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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    Hi, some of you might remember my request for a sorcerer guide a few days ago. I thought as long as I'm learning how to play a new class, I should try out a druid, too. I've always liked the druid class, but never bothered to learn how to play one effectively. Anyway, if anyone knows a great druid handbook or guide (that I hope doesn't use too much slang) from this or another message board, I'd like the link, please. I need advice on almost everything, from feats to races, spells to animal companions. Much thanks in advance. All of you are always so helpful with stuff like this.

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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    Druid's pretty straightforward. Take the Wildshape feat. Take 20 levels of Druid. Take an animal companion that will be decent in Melee. Enjoy being the most powerful thing in the world.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    Do not prestige out. Get Natural Spell. Do what looks like fun.

    Ta-daa, you're better than any not-fully-optimized character.

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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?


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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    I know my way around druid, and can say the following:

    Up until you get wildshape, your basically a cleric without Turning
    After Wildshape, you steal a lot of Fighter spotlight
    Druid in Epic is broken, pure and simple

    so for most wildshape fun, this is my combo:

    Race: Buoman-With a WIS boost, and immune to silence effects (granted, you need a feat to cast effectively, ie: Nonverbal Spell), this is worth a 0la
    Class: Druid 7 (Wildshape and a decent Companion)/Lion of Talisid 10 (Wildshape boost and a bonus flavor in the form of Lion-based)/Lion Totem Barbarian 3 (Rage in Wildshape. Nuff Said)

    Fun Feats: Exalted Wildshape, Frozen Wildshape, Extend Rage, Nonverbal Spell, Natural Spell, Shared Rage

    It plays like this:

    You and your Celestial Lion Companion come across a band of orcs. You Wildshape into a Celestial Smilodon and cast a group-buff
    you both rage and proceed to do a basic charge build setup. Repeat until orcs die like the scum they are.

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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    Have fun, and don't break your group's power level.

    Summons are fun if you can get away with them (either Rapid Spell or meatshields). Of the lower-level summons, Arrowhawks can attack even despite Protection from X spells, which is nice. Unicorns can provide healing and MCvE. Thoqquas' burrowing can be very useful in creating openings and doors where you need them. Summons are often a good way of making up for a capability that you didn't prepare that day.
    Last edited by Aldizog; 2010-01-11 at 03:09 PM.

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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    Personally, I like summon-focused druids.

    Take:
    Natural Spell!!!
    Greenbound Summoning(Rashemi Elemental Summoning at higher levels).
    SpF Conjuration-> Augment Summoning.
    Ashbound.
    Rapid Summoning(I think, can't remember the exact name).

    I recommend taking Companion Spellbond as well.

    Stat out the commonly used Wildshape forms for yourself. For example, when I last played Druid I most commonly shifted into a Polar Bear(general purpose)/Fleshraker(juicy Venomfire damage)/Anklyosaurus(total defense) and uhh Desmodu Hunting Bat(flying) I think. There were some other forms as well but those were the most common.

    With that I basically had all my bases covered and I didn't need to waste valuable time to figure out the ability scores, saves etc.

    Do the same for summons, especially if you have multiple feats that apply to them. Applying a template and a couple of bonuses in the middle of a fight to a new summon can take some time and it's annoying.

    Find some way to speak with your friends in wildshape form, like a telepathic bond or a Torc of Animal Speech or some other means to do so. Now you never need to turn into human back again.

    Take the Fleshraker companion. Apply Venomfire spell(best buff ever) to him. Summon one or two of your awesome Summons. Send your companion and summons into the fray and watch as they tear apart everything in their way. If you feel like it, drop another spell or two there or smash some faces yourself.

    Get half a dozen(or more) Wilding Clasps as soon as you can afford them so that your items don't become nonfunctional in wildshape.

    Take a look through a handbook or two and find spells that you like.

    There, you've got everything you need to be a successful druid.
    Last edited by grautry; 2010-01-11 at 03:16 PM.

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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    Be very careful with some of the advice on this board.
    You're looking to optimize your fun, right?
    Being ten times as powerful as the rest of the party combined isn't going to be fun.
    Take a look at what the rest of the party looks like, and adjust accordingly. This is important for a) power levels, and b) developing specific tactics that work with a given group.

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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    Quote Originally Posted by AirGuitarGod32 View Post
    I know my way around druid, and can say the following:

    Up until you get wildshape, your basically a cleric without Turning
    After Wildshape, you steal a lot of Fighter spotlight
    Druid in Epic is broken, pure and simple

    so for most wildshape fun, this is my combo:

    Race: Buoman-With a WIS boost, and immune to silence effects (granted, you need a feat to cast effectively, ie: Nonverbal Spell), this is worth a 0la
    Class: Druid 7 (Wildshape and a decent Companion)/Lion of Talisid 10 (Wildshape boost and a bonus flavor in the form of Lion-based)/Lion Totem Barbarian 3 (Rage in Wildshape. Nuff Said)

    Fun Feats: Exalted Wildshape, Frozen Wildshape, Extend Rage, Nonverbal Spell, Natural Spell, Shared Rage

    It plays like this:

    You and your Celestial Lion Companion come across a band of orcs. You Wildshape into a Celestial Smilodon and cast a group-buff
    you both rage and proceed to do a basic charge build setup. Repeat until orcs die like the scum they are.
    I lawl at all bolded parts.

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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aldizog View Post
    Be very careful with some of the advice on this board.
    You're looking to optimize your fun, right?
    Being ten times as powerful as the rest of the party combined isn't going to be fun.
    Take a look at what the rest of the party looks like, and adjust accordingly. This is important for a) power levels, and b) developing specific tactics that work with a given group.
    I totally do not get this argument.

    Power != not playing along with the group. Also optimized != not fun.

    Take the above build. Focus on buffing spells and make Venomfire a 'reserve' spell instead of an all day buff. Wildshape into a defensive form. Use your summons and AC for battlefield control(for example, by summoning a couple of animals with insane grapple checks and using them to incapacitate the enemies). If you do it intelligently, you could probably play along with a Tier 5 party without making them feel unimportant.

    Now, if crap really hits the fan - that's when you've got the option of busting out a bunch of Bears on Crack(or, at higher levels use RES to bring about a supernova with your elementals), Wildshape into a combat form and go to town with your Adamantine Chain Gun... Animal Companion that is to bring about the Wrath of Nature and save the day.

    It certainly fits in character too. I can totally see a mystic sage of nature who commands unbelievable power and yet chooses to use it subtly and in low-key ways unless the situation demands it because he's humbled by the forces of nature he commands.
    Last edited by grautry; 2010-01-11 at 03:58 PM.

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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    Quote Originally Posted by grautry View Post
    Power != not playing along with the group. Also optimized != not fun.
    True. But "not playing along with the group" = "not fun" in most cases. So what I'm saying is be very cautious. Be prepared to keep the power level in check. As you suggest, if the druid is optimized, he will have to deliberately hold back his power in order to not overshadow the rest of the party. If the rest of the party is a swashbuckler, a Spring Attacking rogue, and a warlock, then even a PHBII Shapeshift druid is going to be very powerful.

    Power level is one thing to consider. There's also party composition. A druid can work well in a stealth-heavy party, or a melee-heavy one, or a caster-heavy one, though their tactics and choices will vary depending on what the party needs. If you're the party's only divine caster but they have several fighter-types, then don't mix it up in melee too much -- maybe stick close to the wizard as his bodyguard and healer, and rely on your spells and summons.
    Last edited by Aldizog; 2010-01-11 at 04:10 PM.

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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    Quote Originally Posted by sofawall View Post
    I lawl at all bolded parts.
    Though he doesn't elaborate, he is right to laugh at you, Guitar Dude.

    Druids can wildshape into lions. You have no good reason to go into Lion Totem Barbarian. Hell, smilodons get pounce naturally. Rage is not worth losing caster levels over.
    Last edited by UglyPanda; 2010-01-11 at 04:28 PM.
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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    Quote Originally Posted by AirGuitarGod32 View Post
    Repeat until orcs die like the scum they are.
    Elf loving racist

    Kidding! ;P
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haldir View Post
    Edit- I understand it now, Fighters are like a status symbol. If you're well off enough to own a living Fighter, you must be pretty well off!

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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aldizog View Post
    As you suggest, if the druid is optimized, he will have to deliberately hold back his power in order to not overshadow the rest of the party. If the rest of the party is a swashbuckler, a Spring Attacking rogue, and a warlock, then even a PHBII Shapeshift druid is going to be very powerful.
    Well, a druid is one of those classes that is almost automatically optimized.

    So really, you're probably going to have to hold back anyway(unless the party is all highly optimized). There's not much difference between "holding back a lot" and "holding back a whole lot".

    Quote Originally Posted by Aldizog View Post
    Power level is one thing to consider. There's also party composition. A druid can work well in a stealth-heavy party, or a melee-heavy one, or a caster-heavy one, though their tactics and choices will vary depending on what the party needs. If you're the party's only divine caster but they have several fighter-types, then don't mix it up in melee too much -- maybe stick close to the wizard as his bodyguard and healer, and rely on your spells and summons.
    That's the beauty of druids, they're can adapt to any situation.

    That versatility is only strengthened by focusing on summons. In a stealth-heavy party, you Wildshape into something small and convert your Summon Nature's Ally spells into Summon Dead Monkey spells.

    If you want to stay in the back with the casters then I'm pretty sure that the frontline fighters are going to love you because you can conjure a wall of furious beasts that shield the casters. They don't worry about you because you're wildshaped into either something untouchable or something that can rip the face off of most threats anyhow. Therefore, melees can duke it out without worrying too much about tanking.

    If your tank goes down or you're the tank then you can summon an endless array of disposable meatshields.

    If you went to go for damage dealing then Venomfire/Fleshraker combination is just unbelievably godly. If you want to go blasty then RES can whip out a nuke(at high levels anyway) that makes Meteor Swarm look like child's toy.

    Not too mention that thanks to Spontaneous Casting of SNA you can actually actively hold back and NOT hold back at the same time! It's a miracle! You can memorise half a ton of buffing spells that can be converted into a can of whoop-ass at a moment's notice.

    Sigh, what can I say, I do love summoning druids.

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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    I would have to agree with Aldizog, especially if you're new to the druid class for several reasons.

    1) Party balance - it's easy enough for a druid to overshadow the party without going into complete druid shananigans. If you're not going to play in a thoroughly optimized party, I'd steer clear of optimizing a druid. Differing levels of optimization in a party often leads to interparty conflict.
    2) Ashbound/Rashemi/Greenbound summoning can get ridiculous rather quickly. You'll break encounters by sneezing.
    3) Druid is very paperwork intensive. I'd start slowly before jumping into bajillions of animal options.

    Just take the basic stuff - natural spell and a good animal companion, and you're pretty much already set. Experiment with spells/class features/feats as you will.

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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vizzerdrix View Post
    Elf loving racist

    Kidding! ;P
    I adore orcs. Thats put there due to most peeps disliking Orcs.

    And he STILL has 17 ECL as druid and has about 9th (if my memory serves me right) level spells. So you don't have A LOT of 9th level spells. It's better than none.

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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    Quote Originally Posted by AirGuitarGod32 View Post
    I adore orcs. Thats put there due to most peeps disliking Orcs.

    And he STILL has 17 ECL as druid and has about 9th (if my memory serves me right) level spells. So you don't have A LOT of 9th level spells. It's better than none.
    Well there's also the argument the other way:
    A few (1-2) 9th lvl spells vs. multiple 9th lvl spells

    Also, what are your favorite animal companions? Mine are:
    Hawk (fly, good AC)
    Eagle (fly, better damage than hawk)
    Wolf (trip, good movement speed)

    I only listed the starter conpanions because I don't switch to the tougher animals often.
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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    Watchspider (Waterdeep: City of splendor)
    Plant thingy (in one of the Dragon Mags)
    Monsters (Eberron feats and another dragon mag)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haldir View Post
    Edit- I understand it now, Fighters are like a status symbol. If you're well off enough to own a living Fighter, you must be pretty well off!

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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    Step 1: Natural Spell at level 6

    Everything else you want for your druid is up for grabs/wouldn't hinder you. Heck, make your druid able to wear wild dragon full-plate and be a juggernaut.

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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    Quote Originally Posted by mcl01 View Post
    1) Party balance - it's easy enough for a druid to overshadow the party without going into complete druid shananigans. If you're not going to play in a thoroughly optimized party, I'd steer clear of optimizing a druid. Differing levels of optimization in a party often leads to interparty conflict.
    I feel it's a little pointless. I was once starting out in the game, played a Half-Elf Druid, outshined most of the party without knowing anything. It's really hard to hold back when it's just so easy to WS into a Bear, have a Bear companion, and summon more Bears. A normal Druid is pretty much going to overshadow any casual/non mix-max'd party regardless. If the OP is slightly concerned about party conflict than it's probally best to go either WS Ranger or that Shapeshift variant IMO.

    Only really staple is Natural Spell at level 6th. Companion Spellbond [PHII] is pretty good if you have heavy investment in your companion. I like to go Human for the bonus feat, which nets me the classic Spell Focus [Conjur] and Augment Summoning. Greenbound [LEoF] is really powerfull, if you can obtain it, since most DM's willn't allow it. Dragon Wildshape [Drac] gives you plenty of utility forms to choice from.

    It's really hard to make a Druid suck.
    Last edited by mikej; 2010-01-11 at 09:12 PM.
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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    Natural Bond (or Nature Bond?) is in one of the complete books. It adds 3 to your effective druid level when determining how powerful your animal companion can be. This doesn't help with the base companions, but if you get a dire wolf, legendary wolf, ect, it will help to close the level adjustment gap. Which just means you'll be that much more broken.

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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    Fleshrakers. Fleshrakers. Fleshrakers.

    Too bad they're not on any of the Summon Nature's Ally lists, but as an Animal Companion and Wildshape form, they rock. Monster Manual III.
    • Chameleon Base Class [3.5]/[PF]: A versatile, morphic class that mimics one basic party role (warrior, caster, sneak, etc) at a time. If you find yourself getting bored of any class you play too long, the Chameleon is for you!
    • Warlock Power Sources [3.5]: Making Hellfire Warlock part of the base class and providing other similar options for Warlocks whose powers don't come from devils.

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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    It's a bit strange that Monster Manaual 3 has so much stuff for players.

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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    Quote Originally Posted by realbombchu View Post
    I need advice on almost everything, from feats to races, spells to animal companions. Much thanks in advance. All of you are always so helpful with stuff like this.
    What do you want out of the class?

    I am a fan of the the Druid class but Abhor Wildshape and /or Natural Spell + Dino Hi-jinks

    If your wanting to focus on the spell caster aspect more than the physical combat side there are a number of variants and ACFs that are nice (some are nice for the Physical side as well)

    - Hunter Variant (Give some monk/Ranger abilities in place of Armour prof and WS)

    - Druidic Avenger Variant (Give up the AC for some Barbarian abilities)

    - Shapeshift ACF (gives Fixed Animal forms in place of WS and AC, unlimited times per day, swift action to change without all the hassle of having to have a multitude of stats down for shapes to be in as the Stats are fixed for each form based of of your current stats

    - Rejuvenation ACF (swaps Summoning for a heal over time [where time in rounds = spell level used]

    There are a Few racial Druid Subclasses as well
    For Core Halfling and Half Orc have ones that boost the class decently

    Each race is going to be typical decent for the Druid, some more than others (unless being a caster type small races as always get the short end of the stick)

    Core
    Human - The good old base line, extra feat, extra skills etc

    Dwarf - Boost to health, selection of racial skills

    Elf - The Con penalty is something many hold agianst the elf but its only a issue if you let it be (and less so if you choose a Sub race like Wild Elf), Prof with Longbows/swords is free feats and gives some more options for weapon usage

    Half Orc - Boosts Str which is good for Shapeshift Druids (your mileage may vary on other aspects) the -2s dont really affect the class much unless your really gunning for skills based off those 2 stats and even then just dont put a low score in it

    Halfling - Small creatures in DnD get shortchanged most of the time, less so for caster types or if you like being sneaky and not so worried about damage output, the Dex is nice to have (and some of the Sub races have good abilities)

    Half Elf - a Human without the fancy stuff, under appreciated but average


    Spell's

    Ive got my own selection of spells that i like and i would guess that everyone else does too, its not our place to say that you must use X Y or Z but i'd suggest getting a hold of the spell lists and descriptions of things that sound good to you
    The Spell Compendium is a brilliant book for just this purpose, otherwise most splat books with have a small addition to the lists.

    Companions
    What ever you think fits your idea that you have for your PC and suits the environment.
    I Favor Riding Dogs, Boars, Birds of Prey (and the Dire Versions)

    Feats
    Depends what your going to be doing and with what but a good broad selection would be
    - Spell Focus (Conjuration) & Augment Summons (Augment Elemental from a Ebberon Book is also good they stack)
    - Natural Bond (pending how its read it can negate the limit on higher level ACs or just makes up for non druid levels)
    - Extend Spell
    - Improved Natural Attack
    - X Reseve Feat (i like Storm Bolt but others are good too)
    - Companion Spellbond
    - Empower Spell
    - Spontaneous Healer (copy the cleric WIS Mod/day)


    I play a Hunter/Avenger Druid in a Dark Sun game that fights with a mix of Glaive and Unarmed in addition to Spellcasting. High skill ranks in a number of skills make it easy for the party when out and about (the DM decided to add skill check failures as we were bypassing a lot of things due to survival checks)
    I often double team with the Soul Knife and keep him buffed and up aswell as directing the rangers companion (the Ranger is fairly often NPCed)
    All in all a very good Character and much fun to play. All without 2 class features that most of the rest of the population swears you cant do without.
    Last edited by Leon; 2010-01-12 at 02:19 AM.
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    Default Re: A druid guide (D&D v.3.5)?

    and Id have fun with the following (i know its epic) combo:

    Colossal Wildshape feat + Vermin Wildshape feat + Greater Seige Crab = That Damn Crab on 'Roids

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