Force of Nature

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Since people starting telling stories around the very first campfires, there have been heroes and villains who could shuffle off the coil of humanity in favor for something a little more wild, more primal, and more powerful. While shapechangers are nothing new in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, for the upcoming Ultimate Wilderness, we wanted to present a new take on the old trope—the shifter.

This class is one infused with primal magic. The base class serves as a guardian for druidic circles and is firmly rooted in those ancient religious traditions. While she is no spellcaster, a shifter's innate shifting magic is partly druidic mystery. The shifter learns Druidic and adheres to a philosophy similar to her druidic cousins, but her magic is very different. Like the hunter, the shifter is the master of the animal aspect, from the stealty bat to the terrifying deinonychus, but even more visible results. She uses those aspects to change her form and gain the power in more powerful ways. The most overt of these aspects is her ability to grow powerful claws. Without the need for manufactured weapons, she can defend the wilderness and her circle with ever-growing power that few can face for long. With increased experience comes increased control over her gifts. As she gains levels, she gains more aspects, as well as the ability to take her aspect's true form via akin to beast shape II. But unlike other shapechangers, she is not rooted in a single form. She can meld her lesser aspects and even enrich her true polymorphed forms with her lesser aspects, creating a chimeric form which can enrich her scouting and combat prowess.

Fully at one with the natural world, the shifter is more than a pure brawler. She also sports a defensive instinct granting her greater defenses when unfettered by armor or shields. She also gains wild empathy, track, woodland stride, and trackless step, making her as at home in the wild lands as any druid, hunter, or ranger.

At the highest levels, the shifter becomes a true master of forms. Her claws can tear through the most powerful enemy defenses. Her shape can be fine-tuned to confront whatever challenge she faces. She can slip into the mists and the shadows, only to return as a raging beast unrivaled by her foe's greatest nightmares. She is nature's wrath incarnate

While the base class is firmly tied to the world of druid circles, archetypes allow you to play shifters of a different stripe. The elemental shifter grants forms tied to the various elemental planes, the fiendflesh shifter detail those who make fiendish pacts for their power, while the oozemorph allows you to play an oozy creature who takes humanoid form as its disguise instead. Of course, just like all our Ultimate books, the new class isn't the only one getting new toys to play with. Ultimate Wilderness features a bunch of new archetypes for all the nature-themed classes and nature-infused takes on other classes. A personal favorite of mine is the green knight archetype for the cavalier. This archetype melds the Arthurian myths with high fantasy resulting in a stalwart protector of all things verdant and wild.

In case you haven't heard, Ultimate Wilderness also features new, nature-based, core races that you can play. Two of those races—the long-time favorite and delicious ghoran, and the band new vine leshy—are plant creatures. Those of you who pay close attention to the game's creature types might be wondering how these new races can become shifters. After all, the plant creature type has immunity to polymorph effects. No worries, we have you covered, we have made some adjustments to the plant creature type when they are played as a PC race. While you may lose some of the more powerful immunities to damage types, you gain the ability to use the shifter class, and polymorph spells to their full effect. You'll find these changes in a sidebar located in Chapter 1: Wilderness Heroes of the book.

Altogether, the new shifter class along with a wealth of new options presented in Ultimate Wilderness will enrich your game, whether you are out in the wilderness or just have a hankering for playing some wild and different. Enjoy your walk on the wild side!

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Senior Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Shifters Ultimate Wilderness untitled
1 to 50 of 116 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Sounds like a good start for the shifter, though a dragon-shaper archetype at some point in the future would also be nifty.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

Though now that I think about it, a teifling fiendflesh shifter whose power doesn’t come from an Infernal pact but rather from meditating on their own evil bloodline and tapping into it to access its true power without letting it consume their soul could be rather fun.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Dragon and fey shifter archetypes would be awesome especially if they both let you use charisma instead of wisdom for AC.


Must have been in a hurry....lot's of spelling mistakes.....

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

31 people marked this as a favorite.

lot's

lots

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I hope this gets a class deck for the card game :D

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:

lot's

lots

Wouldn't this be considered grammar?


Mark Moreland wrote:

lot's

lots

ROFLMAO.....well I'm expected to make them :P

You usually don't ;)


I have a silly question about the Shifter class. The blog mentions 'chimeric' forms; does this mean the Shifter can create a sort of 'half-beast' form like the hybrid forms lycanthropes have?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Also an aberration shifter archetype with tentacle primary attacks instead of claws.

I wonder if the shifter gets any aquatic creature options?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Looking at this image, it occurs to me that the Shifter may very well be the the "Mummies Alive" class. I'm sure we can have some fun with that!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm looking forward to this, but I'm *really* looking forward to what makes the AR cut for PFS.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A Druid, a Ranger, a Hunter, and a Shifter wander into the Ironfang Invasion.....


2 people marked this as a favorite.
zergtitan wrote:
A Druid, a Ranger, a Hunter, and a Shifter wander into the Ironfang Invasion.....

"we didn't bring enough kitty litter..."


Two(technically three) questions

1) Why remove immunities other than Immunity to Polymorph effects? Were they really causing so many problems?

2) What was the design decision behind not being able to pick your natural weapon at first level and only be able to have claws?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Based on just one sentence, the oozemorph speaks to me like no class has since the Kineticist. Does this mean, though, that there will now be some ooze races? Or are you just going to count as whatever else you're posing as?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Azten wrote:
1) Why remove immunities other than Immunity to Polymorph effects? Were they really causing so many problems?

With Wyrwood's getting full on construct, it's hard to see anything plant brings to the table as problematic. Even Immunity to Polymorph just needs a proviso that the race can use it's own abilities/spells to polymorph; ie, it can 'turn off' its immunity if it wishes or it's immunity doesn't extend to itself.


Like the little Treant plant companion that gets to use it's rage?


Azten wrote:
Like the little Treant plant companion that gets to use it's rage?

You mean the Carnivorous Flower? Yeah, like that.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Original Blog Post wrote:
{. . .} band new vine leshy {. . .}

I'm trying to imagine a vine leshy playing a tuba . . . .

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
nighttree wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:

lot's

lots

ROFLMAO.....well I'm expected to make them :P

You usually don't ;)

Dude, you got owned. Your surfing board is broken, your face is buried in sand, your mojo is gone, vegan police just took away your vegan powers, you're through. Give up.


As a PFS GM, I feel a sense of dread about the potential inclusion of more new classes, races, feats, etc.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
...while the oozemorph allows you to play an oozy creature who takes humanoid form as its disguise instead.

Welp, now I need to drive to the Paizo offices so I can personally hand them all of my money.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

With the immunity to mind-affecting effects, I think at least some of it is people forgetting that they're immune to various buffs, such as bardic inspiration or spells such as aid, bless, battlemind link, good hope, heroic/saving finale, heroism/greater heroism, placebo effect, prayer, tactical acumen, and other such. Though honestly I still don't know why plants that aren't mindless are immune to mind-affecting effects anyways...or why plants are immune to polymorph effects, for that matter.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

I am fine with loosing immunity to mind-affecting effects and polymorph but the rest of them I really like. Though if they only get to keep one immunity I would hope for paralysis.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Azten wrote:

Two(technically three) questions

1) Why remove immunities other than Immunity to Polymorph effects? Were they really causing so many problems?

2) What was the design decision behind not being able to pick your natural weapon at first level and only be able to have claws?

1) Yes. Can’t play them as a Bard, Barbarian, Bloodrager, or Skald, and they get a capstone immunity (mind-affecting) at first level, plus mid-level immunities like poison. It trivializes entire encounters, and gets them banned.

2) My guess is balance and simplicity. Claws use your hands. If you want to wield a regular weapon, you have to give up a claw attack. It would be bad if the optimal Shifter were “grab broadsword proficiency and two hoof attacks to use as secondary attacks”. Pincers are secondary natural attacks, and people argue about how slam attacks work even on eidolons. Additionally, if you can add the claws to a Wild Shape form, making it claws is important to balance things like tiger and wolf, evening out the number of natural attacks rather than give tiger even more on their pounce.


So very cool! Love the 'chimeric' possibilities to customize a character for each encounter...


Looks essentially like another hybrid class, this one being the child of Druid/Monk/Hunter


Is this like the Master of Many Forms from 3.0?


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
Is this like the Master of Many Forms from 3.0?

The opposite, really. It’s focused entirely on animals, with archetypes to focus on different types of forms.


So now I finally have a character class that lets me make Grace from El Goonish Shive.

Thank you Paizo, looking forward to this.


QuidEst wrote:
1) Yes. Can’t play them as a Bard, Barbarian, Bloodrager, or Skald, and they get a capstone immunity (mind-affecting) at first level, plus mid-level immunities like poison. It trivializes entire encounters, and gets them banned.

Trivializes? Are enchanters using poison that common? You can play those classes just fine. Sure, you don't gain the bonuses from rage but you do get rage and bloodline powers. Sure, you don't get bonuses from your performance but everyone else does. Removing the immunity while adding very, very little makes the races far less useful and may very well send people back to playing humans.

Then it raises the question of why plants suddenly don't share the same features anymore. It's certainly not because they are intelligent since treants retain their immunities.

QuidEst wrote:
2) My guess is balance and simplicity. Claws use your hands. If you want to wield a regular weapon, you have to give up a claw attack. It would be bad if the optimal Shifter were “grab broadsword proficiency and two hoof attacks to use as secondary attacks”. Pincers are secondary natural attacks, and people argue about how slam attacks work even on eidolons. Additionally, if you can add the claws to a Wild Shape form, making it claws is important to balance things like tiger and wolf, evening out the number of natural attacks rather than give tiger even more on their pounce.

And why shouldn't they use weapons? If we are going with Hunter Focuses then there are a lot that don't make sense to have claws, but other natural. Bat(Bite), Bull(Gore), Frog(the big ones bite), Monkey(Bite or Weapons), Mouse(Bite), Snake(Bite, possibly with venom), Stag(gore or hooves), and Wolf(bite with trip).

You are empowered by nature, the Aspect of the Snake but instead of fangs you get.. claws?

Not to mention at higher levels where you get iterative attacks your Natural Attacks can fall behind. Since Wild armor is now too expensive for what it does it becomes dangerous to use Wild Shape as well since your Armor Class will more than likely take a huge dive. Yes, you get your Wisdom to AC, but guess what? Just like a monk you need four high ability scores! Strength for Damage and Attack Rolls(just Damage with Weapon Finesse, but the better wildshapes boost Strength a lot more due to size), Dexterity for AC, Constitution to stay on the frontline, and now Wisdom for AC too.


I like it...


Azten wrote:
Just like a monk you need four high ability scores! Strength for Damage and Attack Rolls(just Damage with Weapon Finesse, but the better wildshapes boost Strength a lot more due to size), Dexterity for AC, Constitution to stay on the frontline, and now Wisdom for AC too.

You hit on what worries me the most: that it turns out it's really a shapeshifting 'monk' archetype disguised as a new class. It seems pretty close with scaling claws[unarmed flurry] damage, pouncing[Flying Kicking] attacking with Wis AC boost and some supernatural/SLA magic[ki] powers tossed in, needing 4 out of the 6 stats... Several of the occult classes seemed, IMO, close enough to existing classes that they could have been archetypes instead of stand anyone classes so I'm hoping shifter has some features that truly let it stand out as unique.


Azten wrote:
Just like a monk you need four high ability scores! Strength for Damage and Attack Rolls(just Damage with Weapon Finesse, but the better wildshapes boost Strength a lot more due to size), Dexterity for AC, Constitution to stay on the frontline, and now Wisdom for AC too.

Consider though that the Bloodrager needs 4 stats too (the three physical ones and CHA instead of WIS), and the Bloodrager is generally considered to be a pretty successful class (probably the best designed of the entire ACG). So this *can* work.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rosc wrote:
Quote:
...while the oozemorph allows you to play an oozy creature who takes humanoid form as its disguise instead.
Welp, now I need to drive to the Paizo offices so I can personally hand them all of my money.

...if it is legal for PFS I'll entertain this possibility, and I don't drive.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Azten wrote:
Just like a monk you need four high ability scores! Strength for Damage and Attack Rolls(just Damage with Weapon Finesse, but the better wildshapes boost Strength a lot more due to size), Dexterity for AC, Constitution to stay on the frontline, and now Wisdom for AC too.
Consider though that the Bloodrager needs 4 stats too (the three physical ones and CHA instead of WIS), and the Bloodrager is generally considered to be a pretty successful class (probably the best designed of the entire ACG). So this *can* work.

Bloodrager doesn't need stats in the same way though. They can start with a 10 CHA, put in a point at 4th for an 11 and cast their spells. A monk needs Wis for AC from 1st and needs to put much more of an investment in the stat as it's covering for armor.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

And a monk also doesn't have a stat boosting class feature that allows for some pretty amazing things either. They also don't get more benefit out of a two-handed weapon because of said class feature they lack.

Unlike Wildshape though Rage doesn't require you to buy an overpriced armor enchantment to keep your armor bonus while wearing it.


I was already exited, those archetypes sold me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you get nit-picky* enough, every class is MAD though. I've seen posts on these very message boards stating that one of the (many) reasons the fighter sucks is that it needs all the physical scores plus int to make up for a lack of skill points & wis to make up for not getting perception as a class skill. You could argue that the wizard needs con (hp), dex (AC & ranged attacks) & wis (because perception is really danged important in this game) on top of needing the int to make their spells work.

(*I am NOT trying to accuse anyone in this thread of nit-picking, I just couldn't think of a better term to use. No offense intended.)


well, if you get on this line of reasoning, every class BENEFITS from high scores, that doesn't make them MAD, a wizard can be efficient with only INT above average, even though he'd be an even better wizard on the Conan build


Well, the Hunter is potentially getting a +4 enhancement bonus to two different physical stats at level 8, and presumably the Shifter is even better at the "Animal Aspect" thing than the Hunter is, so it may have built in features to mitigate MADness.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Klorox wrote:
well, if you get on this line of reasoning, every class BENEFITS from high scores, that doesn't make them MAD, a wizard can be efficient with only INT above average, even though he'd be an even better wizard on the Conan build

That's essentially the point I was trying to make. From what I can tell, there's a pretty thin line between "needs" & "benefits from".


Has anyone who has actually read the class think poorly of it?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Quote:
In case you haven't heard, Ultimate Wilderness also features new, nature-based, core races that you can play. Two of those races—the long-time favorite and delicious ghoran, and the band new vine leshy—are plant creatures.

Ghoran isn't new though. Or do they mean they're just updating it?

Shadow Lodge

Yeah, it's getting nerfed across the board of it's immunities instead of a simple one-line addition letting it effect itself with moral bonuses and polymorph effects.


Nate Z wrote:
If you get nit-picky* enough, every class is MAD though.

Oracles can get by quite well with only Cha as they can base darn near everything off that stat. ;)

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Well, the Hunter is potentially getting a +4 enhancement bonus to two different physical stats at level 8, and presumably the Shifter is even better at the "Animal Aspect" thing than the Hunter is, so it may have built in features to mitigate MADness.

Fingers crossed. The ""Animal Aspect" thing" is the real wildcard to me. Done well and it could really set the class apart.

Kryzbyn wrote:
Has anyone who has actually read the class think poorly of it?

Haven't heard anyone say so yet. It SHOULD be soon that people will start getting copies.

Dragonborn3 wrote:
Yeah, it's getting nerfed across the board of it's immunities instead of a simple one-line addition letting it effect itself with moral bonuses and polymorph effects.

Has this been confirmed?

Shadow Lodge

Blog wrote:
Those of you who pay close attention to the game's creature types might be wondering how these new races can become shifters. After all, the plant creature type has immunity to polymorph effects. No worries, we have you covered, we have made some adjustments to the plant creature type when they are played as a PC race. While you may lose some of the more powerful immunities to damage types, you gain the ability to use the shifter class, and polymorph spells to their full effect.

They aren't losing just their Immunity to Polymorph effects.


Dragonborn3 wrote:
They aren't losing just their Immunity to Polymorph effects.

That's not really saying "getting nerfed across the board of it's immunities" is it?

Shadow Lodge

We shall see. I don't expect them to have many advantages over other, better choices now.

1 to 50 of 116 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder RPG / General Discussion / Paizo Blog: Force of Nature All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.