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WarKitty
2010-08-02, 01:45 PM
I'm working on a summoner druid for a pathfinder game with all compatible 3.5 splat allowed (spell compendium needs DM approval). My first level feat is eaten up with armor proficency (in-game reasons, not up for change). Taking an animal companion is also not up for change, I am taking a wolf. I got in an anthro bat with a total wisdom of 23. I have handle animal maxed out. Starting at level 3.

Past this point, what feats/skills/items should I invest in? Taking suggestions up to level 10 or so. I don't need to be perfectly optimized, but fairly optimized is nice.

Caphi
2010-08-02, 01:48 PM
Why did you take armor proficiency? You're forbidden from using all default heavy armors anyway.

WarKitty
2010-08-02, 01:52 PM
Why did you take armor proficiency? You're forbidden from using all default heavy armors anyway.

I have access to a set of wild dragonhide full plate through character inheritance. It may still not be optimal but it's part of my character background as the successor of a previous druid, and thus not open to change.

Human Paragon 3
2010-08-02, 03:15 PM
Disclaimer: I realize this isn't what you asked for, but hear me out.


Advice:

Running a summoner druid is kind of a pain in the ass. Tracking all those minions drags down combat significantly and is even more of a head ache than being a normal prepared full caster. Plus you have to track your animal forms...

I would actually recommend you switch to Warlock. You can summon swarms at the very least. It might take a _little_ bit of home brew to get the summoning you require, but with the fey pact invocations and a little imagination and reflavoring you should be able to get in there pretty well.

WarKitty
2010-08-02, 03:20 PM
Disclaimer: I realize this isn't what you asked for, but hear me out.


Advice:

Running a summoner druid is kind of a pain in the ass. Tracking all those minions drags down combat significantly and is even more of a head ache than being a normal prepared full caster. Plus you have to track your animal forms...

I would actually recommend you switch to Warlock. You can summon swarms at the very least. It might take a _little_ bit of home brew to get the summoning you require, but with the fey pact invocations and a little imagination and reflavoring you should be able to get in there pretty well.

A class switch is *not* an option. The character is built into the story and the world as a specific successor to a druid, that's my whole in-character reason for being in the game. Also we have a game where no one wants to be the meatshield, so this is my contribution to offsetting that.

Human Paragon 3
2010-08-02, 03:36 PM
Ah, that's fair enough.

You might be able to do something interesting with the elemental summoning reserve feat. There are a number of feats that can enhance it so you can summon pretty big elementals all day that scale with your level. Since they are all basically the same it's less book keeping. A search on the forum could be of some use to you if you find this idea appealing.


EDIT: Thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=118749)

WarKitty
2010-08-02, 03:51 PM
Ah, that's fair enough.

You might be able to do something interesting with the elemental summoning reserve feat. There are a number of feats that can enhance it so you can summon pretty big elementals all day that scale with your level. Since they are all basically the same it's less book keeping. A search on the forum could be of some use to you if you find this idea appealing.


EDIT: Thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=118749)

Ok dumb question...where's the elemental summoning reserve feat from?

And laptops are great for minimizing bookkeeping. :smallbiggrin:

Human Paragon 3
2010-08-02, 03:53 PM
Complete Mage IIRC

WarKitty
2010-08-02, 07:38 PM
If I'm reading this right the feat only allows an elemental summoning 1/day? It seems I'd be better off burning feats on ashbound and such.

Keld Denar
2010-08-02, 07:46 PM
Reserve feats are usable AT WILL. That is the point of them. As long as you keep one spell held back, you get your toy to do with as you please.

You can only have one elemental out at a time though. If it dies or the duration ends, just spend a standard action to get another one, mix and match flavors to taste.

WarKitty
2010-08-02, 08:18 PM
Reserve feats are usable AT WILL. That is the point of them. As long as you keep one spell held back, you get your toy to do with as you please.

You can only have one elemental out at a time though. If it dies or the duration ends, just spend a standard action to get another one, mix and match flavors to taste.

Hmmm...nice toy then. Not sure about the combat utility without serious buffing, although might be useful in non-combat situations. I know there are feats that could buff them, it just looks like I'd be better off spending those feats on regular buffs.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2010-08-02, 08:38 PM
I'm working on a summoner druid for a pathfinder game with all compatible 3.5 splat allowed (spell compendium needs DM approval). My first level feat is eaten up with armor proficency (in-game reasons, not up for change). Taking an animal companion is also not up for change, I am taking a wolf. I got in an anthro bat with a total wisdom of 23. I have handle animal maxed out. Starting at level 3.

Past this point, what feats/skills/items should I invest in? Taking suggestions up to level 10 or so. I don't need to be perfectly optimized, but fairly optimized is nice.

An Anthromorphic Bat is a Monstrous Humanoid (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubtypes.htm#monstrousHumanoidType): "Proficient with whatever type of armor (light, medium, or heavy) it is described as wearing, as well as all lighter types. Monstrous humanoids not indicated as wearing armor are not proficient with armor. Monstrous humanoids are proficient with shields if they are proficient with any form of armor." Describe your character as wearing whatever type of armor you would have spent a proficiency on, and you get it for free without wasting a feat.

Get Spell Focus: Conjuration and Augment Summoning starting out, at 6 get Natural Spell, at 9th get Summon Elemental, at 12 take Rashemi Elemental Summoning from Unapproachable East. Your 15th and 18th level feats could be Quicken Spell and DMM: Quicken via Bone Talisman (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/mb/20040721a). Put Unguent of Timelessness (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/wondrousItems.htm#unguentofTimelessness) on your Bone Talisman spell foci, every 8 foci would only cost 150 gp, and it should last about 60 hours per caster level so you can set up dozens of them ahead of time and have plenty on hand when adventuring.

If you have to spend a feat on armor proficiency, take Natural Bond at 3rd and when you reach 4th level get a Dire Wolf (say your current wolf grew into it if necessary). According to the text: "A druid of 4th level or higher may select from alternative lists of animals. Should she select an animal companion from one of these alternative lists, the creature gains abilities as if the characterís druid level were lower than it actually is. Subtract the value indicated in the appropriate list header from the characterís druid level and compare the result with the druid level entry on the table to determine the animal companionís powers. (If this adjustment would reduce the druidís effective level to 0 or lower, she canít have that animal as a companion.)" Since the text always trumps the table, you have to be at least 4th level (1st sentence) and as long as your effective level for your companion's benefits is greater than 0 (bold sentence), you can take that creature as your animal companion. Since you can apply your own bonuses and penalties in the most beneficial order, you'd be a 4th level Druid, -6 for Dire Wolf (-2 total), +3 for Natural Bond but no higher than your character level (1st total), so you'd basically get the Dire Wolf at -3 druid level instead of -6 and can have it at 4th level.

WarKitty
2010-08-02, 08:45 PM
An Anthromorphic Bat is a Monstrous Humanoid (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubtypes.htm#monstrousHumanoidType): "Proficient with whatever type of armor (light, medium, or heavy) it is described as wearing, as well as all lighter types. Monstrous humanoids not indicated as wearing armor are not proficient with armor. Monstrous humanoids are proficient with shields if they are proficient with any form of armor." Describe your character as wearing whatever type of armor you would have spent a proficiency on, and you get it for free without wasting a feat.

Get Spell Focus: Conjuration and Augment Summoning starting out, at 6 get Natural Spell, at 9th get Summon Elemental, at 12 take Rashemi Elemental Summoning from Unapproachable East. Your 15th and 18th level feats could be Quicken Spell and DMM: Quicken via Bone Talisman (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/mb/20040721a). Put Unguent of Timelessness (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/wondrousItems.htm#unguentofTimelessness) on your Bone Talisman spell foci, every 8 foci would only cost 150 gp, and it should last about 60 hours per caster level so you can set up dozens of them ahead of time and have plenty on hand when adventuring.

If you have to spend a feat on armor proficiency, take Natural Bond at 3rd and when you reach 4th level get a Dire Wolf (say your current wolf grew into it if necessary). According to the text: "A druid of 4th level or higher may select from alternative lists of animals. Should she select an animal companion from one of these alternative lists, the creature gains abilities as if the characterís druid level were lower than it actually is. Subtract the value indicated in the appropriate list header from the characterís druid level and compare the result with the druid level entry on the table to determine the animal companionís powers. (If this adjustment would reduce the druidís effective level to 0 or lower, she canít have that animal as a companion.)" Since the text always trumps the table, you have to be at least 4th level (1st sentence) and as long as your effective level for your companion's benefits is greater than 0 (bold sentence), you can take that creature as your animal companion. Since you can apply your own bonuses and penalties in the most beneficial order, you'd be a 4th level Druid, -6 for Dire Wolf (-2 total), +3 for Natural Bond but no higher than your character level (1st total), so you'd basically get the Dire Wolf at -3 druid level instead of -6 and can have it at 4th level.

That's actually one of the changes in pathfinder. You can no longer select advanced animal companions in exchange for the level change. They instead gain a size category and extra abilities at 4th or 7th level (7th for the wolf). The other one is that feats are every odd level, so I have more to work with than you're giving me there.

Somehow I doubt I can get free armor proficency past my DM; he's already quite well aware of the cheese level in allowing me to have the +6 to wisdom.

thompur
2010-08-02, 08:48 PM
There is a ring in Complete Mage that allows you to augment your summoned creature to have maximum HP at the cost of halving the duration. My books are in storage at the moment, otherwise I could be more precise. Anybody got a CM handy?

9mm
2010-08-02, 09:12 PM
how big of a summon list do you want? are you fine with just summon nature ally?

standard summoner advice includes grabbing spell focus conj and augment summoning, as well as grabbing empower via feats or rods for when you port in multiples.

beyond this is standard max your casting stat and don't lose caster levels.

WarKitty
2010-08-02, 09:17 PM
how big of a summon list do you want? are you fine with just summon nature ally?

standard summoner advice includes grabbing spell focus conj and augment summoning, as well as grabbing empower via feats or rods for when you port in multiples.

beyond this is standard max your casting stat and don't lose caster levels.

Just summon nature's ally is ok, although anything that could give me extra summon types without giving up druid levels would be nice. My role in the party is to replace the meatshield melee character that we don't have with summoned animals.

Fouredged Sword
2010-08-02, 09:27 PM
Read the Graple rules. That is the best way for summons to tank. Many of them are very big / strong. Let them grab things and hold everything down so you can stab them with a longspear. Grapleing becomes less useful for players as monsters are more and more likely to be huge+. Summons get bigger as your level.

ericgrau
2010-08-02, 11:02 PM
Augment summoning is nice. I don't know why you'd take spell focus (conjuration) as summons don't tend to have saves, unless you need it for some PrC. Buffs tend to not be worth the round, but if have extra time or expect a long fight you can get more mileage out of multi-target buffs like animal growth. Even with augment summoning your summons won't be that strong in terms of raw power. Your best bet is to exploit their special abilities, ability scores, size, etc. Selecting an animal that grapples is one nice option already mentioned.

While the stats of all those summons does bog down the game, the solution is to stat up all summons you might use before the session begins, and don't use any summon that you didn't stat up earlier. Finding quick stats for a bunch of minor summons might help too, such as only the movement speed and perception modifier of a scouting summon (assuming you have a way to communicate with the animal).

At higher levels get the wild armor enchantment on your dragonhide to get the AC bonus while wildshaped. That will actually make it fairly worthwhile without resorting to implausible & rule bending animal barding (who makes it? who do you sell it to when you switch forms? If the designers really expected this, why all the restrictions on using gear while wildshaped and why does wild armor exist? etc., etc.). Druids tend to have low AC otherwise.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2010-08-02, 11:15 PM
Be sure to get a Ring of the Beast from Complete Champion, it lets you pick creatures from a list one level higher when casting any SNA, up to the highest level you can cast. For example, if you're 7th level (4th level spells) you could cast Summon Nature's Ally III to get something from the 4th level list, or 1d3 creatures from the 3rd level list. If you take Versatile Spellcaster (RotD) you can sacrifice two prepared spells of equal level to spontaneously cast a SNA of one level higher. At 7th level, you could spend two 4th level spells to cast Summon Nature's Ally V, or with a Ring of the Beast just cast SNAIV and get a creature from the 5th level list since that's the highest you can actually cast.

PId6
2010-08-03, 12:12 AM
Ashbound is one of my favorite summoning feats. The Extend is nice at lower levels, and the attack bonus is always useful. Greenbound Summoning is an option if you want to lay on the cheese. Other druid summoning feats can be found here (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=1354.0).


Augment summoning is nice. I don't know why you'd take spell focus (conjuration) as summons don't tend to have saves, unless you need it for some PrC.
It's a prereq for Augment Summoning. For some reason.

Eldariel
2010-08-03, 07:00 AM
Greenbound Summoning [Lost Empires of Faerun] and Rashemi Elemental Summoning [Unapproachable East] are the crown jewels of Druidic summoning. It may be worth querying their availability. And yeah, Ashbound is good. Ring of the Beast + Rapid Spell gives you Standard Action Summons which is also good. And Augment Summoning is always nice.