Talk:Animal Leader (3.5e Class)

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DPLC[edit]

Hello. Right now your PrC has no description on DnD Base Classes. To add a short description to your PrC just edit the Animal Leader's page and on the top you should notice there is a <dlpc> header. Please change this so it fits your PrC (Change the "Insert Short Description Here" by adding a short description of your PrC into this place). When you have done this your PrC will have a description on DnD Base Classes. Thanks. --Green Dragon 02:01, 7 January 2007 (MST)

I think that you messed this message up a little... Although the links are right, it is a base class. But will do. --Passer 03:15, 7 January 2007 (MST)
Wow.... I was very tired... Sorry, I knew it was a base class, I just was not thinking. Sorry. Anyway, it looks better. --Green Dragon 11:19, 7 January 2007 (MST)

Rating - 5/10[edit]

I rate this class a 5/10 because it's rather underpowered by CCS Analysis, and it also has a few overpowering and workability issues regarding the chosen animal (see below):

CCS Analysis
Basics Abilities (1st-5th) Abilities (5th-10th) Abilities (11th-20th)
d6 HD +10 Chosen Animal +0 Wildshape (x2) +4 Wildshape (x3) +3
Weapon Prof +10 Physical Skill +8 Trackless Step +2 Wildshape (At Will) +2
Armor Prof +10 Mental Skill +8 Animal Companion (x2) +8 Unnatural Sense II +1
BAB +17 Social Skill +8 Adapted Spellcasting +2 Animal Companion (x3) +6
Saves +10 Wildshape (x2) +16     Pack Leader +1
Skills +9 Woodland Stride +4        
Skill Points +34 Unnatural Sense I +4        
Divine Spellcasting +7 Animal Companion +8        
Alignment Res -4 (No Loss)            
Companion Res -6 (Affects Many Abilities)            
Total = 97 Total = 52 Total = 16 Total = 14
Grand Total = 179 Verdict = Too weak

Overall the class seems too weak according to the CCS. Despite that, however, it's Animal Companion and Wild Shape abilities seem a bit unbalancing in some cases. The potential ability to Wild Shape into a Large animal at 3rd level as opposed to 8th level for a druid seems unbalanced to me. Also, the lack of restrictions on Chosen Animal opens up problems when they get an animal companion - it's possible that if they chose a large animal, they won't qualify to have that as an animal companion with their effective druid level. It seems these issues need to be worked out, and the class overall might need to be a tad bit more powerful. With 215 as the goal, 179 seems considerably short. --Crystallis 13:08, 10 March 2007 (MST)

Thanks for rating it, and I do see the concerns. For the Wild Shape ability, I don't know how others feel, but I think that one of the strong points of the druid is its adaptability, while the Animal Leader is limited to a single alternate form. So large animals, while not suggested, I believe will still be fine. I can see how it might be difficult with a character who can become a large animal so early, but keeping the hit dice the same when changing forms should help with that (which may need to be added - a druid can't change into a form with more hit dice than his own, which means either reducing the animal form's hit dice or not allowing the transformation at all until he has enough hit dice).
The other concern, on the animal companions does get more complicated, but there are some similar solutions. Basically, you'd need to delay the animal companion or get it, and have it stay the same power (or weaker) until you get to a high enough level. I've got three ideas based off of that:
1. Your animal companion will not show up until your druid level for it is 1 or higher. By 11th level, it would be possible to have any animal companion, by putting multiple Animal Companion abilities together.
2. Your animal companion will not show up until your druid level for it is 0 or higher, showing up as a normal animal. By 10th level, any Animal Leader that put all their Animal Companion abilities will have their animal companion.
3. Your animal companions act as normal animals, except for abilities that state 'animal companion', with no bonuses until your effective Druid level is 1 or higher. This makes the stronger animals better choices at low levels, and eventually you'll catch up to it. Or again, weakening it by removing hit dice is another solution for this until yours improve.
As much as I like #3, I feel it may be too unbalanced. I think that #2 would be good, but I'd like to hear what you would suggest for this. As an additional note, it does seem a little odd, having it be too weak with too unbalanced of abilities. -Passer 02:21, 14 March 2007 (MDT)
Your suggestions for fixing the problems sound fine, but they should probably be specified in the description of the class. I imagine many DMs would rule similarly to what you suggest, but it seems wise to make a consistent ruling in the class description itself rather than leaving the DM to deal with it. I like Suggestion #2 for the Animal Companion, and I think that, along with reduced Hit Dice/not allowing the transormation seems like it would fix the major concerns (the only other unbalancing issue with Wildshape would be the bonuses from being large, but I agree that's minor enough to be countered by the lack of versatility in Wildshaping.
With those problems fixed, it then becomes an issue of making the class able to compete realistically with other classes. I think some changes that would be a good start and would fit well with the flavor of the class would be to:
-Let them have an Animal Companion earlier, have Animal Leader level be equal to effective Druid level for the first animal companion, and not be reduced by as much for later animal companions. The class currently seems abnormally weak at the early levels, with a low attack bonus, no (or very little) spellcasting ability, a very limited Wildshape, and rather standard class abilities. Giving them an animal companion right away would help offset these issues, I think, and make the "Animal Leader" thing make more sense. It would also make the Chosen Animal have an immediate effect rather than being largely a part of class description until third level. Currently, the class has animal companion reduced much as if they were a ranger, but a ranger has combat abilities to more than make up for their lack of a druid's spellcasting, which makes this necessary. The animal leader really doesn't have anything that makes up for this, particularly at lower levels.
-Slightly improve their spellcasting ability, as the class doesn't have exceptional combat abilities or class abilities besides the Animal Companions. Maybe make it a level or two earlier or reduce the number of levels where only bonus spells are granted for a level. Also, a few more spells might be good - Summon Nature's Ally spells seem natural for a class that leads animals, and you could even work in some sort of ability where summoned animals the same as their Chosen Animal gain some sort of bonuses.
That's my two cents on suggestions for changes. After the two unbalancing issues are fixed, I do think you should certainly do something, as the class feels very weak to me at lower levels. --Crystallis 09:19, 14 March 2007 (MDT)
I added a specific line for if the animal has higher hit dice than the Animal Leader has class levels for the Wildshape, and moved the Animal Companions up 4 levels while adding in the fact that it won't show up until your Druid level is 0 or higher. The strongest animal I would suggest (Polar Bear) would catch up numberwise by level 13 with his first animal companion at level 9. The strongest that is explicitly allowed (medium animal) would catch up numberwise at level 5 with his first animal companion at level 3.
The levels he gains spells at were changed by lowering the level by 1. As an additional side-effect of this, as the Animal Leader's mind adapts (Mental Skill), if he has the insight (wisdom bonus) he'll get spells, otherwise when he begins acting (Social Skill) he'll get them. I also added a few spells to the spell list.
As for the abilitiy to work with the Summon Nature's Ally, I'm not quite sure where to go with that. I'm thinking allowing the Animal Leader to apply a metamagic feat (spontaneously?) to a Summon Nature's Ally spell that summons only the Chosen Animal without adjusting the level of the spell. --Passer 23:56, 15 March 2007 (MDT)
Sounds like a good idea to me. Probably the easiest way to do something like that. I think these changes should help. Hopefully they haven't made it go too far the other way. I'll do another CCS Analysis when I have time and we'll see if it needs more tweaking. --Crystallis 15:02, 17 March 2007 (MDT)
Yeah. I tried to keep the points updated, although I wasn't sure how reducing the penalty for animal companions would alter it, but just before that it still had 10 or 20 points to 210 by my math. --Passer 20:54, 17 March 2007 (MDT)
Where do you get your analysis system from? It looks useful; I would quite like to use it myself to aid me in class creation. --Sam Kay 04:19, 24 July 2007 (MDT)

Rating - 4/10[edit]

Ok I give it a 4/10 for the following Reasons:

To many Animal Companions, I mean seriously this is gonna be hell to play as, who wants to sit by at a table whilst the animal master and his 6 companions has their turn, less units on the battle field the better, annoy less people.

The chosen animal is way to specific to be workable, might I suggest expanding it into groups, maybe like: Cats, Apes, Reptiles and go from there, then you can also choose to add skills which suit each animal type. I would also suggest adding skills to their skill list all at level one based on their chosen, if they get the skill at level 5 it is gonna be a pain to put ranks in that skill.

The Summoning magic ability is kinda useless, as when is a class with fourth level spell casting ever gonna use a summoning spell and have metamagic feats, just not viable or worth it.

Also last thing, narrow down on the exceptions, this class leaves way to many holes open, if you make the catagories for chosen animals bigger there will be less holes to cover.Linkrulesx10 06:58, 9 April 2007 (MDT)

This rating has been nullified with the implementation of the new Rating System. --Green Dragon 14:42, 20 February 2008 (MST)

Rating[edit]

Formatting - 2/5: I give this a 2/5 on formatting because it has major errors within the table, incorrect header levels, not enough links, many red links, and does not use the correct formatting (as defined by the preload) for the spell list. --Green Dragon 14:10, 21 February 2008 (MST)

Commentary[edit]

Discussion moved from User talk:Green Dragon#Animal Leader As it pertained just to this class --Green Dragon 00:05, 4 March 2008 (MST)

It appeared to me like a branch off of the druid just like school specialists are off wizards and it did not come out so well with all the animal companion 1 2 3 crud because if you read the section on epic druid in dungeon masters guide it says druid are allowed to have a number of animal companions as their druid level times two as normal so really animal leader was a very crudy druid —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Platdragon (talkcontribs) 15:17, 27 February 2008 (MST). Please sign your posts!

Rating[edit]

Power - 3/5 I give this class a 3 out of 5 because The strength of the character really depends on what your Dm will allow for an animal. I myself used this in a sea-faring campaign and had an army of Orcas which is beyond what was recomended in size category so I was a bit stronger than normal. However, if you do choose an animal as limmited as an aquatic then you really start to suffer in terrain where you lose your animals. The spell list is very situational and mainly focused on your animals. Overall if you're playing a dungeon-crawler I would not suggest this class. --Rein 17:08, 6 May 2008 (MDT)

Wording - 2/5 I give this class a 2 out of 5 because the '____ Skill' class features are poorely explained and could be interpreted in different ways (especially in the number of skill points that are added). The ambiguity of it means that it is left up to DM to decide, and some people may get a little irritated if they have to confirm something every time you level up. --Rein 17:08, 6 May 2008 (MDT)

Formatting - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because I thought that the formatting was easy to read and reflected those of the D&D books pretty well. --Rein 17:08, 6 May 2008 (MDT)

Flavor - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because it is incredibly fun to play, provided that you're in a nature based campaign. As with every class, it is a matter of personal choice. I enjoy the druid feel, and having an small army of followers always makes things more fun. --Rein 17:08, 6 May 2008 (MDT)

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