I would like to hear everyone's opinion on what type of equipment a druid in a elemental form can wear. A elemental is a medium large creature with a humanoid shape. Seems like they should be able to wear anything a humanoid can. Below I have the part of the wild shape ability that is relevant for discussion:
You choose whether your equipment falls to the ground in your space, merges into your new form, or is worn by it. Worn equipment functions as normal, but the DM decides whether it is practical for the new form to wear a piece of equipment, based on the creature’s shape and size. Your equipment doesn’t change size or shape to match the new form, and any equipment that the new form can’t wear must either fall to the ground or merge with it. Equipment that merges with the form has no effect until you leave the form.
So I am thinking a elemental could wield a staff and wear armor for sure. Anyone have thoughts about other items like cloaks, rings, and amulets.
Besides the elemental form what other allowances have you seen in your games? Do DM's allow armor for animal forms like a World of Warcraft druid?
edit: corrected size of an elemental from medium to large
I don't allow armor retention. When I played a Druid, I thought maybe I could retain my armor when changing into an ape... but then it made no sense. Armor is pretty fitted equipment (even if it's adjustable, it can take awhile to adjust). Even for an elemental form it doesn't make sense to me to allow it, and complicates the game. (edit: aren't elementals Large sized? And aside from the earth elemental, are they really very humanoid shaped? I mean, they can move through a 1 inch wide space)
Amulets should be fine though, even for beast shapes. Rings maybe too. Cloaks?... that's starting to seem odd to me.
My short answer is not very much. Elemental are large, so most items just wouldn’t work. I’d allow necklaces, rings, staffs, amulets, and a few cloaks, but I wouldn’t allow much else.
If a normal elemental couldn’t use the item, then the answer would be no. Can you see a fire elemental using that isn’t metal? What about a water elemental trying to hide using a cloak of elvenkind that covers 1/4 of it’s back? But a rod of the python is something that I can see an elemental using successfully.
Ah, I missed the large size of the elementals. I suppose it makes sense no armor or cloaks. So you would allow rings, amulets and possibly weapons/staves? How about bracers?
Personally, I'm not seeing any big issue with allowing armor to conform to the new form. The elemental myrmidons all wear armor and wield weapons so there is a precedent. Would you consider a suit of magic armor specifically enchanted to conform with wildshapes? I believe a magic item similar to this has existed in past editions.
I have never played a druid and would like to but am thinking that the wildshape forms are weak at higher levels. Am I right? Would using bracers of protection and a magic scimitar make a air elemental broken?
Also, the armor of an elemental is pretty reasonable - AC:17 for an Earth Elemental. You'd have to be wearing Plate to improve on that by a single point of AC.
Well, a shield would certainly help a Earth Elemental and the other elementals could all benefit from armor and shield. I could see druids creating specially enchanted armor to beef up wild shaped forms. Seems like a natural progression for them. Especially in more war torn settings like Eberron.
Druids get more powerful wildshape forms as they go up in level. They scale with level.
Adding magic items to an elemental wouldn't be overpowered, but why would you prefer to use a magical scimitar over using the air elemental's slam attack that does 2d8+5 damage?
Well, druids do get more powerful forms as they level but it caps out at 18th level with CR 6 and in worlds with no dinosaurs your choices can be severely impacted. CR 5 elementals or a CR 6 mammoth are okay choices but don't seem up to 18th level play.
I admit that a magic scimitar may be weaker than a slam attack but this might depend on the enchantments on it or type of weapon. A barbarian/druid wielding a +2 maul (or a Hammer of Thunderbolts) in earth elemental form sounds like it may be pretty scary fun.
Generally I've seen that it depends on the gear. Non magical gear can't be use another form, but magical gear states in the DMG "In most cases, a magic item that’s meant to be worn can fit a creature regardless of size or build. Many magic garments are made to be easily adjustable, or they magically adjust themselves to the wearer."
So, in the case of Magic Items if they can be worn on the form they could be, but it's pure GM fiat.