Talk:Metamorph (3.5e Class)

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I was looking at this class and noticed that the "Practiced Shapechanger" class feature has no description explaining it. i would appreciate seeing this information filled out as I was looking into using this class. thank you. --Drole 18:58, 29 March 2012 (MDT)

Admin, do the changes made bring the class far enough in balance?

The main problem is in allowing a PC access to a monster's Ex abilities, even for one round. You can't predict what this will entail, especially with homebrew monsters. All it takes is something like Manipulate Form to slip through the crack and the PC is broken.
The only way I see of fixing this is to strictly limit (i.e. name specificially) which creatures can be shifted into. Marasmusine (talk) 00:28, 12 June 2014 (MDT)
Altered Shift ability to only all extraordinary traits based upon strength, dexterity or actual physical form. Disallowing energy or otherwise based traits. --Elohim (talk) 16:34, 12 June 2014 (MDT)
Let's see, what else? How long can I stay in a form? STR and DEX can be dump stats, since they are changed to whatever I shift into. So my CON will probably be maxed out, let's be conservative and say a modifier of +4. For example, let's take a level 6 PC.
"... a number of times equal to her metamorph level multiplied by her CON modifier times per day;" - so that's 24 times per day.
"and may stay in a form for a number of rounds up ten times to her class level, multiplied by her CON modifier [(10X level) X CON modifier]." - this doesn't make grammatical sense, but it sounds like 10 x 6 x 4 = 240 rounds.
So in total, I can be in a shifted form for 5760 rounds per day. This is effectively indefinite.
There doesn't seem to be any restriction on what creature I change into other than HD and Type, so my level 6 PC could turn into a Troll and have STR 23, DEX 14, Regeneration 5. It doesn't say whether or not I get a creature's natural attacks, but if so I also get Rend.
At level 10 I can become a Black Pudding and split into "two identical puddings". Now I'm two or more creatures, each with the metamorph shift abililty.
At level 17 I can become a Chaos Beast and gain Immunity to Transformation, now I'm permanently a Chaos Beast. Not particularly useful, but this just illustrates the unpredictability of allowing a PC access to monster traits. Marasmusine (talk) 17:33, 13 June 2014 (MDT)
Heh, I really like the idea of this class, so I might just keep plugging away at it. :)
Adjusted time in assumed form, added size limits, removed extraordinary abilities (for the most part). Removed false undead and false construct forms, I didn't really like them in there.
Having some trouble with wording. I want to eliminate strong changes in state like going ethereal or phased, melding with stone and the like, but I don't want to bar things like burrowing, ooze-like forms, etc. --Elohim (talk) 19:27, 13 June 2014 (MDT)
You are going to struggle with wording because there's no built-in distinction between qualities that are and aren't balanced for a PC to use. If you make a white-list or black-list, you can't account for the unique qualities of the unlimited number of possible creatures.
"a number of rounds of up ten times to her class level" still doesn't make sense. The number of times, and duration, should be on par with a barbarian's rage. Marasmusine (talk) 01:21, 14 June 2014 (MDT)
Changed the wording of time allowed in assumed form to make it clearer. I feel that the shift ability is more central to the metamorph than the rage ability is to the barbarian; a barbarian is still a very capable melee combatant when not raging, but the metamorph's entire class is based upon the ability to shift. I think of a metamorph more in terms of a wizard than a barbarian, once his shift for the day is used up (like a wizard's spells) then he is basically a target. That said I would argue that it is justified in being more powerful.
Changed the wording of allowed traits while shifting to try and add clarity, but I think alot of it comes down to the game being played. A DM in a higher balance point campaign might very well allow more leeway than the DM of a medium or low balance point campaign.
Lowered BAB and added a line about BAB in assumed form, also added starting weapon/armor profs. Added Extended Life ability. Added epic progression.
They can remain shifted for a huge number of rounds per day. Even at level 1, they are unlikely ever to be not shifted. So why have the limit at all?
It's still confusing as to what they actually get while shifted. You say you removed Ex abilities, but in the example you say they get a troll's rending claws. "Claw" is their Natural Attack. "Rend" is the Extraordinary Special Ability. An ooze's "Acid" is an Ex Special Attack. Be crystal clear with the terminology. Marasmusine (talk) 02:21, 17 June 2014 (MDT)
I'm not seeing where you are getting that the time limits for shifting is the same as no limit. Using your earlier example of a CON modifier of +4; a level one character could transform no more than 4 times a day, with a total limit of rounds of 40. Thats 40 combat rounds at level 1, at 6 seconds a round we're talking only 240 seconds, or 4 minutes. Even at level 20, with a +6 modifier to CON, the character could transform a total allowed time of 1200 rounds (7200 seconds or 120 minutes, or 2 hours) doubled to 240 rounds or 4 hours to account for the perfect shapechanger ability. Compare this to a druid's wild shape ability at 20th level, they can remain in a form for 20 hours a day for each use, or basically forever. While the wild shape ability is more limited in form than the shift ability here, the druid also has spells and other abilities whereas the metamorph only has shifting. Compared to the abilities available to most classes at level 20 I wouldn't call that excessive; it is the defining feature of the class.
I did say earlier "for the most part". It is my intent to allow Ex abilities that are tied strongly to STR, DEX or body composition. The rending of a troll isn't due to some magical energy production or tie to another plane, its just a more effective melee attack. Likewise the acid of an ozze (atleast IMO) is a result of its digestion, its similar to a big mass of stomach lining. I know acid is considered an "energy" in DnD, something I find non-practical, but unless you're transforming into a jellied mass of acid you aren't really becoming an ooze. Perhaps you have some suggestion on how to word this in a more consise manner? --Elohim (talk) 17:50, 17 June 2014 (MDT)
I'm working on the average of 3 to 5 combat encounters per day, at an average of 6 rounds per combat. The conservative 40 rounds per day easily covers this, and the limit becomes increasingly pointless as you level up.
I'm not sure how to word the power in a way that would cover every possibly creature Ex quality in definitive terms. Like I say above, I think it's a poor idea allowing a PC access to monster Ex abilities at all (unless you have a whitelist of specific qualities) Marasmusine (talk) 02:15, 26 June 2014 (MDT)

I reworked the shift ability time limits; I divided it into combat and non0combat uses. The reason for this was to allow for the character to have extended use of the ability for travel and other non-combat related avtivities, while limiting combat applications. I increased BAB to provide viable melee combat functionality when combat shifting was not available. Heh, 6 rounds of combat per encounter eh? In our old group that would be a minimum, our DM really went all out and protracted battles were our norm. Lowered skills. --Elohim (talk) 19:29, 26 June 2014 (MDT)

Added extraordinary abilities back into combat shifting (only) at 20th level after comparing the power to the 9th level wizard spell Shapechange. I feel that the time limits on combat shifting are compareable to the limits on the spell, condidering that shapechaging is the focus of the class and the class doesn't have the massive variety of abilities (thru spells) as a vizard, or even a druid. The class is also more limited in size and types available than the spell. --Elohim (talk) 08:12, 11 July 2014 (MDT)
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