Eagle Shamans' Wild Shape bonus applies to a creature that isn't a valid form of Wildshape

Rules Questions

25 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ.
Sir George Anonymous wrote:
How does an Eagle Shaman wild shape into a roc? Rocs are Gargantuan animals, and beast shape three only covers up to Huge animals. Have I missed something?
Fredrik wrote:
Yes. If you apply the Young Creature template (Bestiary pg. 295) using the rebuild rules, then it will be Huge. And Wild Shape doesn't say that you can't; instead, it says that your "options for new forms include all creatures with the animal type." And since the Young Creature template just makes "immature specimens of the base creature", its type wouldn't change.

Young Rocs aren't an option because Polymorph, which Beast Shape, and thus Wildshape work like,

specifically states that Templated creatures are not valid to Polymorph into, and Young is clearly a template.
I don't think it's intended that Druids can freely choose Young, much less other templates like Giant, versions of creatures to Wildshape into.
Wildshape isn't changing your age category to Young, after all.

IMHO, Eagle Shaman needs to have rules text specifically enabling Young Rocs as an exception to the rule, and Giant Eagles (magical beasts, not Giant Templated Eagles) along with Young Giant Eagles should probably also be be added as a rules exception (they are magical beasts) to cover Medium and Large size.

As an alternative to enabling the Young Template, there can be text describing a new creature species whose (adult) stats happen to be equivalent to a Young Roc (while not counting as a Templated Creature for Wildshape). That gets around the wierdness of Wildshaping into a Young Creature even though Wildshape isn't supposed to change your age category. Giant Eagles should probably still be specifically enabled, given their Magical Beasty Type, but the same thing could probably be done: invent a 'Great Eagle' type that happens to have the same stats as 'Young' Giant Eagles, without counting as BEING Templated (for Wildshape/Polymorph purposes). That or figure out what other published bird species could 'fill in the gaps' and actually be usable...? (although that means people need those new books)

There's a few other cases of creatures that have been mentioned in other publications, being desribed as 'having the stats of (X) Templated creatures'... It'd be nice if there was rules somewhere clarifying that those DON'T count as being a Templated Creature, if in fact that is the case. Or perhaps change the boiler-plate for such cases to make that clear (and FAQ in the meantime?)

Quandry, you bring up a valid point. As the rules are currently written the only creatures you can beast shape (and thus Wild Shape) into are creatures that do not have templates applied. It needs wording to enable a young Roc.

- Gauss

Shadow Lodge

The no templates rule seems to be an artifact from 3.5, as a template doesn't effect the use of polymorph and polymorph-like spells the way it would have before.

Polymorph (and wildshape) used to function off the target creatures HD and most templates don't grant extra HD, just extra power, so shapeshifting casters could squeeze more power out of the spells they were using. Now the benefits from each polymorph spell are more explicit. Applying a template like giant or young doesn't really change how powerful the spell is as the limitations(such as ability score bonuses) are built in. Something like halfdragon still wouldn't grant you the immunities or special attacks of the creature, just the appearance.

So while I agree that the by RAW you are correct, I honestly don't see the harm in letting it happen.

As for the giant eagle thing. Aside from it's above average intelligence, it doesn't really have anything special going for it(can't even speak)so I'd allow it, though there are sooo many magical beasts I would flat out refuse, so a specific ruling is a good idea.

Edit: Just checked, polymorph (the spell) allows for magical beasts. Though Beast shape doesn't.

yeah, i don't think anybody argues with allowing this to happen, by one means or another
(wildshaping into an adult creature w/ identical stats to the young creature, removes the issue w/ emulating an age category)
it's wholly an issue of RAW, albeit a pretty severe one for the eagle shaman in particular...

but it is a broader issue also, so it would be nice if it was dealt with more broadly, esp. those creatures who 'have the stats of templated creature (X)' and it isn't clear if those ARE valid, i.e. whether they count as templated or not. that one is DEBATABLE re: RAW functionality, but IMHO does need at least a FAQ since you ARE using a 'forbidden' Template (I've posted on that previously).

...keep on hitting FAQ... :-)

I agree this also needs to be resolved; but probably a resolution reserved to the Eagle Shaman--if templates are allowed generally, then (for example) regular druids at level 6 can wildshape into:
[Giant template] [favorite medium creature](likely a Giant Dinosaur, Deinonychus with 2 talons (2d6 each), bite (1d8), foreclaws (1d6))

Or perhaps [Young Template][Huge Creature]

This isn't incredibly powerful (though my druid would certainly benefit), so I would suggest caution/thoughtfulness on the part of the campaign leadership before opening this up generally instead of just for the eagle shamans and young-template rocs/giant-template eagles (who seem to have an unusable exception at present).

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Pathfinder has simplified polymorph, beast shape, wildshape a ton. If you use Beast Shape I to turn into a medium animal, it doesn't matter what form that animal takes, you get +2 STR, +2 NA, the natural attacks, movement and if the animal has any of the small list of abilities, you get those as well.

My two cents then is to look at the Roc animal companion. It is medium (or large) size. If you turn into a medium Roc you would get +2 STR, +2 NA, two talons (1d4) and a bite (1d6), fly 30' (average) (limited by Beast Shape I), and Low-light Vision.

When you can turn into a large animal with Wildshape (Beast Shape II) you get +4 STR, -2 DEX, +4 NA, natural attacks, movement, and a longer list of abilities. So the large Roc would get +4 STR, -2 DEX, +4 NA, two talons (1d6) and a bite (1d8), fly 60' (average) (limited by Beast Shape II, but improved over I), Grab with the talons, and Low-light Vision.

This would allow an Eagle Shaman to turn into a Roc without using templates, or it being outside the normal power of the spell.

using Animal Companion stats is definitely outside the scope of the RAW,
you use Bestiary stats to determine eligible animals... (you 'become' a 'typical' member of that species)
Animal Companion stats are not true creature stats, but are just Class Features.

i still am curious about the status of creatures that paizo publishes with wording 'uses stats of Young/Giant X'.
does that count as a Templated Create then? i think not, but definitely not clear.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Jason Nelson (the guy that wrote those archetypes) has repeatedly said that when he wrote the shaman archetypes he'd intended for shamans to be able to wildshape in Young and Giant versions of their totem animal. This wouldn't increase the form's stats (beyond what wildshape gives) but simply gives the shaman options for bigger and smaller forms.

Thus an eagle shaman could become a young eagle and have access to a tiny sized wildshape option or a giant roc and have a huge wildshape option. As it's written most shamans simply have no totem-specific options past level 6. Paizo's known about this for a while now and refused to make any changes.

As written, bear shamans simply stop gaining access to new forms at level 6.

wow... WTF!? issue a FAQ already...

Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Quandary wrote:

using Animal Companion stats is definitely outside the scope of the RAW,

you use Bestiary stats to determine eligible animals...
Animal Companion stats are not true creature stats, but are just Class Features.

i still am curious about the status of creatures that paizo publishes with wording 'uses stats of Young/Giant X'.
does that count as a Templated Create then? i think not, but definitely not clear.

You don't use animal "stats" with Beast Shape (or Wildshape) you add to your current stats. It doesn't matter what the animal stats are. Wildshaping into a Dire Wolf, or Larged sized animal companion wolf gives you the exact same benefits: +4 STR, -2 DEX, +4 NA, bite for 1d8 with Trip, and movement of 50', Low-light Vision, Scent.

Pathfinder simplified everything based on size. I might be missing a key example, but the only difference between a small sized seal, and small sized dire rat (according to Beast Shape I) is their movement rates. Both have the same +2 DEX, both get the same +1 NA, both get Low-light Vision (rat gets Scent), both get a single bite for 1d4, etc. The creature "stats" are very different, but the stats from Beast Shape I are the same.

Again, I believe the intent of the Roc entry in the Eagle Shaman's Wildshape ability was using the Animal Companion entry (which is "stated" as a medium and large sized Roc using the rules for size differences).

Wow, I totally missed that single sentence...

CRB, pg. 212 wrote:
Polymorph spells cannot be used to assume the form of a creature with a template or an advanced version of a creature.

I freely admit that I was wrong, and I really appreciate your taking the debate to this forum. I also think that it would be balanced to allow it to work the way that I said; but the RAW doesn't support it, so no go for PFS.

Same goes for roc animal companion stats. I thought of proposing that, but couldn't find any RAW supporting it. But again, I think that it would be balanced.

@Canthin: You must have missed my edit, with the crucial rules quote/paraphras: "you 'become' a 'typical' member of that species"
Animal Companion Stats do not represent a typical member of that species, they are a Class Feature.
The number of attacks, damage dice, movement speed, perceptions, any # of things may be different.
Sure, the Stat Bonuses are fixed per the Spell/Wildshape, but the details of the form chosen DO matter.
Really... Nobody uses Animal Companion stats for Wildshape, you pick a Creature...
whose stats for typical members are in the Bestiary.

...Apparently the developer themself stated their intent was to use Young/Giant Templates (or equivalent), NOT Companion stats.

This still really needs a real FAQ/Errata
(and perhaps most of the other Animal Shaman Archetypes as well,
albeit they don't seem to have the egregious problem of rules preventing them from
using their Archetype Ability even though it's explicitly mentioned in that ability)

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Would you not just be able to use the Beast Shape's adjustments for huge, then gain the Roc's abilities?

Seems no need for templates, unless needlessly complicating is the goal.

That is a damn good question.

Liberty's Edge

Essentially that's all the template did, give you a huge/small roc.

Well, the natural armor and ability scores are covered in beast shape. But that still leaves the damage dice.

Which I guess answers the question of the need for templates.

This is easily houseruled, but a clarification would be really nice, especially for PFS.

Paizo Employee Official Rules Response

3 people marked this as a favorite.

FAQ: http://paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1fn#v5748eaic9raj

Druid, Eagle Shaman: How can I take the form of a roc if a roc is Gargantuan and the maximum size I can reach with wild shape is Huge?

The lack of suitable giant bird stat blocks in official Paizo products hinders the rules options for this archetype.

To remedy this problem, an eagle shaman druid can use wild shape to take the form of a Medium eagle (even though there aren't any actual Medium eagles in the game that don't use templates), and can use wild shape to take the form of a Huge roc (even though there aren't any actual Huge rocs in the game that don't use templates). Abilities of the assumed form are determined by which beast shape spell the wild shape ability functions as, as determined by the eagle shaman's effective druid level.

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