Please provide play experience for Wild Order Druid


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

In a game I have been running a player(my fiancée) Has been playing a wild order druid because her character fantasy was to turn into a bear or other big beast and eat faces.

But in actual play it almost always seems more effective for her to use a sloted spell and electric arc than it is to spend two actions to transform and than not be able to move or attack until the next turn.

Even in severe or higher encounters the fights don't seem to last long enough for the action economy of wild shape to be worth it.

I am even thinking of homebrewing to allwo the Wildshape activity to allow the druid to either stride or strike once as part of the action or just straight make it a one action spell since it already has focus as a limiter.

So could anyone provide me with their play experience of Wild order and how they have fun with it.


At what level are you playing? I ask this question because at low level combats tend to be much faster than at higher level. So if she's level 3 this feeling is quite legitimate but it should be less and less the case.

Also, the Wild Druid, in the way it has been written and thought, is not exactly balanced as a character who goes into Wild Shape each and every combat. It's a tool in their belt, as are their spells. Hence the action cost. There are other characters who are meant to transform during each and every fight and who are much more able at it (I think of the Animal Barbarian who's really the ideal way to play a shifter).

I haven't played a Wild Druid much. As much as I like the Wild Shape part, I don't really like the playlist part so I moved to other characters quickly.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Currently level 5 and she has only used wild shape once.


Yeah, I'll second what SuperBidi said and say that Wild Order druids despite being the druid setup defaulting to Wildshape, Wildshape should remain an arrow in your quiver. You're still a full spell caster.

If you want something pretty focused on bashing faces while an animal, an animal barbarian is probably a better choice.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The problem right now with it being an arrow in the kit is it feels like an arrow that will never be used because even after running out of slotted spells, electric arc is a better use of two actions actually doing damage than spending two actions and than having to wait a turn to actually do anything with their form.

The Barbarian argument doesn't fit the fantasy. She literally wants to be an animal not juts have its attacks on her Humanoid form otherwise she would just be using wild morph.


Apologies if I'm missing something obvious, but assuming you're within range at the beginning of the round, what's to stop you from using Wildshape and then striking?


The Barbarian does properly turn into the animal with Animal Rage, though that's level 8 so she wouldn't have it yet.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
dangadget69 wrote:
Apologies if I'm missing something obvious, but assuming you're within range at the beginning of the round, what's to stop you from using Wildshape and then striking?

That is almost never the case since her slotted spells(and cantrips) do damage from 30+ feet away. What is the incentive to approach melee before having the armor and hp from wildshape?


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...To be able to strike immediately? She has 8 HP and medium armor, spells are two actions so her first turn can definitely be spell+stride preparing to wild shape+strike on turn two.


Nicolas Paradise wrote:
The Barbarian argument doesn't fit the fantasy. She literally wants to be an animal not juts have its attacks on her Humanoid form otherwise she would just be using wild morph.

As someone else pointed out, you do actually become the animal, at least at level 8. I can understand maybe that doesn't fulfill the fantasy your player wants (right now) but it also seems like the druid isn't doing it either.

At least at 8th level, rage as an action (and turn into animal), move, and attack is valid opening routine.


Nicolas Paradise wrote:
The problem right now with it being an arrow in the kit is it feels like an arrow that will never be used

How varied are the encounter setups? If you are running a 'kick-down-the-door blindly' type of battle or an 'enemy ambush' type of battle, then you are right - a buff spell is going to be less valuable than a damage spell because combat is already in full swing by the time the Druid's first turn comes up.

But Wild Shape isn't at any further disadvantage in that situation than any other buff spell like Bless, Resist Energy, or Barkskin.

Also, what are the rest of the party's tactics? If the other characters are blitz style attackers, then a buff-spell Druid is going to feel really laggy. If the party has a more defensive or balanced approach to combat where everyone on both sides of combat is approaching more cautiously, then the actions needed for Wild Shape is just what the Druid does instead of 'Stride to defensive chokepoint position, Raise Shield, Recall Knowledge about enemy' that the Fighter or Champion may be doing.


What's the issue with Wild Shaping and then closing the gap exactly?
At lv5 she'd have access to Animal Form which gives 3 options with above average speed.
If it must be a Bear (not criticizing, I totally get it), that's still a 30ft stride.
if that's not enough range to come to grips, well other melee types have similar issues.
She wouldn't be horribly worse off than any other melee-focused Martial that needs to get up close to be effective in my opinion.
Is the overarching issue really that despite the perceived fantasy, in practice she finds it better to stay at range?


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dangadget69 wrote:
What's the issue with Wild Shaping and then closing the gap exactly?

I suspect that the problem is that doing so is the entirety of the turn. The Druid has done no damage and instead has spent their turn moving across the battlefield towards the enemies. They end their turn in perfect position for the enemy to strike at them repeatedly.

Often it is better to force the enemies to use their actions to cross the battlefield and engage with the allies who are in a defensive position. That requires teamwork and coordination and having everyone in the party able to contribute effectively to the combat from range or to be able to set up a defensive formation.

Alternatively, it is valuable to have spellcasters using their actions to attack from range using spells. This keeps them safer from the enemies.


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Understood, but if her desired character concept is "to turn into a bear or other big beast and eat faces" then closing the gap is required, and tactics will have to match.
I don't think anyone is saying that it will be "optimal", but it's more than possible in my experience.
My wife plays a similar character, but she picked up an Animal companion as well.
She generally opens by either shifting and closing the gap, or sending in the companion, and then shifting in anticipation of joining her companion in melee on the next turn.
She can and has hung back and slung electric arcs as well, but that does not fit her class fantasy, so she doesn't do so usually.
Is that always "optimal"?
Nope, but it doesn't get her or the party killed, and she's having fun and contributing.


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Nicolas Paradise wrote:
That is almost never the case since her slotted spells(and cantrips) do damage from 30+ feet away. What is the incentive to approach melee before having the armor and hp from wildshape?

Well, there's your "problem" (scare quotes intentional). The PC is using tactics that keep her out of melee range, then getting frustrated that to do a shapeshifted melee attack incurs an extra action cost.

I'm also in agreement with SuperBidi. However I would add that if your player really wants to eat faces as a bear, they have to be willing to pull the trigger on jumping into melee. If they're not willing to do that, then correct, bear-eating-faces may not look like a worthwhile attack.

Maybe try something like this?
Round 1:
1. Delay until last.
2. Fire off spell (2 actions).
3. Move into melee range (1 action). You are now last in initiative. But you also probably haven't been the biggest source of damage, so absent metagaming by the GM, you're probably not the big bad's first choice of target.
Round 2:
1. Everyone else goes. Big bad attacks the fighter or whatever, because you're just a measly little humanoid with no apparent weapon readied.
2. Shapeshift (2 actions) into big giant monster. Surprise!
3. Eat face.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The rest of the party is mostly ranged except for the Liberator champion using a reach weapon.

-Precision Ranger using Longbow
Nymph Sorcerer who will use ranged spells or cantrips
-Evocation Wizard
-Maestro Bard who usually inspires and than either tk projectiles or shortbow strikes depending on the ammount of actions left.
-Liberator Champion of Shelyn with a glaive archetyped into mauler for knockdown.
-Than finally my fiancée as the Wild Order Druid. Who will usually use a first turn to use a sloted damage spell or electric arc and use her 3rd action to demoralize.
-There is also usually an npc companion as we are playing Kingmaker

Yes I adjust encounters up for the larger party.

The problem as Eoran guessed is that a turn using Wildshape if she isn't already in melee is a turn wasted when she can just cast a spell and demoralize instead of effectively only striding for the turn. A true melee can usually stride and strike if not stride twice or strike twice, where as To shape and strike she has to already be in melee or waste a turn shaping and moving and than letting the enimies have a whole round on her before she can do anything back.

She has even started using spells that require being closer to the enemies like fungal infections and animal allies and with her higher perception she is usually first in the round but by the next round the first line of enemies she hit with those spells get taken out by the rest of the party before she can follow up with Wildshape putting her back at square one of either needing to approach for a whole trun or just use a ranged cantrip and demoralize instead.

Since gaining the full animal form wild shape at 3rd(Which really for the class fantasy should have a battle form at 1st not just pest form) she has used it once after spending the whole combat moving in and her strike got the kill so her whole comabt was 3 rounds of closing the gap to get one strike.

Liberty's Edge

Rebuild the character as a Fighter MC Druid. Convince the GM that the Ape's Fist attack belongs to the Brawling Group (and choose the latter for the increased Fighter proficiency). Pretend the Ape is a Bear if necessary.

At level 8, she should go Martial Artist and get the increased proficiency on the natural attacks of all her shapes. Retrain the increased Fighter proficiency to another weapon group as needed.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Nicolas Paradise wrote:

I am even thinking of homebrewing to allwo the Wildshape activity to allow the druid to either stride or strike once as part of the action or just straight make it a one action spell since it already has focus as a limiter.

I say go for it. While there are ways to build a wildshape focused character who gets more regular use out of it, your proposed changes are probably a lot easier to implement for your table and get your players a lot more enjoyment.

At my table, Wildshape has been a backup option, even when the druid wanted to use it more, because combats go a little too quick to spend two actions without good reason. The handful of times it got used in combat it was for fun, didn't have a big impact since the battle ended soon after, or had to end sooner than expected due to emergent circumstances. Buffing it a bit isn't going to blow anyone's socks off.


WatersLethe wrote:
Nicolas Paradise wrote:

I am even thinking of homebrewing to allwo the Wildshape activity to allow the druid to either stride or strike once as part of the action or just straight make it a one action spell since it already has focus as a limiter.

I say go for it. While there are ways to build a wildshape focused character who gets more regular use out of it, your proposed changes are probably a lot easier to implement for your table and get your players a lot more enjoyment.

Yeah, I would agree with that. I would lean towards the free Stride/Strike as part of the casting, rather than just a 1-action Wild Shape.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
breithauptclan wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Nicolas Paradise wrote:

I am even thinking of homebrewing to allwo the Wildshape activity to allow the druid to either stride or strike once as part of the action or just straight make it a one action spell since it already has focus as a limiter.

I say go for it. While there are ways to build a wildshape focused character who gets more regular use out of it, your proposed changes are probably a lot easier to implement for your table and get your players a lot more enjoyment.
Yeah, I would agree with that. I would lean towards the free Stride/Strike as part of the casting, rather than just a 1-action Wild Shape.

The free stride/strike is also pretty dang evocative. It captures the "leaping through the air and transforming midway" type fantasy.


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Some sort of lunging wild shape where you cast the spell for 3 actions and get a stride+strike to go with it would be an easy class feat for Paizo to add to support the strategy better.

Grand Lodge

From a balance perspective. 2 actions sounds fair.
Drawing a weapon og entering a stance is 1 action for a Martial Character.
If you need to stow a weapon and draw another, better suited, one. It’s two separate interact actions.


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*Khan* wrote:
If you need to stow a weapon and draw another, better suited, one. It’s two separate interact actions.

Not if you just drop the unsuitable weapon and collect it after the battle is over.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

You could let the druid precast wild shape.

It's generally not something PF2 is designed around but it would help her get into combat quicker without really breaking the game.

Silver Crusade

I've played several wild shaping druids across many levels (from level 1 up to level 20). It is my favourite class so far.

As others have stated, the key to the wild shaped druid is flexibility. Sometimes you shape, often you don't and just use spells. In general, you tend to wild shape for the easier encounters in order to preserve spells OR against a single opponent of higher level where you REALLY need the flank bonuses, magic to hit numbers, etc to get your chance to hit to something reasonable.

One key is to max your STR out at level 1 and at every opportunity thereafter (including going to 19 at level 10).

Its also significantly more effective at some levels than other levels. You really, really, really want to get to the point where your attack roll is higher than the base wild shape so you get the extra +2 status bonus to hit.

But it is pretty much NEVER more effective than a martial (with the possible exception level 10 thru 13 or so where plant shape comes online).

One significant issue is that ALL aspects of Wild shaping have considerable table variation. The base rules are very unclear and paizo has refused to clarify them.

So, some tables interpret "if your attack bonus is higher" to mean "if your attack bonus is greater than or equal", some interpret it as this occurs AFTER the +2 status, most don't. This affects things.

Some allow things like rage or sneak attack to apply. Some don't.

Campaign style also has a lot to do with things. The best wild forms are big and so only useful when there is enough space. A wild shaper will do much better in a wilderness campaign than in cramped small dungeons. Sometimes your potentially huge speeds and movement abilities and senses will be massively useful, sometimes not worth the having.

The key to a wild shaping druid is flexibility. At level 5, sometimes the ability to have scent and a climb speed is huge. Sometimes a speed of 50 feet is huge. At higher levels, being able to turn into a dragon and breath the specific element in the specific shape is huge. And sometimes you just stay in base form, hit the opponent with your weapon (you DO have a weapon or a decent unarmed attack in base form, right?) together with a spell.

You have to be always aware of the entire battle and decide what tactic is right for that battle. Having a default plan of "change into a bear and chew face" is ok ONLY if you realize that you'll do that default plan less than 1/2 the time.

Oh, and multiclass into monk at some point (ideally by a L9 multitalent since you get little from a monk in the early game and its awkward to meet the Dex/Str prereqs before Level 5). Plant shape is too good to NOT take at Level 10 but then flurry at level 12 just rocks.


This is a PSA. Druids cannot activate the status bonus to wild shape at any level except 4 unless they use a weaker battle form. Check with your GM to see if they will waive the requirement and allow it to work with only an equal modifier.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
pauljathome wrote:
You have to be always aware of the entire battle and decide what tactic is right for that battle. Having a default plan of "change into a bear and chew face" is ok ONLY if you realize that you'll do that default plan less than 1/2 the time.

That's not great advice if turning into a bear and chewing face is what someone wants to do.

Yeah, it might not be optimal, but if that's the character someone wants to play, I feel like telling them "no you don't get to" is a better way to simply turn people off to PF2 than anything else.


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Squiggit wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
You have to be always aware of the entire battle and decide what tactic is right for that battle. Having a default plan of "change into a bear and chew face" is ok ONLY if you realize that you'll do that default plan less than 1/2 the time.

That's not great advice if turning into a bear and chewing face is what someone wants to do.

Yeah, it might not be optimal, but if that's the character someone wants to play, I feel like telling them "no you don't get to" is a better way to simply turn people off to PF2 than anything else.

Precisely. It is exaclty like telling the person who wants to play a blaster caster that they shouldn't. WildShape should work reasonably all by itself.

Grand Lodge

Farien wrote:
*Khan* wrote:
If you need to stow a weapon and draw another, better suited, one. It’s two separate interact actions.
Not if you just drop the unsuitable weapon and collect it after the battle is over.

Yep, but you better be sure you do not need to retreat fast or the terrain makes the retrieval difficult (battles on rooftops or flying fx.).


I don't personally switch to wild shape until around level 10.

Animal Companion plays better up to around that level and is easier to use because combats are fairly fast. Groups are usually ahead of the damage curve at lower level, especially once getting a Striking weapon.

At low level wild shape is best for maybe scouting or climbing to get into areas that a normal character may have travel getting into.

Once past level 10 and you start picking up the power forms like dragon or elemental and you get reach or can move super fast, the animal companion is more functional than wild shape.

Past level 10 wild shape is more fun with more interesting creatures. You can use it against higher hit point mobs if you want to do some martial damage and not waste blasting spells. I often use wild shape dragon in mook fights where the reach and mobility are nice.

Liberty's Edge

Gortle wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
You have to be always aware of the entire battle and decide what tactic is right for that battle. Having a default plan of "change into a bear and chew face" is ok ONLY if you realize that you'll do that default plan less than 1/2 the time.

That's not great advice if turning into a bear and chewing face is what someone wants to do.

Yeah, it might not be optimal, but if that's the character someone wants to play, I feel like telling them "no you don't get to" is a better way to simply turn people off to PF2 than anything else.

Precisely. It is exaclty like telling the person who wants to play a blaster caster that they shouldn't. WildShape should work reasonably all by itself.

But not on a full caster.

Hence my idea above for a Fighter MC Druid.

And others' ideas of an Animal Barbarian.

It is the best PF2 currently offers for the character who only wants to shapechange and chew face.

Hopefully a PF2 Shifter will happen someday to better fulfill this concept.

But Druid is NOT the appropriate class for this.


The Raven Black wrote:
Hence my idea above for a Fighter MC Druid.

Be careful, you need Martial Artist to make it work, so it's not really functional without FA.

I wonder if grabbing Scrolls of whatever Form on a martial chassis (Monk typically, but it can be Fighter) would work from level 3 to 20. The cost of scrolls is a bit high but you don't need Striking Runes (and maybe not Property Runes, this one is GM dependent) so you should be able to live with it.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
The Raven Black wrote:


But Druid is NOT the appropriate class for this.

Eh, it's not as optimal as a martial artist fighter... but the wild druid gets shapeshifting potentially every combat out of the box at level 1 with no hoops to jump through, that's pretty ideal.

Like this is the character Paizo designed for this kind of thing, so it feels weird to say it's inappropriate.

Many of the major problems being discussed aren't really solved just by switching class anyways. Action economy is still going to need some help from the GM to be more fun. The size thing needs a houserule regardless... and while the fighter partially sidesteps the status bonus issue, that's just all the more reason not to be weird about it when dealing with druids themselves like people tend to be on the rules forum.

Liberty's Edge

Squiggit wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:


But Druid is NOT the appropriate class for this.

Eh, it's not as optimal as a martial artist fighter... but the wild druid gets shapeshifting potentially every combat out of the box at level 1 with no hoops to jump through, that's pretty ideal.

Like this is the character Paizo designed for this kind of thing, so it feels weird to say it's inappropriate.

Many of the major problems being discussed aren't really solved just by switching class anyways. Action economy is still going to need some help from the GM to be more fun. The size thing needs a houserule regardless... and while the fighter partially sidesteps the status bonus issue, that's just all the more reason not to be weird about it when dealing with druids themselves like people tend to be on the rules forum.

My post was in answer to posts that criticized advice that was given saying a Druid should use all their abilities and not just shapeshifting then Striking.

How you want to contribute to combat should greatly influence the choice of your class.

Want to go melee and bash heads ? Go martial.

Want to cast spells that change the flow of the fight ? Go caster.

Want to blast foes with energy ? Go kineticist.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If the druid is pelting the enemy with ranged spells, why aren't the enemy targets trying to close the gap to end the threat?

I'd think that there would be plenty of opportunities to wildshape, then strike, after the enemy moved in on what they thought was just another squishy caster.

I know it won't always work out so well (perhaps they run for cover instead), but it should happen often enough that the "bear chew face" fantasy is fulfilled.

Normally, I'd say "talk to the GM," but seeing as you're filling that role, I'll instead ask "why are you making it difficult for your players to play out their fantasies?

If you do intend to houserule wildshape to allow for better action economy, I recommend doing so as a homebrew feat, maybe as a reward for saving a mentor druid or something.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Some sort of lunging wild shape where you cast the spell for 3 actions and get a stride+strike to go with it would be an easy class feat for Paizo to add to support the strategy better.

I support this concept. A custom class feat that lets you use wild shape to transform, move up to twice your speed, and make a single attack for 3 actions is actually an incredibly good feat because of action economy. It is perhaps too good? Maybe, but also it's not going to break your game and will make your player happy.


The Raven Black wrote:
But not on a full caster.

Why not?

They can't do both at once and there is a significant action and resource cost to change.

Silver Crusade

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Gortle wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
You have to be always aware of the entire battle and decide what tactic is right for that battle. Having a default plan of "change into a bear and chew face" is ok ONLY if you realize that you'll do that default plan less than 1/2 the time.

That's not great advice if turning into a bear and chewing face is what someone wants to do.

Yeah, it might not be optimal, but if that's the character someone wants to play, I feel like telling them "no you don't get to" is a better way to simply turn people off to PF2 than anything else.

Precisely. It is exaclty like telling the person who wants to play a blaster caster that they shouldn't. WildShape should work reasonably all by itself.

Maybe it should (I'd love to see a PF2 shifter class) but right now it just does not. Not at all levels at any rate or across all campaigns.

If the player just wants to turn into a bear to eat face then they will underperform by a noticeable amount. Surely it is best if they know that and either
1) Accept it or
2) Decide to play a different character

Silver Crusade

gesalt wrote:
This is a PSA. Druids cannot activate the status bonus to wild shape at any level except 4 unless they use a weaker battle form. Check with your GM to see if they will waive the requirement and allow it to work with only an equal modifier.

Factually untrue even with the most conservative interpretation of the rules (and the rules ARE both ambiguous AND interpreted differently by different people).

Plant Shape at level 10-12 (at least) is a counterexample. I think there are others.


Squiggit wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:


But Druid is NOT the appropriate class for this.
Eh, it's not as optimal as a martial artist fighter... but the wild druid gets shapeshifting potentially every combat out of the box at level 1 with no hoops to jump through, that's pretty ideal.

Well... Level 3. But the point still stands. That is earlier than pretty much every other class could do it at.

Liberty's Edge

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Gortle wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
But not on a full caster.

Why not?

They can't do both at once and there is a significant action and resource cost to change.

They cannot do both at once, true. But the Druid can be a full caster, then they wildshape, then they dismiss the spell and go back to being a full caster.

I feel the power level of the wild shapes has been set precisely to balance this.

Not for the character who just wants to change shape and chew face without caring about the rest of their abilities.

Come to think of it, I would not be surprised to learn that the additional benefit of Wildshape (+2 status bonus when using your own modifier) was put there with multiclassing martials in mind, rather than Druids.


wild shape wrote:
When you choose to use your own attack modifier while polymorphed instead of the form's default attack modifier, you gain a +2 status bonus to your attack rolls.
battle forms wrote:
If your unarmed attack bonus is higher, you can use it instead.

Yes, very ambiguous. Surely there are many ways to interpret "if x > y, you can use x."

You are correct about plant form though. At levels 10 and 12 where your bonus is +18 and +22 vs plant form's +17 and +21 you will get the bonus.


gesalt wrote:
wild shape wrote:
When you choose to use your own attack modifier while polymorphed instead of the form's default attack modifier, you gain a +2 status bonus to your attack rolls.
battle forms wrote:
If your unarmed attack bonus is higher, you can use it instead.

Yes, very ambiguous. Surely there are many ways to interpret "if x > y, you can use x."

You are correct about plant form though. At levels 10 and 12 where your bonus is +18 and +22 vs plant form's +17 and +21 you will get the bonus.

The ambiguous part is whether you only have to have a better bonus than the base bonus listed in the Battle Form spell, or whether you have to beat the +2 boosted value from Wild Shape.

Basically, at level 10 when you first get Plant Shape, are you trying to beat the +17 from Plant Form, or the +19 from Wild Shape?

Also, I am not necessarily asking you how you run it in your games. I can read that from what you posted. I'm asking if you feel that you can successfully disprove all other possible readings of that rule interaction.


Something that might work is the wildshaper class archetype in this pathfinder infinite book it essentially gives magus progression with the level 2 required feat making wild shape be one action and key ability score strength/dexterity, I remember finding it when I was looking for a third party thing to have a more wild shape focused option myself but haven't had the chance to try it yet


breithauptclan wrote:


The ambiguous part is whether you only have to have a better bonus than the base bonus listed in the Battle Form spell, or whether you have to beat the +2 boosted value from Wild Shape.

Basically, at level 10 when you first get Plant Shape, are you trying to beat the +17 from Plant Form, or the +19 from Wild Shape?

Also, I am not necessarily asking you how you run it in your games. I can read that from what you posted. I'm asking if you feel that you can successfully disprove all other possible readings of that rule interaction.

"When you choose to use your own attack modifier while polymorphed instead of the form's default attack modifier, you gain a +2 status bonus to your attack rolls."

If you can't choose to use your own attack modifier, the status bonus can't trigger. I don't see a clause anywhere in there that allows the use of a status bonus you don't have to determine if your attack modifier is higher, nor do I see one indicating you can use it if your attack modifier is equal to or greater.

As far as my understanding of the English language, simple if-else statements and comparison operations go, there's no way around it. However, if you had a temporary bonus to your attack modifier you might be able to use that to qualify for wild shape's bonus, say inspire courage off a bard. Nothing about wild shape or the individual spells say anything about your base/unmodified bonus being higher, just a general statement. That can be interpreted to mean it only needs to be higher at the time of casting, after which wild shape's bonus would be in effect.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I feel like that's a lot of work to try to keep the druid from using their status bonus. Don't really get why since people don't seem to think the playstyle is particularly powerful.


gesalt wrote:
If you can't choose to use your own attack modifier, the status bonus can't trigger. I don't see a clause anywhere in there that allows the use of a status bonus you don't have to determine if your attack modifier is higher,

It seems very strange to rule it such that if the Druid gets their normal bonus just high enough, but not too high, then they get a +2 bonus to their attack rolls. But if their normal bonus goes just slightly higher, then they lose that +2 bonus and end up at a lower total bonus on their rolls than what they had before.

That feels like a too bad to be true type of ruling. It is often pointed out that it feels bad to lose something because you leveled up and gained more power.


Squiggit wrote:
I feel like that's a lot of work to try to keep the druid from using their status bonus. Don't really get why since people don't seem to think the playstyle is particularly powerful.

Oh, it isn't and I have no issue with it as a house rule, only that it's recognized as a house rule instead of something you should take for granted.

breithauptclan wrote:
gesalt wrote:
If you can't choose to use your own attack modifier, the status bonus can't trigger. I don't see a clause anywhere in there that allows the use of a status bonus you don't have to determine if your attack modifier is higher,
It seems very strange to rule it such that if the Druid gets their normal bonus just high enough, but not too high, then they get a +2 bonus to their attack rolls. But if their normal bonus goes just slightly higher, then they lose that +2 bonus and end up at a lower total bonus on their rolls than what they had before.

It's the opposite really. Getting the bonus as high as you can simply isn't enough at most levels. The openings you have are at the even levels where the battle forms can't scale in time or exploiting wording to qualify for the +2 bonus by using a lesser +1 bonus as a stepping stone.

To me it seems more like the devs didn't want wild shape druid to get anything over martials by pushing a status bonus they didn't have access to so they worded it to give you a little something if you had to use a weaker form but that would all but guarentee it couldn't be used to push the playstyle.


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pauljathome wrote:
gesalt wrote:
This is a PSA. Druids cannot activate the status bonus to wild shape at any level except 4 unless they use a weaker battle form. Check with your GM to see if they will waive the requirement and allow it to work with only an equal modifier.

Factually untrue even with the most conservative interpretation of the rules (and the rules ARE both ambiguous AND interpreted differently by different people).

Plant Shape at level 10-12 (at least) is a counterexample. I think there are others.

No in practice it is true. There is always the option of taking an inferior form for a druid to get you +2 to hit status bonus. Plant form at level 10 and level 12 will get you that +2 but there are better top level forms at that level won't qualify for the +2. The argument is that Plant Form isn't your best form at that level. Most people are going to want to be a TRex or a Dragon at those levels.

The full list of forms where a top level form will qualify for the +2 status bonus is Animal form at level 4, Plant form at level 10, and Plant/ Insect and Aerial form at level 12. It is only these forms and only these levels. These are all even numbers where the granularity of spell rank lets the caster down. Apart from Animal form at level 4 there are better form options. Yes even if you value a more defensive approach Elemental Form is better. You'll have to excuse us if we don't repeat it every time this argument is mentioned.

The rules for the +2 are not ambiguous but they are still interpreted differently in practice. The damage bonus rules are however not defined. Use of the Druids ability score is also not clear either.

The bottom line is when you talk about play experience with wild shape you aren't comparing apples with apples.

It has always been broken but Paizo refuse to fix it. It took 3 years before they even dealt with the Battle Form inability to grapple or escape.

Silver Crusade

Gortle wrote:
pauljathome wrote:


Plant Shape at level 10-12 (at least) is a counterexample. I think there are others.

No in practice it is true. There is always the option of taking an inferior form for a druid to get you +2 to hit status bonus. Plant form at level 10 and level 12 will get you that +2 but there are better top level forms at that level won't qualify for the +2. The argument is that Plant Form isn't your best form at that level. Most people are going to want to be a TRex or a Dragon at those levels.

Then most people are definitely wrong at level 10 and very arguably wrong at level 12. At level 10, Plant Form (Arboreal) gives you 2d10+11 as opposed to a TRex 2d12+6, gives you a better AC, and the same 15 foot reach. So, better to hit for more damage.

At level 12 Plant Form (Arboreal) gets better, Dinosaur Form does not.

Dragon Form IS way cool and its much harder to evaluate. Following assumes there is enough room to get huge as a Plant.

Flying and breath weapon are definitely very, very useful.

But the AC in dragon form is a lot lower, your to hit is lower, and base damage is slightly lower (assuming no exploitable elemental weakness) with less reach (best dragon is 2d12 + 2d6+6 vs a plant form of 2d10+16)

But the kicker is that at level 12 it is possible to pick up flurry of blows for the druid. While that doesn't make the Plant vs Dragon absolutely clear cut I think it at least brings them up to balanced.

This doesn't even consider that at level 8 you only get 1 of Soaring Shape and Ferocious Shape. And Soaring Shape is a huge win to let you get wings when you want to fly but still cast spells (via Wild Morph).

Quote:


The rules for the +2 are not ambiguous but they are still interpreted differently in practice. The damage bonus rules are however not defined. Use of the Druids ability score is also not clear either.

The bottom line is when you talk about play experience with wild shape you aren't comparing apples with apples.

It has always been broken but Paizo refuse to fix it. It took 3 years before they even dealt with the Battle Form inability to grapple or escape.

On this (as I've said many times) we are in complete and utter agreement. lots of the rules are ambiguous AND many of the rules are treated differently at different tables whether or not they are ambiguous (I'd argue that some aren't as clear as you seem to think but that isn't really important. The important fact is that they ARE treated differently at different tables)

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