Author Topic: Need help with character class choice due to template  (Read 416 times)

Offline Graymage

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Need help with character class choice due to template
« on: June 08, 2018, 09:59:46 PM »
Hello, long time lurker. Bit of a dilemma.  Soon in a upcoming us-as-ourselves campaign I will be playing my character which will start as a human then get the Woodling template. the DM is yanking the mind-affecting immunity to drop the LA to +2 and make it more tolerable with our group. The party is large 6 people, no idea on there characters.

I only know one is going Vassal of Bahamut.

So with a +2 LA do I go with Druid (Plant themed) Plant companion from Dragon Magazine going later into Holt Warden.

Or should I run a totemist?

Oh and the game is 3.5 and D&D rulebook along with Dragon Magazine.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2018, 10:02:27 PM by Graymage »

Offline Keldar

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Re: Need help with character class choice due to template
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2018, 03:18:28 PM »
Totemist suffers the two level loss far better than Druid does.   Essentia capacity is based on Character Level, not class or hit die, after all.  Looking at woodling, you'd want to skip wildshape either way to avoid losing out on much of its benefits.  The lack of plant melds does leave the theme weak.

Ranger is another descent thematic option.  Especially Mystic Ranger, which only needs 10 levels to get all its best toys.

Offline Graymage

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Re: Need help with character class choice due to template
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2018, 02:46:48 PM »
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.

I like totemist and know the system well enough to do well. Mystic Ranger sounds interesting though.

Offline Jackinthegreen

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Re: Need help with character class choice due to template
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2018, 10:51:49 PM »
Mystic Ranger is available in Dragon Mag 336 page 105.  It trades slower acquisition of Endurance, combat style feats, and Favored Enemy and an entire lack of the animal companion to gain 0 to 5th level spells, with the progression of 0 at 1st level, 1st level spells at 2nd level, then another level of spells each even level until 10th when it gets 5th level spells.

The 1st combat style feat is gained at 3rd level, then Endurance at 4th, then Improved Combat Style at 7th, and Combat Style Mastery at 12th.

Usually it's combined with the Shape-changing ACF from Unearthed Arcana page 58 (or the SRD) where you trade away your combat style feats to get Fast Movement like Barbarian as well as Wild Shape like Druid but only into small or medium creatures.

See also http://minmaxforum.com/index.php?topic=1543 for more details on combining it with the feat Sword of the Arcane Order in Champions of Valor and the Shooting Star substitution levels also in Champions of Valor.  Note that since Mystic Ranger trades away its animal companion it cannot get the 4th level Shooting Star sub level because that requires trading your animal companion as well.

Having the ability to use wizard spells is useful though it can be tedious to get going depending on what downtime you have to get hold of and decipher a spellbook, etc.

Or look at http://minmaxforum.com/index.php?topic=8732 for ACFs from the books and online and http://minmaxforum.com/index.php?topic=9028.0 for Dragon Mag ACFs.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 10:56:39 PM by Jackinthegreen »

Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Need help with character class choice due to template
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2018, 05:05:22 PM »
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.
Hence negotiate.



...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 coDzilla 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.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 05:08:51 PM by awaken_D_M_golem »
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Offline Graymage

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Re: Need help with character class choice due to template
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2018, 10:23:27 AM »
Oh and the DM has a plan for Summons, I think he is going with a percentile chance the Summon will not listen to me.

Also, we got 2 more people coming, 8 man party, Thankfully our group has been between 5-6 people for quite awhile so he has plenty of practice.

With a party that large, summons are going to be of no use. too many bodies on the table, that and one joked about a turn timer,

Overall concept is a Green Mage; I want the Druid spell list but don't care too much for being in Wild Shape, since if I want to go Wild Shape a lot, then I would build to maximize that aspect.

Hmm, Sidhe Scholar might help but that is leaning toward Fey, then if I wanted that type it is either Tree-friend (5 levels no casting) or Rimefire Witch (10 levels casting)

« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 10:33:12 AM by Graymage »

Offline Eldritch_Lord

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Re: Need help with character class choice due to template
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2018, 10:33:19 PM »
Overall concept is a Green Mage; I want the Druid spell list but don't care too much for being in Wild Shape, since if I want to go Wild Shape a lot, then I would build to maximize that aspect.

If you want druid casting and not the wild shape, spirit shaman might be a good option.  You cast from the druid list with more spells per day, and you "retrieve" a set of spells known each day and cast spontaneously from them so you mix the benefits of a prepared caster (pull out niche spells when you need them) and a spontaneous caster (don't need to choose how many copies of each spell you want to prep each day).  Then you get a grab bag of useful spirit-themed abilities, including Wild Empathy, blasting and warding against spirits (fey, elementals, and incorporeal undead, mostly), turning incorporeal, having your spirit concentrate on spells, and more.

You lose the plant companion with that option, but if you have a large party already then a companion might be a bit much, and if you really still want it you might be able to convince your DM to let you pick it up with Wild Cohort since it explicitly lets you pick up alternate/advanced animal companions with a penalty to your effective level.

Offline Graymage

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Re: Need help with character class choice due to template
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2018, 09:13:02 PM »
okay, did some research on Spirit shaman, overall good class. while the abilities are nice, might not be used a lot. Class feats are very few, even tracked down the ones in Dragon.

Lots of spells per day is a good thing, but the spells retrieved is a pain, 3 spells at most per spell level. That is going to hurt if out of 8 people there is only myself and maybe one other person running a caster.

Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: Need help with character class choice due to template
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2018, 10:59:07 PM »

So mentioned Fey might be a direction and since you're not after Summons so the SLAs of the Woodling Template are unhelpful and adding LA tax no one likes an alternative is probably a good way to try and go. Here are a few ideas.
Option A: Ask about level draining RHD away, Needlefolk is probably more applicable.
Option B: Ask about 3rd party, Sathoni are a +1LA Plant race with fleshed out with required soil/sun sustenance.
Option C: Go Fey? Savage Progression Feytouched, pick up the base traits and skip the level. Fey Type for +0 LA.


They already touched on Mystic Ranger & Shamen but as you figured out the Druid is the bread and butter of this area. Since you have no interest in WS through I'm not sure Druid is the perfect fit. Maybe it's Avenger ACF which gains the Monk's AC/Speed & Ranger's FE/Track (generally seen as terrible given how great WS is) might be useful, idk. I kind of feel like they hit the nail on the head with Mystic Ranger. It really doesn't lose out on either end of the fighter~wizard spectrum but it won't go full "Tier 1" Druid on the group either.

Either way, pick up Planar Touchstone[catalogues of enlightenment] or dip Contemplative for the Plant Domain's Rebuke Plants.
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Offline Keldar

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Re: Need help with character class choice due to template
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2018, 12:14:56 AM »
Verdant Lord (Master of the Wild, pg 73) becomes a plant without all that pesky level adjustment.  Its 3.0, but that just means you need to know they changed Wilderness Lore into Survival and that Regenerate Light Wounds was renamed Lesser Vigor.  No wasted LA, no lost caster levels, no unused summons, eats sunlight, actually gets the plant type.

Offline Graymage

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Re: Need help with character class choice due to template
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2018, 10:49:06 AM »
Oh we looked at that, but overall it doesn't give much compared to similar Prestige Classes. that being said, if I did a overhaul of it, It might save the DM some work.

DM asked what I wanted out of that and it was the capstone. but other than that there was not much I was going to be able to use.

He did say he was going to work on a custom template for me that added up to a +2 LA.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2018, 10:55:27 AM by Graymage »

Offline Keldar

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Re: Need help with character class choice due to template
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2018, 05:11:39 AM »
If all you want is a plant themed caster, just play the druid and run around wildshaped into a Treant starting at 12th (and grab the Plant Companion).  No need for an overpriced template or race.  Play a Killoren (RoW) to look like a planty cat-person or a green half elf, depending on if you favor the art or the description.  Hug all the trees.  Get a ring of sustenance and some fortification armor during the asperational first 11 levels.  Have the woodling template be your final reward/ happily ever after of the campaign so the character retires with the full goal met.

Offline phaedrusxy

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Re: Need help with character class choice due to template
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2018, 09:42:42 PM »
Maybe it's Avenger ACF which gains the Monk's AC/Speed & Ranger's FE/Track (generally seen as terrible given how great WS is) might be useful, idk. I kind of feel like they hit the nail on the head with Mystic Ranger. It really doesn't lose out on either end of the fighter~wizard spectrum but it won't go full "Tier 1" Druid on the group either.

Either way, pick up Planar Touchstone[catalogues of enlightenment] or dip Contemplative for the Plant Domain's Rebuke Plants.
If you haven't already finalized things, I think it's worth mentioning the druid ACFs again. They're generally regarded as not as strong as the standard druid, but if you don't want WS anyway, then they can offer interesting alternatives. Here is a link to the avenger.There's also the Swift Hunter.
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Offline Jackinthegreen

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Re: Need help with character class choice due to template
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2018, 08:13:22 PM »
Maybe it's Avenger ACF which gains the Monk's AC/Speed & Ranger's FE/Track (generally seen as terrible given how great WS is) might be useful, idk. I kind of feel like they hit the nail on the head with Mystic Ranger. It really doesn't lose out on either end of the fighter~wizard spectrum but it won't go full "Tier 1" Druid on the group either.

Either way, pick up Planar Touchstone[catalogues of enlightenment] or dip Contemplative for the Plant Domain's Rebuke Plants.
If you haven't already finalized things, I think it's worth mentioning the druid ACFs again. They're generally regarded as not as strong as the standard druid, but if you don't want WS anyway, then they can offer interesting alternatives. Here is a link to the avenger.There's also the Swift Hunter.

Not to be confused with the feat Swift Hunter which allows combining some stuff of Ranger and Scout together.

Offline Graymage

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Re: Need help with character class choice due to template
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2018, 05:25:23 PM »
chatted with the DM, template will cause some issues and he looked over Verdant Lord again, so I guess I can go that route but the question of which class to start.
Mystic Ranger and get in after 6th, Spirit shaman/Druid after 7th or using the Apprentice feat to get survival for Archivist after 7th.

Talk about choice of evils......