View Full Version : It's Nerf or nothing (for druid wild shape)

2014-02-09, 02:06 PM
Ok, this is a big rant, but TL;DR I need proof that level 10 druids are perfectly justified for wild shaping into a Dire Tiger and any other large dire animal to appease my DM.


My party and I have been adventuring for approximately 9-10 levels playing good ol' "Savage Tide." We've made it through storm after storm after literal roiling ocean storm to get where we're at.

Last night we began to fight a second wave of pirate invasions, and surprise surprise these weren't just normal pirates but we also have pirates in league with A) Undead Constructs (Phyrexia, mtg fans?) B) Aberrant Wizards who can quote "magically slip out of [the] grapples" and C) Demon ritualists who do the Dance of Dr. Strangelove to release a huge 20d6 explosion, effectively killing our Swashbuckler were it not for the mercy of our GM.

In an attempt to fight back while conserving spells I decided it was time to stop being the evasive spellcaster and wildshape into something big and fat (cuz really, Druid's aren't the greatest front line fighters, and even if they were I'm playing an Anthro-Bat which makes me about as effective as a emaciated puppy with any weapon).

I decided to wild shape into a dire tiger, and that's when it hit the fan. Suddenly I was breaking the game, not adhering to the books, etc etc, and I can admit the tension had been building on this because I had enough buffs on me to choke a horse (i.e. 27 AC if I needed it and a Wisdom of 31 that was decided to be brought down to 27 because one buff was not made 'clear'). I had practically half our table against me doing what I could have sworn was perfectly legal.

My argument was that as an above 8th level druid I am able to turn into any Large sized animal. Sure enough, a Dire Tiger is indeed an Animal, and of Large size. Granted, it's a formidable foe, but it fits the req's. It had a CR 8 which was 2 levels below my own ECL too, and I actually had already shaped into this form once before (in the pirate attack two months prior) so I assumed it wasn't too broken and usable.

The opposition was that, first, I wasn't able to shape into Dire Animals until level 12 (which was an outdated rule for 3ed since we're playing 3.5, and therefor almost discarded as you will see), and second that as dire animals are "feral, monstrous, or even demonic" in nature and appearance, they were not animals but better deemed 'monsters.'

At this point in the night we were tired, angry, and had been stuck on one particular group of enemies (The Strangelove Dancing Demon Quartet) for 3 hours because none of us knew demons well enough to Align Weapon/Fang.... actually none of us recognized they were demons without metagaming. Case in point, I backed off, I became a vanilla tiger.......and it was decreed I could not Wild Shape into a Dire Animal until 12th level. All in all, it had been a bad night for me (stone to flesh'd for the first 3rd of the battle and sunk to the bottom of the bay, hahaha) and getting this huge whopping bag of B-grade Nerf kinda just doesn't sit well with me, specially when DM even pulls the "cuz I say so" card, which as rightful as he is to it, still kinda pisses me off.

So, friends, I beseech you.... gimme some hard cold proof that I can (politely *twitch*) show my DM besides the PHB ruling of Wild Shape saying I can wild shape into dire stuff, IF I'm in the right. If I am in fact in the wrong, then please give me some good Wild Shape forms for lv. 10 druids that wanna get their claws a lil' bloody. For instance, proof that Dire Animals are indeed "ANIMALS," or perhaps the history of the Dire Animal. Many Thanks! :smallbiggrin:

2014-02-09, 02:13 PM
Whoops, this is in the wrong forum! My mistake, feel free to ignore/delete!

2014-02-09, 02:37 PM
Your DM was right for the wrong reasons. You can't wild shape into something with more HD than you have druid levels. Dire tigers have 16 HD. If you're looking for something legal but similar, try the Smilodon in Frostburn.

When you've calmed down, talk to your DM again; point out your mistake, and then apologize for it. Then work out togetherhow Wild Shape is going to work in the future in this campaign, so you avoid shouting matches and DM fiat in mid-battle.

2014-02-09, 02:58 PM
When in doubt, dinosaurs.
Try megaraptor (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/dinosaur.htm#megaraptor).

2014-02-09, 03:46 PM
"The form chosen must be that of an animal the druid is familiar with." Has your druid ever met a dire tiger, in-game?

2014-02-09, 06:37 PM
"The form chosen must be that of an animal the druid is familiar with." Has your druid ever met a dire tiger, in-game?

Knowledge (Nature) should take care of that.

You can't wild shape into a dire tiger yet, but a dire lion is ok. Fleshraker dinosaur also works. Dire eagle (Races of Stone) is another a favorite of mine. It's quite strong for a flying shape.

2014-02-09, 07:43 PM
Knowledge (Nature) should take care of that.

Ah, okay. Then it comes down to what counts as "familiar"...

It's probably a house rule, but when I play it, "familiar" means quite a lot more than "knows enough to recognise one when they see it". Basically, unless the druid has encountered an animal in-game, they're limited to whatever I deem is appropriate to their character background. (E.g. if they're from a temperate forested homeland, then they become bear, boar, squirrel, spider, wolf etc., but not lion, buffalo or crocodile.)