Transformative Shenanigans?


So the following enchantment can be added to any weapon at the expense of gold without adding to the weapons enhancement bonus.


Price +10,000 gp
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 10th; Weight —


This special ability can only be placed on melee weapons. A transformative weapon alters its shape at its wielder's command, becoming any other melee weapon of the same general shape and handedness; the weapon's categorization as simple, martial, or exotic is irrelevant. For example, a Medium transformative longsword can take the shape of any other Medium one-handed melee weapon, such as a scimitar, flail, or trident, but not a Medium light or two-handed melee weapon (such as a Medium short sword or a Medium greatsword). It can even take the shape of comparable weapons of different size categories. For example, a Small greatsword is a two-handed slashing weapon for a Small character, but is a one-handed slashing weapon for a Medium character, which is very similar to a Medium longsword; a Small transformative greatsword can thus become an actual Medium longsword, usable by a Medium creature without the —2 penalty for using a weapon of the wrong size. The weapon retains all of its abilities , including enhancement bonuses and weapon special abilities , except those prohibited by its current shape. For example, a keen transformative weapon functions normally in the form of a piercing or slashing weapon, but cannot use the keen special ability when in the shape of a bludgeoning weapon. When unattended, the weapon reverts to its true shape.


Craft Magic Arms and Armor, major creation; Cost +5,000 gp

I don't know if this has ever been mentioned on here before...
But while sitting around tonight talking with some of the members of my group I had come up with the idea of using transformative on a magic staff.

You could enchant the weapon on two sides, thus carrying over the weapon enchantment and having it apply to the weapons new form.
It also states that the weapon retains all of its abilities, making a point to distinguish this statement separate from it also retaining weapon enhancement bonuses and weapon special abilities.

One of the major benefits to this is now you're wielding a sword or polearm that's loaded with a couple spells that you are capable of casting, using your caster level and DC's. Not to mention the fact that it can be recharged after your adventure.

As an extra benefit, you could place two different types of enchantments on each side of the staff for the purposes of 'changing' your weapon enchantments.
Say you transform the staff into a Greatsword.
One side of your staff is a +5 weapon, the other being a +2 Brilliant Energy.
This would allow essentially allow you to transform the weapon and decide between which weapon effect is active on your sword. Fighting a golem? Take a moment to swap back to that +5 bonus since your brilliant energy effect is now useless.

Is that too much of a strain on your gp limit?
Enchant one end, have the group wizard cast a Greater Magic Weapon on the other. This works even better if you're a Magus who can cast their own enhancements.

Just a thought!
This, paired with utilizing the Familiar Spell metamagic with an item familiar has lead to a very different character concept that is being used in our games now.

The Exchange

So I'm spending an extra 20,000 gold double enchanting a 2 sided weapon with transformative instead of just carrying the other weapon? Maybe I'm missing something.

The biggest advantage is having a staff with spells inside of it. Extra good if you're playing a Magus or something who would really benefit from using both?
Even a cleric who's taking to the front lines.

And if you'd read up top, if the GP is too impactful, you can always just have someone temporarily buff the one side.

Brilliant Energy has the huge drawback of not being able to affect constructs or undead. This allows a person to flip to the side capable of harming them.

This seems overpriced when you can just buy a Scabbard of Many Blades and have it hold 4 two handed weapons. Take the Quick Draw feat and it's swift action weapon changes.

if you have the staff mastery feat and turn it into a greatsword could you one hand it?

Avadriel wrote:
if you have the staff mastery feat and turn it into a greatsword could you one hand it?


Again, the major point of this is just being able to compact a staffs spells into your weapon and be able to utilize it without having to swap weapons.

Not so much the point of a transformative double weapon... a person could just transform it into a double sword and use either end if that were the case.
That was moreso just an interesting side effect.

Transformative weapon is for you to change weapon without have to swap them. So say you have a greatsword. You can transform it into Nodachi, elven curve blade or Falchion if you want to increase your chance to crit. If you want to use Vital Strike effectively, you can transform it into large Bustard sword without -2 to hit, which you deal 2d8. With impact and mythic enlarge person. You can deal 6d8 damage. Also you can switch to weapon with brace if you have to face an enemy that will charge at you. Other than those use, Transformative is not that useful.

So you have a Greatsword with the abilities of a staff.

Realistically, who makes use of such a tool? What sort of class or concept?

A Bloodrager... maybe. Probably not, because charging the staff is going to give him some issues.

An Eldritch Knight... sure. But then you're an Eldritch Knight. You've also got a lot of gold costs in the 'try not to die' arena.

A Magus... definitely not. The only ones that can realistically use staves want them as actual staves.

A Bard... maybe? If you want to be a Bard with a Greatsword.

Divine casters... generally okay, yeah, but realistically we're talking Oracle/Hunter/Inquisitor; those with restricted spell lists who want access to the flexibility a staff can offer. Clerics don't care about such things when they've got their full list at their fingertips at all times.

So right off the bat: hard to find a use for.

Next problem is, yes, cost.

Put the double weapon thing aside. You can't afford it. Maybe at the really, really high levels, but even then you probably have better things to spend on. You're realistically using a single staff that transforms into a single weapon. And you're still spending more than buying each piece separately.

Final problem, benefits.

Okay. I'm an Oracle with a Staff of the Master transformed into a Greatsword.

How useful, realistically, is that over just owning a Staff of the Master and a Greatsword? How many situations are you going to get into where you need to switch back and forth between the two-- not once, mind, but repeatedly? Are those situations that you should be getting into, or are you better off adjusting your playstyle to stay away from such things?

It seems like one of those things that's hilarious in theory but really needs an actual problem to be a solution for.

No, staff can't transform into greatsword, it has to be general shape. So nodachi can be either pole arm or heavy blade that is two-handed for a medium creature. For a staff, you can transform it into greatclub or something similar I guess.

For me, I will get it for my bloodrager's nodachi because I'm getting mythic spell casting. With Mythic enlarge person. I get become huge. So if I transform his nodachi into large bustard sword, it deals 2d8. With Mythic enlarge person it becomes two size large, which will be 4d8. Add impact on top, 6d8. Combine with mythic vital strike and furious finish, it's not bad in a single strike. If I want to deal full round attacks, I can always go back to nodachi. Since nodachi and Scythe are both two handed heavy blade, I can transform my nodachi into a scythe if I want to crit really really hard with stocking burst or flaming burst. I can change tactics by transforming my weapon.

For double weapon, it has to transform into similar weapon, so if you put transform in one end, that end can transform into one end of another double weapon I guess. So you can have half of a two-bladed sword on your staff? Yea, it's not worth it for most classes to have this ability, but I believe it doesn't counts towards the enchantment bonus limit on a weapon so that is good.

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