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


Advice

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Herolab isn't official, they have a more open communication with the devs, but they aren't official as far as I'm aware.


I mean, the basic problem is that it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for the Merfolk oozemorph to be super slow, and for the Gathlain Oozemorph to still be able to fly.

That, I think, is the fundamental problem. We'd really like this thing to make some kind of sense.


Herolab has been official since shortly after their Mac support came online. That said it's expensive if you want everything and not for everyone's tastes.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, the basic problem is that it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for the Merfolk oozemorph to be super slow, and for the Gathlain Oozemorph to still be able to fly.

That, I think, is the fundamental problem. We'd really like this thing to make some kind of sense.

Totally agree. But being a flying blob with two tentacle slams is just hilarious.

Edit: Upon rereading some of the comments by the archetype's author, it appears that he didn't intend for anything but the land speeds of the base to carry over, so no fly or swim speeds were intended.

Grand Lodge

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Grailknight wrote:
Herolab has been official since shortly after their Mac support came online.

Herolab has never been official. Please cite a statement if you believe otherwise.

Shadow Lodge

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A statement from Paizo, not HeroLab.


When Herolab has more pull and contact in rules changes than even current FAQs, I'd have to say Herolab is as official as it gets.

Grand Lodge

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
When Herolab has more pull and contact in rules changes than even current FAQs, I'd have to say Herolab is as official as it gets.

Except they're explicitly not an official source for rulings and Herolab gets plenty of things wrong currently. For example, it allows you to get double charisma to saves on an oracle/paladin even though we have an FAQ specifically not allowing that. And that ruling was clarified ages ago.

Grand Lodge

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
When Herolab has more pull and contact in rules changes than even current FAQs, I'd have to say Herolab is as official as it gets.

Speculation is unhelpful.


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Wasn't the officialness of HeroLab at issue when the gauntlet kerfuffle popped up like 16 months ago, and a FAQ was "coming soon"?

I'm still waiting for that... I really *like* Shield Gauntlet Style.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
When Herolab has more pull and contact in rules changes than even current FAQs, I'd have to say Herolab is as official as it gets.
Speculation is unhelpful.

Barbarian Damage Reduction and Courageous Property were changed specifically because of Herolab. That's not one (which is a coincidence), but two instances where Herolab has caused rule changes to happen. To say that it's speculation with these two indisputable facts is just outright false. At best, you can say it's exaggerated, but in those instances, before a FAQ was made, Herolab was more current on the rules than anything else that was official.

@ Jurassic Pratt: I don't use the program because I'd rather not have to pay even more money to invalidate what the books and PDFs are supposed to tell me because Herolab has a more convenient approach to rules legality than what even Paizo's official site does.

Herolab triggers me so hard that I suggest we just get back on topic because you cannot, and will not, budge my opinion on Herolab.

Grand Lodge

Darksol you have cause and effect backwards. Herolab didn't cause those things to change; Paizo told Herolab that's how they wanted it to work and they implemented it that way.

And I already mentioned that the program directly contradicts plenty of rules that we've already had clarifications on for several years. It's not an official source in any way because they have a weird mix of listening to Paizo and implementing in that way and ignoring other rules.


Yes, they have. I saw how the Barbarian Damage Reduction thread panned out, being changed out of a clarification letter from Herolab, and I created the thread for the Courageous property, which was only changed due to somebody linking another Herolab letter and causing contention on something that, as written, had zero confusing implications whatsoever.

You can't sit there and tell me that Herolab was not the driving force behind those changes when I saw with my own eyes their involvement to make them happen.


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Why doesn't shifter get wild shaping at level 2?

Grand Lodge

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
You can't sit there and tell me that Herolab was not the driving force behind those changes when I saw with my own eyes their involvement to make them happen.

I can, and would, but not in this thread.


Rajnish Umbra, Shadow Caller wrote:
It doesn't say you lose your land speed, either.

"you lose what it says you lose and gain what it says you gain". Base blob form starts with NO speed, then gains/loses what is said: nothing.

Rajnish Umbra, Shadow Caller wrote:

It still assumes that you used to be a member of your base race (and you could have picked it up as multiclass later on), so that is still the basis, which is only modified (permanently) by your "new base shape".

I know, I know, that's not how Polymorph works, but here? It does.

it would have to spell it out for it to 'work like it here', as we've determined "you lose what it says you lose and gain what it says you gain". It hasn't said the blob form gains your original races speed: it just doesn't.

Grailknight wrote:
But we have the word of the author that this is RAI as he submitted it to Paizo.

While I LOVE to hear from the authors, I have no way of knowing if his RAI and paizo's RAI are the same, so I can't really take his comments as any kind of official.

Grailknight wrote:
trust Herolab

As is your right, but I personally have no interaction with the program and have no interest in it. As far as I know it's not 'official' but they seem to have a direct line to the Dev's so who knows: This 'ruling' might be based on their own reading or might be based on insight we don't have. Without knowing which, how can we say Herolab is correct by default?

Silver Crusade

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graystone wrote:
Base blob form starts with NO speed,

Where in the Archetype does it state that the ooze form has no speed.


They're good for people who want to play shifters.


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Rysky wrote:
graystone wrote:
Base blob form starts with NO speed,
Where in the Archetype does it state that the ooze form has no speed.

"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.": so you can't rely on abilities linked to your original form as the blob is a different form. No speed is listed for a blob base shape: hence it has no speed.

Polymorph: "Your base speed changes to match that of the form you assume." Blob base form has NO listed speed: hence it has none.

This is the dilemma with "you lose what it says you lose and gain what it says you gain". You gained a new base form. You HAVE to use that forms speed, as speed is a form related ability. The archetype lists no speed. Hence it has no speed, or you'd be gaining something it didn't say you gain.

So polymorph [magic section] say the blob has no speed based on what is linked to form: there is no ability written for the archetype to gain anything from the form it lost. As written, the blob has no speed.


Is the base form actually a Polymorph effect? After all, it's a changed "true form" that can't be dispelled or suppressed. That's not exactly how Polymorph works, either. And if it's not a Polymorph effect, then Polymorph rules don't apply.


Rajnish Umbra, Shadow Caller wrote:
Is the base form actually a Polymorph effect? After all, it's a changed "true form" that can't be dispelled or suppressed. That's not exactly how Polymorph works, either. And if it's not a Polymorph effect, then Polymorph rules don't apply.

How is the ability worded? The Change Shape monster ability, for instance, functions as polymorph. There are instances of monsters that use that and have a particular "true" shape (Jackalwere), some that explicitly don't (Zephyr), and plenty that just don't say (Barghest).


Rajnish Umbra, Shadow Caller wrote:
Is the base form actually a Polymorph effect?

Doesn't matter as polymorph informs you what is a form based ability. "Your base speed changes to match that of the form you assume": IE, speed matches your form and blob form isn't your old original form. However, it IS a polymorph effect. "This is treated as a polymorph effect."

Rajnish Umbra, Shadow Caller wrote:
After all, it's a changed "true form" that can't be dispelled or suppressed.

Technically it CAN. The ability that grants you a new base form is a SU ability, so it stop in an antimagic field and interestingly bypasses the "reverts to this formless state whenever she is unconscious or in an area of antimagic" as this is ALSO removed in an antimagic field...

Rajnish Umbra, Shadow Caller wrote:
That's not exactly how Polymorph works, either. And if it's not a Polymorph effect, then Polymorph rules don't apply.

Polymorph totally explains what your form gives you. It doesn't matter if you're currently using a polymorph effect or not.

Silver Crusade

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Polymorph rules say that you match the speeds of the specific forms you take, with Oozemorph you’re not taking on a specific Ooze, you’re you. Just oozy. Similar to how Kitsunes’ have foxy them and not-foxy them. Neither modify nor mention speed.

”Polymorph totally explains what your form gives you. It doesn't matter if you're currently using a polymorph effect or not.”

Yes it does. The Polymorph rules for the Polymorph subschool of Transmutation applies to Polymorph effects.


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Rysky wrote:
Polymorph rules say that you match the speeds of the specific forms you take, with Oozemorph you’re not taking on a specific Ooze, you’re you.

No, you're an undefined ooze form that HAS NO LISTED SPEED. THERE IS NO KEEPING YOUR OLD SPEED FOR POLYMORPH AS "Your base speed changes to match that of the form you assume". Your form is a blob and not "you’re you. Just oozy". You need specific wording to allow what you're trying to do and that wording isn't in the archetype.

Rysky wrote:
Similar to how Kitsune’s have an alternate form that have the same speeds.

Not at all. A kitsune has a listed speed just as a human has a listed speed. Neither is undefined. Your speed technically changes from 30' [kitsune] to human [30'].

Rysky wrote:
The Polymorph rules for the Polymorph subschool of Transmutation applies to Polymorph effects.

Yep, and they tell us the blob form has no listed speed so it has no movement...


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I’m starting to notice the difference between people who don’t mind the Shifter versus those who don’t like it. The people who dislike it want to be able to play something as it’s written in the book, whereas its defenders are the people who don’t mind houseruling certain aspects and extrapolate past RAW to actually make something usable.

And both sides utilize RAI and common sense, just in different ways. Personally, I find the idea of a Strix-ooze flying an a weird, jellyfish-like way, but it also doesn’t make a ton of sense, either. If all oozemorphs supposedly have the same base form, why can this one fly while that one can barely move? Why can this one not be tripped and swim, but that one can climb up walls and speed around the room? It just doesn’t make sense.


ericthecleric wrote:
I've not read the shifter yet, but how does it seem for those who are using the automatic progression rules? With or without archetypes.

I made one with automatic bonus progression. Doing so does require houseruling that you can use the dual-wielding rules in it to enhance all your natural attacks (which I did see Mark say would be fine) though as Automatic Bonus Progression isn't natural weapon friendly by default.


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Dαedαlus wrote:

I’m starting to notice the difference between people who don’t mind the Shifter versus those who don’t like it. The people who dislike it want to be able to play something as it’s written in the book, whereas its defenders are the people who don’t mind houseruling certain aspects and extrapolate past RAW to actually make something usable.

And both sides utilize RAI and common sense, just in different ways. Personally, I find the idea of a Strix-ooze flying an a weird, jellyfish-like way, but it also doesn’t make a ton of sense, either. If all oozemorphs supposedly have the same base form, why can this one fly while that one can barely move? Why can this one not be tripped and swim, but that one can climb up walls and speed around the room? It just doesn’t make sense.

I don't see anyone defending the shifter.

I'm seeing "it's garbage" vs "well if we make some tweaks and assumptions, it's eco friendly garbage"

I'm reserving final judgment for when I read the class, but Druids can get swim speeds and shifters apparently can't. Ergo Druids have a more comprehensive shifting kit than a class supposedly built around the idea. 0/10


I did say, "Those who don't mind it," not "those who like it." ;)


Rhedyn wrote:
I'm reserving final judgment for when I read the class, but Druids can get swim speeds and shifters apparently can't. Ergo Druids have a more comprehensive shifting kit than a class supposedly built around the idea. 0/10

Shifter can get swim speeds, large frog Wildshape gives them a 30/60 ft. swim speed.

Silver Crusade

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graystone wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Polymorph rules say that you match the speeds of the specific forms you take, with Oozemorph you’re not taking on a specific Ooze, you’re you.

No, you're an undefined ooze form that HAS NO LISTED SPEED. THERE IS NO KEEPING YOUR OLD SPEED FOR POLYMORPH AS "Your base speed changes to match that of the form you assume". Your form is a blob and not "you’re you. Just oozy". You need specific wording to allow what you're trying to do and that wording isn't in the archetype.

Rysky wrote:
Similar to how Kitsune’s have an alternate form that have the same speeds.

Not at all. A kitsune has a listed speed just as a human has a listed speed. Neither is undefined. Your speed technically changes from 30' [kitsune] to human [30'].

Rysky wrote:
The Polymorph rules for the Polymorph subschool of Transmutation applies to Polymorph effects.
Yep, and they tell us the blob form has no listed speed so it has no movement...

I do have that specific wording since your type is is now what you are + Ooze, not just Ooze. A Human Oozemorph would be Humanoid (Human, Ooze). So you are in fact an “oozy you”. A Human’s base speed is 30, Oozy Human would be 30, the writer of the archetype confirms this.

I wasn’t clear on my last statement, the Polymorph rules apply to Polymorph effects, Oozeform is not a Polymorph effect (unless Robert stated it was supposed to be one).


Doesn't the archetype outright say it's a polymorph effect? And that you are an ooze only for the purposes of Favored Enemy and the like?

Silver Crusade

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It says you are boh your race and Ooze for the purpose of effects targeting creatures by type, like the Android’s constructed.

And hot damn, it does say it is a Polymorph effect (I used word search), it’s in the small paragraph in the middle of the description talking about antimagic. I’ve read the archetype dozens of times and just now saw that.

Grand Lodge

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Dαedαlus wrote:
I’m starting to notice the difference between people who don’t mind the Shifter versus those who don’t like it. The people who dislike it want to be able to play something as it’s written in the book, whereas its defenders are the people who don’t mind houseruling certain aspects and extrapolate past RAW to actually make something usable....

I have no problem with houseruling things, my problem with the shifter is that in order to make it a class worth taking, you need to houserule to the point of practically making a new class. If I'm making a character I intend to play for a full campaign, the shifter offers nothing new flavor wise or mechanically, and on top of that it isn't even particularly good at what it does.

Shadow Lodge

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So apparently, the only thing keeping munchkins away from Druidzillia is the granola flavor...

*sprinkles granola around the tables*


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To add on to the houserules part you're gonna get different groups with different houserules. I've seen roughly about 3 dozen different takes and houserules to make the Shifter into something playable. Each distinctly unique to the person and group. Yet unsurprisingly (to me at least) they roughly agree on the same concepts about what could fix this class.

So what's really gonna end up happening is that everyone will have their own take on this class. Then they're gonna "fix" it, shelf it, and pretend it never existed, and hope it doesn't show up in a future AP. New people will come in and ask about the shifter in the new group, hear about the houserules, tell their new group about their old group's houserules, everyone feels disappointed, and then continue to never play the shifter.

Everyone is gonna play something else and just feel a twinge disappointed at what could have been. Yeah they can make something that feels more accurate to what a Shifter could be to them but likely won't cause it doesn't feel "official."

Dark Archive

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In addition, if this 'premier' 'lead-in for buy-in' class is underwhelming, folks will avoid it and pick up druid, which is a CORE class (sure, it only has 3/4 BAB, right? And only a d8 hit die instead of a d10... but gets an animal companion, non-nerfed Wild Shape, and SPELLS).

There needs to be more to the class, unfortunately, and that's part of the reason a good chunk of people are disappointed in it.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:

So apparently, the only thing keeping munchkins away from Druidzillia is the granola flavor...

*sprinkles granola around the tables*

If anything it will push people back to Druid and optimize the wild shape capabilities there.

Druid can still wildshape into what pleases, it just has a level penalty if its doing something like Dragon Shaman. Druid isn't restricted by another class feature called "aspects" for its wild shaping. Druid's capstone is wild shape at-will rather than 8/day. Druids can wild shape into an ooze that still gets benefits based on what equipped magic items it has and can even speak with the Wild Speech feat.

What I think people honestly expected out of Shifter is the Druid's shapeshifting turned up to eleven but forgoing most(4th-level casting) or all casting. As Shifter was toted as the equivalent to paladin, who is the more martial version of cleric, to the Druid class. That shapeshifting would be the corner stone of the class.

The fact that its also supposed to be "entry-level shapeshifter" is a slap in the face. As if anyone here has played a Druid, they are well aware that the wild shape by itself is anything but "entry-level". As you actually have to keep track of a long list of animals in addition to your casting.

Silver Crusade

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Thassilonian Wizard wrote:

*snip*

The fact that its also supposed to be "entry-level shapeshifter" is a slap in the face. As if anyone here has played a Druid, they are well aware that the wild shape by itself is anything but "entry-level". As you actually have to keep track of a long list of animals in addition to your casting.

I don't think creating an entry-level shapeshifter is a slap in the face.


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I wonder why a Shifter archetype called the Oozemorph does not reference in any way whatsoever the Ooze Shape spells, which can be found in the same book.


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Separate authors?


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When I think of "entry level," I think of newbies purchasing the Beginner's Box and understanding the basic mechanics of the game. The fact that they basically set the Shifter's bar to "entry level," that means they set it to the Beginner's Box.

In which case, the Shifter was doomed from the start, because it won't see much play or support outside of being considered in the Beginner's Box.


Ventnor wrote:
I wonder why a Shifter archetype called the Oozemorph does not reference in any way whatsoever the Ooze Shape spells, which can be found in the same book.

The author of the archetype probably never saw the spells before the book came out, Lack of design coordination most likely.


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Grailknight wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
I wonder why a Shifter archetype called the Oozemorph does not reference in any way whatsoever the Ooze Shape spells, which can be found in the same book.
The author of the archetype probably never saw the spells before the book came out, Lack of design coordination most likely.

That's not a good thing and it explains alot of what we're seeing...


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graystone wrote:
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?

It doesn't actually tell you to ignore anything though.

Dαedαlus wrote:
Doesn't the archetype outright say it's a polymorph effect?

Nope. Treated as a polymorph effect, not actually one. Contrast with Chameleon Hunter's Animal Shape or Mauler familiar's Battle form "This is a polymorph effect" in the same book.

graystone wrote:


elemental: The sticking point here is your elemental strike doesn't work if you actual change shape. So you get the option to do cool elemental form stuff and tank your combat ability [1d6 or 1d8 + 1.5 str] vs staying humanoid and getting up to +6d6 energy damage ON TOP of your normal physical damage on every attack.

Came to the same conclusion in my post on the archetype.

Worth noting though that even if Elemental Strike worked regardless of form you'd still want to stay human for combat because single natural attacks are kind of terrible.

Rajnish Umbra, Shadow Caller wrote:


Because, yes, the designer also confirmed that the base ooze shape isn't what the oozemorph is about - it's just a penalty.

The real question is what's the Oozeshaper supposed to have going for it to compensate for that penalty? It's not combat ability, because it gets pounce delayed by a whole 11 levels over the regular shifter and it can lose access to its unique natural attack feature depending on which form it shifts into.

It can shift more often and has more forms, but does that really compensate for its in-combat woes AND how much it struggles at low level with ooze form?

Kinda noticed a pattern where certain archetypes seem to have huge weaknesses baked into them but don't actually get anything on the back end to make up with it. Rageshaper is similar, and the Star Watcher investigator from elsewhere in the book.

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I don't think creating an entry-level shapeshifter is a slap in the face.

Entry level shapeshfiting class is a misstep because it narrow's the Shifter's focus to people who both are okay playing a druidic variant and are cool with simpler shapeshifting. A player who wants to play a more comprehensive shapeshifter isn't served by the class and a player who wants to play a simpler shapeshifter but doesn't like the specific theme is also let down.

Simplified shapeshifting would have been better handled via general variant rules. The shifter could have been written to accomodate but not require those rules and then those rules would also be useful to someone who thought polymorph was too complicated but was more interested in monstrous physique or undead anatomy or form of the dragon as a base would get value too.

Scarab Sages

My brown furred transmuter is going to have so much fun running around with a party in a hot tub.


So we can all at least agree that it should be clarified at least?

I do at least like the concept of it the more I think about it. Implementation needs some work. I think it comes down to the duration of the abilities.

I'm still bothered by how duration is based on minutes and hours instead of rounds. back in the CORE first book they realized breaking duration for combat abilities by rounds made more sense.


Squiggit wrote:
It doesn't actually tell you to ignore anything though.

Not the archetype but polymorph rules. "Your base speed changes to match that of the form you assume" Your form has clearly changed from your original race so I can't see how it could inform you on what the new blob form has for a base speed: The rules are super clear: you don't keep your old speed when you take on a new form by default. IMO this stays true even if the effect isn't a polymorph one as the section still informs you on what's a form based ability, and base speed is clearly one of those abilities.

Squiggit wrote:
Treated as a polymorph effect, not actually one.

I don't see the functional difference: Under what situation are there substantial/noticeable variance in how they work? IMO it's a difference in semantics, not a different set of rules.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
So we can all at least agree that it should be clarified at least?

I really hope so.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
I do at least like the concept of it the more I think about it. Implementation needs some work. I think it comes down to the duration of the abilities.

I LOVE the idea of the archetype, which is the main reason I want to figure out how it's actually meant to be played

Vidmaster7 wrote:
I'm still bothered by how duration is based on minutes and hours instead of rounds. back in the CORE first book they realized breaking duration for combat abilities by rounds made more sense.

I don't really like rounds, but breaking your change form into hour uses would be a boon for the archetype.


See problem I have with uses based on per hour is what If I miss call my use for 1st hour for easy fight then I run our at hour 6 or so for the boss cause maybe I thought we would rest or something in between.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
See problem I have with uses based on per hour is what If I miss call my use for 1st hour for easy fight then I run our at hour 6 or so for the boss cause maybe I thought we would rest or something in between.

Only an issue at 1st level. At second, you use one block and still have a second block to use later.

When you do rounds you're VERY limited to use/scope, especially for form changes that have non-combat uses. You have a dozen or two rounds of change and that not much use in an underwater/swim adventure or flying/climbing up a mountain, ect or scouting an encampment as a skunk.

So rounds/day make sense for a combat buff like rage but not so much for a more universally useful buff like changing your shape.


I just figure I would hang out in my bucket and make bubbling noises during non-combat stuff...

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