New Class: Shapeshifter

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Holding to my new general policy with my work, the details of this class will no longer be available on site. However, I have spent the last two days finding a PDF creator and a place to provide downloads from.

So, here is the link to the Shapeshifter, all set up in a PDF. If you have any artwork you'd like to see in it, suggestions, or see any mistakes, please let me know. I'll still watch the thread for your comments.

THe class, the Shapeshifter, a primal striker. A warrior who shapes and molds his body to fight.

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71235715 wrote:
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71235715 wrote:
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71235715 wrote:
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71235715 wrote:
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71235715 wrote:
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71235715 wrote:
interesting beginning. I like it I think that the "claw" shifter should use dex/int as the effect stats and the "bite" shifter str/con. This reflects precision over brute force and both get the same amount of defensive bonus. It also sets them further apart which is needed. I kind of visualize bear for bite and cat for claw.
Another thing that could be included is some sort of movement bonus to the shifter depending on weather they want a brute claw or swift bite. I can see either one being fast or tough depending on what you want. Maybe X shift/encounter or shifty like the Kobolds?
Extra AC for a brute basher certainly seems to make sense.
Bite seems a little weak compared to claw as it is a +2 prof. instead of +3. Why the difference?
The attacks look good and the fluff is cool. A few stat errors (charisma instead of dex for the brutal bite) no big deal.
How about a third build, Horn/Tusk? This is more of a defender oriented shifter that gets the minotaur charge (powerful charge?) bonus and some sort of AC bonus (tougher skin?). Maybe 1-6 damage, the charge feat, and a +2 to AC with NA?
Could add a few "horn" at wills emphasizing toughness and charging.
These are the base attacks of course almost endless possibilites with monster powers, armor, defenses etc. Lots of different paths to take and oodles of paragon possibilities..
In addition why this direction as opposed to "you take the form of X monster"? Just a question as that would be easier to make.
I was actually going to mention a request for other weapon types.

Bite is only +2 because it is an axe. Weaker at heroic, but at pargon you pick up Deadly Axe and it becomes High-Crit. I think it's worth the wait.

Actually taking animal forms is reserved for daily powers, much like true summoning was reserved for daily powers. Either way, you always have some shifting power, and feats will expand upon it.

Also, I want to leave some overlap for them, becuase I'm planning a paragon feat that allows a second natural weapon.

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71235715 wrote:
I understand. The high critical is cool, but why not just include it in the bite and maybe reduce it to +1 or keep it at +2? Just a thought on how to further differentiate bite and claw.
I like the shifting into full other forms being daily powers and the choker as an implement is really good.
So Bite, Claw, Horn/Tusk (I suppose hoof but that sounds odd)? I suppose you could add slam, but most animals/monsters have something better than that (well if you exclude anklyosaurs, stomatopods, crocodilian tails etc.).
You could have all sorts of paragon templates (ooze, plant, animal, abberation, immortal etc.) so lots of choices there.
A very interesting class with lots of choices.
one more thing, you could even have a pre-build with one path being a defender and one being a striker before you get to the claw, bite, horn thing.
Maybe one way to go would be a build that has the shifter stay relatively "normal", but get heightened attacks, strength, defenses etc. to the base character and another build that the shifter actually becomes X creature. In the first build the bonus could be the items/implements could be used? Just another visual option.
Well, the tactics differentiates a bit. The Lethal Predator has your Feral Focus deal more damage, while the ??? tactic (I need a name) deals less focus damage but can mark the target and allows a you to opportunity attack against shifting creatures, giving it a bit of a defender feel.

How do you feel about the powers so far? Since so many selected this class, I'm really hoping to get some input and suggestions. Especially with names for encounter powers, which I suspect will get difficult quickly.

Edit: and yes, at least one paragon path will invole some non-natural shapeshifting.

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71235715 wrote:
What about some universally accepted powers? Quils don't deserve their own weapon style, but tack them onto any shifter and you've got a weak burst or ranged attack. It seems once you pick your natural weapon you're pretty resigned in power choices: You don't even get to customize at wills. It's just something that bummed me out about the warlock.
lethal predator and the frenzied (or rabid) mauler
what do you think?
How about brute or brutal focus and it can also include a push 1? Basically slamming into them to knock them back, not as much damage but more defender-like.
Some encounter powers could include: (both attack/utility)
tough skin: + 2 ac until end of encounter but -1 to movement [+3 ac and no movement loss on a charge for horn/tusk?]
predators dance: + 2 to hit and damage till end of encounter [+int damage if claw instead of +2?]
tail smash (if the form has a tail, it grows a tail?) extra attack at 1-6 + st until end of next turn? Too tough?
bludgeoning slap: basically a hip check/head butt from a strong opponent
1-6 + strn secondary attack and push 1 (push = to 1/2 con bonus if bite shifter that stacks with brute/brutal focus?)
Some universal powers, like the quills you mentioned sound like a good idea. I'll definetely add some in.
And you're at-wills won't be locked in in paragon. I will include a feat that opens a second weapon, at which point you can retrain your at-wills however you wish among your two weapons.

As for the tactic name, does Frenzied Mauler sound like a defensive tactics. Sounds more like reckless offense to me. Which is why I'm having trouble thinking of one.

Some good powers ideas there kody. I'll remember them.


Edit: On second though, I'm going to allow two weapons to be chosen at 1st level, with a third for a feat at paragon. This let's me extend the life of certain weapons names and power options, while including more variety, since you've have mentioned tails.

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71235715 wrote:
I think two weapons are fine at first level just leave out the ability bonus (like the ranger), in fact claw could do two attacks at 1-8 each and bite do one attack at 1-8 + str which is about the same but other things can add in later.
Ummm... Cunning Predator?

Is the focus a mark effect? you need to make sure that is clear so people remember not to overwrite it.

I like the beginning to the class. Looking forward to the higher stuff. And Upon completiion it'll get sig'd. Unless you want it sig'd earlier.

And you have some Copypasta problems. At least in the new keywords.
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Thats okay, while you were posting I just did a big overhaul based on some suggestions. And CUnning Predator is good. The Focus itself isn't a mark, but the Cunning Predator tactic lets you mark your focus when you attack him.

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71235715 wrote:
OK, it looks like it has the enemy mark you... That would be an interesting mechanic actually...

Glad you liked my suggestion.
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Yeah, I thought the -2 to attack non-focused target was an interesting idea.

5th-9th level powers are finished now.

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71235715 wrote:
Shifter Tactics
Choose one of the following
Lethal Predator: Your Feral Focus deals 1d6 damage per tier. If you successfully hit the target of your focus, it suffers a -2 penalty to attack you until the beginning of your next turn.
Cunning Predator: Your Feral Focus deals 1d4 damage per tier. When you attack a target of your focus, hit or miss, you may mark the creature until the end of your next turn. You may make opportunity attacks when a creature you have marked tries to shift.

how about a third tactic:
Brutal predator: your feral focus deal 1d6 damage per tier and pushes the opponent one square if you successfully hit the target of your focus.


looks good so far
Looks good. I have question

Does Cunning Predator need to do less damage than Lethal Predator? On the same note, should kody's suggestion of Brutal Predator deal 1d6 or 1d4?

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71235715 wrote:
It can do 1d6 if it isn't offset by something. I'd give the brutal 1d6.

All of them at 1d6 would be fine I think.

Hey you could make the Wildshape powers stances couldn't you? Being in that form locks them out of encounter powers, and you can't speak. Sustaining seems a little much to me. And a wildshape power is just a Polymorph power renamed, with an extra limitation.

I like stance powers as a way of preventing too much stacking you see?

As for the natural attack types: Light blades traditionally have +3 Proficiency. Breaking from the norm is kinda weird. It can be +3 1d4 amd all the quill powers could increase it's damage. Or do an inordinate amount of damage (1 more W die than most powers for that level, to make up for the damage deficit). The other natural attacks seem fine.

Though technically claw is strictly better than a shortsword, you could (and probably should) remove the "off-hand" marker and assume they're using another weapon type as well, and you should make it a heavy blade as that's missing from the list. I get that you gave them all "off-hand" to sync up with the Rasnger getting to use any two 1H weapons, but this guy makes his weapons.

I hope that my Battle Sorceror proved to you that you don't need TwF or even any weapons at all to keep up with the mutilator that is the Ranger. And this class feels a little like the rogue to me, with the restricted weapon choices and all that.

And for the choker: Why not just bracelets? I mean do you technically need one for each natural weapon you posess? Does a choker take up an armslot? Can you give a choker multiple enchantments to choose from?

For natural weapons: Is there a feat to increase the speed at which you make your natural weapons? Is there a limit to the number of weapons you can form?

These are questions you need to answer. My thinking is that you can have one natural weapon for each "body part" so claws would use your hands, quills your back and forearms, Bite is mouth, Horns are head, taiul would use your "legs." But is that right? Can you have any number of them shaped?
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I would think all of them, lethal, cunning and brutal could do 1d6/tier as each has a different added effect (-2, anti-shift, push).
The stance idea makes sense to me as you can not do anything else while in the stance correct? On the other hand shapeshifting is more powerful than most stances (I think it is) so maybe the minor sustain is a good balancer?
I read through the powers and like them. Some minor typos and such but all in all quite good. Tieflings would be a logical race to use with the tail attacks
Do you think 1-10 is too much for the tail and it should be 1-8, or is that because it has the hammer group?
Here are some more power ideas:
aberration reach: reach 2 until end of encounter (utility power)
Trample: charge, 3[w] + strength to all creatures in the squares that you moved through, no opportunity attacks against you. Str. vs AC. Encounter power? Level?
Wings of the eagle: grow wings, gain fly speed equal to you normal speed until end of encounter or up to five minutes. Average maneuverability. Same level as wizard fly?
Amphibious form: you gain a swim speed equal to your normal speed and water breathing until the end of the encounter or up to five minutes.
defensive form: gain resist five to one attack type until the end of the encounter. this becomes resist 10 at 21st level.
burrowing form: gain s burrow speed equal to your normal speed until the end of the encounter or up to five minutes.

Maybe a paragon path called "werebeast" in which you gain X bonuses to your physical stats, claw, bite, (or maybe horn or tail etc.) depending on beast type, regeneration 5 (vulnerbility 5 silver) and a +2 to all attacks/damage against a bloodied opponent. You could also use weapons in this form, maybe one size larger than normal?
Stance: A stance power lasts until the end of the
encounter, for 5 minutes, or until you use another
stance power.

These things lock you out of your powers andgive a couple of attacks in exchange. Which means that really as-written they would be worse than a lot of stances.

Turning them into stances with no action for sustaining does two things:

1) You can designate a focus without giving up a move action
2) It allows you to utilize other minor actions withiout giving you a move action.

I do make a further recomendation to changing wildshape effects: Prevent you from utilizing powers from any source besides your choker and the power itself. This includes class at-wills, equipment powers, other daily and encounter powers.

With those changes the Daily shapechanges would be fairly balanced. For one encounter you gain access to a different type of attack. It's not overpowered, it simply provides a different feeling for a daily power.
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Potential utility ideas:
Poison gland: adds poison damage to a single nat weapon
Lengthen legs: double move speed for one move(?)
Cat's eyes: low-light/darkvision (?)
Nature step: ignore difficult terrain
Dissolve: Boosts Reflex
Fortify: Boosts Fort

Potential attack powers:
Rend: grab, rip and tear
Bloody roar: when bloodied, make a cha vs will attack burst 2, to (stun?)
Bloodlust: does more damage to bloodied foes


Why is tail d10 damage but a +2 to hit? it seems like a much better choice early on than the others. Is this on purpose?
Hmmm...

Warhammer +2 1d10 — 15 gp 5 lb. Hammer Versatile

It's a warhammer without versatile.
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wait, so what's the axe equivalent of bite?

why not warhammer tail, and battleaxe bite?
It just seems overpowered when you can use it for three of the at-will powers, why would you pick anything but tail and something else? not necessarily a bad thing, just curious. How does a tail do more damage than fangs, claws or getting impaled?
the stance idea seems balanced, as far as I can tell.
I think that magical armor bonus (not the armor itself) should add into the characters AC to better scale as the character advances.
That's true actualy...

My picks for the natural weapons:

Claw: Longsword (no versatile)
Quills: Dagger (Yes, low damage but it needs to have a parallel, Alternatively handaxe but then it's an Axe)
Tail: Mace (Yes it's simple, but 1d10 doesn't feel right)
Horns: Spear (No change)
Bite: Battle Axe (yes higher damage, however it shows savagery)

Treat Tail,and Bite as 2H weapons. Claw, quills and Horns are 1H weapons.

Double Slash:Remove tail, add Quills, or possibly Horns

Ankle Attack: Remove bite, add claw? Biting ankles seems wrong to me.
Altrnatively remove horn? Flavor here seems a little off.

Thrusting attacks: Why Bite? I picture a bite as something you do then tear? Switch bite for Tail? (think like a scorpion here) Add bite To Tortourous Blows

Dragging Attack: Remove tail, add claws.

Sweeping Strike: Possiblty could include horns. If you do Turn Horn Thrust into "Impale" and make it Quill instead of horn.

I still propose Shapechifting as a stance and not a sutainable power.
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perhaps Leave ankle attack to tail and horn, change its name to Strike Nerve, and give the vicious bite it's own encounter power? Maybe something akin to making the enemy bleed out? Go For The Throat?
Go for the eyes Boo!!

^How about that^

On second thought that should be a summoner power...
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Okay. Finally back from work.

I upped all three to 1d6 damage per tier.

I altered the Wildshapes to stances as suggested.

I clarified the Choker implement some. One covers all your natural weapons, choker takes up no slot, and can only have a single enchantment. One could easily wear the choker as a bracelet instead. Choker - - collar just struck me as a bit funny.

I will be including a feat to increase the speed of forming natural weapons,. along the line as quick draw, since it doesn't apply here. Also, since each current weapon corresponds to a specific location on the body, the only limit to the number you can form is how many you actually have access too, which is standard two with a feat likely to add at least one more.

kodyboy - As for your armor statement, the class still benefits from armor normally, even when shaped. Keeping with the same design philosophy as the summoner, keeping it simple, so armor is still in effect, even though it's not visible when you use a daily power.

Wyld - I took your suggestions for the swapping of weapons between powers. That was the harder part, since I had made it to level 5 before adding more than two weapons. And Ankle Attack was originally called Ankle Biter.


Kody, Matthew - Thanks for the power suggestions, I'll keep them in mind.


As for the weapons, I hadn't realized Battle Axe was d10 in 4th. So it has been fixed. Also changed Quill to +3 1d4 and Claw to Heavy Blade. I still want to leave Tail as Hammer, becuase I'm picturing a big heavy swing with a thick tail. Of course, the appearance of your weapons is left entirely up to you.

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71235715 wrote:
Tail is fine as a hammer, it's damage was just off. (I was offerein the weapon stast, not the weapon type.)

Shouldn't the Thrusting Attacks powerr be tail not scorpion? Moment of brainlessness?

Besides 1d10 on the tail still things look great. I know it's a military quality weapon it just feels weird...
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Yeah. I suppose we could be unique and have it be a +3 1d8 hammer. But that sounds even worse. And yeah, moment of brainlessness.

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71235715 wrote:
Maybe... What if it were a flail? Yes I know it makes it weaker, but it also gives a more interesting piece of flavor.

It also makes 1d10 easier to swallow.

The other possibility is +2, 1d8, Hammer, Off-hand. It fits, I can see a tail as an off-hand weapon.
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I can agree with a tail as an off hand... it is kinda behind the character after all.
Now dang, you went and made two suggestions that I like.

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71235715 wrote:
*shrug* Sorry. I do that.
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I think I'll go with flail. Mostly because the game just doesn't have enough flail love, and hammers have hammer rythym, which scares me sometimes.

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71235715 wrote:
Just sometimes?

Wel I envy you. It scares the crap out of my Battle Sorceror. He doesn't get any love when he misses.
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Thankfully I game with people that thinks swords and axes are the godsends of weapons. Even the bugbear paladin and minotaur fighter didn't notice the shear output of the maul for them.

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71235715 wrote:
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