# Is there anything stopping a druid from combining animals to form a new wild shape?

Wild Shape (PHB Pg. 66)
Starting at 2nd level, you can use your action to magically assume the shape of a beast that you have seen before.

Wild shape requires that a druid has seen an animal before being able to shapeshift into it.

Is there anything stopping a druid from combining animals to form a new wild shape?

A druid can only assume the shape of a beast. Any combination of two animals would be a monstrosity.

Beasts include “all variety of ordinary animals” (MM p. 6) while “Monstrosities are monsters in the strictest sense—frightening creatures that are not ordinary, not truly natural.” (MM p. 6)

Even more to the point, later on the same page:

Some [monsters] are the results of magical experimentation gone awry (such as owlbears).”

A magical experiment to combine creatures results in a monstrosity not a beast — and thus would be an invalid form for a druid to assume.

### D&D rules follow a classical definition of “monster”

Back in Classical Lit they taught me that the Greeks considered things “monsters” that did not fit into proper categories, that is, they were “neither fish nor fowl.”

Many of these classical monsters are represented in the Monster Manual and they, indeed, are all classified as Monstrosity: centaurs, chimeras, cockatrice, griffons, harpies, hippogriffs, manticores, medusas, and sphinxes.

### Not all hybrids are monstrous, magical hybrids

Natural hybrids (such as mules or hinnies) are a different case entirely. A druid would simply need to have seen such a hybrid to assume the form.

• Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – SevenSidedDie Dec 6 '17 at 18:10

Yes, the rules stop this simply by how the ability works. The ability just doesn't provide any way to choose two forms. It specifies one ("a beast that you have seen").

Without something giving a druid the ability to meld beast forms, the druid had as much ability to shift into a hybrid form as a random peasant does — none.

• +1 you can't even wild shape into a specific kind of beast. You always become a generic, average representative of that species. – Mindwin Nov 2 '17 at 19:27
• @Mindwin Do you have a rules reference for that? The Shapechange spell says "You transform into an average example of that creature, one without any class levels or the Spellcasting trait.", but I don't see anything similar for Wild Shape. – mattdm Nov 3 '17 at 0:45
• @mattdm I thought we maybe had a question about that, but searching [dnd-5e][wild-shape] didn't turn any up. Perhaps a good new question for the site! – SevenSidedDie Nov 3 '17 at 2:36
• We've had how specific does wild shape get and what if we add a template, but nothing like that AFAIK. Go for it. 👍 Updoots are available. – doppelgreener Nov 3 '17 at 11:50
• Okay, here we go. – mattdm Nov 3 '17 at 13:30

By RAW: No you can't wildshape to a hybrid beast

The wording of the ability states

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

emphasis mine

This implies both that the the form is of a single beast, and that the beast has to be one the character has seen not one that they can envision by morphing 2 beasts together in their mind.

This does though leave a possibility of being able to transform into a hybrid beast that you have already seen, but it would have to be of type beast

Owlbear is a hybrid beast, for example. However it is typed monstrosity therefor not a beast of itself and cannot be selected as the form to take.

The Mule on the other hand, also a hybrid beast, is typed as a beast. Therefor the mule can be selected as the form to take.

• Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – V2Blast Aug 2 '19 at 4:50

Yes there is something stopping this, the rules:

Wild Shape (PHB Pg. 66)

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

You have to have seen it, so it cannot be something you have made up.