What can the Druid Shapeshift into/What counts as an animal?

What can the Druid Shapeshift into/What counts as an animal?

What can the Druid Shapeshift into/What counts as an animal? 

#1 As long as it is the part of the natural ecosystem of the land and neither sentient nor magical it is okay for the Druid to turn into.

#2 As long as it would be okay as a Ranger animal companion, it is okay.

#3 Something different – please tell us your method. 

17 thoughts on “What can the Druid Shapeshift into/What counts as an animal?”

  1. As long as the druid can convince me they’ve studied one and considers it part of the natural world (this allows for dinosaurs, which aren’t completely natural in today’s climate, but everyone wants to be a t-rex if they thought of it!)

  2. I suggested natural part of the ecosystem, but my druid player preferred to change into various mermaid, catgirl, harpy (all half woman, half beast) shapes, which quickly became established as a natural part of the ecosystem. I wasn’t really comfortable with this, since I saw druid as changing into animals, not sentient beings, but I rolled with it.

    It did make me think, in a freeform game where you are making up the world as you go, how do you define “natural part of the ecosystem”? Setting aside our way-out game, anything – dragon, elemental, demon, could be a “natural part of the ecosystem,” depending on the world.

    And if you haven’t come up with a strong world definition first (and you aren’t supposed to), it can lead to this kind of thing. Is this a problem? Depends on the group probably.

  3. Natural for me is shorthand for: non magical and non sentient. So i would rule out elementals and draongs and harpies in my game. Especially because there are extra moves to turn into elemental forms. 

  4. Reading your doc now, Tim Franzke , really nice. Please consider putting something together akin to the Dungeon World Guide by Eon Fontes-May and Sean M. Dunstan. Your GM guide from earlier today was gold. Also, can I mention that I don’t like that we’re on G+? So hard to find things…

  5. “Natural part of the ecosystem”… but the other way around.

    I would very rarely tell “No, it’s monstrous” to a Druid who shapeshift onto something, letting them inform me of what is “natural”.

    Then I will use that information “against” them.

    “You said that Owlbears are a natural part of the ecosystem? Ok, you stumbled on a pack. What, no, they are not part of the army of the Dark Lord, they are just protecting their territory you invaded. Enjoy”.

  6. I said “natural part of the ecosystem,” but I interpret “natural” much more broadly, I think.  I can imagine plenty of ecosystems that include magical or even sentient creatures. 

    Hell, I’ve met dogs and crows I’d consider more sentient than some people.

  7. I ran a game for a group of brand-new DW players.  The group was attacked by a swarm of spiders while they were asleep at camp.  The druid asked the other players what type of animal would be useful against a swarm of spiders.  The wizard player answered, “A spider-eater”.  The other players all asked, “What is a spider-eater?”  and the wizard responded with a very strange description of a fantastic creature with spider-eating mouths on each of it’s two heads.  I asked if the creature he described was native to a forest environment and he answered “Yes”.

    Everyone was cracking up at this point.  It was fun!  That’s good enough for me – I vote for Something Different.

  8. Default for me is if the druid wants to use it, it will attack him when next he visits his homeland, in greater numbers, showing no mercy to impostors.

  9. a druid from the mountains could choose to become a mighty Roc if he wished to but if my player has gon big then i as a GM will meet him with a very heft cost should he fail.  the druid wants to turn into a montain rabbit?  not a ton of risk should he fail.

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