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I am working on a druid character and I just noticed that Beast shape 1-4, Elemental Body 1-4, and Plant Shape 1-3 do not appear on the druid's spell lists. Considering that these spells are the basis of the wild shape ability, it strikes me as strange that they are unable to cast the spells.

What reason have the designers stated for why druids aren't granted these spells?

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They've said nothing

The last time this topic was discussed was during Pathfinder's initial development, when people discussed why druids had some abilities and not others like in Pathfinder's antecedent where druids had many other now-absent abilities.

Searching through the threads, I noticed that even when a developer answered questions, this specific topic wasn't addressed. But, to be fair, I never encountered this exact question on my research.

All we really get by way of insight is a post from designer Jason Bulmahn about the lack of a changelog during the development process:

I would really like to help you guys out, but the changes were quite numerous and done over about a three week period, based off notes, conversations, and extensive lists pulled from these forums. If I want to keep the Beta rolling along, I am afraid that I just do not have the time to pull together this list.

My apologies to your thirsty ink cartridges.

A few days later in the same thread, a user noted a change in the druid spell list:

Spells (pg 99-114): The spells Beast Shape I+, Elemental Body I+ and Plant Shape I+ have been removed from the druid spell list. The only polymorph spells that druids now get are Animal Shapes, Baleful Polymorph and Shapechange.

(Emphasis mine.) And that's all we know.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You're welcome. Thank you for a robust answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 2 '17 at 17:09

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