View Full Version : [3.X] How to fight shapechangers?

2009-01-30, 03:41 PM
I'm putting together a homebrew PrC to fight Lycanthropes and other shapechangers. As a PC, I've noticed a ridiculous preponderance of enemies with Alternate Form, Polymorph, Wildshape, etc. And as a DM, I've observed that when PCs use these abilities, they often utterly screw with my ability to create balanced encounters.

So, what are your ideas for what a Inquisitor of True Form (or whatever it ends up being called) should be like? And what abilities, spells, effects, powers, tactics., would be useful for fighting shapechangers of all types? Because even if my homebrew never sees the light of day, dealing with it is a reoccurring issue in games.

Here's what I have so far:
Some sort of Favored Enemy (Shapechangers).
Scent ability that tells you the true type and subtype of those within range.
Smite ability that makes enemy revert to original form.
Immunity to Lycanthropy
Greater Dispel Magic
True Seeing


2009-01-30, 03:52 PM
Isn't there a spell from Eberron that does the forced-reversion thing?

2009-01-30, 04:20 PM
It would be cool if you could steal their shapechanging ability ... "Oh, you want to turn into a War Troll now? You're ready to escalate the arms race to that level of cheese? Well, fine, now I'm a War Troll, and you're back in your natural form."

2009-01-30, 04:24 PM
Turn Shapechangers would seem appropriate as well.

2009-01-30, 04:56 PM
Perhaps the ability at high level to dominate people who shapechange?
E.G Lycanthrope Scholar
Extensive study of lycanthropy and it's many variants have given you the ability to manipulate the energies that power the changes and to bend them to your will. You gain the ability to (once per day) force a lycanthrope to bend to your will, as per dominate monster. Will save ends the control but leaves the victim stunned til their next turn. If they fail the will save, they regain control in the number of rounds equal to your Inquisitor of Form level.
Nothing says "No! F*** YOUUUU!!!!" like taking their most potent ability and turning it on their squishies.

I also like the idea of perhaps taking on aspects of the shapechange while maintaining all your functionality.
Aspect Mirror
When an opponent shapechanges, choose a feature of their new form. You are treated as having this feature, which can include being classed as an increased (or decreased ) size class, special powers. You also gain immunity to the aforementioned ability until the end of the fight.

This allows you to snatch breath weapons, ignore the bonuses piled on by Huge size or perhaps grant yourself immunity to a particularly annoying feature.

Fax Celestis
2009-01-30, 05:02 PM
Maybe Sophitia's silver burst, Sophitia's silver grasp, or Sophitia's silver ray as spell-like abilities and/or added to spell list?

2009-01-30, 05:58 PM
Some kind of psionic power that allows you to differentiate between the mind of a normal creature of it's type and a mind used to another form?

2009-01-30, 07:18 PM
I think there's some kind of weapon in the MIC that's made to fight shapechangers, but I can't seem to remember the name.

2009-01-30, 07:26 PM
Well, you may just be thinking of the Core item Shifter's Sorrow (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/magicWeapons.htm#shiftersSorrow).

2009-01-30, 08:24 PM
Church Inquisitor from Complete Divine has the Force Shapechange ability at 6th level, which causes target creature to revert form and stay reverted for 1d6 rounds, on a successful dispel check (with +4 bonus for the Inquisitor). Usable at will.

2009-01-30, 08:38 PM
Give them the ability to force a Shape Shifter Swan Song. It doesn't have to kill the target just incapacitate them

2009-01-30, 09:33 PM
Some ability suggestions:
* Argent Strike: melee attacks count as silver for overcoming DR
* Inviolate Form: bonus to saves against effects which change your form (Petrification, Baleful Polymorph)

Also, look to other "monster bane" type PrCs for inspiration:

* Darkwood Stalker (orcs): Ancient Foe
* Dragonslayer (dragons): Damage Bonus, Overcome Draconic Spell Resistance, Improved Critical
* Dragonstalker (dragons): Hunting Bonus, Sneak Attack (Dragon), Hide Scent, Dragonstrike
* Gnome Giantslayer (giants): Favored Enemy, Crafty Fighter, Annoying Strike
* Hunter of the Dead (undead): Detect Undead, Smite Undead, Spurn Death's Touch, True Death
* Knight of the Chalice (evil outsiders): Fiendslaying, Censure Demons
* Occult Slayer (spellcasters): Magical Defense, Vicious Strike
* Skullclan Hunter (undead): Track Undead, Divine Strike, Sword of Light, Sword of Darkness
* Topaz Guardian (aberrations): Smite Aberration, Hard to Hold
* Witch Slayer (binders/supernatural creatures): Smite Spirit Sharer, Locate Possession, Momentary Disjunction

2009-01-31, 01:14 PM
Church Inquisitor from Complete Divine has the Force Shapechange ability at 6th level, which causes target creature to revert form and stay reverted for 1d6 rounds, on a successful dispel check (with +4 bonus for the Inquisitor). I thought I should just point out that the +4 bonus isn't from Force Shapechange, but from the granted power of the Inquisition domain which Church Inquisitors get automatically.

The Truth domain (Races of Eberron page 185) has a Force Shapechange spell, which functions somewhat differently.

2009-01-31, 05:55 PM
From the Baldur's Gate games, there was a Bastard Sword which did +3 damage versus shapeshifters, such as Lycanthropes, and Dopplegangers.

2009-01-31, 06:28 PM
The problem with Shifters is that they are melee monsters.

It's called 'Forcecage' or even 'Resilient Sphere'...

2009-02-04, 10:59 AM
Thanks for all the feedback. I really like the idea Draz74 had of taking your enemy's form. So I created a Spellthief PrC that steals forms called the Shapethief (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=5729533#post5729533). (I know, the name sucks. Suggestions?) If anyone has any comments or feedback or commentary, please post there. Thanks.

2009-02-04, 11:55 AM
I'd say a great way to bring many shapechangers (definitely not all) down a notch would be to force them to take the mental attributes of their new form. Call it something like "forced devolution" or something. It would be particularly effective against druids and wizards who haven't turned into dragons without being an absolute "iwin" spell.

2009-02-04, 01:44 PM
Waaay to abusable. The spellcaster can shapechange itself into some ultra smart/wise/nice outsider and have a cohort/friend/lackey of your PrC to use it on him.