Thursday, November 11, 2010

D&D4 Essentials: Druids and Rangers

So long time readers here know of my struggles with finding a good druid in D&D4.  When the Player's Handbook 2 came out I was thrilled.  I was getting a Druid and Bard class.  Well the druid class was very disappointing to me.  Concept wise it was more of a shaman than the shaman was i thought.

You can read the details of my search here:
http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/2009/07/hybrid-class-playtest-and-character_28.html
http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/2009/08/few-updates.html
http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/2009/08/bodhmall-druidess-er-nature-priestess.html

In particular that last link where I attempt to re-build a character I have played in the past.  Bodhmall is a druidess from the Fenian Cycle of Irish myth.  She was one of the fosters of Fionn MacCumhail. Fionn, Bodhmall and Liath all feature rather prominently in the myths of my modern-era Unisystem games.  So I have a pretty clear idea of who Bodhmall and Liath are and D&D4 didn't cut it.  I was ok with Liath as a Ranger, and I'll admit I opted to change a few things about the character to fit the Ranger idea more.

Well now I have "Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms" and all of that has now changed.

The new Druid class, the Sentinel, is almost EXACTLY what I wanted a druid to be.  No more shape-shifting half-bestial attacks, the new Druid has an animal companion and no sight of any shape change.  The powers do reflect what I want in a druid, though still not a perfect fit for Bodhmall.  Though there is a simple fix for that.  I can take some of the powers from PHB2's druid that I want.  Things like "Primal Storm" come to mind and the Paragon Path "Keeper of the Hidden Flame" which is almost exactly what I had in mind for Bodhmall.
So not a 100% fit, but certainly 95%.
Her animal companion is a wolf; something that I did for a slightly different version of Bodhmall back in 3e.  So I am pleased with that.  Her wolf companion is named Cú Chulainn after the legendary hero.

Liath, her trusted companion and body guard (not that see will need this later on),  is one of the new Scout sub-classes of Ranger.  She takes the two weapon fighting and the wilderness tracker knack.

Bodhmall nic Tadg
1st Level Druid (Sentinel)
Human Female, Good Alignment, Deity: Brigit

Abilities Defenses
AC: 14
STR: 10 Fort: 15
CON: 14 
DEX: 10 Ref: 13
INT: 14
WIS: 18 Will: 15
CHA: 11

HP: 26, Surges: 9
Initiative: +0  Speed: +6

Skills: Arcana +7, Heal +11, Insight +9, Nature +9, History +7
Languages: Common, Draconic, Elven, Giant, Goblin, Primordial
Feats: Linguist, Jack-of-All Trades  (both fit with my concept that Tadg, Bodhmall's father was a Druid of great learning and passed this down to his daughter).

Acolyte of the Natural Cycle: Druid of Spring
Prof: Staffs, Totems, Scimitar.
+1 Scimitars, spears, daggers and sickles
Animal companion: Wolf
Combined Attack
Healing Word
Reap the Harvest
Shillelagh
Herb Lore

Weapons: Staff (+2, 1d8), Scimitar (+3, 1d8)
Leather Armor (+2)

Liath Luchara

1st Level Ranger (Scout)
Half-Elf Female, Good Alignment, Deity: Brigit

Abilities
Defenses

AC: 16
STR: 10
Fort: 11
CON: 10 

DEX: 18
Ref: 14
INT: 10

WIS: 16
Will: 14
CHA: 11


HP: 22, Surges: 7
Initiative: +4  Speed: +6

Skills: Endurance +5, Stealth +9, Heal +8, Insight +5, Nature +7, Perception +10, Diplomacy +2
Languages: Common, Elven, Giant,
Feats: Alertness

Knack for Success 

Flashing Blade Mastery
Dual Weapon Attack (Dex vs. AC)
Prof: Simple Melee and Ranged,Military Melee and Ranged
Attack finesse (dex instead of str)
Power Strike
Aspect of the Cunning Fox
Wilderness Tracker

Weapons: Spear (+6, 1d8), Short Sword (+7, 1d6)
Leather Armor (+2)

Now how does this Bodhmal compare to the one I had done before?  Well the "Nature Priest" from Advanced Player’s Guide is still rather close.  But this new Sentinel Druid is much better now.  I could for my own games see Druid as a Parent Class and have three sub-classes, Beast Master, Nature Priest and Sentinel.  Sorta like we did back in the AD&D 2nd ed days.

All in all I am very pleased with the changes to the classes in Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms.  I have some Warlocks I want to do next.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do rangers still get the "hunter's quarry" feature?

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