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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Endarire View Post
    I would like to have more SLAs mentioned for creatures in the Planar Shepherd section. (See this Planar Shepherd handbook for examples.)
    That stuff is all up to Reshy, at least right now. I'd considered doing a butt load of editing and reconfiguring, but in the end I was unable to justify doing all of that and holding up the handbook in the process. So, I may at some point come back to it with some big revisions, but that's way down the line.

    For Greenbound summons, please at least link my Greenbound Creature Stats Handbook.
    Maybe. Not sure how necessary it is, and that majig still really wants a completed list, as well as my noted note that rashemi doesn't necessarily do that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hiro Quester View Post
    In the wildshape section you list at 12th level the plant forms. But legendary eagle is buried in the middle of that list.y

    Would it be useful to separate out the plant forms from non-plant forms, so legendary eagle doesn't get hidden like that?
    As is, those labels mostly indicate what's changing at a given level, rather than what every form in that section must be. The plant aspect is strictly a parenthetical thing.
    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?
    You have said, and I am still inclined to think that there aren't. Or, there are, but you need enhance wild shape to make them worth anything. There are only seven core plant forms, so there's not all that much room for good stuff. You have the assassin vine, which is mostly a vehicle for enhance stuff, the phantom fungus, which is disappointingly absent of anything valuable, the shambling mound, which is just kinda mediocre without that weird immunity to electricity, the shrieker and purple fungus, which are just total do nothings, and then the tendriculos and treant aren't even available at that level. Out of those, I'm inclined to think that the tendriculos is the only creature that could justify presence which isn't there yet, but it'd be a thing heavily dependent on getting that regeneration, which isn't the best deal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    Snip
    Yeah, I remember seeing that one awhile back. Might take a bit to do the comparative viability stuff for it, particularly relative to what I already have.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Thumbs up Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Im excited to see this posted. I had access to one of your earlier drafts through google docs and im looking forward to reading this complete hanbook.

    Thanks for your long and studiuos work eggy.
    "If you are going to walk on thin ice, you might as well dance."

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

    This is an amazing handbook, very thorough and well written. Well done on all your hard work.

    A race which might bear mentioning is Changeling as with the Racial Emulation feat they can take any combination of racial ACFs and enter racial PrC's when you might not want that race (Seeker of the Misty Isle for example).

    Edit: Also maybe mention Shifter Braids in the Shifter section. They are from Races of Eberron and the most interesting one is probably the Braid of Spellstrike which for 500gp lets you cast a third level spell or lower on yourself as s swift action when you activate your shifter ability. It can be really handy in a tough spot to cheaply quicken a low level spell.
    Last edited by Dread_Head; 2015-09-10 at 07:46 AM.

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

    Fantastic!!

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

    Rejuvenation Cocoon. You write it off as a non-combat heal.

    Besides the 90-150hp healed, it also gives the target a force field with hardness 10 and CL*10 hp of it's own (uncapped). And allows the creature inside to take 2 rounds of uninterrupted actions of their own (more buffs, etc).
    Touch a big guy blocking a hallway, and he buys you even more time (or makes the enemy squeeze past him).
    Touch a friend in a nasty grapple, and he's safe for up to 2 rounds.
    Touch yourself, and then use the 2 rounds to turn into a different color of bear and cast another buff.

    That's a pretty decent defensive effect.

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

    I've been seeing (hearing?) so much talk about eggynack's druid handbook, and for a such long time, I started thinking of it as a sort of an Atlantis. But whaddya know, Atlantis is real and its as amazing as everyone thought it would be. Internets for you sir, all of 'em.
    Last edited by Aerris; 2015-09-09 at 09:14 PM.

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

    Time for some criticism:

    Under the Initiate of Pelor feat, you say that +2 turning damage doesn't do anything in this edition: turning damage is the number of hit dice worth of undead you turn, starting at 2d6+level+cha. I think there was another minor error I saw when reading but I forgot it since last night.

    I'd like to see a source list (source: contains x/y/z), or some sort of common bans list or something. Each individual entry has the info of course, but considering the number of times you say "this from dragon magazine is better," it'd be nice if there was a section that said, "this is all the stuff from dragon magazine so if you can't use it here's your alternatives." Personally I put Assume Supernatural Ability and Enhance Wild Shape straight on the ban list because "everyone knows" you're not supposed to get that stuff that easily, and I'm sure plenty of other DMs would agree, so a list of either the forms still worth it or those made useless (depending on ease) would be nice.

    I also can't say I'm enamored of the format. Large text in a narrow band with page breaks is very hard to binge on or quickly scroll around, especially adding the lag on google docs. I can't argue with it being easier for saving and editing and such, but I find it much harder to use than forum based content.

    Agree with Darrin that a mundane equipment section would be nice, or rather is necessary.* "Magic items" needs some serious organization, right now it's just a list of everything and that's not very helpful. Alphabetic order isn't needed when you can ctrl+f, and if you're familiar you'll remember things by categories of usefulness anyway. Why not list the power components together, and the wild shape items together, and the spellcasting items together, and so on, ordered by price? I was also expecting more cross-referencing, like the wild shape section including the list of wild shape items and what forms they combo with when appropriate, maybe a short list of buff spells, stuff like that.

    I was gonna suggest some serious wild shape tables, but I checked around a bit and the wild shape section isn't that long. Which actually strikes me as a bit of a problem: again, assuming maximum permissiveness is not very conductive to a useful handbook in my opinion. At level 5: you mention the Desmodu Hunting Bat, but what if the DM says that's just plain ridiculous, for any good or bad reason? No mention of the alternatives. There's dinosaurs, but no mention of cheetahs or leopards for games without dinosaurs. I always like to have at least two answers: the strongest answer, and the one I think I can actually use. I think at least the animal section is suffering severely from the desire to only list the most powerful of options. I saw no mention of the Dire Wolf, which is quite confusing when you intend to summon them in packs, so is it good or bad? What about Dire Hawks/Eagles/Vultures, are those better or worse than bats? What about t-rex's and triceratops? I'm guessing the spell, summon, and alternate wild shape sections are all much larger, but animals are more accessible (especially if you have some sort of familiarity restrictions) and many animals I expect to see commentary on are missing here.

    *My desire to avoid assuming maximum permissions applies here too, I'd never heard of Sentira before today (and I go cross eyed whenever someone cites Expedition to Castle Ravenloft as a source ). I'd also point out that XPH crystal materials count as metal for druids, so I'd expect any psionic related crystal to do the same.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    sheer awesomeness

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    perfect! Just as I start a new druid a new handbook comes to town! Huzzah!

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Under the Initiate of Pelor feat, you say that +2 turning damage doesn't do anything in this edition: turning damage is the number of hit dice worth of undead you turn, starting at 2d6+level+cha. I think there was another minor error I saw when reading but I forgot it since last night.
    True enough. Fixed.

    I'd like to see a source list (source: contains x/y/z), or some sort of common bans list or something. Each individual entry has the info of course, but considering the number of times you say "this from dragon magazine is better," it'd be nice if there was a section that said, "this is all the stuff from dragon magazine so if you can't use it here's your alternatives." Personally I put Assume Supernatural Ability and Enhance Wild Shape straight on the ban list because "everyone knows" you're not supposed to get that stuff that easily, and I'm sure plenty of other DMs would agree, so a list of either the forms still worth it or those made useless (depending on ease) would be nice.
    I don't think a source list is all that feasible, at least in the short term, and I dunno that it'd be that useful. After all, if there's no information next to the list of game objects, then knowing they're there is rather pointless, and any quantity of information would basically make the source list the length of a handbook. For the ban list, anything more granular than book is just about pointless because of how much it varies from game to game. Had I some strange data set that could tell me what sorts of non-book bans were or were not common, then that'd be one thing, but just hazarding guesses into the wind isn't all that great a plan.

    I also can't say I'm enamored of the format. Large text in a narrow band with page breaks is very hard to binge on or quickly scroll around, especially adding the lag on google docs. I can't argue with it being easier for saving and editing and such, but I find it much harder to use than forum based content.
    Unfortunately, doing it otherwise turned out to be quite implausible. I was originally planning to construct it in site, but it turned out that that killed all my formatting, and would have required something like 50 separate forum posts. Would've taken like a month, I think, and the end result would have had every section split across a number of posts, with some of the larger subsections (say a given spell level) requiring multiple posts in and of itself.

    "Magic items" needs some serious organization, right now it's just a list of everything and that's not very helpful. Alphabetic order isn't needed when you can ctrl+f, and if you're familiar you'll remember things by categories of usefulness anyway. Why not list the power components together, and the wild shape items together, and the spellcasting items together, and so on, ordered by price? I was also expecting more cross-referencing, like the wild shape section including the list of wild shape items and what forms they combo with when appropriate, maybe a short list of buff spells, stuff like that.
    Organization of that section is definitely in the cards. My current plan is to make it consistent with the feat section, breaking it across groups and keeping the alphabetical order within those groups, but making the suborder price has always been a consideration. One big issue along those lines are those two item sets, because their constituent items vary in ability. Might have to toss those in a miscellaneous section, or otherwise double list. Meanwhile, I don't think that there's sufficient specificity of pairings between, to use your example, forms and items, to make such a thing logical. Only thing I can think of that fits the bill is the pectoral of maneuverability. Any existing breakdown is largely across broad types, with offensive buffs working better on offensive creatures, and defensive buffs working better on defensive creatures.

    I was gonna suggest some serious wild shape tables, but I checked around a bit and the wild shape section isn't that long. Which actually strikes me as a bit of a problem: again, assuming maximum permissiveness is not very conductive to a useful handbook in my opinion. At level 5: you mention the Desmodu Hunting Bat, but what if the DM says that's just plain ridiculous, for any good or bad reason? No mention of the alternatives. There's dinosaurs, but no mention of cheetahs or leopards for games without dinosaurs. I always like to have at least two answers: the strongest answer, and the one I think I can actually use. I think at least the animal section is suffering severely from the desire to only list the most powerful of options.
    While it makes sense to have some layering, anticipating the specific ban list of arbitrary DM's, beyond a simple split between core and non-core, is as impossible as I noted above. After all, one could just as easily claim that there should be an entry for, say, badger, because the DM has decided to ban all forms that aren't badgers or similar to badgers. Thus, I have fleshraker as the clear best combat option, and deinonychus as a fancy alternative, and including leopard/cheetah when the deinonychus is right there doesn't make massive sense to me. I mean, it's justifiable, because adding that awful grappling/tripping isn't a non-object, but the deinonychus is so much better. I guess my point is, my list of 5th level forms has the best option (fleshraker), the best option if books that far out are banned (deinonychus), the probable next best option after that (black bear, which, though I suspect leopard is advantaged, has the benefit of being something I really wanted to talk about anyway), and then the weird options (sailsnake, swindlespitter, and so on). Not sure how much deeper I have to go here.

    I saw no mention of the Dire Wolf, which is quite confusing when you intend to summon them in packs, so is it good or bad?
    The dire wolf is, in point of fact, both. It is good when you're summoning it, which is why it's on the summons list, and mediocre when you're becoming it, which is why it's not on the wild shape list. The important thing is context.

    What about Dire Hawks/Eagles/Vultures, are those better or worse than bats?
    What you're primarily after, in a flying casting form, is good maneuverability, as this improves your ability to cast spells a great deal. What you're secondarily after is good defenses, and also high initiative, because those are the important stats when you're going that route. All of these creatures fail the first test, and they do somewhat worse at the second. Which is why I didn't list them.

    What about t-rex's and triceratops? I'm guessing the spell, summon, and alternate wild shape sections are all much larger, but animals are more accessible (especially if you have some sort of familiarity restrictions) and many animals I expect to see commentary on are missing here.
    I'm not much of a fan of tyrannosaurus. Its big asset is that it can swallow whole with decent efficiency, but given that you can only hit medium creatures with that, you're not actually that efficient with it at all. It is a decent summons, however, because in the narrower context of summonable creatures, its damage is quite good, and the situationality of its swallow whole is less of an issue. Meanwhile, I do have triceratops as a wild shape form, because the combination of trample and powerful charge is useful when you expect to be attacking over a few turns, but it's a creature rather overshadowed by same level options at its direct combat shtick. I think the thing I am missing, however, is dire tiger, which seems to be the main competition with triceratops as a summons.

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Just taking a bit to assess this list of gestalt things, because now that I have planar touchstone down (albeit in a way that could easily be expanded upon, because even just that one touchstone offers a lot of possibilities), I think that's the next thing on the list.

    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?
    I'm not all that sure where the soulmelds applying to animal companions thing is coming from. Share soulmeld is a thing, but that doesn't seem all that reliable.

    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.
    Noted and added.

    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.
    I can probably run research in the same fashion as I did for totemist, but what soulmelds do you think merit inclusion for incarnate?


    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.[/QUOTE]


    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.
    Maybe. You do hit up more spells than for cleric, but honestly, it feels like a lot of what the druid brings to the table is already being covered by the archivist. Like, you're getting wild shape and the animal companion, which is nice, but on the spell end you're only really adding spells/day. I think you'd be better off running archivist with something else, or druid with something else.

    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.
    Makes sense, I think, though I do always hate it when the thing I want to use as the baseline, in this case being psion, is listed after the thing I want to use as the incoming game object. I mean, I do it all the time in the handbook, because I didn't write it in order at all, and because I don't like going back and rewriting whole descriptions to make the order work, but it's always annoying.

    Artificer: Craft whatever items you want, because you're awesome like that. Great passive side for any caster.
    Maybe, yeah, though it'd probably need to go on the research pile rather than the "Add it right now" pile.

    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.
    I don't think this adds all that much. In particular, it feels like bard is a pretty active class, pulling actions for its features and giving little in the way of extra actions. What bard does out of combat doesn't seem worth it on its own.

    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.
    This doesn't seem to get much over a wizard. Some, sure, but not enough to nearly make up for the difference.

    Binder: Lots of utility. Universally good passive side for just about any gestalt. All your abilities work in animal form.
    This one would also have to go on the research list, though I suspect it'd be easier than incarnate and artificier.
    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.
    Added, though a lot of emphasis was placed on DMM, cause that seems really essential to having a double casting build.

    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.
    Should be simple enough, so it's worth adding despite not being massively impactful.
    Psion: Full casting, and has enough action economy abuse and long-duration buffs that it can be passive too.
    That is really weird. I thought I had this one already, but I guess I just mentioned psion gestalt in that one weird psionic wild shape form.
    Psychic Warrior: Wisdom synergy, and fits just fine into a natural weapon strategy.
    It's decent, but I'm not sure I see the point over a psion in the vast majority of cases. It doesn't even look like the SAD setup is getting you more power points, which would be the main incentive.
    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.
    These both seem kinda similarly mediocre. Factotum is cool because of the whole action thing, and skillmonkeying on its own just doesn't seem like enough incentive.
    Warblade: Tends to turn Druid into the passive side, but still very nice if you're looking to brawl in melee.
    Turning druid into a passive side for warblade seems like the kinda thing that would be very bad from an optimization perspective.
    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.)
    Makes sense. Probably on the binder level of necessary research.

  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    I'm not all that sure where the soulmelds applying to animal companions thing is coming from. Share soulmeld is a thing, but that doesn't seem all that reliable.
    It doesn't have any use limits or anything. You just need to be within 5 feet of your animal companion, which is easy enough to do. I mean, if you're giving it soulmelds to buff its melee combat, you'll have to go into melee with it, but since you probably shaped those soulmelds to give yourself the same buffs, I assume that's something you're okay with.

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    I can probably run research in the same fashion as I did for totemist, but what soulmelds do you think merit inclusion for incarnate?
    Cerulean Sandals for teleports. (You'd think it would be just worse than the Blink Shirt until you read it and realize that it's not self-only, meaning, among other things, that Share Soulmeld allows your animal companion to teleport you using its action instead of your own.)
    Necrocarnum Circlet for zombie minions.
    Vitality Belt for tons o' HP (and +4 to Concentration).
    Strongheart Vest to protect against ability damage.
    Astral Vambraces for DR/magic (broken at low levels).
    Dissolving Spittle for a handy ranged touch attack (mainly at low levels, before you have access to better options). Also works great as an attack option for your familiar if you use the Urban Companion variant.
    Fellmist Robe for concealment against ranged attacks.
    Impulse Boots for Uncanny Dodge and Evasion.
    Bluesteel Bracers for extra initiative.
    Lucky Dice for (essentially) +1 to everything you do, and, with a chakra bind, everything your allies do.
    Various soulmelds that give bonuses to various skills, saves, or AC.

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    Maybe. You do hit up more spells than for cleric, but honestly, it feels like a lot of what the druid brings to the table is already being covered by the archivist. Like, you're getting wild shape and the animal companion, which is nice, but on the spell end you're only really adding spells/day. I think you'd be better off running archivist with something else, or druid with something else.
    Maybe, but that's not necessarily more true for Archivist than it is for Wizard.

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    I don't think this adds all that much. In particular, it feels like bard is a pretty active class, pulling actions for its features and giving little in the way of extra actions. What bard does out of combat doesn't seem worth it on its own.
    Most Bard features don't pull actions. Don't overestimate the importance of Inspire Courage. It's a nice ability, but you don't need to spend actions on it if you have better things to do. (Or you can take Song of the White Raven and make it a swift action so it doesn't compete with your Druid stuff.) The Bard's noncombat abilities are the main draw. The spell list has a lot of stuff Druids don't normally get--in fact, there's not even a whole lot of overlap between them--and the skills open up new roles for you as a trickster or diplomat or whatever.

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    This doesn't seem to get much over a wizard. Some, sure, but not enough to nearly make up for the difference.
    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    These both seem kinda similarly mediocre. Factotum is cool because of the whole action thing, and skillmonkeying on its own just doesn't seem like enough incentive.
    Skills are nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    This one would also have to go on the research list, though I suspect it'd be easier than incarnate and artificier.
    Crake's vestige list should be helpful here.

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    It's decent, but I'm not sure I see the point over a psion in the vast majority of cases. It doesn't even look like the SAD setup is getting you more power points, which would be the main incentive.
    Main incentive is more support for a Druid who wants to get into melee combat. You get Fighter bonus feats, and there are some Psychic Warrior powers that synergize with natural weapons that you don't get as a Psion. I agree that Psion is better though.

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    Turning druid into a passive side for warblade seems like the kinda thing that would be very bad from an optimization perspective.
    Or very good, if you're starting from the Warblade side.

    It's a good lead-in for prestige classes like Warshaper and War Mind, it upgrades your chassis to full BAB and a d12 hit die, and if you're starting at a low enough level, then Warblade is arguably the most powerful class in the game anyway. Sure, it drops off later on, but you're a god in the early game, and by the time your maneuvers start to lose effectiveness, your spells have picked up.

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

    Thanks for posting this. It's a masterpiece. Now I can link people to it when they ask how to druid.
    fight my brute! it's a lot of fun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    It doesn't have any use limits or anything. You just need to be within 5 feet of your animal companion, which is easy enough to do. I mean, if you're giving it soulmelds to buff its melee combat, you'll have to go into melee with it, but since you probably shaped those soulmelds to give yourself the same buffs, I assume that's something you're okay with.
    Yeah, you're right. I was reading it as though it were share spells, which is unreliable due to the fact that spells go away when you break the radius, when you actually get the benefits as long as they're in the radius.


    Cerulean Sandals for teleports. (You'd think it would be just worse than the Blink Shirt until you read it and realize that it's not self-only, meaning, among other things, that Share Soulmeld allows your animal companion to teleport you using its action instead of your own.)
    Necrocarnum Circlet for zombie minions.
    Vitality Belt for tons o' HP (and +4 to Concentration).
    Strongheart Vest to protect against ability damage.
    Astral Vambraces for DR/magic (broken at low levels).
    Dissolving Spittle for a handy ranged touch attack (mainly at low levels, before you have access to better options). Also works great as an attack option for your familiar if you use the Urban Companion variant.
    Fellmist Robe for concealment against ranged attacks.
    Impulse Boots for Uncanny Dodge and Evasion.
    Bluesteel Bracers for extra initiative.
    Lucky Dice for (essentially) +1 to everything you do, and, with a chakra bind, everything your allies do.
    Various soulmelds that give bonuses to various skills, saves, or AC.
    Nice. That should speed things up quite a bit.

    Maybe, but that's not necessarily more true for Archivist than it is for Wizard.
    It's somewhat more true. The archivist list covers the druid list entirely, while the wizard list covers it partially, and wizard tends to have stronger access to action economy manipulation.

    Most Bard features don't pull actions. Don't overestimate the importance of Inspire Courage. It's a nice ability, but you don't need to spend actions on it if you have better things to do. (Or you can take Song of the White Raven and make it a swift action so it doesn't compete with your Druid stuff.) The Bard's noncombat abilities are the main draw. The spell list has a lot of stuff Druids don't normally get--in fact, there's not even a whole lot of overlap between them--and the skills open up new roles for you as a trickster or diplomat or whatever.
    I get that the non-combat abilities are good, but if that's all that's on the table, then other classes fill the role better. Like, again, wizard. Meanwhile, inspire courage isn't massively resource intensive, but it does eat up your initial spell volley, or otherwise a bunch of critical feats. There's definitely a lot of non-overlap, but I think that you can get that same non-overlap better elsewhere. I mean, realistically, wizard would be better at filling this non-combat role even if they pulled only from the bard list, based only on how great prepared casting is at non-combat.


    Skills are nice.
    They're nice, sure, but I don't think they can be the primary draw, especially when the druid is doing pretty well for skills already. From a point perspective, you're getting a maximum of four extra skills per level (assuming you distribute maximally, because alternatives are occasionally better but not enough to change evaluation much). From a list perspective, I think you usually have more skills than you have points to put them in.

    Crake's vestige list should be helpful here.
    Fancy.

    Main incentive is more support for a Druid who wants to get into melee combat. You get Fighter bonus feats, and there are some Psychic Warrior powers that synergize with natural weapons that you don't get as a Psion. I agree that Psion is better though.
    The feats are only going to be decent, ranking at some pretty low fractional level of a real druid feat. The powers are more interesting, but the usual main incentive, expansion, probably doesn't stack with wild shape.

    Or very good, if you're starting from the Warblade side.
    True, I suppose, though I think the handbook is naturally going to be inclined the other way.

    It's a good lead-in for prestige classes like Warshaper and War Mind, it upgrades your chassis to full BAB and a d12 hit die, and if you're starting at a low enough level, then Warblade is arguably the most powerful class in the game anyway. Sure, it drops off later on, but you're a god in the early game, and by the time your maneuvers start to lose effectiveness, your spells have picked up.
    Yeah, the chassis is decent. Dunno if it's good enough yet, but it could wind up there. It doesn't help that I have a low opinion of warshaper.

    In any case, there's definitely some scale of list that's being added to the one I have, which is neat. Gotta say, one annoying thing about having the handbook published is that I can't really just stick a blank entry up and fill it in months down the line. I suppose this thread is my blank entries at this point.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    I get that the non-combat abilities are good, but if that's all that's on the table, then other classes fill the role better. Like, again, wizard. Meanwhile, inspire courage isn't massively resource intensive, but it does eat up your initial spell volley, or otherwise a bunch of critical feats. There's definitely a lot of non-overlap, but I think that you can get that same non-overlap better elsewhere. I mean, realistically, wizard would be better at filling this non-combat role even if they pulled only from the bard list, based only on how great prepared casting is at non-combat.

    They're nice, sure, but I don't think they can be the primary draw, especially when the druid is doing pretty well for skills already. From a point perspective, you're getting a maximum of four extra skills per level (assuming you distribute maximally, because alternatives are occasionally better but not enough to change evaluation much). From a list perspective, I think you usually have more skills than you have points to put them in.
    You've got to figure in that we're talking about stuff that's pretty much entirely passive. No, Rogue and Scout aren't powerful classes. But then again, neither is Monk. Put Monk side by side next to Rogue. You can get the Monk's most attractive class feature for 13,000 gp. How much would it cost to get full sneak attack (or Fighter bonus feat) progression and 4 extra skill points per level?

    Bard and Beguiler are similar, except with fewer skill points in exchange for spells, which is a pretty solid trade.

    It's also just generally good when you can upgrade your chassis, so getting more skill points and a good Reflex save out of your other side is something I tend to value.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    You've got to figure in that we're talking about stuff that's pretty much entirely passive. No, Rogue and Scout aren't powerful classes. But then again, neither is Monk. Put Monk side by side next to Rogue. You can get the Monk's most attractive class feature for 13,000 gp. How much would it cost to get full sneak attack (or Fighter bonus feat) progression and 4 extra skill points per level?
    The monk is good because you get all this stuff in one level, two levels max. In the same time frame of rogue, you don't get full sneak attack, but rather 1d6 sneak attack, and yes, those few skill points. You seem to be asserting the rogue as a long term gestalt option, and that just doesn't seem all that viable.

    Bard and Beguiler are similar, except with fewer skill points in exchange for spells, which is a pretty solid trade.
    Maybe in that context, but it doesn't seem all that solid in the broader context of all gestalt options.

    It's also just generally good when you can upgrade your chassis, so getting more skill points and a good Reflex save out of your other side is something I tend to value.
    Maybe. I just tend to think of druids in terms of higher order things. Granted, you can't exactly double down on druid awesomeness, but you're still getting minor BAB bonuses on top of ridiculous spell stuff. Going back to the monk versus rogue comparison, one really good thing about monk in that comparison is that it's defensive, and doesn't really dictate the course of your actions. It thus works a lot better with my preference for shooting spells all over the place.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    Unfortunately, doing it otherwise turned out to be quite implausible.
    Ah well.
    Organization of that section is definitely in the cards. My current plan is to make it consistent with the feat section, breaking it across groups and keeping the alphabetical order within those groups, but making the suborder price has always been a consideration.
    Sounds good.
    While it makes sense to have some layering, anticipating the specific ban list of arbitrary DM's, beyond a simple split between core and non-core, is as impossible as I noted above.
    We'll just have to disagree then. I find the core/non-core split to be a far more arbitrary assumption than banning known issues, and don't see a problem with making some guesses. Threads about the PHB2 Shapeshift often include posters that have made it the only druid in their games. Some people like historical settings without weird races or dinosaurs even if there's ridiculous magic. Some people (at least myself and people I've played with) will occasionally look as the strongest option and say "No, that's too strong, show me second-best," just because.
    The dire wolf is, in point of fact, both. It is good when you're summoning it, which is why it's on the summons list, and mediocre when you're becoming it, which is why it's not on the wild shape list. The important thing is context. . .
    All of these creatures fail the first test, and they do somewhat worse at the second. Which is why I didn't list them.
    I get that you'd want to only cover the best with how much stuff there is, but I can't call that comprehensive in my book. Or at least change from thinking "all the guides in one" to "max power choices for all the main abilities in one place." I want a guide to list not only the best, but also the traps, and the "that sounds like a good idea but this is better." Again I haven't read the spells or summoning sections, but if the whole guide is written assuming max permission/core-only split and only noting the most powerful options, I expect I'll continue to disagree on some points.

    I could also be making a faulty assumption: I assume most people use guide/handbook/whatever interchangeably. If a handbook is meant to be shorter and limited to only the best then that's understandable, the naming convention being "comprehensive" for hitting all the abilities and "handbook" for fast access to the best stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by Violet Octopus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    We'll just have to disagree then. I find the core/non-core split to be a far more arbitrary assumption than banning known issues, and don't see a problem with making some guesses. Threads about the PHB2 Shapeshift often include posters that have made it the only druid in their games. Some people like historical settings without weird races or dinosaurs even if there's ridiculous magic. Some people (at least myself and people I've played with) will occasionally look as the strongest option and say "No, that's too strong, show me second-best," just because.
    The advantage of core/non-core is that it's clearly labeled, and whether book restrictions are more arbitrary or not, I think they're more common. The running theme of this post, for I wrote this sentence and the rest of these sentences here at the very end, is that you gotta draw the line somewhere. I think I have a pretty good variety here, if not a perfect one. If you think a given thing that's not here should be here, then it's entirely possible that you're right, but there really has to be justification beyond possible banning in most cases, because that can justify anything.

    Because, I gotta say, I think I do have the second best options. And the third best options. Usually within subcategories of subcategories. I even have a write up of the shapeshift ACF. Right now, you're criticizing me for not having, say, the fifth or sixth best option in some category, and while that's a valid criticism, it's definitely not the same criticism. I don't think there's much danger of a given DM banning you down beyond your ability to play effectively using only options listed in the handbook, even if there may be a danger of them banning you down to a level where you'd be more effective using the full range of options.

    I get that you'd want to only cover the best with how much stuff there is, but I can't call that comprehensive in my book. Or at least change from thinking "all the guides in one" to "max power choices for all the main abilities in one place." I want a guide to list not only the best, but also the traps, and the "that sounds like a good idea but this is better." Again I haven't read the spells or summoning sections, but if the whole guide is written assuming max permission/core-only split and only noting the most powerful options, I expect I'll continue to disagree on some points.

    I could also be making a faulty assumption: I assume most people use guide/handbook/whatever interchangeably. If a handbook is meant to be shorter and limited to only the best then that's understandable, the naming convention being "comprehensive" for hitting all the abilities and "handbook" for fast access to the best stuff.
    I just don't see much point in listing everything, and beyond that, listing literally everything would take crazy time. My general operating procedure is to list options that have some sort of unique impact on what you can do. Not just best, but anything viable that can be said to not be strictly worse than already present options, or if there's at least some book separation. I also, as I noted in the rating guide, list things that I hear folks speaking well of that I think are crappy. Also weird or amusing things, because I can be only what I am. If I were just listing the most powerful options, then this handbook would be a whole hell of a lot shorter than it is. I don't see much point, however, in listing stuff that's just kinda mediocre and uninteresting. I may be wrong, but I think that the dire wolf, with its low damage, low AC, and only a single halfway decent trip as a unique feature, falls into that mediocre and uninteresting category.

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

    The point of doing everything is so it's all done, to have all the information in one place. To be fully comprehensive one must include everything. I wouldn't say that's a reasonable goal, but it's what I think when I hear the word.

    Uninteresting is subjective, some people think wolves are awesome and bats are dumb. I see no difference between "things that people have spoken well of" and "things other people like," and other people can like a lot of stuff. So if things that are spoken well of get rebuttals, why doesn't everything get rebuttals? Mediocrity is determined by the rules of the game, which could be altered based on sourcebooks or individual bans. You say you left off the dire wolf because it's uninteresting and mediocre, but all I see is that a fairly obvious wild shape option is completely unaddressed, especially puzzling when the same animal is mentioned in other places.

    If we're focusing on core/non-core then fine. What flying form should I use at 5th level in core? Are there any core animals worth wildshaping into after 8th besides giant squid and triceratops? I see no mention of Treants, which have a fairly unique double damage against objects and are one of the few core plants. Are brown bears and dire bears really mediocre and uninteresting for wild shape? Because I hear people talking about those all the time.

    If by the writeup for the shapeshift ACF you mean the one under variants, all I see is reasons why it's bad. No consideration that it gives you a form of shapeshifting at 1st level if that's what you're looking for, or suggestions on how to make the best of it. One of the big points you made at the start of the guide was that you can hand a good player a druid with nothing but toughness and a pony who is currently a pony and they'd break the game next turn, it was quite exciting. What if you hand the same player a shapeshift druid, can they make some use of it or do they just resign in protest?

    A feat that might be worth adding: Wild Cohort. If one animal companion is good then two should be better. This also gives you a way to replace both spontaneous summoning and animal companion (mostly) with feats, should you desire variants that remove both of them.
    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    Because, I gotta say, I think I do have the second best options. And the third best options. Usually within subcategories of subcategories. I even have a write up of the shapeshift ACF. Right now, you're criticizing me for not having, say, the fifth or sixth best option in some category
    I've read the feats and variants and skimmed back and forth over the normal wildshape section. The first two felt like they had every option listed, it's only the wildshape that felt lacking. In comparison, the wild shape section has big blank spots over forms I'd expect analyzed and levels where I know there are upgrades not mentioned (Dire Bears at 12th for example).

    And like I said above, I'm being a bit pedantic. You've titled your work Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook but there's tons of stuff not covered, ignoring the mediocre isn't being comprehensive. And your pony example set my expectations pretty high, like you were gonna take every variant and restriction and show how to bend past them. If you'd just called it Eggnyack's Druid Handbook I could brush it off as personal preference, but I've been set up I tell you!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    The point of doing everything is so it's all done, to have all the information in one place. To be fully comprehensive one must include everything. I wouldn't say that's a reasonable goal, but it's what I think when I hear the word.
    It's one way of looking at it. My way of thinking is that the guide contains just about everything you need to play a druid at maximum effectiveness, with a lot of the best stuff from every source available. Moreover, the information on any given game object displayed is about as comprehensive as exists.

    Uninteresting is subjective, some people think wolves are awesome and bats are dumb. I see no difference between "things that people have spoken well of" and "things other people like," and other people can like a lot of stuff. So if things that are spoken well of get rebuttals, why doesn't everything get rebuttals? Mediocrity is determined by the rules of the game, which could be altered based on sourcebooks or individual bans. You say you left off the dire wolf because it's uninteresting and mediocre, but all I see is that a fairly obvious wild shape option is completely unaddressed, especially puzzling when the same animal is mentioned in other places.
    I don't think I've actually seen much mention of the dire wolf as a wild shape form, and definitely not a really good one. Let's be realistic here. If I wrote up dire wolf, it'd probably look something like this:

    Dire Wolf: This creature has rather low damage, with only a single attack dealing 1d8+10, rather weak defenses, and no real utility that doesn't apply directly to hitting enemies in the face. However, it does have one asset of note, which is its ability to trip. With a +11 on the trip check, and an above average 25 strength making your bite attack relatively accurate, you wind up with better odds of tripping than most options of this level. Still, knocking someone prone only gets you so far, especially with the limited reach and single attack that the dire wolf provides, so this form isn't great at controlling the battlefield. If you just want to trip folks, then dire wolf is a reasonable option, but in the broader context of combat capabilities, the weak chassis and only alright combat maneuver means that it's not especially high on the list.
    So, yeah. I guess I could just copy and paste that in, if ya want. Seems decent enough as an entry, but whether it winds up included or not, I think it serves as a good explanation of why I find some of these forms uninteresting.

    If we're focusing on core/non-core then fine. What flying form should I use at 5th level in core?
    I don't think there's anything of note. Or, to be more accurate, the answer is eagle. It's the only option that fit that category at all. Might be worth inclusion on that basis.
    Are there any core animals worth wildshaping into after 8th besides giant squid and triceratops?
    I see no mention of Treants, which have a fairly unique double damage against objects and are one of the few core plants.
    Double damage against objects is certainly somewhat unique, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily interesting. You're hitting them for more damage than most options, but taking up a wild shape use for that, and presumably a second to change back, and likely eating up a round of object punching in the process, seems counterproductive. And, as I implied in my response to hiro quester, being a plant isn't an intrinsically valuable thing.
    Are brown bears and dire bears really mediocre and uninteresting for wild shape? Because I hear people talking about those all the time.
    Brown bear is incredibly uninteresting for wild shape, solely because the strictly superior polar bear is sitting right there. Dire bear, that one may deserve a slot.

    If by the writeup for the shapeshift ACF you mean the one under variants, all I see is reasons why it's bad. No consideration that it gives you a form of shapeshifting at 1st level if that's what you're looking for, or suggestions on how to make the best of it. One of the big points you made at the start of the guide was that you can hand a good player a druid with nothing but toughness and a pony who is currently a pony and they'd break the game next turn, it was quite exciting. What if you hand the same player a shapeshift druid, can they make some use of it or do they just resign in protest?
    It's certainly not as good, but unless you traded it away also, then you can still spontaneously toss out creatures of various types. If you did trade that away also, then you've lost most or all of the things that let a crappily built druid spontaneously break the game, which means that you probably can't spontaneously break the game. The use an experienced player would get out of it would likely be derived entirely from spell preparation, and they would still be able to claim that tier one caster power that way. Not as awesome, certainly, but resigning need not be in the cards.

    The problem with shapeshift is that it's mostly just not good. They designed it really well, from the ground up, to be not good. There aren't really any cool tricks, or ways to bypass the drawbacks, or even things you can do that are substantially different from what wild shape provides. That you get it early is mostly meaningless, because it's at the cost of the action economy breaking companion in terms of combat, and you can't even cast spells with it on, and it's this great big tragedy of an ACF. Or the opposite, cause it was probably designed to be like that.


    A feat that might be worth adding: Wild Cohort. If one animal companion is good then two should be better. This also gives you a way to replace both spontaneous summoning and animal companion (mostly) with feats, should you desire variants that remove both of them.
    I'm inclined to think of wild cohort as something of the opposite of a druid feat. In other words, going from zero to one companions is way better than going from one to two, which causes the feat to be better in the hands of literally anyone else. It's cool, because animal companion friendship party, but it doesn't seem all that good.
    I've read the feats and variants and skimmed back and forth over the normal wildshape section. The first two felt like they had every option listed, it's only the wildshape that felt lacking. In comparison, the wild shape section has big blank spots over forms I'd expect analyzed and levels where I know there are upgrades not mentioned (Dire Bears at 12th for example).
    Quite plausible. To be honest, the big issue I had with wild shape section construction was that there's so much strict superiority. Unlike with feats, where the second best wild shape feat, dragon wild shape, offers a completely different and interesting set of abilities compared to the best option, the second best wild shape option tends to just be like the best option with one less AC. So you have to write, "You should obviously pick that one over there, with the better AC, if it's available," and it ends up feeling really dumb. And, even when there's no strict superiority, you still face gaps like that between the dire tortoise and most other things of that level, because at that point it's less like aberration wild shape and dragon wild shape, and more like aberration wild shape and vermin wild shape. Animal companions had similar problems, but at least there you had a set list. Same with 9th level spells, actually.


    And like I said above, I'm being a bit pedantic. You've titled your work Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook but there's tons of stuff not covered, ignoring the mediocre isn't being comprehensive. And your pony example set my expectations pretty high, like you were gonna take every variant and restriction and show how to bend past them. If you'd just called it Eggnyack's Druid Handbook I could brush it off as personal preference, but I've been set up I tell you!
    I can buy that the wild shape section is more sparse than it should be, and my next set of edits will probably be adding stuff to that and gestalt. I doubt I can provide you with the strange variant and restriction bending handbook you've been seeking, but the version of the handbook that has dire bears in it is a lot more plausible.

    Edit: I do think I have to note, however, that being mentioned in other sections outside of wild shape has only limited bearing on being mentioned within wild shape. Summons are different from wild shape forms in a lot of ways. First, where you use all the stats and abilities on a summoned creature, you use only a few as a form. So, while the summoned dire wolf has the highest HP of any summons at that level, providing it with great defense, that factor doesn't translate into the form at all, leaving it with only a crappy 14 AC for a defense that's mediocre at best. Second, the context is completely different. The summoned dire wolf only needs to be on par with a few specific creatures, while the form needs to compete with anything within the size limitations. Third, you care way less about the survival of a summoned creature than you do about your own life, so offense is heavily emphasized with summons and relatively downplayed on forms. Finally, while it's not relevant in this particular case, summons with a good number of attacks and no pounce are significantly better than the same creature as a wild shape form, because tossing out a summons allows you to place the creature right next to the opponent.
    Last edited by eggynack; 2015-09-11 at 05:09 AM.

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

    Awesome, great job eggy!!!!
    I learned a few new things about druids after delving into you work

    one thing I did notice missing, unless I missed it too, lol, is no mention on of the dead levels article
    http://archive.wizards.com/default.a.../cwc/20061013a
    not great but free stuff is free stuff, and your opinion on those 2 abilities if the original ability is traded away for an ACF, and you no longer have them

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

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    The monk is good because you get all this stuff in one level, two levels max. In the same time frame of rogue, you don't get full sneak attack, but rather 1d6 sneak attack, and yes, those few skill points. You seem to be asserting the rogue as a long term gestalt option, and that just doesn't seem all that viable.


    Maybe in that context, but it doesn't seem all that solid in the broader context of all gestalt options.


    Maybe. I just tend to think of druids in terms of higher order things. Granted, you can't exactly double down on druid awesomeness, but you're still getting minor BAB bonuses on top of ridiculous spell stuff. Going back to the monk versus rogue comparison, one really good thing about monk in that comparison is that it's defensive, and doesn't really dictate the course of your actions. It thus works a lot better with my preference for shooting spells all over the place.
    They're decent options because they're decent options with just about any active class. You get new niches to fill, solid stats to back it up, and almost all the abilities are passive. They're very much like Incarnate in a lot of ways. And, yes, Monk as well, I suppose. (I wouldn't discount the long-term viability of Monk either; the 7th level Dark Moon substitution is gas of a pretty high-octane variety, and you can follow up with a prestige class like Psionic Fist to stay relevant later on.)

    Regarding Warlock, if you're using it as a passive side, invocations you might be interested in include:
    Least
    All-Seeing Eyes: Perception is always good.
    Baleful Utterance: Solid utility invocation, if you're creative with it.
    Beguiling Influence: If you want to be the face.
    Call of the Beast: Speak with animals. More useful on a Druid than it usually would be, since you obviously interact with animals a lot. Also gives redundant Wild Empathy, so you can trade it for an ACF on the Druid side.
    Darkness: 20% miss chance. Very nice defensively, although some enemies see through it, and it can be awkward if you're on the front lines and accidentally give your enemies concealment. (If that happens, you can just cover up the object you cast it on to toggle it off.) Notably enables several feats in DotU, including one that lets you hide in plain sight.
    Otherworldly Whispers: Not as good as the Dragonfire Adept version, but +6 in three Knowledge skills plus Spellcraft is still not too shabby.
    Spiderwalk: Useful in low-level dungeon crawls before you have easy access to flight. Trade it out later.
    Summon Swarm: Game-breaking at level 1 with unstoppable AoE damage plus multiple debuffs. Falls off quickly, so swap it out ASAP.

    Lesser
    Charm: Not as good if you're not pumping Cha, but still good, and qualifies you for Mindbender.
    The Dead Walk: You can solve a lot of problems with enough disposable zombie minions.
    Fell Flight: Better than you'd think, since it essentially turns every form into bat form.
    Flee the Scene: At-will teleportation. It's short range, but it still has amazing utility. And you can even bring people with you.
    Relentless Dispelling: Dispelling gets a lot better when you can spam it to effectively take 20. Getting two shots makes it more reliable in combat, but losing the area and counterspell modes hurts its versatility somewhat.
    Voracious Dispelling: The other one. The little bit of damage you deal is mostly irrelevant; the main reason you'd take it over Relentless Dispelling is to get the other two modes. I prefer Voracious Dispelling, but both are solid.
    Walk Unseen: Hard to go wrong with at-will invisibility.

    Greater
    Chilling Tentacles: The premier battlefield control option for Warlocks. Significantly less impressive if you're also a Druid, but hey.
    Devil's Whispers: It's basically Greater Charm. Decent.
    Endless Slumber: The nice thing about having a spammable save-or-lose with no visible manifestation is you can sit in a tree in squirrel form and spam it at anyone walking by and they'll have no idea what's going on. This is the first one that's not language-dependent. I don't know how likely that is to come up in a game, but it sounds hilarious, doesn't it?
    Vitriolic Blast: The premier blast essence, in case you want to actually use Eldritch Blast.
    Warlock's Call: Sending isn't a super exciting spell, but it does get better when you can use it at will for free, and Druids don't normally get it.

    Dark
    Dark Foresight: It's not the best 9th level spell, and it's one that you can already get from Druid, but it is a 9th level spell at will. Foresight is a very nice defensive option at these high levels when it's so important to avoid getting jumped on, and this is like a mass version of it that includes telepathy. Best dark invocation not close.
    Impenetrable Barrier: Wall of Force is a giant "NO" button to a lot of encounters. Comes online a little late, but eh.
    Path of Shadow: Eh. Shadow Walk. It's okay I guess. Potentially upgrades to Greater Teleport + Greater Plane Shift in Epic levels via Dark Transient.
    Retributive Invisibility: Upgrading to Greater Invisibility is nice, although by the time you're at 9th level spells, it feels a little late.

    It dries up a bit after lessers, since by that point you can do most of the same stuff with Druid spells, and you have no shortage of spell slots. On the upside, the low-level utility is very real, and you get some great mid-game power spikes.

    Also, on the topic of invocations, Spellthief is probably a viable gestalt if (and I assume only if) someone else in your party is a Warlock.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    If we're focusing on core/non-core then fine. What flying form should I use at 5th level in core?
    You mean between eagle and literally nothing else? I'd go with eagle.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullet06320 View Post
    one thing I did notice missing, unless I missed it too, lol, is no mention on of the dead levels article
    http://archive.wizards.com/default.a.../cwc/20061013a
    not great but free stuff is free stuff, and your opinion on those 2 abilities if the original ability is traded away for an ACF, and you no longer have them
    Yeah, definitely missing that stuff. Woodland stride seems good, if overleveled, and I dislike repel nature's lure about as much as I disliked resist nature's lure. The interaction with trading the originals away is actually kinda weird, because I don't think you lose the new versions, and you wind up able to ignore only magical thorns, briars, and overgrown areas, still falling to the mundane version, and the other ability just works in a straightforward way. I guess I'll toss that in, I dunno, the ACF section? Slotting them under class features seems wrong somehow.

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

    its not exactly ACF, so class features would be where I would put them, and attach the link
    it is an odd ball tho

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

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    Quite plausible. To be honest, the big issue I had with wild shape section construction was that there's so much strict superiority. . . you have to write, "You should obviously pick that one over there, with the better AC, if it's available," and it ends up feeling really dumb.
    Trying to avoid dumbness is understandable.

    Polar Bear is only superior in it's swim speed and snow hiding bonus, while it's inferior in that you stick out even more than normal, and of course the DM could be using stricter availability. They're basically the same creature but the conspicuous absence of the less exotic brown bear again seems disorienting.

    I think Treant could be useful for budget building destruction. Earthquake only does 100 damage to buildings in an 80' radius and costs an 8th level spell, but a treant can put out 50 or so per round all day. I suppose the normal response is that the fighter should be dealing more than that but treant is how a druid would do it.
    Edit: I do think I have to note, however, that being mentioned in other sections outside of wild shape has only limited bearing on being mentioned within wild shape. Summons are different from wild shape forms in a lot of ways.
    Is that called out strongly in the handbook though? (I could have missed it). Maybe it's a straw argument or condescending, but I expect anyone who's not already up on their optimization to follow simple paths. If it's good for summoning it ought to be good enough for wild shape right? But it's not, so you gotta tell them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    sheer awesomeness

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Trying to avoid dumbness is understandable.

    Polar Bear is only superior in it's swim speed and snow hiding bonus, while it's inferior in that you stick out even more than normal, and of course the DM could be using stricter availability. They're basically the same creature but the conspicuous absence of the less exotic brown bear again seems disorienting.
    Availability, by the way, is my issue. I'm using big cat for combat wildshape, because the DM ruled that since my PC has lived in tropical climates all his life he can't know enough about Polar bears, but might have a small chance of one day learning about Brown bears.

    Sometimes it might be worth mentioning the almost but not quite as awesome options, if there is a geographical/availability/book difference that might make the more awesome option inaccessible.
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    Honestly this is the best answer so far. Great job.
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    This. This sooooo much. I wasn't expecting *two* thread wins from you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    They're decent options because they're decent options with just about any active class. You get new niches to fill, solid stats to back it up, and almost all the abilities are passive. They're very much like Incarnate in a lot of ways. And, yes, Monk as well, I suppose. (I wouldn't discount the long-term viability of Monk either; the 7th level Dark Moon substitution is gas of a pretty high-octane variety, and you can follow up with a prestige class like Psionic Fist to stay relevant later on.)
    I mean, sure, it's an edge over standard druid, this skill stuff. But it's such a minor edge. Whether it's a passive side that adds benefit is mostly irrelevant, because the core question is whether it's a passive side that adds benefit that's worthwhile when other options are on the table. And it's possible that they are, but it's by a tiny enough quantity that these things are way far down on my list of potential gestalts, and maybe off it entirely. I dunno. I'll see how the gestalt section looks when I'm done adding the things definitely worth adding, and figure out how these edge cases play out at that point.
    Regarding Warlock, if you're using it as a passive side, invocations you might be interested in include:
    Least
    All-Seeing Eyes: Perception is always good.
    Baleful Utterance: Solid utility invocation, if you're creative with it.
    Beguiling Influence: If you want to be the face.
    Call of the Beast: Speak with animals. More useful on a Druid than it usually would be, since you obviously interact with animals a lot. Also gives redundant Wild Empathy, so you can trade it for an ACF on the Druid side.
    Darkness: 20% miss chance. Very nice defensively, although some enemies see through it, and it can be awkward if you're on the front lines and accidentally give your enemies concealment. (If that happens, you can just cover up the object you cast it on to toggle it off.) Notably enables several feats in DotU, including one that lets you hide in plain sight.
    Otherworldly Whispers: Not as good as the Dragonfire Adept version, but +6 in three Knowledge skills plus Spellcraft is still not too shabby.
    Spiderwalk: Useful in low-level dungeon crawls before you have easy access to flight. Trade it out later.
    Summon Swarm: Game-breaking at level 1 with unstoppable AoE damage plus multiple debuffs. Falls off quickly, so swap it out ASAP.

    Lesser
    Charm: Not as good if you're not pumping Cha, but still good, and qualifies you for Mindbender.
    The Dead Walk: You can solve a lot of problems with enough disposable zombie minions.
    Fell Flight: Better than you'd think, since it essentially turns every form into bat form.
    Flee the Scene: At-will teleportation. It's short range, but it still has amazing utility. And you can even bring people with you.
    Relentless Dispelling: Dispelling gets a lot better when you can spam it to effectively take 20. Getting two shots makes it more reliable in combat, but losing the area and counterspell modes hurts its versatility somewhat.
    Voracious Dispelling: The other one. The little bit of damage you deal is mostly irrelevant; the main reason you'd take it over Relentless Dispelling is to get the other two modes. I prefer Voracious Dispelling, but both are solid.
    Walk Unseen: Hard to go wrong with at-will invisibility.

    Greater
    Chilling Tentacles: The premier battlefield control option for Warlocks. Significantly less impressive if you're also a Druid, but hey.
    Devil's Whispers: It's basically Greater Charm. Decent.
    Endless Slumber: The nice thing about having a spammable save-or-lose with no visible manifestation is you can sit in a tree in squirrel form and spam it at anyone walking by and they'll have no idea what's going on. This is the first one that's not language-dependent. I don't know how likely that is to come up in a game, but it sounds hilarious, doesn't it?
    Vitriolic Blast: The premier blast essence, in case you want to actually use Eldritch Blast.
    Warlock's Call: Sending isn't a super exciting spell, but it does get better when you can use it at will for free, and Druids don't normally get it.

    Dark
    Dark Foresight: It's not the best 9th level spell, and it's one that you can already get from Druid, but it is a 9th level spell at will. Foresight is a very nice defensive option at these high levels when it's so important to avoid getting jumped on, and this is like a mass version of it that includes telepathy. Best dark invocation not close.
    Impenetrable Barrier: Wall of Force is a giant "NO" button to a lot of encounters. Comes online a little late, but eh.
    Path of Shadow: Eh. Shadow Walk. It's okay I guess. Potentially upgrades to Greater Teleport + Greater Plane Shift in Epic levels via Dark Transient.
    Retributive Invisibility: Upgrading to Greater Invisibility is nice, although by the time you're at 9th level spells, it feels a little late.

    It dries up a bit after lessers, since by that point you can do most of the same stuff with Druid spells, and you have no shortage of spell slots. On the upside, the low-level utility is very real, and you get some great mid-game power spikes.
    Well, that's gonna take some doing to boil down. Should be workable though.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bullet06320 View Post
    its not exactly ACF, so class features would be where I would put them, and attach the link
    it is an odd ball tho
    Maybe. But, the issue is that it's not just a class feature. It's a variant class feature. Just sticking this in the druid progression seems ridiculous with that in mind. My suspicion is that the ideal option is to create a new tiny section under class features in the intro, or maybe a little header like I have for enhance wild shape in the wild shape section, but that's far from ideal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Trying to avoid dumbness is understandable.

    Polar Bear is only superior in it's swim speed and snow hiding bonus, while it's inferior in that you stick out even more than normal, and of course the DM could be using stricter availability. They're basically the same creature but the conspicuous absence of the less exotic brown bear again seems disorienting.
    The only plausible way to avoid the absence is to just attach brown bear to the polar bear entry somehow. The problem is that the polar bear isn't just better than the brown bear. It's strictly better. The wolf versus riding dog animal companion comparison at least has a marginal edge on the wolf's part, but here, any brown bear entry would just read, "Is a polar bear except worse." I don't think I'm ever going to write the, "Brown bears are awesome because they're way more inconspicuous than polar bears somehow," entry, because down that path lies madness.

    I think Treant could be useful for budget building destruction. Earthquake only does 100 damage to buildings in an 80' radius and costs an 8th level spell, but a treant can put out 50 or so per round all day. I suppose the normal response is that the fighter should be dealing more than that but treant is how a druid would do it.
    But, if you have the kinda time necessary to destroy a building, then you can probably just do marginally worse with a different form. It's not like this is the only form that can punch an object, and spending my noted resources to do that marginally better doesn't seem worth it.

    Is that called out strongly in the handbook though? (I could have missed it). Maybe it's a straw argument or condescending, but I expect anyone who's not already up on their optimization to follow simple paths. If it's good for summoning it ought to be good enough for wild shape right? But it's not, so you gotta tell them.
    It's definitely not called out explicitly, but I think it's implied within individual entries. So, for example, a dire wolf summons entry says that the creature's defenses are great, while the theoretical dire wolf wild shape entry says that they're bad, and reasons are given in both cases. Maybe I'm crazy to think this, but I just think of the sections as entirely separate. If a thing is in the wild shape section, then it's a good wild shape form unless stated otherwise, and if something isn't in the wild shape section, then it's probably not a good wild shape form, at least compared to existing options. Same goes for summons. I'm inclined to think that most people won't notice the contradiction here to the extent that they'll need an entry telling them why there's not a contradiction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hiro Quester View Post
    Availability, by the way, is my issue. I'm using big cat for combat wildshape, because the DM ruled that since my PC has lived in tropical climates all his life he can't know enough about Polar bears, but might have a small chance of one day learning about Brown bears.

    Sometimes it might be worth mentioning the almost but not quite as awesome options, if there is a geographical/availability/book difference that might make the more awesome option inaccessible.
    I guess, but, y'know, they are still the same creature. I'ma just do the thing where I put the creatures in the same slot and be done with it. Polar bear can be content with having to share an entry.

    Edit: And done. Slightly awkward, because I had originally referred to the creature with "polar bear", and because brown bear/polar bear would be annoying, but just calling it a bear seems reasonable enough. Might add the dire wolf thing too. I mean, the entry is right there, fully constructed.

    Double-edit: Turns out that this site's default color is slightly gray. Or, I think it is. Weird.
    Last edited by eggynack; 2015-09-12 at 01:50 AM.

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

    Impressive work! Good work Eggynack.
    Now if everyone could please "Sig" something along the lines of "Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking)", I think that would be good progress.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    Maybe. But, the issue is that it's not just a class feature. It's a variant class feature. Just sticking this in the druid progression seems ridiculous with that in mind. My suspicion is that the ideal option is to create a new tiny section under class features in the intro, or maybe a little header like I have for enhance wild shape in the wild shape section, but that's far from ideal.
    like I said, it is an oddball, while its not in the PHB, I think variant class feature fits best, hopefully you can fit it in nicely and not with the heading of "FREE STUFF"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullet06320 View Post
    like I said, it is an oddball, while its not in the PHB, I think variant class feature fits best, hopefully you can fit it in nicely and not with the heading of "FREE STUFF"
    Yeah, I added it in last night under the class feature section. Seems to fit in well enough there.

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

    ah, very nice, well done I think, glad I could contribute in some small way

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