D&D (2024) New Wild Shape

Well this one is the controversial part. Changes include:
  • Wildshape uses your personal hit points rather than being ablative armour
  • It's no longer a near mandatory ability; there are two other Channel Nature options. One of which is Find Familiar and the other healing.
  • You get one statblock (or three later; land, water, air)
  • You can make it look how you want
  • It doesn't get much in the way of special abilities
  • Land forms only get multiattack and climb speed at level 5; you only get aquatic at 7 and flying at 9
  • Tiny only at level 11 meaning no bypassing soooo many things
  • Level 13 lets you switch in and out of wild shape as a bonus without losing the wild shape as long as you go back within a minute
  • Circle of the Moon now needs its fluff text re-written and probably the name changed because it's now the weird wild shapes for combat. Kinda always was, but this isn't pretending to be natural.
    • Level 3 lets you Unarmed Strike (read: grapple/push/trip) as a bonus action. Technically you can't grapple without hands. (You're also only good at grappling, pushing, and tripping in land form). This is where things like a tripping wolf go.
    • Level 3 also lets you use abjuration spells including healing while wild shaped.
    • Level 6 lets you add elements to the mix, partly cosmetically, partly you get elemental resistance and may do elemental damage
    • Level 10 is a straight up elemental damage buff.
    • Level 14 is the old Thousand Faces.
The overall changes to non-moon druids are that they've lost ablative temp HP from Wildshape and personal tiny spider scouting but gained a free fey familiar and extra healing. Circle of the Moon has gone from one of the tankiest things in the game to probably the flimsiest - but with a whole lot of cool effects.
 

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OB1

Jedi Master
I'd like to see Tiny form split in 2
Level 1 - Tiny form - When you use Wildshape in this way, your size is tiny, and you have a walk, climb, and fly speed of 10. You cannot take the attack or magic action in this form, and if you take any damage, your Wildshape ends immediately, reverting you to your previous from.
Level 11 - Improved Tiny form - As per the playtest doc
 


mcmillan

Adventurer
I can understand the design goal to simplify things and not require druid players to dig through the monster manual and pick out options for individual animal. But this seems an overcorrection and loses most of the interesting abilities that would be the reason for shapeshifting in the first place.
 

mcmillan

Adventurer
I've seen a lot of bemoaning the later access to tiny wildshape forms ... but I'll point out that with Find Familiar as core feature now ... in some ways your scouting potential is better and safer. Telepathy and Remote Viewing are solid bonuses.
I think mechanically that's correct, but flavorwise there's a big difference from a character shapeshifting to scout themselves vs sending a familiar to do the scouting for me
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Well this one is the controversial part. Changes include:
  • Wildshape uses your personal hit points rather than being ablative armour
  • It's no longer a near mandatory ability; there are two other Channel Nature options. One of which is Find Familiar and the other healing.
  • You get one statblock (or three later; land, water, air)
  • You can make it look how you want
  • It doesn't get much in the way of special abilities
  • Land forms only get multiattack and climb speed at level 5; you only get aquatic at 7 and flying at 9
  • Tiny only at level 11 meaning no bypassing soooo many things
  • Level 13 lets you switch in and out of wild shape as a bonus without losing the wild shape as long as you go back within a minute
  • Circle of the Moon now needs its fluff text re-written and probably the name changed because it's now the weird wild shapes for combat. Kinda always was, but this isn't pretending to be natural.
    • Level 3 lets you Unarmed Strike (read: grapple/push/trip) as a bonus action. Technically you can't grapple without hands. (You're also only good at grappling, pushing, and tripping in land form). This is where things like a tripping wolf go.
    • Level 3 also lets you use abjuration spells including healing while wild shaped.
    • Level 6 lets you add elements to the mix, partly cosmetically, partly you get elemental resistance and may do elemental damage
    • Level 10 is a straight up elemental damage buff.
    • Level 14 is the old Thousand Faces.
The overall changes to non-moon druids are that they've lost ablative temp HP from Wildshape and personal tiny spider scouting but gained a free fey familiar and extra healing. Circle of the Moon has gone from one of the tankiest things in the game to probably the flimsiest - but with a whole lot of cool effects.
Overall I like the changes. It simplifies the druid and it should be noted that the wildshape ability scores are based on the druid's own ability scores.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
I think mechanically that's correct, but flavorwise there's a big difference from a character shapeshifting to scout themselves vs sending a familiar to do the scouting for me
Exactly. The druid going into dangerous territory as a spider or a rat has created so many memorable moments in campaigns over the years. I'd hate to lose that for the sake of simplicity.
 

Cool changes! Seems similar to what Pathfinder 2E did, but a bit simplified (which fits for something iterating on 5E). Honestly this sort of change to regulate Wildshape is very smart and good for future-proofing since you can now add animals without having to worry about how some clever Druid player can use them to completely f*** up the system balance.

I do hope they maybe add a few more bells and whistles, but this is definitely a good move to reining in the Druid a bit while still giving them a really interesting feature.

Also the concept of "Channel Nature" is absolutely a fantastic change for the Druid.
 

Clint_L

Hero
So, let's be clear: this is a massive nerf to moon druids, by far the most popular druid sub-class. As a rule, I don't like massive nerfs, and I particularly don't like them to an entire sub-class. That is going to be a tough sell to the many, many players who currently play a moon druid. I expect mine to choose to keep using the 2014 version.

Edit: I don't think this will fly. It is basically trying to tell players that the entire way they've built their character is out the window.
 


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