Interesting Transmuter builds?


Advice


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I've been digging through spells and trying to come with good ideas for Transmuters, but they are exceedingly boring, especially on lower levels. Once Aerial Form comes in they get slightly more interesting, but still quite limited.
And no, being a buff bot for the party doesn't do it for me. I prefer battlefield-control mages, or maybe a transform specialist.

However, I see almost nothing. We get some buff spells, okay, useful-but-supremely-boring. No meaningful battlefield alteration spells that I can see. First battle form spell is on 4th level (Aerial Form), and we have to wait until 6th level to get the first truly interesting spell I can see, Dragon Form . Even that is very hobbled by the 1 minute duration and fact you can't cast or speak while in that form.

They don't even get unique spells. I checked; there is a single Arcane-only Transmutation spell: Shrink Item. To be fair, I can see some shenanigans with it, but it's complicated and very DM dependent.

Speaking of uniqueness, why is Dragon Form shared with Primal casters? Dragons are very firmly under the Arcane branch only. And Primals already get 3(!) unique <X> Form spells Transmuters don't get.

*sigh*... Anyone got some good suggestions or I'm stuck with homebrewing and hoping to find a generous DM?


This isn't well supported yet, no. I'd wait for a polymorph-centric Sorcerer bloodline.

Dunno what you mean by battlefield control though, that's more conjuration's thing.


NemoNoName wrote:

I've been digging through spells and trying to come with good ideas for Transmuters, but they are exceedingly boring, especially on lower levels. Once Aerial Form comes in they get slightly more interesting, but still quite limited.

And no, being a buff bot for the party doesn't do it for me. I prefer battlefield-control mages, or maybe a transform specialist.

However, I see almost nothing. We get some buff spells, okay, useful-but-supremely-boring. No meaningful battlefield alteration spells that I can see. First battle form spell is on 4th level (Aerial Form), and we have to wait until 6th level to get the first truly interesting spell I can see, Dragon Form . Even that is very hobbled by the 1 minute duration and fact you can't cast or speak while in that form.

They don't even get unique spells. I checked; there is a single Arcane-only Transmutation spell: Shrink Item. To be fair, I can see some shenanigans with it, but it's complicated and very DM dependent.

Speaking of uniqueness, why is Dragon Form shared with Primal casters? Dragons are very firmly under the Arcane branch only. And Primals already get 3(!) unique <X> Form spells Transmuters don't get.

*sigh*... Anyone got some good suggestions or I'm stuck with homebrewing and hoping to find a generous DM?

I'm not sure I understand. If you want to focus on battlefield control, why not go Conjuration, and use Grease, Web, etc? You will still be able to cast Aerial Form and Dragon Form when you get to that level.

Alternatively, for arcane polymorphers, there's Draconic and Demonic Sorcerers.


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Because I like flavour of using Transmutation magic.

And yeah, if I want to go full control I do go Conjurer, but that's a mechanic choice* rather than a roleplay/flavour one. But I like my Transmuters and like to mix control and combat-by-morphing/polymorphing. It's just super-badly supported right now.

Also, no, Sorcerers don't work for me. I like my Wizards thankyouverymuch.

*Frankly, I think Conjuration has far too many "hats"; it has summoning, it has battlefield control spells, it has buff spells, it has damage spells... Grease is a big peeve of mine, it should've been Transmutation - change the property of the object rather than summoning the fat from the Plane of Lard.

Right now I'm considering what I can do with Shrink Item (also packing for vacation XD ). A small wall is possible (4x5x1 ft), but that's useful indoors and there's a problem with balance (easily knockable over). Maybe a metal web-shaped structure with spikes to act as difficult/dangerous terrain - but then throwing caltrops achieves similar effect.


Grease would be a much more powerful effect if you could use it to greasify things that were not previously grease. That's stone to flesh.


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Nah, you don't transform the whole object. The spell just temporarily reduces the friction of some surface area. Same mechanical effect as Grease, but less clever ideas on setting it on fire.

You can even leave the name Grease, and say in description "as if it was covered in Grease".


There are a few other options you might consider to fill in the gaps before aerial form. They are thematic for a transmuter.

  • Multiclass alchemist and use bestial mutagens, which are polymorph effects. Grab revivyfing mutagen at 4 to double your mutagens as heals. Use your other spells to boost defenses and add utility.
  • Multiclass druid and get an animal companion. Mature it at 8. Use your buffs on the animal to help control the battlefield. Eventually shapeshift to fight with it. Could pick up the heal animal focus spell as well.
  • Multiclass ranger to get an animal companion as with Druid above. Instead of maturing it, pick up Monster Hunter at 6 to hunt prey while recalling knowledge in a single action. This represents your study of other creatures and with your high int gives you a better chance of triggering the group buff.


  • NemoNoName wrote:
    Frankly, I think Conjuration has far too many "hats"; it has summoning, it has battlefield control spells, it has buff spells, it has damage spells... Grease is a big peeve of mine, it should've been Transmutation - change the property of the object rather than summoning the fat from the Plane of Lard.

    Couldn't agree with you more.

    The D&D spell list has needed a major overhaul on spells and what school they should really be in since 3.0, and no edition since, PF and PF2 included, has really truly tackled the issue, which is really unfortunate.
    I think in this case, they saw that Transmutation was the most bloated of the arcane schools, so they thinned it out, but what they forgot to do was give it some bite.


    I don't care for animal companion. I tried building a MC with Druid for Wild Morph/Wild Form, but it is ridiculously feat heavy.

    On the other hand, Bestial Mutagens are excellent idea! I may not even need to MC with Alchemist for that, just take the Alchemical Crafting, but the price is yikes at lower levels. Still, excellent idea cavernshark! :)

    @Neo2151: I somewhat agree, but they already did the prunning and nerfing when they released PF1. There I don't think Transmutation was quite so full compared to other schools. A significant portion of its spells were ridiculously situational.
    And now Evocation seems ridiculously overloaded. Pity I despise blaster Wizards. :( That should be Sorcerer area of expertise.


    Aaaand I just realised the Guidance cantrip is a less situational version of Physical Boost. Wunderbar.

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