I'm trying to help a player create her Druid character. She wants to focus on Wild Shape, and we were thinking about feats and I couldn't find many applicable early-level feats for her.

I'm thinking obviously Natural Spell at 5th level, but that doesn't help me now as they're starting at level 3. Since she's a dwarf, I've mentioned Fleet as an option, but once she wild shapes it won't really be too useful. Toughness is a good all-around feat, and Self-Sufficient gives her a small skill bonus but doesn't seem all that useful in the long run.

Another catch is that I've thus far made everyone else in the group pick things from the Core Rulebook as we're all somewhat new to roleplaying and I don't want to go throwing a ton of options at everyone right off the bat.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.


2 Answers 2


There are a lot of good options here; which, exactly are the best will depend on a lot of factors not specified.

Combat Reflexes has no prerequisites (though it's useless with Dex too low), and is pretty good for any melee character with decent Dexterity, and awesome for one with reach. A wild-shape druid will find reach not particularly hard to get, especially at high levels with big forms. These forms do tend to penalize Dexterity, so consider whether or not you'll still have enough Dex to put it to good use while in those forms. It also starts benefiting her right away if she is already melee-focused, but if she's starting as a caster-focus and planning to switch when she gets wild shape, then it'll be a dead feat for her for two levels.

Stand Still is another one that will be of a lot of use at higher levels, and probably not worthless even now. The main use for this is for a tanking type, to keeping enemies from just running right past you to attack the squishy allies you're trying to protect. It does have one prerequisite, Combat Reflexes, which I've already discussed above. If your Dex is high enough to already want CR, then this one will be a good buy as well. If not, this one's good, but not good enough to take CR just as a tax to get it, and its less good without CR's extra AoOs, anyway.

You mentioned Natural Spell, so she's apparently planning to still cast in combat, and as a druid, that means she's going to want to be using Summon Nature's Ally fairly regularly. For anyone summoning on a regular basis, Augment Summoning is awesome. It does cost two feats (Spell Focus (Conjuration) probably won't see much use from her), but its likely to be worth both of them. Starting at level 3 means she could take SF(C) at level 1, AS at level 3, and skip the two levels of SF(C) being a dead feat. This puts her in a very good position to be a summons-based controller/striker for two levels until wild shape comes into play, if she doesn't want to melee prior to getting that ability, and makes the same feats to support that, still be useful at higher levels.

If she's going to be casting in combat a lot, she'll probably also want to grab Combat Casting to increase the maximum level of spell that she can reliably cast defensively. There are equipment-based alternatives, but a lot fewer of them now that Pathfinder made concentration not a skill, and wild shape will get in the way of using most of the good ones.

Improved Initiative is very good for this character. As a wild-shape druid, her role in combat will be some combination of tank, striker, and/or controller, and all three of those, especially the controller, really want to go before any of the enemies do. I do consider II to be an overrated feat, but it really is quite good, just not as overwhelmingly good as the hype would have you believe.

Toughness is generally a rather poor feat, but being limited to core (less competition for those feat slots) and a druid focused on wild shape (eliminates usefulness of a lot of otherwise great feats) both make Toughness significantly less bad. Still probably not a top choice, but may be worth considering, especially if she's going for a tanking role.

Finally, Endurance and Diehard are pretty weak on their own, and even more so for someone who doesn't depend on heavy armor, but if you are considering adding non-core options later in the game, there are several really good ones for this character that need these as prerequisites.


Toughness is always good as you've mentioned. If she plans to do a great deal of melee combat power attack is good for the extra damage while dodge is good to help avoid the nasty counter-attacks. Combat reflexes if she has a higher dexterity, while step-up will help keep things from getting away. Lastly improved initiative or skill focus:perception are always great to help keep things from getting the drop on you.

There are better options but they involve other books.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks very much! I'll offer these options, probably mentioning Toughness and Dodge as best options. \$\endgroup\$
    – walkar
    Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 4:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @walkar Dodge is a severely poor feat, and Toughness, while not nearly as bad, is still rarely worth a feat slot. Core-only restriction and being a wild-shape-focused druid both help both of these feats, to the point Toughness might even be worthwhile, but Dodge is definitely not a "best option". \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 15:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MatthewNajmon Do you have an alternate recommendation? \$\endgroup\$
    – walkar
    Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 15:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @walkar Working on it. Once I'm done compiling the list, I'll post it here as an answer \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 15:13

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