Hey, I’ve got a Druid question.

Hey, I’ve got a Druid question.

Hey, I’ve got a Druid question.

Do I make the druid roll damage when they use hold to attack someone? At the moment it seems as if the druid is overpowered if I let them instantly kill someone as a bear. I don’t mind that, but it’s starting to overshadow the other players.


9 thoughts on “Hey, I’ve got a Druid question.”

  1. I had a similar situation. The Druid in my group loves turning into giant dinosaurs and one-shotting enemies. I didn’t have a problem with it until I realized he was overshadowing the Fighter, who’s player told me he felt a bit put out.

    Rather than try to fix things mechanically, I pulled the Druid’s player aside for a chat. I said it was awesome he was having a great time being an epic, scaly badass. I then went on to explain that being an epic melee fighter was something the Fighter’s player really enjoyed, but that he was feeling less than epic because of the Druid. I asked the Druid’s player to reign it in a bit and to share the “combat spotlight” with the Fighter. We haven’t had a problem since.

  2. Sounds reasonable to me! “Overwhelm them with brute size and ferocity” would be how I’d term the move. Spend a hold to trigger it, and they roll damage for the enemy who’s being mauled like a bear. I definitely wouldn’t give them a move like “Kill somebody dead”. Too far.

    Otherwise, the Bear Form isn’t really doing anything in combat, which is kinda unfortunate–since I’m assuming that ripping through the enemy is something that the Druid wants to do a lot.

    Remember that you have ways to put the bear on the spot! If they’re overwhelming the enemy, does that mean they’re not as able to stand in defense of themselves?

  3. I think I will go with rolling damage, otherwise the Red of Tooth and Claw move seems redundant. I will give the player fictional allowances for being an animal, though i.e. a charging stag doesn’t just do damage, it knocks the enemy on their arses.

    Cheers for the input, guys.

  4. I would definitely have them roll damage rather than insta-kill, but apply narrative effects in line with their form and the flavor of the move. “Tear them apart” as a grizzly might only do 1d6 damage, but its messy 1d6 damage.

    Another way to think of it: Damage dice are stats, like any other stat (HP, STR, etc.). Shape shifting to an elephant doesn’t change your STR stat or your probability of getting a 10+ when you hack n slash. But it does make you as strong as an elephant. It also doesn’t increase your damage die (without an advanced move), so your no more likely to take a foe out of the fight on a successful attack.

  5. Yeah that’s how I do it. I let them roll hack and slash, or spend a hold to act like that attack was a 10+. or do something like that animal My druid players has done some awesome stuff. Even if they spend a hold, they only deal damage usually. IF  it’s a huge monster animal thing, yeah, you’ll probably deal more damage or to more targets but that puts you in the position to be hit right back.

     One example: the druid turned into an elephant and started goring and trampling enemies( killed 12 orcs as an elephant), but the second things get bad, he had to get out. Yes he’s an elephant, but the druid still has relatively low health even if he’s in the middle of the enemies. Remember to endanger the druid and don’t give him too much plot armor if he decides to go too big or too epic. Yeah, he’s a freaking bear, but no, bears do not rule the earth. And while druid get’s his elephant spotlight time, he can’t get to wade through enemies like the fighter can. Liam Hayes 

  6. I think the druid is a weird class in that people assume (as do I from time to time) that using the hold gives you instant success at the moves.

    It DOES, to an extent. If I transform into a hawk and fly away, I fly away, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t have to use another hold dodging that arrow the dark elf archer just loosed at me (or roll as usual — perfect chance for a choice “You’ve got 1 hold left. An arrow is flying toward you. Do you use your hold to dodge it, meaning you’re out of hold and changing back to a human 100 feet in the air, or do you attempt to dodge using Defy Danger?”

    Yeah, a bear surrounded by a dozen goblins can theoretically swipe his paw and wipe out a few of them without rolling (well, rolling to hit — I’d say rolling damage should be ALWAYS required. Insta-kill is just too powerful for anyone).

    But I’d say for more complex enemies, a bear will still have to roll (maybe with a +1 or +2 forward to offset having to roll when an animal is doing “what it does”). And bear claws don’t mean THAT much against heavy armor. Plus, a bear is a massive, non-agile beast, so he won’t be able to dodge all of those arrows flying in.

  7. The way I’ve seen druid accepted is this: Spending a hold doesn’t involve a hack and slash roll so you get to auto hit. But you can’t auto kill the enemy either. Remember- when the druid is out of hold they turn back into their natural form and need to roll to shapeshift again.

    When you create your character plan some beast forms and work with the DM to come up with cool moves. As you get new animals talk with the DM about the different types of moves they could have. One to three should suffice.

    Using a giant sized acid snake as an example- the moves could be :

    Constrict: You wrap your body around the target and you begin to squeeze. Your attack gains + piercing 2. If your enemy is already constricted roll an extra die when you roll for damage. 

    Venomous: You tear into your foe with your venomous fangs. Your attack gains the messy tag. Take 1 forward to your next attack against the target. 

    Spit Acid: You last out lightning quick and spit acid at your enemy. Your attack gains the reach tag. 

  8. Also, I don’t feel you need to pre-define the effects of moves, either; you could write it simply as “you constrict an enemy with your body” and interpret the rest in light of the situation when it happens.

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