yeah, Woodling is the easier version of the template I was aiming for. Kin'O' the Green from Bastion Press's Alchemy and Herbalist. that template has 3 stages and at the end the character is a treant. ...
You could replicate the 3 stages by taking the Woodling LA+2 ~penalty earlier than ECL 8
then doing the first LA buy-off at level 8, and finishing the la buy-off at ECL 10.
But it's complicated exp math along the way = enough room to give trouble to inexperienced
players and experienced players who have a hard time with that math anyway.
If you can negotiate with the DM, take Woodling when the party reaches level 7.
Immediately do the first la buy-off, so you are 6 class levels + 1LA = you're the same
level as the rest of the party. Then do the second buy-off as normal, with various degrees
of ignoring the math weirdness from level 10 on up, you and your DM and the party all.
Do note: this is doing the first one a level early and the 2nd one rather sloppy.
...The party is large 6 people, no idea on there characters.
I only know one is going Vassal of Bahamut ...
While a Druid
-druid is fun and all, with the Tier 1 co
Dzilla snorty roarty ...
I'd bet most of your group (and DM) aren't necessarily looking to wreck all things.
Knee-capping a Druid might just bring it in line with the whole group.
Druid 5 + Totemist 2 in whatever order / Woodling with my 2nd example / Holt Warden X
almost certainly drops you down to Tier 3-ish and you still may have to pull punches.
No natural spell feat (I grate my teeth just writing that).
Greenbound summoning feat fits your fluff and
helps with the not going straight druid wreck face.
Have to stick with no in-combat healing routine though.
Scroll of Cure Light Wounds could be available or crafted = more than enough.