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DM's: How relaxed are you when it comes to Wild Shape?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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shallowsoul wrote:
What you are trying to say here is that you think the druid can just walk around thinking up random animals, start rolling Knowledge checks, because you think that gets you familiar with them, and add those animals to your repertoire.

Yes.. A druid can do that. If you read back a few posts, I gave a perfect example: You see a creature in the distance.. You roll your knowledge skill. You recognize it as a wolf, has claws, bite, trip... You didn't just learn about wolves NOW. You have always known. Seeing an animal has nothing to do with your familiarity of it.


When he says thinking up, it sounds like he means something you looked up in the bestiary and decided you want it, not something you physically saw.

I'd agree once you've seen it and had a little time to study it, you could change into it.

Silver Crusade

Dr Grecko wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
What you are trying to say here is that you think the druid can just walk around thinking up random animals, start rolling Knowledge checks, because you think that gets you familiar with them, and add those animals to your repertoire.
Yes.. A druid can do that. If you read back a few posts, I gave a perfect example: You see a creature in the distance.. You roll your knowledge skill. You recognize it as a wolf, has claws, bite, trip... You didn't just learn about wolves NOW. You have always known. Seeing an animal has nothing to do with your familiarity of it.

Some Knowledge skills such as Nature are supposed to be used along with questions and things you come across.

If you come across a wolf for the first time during the game then you roll Knowledge Nature to see if you know anything about it. If you succeed then you know something about it. Knowing a little bit of information does not automatically make you familiar with something. You are twisting your perception of the word which is fine for your interpretation but doesn't prove anything RAW.

DM: "You see a hairy creature with four legs snarling at you"

Druid: "Okay I roll my Knowledge Nature to see if I know what this creature is."

DM: "Okay you rolled X" "You remember a ranger in town talking about a creature that fits the same description and you remember him calling it a wolf, you also remember hearing him say to watch out because they can knock you off your feet".

That right there is one of many many ways of handling it, it in know way shape or form claims you are familiar with that animal. Now that you have met one face to face you could be considered familiar with it now.

How you obtain your animal forms isn't hard coded into the rules no matter what you say.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

My god. Did you just seriously imply that a druid would not recognize a wolf? I am out of here; this thread is getting rather ridiculous.

Master Arminas


shallowsoul wrote:
...If you succeed then you know something about it. Knowing a little bit of information does not automatically make you familiar with something. You are twisting your perception of the word which is fine for your interpretation but doesn't prove anything RAW

Keep in mind that if you succeed, Its not that you just now know about the creature, you have always known.

And I agree that you need to know enough to take the form, I have never said anything to the contrary. There are rules for how much information you know. Succeed with a high enough check will tell you everything you need to know.

shallowsoul wrote:
How you obtain your animal forms isn't hard coded into the rules no matter what you say.

Knowledge: acquaintance or familiarity gained by sight, experience, or report

-
The key here you keep ignoring is OR.

You do not need to see it to be familiar with it. You have never seen a Unicorn, but you know that it looks like a horse with a horn on it's head.

Your argument is that you need to "See" the creature to become familiar with it. That is not correct. You can be told about said creature, or read about it in a book.

How exactly did peter jackson know what a hobbit looked like, when he cast frodo?

Cheliax

Avatar Unknown wrote:
Mergy wrote:

So this topic started hostile and has remained so, but what I would like to know is what everyone's favourite wild shape form is! :)

A deinonychus gets 4 natural attacks and is achievable at level 4, and who doesn't like turning into a raptor?

Personally, I think this thread has toned down a lot since the start. Let's call it less hostile with background tensions, or something.

Second: No, your deinonychus transformation does NOT grant 4 natural attacks at 4th level. Although theoretically it can achieve 5 (two talons, two claws, and a secondary of bite ;) ).

Personally, I like the simple stuff. I'm a long time fan of trip, improved trip, etc..., so I like wolves (be they winter, normal, worg, dire, were, or otherwise). That said...

And I quote: "at 4th level, a druid gains the ability to turn herself into any Small or Medium animal and back again once per day. Her options for new forms include all creatures with the animal type. This ability functions like the beast shape I spell, except as noted here..."

That's on page 51 of the core rule book. Beast Shape I is on page 247 (as is version 2 and 3, version 2 applying first at level 6)
Beast Shape spells

Ergo: what the druid changes into doesn't match the creature in a "I gain the 22 strength of the rare and elusive super ape, along with four claw attacks and a rend, as well as a tail with constrict. It is also a normal animal because I say so It mimics the spell. At fourth level you look like a super ape, but your personal strength only goes up by 2. If the super ape is large, you can change into it at 6th level, but again, unless you started with 18 strength, your version of the super ape is somewhat weaker. Or maybe stronger. Unless you took a feat in multiattack, (or otherwise simulate it), you don't get all five claw attacks at the best possible attack value. Damage is by the Universal monster rules, Natural...

You're wrong about that. You get the natural attacks of the beastie you become. You only get +2 to strength and +2 natural armour at fourth level, but there is no doubt that you get all of its regular attacks.

Quote:

Polymorph: a polymorph spell transforms your physical body to take on the shape of another creature. While these spells make you appear to be the creature, granting you a +10 bonus on Disguise skill checks, they do not grant you all of the abilities and powers of the creature. Each polymorph spell allows you to assume the form of a creature of a specific type, granting you a number of bonuses to your ability scores and a bonus to your natural armor. In addition, each polymorph spell can grant you a number of other benefits, including movement types, resistances, and senses. If the form you choose grants these benefits, or a greater ability of the same type, you gain the listed benefit. If the form grants a lesser ability of the same type, you gain the lesser ability instead. Your base speed changes to match that of the form you assume. If the form grants a swim or burrow speed, you maintain the ability to breathe if you are swimming or burrowing. The DC for any of these abilities equals your DC for the polymorph spell used to change you into that form.

In addition to these benefits, you gain any of the natural attacks of the base creature, including proficiency in those attacks. These attacks are based on your base attack bonus, modified by your Strength or Dexterity as appropriate, and use your Strength modifier for determining damage bonuses.


To answer the OP, pretty spot on with the rules. I let druids turn into anything they know of. Given Knowledge Nature is a class skill for druids, and most animals aren't particularly high in CR, it's usually most anything within the range that they can turn into at the appropriate levels.

That being said, I also realize most animals share similar statistics, and that the Bestiary is sorely lacking in terms of animal statistics. I mean, the 3.x MM had an excellent spread for animals and vermin, whereas we have nothing close to that level of coverage in the Bestiary. Fortunately, it gives us all the mechanics we need to determine the effects of turning into different animals via beast shape I+.

For example, there are no stats for medium sized bears in the Bestiary. However, there exist medium size bears in reality. Hell, there existed pygmy mammoths in reality (because animals change sizes based on environment). I'm not going to look at my player and say "Look, there are no medium sized bears in the bestiary, so suck on that until they release a bestiary with medium sized bears". No, I'm going to follow the rules for beast shape I and look at the natural attacks of the creature (bite/claw/claw) and use the appropriate damage based on size. Voila, medium bear.

Even the bestiary statistics aren't exactly comprehensive and suggest using the same statistics across a wide spectrum of creatures. The stats for an auroch also double for most types of domestic cattle, oxen, wildebeest, and so forth. Whether you're talking Paul Bunyan mountain oxen or breeds of African wildebeest, same statistics and concept. Just mild re-fluffing.

So when a druid wants to turn into a massive predatory cat, the size of a tiger, in the great northern mountains; it's irrelevant if the closest similar creature in the Bestiary is a Bengal Tiger. This druid is transforming into a giant snow leopard; or dire mountain lion; or some other equally ominous animal creature. Since all its statistics are based on the level of the spell (beast shape I, II, III, etc) it's pretty meaningless.

Even dinosaurs. Animals are animals. I wouldn't even care of the druid asked to transform into a creature similar to a regular animal. Say the same frosty mountain druid wants to transform into a dinosaur-like creature. Maybe instead of a velociraptor, the druid instead becomes a two-legged angry bird-like creature with a serrated beak, forclaws, and sprinting capabilities. Stats the same as a normal medium sized land dinosaur? Sure dude, sure.

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ashiel wrote:

To answer the OP, pretty spot on with the rules. I let druids turn into anything they know of. Given Knowledge Nature is a class skill for druids, and most animals aren't particularly high in CR, it's usually most anything within the range that they can turn into at the appropriate levels.

That being said, I also realize most animals share similar statistics, and that the Bestiary is sorely lacking in terms of animal statistics. I mean, the 3.x MM had an excellent spread for animals and vermin, whereas we have nothing close to that level of coverage in the Bestiary. Fortunately, it gives us all the mechanics we need to determine the effects of turning into different animals via beast shape I+.

For example, there are no stats for medium sized bears in the Bestiary. However, there exist medium size bears in reality. Hell, there existed pygmy mammoths in reality (because animals change sizes based on environment). I'm not going to look at my player and say "Look, there are no medium sized bears in the bestiary, so suck on that until they release a bestiary with medium sized bears". No, I'm going to follow the rules for beast shape I and look at the natural attacks of the creature (bite/claw/claw) and use the appropriate damage based on size. Voila, medium bear.

Even the bestiary statistics aren't exactly comprehensive and suggest using the same statistics across a wide spectrum of creatures. The stats for an auroch also double for most types of domestic cattle, oxen, wildebeest, and so forth. Whether you're talking Paul Bunyan mountain oxen or breeds of African wildebeest, same statistics and concept. Just mild re-fluffing.

So when a druid wants to turn into a massive predatory cat, the size of a tiger, in the great northern mountains; it's irrelevant if the closest similar creature in the Bestiary is a Bengal Tiger. This druid is transforming into a giant snow leopard; or dire mountain lion; or some other equally ominous animal creature. Since all its statistics are based on the...

Observe, the good GM in his natural habitat. Notice how he says "yes, but" rather than "no". Notice how he isn't nearly as abrasive and 'always correct' as some GMs have been shown to be.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
master arminas wrote:

My god. Did you just seriously imply that a druid would not recognize a wolf? I am out of here; this thread is getting rather ridiculous.

Master Arminas

Yes... believe it or not, Druids aren't confined to being European Forest Celts. A Tan Xia Druid might not have ever seen a wolf, nor an aquatic one. Or one who spent his entire life on an island where wolves aren't present.

Shadow Lodge

master arminas wrote:
My god. Did you just seriously imply that a druid would not recognize a wolf?

DOGGY! *makes cute syrupy sounds* Ahh ahh AHHh get it off me!

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
LazarX wrote:
master arminas wrote:

My god. Did you just seriously imply that a druid would not recognize a wolf? I am out of here; this thread is getting rather ridiculous.

Master Arminas

Yes... believe it or not, Druids aren't confined to being European Forest Celts. A Tan Xia Druid might not have ever seen a wolf, nor an aquatic one. Or one who spent his entire life on an island where wolves aren't present.

Luckily, Knowledge (Nature) allows for the possibility of the druid having heard about one, seen pictures of one, read about one, etc., all of which are enough to be familiar with wolves.


Mergy wrote:
LazarX wrote:
master arminas wrote:

My god. Did you just seriously imply that a druid would not recognize a wolf? I am out of here; this thread is getting rather ridiculous.

Master Arminas

Yes... believe it or not, Druids aren't confined to being European Forest Celts. A Tan Xia Druid might not have ever seen a wolf, nor an aquatic one. Or one who spent his entire life on an island where wolves aren't present.
Luckily, Knowledge (Nature) allows for the possibility of the druid having heard about one, seen pictures of one, read about one, etc., all of which are enough to be familiar with wolves.

+1 here.

-
What some people aren't grasping, is that you don't need to "see it, to be it" so to speak.

In this case, since a wolf is not native to the habitat, it would be considered rare. Meaning the DC starts at 15+CR. A common creatures DC starts at 5+CR.

Silver Crusade

master arminas wrote:

My god. Did you just seriously imply that a druid would not recognize a wolf? I am out of here; this thread is getting rather ridiculous.

Master Arminas

It's that crazy thing called an "example".

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mergy wrote:
LazarX wrote:
master arminas wrote:

My god. Did you just seriously imply that a druid would not recognize a wolf? I am out of here; this thread is getting rather ridiculous.

Master Arminas

Yes... believe it or not, Druids aren't confined to being European Forest Celts. A Tan Xia Druid might not have ever seen a wolf, nor an aquatic one. Or one who spent his entire life on an island where wolves aren't present.
Luckily, Knowledge (Nature) allows for the possibility of the druid having heard about one, seen pictures of one, read about one, etc., all of which are enough to be familiar with wolves.

A half-remembered verbal description of an animal never seen before, does not count as "familiar" in my book.

Silver Crusade

Mergy wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

To answer the OP, pretty spot on with the rules. I let druids turn into anything they know of. Given Knowledge Nature is a class skill for druids, and most animals aren't particularly high in CR, it's usually most anything within the range that they can turn into at the appropriate levels.

That being said, I also realize most animals share similar statistics, and that the Bestiary is sorely lacking in terms of animal statistics. I mean, the 3.x MM had an excellent spread for animals and vermin, whereas we have nothing close to that level of coverage in the Bestiary. Fortunately, it gives us all the mechanics we need to determine the effects of turning into different animals via beast shape I+.

For example, there are no stats for medium sized bears in the Bestiary. However, there exist medium size bears in reality. Hell, there existed pygmy mammoths in reality (because animals change sizes based on environment). I'm not going to look at my player and say "Look, there are no medium sized bears in the bestiary, so suck on that until they release a bestiary with medium sized bears". No, I'm going to follow the rules for beast shape I and look at the natural attacks of the creature (bite/claw/claw) and use the appropriate damage based on size. Voila, medium bear.

Even the bestiary statistics aren't exactly comprehensive and suggest using the same statistics across a wide spectrum of creatures. The stats for an auroch also double for most types of domestic cattle, oxen, wildebeest, and so forth. Whether you're talking Paul Bunyan mountain oxen or breeds of African wildebeest, same statistics and concept. Just mild re-fluffing.

So when a druid wants to turn into a massive predatory cat, the size of a tiger, in the great northern mountains; it's irrelevant if the closest similar creature in the Bestiary is a Bengal Tiger. This druid is transforming into a giant snow leopard; or dire mountain lion; or some other equally ominous animal creature. Since all its statistics are

...

So by your response a good DM is a DM who says yes instead of no.


Incidentally, a wolf and war/riding dog are basically indistinguishable in statistics. If your asian druid hasn't seen a celtic forest wolf, he's probably seen some other large breed of canine, or could simply imagine one as being larger. "I'll turn into one of those, only BIGGER" seems a perfectly valid explanation, given the fact virtually all animals grow larger or smaller depending on environment. We have canines ranging from tiny to large easily enough. Add in dire varieties and you could get into some seriously large space hamsters.

Silver Crusade

Mergy wrote:
LazarX wrote:
master arminas wrote:

My god. Did you just seriously imply that a druid would not recognize a wolf? I am out of here; this thread is getting rather ridiculous.

Master Arminas

Yes... believe it or not, Druids aren't confined to being European Forest Celts. A Tan Xia Druid might not have ever seen a wolf, nor an aquatic one. Or one who spent his entire life on an island where wolves aren't present.
Luckily, Knowledge (Nature) allows for the possibility of the druid having heard about one, seen pictures of one, read about one, etc., all of which are enough to be familiar with wolves.

That's your interpretation and it's fine in "your" games but it isn't RAW.

Now if you are explaining how things run in your game then there isn't a problem but it seems you are stating "opinion" as fact.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mergy wrote:
Observe, the good GM in his natural habitat. Notice how he says "yes, but" rather than "no". Notice how he isn't nearly as abrasive and 'always correct' as some GMs have been shown to be.

Heh, thank you Mergy. You flatter me. ^-^"

EDIT:

Shallowsoul wrote:
So by your response a good DM is a DM who says yes instead of no.

"Well you know how men are. They think 'no' means 'yes' and 'get lost' means 'take me, I'm yours'." - Meg from Hercules :P

I think he meant the willingness to work with the player, and showing of general understanding; rather than acting like an angry antagonistic GM mounted uncomfortably on a bean pole by his nethers. :P

Cheliax

LazarX wrote:


A half-remembered verbal description of an animal never seen before, does not count as "familiar" in my book.

If you make your knowledge check, you know what it is. That's familiar.

Silver Crusade

Ashiel wrote:
Incidentally, a wolf and war/riding dog are basically indistinguishable in statistics. If your asian druid hasn't seen a celtic forest wolf, he's probably seen some other large breed of canine, or could simply imagine one as being larger. "I'll turn into one of those, only BIGGER" seems a perfectly valid explanation, given the fact virtually all animals grow larger or smaller depending on environment. We have canines ranging from tiny to large easily enough. Add in dire varieties and you could get into some seriously large space hamsters.

I don't mean to nitpick but we don't have D&D term "large" canines if you are referring to real life. Even the largest Timber Wolf stood 7'11 inches in it's back legs and 8 feet 9 inches from nose to tail which would still be considered a medium sized creature in D&D terms.

DM's have the freedom to add what ever animals and creatures they want to their campaign so that is why, I believe, the rules for Wild Shape were left open. You may think wolves are common but another DM may not.

Your interpretation is a good one but not one I would use in my games.


LazarX wrote:
Mergy wrote:
LazarX wrote:
master arminas wrote:

My god. Did you just seriously imply that a druid would not recognize a wolf? I am out of here; this thread is getting rather ridiculous.

Master Arminas

Yes... believe it or not, Druids aren't confined to being European Forest Celts. A Tan Xia Druid might not have ever seen a wolf, nor an aquatic one. Or one who spent his entire life on an island where wolves aren't present.
Luckily, Knowledge (Nature) allows for the possibility of the druid having heard about one, seen pictures of one, read about one, etc., all of which are enough to be familiar with wolves.
A half-remembered verbal description of an animal never seen before, does not count as "familiar" in my book.

To see something is not the only way to become familiar with something. And, did he not mention "pictures"? How is it any different to stare at a drawing of said creature or to stare at it across a field?

-
Hypothetical: What if I were to roll 1-billion for my knowledge check for this creature. I could describe to you the very width of each one of it's whiskers, yet I have never seen one. Would you allow them to wildshape into it then?

Why do I need to physically gut the creature to determine "Yep, thats where the book said it's heart would be!"

Silver Crusade

Ashiel wrote:
Mergy wrote:
Observe, the good GM in his natural habitat. Notice how he says "yes, but" rather than "no". Notice how he isn't nearly as abrasive and 'always correct' as some GMs have been shown to be.

Heh, thank you Mergy. You flatter me. ^-^"

EDIT:

Shallowsoul wrote:
So by your response a good DM is a DM who says yes instead of no.

"Well you know how men are. They think 'no' means 'yes' and 'get lost' means 'take me, I'm yours'." - Meg from Hercules :P

I think he meant the willingness to work with the player, and showing of general understanding; rather than acting like an angry antagonistic GM mounted uncomfortably on a bean pole by his nethers. :P

My one interpretation of an open ended rule doesn't mark me as someone who doesn't work with his players but I don't work with them on everything and it would be rather cheek of them to expect me to.

Silver Crusade

Dr Grecko wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Mergy wrote:
LazarX wrote:
master arminas wrote:

My god. Did you just seriously imply that a druid would not recognize a wolf? I am out of here; this thread is getting rather ridiculous.

Master Arminas

Yes... believe it or not, Druids aren't confined to being European Forest Celts. A Tan Xia Druid might not have ever seen a wolf, nor an aquatic one. Or one who spent his entire life on an island where wolves aren't present.
Luckily, Knowledge (Nature) allows for the possibility of the druid having heard about one, seen pictures of one, read about one, etc., all of which are enough to be familiar with wolves.
A half-remembered verbal description of an animal never seen before, does not count as "familiar" in my book.

To see something is not the only way to become familiar with something. And, did he not mention "pictures"? How is it any different to stare at a drawing of said creature or to stare at it across a field?

-
Hypothetical: What if I were to roll 1-billion for my knowledge check for this creature. I could describe to you the very width of each one of it's whiskers, yet I have never seen one. Would you allow them to wildshape into it then?

Why do I need to physically gut the creature to determine "Yep, thats where the book said it's heart would be!"

I can tell you from personal experience that seeing a picture of a Bengal tiger and actually seeing one in action, in person, are two different things entirely.


shallowsoul wrote:
Mergy wrote:
Luckily, Knowledge (Nature) allows for the possibility of the druid having heard about one, seen pictures of one, read about one, etc., all of which are enough to be familiar with wolves.

That's your interpretation and it's fine in "your" games but it isn't RAW.

Now if you are explaining how things run in your game then there isn't a problem but it seems you are stating "opinion" as fact.

Except, that it is RAW. You know about a creature. You know more about a creature the higher you roll. Do you need to know its molecular composition before you consider yourself "familiar" with it?


shallowsoul wrote:
I can tell you from personal experience that seeing a picture of a Bengal tiger and actually seeing one in action, in person, are two different things entirely.

Did the bengal tiger not look like the picture?

-
I've been to plenty of zoo's in my time and saidd.. "Yep.. Thats the animal that is on this picture in front of the cage.. Oh! look.. read further, it say's that it uses its tail to trip his prey! Neat!"


Is the Wild Shape ability really so OP? What is so bad about looking through the books to find the animal with the abilities you are seeking? Or is it just a metagaming issue? Is this based only on the need for things to make sense, or to limit the Druid's ability?

Silver Crusade

Dren Everblack wrote:
Is the Wild Shape ability really so OP? What is so bad about looking through the books to find the animal with the abilities you are seeking? Or is it just a metagaming issue? Is this based only on the need for things to make sense, or to limit the Druid's ability?

Well the druids RAW ability hasn't even been established so you can't limit what hasn't been established.

Flipping through the bestiaries looking for animals to turn into is meta gaming, pure and simple.

Having the Wizard gain 1 spell per level instead of 2 would be limiting the ability because this ability isn't open to GM's decision unless you invoke rule 0.

Wild Shape has been left open for DM interpretation.

Cheliax

shallowsoul wrote:
Dren Everblack wrote:
Is the Wild Shape ability really so OP? What is so bad about looking through the books to find the animal with the abilities you are seeking? Or is it just a metagaming issue? Is this based only on the need for things to make sense, or to limit the Druid's ability?

Well the druids RAW ability hasn't even been established so you can't limit what hasn't been established.

Flipping through the bestiaries looking for animals to turn into is meta gaming, pure and simple.

Having the Wizard gain 1 spell per level instead of 2 would be limiting the ability because this ability isn't open to GM's decision unless you invoke rule 0.

Wild Shape has been left open for DM interpretation.

Flipping through the wizard spell list looking at spells that the wizard doesn't know personally is also metagaming with that silly definition of the word.

How do your wizards pick their two spells? Does it involve a hat or a dart board? How do you get them to not read their own class abilities that are coming up? Surely knowledge of what a 10th level wizard can do at level 9 is metagaming as well.


shallowsoul wrote:

Flipping through the bestiaries looking for animals to turn into is meta gaming, pure and simple.

One quick question:

How do your players find out which creatures they can wild shape into and what abilities they gain when doing so, if they can't read about said creatures in the Bestiary? Do you make your own lists of available creatures and their abilities?


shallowsoul wrote:
Dren Everblack wrote:
Is the Wild Shape ability really so OP? What is so bad about looking through the books to find the animal with the abilities you are seeking? Or is it just a metagaming issue? Is this based only on the need for things to make sense, or to limit the Druid's ability?

Well the druids RAW ability hasn't even been established so you can't limit what hasn't been established.

Flipping through the bestiaries looking for animals to turn into is meta gaming, pure and simple.

Having the Wizard gain 1 spell per level instead of 2 would be limiting the ability because this ability isn't open to GM's decision unless you invoke rule 0.

Wild Shape has been left open for DM interpretation.

OK I get it, you are not technically limiting the ability. But what I was trying to ask is what your motivation is for interpreting the ability the way you do. Is it that you feel the ability would be too powerful, or is it only that you do not like metagaming?

Silver Crusade

Are wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

Flipping through the bestiaries looking for animals to turn into is meta gaming, pure and simple.

One quick question:

How do your players find out which creatures they can wild shape into and what abilities they gain when doing so, if they can't read about said creatures in the Bestiary? Do you make your own lists of available creatures and their abilities?

I show them the animals in the back of the bestiaries that are native to their region and if said animal doesn't exist I will notify them.

What I don't allow is random flipping through the books and telling me their druid makes a Knowledge Nature check to see if they are familiar with an animal that is clearly from another region and clearly one they have never met in game.

Knowledge's can be abused like hell. Let's say you write your character's background and you begin playing. Well after a while you, the player, see something in a new book that you want to add to your "knowledge". Well you could simply just say your character is making a Knowledge check, out of the blue, to see if he knows that bit of knowledge, that suddenly came to him because of the player, and things can start to get out of hand.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
shallowsoul wrote:
Mergy wrote:
LazarX wrote:
master arminas wrote:

My god. Did you just seriously imply that a druid would not recognize a wolf? I am out of here; this thread is getting rather ridiculous.

Master Arminas

Yes... believe it or not, Druids aren't confined to being European Forest Celts. A Tan Xia Druid might not have ever seen a wolf, nor an aquatic one. Or one who spent his entire life on an island where wolves aren't present.
Luckily, Knowledge (Nature) allows for the possibility of the druid having heard about one, seen pictures of one, read about one, etc., all of which are enough to be familiar with wolves.

That's your interpretation and it's fine in "your" games but it isn't RAW.

Now if you are explaining how things run in your game then there isn't a problem but it seems you are stating "opinion" as fact.

My "opinion" isn't contradicted by RAW, which essentially leaves the definition of "familiar" to GM adjudication.

Silver Crusade

Dren Everblack wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Dren Everblack wrote:
Is the Wild Shape ability really so OP? What is so bad about looking through the books to find the animal with the abilities you are seeking? Or is it just a metagaming issue? Is this based only on the need for things to make sense, or to limit the Druid's ability?

Well the druids RAW ability hasn't even been established so you can't limit what hasn't been established.

Flipping through the bestiaries looking for animals to turn into is meta gaming, pure and simple.

Having the Wizard gain 1 spell per level instead of 2 would be limiting the ability because this ability isn't open to GM's decision unless you invoke rule 0.

Wild Shape has been left open for DM interpretation.

OK I get it, you are not technically limiting the ability. But what I was trying to ask is what your motivation is for interpreting the ability the way you do. Is it that you feel the ability would be too powerful, or is it only that you do not like metagaming?

I don't like meta gaming unless it is necessary. There are aspects of the rules that require it and I have no problem with that but there are some aspects that don't require it but some players feel the need to do it anyway to give their character an advantage and I don't like that. We play role playing games, not number crunching games.

Silver Crusade

LazarX wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Mergy wrote:
LazarX wrote:
master arminas wrote:

My god. Did you just seriously imply that a druid would not recognize a wolf? I am out of here; this thread is getting rather ridiculous.

Master Arminas

Yes... believe it or not, Druids aren't confined to being European Forest Celts. A Tan Xia Druid might not have ever seen a wolf, nor an aquatic one. Or one who spent his entire life on an island where wolves aren't present.
Luckily, Knowledge (Nature) allows for the possibility of the druid having heard about one, seen pictures of one, read about one, etc., all of which are enough to be familiar with wolves.

That's your interpretation and it's fine in "your" games but it isn't RAW.

Now if you are explaining how things run in your game then there isn't a problem but it seems you are stating "opinion" as fact.

My "opinion" isn't contradicted by RAW, which essentially leaves the definition of "familiar" to GM adjudication.

100% correct!

Andoran

From reading this thread, I have concluded that shallowsoul is correct, and the only thing I have any idea about in life whatsoever is my bed and my toilet.

BRB, toilet then nap.


A lot of this has made me ponder the pseudo-magical behind the scenes powers of wild shape.

Over the years, the handful of times i've played a druid, and shape-changed into a bird, or fish, or snake, i've never had a GM tell me I had to take some time learning to move in my new form, and unless druids from previous years had taken time to write down how it felt to move with new appendages, I wonder what kind of learning would be involved in that. The ability doesn't reference this, so I guess it could go either way. Suddenly you are a master of your new body, in all of it's utility, or it could almost be a new learning experience from the start.

And I guess I am also curious along that line, if someone wildshapes into a creature they've only seen a picture of and read about, would you let someone observing them that has actually seen the creature move make a check of some sort to know that there is something wrong with the creature?

I don't make pc's learn to move in shapes, or let others get tipped off by them moving awkwardly, but that's also while i feel fine in making them observe the creature visually.


shallowsoul wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Incidentally, a wolf and war/riding dog are basically indistinguishable in statistics. If your asian druid hasn't seen a celtic forest wolf, he's probably seen some other large breed of canine, or could simply imagine one as being larger. "I'll turn into one of those, only BIGGER" seems a perfectly valid explanation, given the fact virtually all animals grow larger or smaller depending on environment. We have canines ranging from tiny to large easily enough. Add in dire varieties and you could get into some seriously large space hamsters.

I don't mean to nitpick but we don't have D&D term "large" canines if you are referring to real life. Even the largest Timber Wolf stood 7'11 inches in it's back legs and 8 feet 9 inches from nose to tail which would still be considered a medium sized creature in D&D terms.

DM's have the freedom to add what ever animals and creatures they want to their campaign so that is why, I believe, the rules for Wild Shape were left open. You may think wolves are common but another DM may not.

Your interpretation is a good one but not one I would use in my games.

*Ahem*. Real life animals are irrelevant. All we have is the ability to turn into an animal of X size. Whether an animal of that exact size has ever existed in reality on earth is irrelevant. Whether a cat is the size of a house cat, or some sort of primeval jungle predator that elephants are afraid of, it's still a cat. Whether we call it a housecat, cougar, mountain lion, linx, bengal tiger, dire tiger, or the dreaded Magwampi Elephant Hunter is again irrelevant.

Incidentally, again, all of it is pretty irrelevant because of how the beast shape spells work. You don't turn into the actual creature. You turn into something that looks like them. You get natural weapons appropriate to the form and the size of the form, and features common to the form within limits of the spell. There is no difference between turning into a small cougar, medium cougar, large cougar, or a massive huge cougar, other than the benefits gained from the wild shape and the appropriately sized natural attacks.

Hence, "I'm going to turn into one of these, except bigger" is entirely valid, logical, and supported by the rules.


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shallowsoul wrote:

Trying to dismiss me as not knowing the rules still doesn't make me wrong and you right.

You still haven't proven to the thread that you are right according to RAW.

They've proven you wrong according to english which is good enough for most people; methinks.

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