Druid species archetypes and SNA


Advice


Been looking at the druid archetypes like bear shaman, ape shaman, etc...
I like that theme focus, rather than just anything.

However the SNA lists are kinda limited for most of them.
Snakes have the viper and the constrictor. Kool at low level, but at mid high level they will be useless.

There seem to be quite a few felines for the lion shaman. But what if the opponent flies or we are underwater?

Seems like the Saurian shaman is the best bet. There are flying and swimming dinos. I am a little concerned about their large size in cramped quarters.

Is my reasoning sound or do the others work better than I am imagining?

Silver Crusade

Revolving Door Alternate wrote:

Been looking at the druid archetypes like bear shaman, ape shaman, etc...

I like that theme focus, rather than just anything.

However the SNA lists are kinda limited for most of them.
Snakes have the viper and the constrictor. Kool at low level, but at mid high level they will be useless.

There seem to be quite a few felines for the lion shaman. But what if the opponent flies or we are underwater?

Seems like the Saurian shaman is the best bet. There are flying and swimming dinos. I am a little concerned about their large size in cramped quarters.

Is my reasoning sound or do the others work better than I am imagining?

You do get to apply templates and there are various add ons to the summon lists and you have lots of support spells available to, for example, make your kitty cat aquatic. So its somewhat better than you're saying. But yeah, you're about right.

I had a Lion Shaman druid play to reasonably high level (level 16) a few years back (last saw real play about 2015=1016 or so). At that time, I thought a Lion Shaman basically a sidestep from a base druid (more powerful in some ways, less powerful in others). A Saurian Shaman was a clear upgrade PRECISELY because it is so versatile (and because James Jacobs LOVES dinosaurs so there is a dinosaur for just about EVERY conceivable need and niche).

The Shaman classes are there more to help define your character in a fun way and differentiate them from other druids than as a power boost.

Of course, with all the power creep since then a <whatever> Shaman is now probably a downgrade from the most broken recent builds.

As a second of course, a druid can afford to not be totally optimal and still kick major ass. Only in the most powerful of games will a druid be underpowered, the base chassis really is just that good.


pauljathome wrote:
You do get to apply templates

Eh? You mean with separate feats like Versatile Summon Nature's Ally? Or did I miss an animal shaman ruling somewhere? I know about the eagle shaman FAQ, but that was specific only to eagle shamans and wild shape.


Bear Shaman wrote:

Totemic Summons (Su)

At 5th level, a bear shaman may cast summon nature’s ally as a standard action when summoning bears, and summoned bears gain temporary hit points equal to her druid level. She can apply the young template to any bear to reduce the level of the summoning spell required by one. She can also increase the level of summoning required by one in order to apply either the advanced or the giant template, or increase it by two to apply both the advanced and giant templates.

Other shamans seem to refer to the bear shaman or dragon shaman with their totemic summons.

But no aquatic bears or lions without Versatile natures ally, AFAIK.


blahpers wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
You do get to apply templates
Eh? You mean with separate feats like Versatile Summon Nature's Ally? Or did I miss an animal shaman ruling somewhere? I know about the eagle shaman FAQ, but that was specific only to eagle shamans and wild shape.

As Wagner noted- there are a number of templates you can apply. In total, this provides a number of options to both buff up a particular animal to keep it relevant (bigger, stronger)... or to nerf it a bit to make it available at a lower level.

Which mostly means that you can highly customize your dinosaur options so you can can stretch out the utility of the various flying, swimming, etc ones. Because the Saurian Shaman is insane due to the number of versatile options.


Oh hey, I never noticed that, probably because I never bothered to read the bear shaman rules thinking that there wouldn't be anything useful. : P Thanks!


blahpers wrote:
Oh hey, I never noticed that, probably because I never bothered to read the bear shaman rules thinking that there wouldn't be anything useful. : P Thanks!

Yeah.... it didn't help that the shaman archetypes are cut and paste that just relies on a hyperlink no one bothers to click (so to speak) in order to explain one of their core mechanics and one of the main reasons why the archetypes are worth using.

Standard action summoning (which can also be cast spontaneously, since SNA on a druid) of scaling animals is pretty much the best thing about the archetype. ...if you are playing a Saurian Shaman. They get a handful of different base picks for flying dinosaurs alone before you add in templates.

The ease of use and sheer variety can basically make its own spontaneous spell list. Well, maybe not that great- maybe a 6 lvl list?; you still have that on top of normal spells though.

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