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

Frostmarrow

First Post
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.

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

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. You're the DM. You can decree that wild shape isn't available till level 4 or level 8 or level 17, if you want.

Your preferences are just as valid as mine. But I feel bad for your poor preferences. You should take the time to rethink your whole outlook on fantasy in general and fantasy gaming specifically. I could, but I won't, ban morph-druids because my gaming pals are just as misinformed as you are.

Thanks, by the way. This banter revitalized me.
 

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Dausuul

Legend
Your preferences are just as valid as mine. But I feel bad for your poor preferences. You should take the time to rethink your whole outlook on fantasy in general and fantasy gaming specifically. I could, but I won't, ban morph-druids because my gaming pals are just as misinformed as you are.

...Okay, this has got to be parody. I was starting to suspect it on your last post, but this one clinched it. Well done, sir (or madam). You really had me going there.
 

heptat

Explorer
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 @Frostmarrow, not you).

I know ;)

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.

Yes, that would be good, a core druid that didn't have shapeshifting. Oh well, I'll just go with the flow as generally I like the direction Next is going.
 



Celebrim

Legend
Very interested to know what were the last dozen fantasy/sci-fi books you read.

Anthony Huso, James S.A. Cores, Charles Stross, Brandon Sanderson, Chris Wooding, some others. Don't remember all the titles right off the top of my head.

For me it was the Wurst/Fiest Empire Trilogy

Interestingly, Feist's fantasy series did begin as a D&D game in which he was a player. He's got D&D style Wizards (the lesser path mages obey Vancian spellcasting), Drow elves, and pretty much everything else. Much of his non-D&Disms come form the fact that his DM was borrowing a lot of Barker's Tekumel stuff (unbeknown at the time to Feist).
 

the Jester

Legend
Ok I'm going to be grumpy. What is with Druids and shape changing?? It's so lame, I hate it with a passion. It makes the Druid a non-playable/gm-able class for me. Where did it come from???

Uh... first edition.

Shapechanging is supposed to be rare and awesome - not commonplace like a t-shirt with a wolf motif.

Why? Says who? And moreover, who says that holds true in any campaign but your own?

Personally, I've long wanted a class whose whole shtick was shapechanging.
 

Celebrim

Legend
Personally, I've long wanted a class whose whole shtick was shapechanging.

I could probably accept that easier than I could accept the 3.X Druid. Shape changing as a class ability with full spellcasting in addition was just too powerful. Add to that the 3.5 animal companion concept, and the 3.5 ability to cast spells when shapechanged and it got over the top in a hurry.

But my primary problem with shape changing is that any good implementation that captures the idea of shapechanging quickly becomes a nightmare at the table because of the mechanical complexity. Shape-changing just bogs the play down if it happens to often. One thing I find I have to do at my table is require a typed stat block of what you want to change into before you are allowed to change into it. And since I only give player's about 6 seconds to declare their action on their turn, they better have the stat block ready to hand to me.

I'm experimenting with spells that allow shapeshifting in less flexible and thus easier to resolve ways.

Summoning is a similar situation. I don't mind it, but if it happens too often it is a rules resolution burden.
 

MarkB

Legend
Shapechanging is supposed to be rare and awesome

In many campaign settings - and novels, for that matter - the PCs / protagonists are themselves rare and awesome, so there's no fundamental problem in giving them rare and awesome abilities.

For what it's worth, I seem to recall a couple of alternate Druid class builds in 3.5e that subbed-out wildshape for other capabilities. I'm thinking probably PHB2, but I don't have those books anymore.
 

Dausuul

Legend
It does seem as if there is a lot of demand for a dedicated shapechanger class. I'd be on board with that.

I'd also like an option for more narrowly targeted shapechanging into a single form, maybe as a feat or something. I'd love to be able to play a wizard who can turn into a snake at will, for instance. No general-purpose shapechanging, just snakes.
 

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