Druid Shapeshifting Question

Druid Shapeshifting Question

Druid Shapeshifting Question

Sorry if this is an old question, but I can’t figure out how to search communities.

What is the drawback that you guys go with when druids fail their shapeshifting roll? It says they still get to hold one, and then the DM decides something. 

Like it seems that aside from the quandary of what to decide, we have the issue of what is to keep the druid from transforming into the same animal multiple times and effectively getting infinite holds? Maybe it doesn’t matter, but out druid wanted to keep turning into a bat to explore a dangerous cave without a light. Maybe I should just make DM moves and introduce new threats and that should keep the player from rolling until they get the dice to cooperate with them?

Have I answered my own question?

20 thoughts on “Druid Shapeshifting Question”

  1. Infinite Hold? All hold is spent when they return to normal shape. Every time they roll, they risk something bad happening.

    On a miss, you make a normal hard move. Put them in a spot, take something away, deal damage, forecast badness, reveal an unwelcome truth, offer an opportunity with or without a cost, separate them, et al. Attach one, really aggressively, to their shapeshift.

  2. Yeah, that Hard Move is what should give the Druid pause before trying to transform continuously. Maybe their mind becomes more savage, perhaps they start forgetting their original form, or their items stop transforming along with them. Hell, maybe even inflicting damage as their body warps and their bones change shape faster than their muscles!

  3. Another option would be partial transformation. Could be anything, from a green alligator with no armor and soft fur instead, bear with orange fur and only claws on right side, a wolf that meows,etc. With the example you’d get a bat with small ears making it hard to hear echoes, wings that don’t work right or oversized, echolocation that everyone hears as the druid’s voice, large bat colors of druid clothes or with human features like the Man-bat in the Batman animated series/comics.

  4. A decent hard move, almost always, when becoming an animal is: immediately separate them from the group and narrate the animal mind panicking from being around so many people. The animal disappears into the underbrush, and then you rejoin rejoin the action with the Druid not knowing where the party is and vise versa.

  5. Darren Priddy  – I like the idea of the druid flying about the cave, oblivious to the fact that all the denizens can hear him shouting PING as he flutters around.

  6. “Oh a miss…I get to make a hard move…let’s see…OK, you transform into a bat.

    “No, no, no, you misunderstand. You’re not a druid in the shape of a bat. You’re a bat.

    “No, no, not a bat with the mind of a person…you is a bat. With the mind of a bat.”

  7. What Alfred Rudzki said; hold in this case is not forever.  It’s just to determine the state of this particular transformation.

    When I was GM with a druid in the party, my go-tos for missing on a transform were “the process was so excruciating that you missed something really important” (take harm from the guy with the axe behind you, the trapdoor you fell on opened up, etc)… or “the transformation was too complete; you are in a bestial state for a few moments” (you get to be my NPC for a bit, and oh yeah bears don’t like standing next to paladins for some reason). Not that these hard moves always fit, but they were good starting points.

  8. our druid took the form of a Mighty Ice Drake, and wanted to use its frost breath to attack the assassin vines which were trapping his allies half-way across a spiderweb chasm bridge.

    The vines were frozen and shattered, but so was the bridge.

  9. Christopher Meid I’ve been using fantasmino as my avatar for ages, but the moment when I told the player he’d frozen the bridge, and his allies needed to choose which way to run before it collapsed, was THE defining moment when I finally felt I could improvise good moves for Dungeon World, and the story twist surprised me as much as it did the players.

    Of course, the next session I was back to “you fall in this convenient pit”, but it was the start of getting real excitement and confidence.

    To summarise, Druids seem OP and try crazy stuff, so they are the best place to cut your teeth throwing crazier stuff back at them. You want to be a sumo battle walrus? I can see tight spaces, fast-moving predators. You want to be a giant spider or a dragon, because they’re common/prominent in your homeland? OH LOOK YOUR FAMILY HOME IS UNDER ATTACK BY GIANT SPIDERS AND YOU CAN”T GET THERE IN TIME BECAUSE DRAGONS.

  10. Claytonian JP You might want to add a hashtag or two to your original post so that we can find it easier later.  Perhaps #Druid  or #Shapeshifting  

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