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When a druid goes into Wild Shape, can they choose for some equipment to be worn while other equipment merges or is dropped?

For example, if wild shaping into a baboon, could the player decide to hold on to his staff and still wear bracers while their clothes, etc. merged?

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Yes, the player can choose what merges and what doesn't.

As the Wild Shape feature says (Player's Handbook, page 67):

You choose whether your equipment falls to the ground in your space, merges into your new form, or is worn by it. Worn equipment functions as normal, but the DM decides whether it is practical for the new form to wear a piece of equipment, based on the creature’s shape and size. Your equipment doesn’t change size or shape to match the new form, and any equipment that the new form can’t wear must either fall to the ground or merge with it. Equipment that merges with the form has no effect until you leave the form.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Could this be leveraged to reduce the overall volume (or even mass) taken up by a player? Eg, put all the big heave stuff on the druid and have him/her change into a small creature with everything merging into it. \$\endgroup\$
    – MetaFight
    Feb 3, 2019 at 11:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Someone already asked that question around here, @MetaFight. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kuerten
    Feb 3, 2019 at 11:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ To be fair, that does sound like it's also possible that either everything falls down, or everything merges, or everything is worn. \$\endgroup\$
    – Egor Hans
    Jun 8, 2020 at 8:24

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