jadelyon wrote:The bonuses have nothing to do with dex. Depending on your size you get a size bonus. 0 for medium +1 for small. -1 for large. Its harder to hit something small like a mouse than it is to hit the broad side of a barnAre wrote:The negatives are to DEX. Why on earth is that supposed to have any effect on the attack bonus? Please help me understand.
If I skimmed properly (I apologize whether I did or didn't, as you've put in a lot of good work collecting all of the information!), it looks like you haven't taken the size bonuses/penalties for simply being a smaller/larger size into account; those mean the attack bonus for wild shaping into animals is almost always the same (except for Diminutive), since the extra STR gained for each higher size category is cancelled out by the size penalty to attacks.
Medium is +2 STR, no penalty, for a total of +1 to attacks.
Large is +4 STR, -1 size penalty, for a total of +1 to attacks.
Huge is +6 STR, -2 size penalty, for a total of +1 to attacks.
Similarly for taking smaller forms:
Small is no STR bonus, but with +1 size bonus, for a total of +1 to attacks.
Tiny is -2 STR, +2 size bonus, for a total of +1 to attacks.
Diminutive is the only wild-shape-applicable size that differs, with -4 STR and +4 size bonus, for a total of +2 to attacks.
I've finally figured it out. The Polymorph School description clarifies it. I wish the spell description or Druid description indicated you should read the Polymorph school info when applying beast shape and other polymorph spells / spell-like effects.