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Thread: The Chameleon

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    Default The Chameleon

    Anyone know a DM who would actually let you play this?

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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    Sure. It's a pretty neat class, though like many "Jack-of-all-Trades" classes, it's not always the most powerful.

    Of course, a quick search on this site or the Wizards CharOp boards (probably) will confirm that it can be used in all manner of optimized ways, though I'm not that familiar with them.
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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    I'm a DM. I would. It's very fun, and the rp opportunities are endless. In fact, I'm making an evil BBEG right now who is a Changeling Factotum/Chameleon who leads a group of adventurers. He's so good at hiding his nature, one of the group is a Paladin of Heironeous who is unwittingly furthering the schemes of evil as he works with the BBEG.
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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    I remember eavesdropping on a friends conversation back in my early days of DnD (read last year), where, using this build in conjunction with the factotom, as a doppleganger, and a few other bits and peices allowed them to do this:

    ''OK, I turn into a dwarven ninja and tumble to the other side of the ogre, that's +4 racial to AC if I fail the check, OK, now I turn into an orcish barbarian and bash the ogre with my greataxe, it's dead? OK, now I turn into a halfling rogue with maxed out search and search for treasure.''

    Can't remember how, I wasn't sure of the terminology back then, and I was drifting in and out of the conversation, but that was the gist of it.
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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    I love the flavor text at the beginning of the class description: "Someone called for a cleric? Oh, you needed a fighter instead? I'm sorry -- I meant to say that the cleric is on his way. I'm the fighter."
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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    Yeah, its a pretty standard Jack of All Trades Class.

    It's very useful and potent when played correctly. But note:

    • It never gets spells above 6th level.
    • That its class abilities can't be used to qualify for other prestige classes.
    • Mimic Class Feature is limited to 1-3 times per day.
    • That its somewhat impractical to change Aptitude Focus when you're in dungeon or other hostile location where enemies might attack you.

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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    10 minutes to switch Focus isn't *that* bad...
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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    10 minutes to switch Focus isn't *that* bad...
    I agree.

    But its an hour until they get to ECL 13-ish. And an hour or 10 minutes is long enough that a DM can prevent Refocusing abuse by adding in a "beat the clock" aspect to the story line ("if we don't find the Princess by midnight, she dies!!!), or by just throwing combat encounters at the party in a rapid succession. ("After killing the guards, you hear an alarm bell clanging through the hallways. You get the idea that if you don't get through the troubles in this dungeon quickly, trouble will be coming to find you.")

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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    Well sure. There's always the time thing, but it doesn't happen every time. If you have the time, you can always Rope Trick to keep yourself safe.
    Last edited by Frosty; 2008-04-18 at 01:38 PM.
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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    Changing Aptitude Focus isn't all that big a deal anyway, since in practice, you're probably going to usually keep it on one or both of the spellcasting ones.

    And spellcasting like a Mystic Theurge of the same level (better, actually, since you can cherry-pick spells from any list) is nice, but where the class really lets you be creative is that bonus feat. There are all sorts of neat tricks you can pull with that.

    If you have a caster level from any other class, you can pick up item creation feats for long enough to make almost anything you want during downtime. If Incarnum is allowed in your game, you can shape a soulmeld for every one of your body slots, one at a time, which persist after you change the feat. You can learn any skill at all on a day's notice, by using your feat on Open Minded. And that's not even counting the things you can do to boost your base class: If you're a wizard or full-list spontaneous caster (Beguiler, etc.), you can pick up Arcane Disciple to add a bunch of spells to your list. If you're a spells known caster like a sorcerer, you can use it on Extra Spell to get that one spell you specifically need today, and if you use a spellbook, you can add spells to it cheaply the same way. If you're a warlock, you can take Extra Invocation, and change it every day, and if you're a psionic character, Expanded Knowledge, for the same reason. If you're a cleric, Customize Domain for nearly as much flexibility as Arcane Disciple gives a wizard.
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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    Can a Chameleon do something like this: He enters divine focus and memorizes spells at sunrise. He casts all of his divine spells suring the day. Later in the day, he changes focus and prepares arcane spells. He then has his full arcane slots as well for casting.
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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    Can a Chameleon do something like this: He enters divine focus and memorizes spells at sunrise. He casts all of his divine spells suring the day. Later in the day, he changes focus and prepares arcane spells. He then has his full arcane slots as well for casting.
    1) Yes, easily.
    2) One common tactic is to start Divine, cast a series of long duration buffs on yourself and everyone else, then go Arcane for actual combat.

    Of course it just gets better when you get double, since you can be both, or use Divine to buff, then go Arcane/Martial.

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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    Going Martial eh? But you can't wear armor while arcane focused right?
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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    Going Martial eh? But you can't wear armor while arcane focused right?
    You can wear it, but you suffer from Arcane Spell Failure.
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    It isn't that powerful, but it's got versatility to die for. Goes great with Factotum, as has been said.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    You can wear it, but you suffer from Arcane Spell Failure.
    Correct, which is bad. I guess you can wear a mithril chain shirt of twilight-ness though...
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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    I've played several Chameleons. My favorite Chameleon build is Rogue 1/Soulknife 2/Swordsage 2/Soulbow 1/Chameleon from there. Take Able Learner at first level, Zen Archery at third. WIS to AB (Zen Archery), AC (Swordsage 2), damage (Soulbow) and spellcasting (Chameleon's divine focus).
    You'll want to be using Fractional BAB, though.

    High CL when you're enough levels into Chameleon, tons of buffs from any list (so at their lowest levels)... including Owl's Insight, which boosts your WIS even further... skills, versatility...

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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    How well would straight Factotum work though as entry class into Chameleon? Would it synergize enough? I'm trying to make a cool BBEG.
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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    How well would straight Factotum work though as entry class into Chameleon? Would it synergize enough? I'm trying to make a cool BBEG.
    Factotum is a good entry. Take Able Learner. Factotum 3/Swordsage 2 is better in melee, but Factotum 5 has more Factotum abilities.

    The optimal split is either Factotum 8/Chameleon 10/X 2, or Factotum 11/Chameleon 9. At 8, Factotum gets Cunning Surge, which is brutal combined with Font of Inspiration; at 11, they can spend 1 SP to ignore SR and DR, which is great.

    Factotums also have a kind of half-assed casting, so I think they technically qualify for various feats that require arcane spellcasting, a caster level. Snag any crafting feat you want with Chameleon 2's floating feat for the days you need it.

    You can also use Chameleon 2 to fill the arcane spellbook for free--just take Extra Spell, write it down, take Extra Spell for a different spell the next day, etc.
    Last edited by Reel On, Love; 2008-04-18 at 05:10 PM.

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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    What level can Factotum get extra standard actions?
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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    What level can Factotum get extra standard actions?
    That's Cunning Surge, which you get at Factotum 8.

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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    They can't be used that way; they are SLAs, not spells. Read the flavor text as well.

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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    Quote Originally Posted by FlWiPig View Post
    They can't be used that way; they are SLAs, not spells. Read the flavor text as well.
    They are spells that are cast as SLAs. They're an unholy hybrid of SLAs and spells. The Factotum does have a caster level, and he does prepare arcane spells--he just casts them as Spell-Like Abilities.

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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    And I'll mention the great usefulness of the two-level dip into Chameleon for a Warlock... the assign-it-by-day feat is incredibly useful for a Warlock to change his invocations, or pick up an item crafting feat for a day.
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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    Quote Originally Posted by Reel On, Love View Post

    You can also use Chameleon 2 to fill the arcane spellbook for free--just take Extra Spell, write it down, take Extra Spell for a different spell the next day, etc.
    A DM would be about as likely to allow this as to allow you to build a profitable factory that turns ladders into 10' poles...

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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    I got to play a Ninja/Ranger/Swordsage/Chameleon. The campaign was level 1-6 so I didn't get any of the higher level Chameleon abilites, but man was it a fun character to play!

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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    A DM would be about as likely to allow this as to allow you to build a profitable factory that turns ladders into 10' poles...
    A DM who doesn't allow that trick oughtn't to allow the Chameleon class in the first place. A Chameleon casts arcane spells from any class's arcane spell list, using a spellbook. How is a chameleon supposed to get Cure Light Wounds into a spellbook, if not via Extra Spell? It's not like you can just copy it from another spellbook, since wizards (who have books) can't cast CLW, and bards (who can cast it) don't have books.

    I will readily admit, though, that most feats are written under the assumption that you can't change them, and that being able to change a feat every day can certainly create some weird situations that you really need to discuss with your DM.
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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    A DM who doesn't allow that trick oughtn't to allow the Chameleon class in the first place. A Chameleon casts arcane spells from any class's arcane spell list, using a spellbook. How is a chameleon supposed to get Cure Light Wounds into a spellbook, if not via Extra Spell? It's not like you can just copy it from another spellbook, since wizards (who have books) can't cast CLW, and bards (who can cast it) don't have books.
    Bards with Scribe scroll and wizards with Divine Disciple.
    Honestly, I am a DM and I would never make that trick fly. If you change your feat I would be sure that you are not keeping any abilities from it. Assume that you cannot understand that spell until you refocus that way for instance.
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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    hey, since wizards can copy spells from a scroll into their book, would a wizard be able to copy a bard's scroll? if that's a stupid question, it's because it just never really occurred to me and I can't remember all the rules about scrolls and books.

    anyway, in terms of a chameleon's arcane spells, as a DM I'd make the player use the same spell list, instead of letting them change it any time the character changed to arcane focus. they'd have access to a bunch of different kinds of spells through a sort of cut and paste spell book of things they've acquired in their adventures or from the school, but they wouldn't have access to every spell they can possibly cast. This could be redundant, but I can't find the book chameleon is in... help?
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    Default Re: The Chameleon

    The Chameleon2/Spellbook inscription trick won't work anyway, because the spell is no longer on your spell list when you change the feat. It doesn't matter that it's in your spellbook, you can't prepare it.

    The same goes for if you found a spellbook full of Bard spells inscribed as Wizard spells - unless your Wizard has those Bard spells on their spell list, they're not going to be able to prepare them just because they're in a spellbook.
    Last edited by JaxGaret; 2008-04-19 at 02:05 PM.
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