Shapeshifter (5e Class)
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Shapeshifters can be the result of many different events. Some gained their powers supernaturally, or through the help of the gods. Others are the offspring of a doppelganger and another race (human, dwarf, etc). Their true form is that of an existing race based on their non-doppelganger parent or what race they were before they became a shapeshifter. Most shapeshifters are seen as more monstrous beings than humanoid and in many cities openly transforming without an excuse leads to your hunting down.
Creating a Shapeshifter
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 Entertainer background.
As a Shapeshifter you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, whips, shortswords
Saving Throws: Charisma, Dexterity
Skills: Pick 3 from Deception, Acrobatics, Animal Handling, History Intimidation, Medicine, Performance, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, Survival, and Stealth.
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) leather armor or (b) hide armor
- (a) A simple weapon or (b) A whip or (c) A shortsword
- (a) Dungeoneer's Pack or (b) Explorers Pack
|Features||Number of Shapeshifting
|3rd||+2||Way of The Shifter, Identity Coherence||5||1|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement||6||1|
|7th||+3||Way of the Shifter feature||9||3|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||10||3|
|10th||+4||Way of the Shifter feature||12||4|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||14||5|
|14th||+5||Way of the Shifter feature||16||6|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||18||7|
|18th||+6||Way of the Shifter feature||20||8|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||21||9|
|20th||+6||Unlimited Lesser Shapeshift||22||9|
At 1st level, you can use your bonus action to magically assume the shape of one of your chosen transformations.
A known transformation is a creature that is not an undead or construct, chosen when you level up, based on the Shapeshifter table. You start with 3 known CR 1/2 or fewer transformations, and when you gain a level in this class, you may choose an additional creature to transform into that's CR is less than or equal to the CR stated in the Maximum CR column. Whenever you gain a level in this class, you may replace one form with another.
You can use Shapeshift once, and gain an additional use at 5th and 17th level. You regain expended uses when you finish a short or long rest. You can stay shapeshifted for a number of hours equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of one). You can revert to your normal form earlier by using a bonus action on your turn. You automatically revert if you fall unconscious, drop to 0 hit points, or die.
While you are transformed, the following rules apply:
- Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the new form, but you retain your alignment, personality, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. You also retain all of your skill and saving throw proficiencies, in addition to gaining those of the creature. If the creature has the same proficiency as you and the bonus in its stat block is higher than yours, use the creature's bonus instead of yours. If the creature has any legendary or lair actions, you can't use them.
- When you shapeshift, you assume the creature's hit points and hit dice. When you revert to your normal form, you return to the number of hit points you had before you transformed. However, if you revert as a result of dropping to 0 hit points, any excess damage carries over to your normal form. For example, if you take 10 damage while shapeshifted and have only 1 hit point left, you revert and take 9 damage. As long as the excess damage doesn't reduce your normal form to 0 hit points, you aren't knocked unconscious.
- Your ability to cast spells, speak or take any action that requires hands is limited to the capabilities of your shapeshifted form. Transforming doesn't break your concentration on a spell you've already cast, however, or prevent you from taking actions that are part of a spell, such as call lightning, that you've already cast.
- You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so. However, you can't use any of your special senses, such as darkvision, unless your new form also has that sense.
- You choose whether your equipment falls to the ground in your space, merges into your new form, or is worn by it. Worn equipment functions as normal, but the DM decides whether it is practical for the new form to wear a piece of equipment, based on the creature's shape and size. Your equipment doesn't change size or shape to match the new form, and any equipment that the new form can't wear must either fall to the ground or merge with it. Equipment that merges with the form has no effect until you leave the form.
Beginning at 2nd level, when you roll for initiative, you can immediately use your Shapeshift feature as a reaction, so long as you are not already shapeshifted and you are not surprised. You may not shapeshift this way if you have no more uses of the Shapeshift feature remaining.
Starting at 3rd level, you carry over some additional portions of your persona into your shapeshifted form. While shapeshifted, you can speak any languages you know.
Additionally, when you Shapeshift, you can alter your new form’s superficial appearance to more closely reflect your true nature. For example, if you have a signature hairstyle, pointy ears, wear an eye patch, etc., your shapeshifted forms can take on similar traits.
Way of The Shifter
At 3rd level, you may choose a Way of The Shifter path out of the following: Chimera or Abnormality, both detailed at the end of the class description. Your subclass choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at levels 7th, 10th, 14th, and 18th.
Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of you 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.
Starting at 6th level, your unarmed strikes and the nonmagical attacks of your transformations count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.
At 9th level, your form has become ever more resilient to outside influences. You become immune to any spell or effect that would alter your form against your will and you gain proficiency with Constitution saving throws. If you already have this proficiency, you instead gain proficiency in Strength saving throws.
Starting at 11th level, your body has evolved and gained the ability to resist nature in some form. You gain resistance with one of the following damage types of your choice: acid, cold, fire, lightning, necrotic, or poison.
At 13th level, you gain a blindsight of 10ft and can see through magical darkness and mist.
Starting at 15th level, the primal magic that you wield causes you to stop aging. You no longer age, and cannot be aged by magical means.
Unlimited Lesser Shapeshift
At 20th level, you gain the ability to shapeshift using the Shapeshift feature into any creature with a CR of 4 or less for as long as you want, without expending a shapeshift use.
Chimeras specialize in bending and tearing the rules of nature, and give life to new forms of life, be it in the form of a majestic beauty or unimaginable horrors. They are chaotic in nature, and generally not bound by the ethical dilemmas of the amalgams they create.
Beginning at 3rd level, you gain resistance to poison damage and are now immune to disease and being poisoned.
Beginning at 7th level, you may use your Shapeshift feature to shapeshift into a combination of two creatures. When you shapeshift, choose two of your known transformations of the same size, and with a combined CR less than or equal to the maximum CR listed for your level.
You transform into a creature visually resembling both of the chosen transformations. You gain all the features of both forms, and choose which one to pick in case of a overlap. For example, you gain attack actions from both creatures, but pick the dexterity score of one creature.
Once you use this feature, you can not use it again until you finish a long rest.
Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses either of those skills.
Starting at 14th level, you learn to recoil into another form instead of reverting to your true shape.
If you drop to 0 hit points while you’re shapeshifted, the attack didn’t kill you, and you have a Shapeshift use available, you can make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw. On a success, you Shapeshift instead of reverting to your normal form. Your new form takes any damage past that which reduced you to 0.
Each time you use this feature after the first, the DC increases by 5.
When you finish a long rest, the DC resets to 10.
At 18th level, when you roll for initiative and don't have any uses of Shapeshift remaining, you regain one use.
Abnormality shapeshifters are those that embrace shapeshifting to the fullest. These individuals have no qualms about staying shapeshifter for indefinite periods of time and seek to make their shapeshifted forms as powerful as possible by augmenting them with various mutations.
At 3rd level, you may select a creature of CR 1/2 or lower as your preferred creature.
By concentrating for 1 minute, you may shapeshift into your preferred creature without expending a shapeshift use, and you can remain in this form indefinitely.
You may select an additional preferred creature with a higher CR limit again when you reach 7th level (CR 1), 10th level (CR 2), 14th level (CR 4), 18th level (CR 6), and 20th level (CR 8).
Beginning at 7th level, you gain access to a partial transformation in your true form(untransformed form). You may only have one partial transformation at any time and may replace it with another as part of a short rest.
- Claws. You learn the primal savagery cantrip and can cast it while shapeshifted. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for it.
- Sturdy Legs. Your walking speed is increased by 10 feet.
- Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
- Gills. You can now breathe in water and air.
At 10th level, you may choose one mutation. Your choice of mutation grants you various benefits which get more powerful as you gain shapeshifter levels, and you gain the benefits of the Mutation feature even while you are shapeshifted. You gain an additional mutation at 14th level, but you may not choose the same mutation twice.
- Unending Breath: You no longer need to breathe, and your base walking speed increases by 5 feet. At 14th level, your base walking speed increase goes from 5 to 10 feet.
- Dense Hide: While you are not wearing armor, your AC is equal to 13 + your Dexterity modifier.
- Sharpened Weapons: Your weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20.
- Enduring Soul: You gain a +1 bonus to all saving throws, and at 14th level this changes to +2.
- Versatile: You gain 2 additional known transformation you can shapeshift into at levels 10 and 14.
At 14th level, when Shapeshifting, the minimum Strength and Dexterity score of any creature you turn into is equal to your shapeshifter level and the minimum hit points of any creature you shapeshift into is 100.
Roar of Life
At 18th level, your voice resonates with the ancestral forces of creation. You can use this feature to cast either power word kill or power word heal, even if you are shapeshifted. Your spellcasting ability for these spells is Charisma.
Once you use this feature, you cannot use it again until you complete a long rest.
Requires shapeshifting to be gifted by magic, the gods, supernaturally, or a shapeshifting creature gives you their blood.
Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the shapeshifter class, you gain the following proficiencies: light armor, medium armor, and simple weapons.