Wednesday 27 November 2013

Druids and Wild-Shaping

I just HATE the latest druidic wild-shaping from the latest packet. Since Grom is a druid, I figured I'd give a try to some severe house-ruling.
This is what I came up with so far.


All druids:

  • Choose a Shape from the list at level 1. The Shape will influence (not dictate) your PC behavior as described in the Shape block. 
  • Once level 2, you can change Wild Shape at will, for any duration. 
  • Lost Hit Points remain constant. If you are missing 5HPs in Druid form, you are missing 5HPs in Shape form. 
  • Your Shape uses your own stats, If you're a big guy, the Shape will be bigger than usual. If you're a dexterous weakling, the Shape will be weaker but more agile. The modifiers given in the Shape blocks are flat bonus to modifiers not to stats, for actions and saves using the given attribute. 
  • Your Shape uses your BASE AC(10) plus your ARMOR AC (if subsumed) and whatever bonus that is subsumed into the Shape from magical items. SHIELD AC is not used. Some Shapes might grant different BASE AC, listed in their stats block. 
  • Your Shape fur/skin/feather colors match your own hair/skin color to some degree. Each Shape is different according to the Druid. 
  • Only non-metal or/and magic items are subsumed into shape. If any item has any metallic parts, it will not break down but simply be left behind. For example, an iron hammer with a wooden shaft will be left behind completely. 
  • Use your skills and proficiency. If you're a sneaky Druid, you'll be a sneaky Shape. If you're an intimidating Druid, you'll be an intimidating Shape. If the Shape has specialized skills, treat it as an expertise bonus. 
  • You cannot speak any of your known languages, cast spells or perform actions requiring hands. You can however understand them when heard and read. 
  • You can use known shape combat maneuvers of your current Shape, when in Shape form, if any, not ones from any other source. 
  • Use wild shape movement, not yours. Any bonus to your default movement also applies to the shape movement. 
  • Wild Shaping: It takes 1 full round to change form during which you are treated as Stunned. 
  • Animal instincts: If you are under 1/2 your MAX HP (rounded down) when you try to change from your Shape to your original Druid form, make a flat DC10 check. If you fail, the animal instincts win you over and refuses to let go. If you succeed, you can change Shape without problems. 
  • You automatically transform back into your original Druid form when you fall unconscious. 
  • There are no mundane forms (bird, cat, rat, etc). 

Circle of the Moon

  • At level 2, you gain Battle wild shape. Choose a maneuver from the list of your chosen Shape at level 2 and another one every 3 level after that. 
  • At level 2, speak animal is now always memorized and does not count as a memorized slot. 
  • At level 6, speak animal is always active on you. 
  • At level 8, you gain Dire Shape, evolving your shape into it's Dire form, using the 2nd column for stats and becoming a Large Size beast. 
  • At level 9, Wild Shaping still takes a full round but no longer stuns you. 
  • At level 10, your Animal instincts now only come into play if you are under 1/4 your MAX HP (rounded down). 
  • At level 12, you gain Dire Alpha Shape, evolving your shape into it's Dire Alpha form, using the 3rd column for stats 
  • At level 14, you can speak as normal in your known languages but still cannot cast spells. 
  • At level 15, you can now Wild Shape as part of another action. 
  • At level 16, you no longer suffer from Animal Instincts and no longer shape back into Druid form if you go unconscious. 

WOLF SHAPE (pack mentality, loyal, territorial)
STR(0/+1/+2), DEX(+1/+1/+2), CON(-1/0/+1), INT(-2/-2/-2), WIS(-2/-2/-2), CHA(0/0/0)
Specialized skills: Perception
Movement: 40/40/50(non combat: 6mph/30mph)
Damage: d6/d6/d8 (claws)
Battle maneuvers (1 action)

  • Ankle Biter: if you hit, deal normal damage and target speed reduced by 15'
  • Mighty Bite: make a grapple check. If you succeed, you do d4/d6/d6 damage on top of the normal grapple
  • Pack member: gain +1 to attack roll per friend in 5' radius
  • Skirmisher: you gain a bonus action after the current action: Disengage
  • Pack favorite: if you hit, deal normal damage and grant friends in 5' advantage on same target if target fails DC10 WIS save
  • Relentless: you can attack as if dual wielding with your claws
  • Lunge: if you hit, deal normal damage and target is prone if fail contest STR vs STR/CON
  • (Dire Shape+) Dire howl: You howl and strike fear into your enemies. Every enemy in hearing range (max 100') makes a WIS Save vs DC8 + WIS mod + Proficiency mod . On failure, the target is Frightened for 10 rounds. Each frightened creature can make another save as an action every round. On success, target is immune to any other Fear from you for a day. 
(Dire Shape) Alpha
  • You can take control over a pack of wolves and order them as hirelings. The number of wolves in your pack cannot exceed your WIS modifier + Proficiency bonus. You do not summon the wolves but rather become their Alpha as you encounter them. As an action (in or out of combat), you can try to become the Alpha of any wolf in a 30' radius. For each wolf do WIS Save vs DC8 + WIS mod + Proficiency mod. On failure, the wolf joins your pack. 
  • Wolves in your pack are not charmed or dominated and therefore will not do exactly what you wish. Rather, they will hunt for you, scout for you, protect you and accept your companions as part of the pack as well. If you go out of reach for them for more than a week, you will lose your Alpha status over them and they will disappear into the wild.
(Wild Dire Shape) Territory
  • You can now mark a territory as yours, the size of your (WIS modifier + Proficiency bonus)*10 square miles. Every wolf in the territory is now potentially part of your pack. Other pack leaders (including other druids) may challenge you and if you win, you will gain the wolves of his pack. The only size limitation is what the hunting grounds can offer.
BEAR SHAPE (Loner, grumpy, territorial)
STR(+1/+2/+3), DEX(-1/-1/-1), CON(+1/+2/+3), INT(-3/-2/-2), WIS(-1/-1/-1), CHA(0/0/0)
Specialized skills: Intimidate
Movement: 25/25/30(non combat: 3mph/20mph)
Damage: d8/d10/d12 (claws)
TODO: Maneuvers will be oriented toward some kind of damage mitigation and control

PANTHER SHAPE (Social, curious, predatory)
STR(-1/0/0), DEX(+1/+2/+3), CON(-1/-1/0), INT(-1/-1/0), WIS(-4/-3/-2), CHA(0/0/0)
Specialized skills: Stealth
Movement: 40/50/50(non combat: 6mph/30mph)
Damage: d6/d6/2d4 (claws)
TODO: Maneuvers will be oriented toward stealth attacks and acrobatics

GREAT EAGLE SHAPE (loner, territorial, proud)

TODO: Maneuvers will be oriented toward flying attacks and debuffs.

ELK SHAPE (pack mentality, grumpy)
TODO: Maneuvers will be oriented toward charges

CROCODILE SHAPE (loner, grumpy, predatory)
TODO: Maneuvers will be oriented toward powerful grapples

GREAT APE SHAPE (social, grumpy, pack mentality)
TODO: Maneuvers will be toward throws, grapple and control

LION SHAPE (loner, proud, territorial)
TODO: Maneuvers will be oriented toward control, and charges

BULL SHAPE (social, grumpy, proud)
TODO: Maneuvers will be oriented toward damage mitigation and charges

Edit: Grom used this system a bit before he had to leave the campaign. Was very easy to use and really gave a proper "Animalistic Druid" feel to his PC right from level 2. There was use in combat despite being low level and he liked the freedom to go into and out of shape at will.

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