D&D Movie/TV Why is the media overstating how controversial the Druid's Owlbear shape is?


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Reynard

Legend
I still can't figure out why anyone would care. But, then, I've seen people on this board argue -- rather vehemently -- that monsters and NPCs shouldn't have abilities PCs can't learn, so 🤷‍♂️
 


Stormonu

Legend
Y'know, the more I think about it, the more I find myself wondering why druids can't change into magical beasts at higher level, rather than just bigger beasts like Tyrannosaurs? Blink dog, chimera, displacer beasts, maybe even hydras - that sort of thing. I mean, at a point they can turn into elementals, after all.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Y'know, the more I think about it, the more I find myself wondering why druids can't change into magical beasts at higher level, rather than just bigger beasts like Tyrannosaurs? Blink dog, chimera, displacer beasts, maybe even hydras - that sort of thing. I mean, at a point they can turn into elementals, after all.
Part legacy restriction, part balance issue, part verisimilitude (i.e. druids, as defenders of nature, can only turn into natural beings, which apparently includes elementals).

I suspect that the balance thing is the most salient aspect. Being able to turn into a hydra, for instance, would likely be somewhat overpowered. Unless you have them turn into magical beasts who don't have some or all of those beasts' powers, which would likely bring problems all their own. Like, the city guard pulls your party over to say, "I'm sorry, fellas, but your blink dog isn't blinking properly, so we're going to have to write you a ticket."
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I mean, at a point they can turn into elementals, after all.
Which is why I always thought as a feature for a particular subclass, sure; but not for the class in general.

However, IMO it ultimately depends how the game views creatures like the owlbear or pegasus or griffon, etc. Do they bear young and raise them? Or are they just created by magic mergings or something?

If they bear young and do not have magical features, they are "creatures of nature" and should be open to druids or at least certain druid subclasses. If they don't (or do but have magical features--such as dragons, or are too intelligent maybe?), then they are not natural and a no-no for druids.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
Which is why I always thought as a feature for a particular subclass, sure; but not for the class in general.

However, IMO it ultimately depends how the game views creatures like the owlbear or pegasus or griffon, etc. Do they bear young and raise them? Or are they just created by magic mergings or something?

If they bear young and do not have magical features, they are "creatures of nature" and should be open to druids or at least certain druid subclasses. If they don't (or do but have magical features--such as dragons, or are too intelligent maybe?), then they are not natural and a no-no for druids.
This in general points out the loose definitions of "beasts" and "monstrosities" in D&D. Sure, artificial creatures (even if they're now true-breeding") typically count as monstrosities in D&D, not beasts. But . . . who defines "artificial creatures"? Humans made dogs through thousands of years of artificial selection. Do dogs and other extremely domesticated animals count as "artificial creatures" and not "creatures of nature" and therefore should be monstrosities instead of beasts. In a ton of D&D worlds, all animals and sentient races were created by one of the world's gods, typically through magical means, and are therefore "artificial" in the sense that they were made by sentient creatures. Should Orcs, Elves, Dwarves, and other god-created creatures be monstrosities instead of humanoids? And that's not even mentioning that some creatures that might be "natural" or "artificial" in one setting might be in the opposite category in a different world or edition of the setting (old Forgotten Realms lore about the evolution of dragons versus newer lore that says they were created by their gods).

Clearly, creature type is an abstraction and has some pretty major flaws, just like real world taxonomy (but is obviously more flawed than real world taxonomy, because it was made by game designers making up fantasy terms, not scientists spending centuries researching the topic). Sometimes creature type is a matter of game balance instead of setting lore that defines the creatures. Several 5e "beasts" have been errata'ed into monstrosities, presumably because they don't want Druids to be able to turn into them (Crag Cats, Steeders, Tressyms, etc).
 


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