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More Taste Less Filling: The shifter Any good or not?


Advice

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


So what will happen when someone multi-classes a Shifter with a Monk or a Brawler?

They stay in the second class and never look back... ;)


I feel the rageshaper can make for an okay boss fight where it has no allies. Thus it's free to spend it's round(s) of rage putting on bigger armor and gear and be there ready to go and when it runs out of rage (really quickly) then it's confused and still attacking the players.


Chess Pwn wrote:
I feel the rageshaper can make for an okay boss fight where it has no allies. Thus it's free to spend it's round(s) of rage putting on bigger armor and gear and be there ready to go and when it runs out of rage (really quickly) then it's confused and still attacking the players.

Yep, he makes a fine NPC...


Jeydahvu wrote:
voideternal wrote:
I attempted to build a Shifter. I'm going to post the results.
Would dumping STR and go all DEX in tiny mouse form using an amulet of mighty fists with the agile enchantment make it better? I'm wondering why the equal STR-DEX tiger build? why weapon finesse if you go tiger?

he was probably trying to leverage the feat that if you're doing dex to attack with str to damage you add 1/2 your level to the damage.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
graystone wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


So what will happen when someone multi-classes a Shifter with a Monk or a Brawler?
They stay in the second class and never look back... ;)

But won't they get both claws AND Improved Unarmed Strike (Brawler/Monk Method) in that case?

Paizo Employee Designer

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
It's worth noting that playtesters tend to be a lot more toxic when they don't think they'll be heard. Just ask poor Mark Seifter, upon whom I once unloaded all my ill feelings about an Unchaining—only for him to pop in and graciously make me feel like the garbage I was! No excuse, of course. And don't forget, having Paizo staffers get active in Paizo threads costs money and time Paizo doesn't necessarily have.

Oh crap, I'm sorry for making you feel bad KC! When was this?

@Playtests and toxicity vs when people think they're being heard (or responded to), I think this is definitely true. For example, during the occult playtest, Jason got a reputation for not listening to his playtesters in the threads (you can see it if you look back through archived posts) because he didn't really have enough time to post more than rarely. But during redesign he read through every comment, multiple times, and cross-referenced everything he'd read to find common themes, leading to his being very responsive to playtest feedback, probably second only to me with the kineticist playtest in that regard (obviously since we had to scrap my original medium for space, I couldn't be as incorporating of feedback on the playtest version though I did use feedback from the people who had wanted a drastic redesign to help with that part). But it was not evident during the playtest because he didn't have time to both really crunch the feedback and be visible, so he chose the former, whereas I had time to do both due to spending way too much time out of work on the boards (like now posting at 11PM I guess X_X).

I realize this is another entire thread topic, but I got started with hardcore Pathfinder design as a playtester on these boards and am now a professional designer, so I'm deeply interested in the idea of playtesting, but it's also very tricky to do that and have people understand that getting no response doesn't mean being ignored. I have a few ideas I've been brewing over time in that regard.


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No, I was kinda being a dick! I was very confrontational, and you came in and were super classy, which made me realize I was being way too Extra and I immediately backed down and apologized. It was a good way to handle my grody attitude. :)

It was in the Automatic Bonus Progression thread, I think. Yeah, here it was.

Shadow Lodge

Thanks for being awesome, Mark. Keep up the good work. :)


Mark Seifter wrote:
I realize this is another entire thread topic, but I got started with hardcore Pathfinder design as a playtester on these boards and am now a professional designer, so I'm deeply interested in the idea of playtesting, but it's also very tricky to do that and have people understand that getting no response doesn't mean being ignored. I have a few ideas I've been brewing over time in that regard.

The problem is that getting no response can mean it's being ignored or might be overlooked. And since both are probably outcomes it's why people assume not.

Like it's your guys call about play tests and worth because you're balancing your time in the forums to not posting and getting toxic posts vs how useful the info is and I bet it's not an easy or simple call to make.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Why can't people be expected to adhere to the community standards that everyone is supposed to follow throughout the boards, even during a playtest?

What is so difficult about following Wheaton's Law?

Am I having a disconnect here?

Paizo Employee Designer

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Chess Pwn wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I realize this is another entire thread topic, but I got started with hardcore Pathfinder design as a playtester on these boards and am now a professional designer, so I'm deeply interested in the idea of playtesting, but it's also very tricky to do that and have people understand that getting no response doesn't mean being ignored. I have a few ideas I've been brewing over time in that regard.
The problem is that getting no response can mean it's being ignored or might be overlooked. And since both are probably outcomes it's why people assume not.

Absolutely true. I tend to believe in things based on hard data and empirical evidence rather than taking it on faith, and I completely understand that not having posts is basically requiring to take it on faith. That's why I said it was "very tricky to do that and have people understand that getting no response doesn't mean being ignored." Because I can't just post what I did and have people read it, logically digest it, and then feel that way. I mean, it probably wouldn't work for me either.

Quote:
Like it's your guys call about play tests and worth because you're balancing your time in the forums to not posting and getting toxic posts vs how useful the info is and I bet it's not an easy or simple call to make.

It was agonizing for me to be in the meeting where that decision was made the first time (for Starfinder, and I shouldn't oversell any role I had in the process other than "person at the meeting," as the second most junior person present asked there because of being active in previous playtests), and it's really really multifaceted with huge amounts of factors coming in from every which way; I was surprised how many aspects went into it. While I was extremely impressed with the Starfinder internal playtest, more than I expected beforehand, I do adore data, and it's still safe to say that I would prefer to have my cake and eat it too. I have some complicated ideas for how to achieve that (involving playtest organization based on computer system design methodology to use some kind of distributed processing approach to take the load off the overtaxed component, the Paizo staffers involved in the playtest in this case, while ameliorating the signal/noise ratio and possibly insulating from the demoralizing effects of toxicity), but they're still very much in the hypothetical and might have fatal flaws.

Anyways, I think I'm veering off topic here. Sorry everybody!

Paizo Employee Designer

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Dragonborn3 wrote:
Thanks for being awesome, Mark. Keep up the good work. :)

You're welcome, and thanks for the good vibes! It's way easier to get focused on the negative and talk about it (see, I even did it too by skipping this post first time 'round) because it just feels like something more urgent to talk about than when everything's doing OK, but that definitely is a factor as to why even in a fairly happy online community, you still hear so much more of the upset.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Mark, don't apologize, it's refreshing to hear from the team!

Anyone who could help me 'release the hounds' at GenCon is A-OK in my book :P

That tangent aside, are there discussions on-going about errata that has been brought up from Ultimate Wilderness that you are aware of?

Don't need to know particulars or details, just some sort of curiosity nibbling at the back of my brainmeats...


graystone wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
with the ability to bypass all kinds of DR
The shifters claws strangely can't bypass DR/magic...

Shifters qualify for the Eldritch Claws feat so DR magic can be overcome as early as 6th level with a 1 level fighter dip there or 7th level without.

Shadow Lodge

Mark Seifter wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Thanks for being awesome, Mark. Keep up the good work. :)
You're welcome, and thanks for the good vibes! It's way easier to get focused on the negative and talk about it (see, I even did it too by skipping this post first time 'round) because it just feels like something more urgent to talk about than when everything's doing OK, but that definitely is a factor as to why even in a fairly happy online community, you still hear so much more of the upset.

Hey, don't worry, I figured you'd see it even if you replied or not. :)


Grailknight wrote:
graystone wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
with the ability to bypass all kinds of DR
The shifters claws strangely can't bypass DR/magic...
Shifters qualify for the Eldritch Claws feat so DR magic can be overcome as early as 6th level with a 1 level fighter dip there or 7th level without.

Yes, but not in class as was Darksol's point. IMO, it's much more likely that an amulet/body wrap will provide the 'magic' instead of the feat.


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1. No noobs are going to one book with one class for that class. Entry level shape shifter is a misplaced idea. Druids are in the CRB. People go there for basic even if it isn't true.

2. There is nothing wrong with trying to streamline shapechange.

3. If the druid is a better more flexible shapechanger at any level, then the class has failed.

4. Sounds like you could replace this class with "gets at-will hour per level polymorph spells when a full caster could get them, full BAB, good fort and ref, bad will, 4+int skills) and that would be more satisfying and cool to play even if level 1 is the ability to get bigger and smaller and it has a bunch of dead levels.

5. I'll see if I can find the missing part, but it sounds like Paizo dropped the ball and made what everyone hoped the shifter wasn't. A worse druid.

6. Oozeshaper sounds neat though.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
It's worth noting that playtesters tend to be a lot more toxic when they don't think they'll be heard. Just ask poor Mark Seifter, upon whom I once unloaded all my ill feelings about an Unchaining—only for him to pop in and graciously make me feel like the garbage I was! No excuse, of course. And don't forget, having Paizo staffers get active in Paizo threads costs money and time Paizo doesn't necessarily have.

Oh crap, I'm sorry for making you feel bad KC! When was this?

@Playtests and toxicity vs when people think they're being heard (or responded to), I think this is definitely true. For example, during the occult playtest, Jason got a reputation for not listening to his playtesters in the threads (you can see it if you look back through archived posts) because he didn't really have enough time to post more than rarely. But during redesign he read through every comment, multiple times, and cross-referenced everything he'd read to find common themes, leading to his being very responsive to playtest feedback, probably second only to me with the kineticist playtest in that regard (obviously since we had to scrap my original medium for space, I couldn't be as incorporating of feedback on the playtest version though I did use feedback from the people who had wanted a drastic redesign to help with that part). But it was not evident during the playtest because he didn't have time to both really crunch the feedback and be visible, so he chose the former, whereas I had time to do both due to spending way too much time out of work on the boards (like now posting at 11PM I guess X_X).

I realize this is another entire thread topic, but I got started with hardcore Pathfinder design as a playtester on these boards and am now a professional designer, so I'm deeply interested in the idea of playtesting, but it's also very tricky to do that and have people understand that getting no response doesn't mean being ignored. I have a few ideas I've been brewing over time in that...

To be fair, the bit about not being heard kind of continued into the Vigilante playtest, which aside from asinine comments like "This class doesn't need to exist, put a mask on your character and they're a vigilante!" mostly felt like there was only one dev talking to us on the regular and even outside of office hours. You were easily the most vocal, interactive dev working on that class. Jason, from what I remember, was busy with the convention circuit and doing promotions out of country for a great deal of the playtest, despite being the dev lead for the entire thing AND the avenger specialization (And you'll honestly have to forgive me for not remembering who did the warlock and zealot specializations before they were rolled into archetypes, that's how little I heard from them.)


Bloodrealm wrote:
Rysky wrote:


The one that did surprise me, locked into Claws. Having a suite of attacks to choose from (I don’t know how’d you separate that out, 2 Claws/2 Slams/1 Bite???) would be nice.
Someone earlier suggested a choice of Claws or Slams, and that worked out fine. It even gets by the problem of if you give the option of Bite, Gore, or Tail, then you can still use manufactured weapons in your hands.

Here's the thing: claws essentially make your hands full, and the same can be said for slams. If it was a bite, gore or tail, you gain an extra attack instead of having to choose between claw or weapon attacks. So yeah, it's balanced in that way. Then again, with the many ways that natural weapons cannot be used effectively (try slashing a Fire Elemental XD ), having a cold iron scythe can save your life.

Furthermore, claws and slams can be used by every animal aspect, even the snake, which could have gotten 2 tail slaps... that is, slapping twice with its tail, not having 2 tails :P

Quote:
Of course, a Kobold Shifter can make iteratives with a Kobold Tail Attachment, and any Shifter can make iteratives with a Blade Boot.

Don't forget a Catfolk's claw blades, which transform your claws into "manufactured" weapons when it comes to iterative attacks. You do get TWF penalties though :P

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Mark,

Have you considered conducting hands-off open playtests (and being upfront about this approach) and then later scheduling an AMA? That might help with time allocation.

And I want to say that final result of Occult Adventures and the vigilante turned out incredibly well despite the huge headaches of conducting open playtests. Those classes had large scopes, too! The vigilante and the kineticist became my best friend's favorite classes, and she loves talking about them to players unfamiliar with them.


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The Shifter at least does good damage, it's kind of strange that shifter's edge is a feat instead of a class feature when it is so important for the shifter's damage. If you look at the class without that feat it seems like it is underwhelming, but with that feat at least it will outperform other wildshape options and has a niche as the most damaging non sneak attack using wild shape option.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Aside from a few hybrids maybe I can't think of another class I need. well maybe some unchained ones.

Oh, I don’t know, I wouldn’t mind a shapeshifting class. ;)


citricking wrote:
The Shifter at least does good damage, it's kind of strange that shifter's edge is a feat instead of a class feature when it is so important for the shifter's damage. If you look at the class without that feat it seems like it is underwhelming, but with that feat at least it will outperform other wildshape options and has a niche as the most damaging non sneak attack using wild shape option.

I haven't run the numbers myself, but does it really help that much?

As I understand it (post-errata), to use it you need to use Dex to attack and Str to damage. That means larger forms will lower your attack by a few points, and smaller forms will lower damage by more (Str penalty and smaller damage dice.) On top of that, you have to split your build resources between two attacking stats, on top of Con (because melee) and probably Wis (to use that class feature.) Is it feasible to pull off that balancing act AND spend a feat for half level to damage?

EDIT: Although I think there's something about using the Shifter's claw damage if it's better than the wild shape's damage. That might help on the small side, but are there any smaller-than-medium forms with good combat abilities?


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To be fair is it even possible to build a Shifter class that is comparable in power and scope to the Druid considering the fact that the Druid has 9-level spell casting, an animal companion and Wild Shape?

Would it not make sense to compare it to other martial characters like the Fighter, Gunslinger, Slayer and Barbarian?


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Mage of the Wyrmkin wrote:

To be fair is it even possible to build a Shifter class that is comparable in power and scope to the Druid considering the fact that the Druid has 9-level spell casting, an animal companion and Wild Shape?

Would it not make sense to compare it to other martial characters like the Fighter, Gunslinger, Slayer and Barbarian?

Personally, I’d be fine if it was at least a better shapeshifter than the Druid. By why not aim high? Why limit ourselves to comparing it to the weaker classes in the game? Why can’t we have a martial that’s actually as good as a caster?


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Aside from a few hybrids maybe I can't think of another class I need. well maybe some unchained ones.

You still need a shapeshifter.


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Here's another class idea. Full BAB, good fort, good ref, poor will, 4+int skills, druid Wildshape progression, bonus combat feats for every other level.

Does that sound like a more satisfying class to play than the shifter? Is it also better at shapeshifting?


Rhedyn wrote:

Here's another class idea. Full BAB, good fort, good ref, poor will, 4+int skills, druid Wildshape progression, bonus combat feats for every other level.

Does that sound like a more satisfying class to play than the shifter? Is it also better at shapeshifting?

Except that's also massively better than the Fighter. Straight upgrade in everything except proficiencies, and that's easy enough to take care of. Better than the Brawler, too.


shaventalz wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:

Here's another class idea. Full BAB, good fort, good ref, poor will, 4+int skills, druid Wildshape progression, bonus combat feats for every other level.

Does that sound like a more satisfying class to play than the shifter? Is it also better at shapeshifting?

Except that's also massively better than the Fighter. Straight upgrade in everything except proficiencies, and that's easy enough to take care of. Better than the Brawler, too.

A proper dwarf Fighter? No not at all.

Even basic fighters hit harder more accurately.


Rhedyn wrote:
shaventalz wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:

Here's another class idea. Full BAB, good fort, good ref, poor will, 4+int skills, druid Wildshape progression, bonus combat feats for every other level.

Does that sound like a more satisfying class to play than the shifter? Is it also better at shapeshifting?

Except that's also massively better than the Fighter. Straight upgrade in everything except proficiencies, and that's easy enough to take care of. Better than the Brawler, too.

A proper dwarf Fighter? No not at all.

Even basic fighters hit harder more accurately.

Going by the numbers given. Same full BAB, same HP, same Fort, same feats (possibly missing 1), better Ref, better skills, and Wild Shape. The only things (related to hitting) Fighter gets that the chassis given doesn't are proficiencies and Weapon Training. So how exactly is the basic fighter hitting (significantly) harder and more accurately? It'd be a difference of +1 attack/damage starting at level 5.


One of the things in sad about is how shaping focus doesn't work for them, they only count as did for prereqs and not for the actual feat. (Like the warpriest)


Chess Pwn wrote:
Jeydahvu wrote:
voideternal wrote:
I attempted to build a Shifter. I'm going to post the results.
Would dumping STR and go all DEX in tiny mouse form using an amulet of mighty fists with the agile enchantment make it better? I'm wondering why the equal STR-DEX tiger build? why weapon finesse if you go tiger?
he was probably trying to leverage the feat that if you're doing dex to attack with str to damage you add 1/2 your level to the damage.

It's full level to damage, but yes.

shaventalez wrote:
EDIT: Although I think there's something about using the Shifter's claw damage if it's better than the wild shape's damage. That might help on the small side, but are there any smaller-than-medium forms with good combat abilities?

Falcon is actually not that bad. Small forms don't have a str penalty and get size bonus to AC and to-hit which the shifter needs a lot.

The bigger trade-off is losing pounce for gaining flight.


voideternal wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Jeydahvu wrote:
voideternal wrote:
I attempted to build a Shifter. I'm going to post the results.
Would dumping STR and go all DEX in tiny mouse form using an amulet of mighty fists with the agile enchantment make it better? I'm wondering why the equal STR-DEX tiger build? why weapon finesse if you go tiger?
he was probably trying to leverage the feat that if you're doing dex to attack with str to damage you add 1/2 your level to the damage.
It's full level to damage, but yes.

We have official clarification from Mark that they've already made errata for it making it 1/2 level when dex to attack and str to damage.


voideternal wrote:


It's full level to damage, but yes.

It's being errata'd to half level.


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As it was discussed above here's my take on the weretouched shifter:

As a 4 level dip it's prolly the best thing to get out of the shifter from an optimization perspective.

- Shifting into a weretiger once per day for 4 hours covers most of your daily adventuring need. Shifting focus has you competly covered. As you are still a completly functional demihuman being in weretiger form this also works from an RP perspective.

- You get pounce at level 4 and 3 natural attacks to go with it

- You get to wear equipment so enjoy the helm of the mammoth lord and rhino hide with your pouncing full attacks

- You get nice static bonuses (+2 size bonus to STR is equivalent to weapon trining 1) and a +2 to natural armor on top of half wisdom+1 and armor

What makes me so sad about Ultimate Wilderness is the fact that a company which has built it's sucess on listening to it's players from the start, is now locking out player opinions before and after the release.


Fighter's thing is getting feats every other level, classes that are part fighter get them every 3rd level, brawler and warpriest, then you get classes that get them every 4/5/6 levels.

So the shifter would more likely need to go on the track of at 3rd and every 4 thereafter. And wild shape compensates a lot for the bonuses fighter gets with the str boosts it's getting. The fighter's do pull ahead eventually (they do against almost everyone) but for the <10 (with no gloves of dueling) it's not clearly in fighter's favor.


Chess Pwn wrote:
voideternal wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
he was probably trying to leverage the feat that if you're doing dex to attack with str to damage you add 1/2 your level to the damage.
It's full level to damage, but yes.
We have official clarification from Mark that they've already made errata for it making it 1/2 level when dex to attack and str to damage.

Interesting. Thanks for the info.


Alex Mack wrote:

As it was discussed above here's my take on the weretouched shifter:

As a 4 level dip it's prolly the best thing to get out of the shifter from an optimization perspective.

- Shifting into a weretiger once per day for 4 hours covers most of your daily adventuring need. Shaping focus has you competly covered. As you are still a completly functional demihuman being in weretiger form this also works from an RP perspective.

Shaping focus doesn't do anything to help the shifter. He's only counting as druid for feat prereqs, not for feat function. The feat does nothing if you're not a druid and the shifter isn't a druid.

Dark Archive

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Random thoughts to tweak the shifter;

(Add IMO to any sentence that starts with a capital letter!) The base shifter should be able to assume any of the forms listed, eventually, and not be specialized into a smaller number of forms. (Archetypes, such as Weretouched, exist for more specialized shifters.) The shifter should have slightly more utility. The minor aspects should not last such a short time compared to the major aspects. The shifter should be slightly better at wild shaping than a druid of equal level, even if, by 'better,' it's just more flexible in some ways. Some provision could be made for shifters turning into forms that don't have claws (or forms in which claws are not as thematically appropriate, like a stag or wolf). DPR, IMO, doesn't really need to be messed with.

1) Minor aspects turn on free, when you're in major aspect form, they don't have to be activated separately, and don't use up resources. When a minor aspect is invoked outside of major aspect form, then they use up 'uses / day,' but the duration increases to 24 hours (or until changed or abandoned).

2) The duration for major aspect/wild shape remains 1 hour / level, but these hours don't have to be used consecutively. Any change uses up a full hours duration, even if you only spend a few rounds in that form. Every time you would gain an additional 'use' of wild shape, you instead gain 2 additional hours worth of duration to this pool to a maximum of 14 extra hours at 18th level. (Therefore a 20th level shifter has 34 hours a day, which means that she can shift forms ten times and still remain in wild shape all day long.)

3) The shifter gains additional aspects at 1st level equal to her Wisdom modifier (minimum +1). A feat that can be taken at shifter level 5 allows her to learn additional aspects equal to her Wisdom modifier (minimum 1) and she can take this feat multiple times (up to once / 5 shifter levels, although she'll likely know all aspects long before then...). (Obviously this one's going to change a lot for that elemental shifter archetype!)

4) A shifter gains the Druid ability 'A Thousand Faces' at 6th level. (Alternately, the shifter can choose to gain this ability at 1st level, but then does not gain Wild Empathy until 6th level.) Shifters never have to buy hats of disguise.

.

5) I'm not sure about adding an option to claws to instead form a bite attack, or similar attack, with the proviso that when using both natural and manufactured weapons in combination, the manufactured weapon always counts as a secondary weapon (due to the shifters primal instincts pulling it towards favoring it's natural attacks). If the shifter wants to focus on a manufactured attack with it's full BAB, it can simply choose not to use it's natural weapon that round. A single natural attack like a beak, gore or bite attack uses Str +1.5 for it's damage modifier and does damage one die size larger than the shifters claws would do, but otherwise progresses as per claws (making it perhaps situationally useful to punch through DR). The shifter can either have a pair of attacks, such as claws, or a single attack, such as a bite, through this ability, not both, and it's a swift action to change between them.

.

I don't feel like these changes would greatly affect the balance of the class, so much as make some of it's abilities more versatile (and some of the forms less situationally chosen, since the shifter would have more capability of taking some less optimal aspects), and it's aspects more of a series of always-on buffs that it can swap between.

Ideally, tweaks should add flexibility and fun, not just add bonuses to AC, hit points or damage dealt (although the single attack option does indeed increase damage dealt, at the cost of using only a single attack, instead of a pair of claws).


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Since we're doing this, here's my hot take on the Shifter:

1) Wild Empathy, Track, Woodland Stride, and Trackless Step shouldn't be separate abilities. They should be added to the general Aspect ability, possibly distributed or applied to specific aspects. For example, Wild Empathy only affects creatures similar to the Shifter's current aspects, so selecting a Wolf form would affect wolves or similar creatures. Woodland Stride, Track, and Trackless Step could be split up among different aspects, like an Eagle wouldn't use woodland stride but would track and get trackless step, a Wolf would get all three, and a Bull would get none.

1a) Possibly throw Shifter Claws into the Aspect pile too, so the shifter can change the available natural attacks based on the aspects. Maybe only one aspect is chosen as the primary and its natural attacks are primary, and others are all secondary. The Shifter Claws ability might improve DR penetration based on level for all natural attacks. Balance of more secondary attacks vs scaling primary attacks is a good question though.

2) Aspects should be selected on a per-day basis, and the shifter gets more of them. Maybe 3 at level 1, then another aspect every 2-3 levels or something. They're still limited to a single aspect chosen per day, but it does mean if, for example, Paizo adds aquatic aspects, a Shifter doesn't literally get stuck high and dry should the campaign veer away from the ocean. And it still maintains simplicity for new players: you're not locked into trap options or options that you chose at level 1 which no longer work as effectively, and you don't have to use different aspects if you don't want to. It only opens up available options instead of restricting them heavily.

3) The shifter should have a limited per day ability to change the current aspect as some kind of action. The nature of the change is up for debate: either it fully swaps the current aspect, or adds another known (but not active) aspect on top of the Chimeric Aspect ability, or just temporarily swaps the aspect around. Maybe that becomes the new form of Wild Shape, which combines Beast Shape with the ability to change the current aspect to one matching the beast shape.

4) Wild Shape, even if it's only locked to the Beast Shape line, should at least scale identically with the Druid's in uses and abilities available instead of being a degraded version in every aspect.


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shaventalz wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
shaventalz wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:

Here's another class idea. Full BAB, good fort, good ref, poor will, 4+int skills, druid Wildshape progression, bonus combat feats for every dead level.

Does that sound like a more satisfying class to play than the shifter? Is it also better at shapeshifting?

Except that's also massively better than the Fighter. Straight upgrade in everything except proficiencies, and that's easy enough to take care of. Better than the Brawler, too.

A proper dwarf Fighter? No not at all.

Even basic fighters hit harder more accurately.

Going by the numbers given. Same full BAB, same HP, same Fort, same feats (possibly missing 1), better Ref, better skills, and Wild Shape. The only things (related to hitting) Fighter gets that the chassis given doesn't are proficiencies and Weapon Training. So how exactly is the basic fighter hitting (significantly) harder and more accurately? It'd be a difference of +1 attack/damage starting at level 5.

And then they get gloves of dueling.

My proposed shifter idea still gets wildshape at level 4. Until the fighter gets weapon training his advantage is higher AC, which IMHO is more important at low levels.

My proposed half-baked shifter would get druid proficiencies and limitations.


Got my book quick look over I like the elemental shifter and they lyncanthrope the plant one looks interesting but I've never had the desire to play a plant. I think its needs a magic item to replace the belt of physical might since they gave it enhancement bonuses to physical stats. Maybe a belt to gain another or or 2 of the minor effects that would be good I feel.

I have to agree that the druid is better at shape shifting druid has the advantage their. which is silly.

The ooze thing however is you guys just assuming this stuff won't work but reading the description It says your partially a ooze creature It doesn't say you have to sit around in a bucket or slowly trudge around. If you take it by just what it says it doesn't have those problems. (incorrect inference maybe they should of clarified but your still just inferring some of the problems). Just give the regular character what it says no more no less. I would of like to have seen some acid damage or an option to make more slams (make some extra pseudopos)


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Vidmaster7 wrote:

The ooze thing however is you guys just assuming this stuff won't work but reading the description It says your partially a ooze creature It doesn't say you have to sit around in a bucket or slowly trudge around. If you take it by just what it says it doesn't have those problems. (incorrect inference maybe they should of clarified but your still just inferring some of the problems). Just give the regular character what it says no more no less. I would of like to have seen some acid damage or an option to make more slams (make some extra pseudopos)

NO inference needed. It explicitly spells out the issue: new base form:

*An oozemorph’s base form is not that of her race but rather that of a protoplasmic blob that has the same volume and weight.": You get a new base form. Polymorph effects tell you what you gain from the ability and keep from the base. The issue here is there is NO info on the base form. So, for instance land speed: it's clear what it is when in humanoid form but is undefined when not as polymorph effects don't inform in reverse and affect the base. It's like saying you are now a green moon person as a base... and leaving it at that: no movement, vision, size [same volume and weight might not equate to same size], ect.

IMO, blob form NEEDS a stat block, like any other 'race' that defined base abilities so everyone in on the same page.

Blob Racial Traits
Type: ooze and her base creature type from starting race
Size: same as starting race?
Speed: same as starting race[only land?]?
Senses: Do they vary from starting race?
Extra: a blurb on what an amorphous body can do. Can it climb a ladder? Stairs? Swim? Level of finesse with pseudopods? Can it make noises? How does non-hands interact with things like grapple/climb that look for two handed use? An explanation on why psychic spell casting isn't usable would be nice too.

And if some think it'd be as easy as 'use the base creature for base blob stats, then you run into situations there one blob moves 5' because it can polymorph into a merfolk that only has a fish tail instead of 2 feet and a second blob moves 6 times faster, not because they have different base forms but because of what they change into later.


Well, the book is done, printed and sent out. Which means the Shifter is stuck as it is, because they can't rework the class considering how many of the books have been sold now and a reprint would just anger customers.

I am surprised there was zero public playtest on this. Hopefully this means Paizo won't do that again.

So what exactly is this topic about? Getting Paizo to make it a better class, or just hypothesizing what a better Shifter could be? I personally prefer a rework, release it as some kind of free web download maybe?

I dunno. It's just sad to see a new class just be thrown on the back burner and never used by anyone because of how flawed it is.


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Still seems to be that your forcing it not to be able to do all those things. I don't have the book right in front of me but I will look over it again. Makes just as much sense to me to just to give it what it says and keep it working like normal. Are you looking for some sort of absolute? IF you are unseeing it in a home game that seems way easier then doing it that way your saying. If its getting used in PFS I imagine it will get some clarification or I suppose not be allowed at all. So I guess that would be at least one reason to get the clarification.

I just highly doubt the RAI is that you are suppose to be immobile unmoving thing for most of the day.


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Barachiel Shina wrote:
Well, the book is done, printed and sent out. Which means the Shifter is stuck as it is, because they can't rework the class considering how many of the books have been sold now and a reprint would just anger customers.

They COULD, I just don't think they will. For instance, HUGE swaths of ACG were fixed shortly after it came out. As to anger: there are a lot of unhappy people now so it's hard for me to see that number going up if the class saw an upgrade, especially if they use feedback from these kind of threads to see just what isn't thrilling people and fix those issues. IMO an announced 'hotfix' of the class would sell more books at this point than keeping it as/is.

Barachiel Shina wrote:
I dunno. It's just sad to see a new class just be thrown on the back burner and never used by anyone because of how flawed it is.

Sadly, I think I'll see more Rageshapers as foes for parties [endless rage] than actual shifter PC's.


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Oh yeah I agree on the duration they put on the shifting I don't know why you would even need to limit it at all.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Still seems to be that your forcing it not to be able to do all those things.

Nothing forced. It says you get a new base form: full stop, you ignore your other race and instead use new base forms abilities... what are those again?

Vidmaster7 wrote:
Makes just as much sense to me to just to give it what it says and keep it working like normal.

But that's the thing... "give it what it says" doesn't cover the basics: NO movement, senses or basic functions of life [eat, sleep, breathe], can you be tripped, ect

Vidmaster7 wrote:
Are you looking for some sort of absolute?

I'm looking for BARE minimum basics to play it. I'm LITERALLY given a racial base form with nothing filled in: how would you play a race without speed, senses, or anything else listed? Assume the DM is going to allow you unlisted abilities?

Vidmaster7 wrote:
IF you are unseeing it in a home game that seems way easier then doing it that way your saying.

I'm going to see it online with changing DM's. 'Make it up as you go' or 'rule 0 it' aren't satisfying or useful answers.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
If its getting used in PFS I imagine it will get some clarification or I suppose not be allowed at all. So I guess that would be at least one reason to get the clarification.

Oh, I guess they could use it too. IMO, I think everyone deserves to know what it's actually MEANT to do.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
I just highly doubt the RAI is that you are suppose to be immobile unmoving thing for most of the day.

Well, I doubt that it's RAI that 2 identical blobs move radically different from one another [one 6 times as fast] because they have different forms that they can polymorph into. As such, it seems that it's clear that something is missing from the archetype that hinders basic functionality in the form you're in 23/24th of the day...


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See my reading is that it uses your base form (say human if your a human shifter) and adds the extra stuff on to it. then it works just fine.

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