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View Full Version : How to build a weretouched shifter ...?!



Zen Master
2008-04-15, 02:27 PM
Ok ... I've tried, but the rules seem set to make this task impossible.

I need to build a villain - a truly beastly being who considers sentient races his most challenging prey, and hires out as an assassin. Not a rogue build, he needs to be able to stand up in a straight fight.

Ok. Using only the rules from Eberron campaign setting and the PHB. No obscurities, because I've forbidden all such books. Hence, I arrive at the following result:

4 levels of ranger, 5 levels of weretouched master
Str 20 (22 while shifting)
Dex 16
Con 14 (18 while shifting)
Int 10
Wis 8
Cha 10

81 hitpoints
Ac 18
Base attack +7

Fort: +8, Ref: +8, Will +2

Feat selection: Beasthide elite, great rend, extra shifter trait, healing factor
Shifter traits: Beasthide, razorclaw

So far my beastman assasin isn't looking too shabby - but now he has to actually fight. According to the rules, he can attack only once with each claw. Meaning he attacks at +5/+5.

So he can make a fairly impressive charge, doing a full attack of 2xd6+8 plus d4+3 provided both attacks hit. Factoring in his companion, which at level 9 could be a 4 hd wolf. It will mostly miss, do sub-par damage, and be there mostly to provide flanking.

A max possible damage pr. round of 27 plus a miss from the wolf seems .. horrible unsatisfactory at level 9 for what must by all means be conceptually considered a damage dealer.

So ... what am I doing wrong???

Smiley_
2008-04-15, 02:45 PM
Building a natural attack based character tends to get tricky. Without any multiattack feats, he would get +7 with one claw and +2 for the other. With multiattack, that is reduced to +7/+5 and with improved multiattack, +7/+7

Really, natural weapons aren't really worth it unless you can get four or more (due to being able to use powerattack wint no penalty on them.)

Rapidstrike and improved rapid strike (claws) with improved multiattack will give you a +x/+x/+x-5/+x-10 where x is your attack bonus.

And enchanting is always a pain.

Did I mention that powerattack is necessary? Otherwise, this poor guy will be paste if your players optimize even slightly.

As a DM, grant him rend and a bite attack and allow him to use both claws on a charge.

Iku Rex
2008-04-15, 03:14 PM
One or two levels of barbarian would help make him more badass.

Why doesn't he have any equipment? A CR 9 NPC should have 12000 gp worth of gear.

Make sure he has more HD than the PCs, for the frightful shifting.

He's missing two bonus feats from weretouched master. A bite attack might add a little damage. I'd get Greater Shifter Defense if you keep his AC that low. (BTW, I get 17, +3 Dex +4 natural armor). Power Attack is not necessary and may well lower his damage output per full attack.

He's got +6 Con when shifting (+2 beasthide, +4 tiger).

I don't see where you're getting +5/+5 from. +6 Str, +7 BAB, +2 charge (if you let it count on both attacks) = +15/+15 . Rend damage is 1d4+5 (+3 Str, +2 levels)

Zen Master
2008-04-15, 03:40 PM
One or two levels of barbarian would help make him more badass.

Why doesn't he have any equipment? A CR 9 NPC should have 12000 gp worth of gear.

Make sure he has more HD than the PCs, for the frightful shifting.

He's missing two bonus feats from weretouched master. A bite attack might add a little damage. I'd get Greater Shifter Defense if you keep his AC that low. (BTW, I get 17, +3 Dex +4 natural armor). Power Attack is not necessary and may well lower his damage output per full attack.

He's got +6 Con when shifting (+2 beasthide, +4 tiger).

I don't see where you're getting +5/+5 from. +6 Str, +7 BAB, +2 charge (if you let it count on both attacks) = +15/+15 . Rend damage is 1d4+5 (+3 Str, +2 levels)

I'm under the impression that rage and shifting do not stack.

He has no gear due to transparency - I always make a character sketch naked, then add gear to support the build once I have something that looks workable.

He is solo vs. 4 characters - sure he is higher HD than they are =D

I've forgotten two feats, I can see that now. Too focused on bonus shifter feats, I forgot about normal feat progression. Power attack is an option, or getting the bite attack. Hmm ...

And the attack bonus would be +17 from charge and flanking. With appropriate bonuses from items and other possible buffs he might get something like an additional +3 to hit and +2 to damage (from a +4 str item and a bless or similar).

That would bring his damage to 2xd6+13 plus d4+6, or a total of 35. Provided everything hits. Still ... pathetic. Better - but not enough.

On the other hand he is meant to challenge - not destroy - the party. Anyone else have input? How about buffing the somewhat inferior wolf, can that be done? Or different class combinations? Rage for instance - if that works - would yield another +2 to attack and damage.

The_Snark
2008-04-15, 03:58 PM
Why is the attack bonus +5/+5? By my calculation, a base attack bonus of +7 and a Strength bonus of +6 while shifting should get you two claw attacks, each at +13. Both claws are primary natural weapons, as noted in the description of the razorclaw trait; you don't take a -5 penalty on attacks. You don't have to worry about two-weapon fighting penalties, because natural weapons never do

So, that's already an improvement. You have two claw attacks dealing 1d4+8 damage each (remember, each claw gets a damage bonus for every four levels you have), plus slightly more if you hit with both (1d4+5; the damage bonus applies to Great Rend, too).

Have you not factored any abilities from weretouched master yet? You don't seem to have the bonus shifter feats from those class levels, you haven't mentioned what animal he's turning into... and that's really, really important. It looks like the problem may be that you've forgotten to use the stuff from five of his class levels...

I reccomend bear or tiger for his heritage; they both fit the traits you've picked. Tiger seems slightly more thematicaly appropriate, so let's see what you'd get out of that.

-First, you get another +2 bonus to Strength while shifting, and your claw damage goes up to 1d6. Nice.
-You get Pounce at 3rd level, meaning he can make full attacks as long as he's in charge range.
-Most importantly, you can actually assume a weretiger form while shifting. It replaces your normal shifting benefits, but that's okay, becaue you'd get...

-A +5 natural armor bonus. Only a little better than your standard +4, but hey.
-Better ability adjustments. Instead of what you had before, you now have +12 to Strength, +4 to Dex, and +6 to Con.
-Large size.
-2 primary claws (1d8 damage each) and a secondary bite (2d6 damage).
-Large size, useful for reach (if you use the hybrid form) or grappling.
-If you use the animal form rather than the hybrid, you get pounce (again), improved grab, and a pair of rake attacks.

Let us say you pick the tiger for this character's werecreature ancestor. While shifting into hybrid form, the attacks would be as follows...

2 claws, +17/+17 (1d8+11) and a bite, +12 (2d6+5). If he hits with both claws, he deals another 1d4+7 damage. He has an AC of 20 and 90 hit points, and he has reach, meaning anybody trying to close with him is going to get attacked. He can make a full attack on a charge.

If he goes into animal form, the attacks are the same, except that he can initiate a grapple on a hit with a claw attack, with a +22 grapple modifier. He also has 2 rake attacks, giving him another 2 attacks for 1d8+5 damage each whenever he charges or is in a grapple.

His AC is still a bit low, but he's dealing good damage and the grappling ability can be very deadly. Give him Shifter Defense and Improved Shifter Defense as his two bonus feats, maybe, and drop Beasthide Elite for something else; the 5th-level ability of weretouched master makes it useless. Healing Factor's also not all that useful, since it would usually only kick in after a fight. His Will save is his biggest weakness, really; should probably get him Iron Will and a cloak of resistance.

On the other hand though, how is he qualifying for weretouched master at level 4? You'd need to be level 5 to have the skill ranks he needs...

Iku Rex
2008-04-15, 04:02 PM
I'm under the impression that rage and shifting do not stack.There's no such rule. They stack.

Iku Rex
2008-04-15, 04:06 PM
-Most importantly, you can actually assume a weretiger form while shifting. See errata. Major nerfage.


On the other hand though, how is he qualifying for weretouched master at level 4? You'd need to be level 5 to have the skill ranks he needs...Good catch.

The_Snark
2008-04-15, 04:23 PM
See errata. Major nerfage.

This makes sense. I always thought that capstone was a little messed-up.

StillI think you're shorting your shifting bonuses a little, still.

+2 Con (beasthide)
+2 Str (razorclaw)
+2 Str (weretouched I, assuming bear or tiger)
+2 Str, +4 Con (weretouched III, assuming tiger)

So that's +6 Str and +6 Con, giving you Strength 26 and Con 22 while shifting. Of course, that's only if you don't rework him so that he qualifies for weretouched, but a level of barbarian for rage would give you the same or better bonuses.

2 claws +15 (1d6+10), rend 1d4+6. Still have Pounce. That's going to average out to 20 to 30 damage each round unless the target has really high AC, and I'm not sure you want to deal too much more than that. You don't want to actually kill them, after all. I'd focus more on his defenses... especially that Will save; if any of your players likes to use things like Suggestion, that could end the fight right there.

Zen Master
2008-04-15, 04:46 PM
The problem here is ... he isn't a one-shot enemy. He needs to get very close to winning - before backing out. So he needs to down half the party.

Most assuredly, he wont succumb to a failed will save, because that will ruin him, plotwise. So I'll cook up something to rule that option out. GM fiat - players will have to find another way.

That is also the reason for not prioritizing his AC ... he is MEANT to take a beating.

Anyways, this is as much about rules interpretation as anything else - like the thing about shifting and rage stacking, I didn't think that was kosher.

I also wasn't sure about natural weapons not allowing multiple attacks (which is totally opaque for me, I totally fail to see why), what bonuses stack and so on.

CthulhuM
2008-04-15, 07:42 PM
Natural weapons just work that way. There are always a set number of them (regardless of base attack), and they are classified as either primary (full BAB) or secondary (-5 BAB).

As for the build, I would suggest replacing your extra shifter trait with longtooth (since the claws are redundant if you have weretouched master and bear or tiger). That would give you an extra attack, and longtooth elite would make it even nastier (1 point of con on every hit with the bite).

Also, since you can't TWF with natural weapons, ranger levels are really kinda pointless here. Barbarian would make this guy much nastier, and shifting and rage explicitly do stack - they're both untyped bonuses from different sources, and there's even a feat in Races of Eberron that functions only while simultaneously raging and shifting (Shifter Savagery - it's actually a very nice feat).

Dryad
2008-04-15, 07:59 PM
If you're the DM.. Then why worry?

You decide what happens. Want someone challenging? And animalistic? Well; up it's wisdom score, replace ranger levels with druid, use your magic fang spell, your produce flame spell, your mist and fog spells, and have fun with them. Why care about the prerequisites? Sure; I understant why you'd want to do it properly, but honoustly; as a DM, you can apply a prestige class to a 1st lvl commoner, if need be. (Well; not quite, since there can be no situation in which this need arises, but hey...)

So I'd say: Give it one lvl barbarian, 3 lvl's druid, rest in weretouched, or, if in doubt, indeed, simply add a lycanthrope template. The selection of spells you could use works perfectly with feats like brachiate: Swinging through the trees, casting your obscuring mist, hiding in the shadows.. Lurking.. And whoops; a party member gets dragged into the thick coils of fog, up into the trees. A muffled scream, followed by a triumphant roar, as the beast plunges it's claws into the unprotected flesh of it's victim...

Something for impact? Give it mobility. Make it move around, hide, appear, get away again, hitting where it can, using the openings the players leave in their strategy. Don't care about 'class skills' and 'cross class skills;' simply devide the points as you need them. You're the DM, after all.

Zen Master
2008-04-16, 01:41 AM
If you're the DM.. Then why worry?

You decide what happens. Want someone challenging? And animalistic? Well; up it's wisdom score, replace ranger levels with druid, use your magic fang spell, your produce flame spell, your mist and fog spells, and have fun with them. Why care about the prerequisites? Sure; I understant why you'd want to do it properly, but honoustly; as a DM, you can apply a prestige class to a 1st lvl commoner, if need be. (Well; not quite, since there can be no situation in which this need arises, but hey...)

So I'd say: Give it one lvl barbarian, 3 lvl's druid, rest in weretouched, or, if in doubt, indeed, simply add a lycanthrope template. The selection of spells you could use works perfectly with feats like brachiate: Swinging through the trees, casting your obscuring mist, hiding in the shadows.. Lurking.. And whoops; a party member gets dragged into the thick coils of fog, up into the trees. A muffled scream, followed by a triumphant roar, as the beast plunges it's claws into the unprotected flesh of it's victim...

Something for impact? Give it mobility. Make it move around, hide, appear, get away again, hitting where it can, using the openings the players leave in their strategy. Don't care about 'class skills' and 'cross class skills;' simply devide the points as you need them. You're the DM, after all.

Heh - I really like this idea of yours, but I'm pretty set on the concept I already have. In which my bestial assassin will attack them in a city, to a background chorus of howling dogs, leaping from rooftop to rooftop, darting swiftly down foggy alleys. Hm - I'm thinking his companion should be a great white gorilla or some such (to be able to follow him around).

Anyways - I'm willing to bend the rules a little, cheat where it serves the story and such. But I will not cheat where combat is concerned, cause that's just cheap.

Anyways the input thus far has been great - I like him better already. How about a name ... Graneus Malv, for instance. And the gorilla could be called Shade. Can gorillas grapple - might be fun for the pathetic caster to be molested by a great ape. Ooohh - I see it can grappe just fine at +12. Very nice :)

Arzc
2009-03-04, 02:43 PM
While I realize this thread is almost a year old, it deals specifically with what Im about to ask and, well, why not keep the train of this subject going? (If any1 has objection to this please notify me)

Without further adeu, the abomination:

Warblade 7/Weretouched Master 5

hp 143, 179 in Tiger forms, 191 with shifting

AC 24 (10 + 10 (mithral breastplate) + 3 + 1(Monk's Belt)), 30 Tiger (2 more from dex, 5 more from natural armor, -1 from large size), 32 shifting (2 more from beasthide)

DR 4/silver shifting

Initiative 3, 5 tiger

Str 22 (+6), 34 (+12)tiger, 36 (+13)shifting
Dex 17(+3), 21 (+5) tiger
Con 18 (+4), 24 (+7)tiger, 26 (+8)shifting
Int 10
Wis 10
Cha 8

Fort 18, Reflex 14, Will 8

BAB 10/5

Attacks
Claw 1d8 (from Monk's Belt), 2d6 tiger, +16 attk bonus
Greatsword, masterwork crystal, 2d6, +17/+12

Grapple 16, 23 tiger

Feats
Able Learner (Races of Destiny)
Power Attack
Shifter + G. Shifter Def
Martial Study x2
Martial Stance x2
Uncanny + Imp. Uncanny Dodge

For any confusion concerning his claw damage and the mention of the Monk's Belt, check the rules presented in Savage Species concerning natural attacks and monk damage progression, as well as the D&D Wiki entry for the item and it's properties.

I'll post martial maneuvers if some1 asks for em, but the main thing I'd like to discover is the benefits of shifting. I've checked multiple Eberron books, errata included, and nothing says I can't shift before morphing into hybrid Tiger and not keep the benefits of the shift, also, with this case, the text for beasthide states that it increases natural armor by +2; by that technicality of text, my natural armor in Tiger becomes +7 for the duration of the shift, which only goes longer thanks to the +6 constitution from going Tiger, and if the shift does stack, the +2 from beasthide.:smallconfused:

If any1 can help me clear up this confusion I would be really grateful, cause Im planning on using this guy as a backup for my campaign, I've already lost my first character after he became a plot point thanks to the wims of my GM, and my 2nd character looks like he's being sucked into the same hole.

Olo Demonsbane
2009-03-04, 11:54 PM
Thread Necromancer Alert!

Call in the paladin squad :smallbiggrin:!

Zincorium
2009-03-05, 01:57 AM
While I realize this thread is almost a year old

Your orbs made of copper and zinc are impressive in their dimensions.