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So, let's say we've got a 1 HD medium-sized spellcaster with Precocious Apprentice feat who's able to cast Alter Self at first character level and has an Aberration type. The Alter Self limits the change to one step on the size chart, caster's type only, as well as "no more than your HD with 5 HD as the cap". What can this spellcaster change himself into that would do more than making him a deadweight?

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closed as too broad by doppelgreener, LitheOhm, Oblivious Sage, MrJinPengyou, MadMAxJr Dec 17 '13 at 18:06

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There are two primary uses of Alter Self. The first is to look like an entirely different sort of creature. The second, and no less important use, is to change your personal features to look like a different member of the same race/species, so you look like a stranger. It sounds like this caster is limited to this second main use. –  SevenSidedDie Jul 30 '13 at 16:03
    
@SevenSidedDie No, that's disguise self. Alter self goes much farther, and has far more potent uses. –  KRyan Jul 30 '13 at 16:15
    
@KRyan "You can change into a member of your own kind or even into yourself." Disguise and impersonation is still a major function of Alter Self, even if it duplicates the functionality of Disguise Self but can do more, since not ever caster will have access to both. –  SevenSidedDie Jul 30 '13 at 16:18
    
@SevenSidedDie I know, but you used the word "primary." –  KRyan Jul 30 '13 at 16:21
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@KRyan I do think it's a primary, but often overlooked, use of the spell. But then I'm getting that from the perspective of its entire D&D history, not just the wording of the 3.5 SRD; it's definitely less obvious that Alter Self is the go-to impersonation spell from just the 3.x text. –  SevenSidedDie Jul 30 '13 at 16:23

2 Answers 2

There is an entire thread devoted to the spell here.

The relevant parts (Aberrations):

2HD:

  • Grick (MM) 4 l 30ft, Climb 20 4 Tentacles (1d4), Bite (1d3), Track feat*, +8 Hide in rocky areas
  • Skum (MM) 2 m 20ft, Swim 40 2 Claws (1d4), Bite (2d6), 2 Rakes (1d6), +4 Hide, Listen, and Spot underwater, Water Breathing*

3HD:

  • Carrion Crawler (MM) 6 l 30ft, Climb 15 8 Tentacles (no damage, useful with Chill Touch spell), Bite (1d6)
  • Choker (MM) 4 s 30ft, Climb 15 10ft reach on 2 tentacles (1d3), Improved Grab*, Constrict*, +4 on Grapple*, Improved initiative bonus feat

4HD:

  • Choldrith (MoF) 7 l 30, Climb 20 Bite (2d4)
  • Spectator (LoM) 5 m 5, Fly 20 (Perfect) Bite (1d6), All-around vision*, Alertness bonus feat*
  • Gibbering Mouther (MM, LoM) 8 m 10, Swim 20 6 Bites (1d4), Amorphous*, Improved Grab*, Swallow Whole*, Blood Drain* Etherial Filcher (MM) 3 m 40ft Bite (1d4), 4 arms, +8 Sleight of Hand, +4 Spot and Listen
  • Snow Cloak (Frostburn) 5 l 20ft, Fly 60 (average) Tail Slap, 2 bites, 2 Wing Claws

5HD:

  • Ettercap (MM) 1 m 30, Climb 30 Bite (1d8) + 2 Claws (1d3), +4 Craft (Trapmaking), Hide, and Spot, +8 Climb
  • Grell (MM, LoM) 4 m 5, Fly 30 (Perfect) 10 Tentacles (1d4) + Bite (1d6), Expert Grappler (+10), Improved Grab, Constrict(1d6), Sightless, +2 Hide and Move Silently
  • Harpoon Spider (MM3) 3 l 40, Climb 20 Bite (1d8), 2 Fangs (1d4 + Harpooning), Harpooning*, Spines*, Web Movement*, Improved Trip feat*
  • Inflateable Horror (Underdark) 8 l 30, Fly 60 (Good) 2 Slams (1d4), Improved Grab*, Attaching Intestines*, Blood drain*
  • Runehound (MM3) 4 m 50 10ft reach on Bite (2d6), Track feat*
  • Rust Monster (MM) 5 m 40 Bite (1d3), Probably no Rust ability but could still freak a Frighter out
  • Neogi(LoM) 3 S 30, Climb 20 Bite (1d4) + 2 Claws (1d3), Dex on Climb & Jump*, Weapon Finesse bonus feat
  • Saltor (LoM) 2 S 30, Climb 30 Bite (1d6)
  • Sudtblight (SS) 7 m 30, Burrow 30 Bite (1d8) + 2 Claws (1d3), Sand Dancer bonus feat

You can always take stronger aberrations and weaken them.

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I saw that article too, but it is of no use 'till 2nd character level - it has to be 1hd aberration. I know there is Eyeball Beholderkin, but it's too small and every its ability is magical enough to not be copied by Alter Self (even fly speed). But there HAS to be something else, I hope... –  Baka-Mastermind Jul 30 '13 at 15:32

Elans are a one HD aberration, which are identical to humans so you turn yourself into what ever race you are and elan/human. I do get the sense you might already be an elan though :)

Stick on a +0LA template such as Unseelie Fey and do change type and thus could change into Fey and use the 1st level spell "Aberrate" to pick use the table shown. At higher levels you gain access to other spells that can change your type to Outsider and Elemental

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