Druid conversion to Pathfinder from 3.5…

One of my all-time favorite RPG characters is my currently 7th level female druid named “Yleris.” Yleris is a custom race that I worked with the original D&D 3.5 GM on. She is the magical child of a male elf and a female dryad, brought into this world as a special prayer by the dryad to mother nature herself. As a half-dryad Yleris is not tied to an oak tree, although she suffers certain penalties for having been removed from her grove. As part of the original campaign plot her grove (including her mother dryad and mother oak tree) had been destroyed by raiding goblins and humans.

Well, time goes on and we mostly play Pathfinder now instead of D&D 3.5, so I am in the process of converting her into a Pathfinder druid.

The problem is that Pathfinder druids are not nearly as flexible as 3.5 druids were. Yleris, due to her dryad heritage, is a rather unusual druid anyway. Instead of focusing on summoning creatures to fight for her, or wildshaping into insanely powerful animal forms and charging into melee, she has always followed her dryad upbringing and has been essentially a bow-based ranged combat fighter, when not casting spells. This works out pretty well in 3.5 because there are a lot of ranged ray attack spells that druids can use, so her ranged bow attributes, items and feats can be used with her ray attacks, making her a very effective ray-based artillery combat character. Probably too effective actually.

In core Pathfinder druids get virtually NO ranged ray attack spells, so her combat effectiveness will drop dramatically after the conversion.

However, I am attempting to work with the two GMs in whose campaigns she operates to see if I can come up with a specialized dryad-based druid archetype that will restore some of her ranged combat effectiveness.

My initial idea is to have her be able to cast certain wizard/sorcerer ray attack spells, but give up certain druid spells in return. Or perhaps give up her wild shape ability in exchange for the ray spells. In the end she would retain her uniqueness and would continue to be true to her concept, but eventually these sorts of changes might make her so different that she may not be recognizable as a druid at all…

I’ll let you know what the final resolution of this conundrum is…

I am a dirty cheater…

Not intentionally, but that hardly matters to the outcome…

So in D&D you have a bewildering variety of bonuses that can be applied to attack or damage rolls. Those could be “feat” or “power” or “luck” or “enhancement” or about a dozen different types of bonuses. The thing is, that like bonuses don’t stack. So if you have two “power” bonuses, then you only gain the benefit of the greater bonus.

Well, this weekend Kataar, my legendary ranger in fourth edition D&D, was in an encounter where multiple bonuses were in play. I did not check to make sure that none of the bonuses stacked. Some of them did. To make a long story short, I gave Kataar a +4 more than he should have had on one turn and a +2 more than he should have on a couple more turns. And that meant at least one, and probably more, “hits” that should have been “misses.”

I am ashamed…

Elwe 12th level lawful evil wizard

Elwe was my first ever RPG character. Rolled up back in the ancient days of Dungeons & Dragons first edition (maybe even earlier) Elwe is probably my most complex and troubled character. Originally a lawful good wizard who planned to save the world from evil, his story gets complicated when his best friend is killed by a giant scorpion and Elwe is unable to raise him from the dead through a series of unlikely spell failures until there was nothing left for Elwe to work with.

Elwe eventually went insane and still believes himself to be lawful good, but has become an almost total sociopath, caring for nothing but his own goals and desires.

Unfortunately Elwe has not been played for decades, although I still maintain him as an active PC and intend to get him back into a game at some point. With each new release I’ve converted Elwe to the latest version of wizard, although I have not yet completed the Pathfinder conversion.