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Posted By: Braven Druid Tips - 27/02/21 12:29 AM
Here are some tricks and observations I have discovered during my first Druid session. In short, they seem like the strongest class by far, with some support from your companions.

Druids are the ultimate tanks. With 2 wild forms per short rest, and picking gold dwarf, you effectively have 81 HP every short rest at level 2, right after completing the prologue. Two bear forms along with your base hp. When your forms lose health, your druids health is unaffected, so it is basically free health boost. On top of that, druid has excellent healing spells.

Good berries heal for a total of 10 hp on average as a level one spell, which is better than the cure wounds spell which heal for 7.5 average (with 16 wisdom). Good berries also don’t use wisdom, in case you want to go with a low wisdom druid, and can be precast before combat, so you are only using a bonus action instead of a normal action. Good berries can also be spread around to teammates, and is an efficient way to top off HP if you have a bonus action you have no use for. On the downside, you can’t use good berries to heal a downed party member so make sure that it isn’t your only form of healing.

To make up for the high HP, the animal forms have a poor base AC. However, that can be fixed with some help from your friends. Mage armor works on all the animal forms along with shield of faith. Combined, they bump up the bear to 17 AC and the spider/wolf to 19 AC, which is quite respectable. I personally like the spider for tanking as it can also web enemies, keeping them locked down and causing disadvantage on their attack dice. If they dodge the web, the spider can also cause disadvantage with their poisonous bite. With web being a bonus attack, Spider can do both every round. Finally, the spider can quickly travel long distances with a special super jump ability that only counts as a bonus action so you can get right into melee and reach enemies in high places.

Bear is also a great tank form because of the high HP and taunt ability, with the main downside being a lower AC. But that could be a plus as enemies tend to prefer to attack lower AC party members.

When not in animal form, the druid is still hard to kill, since they can use both medium armor and a shield. Note: to wear medium armor, you seem to now need a minimum of 10 STR, so don’t completely dump that stat. With some borrowed half-plate armor, a shield, 14 DEX, and a shield of faith from our cleric friend, you will have 21 AC.

I have not got to level 3 yet, but the spells look really impressive. With how long the druid can stall out battle and survive for, moonbeam and the flaming boulder sounds really powerful since they keep dealing damage over multiple rounds for a single spell use.

While the attack power of the druid is pretty average, when adding in those level 3 spells which can AOE damage, they might be the strongest damage dealers as well as the hardest to take down.
Posted By: Braven Re: Druid Tips - 27/02/21 03:10 AM
And... I have found a bug that makes druid extremely over-powered.

If you put on medium armor and a shield and cast shield of faith on a druid, then wild form, then cast mage armor, and then dismiss wild form, you will retain the mage armor +3 bonus despite wearing armor. This allows the druid to reach an AC of 24 which is pretty much untouchable.
Posted By: Sadurian Re: Druid Tips - 27/02/21 12:21 PM
Originally Posted by Braven
And... I have found a bug that makes druid extremely over-powered.

If you put on medium armor and a shield and cast shield of faith on a druid, then wild form, then cast mage armor, and then dismiss wild form, you will retain the mage armor +3 bonus despite wearing armor. This allows the druid to reach an AC of 24 which is pretty much untouchable.
Have you reported that as a bug?
Posted By: Braven Re: Druid Tips - 27/02/21 01:32 PM
Another trick you can perform with druid is to wild shift and then short rest. You will stay in animal form after the short rest, but your wild form uses will reset back to two. This effectively gives you 3 wild form uses per combat. That means you effectively have up to 111 HP at level 2 as a druid. That is several times more hp than any other class has access to. Plus, you have insane AC potential and also damage potential because the flaming boulder is crazy, providing tons of free guaranteed damage every round for the cost of a single spell slot and no actions.

Druid is just way over powered currently, even without exploiting bugs.
Posted By: Thespen Re: Druid Tips - 28/02/21 03:26 PM
IMHO it's a pity they did not stick with "Druids will not wear armour and shields made of metal" as per the PH page 65
Posted By: Braven Re: Druid Tips - 28/02/21 05:12 PM
Y
Originally Posted by Thespen
IMHO it's a pity they did not stick with "Druids will not wear armour and shields made of metal" as per the PH page 65

Yeah, it would be better balanced with some armor restrictions. Druids currently have the same AC (absent bugs) as fighters and clerics. It is hard to envision choosing a cleric when a druid can do the same core things, but have more utility, better resource-free attacks, and a much larger health pool with no downsides.

Barkskin spell implies that druids are designed to have around 16 AC. As it is now, there is little reason to ever cast that spell.

The main weakness I have seen is the lack of good, basic ranged attacks since druids can’t normally use bows or crossbows and most of the animal forms only have melee. I find myself using the long strider spell to be able to close in faster in animal form. Picking Wood Elf solves this giving bow prof and both Dex and wisdom bonuses.

Next I want to try a Circle of the Land Teifling druid that only uses animal forms for utility. I’ll use the mage armor trick to boost AC to 24 and then flame blade and good berries to outlast everything, along with the searing smite racial power. Maybe start off with a blur spell from the desert land domain to have even higher defenses, because 24 AC is not good enough. Plus side of this build is that you can actually have normal conversations with NPCs.
Posted By: DragonSnooz Re: Druid Tips - 28/02/21 08:16 PM
Originally Posted by Thespen
IMHO it's a pity they did not stick with "Druids will not wear armour and shields made of metal" as per the PH page 65
That probably would be the simplest fix.
Posted By: SaurianDruid Re: Druid Tips - 28/02/21 09:46 PM
Another druid trick I found. You can cast Speak with Animals then switch that spell out with another prepared spell and keep the effect on yourself. So Speak with Animals only costs a first level spell slot. It doesn't use up a prepared spell slot too.

Quote
IMHO it's a pity they did not stick with "Druids will not wear armour and shields made of metal" as per the PH page 65

To be fair this was always a weird flavor rule rather than a hard mechanical limit. The rule says "you will not" rather than "you cannot" and offers no explanation as to what will happen if you actually try it unlike older editions. It is more like a legacy rule than something that matters a lot as far as game balance goes.

It also doesn't make too much sense in modern lore. Clerics can channel the life or nature domains just fine in metal armor and they're drawing from basically the same source if they worship a nature god. Wizards don't suffer casting penalties in heavy armor so long as they have the proficiency. And I can't imagine a dwarf druid who grew up underground around metalworkers would consider worked metal to be more unnatural than treated wood or cured animal hide.
Posted By: Braven Re: Druid Tips - 28/02/21 11:15 PM
Originally Posted by SaurianDruid
Another druid trick I found. You can cast Speak with Animals then switch that spell out with another prepared spell and keep the effect on yourself. So Speak with Animals only costs a first level spell slot. It doesn't use up a prepared spell slot too.

My main issue with Speak with Animals is that it requires concentration, which is annoying for utility spells. A lot of other druid spells use concentration too, like guidance, resistance, and most of the level 2 spells. Not to mention items, like the items that confer the shield of faith effect. In general, utility and pre-buff spells are best not prepared, since you won’t need them in combat ever and out of combat you can just switch them in and out as needed. Same could be said for the movement boosting spell. I cast that once after long rest and then replace it with something else. Can also do that with good berries. Just depends if you want to deal with the micro-management hassle.

I kind of wish speak with animals were a cantrip since sometimes you are just wasting a spell slot because the animal has nothing useful to say, except flavor text, and most puzzles could be solved also with animal handling instead, which druids are likely to be good at. But really, if you are playing a Druid, you will want to talk to every single animal you see because it is fun and the voice acting is great. I actually skipped on animal handling because I figure I’ll never use since it doesn’t come up when using speak with animals.
Posted By: Braven Re: Druid Tips - 01/03/21 05:01 AM
I discovered a new, interesting way to use flame blade. Most weapons, if dual-wielding and held in your off-hand, will lose their ability modifiers for attack rolls and damage. However, there is no downside to holding a flame blade in your off-hand. It still gets it’s ability modifier for attack (wisdom) and has no damage ability modifier regardless of whether it is held in the main hand or off hand.

The humble club, like Flame Blade, is a light weapon and can be used with dual-weilding. This makes for a good complimentary weapon for your main hand, since the druid cantrip can make it a d8 roll and also wisdom-based like Flame Blade so you don’t need to pump up more than one ability stat. While it looks strange fighting with a club and scimitar, that combo is the most damaging two weapons in the game I can think of that can be duel-wielded without the help of feats.

Another interesting thing about Flame Blade is that it can be learned by wizards. A scroll is sold by a merchant in the Grove. I am not sure if wisdom is still used for attack rolls, if cast by a wizard; I’ll test that later.
Posted By: DragonMaster69 Re: Druid Tips - 01/03/21 07:50 AM
Ok, now I know that the Druid can use up to medium armor and shield. But now what weapons is the Druid allowed to use? As I've not Played pen and paper DND in years and not familiar with the Druid rules. Thanks
Posted By: FrostyFardragon Re: Druid Tips - 01/03/21 09:28 AM
Originally Posted by Braven
Barkskin spell implies that druids are designed to have around 16 AC. As it is now, there is little reason to ever cast that spell.
This is also true in 5e PnP, it's a garbage spell. In theory you can cast if before you wildshape and have the AC carry over, but in practice I don't think anyone bothers.
Posted By: FrostyFardragon Re: Druid Tips - 01/03/21 09:34 AM
Originally Posted by DragonMaster69
Ok, now I know that the Druid can use up to medium armor and shield. But now what weapons is the Druid allowed to use? As I've not Played pen and paper DND in years and not familiar with the Druid rules. Thanks

Copy paste from current PnP rules: Clubs, daggers, darts, javelins, maces, quarterstaffs, scimitars, sickles, slings, spears

Plus you can use any weapons you are proficent in from other sources, such as race (dwarf, elf, gith). Longbow is pretty useful for my elven druid.
Posted By: DragonMaster69 Re: Druid Tips - 01/03/21 03:48 PM
Originally Posted by FrostyFardragon
Originally Posted by DragonMaster69
Ok, now I know that the Druid can use up to medium armor and shield. But now what weapons is the Druid allowed to use? As I've not Played pen and paper DND in years and not familiar with the Druid rules. Thanks

Copy paste from current PnP rules: Clubs, daggers, darts, javelins, maces, quarterstaffs, scimitars, sickles, slings, spears

Plus you can use any weapons you are proficent in from other sources, such as race (dwarf, elf, gith). Longbow is pretty useful for my elven druid.

Thanks for the Reply I appreciate it.
Posted By: Starlights Re: Druid Tips - 07/03/21 08:46 PM
hi Braven,

Originally Posted by Braven
I discovered a new, interesting way to use flame blade. Most weapons, if dual-wielding and held in your off-hand, will lose their ability modifiers for attack rolls and damage. However, there is no downside to holding a flame blade in your off-hand. It still gets it’s ability modifier for attack (wisdom) and has no damage ability modifier regardless of whether it is held in the main hand or off hand.

To be clear, WIS 18 = +4 modifier. if a character has flame blade in the offhand, you will see 3D6 + 4, when you mouse over the offhand ?

But in the character table, the "attack" doesn't show that +4 (offhand or main hand).

While with Shillelagh, you can see the WIS modifier added.
Posted By: Vortex138 Re: Druid Tips - 08/03/21 03:36 PM
Originally Posted by SaurianDruid
Another druid trick I found. You can cast Speak with Animals then switch that spell out with another prepared spell and keep the effect on yourself. So Speak with Animals only costs a first level spell slot. It doesn't use up a prepared spell slot too.

Quote
IMHO it's a pity they did not stick with "Druids will not wear armour and shields made of metal" as per the PH page 65

To be fair this was always a weird flavor rule rather than a hard mechanical limit. The rule says "you will not" rather than "you cannot" and offers no explanation as to what will happen if you actually try it unlike older editions. It is more like a legacy rule than something that matters a lot as far as game balance goes.

It also doesn't make too much sense in modern lore. Clerics can channel the life or nature domains just fine in metal armor and they're drawing from basically the same source if they worship a nature god. Wizards don't suffer casting penalties in heavy armor so long as they have the proficiency. And I can't imagine a dwarf druid who grew up underground around metalworkers would consider worked metal to be more unnatural than treated wood or cured animal hide.

Being from 1st Ed AD&D, I'm used to the druid being restricted to "natural" armor. Now, you could argue that worked metal is natural, but not in the eyes of the druid circles. In regards to dwarf druids, these were extremely rare (see Pikel Bouldershoulder in The Cleric Quintet) Not unheard of, but extremely rare, and they tended to adopt the druid way of life as opposed to incorporate their own society's preferences. The original druids also didn't worship gods. The believed in the raw power or nature and in the balance of life an death as opposed to such power coming from a particular god. Most gods will lean toward, Order, Chaos, Good or Evil. Druids believed themselves to be the fulcrums of such ideals, maintaining the balance between all such forces.

Metal wasn't so much unnatural as it was too processed for their use. Through the use of metallurgy, ores are combined, heating and bound into new compounds, then heated again, pounded and shaped into what is required. The druids believed in minimal processing, hence why leather, hides and wood were used.

Weapons were more symbolic than anything. Daggers could be used, but they were usually made out of bone and the like. Sickles and scimitars represented the crescent moon, and as such were allowed to be used. Even then, most ceremonial sickles were made from silver or electrum, metals of the sun and moon in balance.

1st ed druid society was VERY strict. It was difficult to enter into the druid circles, and once there, you had to abide by their laws and society. This was offset by the ability to cast powerful spells of nature and, of course the ability to wild shape. So I believe they definitely should return back to druids only being able to wear non-metal armor, if nothing else, for balance, but also to keep the feel for druid alive. This is just my opinion, however. smile
Posted By: Madscientist Re: Druid Tips - 08/03/21 04:22 PM
The profiencies seem a bit strange. No metal but daggers and scimitars are allowed.
From a player perspective I am very happy with druids, both in IE games and BG3.

They were close to useless in Realms of Arcadia. (RPG trilogy from 1991/1993/1995 based on the dark eye)
They took "no metal" literal, so druids could only use leather armor, glass daggers (from obsidian, they break all the time), whips and clubs. Those weapons were terrible, low damage and huge penalties, easy to break).
Only witches were worse, they had a broom as weapon and they could not unequip it.
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