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    Default What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    So a player had an interesting proposal.
    They wanted to play a wildshaper, but on a full martial chassis rather than a full caster one.

    I wanted to soundboard this one out. So what if we took a barbarian and replaced rage for him with wildshape? All features that refer to rage would affect wildshape instead.

    Edit: I of course mean Combat Wildshape, not the regular one that non-moon druids get.
    Last edited by Yunru; 2019-04-23 at 05:57 PM.

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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Could be interesting. Since barbarian gets extra attack this would change the kinds of forms you would want.

    Furthermore, bear totem is really nice when you get the full DR of rage plus wildshape HP.
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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    The balance of this is REALLY hard to determine.

    You'd get extra attack (which works with beast form attacks), which can make some combos especially powerful, but you lose a TON of the meat of the barbarian class.

    I'd be fascinated to hear more about your playtest if you go ahead with this. I recommend you modify other rules as little as possible for smooth play and see how it works.

    I assume also that you'd be talking about moon-druid style wildshaping, not standard druid wildshaping.

    Note that this won't work well with the typical build choices of other barbarians: Strength based races are less valuable because physical stats are replaced, and most martial feats don't help you in wild shape (although some do).

    You'll want to look for races that give you features you can use while transformed, and feats whose benefits apply while wild shaped. Because of these decisions, the resulting build will likely be much less effective than a typical barbarian when out of resources (though will probably have more well-rounded ability scores).

    If you're the DM, I'd recommend making sure that the typical adventuring day requires some rationing of wild shape to keep the player thinking critically about when to use it.

    Make sure relevant barbarian features apply to beast form attacks and go nuts.

    This would be highly interesting.


    Edit: Remember that druids are still full casters when they aren't wild shaped, and have lots more resources to spend in those encounters that they aren't a bear.

    By contrast, barbarians have much better passive features and combat power overall, but are dramatically weaker when out of wild shapes. You may find that this character swings wildly from overpowered while they still have uses of wildshape left, to very underpowered when out of them.

    That might not be bad, but try to avoid a situation where the player never has to make any hard choices about when to go bear-mode.
    Last edited by Phoenix042; 2019-04-23 at 06:28 PM.
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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    Could be interesting. Since barbarian gets extra attack this would change the kinds of forms you would want.

    Furthermore, bear totem is really nice when you get the full DR of rage plus wildshape HP.
    I think it'd be better to interpret that all Rage-focused abilities would need to change to match the Wildshape options.

    In terms of Bear, I'd probably change it to getting Proficiency in all Saving Throws.
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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Check out this. It's a martial class made around wildshaping. I believe that Grod was also building one in the homebrew section you can look at.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/16Yh...w?usp=drivesdk (apparently ignore this as it needs some major revamping)

    Otherwise, I say give it a shot. The only possible issue I see is the barb unarmored defense in some forms. However I don't think that compares the power from being a full caster
    Last edited by nickl_2000; 2019-04-24 at 07:09 AM.
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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    This would be an interesting combo that would play differently than either of the parent classes. He would be much more inclined to just stay in wild shape than a druid would, as he doesn't need to be out to cast spells. He also doesn't need to worry about ASIs, as he's not using it's own physical abilities and doesn't need the mental abilities, and doesn't need to spend feats for concentration.

    You're going to have to abjudicate how weapons work with forms. Druids don't have the weapon proficiencies or spare feats to do a whole lot of weapon shenanigans, but I expect this guy would love to carry a polearm with PAM/GWM/Sentinel and use it while in a form with reach like a giant octopus or earth elemental. Same thing with armor, this guy is going to be more of a 'stay a beast all day' type so is likely to try to get barding made for his favorite form or two (most creatures don't have a +4 or higher con).

    This would be great ghostwise halfling barbarian, as you get to be a small character who still wild shapes and your telepathy removes the communication issue of being a beast.

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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    A less interesting, but simpler, option I'm considering is to just transplant the Circle of the Moon as a Barbarian subclass for them.

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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    I'm looking at the Beast Spells and Archdruid from the druid, and Persistent and Relentless Rage from the Barbarian. But these don't come into play until level 11.

    Those for are the only chassis interactions I see any problems with.
    Well, that and the "use spell slot to heal 1d8."

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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Quote Originally Posted by nickl_2000 View Post
    Check out this. It's a martial class made around wildshaping. I believe that Grod was also building one in the homebrew section you can look at.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/16Yh...w?usp=drivesdk
    That class looks like absolute garbage.

    It actually looks very similar to what Grod was suggesting and has the exact same problems people pointed out to him at the time.

    You can shapeshift an infinite number of times . . . but because there's no hp buffer, there's no meaningful benefit to being able to do so.
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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Cliché View Post
    That class looks like absolute garbage..
    Ouch.... well it was honest, I will give it that.
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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Quote Originally Posted by nickl_2000 View Post
    Ouch.... well it was honest, I will give it that.
    Sorry, that was insensitive of me.

    The problem is that this class just doesn't do enough. It's got basically no spells and doesn't even have extra attack, so you're entirely reliant on the shapeshifting mechanic in order to do anything. But the shapeshifting isn't anywhere near effective enough to justify losing out on so many other abilities and features. If anything, it's drastically weaker than that of a Moon Druid, and the Moon Druid is also a full spellcaster.

    I appreciate that you probably don't want your homebrew stuff to be overpowered but in this case I think you've gone way too far in the other direction.
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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Quote Originally Posted by nickl_2000 View Post
    Check out this. It's a martial class made around wildshaping. I believe that Grod was also building one in the homebrew section you can look at.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/16Yh...w?usp=drivesdk

    Otherwise, I say give it a shot. The only possible issue I see is the barb unarmored defense in some forms. However I don't think that compares the power from being a full caster
    In addition to a plethora of grammatical and formatting errors, the features of this class seem all over the board. The Urban one is weak, an ability that allows for a save to grant disadvantage for 1 attack? No thanks. The Shapeshifting at first seems really cool, and out of combat probably would be (especially considering there are no limits aside from CR, meaning that a level 1 could possibly gain a fly speed or something) but in combat you literally only have the base stuff.
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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Cliché View Post
    Sorry, that was insensitive of me.

    The problem is that this class just doesn't do enough. It's got basically no spells and doesn't even have extra attack, so you're entirely reliant on the shapeshifting mechanic in order to do anything. But the shapeshifting isn't anywhere near effective enough to justify losing out on so many other abilities and features. If anything, it's drastically weaker than that of a Moon Druid, and the Moon Druid is also a full spellcaster.

    I appreciate that you probably don't want your homebrew stuff to be overpowered but in this case I think you've gone way too far in the other direction.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zanthy1 View Post
    In addition to a plethora of grammatical and formatting errors, the features of this class seem all over the board. The Urban one is weak, an ability that allows for a save to grant disadvantage for 1 attack? No thanks. The Shapeshifting at first seems really cool, and out of combat probably would be (especially considering there are no limits aside from CR, meaning that a level 1 could possibly gain a fly speed or something) but in combat you literally only have the base stuff.
    Alright, looks like it should go back to the drawing board for how to make the class work. Thanks for the more constructive criticism and thoughts.
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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Quote Originally Posted by Yunru View Post
    So a player had an interesting proposal.
    They wanted to play a wildshaper, but on a full martial chassis rather than a full caster one.

    I wanted to soundboard this one out. So what if we took a barbarian and replaced rage for him with wildshape? All features that refer to rage would affect wildshape instead.

    Edit: I of course mean Combat Wildshape, not the regular one that non-moon druids get.
    This has really caught my imagination. On the surface this seems like it would be great so long as the party could get short rests in... I don’t see my DM being cool with this, but if any of my players wanted to try, I’d encourage them to do so...

    In fact... that’s it, I’m making an NPC like this.

    Functionally, conceptually... RP wise it could be so different from the two things it comes from

    I see some interesting rules questions coming up... exactly how big a pole arm would an earth elemental need?

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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    It would certainly work with the Combat Wild shape, with the following:
    I'd make it a bonus action to transform, ONLY after already raging, so you'd still need normal barbarian stats, and you'd fight the first round of each fight as a barbarian, then shifting into a beast the second round. It'd definitely fall into a lycanthropy/shifting themed class.

    They won't have the shapes refresh on short rest, but it would work. You'd only be able to wild shape while raging, so you can only be in beast shapes for a total of 1 minute, and you wouldn't use the forms for utility purposes... but going ham on a triton while a shark is fine.

    Next post will be my version of what you'd use.
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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Path of the Shifter

    Call of the Wild
    When you choose this path at 3rd level, you gain the ability to use Wild Shape while raging. As a bonus action on your turn, you can transform into a beast with a challenge rating as high as your barbarian level divided by 3, rounded down. You must abide by the other form limitations as though you were a Druid of a level equal to your barbarian level, and your transformation lasts as long as your rage. You then revert to your normal form. You can revert to your normal form earlier by using a bonus action on your turn. You automatically revert if you fall unconscious, drop to 0 hit points, or die.

    Primal Blows
    Starting at 6th level, your attacks in a beast form count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.

    Hybrid Forms
    At 10th level, you can cast the Alter Self spell at will. When you do so, it has a duration that doesn't require concentration, and you can end the effect as an action.

    Elemental Shifter
    At 14th level, while raging, you can expend another use of rage to transform into an air elemental, an earth elemental, a fire elemental, or a water elemental. The duration of the rage can last for up to 2 minutes, instead of 1 minute, when you transform in this way
    Last edited by Vogie; 2019-04-24 at 09:08 AM.
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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Quote Originally Posted by Vogie View Post
    When you choose this path at 3rd level, you gain the ability to use Wild Shape while raging. As a bonus action on your turn, you can transform into a beast with a challenge rating as high as 1 [...] Starting at 6th level, you can transform into a beast with a challenge rating as high as your barbarian level divided by 3, rounded down.
    Is there a reason for these to be separate? 3/3=1.

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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Quote Originally Posted by Yunru View Post
    Is there a reason for these to be separate? 3/3=1.
    Because... math is hard. Also, that's how it was written in the Moon Druid class, and I didn't make the connection. I corrected it.
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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Cliché View Post
    It actually looks very similar to what Grod was suggesting and has the exact same problems people pointed out to him at the time.

    You can shapeshift an infinite number of times . . . but because there's no hp buffer, there's no meaningful benefit to being able to do so.
    I admit that it didn't work as a quick tweak to the Druid, but... No meaningful benefit? I guess, if you ignore the new physical ability scores, boosted damage dice and/or multiattack, increased mobility, and all kinds of lovely special abilities. Doubly so for my Wilding, which has subclasses letting you turn into monstrosities, aberrations, and giants. To say nothing of the fact that, you know, you're turning into a friggin bear. Wild Shape can and should be about so much more than just being a wall of health.

    Besides, if you're building something from scratch, it's easy to make up for weaknesses. Just saying that you keep your base hit points means that you've got the health of a (presumably) high hit die class who has no incentive to invest in anything but Con, and that's before you add any abilities like an Unarmored Defense.
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2019-04-24 at 09:16 AM.

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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    I admit that it didn't work as a quick tweak to the Druid, but... No meaningful benefit? I guess, if you ignore the new physical ability scores, boosted damage dice and/or multiattack, increased mobility, and all kinds of lovely special abilities.
    Sorry, I phrased that badly. What I meant was that there is no meaningful benefit to being able to shift an infinite number of times.

    You can get better physical stats, sure, but that only requires you to shift once.

    You can probably have fun shapeshifting around out-of-combat (though even then I'm not sure how many uses you'd practically need), but in combat the ability is severely lacking. And, as I stated earlier, this is a huge issue because the class is entirely built around the ability to shapeshift - to the point that it doesn't have proper spellcasting or even an extra attack.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Besides, if you're building something from scratch, it's easy to make up for weaknesses. Just saying that you keep your base hit points means that you've got the health of a (presumably) high hit die class who has no incentive to invest in anything but Con, and that's before you add any abilities like an Unarmored Defense.
    Sure. You can add more stuff to it. But the link was presented as a finished class - not as a WIP.

    You can argue till you're blue in the face that you can add Unarmoured Defence or whatever, but the point is that they didn't add Unarmoured Defence.
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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    Furthermore, bear totem is really nice when you get the full DR of rage plus wildshape HP.
    It would be unfair if they got DR and wildshape.

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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Quote Originally Posted by Vogie View Post
    Path of the Shifter

    Call of the Wild
    When you choose this path at 3rd level, you gain the ability to use Wild Shape while raging. As a bonus action on your turn, you can transform into a beast with a challenge rating as high as your barbarian level divided by 3, rounded down. You must abide by the other form limitations as though you were a Druid of a level equal to your barbarian level, and your transformation lasts as long as your rage. You then revert to your normal form. You can revert to your normal form earlier by using a bonus action on your turn. You automatically revert if you fall unconscious, drop to 0 hit points, or die.
    y
    As Unoriginal noted on a different post, they are still getting damage resistance, reckless, and damage bonuses that scale with barbarian level...


    maybe if you auto transformed at the start of the rage, so it doesn't act like an HP buff in mid fight. but that is still rough. at least the barb/druid is delayed by a level and has to trade between concentration AND rage...
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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    I think allowing Wild Shape to stack with the damage reduction from Rage is probably a bad idea-- you're taking one of the best parts of the feature and making it twice as strong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Cliché View Post
    Sorry, I phrased that badly. What I meant was that there is no meaningful benefit to being able to shift an infinite number of times.
    I can think of edge cases, but I see where you're coming from. The difference is mostly psychological, I think-- an at-will ability feels really different from a limited resource, even if the limit is higher than you generally need.

    You can get better physical stats, sure, but that only requires you to shift once.

    Sure. You can add more stuff to it. But the link was presented as a finished class - not as a WIP.

    You can argue till you're blue in the face that you can add Unarmoured Defence or whatever, but the point is that they didn't add Unarmoured Defence.
    Ah, I think I misinterpreted-- I thought you were arguing against the general possibility of such a class working, not against this particular version. (I think my base class meets the criteria, though.)
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2019-04-24 at 11:23 AM.

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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    I can think of edge cases, but I see where you're coming from. The difference is mostly psychological, I think-- an at-will ability feels really different from a limited resource, even if the limit is higher than you generally need.
    Oh that's very true. There is something enjoyable about being able to use an ability as much as you want.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Ah, I think I misinterpreted-- I thought you were arguing against the general possibility of such a class working, not against this particular version. (I think my base class meets the criteria, though.)
    No, I was only talking about that specific version.
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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    It would be unfair if they got DR and wildshape.
    Agreed

    The advantage of bear totem resistances over baseline rage resistance is quite variable, but it certainly can be surprisingly limited

    The advantage of bear totem over no resistance at all would be VERY significant.

    That option would have to be eliminated or possibly modified.
    Last edited by Spiritchaser; 2019-04-24 at 12:06 PM.

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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    I disagree with all the commenters saying they should have to use rage to wildshape- because then that means that this character still has rage, making them dramatically more powerful than the original idea.
    Last edited by Potato_Priest; 2019-04-24 at 04:07 PM.
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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Quote Originally Posted by Potato_Priest View Post
    I disagree with all the commenters saying they should have to use rage to wildshape- because then that means that this character still has rage, making them dramatically more powerful than the original idea.
    You didn't say that he couldn't wildshape while raging... just not required.

    at level 9:
    Thundar has 92 HP, +4 Str mod, +4 rage bonus, and 16AC

    He rages getting resistance to physical attacks, so after 3 rounds he absorbs 160 damage, leaving him a 10 HP.
    Now he wildshapes into Ankylosaurus, getting 68 HP + resistance, so he can absorb another 100 HP.

    If he had to wildshape and rage at the same time, then he doesn't get physical resistance on his own 90HP...

    additionally, his wildshaped AC will probably drop about 2 points.

    As far as more damage
    raging barbarian with maul is doing 2x(6.5+4+4) 29 damage without wild shape
    the giant scorpion does 19 damage, [if all 3 strikes hit (+4 toHit not likley)] plus rage bonus is +12 damage = 31
    ankylosaurus does 36+8 = 42.. (okay, that one hurts)
    raging barbarian with flaming longsword 2x(5.5+3*3.5+4+5) is doing 50 damage


    now if you are saying they must be mutually exclusive (cannot rage while wildshaped), then i misunderstood.
    Last edited by NaughtyTiger; 2019-04-24 at 05:24 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Just, please don't. Insisting on that technicality improves nothing.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Quote Originally Posted by NaughtyTiger View Post

    now if you are saying they must be mutually exclusive (cannot rage while wildshaped), then i misunderstood.
    I'm trying to say the character shouldn't even have access to both rage and wildshape without druid levels. If we're homebrewing this barbarian to give it wildshape, we ought to take out rage entirely. Otherwise there is no way it can possibly be balanced with a default barbarian. We could rule that it can never be raging and wildshaped at the same time, but as long as it can do both it would still be waaaay better than a normal barb.
    Last edited by Potato_Priest; 2019-04-25 at 11:06 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    See, I remember the days of roleplaying before organisms could even see, let alone use see as a metaphor for comprehension. We could barely comprehend that we could comprehend things. Imagining we were something else was a huge leap forward and really passed the time in between absorbing nutrients.

    Biggest play I ever made: "I want to eat something over there." Anticipated the trope of "being able to move" that you see in all stories these days.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Quote Originally Posted by Potato_Priest View Post
    I'm trying to say the character shouldn't even have access to both rage and wildshape without druid levels. If we're homebrewing this barbarian to give it wildshape, we ought to take out rage entirely. Otherwise there is no way it can possibly be balanced with a default barbarian. We could rule that it can never be raging and wildshaped at the same time, but as long as it can do both it would still be waaaay better than a normal barb.
    I was on the fence, but after running the math in the previous post, I don't see it if the rage is only while wildshaped.
    straight barb can do more damage with a magic weapon, has similar HP,

    it would be reasonable to say
    extra attack doesn't apply to barbarian wild shape
    barbarian armor doesn't apply
    maybe specify the barb chooses a critter at 3rd, 6th, 10th, 14th...
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Just, please don't. Insisting on that technicality improves nothing.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: What if rage was replaced by wildshape

    Quote Originally Posted by NaughtyTiger View Post
    I was on the fence, but after running the math in the previous post, I don't see it if the rage is only while wildshaped.
    straight barb can do more damage with a magic weapon, has similar HP,

    it would be reasonable to say
    extra attack doesn't apply to barbarian wild shape
    barbarian armor doesn't apply
    maybe specify the barb chooses a critter at 3rd, 6th, 10th, 14th...
    Have you been adding the barbarian's default form to effective HP? If a level 9 barb has equivalent hp normal raging and wildshape raging, with the wildshape raging it still has its normal (better than a fighter's) HP pool once that's gone.
    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    See, I remember the days of roleplaying before organisms could even see, let alone use see as a metaphor for comprehension. We could barely comprehend that we could comprehend things. Imagining we were something else was a huge leap forward and really passed the time in between absorbing nutrients.

    Biggest play I ever made: "I want to eat something over there." Anticipated the trope of "being able to move" that you see in all stories these days.

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