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Introduction to the Shifter Prestige Class
The Shifter is an advancement of the Druid class and one of the most fun prestige-classes to play. Its main feature is that it allows you to turn into a variety of wild-shapes and animal forms, retaining the strength and abilities of whatever natural-form you choose to transform into. This particular class is often banned in multi-player server, due to the fact that at its most advanced-level you can turn into a Dragon and consequently be almost impossible to defeat due to the high-points attributed to the Armour Class (AC). The Dragon form is only available in the ‘Epic’ levels, i.e. over the 20th Level.
No class is requested in the class requirements, but you need to be able to cast Druid spells in order to undertake this class. This of course doesn’t mean that only a Druid can turn into a Shifter, and it allows you to multi-class so you can choose to eventually level as a Shifter. However bear in mind that only high-level Druids are able to turn into the most complex wild-shapes, and ultimately a Dragon shape. Hence it is a given that if you only like to shape-shift into the simplest forms you can quite happily multi-class, but it is unlikely you will ever reach the highest levels unless you are a Druid.
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Race, Skills and Feats requirements
The skills available here are mostly related to the Druid basic class, but you also have the power to craft the usual items, i.e. traps, armor and weapons. The Druid skills are animal empathy, listen and the spot skills. The animal empathy skill is quite handy if you want to gather extra companions when fighting, for instance deer or bears in the wild. The main requirements of the class are:
- Must have the ability to shift into a simple form already (i.e. Druid Wild Shape)
- Must have the Alertness feat
- Must be able to cast at least level 3 Druid spells
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Some Feats acquired
Here are the main forms which you can turn into:
Greater Wildshape I (Level 1) – Allows you to turn into a Wyrmling, or a baby-dragon. You acquire the breath-weapon of such beasts and usually a +5 modifier in your existing AC. There are different colours of Wyrmling, and each offers a unique breath-weapon; these are often identifiable by colour, i.e. fire for red, electricity for blue etc…
Greater Wildshape III (Level 5) – Give the following forms: Basilisk, Drider and Manticore. The Basilisk is similar to an iguana-like reptile, and has a ‘petrify-gaze’ as a special attack. The overall AC is 20. The Drider’s AC is 20 and is able to use his Drider Spear as a signature weapon. A Manticore has similar properties to the mythical ‘Chimera’ beasts. It uses its claws to attack and has an overall AC of 20.
Humanoid Shape (Level 7) – One of the forms acquired here is the Lizardfolk, who uses his skills with the whip when fighting. AC is 24.
You will really see the power of this class as you gain epic-levels, as you will be able to turn into very powerful forms which ultimately culminate into the mythical Dragon.