Metamorph (3.5e Class)

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The gift of mutable flesh is rare among any race, but occasionally a child is born with this extraordinary power. Those who bear the gift and learn to master it have the potential to become combatants of unimaginable strength - metamorphs.

Making a Metamorph[edit]

Metamorphs are the ultimate shapechangers, rivaling even doppelgangers. They can work well in any situation as long as they can pick the correct form, though they try to rely completely on shapechanging in battle. Having allies who can supplement the metamorph's mutable fighting style with their own strengths makes a metamorph's life much easier.

Abilities: The constitution ability is the most important to a metamorph, given that the metamorph's Shift ability relies on it. Good strength and dexterity are also prefered.

Races: Any member of any race born with the power can become a metamorph. This power is exceptionally rare, however, so few of these ultimate shapechangers exist.

Alignment: Any. Metamorphs are limited only by their own decisions; they can range from law-abiding heroes to destructive villains.

Starting Gold: 3d4 x 10 gp (75 gp).

Starting Age: Complex

Table: The Metamorph

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Shift (Humanoid)(Size +0), Extended life (20%)
2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Creature Lore
3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Shift (Animal)
4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Shift (Vermin)
5th +5 +4 +1 +4 Shift (Plant), Mutable Adaptation (Spell-like, minor)
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +5 Shapechanger Affinity
7th +6/+1 +5 +2 +5 Shift (Giant)(Size +1)
8th +7/+2 +6 +2 +6 Shift (Ooze)
9th +8/+3 +6 +3 +6 Practiced Shapechanger
10th +8/+3 +7 +3 +7 Mutable Adaptation (Spell-like, major), Extended Life (50%)
11th +9/+4 +7 +3 +7 Shift (Monstrous Humanoid)
12th +10/+5 +8 +4 +8 Creature Knowledge
13th +10/+5 +8 +4 +8 Shift (Magical Beast) (Size +2)
14th +11/+6/+1 +9 +4 +9 Reflexive Shapechanging
15th +12/+7/+2 +9 +5 +9 Shift (Fey), Mutable adaptation (Spell-like, perfect)
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Shift (Aberration)
17th +13/+8/+3 +10 +5 +10 Shift (Outsider)
18th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Shift (Dragon), Expert Shapechanger
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Shift (Size +3)
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Perfect Shapechanger, Mutable Adaptation (Supernatural), Extended Life

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Disguise (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (all) (Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str).


Class Features[edit]

Metamorphs use their mutable flesh to assume all kinds of forms for infiltration and battle. All of the following are class features of the metamorph.

Weapon and armor proficiencies: Metamorphs begin play proficient with all simple weapons, and three martial weapons of their choice. They are proficient with light and medium armor, but not with shields.

Shift (Sp): The metamorph's prized ability is that of shapechanging; it is her prefered base for combat, travel and any task that could be aided by changing form. Simply put, metamorphs find great enjoyment in interacting with the world through the forms of different creatures.

A metamorph can, using a full-round action, change into the form of any creature whose type and size she has unlocked (see Table: The Metamorph for details about when forms and size changes are unlocked), shifting makes her vulnerable to an attack of opportunity. She may only change into forms of her normal size to begin with (medium for a human metamorph for example); as she progresses she gains the ability to alter her size as well, each Size +1 allows her to alter her size up or down by one step (Size +2 would allow a two step change, etc). She may choose forms with HD up to her class level. Example: a 13th human metamorph with size +2 unlocked could change into creatures ranging in size from tiny to huge with up to 13HD. She may change forms a number of times per day equal to her metamorph level multiplied by her CON modifier; changing back to her normal form from an alternate one does not count as a use of Shift. The metamorph is always aware of how many shifts, and how much shifting time, normal and combat, is left available to her. The new form does not disorient her.

Equipment worn or carried by the metamorph can be absorbed into the new form or not, at her own discretion. This allows her to make use of equipment in her new form, a magical sword or ring for example, if she wishes. Absorbed equipment in unavailable and has no effect on the metamorph while she is transformed. Parts of the metamorph's body or pieces of equipment that are separated from her revert to their original forms; the metamorph and all absorbed equipment revert to normal upon her death.

Shifting may be used in two ways, normal (non-combat) and combat, see below...

Normal Shifting: Non-combat shifting allows the metamorph to assume any allowed form, but she does not gain any extrodinary, spell-like, psi-like or supernatural abilities of the assumed form. The metamorph retains her normal HD, CON, INT, WIS and CHA while in an assumed form. If the assumed for has greater STR or DEX she gains a bonus to those stats while in the form equal to her CON modifier, but not to exceed the form's normal abilities. If the assumed form has lesser STR or DEX she may increase those abilities by up to her CON modifier, but not to exceed her base STR or DEX. She gains the natural armor of the form she assumes. She also gains access to any normal movement of the form: such as the burrowing of a badger, the flight of a bird or the swimming of of a dolphin, but not magically powered versions of these. She may be in normal assumed forms for no more than 30 minutes per level per day, thus a 10th level metamorph could be in normal shifted form for up to five hours a day. Eight hours of rest or sleep will reset this counter. Exhausting this limit will prevent her from being able to combat shift as well.
Combat Shifting: Entering combat while in assumed form, or shifting into an alternate form while in combat, allows the metamorph to tap much further than normal into the abilities of the assumed form. It is, however, quite stressful on the metamorph and highly limits the time she may be shifted. The metamorph may assume alternate forms during combat for a total number of rounds per day not to exceed her class level multiplied by her CON modifier; for example a 6th level metamorph with a CON modifier of +4 could be in assumed form for a maximum of 24 combat rounds per day (6x4). This is the maximum combat duration she may be in assumed forms no matter how many times she shifts form. Forcibly reverting to normal form during combat by reason of exceeding this time limit causes her to be subject to an attack of opportunity, and she is dazed for one round. Exceeding the combat time limit also causes her to be unable to non-combat shift until she has had a full eight hours rest.
During a combat shift, the metamorph retains her normal HD, CON, INT, WIS and CHA while in an assumed form. If the assumed for has greater STR or DEX she gains a bonus to those stats while in the form equal to her CON modifier, but not to exceed the form's normal abilities. If the assumed form has lesser STR or DEX she may increase those abilities by up to her CON modifier, but not to exceed her base STR or DEX. She gains the natural armor of the form she assumes, she also gains any natural weapon attacks of the assumed form. When in assumed form in combat, the metamorph gains that form's BAB if it is higher than her own, she also gains an increased number of (physical only) attacks per round if normal for the assumed form. A metamorph is considered proficient with the available natural weapons and movement of her assumed forms while shifted.

When emulating an outsider form, she is always considered to have the Native subtype.

Extended Life (Ex): The mastery a metamorph has over her body allows her to suffer less from the ravages of natural aging. She has each age category, based upon race, extended by 20%; at 10th level this becomes a 50% extension but is not retroactive for past age categories. This ability does not affect magical or other inflicted aging.

Beginning at 20th level, once she reaches the venerable age category she ceases to age, her maximum age becomes infinite and aging effects no longer affect her.

Creature Lore: At second level, the metamorph has a rudimentary knowledge of creatures due to her shapechanging. She can always take 10 on a Knowledge skill check to identify a creature. This also gives her the innate knowledge of the creature's normal language, but only while she remains in that form. This becomes Creature Knowledge at twelfth level, allowing the metamorph to take 20 on all creature-identifying Knowledge checks.

Mutable Adaptation: The metamorph's knowledge of how creatures work gives her an almost supernatural understanding of their traits and qualities. She gains the ability to make use of the Spell-like and Psi-like abilities of the forms she takes while combat shifting. She is limited to those abilities that would have a spell level equivilancy of one third her class level (rounded up). Example: a 9th level metamorph would be able to make use of spell-like abilities of up to 3rd level. She is limited to the normal usage limits of the form she assumes. 10th level increases the effect limit to one half her class level and at 15th level she may make use of any spell-like ability that would be available to a caster of her level; at 20th level she gains access to the form's Supernatural abilities.

Shapechanger Affinity: At sixth level, the metamorph gains the ability to recognize other shapechangers for what they are (DC 10 + class level - target level/HD). If successful the metamorph knows that the target is in an assumed form and what its true form is. The metamorph gains an additional +1 bonus on the DC if he has unlocked that type of form for her Shift class ability.

Practiced Shapechanger: At ninth level, the metamorph has improved her shifting speed substantially. She can now use Shift as a standard action instead of a full-round action.

Reflexive Shapechanger: At fourteenth level, the metamorph has learned to react to attacks by shapechanging. When attacked by an opponent, she can choose to attempt a DC 25 Reflex save - if it is successful, she uses Shift as a reaction; this is a move action. On a natural "20" this reflex becomes a free action.

Expert Shapechanger: Upon reaching eighteenth level, the metamorph's shapechanging has reached a whole new level. She may now use Shift without being subject to attacks of opportunity.

Perfect Shapechanger: At twentieth level, the metamorph has reached the pinnacle of shapechanging. She no longer has a limit to how often she can use Shift per day (she is still limited in duration), and her shifting now only takes a swift action. She also gains access to her alternate form's extraodinary abilities while combat shifting only. She gains the Shapechanger subtype. The Shift class ability becomes extraordinary.

Epic Metamorph[edit]

Table: The Epic Metamorph

Hit Die: d6

Level Special
21st Improved Shifting, Hale and Whole
25th Bonus Epic Feat, Extended Life
30th Bonus Epic Feat, Improved Shifting, Hale and Whole

2 + Int modifier skill points per level.

BAB improves in epic levels at a rate of +1 for each even level (22nd, 24th, etc.) to a maximum of +20/+15/+10/+5 at 30th level.

Improved Shifting (Ex): The metamorph now regains hit points equal to 2X her CON modifier each time she shifts into a new form, reverting to her normal form does not allow healing via this ability. This ability is limited to healing no more than 3X her class level hit points per day.

At 30th level the metamorph now gains DR/epic equal to her CON modifier (round down) in all forms; this does not stack with DR gained in an assumed form, use whichever is best. Her maximum normal (non-combat) time in assumed forms is now unlimited, furthermore she may non-combat shift even when her combat shifting limit is exhausted. Entering combat in assumed form while her combat limit is depleted will cause her to forcibly revert to her base form as described above.

Hale and Whole (Ex): The metamorph's mastery of her own body has made her immune to non-magical disease, at 30th level the metamorph becomes immune to magical disease.

At 30th level she gains the ability to regenerate severed body parts at the rate of CON modifier points per day (a finger would take one point, a hand six and so on). This ability cannot bring her back from the dead, nor does it restore hit points except as part of regrowing lost body parts. This regeneration does not stack with any regeneration gained in an alternate form (use whichever is best), but otherwise if functions in all forms.

Extended Life (Ex): Beginning at 25th level, once the metamorph reaches the old age category she ceases to age physically, mental bonuses still accrue. Futhermore, if she had previously reached the venerable age category it is regressed to old; she regains lost STR, DEX and CON while retaining the bonuses to INT, WIS and CHA.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Metamorph[edit]

Religion: Metamorphs are a religiously diverse lot, their prayers going to any deity out there. A single metamorph may worship any deity without being considered odd by others.

Other Classes: All classes can benefit from having a metamorph in their party. The only ones that may resent them are druids, who envy the near-unlimited potential of a metamorph's Shapechange.

Combat: Metamorphs work well as either combatants or infiltrators, and do both exceedingly well.

Advancement: Metamorphs almost exclusively stay within the metamorph class, making the most of their innate talent. Rare ones may take levels in druid or ranger to gain more understanding of creatures and their workings.

Metamorphs in the World[edit]

"You thought I was just an ordinary halfling? How would you like to be fighting a purple worm instead?"
—Jeris Elfan, halfling metamorph

Metamorphs can do anything, ranging from specialized infiltrators for a kingdom to merciless bandits who pillage and plunder everything in their path to a crotchedy hermit in the deep wilds.

Daily Life: A metamorph's day is unpredictable, based solely on the individual's desires. Many enjoy using their alternate forms to get a different perspective on the world, though evil metamorphs may use their powers to steal or intimidate.

Notables: Jeris Elfan, a halfling metamorph known for taking the form of a purple worm to drive off people that bother him.

Arietta the Wild, a human metamorph who was raised by monsters and takes on their forms in a quest to keep the wilds safe from civilization's encroachment.

Organizations: Metamorphs have no organizations, each one fending for themselves. Indeed, metamorphs often see their own as their greatest foes and rivals, knowing that their powers' secrets could be used against them.

NPC Reactions: Metamorphs are often taken for simple commoners by those who are unaware of their gifts. Those who know of a metamorph's talents will run the gamut of reactions, depending on their past interactions with metamorphs.

Metamorph Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (nature) can research metamorphs to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (nature)
DC Result
5 Metamorphs are figures of legend who can transform into beasts.
10 Metamorphs do in fact exist, taking on any forms they wish.
15 More experienced metamorphs are able to take the forms of magical beasts, fey and even outsiders from beyond the Material Plane.
20 At the pinnacle of their powers metamorphs defy time, living as long as dragons, or longer.

Metamorphs in the Game[edit]

Metamorphs can be anyone in a d20 game, from a thief who uses his gray ooze form to slither into a vault to a hermit who enjoys flying through the air as a roc.

Adaptation: It's possible to alter the metamorph into a Wild Shape-focused druid, eliminating the divine spells in order to focus on shapechanging.

Sample Encounter: Arietta the Wild has been attacking loggers who are trying to harvest a thick forest. The PCs have been hired to dispatch this dangerous metamorph by any means necessary so that the forest can be logged.

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