[RPG] Exclude Movement Speeds When Wild Shaping


I am currently playing a level 2 Druid (Circle of the Land) in our game. Am I able to wild shape into a constrictor snake that does not have a swim speed in order to comply with the wild shape limitations?

Best Answer

No, you cannot exclude the movement speeds. When you wild shape, you replace all game statistics of your character with those of the beast you shape into:

Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the beast, but you retain your alignment, personality, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. You also retain all of your skill and saving throw proficiencies, in addition to gaining those of the creature. If the creature has the same proficiency as you and the bonus in its stat block is higher than yours, use the creature’s bonus instead of yours. If the creature has any legendary or lair actions, you can’t use them.

Game statistics include movement speeds. You can't take the movement speed out of the constrictor snake - at that point you're making a new beast, not using an existing one from the rules. From a gameplay perspective that's probably fine, as I can't see any real balance reasons not to allow it, but it'd be a houserule to do so.

Keep in mind, however, that the limitation on swim and fly speed is in place not only to prevent you from gaining a swim/fly speed at an earlier level and and to make it feel like a reward later, but also to limit the list from which you can choose which animals to wild shape into, i.e., constrictor snake "unlocks" at druid level 4.