Author Topic: Advice for optimizing a 7th lvl. Druid?  (Read 1802 times)

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trazwald

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Advice for optimizing a 7th lvl. Druid?
« on: March 15, 2010, 10:49:56 AM »
Hi all, I'm looking for tips to optimize my so-far less-than-optimal druid.
I'm a 7th level Gnome druid, with a cougar as my companion that I use predominantly as a mount. I REALLY like the flavor of this part of the character, so I'm really not looking to change that in particular. What I DO want advice on is how to make up for the following:
as it was one of my first characters made, I didn't realize the importance of Concentration, Spellcraft and Knowlege Nature, so my ranks in these are pretty low, furthermore I aligned my stats like so:
str 15
dex 15
con 13
int 9
wis 18
cha 11
Meaning my concentration is pretty weak and I only get 3 skill points at each level. The majority of my skill points are in Ride and Handle Animal. On top of that, I chose Mounted combat, Ride by Attack and Natural spell as my feats, and haven't used Ride-by-attack once.
So, as you can see, less than optimal.
I'm wondering if anyone has any tips about feats, where to put my lv.8 ability point, strategies for boosting/dealing with a low concentration, or really any tips on how to make the druid work best.
I really don't want to multiclass and don't have very many sourcebooks at my disposal, so please keep that in mind.

cru

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Re: Advice for optimizing a 7th lvl. Druid?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2010, 11:06:40 AM »
- lvl 8 ability: wis or con (probably con, will help your concentration as well)
- stop increasing ride and handle animal, you should have enough now
- boost concentration asap
- tips how druids work best: http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=1354.0
- is retraining from PHB2 an option? PHB2 Excerpt: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20060501a&page=6

You don't want to multiclass. Luckily, the druid is very powerful and in spite of your feat and stat choices, it is very hard to make him suck!

Strategy for low concentration: stay away from the fray! Wildshape into a big mean bird and rain fire (cast spells) from above. Or use the superior mobility of your companion to keep you safe. Or hide behind it. If you put your 3 skill points into Concentration each level, soon you'll be fine.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2010, 11:20:07 AM by cru »

trazwald

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Re: Advice for optimizing a 7th lvl. Druid?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2010, 11:26:25 AM »
Awesome, thanks!
I had already been using a couple of those strategies; keeping out of melee on the mount, or wild-shaping into a bird and raining fire/lighting (which, by the way, was the most fun I've had in DnD to date  :D)
Where to put the ability point has been a big debate: wis, con, or int? into would let me put more skill points into the stats I need at each level, but con would boost my concentration AND  give me more HP.
I have asked the DM if he would allow me to swap ride-by-attack, since I've NEVER used it, but the game is on hiatus and he hasn't gotten back to me. Retraining MAY be an option...
Any ideas for feats anyone? I was thinking storm bolt (complete mage) at lv. 9...


- lvl 8 ability: wis or con (probably con, will help your concentration as well)
- stop increasing ride and handle animal, you should have enough now
- boost concentration asap
- tips how druids work best: http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=1354.0
- is retraining from PHB2 an option? PHB2 Excerpt: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20060501a&page=6

You don't want to multiclass. Luckily, the druid is very powerful and in spite of your feat and stat choices, it is very hard to make him suck!

Strategy for low concentration: stay away from the fray! Wildshape into a big mean bird and rain fire (cast spells) from above. Or use the superior mobility of your companion to keep you safe. Or hide behind it. If you put your 3 skill points into Concentration each level, soon you'll be fine.

cru

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Re: Advice for optimizing a 7th lvl. Druid?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2010, 11:37:13 AM »
I like reserve feats. So yeah, why not storm bolt. 5d6 electricity in a 20 ft. line; good enough.
Ideas for feats: read the handbook. Extend spell? Quicken spell (later). SF Conjuration+Augment Summoning (if you're summoning).

deuxhero

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Re: Advice for optimizing a 7th lvl. Druid?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2010, 12:16:50 PM »
You have natural spell? Good, boost your wis and con and your done. Prehaps take cyrohydra wildshape (frostburn) next feat if you want to focus on wild shaping.

trazwald

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Re: Advice for optimizing a 7th lvl. Druid?
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2010, 12:33:21 PM »
cru:
hehehe, yes, 5d6 electricity in a 20ft line AS A STANDARD ACTION, UNLIMITED TIMES/DAY UNTIL I USE THE SPELL?!!? I almost feel bad... but at the same time I think the DM's setting us up against demons eventually, so it won't be all THAT amazing. Still, it'll help me keep from having to cast in combat until I have a higher concentration.
I've definitely thought about extend spell, and quicken spell later... mmm extend spell looks REALLY good... but it might not make all that much sense RP-wise, all of a sudden being able to cast things for twice as long... I'd have to talk to the DM.
I HADN'T thought about SF (conjuration) and Augment summoning though... That would be really sweet... I haven't done a whole lot of summoning, but if I had those three feats (extend, Augment summoning + SF conj.) it could lead to some serious fun!
Thanks for the ideas, you've definitely given me something to think about :)
deuxhero:
Cryohydra eh? sounds nasty... I'll look into that, thanks!

I like reserve feats. So yeah, why not storm bolt. 5d6 electricity in a 20 ft. line; good enough.
Ideas for feats: read the handbook. Extend spell? Quicken spell (later). SF Conjuration+Augment Summoning (if you're summoning).

RobbyPants

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Re: Advice for optimizing a 7th lvl. Druid?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2010, 01:27:50 PM »
hehehe, yes, 5d6 electricity in a 20ft line AS A STANDARD ACTION, UNLIMITED TIMES/DAY UNTIL I USE THE SPELL?!!? I almost feel bad...
Are you talking about using this in conjunction with Call Lightning?  If so, wouldn't it just be 3d6 damage (one die per level of the spell)?

Depending on how your DM runs games, reserve feats can be handy for saving spell slots, but they are by no means overpowered.  Don't feel guilty using them.
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The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: Advice for optimizing a 7th lvl. Druid?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2010, 03:06:05 PM »
Well, except for summon elemental reserve feat.  Also known as "trapfinding II"
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trazwald

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Re: Advice for optimizing a 7th lvl. Druid?
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2010, 03:44:00 PM »
hehehe, yes, 5d6 electricity in a 20ft line AS A STANDARD ACTION, UNLIMITED TIMES/DAY UNTIL I USE THE SPELL?!!? I almost feel bad...
Are you talking about using this in conjunction with Call Lightning?  If so, wouldn't it just be 3d6 damage (one die per level of the spell)?

Depending on how your DM runs games, reserve feats can be handy for saving spell slots, but they are by no means overpowered.  Don't feel guilty using them.
Well I'm glad you think so. the primary benefit to the character will definitely be more room for other spells, as a result of less need for offensive magic. As for the 5d6, we're referring to Call Lighting Storm (5th level druid spell), which the character will be able to cast at level 9, the same time as I plan on taking Storm Bolt.
I really like the idea of Dragon Wild Shape or Magical Beast Wild Shape, but the d20srd.org site lists those as epic feats with ridiculous requirements, so they're out of the question for this character. I would also really like to know more about "energy substitution" as it sounds insanely useful. If anyone could post the specifics on this, it would be a big help.