D&D 5E Would appreciate any input on a homebrew feat - Wild Shape Adept

stuffnsuch

Explorer
Hi all.

Many druid subclasses now have a powerful alternate use for their Wild Shape resource. This is great for those who have no interest in Wild Shape, but for those who do enjoy being a CR 0 tiny beast purely for RP or utility it is now far more expensive and you could easily run out of uses and feel subclassless.

Two options are presented here, I'd appreciate all feedback

Option 1:
Wild Shape Adept
Prerequisite:
2nd level in Druid

Increase your Wisdom by 1, to a maximum of 20.
You gain one additional use of Wild Shape per short rest with the following limitations:
  • it may only be used to transform into a CR 0 tiny beast and its HP becomes 1
  • it must still abide by the limitations of the Beast Shapes table

Option 2:
Wild Shape Adept
Prerequisite:
2nd level in Druid

When using the Wild Shape ability to transform into a beast you gain the following benefits:
  • You gain the ability to use Wild Shape to transform into a beast on your turn as a bonus action, rather than as an action.
You can use your Wild Shape to transform into certain beast shapes an unlimited number of times with the following limitations:
  • at will Wild Shapes are limited to tiny beasts of CR 0 and its HP becomes 1
  • at will Wild Shapes must still abide by the limitations of the Beast Shapes table

Option 3:
Should it be a druid exclusive attuned item instead? What rarity should each option be?

Thanks all
 

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First I'd drop the "offical" feat bits...they just make no sense, even in the offical feats. So dump the wisdom bonus.

Now, if you really want a utility wild shape....you will need a lot more uses. You don't want to use up 'combat wild shapes' as they might be needed. What you want is a set of tiny animal wild shapes equal to the standard ones. So if a druid can wild shape twice a day, that is two normal ones, and two tiny special ones. This would allow a druid to always have a couple tiny wild shapes to use. And they could still use normal ones for tiny ones...but not in reverse.

And, the one hit point won't really work...unless you want dead druids. Even doing utility things, a character can run into danger. One hit point is a bit silly as any one hit is death, You at least want something like "half or a third the normal HP". You want the tiny beast to at least survive a thrown dagger or cantrip magic blast..maybe once.

And it's not really "wild shape adept", it's more "Critter Cahoots" or "Slight Beasts" or something else to mean "tiny natural beasts".
 

Mad_Jack

Legend
What you'd want is to split the druid's WIldshape ability into Minor and Major Beasts.
Either just give it to druids as a class ability, or gatekeep it behind a feat if you feel it necessary.

Each follows the general rules for Wildshape, but each is tracked separately - at second level you'd have two uses of the regular ("Major Beast") Wildshape and two uses of the Minor Beast Wildshape.

The Minor Beast Wildshape would follow the same general rules as the regular except as follows:

  • You can only transform into a CR 1/8 beast of Tiny or Small size.
  • You cannot use the attack action, and don't gain any special abilities of the creature (such as poison) except the beast's special senses (if any) and their flying/climbing/swimming speed. If the creature is aquatic, you gain the ability to breathe underwater.
  • The transformation lasts for a number of rounds equal to your druid level. (If you're feeling generous you could make it a number of minutes equal to your druid level.)
 
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aco175

Legend
Why can't the feat just add one or two more wild shape uses per day? It would be the easiest. This way you have the ability to shape into mouse or a bird and get to spotlight and then allow the rogue to spotlight and sneak when you run out of uses. You would have the option to use all your shapes or save some for combat.

Another idea might be to allow one minor shape that you can turn into all the time, say a cat or small dog. Add more animals if you take the feat again. This has more of a movie feel, but may be too strong with certain animals.
 

stuffnsuch

Explorer
Why can't the feat just add one or two more wild shape uses per day? It would be the easiest. This way you have the ability to shape into mouse or a bird and get to spotlight and then allow the rogue to spotlight and sneak when you run out of uses. You would have the option to use all your shapes or save some for combat.

Another idea might be to allow one minor shape that you can turn into all the time, say a cat or small dog. Add more animals if you take the feat again. This has more of a movie feel, but may be too strong with certain animals.
Balance, basically. With 2 WShapes per SRest it's almost always guaranteed that you'll have a WShape resource spare for your subclass ability. By limiting the additional use to a RP/utilty beast shape your DM still at least has a chance of having you run out of combat uses if they so chose e.g long dungeons.

But yes, I agree. In the second feat I added the option for infinite beast shapes provided it was CR 0 so you have lots of RP/utility but very little combat power and no shenanigans like milking for poison etc.

Thius thread is for this kind of idea gathering so do you prefer this as a half feat or a whole feat? Something else entirely?
 

greg kaye

Explorer
Why can't the feat just add one or two more wild shape uses per day?
I think three instead of two wild shapes per short rest could work but perhaps without the wisdom +1.

With the options presented, restricting to cr 0 looks fine but I don't know why the size is restricted to tiny. If anything it could be easier for a druid to turn into a creature their size or one size smaller.
At eighth level, with wildshape improvement, this could change to cover beasts up to cr 1/8 and from sizes tiny to large or without size restriction.
I like the idea, in both options, of being enabled to make one extra wildshape change. You'd be turning into a weaker shape but perhaps this could be maintained for a longer time. Instead of saying that "You can stay in a beast shape for a number of hours equal to half your druid level (rounded down)" perhaps you could stay in the weaker, feat-enabled wild shape simply "for a number of hours equal to half your druid level".
 

greg kaye

Explorer
Another option that could appeal to me would be to say that a wild shaped druid could, as a bonus action, turn into a different wild shape but at one cr level lower than their wildshape maximum and that they could change form a number of times equal to their druid level. This could permit something like the tiefling druid's wildshape in the film.
 
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aco175

Legend
Thius thread is for this kind of idea gathering so do you prefer this as a half feat or a whole feat? Something else entirely?
I might be more inclined to have a sub-class that allows more wildshaping uses, even if into a minor animal. I fear that having a feat might allow for abuse if used with certain other sub-classes or combos. I know that many builds can be made to abuse the game especially with multi-classing, but I guess it comes down to what role the druid is going to play.
 

Clint_L

Hero
Hi all.

Many druid subclasses now have a powerful alternate use for their Wild Shape resource. This is great for those who have no interest in Wild Shape, but for those who do enjoy being a CR 0 tiny beast purely for RP or utility it is now far more expensive and you could easily run out of uses and feel subclassless.

Two options are presented here, I'd appreciate all feedback

Option 1:
Wild Shape Adept
Prerequisite:
2nd level in Druid

Increase your Wisdom by 1, to a maximum of 20.
You gain one additional use of Wild Shape per short rest with the following limitations:
  • it may only be used to transform into a CR 0 tiny beast and its HP becomes 1
  • it must still abide by the limitations of the Beast Shapes table

Option 2:
Wild Shape Adept
Prerequisite:
2nd level in Druid

When using the Wild Shape ability to transform into a beast you gain the following benefits:
  • You gain the ability to use Wild Shape to transform into a beast on your turn as a bonus action, rather than as an action.
You can use your Wild Shape to transform into certain beast shapes an unlimited number of times with the following limitations:
  • at will Wild Shapes are limited to tiny beasts of CR 0 and its HP becomes 1
  • at will Wild Shapes must still abide by the limitations of the Beast Shapes table

Option 3:
Should it be a druid exclusive attuned item instead? What rarity should each option be?

Thanks all
If what you are going for is something like the movie, I think option 2 is the closest. I assume you are working within the current paradigm, where going to 0 HP knocks the druid out of wild shape. I like it - the 1 HP and inability to attack makes this an interesting but balanced combat option (i.e. you could use it to escape, take the help action, etc. but not to fight).

My concern would be whether wild shape at will like this could be balanced outside of combat. If druids can wild shape at will, even just to CR 0 creatures, there is very little need for any other infiltration class...e.g. rogues and, to a lesser extent, rangers. Indeed, this is exactly how the ability is shown in the film. So while this would be very cool for druids, I think it would be a de facto nerf for other classes.

On the other hand, one could argue that this is already the case with familiars and familiar-type companions (e.g. an artificer's homunculi), so if that game can withstand those, then this wouldn't be that much worse (though being able to change shape every round would, as we saw in the film, be a huge upgrade on what those creatures can do).
 

PierceF

Villager
A simple way of limiting it's use while still making it useable a lot, especially at higher levels, and yet it not add significantly to the power of the class is to tie it to an existing limited resource, like spells slots. A key limit might better be CR than size, as that balances power, and I can't see a balance problem with letting them turn into an octopus, deer or baboon. We also generally don't want to add new mechanics and math, but rather use existing ones in new combinations. Here is a proposed solution.

You may use a 1st level or higher druid spell slot to wild shape into a beast of CR 0. This works just like a regular use of your wildshape in every other way.

Simple. Eh?
 

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