Druids are pretty pointless as written


Classes


Wildshape is just odd. Why so few, non-customizable options? Why does every druid shift into the same thing?
Wildshape needs to last at least an hour, and most likely indefinitely to be useful.
More options regarding the forms needs to be included.
More options regarding what improves the form (such as character stats etc.) Needs to be included.
In addition the animal companion also needs work.

Grand Lodge

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Having done a bit of math on the Wild Shapes it looks like accuracy and damage don't scale badly at all, at least until post 15th level which either forces you to use lower level forms or your own stats.

Gear for a Wild shaper seems limited, right now all I found were two items, Druid Vestments and Gorget of Primal Roar. Other's work but they don't have any effect on combat statistics which is fine since the shapes seem balanced against appropriately geared characters. AC/TAC seems on the low side.

I think the issue I have is the limited number of uses of Wild Shape and the fact you need to talk feats just to keep up with the level. I think each Wild Order feat needs to increase your Wild Shape uses by 1 or offer a minor benefit to the Wild Shaper. Something like:

Animal Shape standard benefits, all polymorph spells cast are treated as if you used wild shape, except they are at that level rather than heightened.

Insect Form standard benefits increase the damage of your forms by 1

Dinosaur form Increase the Athletics bonus of your forms by 1

Aerial Form Increase the speed of your forms by 5 ft.

Dragon Form Increase the AC/TAC of your forms by 1

All of these are relatively minor but would make the Wild Shaper seems like the best Shapeshifter out there instead of just the same as a Sorcerer casting the spell.

You could add double the duration to one as well just in case the fight goes longer, but only as a reaction 1/day.

Right now a Wild Shaper can start with 3 Wild Shapes a day, with a 16 str. At level 5 the increase in strength boosts it to 4 and they can also use spell slots to grab polymorph spells though they won't benefit form wild shape effects. Level 8/10 increase it by 1 once you get 4 wild order feats and level 15 increases it by 1 more once you get str 20. This will get you 6 base plus spells or roughly 8 - 9 if you want to focus on wild shape.

The only downside is from level 16 onward your bonuses don't increase based on the spells so they should include a level 9 spell and a level 19/20 boost of some kind. Shapechange is not a really good wild shaper spell because of the level limit and Druid Vestments seems to be the only way to improve your numbers after 15th which seems unnecessary when you could just add a heigthen 9 or 10 option to some of the spells including Monstrosity Form which by the way should be a feat option instead of Master Spell casting for some druids.


Still it is far weaker than equivalent builds.


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A few issues I have with wild shape is the damage is weak since it doesn't seem to be modified by the potency rune and wild druids, I don't believe, need a maxed out wisdom so I'd rather wilds druids be able choose to have their class stat be str.

I am fine with the number of wild shapes you get per day and their duration. By the time you get animal shape you're one level from having 4(5 if they actually let you use str for your class stat). That's 4 combats plus you still get 2 more animal form from your spell slots and your wild claws for any other combats that may come. The only real issue is for using wild shape for out of combat situations. Form control is too high level and competes with elemental shape. Maybe if it only worked with pest form if they wanted druids to waste 2 actions each combat on wild shape. You'd get an hour long flying form then at level 7.

I feel plant druids feats are boring. Maybe I'm missing something, but talking to plants seems very situational. It's up to the DM to throw plant creatures at you and talking to non-creature plants seems weak. Plus for the few times you may need to talk to a plant there's a spell for that. I had some idea to use the survival skill to train a plant companion but that isn't very fleshed out in the rules here and seems up to DM approval. Goodberry seems the only reason to take leaf druids.


Also why don't druids have medicine as a signature skill?


Dragorine wrote:
Also why don't druids have medicine as a signature skill?

medicine is more like the science of medieval medicine.

there is "natural remedies" feat that is Nature based and druids have access to that fits them better as witchdoctors and whatnot


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shroudb wrote:
Dragorine wrote:
Also why don't druids have medicine as a signature skill?

medicine is more like the science of medieval medicine.

there is "natural remedies" feat that is Nature based and druids have access to that fits them better as witchdoctors and whatnot

we need some real medevil medicine I wanna see some leeched and hitting people in the head with rocks. (In case anyone wonders why on a crit fail you kill them its because you used leeches and rocks!)


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Dragorine wrote:
Also why don't druids have medicine as a signature skill?

medicine is more like the science of medieval medicine.

there is "natural remedies" feat that is Nature based and druids have access to that fits them better as witchdoctors and whatnot

we need some real medevil medicine I wanna see some leeched and hitting people in the head with rocks. (In case anyone wonders why on a crit fail you kill them its because you used leeches and rocks!)

"No really, just drink this steaming sulfuric elixir, it'll kill the poison running through your veins."

...

"Damn, sulfur doesn't work either. Bring me another patient!"

Grand Lodge

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So comparing damage of the forms druid vs. fighter i made two quick comparisons:

Lvl 9 Fighter wield +2 greatsword, Str 19, damage is 3d12+4 avg 23.5

Animal Form, heightened to level 5, huge animal, best damage 4d8+7, avg 25.

Elemental Form Earth, 2d10 + 9, avg 20.

Dinosaur form Height to 5th, 4d8 + 6, avg 24

Insect Form, Height to 5th, 4d10 + 2, avg 24.

Aerial Form, height to 5th, 3d6+8, avg 18.5

Now the fighter will be and should be more accurate, and have feats to increase damage. But overall damage is comparable.

Figthter 13th 20 str, +3 Greatsword, damage is 4d12+5, avg 31.
Using brutal finish, adding an extra die of damage, 5d12+5, avg 37.5.

Elemental height to 7th, 4d10 + 11, avg 33

Dinosaur height to 7th, 4d8 + 18, avg 36.

Now in each case that is the best damage of dinosaur and elemental forms but you can see the fighter will be both more accurate and do more damage and have additional options in combat. Overall this make the druid less accurate but similar damage in melee. The biggest concern is the inability to get magic on their attacks, soemthing that should be either from a magic item or an assumed property of they have a magic weapon equipped.

TLDR - Fighter/Druid damage is similar but Fighters have better combat utility and more accuracy as they should. I still see Druid wild order as being possible to melee with the exception of the no 9th level heighten options and 10th level being only 1 min per day by taking the non wild order feat. Clearly this needs to be added to the final version.


I don't know if they are 'pointless' as written. I think the emphasis is really on deciding what kind of druid you want to be is. (wildshape melee, spell damage, pokemon master or... whatever the leaf one is... healing? I need to read a bit more).

Having wildshape baked into the class is no longer there which for some people makes it feel less druidy... but in all honestly it should be about choosing how you want to play the class.

That said I can agree on a couple of things. For wildshape Str should be a class stat replacing wis, you still want wis for your spellcasting but in all honesty that should be the extra utility for wildshape druids.

Form control should be at an earlier level, add to that pest form cannot benefit from it's heightened airborne form which is either a deliberate choice to make an hours worth of flying at a later level or an oversight. (we are talking getting a flying form at either level 12 with this feat and elemental form, or level 10 with the Soaring Shape feat and forgoing some more ground combat options) I think at least Form Control should be earlier, and potential Pest Form should have a 5th level heighten but that's up for debate really.

More uses per day, especially since once you get Form Control it costs you 2 wildshapes to go for an hour unless I am reading that wrong. some extra points baked into the wildshape feats would go ok and allow non wildshape druids that want a little bit of wildshape on the side to get a few more uses out of it, but this may be the reason those feats don't contain those extra charges... if so make those benefits only available to wild order druids.

I do know a lot of people are disappointed with the leaf druids. I don't really now enough except to say that with the specialisation having a familiar (more spells/cantrips from familiar/master traits) that it should be more focused on utility than the others, i think the intent is for these druids to pick more of the metamagic feats but some of the more questionable feats should stay as spells for niche purposes and the feats should be more involved with building your spell point utility instead.

that would give a clear divide on the focus of each specialisation.

Wild: Melee
Animal: Ranged
Storm: Magic Damage
Leaf: Magic Utility

keen to see if they change this one in upcoming updates. I like a good druid class, and my wife plays them a bit compared to other classes. So they have definite fans that are a little disappointed with how they currently work as is.


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With the duration reduced wild shape is almost useless.
The inability to use magic in wilshaped completely destroys the usability of wildshape at higher levels.
With the concentration addition and action loss of summons those spells are rendered useless as well.
These two changes have made druids too weak to be viable and need to be changed to make the druid a viable class.


shroudb wrote:

"No really, just drink this steaming sulfuric elixir, it'll kill the poison running through your veins."

...

"Damn, sulfur doesn't work either. Bring me another patient!"

"But that sulfuric elixir did kill the poison. The patient was just the collateral damage!"


The leaf order seems to be for getting along in the wild. goodberry for sustenance, woodland stride for travel, Green empathy for talking with plant creatures, green tongue for talking with normal plants, and verdant metamorphosis to turn in to a tree with no real special benefits.

Green tongue deserves a special shout out. It has a funny special of making non-creature plants friendly to you, and they're described as making inane comments when under the effect of speak with plants. I'm not sure what the plan here was, but it appears to be book clutter.

It doesn't seem to have much in the way of utility. Most of its abilities rely on social skills, but limit you to making requests of plants. You'd likely be worse at your main shtick than a fey blooded sorcerer as well. Even if they opened up all the social interactions normally available, it would still be of very limited use.

The leaf woodland stride special ability is nice, but not worth losing out on the larger spell point pool boosts and abilities granted by the other specializations.


I am disappointed by the new goodberry spell/power, to be honest 10 minute cast time? Meh. Burning through your spell points will take hour or more now. Leaf only power? Even bigger meh. That's one of my favorite druid spells. Druids that can't cast goodberry are not druids in the first place (well, maybe with an exception for druids of elemental fire).


Kodyboy wrote:

Wildshape is just odd. Why so few, non-customizable options? Why does every druid shift into the same thing?

Wildshape needs to last at least an hour, and most likely indefinitely to be useful.
More options regarding the forms needs to be included.
More options regarding what improves the form (such as character stats etc.) Needs to be included.
In addition the animal companion also needs work.

Wild order druids are the most klugey. There's only a couple of Wildshape related feats at 10th level that don't just expand the number of things that you can shapeshift into and eventually let you shapeshift into everything under the sun if you focus on Wild order related feats, and some of the feats that that let you shapeshift into more things don't seem very druidy. Dinosaur seems thematically to be something that should be rare and outside of common knowledge for characters outside of certain regions. Dragons seem like more arcane creatures and something a bit outside of a standard druid. If you don't take one of them at the appropriate level, then your Wildshape just isn't that powerful. I'd rather see more options that make Wildshape more useful like being able to attack with natural weapons to overcome different types of resistances or shapeshift quicker and easier or being able to do some spell casting while in Wildshape or talk or talk as an animal of your form or talk to all animals or get advantages from some gear while in Wildshape. It would be nice to be able to pick a form and have it scale up in abilities over a feat chain the way that Animal Companions do with different class Animal Companion feat chains. The existing options, just seem lame.


I played wild order in Lost Star and honestly I'd have been better served in the Storm order.

Because of tightish confines and party having a melee rogue and paladin as well as me, I often ended up throwing cantrips from the backline until it was prudent to swing with my staff. It was never a good time to cast wild claws, and pest form is just.... well not bad,per se, but highly niche.

I'd rather of had tempest surge.


Yeah my wife was playing as a wild order druid and she felt exactly this way which probably points to some low level changes to make that feel a bit more effective and differentiated. Wild claws was not really any better than the Scimitar and Shield she was holding.

Potentially Wild claws should do a bit more in melee so you have incentive to cast it at early levels?


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Verty wrote:

Yeah my wife was playing as a wild order druid and she felt exactly this way which probably points to some low level changes to make that feel a bit more effective and differentiated. Wild claws was not really any better than the Scimitar and Shield she was holding.

Potentially Wild claws should do a bit more in melee so you have incentive to cast it at early levels?

I've been thinking a a druid/fighter build with wild claws and fighter 2wf feats. You wouldn't need a potency rune since wild claws has that built in so gain extra damage on fiery or icy runes...or vorpral.


I would also like to see the cessation of Druids using scimitars. While a very minor point, yes I know, its not historically accurate and seems purely made up by TSR and continued on to this day without anyone asking why. The scimitar is a Persian sword and Druids are from Ireland/Scotland.

I would like to see a full rebuild of Druids for the new game and also the separation from a Nature Cleric. In fact, it would be nice to see a total rebuild of a lot of the classes rather then merely continuing them from prior editions. just my opinion.


None of the classes are true to their real world equivalents. Scimitars are basically canom for high fantasy rpg druids at this point (it's been like 4 decades), even if the idea of a Celtic druid having one is a little nonsensical.

Wild Claws being lackluster was, I thought, an intentional choice given that Wild Druids will end up with large Wild Shape pools. Idea being that they could end up with so many points for powers that some of them need to be somewhat less useful.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
EmpireErik wrote:
The scimitar is a Persian sword and Druids are from Ireland/Scotland.

Which has nothing to do with Fantasy RPGs that aren't set on Earth. Druids are users of nature magic and can be from anywhere. Scimitars are the favored weapon of one of the most popular deities and thus its use has spread throughout the worlds that Deity's worshipers are on.


EmpireErik wrote:
I would also like to see the cessation of Druids using scimitars. While a very minor point, yes I know, its not historically accurate and seems purely made up by TSR and continued on to this day without anyone asking why.

Supposedly the reason was that the scimitar represented a sickle, since there were no rules for sickles in early editions.


Reticent wrote:

None of the classes are true to their real world equivalents. Scimitars are basically canom for high fantasy rpg druids at this point (it's been like 4 decades), even if the idea of a Celtic druid having one is a little nonsensical.

Wild Claws being lackluster was, I thought, an intentional choice given that Wild Druids will end up with large Wild Shape pools. Idea being that they could end up with so many points for powers that some of them need to be somewhat less useful.

Sure you don't get +5 wild claws but that affects only a couple of the highest levels. You don't have the expense of a weapon. The bleed is nice and with double slice its no weaker than any other agile weapon. At level 12 you can get weapon expert. The biggest issue is only getting 4 until you grab call of the wild to gain 2 extra spell points at level 6. Also you can still cast spells with your hands free.


Level 14 is a problem. If you decide to go storm born, you don't qualify for any of the feats at level 14. That needs to be fixed.

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