Everything Shifter

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Everything Shifter

Post  Elgate on Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:08 pm

((I've editted this first post to change information collected, to provide a fact sheet of a sort for Shifters. I've removed my more bias comments and opinions and have tried to prevent this looking less like an argument and more as a resource. Please feel free to Discuss or add information: I'll change this post as things are changed, nerfed or affected otherwise))

1. The Connection between the NwN Druid and Shifter Class.
2. The Feats and Forms of the NwN Shifter.
3. Attributes and other facts of Shifters.


The Connection between the NwN Druid and Shifter Class

The Class Shifter appears in the 3.0 edition (The edition a lot of NwN is based on) 'Masters of the Wild' which can be read online here: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] (pg 69) and there is a revised 3.5 edition shifter class known as 'Master of Many Forms' available here: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] (Pg 59). Master of Many Forms is essentially an updated shifter class, but has different feats to the NwN Shifter class, so can be used as a cross reference but isn't the same class as such.

Description provided in 'Masters of the Wild':
"The shifter has no form that she calls her own. Instead,she clothes herself in whatever shape is most expedient at the time. While others base their identities largely on their external forms, the shifter actually comes closer to her true self through all her transformations. Of necessity, her sense of self is based not on her outward form, but on her soul, which is truly the only constant about her. It is the inner strength of that soul that enables her to take on any shape and remain herself within. At first, the shifter can risk only humanoid forms and familiar animal shapes. As she grows more comfortable with her own true shapelessness, however, she can assume more outlandish forms. Eventually, she knows herself so well that she feels just as comfortable in the shape of a completely different creature type as she does in her own. At that point, her past—even her race— becomes irrelevant, since external form no longer matters to her. (This is almost word for word the in game NwN description)
The shifter’s path is ideal for a spellcaster of any race who has experienced shapeshifting and yearns for more of it. Such a character can be a great force for either good or ill in the world; an evil shifter in particular poses a terrible threat, for she can appear anywhere, in any form. The same opponents may face her again and again, in one shape after another, never realizing that they actually face a single, formless enemy."

In DnD rules, stated here the requirements to become a shifter is:
Alertness (Also in NwN)
Able to cast 3rd level spells (Also in NwN)
Has an Alternate form: Can be polymorph self, alter self, wild shape, so on.. (Only Wild Shape is included in NwN)

In DnD, Shifter class does not require Druid levels

Essentially, this means that a it could be possible to RP a shifter who has no druidic origins, or has moved on from such. In NwN it is impossible to take Shifter with out Druid levels, so it's down to the server what is acceptable RP for shifters. At the moment it seems to be accepted that a shifter can be druidic or not, but until you start taking shifter levels expect to be seen as a druid and expected to act as such by most.

The two classes aren't incompatible RP wise, but a 'True Druid' might disprove of a 'True Shifter's ability/choice to turn into abhorred forms, such as undead. It's up to the player to figure out how their character might resolve this issue.



The Feats and Forms of the NwN Shifter.

Level 1- Greater Wild Shape I= Wyrmlings
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In DnD wyrmlings actually differ a lot to how they look in classic NwN. For instance a Red dragon is listed as size medium (about human size), blue and green as small (Large dog size) and white and black dragons as tiny (cat size) as very rough size differences. It may be easier to rp them as they look in NwN to avoid debate. There are other models available in the CEP content, but they have their own animation issues (The smaller the are, the faster they appear to move- so white and black dragons like like road runners, even if they're moving at the same speed as an average PC). Some quick facts on dragons relevant to a shifter:

Red: Smell of smoke and sulphur. Eats anything, but has a taste for young elves and human maidens (especially young elven maidens). Wyrmlings start off as a bright glossy scarlet, and grow into the duller red of adult dragons. Largest of the Chromatic dragons.

Blue: Smells of ozone, or burnt sand. Prefers larger game, especially camels or other desert fauna and flora. The exact shade of blue seems to differ between individual dragons. Second largest chromatic dragon.

Green: Smell of chlorine gas. Has a taste for fey humanoids, such as gnomes, elves and sprites. Starts with a near black shade of green which brightens into various shades of green. Third largest/smallest chromatic dragon.

Black: Smell of rotting vegetation or stagnant water. Prefers more aquatic fauna, like fish, shell fish, water dwelling animals. Starts with glossy black scales which dull with age. Second smallest of the chromatic dragons

White: Smells crisp/chemically. Prefers frozen meat. Has near mirror like scales when hatched, which dull into various off white shades of colours. Smallest of the chromatic dragons.


Level 3- Greater Wild Shape II= Gargoyle, Minotaur, Harpy (No scripts added as of yet)
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Gargoyles: Gargoyles often appear to be winged stone statues, for they can perch indefinitely without moving and use this disguise to surprise their foes. They require no food, water, or air, but often eat their fallen foes out of fondness for inflicting pain. Can fly.

Minotaur: Always appears male in the game. About 7 feet typically. Eats flesh.

Harpy: Always appears female in the game. Eat the travelers they torment. Can fly.

level 5- Greater Wild Shape III= Basilisk, Drider, Manticore (No Scripts added as of yet)
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Basilisk: depending on the model, a small, scaly, spiky eight-legged lizard that turns things to stone. Eats small mammals. Speaks animal.

Drider: Always appears male. These can't mate and must devour their food like a spider would/ drain blood, as their stomachs can't handle solid food. Many might have an issue where the Drider doesn't appear to attack- there is a patch for this (somewhere). You will also get stuck in door ways. A lot.

Manticore: Can fly, speaks common. Carnivore.

level 7- Humanoid shape = Drow, Lizard folk, Kobold.
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Drow- (the original model used the NwN drow- so shorter then the PC elf model).

Lizard folk (always appears as male, but could possibly be RPed as female- as far as I'm aware Lizard women don't have a bust?) can speak common, omivores. Tail used for balance, non prehensile.

Kobold- Same as lizardfolk.

level 10- Greater Wild Shape IV= Dire Tiger, Mindflayer, Medusa
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Dire tiger- Animal speech only.

Mindflayer- Hermaphrodites. Eat Brains. Sensitive to sunlight (doesn't cause pain, but is an irritant), has difficultly with telling sounds apart (slightly weaker hearing than humans)

Medusa- female model only (male medusa I think were only introduced in later editions I believe). plural= Medusae.

level 20+ =
Undead Shape (Vampire, Spectre, Risen Lord)
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Vampire: You should know pretty well by now Razz

Spectre: Some debate here, as in DnD a spectre should appear as the ghostly form of the individual, but the shifted form is the typical formless model. Might not be an issue with shifters who have 'no true form'.

Risen Lord: I'm not sure if this is a Lich or a Skeleton, but it appears male either way- but you can RP is as a female skeleton. It's not like people are going to check the model for child-bearing hips or feminine facial structure.


Construct Shape (Iron Golem, Stone Golem, Flesh Golem)
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Golems don't need food, water or sleep. They can't talk, but you might be able to RP Iron golems as having a mechanical voice and Flesh Golems (made from human remains, typically) as having a mangled voice. These forms aren't door friendly.

Outsider Shape (Rakshasa, Azer, Death Slaad)
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Rakshasa- hands are on backwards(So if you stretch out your hand in front of you face down- now imagine the palm is on top, and everything else stays the same), things that can one hit kill Rakshasa can do this to that form as well.

Azer- golden flaming dwarf. Female form has mild nudity. Is wearing clothes made from metals.

Death Slaad- evil creatures. (Plural Slaadi). Genderless or inbetween? Reproduce Asexually in a crazy cycle (reds infect host with eggs, eggs hatch into blue, blue infects host with a form of lycanthropy, turns host into green, so on, so forth. Death Slaad's evolve from grey in mysterious ritual, evolve into white) but also reproduce with each other in a sort of crazy mating frenzy. So who knows?


Dragon shape - see wyrmling (Greater wild shape I)
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Attributes and other facts of Shifters.

Shifters become a 'shapechanger' type/race at epic level in DnD (or lvl 10 in some versions).
Epic shifters aren't affected by ageing, but will still be affected by any age effects they had before becoming an epic shifter, and will still die when their soul reaches the end of it's mortal coil, at their natural time. (So shifters who were originally human may live only a bit longer than the average human lifespan). This is according to 'Masters of the Wild'.

In the adapted class 'Master of Many Forms', shifter's get 'shifter speech' which allows them to speak common in any form capable of speech. However this class is somewhat different to the Shifter class, so this may not be accepted.


So, the questions I put forth to people:
How much should Shifters RP their druid history? At what level should you stop RPing Druid and start Rping Shifter?
How much does a shifter shift? (Epic shifters in DnD were supposed to take on their forms completely- no one could tell the difference between a red dragon born a human and a red dragon born a dragon, but as we can see the shifters forms aren't exact replicas)
what else should a shifter be able to shift in?
how much control does a shifter have over it's forms? (partial shifting, full shifting, edits to a form...)
What is a shifter to this server?


Last edited by Elgate on Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:30 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Corrected Information)
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Re: Everything Shifter

Post  BobbyBrown15 on Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:54 pm

The shifter class RP wise is not compatable with druids at all as many of the forms are considrerd abominations or things a druid would actually hunt down. Due to the mechanics of NWN the druid levels are unavoidable.
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Re: Everything Shifter

Post  Animayhem on Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:23 pm

He is correct. Druids however can be NE so then some of the more nasty shapes make sense. A way to rp falling away is to maybe choose a god. I play on another world which only has twelve gods and more than one has their own form of shifter. Since this place uses the Faerun gods, see what god may have called you away. You could also add bard and soulfire brethren. Yeah it bites druid takes up a space.

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Re: Everything Shifter

Post  Elgate on Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:18 am

Ah, to complicate matters, It was recently pointed out to me that in DnD "Shapeshifter" and "Shifter" are two different Prestige classes, with 'Shifters' actually being druids, with shifting being a druidic pratice (Makes sense), while Shapeshifter can be an umbrella term and a class (as listed in my previous post).

This just makes things tricky as NwN seems to have blended the two and ignored a lot of what makes the 'Shifter' a shifter, making the class slightly more of a generic shapeshifter class. As such... I think that RP can go both ways- it's perfectly plausible that Shifters can be druidic- the undead shape, or other strange shapes are actually acceptable, because a druidic shifter moves beyond the normal druid restrictions- there's a balance in undeath too- and it's not as if they are seeking to permanently thwart death. Shape shifters don't give a damn.


Not sure what the servers take on this is, but I don't see why people couldn't RP it both ways- Druidic, Non Druidic, so on.

I'm also going to point this out, even though it seems like I'm trying to make a poor excuse, that often builds incorporate a class that the player has no intention of RPing- and that it's the skills and build over all they focus on.

However I'm still going to check:
I'm RPing Grace as a 'shapeshifter' (The class I linked to in my first post) as this is what I interpreted the NwN 'Shifter/Shapeshifter' class as (I can't quite remember, but in the Character sheet it says 'shifter' but I thought in the class menu it mentioned 'shapeshifter'- I'll confirm this later). Is this still acceptable, or should I start pushing Grace back to the more druidic 'shifter' class?


Also noticed that's a homebrew class- IGNORE. IGNORE


Last edited by Elgate on Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:49 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : wrong Information)
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Re: Everything Shifter

Post  Elgate on Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:33 am

Sorry for bringing this up again, but I've still encountered a few players who are unsure of the argument and have brought up an interesting point:

Are we sticking to the 3.0 ed 'Shifter class' as described above, the 3.5 ed 'Master of many forms' as described in the link, or making a homebrew class for this server? Because as I've recently discovered Master of many forms requires wildshape only, not other shape changing feats, and I'm pretty sure wildshape is a druid only feat. As such, this would make the 3.5 ed of shifters a druid class (I also think the MoMF does not have the undead shape feat, removing that issue).
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Re: Everything Shifter

Post  GM_ODA on Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:55 am

Friend Elgate,
Just so you know, I'm reading the links you left and pondering the info - I'm slow to reply on this as there is a lot to ponder here. Bear with me please. (shifter humor)

Be well. Game on.
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