Druid Math


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


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Ok so we have the usual mix and match of players and like any other RP group, we got our usual Min-Maxer.

At this point in ou campaign, his caracter is now grossly overpowered and I was looking to see if anyone could tell me if what he is doing is breakign any of the rules (as such, if he isn't breaking any rules, I'll just be hitting him with the nerf bat but would prefer to be able to jutify it with rules).

Build (will only imput the inmportant info):

Barbarian 1/Druid 8
Race: Human

Str: 24 (20 + 4 from magic item)
While Raging and shaped changed his Str goes to 34 (6str from Huge creature and 4 from raging)

Feats (dont remember the order or even all the feats right now):
Furious Finish
Natural Spell
Vital Strike
Improved Natural Weapon (Bite) --- Allowed monster feats because I allowed it for others but this could be removed

Wild Shape of Choice:
Hippopotamus, Behemoth

Here is what he does:
He has Greater Magic Fang on most of the time (+2hit/dmg). He casts Strong Jaw on himself as the battle starts. That being said, with improved natural weapon, his weapon goes from 4d8 to 6d8 and then from 6d8 to 12d8. Using Vital Strike and Furious Finish, he does 24d8(max, which is 192dmg) + 20dmg (18 from str bonus and 2 from Greater Magic Fang) for a total of 212dmg. Crits hit for 308 dmg. If the mob survives, he then starts a grapple using Grab.

In any case, any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Sovereign Court

Get a full character sheet please, not bits and pieces of scattered info. Then people will happily tear it apart for you.

Of course, this is probably the cliche scenario I seem to see here all the time where the GM has never seen the player's character sheet or been "allowed" to do an audit on it.

I'm not meaning to come across as harsh- but theres far too much speculation without full stats.


Well, he is fatigued after using furious finish, so he'll be doing that to at most 1 enemy in a usual combat...

What's the rest of the party like?
How many enemies are in the average encounter? Are they all bunched up?

I wouldn't advise nerfing just yet...

Also, this smells like a build made from when you start at higher levels.

Natural Spell must have been taken at 5th level.

Druids cannot take Improved Natural Weapon until they can wild shape.

Vital Strike needs BAB 6, meaning the earliest it can be taken for that combo is level 7 (Druid 6 / Barb 1).

Furious Finish requires Vital Strike, so it was probably the 9th level feat.

Literally none of his feats you listed can be taken until level 5+. You didn't list one of his feats though. But there's still one he can't take.

In this case, the order matters.


He's also more or less at the place where shapeshifting druids "peak" - he has most (save a few buffs, potentially) of the major benefits that shapeshifting druids get to combat prowess, and then they're almost flat until they can turn into the best of the elementals at very high levels. Even a perfectly legal, normal shapeshifting druid is at its best more or less right around Druid 8.


Worse than that, Cheapy. The minimum level for +6 Bab is actually 8 (Druid 7 / Barb 1). That means he couldn't possibly have this combo up yet, unless there is some source of feats I am overlooking.

If you want hints for ruling this in, I'd start by looking at his choice of form. Has he ever seen a Behemoth Hippo? Are they in the region? Do they even exist in your world? He has obviously flipped through the books to find the creature with the absolute highest damage die for its bite (one two categories higher than it should be). You should feel free to ban it if there is no conceivable way the character would be familiar with such a creature, or if the creature doesn't actually exist.

Liberty's Edge

First, everything Cheapy said.

He's spending a round casting and using a 4th level spell to do this.

Third, you're at the sweet spot for druid levels. His damage is not going to improve much from here on I wouldn't think (say 20% max).

To do this he has to become huge, how often does he get to do that?

Finally, for what it's worth, he doesn't bypass alignment based DR, his touch AC is in the toilet (and his AC isn't likely great), and he suffers significantly on reflex saves. He also can't do anything about flying or ranged foes. Its a nice trick, one I'll certainly be remembering, but that's really all it is.

However, after looking up everything, it does not look like he's factoring in improved natural weapon: bite. I suspect he doesn't actually have it. (Which would make his character legal.) You also forgot to factor in power attack for his damage. Edit: Ignore the legal comment, mort is right, he can't possibly have furious finish yet.


Base (4d8), Improved (6d8), Strong Jaw (8d8->12d8). I think?


Improved Natural Attack wrote:

Damage dice increase as follows: 1d2, 1d3, 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 2d6, 3d6, 4d6, 6d6, 8d6, 12d6.

A weapon or attack that deals 1d10 points of damage increases as follows: 1d10, 2d8, 3d8, 4d8, 6d8, 8d8, 12d8.

Treat this as a 1d10 weapon...

4d8 Base. Improved makes it 6d8. Strong Jaw makes it 8d8 then 12d8.

Vital Strike makes it 24d6. Furious Finish makes it 192 + bonuses


Oh right, it does require level 8 to get Vital Strike. So yes, this isn't even possible in the least.

It will be at level 11.

Shadow Lodge

First, what other folks said - which is this "combo" shouldn't be valid until level 11 (with Vital @ 9th and Furious @ 11th).

At 11th level, he's spending 2 rounds which he ends as fatigued for a single shot for 212 damage.

A 11th level vanilla wizard can get off two Flesh to Stone (or similar) spells in the same 2 rounds - from whatever safety being ranged provides. Typically, this too, will quickly eliminate a single high HP creature.

A 11th level rogue allowed to melee and flank an adversary for two full rounds can inflict comparable damage to Mr. Super-Hippo, if not more if he rolls well.

Liberty's Edge

Strong Jaw wrote:
If the creature is already Gargantuan or Colossal-sized, double the amount of damage dealt by each of its natural attacks instead.

One size increase gets to where it needs to gargantuan (4d8 - 6d8). Second size increase doubles the damage (6d8 - 12d8). Thinking about it I'm not sure that doubling should stack with vital strike, more likely it should over lap making it 18d8 rather than 24. . .


I think it's time I audit his caracter sheet.

This is what I get for trying to save someones campaign by taking over DMing half way thru the campaign. (Got suckered into that one)

So I can most likely delay the uglinest of this combo for another 2 levels and hope by then the other players aren't so outclassed that it's not going to be as fun for them.

Thanks alot for noticing the minimum feat requirements guys.

Grand Lodge

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Just a thought.

If this is a home campaign, which it sounds like, and he is outdamaging the other characters, simply build some encounters to showcase their abilities and downplay his.
I almost totally decimated a few mid level groups with well placed low level ambushes.
Ranged attacks from a tree line drawing the characters charging through waist high grass filled with poisoned steel jaw traps and punji sticks in to a muddy clearing (dirt saturated with kerosene), when they entered the clearing they noticed the smell just in time to see torches being lobbed in to the area. By the time they could even reach the ambushers they were hurting bad.
I had hit them with about 5 different ranged ambushes.

If he is going huge, just put some encounters in areas where his space is limited so he can't be that big.

So many evil things for DMs to do to players and so little time.

Jaeru...


Also, remember that you cannot combine Vital Strike and a Charge.

Sovereign Court

StormseekerV wrote:

I think it's time I audit his caracter sheet.

This is what I get for trying to save someones campaign by taking over DMing half way thru the campaign. (Got suckered into that one)

So I can most likely delay the uglinest of this combo for another 2 levels and hope by then the other players aren't so outclassed that it's not going to be as fun for them.

Thanks alot for noticing the minimum feat requirements guys.

Awesome, so good to see you step up and say that, normally the person is fearful of the conflict or some other excuse why they won't audit it, let us know how it goes and if you need a hand going over it :)

Liberty's Edge

Is there a place that specifically says that you can't use Vital Strike & a charge?


Yea, there is.


And if the lead designer of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game isn't good enough for you, Vital Strike is an Attack Action, which charge does not grant. Charge grants an attack, but the attack is not the specific game term "Attack action" which is what Vital Strike requires. Anything that lets you make an attack action can be combined with vital strike.

Charge and spring attack are not those things though.

Further explanation of the confusion due to the fact that not all attacks are attack actions.

Liberty's Edge

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Unless I'm missing something....Jason's post there was talking about cleave, not a charge. Is there a FAQ that talks about it. All I have found is endless debate on multiple threads. Is there an official ruling on Charge & vital strike?


that character I see in the first post is ridiculous. I would show the player for a few sessions why his one trick pony is munchkinism and then tell him to do a "real" character.

I mean you've got a full spellcaster with 20 Strength, he took everyone to ONLY work when he's wildshaped and (for the most part) also enraged, even though he's only barbarian lvl 1.
Just let him Tear apart, with 400 damage some ... mirror images.
Or let 20 lvl 1 goblins stand between him and the boss.
Or let the boss fly.
Or be evil and dispell everything he's got.
Just delay the fight somehow when the druid wasted all of his buffs, until they've run out. Then when he's an 18 Str guy without spells and feats that work on him as a human without rage rounds, take him down and keep him down

And if all of that doesn't help, get ennemies that are as juiced up as he is, too bad that rage lance pouncing barbarian got suckered a little bit by paizo in the last FAQ.

Shadow Lodge

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I can't for any reason see why he needs to take down the character?

just talk to him about his mistakes in building the druid and try to make the game fun for everyone.

The build is shining if your group fights only a small group of enemies or if the fights are short. If they have to go through many smaller challenges in a row he shines...not so much, and others will get their spotlight.

No need to "take down" anyone. A GM always wins if he wants to, no need to ruin your game that way, though.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't believe you can take monster feats for natural attacks you don't have. Your base race (human) does not have a bite attack to improve. A polymorph effect is not enough for a prerequisite I think.


THOMAS HAMLETT wrote:
Unless I'm missing something....Jason's post there was talking about cleave, not a charge. Is there a FAQ that talks about it. All I have found is endless debate on multiple threads. Is there an official ruling on Charge & vital strike?

Yes. It was the first link I posted.

This one.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

As of the current rules, you cannot use Vital Strike as part of a charge. Vital Strike is an attack action, which is a type of standard action. Charge is a special full-round action (excluding partial charge). You cannot currently combine the two. The preview was in error. Alas I did not catch it until weeks later, and by then, there was no point in digging up old topics.

Hope that helps...

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

The part of the second post I linked to that I was drawing attention to was this part:

Quote:
Vital Strike can be used in place of an attack action. This means that whenever you take an attack action, you can use Vital Strike instead. An attack action is a type of standard action.

Silver Crusade

Shar Tahl wrote:
I don't believe you can take monster feats for natural attacks you don't have. Your base race (human) does not have a bite attack to improve. A polymorph effect is not enough for a prerequisite I think.

I think you have a point here. Your type doesn't change if I'm not mistaken.


A little back and forth between SKR and Jason B on that topic.

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