D&D 5E Druid's Wild Shape

Joe Liker

First Post
Over on the character optimization boards, folks have noted that the monk's AC bonus appears to work while wild=shaped so a one-level dip in monk solves that problem.
It is important to note that the bonus does not stack with the beast's normal AC.

You either use your unarmored AC (based on Dex and Wis) or the beast's normal AC, not some combination of both.

(So sayeth Crawford.)
 

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Paraxis

Explorer
It is important to note that the bonus does not stack with the beast's normal AC.

You either use your unarmored AC (based on Dex and Wis) or the beast's normal AC, not some combination of both.

(So sayeth Crawford.)

It sort of is a combination because your Dex score changes. So a druid 2/monk 1 with a Dex and Wis of 16, normally his AC is 16 (10+3+3), if he shifts into brown bear form his Dex becomes a 10(+0), so his monk AC would be 13. Still an improvement over normal brown bear AC of 11.
 

Stalker0

Legend
My group house ruled the Druid to be at CR 1/2 at 2nd level, CR 1 at 4th. My player looked at the CR 1 forms and agreed that they were too strong at 2nd level. I also did a bit of math on it a while back and concluded for myself that the druid was a bit on the strong side at 2nd. Its true that the wildshape has a lower AC, but you get a LOT of free hitpoints. And at that level healing can be precious, so coming out of a combat at full health is very useful.

I have also seen a druid at 6th level, and they seem completely fine. So I think the problem really is at the low levels (2-4) and then fixes itself up going forward.
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
My group house ruled the Druid to be at CR 1/2 at 2nd level, CR 1 at 4th. My player looked at the CR 1 forms and agreed that they were too strong at 2nd level.


I have also seen a druid at 6th level, and they seem completely fine. So I think the problem really is at the low levels (2-4) and then fixes itself up going forward.

That seems pretty accurate. I tend not to worry too much about overpowered PCs at level 2, as typically it will be a problem for only one session.

Then too, hitting a druid for 10+ damage when he only has a couple of hit points left in bear form is bad for the druid!

Cheers!
 

That seems pretty accurate. I tend not to worry too much about overpowered PCs at level 2, as typically it will be a problem for only one session.

Then too, hitting a druid for 10+ damage when he only has a couple of hit points left in bear form is bad for the druid!

Cheers!
It's bad all of the time for most other characters.
 


They tend to have higher ACs, though.
True but simultaneity is verboten in 5E, so even if one foe hits the low AC, they next must deal with the druid's normal AC, even if they all readied to strike at the same time. Whatever damage didn't go directly to the druid was damage tanked away.
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
True but simultaneity is verboten in 5E, so even if one foe hits the low AC, they next must deal with the druid's normal AC, even if they all readied to strike at the same time. Whatever damage didn't go directly to the druid was damage tanked away.

Any damage in excess of the animal's hp does go directly to the druid, though.

Cheers!
 

I have a druid of the moon on my table.
He reached the 2nd level and used this ability to change to a bear (and a lion, dire wolf, etc).
It isn't all that powerfull as it seems. Rarely he finished the fight (on 2nd level) in animal form. The AC of the form plus the damage form the monsters balance the things
 

Authweight

First Post
I've run a session with a moon druid, and several friends of mine have as well. The overall consensus in my little gaming community is that the moon druid is absurdly OP at low levels. With healing at a premium in 5e, any way to get free hp is automatically very helpful. When that way of getting free hp is accessible twice per short rest and comes along with an attack that outdamages the fighter, it's just overkill. AC simply isn't relevant: since it's free hp, even if it set your AC to zero, it would still be really good. Not to mention that you also have a nice selection of cool spells. The wild shape and the spells combo together nicely, because you can cast spells more aggressively knowing that you can always fall back on wild shape if you run out, and you can wild shape more aggressively knowing you have spells to cast if you run out of wild shape.

The guidelines in the DMG recommend about two short rests per full adventuring day. Those rests aren't mandatory, of course, but classes like the warlock seem to be assuming they'll get those rests more often than not. But if you do that with the moon druid, they're getting six wild shapes per day, which seems extreme.

At level 5 or so, it seems to even out and become more reasonable, although still very strong, but around levels two and three it's way overpowered. I guess if you just don't care about balance at those levels, it's not a big deal, but I often run shorter campaigns that only cover a few levels anyway. In that style, a moon druid could be ridiculous for a significant majority of its time at the table.
 

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