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Vadania the Druid

Hit Die: d8
Base Attack: 3/4
Good Saves: Fort, Will

I am a druid! I have special abilities that are more powerful than your entire class!

In core, the druid is one of the front-runners for most powerful class, and the vast, vast majority of players will want to take all 20 levels. Druids are full casters drawing from a versatile spell list, can Wild Shape into any number of combat forms, get a handful of handy class abilities, and even have a decent skill list (and the skill points to use it).

Druids also benefit disproportionately from the addition of new material beyond core, as they benefit from the addition of monsters as well as the addition of the usual spells, feats, and prestige classes. (One would even say they benefit more from the addition of monsters; few prestige classes work well with druids, and they have relatively few feat slots.)

Druids fall into roughly three categories, largely defined by their feat choices. There are summoners, focusing on summoning and buffing animals and Elementals. There are Wild Shapers, using Wild Shape to fight effectively in melee. There are straight casters, relying on the damage-dealing and battlefield control spells to destroy or hamper enemies in combat (and the wealth of druid utility spells outside of it). Bear in mind that a straight druid can do all of these things quite effectively depending on the player's mood or the party's needs, as spell selection can change day to day and feats don't have to be used.

Some druids do sacrifice one or two of these three basic abilities, however, generally by multiclassing or going into a prestige class. These are described in a bit more detail at the bottom.


Generally: Wis > Con > Int > Cha > Dex > Str

  • Strength is a dump stat for you unless you ditch Wild Shape for one of those inferior alternate class features.
  • Dexterity is somewhat useful in the first four levels of your existence when you'll be throwing Produce Flame around. After that it's mostly a dump stat.
  • Constitution is important as ever. After the Polymorph errata your hit points depend on your original Con, which is always important to any druid who plans to spend any time in melee.
  • Intelligence is handy if your druid is going to be called on to use his or her skills. A human with intelligence 10 or anything else with intelligence 12 will be able to max all the skills a non-skill-user will ever want, however.
  • Wisdom is your primary casting ability and thus is your main priority.
  • Charisma is a dump stat for most druids, although Diplomacy is a class skill for you, and Cha stays with you while you're Wild Shaped. It also can come into play if you'll be using Assume Supernatural AbilitySS.

For those who play with age penalties, nearly every druid is going to want to be middle-aged (-1 on physical stats, +1 on mental ones). Higher age categories will impair your HP, but boost your spellcasting.


  • Anthropomorphic Bat has +6 Wis and no level adjustment. But he's a very exotic choice. Usually you don't play one before level 8 when you have enough wild shape duration to last all day.
  • Ghostwise Halflings bypass one of the main bugbears of Wild Shaping druids: communicating with the party. Their Speak Without Sound ability is a supernatural special quality, so they keep it in whatever form they're in. Plus, being halflings, Ghostwise Halflings can take the halfling racial substitution levels from Races of the Wild.
  • Half-Orcs aren't usually very good at anything, but the half-orc druid substitution level for level 7 gives Augment Summoning for the low, low price of one less use a day of Wild Shape, saving you the trouble of wasting a feat on Spell Focus (Conjuration). Plus, the first level gives you some free bonuses.
  • Humans' extra feat makes them the best choice generally. Most of other races' racial abilities (those that are special attacks) disapear while you're shaped.
  • Jermlaine has... stuff. +6 Wis, +6 Dex, Tiny size, fey type. As ugly fey as one can imagine after a hangover : -6 to Cha. Also can talk with rats for free. Look in Monster Manual II and Monster Manual II 3.5v Update for more info. Expand here.
  • Kalashtar have Mindlink ability which solves the speech problem of shaping. Use the Expanded Psionics Handbook version if you can. Kalashtar can take psionic feats.
  • Killoren have the fey type, which gives immunity to the person line of spells (for both good and bad). Bonus languages include all of the Elemental Languages which comes in handy for an elemental companion and to speak to the elementals you summon. Also the Manifesting aspects of nature can add even more versatility to a very versatile character class.
  • Shifters are a great druid race, but that's too much text. Expand here.
  • Strongheart Halfling is as good a choice as it ever is, because of the extra feat. The halfling druid substitution levels are a mixed bag; the first sub level is an interesting tradeoff, replacing the first five spell levels of spontaneously-cast Summon Nature's Ally with the ability to spontaneously cast a range of useful mobility spells (including Freedom of Movement), but the fifth sub level is a Very Bad Idea, unless you have some sort of clever use of Wild feats.
  • Tibbit from the Dragon Compendium 1 is a small Monstrous Humanoid (Shapechanger) 0 LA race with the supernatural ability to adopt the form of a cat at will and indefinitely. Descended from cats which had been used by Wizards and Sorcerers as familiars.
  • Warforged have a -2 Wis penalty, but the real question is if your DM rules that you retain your warforged special qualities and armor feats while shaped. By RAW you retain them, but by common sense it's silly - a wolf with Ironwood Body, anyone? You lose your slam in either case. So if you lose your warforged bonuses while shaped, then don't be a warforged druid.
  • Xeph druids can take psionic feats, and their Burst ability works even while Wild Shaped. Feats, preferably ones that give always-on benefits (or while-focused benefits, which amount to the same thing for a character in a non-psionic class), can give a Xeph druid some rather unusual boosts or abilities, like Psionic Fist and Unavoidable Strike, Speed of Thought, or Up The Walls.
  • Level adjusted races: Races with LA are generally not worth it. If you can buy LA back, Uldra (Frostburn) and Sunscorch Hobgoblin (Dragon Magic) are conservative LA +1 choices with +2 to both Wis and Con.


  • Concentration must be maxed out if you intend to spend any time in melee.
  • Handle Animal should have enough ranks to net you a +10 bonus which is enough to beat all of the Handle Animal DCs under normal conditions. You might need more if, for example, you deal with Horrid animals a lot.
  • Heal is handy if you don't feel like taking the secondary damage from poisons.
  • Knowledge (nature) will come in handy in an outdoors setting. Any self respecting druid will have at least some ranks in this.
  • Listen, With 12 ranks, allows you to get the most benefits from the Listening Lorecall spell.
  • Spellcraft OK for identifying spells early on, but it really becomes important if the character will advance into epic levels.
  • Survival might come in handy in an outdoors setting. Magic diminishes the need for it greatly.
  • Speak Language (Auran, Terran) To speak with your summoned Air and Earth Elementals.

Skill Tricks[]

Expand here.


Animal Companion[]

  • Exalted Animal Companion is good for the same reasons Exalted Wild Shape is - you get a blink dog! Dimension Door means continual flanking position. Int 10 means he can take class levels. And if you learn the language of blink dogs, you can talk to him. The other choices are not nearly as good, but have speech and Int too.
  • Feral Animal Companion (CoR) - Negligible boosts to your Animal Companion. Yawn. This feat is listed here as a warning not to take it.
  • Natural Bond helps out for multiclassed druids, somewhat. May offset the penalty for stronger-than-standard animal companions (ask your DM), which makes it a much better choice.
  • Vermin Companion allows you to take a vermin companion instead of an Animal Companion. The vermin companion list is short and doesn't have many useful creatures on it, but some players may want to take the feat for flavor reasons.


  • Fell Drain and Fell Weaken. These (ridiculously broken) feats are great for druids, with their variety of damaging spells. For best results, try pairing these with area-effect spells. Decomposition is a classy and effective choice.
  • Sculpt Spell is always handy for blasters, and druids can do a bit of blasting. This can be handy to use on limited or weird areas of effect, to make them more useful.
  • Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration - druids are full casters, making these feats as useful as ever, especially if you don't focus on buffing up and slogging into melee while Wild Shaped.

Initiate Feats[]

First introduced in Player's Guide to Faerun Initiate feats add a new, domain-like power and add some spells to your spell list. Usually they're cleric-only, but a handful are available to druids. Remember, they often come with alignment restrictions, and in the Realms you can only take one. (Eberron initiate feats are more flexible, but often they aren't compatible for thematic reasons.)

  • Gatekeeper Initiate is a druid-only Eberron specific Initiate feat and gives you Knowledge (planes) as a class skill, and gives a ton of great defensive spells, including Protection From Evil, Dimensional Anchor, and Mind Blank; often a level earlier than other classes. A great pick, especially in high-level parties with no cleric.
  • Greensinger Initiate is Eberron specific and adds Bluff, Hide, and Perform to your class skill list, and adds a ton of handy enchantments (plus some oddballs) to your spell list. A great Initiate feat.
  • Initiate of Grummsh (CoR) - Not a great Initiate feat, but once a day you can quicken a Cure spell. That's worth something, right? Right?
  • Initiate of Malar is Faerun specific and gives you a handful of mostly useless spells and free Augment Summoning on all of your animal summons.
  • Initiate of Selune is Faerun specific and is one of the weaker Initiate feats, but it gives an improved version of Produce Flame, as well as a shield-typed AC buff, so it's not all bad.
  • Initiate of Shar (CoR) takes you pretty far out of the usual druid specialties. It adds a couple of unusual skills (Bluff and Disguise) to your skill list, and gives both Disguise Self and a unique armor-type AC buff to your spell lists.
  • Nightbringer Initiate is Eberron specific and adds Hide and Move Silently to your skill list, and gives you access to Darkness, Deeper Darkness, and a handful of negative energy spells and spells to create or call natives of Mabar. Enervation is the nicest spell of the lot.
  • Warden Initiate is Eberron specific and gives +2 to AC when in a forest, plus a handful of useful utility spells. Not as good as the other Eberron Initiate feats, but still a good feat.
  • Initiate of Nature is Faerun specific and has some somewhat handy spells (Briartangle, Mold Touch, and Tree Healing). Mold Touch plus a summoned Fire Elemental or used on a fire-breathing creature can do ridiculous amounts of damage. However, the big, all-but-broken draw is the granted power. Being able to rebuke animals is almost as good as 3.0 Animal Companions, and sets this feat apart from the other, more mundane Initiate feats.

Metamagic feats[]

Feats not listed here are not worth taking. You have better things to do with your feat slots than to spend them on situational Metamagic feats.

  • Energy Substitution and Energy Affinity will be handy if you do a lot of blasting. Cold or acid is recommended, since most of the best and most popular druid blasts are fire or electricity. If your GM is silly enough to allow Energy Substitution (sonic) (from Tome and Blood), by all means take advantage.
  • Empower Spell is handy only for druids who do a lot of blasting. Definitely choose this over Maximize Spell or Energy Admixture.
  • Extend Spell is one of the best metamagic feats. This feat has extra potential when coupled with Creeping Cold netting you 15d6 or 21d6 damage. Talk to your DM.
  • Ocular Spell turns touch spells into rays, and lets you cast two spells as a full action. Druids can't cheese it out quite as much as some classes, but this broken feat benefits them greatly.
  • Persistant Spell is exceedingly expensive, but also exceedingly powerful even without Divine Metamagic, which is one level dip into Cleric or Sacred Exorcist away. Apparently Help Desk thinks it can work on touch spells; that's probably not a good idea to allow as a DM, but a ridiculously powerful option if it's allowed to you as a player.
  • Quicken Spell is a staple of high-level prepared casters. Quickened buffs are always a good choice.
  • Sudden Empower, while requiring another Metamagic feat, is useful for blasters and summoners, the latter boosing SNA spells summoning lower level critters in mass.


  • Child of Winter. You can cast animal-affecting spells on vermin and summon various vermin with Summon Nature's Ally. (Unfortunately, this is mechanically incompatible with Exalted feats.)
    • Vermin Companion. So you can have a pet scorpion of your very own. The available vermin companions are by and large worse than the core animal choices, let alone the many nice non-core companions, but some players will want a bug for flavor reasons.
    • Vermin Wild Shape. So you can...uh...BE a scorpion. Or whatever. You lose your animal forms, but not your plant or Elemental ones, so you lose a bunch of power from about level 5 until level 12 where you get your plant forms. More on handy vermin forms below.
  • Ironwood Body is specially made for Warforged druids. Ask your DM if its benefit stays while you're shaped. If yes, then it's a must-have. If not then what are you doing with a warforged in the druid class?
  • Manifest Druid is a flavor feat, with a handful of nice bennies (Although the Sudden Empower for a first-level arcane spell is just weird).
  • Natural Spell is a must-have if you have wild shape.
  • Track is made redundant by the spell of the same name. The spell is in the Spell Compendium.
  • Vow of Poverty. Druids are fairly gear-independent, making this a reasonable choice. If you take it, Nymph's Kiss for the extra skill points (it's also good if you don't use Vow of Poverty) and Touch of Golden Ice for the Dex damage to evil creatures at low levels are good candidates for bonus exalted feats.


Shifter feats from Eberron Campaign Setting and Races of Eberron deserve special mention. Shifters can shift while shaped giving them stat boosts as well as extra attacks, extra senses, or extra movement types. On top of this many of the shifter racial feats (mostly feats relating to natural attacks) work even when you aren't shifting, making them extremely attractive to a druid.

  • Dreamsight Elite grants See Invisibility while shifting. As good for a druid as it is for anyone else.
  • Great Bite grants x3 criticals with bite. May or may not apply when not shifting, as the feat refers to "fang" attacks. Talk to your DM.
  • Great Rend gives an extra rend attack when you hit with two claws. Works even when not shifting.
  • Razorclaw Elite gives you a limited form of pounce (two claw attacks only). Works even when not shifting.
  • Longtooth Elite makes your bite attack deal a point of Con damage. Works even when not shifting.
  • Shifter Defense grants DR 2/silver while shifting. As good for druids as they are for everyone else.
    • Greater Shifter Defense grants 4/silver while shifting. As good for druids as they are for everyone else.
  • Shifter Multiattack is Multiattack, but as a Shifter feat, so it increases your daily uses and duration of shifting.


  • Augment Elemental is an Eberron specific feat that gives a scaling amount of bonus hit points and a static enchantment bonus to attack and damage for all elementals you summon.
  • Augment Summoning requires Spell Focus (Conjuration), which is nearly worthless, but every summoning druid will want Augment Summoning. It's just too good, plus half of the summoning feats have it listed as a prerequisite.
  • Ashbound is Eberron specific, doubles the duration of summons, and gives them an attack bonus. You have to be a member of the Ashbound.
  • Beckon the Frozen gives your summons the cold subtype (immunity to cold, vulnerability to fire) and bonus 1d6 cold damage to their attacks. Has Spell Focus (Conjuration) listed as a prerequisite.
  • Greenbound Summoning is Faerun specific and applies the Greenbound template to all your summoned animals. They get the plant type, so you can't use animal buffs, namely Animal Growth, on them anymore. The feat is "ancient knowledge". Talk to your DM.
  • Imbued Summoning is made obsolete by the Summoner's Totem unless your DM rules that, whem summoning multiple creatures, the buff copies to all of them.
  • Initiate of Malar gives animal-only Augment Summoning for free, and also gives some pretty lame extra spells. You have to worship Malar, though, which conflicts mechanically with Exalted feats (seeing as Malar is evil and all) and thematically with Rashemi Elemental Summoning. (The Hathrans do not often teach their secrets to followers of Malar.)
  • Rashemi Elemental Summoning. You want this to turn your Air Elementals into Orglashes, so they can fire off huge Cones of Cold. Thomil Earth Elementals are also great for engulfing anything with bad reflex saves, especially spellcasters.

Wild Shaping[]

  • Aberrant Blood. The lame entry feat into the much-overlooked Aberrant feats. It means a hit to Handle Animal and Wild Empathy, but you'll want...
    • Aberrant Reach. +5' reach no matter what form you're in. (Some GMs might be iffy about this; more below in the Controversial Option on gross physical change feats.) More than worth the -1 to hit drawback.
    • Aberrant Wild Shape. Wild Shape into Aberrations, although sadly with the usual Wild Shape restrictions on what special abilities you can gain from the new form. More on handy Aberration forms below.
    • this article suggests using Aberrant Dragonmark as a prerequisite for other aberrant feats
  • Assume Supernatural Ability is a totally broken feat, if used in in combination with Aberration Wild Shape or Frozen Wild Shape. Even without those, there's any number of plant forms with, say, Regeneration (Shambling Mound). If you're a DM, don't say I didn't warn you. If you're a player, well, welcome to flavor town. Read more.
  • Dragon Wild Shape is Shapechange lite, only limited to small and medium dragons. If your DM is silly enough to allow it, by all means make it your 12th level feat.
  • Multiattack lessens the to-hit penalty of your secondary attacks from -5 to -2. Your DM might disallow this feat if you don't have natural attacks in your "human" form. Probably only worth taking in a core-only game, though.
  • Improved Natural Attack increases the damage of one type of natural attack (bite and claw are the most popular). Counts as a shifter feat.
  • Exalted Wild Shape has only one notable shape - the Blink Dog! Dimension Door as a free action each round, never appears inside a solid, and can act after teleporting, oh boy! Read the Blink Dog's page for more. Some of other shapes have speech.
  • Extra Wild Shape is only good for multiclassed druids or heavy users of Wild feats, and even then still not that great.
  • Frozen Wild Shape should just be renamed Twelve-Headed Cryohydra Wild Shape. You're stuck with the usual Wild Shape limitations on acquired abilities, so none of the other magical beasts with the cold subtype are worth using.
  • Powerful Wild Shape is pointless after the Polymorph errata. Powerful Build is a special quality, which is retained when shaping.
  • Improved Unarmed Strike. Some DMs will allow you to make all of your iterative attacks as unarmed attacks and then make all your natural attacks as secondary attacks. If you can do that, super, but don't expect to be allowed to have a karate-chopping bear in most games.
    • Improved Grapple. If you do a lot of grappling, you'll want this. A dire bear-shaped druid with Improved Grapple will win grapples with anything his size, and many things larger.
  • Power Attack requires you to have Str 13 which is a dump stat! Don't take it. Unless you are allowed to qualify with shaped Str for it. And even then it's good only in a core-only game, and you've already taken Multiattack.
  • Primeval Wild Shape is not worth the feat slot or the in-combat action, even though you'll be fine for daily uses of Wild Shape by the time you'd want to take it.

Wild feats[]

For now this section contains the only wild feat that doesn't suck.

  • Lion's Pounce is one of the few good Wild feats, a pounce attack is always handy. Don't overuse it, though, or you'll run out of Wild Shape uses.

Animal Companion[]

Animal companions mostly don't talk, and they share buffs with you. In practice, this means that most of the time they're really only useful as partners in combat and/or fighting mounts.

Save for war-trained animals (of which there are few), your Animal Companion isn't going to be proficient with armor. Despite this, get them some masterwork or magical leather or padded barding; every little edge is worth it, and they take no penalties as long as there are no armor check penalties. Likewise, remember that your animals get feats from their bonus hit dice (but they don't get size increases).

This list assumes that size Medium or smaller is the ideal size for an animal companion, so that the companion isn't getting in the way of the rest of the party. Companions larger than Medium are marked as such. The best Medium Animal Companion is without a doubt Fleshraker Dinosaur, but if that is inappropriate for your game you'll probably want to stick with Riding Dog or Crocodile, or look into the alternate Animal Companion feats (like Exalted Animal Companion and Vermin Companion.)

The Horrid Animal Companions are particularly flavorful for a Gatekeeper druid in Eberron, although they are hardly prohibited to the other sects or a druid not from one of the Eldeen druidic sects. It would be exceedingly unusual for an Ashbound druid to have anything to do with Horrid Animals, though. (Implied by not explicitly stated is the suggestion that you could make any dire animal a Horrid Animal and take it as your Animal Companion at effective druid level -3. In that case, a Horrid Eagle is far superior to a Horrid Bat, and a Horrid Tortoise would be absolutely unstoppable. In general, Horrid gives much better bonuses than three levels of druid boosts.)

Sandstorm, Frostburn, and the Eberron Campaign Setting add new options for druid Animal Companions, and many creatures have an Animal Companion listing right there in the creature's listing. Players' Handbook 2 has a unified list, including errata for many previous choices.

  • Level 1
    • Riding dog is superior to a wolf in every way except speed. Can be trained for war and thus wear barding without spending feats. Medium.
    • Heavy horse is, well, a horse. Can be trained for war and thus wear barding without spending feats. Large.
    • Swindlespitter dinosaur is a harasser with a paralyzing area-of-effect attack.
  • Level 4
    • Fleshraker dinosaur is a pouncer, tripper, grappler, and has poison. The best animal companion overall.
    • Ape best all round fighter(for core). Large, 10ft reach.
    • Crocodile is a grappler and general slugger. Player's Handbook and Player's Handbook 2 confirm that this is a level 4 choice. The SRD lists it as available at level 1 for aquatic druids; the SRD is wrong in this case.
    • Dire bat is a slow but maneuverable flying mount for medium druids. Large.
  • Level 7
    • Brown bear is a grappler. Not as good in a grapple as giant crocodile, but better-rounded and harder-hitting in a straight fight. Large.
    • Tiger - Hard-hitting and tough pouncer, at least for core only.
    • Cave anklyosaurus is a tough trampler that hits almost as hard as a Giant Crocodile. Large.
    • Giant crocodile ia a hard-hitting grappler. Huge.
    • Dire eagle is a flying mount for medium characters, for games where Horrid animals aren't available. Large.
    • Horrid Bat is a flying mount. Replaces Dire bat. Large.
  • Level 10
    • Magebred Ghost Tiger - Hard-hitting and tough pouncer. It's only arguably better than Fleshraker. Large. Better than advancing a tiger.
    • Magebred Brown Bear - A better choice than polar bear or advancing your brown bear.
    • Allosaurus is a hard-hitting grappler and quite passable trampler. (Not as good at trampling as the Dire Tortoise, though.) This is your ideal offensive choice at this level. Huge.
    • Bloodstriker Dinosaur is an offensively and defensively balanced choice. (Don't mistake it for a game-balanced choice. It eats melee attackers alive.) It has tons of HP and decent AC, but can still deal respectable damage (especially with Powerful Charge). Plus, anyone who tries to attack it in melee will take a dozen damage per hit.
    • Dire tortoise - Trampler, unlikely-but-effective scout and mount. This is the ideal defensive choice at this level (bordering on being broken; many CR-appropriate foes won't be able to do much against it), with plenty of HP and AC. Huge.
    • Dragonhawk is the fastest (120 ft.) flyer, has five attacks, and Blindsense. It's also Huge so you it can carry the whole party aloft.
    • Smilodon - Pouncer. It's not better than the Allosaurus, but it's better than a Ghost Tiger and marginally better than a Brown Bear in a straight fight.
  • Level 13
    • Dire bear - Grappler and just generally mean brute. You could use it as a mount, I guess. Large.
    • Giant Banded Lizard - Grappler and general combatant with poison, possible mount. Huge.
  • Level 16
    • Dire elephant - Trampler and possible mount. Gargantuan.
    • Tyrannosaurus dinosaur - Grappler and very stylish mount. Replaces Dire Bear. Huge.
    • Horrid Bear - Grappler, replaces Dire Bear where Tyrannosaurus is inappropriate. Large.
    • Dire Tiger - Pouncer, finally replaces Fleshraker Dinosaur (arguably). Large.
    • Roc is the fantasy Boeing. It's so big, you can try to build a gondola or a deck (like towers for elephants) for it. It's Gargantuan, by the way.
  • Level 19
    • Horrid Elephant - Trampler, replaces Dire Elephant. Gargantuan.
    • Horrid Tiger - Pouncer, replaces Dire Tiger. Large.

Vermin Companion[]

Vermin Companion feat from ECS allows you to take a vermin companion instead of an Animal Companion. The vermin companion list is short and doesn't have many useful creatures on it, but some players may want to take the feat for flavor reasons, so here's some help.

  • Level 1
    • Medium Monstrous Scorpion - Not actually very good, but the best of the mediocre choices available, if you must have a vermin companion as soon as you take the feat.
  • Level 4
    • Giant Praying Mantis - Flying mount. Not a great flier, but both a good combatant and a passable grappler.
    • Giant Wasp - Flying mount. Better flier and has poison, but only has one sucky attack.
  • Level 7
    • Giant Stag Beetle - Trampler/just-plain-attacker, and not a bad mount.

Alternatively, find another version of vermin companion online, on Wizards site: Vermin Druids and Their Companions.

Spider Companion feat from DotU allows tiny to huge monstrous spiders as animal companions.

Another feat worth mentioning from ECS is Child of Winter. It allows (among other things) to target vermin with animal-only spells.

Wild Shape[]

  • Level 5
    • Black Bear Best core attack form at this level.
    • Desmodu Hunting BatMM2 (fly 60 ft. good, AC 20, touch AC 17) is the best aerial defensive form at these levels.
    • Dire Hawk (fly 80 ft. average)
    • Eagle is the best core flyer at this level. Sadly, flying is all it can do.
    • Fleshraker DinosaurMM3 can charge, pounce, trip, pin, and poison, all in one round, and also has great AC to boot. The best combat form until you get Large Wild Shape. Some DMs don't allow dinosaurs or won't allow such an overpowered form.
  • Level 7
    • Wood WoadMM3 can be accessed via Enhance Wild ShapeSpC at this level. Medium humanoid shape - can use equipment. Also has a climb speed. But is relatively weak.
  • Level 8
    • BriarvexMM4 can be accessed via Enhance Wild ShapeSpC at this level. Large humanoid shape - can use equipment.
    • Brown Bear is identical to Polar Bear, except it lacks swim speed.
    • Giant Octopus is the best combat form at these levels. Every buff you put up is multiplied by the nine attacks this form makes. Enormous reach, improved grab, and constrict only make that better. The fact that you can't breathe air is not a real drawback - combat will be over before you start "drowning". Also, Breathe AirSpC.
    • Polar Bear has more Str than the giant octopus and is thus marginally better if grappling a single opponent is all you want.
    • Shambling Mound can be accessed via Enhance Wild ShapeSpC at this level. The point of this thing is it's electricity immunity. Zap yourself for +4 unnamed Con bonus. Or infinite Con bonus if your DM is silly. The bonus stays after you change to another form.

Aberration Wild Shape[]

  • Level 5
    • Fiery Sandhog - 6 attacks, burrow and climb speeds, str poison
    • Dustblight (Sandstorm) - AC20, burrow, 3 attacks
  • Level 6
    • Dolghast (MoE) - Con damage
  • Level 7
    • Vivisector (MM5) - AC21, fly, str poison
  • Level 8
  • Level 9
    • Otyugh, Lifeleech (MM3) - aberrant equivalent of polar bear form
  • Level 12
    • Thoon Elder Brain (MM5) - Dual Action; AC26, fly, 8 decent attacks

Dragon Wild Shape[]

The Dragon Wild Shape feat from Draconomicon gives all the Su and Ex abilities of a dragon. While dragons aren't quite as much melee combatants as your better animal forms, the ability to speak, good natural armor, breathweapons, immunities, SR, and miscellaneous other supernatural abilities make this a very powerful choice, especially for druids who prefer to cast spells.

Several dragons have Alternate Form several times per day, usually for medium or smaller humanoids and animals. This can be used to effectively multiply your wild shape choices, though it prevents large forms and plants.

  • Level 12
    • Young Steel Dragon (DoF) Move 60 ft. fly 200 (poor) 30 ft swim, 19 AC, SR 20 (30 vs spells of 4th level or lower), Alternate form 5 times per day, acid immunity, poison resistance and a 3 con damage breath weapon (reflex half). The SR and con breath weapon make this a worthwhile form.
    • Juvenile Mercury Dragon (DoF) Move 60 ft. fly 250 (good), 24 AC, , Alternate form 3 times per day, fire immunity, and a 4d8 breath weapon (reflex half). Good AC and a great flyer.
    • Juvenile Mist Dragon (DoF) Move 40 ft. fly 150 (poor), 21 AC, Mist Form, fire and acid immunity, and a 5d6 breath weapon (reflex half). The Mist form ability is a great defensive ability, especially in conjunction with a way of conjuring mist or fog.
    • Young Shadow Dragon (Drac) Move 80 ft. fly 150 (average), 24 AC, SR 15, 1 negative level (reflex half) breath weapon and total concealment out of sunlight. The last one is probably the best ability of bunch (Total concealment is a superb defensive ability), but nothing to complain about for any of them.
    • Young Deep Dragon (Drow of the Underdark) has continuous true seeing and is immune to charms
    • Faerie Dragon (Drac) has 100 ft. fly speed (perfect)
  • Level 13
    • Juvenile Steel Dragon (DoF) An extra 2 AC and 2 SR over the young steel dragon, as well as breath weapon and stat boosts. Remains a solid choice
    • Juvenile Shadow Dragon (Drac) A boost to AC, SR, Stats, size, and best of all breath weapon at the cost of maneuverability. A good upgrade.
  • Level 15
    • Young Adult Mercury Dragon (DoF) The typical breathweapon/AC boosts, but gains DR, SR, and frightful presence.
    • Juvenile Deep Dragon (Drow of the Underdark)
  • Level 16
    • Young Adult Steel Dragon (DoF) The typical boosts as well as DR and Frightful presence from Young Adult.
    • Young Adult Shadow Dragon (Drac) The normal boosts to Young Adult (DR, Frightful presence) and the normal SR/Stat/AC boosts.

Exalted Wild Shape[]

Vermin Wild Shape[]

There are multiple ways how a druid can wild shape into vermin:

  • Vermin ShapeECS
  • the 10th level wasteland druid substitution levelSand
  • Vestment of VerminshapeDMG2
  • City-Shape (Cityscape web enhancement)
  • Spider-Shape (5th substitution level from DotU)

Vermin forms are generally outperformed by animal and plant forms. Usually you're taking their shapes for flavor.

  • Level 5
    • Giant Bee flies (80 ft. good), can't attack, and has poor everything.
    • Giant Cockroach (Underdark) - good AC, stats, climb speed, nauseating special attack
    • Medium Monstrous CrabStorm is like an amphibious black bear with constrict. It has less Str, but has a racial bonus on grapple.
    • Small Monstrous Spider's size, racial Hide and Move Silently bonuses and climb speed make it your sneaky form.
  • Level 6
    • Dire Maggot (Libris Mortis) - paralyzing poison
    • Lesser Knell BeetleMM3 - great form: burrow, rend, trample, area attack that trips
  • Level 8
    • Giant Praying Mantis is a flying (40 ft. poor) grappler. If you can find a use for this combination, good for you.
    • Giant Stag Beetle - similar to rhino
    • Giant Wasp is Large, can fly (60 ft. good), and sting.
    • Large Monstrous CrabStorm is like a polar bear with constrict. It has less Str, but has a racial bonus on grapple and a 10 ft. reach.
    • Monstrous Crab - much better than the one above
    • Sword Spider (MonoF) - 9 attacks
    • Spitting Spider (DotU) - pounce, ranged spit, dex poison
  • Level 10
  • Level 11
    • Tiny Monstrous Spider's size, racial Hide and Move Silently bonuses and climb speed make it your sneakier form.
  • Level 12
    • Knell BeetleMM3 - just like its lesser version at lvl 6, it is a great form
    • Tangle Terror (DotU) - good dex, ranged web attack
  • Level 13
    • LeechwalkerMM2, while being physically weak for this level, has a rather powerful Blood Drink and Wounding abilities along with Improved Grab to ease their use.
  • Level 15
    • Huge Monstrous CrabStorm is the biggest and meanest vermin you can Wild Shape into.

Mitigating The Lack of Speech[]

The greatest drawback of Wild Shape and Shapeshift is that you can't speak while shaped. What follows is a list of tricks that allow you to partially or completely ignore the drawback sorted by the lowest level at which the trick is available. Availability of magic items is determined by standard wealth by level.

  • Level 1
    • Ghostwise Halfling race has Speak without Sound (SU) as a racial ability.
    • KalashtarECS race has the Mindlink psionic power as a racial ability.
  • Level 2
    • Mindlink psionic power available only to telepaths.
    • Pearl of SpeechMIC arguably allows you to speak in Wild Shape. Talk to your DM.
  • Level 3
    • Crystal Mask of LanguagesMIC arguably allows you to speak in Wild Shape. Talk to your DM.
  • Level 5
    • Lesser Telepathic Bond spell is available to clerics and can be persistedCAr. So the trick is to have a cleric buddy who is willing to burn seven turn attempts to speak in your name. Buy him a bunch of nightsticksLM.
    • LinkedMIC property, made into a barding, allows you to sidestep your inability to speak in Wild Shape. You can speak only to other linked armor wearers.
  • Level 6
    • Aberration Wild ShapeLoM feat allows you to take aberration forms most of which can speak.
    • Master of Many FormsCAd 1 gives you speech no matter the form. The cost of two feats for prerequisites and an entire caster level is exorbitant though.
  • Level 7
    • Wood WoadMM3 form can be accessed via Enhance Wild ShapeSpC at this level and can speak.
  • Level 8
    • BriarvexMM4 form can be accessed via Enhance Wild ShapeSpC at this level and can speak.
    • Exalted Wild ShapeBoED feat allows you to take forms that have speech: blink dog, giant eagle, giant owl, and unicorn. You have to be exalted. Without Vow of PovertyBoED or other ways to gain a feat at 8th level this trick is available only from 9th level onwards.
    • Helm of Telepathy allows you to sidestep Wild Shape speech problems if your form has a humanoid head (like that of an ape).
  • Level 12
    • Plant wild shape - some plants can speak.
    • Dragon wild shape (feat) - dragons speak
  • Level 15
    • Treant form can speak and is core too.


This section lists magic items as they pertain to druids. There are many more excellent items out there that are not listed here. Take a look at the Bunko's Bargain Basement for these items.

There are two sets of magic items that are of interest to druids. Trappings of the BeastCC is a very good set because its items enhance your main class abilities. The set effect is that you are considered one level higher for Wild Shape. Raiment of the StormwalkerMIC is a mediocre set as it grants nothing but spell effects per day. Some of them are rather nice though. The set effect is more storm flavored spell effects per day and an Evasion-like ability against electricity. All the items of both sets work in Wild Shape.

  • Armor
    • BeastskinMIC property is a "cheaper" version of Wild property and costs only +2 enchantment but also costs a Wild Shape use per use.
    • LinkedMIC property, made into a barding, allows you to sidestep your inability to speak in Wild Shape. You can speak only to other linked armor wearers.
    • Wild enchantment allows you to retain your Armor bonus to AC while Wild Shaped.
    • Armor of the BeastCC grants an additional Wild Shape use per day and stacks with the Druid's Vestment. Works in Wild Shape. Part of the Trappings of the BeastCC set.
    • Armor of the Fallen LeavesMIC has a Gaseous Form-like Relic power. You must worship Obad-Hai.
    • Animated Shield For 9,000 gp have your wooden shield animated. +3 to AC and is not attached to your body so it won't wildshape with you. (Be sure to ask your DM first.)
  • Weapons
    • Staff of the Unyielding OakMIC has a Changestaff-like Relic power. You must worship Obad-Hai.
  • Arms
    • Bracers of LightningMIC allows you to spend a Swift action to grant all your attacks the Shock property. Works in Wild Shape. Part of the Raiment of the StormwalkerMIC set.
  • Body
    • Robe of ThunderMIC grants an Evasion-like ability against sonic plus a defensive activated ability. Works in Wild Shape. Part of the Raiment of the StormwalkerMIC set.
  • Face
    • Battle BridleMIC grants you Mounted Combat or Ride-By Attack if you already have the former. You put it on your mount's face.
    • Crystal Mask of LanguagesMIC arguably allows you to speak in Wild Shape. Talk to your DM.
    • Pearl of SpeechMIC arguably allows you to speak in Wild Shape. Talk to your DM.
  • Feet
    • Cloudwalker AnkletsMIC grants Air Walk at will. You know how good that spells is. Works in Wild Shape. Part of the Raiment of the StormwalkerMIC set.
  • Head
    • Circlet of MagesMIC allows you to recall 3 spell levels per day. Cheaper and more flexible than a Pearl of Power but takes up a body slot.
    • Circlet of Persuasion is a must if you go on commanding animals via the Initiate of NaturePGF feat.
    • Circlet of Rapid CastingMIC allows you to quicken up to three 4th or lower level spells par day. Buff faster at the beginning of combat to gain the upper hand.
    • Helm of Telepathy allows you to sidestep Wild Shape speech problems if your form has a humanoid head (like that of an ape).
  • Rings
    • Ring of Adamantine TouchMIC makes your attacks count as adamantine for overcoming damage reduction.
    • Ring of Counterspells allows you to protect your buffs by putting a Dispel Magic in it.
    • Ring of Greater CounterspellsDMG2 allows you to protect your buffs by putting a Greater Dispel Magic in it.
    • Ring of Mighty SummonsCMag almost doubles your summons' hit points at the cost of a half of their duration three times per day.
    • Ring of the BeastCC makes all summon spells act a level higher. Very powerful. And cheap. Works in Wild Shape. Part of the Trappings of the BeastCC set.
    • Stormfire RingMIC produces an electrified Faerie Fire effect five times per day. Works in Wild Shape. Part of the Raiment of the StormwalkerMIC set.
  • Shoulders
    • Mantle of the BeastCC speeds up Wild Shape to a Swift action. Works in Wild Shape. Part of the Trappings of the BeastCC set.
  • Throat
    • Amulet of Mighty Fists is a good way to enhance all of your natural attacks in Wild Shape. Best with a Wilding ClaspMIC.
    • Amulet of Retributive HealingMIC allows you to heal yourself equal amount when you heal someone else 3/day. Especially sweet with the Heal Animal CompanionSC spell. But it's up to your DM whether you heal the amount you could have healed him or only the effective amount of healing that could be applied For example, can you heal yourself by healing an already healthy target? By RAW, yes.
    • Ankh of AscensionMIC is a cheaper version of Bead of Karma.
    • Chronocharm of the Uncaring Archmage allows to reduce casting time from 1 round to 1 standard action
    • Collar of HealingMIC heal your Animal Companion for 50 hit points as an Immediate action once per day. You put it around his throat.
    • Contact MedallionMIC gives an effect similar to Telepathic Bond.
    • Periapt of Wisdom enhances your casting ability and thus is the single most important item for you. If you like something else in the throat slot, ask your DM about making this a head item.
  • Torso
    • Druid's Vestment grants an additional Wild Shape per day. Whether it's worth it depends on your play style.
    • Vestment of VerminshapeDMG2 allows you to Wild Shape into vermin with the usual size restrictions.
  • Tools
    • Ehlonna's Seed PouchMIC has Relic powers of Changestaff, Wall of Thorns, and Fire Seeds. You must worship Ehlonna.
    • Metamagic Rod, Extend extends your hour per level buffs to last all day. Very powerful with Creeping ColdSC, resulting in up to 21d6 cold damage to a single target with a 2nd level spell.
    • Pearl of Power allows you to recharge your spells. Very handy for the 1st level utility spells.
    • Quaal's Feather Token, Tree while being infinitely useful to anyone, has an additional bonus for a druid who can use the resulting tree for Tree Stride and Transport via Plants.
    • Strand of Prayer Beads contains the Bead of Karma which bumps your caster level by 4 for 10 minutes per day. Unleash the full power of Control Winds sooner.
    • Wand of Lesser VigorSC is the most cost effective healing in all of 3rd edition at 550 hp for 750 gp.
  • Slotless
    • Ioun Stones are all good because they don't go away when you Wild Shape.
    • Wilding ClaspMIC is good for having your equipment while Wild Shaped. A bit expensive at the start though.


Druids summon various creatures. Recommended forms are e.g. here. Summoning takes 1 round. This is a lot. Ways to cut this down:

  • Chronocharm of the Uncaring Archmage (item from MIC)
  • Rapid Spell (+1 metamagic feat from CDiv) => standard action
  • Quicken Spell (+4 metamagic feat from PHB) => swift action
  • Shifter druid ACF (Races of Eberron)

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