D&D (2024) Playtest 8 Druid discussion

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
"Monstrosity" can easily mean: "Magical Beast".

A "Beast" is comparable to a reallife animal, even if an amalgam of several reallife animals.

Meanwhile, a "Monstrosity" is a Beast-like creature with magical powers.

An Owlbear, a Griffon, and a Pegasus (if with naturalistic winged flight) can type as a Beast.

I think this, or something like it, might already be in the works.

If you look at the Influence action in the Rules Glossary, p. 27 of pt8, you can influence a beast or monstrosity making an Animal Handling (Charisma) check. The combination of them there, with the specific association of the monstrosity creature type with the skill Animal Handling, means that in some ways the groundwork is laid for the druid's shape change as well.

I would not be surprised to see a limited number of monstrosities in the PHB options for (at least) the Moon Druid.

Most likely candidates, were I to guess, would be from these:
CR 1/2: Cockatrice, Rust Monster
CR1 (flying): Hippogriff, Harpy
CR2: Shadow Mastiff, Centaur, Worg
CR 3: Owlbear, Basilisk, Yeti
 

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mellored

Legend
Just going to point out the side bar.

DESIGN NOTE: WILD SHAPE FORMS The creature statistics section of the 2024 Player’s Handbook will include more Beast options than the 2014 book contains.
 

I think the fundamental problem is that WotC are nerfing Moon Druid pretty substantially at certain levels. Buffing them at others, but not to the same degree. Players never like nerfs, even when necessary. And Moon Druids are something like 60% of all druids. The other issue is that the nerfs also seem to violate the class fantasy for a lot of players.

If they are gonna sell this, they need to come with something amazing to offer as part of the deal. They should have included a list of the creatures that druids could wild shape into, that will be in the PHB, and for Moon Druids that should include a bunch of beast-like monstrosities - owlbear, griffon, and so on.

Additional moon-themed spells? Nobody cares. That's not why people play Moon Druids. The people who love the class love changing into beasts and, yes, elementals, and wrecking face.
The designers' goals to keep backward compatibility are negatively impacting their ability to develop/revise appropriate themes.

The Circle of the Moon should NEVER have been about wildshaping into bigger beasts, based on a tenuous connection the moon has to lycanthropy. The Moon has nothing to do with Beasts. But they can't break free from it. So we're stuck. Don't get me wrong, it's going to be playable. But I doubt it will feel satisfactory for everyone because of the limitations required so that Wildshape and Spellcasting together don't make the class too powerful (like it is today with the 2014 class).

There could have been a Circle of Beasts that focused on Enhancing Wildshape and a Circle of the Moon that focused on lunar/radiant magic (and maybe hybrid/lycanthropic forms if they wanted to be weird about it?) Merging the two prevents them from implementing a stronger thematic focus for each, watering down the possible subclass abilities because they have to give a nod to both.

The current 2014 ablative HP design for Wildshape is too powerful, yes. But the new one doesn't feel very tough/tanky either, and it has to be because Beasts are for melee combat. Neither Druids nor Wildshape have good AC, and even a Moon Druid with 3xlevel THP is going to soak only 1 hit from a monster of an appropriate CR. I think revising the previous Template version of the playtest could have fixed that. But we're past that.
 

But who cares about the original design? Folks can play OSR if they want the original design. You aren’t going to sell anyone on a nerf by telling them it’s truer to the original design.

WotC’s own movie from this year makes it abundantly clear how Druids are seen today: shapeshifters who turn into animals and kick butt.
Actually, in the movie, they focus on seeking a person with a specific skillset. They needed a "Wildshape" (noun). Even the Red Wizard calls the unknown infiltrator a "Wildshape," not a druid. This tells me that they do not necessarily mean "all druids". I would love for there to be a Circle of Beasts that focuses on Wildshape, but it shouldn't be tied to the Moon.
 

If there was one tweak I'd make to Moon Druids, it would be to have their beasts use the Druid's spell attack bonus for attacks. If I'm a Moon Druid turning into a Giant Scorpion at level 9, having a +4 to hit is just way too low.
I reeeally want them to try templates again. This would fix the Accuracy/Defense issue.
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
The designers' goals to keep backward compatibility are negatively impacting their ability to develop/revise appropriate themes.
The fanbase's desire to keep (their personal idea of something called) "backwards compatibility" negatively impacts the designer's ability to develop/revise appropriate themes.

I would not blame the designers, except in their decision to listen to feedback to the extent that they have.
 

mellored

Legend
The current 2014 ablative HP design for Wildshape is too powerful, yes. But the new one doesn't feel very tough/tanky either, and it has to be because Beasts are for melee combat.
Except you can stay in bear form longer than before. You just don't get back to full when it ends.

But I would rather see more defensive spells than offensive.

Absorb elements, (new) barkskin, etc
 

Except you can stay in bear form longer than before. You just don't get back to full when it ends.

But I would rather see more defensive spells than offensive.

Absorb elements, (new) barkskin, etc
Sure, it lasts longer after the first fight, but to what effect? The THP are often gone after the first fight, and you lose what little tankiness you had. Remember, even while wildshaped, you only have your own HP max (based on Druid HD), and if you drop to 0 you're KO'd. There isn't a safety net any longer. You are trading your druid AC and melee attacks for Wildshape AC and melee attacks, which doesn't really make you tougher, just do a bit more damage, relying on limited THP for survivability. Monks tank better than druids now, with all their dodge/deflect damage mitigation.
 

mellored

Legend
Sure, it lasts longer after the first fight, but to what effect? The THP are often gone after the first fight, and you lose what little tankiness you had.
New bear has +6 AC over the old bear.
Remember, even while wildshaped, you only have your own HP max (based on Druid HD), and if you drop to 0 you're KO'd. There isn't a safety net any longer.
If a wizard/cleric/monk/fighter drops to 0, they are KO'd.

Not doing so is a high level Barbarian feature.
You are trading your druid AC and melee attacks for Wildshape AC and melee attacks, which doesn't really make you tougher, just do a bit more damage, relying on limited THP for survivability. Monks tank better than druids now, with all their dodge/deflect damage mitigation.
I think you forgot that druids have spell slots.

Grab them with a claw, and drag them over your spiked growth. And then heal afterwards with cure wounds.

But I do agree it would be nice to more easily spend them on defense (absorb elements)
 
Last edited:

Stalker0

Legend
Sure, it lasts longer after the first fight, but to what effect? The THP are often gone after the first fight, and you lose what little tankiness you had. Remember, even while wildshaped, you only have your own HP max (based on Druid HD), and if you drop to 0 you're KO'd. There isn't a safety net any longer. You are trading your druid AC and melee attacks for Wildshape AC and melee attacks, which doesn't really make you tougher, just do a bit more damage, relying on limited THP for survivability. Monks tank better than druids now, with all their dodge/deflect damage mitigation.
I think people are forgetting there is a lot of pieces to this new puzzle.

1) New AC: 13 + wisdom. That rivals any armor user who isn't wearing a shield, and goes all the way to full plate which a lot of classes can't wear.
2) Temp HP: Its not what it used to be, but its still 3x druid level.
3) Healing in wild shape: Druids now get 2d8+wisdom healing (or 4d8/6d8 etc) while in wild shape, which is a lot more than they use to have.
4) A lot more wildshape: This is the big one that I think a lot of people are forgetting. The druid now gets a lot more wildshape especially at 5+. They get a use every short rest, and at 5th can convert a 1st level slot into a wildshape. So yeah your 5th level moon druid takes 15 damage and loses their temp hp....spend a 1st level slot and wildshape against as a bonus action for another 15 temp hp. No other class can just stack on temp hp like that so easily for such a low cost.

Now I respect this is not the 2nd level moon druid of ungodly power that we have now...and for good reason. But I think people aren't looking at the whole package, they see they lost the mound of temp hp they had before and just assume its a complete nerf. But there are some gains here, and those gains do help to compensate. Now is it as good as before...its not (nor should it be). And does it consume more spellcasting than before...it does. But I don't think this moon druid is weak
 

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