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Author Topic: Treantmonk's Guide to Druids (Pathfinder RPG)  (Read 53672 times)
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Treantmonklvl20
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« on: December 01, 2009, 08:15:33 AM »

Link to the site with the embedded Google Doc:

Please post replies to the Druid Handbook on this thread.  Post replies to the other handbooks on the respective thread.  Thanks!

Please note this is a 3 part handbook.

Treantmonk's Druid Handbook
« Last Edit: December 01, 2009, 04:18:59 PM by Treantmonklvl20 » Logged

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bearsarebrown
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2009, 12:58:04 PM »

you should probably write Pathfinder somewhere
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A Man In Black
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2009, 01:17:37 PM »

Plant Growth is super Solid Fog as long as there's some sort of plants. That's not junk; that's falling into your own fallacy of extra options which are bad hiding the one option which is good. It's long range, 100' radius, SHAPEABLE pre-nerf Solid Fog in any area with at least grass on the ground. This is a banned spell in one of my previous campaigns.

More nitpicks later.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2009, 01:38:50 PM by A Man In Black » Logged
Viletta Vadim
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2009, 02:54:42 PM »

Reincarnate: This spell deserves special mention as a path to immortality.  Cast Reincarnate on someone very old, and they have a bright, shiny new body.  This can be a useful (if circumstantial) bargaining chip with aging NPCs.  They even keep their age bonuses to mental stats while losing the age penalties to physical stats.  And even if you're reincarnated into a race with mental stat penalties, they don't come into play.  If you really want to tick off your DM, make your team's venerable elf Wizard's first move be to commit suicide in order to reincarnate into a new body.  Team up with the party Cleric to add Restoration to the mix.  3,000g for +3 to all mental stats isn't a bad deal.  Particularly if they come back as something with better physical stat mods like, say, a bugbear.

Control Winds: Even for an SotB build, I'd at least give this spell an orange for its raw power.  It can pretty much destroy entire towns ("destroy wooden buildings) at CL12 or better.  Sure, you're probably not going to need to destroy towns very often, but the fact that you have "destroy towns" on your spell list is of such immense power that it really warrants mention even if only as an incidental.

Antilife Shell: Not really relevant to the guide, though a fun little blurb.  A trick for a mixed Pathfinder/3.5 game; have an Arcane Archer take Arcane Disciple: Animal to get Antilife Shell, then imbue it in your arrows.  Shoot allies to encase them in protective bubbles.

Fire Seeds: Give them to the Rogue!  A potion-throwing Rogue who normally dual-wields alchemist's fire and acid vials to get off sneak attacks would be thrilled to have a few acorns and dish out 11d4+6d6 instead of 7d6.  Also, it links to Finger of Death.

Spellstaff: It links to Spell Turning.
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Treantmonklvl20
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2009, 04:19:29 PM »

you should probably write Pathfinder somewhere

Thanks.  This is what I get for posting before my morning coffee.
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Treantmonklvl20
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2009, 04:36:36 PM »

Plant Growth is super Solid Fog as long as there's some sort of plants. That's not junk

Never called it junk.  Just called it out for having the "plants" requirement, which is common amongst many Druid spells.

And it's not "some sort of plants", it's "Plants that must include both brush and trees" turning it from somewhat circumstantial to wildy so.

My exact wording is, "Potentially useful in extremely unlikely circumstances."  I never use the word "junk"
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Treantmonklvl20
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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2009, 04:38:27 PM »

Reincarnate: This spell deserves special mention as a path to immortality.  Cast Reincarnate on someone very old, and they have a bright, shiny new body.  This can be a useful (if circumstantial) bargaining chip with aging NPCs.  They even keep their age bonuses to mental stats while losing the age penalties to physical stats.  And even if you're reincarnated into a race with mental stat penalties, they don't come into play.  If you really want to tick off your DM, make your team's venerable elf Wizard's first move be to commit suicide in order to reincarnate into a new body.  Team up with the party Cleric to add Restoration to the mix.  3,000g for +3 to all mental stats isn't a bad deal.  Particularly if they come back as something with better physical stat mods like, say, a bugbear.

I agree its worthy of mention for the immortality factor.  The trick I'll leave out though, because that's not the style of optimization I suggest.  I tend to avoid strategy suggestions that make you feel like you need to shower.  Smirk

Quote
Control Winds: Even for an SotB build, I'd at least give this spell an orange for its raw power.  It can pretty much destroy entire towns ("destroy wooden buildings) at CL12 or better.  Sure, you're probably not going to need to destroy towns very often, but the fact that you have "destroy towns" on your spell list is of such immense power that it really warrants mention even if only as an incidental.

Interesting thing is they may destroy all the buildings, but chances are they won't hurt many of the populace due to crappy DC's. 

I see your point, but I also agree that you're probably not going to need to destroy towns very often.  Also, if you can turn into a T-Rex, you have a couple ways to destroy the town, the fast way, or the fun way.  RAWR!

Quote
Antilife Shell: Not really relevant to the guide, though a fun little blurb.  A trick for a mixed Pathfinder/3.5 game; have an Arcane Archer take Arcane Disciple: Animal to get Antilife Shell, then imbue it in your arrows.  Shoot allies to encase them in protective bubbles.

Imbue arrow is fun...I believe there was actually a gleemax thread devoted to the spells you could imbue.  I suppose it's eaten now by the Gleemax brain.

Quote
Fire Seeds: Give them to the Rogue!  A potion-throwing Rogue who normally dual-wields alchemist's fire and acid vials to get off sneak attacks would be thrilled to have a few acorns and dish out 11d4+6d6 instead of 7d6.  Also, it links to Finger of Death.

Are potion throwing rogues common?  Isn't it generally difficult to make sneak attack stick with a ranged attack?  Forgive me my rogue ineptness.

Also, explain "links to" please.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2009, 04:49:11 PM by Treantmonklvl20 » Logged

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A Man In Black
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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2009, 06:22:24 PM »

Never called it junk.  Just called it out for having the "plants" requirement, which is common amongst many Druid spells.

And it's not "some sort of plants", it's "Plants that must include both brush and trees" turning it from somewhat circumstantial to wildy so.

My exact wording is, "Potentially useful in extremely unlikely circumstances."  I never use the word "junk"

Quote from: Plant Growth
Overgrowth: This effect causes normal vegetation (grasses, briars, bushes, creepers, thistles, trees, vines, and so on) within long range (400 feet + 40 feet per caster level) to become thick and overgrown.

Quote from: You
Potentially useful in extremely unlikely circumstances.

Quote from: Also you, referring to green-background spells
I am NOT recommending any of these spells in most campaigns (If you are in an animal/plant centered campaign it may be different).

It's a Just Plain Win fight any time you're outside and not in the desert or in the middle of downtown. That happens all the time and not just in "animal/plant-centered games. When there's any grass at all, you can cast super-charged shapeable huge AOE Solid Fog. You don't think AOE Lose No Save any time you're outside is "potentially useful"? You don't think being somewhere where there's grass is "extremely unlikely circumstances"?

This is a spell so far past effective that it's into broken.


Quote
I see your point, but I also agree that you're probably not going to need to destroy towns very often.  Also, if you can turn into a T-Rex, you have a couple ways to destroy the town, the fast way, or the fun way.  RAWR!

Sadly not. You probably can't make the break DCs.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2009, 06:24:26 PM by A Man In Black » Logged
Treantmonklvl20
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« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2009, 06:51:49 PM »

You reading the bolded part differently from me?

Quote
Plant Growth
School transmutation; Level druid 3, ranger 3

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S, DF

Range see text

Target or Area see text

Duration instantaneous

Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

Plant growth has different effects depending on the version chosen.

Overgrowth: This effect causes normal vegetation (grasses, briars, bushes, creepers, thistles, trees, vines, and so on) within long range (400 feet + 40 feet per caster level) to become thick and overgrown. The plants entwine to form a thicket or jungle that creatures must hack or force a way through. Speed drops to 5 feet, or 10 feet for Large or larger creatures. The area must have brush and trees in it for this spell to take effect. If this spell is cast on an area that is already affected by any spell or effect that enhances plants, such as entangle or wall of thorns, any DC involved with these spells is increased by 4. This bonus is granted for 1 day after the casting of plant growth.

At your option, the area can be a 100-foot-radius circle, a 150-foot-radius semicircle, or a 200-foot-radius quarter circle.

You may designate places within the area that are not affected.

Enrichment: This effect targets plants within a range of a half-mile, raising their potential productivity over the course of the next year to one-third above normal.

Plant growth counters diminish plants.

This spell has no effect on plant creatures.

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Viletta Vadim
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« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2009, 08:28:08 PM »

I see your point, but I also agree that you're probably not going to need to destroy towns very often.  Also, if you can turn into a T-Rex, you have a couple ways to destroy the town, the fast way, or the fun way.  RAWR!
Doing it swiftly via Control Winds is a good way of saying, "You people just aren't worth my time, so I'm just gonna destroy your lives and your livelihood on my way out of town."  A real nice way to exercise that godly naturemancy Druids are supposed to have.  It just screams angry Druid.
Are potion throwing rogues common?  Isn't it generally difficult to make sneak attack stick with a ranged attack?  Forgive me my rogue ineptness.
Rogues specifically designed to be potion-throwers are less common than flat throwing Rogues, though in my experience, those aren't rare and can easily shunt over to potion-throwing.  All you need, really, are dual-wield feats and Quick Draw; the ranged feats are just gravy after that.  And really, all you need for a basic thrower is Quick Draw; a high-level Rogue with Haste up can throw all four berries in a single round anyways.

It is harder to sneak attack at range, and generally requires some support to manage reliably, but it's not so unreasonable as to be untenable.  You can't flank to get the sneak attacks, but if the enemy's denied their Dex bonus and you're within 30' (which you probably will be if you're a thrower; your range still sucks), then you get your sneak attack.  Standard methods for flat-footing people include Grease, Improved Invisibility, and winning initiative.
Also, explain "links to" please.
Meaning, when I scroll down to Fire Seeds or Spellstaff in the guide, and I click the link, it takes me to Finger of Death or Spell Turning instead.
Never called it junk.  Just called it out for having the "plants" requirement, which is common amongst many Druid spells.

And it's not "some sort of plants", it's "Plants that must include both brush and trees" turning it from somewhat circumstantial to wildy so.

My exact wording is, "Potentially useful in extremely unlikely circumstances."  I never use the word "junk"
You are being overly hard on the spell.  Yes, there's a requirement of trees and brush, but that's not exactly an unpredictable event.  You know when you're heading into the orc forest that there's liable to be a lot of trees and brush hanging around, after all.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2009, 08:31:42 PM by Viletta Vadim » Logged
Treantmonklvl20
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« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2009, 08:58:01 PM »

Quote
It just screams angry Druid.

I agree with your evaluation of the visuals.  You do understand why I'm not eager to change the spell rating just in case you may want to destroy a small town though right?

Quote
Standard methods for flat-footing people include Grease, Improved Invisibility, and winning initiative.

The grease method doesn't work so hard in Pathfinder, unless you use a readied action.  I guess I'm just used to flanking rogues.  I'm getting the impression that more rogues attack at range than I'm used to.

Quote
Meaning, when I scroll down to Fire Seeds or Spellstaff in the guide, and I click the link, it takes me to Finger of Death or Spell Turning instead.

Ahhh...I see.  I'll fix that up.

Quote
You are being overly hard on the spell.  Yes, there's a requirement of trees and brush, but that's not exactly an unpredictable event.  You know when you're heading into the orc forest that there's liable to be a lot of trees and brush hanging around, after all.

I really don't get how I'm being hard on this spell.  I've qualified it as circumstantial (which it is) and said in the right circumstances it's potentially useful...how's that being overly hard?  Because I'm pointing out it is circumstantial?

Or have I been too unclear on what the green highlighting means?  Does it seem to be the same as rating red?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2009, 09:00:27 PM by Treantmonklvl20 » Logged

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bearsarebrown
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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2009, 08:58:51 PM »

I see your point, but I also agree that you're probably not going to need to destroy towns very often.  Also, if you can turn into a T-Rex, you have a couple ways to destroy the town, the fast way, or the fun way.  RAWR!
Doing it swiftly via Control Winds is a good way of saying, "You people just aren't worth my time, so I'm just gonna destroy your lives and your livelihood on my way out of town."  A real nice way to exercise that godly naturemancy Druids are supposed to have.  It just screams angry Druid.

extraordinary spell aim makes it better too. one of the best spells out there for intimidation.
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Viletta Vadim
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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2009, 09:14:24 PM »

I agree with your evaluation of the visuals.  You do understand why I'm not eager to change the spell rating just in case you may want to destroy a small town though right?
I think the amount of raw destructive power Control Winds can bring to bear is sufficient to promote it to orange.  Destroy towns, annihilate ships.  Yes, it's situational, but its sheer might is simply immense when those situations arise.
I really don't get how I'm being hard on this spell.  I've qualified it as circumstantial (which it is) and said in the right circumstances it's potentially useful...how's that being overly hard?  Because I'm pointing out it is circumstantial?
It's mostly that, "Potentially useful in extremely unlikely circumstances," which just trivializes its effect.  Lightly wooded wilderness isn't exactly rare.  In fact, for many campaigns, a great deal of the action takes place in lightly wooded wilderness.  And in these fairly common and rather predictable circumstances, it is a tremendously powerful spell; reduce everything in a 200' quarter circle to 5' speed in a fairly common terrain type?  Awesome.  Its effect definitely deserves greater mention than, "Potentially useful in extremely unlikely circumstances."
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Treantmonklvl20
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« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2009, 08:09:07 AM »

I agree with your evaluation of the visuals.  You do understand why I'm not eager to change the spell rating just in case you may want to destroy a small town though right?
I think the amount of raw destructive power Control Winds can bring to bear is sufficient to promote it to orange.  Destroy towns, annihilate ships.  Yes, it's situational, but its sheer might is simply immense when those situations arise.
I really don't get how I'm being hard on this spell.  I've qualified it as circumstantial (which it is) and said in the right circumstances it's potentially useful...how's that being overly hard?  Because I'm pointing out it is circumstantial?
It's mostly that, "Potentially useful in extremely unlikely circumstances," which just trivializes its effect.  Lightly wooded wilderness isn't exactly rare.  In fact, for many campaigns, a great deal of the action takes place in lightly wooded wilderness.  And in these fairly common and rather predictable circumstances, it is a tremendously powerful spell; reduce everything in a 200' quarter circle to 5' speed in a fairly common terrain type?  Awesome.  Its effect definitely deserves greater mention than, "Potentially useful in extremely unlikely circumstances."

I'll consider control wind.  In the meantime I've changed the wording of Plant Growth to make it more clear when and how it is to be used.  Links are fixed too.  Thanks!
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Treantmonklvl20
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« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2009, 01:31:12 PM »

I've re-evaluated Control Winds and have changed the ratings for both Druid builds:

Wild Mystic: Went with blue over green.  I think I wasn't considering the AoE closely enough in my original rating.  I think a Wild Mystic should probably memorize this on a regular basis.  You are not only stopping missile attacks - but you are controlling the battlefield as well.  It grants a save, but it's a mass save.

Spirit of the Beast: I've gone with Orange over Red.  I don't think the Spirit of the Beast is going to get a lot of use from this spell, simply because of lousy save DC's.  Using it as a giant wind wall however will be occassionally effective, as will be the effect on structures/trees and the like.  Situationally useful.
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DerWille
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« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2009, 02:43:07 PM »

A friend showed me this article a few days ago
http://it.slashdot.org/story/09/12/01/1419238/The-Cloud-Ate-My-Homework?from=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Slashdot%2Fslashdot+%28Slashdot%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

 Do you have back up copies of your google docs? Might want to just in case.
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EvilBloodGnome
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« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2010, 10:22:17 PM »

One thing to note about the animal companion. There's a feat from the Curse of the Crimson Throne Player's Guide (a PDF freely available from the Paizo site) that adds some juujuu to it by offering you a pretty badass mount and companion in one go.

The feat's called Sable Company Marine. Prerequisite of a 4th level ranger, which is when you get your companion anyways. It nets you a hippogriff as your animal companion and you get +2 to Ride checks with it as well as a +2 to fear effects as long as you're within 20 feet of your 'griff.

Flying mounts are pretty sweet and getting one as a regular mount can be a pain, but the feat gives you a solid companion along with a flier. Great for mounted combat and archery builds.
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