Treantmonk's Guide to Druids (Optimization)


Advice

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Quote:
If you're following the rules, a druid wearing +1 hide armor (+5 AC) and wearing a +1 wild heavy wooden shield (+3 AC) would indeed retain both his armor bonus (by virtue of the shield's special ability) and the shield bonus (by virtue of it being a shield bonus)

By strict raw, MAYBY on the shield. No on the armor. The enhancement bonus on the armor is an enhancement bonus to the armor bonus of the hide armor. Thats why it stacks with the enhancement bonus on the shield. Since none of the armor bonus applies , the enhancement bonus to the armor bonus doesn't apply either.

As to the shield, its not stated but its pretty much a given that you have to actually wield the shield to get the benefit from it. A Druid getting the bonus from the shield is no different than a fighter slinging it over his back and saying "ha! +4 to ac with a two handed weapon!"

Activation: Usually a character benefits from magic armor and shields in exactly the way a character benefits from nonmagical armor and shields: by wearing them.

So yes, you need to wear magic and mundane armor and shields to benefit from them.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Intent-wise, shields would not cross over to wild shape, seeing as one of the shield enhancement options is "wild". I don't let it move over with the druid I play and I don't have it move for the players in the games I GM. But, since it does not spell out shield bonus in the rule, it would be up the individual DMs


Shar Tahl wrote:
Intent-wise, shields would not cross over to wild shape, seeing as one of the shield enhancement options is "wild". I don't let it move over with the druid I play and I don't have it move for the players in the games I GM. But, since it does not spell out shield bonus in the rule, it would be up the individual DMs

This loophole was closed in the errata:

Page 212?In the Polymorph section, in the fifth
paragraph, in the second sentence, change ?armor
bonuses? to ?armor and shield bonuses.?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
leo1925 wrote:
Shar Tahl wrote:
Intent-wise, shields would not cross over to wild shape, seeing as one of the shield enhancement options is "wild". I don't let it move over with the druid I play and I don't have it move for the players in the games I GM. But, since it does not spell out shield bonus in the rule, it would be up the individual DMs

This loophole was closed in the errata:

Page 212?In the Polymorph section, in the fifth
paragraph, in the second sentence, change ?armor
bonuses? to ?armor and shield bonuses.?

Nice! did not see that in the 3.0 version of the errata


Jadeite wrote:


You only get the attack itself, not additional effects like poison, trip or spores (unless those are among the abilities you gain access too)

What if the additional effect is part of the attack itself? Like: 1d6+2 + 2d6 acid. Would you get the acid damage part? It's part of the attack itself and not a separate ability triggered by the attack that you may or may not be given access to through the spell (such as poison or grab).

Grand Lodge

Treantmonk wrote:
YawarFiesta wrote:

There's been a couple overlooks in the Summoning list regarding the errata:

-Giant Lizard entry in SNA III is, in fact, for Lizard,Monitor; Lizard, Giant Frilled should be in SNA/SM V.

-Riding Dog, in SNA I, should be simply Dog.

-Finally, Ant, Drone from SNA II is ant worker.

Humbly,
Yawar

Yep - the list was done pre-errata.

I'll look at updating sometime in the next week.

It's been a little over a week now. Hope you get this updated soon.


Love the guide, treantmonk, but it does need some updating. I noticed that Ultimate Magic had some very noteworthy feats for a Mystic Druid. The wild speech feat would essentially let you use wands in certain forms. The other summoning feats were interesting as well specifically superior summoning.

I would also like to know what you thought about the storm druid archetype as well. Does having 3 domains but no summoning powers sound like a fair tradeoff?


shadowman33 wrote:

Love the guide, treantmonk, but it does need some updating. I noticed that Ultimate Magic had some very noteworthy feats for a Mystic Druid. The wild speech feat would essentially let you use wands in certain forms. The other summoning feats were interesting as well specifically superior summoning.

I would also like to know what you thought about the storm druid archetype as well. Does having 3 domains but no summoning powers sound like a fair tradeoff?

I would also like to see a guide update with all the latest materials. I am getting ready to join a new campaign as a level one druid net month, and would love to see a new guide. I have been playing around with the books...but would love to see an updated build (using an animal companion).


Darkcable,

I just posted this link from another thread which contains updated Animal Companions, including vermin options. I wonder if Summon Nature's Ally spells have any more options??

Looking, really briefly scanning, through Ultimate Magic, I'm underwhelmed with the Druid build options. I'd love to be proved wrong. Is it too much ask for an exchange of say medium BAB to lousy BAB for a more caster focused Druid?


Although I am a little disapppointed by the Dragon Shaman archetype (so... umm, no Form of the Dragon then?) but I really like Menhir Savant/Mooncaller/Storm Druid archetypes. But I am yet to play any of them in an actual play so I can't really vouche for their effectiveness, I'm afraid. But at a cursory glance, Mooncaller exchanges A Thousand Faces for a small DR/silver, Storm Druid an extra domain and Menhir Savant various utility powers (transport via plant Wis/day, +1 CL 3+Wis/day etc all in exchange of all the minor features).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
shadowman33 wrote:

Love the guide, treantmonk, but it does need some updating. I noticed that Ultimate Magic had some very noteworthy feats for a Mystic Druid. The wild speech feat would essentially let you use wands in certain forms. The other summoning feats were interesting as well specifically superior summoning.

I would also like to know what you thought about the storm druid archetype as well. Does having 3 domains but no summoning powers sound like a fair tradeoff?

The thing about treantmonk's guides... is that it's not about armchair theorycrafting. He writes about what he's actually played, which is why he never wrote a guide for every class. There's just too much now to cover. Each class is not just one classm it's bunch of classes with archetypes.

But that's not really a problem. If you go beyond just reading the text and get the logic behind it, you can use it to apply his thought process to just about any of the archetypes of each class.

TM's guides are not a bible to come to for wisdom. What they are are stepping stones to get you to think for yourselves. And you may very well find out that your answers will vary on occasion.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Poison wrote:
Although I am a little disapppointed by the Dragon Shaman archetype (so... umm, no Form of the Dragon then?)

Having shasmans take dragon form would really outsise it powerwise compared to the other totemic shamans.

The Exchange

LazarX wrote:
shadowman33 wrote:

Love the guide, treantmonk, but it does need some updating. I noticed that Ultimate Magic had some very noteworthy feats for a Mystic Druid. The wild speech feat would essentially let you use wands in certain forms. The other summoning feats were interesting as well specifically superior summoning.

I would also like to know what you thought about the storm druid archetype as well. Does having 3 domains but no summoning powers sound like a fair tradeoff?

The thing about treantmonk's guides... is that it's not about armchair theorycrafting. He writes about what he's actually played, which is why he never wrote a guide for every class. There's just too much now to cover. Each class is not just one classm it's bunch of classes with archetypes.

But that's not really a problem. If you go beyond just reading the text and get the logic behind it, you can use it to apply his thought process to just about any of the archetypes of each class.

TM's guides are not a bible to come to for wisdom. What they are are stepping stones to get you to think for yourselves. And you may very well find out that your answers will vary on occasion.

How dare you ask us to think for ourselves? What, do you think we are the kind of people that spend hours upon hours, and large sums of money, on a hobby that encourages both logical and creative thinking? The very nerve, sir.

That said, the druid is not my favorite class, but I would play the core druid over any of the UM archetypes, with the possible exception of the saurian shaman. The core is nicely versatile, but I have a child-like joy at the idea of a dinosaur companion and the mechanics seem strong enough not to be a disadvantage.


Quick question about Druid's Vestments... can you buy multiple vests and change them out after you use the daily charge to get more uses of wild shape per day? (like level 4 with 2 druid's vestments get wild shape 3x a day if he changes the used vestment after the 2nd use).


What do you think about this

Superior Summoning
You can summon more creatures.

Prerequisites: Augment Summoning, caster level 3rd.

Benefit: Each time you cast a summoning spell that conjures more than one creature, add one to the total number of creatures summoned.

Maybe for SNA VIII?


Nicos wrote:

What do you think about this

Superior Summoning
You can summon more creatures.

Prerequisites: Augment Summoning, caster level 3rd.

Benefit: Each time you cast a summoning spell that conjures more than one creature, add one to the total number of creatures summoned.

Maybe for SNA VIII?

Not a big fan.

Random quantity summons are much harder to plan. Generally, I think you are best off getting 1 of the best creatures available for the spell.

IMO


Treantmonk wrote:
Nicos wrote:

What do you think about this

Superior Summoning
You can summon more creatures.

Prerequisites: Augment Summoning, caster level 3rd.

Benefit: Each time you cast a summoning spell that conjures more than one creature, add one to the total number of creatures summoned.

Maybe for SNA VIII?

Not a big fan.

Random quantity summons are much harder to plan. Generally, I think you are best off getting 1 of the best creatures available for the spell.

IMO

It depends on how the feat is read. If it's intended to be "whenever you use a summoning spell to summon creatures from a lower list, add one to the total summoned", then it's amazing.

My master summoner has it, and he's level 6. Even at this level, there are very, very few things that 1d4+2 celestial eagles can't solve.

Later on, you can use SNA VIII to summon 1d4+2 dire tigers.


This is a great guide. Thank you, it's given me some great ideas.

One thought on what might be added to the benefits of wildshape, now we have a fair few poison using classes/archetypes, the benefit of having poison ability available at Beast Shape III, becomes apparent.

I don't think that the poison producing animals are anywhere near as good as the ones that Treatmonk has advised whilst you are in actual combat, however, if you have an alchemist or any other poison user in the party then changing into, say an Emperor Cobra, between adventures and letting someone milk your poison means that poison users can have significant quantities of effective poisons to hand without having to spend an absolute fortune in both time and money.

A little bit of team work with your poison using party members turns the poison use ability from a "nice have sometimes" ability to something that can be used in a lot of situations without the normal drain in cash and time, whilst the poisons that are available to you can be pretty brutal and have high saves.

Remember that you as Treantmonk states, you effectively get poison use yourself with Poison immunity.

for example: Emporer Cobra, large animal: Injury, Fort DC 17, frequency 1/round for six rounds, effect 1d3 con, cure 2 consecutive saves. (This isn't a great deal worse than Wyvern Poison which sells at 3000gp per dose!)

There are quite a few other poison using animals as well.

If you have access to a market, then your Druid need never be poor again.


Question about Ironwood armor that I didn't find an answer to in a quick glance through the 268 posts (CTRL+F on each page to search for Ironwood). In the guide (parts 2 and 3), it says:

Quote:

Heavy Armor Proficiency: Later on you will be wearing Ironwood armors. Honesty, getting a "Wild" enchantment on Hide just isn't worth it. Ironwood Full plate armor is going to be the best armor you can get, and assuming you aren't wildshaped all the time, you will find that being proficient is a good choice.

Ironwood: Kind of a staple for Druids, and an important turning point. First of all, the only material component for this spell is wood. Therefore, this is basically free. Secondly, if you cast this on 2.5 lbs/level of wood or less, than any armor, shield or weapon you cast this on gets a +1 enhancement. Yes, that's free enchanted armor and weapons. I know you are wondering, so let me tell you, you need to be 10th level to create ironwood full plate (get someone else to craft it, then you cast on the armor), and 20th level for it to be pre-enchanted. For a breastplate (which most Druids will grab if they don't have heavy armor prof), you need to be only 12th level for the +1. Cool. A very good spell, but orange because it's not any everyday spell.

How can I get the Wild enchantment on this armor if it's even possible? I'm also struggling to understand the pre-enchanted portion.

Ironwood says you can convert up to 5 lbs/level (2.5 lbs/level w/ +1 bonus) and full plate is 50 lbs, so that's level 10 and level 20 respectively. Does pre-enchanted simply mean the +1 enchantment bonus or can you get someone to craft you +2 wooden full-plate that you can then use Ironwood on to make it into a +3 (Wild enchantment?) full-plate?

Whether or not I take Heavy Armor Proficiency depends heavily on this as I plan on being Wild Shaped in the majority, if not all, of combat situations.


I have a question for all of you. I am playing in a campaign where any and all official paizo products are permitted for use in gameplay. Which means that a great deal more beasties are available for wildshaping as a druid.
Using this wonderful little search tool
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/advanced-monster-search

What are some things that stand out to you all as really good options that might just be too good to pass up?
So far one that I have found is this huge sea snake.
http://www.dxcontent.com/MDB_MonsterBlock.asp?MDBID=1719

One thing I am considering doing with a new druid character is taking desert druid and just going outright nuts with poisons...

Oh! one more thing I need to ask... I have never played a druid before, and I am wondering if on top of the ability bonuses listed for wildshape do you get the appropriate stat change for changing size category as well?


Ok, this is from 3.5, but ought to be applicable to Pathfinder too because the rule has not changed.

Earth elementals rock in dungeons, both as summons and as wildshape! Why? Because of earth glide. A huge elemental takes a whooping 3x3 squares. An earth elemental can hide 6 of those inside a wall very easily. It can also stick its ugly had out of a wall or ceiling without much trouble, and mostly has the reach to attack anyway. On maps with corridors or irregularly-shaped rooms, this become even more important.

Space considerations are actually quite important for a druid, as both wildshape and summons tend to take up a lot of room past level 10 or so. Crowding your allies out of the fight is neither wise nor friendly.

I like that this makes so much sense thematically - earth elementals rock underground. :o


Another note: in Wild Shape, you can "can communicate normally with other animals of the same general grouping as her new form". So if you and your animal companion/summon are of the same kind, communication is not a problem.

I like this, as it works great thematically, tough I've not checked what actual shapes this would work out for.


Druid IS NOT a scrawny little caster. A druid should have a high str and con and moderate wis(14 at 1st level) Its all about the wild shape. I've played with wild shape druids that not only have more HP that fighters. But also put them to shame in the damage department. Also When playing a druid Its smart to multiclass into Fighter and monk. The monk lets you add your wis mod to AC and makes you harder to hit. Before combat you should Get someone to cast haste on you. Then you spend about 1 or 2 rounds casting "natural rhythm" then summon monster and get your self a flanking buddy. All and all you'll be doing about 75-100 damage a round at 15th level and have about 255hp. Then once you consider the fact that the shape you take should have DR ie: earth elemental. Your f*ckn golden.


adding my notes on druids:
2 more options druid have that no one talked here:
maneuver master : mastering grapple or trip can make a druid great control master.

hybrid druid.
hybrid = 16/16 wis/str. it look not optimized but really it is . the thing that is so great is that you have a huge tool box. moderate caster and above average melee = chuck Norris. you start the day buff and summon... when spells run low, you wild shape into earth elemental or animal with DR and aid the battle. you NEVER have a time where there is noting to do.
Saurian or Menhir savant make it even better.

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