I received this book in the mail the other day knowing nothing of it. I hadn't been following paizo's release schedule (as I've been busy) and was surprised to get a new hardcover for my gaming table. As I always do with a new rule book, I set aside several hours to devour its contents. After completion, I had honestly felt robbed.
I had been paying zero attention to the boards here and had no idea the shifter class was even in the works. When I saw it, I was ecstatic. My all time favorite character and board namesake was a 3.0 master of many forms from back in the day. I thought I would finally get a chance to play him again. After reading the class, I was floored at how... unimaginative it is. for a shapeshifting class, you kinda expect it to be the best at what it does, but it's horribly pigeonholed into a mediocre natural attack fighter that can ,sometimes , turn into a couple of animals. I was sorely disappointed.
I traversed the archetypes and feats and found the vast majority of them to be clearly inferior to any other options (Hell, 95% of the feats are weaker than most traits). the only saving grace from this book are a couple of spells I'd hoped to finally see (ooze and fey forms), a compiled list of animal companions and familiars (most of which are just reprints from splatbooks), and a few mechanics I'd wanted to see in print (harvesting poison).
In my opinion this book suffers from something I've seen happening at paizo over many years now, a fear of strong options. Too many times a perfectly good ability, archetype, or feat is just fine but becomes horribly limited in usefulness by some qualifier or another. all too often you have a decent feat, but for some reason the author decided it could only be used upside-down, in the rain, and with a tuba (or some other arrangement of ever limiting terms). No one wants to take an ability they are only going to use once (maybe), ever. On the other end you find great options that could really make for a decent mechanic thwarted by a super restrictive time limit (like once a day). There is no problem making some abilities at will or constant other than super-specific skill bonuses.
All in all, this book is making me reconsider my subscription if I'm randomly going to find turds like this on my doorstep.
P.S.. A character I'd wanted to make since early 3.0 was an oozemaster. The shifter archetype broke my heart. my poor oozy heart...
As a fan of the Grippli race, I was ecstatic to find out that someone had done a supplementary book about them for pathfinder (even if it wasn't in house). What I got, however, was disappointing and downright lame. 90% of this book is either Paizo's own writing reprinted or a rehashing of the same information from past sources (primarily Dragon magazine, issue #324). Of the information that is new. it's shoddy, rife with syntax errors and glaring mechanical omissions.
The biggest annoyance, however, is not with this product, but with the massive number of low cost PDFs just like it littering this site. It has become an effective business model for many companies to push out numerous fraudulent "books" with barely enough content in them to call an original product, sell them for a few bucks, then turn around to unload the next repacked turd.
If this is the standard Fat Goblin games holds, I'll never purchase a product from them again, and Paizo better review who they let sell on this site before one of these companies gets caught strait plagiarizing.
As a person who doesn't have a lot of time on his hands for campaign design, these wonderful, thought-out stories are a bargain in subscription format. Simply put: you must add these to your collection.