Druid (storm) blaster build advice


Advice


Hi! first post and first character :O atm I'm a human Storm Druid5 with stats rolled as Str 13, Dex 18, Int 14, Con 14, Wis 18 (+2race +1level) Cha 6 hombrew campaign
Party composition is Cleric5, Slayer5, Gunslinger1/Inquisitor4, Monk5
I'm tinking to get a few level in other classes, most of you will say that's an error for what I've read in forums but I'll do it anyways :(
First one level in Monk, Sensei to get all knowledge skills + Wis to AC + dodge
and now comes my doubts, I was thinking to get Sorcerer, Crossblooded with Draconic(element? lightning?) /bloodline?
That draconic bloodline(+1dmg per die rolled) will give a little push on blast spells

-Is it worth the dip for that extra damage?
-Is there any other bloodline worth getting? arcane for +1DC and familiar?
-Since I'm Storm druid I'll mostly cast lightning spells (Snowball,Flame strike aren't bad) should I get Elemental Spell (Metamagic) for when I face lightning res?
-If I change the element via Elemental Spell(let's say change lightning to acid) will Draconic bloodline(+1 dmg/die) still aplies cause base spell is lightning or it won't?
-Atm I have as Feats: Imp.Initiative, Thoughness, craft wunderous,Natural spell (I can retrain if needed) any advice for Feats?
-Since I'm not "specialiced" yet should I forgot about blasting and go for control(druid list have only a few damaging spells :-/ )

Lots of question I know,
Thanks in advance.


1. No dip is worth losing spells or having a reduced DC if you play a caster. "More spells" and "higher DCs" is your main source of damage.

2. No bloodline is worth it.

3. Druids have a good spell list, you don't need to solely focus on electric damage. And don't deny your other ways to do damage! For example, you have a Monk in the party to drop buffs on like Enlarge Person, Strong Jaw and Magic Fang, or use Badger's Ferocity to make the Slayer crit more, or so on. Remember – you are not JUST a blaster, you are a blaster and still a full Druid. You can even Summon dudes!

4. Feats look nice. I'd look into Quick Wild Shape and feats to improve spell effectiveness.

5. You should always use your full kit. That's the power of spellcasters – they can do A, B and C at high efficiency.

6. Don't dip into Monk <3


You should specialize, I think. Dipping is fine if you want to be a melee Druid, a Driudzilla taking only enough levels to get Wildshape then take Shaping Focus and taking the rest of your levels in Warpriest to increase your base damage of your Allosaurus Claws or your Arsinotherium's Gore. But then Druid itself becomes the dip.

But I agree with Secret Wizard that you should not dip if being a Storm blaster or something is the goal.


The one level dip of sorcerer is a common option in guides for blaster wizards, not clear to me why it would not be a legitimate option for a blaster druid. I mean, yes blasting is sub optimal and druids are sub optimal for blasting, but once you decide to go that way, sure, why not. The monk level is pretty crippling though.


Lelomenia wrote:
The one level dip of sorcerer is a common option in guides for blaster wizards, not clear to me why it would not be a legitimate option for a blaster druid. I mean, yes blasting is sub optimal and druids are sub optimal for blasting, but once you decide to go that way, sure, why not. The monk level is pretty crippling though.

Because those guides are written by and for munchkins.

If you are making your first character, just go out and enjoy a class. You gain nothing of import – it doesn't make you weaker, but it doesn't make you stronger – and you delay your payoffs.


Secret Wizard wrote:
Lelomenia wrote:
The one level dip of sorcerer is a common option in guides for blaster wizards, not clear to me why it would not be a legitimate option for a blaster druid. I mean, yes blasting is sub optimal and druids are sub optimal for blasting, but once you decide to go that way, sure, why not. The monk level is pretty crippling though.

Because those guides are written by and for munchkins.

If you are making your first character, just go out and enjoy a class. You gain nothing of import – it doesn't make you weaker, but it doesn't make you stronger – and you delay your payoffs.

Well, what self-respecting Munchkin goes for something that doesn't give the most plusses?


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
Lelomenia wrote:
The one level dip of sorcerer is a common option in guides for blaster wizards, not clear to me why it would not be a legitimate option for a blaster druid. I mean, yes blasting is sub optimal and druids are sub optimal for blasting, but once you decide to go that way, sure, why not. The monk level is pretty crippling though.

Because those guides are written by and for munchkins.

If you are making your first character, just go out and enjoy a class. You gain nothing of import – it doesn't make you weaker, but it doesn't make you stronger – and you delay your payoffs.

Well, what self-respecting Munchkin goes for something that doesn't give the most plusses?

Munchkins prefer to go about picking up 5 classes and dumpster diving for splatbook rules to make a build that is equally effective than a build that doesn't.


@Secret Wizard Couldn't find Enlarge person or Badger's Ferocity in the Druid spell list, we are using d20pfsrd so whatever is there we can use it but yeah once I can start buffing the party I will, I didn't start with Magic fang cause I think there are better options for a standard action than just a +1hit +1dmg. I also started to summon allys now with Summon nature ally 3, first and second level was a bit meh (maybe I'm wrong)

As Lelomenia said, I've read some post about it that's why I'm asking if it could work with Druid too

Monk level is for defensive purposes mostly, in wildshape (Elemental Air I guess I'll spend most of my time) I have 18AC iirc and that seems a little low, read it too in forums about that dip not sure if was for caster or wildshape druids.
Yeah I do a lot of reading I'm trying to "study" the class, bookworm you may call :)

orc & draconic (with chosen energy descriptor) will give +2dmg/die rolled
orc & solar (fire descriptor) will give +2dmg/die rolled
orc & arcane +1dmg/die rolled +1dc(if aplied metamagic) +arcane bond familiar?
Feats to chose: Widen spell (orc BL), Qicken spell (draconic BL),Empower Spell, Quicken Spell, Spell Focus or Spell Penetration (Solar BL)
(was checking all the bloodlines) should work fine once I chose Snowball or Call lightning or Flamestrike with Spell perfection(empower, maximize, spell focus, etc?)

Since it's my first character I'm pretty sure I'll not min-max it but if I make mistakes I can learn from it in future characters, sorc level may not be optimal but it doesn't sound that bad. It may sound I'm stubborn and I won't change my mind but I will if you say the dips are terrible but if those are not I may go for it I'm trying to experiment with multiclass (if there is a way I can explain how I become monk/sorcerer to the GM, I guess in a future time off in the main city)


If you want to do a casting Druid that is really good with Knowledge Skills, you should instead use this archetype:

https://aonprd.com/ArchetypeDisplay.aspx?FixedName=Druid%20Halcyon%20Druid

Best casting Druid out there.


Secret Wizard wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
Lelomenia wrote:
The one level dip of sorcerer is a common option in guides for blaster wizards, not clear to me why it would not be a legitimate option for a blaster druid. I mean, yes blasting is sub optimal and druids are sub optimal for blasting, but once you decide to go that way, sure, why not. The monk level is pretty crippling though.

Because those guides are written by and for munchkins.

If you are making your first character, just go out and enjoy a class. You gain nothing of import – it doesn't make you weaker, but it doesn't make you stronger – and you delay your payoffs.

Well, what self-respecting Munchkin goes for something that doesn't give the most plusses?
Munchkins prefer to go about picking up 5 classes and dumpster diving for splatbook rules to make a build that is equally effective than a build that doesn't.

I really think of Munchkinly character design as being more about gaining mechanical advantage than mere complexity. In fact, kind of the whole point of that slur is to imply a lack of complex thinking.

Creative character building =/= munchkinly character building, and when you don't understand someone's reasons for doing something, that doesn't necessarily mean that they are the ones lacking sophistication.


There's creative character building and then there's level dipping in classes that should be character defining for a minor mechanical advantage.

Taking levels in fighter is fine, that just represents improving your martial training but dipping 2 levels in Paladin and 1 in Oracle, 2 classes with backgrounds that should heavily define your character is munchkining. It's when any semblance of a character is thrown out for mechanics.

But all that aside I would advise they stick with Druid for simple enjoyment. As a new player it will be much more satisfying to get access to those higher level spells and take the caster archetype that secret wizard recommends. As a caster Druid it won't all be blasting, you will be want to be dropping summons, walls, entangles and buffs.


david G 486 wrote:
Hi! first post and first character :O atm I'm a human Storm Druid5

Storm Druid seems like a solid choice for a first character. What is your domain? I was just looking at Storm Druid Domains and Subdomains, and I was turned on by Lightning.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
david G 486 wrote:
Hi! first post and first character :O atm I'm a human Storm Druid5

Storm Druid seems like a solid choice for a first character. What is your domain? I was just looking at Storm Druid Domains and Subdomains, and I was turned on by Lightning.

atm I'm with Storm (was between Weather and Storm)and at 9 I'll probably take Air to not take a Domain with same spells as the first one but the power of Lightning for 8th level seems nice, I may to re-think that when I reach 9 level


Lightning doesn’t appear to be an available Storm Druid subdomain.

Quote:
A storm druid must choose the Air or Weather domain, or the Cloud, Storm, or Wind subdomain.


Lelomenia wrote:
Lightning doesn’t appear to be an available Storm Druid subdomain.
Quote:
A storm druid must choose the Air or Weather domain, or the Cloud, Storm, or Wind subdomain.

oops. too bad.


Doompatrol wrote:

There's creative character building and then there's level dipping in classes that should be character defining for a minor mechanical advantage.

Taking levels in fighter is fine, that just represents improving your martial training but dipping 2 levels in Paladin and 1 in Oracle, 2 classes with backgrounds that should heavily define your character is munchkining. It's when any semblance of a character is thrown out for mechanics.

But all that aside I would advise they stick with Druid for simple enjoyment. As a new player it will be much more satisfying to get access to those higher level spells and take the caster archetype that secret wizard recommends. As a caster Druid it won't all be blasting, you will be want to be dropping summons, walls, entangles and buffs.

mechanical aspects do bias my view on these things though. If someone says “I have this character concept that is pretty sub optimal in PF1 and I want it to be playable”, I’m going to be pretty ok with them using whatever tools they need to make it work. And topically, having a druid that happens to have a magic empowering bloodline is pretty easy to work with from an RP standpoint (I’m not a fan of the monk dip from any perspective though). The whole Eldritch Heritage feat line exists because bloodlines can add good background to a lot of different characters.

When someone says “I plan to build a character based on what is generally known to be an unbalanced mechanic and optimize it with no regard to character justification*” that’s where my munchkin sense starts tingling.

*they usually phrase it differently


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Lelomenia wrote:
Lightning doesn’t appear to be an available Storm Druid subdomain.
Quote:
A storm druid must choose the Air or Weather domain, or the Cloud, Storm, or Wind subdomain.
oops. too bad.

It's not necessarily impossible. For one thing the storm druid was printed before the lightning subdomain so couldn't mention it, for another the lightning subdomain requires you to get a trait, and that trait gives you access if you follow one of the right deities. The way it's phrased the trait might override the list under storm druid.


one more question, since I have Cha 6 I can forget about using rods, right? or should I start using skill ranks on it? I think some rods with metamagic feats could also help in battlefield control and damage but my UMD is -2 atm xD (if I dip into sorcerer it becomes a class skill so can be bumped easier )


You don't need the use magic device skill to use metamagic rods. You need it for wands of spells which aren't on your class spell list, sure.


That's good news I thought I'll need UMD for every magic item (wand/rod) I'd use that can save me some metamagic feats I think

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david G 486 wrote:

and now comes my doubts, I was thinking to get Sorcerer, Crossblooded with Draconic(element? lightning?) /bloodline?

That draconic bloodline(+1dmg per die rolled) will give a little push on blast spells

If your goal as a caster is direct damage via blasting spells, then you should definitely dip in sorcerer (or witch with invoker archetype) because it'll increase your damage by a lot.

Is a dip the optimal way to play a druid? Probably not; but if you want to play a blaster then this will make your blasting more fun. Clearly, if your goal as a caster is debuffs, crowd control, or summons, then you should not do this.

Yes, you should take elemental spell (the feat or the rod). This will drop the extra draconic damage, but against a resistant enemy it's still worth it.


Invoker is interesting although with a one-level dip OP will only get it for one combat max. A sorcerer dip is interesting but how would we justify a dip (even at level 1) in a class that relies on force of will and character for its power despite the character not even having the ability to cast a cantrip using said power?

If I may make a suggestion, go with a Nature Fang. Nature Fang is nice because you can add your Studied Target bonuses to your spell DCs. This means you'll have more enemies taking full damage from your spells which is honestly way more important than a few damage dice.

Separately, you are trying to do the classic thing of trying to do everything at once. You shouldn't have to be worried about getting hit as an Air Elemental since they can just fly around effortlessly out of range of most attacks and spam spells (so you can drop Toughness). If you do both dips the problem is you're trying to maximize your damage dice but you're now two levels behind. You can take the Magical Knack trait to bring your Druid caster level back to full, but you're now an entire spell level behind a straight Druid, and you'll find that before level 4 with Explosion of Rot (an actually better spell arguably than Flame Strike due to the conditions it inflicts) and Flame Strike you don't have many spells that would benefit from the sorcerer dip (Edit: Snowball and Burst of Nettles I guess are the noticeable exceptions). And since you took a two level dip, you'll be at character level 9 before you can really take advantage of them. FURTHERMORE, you can't even turn into an Air Elemental at game start since you'll be Monk1/Sorc1/Druid 3, and then you'll be behind straight Druid unless you drop a feat on Shaping Focus.

Kurald's subtle hint is that Druids, especially at lower levels, don't make amazing blasters. You are an amazing battlefield controller who can also throw Snowballs for fun, and can wade into combat with the nearly the best of them. This is especially important since this is something the party clearly lacks. It might seem boring, but I've never been happier than when half the enemies are entangled or blinded or nauseated and then easy pickings for my allies. Dipping clearly can be done, but as you can see it requires a lot of contorting that ultimately dilutes the core abilities of the class.


@JiaYou I may express bad, we are currently playing a hombrew campaign, not starting it, and we are at 5 level so race and archetype can't be changed (unless we beg hard to the GM) I'm Druid 5 at the moment and planning those dips but, as u said, checked druid spell list and there are few spells that scale die/level so even if sorcerer dip is good (I'll gain 2 metamagic Feats due to Crossbloded and +2dmg/die to an element ) I'm starting to reconsider it.

@ Kurald Galain Didn't knew about the witch, invoker will check

was reading lots of forums this weekend and seems that Daze + ball lightning is the way to go for druid, any druid it seems.

thing is I'm the only caster in the party cause cleric is healer+self buffing , at least atm, and I don't know if I should focus more on CC or dmg, slayer does pretty good dmg, monk if can flurry is also good and inquisitor is a step back of those and I'm trying to CC enemies with entangle, stone call, storm cloud and nature ally 3 while saving some healing spells per level and some situational like speak with animal, beast speak (until I hit level 6 and can shape to Air elemental and speak normally)


Generally people will agree that crowd control is a more effective approach than damage from a druid (or most other casters). Ball lightning plus dazing spell comes online at level 11 with metamagic reduction; a lot of campaigns* end one way or another before getting to that level and if you are waiting until then for your build to function it’s not going to be much fun. Dazing spell is pretty powerful though once you can use it.

*really the vast majority


If the Cleric is self-buffing, then I assume you've got the Cleric, Slayer, Monk, and Inquisitor all taking care of damage. Definitely focus on battlefield control. You've got some EXCELLENT control spells to use. You've got some clear niches in which to shine. Daze+Ball Lightning is good but you've also got level 3 spells like Sheet Lightning and Sicknening Entanglement...even spells like Mad Monkeys can be a hoot to use.


JiaYou wrote:
Nature Fang is nice because you can add your Studied Target bonuses to your spell DCs.

That would be awesome, but how do you get that? I'm reading the Studied Target description: "The DCs of slayer class abilities against that opponent increase by 1." Abilities like spell casting that don't come from the slayer class would seem to be excluded.


Smallfoot wrote:
JiaYou wrote:
Nature Fang is nice because you can add your Studied Target bonuses to your spell DCs.
That would be awesome, but how do you get that? I'm reading the Studied Target description: "The DCs of slayer class abilities against that opponent increase by 1." Abilities like spell casting that don't come from the slayer class would seem to be excluded.

You'd replace all instances of "class X" for "class Y", so it'd say "the DC of druid class abilities".


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Firstly, don't multiclass a full caster. You lose too much from your spellcasting prowess. You want Explosion of Rot and Sickening Entanglement asap.

Storm Druid or Tempest Druid are both great. You may consider Tempest Druid simply because Bend Bolt might fit more thematically with a Lightning caller, but Storm Lord from Storm Druid is really tempting too (especially for end-game; summon a huge storm and fly around in the middle of it ftw).

I personally like the Weather Domain for a build like this because for 1) the spell list is better for blasting, and 2) the Lightning Lord ability is a pretty good mid-game AoE. Use Lightning Lord while you've already got a storm going, and that's 3d10 dmg x10 targets at lvl 10, which isn't too shabby for a completely free ability every day (and it won't hit your allies either).

Feats to consider: Spell Focus/Greater Spell Focus, Natural Spell, Empower Spell, Maximize Spell, and either: Intensify Spell, Widen Spell, or Reach Spell (your choice for 3rd MM feat), Dreamed Secrets, Spell Perfection, Spell Penetration/Greater Spell Penetration

Personally, I think getting a 4th MM feat as an actual feat is a waste of a feat because you can supplement it with MM Rods and you only need 3 MM feats for Spell Perfection. I would get MM Rods for Quicken and Elemental rather than getting them as actual feats (and get MM Rods for Intensify, Widen, or Reach, whichever ones you didn't pick up as an actual feat). You never know what you're going to want to Quicken or use as an Elemental Spell, so being able to make these decisions on the fly is better than having to "guess" when you prepare spells each day.

.

General Combat Tic-tacs: Wild Shape into the smallest flying creature you can and fly to max range, and rain hell upon the battlefield. Being completely out of range of being hit with anything is one of the best defenses out there, and this is where Reach Spell can take your Control and Blasting spells to a whole nutha level. For +1, +2, or +3 Spell Level, you can turn any spell into any range you want. You can even make a Touch Spell into a Long Range spell for +3 Spell Level.

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Late Game Advice: Once you're lvl 13, you can take Dreamed Secrets. This is where you can pick up a couple of Wizard Spells (and you can change them on a daily basis if you want). I'd recommend Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning in keeping with the Lightning theme and put Spell Perfection on one of those, but if you're just going for pure blasting potential, get Disintegrate and put Spell Perfection on that. And remember you can switch these up on a daily basis whenever you prep your spells in the morning, so don't be afraid to mix it up with Contingency, Dimension Door, Limited Wish, Greater Teleport, Clone, w/e you want. Prepare at least one-two of these Spell Perfection spells as an Empowered Maximized version each day so you can really lay down the hurty-hurt when you need to. Make sure you prep other blasting spells that aren't Electricity based because by lvl 13+, your DM is going to be sick of his BBEG's and mooks dying to "Lightning Bolt! Lightning Bolt! Lightning Bolt!" every session and you're gonna eventually have to fight something that is immune to Electricity.


Some spell suggestions for Dreamed Secrets:

Moment of Prescience (+25 to any d20 roll)
Polymorph Any Object
Form of the Dragon III
Clone
Greater Shadow Evocation
Power Word Stun
Spell Turning
Limited Wish (for -7 debuff to one of their Saves)
Waves of Exhaustion (No Save)
Mass Fly/Invis (for your Summons/Minions)


If you want to pick up knowledge skills you might consider prepping your character to become a Loremaster. You can dump 7 ranks into the knowledge skills you want to have, and when you pick up the prestige class you'll get the class skill bonus.

Honestly you only want a 1 level dip into this prestige class. That way you get the skills, and you get the Secret class feature. The Secret class feature itself isn't a big deal. At best its a free feat. But it qualifies you to take the feat Secret of Magical Discipline which will let you trade one of your prepared spells for any other spell of the same level. Off of any spell list. You can take the feat multiple times to get more uses of that ability.

And after you take that one level dip that gives you what you really want, go back to advancing druid because the Druid's non-spell casting abilities are better than what Loremaster offers. Loremaster is a decent dip because it continues your Druid spell progression, but doesn't really offer enough for you to continue down the path in my opinion.


you will throw your table on me but I'm thinking not to go blaster, go battlefield control + buff + melee

Take 1 level Umonk (perfect scholar) Wis to AC, all knowledge, +1BAB, etc.
get weapon finesse + Agile amulet of fists (I have 18dex so that will be +4)
Go as Air elemental for dex + movement bonus (60/120 fly)
as large air elemental I can whirlwind and cast call lightning with d10 damage to multiple enemies(even me but I should have some energy resistance)or focus on one target and flurry with strong jaw
That doesn't sound like an optimal build but being able of doing a bit of everything is the reason I chose Druid
And yes, I know, I have to make up my mind.

Ryze Kuja build sounds interesting imho will check all of that


I know you're going for a lightning/air-focused thing, but if you're going to do melee battlefield control, consider getting Rime Strike and pair that with Frostbite.

Frostbite lasts for multiple charges based upon your level, and it goes off every time you touch the target (whether you mean to touch the target or not, so it would go off when they touch you as well).

Frostbite wrote:


Frostbite

School transmutation [cold]; Level bloodrager 1, druid 1, magus 1, shaman 1, witch 1

CASTING

Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S

EFFECT

Range touch
Targets creature touched
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance yes

DESCRIPTION

Your melee touch attack deals 1d6 points of nonlethal cold damage + 1 point per level, and the target is fatigued. The fatigued condition ends when the target recovers from the nonlethal damage. This spell cannot make a creature exhausted even if it is already fatigued. You can use this melee touch attack up to one time per level.

Rime Spell wrote:

Rime Spell (Metamagic)

Creatures damaged by your spells with the cold descriptor become entangled.

Benefit: The frost of your cold spell clings to the target, impeding it for a short time. A rime spell causes creatures that takes cold damage from the spell to become entangled for a number of rounds equal to the original level of the spell.

This feat only affects spells with the cold descriptor.

Level Increase: +1 (a rime spell uses up a spell slot one level higher than the spell’s actual level.)

Fatigue wrote:

Fatigued

A fatigued character can neither run nor charge and takes a –2 penalty to Strength and Dexterity. Doing anything that would normally cause fatigue causes the fatigued character to become exhausted. After 8 hours of complete rest, fatigued characters are no longer fatigued.

Entangled wrote:

Entangled

The character is ensnared. Being entangled impedes movement, but does not entirely prevent it unless the bonds are anchored to an immobile object or tethered by an opposing force. An entangled creature moves at half speed, cannot run or charge, and takes a –2 penalty on all attack rolls and a –4 penalty to Dexterity. An entangled character who attempts to cast a spell must make a concentration check (DC 15 + spell level) or lose the spell.

So, every time you hit with Flurry of Blows, that's 1d6+YourLvl Cold dmg and the target becomes Fatigued and Entangled. -2Str, -6Dex, -2AttackRolls, -50% movespeed, cannot run/charge, and Conc check 15+SL anytime they cast a spell.

That's pretty good damage/debilitation for such a cheap spell (lvl2 spell slot). And as an added bonus, there's No Save.


Didn't know you could flurry with held charges. Neat, and with Magical Lineage it's only a first-level spell.


JiaYou wrote:
Didn't know you could flurry with held charges. Neat, and with Magical Lineage it's only a first-level spell.

The charges go away if you cast any new spells once the Frostbite effect is on you, but you can use any Su or Ex abilities you want and the magical charges stay on you. Also, the charges aren't discharged if you miss with an attack.


what do you thik about this...
dip 1 Umonk (I know as a full caster I shouldn't)
getting: rime spell, weapon finesse, piranha strike, jabbing style, monastic legacy, not in that order, retrain(or beg to the GM that let me change) toughness and craft wonderous (even imp. initiaive if needed)
use elemental body X air for mobility(fly) or fire for extra damage(burn) as standard form, both with Dex bonus
try to get monk's robe, Agile fist amulet, quiken and maybe dazzed MM rods
use frostbite and strong jaw on me and entangle, stone call, sleet storm or whatever CC is needed before entering combat so the party could get some advantage


I seriously disagree with getting all those feats and dipping a level in monk on a full caster because you're investing way too much; you'll most likely struggle in the mid/late game and possibly become a liability to your group. That being said, if this is a concept character, then dip all you want and take w/e feats you want.


david G 486 wrote:

what do you thik about this...

dip 1 Umonk (I know as a full caster I shouldn't)
getting: rime spell, weapon finesse, piranha strike, jabbing style, monastic legacy, not in that order, retrain(or beg to the GM that let me change) toughness and craft wonderous (even imp. initiaive if needed)
use elemental body X air for mobility(fly) or fire for extra damage(burn) as standard form, both with Dex bonus
try to get monk's robe, Agile fist amulet, quiken and maybe dazzed MM rods
use frostbite and strong jaw on me and entangle, stone call, sleet storm or whatever CC is needed before entering combat so the party could get some advantage

You're the kid in the candy shop :) You said you want to do a bit of everything but your choices really make it sound like you want to do melee (but Strong Jaw? You're not getting that spell until level 8 and you can't even use it in Human/Elemental form) but I pointed out that you have three other characters doing physical combat. Your party DESPERATELY needs the kind of offensive caster (including, but not limited to, battlefield control) Druids can excel at, not a fourth melee character, even semi-dedicated.

May I give an example of what I would suggest/focus on?

L1 Weapon Finesse, Dodge (Monk B), Imp Initiative/Combat Reflexes (Human B)
L3 Rime Spell
L5 Natural Spell

Great, you can now flurry with four Rime Frostbites per casting doing 1d6+4 damage for now (which is VERY good considering the debuffs packed on) There's a way to cause Sleet Storm to do cold damage I think (and thus Rime Spell will affect it, but that might only work for Shamans or Witches). A Rime Flurry of Snowballs will do guaranteed damage to anything without Evasion, and thus it's a guaranteed entangle for two rounds, which is nice.

If you took the Additional Traits feat somewhere, and your GM is nice to you, you could add a trait which reduces the metamagic cost on Flurry of Snowballs and keep it as a level 2 spell. Then you can swoop in and hit people if you really want. I'm not mentioning any of the other great spells like Sickening Entanglement, Thorny Entanglement, etc. This isn't even necessarily the BEST thing, but it's fun. I'm generally grateful when my girlfriend's Druid doesn't drop that many battlefield control spells in the campaign I run, because it's much less challenging for my monsters and NPCs :)

Even if you want to stick to your plan, I'd recommend tweaking some things:
1) Monastic Legacy will give you two whole damage extra on average...by level 17 or 18. That's REALLY not good.

2) You want to fight when wild shaped but you didn't include Natural Spell so you can cast then.

3) You seem to think that a lot of crowd control spells can be pulled off BEFORE combat (hard unless the GM purposefully designs encounters that you can stealth into).

You're also basing some of your equipment choices based on the assumption that they will be available; confirm with your GM that you'd be able to either buy these things or just conveniently stumble upon them. Plus you're spreading your gold WAY too thin. A Monk's Robe is +1 AC and +1 average unarmed damage for 13,000 gp, when +1 handwraps are 2300 and a ring of protection is 2000. Heck, Boots of Speed make way more sense for that kind of money, since you get an extra full-round attack and +1 AC, +1 attack bonus, and faster movement speed.


all of you have played more games than I do and I'm a bit lost atm just speaking from what I've seen in few games I've played (with my druid from 1 to 5)
While martial classes seems to do decent damage without restriction, I mean I can do damage but it will be like 4spells/day while martial can do their attacks always, I feel a bit underpowered that's the reason I'm starting to think in a more oriented martial build, sometimes in fights I'm like "what to do now?" cause I have no damaging spells left (only the Domain basic one) or I don't want to waste one spell in a short fight also while CC is useful sometimes it hurts my party a bit, entangle or stone call area is a bit big and hard to not hit the monk at melee, maps aren't to big and my sight as human is.... well human,not always I can see at 100ft to set the center of the area to not hinder the monk [playing in roll20 with dynamic lightning so I guess it works correctly with the vision of characters]
Maybe martial builds shine in low to medium levels and casters in medium to late levels? maybe casters have a slowly, SLOWLY progresion?
Since I'm pretty new to PF I can't see the combo / damage potential unless I spend hours of forum reading (wich I do but most of the info is from years ago and I don't know if it's updated so checking d20fsrd a lot)

I really apreciate the builds and info all of you are telling me in this thread


I'm a bit late to the party, but I'll toss in some thoughts.

Nature fang druid is awesome. The boost to DCs is really nice for landing spells, however overall it's a power loss compared to the usual druuid due to losing wild shape. However if you're not using wildshape because of the bookeeping then it's a nice choice

Also an option for getting a bloodline that would be better than sorceror giving your stats. The blood archanist arcanist archetype. You get a mix of prepared/spontaneous casting, a single bloodline arcana and access to the wizard spell list, and all knowledges as class ackills for a single level dip. Still probably not worth it, but it'll be better than taking a single level in sorceror.


david G 486 wrote:

all of you have played more games than I do and I'm a bit lost atm just speaking from what I've seen in few games I've played (with my druid from 1 to 5)

While martial classes seems to do decent damage without restriction, I mean I can do damage but it will be like 4spells/day while martial can do their attacks always, I feel a bit underpowered that's the reason I'm starting to think in a more oriented martial build, sometimes in fights I'm like "what to do now?" cause I have no damaging spells left (only the Domain basic one) or I don't want to waste one spell in a short fight also while CC is useful sometimes it hurts my party a bit, entangle or stone call area is a bit big and hard to not hit the monk at melee, maps aren't to big and my sight as human is.... well human,not always I can see at 100ft to set the center of the area to not hinder the monk [playing in roll20 with dynamic lightning so I guess it works correctly with the vision of characters]
Maybe martial builds shine in low to medium levels and casters in medium to late levels? maybe casters have a slowly, SLOWLY progresion?
Since I'm pretty new to PF I can't see the combo / damage potential unless I spend hours of forum reading (wich I do but most of the info is from years ago and I don't know if it's updated so checking d20fsrd a lot)

I really apreciate the builds and info all of you are telling me in this thread

Yes, typically Martials are very powerful in the early-mid game while Casters are very powerful in the mid-late game. Druids start getting good once you have Wild Shape and access to 3rd/4th lvl spells because 1) the Druid 3rd and 4th lvl spells rock, and 2) you can cast your 1st and 2nd lvl spells much more often. Since you're fairly new to playing a game like this, I'd recommend playing a Druid with no archetype. Druids kinda do it all. As it is with any 9th lvl spellcaster, you're going to want to play pretty conservative in the first 4-6 levels.


Take a deep breath.

Yes, martials generally do more direct damage early on (and frankly continue to do so throughout the game). You have a 3/4 BAB, less strength than the martials, and worse weapon proficiencies. You can try and beat the martials at their own game but not with the stat spread you've chosen (for instance, most martials will be looking at minimum 16 or even an 18 STR at level 4). That's not the game you're playing.

You seem concerned about using up spells in a short fight but didn't make it clear why (I mean, they're there to be used!) At level 5 with 18 wisdom you have 2 level 3, 3 level 2, and 4 level 1 spells as well as the domain bonus spells you get (assuming you are going straight Druid; otherwise you're missing the level 3 spells). That means you've got at least 9 spells per day, 12 if you are a straight caster. I don't know about your campaign but the general idea is roughly 4 CR-equal encounters per day, meaning you can potentially cast 3 spells per encounter before you run out. If you choose 2 Frostbites per day, for instance, that's 8 or 10 uses of 1d6+4/1d6+5 nonlethal cold damage with a fatigue and entangling kicker. That's a LOT of debuffing in a combat (one casting should get you through one combat frankly) and a lot of assistance to your party (plus it can actually help capture bad guys since if the enemy is brought below 0 HP partially because of the Frostbite, the enemy is unconscious rather than straight dying). And you still have other spells left to play around with.

Buffing your allies with Bull's Strength or Bear's Endurance would be much appreciated. Druids I believe without restriction can cast Burst of Radiance: that can blind foes in a 10-foot radius and automatically does up to 5d4 damage to the evil ones. That's an EXCELLENT spell at honestly any level, much less 2nd.You have lots of options, and I think you should go look at the Druid spell list and see which spells catch your eye.

Druids are frankly a difficult class to master, especially as a first character. We can give you some advice but you need to go look and see which spells really appeal to you.

Separately, to address the issues of your crowd control casting:

Yes, your Monk may be in the area of effect of your Entangle spell, but it's only a DC 15 to beat and the Monk should probably have something like a +8 Reflex save, meaning over 60% of the time the Monk should make the save. One of the points of your CC spells is that it can affect your enemies as well as your allies, but that doesn't mean it's always bad to use. Fighting enemies that HAVE to close to melee to do damage to you means the Monk needs to hang back and fling some sling stones while you all pelt the baddies with ranged attacks and they struggle to close the distance. Creating terrain that requires an Acrobatics check could disadvantage the Slayer, but on the other hand sets him up for Sneak Attacking enemies that are trying to Acrobatics check as well. Discussing battle tactics with your allies before or during the game would help you feel more comfortable with your combat roles. Or don't, since you're a 6 CHA character who might just not WANT to show any empathy for his allies :)


JiaYou wrote:


Yes, martials generally do more direct damage early on (and frankly continue to do so throughout the game). You have a 3/4 BAB, less strength than the martials, and worse weapon proficiencies. You can try and beat the martials at their own game but not with the stat spread you've chosen (for instance, most martials will be looking at minimum 16 or even an 18 STR at level 4). That's not the game you're playing.

can't this be solved with Weapon finesse + agile amulet of mighty fist?

JiaYou wrote:


You seem concerned about using up spells in a short fight but didn't make it clear why (I mean, they're there to be used!) At level 5 with 18 wisdom you have 2 level 3, 3 level 2, and 4 level 1 spells as well as the domain bonus spells you get (assuming you are going straight Druid; otherwise you're missing the level 3 spells). That means you've got at least 9 spells per day, 12 if you are a straight caster. I don't know about your campaign but the general idea is roughly 4 CR-equal encounters per day, meaning you can potentially cast 3 spells per encounter before you run out.

most spells I have are damage per round like Flaming Sphere so using that in short fights(2 rounds?) I feel is like a waste but the instant damage ones aren't much better (snowball 5d6 now vs 2d6/round flaming sphere). When the big guy/monster appears I use everyting I have but on "trash mobs" I try to save spells if I see an "easy" combat.

I have 1 healing spell per level(cure X wounds) + some cc(entangle, stone call) + 1 or 2 damage spells(flame sphere, call lightning)

JiaYou wrote:


Buffing your allies with Bull's Strength or Bear's Endurance would be much appreciated. Druids I believe without restriction can cast Burst of Radiance: that can blind foes in a 10-foot radius and automatically does up to 5d4 damage to the evil ones. That's an EXCELLENT spell at honestly any level, much less 2nd.You have lots of options, and I think you should go look at the Druid spell list and see which spells catch your eye.

I may pick that route, CC + buff instead of blasting

Grand Lodge

Weapon finesse + agile amulet of mighty fist?

To an extent when you start getting small you start having to take aoos to attack medium creatures, but you may have high AC so it could be fine.

As David g says knowing when to not cast spells is one of the most important skills for a caster. If the fighter mop up with a little assistance just do that. Something like a wall, entangle or persistent aqueous orb can make one hard fight into two trivial fights. In this situation, one spell is all that is needed.

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