5E Druid Class, Wildshape: Which feats are retained when in Wildshape form?

ForgedAnvil

Explorer
I've been trying to find information on which feats (if any) are retained when a Druid is in Wildshape form.

For example, is the Alert feat retained and therefore grants any Wildshape form +5 initiative, can't be surprised etc...

Appreciate an official ruling on this (link).

Thanks
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
That's easy. Whatever makes sense. :)

pp. 66-67:
While you are transformed, the following rules apply:
Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the beast, but you retain your alignment, personality, and Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores. You also retain all of your skill and saving throw proficiencies, in addition to those of the creature. I the creature has the same proficiency bonus as you and the bonus in its stat block is higher than yours, use the creatures bonus instead of yours...
So. If a feat is depending on Int, Wis, or Cha it would seem you can use those.

...You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them [IF the new form is physically capable of doing so.
emphases mine.

If you have the Polearm Master/Weapon Master/Sharpshooter/etc... feat and your animal form can't wield weapons, then no. You can't use it.

If you have the Riutalist or Magic Initiate feat, you can't cast spells/speak. So no...though you can maintain concentration on magic you perform before shaping!

Things like Tough or Skulker [13 Dex. prereq] or Resilient or Observant....does it rely on/effect your Int, Wis, or Cha? If not, nope. If so, have at it.

So, yeah...depends on what the feat does, it's prerequisite (does your animal form have a 13 or higher Dexterity to use Skulker?), and which abilities [Int, Wis or Cha] it relies on/effects. So...whatever makes sense. :)
 
My moon druid has Mobile, which we ruled stacks with his wild shape form (so his speed is always the animals speed +10 ft)
 

ForgedAnvil

Explorer
That's easy. Whatever makes sense. :)

pp. 66-67:

While you are transformed, the following rules apply:
Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the beast, but you retain your alignment, personality, and Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores. You also retain all of your skill and saving throw proficiencies, in addition to those of the creature. I the creature has the same proficiency bonus as you and the bonus in its stat block is higher than yours, use the creatures bonus instead of yours...


So. If a feat is depending on Int, Wis, or Cha it would seem you can use those.


...You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them [IF the new form is physically capable of doing so.


emphases mine.

If you have the Polearm Master/Weapon Master/Sharpshooter/etc... feat and your animal form can't wield weapons, then no. You can't use it.

If you have the Riutalist or Magic Initiate feat, you can't cast spells/speak. So no...though you can maintain concentration on magic you perform before shaping!

Things like Tough or Skulker [13 Dex. prereq] or Resilient or Observant....does it rely on/effect your Int, Wis, or Cha? If not, nope. If so, have at it.

So, yeah...depends on what the feat does, it's prerequisite (does your animal form have a 13 or higher Dexterity to use Skulker?), and which abilities [Int, Wis or Cha] it relies on/effects. So...whatever makes sense
Thanks for the feedback. A feat list (excludes any adjustment to Str, Dex, Con stats, focusing on the "features" gained) below would be fair for Druids to retain in Wildshape form (and if the form was capable, e.g. martial adept with a tiger form, or grappler with giant crab):

Feat (Prerequisite)
Alert (none)
Actor (none)
Charger (none)
Dungeon Delver (none)
Grappler (Strength 13 or higher) - If Wildshape form has Str >=13, and maybe the grapple action/attack
Inspiring Leader (Charisma 13 or higher)
Keen Mind (none)
Linguist (none) - Wildshape form only speaks languages the creature knows, but understand all known languages
Lucky (none)
Mage Slayer (none)
Martial Adept (none) - If Wildshape form has physical characteristics to perform maneuver?
Mobile (none)
Observant (none)
Resilient (none) - If Int, Wis, Cha chosen as stat (actually inclined to keep the saving throw proficiency for all stats, as written in the PHB)
Savage Attacker (none)
Sentinel (none)
Sharpshooter (none)
Skilled (none)
Skulker (Dexterity 13 or higher) - If Wildshape form has Dex >=13
War Caster (The ability to cast at least one spell) - If Druid cast a concentration spell prior Wildshape form (e.g. call lightning)

Cut and edit the list as you see fit, I'm interested to know what would be a more solid guideline than just making an ad hoc list, some make sense, some are maybe.

Green - makes sense, obvious ruling.
 
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I see no reason why Charger, Dungeon Delver, Mage Slayer, Savage Attacker, or Sentinel wouldn't also work in Wild Shape. The Monster Manual errata might clarify what a "melee weapon attack" is in terms of claws and bites.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Cut and edit the list as you see fit, I'm interested to know what would be a more solid guideline than just making an ad hoc list, some make sense, some are maybe.
As you wish.

Feat (Prerequisite)
Alert (none)
Yes.
Actor (none)
You skipped "Athlete", which is just as well since it's a "no." Your body and movement, in my book/game, are the animal's. Your athleticism in your normal form does not translate.

Actor? Sure. Ok. It's Cha. based, you get to keep it. Obviously, the "mimic speech/animal sounds" feature can't be used unless you are an animal that can mimic speech/sounds, such as a raven, parrot or magpie, a hyena could laugh, a goat could scream, etc...

Charger (none)
Specifies the use of a melee weapon, so no to that. I would probably be inclined to rule the "shove" use of the feat (provided you were an animal of some size/bulk) was ok.

Dungeon Delver (none)
Wis. & Int. dependent. This is a yes/fair game.

Grappler (Strength 13 or higher) - If Wildshape form has Str >=13, and maybe the grapple action/attack
Right. If the animal has the strength and means to grapple or, like, a constrictor snake or something that specifies a grappling attack in the animal's stat block, then fine.

Inspiring Leader (Charisma 13 or higher)
Ohhh, I see now, you already eliminated all of the weapon dependent ones. Good man. ;)

Inspiring Leader...mmmm, it is Cha. dependent...but I would say it requires speech, "inspiring your companions, shoring up their resolve...". Yeah, I'm gonn amake this the exception to the Int/Wis/Cha "rule." This will be a no at my table.

Keen Mind (none)
Yeah. No problem here.

Linguist (none)
Can't speak. No.

Lucky (none)
Sure. I don't see why not.

Mage Slayer (none)
This gets split, like Charger. The first feature specifies the use of a melee weapon, so, no. The second feature, imposing disadvantage on the concentration save from the damage you inflict...yes. Advantage to spell saves, also, I see no reason would change.

Martial Adept (none) - If Wildshape form has physical characteristics to perform maneuver?
The wildshape having the form to perform the maneuver is not as important as the fact that most of the maneuvers are melee weapon attacks. In fact, a quick once over the Battlemaster maneuvers shows nearly every one is the result of you making "a weapon attack" or "melee weapon attack". The feat is based on using the BM maneuvers and the BM maneuvers are based on the assumption that you are attacking (whether you hit or not) with a [unspoken] "wielded" weapon. The few that don't are so corner that, for simplicity's sake, I'm just going to say this is a No.

Mobile (none)
For me, this is a no. For Remathilis' table, this is a yes (even though 5e is fairly clear in limiting/eliminating "stacking"). SO this is really a call you have to make...and stick to. You can move faster in your normal form...when you become an animal, you take on THEIR movment rate...to say you automatically "fly faster" than other eagles when you turn into an eagle or "slither through tight spaces faster" as a salamander just doesn't sit right with my immersion spidey senses[tm]. So I say this is a no.

Observant (none)
Wis/Int based. So yes.

Resilient (none) - If Int, Wis, Cha chosen as stat
Right. Yes for Int. Wis. Cha. No for Str. Con. Dex.

Savage Attacker (none)
Specifies "melee weapon attack", so no.

Sentinel (none)
Add it to the Charger list. The first two features (about OAs) are fine. The "reaction to make a melee weapon attack" within 5' of you doesn't fly. So this is split.

Sharpshooter (none)
You are using a ranged weapon how? No dice.

Skilled (none)
Would dependent on what the skills or tools were. Let's try to follow our own system and just say "Int/Wis/Cha" based skills, sure. "Str/Con/De" based skills, unless the animal has proficiency with it, no. Obviously, no one in animal form are using tools...unless, maybe they are a chimpanzee.

Skulker (Dexterity 13 or higher) - If Wildshape form has Dex >=13
Right. Yes, if the animal form has >=13 Dex.

War Caster (The ability to cast at least one spell) - If Druid cast a concentration spell prior Wildshape form (e.g. call lightning)
I would rule, if you want to insist, that they can have the advantage to Con. saves to maintain concentration. Fine. The other two features, obviously are non-starters.

So, like I said, whatever makes sense and/or your table/houserules agree.
 
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Specifies the use of a melee weapon, so no to that.
No, it say "melee weapon attack"

"When you use your action to Dash, you can use a bonus action to make one melee weapon attack or to shove a creature."

Now, look at the attack section of say, the brown bear.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8+4) piercing damage.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6+4) slashing damage.

Furthermore, the errata for Unarmed strike says

"“Instead of using a weapon to make a melee weapon attack, you can use an unarmed strike: a punch, kick, head-butt, or similar forceful blow (none of which count as weapons)."

So Charger, Sentinel, Savage Attack, and Mage Slayer are all legal as long as the form you take has a melee weapon attack (a bite, claw, gore, etc)
 
Would dependent on what the skills or tools were. Let's try to follow our own system and just say "Int/Wis/Cha" based skills, sure. "Str/Con/De" based skills, unless the animal has proficiency with it, no.
"You also retain all of your skill and saving throw proficiencies, in addition to gaining those of the creature. If the creature has the same proficiency as you and the bonus in its stat block is higher than yours, use the creature's bonus instead of yours."

Sounds like any proficiency you get via Skilled or Resilient, unless the creature form in question has a higher bonus.

Lastly, my ruling on Mobile came from this.

"You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so."

Feat is another source. If a human can walk 10 faster than another human, I don't see why a wild shaped bear wouldn't move faster than another wild shaped bear.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
If bites and claws are being stated as "melee weapon attacks", by-the-book, then I suppose they do. Seems obviously against the RAI...and they always matter more to me than RAW.
 

UngeheuerLich

Adventurer
of course claws and such are melee weapon attacks. What should they be otherwise? There are two kinds of melee attacks. Spell and weapon attacks. Claws are obviously no spells.
 

Vael

Adventurer
Now, what about feats that bump stats? Does that part apply to Wildshape? Does a Druid with Resilient (Constitution) have to add +1 to the Con of any creature he changes into?
 

ForgedAnvil

Explorer
Anyone seen anything from Mike Mearls or Jeremy Crawford on this topic? It would be good to get their thoughts on this
 

ehren37

Visitor
Now, what about feats that bump stats? Does that part apply to Wildshape? Does a Druid with Resilient (Constitution) have to add +1 to the Con of any creature he changes into?
No, simply because it sets your physical stats, rather than modifying them. You become joe average bear. A weak druid with a 6 strength doesn't become a weaker than average bear and an 18 strength orc druid doesnt become super bear.
 

Geistrin

Visitor
Now, what about feats that bump stats? Does that part apply to Wildshape? Does a Druid with Resilient (Constitution) have to add +1 to the Con of any creature he changes into?
I'd give the character "the benefit of any features from class, race, or other source... if the new form is physically capable of doing so." That means I WOULD give ability score bumps, because those are class and race features that animals are physically capable of using. Some bears are stronger, healthier, and/or more agile than other bears. I would also be pretty liberal with feat use, considering natural weapons cause weapon attacks for the purpose of feat use.

As far as I can see, none of this breaks the game even remotely. Moon druids are pretty powerful early on, but that tapers off quite a bit as other classes catch up. No big deal.
 

ForgedAnvil

Explorer
No, simply because it sets your physical stats, rather than modifying them. You become joe average bear. A weak druid with a 6 strength doesn't become a weaker than average bear and an 18 strength orc druid doesnt become super bear.
But the saving throw proficiency from Resilient feat is retained right
 

ForgedAnvil

Explorer
Does a Character need to adjust attacks, skills etc. based on the new stats of the Wild Shape. A few examples:

If a character is proficient with Athletics and the Wild Shape form increases their STR from 12 to 16 then their Athletics skill increases by +2?
If the Wild Shape form has proficiency in Perception with a value of +3, however a Character has a Wis of 16, is not proficient in perception and is level 10 (Prof Bonus +4) therefore the final Perception skill is +7?
Do you add your proficiency bonus to all attacks when in Wild Shape form?
Do you add your proficiency bonus to all Wild Shape proficiencies or is it just based on HD of the Wild Shape?
 

PnPgamer

Explorer
But the saving throw proficiency from Resilient feat is retained right
Wild shape entry says that you keep all skill and saving throw proficiencies. Source doesnt matter.
Does a Character need to adjust attacks, skills etc. based on the new stats of the Wild Shape. A few examples:

If a character is proficient with Athletics and the Wild Shape form increases their STR from 12 to 16 then their Athletics skill increases by +2?
If the Wild Shape form has proficiency in Perception with a value of +3, however a Character has a Wis of 16, is not proficient in perception and is level 10 (Prof Bonus +4) therefore the final Perception skill is +7?
Do you add your proficiency bonus to all attacks when in Wild Shape form?
Do you add your proficiency bonus to all Wild Shape proficiencies or is it just based on HD of the Wild Shape?
You add your proficiency bonus to the forms ability bonus IF physical. Mentals you use whichever is higher, your Normal character sheet or beasts statblock. Attacks never change for wild shape, use the creatures own attack statistics.
 
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