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So I'm working on building Doctor Octopus and looking to add tentacle attacks (without using a cheesy synthesist summoner). A Kraken Caller Druid gets two at 4th level in their natural form (and more later). I was thinking about adding a 1 level dip in Shifter and make use of their Alternate Natural Attacks to turn their two claw attacks into two tentacle attacks, but I'm unsure if I can.

Here is the Alternate Natural Attacks text:

A shifter can draw on her chosen animal aspect to transform her hands into deadly weapons, as represented by the shifter’s claws class feature, but not every animal has prominent claws. The following list provides alternate natural attacks for the shifter claws class feature. Each time the shifter activates her shifter’s claws ability in her natural form, she can manifest one of the alternate natural attacks listed below for any of her chosen aspects, or those that relate to her archetype. Each alternate natural attack replaces one of the shifter’s claw attacks. The shifter can gain up to two different alternate natural attacks with this method. These alternate natural attacks modify only the damage type of the shifter’s natural attacks and otherwise function exactly as the shifter claws class feature.

The bolded part is the part that's tripping me up. I, of course, want to go with an Octopus aspect, which has these natural attacks listed:

Octopus: Bite (B, P, S), tentacle (B).

Am I able to turn my two claw attacks into two tentacle attacks? Or would I have to turn one claw into a bite and one into a tentacle?

Also, if I turn one or more claw attacks into tentacles, do my whole arms become tentacles thereby making them unusable for other things?

And can I take Alternate Natural Attacks with the Adaptive Shifter archetype?

Finally, am I correct that when using the Kraken Caller's Wild Shape ability to add tentacles while in my natural form I can also stack on Shifter's claws?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You might also consider a couple levels in Alchemist or any other archetype that gives their mutation discoveries (Mutation Warrior comes to mind) \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Apr 20 at 22:49
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The with the exception of the Adaptive Shifter archetype, the relevant abilities don't seem to conflict so you should be able to accomplish what you're going for.

From the Kraken Caller's Wild Shape:

The kraken caller can alternatively expend a daily use of wild shape to grow tentacles out of her body while otherwise retaining her own form. This effect lasts for 10 minutes per level, or until the kraken caller changes back.

At 4th level, the kraken caller grows two tentacles while in this form. The tentacles have a reach of 5 feet regardless of the kraken caller’s size, and the kraken caller can use them as secondary natural attacks that deal 1d4 points of damage (1d3 for a Small kraken caller). She also gains a racial bonus on Climb, Swim, and dirty trick combat maneuver checks equal to the number of tentacles grown.

At each of 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th levels, a kraken caller can grow an additional tentacle...

The relevant text from Shifter:

The claws on each hand can be used as a primary natural attack, dealing 1d4 points of piercing and slashing damage (1d3 if she is Small)...

Each alternate natural attack replaces one of the shifter’s claw attacks. The shifter can gain up to two different alternate natural attacks with this method.

The second text isn't to restrict you from taking two Tentacle attacks, but from taking more than two. It also provides that they don't have to both be Tentacles, if you would rather have a Bite.

Using both would provide you, starting at 5th level 4 Tentacle attacks, and going up to 8 at 12th level.

  • 2 Tentacle replace your hands, and are Primary Natural Attacks
  • 2-6 Tentacles grow from you, and are Secondary Natural Attacks

No rule restricts you from holding things in your Tentacle. The rules on Natural Attacks even specify

Creatures with natural attacks and attacks made with weapons can use both as part of a full attack action (although often a creature must forgo one natural attack for each weapon clutched in that limb, be it a claw, tentacle, or slam).

which implies that you actually could wield manufactured weapons. Neither class feature explicitly removes this function. However, actually allowing or disallowing could vary by GM. (Personally, I would allow weapon(s) in the Primary Shifter tentacles, but not the Kraken Caller tentacles... but allow non-weapons to be held by any of them).


You could not (generally, ask your GM) take Alternate Natural Attacks with the Adaptive Shifter archetype.

Alternate Natural Attacks requires that your choices relate to:

Each time the shifter activates her shifter’s claws ability in her natural form, she can manifest one of the alternate natural attacks listed below for any of her chosen aspects, or those that relate to her archetype.

The Adaptive Shifter archetype removes Aspects and is not, strictly speaking, related to Octopi. You may have stronger support for asking for the ability if you take the Reactive Form

Aquatic Form: The adaptive shifter gains a swim speed equal to her base speed, and she can breathe underwater.

but even that is not RAW justification for allowing the choice.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the answer! One question though, what is the wording or rule that the tentacles replace my hands? I know that claws would occupy the characters hands, but surely if a claw attack were replaced with a bite or gore attack it wouldn’t. \$\endgroup\$ – OzzyKP Apr 21 at 0:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I suppose that would technically be up to the GM... I don't see anything specific about that, but I would generally assume it does because a Tentacle is another Limb option. RAW, any natural attack you select is from your hands... "The claws on each hand..." and "These alternate natural attacks modify only the damage type of the shifter’s natural attacks and otherwise function exactly as the shifter claws class feature. " \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Apr 21 at 2:50

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