Making PFS more Druid-friendly


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Dark Archive 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

Looking through a lot of the discussions on this board, I keep seeing the druid rules being mentioned in negative light. What do you as players think can be done to make PFS more druid-friendly?

My ideas are:
1) Allow them to train one trick per rank in handle animal
2) Allow a re-allocation of skill points for those druids affected by the rules changes

I personally don't think that the changes warrant an entire re-build and I feel like these ideas would go a long way to making druids more viable in PFS.

The Exchange

What?

My first retired PFS character was/is 12 levels of Druid.

I loved the character, found them to be sufficiently powerful, and I had a ton of options in building him.

No offense to the denizens of this board, but there are a lot of yahoos on this board (including me, apparently) and sometimes they get things wrong.

The class offers me what I like: options, skills, and the power (if I choose to use it). The class can be built to be both fun to play and contribute to numerous and varied aspects of PFS play.

I can't ask for more.

-Pain

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Painlord wrote:

What?

My first retired PFS character was/is 12 levels of Druid.

I loved the character, found them to be sufficiently powerful, and I had a ton of options in building him.

No offense to the denizens of this board, but there are a lot of yahoos on this board (including me, apparently) and sometimes they get things wrong.

The class offers me what I like: options, skills, and the power (if I choose to use it). The class can be built to be both fun to play and contribute to numerous and varied aspects of PFS play.

I can't ask for more.

-Pain

Pain, I think Todd is saying that Thorne simply isn't powerful enough.

I'll alert the bucket brigade and tell them to expect a five alarm inferno.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Todd Morgan wrote:

Looking through a lot of the discussions on this board, I keep seeing the druid rules being mentioned in negative light. What do you as players think can be done to make PFS more druid-friendly?

My ideas are:
1) Allow them to train one trick per rank in handle animal
2) Allow a re-allocation of skill points for those druids affected by the rules changes

I personally don't think that the changes warrant an entire re-build and I feel like these ideas would go a long way to making druids more viable in PFS.

The only problem I can see is for brand spankin' new 1st level Druids.

Just say they start with a fully trained animal companion.

Otherwise, I don't think the situation needs fixing.


Andrew Christian wrote:

The only problem I can see is for brand spankin' new 1st level Druids.

Just say they start with a fully trained animal companion.

+1. I think your first animal companion should come fully trained. The rest of PFS's house rules on the issue, I don't care about.


Todd Morgan wrote:

Looking through a lot of the discussions on this board, I keep seeing the druid rules being mentioned in negative light. What do you as players think can be done to make PFS more druid-friendly?

1. Don't let scenarios purposefully exclude animal companions in high handed ways (i.e. author: "I don't like animal companions so they're not allowed"). If scenarios are singling out PC classes then there is likely something amiss.

2. Simply let animal companions start a scenario with whatever tricks the druid could teach them by taking 10 on the skill. If they want the animal to have a trick that they cannot do such to achieve then have a fee for training a trick to an animal companion (equal to say what a profession check of the same DC would earn over that time). Have this available to mundane animals as well.

When we look at what is hand-waived in PFS and what is assiduously tracked it seems to me that animal companion tricks are singled out for more scrutiny and labor than they should be. When you see that in an organized campaign you can let that influence you to avoid that class not just for what's currently in the rules but what might get added into the rules at a later date.

-James

Grand Lodge Venture-Agent, Texas—Mansfield aka sieylianna

james maissen wrote:
1. Don't let scenarios purposefully exclude animal companions in high handed ways (i.e. author: "I don't like animal companions so they're not allowed"). If scenarios are singling out PC classes then there is likely something amiss.

Druids need to use common sense. Large animals aren't going to be allowed in most establishments and ships frequently don't have accomodations for them. There is some variation, my living greyhawk druid took her tiger to a party at the palace in Nyrond (with a muzzle and a bow), but was relegated to the stables in Veluna (couldn't even stay in her room at the inn).

If you have an animal that may have issues with environment, then you need to plan ahead and not just qq.

Dark Archive

sieylianna wrote:
james maissen wrote:
1. Don't let scenarios purposefully exclude animal companions in high handed ways (i.e. author: "I don't like animal companions so they're not allowed"). If scenarios are singling out PC classes then there is likely something amiss.

Druids need to use common sense. Large animals aren't going to be allowed in most establishments and ships frequently don't have accomodations for them. There is some variation, my living greyhawk druid took her tiger to a party at the palace in Nyrond (with a muzzle and a bow), but was relegated to the stables in Veluna (couldn't even stay in her room at the inn).

If you have an animal that may have issues with environment, then you need to plan ahead and not just qq.

While I agree with this, then it should also be applied across the board. Do not tell someone they can not bring a bear into town, but the Summoner is walking around with an 8' freak of nature.

The Exchange

While I understand that large animals may not be allowed into parties or restaurants, I think that banning them from town is ridiculous. That's applying real word logic to the game and it doesn't work. Golarion is a world where there ARE druids, summoners, sorcerors with familiars, etc. so it'd stand to reason that cities are used to people bringing their familiars, animal companions, eidolons, etc. with them. They may have to stay in the stables, but banning them from the town itself?

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

in LG i would always cast reduce animal on my rhino when i brought him into a big city or for a party. and everyone was always "awe! cute baby rhino!" until i needed to dismiss the spell.

There's things you can do to mitigate your animal.
fundamental issue seems to be control. Some people view the animal companion as a trained wild animal with no other controls. A summoner's eidolon is an intelligent creature, but doesn't do anything the summoner doesn't order / control it to do. its essentially a muzzled/leashed demon/freak. RAW it can't get into trouble unless the summoner orders it to.

@Pain, if it was your first retired character, they largely missed any of the current rules effects of animal companions. they mainly apply to new characters, characters who have their animal companion killed, and at higher levels/final scenarios, characters that lose their animal companion and cannot retrain them as they play, having to get by on pushing their companion and bonus tricks known.

no one is saying druids aren't a powerful class.
but pathfinder society comes off as "anti-druid" with meta game rules rulings handed down. without acceptable rebuild options to fix things

Sovereign Court

james maissen wrote:
When we look at what is hand-waived in PFS and what is assiduously tracked it seems to me that animal companion tricks are singled out for more scrutiny and labor than they should be. When you see that in an organized campaign you can let that influence you to avoid that class not just for what's currently in the rules but what might get added into the rules at a later date.

Indeed. I've yet to see how the scrutiny of the animal training rules actually adds fun and enjoyment to the game.

"Remember how it took you eight modules to get your animal functional in combat because you kept missing those rolls?"

"Yeah, that simulation of repeatedly failing to train my animal over several months was awesome! I felt like my character really was bonding with my pet!"

Sovereign Court

Mok wrote:


Indeed. I've yet to see how the scrutiny of the animal training rules actually adds fun and enjoyment to the game.

"Remember how it took you eight modules to get your animal functional in combat because you kept missing those rolls?"

"Yeah, that simulation of repeatedly failing to train my animal over several months was awesome! I felt like my character really was bonding with my pet!"

^^^

Win.

If whoever wrote and whoever approved those PFS house rules about a pointless restriction on animal companions never hears the end of the whining from the internets, it'll be too soon.

It's what they deserve.

Dark Archive

Not just the rules, but many scenarios are against animals/mounts,unless you are a halfing-summoner that rides his eidlon. I address these issues about my concerns for PFS, not to drag it down, there are many things I like about PFS, but I think it can be improved. Anyone with a successful buisness plan should appreciate such feedback. Many companies pay for such feedback. There are many people that will attack you for a differant opinon on these boards, I think they loose sight of the bigger picture.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Nimon wrote:


Not just the rules, but many scenarios are against animals/mounts,unless you are a halfing-summoner that rides his eidlon.

I'm only aware of one (recent) scenario that specifically targets a companion. Most might appear to do so, but that is largely due to environment. Large companions have a rough time underground in small tunnels. Not to mention climbing ladders or ropes. I do not consider that AC hate.

Sovereign Court

What I find the most irksome about the training rules is that anyone can, for a paltry 25 gold, get a fully trained guard dog. But if you're a Druid or a Ranger, who are supposed to have this mystical relationship with their animals, have to grind through a bunch of rolls, or risk the higher DC for a single big roll.

At the very least, between adventures let the character send their animal companion off to pet school and pay the handful of coins needed to get their combat certificate.


Mok wrote:

But if you're a Druid or a Ranger, who are supposed to have this mystical relationship with their animals, have to grind through a bunch of rolls, or risk the higher DC for a single big roll.

What single big roll would that be?

(Not that I disagree with your sentiment, but I think the situation is worse than you are picturing it even).

-James

Sovereign Court

james maissen wrote:

What single big roll would that be?

(Not that I disagree with your sentiment, but I think the situation is worse than you are picturing it even).

-James

I've always understood with the Handle Animal skill is that you can either roll for training a specific trick, or for a general purpose (a set of tricks) and the general purpose is generally +5 more to the DC.

Dark Archive

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Nimon wrote:


Not just the rules, but many scenarios are against animals/mounts,unless you are a halfing-summoner that rides his eidlon.
I'm only aware of one (recent) scenario that specifically targets a companion. Most might appear to do so, but that is largely due to environment. Large companions have a rough time underground in small tunnels. Not to mention climbing ladders or ropes. I do not consider that AC hate.

I agree that there should be provisions against allowing such creatures to operate freely in such places, the ones that have elements in them where if you even have a companion you are being punished are the ones I am talking about.


Mok wrote:
james maissen wrote:

What single big roll would that be?

(Not that I disagree with your sentiment, but I think the situation is worse than you are picturing it even).

-James

I've always understood with the Handle Animal skill is that you can either roll for training a specific trick, or for a general purpose (a set of tricks) and the general purpose is generally +5 more to the DC.

I don't believe that you are allowed to train an animal for a purpose in PFS,

James

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Nimon wrote:
I agree that there should be provisions against allowing such creatures to operate freely in such places, the ones that have elements in them where if you even have a companion you are being punished are the ones I am talking about.

Can you provide an example? I have run nearly every scenario and I do not recall any, other than "Frostfur Captives," that actually reference anything negative regarding animal companions.

Dark Archive

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Nimon wrote:
I agree that there should be provisions against allowing such creatures to operate freely in such places, the ones that have elements in them where if you even have a companion you are being punished are the ones I am talking about.
Can you provide an example? I have run nearly every scenario and I do not recall any, other than "Frostfur Captives," that actually reference anything negative regarding animal companions.

The one you mentioned is one of the biggest ones.

possible spoiler:
There is one that is a two-parter where you have to "blend in" with the locals or suffer greatly in the next portion.
There are more, but I do not recall the names that well.
Sovereign Court

james maissen wrote:


I don't believe that you are allowed to train an animal for a purpose in PFS,

James

Hmm... under the faq it details what can happen. It is a little vague. I can see hairsplitting RAW debates over the issue of purposes.

I think I'll just avoid it all and be a summoner the next time I want a pet.

Grand Lodge

Mok wrote:

What I find the most irksome about the training rules is that anyone can, for a paltry 25 gold, get a fully trained guard dog. But if you're a Druid or a Ranger, who are supposed to have this mystical relationship with their animals, have to grind through a bunch of rolls, or risk the higher DC for a single big roll.

Guard dog = 4 tricks.

Even a 1st level druid gets 1 bonus trick, so the animal starts with that, and needs 3. Done in under a level.
Assuming 1st level and average Charisma (or lower).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mok wrote:

What I find the most irksome about the training rules is that anyone can, for a paltry 25 gold, get a fully trained guard dog. But if you're a Druid or a Ranger, who are supposed to have this mystical relationship with their animals, have to grind through a bunch of rolls, or risk the higher DC for a single big roll.

At the very least, between adventures let the character send their animal companion off to pet school and pay the handful of coins needed to get their combat certificate.

Two points.

1. As a Druid or Ranger, you handle your animal as either a free action. The wizard who bought a guard dog must spend a standard action to do the same thing.

2. As a Druid or Ranger as you advance in level, your animal companion gets more powerful and gets a boost by 4th level. The wizard on the other hand by the time he's made 4th level has killed off a dozen dogs and his present one is no stronger than the one he bought at first.

3. Do I need to go on to the special and supernatural abilities of Animal companions not possessed by mere trained dogs to further my point?

Grand Lodge Venture-Agent, Texas—Mansfield aka sieylianna

K Neil Shackleton wrote:

Guard dog = 4 tricks.

Even a 1st level druid gets 1 bonus trick, so the animal starts with that, and needs 3. Done in under a level.
Assuming 1st level and average Charisma (or lower).

I do not have a PFS druid, but my LG druid went through a number of animal companions until she was able to get a tiger. And unlike some people, she was as protective of her animal companion's life as hers. So until level 8, she would not have had a fully trained companion. This seems rather daunting and unnecessary.

Dark Archive

sieylianna wrote:
K Neil Shackleton wrote:

Guard dog = 4 tricks.

Even a 1st level druid gets 1 bonus trick, so the animal starts with that, and needs 3. Done in under a level.
Assuming 1st level and average Charisma (or lower).
I do not have a PFS druid, but my LG druid went through a number of animal companions until she was able to get a tiger. And unlike some people, she was as protective of her animal companion's life as hers. So until level 8, she would not have had a fully trained companion. This seems rather daunting and unnecessary.

I agree, though I have never played a druid with an animal companion(I had a gnome fire domain that was a pyro), when you compare it to how a summoner's eidlon works, it falls short. I think the two should be more on par with each other.

Grand Lodge

sieylianna wrote:
I do not have a PFS druid, but my LG druid went through a number of animal companions until she was able to get a tiger. And unlike some people, she was as protective of her animal companion's life as hers. So until level 8, she would not have had a fully trained companion. This seems rather daunting and unnecessary.

Worst case, it will take 6 sessions to fully train a companion, unless you are really bad at Handle Animal, or you have raised the AC's Intelligence.

The animal starts with Bonus Tricks, and usually you are looking at maximum 6 tricks to train.

For Pathfinder, wouldn't you just start out with your tiger cub, keep training it, and it would have been fully trained long before it "matures" at 7th?


K Neil Shackleton wrote:


Worst case, it will take 6 sessions to fully train a companion, unless you are really bad at Handle Animal, or you have raised the AC's Intelligence.

People who played LG around year 2 or so of the campaign were saddled with 'living accounting'.

It was not hard math and if it was beyond anyone to do then they would have similar problems with playing the game itself.

Yet it detracted from the play.

And here you have an organized campaign that takes a reasonable stance on tracking many things but yet greatly diverges where it comes to something minor like this.

Simple- let the PC train any animal by whatever they can do with a take 10, and let them hire an animal trainer for what they cannot do with that roll (using the simple core rules say for profession wages based on the needed DC).

What is gained by making it more complicated and more limited than that?

-James

Grand Lodge 5/5

James, thanks for the input. I will be reevaluating training rules once I get to the office. I'm not promising any changes at this point, but I am promising to take a good hard look at the issue as I think it can definitely be improved.

One thing you mentioned, however, I do view differently. With the magical bond that exists between an AC and the Druid, having someone else train the animal for the Druid doesn't sit well with me for whatever reason. I do think there are some changes that can be looked at to improve the druid's experience in the game regarding ACs. I don't think paying someone to train the AC is one of them.

I will continue to think on it and I am not going to debate it at this point as I have driven 67 of the past 92 hours. I want to make sure I am rested and clear headed before I start making any changes. I did want to let you, and everyone else, know that I will be addressing all of these contentious issues once I officially arrive at Paizo.


Michael Brock wrote:


One thing you mentioned, however, I do view differently. With the magical bond that exists between an AC and the Druid, having someone else train the animal for the Druid doesn't sit well with me for whatever reason. I do think there are some changes that can be looked at to improve the druid's experience in the game regarding ACs. I don't think paying someone to train the AC is one of them.

Well if a non-druid wanted to get a dog, or other animal they could buy, trained for combat it doesn't seem out of line for them to hire someone.

As to a druid hiring someone else to do it, I can see where you're coming from. Really for those with companions it shouldn't be an issue as even with a single rank in Handle Animal they can get the DCs for at least half the tricks even with a minimum Dwarven CHA of 5!

Michael Brock wrote:


I will continue to think on it and I am not going to debate it at this point as I have driven 67 of the past 92 hours.

Ouch.

Anyone who's in the process of doing that and still takes the time to check in here, well you have my admiration on that. Sounds like Paizo made a good choice. Best of luck with what you can come up with.

-James

Grand Lodge Venture-Agent, Texas—Mansfield aka sieylianna

K Neil Shackleton wrote:
For Pathfinder, wouldn't you just start out with your tiger cub, keep training it, and it would have been fully trained long before it "matures" at 7th?

Animal companion rules changed more than I understood, in 3.5 she lost one or two wolf companions from levels 1-3, lots of leopard companions from 4-6, before getting a tiger(lion?) at level 7. Not having to swap animals in PF will reduce that effect.

The Exchange

I personally think just allowing to train for a purpose in PFS would go a long way towards resolving the problem. When I first started playing, nothing said you couldn't, but now the FAQ says differently. (which kind of also nerfs people who assumed you could, but that's outside the scope of the conversation)

Liberty's Edge

Nimon wrote:
I agree, though I have never played a druid with an animal companion(I had a gnome fire domain that was a pyro), when you compare it to how a summoner's eidlon works, it falls short. I think the two should be more on par with each other.

Why? Druids have a diverse range of powerful abilities which summoners lack. In compensation, the summoner's side-kick is stronger than the druid's.

Dark Archive

Mike Schneider wrote:
Nimon wrote:
I agree, though I have never played a druid with an animal companion(I had a gnome fire domain that was a pyro), when you compare it to how a summoner's eidlon works, it falls short. I think the two should be more on par with each other.
Why? Druids have a diverse range of powerful abilities which summoners lack. In compensation, the summoner's side-kick is stronger than the druid's.

You think summoners lack diverse range of powerful abilities? Haste is a level 2 spell for them! They are charsima based, so their UMD is strongly supported on top of that.

Sovereign Court

Meandering thoughts and suggestions on the issue...

Looking over the Combat Training tricks you have:

Attack (normal) DC 20
Attack (unnatural) DC 20
Come DC 15
Defend DC 20
Down DC 15
Guard DC 20 / Stay DC 15
Heel DC 15

A big hurdle in the above list is the hidden “unnatural” attack trick that is buried in the text. An AC will “normally, an animal will attack only humanoids, monstrous humanoids, giants, or other animals.” If you want the AC to attack any other type of creature then it needs a second trick added which (presumably, unfortunately this is a poorly framed rule item in the text) requires another DC 20 handle animal check so the AC will learn the second trick.

When you consider the amount of low level encounters that involve undead, which is rather high (Rangers ought to pick human or undead as their first favored enemy) then this can quickly become an issue, especially when ghouls are mauling the party, which I've seen a few times.

After that, you need two more essential tricks. You need guard or stay so that if the AC can't join you in a certain part, due to ladders or whatnot, you can tell it to wait for you. Further you need heel so that the AC will stick by you as you walk about in all of these creepy locations. Without those tricks you're at the whim of whatever persnickity GM's might feel for how to handle AC issues.

You do eventually want to get the whole suite, but those four can at least get you covered for the most important situations with companions.

At base you're going to have a bonus of:

Class Skill +3
Ranks +1
Charisma -2 to +1
Link +4

Here is how it breaks down in the first handful of modules with percentages of success on DC 20 or 15:

Modules 1 and 2: Bonus Range from +6 to +9 (35% to 50%) or (55% to 70%)
Modules 3 to 5: Bonus range from +7 to +10 (40% to 55%) or (60% to 75%)
Modules 6 to 8: Bonus range from +8 to +11 (45% to 60%) or (65% to 80%)

With the above values, it can be seen that if you're a typical Druid with a low Charisma, you're chances of succeeding at tricks isn't very good. Successive rolls (over modules) will statistically increase the chance of a good roll, but since you're rolling at such a slow rate you could quite plausibly just roll a streak of low rolls and get nothing done.

In regards to Charisma, I'm using the high end as a Charisma of 12. Sure you can crank up your Charisma higher, but once you get a modicum of experience with the system you're not going to see a compelling reason to have a high Charisma with a Druid or Ranger. Both classes need good physical stats, along with a decent to good Wisdom, so putting the Charisma above a 12 is unlikely, and probably isn't even going to reach a 12, being either a 10 (if you don't like dumping stats) or down to an 8 or 7 to help get some needed points into the valuable ability scores.

The other way that even the “high” Charisma of 12 has little impact with PFS play is that you can only train a number of tricks equal to your bonus, with a minimum of 1. So the player who goes wild and puts down that 12 in Charisma, versus the usual dump of 7 is only getting minimal benefit.

You do get one free trick at 1st and 2nd levels, and another at 3rd level. So at the very least what you're ensuring is that your AC will be able to attack a limited list of creatures in those first and second levels, and at 3rd level you can make it so they could attack anything at all. It isn't until 9th level when you can guarantee the four “core” tricks you need to deal with the most crucial AC situations.

That is an important factor to consider because ACs do end up dying and then you have to do this laborious process all over again for the new AC. It gets easier as you go up in levels, but if you have a low charisma (12 or below) then you're still going to be stuck in the mid-levels with grinding out some of this training, and if you do end up rolling low, might end up just delaying a trick for yet another module.

One argument against adjusting anything would be something along the lines of “Druids are already one of the most powerful classes in game, and you want to make them more powerful?”

My criticism of the PFS trick training rules is based on theme and general enjoyment. In regard to theme it just seems inconsistent with all of the other pet options out there. Cavalier's mounts come pre-trained and then get a suped-up training power, Summoner Eidolons are intelligent and don't need training, and anyone can buy for trifling amounts of gold fully trained dogs and horses.

Meanwhile, Druids and Rangers, which have rules baked into them that allow them to communicate deeper with animals in general, and have a special communicative link with their AC, can rather easily end up standing their, yelling at the AC “Sit! SIT! SIT!!!!” and getting nowhere. So on a thematic level the PFS houserule for how Druids and Rangers have to train their companions just doesn't fit with the ease everyone else in the world has with animals, particularly when they are the specialists in this one area.

On a play level, the houserule just isn't fun. There is an argument for needing to “earn” things in organized play, but making isolated dice rolls is a poor way to have that feeling emerge. Because each roll is so isolated and the set of rolls drawn out it's more of a feeling of tedious grinding than dramatic fun. Even day job checks essentially guarantee some gold coming in.

Some suggested fixes, depending on how liberal or conservative you feel about the design:

A. Character's that possess wild empathy as a class feature can select one general purpose (see Handle Animal skill for more details) that their animal companion is already trained in. [most people would pick the combat training, but this allows those who want to go in a different direction to pick a set of tricks that fits the flavor of their concept]

B. Character's that possess wild empathy as a class feature have their animal companions start with a number of tricks known equal to their Intelligence score, plus any bonus tricks gained through being an animal companion. [This one ensures that the AC starts with additional tricks, though vermin do get zapped a little.]

C. When teaching an animal new tricks, the character may roll a number of handle animal checks equal to 3+Charisma Modifier (minimum 1) per module. [This one zings those who dump their Charisma, while rewarding those with a 10+ Charisma.]


Mok wrote:
C. When teaching an animal new tricks, the character may roll a number of handle animal checks equal to 3+Charisma Modifier (minimum 1) per module. [This one zings those who dump their Charisma, while rewarding those with a 10+ Charisma.]

Why tie it to their RAW charisma score and not their ability to actually handle animals?

Should a sorcerer with a 20CHA and 1 rank in a nonclass skill of handle animal (for a +6 handle animal check) be a better trainer than a Druid with a handle animal score of +9 or even higher?

Should we really *care* to go into this kind of thing?

What is it really trying to achieve here?

A 3rd level druid or higher can take in a new animal companion each time, have it with attackx2 by bonus tricks and with a single rank in Handle animal (even with a 5CHA as a dwarf) be able to push their companion to stay, heel, guard, etc.

So it's not a 'fix to disposable companions' but rather just an annoying bit of book keeping and arbitrary limitations that are not seen for other classes.

-James

Sovereign Court

james maissen wrote:


Why tie it to their RAW charisma score and not their ability to actually handle animals?

I was just tossing out various suggestions depending on how liberal or conservative you are on the subject. I wouldn't pick that option as the way to go, but if someone had their heart set on making people use the handle animal sub-system but wanted to better reward those players who didn't dump their stat, then this would be better than the current set up.

If it were my call I'd go with option A. That way the average player will just pick combat training and be done with it, but if you wanted someone who was a more hard core ROLEplayer and wanted to have a Druid who loved vegetable gardening and wanted their auroch pulling a wagon full of hay and vegetables around on adventures then they could pick the heavy labor purpose. Then you have the weirdo druid with the circus bear that has the performance purpose, etc.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Hm, perhaps if I make a druid I'll just use the "domain" version of the Nature Bond class feature instead of getting an animal companion.

Liberty's Edge

Nimon wrote:
Mike Schneider wrote:
Nimon wrote:
I agree, though I have never played a druid with an animal companion(I had a gnome fire domain that was a pyro), when you compare it to how a summoner's eidlon works, it falls short. I think the two should be more on par with each other.
Why? Druids have a diverse range of powerful abilities which summoners lack. In compensation, the summoner's side-kick is stronger than the druid's.
You think summoners lack diverse range of powerful abilities? Haste is a level 2 spell for them!
They get 2nd-level spells at 4th, which is only one level earlier than wizards.
Quote:
They are charsima based, so their UMD is strongly supported on top of that.

Druids get 9th-level spells, will have much better fort and will saves, and eventually can shapechange at will -- of course you won't get to see all of that in PFS due to the cap, but just sayin'.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
teribithia9 wrote:
I personally think just allowing to train for a purpose in PFS would go a long way towards resolving the problem. When I first started playing, nothing said you couldn't, but now the FAQ says differently. (which kind of also nerfs people who assumed you could, but that's outside the scope of the conversation)

Does the FAQ specifically say you cannot train for a purpose (I can't see that it does)?

Or do you mean that it simply does not mention training for a purpose, only talking about tricks?

The reason I am asking is that I am playing a druid who has a dog trained for a purpose (hunting) after getting advice that this was probably okay. If training for a purpose is now disallowed, does anyone know what I have to do with my character, bearing in mind there were scenarios where I could have attempted a training check but didn't because the purpose maxed out my dog's known tricks?

Incidentally, my character's dog spent the first three scenarios untrained in anything but Perform (so he could roll over and give paw :) I kept rolling really crap for my Handle Animal check even missing what would have been the DC for a singel trick! It was actually quite humourous :)

3/5

Michael Brock wrote:
I will continue to think on it and I am not going to debate it at this point as I have driven 67 of the past 92 hours. I want to make sure I am rested and clear headed before I start making any changes. I did want to let you, and everyone else, know that I will be addressing all of these contentious issues once I officially arrive at Paizo.

Thank you and drive safe.

My 2 cp:

1) I'd like a rule that discourages 'meat shield', expendable, animal companions.
2) I'd like a rule that encourages Handle Animal use, and rewards players for placing ranks in the skill.
3) I'd like a rule that is very easy to administer.

Those three are the most important (no particular order). In addition, 4) I'd like a rule that allows a druid or ranger to change animal companions based on the adventure and still have most/all of their tricks. For example, I might want a bird on the Throaty Mermaid instead of a large cat.

Also, I think it should be specifically stated that the Ranger Beast Master archtype has access to all the Druid animal companion choices. As currently written in the guide, this is implied but it specifically states that a Ranger cannot.

-Swiftbrook
Just My Thoughts[

Dark Archive

Mike Schneider wrote:
Nimon wrote:
Mike Schneider wrote:
Nimon wrote:
I agree, though I have never played a druid with an animal companion(I had a gnome fire domain that was a pyro), when you compare it to how a summoner's eidlon works, it falls short. I think the two should be more on par with each other.
Why? Druids have a diverse range of powerful abilities which summoners lack. In compensation, the summoner's side-kick is stronger than the druid's.
You think summoners lack diverse range of powerful abilities? Haste is a level 2 spell for them!
They get 2nd-level spells at 4th, which is only one level earlier than wizards.
Quote:
They are charsima based, so their UMD is strongly supported on top of that.
Druids get 9th-level spells, will have much better fort and will saves, and eventually can shapechange at will -- of course you won't get to see all of that in PFS due to the cap, but just sayin'.

I am not sure how them getting 2nd level spells "only" one level befor a wizard is something against the summoner. Fact remains they get them befor a wizard, on top of the Eidlon.

The other bit doesnt apply to PFS, which is what this is about, in a home game most of what the OP is talking about would not apply so is irrelevant. I agree in general Summoner/Druid are equal, but when it comes to how their compainions/eidlons are delt with there is some unbalance.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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How can we make druids feel more welcome? At my table, I bring a small oak tree and all the squirrels that fit in my pockets.

Grand Lodge

Chris Mortika wrote:
... all the squirrels that fit in my pockets.

Watch that they don't..... Nah, too easy.


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Hmm...one thing that might work is the ability to "transfer" tricks trained from an animal companion that is voluntarily released between scenarios or at the start of a scenario into the new one. If you let the AC die casually you're still screwed, but if you have a decent reason for wanting a new friend you're not penalized for it.

Liberty's Edge

sieylianna wrote:
If you have an animal that may have issues with environment, then you need to plan ahead and not just qq.
Nimon wrote:
While I agree with this, then it should also be applied across the board. Do not tell someone they can not bring a bear into town, but the Summoner is walking around with an 8' freak of nature.

I play a Summoner, and I have to agree with this.

That's why I deliberately tried to make my eidolon look as close to a real animal as possible. I've been playing the flavour of the First World Summoner archetype, since Beta, even if I can't rebuild the PC (and even if I could, I wouldn't, but that's another thread).

I try to work with the GMs and writers, by posing as an ape-wrangler; I might get some odd stares, but he's normal sized, not overly strong, and causes no trouble. I can't imagine I'd get much sympathy if I brought some of the eidolons I see in the optimisation forums.

"What do you mean, you don't serve Starpanda Crabscorpions?!? WHAT KIND OF ESTABLISHMENT IS THIS!?!?!"

Dark Archive

Dangleberry Tagnut wrote:
sieylianna wrote:
If you have an animal that may have issues with environment, then you need to plan ahead and not just qq.
Nimon wrote:
While I agree with this, then it should also be applied across the board. Do not tell someone they can not bring a bear into town, but the Summoner is walking around with an 8' freak of nature.

I try to work with the GMs and writers, by posing as an ape-wrangler; I might get some odd stares, but he's normal sized, not overly strong, and causes no trouble. I can't imagine I'd get much sympathy if I brought some of the eidolons I see in the optimisation forums.

"What do you mean, you don't serve Starpanda Crabscorpions?!? WHAT KIND OF ESTABLISHMENT IS THIS!?!?!"

That is good roleplaying, and I am glad to play with summoners like you. Do not get me wrong though, I am not against summoners or anything, I just have seen some inconsitancey with how the two are treated in regards of their companions. Eidlons can learn skills every level and feats on top of evolution points, I do not think druids are asking so much to be able to get a few more tricks in.

Scarab Sages

Chris Kenney wrote:
Hmm...one thing that might work is the ability to "transfer" tricks trained from an animal companion that is voluntarily released between scenarios or at the start of a scenario into the new one. If you let the AC die casually you're still screwed, but if you have a decent reason for wanting a new friend you're not penalized for it.

This is what I was pushing for on the various other threads.

In a home campaign, you usually have a good idea where you'll be adventuring, and be able to prepare accordingly.
Very rarely does the action stray far from the campaign's base town.
When the action moves to a different climate, the training of a new companion can often be fit in. If it can't, well, it can't, but that is usually the exception.

In PFS, you jump from one side of the continent to the other between scenarios, but nowhere does it say that those scenarios occur back to back, with little downtime.
It could have been months since you travelled from Qadira to Irrisen, so there's little reason you couldn't have trained a new companion on the way.

Don't punish a player for taking his animals' feelings into account, for choosing not to take a polar bear to the deset, or a crocodile up a glacier.


Chris Kenney wrote:
Hmm...one thing that might work is the ability to "transfer" tricks trained from an animal companion that is voluntarily released between scenarios or at the start of a scenario into the new one. If you let the AC die casually you're still screwed, but if you have a decent reason for wanting a new friend you're not penalized for it.

Two things:

1. Please don't make a host of extra rules for this.

2. At and after level 3, if a Druid just wants to use the companion 'as a meat shield' then restricting handle animal use doesn't curb it.. it just encourages it.

-James

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Nimon wrote:
Mike Schneider wrote:
Nimon wrote:
I agree, though I have never played a druid with an animal companion(I had a gnome fire domain that was a pyro), when you compare it to how a summoner's eidlon works, it falls short. I think the two should be more on par with each other.
Why? Druids have a diverse range of powerful abilities which summoners lack. In compensation, the summoner's side-kick is stronger than the druid's.
You think summoners lack diverse range of powerful abilities? Haste is a level 2 spell for them! They are charsima based, so their UMD is strongly supported on top of that.

A well played Druid still has more options. For one thing they're not restricted by a limited spells known list, and they've got a good deal more variety of spells to boot. And need I mention wild shape?

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