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I would like to create a shapeshifting character.

I'm used to Neverwinter Nights' Shifter prestige class, I would like to play something similar in DnD 3.5.

I would appreciate some pointers about similar combination of class and prestige class to achieve the same result, also please tell me in which manual I could find it, so I can look up more about it. I'm not really interested in a powerful build, just some advice on what to look for to create a character that could shapeshift a lot, based on the situation.

Thanks in advance.

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2 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Master of Many Forms from Complete Adventurer is the closest equivalent (as the 3.5 version of the Shifter), and is really very, very similar to Shifter. You'll typically start as Druid and then pick the prestige class up.

Shifter iteslf is a 3.0 class from Masters of the Wild.

You can get stats for the monsters you can turn into using the Monster Manuals, but you'll have to make some modifications for your BAB, base saves, mental stats, feats, and the other things that change due to Wild Shape. The Master of Many Forms Bible is a great help with a lot of information on the monsters you can turn into, as well. If you have monsters you want to change into frequently, it's a very good idea to prepare the stats ahead of time rather than try to recalculate on the fly.

For gear, the general rule is that any gear you're wearing melds into your form when you Wild Shape and doesn't work. There's exceptions, of course. :) Any item with the "Wild" armor property keeps working, and any item attached to a Wildling Clasp also keeps working. You also keep your current maximum HP even if your CON changes. The exact details of every item get lengthy and are their own question, so if you're curious about a specific item (or class of items) and can't find the answer already feel free to ask another question. :)

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Note that officially, Master of Many Forms is the 3.5 update of the Shifter. –  KRyan Oct 31 '13 at 17:52
    
Ok thanks from the descriptions around it seems to be it! :D A couple more questions, to play this kind of character should I also have the monsters manuals to exactly know what to shift into? How do I know what equipment maintains its bonuses? –  Alberto Zaccagni Oct 31 '13 at 21:05
    
@AlbertoZaccagni I edited the answer to add some of that information for you, in general. If you've got questions about specific items or on the Wild Shape rules in general and can't find the answer on the sit already, it'd be best to ask another question for those. :) –  Tridus Oct 31 '13 at 21:27
    
Thanks for the update :) lots of info to look at. –  Alberto Zaccagni Oct 31 '13 at 21:34
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There actually is a Master of many forms PRC, updated from Shifter, in standart D&D -- it comes from CA. It allows wildshaping into other forms than animal, and adds a few bonuses on top of that. d8 HD, medium BAB, not a bad choice. Open to druids. If you get your DM to acknowledge the old Shifter variant, it's much more free (much more powerful), and possibly open to arcane casters as well.

There is also the Master Transmogrifist PrC from CA. Arcane only, late entry (10th lvl), gives acces to a few favored shapes and substantial advantages when in them, finally resulting in ability to even combine creatures, resulting in a rather broken ability in my opinion. Furthermore, it partially advances spellcasting. d4 HD and poor BAB, but boosts to AB when morphing. A good choice.

There is also the Warshaper PrC, from CW, which in itself doesn't advance shifting abilities, but gives very substantial boosts to any shifter within. d8 HD, medium BAB. It might be worth a look at.

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Don't like the Master Transmogrifist rec: it's a class that badly nerfs your spellcasting, in exchange for buffs to an extremely overpowered, if not gamebreaking, line of spells. So either you suck (if you don't abuse those spells) or you break the game (if you do). –  KRyan Oct 31 '13 at 18:40
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@KRyan Yes, I am aware of that. Remaining a full arcanist is impossible with that kind of progression, but the asker wanted shifter class, and that's what MT provides him with. I have also noted that I found some of the abilities broken, and that was relative to the polymorph itself, which is broken in it's own right. No doubt you are right, but with suboptimal (read no-hydras-or-dragons) choices of favored shapes, one can remain fairly balanced. I mentioned it more for completenes's sake though, if the asker is to choose, he should get more than MoMF to choose from. –  kravaros Oct 31 '13 at 20:06
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