Shapeshifter, Variant (5e Class)

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The Shapeshifter[edit]

Perhaps you have a doppelganger in your family tree, perhaps some mad wizard gave you this strange body. Whatever the case may be you have the extraordinary ability to become other creatures, from a lowly rat to a mighty dragon. Your ability opens up a whole world of possibilities that others could only dream of. Soar through the sky, swim the deepest oceans, infiltrate the most secure of vaults as a harmless insect, or crush your foes with sheer brute strength. If some creature in this world can do it, so can you.

The shapeshifter is intended to be a very versatile class. Depending on which archetype you choose, you could become a high hit points tank, a spellcaster, a skilled thief, or you could become a powerful dragon.

Creating a Shapeshifter[edit]

Why did you choose to become a shapeshifter if you were not born of a doppelganger? What was goal in obtaining these powers, is it to become strong, trick others, hide your identity, or some other reason? Shapeshifters usually try to blend into society and try not to show their powers, but will you openly show your powers or hide them? Finally, what you do with your powers is the question.

Quick Build

You can make a shapeshifter quickly by following these suggestions. First, Charisma should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution then Dexterity. Second, choose the sage background.

Class Features

As a Shapeshifter you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per Shapeshifter level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Shapeshifter level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: none
Weapons: Daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs, and light crossbows
Tools: One type of artisan's tools
Saving Throws: Charisma, Dexterity
Skills: Choose two from Acrobatics, Animal Handling, Athletics, Intimidation, Medicine, Nature, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, and Survival.

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

Table: The Shapeshifter

Level Proficiency
Bonus
Features CR of Shapeshifting
Creatures
1st +2 Shapeshift 1/4
2nd +2 Anatomically Inaccurate 1
3rd +2 Shifter Feature 1
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 2
5th +3 Natural Instinct 2
6th +3 Shifter Feature 3
7th +3 Superior Eyesight 3
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 4
9th +4 Inner Strength 4
10th +4 Shifter Feature 5
11th +4 Permanent Form 5
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 6
13th +5 Adrenaline Rush 6
14th +5 Shifter Feature 7
15th +5 Practice Makes Perfect 7
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 8
17th +6 Unnatural Youth 8
18th +6 Shifter Feature 9
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 9
20th +6 Superior Permanent Form 10


Shapeshifter[edit]

When choosing this class at 1st level, choose two of the following types of shapeshift forms. Beasts, Fey, Humanoids, Monstrosities, Oozes, and Plants.

You may shapeshift into any creature of the types chosen as an action, so long as the CR is available for your level and the creature is Large or smaller.

You cannot shapeshift into any creature made up of multiple creatures, such as a swarm of bats.

When you shapeshift into any creature, your Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution ability scores are replaced by the creatures, however your Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma ability scores, as well as your personality, and alignment do not change. You also retain all of your skill, saving throw, and tool proficiencies, in addition to gaining those of your chosen form. You can also speak, and understand the languages of the creature in addition to your own.

When in your shapeshifted form, weapons or spells that deal additional damage to a specific type of creature, such as arrows of slaying, work as though you are that type of creature. However, you always count as a humanoid when being targeted by magical effects that do not cause damage such as the charm person spell.

Shapeshifting into your natural form does not expend any uses of your shapeshift feature.

You may shapeshift from your shapeshifted form into any other without needing to return to your natural form.

You may shapeshift a number of times equal to half of your Charisma modifier rounded up. You regiain all uses of this feature after you finish a long rest.

You may shapeshift into any form for a number of hours equal to your proficiency bonus.

You cannot take legendary actions, lair actions, or legendary resistances of any creature you shapeshift into.

When you shapeshift into any creature, you gain a separate amount of hit points that is equal to the creature's as described in the monster manual (or any other source deemed appropriate by your GM). You still retain your hit points in your natural form otherwise.

Damage Received When Shapeshifting

Taking damage in your shapeshifted form does not reduce the hit points of your natural form.

Your shapeshifted form cannot receive any healing from magic, potions, or any other source, even if the creature has a feature that explicitly recovers hit points.

When your form drops to zero hit points, you revert to your natural form and take necrotic damage equal to half of the forms total hit points, this damage cannot be reduced or prevented by any means. If this damage reduces you to zero hit points, you make death saving throws as normal. If you shapeshift back to your natural form, or into any other form before dropping to zero hit points, your natural form takes necrotic damage equal to one quarter the damage received by your shapeshifted form. This damage cannot be reduced or prevented by any means. If the damage received reduces your total hit points to zero, you must make death saving throws as normal.

Anatomically Inaccurate[edit]

At 2nd level, you gain resistance to one of the following damage types of your choice: acid, cold, fire, force, lightning, necrotic, poison, psychic, radiant, or thunder.

Shifter[edit]

At 3rd level, you may choose a shapeshifter subclass from the following: Changed Beast or Altered Form.

Ability Score Increase[edit]

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Natural Instinct[edit]

Starting at 5th level, you gain advantage on your saving throws that you are proficient in against magic.

Superior Eyesight[edit]

Starting at 7th level, you gain darkvision for 60 feet, and if you already have darkvision, the range is increased by an additional 30 feet.

Inner Strength[edit]

Starting at 9th level, you gain proficiency in Strength and Intelligence saving throws.

Permanent Form[edit]

Beginning at 11th level, chose one CR3 or lower form from the types of creatures that you can shapeshift into, you can shapeshift into this form without expending a use of your shapeshift feature, and you can maintain this form for an indefinite amount of time.

Adrenaline Rush[edit]

Beginning at 13th level, when you roll for initiative, you can immediately use your shapeshift feature so long as you are not already shapeshifted and you are not surprised.

Practice Makes Perfect[edit]

At 15th level, you may choose one of your skill proficiencies. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses the chosen proficiency.

Unnatural Youth[edit]

By 17th level Your body has integrated the genes of numerous creatures, you age at half the rate of your race, and maintain a youthful body until your death.

Superior Permanent Form[edit]

At 20th level, chose one CR5 or lower form from the types of creatures that you can shapeshift into, you can shapeshift into this form without expending a use of your shapeshift feature, and you can maintain this form for an indefinite amount of time.

Changed Beast[edit]

You incorporate your shapeshifting partially into your natural form. Spellcasting for this subclass has an attack modifier of your Charisma modifier + your proficiency bonus and your spell save DC is 8 + your Charisma modifier + your proficiency bonus.

Alterations Incorporated[edit]

When choosing this subclass at 3rd level, you immediately gain benefits based on the types of creatures you are able to shapeshift into.

  • Beasts. You can cast speak with animals spell on yourself at will, in addition you may choose one of the following bonuses:
Mammal. Your base walking speed increases by 10 feet.
Reptile. Your unarmed strikes deal 1d4 additional poison damage.
Arthropod. Your need for water is reduced to half of what your race typically needs, and you do not need additional water when travelling through especially arid environments. Your AC increases by 1.
Fish. You can breathe underwater, and have a swim speed of 30ft.
Bird. You gain proficiency with Perception checks. You also have resistance to fall damage.
  • Fey. You learn the Sylvan language. You know the druidcraft cantrip. You can cast the goodberry spell once with this feature and your regain the ability to do so once you finish a long rest. You can cast the misty step spell once with this feature and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
  • Humanoids. You gain proficiency with one martial weapon of your choice, light armor, any tool of your choice, and one language of your choice.
  • Monstrosities. You gain proficiency with Intimidation checks. You also you ignore all difficult terrain penalties.
  • Oozes. You have advantage on Athletics checks to grapple any target. You can also climb without expending extra movement.
  • Plants. As long as you get at least 4 hours of sunlight on any given day, you do not need to eat. You have advantage on any check to resist being moved against your will, or being grappled. Also, when in situations with limited (but not zero) air, you create an endless supply of fresh air for you and up to 10 other Medium creatures with you.

Vicious Form[edit]

Starting at 6th level, you gain the following benefits when in your natural form:

  • Your unarmed strikes can use your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength, when determining attack and damage bonuses.
  • You can perfectly mimic any creature of your choice that you can shapeshift into, and have also observed for at least one hour.
  • Your unarmed strikes now deal 1d6 bludgeoning damage.
  • You can now attack twice, instead on once, whenever you take the attack action on your turn.

Greater Shapeshifting[edit]

At 10th level, you may choose one of the following types of creatures to add to your shapeshift forms. In addition, you also gain bonuses based on the type of creature chosen.

  • Aberrations. You learn the Undercommon language. Any creature that attempts to read or influence your mind with a divinization spell takes 1d10 psychic damage, unless otherwise allowed. You can also cast the detect thoughts spell at will, gain resistance to psychic damage, and have advantage on effects that cause you to be frightened.
  • Celestials. You learn the Celestial language. You become resistant to radiant damage. Your unarmed strikes deal an additional 1d4 radiant damage.
  • Dragons. You learn the Draconic language. You gain a breath weapon of your choice from the dragonborn race description and gain resistance to the type of damage it inflicts.
  • Elementals. You learn the Primordial language. You gain the firebolt, Ray of frost, and shocking grasp cantrips. You also gain resistance to one following types of damage: cold, thunder, or lightning.
  • Fiends. You learn one of the following languages of your choice: Abyssal or Infernal. You gain resistance to fire damage and you are immune to the effect of hot weather.
  • Giants. You learn the Giant language. Your Constitution and Strength scores increase by one. You count as one size larger when determining carrying capacity, and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.

Many Lives Lived[edit]

Starting at 14th level, you gain the following benefits:

  • You can now attack three times, instead of twice, whenever you take the attack action on your turn.
  • You gain proficiency in light armor or medium armor and shields if you are already proficient in light armor.

Partial Shapeshift[edit]

Beginning at 18th level, you may transform parts of your body to take on animalist appearances as a bonus action.

If you change which partial shapeshift feature you have applied within one minute of applying this feature, you must succeed on a DC 20 Constitution saving throw or take 3d10 necrotic damage. (This damage cannot be reduced or prevented by any means.)

  • Claws. Your unarmed strikes deal additional slashing damage equal to half your Charisma modifier rounded up.
  • Hardened. Your AC increases by one.
  • Spines. Any creature that you are grappling takes 1d10 piercing damage at the end of your turn. Plus any creature that is grappling you takes 1d10 piercing damage at the end of their turn.
  • Augmented Legs. Your base walking speed increases by 10 feet.
  • Frightful Visage. You can shapeshift partially into a horrifying amalgamation of your known forms. All creatures that see you must make a Wisdom saving throw or become frightened of you. The creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns. If a creature is successful on its saving throw, it becomes immune to the effects of your frightful visage for 24 hours.
  • Grip Footing. You gain the benefits of the spider climb spell.
  • Toxic. Your skin produces deadly chemicals, making any creature that comes in direct contact with your skin take 1d8 poison damage.

Altered Form[edit]

You focus on improving your shapeshifted form to the point of perfection.

Biological Marvel[edit]

When choosing this subclass at 3rd level, immediately take one additional type of creature from the lesser shapeshift list.

In addition, you can shapeshift a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier plus your proficiency bonus, and you regain all uses of this feature after you finish a long rest.

Shapeshifting is now a bonus action, instead of an action.

Improved Shapeshift[edit]

Beginning at 6th level, the CR of your available shapeshifted forms increases by one and you can stay in your shapeshifted form for a number of hours equal to twice your proficiency modifier at a time.

Greater Shapeshifting[edit]

At 10th level, choose two of the following types of creatures to add to your shapeshift forms: Aberrations, Celestials, Dragons, Elementals, Fiends, or Giants. In addition, you can now shapeshift into creatures that are Huge or smaller.

Superior Shapeshift[edit]

Beginning at 14th level, all of your shapeshifted forms gain the following benefits:

  • The AC of your shapeshifted forms increases by 1.
  • Your attack and damage rolls in your shapeshifter form are increased by one when using your natural weapons.
  • Your base movement speed in your shapeshifted form increases by 10 feet.

Ultimate Shapeshift[edit]

Beginning at 18th level, you can take two legendary actions and one legendary resistance if your shapeshifted form has them available. You regain all uses of this feature after you finish a long rest.

Multiclassing[edit]

Requires shapeshifting to be gifted by magic, the gods, supernaturally, or a shapeshifting creature gives you their blood.

Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the shapeshifter class, you must meet these prerequisites: Charisma 13 and Constitution 13.

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the shapeshifter class, you gain the following proficiencies: one type of artisan's tool.

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