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    Default [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    Shifter



    “But I was drawn into the pack and before long
    They allowed me to join in and sing their song
    So from the cliffs and highest hill, yeah
    We would gladly get our fill
    Howling endlessly and shrilly at the dawn
    And I lost the taste for judging right from wrong
    For my flesh had turned to fur”

    ~Blitzen Trapper~

    An escape into nature, a true convergence of human life with the natural world, a shifter has mastered his animal instincts and used them to his advantage. A shifter has the unique ability to transform into a being of their creation. This alternate form looks like no other in existence, it is a creation of the shifter's imagination. As the shifter's power grows, so does his alternate form's. And with his increase in power, his alternate form improves and changes into a new, more powerful creature. A shifter’s power is gained from at least one of his parents having the gift of shifting, a gift which must be nurtured when the shifter is young or the ability to access that power is difficult to attain once more.

    Alignment: Any Chaotic
    Hit Die: d8 (Dex), d10 (Str), d12 (Con)
    Class Skills: Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex).
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) × 4.
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

    Level
    BAB(Str/Other)
    Fort Save (Str,Con/Other) Ref Save (Dex,Con/Other) Will Save Special
    1st
    +1 (+0)
    +2/+0
    +2/+0
    +0
    Archetype, shifting, minor aspect (1st), wild empathy
    2nd
    +2 (+1)
    +3/+0
    +3/+0
    +0
    Minor aspect (1st)
    3rd
    +3 (+2)
    +3/+1
    +3/+1
    +1
    Minor aspect (1st)
    4th
    +4 (+3)
    +4/+1
    +4/+1
    +1
    Lesser aspect (1st)
    5th
    +5 (+3)
    +4/+1
    +4/+1
    +1
    Lesser aspect (1st)
    6th
    +6/+1 (+4)
    +5/+2
    +5/+2
    +2
    Lesser aspect (1st)
    7th
    +7/+2 (+5)
    +5/+2
    +5/+2
    +2
    Moderate aspect (1st)
    8th
    +8/+3 (+6/+1)
    +6/+2
    +6/+2
    +2
    Moderate aspect (1st)
    9th
    +9/+4 (+6/+1)
    +6/+3
    +6/+3
    +3
    Moderate aspect (1st)
    10th
    +10/+5 (+7/+2)
    +7/+3
    +7/+3
    +3
    Archetype, minor aspect (2nd)
    11th
    +11/+6/+1 (+8/+3)
    +7/+3
    +7/+3
    +3
    Improved aspect (1st)
    12th
    +12/+7/+2 (+9/+4)
    +8/+4
    +8/+4
    +4
    Minor aspect (2nd)
    13th
    +13/+8/+3 (+9/+4)
    +8/+4
    +8/+4
    +4
    Improved aspect (1st)
    14th
    +14/+9/+4 (+10/+5)
    +9/+4
    +9/+4
    +4
    Lesser aspect (2nd)
    15th
    +15/+10/+5 (+11/+6/+1)
    +9/+5
    +9/+5
    +5
    Improved aspect (1st)
    16th
    +16/+11/+6/+1 (+12/+7/+2)
    +10/+5
    +10/+5
    +5
    Moderate aspect (2nd)
    17th
    +17/+12/+7/+2 (+12/+7/+2)
    +10/+5
    +10/+5
    +5
    Greater aspect (1st)
    18th
    +18/+13/+8/+3 (+13/+8/+4)
    +11/+6
    +11/+6
    +6
    Improved aspect (2nd)
    19th
    +19/+14/+9/+4 (+14/+9/+4)
    +11/+6
    +11/+6
    +6
    Greater aspect (1st)
    20th
    +20/+15/+10/+5 (+15/+10/+5)
    +12/+6
    +12/+6
    +6
    Archetype mastery, shifting savant

    Class Features

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency
    Shifters are proficient with all simple weapons and light armor.

    Archetype
    At first level, a shifter chooses a certain path to follow. These paths are known as archetypes. There are three archetypes: Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution. Those of an archetype must choose aspects from that archetypes list (however, a shifter may choose aspects from the Miscellaneous Aspect list regardless of his archetype(s)). At level 10, a shifter gains an additional archetype. Aspects from this new archetype, though chosen from a different list, do not grant the Shifter a new alternate form, but merely add a different kind of ability to the pre-existing form.

    Strength
    Strength archetypes are brutish and strong. Those of this archetype use a full base attack bonus and a good Fortitude save. In addition, a strength archetype gains an inherent +2 bonus to his alternate form's Strength score by selecting this archetype.

    Dexterity
    Dexterity archetypes are sly and swift. Those of this archetype use a 3/4 base attack bonus and receive a good Reflex save, and a bad Fortitude and Will save. In addition, a dexterity archetype gains an inherent +2 bonus to his alternate form's Dexterity score by selecting this archetype.

    Constitution
    Constitution archetypes are hardy and vigilant. Those of this archetype use a 3/4 base attack bonus and receive a good Fortitude and Reflex save, and a bad Will save. In addition, a constitution archetype gains an inherent +2 bonus to his alternate form's Constitution score by selecting this archetype.

    The shifter's base attack bonus, hit die, and saves never change, even if he gains a new archetype that would improve them. The shifter does, however, gain the +2 inherent bonus from his second archetype.

    The shifter's alternate form's ability scores continue to improve with level. At level 4, and every 4 levels after that until level 16 (4, 8, 12, 16) the shifter gains an additional +2 points to his chosen archetype's ability score. If the shifter has two archetypes, he gains a bonus to both scores, but only +1 for his secondary archetype. These additional bonuses differ from the base bonus in that they are only counted when the shifter is in his alternate form.

    Shifting (Ex)

    Shifters gain the ability to shift at level one. The form they shift into is one of their creation, their visualization of their chosen archetype. For example, a constitution archetype might choose something akin to a bear. The shifters alternate form is always the same (except when its form enhances through use of the Shifter class). Additionally, a shifter may change his alternate form whenever he gains a level. Once able to shift, the shifter gains the Shapechanger subtype.

    At level 4, and every 4 levels thereafter, the shifter may replace an aspect with a new one. The shifter may not replace an aspect that would cause him to no longer meet the requirements of another. The replacement aspect need not be of the same archetype.

    When shifted, the shifter is treated as a Magical Beast, and gains all traits associated with Magical Beasts. All armor and items meld into the shifter's new form, and are negated completely. The shifter is unable to use items in his alternate form unless his alternate form is able to use them as well. Items that are not worn on the shifter's body, such as ioun stones, may continue to be in effect after shifting if the shifter chooses. A shifter is unable to shift in anything higher than light armor (regardless of any proficiency feats he takes), and wearing armor that is made of mostly metal interferes with the shifting process.

    A shifter’s alternate form is considered an alternate form for all effects and purposes except as noted here.

    A shifter may become his alternate form at will, using a standard action to switch between his natural and alternate forms. A shifter may only shift once per round. The alternate form does not have to be an existing monster, nor can it have any special movements or abilities, unless gained from the Shifter class Aspects. However, it does gain a natural attack. This attack may be of any kind (bite, claw or talon, gore, slap or slam, sting, or tentacle, etc.), and can be reassigned any time the shifter gains a level. The shifter may have multiple natural attacks, but each additional natural attack deals damage 2 steps less than that of the last additional natural attack the shifter gained (steps referring to the table below). A shifter may not gain a natural attack if the last natural attack he added dealt 1d4 damage (i.e., the lowest damage dice available). For example, a level 9 shifter’s natural attacks would deal decreasing damage as follows: 1d10, 1d6, 1d4. The shifter may never have more than 3 different types of natural attack. The shifter’s additional natural attacks act as secondary natural attacks for all intents and purposes.

    The shifter's alternate form gains natural armor equal to shifter level/2 (this number is always at least 1, rounded down).

    The natural attack does damage according to the table below, and has a x2 crit multiplier. This is an supernatural ability. At level 4, the shifter's natural attacks gain in power, and are counted as +1 weapons for the purposes of bypassing damage reduction. This increases by 1 every 4 levels after level 4 (+2 at 8, +3 at 12, +4 at 16, +5 at 20). At level 8, the shifter's weapons are counted as being aligned with his current alignment for the purposes of bypassing damage reduction.

    Level Natural Attack Damage
    1
    1d6
    2-4
    1d8
    4-7
    1d10
    8-10
    1d12
    11-13
    2d8
    14-17
    3d6
    18-19
    3d8
    20
    3d10

    The shifter's alternate form becomes more versatile at level 10, allowing him access to one size larger than the shifter, or one size smaller.

    Aspects (Ex)

    As a shifter grows in level, its alternate form “evolves.” It gains aspects, or abilities, that are added on to the alternate forms base abilities. When a shifter gains a new archetype, it begins to accumulate abilities from the new archetype’s list as well. Aspects may only be taken once unless specified otherwise. A shifter gains a new aspect on every class level where it does not otherwise gain a special ability (however, on a level where the shifter gains a first, or second archetype, he must take an aspect from his newly learned archetype), including size increase or special abilities outside of aspects (such as Archetype Mastery). When selecting an aspect, be sure to meet all requirements. All aspect's effects are only active in the shifter's alternate form.

    When the shifter gains a new aspect, he may apply it to an aspect of that level or one of a lower level. For example, when the shifter gains a Moderate Aspect, he may use it to instead gain a Lesser Aspect if he chooses to do so. The level of the aspect taken must always be less than or equal to the aspect type awarded from shifter levels. All aspects are extraordinary abilities unless noted otherwise.

    Wild Empathy

    As the druid ability of the same name.

    Archetype Mastery

    At level 20, a shifter becomes the master of his first archetype. The initial ability bonus from his first archetype (+2 Str, +2 Dex, etc.) improves and increases by +4 (to a total of +6). Also, the shifter’s shift ability is faster and decreases to a move action (or a swift action if the shifter has the feat Fast Shifting, and an immediate action if the shifter has taken the Fast Shifting feat twice).

    Shifting Savant

    The shifter’s knowledge of shapeshifting allows him to gain additional benefits while in his alternate form. At level 20, whenever the shifter shifts to his alternate form, he may select any Improved Aspect from any archetype (selecting lower level aspects if needed, as usual) and gain its benefit as long as he remains in his alternate form. The shifter need not adhere to any requirements for this aspect (but still must meet all other requirements for his other aspects). The shifter may choose which aspect this ability grants every time he shifts.


    Strength Archetype Aspects
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    Minor Aspects
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    Wrestler
    Aspect Level: Minor
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains a +5 bonus to Grapple checks.

    Improved Strength
    Aspect Level: Minor
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains an additional +1 Strength while in his alternate form. This aspect may be taken multiple times. Its effects stack.

    Feared
    Aspect Level: Minor
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains a +5 bonus to Intimidate checks.

    Improved Charge
    Aspect Level: Minor
    Requirements: None

    The shifter negates the armor class penalty from charging, and improves the attack bonus by +2.


    Lesser Aspects
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    Improved Grab
    Aspect Level: Lesser
    Requirements: Wrestler

    If the shifter succeeds on a natural attack, he may attempt a grapple check as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.

    Fearful Strength
    Aspect Level: Lesser
    Requirements: Feared

    The shifter may use his strength modifier as opposed to his charisma modifier for intimidate checks. Additionally, the shifter may cast fear as a spell-like ability 3/day (CL 5).

    Powerful Attacks
    Aspect Level: Lesser
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains a +3 competence bonus to all natural attacks.

    Improved Bull Rush
    Aspect Level: Lesser
    Requirements: Improved Charge

    Your Strength check when making a bull rush is increased by +4. Additionally, you push the defender back 10 feet instead of 5.


    Moderate Aspects
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    Fear Tactics
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: Fearful Strength

    The shifter gains a +4 bonus on attack and damage rolls when fighting an opponent that has been demoralized (see Intimidate description), frightened, or feared by the shifter.

    Improved Fear
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: Fearful Strength

    The shifter adds his Strength modifier to the penalty incurred by Intimidate, fear, or frightful presence.

    Rake
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: Improved Grab

    The shifter gains a rake attack. A shifter with this special attack gains extra natural attacks when he grapples its foe. Normally, a shifter can attack with only one of its natural weapons while grappling, but a shifter with the rake ability gains two additional claw or bite attacks that he can use only against a grappled foe. Rake attacks are not subject to the usual -4 penalty for attacking with a natural weapon in a grapple.

    A shifter with the rake ability must begin his turn grappling to use its rake—he can’t begin a grapple and rake in the same turn.

    Deadly Attacks
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: Powerful Attacks

    The shifter’s natural attack is improved by one step, as if the shifter had taken the Improved Natural Attack feat. This aspect stacks with the Improved Natural Attack feat. This aspect may be taken multiple times. Its effects stack.

    Great Charge
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: Improved Bull Rush

    When making a bull rush, you do not lose your opportunity to attack the target, as with a normal charge. Calculate the bull rush before this attack. If the bull rush is successful, the shifter receives a +5 bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls on the attack.


    Improved Aspects
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    Swallow Whole
    Aspect Level: Improved
    Requirements: Improved Grab

    If a shifter with this special attack begins its turn with an opponent held in its mouth (see Improved Grab), it can attempt a new grapple check (as though attempting to pin the opponent). If it succeeds, he swallows his prey, and the opponent takes bite damage. Unless otherwise noted, the opponent can be up to one size category smaller than the shifter. A swallowed creature is considered to be grappled, while the shifter is not. A swallowed creature can try to cut its way free with any light slashing or piercing weapon, or it can just try to escape the grapple. The Armor Class of the interior of the shifter is 10 + his natural armor bonus, with no modifiers for size or Dexterity. If the swallowed creature escapes the grapple, success puts it back in the attacker’s mouth, where it may be bitten or swallowed again.

    Every round spent in a shifter’s stomach, the swallowed creature takes natural attack damage (base damage, no ability score modifiers apply), and if the creature has a poison attack it affects the swallowed creature in addition to normal damage. The swallowed creature must deal damage equal to 1/5 of the shifter’s health to break free.

    Feared By All
    Aspect Level: Improved
    Requirements: Fear Tactics

    The shifter gains a frightful presence. This ability is activated whenever the shifter scores a critical strike on a target, charges, or performs a successful intimidate. Opponents within range who witness the action become frightened. The range is 30 feet, and the duration is 5d6 rounds. This ability affects only opponents with fewer Hit Dice or levels than the shifter has. An affected opponent can resist the effects with a successful Will save (DC 10 + ½ shifter level + strength modifier. An opponent that succeeds on the saving throw is immune to that same creature’s frightful presence for 24 hours.

    Improved Rake
    Aspect Level: Improved
    Requirements: Rake

    The shifter gains a +5 bonus to grapple checks when attempting an improved grab. Additionally, the shifter gains an extra natural attack while raking.

    Awesome Blow
    Aspect Level: Improved
    Requirements: Powerful Attacks

    As a standard action, the shifter may choose to subtract 4 from its melee attack roll and deliver an awesome blow. If the shifter hits a corporeal opponent smaller than himself with an awesome blow, his opponent must succeed on a Reflex save (DC = damage dealt) or be knocked flying 10 feet in a direction of the shifter’s choice and fall prone. The shifter can only push the opponent in a straight line, and the opponent can’t move closer to the shifter than the square it started in. If an obstacle prevents the completion of the opponent’s move, the opponent and the obstacle each take 1d6 points of damage, and the opponent stops in the space adjacent to the obstacle.

    Greater Charge
    Aspect Level: Improved
    Requirements: Great Charge

    When making a bull rush/charge attempt, the shifter gains an additional attack at a -5 penalty to attack roll.

    Powerful Charge
    Aspect Level: Improved
    Requirements: Great Charge

    The shifter slams into the opponent before making his attack. The shifter deals additional damage equal to strength modifier(x2 if larger than the opponent, /2 if smaller) + shifter level when making a bull rush.


    Greater Aspects
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    Fearful Superiority
    Aspect Level: Greater
    Requirements: Feared By All

    The shifter is adept at frightening his opponents, and exploiting their current weakness. Whenever the shifter attacks a creature that has been demoralized (see Intimidate description), frightened, or feared by the shifter, the attack receives a +10 circumstantial bonus to both attack bonus and damage rolls.

    Deep Rake
    Aspect Level: Greater
    Requirements: Improved Rake

    For all rake attacks, extra strength damage is added twice instead of once. An additional natural attack is also gained when raking (to a total of 4).

    Greater Awesome Blow
    Aspect Level: Greater
    Requirements: Awesome Blow

    The shifter may deal an awesome blow as a move action, the penalty to attack roll is removed, natural attack damage dealt while performing an awesome blow is increased by 50% (after all rolls are made, not before), and the amount of feet the opponent is knocked back can be modified by the shifter’s strength bonus.

    Greater Charge
    Aspect Level: Greater
    Requirements: Powerful Charge

    When making a bull rush/charge, the shifter gains an additional attack

    Debilitate
    Aspect Level: Greater
    Requirements: Powerful Attacks

    The shifter’s natural attacks deal 1 Constitution damage per successful hit. This affects every natural attack the shifter has.


    Dexterity Archetype Aspects
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    Minor Aspects
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    Buoyant
    Aspect Level: Minor
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains a +5 bonus on all Balance and Jump checks. In addition, the shifter gains feather fall as a supernatural ability usable 3/day.

    Fast
    Aspect Level: Minor
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains a bonus to his speed (all, including flight, swim, etc.) equal to 10 feet. For example, if a shifter has a 30 foot speed, this increases to 40 feet. This aspect also grants a +5 bonus to Tumble and Bluff (but only when used to feint) checks.

    Stealthy
    Aspect Level: Minor
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains a +3 bonus to Hide and Move Silently checks. In addition, the shifter can cast pass without trace as a spell-like ability at will (CL 3).

    Dextrous Attacks
    Aspect Level: Minor
    Requirements: None

    The shifter may use his Dexterity modifier instead of his strength modifier for all of his natural attacks (as Weapon Finesse).

    Responsive
    Aspect Level: Minor
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains a +4 bonus to Initiative checks. This aspect may be taken multiple times. Its effects stack.

    Improved Dexterity
    Aspect Level: Minor
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains an additional +1 Dexterity while in his alternate form. This aspect may be taken multiple times. Its effects stack.

    Critical Adept
    Aspect Level: Minor
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains a +5 bonus to attack rolls used to confirm a critical strike threat.


    Lesser Aspects
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    Flight
    Aspect Level: Lesser
    Requirements: Buoyant

    The shifter is granted wings (of any type befitting the shifter’s alternate form) with a flight speed of 50 (good). In addition, the benefits of feather fall are doubled if the shifter’s wings are able to be spread.

    Supernatural Speed
    Aspect Level: Lesser
    Requirements: Fast

    The shifter’s speeds increases by an additional 15 feet. This aspect may be taken multiple times. Its effects stack.

    Stalker
    Aspect Level: Lesser
    Requirements: Stealthy

    The shifter gains the Scent and Track abilities.

    Leaper
    Aspect Level: Lesser
    Requirements: Buoyant

    The shifter gains an additional +10 bonus to Balance and Jump checks (this bonus replaces the skill bonuses from the Buoyant aspect).

    Improved Stealth
    Aspect Level: Lesser
    Requirements: Stealthy

    The shifter gains an additional +5 to Hide and Move Silently checks. In addition, the shifter can use invisibility as a spell-like ability 3/day (CL 5).

    Evasion
    Aspect Level: Lesser
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains Evasion as the rogue class feature.

    Uncanny Dodge
    Aspect Level: Lesser
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains Uncanny Dodge as the rogue class feature.

    Keen Attacks
    Aspect Level: Lesser
    Requirements: Critical Adept

    The shifter’s critical threat chance with his natural attacks improves by 2 (from 20/x2 to 18-20/x2). If the shifter has the improved critical feat, the feat is always counted after any aspect for critical threat calculations.

    Sundering Critical
    Aspect Level: Lesser
    Requirements: Critical Adept

    The shifter’s natural attacks rip into his opponents flesh when he strikes a weak point. Increase the shifter’s natural attack critical modifier from x2 to x3.


    Moderate Aspects
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    Dextrous Flight
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: Flight

    A shifter gains the use of the Hover feat and Wingover.

    Serrated Wings
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: Flight

    The shifter’s wings grow hard and sharp. When making an attack with his natural weapon, a shifter may add an extra attack using his wings. This attack functions as if it were the shifter’s first secondary natural attack.

    Dextrous Charge
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: Stalker and Supernatural Speed

    The shifter may make pounce attacks.

    Fast Strikes
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: Supernatural Speed

    The shifter may make an additional attack whenever he attacks (during a standard action attack and a full round attack). This extra attack incurs a -5 penalty to the attack roll. This aspect may be taken multiple times. Its effects stack.

    Sprint
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: Supernatural Speed

    The shifter can sprint (speed x10) once per hour when making a charge.

    Extraordinary Speed
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: Supernatural Speed

    The shifter gains an additional +10 bonus to speed. This aspect may be taken multiple times. Its effects stack.

    Flight Boost
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: Flight

    The shifter increases his flight speed by 50% when using two move actions in one round.

    Fly-by Attack
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: Serrated Wings

    The shifter gains use of the fly-by attack feat. When using this feat, the shifter may make a single natural attack along with a serrated wings attack.


    Improved Evasion
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: Evasion

    The shifter gains Improved Evasion as the rogue class feature.

    Improved Uncanny Dodge
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: Uncanny Dodge

    The shifter gains Improved Uncanny Dodge as the rogue class feature.

    Improved Keen Attacks
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: Keen Attacks

    The shifters critical threat chance improves by an additional 2. This stacks with the improved critical feat. If the shifter has the improved critical feat, the feat is always counted before any aspect for critical threat calculations.


    Improved Aspects
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    Midair Pounce
    Aspect Level: Improved
    Requirements: Fly-by Attack, Dextrous Charge

    The shifter may make a pounce while flying. In addition to moving their flight speed, the shifter may make a full attack on a single target. If their full flight speed is not used up completely, they may continue to move after the attack. Additionally, if making a pounce while flying, the shifter gains a +5 circumstantial bonus to all attack rolls.

    Midair Snatch
    Aspect Level: Improved
    Requirements: Snatch, Fly-by Attack

    The shifter may grapple an opponent as part of a full round action while flying. The shifter may move as if he had taken a single move action, and make a grapple check. If the check is successful, the creature is snatched. The shifter can only snatch opponents of a smaller size than him. The shifter may continue to move after snatching if he did not use up all of his movement speed before the grapple check.

    The shifter can drop a creature it has snatched as a free action or use a standard action to fling it aside. A flung creature travels 1d6 × 10 feet, and takes 1d6 points of damage per 10 feet traveled. If the shifter flings a snatched opponent while flying, the opponent takes this amount or falling damage, whichever is greater.

    Rip
    Aspect Level: Improved
    Requirements: Fast Strikes

    The shifter may add his Dexterity modifier to damage rolls in addition to his Strength modifier to one attack per round. The shifter may choose which attack this benefits. The attack chosen must be announced beforehand, and if the attack misses Rip fails and cannot be used again that round.

    Improved Flight Boost
    Aspect Level: Improved
    Requirements: Sprint, Flight Boost

    The shifter may sprint while flying.

    Greater Stealth
    Aspect Level: Improved
    Requirements: Improved Stealth

    The shifter gains an additional +5 to Hide and Move Silently checks.


    Greater Aspects
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    Rend
    Aspect Level: Greater
    Requirements: Rip

    Rend may be used once every 2 rounds. A shifter must declare a rend attempt before his attack roll for whichever attack he chooses to use rend on. If the attack fails, rend is wasted and is considered used. When using rend, the shifter rips out a portion of the target’s flesh and causes a bleed effect. The target takes 1/3 of the damage of the rend attack every successive round for 5 rounds. If the shifter succeeds on an additional rend while the first is still active, the effects stack and the time resets to 5 rounds for all rends. The shifter may have no more than 3 rends active at any given time.

    Dive
    Aspect Level: Greater
    Requirements: Improved Flight Boost, Midair Pounce

    The shifter drops directly downward, slamming into their foe with tremendous force. If the shifter moves at least half of his base flight speed in his turn moving downwards while making a pounce, their attacks receive a +5 bonus to hit and the shifter deals additional damage on each attack equal to 1d6+strength modifier. The shifter may make a full attack as normal for a pounce.

    Hunt
    Aspect Level: Greater
    Requirements: Stalker, Greater Stealth, Dextrous Charge

    A shifter can decide to Hunt a target any time when he is not currently in combat. The target cannot be aware of the shifter’s presence when the shifter starts hunting. The shifter gains a +5 bonus to Hide and Move Silently checks against the hunted creature only. The shifter follows the target, tracking him and watching his every move. Every minute the shifter hunts the target, his critical threat chance increases by 2. For example, if the shifter’s current critical threat chance with his natural weapon was 19-20, it would increase to 17-20. This number cannot be reduced past 1-20 (if the number reaches this point, the shifter does not automatically miss on a 1). The shifter gains the same bonus (+2) to his attack rolls used to confirm a critical. Whenever he wants, the shifter may decide to pounce his target. He may use the bonuses from hunting during his entire full attack. The target must be considered flat-footed for the shifter to be able to pounce. The shifter must remain within 30 feet of the hunted creature at all times or the benefits are lost.


    Stealth Mastery
    Aspect Level: Greater
    Requirements: Improved Stealth

    The shifter may use superior invisibility at will (CL 16).

    Flight Mastery
    Aspect Level: Greater
    Requirements: Improved Flight Boost

    The shifter’s flight speed is increased by 50% in all cases. This overrides and negates the bonus from Improved Flight Boost.


    Constitution Archetype Aspects
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    Minor Aspects
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    Improved Constitution
    Aspect Level: Minor
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains an additional +1 Constitution while in his alternate form. This aspect may be taken multiple times. Its effects stack.

    Improved Natural Armor
    Aspect Level: Minor
    Requirements: None

    The shifter’s natural armor improves by 2 while in his alternate form. This aspect may be taken multiple times. Its effects stack.

    Steadfast
    Aspect Level: Minor
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains a +4 bonus on his Strength check when defending against a bull rush, a +3 bonus on his armor class when defending against a charge, and a +5 bonus on his roll to avoid being intimidated.

    Iron Charge
    Aspect Level: Minor
    Requirements: None

    When charging, the shifter gains a +3 bonus to armor class instead of the -2 penalty.

    Uproar
    Aspect Level: Minor
    Requirements: None

    The shifter lets loose a powerful roar and increases the chance that his target will attack him. This only affects one creature. The target must succeed on a DC 15 + Con modifier Will save or stop attacking its current target to attack the shifter.


    Lesser Aspects
    Spoiler
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    Hardy
    Aspect Level: Lesser
    Requirements: Steadfast

    The shifter gains the benefits of the Endurance and Diehard feats.

    Armored Charge
    Aspect Level: Lesser
    Requirements: Iron Charge

    The shifter gains DR 5/- when charging, trampling, or bull rushing. This DR improves any DR that the shifter already has, and if the DR is vulnerable to a specific type of damage this DR becomes vulnerable to that type of damage as well.

    Ferocious Roar
    Aspect Level: Lesser
    Requirements: Uproar

    Ferocious Roar acts in the same way as Uproar, except it affects an amount of targets equal to the shifter’s Constitution modifier. Any targets affected must be within 30 feet of the shifter.


    Moderate Aspects
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    Reduce Damage
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: None

    The shifter’s damage reduction improves by 2/-.

    Fast Healing
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains fast healing 5.

    Resilient
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: Hardy

    The shifter cannot become fatigued or exhausted while in his alternate form. The shifter still requires sleep.

    Body Slam
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: Armored Charge

    The shifter deals extra damage equal to his Constitution modifier whenever charging or trampling. This affects each target damaged during either type of attack.

    Strength of Blood
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: Ferocious Roar

    Every time an attack is avoided through armor class or damage reduction, the shifter gains a +1 bonus to attack rolls. This bonus dissipates if combat ends or if the bonus does not increase by at least one after 2 rounds. This bonus cannot exceed the shifter’s Constitution modifier. Any attack that would raise the bonus, but cannot because it would exceed the maximum bonus, increases the time left on the bonus regardless.


    Improved Aspects
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    Improved Reduce Damage
    Aspect Level: Improved
    Requirements: Reduce Damage

    The shifter’s damage reduction improves by 3/-.

    Improved Fast Healing
    Aspect Level: Improved
    Requirements: Fast Healing

    The shifter's fast healing improves to fast healing 8.

    Iron Skin
    Aspect Level: Improved
    Requirements: Resilient

    Any opponent attacking the shifter is treated as having their critical threat chance reduced by 2 for all attacks made against the shifter directly. For example, a creature with a 17-20 critical threat chance would instead be considered to have a 19-20 critical threat chance when attacking the shifter. The penalty is lost if the creature chooses another target.

    Trample
    Aspect Level: Improved
    Requirements: Body Slam

    The shifter gains a trample attack. Whenever the trample effect requires the use of the shifter’s Strength modifier, instead use Constitution.

    Enrage
    Aspect Level: Improved
    Requirements: Strength of Blood

    Whenever the shifter is struck in combat he rages as a 1st-level barbarian (see Barbarian class feature), or grants a +1 effective level for any class that grants a rage class feature, but only for the purpose of determining the benefits of rage. The rage ends after a number of rounds equal to the shifter’s Constitution modifier or if combat ends. The shifter cannot prematurely end his rage. After a rage ends, the shifter is fatigued. This aspect cannot be affected by any feats that improve upon the rage ability of the barbarian class, not does it count as a prerequisite for any feat or prestige class that requires a rage ability. The benefits of rage do not increase with the shifter’s level, as a barbarian. The shifter is limited to one rage per encounter, and may rage a maximum number of times per day equal to his Constitution modifier.


    Greater Aspects
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    Greater Reduced Damage
    Aspect Level: Greater
    Requirements: Improved Reduced Damage

    The shifter’s damage reduction improves by 5/-.

    Greater Fast Healing
    Aspect Level: Greater
    Requirements: Improved Fast Healing

    The shifter’s fast healing improves to fast healing 12.

    Defensive Expert
    Aspect Level: Greater
    Requirements: Iron Skin

    The shifter, instead of taking 100% increased damage from critical hits instead takes 50% increased damage. For instance, if an opponent’s weapon deals 2d6+2 damage, and it lands a critical hit against the shifter, instead of dealing 4d6+4 damage, it would deal 3d6+3 damage. In addition, the shifter can cast iron body as a spell-like ability 3/day (CL 17).

    Trample Mastery
    Aspect Level: Greater
    Requirements: Trample

    The shifter may make a single attack against each opponent he tramples when performing a trample attack.

    Bloodrage
    Aspect Level: Greater
    Requirements: Enrage

    Every attack made while raged deals 1 Strength damage. This affects every successful natural attack.


    Miscellaneous Aspects
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    Minor Aspects
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    Energy Resistance
    Aspect Level: Minor
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains a +10 bonus to any energy resistance. This aspect may be taken multiple times. Its effects stack. Each time the shifter takes this aspect, he may choose the same energy resistance or a new one.

    Waterborn
    Aspect Level: Minor
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains a +10 bonus to Swim checks.

    Earthborn
    Aspect Level: Minor
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains a +5 bonus to Knowledge (Geography), Knowledge (Nature), and Survival checks. Additionally, the shifter can cast soften earth and stone as a spell-like ability 3/day (CL 5).

    Mountainborn
    Aspect Level: Minor
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains a +10 bonus on climb checks.


    Lesser Aspects
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    Web (Su)
    Aspect Level: Lesser
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains a web ability. A single strand is strong enough to support the shifter and one creature of the same size or lower. Shifters can throw a web eight times per day. This is similar to an attack with a net but has a maximum range of 50 feet, with a range increment of 10 feet, and is effective against targets up to one size category larger than the shifter. An entangled creature can escape with a successful Escape Artist check or burst it with a Strength check. Both are standard actions whose DCs are equal to 10+1/2 shifter level+first archetype’s ability score modifier.

    Shifters can create sheets of sticky webbing from 30 to 50 feet square, depending on the size of the shifter (30 small, 40 medium, 50 large). Approaching creatures must succeed on a DC 20 Spot check to notice a web; otherwise they stumble into it and become trapped as though by a successful web attack. Attempts to escape or burst the webbing gain a +5 bonus if the trapped creature has something to walk on or grab while pulling free. Each 5-foot section has the hit points based on size (4 small, 6 medium, 10 large), and sheet webs have damage reduction 5/—.

    Creature of the Waves
    Aspect Level: Lesser
    Requirements: Waterborn

    The shifter can breath underwater and gains a swim speed equal to 40 feet.

    Creature of the Earth
    Aspect Level: Lesser
    Requirements: Earthborn

    The shifter gains a burrow speed of 20 feet. When burrowing the shifter does not need to breathe, and does not make a tunnel that other creatures can follow.

    Creature of the Cliffs
    Aspect Level: Lesser
    Requirements: Mountainborn

    The shifter gains a climb speed of 30 feet.


    Moderate Aspects
    Spoiler
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    Poisonous Attack
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: None

    The shifter’s attacks gain a poisonous effect. For a single attack each round, the shifter may choose to inject his foe with poison. A poisonous attack must be announced before the attack roll is made, and if it fails the poison attempt is lost and cannot be used until the next turn. If a poisonous attack is successful, the target must succeed on a DC 10+1/2 shifter level+first archetype’s ability score modifier Fortitude check or be poisoned. The poison deals damage to any ability score the shifter chooses (or he may choose hit point loss instead of ability score damage; in this case the poison deals damage equal to the shifter’s natural attack). The poison only has an initial damage. The poison deals damage based on size (1d3 small, 1d4 medium, 1d6 large).

    Attach
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: Bite attack

    If a shifter hits with a bite attack, it uses its powerful jaws to latch onto the opponent’s body and automatically deals bite damage each round it remains attached. An attached shifter loses its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class while attached. An attached shifter can be struck with a weapon or grappled itself. To remove an attached shifter through grappling, the opponent must achieve a pin against the shifter.

    Size Alteration
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: None

    A shifter gains additional control over his alternate form, allowing him to alter its size. The shifter gains access to a size one step larger or smaller than his current maximum and minimum size (to a maximum of Huge and a minimum of Tiny). At this level, and at every level afterwards, the shifter may choose the size of his alternate form from the sizes available to him. For example, a shifter with access to both Medium and Large sized alternate forms may select this aspect to gain access to either Small or Huge alternate forms (and then immediately choose between the three). This aspect may be taken multiple times.

    Tremorsense
    Aspect Level: Moderate
    Requirements: None

    A shifter with tremorsense automatically senses the location of anything that is in contact with the ground and within range. If no straight path exists through the ground from the shifter to those that he’s sensing, then the range defines the maximum distance of the shortest indirect path. It must itself be in contact with the ground, and the creatures must be moving.

    As long as the other creatures are taking physical actions, including casting spells with somatic components, they’re considered moving; they don’t have to move from place to place for a shifter with tremorsense to detect them. The shifter’s tremorsense has a range based on size: 20 feet (small); 30 feet (medium); and 40 feet (large).


    Improved Aspects
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    Breath Weapon (Su)
    Aspect Level: Improved
    Requirements: None

    Once every 1d4 rounds, the shifter may use a breath weapon. This can be of any type of damage (fire/acid/cold/sonic/electricity), and can be in a line or a cone (60 ft./30 ft. if medium, 80 ft./40 ft. if large, and 40 ft./20 ft. if small). The breath weapon deals double natural attack damage. The save DC is 10+1/2 shifter level+first archetype’s ability score modifier.

    Spell Resistance
    Aspect Level: Improved
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains spell resistance equal to 10+shifter level.

    Blindsight
    Aspect Level: Improved
    Requirements: None

    The shifter gains blindsight with a range (in feet) equal to his shifter level x 10 (max 150).

    Alter Form (Su)
    Aspect Level: Improved
    Requirements: None

    The shifter (in both natural and alternate forms) is able to change his appearance at will as if using the disguise self spell (as if using the A Thousand Faces druid ability).


    Greater Aspects
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    None


    Feats and Items
    Last edited by Vaynor; 2014-09-05 at 05:41 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    My first impression: This looks overpowered.

    The bonuses granted by the minor aspects alone are too much (+5 to grapple checks, +10 to intimidate, +5 to hide and move silently and gain Pass Without Trace...) - you get one of these every level, and you'll be getting feats alongside.

    Then the lesser aspects up that.

    I've not read the ones after that, because if I found this class in a splat book, I'd already be banning it from my game without reading further.

    It's a great idea, and the artwork you've got is nice, and the fluff is good - but it's too powerful as it's written to play alongside regular classes.

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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    Feats
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    Extra Aspect
    Prerequisite: Ability to gain lesser aspects.
    Benefit: You learn one additional aspect from the list available to you, choosing an aspect of one grade lower than the highest grade of aspect you have. Gaining aspects for an additional archetype does not count the other archetype for purposes of aspects available to you. For example, a 14th level shifter who originally chose dexterity as his first aspect and strength as his second could learn a minor, lesser or moderate dexterity aspect, or a minor strength aspect.
    Special: A shifter may gain this feat multiple times. Each time this feat is selected, you gain an extra aspect of any grade up to one lower than the highest grade of aspect you can currently use.

    Extra Form
    Prerequisite: Ability to gain moderate aspects.
    Benefit: The shifter gains an additional form. By meditating for 5 minutes, the shifter may shift to his secondary form (this time is reduced to 1 minute, 5 rounds, and 1 full-round action with every application of a feat or ability that reduces shifting time). The shifter may select a completely different set of aspects for his secondary form, but still must use the same archetype selection from his primary form.
    Normal: The shifter has only one form.
    Special: A shifter may gain this feat multiple times. Each time this feat is selected, the shifter gains an additional alternate form.

    Fast Shifting
    Prerequisite: Shifting class feature.
    Benefit: You are adept at changing your form. Your shifts now only require a move action.
    Normal: Shifting requires a standard action.
    Special: This feat may be taken twice. The second time it is taken, the shifter may assume his alternate form as a swift action.

    Fluid Form
    Prerequisite: Shifting class feature.
    Benefit: You may select which aspects are active at any given time, disabling or enabling any number of aspects you have access to with a free action. All visible properties of that aspect are also nullified. The shifter may also hide other properties of his shifting ability not related to his aspects (for example, natural weapons). Additionally, as a swift action, the shifter may choose to gain a +2 bonus to Escape Artist, Hide, Balance, Climb, Disguise, or Tumble checks (choose one) for 1 round.
    Normal: When the shifter enables his alternate form, he may not select which aspects are shown.


    Items
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    Wildcrafted Armor: Wildcrafted Armor allows the shifter to wear his armor while in his alternate form. The shifter is still restricted to light armor that is not primarily made of metal even when shifted.
    Moderate transmutation; CL 11th; Create Magic Arms and Armor, ironwood; Price +2 bonus
    Last edited by Vaynor; 2014-07-20 at 03:25 AM.
    “Sometimes, immersed in his books, there would come to him
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    and the serenity for which he labored was shattered as he realized the
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaynor View Post
    Well, you have to remember that the shifter must be in his alternate form to access any of these abilities, and doesn't gain magic item use while in his alternate form. Regardless, I think I do need to nerf the aspects. I came up with most of them by comparing them to animals, seeing as the majority of abilities they get are animal-related.
    But you can change into your alternate form at will - so these aspects are all effectively at will abilities.
    There's no duration limit on any of them, either.
    And as the alternate form need not be an existing monster, you could make up a form that can still use equipment, set your kit aside so it doesn't merge with your form, change, pick it up and then go off being a rogue / fighter / barbarian / whatever with a whole bunch of special abilities from taking just a few levels of Shifter.

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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    I think the whole point of a shapeshifting class is flexibility. So I'd say give then a d6 (maybe d8) hit die and make them more skillmonkeys. Give them the ability at higher levels to assume the powerfully built (or the slight build) abilities, and maybe things like the druid's a thousand faces ability, blindsense, scent, track, wild empathy, a climb/swim/fly speed, chameleon power... Just a thought here.
    Last edited by The Anarresti; 2010-05-09 at 04:20 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    An 11th level Shifter Gravewight inflicts 4 negative levels per round, assuming it hits with all attacks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Greater
    \ˈgrā-tər \
    comparative adjective
    1. Describing basically the exact same monster but with twice the RHD.
    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    In addition to seeming rather overpowered, It seems to me as though the Dexterous shifter is underpowered compared to the other two. It has 1 good save and 3/4 BAB, while Con gets 2 saves, and Str gets a save and full bab, and its aspects seem to not be all that amazing (flight is ok, and the critical upping is nice, but the others get HUGE bonuses to grappling, intimidate, bull rush, charge, fast healing, DR, etc)
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    Quote Originally Posted by ForzaFiori View Post
    In addition to seeming rather overpowered, It seems to me as though the Dexterous shifter is underpowered compared to the other two. It has 1 good save and 3/4 BAB, while Con gets 2 saves, and Str gets a save and full bab, and its aspects seem to not be all that amazing (flight is ok, and the critical upping is nice, but the others get HUGE bonuses to grappling, intimidate, bull rush, charge, fast healing, DR, etc)
    Well the idea with the Dex archetype is you get a large number of attacks, large critical modifier, and the ability to attack fast and get away afterwards. I actually thought Dexterity to be one of the better ones, having the most aspects available and their potential to deal damage while maintaining a high speed and avoiding most attacks with Pounce and Fly-by Attack. Do you think that Dexterity is closer to being balanced out of the three, and that I should try to nerf the rest down to its level?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    An 11th level Shifter Gravewight inflicts 4 negative levels per round, assuming it hits with all attacks.
    I'm not familiar with the Gravewight, which book is it in?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leaf-Eater View Post
    I think the whole point of a shapeshifting class is flexibility. So I'd say give then a d6 (maybe d8) hit die and make them more skillmonkeys. Give them the ability at higher levels to assume the powerfully built (or the slight build) abilities, and maybe things like the druid's a thousand faces ability, blindsense, scent, track, wild empathy, a climb/swim/fly speed, chameleon power... Just a thought here.
    Well, they're not meant to be anything like skillmonkeys. The idea with this class is not really that of a shapeshifter, they can't exactly shapeshift. They gain a single, alternate form. They're flexible in that they can basically choose their class ability each level, but apart from that that's not really what the class is meant to be. Also, they already have the ability to gain a climb/swim/fly speed, scent/track, they don't have blindsense but they do get tremorsense. I can always add blindsense though, and I think the thousand faces ability would make a good misc. aspect, along with wild empathy. Did you read the class?

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair_the_Vexed View Post
    But you can change into your alternate form at will - so these aspects are all effectively at will abilities.
    There's no duration limit on any of them, either.
    And as the alternate form need not be an existing monster, you could make up a form that can still use equipment, set your kit aside so it doesn't merge with your form, change, pick it up and then go off being a rogue / fighter / barbarian / whatever with a whole bunch of special abilities from taking just a few levels of Shifter.
    I think I'll specifically disallow magic item use, then (except as noted). I don't really feel that these abilities are quite as powerful as you describe, either. I think I will lower some of the bonuses though, +10 does seem a bit high. What I mean is, for pretty much an entire level all you get is something like +5 to grapple checks, or an improved charge ability, stuff like that isn't too much better than feats, and it's definitely supposed to be. And as far as the power of the higher level abilities, the aspects work in trees, you have to have all of the lower level abilities to get the higher level ones, so it's less better abilities and more improvement of them.
    Last edited by Vaynor; 2010-05-09 at 07:03 PM.
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    and the serenity for which he labored was shattered as he realized the
    little time he had in life to read so much, to learn what he had to know.”
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    Gravewight is from the back of the Standing Stone adventure. It's a cheap intelligent undead template that adds level drain to all slam attacks. Usually you can't get more than two slams, but this guy gets 4 with no sweat. Simply removing that option fixes it. Claw attacks are the same with Savage Vampire but they're a lot easier to get (Thri-Kreen gets 4 in and of itself, only ECL3) and require 8 LA as opposed to, I think, 2 or so for Gravewight.
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Greater
    \ˈgrā-tər \
    comparative adjective
    1. Describing basically the exact same monster but with twice the RHD.
    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Gravewight is from the back of the Standing Stone adventure. It's a cheap intelligent undead template that adds level drain to all slam attacks. Usually you can't get more than two slams, but this guy gets 4 with no sweat. Simply removing that option fixes it. Claw attacks are the same with Savage Vampire but they're a lot easier to get (Thri-Kreen gets 4 in and of itself, only ECL3) and require 8 LA as opposed to, I think, 2 or so for Gravewight.
    Well, I think it's a bit silly to change my class based on a single, obscure template. There's always going to be at least one thing that can be used for cheese for just about anything in D&D, I don't see it as a problem really. I don't want to limit the customization of their creature because of that either.

    Anyways, does anyone have any ideas for additional aspects?

    Edit: Updated the class. And I really don't think it's as overpowered as you think, I'll do a level-by-level rundown later.
    Last edited by Vaynor; 2010-05-09 at 08:43 PM.
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    and the serenity for which he labored was shattered as he realized the
    little time he had in life to read so much, to learn what he had to know.”
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    I still think, even after your edit, some of the features are overpowered. Some are maybe even underpowered - but that doesn't balance out the overpowered ones.

    With this class, I can still - at will - gain +2 to STR, two attacks per round (with my extra natural attack), +5 to grapple (plus +4 from improved grapple, if I took it), take the Wrestler aspect again for another +5, for a total of +16 to grapple before I add my large STR bonus - and all at 2nd level.
    If I was a half-orc, with a level of barbarian, and maxed out strength, I could be adding +22 to my grapple checks while raging at 3rd level.

    To see what WotC consider to be balanced talents tied to the physical abilities, you might want to look at the d20 Modern basic class talents.
    Last edited by Altair_the_Vexed; 2010-05-10 at 03:13 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair_the_Vexed View Post
    I still think, even after your edit, some of the features are overpowered. Some are maybe even underpowered - but that doesn't balance out the overpowered ones.

    With this class, I can still - at will - gain +2 to STR, two attacks per round (with my extra natural attack), +5 to grapple (plus +4 from improved grapple, if I took it), take the Wrestler aspect again for another +5, for a total of +16 to grapple before I add my large STR bonus - and all at 2nd level.
    If I was a half-orc, with a level of barbarian, and maxed out strength, I could be adding +22 to my grapple checks while raging at 3rd level.

    To see what WotC consider to be balanced talents tied to the physical abilities, you might want to look at the d20 Modern basic class talents.
    Ok, well I removed the ability to take that one more than once (also, you're adding +2 to the grapple modifier from the Strength bonus when it should only be +1, but that's irrelevant). Having an ability that grants +5 to grapple checks is not overpowered at all, regardless of how much min-maxing you feel like doing. If a feat grants the same (albeit 1 less point), then a class level entirely devoted to that bonus does not strike me as unbalanced.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaynor View Post
    Ok, well I removed the ability to take that one more than once (also, you're adding +2 to the grapple modifier from the Strength bonus when it should only be +1, but that's irrelevant). Having an ability that grants +5 to grapple checks is not overpowered at all, regardless of how much min-maxing you feel like doing. If a feat grants the same (albeit 1 less point), then a class level entirely devoted to that bonus does not strike me as unbalanced.
    That extra +1 comes from the BAB. In my first worked example, I didn't add the STR bonus.

    I'm just picking out one minor aspect to illustrate the issues. Let's look at another: Fast.
    Your speed bonus is untyped, so it stacks with all other speed bonuses, similar to the barbarian, so we have a precedent - whereas the monk's speed bonus is an enhancement bonus and doesn't stack. I guess that because the monk's bonus keeps on increasing, it has to be more restricted than the barbarian's one time bonus... and your later aspects increase speed further, and are all stackable.

    So by 5th level, the Shifter can have a speed of 85ft per move action. The monk - fastest class in the game - doesn't beat this until 18th level, and even then, his speed doesn't stack with magical enhancements like Haste.
    Last edited by Altair_the_Vexed; 2010-05-10 at 06:43 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair_the_Vexed View Post
    That extra +1 comes from the BAB. In my first worked example, I didn't add the STR bonus.

    I'm just picking out one minor aspect to illustrate the issues. Let's look at another: Fast.
    Your speed bonus is untyped, so it stacks with all other speed bonuses, similar to the barbarian, so we have a precedent - whereas the monk's speed bonus is an enhancement bonus and doesn't stack. I guess that because the monk's bonus keeps on increasing, it has to be more restricted than the barbarian's one time bonus... and your later aspects increase speed further, and are all stackable.

    So by 5th level, the Shifter can have a speed of 85ft per move action. The monk - fastest class in the game - doesn't beat this until 18th level, and even then, his speed doesn't stack with magical enhancements like Haste.
    Yes, but how many aspects did you have to devote to that? The monk gets a lot more than just speed (also, I don't think the monk makes for a good comparison as far as balance goes), and to attain that much speed you'd need to devote most of your levels to increasing it. A character that can move fast but little else is a bit useless. I do see your point, however, and I think a lot of the problems you're bringing up can be solved by changing bonuses from untyped to enhancement bonuses (I'll go though the class and change some of those when I get home).
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    Okay, this is kind of ironic. Everyone said that your last class wasn't powerful enough when you posted it, despite it being too powerful for lesser degrees of optimized play.

    This class, which looks perfectly okay to me, is considered totally overpowered. I'm not seeing why.

    Assuming that you go with Con and later pick up the Str archtype, you end up with a d12 HD, Full BAB, Two Good Saves, Decent Skills, A +16 bonus to Con and a +12 bonus to Str, Animal empathy, and an alternate form that grants you.

    1. 4 +5 Natural Weapons
    2. +10 natural armor
    3. Huge Size
    4. Fast Healing 10
    5. All critical hits against you deal half of their extra damage
    6. Iron Skin 3/day
    7. Threat Range against you is reduced by 2
    8. Enter Barbarian Rage when damaged
    9. Gain Cumulative Attack bonus whenever you damage foe.
    10. Gain Endurance and Diehard
    11. Let Loose Roar to stop up to Con modifier foes from attacking you
    12. +4 to Strength checks against bull rush, +3 to AC against charges, and +5 to checks against intimidate checks.
    13. A Burrow Speed of 20 feet.
    14. Spell Resistance 30
    15. +10 to Grapple checks

    That's alot of abilities but none of them individually is too powerful for a level 20 character to possess. I'd personally recommend changing the aspects so that your BAB and saves (and hit dice) don't suddenly shoot up when you get your second aspect (which is kind of odd).
    Also, I recommend changing the ability progression to +2 at 1st level, +1 at levels 4, 8, 12, and 16, and then the final +4 at level 20. In that way, you get a nice and even +10 to your ability scores, much like the barbarian.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    That's alot of abilities but none of them individually is too powerful for a level 20 character to possess. I'd personally recommend changing the aspects so that your BAB and saves (and hit dice) don't suddenly shoot up when you get your second aspect (which is kind of odd).
    Also, I recommend changing the ability progression to +2 at 1st level, +1 at levels 4, 8, 12, and 16, and then the final +4 at level 20. In that way, you get a nice and even +10 to your ability scores, much like the barbarian.
    Yes, exactly. They can do a lot but they're not even close to a full caster, and I'm not worried about beating out a monk of all classes. Also, they don't. In the archetype ability description it specifically states that when you gain the second archetype, all you get is the +2 ability bonus and not the other changes (BAB, saves, or hit die). I may have not specifically mentioned all of those, I'll make it more clear. I'll consider changing the ability progression, but at the moment the class gains a large portion of its power from its high ability scores. I'll be playtesting it this summer so we'll see how it works out. Also, you don't get anywhere close to those ability score bonuses. If you do Con -> Str, you end up with +10 Con and +4 Str.

    You also have to keep in mind that your proposed Con/Str combo isn't made for damage output, however.
    Last edited by Vaynor; 2010-05-13 at 09:23 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    Did you read the class?
    Sorry, no. Was in a hurry, skimming, the concept was very intriguing but I didn't have time to go in depth. I should have left it and come back later.
    Last edited by The Anarresti; 2010-05-10 at 07:01 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Leaf-Eater View Post
    Sorry, no. Was in a hurry, skimming, the concept was very intriguing but I didn't have time to go in depth. I should have left it and come back later.
    That's fine, I was just a bit curious where you were getting those ideas from. Well, now that I have your interest, when you have some spare time give it a read and let me know what you think.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    When I said I thought the class was overpowered, I meant at the lower levels. Sure, over 20 levels it's not that bad - compared to casters at top level, it is quite reasonable.

    However, you can dip into this class for just a few levels to gain enormous power - the grapple bonuses I already mentioned, the speed bonuses, and even at-will, high speed flight by 4th level, before the casters get it once per day.

    My point is that you need to spread some of these powers out over the levels more evenly. The Minor Aspects aren't minor enough, and the Greater Aspects aren't great enough.

    Also, you need to explain where Miscellaneous Aspects fit in. I suspect you mean for them to be available to all Archetypes, but you haven't said so.

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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair_the_Vexed View Post
    When I said I thought the class was overpowered, I meant at the lower levels. Sure, over 20 levels it's not that bad - compared to casters at top level, it is quite reasonable.

    However, you can dip into this class for just a few levels to gain enormous power - the grapple bonuses I already mentioned, the speed bonuses, and even at-will, high speed flight by 4th level, before the casters get it once per day.

    My point is that you need to spread some of these powers out over the levels more evenly. The Minor Aspects aren't minor enough, and the Greater Aspects aren't great enough.

    Also, you need to explain where Miscellaneous Aspects fit in. I suspect you mean for them to be available to all Archetypes, but you haven't said so.
    Yes, but getting said flight takes up 2 entire levels. It's not like wizards only get flight, they have much more, better things. I'd also like to point out that the Winged template is also +2 LA, and with that you get an additional +4 Dex +2 Wis. This class is made to be customizable, so if you want to make a character that can fly, you can. If you want a character that's good at charging, that works too. Or you could make a more versatile character, whatever works. Just because you can get a single, high stat by min-maxing it doesn't mean the class is overpowered, you are just less versatile (and probably not as good).

    As for Miscellaneous Aspects, those can be taken by a shifter of any archetype, yes. I'll make that clear.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    I have an idea for a moderate aspect:

    Painful Keen Attacks
    Prerequisites: Keen Attacks
    The Shifter's natural attack criticals improve to x3



    I'm not really sure about the wording.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Jallorn View Post
    I have an idea for a moderate aspect:

    Painful Keen Attacks
    Prerequisites: Keen Attacks
    The Shifter's natural attack criticals improve to x3



    I'm not really sure about the wording.
    Sounds good, but I think I'll make it a Lesser aspect. Thanks for the input!

    Edit: Added as "Sundering Critical."
    Last edited by Vaynor; 2010-05-13 at 09:27 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    There's lots of good flavour to this concept - otherwise I wouldn't keep coming back to see how its developing - but I really think, as written, it will still suffer from being a "dip class".

    I think it would help this class stand alone if the various bonuses granted by minor aspects were +1 (or 2) per Shifter level. Maybe with a cap of +5 or +10. The Speed increase could be 5ft, plus 5ft every three levels.

    Making the aspects scale with class level will make players invest more in the class.
    Otherwise, the class may be too liable to exploitation from dipping in for one or two levels to pick up big bonuses.

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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaynor View Post
    If you do Con -> Str, you end up with +10 Con and +4 Str.
    Um... that doesn't seem to be the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaynor
    The shifter's alternate form's ability scores continue to improve with level. At level 4, and every 4 levels after that until level 16 (4, 8, 12, 16) the shifter gains an additional +2 points to his chosen archetype's ability score. If the shifter has two archetypes, he gains a bonus to both scores, but only +1 for his secondary archetype. These additional bonuses differ from the base bonus in that they are only counted when the shifter is in his alternate form.
    ]

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaynor
    At level 20, a shifter becomes the master of his first archetype. The initial ability bonus from his first archetype (+2 Str, +2 Dex, etc.) improves and increases by +4 (to a total of +6). Also, the shifter’s shift ability is faster and decreases to a move action (or a swift action if the shifter has the feat Fast Shifting).
    as you can plainly see, in addition to the +2 inherent bonus at 1st level, your primary ability score gets another +8 bonus as you gain levels (until 16th), plus another +4 at level 20 for +14.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair_the_Vexed View Post
    There's lots of good flavour to this concept - otherwise I wouldn't keep coming back to see how its developing - but I really think, as written, it will still suffer from being a "dip class".

    I think it would help this class stand alone if the various bonuses granted by minor aspects were +1 (or 2) per Shifter level. Maybe with a cap of +5 or +10. The Speed increase could be 5ft, plus 5ft every three levels.

    Making the aspects scale with class level will make players invest more in the class.
    Otherwise, the class may be too liable to exploitation from dipping in for one or two levels to pick up big bonuses.
    That's a good idea, I'll go through and update them later today (oddly, that idea didn't even cross my mind).

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    as you can plainly see, in addition to the +2 inherent bonus at 1st level, your primary ability score gets another +8 bonus as you gain levels (until 16th), plus another +4 at level 20 for +14.
    Woops, I forgot about archetype mastery. Regardless though, +14/+4 isn't +16/+10.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    Actually, this class doesn't look dipable in the slightest. In fact, it looks as though it would scare away anybody who even thought about dipping.

    Think about it. Taking one level of shifter near the beginning of the game for a huge bonus to intimidate or a speed bonus or whatnot sounds great. At level 20, however, I can't get any benefit from that first level without turning off all of my magic items. That one level dip becomes completely worthless to me in every way.

    Consider this before you adjust the power level of this class (I'd hate for this class to be stuck strictly in the realms of the upper tiers as was the case with the previous class).
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2010-05-14 at 06:16 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    What if I get to level 20 and I have Fast Shifting twice? Does the shifting time just not get reduced by the capstone?
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    Quote Originally Posted by volthawk View Post
    What if I get to level 20 and I have Fast Shifting twice? Does the shifting time just not get reduced by the capstone?
    Hmm, I forgot about that. If you have Fast Shifting twice, how about the capstone making it an immediate action? Might be useful.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaynor View Post
    Hmm, I forgot about that. If you have Fast Shifting twice, how about the capstone making it an immediate action? Might be useful.
    Sounds fine to me. You can do that with other abilities, like Rage or the Shifter race's Shifting, so I don't think it'll be too bad.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Shifter

    A 20th level primary Str shifter has all 5 Greater's, but 4 of them have a Improved-level prerequisite, which he only has three of. He'll be forced to spend at least one of these on an Improved.
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