Help Me With the Oozemorph Shifter


Scarab Sages

The following is for a prospective Pathfinder Society character. If I'd have been better off submitting this to one of the Organized Play Forums, I welcome a moderator to do so:

I have mixed feelings about the Shifter. Perhaps I've simply failed to wrap my head around it (but it's incredibly rare that I can't). One thing I DO know is that, were I to play a Shifter, no doubt I'd want to be an Oozemorph...but how do I do it? I don't entirely understand how it's supposed to work, and frankly, it looks even more underwhelming than the base Shifter. I'm hoping against hope that I'm missing or failing to understand something.

Hold the "cheese," please - and if I decline any given advice, respect my prerogative to do so.

Grand Lodge

So, Oozemorph has the weird rule where, in your natural state, you cannot wear magic items. They stay in your form and are held by your oozy self, but are not active. You have hours/level/day of your shapeshift form, and at low levels that's not too helpful. Even at high levels NPCs might be put off by the fact that your whole body seems to be melting constantly.

The solution to this is be a kitsune. With their change shape ability, you can be in your normal human form and wear magic items. Your normal kitsune form is your ooze form, and you still can alter yourself as normal.

Regardless of your form, you always have access to at least two natural attacks (Either the natural attacks that is inherent to your current form, or your two ooze weapons, or one natural attack and one ooze weapon if the form you're in only has one attack). You could even take Fox Shape and be a tiny fox with a bite and a ooze weapon! I'd get the lunge feat if you go that route though.

With the strength penalty as a kitsune, I would recommend dex based and an agile amulet of mighty fists.

Also, by RAW, size changes don't change the damage dice of your morphic weapon. A tiny fox will have the same damage dice for your morphic weapon as the large rhino

All in all, it is a fairly lackluster archetype mechanically, but it's flavorful as all heck!

Scarab Sages

How does it differ, all in all, from the base Shifter?

Can you think of any alternative to 'be a Kitsune'? I'd rather not.

As written....the only way it's playable is to use Kitsune to build your base form and take the feat that allows you to copy anyone you have encountered. Beyond that it requires a considerable amount of house ruling (which is what we did) to make it playable at lower levels.

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If someone tried to play a kitsune in my group they'd be looking for a new group.

I'm kind of disappointed that they ruled out the code on the Oozemorph. breaking it was a great way to become functional.

Grand Lodge

If you're okay with the fact that for a majority of your PFS career you'll be in a form that leaves you vulnerable, you can go with any race that makes for a good beatstick. Human, Half-Orc, etc. Hours/lvl/day will eventually be long enough for you to be in one morphed form or another for the majority of the scenario, but, having tried out an oozemorph at 1st level in PFS, let me tell you it was painful to play.

What's wrong with playing a kitsune? They're not exactly a broken race.

Nighttree is partially incorrect: you don't need the realistic likeness feat, since you already have a shapechange ability as a kitsune.

Moving away from that subject though, as far as how the archetype compares with the base class, let's break this down:

1) you get a cool new way to do natural attacks, and you can change the damage type as a swift action. You get more natural attacks as you level up, which is neat too.
What you give up for it: Increased damage dice as you level; the ability to bypass damage types as you level. In my opinion, that's a net loss, especially when you look at the fact that a 6th level oozemorph and a 6th level tiger aspect base shifter have the same number of maximum attacks AND the tiger has grab on those attacks as well.

2) You become an ooze! In your natural form, you gain immunity to critical hits and flanking, and you gain the compression ability. For hours/lvl you you can morph into a humanoid as per Alter Self (including the +2 to str or dex, depending on the morph choice). At level 1 this is cool as you can transform into a lizardfolk and have bite/claw/claw at level 1 regardless of what race you actually are, and you'll have pretty high strength or dex thanks to Alter Self. At 8th it can function as Beast Shape I. At 15th it can function as BSII or Giant Shape I. You can only use your morphing ability a number of times equal to half your shifter level.
What you give up: All aspects including chimeric form, as well as Wild Shape. Even though you can use beast shape, you don't have wild shape, and therefore cannot take any feats that improve it. In PFS, you don't get access to pounce in normal play, (unlike the normal shifter with access to Tiger or Deinonychus aspects). Not only this, if you're in your regular form, you don't have any access to ANY of your equipment- no armor bonuses, no magic item usage, no spellcasting potential, nothing. And all you get in return are situational benefits of crit and sneak attack immunity. Big net loss.

3) You get DR bypassed by Slashing, the most common physical damage type out there! While the amount of DR is actually pretty good, you give up: a flat bonus to AC based on your wisdom modifier, which is typically decent, and the AC bonus increases as you level. Higher AC is better than higher DR, especially a DR that has such an easy bypass. Big net loss.

4) If you're in your natural state, you gain a climb speed of 10 ft! You give up woodland stride but that's fairly situational, so net gain? maybe?

5) Ooze empathy is cool, and you'll probably use it about 3 times as often as you would use wild empathy! Alas, 3x0 is still 0 times.

Really, if you have your heart set out on making an Oozemorph, you might as well. Just know that base shifter is an uphill battle to begin with compared to other full-BAB martials, and Oozemorph takes the shifter to that uphill battle, strips it of any gear they have, and hands the opponent a longsword for good measure.

Scarab Sages

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To you, here: Thanks.

To the Archetype and its author(s): No thanks.

Sounds like it needs to be completely rewritten.

I wrote an improved version of the Oozemaster prestige class from Masters of the Wild that I would LOVE to be able to institute SOMEWHERE. It was WAY better.

If the devs are willing to call my bluff, I'd be happy to show them (and further adjust as necessary).

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