Best Classes for Transforming


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


I'm under the impression that druids, magi and alchemists are pretty much the only good classes for Transforming (access to right spells and abilities, BAB).

Am I missing something? Do the wizard/sorcerer/arcanist or any other Classes make good transformers? I've always assumed the lack of BAB and he were fatal but am I wrong?


Do you specifically mean "transforming into a combat brute"? Or just transforming in general?


Mostly the former, but I hadn't considered the latter. Why else would one want to transform? I'm intrigued.


It's useful to gain different modes of movement - flight or burrowing, for instance. And there's no better disguise than changing your entire species.


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Zolanoteph wrote:
I've always assumed the lack of BAB and he were fatal but am I wrong?

If you go exclusively for natural weapons, BAB is suddenly no longer relevant to determine the amount of attacks. Still, it has some influence on your attack bonus and it unlocks feats, but overall it's less important than for traditional melee combatants.

Personally I'd go for the metamorph archetype of alchemist - it's quite straight forward (few other class features attached) and can become strong on the long run.

However, I could imagine the arcane full casters (wizard, sorcerer, witch, arcanist) work pretty well with the eldritch knight prestige class. This way you get nearly full progression on your transformation spells (especially with the new Prestigious Spellcaster feat) and enjoy nearly full BAB.


Sorceror 4/fighter 1/ Dragon disciple 10/Eldritch knight 5?

Just a guess but I think that dragon you turn into would be pretty amazing


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Less dragon disciple, more eldritch knight. Barbarian 2/sorcerer 4/dragon disciple 4/eldritch knight 10; +17 BAB, rage, rage powers (can take the Extra Rage Power feat), 8th-level spells.

For a more general approach (can learn all the polymorph spells), ranger (wild hunter) 1/wizard (Transmutation/Shapechange school) 3/ranger +1 (Aspect of the Beast/Claws of the Beast and Combat Style/Rending Claws)/wizard +3/eldritch knight 10/wizard +2 with the Multimorph arcane discovery ends up with +16 BAB and 9th-level spells. Brawler (snakebite striker) 1/skald (spell warrior) 1/wizard (Transmutation/Shapechange school) 5/dragon disciple (advance wizard spellcasting) 4/eldritch knight X, mixing in some levels of arcane trickster (Accomplished Sneak Attacker to qualify) could also work, gaining some Sneak Attack and extra Str instead of 9th-level spells (without going the Prestigious Spellcaster route).

Arcanist (brown fur) is also an option with eldritch knight, but the Multimorph arcane discovery is just so tempting...


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No love for the Synthesist Summoner?


Play a Barbarian and get a party member to be a Brown Fur Arcanist and transform you.

Mooncursed Barbarian isn't necessarily great, but it's a martial class that can transform into limited animals.


SheepishEidolon wrote:
Zolanoteph wrote:
I've always assumed the lack of BAB and he were fatal but am I wrong?

If you go exclusively for natural weapons, BAB is suddenly no longer relevant to determine the amount of attacks. Still, it has some influence on your attack bonus and it unlocks feats, but overall it's less important than for traditional melee combatants.

Personally I'd go for the metamorph archetype of alchemist - it's quite straight forward (few other class features attached) and can become strong on the long run.

However, I could imagine the arcane full casters (wizard, sorcerer, witch, arcanist) work pretty well with the eldritch knight prestige class. This way you get nearly full progression on your transformation spells (especially with the new Prestigious Spellcaster feat) and enjoy nearly full BAB.

Very interesting. So lack of BaB hurts but it isn't fatal given the lack of iterative attacks through natural weapons.

I suppose the tremendous stat bonuses granted by higher level transformation spells may serve to compensate for a full caster's physical ineptitude.

On another note I've heard a number of good things here, but a few things don't interest me. Transforming into animals isn't my thing (flavor wise) asks while the Elditch knight idea seems appealing the suggestions which involved high levels are irrelevant for me because I've never gone passed 7 (I know, working on it).

As for the synthesist, ice tried to get into it, and maybe someday I will but for now I just can't. He's such a unique snowflake, keeping his mental stats and the physical stats of his eidelon. It's so easy to make a Garry Sue with 16's and 18's across the board. Actually it's not just easy, it's almost in the job description.


druid, dragondisiple sorcerer, synthesist summoner

Liberty's Edge

One advantage of the Hunter (Feral archetype) over the Druid for Wild Shape is the Feral Aspect ability. It's nice have, for example, +4 STR and +4 DEX when you turn into a dire tiger.


My Arcanist(Spell Specialist)/Dragon Disciple is a pretty good combat brute. Adding the bonuses to Strength, Con, and Natural Armor with Eldritch and Improved Eldritch Heritage(Orc) has been pretty fun. The party skald is also helpful in this regard.


Zolanoteph wrote:


As for the synthesist, ice tried to get into it, and maybe someday I will but for now I just can't. He's such a unique snowflake, keeping his mental stats and the physical stats of his eidelon. It's so easy to make a Garry Sue with 16's and 18's across the board. Actually it's not just easy, it's almost in the job description.

Well, the thread title is "Best classes for transforming." If the Synthesist isn't your style, how about the Metamorph Alchemist? It trades all of the non-mutagen related Alchemist features for better transforming.


From just look at Metamorph though it's really, really bad at transforming starting out and only gets a little better as you go. At least when Druid are out of Wildshape uses for the day they still have their spells. Metamorphs don't.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Azten wrote:
My Arcanist(Spell Specialist)/Dragon Disciple is a pretty good combat brute. Adding the bonuses to Strength, Con, and Natural Armor with Eldritch and Improved Eldritch Heritage(Orc) has been pretty fun. The party skald is also helpful in this regard.

Note that an arcanist does not qualify for dragon disciple, per RAW.

The prerequisite for dragon disciple is the ability to cast arcane spells "without preparation." Arcanists, although they cast spontaneously with spell slots, still prepare spells.


The spell specialist arcanist can cast spells spontaneously, so can qualify for dragon disciple. Moreover they can bootstrap themselves into the bloodline by taking the bloodline exploit and using dragon disciple to get the draconic bloodline.


Which I also did. It's bee nice. My Natural Armor is huge before I shapeshift. For easier movement I use Dimensional Slide.


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Azten wrote:
From just look at Metamorph though it's really, really bad at transforming starting out and only gets a little better as you go. At least when Druid are out of Wildshape uses for the day they still have their spells. Metamorphs don't.

The archetype has a bunch of strengths, and not everything is obvious:

* You can shapeshift from level 1.
* At level 4 you can do it twice, opposed to druid's single use.
* Monstrous humanoids (level 5+) can use humanoid equipment, especially weapons.
* Despite being an alchemist, Int is not relevant for you. Which means some additional points for physical stats.
* You still get mutagen, boosting one physical stat further. Opposed to a normal alchemist, an Int penalty for a Str boost doesn't hurt you much.
* Discoveries are also still around, though you won't get anything out of the bomb or extract improvements. So you have to focus on goodies like Feral Mutagen (claws and bite on top of a shape's natural weapons) or Spontaneous Healing (free action CLW, basically).
* The 25% respective 50% chance to negate critical hits comes quite early - and is very handy.
* Nobody will expect much healing or support from you, since you don't have extracts.

At level 1 I'd take up a longspear and a light crossbow. With just two boosts at hand (alter self, mutagen), I'd usually use only one at a time. 1 hour and 10 minutes should be enough for most adventure days.

Silver Crusade

SheepishEidolon wrote:


The archetype has a bunch of strengths, and not everything is obvious:

A local PFS player has a metamorph and at level 5+ it is quite powerful. There are LOTS of monstrous humanoids out there to pick from.

Its not quite "brokenly powerful" but its close.


I know it's not very common, but in Mythic the full arcane casters become the best shapeshifters with the Tier 1 Archmage talent that sets your BAB = Caster Level for natural weapons gained from polymorph spells (and gives half your tier as a bonus to CL on top of it). Arcanist or Exploiter Wizard are best for that Exploit that replicates Natural Spell.


I think an archmage medium does transformation pretty well.

1. You are already strength focused and have every reason to be strength focused.

2. You have easy access to the wizard polymorphs

3. You have full access to wizard buff spells unlike the magus

4. You can change up your transformations daily or just stop being transformation focused when that is no longer ideal.


If third party is allowed, Spheres of Power has an entire Sphere dedicated to just what you're asking about--The Alteration Sphere.

The Shifter class is more focused on the Alteration Sphere, but generally any class can get access to the Sphere and use it quite well.


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SheepishEidolon wrote:
Azten wrote:
From just look at Metamorph though it's really, really bad at transforming starting out and only gets a little better as you go. At least when Druid are out of Wildshape uses for the day they still have their spells. Metamorphs don't.

The archetype has a bunch of strengths, and not everything is obvious:

* You can shapeshift from level 1.
* At level 4 you can do it twice, opposed to druid's single use.
* Monstrous humanoids (level 5+) can use humanoid equipment, especially weapons.
* Despite being an alchemist, Int is not relevant for you. Which means some additional points for physical stats.
* You still get mutagen, boosting one physical stat further. Opposed to a normal alchemist, an Int penalty for a Str boost doesn't hurt you much.
* Discoveries are also still around, though you won't get anything out of the bomb or extract improvements. So you have to focus on goodies like Feral Mutagen (claws and bite on top of a shape's natural weapons) or Spontaneous Healing (free action CLW, basically).
* The 25% respective 50% chance to negate critical hits comes quite early - and is very handy.
* Nobody will expect much healing or support from you, since you don't have extracts.

At level 1 I'd take up a longspear and a light crossbow. With just two boosts at hand (alter self, mutagen), I'd usually use only one at a time. 1 hour and 10 minutes should be enough for most adventure days.

*dies*

Yes. Want.

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