Dedicated Shape Shifter Base Classes


Product Discussion


Besides the ShapeShifter base class from Magic Skull Games, what are some other well done dedicated shapeshifter bases?

Liberty's Edge

Check out the Skin-Changer in the New Paths Compendium from Kobold Press!

From Endzeitgeist's review:
The skin-changer - this one's interesting: Learning to change into the forms and animals and specializes in better natural attacks. No animal companion, though, and a different list of talents. The skin-changer also gets natural armor etc. - per se a concept none too complex in what it tries to do, but remains very evocative in its versatile options - the variant class remains one of the more iconic ones I've seen and makes for a great addition - once again - fine work indeed!

From another review:
The Skin-changer variant is far more interesting, but it also repeats what the Ranger and Spell-less Ranger have for abilities. The Skin-changer places Wild shape in for spell casting. Great idea: Beorn from the Hobbit is not well represented in fantasy games, and this does the trick.


If 3PP is allowed, I recommend either the Skin-Changer above, or the Shifter from Spheres of Power.


The Animist: Nature Incarnate has 21 major options to shapechange diferent pieces of his body, each with augmentable features, in a sort of always-on or at-will mechanic.

He also has 30 lesser options to modify his body, but those are daily powers.

Grand Lodge

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If you are looking for a dedicated animal shapeshifter I recommend this shapeshifter.

If you want an augment-able class like an eidolon, I also recommend the metamorph from this book..

Endzeitgeist Review:

The Metamorph-class with d8, 4+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple and natural attacks, but no armor, good 3/4 BAB-progression, good fort- and ref-saves and begin play with a maximum number of 3 attacks and an evolution pool of 3 that scales up to 26 at 20th level. Metamorphs also have a built-in natural armor bonus that increases over the levels and ability-increases dispersed over the levels. 2nd level and every 4 levels thereafter see bonus feats. 1st level metamorphs may choose their genesis, determining the key-ability modifier for the class and modifying the class skill list. Now unlike some other takes on the evolution-based class framework, a list of phenotypes, which determine ultimately the evolutions that become available for the class - a total of 8 phenotypes are provided and a massive table helps the player determine which evolutions are eligible for the phenotype chosen. Only fey and undying may for example choose the basic magic evolution, whereas only bestial, monstrous or reconstructed metamorphs may learn the trample evolution. A metamorph has 2+class level evolution points, +1 at 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter. Evolutions can be reassigned upon gaining a level. The class also sports 3 archetypes - one that wilders amid sorceror bloodlines/eldritch heritages, while metamorphic abominations may wilder in racial heritages. Finally, the Transmogrifist may wilder in the alchemist's toolbox. We also get a sample level 13 character here.

I honestly was NOT looking forward to yet another evolution-based class - after masquerade reveler, underterror and iron titan, I was simply burned out on them. However, Wojciech Gruchala's metamorph ultimately may be one of the most user-friendly and easy to balance takes on the concept - while I prefer the fluff of the masquerade reveler still, the metamorph may be the most user-friendly take on the concept - with the handy table and restrictions that prevent abuse as well as thanks to the cap of maximum attack and the lack of flexible changes of the basic evolutions chosen. All in all, a solid take on the concept I can't really complain about.


Are any of these good with humanoid shapes?

Also, what are the archetypes for the metamorph and does it change creature type at any point?


@The NPC: My reviews of the respective classes (covered them all) broke that down pretty much. Depends on what you're looking for.


To me, the still reigning champion of shapeshifters is the Taskshaper.


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

The Shapeshifter from Paranormal Adventures can be good with humanoid shapes (and in fact I have a character in a game starting soon who is doing just that), and probably my favorite complete shapeshifter, though the Animist is also fairly interesting, but I don't consider it a true shapeshifter, since only performs partial shifts. That's not to say it's bad, it offers many interesting (and bizarre) abilities. Conversely, the Shapeshifter can (with correct selection) allow a lot of fun at-will shapeshifting.

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