Druids, Polymorph, and Paragons

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I'm currently building a razorclaw shifter druid (predator), and I'm looking at taking the Moonstalker paragon path (shifter racial).  The level 12 utility, Unleash the Silent Predator, is particularly interesting to me, as it matches the flavor I want to create very well and would give my druid a "form" not usually accessible for other NPCs.

 

Silent Predator has the polymorph keyword (and no others), which makes sense.  However, being a polymorph power, Silent Predator may mechanically collide with Wild Shape, the polymorph ability that is meant to let druids use attacks with the *Beast Form* keyword.  That particular keyword is the guiding mechanic for druids and is key for their versitility and use (and in my case, fun).  According to PH2 and the compendium, "If a creature is affected by more than one polymorph power, only the most recent one has any effect. The other powers’ effects remain on the creature and their durations expire as normal, but those effects don’t apply."

 

My question is this:  does using Silent Predator *remove* the ability to use Beast Form keyword-ed abilities?  I plan on talking with my DM about this anyway, but I figured I'd get a public opinion first.

 

Wild Shape says "You change from your humanoid form to beast form" and "While you are in beast form, you can’t use weapon or implement attack powers that lack the beast form keyword".  However, it doesn't explicitly say you can't use Beast Form powers if not in druid-beast mode.  Similarly, the Beast Form keyword says "A character can use a beast form power only while in beast form. Only certain characters can assume a beast form", but "beast form" itself is ill-defined (we know what it meant to be, but the point is that nothing says "only druid-beast mode constitutes beast form.)

 

Silent Predator is an old enough power that it doesn't specify what happens with weapons and whatnot (and the polymorph keyword itself also doesn't specify, according to the compendium), so I am lead to believe that it was not meant to also remove attack options from classes.  If you were a fighter who activated Silent Predator, it would make you just a really fast fighter, no?  This problem is a special case given the polymorph-keyword-driven nature of druids, despite the flavor behind it making perfect sense (instead of paws, I get slightly bigger paws that do the same damage!)

 

I'm trying to make this arguement becasue, to be honest, I don't want to lose half my normal repetoire for something that I think is meant to add, not subtract.  I feel that with the nature of the druid's various polymorph abilities, flavorfully it could be said that the Silent Predator is just another form that the druid can take, and hence it should be able to operate as such.

 

Thoughts and opinions?

Technically you never enter beast form so can't use beast form attacks. Beast form is a clear enough term that nothing grants you beast form unless it uses that term. But on the other hand, you can use all of druid's non-beast form attacks.

 

However, the power was clearly intended to modify beast form. So talk with your DM about it and come to an agreement regarding how you want it to work. A houserule would not be unreasonable here.

 

Or just transfer the flavor to another PP. The only mechanical benefits of Silent Stalker are extra speed and shiftiness, both things that the predator druid can get in boatloads through other means. There's no reason you can't describe your regular wild shape with the exact same flavor text if that's the main appeal here.

Scatterbrained wrote:

Technically you never enter beast form so can't use beast form attacks. Beast form is a clear enough term that nothing grants you beast form unless it uses that term. 

 

True, but I guess part of the question is if I had already used Wild Shape before activating Silent Predator, would I *lose* beast form?

Technically yes, you can only have one of these Effects active at a time. I can't imagine a reasonable DM disallowing it though.

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