Author Topic: The Druid Handbook  (Read 554252 times)

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The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #340 on: March 11, 2011, 07:52:05 AM »
Once again "The form chosen must be that of an animal the druid is familiar with. For example, a druid who has never been outside a temperate forest could not become a polar bear."~PH3.5 Page 37

OK.  I'm a seventh level druid living in a temperate forest which I have never left.  I have a pet polar bear cub.  My friend is a druid, and he has a polar bear animal companion.  He uses summoning magic to summon polar bears.  In fact, he himself is an awakened polar bear.  He's my brother, and my whole adopted family is awakened polar bears.  I ride a polar bear to school, a school where polar bears teach polar bears how to be polar bears.  Every at that school: history, geography, geology, sociology, biology, physiology, medicine, is about polar bears.  

Yet, if we take that quote absolutely literally, apparently I still cannot wildshape into a polar bear.  Yet, if I take one step to the south of my temperate forest, into the eternally flaming desert wasteland, I am now eligible for polar bear wildshaping.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2011, 07:58:38 AM by The_Mad_Linguist »
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DocWarlock

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #341 on: March 11, 2011, 07:58:27 AM »
Once again "The form chosen must be that of an animal the druid is familiar with. For example, a druid who has never been outside a temperate forest could not become a polar bear."~PH3.5 Page 37

OK.  I'm a seventh level druid living in a temperate forest which I have never left.  I have a pet polar bear cub.  My friend is a druid, and he has a polar bear animal companion.  He uses summoning magic to summon polar bears.  In fact, he himself is an awakened polar bear.  He's my brother, and my whole adopted family is awakened polar bears.  I ride a polar bear to school, a school where polar bears teach polar bears how to be polar bears.  Every at that school: history, geography, geology, sociology, biology, physiology, medicine, is about polar bears.  

Yet, if we take that quote absolutely literally, apparently I still can't wildshape into a polar bear.
Yeah, I guess you could then. Have fun playing an intelligent Polar Bear. But you're trying REALLY hard to circumvent the rule. Why not go ahead and say "I'm a 1st level Wizard that trained under Elminster at Hogwarts and once Dumbledore gave me a blowjob so I have infinity 1st level spell slots."

Also, Simulacrum is the perfect example cause it's partially real, instead of the all fakeness that is lesser illusion spells.

The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #342 on: March 11, 2011, 08:00:42 AM »
You're an American, right?  Are you familiar with how a president is elected (electoral college and all that)?

Have you ever seen the electoral college in real life?
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Bozwevial

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #343 on: March 11, 2011, 08:08:05 AM »
Also, Simulacrum is the perfect example cause it's partially real, instead of the all fakeness that is lesser illusion spells.
So does that mean that I'm now partially familiar with a polar bear and can turn halfway into one? Or turn into one 60% of the time?

Besides, if Scrying works to grant familiarity, there's no reason Major Image shouldn't. Major Image even throws in the sounds and smells of cracking seal skulls.

Benly

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #344 on: March 11, 2011, 08:10:20 AM »
So does that mean that I'm now partially familiar with a polar bear and can turn halfway into one? Or turn into one 60% of the time?

The only thing scarier than being charged by a polar bear is being charged by 60% of a polar bear.

DocWarlock

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #345 on: March 11, 2011, 08:11:59 AM »
You're an American, right?  Are you familiar with how a president is elected (electoral college and all that)?

Have you ever seen the electoral college in real life?

Submitted the question on the matter to Wizards of the Coast. We'll have our answer shortly from the source. Or maybe not so shortly, I dunno how long this will take. The exact wording of my question is below.

The texts states that "The form chosen must be one that the druid is familiar with. For example, a druid that has never been outside a temperate forest could not become a polar bear."

That begs one huge ass question. What defines familiarity? My definition is that the druid must have actually seen the creature in question in the fur, scale, feather, flesh in order to take the form. Some players argue that the Knowledge (Nature ) skill gives familiarity.

I also amended the question in regards to illusion spells.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2011, 08:17:17 AM by DocWarlock »

The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #346 on: March 11, 2011, 08:16:21 AM »
They don't answer 3.5 questions anymore.
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DocWarlock

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #347 on: March 11, 2011, 08:17:50 AM »
They don't answer 3.5 questions anymore.

I guess we're gonna be waiting a while then.

The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #348 on: March 11, 2011, 08:26:42 AM »
Seriously, though.  Are you familiar with Barack Obama?  Britney Spears?  Margaret Thatcher?  The causes of world war 1?  The announcers of Top Gear?  Manchester United?  The Yankees?  The Statue of Liberty?  The Sydney Opera House?

If I asked anybody sitting with me in in this room one of these questions... screw it, I'm asking them...

The response is universally "yes, what about it/her/them?"  (well, except for manchester united from the American)

Given that "familiar" isn't a reserved mechanical term, it defaults to common English usage.

Now, if you wanted to use other rules as precedent, Sending lets you send a message to anybody you're familiar with... and then goes on to say that if they know you they recognize your voice.  So clearly knowing somebody personally isn't necessary for familiarity.
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DocWarlock

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #349 on: March 11, 2011, 08:28:47 AM »
Good thing I'm not your DM, cause you'd be pissed at me and the party would be out a Druid. If wording can be abused to interpret a possible infinite damage loop then it certainly be used to define familiarity with a potential druid form as must having seen the creature. It's the opposite side of a cheesey abusive coin.

Also

familiar  (f??m?l??)
 
— adj  (foll by with )
1.   well-known; easily recognized: a familiar figure
2.   frequent or customary: a familiar excuse
3.   acquainted
4.   friendly; informal
5.   close; intimate
6.   more intimate than is acceptable; presumptuous
7.   an archaic word for familial

No, I'm not well-known with Barack. No, He and I are not frequent or customary with eachother. No, we are not acquainted. No we are not friendly or formal. No we are not close or intimate. On and on. I Do know of him, but I am not any of those things that make me familiar with my President.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2011, 08:53:57 AM by DocWarlock »

The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #350 on: March 11, 2011, 09:59:07 AM »

Who is that?


If you can answer the question, you are "familiar with" Barack's appearance.  (the synonym "acquainted" is probably the most relevant here).  Have you seen him in person?  I doubt it.

Now, the only definition that applies here (as the only definition of familiar that uses the word "with") is the second one.  That is

Quote
well-acquainted; thoroughly conversant: to be familiar with a subject.
Oh, let's look at conversant
Quote
familiar by use or study (usually followed by with): conversant with spanish history.
Why look at that.  You can become familiar with something by studying it.



Note that nowhere in the rules text does it say anything about physically seeing one.  You just made that up.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2011, 10:06:21 AM by The_Mad_Linguist »
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McPoyo

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #351 on: March 11, 2011, 01:53:50 PM »
OT: I'm a yank, and I'm familiar with Manchester United.

I've also played an absurd amount of EVE in euro-based corps, though, due to my work schedule.

Edit: Actually, that IS on-topic. I've never left north america, I don't follow any sports of any kind (including the Super Bowl or the misnamed World Series), and yet I can still educate those near me about ManU in a fairly decent manner. Oshit knowledge checks fuckyeah.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2011, 01:57:10 PM by McPoyo »
[Spoiler]
A gygaxian dungeon is like the world's most messed up game show.

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Behind door number 2: A magic crown!
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They don't/haven't, was the point. 3.5 is as dead as people not liking nice tits.

Sometimes, their tits (3.5) get enhancements (houserules), but that doesn't mean people don't like nice tits.

Though sometimes, the surgeon (DM) botches them pretty bad...
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Dictum Mortuum

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #352 on: March 11, 2011, 02:33:26 PM »
You're arguing semantics :P
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DocWarlock

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #353 on: March 11, 2011, 07:22:58 PM »
I just dropped the definition of the word familiar on you. The DEFINITION, and it says that your definition of familiar is wrong.

TenaciousJ

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #354 on: March 11, 2011, 07:34:25 PM »
Your entire argument can be subverted with some fluff in a character's backstory.  What are you trying to accomplish in a handbook thread exactly?

DocWarlock

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #355 on: March 11, 2011, 07:43:00 PM »
Your entire argument can be subverted with some fluff in a character's backstory.  What are you trying to accomplish in a handbook thread exactly?

What I wanted to do with discuss ways around the limitation that the definition of the word familiar throws at the druid. There were some very good suggestions, and then there were Troglodytic basement dwellers that are unknowing of the word familiar.

And as it turns out, according the the definition of the word familiar, my interpretation of the rule is incorrect. You actually have to study the thing in question so that it become well known or acquainted with the druid. And no matter how you fucking pull at these strings, you aren't acquainted with anything unless you meet it.

oslecamo

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #356 on: March 11, 2011, 07:46:55 PM »
Note that nowhere in the rules text does it say anything about physically seeing one.  You just made that up.

Actually, on Scrying:

Knowledge /   Will save modifier

1. You must have some sort of connection to a creature you have no knowledge of.

None /     +10
Secondhand (you have heard of the subject) /    +5
Firsthand (you have met the subject) /    +0
Familiar (you know the subject well) /   -5


As you can see, D&D considers that "familiar" demands even more than just meeting the subject, and much more than just having heard of it on some book or tale.

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #357 on: March 11, 2011, 07:47:26 PM »
This is a stupid argument, and it should probably stop.  Generally, once someone starts bringing out dictionary definitions, that's a good sign that the conversation has degraded far beyond the point where there will be any resolution.  It's like Godwin's Law for D&D forums.

"Familiar" is a term that can have a lot of different meanings, and the PHB didn't clarify it enough to definitely say what does or does not count as familiar for a druid.  So I guess it depends on the DM?  RAW is unclear, RAI is basically impossible to determine now that 3.5e isn't supported anymore.

If you are playing in a game where the DM takes familiar to mean "actually interacted with", then your best bet is probably to use the Summon spells.  By the time you can Wild Shape worth a damned, you can probably summon those creatures anyhow, unless you're dealing with Dragon Wild Shape and similar things.

DocWarlock

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #358 on: March 11, 2011, 08:47:37 PM »
I fucking love you, Oslecamo

Benly

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Re: The Druid Handbook
« Reply #359 on: March 11, 2011, 09:24:33 PM »
Teleport sets "very familiar" as meaning somewhere you feel at home, so maybe you can't Wild Shape unless you truly feel you are a fleshraker trapped in a human body. However, it acknowledges "studied carefully" as a higher degree of familiarity than "seen casually" or "seen once", so Knowledge seems more applicable than just seeing something a few times if we're willing to compromise on lower degrees of familiarity.

Alternately, it might mean that a druid can't use Wild Shape to turn into anything unless he uses the Urban Companion ACF to obtain it as a familiar. That's a pretty major use of the term "familiar" in D&D rules, right?