first time posting. I encountered a spellweaver for the first time last night, and now I'm trying to figure out how to be one as a PC.

Five levels of Druid and you can Wild Shape to turn into animals.

Master of Many Forms lets you turn into Monstrous Humanoids at level 3, and assume Extraordinary Special Qualities while Wild Shaping at level 7.

Spellweavers can Spellweave, which is when you can cast up to 6 levels of spells at once by using multiple arms to cast. That's an Ex, so I'm pretty sure it's legit. I'm also pretty sure you still don't gain their spell-like abilities.

But the Spellweaver monster entry also says they can cast spells as a sorcerer two levels higher than their hit dice.

Can a Druid 5/Master of Many Forms 7 gain the ability to cast as a sorcerer when they Wild Shape into a Spellweaver?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Where is the Spellweaver found? Can't remember. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ernir
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 16:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Ernir Monster Manual II \$\endgroup\$
    – Tridus
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 16:40

2 Answers 2


RAW, yes, but no one lets that happen.

The spellweaver’s spellcasting ability is not marked Ex, Sp, or Su; that makes it a “natural ability” of the spellweaver. Natural abilities are defined thusly:

abilities a creature has because of its physical nature.

They are also explicitly placed in a category separate from Special Abilities. This is relevant to the text of Alternate Form.

Wild Shape is per Alternate Form, which means a number of things. For example:

  • The creature [...] does not gain any special qualities of its new form.

  • The creature [...] does not gain the spell-like abilities or attacks of its new form.

This spellcasting is not a special quality, is not a spell-like ability or attack.

On the other hand, you do get the form of the alternate creature, by definition. You have the physical nature of the creature you become, and for the spellweaver, that includes spellcasting.

But no one plays that way

This breaks the game into itty bitty pieces. Don’t be the guy who makes your DM explicitly ban it; it’s not good for the game.

  • \$\begingroup\$ It is simpler to just take "spell-like" at face value, which also prevents breakage. This is yet another reason why treating "spell-like" as unlike spells is a sketchy interpretation of the game's language. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 17:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ I find it shaky to call inheriting inferred natural abilities via alternate form/polymorph RAW. "Physical nature" and "form" aren't exactly defined game terms. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ernir
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 17:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Spell-like absolutely does not and cannot be meant that way. The game would break a lot more badly if you tried to consistently treat spells and spell-like abilities as the same thing. Spell-like is a very specific game term with a very specific meaning, which is very specifically not equivalent to spells. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 17:55
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Even in natural language, SLAs are like but not the same as spells. The very name implies that a distinction is being made. This is not an example of your favorite axe to grind. The natural ability thing, that easily could be. But not SLAs being different from Spells. The rules for the two things differ in some extremely important ways. Unless you want to elminate all spellcasting components from the game... \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 18:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie You really can't. Requirements that specify spells, metamagic, components, so on and so forth, are very different between the two. They are similar but not in any way directly related or subsets of one another. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 18:31


Spellweave is an Ex special quality, so a Master of Many Forms 7 would get that. Spellweave itself doesn't say "Sorcerer spells", it just says "spells". So it would be usable with the MoMF's Druid Spells.

But, the Spellweaver's Sorceror spell casting is not Ex, and MoMF (like Druid Wild Shape) does not grant the spell casting of the form your change into. You keep your own spell casting.

The creature retains any spellcasting ability it had in its original form, although it must be able to speak intelligibly to cast spells with verbal components and it must have humanlike hands to cast spells with somatic components.

Except as described elsewhere, the creature retains all other game statistics of its original form, including (but not necessarily limited to) HD, hit points, skill ranks, feats, base attack bonus, and base save bonuses.

Since there's no mention anywhere of you gaining spellcasting, and the rules say you keep your original form's stats unless something says you don't, you don't get the spellcasting of the Spellweaver.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Non sequitur: the quoted text says you retain your original form's spellcasting, not that you do not get the spellcasting of the form you are turning into. You have not supported the conclusion you have claimed. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 17:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @monkeygentleman That depends on if you consider it a "natural ability" or something else, and how you want to read the rules around this. The polymorph rules are messy, to say the least. The spellweaver's monster entry lists them as a special attack in it's stat block, and per the rule you only get Ex special attacks (which Spells are not). So by that interpretation, you wouldn't. By KRyan's reading, you would. When the rules are weird like this, you wind up having to pick an interpretation. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tridus
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 22:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @monkeygentleman He and I do agree that nobody should actually play this way, and if someone tried it in my game we'd be having a polite conversation about why I'm disallowing it. If another DM decides to use the other interpretation and go with it, then more power to them. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Tridus
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 23:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ @monkeygentleman For what it's worth, I agree with Tridus's statements; getting natural abilities from Wild Shape is pretty dubious and often game-breaking in the first place. In general, natural abilities were a mistake on WotC's part. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 2:53
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Factually incorrect. The rules are dumb, but misrepresenting how the rules work won't fix that. \$\endgroup\$
    – user2754
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 3:02

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