Howl at the Moon: Classic druid support by way of theme?

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Encounter Beast Forms:

www.wizards.com/dnd/article.aspx?x=dnd/d...

Now we have yet another slightly incompatible way to be an animal man. Is it like the Neverwinter lycanthrope themes? Not at all!

I killed Aleena.
I still don't think they're very good. I do like the L2U on the bear, but would prefer it works differently.

I think the only striker feature that works with it are Warlock's Curse, Oath of Enmity, Hunter's Quarry. If it allowed you to use your implements on the attack it grants, it might be worth looking at, but as it's innacurate, I say meh to this. Meh, I say.
The wererat lvl6 shift 2 at will as a move action can be interesting though I would not do it until level10 when you can do the hybrid and have all your abilities.
I agree with the unfavorable assessment of these themes. It's disappointing that the wererat attack power can't be used with sneak attack.

I don't know anything about classic beast form druids. Do these themes give them anything interesting above what they can already get? How helpful is the level 10 feature to use powers with and without the beast form keyword at the same time?
I killed Aleena.
The only class that has beast form powers is the druid.  The theme itself is the only way to have a beast form power.  The level10 theme feature allows you to use your regular class powers and still get the benefits of the shapechanger power such as the werewolf's +2 to movement and the werebear's lowlight vision.
Doesn't the level 10 feature let druid's cast non-beastform spells in beastform?
The level10 feature allows you to use any powers normally. 

I.e. a wererat warlock can be in beast form and still curse and cast hellish rebuke/eyebite/eyes of the vestige.  Without the L10 feature, you can only use your class abilities when you are NOT in beast form.  L10 feature removes that restriction and gives you full access to all your abilities.  Though I suppose now you could use claw gloves with your secondary attack since it does have the beast form keyword.
These themes allow you to use claw gloves to boost your damage.  As long as you have combat advantage, you get to add 1d10 to your melee attacks.  I can think of one that would benefit from 1d10 damage.  Monks.  FoB is a melee attack.  You get combat advantage and it is FoB+1d10 damage.
Doesn't the level 10 feature let druid's cast non-beastform spells in beastform?


Or Bearform Spells while not being a druid. I could certainly see this being useful for Half-Elf defenders. Grasping Claws and Savage Rend are definitely up there with Eldritch Strike, their biggest problem has always been the Beast Form keyword.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
Yeah, that's all great, but isn't it more important that this completely destroys the druid class design?  What druid wouldn't take one of these themes?
What's my boost here, besides not caring about switching forms.  It's basically all the same powers, except I can't take use of my minor-action shift power, because I'm stuck in hybrid form.

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

A basic attack-fix for battleminds?

Or I am missreading something?
Sapphire - Swormage Dragon Guardian - Dont touch my allies build. Swordmage / Sigil Carver / Draconic incarnation The Holy Slayer - A Striker - Defender Fighter | Cleric / Barbarian - Paragon of Victory WEREBEAR BATTLEMIND: You wont go where you want. - A Battlemind (Druid) / Unbound Nomad / Topaz Crusader
A basic attack-fix for battleminds?

Or I am missreading something?



...What fix? Half-elves aside that is.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Theres 2 main problems here that make this kind of suck as far as support goes for classic druids.

1) Its an encounter power, this causes problems for 2 types of druids.  a) Druids who focus on being in beast form all the time can't just have this on all the time, they'll have to activate it at the start of every combat which causes issues with their action economy. b)Druids who shift back and forth a lot to make use of wild shape can't use this at all really.

2)It won't work with some specific druid feats.  Anything that goes off wild shape (such as quick wild shape, vital form, etc) won't be usable with this.  I also have my doubts whether RAW the level 10 feature would work with any feats that require you to be in beast form since the theme specifically states you are in a "hybrid form".

BONUS ROUND 3)The level 10 feature doesn't give you a way to use the properties and powers of weapons and wondrous items even if you don't drop them, so you still can't utilise your weapon properly without taking Quick Stow which doesn't actually work with the level 10 feature since it triggers off the Wild Shape power (not an issue for weapliments though obviously).

Really I think this is actually aimed more at the recent druid types, it gives them a way to gain a beast form and dip into the beast form powers without having to spend a feat.  It also has some obvious benefits for hybrids too.  For original druids though, pretty worthless.  If they wanted this to work for original beast form type druids they should have made the level 1 feature work as something that added to Wild Shape instead of being a power of its own.
You get an at-will primary-stat MBA while in the theme's beast form.  At 10 you can stay in the form all encounter long with no penalty.

edit: crosspost
You get an at-will primary-stat MBA while in the theme's beast form.  At 10 you can stay in the form all encounter long with no penalty.

edit: crosspost



But it has all the issues outlined above. It's not good if you can't scale it up.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
You guys missed the best part of these themes...


...you can be a vampire werewolf! What else do you need? :P 
Er is Dire Rat Shape useful for a bleeder type build, I mean if you have a CA easy to get, you now have a an MBA that does ongoing 5 damage (save ends), plus claw gloves to boost your damage (1d10) ... hum



 
I think the themes are horrible for the original beast form druids.  You do lose out on all the feats.  On the other hand, for a non-wild shape focused druid, the themes are ok.  They allow you to get an MBA such as Grasping Claws if you need it but you can actually use a mix of powers if you want or focus mostly on implement attacks.

The biggest advantage is it allows half-elves to poach Grasping Claws and Savage Rend. 

Imagine a storm sorcerer who uses a resounding dagger(+2/3/4 thunder damage, +1 forced movement) with savage rend and uses a lightning power.  Use an action point, deal dex damage, then use savage rend to deal damage and slide him adjacent to you dealing 2d6+dex+mods per square. 

Or a half-elf avenger that takes grasping claws, which slows, add world serpent's grasp and vicious advantage and you have slow/prone/CA that is not weapon dependent.  As a matter of fact, you could use a holy symbol to beef up the attack.  Though it does not use a weapon, they are wisdom based and have the implement and melee keywords.
A basic attack-fix for battleminds?

Or I am missreading something?



...What fix? Half-elves aside that is.



You can be in hybrid form and you get a MBA, this is useful for classes like battlemind and opens options for other classes (essential classes for example. Hello bladesinger!).

I dont want to play a half-elf every time the class have a problem like the MBA issue.
Sapphire - Swormage Dragon Guardian - Dont touch my allies build. Swordmage / Sigil Carver / Draconic incarnation The Holy Slayer - A Striker - Defender Fighter | Cleric / Barbarian - Paragon of Victory WEREBEAR BATTLEMIND: You wont go where you want. - A Battlemind (Druid) / Unbound Nomad / Topaz Crusader
Actually, it does give a very weird sort of support for Battleminds.

Unlocking the use of weapon powers in Dire Beast Form at level 10 gives you the ability to combine that with the level 16 feature of Coiled Serpent (Wisdom based for your pleasure) - each hit with a melee attack while in Dire Beast Form deals 2d6 extra poison damage, helping you to add up to 8d6 Poison damage on an AUG1 Brutal Barrage.

Throw in the Werebear At-Will marking MBA and you've got something rather interesting to consider.
I feel a build coming up!

EDIT: this theme also opens up Blood Moon Stalker for everyone who multiclasses Druid.
@Duelist:  Add to that claw gloves since you are in beast form and if you have CA, very easy to get, you get another 1d10 damage since Brutal Barrage is a melee attack.  Now it will be a melee attack with the weapon keyword and if you have CA then you also have a damage roll.
There are plenty of ways to give Brutal Barrage a damage roll (MKJ beinghead the easiest off the top of my head) but we don't play that that allows them to add their mods, because otherwise it breaks the game.
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Imagine a storm sorcerer who uses a resounding dagger(+2/3/4 thunder damage, +1 forced movement) with savage rend and uses a lightning power.  Use an action point, deal dex damage, then use savage rend to deal damage and slide him adjacent to you dealing 2d6+dex+mods per square. 


Not an arcane power, so that's useless compared to other options.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
Too bad that, with the possible exception of the level 10 utility, the most iconic lycanthrope of the bunch (the werewolf) is also by far the worst one.
You guys missed the best part of these themes...


...you can be a vampire werewolf! What else do you need? :P 


NO, you can be a SHARDMIND VAMPIRE WEREWOLF! I'M EXITED!
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Just noticed that this theme gives Brawler Fighters who MC Druid access to Brutal Grappler Form for perma-CA against grabbed enemies. This theme really enables a lot of awesome stuff.

EDIT: and Constrictor's Grasp to deal CON- or DEX-mod damage if they fail an escape attempt. Stacks nicely with Ebon Gauntlets and Crushing Pin. If only there was an Inescapable Hold-variant for Reflex Frown
Just noticed that this theme gives Brawler Fighters who MC Druid access to Brutal Grappler Form for perma-CA against grabbed enemies. This theme really enables a lot of awesome stuff.



It is also amazing for hybrid Druids who now have access to both their regular powers and beast form powers at the same time.
Commanding Form for Summoner types - free minor action commands.
Constrictor's Grasp - Dex or Con damage when things fail to escape grabs
Enraged Boar Form - +1 to attack/+2 damage with charge attacks
Ferocious Tiger Form - +2 damage with CA

These all need MC into Druid, but... 
I might be going a little too deep here, but Werebear also allows every class to play like a Brawler Fighter. Round 1, activate Blood Fury Weapon to start the next round "bloodied", change form or move, and charge/attack. Round 2, activate Bear Up and start grabbing enemies. Oh, and you gain regeneration 2 while bloodied as a sweet little bonus. Even better for Shifters who also gain effects from their Shifting powers. Does cost a lot of minors though.
Blightedbeast can now be used with hurricane of blades.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Just one, simple question:


Why on earth is the shapeshift an Encounter power?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Thats exactly what I want to know Mand, in fact more importantly why is not allowed to simply alter Wild Shape so its useful to Druids.

I might be going a little too deep here, but Werebear also allows every class to play like a Brawler Fighter. Round 1, activate Blood Fury Weapon to start the next round "bloodied", change form or move, and charge/attack. Round 2, activate Bear Up and start grabbing enemies. Oh, and you gain regeneration 2 while bloodied as a sweet little bonus. Even better for Shifters who also gain effects from their Shifting powers. Does cost a lot of minors though.



You can't activate the blood fury weapon in werebear form, you can not use the powers or properties of weapons while using the Bear Shape power.

People also need to stop trying to use Claw Gloves from these themes while using non beast form powers, the way the powers are written hybrid form is NOT beast form and as such you can't utilise Claw Gloves while using the hybrid form
These themes are awesome for a lot of classes. 

The only reason they're not overpowered is largely because of themes that grant non-standard attacks and frost builds that already spend their hand slot on ice gloves. 

For example, Druids can use non-beast form powers in beast form and still get their beast form bonuses. 

Rogues all can add claw gloves to their melee damage.

All three themes can add significantly to monks:
Bear- Power bonus to AC and claw gloves
Rat- Goblin Totem and claw gloves
Wolf- Speed bonus and claw gloves.  

Btw, Claw gloves boost FoB damage, as they don't require a hit or damage roll.   So yeah, monks, even AoE specialists, will benefit a ton from these themes.  Melee builds will be adding 2d10 to all powers.  All they need is CA, and CB monks manufucture it.

Rat form strangely sizes up pixies to small, but wolf and bear can stay tiny. 
For example, Druids can use non-beast form powers in beast form and still get their beast form bonuses. 


No, they can't.

Rogues all can add claw gloves to their melee damage.


Nope, can't do that either

All three themes can add significantly to monks:
Bear- Power bonus to AC and claw gloves
Rat- Goblin Totem and claw gloves
Wolf- Speed bonus and claw gloves. 


Most of this won't work either.

Btw, Claw gloves boost FoB damage, as they don't require a hit or damage roll.   So yeah, monks, even AoE specialists, will benefit a ton from these themes.  Melee builds will be adding 2d10 to all powers.  All they need is CA, and CB monks manufucture it.


Claw gloves would never work with FoB, they add damage to melee attacks, FoB is not a melee attack as it neither is classified as an attack power nor does it have an attack roll.

All powers are now either utility or attack (thanks to the Rules Compendium) and FoB fit the description for what makes an attack power if unlisted.  Further melee does not require an attack roll.  Melee is a range and attack type (others are ranged, close, and area).  Attack rolls are required for hitting. 

People also need to stop trying to use Claw Gloves from these themes while using non beast form powers, the way the powers are written hybrid form is NOT beast form and as such you can't utilise Claw Gloves while using the hybrid form



The level 10 feature modifies the level 1 beast form power.   In no place does it say that hybrid form doesn't qualify as a beast form as the original power does. 

People also need to stop trying to use Claw Gloves from these themes while using non beast form powers, the way the powers are written hybrid form is NOT beast form and as such you can't utilise Claw Gloves while using the hybrid form



The level 10 feature modifies the level 1 beast form power.   In no place does it say that hybrid form doesn't qualify as a beast form as the original power does. 



Actually kind of unclear - it doesn't actually specify that the hybrid form is a beast form which it does for the actual form. On the other hand, it does say you're no longer limited to beast form keyword attack powers, although that might just be making clear to ignore the text that you are limited to beast form powers.

To be specific, I think it is RAI that they're supposed to qualify as a Beast Form.
I don't think it is that unclear.

Level 10 feature - When you use the bear shape power, you
can assume the form of a humanoid-bear hybrid,
instead of a bear.

Well, what happens when you use the Bear Shape power?

You change from your humanoid form to a beast
form—a bear—that lasts until the end of the encounter.

So, you are still changing your form from humanoid to a beast form. But after level 10 you can make that beast form a humanoid-bear hybrid instead of just a bear (or rat or wolf obviously).

It is definitely still beast form though.
I think the part of the problem is...

You arn't in "beast form".
You are in "bear form".  (even though it say's "beast form").

That said, it does give better-then-melee-training  MBA's.  So it's possible to imagine an avenger who worships someone besides correlion or ioun.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.