Shapeshifting Druid (3.5e Class)
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This is a supplemental alternate class feature for the Druid. It possesses a more homogenized approach to character growth, while maintaining a balanced replacement for the Wild Shape class feature. This supplement also addresses some of the issues with the original Shapeshift variant, such as the relative worthlessness of obtained items, older forms becoming obsolete, and illogical elemental powers.
See SRD:Druid for spells per day.
A Druid taking this alternative class feature does not gain an animal companion at 1st level. The Druid does not gain the Wild Shape class feature at 5th level, or any Wild Shape like ability that would be gained at higher levels (such as Wild Shape Elementals at 16th level).
You gain the ability to shift into powerful forms as a swift action. There is no limit to the number of times you can shift in and out of any form you know, and you may remain in this form for any duration.
|1st||+0||+2||+0||+2||Predator Form, Shift enhancement +4 STR & 4 Natural armor|
|4th||+3||+4||+1||+4||+1 Natural Attacks, Resilient Forms +1|
|6th||+4||+5||+2||+5||Predator Claws 1d6|
|8th||+6/+1||+6||+2||+6||Dire Predator, Shift Enhancement +6 STR & 5 Natural Armor, +2 Natural Attacks|
|9th||+6/+1||+6||+3||+6||2nd Travel Form|
|12th||+9/+4||+8||+4||+8||Forest Avenger Form, +3 Natural Attacks|
|13th||+9/+4||+8||+4||+8||3rd Travel Form|
|14th||+10/+5||+9||+4||+9||Resilient Forms +2|
|15th||+11/+6/+1||+9||+5||+9||Shift Enhancement +8 STR & 6 Natural Armor|
|16th||+12/+7/+2||+10||+5||+10||Dire Forest Avenger Form, 1st Elemental Aspect, +4 Natural Attacks|
|18th||+13/+8/+3||+11||+6||+11||2nd Elemental Aspect|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+12||+6||+12||+5 Natural Attacks, 3rd Elemental Aspect|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level) Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str).
While shapeshifted, you gain a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength and your Natural Armor improves by 4. This bonus increases to +6 Strength and 5 Natural armor at 8th level, and increases to +8 Strength and 6 Natural Armor at 15th level (every 7th level there after, this bonus increases by an additional +2 Strength and 1 Natural armor)
Starting at 4th level, your Natural Attacks gain a +1 enhancement bonus on attack and damage rolls. Your Natural Attacks can be treated as magical weapons for purposes of overcoming damage reduction. This bonus increases to +2 at 8th level, and by an additional +1 every fourth level thereafter (+3 at 12th, +4 at 16th, +5 at 20th, +6 at 24th, etc.)
When you shapeshift, you may choose to retain any natural weapons your normal form possesses. After shifting, if you possess two identical natural weapons, you can choose whichever one is stronger.
While in Shapeshifted form, the druid is unable to vocalize coherently, nor does he possess the manipulative ability (thumbs) to cast spells. The Druid will "speak" in a similar manner to that of the creature he shapeshifted into, however this does not mean he can speak with animals of a similar type. This incoherent speach can be manipulated in a fashion to convey simple messages, provided the people listening know what to listen for. A simple message is less reliant on words, and more akin to ideas. A good example would be a low growl to indicate a foe that you spotted. Essentially body language and whatever one may interpret from simple animal noises. Of course, you could just revert to normal form and talk, but what fun is that? The natural Spell feat is not accessible to the Shapeshift druid.
Special Synergies: '
SRD:Half-Giants (Race) Powerful Build: A shapeshift druid with this extraordinary race feature may treat his natural weapons as though one size category larger. All other benefits of this class feature are retained while Shapeshifted.
Items While in Shapeshifted Forms:
While Shapeshifted, all your gear and carried items meld into your form and become non functional. Passive magical enhancements gained from armor or items do benefit your shapeshifted form. Ability Enhancment (pluses to Strength, Dextrecity, etc) adds its full bonus but only half of the enhancement bonus (rounded down) is gained from Non-Ability Enhancing effects while in a shapeshifted form. Items requiring an activation cannot be activated while in form. For example, if the Druid was wearing +3 Hide armor, +2 Boots of Dexterity, and a Belt of Battle, The druid would gain a +1 magical enhancement bonus to his Armor Class in Shapeshift form from the +3 Hide Armor (but not the physical armor bonus of the Hide armor), +2 Dexterity from the +2 Gloves of Dexterity, and +1 Initiative from the belt of battle (The druid cannont use the charges stored while in shapeshifted forms). Weapon enhancements have no beneficial effect in Shapeshift form. Any bonus you gain from shapeshift is an enhancement effect, and does not stack with similar enhancements. Enhancements on Armor and Bracers of Armor do not stack.
Other Item examples:
Heavy Fortification: Normally 100% critical immunity added as a special property to Armor. While in Shapeshifted forms, the bonus is halved, to 50% immunity.
Monk's Belt: You gain the AC bonus of 2 levels of monk (Wisdom modifier to AC).
Take the form of a wolf or predatory cat equivalent to your size. You gain a primary bite attack that deals 1d6 damage. 50 ft run speed.
Starting at 6th level, you gain 2 secondary claw attacks while in Predator form that deal 1d6 damage.
Starting at 4th level, you gain a +1 bonus to all saving throws while in Shapeshifted forms. This bonus increases to +2 at 14th, and gains an additional +1 bonus every 10 levels thereafter (+3 at 24th, +4 at 34th, etc...)
Starting at 5th level, the shapeshift druid gains a Travel Form. This form is for maneuverability rather than combat. Travel Forms gain Natural armor bonuses for shifting, but retain their Base form's Strength with no enhancements. The Druid can chose one of the following: Bird (Flight), Spider or similar creature (For wall crawling), Aquatic Beast.
Bird: Gain 30 ft Flying at Good maneuverability. 1d6 Talon attack as your Natural Weapon.
Spider: Gain the ability to crawl on walls at base speed. 1d6 Bite attack.
Aquatic: Gain 30 ft Swim speed, and the ability to breathe underwater. 1d6 Bite attack.
At 9th level, you may select a second Travel Form that you have not yet selected.
At 13th level, you may select a third Travel Form that you have not yet selected
Starting at 8th level, you can increase the size of your Predator form by one size category when shifting. You gain an additional +4 enhancement bonus to strength and an additional 2 Natural Armor in your larger size. Your reach increases to match a creature of your type and size.
Starting at 10th level while in Predator Form, all the Druid's Natural Attacks are treated as though having the SRD:Improved Critical feat.
Starting at 12th, you can transform into a large treant. You automatically increase in one size category, granting an additional +4 enhancement bonus to Strength and an additional 2 natural armor, in addition to the normal bonuses for shifting. You gain two primary slam attacks that deal 1d8 damage.
The Forest Avenger Form's "hands" are adept enough to wield simple weapons (such as clubs or rocks/boulders). Improvised weapons (such as, perhaps, a tree), still incur normal improvised weapon penalties.
Starting at 16th level, you can choose to gain one additional size category while in Forest Avenger Form (with another additional +4 enhancement bonus to Strength and 2 natural armor).
See Heavy Thrown Improvised Weapons (3.5e Variant Rule) for even more interesting options and play style variability with this form.
Starting at 16th level, the Druid can add an elemental aspect (fire, water, earth and air) to his forms. The Druid can only learn one Aspect Form at 16th, and learns a second aspect form at 18th level, a third aspect form at 20th level, and the fourth aspect form at 22nd level. When an elemental aspect is added to a form, the druid is immune to critical hits and does not have to breathe. The druid also gains minor supernatural abilities based on the Elemental Aspect chosen. Only one aspect may be added to a form at any time.
Fire: The druid gains the burn feature equivalent to a Fire Elemental 1 size category smaller than himself. Immune to Fire damage. See SRD:Fire Elemental for burn damage and saves.
Water: The druid gains a swim speed equivalent to his movement speed. The Druid also gains the Drench and Vortex abilities equivalent to a Water Elemental one size category smaller than himself. See SRD:Water Elemental for Drench and Vortex features.
Air: The Druid gains a perfect flight speed equal to his movement speed. The Druid also gains the Whirlwind ability equivalent to an Air Elemental one size category smaller than himself. See SRD:Air Elemental for Whirlwind feature.
The Shapeshift Druid can use his forms to qualify for feats that he might otherwise not qualify for. The Druid may take feats using his Shapeshifted form's ability score or size modifier for the prerequisite. However, if a feat is taken this way, it is only activated while in the form or forms that would otherwise meet the prerequisites.
SRD:Multiattack can be taken as a feat at anytime one or more of your forms possess enough natural attacks. This feat will only work in the form or forms that meet the prerequisite.
SRD:Flyby Attack can be taken once you have the ability to fly (either via the Travel Form class feature, or Air Elemental Aspect class feature). This feat is only usable while you have a fly speed.
SRD:Improved Natural Armor can be taken as a feat. If your normal form does not possess natural armor of its own, it only applies while shapeshifted.
SRD:Improved Natural Attack can be taken as a feat, selecting any natural attack that you have while in either form. This feat is only active while you are in a shapeshifted form that possess that natural attack. This rule applies to SRD:Weapon Focus, SRD:Improved Critical, or similar feats.
SRD:Magic Fang And SRD:Greater Magic Fang: The Shapeshift Druid can use this spell to greater effect. Rather than a +1 to +5 enhancement on damage and attack rolls, the Shapeshift Druid can apply the SRD:Flaming, SRD:Frost, or SRD:Shock weapon properties to his natural attacks. Magic fang affects only one weapon per cast, and cannot exceed one special property. Greater Magic Fang affects all the Druids Natural Attacks for the duration. When using Magic Fang or Greater Magic Fang in this manner, the spell is not able to be affected by the SRD:Permanency Spell.
Epic Wildshape Gargantuan: The Shapeshift Druid taking this feat gains the ability to add another size category to either his predator or Forest Avenger Form. This Size increase adds +4 Strength and 2 Natural armor to the overall form.
Epic Shapeshifting Druid
Bonus Feats: The epic gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic bonus feats) every levels after 20th.
Epic Bonus Feat List: .
Shapeshifting Druid Starting Package
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.
Bonus Feats: .
Playing a Shapeshifting Druid
Other Classes: .
Shapeshifting Druids in the World
NPC Reactions: .
Shapeshifting Druid Lore
Characters with ranks in can research to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
Shapeshifting Druids in the Game
Sample Encounter: .
EL : .