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  1. #1
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    3.5 Druids - what to do about them?

    the 3.5 druid seems to be the powergamers first choice. you even see the core 3.5 druid preferred to many builds using pretty much every splatbook under the sun. that does suggest they are horribly overpowered.

    what to do about it. well the core 3.0 druid wasn't that popular. but from core 3.0 to core 3.5:

    - better skill list
    - druid polymorphing is better - the shorter duration of the 4th level wizard spell in 3.5 may compensate for the other changes - e.g. CON changing hit points - but druids still get to stay in their polymorphed forms for 1 hour per level
    - the natural spell feat
    - wild armour

    what to change to make 3.5 druids balanced with the rest of the 3.5 core material?

    Option 1: get rid of the wild armour property

    Argument: allows a druid in animal form to get a ridiculous AC

    Option 2: getting rid of the natural spell feat

    Argument: in a polymorphed form a druid is maybe comparable to a fighter in melee - better raw damage but fewer feats/combat options. It's really the ability to switch between spells and combat that natural spell provides, or to combine them with a touch attack spell that's too much

    Option 3: get rid of the animal companion once a druid can wild shape.

    Argument: animal companions slow the game down with their extra actions. getting rid of them speeds up the game and powers down the druid. since a druid can change into the same form as most of his possible animal companions, the party still has access to the same range of special abilities.

    Option 4: town down polymorph e.g. changing CON doesn't boost hit points, limit the gaining of extraordinary abilities such as pounce, maybe limit the increase in physical stats as a function of the druid's level, and treat them as enhancement bonuses to limit staking

    my preference: Options 1 plus 3 plus 4 (I like the flavour of Natural spell) but interested in the experiences of those who have seen a mid to high level druid in action especially in a Core 3.5 game.

 

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    Ridiculous AC!? Ridiculously low, maybe, even with wild armor.

    Hmm... I actually have never had problems with druids in 3.5, they are certainly very good, but don't really seem overpowering to me. They seem about the same level as the other really good classes (i.e. barbarian and fighter at lower levels or cleric and wizard at higher levels).

    If anything, I would consider dropping Natural Spell, even though it is a nifty feat, flavor-wise, it really seems to be the biggest headache as well, if a druid is using it to full effect.

    Dropping the animal companion seems like a really bad idea to me.

    Toning down Polymorph (and thus Wildshape) could be an option, of course, it's a spell, that certainly can create some problems in a game.

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  • #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack
    the 3.5 druid seems to be the powergamers first choice. you even see the core 3.5 druid preferred to many builds using pretty much every splatbook under the sun.
    Context, my son. Context.

    The Smack-down Builds you've seen are not the same as actual druids seen in play. I've DMed two 3.5e druids, and I've written up several NPC druids for play; none have major balance issues.
    - Nail

    Last edited by Nail: Today....just a few minutes ago

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack
    Option 2: getting rid of the natural spell feat

    Argument: in a polymorphed form a druid is maybe comparable to a fighter in melee - better raw damage but fewer feats/combat options.
    You've got an error in here. Fighters do more damage than druids, given equal treatment and buffing. I've got some average damage per round per AC to back that up, if you wish.

    Once again, your problem is one of taking the class out of context with other, equally optimized, classes and PrCs.
    - Nail

    Last edited by Nail: Today....just a few minutes ago

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    not so easy to convince :)

    Thanee - when you say higher levl druids seem about the same as clerics and wxizards in your experience were they all core or are you comparing wizard plus splatbook prestige class to druid?

    Nail - i'd be interested in your comparisons e.g. a 7th level druid in brown bear form with produce flame active - so every attack gets d6+5 extra fire damage, plus his brown bear animal companion vs your 7th level fighter

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    Druids are fine...and fun to play

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack
    the 3.5 druid seems to be the powergamers first choice.
    Odd. The greatsword wielding, power attacking barbarian always seemed to be the powergamers first choice to me. The druid is pretty good at lots of things, but not as good at any one thing as a specialist in the field is (Clerics are better healers, wizards and sorcerers are better blasters, fighters and barbarians are better fighters). I'm curious as to what you feel is so "overpowered" about druids (Be sure to use 3.5 to 3.5 comparisons)?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack
    Thanee - when you say higher levl druids seem about the same as clerics and wxizards in your experience were they all core or are you comparing wizard plus splatbook prestige class to druid?
    Of course, all players have access to the same sources. We tend to use more core than non-core material, usually, tho some non-core is often used as well. Druids, like clerics, rarely pick up a PrC, of course, while wizards almost always do, but that's just the nature of the classes and it's one balancing factor for clerics and druids, that there are almost no good PrC choices for them.

    Nail - i'd be interested in your comparisons e.g. a 7th level druid in brown bear form with produce flame active - so every attack gets d6+5 extra fire damage, plus his brown bear animal companion vs your 7th level fighter
    Easy win for the fighter without even moving a finger against the cheating bastard.

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  • #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanee
    Ridiculous AC!? Ridiculously low, maybe, even with wild armor.
    Exactly. The wild quality cannot be found on a suit of armor worth less than 16000 gp, and even then it'll provide a +1 enhancement bonus on top of the armor bonus. This is hardly overpowered, and ought not be found in the hands of any character below 7th level at a minimum.

    The only games I've seen where druids were overpowered were games in which the DM was underachieving.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack
    Nail - i'd be interested in your comparisons e.g. a 7th level druid in brown bear form with produce flame active - so every attack gets d6+5 extra fire damage, plus his brown bear animal companion vs your 7th level fighter
    Produce flame can't be used in conjunction with a normal melee attack. It is a touch attack only.

    In a straight up fight, the druid loses on most fronts. He's got fewer hit points, a worse AC, lower BAB. The addition of the animal companion evens things out, and gives the druid the overall advantage, but an essentially normal brown bear also falls short in most fronts when compared to the fighter.

    So, basically, the druid gains the advantage by double-teaming the fighter and having time to prep with wild shape and spells.

    This makes the druid overpowered how?
    Last edited by Mark Chance; Monday, 18th July, 2005 at 10:17 PM.
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  • #10
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    8th level druid and rhino companion

    what do I feel is overpowered about druids?

    well in a recent 3.5 game a druid polymorphed into a rhino plus his rhino companion. one round they'd both charge - ouch. the next he'd cast flamestrike.

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