Page 1 of 17 1234567891011 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 488
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    So, after roughly two years of work, it is finally completed. A druid handbook so massive that it could likely contain all of the words of every druid handbook written before it and still have plenty of room. There's almost certainly a bit of room for improvement around the edges, like an entry underwritten, or a syntax error unedited, or some linking between sections that largely doesn't exist yet. But it is, for the most part, coming your way a finished product. So, without further ado, here is the handbook.



    Moreover, as an addendum to this handbook, I am coming to you with an entire handbook devoted to planar shepherds, constructed from the ground up by our own Reshy.

    Reshy's Planar Shepherd Mini-Handbook
    Last edited by eggynack; 2015-09-08 at 10:03 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
    nedz's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    London, EU
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    This isn't a handbook ó it's an encyclopaedia.

    You have obviously spent a lot of time on this.
    π = 4
    Consider a 5' radius blast: this affects 4 squares which have a circumference of 40' ó Actually it's worse than that.


    Completely Dysfunctional Handbook
    Warped Druid Handbook

    Avatar by Caravaggio

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    AvatarVecna's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Your effort is not in vain; this is one of, if not THE, most comprehensive guide I've ever seen or heard of. By the Nine, what a handbook. I know what I'm doing tonight: reading through this until I go cross-eyed.
    Quote Originally Posted by War_lord View Post
    You divide your games into winning and losing. Winning is building a PC so powerful that the DMís plans take a backseat to your quest to become the untouchable God-Emperor of the world, anything else is losing. Any attempt by the DM/system to prevent that outcome is seen as a violation of your civil rights. By your own admission you canít play characters as anything beyond "CN Mercenary who only cares about self advancement at any cost".

    I am stunned you can't find a group.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    This guide is both beautiful and terrifying, much like its subject matter.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant
    I want tools to use in the game, not a blank check to do what I want. I can already do what I want.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Hiro Quester's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Yeah. This guide is indispensable for guiding one to Druidic awesomeness and fun.

    Thanks for finally putting it out there Eggynack. Now I can recommend it publicly and can direct others to it.

    I've been using it (in draft form; thanks again for letting me take an early look, Eggy) for a quite a few weeks. I have kept coming back to it for advice when considering character options for the forest gnome Druid I'm playing.
    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Honestly this is the best answer so far. Great job.
    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    This. This sooooo much. I wasn't expecting *two* thread wins from you.
    Forest Gnome Druid avatar is by the talented, thoughtful, and generous Linklele. A detailed version is here.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    I'm glad to see the fully organized guide! Awesome! Would the 'elemental swarm' spell would be good to mention with the 'Rashemi Elemental Summoning' feat?
    Last edited by Bronk; 2015-09-07 at 10:11 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    I'm glad to see the fully organized guide! Awesome! Would the 'elemental swarm' spell would be good to mention with the 'Rashemi Elemental Summoning' feat?
    Eh, I don't even have the spell mentioned in the first place, so I dunno that it's worth mentioning in the context of the feat. 9th's are universally in a weird spot, because there's this absolutely ridiculous spell over here, and then everything else is awful because of that spell. Elemental swarm is in a particularly uncomfortable place because of the existence of the siabrie, meanwhile, which casts the spell really well.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    This guide is absolutely amazingly fantastic! It will take me quite some time to fully read and appreciate it.

    I do have one suggestion for the Skills section though. Use Magic Device is just too good to imply that Druids cannot easily be awesome at it. Perhaps you could mention the Apprentice Spellcaster feat from DMG2 which will let them have UMD as a class skill.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by ranagrande View Post
    I do have one suggestion for the Skills section though. Use Magic Device is just too good to imply that Druids cannot easily be awesome at it. Perhaps you could mention the Apprentice Spellcaster feat from DMG2 which will let them have UMD as a class skill.
    It's a very good skill, and druids can definitely make use of it if they want, but it's not the end all and be all like it is for some classes. Druids have their own casting, after all, and off of a broad list. And, while some methods of using that sort of item can be viable (say, contemplative dip for the magic domain), eating a feat for it just doesn't seem remotely worthwhile. Hence, the assertion that druids are worse at it, even if they're fine at it.

    At the end of the day, just about everything related to druids needs to be judged on an incredibly harsh curve. Things that would be good for others, and that don't get better in druid hands, tend to be worse by sheer force of comparison. So, the druid could spend their feat on apprentice spellcaster, their skill points on UMD, and their money on wands, or they could just spend their feat on, say, gatekeeper initiate, their skill points on spot, and their money on a mantle of the beast. And that's assuming that you're eating into non-essential slots. At some point, that stops being the case, and you end up in a place where you could be spending the feat on rashemi elemental summoning, the points on concentration, and the money on a ring of the beast. The ultimate question, then, isn't really whether druids are good enough at UMD, but rather whether UMD is good enough for druids.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    (Un)Inspired's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    It has arrived at last. The promised handbook has come.
    amazing avatar of my favorite character, Gheera, by Pesimismrocks

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Eggy I want to thank you for this awesome guide. Druids are my 2nd fav class next to clerics and this guide is just amazing. I don't think you'll find a better one out there.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Orc in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Eggy you're the reason my dm could never challenge my druid and I didn't even fully optimize the way your guide says to. Thanks for answering all my questions and providing critical feedback.
    I've saved this guide and will guide others to use it.

  13. - Top - End - #13

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Now we're just waiting on Emperor Wins guide to Wizard.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    May 2013

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Awesome guide eggy. It was well worth the wait.

    Should there be a mention that exalted companion gives you access to an intelligent flying horse with 100' telepathy (I forget the name) which can take both VoP and mindsight? That always seemed like a very interesting option to me.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    Eh, I don't even have the spell mentioned in the first place, so I dunno that it's worth mentioning in the context of the feat. 9th's are universally in a weird spot, because there's this absolutely ridiculous spell over here, and then everything else is awful because of that spell. Elemental swarm is in a particularly uncomfortable place because of the existence of the siabrie, meanwhile, which casts the spell really well.
    I mentioned elemental swarm's relation to Rashemi Elemental Summoning as much as a reminder to me when I access this link in the future as anything else. I think in the guide's example it mentions SNA VI being able to get a Level 11 druid 48d6 cold damage over three rounds (as of now it says 45 though), and having a L17 druid with some preparation time being able to get up to 351d6 cold damage over three rounds is good to remember, at least.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Larrx View Post
    Should there be a mention that exalted companion gives you access to an intelligent flying horse with 100' telepathy (I forget the name) which can take both VoP and mindsight? That always seemed like a very interesting option to me.
    Yeah, I can buy that as a worthwhile addition. Definitely fills some sorta gap that other companions weren't filling, as a long term and efficient scout. Probably going to be, I dunno, a week until I make relatively non-essential additions though. So much druiding.

    Edit: "Essential additions" apparently includes random FAQ stuff, cause that section is woefully underpopulated. I'm just in the habit of writing arbitrary stuff about druids, so, yeah, probably going to have something interesting about the asperi up tonight. One thing I don't like about that creature is that it's not all that stealthy, but it's definitely great at finding and pointing out stealthy enemies, even if it can't really sneak about the enemy lair for tactical insight. Seems good as a high level option.
    Last edited by eggynack; 2015-09-08 at 02:48 PM.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Darrin's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Stupefyingly cool. It's great to see this finally posted.

    Some things to consider adding:

    Planar Touchstone -> Catalogues of Enlightenment to pick up the Dragon Below domain power: Augment Summoning without the Spell Focus Feat Tax. Planar Druid substitution levels can be used to get Knowledge (the Planes) as a class skill (temporarily), or you can use the Sandstorm version of Touchstone.

    Dragonborn of Bahamut + Wasteland Druid ACF. The main sticking point here is, does serving Bahamut violate a druid's vow to worship nature? Well, Dragonborn does not require you to worship Bahamut, nor does a druid's oath explicitly forbid them from serving a dragon. Or if your druid regards dragons as creatures that are inherently natural, or protectors of nature to begin with then... well, why not? The Wasteland Druid ACF pairs up nicely because it gives us two bonus feats as part of our class features: Sandskimmer and Heat Endurance. They are also feats we don't really *need* or can be replicated via some low-level spells, so we can use the "Mechanics of Rebirth" to lose Sandskimmer instead of our human bonus feat (as per the text, "any feat can be lost, so long as it is not a prerequisite for another feat you have"). We can also trade away Heat Endurance for Dragon Wings (natural flight in the druid's native form) or Dragon Tail (another natural attack). Since feats tend to stay active in our wild shape forms... hey look, a flying rhino with a tail swipe!

    Golden Desert Honey (Complete Mage) for standard action summons. Also, Chaos Flask -> half a pound of Golden Desert Honey.

    Also, Fairy Dust (Complete Mage) + creeping cold (or any transmutation spell, really). 100 GP for Extend Spell.

    When I have more time, I'll have to dig into this and see if I can throw out some additional suggestions.
    Handbooks:
    Shax's Indispensable Haversack, TWF OffHandbook
    Builds:
    Archon of Nine, Jellobomber, King of Pong, Lightning Thief
    Spells:
    Druidzilla, Healbot, Gish
    Iron Chef:
    Spoiler
    Show

    GOLD
    Verelka Thunderfoot (Serene Guardian)
    Vampire Hunter D (Risen Martyr)
    Vultag Thunderkeg (Great Rift Skyguard)
    SILVER
    Vreeb Veebilbrixt (Twisted Lord)
    Dokar Jaggedfang (Hand of the Winged Masters)
    BRONZE
    Black Sparrow (Master of Many Forms)


  18. - Top - End - #18
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Snowbluff's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Eggy, I haven't told you this, but I do plan to print this guide in it's entirety. When someone wants to play a 3.5 druid or asks me why I like 3.5, I'll drop this tome on them.
    Avatar of Rudisplork Avatar of PC-dom and Slayer of the Internet. Extended sig
    GitP Regulars as: Vestiges Spells Weapons Races Deities Feats Soulmelds/Veils
    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    All gaming systems should be terribly flawed and exploitable if you want everyone to be happy with them. This allows for a wide variety of power levels for games for different levels of players.
    I dub this the Snowbluff Axiom.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    I think I have most of those, except for planar touchstone, which seems worth adding, and the dragonborn+wasteland thing, which probably doesn't. It does seem to work, but it doesn't look like it gets you all that much, as your ultimate benefit is the ability to have dragonborn applied to human efficiently, and that's not of big benefit. So, yeah, next addition is likely to be the planar touchstone thing.

    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    Eggy, I haven't told you this, but I do plan to print this guide in it's entirety. When someone wants to play a 3.5 druid or asks me why I like 3.5, I'll drop this tome on them.
    Cool beans. Gotta say, the fact that there's this much cool stuff related to various things is why I like the system too. It's definitely a like tinged with something negative, cause it's ridiculous that you'd need that much research to use a single feat like aberration wild shape efficiently, but that depth is at least as awesome as it is ridiculous.

    Double-edit: So. Planar touchstone. Summoning or miscellaneous? This is the stuff that keeps me up at night. Almost wanna put it in miscellaneous just cause I don't have much stuff there, though I may need to check the scale of summoning to make sure that the difference is that big. That I could probably spend another paragraph talking about this ludicrously minute decision (with the next point being the weight of child of winter, and then maybe something about how sparse animal companions are) is a big part of why this thing ended up as massive as it did.
    Last edited by eggynack; 2015-09-08 at 11:30 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Ive always hated how handbooks would just say

    "Hey take these feats/spells, they r good" Without any context or reason, with the same thing on the opposite end "Oh dont take these feats/spells/acf's they r bad"


    For what its worth, despite the "badness" I rather like the Druidic Avenger/Deadly Hunter ACF's as I find them very flavorful. Even if it does make Druid weaker.


    Interestingly enough, Druidic Avenger gives you access to bear warrior.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wardog View Post
    Do you mean "attractive women, or spiders", or "attractive women, or attractive spiders"?
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam K View Post
    I too object to the unspecified way the imaginary, timeless, supposedly unkillable monster in the imaginary world of magic and elves and dragons aquired its martial training. Clearly that doesn't make SENSE!
    Quote Originally Posted by Brova View Post
    Because if you are in a position to break the Wizard's spell component pouch and stop him from casting spells, you are also in a position to stab him in the kidneys and stop him from being alive.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    This handbook shall be the standard by which other handbooks are measured. Magnificent work.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCrowing1432 View Post
    Ive always hated how handbooks would just say

    "Hey take these feats/spells, they r good" Without any context or reason, with the same thing on the opposite end "Oh dont take these feats/spells/acf's they r bad"
    As I noted in the acknowledgements, I was heavily inspired by Shax's Indispensable Haversack on that point. It doesn't consistently have that kinda density, but just the idea that you could have a whole paragraph about a feather token, swan boat, or a whole pile of information on a collar of perpetual attendance, or just generally a bunch of comparisons between a pile of subtly different things, was really interesting to me. On that note, someone really needs to get to work on a cleric spell handbook. The cleric handbook in existence, which may be the only one of its kind, has something like no information on the topic. I've been considering running at least some initial research on the topic, but first, I know very little about the topic, and second, I'm a bit hand booked out. Also, I have been halfway meaning to make that arguing handbook that popped into my head awhile back.

    As a side note, does anyone have an opinion on the entry for totemist gestalt? I was a bit rushed on it, because I don't know the system all that well, so while I fit in what looked like highlights, I could plausibly be quite a bit off base, or otherwise missing something really cool.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Troacctid's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    California
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    As a side note, does anyone have an opinion on the entry for totemist gestalt? I was a bit rushed on it, because I don't know the system all that well, so while I fit in what looked like highlights, I could plausibly be quite a bit off base, or otherwise missing something really cool.
    Totemist synergizes well with Druid, since soulmelds work while wildshaped. However, you really ought to mention how sweet it is that just about every single buff you get from your soulmelds is also applied to your animal companion. It might be the single best gestalt for an animal companion-focused Druid, I think?

    Shedu Crown is a notable soulmeld that you missed. The crown bind gives you telepathy, which is useful for letting you communicate while in animal form.

    Incidentally, Incarnate is also very good for a Druid. It doesn't have the same volume of natural weapon-based soulmelds, and you don't get the good Reflex saves, but if you're not focused on wrecking faces with claw-claw-bites, then Incarnate melds offer superior utility for a more casting-oriented Druid, and you get more essentia.

    Master of Many Forms is a pretty fantastic gestalt option too. So are psionic classes--you don't even need Natural Spell for them. I'd also put Cloistered Cleric above Wizard, personally.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Orc in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Hah I hate druids :) and I'm still loving the guide. Eggy can you get a time machine, go back to 2010 (lets not get too greedy), post this up so that the other handbooks had something to aspire to?

    Ive always hated how handbooks would just say

    "Hey take these feats/spells, they r good" Without any context or reason, with the same thing on the opposite end "Oh dont take these feats/spells/acf's they r bad"
    Testify. Sadly very common on the Internets. If you ever want to lose brain cells that way try reading the FAQs up for a few RPGer/turn based classics like Silent Storm, Xcom Enemy Within, or even worse, Dawn of War 2.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    Totemist synergizes well with Druid, since soulmelds work while wildshaped. However, you really ought to mention how sweet it is that just about every single buff you get from your soulmelds is also applied to your animal companion. It might be the single best gestalt for an animal companion-focused Druid, I think?

    Shedu Crown is a notable soulmeld that you missed. The crown bind gives you telepathy, which is useful for letting you communicate while in animal form.

    Incidentally, Incarnate is also very good for a Druid. It doesn't have the same volume of natural weapon-based soulmelds, and you don't get the good Reflex saves, but if you're not focused on wrecking faces with claw-claw-bites, then Incarnate melds offer superior utility for a more casting-oriented Druid, and you get more essentia.
    Thanks. That should improve the incarnum thing a bunch, though it's probably going to be a bit until I can stick incarnate in there. Seems like a necessary addition, given that I was mostly focused on the utility end of the totemist anyway.

    Master of Many Forms is a pretty fantastic gestalt option too. So are psionic classes--you don't even need Natural Spell for them. I'd also put Cloistered Cleric above Wizard, personally.
    Master of many forms is quite good, though I was mostly sticking with the base class stuff. For psionic classes, I was mostly just using psion as a stand-in, because I think variance beyond that is probably outside of the scope of what is synergizing with druid. And, on the cloistered cleric versus wizard comparison, I think that cloistered cleric definitely has more synergy, what with the same base stat and better chassis and abilities, but the wizard just seems like it does the job better. Druids are quite good at filling the cleric gaps without taking actual levels in cleric, but the same cannot necessarily be said for wizard. I guess you could emphasize the passive side of both druid and cleric, using wild shape from the first and DMM from the second, but it doesn't feel like you're in a better place there than you are just augmenting with wizard insanity.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Troacctid's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    California
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Really, you've only scratched the surface of gestalt. There are so many good options, even if you only look at base classes.

    • Archivist: If you get proper scroll access, you can cast just about whatever spells you want, and your bonus spells are Wisdom-based, so you have stat synergy.
    • Ardent: The upside of being Wisdom-based is probably outweighed by the more restricted power access compared to a Psion, but it's still a pretty solid option. At level 10 you get to abuse metapsionics like nobody's business (using the Dominant Ideal variant), which can get very silly. Creation, Freedom, Knowledge, and Time are some of the best mantles.
    • Artificer: Craft whatever items you want, because you're awesome like that. Great passive side for any caster.
    • Bard: Great skill-monkey class with a lot of out-of-combat utility. You can get into Sublime Chord, too. Divine Bard is a good option to reduce Charisma dependence.
    • Beguiler: Adds a lot of sneaky and manipulative abilities. Good mix of casting and skills, and doesn't put pressure on your actions in combat.
    • Binder: Lots of utility. Universally good passive side for just about any gestalt. All your abilities work in animal form.
    • Cloistered Cleric: Wisdom synergy. Skill points. Domains. Effectively double your spell slots. Always a strong choice. Note that it's just strictly better than the standard Cleric, since you get your BAB and hit die back from the Druid side and you can't wear heavy armor anyway.
    • Ninja: Monks and Swordsages aren't the only ones who get Wis to AC. Ninjas have that going for them, plus sudden strike and skillmonkey cred.
    • Psion: Full casting, and has enough action economy abuse and long-duration buffs that it can be passive too.
    • Psychic Warrior: Wisdom synergy, and fits just fine into a natural weapon strategy.
    • Rogue: Classic skillmonkey. The most skill points, and lots of class skills. Doesn't pressure your actions in combat. You can take sneak attack or bonus feats, hard to go wrong either way. Not as good as Factotum if you have high Int, but not everyone has high Int.
    • Scout: Solid choice for skills. Good fit from a thematic perspective too. Okay, some of the class skills are redundant, but you have easy access to pounce, which works pretty well with skirmish.
    • Warblade: Tends to turn Druid into the passive side, but still very nice if you're looking to brawl in melee.
    • Warlock: Lots of great passive buffs and at-will utility. (Don't get sucked into eldritch blast, it's basically just a reserve feat. Unless Dragon Magazine is in play, in which case Eldritch Claws works nicely with wild shape.)

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Probably true. I never really built it up beyond its role as a side thing where I put the odd gestalt idea. I'll probably expand it out over some period of time, tossing a thing into it every so often until it is all consuming. Definitely on my list of things to do, next to organizing dragons along the same lines that I did for the lung dragons, adding fancy sections for magic items, maybe revising control winds to reflect how complex it is, thinking more about possible FAQ things, and putting in various suggested additions that've been tossed out. The FAQ thing could probably use some suggesting too, come to think of it, because the entire basis is just stuff that I've argued about in various threads.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    In Christ Jesus
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    This is just... incredible. Dear WotC: Are you listening? We have someone who could be your new manager!

    I would like to have more SLAs mentioned for creatures in the Planar Shepherd section. (See this Planar Shepherd handbook for examples.)

    Gestalting Druid? Swordsage2 is a wonderful dip for the WIS bonus to AC while armored. Going more Swordsage should help as well.

    For Greenbound summons, please at least link my Greenbound Creature Stats Handbook.
    Last edited by Endarire; 2015-09-09 at 03:45 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by GPuzzle View Post
    And I do agree that the right answer to the magic/mundane problem is to make everyone badass.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    If you're of a philosophical bent, the powergamer is a great example of Heidegger's modern technological man, who treats a game's mechanics as a standing reserve of undifferentiated resources that are to be used for his goals.
    My Complete Tome of Battle Maneuver/Stance/Class Overhaul

    Arseplomancy = Fanatic Tarrasque!

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Hiro Quester's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Just a quick suggestion to a great guide that has made my DM request that i tone my Druid down a bit (buff myself and my AC a bit less) to make encounters more balanced for other players.

    In the wildshape section you list at 12th level the plant forms. But legendary eagle is buried in the middle of that list.

    Would it be useful to separate out the plant forms from non-plant forms, so legendary eagle doesn't get hidden like that?

    And I think I have said this before, for those playing in a book-limited game (like me) are there any Core plant forms worth mentioning?
    Last edited by Hiro Quester; 2015-09-09 at 07:12 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    Honestly this is the best answer so far. Great job.
    Quote Originally Posted by danielxcutter View Post
    This. This sooooo much. I wasn't expecting *two* thread wins from you.
    Forest Gnome Druid avatar is by the talented, thoughtful, and generous Linklele. A detailed version is here.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Darrin's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    This is an excerpt for an armor handbook I've been working on and off for a bit. You don't have to include it, but I thought I'd throw it down here, as it's druid-related.

    Druid-Friendly Armor

    Bark (A&EG p. 14)
    Price: 5 GP
    If your druid is such a hardcore animal-lover that he objects to skinning animals, then this may be a reasonable alternative to leather... although there may be a few trees that want to have a word with you about this whole "skinning" thing.

    Blue Ice (Frostburn p. 80)
    Price: +750/3000/7000 GP
    Much like darkleaf, this material drops the weight category, increases Max Dex by 1, and reduces ACP by 2 (add masterwork to reduce ACP by 3). However, if the wearer doesn't have some kind of cold resistance/immunity, he takes a -1 penalty on Ref saves and Init checks (add a dragoncraft buckler/shield for cold resistance 5). Sentira is slightly better (increases Max Dex by 2), but blue ice has more "made out of natural materials" flavor.

    Bluewood (Unapproachable East p. 58)
    Price: +300/600/1200 GP
    Crafted by the Volodni (plant people in Faerun), bluewood has the same characteristics as any masterwork armor made out of metal, except it weighs half as much. Basically the same material as darkwood, but can also be used to make armor.

    Bondleaf Wrap (A&EG p. 14)
    Price: 1000 GP
    For those druids who want to get so close to nature, they want their armor bonded to their nether-regions. While this is a very interesting idea, in practice wearing this leaf isn't too terribly different from being naked. Since it takes 24 hours to bond, even mud is easier to apply. If you want an armor bonus without a Max Dex limit, consider the gnome twistcloth.

    Bone/Wood (A&EG p. 14)
    Price: 20 GP (bone), 15 GP (wood)
    These two materials are almost identical, except wood is 5 GP cheaper and 5 lbs lighter. Both are somewhat reasonable choices for a 1st level druid looking for something better than leather, but leather scale (same book) has the same armor bonus with a better Max Dex and ACP. If your Dex bonus is +1 or lower, dhenuka hide is better.

    Bronzewood (Eberron Campaign Setting p. 126)
    Price: 4000 GP (medium), 9000 GP (heavy)
    This is another lighter/stronger wood that can replace metal. Bronzewood weighs 10% less than a similar metal item. The description doesn't mention that it's masterwork, so that can be added to reduce ACP by 1. The only other notable feature is ACP has no effect on Hide checks made in woodland environments. Similar to dragonhide, only certain armors can be made out of bronzewood: breastplate, banded mail, splint mail, half-plate, and full plate. For the same price, though, you can get sentira with all the properties of mithral.

    Chameleon Leather (Serpent Kingdoms p. 148)
    Price: 360 GP
    Made out of color-changing snakeskin, this armor has the same stats as masterwork leather, but provides a +2 circumstance bonus on Hide checks. Circumstance bonuses can be pretty hard to come by, but unless you're a sneaky druid (tree ninja?) trying to max out your Hide check, you'll probably want something better than a +2 armor bonus. Shadow silk hide offers a +2 bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks when in shadowy or dark conditions, or a "Camouflage" pattern (FR Underdark p. 66) can be added to any armor for a +2 circumstance Hide bonus in a particular terrain.

    Chitin (A&EG p. 19)
    Price: +10000 GP (heavy), +2000 (shield)
    There are several varieties of chitin armor that have appeared in a multitude of sourcebooks, and they all have different properties. The AE&G version only offers a 50% weight reduction, and apparently can only be used with heavy armor (although breastplate is mentioned in the text, no price is given for medium armor). This version is too expensive for what it does (even mithral is cheaper), so don't bother with this one.

    Chitin (Races of Eberron, Secrets of Xen'drik p. 136)
    Price: 20 GP
    Ok, so now it's apparently light armor... and only slightly better than leather. If you need a higher Max Dex, Spidersilk or Nightscale (FR Underdark p. 66) are probably a better deal.

    Chitin Armor (Races of Faerun p. 157, Stormwrack p. 106)
    Price: 75 GP
    Now it's medium armor. It has stats similar to scale mail, so it's a little better than hide armor (add masterwork to drop the ACP down to -3), but isn't as good as the various breastplate options. This version was updated in Stormwrack, but the stats are the same as in Races of Faerun.

    Chitin (Races of the Dragon p. 121)
    Price: Masterwork x2
    Comparatively similar to dragonhide (same cost) and now covers both medium and heavy armor, but like dragonhide only for certain types: breastplate, half-plate, full plate, and shields. One notable advantage over dragonhide is it increases Max Dex by +1. Of all the variations on "chitin" armor, this version usually has the best stats.

    Chitine Web (FR Underdark p. 66)
    Price: 75 GP
    You have to find a chitine to weave this for you, and it starts to decay after 3 months if you don't regularly pay a chitine to repair it. Leather scale has roughly the same stats but is only 35 GP. For only 10 GP more, sharkskin has almost the same stats. If you need a higher Max Dex and can afford to pay more, consider masterwork spidersilk.

    Coral (AE&G p. 15)
    Price: 225 GP
    Roughly equivalent to splint or banded mail, and a cheaper alternative to stone plate (Races of Stone). Not a bad deal for the price if you're looking for some heavy armor but can't quite afford dragonhide/darkleaf/sentira full plate. Requires Heavy Armor Proficiency.

    Cord (Stormwrack p. 106)
    Price: 15 GP
    First printed in A&EG as a slightly more expensive alternative to bark, but later updated in Stormwrack, where itís ASF increased to 15%. Other than that, the rest of the stats are the same as in A&EG.

    Darkleaf (A&EG p. 19, Eberron Campaign Setting p. 120)
    Price: +750/2250/3000 GP
    Properties are very similar to mithral, but much more druid-friendly. Reduces the weight category, increases Max Dex by 1, and reduces ACP by 2. You can also combine this with masterwork quality to reduce ACP further by 1. Sentira has slightly better stats (increases Max Dex by 2), but darkleaf definitely has more "I am made out of trees!" flavor (and isn't tied to a specific campaign world).

    Dendritic Crystal (A&EG p. 15, Races of Faerun p. 157)
    Price: 2000 GP
    This is definitely one of the weirder options, and very similar to heavy plate (Races of Stone p. 155), except it's a lot lighter (60 lbs instead of 100 lbs). I'm not entirely sure if it's druid-safe but it doesn't say anything about being metal. It grows by itself... that's nature-friendly, right? Based on the Earthskin armor (RoF p. 171), it looks like you can add masterwork for the usual cost. Requires Heavy Armor Proficiency.

    Dhenuka Hide (Oriental Adventures p. 75)
    Price: 30 GP
    Rhino hide armor, with a better armor bonus than normal hide armor (comparable to scale mail), but Max Dex and ACP are much worse. At only 30 GP, though, a great bargain for a 1st level druid looking for something better than normal hide.

    Dragonhide (PHB)
    Price: Masterwork x2
    This is one of the cheaper non-metallic options, so an excellent choice for low-level druids. Inside Core/SRD only, it will probably be your best option. Only a few medium/heavy armors can be replaced with dragonhide: hide, breastplate, banded mail, half-plate, and full plate. However, other than masterwork reducing ACP by 1, there isn't much mechanical benefit. Darkleaf (similar to mithral, but cheaper) and sentira (Secrets of Sarlona, same properties as mithral) are going to have much better Max Dex and ACPs and can be applied to more types of armor. However, it can be upgraded as a Dragoncraft item (see below).

    Dragoncraft (Draconomicon p. 117)
    Price: +3000/6000/11000 GP
    Adding the dragoncraft quality to dragonhide armor drops the weight category, reduces ACP by 2, and adds a nonmagical energy resistance 5, energy type based on the dragon's color (if you're looking for sonic or force resistance, it doesn't specifically mention it but doesn't forbid it). Darkleaf and sentira are cheaper and will get you better Max Dex/ACP, but... hmmm, a buckler or shield with force resistance 5, that's pretty tempting (never worry about magic missile again). Like dragonhide, it's only available on certain armors, but they are *not* the same options as dragonhide: breastplate and banded are not available, but scale mail is. Huh, I can't tell if that's a mistake by the designer or intentional. Hide, half-plate, and full plate are the other three armors available. The price for a shield isn't mentioned, either. I assume it's the same as light armor (+3000 GP). If you're looking for energy resistance (particularly force), then you might consider a dragoncraft buckler or light shield. For electricity and sonic resistance 5, take a look at Siege Beetle Chitin (MMV p. 153). Otherwise, stick with darkleaf or sentira.

    Dreamhide (Secrets of Xen'drik p. 136)
    Price: 700 GP
    Made from the skin of dream serpents, dreamhide is a good replacement for a chain shirt. It's a little cheaper than a darkleaf chain shirt, but for the same price you can buy a dragonhide breastplate with a better armor bonus.

    Duskwood Breastplate (Magic of Faerun p. 178)
    Price: 3200 GP
    Another one of those "Yeah, it's darkwood, just called something different" materials. Normally darkwood can't be used to create armor, but there's an exception for duskwood: it can be made into a breastplate with the following stats: masterwork light armor, AB +5, MDB +4, ACP -2, ASF 20%, Speed 30/20, weight 15 lbs. However, there are cheaper materials (darkleaf) with better stats.

    Elukian Clay (A&EG p. 19)
    Price: +1000/2000/4000 GP
    Sculpted from stone that seeps out of the Elemental Plane of Water. This increases the ACP by 1, but you can ignore ACP on Swim checks. I have no idea why you'd pay so much for this kind of material.

    Feather Cloak (Sandstorm p. 99)
    Price: 1000 GP
    This armor has the same stats as leather, but negates a penalty on heatstroke checks in hot environments. You're better off buying something cheaper with a better armor bonus and spend the money you save on scrolls of endure elements or save up for an Enduring Amulet (1500 GP, MIC p. 97, continuous endure elements and negate up to 20 cold/fire damage as an immediate action). Leather scale, sharkskin, dreamhide, spidersilk, or a darkleaf chain shirt all have a better armor bonus and the same or better Max Dex bonus.

    Glassteel (Champions of Valor p. 65)
    Price: +2000/6000/12000 GP
    This glasslike material is harder than iron but completely transparent. However, I'm not entirely sure it's nonmetallic... some people seem to think so, but I couldn't find a definitive ruling either way. The description says it's made with an "alchemical process requiring an extensive knowledge of metallurgy and glassblowing." While the term metallurgy could imply smelting or alloying of metals, it could also refer to adding metal and other chemical powders to glass to change its color or physical properties. Cobalt glass, for example, gets its color from a metal additive, but is still considered glass. On the other hand, even if you conclude that glassteel isn't metal, it sounds like the process for creating it involves a much higher level of technology beyond the more druid-friendly concept of "let's wrap dead animal skins and pieces of wood around my body". The properties and cost of glassteel vary quite a bit depending on which sourcebook it appears in. The last official 3.5 update was in Champions of Valor, which says the properties are almost identical to mithral, except it has the hardness and HP of adamantine. So if you want to use this material, check with your DM first. Fortunately, we have a wide variety of cheaper materials that work just as well, such as darkleaf and sentira.

    Gnome Twistcloth (Races of Stone p. 159)
    Price: 150 GP
    Although only slightly better than a loincloth or a birthday suit, this exotic armor has a couple features that may be of interest to certain builds. The ACP is zero, so while you don't *need* Exotic Armor Proficiency to use this without penalty, if you do take the feat, the twistcloth's armor bonus applies to touch attacks (similar to a deflection bonus). The other advantage is it has no Max Dex limit, so if you've got an insanely high Dex bonus and still want some kind of armor bonus, then the twistcloth might be worth considering.

    Leafweave (Races of the Wild p. 168)
    Price: 745 GP (padded), 750 GP (leather), 765 GP (studded leather), 755 GP (hide)
    The druid-friendly alternative to leather, leafweave increases Max Dex by 1 and reduces ACP by 2 (add masterwork to reduce ACP by 3). However, the higher price puts this well out of the range of 1st level druids, and there are much cheaper alternatives that offer the same or better protection: leather scale, sharkskin, dreamhide, thunderhide, or dhenuka hide.

    Leather Scale (A&EG p. 16)
    Price: 35 GP
    If you're looking for something cheap with the same armor bonus as studded leather, but can't quite afford leafweave studded leather yet, this is a pretty good deal for the price. For 1st level druids, dhenuka hide (Oriental Adventures p. 76) costs 5 GP less and has a better armor bonus (equivalent to a chain shirt), but if you have a Dex bonus higher than +1, leather scale is a better choice.

    Living Coral (Stormwrack p. 106)
    Price: 16000 GP
    This appears to be a reworking of the Moon Ivy armor from A&EG, only now it's made out of living coral instead of ivy, and some attempt was made to clarify some of the more confusing issues with Moon Ivy... although additional confusing issues appear to have been added. Instead of a body suit, living coral grows from a "medallion" (no mention is made if this item still occupies the body slot or the necklace slot). An attempt was made to clarify the dying/regrowth process: the coral dies at sundown and regrows at sunrise, and it says the process takes two hours but doesn't specify if this is for dying or regrowing the coral. There's also a new drawback, apparently the coral also dies if it's in dark conditions, but it isn't clear what this means: dark as in total darkness, or do shadowy conditions (as from a darkness spell) also count? How long does it have to be dark, do you get to keep the +3 armor bonus for 2 hours or does it die off gradually/instantly? It can still be upgraded by spending 500 GP, but the only option now is "Stinging Polyps", which can sting your opponent in a grapple for a chance to paralyze them for 1d4 rounds (Fort save DC 14). I think like the sound of "Explosive Pods" a lot better... I'm not sure I want to put anything on my body called "Stinging Polyps", which sounds a lot like something you need to get removed after a colonoscopy. Stats-wise, living coral is more flexible than the non-living version in A&EG: Max Dex increased by 2, ACP reduced by 3, and ASF reduced by 10%. This puts it about equivalent with darkleaf/sentira banded mail, which is cheaper and still protects you when it's dark.

    Mammoth Leather (Races of Stone p. 157)
    Price: 45 GP
    If this weren't exotic (requiring the Exotic Armor Proficiency feat), this would be a fabulous pick for a 1st level druid: same armor bonus and Max Dex as a chain shirt, lighter weight category than normal hide, and a little "yeah, I killed and skinned a mammoth, punk" flavor. However, better options with higher armor bonuses should be available later, so it's not worth wasting a feat on.

    Moon Ivy (A&EG p. 16)
    Price: 16000 GP
    Another really strange one... like dendritic crystal, this one "grows" around your body overnight. But it dies "at the end of every day", so it apparently doesn't provide any armor bonus during the night, and doesn't specifically state how long it takes to regrow. Do you get the entire +3 armor bonus at sunrise? Or does the armor bonus increase by +1 every 2-3 hours? It's not clear. Moon ivy provides the same armor bonus as a chain shirt, but whoa boy, you'll need one heck of a "Save the Rainforest!" fund to afford this stuff. However, for another 500 GP, how many armors have an upgrade feature called "Explosive Spores"? Grow up to 10 pods, and whenever you get hit by a bludgeoning attack, the adjacent square gets hit with a Fort save DC 14 for 1d6 rounds of nausea. The poison ivy upgrade looks like a great feature for grappler/constrictor builds (Fort save DC 14, 1d3 Con damage). The Pheremones upgrade is also really solid: +3 untyped bonus on any Charisma check (even UMD!), and it goes up to a +6 bonus if the target creature has scent (which almost every animal does), so that's +6 on all your Handle Animal and Wild Empathy rolls.

    Mud (Races of Faerun p. 158)
    Price: 0 GP
    For important state dinners and impressing nobility. Seriously, don't. If you're that desperate, hiding or fleeing in pathetic shame is also free.

    Nightscale (FR Underdark p. 66)
    Price: 1000 GP
    Same armor bonus as leather but with a Max Dex bonus on steroids. The combination of armor/dex bonus is one of the best in the game: +12 total, three points better than full plate and two points better than mechanus gear. The description describes this armor as exotic, meaning you would have to take Exotic Armor Proficiency to avoid any penalties, but since the ACP is already zero, you can wear this armor without the feat and still take no penalties. This is one of the better options for high Dex druids/wildshape forms.

    Riverine (Stormwrack p. 128)
    Price: +9000/16000/25000 GP
    Ok, so this material is water sandwiched between two walls of force... interesting idea, so let's make some armor out of all these overlapping plates of walls of force... why exactly do we need the water at this point? Anyway, definitely nonmetallic, and the big selling point is half of the armor bonus becomes a deflection bonus (rounded down), which is added to touch AC. The description doesn't mention it, but this also effectively gives riverine armor the Ghost Touch enhancement (force effects are always solid to incorporeal creatures). Other than the deflection bonus and the improved ACP from masterwork quality, the mechanical properties of riverine are the same as any other mundane material. However, it is horrendously expensive, so if you really need that deflection bonus, consider a riverine shield or buckler (+4000 GP) rather than armor.

    Scorpion Breastplate (Races of Eberron p. 171, Secrets of Xen'drik p. 136)
    Price: 300 GP
    Another member of the "chitin" armor family, this breastplate is comparable to scale mail, if not a little better. Dreamhide and a darkleaf chain shirt have the same armor bonus and better stats, but the scorpion breastplate is cheaper.

    Siege Beetle Chitin (MMV p. 153)
    Price: 2000 GP
    Probably the most obscure member of the chitin family, tucked away in MMV. It offers about the same protection as scale male (+4 armor bonus), but has slightly better Max Dex, better ACP, weighs only 20 lbs, and is already considered masterwork. The description explicitly says it's druid-friendly. But the best feature is it provides non-magical resistance to electricity 5 and resistance to sonic 5, which is a bit of a bargain for only 2000 GP.

    Serpentscale Mail (Serpent Kingdoms p. 148)
    Price: 800 GP
    Another contender in the "is it as good as a breastplate?" category, and actually one of the better options (same ACP as a masterwork breastplate, but Max Dex is 1 higher). Also, great flavor for those herpetologists/ophidiophiles out there. Chitin breastplate (Races of the Dragon version) has the same stats but only costs 700 GP. A dragonhide breastplate also costs 700 GP, but Max Dex isn't quite as good.

    Sentira (Secrets of Sarlona p. 135)
    Price: +1000/4000/9000 GP
    Properties are identical to mithral. The big question is it non-metallic, and thus okey-dokey for druids to wear without breaking their oath? The description says it's grown from powdered crystal and has an "organic" appearance, "much like horn or shell", and is ideal for making emotional armor (Calming and Dreadful are not worth it... but Vengeful could be good for melee-friendly druids), but doesn't say anything about being metallic. My guess is organic = treehugger-friendly. The only real difference with masterwork darkleaf (other than higher cost) is sentira increases Max Dex by 2 instead of 1. Of all the nonmetallic special materials, this is the best.

    Shadow Silk (Tome of Magic p. 155)
    Price: 1500 GP (padded), 1750 (leather), 2500 (hide)
    I'm not sure what kind of druid would be comfortable wearing something made out of material from the plane of shadow... but hey, at least it's not metal. Shadow silk increases Max Dex by 2, reduces ACP by 2, and reduces weight by 75%. When in shadowy or dark conditions, it grants a +2 untyped bonus to Hide and Move Silenty checks, and also repairs itself (1 HP/round). Compared to leafweave, shadow silk will have a better Max Dex bonus but masterwork leafweave will have a better ACP. Leather scale, leafweave studded leather, sharkskin, dreamhide, or spidersilk offer better protection for a cheaper price.

    Shapesand (Sandstorm p. 102)
    Price: 100 GP per 12 lbs
    Make a DC 16 Wisdom check and you can reshape this psychoreactive sand into any nonmagical item you can imagine and it "serves as a normal item of the same sort". This allows us to reshape it into any kind of mundane armor, including exotic or rare armors such as heavy plate (9 jugs = 900 GP) or mechanus gear (7 jugs = 700 GP). It won't copy the properties of masterwork items or special materials (adamantine/mithral/sentira/etc. aren't "normal items"), but the description is exceedingly vague about what properties shapesand can duplicate (acid? explosives? poison?). The shapesand retains its shape as long as you're within 100' of it, and if you need to reshape it to fit a new form (wildshape, for example), a new suit of armor or barding is just a Wisdom check away. There is a risk someone else might recognize you're using shapesand as armor and attempt to take control of it, but they have to make an opposed Wisdom check against you (good thing druids don't tend to dump Wisdom, eh?).

    Sharkskin (Races of Faerun p. 158, Stormwrack p. 106)
    Price: 85 GP
    This is a good substitute for studded leather, comparable to leather scale but with a better ACP (which you can bring down to zero by making it masterwork). On top of that, it has built-in shark teeth that work as armor spikes *and* give a +6 circumstance bonus on Escape Artist attempts to get out of an entangle effect (even better than Netcutter Spikes from Races of the Wild). Sharkskin was updated in Stormwrack, and while the stats are the same, the +6 circumstance bonus on Escape artist checks was changed to "when the wearer is bound with rope or similar easily cut bindings". While this should still apply to nets, check if your DM will allow it to still apply to other entangle effects.

    Shell (A&EG p. 15, Stormwrack p. 106)
    Price: 25 GP
    This medium armor is the same price as studded leather, but bone/wood is a little cheaper, has about the same stats, and is in a lighter weight category. For a little more gold, leather scale and sharkskin have better stats, and are still in a lighter weight category.

    Silk Swathes (Sandstorm p. 99)
    Price: 400 GP
    Like the feather cloak, these silk swathes negate the -4 penalty when checking for heatstroke in a hot environment, but there are better ways to avoid heatstroke. If you're looking for light armor with a high Max Dex bonus, try gnome twistcloth, nightscale, or spidersilk.

    Skin of Ectoplasmic Armor (Magic Item Compendium p. 170)
    Price: 6000 GP
    If you didn't think the Bondleaf Wrap was strange enough, you can envelope your body in ectoplasm... creepy, but not metal. This skin has the same armor bonus as full plate, but is only considered light armor, can be put on or removed with just a standard action, and has better stats: AB: +8 MDB: +2 ACP: -6 ASF: 25% SPD: 30 WT: 2#. Unfortunately, the description doesn't mention if it's considered masterwork or can be enchanted further. Despite that, compared to an equivalent suit of full plate, this is a great bargain.

    Spidersilk (FR Underdark p. 66)
    Price: 750 GP
    This is one of the best replacements for studded leather, particularly for high-Dex druids. It's listed as an exotic armor, which would require taking the Exotic Armor Proficiency feat to avoid non-proficiency penalties, but since it's not described as masterwork, you can spend 150 GP to add the masterwork quality and reduce the ACP to zero, at which point you don't take any penalties for non-proficiency.

    Stonemail (FR Underdark p. 67)
    Price: 180 GP
    Roughly equivalent to chainmail, but made out of stone and weighs 5 lbs less than chainmail... huh. While this is actually pretty decent armor considering it's made out of *rocks*, serpentscale and dragonhide/chitin breastplates have slightly better stats, and don't require Heavy Armor Proficiency.

    Stone Plate (Races of Stone p. 158)
    Price: 750 GP
    Still lighter than chainmail... huh. Ok, well, this is roughly equivalent to banded mail, but at this price for another 50 GP you can get dragonhide banded mail with an ACP of only -5. If you're pinching pennies, you can get the same stats with Coral armor for about 1/3rd the price (225 GP). Requires Heavy Armor Proficiency.

    Stone, Dwarven (A&EG p. 17)
    Price: 1750 GP
    Now this is more like it... heavy plate, made out of stone. Actually, this has a better ACP (and you can bring it down by another point by adding masterwork) and weighs less than heavy plate. Cheaper, too. Huh. If you're looking for something in the neighborhood of full plate or better, can't afford darkleaf yet, and don't want any of that namby-pamby sentira stuff, then this is a pretty solid choice. Requires Heavy Armor Proficiency.

    Tentacled Hide (FR Underdark p. 67)
    Exotic hide armor for hentai fetishists. +2 untyped bonus on Strength checks to trip your opponents, but based on the description, I'm having a hard time imagining how they don't trip the owner. It also requires the Exotic Armor Proficiency, which just isn't worth it for a +2 bonus on trip checks.

    Thaalud Stone Armor (Anauroch: The Empire of Shade p. 108)
    The best heavy armor in the game (even better than Mechanus Gear), tucked away in an obscure sidebar in a lackluster campaign-specific module. It's made out of a rare variety of stone that is very dense and resistant to chips and fractures, which presumably prevents making it out of some other exotic special material, such as mithral. There's one other material detail that must be dealt with before it can be considered completely druid-friendly... the description says this armor is held together by metal rivets, so you'll need to ask your DM if these can be replaced with darkwood/ironwood/bronzewood equivalents.

    Thunderhide (Serpent Kingdoms p. 148)
    Price: 25 GP
    Love the name, dinosaur hide is awesomesauce, but functionally not as good as leather scale or sharkskin armor. Still, not bad for the price and a great 1st-level pick for a druid with a Dex bonus in the +2 to +5 range.

    Vine (Secrets of Xen'drik p. 136)
    Price: 80 GP
    You can't "go green" much more than this (ok, well, Moss Ivy may beg to differ). It has roughly the same stats as leather and offers a +2 circumstance bonus to Hide checks in a jungle environment, but if you don't water it, it dies and the circumstance bonus goes away... which is kinda annoying, but probably not much of a concern for somebody with create water as a cantrip. If you really want the Hide bonus, try Chameleon Leather (it doesn't need to be watered), or you can buy a much better armor and add a "Camouflage" pattern (FR Underdark p. 66) for +300 GP.

    War Chitin (Secrets of Xen'drik p. 136)
    Price: 1500 GP
    A heavier upgrade to the Scorpion Breastplate. Same price and same armor bonus as dragonhide half-plate or chitin half-plate (Races of the Dragon version), but has a better Max Dex bonus and ACP. Masterwork isn't mentioned in the description, so you can also add that to reduce ACP by 1. This is the best option if you're looking for something better than coral or stone plate but can't quite afford dwarven stone or heavier darkleaf/sentira plate armor. Requires Heavy Armor Proficiency.

    Wicker (A&EG p. 17)
    Price: 1 GP
    Hey, we have a competitor for mud... the description calls it a "poor soldier's last resort", but hiding or fleeing in pathetic shame is even cheaper. On the plus side, you get a +5 circumstance bonus on Hide checks while inside a Pier One Imports store.

    Wildwood (Races of the Wild p. 169)
    Price: Masterwork x2
    Why would you reduce your armor bonus by 1 when there are so many other non-metal materials that don't reduce your armor bonus? Dragonhide, darkleaf, and sentira are all better options than this. Wildwood = Fail.

    Shields and Other Additions

    Dastana (A&EG p. 15, Oriental Adventures p. 75):
    These large metal bracers are worn over the upper arms and can be added to certain types of light armor: padded, leather, or chain shirt. They provide an additional armor bonus that *stacks* with your existing armor and shield bonus. Dastanas are usually paired up with a chahar-aina (mentioned next) on top of a chain shirt to get a +6 armor bonus while only wearing light armor (and you can still add a shield bonus on top of that). Check with your DM to see if these items are available and how he thinks they should work. Some DMs think dastanas should occupy the bracers slot, while others may ban dastanas/chahar-ainas outright. Pricing dastanas made out of special materials can be a little tricky, since it's not clear if dastanas are considered shields (as they are listed on the tables in OA and A&EG) or light armor (they require light armor proficiency, not shield proficiency). Since dastanas are worn over a chain shirt that already includes an undercoat, steel cap, and other armor-related accoutrements, I'm going to assume that dastanas count as a shield for pricing purposes. Here are a couple non-metallic options for dastanas:

    Bluewood Dastana (Unapproachable East p. 83)
    AB: +1 MDB: -- ACP: 0 ASF: 5% SPD: -- WT: 2.5#
    Price: 325 GP

    Sentira Dastana (Secrets of Sarlona p. 136)
    AB: +1 MDB: -- ACP: 0 ASF: 0% SPD: -- WT: 2.5#
    Price: 1025 GP

    Chahar-Aina (Oriental Adventures p. 75)
    Like the dastana, this "four mirror armor" (actually more of an oriental version of a breastplate) can be worn over certain types of light armor to provide an additional armor bonus that stacks with your existing armor and shield bonus. It can be worn over padded, leather, or a chain shirt, but requires medium armor proficiency rather than light. This isn't a problem for a druid, but the ACP -1 is easy enough to get rid of by making it masterwork. Again, some DMs don't like this and may not allow chahar-ainas, particularly if they don't have any Oriental/Eastern-Asian-style cultures in their campaign worlds. The chahar-aina may be harder to clear with the DM, since it only appears in Oriental Adventures, while the dastana is also in the somewhat culturally-neutral Arms & Equipment Guide. Like the dastana, pricing for special materials can be tricky (they are listed as shields on the table, but are worn on the body and require medium armor proficiency). Since breastplate armor normally includes an undercoat, greaves, helmet, etc., and a chahar-aina is worn over a chain shirt that would already include a similar undercoat and other armor-related accoutrements, I'm going to assume that a chahar-aina counts as a shield for pricing purposes. The non-metallic options for chahar-ainas are the same as for dastanas:

    Bluewood Dastana (Unapproachable East p. 83)
    AB: +1 MDB: -- ACP: 0 ASF: 5% SPD: -- WT: 5#
    Price: 375 GP

    Sentira Dastana (Secrets of Sarlona p. 136)
    AB: +1 MDB: -- ACP: 0 ASF: 0% SPD: -- WT: 5#
    Price: 1075 GP

    Extreme Shield (Races of Stone p. 157)
    Exotic armor/shields are almost never worth blowing a feat on, but if we use the right combination of material/template, we can get the ACP down to zero, at which point there is no penalty for non-proficiency. The ACP on an extreme shield is -4, so we have to use sentira (or glassteel) with the Hellforged template (DMGII p. 277). How exactly a druid would find a Chosen, Inspired, or kalashtar that is also a native of the Nine Hells, I have no idea... but I suppose a kalashtar with a fiendish/half-fiendish template might be possible. The stats for such a shield would be:

    Hellforged Sentira Extreme Shield
    AB: +3 MDB: -- ACP: 0 ASF: 10% SPD: -- WT: 12.5#
    Price: 2030 GP

    Grafts

    While some druids may object to grafts as unnatural, there are several elemental/plant/nature-related grafts that might be considered more druid-friendly. In any case, they're not metal, so they don't break your druid oath. Grafts have several advantages to armor: no Max Dex or Armor Check Penalties, can't be stolen/sundered, and aren't considered magic items, so they can't be dispelled and continue to work inside an AMF. There are a couple disadvantages: you have to find someone with the proper feat to create one for you, find a creature to donate the parts, and there's always a sacrifice of some sort (usually a HP reduction) that has to be paid in addition to the GP cost.

    Complicating things somewhat are two different versions of the graft rules. The earlier grafts introduced in the Fiend Folio, Libris Mortis, and Lords of Madness can be combined with different types: beholder, fiendish, illithid, silthilar, and undead grafts can be added to the same creature, and there is no maximum limit to the number of grafts. However, Races of the Dragon and Magic of Eberron introduced several new types of grafts, and added some new rules: you cannot combine multiple types of grafts on the same creature, and the maximum number of grafts you can have is five. However, some people argue that the new rules apply *only* to the grafts introduced in Races of the Dragon and Magic of Eberron, and you can stack those on top of the older grafts (beholder, fiendish, illithid, silthilar, and undead). So... if you want to mix-and-match, check with your DM.

    Bone Plating [Deathless] (Magic of Eberron p. 128)
    Price: 9000 GP, -4 HP
    Improves your natural armor bonus by +1, and grants cold resistance 5. Pairs up nicely with Blue Ice armor/shield.

    Stony Plating [Elemental, Earth] (Magic of Eberron p. 133)
    Price: 2800 GP, -4 HP
    Improves natural armor bonus by +1, and... that's it.

    Treebark Carapace [Plant] (Magic of Eberron p. 136)
    Price: 3200 GP, -4 HP
    Improves your natural armor bonus by +1, and gives a +4 bonus on saves against polymorph effects.
    Handbooks:
    Shax's Indispensable Haversack, TWF OffHandbook
    Builds:
    Archon of Nine, Jellobomber, King of Pong, Lightning Thief
    Spells:
    Druidzilla, Healbot, Gish
    Iron Chef:
    Spoiler
    Show

    GOLD
    Verelka Thunderfoot (Serene Guardian)
    Vampire Hunter D (Risen Martyr)
    Vultag Thunderkeg (Great Rift Skyguard)
    SILVER
    Vreeb Veebilbrixt (Twisted Lord)
    Dokar Jaggedfang (Hand of the Winged Masters)
    BRONZE
    Black Sparrow (Master of Many Forms)


Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •