The Beastblood Shifter
"To understand a creature is to walk in its shoes, and I can walk with the feet of all the world's creatures." ~Serasha Wildclaw, Human Beastblood Shifter
One of the longest lasting themes of humanity is a reverence for the beasts of nature and a desire to live as they do. A Beastblood Shifter does just that by transforming into any creature imaginable.
Adventures: The call of the wild is strong within a Beastblood Shifter. She may have her own goals and loyalties that propel her into dangerous situations, but all Beastblood Shifters have a love of exploration and discovery. They may not be bookish scholars, but they enjoy learning about the world just as much. After all, the more creatures she finds, the more creatures she can become.
Characteristics: A Beastblood Shifter is capable of transforming into virtually any creature she's either seen or knows about. She can also acquire the special abilities of those creatures when she adopts their forms.
Alignment: Most Beastblood Shifters have no more pull towards any alignment than the average individual. Some do lean towards chaos, however, in their desire for personal freedom.
Religion: By and large, Beastblood Shifters are no more or less prone to religion than normal, but those who do worship tend to focus on the gods of animals and monsters.
Background: No one knows exactly how or why certain individuals can change shape the way Beastblood Shifters do. Some theorize that it's a result of a bloodline tainted with lycanthropy or a doppelganger, but none know for certain.
Races: Humans and half-humans tend to make up the lion's share of Beastblood Shifters, likely due to their race's propensity for questionable interbreeding. Mongrelfolk are also quite common.
Other Classes: Beastblood Shifters often look down on druids for their dabbling and noncommittal approach to shapeshifting. They see it almost as an insult that druids can wild shape on top of their magic as if it's just a footnote to them. They, otherwise, tend not to have strong feelings about any class.
Role: Considering the wide assortment of different creatures available, a Beastblood Shifter can fill a variety of roles within the party. The main ones, especially early on, are dealing melee damage, tanking, and scouting. At later levels, they start gaining supernatural and spell-like abilities and can commit to other roles, like support.
Adaptation: It is very easy to refluff the Shifting mechanic into having just about any possible origin to fit most campaigns.
GAME RULE INFORMATION
Beastblood Shifters have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Strength is important for attacking and dealing damage, Constitution determines hit points, and Charisma will help with many special abilities acquired from Shifting.
Hit Die: d10
Starting Age: As Barbarian
Starting Gold: As Barbarian
The Beastblood Shifter's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (Dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Knowledge (Psionics) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).
Skill Points at First Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier
||Shifting (Animal) (Small, Medium), Fast Movement, Alertness
||Evasion, Uncanny Dodge, Track
||Shifting (Vermin), Endurance
||Shifting (Tiny, Large)
||Shifting (Magical Beast)
||Shifting (Humanoid, Monstrous Humanoid)
||Shifting (Diminutive, Huge)
||Shifting (Fey, Giant)
||Shifting (Fine, Gargantuan)
The following are class features of the Beastblood Shifter.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: All simple weapons and light armor.
Shifting (Ex): A Beastblood Shifter can transform into other creatures by altering and morphing her chaotic and unstable body. Doing so takes a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. She can shift at will, and there is no duration limit. At first level, she can only shift into Animals and only those of small or medium size. As she gets stronger, she gains more control over her ability and can turn into other types or sizes of creatures as indicated on the table. A Beastblood Shifter can only turn into creatures that she knows about. She must either have seen the creature previously or succeed on an appropriate Knowledge check against a DC of 10 + the creature's CR. The transformation is a result of her genetics and is non magical in nature. It cannot be suppressed or dispelled. This is a true change and not an illusion, but True Seeing will still reveal her natural form. If she falls unconscious or dies, she returns to her natural form, but any limbs cut off retain their shifted state.
When a Beastblood Shifter changes into a new form, she keeps her original type and traits but gains the traits and the subtypes, if any, of her new form. She simultaneously counts as both creature types for any effect that relies on type. If there is a conflict, such as if one tries to determine whether she is susceptible to a certain spell based on type, such as Charm Person, rule in the positive. She is affected because she is that type.
When she shifts, a Beastblood Shifter retains all her special qualities but loses all her special attacks. She gains all extraordinary abilities of the new form. She loses her previous natural attacks, natrual armor, and movement modes and gains those of the the new form. She retains all her ability scores but gains modifiers to her physical ability scores based on the new form. For each score, subtract 10 (if even) or 11 (if odd) to determine the modifiers of the new form. For example, if she were to turn into a wolf with the stats 13 Str, 15 Dex, and 15 Con, she would gain +2 Str, +4 Dex, and +4 Con. Regardless of her new Constitution score, her current and max hit point do not change. They are always based on her natural Constitution. She does not gain any innate spellcasting or manifesting the creature may possess.
A Beastblood Shifter can turn into creatures of equal or fewer hit dice. However, her total number of HD do not change if she turns into a creature with less. She cannot become creatures with templates, creatures with more than the normal number of HD, creatures with class levels, incoporeal creatures, or creatures with the swarm subtype.
When she shifts, all of a Beastblood Shifter's equipment merges into her body and returns when she adopts her natural form. Any magic items she wore continue granting their benefits, but anything that must be activated to use becomes useless. This is excepted when she turns into any creature with a humanoid-shaped body such as most Humanoids, Monstrous Humanoids, Giants, or Fey. Any equipment that she could reasonably wear and/or use remains. As her shifting is non-magical, if she adopts a form that is larger or smaller than her natural state, her equipment does not automatically resize to fit her. If she would be unable to wear or use something due to size, it merges with her when she shifts. If the Beastblood Shifter's natural form is something other than a humanoid-shaped creature, then her equipment maintains for any form that shares a similar body structure to her and merges with all others. For instance, a centaur would keep her horseshoes when shifting into a unicorn but not when shifting into a bear.
A Beastblood Shifter can speak in any form she takes, but if she turns into something without hands, she cannot manipulate objects or perform somatic components.
A Beastblood Shifter possesses the Shapechanger subtype and is immune to polymorphing effects. She does not suffer aging penalties and cannot die of old age.
Fast Movement (Ex): A Beastblood Shifter gains fast movement as the barbarian ability. This bonus applies to both her normal movement as well as all movement modes of the forms she turns into.
Bonus Feats: A Beastblood Shifter gains three bonus feats. She gets Alertness at level one, Track at level two, and Endurance at level three.
Evasion (Ex): At second level, a Beastblood Shifter gains evasion as the rogue ability.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At second level, a Beastblood Shifter gains uncanny dodge as the barbarian ability.
Rapid Shifting (Ex): When she reaches level six, a Beastblood Shifter has had enough experience shifting that she can now do so as a swift action.
Supernatural Shifting (Su): Upon reaching level ten, a Beastblood Shifter learns how to acquire the supernatural abilities of the creatures she becomes.
Enhanced Shifting (Ex): By level fourteen, a Beastblood Shifter possesses enough control over her body to fine-tune and modify it to her specifications. She can augment her physical ability stats by an amount up to her class level. She can divide it between the three in any way she likes, but no one bonus can be higher than her Constitution modifier (before applying this ability). She can modify her stats at will as a move action. This ability is usable even in her natural form.
Magical Shifting (Su): At level eighteen, a Beastblood Shifter has gained enough power to acquire the spell-like and psi-like abilities of the creatures she becomes. However, each ability is usable no more than once per day, even if she turns into a different creature with the same ability. She does not gain any racial spellcasting or manifesting.
Shifting Mastery (Ex): A twentieth level Beastblood Shifter has mastered her own body. She becomes immune to paralysis and all transmutation effects. She can, however, voluntarily choose to be affected by such effects.
Armored Shifting [General]:
When shifted, you gain a bonus to natural armor equal to 1/2 your HD. If you possess Enhanced Shifting, this bonus also applies in your natural state.
Celestial Shifting [General]:
Prerequisites: Shifting, Non-Evil Alignment
You can shift into creatures with the Celestial template. You can only apply the template to creatures that are normally allowed to have it.
Fiendish Shifting [General]:
Prerequisites: Shifting, Non-Good Alignment
You can shift into creatures with the Fiendish template. You can only apply the template to creatures that are normally allowed to have it.
Improved Shifting [General]:
The HD limit of creatures you can turn into improves by one. This feat can be taken multiple times.
Kaiju Shifting [General]:
Prerequisites: Shifting (Colossal), Improved Shifting, Variable Shifting
When using the Variable Shifting feat, you can increase beyond Colossal size. Doing so doubles your height and octuples your weight. You gain +12 Strength, -4 Dexterity, +6 Constitution, +6 Natural Armor, +8 Grapple, -8 Hide, and -6 Attack/AC. Kaiju Shifting can only be used on creatures that are naturally Colossal size. This feat can be taken multiple times, each time allowing you to increase your size even further. Apply the same size modifiers for each increase.
Microbial Shifting [General]:
Prerequisites: Shifting (Fine), Improved Shifting, Variable Shifting
When using the Variable Shifting feat, you can decrease beyond Fine size. Doing so halves your height and eighths your weight. You gain +6 Dexterity, -4 Strength (minimum 1), -4 Constitution (minimum 1), -8 Grapple, +8 Hide, +6 Attack/AC. Microbial Shifting cam only be used on creatures that are naturally Fine size. This feat can be taken multiple times, each time allowing you to decrease your size even further. Apply the same size modifiers for each decrease.
Morphic Shifting [General]:
Prerequisites: Shifting, Improved Shifting, +5 BAB
When shifted into a form with at least one natural weapon, you can increase all natural weapons by one die step.
Necrotic Shifting [General]:
Prerequisites: Supernatural Shifting, 13 Int
You can shift into creatures of the Undead type. Add Knowledge (Religion) to your list of class skills. You can treat it as a class skill on the level you take this feat. When you shift into an undead creature, you retain your normal constitution score.
Planar Shifting [General]:
Prerequisites: Magical Shifting, Celestial Shifting or Fiendish Shifting, 17 Int
You can shift into creatures of the Outsider type. Add Knowledge (The Planes) to your list of class skills. You can treat it as a class skill on the level you take this feat. When you shift into an outsider, you acquire the native subtype
Practiced Shifting [General]:
The HD limit of creatures you can turn into improves by 4, but not above your HD total.
Structured Shifting [General]:
Prerequisites: Enhanced Shifting, 15 Int
You can shift into creatures of the Construct type. Add Craft to your list of class skills. You can treat it as a class skill on the level you take this feat. When you shift into a construct, you retain your normal constitution score.
Variable Shifting [General]:
Prerequisites: Rapid Shifting, Improved Shifting
While shifted, you can, as a move action, increase or decrease the size of your form, applying the stat changes from the table Changes to Statistics by Size under Improving Creatures. You must be able to shift into the size you are becoming, and you cannot change beyond one step in either direcrion. You cannot become larger than Colossal or smaller than Fine.