Legendary Hybrids: Skinchanger (PFRPG) PDF

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They Could Be Anyone!

Legendary Hybrids: Skinchanger is the latest volume in our series of class-focused player supplements, introducing a new series of hybrid classes like those in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Class Guide that blend the core elements of two different base classes into a unique synergy all their own. The skinchanger brings you a 20-level hybrid class that combines the druid's shapeshifting with the vigilante's flexibility and brilliantly devious ploys. They can transform into almost any shape and pass as anyone they have studied. Those who survive learning of these secretive operatives struggle endlessly with the fear that anyone they meet, no matter how trusted, might be a disguised skinchanger watching for the perfect opportunity to strike.

Customize your shapeshifting hero with over 50 brand-new vigilante talents and skinchange options from anonymous persona, flexible grace, and celebrity lookalike to potent powers like metamorphic dodge, colossal form, impossible agility, and reality is unrealistic! Plus get favored class options, unique class feats like Form Finesse and Memorized Personae, and take on an awesome archetype like the shape-blending chimerist, the moon-mad lycanthrope aspirant, or the deadly shape thief! Grab this 33-page class accessory today and Make Your Game Legendary!

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An Endzeitgeist.com review


This installment of the Legendary Hybrids-series clocks in at 33 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of introduction, 3.5 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 20.5 pages of content. Now, as always, Legendary Games’ consumer-friendly layout means that there is a lot of text on these pages, so let’s take a look!

So, what is the skinchanger? Well, the class is a hybrid of druid and vigilante, and gets d8 HD, 6 + Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons and all natural weapons gained from skinchanging as well as light armors, but not shields. The class gets ¾ BAB-progression, has only good save-progressions for all 3 saving throws, and skinchangers at 4th level gain spellcasting, drawing their spells from a massive, customized list. Their governing spellcasting attribute for these spells is Charisma, but they do need to prepare spells, and the skinchanger gets a unique twist on spontaneous spell-conversion: They may lose a prepared spell of an equal level or higher to convert it into alter self, monstrous physique I, or giant form I.

The base ability that takes the place of dual identity would be adopted persona: With 1 minute of mental and physical preparation, the skinchanger can adopt an invented or copied persona. The latter must be the identity of a target the skinchanger has studied closely – this means 1 week of spending time with the target, which can make for a great deep cover infiltration angle. Better yet, the ability actually is super precise regarding the daily studying required, making this ability exceedingly precise. Up to half class level, minimum 1, such personas may be maintained at any given time – learning a new one requires that the skinchanger forgets an old one, and personae must be maintained in a way, requiring at least 1 hour per week spent with the target. The transformation duration may NOT be hastened by abilities or effects that quicken a vigilante’s identity change. While within a persona, the skinchanger gets half her class level, minimum +1, to Bluff to maintain the ruse, as well as up to three Knowledge/profession skills related to the topics that constitute the adopted persona’s personality and occupation. This only applies while in the guise of the proper persona, obviously. Acting grossly out of character does blow your cover, and starting at 5th level, these bonuses apply even if you are untrained in the respective skills.

The skinchanger begins play with hidden strike +1d8, inflicting this as bonus precision damage versus unaware targets with melee weapons (or ranged ones, standard 30 ft. max distance caveat applies), with the damage increasing by +1d8 at 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter. The damage applies versus flanked targets, but is reduced to d4s. The ability stacks with the stalker specialization. The class also begins play with improved Unarmed Strike, and the ability specifies its interaction with natural attacks. The second core class feature would be the one that lends the class its name – I am, of course, talking about the supernatural skinchange ability.

Skinchange lets the skinchanger change form as a standard action and doesn’t provoke Attacks of Opportunity. The ability may be used 1/day, +1/day at 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter, with 20th level making the ability work at-will. Druid levels stack with skinchanger levels for the purpose of determining wild shape and skinchanging, and skinchanging counts as wild shape for the purpose of prerequisites. Feats and abilities that modify wild shape, such as Quick Wild Shape do not apply their benefits to the skinchange ability. The duration of a skinchange is 1 hour per skinchanger level, and if applicable, the save DC is 10 + ½ class level + Charisma modifier. Activating skinchanges while observed spoils any disguise granted by it – nice catch there!

Skinchanges fall into two different categories: Polymorph skinchanges and mutation skinchanges. The former follows the rules and restrictions that apply to the polymorph transmutation subschool, and when activating or dismissing a polymorph skinchange, the skinchanger may change one choice made for her mutation skinchanges as a swift action. Any number of mutation skinchanges may be in effect at any given time, but each must be activated separately as a standard action the activation costs must be paid, obviously. At 1st level, the skinchanger can alter her height, weight, skin, color, texture, hair and sex within her type, gaining a +5 untyped bonus to Disguise that does not stack with the polymorphing. This bonus increases to +10 at 4th level. This is btw. a mutation. Starting at second level, the skinchanger may assume Small or Medium humanoid or monstrous humanoid (at 4th level) form, functioning as alter self, with weapon/natural weapon interacting concisely defined. This does necessitate familiarity with the chosen form. This follows the rules for monstrous physique I, and 6th level allows for Tiny and Large creature forms, following, analogue, monstrous physique II.

At 4th level, the ability upgrades to advanced skinchange, which is no longer linear – instead, an option is chosen, and another one is unlocked every even level thereafter. In short, these would be class-exclusive talents that allow for further customization of the base ability. These include the mutation based ability to gain a hunter’s animal focus, camouflage, scaling boosts to physical attributes, extra forms and limbs, reach increase and easier squeezing, quicker movement, limited self-healing (has a cooldown)…and what about the immediate action +4 dodge bonus to AC and DR 10/bludgeoning for a skinchange use? Yeah, there is some interesting martial stuff going on here! Temporarily integrating tools into your form, reproducing sounds…really cool tricks here. The ability is further differentiated, though: At 10th level, the array of greater skinchanges is unlocked, where further size modifications are provided, and elemental based forms are also found here. These also allow for the further upgrade of the item creation angle that the advanced skinchange option offered: These abilities are particularly intriguing, considering the high difficulty or the rules operation here. Did I mention the ability to enter a death-like torpor? Also one of the really impressive ones from a design perspective would be the trap form: Become temporarily a trap! I have NEVER seen that operation pulled off properly before!!

Finally, 16th level unlocks the most potent of the skinchange tricks available to the class – the legendary skinchanges. Density control, Colossal forms, super-quick shapechange, further, numerical boosts…nice ones, suitable for these high levels.

The skinchanger also begins play with a social talent, gaining another one every 4 levels thereafter. These are, as a consequence of the unique engine, modified: Quicker studying of targets (that improves further at 13th level), assuming a special, anonymous persona (think faceless men), the aptly-named celebrity-lookalike that nets discounts and services (codified as tightly as you’d expect), defeating abilities that detect falsehoods, gaining the option to 50% avoiding divinations targeting her persona while she’s not in them, gaining a bonus to a selected skill (with a few exceptions), higher level options to quicker change, gaining languages with personae…or what about being adept at convincing others that she is the real deal when attempting to declare the original an impostor…really cool tricks here! I was positively surprised by how much these tricks deviate from the vigilante’s array, though vigilante social talents may also be selected from a list. Kudos!

At 2nd level, shapeshifter’s empathy allows for nonverbal universal communication via sound, pantomime and body language, and she may use class level + Charisma modifier instead to roll the check. This qualifies as wild empathy for prerequisite purposes. 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter yield a stalker talent, with once more Charisma acting as governing key ability score. The ability does include the information for use of these while observed, and quite a few of these talents apply to hidden strike – such talents are designated an asterisk, and only one such asterisk’d talent may be applied to a hidden strike. The ability does offer vigilante synergy and interact, once more, in unique ways with the adopted persona class feature: We can get perona-based combat wild-card feat, using Charisma as a replacement ability score prerequisite (so no feat tree cheesing/ easy monster feat unlocking) and the ability to Bluff items instead of UMDing them similarly is intriguing. Improving damage output of unarmed and natural strikes to monk-levels, drawing weapons melded with the skinchanger’s body as a swift action and synergy between Sleight of Hand palming and polymorphing make for cool tricks. Rogue talents, vigilante talents and the like can be found, and transformation abilities are tweaked and codified as talents instead, which makes all kinds of sense. Activating and dismissing polymorphs and combine them with grapples also rocks. 3rd level nets trackless step, and the capstone provides a shapechanger apotheosis and, as noted before, skinchange at will. Taking 20 sans increasing the action required for Disguise, while also adding the adopted persona bonus is also part of the deal.

A sample list of skinchanger forms is provided, and we get favored class options for the standard races plus android, auttaine, chlorvian, kitsune, reptoid, rougarou, skinwalker, tretharri and zvarr. I have no issues with these. There are a total of 4 different feats provided: Extra Skinchange nets + 1 skinchange and an additional daily use; Fast Skinchange lets you activate one as a move action…and in an interesting angle, this is contingent on exceeding the skinchange’s minimum level by 6 or more, making lower level skinchanges retain relevance at higher levels. Form Finesse lets you choose more special abilities when choosing from a list. Memorized Personae nets you Intelligence bonus (minimum 1) personae as permanent – this one may be taken multiple times.

The pdf sports 3 different archetypes: The Chimerist can adopt two personae simultaneously, but only gets the Bluff bonus from the base class feature, and social/stalker talents and similar personae-based tricks are assigned one of the personae. Since the chimeric forms are somewhat monstrous, the archetype gets ½ class level as a bonus to Intimidate. Instead of 4th level’s skinchange, we get minor augmentation, which basically codifies the rules required for the unique chimeric skinchanging the archetype offers, with 6th, 10th and 14th and 18th level provide the augmentations for this signature fusion ability, though the archetype does pay for this with stalker talents and hidden strike progressions. The second archetype would by the Lycanthrope Aspirant, choosing an animal form, with 9th level unlocking magical beasts – yes, this means that you could go quasi-displacer beast lycanthrope at higher levels! The archetype does come with a variety of unique skinchanges, including hybrid form. Form Finesse is baked into the archetype and it gets DR. The third archetype would be the shape thief, who modifies the base engine by requiring the touching of targets, replacing the disguise trick. This touch can also yield personae and follow the skinchange quicker after touching a target. Higher level shape thieves may steal memories as well and learn to, get this, swap shapes! Now this makes for some unique gambits! 16th level shape thieves even learn to mimic magic in a limited form! The archetypes all come with suggestions for fitting skinchanges, social and stalker talents, making them more user-friendly for newer players.


Editing and formatting are top-notch on both a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes with a variety of different full-color artworks. Some of these will be familiar to fans of Legendary Games. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

David N. Ross and Patrick N. R. Julius provide a beats of a hybrid class here: Distinct, with an identity that transcends the parent classes, the skinchanger plays in a unique way. The engine provided is top tier difficulty regarding the demands of the design, and manages to depict perhaps the best faceless-man-style shapechanger available for PFRPG. Yep. Now, I can tell you about a ton of evolution-based shapechanger-classes that do the icky-monster angle well…but the social chameleon? The brilliant infiltrator? Not so much. This class fills this niche with panache aplomb, showcasing the amazing potential that an excellent hybrid class can have. The skinchanger is an inspired class that ranks as one of the finest hybrid classes I have ever read. This is a masterpiece and even if you’re skeptical regarding hybrid classes, this is well worth getting. The skinchanger is a true joy, one of the best hybrid classes out there, and as such, it should come as no surprise that my final verdict will hence clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

An Ehn's Gaming Foundry Review


An Ehn’s Gaming Foundry review

This week we’re looking over Legendary Hybrids: Skinchanger by David N. Ross and Patrick N. R. Julius, a hybrid class between the vigilante and druid. Gotta admit, these are two totally separate ideas, and the fact that they’re so different is why I wanted to check it out. We start off with a small little preview of the concept before giving us the introduction to the class, which is nice and informative.

To begin, we have a d8 class with a healthy skill list and 6 skill points per level along with a good reflex and will save and 4th level casting. We get proficiency in simple weapons, light armor, and weapons made through the abilities of the class. The first class feature we end up with is adopted persona, which after a week of study lets us take on a persona from someone else; you get half your level to bluff checks to maintain the persona, but not to disguise checks, which I thought was odd. We also pick up a slower sudden strike progression at every 4 levels, starting at 1st (I don’t love sudden strike, but I see the value in it).

Next we get improved unarmed strike, which is a nice addition. Now we get to the big part of the class, skin change. You get it often enough, once at 1st, and then an additional time per 2 levels you possess. I do wish it could be spent in increments rather than a single use at a time, but it’d basically be all day then. The save is reasonable, although I am amused that it stacks with druid levels for its advancement, nice little touch there. There’s a lot of thought put in here as to how it interacts with wildshape and polymorph abilities, which I appreciate.

For skin changes, we start with disguise, which is basically a physical disguise person. Next humanoid form gives us a more limited alter person which evolves into monstrous physique. Now we snag social talents at 1st and every 4 levels afterwards, also stacking with vigilante levels for which social talents they can take. We get a few unique social talents, like faster studying, having ‘no’ persona, and a lot of other fun ones which I think add a lot to the class. They are limited on which normal social talents they can take, but that’s fine to me.

Shapeshifter’s empathy is a neat ability that lets them nonverbally communicate with other creatures which forms they can take, and a neat little flavor ability. At 3rd and every 4 levels thereafter we get stalker talents which are nice, as well as a few unique ones for the class. Honed strikes is one of note, making your natural weapons and unarmed strike equal to a medium monk, and measured strike is useful for dealing damage more accurately at the cost of damage. Transposing strike is another one I like, as it’s a nice battlefield control ability (although not great against things that negate nonlethal damage). At 3rd we also get trackless step, and at 4th we get divine spellcasting, which shocked me. It does have its own unique and robust spell list with a few spells reduced in level to keep them reasonable.

At 4th level we get advance skinchange, which is an interesting set of abilities which provides unique powers as well as some class features from other classes. Extra form is almost certainly going to be a strong pick here, as it lets you really embrace the theme more, to the point where I would have liked to see this be a base ability rather than an option. Inert shape is a huge winner here, and the ability to go full gazebo is very much appreciate. The best thing I can say here is that I could see taking almost every option here, which is a great sign of a well balanced talent roster.

The same can be said for the latter options, greater skinchange and legendary skinchange, although I don’t really think they needed to be broken up into different class features, considering that they also have level restrictions. Trap form might be one of the most inventive abilities from the entire class though, allowing you to become a hazard yourself with considerably clear rules as to how it is adjudicated.

The list of skinchanger forms is given at the end of the class with quite a lot of care given to making sure that it works well, followed by the spell list. We also get a very customized FCB section with quite a few nonstandard races. The feats are short but useful, helping you to better utilize your abilities, with the standard ‘extra X’ feat for more skinchanging and other things like this.

For archetypes, we start with the chimerist, which specializes in fusing personas. The big boon of it is letting you make better use out of the disguise skin change, helping to make you far more of a beast while in it at the expense of some damage. Next is lycanthrope aspirant, which has a pretty obvious focus. As a whole, it’s more of a direct build path into being a better lycanthrope, but does its job well, even if it’s a bit constrained. Finally, we have the shape thief. It basically lets you take someone’s entire persona, and it does it quite well with some very interesting mechanics.

Mechanics: 4.5/5

I like a lot of what I see in this class, it’s very originative while still using a lot of the old framework that we’ve seen before. The only issues I have are that it feels a touch too complex, and there was some parts while reading this that kind of got me a little ‘rules dizzy’ as I was going through it. But when it works, it works beautifully.

Thematics: 5/5

For me, the thematics were spot on. The way the class combined mechanics with concept was really amazing, and for the slight issues that it may have had on my end, everything came together to make a really fluid shape shifting experience that I think a lot of people are going to enjoy. There was a lot of creativity that went into this that I deeply appreciate.

Final Thoughts: 4.5/5

David N. Ross and Patrick N. R. Julius’s skinchanger is one hell of a hybrid, and a hybrid done right. While it incorporated a bit more vigilante than druid, the end result was awesome, and I really enjoyed it. While the slight mechanical issues I had were enough to keep me from giving this a 5/5, it does easily get rounded up for probably one of the best shapeshifting concepts I’ve ever seen.

Scarab Sages Webstore Coordinator

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Now Available!

Loving shapeshifters as I do, I'll have to get a copy of this one.

If I must judge a book from its cover, this COULD be the answer to my prayers. Crossing my fingers.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Oh, hey, I worked on this!

So, has anyone given it a read yet? How is it?

Sovereign Court

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Liz Courts wrote:
Oh, hey, I worked on this!

Hmmm... {adds another ✓ to "Possible Werewolf" column}


So, has anyone had a chance to give it a read yet? I'm currently money poor, so I have to be selective. From the front cover, I'm assuming we can do fantasy T-1000, but how flexible is it? If I wanted to use a class to try and do a pathfinder version of Exalted's Lunars, how close could this come?

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

And reviewed on Ehn's Gaming Foundry.

The review makes it sound great. Wish I could have gotten it this week, but had other things that needed to come first.

There's always next week!

Liberty's Edge

N. Jolly wrote:
And reviewed on Ehn's Gaming Foundry.

Good review there.

No mention of the BAB though. I suppose it is 3/4 rather than full

Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS, etc.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Basically, I consider Legendary Games' PF supplements to be part of the Core rules.

Agreed for many book! I'd NEVER want to play kingdom building or mythic games sans LG's files.

If the ACG hybrids had been as amazing as LG's kinetic shinobi, yakuza, doomguard or skinchanger, I'd have celebrated the living hell out of the ACG. The Legendary Games hybrids are amazing and prove that hybrid classes can be astonishing and fun.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Yep! Agreed. Thankfully we have them now, and if I wasn't playing virtually all of the time, I would probably print them out and put them in my hardcopy of the ACG *grins*

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

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Endzeitgeist wrote:

Agreed for many book! I'd NEVER want to play kingdom building or mythic games sans LG's files.

If the ACG hybrids had been as amazing as LG's kinetic shinobi, yakuza, doomguard or skinchanger, I'd have celebrated the living hell out of the ACG. The Legendary Games hybrids are amazing and prove that hybrid classes can be astonishing and fun.

Thanks for the kind words! We definitely have worked to really find concepts that are fun and often unexpected that really bring something new to the table. We had a number of additional ideas, but at this point I'm not 100% sure if we'll end up pursuing them. So many other things on the agenda...

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Elorebaen wrote:
Yep! Agreed. Thankfully we have them now, and if I wasn't playing virtually all of the time, I would probably print them out and put them in my hardcopy of the ACG *grins*

Funny story, the ACG is one of the only PF core rules hardcovers that I didn't work on. (I think Strategy Guide and Planar Adventures are the others - I'm not technically a listed author on the Core Rulebook or Bestiary 1, but both do include things that I wrote).

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