Archmage Variel's Guide to the Shifter


Advice

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Archmage Variel wrote:
Anything in particular I should look at?

Lycanthrope Aspect is interesting, with how it limits you to one form, but it gives a nice little defensive buff at early levels (at later magic weapons will overcome it)

Lycanthrope empathy seems like a more limited wild empathy.

Lycanthrope wildshift is nice, as you can choose between a hybrid form and your major form.

They Hybrid form always gains a +2 to Str and +2 Nat Armor regardless of the aspect and you get all the natural attacks and abilities of the major form (which may or may not include the level restricted ones).

This means for Deino you get pounce, your 2 talons, bite, and 2 foreclaws. In addition, you can still wield normal weapons, making this a great selection for twf.

Bull is another obvious one, with the +6 str and the gore and powerful charge making it great for Two-handed fighting.

Tiger is also nice for grapple builds with that grab on it's attacks.

In addition, planar wildshape, mutated wildshape and the other wildshape feats work on it.


Another Day, Another Build

Human Shifter:
Human Shifter

Stats:
Str: 20 (18+2)
Dex: 10
Con: 12
Int: 10
Wis: 16
Cha: 7

+6 str from bull +5 str from levels

Forms:
Bull (Str) -> Deino (Nat Attacks) -> Bear (Tasty Con) -> Mouse (for evasion and improved evasion) -> Wolverine (HP)

Traits:
Bruising Intellect
Reactionary

Feats:
Level 1: Int. Prowess, Power Attack
Level 3: Weapon Focus (Claw)
Level 5: Shifter's Rush
Level 7: Cornugon Smash
Level 9: Dazzling Display (Claw)
Level 11: Shatter Defences (Claw)
Level 13: Mutated Wild Shape (Bite)
Level 15: Planar Wild Shape
Level 17: Improved Natural Attack (Shifter's Claws)
Level 19: Iron Will

No enchants or PA
Deino Form:
Bite +31 1d6+11
Bite (mutated shape) +27 1d6+5
2xForeclaws +27 1d6+5
2xTalon +26 2d8+11

Comments on my build? Suggestions?

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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willuwontu wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
1) You can use weapons while polymorphed as an elemental.

You can use weapons, you just lose your elemental strike damage with them since "An elementalist shifter can’t use elemental strike while under a polymorph effect."

And wild shape functions as elemental body 1.

Really? Man, discussing builds concerning the shifter always leaves me feeling depressed.


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@willuwontu: Shifter's rush seems like a waste of a feat before you get multiple uses of wild shape. Maybe swap it with dazzling display?

Dex 10 Con 12 on a front line type with (at best) medium armor and no shield, and no obvious defensive buffs, is asking to die horribly. Especially early on; hide or leather lamellar and half your wis bonus comes to AC 15, or if you're doing without armor that's AC 13. Even later on a dragonhide breastplate with no dex bonus isn't a good start.

I'm assuming that Int. Prowess is Intimidating Prowess and that Mutated Wild Shape is Mutated Shape.


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Oh hey, a proper Shifter guide is in the works. Neat!

Note to the author, though. Weapon using builds might merit consideration. I was ablw to throw a couple together myself, like scythe wielder using Bull/Stag with dragonscale full plate, and an elemental shifter with dervish dance. It may not outperform a Fighter or a Ranger, but the full BAB from the class serves weapons better than natural attacks.


Rosc wrote:

Oh hey, a proper Shifter guide is in the works. Neat!

Note to the author, though. Weapon using builds might merit consideration. I was ablw to throw a couple together myself, like scythe wielder using Bull/Stag with dragonscale full plate, and an elemental shifter with dervish dance. It may not outperform a Fighter or a Ranger, but the full BAB from the class serves weapons better than natural attacks.

I will be touching on many weapon builds in my section on the weretouched. As for the elementalist shifter and the dervish dance feat, I touch on this in that archetypes respective overview. I believe that the natural attack builds are better for the shifter, simply due to the suggested aspect abilities like charge if for no other reason. Getting the most out of your major aspect is a large part of what I try to focus on in the sections of this guide which focus on an standard, un-archetyped shifter.


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I wouldn't start off with a 'technically the druid is better at shapeshifting'. While it might even be true overall, there are arguments in favor of the shifter:

* Full BAB (higher accuracy, encourages Power Attack, unlocks combat feats faster)
* Less Wisdom dependent
* No fuss with spells
* No fuss with an animal companion
* Built-in piercing of some damage reduction
* Built-in unarmored AC (no monk dip necessary)
* Shapeshifting from level 1 (even if only in a minor way)
* Pounce at level 4 (instead of 6)

So the shifter is in a rather good spot on low levels - where actually a good chunk of playtime happens. The druid catches up and (I guess) finally surpasses its martial sister class, but this doesn't necessarily stop the fun.

-----------

Something which seems to be rarely explored so far: Multiclassing. Always worth a consideration when it comes to martial classes, and I think shifter is not different. A single level of hunter adds another aspect (permanent if you get rid of the animal companion), some more thematic class skills and finally basic casting (2 level 1 ranger spells per day is nice).


SheepishEidolon wrote:

I wouldn't start off with a 'technically the druid is better at shapeshifting'. While it might even be true overall, there are arguments in favor of the shifter:

* Full BAB (higher accuracy, encourages Power Attack, unlocks combat feats faster)
* Less Wisdom dependent
* No fuss with spells
* No fuss with an animal companion
* Built-in piercing of some damage reduction
* Built-in unarmored AC (no monk dip necessary)
* Shapeshifting from level 1 (even if only in a minor way)
* Pounce at level 4 (instead of 6)

So the shifter is in a rather good spot on low levels - where actually a good chunk of playtime happens. The druid catches up and (I guess) finally surpasses its martial sister class, but this doesn't necessarily stop the fun.

-----------

Something which seems to be rarely explored so far: Multiclassing. Always worth a consideration when it comes to martial classes, and I think shifter is not different. A single level of hunter adds another aspect (permanent if you get rid of the animal companion), some more thematic class skills and finally basic casting (2 level 1 ranger spells per day is nice).

I should probably specify "at later levels". That said, I'm really trying to procrastinate as long as possible before I am forced to analyse multiclassing.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

That is really well done. Thank you for doing that.


@AVR why would shifters rush be a waste? Doesn't cost anymore uses.

It lets you wild shape as a free action during a charge, instead of the normal standard action it takes. This allows you to powerful gore with bull or pounce right away with tiger and deino.

As for stats fair point, I'll shift things around later when I'm home and not on my phone.

You're correct about the feats, I need to fix that as well.


What's the preferred 1-level dip for weapon using elementalist who's looking for proficiencies? Barbarian for rage and fast movement (downside no heavy armor prof)? Fighter for a feat? Green Knight Cavalier b/c it's thematic and gives you free Diehard?


PossibleCabbage wrote:
What's the preferred 1-level dip for weapon using elementalist who's looking for proficiencies? Barbarian for rage and fast movement (downside no heavy armor prof)? Fighter for a feat? Green Knight Cavalier b/c it's thematic and gives you free Diehard?

I'd go for fighter myself. The others really aren't good dips in and of themselves. That being said, Barbarian is a fun one to multiclass, especially if you have Wolverine as one of your Shifter Aspects.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
What's the preferred 1-level dip for weapon using elementalist who's looking for proficiencies? Barbarian for rage and fast movement (downside no heavy armor prof)? Fighter for a feat? Green Knight Cavalier b/c it's thematic and gives you free Diehard?

If we're thinking Dex build, there's a really strong argument for Inspired Blade Swashbuckler. Parry/Ripose is good (don't forget the Fencer trait!) and even the brain dumpiest of builds gets at least 2 Panache, and the bonus Focus feat means starting with Fencing Grace is super easy.

For a more flexible option consider Relic Channeler Medium and use the Champion Spirit. You'll need an hour of preptime (standard for any party with a prepared caster) but with Spirit Focus (Champion) and your other abilities, we're getting a net +1 to attack and +4 to damage rolls compared to a full bab class. That's an even higher damage output than Barbarians, and without the limits of Rage. This odd combination of classes opens the door to soms interesting roleplay, too.


Fighter for a feat is a nice dip, Swashbuckling is nice for for a grapple build with snapping turtle style or using tiger form.


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willuwontu wrote:

@AVR why would shifters rush be a waste? Doesn't cost anymore uses.

It lets you wild shape as a free action during a charge, instead of the normal standard action it takes. This allows you to powerful gore with bull or pounce right away with tiger and deino.

When you have one use per day lasting 5 hours per use you should already be in that form if you're expecting trouble. If you're attacked while in camp you'd want to think hard before using your one use helping deal with the ambush.

Shifter's rush would be more useful when you might want to switch from one (major) wild shape form to another during combat. Which requires 2 uses/day and preferably more.

Scarab Sages

A couple of suggestions:

For the weapon slot you are not going to find anything that plays better for a shifter than the Goreclaw of Thercerrod. You may need to direct your GM to the line in Shifter's wild shape that says "A shifters can take feats and other abilities that require wild shape; for the purpose of qualifying for prerequisites, her effective druid level is equal to her shifter level."

Under traits, for the dex build deinonychus shifter Beast of the Society is actually a really good choice. Again, you may need to direct your GM to the line in Shifter's wild shape that says "A shifters can take feats and other abilities that require wild shape; for the purpose of qualifying for prerequisites, her effective druid level is equal to her shifter level."

Other magic item ideas:
Any magic item that applies a continuous effect works in wild shape, so these Ioun Stones are good choices - Cracked Dark Blue Rhomboid, Cracked Dusty Rose Prism, Cracked Pearly White Spindle. Obviously the non-cracked versions are great as well.

On Multi-Classing:
A single level of Hunter with the Feral Hunter archetype nets always on Animal Focuses that you can carry over into wild shape. They don't stack with Shifter Aspects, but can be switched out as a swift action and you can choose from any of them instead of being locked in to just one. As an added bonus, stacks with your Shifter levels for Wild Empathy.

A single level of Kineticist with the Elemental Ascetic archetype lets you use kinetic fist with ALL your natural weapon attacks in wild shape and out, effectively adding 1d6 damage to all your attacks.


Goreclaw of Thercerrod, you aren't a druid and thus it doesn't work for you. Raging as a barb or singing like a bard don't work for things that say barb or bard so this doesn't work either.

Beast of the Society doesn't require wildshape and thus the shifter doesn't get access to it with that clause.

Scarab Sages

Well damn. Those are out then.


Belabras wrote:
Well damn. Those are out then.

Yeah, it needs wording more like the brawler to have it work for like everything in all ways.


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"Shifters can take feats and other abilities that require wild shape; for the purpose of qualifying for prerequisites, her effective druid level is equal to her shifter level."

Great... there's like 4 or 5 feats and other various abilities I have totally skipped over due to the fact they had druid as a requirement. I suppose it's better I know now though.

Scarab Sages

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In other news, Shifter wild shape just got a big boost!


To augment the above post

FAQ wrote:

Shifter Wild Shape: If my 4th level shifter shifts back to human form, can I really not shift into animal form at all for the rest to the day?

You should be able to shift back and forth more easily. Remove "once per day" from the first sentence. Remove the 4th sentence from the shifter’s wild shape. Replace the second-to-last paragraph with “A shifter can use wild shape for a number of hours each day equal to her shifter level + her Wisdom modifier. It need not be consecutive but must be spent in 1 hour increments. For abilities that function based on ‘uses of wild shape,’ each hour of wild shape counts as a use.” This change will be reflected in the next errata.

This means that Planar Wild shape is viable a lot earlier now.

This is a really nice boost, and now negates AVR's earlier criticism of Shifter's Rush a bit.


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That FAQratta is a huge power/versatility boost to the shifter, but it does leave the shifter with dead levels at 6th and 18th, so I wonder if something else will be added in the new version to fill those gaps.

Giving the shifter a bonus feat at 6th, 12th, and 18th (like the Cavalier) wouldn't be unreasonable.

I wonder how this echoes down to the various archetypes, like he Oozemorph in particular, which is very hampered by "1 hour of playability at level 1" but shifting it to "Level + WisMod" would delay the "you don't have to worry about being an ooze when you don' want to" to from level 6 to much later.


Would definitely be nice to get bonus feats at those levels similar to cavalier, with the addition of the ability to select Wild Shape feats as well.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

That FAQratta is a huge power/versatility boost to the shifter, but it does leave the shifter with dead levels at 6th and 18th, so I wonder if something else will be added in the new version to fill those gaps.

Giving the shifter a bonus feat at 6th, 12th, and 18th (like the Cavalier) wouldn't be unreasonable.

I wonder how this echoes down to the various archetypes, like he Oozemorph in particular, which is very hampered by "1 hour of playability at level 1" but shifting it to "Level + WisMod" would delay the "you don't have to worry about being an ooze when you don' want to" to from level 6 to much later.

RAW the oozemorph is currently unchanged by this new FAQ, as Fluidic Body is considered a completely separate ability from Wild Shape. I wouldn't complain to get a few feats at 6th/12th/18th levels.


willuwontu wrote:

To augment the above post

FAQ wrote:

Shifter Wild Shape: If my 4th level shifter shifts back to human form, can I really not shift into animal form at all for the rest to the day?

You should be able to shift back and forth more easily. Remove "once per day" from the first sentence. Remove the 4th sentence from the shifter’s wild shape. Replace the second-to-last paragraph with “A shifter can use wild shape for a number of hours each day equal to her shifter level + her Wisdom modifier. It need not be consecutive but must be spent in 1 hour increments. For abilities that function based on ‘uses of wild shape,’ each hour of wild shape counts as a use.” This change will be reflected in the next errata.

This means that Planar Wild shape is viable a lot earlier now.

This is a really nice boost, and now negates AVR's earlier criticism of Shifter's Rush a bit.

MUCH more viable. Shifter's Rush is also much more relevant from 4th on, as you could potentially use it multiple times now.


graystone wrote:
willuwontu wrote:

To augment the above post

FAQ wrote:

Shifter Wild Shape: If my 4th level shifter shifts back to human form, can I really not shift into animal form at all for the rest to the day?

You should be able to shift back and forth more easily. Remove "once per day" from the first sentence. Remove the 4th sentence from the shifter’s wild shape. Replace the second-to-last paragraph with “A shifter can use wild shape for a number of hours each day equal to her shifter level + her Wisdom modifier. It need not be consecutive but must be spent in 1 hour increments. For abilities that function based on ‘uses of wild shape,’ each hour of wild shape counts as a use.” This change will be reflected in the next errata.

This means that Planar Wild shape is viable a lot earlier now.

This is a really nice boost, and now negates AVR's earlier criticism of Shifter's Rush a bit.

MUCH more viable. Shifter's Rush is also much more relevant from 4th on, as you could potentially use it multiple times now.

Yeah, my words weren't future-proofed against this change. Never mind me on that point.


avr wrote:
Yeah, my words weren't future-proofed against this change. Never mind me on that point.

I'm happy they weren't, makes shifter better.


Ok, looked into the elementalist- some considerations there:

Because you pretty much never use the major form since it removes your main damage mechanic, the elements typically should be weighted with that first.

Due to this, you need to consider how useful each damage type (assuming the usual 4 element type used by Paizo). While they are not as crippled by resistances/immunities as kineticists (you have actual physical damage), you should still consider the order you pick your available elements.

Under this, the balance would be Earth>Air>Fire>water.

Earth is paired with acid damage, which doesn't commonly face resistance and it often comes up with regeneration. Fire is middling here, since it is commonly resisted, but it is also a common vulnerability as well as important for some regeneration.

Water is right out because a wide variety of creatures get straight cold immunity (including the ever present skeleton, as well as some other undead).

Air is a bit weird in this consideration. From my understanding, electricity faces problems with resist... but it has the best major form (because flight, obviously). Luckily, you gain your second elemental aspect right after you gain access to major forms. Additionally, I hear that electricity is a good pair with acid when it comes to finding loopholes in an enemy's resist (as in, if it resists acid, it might not resist electricity).

So until mid levels, it might be mechanically wise to pick earth and air as your elements. After that point, you will likely begin to see more varied enemies, so fire and cold would prove useful to have in your arsenal. However, earth and air seem like fairly stable workhorses that would be useful in most situations.


Again

Another Day, Another Build

This one's more clingy

Grapple Shifter:
Human

Tetori Monk 1/ Shifter 19
(Tetori lets us AoO while grappling as well as retain our dex to AC when grappled or pinning an opponent)
(Monk gives +2 to all saves as well)

Stats:
Str: 10
Dex: 20 (18+2)
Con: 12
Int: 10
Wis: 16
Cha: 7

Stat bonuses
Level 4: Dex
Level 8: Dex
Level 12: Dex
Level 16: Dex
Level 20: Dex

Forms: Tiger (Dex) -> Bear (Con) -> Mouse (Evasion) -> Wolverine (more HP)

Traits:
Bred for war (+1 to CMB)
Reactionary

Feats
Level 1: Weapon Finesse, Agile Maneuvers (Human), Improved Unarmed Strike (Monk), Improved Grapple (Monk), Stunning Fist (Monk)
Level 3: Throat Slicer
Level 5: Shifter's Rush
Level 7: Greater Grapple
Level 9: Powerful Shape (This lets us act as if we're Huge for Maneuvers, we can grab Huge Creatures)
Level 11: Planar Wild Shape
Level 13: Mutated Shape
Level 15: Pirahna Strike (finally, could take earlier or get a training amulet)
Level 17: Weapon Focus (Claws) (we good on grapple checks, now we just need to hit to initiate them)
Level 19: Improved Natural Attack (Claws)

As usual no PA no enchantments (including agile, which means damage will be skewed)

Note: You can full attack with Unarmed Strikes and then use your natural attacks

Unarmed Strike
+27/+22/+17/+12 1d8+2
Bite + grab
+22 2d6+1
Bite + grab
+22 1d8+1
2xClaw + grab
+23 2d8+1 (We took improved natural attack with shifter's claws, damage should carry over)
2xRake
+23 2d8+1 (We took improved natural attack with shifter's claws, damage should carry over)

+30/50 CMB/D
+40/55 CMB/D vs grapple

Note we could potentially grab quick draw for am agile light pick to use for our CDG (maybe use training enchant on our AoMF)

As usual

Thoughts? Comments? Ideas?

I was tempted to make a STR based grappler as well, since that plays in really nicely, but I got lazy so it'll have to wait.


lemeres wrote:

Ok, looked into the elementalist- some considerations there:

Because you pretty much never use the major form since it removes your main damage mechanic, the elements typically should be weighted with that first.

Due to this, you need to consider how useful each damage type (assuming the usual 4 element type used by Paizo). While they are not as crippled by resistances/immunities as kineticists (you have actual physical damage), you should still consider the order you pick your available elements.

Under this, the balance would be Earth>Air>Fire>water.

Earth is paired with acid damage, which doesn't commonly face resistance and it often comes up with regeneration. Fire is middling here, since it is commonly resisted, but it is also a common vulnerability as well as important for some regeneration.

Water is right out because a wide variety of creatures get straight cold immunity (including the ever present skeleton, as well as some other undead).

Air is a bit weird in this consideration. From my understanding, electricity faces problems with resist... but it has the best major form (because flight, obviously). Luckily, you gain your second elemental aspect right after you gain access to major forms. Additionally, I hear that electricity is a good pair with acid when it comes to finding loopholes in an enemy's resist (as in, if it resists acid, it might not resist electricity).

So until mid levels, it might be mechanically wise to pick earth and air as your elements. After that point, you will likely begin to see more varied enemies, so fire and cold would prove useful to have in your arsenal. However, earth and air seem like fairly stable workhorses that would be useful in most situations.

So I looked over my notes and you're totally right. I've made the required changes to the guide. Thanks!


@willuwontu: Throat slicer lets you deliver a coup de grace when you've got an enemy pinned. Which sounds good but your damage is low enough that it could easily fail (Fort save DC ~ 17 when you first get it). Which would be embarrassing, besides losing the pin when you do so.

Maybe a different feat to help with grappling would be better? Kraken style, or claw wrench, or something. Possibly moving piranha strike to L3 and taking the extra feat later.


DC 17 fort save at level is pretty brutal. Wizards saves are that high maxed


avr wrote:

Throat slicer lets you deliver a coup de grace when you've got an enemy pinned. Which sounds good but your damage is low enough that it could easily fail (Fort save DC ~ 17 when you first get it). Which would be embarrassing, besides losing the pin when you do so.

Maybe a different feat to help with grappling would be better? Kraken style, or claw wrench, or something. Possibly moving piranha strike to L3 and taking the extra feat later.

I didn't add in damage from PA or an agile property, so the damage should appear to be low.

I originally didn't want to plan on taking throat slicer at 3 I ended up tossing it there because of prerequisites for other feats, and i didn't want to delay it too long.

An agile AoMF, which should be priority since it helps your unarmed strike and nat attacks, only costs 4k and should be picked up by level 7. Why 7, because that's when you get greater grapple and start being able to CDG as a standard without tying someone up.

You can also CDG with your unarmed strike (it's a light weapon), I also considered putting quick draw in there somewhere so we could grab an agile light pick for the CDG attempt (maybe training on AoMF?)


@avr: I'd less consider the insta-gib factor, and more consider that it's a level 3 insta-hit and insta-crit for a standard action. Sure, a CR 3 monster is going to pass a DC 17 fortitude save about 50% of the time if Fortitude is its good save, but even then they just took 17 out of 30 hp.

However, what I certainly would change is removing Mutated Wild Shape and Planar Wild Shape. There's much better feats that I would want as a grappler: Bushwack, Deadly Grappler, Kraken Style and Kraken Throttle, or Rapid Grappler.


Cavall, that's with two or more rounds setup at L3. Call it the equivalent of a DC 13-14 on a spellcaster. And monster Fort save bonuses average 2-3 points higher than Ref or Will.

Willuwontu, you'd probably try to get an agile AoMF earlier than L7. 4K as you said. and it'd instantly make the coup de grace save impressive besides giving you a non-grappling option in a fight. Power attack isn't in your plan though and piranha strike isn't there until L15, which is after the end of many games and near the end of even Paizo's adventure paths.

I think spending up big trying to make the coup de grace tougher via a pick is the wrong way to go. A pinned enemy is at the mercy of anyone else in the party, not just you. This is another reason I'm dubious of the value of throat slicer at all BTW. It's a feat spent making an enemies' day even worse when you've already ruined that day for them.


@mourge40k
For Kraken Throttle, if i initiate it on one round, and then the next round i maintain, can i pin it? or do i still do nothing?


avr wrote:
I think spending up big trying to make the coup de grace tougher via a pick is the wrong way to go. A pinned enemy is at the mercy of anyone else in the party, not just you. This is another reason I'm dubious of the value of throat slicer at all BTW. It's a feat spent making an enemies' day even worse when you've already ruined that day for them.

It's nice because it helps with you ending an enemy fast and while your party members can all attack that enemy, if there's more than one enemy while you've got that one locked down, they'll go take care of others.

In addition, with tiger you become large sized, and so have a greater reach, if an enemy provokes an AoO, you can attack and if it hits, grab them and grapple, if you have greater, you pin start of next turn, and then CDG.

The reason I didn't grab rapid (which is a feat that workable by replacing the wild shape feats into the build) was because it only works if you've already used greater grapple, and most situations where you use greater is at the start of your turn (rarely do they stand next to you and allow you to standard action grapple, move greater to pin, swift rapid to tie) and at that point I'm already looking to pin them, and then standard CDG and kill and move on.


I think it's a great build, pinned creatures aren't acting, and you can do it all day. That's vastly better than a wizard even at a few levels higher. Something that debuffs, can pin and can instant kill? Without limit? Not shabby at all.


Another day, another build

This time it's the promised strength based grappler

Str Grapple Shifter:
Human

Shifter 1/ Tetori 1/ Shifter 18
(We need to have +1 bab at level 1)
(Tetori lets us AoO while grappling as well as retain our dex to AC when grappled or pinning an opponent)
(Monk gives +2 to all saves as well)

Stats:
Str: 19 (17+2)
Dex: 12
Con: 12
Int: 10
Wis: 16
Cha: 8

Stat bonuses
Level 4: Str
Level 8: Str
Level 12: Str
Level 16: Str
Level 20: Str

Traits:
Bred for War
Reactionary

Aspects: Tiger (Grab for grappling) -> Bull (Str) -> Bear (Con) -> Mouse (Evasion)

Feats:
Level 1: Power Attack, Weapon Focus (Claws) (Human)
Level 2: Improved Unarmed Strike (Monk), Improved Grapple (Monk), Stunning Fist (Monk)
Level 3: Throat Slicer
Level 5: Shifter's Rush
Level 7: Greater Grapple
Level 9: Powerful Shape (This lets us act as if we're Huge for Maneuvers, we can grab Huge Creatures)
Level 11: Horn of the Criosphinx
Level 13: Planar Wild Shape
Level 15: Mutated Shape
Level 17: Improved Natural Attack (Claws) (Unsure of interactions)
Level 19: Improved Initiative

As usual no Power Attack or Bonuses to attack/maneuvers/damage
Unarmed Strike
+29/+24/+19/+14 1d8 +11 (x2 Str on a charge)

Bite + Grab
+24 2d6 +5(x2 Str on charge)

Bite + Grab (from mutated Shape)
+24 1d8 +5(x2 Str on charge)

2xClaw + Grab
+25 2d8 +5 (x2 STR on a charge)
(maybe 3d8 if imp. nat. attack rolls over to it)

2x Rake (using claws, claws taht can onnly be used on grappled opponents)
+25 1d10 +5 (x2 STR on a charge)
(May be 2d8 since it's based on shifter claws, and need to adjust claw damage for the increase to large size)
(If the above is true, since these are claw attacks, they may be increased to 3d8, since imp. nat. attack applies to claw attacks)

Essentially we pounce for 2x Str damage with criosphinx to all our attacks, and grapple them. Start of next turn we rake em as a free action (see rake special ability) which may kill them allowing us to full round and pounce again, if the live then pin and CDG.

You can swap the order for tiger and bull if you wish as it's not a huge deal which you take first, just that you take the other second.

As usual

Thoughts? Comments? Ideas?


willuwontu wrote:
In addition, with tiger you become large sized, and so have a greater reach, if an enemy provokes an AoO, you can attack and if it hits, grab them and grapple, if you have greater, you pin start of next turn, and then CDG.

It's quite accepted that large tiger forms don't have reach. Tigers, which are large, only have 5ft of reach. So if you turn into a large tiger you also only have the 5ft of reach.


Damn, that's disappointing.


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I'm done analyzing the weretouched archetype. I'm freeeeeeeeeeeeee! XD


Chess Pwn wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
In addition, with tiger you become large sized, and so have a greater reach, if an enemy provokes an AoO, you can attack and if it hits, grab them and grapple, if you have greater, you pin start of next turn, and then CDG.
It's quite accepted that large tiger forms don't have reach. Tigers, which are large, only have 5ft of reach. So if you turn into a large tiger you also only have the 5ft of reach.

yep, from the combat section, Table: Creature Size and Scale. Large (long), space 10 ft., reach 5 ft.


mourge40k wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
What's the preferred 1-level dip for weapon using elementalist who's looking for proficiencies? Barbarian for rage and fast movement (downside no heavy armor prof)? Fighter for a feat? Green Knight Cavalier b/c it's thematic and gives you free Diehard?
I'd go for fighter myself. The others really aren't good dips in and of themselves. That being said, Barbarian is a fun one to multiclass, especially if you have Wolverine as one of your Shifter Aspects.

I think barbarian might be a good patch for the class.

One of the main problems the class has as a full BAB class is that it lacks the attack booster- most full BAB classes have mechanic that can reliably give them a +4 to attack (and damage as well), resulting in +24 total from the class. This helps to separate them from 3/4 BAB classes.

Even the cavalier, which makes up for the lack of attack bonus through the damage from challenge, could potentially seek flank bonuses from their mount.

Rage provides a nice, front loaded boost to attack/damage. If you grab the +2 and weapon focus, you get a +23 in attack- enough to work well as a Full BAB class. While the penalty to AC hurts a bit, the elementalist tends to have decent AC (since they rarely turn into their major form- so they can use armor and their class bonuses to AC).

Admittedly, this approach would require extra resources- you would need to get the extra rage feat in order to get enough rage rounds to use it reliably.


What are people's opinions on good slotless items for the Shifter (I've yet to touch on ioun stones, but I plan to, and I wonder what other good slotless items I may be missing)?


Archmage Variel wrote:
What are people's opinions on good slotless items for the Shifter (I've yet to touch on ioun stones, but I plan to, and I wonder what other good slotless items I may be missing)?

traveler’s translator

Agile Alpenstock
Sashimono of Comfort
Polymorphic Pouch


graystone wrote:
Archmage Variel wrote:
What are people's opinions on good slotless items for the Shifter (I've yet to touch on ioun stones, but I plan to, and I wonder what other good slotless items I may be missing)?

traveler’s translator

Agile Alpenstock
Sashimono of Comfort
Polymorphic Pouch

I'm hesitant to add the Agile Alpenstock because it appears that RAW, you can't use it while wild shaped. Same sort of thing with the Traveler’s Translator.

I think the Sashimono of Comfort wouldn't work either because it need to be "worn on the back of a creature". You could plant it in the ground but that's (I believe) a whole entire standard action.


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Agile Alpenstock: avians and bipeds "can grasp objects" [see ultimate wilderness pg# 176 (magic item slots)]. That means bat, deinonychus, falcon, monkey and owl. As deinonychus is one of the main combat forms, it seems workable.

Traveler’s Translator: non-slot and fits to an ear... So no lizard, frog, deinonychus and snake. As with the Alpenstock, a major combat form,tiger, can use it as it has ears.

Sashimono of Comfort: It's not uncommon that druids wear barding after they change. It doesn't seem out of place to ask other players to attach it for you. Secondly, like the alpenstock, avians and bipeds could carry a staff with one attached.

EDIT: "Items that provide constant bonuses and do not need to be activated continue to function while melded in this way". Sashimono of Comfort and Agile Alpenstock should work melded with this and the base ability of the Traveler’s Translator [extra language] works.


graystone wrote:

Agile Alpenstock: avians and bipeds "can grasp objects" [see ultimate wilderness pg# 176 (magic item slots)]. That means bat, deinonychus, falcon, monkey and owl. As deinonychus is one of the main combat forms, it seems workable.

Traveler’s Translator: non-slot and fits to an ear... So no lizard, frog, deinonychus and snake. As with the Alpenstock, a major combat form,tiger, can use it as it has ears.

Sashimono of Comfort: It's not uncommon that druids wear barding after they change. It doesn't seem out of place to ask other players to attach it for you. Secondly, like the alpenstock, avians and bipeds could carry a staff with one attached.

I'm not sure that an Agile Alpenstock would ever be worth giving up a natural attack ESPECIALLY a claw attack. And you would need to not be holding onto it when you wild shape to begin with.

Traveler's Translator and Sashimono of Comfort would require you to have someone else put the item on you, and if you're wearing when you shape, you lose access to it completely as it melds with your shape.

I feel like overall these are very situational options that might be better covered in an overall item guide than in a Shifter guide.

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