Druid build

Discussion in 'The Temple of Elemental Evil' started by cloudropis, Jun 7, 2019.

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  1. cloudropis

    cloudropis Member

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    I'm running a 7 man party of Paladin, Rogue, Cleric, Wizard, Barbarian, Ronald (2 levels in ranger, rest Cleric) and Meleny. Currently clearing the moathouse, party level being 3. I'm not sure howI want to build Meleny and I'd like some tips.

    First off, my Wizard is an Evocation favored wizard who's split between crowd control and damage dealing (early game, spells like sleep, grease, THL, web etc are so much more useful, I guess he'll put that favored school to use a bit later) and is the only arcane caster in my party. Paladin and Barbarian are my frontliners, and if I really need a third I can just use Elmo. This makes me think building Meleny as an offensive spellcaster is the best choice, as I don't really need another semi-tank and I'd be starving for offensive magic.

    1) What feats would you suggest?

    2) I'm reading a mastodontic PnP 3.5 guide that says there just aren't enough non-redundant feats to take in a build that focuses on just one side of the Druid (be it shapeshifting, spells, summoning or animal companion) and that it's preferrable to dip in all of them anyway. Is that true in ToEE? Even if I want to make one focused on offensive magic do you think I should take the good feats for the other features of the class as well? If so, which ones?

    3) Natural Spell. I see this described as the Druid feat. Same question applies: is it useful even though I inted to stick Meleny in the backline as a pure spellcaster? Is it worth to invest in wild shape feats anyway (which I admit sounds pretty cool as it replaces STR and DEX which are her worst stats)?

    4) Metamagic feats. Are they worth it? Which one would you suggest (this counts for Cleric and Wizard as well as I haven't looked into them yet)

    5) I already intend to take Craft Wondrous Items/Armor and Weapons/etc with my Wizard and Cleric, is there any benefit in taking them for my Druid as well?

    tl;dr I want to build Meleny as an offensive spellcaster backline Druid. Which feats would you suggest? Is it worth it to spread myself over the other class features like wild shape and summoning too? Are metamagic feats good? Do I need crafting feats if I already have Cleric and Wizard for those?
     
  2. florian1

    florian1 Established Member Supporter

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    For me the basics are: (1) Conjuration Focus + Augment Summoning to make your summons tougher; (2) Druids have many offensive evocation spells, so an Evocation Focus + maybe Greater Focus would be good for a back row blaster; (3) Spell penetration and greater spell penetration are useful as you get higher in level and begin to meet opponents who have spell resistance. If I had to drop any of those in order to focus on wild shape, I would probably drop the Evocation Focus feats, given that I would be relying on wild shape for melee combat. I usually don't use the animal companion, as it often makes moves that compromise my position, so I never use companion feats.

    As far as Crafting feats go, Druids can make some items that other classes cannot. Another benefit of a Crafting Druid is that the more crafters a party has, the more the experience costs of crafting can be shared.
     
  3. Endarire

    Endarire Ronald Rynnwrathi

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    Give everyone Improved Initiative. Anyone proficient with a reach weapon (meaning Monks, Druids, and Wizards only by multiclassing or taking a feat) is well-advised to take Combat Reflexes due to a variety of off-turn pokes.

    Wild Shape in ToEE prevents much of your equipment from mattering. If you have the stats for it (meaning 16+ STR & DEX in base form or thereabouts), you're better off enchanting a reach weapon and having someone enlarge you much of the time.

    +1 on craft feats, most notably Craft Wondrous.

    As Ronald's author, why take Ranger2 on Ronald? I'm quite curious since I never heard of anyone multiclassing him.
     
  4. cloudropis

    cloudropis Member

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    I'm using Meleny, so she would really benefit by the wild shape replacing stats as her own STR and DEX kinda suck. Either way, I found another ToEE specific druid discussion where I learned the all the wild shape shenanigans I read about don't apply to ToEE much, which makes sense considering I was looking at a PnP guide. Guess I'll go full caster + summons.

    Am I bad at looting or is the gold cost of crafting much bigger of a cockblock than EXP cost? I like the idea of having multiple crafters to split the EXP cost around, but they cost so much I can barely craft with my two primary crafters.

    I like Ronald as a secondary caster, since I already have my Cleric, but the main appeal for me was the longbow proficiency. AFAIK there are no ranger/archer companions and I'd rather not chargen another myself, so I chose to build him towards that. I considered a couple levels of fighter to get Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot early, but I preferred going Ranger for variety, favored enemy (as I heard a lot of the game is spent against bugbears) and Rapid Shot at level 2. This is just a dip, then I'll go with Cleric all the way through.
    Do you think this is a bad idea? First time playing 3.5 so I'm probably making suboptimal feat choices. Do you think an additional Ranger level just for Rapid Shot isn't worth it?
     
  5. Shiningted

    Shiningted I want my goat back Global Moderator

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    Favoured Enemy (Goblin) is definietly worth it for the bugbears imho, though millions disagree. But you are not the first person to give Ronald some ranger levels because of his bow, I am sure I have seen people mention that before.

    Note that while original ToEE brought very little to WildShape, I suspect this would have been a priority for Temple+ which I think you said you are using. Either way, Meleny is great. I usually give her a longspear, put her in the second rank and just let her miss all day.
     
  6. florian1

    florian1 Established Member Supporter

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    Re: looting. Take note that when you sell items to vendors, it matters who you sell your loot to. For example, the cabinet maker pays well for wooden items, but only half the price for non-wooden items. Also, you should have one PC who has Appraise as a class skill. The higher the Appraise skill gets, the more money you receive from shop keepers. The maximum useful skill level for Appraise is 19.
     
  7. Endarire

    Endarire Ronald Rynnwrathi

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    You can also buff a character's INT or/and skills to boost his Appraise modifier for mercantile purposes.
     
  8. florian1

    florian1 Established Member Supporter

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    I often hold on to very valuable items until my appraise value gets high enough to get close to full value.

    Fox's cunning and Heroism both boost Appraise.
     
  9. Nightcanon

    Nightcanon Garrulous Halfling

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    Compared to PnP Dnd, Druids in TOEE are very limited as to what they can wildshape into, and in my opinion, unless you have a very unusual party composition, there is probably something more useful you could be doing than changing into a bear and trying to fight on the front lines. Druids have a number of spells that give you a useful attack for several rounds in a row (Produce Flame, Call Lightning), have good summoning options, and in Spike Stones one of the best spells in the game. There won't be that many times that a party of 7 is able to get all of its members to the frontline even if it wants to, and with a Paladin, and Barbarian and two Clerics you have plenty of melee.
    Feat-wise, it's hard to go too wrong, since the power of a Druid is in her spellcasting, which you can change about on a daily basis. Spell focus: conj and Augment summoning are good early picks, and Craft wondrous item when available. Wild spell is worth it if only because you don't really need much else to be effective. I like Quickened spell best of the metamagic feats, since being able to cast two spells per turn is very helpful once you get high enough level to use it, while Extend spell is less so (most combats don't last so long that buffs wear off without it).
    Money is an issue early in the game, but once you are past the moathouse and into the temple proper it ceases to be an issue. My first big payday from selling mundane gear looted from the temple funds my first round of crafting, and by the time I have the levels to be able to craft what I want, I can afford it. Keeping your appraise skill maxed out helps, as does selling in the best places, but there's no shortage of cash.
    I wouldn't worry too much about multiclassing Ronald- Ranger fits his back story nicely- though obviously doing so delays his most powerful ability (casting). I once gave him several levels of Monk. There's a nice 'Easter Egg' if you get him up to Clr17, though.
     
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