Shifters, sometimes called “the weretouched,” are descended from humans and natural lycanthropes, now nearly extinct on Khorvaire. Shifters cannot fully change shape but can take on animalistic features—a state they call shifting. Shifters have evolved into a unique race that breeds true. They have a distinct culture with its own traditions and identity.
Shifters are basically humanoid in shape, but their bodies are exceptionally lithe. They often move in a crouched posture, springing and leaping while their companions walk normally alongside. Their faces have a bestial cast, with wide, flat noses, large eyes and heavy eyebrows, pointed ears, and long sideburns (in both sexes). Their forearms and lower legs grow long hair, and the hair of their heads is thick and worn long.
Shifters have no land of their own. Being descended from human stock, they live in human lands. Unlike changelings, however, shifters often live in rural areas away from the crowded spaces of the cities. They are most commonly encountered in the Eldeen Reaches and other remote areas that can be found in all the nations. Many shifters earn their way as trappers, hunters, fishers, trackers, guides, and military scouts.
Many races feel uncomfortable around shifters, the same way they feel around any large predator. Of course, some grow to appreciate individual shifters despite their natural aversion, and halflings in general get along well with them. For their part, shifters are accustomed to distrust and don’t expect better treatment from members of the other races, although some shifters try to earn respect and companionship through acts and deeds.
Alignment and Religion
Shifters are usually neutral, viewing the struggle to survive as more important than moral or ethical concerns about how survival is maintained. Most shifters incline toward the druid-based religion of the Eldeen Reaches, believing in the divine power of the earth itself, the elements, and the creatures of the earth. Those shifters who revere the pantheon of the Sovereign Host are drawn toward the deities Balinor and Boldrei, while other shifters follow the Traveler. Shifters rarely worship the Silver Flame.
Moving from the rugged, self-reliant life of a shifter trapper or hunter to an adventuring life is not a big step. Many shifters find themselves embarking on adventuring careers after something happens to disrupt their everyday routines—a monstrous incursion into their village or forest, for example, or a guide job gone sour.
The fact that none of the dragonmarked houses includes shifters cements their place outside the mainstream of society.
Shifters use the same names as humans, often ones that sound rustic to city-dwellers.
More Shifter Information
Shifter Racial Traits
-2 Charisma: In many ways the shifter mindset is closer to that of an animal than a humanoid.
Medium: As Medium creatures, shifters have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Shifters have a base land speed of 30 feet.
Low-Light Vision: Shifters can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Damage Reduction: Shifters gain damage reduction 1/silver.
Wild Empathy: Shifters can use wild empathy as a 1st-level druid. This stacks with any other wild empathy they may gain.
Shifting (Su): A shifter can take on bestial traits as a free action, taking a -2 penalty to Int but also gaining a + 2 bonus to two other ability scores chosen at 1st level. He may spend a total number of rounds per day shifted equal to 3 + his Con modifier, + 1 for every level after 1st and + 1 for every shifter feat he possesses. Any round in which the shifter takes a move action to concentrate does not count against this daily limit.
Razorclaw: While shifting you gain 2 claws as secondary natural weapons, dealing 1d4 + 1 damage for every four character levels.
Athletic: A shifter gains a + 2 bonus on Acrobatics and Climb checks.
Languages: Shifters begin play speaking Common. Shifters with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Elven, Gnome, Halfling, and Sylvan.
Alternate Racial Traits
The following traits may replace Razorclaw or one of the ability score boosts gained while shifting.
Beasthide: While shifting you gain a + 2 bonus to natural armor. If you gain this ability a second time the bonus increases by an additional + 2.
Beastmind: You do not take a penalty to Intelligence while shifting, and may apply one of the ability score boosts from shifting to Intelligence. If you gain this ability a second time you may expend 1 round of shifting as a full-round action to change your remaining shifter trait to any other shifter trait; if you later gain additional shifter traits they remain fixed.
Cliffwalk: While shifting you gain a climb speed equal to half your land speed. If you gain this ability a second time your climb speed becomes equal to your land speed.
Dreamsight: While shifting you gain the benefits of a speak with animals spell and a + 2 bonus on wild empathy checks. In addition, Handle Animal is always a class skill for you. If you gain this ability a second time then while shifting you also gain Skill Focus (Perception) as a bonus feat and may spend a swift action to gain the benefits of see invisibility for 1 round.
Gorebrute: While shifting you gain a set of horns as a primary natural weapon, dealing 1d6 damage + 1 damage for every four character levels. You may only use these horns as part of a charge. If you do not attack with any other weapons as part of this charge, your horns deal double damage. If you gain this ability a second time then once per round when you damage a creature with your horns you may make a trip attempt against them as a free action.
Longstride: While shifting you gain a + 10 feet bonus to land speed. If you gain this ability a second time the bonus increases by an additional + 10 feet.
Longtooth: While shifting you gain a bite as a primary natural weapon, dealing 1d6 damage + 1 damage for every four character levels. If you gain this ability a second time then any living creature damaged by your bite attack also takes 1 point of Constitution damage.
Razorclaw: If you gain this ability a second time then you can make two claw attacks at the end of a charge at your highest attack bonus (plus the + 2 bonus for charging).
Swiftwing: While shifting you gain a fly speed equal to half your land speed with average maneuverability. You may not use your hands for anything while flying, though they may still carry objects. In addition, Fly is always a class skill for you. If you gain this ability a second time your fly speed becomes equal to your land speed, its maneuverability becomes good, and you gain a + 4 bonus on Fly checks even while not shifting.
Truedive: While shifting you gain a swim speed equal to your land speed, and a + 8 bonus on Swim checks. In addition you may hold your breath for a number of rounds equal to 5 times your Constitution score, even while not shifting. If you gain this ability a second time your swim speed increases by + 10 feet and you do not take penalties on melee attacks underwater.
Wildhunt: While shifting you gain the Scent ability. In addition, Survival is always a class skill for you. If you gain this ability a second time then while shifting you also gain blindsense 30 feet.
Favored Class Bonuses
Alchemist: Whenever you ingest a mutagen or cognatogen, your increased ability score increases by an additional + 1/5.
Barbarian: The barbarian gains + 1/2 bonus rounds to a special pool which can be used for rage or shifting.
Druid: Add a + 1/2 bonus on Knowledge (Nature) checks and Intimidate checks to change a creature’s attitude.
Fighter: The fighter gains + 1/3 DR/silver.
Monk: Add a + 1/2 circumstance bonus on critical hit confirmation rolls with natural weapons while shifting (maximum bonus of + 4). This bonus does not stack with Critical Focus.
Ranger: Add a + 1/2 bonus on Survival checks and Intimidate checks to change a creature’s attitude.
Wilder: Add + 1 bonus power point.
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