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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Couple of variant rules for Druids, your thoughts?

    There's a couple different variant rules that I wouldn't mind getting some other points of view on...totally off my rocker, on the right track...maybe even a good idea?


    First thought: Does anyone see a dire problem that could come from adding the Planar Ally spells to the Druid list (same level as Cleric), bound by an "Elemental Only" proviso?

    Druids have plenty of access to, and work with, elemental beings, which are all over the SNA chain of spells. Why, then, can't they bargain for longer-term services of chosen allies, similar to how a cleric can?

    Would it be tragic if Druids could qualify for Thaumaturge? Are there other, unforseen, consequences to allowing this that I'm missing here?





    Second thought: I've heard a fair amount of debate over Natural Spell, a feat that's been described, repeatedly, as a 'must have' by some...a (pardon the pun) natural choice for any smart 6th level Druid...and a feat that's banned by DMs who feel it's been abused repeatedly.

    Inspired by World of Warcraft (yes, I went there...save your rotten tomatoes and listen), what would happen if Natural Spell were modified instead of banned as follows:

    You can cast spells while in wildshape form, but doing so immediately returns you to your natural form. If you resume the same wildshape form before the end of your next turn, it does not count against your number of uses of wildshape per day.

    This cuts down on the 'stealth' casting by innocent-looking critters, and drastically cuts down on casting "on the wing". A druid can also take Fast Wild Shape (CD) and get back into their form in the same turn (assuming a standard-action casting and move-action to re-wildshape), but even then they're paying some added cost (extra feat, their move action for the turn). Swift Wild Shape (CC) further mitigates, but at the cost of another feat...there's more of a cost to it to do it the old, proportedly-broken way.

    I could even see a feat that negates this modifcation and lets you remain wildshaped...with Swift Wild Shape as a preq.




    Thoughts?
    Whadda ya mean, Orcs got levels too?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Couple of variant rules for Druids, your thoughts?

    Letting them get allies shouldn't make them substantially more broken than they currently are.

    The problem with Natural Spell, as far as I can tell, is simply that it allows a druid to stay in Wildshape and still buff themselves with overpowered buffs, so your fix wouldn't help any.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Couple of variant rules for Druids, your thoughts?

    If it's longer, pre-combat buffs, can't they simply buff themselves and then wildshape in the first place (without Natural Spell at all)?

    If it's in-combat buffs, then they're burning time on the buffs already...adding time to get back into wildshape form is a significant penalty, especially since you can't cast for 3+ rounds, then go back to your wildshape form, you'd have to spend another.
    Whadda ya mean, Orcs got levels too?

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    Default Re: Couple of variant rules for Druids, your thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andorax View Post
    If it's longer, pre-combat buffs, can't they simply buff themselves and then wildshape in the first place (without Natural Spell at all)?
    Not if it's something like 10 minutes per level (or even 1 minute/level at higher levels) and they want to cast it without burning a use of wildshape.

    Or that's how I understand it, anyway. Maybe I misunderstand why Natural Spell is considered so overpowered despite the fact that you don't get very many benefits from the wildshape when you're casting (and therefore not attacking.)
    My general 3.5 balance fix.
    My psionics remix.
    My common-sense houserules.
    More minor homebrew (weapons, races).

    Complete system remake (under construction, barely started)

    Ever want to try your hand at optimizing, but dislike heavy emphasis on splatbooks and/or the rocket tag phenomenon?
    Come visit the Core Coliseum today, for a totally different style of optimization.

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    Default Re: Couple of variant rules for Druids, your thoughts?

    Also, fast wild shape and swift wild shape are pretty darn good in and of themselves. Encouraging a druid to take them is not exactly imposing a hardship on the fellow.

    My favorite for druid nerfs is the Shapeshift ACF in PH2. Eliminates animal companion and Natural Spell both, and nerfs the heck out of wild shape to boot. Just what the doctor ordered, IMO.
    3.5 Homebrew: Remixes to rebalance nearly every base class, all in the authentic flavor of the originals.
    Tier 1 casters breaking your game? Remix your magic with Philosopher's Stone, or try these flavorful mid-tier classes instead: Machinist, Shapeshifter, Avatar, Magus of Blades, Ritualist, Magician, Dawnblade, Summoner, plus 5 elemental casters!


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    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: Couple of variant rules for Druids, your thoughts?

    My favorite for druid nerfs is the Shapeshift ACF in PH2. Eliminates animal companion and Natural Spell both, and nerfs the heck out of wild shape to boot. Just what the doctor ordered, IMO.
    You're forgetting to add the advantages of making your character's natural physical ability scores count (unlike with normal Wildshape, where they're dumpstats), being easier to manage (saving a lot of time) at will (saves keeping track of nonsense, as well as being far more awesome) available at lvl 1 (truly class-defining rather than an additional 'perk' later on) and generally granting a far more interesting flavour and mood to the whole class.

    It's great, and I love it to bits.

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    Default Re: Couple of variant rules for Druids, your thoughts?

    Another fix for wildshape which has been touted before is making Natural Spell a +1 Metamagic feat which makes the spell only be usable while in wildshape, rather than only be usable while not in wildshape. So to tap into his most powerful spells, a Druid has to return to his own natural form. (But, overall, the Shapeshift ACF sounds best, not that I've seen it played).
    Last edited by paddyfool; 2011-09-18 at 05:11 PM.

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    Default Re: Couple of variant rules for Druids, your thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    My favorite for druid nerfs is the Shapeshift ACF in PH2. Eliminates animal companion and Natural Spell both, and nerfs the heck out of wild shape to boot. Just what the doctor ordered, IMO.
    It does have one notable problem, however: It is neither online homebrew nor Core, and therefore not available to all players. I suppose that you could just have whoever's DMing provide the full information for game purposes, but it still gets awkward (even with homebrew that nobody's seen before, at least they're all on equal footing.)
    My general 3.5 balance fix.
    My psionics remix.
    My common-sense houserules.
    More minor homebrew (weapons, races).

    Complete system remake (under construction, barely started)

    Ever want to try your hand at optimizing, but dislike heavy emphasis on splatbooks and/or the rocket tag phenomenon?
    Come visit the Core Coliseum today, for a totally different style of optimization.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Couple of variant rules for Druids, your thoughts?

    So the general consensus is:

    Planar Ally: yeah, sure...why not?

    Change to Natural Spell: Why bother? It's not solving the problem (middle-duration buffs), and it's mitigated, not by a feat tax, but by other usually-taken, dang good feats anyways.


    Any other thoughts on the subject?
    Whadda ya mean, Orcs got levels too?

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