Wildshape is pointless unless duration is fixed


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Scarab Sages

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One of the biggest pet peeves I've had with rules is effect durations. Paizo wants to simplify things yet puts awkward durations on things that really don't need it, such as sorcerer claws in PF1.0.

Wildshape now lasts a minute. Even the wild druid just gets a few more per day. This reduces wildshape down to a combat option, which is very disappointing. And the player's stats don't appear to affect the form, which I think is a move away from ideal. And finally, wildshape now draws from the limited forms listed in the spell.

A MINUTE DURATION?!

The duration should be unlimited, or 24 hours at the shortest.

How can you ...
- be a cart horse to help move the party and supplies
- scout as a sparrow or other incognito creature
- explore areas with movement types like burrow
- swim between islands as an aquatic animal
- tolerate the cold in a native form
- track using scent
- stalk someone in plain sight as a cat or other small animal

Also, it hinders the ability of the druid to communicate with native animals (theme-wise).

Storywise, opportunities are missed due to the pitiful duration, such as encountering a druid who has lost himself due to staying wildshaped too long.

I really thought Paizo hit the sweet spot with wildshape in PF1.0 by "wearing a skin", so it was basically the druid modified to be an animal. Minimal statistics about the animal needed to be known and different druids were different as the same animal, yet separate statistics were not required to adopt a form (such as how you need separate animal companion statistics that are underivable from the monster entry). It had faults, but it got more right than wrong.

I do have to mention though, I like that it is now possible for a higher level druid to wildshape into a gargantuan form! That's been a problem that's needed fixing for a while ... so many dinosaurs, and rocs!


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I agree 100 percent!


Of course being able to be gargantuan for just a minute seems even more pointless.


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I felt the same way when I saw the combat form durations, but the 2nd level Pest Form spell (awful name!) lets you take form of a sparrow for 10 minutes if you heighten it to 4th level, which is barely acceptable. If players want to use that to sneak around as rats, cats, insects or lizards with 10' speed, weakness 5 to all physical damage and the loss of most of their abilities, limiting the duration that severely means almost nobody will want to attempt it. That's just for scouting, as your other options are even worse off.

It seems to rely heavily on the DM setting up non-combat scenarios where 10 minutes is plenty of time, but I'd feel more comfortable with a minimum of an hour. All we can do is try it and see.


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There's the Form Control feat at 10th level that makes them last an hour, at the cost of it heightening to one level less than maximum.

Also, the shapechanging spells or wild shape itself don't give you any ability to communicate with other animals, so the duration is irrelevant to that.


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As written I would never play a druid.


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Kodyboy wrote:
As written I would never play a druid.

Funny. Almost makes me think it must be "balanced' if P1 Druids are unhappy.


N N 959 wrote:
Kodyboy wrote:
As written I would never play a druid.
Funny. Almost makes me think it must be "balanced' if P1 Druids are unhappy.

I don't know compare the primal spell list to some of the others and think they are very strong, they seem to have a lot of the healing (Hp and condition removal) ability of cleric without any level staggering while adding many arcane destructive spells as well as some new utility, like feather fall, charm, phantom steed, fire ball, lightning bolt, and some others. Assuming damage spell are going to be decent this time that is.

Also maybe toning down a lot of the combat wildshaping is fine, but a druid should be able to be disguised as a cat, or run as a horse for at least a few hours form first level.


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N N 959 wrote:
Kodyboy wrote:
As written I would never play a druid.
Funny. Almost makes me think it must be "balanced' if P1 Druids are unhappy.

Yeah, it's weird, I've been eyeing them as one of the stronger options still. They can do everything- they've even got something akin to a single action power attack as a follow-up strike (not utterly amazing because its at -5 or -4, but still). Though as written it can be used the next round without penalty...

---
Got to say, if people want to change minute durations, the alternative they're proposing shouldn't be unlimited or a day at the shortest. That...doesn't come across as a realistic or reasonable position or feedback (especially since it's more a reaction than play feedback, and clearly so).

Make an argument for 10 minutes per level or an hour with a 1 spell point extension. Don't go for the moon with your opening argument.


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Lady Melo wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Kodyboy wrote:
As written I would never play a druid.
Funny. Almost makes me think it must be "balanced' if P1 Druids are unhappy.

I don't know compare the primal spell list to some of the others and think they are very strong, they seem to have a lot of the healing (Hp and condition removal) ability of cleric without any level staggering while adding many arcane destructive spells as well as some new utility, like feather fall, charm, phantom steed, fire ball, lightning bolt, and some others. Assuming damage spell are going to be decent this time that is.

Also maybe toning down a lot of the combat wildshaping is fine, but a druid should be able to be disguised as a cat, or run as a horse for at least a few hours form first level.

PF 1 druids were too powerful? Really?


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Voss wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Kodyboy wrote:
As written I would never play a druid.
Funny. Almost makes me think it must be "balanced' if P1 Druids are unhappy.

Yeah, it's weird, I've been eyeing them as one of the stronger options still. They can do everything- they've even got something akin to a single action power attack as a follow-up strike (not utterly amazing because its at -5 or -4, but still). Though as written it can be used the next round without penalty...

---
Got to say, if people want to change minute durations, the alternative they're proposing shouldn't be unlimited or a day at the shortest. That...doesn't come across as a realistic or reasonable position or feedback (especially since it's more a reaction than play feedback, and clearly so).

Make an argument for 10 minutes per level or an hour with a 1 spell point extension. Don't go for the moon with your opening argument.

A druids only real attack is when wilshaped without they are meh at best. Wildshape should be at least an hour a level if not indefinitely until they change back to their regular form.


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Kodyboy wrote:
PF 1 druids were too powerful? Really?

Yeah, they were pretty much over the top. You got a full caster with a combat animal companion, that could wildshape as well.

If you had stopped at full caster, you'd already be at the top of the food chain.

Now, I'm sure lots of people didn't harness their full power, so I'm not going to dispute anecdotal evidence that the class felt totally fine.


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Kodyboy wrote:
A druids only real attack is when wilshaped without they are meh at best. Wildshape should be at least an hour a level if not indefinitely until they change back to their regular form.

I'm guessing the change to a minute duration is specifically to stop the practice whereby the Druid would wildshape and run around the entire scenario and complete every combat encounter. A minute means you can make it through one combat in most cases. This will force Druids to be more judicious in wildhshaping, rather than fire and forget.


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Horselord wrote:

How can you ...

- be a cart horse to help move the party and supplies
- scout as a sparrow or other incognito creature
- explore areas with movement types like burrow
- swim between islands as an aquatic animal
- tolerate the cold in a native form
- track using scent
- stalk someone in plain sight as a cat or other small animal

You mean Druids will no longer be able to make the non-Druid scouts in the party feel completely useless from level 4?


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Matthew Downie wrote:
Horselord wrote:

How can you ...

- be a cart horse to help move the party and supplies
- scout as a sparrow or other incognito creature
- explore areas with movement types like burrow
- swim between islands as an aquatic animal
- tolerate the cold in a native form
- track using scent
- stalk someone in plain sight as a cat or other small animal
You mean Druids will no longer be able to make the non-Druid scouts in the party feel completely useless from level 4?

As someone who intends to play a non-Druid scout, it shouldn't matter. Being able to turn into animals for extended durations is core to the class's identity.

Balance on the sheet isn't worth gutting RP.


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Being the party scout is core to the Rogue's identity. In any party with a Druid in it, this didn't work in PF1.

(I mean, it probably still won't work, because there'll be a familiar or an invisible wizard with a walk-through-walls spell or something. But it's a step in the right direction to reducing caster-martial disparity.)


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So, the Druid has a massive tool box of wild shapes. A number of these tools invalidate something another class does. Solution: nuke the entire toolbox?

There must be a more nuanced solution than "burn in hell, wild shapers."


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There is: at level 10, you can take the Form Control feat that makes Wild Shape last an hour.

Shadow Lodge

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Let's not forget the Order that Revolves around Wildshape shouldn't even consider using Wildshape for a few levels. Pest Form is a slap in the face to the people excited about Lv1 Shapeshifting.

This is like the Shifter all over again.


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N N 959 wrote:
Kodyboy wrote:
A druids only real attack is when wilshaped without they are meh at best. Wildshape should be at least an hour a level if not indefinitely until they change back to their regular form.
I'm guessing the change to a minute duration is specifically to stop the practice whereby the Druid would wildshape and run around the entire scenario and complete every combat encounter. A minute means you can make it through one combat in most cases. This will force Druids to be more judicious in wildhshaping, rather than fire and forget.

The druid spell list is arguably the worst in the game so that alone is not a true full caster.

If a wildshape druid is winning every combat by himself the adventure is woefuly weak.
Wildshaping is the signature druid combat ability, without it they are Fairly pointless.


DFAnton wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Horselord wrote:

How can you ...

- be a cart horse to help move the party and supplies
- scout as a sparrow or other incognito creature
- explore areas with movement types like burrow
- swim between islands as an aquatic animal
- tolerate the cold in a native form
- track using scent
- stalk someone in plain sight as a cat or other small animal
You mean Druids will no longer be able to make the non-Druid scouts in the party feel completely useless from level 4?

As someone who intends to play a non-Druid scout, it shouldn't matter. Being able to turn into animals for extended durations is core to the class's identity.

Balance on the sheet isn't worth gutting RP.

They should be able to do the above and of course they should be a better scout, but when combat actually happens they aren't going to do much as a work or sparrow and they can only change form once at 4th level, no work to bear fun.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
There is: at level 10, you can take the Form Control feat that makes Wild Shape last an hour.

You would think. As of now who wants to be a druid?


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Kodyboy wrote:
Lady Melo wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Kodyboy wrote:
As written I would never play a druid.
Funny. Almost makes me think it must be "balanced' if P1 Druids are unhappy.

I don't know compare the primal spell list to some of the others and think they are very strong, they seem to have a lot of the healing (Hp and condition removal) ability of cleric without any level staggering while adding many arcane destructive spells as well as some new utility, like feather fall, charm, phantom steed, fire ball, lightning bolt, and some others. Assuming damage spell are going to be decent this time that is.

Also maybe toning down a lot of the combat wildshaping is fine, but a druid should be able to be disguised as a cat, or run as a horse for at least a few hours form first level.

PF 1 druids were too powerful? Really?

Nope. Wild shape's power was limited by your ability scores and skill ranks pretty well.

If you want to build an infiltrator with wild shape you need skill rank investment in disguise and stealth or else you swiftly become noticeable to anything with decent Perception. These skill ranks are on top of the skill ranks you need to be good at your druid core (Perception, Survival, Knowledge: Nature), so I hope you didn't want to be good at anything else, like Spellcraft or the like.

If you want to build a melee beast with wild shape you need ability score investment in physical stats so your wild shape form isn't scrawny. If you want to be really good, there are feats to get to be good at it.

If you want to build anything with Wild Shape as a focus, you really want to put some investment into movement skills like Fly, Climb, and/or Swim if you don't want to hit a wall (potentially literally) when the bonuses from Wild Shape aren't enough to keep up with DCs.

Sure, you can try to do everything, but you'll find you don't have the 10 or so Skill Ranks a level you'd need to pull off Wild Shape Mobility, Wild Shape Stealth, your Core, Handle Animal, and Spellcraft. You also won't have the highest of stats because you need all 3 physical stats and Wisdom to pull off combat (with wild shape) and casting. Spells can fill in some of the blanks, but primarily the defensive ones.


Kodyboy wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
There is: at level 10, you can take the Form Control feat that makes Wild Shape last an hour.
You would think. As of now who wants to be a druid?

With how mediocre Wild Shape is, building one of the other druid variants seems attractive at last

Sovereign Court

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Horselord wrote:

How can you ...

- be a cart horse to help move the party and supplies
- scout as a sparrow or other incognito creature
- explore areas with movement types like burrow
- swim between islands as an aquatic animal
- tolerate the cold in a native form
- track using scent
- stalk someone in plain sight as a cat or other small animal

So what I am hearing is that your 1(!) ability should be able to:

-Make you stronger than the fighter
-Make you a better scout than the rogue
-Make you better at "scrying" than the wizard
-Make you faster at swimming than the boat
-Save you a 1st level spell slot
-Make you a better tracker than a bloodhound
-Make you better at tailing someone than a shadowdancer

That about right?

Scarab Sages

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Firebug wrote:
Horselord wrote:

How can you ...

- be a cart horse to help move the party and supplies
- scout as a sparrow or other incognito creature
- explore areas with movement types like burrow
- swim between islands as an aquatic animal
- tolerate the cold in a native form
- track using scent
- stalk someone in plain sight as a cat or other small animal

So what I am hearing is that your 1(!) ability should be able to:

-Make you stronger than the fighter
-Make you a better scout than the rogue
-Make you better at "scrying" than the wizard
-Make you faster at swimming than the boat
-Save you a 1st level spell slot
-Make you a better tracker than a bloodhound
-Make you better at tailing someone than a shadowdancer

That about right?

Sooo ...

- Ant Haul
- Invisibility, levitate
- Summon Monster and Speak with Animals
- Touch of the Sea
- Endure Elements
- Bloodhound spell
- Invisibility

All abilities can be replicated with low-level spells, but the specific spells do it better or wildshape requires significant skill investment. Hardly all-powerful, especially as it doesn't have that many uses.


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The issue is that wildshape isn't the right thing to nerf because it wasn't what made Druids OP. What did was, that full casters were just way better than everyone else.


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Firebug wrote:
Horselord wrote:

How can you ...

- be a cart horse to help move the party and supplies
- scout as a sparrow or other incognito creature
- explore areas with movement types like burrow
- swim between islands as an aquatic animal
- tolerate the cold in a native form
- track using scent
- stalk someone in plain sight as a cat or other small animal

So what I am hearing is that your 1(!) ability should be able to:

-Make you stronger than the fighter
-Make you a better scout than the rogue
-Make you better at "scrying" than the wizard
-Make you faster at swimming than the boat
-Save you a 1st level spell slot
-Make you a better tracker than a bloodhound
-Make you better at tailing someone than a shadowdancer

That about right?

Not OP but..

- In terms of pulling a cart... yes, seems reasonable.
- A scout that can't finely manipulate things, is weak to other creatures attacking it, and is going to be extremely conspicuous in many situations. Seems reasonable. Not always better than the rogue.
- You even had to use quotes here. Having to get near is nothing like scrying. Scouting about with burrow works in a fairly narrow set of situations, and would only give you sound. Very reasonable.
- Considering most boats are not built for speed, and most animal forms couldn't transport as well as a boat. For mid-high levels, very reasonable.
- Again... yes? What's wrong here?
- No one said better than a bloodhound. A bloodhound would have scent, plus extensive training in tracking. Probably some SQ or skill feats. But good at it is reasoanble.
- This is a world where druids, familiars, and animal companions exist. Any competent NPC would be a *little* suspicious of animals, unlike an entirely unsensed shadowdancer. No one is asking for that?

Some of these might require extra feats (such as one to choose flying creatures, or swimming creatures, or burrowing creatues, or larger creatres) and that's fine.

But Wildshape being terrible at all of them almost always is not very fun. I think people would rather it were more harshly limited in uses per day and combat application than the current target on duration and let it be a fun toolbox if you invest properly in it, especially when it's one of the three 'druid paths'.


Horselord wrote:

One of the biggest pet peeves I've had with rules is effect durations. Paizo wants to simplify things yet puts awkward durations on things that really don't need it, such as sorcerer claws in PF1.0.

Wildshape now lasts a minute. Even the wild druid just gets a few more per day. This reduces wildshape down to a combat option, which is very disappointing. And the player's stats don't appear to affect the form, which I think is a move away from ideal. And finally, wildshape now draws from the limited forms listed in the spell.

A MINUTE DURATION?!

The duration should be unlimited, or 24 hours at the shortest.

How can you ...
- be a cart horse to help move the party and supplies
- scout as a sparrow or other incognito creature
- explore areas with movement types like burrow
- swim between islands as an aquatic animal
- tolerate the cold in a native form
- track using scent
- stalk someone in plain sight as a cat or other small animal

Also, it hinders the ability of the druid to communicate with native animals (theme-wise).

Storywise, opportunities are missed due to the pitiful duration, such as encountering a druid who has lost himself due to staying wildshaped too long.

I really thought Paizo hit the sweet spot with wildshape in PF1.0 by "wearing a skin", so it was basically the druid modified to be an animal. Minimal statistics about the animal needed to be known and different druids were different as the same animal, yet separate statistics were not required to adopt a form (such as how you need separate animal companion statistics that are underivable from the monster entry). It had faults, but it got more right than wrong.

I do have to mention though, I like that it is now possible for a higher level druid to wildshape into a gargantuan form! That's been a problem that's needed fixing for a while ... so many dinosaurs, and rocs!

Sorry, I'm a bit new, but I'm having trouble finding where it says wildshape is only one minute now. Can someone please point me?

Thank you in advance!

Edit: wildshape in the playtest doesn't mention anything about duration, so far as I can tell.


bungs wrote:


Sorry, I'm a bit new, but I'm having trouble finding where it says wildshape is only one minute now. Can someone please...

Each of the spells/powers wild shape casts has a really short duration. Like at one point you can use Dinosaur Form but the duration of Dinosaur Form is one minute.


Pelloth wrote:
bungs wrote:


Sorry, I'm a bit new, but I'm having trouble finding where it says wildshape is only one minute now. Can someone please...
Each of the spells/powers wild shape casts has a really short duration. Like at one point you can use Dinosaur Form but the duration of Dinosaur Form is one minute.

That does seem to be what people are saying, but can you please provide a source for that? Like where does it say specifically that the duration is one minute?

Shadow Lodge

In the spell itself.


I was looking around at this. It seems like at level 10 the issue mostly goes away. If you want to scout in form you can take the feat that lets you stay in the form for an hour and is heightened to one spell level below your max. So pretty solid all around scout/combatant form if you do that option.

One interesting thing with the whole wildshape pool from wild druids is that alone gives them a lot of casts of their transformation and they are still spells so you could prepare yet more transformations as spells. So generally in combat if you want to always fight in a from it looks like you probably would be able to. Pest form lasting 10 minutes still seems a viable lower level scout to do a quick peek around the near by area for watching out for ambushes/traps.

One thing though is it looks like if you want to wildshape you are going to have to pick the wild order and really focus on it. Same with the other orders really like if you want an animal companion it seems like to make it really good you would have to concentrate and devote most of your class feats to it. A lot less swiss army druid issues as most are going to be pretty focused on one druid aspect. You could still do the other stuff but at a much lower compentency it seems.


Dragonborn3 wrote:
In the spell itself.

Please provide a link? What I'm seeing says nothing about it.


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Matthew Downie wrote:

Being the party scout is core to the Rogue's identity. In any party with a Druid in it, this didn't work in PF1.

(I mean, it probably still won't work, because there'll be a familiar or an invisible wizard with a walk-through-walls spell or something. But it's a step in the right direction to reducing caster-martial disparity.)

Even the wizard scouting options took a hit. Your best option to enhance the Rogue with invisibility or other helpers, or just let him do it himself. Especially with so few spells.


bungs wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
In the spell itself.
Please provide a link? What I'm seeing says nothing about it.

Page 216, Dinosaur Form, "Duration 1 minute or until dismissed." It's the bottom line in the top stat block before the narrative paragraph.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Add me to the list of "these durations suck". I never played a Druid in 1e because I can't stand prepared casting (seems much easier in this edition, so willing to give it a shot).

I just wanted to wildshape.

Guess I still can't.


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With a maxed Str you would basically be able to wild shape through every combat or close to it even at low levels. You would get your strength modifier probably +3 which would be a free three minutes of combat form or 30 minutes of pest form not including any actual prepared versions of those spells. Once you get to 10 you can grab a feat that allows you to heighten your various forms to one spell level below your max and boost duration to an hour per use.

By the time you get that you could likely be in a wild shape of some form your entire waking day or close to it.

It will be interesting to see how this goes in playtest. I know the shifter thing caused enough uproar they eventually greatly boosted their transformation times and I would be not shocked if they are starting the numbers conservative to see how they feel in play. easy enough to put base duration from 1 minute to 10 minutes.


I like the druid class, seems like a lot of fun.


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There’s an armour that lets you use your own stats while wildshaping, in exchange for an extra action when transforming.


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kaid wrote:
I was looking around at this. It seems like at level 10 the issue mostly goes away.

I just want to point something out.

At 10th level you cast the spell, heightened, at an effective 4th level spell.

At 15th you cast the spell, but its now heightened, to an effective 7th level spell.

And it does the same thing!?

Does no one else see the problem here?


Draco18s wrote:
kaid wrote:
I was looking around at this. It seems like at level 10 the issue mostly goes away.

I just want to point something out.

At 10th level you cast the spell, heightened, at an effective 4th level spell.

At 15th you cast the spell, but its now heightened, to an effective 7th level spell.

And it does the same thing!?

Does no one else see the problem here?

Looking at animal form it looks like at level 10 it actually would work like the base level 3 spell if you are using the hour duration. If you are 15th you would get the 5th spell level heighten effect which would be the max level for animal shape. This goes from a normal sized animal to a huge one with a 15 foot reach and doubled damage dice. So it does some very different things.

Ironically for the animal shape spell there does not look like there is any reason NOT to use the hour duration feat once you can cast 6th level spells as the 5th spell level heighten is the last one available for it. different wild shape spells have different heighten effects though so in large part it depends which one you are looking at for the boost.

Basically though once you get to level 10 you can either have short duration super freak battle form or hour long maybe less freaky battle forms.


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druids being animals a lot of the time, has always been a core part of being a druid. druids in this edition definitely don't feel like druids. and feeling like something is I think an important aspect of an role playing game.


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Am i reading it wrong? It looks like Wild shape completely replaces your combat statistics. I thought we dumped that in PF1 because it made physical stat investment irrelevant for druids.

Silver Crusade

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Kodyboy wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
There is: at level 10, you can take the Form Control feat that makes Wild Shape last an hour.
You would think. As of now who wants to be a druid?

I do.

Yes, they've weakened druids considerably. But that is a GOOD thing. Druids were very overpowered in PF1 (at least compared to martials).

Now you actually have to FOCUS and not be good at everything. In PF1 I deliberately built my druid to be flexible and it was just TOO good. My Animal Companion was better than most martials (well optimized martials did better, of course. But it regularly did more damage than martials built by those with limited system mastery). My wild shape let me out scout the rogues. I had 9th level spells.

Now the druid has to actually focus.

But the class has 9th level spells. You can build to have a decent animal companion in combat, wildshape in combat, use spells in combat, or go into combat yourself. One or the other. Not all.

It seems a very, very reasonable character to me. Much closer to balanced than the PF1 druid was.

Silver Crusade

Knight Magenta wrote:
Am i reading it wrong? It looks like Wild shape completely replaces your combat statistics. I thought we dumped that in PF1 because it made physical stat investment irrelevant for druids.

This system is all about characters being within fairly well defined limits at all levels. Giving you set stats ensures that your abilities will be where they "Should be".

In practice, it isn't likely to be a huge thing. Any druid who intends to concentrate heavily on wild shape is going to take the Wild order anyway and so have a pretty strong incentive to make Str a decent stat.

This DOES let a Str dumped druid occassionally Wild Shape if the situation demands it. But I LIKE the fact that my gnome can do that :-)


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Count me among the people who are somewhat disappointed. Part of the fun I had playing a druid, as silly and useless as it was, was spending downtime and such in animal form. I wish wildshape made the duration of the spell into minute/level, going to hour/level with the level 10 feat. That way it could at least happen at some point.

Or maybe they could eventually create a low-level feat that allows you to wildshape for hours, so long as you don't cast spells (which you currently can't anyway) or use the strike action? That way utility non-martial wildshape druids could have some fun scouting, spying, doing small tasks and using their mobility to go places (or just being animals for the sake of it), but they would still have to use one more use of wildshape to fight as an animal. Or drop it and go back to casting for the rest of the day if they did not take the wild order. That seems fairly balanced.

Also, for those saying druids would outclass rogues completely, if you manage to do that, you didn't focus on other things, plus it seems people are forgetting all the abilities rogues have that aren't Stealth, and the fact that Master / legendary Stealth can probably make you just as good or better than the wildshaped druid.


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I agree that Wild Shape is currently pretty limited, but I think the solution is simple.

Combat shapes are fine the way they are, in my opinion. 1 minute is enough to make it through most encounters and the Wild Order gets access to lots of shapes per day, so you'll be able to generally be Wild Shaped for almost every combat. Without actually playtesting yet, the stats granted seem reasonable.

The real lack is in utility shapes, and my solution to this is simply to fix pest form.

First, rename it to literally anything else (I prefer calling this animal form and renaming the current animal form to beast form - which admittedly might conflict with the animal/beast distinction).

Second, allow the spell to heighten at 2nd, 3rd, and 4th levels, granting Small, Medium, and Large animal shapes respectively. Keep the general restriction against flight until heightened 4th. With each heighten level, modestly adjust AC/TAC, speed, and acrobatics/stealth/athletics. Maybe add some THP for the Medium and/or Large shapes.

Third, increase the duration to 1 hour, and let Form Control increase the duration to 4 hours.

These changes allow a Wild druid to feel like a shaping druid but still keeping power in check. Keep the offensive stats of pest form the same (or only increase the attack mod, leaving damage the same) and keep Weakness 5 to physical damage - or slowly decrease this as the spell is heightened. These should be exclusively non-combat forms.

The only other change I might make is adding a heighten at 5th or 6th level to Huge, but this is mostly so that Form Control will work with the new heightened 4th options.


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JackieLane wrote:
Count me among the people who are somewhat disappointed. Part of the fun I had playing a druid, as silly and useless as it was, was spending downtime and such in animal form. I wish wildshape made the duration of the spell into minute/level, going to hour/level with the level 10 feat. That way it could at least happen at some point.

This ×1,000! I don't play casters to outclass martials or anything like that. I'm sorry that you martial players felt like you like limited options in comparison to casters in pf1. But if I play a wild shape druid it's not because I want to sneak better than the rogue, it's because I want to be able to turn into a small animal that happens to be able to sneak. It's not that I want to be stronger than the fighter, it's that I want to be able to turn into an animal that happens to be stronger than the fighter.

The overshadowing of other classes you're talking about? It's all incidental. Every bit of it.

And when I play a druid I want to be able to stay in animal form for a long time. Not just have enough minute uses to be in wild shape during all combats and skill checks. I'd be disappointed with the new durations even if it said "and you can reflexively use wild shape whenever anything happens where you'd be better off in wild shape." Not just because that would be really stupid, arbitrary, and artificial, but because being able to be in animal form most of the time is kind of what I'm looking for in a wild shape druid. But now I'm gonna have to burn through spell slots just to be able to loaf around for hours in wolf form instead of human form.


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Has anyone noticed that the barbarian can spend more time in any given day as an animal than the druid can? At 8th level the animal totem barbarian can shapeshift into a specific animal form. Granted, it's three rounds at a time, and then rest for 1 round, but they can cycle that up all day.

Meanwhile, the 8th level druid is limited to minutes per day, and the 10th level is limited to a few hours per day.

As far as overpowering other classes goes, animal companion druids seem to be a little out there. Gnomes can pick up a familiar with an ancestry trait which comes with an ability that lets them speak to you. Hello talking raven. Then you can pick up an animal companion to fight for you. It comes with free teamwork feats. What a sweet grizzly bear. I've got a discount scout and fighter before I meet the party. This is way more likely to step on toes than just letting the druid shapeshift.

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