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Shifters

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Anonymous
June 10, 2005 7:53:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Has anyone had any experience playing shifters, from the Eberron setting?

What are they good for? I mean they are clearly supposed to be Rangers,
but are they really much good at it? What about their Shifter feats?

At first they looked very cool to me, but on second glance it seemed
like their Shifter feat selection was quite restrictive and didn't give
a heck of a lot of bang for one's buck. I had some ideas for a
werebat-themed ranger/rogue (this is easier to do with the Races of
Eberron book, which has winged shifters) who took levels in the PrC that
grants bonus shifter feats, but in the end I wondered if it was really
worth it to play one.

Any comments?

- Ron ^*^

More about : shifters

Anonymous
June 11, 2005 4:00:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Werebat wrote:
> Has anyone had any experience playing shifters, from the Eberron
> setting?
>
> What are they good for? I mean they are clearly supposed to be
> Rangers, but are they really much good at it? What about their
> Shifter feats?
>
> At first they looked very cool to me, but on second glance it seemed
> like their Shifter feat selection was quite restrictive and didn't
> give a heck of a lot of bang for one's buck. I had some ideas for a
> werebat-themed ranger/rogue (this is easier to do with the Races of
> Eberron book, which has winged shifters) who took levels in the PrC
> that grants bonus shifter feats, but in the end I wondered if it was
> really worth it to play one.
>
> Any comments?

I'm playing a Shifter Ranger, and I'd have to agree with your assessment.
Basically, he's okay, but in order to get anything worthwhile out of
Shifting, you basically have to dedicate all your racial feats to it, which
leaves you with nothing to customise your character class-wise. I'd say
they're a reasonable choice for a fighter, who gets bonus feats to
compensate for the narrow focus of his racial feats, or a rogue, who can be
customised via skills. Anything else, you're looking at a relatively boring
class progression, for insufficient racial abilities.

--
Mark.
Anonymous
June 11, 2005 4:00:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Mark Blunden wrote:
> Werebat wrote:
>
>>Has anyone had any experience playing shifters, from the Eberron
>>setting?
>>
>>What are they good for? I mean they are clearly supposed to be
>>Rangers, but are they really much good at it? What about their
>>Shifter feats?
>>
>>At first they looked very cool to me, but on second glance it seemed
>>like their Shifter feat selection was quite restrictive and didn't
>>give a heck of a lot of bang for one's buck. I had some ideas for a
>>werebat-themed ranger/rogue (this is easier to do with the Races of
>>Eberron book, which has winged shifters) who took levels in the PrC
>>that grants bonus shifter feats, but in the end I wondered if it was
>>really worth it to play one.
>>
>>Any comments?
>
>
> I'm playing a Shifter Ranger, and I'd have to agree with your assessment.
> Basically, he's okay, but in order to get anything worthwhile out of
> Shifting, you basically have to dedicate all your racial feats to it, which
> leaves you with nothing to customise your character class-wise. I'd say
> they're a reasonable choice for a fighter, who gets bonus feats to
> compensate for the narrow focus of his racial feats, or a rogue, who can be
> customised via skills. Anything else, you're looking at a relatively boring
> class progression, for insufficient racial abilities.

Such a shame. The PrC in the Eberron book that gives them bonus Shifter
feats seemed to help with this, but then the total wereform ability at
the end seemed to make most of the Shifter feats irrelevant.

My idea was to take 3 levels of Rogue, 2 of Ranger, and run the next 5
with the Shifter PrC while building up to the 5 Warshaper levels.

I'll have to chart out the character, but my first impressions were that
it wasn't all that amazing.

- Ron ^*^
Related resources
Anonymous
June 11, 2005 3:30:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Werebat <ranpoirier@cox.net> wrote in
news:Bxrqe.29133$iU.21137@lakeread05:

>> Werebat wrote:
>>
>>>Has anyone had any experience playing shifters, from the Eberron
>>>setting?

Yeah, I play a weretouched master/warshaper in Living Planar. He
does pretty well.

>>>What are they good for? I mean they are clearly supposed to be
>>>Rangers, but are they really much good at it? What about their
>>>Shifter feats?

Well, it is trivially easy for a shifter to get scent, which is
good for tracking.

However, I'd say where shifters really shine is as barbarians
and druids.

>>>At first they looked very cool to me, but on second glance it seemed
>>>like their Shifter feat selection was quite restrictive and didn't
>>>give a heck of a lot of bang for one's buck.

Races of Eberron has improved this situation considerably.

>> I'm playing a Shifter Ranger, and I'd have to agree with your
>> assessment. Basically, he's okay, but in order to get anything
>> worthwhile out of Shifting, you basically have to dedicate all your
>> racial feats to it, which leaves you with nothing to customise your
>> character class-wise. I'd say they're a reasonable choice for a
>> fighter, who gets bonus feats to compensate for the narrow focus of
>> his racial feats, or a rogue, who can be customised via skills.
>> Anything else, you're looking at a relatively boring class
>> progression, for insufficient racial abilities.
>
> Such a shame. The PrC in the Eberron book that gives them bonus
> Shifter feats seemed to help with this, but then the total wereform
> ability at the end seemed to make most of the Shifter feats
> irrelevant.

WOTC did some major revisions on the Weretouched Master in the
errata. Before the errata, the different wereanimal subtypes
were poorly balanced. Basically, the bear and tiger forms were
so unbelievably superior that the other forms were pointless.
The errata fixed this. The errata also solved the incompatibility
between the shifter feats and the alternate form ability.

> My idea was to take 3 levels of Rogue, 2 of Ranger, and run the next 5
> with the Shifter PrC while building up to the 5 Warshaper levels.

The 5th level of warshaper doesn't really do anything for a shifter.

> I'll have to chart out the character, but my first impressions were
> that it wasn't all that amazing.

You can build a decent rogue/ranger type with the shifter, I think.
With the right selection of shifter traits and weretouched forms,
you can pump your Dex to the skies. Your big weakness is your Will
save.

Here's some thoughts on a possible build:

Take the Swiftwing shifter trait, and put, say, a 15 and all your
level-up points into Dex. Since you're a shifter, add +2, and
while you're shifting, add another +2 since you're a swiftwing.
Thus, at 1st level, you'll have a 19 Dex when shifting.

1st: Rogue 1. Take Shifter Agility. At this level, +1 to AC and
Reflex saves can actually make a difference.
2nd: Ranger 1.
3rd: Ranger 2. Take Weapon Finesse.
4th: Rogue 2. Level-up point goes into Dex.
5th: Rogue 3.
6th: Weretouched Master 1. Take the rat form. This gives you
another +2 to Dex, and a secondary bite attack. At this point,
you have a Dex of 22 when shifting, not counting items. For your
feat, take Improved Initiative, which is a prerequisite for
Reactive Shifting.
7th: Weretouched Master 2. Take Reactive Shifting. Now you
can shift when it's not your turn, and another time per day too.
8th: Weretouched Master 3. You have scent now. And a climb speed
when shifting. Level-up point goes into Dex.
9th: Weretouched Master 4. Take Swiftwing Elite and Multiattack.
You can now shift three times a day, with a fly speed of 30 (good),
and your secondary bite attack has only a -2 penalty.
10th: Weretouched Master 5. At this level, you gain another +6
to Dex when shifting, which stacks with the +2 you get at
Weretouched Master 1, and with the +2 you get as a swiftwing.
Thus, your total Dex when shifting, not including items, is 29.
With gloves of Dex +4, which should be accessible if your DM isn't
screwing with you, you'd have a Dex of 33. At this point, the best
armor you can buy is Bracers of Armor.
11th: Rogue 4. Gotta keep your rogue skills up.
12th: Warshaper 1. Take Improved TWF. You're now immune to crits
when shifting, and your bite does more damage. With this level-up
point going into Dex, you have a total of 34 when shifting.
13th: Warshaper 2. You gain +4 Str and Con when shifting.
14th: Warshaper 3. You have reach now.
15th: Warshaper 4. You gain fast healing 2 when shifting. Take
Greater TWF.
16th and up: At this point, maybe try going into some skilled
fighter-type prestige classes, like Nightsong Enforcer. And at
some point, take Iron Will.
Anonymous
June 11, 2005 3:30:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Benjamin Adams wrote:
> Werebat <ranpoirier@cox.net> wrote in
> news:Bxrqe.29133$iU.21137@lakeread05:
>
>
>>>Werebat wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>Has anyone had any experience playing shifters, from the Eberron
>>>>setting?
>
>
> Yeah, I play a weretouched master/warshaper in Living Planar. He
> does pretty well.
>
>
>>>>What are they good for? I mean they are clearly supposed to be
>>>>Rangers, but are they really much good at it? What about their
>>>>Shifter feats?
>
>
> Well, it is trivially easy for a shifter to get scent, which is
> good for tracking.
>
> However, I'd say where shifters really shine is as barbarians
> and druids.
>
>
>>>>At first they looked very cool to me, but on second glance it seemed
>>>>like their Shifter feat selection was quite restrictive and didn't
>>>>give a heck of a lot of bang for one's buck.
>
>
> Races of Eberron has improved this situation considerably.
>
>
>>>I'm playing a Shifter Ranger, and I'd have to agree with your
>>>assessment. Basically, he's okay, but in order to get anything
>>>worthwhile out of Shifting, you basically have to dedicate all your
>>>racial feats to it, which leaves you with nothing to customise your
>>>character class-wise. I'd say they're a reasonable choice for a
>>>fighter, who gets bonus feats to compensate for the narrow focus of
>>>his racial feats, or a rogue, who can be customised via skills.
>>>Anything else, you're looking at a relatively boring class
>>>progression, for insufficient racial abilities.
>>
>>Such a shame. The PrC in the Eberron book that gives them bonus
>>Shifter feats seemed to help with this, but then the total wereform
>>ability at the end seemed to make most of the Shifter feats
>>irrelevant.
>
>
> WOTC did some major revisions on the Weretouched Master in the
> errata. Before the errata, the different wereanimal subtypes
> were poorly balanced. Basically, the bear and tiger forms were
> so unbelievably superior that the other forms were pointless.
> The errata fixed this. The errata also solved the incompatibility
> between the shifter feats and the alternate form ability.

Ooh! I will have to look into this.

Did they, perchance, add Werebat to the list of Weretouched Master
types? It would make sense, considering the addition of the Swiftwing
Shifter feat.

Very cool! Thanks for this info, I will have to check it out.
Somewhere on the WotC board, I assume?


>>My idea was to take 3 levels of Rogue, 2 of Ranger, and run the next 5
>>with the Shifter PrC while building up to the 5 Warshaper levels.
>
>
> The 5th level of warshaper doesn't really do anything for a shifter.

Ah, OK. I'll have to think of something else then.


>>I'll have to chart out the character, but my first impressions were
>>that it wasn't all that amazing.
>
>
> You can build a decent rogue/ranger type with the shifter, I think.
> With the right selection of shifter traits and weretouched forms,
> you can pump your Dex to the skies. Your big weakness is your Will
> save.

That seems to be a perennial problem with my builds.


> Here's some thoughts on a possible build:
>
> Take the Swiftwing shifter trait, and put, say, a 15 and all your
> level-up points into Dex. Since you're a shifter, add +2, and
> while you're shifting, add another +2 since you're a swiftwing.
> Thus, at 1st level, you'll have a 19 Dex when shifting.

You are thinking pretty much the same way I was, although I was
considering longtooth instead of Swiftwing at first in order to get the
bite/shortsword combo with sneak attacks. Plus the improved longtooth
feat (IDHTBIFOM) is an ability mechanically similar to blood drain,
which I think is kinda fitting and cool.


> 1st: Rogue 1. Take Shifter Agility. At this level, +1 to AC and
> Reflex saves can actually make a difference.

Definitely Rogue 1 at first, for the skill point bonanza. Shifter
Agility certainly fits the character concept, but I'm not sure I'd take it.


> 2nd: Ranger 1.
> 3rd: Ranger 2. Take Weapon Finesse.

And TWF! Two short swords and a bite attack...
I'm also not totally sure about weapon finesse... I can certainly see
the point to it, especially with swiftwing, but it is giving up a feat
that could have been a Shifter feat.


> 4th: Rogue 2. Level-up point goes into Dex.
> 5th: Rogue 3.

Precisely... Rogue3/Ranger2 gives you the 2d6 Sneak Attack and the
Ranger's TWF ability.


> 6th: Weretouched Master 1. Take the rat form. This gives you
> another +2 to Dex, and a secondary bite attack. At this point,
> you have a Dex of 22 when shifting, not counting items. For your
> feat, take Improved Initiative, which is a prerequisite for
> Reactive Shifting.

Definitely the rat form at first, although if I already had longtooth
all it would do is increase the bite damage. Still...

Why is reactive shifting so great?


> 7th: Weretouched Master 2. Take Reactive Shifting. Now you
> can shift when it's not your turn, and another time per day too.

Eh... Is this such a great ability?


> 8th: Weretouched Master 3. You have scent now. And a climb speed
> when shifting. Level-up point goes into Dex.

I would ask my DM to allow a blindsense ability instead of the climb
speed at WTM3. It isn't completely stupid for a werebat to have a climb
speed, but it isn't useful at all either when you can just fly -- and
the blindsense ability should come in at some point.


> 9th: Weretouched Master 4. Take Swiftwing Elite and Multiattack.
> You can now shift three times a day, with a fly speed of 30 (good),
> and your secondary bite attack has only a -2 penalty.

Definitely into Shifter Multiattack (as a Shifter feat). Not so sure
about Swiftwing Elite, though -- much more interested in the improved
longtooth feat.


> 10th: Weretouched Master 5. At this level, you gain another +6
> to Dex when shifting, which stacks with the +2 you get at
> Weretouched Master 1, and with the +2 you get as a swiftwing.
> Thus, your total Dex when shifting, not including items, is 29.

!


> With gloves of Dex +4, which should be accessible if your DM isn't
> screwing with you, you'd have a Dex of 33. At this point, the best
> armor you can buy is Bracers of Armor.

Wow!


> 11th: Rogue 4. Gotta keep your rogue skills up.
> 12th: Warshaper 1. Take Improved TWF. You're now immune to crits
> when shifting, and your bite does more damage. With this level-up
> point going into Dex, you have a total of 34 when shifting.
> 13th: Warshaper 2. You gain +4 Str and Con when shifting.
> 14th: Warshaper 3. You have reach now.
> 15th: Warshaper 4. You gain fast healing 2 when shifting. Take
> Greater TWF.
> 16th and up: At this point, maybe try going into some skilled
> fighter-type prestige classes, like Nightsong Enforcer. And at
> some point, take Iron Will.

Hm!

Not exactly the build I had in mind (I still think I might start with
longtooth and then take swiftwing as another feat later on, or put off
flying until WTM5. Still, you make a strong argument with the
phenomenal Dex and Weapon Finesse combo.

Sort of odd to imagine letting your beast out helping you with making
forgeries, though... :^)

- Ron ^*^
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 6:55:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Werebat <ranpoirier@cox.net> wrote in
news:o %Aqe.29190$iU.4159@lakeread05:

> Benjamin Adams wrote:
>> Werebat <ranpoirier@cox.net> wrote in
>> news:Bxrqe.29133$iU.21137@lakeread05:
>>
>> WOTC did some major revisions on the Weretouched Master in the
>> errata. Before the errata, the different wereanimal subtypes
>> were poorly balanced. Basically, the bear and tiger forms were
>> so unbelievably superior that the other forms were pointless.
>> The errata fixed this. The errata also solved the incompatibility
>> between the shifter feats and the alternate form ability.
>
> Ooh! I will have to look into this.
>
> Did they, perchance, add Werebat to the list of Weretouched Master
> types? It would make sense, considering the addition of the Swiftwing
> Shifter feat.

Unfortunately, no.

> Very cool! Thanks for this info, I will have to check it out.
> Somewhere on the WotC board, I assume?

It's on their website somewhere.

>>>I'll have to chart out the character, but my first impressions were
>>>that it wasn't all that amazing.
>>
>> You can build a decent rogue/ranger type with the shifter, I think.
>> With the right selection of shifter traits and weretouched forms,
>> you can pump your Dex to the skies. Your big weakness is your Will
>> save.
>
> That seems to be a perennial problem with my builds.

It's a problem with most roguish and fighter-type builds.

>> Here's some thoughts on a possible build:
>>
>> Take the Swiftwing shifter trait, and put, say, a 15 and all your
>> level-up points into Dex. Since you're a shifter, add +2, and
>> while you're shifting, add another +2 since you're a swiftwing.
>> Thus, at 1st level, you'll have a 19 Dex when shifting.
>
> You are thinking pretty much the same way I was, although I was
> considering longtooth instead of Swiftwing at first in order to get
> the bite/shortsword combo with sneak attacks. Plus the improved
> longtooth feat (IDHTBIFOM) is an ability mechanically similar to blood
> drain, which I think is kinda fitting and cool.

I picked swiftwing because it gives you a Dex bonus, while longtooth
gives you Str. At a later point, you can take Extra Shifter Trait
(longtooth) to up your bite damage and lead into Longtooth Elite.
The catch is that in order to take Extra Shifter Trait, you have
to have two other shifter feats beforehand.

>> 1st: Rogue 1. Take Shifter Agility. At this level, +1 to AC and
>> Reflex saves can actually make a difference.
>
> Definitely Rogue 1 at first, for the skill point bonanza. Shifter
> Agility certainly fits the character concept, but I'm not sure I'd
> take it.

Well, you have to take at least one shifter feat to get into
Weretouched Master. If you don't like Shifter Agility, there's
also Shifter Instincts or Swiftwing Elite.

>> 2nd: Ranger 1.
>> 3rd: Ranger 2. Take Weapon Finesse.
>
> And TWF! Two short swords and a bite attack...
> I'm also not totally sure about weapon finesse... I can certainly see
> the point to it, especially with swiftwing, but it is giving up a feat
> that could have been a Shifter feat.

Since your Dex is going to be considerably higher than your Str,
you want Weapon Finesse.

>> 4th: Rogue 2. Level-up point goes into Dex.
>> 5th: Rogue 3.
>
> Precisely... Rogue3/Ranger2 gives you the 2d6 Sneak Attack and the
> Ranger's TWF ability.

Right.

>> 6th: Weretouched Master 1. Take the rat form. This gives you
>> another +2 to Dex, and a secondary bite attack. At this point,
>> you have a Dex of 22 when shifting, not counting items. For your
>> feat, take Improved Initiative, which is a prerequisite for
>> Reactive Shifting.
>
> Definitely the rat form at first, although if I already had longtooth
> all it would do is increase the bite damage. Still...
>
> Why is reactive shifting so great?

Because, when combined with Uncanny Dodge, it means that even if you
lose initiative or are surprised, you can get that phenomenal Dex.
However, if you don't like it, you could always pick something else.

>> 8th: Weretouched Master 3. You have scent now. And a climb speed
>> when shifting. Level-up point goes into Dex.
>
> I would ask my DM to allow a blindsense ability instead of the climb
> speed at WTM3. It isn't completely stupid for a werebat to have a
> climb speed, but it isn't useful at all either when you can just fly
> -- and the blindsense ability should come in at some point.

That'd work. I'm used to Living campaigns where you can't do that.

>> 9th: Weretouched Master 4. Take Swiftwing Elite and Multiattack.
>> You can now shift three times a day, with a fly speed of 30 (good),
>> and your secondary bite attack has only a -2 penalty.
>
> Definitely into Shifter Multiattack (as a Shifter feat). Not so sure
> about Swiftwing Elite, though -- much more interested in the improved
> longtooth feat.

Well, the cool thing about Swiftwing is that you can tumble *over*
enemies to get into flanking position.

>> 11th: Rogue 4. Gotta keep your rogue skills up.
>> 12th: Warshaper 1. Take Improved TWF. You're now immune to crits
>> when shifting, and your bite does more damage. With this level-up
>> point going into Dex, you have a total of 34 when shifting.
>> 13th: Warshaper 2. You gain +4 Str and Con when shifting.
>> 14th: Warshaper 3. You have reach now.
>> 15th: Warshaper 4. You gain fast healing 2 when shifting. Take
>> Greater TWF.
>> 16th and up: At this point, maybe try going into some skilled
>> fighter-type prestige classes, like Nightsong Enforcer. And at
>> some point, take Iron Will.
>
> Hm!
>
> Not exactly the build I had in mind (I still think I might start with
> longtooth and then take swiftwing as another feat later on, or put off
> flying until WTM5. Still, you make a strong argument with the
> phenomenal Dex and Weapon Finesse combo.
>
> Sort of odd to imagine letting your beast out helping you with making
> forgeries, though... :^)

Forgery is an Int skill.

Here's an alternate feat selection, if you want to start out as a
longtooth (which will give you 2 more Str and 2 less Dex than the
above build). Longtooth, combined with Weretouched Master and
Warshaper, will make your bite attack do 2d6 base damage. With
Improved Natural Attack, your bite will do 3d6. Enlarged, it will
do 4d6. Plus a point of Con, thanks to Longtooth Elite.

1st: Longtooth Elite
3rd: Iron Will, TWF [bonus]
6th: Shifter Instincts
7th: Improved Natural Attack (bite) [bonus]
9th: Weapon Finesse, Shifter Multiattack [bonus]
12th: Improved TWF
15th: Greater TWF.

Overall, when you're shifting, you'll gain +6 Str, +8 Dex, and
+4 Con. If it weren't for the XP penalties, I'd recommend taking
some barbarian levels, to really get your stats pumped up.

Hope that helps.

-Ben Adams
!