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Albonor
2008-07-05, 03:24 PM
One of my players has a very simple way to be way more useful in combat than the others: he plays a druid. The group is now level 8-10 and he just gained acces to a combo that moved him from "most useful in a fight" to "only one needed in a fight" and the other players get it. Two sessions ago, the former bard-prestige paladin started to play cards with the shadowbane stalker! Worst thing is : I understand them.


The combo: summon monster V followed by animal growth. The animal summoned? Dire wolves. With. Augment Summonning.

1d4+1 huge dire wolves with an extra +4 in Str and Con is no laughing matter. Even the fighter/ranger/hellreaver is now unneded.

Sure, the gnomish necromancer will contribute one his player get bask from Europe but until them EVERYONE ELSE is limited to support furing the first round when he calls the critters.

I could imagine 2-3 scenarios where that particular combo would be useless but he has a tendency to rip appart most of my big monsters ans I wanted general tips on how to limit his usefulness to better allow the other players to feel like they are contributing.

thanks in advance!

monty
2008-07-05, 03:26 PM
Do more noncombat stuff, and throw monsters at them that he can't fight effectively with his current strategies - flying, incorporeal, etc.

Saph
2008-07-05, 03:34 PM
Some limitations on the SNA V/Animal Growth combo:

1. If he's level 9-10, he can only do that combo once per day.

2. Dire Wolves are useless against enemies that can fly, burrow, swim, or turn incorporeal.

3. SNA takes one full round to cast. Have the enemies nail him with a ranged attack or charge when he starts casting, causing him to lose the spell.

4. Each summon only lasts one minute. If enemies have a way to disengage for that long, the wolves will blink out.


If you keep this in mind, it shouldn't be too hard to give them challenging fights. Alternately, send encounters at them that are so nasty that they need the wolf squad just to have a decent chance of winning.

- Saph

Rachel Lorelei
2008-07-05, 03:35 PM
You basically don't, not without slaughtering the party. Welcome to Druids!

At least he's not using Plant Growth and Entangle in outdoors areas.

Bayar
2008-07-05, 03:39 PM
Send in the dragons.

Gwain
2008-07-05, 03:41 PM
I would take the player alone, and tell him that his tactic is great, but every other player is getting bored.

Let's try to discuss it with the guy

kamikasei
2008-07-05, 03:45 PM
Multiple class-leveled enemies instead of single big monsters? Minions? Battlefield controllers? Archers with readied actions to disrupt?

Up the relative cost of the actions to cast by having enemies that can grind out more actions per turn.

BRC
2008-07-05, 03:45 PM
Fight somebody that uses Charm Animal to turn his summons against him.

Eldariel
2008-07-05, 03:55 PM
Or alternatively teach the other players to optimize/optimize for them. Either the Druid has to be toned down to be fair in the party or the others have to be toned up to not pale in comparison to a Druid (Druid will be most useful, yes, but others can contribute too - Druid is the most versatile class in the game, able to do literally everything save for trapfinding alone, and even for that he can just send expendable Elementals from the Elemental Reserve; you can't hope to make a challenge he cannot handle that others could, nor will you be able to make them useful as they stand, but you can help the others buff their characters/have the Druid tone down his).

Banning certain spells (Animal Growth is an extremely brutal spell; allow it with just +4 Str/-2 Dex/+2 Con adjustment per category and it'll be more fair), giving more encounters per day, etc. tend to be harder for casters than others, so it could act as a balancing element. Still, you're on the levels where casters start to absolutely outshine all non-full caster classes, especially non-optimized ones, so don't be surprised if the Druid is dominating without even using half the potential of his character. Unfortunately this strip isn't actually false to any degree (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0346.html) (especially the "I am a Druid, I have special abilities that are more powerful than your entire class"-part).


In the end it all comes down to one of two things:
-Teach the others how to make their characters keep up in higher levels.
-Have the Druid either switch class, nerf himself or hit the Druid-class with a nerf bat (just make sure that doesn't get the party killed).

Squidmaster
2008-07-05, 03:55 PM
Some limitations on the SNA V/Animal Growth combo:

1. If he's level 9-10, he can only do that combo once per day.
[snip]
4. Each summon only lasts one minute. If enemies have a way to disengage for that long, the wolves will blink out.


I agree with these two points. This works especially well if the players are planning to ambush the monster. Just have the monster wait for it the spell to end (if it knows about them). my DM once told us a story where he had a monster wait for four hours before attacking the party. All there buffs had run out and it slaughtered them. More proof that DnD honors reckless bravery and suicidal charges over well thought-out plans.

and speaking of the game, it's called dungeons and dragons, not dungeons and ground based monsters

Saph
2008-07-05, 04:35 PM
Multiple class-leveled enemies instead of single big monsters? Minions? Battlefield controllers? Archers with readied actions to disrupt?

You don't actually need a readied action. Summon Nature's Ally / Summon Monster takes one full round to cast (ie, you have to stand there doing nothing but casting while everyone else takes their action).

I don't know about you guys, but my group ALWAYS treats a guy casting a full-round spell as an attack magnet. It's like hanging a giant sign over your head saying "Hey, everyone! I'm casting a really powerful and dangerous spell! You should kill me now!"

- Saph

Signmaker
2008-07-05, 05:33 PM
You don't actually need a readied action. Summon Nature's Ally / Summon Monster takes one full round to cast (ie, you have to stand there doing nothing but casting while everyone else takes their action).

I don't know about you guys, but my group ALWAYS treats a guy casting a full-round spell as an attack magnet. It's like hanging a giant sign over your head saying "Hey, everyone! I'm casting a really powerful and dangerous spell! You should kill me now!"

- Saph

Agreed.

"Gee, I REALLY hope that I DON'T GET HIT by something in the next SIX SECONDS of my life, trying to cast a REALLY USEFUL SPELL."

Course, skill tricks fix that problem somewhat (Conceal Spellcasting, I think). What's even better? When you get the player that insists on casting the "10 minute casting time". During combat. Without actually knowing that, yes, the spell takes TEN MINUTES.

kamikasei
2008-07-05, 05:36 PM
You don't actually need a readied action. Summon Nature's Ally / Summon Monster takes one full round to cast (ie, you have to stand there doing nothing but casting while everyone else takes their action).

Good point.

Silence
2008-07-05, 05:37 PM
Hmmmmmm....

Well, first of all you should have given him a watered down druid, but that's not possible at this point. Wait for the storm to blow over, and next time he levels up give him a new druid class that makes him balanced. Don't remove any abilities, just slow down the progression until the other guys have caught up. Talk to him OOG about this.

Signmaker
2008-07-05, 05:57 PM
Hmmmmmm....

Well, first of all you should have given him a watered down druid, but that's not possible at this point. Wait for the storm to blow over, and next time he levels up give him a new druid class that makes him balanced. Don't remove any abilities, just slow down the progression until the other guys have caught up. Talk to him OOG about this.

Considering his style of play, the druid's already watered down. Full-Round Spellcasting=Sitting Duck.

Silence
2008-07-05, 06:01 PM
If so, then this thread is dead.

Merlon
2008-07-05, 06:12 PM
If others act as shield during that round.... naah. Support, remember

Incorporeal, burroving, flying, blinking. Good choices.

Undead: Ghouls, Allips and everything else with nasty touch attacks. Paladin gets his chance to shine.

Read spellbook: He can summon only those animals that are supported by current enviroment. Get them into desert. Its kinda low on big predators.

Swarms: From summon swarm to hornet nests to anthills. Real pain to casters. Messes up the concentration. Wolves cannot do a thing against them either

Counterspellers: Use NPC casters.

Ambush: 10 kobolds with traps, poisoned arrows and cover.

And it is all purely core. PHB and MM :smallsmile:

Thrawn183
2008-07-05, 06:21 PM
If I was being attacked by wolves, I'm pretty sure I would climb a tree. I don't know many wolves that can climb. Sounds like a decent plan for your NPC's. (And any variation of climbing a tree such as climbing a boulder or something).

As stated above, one round cast times are damage magnets, especially considering the druid is at the perfect level for them. He/she has enough of a chance to make the concentration checks that it doesn't completely shut him/her down, but at the same time it certainly makes things more difficult.

I'd say right now your best bet is to try and add multiple variables into the same encounter. While a druid can do many different things, they can't do them all simultaneously. Give the other PC's something that must be while the fight is occuring.

Or just kneecap the player of the druid. I figure that will solve most of your problems too.

Eldariel
2008-07-05, 06:34 PM
If others act as shield during that round.... naah. Support, remember

Incorporeal, burroving, flying, blinking. Good choices.

The problem is, all those are easier for the Druid than for just about any other class.


Undead: Ghouls, Allips and everything else with nasty touch attacks. Paladin gets his chance to shine.

A Cleric would shine, a Paladin would just get destroyed; Paladins don't have Touch AC to speak of nor Wis to afford, their Turn Undead is worthless due to the level loss and they don't come packing any sort of Ghost Touch-abilities by default. Further, their damage is pretty pathetic even with Smite Evil as they lack the feats to boost it up, and their spellcasting is a joke. A Druid, companion and company with Greater Magic Fang and a large number of natural attacks would in turn make a short work of undead threats, incorporeal or otherwise, and Druid packs Restoration-effects to deal with any possible level-, stat- or other drains induced by those combats. I'd choose a Cleric over a Druid here and that's about it.


Read spellbook: He can summon only those animals that are supported by current enviroment. Get them into desert. Its kinda low on big predators.

That simply means you cannot summon landbound creatures into water and the other way around. There're always elementals too.


Swarms: From summon swarm to hornet nests to anthills. Real pain to casters. Messes up the concentration. Wolves cannot do a thing against them either.

Yes, but casters are actually the only thing that are really good against them due to area of effect damage spells. Non-casters are ****ed. Druid has plenty of ways to deal area damage. The Concentration-checks become a joke midway through. Call Lightning, Produce Flame, etc. Oh yeah, then there's the Gust of Wind-line to just Blow Them Away. Even Summon Nature's Ally: Air Elemental and have it Whirlwind works. If the player has any idea of what he's doing, I wouldn't even bother with swarms against Druids. Only Wizards have an easier time dealing with them.


Counterspellers: Use NPC casters.

Just use NPC casters as offense instead of defense; the best way to deal with a Druid is to use stuff like Enervation, Solid Fog and others that will really hit him hard. A Druid not casting spells is still kicking peoples' faces in with animal companion and himself. In fact, every action spent just to counter a Druid's spell is a disadvantage to the NPCs since the animal companion is shredding flesh at the same time.


Ambush: 10 kobolds with traps, poisoned arrows and cover.

And it is all purely core. PHB and MM :smallsmile:

As far as an ambush goes, Druid has Spot and Listen in class along with extreme Wisdom-focus. If anybody can spot an ambush, it's a Druid. If they're spotted, they can be forced out by either area of effect spells or a constant stream of summons. Also, Druids get poison immunity and have some of the best Fortitude-saves in the game so trying to poison them is a fool's errand.


Actually, Druid is probably the only class in the game that could deal with all such problems with relative ease. Even a Wizard can be suspectible to ambushes early on and Cleric doesn't deal with swarms that well due to the lack of efficient area-of-effect spells, but a Druid just does it all. A Druid is basically two full advancement melee characters (animal companion and the druid itself (wildshaped)), one full caster and one skill monkey rolled into one class. Essentially, a Druid is a party. In fact, throw a level equivalent Druid against a party without a Druid and expect an even fight. That's why it's so hard to challenge a Druid properly; a Druid can do everything. The point where he doesn't dominate anymore is ~level 10 onwards where Wizards and Clerics begin to surpass him (I'd say a Druid is more potent for the early game than either and that's saying a lot).

JeminiZero
2008-07-05, 07:37 PM
Have enemies with plenty of stuff that Deathward protects against (Energy Drain, Save or Die spells etc). Make sure the party knows about it before hand, so that they can cast deathward and protect themselves. They probably won't have enough deathward to protect the wolves as well.

May work with any other protective buff that is in sufficiently limited quantity that the Wolves can't be protected. (E.g. Freedom of Movement against grappling monsters)

Merlon
2008-07-05, 07:45 PM
I know. But for the downsize, druid still has to prepare his/her spells daily. His/her playstyle and usual spell list is unknown to me, but you can cash MANY swarms into CL8 - CL10. And you can do it often. Unless our druid has chosen all of his spells as area-effective, then sooner or later he/she will run out of them. Plus individually, mundane swarm are domewhat low on CL, therefore you can send them more often without handing out too much of xp.

SNA + Animal Growth + Magic fang = 3 spells. Another round for target practice.

Psionics. Not sure about it, but can you somehow facinate, command or otherwise control those wolves? The will save shouldn't be too high for animals...

As for the general. Druids, if played wisely, can tear the world apart. Most easiest is to use another caster against him. If he decides to read optimization rules, then i stand back and let others teach.

Cuddly
2008-07-05, 08:02 PM
As far as an ambush goes, Druid has Spot and Listen in class along with extreme Wisdom-focus. If anybody can spot an ambush, it's a Druid. If they're spotted, they can be forced out by either area of effect spells or a constant stream of summons. Also, Druids get poison immunity and have some of the best Fortitude-saves in the game so trying to poison them is a fool's errand.

Level 4 kobolds using an elite stat array and an NPC class are CR 1 creatures, but can easily hide from a druid.

7 ranks + 4 ability + 3 skill focus + 2 MW item + 12 size modifier (small build and a potion of shrink person) + 5 (2,500 gp item). That's +28.

The druid will have, at most, +20 (13 ranks + 7 wisdom). If he has a MW item and eyes of the eagle, then that bring it up to +27. He'll spot less than half the hidden kobolds. And at 1 CR a piece, the poisons will eventually bring him down.

Thurbane
2008-07-05, 08:12 PM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Protection From Evil - a simple, 1st level spell that completely nerfs those huge dire wolves.

Frost
2008-07-05, 08:13 PM
Level 4 kobolds using an elite stat array and an NPC class are CR 1 creatures, but can easily hide from a druid.

7 ranks + 4 ability + 3 skill focus + 2 MW item + 12 size modifier (small build and a potion of shrink person) + 5 (2,500 gp item). That's +28.

The druid will have, at most, +20 (13 ranks + 7 wisdom). If he has a MW item and eyes of the eagle, then that bring it up to +27. He'll spot less than half the hidden kobolds. And at 1 CR a piece, the poisons will eventually bring him down.

At level 10 He should have a +12 Wisdom Mod, and you missed the part about making other people useful. If no one can see the Kobolds, everyone dies. (If you can seriously always make hide checks) and the Druid can still cast Blinsight and no one else can.

Collin152
2008-07-05, 08:13 PM
Are Dire Wolves evil?
I thought they were neutral.

monty
2008-07-05, 08:16 PM
Are Dire Wolves evil?
I thought they were neutral.

It blocks all non-good summoned creatures. I double-checked.


Third, the spell prevents bodily contact by summoned creatures. This causes the natural weapon attacks of such creatures to fail and the creatures to recoil if such attacks require touching the warded creature. Good summoned creatures are immune to this effect. The protection against contact by summoned creatures ends if the warded creature makes an attack against or tries to force the barrier against the blocked creature. Spell resistance can allow a creature to overcome this protection and touch the warded creature.

Cuddly
2008-07-05, 08:33 PM
At level 10 He should have a +12 Wisdom Mod, and you missed the part about making other people useful. If no one can see the Kobolds, everyone dies. (If you can seriously always make hide checks) and the Druid can still cast Blinsight and no one else can.

34 wisdom by level 10?
Not in a real game where you start at a low level and work your way up (as it sounds like this group is doing).

The rest of the group will likely have much better AC than the druid & his animal companion, which makes the rest of the party less attractive targets. A fighter/ranger/hellreaver multiclass will have significantly higher fort saves than the druid. Furthermore, the dozens of kobolds' opening volley will target the druid. They really just have to target the druid to make his casting mess up. The other party members are free to wade around killing stuff.

Jack_Simth
2008-07-05, 08:34 PM
Dire Wolves are Large (needs a 10-foot cube to maneuver properly) - increased by Animal Growth, they're Huge (needs a 15-foot cube to maneuver properly). Put the party in a medium dungeon, and the Dire Wolves are useless (due to six-foot ceilings).

Animal Growth is a 5th level spell, and if he's using Summon Nature's Ally V for the 1d4+1 Dire Wolves, then he's using two 5th level spell slots for this tactic. At 9th, he might have two 5th level spell slots (1 base, one wisdom bonus), so he can only do it once per day. At 10th, he might have three 5th level spell slots (2 base, one Wisdom bonus) so he can only do it once per day (unless he's walking around with a couple of 5th level Pearls of Power, that is - and if that's the case, just eliminate the Pearls). As others have mentioned, hit the party with two, three, or four encounters and you're good. The game is (theoretically, at least) designed for about four encounters per day at encounter level = character level. Try it that way.

Summon Nature's Ally V is a 1-round action to cast. As others have mentioned, this means the Druid is casting until the beginning of his next turn on the first round - he's a very obvious target to anything that's reasonably intelligent, and each hit means a different concentration check (10 + damage dealt + spell level). Any old evocation at 1d6/caster level will ruin his day (10d6 averages 35 damage - have fun making that DC *50* concentration check to keep the spell if you fail the REFLEX save); even regular old archers will make the casting dicey (I had a Favored Soul in a party once that used Flame Strike this way to good effect).

They're Summoned creatures with no SR. A 1st level spell, Protection from Evil, means they can't touch the protected subject, no save allowed. Use Magic Circle against Evil (3rd) if you want to protect a reasonably large number of critters at once.

Anything that prevents planar travel will also prevent summoning.


Are Dire Wolves evil?
I thought they were neutral.
They are Neutral, but Protection From Evil prevents bodily contact from nongood Summoned creatures, rather than from Evil Summoned creatures as the name would suggest.

Eldariel
2008-07-05, 08:36 PM
Level 4 kobolds using an elite stat array and an NPC class are CR 1 creatures, but can easily hide from a druid.

7 ranks + 4 ability + 3 skill focus + 2 MW item + 12 size modifier (small build and a potion of shrink person) + 5 (2,500 gp item). That's +28.

The druid will have, at most, +20 (13 ranks + 7 wisdom). If he has a MW item and eyes of the eagle, then that bring it up to +27. He'll spot less than half the hidden kobolds. And at 1 CR a piece, the poisons will eventually bring him down.

If Druid is of such high level, he's immune to poison (9th level = Venom Immunity). Also, how are level 4 Kobolds even hitting anything of that level. Anyways, either the Druid can handle the sitiuation or nobody can. Also, spotting even one hiding Kobold is enough to know that there's an ambush; why go find out when you can send mooks instead or rain death on them?

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-07-05, 08:41 PM
As I recall, as Summoned monsters, they can all be rid of with a single area-effect Dispel Magic.

Really, most effective method is to send a LOT of encounters per day against them. Horde after horde of something. How about Kobold Hordes? Send a dozen or so level 1 rogue kobolds in. Then another dozen or so. Then another dozen or so. You get the idea. Send in about eight encounters before you let them camp. That druid isn't going to be feeling so frisky after the second or third, and will definately be hurting by the end of the day.

Hal
2008-07-05, 08:45 PM
What is it your players are fighting? If it's anything intelligent, chances are that rumors will spread, and the party will have a reputation for summoning wolves to fight. This means that future opponents will be prepared to deal with such creatures, such as net or pit traps to sequester the things, or something to banish them back where they came from.

YMMV.

Cuddly
2008-07-05, 08:46 PM
If Druid is of such high level, he's immune to poison (9th level = Venom Immunity).

Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Stupid druids.


Also, how are level 4 Kobolds even hitting anything of that level.

Aid another. And druids don't have very good AC, anyway. A flatfooted druid in hide armor and a couple magic effects has 15-17 AC, depending on how geared out he is. The ambushing kobolds will have at least +9 to hit (+3 BAB +4 dex +1 MW weapon +1 feat), more with more helper kobolds.


Anyways, either the Druid can handle the sitiuation or nobody can.

Not with his current tactic, since he'll be turned into a pincushion before he gets his spell off.


Also, spotting even one hiding Kobold is enough to know that there's an ambush; why go find out when you can send mooks instead or rain death on them?

No, it means the spotted kobold doesn't get a surprise round. It's really quite easy to construct a blind that prevents any of the characters from noticing kobolds until they're surrounded. Once they realize it's an ambush, they're already ambushed.

Eldariel
2008-07-05, 09:02 PM
Without Poison though, Tiny Kobolds will be shooting for 1d4 damage or something, not exactly something to be frightened of on level 10. His flat-footed AC could be around 20 if he happens to have Barkskin on (it lasts a bit under two hours at that point so it's a reasonable possibility). Also, if he has Monk's Belt (as he should), he'll get that +8 (Wis+1) to his AC (that specifically works when flat-footed too) making his flat-footed AC mid-high 20s depending on whether he's buffed or not.

His real AC could be in the 30s with rather minimal effort (a form with base AC of ~20, Barkskin and Monk's Belt), depending on his animal form. You could try tossing a bunch of sneaky Kobold Sorcerers at him though and use some simple evocation-spells such as Searing Ray or even just metamagicked Magic Missile. Heck, overloading the Fort-save could work. I dunno though, challenging a Druid without knowing his exact build and specifically going for his weaknesses is a hassle indeed. At least he isn't using Venomfire Fleshrakers.


That said, this particular Druid may have abusable weaknesses not part of the class, but the particular character (as you pointed out Cuddly). Hitting those may just make him play the character even better though and fix those weaknesses, which would be the polar opposite effect to what's being looked for here.

Utilizing them to balance the playground unnoticably could work though.

Signmaker
2008-07-05, 09:49 PM
Since when did Monk's Belt add Wis to AC? O.o

Also, the issue has been reasonably solved by now. Full-Round Casting= Sitting Duck = HIT ME, FOR MASSIVE DAMAGE. Have a kobold sorcerer with scorching rays at his disposal.

JeminiZero
2008-07-05, 10:08 PM
Another possibility that occured to me is to have enemies that can bring down wolves quickly but not anything else. Simplest way would be to give them Animal Bane weapons.

Edit: Or make them Rangers who put all their favored enemy stuff against animals.

Jack_Simth
2008-07-05, 10:09 PM
Since when did Monk's Belt add Wis to AC? O.o
Well, the item says:

Belt, Monk’s: This simple rope belt, when wrapped around a character’s waist, confers great ability in unarmed combat. The wearer’s AC and unarmed damage is treated as a monk of five levels higher. If donned by a character with the Stunning Fist feat, the belt lets her make one additional stunning attack per day. If the character is not a monk, she gains the AC and unarmed damage of a 5th-level monk. This AC bonus functions just like the monk’s AC bonus.

Moderate transmutation; CL 10th; Craft Wondrous Item, righteous might or transformation; Price 13,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.(Emphasis added)

What's a Monk's AC bonus?

AC Bonus (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, the monk adds her Wisdom bonus (if any) to her AC. In addition, a monk gains a +1 bonus to AC at 5th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every five monk levels thereafter (+2 at 10th, +3 at 15th, and +4 at 20th level).

These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the monk is flat-footed. She loses these bonuses when she is immobilized or helpless, when she wears any armor, when she carries a shield, or when she carries a medium or heavy load.
Now, there is a small amount of debate on this - occasionally, someone claims that the AC of a 5th level monk refers just to the +1 listed on the table under "AC Bonus", rather than the actual ability entry. That's not a particularly common interpretation, though, for a 13k item that precludes the use of Armor and Shield, which are the cheapest methods of getting AC.

Chronos
2008-07-05, 10:22 PM
Quoth Thrawn183:
If I was being attacked by wolves, I'm pretty sure I would climb a tree. I don't know many wolves that can climb. Sounds like a decent plan for your NPC's. (And any variation of climbing a tree such as climbing a boulder or something).Yeah, but then the wolves will just surround the trees, and go get some goblins to set fire to them.

Jack_Simth
2008-07-05, 10:25 PM
Yeah, but then the wolves will just surround the trees, and go get some goblins to set fire to them.
Although in this case, that isn't an option - they're combat summons, they've got no more than one minute on this plane before they go home.

Plus they've got an Int of 2.

monty
2008-07-05, 10:36 PM
Although in this case, that isn't an option - they're combat summons, they've got no more than one minute on this plane before they go home.

Plus they've got an Int of 2.

He was making a Hobbit reference...

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-07-05, 11:23 PM
Although in this case, that isn't an option - they're combat summons, they've got no more than one minute on this plane before they go home.

Plus they've got an Int of 2.Just as an aside, 2 int is apparently enough for combat tactics. Wolves are usually the example of this, as IRL they use flanking and ambushes to take down prey.

Jack_Simth
2008-07-05, 11:49 PM
Just as an aside, 2 int is apparently enough for combat tactics. Wolves are usually the example of this, as IRL they use flanking and ambushes to take down prey.
Basically all wild wolves everywhere use the same set of fairly limited tactics. There's even a good argument for it being instinctive, in that the herding dog breeds maintain certain aspects of those tactics even with no training whatsoever - that's part of what makes them good herding dogs.

Frost
2008-07-06, 06:56 AM
34 wisdom by level 10?
Not in a real game where you start at a low level and work your way up (as it sounds like this group is doing).

The rest of the group will likely have much better AC than the druid & his animal companion, which makes the rest of the party less attractive targets. A fighter/ranger/hellreaver multiclass will have significantly higher fort saves than the druid. Furthermore, the dozens of kobolds' opening volley will target the druid. They really just have to target the druid to make his casting mess up. The other party members are free to wade around killing stuff.

1) Sorry, 32 Wisdom, my bad. That's 18+2 level up+6 item+6 Racial, or +2 Racial +2 age.

2) Did you miss the part where he is a Druid? And therefore casts spells on himself, wears a Monk's belt and is transformed into a creature with a much better Dex and Natural Armor. He has better AC then the rest of the party. And he has better fort saves then any non-multiclass, and he's immune to poison.

3) So your solution is to have all enemies only attack the Druid and ignore other party members? Yeah, you can do that without an ambush too.

Eldariel
2008-07-06, 07:08 AM
+6 item is over half the WPL for level 10 characters and thus not really acquisable (getting it and Monk's Belt would be your entire WPL). Also, Anthromorphic Bat shouldn't really be the core line for Druids; Human Druids are fairly common (since feats are very valuable to Druids) and a Middle Aged Human Druid will have mere 21 natural Wis at that point, getting it to 25 via item. 26 would come on level 12 (along with +6 item). Lesser Aasimar or some other race with natural +2 Wis would of course get the +8 at this point, but +7 is a good guideline for all the Strongheart Halflings and Humans around.

Frost
2008-07-06, 07:34 AM
+6 item is over half the WPL for level 10 characters and thus not really acquisable (getting it and Monk's Belt would be your entire WPL). Also, Anthromorphic Bat shouldn't really be the core line for Druids; Human Druids are fairly common (since feats are very valuable to Druids) and a Middle Aged Human Druid will have mere 21 natural Wis at that point, getting it to 25 via item. 26 would come on level 12 (along with +6 item). Lesser Aasimar or some other race with natural +2 Wis would of course get the +8 at this point, but +7 is a good guideline for all the Strongheart Halflings and Humans around.

+6 item is acquirable only in leveling up games, because nothing stops you from saving your money for something valuable instead of spending it like a retard on things that don't help as much like the creating high level characters guidelines demand.

And seriously? Feats for a Druid. Your level 1 Druid feat is usually a wash. You can't really do anything with feats until level 6, unless you are a Kobold or Elan.

Eldariel
2008-07-06, 07:37 AM
You can take those feats you want later on first level. Extend Spell is one, Multiattack another. If you're in a game where you need party tracker, that Track-feat is handy. Nymph's Kiss is great for Druids too. Then there's Greenbound Summoning, Augment Summoning (requiring Spell Focus: Conjuration), etc. Basically, feats are never useless, especially not for Druid.

kamikasei
2008-07-06, 07:48 AM
+6 item is acquirable only in leveling up games, because nothing stops you from saving your money for something valuable instead of spending it like a retard on things that don't help as much like the creating high level characters guidelines demand.

Eh?

You're arguing it's more practical to save up for one high-value item at a higher level if you have to play through all those levels where you're stuck without gear, than if you are just spending a given sum of money while setting up a higher-level character?

Frost
2008-07-06, 08:00 AM
Eh?

You're arguing it's more practical to save up for one high-value item at a higher level if you have to play through all those levels where you're stuck without gear, than if you are just spending a given sum of money while setting up a higher-level character?

Yes, because if you start at higher level you have to follow the rules about item purchases, whereas if you play through it you can have the common sense to realize that getting the +6 Wisdom item 4 levels early is worth more to you then having another +2 to a less important stat, which you then also have to buy a Wilding Clasp for.


You can take those feats you want later on first level. Extend Spell is one, Multiattack another. If you're in a game where you need party tracker, that Track-feat is handy. Nymph's Kiss is great for Druids too. Then there's Greenbound Summoning, Augment Summoning (requiring Spell Focus: Conjuration), etc. Basically, feats are never useless, especially not for Druid.

No, and yet none of them is worth a +6 to wisdom.

The difference here is that you are talking almost exclusively about a summoning Druid, while I am not. Granted it is quite possible that the character in question is a summon based druid, he might also just be using it as a tactic for a few levels, and might be built as a casting + melee monstrosity.

And Multiattack has a pre-req you don't qualify for unless you are a Kobold or have Wildshape, thus my point.

Eldariel
2008-07-06, 08:08 AM
No, and yet none of them is worth a +6 to wisdom.

The difference here is that you are talking almost exclusively about a summoning Druid, while I am not. Granted it is quite possible that the character in question is a summon based druid, he might also just be using it as a tactic for a few levels, and might be built as a casting + melee monstrosity.

And Multiattack has a pre-req you don't qualify for unless you are a Kobold or have Wildshape, thus my point.

It is true that Anthromorphic Bat is the best form for a Druid, but I can see many games where the extra feat gives you further mileage. Also, I can see even more cases where being a bat just isn't an option (like every game ever that doesn't allow Savage Species, which is probably the majority...). My point is that when you're doing such comparison, you should go by what's likely to be allowed in an average game, not what's the absolutely most optimized version possible of the character at hands.

kamikasei
2008-07-06, 08:17 AM
Yes, because if you start at higher level you have to follow the rules about item purchases, whereas if you play through it you can have the common sense to realize that getting the +6 Wisdom item 4 levels early is worth more to you then having another +2 to a less important stat, which you then also have to buy a Wilding Clasp for.

I know of no rules about item purchases, only guidelines. More to the point you're glossing over the idea that playing up to level 10 saving money for a +6 item is, firstly, possible (are you going to be able to sell every single magic item you come across and end up with enough gold to purchase the item - and will it be for sale?), and secondly feasibly (you're not going to have any usable magic items worth mentioning for ten levels?)

Furthermore, your original post said


At level 10 He should have a +12 Wisdom Mod...

"Should have" and "is capable of having, as an edge case" are different things, not least given your seeming assumption that all druids have Anthropomorphic Bat as their base race.

Saph
2008-07-06, 08:25 AM
I"Should have" and "is capable of having, as an edge case" are different things, not least given your seeming assumption that all druids have Anthropomorphic Bat as their base race.

Does anyone allow that race? Apart from how stupid it looks, it's like announcing to everyone that you want to break their game. I mean, you're playing a Druid already, and that's not enough for you? You need to twink out your stats as well?

And on the stat-bonus note, the highest stat-bonus item I've ever seen on a 10th-level character was a +4 - and that character was a wizard, specialised in crafting items, who'd just had three months of downtime.

A realistic Wisdom mod for an strong-but-not-twinked 10th-level druid who'd played up through the levels in a reasonably balanced campaign would be about +6. That's either 16/17 starting with a +4 item, or 18 starting with a +2 item).

- Saph

Eldariel
2008-07-06, 08:43 AM
+4 Wis is very realistic as long as MiC rules are allowed (for upgrading items). A Druid really needs nothing beyond Wis, Monk's Belt and a bunch of wands (for healing fools).

Tempest Fennac
2008-07-06, 10:14 AM
Is the player aware that he's boring the other players? I agree that talking to him while asking him to stop overshadowing everyone. If he doesn't stop it killing his character off and making him use a more balanced Druid Variant (while possibly banninga couple of spells) would probably be your only solution if he won't listen to you.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-07-06, 10:36 AM
Did anyone mention counterspelling?

Start seeding wizards (or better yet, sorcerers!) with Improved Counterspell into major encounters and pray for good rolls to counter his Ace. As V says "counterspelling is a legitimate, if seldom used, means of neutralizing a spellcaster (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0166.html)." :smalltongue:

Hal
2008-07-06, 10:48 AM
Did anyone mention counterspelling?

Start seeding wizards (or better yet, sorcerers!) with Improved Counterspell into major encounters and pray for good rolls to counter his Ace. As V says "counterspelling is a legitimate, if seldom used, means of neutralizing a spellcaster (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0166.html)." :smalltongue:

Good point! Alternatively, there's a divine feat (forgot the name) that allows you to burn Turn Undead attempts to counterspell. This wouldn't be a bad enemy to encounter.

RebelRogue
2008-07-06, 10:59 AM
True. A sorcerer with Improved Counterspell, Improved Initiative and Reactive Counterspell should be a real nuisance. If you really feel like being mean allow him the option of ditching his familiar (don't remember what it's called, but it's from PHB2 IIRC) and giving him Heighten Spell as well.

Eldariel
2008-07-06, 11:05 AM
At that point the Druid and animal companion just go to beat ass with their hour/level buffs (two targets to dispel per spell, all at highish caster level) and Wildshape (undispellable) in melee.

kamikasei
2008-07-06, 11:12 AM
Indeed, I'm surprised that this spell combo is what the OP's worried about, given that the druid can make himself a bigger and more versatile threat.

Chronicled
2008-07-06, 11:32 AM
At that point the Druid and animal companion just go to beat ass with their hour/level buffs (two targets to dispel per spell, all at highish caster level) and Wildshape (undispellable) in melee.

Eh, have more than one sorcerer, and have some bodyguards for them. And have an invisible rogue also gunning for the Druid or his animal companion. It's not so unbelievable if they've been given orders to take out the Druid first.

xPANCAKEx
2008-07-06, 11:41 AM
bring out a druid of your own to tie him up - not a permanent solution, but could be fun to watch

Merlon
2008-07-06, 11:43 AM
Let us take time out from the guesswork.

Albonor, can you provide us with some charsheet data. Stat array, EQ, maybe skill list and usual spells if you can recall them.

Waspinator
2008-07-06, 12:06 PM
Well, you know how Druids get their power from nature? Think about it.

Like Smokey the Arsonist says, "Only YOU can prevent forests!"

Gorbash
2008-07-06, 12:11 PM
3. SNA takes one full round to cast. Have the enemies nail him with a ranged attack or charge when he starts casting, causing him to lose the spell.

Wait - what?! I know that summoning takes one round to cast, but doesn't it mean that's one player's round, not everyone's else too? Or am I wrong?

Oracle_Hunter
2008-07-06, 12:14 PM
Wait - what?! I know that summoning takes one round to cast, but doesn't it mean that's one player's round, not everyone's else too? Or am I wrong?

No, no, it's a Full Round spell, not a Standard action. They're pretty easy to disrupt, unless you have a feat that lets you use a useful skill rather than Concentration for your check.

Eldariel
2008-07-06, 12:18 PM
Wait... Are there casters that don't max Concentration? That's like a Druid without Natural Spell.

Mark Hall
2008-07-06, 12:20 PM
As stated earlier, this is very easy to do with a Magic Circle v. (Alignment). Hide From Animals would also be effective, and possibly even more confusing... the characters see the targets, and have no clue as to why the dire wolves aren't doing anything.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-07-06, 12:22 PM
Wait... Are there casters that don't max Concentration? That's like a Druid without Natural Spell.

There's a Bard feat that allows you to swap Perform for any Concentration check you have to make, as an example. :smalltongue:

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-07-06, 12:22 PM
Simple answer, again, is just throw lots and lots of encounters at the party.

Your druid can do this, what, once? Maybe twice? Throw 6-8 encounters per day at them, give them time constraints so they can't just hide in their Rope Trick whenever the druid runs out of Animal Growth.

Tempest Fennac
2008-07-06, 12:35 PM
Isn't that punishing the rest of the party as much as the Druid, though? That doesn't sound like the best answer due to the party getting bored of the Druid owning every encounter.

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-07-06, 06:22 PM
Isn't that punishing the rest of the party as much as the Druid, though? That doesn't sound like the best answer due to the party getting bored of the Druid owning every encounter.

Quite the reverse, in fact.

It seems as though the other party members aren't crippled when they can't cast a particular spell combo, so they have a lot more 'staying power'.

Basically, the Druid owns the first, even the second encounter. After that, he can't pull his trick anymore, and the rest of the party, having conserved their daily stuff, gets to have a chance to pull the Druid's fat out of the fryer.

Multiple encounters per day is only crippling if you are spell-dependent, such as the druid spell combo.

Worira
2008-07-06, 06:53 PM
That's really not true. Either the battles are easy enough that the druid can just wild shape and gang up with his animal companion, or they're difficult enough that you get a TPK when the druid/cleric runs out of healing spells then everyone runs out of health.

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-07-06, 07:12 PM
That's really not true. Either the battles are easy enough that the druid can just wild shape and gang up with his animal companion, or they're difficult enough that you get a TPK when the druid/cleric runs out of healing spells then everyone runs out of health.

Again, not true.

This particular Druid seems to have gone for a casting focus, which means doesn't have a lot of the things in place to make the wildshaping truely horrid. And really, if the Druid wades in with wildshape and animal companion, that's great, that's a lot more balanced than what has been going on.

The thread was specifically 'How to stop this tactic'. I answered. Multiple encounters. They don't even need to be tough encounters, just enough for him to blow his combo on. Following encounters don't need to be all that strong either, just have lots of little things running around. How about eight level 5 kobolds running around? Three Rogues and two Sorcerers. That'll be enough to evade the druid + companion and let the rest of the party have some fun.

Kiara LeSabre
2008-07-06, 07:37 PM
There's a simple answer to the original post:

Your problem is the 3.5e gaming system, which is fundamentally (grossly) unbalanced to the point of nigh-unplayability, even when played innocently as apparently intended in the case of druids. If you don't want druids to be overpowered, the simplest solution is to simply ban druids, because druids are obnoxiously overpowered like water is wet.

If, instead, you just want the whole party to be able to contribute without having to ban druids, make everyone else create new characters at the appropriate level, but don't allow anyone to make a character that isn't an artificer, psion, cleric, wizard or at least sorcerer (but try to steer would-be sorcerers to either wizards or psions). In the case of the arcane casters, make Logic Ninja's guide required reading, and in the case of the cleric, make sure the player understands that clerics are meant to buff and replace fighters as fighters while also casting, not so much to heal the party. Bards may also be allowed situationally, only if the player is a highly advanced optimizer who knows how to supercharge them.

There. Now everyone can contribute. Be sure to throw encounters ridiculously higher than the "appropriate" challenge rating at them, because they're going to effortlessly demolish anything less.

Or ... if you just want to know how to stop that druid, though, light up the old Bat-signal and call in everyone's favorite even more overpowered class. Again, see Logic Ninja's guide.

Finally, if you just want a system that's balanced and allows everyone in the party to matter, pick a different system to play.

grinner666
2008-07-06, 07:58 PM
I really don't see the problem here. The druid's around tenth level, fine. He wants to spend his only two (or two of his three) highest-level spells in one encounter? He should dominate ... for that encounter. Imagine the damage a 10th-level wizard could inflict with a Wall of Force spell (to keep the enemies in place) and Cloudkill ... they're the same level spells. By comparison what the OP's druid is doing is fairly tame.

Also remember that the number of lower-level creatures summoned by a SNA spell is random. There may mathematically be as good a chance of getting five dire wolves as two, but two is far less impressive than five, and chance nearly always screws the players ... unless the DM is allowing them to roll their dice behind a screen, and the OP doesn't sound like an idiot ...

But the OP is looking for ways to counter this tactic. Multiple daily encounters is certainly part of the answer. LET the druid kick ass for one encounter every day ... he may very well regret using up his two most powerful spells in the first or second encounter when the fourth encounter shows up and turns out to be a real ... you'll excuse the pun ... bear. You don't even need to hit them six or eight times a day as another poster suggested. The "standard" four or so encounters daily will give the other PCs plenty of chance to shine before or after the druid chooses to blow his best spells.

Intelligent opponents with the Spellcraft skill ready to counterspell, or less magically-savvy creatures just ready to inflict a lot of damage, forcing Concentration checks, is also another valid counter-tactic.

Another ameliorating possibility is creatures with damage resistance. Granted, summon-augmented huge dire wolves do a LOT of damage ... 2d6+16 if my calculations are correct ... but there are plenty of CR 10 or less creatures with DR 10/magic (or DR10/silver, or good, or ...). 2d6+6 is a lot less impressive than 2d6+16, especially when the PCs most likely have magic weapons that will do their full damage.

Frost
2008-07-06, 08:02 PM
Or just read and use the Tome's.

Leewei
2008-07-06, 08:07 PM
The countermeasures discussed here, especially magic circle and protection from spells, are pretty good. I'd add a couple of thoughts:

1. Dire Wolves are animals. The spell summons NPCs under the DM's control. These NPCs are loyal to the caster, and attack his enemies to the best of their ability -- however they are not very imaginative. If the bad guys run when they're initially summoned, they may not be clustered together optimally for animal growth (which requires them to be within 30 feet of each other). Under most circumstances, he'd probably only be able to hit 2-3 of them with this buff.

2. Line of sight is required for targeting. If the Dire Wolves run around a corner, or an NPC casts obscuring mist or the like, animal growth won't have any valid targets.

3. The wolves last for about 10 rounds. NPCs can entangle them, slow them, etc. There are many fine delaying tactics that will run out the summons.

4. No enemies present effectively wastes the summons. If someone throws an illusion at the PCs, or a weak encounter jumps them and get quickly taken down by the wolves, the druid's tactic is spent.

grinner666
2008-07-06, 08:38 PM
1. Dire Wolves are animals. The spell summons NPCs under the DM's control. These NPCs are loyal to the caster, and attack his enemies to the best of their ability -- however they are not very imaginative. If the bad guys run when they're initially summoned, they may not be clustered together optimally for animal growth (which requires them to be within 30 feet of each other). Under most circumstances, he'd probably only be able to hit 2-3 of them with this buff.

Wolves are pack animals ... their usual tactic is to gang up on one opponent (well, prey animal). I tend to doubt five of them would go chasing off after five different targets. As you said, they're animals; they'll follow their nature. So forcing them apart so the DM can attenuate the power of the character's best spell is the worst kind of manipulation other than cheating on the dice rolls to ensure hurting the PCs.

Also, if the Druid happens to have a Speak With Animals spell prepared, the wolves will not be under the DM's control. To quote Summon Nature's Ally 1:

"If you can communicate with the creature, you can direct it not to attack, to attack particular enemies, or to perform other actions."

Therefore your logic is deeply flawed in this case. Not only are wolves by their very nature likely to stay in proximity to one another, a well-prepared druid is fully capable of ordering them where his spell will be fully effective. Of course then he's using THREE of his spells in one encounter ...

Jack_Simth
2008-07-06, 08:52 PM
Of course then he's using THREE of his spells in one encounter ...Yes, but the third spell is 1st level, and thus much less important. If he's got the feat for it, he can even Quicken it (although that puts it up at "heavy resource cost").

grinner666
2008-07-06, 09:08 PM
Yes, but the third spell is 1st level, and thus much less important. If he's got the feat for it, he can even Quicken it (although that puts it up at "heavy resource cost").

Yeah, but that wasn't the point. The point was, Leewei's logic was terribly, terribly flawed. :smalltongue:

Cuddly
2008-07-06, 09:10 PM
1) Sorry, 32 Wisdom, my bad. That's 18+2 level up+6 item+6 Racial, or +2 Racial +2 age.

So a hypothetical druid. We're not talking about hypothetical bat druids.


2) Did you miss the part where he is a Druid? And therefore casts spells on himself, wears a Monk's belt and is transformed into a creature with a much better Dex and Natural Armor. He has better AC then the rest of the party. And he has better fort saves then any non-multiclass, and he's immune to poison.

Dex won't matter; he's flat footed. His natural armor, at level 10, won't be terrific from his animal form. Nothing more than +8. He won't have any sources of other AC, since his magic items don't function in his animal form (unless he puts some of them after he shifts). His combat buffs won't be up, since he's not in combat. You know, it's an ambush?

Furthermore, he may not travel in animal form if he wants to talk to his companions or something.


3) So your solution is to have all enemies only attack the Druid and ignore other party members? Yeah, you can do that without an ambush too.

An ambush negates a large part of the druid's repertoire. Well, druids in real games, not hypothetical bat druids who travel as dire tortoises or whatever.

Aquillion
2008-07-06, 09:19 PM
I know. But for the downsize, druid still has to prepare his/her spells daily. His/her playstyle and usual spell list is unknown to me, but you can cash MANY swarms into CL8 - CL10. And you can do it often. Unless our druid has chosen all of his spells as area-effective, then sooner or later he/she will run out of them. Plus individually, mundane swarm are domewhat low on CL, therefore you can send them more often without handing out too much of xp.Don't forget:

A druid doesn't have to prepare SNA spells, they can convert spontaneously to them like a cleric does with the cure line.

And there exist SNA options that are good against swarms (certain elementals, mainly). So it's basically impossible to catch a mid to high-level druid without at least some decent anti-swarm options.

Eldariel
2008-07-06, 09:23 PM
An ambush negates a large part of the druid's repertoire. Well, druids in real games, not hypothetical bat druids who travel as dire tortoises or whatever.

When travelling in hostile territory, animal shape travel is actually a likely option especially if you have enough attempts to turn into Human-form for social encounters. With 4 uses per day on level 10, it's very affordable already. And since he's using it longterm, he can have his allies put on his Monk's Belt afterwards (or do it himself if he uses a biped form), which is immediately +8 to AC. Alternatively, he could use Wilding Clasps (he can afford Wis-item +4, Monk's Belt and 2 Clasps easily).

I'd say it's a safe bet he'll have at least Hide Armor (+3 AC) and Monk's Belt in his Human-form too, giving him a flat-footed AC of 21 without any ongoing buffs. In animal form, he'll probably have ~25 or so without buffs. Barkskin is a level 2 10 min/level buff, so it's not too unlikely and if he has that, he's got +4 to those numbers (add Extend spell and by using 3 3rd level slots, he'll have it up for 9 hours every day; 4 for 12 - of course, it's kinda wasteful on these levels, but handy for long days. He should mostly have hour/level buffs on for whole day though; Greater Magic Fang, Venomfire, so on).


I'm just saying, don't underestimate his flatfooted AC, and the difficulty of actually catching him by surprise, especially if he likes different kinds of spotting spells. Tiny creatures could do it, but tiny creatures that actually threaten him? Seems unlikely.

Mark Hall
2008-07-06, 09:27 PM
Yes, but the third spell is 1st level, and thus much less important. If he's got the feat for it, he can even Quicken it (although that puts it up at "heavy resource cost").

Really, I don't think it would be unreasonable for a druid to develop a magic item to have constant speak with animals.

Cuddly
2008-07-06, 09:29 PM
When travelling in hostile territory, animal shape travel is actually a likely option especially if you have enough attempts to turn into Human-form for social encounters. With 4 uses per day on level 10, it's very affordable already. And since he's using it longterm, he can have his allies put on his Monk's Belt afterwards (or do it himself if he uses a biped form), which is immediately +8 to AC. Alternatively, he could use Wilding Clasps (he can afford Wis-item +4, Monk's Belt and 2 Clasps easily).

I'd say it's a safe bet he'll have at least Hide Armor (+3 AC) and Monk's Belt in his Human-form too, giving him a flat-footed AC of 21 without any ongoing buffs. In animal form, he'll probably have ~25 or so without buffs. Barkskin is a level 2 10 min/level buff, so it's not too unlikely and if he has that, he's got +4 to those numbers (add Extend spell and by using 3 3rd level slots, he'll have it up for 9 hours every day; 4 for 12 - of course, it's kinda wasteful on these levels, but handy for long days. He should mostly have hour/level buffs on for whole day though; Greater Magic Fang, Venomfire, so on).


I'm just saying, don't underestimate his flatfooted AC, and the difficulty of actually catching him by surprise, especially if he likes different kinds of spotting spells.

Can't benefit from hide and a monk's belt at the same time. Also, GMF goes away when you shift back to human form. Unless he's a kobold or something.

Eldariel
2008-07-06, 09:34 PM
Wops about Hide, my bad. So his flat-footed AC in human form would be about 18. That could hurt, provided that you manage to surprise him with creatures that matter. Still, if he expects trouble (or even if he doesn't, but just can get away with it), I'd fully expect him to be in a wildshape form.

I'm not sure about Greater Magic Fang. If you use it on specific attack, that seems correct, but if you instead imbue all natural weapons, not having any shouldn't remove the spell as the only target the spell has at that point is the living creature and therefore the spell should retain functioning even without natural weapons to affect.

Oh yeah, and Monk's Belt gives you natural weapons in your normal form too (since you get Monk's Unarmed Strike, which is specifically 'natural weapon'). Oh, and Shifter qualifies too and is actually a good Druid-race, especially those Dreamsight Shifters with Wis-bonus while Shifting.

grinner666
2008-07-06, 10:09 PM
When travelling in hostile territory, animal shape travel is actually a likely option especially if you have enough attempts to turn into Human-form for social encounters. With 4 uses per day on level 10, it's very affordable already. And since he's using it longterm, he can have his allies put on his Monk's Belt afterwards (or do it himself if he uses a biped form), which is immediately +8 to AC. Alternatively, he could use Wilding Clasps (he can afford Wis-item +4, Monk's Belt and 2 Clasps easily).

I'd say it's a safe bet he'll have at least Hide Armor (+3 AC) and Monk's Belt in his Human-form too, giving him a flat-footed AC of 21 without any ongoing buffs. In animal form, he'll probably have ~25 or so without buffs. Barkskin is a level 2 10 min/level buff, so it's not too unlikely and if he has that, he's got +4 to those numbers (add Extend spell and by using 3 3rd level slots, he'll have it up for 9 hours every day; 4 for 12 - of course, it's kinda wasteful on these levels, but handy for long days. He should mostly have hour/level buffs on for whole day though; Greater Magic Fang, Venomfire, so on).


I'm just saying, don't underestimate his flatfooted AC, and the difficulty of actually catching him by surprise, especially if he likes different kinds of spotting spells.

Sorry, but this post is wrong in so many ways it hurts to look at it.

Let's start with the basics: the Monk's Belt specifically states that "if the character is not a monk, she gains the AC and unarmed damage of a 5th-level monk". Therefore if the character is wearing Hide armor his flatfooted AC is 13. If he ISN'T wearing armor, his flatfooted AC is 16 with a 20 Wis/Average Dex. Where you come up with a +8 AC from a Wisdom/level monk bonus is beyond me. A monk doesn't get an AC bonus from Wisdom or levels when wearing armor of any sort, and EVERYBODY loses his Dex bonus when flat-footed.

The Wilding Clasp limits druids to ONE magic item they can use while Wild Shaped. A clasp closes a cloak around the throat, which means it uses the same space as a necklace or brooch. Much like a Hand of Glory, if the DM has any common sense at all.

One of the things I still love about 3.x is that it allows DM interpretation. Far as I'm concerned (others may feel free to disagree but I feel the OP will not) a magic item must be worn as it was MEANT to be worn or it's useless. You can't stick a ring through a druid-bull's nose, for example, and expect it to work. So tying a monk's belt around a non-humanoid druid's torso won't do diddly. At least in my campaign.

And if he's using three 3rd-level slots for Barkskin, the druid is REALLY not thinking beyond the first encounter, which makes it easy to screw his usefulness. Just wait for the first encounter (once or twice) 'til after he's used up his nine hours of Barkskin. He'll quit bothering to cast it before combat begins.

grinner666
2008-07-06, 10:19 PM
Also, GMF goes away when you shift back to human form. Unless he's a kobold or something.

Sorry, you're mistaken. EVERYBODY has a natural attack, even if it isn't an attack that threatens opponents. Of course a +1 to a humanoid's natural (fist, kick, whatever) attacks is pretty worthless, but it doesn't make it any less effective if the character changes BACK into something with an EFFECTIVE natural attack.

Frost
2008-07-06, 10:22 PM
1) Real Druids travel in animal form all the time, and often have buff spells up, and bat druids are in no way more hypothetical then druids that start with an 18 base, but you don't seem to be arguing that 18s never happen in 4d6b3, so he can't expect that.

2) Monk's belt+Animal form+Barkskin or Beastskin Armor (lt me guess real Druids never have that either)+Animal Form AC+Barkskin. Depending on the build.

3) No Magic Fang doesn't go away, spells only check to see valid targets when cast. Or do you think that Polymorph Other Permanently turns you into a Gold Dragon? Because after you cast it you are a Gold Dragon, so the duration counter becomes 10 becomes Permanent.

Or how about any spell that says it can be cast on only X (where X is magic weapon/non-magic weapon/bludgeoning weapon/whatever) and then turns that into not-X?

Frost
2008-07-06, 10:24 PM
The Wilding Clasp limits druids to ONE magic item they can use while Wild Shaped. A clasp closes a cloak around the throat, which means it uses the same space as a necklace or brooch. Much like a Hand of Glory, if the DM has any common sense at all.

Maybe you should read the description of Wilding Clasp in the MiC before you start calling us all idiots for being right and ignoring your made up rule that directly contradicts the description of the item.

Eldariel
2008-07-06, 10:26 PM
Let's start with the basics: the Monk's Belt specifically states that "if the character is not a monk, she gains the AC and unarmed damage of a 5th-level monk". Therefore if the character is wearing Hide armor his flatfooted AC is 13. If he ISN'T wearing armor, his flatfooted AC is 16 with a 20 Wis/Average Dex. Where you come up with a +8 AC from a Wisdom/level monk bonus is beyond me. A monk doesn't get an AC bonus from Wisdom or levels when wearing armor of any sort, and EVERYBODY loses his Dex bonus when flat-footed.

You got ninja'd. Also, 24 Wis = +8 AC (+7 Wis, +1 Monk)


The Wilding Clasp limits druids to ONE magic item they can use while Wild Shaped. A clasp closes a cloak around the throat, which means it uses the same space as a necklace or brooch. Much like a Hand of Glory, if the DM has any common sense at all.

You buy two. Whoopedoo. Directly from Magic Item Compendium: "A wilding clasp can be attached to any item worn on the body." That is, it isn't used as standard clasps are used. Want to houserule it? Fine. You can't use houserules in public discussions though since they only apply to your game, not everyone else's.


One of the things I still love about 3.x is that it allows DM interpretation. Far as I'm concerned (others may feel free to disagree but I feel the OP will not) a magic item must be worn as it was MEANT to be worn or it's useless. You can't stick a ring through a druid-bull's nose, for example, and expect it to work. So tying a monk's belt around a non-humanoid druid's torso won't do diddly. At least in my campaign.

I wonder how many DMs truly rule that a belt couldn't somehow be worn by some form; just about every creature ever has a waist. Again, you've got houserules, good for you. They just aren't part of the public discussion since they again apply only to your game.

And yea, all D&D-versions have lots of flexibility for DM and DM can always ultimately say "No". Lacking a set of public houserules (which would defeat the purpose of DM veto, ironically), those rules really do not contribute much to public discussion though.


And if he's using three 3rd-level slots for Barkskin, the druid is REALLY not thinking beyond the first encounter, which makes it easy to screw his usefulness. Just wait for the first encounter (once or twice) 'til after he's used up his nine hours of Barkskin. He'll quit bothering to cast it before combat begins.

9 hours is over half an adventuring day. Adding 4th, it's 12 hours and after that, you'll already be resting. So he'll have Barkskin up effectively whole adventuring day. I'll bet he'll be able to use it in most encounters. Metagaming against a player just because he uses common sense on how to utilize longterm buffs per day is pretty low.


In other words, what I say doesn't apply to your games because you have a billion houserules. That doesn't make what I said 'wrong'. I just hope your players are able to play your game; as long as it serves to improve the play experience, it's all for the better.

Leewei
2008-07-06, 10:53 PM
Wolves are pack animals ... their usual tactic is to gang up on one opponent (well, prey animal). I tend to doubt five of them would go chasing off after five different targets...</snip>
Whether Dire Wolves have the same instinct we see in real world wolves is pretty much entirely a matter of DM interpretation. I'd add that pack hunting tactics are not swarming tactics and typically involves flanking and feinting to wear down prey.

The fact is, though, that a single Dire Wolf is a 10'x10' creature on the battle map. You can only line up 3 of them shoulder-to-shoulder and have them in the area of animal growth. Optimally, you could hit as many as 5, however they almost certainly wouldn't stay in a 'plus' formation.


Also, if the Druid happens to have a Speak With Animals spell prepared, the wolves will not be under the DM's control....</snip>

Prepared does not mean cast. The spell in question is minutes per level, so not likely something cast in advance. The OP didn't mention Quicken as a Feat, so I'll assume this is another Standard Action for our druid. I'll run by what I'd consider a reasonable example:

Round 1. Druid begins to cast summon nature's ally v.

Round 2. Wolves lunge targets, druid curses and casts speak with animals. Druid orders wolves into formation.

Round 3. Druid casts animal growth, affecting his 1d4+1 Dire Wolves. Druid then orders them into the fray.

Meanwhile, other PCs have had two or three rounds to arrange themselves and fight their opponents. The druid's dominance over the fight looks pretty questionable.


Therefore your logic is deeply flawed in this case...</snip>

Eh. The only judge for my "logic" here is the OP. Hopefully, he'll find my suggestions useful.

Idea Man
2008-07-06, 11:46 PM
I'm kinda surprised nobody mentioned Hide from Animals as a way to avoid the wolves. There's no save, and a round or two of extra fighting before they figure out the trick should be a neat surprise.

Best used by someone that hates them or a nature-focused enemy, especially if they were going to use some untamed beasties on them.

grinner666
2008-07-07, 12:00 AM
Oh, my apologies to BOTH of you. I'd thought this thread was about how to stop a particular druid ... and druids generally ... from overtaking a campaign, NOT about how awesome they are generally or how, because some clown from WotC created a magic item without playtesting it properly, it could be abused to make the class even more unbalanced than it has to be.

I will also note that just because "a Wilding Clasp can be attached to ANY item attached to the body" doesn't mean it can be attached to EVERY item attached to the body. This has been discussed before on multiple forums, and the one-item idea seems to me a reasonable ruling ... AGAIN, assuming that we're trying to find ways to control a powerful class and not just defend the Druid's power because it's our pet class. It certainly has enough precedents in the system. Claiming "you can't use house rules in public discussions" when the OP is LOOKING FOR OPTIONS is an infantile argument at best. You'll note comments like "if the DM has any common sense at all" interspersed LIBERALLY throughout my post ... roughly every place I talk about something that isn't .

And just to get one thing straight, the druid is my pet class. Has been ever since 1E. And I subject myself to the same controls I inflict on my players, whether my DM agrees that they're necessary or not.


You got ninja'd. Also, 24 Wis = +8 AC (+7 Wis, +1 Monk)

Wow. Considering how hard you hammered ME on house rules (yes, they're two separate words) you're assuming an AWFUL lot. First, you're assuming that every player's going to start with an 18. Not true. If you're rolling stats BY THE RULES YOU BOTH SEEM SO ENAMORED OF ... well I don't know the exact odds, but it's been my experience that about one character in thirty will score an 18. A 14 or 15 high score is much more likely. Possibly a 16. Which means the average 10th-level character with a +4 magic bonus to his main stat will have a score of 18-21, maybe 22. And if he's got a crap stat, which is certainly possible, I'd think a druid's Dex would be the one to crap on ... which will bung up his AC. I assumed an average Dex; would you like to calculate AC with a Dex of 8 or 6?

If you're SELECTING stats by the rules provided in the DMG the same rules apply. Sure, you can start with an 18 ... IF you sacrifice a lot of other stats. Either way your character's EXTREMELY unlikely to start with an 18. And therefore not, NO WAY, going to have a 24 Wisdom at 10th level.


I wonder how many DMs truly rule that a belt couldn't somehow be worn by some form; just about every creature ever has a waist. Again, you've got houserules, good for you. They just aren't part of the public discussion since they again apply only to your game.

Again, the whole point of the thread is to give the DM controls on the druid's power, not praise the class or display how it can't be beaten. Yeah, you can allow anything with a torso to wear a belt ... but I would argue that a MONK'S belt works because it provides a skill bonus based on a human physiology ... otherwise the belt could be created by anybody with, say, the Bull's Strength or Cat's Grace spell and enough spellcasting levels. Instead the required spells were very specifically spells that that amplified human fighting proficiencies. If you're looking to control, rather than glorify the druid, you might give him the belt's benefits in ape or baboon form, but a horse, dolphin or bear just doesn't move in a manner close enough to human to gain the bonuses specified.


9 hours is over half an adventuring day. Adding 4th, it's 12 hours and after that, you'll already be resting. So he'll have Barkskin up effectively whole adventuring day. I'll bet he'll be able to use it in most encounters. Metagaming against a player just because he uses common sense on how to utilize longterm buffs per day is pretty low.

Uhhhhhhhhmmmmmm ... no. Nine hours is over a THIRD of the "adventuring day". Unless you've got Baba Yaga's hut wandering around the wilderness with you, or your absent Necromancer didn't dump Transmutation and is willing to cast Rope Trick (when he's there, remember the party makeup), you are NOT safe while resting. Or is every one of your adventures within easy travel distance of an inn? If so I propose you've never had a mid-to-high-level adventure.

And yeah, when necessary I will "metagame against a player" in order to make him aware that he's not invulnerable.

Frost
2008-07-07, 12:24 AM
I will also note that just because "a Wilding Clasp can be attached to ANY item attached to the body" doesn't mean it can be attached to EVERY item attached to the body. This has been discussed before on multiple forums, and the one-item idea seems to me a reasonable ruling

You might have missed the part where all slotted items in the entire freaking game explain exactly which slot they belong in. Whereas unslotted items (like the Wilding Clasp) have no such mention, and you can have any number you choose active, in this case 3-4 on the 3-4 items you care the most about and never take off.


If you're SELECTING stats by the rules provided in the DMG the same rules apply. Sure, you can start with an 18 ... IF you sacrifice a lot of other stats. Either way your character's EXTREMELY unlikely to start with an 18. And therefore not, NO WAY, going to have a 24 Wisdom at 10th level.

Actually, every PB full caster in the whole game starts with an 18. And every Druid ever built using a PB greater then 22 has an 18 Wisdom base, which means if you are using PB, you actually have a 100% chance of having a Wisdom of 24 at level 10. If you instead saved money, you could have a 26, or you could have a racial, or you could have two age categories, or you could have any two of those and have 28, or you could have all three and have 30, or you could be a Venerable Anthropomorphic Bat Druid who saved his money and you could have a 34. But you know whatever.


Or is every one of your adventures within easy travel distance of an inn? If so I propose you've never had a mid-to-high-level adventure.

I take it you have never played a mid to high level adventure, because if you had you would know that everywhere in the world is within easy travel distance of an inn when you have teleport.

Cuddly
2008-07-07, 12:35 AM
1) Real Druids travel in animal form all the time, and often have buff spells up, and bat druids are in no way more hypothetical then druids that start with an 18 base, but you don't seem to be arguing that 18s never happen in 4d6b3, so he can't expect that.

I was going to assume a 16, but figured with point buy, he could have an 18, which wouldn't be that out there, anyway, for a druid.


2) Monk's belt+Animal form+Barkskin or Beastskin Armor (lt me guess real Druids never have that either)+Animal Form AC+Barkskin. Depending on the build.

If he's in animal form and if he has barkskin. Being in animal form all day makes it a little hard to communicate with the party, though. Really hard. Unless they all spend skill points on learning a battle language, or someone in the party invested a lot in sense motive.


3) No Magic Fang doesn't go away, spells only check to see valid targets when cast. Or do you think that Polymorph Other Permanently turns you into a Gold Dragon? Because after you cast it you are a Gold Dragon, so the duration counter becomes 10 becomes Permanent.

That's actually what makes PAO so broken- two castings of the spell and you're permanently a gold dragon. But anyway, yeah, GMF cast as a +1 to all weapons works in humanoid & animal form. If you use GMF on your bite attack, and then are in person form, it doesn't work.

Cuddly
2008-07-07, 12:37 AM
Actually, every PB full caster in the whole game starts with an 18. And every Druid ever built using a PB greater then 22 has an 18 Wisdom base, which means if you are using PB, you actually have a 100% chance of having a Wisdom of 24 at level 10. If you instead saved money, you could have a 26, or you could have a racial, or you could have two age categories, or you could have any two of those and have 28, or you could have all three and have 30, or you could be a Venerable Anthropomorphic Bat Druid who saved his money and you could have a 34. But you know whatever.

That's nice.
But judging by the fact that a handful of summoned dire wolves are giving the DM a hard time, and not the standard CharOp Druidzilla, he probably isn't a "Venerable Anthropomorphic Bat Druid who saved his money."

Lol. What a retarded concept, just for powergaming, too.

Frost
2008-07-07, 12:42 AM
I was going to assume a 16, but figured with point buy, he could have an 18, which wouldn't be that out there, anyway, for a druid.

And if he's using Savage Species he could be a bat.


If he's in animal form and if he has barkskin. Being in animal form all day makes it a little hard to communicate with the party, though. Really hard. Unless they all spend skill points on learning a battle language, or someone in the party invested a lot in sense motive.

No, it's pretty easy, you just have telepathy.


That's actually what makes PAO so broken- two castings of the spell and you're permanently a gold dragon. But anyway, yeah, GMF cast as a +1 to all weapons works in humanoid & animal form. If you use GMF on your bite attack, and then are in person form, it doesn't work.

I am well aware that two castings make permanent, but what I am talking about is that one does not. It doesn't matter if Greater Magic Fang works when you are in human form, because you don't go into human form, and it does work on you even if you go human and then go back.

Frost
2008-07-07, 12:46 AM
That's nice.
But judging by the fact that a handful of summoned dire wolves are giving the DM a hard time, and not the standard CharOp Druidzilla, he probably isn't a "Venerable Anthropomorphic Bat Druid who saved his money."

Lol. What a retarded concept, just for powergaming, too.

{scrubbed} What's so crazy about a half bat that lives in the woods with Druid as a favored class taking Druid levels? What's so weird about a 50 year old bat Druid? And no, he doesn't nee to save his money, but it can just as easily be portrayed as not wanting to have many items, and preferring to just have a couple favorites.

It's not a retarded concept, and it's not just for powergaming, I am pointing out all the ways that one could get a Wisdom well in excess of 24, which is the absolute minimum for a PB Druid at level 10 played with even the barest competence.

Talic
2008-07-07, 01:20 AM
What's so crazy about a half bat that lives in the woods. . .

Only in a forum for a high fantasy game would such a statement ever be taken seriously... Lucky this is one. Seriously, I think this concept was used for a SciFi movie once... It was kinda silly there.

Cuddly
2008-07-07, 01:34 AM
I am pointing out all the ways that one could get a Wisdom well in excess of 24, which is the absolute minimum for a PB Druid at level 10 played with even the barest competence.

It really depends on the campaign. You're making a ton of assumptions there.
If you play strictly by RAW, most of the rolled treasure will be random junk items that sell for half value. All those +1 swords eat up your WBL rather quickly.

kamikasei
2008-07-07, 02:56 AM
It's not a retarded concept, and it's not just for powergaming, I am pointing out all the ways that one could get a Wisdom well in excess of 24, which is the absolute minimum for a PB Druid at level 10 played with even the barest competence.

The issue isn't that you're claiming a Druid could have a very high Wisdom if you take an improbable combination of race, age, and wealth distribution. The issue (at least at my end) is that you started out by saying that any Druid should have this very high score because naturally every Druid will be a Venerable Anthropomorphic Bat who adventured for 10 levels without buying a single consequential magic item.

Oh, and I should mention that I and my players have a fair share of full casters with 16s in their casting stats between us.

JeminiZero
2008-07-07, 04:55 AM
Reading through my Wizard notes, another possibility that struck me was Ray of Stupidity. Specifically, the wolves are higly vulnerable to it (since it quickly drops them to 0 int and leaves them in a coma), whereas party members have a little more Int buffer.

Have enemies shoot a couple of these at any summoned wolves, maybe using metamagic feats to catch several wolves at once. Split Ray may help, Chain spell may or may not help depending on who you ask. Again, let the party know before hand so that they can pack pots of restore.

ericgrau
2008-07-07, 05:15 AM
I really don't see how summon monster V followed by animal growth is any stronger than summon monster V followed by summon monster V. If anything his tactic is sub-optimal.

I think the real issue is that he just went from casting one spell to casting two spells, and before his 2nd action was probably less useful.

But let's check the numbers:
Numbers
1d4+1 huge dire wolves (+8 str, +4 con, +2 NA, -2 dex, additional -1 size penalty to AB & AC)
57 HP ea.
14 AC
Attack: Bite +14* (1d8 + 14, crit on 20 = 19.4 avg) + trip (+14 mod)

assuming 3.5 wolves:
199.5 HP
14 AC
Attack: Bite +14 67.9 dmg avg (48.5 avg if wolves all die 1 by 1)

Also note that this consumes 2 precious rounds to prepare, though the wolves get to act after only 1 round of waiting.

compare to my handle dandy 9th level core fighter build:
99 HP
28 AC
Attacks: 19/14 AB, 19.8 dmg avg.
He does 40% the damage but hits twice almost every round whereas the wolf would hit him about 35% of the time. Even if he were tripped he still hits almost every time while the wolves land 55% of hits. So he gets 4-6 times as many hits, 40% of the damage per hit, and does 1.6-2.4 times as much damage as the wolves. He has half the HP, so overall he's 0.8-1.2 times as effective (closer to 1.2, the trips fail 75% of the time). AND he gets a 1 round head start. Plenty enough to outshine the wolves. But they aren't fighting eachother, they're fighting monsters. If the monsters have high AC, then it's the same situation; the wolves can barely hit squat.. If they're fighting low AC monsters, the fighter can power attack to stay at least on par with the wolves. Even in the duel mentioned, the fighter could take advantage of his AB/AC with PA or combat expertise to do much better. If he wanted to focus on beating their damage without regard to personal safety, he could drop the shield to THF and PA. If the monsters have high AB and damage, he could CE so that he lives and the wolves don't. Btw overall, even with the hit to AB and a one handed weapon, this still greatly increases his damage if it means he doesn't need to run later. I've done the numbers to death there. Naturally if he's in little danger he goes for more damage with THF (+PA if monster AC is low), if he is in danger he does the SAB (+CE if needed). I'm predicting flamers who took stupid pills this morning and assume THF+PA means the fighter dies or SAB+CE means the fighter doesn't get attacked. Or even with a straight SAB, neither feat and a 1 round head start he can still do decent enough damage.

Solution
So the real problem seems that your party's uber-prestiged out fighter can't even keep up with a simple core fighter. That begs two questions:
1. Does he know how to mix several different weak magic items (AC, stats, weapon) to make his fighter strong overall, rather than relying on 1 or 2 strong (and expensive) items?
2. Does his gear fit the wealth by level guidelines? Are you giving out enough treasure.
3. Is he making use of his ranger abilities & skills? Like stealth, or TWF against favored enemies. TWF is suboptimal w/o bonus damage. If he's not using the ranger stuff, why the heck is he wearing light armor?
4. Are you sending low AC & AB animals at the party? Even with power attack for the fighter, low AC monsters give the wolves a chance to shine. But even a moderate AC & AB will mean the wolves miss a lot, the baddies don't; whereas the fighter does more damage and remains fairly unhurt so he can keep it up. Combine that with his 1 round headstart, and a well made fighter should be downing more monsters easily.
5. Are your combats so easy that damage is everything, and the PCs aren't worried about getting hurt? If the wolves get knocked out and the fighter doesn't, then he'll really have the advantage in damage output. If it were wolves fighting wolves, then 1 of the 2-5 would be dropping each round. This isn't an even fight where the PCs have a 50:50 chance of losing, but even so, a wolf should still die every 2-3 rounds. Or perhaps 1 per round anyway, if the monsters see the wolves have high offense and low defense and thus focus on them.

shylocxs
2008-07-07, 06:05 AM
Considering his style of play, the druid's already watered down. Full-Round Spellcasting=Sitting Duck.

Got to agree to this. First, are druids in 4e still supposed to be neutral? Doesn't this character's style of being played seem really out of whack? Shouldn't there be repercussions? Second, sounds like this druid needs to feel what it's like to be a target! Finally, shouldn't the other player characters become involved? Why are they just lounging around?

This is a problem that can easily be solved from a role-playing perspective, though it's much harder to solve from a roll-playing perspective.

Kami2awa
2008-07-07, 06:24 AM
Another possibility that occured to me is to have enemies that can bring down wolves quickly but not anything else. Simplest way would be to give them Animal Bane weapons.

Edit: Or make them Rangers who put all their favored enemy stuff against animals.

Or rule that animals will not attack certain unnatural enemies, e.g. abberations, constructs, undead, because it goes entirely against their instincts.

Aquillion
2008-07-07, 06:56 AM
If he's in animal form and if he has barkskin. Being in animal form all day makes it a little hard to communicate with the party, though. Really hard. Unless they all spend skill points on learning a battle language, or someone in the party invested a lot in sense motive.
http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/9527/james20bond1kh3.jpg

Or, in non-image macro form: You can pay someone to permanency Rary's Telepathic Bond real cheap.



That's actually what makes PAO so broken- two castings of the spell and you're permanently a gold dragon. But anyway, yeah, GMF cast as a +1 to all weapons works in humanoid & animal form. If you use GMF on your bite attack, and then are in person form, it doesn't work.I don't think that works. You can't stack multiple copies of the same spell, so the second one's duration is calculated without regard for the effects of the first.

Additionally, the spell's description reads:
The duration of the spell depends on how radical a change is made from the original state to its enchanted state"Original state" pretty clearly means the state you had before any PAOs.

Frost
2008-07-07, 08:05 AM
The issue isn't that you're claiming a Druid could have a very high Wisdom if you take an improbable combination of race, age, and wealth distribution. The issue (at least at my end) is that you started out by saying that any Druid should have this very high score because naturally every Druid will be a Venerable Anthropomorphic Bat who adventured for 10 levels without buying a single consequential magic item.

And yet, I said that 24 was the minimum and that it is quite possible to get beyond that. Nothing about how Venerable Anthro Bats are the baseline, that was a whole different line of discussion.

DigoDragon
2008-07-07, 08:33 AM
bring out a druid of your own to tie him up - not a permanent solution, but could be fun to watch

It is indeed fun! This follows one of my biggest rules when I run a D&D game:
"I will only use the tricks and tactics that the PCs use."

My players are good to remember this since if they use some powerful classes and tricks, I will get to use them too. For my group at least this seems to self-balance the game. :smallsmile: So the idea of an antagonist Druid boss can be engaging-- especially if it's a reoccuring villian. :smallwink:

Signmaker
2008-07-07, 08:44 AM
While one can make the point that druids can make it through PB with and 18 in Wisdom and everything else in Con, I find this practice somewhat silly, for obvious anti-caster reasons (Let's target your weak stat with a "to 0" debillitator, no matter what your form, eh?).

I also find silly the anthromorphic bat example Frost keeps using. That's complete overoptimization. Also, seeing that very few sane DMs allow one to run such a Wisdom-collecting monstrosity, they aren't quite so common. Especially if the campaign world doesn't allow for them (And many don't).

Now, I believe the issue was that a DM needed to whittle down the druid's summon options, not druid optimization. For that, I also throw in this possibility: kobold casters with mirror image. It buys time for the kobolds to hammer away with their other spells.

Or, you could just stop the druid during its full-round casting. After all, the beasties don't appear till NEXT round, so you've got until then to disrupt its casting.

kamikasei
2008-07-07, 08:48 AM
And yet, I said that 24 was the minimum and that it is quite possible to get beyond that. Nothing about how Venerable Anthro Bats are the baseline, that was a whole different line of discussion.

You started out saying that a druid should have a 34 wisdom.


At level 10 He should have a +12 Wisdom Mod...

When asked to explain you said


1) Sorry, 32 Wisdom, my bad. That's 18+2 level up+6 item+6 Racial, or +2 Racial +2 age.

(Of course, that math doesn't add up.)

But you presented that as a baseline, and it requires either an Anthropomorphic Bat or an old <something with a +2 Wis>. It also requires this practice of saving up all your money for ten levels to get a better stat-boosting item that I still see as impractical and over-optimized.

After several people pointed out that your assumptions were exceptionally high-end you conceded that 24 is an actually realistic baseline (and it is a baseline; an 18 plus two from leveling plus an affordable stat-boosting item - a 22 is not an unreasonable stat if you start with a 16, or a 26 if you choose a wis-boosting race). This is not a "well, yes, but..." situation. The number you gave initially as what a druid "should" have at level 10 is attainable but not to be expected, and to claim that it's what anyone "should" have is simply wrong.

Person_Man
2008-07-07, 09:02 AM
Welcome to high level combat involving any full caster.

Full casters have many ridiculous benefits compared to non-full casters. The combo you describe is something that non-Druids can pull off as well (often more effectively).

The only thing that truly balances full casters is resource management. They have a limited number of spells per game day. Thus, you must use 4+ encounters per game day, and you must enforce an in game reason for them to continue on ("The princess will be sacrificed at midnight if we don't rescue her!"). Other tips:

1) Kung-Fu Movie: Have many enemies, but only attack a few at a time. Troops can blow a horn calling for reinforcements. Monsters have parents that might be lurking in another part of the cave, who will arrive 3 rounds after combat starts. Friends can be teleported or summoned to help. or just throw a mob at them and have them use hit and run tactics. Using this strategy, you will rarely overrun the PCs, but you will deplete the casters resources.

2) What's good for the goose is good for the gander: Have them fight other spell casters. I have a pretty simple rule for character building - you can generally use anything you want. But if you use it, you will fight enemies that use it. And casters can use Spellcraft to identify other casters - whom they know to target first.

3) Choose your own adventure: In my games, a party can go through an entire adventure without any combat. They have to be very clever, methodical, and willing to think outside the box ("Hey, if the dragon is eating all the local livestock, why not give the local livestock a slow but deadly disease?"), but it can be done. Roleplaying, Skill challenges, puzzles, traps, etc. are just as important, if not more so. Conversely, they can get through the entire game with nothing but combat - though doing so is sometimes the hardest option. The point is, if someone is entirely dominating one aspect of the game, there are other aspects to have fun with.

Eldariel
2008-07-07, 09:29 AM
...stuff...

The problem is that we've got a game in progress here. That means the DM can't go around adding new rules to stuff already in play without allowing the players to somehow recoup their gains; if suddenly the Druid's investments become useless due to houserules, you've basically just cheated him, so if the DM starts changing how Monk's Belt works or how Wilding Clasps work, he needs to reason with his players and give them the opportunity to spend their possessions in new objects. For example, if this particular Druid couldn't use Monk's Belt, the simple answer is to take a level in Monk and go for Monk 1/Druid 19; completely item independent build.

Everything you're suggesting falls under this so it really isn't applicable to the problem at hands; the problem is already in place and you're suggesting remedies that are too late to put in place without major reconstruction of the character now.

Point buy allows Druids to start with 18. Alternatively, he could be a +2 Wis race and start with 16. Point being, Druids are SAD-characters; when it really comes down to it, the two stats that matter to them are Wisdom and Constitution, so they can afford the hit to other stats.


And an average adventuring day = 8 hours of rest, 16 hours of moving. 9 hours is over a half of the moving part and if you don't face the first opponents you actually need to fight immediately, 9 hours will be plenty. This is even more true when on hostile soil; the defenders of a dungeon cannot just keep running for 9 hours without simply getting rounded up and killed, and the BBEG won't let the good guys in their base just because the Druid has a buff on (omigosh!). That just isn't a way to deal with buffs that last over hours. Rounds? Sure. Minutes? Perhaps? Over an hour? That's just dumb.

Rary's Telepathic Bond solves the party discussion problem very quickly and is completely persistable and accessible from NPC Wizards, UMDing party members or party Wizard.


Oh yeah, Tenser's Transformation and Righteous Might are in no ways Humanoid-specific. They specifically enhance the caster whoever it is; an aberration benefits just as much as a humanoid. An outsider gets as much out of it as an magical beast. Anyone can benefit of it.

Aquillion
2008-07-07, 09:37 AM
1) Kung-Fu Movie: Have many enemies, but only attack a few at a time. Troops can blow a horn calling for reinforcements. Monsters have parents that might be lurking in another part of the cave, who will arrive 3 rounds after combat starts. Friends can be teleported or summoned to help. or just throw a mob at them and have them use hit and run tactics. Using this strategy, you will rarely overrun the PCs, but you will deplete the casters resources.

2) What's good for the goose is good for the gander: Have them fight other spell casters. I have a pretty simple rule for character building - you can generally use anything you want. But if you use it, you will fight enemies that use it. And casters can use Spellcraft to identify other casters - whom they know to target first.

3) Choose your own adventure: In my games, a party can go through an entire adventure without any combat. They have to be very clever, methodical, and willing to think outside the box ("Hey, if the dragon is eating all the local livestock, why not give the local livestock a slow but deadly disease?"), but it can be done. Roleplaying, Skill challenges, puzzles, traps, etc. are just as important, if not more so. Conversely, they can get through the entire game with nothing but combat - though doing so is sometimes the hardest option. The point is, if someone is entirely dominating one aspect of the game, there are other aspects to have fun with.The problem with all of these is that they actually make casters more important.

The first one is the most effective (since you can maybe run out buffs and summons), but you fall into a frequent trap people make when trying to balance casters: Melee-types have resources they run out of, too. And unlike a caster -- who can spend their next-to-last spell to teleport everyone away or whatever -- a melee type who runs out of their primary resource will die. If you scale a challenge to grind down caster resources, you're going to grind down the melee guy's HP even faster (since the level of challenge needed to force the casters to spend important spell slots is probably going to be high enough to slap the melee guy down real fast.)

If you force the party to keep going beyond what the spellcasters can support, the unsupported frontline fighters will rapidly begin to drop into critical HP, then die. You can make the casters become a bit more conservative with their casting, maybe, but overall a wizard, cleric, or druid has many more resources to draw on than a fighter, and can last much longer -- each high-level spell is easily worth as much as a major chunk of the fighter's HP if used properly, in terms of the damage it can prevent or heal.

Seriously, convert a high-level cleric's spells per day to raw HP worth of healing, and the resource advantage they have over the fighter becomes hard to avoid noticing. And remember, that's not even a very efficient conversion -- usually, casting spells to end the fight and avoid the damage in the first place is much more efficent. You can use items for healing, of course... but casters can also use wands, spell completion items, and so forth if it comes to that, and are the best classes short of Artificers at doing so.

(And that's ignoring the fact that this is a druid, who is still probably going to be two long-duration buffed bears even after he's managed to waste all his spells.)

The second option sort-of works, but the thing is, it means fights devolve into wizard-vs-wizard, with everyone else playing a secondary role. That can be fun if your group likes it, but turning D&D into Ars Magica isn't really solving the whole problem.

The third option is the worst by far. Seriously, compare the options casters have to what everyone else has -- full melee classes have nothing. Skill-monkey classes have a fairly limited selection of actions to choose from. Spellcasters can do things like go anywhere in the world in an instant, obliterate annoying walls, turn invisible, contact anyone anywhere easily, scry for information no non-magical skill check or leap of logic could ever access, create any illusion they desire or stop time.

Magic items help with this a bit, and of course there's things you can do no matter what your class is -- planning, solving puzzles, coming up with ways for the wizard to use his spells -- but as far as abilities derived from your class goes, overall the spellcaster advantage actually becomes worse outside of combat, because most people who aren't casters or skill-monkeys become completely useless.

Telonius
2008-07-07, 09:42 AM
Without Poison though, Tiny Kobolds will be shooting for 1d4 damage or something, not exactly something to be frightened of on level 10.

This and some of the other earlier posts have some items regarding kobolds that should be addressed. An ancient piece of D&D lore, with which all DMs ought to familiarize themselves: Tucker's Kobolds (http://tuckerskobolds.com/).

Aquillion
2008-07-07, 09:56 AM
Incidently, for the 'cleric spells -> HP' calculation...

At level 15 with 32 wisdom. I'm converting domain spells, too, under the assumption that we're just using healing as a generally-accepted inefficient conversion for the true HP worth of spells.

The cleric gets the following, just using core:
0th: 6, * 1 via Cure Minor Wounds
1st: 9 * 1d8+5 via Cure Light Wounds
2nd: 9 * 2d8+10 via Cure Moderate Wounds
3rd: 9 * 3d8+15 via Cure Serious Wounds
4th: 7 * 4d8 +20 via Cure Critical Wounds
5th: 7 * 4d8 +20 via Cure Critical Wounds
6th: 6 * 150 via Heal
7th: 5 * 150 via Heal
8th: 3 * 150 via Heal

By my calculation, that comes to 2650 + 110d8 hp (and you could get many, many more with non-core spells or various abilities that boost healing -- keeping in mind, again, that healing is considered generally suboptimal.) Anyone want to clue me in on the build that gets 2650 + 110d8 hp by level 15?

Eldariel
2008-07-07, 10:10 AM
This and some of the other earlier posts have some items regarding kobolds that should be addressed. An ancient piece of D&D lore, with which all DMs ought to familiarize themselves: Tucker's Kobolds (http://tuckerskobolds.com/).

Oh, I know how deadly properly played monsters can be, especially in their home environment. However, this particular discussion was about a bunch of Kobolds throwing an ambush in an undisclosed location focus firing the Druid; that isn't going to do pretty much anything. And a bunch of Tucker's Kobolds fighting on their homeground would get the whole party killed unless the Druid can do something about it - I wouldn't count on a subpar Fighter (I mean, it's Prestige Classed), a Shadowbane Stalker or any other martial type to do anything about that bunch as they lack the tools to change the battlefield to their advantage.

The martial types don't have ways to limit opponent's movement or options, they don't have the means to generate an army out of nowhere, they don't have the means to deal AoE damage, they don't have the means to shape the rock and to move the men. A Druid does so he's at least game, but it would come down solely to Druid's performance using the other characters as little more than hirelings to survive a bunch of intelligently played opponents. They don't have Batman to bail them out or to strike back with vengeance, which further worsens things against humanoids with brains.

Leewei
2008-07-07, 10:11 AM
Or rule that animals will not attack certain unnatural enemies, e.g. abberations, constructs, undead, because it goes entirely against their instincts.

This had occurred to me as well, however I'd suggest that the instincts are trumped by the summon nature's ally spell, especially since an Animal can be trained twice in the Attack trick to go after unnatural opponents using mere Handle Animal skill. A monster such as a Spectre would still repulse the Dire Wolves due to its Unnatural Aura quality.

Frost
2008-07-07, 10:18 AM
You started out saying that a druid should have a 34 wisdom.

You mean eight posts ago when I was talking to someone else about something else? Whoo Hoo.


(Of course, that math doesn't add up.)

Um.. Yes, 18+2+6+6 does equal 32. Go cry.


But you presented that as a baseline, and it requires either an Anthropomorphic Bat or an old <something with a +2 Wis>. It also requires this practice of saving up all your money for ten levels to get a better stat-boosting item that I still see as impractical and over-optimized.

You aren't saving up your money, you are recognizing that a +2 Wisdom is worth more then a +4 Con, that's all.

That said, I did not present it as a baseline, I presented it as a standard against which to judge, a baseline is the low standard, just because I choose not to use low standards doesn't mean that my actual standards are minimums.


After several people pointed out that your assumptions were exceptionally high-end you conceded that 24 is an actually realistic baseline (and it is a baseline; an 18 plus two from leveling plus an affordable stat-boosting item - a 22 is not an unreasonable stat if you start with a 16, or a 26 if you choose a wis-boosting race). This is not a "well, yes, but..." situation. The number you gave initially as what a druid "should" have at level 10 is attainable but not to be expected, and to claim that it's what anyone "should" have is simply wrong.

No, I pointed out that 24 is the minimum for a PB Druid. And that you should expect it to be higher.

Leewei
2008-07-07, 10:25 AM
24 is about optimal for a PB druid unless cheese is involved.

Riffington
2008-07-07, 10:36 AM
Let's guess about percentage of campaigns that actually would allow certain things.

Starting with a prime stat of 18: ~75%
+6 item by level 10: ~40% (~80% if you have an item crafting feat)
Making it pretty easy for a druid to talk to wolves: ~60%
Using age categories as character enhancements: ~15%
Using anthropomorphic bats: ~1%

Telok
2008-07-07, 10:45 AM
Warlock, Voracious Dispelling.

Yet another anti-caster option available at 6 HD. Buggers are quite annoying.

My best advice though is to check out the Tome of Battle. If you're desperate for cash you can preview one of the classes, part of the feats, and all of the powers at the WotC website (use the search function for: warblade, tome of battle, and maneuver pdf). This gives fighter types a massive boost, allowing them to compete with casters. You can even drop it into a running campaign without problems, regular fighters can pick up some maneuvers with feats.

There are simple and effective ways to counter caster power in the game, several of them have been mentioned in this thread (ignoring the optimizing whine junk posts). Every tactic in the game has a counter to it and no single character can cover all the possibilities at once.

Frost
2008-07-07, 11:15 AM
24 is about optimal for a PB druid unless cheese is involved.

24 is the minimum, 26 is easily done in about 3 different ways, and 28 is easy enough to manage.


Every tactic in the game has a counter to it and no single character can cover all the possibilities at once.

Yes, he can. That's pretty much Nalthain's MO. And Druids don't do a bad job of covering 90% of it.

Leon
2008-07-07, 12:04 PM
1) Real Druids travel in animal form all the time
Really?
There is more to a Druid than a Animal Shape.

Im going to be nice and leave it at that, dont want to derail this thread with what i could do. (and would like too)




On the Topic: Talk with the player and ask if he is aware that his actions are making the game less fun for the other players. If a OOC approach doesn't work then you can use the varided means listed above to force the issue more solidly - If the person is unwilling to play on a more party friendly scale then maybe they should seek a Solo game.

Im firmly of the opinion that D&D is a game with a group of people coming together and having fun, if thats not happening then something is wrong and should be fixed if possible. And that the DM/s word is Law, Don't like it don't play.

Benejeseret
2008-07-07, 12:05 PM
Some ideas I don't think Ive seen yet:

1) Has anyone suggested Calm Animal? Its a basic lvl 1 spell than an enemy might have and if your druid is know and has a reputation for relying on animals then a few of the enemies tracking then might have prepped a wand/scroll. It is not a show stopper but it could take one or more of the wolves right out of the fight....as it stops to lick itself or nap.

2) Turn/Rebuke animals. If it is not RAW, you could easily make a new domain available to BBEG clerics.

3) Int draining/damaging enemies. Psionic enemies or through magical means most animals can be one-shotted no matter their HP.

4) Use alignment against him. Tighten the requirements for using the spell. If natures sees her creatures being thrown/killed at a whim (even if summon spells do not actually result in death) without due cause the druid may see his power fading. Perhaps if nature or natural forces are not threatened in the particular battle less wolves appear?

5) Have the local druid council talk to him about animal complaints and how work related compensation payments to wolves has tripled since he arrived. Have PETA activists arrive after a summons to try to 'free' the 'slaves'

kamikasei
2008-07-07, 12:43 PM
You mean eight posts ago when I was talking to someone else about something else? Whoo Hoo.

Not precisely. I mean however many posts ago when you claimed a figure that any druid "should" have. That claim and your defence of it is what I've been talking about in my replies since. How does the fact that we've gone back and forth on it since make the original claim less wrong?

You quoted a figure for what a druid "should" have.

You were challenged on it, and defended it by invoking, among other things, a +6 racial bonus.

Since it's been pointed out by many people now that a base race granting a +6 bonus is not something you can reasonably say any druid "should" have, will you concede that your original statement was incorrect? That's all the point I'm making here.


Um.. Yes, 18+2+6+6 does equal 32. Go cry.

18 base + 2 levels + 6 item 6 racial does equal 32, yes.

18 base + 2 levels + 6 item + 2 racial + 2 age does not, which was my point.


You aren't saving up your money, you are recognizing that a +2 Wisdom is worth more then a +4 Con, that's all.

So you're assuming you can turn money into additions to existing items, and are converting everything except one periapt of wisdom into liquid funds to upgrade the periapt? Not quite so impractical, though still a little over-the-top in my estimation.


That said, I did not present it as a baseline, I presented it as a standard against which to judge, a baseline is the low standard, just because I choose not to use low standards doesn't mean that my actual standards are minimums.

A baseline is not a minimum but the norm against which new data is compared. The baseline for a stat should rightly be calculated with a starting score of 15 and enhancements following the WBL and item-purchasing guidelines - and that would not be a minimum.


No, I pointed out that 24 is the minimum for a PB Druid. And that you should expect it to be higher.


24 is the minimum, 26 is easily done in about 3 different ways, and 28 is easy enough to manage.

24 can hardly be the minimum, given that it has "put an 18 in the stat" as step 1.

24 is a very reasonable score to expect a 10th-level druid to have: starting with an 18, putting points into wisdom as he levels, buying affordable stat-boosters. It's very possible for a character to have a lower score - simply starting with a 16 will do it, and no, this is not some rare occurance heralding the end of all things.

Leewei
2008-07-07, 06:19 PM
24 is the minimum, 26 is easily done in about 3 different ways, and 28 is easy enough to manage.

Colby, Swiss and Cheddar. 28 would be a Muenster (pun intended). The concept of massive stats being a minimum says more about play style than it does about how anyone would reasonably generate a character. Riffington summed it up pretty well earllier in this thread.

Leewei
2008-07-07, 06:32 PM
1) Has anyone suggested Calm Animal? Its a basic lvl 1 spell than an enemy might have and if your druid is know and has a reputation for relying on animals then a few of the enemies tracking then might have prepped a wand/scroll. It is not a show stopper but it could take one or more of the wolves right out of the fight....as it stops to lick itself or nap.
Not a bad idea, however level 1 spells would be resisted pretty readily with the bonus conferred to the subjects of animal growth (Edit: just calculated the Will save at a whopping +10). Hide from animals is better since no save is permitted. As soon as the subjects of that attacked a PC, however, it'd drop.


2) Turn/Rebuke animals. If it is not RAW, you could easily make a new domain available to BBEG clerics.
Animal domain doesn't grant this, unfortunately (at least not in the SRD).


3) Int draining/damaging enemies. Psionic enemies or through magical means most animals can be one-shotted no matter their HP.
Ray of stupidity is the best option I've seen so far outside of protection / magic circle. Animals are dusted off pretty fast by this spell.


4) Use alignment against him. Tighten the requirements for using the spell. If natures sees her creatures being thrown/killed at a whim (even if summon spells do not actually result in death) without due cause the druid may see his power fading. Perhaps if nature or natural forces are not threatened in the particular battle less wolves appear?
I think this may be hitting a bit too hard with the old nerf bat. A druid's player has some good justification for seeing summon spells as a core class feature, much like a cleric's spontaneous cure and inflict casting.


5) Have the local druid council talk to him about animal complaints and how work related compensation payments to wolves has tripled since he arrived. Have PETA activists arrive after a summons to try to 'free' the 'slaves'
Similar to 4, above, I don't think the summon spell was that abusive as such -- just the druid's immediate tactical control of his new pets.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-07-07, 06:47 PM
2) Turn/Rebuke animals. If it is not RAW, you could easily make a new domain available to BBEG clerics.

This is hilarious. I can only imagine "Rebuke Animals" to be something like "Bad kitty!" :smallbiggrin:

I guess you could only Rebuke Animals if you were evil though... why, that just makes it funnier!

Frost
2008-07-07, 09:03 PM
Since it's been pointed out by many people now that a base race granting a +6 bonus is not something you can reasonably say any druid "should" have, will you concede that your original statement was incorrect? That's all the point I'm making here.

Actually, all druids should have a base race with a +6 racial wisdom.


18 base + 2 levels + 6 item + 2 racial + 2 age does not, which was my point.

Wow, it's almost like I'm capable of simple math and only the first part was supposed to add up to 32.


A baseline is not a minimum but the norm against which new data is compared. The baseline for a stat should rightly be calculated with a starting score of 15 and enhancements following the WBL and item-purchasing guidelines - and that would not be a minimum.

Yes, and the baseline should be an ancient anthro bat. Or it should be a 10, whatever, compare based on whatever you want, but I'm going to continue comparing stats to what I can expect to see, which is 24 (min) to 34 at level 10.


24 can hardly be the minimum, given that it has "put an 18 in the stat" as step 1.

24 is a very reasonable score to expect a 10th-level druid to have: starting with an 18, putting points into wisdom as he levels, buying affordable stat-boosters. It's very possible for a character to have a lower score - simply starting with a 16 will do it, and no, this is not some rare occurance heralding the end of all things.

Or, you could actually read the words Point Buy, and figure out what they mean. An yes, he could not PB and 18, he could also not buy any items, he could also not play a Druid, none of those matter.

Benejeseret
2008-07-07, 09:22 PM
Personally, I have always thought the Beastmaster prc should have rebuke animals rather that those extra low level companions.

And that a masterwork rolled up newspaper would grant a +2 bonus.


I could see it now:

Druid: Begins casting full round summon.

BBEG: Readies an action to rebuke animals

Druid round 2: "Attack my faithfuuuu....why are you all looking at me lik--KRUNCH--Ahh for the love of-----"

Mark Hall
2008-07-07, 10:16 PM
I'm kinda surprised nobody mentioned Hide from Animals as a way to avoid the wolves. There's no save, and a round or two of extra fighting before they figure out the trick should be a neat surprise.

Best used by someone that hates them or a nature-focused enemy, especially if they were going to use some untamed beasties on them.

I did suggest it, but it has the drawback of not working if you attack anything.

Cuddly
2008-07-08, 01:05 AM
The problem with all of these is that they actually make casters more important.

I agree, but more that mr mcfighty has 2 skill pts/level, a dump mental stat, and nothing but a sharp stick and the know-how to use it. The wizard can use charm person, scry, etc. Though it also depends on the player. I've had players run very clever fighter characters who were quite ingenious in solving problems.


The first one is the most effective (since you can maybe run out buffs and summons), but you fall into a frequent trap people make when trying to balance casters: Melee-types have resources they run out of, too. And unlike a caster -- who can spend their next-to-last spell to teleport everyone away or whatever -- a melee type who runs out of their primary resource will die. If you scale a challenge to grind down caster resources, you're going to grind down the melee guy's HP even faster (since the level of challenge needed to force the casters to spend important spell slots is probably going to be high enough to slap the melee guy down real fast.)

The Hellreaver PrC mentioned by the OP has the ability to heal as much damage as he likes (more or less). In my experience, casters run out of spells much faster than the fighters run out of HP. A wand of CLW heals 50d8+50 hp; quite a bit, and it only costs 750 gp. A 5th level pearl of power costs 25,000 GP. Going through 750 gp per day of combat isn't that big a deal, especially when you divvie that up over two or three characters WBL. Smart melee'rs will have means to get other ways than AC to avoid blows, too. A rogue with a bit of shadowdancer, for instance, or a potion of blinking or whatever (unless that's a personal spell, then simply get a wondrous item of it).

kamikasei
2008-07-08, 01:28 AM
Actually, all druids should have a base race with a +6 racial wisdom.
...
Yes, and the baseline should be an ancient anthro bat.
...
An yes, he could not PB and 18, he could also not buy any items, he could also not play a Druid, none of those matter.

Well then I can only say that I think your expectations of what anyone on these boards can expect to see in a normal game are bizarrely askew, and as a result the worth of your input into any discussion other than theoretical optimization is severely limited.


Or it should be a 10, whatever, compare based on whatever you want, but I'm going to continue comparing stats to what I can expect to see, which is 24 (min) to 34 at level 10.

So in your games, everyone shoots for ridiculously high scores as soon as possible (at least if they're SAD)? Well, have fun with that, but please recognize that it has as much bearing on discussions like this as "well, we have a houserule where fighters can kill wizards by looking at them (no save) so I don't see any balance problems".


Or, you could actually read the words Point Buy, and figure out what they mean. An yes, he could not PB and 18, he could also not buy any items, he could also not play a Druid, none of those matter.

I love how you're assuming that everyone playing point buy will automatically see getting an 18 into their prime stat as top priority. As it happens I play with point buy quite often and am usually inclined to go for a 16 so I can build a less one-sided character. So I'm sure do many, many others. Defining "how I play" as "the one and only right way to play, and if you play differently you must be ignorant and stupid" does not make your case more convincing.

I will say it plainly. The idea that every druid should have a +6 racial wisdom bonus is ridiculous. Your claiming so makes all the advice you give suspect.

Talic
2008-07-08, 04:35 AM
So in your games, everyone shoots for ridiculously high scores as soon as possible (at least if they're SAD)? Well, have fun with that, but please recognize that it has as much bearing on discussions like this as "well, we have a houserule where fighters can kill wizards by looking at them (no save) so I don't see any balance problems".Hmm. Invisibility? LOL

Leewei
2008-07-08, 10:46 AM
Actually, I see nothing wrong with playing a druid with an 18 Wisdom, a wizard with an 18 Intelligence, or so on. In general, PCs are supposed to be heroic, and being wise or smart is certainly appropriate to type. The silliness comes into play when you have an octegenarian bat-boy who huffs pixie powder for +1 CL. That sort of thing is suitable only as a lampoon.

kamikasei
2008-07-08, 11:20 AM
Actually, I see nothing wrong with playing a druid with an 18 Wisdom, a wizard with an 18 Intelligence, or so on. In general, PCs are supposed to be heroic, and being wise or smart is certainly appropriate to type.

Oh, I don't mean to imply there's anything wrong with it, I'll do it myself if I've got good rolls or a high enough point buy (I've got a 17-int Beguiler in my sig). My point is that treating an 18 as a "minimum" starting stat is simply wrong, as people can and do start out with lower scores, even with the freedom of point buy.

I also dislike the dilution of "heroic". Remember, an 18 means you're as good as any human can naturally be at something without intensive training and/or experience. A 10 means you're average. A 13 means you're as good at that thing as most people in the world are at the thing they're best at. A 15 means you're as good as the best, excluding the real savants. So a 16 effectively means you're better than 99.9% of the best people in the world at whatever score you're talking about. That seems a perfectly valid recipient of the label "heroic".

Frost
2008-07-08, 11:23 AM
So in your games, everyone shoots for ridiculously high scores as soon as possible (at least if they're SAD)? Well, have fun with that, but please recognize that it has as much bearing on discussions like this as "well, we have a houserule where fighters can kill wizards by looking at them (no save) so I don't see any balance problems".

HAHAHA! That's great. You are so incredibly funny. Saying that a Druid using PB will have an 18, and that he will put his level up points in Wis, and that he will buy a puny +4 item is "shooting for ridiculously high scores"? Are you trying to come off as a "roleplay not rollplay" elitist? Because that's the only type of person I've ever seen who could claim that 24 is a "ridiculously" high stat at level 10, much less for a Druid.


I love how you're assuming that everyone playing point buy will automatically see getting an 18 into their prime stat as top priority. As it happens I play with point buy quite often and am usually inclined to go for a 16 so I can build a less one-sided character. So I'm sure do many, many others. Defining "how I play" as "the one and only right way to play, and if you play differently you must be ignorant and stupid" does not make your case more convincing.

I don't need to make my case more convincing. It's true. There is no question that any Druid using PB should put an 18 in Wis.


I will say it plainly. The idea that every druid should have a +6 racial wisdom bonus is ridiculous. Your claiming so makes all the advice you give suspect.

I'm sorry, I guess my attempted mockery of your interpretation of the word "should" was a little too subtle.

My point is this: "Should" can mean a lot of things, and you have no idea what I meant. Should for what? Is the question you need to ask.

I was hoping that someone would question me, "And what if they don't want to play a bat?" to which I would have told them to play a Human with a +6 racial bonus to Wisdom. Because should does not in any way imply will, or that it is even possible.

If I say that fighters should have class features in addition to their bonus feats, would you then point out that they don't? Of course they don't.

FinalJustice
2008-07-08, 11:31 AM
In the Sovietic Union, the Druid stops y... wait... what?!

(Sorry, couldn't avoid)

kamikasei
2008-07-08, 12:00 PM
I'm spoilering my response to Frosty, as it's gotten so off-topic by now.


HAHAHA! That's great. You are so incredibly funny. Saying that a Druid using PB will have an 18, and that he will put his level up points in Wis, and that he will buy a puny +4 item is "shooting for ridiculously high scores"? Are you trying to come off as a "roleplay not rollplay" elitist? Because that's the only type of person I've ever seen who could claim that 24 is a "ridiculously" high stat at level 10, much less for a Druid.

The ridiculously high stat I was referring to was the 34, and to be honest I find it difficult to believe you genuinely don't realize that.

A 24 is a perfectly reasonably score, though it is by no means a minimum. A 34 is an absurd score to expect at that level.


I'm sorry, I guess my attempted mockery of your interpretation of the word "should" was a little too subtle.

In general, "attempted mockery" falls flat on the internet. I have no way of knowing that something absurd you've said is parody. People say things that absurd all the time in total sincerity.


My point is this: "Should" can mean a lot of things, and you have no idea what I meant. Should for what? Is the question you need to ask.

I was hoping that someone would question me, "And what if they don't want to play a bat?" to which I would have told them to play a Human with a +6 racial bonus to Wisdom. Because should does not in any way imply will, or that it is even possible.

If I say that fighters should have class features in addition to their bonus feats, would you then point out that they don't? Of course they don't.

At this point I think you've descended in to self-parody.

In a discussion of the difficulty of ambushing a druid, you contradicted Cuddly's statement that a level 10 druid would have "at most a ... +7" wisdom and claimed that at that level a druid "should" have a +12. Did you mean that a +12 wisdom mod at level 10 is something you can reasonably expect to see in any given game of D&D, or that it is a reasonable standard for practical optimization that can be carried over across the majority of groups and DMs? If not, then what did you mean? Did you mean anything? Are you just using words without regard for their meaning? Are you making claims and then pretending you never made them when challenged to defend them?

Perhaps you should consider you spending less time laughing at me and a tiny fraction of that time clarifying the statements with which people have taken issue.

I maintain that you made, or gave the impression of making - to others as well as to me - an absurd claim which you have only made worse in attempting to defend it. You can retract it, or stand by it. In either case I have no interest in discussing it further as I do not trust in your good faith.

Epinephrine
2008-07-08, 12:28 PM
kamikasei - Just so you feel you have support, I agree with you. In our campaign there's no way we'll have access to a +6 item at 10th level, and because we don't allow wildshape druids, stats actually matter, and one doesn't always have the points to get reasonable stats everywhere. My druid had a 16 Wis to start, and will (barring the DM giving us a chance to get items crafted/luck of finding one) have only a +2 Wis necklace at 10th level, with a resulting 20 Wis at 10th.

Not every game is high magic, and the DM controls whether you have the ability to get items. Between 5 party members we have 3 stat boosting items, each only +2, and we're below WBL (which is a guideline, not a requirement).

Frost
2008-07-08, 01:12 PM
I'm spoilering my response to Frosty, as it's gotten so off-topic by now.



The ridiculously high stat I was referring to was the 34, and to be honest I find it difficult to believe you genuinely don't realize that.

A 24 is a perfectly reasonably score, though it is by no means a minimum. A 34 is an absurd score to expect at that level.



In general, "attempted mockery" falls flat on the internet. I have no way of knowing that something absurd you've said is parody. People say things that absurd all the time in total sincerity.



At this point I think you've descended in to self-parody.

In a discussion of the difficulty of ambushing a druid, you contradicted Cuddly's statement that a level 10 druid would have "at most a ... +7" wisdom and claimed that at that level a druid "should" have a +12. Did you mean that a +12 wisdom mod at level 10 is something you can reasonably expect to see in any given game of D&D, or that it is a reasonable standard for practical optimization that can be carried over across the majority of groups and DMs? If not, then what did you mean? Did you mean anything? Are you just using words without regard for their meaning? Are you making claims and then pretending you never made them when challenged to defend them?

Perhaps you should consider you spending less time laughing at me and a tiny fraction of that time clarifying the statements with which people have taken issue.

I maintain that you made, or gave the impression of making - to others as well as to me - an absurd claim which you have only made worse in attempting to defend it. You can retract it, or stand by it. In either case I have no interest in discussing it further as I do not trust in your good faith.

Well that's funny, because no one was talking about that for the last 3 pages. We've (Cuddly and myself) been discussing my response to grinner's statement: "... IF you sacrifice a lot of other stats. Either way your character's EXTREMELY unlikely to start with an 18. And therefore not, NO WAY, going to have a 24 Wisdom at 10th level."

And not talking about 24s at all. But yes, 34 is a possibility. And you should have the highest possible score you can achieve.

Signmaker
2008-07-08, 01:18 PM
And not talking about 24s at all. But yes, 34 is a possibility. And you should have the highest possible score you can achieve.

Spoken like a powergamer. Not all people think that way. Trying to justify the existence of X (able to give you Y stat) isn't roleplaying, it's rollplaying. Not many DMs would allow an anthro-bat that could possibly break their campaign.

Leewei
2008-07-08, 01:23 PM
I also dislike the dilution of "heroic". Remember, an 18 means you're as good as any human can naturally be at something without intensive training and/or experience. A 10 means you're average. A 13 means you're as good at that thing as most people in the world are at the thing they're best at. A 15 means you're as good as the best, excluding the real savants. So a 16 effectively means you're better than 99.9% of the best people in the world at whatever score you're talking about. That seems a perfectly valid recipient of the label "heroic".
I think I fall somewhere between you and Frost in this regard. I take my queue here from the old 3d6 method of stat generation. An 18 is 1 in 6^3 or 1/218 -- roughly 99.5th percentile. The next step down is 4/218 or 98th percentile. <Mako>My Lord Conan was 99.5th percentile.</Mako>

Taking ridiculoous measures to crank it to 11, however, would be a different matter.

kamikasei
2008-07-08, 01:25 PM
Well that's funny, because no one was talking about that for the last 3 pages.

I have been. I've been doing so since the second page of the thread.

I've been specifically referring to your post from before grinner even posted in the thread, so I can't see how you could miss that fact.

Even then, the claims you made in your immediate response to him are among those I take issue with, to wit:


Actually, every PB full caster in the whole game starts with an 18. And every Druid ever built using a PB greater then 22 has an 18 Wisdom base,... you could be a Venerable Anthropomorphic Bat Druid who saved his money and you could have a 34. But you know whatever.


I think I fall somewhere between you and Frost in this regard. I take my queue here from the old 3d6 method of stat generation. An 18 is 1 in 6^3 or 1/218 -- roughly 99.5th percentile. The next step down is 4/218 or 98th percentile. <Mako>My Lord Conan was 99.5th percentile.</Mako>

I didn't run the numbers, but keep in mind that I was talking about the entire game world, where most characters won't have rolled stats but will be using the NPC or occasionally the Elite Array. The percentile I quoted was an ass pull intended only to reflect the existence of some few NPCs with higher than 15s in the world.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-07-08, 01:26 PM
I view a 23-24 as standard for a druid at 10th, and 24-26 standard by 12th. Yes, there are ways of boosting that further(I like Jermaline), but that's what I've found reasonable.

Collin152
2008-07-08, 02:07 PM
Is this thread still about the Druid that summons dire wolves?

Cause I don't feel like talking about Druids in general, if that's what its become.
Just askin'.

Leewei
2008-07-08, 02:22 PM
Spoken like a powergamer. Not all people think that way. Trying to justify the existence of X (able to give you Y stat) isn't roleplaying, it's rollplaying. Not many DMs would allow an anthro-bat that could possibly break their campaign.

I like a good compromise between high stats and solid concept. Great but ineffective character concepts are no damn fun at all. As are batboys in campaigns not centered around Weekly World News articles.

Aquillion
2008-07-08, 02:34 PM
Is this thread still about the Druid that summons dire wolves?

Cause I don't feel like talking about Druids in general, if that's what its become.
Just askin'.The problem is that there's only so much to say about that.

Druids are overpowered. I don't think anyone basically disagrees with that. They're overpowered enough that a druid using the generally non-optimal strategy outlined there can still be massively overpowering. In fact, one thing I'd worry about: If the OP does anything to limit summoning, the druid in question might end up more overpowering, because it'll just lead them to experiment with other, even more broken strategies.

The worst part is that the druid doesn't even HAVE to try to be broken. We're not talking about an ancient anthromorphic bat druid here -- this is just a generic player who noticed that his druid could summon and buff and decided to use those abilities the way they're (theoretically) supposed to be used.

Honestly, it's a bit odd that this derailed into discussion of casting stats. Druids are the one full caster that actually doesn't need really high scores in its casting stat; they help, but the druid has so many other things that as long as their casting stat is high enough to access all their spells, they're still going to be three (or more) buffed bears most of the time, one of which still casts spells.

Srsly, I can understand optimizing a fighter, but (outside of theoretical optimization or massively overpowered games, which I'll grant can both be fun), what's the point of optimizing a druid? In a game without serious optimization, a druid could be one of the most powerful characters in the party using Elite Array if they wanted.

mostlyharmful
2008-07-08, 02:42 PM
If the OP does anything to limit summoning, the druid in question might end up more overpowering, because it'll just lead them to experiment with other, even more broken strategies.

Pray he never notices Control Wind.... Makes plot and scenery go by-by:smallmad:

Leewei
2008-07-08, 03:55 PM
Something else that hasn't been mentioned yet -- talk to the druid's player. The idea is for everyone to have fun in the game. A little tweak to his strategy and people can all have fun.

Examples:

Use summon nature's ally v to summon up 1-3 Medium Earth Elementals. The elementals earth glide past opponents and use the Push special attack to force opponents to move, provoking AoOs from other party members, as well as providing a flank bonus.

Use summon nature's ally v to summon up a Giant Constrictor Snake. Buff with animal growth to get a gargantuan pet with 15' reach. Place it behind opponents and use it to lock down enemy movement and missile fire. Also, provide flanks against most opponents, as above. Against a single, larger opponent, it has stupendous grappling which can allow PCs to sneak attack (at the very least, removing Dex bonus from AC can be very nice).

Against incorporeal undead, get 1-3 Unicorns. Their cure spells serve a dual purpose of damaging the undead and healing PCs. Also, flank as above.

So, do all these just serve as examples as to how overpowered a druid is? Well, yes and no. They're definitely a show of the power of the SNA spells, however in each case, the druid played a great support role, allowing other PCs to shine. Note that summoned creatures are called up, if possible, in a way that does not interfere with PC tactical movement, and also annoys the snot out of NPCs. The trick here, is to get the player into the mentality of a support role rather than monopolizing the fight. This is how I enjoy playing the class. :smallwink:

Another_Poet
2008-07-08, 04:22 PM
You could have the wolves get sick of dying for this jerk because he just keeps calling them up for every single battle (I know, summoned creatures don't really "die" but who wants to get called once a day every day to be battered and bruised?) If the spell fails onje day and then he starts getting bad dreams about wolves, you have not only a temporary solution but also a plot hook.

If an enemy can transmute the druid's armour into metal he loses his powers for 24 hours, plus he has to figure out a way to get the leather-armour-shaped sheet of metal of his body. I don't think there's a normal spell to this but you could homebrew it using Mud to Rock or Flesh to Stone as a starting point.

In the end though, nerfing his fave tactic on a regular basis will only get you hard feelings. Consider buffing the other characters with bonus loot or bonus class abilities. In one of my games I had a couple of devices that the PC's were able to use to gain permanent animal companions even though none of them were druids or rangers. It's always better to boost the ones that are behind instead of tearing down the one who's ahead.

ap

Frost
2008-07-08, 04:43 PM
Spoken like a powergamer. Not all people think that way. Trying to justify the existence of X (able to give you Y stat) isn't roleplaying, it's rollplaying. Not many DMs would allow an anthro-bat that could possibly break their campaign.

1) You still aren't understanding what I say with the word "Should" You should have the highest possible score that you can, because that is better then having a low score, of for whatever reason you can't have that score, then you have a lower possible maximum. If you are playing with 32PB, there is no reason to have stats that add up to 28PB, it's dumb.

2) I'm not trying to justify the existence of anything. Anthro Druid bats exist. This is a statement of fact about the D&D universe. It is equally as true as the statement that Half Orc Barbarians exist. There is no justification involved.

And if a Druid isn't going to break you campaign on it's own, then an Anthro Bat Druid isn't going to either.

Frost
2008-07-08, 04:54 PM
I have been. I've been doing so since the second page of the thread.

I've been specifically referring to your post from before grinner even posted in the thread, so I can't see how you could miss that fact.

Even then, the claims you made in your immediate response to him are among those I take issue with, to wit:



Wait, time out. You are objecting to my statement that a 34 Wis is possible? You think it isn't possible? Or are you just angry that it is and you are taking out on me what you should save for the D&D ruleset?

Leewei
2008-07-08, 05:50 PM
I'm not trying to justify the existence of anything. Anthro Druid bats exist.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Aquillion
2008-07-08, 07:09 PM
You could have the wolves get sick of dying for this jerk because he just keeps calling them up for every single battle (I know, summoned creatures don't really "die" but who wants to get called once a day every day to be battered and bruised?) If the spell fails onje day and then he starts getting bad dreams about wolves, you have not only a temporary solution but also a plot hook.Per RAW, that doesn't work -- SNA spells always work and always produce loyal creatures who will attack your enemies if you can't communicate with them, and obey your orders if you can. If you're going to just invent houserules whole-cloth specifically to nerf his strategy, you might as well just tell him to stop doing it.


I'm not trying to justify the existence of anything. Anthro Druid bats exist.Just so we're all on the same page, when I hear "Anthro-bat Druid", this is what I (and, I think, many other people in this thread) picture:

http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/9965/batboydruidwn2.jpg

(Only with the age category advanced to venerable, of course, not as a boy.)

Can you find a better picture of an anthromorphic bat druid that I can use for reference instead?

Chronicled
2008-07-08, 07:16 PM
Just so we're all on the same page, when I hear "Anthro-bat Druid", this is what I (and, I think, many other people in this thread) picture:

http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/9965/batboydruidwn2.jpg

(Only with the age category advanced to venerable, of course, not as a boy.)

Can you find a better picture of an anthromorphic bat druid that I can use for reference instead?

I think we can safely end the thread with that. Well done.

monty
2008-07-08, 10:19 PM
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! Your prize is one internet.

kamikasei
2008-07-09, 01:14 AM
Wait, time out. You are objecting to my statement that a 34 Wis is possible? You think it isn't possible? Or are you just angry that it is and you are taking out on me what you should save for the D&D ruleset?

I'm not angry about any claim you've made, though I do find your attempted defense of them irritating. Yes, a 34 is possible, but it requires a race and a use of wealth that 99% of games and DMs will not allow, and so should not be put forth as something one can expect to encounter in a normal game. That's the assertion I take issue with: that when considering general advise for how to ambush a druid character, you need to take a 34 wisdom into account. I also object to the idea that "every full caster with point buy starts with an 18". This is clearly false and there's no "should" in there to use as a weasel word.


1) You still aren't understanding what I say with the word "Should" You should have the highest possible score that you can, because that is better then having a low score, of for whatever reason you can't have that score, then you have a lower possible maximum. If you are playing with 32PB, there is no reason to have stats that add up to 28PB, it's dumb.

Firstly - no one is talking about spending fewer points than you're given. Some of us just prefer to buy better-rounded stats than to pump everything we've got into a casting stat for an extra +1. Further, 32 point buy is well above the standard to start with.

Secondly - what, so your use of "should" has gone from "can be expected to have" to "is a moral imperative to have"?

Frosty, do you contest any of these points?
- Not all full caster characters will start with an 18 in their casting stat, even when it's possible via point buy.
- Most druid characters will probably not have a racial Wis bonus, since no PHB race grants one.
- A +6 racial Wis bonus requires a race that will not likely be allowed by the majority (by a wide margin) of DMs.
- A +6 stat-boosting item by level 10 will also be disallowed by most DMs, or won't even enter the equation because the opportunity to tailor equipment in that way is not available.
- Aging effects may well also be disallowed, although they are the likeliest of the three options to pass muster.

Given these points, it is unreasonable to claim that all druids will have a minimum of 24 Wis at level 10, and absurd to claim that a 34 is even worth trying to plan for in something like 99% of games. The former is empirically false as it requires build choices that many players do not make, and I'm not talking about "Imma build a high-strength monk using dual longswords!" unoptimization. The problems with the latter should be clear given that many in this very thread have already said they wouldn't allow the means you're using to achieve it.

Honestly I'd rather let the thread end with my kudos to Aquillion, so if anyone wants to continue this I invite them to PM me.

Frost
2008-07-09, 01:39 AM
I also object to the idea that "every full caster with point buy starts with an 18". This is clearly false and there's no "should" in there to use as a weasel word.

No, for this I should have added the word Intelligent to weasel with.


Frosty, do you contest any of these points?

Firstly, I'll run down the list. Secondly, my name is Frost, not Frosty, normally I wouldn't quibble, but there is another poster named Frosty in the forum who might take exception.


- Not all full caster characters will start with an 18 in their casting stat, even when it's possible via point buy.

Not all Full casters no, but 90%, and all Druids.


- Most druid characters will probably not have a racial Wis bonus, since no PHB race grants one.

No, I don't. But it's probably about 60-40.


- A +6 racial Wis bonus requires a race that will not likely be allowed by the majority (by a wide margin) of DMs.

Yes I disagree.


- A +6 stat-boosting item by level 10 will also be disallowed by most DMs, or won't even enter the equation because the opportunity to tailor equipment in that way is not available.

Again, disagree, most DMs would allow their players to spend their money on whatever they want.


- Aging effects may well also be disallowed, although they are the likeliest of the three options to pass muster.

No, I can't imagine aging effects ever being disallowed.


Given these points, it is unreasonable to claim that all druids will have a minimum of 24 Wis at level 10,

Actually, even if every single one of your above statements was true, only the very few casters with lower then 18s would ever have less then 24 Wisdom at level 10, and ignoring players who just want to be contrary and unoptimized for no reason, none of those are going to be Druids.

See, if you had payed attention you would have noticed that the 24 is done without using any racial bonuses, saving money, or aging. And is just a natural result of playing a Human Druid using PB.


Honestly I'd rather let the thread end with my kudos to Aquillion, so if anyone wants to continue this I invite them to PM me.

You are welcome to switch to PM any time.

kamikasei
2008-07-09, 02:39 AM
Secondly, my name is Frost, not Frosty, normally I wouldn't quibble, but there is another poster named Frosty in the forum who might take exception.

Whoops, my mistake.

Zanticor
2008-07-09, 07:38 AM
I'm really sorry to continue this ending tread but since I suffered the same problem with a druid pc of mine and came up with my own kinda houserulling, I thought it would be worthwhile to share it with you all. My druid is a a beastmaster with two animal companions and a tendency to summon a lot of boars and wolfs. This made animal growth extremely painful and a reason for me to keep on adding hitdice to my monsters to make them all huge and lethal to all but the druid animals. To tone it down a bit, I ruled that if you try to buff a summoned creature with a spell that grants a save (like animal growth) the creature will take the save. Since dire animals have fair will saves (don't know why their saves are that amazing), his summons started to make their saves and my druid was quite bummed out. He didn't really like my ruling and I must admit it is disputable but it worked and now my druid just seems to rely on his enlarged animal companions (he still outshines the fighter but that seems natural). With a simple ruling he gave up on his game breaking tactic and got the suspense back into the game.

Greetings, Zanticor

Albonor
2008-07-09, 09:09 AM
Ooooooookay! Never start a thread before you go visit the parents for a couple of days I guess!

Thanks a lot to everyone who helped, this will go a long way towards balancing the crowning moments of awesome in the party.

Frost, anyone coming to my table with a race that gets a +6 in its primary stat will be introduced to the Player's handbook and its races. With a light smack on the head.

For more information on the particular druid:

Half-orc (house rule: no -2 to int and +2 to intimidate), druid level 9.
Wolf animal companion, lucky on the hit points rolls.
+5 (21) in WIS, including a +2 item. Started at 17.
New player, smart guy, nice guy.

Buying magic items is not a real option, since magic item shops do not exist in my setting. There is an auction twice a year and I randomly roll the items that will be offered (within reason of course).

I will mention to him that he could at least try to summon critters that do something else than biting. But the main problem I had with that strategy (other than I keep forgething that the wolves do not follow orders) are the free trip after a bite: DR or not, a Huge wolf will probably win the contested check. Your suggestions will reduce the frequency of that happening anyway and give the other players time to shine.

Thanks again!

Signmaker
2008-07-09, 09:38 AM
Worried about the trip checks? Toss some centaurs at them. One with class levels, even. They're large (+4 vs trip), four-legged (+4 vs trip), and comes with a racial +8 to Str (again, +4 to trip).

As for Frost's comment about PCs spending their GP any way they want? To take from the honorable Judge Judy, "Baloney!"

Take it from an rp perspective. You are not going to make it to 10th level without gear. Even if you sell off your gear at 8-10th level to afford the Periapt +6, you aren't getting 100% back, more like 50 or 75%. As for aging bonuses, those DO come with a Constitution penalty. Granted, evermead can fix that, but you get the picture. Honestly, it's probably better to go for a smaller range between Wis and Con, just for player survivability. Hooray, your spells have a DC in the 20s. Unless that affects the whole of the enemy, you're gonna get skewered eventually.

Tehnar
2008-07-09, 09:52 AM
One thing I would mention, because its not really clear or explicit in the rules is:

When getting up from a prone, you are subject to AoO, however since a AoO happens before the action takes place, you cannot trip a rising character. On the fact that tripping a prone person makes them prone, so no change.

I am just pointing this out in case you are not aware of that.

Eldariel
2008-07-09, 09:53 AM
Buying magic items is not a real option, since magic item shops do not exist in my setting. There is an auction twice a year and I randomly roll the items that will be offered (within reason of course).

This could actually explain a lot; a Druid is quite independent of gear, while melee types are very much gear-reliant. So one thing you could try is making some more efficient magical weaponry available as treasure et al.

Another_Poet
2008-07-09, 09:57 AM
Per RAW, that doesn't work -- SNA spells always work and always produce loyal creatures who will attack your enemies if you can't communicate with them, and obey your orders if you can. If you're going to just invent houserules whole-cloth specifically to nerf his strategy, you might as well just tell him to stop doing it.

It's not so much a house rule as a plot development. The guy's playing a nature priest, yet he's sending animal allies to the slaughter every single day. Both as a GM and as a player, I think the idea that the spirits of nature deny him his summoning powers is pretty intriguing. Maybe a quest, atonement or a lot of offerings are in order to get those powers back. If it's a quest that's something the whole group could participate in (and they might not be in too big of a hurry to complete it, since they're finally not being overshadowed, so then he'll have to come up with different tactics and might just like them better). I think that kind of thing is a lot more fun than just saying "Dude, no more wolves". At least this way he has a chance to get the power back and learn to use it only in the toughest situations.

RAW shouldn't trump good fun or good storytelling. The tactic might or might not be good for Albonor's group, but if it is, a page of the PHB shouldn't stop them. If he needs a rule reason, here it is: divine intervention. Boom, now its RAW.

ap

Thrawn183
2008-07-09, 11:44 AM
This is a case where I would favor DR/materials or anything that isn't straight up melee. As has been pointed out, and judging by the last post from the Op'er, if a level 9 druid wants to spend his spells on wolves and buffing them once per day, he should be able to because that's a tactic that just won't work too many times per day. He's investing significant resources into this tactic and should enjoy the rewards from it.

Suggestions:
1) Have enemies his wolves are weak against give him reason to fight them. If he's very protective of a certain grove of trees, have a Bebilith start destroying nature in the nearby area. The thing has DR 10/good which the wolves won't be able to overcome without even greater resource expenditure on the part of the druid. This should be allowed because he's invisting such a huge amount of resources into the fight.
2) Strange tactics. Many of these have already been mentioned, but I'll try and put some in a single spot: Invisibility and even Greater Invisibility are well within the realm of possibility at this level, though the wolves scent ability could be problematic. Huge Wolves are severely terrain restricted by things like cliffs. If you're fighting a vampire, have it just spider climb up a cliff and wait to heal and for the summons to run out of time. Wolves have no ranged attacks meaning that flying enemies are essentially immune to anything they do. Water, use things that are amphibious so that if he uses a land summon they retreat to the water and if he uses a water summon they get on land (though if he uses both, then he certainly deserves to smash the encounter for spending so many resources).
4) Multiple encounters per day, the druid simply can't keep this tactic up for long.
5) Incorporeal enemies: without magical weapons, the wolves won't be able to touch them. At the same time, a Magic Fang prevents this tactic from rendering the Druid completely useless. It just makes things more difficult. Especially nice if you want to drop a weapon crystal (Magic Item Compendium) that negates the 50% miss chance.
6) AoE's. The more wolves there are, the more damage they do.
7) Domination (any kind of mind control, really). The bigger and badder the wolves, the better they are for someone to use them against you.
8) Fair is fair. Send a druid at him.
9) Protection from X/ Magic circle against X. This has been extolled previously, but is such an excellent idea that it bears repeating.

My personal favorite. Once they hit level ten, drop an adamantine weapon or two and throw them up against an iron golem. DR 15/adamanine? Oh yeah, those wolves will be sooooo useful. Though the druid can do plenty of things to help the rest of the party shine.

PS. Just try and not completely screw over the druid player so he doesn't have any fun. I doubt you would, but I figure its worth mentioning.

Leewei
2008-07-09, 06:16 PM
Buying magic items is not a real option, since magic item shops do not exist in my setting. There is an auction twice a year and I randomly roll the items that will be offered (within reason of course).
I second the poster mentioning that this can be an issue on the non-druid PCs. Make weapons and armor available, but wondrous items less so to balance things out a bit.


I will mention to him that he could at least try to summon critters that do something else than biting. But the main problem I had with that strategy (other than I keep forgething that the wolves do not follow orders) are the free trip after a bite: DR or not, a Huge wolf will probably win the contested check. Your suggestions will reduce the frequency of that happening anyway and give the other players time to shine.
The trip attack is pretty nice for the other PCs, assuming they can get at downed opponents. Note that there are more than a few opponents (incorporeal, Ooze, flying) that are immune to trips. If I had one thing to drill home with the druid, it'd be that he's best off summoning where his critters don't get in the way of the other PCs. Trip is nice; trip plus flank is lovely.

Frosty
2008-07-09, 06:42 PM
I'm spoilering my response to Frosty, as it's gotten so off-topic by now.



The ridiculously high stat I was referring to was the 34, and to be honest I find it difficult to believe you genuinely don't realize that.

A 24 is a perfectly reasonably score, though it is by no means a minimum. A 34 is an absurd score to expect at that level.



In general, "attempted mockery" falls flat on the internet. I have no way of knowing that something absurd you've said is parody. People say things that absurd all the time in total sincerity.



At this point I think you've descended in to self-parody.

In a discussion of the difficulty of ambushing a druid, you contradicted Cuddly's statement that a level 10 druid would have "at most a ... +7" wisdom and claimed that at that level a druid "should" have a +12. Did you mean that a +12 wisdom mod at level 10 is something you can reasonably expect to see in any given game of D&D, or that it is a reasonable standard for practical optimization that can be carried over across the majority of groups and DMs? If not, then what did you mean? Did you mean anything? Are you just using words without regard for their meaning? Are you making claims and then pretending you never made them when challenged to defend them?

Perhaps you should consider you spending less time laughing at me and a tiny fraction of that time clarifying the statements with which people have taken issue.

I maintain that you made, or gave the impression of making - to others as well as to me - an absurd claim which you have only made worse in attempting to defend it. You can retract it, or stand by it. In either case I have no interest in discussing it further as I do not trust in your good faith.

I wasn't aware I was in this thread and making arguments. In any case, Frost's usage of the word "should" is extremely misleading. It's his own darned fault if others misunderstand him. Since there is no human race with +6 racial Wisdom bonus, it is irrelevant in the discussion. Limiting oneself to what is *likely* to what is how the word "should" be used.

For example, the statement: "The vast majority of Druids should put their 4th and 8th stat boosts into Wisdom" is valid, because we know in reality, most druids will do that and it it happens a lot. Or, even if it doesn't happen a lot, it is a good idea and can has a good chance of being allowed by a reasonable DM.

The statement: "Every Druid should have a +6 racial wisdom bonus" is ridiculous, because most people will NOT be playing, or is not allowed to play, anthropomorphic animals. And DMs will not give humans, or elves, or whatever else +0 LA race, a +6 racial Wisdom bonus. The statement just DOESN'T happen. It might be a good idea in the sense that it'll make your druid more powerful, but no way in hell is it going to happen. I have yet to see a campaign where there are Anthro bats or humans with natural +6 wisdom mods running around. You're stating how you WANT things, not how things are. Please be careful in the future.

The Glyphstone
2008-07-09, 07:02 PM
It's not so much a house rule as a plot development. The guy's playing a nature priest, yet he's sending animal allies to the slaughter every single day. Both as a GM and as a player, I think the idea that the spirits of nature deny him his summoning powers is pretty intriguing. Maybe a quest, atonement or a lot of offerings are in order to get those powers back. If it's a quest that's something the whole group could participate in (and they might not be in too big of a hurry to complete it, since they're finally not being overshadowed, so then he'll have to come up with different tactics and might just like them better). I think that kind of thing is a lot more fun than just saying "Dude, no more wolves". At least this way he has a chance to get the power back and learn to use it only in the toughest situations.

RAW shouldn't trump good fun or good storytelling. The tactic might or might not be good for Albonor's group, but if it is, a page of the PHB shouldn't stop them. If he needs a rule reason, here it is: divine intervention. Boom, now its RAW.

ap

That's also an arbitrary nerf, though, since the wolves don't actually get a scratch on them. As per the rules for summoned creatures, not called creatures, when the spell expires or they are slain*, they return to wherever they were summoned from completely healthy. Without any IC reason for his summons to be denied him, it stops being an otherwise interesting plot development and turns into the un-fun railroadizing.

*Okay, so they do take 24 hours to reform if killed, but since dire wolves are hardly unique creatures, the SNA spell will just snatch up a different wolf pack while the first one is reforming.




Summoning
A summoning spell instantly brings a creature or object to a place you designate. When the spell ends or is dispelled, a summoned creature is instantly sent back to where it came from, but a summoned object is not sent back unless the spell description specifically indicates this. A summoned creature also goes away if it is killed or if its hit points drop to 0 or lower. It is not really dead. It takes 24 hours for the creature to reform, during which time it can’t be summoned again.

When the spell that summoned a creature ends and the creature disappears, all the spells it has cast expire. A summoned creature cannot use any innate summoning abilities it may have, and it refuses to cast any spells that would cost it XP, or to use any spell-like abilities that would cost XP if they were spells.

Frost
2008-07-09, 09:35 PM
Take it from an rp perspective. You are not going to make it to 10th level without gear. Even if you sell off your gear at 8-10th level to afford the Periapt +6, you aren't getting 100% back, more like 50 or 75%. As for aging bonuses, those DO come with a Constitution penalty. Granted, evermead can fix that, but you get the picture. Honestly, it's probably better to go for a smaller range between Wis and Con, just for player survivability. Hooray, your spells have a DC in the 20s. Unless that affects the whole of the enemy, you're gonna get skewered eventually.

There isn't much of a difference between Wisdom and Con. Con is your second stat, and a minimum of 14. How is that worse the most other characters? Rogues are lucky to have your Con score, and they don't have d8. And seriously, what else are you going to spend your money on? You aren't short on gear that actually matters.

kamikasei
2008-07-10, 07:14 AM
I wasn't aware I was in this thread and making arguments.

Apologies again for the typo.

Signmaker
2008-07-10, 11:01 AM
There isn't much of a difference between Wisdom and Con. Con is your second stat, and a minimum of 14. How is that worse the most other characters? Rogues are lucky to have your Con score, and they don't have d8. And seriously, what else are you going to spend your money on? You aren't short on gear that actually matters.

There ARE third stats to be considered. I'm not quire sure what Druid walks around with an 8 in Int and/or Cha (Caster enemies, seriously?). Assuming 28 point buy, and that the druid puts at least 2 points in Int and Cha to keep the negatives away, Con can be a max of 15. Throw in the aging penalties of your venerable bat druid, oh look, it's 12.

Of course, I could be wrong with this whole 'third stat' aspect, but I'd feel that such a druid that neglects his mental stats should be wary of Rays of Stupidity and the like.

Frost
2008-07-10, 03:54 PM
There ARE third stats to be considered. I'm not quire sure what Druid walks around with an 8 in Int and/or Cha (Caster enemies, seriously?). Assuming 28 point buy, and that the druid puts at least 2 points in Int and Cha to keep the negatives away, Con can be a max of 15. Throw in the aging penalties of your venerable bat druid, oh look, it's 12.

Of course, I could be wrong with this whole 'third stat' aspect, but I'd feel that such a druid that neglects his mental stats should be wary of Rays of Stupidity and the like.

Except I can just as easily take the negatives away by being a venerable bat Druid.

28PB:

8
8
14
14
18
8

28PB advancing 2 ages:

8.................or................9
8...................................9
16..................................15
10..................................10
18..................................18
8...................................8

And that's 28, if you get anything more standard like 32, you are even better off.

Eldariel
2008-07-10, 04:22 PM
For the record, 25pb PHB Druid:

Middle-Aged Human

Str 8
Dex 11 (3)
Con 15 (8)
Int 9 (1)
Wis 17 (13)
Cha 8

That translates into:
Str 7
Dex 10
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 18
Cha 9

If starting from a Wildshape-level, Dex could be dropped to 7-8 and maybe Int to 9 for 19 starting Wis. Adjustment would come from Dex if you wanna raise the low stats. One point of Wis for Dex 12, maybe dropping Int to go for Dex 14 could also be done, but this one is better in the long run. The point of this is just to illustrate how Druid can have that 18 in casting stat without badly hampering themselves even on the lowest point buy around with just Core-books.


If not allowed age adjustments, 8 Str/10 Dex/14 Con/9 Int/18 Wis/8 Cha. Bit worse, but still playable with sufficient HP, Dex and Wisdom. The Int is annoyingly low skillwise, but not unbearably so thanks to Human extra points.

lord_khaine
2008-07-10, 04:52 PM
Originally Posted by kamikasei
- Not all full caster characters will start with an 18 in their casting stat, even when it's possible via point buy.

Not all Full casters no, but 90%, and all Druids.

ill just note that in all the time i have been playing, i have not seen or played a singel druid who startet with more than a 16 in wis, so your 90% estimate is with around 100% wrong.

but to get back on the track about the druid, then i would think the 2 best suggestions seen so far has been to increase the number of encounters, and to include the use of ToB into the game, to buff up the melee guys a little.

Eldariel
2008-07-10, 05:28 PM
ill just note that in all the time i have been playing, i have not seen or played a singel druid who startet with more than a 16 in wis, so your 90% estimate is with around 100% wrong.

While his 90% may be off, your experiences hardly cover "the majority of D&D players", so the numbers that come from your personal experience are precisely as meaningless as the 90%. I think his point is something along the lines of "If a Druid can have an 18, it's going to be in Wisdom." Also, basically any point buy Druid can take 18 in Wis, as my last post demonstrated; 25pb is pretty much the lowest point buy in use and you can afford 18 Wis then. Heck, if we were talking about 22pb, you'd still get 18 Wisdom. 21pb is tough and in 20pb or lower, you probably won't anymore, but all the way down to 21pb, a Druid can, and probably should, have 18 in Wisdom (and I've never heard of a game with point buy of 20 or lower; that's like playing commoners).

Demons_eye
2008-07-10, 05:42 PM
Whats the problem with low str dex and con with a druid? He will wild shape in battle and I beat there are 3 or 4 builds that can keep him in wild shape. So that really takes care of it dose it not?

Epinephrine
2008-07-10, 05:44 PM
Not all DMs allow wildshape druids. We use shapeshift variant primarily, no wildshapes allowed.

Demons_eye
2008-07-10, 05:48 PM
Really? My dm really dosent like any variant so I have only play core druid but what is the diff?

Frosty
2008-07-10, 05:50 PM
Shapeshift variant is massively toned down, plus you lose your AC.

Leewei
2008-07-10, 07:19 PM
Whats the problem with low str dex and con with a druid? He will wild shape in battle and I beat there are 3 or 4 builds that can keep him in wild shape. So that really takes care of it dose it not?

I like a high Con on my druid characters because wildshape will not change HPs. Fort saves and skill bonuses will come from the animal form, but more HPs is more betta.

Str and Dex can be viewed as dump stats, but I won't write them off at the expense of a solid character concept. My favorite druid PC had a Str10, Dex14 and used wildshape only rarely.

Eldariel
2008-07-10, 07:23 PM
Whats the problem with low str dex and con with a druid? He will wild shape in battle and I beat there are 3 or 4 builds that can keep him in wild shape. So that really takes care of it dose it not?

Con is actually very important to a Druid, since due to Polymorph errata, Druid retains his original HP in Wildshape form. This has two effects:
-Druid's own HP matter. A lot.
-Forms with low Con are suddenly very usable as you still have high HP. Hurts your saves though, but that isn't so bad when it's optional.

Also, Dex matters if you aren't adventuring in Wildshape form. Likewise, when a social sitiuation goes rough, the AC and Initiative are appreciated. Finally, before level 5, where you get Wildshape, you'll mostly be attacking with ranged weapons and thus need Dex to hit. Also, on those levels, AC still helps.


And as Frosty said, Shapeshift is basically a 'fair' version of Wildshape; you don't get new form's stats, just adjustment to your old stats and you don't have much freedom in choosing your form.

Wildshape is one of the reasons Druid basically is about as good as your average Druidless party. Taking it away makes them a lot more fair.

Waspinator
2008-07-10, 08:28 PM
Yeah, I like that PHBII Druid variant. To those without the book, basically you lose your animal companion and your wild shape ability but gain the ability to shapeshift at will unlimited times per day. You get to pick exactly what animal you turn into, but instead of using parts of that creature's Monster Manual entry to modify your stats you gain specific buffs based off what category of creature your turning into. Oh, and you can not cast spells in these forms and Natural Spell does not work, but since you can change back and forth freely that's not a big deal.

Without basically plagarizing the book, the categories include a predator form (level 1, examples include wolves and panthers) that gets a bite attack, natural armor, a Strength bonus, and 50-foot speed. Level 5 gets you Aerial Form (birds, bats, etc..) that gives you a talon attack, a bonus to Reflex saves, smaller bonuses to Strength and natural armor, and a fly speed of 40 feet. 8th level adds Ferocious Slayer form (tigers and bears and whatnot) that has a bite and two claw attacks, +1 size category, and bigger bonuses to Strength and natural armor plus one to Fortitude. I won't bother listing all of their abilities, but 12th level adds Forest Avenger form (treants and whatnot) and 16th has Elemental Fury form (elementals, of course). I personally think that this works much better if nothing else because it sets defined limits on what a Druid can gain by transforming. The big problem with the standard Druid is that their potential firepower can vary wildly depending on what creatures that they know about either via having more or less books owned by the player or by their DM simply having their characters encounter or not encounter certain animals.

grinner666
2008-07-10, 11:42 PM
Except I can just as easily take the negatives away by being a venerable bat Druid.

28PB:

8
8
14
14
18
8

28PB advancing 2 ages:

8.................or................9
8...................................9
16..................................15
10..................................10
18..................................18
8...................................8

And that's 28, if you get anything more standard like 32, you are even better off.

First of all the STANDARD point buy is 25 points; read your DMG (page 169). Therefore calling 32-point buys "standard" is ridiculous, and tells us a LOT about where you get your weird ideas of what's "normal" and "should" happen.

Second, an 18 stat score costs 16 of your 25 points, leaving you with a big nine points to play with in other areas. Which means you can have three tens, a nine and an eight, or a 14, a 10 and three eights, or ... you get the idea. Unless you're going to COMPLETELY screw your character in some area (or several areas), an 18 with a standard point buy is usually not a good idea. For ANYONE.

Let's just go over the stats for a Druid, shall we?

With Strength you've got a point; it IS less useful at higher levels. But then again STR is less useful for most spellcasters at higher levels. Still, I wouldn't want to have to do without it until I get ahold of the Wild Shape ability; I've never YET played a campaign where the secondary melee combatants (clerics, druids) didn't need to go into combat ... usually multiple times ... before 5th level.

With Dexterity you've got less of an argument. DEX is useful in initiative, which means it's useful for CHANGING into a high-STR, high-DEX animule before the Druid gets bunged up by something nasty. Again, less useful at higher levels, but ALWAYS useful in situations where it's better for the Druid to keep his human shape (for ALL functions of the stat - initiative, AC, missile weapons) ... towns, cities, the Duke's dinner party ...

And with CON I think you (and, I'll admit, the conventional wisdom) are mistaken. Druids are as good as ... hell, better than ... sorcerers and wizards at battlefield control spells, and almost as good at damage spells. A Druid should never, ever need to engage in melee combat after ... well, the time when he becomes best at it. Fifth level or so. And he's got a really good (not the best, but really, really good) hit die to begin with. I've played Druids with high CON scores, sure. They usually ended up multiclassing to Barbarian for a couple of levels. *grins* But they can be just as effective with an average score here. Quite often their summoned and/or Companion "meat-shields" will take a lot of the damage a Druid might take otherwise. I will note here that the OP never once complained about his Druid's shapechanging/melee ability. Apparently he's playing a Druid who knows how to avoid melee. :smallcool:

INT is a pretty obvious stat for ANY class ... but it's fairly important for Druids in particular. They've got a LOT of skills to spread their skill points between, and a lot of them you'll WANT to max out. I can think of six or seven off-hand that I'd never want to not have maxxed if I didn't HAVE to.

Wisdom. D'UUUUUUHHH. I don't think we need to even discuss Wisdom.

On Charisma you're mistaken as hell. One (two, if the party doesn't have a Cleric or a Rogue who wants to be the party mouthpiece) of the Druid's most important skills is/are based on CHA. A Druid just can't get by without a decent score in Handle Animal if he wants to be able to train his Companion in particular, and "pets" generally, beyond their normal capacities. And if the Druid's going to have to be the party spokesman, even occasionally, he's gonna need Diplomacy. Shorting the controlling attribute on two such important skills is just stupid, not to put too fine a point on it. And if he DOES have to act as party mouthpiece, he's going to have to have that CHA, plus his INT bonus, in order to Bluff, Intimidate, etc.

So ... your assumption of what's "standard" for point allotments is completely out of whack, you've got at least two (probably three) stats you want at least +1 in (CON, INT, CHA ... and frankly I'd prefer +2 in INT and CHA), and another (DEX) you don't want negatives in because it'll screw up your ability to shapechange AND to cast fantastic movement-reliant spells before the enemy has already moved to screw you up (Spike Growth, Spike Stones). That'll cost you 4+4+4+2= 14 points out of 25.

That means you can afford a 16 WIS with one point to put into STR or somewhere else, IF you don't want a +2 bonus somewhere, which will limit WIS to 15. Frankly with a STANDARD point buy an 18 WIS is idiotic unless you want a STR of 3. Which is also, IMNSHO, idiotic.

Finally, a couple of things about magic items.

First: frankly, your "I have X amount of money, I should be able to buy anything" attitude is symptomatic of one of the biggest problems I've seen in 3E. Third Edition has fully embraced the Monty Haul philosophy. "Magic-Items-backwards-R-Us" stores didn't exist in most campaigns until 3E appeared and, because suddenly you didn't need exotic materials to create them, everybody assumed there would be a magical bazaar in every town. What utter crap. All I can say about this is that I wish to every God there is, was, or ever will be that Dragon magazine had kept publishing articles about how to run a campaign since 3E came out, instead of their endless line of crap about new Prestige Classes, spells and magic items.

Second (and this is my final comment for this post; rejoice if you want :smalltongue:), your math is just wrong. If you're following the character wealth by level rules a level 10 Druid will have equipment worth 49 thousand GP. Even assuming he can FIND them, a Monk's Belt (13,000 gp) and Periapt of Wisdom +6 (36,000 gp) TOTAL TO 49,000 GP. Yet you seem to believe a level-10 character can afford not only these, but multiple Wilding Clasps. If you buy these items you can't afford a frickin' Spell Component Pouch, much less a Wilding Clasp!!

In other words your 10th-level Druid can have his uber-magic-item-enhanced AC and not be able to cast Barkskin, much less the spells at issue in this thread, or he can Wildshape to, say, Polar Bear form and have an AC of 15. Or he can be reasonable about his purchases and actually be effective.

tyckspoon
2008-07-11, 01:06 AM
Spell Component Pouch, much less a Wilding Clasp!!


Druids use a Divine Focus, d00d. Which for them is a sprig of plant matter gathered from the woods.. it's free.

grinner666
2008-07-11, 02:31 AM
WHERE did you see a rule stating that a Druid's DF was free? Please post book name and page number.

kamikasei
2008-07-11, 04:33 AM
There's no cost listed for any divine focus that I know of, except for a cleric's holy symbol.

Eldariel
2008-07-11, 04:45 AM
First of all the STANDARD point buy is 25 points; read your DMG (page 169). Therefore calling 32-point buys "standard" is ridiculous, and tells us a LOT about where you get your weird ideas of what's "normal" and "should" happen.

Actually, just about every online game I've played in is based on 28 or 32pb, since 25pb is pretty dumb as it leaves you with an odd score; basically all DMs seem to realize this and account for this.


Second, an 18 stat score costs 16 of your 25 points, leaving you with a big nine points to play with in other areas. Which means you can have three tens, a nine and an eight, or a 14, a 10 and three eights, or ... you get the idea. Unless you're going to COMPLETELY screw your character in some area (or several areas), an 18 with a standard point buy is usually not a good idea. For ANYONE.

That said, I just demonstrated that you can perfectly well afford an 18 on 25pb.


With Strength you've got a point; it IS less useful at higher levels. But then again STR is less useful for most spellcasters at higher levels. Still, I wouldn't want to have to do without it until I get ahold of the Wild Shape ability; I've never YET played a campaign where the secondary melee combatants (clerics, druids) didn't need to go into combat ... usually multiple times ... before 5th level.

No. You fight with Produce Flame and ranged weapons; you do not engage in melee unless you've got generous pb that allows you to buy Str. Str is handy, but not needed. It's strictly up to you if you want to wade into melee and with your animal companion contributing there, you're better off shooting things than getting in the way.


With Dexterity you've got less of an argument. DEX is useful in initiative, which means it's useful for CHANGING into a high-STR, high-DEX animule before the Druid gets bunged up by something nasty. Again, less useful at higher levels, but ALWAYS useful in situations where it's better for the Druid to keep his human shape (for ALL functions of the stat - initiative, AC, missile weapons) ... towns, cities, the Duke's dinner party ...

Yes, but you can get by with ~10-12 Dex quite easily. Again, more is helpful, but not necessary. Around level 6, you can afford Monk's Belt which pretty much eliminates AC problems in the conventional form.


And with CON I think you (and, I'll admit, the conventional wisdom) are mistaken. Druids are as good as ... hell, better than ... sorcerers and wizards at battlefield control spells, and almost as good at damage spells. A Druid should never, ever need to engage in melee combat after ... well, the time when he becomes best at it. Fifth level or so. And he's got a really good (not the best, but really, really good) hit die to begin with. I've played Druids with high CON scores, sure. They usually ended up multiclassing to Barbarian for a couple of levels. *grins* But they can be just as effective with an average score here. Quite often their summoned and/or Companion "meat-shields" will take a lot of the damage a Druid might take otherwise. I will note here that the OP never once complained about his Druid's shapechanging/melee ability. Apparently he's playing a Druid who knows how to avoid melee. :smallcool:

A Druid who doesn't use Wildshape for combat isn't helping his party to the best of his ability. If you use Wildshape, you need Con. Well, you need it anyways, since there're ranged attacks and such that mean you better have the HP to take those 20s like a man. Your Con should be as high as you can afford, only second to Wis. Con is the only stat no character can dump and this is especially true for a character with melee role.


INT is a pretty obvious stat for ANY class ... but it's fairly important for Druids in particular. They've got a LOT of skills to spread their skill points between, and a lot of them you'll WANT to max out. I can think of six or seven off-hand that I'd never want to not have maxxed if I didn't HAVE to.

Just be a Human. That alleviates the worst need for skills. 10 Int = 5 skills per level = maxed Spot, Listen, Concentration, 1 more; the 5th score goes split into Handle Animal (you need enough ranks to take 10 with your Animal Companion; generally that's 4-5 ranks thanks to the Devotion and Mw. Tools; if Tools aren't allowed, 6-7), Survival (mostly you can do this with your Wis-bonus and Nature Sense alone), Spellcraft (if the only caster in the party; otherwise dump this) and Knowledge (Nature) (may really be worth maxing). Yes, more is merrier, but the trick is knowing which to prioritise to save points.


Wisdom. D'UUUUUUHHH. I don't think we need to even discuss Wisdom.

Yes.


On Charisma you're mistaken as hell. One (two, if the party doesn't have a Cleric or a Rogue who wants to be the party mouthpiece) of the Druid's most important skills is/are based on CHA. A Druid just can't get by without a decent score in Handle Animal if he wants to be able to train his Companion in particular, and "pets" generally, beyond their normal capacities. And if the Druid's going to have to be the party spokesman, even occasionally, he's gonna need Diplomacy. Shorting the controlling attribute on two such important skills is just stupid, not to put too fine a point on it. And if he DOES have to act as party mouthpiece, he's going to have to have that CHA, plus his INT bonus, in order to Bluff, Intimidate, etc.

A Druid shouldn't need to be the spokesman. If he's already two melee characters, the divine caster, and the wannabe arcane caster at the same time, the rest of the party better be able to arrange a speaker since you're already doing everything else. Also, you can get by on Diplomacy alone; you don't need Bluff or Intimidate. They open options, but they aren't class skills for you, so mostly they just aren't worth the trouble.

A Druid gets +4 to Handle Animal-checks with his companion; coupled with taking 10, +2 from Mw. Tools and 4 Ranks, you succeed the difficult training on level 1. Otherwise you need to take 20 for level 1, taking 10 level 2 onwards. You don't need Charisma. Charisma is handy, but it isn't as strong as the rest of the options. Therefore you should avoid excessive points there since those points are simply worse than points in Wis, Con, Int or Dex.


So ... your assumption of what's "standard" for point allotments is completely out of whack, you've got at least two (probably three) stats you want at least +1 in (CON, INT, CHA ... and frankly I'd prefer +2 in INT and CHA), and another (DEX) you don't want negatives in because it'll screw up your ability to shapechange AND to cast fantastic movement-reliant spells before the enemy has already moved to screw you up (Spike Growth, Spike Stones). That'll cost you 4+4+4+2= 14 points out of 25.

You don't need +1 in those stats. That's simple bad character construction. Prioritise what's the most important; in this case it's your Wis. 10 in Int is plenty, and you need no points whatsoever in Cha. 10 in Dex is plenty, which leaves you with 14 Con. Then just put 18 in Wis and you're done. If you want better non-Wis scores, sure, but you're simply shooting yourself in the leg. You don't need those points like you do Wis. Wisdom is the smart man's choice.


That means you can afford a 16 WIS with one point to put into STR or somewhere else, IF you don't want a +2 bonus somewhere, which will limit WIS to 15. Frankly with a STANDARD point buy an 18 WIS is idiotic unless you want a STR of 3. Which is also, IMNSHO, idiotic.

I already demonstrated the 25pb 18 Wis 14 Con build on the last page.


...stuff...

+4 item and Monk's Belt is mere half of the WPL, and that's enough for the 24. 25pb just means the rest of your stats will be worse. It doesn't stop you from having 18 Wis. We need to go to 20 pb for that.

Also note how Barkskin lists no material component. Same is true for basically all Druid spells. Whenever there's a component listed at the end, it's Arcane Material Component or Arcane Focus. Since when has Druid cast Arcane spells?

Frost
2008-07-19, 08:45 PM
1) Crafting: Usually I have a Cleric friend do this, or an Artificer, but if worse comes to worse, you are a Druid, and you don't need feats. Take Craft Wondrous.

2) Yes, every item they can afford is open to the level 10 party with Planeshift that can visit any Planar Metropolis, or The City of Doors, any time.

3) I address Dex all the time, and Str before Wildshape the simple way, be shapeshifted all the time. Ask for a damn Disguise Self or buy a hat of disguise if you need to look human, but you can be in wolf form from level 1, and then you become a crazy awesome animal at level 5, and by 7 you are always in creature form.

Of course Entangle and Produce Flame are far better choices then entering melee.

4) Ooh 25PB, is "standard". No one cares, what's "standard" is what is played the most, and that's 32 or 28. So yes, you can easily have a 18 Wisdom, in fact you can easily have an 18 Wis, 14 Con, 14 Int in pretty much 99.9999% of PB games.

An no you don't need Cha, because you need like 4-6 ranks with an 8 to be able to train your AC in everything.

Leewei
2008-07-19, 10:46 PM
It seems that most games I play also use a better than 25pt buy. It's more heroic -- more fun.

If your physical stats suck, you will be a drag on the party for the first level or two. Having a few goodberries and cure light wounds spells to toss about generally contributes nicely to the group. A low or average Strength doesn't prevent you from plinking away with a bow, either.

Dex is completely form-dependent. It can probably be dumped, however I tend to favor concepts with at least average Dexterity just 'cuz.

Con has been done to death in this thread. Suffice to say I like having it up there.

Int can be dumped. Admittedly, my favorite druid character did have an Intelligence of 18. All those skills, though? You get 4 per level without any stat to speak of. No need for max skill ranks across the board.

Charisma is of dubious value. No need for Wild Empathy when you can simply charm or dominate an animal.

The notion of using Wild Shape 24/7 strikes me as being un-fun. How many people fantasize about roleplaying Lassie? On second thought, best not answer that.

Aquillion
2008-07-20, 07:19 AM
Really? My dm really dosent like any variant so I have only play core druid but what is the diff?Whaaaa?

Why would your DM ban all variant druids? I could understand banning all vanilla druids, but just about every druid variant is significantly weaker than a basic druid, sometimes dramatically so.


The notion of using Wild Shape 24/7 strikes me as being un-fun. How many people fantasize about roleplaying Lassie? On second thought, best not answer that.It's like the last part of this strip (http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0052.html). Often everyone just forgets or ignores the fact that you're in animal shape except when it's useful to you.

Not that I'm saying that that's a good thing, but that's often how it works. Honestly, Wild Shape's duration just shouldn't be so long -- the disadvantage of being an animal isn't really that big as long as you're not in a civilized area and have Telepathic Bond, but the silliness is there, and silliness shouldn't be relied on for a game mechanic.

(Of course, an even better idea would just be to split wild shape off into an entirely seperate class for people who want to play shapeshifters. There are PRCs for that, though.)

Tempest Fennac
2008-07-20, 07:24 AM
Aquillion, would you say the Shapeshifter Druid is fine as it is? I was just wondering due to what you said about having Wild Shape covered by a new class. Also, would you say the Focussed Animal Druid is particularly balanced?

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-07-20, 11:29 AM
WHERE did you see a rule stating that a Druid's DF was free? Please post book name and page number.

To start off with, check the SRD (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/goodsAndServices.htm#toolsAndSkillKits). Look on the price list on the right. Look at Holly and Mistletoe. Look at the price. Wow, whaddya know, it's free.

Then we look under Spell Descriptions and find this:


Focus (F)
A focus component is a prop of some sort. Unlike a material component, a focus is not consumed when the spell is cast and can be reused. As with material components, the cost for a focus is negligible unless a price is given. Assume that focus components of negligible cost are in your spell component pouch.

Divine Focus (DF)
A divine focus component is an item of spiritual significance. The divine focus for a cleric or a paladin is a holy symbol appropriate to the character’s faith.

If the Components line includes F/DF or M/DF, the arcane version of the spell has a focus component or a material component (the abbreviation before the slash) and the divine version has a divine focus component (the abbreviation after the slash).

So, a focus is free unless cost is specifically listed. Cleric/Paladin DF is specifically listed, but Druid's is not. That means it's... FREE.

While I decline to get into further debate about druids, this, at least, IS in the rules.

monty
2008-07-20, 11:56 AM
To start off with, check the SRD (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/goodsAndServices.htm#toolsAndSkillKits). Look on the price list on the right. Look at Holly and Mistletoe. Look at the price. Wow, whaddya know, it's free.

Then we look under Spell Descriptions and find this:



So, a focus is free unless cost is specifically listed. Cleric/Paladin DF is specifically listed, but Druid's is not. That means it's... FREE.

While I decline to get into further debate about druids, this, at least, IS in the rules.

I would have to disagree with a Cleric/Paladin DF being free, but that's not the issue here. Other than that, I agree with you.

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-07-20, 07:55 PM
I would have to disagree with a Cleric/Paladin DF being free, but that's not the issue here. Other than that, I agree with you.

As I said, the cleric/paladin's DF is specifically listed, so it costs the 25 gp or whatever is listed. Druid's DF, since it is not specifically listed, is assumed to be free unless otherwise specified.

Cuddly
2008-07-20, 09:20 PM
Without dropping the cash for a material components bag, a druid has to keep track of all of his material components. Or borrow another party members' (which will cause problems in combat).

Also, note that a character should have 49k in wealth, not disposable income at level 10. If he's playing a real game, a bunch of that is going to be magical items that only sell for half price. So the character will actually only get to buy one half of one third less than 49k. That's 49k - 1/6 * 49k. Or.... about 43k. And that's only if 1/3 of the treasure found is magic equipment while the other 2/3 is coinage and art and crap.

Leewei
2008-07-20, 09:49 PM
Druid spells more often than not have no Material Component. Most merely have Divine Focus (i.e. Mistletoe). Those few spells with a component (such as a live spider for Spider Climb or some acorns for Fire Seeds) are readily found with a little effort and a Survival check.

Cuddly
2008-07-21, 10:10 PM
Druid spells more often than not have no Material Component. Most merely have Divine Focus (i.e. Mistletoe). Those few spells with a component (such as a live spider for Spider Climb or some acorns for Fire Seeds) are readily found with a little effort and a Survival check.

Right. It works if you're out of battle and on the prime material.

Leewei
2008-07-22, 12:15 AM
Extraplanar travel is often planned for. Stockpiling isn't so rough. Given the spells are prepared each day, having a spell prepared that you need the material component for and being in battle seems like a reach. Especially given the relative rarity of druid spells with material components.

Heck, being off the Prime Material Plane screws over far more spells due to lack of natural surroundings than it does by limiting your access to live spiders and acorns. :smalltongue:

Cuddly
2008-07-22, 01:44 AM
Extraplanar travel is often planned for. Stockpiling isn't so rough. Given the spells are prepared each day, having a spell prepared that you need the material component for and being in battle seems like a reach. Especially given the relative rarity of druid spells with material components.

Heck, being off the Prime Material Plane screws over far more spells due to lack of natural surroundings than it does by limiting your access to live spiders and acorns. :smalltongue:

A lot of the really useful druid spells have sand and water or mud as material components. Keeping track of that sort of crap is just a huge chore. I'd rather spend the 5 gp on a components bag that magically has everything in there.

Greg
2008-07-22, 05:09 AM
Mind control him into putting on a suit of metal armour. Optionally, you could make the armour cursed so it stays on.

Leewei
2008-07-22, 09:31 AM
A lot of the really useful druid spells have sand and water or mud as material components.

Out of curiosity, which spells are these? I'm mainly familiar with PHB and PHB2 spells -- neither of which has those components listed.

ericgrau
2008-07-22, 11:26 AM
Dismissal, dispel magic. Long dungeons with no place to rest undetected, to get enough encounters per day to burn spells. Get monsters with detect magic to call all their freinds and camp near rope trick, if necessary. Readying an action to disrupt a spellcaster should likewise be a common ranged monster tactic. Most have fought a spellcaster before or have at least heard of them. Or...

Any halfway decent fighter with gear matched to wealth by level might not match the wolves' HP & damage per hit, but his AB & AC will be much higher. He should hit much more often, keeping his total damage on par with the wolves. His AC should keep him alive longer than the wolves, at least against martial baddies. At this level boots of speed are a must-have, or else a friendly caster with haste. This will make his total damage exceed that of the wolves, even if only some of his attacks are full attacks. Likewise if he's an archer rapid shot is a must. And if he can never land full attacks in melee and doesn't have some uber-cheese charge feat(s), he may be better off damage-wise as an archer.

If you want to favor the fighter even more, have baddies take advantage of the wolf's low AB & AC. Martial opponents should do the trick, as they have good AB & AC. The wolves won't land many hits, but the fighter will. If the baddies have low damage, they can fix that easily since they can afford to power attack the woles.

On the flipside, avoid enemies that target touch AC and those that have such a poor AC that AB doesn't matter. The fighter can partly make up for it with power attack, but the wolves will suffer more than him against high AC.

Though I'd mix up the encounters and give everyone a chance to shine.