Is it just me, or are Druids objectively better than every other class?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Seriously though, it seems like you could easily run a party of just druids from 1-20.

For what mechanical reason do you choose not to play a druid?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Mechanics have very little to do with my character choices.

Druids can only encompass a small subset of the total amount of character choices that interest me. That being said, I've Druids I've enjoyed playing very much.


What about an anti magic zone, the inability to utilize metal equipment, or the lack of martial abilities. My local GM will throw just about anything at you and litter ally anything, so having a varied party is essential for survival.

Liberty's Edge

The Sorcerer wrote:
What about an anti magic zone, the inability to utilize metal equipment, or the lack of martial abilities. My local GM will throw just about anything at you and litter ally anything, so having a varied party is essential for survival.

Hey! was that supposed to be a snide remark about Feline animal companions!?! ;)

Anyway, Druids are a ton of fun to play and have that greatest of character perks... versatility! You can just do so much with one.


The Sorcerer wrote:
What about an anti magic zone, the inability to utilize metal equipment, or the lack of martial abilities. My local GM will throw just about anything at you and litter ally anything, so having a varied party is essential for survival.

In an anti-magic zone they are still a 3/4 BAB class in medium armor with a decent strength score and an animal companion. They are only prohibited from wearing metal armor or using a metal shield. They are also proficient in plenty of martial weapons.


Druids fall off at very high levels due to Wild Shape not scaling past level 12 and the fact that their spell list is not quite as powerful as the Cleric and Wizard's.

They still got a lot going for them though.

Liberty's Edge

Marthkus wrote:
The Sorcerer wrote:
What about an anti magic zone, the inability to utilize metal equipment, or the lack of martial abilities. My local GM will throw just about anything at you and litter ally anything, so having a varied party is essential for survival.
In an anti-magic zone they are still a 3/4 BAB class in medium armor with a decent strength score and an animal companion. They are only prohibited from wearing metal armor or using a metal shield. They are also proficient in plenty of martial weapons.

Let's be fair, in an anti magic field they are a 3/4 BAB combatant with at best Hide armor and a smattering of not so stellar weapons who most likely has no real combat feats beyond power attack to help their non shifted combat. It's all about the pet in that case. It's almost always about the pet!


@Lyra
I'm not so sure about the spell list being weaker. It strikes a happy middle between the cleric and wizard list.

But I would like to hear more about druids falling off at high levels.


Buaha ha ha ha ha. NO it's just you!

I kid, I kid. :)

The same could be said of any base class.


Fomsie wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
The Sorcerer wrote:
What about an anti magic zone, the inability to utilize metal equipment, or the lack of martial abilities. My local GM will throw just about anything at you and litter ally anything, so having a varied party is essential for survival.
In an anti-magic zone they are still a 3/4 BAB class in medium armor with a decent strength score and an animal companion. They are only prohibited from wearing metal armor or using a metal shield. They are also proficient in plenty of martial weapons.
Let's be fair, in an anti magic field they are a 3/4 BAB combatant with at best Hide armor and a smattering of not so stellar weapons who most likely has no real combat feats beyond power attack to help their non shifted combat. It's all about the pet in that case. It's almost always about the pet!

Still the pet alone is pretty kickass by that point and you are still there to smack things. As far as being in an antimagic field goes, I feel like druids are the least screwed among fullcasters and most partial casters.


Marthkus wrote:

@Lyra

I'm not so sure about the spell list being weaker. It strikes a happy middle between the cleric and wizard list.

But I would like to hear more about druids falling off at high levels.

Druids don't get more Wild Shape abilities past level 12, so you're stuck with whatever you were Wild Shaping into at that level. Druids also don't get access to some of the really powerful spells like Mage's Disjunction, Wish, Time Stop, Miracle.

They have enough going for them to be one of the better classes, but I wouldn't say they're objectively better than every other class.


Fomsie wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
The Sorcerer wrote:
What about an anti magic zone, the inability to utilize metal equipment, or the lack of martial abilities. My local GM will throw just about anything at you and litter ally anything, so having a varied party is essential for survival.
In an anti-magic zone they are still a 3/4 BAB class in medium armor with a decent strength score and an animal companion. They are only prohibited from wearing metal armor or using a metal shield. They are also proficient in plenty of martial weapons.
Let's be fair, in an anti magic field they are a 3/4 BAB combatant with at best Hide armor and a smattering of not so stellar weapons who most likely has no real combat feats beyond power attack to help their non shifted combat. It's all about the pet in that case. It's almost always about the pet!

They're only two armor proficiency feats and some dragon hide away from nonmetal full plate.


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I feel like a party of Clerics has a bit more survivability =P

Liberty's Edge

Marthkus wrote:
Fomsie wrote:

Let's be fair, in an anti magic field they are a 3/4 BAB combatant with at best Hide armor and a smattering of not so stellar weapons who most likely has no real combat feats beyond power attack to help their non shifted combat. It's all about the pet in that case. It's almost always about the pet!

Still the pet alone is pretty kickass by that point and you are still there to smack things. As far as being in an antimagic field goes, I feel like druids are the least screwed among fullcasters and most partial casters.

I'd say that in an Anti Magic field a Druid alone falls behind the Inquisitor, Magus and Cleric or Oracle(depending on how they are built, combat or casting) as both will usually be better equipped for standard melee combat feat and gear wise, tied with the Summoner alone, and ahead of the Bard, Sorcerer and Wizard.

Now you add in the Animal Companion and the Eidolon to the mix and it changes things quite a bit. Due to the limited weapon selection and mediocre armor choices and the fact that a Druid's feats are generally not invested in their non shifted combat, they do lose more than most hybrid casters and some full casters in an anti magic field.

Liberty's Edge

MagusJanus wrote:


They're only two armor proficiency feats and some dragon hide away from nonmetal full plate.

Sure they can, but like I said, most druids don't invest their limited number of feats to bolster their non shifted, non spell casting abilities. It's possible, but it is far from the "standard".

Shadow Lodge

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Marthkus wrote:
For what mechanical reason do you choose not to play a druid?

Not having to pick spells.


Exactly how common are Anti-Magic fields in your games, anyway?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Never seen one myself.

Liberty's Edge

Of course all of that is just limited to a very specific limitation that wipes out a lot of the key abilities of several classes and then compares them, which is far fetched at best.

Druids have a fantastic amount of versatility and significant power from a variety of options. They are a lot of fun to play and also have a lot of non combat options on account of their variety of skills and large number of skills per level.


Druids are a very nicely versatile class, but like a lot of versatile classes they can't really beat a specialist in their area of expertise. A druid can heal/buff, but not as well as a cleric. He can do melee or ranged damage, but not as well as a full BAB character. He can do offensive casting, but not as well as a wizard/sorcerer.

That said, I'd agree that an all-Druid part would probably work pretty well under most circumstances. I'd say they're not unique in that respect though; an all-bard party can work quite well too with the right archetypes.


Fomsie wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:


They're only two armor proficiency feats and some dragon hide away from nonmetal full plate.

Sure they can, but like I said, most druids don't invest their limited number of feats to bolster their non shifted, non spell casting abilities. It's possible, but it is far from the "standard".

I don't see how it being full plate rules it out of being a shifting ability.

+1 wild dragonhide full plate is an excellent boon for a shifted creature.

Liberty's Edge

MagusJanus wrote:
Fomsie wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:


They're only two armor proficiency feats and some dragon hide away from nonmetal full plate.

Sure they can, but like I said, most druids don't invest their limited number of feats to bolster their non shifted, non spell casting abilities. It's possible, but it is far from the "standard".

I don't see how it being full plate rules it out of being a shifting ability.

+1 wild dragonhide full plate is an excellent boon for a shifted creature.

And all of the classes considered "ahead' of the Druid in a melee dust up without the aid of magic could all also get access to heavy armor for the same feat investment or less, some even for free as a class ability, and most are more likely to do so than the Druid, which again puts us right back to where we were.

Now I can argue and nitpick every possible permutation as well, but it is kind of fruitless unless you are just insistent on being "right", so to save time, "You're right!". So, moving on now.


MagusJanus wrote:
They're only two armor proficiency feats and some dragon hide away from nonmetal full plate.

Druids are already proficient with medium armor, so they'd only need one feat to get up to heavy armor.


Fomsie wrote:
And all of the classes considered "ahead' of the Druid in a melee dust up without the aid of magic could all also get access to heavy armor for the same feat investment or less, some even for free as a class ability, and most are more likely to do so than the Druid, which again puts us right back to where we were.

That is a good point.

But at the same time, I admit that I am not quite seeing why people wouldn't at least consider it as a possibility for when things go wrong. But, then, the majority of groups I've played with managed to combine the abilities of MacGuyver, the paranoia of a conspiracy theorist, and the sanity of Azathoth.

So I will admit such may be coloring my viewpoint on this and that my perspective is likely extremely skewed. After all, I'm used to dealing with house rules on things like how much alcohol tolerance an aboleth has (yes, this has been necessary to write-up).

Quote:
Now I can argue and nitpick every possible permutation as well, but it is kind of fruitless unless you are just insistent on being "right", so to save time, "You're right!". So, moving on now.

I do not believe this was called for. I have no problems admitting I am wrong.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
MagusJanus wrote:
They're only two armor proficiency feats and some dragon hide away from nonmetal full plate.
Druids are already proficient with medium armor, so they'd only need one feat to get up to heavy armor.

Oops. I misread that rule. I was wrong as to how many feats.


Lyra Amary wrote:
Marthkus wrote:

@Lyra

I'm not so sure about the spell list being weaker. It strikes a happy middle between the cleric and wizard list.

But I would like to hear more about druids falling off at high levels.

Druids don't get more Wild Shape abilities past level 12, so you're stuck with whatever you were Wild Shaping into at that level. Druids also don't get access to some of the really powerful spells like Mage's Disjunction, Wish, Time Stop, Miracle.

They have enough going for them to be one of the better classes, but I wouldn't say they're objectively better than every other class.

Well they do get shapechange at lvl 17(aka form of the dragon III), so 13-16 is the only range where their wildshape abilities not improving after 12 affect them.

Sure they miss out on some spells but their class's unique spells kind of make up for it.


TOZ wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
For what mechanical reason do you choose not to play a druid?
Not having to pick spells.

This is one of the reasons, yes, which is the reason I want to see a spont. caster version of the druid.

Beyond that is that, while there are some character-concepts that I'd want a druid for, I find druids are more niche than other classes, in terms of the concepts they fill. Or at least they can fill well. For example, I've wanted to make a Spymaster-type druid, who makes use of druidic abilities to become a spy/information trader, but that concept isn't really doable in PF, due to the low # of skill points, and the way Wild Shape is more combat-focused and I'd need it for a more utility focused role.


Marthkus wrote:

Seriously though, it seems like you could easily run a party of just druids from 1-20.

For what mechanical reason do you choose not to play a druid?

I'm thinking about building a party of four Desert Druids for my group to run through the Mummy's Mask. It'll be my first foray into Druids, so it should be interesting.


Tholomyes wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
For what mechanical reason do you choose not to play a druid?
Not having to pick spells.

This is one of the reasons, yes, which is the reason I want to see a spont. caster version of the druid.

Beyond that is that, while there are some character-concepts that I'd want a druid for, I find druids are more niche than other classes, in terms of the concepts they fill. Or at least they can fill well. For example, I've wanted to make a Spymaster-type druid, who makes use of druidic abilities to become a spy/information trader, but that concept isn't really doable in PF, due to the low # of skill points, and the way Wild Shape is more combat-focused and I'd need it for a more utility focused role.

Absolutely hate prepared casters and don't know anyone on the local gaming scene who disagrees... Druids and especially clerics shouldn't be prepared casters anyway - a Cleric should pray for what they need when they need it, no?

I'm trying to put together a practical and balanced means of allowing Druids and Clerics to cast spontaneously.


Wiggz wrote:
Tholomyes wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
For what mechanical reason do you choose not to play a druid?
Not having to pick spells.

This is one of the reasons, yes, which is the reason I want to see a spont. caster version of the druid.

Beyond that is that, while there are some character-concepts that I'd want a druid for, I find druids are more niche than other classes, in terms of the concepts they fill. Or at least they can fill well. For example, I've wanted to make a Spymaster-type druid, who makes use of druidic abilities to become a spy/information trader, but that concept isn't really doable in PF, due to the low # of skill points, and the way Wild Shape is more combat-focused and I'd need it for a more utility focused role.

Absolutely hate prepared casters and don't know anyone on the local gaming scene who disagrees... Druids and especially clerics shouldn't be prepared casters anyway - a Cleric should pray for what they need when they need it, no?

I'm trying to put together a practical and balanced means of allowing Druids and Clerics to cast spontaneously.

I'm putting a class together too, but my biggest issue is trying to fill in the equivalent of Revelations. So far I've mostly just copied some of the Oracle revelations, but I'm not good at designing stuff myself.


No, they aren't better. The summoner and oracle both exist.


Halfling Barbarian wrote:
No, they aren't better. The summoner and oracle both exist.

Explain?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This thread reminds me of the time this one guy discovered how to break Pathfinder and make the most overpowered character ever. He took Still Spell and the three Armor Proficiency feats, and got to cast every spell without somatic components in full plate as a wizard! All he had to do was prepare every spell one level higher than normal.

Can you even imagine how high his armor class would be?! And in an antimagic field, his staff is still masterwork!

many power. such munchkin. wow.


Pupsocket wrote:
Exactly how common are Anti-Magic fields in your games, anyway?

I've only seen one once before casted by a PC in 3.5


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Theory craft answer - No. They don’t have access to some of the most game breaking spells in the game like Wizards or Clerics (Wish/Miracle).

Actual Game Play Answer - Maybe. They are a 3/4 BAB, Full Caster, with a Super Pet and Wildshape. They have it all.

Personally I don’t think they are overpowered. They are Versatile. They can fill almost any role... but not every role at once. They have to specialize. Which means they take up a role just like any other class... they just have more options as to what that role will be.


For a spontaneous caster with Druidic feeling, try a Lunar Oracle. Simulate natural spell with the combination of Wolf-scarred and Deaf curses and eschew materials.

Druids are great at both single and multiclassing. A full lvled druid is a full-caster with formidable martial ability, able to control the battlefield, buff himself for combat and maybe blast a little if nothing better is left to do, doubling his actions with a potentially strong animal companion too. But the fact that wild shape stops its progression early, in combination with the feat shaping focus tempts you to make a great monk / barbarian multiclass too, that takes advantage of the wild-shape Str /Dex boosts and/or the natural attacks.

Truth is that in 3.5 Druids were hands-down the best core class and topped every chart you could make. The Planar Shepard PrC was absolutely ridiculous too and, given lvls and gold, you could be better than the fighter as a martial (hell, his AC was stronger than the fighter of the party, what was the name of the crazy dino with five attacks, trip, grapple and poison with pounce) and just as strong a caster as a wizard (especially if you could access divine metamagic, wild reaper anyone?)

PF has do a fine job changing the shape-change rules and toning down the druid, keeping him just as versatile but denying him the chance to excel at both martial prowess and casting ability at the same time, with the same build. it is a shame that wild-shape stops proggressing at 12th lvl though.


Marthkus wrote:
They are also proficient in plenty of martial weapons.

Would you say they are proficient in a plethora of martial weapons?


Starbuck_II wrote:
Marthkus wrote:
They are also proficient in plenty of martial weapons.
Would you say they are proficient in a plethora of martial weapons?

Yes


XMorsX wrote:
it is a shame that wild-shape stops proggressing at 12th lvl though.

I feel like people are forgetting that druids get shapechange at lvl 17.

Also, I think that the progression stops at 12 because they run out of forms to have.


To the OP:

You have a low Reflex save.
You go a long time with a weak Armor Class when wildshaped.
Your spell selection is pretty limited (in core, that is).

That's about it. The latter, though, is pretty serious, compared to other casters. Clerics are far better at condition management and wizards can shape reality in ways druids can only dream of. But compared to martial classes, you're very strong.


Marthkus wrote:


Also, I think that the progression stops at 12 because they run out of forms to have.

I dunno, seems like vermin shape or ooze shape would be reasonable forms for a druid to get.


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Base Druids Power by level:
1-3: Above average if they use their animal companion well, tad below average if they don't.
4-8: Way above average. The ability to do a lot of damage in melee, cast decent spells (mostly buff related), summon some okay animals and have a good pet is really powerful.
9-14: Above average: The shape shifting starts topping out and the spells aren't getting that much more powerful. Summoning becoming more important, while your pet is becoming less important.
15-20: Average: Pet is much less important, Wildshape topped out a while ago but still decent. Summoning becomes very important and some of your other spells.

So, it really depends but overall a Druid is a top-tier class in terms of power except for perhaps the highest levels. Then again, most campaigns don't get to the highest levels, so not sure how relevant that becomes.

By comparison, some melee classes do better at very early levels, and arcane casters do great at much higher levels. But the majority of the game is spent in mid levels, then Druid really stands out as overpowered.


Kimera757 wrote:
That's about it. The latter, though, is pretty serious, compared to other casters. Clerics are far better at condition management and wizards can shape reality in ways druids can only dream of. But compared to martial classes, you're very strong.

Of course you have better condition management than wizards and can shape reality in ways clerics can only dream of :P


Moondragon Starshadow wrote:

Base Druids Power by level:

1-3: Above average if they use their animal companion well, tad below average if they don't.
4-8: Way above average. The ability to do a lot of damage in melee, cast decent spells (mostly buff related), summon some okay animals and have a good pet is really powerful.
9-14: Above average: The shape shifting starts topping out and the spells aren't getting that much more powerful. Summoning becoming more important, while your pet is becoming less important.
15-20: Average: Pet is much less important, Wildshape topped out a while ago but still decent. Summoning becomes very important and some of your other spells.

That has been my experience.


Lyra Amary wrote:

Druids fall off at very high levels due to Wild Shape not scaling past level 12 and the fact that their spell list is not quite as powerful as the Cleric and Wizard's.

They still got a lot going for them though.

No they don't .....

The wild shape don't scale, but a good Druid is not one doused on melee or spells ...) it's a versitle combo.
I play a Druid now, abilities 15,13,14,10,17,10
As a trait I took one that give diplomacy with +1 so I can gather information.
At levels 1-8 I mostly grapple and melee.
As levels go up I do more and more spells. Summon with augument summons, boost, control wide areas and than grapple and stop 1 foe.
I learn versitle spells so I can decide in tactics and no fight is like the one before.

If we fight 1 very strong opponent that is large max - I grapple and pin and let other kill .
A super hard demon? Summon with animal growth will slow it a bit .
I am hurt ? I go elemental earth, enter the floor and buff my friend.
I either use animal companion or take a meat domain like glory to buff more.
Many opponents? Great! A wall if stone / Thorne / fire / entangle/ stone call will slow and divide and control the area.
We need to scout ? With perception survival, stealth ( secend trait) you role.


Lyra Amary wrote:
Marthkus wrote:

@Lyra

I'm not so sure about the spell list being weaker. It strikes a happy middle between the cleric and wizard list.

But I would like to hear more about druids falling off at high levels.

Druids don't get more Wild Shape abilities past level 12, so you're stuck with whatever you were Wild Shaping into at that level. Druids also don't get access to some of the really powerful spells like Mage's Disjunction, Wish, Time Stop, Miracle.

They have enough going for them to be one of the better classes, but I wouldn't say they're objectively better than every other class.

Whvt do you need more ?

Plants do 4-5 attacks at reach 30 and grab and constrict .
Earth elemental are not kill able
Behemoth do insane damage .


666bender wrote:
Lyra Amary wrote:


Druids don't get more Wild Shape abilities past level 12, so you're stuck with whatever you were Wild Shaping into at that level. Druids also don't get access to some of the really powerful spells like Mage's Disjunction, Wish, Time Stop, Miracle.

They have enough going for them to be one of the better classes, but I wouldn't say they're objectively better than every other class.

Whvt do you need more ?

Plants do 4-5 attacks at reach 30 and grab and constrict .
Earth elemental are not kill able
Behemoth do insane damage .

Because at high levels, being powerful isn't about defeating other creatures in combat. It's about defeating other creatures before combat even begins. Sun Tzu: "The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting."


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I dont play a whole lot over level 12 and basically discount 'power' at levels 16-20 since the game has taken a left turn in to crazy ville by then. So for me at least they are among the most powerful kinds of characters.

I'd say summoners are definately on par with a druid and it would depend on optimization who is 'better'. And the variety of tools available to the druid is slightly less then other full casters. While not crummy, their spell list simply isnt as capable as the wizard list or the cleric list. So theres that.

But certainly druids from a mechanics standpoint are an extremely versatile and powerful class. Thematically I personally dont like them, but mechanics, they are pretty top notch.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Because at high levels, being powerful isn't about defeating other creatures in combat. It's about defeating other creatures before combat even begins. Sun Tzu: "The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting."

Even if that was true at high levels, it's not like the druid is lacking in that category.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lyra Amary wrote:


They have enough going for them to be one of the better classes, but I wouldn't say they're objectively better than every other class.

There ain't no such thing as an "objective" class comparison on the Internet.

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