D&D (2024) New Wild Shape

Bolares

Hero
Wildshape's function in combat was that it made you more robust, like you'd expect a large bear to be. The free HP was just how it was done. If the new wildshape gave you AC equal to 10+2xWIS it would still do that, but AC that caps out at 15 and a d8 hit dice just doesn't make for a viable melee frontliner.
A druid with a shield and a shillelagh can have more ac, access to spells and about the same melee damage until level 5. after level 5 you have half the number of attacks, but being able to cast spells is reason enough to never wild shape in combat.
 

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billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
Wild shape was a very player unfriendly ability, as the standard player resources did not contain what was needed to use it properly. That is fixed by standard stat blocks.
I think that's the one thing on this post I agree with. I have no problem with there being a standard set of adjustments for a wild shaping druid. It makes the game design easier, up to a point. I'm not entirely keen on replacing Str and Dex with Wis every time since you could end up with some unusually dexterous elephants or strong dik-diks. And that's a bit weird.
And seriously, I feel the image of the unsuspicious deer in the background suddenly turning to a long bearded man with lightning crackling around their fingers is a much cooler druid-themed start of combat than the wannabe werewolf style dominating in 5ed now.
That may be your take on it. And you could do that with 5e wildshaping too. Why not let the druid player choose the way they want to perceive their character? If they want to transform into a bear or other combat-focused animal as their vision of how their druid fights, that should be perfectly fine.

There's a point when focusing on niche protection or game balance just ends up making it too weird. And a druid not learning to turn into some of the most mundane creatures in the world like hares, weasels, badgers, and ravens until they're already halfway up their ultimate power scale is almost too deranged to contemplate. For a zero to hero character like D&D covers, you'd think these forms should be the first shapes for a fledgling druid to learn.

The D&D Next druid's wildshaping with its array of standard forms didn't survive the play test surveys. I guess we'll see if this iteration of that idea does.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
A druid with a shield and a shillelagh can have more ac, access to spells and about the same melee damage until level 5. after level 5 you have half the number of attacks, but being able to cast spells is reason enough to never wild shape in combat.
IF that's the kind of druid you want to play. If you want to play the animal combatant, however, those extra hit points from the forms were pretty important since most of the animal forms get chewed through fast.
 

Bolares

Hero
IF that's the kind of druid you want to play. If you want to play the animal combatant, however, those extra hit points from the forms were pretty important since most of the animal forms get chewed through fast.
Maybe I wasn't clear. i'm saying that now there is no reason to go to wild shape. I agree with you on the importance of the extra hit points, or at least some other form of expanded survivability.
 

Bolares

Hero
And there is a flavor problem to me to. Maybe it's just me, but transforming in to a generic stat block and saying it's a bear or a wolf or anything I like doesn't give me the same immersion of using the stat block of that beast. I agree the 5e wild shape is cumbersome, but if you are going to give me fixed stat blocks, at least give me more than one so I can choose something.
 

mellored

Legend
Personally, I'd rather have empty levels than levels filled with features I'm not going to use. That's power budget being assigned that could have gone into more generic features or allow for stronger subclasses.

My personal view is that wildshape, or at least combat wildshape, shouldn't be a core druid feature.
Agreed.

IMO, the core features should utility. Including wild shape into non-combat stuff like a deer, summoning non-combat animals, controling non-combat fire, non-combat weather.

And the sub-classes give combat options. Combat wild shape. Combat summons. Combat wild fire. Combat weather.
 

Stalker0

Legend
. Tiny forms tend to have surprisingly bad Stealth abilities.
except they have the best disguise ability in the game.

Oh look I see a rat….who cares I’m in a castle filled with rats, rats are just a thing. Why would the enemy suddenly care about this one rat he happens to see?

Nothing is what, leaving the Druid to just go about his business investigating everything. And if I am attacked, I can slip into the tiny hole i came through, giving me way better protection than if a rogue was caught.

Druids are the best scouts by far, it’s not even close to me. They get that and full spell casting, that’s just too good to me. I think the nerfs are reasonable, or weaken their spellcasting to give them better wild shape. For example, when they wildshape (at 5th level let’s say) they can go tiny if they consume 1 3rd level slot. So they pay for the privilege of that powerful scouting
 

OB1

Jedi Master
except they have the best disguise ability in the game.

Oh look I see a rat….who cares I’m in a castle filled with rats, rats are just a thing. Why would the enemy suddenly care about this one rat he happens to see?

Nothing is what, leaving the Druid to just go about his business investigating everything. And if I am attacked, I can slip into the tiny hole i came through, giving me way better protection than if a rogue was caught.

Druids are the best scouts by far, it’s not even close to me. They get that and full spell casting, that’s just too good to me. I think the nerfs are reasonable, or weaken their spellcasting to give them better wild shape.
Show me a castle full of rats and I'll show you a druid popping out of wild shape after getting pounced by a castle cat :)
 

Clint_L

Legend
The issue here is partially one of backwards compatibility. I know that technically these changes are backwards compatible in the sense that they still work within the framework of 5e. But in terms of how they play, they are such a radical alteration of what the druid is as a class, especially the moon druid, that a player would be justifiably upset. This would be very much like (in fact, almost exactly the same as) telling feral druids in World of Warcraft that they can no longer tank, and most of their combat options and damage are being nerfed, too.

Getting the hit points of whatever you transformed in was the cornerstone of wild shape, along with the flexibility for shapes to fit different situations. The first is just flat out gone, the second dramatically reduced. And I also emphasize how lousy it is to have to wait until level 11 (so functionally never, for 90% of druids) to get to become tiny with all the fun opportunities that presents.

Druids overall are considered a mediocre class, aside from moon druids, so the entire class taking a nerf is just going to make them even less popular than they currently are. Moon druids currently are in a strange state in that they are way OP at levels 2-4 and again at levels 17-20, but pretty balanced in the middle. Certainly that needs some massaging. But with this set of changes they become probably the worst sub-class of what is going to be seen as one of the worst classes.

I know some folks will argue that druids are already great without wild shape because they are a full caster class and yada yada, but that's not what is shown by actual player preferences. So these changes take a bat to a class that, moon druids aside, probably needed a slight buff.
 

Zubatcarteira

Now you're infected by the Musical Doodle
Wildshape plus Pass Without Trace did make Druids very insane scouts/thieves/infiltrators.

I get the need to nerf Druids, they're definitely one of the strongest classes (I'd put 'em at number 2 myself), but the new Wildshape just seems a bit uninspired to me.
 

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