Progenitor Druid, thoughts and opinions on the Archetype?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Hello again,

I was going to add this with the Bagiennik question, but decided to put it on it's own just so as to not get things scrambled in the two.

Anyways, as the subject says, I am wanting to find out people's thoughts and opinions on the Progenitor Druid Archetype. I am giving thought to trying this out after my Allowed Character Switch comes up, and I am debating between this and the Goliath Druid or Adaptive Shifter.. I've played Goliath Druid before for a few levels and I enjoyed it, and of course, everyone loves the idea of being able to shapeshift or make distorted versions of themselves, BUT I admit, I have always had a fascination with the Fey in old folklore and such growing up (grew up in Europe, so got to hear a lot of the different tales as a kid). So, when this Archetype came out, I got very curious since it got Fey Form as it's Wildshape (Yeah, I know.. you give up Animal Companion and Domain, and you don't get all the goodies, and in some cases the good goodies until higher level, but still.. Fey!)

Anyways, before I wander off thought too far, please, if anyone has any experience playing the archetype, or with the archetype, I'd love to hear what your thoughts and opinions were. Even if you never played it, or with it, but have given it the once over and considered playing it, I'd welcome your input as well. I really want to like this Archetype, but I do not want to invest my 1 free 100% exp transfer into it only to find out that it is terrible, since each change after that the exp allowed to transfer goes down, a lot. I am really hoping that it will prove out to be as good as the Goliath, Saurian or Lion Druid, or at least pretty close.

Anyways, sorry for the rambling, again, any information, input or advice/thoughts you might have on the Archetype, please feel free to share! Thank you.


Haven't played one, but basically just looking at 3 abilities.

Infused summoning: A nice upgrade, but probably not a huge advantage. Summons that won't get killed as easily is nice. I would probably focus on summoning if I took this archetype (it is a powerful choice to focus on anyway).

Primal Bond: Seems to me to be quite a downgrade from Nature Bond. Magical Bond especially seems terrible since it is both quite limited in uses per day and unreliable. Nature primal bond seems roughly equivalent to a Domain (weaker than an animal companion though).

Fey Shape: Elemental Forms are useful, especially being able to earthglide. That said, the fey forms have a lot of unique and interesting possibilities. Figuring out what forms are available when and what all you can get will take some research, but probably pretty close to a wash.

So If you enjoy summoning (which I do) I think you could make a very effective druid with this archetype. If you don't, and therefore don't make much use of it's only real upgrade, you will probably end up a bit weaker than a vanilla druid, and this will feel especially bad if usually your really enjoy the Animal Companion aspect of the class.


Dave Justus wrote:

Haven't played one, but basically just looking at 3 abilities.

Infused summoning: A nice upgrade, but probably not a huge advantage. Summons that won't get killed as easily is nice. I would probably focus on summoning if I took this archetype (it is a powerful choice to focus on anyway).

Primal Bond: Seems to me to be quite a downgrade from Nature Bond. Magical Bond especially seems terrible since it is both quite limited in uses per day and unreliable. Nature primal bond seems roughly equivalent to a Domain (weaker than an animal companion though).

Fey Shape: Elemental Forms are useful, especially being able to earthglide. That said, the fey forms have a lot of unique and interesting possibilities. Figuring out what forms are available when and what all you can get will take some research, but probably pretty close to a wash.

So If you enjoy summoning (which I do) I think you could make a very effective druid with this archetype. If you don't, and therefore don't make much use of it's only real upgrade, you will probably end up a bit weaker than a vanilla druid, and this will feel especially bad if usually your really enjoy the Animal Companion aspect of the class.

Mr. Justus,

Thank you for your thoughts on the archetype. I find your observations on the Primal Bond to be interesting as far as the Natural Primal Bond being roughly equal to a Domain, may I ask why you see it so? When I look at them I see the Magic one to be kinda as you said, fairly limited, and to be fair, more likely to backfire than not lol, and the Natural one to be almost useless unless high enough to make it reach out a way and prevent something from closing in as easily (or set up for an entanglement in an area where no plants are, or provide cover with Plant Growth).

I have done a lot of research on the various Fey, not to mention using something I found in a post on the boards where someone gathered a variety of of them and classified them by some of their abilities and this Document I also found

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1avbOKg848X3Z3dVpmdrpxtR__zan2jj_NzP0uZU 9LTw/edit#

I used both Archives of Nethys and d20PFSRD to do my own research as well since neither site has all of the various Fey on their own.

I was curious about that Summons boost, especially if you were to add the Two Feats that give them a +4 to strength and Con when summoned (might not make a great boost to smaller summons, but to the bigger one, maybe good.. T-Rex with better stats AND self healing, that could work well, maybe? lol). I figured that might make for a decent summoning build, or at least a fun one.. though now that I am thinking of all of that, it seems like it might be real fun, and drive my GM/DM crazy lol.

Hmmm ok.. the more I think on this the more I feel like Progenitor might have been built with the thought of being a Caster first and foremost, but still having some interesting Abilities in Wildshape just in case you have to melee or something (especially since they get some really good small forms and such, and the dex would make them harder to hit while they can still cast, not to mention a lot of them fly). Of course, I could be missing something that would make it otherwise, but that is what it looks like to me, which is an interesting switch since I always felt that the Goliath was the opposite, more aligned with Melee and having Magic as the Backup. Anywhos, thank you again for your thoughts on this subject, I enjoy seeing what others might have noticed that I missed, and just reading your post opened my eyes to some things I didn't see before. :)


Natural Primal bond is an ability that is fairly useful limited times per day. Not dissimilar to the abilities gained from domains. Granted, you don't get a domain spell slot, which I suppose is downgrade but having only the one spell choice for each level of spell means many of these slots aren't going to be effective anyway.

One subtle thing about the progenitor druid natural primal bond that makes it stronger than is immediately apparent is that the cover option only works for allies and the difficult terrain only applies to enemies. In particular the latter, being able to create difficult terrain that your allies can ignore is a pretty good ability.


Dave Justus wrote:

Natural Primal bond is an ability that is fairly useful limited times per day. Not dissimilar to the abilities gained from domains. Granted, you don't get a domain spell slot, which I suppose is downgrade but having only the one spell choice for each level of spell means many of these slots aren't going to be effective anyway.

One subtle thing about the progenitor druid natural primal bond that makes it stronger than is immediately apparent is that the cover option only works for allies and the difficult terrain only applies to enemies. In particular the latter, being able to create difficult terrain that your allies can ignore is a pretty good ability.

Ahhh yes, I missed that part of it.. nice catch. Shame it only starts at 5' (1 square) at 1st and only goes up 5' at 5th and every 5 after.. especially with how limited the amount of time you can have it per day so won't be a lot of use at low levels. Not to mention the Full Round just to use it, and it not taking effect until your next turn... this makes it seem to me to be a bit weaker than the AC or Domains. The reason I say this is because it takes you out of the fight completely for a full round, which could be better used to cast spells that will have that effect while still directing your companion to fight, or buffing others, or fighting yourself, etc etc. This is made worse if your group is ambushed or runs into a random encounter, and made only slightly better if your group is setting up an ambush (and then not by much since the duration is so short and it is around you, not at a point away from you, which makes it less useful again unless you are the bait lol).

Hmmmmmm I am starting to think that the Magical one might actually have better use since it is a swift action and might save you a spell use (especially if you have a good wisdom score). Sure, might get something bad, but might save a slot too...


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Janos1 wrote:
Shame it only starts at 5' (1 square) at 1st and only goes up 5' at 5th and every 5 after..

A 5' radius emanation is 4 squares. 10' radius is 12.

Combined with small, highly mobile fey form I can see it being useful.

That said, I for the most part I don't consider domain powers or spells to be all that great either.

I don't mind abilities that I can't count on working. But I'm not fond at all of extremely limited use abilities that can't count on working and might even be detrimental to me. Some people do find this sort of thing fun though, and that is probably the attraction of the primal bond magic. It isn't mechanically any good, but if you like random things happening, 'go big or go home' all on the roll of a die, it has a ton of that for you.


Dave Justus wrote:
Janos1 wrote:
Shame it only starts at 5' (1 square) at 1st and only goes up 5' at 5th and every 5 after..

A 5' radius emanation is 4 squares. 10' radius is 12.

Combined with small, highly mobile fey form I can see it being useful.

That said, I for the most part I don't consider domain powers or spells to be all that great either.

I don't mind abilities that I can't count on working. But I'm not fond at all of extremely limited use abilities that can't count on working and might even be detrimental to me. Some people do find this sort of thing fun though, and that is probably the attraction of the primal bond magic. It isn't mechanically any good, but if you like random things happening, 'go big or go home' all on the roll of a die, it has a ton of that for you.

Mr. Justus,

Once again, you have given me a good idea with your Insight, something I didn't even think of before. Yes, it will be kind of limited before Level 10, but at level 10 You will have it at how ever many squares (24? 32? I need to pull up a grid and count lol), but at Level 10, you get Diminutive Forms, and two of those forms for a fact have 60' flight with Good Maneuverability and one of them has DR2/Cold Iron (and there are probably even others that have better extra options. Sneak in, land Booom, you have difficult terrain.. I like it. See, this is why I appreciate your input, the ideas you have I can match with the Fey Creatures that I have studied and see some nice combos, so thank you once again.


Just checking and some even have Hide in Plain sight, Transparency (this one and the next would be at Fey Form 4), Tree Meld (Nothing says that their foot isn't on the ground if they are inside a tree, I don't think lol) and one with Extreame Supernatural Speed.. like 120'. There is also Burrow speeds and others.. pretty sure if you are burrowing you feet count as touching the earth, but even if not or this and Tree Meld, still fast get aways.


So, been a few weeks since I first asked this question and the nice conversation that Mr. Justus and I had, and not having yet had the opportunity to try the archetype, I thought I'd pop in and check to see if maybe anyone else had? If so, again, I ask, what has been your experience with it been so far?

I Still have some time before I must decide what to play next and keep waffling between trying this archetype and an Adaptive Shifter (Might even a Dip of Ley Line Witch with Hair Hex for the extra Natural Attack and lead into Dragon Disciple, or maybe stay straight Shifter). This character will be starting somewhere after level 2, though not sure the exact level (might be as high as 6, or as low as 3), so I will manage to get some of the toys while not starting quite from the ground up, I will still get to experience the (not so) joyful starting phase lol.

Anyways, sorry to get off on a tangent there, but I have seen a few posts with people talking about how much the enjoy the Adaptive Shifter, but still pretty much can not find a single post from anyone stating what they think of the Progenitor Druid yet lol. At this point in time I am almost willing to just get impressions from any Druids who have used the Fey Form spells lol.

I hope to gather more information from others on this, thank you for your time.


Sorry to pop this question up again as I know it has been a few weeks, but by the same token, I was hoping to see if maybe anyone had yet had the chance to try it? We hadn't really had a chance to play much the last few weeks, so I haven't had a chance to make one and test it as yet.

As always, any thoughts and input is welcome, thank you.

Silver Crusade

Haven't tried it so this is theory crafting.

But Fey Form is quite, quite strong. There are LOTS of powerful and weird fey out there (depending a bit on how many books your GM will let you choose from).

Power wise its probably basically a wash (you lose stuff, you gain stuff). But it screams flavour and fun. There are lots of Fey themed racial options, spells, feats, etc.

I'd be VERY tempted to get me a a Fey Touched animal companion via feats (its not as if a druid needs feats all that much, ESPECIALLY a Fey one who can cast spells in Fey form).

Note that the rules aren't crystal clear on what happens to your gear in various Fey shapes (especially animal like shapes). If you go this route have a chat with the GM first and get their take on the situation


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I haven't played the actual archetype, but from my experience with Druids, polymorph effects, and multiattack-characters:

The biggest problem Progenitor has is that you can't pounce when using Fey Form. There are no base creatures with one strong attack, so you're forced to play a character reliant on a full attack.

In addition, as was the case with pre-B6 Metamorph Alchemist, the large number of cool abilities isn't all that great when creatures generally only have one or two good ones. For instance, nigh-permanent Fast Healing sounds awesome, but there isn't a form with FH and more than two natural attacks,. Likewise, the only one with HiPS has pretty good attacks, but absolutely nothing else.

Best natural attack forms:

Rabisu: medium; bite (1d6), 4 claws (1d4 plus grab²), fly, see in darkness², scent², DR², sound mimicry
Kamaitachi: medium; 4 claws (1d6 plus bleed²), fly, blindsight³, DR²
Ijiraq: medium; 2 claws (2d4), bite (2d6), gore (2d6), hide in plain sight⁴
Ankou: largy²; 2 claws (1d6), tail slap (1d8 plus bleed), 2 wings (1d8 plus bleed), fly, blindsense, DR
Tunche: huge³; bite (2d8 plus nasty poison), 4 claws (3d6), swim, climb, darkvision, scent, DR

Here's a list of forms by granted special ability.


Sorry it took me a couple days to get back, no computer access due to work.

Anyways, thank you both for your inputs, they are very much appreciated. Mr. Pauljahome, I would have never thought of a fey animal companion before.. of course, I always forget that animals can have, for lack of another word at the moment, Archetypes... that is very flavorful, even if it is 3 feats to get lol (well, 2 unless you want it at level, then 3).

Mr. Derklord, I just wanted to say that I actually do have that post open, always have.. yours, the one a short bit above (Avoron's) and the Polymorphamory (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1avbOKg848X3Z3dVpmdrpxtR__zan2jj_NzP0uZ U9LTw/edit#) have been my guides for all things fey while I have been researching these things, however, I always seem the AoN and PFSRD20 Fey pages as well since not all fey are listed on either. I love your work and I appreciate it immensely, as I said, it has been helping me with this. However, I have a few questions in regards to your post.

1) It looks like maybe you forgot to list the Whisperer in this reply to my post (it is in your original post) as a 6 attack creature.. was this an accidental oversight, or did you intentionally decide to leave it out due to the whole slew of discussion about whether or not it was valid due to the original's being Incorporeal, or was maybe an official soource finally able to step in and solve it? If official, would you please link it for me because I can't seem to get some answers to another fey related critter (my Baggeinik and his Nasal Spray Range Touch Attack with no range listed lol)?

2) In your original Post, You list Defensive Abilities, but you only allow for Fast Healing.. is there a reason you did not include the DR, Spell resistance and/or the various Resistances to Elementals, mind-affecting, or Poisons? I ask because many, if not most, get some form of DR and a lot of times it is DR 5 eventually (before Fast Healing even, same with all the other defenses). I'm nopt even asking about Supernatural Speed (gives Uncanny Dodge and Evasion for defense, plus Concealment which is basically invisibility when stationary) because I think only 1 fey has it and that one only has 2 attacks. There are even a couple who have DR AND Fast Healing, though I know they have less attacks (BaB and in some cases one extra).

3) I realize that not many fey have a lot of Natural Attacks, although there are a few with some good ones, but there are a few that have weapons and Natural, including one who has weapons and a called out Natural attack that is still Primary because it is from the Horse half of the body (plus the 2 secondary).. the Nuckelavee. But I also figure that the Fey Forms are more to give you the ability to still cast your spells (sometimes Stilled and Silenced) as well as offer a few forms with some decent Natural Attacks and/or Utilities.

4)Lastly (for now lol) How big an attack are you talking about when you say one big attack? I ask because I know of one Fey (Cold Rider)who has a so/so one at 2d6 +1d6 Cold (assuming target is not immuneor resistant, which I know Cold is the 2nd most resisted)... though that is not the kind of numbers I am thinking you are looking for when you say big attack, but I thought I'd ask.

Anyways, I will hop off here for now, though I do look forward to your answers, and please, do not take my questions negatively, they are merely questions as I am trying to look more into your thoughts.

P.S. I forgot, what did you mean by HiPS? High Physical Strength?

P.P.S. Also, how would you rate being able to provide Cover for allies or Difficult terrain for enemies from their Nature Bond replacement? Or the Wild Magic one? And Lastly, I promise lol, the summoning creatures with Fast Healing (especially if you took the feat Augment Summoning)?

OK, I will actually hop off now.. meant to post this this morning and got in a rush...


HiPS=Hide in Plain Sight


Janos1 wrote:
It looks like maybe you forgot to list the Whisperer in this reply to my post (it is in your original post) as a 6 attack creature.. was this an accidental oversight, or did you intentionally decide to leave it out due to the whole slew of discussion about whether or not it was valid due to the original's being Incorporeal, or was maybe an official soource finally able to step in and solve it?

I had planned to write something about creatures with unusual attacks, and then... forgot about it. Sorry.

The incorporealness isn't the problem (you don't get it, period). The problem is that we don't actually know whether we get attacks like the Whisperer's mist tendrils.
If you look at the Whisperer's feat list, you see "Improved Critical (touch)" - if the mist tendrils were a natural weapon, you would need Improved Critical (mist tendrils) to affect them. They seem to be treated as a caster holding a touch range spell, which isn't a natural attack either. The Cursed Wound ability does call them primary natural attacks, which makes it more confusing (remember, you don't gain that ability, which, one might argue, also makes the mist tendrils touch attacks). In the end, there's just so much information missing that I don't think you should get them.

Other creatures, like Banelight and Rusalka, have special abilities that explicitly define their special natural attacks, which makes it a clearer case for those.
There's also cases like the muse's sound strikes, which clearly doesn't add any strength bonus, even though the antural attack rules say all NAs are either primary or secondary and thus should add at least +1 from strength.

If your GM allows you to get 6 touch attacks with 20ft reach and 3d10 base damage plus bonuses (in addition to the other goodies, flight, SR, DR, cold resistance, a bonus vs poison and mind-affecting effects), that might effect game balance (but would make the archetype very strong).

Janos1 wrote:
In your original Post, You list Defensive Abilities, but you only allow for Fast Healing.. is there a reason you did not include the DR, Spell resistance and/or the various Resistances to Elementals, mind-affecting, or Poisons?

Too many to list, basically (although I overestimated some of them, see below). There are 45 non-templated fey with spell resistance in my monster spreadsheet, and 105 with DR/cold iron!

Immunity to Poison: Nereid, Nuckelavee, Polevik, Thin Man, Black Rider, Red Rider, White Rider, Erlking, Whisperer
Immunity to mind-affecting effects: Morgodea, Glaistig, Whisperer
Spell resistance with 4+ natural attacks: Rusalka, Escorite, Boggle, Kamaitachi, Whisperer
Acid Resistance: Norn, Erlking, Hamadryad, Bagiennik, Glaistig,
Escorite, Remacera, Oceanid
Cold Resistance: Fuath, Larabay, Erlking, Hamadryad, Huldra, Oceanid, Svartalfar, Swan Maiden, Skapraun, Glaistig, Zephyr, Ekekeh, Escorite, Remacera, Rabisu, Lurker In Light, Nereid, Cold Rider, Norn, Black Rider, Red Rider, White Rider, Whisperer, Wild Hunt X
Fire Resistance: Kelpie, Norn, Larabay, Bagiennik, Glaistig, Ovinnik, Escorite, Remacera, Wild Hunt X, Rusalka, Poludnica, Hellfire Ignis, Rabisu
Electricity Resistance: Norn, Larabay, Erlking, Hamadryad, Svartalfar, Swan Maiden, Glaistig, Rabisu, Wild Hunt X, Zephyr, Ekekeh

You could just use The spreadsheet yourself, though.

Janos1 wrote:
a called out Natural attack that is still Primary because it is from the Horse half of the body

The natural attack rules would override that.

Janos1 wrote:
How big an attack are you talking about when you say one big attack?

Big enough to warrant a vital strike build. Stuff like Carnivorous Crystal for Cave Druid. Tunche's 3d6 claws is the highest regular attack (not counting Whisperer's and Banelight's attacks), that's not even close to enough.

I did focus on natural attack based characters, as that's the easiest to evaluate. Casting based builds and weapon based builds are looking for completely different things, and what exactly depends a lot on your party, campaign, and personal preferences. I like flight, for instance, so I'd turn towards fey like Whisperer, Banelight or Erlking for those (although I'm german, so I wouldn't be able to use erlking without everyone quoting the poem).

Janos1 wrote:
Also, how would you rate being able to provide Cover for allies or Difficult terrain for enemies from their Nature Bond replacement? Or the Wild Magic one?

I think the effects aren't bad, but the uses per day are too limited.

For the magic primal bond, you'd want a pretty high concentration check bonus (high ability score, trait, there're probably items as well) so it's basically additional spells per day.
The nature primal bond would be pretty nice if it didn't take a full-round action to use. Selective cover is awesome for anything stealth-based, and selective difficult terrain prevents charges, but I'd much rather have a domain or pet.

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