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The druid got a new subclass option, the Circle of the Stars, as part of Unearthed Arcana: Subclasses, Part 3. One of its 2nd-level features is Starry Form, part of which says:

You gain the ability to harness constellations’ power to alter your form. As an action, you can expend a use of your Wild Shape feature to take on a starry form rather than transforming into a beast.

While in your starry form, you retain your game statistics, but your body takes on a luminous, starlike quality; your joints glimmer like stars, and glowing lines connect them as on a star chart. This form sheds bright light in a 10-foot radius and dim light for an additional 10 feet. The form lasts for 10 minutes or until you’re incapacitated.

Under the druid's Wild Shape feature in the PHB, it says, "Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the beast" when you Wild Shape into a beast. Does this mean a druid can first Wild Shape into a beast, then expend another use to activate Starry Form?

As your game statistics are replaced for the first's duration and Starry Form retains your game statistics, it shouldn't bring you back to humanoid.

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The intent seems to be for Starry Form to be used instead of Wildshape, not in addition to, but check with the DM.

As this answer to a related question points out, Wildshape 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.

So you can use the Starry Form feature while in a Wildshape since there is no indication that any given form is incapable of shifting into the Starry Form. That is, the rules don't say the Druid needs to make some sort of gesticulation or articulation to make the change into Starry Form.

The wording of the UA Druid circle can be interpreted in one of two ways:

  1. A Druid can only use Starry form or Wildshape because s/he uses Starry Form "rather than transforming into a beast."
  2. The Druid can use Starry Form while in Wildshape because the rule does not preclude the use of Starry Form when the Druid is already in wildshape.

In the second interpretation, the "rather than" clause simply indicates that, instead of shifting from one beast form to another, the Druid could choose to shift into a starry version of their current form (whatever that is).

For the most part, the Starry form's benefits are geared towards casters (suggesting it is at least intended for the druid's humanoid form) but it does offer one big advantage for a Wildshaped Druid at level 10:

Full of Stars

While your Starry Form feature is active, you become partially incorporeal, giving you resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.

At level 10, under the second interpretation, a Druid would be able to become a Starry Giant Hyena with 45HP and resistance to mundane damage. That may or may not be considered unbalancing and the Druid player should check with the DM.

It's also worth pointing out that using the second interpretation raises another issue: what happens when the Wildshape form's HP are reduced to zero before the Starry Form's duration has elapsed?

In this situation, does the Druid become a Starry "normal" form or does the Starry Form end along with the Wildshape? The rules talk about "this form" but referring to a single form is problematic when the form is forced to change in this way.

It simplifies things considerably if we use the first interpretation but, again, I'd advise checking with the DM.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don’t think expending 2 uses of wildshape to become a slightly pimped version of a CR1 creature is going to be particularly strong compared to almost anything else you could be doing at level 10, or at least if you think so you should provide some justification with that. \$\endgroup\$ – Cubic Feb 26 at 11:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Relevant meta: Please avoid using the RAI acronym, or use it carefully & be clear in context. Instead, you should edit your answer to expand the acronym, or rephrase to avoid confusion. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Mar 3 at 13:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @v2 I've removed the initialism and replaced it with more explicit text. \$\endgroup\$ – Rykara Mar 3 at 17:40
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The closest, I think, this relates to in official content is "Symbiotic Entity"

TL;DR: YES (but it may be subject to order in which it is done, Wild Shape 1st, Starry Form 2nd)

From Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica (GGR) page 27, for the Circle of Spores druid

It says in part:

Symbiotic Entity: [..] As an action, you can expend a use of your Wild Shape feature to awaken those spores rather than transforming into a beast [..]

If it is similar, as in Symbiotic Entity is "akin/equal to" Starry Form, which I am "assuming", then I believe that your Starry form "is your wild shape" or at least, counts as a use of the "wild shape" (Out of your total available uses of wild shape).

Similar text:

Starry Form: [..] As an action, you can expend a use of your Wild Shape feature to take on a starry form rather than transforming into a beast [..]

I'm re-reading the "Symbiotic Entity" entry, if they are "similar" this (your "Starry Beast Form") would be possible ...its 2 uses of wild shaping, the 1st on a "beast form", then the 2nd into special "Starry Form". RAW this is ok, from my understanding.

HP hitting "ZERO" (0) in this STARRY BEAST FORM but not being incapacitated when you revert to STARRY NATURAL FORM, as per PHB pg 67:

Wild Shape: [..] if you revert as a result of dropping to O hit points, any excess damage carries over to your normal form [..]

You would revert you to your "natural state" (un-does WildShape), but you would continue to be in your "Starry Form" until it otherwise is ended, form from the UA "Circle of the Stars" text:

Starry Form: [..] The form lasts for 10 minutes or until you’re incapacitated. [..]

So turning into a beast would add to "Starry Form" as long as "Starry Form" was done 2nd. IF MY ASSUMPTION IS CORRECT, the wording is clearer for the spore druid mind you (UA can be iffy).

See HERE, for related (and maybe needed) "Can a druid wildshape again whilst still in animal form?"

Can everyone say "Starry Deinonychus"... yep, knew you could

I'm calling this a UA misstep, "error of omission" or commonly ..."a big typo".

UA can be fun, but it can be "half-baked", needing another dev team pass after all the "play testers" have weighed in with opinions. Until its "officially" given the official seal, like the Artificers was, it may be "iffy" to use RAW without "table rulings"

But using the Text in Circle of Stars (UA) & comparing it to "similar text" in official content of Circle of Spores (GGR). I would read this as 100% possible, neither "special form" says anything about requiring you NOT to be in Wild Shape to access these features, so they may be used complimentary to each other. Starry Form benefits much more from Wild Shape than Symbiotic Entity (as the only "Beasts" able to use melee weapons are Ape/Giant Ape MENTIONED HERE, so 99% are "not using" half that features benefit..& Giant Ape is an Level 20 "Epic Boon"), but both are possible

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