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I am building a druid who will be focusing on wild shaping into elemental body forms and using weapons instead of natural attacks. Because of this I want a way to have my weapons NOT meld with me when I wild shape. Currently the only way I know of doing this would be to put the items down or have them in extra dimensional spaces. However then there is the issue of the weapons being incorrectly sized after wild shaping.

A partial solution already exists for armor, called the wild ability for +3. The armor still melds with you when you polymorph.

Specifically I want to create a weapon property which will allow me to exclude or include the weapon its one when I wild shape. Increasing the time to wild shape or something would be fine, so long as the process continues to not provoke attacks of opportunity and is finished within a single round (aka a full round action, not 1 round). Since the weapon does not meld, it resizes just like my form does. Other desires would be it automatically resizing for whoever is wielding it, meaning if I wild shape while not holding it, I can still gain full use of it but I cant have it meld into me at that point.

Such a property kind of exists already in an item called polymorphic pouch. It is a reasonable 5000 gp for a pouch that does not wild shape, moves to a convenient place on the body, and has extra dimensional space. However because there will be times when I do not want it to and would like it to meld with me (such as forms that are unable to hold the weapon or Im pretending to be an animal).

What I am having issues with is deciding if it should be priced as a bonus (which is most likely) or as just a price like adaptive. Since bonus is most likely, what should the bonus be? A +3 seems too expensive to me, but since I desire the ability I am biased to what it should be priced at.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Has working around the limitations and using the weapon special ability resizing already been considered and rejected? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jun 12 '17 at 9:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan The fact that its not on d20 yet does not help. I know you posted the full details on the question is good. I will be honest, I had forgot about it. The resizing is nice, but I would have to put the weapon down as its not protected from polymorph effects. \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Jun 12 '17 at 22:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ That's cool. Just checking. (And if it is any help, Nethys describes the weapon special ability resizing.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jun 13 '17 at 3:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Ive gotta start checking that site out more \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Jun 13 '17 at 10:27
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I would start by checking the Beaststrike Club, which is a club that has several wild-shaping themed effects. It can transform into the head or limb of an animal, and a druid with wild shape can increase the weapon size by one category.

It costs 7,300 gp. Which means the special ability costs 5,000 gp (300 gp masterwork, 2,000 gp for +1 enhancement). This is also similar to the cost of a Resizing weapon (+4,000 gp).

If we check the Wild special ability, we will notice that Wild costs about 15,000 gp. As a Wild armor should at least be priced as a +4 armor (16,000 gp) and 1,000 gp is the cost of a +1 bonus.

Now, we know that weapon abilities cost at least twice as much as armor abilities, even though armors usually keep your character alive so he can keep killing his enemies. That said, a +3 weapon ability would cost way too much (about 30,000 gp), for the simple effect of being able to be used.

We would have to ask the developers to know why Wild was priced so high, but we can guess that it's because armors are gone when wild shaping. At the earlier levels, all you gain to compensate for your now missing armor are small natural armor or dex and size bonuses, +2 or +3 to AC. While at later levels this bonus increases to +5 or +7. A druid's answer for this lack for armor AC is the spell Barkskin, but they have no other option for missing special abilities other than Wild.

Meanwhile, your manufactured weapons are replaced by new natural weapons, so you are losing little if the weapon doesn't have magical special abilities, and sometimes you will even get stronger weapons. Not only that, but druids have the option to obtain properties like Flaming or Keen by using an Amulet of Mighty Fists, which is twice the price of a weapon with the same properties, but will apply the effects to all natural attacks, and they also have access to Magic Fang. So, weapons are pretty much covered in terms of damage for wild shaping druids.

I wanted to say all this simply to point out that there is no need to price the weapon special ability as high as the armor special ability. Because there are other items that already cover the weapon balance for wild shaping druids.

With all that said, let's brainstorm a Wild weapon special ability.

First, what do we want this ability to do? Not transform, right? As in, not meld into the caster's body and actually be available to be wielded if the new form is capable of wielding weapons.

You are not gaining much by wild shaping with a greatsword (2d6) as you will not be able to wield it a the same time as you can make use of your natural attacks effectively, which usually cause 1d6 damage, but allows multiple rolls since you have multiple weapons. If you wild shape a dagger (1d4), the potential damage output is reduced. Which means the usefulness of the special ability will depend on which weapon it is enchanted on.

Of course, why would we enchant a weapon with Wild if not to use other special abilities with it? That's right, that is the whole point of it.

A Wild weapon is, at minimum (assuming a +1 equivalent bonus), a +2 weapon and will cost 4,000 gp (plus masterwork), and any additional special ability applied on it will increase it's cost significantly. A +1 flaming magic sword costs 4,000 gp. A +1 flaming wild magic sword will cost 9,000 gp, a 5,000 gp difference. See the similarity in price with Resizing and Beaststrike?

This difference only goes up as the enhancement bonuses increases:

  • +3: 7,000 difference (9,000 vs 16,000)
  • +4: 9,000 difference (16,000 vs 25,000)
  • +5: 11,000 difference (25,000 vs 36,000)
  • +6: 12,000 difference (36,000 vs 48,000)
  • +7: 16,000 difference (48,000 vs 64,000)
  • +8: 17,000 difference (64,000 vs 81,000)
  • +9: 19,000 difference (81,000 vs 100,000)
  • +10: 21,000 difference (100,000 vs 121,000)

Depending on your build, it might be too expensive for what it does. But as the enhancement bonuses increases, you are allowed to wield an even more powerful weapon than you normally could with an Amulet of Mighty Fists, especially after +6, as the cost is over 10,000 gp, but that is already past the limit of the amulet (maximum +5) and makes the ability stronger than the amulet.

To me, that is worth a +1 bonus.

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For most wild shaping options, weapon melding is just a convenience that permits you to keep it even if your new shape has no hands. Years ago I played without this rule (by mistake) and everyone could keep its equipment if the new shape was able to wield it (like for undead anatomy or monstrous physique). It made polymorph spells a bit more powerful but it wasn't game breaking and nobody realized there was a mistake being made.

More recently I made that homebrewed feat:

Polymorph Control:

When you are affected by a polymorph effect casted by yourself or an ally, you can choose any number of pieces of your equipment that are not affected by the spell. They don't meld into your new body nor change size. If your new shape is not able to properly wear them they fall onto the ground

It was mostly designed to make possible the trope of the character with a giant sword he can only wield when he transforms himself. By simply following the existing rule the only way to achieve that is to drop your weapon, polymorph, and pick it up. I find this ridiculous.

On a balance point of view it doesn't really empower any already powerful build. Yes, it means the druid can carry weapons and use them in his gorilla shape, but it won't make him as powerful as if he used the natural attacks of a tiger for example. For this reason it shouldn't cost you more that a +1 (maybe even only something like 1000gp flat).

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