Druids and Wildshape and their Magical Items

Rules Questions

5 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Staff response: no reply required.

Now I know there are threads and threads on this subject, but in reading them, all I could really find was conflicting interpretations, and no real clear answer on this simple question.

Do continuous-use magic items continue to function, as many claim? Or do they meld into the new form and become... well... useless?

There are many arguments for both sides of this question, but I cannot seem to find any *official* ruling.

If there exists a thread that answers this clearly, and link would be greatly appreciated.


{Hangs head, feeling extremely unloved.}

Seriously though:

Has no one answered my query because the answer is so obvious as to be a waste of time?


Has no one answered because there exists no link to an *official* answer?

Was putting the word 'official' in my original post a mistake?

Does anyone know anything about this topic?

Is there anybody out there?

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This is not the thread you are looking for. *waves hand*

Seriously though, this topic has been discussed to the point of exhaustion, as I'm sure you found when you searched earlier. The problem is the discussion over what items constitute a constant bonus AND don't need to be activated. That's from page 212 of the CRB.

This is a problem because page 458 of the CRB, very first line under using items, says "To use a magic item, it must be activated, although sometimes activation simply means putting a ring on your finger.

According to that, every magic item needs to be activated, and can't provide a bonus. However, if that were the intent, it would have been much simpler just to say that magic items don't function when changed.

The consensus seems to be that effects which continue to function indefinitely once activated *such as bonuses to strength* will continue to affect you.

So, really, what do you mean when you say continuous-use? Because each item has to be evaluated on an individual basis, I don't think there is an "official answer" beyond whats in the book. It's difficult to make an absolute statement for an answer with regards to this subject. For example, they can't use the ways to activate magical items. They can't go by item slot. There isn't really anything they can say beyond whats in the book already without going into an item-by-item breakdown.


Liberty's Edge

Well cool - I just used the new FAQ button on this ... what a cool new feature!

Thanks for chiming in, MD. {and thanks for the FAQ bump, MR.}

So, it's as simple as {uh... yeah, right} this:

Items with Continuous Function operate in Wildshape {BeastShape, ElementalShape, PlantShape, Polymorph, etc}


Items that require activation meld and become useless {non-functional}.

So really it all comes down to the difference between continuous use and activated use. And that's where the sticking point occurs. Okay. I can work with that.

*hastily consults PRD*

*returns feeling even more sticky*

Ok, so headband of mental stats is clearly continuous function.

What about Boots of Striding and Springing? Seems these are continuous use, right? But there is no information as to their activation.

Do wondrous items without specific activation entries usually continuously function?

Does it boil down to a 'case by case and GM' issue? If it does, clearly it needs to be addressed at some point, no?

I am asking because I recently began playing in a new campaign {with 8 other PC's} as a Monk 1/Druid 7, and I want to be well prepared for 'The Big Reveal' {wade into the boss fight fully buffed out and WildShaped}, and not cue 'The Big Argument' instead. Any comments or viewpoints people may have are welcome.


The boots still function while wildshaped.

It does become a case by case issue, but I don't recall many items, that would truly make me doubt, whether they continue to function or not.

Looking at RAW, the item that properly should concern you the most is Amulet of Mighty Fists. Certain abilities, such as flaming, requires a command word to start (and end). While it hasn't been a problem with my GM, others might disallow you activating it while polymorphed. If that is the case, however, you have the possibility of activating the ability before wildshaping, and thus dealing it all the time (since there are no out-of-damage-rolls effect of having flaming of frosting limbs).

What items does your character have? It might be easier to look at them specifically.

Well, that about covers it. Other than the headband {intelligent, several minor powers} and the boots of S&Sp, I have a ring of protection {which works} and several wands and other humanoid-shape only activation items. But thanks for the information.

While this discussion does cover the items I have now, I anticipate that I should acquire more in the very near future.

So... if I read you correctly, at your table, if an item requires an activation word {and otherwise is continuous after that}, one can activate it, and then wildshape and utilize its powers. That's cool, but I do not think that will fly with my fairly strict RAW GM. I would anticipate he will say that something that requires a command word IS NOT continuous. I believe things such as boots, like weapons, are use-activated, and therefore continuous. I think for my GM the distinction will be whether or not a command word is required. Of course, as a career Power-Gamer, I would tend to agree with you, but that doesn't really matter, right?

To sum up: it looks like by RAW, Magical Items in wildshape:

Continuous, yes

Use activated, yes {because they are basically continuous, but of course weapons only work if the new form has thumbs}

Command word activated, no, because they are not continuous and unless humanoid shaped, wildshaped creatures are unable to speak {although, some GM's may allow these}

Does this look correct? It would provide me with valuable ammunition {if I should need it} if people would chime in if they agree or disagree with this interpretation.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Druids and Wildshape and their Magical Items All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.