What makes a druid, a druid?


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Goblin Squad Member

To rephrase my own vote, #1 and #4.


Something I wanted to toss out to see if we can get a bit of clarification on. My reading of option #4 leads me to believe that the training time for each of the sub-roles available to the Druid won't take as long as another character training a single role.

The words similar and basically are what leads me to this conclusion.

Goblin Squad Member

Stephen Cheney wrote:

So we'd like to get a little informal poll on which of the following options people would prefer us to look into:

-Druids are not as good at anything as the core four combat roles, but they can do all of the things they can do to a lesser extent via pet, wild shape, and spells. They're a good "fifth member" for a party that already has the bases covered, or a consolation prize for a party that can't get exactly the roles they want. They may have a hard time finding a place in highly specialized permanent parties/companies.

-Druids are primarily a melee combat role focused on Wild Shape. They can access some ranged damage and divine healing/buffing via spells, but they don't have nearly the versatility or staying power for these as Wizards or Clerics. Their pet gives them some interesting tactical options.

-Druids are primarily a ranged combat role using a deeper well of damaging divine spells. They don't have quite the damage output of a Wizard or Sorcerer, but also have better armor, some melee capability, the pet, and a bit of buffing and healing to make them better able to withstand being the center of attention than most arcane casters. Wild shape is mostly meant for scouting or escape: it doesn't grant sufficient melee combat bonuses that a Druid can really rely on it to stand up with the Fighters and Rogues.

-Druids are a hybrid class that can be as good as any of the four main combat roles at their specialties, and can fairly easily switch between them or take a little bit of everything. In big animal forms they are as good as a Fighter, in fast animal forms they're as good as a Rogue, and in human form they can select spells to be a completely viable alternative to a Wizard or a Cleric. They can focus on any one of these functions on their leveling progression and level at a similar speed to the other role, or they can try to do all of these things at basically the speed of leveling a full four-role multiclass at the same time.

Thoughts?

Option 4, hands down. This allows a Druid PC to customize his archetype as he grows, so all Druids will be different, and a player will have tough choices to make along the way.

Goblin Squad Member

Valandur wrote:
The words similar and basically are what leads me to this conclusion.

I read "similarly" and "basically" to both mean "the same as".

Stephen Cheney wrote:
Druids are a hybrid class that can be as good as any of the four main combat roles at their specialties, and can fairly easily switch between them or take a little bit of everything. In big animal forms they are as good as a Fighter, in fast animal forms they're as good as a Rogue, and in human form they can select spells to be a completely viable alternative to a Wizard or a Cleric. They can focus on any one of these functions on their leveling progression and level at a similar speed to the other role, or they can try to do all of these things at basically the speed of leveling a full four-role multiclass at the same time.

I believe Stephen is basically saying:

Quote:
They can focus on any one of these functions on their leveling progression and level at the same speed as the other role, or they can try to do all of these things at the same speed of leveling a full four-role multiclass at the same time.

So, I think that, in Option #4, a Druid would be as good as a Fighter, and it would take him as long as a Fighter to get that good.

Goblin Squad Member

My sentiment, Stephen, is that Being a Druid (heh) is a journey and not a destination. I could go for any of the four general models you have outlined, but my least favorite is #1.

If #4 is thought the target build, the objective, then the other three seem like interim stages of the Druid as he or she fleshes out the skills on the way to #4.

If it takes five years to achieve #4 I think it would work well.

I'm a little worried that #4 will be OP, so I think even #4 should not be able to swap out his slots so easily or quickly. The ultimate Druid I am thinking would need to have an idea what they are trying to do and adjust their build. I don't think I would make it a trivial exercise changing the ready skills.

The result should be that usually the Druid is adventuring as a generalist: #1. If needed however he should be able to reslot into 2, 3, or 4 with some difficulty, taking some time to do it.

I feel that if it isn't easy for the Druid to swap out skills on the fly it gives his opponents opportunities to capitalize on his weaknesses, and this should go a ways toward keeping the druid from being OP.

If the class was still in danger of being OP then intitially don't give him the big animal shape, but only the swift animal shape. If it turns out then the Druid is still a little weak the big animal/fighter shape could be added in.

Maybae as a top of the line focus award, or capstone.

Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
...I also would not deny the title fanatic were it applied to me...

Fanatic, in my lexicon, is very much a pejorative term. To me it means a political or religious believer who does not reason, views compromise as weakness, and who can only find agreement with other fanatics. He cannot engage in meaningful conversation, and is insensitive and intolerant of viewpoints other than his own. A fanatic will often show signs of bigotry and makes judgements based not on the merits of the case but on whether it agrees with his beliefs.

So to me you were slinging mud.

Unless you merely mispelled Phanatic, a Philly's fan. That kind of phanatic is alright.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm a fan of options for players and of the four variations on druids outlined I like the 4th the best. Though I do think that if any particular role gets emphasized for druids it should be that of divine caster that uses its magic to advantageously alter the battlefield by reaching out to nature(in AD&D days druids were after all just a subset of the priest class [with no buffed up animal companion])

However, the initial question motivating this thread remains. In light of what will the game consider a character a druid? Some number of archetype skills or possibly something else entirely? Or will class restrictions be lifted/can't do things in game like teach anyone Druidic such that there will be no in game actions for which this matters?


Being wrote:
If it takes five years to achieve #4 I think it would work well.

Stephen said "or they can try to do all of these things at the same speed of leveling a full four-role multiclass at the same time" which could also very well be close to 10 years. Would that change your voting?

While 4 does sound ideal I continue to stand by my thinking that no class should reach it's "cap" much earlier or much later than others if training towards that "cap" is consistent. And, splitting a class into 4 roles needed to fulfill the class archetype is also wrong.

It shouldn't take 2.5 years for 10 classes to reach their archetypal "cap" and 1 class to require 5-10 years. Equality for all archetypes! Even if it means missing the ideal.

Goblin Squad Member

Stephen Cheney wrote:
Druids are a hybrid class that can be as good as any of the four main combat roles at their specialties, and can fairly easily switch between them or take a little bit of everything. In big animal forms they are as good as a Fighter, in fast animal forms they're as good as a Rogue, and in human form they can select spells to be a completely viable alternative to a Wizard or a Cleric. They can focus on any one of these functions on their leveling progression and level at a similar speed to the other role, or they can try to do all of these things at basically the speed of leveling a full four-role multiclass at the same time.

As long as by four role multi-class you don't mean it will take as long as leveling four roles. Sure fast animal form may have the combat style of a rogue, but does it have the lockpicking, the pickpocketing, the diplomacy etc? Each of those 4 roles have other specialties a druid misses out on, and as such leveling a druid should take less time than leveling those 4 roles. But if it takes the roughly same time as going into each of those 4 roles and stealing only the abilities the druid is actually getting, then it's perfectly balanced.

Either way I feel that 4 is the best option presented.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
Fanatic, in my lexicon, is very much a pejorative term. To me it means a political or religious believer who does not reason, views compromise as weakness, and who can only find agreement with other fanatics. He cannot engage in meaningful conversation, and is insensitive and intolerant of viewpoints other than his own. A fanatic will often show signs of bigotry and makes judgements based not on the merits of the case but on whether it agrees with his beliefs.

That's a nice definition. To me it is someone who is incredibly devoted to any cause or ideal. It could be by refusing to compromise or see reason. It could also by devoting an incredible amount of time and energy into that cause or ideal. For instance someone who gives up all their belongings and devotes all their time to dealing with causes like hunger, homelessness, or ending oppression is a fanatic whether they can have a reasonable discussion about why they did so or not.

A group that devotes themselves to protecting and preserving nature to the point that that they give up many of the comforts of civilization to further this aim would be fanatical in my view. To me, cities and civilization are not such horrible things that it is worthwhile to go to these measures. That doesn't mean I don't respect their devotion to their cause. I even agree with many of their aims to some extent. I believe nature should be cared for. Just not in all the ways they do, to the same extent that they do.

Goblin Squad Member

Option #4 but it should take a very long time to get all the skills, certainly longer than level 20 equivalent in other classes

Paizo Employee CEO

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DarkOne the Drow wrote:
The settlement mechanics goes against the description for druids in PF. The druids remains in the wilderness, very rarely go into settlements. The entire wilderness is the druid's settlement and "kingdom".

See, I don't know where you get this. I just reread the druid in Pathfinder. Nowhere does it say that they shun settlements and remain in the wilderness. They worship nature and are its protectors, but why couldn't a settlement become one with nature, much as the elves do. I could see a settlement that has lots of trees and vegetation, with a more natural vibe to it.

If I went to New York City right now, I could become a druid in Central Park. In America's largest city is a sanctuary of nature where a druid would feel right at home.

Being a loner hermit who shuns civilization and lives alone in the wilderness is certainly a valid way to play a druid in Pathfinder. But it isn't the only way. Heck, on page 101 of the Advanced Player's Guide, we have the rules for the Urban Druid. I quote from the book:

"While many druids keep to the wilderness, some make
their way within settlements, communing with the
animals and vermin who live there and speaking for the
nature that runs rampant in civilization’s very cradle."

-Lisa

Goblin Squad Member

As was really thinking of going with my alt being an explorer, and as far as class skills I was leaning towards being a Druid / Monk hybrid. Obviously, I would have to go with LN to conform to both archtype alignemnt requirements.

Crafting would definately be an Herbalist, for obvious reasons.

Goblin Squad Member

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@Lisa,

As someone that has spent alot of time in the woods when growing up, I can say that my first visit to Central Park was actualy very disconcerting. Everything felt freakishly off. See the thing is every single tree, bush, rock or major feature there was put/planted as part of a design plan. So the growth pattern is nothing like you would expect to see if you were used to the wilderness. Kinda like walking around a city where all the buildings, windows and doors were placed at odd angles.

However, that aside...you make a good point ;)

Goblin Squad Member

Lisa Stevens wrote:
DarkOne the Drow wrote:
The settlement mechanics goes against the description for druids in PF. The druids remains in the wilderness, very rarely go into settlements. The entire wilderness is the druid's settlement and "kingdom".

See, I don't know where you get this. I just reread the druid in Pathfinder. Nowhere does it say that they shun settlements and remain in the wilderness. They worship nature and are its protectors, but why couldn't a settlement become one with nature, much as the elves do. I could see a settlement that has lots of trees and vegetation, with a more natural vibe to it.

...

This melds well with my view that Druids believe sentient beings like humans are also natural and of nature, insofar as they are not unnatural. To not only seek the well being of the wild but also of the people seems appropriate. If I came across a wounded bear and a wounded elf I should hope a Druid would care for the elf at least as much as for the bear.

Stephen's vision of the Druid's 'place' in a settlement as a park-like section would work. I certainly would rather a settlement housing a druid's grove to also benefit with trees and vegetation, but it is also certain that we don't need to alter all the architecture except insofar as the architecture of lawful good differs from the architecture of lawful evil settlements. If the settlements of the good are very much like the settlements of evil in ambience and style then surely we must expect neutral settlements will be similarly uniform, at least when it first is released. Maybe later more elaboration will be possible.

But if there is a brooding air of evil or bright clarity in good settlements and other significant differences in the ambience then I would hope that there is a more arboreal style to neutral settlements.

Goblin Squad Member

Snowbeard wrote:
Being wrote:
If it takes five years to achieve #4 I think it would work well.

Stephen said "or they can try to do all of these things at the same speed of leveling a full four-role multiclass at the same time" which could also very well be close to 10 years. Would that change your voting?

While 4 does sound ideal I continue to stand by my thinking that no class should reach it's "cap" much earlier or much later than others if training towards that "cap" is consistent. And, splitting a class into 4 roles needed to fulfill the class archetype is also wrong.

It shouldn't take 2.5 years for 10 classes to reach their archetypal "cap" and 1 class to require 5-10 years. Equality for all archetypes! Even if it means missing the ideal.

Your point is well taken, Snowbeard. I think Stephen is trying to get us to accept a realistic set of limitations to work in. If to become equally competent with other archetypes we need to focus on which limited subset we prefer it will be a hard thing to choose.

If we go the melee route, then why wouldn't we simplify things and run a fighter? If a caster why not a wizard. If a fast animal shape why not a rogue? If a healer why not a simple cleric?

There should be something that is still special about a Druid, whichever of the four paths we choose. So the natural tendency would be for us to ask for all these paths. Problem is they have only so much time and talent to dedicate to the path of the Druid. It sounds like it would be realistic to ask them to focus on one of these paths.

It would be better for the game if we, in game, had to choose how to focus our training on one of those paths. Is that feasible? Is any other option a real option?

He offered what sounded like a gimpy generalist option but I very much shy away from that because the Druid will have to hold his own in any group. I don't want every Druid forced to be a loner just because we gimped him here, and made it so no dedicated group would choose him.

He offered a strong fighter-type, with a limited sampling of other elements of the Druid, or a Caster-centric version with limited healing and only enough shapeshifting to escape or scout.

Of those two I think the fighter with shapeshift and pet, and limited functionality in ranged, healing, and buffs sound more like a Druid, but it sure is hard to give up strong ranged abilities. A snare spell or two would help.

No, the most successful option will be category #4. Once I have fully developed into my vision at the 2.5 year mark then I can think about expanding my repertoire at my leisure.

Goblin Squad Member

Lisa Stevens wrote:
DarkOne the Drow wrote:
The settlement mechanics goes against the description for druids in PF. The druids remains in the wilderness, very rarely go into settlements. The entire wilderness is the druid's settlement and "kingdom".

See, I don't know where you get this. I just reread the druid in Pathfinder. Nowhere does it say that they shun settlements and remain in the wilderness. They worship nature and are its protectors, but why couldn't a settlement become one with nature, much as the elves do. I could see a settlement that has lots of trees and vegetation, with a more natural vibe to it.

If I went to New York City right now, I could become a druid in Central Park. In America's largest city is a sanctuary of nature where a druid would feel right at home.

Being a loner hermit who shuns civilization and lives alone in the wilderness is certainly a valid way to play a druid in Pathfinder. But it isn't the only way. Heck, on page 101 of the Advanced Player's Guide, we have the rules for the Urban Druid. I quote from the book:

"While many druids keep to the wilderness, some make
their way within settlements, communing with the
animals and vermin who live there and speaking for the
nature that runs rampant in civilization’s very cradle."

-Lisa

Just wanted to add a link to the ]Druid archetypes in the APG. These are obviously mechanical options, but they do show possibilities within the concept of the druid class.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:

Your point is well taken, Snowbeard. I think Stephen is trying to get us to accept a realistic set of limitations to work in. If to become equally competent with other archetypes we need to focus on which limited subset we prefer it will be a hard thing to choose.

If we go the melee route, then why wouldn't we simplify things and run a fighter? If a caster why not a wizard. If a fast animal shape why not a rogue? If a healer why not a simple cleric?

There should be something that is still special about a Druid, whichever of the four paths we choose. So the natural tendency would be for us to ask for all these paths. Problem is they have only so much time and talent to dedicate to the path of the Druid. It sounds like it would be realistic to ask them to focus on one of these paths.

It would be better for the game if we, in game, had to choose how to focus our training on one of those paths. Is that feasible? Is any other option a real option?

He offered what sounded like a gimpy generalist option but I very much shy away from that because the Druid will have to hold his own in any group. I don't want every Druid forced to be a loner just because we gimped him here, and made it so no dedicated group would choose him.

He offered a strong fighter-type, with a limited sampling of other elements of the Druid, or a Caster-centric version with limited healing and only enough shapeshifting to escape or scout.

Of those two I think the fighter with shapeshift and pet, and limited functionality in ranged, healing, and buffs sound more like a Druid, but it sure is hard to give up strong ranged abilities. A snare spell or two would help.

No, the most successful option will be category #4. Once I have fully developed into my vision at the 2.5 year mark then I can think about expanding my repertoire at my leisure.

This is what I was going for, in more elaborate detail, and much more succinctly. Thank you, Being.

I'd like to add there is nothing stopping a player from choosing a generalist route along his 2.5 year development, but he will have chosen to truly chosen to be the proverbial "jack of all trades, master of none".

@ Andius: A Druid and Paladin are quite different alignment wise. In PnP games, you couldn't play both and remain within alignment restrictions of both classes. Also, all Druids aren't tree-huggers. Within the PF lore the Druids of the Wildwood Lodge allow and provide protection of logging in a sensible fashion. Some druids are "Red in tooth and claw" and border along a evil psyche, viciously defending nature from any and all as the most bloodthirsty of predator. Some choose a more diplomatic approach. As many players of druids as their are, there will be as many different paths that they follow in their defense of nature and its denizens.

Goblin Squad Member

I, too, vote for number 4, but with certain reservations.

First, I agree with @Being that shifting between the four aspects of the druid archetype should not be without a specific effort. I think that taking on one of the aspects could be like taking on a long term flag and have an impact similar to taking feats/skills outside of archetype. Like a long term flag, the longer the druid has the aspect the better the buff.

Second, I would like to see the 4 aspects of the druid archetype be linked to the four elements rather than 4 archetypes. This would make the druid archetype more unique and have an in-game explanation for this type of character ability set. I think that elemental linkage would be a fine mechanic for allowing precision damage (sneak attack to others) to the Air Aspect, greater hitting/damage to the Earth Aspect, destructive magic to the Fire Aspect, and healing magic to the Water Aspect.

Third, I think that the druid animal companion needs to be more like an Eidolon from the summoner class except that the abilities of the animal companion would alter based on the elemental aspect taken by the druid. If the druid does not take on an aspect (i.e, be normal) then the animal companion should simply be a normal animal devoted to the druid (read pet).

Fourth, I am unclear where the druid would simply be normal (i.e., without an aspect flag). What would that look like? I'm not sure the changes to archetype by long term flags are as expansive as the changes to archetype implied by Stephen's post.

Goblin Squad Member

If I have to choose a number I would go for number 4. But if I get to choose exactly what I would like to see, it would be a mix of option 1 and option 4.

Goblin Squad Member

4!

Goblin Squad Member

My vote would go for number #1 in principle, while open to consider #4. (I dont like the way option #1 is worded as that druid sounds like a watered down character who would only be taken in the absence of better options).

My primary issue would be balance and the potential for druids to become overpowered. Hybrid characters are usually more flexible than their specialist counterparts. As such, if the hybrid is as good as the specialist, theres no reason to take the specialist, from a pure power/utility point of view.

If the druid's full potential is unlocked within a similar amount of time as other classes (currently estimated at 2.5 years) then the classes should have roughly the same power level at the end of that period. If at the end of 2.5 years the druid can be as effective as a fighter, cleric, blaster-mage and rogue with just a quick reshuffle, theres very little reason to play anything else.

PFO is a classless system. So how do the druids abilities differ from those of a fighter? How do things compare if a druid learns/slots both fighter abilities and druid abilities (for example)? What do the 'capstone/single-role-slotted-abilities' benefits provide? How easily can abilities be swapped around and Druid-the-Fighter turn into Druid-the-Cleric? I simply dont know enough about the way the class progression will work to see the whole picture.

I want all roles to be fun and contribute effectively. I would not want to see one role be able to do everything at all times as effectively as specialists (assuming equal amounts of training/xp). Thus, I would prefer to start with option #1 and move towards option #4 as and when appropriate.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Stephen Cheney wrote:
Thoughts?

Druids can be just as good as Fighters, but when they're doing that, they can't use their non-Fighter abilities. Same with Rogues, Wizard, Cleric roles. It should take just as long to develop all four of these Roles as it would to develop four separate Roles.

Druids could also go "Full Hybrid" and still get a Dedication bonus even when they slot abilities from more than one of their Druid Roles, but shouldn't be as good as a specialist in that case.

I basically agree with this. I think Pathfinder (the RPG :p) actually managed to fix most of the druid issues mentioned. A druid can be just as good a fighter as the fighter, if build for it, but it means he'll be a second-rate cleric/wizard at best. And not while doing the fighter thing.

That said, however, I love hybrid classes because I can never settle on any one playstyle for long, and I don't mind being "second best" at everything if it means I can do a little bit of everything. In comparison, I really loved how flexible early-level druids were in WoW, and loathed how much later levels locked you into one specific role and build. But I suppose that was really all they could do to strike a balance between "always second best" and "too good at everything".

Question is, will "almost but not quite" really be as much of a problem in PFO's sandbox setup?

Goblin Squad Member

Quick recap/Q: What are the principle four roles:

- Fighter
- Ranger
- Rogue
- Wizard

?

2nd Q: In pathfinder it seems "Wildshape" is particularly strong "fighter" option. Is that right? My usual idea of Druid is that they are part-wizard, part ranger. Hence Stephen's options: Option #3 appears to my mind a close fit. But if others consider Wildshape very important then I can see why Hybrid is more essential to Druids? Ie beserker option.

The reason I'd choose #1 or #4 is just for that option: That I could tailor towards Stephen's option #3 (ranged, more spell-casting + pet etc) and even more so with #4 albeit at the cost of more training time for suitable maxing out. Conversely other Druids would mix or pure as they like. I wonder again, that sounds like a Druid would be suitably tricky to know what sort of Druid you are facing initially (a good result for Druids)?

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

AvenaOats wrote:

Quick recap/Q: What are the principle four roles:

- Fighter
- Ranger
- Rogue
- Wizard

?

Nope.

- Fighter
- Cleric
- Rogue
- Wizard

AvenaOats wrote:


2nd Q: In pathfinder it seems "Wildshape" is particularly strong "fighter" option. Is that right? My usual idea of Druid is that they are part-wizard, part ranger. Hence Stephen's options: Option #3 appears to my mind a close fit. But if others consider Wildshape very important then I can see why Hybrid is more essential to Druids? Ie beserker option.

The reason I'd choose #1 or #4 is just for that option: That I could tailor towards Stephen's option #3 (ranged, more spell-casting + pet etc) and even more so with #4 albeit at the cost of more training time for suitable maxing out. Conversely other Druids would mix or pure as they like. I wonder again, that sounds like a Druid would be suitably tricky to know what sort of Druid you are facing initially (a good result for Druids)?

I've always seen wildshaped druids as more like monks than fighters in PnP. The beast form gives multiple natural attacks, has some armor bonuses, and typically moves faster than a human. Spells cover the monks more supernatural abilities. They can do some really cool things, but they aren't really as good as a Fighter in straight-up combat. They only really get fighter-like if you take a big bear form that has one attack, but a big str and natural armor bonus.

Goblin Squad Member

Ah, thanks Imbicatus. So even in fighter/monk wildshape form the druid is still somewhat hybrid. That seems to definitely be as Stephen Cheney says it, then. The idea of a Druid is becoming clearer to me now, in relation and respect to the other core roles, as one way to define them. :)

Goblin Squad Member

Stephen Cheney wrote:

So we'd like to get a little informal poll on which of the following options people would prefer us to look into:

  • Druids are not as good at anything as the core four combat roles, but they can do all of the things they can do to a lesser extent via pet, wild shape, and spells. They're a good "fifth member" for a party that already has the bases covered, or a consolation prize for a party that can't get exactly the roles they want. They may have a hard time finding a place in highly specialized permanent parties/companies.
  • Druids are primarily a melee combat role focused on Wild Shape. They can access some ranged damage and divine healing/buffing via spells, but they don't have nearly the versatility or staying power for these as Wizards or Clerics. Their pet gives them some interesting tactical options.
  • Druids are primarily a ranged combat role using a deeper well of damaging divine spells. They don't have quite the damage output of a Wizard or Sorcerer, but also have better armor, some melee capability, the pet, and a bit of buffing and healing to make them better able to withstand being the center of attention than most arcane casters. Wild shape is mostly meant for scouting or escape: it doesn't grant sufficient melee combat bonuses that a Druid can really rely on it to stand up with the Fighters and Rogues.
  • Druids are a hybrid class that can be as good as any of the four main combat roles at their specialties, and can fairly easily switch between them or take a little bit of everything. In big animal forms they are as good as a Fighter, in fast animal forms they're as good as a Rogue, and in human form they can select spells to be a completely viable alternative to a Wizard or a Cleric. They can focus on any one of these functions on their leveling progression and level at a similar speed to the other role, or they can try to do all of these things at basically the speed of leveling a full four-role multiclass at the same time.

Definitely not #2 and #3.

If getting to full level in option 4 is the same time as for other roles, then I be fine with either #1 or #4. Though what does it exactly mean by switching out roles in option #4. Option #4 is rather vague to me. So for me it is option #1 until more clarity can be provided.

I looking for a druid that has wild shape, able to cast spells in animal/elemental form using Natural Spell feat, with access to normal druid spells, and have animal companion to help in case melee confrontation is not avoidable. I not sure how option #4 achieves this with progression being the same as for any single role in terms of training time and advancement, and keep the other abilities of the class such as venom immunity, travel detection abilities.

Goblin Squad Member

Lisa Stevens wrote:
DarkOne the Drow wrote:
The settlement mechanics goes against the description for druids in PF. The druids remains in the wilderness, very rarely go into settlements. The entire wilderness is the druid's settlement and "kingdom".

See, I don't know where you get this. I just reread the druid in Pathfinder. Nowhere does it say that they shun settlements and remain in the wilderness. They worship nature and are its protectors, but why couldn't a settlement become one with nature, much as the elves do. I could see a settlement that has lots of trees and vegetation, with a more natural vibe to it.

If I went to New York City right now, I could become a druid in Central Park. In America's largest city is a sanctuary of nature where a druid would feel right at home.

Being a loner hermit who shuns civilization and lives alone in the wilderness is certainly a valid way to play a druid in Pathfinder. But it isn't the only way. Heck, on page 101 of the Advanced Player's Guide, we have the rules for the Urban Druid. I quote from the book:

"While many druids keep to the wilderness, some make
their way within settlements, communing with the
animals and vermin who live there and speaking for the
nature that runs rampant in civilization’s very cradle."

-Lisa

I never like the urban druid archtype, and never plan to play that arch type. I fine with the other archtypes.

Yes, maybe a very large park can exist in a city that would have a stone hedge, oor other menhir structures, generally accessible to the public, for a few simple gatherings and rituals. To me, having a thick jungle like grove of trees that prevents non-druids from entering, seems very unlikely to exist in a city, while in the centre is special structure, say a massive living oak with perhaps underground cave system.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lisa Stevens wrote:
DarkOne the Drow wrote:
The settlement mechanics goes against the description for druids in PF. The druids remains in the wilderness, very rarely go into settlements. The entire wilderness is the druid's settlement and "kingdom".

See, I don't know where you get this. I just reread the druid in Pathfinder. Nowhere does it say that they shun settlements and remain in the wilderness. They worship nature and are its protectors, but why couldn't a settlement become one with nature, much as the elves do. I could see a settlement that has lots of trees and vegetation, with a more natural vibe to it.

A lot of it may be a remembrance on how old school GMs tended to flanderise Druids as tree-hugging town hating fanatics. Those GMs tended to forget that even places like Hommlet had a Druid in residence. And many of these types of Druids would serve as intermediaries between farmer folk and the natural environment.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

DarkOne the Drow wrote:

I never like the urban druid archtype, and never plan to play that arch type. I fine with the other archtypes.

Yes, maybe a very large park can exist in a city that would have a stone hedge, oor other menhir structures, generally accessible to the public, for a few simple gatherings and rituals. To me, having a thick jungle like grove of trees that prevents non-druids from entering, seems very unlikely to exist in a city, while in the centre is special structure, say a massive living oak with perhaps underground cave system.

Even if there are NO parks or greenery in a city, to quote Jurassic Park, life finds a way. A druid could easily take to the sewers in a city to protect the ecosystem of rats, mold, and cats that feed off the human waste. Such a character would be able to reduce disease in the city by making sure the waste is disposed of quickly and keeping the balance of the ugly underside of the city running smoothly. They could also be a much better choice for the community than the other sewer dwellers in most cities; Thieves guilds. It's a dirty job, but life is dirty sometimes.


My feeling is that Druids are defined by their spells, their choice of animal companion and their actions, which usually side with nature where humanity and nature come into conflict. So having their iconic spells that we all recognize is, to me, critical to the role.

Giving them 4 sub-roles to pick and choose from is a novel approach to the role of druids, normally they grow more watered down as they increase in power in most MMOs, this is a way to break from that mold and I really like option 4 for that reason. Personally I see the Druid as a solitary being, and were I to play a Druid thats how I would play them, but that doesn't mean they must be loaners. But having the options that option 4 grants, would really help a Druid playing solo, which I like. I also think that it would make them more powerful,thus desired in groups if they could switch between sub-roles.

Goblin Squad Member

I vote for option #4; it gives more freedom for the player to develop a natural path based on his in game options.

Goblin Squad Member

The spells got to be druid spells.

Goblin Squad Member

I'd also like to throw my vote for option #4 into the hat. One of the reasons I love druids are their hybrid nature, and I believe this option gives the player the most flexibility.

Goblin Squad Member

My vote goes into number 4. If they want to be as good as any of the other 4 classes, it should take 4 times as long. If they want to specialize, why not be a good substitute?

Goblin Squad Member

Harad Navar wrote:
Second, I would like to see the 4 aspects of the druid archetype be linked to the four elements rather than 4 archetypes. This would make the druid archetype more unique and have an in-game explanation for this type of character ability set. I think that elemental linkage would be a fine mechanic for allowing precision damage (sneak attack to others) to the Air Aspect, greater hitting/damage to the Earth Aspect, destructive magic to the Fire Aspect, and healing magic to the Water Aspect.

While reading this part of your post the images that quickly popped into my mind were less of druid and more of the various nations/benders in Avatar: The Last Airbender, while awesome, don't really ring Druid to me.

Though I don't plan on rolling a Druid, I feel that Option #4 would provide the best overall compromise in this discussion. Option #1, as a few have stated already, would appear to make the Druid class too watered down and possibly unfavorable for group mechanics. Option #2 and #3 could be achieved by going with Option #4 and not alienate anyone from their vision of how a Druid should be.

As far as balancing the Option #4 Druid I see it two ways. First, it could take the 10 years to attain “capstone” in every aspect, which is certainly a large time commitment, but has the potential to OP the Druid many years down the road. The Second option would be to keep their progression in line with that of the other classes, but make switching in-between aspects something that cannot be done on the fly. This would help to prevent OP and still give the Druid the versatility that is desired by all you Druid lovers out there.

Goblin Squad Member

Here's what might be an interesting (or at least controversial) thought: Instead of simply allowing the player who wishes to pursue the skill paths open to the Druid, would it work well to make Druid skill roles follow the variant alignments?

It seems numerically convenient that a Druid could follow the way of the cleric, the way of the warrior, the way of the sorcerer, or the way of the rogue and we have four non NN alignments that Druids can take: NG, NL, NE, and NC.

Just as a suggestion, if the character is neutral good the healing skills are favored. If he or she is NE then the rogue path is favored. If the Druid is Neutral Lawful the focus is casting, and if CN the shapeshifter gains the form of Bear and all that means.

Then the ArchDruid, the full #4 model, might be restricted to NN aligned Druids but only after the other four alignments are achieved, and only if NN alignment is maintained.

During the interim period, while the Druid is still building from Apprentice, Journeyman, Expert, and Master and working to achieve Archdruid status if the Druid can maintain NN alignment all four disciplines are possible, but only the limited forms their level of experience qualifies them for.

The advantage for the Archdruid is enhanced appreciation of the actual nature of the cardinal, or extreme corner alignments.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

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I really disagree with alignment restrictions within the class. Healing, Hunting, Fighting, and Spell casting are not good, evil, lawful, or chaotic. Why should they be restricted in who can learn them when Druids are already restricted to a neutral alignment?

Goblin Squad Member

My vote goes to option four as well. Druids should rightly be as good as four classes if they spend 10 years "cap-stoning" all four aspects of their class. This is assuming that Druid players even wanted to multi-class in that way. Who's to say they just grab some of the Bard tree anyway? Some Druids love to sing right? =D

Goblin Squad Member

I just noticed what looked like a neat symmetry and suggested we consider it.

I'm not invested in the idea save as a possible approach. It seems like it might be useful, and neutrality encompasses five of the nine possible alignments, rather a broad 'restriction'.

Goblin Squad Member

Interesting suggestion Being. Think it is in keeping with "Neutral - Neutral" and has a certain symmetrical elegance to it, too. But I wonder if it may lead to unnecessary stress on the alignment-settlement points system in some way down the road?

=

Another consideration for Druids, as hybrids, how much auxiliary support type things will they be a useful member of a party for? Eg remove poisons, allow party to breathe underwater, influence weather etc?

Goblin Squad Member

Great discussion from the community on this, and it's equally warming to see the Development team weighing in.

Some of this sounds like a few of the topics we even touched on when we last met, Being.

Having said that, I like what Option 4 presents; if you understand that reaching the pinnacle will take time and dedication in heaping amounts, why should it not be possible to reach the Apex? This reminds me a little of the Pathfinder/DnD Monk in this regard; when preparing for a PnP game that will start or take you to 20, it can be a grueling choice as to go pure or to make the leap for a multiclass blend with the monk class. Once the choice is made, however, you're either all in or all out.

Goblin Squad Member

Imbicatus wrote:
DarkOne the Drow wrote:

I never like the urban druid archtype, and never plan to play that arch type. I fine with the other archtypes.

Yes, maybe a very large park can exist in a city that would have a stone hedge, oor other menhir structures, generally accessible to the public, for a few simple gatherings and rituals. To me, having a thick jungle like grove of trees that prevents non-druids from entering, seems very unlikely to exist in a city, while in the centre is special structure, say a massive living oak with perhaps underground cave system.

Even if there are NO parks or greenery in a city, to quote Jurassic Park, life finds a way. A druid could easily take to the sewers in a city to protect the ecosystem of rats, mold, and cats that feed off the human waste. Such a character would be able to reduce disease in the city by making sure the waste is disposed of quickly and keeping the balance of the ugly underside of the city running smoothly. They could also be a much better choice for the community than the other sewer dwellers in most cities; Thieves guilds. It's a dirty job, but life is dirty sometimes.

Good description.

Goblin Squad Member

From all the options and discussions I've seen so far on this, I think Option 4 is the way to go.

Goblin Squad Member

Elorebaen wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
DarkOne the Drow wrote:

I never like the urban druid archtype, and never plan to play that arch type. I fine with the other archtypes.

Yes, maybe a very large park can exist in a city that would have a stone hedge, oor other menhir structures, generally accessible to the public, for a few simple gatherings and rituals. To me, having a thick jungle like grove of trees that prevents non-druids from entering, seems very unlikely to exist in a city, while in the centre is special structure, say a massive living oak with perhaps underground cave system.

Even if there are NO parks or greenery in a city, to quote Jurassic Park, life finds a way. A druid could easily take to the sewers in a city to protect the ecosystem of rats, mold, and cats that feed off the human waste. Such a character would be able to reduce disease in the city by making sure the waste is disposed of quickly and keeping the balance of the ugly underside of the city running smoothly. They could also be a much better choice for the community than the other sewer dwellers in most cities; Thieves guilds. It's a dirty job, but life is dirty sometimes.
Good description.

That's right, THAT's right, rub it in guys. Why do I always get teh S#*t jobs?

<brushes a fleck of imaginary lint from his sleeve>

Goblin Squad Member

I find option #4 to be the best suggested one presently :)


I like #1, but #4 seems to be where others lean, so I'll follow the crowd.

Goblin Squad Member

Nah, get the criminals to do the cleaning of the sewers as part of their punishment for the crime done.

Well seems like option 4 is getting the most votes, so could we get a proper explanation on option 4. I really hope it will take same amount of time to peak as other roles, even if some sort of power reduction can be done on the various aspects. Even go as far as specifying your major, that goes at normal rate, then 2nd, 3rd and 4th that are reduced by what ever % you specify for them, adding up to 100%.

Goblin Squad Member

#4 seems like a lot of work and a lot of constant balancing, something you stated you wanted to avoid. You're basically making 4 classes. Trying to balance each branch with their counterpart ( fast animal vs. rogue, large vs. fighter, etc) seems like a potential nightmare and fodder for rant material for years to come.

"why should I play a [insert class here] when a Druid can do it just as well" ...may as well create that thread now and sticky it.

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