View Full Version : Mutator: 3.5 base class, please PEACH

zegram 33
2012-05-10, 04:04 PM
Mutator's are people born with innate shapeshifting abilities. Although the cause of this is unknown, it is generally suspected to be changeling ancestors far back in a persons family tree, combined with rare genetic mutations.

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special
+0| Mutating
+1|mutation manifestation I
+1|Large form
+1|ability improvement
+2|Mutation manifestation II
+2|transformation time down: standard action
+2|Mutation Manifestation stacking I
+3|Huge form
+3|ability improvement, second tier mutations.
+3| transformation time down:move action
+4| Mutation manifestation III
+4|Gargantuan form
+5|ability improvement
+5|Mutation stacking II
+5|Transformation time down:immediate action
+6|ability improvement[/table]

Design notes
Ok, now i know this seems VERY light on actual class abilities, but bear with me. the vast majority of the use of this class comes from the various mutations you'll be using, and with enough to pad out each ability slot with multiple choices there are a LOT of them. as you'll see later, you'll be getting 40 by level 20. right now iv settled on an ability progression where every 5 levels (1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th for the purposes of my made up maths) pretty much every ability progresses, and i'd welcome feedback on whether thats enough, a bad setup, or whatever.

Clas skills: Balance(Dex), Bluff(Cha), Climb(Str), Disguise(Cha), Escape Artist(Dex), Handle animal(Cha), Hide(Dex), Jump(Str), Listen(Wis), Move silently(Dex), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive(Wis), Spot(Wis), Survival(Wis), Swim(Str)

Skillpoints at 1st level: 4+int modifier x4
Skillpoints on level up: 4+int modifier

Hit dice: d12

Weapon and armour proficiencies: Mutators are proficient with all simple weapons, (as well as unarmed strikes) light armour, and now shields.

Attributes and Role: A mutator's key attributes are Strength and Constitution, to bulk up their combat capabilities. Some mutators will choose Dex over Con and create a more agile class. A Mutators role is primarily that of frontline combatant, although they can become exceptionally talented scounts as well, and even handle party transport in instances when magical travel would prove difficult.

Background: As a result of their heritage, mutators can freely change there shape to match almost any form imagineable, and can do this as a standard action with no limit on an amount of uses.
However, where traditional shapeshifters tend to turn into creatures already present in nature, mutators tend to create there own forms. A Form is made up of arms, legs, head, torso, sensory and tail.

NPC reaction:: although a transformation is powerful, care must be taken. Since mutators of this kind are so rare and unknown, villagers and other npc’s usually treat it with great amounts of hostility, on par with being a vampire or werewolf. Hence full transformations in plain sight tend to be a poor idea unless the NPC in question has already been convinced the player is not cursed. This is understandable when it is considered that even 10th level transformations can be as strange as a flying, venomous snake or a burrowing, rhinoceros-horned monstrousity. The mutator can manifest singular abilities though, allowing efficient defense if he cannot escape to a more isolated place to transform. by default this appears as the npc's disposition shifting two ranks towards hostile, unless the npc has been convinced that the mutator is not evil. depending on the situation, this may be modified in any way (ie: a mutator who transforms into a beats in plain sight to fight off an attacking bandit tribe will likely not incur as great a penalty as one who does so for lesser reasons).

Religion: Mutators tend to rever Gods of nature or battle, if they worship at all.

Races: no races have any particulary affinity for or against mutators, but they are exceptionally rare in any race.

Alignment: mutators can be of any alignment, although they tend towards the chaotic.

Other classes: Mutators tend to get on well with most classes, although druids often view them as abominations against nature and shun them.

Class abilities
The primary class ability of the mutator, obtained at 1st level, is "shapeshifting" with his mutations. As a full round action useable at will (ie with no limit to its use) he may assume a mutated form. A form is made up of arms, legs, head, torso, sensory and tail components, and each is chosen upon mutation. a mutation is into a medium creature that is by default bipedal. Two mutations are gained every level, and by default a mutator begins at 1st level with the "low light vision" sensory mutation, as well as the "armless" arm mutation and the "legless" leg mutation. as another full round action (or less when the relevant abilities are obtained) the mutator can "shuffle" his mutations, choosing new ones as he see's fit.
It is important to note that although the term used is "mutation" these forms are not necesarily ugly or grotesque. the aesthetics of the form can be almost anything the mutator desires, and with a succesful bluff check equal to 1.5x a creatures CR (rounded down) the mutator can impersonate another creature (as long as he has the relevant mutations).
unless otherwise stated in the mutation description, a mutators shapeshifted form has 3 natural attacks:
bite attack dealing 1d8 damage/5 levels.
two claw attacks dealing 1d6 damage/5 levels.
A slam attack with your tail dealing 1d10 damage/5 levels.

A mutator gains two mutations every level.
Unless otherwise noted, all mutator mutations and abilities are extraordinary abilities.

Design notes
thats pretty much it for class abilities, everything this class does is really based upon clever application of mutations in combination with each other.

Mutation manifestation
Beginning at 3rd level a mutator may manifest a power without shapeshifting fully, retaining his human appearance (and thus not causing disposition penalties) while gaining the use of one or more mutations. head and tail mutations cannot be manifested this way unless your race naturally has a bit attack or tail.

Mutation stacking
while using the above "mutation manifestation" ability, the mutator gains the ability to use multiple mutations on the same limb, up to the level of the stacking +1. for example, mutation stacking I would allow two arm mutations to be used at once, mutation stacking II would allow 3, and so on. both of these mutations count against your limit for maximum mutations manifested.

Size change: at 4th, 9th, and 14th levels, the maximum size of your mutated form increases one step each, from medium, to large, then huge, then gargantuan.

transformation time down: at 7th, 11th, and 17th levels, the time taken to mutate is reduced by onestep each, to a standard action at 7th level, a move action at 11th level, and an immediate action at 17th level.


Tier 1: aquirable at any level


Fanged: on a successful bite attack that deals damage, the mutator can initiate a grapple without initiating an attack of opportunity.

Extendable: the mutators bite attack is now counted as a reach weapon. Using the attack whilst the target would be out of range of a normal bite attack can cause extra damage (+1d10/5 cass levels) as long as the target has not observed you using telescoping attacks before. A successful reflex save of 15+your class level negates this extra damage.

Horned: allows a powerful gore attack. This attack does 1d6 damage per each 5ft you charged prior to making the attack.

Burrowing: grants the mutator a burrow speed of 5ft/5 levels. The mutator can choose whether to leave a tunnel or whether to have it automatically fill itself in.

Venomous: the round after a successful bite attack, the target takes an extra 1d12 damage/5class levels of poison damage. This is effected by poison immunities, delay and neutralize poison spells as normal.


Running: increase the mutators land speed by an additional 10ft, increasing by an extra 10ft every 5 levels. Removes the mutators natural claw attack.

Climbing: gains a climb speed of 5ft per 5 levels. If two climbing effects are mutated at the same time, the mutator gains the effects of the “spiders climb” spell, although it remains an extraordinary ability.

Armless: the mutator has no arms. He loses his claw attacks, but where applicable the effects of the “head” mutation are doubled (ie: double reach, double burrowing speed)

Gliding: can move 10ft per 10ft fallen, with an extra 10ft travelled for every 5 mutator levels. having both this and gliding legs mutated at the same time allows for flight with clumsy manouverability and a flight speed equal to the distance travelled per 10ft fallen at that level. Whilst gliding the mutator is immune to falling damage.

Extendable: the creatures claw attacks are now considered reach weapons. Using the attack whilst the target would be out of normal range causes extra damage (+1d8/5 levels) as long as the target has not observed you using telescoping attacks before. A successful reflex save of 15+your class level negates this extra damage.

Sharpened: the claw attacks are upgraded to deal 1d8 per 5 levels.

Sturdy arms: gain a +3 to resist bull rush attempts per 5 levels, and an equal bonus to grapple checks. Removes the mutators natural claw attack. With both sturdy legs and arms active, you gain a trample attack. you are now 4-legged and treated as such for bonuses to stability and other effects.


Sprinters legs: gives an increase of 10ft to movement speed, increasing by an extra 10ft every 5 levels to an eventual +40ft at level 20.

Jumpers legs: gain the ability to jump large distances either vertically or horizontally, from standing or from motion (although running provides the normal additional bonuses). This allows jumping 5ft per every 5 levels. Additionally, you take fall damage as if you had fallen 10ft less per 5 levels.

Sturdy legs: gain +3 to resist trip and bull rush attempts against the mutator per 5 levels, and an equal benefit to bull rush checks made by the mutator.

Legless: the mutator has no legs, moving like a snake via its tail. The reduction in coordination required allows the for extra focus into the world around him. His sensory mutation has double range.

Climbing: gains a climb speed of 5ft per 5 levels. If both two climbing effects are mutated at the same time, the mutator gains the effects of the “spiders climb” spell.

Gliding: can move 10ft per 10ft fallen. At 5th level, having both this and gliding arms mutated at the same time allows for flight with clumsy manouverability and a flight speed of 20ft. At 10th level this requires only one body part to be mutated, at 15th level increases to 40ft, and at 20th level to average manouverability. Whilst gliding the mutator is immune to falling damage.


Large lungs: gain the benefit of the “run” feat, and gain a +4 on checks made to hold your breath.

Gills: you are now capable of beathing underwater.

Armoured hide: gain a +3 bonus to ac/ 5 levels.

Thick carapace; grants energy resistance +3/5 levels against cold, fire, electricity and acid.

Potent poison: your natural poison is powerfully caustic. Against creatures which would normally be immune to poison, it still deals half its effect as acid damage. Additionally, you are immune to poisons.

Chameleon skin: gains a constant 20% concealment as the spell “Blur” and gain +1 to hide checks/5 class levels.

Spiny carapace: any target attacking the mutator in melee combat takes 1d4 piercing damage/ 5 levels.


Balancing tail: gains +2/5 class levels to balance and jump checks

Tripping tail: removes the tails slam attack, but instead allows the mutator to make trip attacks as a reach weapon (such as a whip) does. Gains +2 to trip checks made with this tail/5 levels.

Stinger: removes the tail slam attack, gains a stinger attack that deals 1d6/5 levels piercing damage, but also deals 1d4 poison damage damage/ 5 levels every round until the creature makes a heal check with DC= your class level as a standard action. alternativley wears off after 10 mins/5 class levels. By default, the poison damage is effected by poison immunities and spells like neutralize poison.

Motion: doubles the movement speed of any alternative movement types you may have gained. Also grants 30ft swim speed.

Climbing tail: gains a climb speed of 5ft per 5 levels. If two climbing effects are mutated at the same time, the mutator gains the effects of the “spiders climb” spell.

Constricting tail: the tail slam is removed, but the tail may be used to initiate a grapple at 10ft range (as a reach weapon, and constrict the target for 1d10 damage/5 levels)


Low light vision: gains low light vision as an ex ability. Gains this automatically at 1st level.

Improved nose: gains “scent” as an ex ability.

Tremorsense: gains tremorsense out to 10ft/ 5 class levels

Darkvision: gains darkvision out to 20ft/5 class levels

Deathwatch: gains the efects of the deathwatch spell on constantly as a spell-like ability.

Blindsense: gains blindsense out to 10 ft/5 class levels

Tier 2 Mutations: available at level 10+ and have prerequisite mutations

Armoured: gains +2 to ac per 5 levels, and gains immunity to mind altering effects.
Prerequisites: Torso; Armoured hide, Head; Burrowing

Flaming: gains the ability to project a cone of fire 15ft, dealing 1d6 damage/5 levels. This increases to 30ft when the mutator is a large creature, 45ft when huge and 60ft when gargantuan.
this is a spell-like ability
Prerequisites: Head; Venomous, Torso; large lungs

Scything Blade: the mutators claw attack is now incomprehensibly sharp, dealing its full damage regardless of any damage resistance the target may have.
Prerequisites: Arm; sharpened, Arm; climbing

Extra arms: the mutator now gets 4 claw attacks per round thanks to an extra pair of arms.
Prerequisites: Arm; Sturdy, Tail; balancing tail

Talon: allows an attack when descending from above a target, dealing damage equal to half the falling damage the mutator would have taken.
Prerequisites: Leg; jumping, Arm; gliding

Rooted: the mutators movement speed is reduced to 0ft, and he loses the benefits of any other movement types he would have had. He instead gains an ac bonus of +2/5 levels, and his sensory mutation has its range doubled (as the “legless mutation”). He also becomes immune to bullrush and trip attempts so long as the ground (or wall, etc) that he is rooted into reamins intact).
Prerequisites; Leg; sturdy legs, sensory; tremorsense

Wings: the mutator gains a set of wings sprouting from its back. These grant it a flight speed of 80ft with perfect manouverability.
Prerequisites; Arm; Gliding Leg; Gliding.

Fast metabolism: gain fast healing 1/5 levels
Prerequisites: Torso; Armoured Hide, Torso; spiny carapace

Grappling tail: can grapple any target within 10ft/5 levels. Must have line of sight to the target. Any enemies along the line between you and the target can attack you as if you were grappling directly. The target can be pulled towards the mutator at a rate of 20ft/round -5ft for every size category it is above “medium”. Once the target reaches the mutator they grapple as normal.
Prerequisites: Arm; extendable, Tail; balancing

Hammer tail: tails slam attack now deals damage in a 5ft burst from the target, and all targets within 20ft of the target must make a fort save equal to the mutators class level plus con modifier or be dazed.
Prerequisites: Tail; climbing tail. Legs; sturdy legs

Blindsight: blindsight out to 10ft/5 class levels
Prerequisites: Sensory; blindsense, Sensory; darksight

Great acuity: +3/5 levels to all spot and listen checks, and under the effects of a “see invisibility” spell constantly.
Prerequisites: Sensory; scent, Sensory; tremorsense

design notes
There we go. im not sure about the lack of official clas abilities, or the 5 level progression, but i think it works ok. i have a few idea's if consensus is that it isnt enough (pounce as a bonus feat, scaling bonuses to various fluffy skills). im ESPECIALLY not sue about the damage of the melee attacks an if thats anything like enough. theres a LOT to it, so thanks for anyone who read through the whole thing. with this many abilities im almost positive that some will be broken one way or another, so any peaching is greatly appreciated.

zegram 33
2012-05-12, 04:37 PM
no love for the mutator?
as an aside: my classes do tend to get no love, if anyone remembers my others: is my writing tricky to follow/ badly designed, or is it just luck of the draw type thing.
thanks :smallredface:

2012-05-12, 08:34 PM
I see "Evolution" on the table, can't cant for the life of me find it in the text. Am I missing something, or has it not yet been implemented?

zegram 33
2012-05-13, 03:49 AM
thats a very good point.
thats was my shorthand when writing for the "every 5th level" increase abilities, that they would evolve.

when i was actually writing it up on gamefaqs, i felt like it would be easier to stat explicitly when these abilities improved, and also felt that evolution as a levelling up mechanic sounded like i was cribbing off prototype 2 (which came out between me starting and finishing this class)
will replace with "ability improvement" in the table, thanks!

2012-05-13, 06:19 AM
Unless I'm missing something, I can't see when or how many of the actual Mutations one gets?

zegram 33
2012-05-13, 06:32 AM
i...uhh...wow, thats a pretty impressive oversight there. Thanks for picking that up.
EDIT: upon rereading i do mention it...for about 6 words....in the middle of a blox of text in the spoiler box for mutations. so yeh, that was a stupid place to put such a crucial feature. thanks :smallsmile:
2 mutations every level

2012-05-13, 06:45 AM
A few things just going through

Venomous should be affected by Poison Immunity.
Spell-Likes (like Deathwatch) should be marked as such
Are all the abilities Ex by default? if so you should say so.
One-step down from Move is not Immediate, it's Swift.

There is more but I have to go offline right now

2012-05-13, 07:08 AM
i...uhh...wow, thats a pretty impressive oversight there. Thanks for picking that up.
EDIT: upon rereading i do mention it...for about 6 words....in the middle of a blox of text in the spoiler box for mutations. so yeh, that was a stupid place to put such a crucial feature. thanks :smallsmile:
2 mutations every level

The way I'm reading it, it's two mutations per level +3, because you can shuffle the 3 free mutations you get (LLV, legless and armless)

zegram 33
2012-05-13, 07:44 AM
yeh, you get those three free at 1st level, since low light vision would be pointless to choose, and armless and legless are based on modifying existing mutations. then, at every level afterwards, you can "unlock" 2 additional mutations.
so by the time your level 15, you'll have 33 mutations to choose from spread out over your limbs, so you should (in theory at least) be pretty adaptable.

2012-05-13, 09:39 AM
Minor error I found under "senses", it should be darkvision, not darksight.

zegram 33
2012-05-13, 10:22 AM
corrected, thanks :smallsmile: