Druid Wild Shape, Elemental, and Plant Archetypes


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

Grand Lodge

I'm a little surprised that we haven't seen many archetypes that specifically cater to a Druid's Wild Shape ability. Shamans don't get Wild Shape until 6th level and it operates as two levels higher for their thematic forms, but this doesn't add much besides an additional wild shape per day at the expense of all other forms. This is especially true at higher levels.

Terrain shamans and domains add a little spice for elemental forces and plants, but it seems like these could be taken farther. What about the druid who wild shapes into an elemental (water, air, earth or fire) at +2 to their level? Or an affinity for one of these natural elements (not just arctic) that empowers electrical, fire, acid or cold spells and abilities? Of course their is the Elf Treesinger archetype for a plant theme, but that is quite exclusive.

Are these an oversight or intentional?

Scarab Sages

I would guess that Wild Shaping is already such a strong option for druids that any other enhancements to it would make it too effective.

I mean, druids get close to the top of the damage charts as it is. Anything else would make it ridiculous.

Liberty's Edge

Have you checked out the Expanded Shaman from Kobold Press (Kobold Quarterly etc)?

In addition to presenting the complete shaman base class (a spontaneously casting druid, essentially), it also presents 3 archetypes, two of which deal specifically with wildshaping: the primal shifter and the elemental shaman!

Shadow Lodge

Personally, I hate the Treesinger because unlike the other totems it completely sacrifices the druid's other Wild Shape options, and plant shape simply isn't a strong enough option to be worth that.

I'd be interested in an ability that enhanced elemental shape somehow while nerfing other shapes. Not sure exactly how to handle balance, but one of the major advantages of wild shape is not just raw power but its versatility. If you restrict that by removing or giving late entry to certain other shape options (such as diminuitive birds or bats for scouting, or large animals with pounce) balance should be possible.


Not to mention that polymorphing into plant creatures is HORRIBLE.

They like...didn't even bother to look at what special abilities plant creatures tended to have when they made the (extremely short) list for plant shape.

I do currently have a druid that pretty much exclusively uses the elemental shapes, it's pretty nice. I like that going to smaller sizes to fit in places doesn't nerf the stat bonuses, unlike beast shape. And he has hands to use a weapon with.

Liberty's Edge

Marc Radle wrote:

Have you checked out the Expanded Shaman from Kobold Press (Kobold Quarterly etc)?

In addition to presenting the complete shaman base class (a spontaneously casting druid, essentially), it also presents 3 archetypes, two of which deal specifically with wildshaping: the primal shifter and the elemental shaman!

Just realized I did not include a link!

New Paths #2: The Expanded Shaman

From some of the reviews, talking about the wildshape archetypes:

"The pdf also includes archetypes for the shaman, first of which is the elemental shaman, who can instead of animal spirit guides choose from one of 4 elementals and gets elemental wild shaping and improved elemental spells. The second archetype would then be the primal shifter, who only gets spellcasting up to 6th level but can compensate for this drawback by enhanced wildshifting and the option to utilize primal dances to further enhance his melee capabilities with natural weapons."

"We are given three archetypes, the Elemental, Primal Shifter and Medicine Doctor. The elemental, you guessed it, is more attuned to the elemental forces, and swaps out the animal spirit guide for an elemental one, as well as bonus spells and their wild shape being one of an elemental. The primal shifter gives up some spell-casting with a smaller quantity of spells daily in exchange for an enhanced wild shape (that comes with a built in healing that is freaking awesome), as well as primal dance – altering the spirit dance to augment the wild shape ability instead of spell-casting. The witch doctor goes the other route, diminishing their wild shape in favor of more spells and a closer relation to the spirits. The witch doctor and primal both have separate tables showing spell progression."

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Druid Wild Shape, Elemental, and Plant Archetypes All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.