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A Man In Black

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Re: Spellcasting
« Reply #100 on: October 18, 2009, 10:34:22 AM »
This is a rewrite of the spell section with my advice included. Blade can use it or not, but I figured I'd stick it here since I was working on a spirit shaman guide anyway.

I made a few more fiddling changes. I think the only major one was dropping Bite of the Wererat, because it's just not worth the in-combat action to bite for piddling damage and get +5 AC for a few rounds.

-edit- I'm going to be updating this with realizations made while writing the spirit shaman guide. It's all minor stuff so far.

[spoiler]Druids are full casters, no matter how much you beat things up with your bare paws.  Your ability to escape from danger or create danger for your opponents is, at least, partially dependent on what spells you have available.

0th Level
Create Water: Never run out of water. Plus, you can make a scrying pool.
Cure Minor Wounds: One point isn't a lot, but this can stabilize a dying ally.
Detect Magic: One of the most powerful and versatile zero-level spells, for any caster.
Guidance: Tell your Rogue to ask for "guidance" prior to every trap he attempts to disarms or UMD roll he has to make (outside of combat). That +1 bonus can be critical. This doesn't stack with Inspire Competence or pretty much any skill-boosting magic item, however.
Light: Remember, you lose darkvision when you Wild Shape, even if your chosen form or your natural race in humanoid form has it. (Obviously, this doesn't apply to situations where you're getting Ex special qualities of your form, as with Exalted or Dragon Wild Shape.)

1st Level
Aspect of the WolfSC: This is a fairly handy melee self-buff for early levels (instead of going the wooden club route with Shillelagh). At later levels, you can share it with your Animal Companion to help deal with the practical issues of traveling with a snarling bear the size of a bull elephant.]
Beget BogunSC 26: Creates a small little creature to do your chores, if you've taken Create Wondrous Item.
CamouflageSC: +10 to Hide, and it works in any environment.
Endure Elements: A great travelling spell, and especially handy in any game that takes you into harsh environments.
Entangle: A best-in-class battlefield control spell.
Eyes of the AvoralBoED: Long duration, big Spot bonus.
Faerie Fire: This is an odd magic bullet. By the time you're worrying about invisible foes, all of the casters in the party will have better tools, like BlindsightSC, See Invisibility, Glitterdust, or just plain old Dispel Magic. However, this is lower level and it works on Blur and Displacement and the like. Faerie Fire is a situational tool at best.
Lessor VigorSC: This spell actually outperforms Cure Light Wounds, especially out of combat. Wands of Lesser Vigor are great for healing between fights.
Magic Fang and Silvered ClawsBoED: Decent buff to help your Animal Companion bypass DR. Not very good for anything else.
Obscuring Mist: The next best thing to invisibility, when it comes time to get out of a fight. Cast Mist, walk 5 feet backwards, and run away in a different direction.
Omen of PerilSC: Poor man's Augury. Quite possibly the most versatile first-level divination in the game, and doesn't even have a costly component or XP cost, like many similar divinations.
Pass Without Trace: Not for the druid, but to cover the tracks of her companions.
Produce Flame: Fairly powerful attack spell. You'll probably be relying on this to attack until you get Wild Shape, and makes a decent buff (due to the way holding touch spells works) after you get Wild Shape.
Shillelagh: It's pronounced "shi-lay-lee." Dramatically increases club/quarterstaff damage (to the point where you'll actually want to wield a club or quarterstaff).
Spider HandBoVD: Best. Scouting. Spell. Ever. Send out a nondescript spider to do all the scouting, with only negligible consequences if it dies? Yeah, I'll take that. It's not even an evil spell.
Twilight LuckBoED: +1 on saves is always handy, especially at higher levels. Just lay off the booze.
Winged WatcherCSc: Change into a bird for 1 round/level. Good for sudden escapes or quick responses to needing to fly.
Wood WoseSC: Unseen Servant, only druidic. It just can't handle doorknobs.

2nd Level
Acorn of Far TravelWotC - A nice spell from the "Far Corners of the World" article series that lets you emulate forested terrain to improve spells such as deadfall, creaking cacophony, fey ring, or splinterbolt.  You can also use the acorn as an oak tree for spells like tree stride or transport via plants.
Align FangSC: Handy for DR problems.
Animalistic PowerPHB2: Versatility over the animal stat buffs, traded for half the power. It's a style thing; either way is good.
Barkskin: Excellent for use while Wild Shaped, since your AC will often be pretty poor.
Bear's Endurance and Bull's Strength: As useful as it is for everyone. Bear's Endurance will be your main in-combat healing spell for low levels; just keep people alive until you can use Vigor.
Blinding SpittleSC: Absolutely broken. Blindness with no save, with a ranged touch attack at -4. Why do they keep reprinting this spell?
Blood SnowFrost: Only prep it during the winter or when in an arctic or otherwise frozen area, but d2 Con drain/round is awesome when you combine it with battlefield control spells or flight effects to make sure your enemies have to stand in it.
Briar WebSC: A handy entangling spell that may also cause damage.
Creeping ColdSC: A great attack spell, and replaces Produce Flame as a blasting spell.
DesiccateSand: d6/level (max 5d6) on a single target, with a weird damage type that ignores DR and energy resistance. Can even cause dehydration (which is fatigue on steroids).
Embrace the WildSC and Listening LorecallSC: These are very nearly the same spell, and both are quite handy. Use Embrace the Wild until you have 12 ranks in Listen, then switch over to Listening Lorecall. BlindsightSC is more potent but is higher level and shorter duration.
Gust of Wind: Very underrated utility spell. Clears fogs, blows away small foes, extinguishes torches, and disperses swarms.
Halo of SandSand: Yet another druid AC buff. This one is deflection, though, so it stacks with Barkskin and armor.
KelpstrandSC: I like to think of this spell as webshooters. If it's not huge or larger, it's pretty much just screwed. Your grapple DC will exceed that of most enemies who aren't grappling specialists or very large and very strong, and even if they are they'll need to spend at least one round bursting each strand of kelp. This spell is silly broken.
Lesser Restoration: Very handy for healing ability damage.
Luminous ArmorBoED: An AC boost while you're Wild Shaping, plus light and another -4 for enemies to hit you in melee. Stacks with Barkskin, but not Wilding armor. Mind the Str damage, though.
Nature's FavorSC: Excellent (swift!) animal buff spell; cast it on your Animal Companion or summons.
Resist Energy: Fairly handy when you know a certain type of energy damage is in the offing.
Share HuskSC: A great scouting spell. Use it if Spider Hand isn't available.
Snake's Swiftness, MassSC: The lower-level, single-target version of this spell isn't anything special, but giving a free attack to all of your party members, plus your animal companion, plus any summons you have nearby is just too fun.
SplinterboltSC: It's druidic Scorching Ray, but with no SR. Three 4d6 damage bolts with a 18-20 threat range isn't half bad. (Thanks jackmojo)
Wild InstinctsRoE: +1 to spot and listen just for preparing it. Casting it is kind of useless; a min/level ability to give you Uncanny Dodge is only useful when you know you're going to be surprised.

3rd Level
Alter FortunePHB2: Fantastic spell. Great for emergencies (reroll a save!)
Arctic HazeFrost and HaboobSand: Damaging and opaque fog. Useful as battlefield control. TremorSC: can be used similarly, but it doesn't damage and doesn't block line of sight.
Attune FormSC: Immunity to planar effects for caster level/3 characters. A handy spell for planehopping games, and much more useful than the lower-level Avoid Planar EffectsSC, due to the longer duration.
Bite of the WerewolfSC: Again, a variety of nifty stat buffs and a spare bite attack.
BlindsightSC: 30' Blindsight. Who needs See Invisibility?
Call Lightning: This is a good lead-off for long or unchallenging fights, as it gives you lots of turns of attacks with okay damage. Prep one or two a day and use it as your fallback when your specialty (be it summoning, melee, whatever) isn't the best tactic.
CrumbleSC: Apparently druids get Shatter at third level. It's still handy.
Entanging StaffSC: After the Spell Compendium rewrite of this spell, it's now a way to add an extra entangling effect onto hitting someone with your Shillelagh. The constrict after the grab is extra damage, but you probably don't want to stay grappling with them. This is no longer very useful with club-wielding Legendary Ape cheese, though, as continuing the grapple now requires normal actions.
Evard's Menacing TentaclesPHB2: Assuming you have a good strength bonus from a Wild Shape form, this spell provides some battlefield control, metes out some damage, and gives a climbing bonus to boot.
ForestfoldSC: +10 on Hide and Move Silently checks in a natural environment of your choice.
Giant's WrathSC: An interesting alternative to Call Lightning. At early levels, the lack of a need for an attack roll, the lack of DR issues, and the greater number of uses per cast makes Call Lightning the better choice. At higher levels, though, the high strength of Wild Shape forms, the caster-level based damage bonus, and the lack of SR on Giant's Wrath helps it catch up.
Girallon's BlessingSC: This spell gives the creature touched an extra set of arms for 10/minutes per level, which can be quite handy if your wildshape form could use some arms to manipulate objects.  There are probably better ways to mete out damage, but solid choice if you think your shark form may need to open a door, chest, etc.
Greater Magic Fang: Handy self-buff and good to share with your Animal Companion.
Heart of WaterCM: The winner in a so-so spell family. The main effect of swimming/gills is handy when you get the spell, and on-demand swift-action Freedom of Movement is perfect for a bad grapple or failed save.
Plant Growth: This is druidic Solid Fog, as long as there's some undergrowth. Alternately, make yourself every farmer's friend.
Poison: Con damage is always handy, and the DC scales upward as you increase in level. A much-overlooked spell.
Primal FormSC: This spell isn't overwhelmingly powerful, but it's a versatile self-buff. Flight and swim speed are easy to get with Wild Shape, but this spell is available before plentiful Wild Shape uses, and you can choose on the fly among a melee buff, a defensive buff, or a source of flight.
Protection From Energy: A versatile, effective defensive buff. You'll rarely regret prepping it.
Remove Disease: Not something you're going to prep every day, but handy when you need it.
Sleet Storm: Handy battlefield control. Great for covering an escape. Not as good as Arctic Fog or Haboob, though.
SpiderskinSC: Barkskin, plus a save bonus against poison and a Hide bonus. Use it on the party sneak, or when you're fighting monstrous vermin or Yuan-Ti.
SpritjawsSC: I love this spell, and it's one of a druid's few good force spells. Throw this spell out there and it's a combination of Spiritual Weapon and Telekinesis's grapple option. It damages and confounds enemies, doing an especially good job of pinning down spellcasters and incorporeal foes.
Stone Shape: Good for making your own entrance or exit. Great for throwing the GM a loop in a dungeon crawl.
Swift Lion's ChargeMiniHB/Lion's ChargeSC: Pouncing is very handy, but this spell can start to eat up spell slots pretty quickly. A similar, overpowered spell named Lion's Charge is in Savage Species, and, while it isn't swift, it gives the Pounce ability for a duration.
Touch of JubilexBoVD: Evil. A great early save-or-die. Whatever it is, in four turns, it'll be dead. Not something you can safely use repeatedly, though, because of the Corruption cost.
VenomfireSK: Ridiculously broken spell at high levels. For level/hours, +d6/level damage with no cap added as an additional effect to a poisonous natural attack. Great for Fleshraker Wild Shape, or a poisonous breath weapon or AoE effect.
Vigor and Mass Lesser VigorSC: Both can be better than Cure Moderate Wounds at low levels, but only outside of combat. It works when you can't summon Unicorns yet and you don't have that handy wand of Cure Light Wounds. Doesn't work with Extend Spell (see CD FAQ), but Mass Lesser Vigor does work with Persistent Spell.
Wind Wall: Another highly underrated spell, this stops archers, swarms, and foes size Tiny or smaller cold.

4th Level
Arc of LightningSC, Blast of SandSand, and Flame Strike: The last blast spells worth casting. Flame Strike is a staple and core. Arc of Lightning and Blast of Sand have more-specialized areas of effect (Arc of Lightning is sure to hit two guys and pretty much nobody else, whereas Blast of Sand's 30' cone is Very Large), ignore SR and benefit from Spell Focus (Conjuration). Blast of Sand is probably the most useful due to its large AOE, but it caps out at 10d6 whereas the others cap at 15d6. All of them have situational advantages (and not a one of them is more potent than Boreal Wind), so choose the one best-suited to your game.
Aspect of the WerebeastRoE: Nothing about this Shifter-only self-buff says it only works when you're in a humanoid form, but it is severely limited by its round/level duration. Prep it instead of Bite of the Wereboar anyway, and use Tiger aspect exclusively. Round/level pounce that you can share with your pet is delicious.
Bite of the WereboarSC: Useful stat buffs, a spare bite attack, and one of the better AC buffs around.
Boreal WindFrost: This is a mix of Gust of Wind and an AOE blast. In a fight, the damage is okay but lasts for multiple turns and enemies who don't save have a hard time approaching you, and out of a fight, this has a bunch of interesting utility and RP uses. This is a stylish, versatile, and powerful spell.
Enhance Wild ShapeSC: You can pick up plant forms early or get minor stat buffs, but the big bonus is the access to extraordinary abilities. Pick up the Blindsight of a Desmodu War BatMM2, or abuse Master of Many FormsCAdv.
Freedom of Movement: Makes you immune to grapples, able to fight underwater, and immune to spells that impede movement. A very handy defensive spell.
Frostfell SlideFrost: The first of the [blank]stride spells. This is probably the most situational, but use it in winter in even a temperate climate and it's almost as good as Teleport.
Giant Vermin: Ridiculously powerful at high levels: at level 20 you can make a 40 HD monster.
Greater Luminous ArmorBoED: As Luminous Armor, only +8 AC instead of +5. Again, mind the Sacrifice cost.
Hibernal HealingFrost: Self-only Heal...as long as you're in a frostfell area, anyway.
Last BreathSC: In Complete Divine, this is druidic Revivify, but with a caster-damaging side effect. In Spell Compendium, this is a no-level-loss Reincarnate that must be cast immediately. Both are useful as an emergency option.
Miasma of EntropySC: This is one of the Spell Compendium stinkers, with issues like having a saving throw in the statblock but no explanation of what that saving throw does in the spell description. However, as written, everyone in the area who isn't wearing metal or magic clothing or armor ends up naked. And, really, isn't that worth a fourth-level spell slot?
MoonboltSC: Anti-undead save-or-die that won't make you feel bad for prepping it on a day where you meet no undead. Note that it can hit two targets if they are within 15' of each other.
Murderous MistSC: AOE save-or-lose, with a gigantic area and targeting reflex? That's worth it.
Passage of the Shifting SandsDrM: Druidic Gaseous Form, but with an actual move speed, the ability to blind people, and other bennies.
Scrying: The gold standard in sneaky divinations.
Sheltered VitalitySC: Immunity to ability damage or drain is situational, but very powerful when you need it. Cast this before fighting yuan-ti, giant vermin, undead, or anything else with a nasty ability damage or poison attack. The immunity to fatigue can also be handy for the party barbarian.
Unholy BeastCoR: This is an odd one. It's a lesser, single-target Animal Growth...but with a Dominate Animal effect tossed in. Great for stealing Animal Companions, but still usable as a general-purpose buff.
Vortex of TeethSC: A spell that does force damage, and can tear apart anything that can't get away. This makes a mess of anyone caught in Entangle.
Wall of SaltSand: Not quite Wall of Stone, but effective for battlefield control and deterring pursuit.
Wind at BackSC: It lets you double the party's overland speed, lasts 12 hours and can let you speed up multiple beasts of burden, as well.

5th Level
Animal Growth: Multiple animals (your pet and any summons running around) get bigger and get some nice bonuses. One of the best buffs in the game, let alone in core.
Anticold SphereSC: Immunity to cold and great protection from anything with the Cold subtype, with a nice long duration and an area large enough to protect the whole party.
Baleful Polymorph: Turn your opponent into something inoffensive. Toad is a classic form that offers no advantage to your target. This is the core option for transporting Animal Companions in cramped quarters or inappropriate environments Pokemon-style, since, as a permanent spell, it's dispellable. Classy tricks include polymorphing your Roc Animal Companion into a raven for cramped quarters, or polymorphing your T-Rex companion into a frog to go underwater.
Bite of the WeretigerSC: A very high str boost, a variety of other boosts, extra attacks, and free Power Attack.
BlizzardFrost: Instant battle ender. Great for buying some time to parley or obscuring your plans. Huge area of effect.
Call AvalancheFrost While it doesn't cause overwhelming damage (only 8d6), it can bury many opponents in its huge area (size of creatures you can bury scales up as well). It only works outdoors, but it does damage and potential immobilization at long range. For a good trick trick, follow it up with Blood Snow and all the poor buried victims start taking CON drain while trying futilely to escape.
Cloak of the SeaSC: When you're underwater, it's Water Breathing, Freedom of Movement, and Blur, all in one neat little (long-duration!) package. A must-have for any underwater adventures.
Control Winds: Gets you a minimum of hurricane force winds (assuming no wind when you cast it) at caster level 13, which covers a 520ft radius, lasts for over 2 hours, and slaughters medium enemies while stopping anything smaller then gargantuan from doing anything useful. And again as soon as you hit 15 its gets even worse, cause you get tornado winds, which will stop anything and destroy cities and non fortified structures.
Death Ward: Powerful, if conditional, defensive buff.
Owl's InsightSC: A long-duration scaling boost to Wisdom with an unusual bonus type? A must for focused druidic casters, although summoners and wild shapers can give this a pass, since it doesn't do anything but raise spell DCs.
PancaeaSC: A broad-based restoration spell, removing pretty much any condition other than ability damage/drain, disease, or death.
Phantom StagSC: Phantom Steed, only two spell levels higher and with slightly beefier stats. Since druids already have always-on flight at this level from Wild Shape, this is mainly useful for the Etherealness ability it gains at 18th level.
Rejuvenation CoccoonSC: A decent out-of-combat Heal alternative.
Tree Stride: Teleport, but self-only and your GM can arbitrarily limit your use of it, since you need a chain of trees to travel long distances. It's still good.
Wall of Thorns: This is a nice battlefield control/stop pursuers/obstruct sight spell, with nice size and a nice duration.  Not always useful, but sometimes key.  Of course, if you're summoning Greenbound creatures, choose something else.

6th Level
Antilife Shell: Exceedingly powerful defensive spell. Anything living without SR just can't touch you.
Bite of the WerebearSC: Bite of the Weretiger only moreso. You'll probably be fine simply prepping Bite of the Weretiger instead; this spell offers relatively small benefits over that spell.
Chasing PerfectionPHB2: Handy as a self-buff, since it's hard to use magic items in Wild Shape. Won't be terribly useful to the rest of the party at level 13, though.
DrownSC: Save or dying (0 hp). Handy for capturing enemies alive. Not death magic, but obviously doesn't work on non-living creatures, water-breathers, or creatures with no lungs. This has replaced the repeatedly-nerfed MiasmaSC.
Energy ImmunitySC: Powerful, of a bit situational, defensive buff. Has a long enough duration to have it on all the time.
Enveloping CocoonSC: A reflex-based save-or-lose, force-based to boot. Unfortunately, it doesn't work on anyone who can cast Dimension Door (or any similar non-somatic escape spell), and it merely slows down anyone who has a natural weapon or a light weapon in hand. On top of that, unless you just want to trap them for caster level/rounds, you'll need to follow it up with another spell (like Baleful Polymorph).
Find the Path: Never, ever, EVER be lost.
Fires of PuritySC: A hefty melee damage buff, plus Flame Shield lite. Note that, while this spell is three levels higher than Venomfire and only adds one point per caster level instead of d6, it's still a good spell. That's how silly Venomfire is.
Greater Dispel Magic: Unlike mages and clerics, druids very rarely lose caster levels, so this is often a worthwhile spell to prep.
Liveoak: Handy if you need a Treant to guard your camp or home. The casting time and casting limitations limit its general usefulness, though.
MummifySand: Save or die. Plus, it's not death magic.
Spellstaff: One extra spell slot, of whatever level you can cast. Clerics with Miracle have no reason not to duplicate this very handy spell.
StormwalkSC: The best of the various druidic teleports. It's strictly worse than the usual sorc/wiz Teleport, but unlike all of the other druidic teleport spells it works on the whole party and doesn't require pre-planning or a tree/pool/snowdrift/whatever.
Superior ResistanceSC: +6 on all saves, all day. Its utility is obvious. (Spell Compendium upped the level, but also the duration. It's still worth it, unlike the pounding Major Resistance took.)
Valiant SteedBoED: Calls a Unicorn or Pegasus that serves you for an entire year.

7th Level
CloudwalkersSC: 10 min./level flight for the entire group. This is getting into the "If you can't fly you can't play" levels, but it is handy for anyone who hasn't gotten their wings yet.
Constricting ChainsBoED: Whatever it is, it's entangled and can't move. No save, no SR. Unless it has at least a +20 Escape Artist mod or a 34 Strength, it's staying stuck unless it wears down the chains with attacks (and half of that damage is in turn redirected to the chained target). Mind the Sacrifice cost, though (which doesn't take effect until the spell ends).
Cry of YsgardBoED: Calls 2d4 defenders of Ysgard that serve for a year.
Death By ThornsBoVD: The Corruption cost is very painful, but this will take the target out of the fight, no matter what. Obviously an evil spell.
Heal: Its uses are obvious.
Master EarthSC: Quite nice as it allows teleportation, a rarity for druids, unerringly to any location touching the earth. As it doesn't have the teleportation descriptor, it can thwart problems such as Forbiddance, Dimensional Anchor/Lock, etc.
Rain of RosesBoED: Continuing Wisdom damage over an area, to evil creatures only. Great if you can limit the target's mobility, as the Wis damage doesn't allow a save.
True Seeing: Magic bullet for illusions, invisibility, and shapechanging.
Word of BalanceSC: Somewhat unreliable because of the odd alignment restrictions, but very powerful when it works.


8th Level
CocoonSC: Lets your Cleric buddy cast true resurrection 2 levels earlier, or if you don't have friends lets you reincarnate with no level loss a week later; it has an XP cost, but it's negligible at best at this level.
FrostfellFrost: Caster level/20' cubes freeze, and anyone in this area rolls a Fort save or turns to ice (and still takes caster/d6 frostburn damage if they save). Think of it as shapable super druid Wail of the Banshee, with an extra heaping helping of awesome.
Leonal's RoarBoED: Druidic Holy Word, plus some sonic damage. Sweet.
Red TideSC: Save, and you're prone and have a -2 to pretty much everything. Don't save, and you're limited to move actions and poisoned with a nasty strength-damage poison. Save-and-you-suck-anyway is always a good choice, and this is a huge 30' radius burst.
StormrageSC: Flight, the ability to throw respectable lightning bolts, and immunity to projectile ranged attacks and wind effects of all kinds. This is more of a spirit shaman or cleric spell due to the flight, but the immunities are helpful.
Word of Recall: A quick escape spell, and one of the very few teleportation spells available to druids.

9th Level
Nature's AvatarSC: Very, very powerful animal buff, and now a swift spell. Cast it on your Animal Companion, and go to town.
Shapechange: Broken spell, but you already know that. Ridiculously powerful, even if you don't abuse the ChronotyrynFF or Choker or Efreeti or ZodarFF or...well. You get the idea.
Summon Elemental MonolithSC: The elemental monoliths are ridiculously powerful, especially given the very high save DCs of the whirlwind and vortex abilities of air and water monoliths. Unlike previous Concentration-duration summons, these are worthwhile even if you can't cheat on the concentration requirement. (And no, Swift Concentration from Complete Scoundrel doesn't work.) Obviously, this is a spirit shaman's ultimate spell.
TsunamiSC: The fight is over. This spell will end anyone smaller than Gargantuan who can't immediately get out of the way of the 40-ft-high wave. The spell component is rather expensive, however.
UndermasterSC: Awesome power indeed. This gives you a whole variety of great spell-likes, some of which aren't even on the druid list.[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: October 19, 2009, 07:33:39 AM by A Man In Black »

cru

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Re: Spellcasting
« Reply #101 on: October 18, 2009, 04:24:10 PM »
I made a few more fiddling changes. I think the only major one was dropping Bite of the Wererat, because it's just not worth the in-combat action to bite for piddling damage and get +5 AC for a few rounds.
Let me take the devil's advocate role again. I say it has its uses, especially rod-extended at levels 3~7. E.g.: an average druid with ~10 str and ~12 dex, riding dog animal companion, fleshraker wild shape. Wild armor and monk's belt are probably not yet available. This single spell will grant you and your animal companion up to 6 AC and +3 or more to your melee attack bonus (when wielding a finessable weapon, such as a dagger or any natural attack) and +3 to your ranged attack bonus to help you land those splinterbolts or whatever.

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #102 on: October 18, 2009, 09:06:58 PM »
Keep in mind that a Druid's shared spell ends if the animal companion gets more than 5 feet away from the druid.

BowenSilverclaw

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #103 on: October 18, 2009, 09:24:57 PM »
Keep in mind that a Druid's shared spell ends if the animal companion gets more than 5 feet away from the druid.
Companion Spellbond ;)
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A Man In Black

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Re: Spellcasting
« Reply #104 on: October 19, 2009, 06:08:28 AM »
Let me take the devil's advocate role again. I say it has its uses, especially rod-extended at levels 3~7. E.g.: an average druid with ~10 str and ~12 dex, riding dog animal companion, fleshraker wild shape. Wild armor and monk's belt are probably not yet available. This single spell will grant you and your animal companion up to 6 AC and +3 or more to your melee attack bonus (when wielding a finessable weapon, such as a dagger or any natural attack) and +3 to your ranged attack bonus to help you land those splinterbolts or whatever.

But it's an in-combat action (and none of it stacks with Cat's Grace/Bear's Endurance/Barkskin). You're better off just casting Splinterbolts again, or prepping a buff you don't have to cast in combat.

Yeah, sure, if it was free with regards to the action economy, it'd be worth casting. But it's not.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2009, 06:10:42 AM by A Man In Black »

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #105 on: November 04, 2009, 05:32:25 PM »
In case it has not been mentioned, MM III has blessed us Druid fans with Runehounds. Assume supernatural ability+Aberrant wild shape gives you 500 feet blindsight. At level five.
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A Man In Black

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #106 on: November 04, 2009, 06:16:30 PM »
In case it has not been mentioned, MM III has blessed us Druid fans with Runehounds. Assume supernatural ability+Aberrant wild shape gives you 500 feet blindsight. At level five.
Nine. You need Wild Shape before you can take either feat. I guess if you could figure out a way to get one of the feats as a bonus feat you could get into it earlier, but there's no way to get either feat before level 6.

Tshern

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #107 on: November 04, 2009, 08:36:53 PM »
Ah, an excellent point. I was just looking at the HD of the creature rather than the feat prerequisites. It is a decent scout form at that point, especially if you can get flight (bully the party Wizard to help).
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PhaedrusXY

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #108 on: November 04, 2009, 08:42:07 PM »
In case it has not been mentioned, MM III has blessed us Druid fans with Runehounds. Assume supernatural ability+Aberrant wild shape gives you 500 feet blindsight. At level five.
Nice. Another trick to add to my Elan Cerebremancer build via Alter Self + Metamorphic Transfer. At level 5. :D
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

Bigtuna

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #109 on: November 09, 2009, 05:05:52 PM »
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0346.html

- which is why Companion Spellbond (PHII) is pretty nice for Druids.
Your animal companion can be nice - with Bite of XXX they are  - well better...

A sneaky Druid - well not optimized as Druid 20 - BUT desent sneak attack + savage Grappel + som Wild shape that are good at grappling + has many attacks are just - mean...


A Man In Black

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #110 on: November 10, 2009, 06:33:10 AM »
A sneaky Druid - well not optimized as Druid 20 - BUT desent sneak attack + savage Grappel + som Wild shape that are good at grappling + has many attacks are just - mean...

Wildshaping ranger does it beeeetter...

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #111 on: November 17, 2009, 11:53:20 PM »
Has there been any kind of write up regarding the various [Aberration] forms available via Aberrant Wild Shape?
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A Man In Black

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #112 on: November 18, 2009, 10:28:35 AM »
Has there been any kind of write up regarding the various [Aberration] forms available via Aberrant Wild Shape?

A sketchy one. I never did finish dumpster-diving for aberration, vermin, or Enhance Wild Shape forms.

Here's what I had at the time:

If you take Aberration Wild Shape (LoM), you can use Wild Shape to turn into aberrations, subject to the other usual limitations of Wild Shape.

This is another section still in development. As such, take the advice with a grain of salt. Any suggestions would be appreciated. In the meantime, here's some advice on Aberration Wild Shape.

Quote from: Alansmithee, on the old WOTC CO boards
Generally, you can find more attacks with abberations than with animal forms, but usually at a lower Str. Many creatures with these attacks will have poison, grab, or both with them. Obviously, these forms get the most milage out of Greater Magic Fang, as usually 4+ of the attacks are with the same type of natural weapon. As was said above, having access to assume supernatural form makes abberation wildshaping stupidly good (a prime target for this feat would be the Beholder's Eye Ray ability, which nets all 10 rays for use). Another benefit of abberation wildshaping is the humanoid form many take, which makes using equipment much easier, and often will allow for speech.

And from the above list, some of my favorites are the cloaker for casting early on (if you don't want to waste a spell, fly up and moan), the rukanyr for it's multiple attacks and stun/poison, the darktentacles for it's insane grapple, and the lifeleech otyugh for it's grab and high stats.

Level 5
  • Rust Monster - Useful for sabotage, removing metal walls, etc.
  • Tako (OA) - Seven arms for weapons or Improved Grab/Constrict, aquatic, Multidexterity bonus feat.


Level 8
  • Cloaker - Area-effect moan, and goofy Engulf ability.
  • Ineffable Horror (Und) - Flight, grapple and blood drain.
  • Rukanyr (FF) - High AC at 7hd, one stunning attack, 3 poisoning attacks, 6 other claw attacks
  • Mimic - adhesive (auto-grapple, can trap weapons)


Level 9
  • Stonesinger (MM3) - High nat armour, burrow+climb speed, poison bite+6 claws, decent Str
  • Lifeleech Otyugh (MM3) - 4 tentacles+bite, imp grab+Constrict, high Str


Level 10
  • Hook Horror (MM2) - Imp Grab, power sunder, decent stats, climb speed


Level 11
  • Chuul - An alternative to Dire Bear. Lower grapple check and less damage in straight attacks because of lower Str, but its Constrict does comparable damage in a grapple, it can paralyze grappled foes, and it has better AC.


Level 12
  • Death Kiss Beholderkin (MonOF) - 10(!) tentacle attacks, each doing Con damage
  • Urophion (LoM) - 50' range melee touch attack that does strength damage and lets you drag the victim in to eat his brain. One of the best aberration forms.
  • Ocularon (FF) - Large 12HD, 90' fly speed (perfect) decent ac (21), imp grab w/ 4 tentacles, steal eyes and gain poison attack with those eyes
  • Darktentacles (MM2) - 12 attacks (up to 3 at a single square), can use weapons at lowered penalties, decent stats, imp grab w/ +16 racial bonus


Level 15
  • Athach - Human-shaped form, with high stats and a poison bite.
  • Deepspawn (PGtF) - Three "hands," great reach, good stats, lots of natural attacks, Improved Grab/Constrict
  • Delver - High AC and an acid attack that is exceedingly effective against metallic or stony foes.


Level 18
  • Nagahydra (Serp) - seven bites with potent poison, massive stats
  • Moonbeast (MM2) - 10(!) powerful attacks, plus Constrict AND bite on a grapple


Level 20
  • Chilblain (Frost) - A flier that deals respectable damage and has massive AC.
  • Maulgoth (FF) - Send enemies (or allies) to ethereal plane with a touch.


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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #113 on: November 18, 2009, 11:58:20 PM »
Wow, for incomplete that is still very useful.  Thanks!
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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #114 on: November 19, 2009, 03:41:12 PM »
Here's my list:
Name + ReferenceSize + TypeHDACStatsAttacksMisc
Tentacle Spider (SoX)Medium aberr.31611/17/144x touch +4 (dex poison) + biteRanged entangle
Fiery Sandhog (online)Medium aberr.41715/12/124 bite +5 melee and 2 claws +0burrow, climb
Dustblight (Sand)Medium aberr.52020/17/12Bite +8 (1d8+5), 2 claws +6 (1d3+2)Burrow 30 ft.
Dolghast (MoE)Medium aberr.61719/14/132 claws +8 (1d6+4), bite +3 (1d6+2)Con damage
Vivisector (MM5)Medium aberr.72115/18/142 claws +8 melee (1d8+2), sting +4Poison DC15 1d6/1d6 str, fly
Squamous Spewer (Drac)Large aberr.82219/13/176 bites +10 (1d10+4)Roar (fear)
Dharculus (PlH)Medium aberr.822+12/14/206 tentacles +8 (1d4+1)Improved grab, ethereal bite
Otyugh, Lifeleech (mm3)Large aberr.92127/16/234 tentacles +14 (1d8+8) and biteConstrict, improved grab
Stone Singer (mm3)Large aberr.92120/10/18Bite +10 and 6 claws +8DC 18, 1d4 Dex/1d4 Dex
Chwidencha (DotU)Large aberr.122422/17/204 claws +15 (1d6+6), PounceImproved grab, climb/burrow
Thoon Elder Brain (mm5)Large aberr.122626/14/308 tentacles +17 (1d6+8+2d6 acid)Dual action (!), acid burn, fly
Madcrafter of Thoon (mm5)Huge aberr.102030/10/26Bite +16 (2d8+15+4d6 acid)
Five-headed Terror (mm3)Medium aberr.152113/18/155 bites +16 (1d6+1+poison), Pouncevenomfire target

Sandhog: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fw/20020817a
(how do I insert hyperlinks here?)

Also, according to this article (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ebee/20050704a), aberrant dragonmark can be used as a prerequisite for aberrant feats (instead of aberrant blood).
« Last Edit: November 19, 2009, 03:58:28 PM by cru »

Ithamar

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #115 on: November 19, 2009, 07:53:37 PM »
That Thoon Elder Brain would be amazing to try and optimize!  Good find, Cru!

Combine with Fuse Arms for a nice STR boost when needed.
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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #116 on: December 01, 2009, 10:29:42 AM »
Just a note, Magebred Tiger (and Magebred Bear) replace 10th level animals rather than 7th on the list of animal companions (despite being mentioned that they can be taken by 7th level druids... maybe a clause preventing 6th level druids with natural bond from taking them?).

Of course, if you do argue they're 7th level, Magebred Brown Bears are strictly better than normal ones.
"A druid or ranger may never acquire a magebred animal as a companion. " (ECS 37)
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KellKheraptis

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #117 on: December 01, 2009, 11:02:20 AM »
Just a note, Magebred Tiger (and Magebred Bear) replace 10th level animals rather than 7th on the list of animal companions (despite being mentioned that they can be taken by 7th level druids... maybe a clause preventing 6th level druids with natural bond from taking them?).

Of course, if you do argue they're 7th level, Magebred Brown Bears are strictly better than normal ones.
"A druid or ranger may never acquire a magebred animal as a companion. " (ECS 37)

Is Wild Cohort different enough to warrant availability, though?  They are not animal companions per se.
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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #118 on: December 01, 2009, 11:31:23 AM »
Just a note, Magebred Tiger (and Magebred Bear) replace 10th level animals rather than 7th on the list of animal companions (despite being mentioned that they can be taken by 7th level druids... maybe a clause preventing 6th level druids with natural bond from taking them?).

Of course, if you do argue they're 7th level, Magebred Brown Bears are strictly better than normal ones.
"A druid or ranger may never acquire a magebred animal as a companion. " (ECS 37)

Is Wild Cohort different enough to warrant availability, though?  They are not animal companions per se.
Don't think so
Quote
When selecting an alternative animal cohort, use the list of alternative animal companions on page 36 of the Player's Handbook, but treat yourself as a druid three levels lower than your character level. For example, once you reach 7th level, you can choose an animal cohort off the list of animal companions available to a 4th-level druid.
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KellKheraptis

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #119 on: December 01, 2009, 12:30:12 PM »
Ah well, at least that cements Natural Bond for non-druids (or for druids who want an AC on crack).
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