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I'm a first-level Druid, and I'm thinking of using my next feat to multiclass into Paladin (specifically to be able to take some helpful Encounter powers later on). Regardless of how smart this is, or how much power/flexibility I will gain/lose, is it possible to use Paladin Encounter powers if I'm in Beast Form?

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You cannot use attack powers from other classes while in beast form.

From PHB2, p84 (as updated by official errata):

Wild Shape

... While you are in beast form, you can’t use weapon or implement attack powers that lack the beast form keyword, although you can sustain such powers. ...

No paladin powers (or powers from any other non-druid class, for that matter) have the beast form keyword, therefore they can't be used while you're in beast form.

...unless...

The exception is if you take the Werebear, Wererat, or Werewolf themes (all from Dragon 410). They all get an encounter version of the wild shape power, and at level 10 that power changes so that it allows the use of powers both with and without the beast form keyword.

Werewolf Level 10 Feature (10th level): When you use the wolf shape power, you can assume the form of a humanoid-wolf hybrid, instead of a wolf. While in hybrid form, your equipment does not become part of your new form, and you are not forced to drop any items you are holding. You are also not limited to using implement and weapon attack powers that have the beast form keyword.

...or...

If you are a half-elf and have chosen an implement power for your Dilettante racial trait, you can take the Wild Dilettante feat (from Dragon 385 and updated by official errata). However, this only affects the Dilettante power and would not apply to other powers you happen to have.

Wild Dilettante

Prerequisite: Half-elf, druid, you must have chosen an implement power for your Dilettante racial trait

Benefit: You can choose to treat the power you selected for your Dilettante racial trait as though it has the beast form keyword.

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No.

You can only user powers with the keyword "beast form" while you are in your beast form. (PHB2 p 219, RC p 308).

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