How does Wild Shape actually work


Rules Questions


And another one question.

my wife is planning on playing a druid and i thought wild shape is really cool, until i realized i had no idea how the spell actually works and the spell description says surprisingly few things.

So basicly:

When you polymorph into an animal, do your ability scores change? If yes, all of them? Do i have INT 2 suddenly? None of them? So a STR:10 druid turns into a really weak Tiger? Do i get all of the attacks, special attacks and feats listed?

The core rule book doesnt even contain animals :-) where should i look to find out about their abilities?


Your ability scores do not change, you get the bonuses listed in the appropriate as outlined in the Beast Shape spell for the size of animal you turn into. Example: Beast Shape 1, turning into a medium animal you get +2 size bonus to Strength and +2 natural armor bonus. (10 Str druid would become 12 strength)

You get the base damage and attacks that the animal gets.

You don't gain any special attacks, UNLESS the appropriate Beast Shape spell outlines that it is one you get. Example, Beast Shape 1 only gives you Climb 30, Fly 30 (average), Swim 30, Darkvision 60, low-light vision, and scent.. IF the animal you transform into has it.

You don't gain any feats.

The Bestiary would probably be the best place to look up animals?


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Look up the referenced spells and the general description of polymorph spells in the Core Rulebook. For example, if I recall correctly, Beast Shape I (the first spell that Wild Shape can emulate) used to change into a Medium Animal gives you +2 to Str and +2 natural armor. No other ability scores change.

You also get the speed and natural attacks of the animal whose form you take. Those stats can be found in the Bestiary or in a rules reference source such as aonprd.com or d20pfsrd.com.


Wild shape mimics a spell, originally beast shape one. The spell mimiced says what special abilities you can get, if the copied animal has them.

Except for as the spell says (usually bonuses and/or penalties to STR and DEX) your attributes don't change.

Wild shape and the spells it mimics are polymorph effects. You should read about them here: Archive of Nethys

You can find the stats for various animals and other appropriate targets in the bestiarys. You can also find them online (the above site for example.)


Very well, thank you.


I would like to give her a Deinonychus Companion. She would be able to communicate with it, once she goes into a Deinonychus wild shape right?

Since you lose the effect of the armor, AC is an issue for a wild shaped druid. Would it be better to make it DEX-based with "Weapoon Finesse" and "Agile Amulett of Mighty Fists" or should i just go for strength and let the Natural AC-bonus handle things? The larger Forms at higher levels seem to come with a hefty bonus on strength anyway.


The usual method to shore up the weak AC is with spells - Barkskin, and Mage Armor (from a party member, possibly in wand form).
A dex-based WS Druid, while possible, would quickly fall behind on damage, for multiple reasons (smaller damage dice, lack of small forms with pounce, and you can't really go beyond small if you want to attack).


St0nemender wrote:
my wife is planning on playing a druid and i thought wild shape is really cool,

It is!

St0nemender wrote:
When you polymorph into an animal, do your ability scores change?

Yes.

St0nemender wrote:
If yes, all of them? Do i have INT 2 suddenly?

No, you keep your Intelligence.

Wild Shape is mostly like Beast Shape except as noted in the description of Wild Shape.

St0nemender wrote:
Since you lose the effect of the armor, AC is an issue for a wild shaped druid. Would it be better to make it DEX-based with "Weapoon Finesse" and "Agile Amulett of Mighty Fists" or should i just go for strength and let the Natural AC-bonus handle things? The larger Forms at higher levels seem to come with a hefty bonus on strength anyway.

It's usually a bad idea for a Druidzilla to go with a Dex Build. Usually, Druids like to go big when they Wildshape, and when you grow to Size Large or Huge, you take a Dex Penalty, so it's a bad idea to rely on Dex. The AC penalty due to lack of Armor, lack of Dex, and Size is offset by the fact that Beast Shape grants a Natural Armor Bonus.

My solution to this is something most players would consider cheesy. I like having a suit of Barding made for myself for when I am in my favorite Animal Form, throw it on the ground, then put it on after Polymorphing. There is a level 1 Wizard/Paladin/Magus Spell called Swift Girding, which lets you don a suit of Armor as a Standard Action. If your character is a Half Elf, there is an Alternative Racial Trait that gives you like a 1/2 level in any Arcane Spellcasting Class you want, so take that, and you can use a Wand of Swift Girding. By the time you are the equivalent of a Level 8 Druid, you can be in your Animal Form 24/7.

Natural Armor Stacks with regular armor.


Not that cheesy, really. Wild shape duration makes this a reasonable tactic even without the faster options.


You can also just be a Goliath Druid and wildshape into giants, so you can wear your armor and use weapons.

Silver Crusade

At el6 grab wild speech. buy a metamagic rod of extend for your buff spells. at el 3 grab the barkskin spell.

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