Shifters

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I'm new to D&D and was wondering if there is any way to choose what animal a shifter is descended from in character creation? Or is it something I decide and just tell the others in my group that that is the animal my character is descended from?
From PHB2:

Longtooth shifters claim werewolves as ancestors and have a vaguely canine cast to their features that becomes much more pronounced when they use their longtooth shifting power. Razorclaw shifters are descended from weretigers and are more catlike, particularly when using razorclaw shifting.



That said, I don't know how your group feels about reflavouring, but you can easily reflavour this to be whatever you want and whatever makes sense in your campaign.
DM advice: 1. Do a Session Zero. 2. Start With Action. 3. Always say "Yes" to player ideas. 4. Don't build railroads. 5. Make success, failure, and middling rolls interesting. Player advice: 1. Don't be a dick. 2. Build off each other, don't block each other. 3. You're supposed to be a badass. Act like it. Take risks. My poorly updated blog: http://engineeredfun.wordpress.com/
So there is no real way to choose an animal in character creation? If I were to reflavour my shifter say into a wolverine shifter which one would I choose Longtooth or Razorclaw?
So there is no real way to choose an animal in character creation?



The closest thing to an animal would probably be Hengeyokai.  What exactly did you have in mind?

Or, you can ask your DM if you can reflavour an existing race to whatever it is that you want.  This is when you take an existing race, keep the mechanics, but change its fiction for something else.  I've done it a couple times when I wanted to play races that aren't listed.

If I were to reflavour my shifter say into a wolverine shifter which one would I choose Longtooth or Razorclaw?



For a Shifter, when you create your character, you choose either Longtooth or Razorclaw shifter.  If you want one who is descended from wolverines, choose Longtooth.
DM advice: 1. Do a Session Zero. 2. Start With Action. 3. Always say "Yes" to player ideas. 4. Don't build railroads. 5. Make success, failure, and middling rolls interesting. Player advice: 1. Don't be a dick. 2. Build off each other, don't block each other. 3. You're supposed to be a badass. Act like it. Take risks. My poorly updated blog: http://engineeredfun.wordpress.com/
Ok you have peeked my interest with the Hengeyokai. What kind of class would be suited for a Hengeyokai?
Ok you have peeked my interest with the Hengeyokai. What kind of class would be suited for a Hengeyokai?



Predator Druids (Wis/Dex) work well with Hengeyokai and are big on the shapeshifting into creatures and hitting things.  You are also not limited to what you shapeshift into.

Pursuit Avenger (Wis/Dex) also work and they have a lot of very highly mobile powers that you can refluff into skittering about as a small animal.

Storm Sorcerers (Cha/Dex) work well if you want to play a caster of some kind.

Rangers (Dex/Wis) work well and if you really want one you can have a beast companion.  Just don't fall into the trap of a melee ranger (good in normal situations, but you have no +str). 

Rogue (Dex/Cha) could work as long as you don't pick the Str options.

Monk (Dex/Wis) works well and you could refluff your bursts to something shapeshifty.  This also doesn't require you to fight with a weapon which might be cool for the shapeshifter.

Vampire (Dex/Cha) is generally a pretty bad class, but if you aren't playing High-op it doesn't matter as much.  

There is also the Fey Beast Tamer theme if you want an animal companion and a couple of were-type themes you can take for shapeshifting characters if you want. The were-themes in particular let you pick an animal to be a were-version of.
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I was thinking of rolling a badger or dog Hengeyokai. Which of those classes you listed would be good?
Ok you have peeked my interest with the Hengeyokai. What kind of class would be suited for a Hengeyokai?



Predator Druids (Wis/Dex) work well with Hengeyokai and are big on the shapeshifting into creatures and hitting things.  You are also not limited to what you shapeshift into.

Pursuit Avenger (Wis/Dex) also work and they have a lot of very highly mobile powers that you can refluff into skittering about as a small animal.

Storm Sorcerers (Cha/Dex) work well if you want to play a caster of some kind.

Rangers (Dex/Wis) work well and if you really want one you can have a beast companion.  Just don't fall into the trap of a melee ranger (good in normal situations, but you have no +str). 

Rogue (Dex/Cha) could work as long as you don't pick the Str options.

Monk (Dex/Wis) works well and you could refluff your bursts to something shapeshifty.  This also doesn't require you to fight with a weapon which might be cool for the shapeshifter.

Vampire (Dex/Cha) is generally a pretty bad class, but if you aren't playing High-op it doesn't matter as much.  

There is also the Fey Beast Tamer theme if you want an animal companion and a couple of were-type themes you can take for shapeshifting characters if you want. The were-themes in particular let you pick an animal to be a were-version of.





I found a class called the Ranger(Scout) which one of the animal forms would be best for it? Or does it really matter?


So there is no real way to choose an animal in character creation? If I were to reflavour my shifter say into a wolverine shifter which one would I choose Longtooth or Razorclaw?



Whichever you like.  It's pure fluff, and entirely your choice.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Ok you have peeked my interest with the Hengeyokai. What kind of class would be suited for a Hengeyokai?



Predator Druids (Wis/Dex) work well with Hengeyokai and are big on the shapeshifting into creatures and hitting things.  You are also not limited to what you shapeshift into.

Pursuit Avenger (Wis/Dex) also work and they have a lot of very highly mobile powers that you can refluff into skittering about as a small animal.

Storm Sorcerers (Cha/Dex) work well if you want to play a caster of some kind.

Rangers (Dex/Wis) work well and if you really want one you can have a beast companion.  Just don't fall into the trap of a melee ranger (good in normal situations, but you have no +str). 

Rogue (Dex/Cha) could work as long as you don't pick the Str options.

Monk (Dex/Wis) works well and you could refluff your bursts to something shapeshifty.  This also doesn't require you to fight with a weapon which might be cool for the shapeshifter.

Vampire (Dex/Cha) is generally a pretty bad class, but if you aren't playing High-op it doesn't matter as much.  

There is also the Fey Beast Tamer theme if you want an animal companion and a couple of were-type themes you can take for shapeshifting characters if you want. The were-themes in particular let you pick an animal to be a were-version of.





I found a class called the Ranger(Scout) which one of the animal forms would be best for it? Or does it really matter?





Doesn't matter, they will all be ok.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
So there is no real way to choose an animal in character creation? If I were to reflavour my shifter say into a wolverine shifter which one would I choose Longtooth or Razorclaw?



Whichever you like.  It's pure fluff, and entirely your choice.

This.  Feel free to add whatever flavor you'd like to your character.  You want to play a shifter descended from a were-wolverine.  Cool.  That sounds like fun.
The above notwithstanding, using the "Hengeyokai" racial mechanics instead of the "Shifter" one is almost always going to give you a better result, including theme-mechanics matchup for a shapeshifter. (The "shifter" race resembles the Hulk more than a werewolf.)
The above notwithstanding, using the "Hengeyokai" racial mechanics instead of the "Shifter" one is almost always going to give you a better result, including theme-mechanics matchup for a shapeshifter. (The "shifter" race resembles the Hulk more than a werewolf.)



Why better result?  From a CharOp perspective Shifter is a lot more optimization friendly than Hengeyokai.  Or do you mean the fluff of shapeshifting (which as previously mentioned can and should be changed to match whatever you want)?
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
Mostly the latter, somewhat the former.

Shifters are only op-friendly if you include Bloodclaw Weapons or the like, so that their one racial ability can actually be used with some reliability. Without that, they're pretty bad.

As for the latter, a hengeyokai has an actual shapeshifting power that can be used at any time. The shifter - without Bloodclaw tricks - maybe gets to go "RARR!" if it gets badly injured, which is good for impersonating The Incredible Hulk, but not much else.

Regardless of how you fluff the appearance of the character in either case - and if you really want to make it solely a fluff argument then a plain old human can be refluffed as changing form all the time too - the hengeyokai's racial traits still make for a better match to the concept, and also make for a better match between mechanical function and thematic expectation.

My son played a Hengeyokai Scout a while back.  It was a pretty good character.  He went with the monkey one.  Had climb speed in monkey form.  He could get into places that were difficult to reach with no issues.  Made great use of high stealth skill.  He also spent most of his time in monkey form on the shoulder of one character or another.  Only went into "human" form when he needed to.  


I remember one encounter where he never left monkey form.  It was a slave pen of sorts.  Had to fight some slave masters.  There was a steep slope in one spot. He climbed right up the slope then ran fromone slave to another picking the locks that were holding them.  He turned what could have been a pretty hard fight into a prison riot with the slaves overrunning the masters.


Also scouts are a pretty durable class with good damage.  And hengeyokai are a really interesting race.


TjD


My son played a Hengeyokai Scout a while back.  It was a pretty good character.  He went with the monkey one.  Had climb speed in monkey form.  He could get into places that were difficult to reach with no issues.  Made great use of high stealth skill.  He also spent most of his time in monkey form on the shoulder of one character or another.  Only went into "human" form when he needed to.  


I remember one encounter where he never left monkey form.  It was a slave pen of sorts.  Had to fight some slave masters.  There was a steep slope in one spot. He climbed right up the slope then ran fromone slave to another picking the locks that were holding them.  He turned what could have been a pretty hard fight into a prison riot with the slaves overrunning the masters.


Also scouts are a pretty durable class with good damage.  And hengeyokai are a really interesting race.


TjD




I find That is the strength of hedgeyokai, their ability to get to places most other character can't reach easily, combine that with good scouting potential and the right skills and they can provide huge impact on the non combat side.
Had a fox hedgeyokai paladin, turned into the party scout and wasn't limited by 'standard' holes, she managed to sneak into the 2nd floor of a guarded house complete with bared windows which she could squeeze through, in broad daylight, and even if she was discovered usually resulted in a "shoo you mangy fox" response
What would be a good class for a badger hengeyokai?
What would be a good class for a badger hengeyokai?



I answered the question.

In detail.

In this thread.

On this page. 
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
What about a Honey Werebadger?....  : )


I am currently playing a razorclaw shifter and the first thing I asked was:  can I be the offspring of a rhino?..........

Perhaps in Edition 4.5 for D&D, there will be a race that let's the player literally completely customize their character from a history of any animal in existence or in history.....

Wishful thinking?.....
What about a Honey Werebadger?....  : )


I am currently playing a razorclaw shifter and the first thing I asked was:  can I be the offspring of a rhino?..........

Perhaps in Edition 4.5 for D&D, there will be a race that let's the player literally completely customize their character from a history of any animal in existence or in history.....

Wishful thinking?.....



Thats called Refluffling.  And it is something you can and should use in 4e right now.  For more detail see the video in my signature.

So, you want to be the offspring of a Rhino?  Great, lets work this in and see how to make it work. Although Centauri is redundant to the point that it is near impossible for me to read his posts anymore, he has a point when he says "Yes, and" is a big part of the game.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
I answered the question.

In detail.

In this thread.

On this page. 



I'm almost 2 months late to the punchline, but man was that funny.

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

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I answered the question.

In detail.

In this thread.

On this page. 



I'm almost 2 months late to the punchline, but man was that funny.



Glad you liked it
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
Show
Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
What about a Honey Werebadger?....  : )


I am currently playing a razorclaw shifter and the first thing I asked was:  can I be the offspring of a rhino?..........

Perhaps in Edition 4.5 for D&D, there will be a race that let's the player literally completely customize their character from a history of any animal in existence or in history.....

Wishful thinking?.....



I guess the speed and defense bonus would make sense for a rhino shifter, too bad it doesn't happen until you are bloodied.

Personally, if I were going to play a "Beasthide" or "Gorebrute" Shifter, I would refluff a Minotaur

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