01: SF Conj, GSF Conj 03: SF Trans 06: GSF Trans 09: SF Evo 12: GSF Evo 15: SF Necro 18: GSF Necro 21: Extend Spell 24: Empower 25: ESF Conj 27: ESF Evo 29: ESF Trans 30: ESF Necro 33: G Wis 1, 2 36: G Wis 3 37: G Wis 4 39: G Wis 5
41: Use spell pen book 42: L Spell Pen 45: LSF Trans 48: G Wis 6 51: G Wis 7 54: G Wis 8 57: G Wis 9 60: LSF Necro
Just curious, why do you say to carry heals of all strengths?
Ah, you don't need to carry heals of all strengths, it's more of an early pre-epic thing where a new player may be unable to afford to spend all his money on heal pots, when weaker (and cheaper) cure wounds pots will do the job just as well. Once you hit a certain level, it's pretty much heal pots all the way.
How would you change this build for the fallen angel subrace?
Having skimmed over your build above, I have a few thoughts; firstly, if I were levelling this build from scratch, I would use an Esf: Evocation or Esf: Necro book instead, as there are pre-Legendary areas of the mod in which you will encounter spell resistance - although you are playing the right class if you'd like to drop it. The Evocation book has the advantage over the Necro one of being easier to get (it drops in the same place as the spell penetration book). If you are reincarnating to this build at 50, this is not such a huge deal of course, and you can use whatever is convenient.
Secondly, with regards to going Necro over Abjuration: it's certainly a valid option, you gain a much nicer dc for Finger of Death and Infestation of Maggots, the former of which is great against non death immunes, the latter of which is somewhat niche in it's usefulness, but handy in some, mainly endgame areas. You also get a nicer Defoliate dc which is useful in areas of the Abyss, and maybe Myconids (I have no clue on that one, my Druid was 60 long before the area even existed). The Necromancy epic spell is also quite a nice one, as it's great for stoning trash and a few nasty randoms in the Hells. In the right circumstances it can be a party saver, although not to the same extent as Immutable Force. In the Abyss it's almost useless, sadly.
However, Nature's Frailty really is a great spell if you are planning on venturing into deeper hells, and it's even more valuable to have if you are ever planning on fighting any Abyss Lords, where it's imperative to drop their spell resistance immediately and without failure. Abjuration foci also have the advantage of improving your energy immunity spells greatly. I still use these on my Druid, both on myself and people who request it.
For what it's worth, on my Druid I have both Necro and Abjuration and I feel I get much better value from the Abjuration Foci. My Druid is slated to drop Necromancy on reincarnation, as mages and clerics tend to be much more capable of dealing with death magic vulnerable foes, and Finger of Death competes directly with Nature's Balance for slots. I don't get much use from the epic spell any more either, although that's because I spend more time in the Abyss.
It's a preference thing ultimately, but I feel Abjuration has more value to a Druid if you ever plan to venture into endgame areas. Of course, going with Esf: Abjuration would free you up to spend your Lsf: Necro feat on an Lsf in either Evocation (increasing your Evocation damage output and ability to insta-kill fume like mobs with Desert Sirocco) or Conjuration (higher dc snaring spells and greater damage output on Elemental Swarm). Personally I'd choose Evocation.
This was an excellent guide Excruciator. Any druid would be well served to read this, even if they were building a Rilmanai. Lots of useful information, and enough to get started without overwhelming with details. Nice write-up. I was actually thinking about writing a guide to help people learn to be more than a NB or shunt bot.
Nice formatting and great guide. Druid build is pretty solid. Bard splash will give new players access to scroll usage which make the character quite playable even in the hells. Druid is a really strong character for LL runs and is always a popular addition to any party.
The first thing you'd need to change would be the starting stats; I would probably go for:
A net gain of 2 Wisdom for -1 Strength. Not a bad start, but you also get Lightning Reflexes and Spell Focus: Abjuration too, plus an extra feat at level 1 for being human; so all in all, a good upgrade. You can likely keep the skills breakdown more or less exactly as it is.
You then have a couple of choices; First option, keep the Bard level and the umd, keep the same dc as the Dryadkin version and pick up Epic Spell Focus: Abjuration and Legendary Spell Focus in Conjuration or Evocation. Your feats list would look something like this:
Level 21: Metamagic: Extend Spell Level 24: Epic Spell Penetration Level 25: Epic Spell Focus: Abjuration Level 27: Epic Spell Focus: Conjuration Level 29: Greater Spell Focus: Abjuration Level 30: Epic Spell Focus: Abjuration Level 33: Great Wisdom I & II Level 36: Great Wisdom III Level 37: Great Wisdom IV Level 39: Great Wisdom V
Level 42: Legendady Penetration Level 45: Legendary Spell Focus: Transmutation Level 48: Legendary Valor Level 51: Legendary Spell Focus: Evocation OR Conjuration Level 54: Great Wisdom VI Level 57: Great Wisdom VII Level 60: Great Wisdom VIII
Book: Esf: Evocation
In comparison to the Dryadkin build you get:
+2 dc to either Evo or Conjuration spells; your choice, Conjuration is better for disabling (Storm of Vengeace, Stonehold, Grease), whilst Evocation is more about direct damage spells, although Desert Sirocco can instakill some nasty hell and abyss mobs - albeit not hugely effectively.
An extra Epic Spell Focus, which makes your Energy Immunity spell much more effective, and grants you Nature's Frailty, which is something you're going to want if you are planning on going any deeper than Maladomini; it drops sr by 20, with no save.
+2 Reflex (Lightning reflex)
Your second option would be the max dc route. This would involve dropping your bard level entirely and taking a paladin level instead. Thus, you would need to change the level order somewhat. It should be 1-19 Druid, 20 Paladin (maximise Discipline). 21-39 Druid, 40 Monk (maximise discipline, 40 tumble).
Level 21: Epic Spell Penetration Level 24: Epic Spell Focus: Abjuration Level 25: Epic Spell Focus: Conjuration Level 27: Greater Spell Focus: Abjuration Level 29: Epic Spell Focus: Abjuration Level 30: Great Wisdom I Level 33: Great Wisdom II & III Level 36: Great Wisdom IV Level 37: Great Wisdom V Level 39: Great Wisdom VI
Level 42: Legendady Penetration Level 45: Legendary Spell Focus: Transmutation Level 48: Great Wisdom VI Level 51: Great Wisdom VII Level 54: Great Wisdom VIII Level 57: Great Wisdom IX Level 60: Great Wisdom X
Book: Esf: Evocation
In comparison to the Dryadkin build you get:
+1 To all spell dc's
Esf Abjuration and Nature's Frailty Epic
-1 Reflex, -2 Will, -2 Fortitude
No Use Magic Device skill
20 extra skill points to spend on whatever you like
So which do I reccomend more? The first option is easily the most balanced. It's more forgiving (better saves, Use Magic Device) and it's offenses are plenty respectable.
The second version gives up quite a lot for what it gains. However; if you are planning to demi this build, it is likely superior. your first demi iteration would raise all saves by +2, due to your charisma stat bonus, and the second iteration would raise them by another +2. The end result is, at 2x demi, you have 1 reflex less, but +1 dc on most schools. You will also have much less need for use magic device once you get to shop in the hellstore, for sanctuary pots, amongst other things.
Having said that, I played my Druid from level one to demi with no umd and never regretted it. I was happy using precious rings for sanctuary in the times I needed to do so. I'm not sure I can post in public where those drop, but send a pm if you need to know. One thing about building and playing perferences - everyone is different, so you need to experiment and find out what is best for you.
If all this sounds like I'm talking nonsense, do let me know; I appreciate the endgame can be somewhat shrouded in mystery at times. Also, if you need me to do a build layout as with the Dryadkin version, I can do that, but it takes a long time. I thought you'd appreciate a more prompt response, but if you need it posting in the same way, just let me know.
Very nice open subby build btw, i just had to point out the typo as it made me laugh - any suggestions for building with Doppelganger?.
Start as a human with 8(->6) str, 14 dex, 12(->14) con, 14 int, 18(->23) wis, 8(->6) cha
Don't take strong soul/legendary valor, just take epic reflex: fort is already good on druids, and your improved starting stats raise flex/fort saves a bit too.
Doing so you have three more feats (one free from being human and not half elf; one because you start with odd wisdom score hence you don't need to take great wis X feat, stop at great wis IX; one from one less save feats) that you invest into focus, greater focus and epic focus necromancy for better adaptability.