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GreatWyrmGold
2019-08-20, 08:26 PM
A character concept I've tried to make work a couple of times is "Girl gets raised by bears and is found by hunters, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjTDoXGR7-M) but also she was shapeshifted into a bear cub". Both times, the concept was stymied in small part by me not realizing the duration was so restrictive and in large part by the campaigns either crashing on the runway or falling apart in the hangar. I can't do anything about the second, but I might as well poke around with the first.

Does anyone know a way for a low-level character in Pathfinder, 5e, or a similar system to be shapeshifted into at least a weak animal for an indefinite length of time?

Mark Hall
2019-08-20, 08:50 PM
A character concept I've tried to make work a couple of times is "Girl gets raised by bears and is found by hunters, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjTDoXGR7-M) but also she was shapeshifted into a bear cub". Both times, the concept was stymied in small part by me not realizing the duration was so restrictive and in large part by the campaigns either crashing on the runway or falling apart in the hangar. I can't do anything about the second, but I might as well poke around with the first.

Does anyone know a way for a low-level character in Pathfinder, 5e, or a similar system to be shapeshifted into at least a weak animal for an indefinite length of time?

Well, the wrong 5th edition (Hackmaster, not D&D), but I based my Shapeshifters (http://rpgcrank.blogspot.com/2018/01/shapechanger-new-race.html) on the AD&D Hengeyokai (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/17334/Oriental-Adventures-1e?affiliate_id=315505), which were reworked in the 3e Oriental Adventures (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/23426/Oriental-Adventures-3e?affiliate_id=315505).

-2 Wisdom, bonus to a stat based on their alternate form, and can change form 1/day/level... so, at 1st level, you can change to bear or from bear, but not bear to man and back (that would be 2 changes).

Quarian Rex
2019-08-21, 01:55 AM
Looks like you want the Transformation (http://spheresofpower.wikidot.com/sphere-focused-feats#toc6) line of feats. Choose Animalistic Transformation (http://spheresofpower.wikidot.com/alteration) as your base and you now have unlimited duration bear transformations. Granted, the base ability essentially gives you enhanced movement and a bite attack without bear level strength but it's a good place to build from (and can add further Blank Form alterations onto bear form if you want).

Keledrath
2019-08-21, 11:36 AM
DnD 4e druids can basically go into wild shape and never come out if they choose. Available from level 1. Notable that 4e's wild shape doesn't actually make any alterations to your stats, it's basically a toggle between which of your druid powers are available.

Telok
2019-08-21, 01:26 PM
DnD 4e druids can basically go into wild shape and never come out if they choose. Available from level 1. Notable that 4e's wild shape doesn't actually make any alterations to your stats, it's basically a toggle between which of your druid powers are available.

Apparently a closer reading shows that the character does not turn into the animal. They turn into some weird 'primal' half-person thing.

Keledrath
2019-08-21, 04:44 PM
Apparently a closer reading shows that the character does not turn into the animal. They turn into some weird 'primal' half-person thing.

That is certainly an option, but it is noot the only one


The wild shape power lets you assume a form of your size that resembles a natural or a fey beast, usually a four-legged mammalian predator such as a bear, a boar, a panther, a wolf, or a wolverine. Your beast form might also be an indistinct shape of shadowy fur and claws, an incarnation of the Primal Beast of which all earthly beasts are fractured images. You choose a specific form whenever you use wild shape, and that form has no effect on your game statistics.

4e tends to leave a lot of the finer details of how your character is fluffed up to you. I've got a friend who fluffs his wildshape as a varied martial arts stance.

GreatWyrmGold
2019-08-22, 04:34 PM
Granted, the base ability essentially gives you enhanced movement and a bite attack without bear level strength but it's a good place to build from (and can add further Blank Form alterations onto bear form if you want).

Notable that 4e's wild shape doesn't actually make any alterations to your stats, it's basically a toggle between which of your druid powers are available.
As long as my character turns physically into a critter and doesn't just get some lame "You're human, but you've got bear arms now! Have fun until we let you get basic polymorph spells" ability to tide it over, I'm happy.

Sounds like I need to find either a Pathfinder game which uses Spheres of Power magic or a 4e game. Both of those are things I've wanted to try out anyways, so win-win.

RedWarlock
2019-08-22, 11:34 PM
No mention of the 3.5e PH2 Shapeshift druid? Unlimited duration alternate forms? No?

Eldan
2019-08-23, 02:35 AM
I was just about to, yeah. Shapeshift Druid, 3.5, Player's Handbook 2. Swift Action shapeshifting at will. It's a small change statwise (you get a few fixed boni), but the text explicitely says that you change into an animal. You are limited to medium sized animals at level 1, though. That said, an older bear cub is probably fine for medium size.

Elysiume
2019-08-23, 03:23 AM
Maybe more restrictive than you're looking for (and the wrong direction?) but kitsune in PF1e (https://aonprd.com/RacesDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Kitsune) get at-will standard action shapeshifting between their fox and human forms at level 1.

GreatWyrmGold
2019-08-24, 09:50 PM
Maybe more restrictive than you're looking for (and the wrong direction?) but kitsune in PF1e (https://aonprd.com/RacesDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Kitsune) get at-will standard action shapeshifting between their fox and human forms at level 1.
I'm not too tied to bears specifically (I'd basically just lose the allusion to Atalanta by having her raised by foxes), and I doubt there'd be much issue with refluffing a kitsune as a human that turns into a fox. (Or another smallish animal with a nasty bite.) The biggest problem is that it looks like it'd be hard to make that shapeshifting central to the character's mechanical identity the way it's central to their personal identity.

Also, minor note, but their natural form is a fox-human hybrid. They need a feat or alternate racial trait to actually turn into a fox.

False God
2019-08-25, 12:46 AM
I was just about to, yeah. Shapeshift Druid, 3.5, Player's Handbook 2. Swift Action shapeshifting at will. It's a small change statwise (you get a few fixed boni), but the text explicitely says that you change into an animal. You are limited to medium sized animals at level 1, though. That said, an older bear cub is probably fine for medium size.
Technically speaking, it doesn't mandate that you actually turn into the animal. It just specifies that it is a "predatory form" and "usually a type of animal", but like 4E, leaves the details vague. Since there's no type or stat-block stealing like normal Wild Shape, and just bonuses, there's plenty of room to fluff the exact details of your "predatory form".


I'm not too tied to bears specifically (I'd basically just lose the allusion to Atalanta by having her raised by foxes), and I doubt there'd be much issue with refluffing a kitsune as a human that turns into a fox. (Or another smallish animal with a nasty bite.) The biggest problem is that it looks like it'd be hard to make that shapeshifting central to the character's mechanical identity the way it's central to their personal identity.

Also, minor note, but their natural form is a fox-human hybrid. They need a feat or alternate racial trait to actually turn into a fox.

Well, the wrong 5th edition (Hackmaster, not D&D), but I based my Shapeshifters (http://rpgcrank.blogspot.com/2018/01/shapechanger-new-race.html) on the AD&D Hengeyokai (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/17334/Oriental-Adventures-1e?affiliate_id=315505), which were reworked in the 3e Oriental Adventures (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/23426/Oriental-Adventures-3e?affiliate_id=315505).

-2 Wisdom, bonus to a stat based on their alternate form, and can change form 1/day/level... so, at 1st level, you can change to bear or from bear, but not bear to man and back (that would be 2 changes).

Then personally I'd second the hengeyokai, probably using the badger or the raccoon-dog as a base for "bear cub". Also comes with all three "forms" (human, hybrid and animal).

Fable Wright
2019-08-25, 01:11 AM
I'm not too tied to bears specifically (I'd basically just lose the allusion to Atalanta by having her raised by foxes), and I doubt there'd be much issue with refluffing a kitsune as a human that turns into a fox. (Or another smallish animal with a nasty bite.) The biggest problem is that it looks like it'd be hard to make that shapeshifting central to the character's mechanical identity the way it's central to their personal identity.

Also, minor note, but their natural form is a fox-human hybrid. They need a feat or alternate racial trait to actually turn into a fox.

You can take an alternate racial feature to trade out the racial magic for the fox form feat, but...

How do you want to define your character's abilities? As a rogue, turning into your fox form would give you +4 dex, -2 strength, +1 natural armor, and Scent. This is a notable combat buff and stealth feature when in the wild, but it results in weapon shrinkage and lack of opposable thumbs. This tradeoff very much seems like it would cause constant shifting and be key to your character's mechanical identity.

GreatWyrmGold
2019-08-25, 02:30 AM
You can take an alternate racial feature to trade out the racial magic for the fox form feat...
or alternate racial trait[/B] to actually turn into a fox.I do my homework.


How do you want to define your character's abilities? As a rogue, turning into your fox form would give you +4 dex, -2 strength, +1 natural armor, and Scent. This is a notable combat buff and stealth feature when in the wild, but it results in weapon shrinkage and lack of opposable thumbs. This tradeoff very much seems like it would cause constant shifting and be key to your character's mechanical identity.
I guess?
I'm not sure what's making it "feel" off. Maybe it's the inflexibility of the shapeshifting, or the fact that it's relegated to a combat buff for an unrelated playstyle instead of being a core feature supported by other stuff you get as you increase in power. (Unless there are ways to improve natural shapeshifting as you level up and I just don't know about them.)

Max_Killjoy
2019-08-25, 10:02 AM
Talk to your GM.

If the form isn't that powerful and comes with some drawbacks (IMO, no speech, no opposable thumbs, no held weapons, limited or no worn armor, limited casting, etc, are some strong limits), and a player came to me with something like this, I'd be inclined to work something out.

Fable Wright
2019-08-25, 10:29 AM
I'm not sure what's making it "feel" off. Maybe it's the inflexibility of the shapeshifting, or the fact that it's relegated to a combat buff for an unrelated playstyle instead of being a core feature supported by other stuff you get as you increase in power. (Unless there are ways to improve natural shapeshifting as you level up and I just don't know about them.)

Swift Kitsune Shapechanger and Vulpine Pounce are admittedly the only built in support, but they are support to help you improve as you level, and the Pounce is actually a very solid combat buff.

Granted, the 4e druid mentioned upthread makes the constant shapeshifting even more core to mechanical identity from 1-30, but it does not seem like you're a fan.

Psyren
2019-08-25, 12:36 PM
Your best bet other than third-party/homebrew is a special race of some sort. At-will shapeshifting at first-level, at least anything more involved than transforming a limb or something, is usually beyond most feats/classes by design.

GreatWyrmGold
2019-08-25, 10:35 PM
Granted, the 4e druid mentioned upthread makes the constant shapeshifting even more core to mechanical identity from 1-30, but it does not seem like you're a fan.
I like the idea, I just don't have much to say about it (or many opportunities to play 4e, which admittedly puts a damper on using that druid).

Nifft
2019-09-01, 02:08 PM
3.5e / PHB2 Shapeshift Druid ACF can take an alternate form at-will, but it's not any specific animal without your DM's adjudication.