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I have to say, 5e isn't meant to have very detailed descriptions. Instead, it provides a sound base for DMs to build their own adventures.

Jeremy Crawford calls the system "infinitely customizable" in his tweet:

As DM, I allow changes to characters/classes/etc. whenever it serves the story. The beauty of D&D—it’s infinitely customizable

Making their own rulings, both Jeremy Crawford and Mike Mearls often end their tweets with "the DM has final say" or "a DM can say otherwise".

The Adventurer's League Guide describes the role of the DM the similar way:

I have to say, 5e isn't meant to have very detailed descriptions. Instead, it provides a sound base for DMs to build their own adventures.

Jeremy Crawford calls the system "infinitely customizable" in his tweet:

As DM, I allow changes to characters/classes/etc. whenever it serves the story. The beauty of D&D—it’s infinitely customizable

Making their own rulings, both Jeremy Crawford and Mike Mearls often end their tweets with "the DM has final say" or "a DM can say otherwise".

The Adventurer's League Guide describes the role of the DM the similar way:

The Adventurer's League Guide describes the role of the DM the similar way:

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Jeremy Crawford, the lead game designer, called the rules "intentionally silent on these corner cases":

Wild Shape can introduce wild situations. What happens when someone swallows a druid in a Tiny form? Is a druid fecund in beast form? The rules are intentionally silent on these corner cases, leaving adjudication to DMs. As always, I say go with what's best for your story.

The particular ruling (the druid can shapeshift into a specific animal) can lead to a very satisfactory in-game situation. Or it can be utterly boring and devastating, depending on the plot. It is the DM's job to make the right decision.

Aside from the combat, there will always be huge difference between classes' features, so you can't compare (or "balance") them. Some features will be much more useful than another ones in certain situations, it is the DM's job to make them all count.

Aside from the combat, there will always be huge difference between classes' features, so you can't compare (or "balance") them. Some features will be much more useful than another ones in certain situations, it is the DM's job to make them all count.

Jeremy Crawford, the lead game designer, called the rules "intentionally silent on these corner cases":

Wild Shape can introduce wild situations. What happens when someone swallows a druid in a Tiny form? Is a druid fecund in beast form? The rules are intentionally silent on these corner cases, leaving adjudication to DMs. As always, I say go with what's best for your story.

The particular ruling (the druid can shapeshift into a specific animal) can lead to a very satisfactory in-game situation. Or it can be utterly boring and devastating, depending on the plot. It is the DM's job to make the right decision.

Aside from the combat, there will always be huge difference between classes' features, so you can't compare (or "balance") them. Some features will be much more useful than another ones in certain situations.

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Rulings, Not Rules

I haveAside from the combat, there will always be huge difference between classes' features, so you can't compare (or "balance") them. Some features will be much more useful than another ones in certain situations, it is the DM's job to challengemake them all count.

Following the rules-as-written as strict as possible won't help here. In the frameend of the questionday, making the game fun an engaging is not about the rules. For instance, if your game is all about picking locks and disabling traps, and you have only one rogue in the party, (s)he inevitably steals the spotlight. You are, the DM, have to balance these things by your self — how exactly do class features work in order to not to spoil the fun.

You are the DM and you want to decide, how does magic (the Wild Shape, in particular) work in your world. For this taskjob, what things should you consider in the first place — your own story, the fact if your players have fun, common sense, or nitpicking these minor semantic details in the rules (which are concise and not detailed enough)?

I have to say, 5e isn't meant to have very detailed descriptions. Instead, it provides a sound base for DMs to build their own adventures.

Jeremy Crawford calls the system "infinitely customizable" in his tweet:

As DM, I allow changes to characters/classes/etc. whenever it serves the story. The beauty of D&D—it’s infinitely customizable

Making their own rulings, both Jeremy Crawford and Mike Mearls often end their tweets with "the DM has final say" or "a DM can say otherwise".

The Adventurer's League Guide describes the role of the DM the similar way:

As the Dungeon Master, the most important aspect of your role is facilitating the enjoyment of the game for the players. You help guide the narrative and bring the words on the pages of the adventure to life. The outcome of a fun game session often creates stories that live well beyond the play experience at the table. Always follow this golden rule when you DM for a group: Make decisions and adjudications that enhance the fun of the adventure when possible.

Wild Shape description is open-ended

PHB gives only basic restrictons of the Wild Shape:

Starting at 2nd level, you can use your action to magically assume the shape of a beast that you have seen before.

Your druid level determines the beasts you can transform into, as shown in the Beast Shapes table.

The only limitations it describes are the creature type, its CR and its flying/swimming speed — pure balancing ones, a sound base for DMs to build their own adventures. As a DM, you are free to apply all the necessary restrictions — the creature size, type, features or appearance. It would be reasonable to discuss this with the player beforehand, say, prepare a list of their wild shapes.

You don't have to though — if you are happy with the default restrictions, just say that all other things are allowed (dinosaurs included), unless it spoils the fun.

Rulings, Not Rules

I have to challenge the frame of the question. You are the DM and you want to decide, how does magic (the Wild Shape, in particular) work in your world. For this task, what things should you consider in the first place — your own story, the fact if your players have fun, common sense, or nitpicking these minor semantic details in the rules (which are concise and not detailed enough)?

I have to say, 5e isn't meant to have very detailed descriptions. Instead, it provides a sound base for DMs to build their own adventures.

Jeremy Crawford calls the system "infinitely customizable" in his tweet:

As DM, I allow changes to characters/classes/etc. whenever it serves the story. The beauty of D&D—it’s infinitely customizable

Making their own rulings, both Jeremy Crawford and Mike Mearls often end their tweets with "the DM has final say" or "a DM can say otherwise".

The Adventurer's League Guide describes the role of the DM the similar way:

As the Dungeon Master, the most important aspect of your role is facilitating the enjoyment of the game for the players. You help guide the narrative and bring the words on the pages of the adventure to life. The outcome of a fun game session often creates stories that live well beyond the play experience at the table. Always follow this golden rule when you DM for a group: Make decisions and adjudications that enhance the fun of the adventure when possible.

Wild Shape description is open-ended

PHB gives only basic restrictons of the Wild Shape:

Starting at 2nd level, you can use your action to magically assume the shape of a beast that you have seen before.

Your druid level determines the beasts you can transform into, as shown in the Beast Shapes table.

The only limitations it describes are the creature type, its CR and its flying/swimming speed — pure balancing ones, a sound base for DMs to build their own adventures. As a DM, you are free to apply all the necessary restrictions — the creature size, type, features or appearance. It would be reasonable to discuss this with the player beforehand, say, prepare a list of their wild shapes.

You don't have to though — if you are happy with the default restrictions, just say that all other things are allowed (dinosaurs included), unless it spoils the fun.

Rulings, Not Rules

Aside from the combat, there will always be huge difference between classes' features, so you can't compare (or "balance") them. Some features will be much more useful than another ones in certain situations, it is the DM's job to make them all count.

Following the rules-as-written as strict as possible won't help here. In the end of the day, making the game fun an engaging is not about the rules. For instance, if your game is all about picking locks and disabling traps, and you have only one rogue in the party, (s)he inevitably steals the spotlight. You, the DM, have to balance these things by your self — how exactly do class features work in order to not to spoil the fun.

You are the DM and you want to decide, how does magic (the Wild Shape, in particular) work in your world. For this job, what things should you consider in the first place — your own story, the fact if your players have fun, common sense, or nitpicking these minor semantic details in the rules (which are concise and not detailed enough)?

I have to say, 5e isn't meant to have very detailed descriptions. Instead, it provides a sound base for DMs to build their own adventures.

Jeremy Crawford calls the system "infinitely customizable" in his tweet:

As DM, I allow changes to characters/classes/etc. whenever it serves the story. The beauty of D&D—it’s infinitely customizable

Making their own rulings, both Jeremy Crawford and Mike Mearls often end their tweets with "the DM has final say" or "a DM can say otherwise".

The Adventurer's League Guide describes the role of the DM the similar way:

As the Dungeon Master, the most important aspect of your role is facilitating the enjoyment of the game for the players. You help guide the narrative and bring the words on the pages of the adventure to life. The outcome of a fun game session often creates stories that live well beyond the play experience at the table. Always follow this golden rule when you DM for a group: Make decisions and adjudications that enhance the fun of the adventure when possible.

Wild Shape description is open-ended

PHB gives only basic restrictons of the Wild Shape:

Starting at 2nd level, you can use your action to magically assume the shape of a beast that you have seen before.

Your druid level determines the beasts you can transform into, as shown in the Beast Shapes table.

The only limitations it describes are the creature type, its CR and its flying/swimming speed — pure balancing ones, a sound base for DMs to build their own adventures. As a DM, you are free to apply all the necessary restrictions — the creature size, type, features or appearance. It would be reasonable to discuss this with the player beforehand, say, prepare a list of their wild shapes.

You don't have to though — if you are happy with the default restrictions, just say that all other things are allowed (dinosaurs included), unless it spoils the fun.

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