a point or two behind might be a bigger deal than it used to be, but not much.
You still have to burn two(?) actions casting one at the beginning of every fight (1 minute durations are probably the norm for combat forms) and then you have the base stats but none of the enhancers (Power Attack, babarian rage, etc.) so you're not actually as good. This seems to give you flexibility to be a backup frontliner at the opportunity cost of being able to cast spells during the fight. That seems fine.
I very much hope you're wrong. If the shapeshifting druid is just "don't you wish you were as good as a Fighter" X/day, then... well, you should've just been a Fighter.

Umm, being almost as good as a fighter X/day and being able to cast a bunch of spells and do a bunch of other druidy things when you're not being almost as good as a fighter at doing the fighter's job seems like a pretty good deal. The whole point of having a fighter class is that they're the best at fighting in return for not getting to be good at a whole pile of other stuff.


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Catharsis wrote:
Spending one’s third action for two animal attacks (at 0, –5?) instead of a third attack at –10 seems like a fantastic deal; why are some people complaining about it?

Because in PF1 you could spend a free action to get an entire creature's worth of actions out of your companion, which you must admit is better. It's definitely a nerf to A/Cs, but IMHO a much-needed one; their effect on your action economy in PF1 is just gross.


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Tectorman wrote:
It will never not dismay me to see the bolded as something still being pursued for the purpose of being inflicted on others.

I feel like it's not a big ask to require Druids to respect *something* though, and making it specific to an order means that you're free to have druids who don't remotely care about nature outside of their purview. So you can have a Swamp Thing villain who wants plants to dominate animals, or a Druid who cuts down all the trees in an area so storms are more powerful, or a Druid who has cursed a city with endless unnatural weather, or a Druid who is a spoiled aristocrat- but those people aren't welcome in the orders whose central unifying goal those actions aren't welcome in.

I wonder if there are rules for switching orders. Like a storm druid who falls because they did some really bad juju with the weather to get revenge on some nation they had been wronged by switching from Storm to Wild.


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Catharsis wrote:
TheFinish wrote:
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).

D’oh! Thanks for clearing that up. So no special animal ability until 14th level, apart from base stats?

The Work Together bonus sounds interesting. Is that something the companion does on its own when you’re not directing it, or does it also cost an action?

Spending one’s third action for two animal attacks (at 0, –5?) instead of a third attack at –10 seems like a fantastic deal; why are some people complaining about it?

Well, QuidEst posted most of the Animal Companion stuff earlier in the thread (Info Here, but to asnwer:

- That is correct, 14th level is where the AC gains their special ability, although I figure there's Class Feats you can take before that to augment it further.
- Work Together is an Action the AC can take, and IIRC they can't also attack in the same round. So in this case the Bear takes an action and all your attacks do +1d8 damage.

As for the last question, I think the complaints are more about the Animal Companion being completely passive (except for fleeing) when not directed. Or at least that's how it reads to me.

I personally don't like it because it seems to restrict the Druid a bit, automatically taking 1 action unless you want the AC to be dead weight. Which makes you much more static on the battlefield (can't move and cast a spell, can't move and use a power, etc).

Playtest will tell if this is a problem or not though.


14th level is when Druid can spend a feat to get their companion their special ability (along with some stat boosts and other abilities).


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
It will never not dismay me to see the bolded as something still being pursued for the purpose of being inflicted on others.

I feel like it's not a big ask to require Druids to respect *something* though, and making it specific to an order means that you're free to have druids who don't remotely care about nature outside of their purview. So you can have a Swamp Thing villain who wants plants to dominate animals, or a Druid who cuts down all the trees in an area so storms are more powerful, or a Druid who has cursed a city with endless unnatural weather, or a Druid who is a spoiled aristocrat- but those people aren't welcome in the orders whose central unifying goal those actions aren't welcome in.

I wonder if there are rules for switching orders. Like a storm druid who falls because they did some really bad juju with the weather to get revenge on some city who had wronged said druid switching from Storm to Wild.

Yeah. Asking for a class that gets their powers from the forces of nature to respect one particular aspect of nature seems like a rather reasonable restriction. To argue otherwise is to want a system where the source of magic is completely unexplained. Which to be fair, some people do want. We have folks who want godless clerics and what not.

But while I can see wanting a cleric who draws power from an ideal instead of a god, I have a really hard time picturing a druid who isn't drawing their power from nature, given what their spells do.

Plus, we have Primal Sorcerers if you want nature magic without an anathema.


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I mean, Druids already had Anathema in PF1, there was that vague "a druid who ceases to revere nature" clause under "Ex-Druids" in the CRB.

Now we know what that means at least, and we're more specific than "revere nature" it's now "be willfully disrespectful to the specific aspect of nature your order is concerned with".


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kpulv wrote:
Quote:

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.

I really wish this was more like

Quote:

1d10 Electricity Damage to one target.

Target's Reflex Saving Throw:
* Critical Success: Target takes no damage.
* Success: Target takes half damage.
* Failure: Target takes damage, and is Sluggish 1 for 1 round.
* Critical Failure: Target takes double damage, and is Sluggish 2 for 1 round.

You surround a foe in a swirling storm of violent winds, roiling clouds, and crackling lightning.

Organize the information in order of importance in the moment that it's being queried. Half the time in combat is going to be spent parsing through flavor fluff that's mixed in with the actual mechanics. Also the order of success, crit success, etc, continues to confuse me every time I see it. You have a four degrees of success system so put them in the order of their degree. Best to worst or worst to best.

Amazing! I didn't even knew I wanted flavor text in the end so much!


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Neo2151 wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:


You still have to burn two(?) actions casting one at the beginning of every fight (1 minute durations are probably the norm for combat forms) and then you have the base stats but none of the enhancers (Power Attack, babarian rage, etc.) so you're not actually as good. This seems to give you flexibility to be a backup frontliner at the opportunity cost of being able to cast spells during the fight. That seems fine.
I very much hope you're wrong. If the shapeshifting druid is just "don't you wish you were as good as a Fighter" X/day, then... well, you should've just been a Fighter.

Well, you'll sometimes get some extra abilities like movement, reach, grab/trip, but no, you're not going to be quite as good as a fighter/barbarian at raw DPS. And you shouldn't be!

The druid is a spellcaster who can also (with investment) shapeshift. He is not a "I fight via shapeshifting" class.


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I kinda hope they keep the "any neutral" requirement to be honest. IIRC the origin of druids on Golarion harkens back to a time when all the various proto-druids venerated different aspects of nature and there was a big ol' fight over which aspect of nature was the best, until the soon-to-be Druids figured out this was a "blind people describe an elephant" situation and they were all talking about different aspects of the same thing.

So "being able to take a detached and principled position between two reconcilable extremes" is sort of part and parcel to the Golarion Druid (in your own setting, do whatever).

We can always print an archetype or order like that one "ex-druid archetype from that one Player's Companion" for people taken to extremism, but I prefer the default to be "any neutral".

"No metal armor" can go away though, unless it's a specific anathema for a specific order (like Druids who are tied to the First World somehow.)

Shadow Lodge

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I could accept a metal armor restriction IF and only IF non-metal armor was competitive with its metal counterparts WITHOUT having to be made of Dragonhide or large amounts of rocks.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
It will never not dismay me to see the bolded as something still being pursued for the purpose of being inflicted on others.

I feel like it's not a big ask to require Druids to respect *something* though, and making it specific to an order means that you're free to have druids who don't remotely care about nature outside of their purview. So you can have a Swamp Thing villain who wants plants to dominate animals, or a Druid who cuts down all the trees in an area so storms are more powerful, or a Druid who has cursed a city with endless unnatural weather, or a Druid who is a spoiled aristocrat- but those people aren't welcome in the orders whose central unifying goal those actions aren't welcome in.

I wonder if there are rules for switching orders. Like a storm druid who falls because they did some really bad juju with the weather to get revenge on some city who had wronged said druid switching from Storm to Wild.

Yeah. Asking for a class that gets their powers from the forces of nature to respect one particular aspect of nature seems like a rather reasonable restriction. To argue otherwise is to want a system where the source of magic is completely unexplained. Which to be fair, some people do want. We have folks who want godless clerics and what not.

But while I can see wanting a cleric who draws power from an ideal instead of a god, I have a really hard time picturing a druid who isn't drawing their power from nature, given what their spells do.

Plus, we have Primal Sorcerers if you want nature magic without an anathema.

It's only the same thing as realizing there are those that want to play a Barbarian, those that do not want to have something hanging over their head, and that these two things do not contradict each other. Yes, it may make aspects of the system result in sources of magic not being explained. It also results in the system not springing a stressful Sword of Damocles on a player for having the unmitigated gall of being interested in the Barbarian class (or the Druid class).

I just don't have it in me to value the former over the latter. It's anathema to me.


Xenocrat wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:


You still have to burn two(?) actions casting one at the beginning of every fight (1 minute durations are probably the norm for combat forms) and then you have the base stats but none of the enhancers (Power Attack, babarian rage, etc.) so you're not actually as good. This seems to give you flexibility to be a backup frontliner at the opportunity cost of being able to cast spells during the fight. That seems fine.
I very much hope you're wrong. If the shapeshifting druid is just "don't you wish you were as good as a Fighter" X/day, then... well, you should've just been a Fighter.

Well, you'll sometimes get some extra abilities like movement, reach, grab/trip, but no, you're not going to be quite as good as a fighter/barbarian at raw DPS. And you shouldn't be!

The druid is a spellcaster who can also (with investment) shapeshift. He is not a "I fight via shapeshifting" class.

I'll also add that Wild Shape sounds like a prime candidate for the this VMC archetype thing we are getting. A barbarian (who can already transform to some degree thanks to totem abilties) who can stack rage on top of even a weakened wild shape might be pretty cool.

Grand Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber

A question I have is, do we /know/ that a Companion does nothing (or reacts at GM's discretion) when not directed by an action by the master, or is the 'give two actions at the cost of one of yours' meaning that you use one of your own to give the AC their second and third actions in a turn, and they get just one if you aren't specifically 'handling' them? I just wonder if we have a situation of being shown half the information... in many cases the parts not disclosed have so much to do with what WAS, holding them back is kind of criminally negligent...


This is some fantastic stuff. Hugely keen on 3 of the 4 orders.


Kerobelis wrote:
Does the animal companion use your actions or does it have its own?

Your character uses up one of her actions to command the companion which can then take two actions eg. Druid moves 25ft (1st action), casts a verbose spell (2nd action), then commands Trinket her bear (3rd action). Trinket then moves (1st action) and gores the living hell out of the villain (2nd action).


BTW, mostly a fluff/ editing issue, but on the Roleplaying a Druid section:
"Others Probably... Treat you as a mystic, similar to a priest, but answering only to the forces of nature."

I think PRIEST here should in fact be CLERIC. Priest isn't really defined (none of real-world religions which give meaning to priest exist in game), and real-world Priest activities only slightly coincide with Clerics. If the intention here is they are seen as Nature Clerics, that should just be stated. That is the actual heritage of Druid class in D&D AFAIK.


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I don't think priests are limited to clerics, though. Shelyn has bards in her clergy, for instance, and other gods attract members of other classes to serve in those roles as well.


But that doesn't really say much specifically, then, if Druids are similar to Bards who like Shelyn, Fighters who like Gorum, etc. Yet the dynamics of their power and thus role in fact maps directly to Clerics. This line is describing this specific class, and should distinguish it from other classes... who after all could also be priests of Nature, as Bards can worship Sheyn or Fighters worship Gorum. If any class can be a priest, then there is no real reason to call Druids a priest, and it doesn't serve clear purpose in distinguishing their unique role.


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A priest is a role in society that is often given respect.

People don't treat most bards like priests, nor would most fighters be given that respect. Unless they were actually part of the church.

Most druids would be given the respect due a priest, even if they do not serve that role in the community.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I kinda hope they keep the "any neutral" requirement to be honest. IIRC the origin of druids on Golarion harkens back to a time when all the various proto-druids venerated different aspects of nature and there was a big ol' fight over which aspect of nature was the best, until the soon-to-be Druids figured out this was a "blind people describe an elephant" situation and they were all talking about different aspects of the same thing.

So "being able to take a detached and principled position between two reconcilable extremes" is sort of part and parcel to the Golarion Druid (in your own setting, do whatever).

We can always print an archetype or order like that one "ex-druid archetype from that one Player's Companion" for people taken to extremism, but I prefer the default to be "any neutral".

"No metal armor" can go away though, unless it's a specific anathema for a specific order (like Druids who are tied to the First World somehow.)

I feel that the non-neutral alignments are less extreme than most of the neutral ones. Lawful Neutral is just pure Lawful without anything to balance it, while Lawful Good needs to balance its Lawful and Good sides, for example.


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rooneg wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
I very much hope you're wrong. If the shapeshifting druid is just "don't you wish you were as good as a Fighter" X/day, then... well, you should've just been a Fighter.
Umm, being almost as good as a fighter X/day and being able to cast a bunch of spells and do a bunch of other druidy things when you're not being almost as good as a fighter at doing the fighter's job seems like a pretty good deal. The whole point of having a fighter class is that they're the best at fighting in return for not getting to be good at a whole pile of other stuff.

Back when shifting was not tied to spellcasting, I wouldn't make the argument.

Now, however, you're using up those spell slots to assume your animal forms, which directly eats up your available "utility/non-combat" options.
Top it all with less spell slots available than there used to be.

Maybe I'm worrying over nothing, and the actual playtest material will show it won't be so bad, but with the tiny bit of info the previews have given us to go on, it sounds like "either you shift into animal forms for your combats, or you have spells to do other stuff, but you probably won't have enough to do both."


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It sounds like with the wild shape feat you get a once per day max tier beast shape that doesn't compete with your other spell slots and more feat investment takes it to twice per day. Wild druids get +Str mod on top of that. So you can get a fair amount of wild shape without expending any spell slots for it. It is conpeting with other features based options though. Better blasting, animal companion, etc.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Neo2151 wrote:

Back when shifting was not tied to spellcasting, I wouldn't make the argument.

Now, however, you're using up those spell slots to assume your animal forms, which directly eats up your available "utility/non-combat" options.
Top it all with less spell slots available than there used to be.

To be slightly more specific than Bardarok, you get a wild shape pool (as evidenced by the reference to the pool in the Druid class feats shown on the playtest banquet slides). Kinda like Cleric channeling, it's a completely separate pool from spell points or spell slots. And it's always worked as a spell for the effects in Pathfinder, just with a different duration and the extra rules to modify it.


Aah, okay, well that makes me less worried!
(Missing that extra Druid info sucks tho - you'd think they'd at least link to it in the preview with it being that relevant and all <_< lol)

Dark Archive

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So your telling me, that I can play a plant and it works in game? The playtest can't start soon enough.


GM OfAnything wrote:
I don't think priests are limited to clerics, though. Shelyn has bards in her clergy, for instance, and other gods attract members of other classes to serve in those roles as well.

This

In Golarion Priests are (at least somewhat) defined. They are people within the church which do basically everything one would expect from a priest (preach, hold a mess, talk with people about faith and often non-faith related stuff, give aid, care about the community etc - of course alsways somewhat painted by the deity)
Priests are just not defined by class. They can be simple commoners, clerics of course, inquisitors, rogues, paladins, figthers, bards

While I think it is almost neccessary for a cleric to be a priest, a priest can be whatever he wants/is able too as long as he serves the curch

Bards are a good example, they are very common in the Shelyn church and the Desna Church and at least somewhat in the Serenrae church (many of them in turn as dervish)

I would also guess that there are many Chevaliers among the priesthood of Sarenrae, Iomedae, Gorum and Asmodeus

I probably could go on for pages with further examples

The Exchange

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Im really super excited about this. Im making a homebrew for the playtest and it is centered around a druid war in ages past. And somehow due to this war the leaders of the 4 factions got stuck in time and now coming back. This post gave me the somehow in the form of the anathemas, the 4 factions, and just fits so well. Im really pumped.


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Seisho wrote:
GM OfAnything wrote:
I don't think priests are limited to clerics, though. Shelyn has bards in her clergy, for instance, and other gods attract members of other classes to serve in those roles as well.

This

In Golarion Priests are (at least somewhat) defined. They are people within the church which do basically everything one would expect from a priest (preach, hold a mess, talk with people about faith and often non-faith related stuff, give aid, care about the community etc - of course alsways somewhat painted by the deity)
Priests are just not defined by class. They can be simple commoners, clerics of course, inquisitors, rogues, paladins, figthers, bards

While I think it is almost neccessary for a cleric to be a priest, a priest can be whatever he wants/is able too as long as he serves the curch

Bards are a good example, they are very common in the Shelyn church and the Desna Church and at least somewhat in the Serenrae church (many of them in turn as dervish)

I would also guess that there are many Chevaliers among the priesthood of Sarenrae, Iomedae, Gorum and Asmodeus

I probably could go on for pages with further examples

IIRC Asmodeus is actually one of the few deities that only accepts clerics and similar divine casters in his priesthood; this makes sense given the stringent hierarchy of Hell, and is interesting because he's presented as the exception in that regard rather than the norm.


Asmodeus does as Asmodeus pleases.

Wayfinders

I just want to chime in that I love almost all of the ideas presented in the blog here. Am very excited for Druid and Monk.


The druid looks promising. I'm excited to see the full thing.

I wish Leaf druids didn't come preloaded with a familiar. The leshy doesn't fit all woodland druids and not the way I would play one. I think it would make more sense to have Leaf pick up the leshy through feats.

Scarab Sages

Seisho wrote:
GM OfAnything wrote:
I don't think priests are limited to clerics, though. Shelyn has bards in her clergy, for instance, and other gods attract members of other classes to serve in those roles as well.

This

In Golarion Priests are (at least somewhat) defined. They are people within the church which do basically everything one would expect from a priest (preach, hold a mess, talk with people about faith and often non-faith related stuff, give aid, care about the community etc - of course alsways somewhat painted by the deity)
Priests are just not defined by class. They can be simple commoners, clerics of course, inquisitors, rogues, paladins, figthers, bards

While I think it is almost neccessary for a cleric to be a priest, a priest can be whatever he wants/is able too as long as he serves the curch

Bards are a good example, they are very common in the Shelyn church and the Desna Church and at least somewhat in the Serenrae church (many of them in turn as dervish)

I would also guess that there are many Chevaliers among the priesthood of Sarenrae, Iomedae, Gorum and Asmodeus

I probably could go on for pages with further examples

Aren’t members of the church without divine magic considered laypeople rather than priests...?


Catharsis wrote:
Seisho wrote:
GM OfAnything wrote:
I don't think priests are limited to clerics, though. Shelyn has bards in her clergy, for instance, and other gods attract members of other classes to serve in those roles as well.

This

In Golarion Priests are (at least somewhat) defined. They are people within the church which do basically everything one would expect from a priest (preach, hold a mess, talk with people about faith and often non-faith related stuff, give aid, care about the community etc - of course alsways somewhat painted by the deity)
Priests are just not defined by class. They can be simple commoners, clerics of course, inquisitors, rogues, paladins, figthers, bards

While I think it is almost neccessary for a cleric to be a priest, a priest can be whatever he wants/is able too as long as he serves the curch

Bards are a good example, they are very common in the Shelyn church and the Desna Church and at least somewhat in the Serenrae church (many of them in turn as dervish)

I would also guess that there are many Chevaliers among the priesthood of Sarenrae, Iomedae, Gorum and Asmodeus

I probably could go on for pages with further examples

Aren’t members of the church without divine magic considered laypeople rather than priests...?

I said priests are people in the church, not that all people in the church are priess. Of course there are lot of on priests in every church, but probably a much larger number of non priests.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I dig what I am seeing. Tons of flavor built in with the Orders, and I can see how that design space will be able to extend, which is very cool. A part of me, wanted you to simply fold the shapeshifter into the druid ... full on, but perhaps an archetype will do that.

Looking forward to building a druid!

Lantern Lodge

After reading through it all, I'm actually very concern about the order system for druids.
It seems very limiting when compared to the other classes's ability to pick up different class features.

It feels like druids are being shoe horned into various roles based on their order. So a storm druid would literally be only be able to be a blaster type character etc.

This is not the case with the current druid. Two players can play say a Bear Shaman archetype druid now and turn up at the table with very different play styles and character concepts. One can be a summoner and the other focus on wildshaping. A 3rd druid player can even focus on making use of a domain etc.

Reading all these playtest blogs have my 4ed memories screaming out in warning! The math is there! But where is the love?

*Edit: It also feels similar to how 5ed's limited Cleric's Domains, which would force your cleric in to specific roles they can't break out off.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I feel that the various ways orders, muses and similar concepts are implemented were designed to see which formula gives the best result in the playtest


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Secane wrote:

After reading through it all, I'm actually very concern about the order system for druids.

It seems very limiting when compared to the other classes's ability to pick up different class features.

It's not. You're not forced to pick only order-appropriate features and all your order does is give you a head start and an exclusive bonus on the particular feature you're most interested in at level 1. Nothing is stopping a Druid of the Wild to pick every other class feat dedicated to plant stuff.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Seisho wrote:
GM OfAnything wrote:
I don't think priests are limited to clerics, though. Shelyn has bards in her clergy, for instance, and other gods attract members of other classes to serve in those roles as well.

This

In Golarion Priests are (at least somewhat) defined. They are people within the church which do basically everything one would expect from a priest (preach, hold a mess, talk with people about faith and often non-faith related stuff, give aid, care about the community etc - of course alsways somewhat painted by the deity)
Priests are just not defined by class. They can be simple commoners, clerics of course, inquisitors, rogues, paladins, figthers, bards

While I think it is almost neccessary for a cleric to be a priest, a priest can be whatever he wants/is able too as long as he serves the curch

Bards are a good example, they are very common in the Shelyn church and the Desna Church and at least somewhat in the Serenrae church (many of them in turn as dervish)

I would also guess that there are many Chevaliers among the priesthood of Sarenrae, Iomedae, Gorum and Asmodeus

I probably could go on for pages with further examples

IIRC Asmodeus is actually one of the few deities that only accepts clerics and similar divine casters in his priesthood; this makes sense given the stringent hierarchy of Hell, and is interesting because he's presented as the exception in that regard rather than the norm.

Just researched Asmodeus for a Lorefinder video recently and he actually accepts a bunch of classes into his clergy. However, as you go up the ranks the variety starts to drop... I don't think women can even hold high positions at all.

Liberty's Edge

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Catharsis wrote:
Aren’t members of the church without divine magic considered laypeople rather than priests...?

Not universally. Priest is explicitly and officially a title given to those who fulfill that role in the society, church, and community. Being a Cleric makes one a priest automatically, but it's not a necessary prerequisite.

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