-E- Druid to Druid

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As with the Essassin, I like some of the concept and mechanics of the previewed Druid, but not that it presents an option incompatible with the normal Druid.  In addition, having the animal companion tied to a build that uses weapons is... nothing like the Druid class I've come to know and love.

So, because of that, here's my attempt at converting / creating the animal companion concept into something that actually meshes with the existing 4th edition Druid.

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New Class Features


The Animal Companion class feature is available to any druid who wishes to gain a quasi-mystical animal companion.  To select this class feature, you must give up the Balance of Nature and Wild Shape class features.

Animal Companion


    Animal Companion: You gain an animal companion, chosen from one of these categories: bear, boar, cat, lizard, raptor, serpent, spider or wolf*.  Your animal companion is considered an ally of you and your allies.  It can be affected by powers in the same way as any other creature can be.
    You can communicate telepathically with your animal companion as long as it is within 20 squares of you.  You do not need line of sight or line of effect to do so.  Your animal companion has only animal intelligence, so it cannot communicate or understand complex topics.
    Your companion fights at your command, sharing your actions.  You spend the required action and your beast companion completes it.  For example, the companion's animal attack requires a standard action, so you can spend a standard action to order your companion to use that attack.  An exception to this is move actions - when you spend a move action, both you and your companion can each take a move action.  The actions taken by each of you need not be the same.
    Your animal companion's level is equal to yours, and its hit points, defenses, and attacks are determined by your level, as noted in its stat block.
    Your animal companion shares your healing surge total.  Whenever an effect requires your animal companion to spend a healing surge, the surge is deducted from your total.  Whenever you use your second wind, your animal companion also regains hit points equal to your healing surge value.  At the end of a short rest, your animal companion regains all its hit points.
    If you die or your animal companion drops to 0 hit points, it disappears.  You can summon your animal companion by either of the following means:


  • Minor Action: You take a minor action and lose a healing surge.  Your companion appears in the nearest unoccupied space, with hit points equal to your healing surge value.



  • Short or Extended Rest: You lose a healing surge at the end of the rest.  Your companion appears in the nearest unoccupied space, with full hit points.


    Nature's Companion: You can know powers with the beast form keyword, and can use them through your animal companion.  When using a power with the beast form keyword you may make the attack through your animal companion. Use your attack roll, and damage for the power. But The animal companion is the origin of the attack, and any affects of the power that would normally apply to you as the one using the power apply to the animal companion instead.

Animal Companion Stat Blocks

Bear Animal Companion

Medium natural beast
HP your bloodied value    Initiative equal to yours
AC 13, Fortitude 15, Reflex 11, Will 15        Perception equal to yours + 2
(add your level to each defense)            Low-light vision
Speed 6
Standard Actions
    Animal Attack ♦ At-Will
    Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); your level + 5 vs. AC
    Hit: 1d12 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution modifier damage.
    Level 11: 1d12 + 3 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution modifier damage.
    Level 21: 2d12 + 5 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution modifier damage.
Str    20    Dex    12    Wis    16
Con    17    Int    2    Cha    6


Boar Animal Companion
Medium natural beast
HP your bloodied value    Initiative equal to yours
AC 13, Fortitude 15, Reflex 11, Will 15        Perception equal to yours + 2
(add your level to each defense)            Low-light vision
Speed 6
Traits
    Charging Boar
    When charging, the boar gains a +2 bonus to speed, and a +2 bonus to damage rolls.
Standard Actions
    Animal Attack ♦ At-Will
    Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); your level + 5 vs. AC
    Hit: 1d8 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution modifier damage.
    Level 11: 1d8 + 3 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution modifier damage.
    Level 21: 2d8 + 5 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution modifier damage.
Str    20    Dex    14    Wis    14
Con    17    Int    2    Cha    6


Cat Animal Companion
Medium natural beast
HP your bloodied value    Initiative equal to yours
AC 13, Fortitude 13, Reflex 15, Will 13        Perception equal to yours + 2
(add your level to each defense)            Low-light vision
Speed 7
Traits
    Pouncing Hunter
    When charging, the cat gains a +1 bonus to its attack roll.
Standard Actions
   Animal Attack ♦ At-Will
    Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); your level + 5 vs. AC
    Hit: 1d8 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution or Dexterity modifier damage.
    Level 11: 1d8 + 2 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution or Dexterity modifier damage.
    Level 21: 2d8 + 4 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution or Dexterity modifier damage.
Str    14    Dex    20    Wis    15
Con    16    Int    2    Cha    6


Lizard Animal Companion
Medium natural beast
HP your bloodied value    Initiative equal to yours
AC 15, Fortitude 14, Reflex 14, Will 11        Perception equal to yours + 2
(add your level to each defense)            Low-light vision
Speed 6
Traits
    Reflexive Predator
    When making an opportunity attack, the lizard gains a +2 bonus to the attack roll.
Standard Actions
   Animal Attack ♦ At-Will
    Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); your level + 5 vs. AC
    Hit: 1d8 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitutionor Dexterity modifier damage.
    Level 11: 1d8 + 2 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution or Dexterity modifier damage.
    Level 21: 2d8 + 4 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution or Dexterity modifier damage.
Str    16    Dex    16    Wis    14
Con    17    Int    2    Cha    6


Raptor Animal Companion
Small natural beast
HP your bloodied value    Initiative equal to yours
AC 15, Fortitude 11, Reflex 15, Will 13        Perception equal to yours + 2
(add your level to each defense)            Low-light vision
Speed 2 (clumsy), fly 7 (hover)
Traits
    Airborne Hunter
    When charging while flying, the raptor gains a +1 bonus to speed, and a +1 bonus to the attack roll.
Standard Actions
   Animal Attack ♦ At-Will
    Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); your level + 5 vs. AC
    Hit: 1d6 + your Wisdom modifier + your Dexterity modifier damage.
    Level 11: 1d6 + 2 + your Wisdom modifier + your Dexterity modifier damage.
    Level 21: 2d6 + 4 + your Wisdom modifier + your Dexterity modifier damage.
Str    12    Dex    20    Wis    14
Con    12    Int    2    Cha    6


Serpent Animal Companion
Medium natural beast
HP your bloodied value    Initiative equal to yours
AC 13, Fortitude 15, Reflex 15, Will 11        Perception equal to yours + 2
(add your level to each defense)            Low-light vision
Speed 5, swim 5
Traits
    Coiling Strike
    When it hits with any melee attack, the serpent can choose to deal no damage with the attack.  If it does so, it grabs the target.
Standard Actions
   Animal Attack ♦ At-Will
    Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); your level + 5 vs. AC
    Hit: 1d6 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution or Dexterity modifier damage.
    Level 11: 1d6 + 2 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution or Dexterity modifier damage.
    Level 21: 2d6 + 4 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution or Dexterity modifier damage.
Str    16    Dex    18    Wis    12
Con    17    Int    2    Cha    6


Spider Animal Companion
Medium natural beast
HP your bloodied value    Initiative equal to yours
AC 15, Fortitude 13, Reflex 15, Will 11        Perception equal to yours + 2
(add your level to each defense)            Low-light vision
Speed 6, climb 6 (spider climb)
Traits
    Stinging Bite
    When it hits with any melee attack, the target takes a -1 penalty on attack rolls until the end of its next turn.
Standard Actions
   Animal Attack ♦ At-Will
    Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); your level + 5 vs. AC
    Hit: 1d8 + your Wisdom modifier + your Dexterity modifier damage.
    Level 11: 1d8 + 2 + your Wisdom modifier + your Dexterity modifier damage.
    Level 21: 2d8 + 4 + your Wisdom modifier + your Dexterity modifier damage.
Str    12    Dex    20    Wis    14
Con    17    Int    2    Cha    6


Wolf Animal Companion
Medium natural beast
HP your bloodied value    Initiative equal to yours
AC 15, Fortitude 13, Reflex 13, Will 13        Perception equal to yours + 2
(add your level to each defense)            Low-light vision
Speed 8
Traits
    Pack Hunter
    When flanking a target, the wolf gains an additional +1 bonus to its attack rolls against that target.
Standard Actions
   Animal Attack ♦ At-Will
    Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); your level + 5 vs. AC
    Hit: 1d8 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution or Dexterity modifier damage.
    Level 11: 1d8 + 2 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution or Dexterity modifier damage.
    Level 21: 2d8 + 4 + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution or Dexterity modifier damage.
Str    14    Dex    20    Wis    14
Con    17    Int    2    Cha    6


Sidebar - Animal Companion Types and You*
    These categories do not describe specific animals, but rather groups of similarly themed creatures in the D&D world.  You decide the creature's relevant details - its species, physical details, and so forth - making sure they are appropriate for its category and the campaign.
    For example, if your character hails from a swampy region, your lizard companion might be a crocodile.  The lizard companion of a character from a different region might be a giant monitor lizard or a drake.  An animal companion's species doesn't affect its game statistics, which are based on its category and level.

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* The list of companion types, and the text in the sidebar (but not the title) are taken from the Beastmaster Ranger in Martial Power.

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I like the formatting for the Druid's companion's better than the Ranger's - I may simply use these as the basis of the Ranger's companion as well, and try my hand at revising all of that mess.

Generally though, I really like this approach - this allows me to use existing powers for my animal companion Druid.

The only real "oops" at the moment is that all of the animal attack attacks add Constitution to damage, leaning them heavily toward Guardian druids.  I think if I wanted to put more work into this, I might make a Primal Aspect option called Primal Sentinel, and split the con-bonus-to-damage aspect out into that.  Though dropping the con-to-AC feature may be a bit harsh for such a build.  Or maybe I can just modify all of the attacks to be:
    Hit: 1dX + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution or your Dexterity modifier damage.

I kind of prefer that approach.


Anywho: Thoughts, comments, feedback?
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Very Intriguing... I approve I have been having similar reactions to all the subclasses wanting to go make building a proper Knight Lord  - using a Warlord maybe Warlord/Fighter Hybrid and ... similar things.


 The only real "oops" at the moment is that all of the animal attack attacks add Constitution to damage, leaning them heavily toward Guardian druids.  I think if I wanted to put more work into this, I might make a Primal Aspect option called Primal Sentinel, and split the con-bonus-to-damage aspect out into that.  Though dropping the con-to-AC feature may be a bit harsh for such a build.  Or maybe I can just modify all of the attacks to be:
    Hit: 1dX + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution or your Dexterity modifier damage.

 I like modifying the attacks option.
I am not exactly a Druid fan although I have considered them for a Witch Build or two never followed through. So my opinions are a bit casual on this one. I like the concept of re-using the Beast Powers a whole lot.
 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

a nice write-up
First off: Thanks, to both of you.

The only real "oops" at the moment is that all of the animal attack attacks add Constitution to damage, leaning them heavily toward Guardian druids.  I think if I wanted to put more work into this, I might make a Primal Aspect option called Primal Sentinel, and split the con-bonus-to-damage aspect out into that.  Though dropping the con-to-AC feature may be a bit harsh for such a build.  Or maybe I can just modify all of the attacks to be:
    Hit: 1dX + your Wisdom modifier + your Constitution or your Dexterity modifier damage.

 I like modifying the attacks option.


Hm.  I like the idea of giving the option, but after thinking on it a bit, I also like the idea of simply splitting the animal list between +Con and +Dex (and maybe a few with the choice still).

So, for instance, we might end up with...
Bear: +Con
Boar: +Con
Cat: +Con or +Dex
Lizard: +Con or +Dex
Raptor: +Dex
Serpent: +Con or +Dex
Spider: +Dex
Wolf: +Con or +Dex

That would tie certain animals more closely to certain builds (Bear and Boar to Guardian druids; Raptor and Spider to Predator druids; and the rest fit with either).  Thematically, I think it could fit well (as always, it may need some tweaking).

I am not exactly a Druid fan although I have considered them for a Witch Build or two never followed through. So my opinions are a bit casual on this one. I like the concept of re-using the Beast Powers a whole lot.


Casual is fine - I actually appreciate getting just "casual" feedback on homebrew stuff as much as detailed mechanics (except in those cases where I feel like I'm really pushing the mechanics to the limit - like the Soulknife theme, where I sought out CharOp feedback).
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)

Casual is fine - I actually appreciate getting just "casual" feedback on homebrew stuff as much as detailed mechanics (except in those cases where I feel like I'm really pushing the mechanics to the limit - like the Soulknife theme, where I sought out CharOp feedback).



I think one of the issues with the new design direction is there are elements like reusing and integrating with what you have that gets over-looked in the era of the locked down sub-class. Having the animal companion able to perform beast keyword moves is an example. My idea of allowing the ranger a class feature to enable use of a versatile weapon as though it were a dual weapon might be another (Aragorn didnt use two weapons just Arundil).  Having feats and paragon paths which allow "off brand" hybrids to work better is another.

I would like to take some homebrew like 4.0 style versions of what comes out in essentials and give it I dont know higher status ... put up Wiki pages and similar things so it doesnt fade in to the background of the forum.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

The animal companions should have a set attack bonus that they have for every attack. The way you have worded it means that they don't and as such whenever they use a beast form power they will be very inaccurate. Another problem is that every implement attack has a set amount of damage and as such the companion's strength is not taken into consideration.

A solution would be to say that every companion has an attack bonus and that powers with the beast form keyword instead does a set damage determined by your animal companion, i.e whenever your bear companion hits he deals 1d12 + Wisdom modifier damage. <-- doesn't work for higher level powers

I plan to write up my ideas on Monday, not to compete with you just so I can use my own rules for my own game.

Another problem:
Druid attack bonus at level 30 - 15 (Half level) + 8 (Wis mod) + 6 (enhancement bonus) + 3 (expertise) = +32

Companion = 30 (level) +5 = +35

The companions attack is way too high to attack NADs. I haven't personally found a solution for this yet but hopefully I will figure something out. This is assuming that I have the attack modifier of the Druid correct. I did it off of the top of my head and may have missed an extra +X somewhere.

I think I need to clarify the wording a bit.

The intent is:
  • The companion uses its own attack bonus for its Animal Attack - but that's about it.

  • The companion Druid can use Beast Form powers, but they originate from the companion, and they treat the companion as the user (so most instances of "you" in the powers effects).  The Druid is the actual attacker though - the powers work as listed in PH2/PP (Druid's Wis attack vs. NAD; Druid's Wis for damage).
    • As an example: Steve the Druid has a Wolf companion.  He fights a Goblin.

    • Steve can spend a standard action to give his Wolf a standard action.  He spends a standard action to have the Wolf make an animal attack against a Goblin - the Wolf uses the power in its stat-block (so attack = Level+5 vs. AC) .

    • Steve can instead use a standard action to use one of his own Beast Form powers through the Wolf.  He uses his darting bite encounter attack through the Wolf as a standard action - the Druid makes the attack roll, but the Wolf is subject to the powers effects as if it is the user (so attack = 1/2 Level+Implement+Wisdom+Misc vs. Reflex, but if one of the attacks hits, the "you" that can shift as a result of the power is the Wolf, not the Druid himself).


Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
What if you put it like this?

"When using a power with the beast keyword you may make the attack through your animal companion. Use your attack roll, and damage for the power. But The animal companion is the origin of the attack, and any affects of the power that would normally apply to you as the one using the power apply to the animal companion instead."


What if you put it like this?

"When using a power with the beast keyword you may make the attack through your animal companion. Use your attack roll, and damage for the power. But The animal companion is the origin of the attack, and any affects of the power that would normally apply to you as the one using the power apply to the animal companion instead."





I think at some level that does keep it quite simple... 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

What if you put it like this?

"When using a power with the beast form keyword you may make the attack through your animal companion. Use your attack roll, and damage for the power. But The animal companion is the origin of the attack, and any affects of the power that would normally apply to you as the one using the power apply to the animal companion instead."





In retrospect, totally using this.  It's just formulated better.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
I also like the idea of simply splitting the animal list between +Con and +Dex (and maybe a few with the choice still).

So, for instance, we might end up with...
Bear: +Con
Boar: +Con
Cat: +Con or +Dex
Lizard: +Con or +Dex
Raptor: +Dex
Serpent: +Con or +Dex
Spider: +Dex
Wolf: +Con or +Dex

That would tie certain animals more closely to certain builds (Bear and Boar to Guardian druids; Raptor and Spider to Predator druids; and the rest fit with either).  Thematically, I think it could fit well (as always, it may need some tweaking).

I like the Con/Dex split. Great use of mechanics to resonate flavor.
I also like the idea of simply splitting the animal list between +Con and +Dex (and maybe a few with the choice still).

I like the Con/Dex split. Great use of mechanics to resonate flavor.


Done.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Why would someone ever use this when there is no feat support for it and most of the Druid's PP require the wild shape power?

Don't get me wrong I love the concept, I just think that it needs more fleshing out than what has been given to it.

Just food for thought.
Why would someone ever use this when there is no feat support for it and most of the Druid's PP require the wild shape power?

Don't get me wrong I love the concept, I just think that it needs more fleshing out than what has been given to it.

Just food for thought.



OK what Feat support are you thinking? Things that boost the companion beasts strikerness or defenderness maybe? and dost thou have ideas for the Paragon levels?
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Ther eis no les feat suport for the animal companion then when used in essentials so I personaly see little wrong with it.  Though realy I would remove the animal companions attacks all together and simply use the beast form attacks since relisticaly thats what you will be using anyhows,

One thing I dislike about the new druid pets are that they are magical not natural in form. Druids always had a tie in with nature and far as I remmeber there animals were always realy solid living creatures. Though weaker I always thought that if killed they should remain dead till end of encounter at which time the druid could perform a rituel to bring there dead companion back to life.  Just a side idea I guess


As for the power I would also realy sugest not forceing a player into a build option to fulfil his desire of the pet of his chosen type.  I mean it's nice to pick a animal type that you realy feal attuned to without haveing to change your char to soemthing you may be less pleased with.  Basicaly I am a fan of freedom and feal the less restrictions placed when choosing your animal the better,  again just my veiw I personaly love Feline animal companions with wolves as a secondary but would hate to look at it and know that my choice in favorite animal made my char weaker

An' ye harm none, do what ye will
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