I am starting a new level 1 custom campaign.
One of my players wants to play a druid,
he is opting for the domain rather then the animal companion.
Because the druid domain choices are very limited,
he wanted to know what he could give up to be able to choose freely from the cleric domains.
He offered to give up wild shape, so my question is this:
How much of the druids power is based on wild shape?
They get it at level 4 and it gets tougher till level 12.
Domains should be more or less balanced anyway, so I suspect limiting druids to a select choice of domains is based on RP rather then power level.
If he gives up wild shape, and he can choose any one domain, how much power does he need to supplement level 4-12?
There are terrain and animal domains that you can easily add to the druids choices (they are in the druid section after all) I don't think opening all cleric domains is a good idea since a lot of them don't fit the druid concept.
If wild shape is not his thing have him look at archetypes that get weaker versions of it in exchange for other things (not sure there is one that gets completely rid of it)
If he rather wants to play a cleric he should do that instead. He doesn't seem to like the flavour of a druid so why play one in the first place? If it's just about the spell-list it looks a bit like cherry picking for me.
Wild Shape is pretty much the reason Druids exist, and the reason about 95% of Druid players chose to be a Druid in the first place.
Can you ask him for me what exactly he wants from Druid if he wants to give up Wild Shape for...open Domain choice? The Druid spell list isn't even that awesome--there are some gems (Entangle, Wall of Thorns), sure, but overall, it's probably weaker than the Cleric.
Perhaps he might like an Oracle of Nature?
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Play a Shaman druid, you will not miss Wild Shape. Or at least I didn't, although the character I just finished playing (Saurian Shaman) started at level 12, which I guess is where Wild Shape is petering out anyway.
(And I would love to try a character based off the Crazy Cat Lady. Lion shaman to summon cats as a standard action (visualized as chucking cats at people.) Possibly even Throw Anything to actually throw cats as a weapon.)
I think it'd probably be fine to give him access to any domain. Has he looked at the Urban Druid archetype? That will give him access to more domains (and let him cast their spells spontaneously.)
I'm currently playing a Gnome pyromaniac druid with the Fire Domain.. and while it may smell of cheese I did have some background and reasoning behind the character and in one year's time (real time) I just hit level 10 in the Jade Regent AP (we are starting the 4th? book tomorrow). Started at level 1 which is very hard. (Everyone keeps saying how easy these AP's are but we've had alot of character deaths in a four-party group).
Anyways I've had a blast (literally) with the character.. and its not like I can toss a Fireballs all day.. they are only Domain spells. And there seems to be alot of spell resistance creatures or immunities to Fire in Jade Regent so my character does not shine above others. (infact I say Wizards tend to do better than any character in that AP)
I say let the character use an Archtype or something posted before but do not give away Wildshape for any Domain choice... its just not a true Druid...
Thats like a Barbarian giving away Rage ability in order to get 3 extra Feats per 3 levels.... you might as well play another class(Fighter).