View Full Version : Pathfinder Druid Racial Archetype - The Stone Speakers

2015-02-02, 07:54 AM
Greetings all,

There has been a concept going in my mind, of a druid who is something like a geomancer. I have tried to homebrew it several ways, and I would like some opinions on the result.

For reasons of expediency, I present it in an abridged format.

Special: Must choose the Earth or Caves domain

Shield Proficiency
Nature Sense
Woodland Stride
Wild Empathy
Trackless step
Resist Nature 's Lure
A thousand faces

Spontaneous casting cannot be used for SNA. Instead, it can be used for casting any Earth spells.
Wild Shape: At 6th level, only as Earth Elemental, as level -2.

-Acid Dart Domain Power does damage 1d6+1 bludgeoning every two levels (2d6+2 at 4, 3d6+3 at 6) and is usable +1 time every two levels after first. At 9th level, it also earthbinds (entangles), if Ref Save is not passed. At 13th level, it can affect a number of targets equal to the druid's Wis modifier.
-Gains Acid Resistance at 5th level, as per the Earth Domain (yes, I know that the domain gives it at 6th level) of the druid has chosen Caves. Gets the Tunnel runner ability at 8th level if he has chosen the Earth domain.

As I see it, this archetype is a more focused and powerful spellcaster, has an offensive ability which is considerable, but loses on shapechanging, having an animal companion and on the minor druid abilities.

What is your opinion on relative strength?

2015-02-02, 05:56 PM
First, I'll cover things that aren't completely clear, and then I'll put in my opinion:

-You should specify that you are talking about the Caves subdomain. I got it confused with the Cave domain for a while.
-For spontaneous casting, I presume you mean spells with the [Earth] descriptor. Does this include spells that are not on the Druid spell list? If so, can spells be converted at the lowest level possible or do you have to do it at the Druid level when available?
-If you get the Wild Shape ability at level-2 and you can only turn into an elemental, you can't use the ability until level eight. I'm going to assume that's not actually your intention, and that it functions normally based on level except you can only become an Earth Elemental and with regards to uses/day where it functions at level-2.
-You mean acid damage on the acid dart, right? And it functions normally at levels 1-3?

Overall, I'd say this is weaker than a normal druid. You're not giving up much, but you're getting even less.

Most of the losses are just fluff, but fluff can still be cool. I don't see any reason not to replace Nature Sense with a +2 to Knowledge (Geography) or Knowledge (Dungeoneering), whichever one is more appropriate. Also, characters are no longer getting anything at levels two and four, so something needs to be added there. Maybe a toughened skin ability that gives +1 natural armor at level 2 and +2 at level 4 flavored on rocks?

The upgraded Acid Dart ability is good as is. I wouldn't make it any more powerful, because it might start to overshadow the Druid spells, but don't rely on it to carry the weight of the archetype.

As far as I can tell, you get Acid Resistance earlier if you take the Caves subdomain. This seems counter-intuitive. Why not just have a Stone Speaker get the abilities and domain spells from both as normal? All you'd be adding is an extra choice in three spell slots. This seems simpler and more effective than having the player choose a domain, especially since it seems that there's no reason to choose the Earth domain as is.

I just don't understand how this archetype makes you a more powerful spellcaster. It seems that, even if you added my suggestions, you wouldn't be gaining any real extra power to make up for the losses to Wild Shape. Please enlighten me.

2015-02-03, 01:04 AM
Thanks for the comments!

Well, you are correct about the Wild Shape. The intention is that the druid can shapechange at level 6, to an elemental, but as level -2 for uses per day.

I would have thought that the ability to spontaneously cast all druidic spells with the Earth descriptor (usually 4 to 5 per level) instead of only SNA would make the archetype more versatile. That, coupled with an increased attack -which is meant to overshadow some spells- makes him more powerful in the spells department.

I though of using both Earth and Cave domains, but I feared for the archetype balance.