So. I FINALLY get to go back to playing D&D after years of not playing! Which is super exciting.
My old group was traditionalist and refused to upgrade past 2d Edition; this new group is using 3.5. So given that I came and sat in on a couple of sessions to familiarize myself with the new edition as well as the expansion that they’re using which I’ve never encountered.
My old group also didn’t allow multiclass characters for Reasons. This new group is doing gestalt multiclass for everyone, so that’s another big change, plus there’s the prestige class stuff I’ve never played with before, so I was having some trouble wrapping my head around all the options and figuring out what to do.
I like playing druids. It is My Thing. I’m comfortable with it because it’s not as much of a pain in the ass for me to keep my spells straight as with other magic users, plus it’s easier to keep yourself alive since you can wear some armor. The weapons restrictions kind of suck, but over the years I’ve gotten used to the druid class weapons. The tough part, for me, was figuring out what to cross a druid with.
Cleric? Too much overlap. Wizard or sorcerer? Ugh, I hate playing those classes. Ranger? Meh - again, a lot of overlap. Fighter, hmm, well ok, but not too enthusiastic about that. Monk? Lots of possibility there but making a consistent character backstory to explain a druid/monk is tough. I was thinking hard about monk or shaman, though, because with shaman, if you take the right disciplines, you’ve got the prerequisites for the Bear Warrior prestige class and I am super stoked about that prestige class.
So I’m getting my thoughts together and I go outside and smoke with one of the dudes I’m playing with, who I don’t really know. He tells me they need a healer. I ignore the red flag of “girls should play healers” in that statement because there are other girls in the game not playing healers, and because I want to play a druid and that’s a healer class. But then I tell him I’m thinking of crossing druid with shaman in order to take bear warrior as a prestige class and he shits all over that. “Why would you want to cross a druid and a shaman? They’re basically the same thing.” (They are not at all the same thing.) He suggests crossing with barbarian instead. I mention that I was thinking shaman because I want to do bear warrior as my prestige class and he shits all over that. “Why would you want to do that? The animal transformations for druid are better than the bear warrior ones and the bear warrior prestige class just duplicates that.”
I nodded and smiled politely and changed the subject, but inside I was seething. I had just gotten done reading the bear warrior prestige class stuff. The only duplication is that they can both change into bears at certain level. By stacking druid and bear warrior, you have a whole range of animal transformations. Bear warriors can only change shape when using rage, which is very limited per day. Druids don’t have that limitation of rage state only, which means they can change in non-combat situations, and they start with small/medium animal transformations, which means even at higher level you can be a bear when you need to rip shit apart and a hawk when you need to go spying and arrrrrrgh. The transformations stack, so you’re opening yourself up to having a range of animal forms, some good for combat, some for non-combat. Plus? The animal form of a bear warrior gets all kinds of bonuses that a druid in bear form doesn’t get, and once you level up some you become basically the megalodon of bears in your bear form. The specs for a bear warrior at 8th (? - might be 10th) level? Your bear form has a face that is fifty square feet big. You are MegaBear.
It makes total sense from a character creation standpoint that a multiclass druid would eventually undertake the disciplines to become a bear warrior! “Being an animal is awesome; I’m going to learn to become an animal more often and in a more powerful form.”
So, fuck that dude, but, points to that dude for suggesting barbarian as my second class. Because barbarian druid is much easier to create a backstory for, means I start with 1d12 hit dice, and? With base attack bonuses, means I can take my prestige class two levels earlier. And kick ass. While exploring the world of being a HUGE GODDAMN BEAR. SO THERE.
tl;dr this gaming group is going to get a healer. a healer WHO IS A GODDAMN BEAR WITH A FACE THE SIZE OF A CLOSET FLOOR.