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

vagabundo

Adventurer
I'm struggling to find the problem. The shapes might need tweaking to make them a little more flexible. The do seem a little under-powered, but the main thrust of the idea is solid.

What we really really don't want is the return of CODzilla in any form.

Although - as mentioned up thread - it might be better to not change the stats at all for the character (or limit them to a handfull like size and speed) and instead give them a special trait when in that form, but that would limit the flexibility somewhat.
 

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Zaruthustran

The tingling means it’s working!
What we really really don't want is the return of CODzilla in any form.

With all character classes having the same weapon proficiency bonus, and the war domain making the cleric a fighter, CoDzilla is a real threat.

Re: the druid and shape changing, I think the designers simply recognized that shapechange was the druid's one unique thing. It's what differentiates them from a cleric of nature domain (in other words a full divine caster with a nature-themed spell list). So they need a unique hook, it was decided that wildshape is that hook, and the class might as well be able to do their thing by 2nd level.

If not wildshape, what else would one pick as the differentiating, defining ability of the druid?
 

Aloïsius

First Post
I don't like the lack of options for druid shapeshifters. The fact that every druid change into some wolf/dog/fox beast at level 2 and none of them can chose to be a lynx or a wildcat, or any similarly sized beast (from roe deer to wolverine... anything more mobile than a human and weighting between 5 and 15 kg and not able to breath water nor to fly) is not good.
 

Zaruthustran

The tingling means it’s working!
and none of them can chose to be a lynx or a wildcat, or any similarly sized beast

Have you read the description of the Druid's Hound shape? "With the shape of the hound, you assume the appearance of a canine you are familiar with—such as a wolf, a coyote, or a bloodhound—or a similar predator."

There's your lynx or wildcat. Or whatever medium sized, non-flying non-waterbreathing predatory animal.
 

Tequila Sunrise

Adventurer
I've always thought that summoning animals and having a permanent pet were the druid's lamer iconic features.

"Yes, come fight the fire-wielders for me, so that we may free our forest home from..." *splat* "...You died well, fluffy, and luckily for me you are easily replaced!"

For more militaristic druids who see themselves as commander's of nature's forces, it makes sense. But as the druid's default shtick, it implies a certain Machiavellian attitude that most of us probably don't associate with the entire class.
 
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MortalPlague

Adventurer
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.
I've read (and quite enjoyed) Stross and Sanderson. I can't think of anything in their books that made me think they were RPG-derived... quite the opposite, in fact. Sanderson's "Way of Kings" series is a really different take on a fantasy world; built from the ground up to be very different from the norm.


All this stuff is useful, but it is useless at one thing: combat. And that's totally by design... there are a lot of people who hated 3e Druids because of the combat exploitations of wild shape, and it's because of this that WotC designers have tried to move all combat usefulness of wildshape under a subclass, and leave only non-combat usefulness under the class.

Personally I'm very happy about this approach, except that I am also ready for disappointment once we get the last playtest update that will completely destroy this approach and give once again combat wildshape back to all druids.
It's true, but I wish Circle of the Moon would at least gain some opportunity to be decent melee combatants. Even if they had to give up spellcasting entirely, I'd be happy. In my campaign, we had a druid player who flavored it to be a 'werewolf'. This was when the packets gave him a bear form early on. Well, cut to a few packets later, and he pales next to the barbarian and the rogue in melee combat. And he always will.

I'd definitely be in favor if spellcasting was only for one subclass, while wild shape was only for another.
 

Remathilis

Legend
Write a Nature Domain for the Cleric and call it Druid.

I just threw up in my mouth.

This would never work. Druid spells are totally different than cleric spells. Sure, they have healing and some buffs, but clerics focus on defensive, alignment-based, divination, and positive energy while a druid is elemental, focused on nature and plants, and slightly more offensive. A cleric doesn't need entangle nor does a druid need raise dead.

Likewise, a druid gets special abilities beyond wild shape, like trackless step and poison resistance. They don't get (or need) channeled divinity or turn undead. They also don't share proficiencies, skills, or weapons/armor. In short, they are only superficially similar and trying to make a druid a "nature-domain cleric" is like removing the wizard class and replacing it with an "arcane-domain cleric".
 

LucidPanic

First Post
I'm struggling to find the problem. The shapes might need tweaking to make them a little more flexible. The do seem a little under-powered, but the main thrust of the idea is solid.

What we really really don't want is the return of CODzilla in any form.

Although - as mentioned up thread - it might be better to not change the stats at all for the character (or limit them to a handfull like size and speed) and instead give them a special trait when in that form, but that would limit the flexibility somewhat.

You could introduce the ability to shift base attributes limited to the level of the shapeshifter. But this would be probably pretty hard to manage for the dm and lead to many very buff but ugly animals..
 

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