Druid Wild Morph (Lvl. 1) - 1d6 Unarmed Attack Damage, that's it?


Rules Discussion


Hi everyone,

since I will start my first session as GM soon, I need to clarify some rules.

One question concerning the Wild Morph ability of the Druid at level 1: Does it, since you cannot take any feats for insect shape etc. at this point, only grant 1d6 unarmed attack damage and that's it? If so: Why would you EVER use this ability in combat instead of let's say Shillelagh which grants you 2d8 Weapon Damage? As I read it, Wild Morph does not grant any different stats like Wild Shape does (i.e. the generic attack roll, AC,...) so why would you EVER, at least at level 1, trade off your ability to use weapons etc. for a mediocre weapon dice? Did I miss anything?

Thanks a lot!


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Shillelagh is an actual spell, takes a slot, and will only renew when you have time to take a long rest to rememorise spells. It is better than Wild Morph claws at the level, but strictly limited in use

Wild Morph is a Focus spell. It can be cast, giving an Agile, Finesse, 1d6 weapon, and once it's all done, you can get that focus point back with 10 minutes rest. The Wild Morph will probably be the go to due to the ability to continually cast it with minimal down time, saving spell slots for something more useful, like healing or ranged attack

Silver Crusade

It really isn't that great for a druid at low levels. They're almost certainly mechanically better served by just using a weapon in most circumstances.

But natural weapons can be quite powerful when combined with other features. And the wild morph spell has to be balanced if a swashbuckler or rogue takes it at level 4.

Wild morph is, however, very thematic and it is only slightly weaker than a d8 weapon. If you're a player who values thematics over pure mechanical optimization then you have the option.

And at higher levels it becomes significantly more interesting. Sprouting wings from your back always rocks :-)


Part of this is the unseen "free hand" ability that unarmed attacks have, so 1d6 is a step up from the 1d4 of gauntlets (and similarly uses one's highest attack proficiency w/ no need for martial/advanced proficiency).
Many of the natural weapons of Ancestries fall here too. It's kind of a default. The Monk MCD gives 1d6 too, which is very little compared to other MCD feats. 1d6 is a norm, though it does highlight how relatively strong Animal Barbs & Monk Stances are.

So yeah, 1d6 is viable for an attack that keeps your hands free for maneuvers (et al) or vs. simple weapons, but not when compared to martial weapons that take a hand and use martial proficiency.
For a (just) Druid to do more damage would take two hands (at the cost of their shield/Shield Block), though an Ancestry feat can be a good way around that (not that I recommend a Druid going into melee...).


It's also just a single action, which is kind of a big deal whenever you can't pre-buff. Casting Shillelagh and approachibg the enmey costs you your whole turn. But you can activate Wild Morph and still have 2 actions left for Stride + Strike. Or even another spell.

Wayfinders

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It's also handy for social occasions where bringing a weapon would be rude but bringing a handful of bottle-openers makes you everyone's favourite weirdo. You're like that guy who can open a bottle with another bottle, but without the inevitable sadness.


That was really helpful, thanks for the very informative answers! And I didn't consider using those hands for opening bottles, I'm gonna suggest that to my Player. ;)

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