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Can a druid take a wild shape form then shape into another for an keep the abilities from the first form? For example, a moon druid wild shapes into a Fiendish Giant Spider (Out of the Abyss p. 97) which has resistance to cold, fire, and lightning damage, and immunity to poison damage. It is also immune to the poisoned condition.

Now the part the Wild Shape of the Player's Handbook (page 67) comes into play:

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.

Then from that form as a bonus action in the same round shift to a Cranium Rat (Volo's Guide to Monsters), keeping the resistance and immunities. On that, note since it's a poison bite and not a venomous bite even keeping the added save per bite.

To clarify this question is about Other Sources variation.

Using up the 2nd shift. Could you make a hybrid form? Much like later when as a moon druid you can make an Elemental form with 2 uses of wild shape.

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You can't expend multiple uses of Wild Shape to create a "Hybrid" shape

Generally speaking, game features in 5e D&D only do what they say they do. The game doesn't have much in the way of hidden rules and Wild Shape doesn't have text to support this kind of use of the feature. If this kind of use were possible, it would come from a feature that expressly and explicitly permits it.

In particular, the feature is very specific about what statistics (which would include things like Resistances) you gain in a Wild Shape form—and that broadly speaking, those features replace whatever stats you had before, with specific exceptions:

Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the beast, but you retain your alignment, personality, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. You also retain all of your skill and saving throw proficiencies, in addition to gaining those of the creature. If the creature has the same proficiency as you and the bonus in its stat block is higher than yours, use the creature's bonus instead of yours. If the creature has any legendary or lair actions, you can't use them.

Druid, Player's Handbook, pg. 66-67

So because it says most statistics are "replaced" with the statistics of the beast, there's no reason to believe that any of those statistics (other than those that explicitly say otherwise) would carry over between multiple uses of the feature.

The other major consideration is the general rule about multiple effects with the same name. If we took as a given that when a Druid uses Wild Shape to switch from one form to another (which is RAW allowed) the durations of both effects overlap, we'd still be constrained by the fact that the game rules specifically state that you'd only gain the benefits of one of these effects:

Different game features can affect a target at the same time. But when two or more game features have the same name, only the effects of one of them-the most potent one-apply while the durations of the effects overlap. For example, if a target is ignited by a fire elemental's Fire Form trait, the ongoing fire damage doesn't increase if the burning target is subjected to that trait again. Game features include spells, class features, feats, racial traits, monster abilities, and magic items. See the related rule in the 'Combining Magical Effects' section of chapter 10 in the Player's Handbook.

Combining Game Effects, Dungeon Master's Guide, pg. 252

So while there is no rule preventing a Druid from Wild-Shaping from one form directly into another (bypassing their normal form), they're still unable to shape into a creature that inherits properties of both.

You're welcome to ask your DM for a feature that enables this kind of use, but that would require a lot of work on their part to try to balance this feature against how the base game expects various Wild Shape forms to be balanced, so I wouldn't expect most DMs to support this through homebrew.

If you're looking for something thematically similar, if not mechanically, you might consider playing as a Simic Hybrid (GGR pg. 20), a racial option provided in Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica, which permits characters with this race to mix/match animal parts on their body to gain certain advantages and features like a swim speed or limited gliding ability.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ In the next paragraph on the same pages it goes on to say: 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. \$\endgroup\$ – Stretch Sep 13 '19 at 18:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Stretch How do you interpret "Other Source" in this context? Because I don't think I could interpret it to mean "a prior use of this feature". \$\endgroup\$ – Xirema Sep 13 '19 at 18:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Stretch I added a section to my answer that quotes the general rule about combining multiple effects. \$\endgroup\$ – Xirema Sep 13 '19 at 18:16

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