We here at Lost Spheres love shapeshifters. Conceptually, the group of characters that encompases the ability to take on another form is pretty broad particularly including third-party options. With so many choices out there we thought some of you wouldn’t mind a few suggestions for your next morphic champion. In the greater body of media of fantasy, the wizard who shapechanges is probably more common that the one who casts fireball. Over the next couple weeks we’d like to showcase a few different ‘shifter character concepts from Paizo and other companies for those looking for a little change before the new year. Welcome to the 12 days of Shift-mas!
Shapeshifting: The Transmuter
As another Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook class, the wizard (specifically the transmuter) sizes up well against the druid regarding the level of shapeshifting and its relative balance within the class:
Under the Tree – Most of the big shiny box. A transmuter that wants to make shapeshifting her thing has choices to make. How often? How cool? How versatile. As a base you get physical enhancement and change shape from the transmutation school specialty. That might be enough for you. If it is this power is a secondary as wildshape but the durations are extremely limited and you will only scrape the surface of the options before you. Taking the shapechange focused specialty from the Pathfinder Advanced Players Guide gives you another minor shift (battleshaping) that might help with your desired changes but most wizards longing for the power of flowing forms are going to commit a sizable chunk of spell knowledge and preparation to the concept.
Battery Life – Music-Box. How long does our shift last? Usually a 1 minute per level. Yowza. Extended adventuring is going to require almost all of your spells are supporting shifts if you want to keep up anywhere near our druid friends. Transmuter shapechanging duration is its major Achilles Heel.
Wrapping Fees – Jingle-Bells. If you want to minimize your spell expenses Extend Spell is almost required. If you want to cast while ‘shifted add Silent Spell and maybe Still Spell to the list. You can mitigate the need for these by taking more humanoid forms with your spells but if you do you are possibly going to lose out of natural attacks and movement options in the mid-level range.
Under the Mistletoe – Silver Necklace. While transmuters, like most of the Pathfinder core classes each level you stick with it (especially if you want grail spells like polymorph any object and shapechange), its limited durations and relatively steep entries lean toward possible dips into a rogue/arcane trickster direction for a natural weapon sneak monster striker or similar DPS engine.
Comeback tomorrow for the next Present of Shift-mas! Day 10 – the Alchemist! Don’t forget ANY shapeshifter can benefit in Mythic games from the Master-of-Shapes path from Mythic Paths of the Lost Spheres and you can get it on: RPGNow or Paizo or d20.pfsrd.com!