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Avenger vs Totemic Druid

I'm doing a Druid run for the trilogy and have decided that it's either going to be an Avenger or Totemic Druid.

With my personal playstyle, the Totemic Druid has several strong advantages:

- Possible 18 Strength, meaning better chance to land Harm spells, and better attacks with Belm + Firetooth.
- Ability to wear Ankheg plate armor in BG1 and SoD. Possibly better armor than Avenger in BG2 too? Not sure about dragon scales. It's difficult to find reliable information on this.
- Great summons. In BG2, the spirit animals are even summoned *instantaneously* as an innate ability, which a lot of people under-estimate. If you're suddenly jumped by vampires, for example, you can pause and get very quick shields. Huge advantage that isn't discussed much. The summons can also synergise tremendously with party mages, since the spirit animals are immune to Web and Cloudkill.

The disadvantage is:

- Sucky level 1 & 2 spellcasting. Armor of Faith, Bless and Slow Poison are OK, but I wouldn't notice if they weren't there.

As for the Avenger, it has the following advantages:

- Decent arcane spells that fill out the spellbook nicely, such as Web and Improved Invisibility. Web can be combo'd with the Sword Spider form. I'm tempted to say that Web alone is worth the price of admission.
- A fire salamander form that can synergise with Firestorm.

Disadvantages:

- Reduced strength. Lots of posts say this doesn't matter, but I'm mainly thinking about Harm in the mid/end game. I guess potions and spells could compensate.
- Worse armor availability compared to Totemic Druid. Although would Ironskins make this trivial?
- No spirit animals :-(

I'm struggling to decide which one! Anyone have any strong opinions on the matter?

Comments

  • smyth25smyth25 Member Posts: 85
    I'd personally say the Avenger, not because it is necessarily more powerful than the totemic druid, but because it personally feels a bit more interesting to play. With the mage spells and additional shapeshifting abilities the Avenger has a few more toys to play with, regardless of whether they are more powerful than spirit animals or not. I wouldn't worry about the strength penalty or the armour restriction because there are plenty of items and spells that boost these, such as strength girdles, AC bracers, late game Barkskin etc...

    It's a hard decision because they are both relatively equal in terms of power, which is why it is more about what is fun than what is strong. Perhaps you could also consider the needs of your party, if there is anything it is lacking that could be made up for by a particular decision.

    alastair93
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 3,776
    You don't get strength bonuses when using Harm, so you don't need to consider strength restrictions when choosing your class if using that spell is a big factor for you.

    I've used totemic summons quite a bit. They are superb in BG1 and continue being useful right through BG2. Using those would make progress for a solo druid easier than with an Avenger, but you might find it less interesting to constantly rely on your summons. If you're playing with a party then your class doesn't matter a lot anyway.

    StummvonBordwehralastair93
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 3,210
    edited May 13
    IWDification or B_Spells will solve the Level 1 and Level 2 spellbook issue.

    When I played as a Lost Druid, using FnP's sphere system and Spells Revision I had quite a good time. Had to make some alterings on the LD's files, but everything worked just fine.

    Gusindaalastair93
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859
    Avenger and Totemic Druid are pretty evenly matched over the entire life of the trilogy. Totemic Druid gets a small boost early on because the Spirit Animals are available at level 1, but the Avenger gets his Webs super quickly and they pretty much remain an "I Win" button through early BG2. (I completely agree with you that Web is far and away the #1 selling point of an Avenger.)

    By mid-BG2, Spirit Animals are more useful than Web, but Improved Invisibility and Chaos are nice bonuses, (though Chaos competes with Iron Skins and Insect Plagues). By ToB, all of the bonuses will be largely outclassed, though Avengers can still do a surprising amount of damage by stacking Webs, and Spirit Animals are basically identical to the lowest-HD Fire Elementals, (which are beloved). The Totemic Druid might win in the long run, because having to memorize fewer Fire Elementals with his or her level 6 spell slots means more Wondrous Recalls, which means more Insect Plagues and Iron Skins.

    By ToB, Druid Kits kind of flatten and all play the same, (basically, you've got Druids, Druids who can't wear armor, Druids who have worse strength unless they have a belt on, and Druids with a couple extra level 6 spell slots). I tend to find the Avenger more interesting and fun on the way to ToB, though, and as I said, Web can still make some hay if you give it a go. (It's better than every other Druid, which has literally nothing worth casting with its level 2 slots.)

    Avengers also hold a special place in my heart because they're the class that made me realize that Druids weren't just nature-clerics. I like to say that Clerics and Druids are both divine casters, but Clerics are more fighter-adjacent, (front line brawlers who like to be in the thick of things), while Druids are more mage-adjacent, (back-line casters who like slinging offensive spells).

    alastair93Gusinda
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