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    Default Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    In this game I have access to PHB, MM, Complete Adventurer, and Complete Warrior. Maybe Complete Mage as well not sure yet but probably not.

    I'm a human druid starting at level 1. The DM has hinted that we'll get bonus feats throughout the story as well as rewards, and we should expect maybe 5 bonus feats over the course of 20 levels.

    Given that Druids aren't very feat-dependent, and I know I'll have an abundance of feats to play with, what should my build look like? I don't waat to be *completely* useless for the first 4 levels, but I don't think I will be useless given the fact that I should at least have a riding dog/wolf of some sort.

    I think I'll be working with a 25 point-buy.
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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    Can I say Natural Spell at level 6 strongly enough?

    The answer: No. If you are a druid, and you wild shape starting at level 5, you take Natural Spell. Simple as that.

    Other feats: You can't really go wrong with Improved Initiative. You might want to take a look at the metamagic feats as well.
    Last edited by CoffeeIncluded; 2010-05-08 at 10:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    Yeah, natural spell will be the first thing gotten at level 6. I'm not sure what else to get though, or what wild-shape options are good with this limited amount of books. Bears and more bears? Multiattack is a useful feat?
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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    There are a ton of good wildshaping(monstrous and general melee) and summoning(augment + greenbound) feats if you want to focus on one aspect. Obligatory Handbook link.

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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    Augment Summoning helps your summons. +2 to hit and damage on your summoned wolf's attacks isn't something to sneeze at. +2 HP and fort saves, +2 to strength checks for tripping as well.

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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    I have found ashbound (ECS) is really useful at low levels, as it doubles or triples the damage output of your summons, and has them actually last a decent amount of time. Being able to spontaneously swap a utility spell for a temporary fighter is pretty nice.

    Wild cohort is a very cheesy feat, but getting a second riding dog at level 1 is almost as good as having another fighter in the party, but it doesn't demand treasure or xp.

    @superglucose
    Actually, since a wolf's bite is its primary weapon, it gets +3 damage from the strength boost. It also gets +2 to its trip attack, which is where the main utility of dogs come from at low levels.
    Last edited by faceroll; 2010-05-08 at 11:14 PM.

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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    It's not really worth it to spend a wild shape feat for something you can do by turning into an animal instead. That rules out most of them.

    Spell Focus Conjuration and Augment Summoning are worth looking at if you want to summon things for a living. At low levels, druids are quite good at it with these two feats.

    Not Complete Divine? Well there goes a lot of useful stuff. Like Spontaneous Healing, for example, which allows you to be a backup healer without having to memorize cure spells.

    There's not much in Complete Warrior or Complete Adventurer that you need, actually. If you can use Complete Mage, you have a few more options...

    Spell Focus Evocation, then Peircing Evocation - two feats, but makes the first 10 points of damage from your energy spells untyped. Consider this only if campaign isn't going to high levels and you don't want the Augment Summoning path, then use it with Produce Flame and Call Lightning for attacks.

    Fiery Blast OR Storm Surge - allows you to keep doing damage each round without using spells.
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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    Quicken Spell is something almost every spellcaster will want at some point.

    If you don't want to ride your companion, Companion Spellbond goes a long way.

    Summon Elemental is an incredible utility ability.


    Past that, it depends what you want to do:

    Rapid Spell, Greenbound, Augment Summoning, etc. do a lot of work for summoners. Versatile Spellcaster might too, depending on interpretation.

    Improved Grapple, Multiattack, Power Attack, Minor Shapeshift, etc. can make you even better in melee.

    Wild Shape feats can be ridiculous. Don't abuse them too hard.

    At low levels, Combat Reflexes, Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot can keep you alive and useful; Mounted Combat is good for your companion's health. Just retrain these once you have enough levels to Wild Shape or Summon effectively.

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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    I *only* have access to MM, PHB, C Adventurer and C Warrior. I don't get access to greenbound or rapid spell or stuff like that. Stop recommending stuff from books I can't use. I really wish I can have access to C Divine if nothing else then for the feat to makre Wild Shape a Move Action.

    Improved Grapple might be an ok idea since I can turn into a bear in the far future.
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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    Out of curiousity, why are those the only books? Does nobody own a copy of Complete Divine, for example? Or does the DM have a specific reason to exclude it?
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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    Natural Bond is in Complete Adventurer, and keeping in mind that you can apply your own bonuses an penalties in the most beneficial order, you can get a 'level -3' animal companion at 4th and still use your full druid level for its benefits. Your best choice is usually going to be a fleshraker dinosaur (MM3) or dire eagle (RoS), but since neither of those are available you should probably go with a dire bat. Additionally, look at the last sentence of the last paragraph of the Animal Companion class feature:

    "A druid of 4th level or higher may select from alternative lists of animals. Should she select an animal companion from one of these alternative lists, the creature gains abilities as if the characterís druid level were lower than it actually is. Subtract the value indicated in the appropriate list header from the characterís druid level and compare the result with the druid level entry on the table to determine the animal companionís powers. (If this adjustment would reduce the druidís effective level to 0 or lower, she canít have that animal as a companion.)"

    If you have Natural Bond, you could actually get a 'level -6' companion at 4th level, since your effective druid level would be greater than 0 for its benefits. The chart's '7th level or higher' heading for that list is in conflict with the text on this one, so the text overrules it as per primary source and the minimum level on the chart can be taken as a convenient calculation of when it would normally be available. A tiger or maybe a brown bear would probably be your best choice.

    I'd probably get spell focus: conjuration and augment summoning at 1st level, natural bond at 3rd, and natural spell at 6th. After that it just depends on what direction you want to go with the character, what additional books have been made available, and what extra story feats you've picked up. For 25 pointbuy I'd go Str 8, Dex 10, Con 15, Int 10, Wis 17, Cha 8. Use a wooden tower shield (with a -10 nonproficient penalty to attack rolls and certain skills) until you get wild shape, and focus on casting spells that don't require an attack roll and just hiding behind it and letting your animal companion do the work.

    Your available books don't have many of the best spells. Ideally you should try to get Spell Compendium allowed, but if the currently limiting list is due to game balance that probably won't happen. Maybe try to get something like one spell at each level from an outside source, at least then you can get spells like enrage animal, creeping cold, icelance, call avalanche, superior resistance, etc. Enrage animal is a great spell to just spend a fight concentrating on in the early levels, hiding behind your tower shield while your buffed up animal companion kills everything. Call avalanche from Frostburn is probably one of the most useful spells in the entire game.

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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    Combat expertise + Improved trip could be pretty awesome when you get wildshape- Arguably opens up a bite-trip-bite routine as a single action in wolf, hyena or dire wolf forms, and when you start getting the bigger sized creatures, your strength and size is going to make trip attacks much easier.

    That said, you won't have the benefit of reach (until you become huge) and you're a full-caster, not a meatshield (except in optimized games) so YMMV

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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    I started playing a druid recently, level 3 only and have found augment summoning to be amazing. Highly recommend it.

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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    I *only* have access to MM, PHB, C Adventurer and C Warrior. I don't get access to greenbound or rapid spell or stuff like that. Stop recommending stuff from books I can't use. I really wish I can have access to C Divine if nothing else then for the feat to makre Wild Shape a Move Action.

    Improved Grapple might be an ok idea since I can turn into a bear in the far future.
    Oh, my bad.
    Wild Cohort is on the wizards website. Don't know if that helps you or not.

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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    Natural Spell, Skill Focus (basketweaving), Toughness. Expect to still be the most powerful party member unless someone else plays a cheesed-out caster.

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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Divide by Zero View Post
    Natural Spell, Skill Focus (basketweaving), Toughness. Expect to still be the most powerful party member unless someone else plays a cheesed-out caster.
    Switch that to Skill Focus: Craft (poisonmaking), as per Complete Adventurer. You'll eventually be immune to poison anyway, and you can even summon big critters to harvest poison from or even wild shape into one and excrete it yourself.

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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    Switch that to Skill Focus: Craft (poisonmaking), as per Complete Adventurer. You'll eventually be immune to poison anyway, and you can even summon big critters to harvest poison from or even wild shape into one and excrete it yourself.
    You say that like my post was a serious suggestion
    Last edited by Divide by Zero; 2010-05-09 at 01:08 AM.

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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    Natural Bond is in Complete Adventurer, and keeping in mind that you can apply your own bonuses an penalties in the most beneficial order, you can get a 'level -3' animal companion at 4th and still use your full druid level for its benefits. Your best choice is usually going to be a fleshraker dinosaur (MM3) or dire eagle (RoS), but since neither of those are available you should probably go with a dire bat. Additionally, look at the last sentence of the last paragraph of the Animal Companion class feature:

    "A druid of 4th level or higher may select from alternative lists of animals. Should she select an animal companion from one of these alternative lists, the creature gains abilities as if the characterís druid level were lower than it actually is. Subtract the value indicated in the appropriate list header from the characterís druid level and compare the result with the druid level entry on the table to determine the animal companionís powers. (If this adjustment would reduce the druidís effective level to 0 or lower, she canít have that animal as a companion.)"

    If you have Natural Bond, you could actually get a 'level -6' companion at 4th level, since your effective druid level would be greater than 0 for its benefits. The chart's '7th level or higher' heading for that list is in conflict with the text on this one, so the text overrules it as per primary source and the minimum level on the chart can be taken as a convenient calculation of when it would normally be available. A tiger or maybe a brown bear would probably be your best choice.

    I'd probably get spell focus: conjuration and augment summoning at 1st level, natural bond at 3rd, and natural spell at 6th. After that it just depends on what direction you want to go with the character, what additional books have been made available, and what extra story feats you've picked up. For 25 pointbuy I'd go Str 8, Dex 10, Con 15, Int 10, Wis 17, Cha 8. Use a wooden tower shield (with a -10 nonproficient penalty to attack rolls and certain skills) until you get wild shape, and focus on casting spells that don't require an attack roll and just hiding behind it and letting your animal companion do the work.

    Your available books don't have many of the best spells. Ideally you should try to get Spell Compendium allowed, but if the currently limiting list is due to game balance that probably won't happen. Maybe try to get something like one spell at each level from an outside source, at least then you can get spells like enrage animal, creeping cold, icelance, call avalanche, superior resistance, etc. Enrage animal is a great spell to just spend a fight concentrating on in the early levels, hiding behind your tower shield while your buffed up animal companion kills everything. Call avalanche from Frostburn is probably one of the most useful spells in the entire game.
    The books are set. I'll pretty much have the PHB spells. Well, Entangle and SNA I guess is my bread and butter. I recently lost my own copy of C adventurer. Does Nature's Bond give you +3 to effective druid level for animal companion choices?

    And any other advice besides the tower shield? I don't think it'd be in my druid's character to do that. It's possible we might convince the DM to go up to 28 pt buy...if we're lucky. The bonus feats can be any feat we qualify for, as far as we know.
    Last edited by Frosty; 2010-05-09 at 02:24 AM.
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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    Does Nature's Bond give you +3 to effective druid level for animal companion choices?
    Natural Bond adds three levels to your effective druid level, up to your total ECL. Check with your DM whether he agrees on how it interacts with alternative animal companions (for which your effective druid level is lower than your ECL even as a single classed druid).
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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    See if you can substitute your free story feats for new spells instead, particularly the ones I suggested.

    Produce flame can be useful for attacking, and the fact that it's not instantaneous means anyone damaged by it has a chance of being caught on fire for additional damage each round. Heat metal, chill metal, summon swarm, bull's strength, and barkskin are all useful spells. Sleet storm is amazing, call lightning and poison can be useful, but augment summoning lions are better. Ice storm is like sleet storm's bigger brother, flame strike is nice, and it's always a good idea to keep dispel magic prepared since it can be converted into more summons. Remember that SNA 4 can get a Unicorn, which has a constant magic circle on and can cure light/moderate wounds and neutralize poison, which is more healing than the cure serious you'd be casting from the same level spell slot. Wall of thorns the druid version of black tentacles, animal growth makes your animal companion and summoned friends that much better, and insect plague can drop multiple swarms on top of the same creatures for multiple save-or-nauseated each round. You should try to get a standard metamagic rod of empower by level 11, along with some unguent of timelessness, to use with fire seeds. Put the berry bombs in a pouch and either have a summoned fire elemental deliver it or wild shape into a bird and drop it on your enemies for huge damage.

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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    Our druid had the same problems. He just didn't know how to spend his feats. Ofc he took Naturell Spell but as with most casters, your power comes from spells, so yeah, if you are not so keen on optimisation, just get improved ini and augement summoning.

    Even if you go the "Basket-weaving-path" you will be very strong because druids as a base class are just really strong no feat selection will change that :) just take whatever your heart desires. If you want improved grapple etc for the animal forms which don't have it why not. You really can't mess up a druid with "wrong" feats.

    Metamagic doesn't hurt though.
    Last edited by KurtKatze; 2010-05-09 at 06:34 AM.

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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    I don't wanna outshine the party too much. This is my first time playing a druid so I want to make sure I contribute meaningfully.

    Is ther eany way for me to summon my nature's allies faster than as a 1-round action?
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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    I don't wanna outshine the party too much. This is my first time playing a druid so I want to make sure I contribute meaningfully.

    Is ther eany way for me to summon my nature's allies faster than as a 1-round action?
    Rapid Spell. With Ring of the Beast, you can still cast the Summons at maximum level after (it can't exceed your maximum level of spells anyways so you don't really lose much with that combination; not using rapid spell would just buy you few extra slots).
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2010-05-09 at 02:22 PM.
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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    Where are these things found? If the ring isn't in the DMG I probably can't get it.
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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    Where are these things found? If the ring isn't in the DMG I probably can't get it.
    Yeah, no. It's in Complete Champ. Rapid Spell isn't in Core either, so you're kinda outta luck there. It's CDiv, to be precise.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2010-05-09 at 03:19 PM.
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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    I don't wanna outshine the party too much. This is my first time playing a druid so I want to make sure I contribute meaningfully.
    My favorite way to not outshine party members with a druid is with crafting feats. Especially Craft Wondrous Items at 3. Amulets of Natural Armor, Cloaks of Resistance, and Stat + items are useful, cheap, and will help almost any member of your party. You spend your XP and gold, and they get better, until balance is achieved.
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2010-05-09 at 03:19 PM.

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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    Well, if you want to be useful but not overpowered there's Tracking. The relevant skill is a class skill you get bonuses too. Then you wild shape into something with scent. It's practical and useful without being over powerful. Then add improved Initiative or craft wondrous.
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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    I'm not sure how much downtime we'll have...but that is a good idea.

    But since I'm level 1, I guess I should just pick up a quarterstaff and whack things?
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    Default Re: Feats for a Druid [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    I'm not sure how much downtime we'll have...but that is a good idea.

    But since I'm level 1, I guess I should just pick up a quarterstaff and whack things?
    You'll probably want a Sling or some such. It's worth carrying a Scimitar around too; you can even two-hand it if you get some Str. But yeah, Quarterstaff is good if you have access to Spikes/Brambles; wouldn't bother with it otherwise.

    Also, umm, your ranged attack spells (and Entangle) are quite fine; Produce Flame gives you ammo for a few turns often being enough to last you through an encounter and being not-that-sucky. They're standard issue for low-level Druids on low PB. Also, control spells are obviously at a premium and Druid has a few good ones on each level, starting with Entangle (your Grease, so to speak; gonna be useful throughout the levels) at 1.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2010-05-10 at 12:38 AM.
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