Druids

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Vaemar
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Druids

Post by Vaemar » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:23 pm

A few proposals for druids to make them more balanced among themselves and with other classes. These are not based on tabletop but on how the game works, since the differences with tabletop can be kind of big. In particular, spontaneous casting in tabletop uses summon spells, and this is not applicable here, and the spells, in general, do have some differences.

Track and slice: currently druids of Malar and Mielikki get these skills, while Chaunteans do not (and do not get anything else). This despite the fact that Chauntea can very well also accept hunt along with agriculture, in particular in wilder societies and more archaic versions of her cult, like the one practised on the Moonshae (which is quite popular among Chauntean PCs). Besides, those two skills could also be employed in agricultural setting, for example tracking creatures who move within cultivated fields, or slicing the meat of cattle bred in farms. More in general there is no justification in druids having different skillsets, as, unlike clerics, they do not get domains that can justify such differences. Hence I propose to add track and slice to Chaunteans, and let them decide if and how to use them.

Eagles splendor: currently druids get mass eagles but not eagles splendor. I believe this was caused by an oversight after a spell list rearrangement. For consistency they should either have both or neither. Since giving is better than taking away, and druids have not a very rich spell list anyway, I propose to (re)add normal eagles splendor to their list.

Cause spells: Malarites cannot really use spontaneous casting at all right now. Being evil they cast spontaneously only cause spells, but the only cause spell druids get is cause minor, which is hardly a meaningful spell to spontaneously cast. I see in general two ways to solve this: a) let Malarites cast spontaneously cure spells, even if they are evil (but I fear this requires hard code) b) add cause spells to the druid spell list, or at least just to that of Malarites (but assign them with the level corresponding to the cure spells, so cause moderate as 3rd level spell, instead of 2nd, so that they will use spontaneous casting in a less effective way than an evil cleric).

Polymorph: this is for druid a level 9 spell, but it does not work differently from the fourth level spell. In tabletop druids get a very powerful polymorph spell (shapechange) at that spell level, which has a much higher functionality than the wizard's 4th level spell. But here we are talking of exactly the same spell, with many bad consequences, as inability to extend it. I propose to lower it to at least 7th level, since it is not on par with other spells of 9th level (it should be actually on par with stone skin, which wizards receive at the same spell level of polymorph, 4th, and druids get in the 5th spell level).

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Re: Druids

Post by Yemin » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:09 pm

What weapon proficiencies do druids get here?
I trained up double-edged bananas because the uber-plantain of doom I scored from the beehive quest was the best weapon in the game. Now it's being treated like a bug and they have gimped its damage! That's not fair! My character is ruined!

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Re: Druids

Post by Vaemar » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:57 pm

Code: Select all

Weapons for Druids of Chauntea:
brawling       (Str,Dex)   apprentice chains         (Str,Dex)        inept 
clubs          (Str,Dex)        inept crossbows      (Str,Dex)( 1)not known 
mounted polear (Str,Dex)( 1)not known polearms       (Str,Dex)        inept 
shieldwork     (Str,Dex)   apprentice short blades   (Str,Dex)   journeyman 
short spikes   (Str,Dex)        inept single-edged b (Str,Dex)   apprentice 
slings         (Str,Dex)( 1)not known staves         (Str,Dex)   apprentice 
thrown project (Str,Dex)   apprentice 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nothing really weird or particularly different from tabletop. I am not aware of any difference between the various guilds.

These are the weapon proficiencies from srd:
Druids are proficient with the following weapons: club, dagger, dart, quarterstaff, scimitar, sickle, shortspear, sling, and spear. They are also proficient with all natural attacks (claw, bite, and so forth) of any form they assume with wild shape.
It seems fairly consistent with what they get here, with perhaps a few additions, due to the fact we use a different proficiency and class system. In comparison to unguilded cleric there are only shieldwork and single-edged blades of note.

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Re: Druids

Post by Yemin » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:19 am

Indeed, I was mostly curious, never having played one.

As to your original post, I believe moving skill / spell lists around a the very least doesn't require hard code, going by how quickly bards got brew / scribe added to their list even though they are not able to use them. So hopefully we'll see some imrpovements here as well.

So far I have no reasons to dispute the suggestions here and am supportive of them.
I trained up double-edged bananas because the uber-plantain of doom I scored from the beehive quest was the best weapon in the game. Now it's being treated like a bug and they have gimped its damage! That's not fair! My character is ruined!

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Re: Druids

Post by Vaemar » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:30 pm

Thanks, Yemin. :)

The first and the second are objectively minor, as druids already get find the path and mass eagles. Polymorph is quality of life, but in essence, it is a spell they already have. Spontaneous casting for Malarites may be the most aggressive proposal of the four, but it is also the most important one, in my humble opinion, since it is quite bad that Malarite druids are the only priestly class that cannot benefit from spontaneous casting.

About the cause spells, I had in mind this distribution:
0 cause minor (already in the list)
1 cause light
2 (nothing)
3 cause moderate
4 cause serious
5 cause critical
6 mass cause light
7 mass cause moderate, harm
8 mass cause serious
9 mass cause critical

Which matches the distribution of the cure spells in the druid spell list.

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Re: Druids

Post by Zorinar » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:03 am

I don't believe that any Druids get Spontaneous casting.
Druids are so bad on FK, along with Rangers, that ignoring them only hurts the game. They are not finished classes, and are certainly not balanced by any means.

Druids need some love in various places, for example:
1) Druids really need all their spells in game, and accessable. One shouldn't have to beg a Talos priest to get call lightning storm for, example. Druids are not supposed to horde money, they should not have to pay insane amounts for their abilities as well.

2) Druids should not have to butcher 1000 animals just to get slice up to a decent working level.

3) Druid spells like Call lightning and thorn spray are so ridiculously weak that a 12 str weapon hit seems just as effective, if not more. Their Damage spells need a bit of buffing.

4) Shapechange is a joke. The duration is so short, and the forms are so weak for a druid that shapechange is for show more than anything else. (A short and boring show) It is ability not a spell, so its power should be based on either, Favor, or character level. A 5/day ability cannot be grinded. Forms should be stronger, Bear, Treant, and Elementals and so on should be available at a reasonable power level. Don't forget this cannot really be grinded. Shapechange is a COMBAT ability for Druids in DnD. They can even CAST SPELLS in this shape with feats.

5) Animal Companion. At least give druids a spell for this. After all, they do get magic fang and Heal Animal Companion spells, yet... no decent companions. The current options are sold from vendors, and some of them will die in a fight with a road bandit. They also don't have endurance for walking. DnD animal companions are special, stronger than normal animals.

6) 3.5 Druids solve for the terrible AC with IRONWOOD armor, including Fullplate ironwood. Its a spell (shape wood, or Turn metal into wood, and then Ironwood), they can make it themselves. Lighter and just as strong as steel. At least, have someone that sells this to druids. Their terrible spells, terrible companions and terrible combat abilities are only further insulted with terrible AC.

7) Shapechange animals seem blind in darkness. Should probably look into that.

8) Summoning. Druids Main combat abilities derive from animal summoning, Mages already are getting basic spells, why aren't Druids? Druids also get Treant, Shambler and Elemental summoning in DnD. Strong creatures, because Druids are summoners by design.

9) Dragonskin and Barkskin Overlap. Druids get both, yet Dragonskin does Barkskin + more.

I don't believe that Dragonskin is a 3.5 spell. Right now Dragonskin does Nat AC and elemental Resistance. Barkskin is just Nat AC bonus.
I know this is going to make casters cringe, but Dragonskin should really probably be downgraded across all classes to just elemental resistance, (Don't throw stones at me!!! You know it is true) and it should lose the Nat armor bonus.

Anyway, Druids are a mess. Rangers (I'm told) are a total mess and I'm told that Bards are a mess.
They all need fixing.
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Re: Druids

Post by Yemin » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:56 am

Fortunately or unfortunately, dragonskin is a DND spell

http://dnd.arkalseif.info/spells/dracon ... kin--1036/

It isn't a group spell though as the target is only supposed to be you and ranged personal.

A thing which brewing makes kind of a non limitation but thats another topic.
Whether Dragonskin should be in the game is also another topic, My short answer is It probably should stay since this game as a whole is short on the other ways that PCs get their AC to compete with +25 and above attack rolls from mobs.

Does call lightning currently do the whole continuous blasts in game? On table it in reality doesn't actually do that much damage per hit.

3d6 per hit, or 3d10 if under a stormy weather effect, average damage being 10 and 16 respectively. Even ont able I think magic missile can do more than this reliably at a high level.

I believe the spell's damage is correct but the health boost of the game is hurting them more than it hurts wizards.

In anycase there are a bunch of issues here that need to be looked at as a whole. Druids are supposed to be able to spontaneous cast summon nature's ally spells far as I know. Not cure or cause . But either would be an improvement.

I also like Path fidner's option to have them pick an elemental domain rather than have an animal companion, it gives them a few abilities int he stead of dealing with ltos of critters they have to take care off.

Code: Select all

Nature Bond (Ex): At 1st level, a druid forms a bond with nature. This bond can take one of two forms. The first is a close tie to the natural world, granting the druid one of the following cleric domains: Air, Animal, Earth, Fire, Plant, Water, or Weather. When determining the powers and bonus spells granted by this domain, the druid's effective cleric level is equal to her druid level. A druid that selects this option also receives additional domain spell slots, just like a cleric. She must prepare the spell from her domain in this slot and this spell cannot be used to cast a spell spontaneously.
The second option is to form a close bond with an animal companion. A druid may begin play with any of the animals listed in Animal Choices. This animal is a loyal companion that accompanies the druid on her adventures.
Unlike normal animals of its kind, an animal companion's Hit Dice, abilities, skills, and feats advance as the druid advances in level. If a character receives an animal companion from more than one source, her effective druid levels stack for the purposes of determining the statistics and abilities of the companion. Most animal companions increase in size when their druid reaches 4th or 7th level, depending on the companion. 
Again, this is path finder, but I think its pretty cool.

Air domain for example:

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Granted Powers: You can manipulate lightning, mist, and wind, traffic with air creatures, and are resistant to electricity damage.
Lightning Arc (Sp): As a standard action, you can unleash an arc of electricity targeting any foe within 30 feet as a ranged touch attack. This arc of electricity deals 1d6 points of electricity damage + 1 point for every two cleric levels you possess. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.
Electricity Resistance (Ex): At 6th level, you gain resist electricity 10. This resistance increases to 20 at 12th level. At 20th level, you gain immunity to electricity.
Domain Spells: 1st—obscuring mist, 2nd—wind wall, 3rd—gaseous form, 4th—air walk, 5th—control winds, 6th—chain lightning, 7th—elemental body IV (air only), 8th—whirlwind, 9th—elemental swarm (air spell only).
I trained up double-edged bananas because the uber-plantain of doom I scored from the beehive quest was the best weapon in the game. Now it's being treated like a bug and they have gimped its damage! That's not fair! My character is ruined!

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Re: Druids

Post by Vaemar » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:13 pm

Zorinar wrote:I don't believe that any Druids get Spontaneous casting.
I am sorry (well happy) to break it out to you, but good and neutral aligned druids can spontaneously cast cure spells in a similar way clerics of the same alignments do. :P

1) Malarite druids have no problems to learn spells from Umberlant or Talossan priests, since Malar is one of the Furies. This is merely a problem of trainer availability for "goodie" druids. Malarites have a much worse plight in this regard, namely they do not have a shapechange trainer in game, as far as I know.

2) to 5) Agreed.

6) There is wooden armor in game.

7) Many animals have low-light vision, so in darkness they may not see well.

8 ) Druids do get conjure elemental and conjure greater elemental in FK, and they are pretty reliable summons from what I have seen.

9) As for dragonskin it is a 3.5 spell published in the Draconomicon and it works comparably to barkskin (i.e. max ac +5). The only difference is that the dragonskin algorithm does not consider skill level for the purpose of ac bonus, so it is way easier to get +5 ac with dragonskin than with barkskin. Personally I would make barkskin work the same way, but it's hard code.

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Re: Druids

Post by Areia » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:51 pm

Wow, everything about druids, rangers, and bards is all a huge terrible mess. Shame, shame on those folks who spent all that time and effort making completely useless things for us to not have fun with.

Good thing I've actually played one of them to know that my ranger could handle himself against most PC fighters, to say nothing of his ability in PvE. I think it can be helpful to make targeted suggestions about how to make things better (see the original post in this thread for instance), but not so helpful to say essentialy, "This, as well as a ton of other things completely unrelated, are utter crap and should just be thrown away because terrible." as if the people who put so much effort into these things don't read the forums or are impervious to being hurt because all that work they did is... just a mess.

Aaaanyway, to answer the original post.

Track and slice: I would imagine the reason Chaunteans don't get these is because when it was made, Chauntea was invisioned to be RP'd a certain way, that being the farmer/agricultural/peaceful sort of Chauntean that is most common on Faerun (e.g., Oengus), as opposed to the more, as you say, arcaic hunter-style cults of Jannath (e.g., Petal). That a lot of people seem to choose to play a more "wild" sort of Chauntean might not have been intended originally. Sort of how Sune wasn't intended to be RP'd like Sharris, etc. Personally in FK, when I think "chauntea", what also comes immediately to mind is "Eldath", and it's a jarring surprise whenever I run into a Chauntean essentially made and ready for war. That's not to say I don't think they're legitimate RP paths, just that it's less than expected in our present world. If this is the case, I can understand why it was chosen to deny Chaunteans track and slice. Wild Chaunteans could always app to have one or both of those skills added to their skill list, though.

Eagle's splendor: This one doesn't sound odd for a druid to be casting to me. I wouldn't mind their getting the single-target version for use with handle animal etc.

Spontaneous casting: My immediate reaction to this suggestion was positive, but after putting some thought into it, I think it would be wrong to give Malarites (or any druid, for that matter) the cause spells and harm for a couple reasons. First, druids aren't meant to be dealing damage primarily. Both in D&D and FK, their spells and skills grant them a more supporting role, either healing, buffing, summoning allies, or some blend of those. IC it would be odd to me even for a Malarite druid to be casting harm and the like. Second, adding these spells now isn't the fix anyone really wants. What druids want ultimately is to summon natural allies. Why fix the lack of the summon spells by adding something that will later need to be removed anyway, especially when their removal will invariably cause complaint because no one ever likes having even the most minor things taken away? In short, I'm not in favor of making temporary half-fixes that ultimately will only increase the work needed to fix the original issue. (As an aside, that Mielikkian and Chauntean druids can spontaneously cure is... no less strange than a Malarite spontaneously causing. If I thought it could be done easily which I don't, I'd actually suggest that be removed.)

Polymorph: I don't know enough about druids and shapechange and polymorph to speak to that suggestion, other than its being something druid players have long bemoaned.
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Re: Druids

Post by Vaemar » Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:24 pm

Areia wrote:If this is the case, I can understand why it was chosen to deny Chaunteans track and slice. Wild Chaunteans could always app to have one or both of those skills added to their skill list, though.
A 100 glory tax to have a Chauntean druid work the same as other druids? It is unfair to say the least, especially when I pointed out clearly, and I saw in real life as I am a country boy myself, that these skills have an application in a farming society. If a Chauntean wants to play the vegetarian, as some rangers do, they are free not to use the skills, the same way a bard is free not to use sneak and hide if their rp does not allow that, but they are still interested in the class. With the same logic, since Chaunteans "eschew fire", they should not have ignite and fire-based spells. On the contrary they do receive fire-based spells, as do tabletop Chauntean druids. It is simply up to them to decide to use them, not to use them, or to use them sparsely. I don't see why this logic can be applied to flame blade, which is way more incompatible with the dogma, and not to slice, which is far more compatible with it.

We should be very aware that Chauntea, in tabletop, has both priests and druids. For her priests it may make sense that they do not have druid abilities or do not cast fire spells, as in fact it is the case in tabletop. But in this game all Chaunteans are druids, and hence they should be treated as druids, not as some kind of lesser druids.

In short, I'm not in favor of making temporary half-fixes that ultimately will only increase the work needed to fix the original issue. (As an aside, that Mielikkian and Chauntean druids can spontaneously cure is... no less strange than a Malarite spontaneously causing. If I thought it could be done easily which I don't, I'd actually suggest that be removed.)
Have you got any proposal to fix the disadvantage Malarites have which is feasible in a reasonable timeframe? Personally I am not particularly passionate about druids having cause spells, but it is the only fix that seems reasonably achievable I could think of. If you have any other realistic solutions, and by realistic I mean independent from hardcode, you are very welcome to share them.

As for druids having spontaneous cast of cure spells, I personally find it decent and it may have sense as our house rule. They already get cure spells at delayed levels, so they cannot cast them with the same effectiveness of a priest. It may not be as druids work in tabletop, but it works well in our game, and so it is fine by me. What is not fine is that Malarites are the only priestly class barred from spontaneous casting and I believe this should be fixed.

Last but not least for what concerns druids being not meant to deal damage, I don't really see why this should be the case. In other DnD-based games I have seen druids providing a decent direct contribution to battle, by using either some of their spells or shapechange. Moreover cause spells are *not* a good way to deal damage, except maybe for harm, since most of the time you can deal the same damage with an attack and spare the spell slot. But if you have reason to believe druids do not deal enough damage on FK, then, from my point of view, this is actually a very good reason to give them some extra bite.

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Re: Druids

Post by Yemin » Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:59 pm

As an aside, Areia, I believe all the criticism thus far has been constructive. I don't think anyone here is complaining for complaining's sake with the intention to say that everything is bad and the original makers should not have bothered.

As to the comment as to what druids are supposed to be able and do, at least on table. A druid is probably the next best damage dealer next to the fighter, I'd argue even more so on the table. Their variety of continuous spells causing damage every round ontop of their wild shape ends up making them pretty decent front liners if thats how the player wants to build their character. Or as you said they can fly around as a bird and with a couple of feats just drop an ice storm every round or som other support spell / supporting damage spell.

Regardless, on FK next to rogues and bards, they are probably missing the most features on that list.

And as to track and slice, I can't say to the former but to the latter, what farmer doesn't know how to butcher the spring chick / cow / sheep in a medieval setting.

Lastly, if you consider that Chauntea's domain is farmers and agriculture and consider the dales for example. Almost everyone in the dales has picked up a spear at one point or another probably. The central heartlands are by far, not the most peaceful region on faerun with Zhent and Sembian incrochment. Malitia training that in some dales is mandatory for a number of months etc. And of course I don't believe any church with a paladin order can really be called passifistic.
I trained up double-edged bananas because the uber-plantain of doom I scored from the beehive quest was the best weapon in the game. Now it's being treated like a bug and they have gimped its damage! That's not fair! My character is ruined!

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Re: Druids

Post by Talos » Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:33 pm

In terms of area based features, what would be your top 5 choice implementations? A calm short list is always appreciated.
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Re: Druids

Post by Areia » Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:42 pm

Zorinar's post came off as a little... harsh in tone, but hey, I know first hand how easily tone can be mistaken. Sorry for jumping on that if it wasn't meant that way, Zorinar. :)

But ya, my experience with druids in tabletop and FK isn't too much. Never realized they could be such heavy hitters as it sounds they can be. I kinda wanna look into a tabletop druid now lol. That said, though, I'd still be reluctant to say they should get harm and cause, just because it's really not a replacement for summons, which should be the ultimate goal. In general, I would personally rather wait longer for a correct fix than see a small bandage thrown on things sooner, and I feel the same here, though I do understand why a temporary fix is desired. It's not very awesome that Malarites can't benefit from something other druids can. I don't think it's a bad idea, Vaemar, just one that might cause moderate wounds farther down the road for coders and players alike.

As far as track and slice go, you wouldn't hear me complain at all if Chaunteans were to get them. Only meant to offer a possible explanation for why it is as it is, and another possible means to attain them if it will remain that way. It's purely speculation, though; for all I know it was just something the coders missed. In that case I'd be all for them getting both.
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Re: Druids

Post by Vaemar » Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:45 pm

I had mande the original posts focusing mostly on skill lists, since they are the easiest mechanical solutions, as they can be altered via soft code, as it was the case for the (sadly broken) brew and scribe for bards or the lowering of the level rescue can be trained at for fighters. For what concerns area solutions, my priorities would be:

1) shapechange trainer for Malarites
2) trainers of offensive spells available to goodie druids, i.e. drown, ice storm, call lightning, etc.
3) shops with some seriously cool and effective animal companions and/or mounts
4) mundane ironwood heavy armor and ironwood tower shields (needed also by forest gnome fighters and priests)
5) greater availability of minor spells which are not easily accessible to all druids/rangers, like charm animal, for example.

Also, the class could be opened up a bit, the helpfile is a bit inaccurate concerning the races that can become druid. I have personally seen a tiefling and a goblin druid in game, both Malarites, and I was told by another player that he has a halforc Malarite druid. Personally I would open it up also to rock gnomes, deep gnomes and full-blood orcs.

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Re: Druids

Post by Hrosskell » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:03 pm

Vaemar wrote: 3) shops with some seriously cool and effective animal companions and/or mounts
While all of Vaemar's points were spectacular, I feel this one in particular would round out both rangers and druids. Currently there are not many worthy pets to take into battle, but this is one of their core mechanics in tabletop, and I feel it could really bring them back to a stable place. Having it gated by some IC test of devotion, skill and knowledge might be appropriate. This could even happen at points across their career by giving access to the graduating alternative lists from the SRD at the appropriate class level (and possibly even progression of handle animal). These creatures could then be accurately adjusted according to the Druid animal companion table without having to worry much about the creatures "leveling up" with the character.
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Re: Druids

Post by Jarngron » Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:44 am

1) Baleful Polymorph
2) Ironwood armor variant
3) Balancing Barkskin (stack AC?)
4) Shillelagh
5) Wall of Stone/Flames/Thorns/Wind
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Re: Druids

Post by Zorinar » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:08 pm

1) Availability of special animal companions.
2) Ironwood armours. Heavy.
3) Add trainers for all in game skilks and spells for all alignments of druids.
4) Add animal summoning spells of various levels
5) Enhance shapechange, increased duration and stronger forms.
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Re: Druids

Post by Hrosskell » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:59 pm

Area based, buds. Adding new spells/skills and (potentially) adjusting their effects fall outside of area code, I believe. Adding trainers is another one I'll second, though I have a feeling some are more available than you'd think.
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Re: Druids

Post by Vaemar » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:22 pm

Oh, for the record, summon monster 1 and monster summon are not even in the druid spell list.

I think this is due to the fact in tabletop druids use a different series of spells, summon nature's ally, but in practice here this means they cannot really summon anything but an elemental.

We could consider also adding the two above spells to their spell list, in my opinion.

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Re: Druids

Post by Harroghty » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:59 pm

Please give me a list of trainers required. I'll check it out and add as needed.
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