In case you missed it, I’m rather a fan of the rogue. I enjoy having a variety of skills and using sneak attack, but I’m also rather a fan of the druid. Aside from the very interesting defender of nature angle there’s the probable animal companion, my favorite spell list, and the versatility of wildshape. I’m made my share of rogue 3/druid 17 characters before but thanks to PAizo’s latest offerings there’s another rather attractive package. We lose wildshape and possibly a spell level or two but gain so much. Meet Nature’s assassin…
Nature’s Fang Druid archetype with Crocodile domain. This gives you slayer talents (which you can swap for ranger style feats or rogue talents if you wish), studied target, and a little SA, croc domain gives you more SA and a SA progression, a familiar that gives you a stealth bonus and a special attack along with good domain spells.
Options include going into Grey warden and trading a few spell levels for judgements and a better SA progression. Using your feats to regain an AC to go with your familiar, or dipping a level of cleric for more domain power.
***Thanks to Davor on the Paizo boards for the root concept see the discussion here
Feats/Class Features of note
Race choice is rather important to this build. Human is of course viable as ever for the extra feat can come in handy depending if you are leaning towards a weapon based style. For this I’d far rather have the early advantage and low feat investment for multiple attacks that some of the races with natural attacks offer. Of particular note are the Tengu and Lizardman. The Tengu has an alternate trait that gives it 2 primary claw attacks that are treated as Improved unarmed combat for the purpose fo feat prerequisites, a feat option that raises the beak attack damage by 2 steps and causes bleed, and 2 feat options that give you some form of flight. On the other hand Lizardmen have a swim speed, their attacks start with 1 damage step higher, they have natural armor, and a better stat array for the build. I can get behind either option but for this guide I’m going Tengu.
1: Tengu Nature’s Fang Druid with the Crocodile Domain 1: spells, studied target, death roll, caiman familiar, Improved Grapple
2: (druid level 2)nothing new
3: (druid level 3)2nd level spell, trackless step, Combat Reflexes
4: (druid level 4)Sneak attack 1d6, Rending Claws (slayer talent)
5: (druid level 5)3rd level spells, Weapon Focus Claws
6: (druid level 6)Sneak attack 2d6(from croc domain), Eldritch claws (slayer talent)
7: (Gray Warden 1) Sneak attack 3d6, Anonymity, Improved Familiar (Mephit)
8: (GW2) 4th level druid spells, judgement, stern gaze
9: (GW3) Bane, dramatic interrogation, Blood Beak
10: (GW4) 5th level Druid Spells, Grim Investigator, 2nd judgement, Vital Strike
11: (GW5) Sneak Attack 4d6, Improved Bane, Improved Natural Weapon Claws
12: (GW 6) Harsh Judgement 2/day, Gang up
13: (GW 7) 6th level druid spells, Sinister Bane, Extra talent- Trapfinding
14: (GW 8) Slaying Judgements, Dastardly Finish
15: (GW 9) Sneak Attack (5d6), Greater Bane, Deflect Arrows
16: (GW 10) 7th level Druid Spells, Final Demise, Harsh judgement 3/day, True Death, Deadly Finish
17: (Dr 7) Body Shield
18: (Dr 8) 8th level Druid spells, Fast Stealth(slayer talent)
19: (Dr 9) Swift Studied Target, Dodge
20: (Dr 10) 9th level Druid spells, Improved Vital Strike(slayer talent)
Ending Caster level 17
Base SA 5d6 Bane of 3d6 can be added along with a number of conditions including a few ways to set up a save or die.
You should also be able to function as a moderate skill monkey especially with int buffing items.
Silent Hunter- gives a +1 to stealth and makes it a class skill
Reactionary- bonus to reflex save
Max Stealth, Intimidate, Disable Device spread the rest around to ensure at least a point into all class skills and “roguish skills.” Make sure you cover all the Gray warden basics before getting to 7th.
20 point buy
Dex 16 (with +2 racial mod)
Con 12 (with -2 racial mod)
Wis 16 (with +2 racial mod)
All stat adds into Wisdom, All class bonuses into Hit Points
Tactics at level
1- Study target-Charge-Grapple-Death Roll This should get you a +8 to your CMB (more if they are smaller than you) to slam them for 1d8+2 and put them prone, if they get up you get an aoe if not take a +4 to claw and pecking 3 attacks a round in a full attack, this is on top of druid spell shenanigans. Your Stealth should be +13 so use that to make a target flat footed when you can.
4- have your camen flank when possible and get an extra 1d6 to all 3 of your attacks, hit with both claws there’s another d6 for you.
5- 3rd level spells whoot
7- Let your new mephit buddy use his SLAs and use him for flanking when you can.
8- Judgement and studied target options to improve your attacks, use you’re 2nd level domain spell to either improve your bite or as a quick release dazzling display, it is a good buff for this build
9- Bane and Blood beak ramps your damage again!
10+ You lose little in the way of spellcasting levels and gain a good number of feats sneak attack damage and general natural attack power, buff first on defenses before wading in too far or you can get caught
You can make this into a short range archer with a decent SA range.
You can make this into a dual wielder and use your beak as a secondary nat attack which will gain you more attacks ultimately (though the bottom end will likely be a flurry of misses.)
You could invest 3 feats get a Boon Companion enhanced Animal Ally and accept a slower less optimized Natural attack progression.
Dip 1 level cleric for growth and travel domain for swift action Enlarge and use Shillelagh and other buffs to add a reach element to your game… bonus going large helps your ability to grapple and roll!
Augment Summoning line and Druid specific summons enhancements (though that’s better with a straight druid.)