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Boar Shaman - Wild Shape - What am I missing?


Rules Questions


The Wild Shape ability for the Boar Shaman states:

"At 6th level, a boar shaman’s wild shape ability functions at her druid level –2. If she takes on the form of a boar, she instead uses her druid level +2."

That means at 6th level, a Boar Shaman can Wild Shape into a boar form as if she was 8th level.

The rules state:

"At 8th level, a druid can use Wild Shape to change into a Huge or Diminutive animal."

But there are no Huge or Diminutive sized boars to wild shape into? A normal boar is medium sized and a dire boar is large.

What's the point of being able to Wild Shape into a boar form as 8th level when there are no Huge or Diminutive sized boars to choose from?


Wild shape into a dire boar and get someone to cast enlarge person?

Other than that I'd just homebrew a huge boar.

Andoran

your right, there is no shape that it is good for. on the other hand you get more uses per day.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Core Rulebook page 51 after it talks about 8th level druid sizes: "When taking the form of animals, a druid's wild shape now functions as beast shape III."

Page 247 under the Beast Shape III spell read the listed abilities you can use from the creature. Ferocity is there and isn't for Beast Shape II.

Andoran

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What I do for the players that use those shaman archetypes, is to size up the natural attacks of the largest normal version they have. For that example, using the huge boar example, I would move the 1d8 Gore damage from a medium boar up two steps to 3d6 with a huge version, then they would gain the use of Scent, Low-light vision and Ferocity.

I only allow the beast shaman to do it this way, giving them something unique that others do not have access to. Other druids need to use existing bestiary entry sizes.

Shadow Lodge

It's a small boost for the reason Rendrin mentioned. But this is the reason I personally dislike the Animal Shaman archetypes - you don't get that much benefit from using a specific type of animal shape at level +2. Though Totemic Summons does make up for that a bit.


What you are missing is the fact that all the shamans (except maybe the dinosaur shaman) are terrible.


Thank you for all the replies. It appears to be a gap in play testing. As Nepherti and Shar Tahl noted, easily fixed with some custom house rules. I wanted to check that I wasn't missing something, like a boar animal type I didn't know about.

I'll talk to my GM about creating custom huge and diminutive sizes.

Weirdo: I might disagree about Totemic Summons for the Boar Shaman. I ran all the combinations of Young, Advanced and Giant boars and dire boars in a spreadsheet. The only interesting combination was a Young Advanced boar which produced a higher AC but lower attack damage alternative to a normal boar, both being level III summons.

More powerful boars and dire boars didn't seem to stack-up to other creatures of the same summon level. For example; why choose an Advanced Giant Dire Boar for a level VI summon when you can choose a regular Dire Bear instead?

On this topic, as mplindusties suggested, the druid shaman classes seem to get a lot of criticism. Surely there's enough player ideas out there to improve them. Has anyone ever gathered all the good ideas together into one place. A Druid Shaman errata?


The Saurian and Lion shamans are excellent, though Saurian is clearly the superior. You get some nice low level boosts that a normal Druid won't get, and for the two levels you loose out on wildshape you have totemic summons come in so you can summon as a standard action - that is huge. Saurian shamans get a huge array of awesome summon choices which get extra HP and which their abilities allow them to talk to. The delayed access to natural spell is a bummer though.

Qadira

1 person marked this as a favorite.

a druid can turn into any size of the animal they want, they're limited by the Beast Shape N version of the spell they emulate as to what benefits that gets you.

as a Huge boar, you get the beast shape III bonuses, and size up the natural attacks of a large boar as Shar Tahl said.

Its not just something Shamans can do though. A high enough level druid can turn into a Huge Dire Tiger, he just sizes up the stats for the dire tigers natural attacks, and gets special abilities that BSIII gives access to that BSII does not.

Paizo isn't going to stat out every size animal, and they've reworked Polymorph enough that they can publish any kind of animal they want, and give it abilities suitable to whatever CR they want it to be, without breaking Beast Shape since you need the right spell to get the listed abilities if the base animal has them already.

Beast shape just lets you turn into any size animal, and use the ones that are statted out as a guide for what abilities they possess.

Qadira

ps. i wanna see you turn into a Teacup Boar ( diminutive boar ) and have the party carry you around casting Natural Spells. tee hee.


Seraphimpunk wrote:

a druid can turn into any size of the animal they want, they're limited by the Beast Shape N version of the spell they emulate as to what benefits that gets you.

as a Huge boar, you get the beast shape III bonuses, and size up the natural attacks of a large boar as Shar Tahl said.

Its not just something Shamans can do though. A high enough level druid can turn into a Huge Dire Tiger, he just sizes up the stats for the dire tigers natural attacks, and gets special abilities that BSIII gives access to that BSII does not.

Paizo isn't going to stat out every size animal, and they've reworked Polymorph enough that they can publish any kind of animal they want, and give it abilities suitable to whatever CR they want it to be, without breaking Beast Shape since you need the right spell to get the listed abilities if the base animal has them already.

Beast shape just lets you turn into any size animal, and use the ones that are statted out as a guide for what abilities they possess.

That's an interesting interpretation. I'd always assumed that "you can assume the form of any Small or Medium creature of the animal type", meant you could turn into any Small or Medium animal, not that you could turn into any animal, but a small or medium sized version of that animal.

I see how you can read it that way, but I'm not sure I like it for flavor reasons. With Beast Shape 3, can I really become a Huge hummingbird? Does that even work? Or a Tiny mammoth? Seems completely wrong.

Spoiler:
Of course, if it was a Mimmoth instead...

Qadira

Pigmy Mammoth!

::shrug:: the spell doesn't say the animal has to exist in the Bestiary. There's actually a logical disconnect between the spell, and the entire bestiary. We intuitively assume that the animal has to be from the bestiary, because of the "If the form you assume has any of the following abilities ", wording.

But as the spell doesn't limit where the animals can come from, or specify that they have to exist at the right size, GMs are open for interpretation on the matter.

a Huge hummingbird wouldn't get much that's different from a Roc. Most animals are similar when you add HD anyway. I remember having to do animal designs in 3.5 and a 10 HD hummingbird that's huge, isn't statistically that much different from a 10 HD Roc. Its just got brighter plumage. =D


Seraphimpunk wrote:

Pigmy Mammoth!

::shrug:: the spell doesn't say the animal has to exist in the Bestiary. There's actually a logical disconnect between the spell, and the entire bestiary. We intuitively assume that the animal has to be from the bestiary, because of the "If the form you assume has any of the following abilities ", wording.

But as the spell doesn't limit where the animals can come from, or specify that they have to exist at the right size, GMs are open for interpretation on the matter.

a Huge hummingbird wouldn't get much that's different from a Roc. Most animals are similar when you add HD anyway. I remember having to do animal designs in 3.5 and a 10 HD hummingbird that's huge, isn't statistically that much different from a 10 HD Roc. Its just got brighter plumage. =D

It's not that it doesn't exist in the Bestiary. Or what the actual stats come out to be. It's that you're not taking the form of an actual existing animal, but making up something that doesn't exist in nature: even the gameworld's fantasy nature. If the world has pygmy Mammoths or hummingbirds with a 40' wingspan, go right ahead. If it doesn't, I think the druid should stick with existing animals at their natural sizes. Where existing can be either documented in the Bestiarys, extrapolated from real life or whatever. Just not made up and resized on the spot by the druid.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Seraphimpunk wrote:

Pigmy Mammoth!

::shrug:: the spell doesn't say the animal has to exist in the Bestiary. There's actually a logical disconnect between the spell, and the entire bestiary. We intuitively assume that the animal has to be from the bestiary, because of the "If the form you assume has any of the following abilities ", wording.

But as the spell doesn't limit where the animals can come from, or specify that they have to exist at the right size, GMs are open for interpretation on the matter.

a Huge hummingbird wouldn't get much that's different from a Roc. Most animals are similar when you add HD anyway. I remember having to do animal designs in 3.5 and a 10 HD hummingbird that's huge, isn't statistically that much different from a 10 HD Roc. Its just got brighter plumage. =D

It's not that it doesn't exist in the Bestiary. Or what the actual stats come out to be. It's that you're not taking the form of an actual existing animal, but making up something that doesn't exist in nature: even the gameworld's fantasy nature. If the world has pygmy Mammoths or hummingbirds with a 40' wingspan, go right ahead. If it doesn't, I think the druid should stick with existing animals at their natural sizes. Where existing can be either documented in the Bestiarys, extrapolated from real life or whatever. Just not made up and resized on the spot by the druid.

In a world with infinite universes and planes hopping I think this sort of breaks down. The problem is Core Rules are setting non-specific. Even in Gongloria you only play in the Inner Sea Region. There are what 4 or 5 other continents that do not get mentioned. On top of that their are a bunch a planets in the solar system. With how much confidence are you willing to say Arcadia does not have Piggy Mammoths? Obviously I can see why people would not want to have druids making up whatever they want to wild shape into, but I can also see how limiting it to only published things could go horribly wrong. How do you justify the release of a new Beastiery? Evolution? Honestly I had always assumed it was limited to the Beastiery too, but now that I think about it a little that idea sort of does not make a whole lot of sense.

Shadow Lodge

It does say you're not allowed to polymorph into something with a template, and making bigger or smaller versions of existing animals is suspiciously like a template.

Analog wrote:
Weirdo: I might disagree about Totemic Summons for the Boar Shaman. I ran all the combinations of Young, Advanced and Giant boars and dire boars in a spreadsheet. The only interesting combination was a Young Advanced boar which produced a higher AC but lower attack damage alternative to a normal boar, both being level III summons.

It's the ability to summon as a standard action instead of a 1 round action that's useful.

Qadira

yup, so we continue to do what we always have: use the bestiary as a non-specific guide, that tells us if Large Dire Tigers have pounce and grab, then when I use beast shape 3 to turn into a huge one, i'll have those as well. ( but won't gain anything else, since huge dire tigres don't appear anywhere else to use as reference )

there might exist dire hummingbirds of legend, and pigmy mammoths, since that becomes mostly fluff at some point, does it really disrupt your game if the druid is turning into a Huge Hummingbird instead of a Huge Roc ? You can still ask the player to be "realistic" or give them funny looks, without throwing down the GM stick and limiting them only to what is in the bestiary ( or , one that I hate even more ) whatever their character "knows" either via encountering or via a knowledge (nature) check. Yuck.


Timothy Hanson wrote:
thejeff wrote:
It's not that it doesn't exist in the Bestiary. Or what the actual stats come out to be. It's that you're not taking the form of an actual existing animal, but making up something that doesn't exist in nature: even the gameworld's fantasy nature. If the world has pygmy Mammoths or hummingbirds with a 40' wingspan, go right ahead. If it doesn't, I think the druid should stick with existing animals at their natural sizes. Where existing can be either documented in the Bestiarys, extrapolated from real life or whatever. Just not made up and resized on the spot by the druid.
In a world with infinite universes and planes hopping I think this sort of breaks down. The problem is Core Rules are setting non-specific. Even in Gongloria you only play in the Inner Sea Region. There are what 4 or 5 other continents that do not get mentioned. On top of that their are a bunch a planets in the solar system. With how much confidence are you willing to say Arcadia does not have Piggy Mammoths? Obviously I can see why people would not want to have druids making up whatever they want to wild shape into, but I can also see how limiting it to only published things could go horribly wrong. How do you justify the release of a new Beastiery? Evolution? Honestly I had always assumed it was limited to the Beastiery too, but now that I think about it a little that idea sort of does not make a whole lot of sense.

Because at that point you can make up anything and say that it must exist somewhere in the multiverse. Of course, for druid's that's already limited by "The form chosen must be that of an animal the druid is familiar with", which is messy but certainly disallows the "how much confidence are you willing to say Arcadia does not have Piggy Mammoths?" line of argument. If the druid doesn't know enough to be familiar with them, he can't wild shape into them whether they exist or not.

But that's a different argument: Does a Pygmy Mammoth exist? rather than "Can I turn into a Tiny version of a Mammoth, even if no such creature exists?".
Spoiler:
Dwarf mammoths have existed, but even they were at least Medium size, in most cases Large. Not Mimmoths.

I say "The form chosen must be that of an animal the druid is familiar with" and "you can assume the form of any Small or Medium creature of the animal type" are enough to limit you to creatures that you know of that actually exist within the game world at the given size. I think that's at least as obvious an interpretation of RAW as "You can turn into any animal you know resized to the allowed sizes."

As for new Bestiaries, I don't see that as a problem. Those creatures aren't suddenly appearing. You don't suddenly gain the ability to turn into them. You had it all along. You just never used it before. In the player's world you couldn't, but in the game world you could have. For the character nothing's changed.


Seraphimpunk wrote:

yup, so we continue to do what we always have: use the bestiary as a non-specific guide, that tells us if Large Dire Tigers have pounce and grab, then when I use beast shape 3 to turn into a huge one, i'll have those as well. ( but won't gain anything else, since huge dire tigres don't appear anywhere else to use as reference )

there might exist dire hummingbirds of legend, and pigmy mammoths, since that becomes mostly fluff at some point, does it really disrupt your game if the druid is turning into a Huge Hummingbird instead of a Huge Roc ? You can still ask the player to be "realistic" or give them funny looks, without throwing down the GM stick and limiting them only to what is in the bestiary ( or , one that I hate even more ) whatever their character "knows" either via encountering or via a knowledge (nature) check. Yuck.

Given that "whatever their character 'knows'" is RAW, I'm going to stick with it.
Wild Shape wrote:
The form chosen must be that of an animal the druid is familiar with.

How else do you handle that requirement?

Silver Crusade

DM Carpe wrote:
The Saurian and Lion shamans are excellent, though Saurian is clearly the superior. You get some nice low level boosts that a normal Druid won't get, and for the two levels you loose out on wildshape you have totemic summons come in so you can summon as a standard action - that is huge. Saurian shamans get a huge array of awesome summon choices which get extra HP and which their abilities allow them to talk to. The delayed access to natural spell is a bummer though.

The Lion Shaman is borderline overpowered. The Saurian Shaman is clearly insanely overpowered.

The ability to summon templated versions of animals in a standard action is huge, at least for character levels into the mid teens or so.

The restrictions on wild shape can, in a weird way, almost be useful. It greatly diminishes option paralysis and makes it more practical to buy suits of armor for your wild shaped form(s) since you'll likely have only 1 or 2 that you use 90+% of the time. Clearly, if one had the discipline to stick to a small set of choices there is no advantage. But who actually has that discipline? :-)

Qadira

thejeff wrote:


Given that "whatever their character 'knows'" is RAW, I'm going to stick with it.
Wild Shape wrote:
The form chosen must be that of an animal the druid is familiar with.

How else do you handle that requirement?

Defining what animals the character knows is left intentionally vague to allow GMs to adjudicate what the character knows.

I just hate having it rely on a knowledge (nature) check. A druid that bothers to visit a library for a day could take 20 on any knowledge nature check and learn enough about any animal existant to be "familiar" with them.

Requiring a character to do that vs. just using some reasonable allowance ( most Druids from a region are going to pick what they want and be thematic about it anyway. tundra druids will glom on to mammoth and snowcats, jungle druids will enjoy apes. etc. ).

Trying to reign in that creativity stifles the character


Seraphimpunk wrote:
thejeff wrote:


Given that "whatever their character 'knows'" is RAW, I'm going to stick with it.
Wild Shape wrote:
The form chosen must be that of an animal the druid is familiar with.

How else do you handle that requirement?

Defining what animals the character knows is left intentionally vague to allow GMs to adjudicate what the character knows.

I just hate having it rely on a knowledge (nature) check. A druid that bothers to visit a library for a day could take 20 on any knowledge nature check and learn enough about any animal existant to be "familiar" with them.

Requiring a character to do that vs. just using some reasonable allowance ( most Druids from a region are going to pick what they want and be thematic about it anyway. tundra druids will glom on to mammoth and snowcats, jungle druids will enjoy apes. etc. ).

Trying to reign in that creativity stifles the character

Well, if the druid invests at all into Know(Nature) a Take 10 will get any common animals he'd want to use. Most of the regular ones as well. It shouldn't really stifle much, especially if the druid is sticking to things from his region.

I'd only actually check it if he wants something weird.

Qadira

what're you defining as "weird" that a druid might want to know?
you're then asking them to make a check to know something just because you think its weird.
if they fail, they can't take that form because they're not familiar with it.

i postulate that any druid is going to know all the animal forms, to the point that he cares about them, because they are a class feature that he'll rely on. asking him to make a check to know a specific form is like asking the wizard to make a knowledge arcana check to be able to cast magic missile. Its part of his class, and he should be able to do it, otherwise it stifles their creativity and versatility.


Seraphimpunk wrote:

what're you defining as "weird" that a druid might want to know?

you're then asking them to make a check to know something just because you think its weird.
if they fail, they can't take that form because they're not familiar with it.

i postulate that any druid is going to know all the animal forms, to the point that he cares about them, because they are a class feature that he'll rely on. asking him to make a check to know a specific form is like asking the wizard to make a knowledge arcana check to be able to cast magic missile. Its part of his class, and he should be able to do it, otherwise it stifles their creativity and versatility.

So you're saying that "The form chosen must be that of an animal the druid is familiar with.", should be followed with "The druid is familiar with all animal forms.", rendering it meaningless?

The specific limitation written into the class feature doesn't exist because it's a class feature?

For weird, it depends on level/skill. Mostly based on rough Take 10 estimate. Early on, I'd probably require checks for things from outside the druids native terrains/regions. Later on, just for animals from different planets/planes/eras. Dinosaurs are probably the most common thing I'd object to. Even then it would depend on the world: If they only exist in the distant past, it'll be hard. If there's a lost continent/island with dinosaurs and thus some reports of them, it won't be as bad. If they exist on another continent, but there's regular trade then they're just like any other animal from outside your region. If you grew up with them, then no problem.
I freely admit that's all houserule, though it's piggybacking on the common/rare language.

Qadira

yeah, i disregard it because its fluff. its ridiculously easy to become familiar with every animal possible, making it a useless rule.

i'm not going to come down hard on the rule, and have a druid that loves turning into a dinosaur sulk and not enjoy a game session because I vetoed it as unfamiliar.

common/rarity among creatures isn't clearly defined anywhere. the best in the knowledge skill section

Quote:

In general, the DC of such a check equals 10 + the monster's CR. For common monsters, such as goblins, the DC of this check equals 5 + the monster's CR. For particularly rare monsters, such as the tarrasque, the DC of this check equals 15 + the monster's CR, or more.

So even if you tried to get info on a particularly rare monster, i'd at best be 15+CR.

Saying no virginia, you've never heard of dinosaurs, in a PFS game , where the characters frequently travel to all corners of the globe, is a kind of ridiculous notion. Even in a home game, saying no, you can't turn into something you want to, because you're not familiar with it is annoying, when they can just go to the library and GET familiar with it. So what does the rule do? 1. it inconveniences players, 2. it lets GMs make players sad and sulk.

Do i see any real point to the rule? no. aka. i consider it fluff.


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Seraphimpunk wrote:
Beast shape just lets you turn into any size animal, and use the ones that are statted out as a guide for what abilities they possess.

This is not correct. Beast shape lets you turn into very specific animals that are of specific sizes. You cannot polymorph into a creature with a template, so you can't just "size up" another animal you like and become a bigger version of it. Polymorph is extremely limited on purpose. You can't (and shouldn't anyway) just decide more animals must exist and make up some rules (well, you can do that in a home game if you tell everyone about your houserule, but not PFS).

Most of the shamans suck because most classes of animals lack useful choices for all the Beast Shapes. Boar is one of them that sucks.

Don't make up rules because an archetype sucks--complain about that archetype and get the rule changed.

Qadira

but that's not the rule.
Beast Shape doesn't state that you must turn into that size creature and that the creature must exist in the bestairy. You're adding that yourself.

I'm not making up a rule, i'm filling in the logic gap.


Seraphimpunk wrote:

but that's not the rule.

Beast Shape doesn't state that you must turn into that size creature and that the creature must exist in the bestairy. You're adding that yourself.

I'm not making up a rule, i'm filling in the logic gap.

That's actually my point. "Filling a logic gap" is making a rule. The rules are complete as is. If there's a gap, as you say, that gap existing is part of the rules, so adding stuff in is a houserule.

The point of my comment was that you cannot just make up animals. The GM can do that, but you, the player, can't. You can sure ask the GM if a Huge sized Boar exists, or whatever, but you can't just decide that they do and become one.

Shadow Lodge

Pretty much all of the shaman archetypes have this flaw, except the saurian shaman.

Avoid at all costs. You can provide this much boar flavor with a standard druid and your choice of feats/combat styles.


@Seraphimpunk: sorry, mpl is more or less right.
yes, it doesn't state 'from the bestiary', but when it states "you can assume the form of any Small or Medium creature of the animal type." it is talking about specific mechanical details, e.g. specific real/existing creatures (species) with those given stats (size, type). If there is a given creature that exists in your game world that satisfies those, yes, you should be able to use it whether or not it is in 'the bestiary' (same for animals introduced in an AP/module).
But 'any Small or Medium creature of the animal type' is still indicating your choice is from a finite list of real/existing creatures with their own specific stats... You don't pick any creature of the animal type and choose what Size you want to 'scale' it to - That would be mixing up the grammar of the clause, BOTH size and type are qualities which determine which specific creatures you may choose. If there isn't Size Large Hummingbirds, then a Large Hummingbird isn't a valid form to assume per "you can assume the form of a... Large... creature of the animal type". When it says you 'assume the form of a... creature' that doesn't mean that you INVENT a creature, which would mean you are INVENTING a form.

EDIT: The shaman archetypes should really be Errata'd to allow a fuller range of forms. In some cases, that can be via other creature types, e.g. Giant Eagles (which are Magical Beasts and thus illegal per RAW, even though they aren't that magical). For other cases (creatures/size tiers) using the Giant/Young Templates to represent a different species, while not actually being a Templated creature (since it's a different species whose stats are merely identical to those Templated creatures) would work. Paizo already does that ('stats = Young X') for some species, just not in this case.

The problem with the pseudo-Template thing is, that I'm sure if Paizo is going to say that these (missing Size Tier) animals DO exist in the world, then they should have their own valid set of stats for their members in the wild (not Druids wildshaped into them), and that information isn't always easily derived from Young/Giant templates - other stats like BAB, Feats, HPs, Saves, should plausibly be updated to make that creature at that size appropriate to it's role and CR (not every case would need such extra work, but SOME certainly seem like they would). On that count, allowing existing creatures like Giant Eagles is probably the easiest Errata. I /don't/ think it's necessary for EVERY Shaman type to have EVERY Size Tier covered, but it seems that just a little bit more flexibility is certainly appropriate... But you still are gaining extra benefits from the higher level tiers, namely the higher Stat Bonuses apart from everything else - using high level Beast Shape spells to turn into regular Eagles IS a valid and intended usage of the spell.

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