5E Wild Shape option (multiple shapes)

dnd4vr

Adventurer
I had an idea for Wild Shape and I would like some feedback. It involves a bit more bookkeeping, but to me seems to fit Druids well and might increase player creativity in choosing shapes. Here it is:

You still have two uses per short or long rest, but once you change you can change multiple times as along as the total CR of all the changes does not exceed your maximum allowed. Each change would require your action (or bonus action for Circle of Moon) and you would still be limited to the same total time limit. If your wild shape form is reduced to 0 hit points, you revert to your normal form (as usual). If your new form has a greater maximum hit points than you current total, you keep your current total. If your new form has fewer maximum hit points than your current total, your hit points are reduced to the maximum for your new form. (In other words, no healing by changing forms.) CR 0's are free and you can change into them as often as desired provided your time limit hasn't expired and your form hasn't been reduced to 0 hit points.

Example: At 8th-level, you have CR 1 limit. Then you could do two CR 1/2's, or a CR 1/4, CR 1/2, and CR 1/4. Such as a Giant Owl (1/4), Reef Shark (1/2), and Giant Wolf Spider. In this example, going from a Giant Owl (hp 19) to a Reef Shark (hp 22) would have you staying at 19 hp, and you would drop to 11 hp when you assume the Giant Wolf Spider form (assuming your current hp is greater than 11 hp).

Any major issues with this idea? I was watching the Disney "Sword in the Stone" movie and the wizard's duel gave me the idea... :)
 

MarkB

Hero
It feels potentially very fiddly. I might instead add a "lesser wild shape" ability that gives you a few additional Wild Shapes per day but with greater limits on CR and size, and if you take any damage the form drops.

Alternatively, you could power additional forms from spell slots, spending a slot equal to the CR of your next form, rather than worrying about how many fractional CRs you've spent.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
It feels potentially very fiddly. I might instead add a "lesser wild shape" ability that gives you a few additional Wild Shapes per day but with greater limits on CR and size, and if you take any damage the form drops.

Alternatively, you could power additional forms from spell slots, spending a slot equal to the CR of your next form, rather than worrying about how many fractional CRs you've spent.
Yeah, I am a bit worried about the fiddly/bookkeeping aspect. The lesser option or spells slots might work as well. Maybe allowing CR 0 for free at some point?

As far as flavor and versatility, do you like the general idea?
 

MarkB

Hero
As far as flavor and versatility, do you like the general idea?
Yeah, it reminds me of the Dungeon World druid, which I had great fun playing - essentially using utility wild shapes as a Swiss Army Knife for tackling smaller problems rather than reserving it for the bigger moments.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
I like the archetype of picking one alternate form, and oscillating back-and-forth between the normal form and the alternate form. Essentially, this is the werewolf archetype that goes from human to wolf or anywhere in between. But it applies to any animal or other alternate form.

Then the alternate form becomes a vivid aspect of the flavor of the character.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
I had an idea for Wild Shape and I would like some feedback. It involves a bit more bookkeeping, but to me seems to fit Druids well and might increase player creativity in choosing shapes. Here it is:

You still have two uses per short or long rest, but once you change you can change multiple times as along as the total CR of all the changes does not exceed your maximum allowed. Each change would require your action (or bonus action for Circle of Moon) and you would still be limited to the same total time limit. If your wild shape form is reduced to 0 hit points, you revert to your normal form (as usual). If your new form has a greater maximum hit points than you current total, you keep your current total. If your new form has fewer maximum hit points than your current total, your hit points are reduced to the maximum for your new form. (In other words, no healing by changing forms.) CR 0's are free and you can change into them as often as desired provided your time limit hasn't expired and your form hasn't been reduced to 0 hit points.

Example: At 8th-level, you have CR 1 limit. Then you could do two CR 1/2's, or a CR 1/4, CR 1/2, and CR 1/4. Such as a Giant Owl (1/4), Reef Shark (1/2), and Giant Wolf Spider. In this example, going from a Giant Owl (hp 19) to a Reef Shark (hp 22) would have you staying at 19 hp, and you would drop to 11 hp when you assume the Giant Wolf Spider form (assuming your current hp is greater than 11 hp).

Any major issues with this idea? I was watching the Disney "Sword in the Stone" movie and the wizard's duel gave me the idea... :)
"Any major issues with this idea? "

It seems a big power up when it comes to the scouting and stealth usage. Adapting forms on the fly thru multiple changes to cr 1/8 or cr 0 is big for that use.

Since that is how I see wildshape used a lot that to me would be a red flag.

Consider it akin to disguise self spell - would you say "sure" if someone wanted to change that disguise multiple times within the hour without recasting?

Its combat use are more limited but it sure foes open up for quick fly-aways as an owl when your bear gets in hit water - slither in as snake, boar or ape to mess with stuff - Then owl back out.

All in all, wild shape as is is amazingly versatile and powerful in an already top tier class - I would have serious misgivings and see this as even further uptick.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
"Any major issues with this idea? "

It seems a big power up when it comes to the scouting and stealth usage. Adapting forms on the fly thru multiple changes to cr 1/8 or cr 0 is big for that use.

Since that is how I see wildshape used a lot that to me would be a red flag.

Consider it akin to disguise self spell - would you say "sure" if someone wanted to change that disguise multiple times within the hour without recasting?

Its combat use are more limited but it sure foes open up for quick fly-aways as an owl when your bear gets in hit water - slither in as snake, boar or ape to mess with stuff - Then owl back out.

All in all, wild shape as is is amazingly versatile and powerful in an already top tier class - I would have serious misgivings and see this as even further uptick.
Yeah, I can see it as being very useful utility-wise, which is why I liked this idea. I rarely see it used in this fashion since the uses are limited to two per short or long rest.

As far as going from form to form, you could go from a bear to an owl, but with the decreasing hp, going back to something "bigger" you would be limited to the lower hp still. I am not sure just how good that would be...

Maybe you could only go to lower CR's with each change? Or as @MarkB suggested have the changes cost spell slots? The CR 0 creatures, though useful, aren't very powerful IMO so I don't see that as too much. However, until we try something of this nature, I won't know LOL! :)
 

ccs

39th lv DM
There's an easier way to handle the HPs when in an alternate form.

Simply assign the form the average of whatever the highest HP thing the druid can shift into.
After that let them shift as they please & track all damage out of the same pool. They can shift all they want (or within whatever limits you've devised) , but it doesn't affect +/- how many HP your alt form has (that's determined by your Druid lv). When their alt form is "killed"? They revert & take any excess damage as normal.
When they run out of HPs in the alt form? That's it. They can't shift anymore that day.

So you've got 2 HP pools.
Normal form = x HP. Running out = making Death saves.
Alt form = y HP. Running out = revert to normal for remainder of day & probably take some real damage.

For ex:
My 8th lv druid has 67 HP (average & with a +3/lv from con.) in his normal form.
He can shift into CR1 or less alternate forms.
His HPs while in any alternate form = 37 max
(that's a CR1 Tiger out of the PHB, let's assume it's the max for the moment)
So wether he's shifted into a tiger an owl, a rat, etc atm he's running on a pool of 37hp for the day.
There is no shifting/healing shenanigans going on.

The only down side here is that you'll have to compile a list of all the forms & find the strongest amongst them per CR.
But book keeping done once....
 

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