Shape Shifting


Scarab Sages

I understand that a druid loses armor and shield bonuses to AC when he/she shape shifts. But what does he gain? Besides all the abilities listed on the spell. I am talking about Base movement, natural attacks and natural armor. Abilities like rend, and natural weapon damage. Maybe somebody can help me get the full picture.


Someone created a guide for that: Being a Most Concise and Helpful Guide to the Noble Arts of Wild Shaping and Polymorphing

Actually, it's kind of hard to find. It's actually in the Polymorph Subschool. I highlighted all the things you asked in the text:

Polymorph Subschool:

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 +10 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 and shield 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.

Say, I'm a 4th level human druid with str 14 (+2) dex 14 (+2), and I turn into a medium cheetah. I have BAB +3. What do I get?

Stats: As per the spell Beast Shape 1, my stats are now str 16, dex 14.
AC 14 (+2 dex,+2 natural armor)
Attacks: I see that the cheetah has a bite at 1d6 and 2 claws at 1d3. I don't care about any of the attack or damage bonuses, as I have to recalculate them myself. I have +3 str now and +3 BAB, so my attack line is:
Melee bite +6 (1d6+3), 2 claws +6 (1d3+3)

Special Abilities: Okay, now I look at what is listed on Beast Shape 1
climb 30 feet, fly 30 feet (average maneuverability), swim 30 feet, darkvision 60 feet, low-light vision, and scent

and I look at what the cheetah has: low light vision, scent, sprint, trip. I compare the two lists, and I see that I get scent and low light vision. I DO NOT get anything that is not on that Beast Shape 1 List. Looking at the Beast shape spells, I see that I can get trip at Beast Shape 2 (druid level 6) and I never get sprint.

Hope this helps!

EDIT: Darn, you mean I didn't have to type all that?

Scarab Sages -archetypes/eagle-shaman OK, I see. So base speed, and natural attacks are always included. Doesn't say about natural armor, but I guess that is a no.

OK, for the Eagle Shaman, like all the animal shamans, at level 6, Do I get 3 Wild Shapes into an Eagle? Also, when can I turn into a Roc. The only roc I saw was a Gargantuan creature. It seems no spell lets me get that form size.

Also, if I have the wild enchant on my armor, what would my full plate dragon hide look like? +4 or +3, and does that mean that I would have 9+4=13 (9+3=12) as armor bonus from armor or does the +3 after the first not go towards armor bonus? so + 10 Armor bonus only? Same question about my shield...


Liberty's Edge

The spells Beast Shape I, II, and III are quite explicit in what you get, when.

Wild Shape tells you which version of the spell you should be using based on your Druid (equivalent) level.

Scarab Sages

Andrew Christian wrote:

The spells Beast Shape I, II, and III are quite explicit in what you get, when.

Wild Shape tells you which version of the spell you should be using based on your Druid (equivalent) level.

So, what you are basically saying is that I can only use my ability once a day, even if I use it to shape shift into an eagle.

Thing is, at level 6, I should be able to shift into a Huge Eagle, (for I guess 8 hours) but I don't see that under the eagles in the beastiary. And the Roc is Gargantuan. Does that mean that at level 8 I can change into a roc, given the natural progression?

I am just trying to see there is a way, or not.

Liberty's Edge

No, that isn't what I said.

The Wild Shape ability tells you how many times per day you can do it. And if you are a particular type of shaman (like Saurian Shaman archetype) you might get a couple extra times per day of use if you use your Wild Shape to change into creatures of your particular shaman type.

There is no longer a restriction of only be able to change into one mammal/bird/reptile, and then only once per day for each type. That is an old 2nd edition restriction.

Wild Shape tells you what Beast Shape (I, II, or III) you mimic based on what level Druid you are.

Beast Shape I, II, and III tells you what size you can shape change into and what ability bonuses and penalties you get as well as what natural armor bonus you get based on what size you change into. (i.e. Huge gets you +6 Str, -4 Dex, Change to Huge Size with size change modifiers to hit, ac, and CMB/D, and +6 Natural Armor). Additionally, each spell tells you what special abilities, movements, and what not you get to use when in that animal form.

Then what you do is you go to the bestiary and find an animal that meets the criteria you want. You don’t get to shape change into a Huge kangaroo or a Tiny Roc, unless there is a Huge Kangaroo or Tiny Roc in the Bestiary. But what you do is find all the Huge Animals in the Bestiary and pick one to wild shape into should you want to change into something with Huge size. It is usually a good idea to have these things figured out before you get to a game day.

Scarab Sages The eagle shaman archetype says "Wild Shape (Su): 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." The only roc in the bestiary is a Gargantuan roc. There is no spell that allows for a shapeshift into a gargantuan creature. This puzzles me.

But yes, I am trying to take care of these issues before I pick my archetype.

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