Changes to the Shifter


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
...also, how many people are going to make grey-green oozemorphs?

I have my own inspiration for an oozemorph character in mind. It's a secret, though. ^_^

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As do I.

As do I.


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


...also, how many people are going to make grey-green oozemorphs?

Hot pink and purple... :P


Liquid Cool

Dark Archive

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I was thinking a nice shade of cobalt blue, but enh, everyone's tastes vary?


Jason - Thank you for the most recent FAQ updates! It says a lot about you and the Paizo staff that you are willing to make changes to the Shifter and the archetypes based on feedback from the gaming community. Do you have any thoughts on the current dead levels in the shifter class? Will they be filled with new abilities, will the current abilities be redistributed across the dead levels, a combination of both, or are the dead levels expected to remain as they are now?

Scarab Sages

Reposting this from another thread; it's probably more fitting here since it might affect future updates to the FAQ.

1. When a Weretouched deinonychus Shifter grows her claws, do they appear on her hands (giving her 5 attacks at lvl 4) or are they mapped onto her talins like in the major form?

2. In hybrid form, the Weretouched Shifter gains bonuses as if using Beast Shape with a Medium animal. Is it intentional that these bonuses remain the same for Small characters, or should they be +2 Dex, +1 natural armor instead like for a Small animal?

3. Is it intentional that Shifter‘s Edge can be taken at 1st level but has no effect there? Should it say (minimum 1)? That would certainly help make the feat useful. If you have to wait until 3rd anyway, I guess most people will just get an Agile amulet instead.

4. Is it intentional that the Weretouched Shifter stops gaining class features after 6th, except for the form upgrades at 8th and 15th? As is, it‘s almost mandatory to multiclass after 6th...


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Sadly, number 4 applies most of the archetypes for the Shifter to various degrees. Poor rageshaper has 9 dead levels and no way to reliably not smack the party save someone knocking them out.


GodsBlister wrote:
Poor rageshaper has 9 dead levels

LOL the poor rageshaper got the short end of the stick WAY before those 9 levels... You can avoid the dead levels by multiclassing into a brute vigilante. :P


Not gonna lie, that combo sounds atrocious to deal with in a party.


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GodsBlister wrote:
Not gonna lie, that combo sounds atrocious to deal with in a party.

LOL The only thing worse that either archetype individually is putting them together. ;)


So taking into account Shifter's Fury, since your secondary natural attacks don't "benefit" from Shifter's Claws when you use it, does that mean that they cannot penetrate damage reduction?

If that's the case, then how often will it be worth using it over just attacking with all of your primary natural weapons?


Hi, everybody. I've just discovered the shifter class, and am creating a half-orc Idyllkin Aasimar shifter. Our game is starting off at level 12. My main question has to do with the aspects, particularly the major aspect. One colleague says that you only get the STR, DEX, and CON of the animal you change to. I think you should also get the feats & skills of the animal. For example, Dire Bears can swim - partly because of the buoyancy of their coat. So why shouldn't I get the added skill points for swimming when I'm in that form? Also some of the feats. Why shoudln't I be able to RUN like a Dire Bear when in that form? Any explanation or help figuring this out would be MOST appreciated! Thanks.


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Makhoy wrote:

Hi, everybody. I've just discovered the shifter class, and am creating a half-orc Idyllkin Aasimar shifter. Our game is starting off at level 12. My main question has to do with the aspects, particularly the major aspect. One colleague says that you only get the STR, DEX, and CON of the animal you change to. I think you should also get the feats & skills of the animal. For example, Dire Bears can swim - partly because of the buoyancy of their coat. So why shouldn't I get the added skill points for swimming when I'm in that form? Also some of the feats. Why shoudln't I be able to RUN like a Dire Bear when in that form? Any explanation or help figuring this out would be MOST appreciated! Thanks.

This is not at all how Major Form works. You keep your own stats and the only applicable changes to your character when you change into a major form from your original form are:

• Those listed under the aspects major form.

• Any size-dependent effects as detailed in the spells Beast Shape I and Beast Shape II.

• Any changes listed under the transmutation (polymorph) rules.

You absolutely do not what so ever use the NPC stat block as a reference when using the shifter. You use your base form and layer the major form on top of it as described above.


Is it working as intended that an Oozemorph's Fluidic Form doesn't count as wild shape for feats or have their levels count as Druid levels as per the Shifter's Wild Shape?

It's quite strange to be a shapeshifting archetype that cannot take Wild Shape feats without multiclassing. Hopefully this is just something that was missed.


GodsBlister wrote:
Is it working as intended that an Oozemorph's Fluidic Form doesn't count as wild shape for feats or have their levels count as Druid levels as per the Shifter's Wild Shape?

"This replaces chimeric form, greater chimeric form, wild shape, shifter aspect, and all improvements of shifter aspect." Seems like it.

GodsBlister wrote:
It's quite strange to be a shapeshifting archetype that cannot take Wild Shape feats without multiclassing. Hopefully this is just something that was missed.

Oozemorph just seems "quite strange".

Scarab Sages

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One more question:

5. Do the Ape and Bear major aspects grant reach, since they're tall Large creatures?


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


...also, how many people are going to make grey-green oozemorphs?

I was thinking of something inspired by the Hungry Flesh ooze. So something a lot more visceral.


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If I were doing an oozemorph, I would probably go with something more like a lava lamp for coloration.


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BretI wrote:
If I were doing an oozemorph, I would probably go with something more like a lava lamp for coloration.

Oh hey, that's a pretty good idea for a carrying case. That way when you cease being able to interact with the party you can still be a good conversation piece.


This is more my flavor of Oozemorph.

Shadow Lodge

Alchemaic wrote:
BretI wrote:
If I were doing an oozemorph, I would probably go with something more like a lava lamp for coloration.
Oh hey, that's a pretty good idea for a carrying case. That way when you cease being able to interact with the party you can still be a good conversation piece.

And if the container is big enough you can have any items your carrying drift up and down.

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Dragonborn3 wrote:
Alchemaic wrote:
BretI wrote:
If I were doing an oozemorph, I would probably go with something more like a lava lamp for coloration.
Oh hey, that's a pretty good idea for a carrying case. That way when you cease being able to interact with the party you can still be a good conversation piece.
And if the container is big enough you can have any items your carrying drift up and down.

What would the weight and volume be for the character? Would it be the same for the starting race?


It is. As per the Fluidic Form ability:

Fluidic Form wrote:
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.

It's quite interesting since it means you can do some silly things involving some of the smaller races and squeezing into some of the smallest of spaces.


Hmm, I didn't really see that much of a problem with the Shifter before, but in terms of ease of use these changes are generally positive for the Shifter. I worry that the ramifications of having two now entirely different class features called "Wild Shape" that are considered equivalent... even though they aren't really comparable in scope of effect or increment of duration*.

I really hope the final version of these Changes To The Shifter include increasing the duration increment of the minor forms to hours as well. I also wish they received more increments of both, to better capitalize on the intended increase in versatility, and not rob them of so many of their total hours of wild shape.

*For example, how do we balance magical items, feats, etc, for Wild Shape? One version uses bestiary entries, and has X Uses Lasting Y Hours Each (Where X is Arbitrary, and Y is based on Class Level), and the other version uses specialized entries, and has X+Y Uses Lasting 1 Hour Each (Where X is based on Class Level, and Y is based on WIS Mod). I hope they don't honestly expect us to accept such disparate values for "One Use Of Wild Shape" as being equivalent.


Shifter being able to spend Wild Shape uses more cheaply is a beneficial side-effect. The rules call that out specifically.


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Cantriped wrote:
Hmm, I didn't really see that much of a problem with the Shifter before, but in terms of ease of use these changes are generally positive for the Shifter. I worry that the ramifications of having two now entirely different class features called "Wild Shape" that are considered equivalent... even though they aren't really comparable in scope of effect or increment of duration*.

It might not be bad if the Shifter gets an ability with the "This counts as Wild Shape for feats and abilities" clause tacked on the end.


Catharsis wrote:

One more question:

5. Do the Ape and Bear major aspects grant reach, since they're tall Large creatures?

Where is the ape minor/major aspects? I don't see it in Ultimate Wilderness. It would seem to make sense that they would since the shifter takes on the shape/size of the ape and bear though the way I read Beast Shape II and the current bear aspects, I don't think the shifter would get reach.

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Alternatively, just *unchaining* Wild Shape (to match it up with Druid) would solve the issues.

Give the Aspects at some point to show mastery over a given aspect.

Make it Shifter Natural Attack versus 'Shifter Claws' to reflect entities that have slams or whatnot.

Is that too simple and word-count reducing? Did I miss something?

Shadow Lodge

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Why not just let the shifter pick their natural attack at level one instead of just claws?


Dragonborn3 wrote:
Why not just let the shifter pick their natural attack at level one instead of just claws?

Claws have the built in opportunity cost of denying you the use of your hands. The Devs must have feared players would always select Bite in order to be able stack it with manufactured weapons, and then multiclass into some other Martial Class that will provide better upgrades to their shtick.

Warriors can't have nice things, and that goes doubly for the ones that use anything other than traditional Manufactured Weapons (like the classic Longsword).


Dragonborn3 wrote:
Why not just let the shifter pick their natural attack at level one instead of just claws?

It gets way too easy to get four or five natural attacks at first level then, selecting hooves.

Shadow Lodge

You can already do that, so one more way is nothing. No options for Slam, Sting, Tail Slap, etc. if they're so worried make them secondary regardless of its your only attack or they would normally be primary. Then throw in a feat to get them back to normal.

Just an idea.


QuidEst wrote:
Dragonborn 3 wrote:
Why not just let the shifter pick their natural attack at level one instead of just claws?
It gets way too easy to get four or five natural attacks at first level then, selecting hooves.

Oh no, secondary attacks! ;)

With claws, raptor and boar skinwalkers can start off with 5 attacks, and raptor can have 6 at 3rd... If the idea was to limit number of attacks it fails: it DOES limit hand use and character customization. I personally think a nice set of horns fits the nature theme quite well as does some satyr-like hooves. If for no other reason, the aesthetics of it works well.

Dragonborn 3: I find it a shame that an agathiel vigilante has the option of [2 claws, a bite, a gore, or 2 slams] while the shifter is stuck with just claws. On top of that they have no limit/day on shape changing uses, equipment doesn't get lost/melded and they pick the abilities they get from up to the beast shape IV spell. But at least shifter has 2 forms that can pounce at 4th...

Shadow Lodge

Shh, don't get the Agathiel nerfed by bringing attention to it! ;)


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Dragonborn3 wrote:
Shh, don't get the Agathiel nerfed by bringing attention to it! ;)

Sigh... If only that wasn't a possibility... :(

I guess it'd be bad to mention that it also doesn't swap out Vigilante Specialization, so you can be an avenger Agathiel for full BAB too... And it gets Talents every level that allow for bonus feats/abilities EVERY level...

Sorry... what does the shifter get again? :P

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The Shifter (originally??) got shafted?


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


The Shifter (originally??) got shafted?

Well it was clearly too strong for it to get an option of natural weapons...

LOL Sorry, I can't say that with a straight face! ;)

Shadow Lodge

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Might want to tone it down a bit on the snark. Especially with developers actually(probably) watching the thread.

Huh. Surprised I'm the one saying this. Guess Paizo got more faith from me with this thread than I thought...

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Perhaps this paradox may be resolved with thoughtful insight and observation on the part of the Design team, without destroying flavorful options that are already available.

Without dragging it into the CMDD, what is wrong with CORE Wild Shape (Druid Style) for shifters? Does it break any mechanics? Does it make gameplay any less interesting? Does it even break the Shifter?

Shadow Lodge

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Wild Shape is weird.

For Shifter it's clearly supposed to be the core of the class. The shifter's version of, say, Rage. So it needs to be something they can reliably do for most or all of the day.

For Druids... it's a side feature they can ignore and still do fine because they have SPELLS. If they focus on it they still have spells. They have more resources and those resources are part of the most powerful thing in the game.

So Shifter's Wild Shape needs to be different enough to differentiate itself from Druid's while also being better so it can make up for the lack of spells and versatility.


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Dragonborn3 wrote:
Might want to tone it down a bit on the snark.

That was about as LOW on the snark o' meter as I can go... I hope that no one is thin skinned enough to be unable to take some friendly ribbing and disagreement [note the emoji!]. Add to that that It was actually pretty factual: I can't seriously see a mechanical 'balance' reason: I can see a simplicity for beginners reason but not a 'power' one.

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
what is wrong with CORE Wild Shape (Druid Style) for shifters? Does it break any mechanics? Does it make gameplay any less interesting? Does it even break the Shifter?[/ooc]

IMO, I think things 'got off track' when the shifter's focus turned to 'basic, starter level class'. I figure druid wild shape was deemed too complicated for beginners so in an effort to simplify it, they want with aspects. So IMO it wasn't a mechanical issue but one of attempting a change for ease of use. IMO, it failed miserable at that goal, but I think that was it. IMO, each aspect should have been a stat block with exactly what you get so you don't need to look ANYWHERE else to meet the simplicity goal.


You and your EMOJIS! :P


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
You and your EMOJIS! :P

LOL As you noted before, it's hard to read 'tone' so I always try to let people know how I mean my comments to be read. I'm naturally snarky so I try to minimize the confusion. :)

Plus I like emoji! It's one thing those darn youngsters invented I like.


graystone wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
You and your EMOJIS! :P

LOL As you noted before, it's hard to read 'tone' so I always try to let people know how I mean my comments to be read. I'm naturally snarky so I try to minimize the confusion. :)

Plus I like emoji! It's one thing those darn youngsters invented I like.

Youngsters? hmm I found out recently I'm just a the very lip of the millennial generation if i was a few years older I'd of missed it so I guess I can claim some credit for them :D. So you must at least be a gen-X. :F


Vidmaster7 wrote:
graystone wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
You and your EMOJIS! :P

LOL As you noted before, it's hard to read 'tone' so I always try to let people know how I mean my comments to be read. I'm naturally snarky so I try to minimize the confusion. :)

Plus I like emoji! It's one thing those darn youngsters invented I like.

Youngsters? hmm I found out recently I'm just a the very lip of the millennial generation if i was a few years older I'd of missed it so I guess I can claim some credit for them :D. So you must at least be a gen-X. :F

I barely sneak into that. To put it in perspective I got an atari when they first came out in the 70's and my first computer had an audio cassette drive [to save programs on!] and eventually a 300 baud modem!... To post, I had to take time away from yelling at those darn kids to stop skateboarding in front if the house, with their juice boxes and their rap music...


graystone wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
graystone wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
You and your EMOJIS! :P

LOL As you noted before, it's hard to read 'tone' so I always try to let people know how I mean my comments to be read. I'm naturally snarky so I try to minimize the confusion. :)

Plus I like emoji! It's one thing those darn youngsters invented I like.

Youngsters? hmm I found out recently I'm just a the very lip of the millennial generation if i was a few years older I'd of missed it so I guess I can claim some credit for them :D. So you must at least be a gen-X. :F
I barely sneak into that. To put it in perspective I got an atari when they first came out in the 70's and my first computer had an audio cassette drive [to save programs on!] and eventually a 300 baud modem!... To post, I had to take time away from yelling at those darn kids to stop skateboarding in front if the house, with their juice boxes and their rap music...

So what I'm hearing is your barbarian needs a walker to charge into battle and your wizard has to wear the EXTRA thick coke bottle glasses to read his spell book.

Edit: XD


Dragonborn3 wrote:

Might want to tone it down a bit on the snark. Especially with developers actually(probably) watching the thread.

Huh. Surprised I'm the one saying this. Guess Paizo got more faith from me with this thread than I thought...

Pointing out that the Shifter not getting choices of Natural Weapons, features that better support Natural Weapon use, or a superior form of Wild Shape, when those are the main attractions and draws of the class, isn't snarky whatsoever. It's the facts, and is an asset of bad design that can (and should) be pointed out to others, especially the developers themselves, the ones who made this choice.

Even then, the idea that a class was designed with little to no support regarding the niche and concepts they were supposed to fulfill deserves some snark just based on principle alone. Pseudo-false-advertising is not something that most people would take kindly to, and the initial Ultimate Wilderness sales and reviews are a prime example of this.


Having the Shifter now A Thousand Faces, how does that goes with thematic of each archetype? I mean, for Oozemorphs it's good to have an unlimited way to morph into any medium&small humanoid, but for Elementalist and Weretouched shifters isnt that weird?

Also, will the weretouched and Elementalist get some love here? The first one is still having Chimeric Aspect, with no use for it.
The second one has elemental forms with no listes speeds, senses and natural attacks... And still no mentions to what energy corresponds each Element (this is easy fix). Also maybe is there a chance that Elemental Strikes will FAQed to work with elemental form?

Changes so far are appreciated, thanks


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Without dragging it into the CMDD, what is wrong with CORE Wild Shape (Druid Style) for shifters? Does it break any mechanics? Does it make gameplay any less interesting? Does it even break the Shifter?

Didn't I talked about that in my last three posts?

It doesn't break anything, it's simple boring design that doesn't give any mechanical reason to play the class. It makes it a straight nerfed Druid.

For Shifter to be a proper class, it's wild shape needs to go beyond Druid's WS. I see two options: Either use the existing chassis, but have the forms grant abilites not normally aviable to druids (see my last post), or allow choosing additional forms (see below).

What I'd have done with the class, although now it's probably to late:
Shifter get's Wild Shape based on Alter Self at 3rd level. At 5th level, and every 2 levels afterwards, the Shifter can select a "shifting form", a spell to base WS on in place of Alter Self. Higher humbered forms require the respective lower numbered forms to be possessed first. At 5th level, the Shifter can choose between Beast Shape I, Monstrous Physique I, and Undead Anatomy I. At 7th level, she can choose between Beast Shape II, Elemental Body I, Monstrous Physique II, Vermin Shape I, and Fey Form I. And so on for higher levels, with the level prereq being equal to when a Wizard can first cast the spell. For example, a Shifter with Beast Shape I+II and Vermin Shape could use wild shape to change into humanoids as Alter Self, tiny to large animals as Beast Shape II, or small to medium vermin as Vermin Shape I.
Other forms are Magical Beast Shape (requires Beast Shape IV), Form of the Dragon, Giant Form, Ooze Form, Adjustable Polymorph, and Frightful Aspect (requires Adjustable Polymorph).
Of course, limiting some of these options to archetypes would be possible, and the abilities could be moved to even levels. There could also be options that modify an existing form rather than grant a new one.

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