Changes to the Shifter


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Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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Hey there all,

First off, I want to thank everybody for their comments and feedback on the Shifter.

I thought I would take a moment to talk to all of you about the class and some of the problems that have cropped up with its use in game. There is a common sentiment among fans that the class is a bit underwhelming when compared to others, especially the druid. We always knew that the class would be compared to the druid, and part of our design attempted to speak to that comparison, treating the shifter as a martial version of the druid concept. Purely by the numbers, the class performs as expected, hitting and dealing damage along the expected lines that we laid out. What that analysis does not do (and probably should have) is compare the class to a druid with its full suite of options brought to bear simulating the same basic concept. Comparatively, the shifter can come off as a bit too restricted.

Game design can be tricky that way. We can design to meet peak design, which has the danger of forever pushing the bar of “normal” up and up (aka Power Creep), or we can try to hold the baseline, which itself is an ever shifting target. We chose the later with the shifter, hoping that the class would hold its own, being simple for newer players to get into without running too far outside the norms for what we think a class could do. Its obvious in hindsight that we could have pushed this a bit further, or at least, given you a wider variety of options to play with to build the character in a more diverse manner.

None of this was helped by the lack of a public playtest on the class. We felt at the time that this was a relatively straight-forward class that did not need a lot of testing. These were game concepts we understood. Combined with an overwhelming design schedule (this was happening in the middle of Starfinder design), we decided to skip the playtest.

It’s clear that this was a mistake.

Going forward, we are going to be a lot more careful with our class design, ensuring that every class gets run through its paces before it reaches its final form. That will involve you. As for what to do about the shifter, we’re going to make a few changes right now to increase the versatility and playability of the class, based on your feedback (see the FAQ). These changes will be reflected in future printings of the book.

  • Wild Shape: We are changing the way you gain uses and duration of wild shape. 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.”

  • Shift Claws: Shifter claws count as magic starting at 3rd level.

Finally, on our list of hotfix FAQ updates for the book, adding the missing creature abilities to the major forms (like owl’s Fly speed) is at the top of the list, and we have a solution underway for the questions about the oozemorph shifter archetype as well.

Thanks for being patient with us on this one. We will continue to monitor this class, as we do all others, and make adjustments as necessary.

Good Gaming!

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design
Paizo Inc.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

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Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Oh wow, thanks! Means a lot that Paizo is willing to tweak things.


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Thank you very much for addressing some of the community concerns about Shifters, it shows that the developers are keeping an ear to the ground.

That said: I personally do not feel like these changes are... frankly drastic enough. While giving Shifters more wildshaping time is a good start, and adding their wis mod to the total, over all the class itself still seems very bland. Their ability to wildshape is limited, they get a lot of cookie cutter abilities seemingly pasted over from hunter.

I don't know what more to say, because I'm not a pathfinder designer, but I can't help but feel that there needs to be more done in a future printing, but I don't know if you can without drastically altering the class.

EDIT: I actually thought of two changes that might make it more interesting, boost the overall strength a bit, and give it more versatility. Namely: removing the time limitation of minor forms (since hunter focus without their pet is unlimited), and giving them a few bonus feats Monk-style, since they seem to be a monk/hunter hybrid... But worse than both unfortunately.


The first sentence of the shifter's Wildshape should also be changed.

"At 4th level, a shifter gains the ability to turn herself into the major form of one of her aspects and back again once per day."

Now that they can shift for hours and for 1 hour at a time the once per day should probably just be removed.

Like I'm not sure if the FAQ was the final or just the fast version so this might already be something you're aware of.

But I like this. Now there's a difference between the shifter and the druid.

EDIT:
Welp, look who can't read today. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I didn't think the shifter had as many issues as some people claimed but I'm glad to see this kind of feedback from the game developers. This is a big reason why I support Paizo.

Thank you.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

These are some excellent quality of play changes for the Shifter.


First off, I appreciate the current changes to the Shifter, they may actually want me to play one in an upcoming game, and that's a step in the right direction.

The hour/level duration was something I threw in another thread as an off-the-cuff suggestion, so I'm surprised that actually stuck here, though making Wisdom more useful to the class besides a basic AC booster in addition to its normal effects is a nice touch, similar to how Wisdom applies to a Monk's Ki Pool, and makes Shifters value Wisdom a whole lot more. This also gives the Shifter much-needed versatility that lets them better adapt to situations than a Druid with similar abilities could. One thing that needs to be clarified if someone decided to, for example take levels in both Shifter and Druid; would they have two different pools of Wild Shape to draw from, and would their class levels stack to determine effects from each respective ability?

For Shifter's Claws, having the Magic reduction at 3rd is nice, making the Shifter not have to rush an Amulet of Mighty Fists right off the bat. I'd even suggest allowing the effects of the Animal Companion Multiattack benefit at 10th level if their Shifter's Claws are the only natural weaponry they possess.

As for the Aspects (as well as their shifting forms in general), I feel that most of them need an overhaul. How much of an overhaul, and what kind of overhaul they need, I'm not certain of at this time, but I would consider making some aspects grant permanent bonuses, and others lasting longer (or shorter) depending on what each aspect grants. For example, the Enhancement Scores, I'd view as a permanent bonus, whereas certain other features could last longer, or be changed/boosted to warrant the relatively short time span


Wow. These changes really help to carve out the shifter's niche further. And I am happy you don't bow to the wish for power creep...


Chess Pwn wrote:

The first sentence of the shifter's Wildshape should also be changed.

"At 4th level, a shifter gains the ability to turn herself into the major form of one of her aspects and back again once per day."

Now that they can shift for hours and for 1 hour at a time the once per day should probably just be removed.

Like I'm not sure if the FAQ was the final or just the fast version so this might already be something you're aware of.

But I like this. Now there's a difference between the shifter and the druid.

The FAQ wrote:
Remove "once per day" from the first sentence.

They're way ahead of ya on that one.

I'm glad for this change. I, and many of my group, were looking forward to the Shifter, and to find out its Wild Shape was Druid- was disappointing. This gives it something to actually make you want to play a Shifter rather than a Druid, as well as giving more use for Wis.

I'm also interested in seeing what's coming for Oozemorph, because despite most of my group's misgivings I find it a cool concept.


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I'm quite pleased to see the team quickly follow through their promise to look over the class and we got some tangible changes too.

Wild Shape changes: I happy to see this as it makes using utility forms a viable tactic that doesn't dramatically take away from combat. It also allows shifter's rush to much more usable, much earlier. Two thumbs up.

Shift Claws change: Again, two thumbs up as it was a glaring oversight in its abilities to bypass DR.

I have to agree with FlySkyHigh/Darksol that I'd like to see some more changes to the class but I'll say this is a really good start. I'm also looking forward to the oozemorph info.

PS: If things keep going like this, I may have to put the pitchforks and torches into storage. ;)


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Does this mean the Shifter's 6th and 18th levels are now dead levels? Seems rough for a class without any spellcasting. Are there any plans to add new abilities to fix this?


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Plenty of comments on the buffs being a good move, so I'm instead going to comment that I really appreciate the acknowledgment of mistakes made. It would be easy for you guys to dig in your heels, blame it purely on poor decision making on the design level or something along those lines, and ignore the real problems. I'm glad to see the openness with design intentions, steps to correct where they went wrong, and especially an acknowledgement that we could've done more playtesting. I'm suddenly looking a lot more forward to see what comes next that I have been in the past few months.

Grand Lodge

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Sazac wrote:
Does this mean the Shifter's 6th and 18th levels are now dead levels? Seems rough for a class without any spellcasting. Are there any plans to add new abilities to fix this?

I too have this concern.

Liberty's Edge

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

I'm glad to see an acknowledgment of some mistakes, I think you guys handled this way better than other Companies have in the past.

I think this is a solid move forward for Shifter, though I'm still not drawn to the class itself. I think I got my expectations up to high when it was described as being to Druids as Paladins are to Clerics. I imagined this Full BAB, Spell-less, wild-shape focused, a class who traded Druid class features for combat feats (Druid/Fighter vs Monk/Hunter). I am glad to see this get worked on and hope people find it more enjoyable.


Great job! Now fix kineticist.


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I feel pretty similarly to a lot of other people. This does make Shifter at least a functional class in concept, if still outpaced in many respects. However, I think without a complete redesign (Unchained Shifter?), this is a good place to be in.

Personally, I feel like there could be two paths to go down when it comes to choosing a form: either have it work like the base spell, with the capability to transform into anything the spell normally allows. (perhaps with added bonuses if you shift into one of your aspects)

Alternatively, you could go the other way and make Aspects more like Witch Hexes, Alchemist Discoveries, or Rogue Talents: make them far more common, and presented in a format similar to a template. Show the change to ability scores, special abilities, and even bonus feats, that increases in strength as you level up. (For example, make a Bear aspect that changes your size to Large, grants a larger than normal bonus to strength, and gives you scent/low light vision, and maybe a feat like Awesome Blow. A Tiger aspect might give you a bonus to Dexterity, pounce, and Weapon Finesse, and so on)
This would allow for a lot more flexibility, and also hit the mark for being easy for beginners to understand: just take your natural stat block, apply the changes your Aspect gives you, and presto! Your Shifted form, instead of having to dig through the CRB, UW, and a Bestiary to figure out what your ability score changes are, how your special abilities work, how much damage your natural attacks deal, and so on. Plus, if the Aspects are more powerful than those normally granted by the base spell, it would mean that Shifters have an area that a Wizard can't outdo them in. (which by itself is pretty impressive)

Anyway, that's just my 2 cp. The fixes do help the base Shifter significantly, and I may actually play one someday (just waiting for that dragon archetype...)


I can respect the changes going forward.

But, due to quirks of my own, I will be unlikely to involve myself much with the Shifter just like the Druid. Metal is and will always be natural.


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I have the same issue with the Shifter than I do with the Kineticist. The class's main purpose is to be a frontline damage dealer. Therefore, it should have damage comparable to the more standard builds (2hand STR Barbarian or Fighter, whether Greatsword or Falchion) reliably. The problem is, it falls behind noticeably.

Also, I find the consideration towards 'power creep' rather amusing, given that functionally every book adding new spells only increases the versatility of existing casters, effectively bumping their power; or that there are noticeable class power-boosting books (WMH and Unchained Rogue/Monk being the most obvious examples). Well, and that I have the firm belief that there's a potentiall overwhelming (based on player skill) power disparity among the different classes.

Well, I'm deviating from the point I'm trying to make, which is: I've given a look at the numbers, and they look low. This is not comparing to the more damage-intensive builds (Archer-Smiting paladin and Ubercharge, or TWF shenanigans, amongst others), but to the bread-and-butter ones.


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With the changes to wildshape, it seems the shifter is now left with completely dead levels at 6th and 18th. IIRC, one of the design principles of Pathfinder was to avoid dead levels which plagued 3.5e.

Is anything going to be added to the Shifter at those levels to compensate? Perhaps something like bonus feats, a la the Cavalier? Seems odd to have a full BAB class with no bonus feats...


How are these changes going to affect archetypes that the Wild Shape is replaced on, like oozemorph?

This would help oozemorph amd fluid form immensely


I think this is a step in the right direction. However, I think the class should have access to more aspects - doing so wouldn't increase the raw power of the class, just give it more flexibility.

A druid isn't locked into wild shaping into a single form, she can choose any form. Hunters aren't locked into a single animal focus.

I would remove the selection of aspects and allow the shifter to use any of the aspects available.


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willuwontu wrote:

How are these changes going to affect archetypes that the Wild Shape is replaced on, like oozemorph?

This would help oozemorph amd fluid form immensely

I think we have to figure out HOW the base archetype works before we can try to alter it. As it stands though, it's abilities are replacements for wildshape so the current FAQ doesn't do anything.


NightTrace wrote:
I think this is a solid move forward for Shifter, though I'm still not drawn to the class itself. I think I got my expectations up to high when it was described as being to Druids as Paladins are to Clerics.

Agreed. I think while the changes are baseline functional, the whole package doesn't feel up to par. I mean, roughly on-par offence/defence and minor utility from limited-form wildshape + track, empathy, woodland stride, trackless step don't seem akin to "Paladin" or even "Ranger" do they?

Right now if you added 4 level spellcasting I don't think anybody would think that is overpowered or anything, so LACKING THAT, one expects a bit more SOMETHING. I would expect All Good Saves if not WIS to Saves, maybe another side ability or two or three... For a supernatural embodiment of nature or life itself, Poison and Disease (+Polymorph/Curse?) Immunity seem obvious... Plus some sort of Fast Healing? Maybe Ranger Favored Terrain, Camouflage etc? Hardly game breaking.

Then there is issue of Aspect (Enhancement bonus) & Wildshape (Size bonus)... Except you can't use both at the same time, so to be on par, you want STR/DEX/CON Enhancement items for while you are Wildshaped. But if you own such an item, then you no longer gain benefit from Aspect's Enhancement bonus. IMHO Aspect SHOULD stack with Wildshape to avoid this, also making the forms stronger than Druid Wildshape. Also not sure why it doesn't scale the Beast Shape to allow higher stat bonuses even if not actually becoming larger/smaller size categories. Full BAB = higher Power Attack seems primary benefit as of now, although undermined by lack of to-hit bonus like most Full BAB classes get (Monk/Gunslinger having Touch attacks).

And for the life of me, I can't understand why you can't activate Aspect & Shifter's Claws together in the same round. I mean, Shifter's Claws bonus applies automatically to Wildshape, so why not allow activating Aspect+Claws together as the same action (or Shifter's Claws @ Free)? Or at least allowing combining both @ Standard or same action as Wildshape?


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

With the changes to wildshape, it seems the shifter is now left with completely dead levels at 6th and 18th. IIRC, one of the design principles of Pathfinder was to avoid dead levels which plagued 3.5e.

Is anything going to be added to the Shifter at those levels to compensate? Perhaps something like bonus feats, a la the Cavalier? Seems odd to have a full BAB class with no bonus feats...

While I get the theory behind no dead levels, the ability they have now is stronger than it was when they got more at those levels, even if they get it all at once. It seems weird to ask for more to compensate for a power boost.


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thejeff wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

With the changes to wildshape, it seems the shifter is now left with completely dead levels at 6th and 18th. IIRC, one of the design principles of Pathfinder was to avoid dead levels which plagued 3.5e.

Is anything going to be added to the Shifter at those levels to compensate? Perhaps something like bonus feats, a la the Cavalier? Seems odd to have a full BAB class with no bonus feats...

While I get the theory behind no dead levels, the ability they have now is stronger than it was when they got more at those levels, even if they get it all at once. It seems weird to ask for more to compensate for a power boost.

As Tuvarks has pointed out, that's because the power boost they've received just isn't enough, honestly. As it stands now, even with these changes the Shifter is not an equivalent to other front liner classes like the Fighter, Barb, or even the class that it was compared to when it was introduced: the Paladin.

If you ask me, the easy way to fix this would be to give the Shifter something they can do that literally nobody else can up to this point: allow them to use iteratives in their Natural attacks. While this may not make them the Paladin of nature, I feel like it would make them the Monks of nature, which is close enough in my book to justify the ability.


thejeff wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

With the changes to wildshape, it seems the shifter is now left with completely dead levels at 6th and 18th. IIRC, one of the design principles of Pathfinder was to avoid dead levels which plagued 3.5e.

Is anything going to be added to the Shifter at those levels to compensate? Perhaps something like bonus feats, a la the Cavalier? Seems odd to have a full BAB class with no bonus feats...

While I get the theory behind no dead levels, the ability they have now is stronger than it was when they got more at those levels, even if they get it all at once. It seems weird to ask for more to compensate for a power boost.

Well, it's less asking for more power and more asking for something to fill the void, and make the class more interesting. You can add additional abilities without directly increasing a class's power, i.e. Track and Woodland Stride. That said, a lot of people are still underwhelmed by the Shifter's power, so I definitely understand asking for more, even with this change. Bonus feats are a good way to add a slight boost to power, but another thing they could do is maybe give the Shifter the ability to Wild Shape as a Move action at 6th and as a Swift at 18th.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Could just add some immunities, resistances, other defenses, etc. to those dead levels

6th could be...
A)immunity to disease, paralysis, or poison, etc.
B)uncanny dodge, evasion, etc.
C)Resist nature's lure, favored terrain, etc.
D)"Morphic defense" were you can choose (one of) any defenses from a list.

18th could be
A)immunity to aging(both magical and mundane)
B)constant freedom of movement effect
C)fast healing 5
D)"Greater morhic defense"


Quandary wrote:
Then there is issue of Aspect (Enhancement bonus) & Wildshape (Size bonus)... Except you can't use both at the same time, so to be on par, you want STR/DEX/CON Enhancement items for while you are Wildshaped. But if you own such an item, then you no longer gain benefit from Aspect's Enhancement bonus. IMHO Aspect SHOULD stack with Wildshape to avoid this, also making the forms stronger than Druid Wildshape. Also not sure why it doesn't scale the Beast Shape to allow higher stat bonuses even if not actually becoming larger/smaller size categories. Full BAB = higher Power Attack seems primary benefit as of now, although undermined by lack of to-hit bonus like most Full BAB classes get (Monk/Gunslinger having Touch attacks).

So you are able to have a minor aspect on while you're wildshaped thus stacking the wildshape size and aspects enhancement bonuses. I'm not sure why you'd think they can't be used together.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Quote:
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.

Just want to be clear, does that allow for a shifter to swap shapes while transformed (changing from an Owl to a Bear within the same hour for example) and the single hour use ends when returning to normal form, or does each individual change cost an hour of time (with the assumption that returning to normal form costs nothing)?

If it's the latter, while it's still a step up from before, why not make the wording "level times per day, for 1 hour per use"?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Curious lack of Intimidate as a class skill. Also you might as well treat Defensive Instinct and Shifter Claw Increase as a single class skill one time then the Shifter looks mighty empty. A lot of dead or near-dead levels. Step in the right direction but I think you need a lot of work done to improve the class. Especially with wildshape options and aspect abilities.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Quandary wrote:

Then there is issue of Aspect (Enhancement bonus) & Wildshape (Size bonus)...

IMHO Aspect SHOULD stack with Wildshape to avoid this, also making the forms stronger than Druid Wildshape.
So you are able to have a minor aspect on while you're wildshaped thus stacking the wildshape size and aspects enhancement bonuses. I'm not sure why you'd think they can't be used together.

OK, I can see that now, I guess I was thrown off by

WS: "The shifter can turn into the major form of only one of her aspects at a time. "
SA: "Shifting to a new aspect (or aspects...) ends all minor forms currently manifested."
Both Shifter Aspect and Wildshape function around 'assuming'/'changing into' form of the same 'aspects',
SA's "shifting to new aspect [ends all current minor forms]" didn't specify only shifting to aspect's minor forms,
so I took it to also apply to Wildshaping (shifting to aspect's greater form), though if that's not intent, great.

Shifting to a new aspect (or aspects...) ends all minor forms


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Quandary wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Quandary wrote:

Then there is issue of Aspect (Enhancement bonus) & Wildshape (Size bonus)...

IMHO Aspect SHOULD stack with Wildshape to avoid this, also making the forms stronger than Druid Wildshape.
So you are able to have a minor aspect on while you're wildshaped thus stacking the wildshape size and aspects enhancement bonuses. I'm not sure why you'd think they can't be used together.

OK, I can see that now, I guess I was thrown off by

WS: "The shifter can turn into the major form of only one of her aspects at a time. "
SA: "Shifting to a new aspect (or aspects...) ends all minor forms currently manifested."
Both Shifter Aspect and Wildshape abilities function around "assuming the form" / "changing into the form" of the same 'aspects',
and the SA wording didn't explicitly specify only applying when shifting into MINOR form of aspect (just 'aspect')
potentially applying to shifting to new aspect with Wildshaping by my reading, although if that's not intent, great.

Check out my shifter guide here if you think it might help.

I'm really loving this FAQ, and looking forward to seeing how Oozemorph is changed.


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Thanks for the consideration Jason.

Just glad to hear that there will be more classes and public playtests. :)


Not sure what has been thought of for the Oozemorph, but if it isn't already too late, my thoughts are that this sounds like something that should be a new player character race(*) rather than an archetype (but which could then have its own Shifter archetype).

(*)Yeah, I know, as if we didn't already have enough, but . . . I think it will work better this way.


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Ah, since you are doing some corrections on the class right now, I might as well ask- can you add in the element types for the elementalist shifter archetype? They appear to have been left out.

I know that paizo has a fairly standard set of elemental damage types for the elements (fire/water/air/earth=fire/cold/electricity/acid), but it is best not to leave those details out.

Sidenote- while I am still iffy on the main class, I actually enjoy the elementalist shifter archetype. The elemental strike provides average extra damage that allows it to serve a role similar to the cavalier's challenge (6d6~ 21 most of the time). While elemental damage can be resisted, of course, the archetype allows you to get multiple elements as it progresses, so that is not really a major problem.

It provides a more mundane flaming sword user (rather than the light saber wielding kineticist). Even if it does get resisted, the elementalist still has a solid hit with its weapon. You do not see the problem a pyrokineticist sees when doing a cheliax campaign.

I will note that it suffers more from dead levels than the main class. The elemental aspects only provide stat bonuses for minor forms, and there has always been a major disparity when it comes to turning into elementals (air is always the best, and everything else feels lack luster). The main class, in comparison, could look forward to perception bonuses, new senses, etc.

Maybe some minor SLAs associated with the given elements might end up providing additional utility or ranged options- such as pyrotechnics and scorching ray for the fire element.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

I agree, I find it weird the class doesn't have intimidate as a class skill also disguise makes sense as a class skill as well.


My issue with shifter wasn't comparing it to the druid, rather to a hunter without a pet.

It's abilities seemed much like animal focus with a little beast shape. But did a BAB matter that much compared to 6 levels of casting? Not really if they couldn't use that BAB for more attacks. So the class wasn't working for me in that respect.

I agree that a simple (simpler?) Fix is to give them BAB iterative attacks like an animal companion gets on single attacks with multi attack.

Certainly would make for a he'll of a level 18 dead level placement.

But no matter what the most important thing is that feedback is a high priority, and that's the BEST place to start from this point on.


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Seems like good changes. A couple other I'd like to see that feel non-disruptive:

Ability to activate minor aspects and shifter claws with the same swift action.
It shouldn't take two turns for them to go from civilian appearance their to mostly humanoid "battle form".
This is mostly a quality of life issue that won't come up that often, but lets the the shifter go undercover without worrying about being able to quickly be combat ready - something that seems like it should be of the least concern for someone whose own body is the weapon.

Slightly more impactful, no duration limit on minor aspects.

A duration of 3+ level minutes per day is enough to be active throughout combats, but is a tiny amount of time outside combat.
This severely weakens minor aspects that give "utility" benefits like the Falcon, and is harmful to the flavor of the class; it becomes capable of complete transformation all day, but a legendary 20th level shifter can't see like a bat while walking around for even half an hour. The impact on combat is minor, but enables them to better use their shapeshifting to aid the party when not fighting.


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Dragon78 wrote:

Could just add some immunities, resistances, other defenses, etc. to those dead levels

6th could be...
A)immunity to disease, paralysis, or poison, etc.
B)uncanny dodge, evasion, etc.
C)Resist nature's lure, favored terrain, etc.
D)"Morphic defense" were you can choose (one of) any defenses from a list.

18th could be
A)immunity to aging(both magical and mundane)
B)constant freedom of movement effect
C)fast healing 5
D)"Greater morhic defense"

Since we are filling in these dead levels for aesthetic rather than balance reasons, I would go with the effects that are least useful in combat -- so Resist Nature's Lure at 6th level and Timeless Body at 18th level. The Shifter would be getting these abilities slightly later than a Druid would.


Still, utility is a good idea, but can I've something druids already don't do better? Kind of reinforces opinion


As someone that actually was enjoying the class as it was, regardless of so many complaining about it. I think the changes to wild shape are a move backwards. You may be giving more shifts per day but you are severely reducing the amount of time that you can remain in said forms and thus it is losing some major versatility to use the bonuses from the aspects for non-combat means.

In a game I am currently playing a level 8 Shifter; I could maintain an animal form for 24 hours; 3 shifts a day at 8 hours each. Now, it's been cut to a third of that time. Having more uses might be good thing; but reducing the time to be in those forms by this amount is going to relegate them to being almost nothing but a combat class. Each time they'd normally have gained another use you are cutting the time again.

level 4 - 1 x for 4 hours now becomes 4 times for 4 hours.
level 6 - 2 x for 6 hours each (12 hours) now becomes 6 hours.
level 8 - 3 x for 8 hours each (24 hours) now becomes 8 hours.
level 10 - 4 x for 10 hours each (40 hours) now becomes 10 hours.
level 12 - 5 x for 12 hours each (60 hours) is now only 12 hours.

And so on... even with the bonus from Wisdom adding in hours it doesn't change the drastic drop in their hours able to be transformed. After 24 hours yes you have extra hours that cannot possibly be used in a day; but you get extra uses to assume new forms. But perhaps a better fix than changing uses and time is to link Wild Shape more with the Minor Aspect; and any time they activate a Minor Aspect they can change their Wild Shape to match it as a standard action. Or just allow them more freedom with their wild shape and be able to switch between major forms and only have a use end once they revert to humanoid form.

I also think changing Wisdom for them and giving them something else to base defensive instinct off of would be better. And giving them something so they can take all those Wisdom 19+ wild shape feats without having to dump so much into Wisdom to be able to get them would be nice.

As it is, right now they kind of need a high Dex until they can get Wild armor (or have a magic source for it or barding with a magic source to quickly put it on) to have a decent AC. You also either need to base their combat on Dex for finesse or also have Strength as well as Con to help them be a frontliner and having high HP. Con would be a good second ability stat for them; or maybe it's a good time to put in a 2nd class with d12 Hit points. Adding in Wisdom to the mix is making them have too many important ability scores.


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Roivan wrote:
Having more uses might be good thing; but reducing the time to be in those forms by this amount is going to relegate them to being almost nothing but a combat class.

Having less total shifting time is unfortunate, but this conclusion is pretty backwards. More uses makes flexing into noncombat forms significantly more viable. Really the whole impetus for the change was that it was too easy at low-mid levels to get 'stuck' in form because you had so few total uses.


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Roivan wrote:
level 4 - 1 x for 4 hours now becomes 4 times for 4 hours.

You do realize its Level + Wis Modifier hours day now?

Granted you could have a Wis modifier of 0, and yes it's still less than the old amount of time.


swoosh wrote:
Roivan wrote:
Having more uses might be good thing; but reducing the time to be in those forms by this amount is going to relegate them to being almost nothing but a combat class.
Having less total shifting time is unfortunate, but this conclusion is pretty backwards. More uses makes flexing into noncombat forms significantly more viable. Really the whole impetus for the change was that it was too easy at low-mid levels to get 'stuck' in form because you had so few total uses.

How is it backwards? You sound like you are assuming that you have to change out of your animal form; multiple ways not to and still be able to communicate with others. And getting stuck in a form is less linked to uses of wild shape and more to how many aspects you can have.

willuwontu wrote:
Roivan wrote:
level 4 - 1 x for 4 hours now becomes 4 times for 4 hours.

You do realize its Level + Wis Modifier hours day now?

Granted you could have a Wis modifier of 0, and yes it's still less than the old amount of time.

And yes I do realize it adds your wisdom mod to the hours; that's going to be what? maybe 3-6? depending on the build and how much you've put into it.


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Thanks for the changes and the changes you will make in the future. Particularly looking forward to the fix of the oozemorph.

Question: While the fixes will be present in future printings and downloads, what about those who bought the first release hard cover? could a pdf with just the class (Also archtypes) and the changes be something that is given to book owners?

Question 2, Electric Boogaloo: Until the oozemorph changes come out would it be acceptable to have the alterself function like the level + wis mod per day?


Roivan wrote:
How is it backwards? You sound like you are assuming that you have to change out of your animal form; multiple ways not to and still be able to communicate with others. And getting stuck in a form is less linked to uses of wild shape and more to how many aspects you can have.

It has NOTHING to do with communication. Say your sifter comes across a situation where flight is handy. before it takes an ENTIRE use for what might be only a few minutes of use and is one less use of combat/monster pounce. Or you want to sneak by someone as a mouse... That one mouse sneak is another use. Now it's JUST a single hour.

So hour block lets utility forms to be used without the fear that doing so will leave you without a combat form for later. The change might leave you with less leap/pounce/death but it allows non-combat forms to shine.


graystone wrote:
Roivan wrote:
How is it backwards? You sound like you are assuming that you have to change out of your animal form; multiple ways not to and still be able to communicate with others. And getting stuck in a form is less linked to uses of wild shape and more to how many aspects you can have.

It has NOTHING to do with communication. Say your sifter comes across a situation where flight is handy. before it takes an ENTIRE use for what might be only a few minutes of use and is one less use of combat/monster pounce. Or you want to sneak by someone as a mouse... That one mouse sneak is another use. Now it's JUST a single hour.

So hour block lets utility forms to be used without the fear that doing so will leave you without a combat form for later. The change might leave you with less leap/pounce/death but it allows non-combat forms to shine.

And now if you want to sleep, stay on guard duty in an animal form (say for their senses, because the minor aspect doing it is not going to be able to do it), or trying to track someone by scent which may take hours; it becomes nearly impossible to do or uses all of your wild shape time. They traded one problem for another. This is not a fix, it's only a shifting of problems.


Roivan wrote:
graystone wrote:
Roivan wrote:
How is it backwards? You sound like you are assuming that you have to change out of your animal form; multiple ways not to and still be able to communicate with others. And getting stuck in a form is less linked to uses of wild shape and more to how many aspects you can have.

It has NOTHING to do with communication. Say your sifter comes across a situation where flight is handy. before it takes an ENTIRE use for what might be only a few minutes of use and is one less use of combat/monster pounce. Or you want to sneak by someone as a mouse... That one mouse sneak is another use. Now it's JUST a single hour.

So hour block lets utility forms to be used without the fear that doing so will leave you without a combat form for later. The change might leave you with less leap/pounce/death but it allows non-combat forms to shine.

And now if you want to sleep, stay on guard duty in an animal form (say for their senses, because the minor aspect doing it is not going to be able to do it), or trying to track someone by scent which may take hours; it becomes nearly impossible to do or uses all of your wild shape time. They traded one problem for another. This is not a fix, it's only a shifting of problems.

Its a trade I'll take any day as before there was truly only 2 viable forms [tiger/dino] for combat and you didn't dare shift out because of the severely limited used/day.

Now it can STILL pounce you to death but can afford to stealth or fly or swim or climb or ect... SO instead of ONLY being able to be a 24/7 tiger/dino you can actual have utility and take advantage of the other forms to fit the need of the situation.


4 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've found another slight issue with the shifter class that probably needs an FAQ. It seems obvious that the snake major aspect is supposed to get a bite attack, but there aren't any rules in it for such an attack.

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