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Druid Guide by Sajber
Version: 1.00 | Updated: 04/05/07
=========================================== Neverwinter Nights 2: "Druid" Class Guide by Erik Fasterius, erik.fasterius@hotmail..com Copyright 2007 Erik Fasterius =========================================== --------------------- 0.0 TABLE OF CONTENTS --------------------- 1.0 INTRODUCTION Who I am, what this guide is for, etc... 2.0 THE DRUIDS AND THEIR POWERS An introduction to the class of Druids 2.1 Druid potential 2.2 What sort of Druid do you want? 2.3 Planning ahead 3.0 RACE Pointy ears or extra skills, that is the question... 4.0 ALIGNMENT Very important for a Druid! 5.0 ABILITY SCORES Also known as "stats", but Ability Scores sounds better! 5.1 Discourse On Stats 5.2 Examples 5.3 Bonus Stats 6.0 SKILLS Those little quirks that make your character special 6.1 Must-have Skills 6.2 Recommended Skills 6.3 Useless Skills 7.0 FEATS You probably won't have alot, so you better choose carefully! 7.1 Free Feats 7.2 Recommended Feats 7.3 Useful Feats 7.4 Useless Feats 8.0 A DISCOURSE ON SPELLS Having a God sure can help sometimes! 8.1 Level 0 8.2 Level 1 8.3 Level 2 8.4 Level 3 8.5 Level 4 8.6 Level 5 8.7 Level 6 8.8 Level 7 8.9 Level 8 8.10 Level 9 9.0 WILD SHAPE You might or you might not use it, but it's a terrific thing to have! 9.1 Initial Shapes 9.2 Dire Shapes 9.3 Elemental Shapes 10.0 YOUR ANIMAL COMPANION Loyal and faithful, sure, but which one? 11.0 CREDITS, VERSION HISTORY, ETC All the rest of the remaining boring stuff... 11.1 Credit where credit is due 11.2 Version History 11.3 Who can use this guide 11.4 Special Thanks ---------------- 1.0 INTRODUCTION ---------------- Hello, My name is Erik Fasterius, just a nobody from sweden who spends far too much time at my computer. I think that I'm pretty good at english, but there are going to be mistakes made anyhow. If you find a mistake, grammar or other- wise, feel free to send me a mail about it. You can find my mail at the top of this page. You're free to send me constructive criticism as well, but anything that's simply says my guide sucks and I'm a noob will simply be blocked and deleted. Of course, feel free to mail me and tell me how good you though my guid was! =P Before I start with the guide, I would like to point out that I will use smilies. I do this because I have learned from experience that I'm simply not good enough at writing to be able to express sarcasm, jokes and the like without them. With smilies, hopefully everybody will know when I'm serious and when I'm not! To search this guide, simply press CTRL+F and type in a searchword. For example, if you're looking for the section on Skills, type in "6.0", and your browser will automaticly take you to any text in the guide with 6.0 in it - which should only be two places, if I've done it correctly: the Table of Contents and the section itself. I will assume you know the basics of the AD&D 3.5 ruleset. If you don't, read your manual and catch up. I will often refer to feats and such without giving a description of what it does, you will have to check that for yourself. Your manual is as good a place as any. The internet is also an alternative, one good site being www.gamebanshee.com. Keep in mind that this is my guide, and therefore it contains my explicit views on how one should play the Druid. If you find something that you disagree with, feel free to tell me about it, and why you think I'm wrong about the issue at question. And this is not a step-by-step guide, ending in just one character, it is a collection of thoughts and ideas on different ways to play the class of Druids. Therefore, you have to do alot of thinking by yourself, and not rely on me telling you exactly what to do. There is however alot of data in here to help you do those decisions, though, so don't worry! =D And with that, let's start the guide! --------------------------- 2.0 DRUIDS AND THEIR POWERS --------------------------- So, you've decided to create a Druid. Or perhaps you're thinking of creating one. This section of my guide will attempt to try to give you an idea of what sort of character a Druid can become. Druids are very versatile characters, and you can build your Druid in many ways. Although they are versatile and can adapt to many sitations without having to prepare, they can still be focused on going in one direction or the other. 2.1 Druid Potential ------------------- Ok, so Druids are versatile. What does that mean, exactly? Well, it basicly means that a Druid can fill any other role in a party, be it as a warrior, healer, spellcaster or general buff-bot. While it is their strength to be able to take all these roles (often at just a moments notice), they will of course not be as good as a "pure" class of whatever area they are taking over for. We have to keep this in mind whenever we play our Druid, so as not to overestimate our prowess in the different areas of battle. Before we move on, here are the Druid basics, copied from the manual. "--- Class Features: Druids Alignment Restrictions: Any neutral Hit Die: d8 Base Attack Bonus: Medium High Saves: Fortitude and Will Skill Points: 4 + Intelligence Modifier Weapon Proficiencies: Druids are proficient with the following weapons: club, dagger, dart, quarterstaff, scimitar, sickle, shortspear, sling, and spear. They are also proficient with all natural attacks (claw, bite, and so forth) of any form they assume with wild shape. Armor Proficiencies: Light and medium as well as shield (except for tower shields). Class Skills: Concentration, Craft Alchemy, Diplomacy, Heal, Listen, Lore, Parry, Spellcraft, Spot, and Survival. Spells: A druid casts divine spells, which are drawn from the druid spell list. A druid must choose and prepare her spells in advance. To prepare or cast a spell, the druid must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level (Wis 10 for 0-level spells, Wis 11 for 1st level spells, and so forth). Spontaneous Casting: A druid can channel stored spell energy into summoning spells that she hasn't prepared ahead of time. She can "lose" a prepared spell in order to cast any summon monster spell of the same level or lower. Animal Companion: A druid begins the game with an animal companion. Wild Shape: At 5th level, a druid gains the ability to turn herself into an animal and back again once per day. ---" Ok, so Druids have got a medium amount of Hit Points, medium armour + shields, a good amount of skills, can cast divine spells, has an Animal Companion, can shapeshift into different animals and has a mediocre selection on weapons. Based on just this, we can make an assumption that the Druid as a class is a fairly well-balanced one, no real strengths nor weaknesses. So, now you have to decide into what direction you want your Druid to travel! 2.2 What sort of Druid do you want? ----------------------------------- While the Druid can do alot of things, I very much recommend that you try to make him or her focus on one area that the Druid will be better at. This could be fighting, for example, or spellcasting. You could become your party's second tank, or perhaps a ranged attacker. I'll give you some examples here, to get you started. The Spellcaster Druid: This is a Druid that focuses most of his efforts on becoming master of his spells. He will focus most of his stats into Wisdom, to enhance his spells, and forgo his physical stats. He will be utilizing alot of the Druid's offensive spell repertiore, and some healing spells thrown in for good measure. He will be standing at the backlines of the battle, throwing magical mayhem at his party's foes. The Tanking Druid: This Druid will attempt to have as much Constitution and Dexterity as possible, in order to make him both harder to hit and harder to kill. He will use his full potential in his defensive spells, even further increasing his AC and HP. He can be found standing at the front of the fray, staring straight into his attackers' eyes, sharing his place with his fellow fighters. This Druid can hold his own even against several attackers due to his excellent stamina and healing spells. The Shapeshifter: This is a Druid that spends alot of his time shapeshifted, in order to share the frontlines with the other warriors. He will use alot of his spells to enhance his damage output, but still be able to throw off the odd heal if the need should arise. This Druid becomes truly powerful once he achieves his Elemental forms, and when his buffing spells reach truly epic proportions. One would do well to not stand in a true Shapeshifter's path. There are, of course, many other variations that you could attempt. The only thing you need to think about is that you need to know what you're after. Don't start building a Druid (or any other character, for that matter), without first knowing what type of character you want it to become. If you don't already know what you want your Druid to be like, take a moment and think about it, before you keep reading. 2.3 Planning Ahead ------------------ Ok, now that you know what type of Druid you want, you need to start planning. Ask yourself some questions about your character. Is he or she a spellcaster? Ok, what sort of spells does she cast, offensive, defensive or buffing? Ok, what type of feats does he or she need, general feats or Metamagic feats? Ok, will he or she be multiclassing into anything? Give yourself a chance to get a general feel for your character. Don't worry about the details yet, we'll get to those in the other sections of the guide. The important thing now is that you know what you want to have! -------- 3.0 RACE -------- So, what race is your Druid going to be? Your main attribute, regardless of build, is most probably going to be Wisdom, so something that increases your Wisdom would be welcome. You still have to think for yourself what other sort of stat balance you need, depending on your type of Druid. Here are some good choices when it comes to race: Wood Elf: +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence. A Wood Elf Druid gets access to both the Short and Long Bow, which could be a good thing if you want a ranged Druid. Low Light Vision and Keen Senses always help as well. It's never welcome to loose out on Constitution, but you gain other stats. Intelligence doesn't make that much of an impact, to be honest. Drow: +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma, -2 Constitution. Pretty much the same as the Wood Elf, except that you get more stats, spell resistance and a level adjustment of +2. A Drow Druid would look... weird, however. =P Svirfneblin: +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Strength, -4 Charisma. These little guys have a ton of bonuses, spell resistance and saving throw bonuses among the nicer ones. Small stature is a nice twist as well. A problem would be the +3 level adjustment, though. If you think it makes up for it is up to you to decide. Human: You can always take a human, no matter what class you are. One extra feat, more skills and any favoured class. A solid choice, as always. Aasimar: +2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma. Darkvision, excellent stats and some elemental resistances wraps this race up quite nicely. Keen senses are always a nice bonus as well. Duergar: +2 Constitution, -4 Charisma. Excellent choice if you want to take a Druid for tanking. They have various bits of good about them, and the -4 Charisma doesn't hurt all that much. You can, of course, take any race whatsoever. Any race can make a good choice for any class, it's just that some might be better than others! =D ------------- 4.0 ALIGNMENT ------------- As a Druid, you have to have at least some part of neutrality in your alignment. This means, you can only be Neutral Good, Neutral Evil, Lawful Neutral, True Neutral or Chaotic Neutral. For most, this is an aestethic choice, but there is one special case where it needs more consideration: Shapeshifters. Some shifters like to get one level of Monk, to get the bonuses for their Wild Shapes (more on the details later), and Monks need to have something lawful in them. This means that a Druid that is going to be multiclassing to a Monk have to be Lawful Neutral, and nothing else. When you play the game, keep in mind that you have to remain neutral, otherwise you can't continue as a Druid. You can't do too many good things in a row, you have to mix it out with some evil, and vice versa. This isn't very hard, as long as you keep it in the back of your head. If you've done something nice a few times, just go ahead and kill that guy you should be helping next time instead, and you'll be back on course. I myself think that this concept of "neutrality" sucks... Meh, I didn't design the game, so I have to deal with what i get... =/ ------------------ 5.0 ABILITY SCORES ------------------ Almost all Druids' main stat is Wisdom, and a generally good idea is to start with at least 16. The rest is really up to what sort of Druid you are. 5.1 Discourse On Stats ---------------------- Strength: Almost no Druids need this stat to be very high. A spellcaster won't need it for obvious reasons, a shapeshifter won't need it becuase it's going to be modified in Wild Shape anyway and tanks don't really need it. If you're thinking about creating a melee damage dealer type of Druid, then you'll need it. I can't think of a good reason to create such a Druid, though, since there are so much better alternatives! =P Recommended starting value: 10-14. Dexterity: This stat's value varies a bit more than Strength. If you're a spellcaster, you want a bit more Dexterity to be able to get some more AC out of it, and the same goes for a tanking Druid. However, tanks need to be a bit more planning than simply putting much into Dexterity. The really hardcore tanks might want to invest in the Heavy Armour Feat, which means they won't need more than a +1 in their Dexterity modifier. A shapeshifter doesn't really need Dexterity, but it is always nice to have, regardless. Recommended starting value: 12-14 Constitution: For tanks, this is essential. For spellcaster, it's nice, but not that much needed. For shapeshifter, as with all physical stats, it doesn't really matter all that much. Recommended starting value: 14+ (tanks), 12-14 (rest). Intelligence: A Druid's least needed stat. We've already got 4 skills per level, which is already enough. It really depends on how many skills you want to be good at, and what race you are. If you're a human, you'll have +1 skills per level to play with as well. Just look up the Skill section lower down, decide how many skills you want, and adjust your Intelligence accordingly. Recommended starting value: 8-12. Wisdom: Main stat. Duh. =P Recommended starting value: 16-18. Charisma: How much you want in Charisma is basicly how good you want to be with Diplomacy, Bluff and Intimidate. How much you want it up to you, and what mod you play. Recommended starting value: whatever you have left. 5.2 Examples ------------ Here follows some examples on how Ability Scores can look for different types of Druid with different races: Human Spellcaster Aasimar Spellcaster Svirfneblin Spellcaster Str 10 10 8 Dex 14 16 16 Con 14 14 14 Int 8 10 10 Wis 18 18 18 Cha 10 12 8 Human Tank Duergar Tank Svirfneblin Tank Str 14 14 12 Dex 12 12 14 Con 16 18 16 Int 8 10 10 Wis 16 16 16 Cha 10 6 6 Human Shapeshifter Wood Elf Shapeshifter Drow Shapeshifter Str 12 14 12 Dex 14 14 14 Con 14 12 14 Int 8 10 12 Wis 16 16 16 Cha 14 12 10 Keep in mind that all these are just that - examples. Just because I have distributed the stats for one type and one race in one way, it does not mean that if you have that same type and race you have to put the stats exactly the way I did (phew, long sentance! =P). How many skills you want and if your mod uses Charisma can make them change alot. Just your own liking of one thing and not the other can change it! Roleplay can change distribution. My examples here were roughly made for the Original Campaign. 5.3 Bonus Stats --------------- Every fourth level, you will be given an Ability Score point to distribute as you see fit, for a total of 5 increases at level 20. Where should you put them? Well, Wisdom, of course! The only exception I can think of would be the Tank, who should put 3 into Wisdom and 2 into Constitution. 19 Wisdom is the least you need to be able to cast level 9 spells, so that's really the minimum, becase you DO want those spells, even if you're a tank! ---------- 6.0 SKILLS ---------- In this section, I'll talk about skills - which are bad, which are good, and so on. I'll start simply by writing out the Druid's class skills, once again: Concentration, Craft Alchemy, Diplomacy, Heal, Listen, Lore, Parry, Spellcraft, Spot, and Survival. Druids gain skills according to 4 + (Intelligence modifier). 6.1 Must-have Skills ---------------------- These are the skills that I couldn't live without. You might disagree, but since this is my guide, you don't have a say in it! (mwuhahaha! =P). Concentration: This is an excellent skill, since a Druid is always a caster at the bottom of it. Concentration will help you get those spells off when you're in a middle of a tight group of monsters! Heal: You've already got healing spells, but this can be used as a last resort, if you're either out of useful spells or if you need to cure something and have no current spell for it. 6.2 Recommended Skills ---------------------- Skills that are useful. Just take your pick from them and what suits you. Diplomacy: I myself really like to be able to talk myself out of a situation, but that's just me. If you don't like it, don't take it. Listen: This is really the Rogues' job, in my opinion, but if you don't have one in your group, it always helps. It might help even if you DO have a Rogue... Lore: There probably is somebody else in your party with better Lore than you could ever get, but just in case there isn't, this skill is dead useful. Spot: The same as for Listen, but a bit more useful. Spellcraft: It's always nice to be able to see what that fancy-looking spell actually is, rather than just feeling it's power once they're done casting. Maybe you have a Wizard in your party, and chances are he has a higher Spellcraft score than you, but that doesn't really matter. It's a good skill to have. Tumble: Although it is not a class-skill, this has great benefits for tanking Druids. More AC, and easy ways to avoid Attacks of Opportunity, yay! 6.3 Useless Skills ------------------ If you don't think they're useless, by all means, take them. Just don't say I didn't warn you! =D Parry: Seriously? You're a druid. The only exception here would be for a tanking Druid, but he couldn't become as good at parrying as other tanks could, just because of lack of feats. It might be useful for tanks, but for all other Druids, it's just pure fail. Survival: Slow movement speed traded for ability to see the monsters nearby on the minimap? Sounds like a rip-off trade to me. Never found it the least useful. As always, with everything in this guide, if you disagree with some of my choices, you're more than welcome to send me a mail, telling me why I should reconsider. My mail can be found at the top of this page. --------- 7.0 FEATS --------- You won't have an endless amount of feats to take, so you have to be picky when it comes to what to take and what to pass up. This section will help you decide. What feats you take will vary, depending on what sort of Druid you are. 7.1 Free Feats -------------- These are the feats that you gain for free as you level up your Druid. Nature Sense: A druid gains a +2 bonus to Survival and a +2 bonus to Search and Spot while in wilderness areas. (level 1) Woodland Stride: The Druid gains a +10% movement increase when in outdoor, natural environments. (level 2) Trackless Step: The Druid gains a +4 competence bonus to Hide and Move Silently checks when in wilderness areas. (level 3) Resist Nature's Lure: The Druid gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against all Fear spells and effects. (level 4) Wild Shape: Starts at level 5. Read more in the "Wild Shape" section. Venom Immunity: The Druid gains immunity to all poisons. (level 9) 7.2 Recommended Feats --------------------- Here I will list some of the feats that i've found useful through my playtime in the game. They will vary depending on what area you are focusing on as a Druid, so you just have to be picky. This is really the area where you start to focus on your area of expertise, even more than by just your attributes. I will not give you any description whatsoever on what the feats themselves do, you will have to look that up yourself, I'll simply state what I think about them and their usefulness. Dodge: Useful for all kinds of Druid, no matter what focus. Metamagic Feats: Very good for the spellcaster type Druids. Empower spell is very good for dishing out that extra damage, and Extend spell for making those buffs last a bit longer. Extend spell is useful for all kinds of Druids, not just the spellcaster types (that is, if they can afford it). Maximize spell is good too, to a certain extent. Mobility: Excellent feat. As you'll be moving around in combat more often than not, having a bit extra AC against Attacks of Opportunity sure can help! (Requires: Dodge) Toughness: For tanking type Druids, this is worth gold. Just don't take it at an early level, wait until it makes a difference instead. Natural Spell: Simply a must-have for shapeshifters! A spellcaster who likes to take on a Wild Shape could also benefit from this feat, although he would make more use from the Elephant's Hide feat. Oaken Resiliance: Again, very good for anybody except a shapeshifter. Maybe even good for them as well, since it's so bloody good! Zen Archery: For a ranged type of Druid, this feat is worth it's weight in gold! You won't have to boost Dexterity at all, simply keep your Wisdom high! 7.3 Useful Feats ---------------- These are simply spells that are good choices when deciding what feats to take, and can give a bit more flavour to your character. Spell Penetration: Good for spellcasters for obvious reasons. Heavy Armour Feat: Good for tanks who want to be able to wear that plate armour. It can be argued that a level in fighter is better because of the extra feat you gain along with this one, and I have to say I'm simply not sure which way I prefer. Decide for yourself! Luck of Heroes: +1 AC and +1 to all saving throws. Good for all types of Druids, but even more so for tanks. Elephant's Hide: Good for everybody except shapeshifters (since they want to use their forms), and especially for tanks. Point Blank Shot: Obviously, useful if you're a ranged type of Druid. 7.4 Useless Feats ----------------- These are feats you might think are useful, but they're not. There are tons of feats that are useless to a Druid, but I'll only list those that you might think are good! =P Extra Wild Shapes: You'll have as many Wild Shape charges so you won't even use them all before resting in the end anyway. Don't take this feat! Combat Casting: This is vital for arcane casters with low armour, but not for a Druid. You'll be maxing your Concentration skill anyway, so this spell won't help you much. There are better choices out there! Spell Focus: Sure, it can help, but wasting an entire feat just to improve one school of magic? Pathetic, don't even think about taking this one. ------------------------- 8.0 A DISCOURSE ON SPELLS ------------------------- This is not a description on every spell that the Druid has in his arsenal, it is rather a small collection on the spells that I've found to be useful. It's pretty much the same as the "Feats" section in that it excludes alot, and only includes the important. Keep in mind, though, that it is what I think is important, and you may disagree. If you do, please tell me why, and maybe I'll include your thoughts in a future version of the guide. I won't include the "Summon Monster" spells in this list, since a Druid always can cast them via the Spontaneous Casting feat they have. Some like the summoning spells, and some don't. I find them to be a waste of another good spell, frankly. If you like them, however, remember to never memorize them, since you can always cast them anyway. 8.1 Level 0 ----------- Resistance: About the only useful Orison spell there is, although it's not bad at all. At higher levels, you can basicly go with it activated all the time on your character(s) for free. 8.2 Level 1 ----------- Cure Light Wounds: A healing spell. Not much to say about these, except that you're going to be needing them. This is the first of many to come. Endure Elements: A good spell to have in your back pocket, or when you know you'll be up against elemental damage. Magic Fang: Very useful for Shapeshifters, since they can actually cast it on themselves, rather than just their Animal Companion. 8.3 Level 2 ----------- Barkskin: More AC, anybody? Hell yes, dead useful spell! +Stat spells: These include Bull's Strength, Bear's Endurance, Cat's Grace and Owl's Wisdom. These are very useful, and are even better if you Extend them via the Metamagic feat. Flame Weapon: Every sort of bonus damage is good. Cast this preferably on a character only wielding one weapon, as it only affects the "first" weapon. Lesser Restoration: A good spell to remove all those pescy Ability Score reductions. Always good to have one of these! 8.4 Level 3 ----------- Cure Moderate Wounds: Another healing spell, yay! Call Lightning: A sheer damage spell, to the joy of spellcaster Druids. It's very good, too! Greater Magic Fang: The same as Magic Fang (level 1), but a better version. Jagged Tooth: Excellent for shapeshifters, if they can cast it on them- selves. More crits are always nice! 8.5 Level 4 ----------- Cure Serious Wounds: Healing for the win! Dispel Magic: If you've got alot of bad buffs on you, this is the spell to use. Very good if you know that you'll be up against other spellcasters that use debuffs. Flame Strike: More damage spells for the spellcasters, wohoo! Stoneskin: If you feel that you're taking all too much damage, or just need some more protection, this is the spell for you. 8.6 Level 5 ----------- Cure Critical Wounds: Need I say anything? Own's Insight: A very good temporary boost to Wisdom, especially good for shapeshifters who have taken a level in Monk. Restoration: Same as Lesser Restoration (level 2), but better. Slay Living: If you know that a target has a low Fortitude save, and preferably have them lowered by some other means as well, this is a good instant-death spell to throw at them. 8.7 Level 6 ----------- Energy Immunity: If you know you'll be up against one of the five energy types, this is an excellent spell for preparing for it! Greater Dispel Magic: Same as the level 4 spell, but better. Greater Stoneskin: Same as the level 4 spell, but improved. Regenerate: One of my favourite spells! Put it on something with a ton of hit points (your tank), and see him become invincible! Tortoise Shell: An excellent bonus for your tank, or something else that's taking too many hits. Keep in mind that you'll be moving slower during the spell's duration. 8.8 Level 7 ----------- Aura of Vitality: Although it has a very short duration, this spell can be a lifesaver in the middle of a heated battle! Creeping Doom: Throw it at a wizard, see their spells fizzle and die! Fire Storm: More damage spells for the spellcasters' joy and glee! Harm: Deadly, if you can get your target's Will save down a bit. Heal: Awesome healing spell, it the word's true meaning. A real lifesaver! Mass Cure M. Wounds: This spell can actually be useful at times, either if you have lots of monsters around you (to heal you) or if there are a ton of undead you can damage with it! Sunbeam: Good against undead, but not against much else. True Seeing: If you know you're up against Rogues, this is the spell to use. 8.9 Level 8 ---------- Finger of Death: This has always been a good spell, regarless of what game it's been in. Try to lower your target's Fortitude save before you cast it. Mass Cure S. Wounds: Same as the Mass Cure Moderate Wounds, but better. Premonition: Damage reduction at it's finest! Storm Avatar: The mother of all damage buffing spells! Set this on your warrior (or yourself, if you're a shapeshifter), and see your damage soar into the air! Sunburst: Very effective against undead, and have better effects for the non-undead than Sunbeam (level 7) have. 8.10 Level 9 ------------ Elemental Swarm: This is actually a summoning spell I like! Elementals are sure handy sometimes. Mass Cure C. Wounds: The last healing spell! Shapeshange: My favourite would be the Horned Devil. A really good spell, especially for shapeshifters! And there you have it, all the spells that I tend to use most. Different situations require different spells, though, so just because a spell isn't on this list doesn't mean it's not useful in some area or the other, keep that in the back of your head! =D -------------- 9.0 WILD SHAPE -------------- At level 5, you get your first Wild Shapes. You will be able to shapeshift into one of four animals, and you will get their respective physical stats (Strength, Dexterity and Constitution). This means that having already good physical stats doesn't help your Druid when it comes to shapeshifting. This is one of the things that makes Druids so variable in their gameplay - you can have crappy stats and make up for them by shapeshifting. How much you want to use Wild Shape really depends on what sort of druid you have and what sort of playstyle you're looking for. Initially, you cannot cast spells in animal form, but if you take the feat "Natural Spell", you can. This means, that if you plan on using shapeshifting alot, you really should take that feat. On the other hand, you might only want to use shapeshifting when you've already exhausted all your spells, in which case you won't need Natural Spell. If you have taken one level in Monk, your Wild Shapes will get dramatically better. At level one Monk, you will add your Wisdom modifier (which should be high) to your AC, when unarmoured. Naturally, this won't help much when you're not shapeshifted, since you'll be wearing armour, but it'll add 3-5 AC in your shapeshifted forms, which is alot! Another good thing you gain from one Monk level is Flurry of Blows. Not as great as the AC bonus, but it's still a good feat for shapeshifters. 9.1 Initial Shapes ------------------ These are the first animal shapes that you get at level 5. You can use them once per day at level 5, with an increase at level 6, 7, 10, 14 and 18, for a total of six times per day. Here are your choices: Bear: Strength - 19, Dexterity - 13, Constitution - 15. Due to it's high Strength, the Bear is the animal form you should take when you want to do alot of damage. He's got an ok Constitution, probably the same or more than you have, but a bit lower dexterity. If you've taken one level in Monk that shouldn't really matter, though. The Bear is very large, so it can be hard to use in cramped areas, keep that in mind. Boar: Strength - 15, Dexterity - 10, Constitution - 17. This is the closest to a tank you'll come with shapeshifting. You'll gain some hitpoints, but you'll (probably) loose some AC. Again, a level in Monk helps. Badger: Strength - 8, Dexterity - 17, Constitution - 15. I won't even talk about the Badger, he's just totally and utterly useless as a Wild Shape. Don't ever use it. Wolf: Strength - 13, Dexterity - 15, Constitution - 15. The Wolf is just avarage in everything, not much more to say about him, except that he's a bit smaller. So, which one of these should you use? Naturally, you should decide what form you want to take depending on the situation at hand. The natural choice if you just want damage (which you'll want most of the time) would be the Bear. It's the form you'll be using the most, as it doesn't really loose much tanking value from the Boar (you gain 1 AC and loose one Constitution modifier). You could use the Boar if you really, badly needed the HP. The Badger if just... *shrug* Don't ever use it, period. And I can't really think of any usefulness from the Wolf, when you can choose the Bear instead. 9.2 Dire Shapes --------------- At level 12, your animal shapes will become "Dire" animal shapes, increasing their power. Here they are: Dire Bear: Strength - 31, Dexterity - 13, Constitution - 19. This is, by far, the best dire form out there. Don't even bother with the other ones. I'll list their stats, but I won't even say anything about them, the Dire Bear beats them all without any problems. Dire Wolf: Strength - 25, Dexterity - 15, Constitution - 17. Dire Boar: Strength - 27, Dexterity - 10, Constitution - 17. Dire Badger: Strength - 14, Dexterity - 17, Constitution - 19. 9.3 Elemental Shapes -------------------- The epitome of a shapeshifter's career. At level 16, you gain your first Huge Elemental Shapes. At level 20 you can take the forms of Elder Elementals, even further increasing your shapeshifting powers. Fire Elementals: Huge Elder Strength 18 22 Dexterity 25 29 Constitution 18 18 Base AC 20 27 Base damage: 2d8 + 1d8 Fire Water Elementals: Huge Elder Strength 24 28 Dexterity 18 22 Constitution 21 21 Base AC 22 25 Base damage: 2d10 Earth Elementals: Huge Elder Strength 29 33 Dexterity 8 8 Constitution 24 21 Base AC 19 23 Base damage: 2d10 Air Elementals: Huge Elder Strength 18 22 Dexterity 29 33 Constitution 18 18 Base AC 22 29 Base damage: 2d8 And here we run into a bit of trouble. Remember how I've been talking a bit about taking one level of Monk to be able to get the bonuses? Well, taking one level of Monk means that you won't get the Druid to level 20, which means that you won't get the Elder Elemental forms. So, as a shapeshifter, do you take the Monk level or not? What you gain from taking a level of Monk is a bonus AC equivelant of your Wisdom modifier. This means, that to counter, for example, the AC gain from Huge to Elder Water elemental (for example), you need Wisdom modifier of at least +3. You will have this from level one, so that's not a problem, but for other forms, such as the Air Elementals, you need at least a +7 modifier, which means 24 Wisdom. With items and buffs, it is not unreachable. You also gain Flurry of Blows, which is another attack per round at -2 attack penality. On the other hand, you will loose the +attack/damage you gain in the Elder forms from their increase in Strength (they all get an increase in 4 Strength, which means +2 attack/damage). I myself like the Water Elemental best, and seeing as it's not very hard to compensate for the lack of it's Elder form by the single Monk level, the choice for me isn't hard. However, you might like some other elemental better, and you might have to do some calculations of your own. Decide for yourself! =D As a side note, the number of attacks you get in your Wild Shaped forms do not depend on what form you are in, but rather your own form's BAB. This means that all your Wild Shapes will get the same amount of attacks as you do in your normal form. The Elemental forms are unquestionably best for dealing damage. Well, best for everything, really, once you get them! =P -------------------------- 10.0 YOUR ANIMAL COMPANION -------------------------- At creation, Druids of all variations can choose an Animal Companion to accompany him or her on her travels. This companion can be summoned once per day, but will still with you as long as it does not die. If it does die, you will have to wait another day until you can summon it again. There are not as many to choose from as in Neverwinter Nights 1, and they don't have any means of becoming your "secondary rogue" anymore. (In NWN1 some Companions could detect traps and similar rogue skills) They basicly are the same as your Wild Shapes, so if you've read that section, you can easily relate the two. Here is the list! Badger: Weak Strength and mediocre in everything. Sure, it can frenzy, but that doesn't help much. Again, it's as utterly useless as it is to shapeshift into. Ignore it. Spider: Rather mediocre, it's simply to weak to be able to be any use. It just dies too fast to be able to be useful. I'd skip it. Wolf: This is a good choice in the beginning of the game, as the Wolf can knockdown, as per the feat. This usefulness quickly degenerates as you gain levels and the monsters more easily resist the knockdown attempts. Boar: The toughest of all the companions you can choose, and it's good just for that reason alone. If you want a tank for your Animal Companion, the Boar is for you! It does so-so damage, but not bad either, so it'll actually help on that front as well. Bear: It's not as durable as the Boar, but it does somewhat more damage. I'd recommend the Bear or the Boar, really. They're both good at dealing damage and tanking, you just have to decide which part you need most. If you want more damage, take the Bear, if you want a tank, take the Boar. ---------------------------------- 11.0 CREDITS, VERSION HISTORY, ETC ---------------------------------- The guide is at it's end, oh woe is me! =P 7.1 Credit where credit is due ------------------------------ Seeing as this is the first version of the guide, there aren't really any other people except me that have done anything with it, which means that I can't give any credit for anybody other than myself. If you have contributed to this guide in any way, such as correcting a mistake on my part or adding something I didn't include, you'll be put up on the "Special Thanks" list below, if you want to. 7.2 Version History ------------------- ver. 1.00, 5th of April 2007 - Initial release 7.3 Who can use this guide -------------------------- At this very moment, only Gamefaqs can use this guide. I will almost always give permission for anybody to use the guide, however, as long as you actually ASK. Do that by sending me a mail telling me you want to use the guide, and what site you're wanting to put it up on. It must be un-altered in it's entirety, and must be free. 7.4 Special Thanks ------------------ Bioware - For being the great developers they are! Gamefaqs - Because lurking at your forums is fun! Holidays - So I can have nothing to do, and makes guides instead! And that's it folks, I hope you've enjoyed the guide!