D&D (2024) New Wild Shape

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
That's the thing: you aren't taking creativity away from players. You are taking the system mastery barrier away in exchange for imagination. You will no longer have to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the available options, and will have much more freedom to flavour according to your character concept and imagination. Instead of turning into "another bear" or "creature X that appeared in adventure y", the player can choose whatever their wildshape looks like and has the stats for it there and then.
It removed something that new Druid players struggle with and potential balance issues. (Remember the Fleshraker?)
I do remember the Fleshraker. And all it needed was one spell to break game balance over it's knee (do Fleshrakers even have knees?).
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
I like the idea in theory, but the problem is there are lots of animals that aren't good for combat that a druid might want to transform into (horses, cows, camels, etc.) That said, some of those powers would be excellent options for the generic stat block.

Thus templates. If I want to be a horse, I look through the list of templates and choose "Mount", which is notable for
  • Speed
  • Carrying Capacity
  • HP
Then I fluff it as a horse (or a camel, or a very fast cow, or whatever.)
 


Clint_L

Hero
That's the thing: you aren't taking creativity away from players. You are taking the system mastery barrier away in exchange for imagination. You will no longer have to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the available options, and will have much more freedom to flavour according to your character concept and imagination. Instead of turning into "another bear" or "creature X that appeared in adventure y", the player can choose whatever their wildshape looks like and has the stats for it there and then.
It removed something that new Druid players struggle with and potential balance issues. (Remember the Fleshraker?)

Now, I definitely think that there should be scope for more abilities and mechanical customisation in wild shape than that currently shown. But that can come from spending spell slots to gain special abilities when using Wild Shape.


1. Coming up with the right shape to solve problems has generally been more about knowing all the stats in the monster manuals than creativity. Druids have always been able to outdo a lot of what the martial classes are capable of outside combat.
That's bad, right?

2. Suggestion: Moon Druid: While in wild shape form, the druid has resistance to Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing Damage.

3 Happy to see it gone.

4. Mood Druids are about animal forms. There may well be other subclasses of druid that can transform into actual elementals.
You are definitely taking creativity away from the players with the version of wild shape in the current playtest. It doesn't take any creativity to say "I use wild shape" when, for the first tier of play there is one option and set of stats, or at higher levels the only choice is "walk, swim, or fly?" The "freedom to flavour" is simply the freedom to think of a specific animal for your generic template...or not. I suspect many players won't even bother unless prompted by the DM.

The current system does not require "encyclopedic knowledge," it requires players to either do a little research beforehand (ideal), open a monster manual, or do a quick google. Or just say what they want to transform into and let the DM handle it. I teach new players a lot, and when they are choosing druid I ask them to take a few minutes to come up with their favourite wild shape options. Some players leave it at that, and some get really into it and spend hours, because it's fun for them.

You can't have much creativity when you have one tool available, which is what the current proposal offers. Which you basically acknowledge by then adding in "there should be scope for more abilities and mechanical customisation in wild shape than that currently shown." Okay, now we're back to where I started, which is that the more we add complexity to the template, the more it starts to look like what we currently have. Except generic.

1. We've previously discussed this a lot, but no, I don't think it is bad that druids have options that other classes don't. Different classes do different things, inside and outside of combat. I don't think martial classes are suffering in 5e. I think druids, aside from moon druids, are considered a pretty average class, and 90% of the discussion on how to "fix" (i.e. nerf) druids is a discussion about that one sub-class.

2. So barbarians? As I've previously discussed at length, with math, I think the current method of druid tanking ("damage sponge") is different from other methods of tanking and that makes it interesting. It's just unbalanced at low levels.

3. As I discussed previously, if you are going to have templates, the player needs to still be required to come up with a specific animal form or the whole exercise is generic and boring. "I assume water form and swim across" is not very fun or imaginative. Right now, the character has to do some interesting thinking - "what would my character know? What specific animal would be most useful here? Oh, I want to swim underwater and open a grate, so maybe...an octopus? Or an otter?"

4. I agree - I've already argued that elemental forms need to be much more robust than what is in the playtest, and have never made sense for moon druids.
 



Gorck

Prince of Dorkness
Should there be no classes or subclasses that reward the player who wants to actually dive into their build and look through options? It isn't like 5e was rich with such options to begin with.
Also, the first line of the 5e version of Wild Shape specifically states that you can assume the shape of “a beast that you have seen before.” I have a feeling many players overlooked that little caveat when choosing the optimal form to change into. (I also don’t see that mentioned anywhere in the 1DD version of WS).
 

Also, the first line of the 5e version of Wild Shape specifically states that you can assume the shape of “a beast that you have seen before.” I have a feeling many players overlooked that little caveat when choosing the optimal form to change into. (I also don’t see that mentioned anywhere in the 1DD version of WS).

I'm sure some did, especially with dinosaur forms, but probably not as many as you think. Brown bears aren't exactly an unreasonable thing to have seen (I've seen several in real life) for a Druid, and that's the most common form used.
 

Gorck

Prince of Dorkness
I'm sure some did, especially with dinosaur forms, but probably not as many as you think. Brown bears aren't exactly an unreasonable thing to have seen (I've seen several in real life) for a Druid, and that's the most common form used.
It’s funny that brown bear is the most common animal used since everything I’ve read online suggests that wolf is the best form because their trip ability leads to advantage for your subsequent attacks as well as those of your fellow party members.

I always thought I was being suboptimal in using a brown bear with my Druid, but the other 2 members of my group are a Wizard and an Archery Ranger, so knocking enemies prone would give my allies disadvantage on their ranged attacks.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Should there be no classes or subclasses that reward the player who wants to actually dive into their build and look through options? It isn't like 5e was rich with such options to begin with.

My opinion? No, there shouldn't be, not in 5e. Not that there isn't room in the RPG world for games like that, and not that I don't sometimes enjoy such games, but I don't think games should try to be all things to all people. It seems to me...more opinion here...that previous versions of D&D supported and encouraged system mastery, which pleased a certain type of player but alienated a lot of others (both because of the system itself, and because of the players who enjoyed gatekeeping). 5e seems to me to be a very explicit attempt to remove those barriers to entry.
Also, the first line of the 5e version of Wild Shape specifically states that you can assume the shape of “a beast that you have seen before.” I have a feeling many players overlooked that little caveat when choosing the optimal form to change into. (I also don’t see that mentioned anywhere in the 1DD version of WS).

That's one of those things that, in my experience (along with Warlock pacts and Paladin oaths) are rich in flavor but, in the absence of explicit rules, cause problems in implementation. So sometimes I've seen it enforced, and other times it's hand-waved as long as nothing exotic (like dinosaurs) gets invoked.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top