Aurora Wolfsister (Feather)
Born 32 years ago, my parents abandoned me as a squalling babe in the woods. Due to their ignorant peasant ways, my golden eyes at birth made up their simple minds that I was a changeling.
Normally death would occur for a juicy and vulnerable little tidbit but mayhap destiny had a hand in my survival. Just as day was passing and night was quickly falling a rather small dire wolf found me. As humans were her prey and enemy she should have eaten me without a second thought. Sadly though her half-grown cub had just been killed by a nasty goblin and grief was riding hard on her. The crying and whimpering sounds I made in that tiny state went straight to her saddened heart and the small dire wolf took me and raised me as her own.
Many years passed in this simple and sometimes harsh life. I knew no other way to be than a wolf despite my disadvantages. The dire wolf had a rough time with the teaching of hunting and stalking for I was clumsy and ungainly at first. Through the years I adapted and excelled in my form.
At 14 years of age I lost my dire wolf mother. Killed by a pack of her kind as she was fiercely protecting me. I had escaped narrowly by climbing high up into the tree tops. This was a lonely time for me but change always comes.
Walking through the forest I saw a strange creature, upright and wearing a strange hide. This was the turning point in my life. The creature having sighted me, befriended me in time and won my trust. After that I became aware. Aware of other things beyond the forest and finding food.
The creature turned out to be a human and was a druid, one who could walk with the animals of the forest and had a affinity for all living things. For the next 18 years I was taught the way of humans and the way of the Druid. Finding out that I learned fast and soaked up knowledge the druid imparted everything he knew. I became a druid and was able to walk among humans as well as all living things.
After 18 years I knew that I had to leave all that I knew behind and wander the greater world. The druid had taught me all he knew and had given me my name. I craved more. I was searching, for what I knew naught, but I hoped to find it out there among other races and creatures.
Armed with what I know as a druid and my love of living things, I Aurora Wolfsister began.
- Natural Spell: This is the reason Druids rock so hard. You can wild shape into an itty-bitty sparrow and rain Empowered Maximized fire seeds on your opponents. You can cast produce flame while fighting in melee as a dinosaur. The potential is limited only by your book collection and imagination.
- Augment Summoning: +4 bonus to strength and dexterity is a good bonus, but the problem is that it requires a useless feat, Spell Focus (conjuration). Luckily for us, there are ways around that (like initiate of malar or the 7th half-orc substitution level).
- Beckon the Frozen: +1d6 cold damage on all your summoned critters' attacks. Good for summoning specialists. Just be careful; your BtF-enhanced summons will be vulnerable to fire. Not available if you bypass the Spell Focus (Conjuration) prereq of Augment Summoning, as the Spell Focus is specifically called out in this feat's prereqs.
- Dragon Wild Shape: Another great feat, a must have at level 12. You get all supernatural and extraordinary abilities of the dragon you wild shape into.
- Multiattack: Many forms have secondary natural attacks. This makes them more accurate.
- Improved Natural Attack: Extra damage on a single type of natural attack. INA (bite) or INA (claws) is very handy, and counts as a Shifter feat if you're a Shifter.
- Exalted Wild Shape: Free, if minor, bonuses while Wild Shaping, as the Celestial template can be applied to any animal form you can usually take. It also makes blink dog and Unicorn (as well as some other, mostly useless) forms available, all Ex and Su abilities included. You may be able to talk your GM into including Scent, Blindsense/Blindsight, and other Ex abilities of animal forms you can take. (The feat does say you get the Ex and Su abilities of forms you can take with this feat.) If this is allowed, this feat is much more useful. Note that this feat doesn't benefit your Plant, Elemental, or any other type of form you can take; just animals or the limited list of Magical Beasts.
- Frozen Wild Shape: This feat should just be renamed Twelve-Headed Cryohydra Wild Shape (Huge). Best at lvl15.
- Assume Supernatural Ability: You learn to use a supernatural ability of an assumed form.
- Ocular Spell: Turns touch spells into rays, and lets you cast two spells as a full action.
Summon Nature's Ally
- Wolf: Not much worth summoning at this level, so the wolf is it.
- Crocodile: Unless the foe is small enough to grapple, have it slap with its tail.
- Hippogriff: A little less hard-hitting than a croc, but it flies and you can talk to it. No animal buffs, though. (Bonus style points for having it grapple a foe and fly up until the spell runs out.)
- d3 Crocodiles: An ad-hoc swarm of crocs is great for shutting down spellcasters or other weaker, grappleable or low-AC foes.
- Dire Wolf: Other than the low AC, this is an all-round combat superstar.
- d3 Dire Wolves: Dire Wolves hit hard enough and have enough HP to make them useful in numbers.
- Brown Bear: Hits hard enough to be on the front line, and grapples spellcasters and such. Oh yeah.
- Giant Crocodile: Compared to the Brown Bear, it has one big bite instead of multiple medium hits, with better grappling to make up for the lesser damage. Whether you use this or Brown Bear is a matter of style.
- Tiger: Another Brown Bear alternative. Slightly less damage in a straight fight and a slightly lower grapple check, but does more damage when charging or when in a grapple.
- Unicorn: Summon Unicorns for on-the-spot healing. Three uses of CLW, a use of CMW, a use of Neutralize Poison, and at-will Detect Evil. Plus, it can bypass DR X/magic and is smart enough to talk to.
- Yellow Musk Creeper: A very unusual summon, Yellow Musk Creepers are super-tough (good HP plus Regeneration), have Blindsight, and can use their Musk Puff ability to enthrall and devour anything with a bad Fort save. Just don't expect them to do any straight slugging, with their weak attacks, or keep up with fast-moving foes, due to their near-inability to move.
- d3 Brown Bears (or Giant Crocodiles or Tigers): A pack of grapplers can shut down many foes and outstrip even a single Polar Bear.
- Large Elemental: This is where Elementals start to get good. Earth Elementals will be your general-purpose tanks (although Fire Elementals can fill this role equally well), and double as caster-killers if you have Rashemi Elemental Summoning (UE). Air Elementals are great for shutting down swarms of mooks, fliers smaller than they are, and casters, but aren't quite as hard-hitting as the other Elementals. (Remember, a Large or larger Air Elemental in Whirlwind form counts as a storm for Call Lightning and Call Lightning Storm.)
- Rhinocerous: Very deadly if summoned with room to charge an enemy.
- Huge Elemental: A single Huge Elemental is worth more than three smaller ones. Keep using this in the same way you used the Large ones.
- Large Storm Elemental: Think of it as a Fireball and a summon, all in one. Storm Elementals aren't quite the fighters the other Elementals are, but the first turn they are summoned, they do 12d6 damage to everything in 60 feet (plus 4d4 nonlethal to a single target) instead of attacking normally. Make sure you speak Auran to keep it from blasting your allies, or else be careful where you summon it.
- Dire Bear: Tears casters to bits. Great for anything that can't handle its +23 grapple mod, not so great for anything else.
- Elephant: Raw damage machine. Not as tough as a huge Earth Elemental, but hits very hard or tramples mooks.
- Oread: Not a melee monster, but has an awesome array of spells, including Transmute Rock to Mud, Stone Shape, and Earthquake(!). Don't ever bother prepping Earthquake if you can just summon an Oread.
- Pixie: Not much in melee, but can cast Dispel Magic (poorly but repeatedly) and Detect Thoughts for you.
- Riding dog: Make sure yours is trained for war, per the monster entry. Tough, relatively hard-hitting, can wear barding without wasting feats. Superior in every way to a wolf. Good mount (small druids only) and substitute low-level tank if you give it barding.
- Heavy horse: Fast mount for medium druids. Large.
- Swindlespitter Dinosaur: Harasser with paralyzing AoE attack
- Fleshraker Dinosaur: Pouncer/tripper/grappler with poison.
- Crocodile: Grappler and general slugger. (PHB 3.5 and PHB2 confirm that this is a level 4 choice.)
- Dire Bat: Flying mount for medium druids. Large.
- Baboon: Str 15 Dex 14 AC 13 - It probably has better stats than your physical stats, and it has natural armor and a bite attack. All in all, not too bad.
- Crocodile: Grapple check: +4 - The grappler form of choice if Fleshraker is out of the question. Hard-hitting enough to be useful even outside of a grapple. Swim speed, but doesn't breathe water.
- Fleshraker Dinosaur: An absolutely OMG form, if it's allowed. Fleshrakers can charge, pounce, trip, pin, and poison, all in one round, and also has great AC to boot. It remains awesome whenever you have to charge something, especially if it's medium-sized or smaller.
- Deinonychus Dinosaur: Charger. Nothing can compare to Fleshraker, but this is fine in a fight on its own merits.
- Leopard: Charger. The core-only and no-dinosaur alternative to the Fleshraker and Deinonychus.
- Protoceratops DinosaurSand: Charger. A bit tougher and harder-hitting than Deinonychus, but not as good when it comes to stand toe-to-toe, and definitely not as good as the Fleshraker.
- Desmodu Hunting Bat: AC 20, Con 13 - Your starter defensive form, with AC 20 and touch AC of 17. Doesn't hurt at all that it flies 60 ft/round.
- Dire Hawk: Speed 80 ft. (average) - Faster than Desmodu Hunting Bat, but has slightly lower Dex and AC, and isn't as hard-hitting.
- Eagle: Speed 80 ft. (average) - The best core-only flier at this level, but has mediocre AC and Dex, and abysmal attacks.
- Squid: Aquatic grappler. Not as strong as crocodile, but has more attacks and breathes water.
- Medium Shark: Utility form. Fast swimmer, decent biter.
- Dog, Riding Dog, Donkey, Pony: Forms to snoop around town in
- Swindlespitter Dinosaur: AOE blinding poison attack (combine it with Venomfire from Serpent Kingdoms!), and may double as a spy form in certain areas. (MM3 says some cultures consider Swindlespitters to be sacred.)
- Master of Many Forms Expert shapechanger who eventually can take the form of Plants, Fey, Oozes, Dragons, and in the end changes into a Shapeshifter. Aquire at level 6, no spell progression.
- Daggerspell: a multiclassed druid / rogue who can cast spells through daggers.
- Nature’s Warrior: Druids gains special abilities to combine with their Wild Shapes.
- Warshaper: Extra damage while in wild shape. +4 STR, +4 CON.