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Why the limit the number of attacks on the shifter class


Advice


So im reading over the new shifter class, I was thinking this is some cool RP potential (always wanted to RP a werewolf and not need the rules bent to make it work) but reading over the Oozemorph. I see you can have no more than 3 nat attacks?. Why if i play a skinwalker (bore) alchemist i can have 5 attacks at first level (gore, claw x2, hoof x2 or any of the other combinations that can get that manly attacks at first level. If i play a Oozemorph and (bite Oozemorph weapon x2)...

I dont know i was looking for reviews on the class but all ive been finding is hate anyone can tell me the good builds for this call multi oir otherwise added


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They limited it specifically because of things like skinwalkers (IMO).

They realized they messed up when they made it possible to have 5 natural attacks at level 1 and didn't want to replicate that further. GMs can restrict it by saying that skinwalkers aren't a normally available race, and I don't think it's generally available in PFS. But a class such as shifter would have to meet the general design criteria of not having too many natural attacks at low level, so it gets restricted.

Really the question shouldn't be "Why doesn't the shifter get more attacks?" It should be, "What do we do about these builds that have too many natural attacks at level 1?"

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Let martials have nice things for a change? Poor shifter suffered the most from 'keep casters the best' IMO.


7 people marked this as a favorite.

I really hate the battle cry of "Martials can't have nice things!"

Just because the wizard is broken doesn't mean you need to add other broken things to the game. The answer is to bring the wizard in line (which will never happen, but that's another issue) not to make other stuff broken.

Shadow Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

If casters won't be brought in line the only response is to put martials on that level too, and recreate the way the game works to balance it.

Hey, an actual reason for Pathfinder 2.0!


This isn’t a rules question, flagging to be moved to General Discussion.


Letting martial characters deal more damage doesn't put them on equal footing with casters.

Casters aren't strong because of their ability to deal damage, they're strong because they can do everything. They can literally change the narrative.

You need to travel to the other side of the planet? Teleport
You need a place to hide someone? Create demiplane is pretty secure
You need a specific item of some sort? Fabricate

Giving martial characters additional damage isn't how you achieve caster/martial parity and is a short sighted response.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

"Put the, on the same level" does not mean "deal tons more damage."

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

What does "remove limit on number of attacks" do for the shifter, the first or the second?

Liberty's Edge

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I'm not sure that giving martials access to 5+ natural attacks at level 1 has anything to do with putting them on the same level as casters.

Wereboar skinwalkers do not give martials more narrative options, or keep them 'up to par' with casters, they just just give Paizo design issues, break the low level power balance and put me off playing an otherwise very cool race.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
TOZ wrote:
What does "remove limit on number of attacks" do for the shifter, the first or the second?

Exactly, it's the second one.

Dragonborn3 wrote:
"Put them on the same level" does not mean "deal tons more damage."

That's what I'm pointing out, as this discussion was about why the Shifter isn't able to get more natural attacks.

It does nothing to reduce martial caster imbalance, all it does it let martials do more damage. Which is broken in a different kind of way that doesn't improve the game.

Martial characters generally already deal more than enough damage. They need options that aren't dealing damage better.


Wereboars are not the only characters that can get high number of a attack. any race with a bite, that uses two weapons and gets unarmed attack thats 4 attacks. I cant remember the ruling but the designers said it was valid. two weapon fighting natural attack unarmed attack. So even if you bar the skinwalkers. You can still get a martial character with 4 attacks with little issue.

To me it just sucks that you could be level 8 and still only have 3 attacks.


i dont know i manly care about the RP and the shiftier seams cool from that perspective but i dont see a clear path the make a viable character with this class.


Unarmed strikes and manufactured weapons pull from the same pool of attacks (regular iterative BAB attacks) and cause natural attacks to take a -5 penalty to attack rolls and only cause half strength damage.

So sure you can TWF with unarmed strikes (or weapons) and any natural attacks you're allowed, but those natural attacks take some serious penalties.


Claxon basically has it (Skinwalker natural attacks were a mistake). Of note, 5 primary natural attacks at 1st level is far above the expected damage per round at that level.

Paizo follows a design philosophy that says (roughly) that 3 natural attacks at low levels is OK. These are always claw/claw/bite, so that you can't stack beyond 3. Exceptions to this are relatively few, and in each case are restricted to some kind of niche option. This is the reason the shifter gains claws instead of slams or another type of natural.

Just for the curiosity of anyone who stumbles across this thread: If you do the DPR math on natural attacks, you find that in order for them to keep pace with an optimized core-rulebook-only fighter with a two handed weapon, they need the following natural attack progression (assuming full BAB and a scaling str bonus similar to barb rage):

@1st: 2 primary natural attacks
@6th: 3 primary attacks
@9th: 3 primary attacks, 1 secondary attack
@11th: 4 primary attacks + an additional primary from haste, 1 secondary attack
@13th: 4 primary attacks + an additional primary from haste, 2 secondary attacks
@15th: 5 primary attacks + an additional primary from haste, 2 secondary attacks
@18th: 6 primary attacks + an additional primary from haste, 2 secondary attacks

Seems really low right? I mean, you don't need 5 primaries until 15th level! But that's how the math works out.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

no the skin walkers worked out to 3 primary and 2 secondary attacks, but i get what your saying

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The only issue I can see with your DPR is the problem natural attack builds have against DR. Most weapon users can enchant a single weapon to penetrate DR or have appropriate back up weapons. Natural attacks don't have a lot of options when it comes to this. A few feats, a few items that all occupy the neck slot and almost no way to penetrate hardness.

This can skew the math because they need more attacks and more damage per attack to mitigate what the core fighter can accomplish with an +3 adamantine holy sword (53000), which only provides, for the same cost only gets you a +3 amulet of mighty fists (36000) or +4 (64000) which would not deal with alignment DR, would not overcome hardness and to overcome adamantine costs more.


natural attacks fall off hard later on in the game the only time they really shine is level 1-5 when material weapon users only get 1 or two attacks


Claxon wrote:

They limited it specifically because of things like skinwalkers (IMO).

They realized they messed up when they made it possible to have 5 natural attacks at level 1 and didn't want to replicate that further.

Okay, wonderful. Five natural attacks at level 1 is too much. Sure.

But the Oozemorph only gets two at level 1. And it scales up to four at level 15. That's not really all that special as the campaign progresses.

So huge weird argument about skinwalkers and martials vs caster aside, there's still a point to be made here. Even moreso for the regular shifter who can end up being stuck with an even lower cap if it doesn't pick the right form.


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I haven't taken a detailed look at the shifter, but there is probably a decent argument that the shifter should get more attacks at higher levels to keep up with everyone else (or get some buffs for existing natural attacks). But the initial post seemed to really be asking "Why can't I have 5 attacks at level 1 like this other build?".


Dragonborn3 wrote:

If casters won't be brought in line the only response is to put martials on that level too, and recreate the way the game works to balance it.

Hey, an actual reason for Pathfinder 2.0!

Refer back to the 3.5/4.0 divide and the birth of Pathfinder.


Claxon wrote:
I haven't taken a detailed look at the shifter, but there is probably a decent argument that the shifter should get more attacks at higher levels to keep up with everyone else (or get some buffs for existing natural attacks). But the initial post seemed to really be asking "Why can't I have 5 attacks at level 1 like this other build?".

i can see why i cam off that way but i used that as an example. All characters with a bite attack using two weapons and the unarmed combat feat can start with 4 attacks at level 1 (will they hit probably not} and almost all nat attacks builds start with 3 attacks. I was mainly confused by the wording in the class. Even by level 9 the class is still limited to 3 natural attacks (if im reading it right that class cannot even get secondary natural attacks) i get that there are things to make it better like the rending feat chain. It just feels off.

Eh, ill still play the class it will be fun to play a slime.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

Moved to Advice.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:

If casters won't be brought in line the only response is to put martials on that level too, and recreate the way the game works to balance it.

Hey, an actual reason for Pathfinder 2.0!

Refer back to the 3.5/4.0 divide and the birth of Pathfinder.

That it turned spellcasters into reskinned martial characters was only one of the reasons 4e crashed and burned IMO.


Riuk wrote:
Claxon wrote:
I haven't taken a detailed look at the shifter, but there is probably a decent argument that the shifter should get more attacks at higher levels to keep up with everyone else (or get some buffs for existing natural attacks). But the initial post seemed to really be asking "Why can't I have 5 attacks at level 1 like this other build?".

i can see why i cam off that way but i used that as an example. All characters with a bite attack using two weapons and the unarmed combat feat can start with 4 attacks at level 1 (will they hit probably not} and almost all nat attacks builds start with 3 attacks. I was mainly confused by the wording in the class. Even by level 9 the class is still limited to 3 natural attacks (if im reading it right that class cannot even get secondary natural attacks) i get that there are things to make it better like the rending feat chain. It just feels off.

Eh, ill still play the class it will be fun to play a slime.

skin walker for 2 hooves and a gore, then get the adopted trait for a bite then twf for 2 manufactured weapons for 6 attacks at level 1 or play a class like bloodrager and get 2 claw attacks instead for 6 attacks still

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:

If casters won't be brought in line the only response is to put martials on that level too, and recreate the way the game works to balance it.

Hey, an actual reason for Pathfinder 2.0!

Refer back to the 3.5/4.0 divide and the birth of Pathfinder.

Intent v. Execution

The problem wasn't that they elevated martials to be as powerful spellcasters. The problem was they homogenized diverse character archetypes into a system that reads more like a battle arena boardgame than an RPG.


Lady-J wrote:
Riuk wrote:
Claxon wrote:
I haven't taken a detailed look at the shifter, but there is probably a decent argument that the shifter should get more attacks at higher levels to keep up with everyone else (or get some buffs for existing natural attacks). But the initial post seemed to really be asking "Why can't I have 5 attacks at level 1 like this other build?".

i can see why i cam off that way but i used that as an example. All characters with a bite attack using two weapons and the unarmed combat feat can start with 4 attacks at level 1 (will they hit probably not} and almost all nat attacks builds start with 3 attacks. I was mainly confused by the wording in the class. Even by level 9 the class is still limited to 3 natural attacks (if im reading it right that class cannot even get secondary natural attacks) i get that there are things to make it better like the rending feat chain. It just feels off.

Eh, ill still play the class it will be fun to play a slime.

skin walker for 2 hooves and a gore, then get the adopted trait for a bite then twf for 2 manufactured weapons for 6 attacks at level 1 or play a class like bloodrager and get 2 claw attacks instead for 6 attacks still

no the gore in part of the head you cannot gore and bite in one attack combo.


Riuk wrote:

no the gore in part of the head you cannot gore and bite in one attack combo.

But gargoyles can bite and gore on the same full attack, so I don't see why PCs can't also.


Riuk wrote:

no the gore in part of the head you cannot gore and bite in one attack combo.

There are literally dozens of monsters that disprove this in the game. The head is NOT counted as a 'limb' for the natural weapon rules.


Riuk wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
Riuk wrote:
Claxon wrote:
I haven't taken a detailed look at the shifter, but there is probably a decent argument that the shifter should get more attacks at higher levels to keep up with everyone else (or get some buffs for existing natural attacks). But the initial post seemed to really be asking "Why can't I have 5 attacks at level 1 like this other build?".

i can see why i cam off that way but i used that as an example. All characters with a bite attack using two weapons and the unarmed combat feat can start with 4 attacks at level 1 (will they hit probably not} and almost all nat attacks builds start with 3 attacks. I was mainly confused by the wording in the class. Even by level 9 the class is still limited to 3 natural attacks (if im reading it right that class cannot even get secondary natural attacks) i get that there are things to make it better like the rending feat chain. It just feels off.

Eh, ill still play the class it will be fun to play a slime.

skin walker for 2 hooves and a gore, then get the adopted trait for a bite then twf for 2 manufactured weapons for 6 attacks at level 1 or play a class like bloodrager and get 2 claw attacks instead for 6 attacks still

no the gore in part of the head you cannot gore and bite in one attack combo.

head is not a limb so you can gore and bite in the same round

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