Author Topic: Need several rules clarifications on Stone Form from Races of Stone [3.5]  (Read 4054 times)

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feral_child

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How similar to Wild Shape is activating the Stone Form feat? Do you retain weapons? Racial traits? Spellcasting? etc.

The question comes up due to a rules issue myself and my dm are having with the Stonespeaker Guardian class. The class is clearly meant for melee combat, requiring you to be a Goliath or Feral Gargun race. These classes both have the Powerful Build racial trait, which allows them to wield a weapon one size category larger than their size, among other things. This, to me, implies that a Stonespeaker Guardian would be wielding a weapon one size category larger than themselves.

However, my DM claims that since Stone Form is a Wild Shape feat, one does not retain Powerful Build because of the rules of Wild Shape. Then, if we assume Stonespeaker Guardians are meant to have Powerful Build to wield larger weapons while in Stone Form, then we need to takw the Powerful Wild shape feat as well (also in races of stone). This allows Powerful Build to carry over while wildshaping. This also grants natural weapons a size category boost to damage, which makes the slam attack in Stone Form stronger.

This then causes a redundant class ability in Stonespeaker Guardian. At level 3, their slam deals damage one category larger, which my DM claims does not stack with the effect of Powerful Wild shape. Thus it is clearly a waste, since one would not become a Stonespeaker Guardian if one were not able to wield larger weapons, and in order to do that you need a feat which overwrites a class ability. This makes no sense to me.

My interpretation is as follows: using Stone Form doesn't turn me into an animal with new stats and abilities. It states I assume an unspecific rocky form at the cost of a Wild Shape use, which I think implies that I am still myself, just rocky, and I am only applying the +4 save against poison, nat armor, and slam attack to my already existing character. I feel this doesn't cause me to lose my racial bonuses since my race is not changing, and I remain in the form for the duration that I could remain in any form assumed with Wild Shape.

Powerful Wild shape states I retain the Powerful Form ability when turning into a creature I could normally turn into. It is designed to become a stronger Bear or Wolf or something. The bonus it gives to natural weapons is meant to replace the fact that as a non-animal a Powerful Build character can wield larger weapons. Additionally, this makes the Stonespeaker Guardian class ability which boosts the slam attack actually mean something, as if the class grants you the Powerful Build version of a natural attack.

sorry for the wall of text

Bard

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You are indeed correct, and RAW supports you.
The Stone Form feat states:
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As a standard action, you can spend one of your uses of wild shape to assume a stony and rocklike form.
emphasis mine... basically you use a wild shape use to power the feat, but you're not actually using wild shape. It's similar to how you can use turn undead to power divine feats.
Not being wild shape, no rule of wild shape should apply.
To further confirm this, you can compare it with other feats that give additional "forms" of wild shape and their wording:
From Frostburn, Frozen Wild Shape says:
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You may use your wild shape ability to assume the form of any magical beast with the cold subtype. Your new form must still fall within the size limitations of your wild shape ability. As with the standard wild shape ability, you do not gain any of the extraordinary special qualities or any supernatural abilities possessed by the new form, with the exception of the cold subtype.
Then from the Book of Exalted Deeds, Exalted Wild Shape:
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You can use your wild shape ability to turn yourself into a blink dog, giant eagle, giant owl, pegasus, or unicorn. You can also turn into a celestial version of any animal you could normally transform into.
And again, from Draconomicon, Dragon Wild Shape:
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You can use your wild shape ability to change into a Small or Medium dragon.
Notice how all the other wild shape feats say that you use wild shape to transform into something different?
On the other side the Stone Form has a different wording, that's the same as the feats that give you some special ability and are fueled by wild shape uses, like for example...
Complete Divine, Lion's Pounce:
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When you charge, you may spend a wild shape as a free action to make a full attack at the end of the charge.

This should make quite clear to your DM that Stone Shape is of the latter type and has nothing to do with Wild Shape, except getting fueled by uses of it :P
Enjoy your rocky goliath beatstick :D
[Spoiler]
His old DM was on crack. He could take levels in freaking Dread Necromancer if he wanted to and no rule in the universe would keep him from doing so.
Rule 0?
Which, I guess, would be 'no rule,' since none = 0.
What's funny is he always brings up Rule 0. I actually had to ask him what that was, and without blinking an eye he gave me the most detailed explanation I'd ever heard for a rule. It was like he was in a trance when he spoke. Looking it up, it just said "The unspoken DM gets final say/veto anything he wants rule."
You're such a kind man, for taking in abused unfortunates and rehabilitating them.
[/spoiler]

feral_child

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thank you very much for the fleshed out and quite informative post

my DM acknowledges your valid points and shall allow the use of my Rocky Goliath Beatstick