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Say you have a snake around your shoulders or holding a tiny animal and you wildshape, does the animal also merge into your form or is it dropped? Since it isn't technically equipment, but you can consider it worn.

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Only equipment can be merged

The feature states (emphasis mine)

You choose whether your equipment falls to the ground in your space, merges into your new form, or is worn by it. 

Nothing allows for the merging of adjacent creatures like a snake.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This can get muddy in Eberron where creatures are sometimes equipment... symbiotes from that setting are a whole different "animal"... But common English is usually you carry an animal not wear it. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth May 1 '18 at 14:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth I don't think symbionts are equipment, strictly speaking \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron May 1 '18 at 14:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ A creature is not equipment. And even if a snake is around your neck or a tiny bird in your hand it may help to think of them as 'creatures that occupy the same space as you' \$\endgroup\$ – PJRZ May 1 '18 at 15:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DavidCoffron Like I said it gets muddy, currently there are not enough rules in 5E to address it but it is something they need to consider... or more likely forget all about and leave it open for ambiguity and conjecture :). \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth May 1 '18 at 16:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @James all of those depend on your definition of equipment. Ask your DM, 5e doesn't have a clear definition afaik \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron May 1 '18 at 17:25
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According to the PHB yes.

PHB Pg. 67:

You choose whether your equipment falls to the ground in your space, merges into your new form, or is worn by it.

Based on that if you own it and it is classified as equipment you can merge it. The sticky question is, does an animal classify as equipment.

PHB Pg. 141: under the Urchin background

Equipment: A small knife, a map of the city you grew up in, a pet mouse...

That indicates that a small animal can be classified as equipment, thus according to the PHB the mouse is "your equipment" and can be merged. I can see no reason why any other non-sentient animal you own wouldn't also fit this situation.

Or for that matter if you are evil and are down with slavery it could be argued that sentient creatures could be considered equipment. I wouldn't allow it but it is debatable.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The urchin background has always been a mess (to us AL players). I'll reserve judgement for now and research/discuss this a bit. You may be right and I'll update my answer if it turns out you are \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron May 2 '18 at 17:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ How is a creature equipment? (but nice try :) ) \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast May 3 '18 at 2:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Hey I'm just quoting the book. If you don't like them classifying a pet mouse as equipment take it up with WoTC. \$\endgroup\$ – Duck May 3 '18 at 7:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ In context, it's a reach (though you did get my +1 for a nice try) since "equipment" for all background is what you start with. Rather than try to assert that this means that all creatures are now equipment, consider that the mouse was put there for convenience (is a love letter equipment(Entertainer) or is a secret equipment? (Inheritor, SCAG). Are all secrets now objects? Or is that put there for purposes of organization? Food for thought. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast May 3 '18 at 12:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Yes a letter is equipment. I read the secret differently than you. It says " A written story, song, poem, or secret." To me that is saying that whichever of those 4 items you choose it is in written form, which can easily be classified as equipment. Equipment: the necessary items for a particular purpose. I would classify service animals as equipment by that definition since they are necessary for a purpose. And the US military classifies people as cargo on their aircraft to bypass FAA regulations on transporting munitions on passenger aircraft. So yeah we are all just objects. \$\endgroup\$ – Duck May 3 '18 at 18:37

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