Beast Shape / Elemental Body gain Natural Attack forms?


Rules Questions


I assume from the spell descriptions that the special abilities and ability score bonuses are the only things gained when the effects of these spells take place.

Do you also gain the natural attacks of the assumed form? If not, you essentially can change into a wolf that has an unarmed attack? Is that right?

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Yes, as they are all spells of the Transmutation (polymorph) subschool. The whole category is detailed on pages 211 and 212. Admittedly, a more clear call-out or mention of this section might be a bit better, including a hyperlink to the section for all polymorph subschool spells in the PDF.


Kvantum wrote:
Yes, as they are all spells of the Transmutation (polymorph) subschool. The whole category is detailed on pages 211 and 212. Admittedly, a more clear call-out or mention of this section might be a bit better, including a hyperlink to the section for all polymorph subschool spells in the PDF.

Wow... awesome. Totally missed this.


Don't forget the best part about these rules: DCs of anything you gain while in polymorph form (Breath weapon, poisons, etc) are based on the spell your casting, not the normal requirements.

This means that Druids (Wild Shape) and Arcanists who decide to shift don't have to worry about lower ability scores, as all their DCs will be 10+Spell Level+INT/WIS/CHA.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Reference Document wrote:

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 +20 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.

If a polymorph spell causes you to change size, apply the size modifiers appropriately, changing your armor class, attack bonus, Combat Maneuver Bonus, and Stealth skill modifiers. Your ability scores are not modified by this change unless noted by the spell.

Unless otherwise noted, polymorph spells cannot be used to change into specific individuals. Although many of the fine details can be controlled, your appearance is always that of a generic member of that creature's type. Polymorph spells cannot be used to assume the form of a creature with a template or an advanced version of a creature.

When you cast a polymorph spell that changes you into a creature of the animal, dragon, elemental, magical beast, plant, or vermin type, all of your gear melds into your body. Items that provide constant bonuses and do not need to be activated continue to function while melded in this way (with the exception of armor bonuses, which cease to function). Items that require activation cannot be used while you maintain that form. While in such a form, you cannot cast any spells that require material components (unless you have the Eschew Materials or Natural Spell feat), and can only cast spells with somatic or verbal components if the form you choose has the capability to make such movements or speak, such as a dragon. Other polymorph spells might be subject to this restriction as well, if they change you into a form that is unlike your original form (subject to GM discretion). If your new form does not cause your equipment to meld into your form, the equipment resizes to match your new size.

While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as keen senses, scent, and darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form. You also lose any class features that depend upon form, but those that allow you to add features (such as sorcerers that can grow claws) still function. While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed. Your new form might restore a number of these abilities if they are possessed by the new form.

You can only be affected by one polymorph spell at a time. If a new polymorph spell is cast on you (or you activate a polymorph effect, such as wild shape), you can decide whether or not to allow it to affect you, taking the place of the old spell. In addition, other spells that change your size have no effect on you while you are under the effects of a polymorph spell.

emphasis mine

Oh thanks for posting this. I too was getting confused about wild shape not granting natural attacks. I totally missed the description of the polymorph subschool. whew!


Still waiting on my copy of the book, so can someone tell me if they have cleared up the whole issues with what abilities you get when wild shaping to an elemental or plant and the size of the elemental or plant? Please :)

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Lael Treventhius wrote:
Still waiting on my copy of the book, so can someone tell me if they have cleared up the whole issues with what abilities you get when wild shaping to an elemental or plant and the size of the elemental or plant? Please :)

Why wait around for somebody to answer your questions when you can go read it for yourself?

Wild Shape

Plant Shape Spells

Magic (just search for "polymorph")


Kvantum wrote:

Why wait around for somebody to answer your questions when you can go read it for yourself?

Because I wasn't sure if the SRD's around had been updated. And no that one still doesn't clear it up. Basically the question is, is a 12th level druid that takes the form of a Medium Elemental immune to sneak attack and criticals, as wild shape lacks saying, when taking the form of a [size] elemental it functions as elemental form [spell level]. It just says when taking the form of an elemental it functions as elemental form [spell level]. See the confusion. I posted this back in the beta testing as well.

We currently play it, that when you take the form of an elemental you gain all those abilities that generic to the form, but only gain the stat bonuses for the size of the elemental taken.

Liberty's Edge

It looks like when the druid reaches level 10 and uses wildshape to take the form of a large elemental as elemental body III, that they then become immune to critical hits, but not before.


Agognon wrote:
It looks like when the druid reaches level 10 and uses wildshape to take the form of a large elemental as elemental body III, that they then become immune to critical hits, but not before.

Yes, but if they take the form of a Medium or Small elemental, then are they still immune to critical hits?


Lael Treventhius wrote:
Agognon wrote:
It looks like when the druid reaches level 10 and uses wildshape to take the form of a large elemental as elemental body III, that they then become immune to critical hits, but not before.
Yes, but if they take the form of a Medium or Small elemental, then are they still immune to critical hits?

Yes, they are. As the Wildshape improves, it uses higher versions of the associated spells. Each spell is "backwards compatable," and you can take the previous sizes as well as the new ones. You also gain all the additionally included abilities from any form you utilize with the spell.


yeah thats is what I was hoping :)

ooh just checking out that PRD, seems very upto data. ya no more double DR from earth domain and elemental shape :)


Lael Treventhius wrote:

yeah thats is what I was hoping :)

ooh just checking out that PRD, seems very upto data. ya no more double DR from earth domain and elemental shape :)

Huh?


Sean FitzSimon wrote:
Lael Treventhius wrote:

yeah thats is what I was hoping :)

ooh just checking out that PRD, seems very upto data. ya no more double DR from earth domain and elemental shape :)

Huh?

LOL I need to learn to type :)

I was checking the PRD (pathfinder reference document as linked above) and found it was very up to date. In the beta my druid was getting a double up of Damage Reduction from elemental form IV and from having the Nature Bond with the Earth Domain, which gave DR 5 / admantime. Now Earth Domain gives resistence to acid, so no more double up.


Lael Treventhius wrote:
Sean FitzSimon wrote:
Lael Treventhius wrote:

yeah thats is what I was hoping :)

ooh just checking out that PRD, seems very upto data. ya no more double DR from earth domain and elemental shape :)

Huh?

LOL I need to learn to type :)

I was checking the PRD (pathfinder reference document as linked above) and found it was very up to date. In the beta my druid was getting a double up of Damage Reduction from elemental form IV and from having the Nature Bond with the Earth Domain, which gave DR 5 / admantime. Now Earth Domain gives resistence to acid, so no more double up.

Haha, I wasn't familiar with the beta domains. Still, that wouldn't have been so bad- You get both, but they don't stack.


Sean FitzSimon wrote:

Don't forget the best part about these rules: DCs of anything you gain while in polymorph form (Breath weapon, poisons, etc) are based on the spell your casting, not the normal requirements.

This means that Druids (Wild Shape) and Arcanists who decide to shift don't have to worry about lower ability scores, as all their DCs will be 10+Spell Level+INT/WIS/CHA.

So that means that if you are a halfling and become a brown bear, to attack you use only your base attack bonus + strength (so for it's useless) but if there is some poison, or spell like ability, the DC is based on your "caster level", is it the right way to understand the rule ?


sempai33 wrote:
So that means that if you are a halfling and become a brown bear, to attack you use only your base attack bonus + strength (so for it's useless) but if there is some poison, or spell like ability, the DC is based on your "caster level", is it the right way to understand the rule ?

The difference is that you get the damage dice of the natural attack form plus proficiency in the form, so for the bear it may be full attack=claw/claw/bite (d4/d4/d8?) without getting a penalty for making multiple attacks.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong. For me the big deal was getting the damage dice of the elemental form attacks. If the spell didn't give you the big 2d10 damage of a Huge Earth Elemental, it seemed a bit pointless.


veector wrote:
sempai33 wrote:
So that means that if you are a halfling and become a brown bear, to attack you use only your base attack bonus + strength (so for it's useless) but if there is some poison, or spell like ability, the DC is based on your "caster level", is it the right way to understand the rule ?

The difference is that you get the damage dice of the natural attack form plus proficiency in the form, so for the bear it may be full attack=claw/claw/bite (d4/d4/d8?) without getting a penalty for making multiple attacks.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong. For me the big deal was getting the damage dice of the elemental form attacks. If the spell didn't give you the big 2d10 damage of a Huge Earth Elemental, it seemed a bit pointless.

You are correct. You take the base damage dice of the natural attacks of the forms you are using - so, a Halfling Wild-shaped into a Huge Fire Elemental would have 2 slams at 2d6 plus Strength bonus and Burn ability (see the Bestiary Preview on page 13-14 for the new stats of Fire Elementals).

The Burn Ability however will have a DC calculated as by the spell used to obtain it (in this case, Elemental Body IV emulated through Wild Shape, a 7th-level spell) (see page 212).

Assuming an Halfling Druid 12° with BaB +9, Str 8, Dex 16, Con 12 and Wis 18, the Wild-shaped form will have Str 8, Dex 22, Con 12; 2 Slams +6 (-2 size, -1 Str) (2d6-1 plus Burn, DC 21) or 2 Slams +13 (2d6-1 plus Burn, DC 21) if the Druid already possesses Weapon Finesse.

Obviously, such a Druid would benefit from casting at lest Bull's Strength in order to boost his damage potential (and his Attack roll too, unless he has the Weapon Finesse feat, which is a good choice anyway, since most forms have the Dexterity size bonus higher than the Strength size bonus).

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Beast Shape / Elemental Body gain Natural Attack forms? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.