2011-05-09, 09:03 PM (ISO 8601)
New pathfinder class: true shapeshifter
I am toying with creating a shapeshifting class for pathfinder. Basically, you get to be a summoner's eidolon, but with the ability to reallocate your evolution points on the fly. The amount of time it takes to change will probably reduce as you level. It may start as a full-round to change, then reduce to a standard, then a move, and eventually be a convenient swift. Maybe even an immediate at 20th. Changing the base form would also be allowed, either as part of the change, or by a change 1 step longer, but the stat shifts would be relative from your rolled stats.
From a raw power perspective, you probably end up behind a summoner. You have more HD than an eidolon, but you lack a summer's hit points backing you up. You also end up lower in action economy, since there is no summoner to cast spells while you maul things, and you lack the buffs a summoner would normally throw on their eidolon.
However, you do have a lot of flexibility. Being able to shift to have the correct energy immunity, or deal the proper energy damage, is useful. you can spend points on being able to fly, then reallocate them when you don't need them. Spontaneously gain the ability to swim or burrow as needed, allow characters to ride you, etc. The flexibility is definitely powerful.
However, how much does this flexibilty matter? Is it too powerful and needs limits, like less evolution points than an eidilon gets? Too weak and needs buffs? Other class features it could gain would be more evolution points, bonus feats, the ability to use natural weapon specific feats on any natural weapon, the ability to utilize extra item slots if you have the appropriate body parts(like the 3.5 feat from savage species), or to use shapechanging as a disguise.
Some evolutions may need removed or modified. The +8 skill is probably not appropriate, otherwise it would be the ultimate skill monkey. Actually, a single level dip from a skill monkey class would be the best skill monkey, allowing some +8 skills to arbitrarily throw around. Not good. The ability increases should probably be limited to physical stats. Weapon training also doesn't fit with being a shapeshifter, though they may get it from the class itself. The movement speeds don't have any limits, which allows you to shift to something blazing fast, zip to where you want to go, and shift to something else
So, what do you guys think? Overpowered and needs nerfs, underpowered and needs some extras, just a horrible concept to start with?
Edit: Here is the proposed class. I will update this bsed on feedback.
For whatever reason, you are able to change the shape of your body. Perhaps you have some touch of changeling blood interacting with other exotic bloodlines you have, or perhaps you have some Eidolon heritage. Maybe you have simply learned to utilize your arcane gifts in an unconventional manner. Regardless of the cause, your ability to shape your body makes you a formidable and flexible opponent.
Hit dice: d8
Starting wealth: 2d6x10gp
Acrobatics, Climb, Disguise, Escape artist, Fly, Heal, Intimidate, Perception, perform, profession, sleight of hand, stealth, survival, swim
Skill ranks: 2+int
good fort and reflex saves
Weapon and Armour Poficiency:
A Shapeshifter is not proficient with any form of armor or shields. They try not to rely on defenses that cannot shift form with them as they become limiting, so a shapeshifter cannot shift while wearing armour. A shapeshifter is proficient with all simple weapons, but rarely train to use martial weapons.
The primary ability of a shapeshifter is to change their body. You gain a pool of evolution points that can give you different abilities and powers. When shifting, you can spend these evolution points to change your body. This works like allocating points for a Summoner's Eidolon. These points can be re-allocated as you wish with a full-round action. The number of available points per level can be seen on the table.
Additionally, you can change your base form. If you are humanoid, your normal racial traits represent the bipedal form. To change to another form, adjust all physical stats by the difference between the desired form's stats and the bipedal stats. For instance, becoming a quadruped would lower your str by 2, increase your dex by 2, and leave your con unchanged. You also gain the base speed as appropriate for the base form. You may also take the free evolutions for that form; this means you may grow claws in your normal form for no cost.
Restrictions on Evolutions based on base form apply normally, and restrictions based on summoner level are based on shapeshifter level. Additionally, the shapeshifter cannot utilize a evolution that is a mental change. From the core list, this means that you cannot take the skilled evolution for skills based o knowledge or skill more than physical ability, use the ability increase evolution to increase mental scores,or the weapon training evolution(though you may take weapon proficiency feats). Using skilled on a stat based on a physical ability grants a bonus equal to 1/2 your level, rounded down, min 1.
Allowed skills: Acrobatics, climb, escape artist, fly,
perception, stealth, swim
At DM discretion, other skills may be boosted in certain circumstances
Additionally, a shapeshifter may take the following evolutions:
Low-light vision: 1 point
You alter your eyes to see easier in low light. You gain low-light vision
Darkvision: 1 point
You must already have low-light vision to take this evolution. You further modify your eyes to gain darkvision out to 60 ft.
Evasion: 2 points
must be level 2. You gain the evasion ability.
Improved evasion: 3 points
must be level 14. You gain the improved evasion ability.
At level 5, a shapeshifter can reallocate their evolution points with a standard action
At level 10, they can reallocate them as a move action
At level 15, they can reallocate them as a swift
at level 20, they can reallocate them as an immediate action
A shapeshifter can use their ability to disguise that they are themselves. This gives them +20 bonus to disguise skill checks to disguise their identity, but they do not have precise enough control to assume the form of a specific individual, and the bonus does not apply.
At level 10, their mastery improves, allowing them a +10 bonus to disguise themselves as a specific person that they are familiar with.
As a shapeshifter advances in level, they improve their ability to wield natural weapons. See the chart for the max number of natural attacks a shapedshifter can use for a given level.
As a shapeshifter advances in level, they gain an increasing ability to harden their skin. They may gain a natural armour bonus according to the table.
A shapeshifter's control over their body allows them to heighten their physical prowess. They may gain the appropriate str/dex bonus as shown on the table.
note: anytime this refers to the chart, see the chart for eidolon abilities based on summoner level.
Last edited by Mystify; 2012-01-25 at 03:31 PM.