Unleashing the Beast: A Shifter's Handbook

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Unleashing the Beast: A Shifter's Handbook

IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/PH2/17.jpg)



Gather 'round the fire, young ones. It is time that you learned about who, and what, you are. You are inheriting a proud tradition, the way of the shifter. We are in touch with the Beast within, and can channel him to protect us or to destroy our enemies, if need be. Do not be afraid; the Beast is not there to hurt you. Instead, he is the voice within you telling you what you are. Now, enter the world, and make your race proud, brother...

This Handbook will use the following system for ratings:
Red: Garbage, or completely overshadowed by another option.
Purple: Situationally useful, but overall pretty meh.
Black: OK. You could do worse than pick this.
Blue: Good stuff. You probably want this.
Sky Blue: You want this. Period.

This Handbook covers the following sources:
AV - Adventurer's Vault
D XXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
MM - Monster Manual
MOTP - Manual of the Planes
MP - Martial Power
PHB - Player's Handbook
PHB 2 - Player's Handbook 2

Props to:
Everyone posting
Lord_Ventnor (for formatting ideas)

If you want to have a hand in editing/updating this thread, log on to the Gleemax forums with the following account:

Account Info

E-mail Address: [email]rothgar69@hotmail.com[/email]
Password: ranger

Mark of the Beast: Racial Traits



Something that characterizes us is the fact that not all of us are the same. That's right, some of you have a different Beast residing within you. Some of you have been blessed with the speed and agility of a great cat, while others bear the strength of a bear or a wolf. How you define your career is up to you, but there are things you were (literally) born to do, which will be detailed here.

Longtooth Shifters:



Ability Score Bonuses - You get bonuses to Strength and Wisdom, which are applicable to quite a few classes, especially those in the business of close combat.

Skill Bonuses - You also receive bonuses to the Athletics and Endurance skills. The Athletics skill can combine with your Strength bonus to rack up a fairly impressive modifier. The Endurance bonus is nice to have as well, just not as widely applicable.

Longtooth Shifting - And now we come to what makes you special. A bonus to damage while you're banged up is nice. A damage bonus with REGENERATION attached is fantastic. This is the best selling point for Longtooth Shifters as a racial choice, bar none.

Razorclaw Shifters:



Ability Score Bonuses - Dexterity and Wisdom are very applicable among character classes, though they do have a tendency to favor Ranged combatants over Melee.

Skill Bonuses - You receive fantastic synergy in your ability scores, with bonuses in both Acrobatics and Stealth. It's hard to line them up better than this.

Razorclaw Shifting - A particularly nice benefit for Archers, this allows you to have a contingency plan for when the going gets rough (you get the heck out of there ;)).

Beast's Strength: Martial Shifters

Longtooth Shifters:



Fighters:

Builds

The way of the disciplined warrior may seem counter-intuitive to releasing the Beast within, but in practice, the code of camaraderie and protectorship espoused by this brand of combatant is very akin to that of a pack predator, making it much easier to relate to than it would seem. You will find that this path suits you very well.

Battlerager Vigor (MP) - Your Strength bonus is very appreciated on a Fighter build that lacks an accuracy boost and gravitates toward lower-proficiency weapons, but Wisdom is of a more limited use, and your regeneration is pretty much overkill if added to the already impressive survival skills of a Battlerager. A good choice overall, but there are more efficient uses for your talents.

Tempest Technique (MP) - A beautiful choice for you, especially if you favor the more aggressive Paragon Paths, such as Pit Fighter or Son of Mercy. Your attributes line up perfectly with those paths, and your regeneration is greatly appreciated, because these Fighters are less durable.

Weapon Talent (PHB) - Fanstastic. Your attributes are excellent for Dual-wielders, Polearm users, Sword-and-Shield Fighting, and even for those two-handed weapon wielders who chose not to go for Battlerager because they favored weapons such as the Fullblade. Again, everything you do works here.


Rangers:

Builds

The way of the hunter is something that beats within the heart of all shifters. The Beast within exults in the art of the hunt, and you are well suited to the demands of the lifestyle espoused by many hunters. This path will come naturally to you in a way few others will, and it allows you to express the predatory instincts within.

Archery Style (PHB) - Your lack of a Dexterity bonus hurts here, as this path has little need of any other ability score. However, you are still competent, thanks to your bonus to Wisdom and semi-associated skill bonuses. An Archer hopes never to need your power, but it is invaluable if they ever do. This also applies to Beastmasters focusing on Archery.

Beast Mastery (MP) - Wow. Your ability scores line up perfectly here, and your racial power is very nice, because you aren't as naturally hardy as the Two-Blade Ranger. To boot, you also make your Beast better. A prime choice.

Two-Blade Style (PHB) - Again, wow. Perfect ability score synergy (even Dexterity-based builds require a smidgen of Wisdom), and a great racial power. You can't go wrong with this race-class combination. This also applies to Beastmasters focusing on two weapons.


Rogues:

Builds

While stalking potential prey is something that comes naturally to shifters, the art of the assassin is not something as easily grasped by the pack hunter. Though counter-intuitive, some can come to grasp the finesse and panache required to master this path.

Artful Dodger (PHB) - Yeah... no.

Brutal Scoundrel (PHB) - This could actually work. Though the all-important Dexterity bonus is woefully absent, you have favored secondary attributes in Strength and Wisdom (Perception is important, after all), and an Athletics bonus to at least make a decent case. Your racial power helps make one of the most fragile classes in the game a bit more survivable.

Ruthless Ruffian (MP) - Ruthless Ruffians are spread rather thin, so they need synergistic races more than any other Rogue build. You are not one of those races.


Warlords:

Builds

Although it is often overlooked, the Beast within you is a social creature, as evidenced by the pack structure it favors. Few shifters choose the path of the pack leader, but those who do are renowned for their remarkable cunning, as well as their ferocity.

Bravura Presence (MP) - Though your Wisdom bonus is wasted on a 'pure' Bravura Warlord, the Strength bonus is very welcome, and Bravura has the option of ignoring its riders and focusing on weapons instead. You excel at this second aspect of the build, especially when wielding a Polearm. To boot, your racial power is very useful to the traditionally risky Bravura Warlord.

Inspiring Presence (PHB) - Once again, your Wisdom bonus is wasted, but your Strength is welcome. Your racial ability's importance is lessened by the sheer amount of healing available to this build, though extra healing is never a waste ;). The rare Polearm Inspiring build may consider you an optimal choice.

Resourceful Presence (MP) - Same story as Inspiring... except now you have an Intelligence dependency as well. Pass on this option.

Tactical Presence (PHB) - Though your riders will be a bit smaller than for the preferred races, you can afford Polearm capability without too much trouble, and that is a major boon for the Taclord, especially because your Wisdom bonus actually helps the build's lackluster Will defense.


Razorclaw Shifters:



Fighters:

Builds

The Beast within you is a brooding loner, so the path of the warrior who defends his allies is not something that you grasp intuitively, especially because you lack some of the brute force possessed by your Longtooth cousins. However, agility and wit are strong traits in the warrior's arsenal, so this option is not closed to you if you emphasize your other talents.

Battlerager Vigor (MP) - The racial bonuses are marginally useful all around. Skip it.

Tempest Technique (MP) - Your lack of Strength hurts, but it can be overcome by the inherent accuracy and damage bonus sported by the path. Additionally, you have all the secondary abilities covered. A decent choice.

Weapon Talent (PHB) - Picking up large weapons makes up the gap from your lower Strength, and the secondary abilities are more useful for this path than for all other Fighters. A surprisingly strong choice.


Rangers:

Builds

You are a predator through and through, and this path provides an opportunity to express that instinctive tendency with impunity. The hunter's lifestyle is something that resonates deep within you, and you are well disposed to allow it to flourish.

Archery Style (PHB) - You have everything you could ever ask for; both primary ability scores, a movement-oriented ability, and associated skill bonuses. A prime choice for you. This also applies to Beastmasters willing to focus on Archery.

Beast Mastery (MP) - Though your Strength is lower than some, it won't hurt you much, because you can have your Beast attack for you and flank with you, thus masking the lower ability score.

Two-Blade Style (PHB) - You may not have as much Strength or damage-dealing as others in this line of work do, but you have everything else in secondaries and mobility, so you're still talented at this sort of thing. A strong pick. This also applies to Beastmasters willing to dual-wield.


Rogues:

Builds

Unlike your more pack-oriented cousin, you exult in the art of the silent killer. The Beast within you is patient and deadly, and you relish the art of killing with one calculated strike over going toe-to-toe with an opponent. Such is the way of the patient stalker.

Artful Dodger (PHB) - Though your Wisdom bonus does little for this sort of Rogue, everything else that you do is excellently suited for it.

Brutal Scoundrel (PHB) - A prime pick for you, this build can take advantage of everything you offer, including the bonus to Wisdom, because Brutal Scoundrels usually care little for Charisma.

Ruthless Ruffian (MP) - The hardest Rogue build of all to truly pull together, this build simply requires too much ability score stretching for anyone not carrying one of the few ideal combinations, and yours is not quite there.


Warlords:

Builds

The silent hunter rarely aspires to lead the pack, but in some rare cases, the master stalker can inspire others to follow his lead. These few leaders rely on actions over words to direct their allies in the hunt, allowing the Beast within to set the example.

Bravura Presence (MP) - Decent, if only because Bravura Warlords can potentially ignore their secondary stat and develop their character as they please, as far as ability scores are concerned.

Inspiring Presence (PHB) - Inspiring Warlords have little need for Wisdom, and while Dexterity may have some use, it is still a fairly marginal benefit.

Resourceful Presence (MP) - Don't waste your time.

Tactical Presence (PHB) - Dexterity is redundant with Intelligence, and Strength is missing. No.

Beastly Power: Arcane Shifters

Longtooth Shifters:



Bards:

Builds

Though the majority of shifter tribes have a strong oral tradition, few among your kind are truly willing to become members of the bardic tradition. The Beast within prefers action to conversation, and bards are thus rare among the shifter race. Though pack hunters are more disposed to communication than what would be assumed, few are willing to be as chatty as a bard.

Virtue of Cunning (PHB 2) - Not what you're built to do.

Virtue of Valor (PHB 2) - Again, horribly poor synergy, but at least this build uses weapons and may thus be interested in multiclassing into something you might be good at.


Sorcerers:

Builds

Although you have the blood of a mythical creature coursing through your veins, the presence of the lycanthrope lends itself more to feats of a physical nature than the raw arcane talent exhibited by the sorcerer. However, the latent power of the Beast within can still be channeled. The physical power of the Dragon path is more appealing to the pack hunter, but even then the link is tenuous.

Dragon Magic (PHB 2) - You have the secondary stat in Strength, and your Wisdom bonus should make it easy to afford Staff Training. Not the best choice out there, but it's not bad.

Wild Magic (PHB 2) - This is a bad career choice for you. Avoid like the plague.


Swordmages:

Builds

The shifter race spent most of its existence in the natural world, away from the paragons of civilization that produced the arts of the Swordmage. However, the Beast within can find a way to express itself in any art of combat, regardless of how obscure it may be. Though the principles can find a place in the pack hunter's mentality, the applications are not as well suited.

Aegis of Assault (FRPG) - A Strength bonus is useful for the riders on the abilities, and a Wisdom bonus helps toward the Wandering Swordmage paragon path. Regen is nice, too, so it's a decent choice.

Aegis of Shielding (FRPG) - Wisdom is nice for Wandering Swordmage, and regen is nice for all the enemy attention you invariably will garner. Not many perks other than that, though.


Warlocks:

Builds

The natural alertness of the shifter race, combined with the supernatural presence of the Beast within, drives few towards the path of the Warlock. However, some few desperate individuals may find themselves making pacts with these other supernatural creatures. However, the Beast within will not take to such intrusions kindly.

Dark Pact (FRPG) - Wha...?

Fey Pact (PHB) - Not even close.

Infernal Pact (PHB) - Not much synergy, unless you go the Heavy Armor route, and it's still not that great an idea.

Star Pact (PHB) - Move along, nothing to see.


Wizards:

Builds

The study of the arcane arts is something few shifters have access to. Learning to mold the world around you to your whims is a task ill suited to the adventurous and physical shifter race, especially the Beast within the pack hunter, which favors physical strength almost to a tee.

Orb of Imposition (PHB) - You can afford Hide more easily than most, and your Wisdom bonus isn't wasted. Mediocre overall, though.

Staff of Defense (PHB) - Offers easy Hide access, and some synergy with Orbs if you invest in your Wisdom.

Wand of Accuracy (PHB) - Pass on this option.


Razorclaw Shifters:



Bards:

Builds

Though the majority of shifter tribes have a strong oral tradition, few among your kind are truly willing to become members of the bardic tradition. The Beast within prefers action to conversation, and bards are thus rare among the shifter race. The silent hunters are indisposed to the chatter that personifies the bard, and thus chafe at the lifestyle.

Virtue of Cunning (PHB 2) - Not what you're built to do.

Virtue of Valor (PHB 2) - Again, horribly poor synergy, but at least this build uses weapons and may thus be interested in multiclassing into something you might be good at.


Sorcerers:

Builds

Although you have the blood of a mythical creature coursing through your veins, the presence of the lycanthrope lends itself more to feats of a physical nature than the raw arcane talent exhibited by the sorcerer. However, the latent power of the Beast within can still be channeled. Though you may have a slight inclination towards the wild, the Beast within still demands most of your subconscious.

Dragon Magic (PHB 2) - It's just not a good idea for you.

Wild Magic (PHB 2) - The bonus to Dexterity helps, as does the ease with which you can obtain Staff Fighting if you choose that route, but nothing else has much draw.


Swordmages:

Builds

The shifter race spent most of its existence in the natural world, away from the paragons of civilization that produced the arts of the Swordmage. However, the Beast within can find a way to express itself in any art of combat, regardless of how obscure it may be. The solitary hunter within you especially chafes at the teamwork-oriented lifestyle of the Swordmage, making this a particularly difficult path to master.

Aegis of Assault (FRPG) - A Dexterity bonus can be useful for Arcane Reach and Heavy Blade Opportunity, and a Wisdom bonus helps toward the Wandering Swordmage paragon path. Not enough for viability, though.

Aegis of Shielding (FRPG) - Wisdom is nice for Wandering Swordmage. The benefits end there.


Warlocks:

Builds

The natural alertness of the shifter race, combined with the supernatural presence of the Beast within, drives few towards the path of the Warlock. However, some few desperate individuals may find themselves making pacts with these other supernatural creatures. However, the silent hunter's individualistic nature makes them very poor at toadying up to other creatures for power.

Dark Pact (FRPG) - Wha...?

Fey Pact (PHB) - Not even close.

Infernal Pact (PHB) - Really, really bad.

Star Pact (PHB) - Move along, nothing to see.


Wizards:

Builds

The study of the arcane arts is something few shifters have access to. Learning to mold the world around you to your whims is a task ill suited to the adventurous and physical shifter race. The silent hunters may be able to learn one of these trades, but they will be ill suited to it.

Orb of Imposition (PHB) - You can afford to dump Dexterity harder than most, and your Wisdom bonus isn't wasted. Mediocre overall, though.

Staff of Defense (PHB) - Offers easy Dexterity-dumping, and some synergy with Orbs if you invest in your Wisdom.

Wand of Accuracy (PHB) - Offers a touch of Dexterity, and Orb synergy via Wisdom. Still not enough, though.

Beast's Faith: Divine Shifters

Longtooth Shifters:



Avengers:

Builds

Wrath is one of the strongest sentiments any being can feel, and you are not an exception. The Beast within is closely related to the gods, and it grants you strength to use your anger against your enemies, making it a strong option to devote your life to the meting out of divine vengeance.

Censure of Pursuit (PHB 2) - Your ability scores match up well here, and the racial power will allow you to survive the enemy's counterattacks (when they hit). Alternatively, the Master of Defense is an option as well.

Censure of Retribution (PHB 2) - While your ability scores are a strong fit, the racial power is simply phenomenal for someone who LIKES getting hit every so often. It also helps to round out your Fortitude defense somewhat.


Clerics:

Builds

Dedicating yourself to the worship of the Beast within in the form of one of the gods is a path that is chosen by many a shifter. The power coursing through you is only amplified by the divine, making you a force to be reckoned with by your opponents.

Battle Cleric (PHB) - Your stat bonuses are definitely in the right place for a Battle Cleric. You hit hard, and you heal well. You can even go for the Balanced Cleric build and boost Str and Wis simultaneously, cherry-picking from the whole Cleric list. It's all good.

Devoted Cleric (PHB) - A Wisdom bonus is all well and good, and regen and Strength means you can also go for Balanced if you like; it's just not as Melee-oriented on average.

Balanced Cleric (PHB) - You are basically the only race who can truly pull this off. This option allows you to cherry-pick your powers from the entire Cleric prayer list, so it's a strong benefit to have.


Invokers:

Builds

The ancient divine magics of the war between the primordials and the gods are one of the greatest weapons possessed by the shifter race. With them, you have the most direct link to the divine essence of the Beast within, using it to slaughter your foes.

Covenant of Preservation (PHB 2) - Wisdom is always great to have as an Invoker, and the regeneration allows for more survivability on a pretty squishy class. A nice choice.

Covenant of Wrath (PHB 2) - Arguably more synergistic than the Covenant of Preservation, because the Strength will also allow you to upgrade to heavier armor in addition to all the benefits afforded by a Wisdom bonus and the ability to regenerate.


Paladins:

Builds

As a pack hunter, your instincts run toward the protection of your fellow pack members. A Paladin's faith in the Beast within meshes well with this instinct, driving you farther than you would go on your own to defend your pack members, using the Beast's divine essence as both sword and shield.

Avenging Paladin (PHB) - Simply glorious. Bonuses to both of your most important stats, and an ability prized by any Melee character. One of the premier choices.

Protecting Paladin (PHB) - Not having that Charisma bonus stings, and Strength really isn't as useful for this Paladin as it used to be, but it's still a competent choice.

Balanced Paladin (PHB) - Again, the lack of a Charisma bonus holds you back in this build, but you're still a competent choice, since you have most of the other path demands covered.


Razorclaw Shifters:



Avengers:

Builds

The spirit of the silent, lone stalker is amplified by the divine wrath that is the hallmark of the Avenger. The divine essence of the Beast within takes it even further, granting you power for choosing the path of the gods' stalker.

Censure of Pursuit (PHB 2) - You can't go wrong here. Either take a well-rounded, highly defensive approach or go all-out on speed and mobility to dance around your chosen prey while you take him out of the fight.

Censure of Retribution (PHB 2) - Again, compatible ability scores and synergy means you're a strong choice for this sort of work. The shifting ability allows you to control how often you get hit, which is excellent.


Clerics:

Builds

Battle Cleric (PHB) - Though Dexterity and Wisdom are much appreciated, he does not make the cut as far as ability score synergy is concerned, because Strength is really necessary to the Battle Cleric, seeing as his main buffing power (Righteous Brand) relies on it completely.

[b]Devoted Cleric (PHB)[/b] - Pick up a Ranged weapon and you win, because you can use your Cleric powers up close, and fall back to shoot if necessary. Awesome as far as mobility and versatility goes, and it has a negligible resource cost (Clerics don't have much to take as far as feats).

Balanced Cleric (PHB) - Unlike your Longtooth cousin, you lack the muscle to really make this option come together.


Invokers:

Builds

The bonds of ancient divine magic practiced by the gods in wars long past lives on in the Beast within you. Some among you learn to channel this form of power to devastating effect, crushing all who stand in your way.

Covenant of Preservation (PHB 2) - The Wisdom bonus is great, but the Dexterity bonus is largely redundant with your high Intelligence. The mobility edge is nice, though you probably don't want to be using it too often.

Covenant of Wrath (PHB 2) - A Dexterity bonus helps you grab some of the heavier armor specialization feats, and your shifting is good if you need to get away. A strong choice.


Paladins:

Builds

The path of the holy knight is not one that comes naturally to the silent hunter. Though the Beast within is a presence of strength, the hunters are too self-reliant to practice this brand of divine power which emphasizes the collective over the individual. However, some silent hunters have been known to put aside their preferences for the good of the group.

Avenging Paladin (PHB) - You get a tertiary stat and a secondary stat in Dexterity and Wisdom, but your shifting isn't much related to what the Paladin likes to do for a living. It's OK, though.

Protecting Paladin (PHB) - The Wisdom bonus is the only perk, but it's a nice one to have. The shifting is still not that useful, so this isn't that great a choice for you.

Balanced Paladin (PHB) - The lack of bonuses to either primary really stings on the MAD build more than anywhere else.

Soul of the Beast: Primal Shifters

Longtooth Shifters:



Barbarians:

Builds

The primal art of the berserker combat style is one of the purest expressions of the Beast within that is available to any member of the shifter race, and pack hunters in particular exult in it. The Beast within channels itself through your rage, pushing you farther than you could have imagined possible. You are one of the natural born berserkers.

Rageblood Vigor (PHB 2) - He's a strong Barbarian overall, but where he really steals the show is when he's wielding a Polearm, because of the ease with which he can qualify for anything and everything he needs. A prime choice for that sort of warrior.

Thaneborn Triumph (PHB 2) - A nice choice on most fronts, the only problem it faces is that the Thaneborn has absolutely no use for Wisdom. Unlike the Battlerager, the Thaneborn will usually disdain Polearms because of his Charisma dependency (and thus sinking points into Wisdom is not that great an idea). The rest is greatness, though.


Druids:

Builds

The arts of the druid are familiar to many shifters, due to their connection with the Beast within. The expression of this power is something that comes naturally to you, and can be honed further with practice. The Beast within especially exults when you assume the form of an animal; this is the purest physical expression of its form you can achieve, and it makes this path a strong fit.

Primal Guardian (PHB 2) - The Strength bonus is wasted, but Wisdom and regeneration are always welcome, especially if you're getting your claws dirty in close combat.

Primal Predator (PHB 2) - Regeneration makes you harder to take down than the average druid, and Wisdom certainly helps the cause, but Strength is not really necessary here. Still a strong choice, though.


Shamans:

Builds

The way of the spirit speaker is a way for the shifter to communicate with the Beast within in a more reciprocal fashion, instead of the usually one-sided affairs experienced by the majority. The Beast within particularly exults in the projection of its form onto the world, thus allowing it to influence the world around it directly. This makes this path an excellent one for shifters.

Protector Spirit (PHB 2) - The Strength bonus allows you to afford heavy armor more easily, and the Wisdom bonus and regeneration while bloodied are always welcome (especially the latter). A strong choice.

Stalker Spirit (PHB 2) - Though the Strength bonus is largely wasted here, the Wisdom and regeneration are still greatly appreciated. Another strong choice.


Wardens:

Builds

The path of the primal protector is one embraced by many a pack hunter. The Beast within speaks of vigilance as well as strength, which lends itself naturally to the way of the warden. Nature is your packmate, and you will not brook any harm done to her.

Earthstrength (PHB 2) - You have the Strength, which is the most important thing. The Wisdom bonus helps round you out somewhat, and the regeneration is the cherry on top. This is a very strong pick.

Wildblood (PHB 2) - Another one you were born to do. The perfect ability score bonuses, combined with an ability that keeps you on your feet when you are hit (and you will be attacked in spades) make this an extremely strong choice.


Razorclaw Shifters:



Barbarians:

Builds

The berserker's style is rather counter-intuitive to the silent stalker; the Beast within you prefers stealth and discretion over reckless action. However, some among you may be able to reconcile these disparate aspects by acting in a burst of swift, decisive action.

Rageblood Vigor (PHB 2) - No Strength bonus, but it has all the secondaries for a Polearm build. The racial power is of marginal use, though. Mediocre overall.

Thaneborn Triumph (PHB 2) - The lack of Strength is further aggravated by the presence of Wisdom, which is absolutely useless to you. Not a great choice for you.


Druids:

Builds

The way of the druid is a natural fit for the silent predators. The Beast within you exults in the physical manifestation you can provide it with your powers, and as such grants you greater strength and ability to channel the primal energies of the world. Members of this path feel the empathy of the entire world with them.

Primal Guardian (PHB 2) - A very strong choice. Though Dexterity is somewhat wasted, the racial power and Wisdom bonus are very, very welcome.

Primal Predator (PHB 2) - In a word, greatness. The ability scores, racial power, and thematics all match up perfectly to make you one of the best Druid races in the game. Only the Elf is at your level here.


Shamans:

Builds

The patient predator is a reticent creature, thus rather unwilling to communicate with others. However, the Beast within offers the promise of great power and inner peace if allowed to manifest itself, and thus many shifters gravitate toward this path for a myriad of reasons.

Protector Spirit (PHB 2) - Your Dexterity bonus compensates for the lack of heavy armor that plagues you, and the Wisdom bonus is always welcome. The power is of limited use to one who stays in the back ranks, though it's nice to have anyway.

Stalker Spirit (PHB 2) - Ironically enough, this great fluff fit is only an OK crunch fit. The Wisdom is nice, but Dexterity is completely redundant with Intelligence, and the racial power is so-so. A decent choice, but not the optimal one.


Wardens:

Builds

The way of the protector is rather difficult for a stalker to grasp, as he is more accustomed to being on the predatory end of the spectrum, and prefers to work alone. However, some can put aside this tendency in order to focus on the greater good of the group.

Earthstrength (PHB 2) - Swing... and a miss. Not much for you here.

Wildblood (PHB 2) - You have the secondary attribute in Wisdom, and Dexterity is nice for feat qualifications, but that's about all...

Beastly Focus: Ki Shifters

Longtooth Shifters:



Coming not-so-soon...

Razorclaw Shifters:



Coming not-so-soon...

Mind of the Beast: Psionic Shifters

Longtooth Shifters:



Coming not-so-soon...

Razorclaw Shifters:



Coming not-so-soon...

Beasts of the Dark: Shadow Shifters

Longtooth Shifters:



Coming not-so-soon...

Razorclaw Shifters:



Coming not-so-soon...

Beasts of Chaos: Elemental Shifters

Longtooth Shifters:



Coming not-so-soon...

Razorclaw Shifters:



Coming not-so-soon...

Way of the Beast: Racial Feats



Heroic Tier

All Shifters:



Wild Senses (PHB 2) - A decent benefit if you're trained in Nature; otherwise, stick to Improved Initiative.

Longtooth Shifters:



Gorebrute Charge (PHB 2) - A solid benefit for charging characters, it's particularly nice on Barbarians, Druids, Fighters, and Wardens.

Razorclaw Shifters:



Blurring Claws (PHB 2) - A nice benefit for Rogues, though not many others can take advantage of it.


Paragon Tier

All Shifters:



Beasthide Shifting (PHB 2) - A touch of resistance while shifting. Solid enough.

Cliffwalk Shifting (PHB 2) - This increases your tactical options, which is never a bad thing.


Epic Tier

All Shifters:



Burst of Savagery (PHB 2) - The only real damper on the racial shifter support. Your shifting abilities are usually far too good for such a piddly benefit, especially at Epic Tier. Avoid.


The Beast Incarnate: Racial Paragon Paths



Moonstalker (PHB 2) - A solid overall path, it sports some control mixed in with offense, for some nice overall effectiveness. My personal favorites for running this path are Barbarians, Druids, and Fighters.
Yet another Racial Handbook joins the club!

I'm looking forward to this, ldb.
Its good to see another handbook form you. Here have a
@Lord_Ventnor: Glad to be in the club. I like the way yours came together, so I figured I'd give my favorite race some love. ;)

@grailhawk: *gobbles cookie hungrily* Thanks. I hope for good feedback as I've come to expect from you.

If anyone has any links for the Shifter Hall of Fame (or feels like conjuring up some builds ), make sure to swing by, eh?
Sweet! One of my favorite races gets a handbook by my favorite char-op guru! I'm VERY much lookin forward to this!

@Lord_Ventnor: And you sir make darn good guides as well! Between Litigation, LDB, Anamolousman, and LordofLeapin i know all my guidebooks will eventually be completed to perfection. Yay!
Really looking forward to this. ^^
Nice.

I'm kind of a Dragonborn person right now (how cool is a flying dragon?), thanks to the new dragon magic sorcerer, but a shifter handbook is great as well.
Sorry, I just had to mention...

Unleashing the Beast reminds me of an album called Unleashed in the East... xD Maybe th wordplay is just the other way round...
Sorry, I just had to mention...

Unleashing the Beast reminds me of an album called Unleashed in the East... xD Maybe th wordplay is just the other way round...

Actually, I was going for something along those lines (I love Judas Priest, and all that classic rock/metal sort of thing; come on, the Fighter's Handbook has an AC/DC song as its title! ;)).
Actually, I was going for something along those lines (I love Judas Priest, and all that classic rock/metal sort of thing; come on, the Fighter's Handbook has an AC/DC song as its title! ;)).

Ou yeah, another reason to love LDB...
Put a coming soon header so people don't waste time clicking unhide over and over again
Put a coming soon header so people don't waste time clicking unhide over and over again

OK, sure. Sorry about that... ^^;
Martial Shifters and Arcane Shifters have been posted. Comments are welcome.
Not bad, lbd.

My only point of contention is the Taclord Rating you gave Longtooths. I don't think its quite blue, just because Intelligence is basically a secondary primary score for Taclords.
Not bad, lbd.

My only point of contention is the Taclord Rating you gave Longtooths. I don't think its quite blue, just because Intelligence is basically a secondary primary score for Taclords.

The reason I gave them a Blue is that Polearm Taclords with Tactician's Armor are a completely viable option, and might even be a strong one. It only costs a feat to get them Scale, and Polearm Momentum means you have the 15 Dex required for Scale Specialization. It certainly is a railroaded build, but it can work.
OK, sure. Sorry about that... ^^;

Puting the coming soon inside the hidden box defeats the point. The idea is to not make people have to click the box to check if you've added the info yet.
Nice guide. One suggestion, I'd like some way to know which classes are ideally suited to Shifters just at a glance, without having to click on a large number of "spoilers".
OK, I've incorporated both your suggestions: sblocks for incomplete builds have been removed, and color ratings have been added to the class name. What do you think?
Looking good IMO. Thanks for the hard work.
Divine Shifters are up! Primal coming soon!
All right guys, I (finally) added all the material in. This Handbook is officially open for business!
Might want to add sample builds maybe take what you did in that thread about one race parties and expand on it a bit here. I don't know just an idea.
I think I'm gonna be bouncing back and forth between this guide and your fighter guide ... might be playing a Longtooth Tempest in the near future.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Blurring Claws (PHB 2) - A nice benefit for Rogues and Druids, though not many others can take advantage of it.

I'd just like to point out that Blurring Claws only applies to melee weapon damage rolls. As a druid, almost none of your attacks will be weapon attacks. Therefore, it is not a very appealing feat for druids. If only they didn't include the weapon keyword, it would be a solid druid feat.

Also, if you're going to put links to sample builds for each class, I'd like to point out my razorclaw shifter druid build I call The Predator. You can find it here: http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=1168155.

I've also done a little messing around with a longtooth shifter druid build that focuses even more on offense than The Predator, maybe I'll post that as well.
I Can Kill You With My Brain: The Psion's Handbook - Wiki | Discussion Thread
Ah, thank you for the clarification and the build. The changes will be incorporated.
LDB: You may want to include something about the effectiveness of the Moonstalker PP with the Monk class that WotC has previewed. There's some serious synergy there.

this handbook is amazingly helpful thanks Laughing

Are you going to include the expanded options from Arcane Power, Divine Power and Primal Power? Or do you not have those books yet? I have Arcane and Divine Power and I plan on getting Primal in a few weeks.

Roleplaying Logs My roleplaying blog, where I give a summary of what happened in the games I play in. Updates about once a week.

I don't think he is doing this anymore.

I'd get along more with people if they didn't jump onto a hyberbole every single time you say something they don't understand.
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