D&D (2024) New Wild Shape

Chaosmancer

Legend
Are you seriously saying an awakened ape with weapons and armor proficiency can't wear armor? That's the ruling you'd make? Because that's what a druid in wildform effectively is.

It's more grounds for having wildshape focused armor/spells than just giving them that stuff for free.

OKay but... why? Like, sure, be an, grab your shield. But you are already dealing 1d8+mod WITHOUT a one-handed simple weapon which is going to be weaker than 1d8+mod. And it takes time to put on the armor, so that isn't viable unless you transform early, and you don't get the multi-attack...

So is the entire point to just increase the AC? At that point just get barding and have your allies put it on any animal you turn into. It isn't an exploit as much as just... more effort for little gain.

Casters should never equal a non-caster at what the non-caster does, because the non-caster is bound by reality and doesnt get to repick their superpowers after a nap. I don't even think casters should get skills, but sadly that ship has sailed. Versatility needs a price. ALL casters need to be seriously dropped in power (or non-casters need to go full mythic and be throwing mountains or stealing memories, but we all know that won't happen). This is a decent first step.

That ship has sailed so far the docks have rotted away.

Entangle could be more effective at reducing party damage than anything a martial can do. I don't disagree that the gap needs to be bridged. But I far prefer to increase the power of martials than to nerf Casters to the point of being useless.

And it will never make the martials better to play, if you make the others worse to play.

I've never seen a cleric tank like a druid, but it wouldnt necessarily surprise me, because 5E is such easymode it has more or less obliviated the need for any amount of tactics. That doesnt mean it is good design. It's supposed to be a team game, yet we still have some classes able to fill any role with ease. Why even bother with non-casters?

5e is not easy-mode

Yes, you still need tactics if the DM brings a fight that requires tactics. If you just copy-paste the monster manual you aren't being a hardcore DM, so you shouldn't expect a Hardcore experience.

It is still a team game, even if a class can cover different rolls. Having a thief act as a medic with the healer feat doesn't make the cleric useless, just like playing a heavily armed and armored cleric doesn't make the paladin useless, and playing a Paladin sniper isn't going to make the rogue useless. Classes having multiple roles they can fill is a good thing, because it creates a diversity of experience. All it requires is to talk to your party and coordinate a little. If you are going to have two tanks, they should be aware of each other from the start, and you should plan fights that let them shine as two tanks.

And if the druid is shining brighter because they can tank AND do spells, then the solution isn't to snuff the druid, but to find ways to have the barbarian shine brighter. Give them more cool super powers and let them break the rules.
 

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Chaosmancer

Legend
Just going to point out that pretty much no one has commented on the bonus action attack.


Which tells me that druid players, especially the current players, would rather be an off-tank, not a damage dealer.

I think it is because the unarmed strikes are utility, not damage. I mean, 1+mod isn't exactly breaking the bank here. The real trick is the prone, grapple, shove.

But until you have a Druid that wants to wildshape and be in melee, it is hard to comment on how effective their melee is.

Also, this too could be an option. Chose between tanking, utility, or offensive.

Level 1: you learn 2 different forms featurs from the following list. When you use wild shape, you can select from one of the two.
Your wild shape form needs to be physically capable of the ability you select, otherwise it's up to you.
-bonus action unarmed attacks, which can grapple or shove.
-temporary hit points equal to 5* your level
-tiny size and your damage is halved.
-mount and +10 speed

Level 5, you learn 2 additional form featues, which can be from the following list or lower level.
when you wild shape you can choose 2 features that you know.
-climb speed
-multi-attack.
-swim speed
-swallow
-web

Level 7: healing blossom leaves a zone for 1 minute. Friendly creatures who start their turn in the zone gain temporary hit points equal to half your druid level.

Level 9: learn 2 more features. You can now use 3 features at once.
-flying, -2 AC
-one elemental resistance
-+1d4 elemental damage.

-level 11: increase the size of Healing blossom

Moon druids
3: know 2 addional level 1 form features. You can use 2 at a time.
6: know 2 addional level 5 form features. You can use 4 at a time.
10: know 2 addional level 9 form features. You can use 6 at a time.
14: alter self at-will.

Why do we keep insisting on Alter-Self at will? Sorry, personal rant.

I don't like the Moon druid just being "do the same thing as the other wildshape, just more" I don't think that is an interesting design. I think Moon Druid being the combat wildshape exclusive is fine, because then other subclasses can do other things with the resource.
 

Clint_L

Legend
Casters should never equal a non-caster at what the non-caster does, because the non-caster is bound by reality and doesnt get to repick their superpowers after a nap. I don't even think casters should get skills, but sadly that ship has sailed. Versatility needs a price. ALL casters need to be seriously dropped in power (or non-casters need to go full mythic and be throwing mountains or stealing memories, but we all know that won't happen). This is a decent first step.


I've never seen a cleric tank like a druid, but it wouldnt necessarily surprise me, because 5E is such easymode it has more or less obliviated the need for any amount of tactics. That doesnt mean it is good design. It's supposed to be a team game, yet we still have some classes able to fill any role with ease. Why even bother with non-casters?
This sounds like theory, but we can test these ideas against realities.

5e casters can often equal or even exceed non-casters as a variety of tasks. 5e casters have skills. So by your logic - "why even bother with casters?" - we should see a shortage of non-casters. We don't. Why not?

it's because that goes both ways. Non-casters can often equal or exceed casters in various ways. So the reality is that both full-caster, half-caster, and non-caster classes all get played. Fighter, rogue, and barbarian are all very popular classes. Furthermore, when you look at class tier rankings that survey large numbers of players, it turns out that fighters and barbarians are right up there, whereas several full caster classes (including non-moon druids) are low on the list.

That ship has sailed anyway. Druid tanks have been a reality of D&D for decades, and the premise of OneD&D is that it is 5e and backwards compatible.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I wish you would stop extrapolating your own experiences to assume everybody else plays the way you do. Others have already said their experience is different than yours, and this kind of stuff is basically accusing us of lying.

One of those other people thought I was talking about "druid talk to animal" because when pressed, they admitted the event they were talking about happened before skill checks were even a thing at their table. And no one I've ever seen when talking about Speak With Animals as a spell has commented on how difficult it is to use persuasion or deception on the animal they are speaking too. Maybe it has always been a thing, but if I've been as active as I have, for as many years as I have, and seen nothing of it? Then I don't think it is out of line for me to be suspicious of the idea that this would be some fix.

However, I will agree that being able to influence animals is not as nice as, say, getting a massive buffer of HP by shifting into animal form. In general nothing is as powerful or useful as enhanced combat, so, yes, swapping a powerful combat ability for an occasionally useful (YMMV) social ability feels like a bad trade.

One very frustrating thing about this conversation is that no matter how hard I try, it seems people think I really deeply care about all druids being able to combat wildshape. I don't. As long as Wildshape is an action, combat wildshaping for Druids is not going to happen.

What I'm actually MORE upset about for druids is that they are losing the tiny form at level 1. That is what I'd want far more. If you offered a build that forced normal druids to keep their HP for wildshape, replaced that level 5 feature with something else (and I'll assume fix the abysmal progression for aquatic and aerial) but allowed them tiny forms at level 1? I'd be happy with that trade for normal druids.

Then Moon Druids could get the temp hp, the multi-attack, and turn their utility ability into combat.

EDIT: And it's a red herring to argue that it isn't "needed". There is not a single special ability in the game that is "needed" by the class that gets it, including the current bear form.

I'm not going to twist language into knots over this. The game isn't "needed" either, but I'm sure my point was well enough understood without the "wEll ACtuALly, "
 


Enrahim2

Adventurer
Okay, do I need to say more than "Ranger" to explain why a design philosophy of being effective only in more niche situations is a poor design philosophy?
No. And if you carefully read carefully my claim was that this could be a tool for most situations. Most campaigns go over a range of landscapes, so most of the time will be outside any given landscape. Similar with creature types. Hence the ranger abilities were for a typical campaign completely inaccessible most of the time. On the other hand my experience is that most campaigns spend most of their time in places where there are some local fauna. As such I fail to see how you can invoke ranger on that suggestion?
Ding ding! You never need this ability, so why would giving this ability balance the class? You could give artificers advantage on social rolls against Constructs, and it wouldn't move the needle on the class's actual power or effectiveness, so why would we imagine this works for druids and animals?
I think the point I failed to convey is that the reason you don't need it is because you could just turn into the animal yourself and handle the situation without having to go to the actual animal.

And animals are in most settings a lot more common than constructs. If you seek out some construct and the DM say no, then that seem sensible to me. If the DM however do not offer suggestions to available animals with certain traits likely to be found in a non-desolated area to someone with the suggested ability I would consider that actively sabotaging the class in line with filling the world with anti magic zones.

This is why I think it could work out with druids and animals.

But the class can already do this. That is my point. Speak With Animals is plenty to give the druid the expectation that they can go and talk to animals and get them to do things. You don't need a "social manipulator" for the animal kingdom, because most animals are dumb and short-sighted and offering them some food or some shiny rock is plenty to get them to go and do something.

I'm not saying the idea of the druid getting animals to work for them is a bad idea, I'm saying they already accomplish the goal without rolling, so why give them advantage on a roll they never make?
We read speak with animals differently. I read it mainly as an information source. "You might be able to persuade a beast to perform a small favor for you, at the GM’s discretion." Sound very much not like a guarantee to make an elephant follow you into combat for trinkets to me. (And the pure GM discretion part is probably part of why skill rolls rarely are suggested, a class ability specifically giving advantage will cause prompt for such rolls). As a DM I would certanly not let a player get that so easily. With this suggested change however I would be thrilled to see the druid assert their position as alpha female, and lead the entire herd from the front charging trough the enemy camp.

That would be something I don't see how you would be likely to achieve even with the 5ed druid? (unless you have a very rule of cool dm)

‐---------------

I think an important analogy here is the windy tunnel phenomenom. Old dungeons were filled with windy tunnels. This was because there was rules saying the torch could blow out. Once the rules was gone so did the tunells. When was the last time your party listened at a door? Early D&D had rules for that, and it hence was done all the time (even if it had drawbacks associated with it). And crafting magic items became a much bigger thing in 3ed when solid rules for it came in place. Adding distinct rules for something tend to make that thing come a lot more into play. And I think that effect would be really strong with the advantage on animal interaction rule.
 
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OB1

Jedi Master
Refining this idea I posted a couple hundred posts ago. I think this set of templates would cover most of what Druids can do now, but scaled back at lower levels and a bit more powerful in later levels. THP given go away when you revert form, and are only given when you first use the feature.

Traveler (1st level template option) - Small, your hp, speed 50, (can fly at 5th) 1d4 damage (no multiattack), don't provoke opportunity attacks, Dex save advantage

Predator (1st level template option) - Medium, gain 1/2 Wis Score THP, Speed 40, 1d8 damage or 1d4 + poison (condition) (multiattack at 5th), stealth/perception advantage/training, (Swim/water breathe 7th)

Scout (Replaces 2nd level Wild Companion feature) - Tiny, no attack or magic, damage reverts you to normal form, speed 30 (fly at 9th), climb, perception advantage

Sentinel (5th level template option) - Large, gain Wis Score THP, Speed 30 (fly at 9th), 1d12 damage, STR advantage

Goliath (Replaces 11th level Tiny Critter feature) - Huge, gain 2xWis Score THP, Speed 30, multiattack, 3d8 damage + grapple on hit, reach 15', STR advantage, 1 minute duration
 

mellored

Legend
I think it is because the unarmed strikes are utility, not damage. I mean, 1+mod isn't exactly breaking the bank here. The real trick is the prone, grapple, shove.
Fair. Though only the land wild shape has Str.
Really seems like the octopus should get it as well.
Why do we keep insisting on Alter-Self at will? Sorry, personal rant.
I'm not, I just didn't think about what high level features you would get. Happy to replace it with kaiju.

Level 14: chose one more form feature
-gargantuan.
-???

I don't like the Moon druid just being "do the same thing as the other wildshape, just more" I don't think that is an interesting design. I think Moon Druid being the combat wildshape exclusive is fine, because then other subclasses can do other things with the resource.
So regular druids only get utility wild shape? I would be ok with that.

Still wouldn't mind a few THP when changed though. Maybe 2/level.

Or perhaps, when you take damage, you can revert forms as a reaction to gain resistance to that attack.
 

Enrahim2

Adventurer
Refining this idea I posted a couple hundred posts ago. I think this set of templates would cover most of what Druids can do now, but scaled back at lower levels and a bit more powerful in later levels. THP given go away when you revert form, and are only given when you first use the feature.

Traveler (1st level template option) - Small, your hp, speed 50, (can fly at 5th) 1d4 damage (no multiattack), don't provoke opportunity attacks, Dex save advantage

Predator (1st level template option) - Medium, gain 1/2 Wis Score THP, Speed 40, 1d8 damage or 1d4 + poison (condition) (multiattack at 5th), stealth/perception advantage/training, (Swim/water breathe 7th)

Scout (Replaces 2nd level Wild Companion feature) - Tiny, no attack or magic, damage reverts you to normal form, speed 30 (fly at 9th), climb, perception advantage

Sentinel (5th level template option) - Large, gain Wis Score THP, Speed 30 (fly at 9th), 1d12 damage, STR advantage

Goliath (Replaces 11th level Tiny Critter feature) - Huge, gain 2xWis Score THP, Speed 30, multiattack, 3d8 damage + grapple on hit, reach 15', STR advantage, 1 minute duration
This approach to classifying looks a lot better than the one proposed! In particular I like that it is less obviously exhaustive with regard to all possible roles, which make it easier for third parties to fill in any gaps there might be.

One detail is that I think all the roles likely should have both swiming and flying at some point, except Goliat (start with swim, but no fly). For instance traveler gain swim and fly at level 5 the remaining available get swim at 7, fly at 9 and finally Goliath come with swim, but never fly?
 

Stalker0

Legend
So the more I've stewed over the idea, the more its probably better to replace the wildshape template with a few core animal statblocks. Put them right int he druid section for the druid to have. And then flavor as apporpriate.

A bear can be a polar bear, hippo, any big 4 legged creature. You can have a horse or deer for your fast animal, a mice or spider for your tiny type animals. You could probably do like 6 small statblocks and call it a day. That's probably cleaner than trying to do a template that starts to get weird when you consider the flavor (since we know what animals look like these, these are fantastical summoned creatures that could look like anything).
 

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