Druid – Who has seen a druid in played in PFRPG?


Playtest Reports

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First, I might have this Post in the wrong place. I am sorry if I did so. I made my best guess.

Second, Over in the “Design Forums / Classes: Cleric, Druid, and Paladin” forum there is a lot of nerf the druid they are too powerful, but when I read “Playtest Reports” I only see a handful of reports on druids.

The druid is the only class that got nerf and all the other classes got buffed in PFRPG.

So my questions are…

Who has seen a druid played in PFRPG?

What level of druid?

And if you could a little time… What is you thoughts on their power level?


It's hard to make a reasonable comparison, because as of the Beta racial attribute adjustments, all druids are now half-orcs (making them melee machines even more than before). How many 1/2-orc druids did people play in 3.5? Certainly not "all."


We're playing tomorrow, just starting SD. I don't anticipate any differences since we're playing at 1st level and there is essentially no change in the druid at that level.

It will be interesting because the encounter we are going to test excludes the riding dog by it's design.

I'll try and test out a mid level druid later this week but it's hard to get a group together midweek and I really don't think solo playtesting is very useful.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
It's hard to make a reasonable comparison, because as of the Beta racial attribute adjustments, all druids are now half-orcs (making them melee machines even more than before). How many 1/2-orc druids did people play in 3.5? Certainly not "all."

This is an interesting thought. I might have to make a half orc Druid instead of the halfling one I planned on. The Half Orcs racial ability bonuses to str and wis are particularly nice for melee/ wild shape druids. Really... I hadn't thought about exactly how good a druid they would be.


We just had a new player create a gnome druid for our group, and at first level, he decided to take the animal domain instead of an animal companion, because he wanted to be able to "swap out" his animal companion based on what he needed in a given situation, even though the animal in question will work out to be weaker than an animal companion.

Other than that, we haven't had a lot come up with the character yet. He used a wolf in combat when they did get into a fight.


I confess: The druid I play is a half-orc. The boost to make the race more playable and the sheer madness of the concept (really stupid half-orc druid in an urban campaign) made me choose a race I haven't played to go with the druid everyone wants me to play.

So far, we only played one session, so I can't tell you too much, but it was fun so far.


Sannos wrote:


The druid is the only class that got nerf

Nah. Clerics got some nerf, too.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

I played a druid, but he died at 2nd level. As mentioned at low levels, there's not really any change to the class. And, for the record, he was human, which I think will still be a popular choice for most classes, since the extra feat and skill points are still worth it, especially when combined with the +2 to any ability score.

Scarab Sages

a player in my group is playing a human druid. he intends to build toward a druid/wizard mystic theurge (assuimg that the PFPG version is better than the 3.5 version). Currently the characters are at the high end of 1st level using the medium speed XP table in the Beta guide. The versatile stat bonus, any favored class, and bonus feat were all selling points for his character. the bonus proficiency allowed longbow, which made him quite happy. In addition, the limitless orisons help alot at low level. He has made great use of his three, which have typically been guidance, flare, and stabilize.

As he had no intention of following the class to high levels, he chose the weather domain instead of a companion. his storm burst 1st level power has proven very effective so far. overall, I approve of the design change that allows the choice of a domain instead of a companion. as for how wildshape works this time around, we'll have to wait quite a few sessions before we reach that point.


I am currently starting a 1st level Barbarian/2nd level Druid Half orc character (the group needed melee bad- he's replacing a dwarven tank/fighter 3 so I took a level of Barbarian) the original concept was straight Druid, but I guess I'll see what happens.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

In our RotRL game, one of my players ran a gnome druid. Granted, we started in 3.5 and converted to Alpha when it became available, but DIDN'T convert to beta because we were so close to finishing the campaign anyway.

Since he'd been a pyro under 3.5 rules, he opted for the fire domain in place of an animal companion. He seemed fine to me.

The Exchange

We had a half orc druid in one of my older 3.5 campaigns. Played all the way to level 20 with that one. Half orcs were always viabe if somewhat underpowered at low levels for a druid (spells quickly overcame the deficiencies of the non bonus to wisdom at base stat scores). Of course the new Pathfinder version of a half orc looks much more attractive for lower levels.

In the current Age of Worms campaign I run, we had a player lose his Psion not long ago and convert to a Druid. Human with one of the elemental domains I think. He didn't go the path of animal companion as we already have 4 fighter types in the group and he really wnated to be a caster. Quite effective at higher levels, but no more so than the other caster types.

Can't really comment on his combat effectiveness as he really hasn't gotten involved in much of that and only plays sporadically.

Cheers


Confirming that there is little change to the druid at low levels. Next week I will get the chance to see some mid-level druiding and hopefully will get the opportunity to add more constructive observations.


Silverhair (on these boards) is currently playing a 1/2-orc druid in the RotRL Beta conversion I'm running. So far, he's almost died twice -- both times from running off ahead of the group and not waiting for reinforcements. Of course, we're only at level 2; I think he's used a total of one spell so far, without much effectiveness. (That wolf sure is a handy pet, though.)


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Silverhair (on these boards) is currently playing a 1/2-orc druid in the RotRL Beta conversion I'm running. So far, he's almost died twice -- both times from running off ahead of the group and not waiting for reinforcements. Of course, we're only at level 2; I think he's used a total of one spell so far, without much effectiveness. (That wolf sure is a handy pet, though.)

A plague of half orc druids because the one I'm working on is a half orc too. I guess that's what happens when you get really good stat bonus synergy. (Two good bumps and a penalty on a dump stat) Maybe not everyone is thinking of the min-maxing aspect but it's part of why I went with it.

I see the half-orc druid as a good RP and suspect it will become a Pathfinder RPG staple.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I play a gnome druid 3 (Fjyndel Klingroot) in Radavels Rise of the Kobold King.
So far he got lucky to not really have been hit with anything, so he is doing rather good.
There is not much I can report back for the playtest.


We've run some test sessions with a low-level group (3rd level), a mid-level group (12th level) and a high-level group (18th level), just to see how the game went each group had a druid. I have one druid in my regular game. And it seems that, in my group, halflings and humans are the most popular choices. No one in my group has ever been big on Orcs, and adding them as a min/maxing option hasn't increased their popularity. My group enjoys a good tactical challenge, but RP is usually more important, and the wise savage cliche got pretty played out for the WOW players.


Since I posted in detail on the druid forum I'll keep this short. My druid was human, I started at level 1 and am now level 12, the campaign is supposed to finish at level 16 or so. My experience is that druids are not overpowered, but they are easier to play effectively than some of the other classes.

Silver Crusade

I have never played a half-orc druid but I am playing a level 8 pathfinder human druid. In 3.5 I've played druids up to level 27 before. I tend to like the class, but my druids were never the melee machines that people have talked about. Like in WoW (yes I play a druid there too) my druids are the healers of the party so when I'm not running around healing (from a wand usually) I'm summoning creatures to help the party.

Whenever I make a druid I also try to give them a "theme". My level 27 was a snake lady (Blade Runner Refrence) elf. The animals summoned were almost always snakes or elemental variants (earth templated giant constricter)


As Kirth has said earlier, I play a Half-orc Druid in his RotRL campaign. He is correct that I almost died twice from being too much of a pathfinder and scout. However, now that our Cleric has died Hurznag has had to take over the position of party healer. Luckily the party contributed to purchase a wand of CLW so he could keep our Dwarven Fighter on his feet. Hurznag and the Wolf have been standing guard over the Goblin King and his harem as the rest of the party has dealt with the monsters in Burnt Offerings. We should be just under 4th level at present. So going into The Skinsaw Murders we should level up and that will make Hurznag a little more useful. I find it curious that Druids don't get CMW until their 3rd level spells.

I have played mostly Druids or Clerics in most of the parties that I've played in. I like the idea of being a "Tree Hugger".

Sovereign Court

One of my players has put in 20 sessions, that's 80 hours of play with a Pathfinder Druid (beginning with Alpha, then Alpha II, then Beta). Granted, he is our youngest player, but as the GM, the class has played the weakest of them all.

I'm not a muchkin, nor do I get excited about power creep and such things, but clearly, IMHO Pathfinder pretty much seems to have boosted most other classes I've seen played (Sorcerer, Fighter, Rogue, and Cleric), while the Druid is just now (at 5th level starting next week) getting into the action...

sorry to have been so vague... but, IMHO the Druid isn't much at low levels by comparison to other classes...


I've seen three druids in play, they all seemed happy with their choices, no half-orcs though. The wild shape ability worked well enough for them, they usually either did elemental or dire bat forms. We still have one left in our current party he's level 14. No clerics though and he doesn't summon much. A little miffed about his combat spells but he doesn't complain about it so mustn't be that bad.


Have played a Halfling Druid from 1st level, and also my first time playing one. We built him by 3.5e rules when our GM talked us into trying the play test. He is now 7th and doing very well, though his wild shape no longer gives him great melee advantages. Have had as many close calls as the other characters, but have yet to be taken out. It is not a powerhouse like 3.5e but I am finding much utility with him in role playing aspects, as we were at sea for the past several sessions. So I do not think the druid is nerfed or overpowered, they just take more thought to stay alive. As a casting class, you have to make sure you are at a safe distance or hiding because most of the good spells take a full round to cast. Overall they are a good class, and natural spell is still a must as I cast from the air.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

dm'ing a 1/2 orc PF druid - only just hit level 3. only comment is that the limitless orisons give you much more flex at low levels (and the player has gone for spellcasting not melee - we're describing her as an orc 'runt')

do like the new AC rules - make a lot more sense than before

and the half-orc flavour just feels right. the idea of the orc as a 'noble savage' is a neat twist on the orc as cannon-fodder


Phlebas wrote:

and the half-orc flavour just feels right. the idea of the orc as a 'noble savage' is a neat twist on the orc as cannon-fodder

Yes, I agree. This is one of the reasons I like the Eberron Campaign, the twist to some 'iconic' races (like Elves necro-mongers and Halflings dinosaur-riders); and Orcs in Eberron have a long tradition as shamans and Druids. They even saved the world in the distant past with their Druidic powers !

So, with these new rules, it's only natural to see an increase of Half-orcs and fullblood Orcs as Druids.
(incidentally NO ONE has still taken an Orc Druid in my campaing, however...)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

We had a Dwarven Druid in our RotRL campaign up until recently. He was played 1st through 6th level, adapting to each change in the ruleset as it came out. Mostly he summoned creatures to fight for him. He saw the death of his first animal companion at Thistletop, but otherwise was pretty effective. His player decided recently to switch characters.

Dark Archive

We had an elven druid in one of our one-off playtest sessions. She handily wildshaped into a dire bat to deal with some invisible stalkers, and a clutch of spider eaters. It went very very well ...


I had a one-shot with a Druid as both a player and as an enemy. The player kept the animal companion while the enemy had the weather domain. The player was human 9th level, while the enemy was a dryad advanced with 10 druid levels. It ended as a really fun fight, and wild shape was made so much simpler, and so much more fun at the same time. Butterfly of doom anyone? The druids could more than keep up with everyone else, especially that darned rhino companion of the player's.


I have a player with a 7th level druid in my campaign. He does not use as much magic as he really should. I think the player is overwhelmed a bit. He does however depend on his animal companion quite a bit. Let me say that this character/player combo has gotten on my nerves, so I have tried several times to eliminate the character, always within limits, and he still lives on. The druid is in no danger of being under-powered. I think there needs to be some more detailed rules on animal companions though. There are many ways to abuse this. We must remember that it is a companion, not a slave, it is an animal, not an intellegent being. This guy has tried to command a black bear to open doors, hold the reigns on a horse and attack undead creatures without training. He also has a habit of bursting into flames and then expecting his animal companion to remain calm. You gotta love the druid though.


Since I haven't gotten to play with the PRPG roles as of yet I don't really know much about most classes so I just made myself a little more familiar with the druid.

The Wild Shape ability seems to have a lot of gaps to it. It works as the beast shape spell that lets you transform into an animal of a certain selection of size category giving you natural armor and ability bonuses based on the animal's size and special abilities (such as scent, vision modes and different movement speeds) based on the actual chosen creature.

Nowhere though can I find any mentions of what happens to your ability to perform spell components (except that wild shape states that you can't speak and thus verbal components aren't performable), what happens to your gear in wild/beast shape, and wether you get any of the chosen animals natural attacks.
Is there really such a big hole in the rules for beast/wild shape or is there somewhere a universal set of rules on shape-changing spells or abilities, that I didn't see?


This might be better explained when they get to the Animal section of the Monsters section.


Threeshades wrote:


Is there really such a big hole in the rules for beast/wild shape or is there somewhere a universal set of rules on shape-changing spells or abilities, that I didn't see?

There's a bunch of boilerplate for Polymorph subschool spells that you might have overlooked. You can see it here:

http://alpha3.wikidot.com/spells-and-magic#polymorph


hogarth wrote:
Threeshades wrote:


Is there really such a big hole in the rules for beast/wild shape or is there somewhere a universal set of rules on shape-changing spells or abilities, that I didn't see?

There's a bunch of boilerplate for Polymorph subschool spells that you might have overlooked. You can see it here:

http://alpha3.wikidot.com/spells-and-magic#polymorph

Can you tell me where that passage is in the book? It would be useful to have handy when we finally start our PRPG party.


Threeshades wrote:
Can you tell me where that passage is in the book? It would be useful to have handy when we finally start our PRPG party.

Page 160 of the Beta, I think. It's under the description of the Transmutation school.


hogarth wrote:
Threeshades wrote:
Can you tell me where that passage is in the book? It would be useful to have handy when we finally start our PRPG party.
Page 160 of the Beta, I think. It's under the description of the Transmutation school.

Thanks a lot, that helped :)


I think this sort of thing, that is crucial to the functioning of a Class/ Ability,
needs to have a page # reference where it is relevant, if it's not possible to list all the info in the same place.

Like: "More details how this functions are located on page X, Y, & Z"


Quandary wrote:

I think this sort of thing, that is crucial to the functioning of a Class/ Ability,

needs to have a page # reference where it is relevant, if it's not possible to list all the info in the same place.

Like: "More details how this functions are located on page X, Y, & Z"

Yup, definitely.


hogarth wrote:
Yup, definitely.

I agree.

Also, the idea of playing a shapeshifting spell caster with a very cool pet is an attractive idea for brand new players. It's also complicated for new players, as I have discovered with my current game. So...well...anyhow.


PetRock wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Yup, definitely.

I agree.

Also, the idea of playing a shapeshifting spell caster with a very cool pet is an attractive idea for brand new players. It's also complicated for new players, as I have discovered with my current game. So...well...anyhow.

What exactly is so complicated for them? (I noticed for example the Wild Shape ability became a lot simpler than before)


The complication is when you have to come up with temporary buffs altering your abilities (cascading effect too.. +Str gives +damage, at 1.5x if twohanded or primary natural attack, as well as +attack, etc).

Pets are also a complication in having to write up basically a second, albeit simpler, character sheet for your pet (which can also be affected by temporary buffs), and having to keep track of that "extra character": actions, movement, placement in combat, hitpoint totals, etc.

Having a character that frequently runs into both of these as standard for their class abilities, is much more complicated than other classes that get their stuff figured out once and deal with only one character.

Which isn't to say that it's become more complicated than 3.5... just that Druids make for complicated characters to run for a new player.

Sovereign Court

Hey, for what its worth, I'm trying to figure out why the Druid PC in my group suddenly became more interesting and balanced at 5th level.... more to follow....


Kaisoku wrote:

The complication is when you have to come up with temporary buffs altering your abilities (cascading effect too.. +Str gives +damage, at 1.5x if twohanded or primary natural attack, as well as +attack, etc).

Pets are also a complication in having to write up basically a second, albeit simpler, character sheet for your pet (which can also be affected by temporary buffs), and having to keep track of that "extra character": actions, movement, placement in combat, hitpoint totals, etc.

Having a character that frequently runs into both of these as standard for their class abilities, is much more complicated than other classes that get their stuff figured out once and deal with only one character.

Which isn't to say that it's become more complicated than 3.5... just that Druids make for complicated characters to run for a new player.

Okay I see the point there. In that case as a DM i would help out by taking over the animal companions every once in a while.


I am DM'ing a Half-Orc druid. My only observations are the following.

- Summon <whatever> is utterly useless at low levels because the summoned thing only sticks around for 1 round per caster level. In most cases the druid has a better attack and damage and is better off just attacking himself. Occasionally it's a full round spell that grants a teammate a flank, but thats about it.

- Other 1st level spells pretty much blow worse then the arcane or divine list. Some of the splatty 3.x books address this with some swift utility spells and stuff like Snake's Swiftness.

So my observation is that (he's level 3 now) thus far he has basically been reduced to being a poor fighter with an occasional cure light wounds with a dire rat that runs around and occasionally obeys his orders.

Scarab Sages

The Wraith wrote:
Phlebas wrote:

and the half-orc flavour just feels right. the idea of the orc as a 'noble savage' is a neat twist on the orc as cannon-fodder

Yes, I agree. This is one of the reasons I like the Eberron Campaign, the twist to some 'iconic' races (like Elves necro-mongers and Halflings dinosaur-riders); and Orcs in Eberron have a long tradition as shamans and Druids. They even saved the world in the distant past with their Druidic powers !

So, with these new rules, it's only natural to see an increase of Half-orcs and fullblood Orcs as Druids.
(incidentally NO ONE has still taken an Orc Druid in my campaing, however...)

And Orc Paladins in the demon wastes!!! It was Brilliant!!


Druids and to a much lesser degree Rangers are the new Cavaliers of the game due to their Animal Companion, presuming a 'ride-able' critter is chosen. At low levels, this is pretty inevitable, as a mount has excellent base speed and often are surprisingly robust.

In the CotC beta-test, the Druid is wreaking havoc as the group's "Cavalier". Rhino animal companion with 6 levels of Animal Companion bonuses, especially when one considers that the companion receives ALL the Tricks for free between the number of bonus tricks and increased INT. Being able to share spells makes the character far more terrain-flexible, defense-increasing and ability-boostable than the Ranger - a very dangerous mounted combatant.


nedleeds wrote:

I am DM'ing a Half-Orc druid. My only observations are the following.

- Summon <whatever> is utterly useless at low levels because the summoned thing only sticks around for 1 round per caster level. In most cases the druid has a better attack and damage and is better off just attacking himself. Occasionally it's a full round spell that grants a teammate a flank, but thats about it.

- Other 1st level spells pretty much blow worse then the arcane or divine list. Some of the splatty 3.x books address this with some swift utility spells and stuff like Snake's Swiftness.

So my observation is that (he's level 3 now) thus far he has basically been reduced to being a poor fighter with an occasional cure light wounds with a dire rat that runs around and occasionally obeys his orders.

I'm DMing a druid as well, halfling in this case. Spell-wise, he's been on the weak side, mostly relying on his combat capabilities to go through fights. Also, I've decided that the PF's Wild Shape rules are both too complex and too weak to really increase his combat capabilities (wimpiest. crocodile. ever.), so I've scaled back to reliable 3.5 until he gets up a couple more levels. That way, he doesn't suffer from uselessness and I can still guage when the PF Wild Shape actually grows some teeth.

[Edit]: I'm actually considering, as a balancing factor, limiting the number of different animal forms the druid can take based on level (maybe 1 form per level and the ability to swap out earlier forms later on). Any thoughts on this?


Tom Cattery wrote:
Also, I've decided that the PF's Wild Shape rules are both too complex and too weak to really increase his combat capabilities (wimpiest. crocodile. ever.), so I've scaled back to reliable 3.5 until he gets up a couple more levels.

Weak, I can understand. But why do you think it's complex?


hogarth wrote:
Tom Cattery wrote:
Also, I've decided that the PF's Wild Shape rules are both too complex and too weak to really increase his combat capabilities (wimpiest. crocodile. ever.), so I've scaled back to reliable 3.5 until he gets up a couple more levels.
Weak, I can understand. But why do you think it's complex?

Because with 3.X, when Wild Shaping, you turn to the appropriate page in the Monster Manual and refer to the creature.

In PF, you determine what you're going to change into, refer to the appropriate spell for what abilities you get access to, THEN refer to the Monster Manual entry just to check what the creature in question has. If the spell in question doesn't give you access to the ability you don't get it.

Basically, it's a matter of checking a single place instead of three and then altering what you have.

Sovereign Court

But with the old way, the fact that there was no real checking of the use of ability against the MM abilities of the shape in question was part of the problem, wasn't it? Similarly with polymorph.


Tom Cattery wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Tom Cattery wrote:
Also, I've decided that the PF's Wild Shape rules are both too complex and too weak to really increase his combat capabilities (wimpiest. crocodile. ever.), so I've scaled back to reliable 3.5 until he gets up a couple more levels.
Weak, I can understand. But why do you think it's complex?

Because with 3.X, when Wild Shaping, you turn to the appropriate page in the Monster Manual and refer to the creature.

In PF, you determine what you're going to change into, refer to the appropriate spell for what abilities you get access to, THEN refer to the Monster Manual entry just to check what the creature in question has. If the spell in question doesn't give you access to the ability you don't get it.

Basically, it's a matter of checking a single place instead of three and then altering what you have.

(a) In 3.5, you also need to refer to the spell in order to know what you do or don't get (e.g. with Alter Self, you get natural attacks but not (Ex) special attacks; with Polymorph, you get (Ex) special attacks but not (Ex) special qualities; with Shapechange, you get (Ex) special qualities but not spell-like abilities, etc.). Or you would need to refer to the spell, except for the fact that you've memorized it by now!

(b) What three places do you need to consult? I know you might need to look up Beast Shape II (say) and the stats for a crocodile, but what else?

I think your complaint about complexity is mostly just being unfamiliar with the Pathfinder ability compared to familiarity with the 3.5 ability.

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