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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    hey all,
    i'm joining in a PBP game and i've mostly decided to go for a druid, noone has made a cleric so i'm gonna have to cover healer. i've never played a druid before and my stats are all above average but very clustered so i'm looking for input on building him.
    rolled stats: 12 12 12 13 14 15
    we're starting out at first level.
    so far i'm thinking human, wolf companion for crowd control, mix of healing and buffing spells, heal, knowledge: nature, concentration. spot, listen maxed, extra skills spread among survival and swim. no idea on feats (natural spell at 3rd level obviously but no use till then).
    we have a ranger in the party as far as i know so i don't need to go the tracking route.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    Your wolf is better then a fighter at that level. And you are a full caster.

    BFC spells while the wolf kills, Wild Shape is king when you can get it, then Natural Spell at level 6 is MANDATORY.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    Quote Originally Posted by FishAreWet View Post
    Your wolf is better then a fighter at that level. And you are a full caster.

    BFC spells while the wolf kills, Wild Shape is king when you can get it, then Natural Spell at level 6 is MANDATORY.
    Isn't a riding dog actually a better combatant than the wolf? Not that you need to max out the druids power...

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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    You can't take Natural Spell until 6th level since requirment is that you have Wild Shape as a class ability.

    Aside from that one, you'll benefit greatly from the following:

    Companion Spellbond (increases radius for Share spells to 20 ft I think)
    Oaken Resilience (use up a daily use of Wild Shape to gain some plant immunities)
    Improved Toughness is a nice feat and you have enough of them as it is, so why not.
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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbash View Post
    You can't take Natural Spell until 6th level since requirment is that you have Wild Shape as a class ability.

    Aside from that one, you'll benefit greatly from the following:

    Companion Spellbond (increases radius for Share spells to 20 ft I think)
    Oaken Resilience (use up a daily use of Wild Shape to gain some plant immunities)
    Improved Toughness is a nice feat and you have enough of them as it is, so why not.
    Improved Toughness. It's not that powerful. Better than Toughness, yes, but that's not saying much. At level 3, you catch up to Toughness. At level 20, you have +20 hit points. Notable, but worth a spell slot? Debatable.

    I'm not sure about the other feats because I'm not currently looking at my books and I'm not sure where to find them.
    Last edited by Temotei; 2010-01-03 at 09:20 PM.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    Quote Originally Posted by Temotei221 View Post
    Improved Toughness. It's not that powerful. Better than Toughness, yes, but that's not saying much. At level 3, you catch up to Toughness. At level 20, you have +20 hit points. Notable, but worth a spell slot? Debatable.
    I assume you mean feat slot since I would quite quickly trade a mere spell slot for +20 hp if it was permanent. Well. if it was a lvl 1 slot.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    unfortunately i can't use any of those feats gorbash, we're core/SRD only (believe me i'd love to pick up augment healing but no go). i dunno about riding dog being better, but i really love the wolf's trip ability.
    also BFC is new to me, i have no idea what you mean by that (wild guess "something something conjuration" or "buff something something"?)
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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    15 Wis, 14 Con, 13 Str (for carrying capacity), 12 rest. Middle-aged is an option, but under 14 Con kinda sucks. 15 Wis is still fine, so meh. Also, don't bother with too many Heal-ranks. Hitting DC 15 consistently is enough so you need +5 to take 10.
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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    dont forget Eschew Materials. Do not underestimate the power of your animal companion. Buffing it with spells alone can make it very powerful as it grows in power just as you do, thus making it a solid tank, and attacker, while you just cast spells.

    Hell, cast some buffs for you animal companion, wild shape into some magical beast (or animal) can't remember and wa la! you know have the same buffs as your animal companion. Nature's avatar is a ninth level spell thats nice. Same with natures favor and magic fang, greater. The awesome thing about this is they all add to attack and to hit and stack with each other, cause its enhancement, luck and insight bonuses.

    Enlarge animal, and boom, you got an even better animal companion.

    Uhhhh i mean try not to break it.

    edit: ouch core only? still good though. You just lose the natures avatar and favor spell. Druid is very very strong.
    Last edited by Deathslayer7; 2010-01-03 at 09:27 PM.
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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    On the skills, I would put some ranks into handle animal. Being able to raise animals to attack things, defend things, ride, etc. is just plain awesome. Sonofzeal had a build for a 4th level druid that was able to raise a 36HD Dinosaur by level 4. Here's a link if you're interested.

    Not having ever head of the Improved Toughness feat, it sounds nice, but does it carry over while shapeshifting? If not, then I'd advise against it.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    Quote Originally Posted by alisbin View Post
    also BFC is new to me, i have no idea what you mean by that (wild guess "something something conjuration" or "buff something something"?)
    I believe BFC means Battle Field Control. As in cast wall of x to seperate those enemies, cast sleep to get rid of those ones, grease the charging barbarian, etc.

    As for feats? It depends on what you wanna do. Druids make pretty good summoners so if you wanna go that route you could get Augment Summoning. If there is no wizard to craft items then you could take those feats. There is always metamagic feats too. Truthfully there aren't too many really good core feats for a druid...but then again you don't rreally need much to be a powerful druid.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    i think we'll have a sorcerer, i dunno what style he'll be but i'm betting some form of blaster, summoning doesn't sound like a bad idea, is it viable at low levels though? (round/level casting times and all)
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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    Quote Originally Posted by GenPol View Post
    On the skills, I would put some ranks into handle animal. Being able to raise animals to attack things, defend things, ride, etc. is just plain awesome. Sonofzeal had a build for a 4th level druid that was able to raise a 36HD Dinosaur by level 4. Here's a link if you're interested.

    Not having ever head of the Improved Toughness feat, it sounds nice, but does it carry over while shapeshifting? If not, then I'd advise against it.
    Yes, it does, although it cannot be used here.

    Your base fortitude save bonus doesn't change when you wild shape (in the same way your type doesn't), so you don't stop qualifying.
    Last edited by lesser_minion; 2010-01-03 at 09:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    Quote Originally Posted by GenPol View Post
    On the skills, I would put some ranks into handle animal. Being able to raise animals to attack things, defend things, ride, etc. is just plain awesome. Sonofzeal had a build for a 4th level druid that was able to raise a 36HD Dinosaur by level 4. Here's a link if you're interested.

    Not having ever head of the Improved Toughness feat, it sounds nice, but does it carry over while shapeshifting? If not, then I'd advise against it.
    It does, since you maintain your original number of HP once you Wild Shape.

    Improved Toughness. It's not that powerful. Better than Toughness, yes, but that's not saying much. At level 3, you catch up to Toughness. At level 20, you have +20 hit points. Notable, but worth a spell slot? Debatable.
    I'm going to assume you mean a 'feat slot' because otherwise, I have no idea what are you talking about. I wasn't saying it was powerful, I was saying it's a good idea for a druid, since they really don't need any aside from Natural Spell and Power Attack and they can afford to waste one feat on Improved Toughness.

    Sure, 1 extra HP per level doesn't sound that much, but someone said that 20 HP on 20th lvl. Add to that +8 enhancement bonus from Bite of the Werebear and you have extra 100 HP at 20th lvl. If the party has a Bard capable of using Inspire Greatness, which adds 2 HD worth of HP that's 2d10+2xCon+2.

    I'm DMing for a party that has a 19th lvl Dwarf Druid who, when buffed properly, has well over 300 HP in this way, which is nothing to sneeze at.

    Back to the original question:

    Yeah, I forgot that it's 3.5/SRD only.

    Power Attack, Natural Spell... I have no idea afterwards. Improved Initiative is always a good idea.
    Last edited by Gorbash; 2010-01-03 at 09:47 PM.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    Quote Originally Posted by alisbin View Post
    i think we'll have a sorcerer, i dunno what style he'll be but i'm betting some form of blaster, summoning doesn't sound like a bad idea, is it viable at low levels though? (round/level casting times and all)
    Summoning is difficult to pull off in Core since you don't have Rapid Spell. That "one full round" casting time means enemies will attempt to interrupt your casting every single time. It's not impossible, but it can be tough.

    Several core combat feats will become more useful once you get wildshape. Power Attack and Cleave (and you might even make use of this with Shillelagh at low levels), or Combat Reflexes, or Improved Grapple, or any of the Combat Expertise tree if you put the 13 into Int.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    I suggest using Summon Natures Ally spells to summon T-Rexs, have a T-Rex animal companion, and wildshape into a T-Rex. Now there is an entire army of T-Rex most of which are normal, one of which is slightly stronger, and the last of which just shot lighting out his arse...

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    power attack is nice, maybe get improved overrun or bull rush down the line and use that in conjunction with shapeshifting to huge?
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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    Oh yeah, forgot. If you're gonna use Summon Nature's Ally, go with Spell Focus (Conjuration) and Augment Summoning. Get that at 1st lvl (since you're human), Power Attack at 3rd, Natural Spell at 6th and you're the best druid there is.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbash View Post
    Oh yeah, forgot. If you're gonna use Summon Nature's Ally, go with Spell Focus (Conjuration) and Augment Summoning. Get that at 1st lvl (since you're human), Power Attack at 3rd, Natural Spell at 6th and you're the best druid there is.
    Without Rapid Summoning you need a full round action to summon which means it ends at the start of your turn the turn after you start. So thats a lot of time to interrupt it. I suggest you summon from on top your T-Rex...

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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    Yeah, yeah, I know. But keep in mind that not all foes he's gonna face have Spellcraft and know what's about to happen. It can be done, albeit a bit harder then with Rapid Summoning/Metamagic School Focus. Since he can fly in some wild shape forms, he can do it while flying, decreasing the chance that he'll get interrupted.
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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    Wisdom highest, con second highest

    Race should be human dwarf or gnome (if you are using a lot of wild empathy)

    some feats you should consider

    improved unarmed strike (since you can't normally make iteratives with natural attacks this can boost your damage)
    improved grapple (pretty good combat tactic, druids are especially good, and you are getting IUS anyway so you should consider picking it up)
    natural spell (at level 6, this one's mandatory)
    power attack
    spell focus conjuration (prereq for the next one)
    augment summoning (if you intend to focus more on summoning)
    multiattack (to get more out of your full attacks while whildshaped)
    improved natural attack
    I would also consider extend and/or quicken spell if you are going to a really high level
    Last edited by HCL; 2010-01-03 at 10:29 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbash View Post
    Yeah, yeah, I know. But keep in mind that not all foes he's gonna face have Spellcraft and know what's about to happen. It can be done, albeit a bit harder then with Rapid Summoning/Metamagic School Focus. Since he can fly in some wild shape forms, he can do it while flying, decreasing the chance that he'll get interrupted.
    Yeah but I still like the idea of a druid wildshaped into a raptor standing on his pet T-Rex's head to summon 2-5 more T-Rex...

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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    That is all and well, but you're not the OP and he might find other approaches viable. And furthermore, your tactic is viable starting from 13th lvl which is pretty damn far, considering the fact that they're starting at first lvl.

    Also, note that some DMs (me, for example) won't allow you to take Multiattack/Improved Natural Attack because they have prerequsites to have natural attacks, which you don't, in your natural form. Better check it with your DM first.
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    Default Re: Building a better druid [3.5 core/SRD only]

    Be Different.

    Play a Druid without Natural Spell and don't muck about with dinosaurs

    Stats
    WIS has priority then CON, the rest are all pretty much the same score so place the 13 where you'd like to advance that stat at 4th/8th/etc
    As a caster DEX may be good to boost AC and touch attack capability

    Feats - for a Caster/Summoner you want to get Focus(Conjuration) and Augment Summons as quick as you can (but its nice to the rest of your group if you keep a tight rein on the number of summons you have out at one time unless its really needed for something)

    After that Extend Spell is a good option, maybe Empower at later levels or Heighten
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