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Thread: Shifter

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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Shifter

    So, again, it's been nearly a decade since I played some pen'n'paper D&D. I see that Shifter was replaced with Master of Many Forms. Why? Was Shifter really that powerful? If it was, why allow Planar Shepard? Both can get Outsider shape at the same level. Plus, the Planar Shepard continues to gain spells and is easier to get into than Shifter.

    Is there something I'm missing?

    Also, we always allowed the Shifter to get Ex and Su abilities of it's forms. The rationale was that there were feats that allowed the same thing (Dragon Wild Shape, Magical Beast Wildshpe) and the class had no spell progression.
    Last edited by barna10; 2012-11-18 at 01:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Shifter

    Dragon Wild Shape is very specific, while Magical Beast Wild Shape is an epic feat. Neither allows the full breadth of Su and Ex abilities that you can get with a broad type allowance and book diving. (Wish from a Zodar anyone? Free action divinations with Weirds?)

    Shifter was changed not for its power, but because its abilities were thought of as more appropriate to Druids than as a general thing.
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    Default Re: Shifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    Dragon Wild Shape is very specific, while Magical Beast Wild Shape is an epic feat. Neither allows the full breadth of Su and Ex abilities that you can get with a broad type allowance and book diving. (Wish from a Zodar anyone? Free action divinations with Weirds?)

    Shifter was changed not for its power, but because its abilities were thought of as more appropriate to Druids than as a general thing.
    Not sure what you're saying here. Both those feats DO give all Ex and Su abilities.

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    Default Re: Shifter

    Quote Originally Posted by barna10 View Post
    If it was, why allow Planar Shepard?
    Why indeed. You couldn't pick a less compelling reference for game balance.

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    Default Re: Shifter

    Quote Originally Posted by barna10 View Post
    Not sure what you're saying here. Both those feats DO give all Ex and Su abilities.
    Yes, as I acknowledged. But the first only allows Small and Medium dragons, which limits you to a pretty short list that can be relatively well controlled (not that there aren't some stunners, see Shadow Dragon), while Magical Beast Wild Shape is epic level, as I said in my post. Thus both are irrelevant to your argument.
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    Default Re: Shifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    Yes, as I acknowledged. But the first only allows Small and Medium dragons, which limits you to a pretty short list that can be relatively well controlled (not that there aren't some stunners, see Shadow Dragon), while Magical Beast Wild Shape is epic level, as I said in my post. Thus both are irrelevant to your argument.
    Both are not irrelevant to the argument since class abilities often are slightly better than feats.

    Getting back to the issue at hand, The Planar Shepard gets Magical Beast form 2 levels before the Shifter could. So again, why ban the Shifter (or seriously retool it) and then turn around and create a class like the Planar Shepard?

    I don't buy the whole "it's a Druid thing so get rid of it" argument. Again, the Planar Shepard can be entered by non-Druids. Most likely Druids will enter the class, but there are a few others with Wild Shape. Also, the Shifter may not have been just a "Druid Thing", but it was purely a shape-shifter thing.

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    Default Re: Shifter

    Quote Originally Posted by barna10 View Post
    Both are not irrelevant to the argument since class abilities often are slightly better than feats.
    Not Epic Feats. Well, not worthwhile Epic Feats. The whole reason Epic Feats are Epic Feats is in order to keep them out of the hands of nonepic characters.

    Quote Originally Posted by barna10 View Post
    Getting back to the issue at hand, The Planar Shepard gets Magical Beast form 2 levels before the Shifter could. So again, why ban the Shifter (or seriously retool it) and then turn around and create a class like the Planar Shepard?

    I don't buy the whole "it's a Druid thing so get rid of it" argument. Again, the Planar Shepard can be entered by non-Druids. Most likely Druids will enter the class, but there are a few others with Wild Shape. Also, the Shifter may not have been just a "Druid Thing", but it was purely a shape-shifter thing.
    The Planar Shepherd was much later in 3.5, and in Eberron. I presume you know what power creep is?

    Though really, this isn't even a situation of power creep. MoMF doesn't get Magical Beasts because they aren't a meaningful addition to the toolbox and because of the changes to the beast type. This applies to many of the things they don't get from Shifters, with other things being left out due to being unthematic with the Druidic rebranding of the class (Undead, Constructs) or moved later because it makes sense to order things by the quality of the abilities they get, rather than by how "strange" they are, which seems to be the reigning logic in the case of the Shifter.

    Rebranding the Shifter into a Druid-focused form allowed them to make its signature ability an add-on to Wild Shape rather than a separate ability that just traded out with Wild Shape in an unnecessarily complex way. It also opened up the design space for other classes that used different shape-shifting methods, like Master Transmorgrifist for casters or Warshaper for Alternate Form users. These specialized classes generally fit much better than Shifter, with its grab-bag of shapeshifting versatility increases that didn't make much sense on, for example, a werewolf.
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    Default Re: Shifter

    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    Not Epic Feats. Well, not worthwhile Epic Feats. The whole reason Epic Feats are Epic Feats is in order to keep them out of the hands of nonepic characters.



    The Planar Shepherd was much later in 3.5, and in Eberron. I presume you know what power creep is?

    Though really, this isn't even a situation of power creep. MoMF doesn't get Magical Beasts because they aren't a meaningful addition to the toolbox and because of the changes to the beast type. This applies to many of the things they don't get from Shifters, with other things being left out due to being unthematic with the Druidic rebranding of the class (Undead, Constructs) or moved later because it makes sense to order things by the quality of the abilities they get, rather than by how "strange" they are, which seems to be the reigning logic in the case of the Shifter.

    Rebranding the Shifter into a Druid-focused form allowed them to make its signature ability an add-on to Wild Shape rather than a separate ability that just traded out with Wild Shape in an unnecessarily complex way. It also opened up the design space for other classes that used different shape-shifting methods, like Master Transmorgrifist for casters or Warshaper for Alternate Form users. These specialized classes generally fit much better than Shifter, with its grab-bag of shapeshifting versatility increases that didn't make much sense on, for example, a werewolf.
    Ok, then why limit the MoMF and not give him Su abilities of the forms? You keep preaching about thematic elements and skirt around the rules questions.

    Also, power creep isn't much of an issue when you're talking about books published 1 year apart.

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