Shifter: 3.5 Class

I always liked the concept of the guy who can grow claws and take on animal forms fun, but for whatever reason WoTC gave us really weak versions (Eberron’s shifters), or insisted we can’t do it until 5-6th level (Druids, wildshape rangers, various prestige classes). This was my attempt to get that online at level 1. If you say “I’m a shapeshifter” and it turns out that means “in a few levels I can shapeshift once a day”, we are all disappointed. The shifter borrows elements from the shifter, druid, and ranger to put together what was probably one of my more popular 3.5 homebrew clases, even if its less powerful than a high-level druid who just says “I’m a bear forever now, and also a full caster”.


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Level   BAB    Fort     Ref      Will     Special            Spells                                   

                                                                                                1          2          3          4

1          1          2          0          0          Shift                            ~          ~          ~          ~                     

2          2          3          0          0          Wild shape 1/day            ~          ~          ~          ~

3          3          3          1          1          Improved shift             ~          ~          ~          ~

4          4          4          1          1                                              0          ~          ~          ~         

5          5          4          1          1          Wild shape 2/day            1          ~          ~          ~

6          6          5          2          2                                             1          ~          ~          ~         

7          7          5          2          2          Wild shape large            1          0          ~          ~         

8          8          6          2          2          Second Shift Form            1          0          ~          ~

                                                            Swift Shift

9          9          6          3          3          Wild shape 3/day            1          1          ~          ~         

10        10        7          3          3          Wild shape tiny            1          1          ~          ~         

11        11        7          3          3          Wild shape plant            1          1          0          ~         

12        12        8          4          4          Greater Shift               1          1          1          ~

13        13        8          4          4          Wild shape 4/day            1          1          1          0         

14        14        9          4          4          Wild shape huge            2          1          1          0

15        15        9          5          5                                              2          1          1          1

16        16        10        5          5          Third Shift Form            2          2          1          1         

17        17        10        5          5          Wild shape 5/day            2          2          2          1         

18        18        11        6          6                                              3          2          2          1         

19        19        11        6          6          Master Shift                3          3          3          2

20        20        12        6          6                                              3          3          3          3

Hit Die: D10.

Skill Points: 4+int                                                                                           

Class skills: Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Ride (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).                                            

Armor and Weapon Proficiencies: Shifters are proficient with the following weapons: club, dagger, dart, quarterstaff, scimitar, sickle, shortspear, sling, and spear. They are also proficient with all natural attacks (claw, bite, and so forth) of any form they assume with wild shape. Shifters are proficient with light and medium armor and shields (except tower shields).

Shift: This ability may not be used while wild shaped. Gains the ability to shift as per the shifter race from the Eberon Campaign setting. It takes a standard action to shift. This ability is usable any number of times per day. May choose any of the following forms. Longtooth Cliffwalk Razorclaw Longstrider, Gorebrute, Beasthide, Truedive, Wildhunt, and Swiftwing. Shifting lasts 3+Con Mod rounds and cannot be used again without 5 minutes of rest.

At third level the shifter gains the improved shift ability. Any of the ability bonuses given from shifted form are increased by two.

At eighth level the shifter gains the ability to choose an additional form from the shift list. This happens again at level sixteen.

At eighth level the shifter gains the swift shift ability. The shifter can now shift as a move action.

At twelfth level the shifter gains greater shift. This allows the shifter to choose another physical score, str dex or con, and add an unnamed bonus to that stat of +2 when shifted. This cannot be the same stat that the shifted form gives a bonus too. EX. a gorebrute may not add this bonus str, but they may add it to dex.

At nineteenth level the shifter gains master shift. Any ability bonuses given from shifted form are increased again [stacking with improved shift]. The shifter now adds an additional +2 to every stat that is increased when shifting. 

Wild Shape: A Shifter gains the ability to turn herself into any Small or Medium animal and back again once per day. Her options for new forms include all creatures with the animal type. This ability functions like the alternate form special ability, except as noted here. The effect lasts for 1 hour or until she changes back. Changing form (to animal or back) is a standard action and doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity. Any gear worn or carried by the Shifter melds into the new form and becomes nonfunctional. Constitution score remains unchanged while wild shaped. When the shifter reverts to her true form, any objects previously melded into the new form reappear in the same location on her body that they previously occupied and are once again functional. Any new items worn in the assumed form fall off and land at the shifter’s feet. A druid loses her ability to speak while in animal form because she is limited to the sounds that a normal, untrained animal can make, but she can communicate normally with other animals of the same general grouping as her new form. The new form’s Hit Dice can’t exceed the character’s shifter level. A shifter may choose one new form to wild shape into per level of shifter they have. A fourth level shifter, for example, has 4 known shapes to wild shape into. A shifter cannot be both shifted and wildshaped.

At level 7, the shifter can wildshape into Large forms.

At level 10, the shifter can wildshape into tiny forms.

At level 11, the shifter can wildshape into plant forms.

At level 14, the shifter can wildshape into huge forms.

Spells: The shifter casts spells using their wisdom scoreBeginning at 4th level, a shifter gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells, which are drawn from the shifter spell list. A shifter must choose and prepare his spells in advance. To prepare or cast a spell, a shifter must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a ranger’s spell is 15 + the spell level + the shifter’s Wisdom modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a shifter can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given below. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high wisdom score. When the table indicates that the shifter gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his wisdom score for that spell level.

A shifter may prepare and cast any spell on the shifter spell list, provided that he can cast spells of that level, but he must choose which spells to prepare during his daily meditation.

Through 3rd level, a shifter has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, his caster level is one-half his shifter level.

Shifter Spell List

Level 1: Alarm, Animal Messenger, Calm Animals, Delay Poison, Detect Animals or Plants, Detect Poison, Endure Elements, Hide from Animals, Jump, Longstrider, Magic Fang, Pass without Trace, Read Magic, Resist Energy, Speak with Animals.

Level 2: Barkskin, Bear’s Endurance, Cat’s Grace, Owl’s Wisdom, Protection from Energy, Snare, Speak with Plants, Spike Growth, Wind Wall.

Level 3: Command Plants, Darkvision, Diminish Plants, Greater Magic Fang, Neutralize Poison, Plant Growth, Reduce Animal, Remove Disease, Repel Vermin, Tree Shape, Water Walk.

Level 4: Animal Growth, Commune with Nature, Freedom of Movement, Tree Stride.

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