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View Full Version : What feat to choose for a level 1 Druid?



newsance
2007-02-11, 11:30 AM
Ok, so my gaming group is re-rolling characters after a "Total Party Kill" incident.

The total party kill occured when our level 3 wizard, who had a necklace of fireball, threw one of then down a small hallway that the end dimensions were not known. The Hallway turned out to be a dead end, and the fireball surged back, causing everybody in the party damage. Unfortunately, the necklace of fireball has a clause that states if the necklace misses its saving throw, all fireballs unused on the necklack will go off instantly. Which is what happened, and we all took 36D6 damage, and were quite incinerated on the spot. :)

So, I figured I would give being a druid a try. The key here is that I have next to no experience playing a spellcaster. Also key here is that our DM wants "real" characters, so we roll stats on a 3D6, and you have to take what you get.

This is a halfling druid

Strength- 4
Dexterity- 15
Constituition- 12
Intelligence- 13
Wisdom- 17
Charisma- 4

The strength stat makes this character worthless as anything but a spellcaster.

So what is important as a feat here? I couldn't find any that seem to be a no brainer- lots of feats to make spells more powerful, but they don't make sense as a level 1 because you can't cast the increased levels.

Given that, I've almost considered a martial weapon proficiency so that I could use a crossbow and thus not be worthless when I am not casting a spell.

Melee weapons are next to useless with the -3 damage.
A sling would be similarly wrthless as it is strength based.
I can't take weapon finesse because I can't use any of the weapons it works with without a martial weapons feat.
I have no idea if I am missing a no brainer feat that a spellcaster should have.

Help?

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-11, 11:34 AM
If you can survive 'til 5th, Wild Shape will make you a potent melee guy.

You don't need to worry about melee yet, because you have an animal companion to do it for you! Look up the Riding Dog; make sure it's war-trained so it can trip.

You can either take feats that will be useful later, or go for stuff that will help immediately. Unfortunately, the only feats that will help right now are mediocre ones like Dodge.

For spells, Entangle is one of the best in its class for battlefield control. Produce Flame will be good for offense once you have more caster levels.

I'd suggest Improved Initiative as a feat, as that will always be useful.

Were-Sandwich
2007-02-11, 11:35 AM
Wait, your DM wanted 'real' characters, so he had you roll 3d6 down the line? How is a point buy or 4d6-take-the-highest not 'real'? Or is it one of these "anything above a 16 is munchining" things?

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-11, 11:37 AM
Yeah--people with, say, a strength and charisma score of 4 sure don't seem realistic to me.

Were-Sandwich
2007-02-11, 11:39 AM
On the charisma thing: with a -3 to Handle Animal, how is he going to get that Riding Dog to do stuff?

newsance
2007-02-11, 11:41 AM
We all tend to play mediocre characters, and we've had a lot of fun over several years of doing so. I've payed characters who's highest stat was a 12 before.

Our campaigns have a certain OOTS flair- usually we are not much more than a bunch of buffoons.

It also forces you to try something new.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-11, 11:46 AM
On the charisma thing: with a -3 to Handle Animal, how is he going to get that Riding Dog to do stuff?
It gets free tricks for being the animal companion, and can do stuff like fight without checks, I think. Plus, to train it, he can just keep making checks out of combat.

newsance
2007-02-11, 12:18 PM
Ok, it looks like I am settling on Animal Affinity as the feat. Gives me a +2 to handle animal and +2 to ride.

That, coupled with the +4 I get with wild empathy and handle animal on my companion means that I should have enough to counter my abysmal charisma modifiers.

The riding dog package comes with all the basic "tricks" needed, and I get to teach it an additional trick for free.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-11, 12:19 PM
If everyone in the party has those kinds of stats, your dog will be a better fighter than the fighter. Hit and trip--the +4 to hit a prone target will be very nice for you guys, too.

Saph
2007-02-11, 12:20 PM
So what is important as a feat here? I couldn't find any that seem to be a no brainer- lots of feats to make spells more powerful, but they don't make sense as a level 1 because you can't cast the increased levels.

I honestly can't think of a single melee feat that will make any kind of appreciable difference. Plus, since you're Small, your weapon damage will be awful anyway.

I think you're going to have to take your role as a spellcaster/animal handler and run with it. Your riding dog will be a much better fighter than you can be, so just stick with that.

If you're going to be playing this character for a while, take Spell Focus (Conjuration). It's useless for levels 1-2, but lets you take Augment Summoning at level 3, meaning that your summon nature's ally spells will be quite powerful. I'm playing a level 3 druid at the moment, and I've found it pretty effective.

- Saph

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-11, 12:23 PM
Oops. Yeah, Saph is definitely right--Augment Summoning will make a huge difference once you hit level 3. Take SF(Conjuration) now for Augment Summoning later.

dead_but_dreaming
2007-02-11, 01:46 PM
Why not Weapon Prof. (bow or longbow)?

Seatbelt
2007-02-11, 01:47 PM
Yeah that's what I'd suggest too. I have a funny story about my half-orc druid getting hammered and then starting a bar fight. Drunken summoning is too funny.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-02-11, 01:56 PM
1 - Spell Focus: Conjuration. A prereq for...
3 - Augment Summoning. Druids are the best Summoners in the game, and this feats makes your Nature's Allies even deadlier.
6 - Natural Spell. According to these forums, this feat wins D&D for you, so you might want to pick it up. Heh. For that character, casting in Wildshape is actually going to be one of the few viable options at higher levels.

Charity
2007-02-11, 02:26 PM
1 - Spell Focus: Conjuration. A prereq for...
3 - Augment Summoning. Druids are the best Summoners in the game, and this feats makes your Nature's Allies even deadlier.
6 - Natural Spell. According to these forums, this feat wins D&D for you, so you might want to pick it up. Heh. For that character, casting in Wildshape is actually going to be one of the few viable options at higher levels.


Be human and have Aug summoning at first lvl. Tis what I did.

the_tick_rules
2007-02-11, 03:15 PM
yeah to not take natural spell ASAP is bizzare for a any druid. Even being mentioned in OOTS.

Woot Spitum
2007-02-11, 03:25 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there a rule about PC's not being able to have less than 6 charisma?

Arceliar
2007-02-11, 03:34 PM
Well, as for useful feats the standard Scribe Scroll is probably worth picking up. Sometimes there's spells you don't need often, but when you do you need them NOW.

And a quick thought on those stats... at 5th level you get wild shape. Wild shape replaces your physical stats with those of the animal you shape into. Wild shape lasts 1 hour/level. This means at 5th level you get it 5 hours a day, at 6th you have it 12, and at 7th your three uses add up to 21 hours a day you can spend wild shaped. This combined with the Natural Spell feat (get it) lets you wild shape and still cast spells. So really...I would consider dumping all my crappy stats into the physical ability scores (except maybe Con).

As for Woot Spitum's charisma thing, the only requesite I know of is PC's need at least 3 INT. I've had PC's with 3-5 Cha before.

atma
2007-02-11, 04:05 PM
First, sorry for bad english. I also play halfling druid and in 11 levels of druid I entered (willingly) melee 0 times. Why would I fight when my summons are more powerful then I could ever be (augment summoning :smallwink: ). So, weapon-related feats are crap for druid. As for wildshape, use dire bat: fly, great reflex save and the best armour of all animals all you will ever need for supporting spellcaster. Feats that I take: Spell focus (conjuration), Augment summoning, Natural spell and Improved initiative.
As for summons, some creatures are better than others. My suggestion:
Lvl 1. wolf (trip kick a**)
Lvl 2. dire bat (as cannon food) or wolverine (equivalent lvl 3 barbarian)
Lvl 3. - Dire weasel (attach- drain constitution from spellcasters), D. Wolf or Giant eagle
Lvl 4. d4 + 1 Dire bats (still use these as meat shield (I'm lvl 11)), Giant crocodile (grapple)
Lvl 5. Rhinoceros (in charge he make 6d6 + 48 dmg)
After lvl 5 elementals are best summons...

Woot Spitum
2007-02-11, 04:06 PM
I found it, in the monster manual of all places. For both wisdom and charisma, no lower than 4 (3 or lower in either score indicates the creature is barely sentient). Oddly enough, animals generally average around 6 charisma (the lowest I found was 2 [vipers], the highest I found was 10 [wolverines]). However, it did mention that scores of 4-6 could represent an extraordinarily boorish and dull human, so 4 is still an acceptable score.

cupkeyk
2007-02-11, 06:21 PM
I am totally with Bears with Lasers and Nerd-o-rama.

Go Zoomaster.
1: SF, Conju
3: Augment Summoning
6: Natural Spell

If you are playing FR, consider being a strongheart halfling so you can get an extra feat. And place Augment Summoning as your second first level Spell and Imbue Summoning as your 3rd level feat. Select Rashemen as your region. This will allow you to get Rashemi Elemental Summoning (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Rashemi_Elemental_Summoning,Una) at Level 6. It lets you summon Thornils (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/mainlist2.pl?Thomil*) and Orglashes (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/mainlist2.pl?Orglash*).

If you are in Eberron, consider Ashbound.

Jarlax
2007-02-12, 07:27 AM
your objective here is to survive till wildshape so i would take combat casting to avoid AOO hits if your stuck in combat.

the other reason is that once you obtain wildshape(and take natural spell so that you can cast in animal form) you will be in combat all the time and since you can still heal yourself combat casting is even more valuable.

on the note of your stats i would have placed the 15 in cha as once you obtain animal form you will not leave it at all and it automatically replaces your physical stats (str, dex, con)

another feat i would recommend is in complete divine im pretty sure. with just a few ranks in the healing skill you can gain the ability to spontaniously cast healing spells the same way as a cleric. making you a bear with insane str and con who can cast in that form and sacrafice spell slots to summon monsters or cast healing spells.

Person_Man
2007-02-12, 10:33 AM
I agree with Nerd-O-Rama's feat suggestions.

At early levels, you should just summon things, use the Heal Skill and spells to help your friends as needed, and avoid the front line. Once you get to 5th level, you'll be able to Wildshape and you'll be solid.

Darrin
2007-02-12, 10:36 AM
1: SF, Conju
3: Augment Summoning
6: Natural Spell


Spell Focus: Conjuration is completely useless for Druids. Most Conjuration spells don't have saves. Although Augment Summoning is definitely a great feat for druids. Just keep in mind your first feat will be wasted.

If you're using FR, there's an Initiate feat (I forget who) that I think is identical to Augment Summoning... they may even stack, which would be interesting (+8 Str and +8 Con I think?).

If you don't go the Augment Summoning route, the best feat for druids is probably Extend Spell or Sudden Extend. A lot of your damage-based spells have extendable durations (Produce Flame, Shillelagh, Chill Metal, Heat Metal, Flame Blade, Flaming Sphere, Call Lightning, Summon Nature's Ally). If you're using Vigor spells, then those can be Extended up to their max HP.

Fax Celestis
2007-02-12, 11:17 AM
Why not Weapon Prof. (bow or longbow)?

Bows only negate strength bonuses, not penalties. He'd still have a -3 on damage.

newsance
2007-02-12, 01:15 PM
Bows only negate strength bonuses, not penalties. He'd still have a -3 on damage.

Yeah. Crossbow would be the way to go there, but I would need to use a feat on martial weapon proficiency.

I can't see a better place to put the charisma score. I don't want to put it in intelligence, because I then get hammered in skill points.

I could put it in dex, but then my AC takes a huge hit (and I really want to stay alive until 5th level).

So, the best solution I had is take it on charisma. I see the benefits of doing so as follows:

1. Charisma only affects some skills

2. The skill impact isn't as bad as it originally appears, because handle animal is the big charisma based skill I need, and I get a +4 automatically with my companion.

3. I can put the extra skill points I get with the intelligence bonus into handle animal to make it workable.

4. A 4 charisma gives you a lot of interesting role playing options. It is perfectly within your character to be abrasive, grating, and socially clueless.

I've also decided on the spell focus conjuration and augment summoning route.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-12, 01:18 PM
Augment Summoning will be a really big help once you get it.
One of the things it makes more viable than normal, actually, is summoning more "weak" creatures (1d3 of the SNA one level below the one you're casting, or 1d4+1 of the SNA two levels below).

newsance
2007-02-12, 01:21 PM
I should also mention that I can't switch Charisma with strength (strength is a 6, but the halfling race knocks that down 2).

If I did, I would have a 2 strength and would have ridiculous weight limits for encumbrance- like 10 lbs.

Tormsskull
2007-02-12, 01:27 PM
I could be wrong here, but aren't druid's weapon choices restricted by their spiritual oathes? So even if you take MWP for longbow or whatever if you use it wouldn't you still be violating those oathes?

Josh Inno
2007-02-12, 01:40 PM
*Clears throat*

Spell focus conjuration is NOT a complete waste. I have put it to good use in the past as a halfling druid.

*Faces a vampire, and casts a cure spell* Touch attack bitch! HA!

Of course, I had more than 4 strength at the time.

Another much maligned feat would be eschew materials. Useful starting at first level, and continuing forever. Just pray in the morning, and even if you've been thrown naked into a cell, you've got the ability to cast.
Not quite as useful for clerics and shamans though, unless like were-cat shaman happens to be her own feline totem symbol.

Josh Inno
2007-02-12, 01:41 PM
Oh, and no. In 3.0 the weapons were restricted by oath. In 3.5 they're only restricted by proficiencies, as normal. The restrictions on the armor remain, however.

newsance
2007-02-12, 02:13 PM
I asked my DM about eschew matrerials, and he said not to take it because he doesn't keep track of materials anyways, unless it required something of real value to cast, which I don't think eschew takes care of anyways.

Also, you become the druid equivalent of a fallen paladin if you equip metal armor, but are restored 24 hours after you remove. Metal weapons are ok.

Bears With Lasers
2007-02-12, 02:18 PM
Eschew's useless to a druid; divine casters don't use material components. You just need a "divine focus", i.e. holy symbol, for some spells.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-02-12, 02:50 PM
There are some Divine Spells with material components; Magic Circle comes to mind. It's just they're usually only the ones with expensive components anyway.

EDIT: Actually, I looked it up, and technically, Magic Circle requires a material component or a Divine Focus, as do most of the other spells I was thinking of. I'm curious what Divine casters use for the powdered silver mentioned constantly throughout the description...

Augury and Divination are still exceptions though, requiring incense and a sacrifice as expensive material components (and an expensive Focus for the former), but no Divine Focus.

cupkeyk
2007-02-12, 06:24 PM
If you're using FR, there's an Initiate feat (I forget who) that I think is identical to Augment Summoning... they may even stack, which would be interesting (+8 Str and +8 Con I think?).


Initiate of Malar gives your summoned creatures a +4 to str and con but it doesn't stack with Augment summoning since it has the phrase as if you had the feat augment summing. sucks.

Strongheart halfling for small and bonus feat. Dump stat strength. Buy saddlebags for your riding dog.. Get Augment summoning at level 1!!!!.

Darrin
2007-02-12, 07:33 PM
Initiate of Malar gives your summoned creatures a +4 to str and con but it doesn't stack with Augment summoning since it has the phrase as if you had the feat augment summing. sucks.


Darn, I was hoping it stacked. Still, much better if you don't have to blow a feat on the useless Spell Focus: Conjuration.

cupkeyk
2007-02-13, 12:17 AM
Indeed that is true. Taking up Initiate of Malar is better than taking up the two feats, SF: Conju and Augment Summoning.

Plus access to three spells I think. Not bad at all and you get to choose from NE or CN; and never be allowed to kill children, females with child and deepspawn.

Leon
2007-02-13, 12:30 AM
yeah to not take natural spell ASAP is bizzare for a any druid. Even being mentioned in OOTS.

Well i play Bizzare Druids then

Bloodred
2007-02-13, 01:56 AM
Yeah--people with, say, a strength and charisma score of 4 sure don't seem realistic to me.

Neither is being a Halfling.