D&D (2024) New Wild Shape


I saw similar point systems in Pathfinders implementation of Druids and I didn't care for it. Honestly, how I'd do it is have some subclasses offer unique forms (a swarm form for a spore/vermin Druid), a few niche forms that are accessible by feats, and maybe a few spells that you can cast while wildshaping that will augment your wildshape. But those are all buy-in, keep the core druid more or less as is, just fix some of the numbers.

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It is a bit of a balancing act.

People seem to want a non-moon druid to be more effective (damage and survivability) in combat than a caster class just running off cantrips (or other at-will attacks), but not as good as a wildshaped Moon Druid.
Then you need wildshaped Moon Druids to be better than non-moon druids in combat.
Then you need actual martial classes like Barbarians and Fighters to be better than wildshaped Moon Druids.

Fitting in two additional levels that are distinct in power between caster and martial at-will combat is tricky no doubt.


Prince of Dorkness
Unfortunately, it runs right into WotC's desire to make Druids "easier to play" (which appears to be something only desired by non-Druid players).
Is it that difficult to fathom that maybe the reason that “non-Druid players” don’t play Druids is because they’re too complicated?


But this seems an overcorrection and loses most of the interesting abilities that would be the reason for shapeshifting in the first place.
Seems like an overcorrection to me too. The base idea is sound but I’d like a bit more granularity for animal companions/wild shapes/ polymorph/summons. Like half a dozen blocks to cover agile animal (wolf and panthers and whatnot), strong animals (bears and wolverines and whatnot), riding animals (horses and elks and whatnot), flying animals, swimming animals, and monstrous animals because why not (Pegasus and owl bears and whatnot.

When I did my ranger redux (built as a half-warlock instead of a half-caster), you’d choose one animal companions from four different stat blocks, and each block had three sample animals each adding an effect rider (dog would trip, panther would pounce, etc). I though that was a satisfying in-between.


Moon druids would no longer be able to tank, which would be a profound change in their identity and play style. Non-starter for me.
Well lets not toss the idea out the window just yet. I agree its not enough, but it might be a step in the right direction.

This would mean most early druids are going to have a 15-16 AC, which is the AC of a non-shield fighter until 5th -6th level (this is commonly forgotten about, plate is VERY expensive, and if you look at standard expected PC wealth, a PC really wouldn't be able to afford plate until about that level. If your playing 2nd level fighters in full plate....that fighter has WAY more gold than they are expected to).

Then the druid can heal themselves with healing word for their bonus action, letting them fight and recover from damage. You can of course stack on barkskin (or heroism of all things with the new list) for even more tankiness.

I don't think that quite gets us there but I think its better than it might look at first glance. It is more "work" to tank than a fighter, but I would argue that should be the point. Spellcasters can often outperform non-casters but they do have to put in a little more thinking and work to do it.


9th is far far too late for the fly speed.
We do have to remember that while a wizard can cast fly at 5th, its a concentration spell that lasts 10 minutes. One good hit and one failed save, and that wizard is falling from the sky.

That's a big difference from a druid who can stay in form for 2-3 hours around that level.

I'm not saying it should be 9th level, but I do think people get this notion that as soon as a wizard gets fly, suddenly flight is a common thing. 5e has corrected a lot of that, access to long continuous flight is very limited.....except to the druid.

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Is it that difficult to fathom that maybe the reason that “non-Druid players” don’t play Druids is because they’re too complicated?
Not for me, but I can understand people who feel that the end result would be a class not even the Druid players would want.


Most Druids are going to have a +3 or +4 Wisdom bonus, not a +1.
Therefore under the wildshape suggestion you are discussing, of AC 12 + Wis bonus, they are going to have an AC of 15 or 16.
Most druids will have a 12 or 13 +Dex+ shield. Giving an AC of 16 to 17. With an easy upgrade to 18 or 19.

So even at 12+Wis, wild shape is spending a resource to lose AC (and spells).

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