With the cleric out of the way, you’ll be delighted to learn that my desire to make changes to any other character class is minimal to say the least. However, there is a little to be said about the druid, and in particular their wildshape ability.
The current house rules for druids are extensive: there’s a different progression of class abilities, they gain access to cure spells at lower levels, and I’ve introduced two 2nd edition inspired powers at high level… with a wave of my hand I want to sweep all of that away. N0ne of those changes are fundamental, and getting rid of them makes things easier for us all. Wildshape is a little more complicated than that.
Firstly, Wildshape lasts one hour per druid level in the standard rules. In the house rules, druids can remain in the chosen form indefinitely. Secondly, the official rules limit the number of times per day a druid can wildshape. In the house rules druids can wildshape at will, but it’s very dangerous for them wildshape more than their level normally allows. Although I’m not too fussed about the extended duration of wildshape, I am going to make a case for wildshape-at-will. Let me explain:
Wildshape for Iourn druids is at the core of their beliefs. Gaining the ability to wildshape is a coming-of-age event for all druids. They become one with the natural world in way they never have before, and this overwhelming assault on the senses is intoxicating. Novice druids are often tempted to spend more and more time in their animals forms, risking more and more transformations. Each successive wildshape could be their last one, as they could become stuck in their animal form forever.
The following is an account of the way these rules currently work. They’ve already been modified to fit more closely into the Pathfinder rules. The following text can be added onto the end of the existing Wildshape entry in the Core Rules:
Wildshape on Iourn: The number of times each day that a druid can Wildshape is actually the number of times the druid can freely wildshape with no chance of dire consequence. The first wildshape each day beyond the safe limit imposed by the druid’s level functions normally. However, the druid must make a special level check to revert to his original form. The check is 1d20 + the druid’s level + the druid’s Wisdom modifier. The DC of this check is 21. If the check succeeds then the druid reverts to his original form normally. He may then (if he chooses) attempt to Wildshape again. However, each additional Wildshape attempt adds a cumulative +2 to the DC of the level check to revert to his own form.
If the level check fails then druid is stuck in his creature form until dawn the following day. At this point he can make another level check (at +2 to the DC of the previous check) to revert to his original form. If he fails again then he remains stuck for another day, before he can try the check again (at an additional +2 to the DC). He continues making checks at an increasing DC each dawn until he either succeeds or fails four successive checks. If four checks are failed then the druid remains in his creature form forever and may take on the mentality and nature of the creature as time passes.
The Three Tests
These rules aren’t part of an archetype. I don’t think they’re significant enough for that. They are simple additions to the way Wildshape works on Iourn. Let’s run through the three tests and see how leaving these house rules out affects things:
I think that Wildshape defines the way that druids act and think within the setting. I consider this house rule fundamental to that. Wildshaping is a drug to druids, and some simply cannot stop doing it. It’s flavourful, and adds to the druid’s mystique. Experience tells me that it isn’t particularly overpowered. In past campaigns, those PCs playing druids have tried to avoid making use of these rules as failing a saving throw puts them at a significant disadvantage.
What is more, these ‘rules’ been established in game. It’s never been at the forefront of an adventure, but it is a welcome piece of background colour that helps to make Iourn unique. I really like this house rule, and I think the setting and the druid is richer for having it.
Games Without Miniatures
No problems here. The wildshape rules don’t require the use of a combat grid.
In this situation, I don’t think the two versions of wildshape are created equal. I much prefer the house rule over the written rules for narrative reasons. This isn’t a purely mechanical thing like Spell DCs. I would be interested to hear from all of you on this, but particularly those who have played druids in the past.