D&D 5E Druids and shape changing – I don't like it!!

Dausuul

Legend
I certainly do! By your logic a djinni would be able to grant wishes left and right at first level.

And if at-will wish-granting could somehow be made balanced at 1st level, I don't see a problem with that. Are you contending that druidic shapechanging is unbalanced? If so, on what basis? It's certainly a strong utility power, but the fact that you can only use it on yourself limits what it can be used for... scouting, mainly.

I don't care for such nonsense. Basically I disagree with you and I'm not afraid to let you know that.

Well, I'm glad you're brave enough to come out and disagree with people. But just because something isn't to your taste doesn't mean it shouldn't be in D&D. Personally, I think elves, dwarves, and halflings are much sillier and more annoying than shapechanging druids; how long is D&D going to remain shackled to J.R.R. Tolkien's rotting corpse? But I know lots of people like them--can't imagine why--so I accept that I'm going to have to ban them when I run a campaign and live with them when I play in someone else's. Such is life.
 
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Dausuul

Legend
Most D&Disms have become self-referential. D&D has been so influential over consensus fantasy that incidental D&Disms have become archetypes unto themselves. Ranger may have started as a poor attempt at emulating Tolkien's Rangers, but everything from that implementation to the D&D cartoon have defined the D&D ranger as an archetype unto itself ubiquitous to fantasy as people experience it. D&D virtually created the modern consensus fantasy conception of a Wizard. The same is true with the Druid as shapeshifter. Everyone 'knows' druids are supposed to shapeshift. They expect it. They feel that the game is somehow incomplete without it.

Pet peeve here, but this is a very narrow definition of "consensus fantasy." I think a better term would be "gaming fantasy," referring to D&D and computer games (most computer fantasy games are heavily D&D-influenced). The broader world of fantasy fiction--books, movies, TV shows--long since left most D&D-isms behind, or never embraced them at all.
 

heptat

Explorer
Ahh, the cause of 90% of all edition wars. And probably arguments in general.

It's not a real argument (at least not from me). I'm just putting forward that I loathe the idea of shape changing druids and one or two others agree. I guess what I was initially disappointed with was that there didn't seem an easy way to remove this class feature but 1of3's suggestion solved that. But if you like shape changing druids, then good luck to you and you'll (probably) get a lot more mileage from this druid than I will.

Out of interest I dug this up:
* The BECMI Druid doesn't even have a spell to shape change into an animal!
* AD&D 1e has change form at 7th level.
* AD&D 2e has shape change at 7th level (Oh wow, David Pulver wrote The Complete Druid's Handbook! He did some great stuff for GURPS.)
* 3.0/3.5 has wild shape at 5th level.
* 4.0 – I don't have access to this.

So knowing that I dislike shape changing Druids and they've been shape changing ever since AD&D 1e, guess which version of D&D I've played the most of? :D
 
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Frostmarrow

First Post
And if at-will wish-granting could somehow be made balanced at 1st level, I don't see a problem with that. Are you contending that druidic shapechanging is unbalanced? If so, on what basis? It's certainly a strong utility power, but the fact that you can only use it on yourself limits what it can be used for... scouting, mainly.

You don't see a problem with balanced wishes? I suppose you don't see a problem with ancient red wyrms with combat powers befitting a lowly kobold either? From a role-playing perspective changing your very nature is a fantastic ability that would strike awe into any NPC made to witness. I don't know about your game but in my game role-playing counts for something. Balance is not just about the proper bonus visavi level. Being able to turn into a newt is for grand masters only.

For your information I find elves and dwarves cornerstones of the game. I fing shape shifting integral too - but not at first level. So there.
 

Celebrim

Legend
Pet peeve here, but this is a very narrow definition of "consensus fantasy." I think a better term would be "gaming fantasy," referring to D&D and computer games (most computer fantasy games are heavily D&D-influenced). The broader world of fantasy fiction--books, movies, TV shows--long since left most D&D-isms behind, or never embraced them at all.

The older I get, the more clearly it becomes that just about everyone writing Sci-Fi and Fantasy spent a significant amount of time playing RPGs as a kid, or if they didn't, are actually channeling tropes that first appeared in RPGs whether they know it or not.

I look at the state of fantasy today, and just feel that VtM LARPS have gone mainstream. The last dozen fantasy and sci-fi books I've read could have been and sometimes were the novelizations of somebodies campaign. It wasn't always D&D, it was sometimes GURPS Space, but RPGs have I think a huge influence right now over the larger literary space.
 

Dausuul

Legend
From a role-playing perspective changing your very nature is a fantastic ability that would strike awe into any NPC made to witness.

Oh, please. Like I said, shapechangers are a dime a dozen in myth and legend. You can't walk three feet in a fairy tale without tripping over somebody who can turn into a bird or a mouse or a bear or whatnot. Often there isn't even any explanation given--the princess just turns herself into a swan, because hey, some princesses can do that. It's only an "awe-inspiring" ability if you choose to make it so.

I don't know about your game but in my game role-playing counts for something. Balance is not just about the proper bonus visavi level. Being able to turn into a newt is for grand masters only.

That's your personal choice, not some fundamental principle of fantasy. I choose otherwise.

For your information I find elves and dwarves cornerstones of the game. I fing shape shifting integral too - but not at first level. So there.

And I don't find any of the above to be cornerstones, but I like shapeshifting druids. So there, there. My preferences are just as valid as yours. If I have to live with lame Tolkien rip-offs jammed into my Vance/Moorcock/Howard-themed sword and sorcery game as a blatant pander to "Lord of the Rings" fans, you can live with shapechanging druids at 1st level. If you don't want them in your own campaign, I present to you the Almighty Banhammer. Wield it with abandon.
 
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TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
It's not a real argument (at least not from me). I'm just putting forward that I loathe the idea of shape changing druids and one or two others agree. I guess what I was initially disappointed with was that there didn't seem an easy way to remove this class feature but 1of3's suggestion solved that. But if you like shape changing druids, then good luck to you and you'll (probably) get a lot more mileage from this druid than I will.
I don't have a problem with your argument, just pointing out that positing that things are "supposed" to be a certain way causes arguments (and was aimed at [MENTION=1122]Frostmarrow[/MENTION], not you).

Personally, I'd rather see shapeshifter split out from druids altogether, and rolled into its own class, but that's probably not going to happen in the extremely self-referential Next. I'd settle for it being a druid subclass only benefit. I'd rather the core druid not have it. I wouldn't mind seeing an Animagus style subclass for rogues, either.
 

TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
From a role-playing perspective changing your very nature is a fantastic ability that would strike awe into any NPC made to witness. I don't know about your game but in my game role-playing counts for something. Balance is not just about the proper bonus visavi level. Being able to turn into a newt is for grand masters only.
Really, dude? For a game based around imagination, you seem to have trouble imagining more than one kind of fantasy story.
 

heptat

Explorer
The last dozen fantasy and sci-fi books I've read could have been and sometimes were the novelizations of somebodies campaign.

Very interested to know what were the last dozen fantasy/sci-fi books you read. (For me it was the Wurst/Fiest Empire Trilogy, but I couldn't finish book 2. Before that it was the Scott Bakker books – the first trilogy and then the next 2 books and annoyed at having to wait for the last one, lol).
 


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