Shifters: Why didn't the 4e PH2 give nearly unlimied options for animal choices?....................

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Taking tasty re-flavouring into account, I know it's an option..... However, why does WotC come out w/ a separate players handbook, completely and utterly devoted Shifters.  A full manual, detailing and outlining that Shifters can come from any animal in the D&D world!!!!  How cool would that be?

There would be a nearly unlimited amount of race options available!  Including sizes, giving PCs the option of tiny, small, medium, maybe large?......

Then, we wouldn't need re-flavouring.....

It's like this:  Currently - You can't be a rhino based shifter..... but you can season the rules w/ paprika or thyme and work it in and by a rhino based shifter.

It should be like this:  You can be a rhino based shifter..... no garlic re-flavouring needed.  And here's how you do it.


I'm just saying....  A D&D book dedicated entirely to the Shifter-type race, giving PCs the ability to create they're own races based on REAL rules and such from WotC!!!!!

Thoughts?
I think not many people really care about shifters.
1) WotC tried doing race-specific splats.  For dragonborn and tieflings.  Originally, it was suppose to be a series, but they didn't sell well.  One could argue that their approach was flawed (I would), but their first attempt didn't do well, which only provided a disincentive towards trying again with an even less popular race.  And with 4e development winding down, there is little reason to attempt such a financial gamble now unless there was some definite, widespread interest.  So that ship has sailed.  At best, we might see an article in Dragon.

2) Early 4e development was very (arguably too) conservative when it came to potentially unbalanced mechanics like size changes, as to not repeat some of the mistakes of the previous dition.  The developers didn't really relax the reins on maintaining balance until later.  Perhaps if the shifters came out later in 4e development, when the development team was a little more liberal, we would have seen more shifter options.  But shifters needed to be released around the time Eberron was.

2.5) And on that note, you might want to check out the hengeyokai that were printed in Dragon.  They're an animal hybrid race that can polymorph into tiny animal forms at will.  So they definitely have a shifter vibe to them.

3) Homebrewing racial mechanics is pretty easy to do in 4e.  Adding a rhino option to shifters would be relatively simple.  Nigh effortless.  In addition, other avenues for expansion, such as themes and paragon paths, could be explored as well.  We have, for example, several official were-creature themes that could act as great templates for similar shifter-specific mechanics.
Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.

Where would they stop?


Everyone else has given you the obvious answers, but you have to think about it as Drawing a Line in the sand. They gave us 2 shifter Races; and as mentioned the hengeyokai can be any animal-man hybrid you could dram of (And also turn into animals!) That should be enough.


If they tried to do a book on just shifter options; then all the Elf lovers would cry foul and want a book on every sub-race of elf


Then the dwarf lovers would want in. Then the slippery slope has begun.


There are infinite books they could make if they go down that road, but I think they stopped where they did because they have the mechanics out there; why make books of just fluff?


Also; why is Refulffing so bad? It’s as easy as stating it exists. You can Play ANYTHING your heart can envision in DnD you just have to choose a set of mechanics for it. ((Hell be an ooze using the Druid build))


Want to Play a Rhino shifter; no one is stopping you (Even though I’d make it a Gnoll & not a shifter since they have charge powers)

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1) WotC tried doing race-specific splats.  For dragonborn and tieflings.  Originally, it was suppose to be a series, but they didn't sell well.  One could argue that their approach was flawed (I would), but their first attempt didn't do well, which only provided a disincentive towards trying again with an even less popular race.  And with 4e development winding down, there is little reason to attempt such a financial gamble now unless there was some definite, widespread interest.  So that ship has sailed.  At best, we might see an article in Dragon.


Interestingly enough, the Tiefling and Dragonborn splats are two of my favorite books of the edition.  I got a ton of ideas from those books.  I'll agree with the flawed approach, though.  It sounds like a nice idea: a small book devoted to a single race for a low price.  I think it would have been better, however, to write one for every race in the PHB and then combine them all into a single book at the normal hardcover price.  I think that would have gone over much better.

Who knows?  We might have continued to see race-specific feats, rather than the shift toward making everything generic (like the dwarven feats that don't require the dwarven race).

then all the Elf lovers would cry foul and want a book on every sub-race of elf

Then the dwarf lovers would want in. Then the slippery slope has begun.



It's not like there's not precedent for this.  We've got 13 varieties of genasi now.

I’m all for magazine releases to update races (As with the corrupted Genasi; not sure where they added the desert ones)


I wish they would do more (many monsterious races NEED an update (Bullywogs anyone?)


But if they started releasing full sized books for it; it would get crazy quick since you could arguably make one for every races variants (hell even humans have different bloodlines)


It would be COOL I admit; but there are other areas I wish they would focus (Adding more Classes/items/traps /themes ext)


Add more Mechanical content that can be used in a wide variety of ways, instead of just sub-choices to go with your favorite race.

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Also the Shifter race is the product of a human race and Lycanthrope race pairing.
I din't think that 4E currenty has a wer-rhino.
Far as I remember in 4E the only lycanthropes are Tigers, Wolves, Bears, and Rats.
The writers or a homebrew could come up with other animal men but with out a lycanthrope progenitor they should not be defined as shifters.      
The sea looks at the stabillity of the mountian and sighs. The mountian watches the freedom of the sea and cries.
Far as I remember in 4E the only lycanthropes are Tigers, Wolves, Bears, and Rats.

Also Wereserpents (FRCG p.270) and Wereboars (MM2 p.158).

why does WotC come out w/ a separate players handbook, completely and utterly devoted Shifters.  A full manual, detailing and outlining that Shifters can come from any animal in the D&D world!!!!  How cool would that be?



Not very.

There would be a nearly unlimited amount of race options available!  Including sizes, giving PCs the option of tiny, small, medium, maybe large?......



Rules problems, ahoy!

Currently - You can't be a rhino based shifter



Wrong.

I'm just saying....  A D&D book dedicated entirely to the Shifter-type race, giving PCs the ability to create they're own races based on REAL rules and such from WotC!!!!!

Thoughts?



Play Ironclaw, if that's what you want.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
then all the Elf lovers would cry foul and want a book on every sub-race of elf

Then the dwarf lovers would want in. Then the slippery slope has begun.



It's not like there's not precedent for this.  We've got 13 varieties of genasi now.



wait what?  we have more genasi than elves?  FOUL!  More elf stuff nao! 
As to the Racial Feats thing, the reason they've de-emphasized them and released some 'racial' feats without race prereqs is the same reason they don't do things like AD&D's level limits and alignment restrictions. Who's to tell me that I shouldn't be putting the 'Dwarf Axe Murderer' feat on my human that was raised by dwarves or whatever?  Or that I shouldn't reuse it with different fluff to represent something slightly different? Truthfully there's no perfectly correct call here, they could generify everything down to just "here's a mechanic, make up whatever explanation for it you want, then decide what it can be used with" or they could go to the opposite extreme and have 12 repetitions of basicaly the same feat with just fluff differences. Clearly WotC preferred a middle-of-the-road approach. Over time they have steered more towards a slightly more generic approach without very many prereqs etc, yet they will still certainly put out several feats that are basically the same thing with just different fluff and maybe a keyword that is different or something.

At this point IMHO so many options exist in 4e that it is pretty hard to NOT be able to find ones that can be repurposed for whatever you can think of. The real problem is FINDING what you want. The DDI Compendium and CB are your friend on that score, but nothing is perfect.

Oh, and I'd be up to see some new variations of the Shifter. We CAN make our own/refluff/etc but it wouldn't hurt anything if we got some classics like Boar, Bear, and maybe Lizard or something like that anyway. Hengayoki are nice, but there is some degree of thematic light between that and western-style shifters.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
When shifters first were published, I think everyone was on board with the bite, claws, tough hide, and super-hunter shifter traits, and some liked the climbing & fast-moving traits. But the sky was the limit as far as 3e lycanthropy was concerned, so we eventually got shifters with feathery wings, rhino horns, and even dinosaur traits. I'm curious how often those types actually saw use at the table.

In the end, reflavor and tell your DM ahead of time, so he'll know how to deal with your very unique shifter. Legendarily rare type of shifter? A unique figure of prophecy? Or something else entirely?
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
I would charge at LordofWeasels if I were a rhino shifter.
When shifters first were published, I think everyone was on board with the bite, claws, tough hide, and super-hunter shifter traits, and some liked the climbing & fast-moving traits. But the sky was the limit as far as 3e lycanthropy was concerned, so we eventually got shifters with feathery wings, rhino horns, and even dinosaur traits. I'm curious how often those types actually saw use at the table.



The one with the wings, and the Dreamsight shifter, saw some pretty heavy use at my table ... mostly 'cause the Dreamsight got a wisdom bonus.  Hello, druid.
I would charge at LordofWeasels if I were a rhino shifter.



And it would be difficult, since we're not in the same game, let alone in reach of your Speed + MBA.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
Honestly, the 4e shifters are a horrible mess.

They probably didnt get much love due to low popularity...because they were a horrible mess.


Genasai on the other hand, likely enjoyed alot of popularity being the only Str/Int (and now one of the few Int/Con) races. Not to mention being alot better. 
Honestly, the 4e shifters are a horrible mess.

They probably didnt get much love due to low popularity...because they were a horrible mess.


Genasai on the other hand, likely enjoyed alot of popularity being the only Str/Int (and now one of the few Int/Con) races. Not to mention being alot better. 



I don't care.  Shifters are cool.  Genasi aren't, IMNSHO.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Honestly, the 4e shifters are a horrible mess.

They probably didnt get much love due to low popularity...because they were a horrible mess.


Genasai on the other hand, likely enjoyed alot of popularity being the only Str/Int (and now one of the few Int/Con) races. Not to mention being alot better. 



I don't care.  Shifters are cool.  Genasi aren't, IMNSHO.



Oh for sure. I've notice shifters pop up a few times because people thought they were cool, while Genasai popped up only when the person was looking for the right ability scores.


Oddly enough ,the shifters all didn't like their chars in the end, and either quit or changed character, while the genasai player is still playing. 
Honestly, the 4e shifters are a horrible mess.

They probably didnt get much love due to low popularity...because they were a horrible mess.


Genasai on the other hand, likely enjoyed alot of popularity being the only Str/Int (and now one of the few Int/Con) races. Not to mention being alot better. 



I don't care.  Shifters are cool.  Genasi aren't, IMNSHO.



Oh for sure. I've notice shifters pop up a few times because people thought they were cool, while Genasai popped up only when the person was looking for the right ability scores.


Oddly enough ,the shifters all didn't like their chars in the end, and either quit or changed character, while the genasai player is still playing. 

Yeah, I just thought Genasi were quite colorless. They might be somewhat mechanically more potent than shifters, possibly. I certainly don't think shifters are "a mess" though. What's wrong with them? I think they're rather good for what they were designed for, the player that likes that fluff but isn't going crazy with it. Their character has a bit of weirdness, a touch of the strange about them. Sort of like those cat women in that old 50's movie. It is always possible to push further into the concept and say use the BoVD to add in true lycanthropy, etc.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
The core of the problem is they dont really have racial bonuses until they are bloodied. It doesnt help that now, with flex stats, you get 'stuck' with one entire set of racials just because you want Strength or Dex.

Oddly enough, the Genasai in my group is actually flavoured as sort of an elemental spirit of an ancient ruler (we were at epic tier when she joined).
The core of the problem is they dont really have racial bonuses until they are bloodied. It doesnt help that now, with flex stats, you get 'stuck' with one entire set of racials just because you want Strength or Dex.

Oddly enough, the Genasai in my group is actually flavoured as sort of an elemental spirit of an ancient ruler (we were at epic tier when she joined).



Oh no, I need a bloodfury weapon... Check, and pewpew.
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Apart from the inherent stupidity of making a race's effectiveness depend on the presence and use of a specific magic item...

...you need to use the power of a Bloodfury Weapon, which means you need to waste even more actions to get your racial power to function, especially if you want to wield something else to actually attack with (which you probably do).

...nor is this helpful until you actually get one, meaning that you're effectively featureless for anywhere from one to several levels before someone can make one...

...and then the introduction of Rarity as of Essentials bleeps you over because it's an uncommon and therefore can't be made by players, so you're down to "DM May I?" begging if you want one.
Taking tasty re-flavouring into account, I know it's an option..... However, why does WotC come out w/ a separate players handbook, completely and utterly devoted Shifters.  A full manual, detailing and outlining that Shifters can come from any animal in the D&D world!!!!  How cool would that be?

Pretty cool.  They probably would've, eventually, if they'd stuck with the original 4e model.  The original plan was a new set of core books each year (PH, DMG, MM), 'Powers' books, and 'Race' books.  Two race books were done, Dragonborn and Tiefling.  It might have been a long wait for Shifters, but it could've been possible.

That model only lasted a little over 2 years - long enough for a MM3 and a PH3 but not a DMG3 - and was supplanted by Essentials, and, now, the 5e playtest.  

So, 0 hope for a shifter book.  

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

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Taking tasty re-flavouring into account, I know it's an option..... However, why does WotC come out w/ a separate players handbook, completely and utterly devoted Shifters.  A full manual, detailing and outlining that Shifters can come from any animal in the D&D world!!!!  How cool would that be?

Pretty cool.  They probably would've, eventually, if they'd stuck with the original 4e model.  The original plan was a new set of core books each year (PH, DMG, MM), 'Powers' books, and 'Race' books.  Two race books were done, Dragonborn and Tiefling.  It might have been a long wait for Shifters, but it could've been possible.

That model only lasted a little over 2 years - long enough for a MM3 and a PH3 but not a DMG3 - and was supplanted by Essentials, and, now, the 5e playtest.  

So, 0 hope for a shifter book.  




Why must you mention the lack of the DMG 3 *cries* the DMG 1 & 2 were amazing... i wanna know what it had to say about epic tier

and looking at this thread... i suddenly feel like i'm in the minority when it comes to liking Genasi for flavor reasons XD   

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and looking at this thread... i suddenly feel like i'm in the minority when it comes to liking Genasi for flavor reasons XD   



I dig the Genasi flavor and concept.

Going to do a little refluffing of them in my next campaign, though. I'll be setting it around the Dawn War, just after the Primal Spirits kick out the Gods and Primordials. The Genasi will be to the Primordials what the Deva are to the gods.

Yes; sadly now with 5e on the horizon we are going to see little to no support for shifters, unless it comes in a D-magazine (Which I don’t know why they would, considering they have reworked bladelings and hob-gobs recently)


Honestly still a bit peved they are not expanding 4th and going to something new; but that’s for a different thread.


I started playing a Gensai for the first time last night, and I have to admit I think they are a cool race they seem to have a decent back-story and a diverse range of option (and with feat support to match!)


Our DM though has made the Gensai( voidsoul for the win!) not a race in the world; but more of a bloodline, cretin humans are just born with primordial magic’s  within them.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/1.jpg)

then all the Elf lovers would cry foul and want a book on every sub-race of elf

Then the dwarf lovers would want in. Then the slippery slope has begun.



It's not like there's not precedent for this.  We've got 13 varieties of genasi now.



wait what?  we have more genasi than elves?  FOUL!  More elf stuff nao! 



Well, lets count them up!

Drow 
Eladrin
Moon Elf (Eladrin)
Sun Elf (Eladrin)
Llewyrr Elf (Eladrin) 
Elf
Wild Elf
Wood Elf
Half-Elf
Thaliessan Blooded Half-elf
Revenant (Elf)
Revenant (Eladrin)
Revenant (Half-elf)
Revenant (Drow)
Dusk Elf (Heritage)
Valenar (Feats)

And I might have missed a few.  So probably more then some people expect.
 
Ours is a world where people don't know what they want, and are willing to go through hell to get it. -Don Marquis
then all the Elf lovers would cry foul and want a book on every sub-race of elf

Then the dwarf lovers would want in. Then the slippery slope has begun.



It's not like there's not precedent for this.  We've got 13 varieties of genasi now.



wait what?  we have more genasi than elves?  FOUL!  More elf stuff nao! 



Well, lets count them up!

Drow 
Eladrin
Moon Elf (Eladrin)
Sun Elf (Eladrin)
Llewyrr Elf (Eladrin) 
Elf
Wild Elf
Wood Elf
Half-Elf
Thaliessan Blooded Half-elf
Revenant (Elf)
Revenant (Eladrin)
Revenant (Half-elf)
Revenant (Drow)
Dusk Elf (Heritage)
Valenar (Feats)

And I might have missed a few.  So probably more then some people expect.
 



And the Genasi have, just as a base
Firesoul
Earthsoul
Stormsoul
Watersoul
Windsoul
CausticSoul
Cindersoul
Plaguesoul
Voidsoul
Embersoul
Magmasoul
Sandsoul
Sunsoul

So 13.  If you actually include revenant there is a dead version of each, so 26. 
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...
and looking at this thread... i suddenly feel like i'm in the minority when it comes to liking Genasi for flavor reasons XD   

I dig the Genasi flavor and concept.

Going to do a little refluffing of them in my next campaign, though. I'll be setting it around the Dawn War, just after the Primal Spirits kick out the Gods and Primordials. The Genasi will be to the Primordials what the Deva are to the gods.

I was invited to an epic game and the character I came up with was a Genasi, PP: Prince of Genies, ED: Emergent Primordial.  The idea was that he wasn't a mortal with a talisman holding a Djinn, rather, he was an ancient Djinn from the Dawn War, bound into a mortal form...  



5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!