Druid Wild Shape - Why no Beast Shape IV?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Beast Shape is the primary and most used form of wild shaping, so why don't Druids get Beast Shape IV? Was this just an oversight, and it will corrected in the errata? It isn't in the 1st draft of errata. If it is a mistake, should the get it at 10th level, which is where it would naturally fall in the progression?

Was it left out on purpose, for some reason? If so, what is it? How is Beast Shape IV less appropriate than the upper levels of Elemental or Plant, which they do receive?


Beast Shape IV doesn't give any new animal forms; those are all covered by Beast Shape I-III. But it would still be useful to get access to the Rend special ability or 120' flight speed, I suppose.

Sovereign Court

hogarth wrote:
Beast Shape IV doesn't give any new animal forms; those are all covered by Beast Shape I-III. But it would still be useful to get access to the Rend special ability or 120' flight speed, I suppose.

It also improves the Tiny and Large magical beasts in the same way that III improved the Small and Mediums. It seems very strange that it was left out of the progression. After all, they created the spell for a reason, it seems strange that Druids (the masters at changing into animals) can never acquire it, only Wizards and Sorcerers. Has there ever been an official statement on it? I can't be the first person to notice it.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Samurai wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Beast Shape IV doesn't give any new animal forms; those are all covered by Beast Shape I-III. But it would still be useful to get access to the Rend special ability or 120' flight speed, I suppose.
It also improves the Tiny and Large magical beasts in the same way that III improved the Small and Mediums. It seems very strange that it was left out of the progression. After all, they created the spell for a reason, it seems strange that Druids (the masters at changing into animals) can never acquire it, only Wizards and Sorcerers. Has there ever been an official statement on it? I can't be the first person to notice it.

I don't know about rend but I believe in an early thread someone looked up that there are no animals that can fly 120ft only magical beasts so BS4 wasn't nessisary for that point.


Samurai wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Beast Shape IV doesn't give any new animal forms; those are all covered by Beast Shape I-III. But it would still be useful to get access to the Rend special ability or 120' flight speed, I suppose.
It also improves the Tiny and Large magical beasts in the same way that III improved the Small and Mediums. It seems very strange that it was left out of the progression. After all, they created the spell for a reason, it seems strange that Druids (the masters at changing into animals) can never acquire it, only Wizards and Sorcerers. Has there ever been an official statement on it? I can't be the first person to notice it.

Please note that Druids cannot Wild Shape into Small and Medium Magical Beasts; their Wild Shape ability clearly states:

"When taking the form of animals, a druid's wild shape now (at 8th level) functions as Beast Shape III."

This basically says that a Druid can Wild Shape into all the animals whose size is included into the Beast Shape I-III spells, and gain the special abilities of the better spells any time he gains the next, improved version (at 4th, if he assumes the form of a Medium Animal, he cannot make Pounce or Trip attacks even if the Medium animal he is emulating normally possesses that ability - he has to wait until 6th level, when his Wild Shape allows him to change form as if using Beast Shape II, to use such special attacks. Basically, if he becomes a Wolf, he cannot make Trip attacks until he is 6th level).

As hogarth noted above, a Druid's Wild Shape doesn't include the improvements of Beast Shape IV simply because that spell mainly gives improvements to magical beast shapes... which a Druid doesn't possess to begin with.


The Wraith wrote:
Samurai wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Beast Shape IV doesn't give any new animal forms; those are all covered by Beast Shape I-III. But it would still be useful to get access to the Rend special ability or 120' flight speed, I suppose.
It also improves the Tiny and Large magical beasts in the same way that III improved the Small and Mediums. It seems very strange that it was left out of the progression. After all, they created the spell for a reason, it seems strange that Druids (the masters at changing into animals) can never acquire it, only Wizards and Sorcerers. Has there ever been an official statement on it? I can't be the first person to notice it.

Please note that Druids cannot Wild Shape into Small and Medium Magical Beasts; their Wild Shape ability clearly states:

"When taking the form of animals, a druid's wild shape now (at 8th level) functions as Beast Shape III."

This basically says that a Druid can Wild Shape into all the animals whose size is included into the Beast Shape I-III spells, and gain the special abilities of the better spells any time he gains the next, improved version (at 4th, if he assumes the form of a Medium Animal, he cannot make Pounce or Trip attacks even if the Medium animal he is emulating normally possesses that ability - he has to wait until 6th level, when his Wild Shape allows him to change form as if using Beast Shape II, to use such special attacks. Basically, if he becomes a Wolf, he cannot make Trip attacks until he is 6th level).

As hogarth noted above, a Druid's Wild Shape doesn't include the improvements of Beast Shape IV simply because that spell mainly gives improvements to magical beast shapes... which a Druid doesn't possess to begin with.

The only ability I am a little upset about losing is Blindsight...


lostpike wrote:
The only ability I am a little upset about losing is Blindsight...

I'm not sure what you mean by "losing" it; there's no polymorph spell in Pathfinder that gives blindsight.

Sovereign Court

The Wraith wrote:
Samurai wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Beast Shape IV doesn't give any new animal forms; those are all covered by Beast Shape I-III. But it would still be useful to get access to the Rend special ability or 120' flight speed, I suppose.
It also improves the Tiny and Large magical beasts in the same way that III improved the Small and Mediums. It seems very strange that it was left out of the progression. After all, they created the spell for a reason, it seems strange that Druids (the masters at changing into animals) can never acquire it, only Wizards and Sorcerers. Has there ever been an official statement on it? I can't be the first person to notice it.

Please note that Druids cannot Wild Shape into Small and Medium Magical Beasts; their Wild Shape ability clearly states:

"When taking the form of animals, a druid's wild shape now (at 8th level) functions as Beast Shape III."

This basically says that a Druid can Wild Shape into all the animals whose size is included into the Beast Shape I-III spells, and gain the special abilities of the better spells any time he gains the next, improved version (at 4th, if he assumes the form of a Medium Animal, he cannot make Pounce or Trip attacks even if the Medium animal he is emulating normally possesses that ability - he has to wait until 6th level, when his Wild Shape allows him to change form as if using Beast Shape II, to use such special attacks. Basically, if he becomes a Wolf, he cannot make Trip attacks until he is 6th level).

As hogarth noted above, a Druid's Wild Shape doesn't include the improvements of Beast Shape IV simply because that spell mainly gives improvements to magical beast shapes... which a Druid doesn't possess to begin with.

They can't become beasts or magical beasts? So all beasts, including all dinosaurs, a megalodon, a leviathan, and a blood ape are out (apparently because they are too magical for a druid?), but elementals and walking plants are ok? Why should whether or not some animal is found on modern day Earth (the definition that separates animals from beasts like dinosaurs) matter at all to a Druid who can become a huge elemental or a walking tree? That's terrible and makes no sense at all! Are you sure they didn't just say "animals" as short-hand for all the creatures normally covered by Beast Form? If not, is there at least some feat somewhere to allow beasts and magical beasts? If not, I'm going to have to see if my DM will houserule it back in.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Samurai wrote:


They can't become beasts or magical beasts? So all beasts, including all dinosaurs, a megalodon, a leviathan, and a blood ape are out (apparently because they are too magical for a druid?), but elementals and walking plants are ok? Why should...

There hasn't been a "beast" type since 3.0 turned into 3.5. Animal or Magical Best. Dinosaurs &c are all Animals now, so are valid for the druid.


Samurai wrote:
Why should whether or not some animal is found on modern day Earth (the definition that separates animals from beasts like dinosaurs) matter at all

Sound reasoning.

In fact, I bet that was exactly the reasoning for getting rid of the beast type in 3.5.

Nowadays, an animal is a creature that exists on Earth, or existed on Earth, or even one that could have existed on earth. The last meaning critters that do not exist, but that could existed with the kind of natural laws we have around here.

A wolf with a vestigial fin and a duck bill? Could work. Eight-legged wolf? No. Duck-billed raccoon that lays eggs? Well, platypus.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The reason they got rid of the "Beast" type, as far as I can tell, is that it was unnecessary.

Animals are creatures that are "realistic." Most exist in the real world or have existed in the real world. There are some exceptions, like the roc or the goblin dog; these would have once been "beasts" because they're fantasy animals... but doing so put them out of a druid's reach which made no sense.

Also: An animal is a creature with an intelligence of 1 or 2 that never possesses spell-like or supernatural abilities.

As soon as an "animal" has an intelligence of 3 or higher, or as soon as it has magical abilities (this goes for vermin too) it's a magical beast. I'd say that an eight-legged would COULD be an animal, but that's so strange and fantastic that I'd encourage the designer to give it an Int of at least 3 or a magical ability so it'd be a magical beast instead.

Sovereign Court

Ahhh, ok, I never bought the 3.5 MM because most of the changes were minor and I didn't feel like buying pretty much the same book I already owned. Thanks for the clarification.

Still, I think Magical Beasts should be possible. There is no divide between Plant and Magical Plant, after all. Would allowing a druid to become Magical Beasts be unbalancing for some reason? It makes perfect thematic sense, IMO.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Samurai wrote:

Ahhh, ok, I never bought the 3.5 MM because most of the changes were minor and I didn't feel like buying pretty much the same book I already owned. Thanks for the clarification.

Still, I think Magical Beasts should be possible. There is no divide between Plant and Magical Plant, after all. Would allowing a druid to become Magical Beasts be unbalancing for some reason? It makes perfect thematic sense, IMO.

That's because ALL "plants" are essentially "magical." There's no real-world plant that does what any plant monster in the game can do. A "normal" plant would have no movement or attacks at all and wouldn't function as a creature (lack of Int, Cha, Dex, and Wis makes a creature like a tree an object, not a creature.)

As for druids... they can't become magical beasts because that's not their thing. Druids are nature-themed, and magical beasts are not. It's not a question of being unbalanced, but a question of flavor.


Of course, there are Magical Beasts that don't actually have any magical powers, like the girallon or the owlbear. There's not really a compelling reason that a druid can turn into a dire ape but not a girallon, IMO.


hogarth wrote:
Of course, there are Magical Beasts that don't actually have any magical powers, like the girallon or the owlbear. There's not really a compelling reason that a druid can turn into a dire ape but not a girallon, IMO.

As mentioned, that's because magical animals aren't natural. It has nothing to do with their magical powers, whether or not they have any. Owlbears are magical amalgams created by some crockpot wizard; why should the champion of nature be able to turn into something so un-natural?


Zurai wrote:
As mentioned, that's because magical animals aren't natural. It has nothing to do with their magical powers, whether or not they have any. Owlbears are magical amalgams created by some crockpot wizard; why should the champion of nature be able to turn into something so un-natural?

And the girallon...? It's just magical because it's magical, I guess.


hogarth wrote:
Zurai wrote:
As mentioned, that's because magical animals aren't natural. It has nothing to do with their magical powers, whether or not they have any. Owlbears are magical amalgams created by some crockpot wizard; why should the champion of nature be able to turn into something so un-natural?
And the girallon...? It's just magical because it's magical, I guess.

The MM and SRD specifically say that they're magical creatures ("This magical cousin to the gorilla..."). Presumably they were created in a manner similar to owlbears. They're certainly not natural.


Zurai wrote:
hogarth wrote:


And the girallon...? It's just magical because it's magical, I guess.
The MM and SRD specifically say that they're magical creatures ("This magical cousin to the gorilla..."). Presumably they were created in a manner similar to owlbears. They're certainly not natural.

Right. I'm just saying it's a little silly to say "It's magical because it's a magical beast, and it's a magical beast because it's magical."

Personally, I'd be happy if the Magical Beast type was deleted, with the creatures rolled into Animal (even for intelligent animals like Worgs and Giant Eagles) or Aberration (for bizarre things like Cockatrices or Yrthaks or maybe even Owlbears).

Likewise, I'd be happy if the Monstrous Humanoid type was deleted, with the creatures rolled into Humanoid or Aberration. But this is straying a bit from the original topic...


hogarth wrote:
Right. I'm just saying it's a little silly to say "It's magical because it's a magical beast, and it's a magical beast because it's magical."

Please cite an example of someone saying this.


Zurai wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Right. I'm just saying it's a little silly to say "It's magical because it's a magical beast, and it's a magical beast because it's magical."
Please cite an example of someone saying this.

The girallon entry in the SRD.


hogarth wrote:
The girallon entry in the SRD.

False. That just says it's a magical beast because it's magical. It does not say it's magical because it's a magical beast. No circular logic involved.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The girallon and the owlbear COULD have been animals, sure; neither has any magical abilities nor an Intelligence score above 2... but in the 3.5 version they were magical beasts so we kept it that way. The reason here, I guess, is because they WERE implied to have been created by wizards.

There's also a few animals that should have probably have been magical beasts since they're a bit unbelievable; the roc's a great example of this.

In the end, the line between what makes a magical beast a magical beast and what makes an animal an animal is at times a little blurry. Honestly, the purely flavor decisions on whether we want a druid to be able to turn into a creature in this case factors in to things as well.

Assigning monster types is as much an art as it is a science, in other words. If it doesn't work in your game, feel free to make adjustments, but for the core game experience I stand by the assignments in the Bestiary. I'm not really all that interested in perpetuating arguments about if these choices were "right" or "wrong" since in these two cases, EITHER decision could be "right" depending on the aesthetics and philosophy you approach them from.

But more to the point, since we made those choices as part of the official design of the Bestiary, that's all the "right" and "wrong" I need.


Zurai wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Of course, there are Magical Beasts that don't actually have any magical powers, like the girallon or the owlbear. There's not really a compelling reason that a druid can turn into a dire ape but not a girallon, IMO.
As mentioned, that's because magical animals aren't natural. It has nothing to do with their magical powers, whether or not they have any. Owlbears are magical amalgams created by some crockpot wizard; why should the champion of nature be able to turn into something so un-natural?

That's one possible hypothesis. But then why would owlbears and girallons be on the Summon Nature's Ally spell list if they're so abhorrent to nature?

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Samurai wrote:
Beast Shape is the primary and most used form of wild shaping, so why don't Druids get Beast Shape IV?

BS4 only gives the caster non-Animal forms and some minor abilities.

The Druid doesn't need them as they can't Magical Beast shape (in fact you couldn't do this pre-Epic in 3.5 except for templated Magical Beast in Planar Shepard.)

Beast type went away in 3.5 and Dino's have been Animals from the beginning right? Even 3.0 had Dino's as Animals right?


James Risner wrote:
Samurai wrote:
Beast Shape is the primary and most used form of wild shaping, so why don't Druids get Beast Shape IV?

BS4 only gives the caster non-Animal forms and some minor abilities.

The Druid doesn't need them as they can't Magical Beast shape (in fact you couldn't do this pre-Epic in 3.5 except for templated Magical Beast in Planar Shepard.)

Beast type went away in 3.5 and Dino's have been Animals from the beginning right? Even 3.0 had Dino's as Animals right?

Losing rend is a big deal I think. It completely negates using certain animals as it's their primary damage boost. These will probably get completely ignored in most games. That being said, it wouldn't be so hard just to houserule that druids get the abilities at the appropriate level, but obviously only for animals.


yeah losing rend is pretty wack for the Druid. It's one of those instances where the designer did a little too much tinkering. They should have added all the abilities to the Druid's beast shape III ability at the very least. I understand the need to nerf 3.5 druids, but they turned them into the weakest class.


Oh dear here we go again on the.."such and such was nerfed and now class X is the weakest arguement" can you provide empirical proof..and by that I mean through having played a druid at every level from 1 to 20... that this is the case


Yes I can but I have a better idea, why don't you prove me wrong. I never said "being the weakest" meant this class sucked or was terrible to play etc, but in game mechanics it is on par or below every other class in every dept. Cleric is a better divine caster, fighter better in melee than all it's animal forms, etc. As a matter of fact most if not all of it's abilities can be duplicated by a proeprly built mage with the beast shape spells.


certainly Deviantius I'll be quite happy to prove you wrong..off course you will have to wait the five years it normally takes me to play a character to level 20.


Come on man it doesn't take that long to reach lvl 20 nor is it necessary to play every level before evaluating a class. In my current gaming group, I have played a Druid for quite some time now (Every Sunday since GenCon) and I can speak from personal experience the class lags behind the others. I'm having a a hell of a fun time playing him, but he is no match for the other guys even with my great stats.

Taking out Rend was a huge subtraction in the melee department and the Druid's spells are already the weakest of all full 9/level casters.

Want Divine spells - go cleric, melee fighter-fighter/paladin; full spells wizard or sorceror. Druid is pure flavor man nothing more


We aren't here to argue with each other..lets just accept that we have a different POV on things and move on.


Considering you are the one wanted to start the debate, I agree.


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Deyvantius wrote:
Yes I can but I have a better idea, why don't you prove me wrong.

This argument is settled with "agree to disagree", so I am absolutely being contentious even commenting....

That said....

The burden of proof is on your shoulders sir. You made the positive claim.

Turning it around to say, "I've made this positive claim, now prove it wrong" isn't how burden of proof works. It's not up to someone else to prove you wrong, it's up to you to prove it.

Being that Druids remain a full caster in a game based on 3.5, where spellcasting follows a non-linear increase in power as levels increase...you've got your work cut out for you.

I probably wouldn't have commented except you said you could prove it. I imagine this was baseless boasting on your part, or a bluff, but if you can, I would be very interested to see how.

I mean, there are a number of spells that Druids get that I consider to be among the better spells for Wizards even..

As for the OP. Yes, I agree that Beast Shape IV seems to be a logical ability for Druids.


Honestly, my druid is pretty competitive in the 2nd darkness game I'm playing in, and that's even without accounting for my animal companion, who I think is outperforming the fighter/barbarian at this point, thanks to pounce, rake, and (especially) the Bestiary rules changes that allow its claws and bite to be both primary natural attacks.


Some of you guys on this board crack me up. You sit around concocting all these mathematical formulas and digging through exotice sourcebooks and publishings to make this uber combination for your character, but I'm willing to bet 90% of you have never even played with the build or experienced it from level 1-13 or even 6-13.

The Druid is one of the weaker if not weakest classes by simple deductive reasoning. Almost everything it does, someone can do better, and of the things only it can do- they aren't that good.

We know cleric/fighter/rogues and wizards are better that's not even debatable. The ranger is better in melee and can have a somewhat comparable animal companion. The bard is a better buffer and has the infamous UMD as a base skill (all can get it through a trait). Monks are beasts in their own right, though they take a lot of work, sorcerors and barbarians don't fall too far behind the wizards and fighters.

Druids are dope and there are some great builds out there that can be optimized for extreme performance (Druid-6/Barb-2 comes to mind), but I guarantee if you play a game with 5 pcs and one is a druid, he will be behind the rest of the group almost every step of the way. I'm not speaking from a mathematical/hypothetical build standpoint...I'm speaking from real live Pathfinder gaming experience.


Having played from levels 1-12 with my dwarven druid in the Second Darkness campaign, I've had highs and lows. At low levels, the very presence of my Animal Companion really helped out, as we only had three PCs. Once I got wildshape, the ability to fly was a real boon. Summon Nature's Ally has helped us deal with "boss" encounters with decent efficacy for a long while (hooray, hippogriff). We defeated an Aboloeth encounter with nothing but one Summon Nature's Ally and three large sharks, munching away on the beast.

At my currently level (12), having invested a great deal of my own wealth into my animal companion, it routinely out damages the fighter/barbarian, especially when it pounces. And that was before the Bestiary allowed it to make all its attacks with its full strength bonus. I'm hardly a hindrance myself, but what I really bring to the table is the companion. We have six characters in the party, my companion and the sorcerer's monk cohort included, and I'm still not feeling left out. I and my companion demolished a stone golem in two rounds without injury last week.

I seriously wouldn't say that the druid is weaker than every other class in the game. Granted, I'm not playing 100% core (because there's no point when I have all these nice 3.5 books), but I'm hardly doing the ridiculous stuff that I could do or could've done in 3.5 itself (like buffing myself and my companion with one spell).

The Exchange

Deyvantius wrote:

Some of you guys on this board crack me up. You sit around concocting all these mathematical formulas and digging through exotice sourcebooks and publishings to make this uber combination for your character, but I'm willing to bet 90% of you have never even played with the build or experienced it from level 1-13 or even 6-13.

The Druid is one of the weaker if not weakest classes by simple deductive reasoning. Almost everything it does, someone can do better, and of the things only it can do- they aren't that good.

We know cleric/fighter/rogues and wizards are better that's not even debatable. The ranger is better in melee and can have a somewhat comparable animal companion. The bard is a better buffer and has the infamous UMD as a base skill (all can get it through a trait). Monks are beasts in their own right, though they take a lot of work, sorcerors and barbarians don't fall too far behind the wizards and fighters.

Druids are dope and there are some great builds out there that can be optimized for extreme performance (Druid-6/Barb-2 comes to mind), but I guarantee if you play a game with 5 pcs and one is a druid, he will be behind the rest of the group almost every step of the way. I'm not speaking from a mathematical/hypothetical build standpoint...I'm speaking from real live Pathfinder gaming experience.

Here's a little advice; most people don't take very kindly to being talked down to, and you'll find that a lot of the people on these boards have quite a bit of real "live" Pathfinder gaming experience.

You can't just go around making bold statements and then refuse to prove them. Writing four sentences explaining why you think druids are mechanically weak is a far cry from 'proving' it as you think you can, so why can't we just say that you agree to disagree? Any further arguing isn't going to do any good, that's for sure.


Disciple of Sakura wrote:

... We defeated an Aboloeth encounter with nothing but one Summon Nature's Ally and three large sharks, munching away on the beast.

At my currently level (12), having invested a great deal of my own wealth into my animal companion, it routinely out damages the fighter/barbarian, especially when it pounces. And that was before the Bestiary allowed it to make all its attacks with its full strength bonus.....
I seriously wouldn't say that the druid is weaker than every other class in the game. Granted, I'm not playing 100% core (because there's no point when I have all these nice 3.5 books), but I'm hardly doing the ridiculous stuff that I could do or could've done in 3.5 itself (like buffing myself and my companion with one spell).

I see what you're saying though the presence of the splatbooks kind of steers away from my point. I'm focusing mainly on core books and Pathfinder Supplements... more RAW if you will. A mage could have summoned some monsters to fight the aboleth too and the animal companion is kind of give or take. Given the right buffs and equipment choices I"m pretty sure the fighter/barbarian could match you in a straight up fight. Animal companions tend to do a lot of damage but are pretty easy to hit and can get killed pretty easily.


Deyvantius wrote:
Druids are dope and there are some great builds out there that can be optimized for extreme performance (Druid-6/Barb-2 comes to mind), but I guarantee if you play a game with 5 pcs and one is a druid, he will be behind the rest of the group almost every step of the way. I'm not speaking from a mathematical/hypothetical build standpoint...I'm speaking from real live Pathfinder gaming experience.

I don't know what to tell you. I've played a Pathfinder druid, and I didn't feel that I was behind the rest of the group. I got good mileage out of the animal companion and the spells Entangle, Produce Flame, Flaming Sphere, Sleet Storm and Summon Nature's Ally (earth elemental), for example.

Dark Archive

Played a pathfinder druid all the way from 1st to 15th lvl and never once felt useless or underpowered.


hogarth wrote:


I don't know what to tell you. I've played a Pathfinder druid, and I didn't feel that I was behind the rest of the group. I got good mileage out of the animal companion and the spells Entangle, Produce Flame, Flaming Sphere, Sleet Storm and Summon Nature's Ally (earth elemental), for example.

Maybe so, in my experience with the Druid, it would have been better to have had a mage/sorceror or cleric 90% of the time. The Druid seems like a 5th Pc to me along with the Bard, Ranger and Monk. In those terms, I would rather have a bard for buffs/skills or ranger/monk for combat/skills. My whole group felt the same way. The Druids got nerfed a little too much. They're still viable but are somewhat behind other classes.

Kevin Mack wrote:
Played a pathfinder druid all the way from 1st to 15th lvl and never once felt useless or underpowered.

Wow from 1st-15th in 3 months, a overachiever eh?


Deyvantius wrote:
hogarth wrote:


I don't know what to tell you. I've played a Pathfinder druid, and I didn't feel that I was behind the rest of the group. I got good mileage out of the animal companion and the spells Entangle, Produce Flame, Flaming Sphere, Sleet Storm and Summon Nature's Ally (earth elemental), for example.
Maybe so, in my experience with the Druid, it would have been better to have had a mage/sorceror or cleric 90% of the time.

That's a way, way different assertion than "he will be behind the rest of the group almost every step of the way". And even that I don't necessarily agree with; for instance, a group with two clerics isn't necessarily better off than a group with a cleric and a druid.


hogarth wrote:
And even that I don't necessarily agree with; for instance, a group with two clerics isn't necessarily better off than a group with a cleric and a druid.

In order to understand my reasoning let's just put it like this. Take a group of 4 (fighter, rogue, cleric and mage) Name the PC you could remove for a druid that wouldn't adversely affect the group.....

Beyond that take the same group and add a 5th member. Which class would bring the least to the table?....

My answer to the former is none and to the latter the Druid. That's what I mean when I say weakest class. Not that they suck, that they aren't fun, that they have no use, etc. I mean simply mechanically they bring the least to the table.

Also note. I mean a relatively cheese free gaming experience. No extended spells lasting all day, no elephant companions being shrunk to fit inside dungeons, no rules fudging, no "check out this sourcebook/trait/feat I found online" stuff etc.


Deyvantius wrote:
hogarth wrote:
And even that I don't necessarily agree with; for instance, a group with two clerics isn't necessarily better off than a group with a cleric and a druid.
In order to understand my reasoning let's just put it like this. Take a group of 4 (fighter, rogue, cleric and mage) Name the PC you could remove for a druid that wouldn't adversely affect the group.....

The rogue (with the fighter in second place, maybe).

Deyvantius wrote:
Beyond that take the same group and add a 5th member. Which class would bring the least to the table?....

The rogue.

Note: I'm basing my answers on my personal experience, of course. The problem with your comparison is that the cleric and the wizard are the two most awesome character classes around; whenever you compare any other class to them, it's going to fall a little short.


hogarth wrote:


The rogue.

(Note: I'm basing my answers on my personal experience, of course.)

The Rogue? Wow, so no sneak attack damage and no magical trap finding or disabling of devices? There is no trait in core that allows Disable Device as a class skill so skill focus is going to leave you behind a true rogue ann the disable curve. So you are potentially walking into a fight with either someone having 30+ less hps (getting hit by the trap) or a healer with a few less spells (due to healing the semi-trap finder). That's some sound strategy there partner. A ranger or monk would have a better time replacing the rogue due to their evasion but the Druid? I expected someone to say mage, but rogue? I don't know man we must be gaming two entirely different ways.


Deyvantius wrote:
hogarth wrote:


The rogue.

(Note: I'm basing my answers on my personal experience, of course.)

The Rogue? Wow, so no sneak attack damage and no magical trap finding or disabling of devices?

Sneak attack damage isn't really more awesome than any other type of damage, IMO. Detect Magic can find magical traps. Disable Device is a bit overrated, IMO (you can trigger most traps with Mage Hand or a summoned creature).


hogarth wrote:


Sneak attack damage isn't really more awesome than any other type of damage, IMO. Detect Magic can find magical traps. Disable Device is a bit overrated, IMO (you can trigger most traps with Mage Hand or a summoned creature).

I'm not saying it won't work, but that it has the potential to screw the party. Not to mention, detect magic finds the trap, but who is going to disable it or unlock the door. Ok, cool you summon a creature to knock down the door....Now you've alerted every enemy in a 50 ft radius. Some GM will not think about that and let you go with it. My GM isn't like that at all. I'm not saying my GM is the best or you gdon't game right. Just two different game types I guess.


hogarth wrote:


Sneak attack damage isn't really more awesome than any other type of damage, IMO. Detect Magic can find magical traps. Disable Device is a bit overrated, IMO (you can trigger most traps with Mage Hand or a summoned creature).

You left off my favorite trap finder, the 9th level half-dragon/half-giant paladin of Bahamut. ;) I had a blast last gaming session. The party I am running has no thief or scout, so I got to say 'Give me a Reflex save, DC 20' 10 times in one session. :)


mdt wrote:
You left off my favorite trap finder, the 9th level half-dragon/half-giant paladin of Bahamut. ;) I had a blast last gaming session. The party I am running has no thief or scout, so I got to say 'Give me a Reflex save, DC 20' 10 times in one session. :)

All I can say is thank goodness for unlimited Levitation.

Scarab Sages

I've had multiple druids play in my adventure paths, and never once have they been the least effective PC. Far from it.

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