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The Demented One
2008-03-08, 05:27 PM
Battle Shifter

Most druids are masters of magic, using their spells to summon up beasts, heal their allies, or call down the wrath of nature on their foes. For some, however, magic is merely a means to an end. These druids, known as Battle Shifters, use shapeshifting magic to take on powerful animal forms, forsaking other forms of magic in exchange for almost unlimited strength. The variety of form available to a Battle Shifter is vast: they could become a ferocious tiger, a massive elephant, a swarm of stinging insects, or even, at their most powerful, a dragon. Battle Shifters are very close to nature, some even more than most druids, and it is not uncommon for them to remain in shapeshifted form more often than not. For the shapeshift alternate druid class feature, see Playerís Handbook II.

Hit Dice
d10

Requirements
To qualify to become a Battle Shifter, you must fulfill all the following criteria.
BAB: +5
Skills: Knowledge (Nature) 10 ranks, Survival 10 ranks
Special: Shapeshift class feature, must have access to the predator and aerial forms.

Class Skills
The Battle Shifterís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Points per Level
4 + Int modifier.



Level
BAB
Fort
Ref
Will
Special
Spells


1
+1
+2
0
+2
Shapeshifting, Wild Boost (I)
+1 level of existing spellcasting class


2
+2
+3
0
+3
Battle Form



3
+3
+3
+1
+3
Heightened Senses, Wild Boost (II)
+1 level of existing spellcasting class


4
+4
+4
+1
+4
Battle Form



5
+5
+4
+1
+4
Vital Shifting



6
+6
+5
+2
+5
Battle Form
+1 level of existing spellcasting class


7
+7
+5
+2
+5
Countershift



8
+8
+6
+2
+6
Battle Form



9
+9
+6
+3
+6
Wild Boost (III)
+1 level of existing spellcasting class


10
+10
+7
+3
+7
Battle Form



11
+11
+7
+3
+7
Master of Forms



12
+12
+8
+4
+8
Battle Form
+1 level of existing spellcasting class


13
+13
+8
+4
+8
Dual Form




Class Features
All the following are class features of the Battle Shifter prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency
You gain no new weapon or armor proficiencies.

Spellcasting
At 1st, 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th levels, you gain new spells per day as if you had also gained a level of a divine spellcasting class you already had levels in. You do not, however, gain any other benefit an Artificer would have gained.

Shapeshifting
Your Battle Shifter levels stack with your Druid levels when determining your effective Druid level while shapeshifting. However, they do not stack for determining which forms you can shapeshift into.

Wild Boost (Su)
At first level, you gain the ability to use some of your magical talents while shapeshifted. Whenever you use your shapeshift ability, as part of the same action, you may cast a single spell of 1st level or lower with a casting time of 1 standard action or less. You can only cast spells that target you, and only you, this way, though they need not have a range of personal. Casting a spell this way ties its duration to that of your shapeshifting ability: the spellís duration automatically ends if you come out of shapeshifted form. At 3rd level, you can cast 2nd level spells with this ability, and at 9th level, you can cast 3rd level spells with it.

Battle Form (Su)
At each even level, you gain access to a new form to shapeshift into. Some forms require you to have a minimum class level to take them, as noted in their descriptions. The forms you can choose from our:

Behemoth

The behemoth battle form allows you to become a massive creature: an elephant, a rhinoceros, a dinosaur, or creatures of similar stature. You gain a primary gore attack that deals 2d8 damage and two secondary stamp attacks that deal 2d6 damage. In addition, you gain the trample ability, with DC equal to 10 plus Ĺ your effective Druid level plus your Strength modifier. Your size increases by two categories, to a maximum of Colossal, and you gain the reach of a long creature of your kind. You gain a +16 enhancement bonus to Strength, and a +6 enhancement bonus on Fortitude saves. Your natural armor improves by 16. Your base land speed increases to 40 ft. At effective druid level 18th, you gain Improved Bull Rush and Improved Overrun as bonus feats while in behemoth form, and at effective druid level 20th, you gain Awesome Blow as a bonus feat while in it. You must be at least a 10th level Battle Shifter in order to gain the behemoth form.


Creeping Tendrils

The creeping tendrils battle form allows you take on plant form, gaining long, vine-like tentacles and a body of plant matter. You gain two tentacle attacks, which have a reach of 10 ft. longer than your normal reach, that each deal 1d6 damage. You can constrict a creature with a successful grapple check, dealing damage to it as with one of your tentacles. Whenever you successfully hit a creature of your size or smaller with a tentacle attack, you may attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If you win the check, you establish a hold and can constrict. Your size increases by one category, to a maximum of Colossal, and you gain the reach of a tall creature of your kind. You gain a +12 enhancement bonus to Strength, and gain a +4 enhancement bonus on Fortitude and Will saves. Your natural armor bonus increases by 10, and you gain damage reduction 5/slashing. Your base land speed changes to 20 ft. At effective druid level 15th, you gain Improved Disarm and Improved Trip as bonus feats while in creeping tendrils form. You must be at least a 8th level Battle Shifter in order to gain the behemoth form.
Dread Raptor

The dread raptor battle form allows you take on the form of a large bird of prey or a similar aerial predator. You gain a primary talon attack that deals 1d8 damage, and two secondary wing attacks that deal 1d6 damage. You have the reach of a long creature of your size. You gain a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength and Dexterity, and a +5 enhancement bonus on Reflex saves. Your natural armor bonus increases by 4. You gain a fly speed of 50 ft., with perfect maneuverability. At effective druid level 9th, you gain Flyby Attack as a bonus feat while in dread raptor form, and at effective druid level 13th, you gain Improved Flyby Attack as a bonus feat while in it.

Great Ape

The great ape battle form allows you to become a gorilla, orangutan, or a similar large simian. You gain a primary bite attack that deals 1d8 damage and two secondary slam attacks that deal 1d6 damage. Your size increases by one category, to a maximum of Colossal, and you gain the reach of a tall creature of your size. You gain a +10 enhancement bonus to Strength and a +6 enhancement bonus to Constitution, and a +5 enhancement bonus on Fortitude saves. Your natural armor increases by 10. Your base land speed increases to 40 ft., and you gain a climb speed of 20 ft. In addition, when you enter great ape form, you may choose to have a single item held in your hands, such as a shield, weapon, or wand, remain when you shift, and not merge with your form. You are capable of manipulating items with your hands while in great ape form just as a normal humanoid can. At effective Druid level 15th, you gain Improved Grapple as a bonus feat when in great ape form. You must be at least a 6th level Battle Shifter in order to gain the great ape form.

Majestic Dragon

The greatest of battle forms, the majestic dragon form allows you to become a true dragon. You gain a primary bite attack that deals 2d8 damage, and two claw attacks that each deal 2d6 damage. In addition, you gain a breath weapon, which draws power from your magic. As a standard action, you can expend a prepared spell to breathe out either a 30 ft. cone or a 60 ft. line, that deals 2d12 damage per level of the spell of your choice of acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage. Your size increases by three categories, to a maximum of Colossal, and you gain the reach of a long creature of your size. You gain a +16 enhancement bonus to Strength, and a +5 enhancement bonus on all saves. Your natural armor increases by 16. Your base land speed increases to 40 ft., and you gain a fly speed of 50 ft., with poor maneuverability. You gain immunity to sleep and paralysis, damage reduction 10/magic, and resistance 10 to acid, cold, electricity, and fire. You gain Flyby Attack and Improved Overrun as bonus feats. At effective Druid level 20th, you gain Awesome Blow and Improved Flyby Attack as bonus feats. You must be at least a 12th level Battle Shifter in order to gain the majestic dragon form. However, the majestic dragon battle form is very draining, making it possible to stay in it only for a limited amount each day. You may use the majestic dragon battle form for a number of rounds equal to your effective Druid level each day.

Monstrous Vermin

The monstrous vermin form allows you to become an enlarged form of creatures like spider, scorpions, or centipedes. You gain a primary sting attack that deals 1d6 damage. The sting also carries a potent poison, with initial and secondary damage of 1d4 Constitution damage and a DC of 10 + Ĺ your effective Druid level + your Constitution modifier. You have the reach of a long creature of your size. You gain a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength and Dexterity, and a +5 enhancement bonus on Reflex saves. In addition, while in monstrous vermin form, you gain a +5 enhancement bonus on all saves against mind-affecting spells and abilities. Your natural armor bonus increases by 6. At effective Druid level 10th, you gain Mobility as a bonus feat while in monstrous vermin form, and at effective Druid level 14th, you gain Spring Attack as a bonus feat.

Ocean Terror

The ocean terror form allows you to become a powerful aquatic sea predator, like a shark or a squid. You gain your choice of a bite attack that deals 1d8 damage, or four tentacle attacks, each with reach 10 ft. greater than normal, that deal 1d4 damage. Your size increases by one category, to a maximum of Colossal, and you gain the reach of a long creature of your kind. You gain a +8 enhancement bonus to Strength, and gain a +5 enhancement bonus on Fortitude. Your natural armor bonus increases by 6. You gain a swim speed of 40 ft., and gain the aquatic subtype. At effective druid level 10th, you gain Swim-By Attack (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Swim-by_Attack,Sto) as a bonus feat while in ocean terror form.

Savage Hunter

The savage hunter battle form allows you to become a large predatory cat, like a tiger or a lion, or similar creatures. You gain a primary bite attack that deals 1d8 damage, two secondary claw attacks that deal 1d6 damage, and a pair of rake attacks that deal 1d6 damage. You gain the pounce ability: whenever you make a charge, you may make a full attack, including two rakes, at the end of it. Your size increases by one category, to a maximum of Colossal, and you gain the reach of a long creature of your kind. You gain a +6 enhancement bonus to Strength and Dexterity, and gain a +3 enhancement bonus on Fortitude and Reflex saves. Your natural armor bonus increases by 6. Your base land speed changes to 40 ft. At effective druid level 10th, you gain Improved Critical (Bite) and Improved Critical (Claw) as bonus feats while in savage hunter form.

Shifting Swarm

The bizarre shifting swarm battle form allows you to become a swarm of insects or similar vermin. You gain the swarm subtype, and all the traits of the swarm subtype. Your size decreases by two categories, to a minimum of Fine, but your space increases to 10 ft. You have no reach. You gain a swarm attack that deals 3d6 damage, to which you do not add your Strength score. In addition, any creature that begins its turn in your space while your are in shifting swarm form must make a Fortitude save, DC 10 + Ĺ your effective Druid level + your Constitution score, or be nauseated for that round. Spellcasting or concentrating on spells within your space requires a Concentration check, DC 20 + spell level. Using skills that involve patience and concentration requires a DC 20 Concentration check. You take a -10 penalty to your Strength score, to a minimum of one, but gain a +8 enhancement bonus to your Dexterity score, and a +5 enhancement bonus on all Reflex saves. You lose your base land speed, and gain a fly speed of 30 ft., with good maneuverability. You gain Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat while in shifting swarm form. At effective Druid level 12th, you gain Mobility as a bonus feat while in monstrous vermin form, and at effective Druid level 14th, you gain Spring Attack as a bonus feat. You must be at least a 4th level Battle Shifter in order to gain the shifting swarm form. This form cannot be used in conjunction with the dual form ability.

Heightened Senses (Su)
At 3rd level, your senses are heightened while you are in animal form. You gain low-light vision and scent while shapeshifted.

Vital Shifting (Su)
At 5th level, you can use your shapeshifting powers in order to heal yourself. As a swift action while shapeshifted, you may expend a prepared spell. If you do, you gain fast healing equal to half the spellís level, rounded up, for a number of rounds equal to your effective Druid level or until you come out of shapeshifted form. If you use this ability a second time while its duration is still active, then the first useís duration ends.

Countershift (Su)
At 7th level, you are able to shapeshift with just a momentís thought. You may shapeshift even when it is not your turn, doing so as an immediate action. However, if you do so, then you give up your next round of actions.

Master of Forms (Ex)
At 11th level, you have become a true shapeshifter. You gain the shapechanger subtype. In addition, as you can control your body perfectly, you are immune to extra damage from critical hits and sneak attacks.

Dual Form (Su)
At 13th level, you gain the ability to combine two of your forms into a new battle form, allowing you to use the best traits of both. Doing so is just like shapeshifting normally, although you cannot use the countershift ability to dual shift as an immediate action. When you dual shift, choose the two forms you wish to combine. You gain all natural weapons offered by either form; if the same weapon is offered by multiple forms, you only gain the one with a higher damage dice. If each form offers primary natural weapons, then you treat all but the one with the highest damage dice as secondary attacks. Your size increases according to the largest size increase offered by either form. You gain the highest bonus offered by either form on abilities, saves, and to natural armor. You gain all movement forms by either shape, using the one with the highest speed if the same movement form is offered by both shapes. You gain any bonus feats or other abilities offered from both form.

For example, if a Battle Shifter used dual form to combine the behemoth and savage hunter forms, he would gain a gore attack as a primary natural weapon and bite, stamp, and claw attacks as secondary natural weapons. His size would increase by two categories. He would gain a +16 enhancement bonus to Strength and a +6 enhancement bonus to Dexterity. He would gain a +6 enhancement bonus on Fortitude saves, and a +3 enhancement bonus on Reflex saves. His natural armor would increase by 16, and his base land speed would increase to 40 ft. He would gain the savage hunterís pounce and rake abilities, and the behemothís trample ability. He would gain Awesome Blow, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (Bite), Improved Critical (Claw), and Improved Overrun as bonus feats.

You may use this ability for only a limited number of rounds each day. You may remain in dual form for 1 round for every two effective Druid levels you have each day.

Mod Edit: Fixed table.

The Demented One
2008-03-09, 09:30 AM
Bumping in hope of comment.

The_Snark
2008-03-10, 10:03 PM
Oooh, support for the Shapeshift feature? I like.

Looks pretty good on initial review. I'd reccomend that the first-level spellcasting gain be bumped back a little bit to discourage dips (not that anybody should be dipping this class...)

Does Wild Boost allow you to cast those spells as part of the swift action you use to shapeshift, or does it take its own standard action? Can you only cast the one spell when you first shapeshift, or can you cast other spells that meet the criteria while shapeshifted?

Guyr Adamantine
2008-03-10, 10:39 PM
Two words.

Awe. Some.

My only question is(I guess its more than two words now): You often mention an Effective Druid Level, but do you refer to the caster level or the Shapeshifting ability?

EDIT: Master of Forms is at both 11th and 13th level on the table.

Stycotl
2008-03-11, 01:33 AM
i'm not real familiar with the druid variant, but this is a pretty cool class. like it a lot. might have to one day actually make a druid...

boomwolf
2008-03-11, 05:27 AM
Kina mutes the Warshaper. maybe you should separate it a little from him.
Also, 13 levels of PrC? thats jest, wierd.

Cieyrin
2008-03-12, 12:12 AM
That's not odd; there are quite a couple 13 level prestige classes, though they're generally caster classes that are uber; they're almost core classes themselves in their scope. The True Necromancer from Libris Mortis and the Moonspeaker from Races of Eberron are in that 12-13 range and they're well worth going that extra mile to get to that last milestone, you just have to plan a character appropriately to get to that point. And this class is just like that, uber and well built. I appreciate having support for Shapeshift, as I've been looking at it for a while in conjunction to the variant Druid in Unearthed Arcana that makes them swift hunters and just trying to figure out how to get them to properly mesh together. Kudos to you, Demented One! :smallsmile:

The Demented One
2008-03-12, 08:48 PM
Looks pretty good on initial review. I'd reccomend that the first-level spellcasting gain be bumped back a little bit to discourage dips (not that anybody should be dipping this class...)
Ah, but it makes such a pretty pattern...I figured that the 1st-level Wild Boost wouldn't be terribly overpowering even if someone did dip 1st level.


Does Wild Boost allow you to cast those spells as part of the swift action you use to shapeshift, or does it take its own standard action?
It's part of the swift action.


Can you only cast the one spell when you first shapeshift, or can you cast other spells that meet the criteria while shapeshifted?
Just the one when you first shift.


You often mention an Effective Druid Level, but do you refer to the caster level or the Shapeshifting ability?
Effective Druid level is just your Druid levels plus your Battle Shifter levels.


EDIT: Master of Forms is at both 11th and 13th level on the table.
Thanks, I'll fix that.

Soup of Kings
2008-05-23, 02:28 AM
I just read the fluff real quick, this is definitely making me think of World of Warcraft's druids. :smallbiggrin:

Robert Frost
2008-05-23, 02:37 AM
So I really liked this class, I believe it balances out the shapeshifter Variant in higher levels, as the Variant loses power if someone doesn't focus on it as a character, this compensates for that. Also, I had a question for you regarding the variant:

If you go up a size category do you get the size category bonus in strength as well?