Lizardfolk have a feature that gives them natural weapons in the form of their jaws. This bite deals 1d6+Str damage.

Hungry Jaws. In battle, you can throw yourself into a vicious feeding frenzy. As a bonus action, you can make a special attack with your bite. If the attack hits, it deals its normal damage, and you gain temporary hit points (minimum of 1) equal to your Constitution modifier, and you can't use this trait again until you finish a short or long rest. (VGM 113)

Assuming you transform into a beast shape with the ability to perform a bite, the Hungry Jaws trait should be available to you, as racial features transfer over when you transform if the new form is capable of them.

Given this circumstance, would you use the Lizardfolk's racial bite, or the bite attack belonging to the new form?


You get to choose

The rule on Wild Shape states

  • You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so.

What this suggests is that you do not replace the racial version of the bite attack. You have two bite attack options: one granted by your race and one by your Wild Shape.

You can choose which one to use (although both would key off the beast's strength mod, so you're really only choosing which base damage die to use) because the beast you have Wild Shaped into also has the ability to make a bite attack and that's all Hungry Jaws needs.

Reading other answers, it's clear that there is the possibility a DM might interpret the Lizardfolk's bite attack to be somehow unique in nature and not usable by a beast form with a bite attack.

I see no indication of this personally, but the if the DM rules that this is the case, then the Hungry Jaws racial ability would be unusable since this interpretation requires the unusable Lizardfolk bite ability.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Wild shape denies you those features that the new form is not physically capable of. How are you going to make the lizardfolk bite attack if you no longer have lizardfolk jaws? \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden May 15 at 16:51
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Ben The OP specifically says the new form has the ability to make a Bite Attack. Hungry jaws requires a bite attack. The rule does not say "When you make a Lizardfolk Bite Attack" so I see no issue. \$\endgroup\$ – Rykara May 15 at 17:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree that they can make the bite attack of their new form via hungry jaws. I assert that without lizardfolk jaws, they cannot make the lizardfolk bite attack. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden May 15 at 17:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ben Go ahead and upvote Greenstone Walker's answer and downvote this one, then :) \$\endgroup\$ – Rykara May 15 at 17:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ben I'll go ahead and add a caveat at the end of the answer for completeness' sake, though. \$\endgroup\$ – Rykara May 15 at 17:13

Hungry Jaws should be available

First, let see how the traits are defined :

Wild Shape: You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing

Hungry Jaws: In battle, you can throw yourself into a vicious feeding frenzy. As a bonus action, you can make a special attack with your bite [...].

(emphasis mine)

Hungry Jaws is described as a frenzy, a mental state, the PC goes into. It doesn't sounds like it rely on their physical form so a Wild Shaped lizardfolk should be able to use it.

The Lizardfolk bite attack though...

For the bite attack, as a DM, I would rule that it's clearly linked to the Lizardfolk morphology and the PC wouldn't be able to use it when transformed. Even if the new form is physically able to bite something, it's not physically able to so as a lizardfolk. Physically, a mouse is able to bite something but it shouldn't be the same as a lizardfolk maw.

The PC could still use the Hungry Jaws trait if the new form have a bite attack.


Hungry Jaws is not available

When using Wild Shape, you can only use features if "the new form is physically capable of doing so." Your new form physically doesn't have lizardfolk jaws, so the features available for lizardfolk biting do not apply.

On the other hand, it won't break the game since Hungry Jaws is a "once per rest" feature.

It might break the game if you allow it for all features, however...

Wild Shaped kobolds using darkvision, or Wild Shaped bugbears taking advantage of long-limbed, or Wild Shaped tieflings having wings.

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ In part this answer relies on associating the feature with the physical jaws. Whilst that makes sense, it may help to point out that the game rules are generally silent on how each racial feature breaks down in to physical and mental traits. There is a case for arguing that Hungry Jaws is purely behaviour or attitude, as the description does not call out anything physically special about the attack - in theory a human could have this trait, just the attack and bite damage would be pathetic, but the bonus hit points from a frenzy would still make narrative sense. \$\endgroup\$ – Neil Slater May 15 at 8:13
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ 'Hungry Jaws' the feature makes no mention of "lizardfolk jaws". It talks about the character's bite. If the chosen wild shape form still has a bite, then the feature is still available. \$\endgroup\$ – Theo Brinkman May 15 at 14:37
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ If you can support that the Hungry Jaws has the pre-requisite of Lizard-folk jaws, that'd go a long way here. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch May 15 at 17:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.