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Will there be as many shapes as the 3rd edition allows it? Or will it be like in BG1 and 2 (only 3 shapes without ToB!!!)
- Here's some old bits on shapeshifting/polymorph/lycanthropy from BioWare-
We've made a few interface tweaks, such as splitting off their high-level Wild Shape abilities (where they can finally polymorph into powerful elementals) into a separate ability called Elemental Shape. The effect is the same but things fit around the radial menu a little more easily. The Timeless Body ability they gain at 15th level doesn't really hold any bearing on Neverwinter, so that's been removed but we've made up for it with some minor enhancements to Wild Shape as a whole. If anything, Neverwinter druids are currently slightly more powerful than their pen-and-paper counterparts. There will be further tweaking and balancing during the testing phase but we're committed to keeping the classes as true to 3rd Edition as feasible.
Alright, ignore Gad's mad ramblings... Were-ducks indeed... What will the world be coming to next. ;o)
On the issue of lycanthropy, we've found that every DM has their own vision of how lycanthropy can be integrated into their stories and worlds. Some tie it to the presence of a full moon, some say it's a state that you can enter and leave at will, some say it's more of a Jekkyl and Hyde setup where the human half is unaware of the wolf half's bloody doings. So, rather than dictating what lycanthropy is or is not, we've decided to leave that question in the hands of the DMs and module designers where it belongs.
As for becoming a non-traditional lycanthrope (were-boar, etc), the 3e Monster Manual states that, while some lycanthropes have an intermediate hybrid form, many others do not. In other words, if you want to create a lycanthropic orc-bear that polymorphs back and forth between its two base forms, that's more than possible.
Hope that helps,
Rest assured both polymorphing and animal companions will be included in NWN. "Out of the can" polymorphing and druid shape-shifting will only allow for a set group of forms. However, a DM can override this and allow a change to almost any available creature. Animal Companions and familiars will work in the same manner as henchmen, i.e. you will be able to issue them simple commands.
I'd say those bode well for a goodly variety of choices when PCs of any class change their forms ;-)......