APG Druid Shaman Wildshaping Modifiers: What do they mean?


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Scarab Sages

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In the APG Druid Shaman entries, their wildshape is modified as follows:

Quote:

Wild Shape (Su): At 6th level, a [type] shaman’s wild shape

ability functions at her druid level – 2. If she takes on the
form of a [type], she instead uses her druid level + 2.

What does this +/- modify? Does it modify how long the ability lasts or the level of the ability you can use?

Thank you.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

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Michael Grimm wrote:

In the APG Druid Shaman entries, their wildshape is modified as follows:

Quote:

Wild Shape (Su): At 6th level, a [type] shaman’s wild shape

ability functions at her druid level – 2. If she takes on the
form of a [type], she instead uses her druid level + 2.

What does this +/- modify? Does it modify how long the ability lasts or the level of the ability you can use?

Thank you.

Both.

As in, levels 1-5 you get no wild shaping.

At 6th level, you can use wild shape as if you were an 8th level druid if you turn into a (bear/eagle/etc.), lasting 8 hours, Huge to Diminutive, as beast shape III, up to 3 times per day.

You can turn into any other kind of animal as a 4th level druid, lasting 4 hours, Small or Medium, as beast shape I, only 1 time per day.

The times per day overlap, so you could turn into a (totem animal) 3/day, or into some other kind of animal 1/day and a (totem animal) 2/day.


But a 4th-level Druid can't wildshape at all. Doesn't that mean that the Shaman can't use it for non-totem shapes until 8th level?


Karelzarath wrote:
But a 4th-level Druid can't wildshape at all. Doesn't that mean that the Shaman can't use it for non-totem shapes until 8th level?

Actually druids get wild shape at 4th level in Pathfinder, that aside just for the affects of what animals they can turn into and hours duration take them as 4th level.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

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vagrant-poet wrote:
Karelzarath wrote:
But a 4th-level Druid can't wildshape at all. Doesn't that mean that the Shaman can't use it for non-totem shapes until 8th level?
Actually druids get wild shape at 4th level in Pathfinder, that aside just for the affects of what animals they can turn into and hours duration take them as 4th level.

Correct.

Level 4-5, druids would normally get WS. An animal shaman does not get any wild shape at all at those levels (but can use their separate totem transformation power).

At 6th level, they finally gain the WS ability. When using it to assume the form of their totem, they are treated as if they were 8th level druids in all respects (see my above post). When using it to assume any other form, they are treated as 4th level druids in all respects (again, see above).


I've only just come accross this thread and as I'm about to start playing an Animal Shaman Druid I found your post quite usefull. I find myself in agreement with most of what Jason has said except for the part about when a druid can wildshape. I've quoted the relevent rules section from the APG below.

Wild Shape (Su): At 6th level, a bear shaman’s wild shape
ability functions
at her druid level – 2. If she takes on the
form of a bear, she instead uses her druid level + 2.

From my reading of this and the specific wording i've emphasised in bold I take it to mean that Druids still gain wild shape at 4th lvl but on reaching 6th its application changes.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Bacchreus wrote:
I find myself in agreement with most of what Jason has said except for the part about when a druid can wildshape.

Well, since Jason is one of the designers who wrote the APG, I'm going to agree with all of what Jason has said.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

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Epic Meepo wrote:
Bacchreus wrote:
I find myself in agreement with most of what Jason has said except for the part about when a druid can wildshape.
Well, since Jason is one of the designers who wrote the APG, I'm going to agree with all of what Jason has said.

I did write the druid section, and somewhat to my puzzlement I used different phrasing on the wild shape level delay here than in the terrain druid wild shapes. That was my error and I freely cop to it.

The Rules As Written do certainly allow for the grammatical interpretation that leads to "WS at 4th level, then WS at 5th level, then OOPS now we're going backwards and we only WS at 4th level again! Except in our (totem) form where we WS at 8th!"

The Rules as Intended by the author/designer (in this case, me) are explained above.

You may, of course, play it the way you and your group like. :)


Thanks for the prompt and helpfull clarification Jason. And I was not aware that you wrote those rules nor have I read the terrain Druid and seen its different phrasing so I will naturally defer to your interpretation.

As a follow up question and sorry for the threadjack but it seems in a similar vein. Jason, with the Totem transformation for Lion Shaman when you take natural weapons (bite [1d4], 2 claws [1d4]
for a Medium druid, rake, +2 CMB to grapple).

I'm trying to get my head around how you use Rake effectively without Grab. Was that an oversight or am I misunderstanding how it works.
My understanding is that without Grab you have to forego your normal attacks to initiate a grapple which will then let you rake the following round. Whereas with Grab you initiate the grapple as a free action if you hit and rake the following round. If that is the case then it seems rather pointless to use rake at all. Please help me comprehend.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

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Bacchreus wrote:

Thanks for the prompt and helpfull clarification Jason. And I was not aware that you wrote those rules nor have I read the terrain Druid and seen its different phrasing so I will naturally defer to your interpretation.

As a follow up question and sorry for the threadjack but it seems in a similar vein. Jason, with the Totem transformation for Lion Shaman when you take natural weapons (bite [1d4], 2 claws [1d4]
for a Medium druid, rake, +2 CMB to grapple).

I'm trying to get my head around how you use Rake effectively without Grab. Was that an oversight or am I misunderstanding how it works.
My understanding is that without Grab you have to forego your normal attacks to initiate a grapple which will then let you rake the following round. Whereas with Grab you initiate the grapple as a free action if you hit and rake the following round. If that is the case then it seems rather pointless to use rake at all. Please help me comprehend.

Look at the Bestiary description of Rake; you can use it any time you are grappling. You don't get the Grab special attack, so you don't get a FREE grapple check on creatures smaller than yourself. BUT, you can certainly grapple somebody using the normal grappling rules, and then on the next round (assuming you maintain the grapple), since you have rake, you can make two extra claw attacks against them.

Liberty's Edge

Some interesting points guys. After looking at it, I think I got the idea of what the intention was. However, this is my take on say the Lion Shaman (and I'm sure it can be ported across to the others):

Totem Transformation (Su): At 2nd level, a lion shaman may adopt an aspect of the lion. This works as Wild Shape but only applies to the totem form which means that if she takes on the form of a feline, she instead uses her druid level + 2.

This is a total rewording, and requires the removal of Wild Shape at 4th level.

Wild Shape (Su): At 6th level, a lion shaman’s wild shape ability functions at her druid level – 2.

Again, a total rewrite, but this makes far more sense and makes it a lot less complicated. As an added bonus it also keeps the flavour of the variant intact.

All the other abilitites remain the same.

I'm kind of guessing that there were some "directions" from higher up that prevented Druids gaining Wild Shape earlier than 4th. This, IMHO, takes care of that.

Thoughts?

Liberty's Edge

Jason Nelson wrote:
Look at the Bestiary description of Rake; you can use it any time you are grappling. You don't get the Grab special attack, so you don't get a FREE grapple check on creatures smaller than yourself. BUT, you can certainly grapple somebody using the normal grappling rules, and then on the next round (assuming you maintain the grapple), since you have rake, you can make two extra claw attacks against them.

But does that mean that without "grab" that initial grapple would provoke and attack of opportunity? I can see what Bacchreus means by why would you ever "rake" without the ability to "grab".

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

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Kalraan wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:
Look at the Bestiary description of Rake; you can use it any time you are grappling. You don't get the Grab special attack, so you don't get a FREE grapple check on creatures smaller than yourself. BUT, you can certainly grapple somebody using the normal grappling rules, and then on the next round (assuming you maintain the grapple), since you have rake, you can make two extra claw attacks against them.
But does that mean that without "grab" that initial grapple would provoke and attack of opportunity? I can see what Bacchreus means by why would you ever "rake" without the ability to "grab".

It does. Which means a feat like improved grapple would come in handy, or being strategic about how you do it, to draw off an AoO from a target by another means and THEN grapple.

Also, if you get grappled by someone else (and Heaven knows there are plenty of grapple monsters out there), you can use it, since *BOTH* parties in a grapple gain the "grappled" condition (barring a few ways around that).

Alternatively...

If you're heading into Lion shaman, you may find it well worth your while to take a 1-level multiclass into monk - pick up Improved Grapple as a bonus feat (in addition to Stunning Fist, which will be a pretty effective feat for you with your good WIS score). That monk WIS-AC bonus that's portable into wild shape is also pretty nice.


How is it related to the 20 level capstone? A 18th level lion druid for example, can turn into a lion any time he wishes but has limited use of other forms?

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Nymor wrote:
How is it related to the 20 level capstone? A 18th level lion druid for example, can turn into a lion any time he wishes but has limited use of other forms?

Correct.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This needs to added to the FAQ or Errata.

Because as is, it Definitely reads that you still get Wild Shape at Level 4, and it just changes up a bit at Level, No where does it state that it replaces the Level 4 Wild Shape Ability.

I suggest leave it as Is, because then you have to worry about how many times per day does he get it at level 6? When can he change into Large or Tiny? Etc.

By changing when it starts it effects everything else, which is not even in the ability!

Jason I understand the way you meant to do it, but you never took into account everything else with that and the way you wrote it does not even close to give the idea that was your intent.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

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Dragnmoon wrote:

This needs to added to the FAQ or Errata.

Because as is, it Definitely reads that you still get Wild Shape at Level 4, and it just changes up a bit at Level, No where does it state that it replaces the Level 4 Wild Shape Ability.

I suggest leave it as Is, because then you have to worry about how many times per day does he get it at level 6? When can he change into Large or Tiny? Etc.

By changing when it starts it effects everything else, which is not even in the ability!

Jason I understand the way you meant to do it, but you never took into account everything else with that and the way you wrote it does not even close to give the idea that was your intent.

Could be, could be not, who's to say. :)

I think it should be errata-clarified as well, and in the direction of making the overall wild shape weaker; the animal shamans get plenty of extras as it is. YMMV.


Jason Nelson wrote:
I think it should be errata-clarified as well, and in the direction of making the overall wild shape weaker; the animal shamans get plenty of extras as it is. YMMV.

I'm not so sure making the shamans weaker would be a good idea based on popular opinions on the messageboards. The impression I get is that many think the alternate druid archetypes are weak sauce except perhaps for the Lion Shaman. Ofcourse, I'm not suggesting errata-clarification should be based purely on popular opinion.


I had no problems understanding the intent behind this archetype's change. I can't say the same for my players though - specifically my girlfriend who happens to be playing a bear shaman. She's a casual player and doesn't care to put the thought-effort into understanding why being treated as 8th level for turning into a bear (which can be "huge", iirc) requires her to "lose" two levels for the purposes of becoming anything else. "Really, love? You're not content to take up a 3x3 square area and smash things beneath your paws?"

Trying to squeeze out Wild Shape at 4th level when you get such obvious advantages (IE: totem transformation) is a bit of a jerk move, in my not-so-humble opinion.

I hate it when you have to "proof" text against abuse. That's like Winnebago having to put a clause in their owner's manual explaining that "auto-pilot" doesn't actually drive the RV for you. (Some guy crashed his when he got up and walked away from the driver's seat; won hundreds of thousands, if not millions, I forget.)[/rant]

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Foghammer wrote:
I hate it when you have to "proof" text against abuse.

The only way to proof this is to put the line "This replaces Wild Shape" in each of the Terrain/Shaman Wild Shape abilities.

I thought it was rather clear, as you got an ability called Wild Shape and the whole gimmick of the alternate class features is that you get alternate abilities from normal. If you get an ability called "Wild Shape" it seemed to me to be clear that you didn't get normal Wild Shape too.

What wasn't clear to me (and took making a character to learn) is the summons. I just don't know how to modify the text to prevent my misunderstanding.

"summoning eagles, rocs, and giant eagles (added to the 4th- level list)"

I assigned all three to 4th level summon nature's ally when only the Giant Eagle was added to the 4th level and the others already existed at different levels.

Maybe "summoning eagles, rocs, and giant eagles. Add Giant Eagle to the 4th- level list"

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
James Risner wrote:
Foghammer wrote:
I hate it when you have to "proof" text against abuse.

The only way to proof this is to put the line "This replaces Wild Shape" in each of the Terrain/Shaman Wild Shape abilities.

I thought it was rather clear, as you got an ability called Wild Shape and the whole gimmick of the alternate class features is that you get alternate abilities from normal. If you get an ability called "Wild Shape" it seemed to me to be clear that you didn't get normal Wild Shape too.

What wasn't clear to me (and took making a character to learn) is the summons. I just don't know how to modify the text to prevent my misunderstanding.

"summoning eagles, rocs, and giant eagles (added to the 4th- level list)"

I assigned all three to 4th level summon nature's ally when only the Giant Eagle was added to the 4th level and the others already existed at different levels.

Maybe "summoning eagles, rocs, and giant eagles. Add Giant Eagle to the 4th- level list"

Correct.

Parse the phrase in this way - the summon bonus applies:
1. When summoning eagles...
2. (when summoning) rocs...
3. (and when summoning) giant eagles (add to the 4th level monster list)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
c873788 wrote:


I'm not so sure making the shamans weaker would be a good idea based on popular opinions on the messageboards. The impression I get is that many think the alternate druid archetypes are weak sauce except perhaps for the Lion Shaman. Ofcourse, I'm not suggesting errata-clarification should be based purely on popular opinion.

Not every shaman is equally intended to be a wild-shaping combat monster. And I don't think they need to be. Some wildshapers are far more suited as messengers and scouts (Like Warcraft's Druids of the Talon) and are going to be more oriented towards spellcasting than being a wildshape meleer.


LazarX wrote:
c873788 wrote:


I'm not so sure making the shamans weaker would be a good idea based on popular opinions on the messageboards. The impression I get is that many think the alternate druid archetypes are weak sauce except perhaps for the Lion Shaman. Ofcourse, I'm not suggesting errata-clarification should be based purely on popular opinion.

Not every shaman is equally intended to be a wild-shaping combat monster. And I don't think they need to be. Some wildshapers are far more suited as messengers and scouts (Like Warcraft's Druids of the Talon) and are going to be more oriented towards spellcasting than being a wildshape meleer.

This is true, the Lion Shaman is a great melee character, possibly better than a standard druid- as they get access to the dire tiger shape earlier.

The Bear Shaman makes a decent grappler, but it's not as good at grappling as the lion is at straight fighting- in my opinion.

The Eagle is a caster- turning into birds is the best wildshape for caster druids- at least until they can turn into air elementals. It has the a lackluster melee companion, but great domains. So, yeah, it's really good.

The snake shaman... I don't really know what this is good for- if anyone has an answer, I'd love to know.

And finally, the wolf shaman. Man, I really like the idea for this one, but honestly, all it's particularly good at is tripping (as in knocking other things prone). It's not as good of a wildshape option as others for melee, and it's not a scouting one. And the animal companion isn't exciting either. The domains seem okay though. What is it good for?


MinstrelintheGallery wrote:
The Bear Shaman makes a decent grappler, but it's not as good at grappling as the lion is at straight fighting- in my opinion.

I'd even argue that the lion shaman is just as good at grappling too, considering the lion dude gets access to the Rake ability starting at level 2.


MinstrelintheGallery wrote:


The snake shaman... I don't really know what this is good for- if anyone has an answer, I'd love to know.

Yeah, snakes all really suck compared to cats or canines or bears.

I suppose you could turn into a Tiny Viper and try to poison people while not getting stepped on.
Lion anything as usual is best followed by the Eagle, but a snake probably presents more useful non-combat abilities than a bear or canine.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
MinstrelintheGallery wrote:
This is true, the Lion Shaman is a great melee character, possibly better than a standard druid- as they get access to the dire tiger shape earlier.

Dire Tiger shape earlier? I am missing something, could you explain this please.

MinstrelintheGallery wrote:
The snake shaman... I don't really know what this is good for- if anyone has an answer, I'd love to know.

Yea, I am probably going to play a druid in the next campaign, and since it is Serpent's Skull I thought this might be good, but I can't come to grips with this archetype....

-- david
Papa.DRB


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Never mind. Figured it out.. You get Beast Shape II earlier because of the +2 levels when changing into a feline.

-- david
Papa.DRB

Papa-DRB wrote:
MinstrelintheGallery wrote:
This is true, the Lion Shaman is a great melee character, possibly better than a standard druid- as they get access to the dire tiger shape earlier.
Dire Tiger shape earlier? I am missing something, could you explain this please.


Papa-DRB wrote:

Never mind. Figured it out.. You get Beast Shape II earlier because of the +2 levels when changing into a feline.

-- david
Papa.DRB

Papa-DRB wrote:
MinstrelintheGallery wrote:
This is true, the Lion Shaman is a great melee character, possibly better than a standard druid- as they get access to the dire tiger shape earlier.
Dire Tiger shape earlier? I am missing something, could you explain this please.

The downside is that the sooner you get your good wildshapes the sooner you'll run out of steam-actually, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

If you're not a casting focused druid, you can multi-class sooner- thing makes the nature warden seem somewhat more attractive.

Take 6 levels in druid (all you need for a large wildshape, plus you can wildshape 3 times a day for 8 hours a piece, plenty.)

Then take a level in horizon walker, then go for nature warden until you run out, then go back to druid- this is not the worst idea, really.

You can wildshape all you need, you lose 4 caster levels (the worst part), your animal companion is only missing one level, and you get the buffs from being a nature warden. I'm not sure if this is better than a straight druid, but it's the way I'd go for nature warden. (if you're not concerned with spells you could finish off with more horizon walker and get a better BaB)

On a side note, does anyone have any good ideas for the wolf shaman? because it's honestly the most attractive fluff-wise to me. Wolves have better myths, stories and archetypes in European settings, as many campaigns I foresee myself playing in in the near future will be.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Oh.... Nice. I am *NOT* going to be casting focused. I was thinking more along the lines of Treantmonk's Spirit of the Beast build. In fact with a 20 point buy, my Wisdom is only 14, and not improving till 8th level, so losing spell casting levels is not a biggie. Also we will be playing Serpent's Skull and that tops out at 17th(?) level anyway, so it would be Druid 6 / Horizon Walker 1 / Nature Warden 10 and done.

I really will have to look closely at this, thanks for the information.

-- david
Papa.DRB

MinstrelintheGallery wrote:

If you're not a casting focused druid, you can multi-class sooner- thing makes the nature warden seem somewhat more attractive.

Take 6 levels in druid (all you need for a large wildshape, plus you can wildshape 3 times a day for 8 hours a piece, plenty.)

Then take a level in horizon walker, then go for nature warden until you run out, then go back to druid- this is not the worst idea, really.

You can wildshape all you need, you lose 4 caster levels (the worst part), your animal companion is only missing one level, and you get the buffs from being a nature warden. I'm not sure if this is better than a straight druid, but it's the way I'd go for nature warden. (if you're not concerned with spells you could finish off with more horizon walker and get a better BaB)


Jason Nelson wrote:
vagrant-poet wrote:
Karelzarath wrote:
But a 4th-level Druid can't wildshape at all. Doesn't that mean that the Shaman can't use it for non-totem shapes until 8th level?
Actually druids get wild shape at 4th level in Pathfinder, that aside just for the affects of what animals they can turn into and hours duration take them as 4th level.

Correct.

Level 4-5, druids would normally get WS. An animal shaman does not get any wild shape at all at those levels (but can use their separate totem transformation power).

At 6th level, they finally gain the WS ability. When using it to assume the form of their totem, they are treated as if they were 8th level druids in all respects (see my above post). When using it to assume any other form, they are treated as 4th level druids in all respects (again, see above).

Can you turn into a young or giant version of an animal?

I ask because the level boost is otherwise useless, since there is nothing that you can do at level 8 you can't already do at level 6, at least not with the kinds of animal this ability applies to normally.

Plus, a lot of critters have been left out of the bestiary, and instead we get a lot of stuff like "If you want a smaller bear (like black bear), use the young template."


KaeYoss wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:
vagrant-poet wrote:
Karelzarath wrote:
But a 4th-level Druid can't wildshape at all. Doesn't that mean that the Shaman can't use it for non-totem shapes until 8th level?
Actually druids get wild shape at 4th level in Pathfinder, that aside just for the affects of what animals they can turn into and hours duration take them as 4th level.

Correct.

Level 4-5, druids would normally get WS. An animal shaman does not get any wild shape at all at those levels (but can use their separate totem transformation power).

At 6th level, they finally gain the WS ability. When using it to assume the form of their totem, they are treated as if they were 8th level druids in all respects (see my above post). When using it to assume any other form, they are treated as 4th level druids in all respects (again, see above).

Can you turn into a young or giant version of an animal?

I ask because the level boost is otherwise useless, since there is nothing that you can do at level 8 you can't already do at level 6, at least not with the kinds of animal this ability applies to normally.

Plus, a lot of critters have been left out of the bestiary, and instead we get a lot of stuff like "If you want a smaller bear (like black bear), use the young template."

This.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

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KaeYoss wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:
vagrant-poet wrote:
Karelzarath wrote:
But a 4th-level Druid can't wildshape at all. Doesn't that mean that the Shaman can't use it for non-totem shapes until 8th level?
Actually druids get wild shape at 4th level in Pathfinder, that aside just for the affects of what animals they can turn into and hours duration take them as 4th level.

Correct.

Level 4-5, druids would normally get WS. An animal shaman does not get any wild shape at all at those levels (but can use their separate totem transformation power).

At 6th level, they finally gain the WS ability. When using it to assume the form of their totem, they are treated as if they were 8th level druids in all respects (see my above post). When using it to assume any other form, they are treated as 4th level druids in all respects (again, see above).

Can you turn into a young or giant version of an animal?

I ask because the level boost is otherwise useless, since there is nothing that you can do at level 8 you can't already do at level 6, at least not with the kinds of animal this ability applies to normally.

Plus, a lot of critters have been left out of the bestiary, and instead we get a lot of stuff like "If you want a smaller bear (like black bear), use the young template."

Officially, you can't use polymorph effects to become templated creatures, but this is an area where I could see a wiggle room, for just the reason you mention.

However, there are two issues with both young and giant:

1. They amount to size-changing effects that stack with another size-changing effect (the base transformation). This one is easy to hand-wave in principle, but you would have to enforce the size limit from beast shape (i.e., if you are limited to Small creatures, no Young Dire Rat to become Tiny; if Large, no Giant Horse to become Huge).

2. The bigger issue is with stat mods. To wit, taking the form of a Giant Leopard (Large animal using Medium animal beast shape + giant template = +6 ST, +4 CN, -2 DX, +4 natural armor) would be much better than assuming the form of a Lion or Tiger (Large animal from beast shape = +4 ST, -2 DX, +4 natural armor).

This could work if you simply stipulate that the beast shape stat mods are based on the SPELL and the FINAL size of the creature form that you assume, and not that the two would be additive. You do that, and I think you're golden.

Giant... ehhh, probably fine too, though I could see some more room for objection, in part because it breaks the scaling of the beast shape spell stat bonuses.


Jason Nelson wrote:
KaeYoss wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:
vagrant-poet wrote:
Karelzarath wrote:
But a 4th-level Druid can't wildshape at all. Doesn't that mean that the Shaman can't use it for non-totem shapes until 8th level?
Actually druids get wild shape at 4th level in Pathfinder, that aside just for the affects of what animals they can turn into and hours duration take them as 4th level.

Correct.

Level 4-5, druids would normally get WS. An animal shaman does not get any wild shape at all at those levels (but can use their separate totem transformation power).

At 6th level, they finally gain the WS ability. When using it to assume the form of their totem, they are treated as if they were 8th level druids in all respects (see my above post). When using it to assume any other form, they are treated as 4th level druids in all respects (again, see above).

Can you turn into a young or giant version of an animal?

I ask because the level boost is otherwise useless, since there is nothing that you can do at level 8 you can't already do at level 6, at least not with the kinds of animal this ability applies to normally.

Plus, a lot of critters have been left out of the bestiary, and instead we get a lot of stuff like "If you want a smaller bear (like black bear), use the young template."

Officially, you can't use polymorph effects to become templated creatures, but this is an area where I could see a wiggle room, for just the reason you mention.

However, there are two issues with both young and giant:

1. They amount to size-changing effects that stack with another size-changing effect (the base transformation). This one is easy to hand-wave in principle, but you would have to enforce the size limit from beast shape (i.e., if you are limited to Small creatures, no Young Dire Rat to become Tiny; if Large, no Giant Horse to become Huge).

2. The bigger issue is with stat mods. To wit, taking the form of a Giant Leopard (Large animal using Medium animal...

Actually, I would assume that if you used the giant or young templates the only effects it would have is the new dice used for the natural attacks of it's new size, and the size category itself. The size of the monster determines what stats you get from the wildshape modifiers... I don't see how this is a problem.

The biggest effect of this is improving huge wild shape, as it's list is kind of sad right now. But if you could play a young T-Rex, or a giant dire tiger...

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

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MinstrelintheGallery wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:
KaeYoss wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:
vagrant-poet wrote:
Karelzarath wrote:
But a 4th-level Druid can't wildshape at all. Doesn't that mean that the Shaman can't use it for non-totem shapes until 8th level?
Actually druids get wild shape at 4th level in Pathfinder, that aside just for the affects of what animals they can turn into and hours duration take them as 4th level.

Correct.

Level 4-5, druids would normally get WS. An animal shaman does not get any wild shape at all at those levels (but can use their separate totem transformation power).

At 6th level, they finally gain the WS ability. When using it to assume the form of their totem, they are treated as if they were 8th level druids in all respects (see my above post). When using it to assume any other form, they are treated as 4th level druids in all respects (again, see above).

Can you turn into a young or giant version of an animal?

I ask because the level boost is otherwise useless, since there is nothing that you can do at level 8 you can't already do at level 6, at least not with the kinds of animal this ability applies to normally.

Plus, a lot of critters have been left out of the bestiary, and instead we get a lot of stuff like "If you want a smaller bear (like black bear), use the young template."

Officially, you can't use polymorph effects to become templated creatures, but this is an area where I could see a wiggle room, for just the reason you mention.

However, there are two issues with both young and giant:

1. They amount to size-changing effects that stack with another size-changing effect (the base transformation). This one is easy to hand-wave in principle, but you would have to enforce the size limit from beast shape (i.e., if you are limited to Small creatures, no Young Dire Rat to become Tiny; if Large, no Giant Horse to become Huge).

2. The bigger issue is with stat mods. To wit, taking the form of a Giant Leopard (Large animal

...

I think it all works fine, as long you use the Beast Shape/etc. mods for the size, and don't try to convince your DM to let you use the template mods in addition to the creature's original size! :)

If you run it that way, I don't see any problem with it.


Jason Nelson wrote:

Officially, you can't use polymorph effects to become templated creatures, but this is an area where I could see a wiggle room, for just the reason you mention.

However, there are two issues with both young and giant:

1. They amount to size-changing effects that stack with another size-changing effect (the base transformation). This one is easy to hand-wave in principle, but you would have to enforce the size limit from beast shape (i.e., if you are limited to Small creatures, no Young Dire Rat to become Tiny; if Large, no Giant Horse to become Huge).

That goes without saying. You're not turning into a dire rat that then becomes young, you're turning into an actual young dire rat. Of course you need to be able to turn yourself into something of that size.

In cases like a "young grizzly bear", I'd see it more as turning into a black bear, which happens to have the same stats as a young grizzly bear, just because this saves some space.

Jason Nelson wrote:


2. The bigger issue is with stat mods. To wit, taking the form of a Giant Leopard (Large animal using Medium animal beast shape + giant template = +6 ST, +4 CN, -2 DX, +4 natural armor) would be much better than assuming the form of a Lion or Tiger (Large animal from beast shape = +4 ST, -2 DX, +4 natural armor).

Again, you turn into something that has already been changed by the template. That is your base creature. You don't turn into a normal leopard and then apply the giant simple template.

You turn into a big-ass cat that is emulated by leopard with the giant simple template. It's a large creature, so you gain the ability modifiers for assuming the shape of a large animal, nothing extra.

Jason Nelson wrote:


Giant... ehhh, probably fine too, though I could see some more room for objection, in part because it breaks the scaling of the beast shape spell stat bonuses.

Well, the only thing I see here is that now you can turn into a huge bear, even though you might argue that there are, in fact, no huge bears. This might be a special treat for the animal shamans, since they now get to use their special ability for something of huge size.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

2 people marked this as a favorite.
KaeYoss wrote:

That goes without saying. You're not turning into a dire rat that then becomes young, you're turning into an actual young dire rat. Of course you need to be able to turn yourself into something of that size.

In cases like a "young grizzly bear", I'd see it more as turning into a black bear, which happens to have the same stats as a young grizzly bear, just because this saves some space.

Agreed on all counts. I just wanted to emphasize the nuance of that point, that turning into a young/giant version of a thing would/should only mean up/down one size WITHIN the confines of the beast shape spell, just in case there was any confusion or thought that it would be spell mods PLUS template mods.

Perhaps that should go without saying... but it's often best to say it anyway, just to try to avoid confusion. :)


KaeYoss wrote:


Well, the only thing I see here is that now you can turn into a huge bear, even though you might argue that...

Hey, A bear shaman can summon huge bears, so what's the problem?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Jason Nelson wrote:

I think it all works fine, as long you use the Beast Shape/etc. mods for the size, and don't try to convince your DM to let you use the template mods in addition to the creature's original size! :)

If you run it that way, I don't see any problem with it.

I'd like to point this out:

Quote:

At 6th level, an eagle shaman’s wild shape

ability functions at her druid level – 2. If she takes on the
form of an eagle or roc, she instead uses her druid level + 2.

If young and giant templates aren't available, it's impossible to wild shape into a roc, even for the eagle shaman :l Definitely something that's going to get house ruled in my games.


Jason Nelson wrote:
vagrant-poet wrote:
Karelzarath wrote:
But a 4th-level Druid can't wildshape at all. Doesn't that mean that the Shaman can't use it for non-totem shapes until 8th level?
Actually druids get wild shape at 4th level in Pathfinder, that aside just for the affects of what animals they can turn into and hours duration take them as 4th level.

Correct.

Level 4-5, druids would normally get WS. An animal shaman does not get any wild shape at all at those levels (but can use their separate totem transformation power).

At 6th level, they finally gain the WS ability. When using it to assume the form of their totem, they are treated as if they were 8th level druids in all respects (see my above post). When using it to assume any other form, they are treated as 4th level druids in all respects (again, see above).

Jason or anyone else:

After reading hundreds of messages under Druid Shaman in this forum I need some clarification.

1) Official rule is that a Shaman can WS at lvl 6 and not 4. Correct?

2) When doing a Shaman, do you loose the ability to WS into plants and elementals or you can do it but at a -2 lvl adjustment starting at lvl 6?

3) At shaman lvl 6 you can WS as lvl 8 for your totem creature. Is this the MAX a shaman can GO? At shaman lvl 8 supposedly you can WS as lvl 10 for your totem but you can't b/c normal druids can't (Beast Shape IV= magical beasts). So basically the shaman reaches a plateau for Totem WS at lvl 6 and yet still progresses into plants/elementals????

4) What templates can you add to your totem WS at shaman level 8? I read here about young, giant, etc but I thought that applied to the summoning of totem NA. Can someone clarify?

5) If templates can be added to WS for shaman beyond lvl 8, would they apply to a normal druid?

THX for the guidance and my apologies for some overlapping in my questions.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

3 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 3 people marked this as a favorite.
Michael Martinez-Colon wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:
vagrant-poet wrote:
Karelzarath wrote:
But a 4th-level Druid can't wildshape at all. Doesn't that mean that the Shaman can't use it for non-totem shapes until 8th level?
Actually druids get wild shape at 4th level in Pathfinder, that aside just for the affects of what animals they can turn into and hours duration take them as 4th level.

Correct.

Level 4-5, druids would normally get WS. An animal shaman does not get any wild shape at all at those levels (but can use their separate totem transformation power).

At 6th level, they finally gain the WS ability. When using it to assume the form of their totem, they are treated as if they were 8th level druids in all respects (see my above post). When using it to assume any other form, they are treated as 4th level druids in all respects (again, see above).

Jason or anyone else:

After reading hundreds of messages under Druid Shaman in this forum I need some clarification.

1) Official rule is that a Shaman can WS at lvl 6 and not 4. Correct?

I don't know if an official errata has been issued on the subject. Check the FAQ page on the website.

It was my design intention that an animal shaman would get *NO* wild shaping at all until 6th level, at which point they would wild shape at +2 levels into their totem and -2 levels into anything else. In other words, they could turn into a Small/Medium animal of any kind 1/day for 4 hours (as a 4th level druid wild shaping), and into a Large/Medium/Small/Tiny animal of their totem type 2/day on top of that for 8 hours (as an 8th level druid wild shaping).

If you are playing PFS or any other RAW rules campaign, the above opinion is merely that and carries no official weight.

Michael Martinez-Colon wrote:
2) When doing a Shaman, do you loose the ability to WS into plants and elementals or you can do it but at a -2 lvl adjustment starting at lvl 6?

To the best of my recollection, the animal shaman doesn't stipulate that you lose that ability; you just wild shape as if 2 levels lower in every regard.

I would say that thematically it would make sense for an ANIMAL shaman to forfeit those kinds of wild shapes, and if I were designing the template today I would probably include that stipulation, but the unless the official APG/UM/UC version says that you forfeit those kinds of wild shaping, then you still get them (albeit delayed by 2 levels).

Michael Martinez-Colon wrote:
3) At shaman lvl 6 you can WS as lvl 8 for your totem creature. Is this the MAX a shaman can GO? At shaman lvl 8 supposedly you can WS as lvl 10 for your totem but you can't b/c normal druids can't (Beast Shape IV= magical beasts). So basically the shaman reaches a plateau for Totem WS at lvl 6 and yet still progresses into plants/elementals????

Yep, pretty much.

Michael Martinez-Colon wrote:
4) What templates can you add to your totem WS at shaman level 8? I read here about young, giant, etc but I thought that applied to the summoning of totem NA. Can someone clarify?

Officially, per the polymorph subschool rules in the Core Rulebook, you cannot polymorph into the form of a templated creature.

Unofficially, it's not unreasonable to allow an animal shaman to do so. Please note, however, that you do *NOT* gain the benefits of the template if you allow a druid to WS into a templated creature. Your stat mods are determined by the SIZE of the creature into which you WS - so your stat mods are the same for WSing into a Medium creature, for example, regardless of whether it is a Giant (template) dog, a standard wolverine, or a Young (template) horse. You don't WS into the animal and then apply the templated bonus.

The utility of allowing something like this is really just to allow a character to use their beast shape III equivalent WS to turn into, for example, a Huge animal of their totem type (say, a Huge dire wolf or dire bear or whatever).

Again, officially, you can't do it, but you can always handwave it in your home games if you like. Honestly, though, animal shamans get plenty of goodies already; I don't think it's necessary to ladle on extra privileges that the rules don't normally allow. Their wild shaping is more limited than other druids. Waahhhh... boo hoo. Suck it up. That's part of the deal when you take the archetype.

Michael Martinez-Colon wrote:
5) If templates can be added to WS for shaman beyond lvl 8, would they apply to a normal druid?

See above - templates are not allowed for polymorphing.

Michael Martinez-Colon wrote:
THX for the guidance and my apologies for some overlapping in my questions.

Hope this helps. Be on the lookout in the FAQ for an official answer.


Jason,
MANY THANKS!!!!!!!!!!! YOU CLARIFIED ALL MY QUESTIONS AND MORE :)

APG and UC does not specify if you loose or not the plat/elementals. I do not have UM :(

Silver Crusade

Jason Nelson wrote:
Michael Martinez-Colon wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:
vagrant-poet wrote:
Karelzarath wrote:
But a 4th-level Druid can't wildshape at all. Doesn't that mean that the Shaman can't use it for non-totem shapes until 8th level?
Actually druids get wild shape at 4th level in Pathfinder, that aside just for the affects of what animals they can turn into and hours duration take them as 4th level.

Correct.

Level 4-5, druids would normally get WS. An animal shaman does not get any wild shape at all at those levels (but can use their separate totem transformation power).

At 6th level, they finally gain the WS ability. When using it to assume the form of their totem, they are treated as if they were 8th level druids in all respects (see my above post). When using it to assume any other form, they are treated as 4th level druids in all respects (again, see above).

Jason or anyone else:

After reading hundreds of messages under Druid Shaman in this forum I need some clarification.

1) Official rule is that a Shaman can WS at lvl 6 and not 4. Correct?

I don't know if an official errata has been issued on the subject. Check the FAQ page on the website.

It was my design intention that an animal shaman would get *NO* wild shaping at all until 6th level, at which point they would wild shape at +2 levels into their totem and -2 levels into anything else. In other words, they could turn into a Small/Medium animal of any kind 1/day for 4 hours (as a 4th level druid wild shaping), and into a Large/Medium/Small/Tiny animal of their totem type 2/day on top of that for 8 hours (as an 8th level druid wild shaping).

If you are playing PFS or any other RAW rules campaign, the above opinion is merely that and carries no official weight.

Michael Martinez-Colon wrote:
2) When doing a Shaman, do you loose the ability to WS into plants and elementals or you can do it but at a -2 lvl adjustment starting at lvl 6?
To the best of my recollection, the...

Here's a question for you. (And I apologize if this was answered - I didn't see it in the posts).

If you apply a template for WS, say a Huge dire bear, do you use the updated die of damage that the template applies? I realize that you use only the stat modifiers given by WS, but this is outside of that. Would your reach increase, since it's not explicitly covered by WS?

I would say so, otherwise it's just a "flavor" thing that penalizes those animal archetypes that don't have Huge animals that fall into their specialized realm.

Of course, none of this matters for RAW until we have an errata for the archetypes.

I fully support the RAI you've discussed, though.

Liberty's Edge

This is one of the topics that Paizo has really disappointed me with. Animal Shamans have been around for over a year and they have yet to fix this or address it in anyway.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Yaramos wrote:
question about bigger WS

*IF* you decided in your home game/house rules to allow Animal Shamans to cheat the normal no-template rules for WS, and I say only that you could (it's a rational extrapolation) but not necessarily that you should (since I think animal shamans get plenty of goodies already and there's no need to give them more free candy)...

THEN it would seem that you would adjust space/reach, the die size for natural attacks, and the standard modifiers to attack roll, AC, CMB, and CMD that are based solely on size. E.g., if you allowed a wolf shaman to become a Huge dire wolf (the kind of wolf that could exist if you had a dire wolf with the giant simple template), you'd have

Space 15'
Reach 10'
Damage (bite) 2d6 (instead of 1d8)
-1 attack roll, -1 AC, +1 CMB/CMD

You'd also add the beast shape III uniform stat mods for a Huge animal.

That's how I would do it were I of a mind to allow it in a non-official, home game/house rule situation. On balance, I don't think it's necessary, but if you wanted to do it, that'd be the way I would suggest to do it.


Thanks, Jason,
The next PC I want to play is a Bear Shaman, and you've helped me before I even knew I needed it. :)

Back to some earlier questions re: shaman types:
What's the use of a snake shaman?

Flavor:

My first thought wasn't PC, it was Villain. (Of course, I'm mainly a GM.) Add some levels to a serpentine monster and it's pretty cool. Add feat that boosts the animal companion, but not above HD of Druid, and that's a memorable encounter before combat.

What's the strength of a wolf shaman (other than flavor)? His companion's pretty weak.

Answer:

Team Wolf vs. Team Tiger (bear, etc.) has weaker damage, no doubt, and isn't as strong a force independently as other AC/Druid combos.
But, put Team Wolf together with a melee strong party and that trip exponentially increases in power.
Get Combat Reflexes (for AoOs when victim stands up over and over) and a readied action (in dire wolf form, to trip after he stands up from your AC's trip, but before enemy takes next action). Decent lockdown (and you and your wolf effectively have +4 AC for when the villain does attack), but then add your melee allies who can whomp at +4 and get lots of AoOs to boot. (This is assuming you lean toward a melee build.)

If you haven't had a group of wolves (CR appropriate) get the jump on you, it ain't pretty. It's a bloody mess for whoever takes the brunt and, usually, goes down surrounded and vulnerable.
"Your turn, man on ground." "Really? (gulp)"
Many of my players would just Delay or go Full Defense until some of the wolves could be taken out, or a healer came near.
I like wolves.:)

In random PFS, the wolf is iffy, but if you know you have a Barbarian with Combat Reflexes at your side or even a TWF Rogue, who now CAN hit with that low BAB/tons o' damage or any two Full or 3/4BAB melee types, and you'll chew fast through average opponents. One lucky trip can make a huge difference vs. BBEGs. (The tigers and bears who grab the BBEMonster often die, though admittedly against BBECasters, they rock over a wolf, but hey, casters usually are easy to trip, ruining their action economy)
Oh, and I've seen this in action with Wolf, Druid, Barb, & Paladin. I had to throw CR+2 at them to even raise a sweat because very few things could survive if tripped.

I'm NOT touting the wolf as best, but if you LIKE wolves, don't worry about their ability to contribute. They can.

Thanks again, Jason, for your time.


Actually, Jason, I have a question to add:
If somebody takes a Terrain Druid archetype, and wants to be a Shaman too, would the PC be able to replace the replacement abilities, and would you be able to do it Terrain to Shaman only/Shaman to Terrain only/choose one sequence for all abilities/choose for each ability?
Or is it silly/manipulative/illegal to combo so much?
Thinking about doing this in PFS, if possible.
Thanks,
JMK

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Castilliano wrote:

Actually, Jason, I have a question to add:

If somebody takes a Terrain Druid archetype, and wants to be a Shaman too, would the PC be able to replace the replacement abilities, and would you be able to do it Terrain to Shaman only/Shaman to Terrain only/choose one sequence for all abilities/choose for each ability?
Or is it silly/manipulative/illegal to combo so much?
Thinking about doing this in PFS, if possible.
Thanks,
JMK

You can not multiclass within the same class. You're either a shaman or druid, you can't be both. The Druid Shamanic archetypes are essentially built so that no other archetype can be taken with them for the most part.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Castilliano wrote:

Actually, Jason, I have a question to add:

If somebody takes a Terrain Druid archetype, and wants to be a Shaman too, would the PC be able to replace the replacement abilities, and would you be able to do it Terrain to Shaman only/Shaman to Terrain only/choose one sequence for all abilities/choose for each ability?
Or is it silly/manipulative/illegal to combo so much?
Thinking about doing this in PFS, if possible.
Thanks,
JMK

Officially, no. You can't take archetypes that overlap; i.e., that replace the same abilities. If two druid archetypes both swapped out trackless step, f'rex, you couldn't take them together. You couldn't just swap one alt trackless step for another different one.

If it's something that seems appropriate for your home game, though, make it happen.


So, since nobody mentioned them before, how do the new animal shamans from Ultimate Combat and Ultimate Magic stack up? I'm particularly keen on the Saurian Shaman for a melee build with packs of dinosaurs summoned up to help out.


HappyDaze wrote:
So, since nobody mentioned them before, how do the new animal shamans from Ultimate Combat and Ultimate Magic stack up? I'm particularly keen on the Saurian Shaman for a melee build with packs of dinosaurs summoned up to help out.

Thst should not be a problem. Do not forget that your totem Wild Shape will be at +2 druid level and your summons at -2 druid level. For example: if you are a 6 level shaman you can WS into your totem animal as an 8th lvl druid and your dinosaur pack will be summoned as a 4th lvl druid. AS Shaman you can summon whatever you can or allowed.

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