The material below is designated as Open Game Content.
With an analysis of the various traits of transmutation complete, let us begin the harrowing task of working with what transmutation is, what it can do, and what a clever mage can do with it. Transmuters tend to be imaginative, resourceful, and somewhat arrogant. It is an understandable character flaw, given the power of transmutation and the tremendous willpower its use requires. Transmuters are usually very sure of themselves and consider much of the world and people around them from a viewpoint of ‘what can I make of that?’
That is a generalisation, of course, and especially with a school as varied as transmutation, generalisations are not always accurate. There are as many different types of transmuters as there are transmuters. Each is a unique personality, molded by the power of his magic and life experiences with it. Two different transmuters may delight in turning enemies into butterflies, but one might try to capture them in jars and add them to a living menagerie while the other just pulls their wings off.
This example of different personalities involves polymorph spells and moves us into our first transmutation lesson. Unlike other schools with well defined subsets of their magic, transmutation basically does one thing: the school changes things. As the SRD notes, ‘A transmutation usually changes only one property (of a target) at a time, but it can be any property’. This change is normally accomplished through the physical manipulation of an object, often caused by the casting of a polymorph or polymorph any object spell at higher levels of power.
A Study of Polymorph
Just what is polymorph and how does it work? Simply stated, polymorph spells make a sweeping change to the physical body of a target creature (or object, again at higher levels). These spells are not terribly precise, not allowing for a great deal of fine control, and generally only work to transform targets into basic representative creatures of whatever race the caster desires. This change is usually temporary, and it serves to provide the target with the average physical statistics of a creature of its new form. Great skill must be exercised when using polymorph magic, and a suggested new Knowledge skill can be found in this chapter to help guide what practitioners can and cannot do with it.
There are several reasons to use these spells in combat, even when more directly damaging magic might be available. Polymorphed creatures take on the physical statistics of the new form and can be as small as Fine. Nothing takes the steam out of a fire giant’s ferocious assault like being turned into a kitten. The new form retains its former hit points, saves, and base attack bonus, but this is not a problem when the best the fire giant can do is a ‘vicious’ 1 point claw attack.
Another important side effect of being polymorphed is what happens with special abilities. A target retains its type, spell-like, and extraordinary abilities, but loses its supernatural ones. This should be kept in mind. You can polymorph a rust monster into a beagle, but you still do not want to attack the adorable new puppy with a sword. If a monster’s supernatural abilities are giving you a hard time, you can take them all away with a polymorph. Just one spell, and a yeth hound can bay all it wants without threatening you in the slightest.
The size factors of polymorph are a considerable limitation on what can be done with the spell. You can only change something (even yourself) into a creature between Fine and one size category larger than its original form. This means you cannot turn a cat into a dragon, for example. The duration chart listed with polymorph any object in the SRD suggests that this size limitation is waived for that spell, and it is recommended that Games Masters allow that change in the spell. It is 8th level after all, and should be commensurately powerful.
An intriguing use of polymorph any object is suggested by the spell’s description but not detailed in any way. To quote, ‘A magic item or weapon or other object can be polymorphed into another type of magical object, but it never gains abilities superior to those of the original object’. This book suggests that this sentence allow the following effect. As long as the market value of the new form of the item in question is not greater than the original, polymorph any object can transform a magical item into any other magical item listed in the SRD, provided that the end result does not change the item’s classification. This allows a caster to change a magical weapon into any other magical weapon with new abilities as long as the final weapon does not end up with more ‘pluses’ worth of abilities. Classification in this case means category of magical items; weapons, armour, wondrous items, etc. It is not recommended that polymorph any object allow a change of spells in a charged item like a potion, scroll, wand, or staff, though the appearance of the item is freely mutable.
Form Equals Function
As can be seen with alter self, the form of a thing is directly related to its function. Transmutation magic can make nearly anything possible because it can make nearly anything into anything else. Seven levels down into a death-filled catacomb and no one remembers to pack rope? Transmutation can either negate the need for a rope or turn something else into one. Someone in the group desperately wounded and the cleric just got vaporised? Polymorph spells act as emergency healing in a pinch.
The single best low level spell in transmutation has to be alter self. You get flight, water breathing, and an instant disguise all in one spell. It is much easier to walk around an orcish encampment if you look like one, after all. A few polymorphs spread around (or alter self potions) and your entire traveling group can roam with you. There are times when the best combat tactic available is to not get into combat at all.
The above example illustrates an important point about form. Magic comes in many forms, and useful transmutation magic can be made doubly so if it is accessible to everyone. Learning to craft potions is one of the best things a transmuter can do in terms of party support. When everyone in the group can sprout wings, difficult land travel gets much easier. Of course, the various statistic boosting transmutation spells make wonderful potions and a well-supplied party should never be without them.
Scrolls, which any wizard can scribe and sorcerers can learn to make, are vital to a transmuter wishing to be as effective as possible with his vast spell selection. There are more spells in every level of arcane magic than any transmuter could ever hope to have prepared at once. Scrolls of less immediately needed but still useful transmutation spells let a caster keep the entire scope of his school at hand without trying to spend his prepared magic to do so. Bull’s strength is great; a scroll of bull’s strength for every member of your adventuring party is even better.
In many respects, alchemy is a mundane form of transmutation. In alchemy, you take several disparate and often unrelated ingredients and change them through heat, combination, and other methods into a working whole. It is little wonder then that many transmuters find themselves drawn to the art and science of alchemy.
The benefits of alchemical items are immense. What they do often borders on the magical, but they cannot be dispelled or negated and function perfectly in an antimagical area. A tanglefoot bag may not be as wide-reaching as a web spell, but it does not burn off and it will catch many creatures that move in webs without difficulty. A thunderstone may not be as powerful as shout, but give a bag of them to a Halfling with a sling and let the deafening fun begin.
It is recommended to Games Masters that if a transmuter (or any character) wishes to pursue alchemy, the things one can make with the skill Craft (alchemy) be allowed to grow with the imagination of the player involved. Use as a rule of thumb what seems to be suggested by existing alchemical items; 1st and 2nd level spells can be imbued into alchemical projects with a commensurate cost in both gold and weight. Let modern concepts of chemistry and physics guide you in the creation process, but remember that the skill of Craft (alchemy) is also a mystical one. Some things that should not theoretically work may be possible within the science of a fantasy campaign world.
If alchemy is allowed to grow and change like this, the world will slowly acclimatise to such advances. If a character invents an herbal healing draught that heals 1d4+1 hit points non-magically, several things will happen as soon as word gets out about it. First, the character is likely to become rich and popular very quickly. This can be a good thing, but there will be many individuals who will not be members of his fan club. Priests who are losing business and devotion from their flock because healing can now be obtained without a sermon are not likely to appreciate the character much at all. Thieves will come for the formula, and assassins may target him after being hired by other alchemists who do not like the competition.
From a role-playing sense, the fun that can be had with alchemy can also generate hundreds of storylines and chances for interaction. If a beauty cream requires a few threads from a sylph’s shawl, obtaining it could be the basis for an entire gaming session by itself. As you can see, one alchemical breakthrough can change the world, but then, is that not the whole point of transmutation?
The Skills of Change
When using any transmutation spell that deals with form and shape, it may be necessary to know what the character casting the spell actually knows and understands about what he wishes to duplicate. Under normal circumstances, the magic of the spell in question will make up for any imperfections in the spellcaster’s knowledge, but when trying something bizarre or complex, the Games Master is perfectly justified in making the character check the appropriate skill below.
These skills can also, at the Games Master’s option, allow a transmuter to duplicate the physical structures that provide a creature form with its extraordinary abilities. Not all abilities may be gained in this way, but some, like the Strands (Ex) power of a roper, might be granted through the use of a polymorph spell if the caster gets high enough skill checks on both Knowledge (anatomy) (see p76) and Knowledge (formcraft).
This skill has the same relationship to Knowledge (anatomy) as Spellcraft has to Knowledge (arcana). Whenever a transmuter uses a polymorph or alter self spell to create a structure or physiological shape not found in basic humanoids, the Games Master may require him to first understand the structure through the use of Knowledge (anatomy), then check against this skill to determine if he can craft it properly.
DC 10: Simple anatomical structures that provide locomotion or respiration (i.e. wings or gills). DC 15: Internal or external forms vital to sensory abilities (i.e. the nose of a wolf, providing Scent). DC 20: Complex internal or external shapes that function as physical non-magical abilities or special attacks (i.e. the attach and blood drain extraordinary powers of a stirge). DC 30: Biological processes that grant non-physical but mundane abilities (i.e. regeneration) DC 35: Duplicating obviously magical extraordinary abilities (i.e. the burrow power of a xorn).
As always, the Games Master is the final arbiter as to what can be duplicated with transmutation magic and what cannot. In any case, duplicated abilities must come from an existing creature of the appropriate size category for the spell in question.
The Many Forms of the Transmuter
It is not surprising that a school as widely varied as transmutation has many different sorts of practitioners and an uncountable number of specialised fields of study. The lore of form and shape can take decades to study, much less master, so most mortal transmuters choose a specific field to focus their efforts. This has given rise to many subsets of the art, some with but a handful of secluded devotees and others with wide-reaching organisation and well-known members. The basic school of transmutation is usually an example of the latter, depending on the campaign world.
Of the others, four appear in these pages. The channeller is a transmuter who has developed his ability to generate certain kinds of energy by making magical changes to his body. This path is a difficult one and not for the frail, as the stress a channeller places on himself in pursuit of an ultimate union of flesh and power can be fatal to those of low constitution. As such, only the hale and hearty ever join their ranks for long. Others simply burn out, consumed by the power they wished to master.
The skinshifter is often thought of as a primitive spellcaster no better than a shaman by those who do not understand his power. Using magic fueled by the energies of special prepared pelt he wears, a skinshifter can harness powerful transmutations and literally become different types of creatures. A skinshifter can gain the abilities, magic, and even intellect of the creature whose pelt he wears, though doing so carries risks of its own. While often prone to frenzies when tapping the primal fury of an animal hide, the skinshifter is no less intelligent than any other spellcaster and can easily teach this fact to those who would deride him for his behavior.
Windchasers wield their transmutation spells in conjunction with the air, a medium often ignored by other transmuters. With the wind as their ally, these spellcasters can fly, form protections and weapons, and call forth beings of air to act as allies and guardians. Often as mercurial as their preferred element, windchasers can be staunch allies and implacable foes. Windchasers are usually graceful and vivacious people, with storm-tossed hair and the billow of a spring breeze around them at all times.
Of all the specialised forms of transmutation, makers stand alone as the recipients of a special and precious gift; they can create life with their magic. This power begins small and must be nurtured through long and complicated study but as a maker grows in ability, the creatures she brings to life become larger and more powerful. When a maker reaches the pinnacle of her powers, she can impart upon her creations the ability to breed and create life of their own. A maker can become more than just a mage; she can be the progenitor of entire new species.
Transmuters have several energy-based spells available to them from other schools. Burning hands and shocking grasp are useful combat spells and many transmuters expecting trouble make sure to have them prepared. For the channeller, these spells are not just useful, they are cathartic. Most transmuters are content to cast these spells and use their abilities as they would any magic from other schools.
A channeller feels differently. From the first time his body changes and fire spews forth or lightning crackles across his skin, his path is set. A channeller concentrates his magic in the area of energy alterations, eventually making his entire body a suitable instrument for magical energy types. Each channeller chooses a special type of energy to be his focus and his skill at using this focus grows with experience until at the highest levels of power, the channeller literally becomes his chosen energy.
Constantly channelling power makes its mark on a channeller, from tiny bolts of lightning that spark between fingertips to a low constant hum of sonic energy that seems to ring through one’s bones. These side-effects can be unsettling for others, but for a channeller, they are simple signs of the emerging power that lives within them, waiting to be unleashed once again.
Hit Dice: d6
To qualify to become a channeller, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Spellcasting: Must be able to cast 3rd level arcane spells, two of which must be burning hands and shocking grasp
Feats: Spell Focus (transmutation), Endurance
Skills: Spellcraft 8 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 8 ranks
Statistics: Constitution 13+
The Channeller’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).
Skill points at each level: 2 + Int modifier
|Class Level||Base Attack||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Spells per Day|
|1||+0||+2||+0||+2||Energy Focus, Channelling Hands||+1 level of existing class|
|2||+1||+3||+0||+3||Channelling Gaze 1/day||+1 level of existing class|
|3||+2||+3||+1||+3||Energy Specialisation||+1 level of existing class|
|4||+3||+4||+1||+4||Greater Energy Focus||+1 level of existing class|
|5||+3||+4||+1||+4||Channelling Gaze 2/day||+1 level of existing class|
|6||+4||+5||+2||+5||Greater Energy Specialisation||+1 level of existing class|
|7||+5||+5||+2||+5||Limn the Body||+1 level of existing class|
|8||+6||+6||+2||+6||Channelling Gaze 3/day||+1 level of existing class|
|9||+6||+6||+3||+6||Become Energy||+1 level of existing class|
|10||+7||+7||+3||+7||Energy Union||+1 level of existing class|
All of the following are class features of the channeller prestige class.
Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Channellers gain no proficiency in any weapon or armour.
Spells per Day: A channeller continues training in magic. Thus, when a new channeller level is gained, the character also gains spells as if he had also gained a level in a spellcasting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any additional benefits a character of that class would have received, only the new spells.
This essentially means that he adds the level of channeller to the level of another spellcasting class the character already has and then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly. If the caster has more than one spellcasting class before he became a channeller, he must decide to which class he adds each level of channeller for the purposes of determining spells per day when he adds the new level.
Energy Focus: At 1st level, a channeller must choose one of the following energy types: fire, cold, sonic, electricity, or acid. He may then substitute this energy type when casting any spell with an energy designator. This substitution increases the casting time of the spell in question to a full round action unless the spell already takes longer than an action to cast. The channeller can perform this substitution once per day per level of this prestige class he possesses.
In addition, the DC of any spell the channeller casts with the chosen energy designator gains a +1 bonus. This bonus stacks with anything else, and if the spell in question requires a ranged or melee attack, it also modifies the attack rolls as an enhancement bonus.
Channelling Hands: The channeller can sacrifice any prepared spell or spell slot of 1st level or higher to cast burning hands or shocking grasp. This spontaneous spell does the channeller’s chosen type of energy damage instead of fire or electricity as normal. All details of the spell, including save DCs, is based on a 1st level spell cast at the channeller’s caster level, regardless of the spell’s original level.
Channelling Gaze (Su): Once per day at 2nd level (and increasing to twice at 5th and three times at 8th), the channeller can transform his eyes into conduits of energy. This generates a ray attack that can be used as a standard action. If it hits, the energy ray does 1d6 per level of channeller and offers no saving throw for half damage. Spell Resistance applies, and use of this power can not be dispelled and does not invoke an attack of opportunity.
Energy Specialisation: Whenever a channeller casts a damaging spell with an energy designator that matches his chosen form, he inflicts +2 points of damage. This extra damage is of the same energy type and does not have to be applied if the channeller chooses not to.
Greater Energy Focus: The bonus granted by Energy Focus increases to +2. This applies to both the spell DCs and to attack rolls as mentioned in Energy Focus above.
Greater Energy Specialisation: The damage bonus granted by Energy Specialisation increases to +4. This applies to energy designator spells of the channeller’s chosen type as mentioned in the power above.
Limn the Body (Su): By transforming the outer layer of his skin, the channeller can emit an energy field equal to the spell fire shield twice per day for as many rounds each time as his level of channeller. The damage form that this field inflicts is equal to his chosen form and it grants half damage protection against the chosen energy form.
Become Energy (Su): The channeller can now transform his body into a solid, living form of his chosen energy. This duplicated the spell iron body, except that it does not penalise his dexterity form in any way, does not increase his strength, and does not impose any arcane spell failure or armour check penalty. The channeller becomes immune to his chosen energy form, and he takes only half damage from other energy forms. This transformation is a standard action to initiate and can be assumed for as many rounds per day as the channeller’s caster level. Not all of these rounds need to be taken at the same time and can be divided up into any daily combination desired.
Energy Union: The ultimate expression of the channeller’s abilities, Energy Union permanently imbues the channeller’s body with his chosen energy form and turns him into a powerful living channel. His type changes to Elemental and he gains a +2 inherent bonus to Dexterity and Constitution. This permanent transformation is always accompanied by some physical trait that suggests the channeller’s new nature, from flames for hair to a constant sheen of acidic sweat.
The gift of life; normally the province of the gods, this indescribably precious ability can also be granted by rare and mysterious transmuters and necromancers known as makers. Each approaches how he or she instils the vital essence of life differently, but the end result is always the same - life from lifelessness. The power to create comes from both an inborn talent that few possess and magical mastery over the forces of life, death, and the sentient soul.
That, perhaps, is what sets makers apart from other mages. With the right spells, any wizard can make an inanimate object or body appear to live. Polymorph any object can even take an base item and transform it, albeit temporarily, into an animate creature. Makers do such things differently. While their magic is much more complex and takes a great deal more time in most cases, the beings that come from a maker’s skilled hand truly live and need never worry about duration or being dispelled.
Most makers discover their talents privately, work in seclusion, and never interact with another maker or even know that others like them exist. The potential inherent in a maker is staggering, with only the high cost and lengthy nature of their work imposing any real limits on what they can create. With enough time and materials, a skilled maker could fashion a veritable army of never-before seen creatures or build a perfect physical replica of anyone she wished. The mayhem and tyranny such power is capable of may well explain why makers are both very rare and prone to live in seclusion.
Hit Dice: d4
To qualify to become a maker, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Spellcasting: Must be able to cast 4th level spells
Skills: Knowledge (arcana) 10ranks, Knowledge (formcraft) 5 ranks, Knowledge (anatomy) 5 ranks, Spellcraft 10 ranks, Craft (alchemy) 10 ranks, Heal 5 ranks
Special: The talent for creating life is a rare and precious gift. As such, any character wishing to take levels in maker must have Games Master approval.
Special: A potential maker must have one of the following; Spell Focus (transmutation), Spell Focus (necromancy), or the Healing Domain.
The Maker’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).
Skill points at each level: 2 + Int modifier
|Class Level||Base Attack||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Spells per Day|
|1||+0||+0||+0||+2||Spark of Life, Aqua Vitae||+1 level of existing class|
|2||+1||+0||+0||+3||Awakener’s Gift 1/month||+1 level of existing class|
|3||+1||+1||+1||+3||Simple Creation||+1 level of existing class|
|4||+2||+1||+1||+4||Spiritshaping I||+1 level of existing class|
|5||+2||+1||+1||+4||Awakener’s Gift 1/week||+1 level of existing class|
|6||+3||+2||+2||+5||Complex Creation||+1 level of existing class|
|7||+3||+2||+2||+5||Spiritshaping II||+1 level of existing class|
|8||+4||+2||+2||+6||Awakener’s Gift 1/day||+1 level of existing class|
|9||+4||+3||+3||+6||Unbound Creation||+1 level of existing class|
|10||+5||+3||+3||+7||True Genesis||+1 level of existing class|
All of the following are class features of the maker prestige class.
Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Makers gain no proficiency in any weapon or armour.
Spells per Day: A maker continues training in magic to further her studies of life and living things. Thus, when a new maker level is gained, the character also gains spells as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any additional benefits a character of that class would have received, only the new spells.
This essentially means that she adds the level of maker to the level of another spellcasting class the character already has and then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly. If the caster has more than one spellcasting class before she became a maker, she must decide to which class she adds each level of maker for the purposes of determining spells per day when she adds the new level.
Spark of Life (Ex): The first stirring of a maker’s true gifts come in the form of spirit sight and the ability to touch souls and life energy. This takes the form of ghost touch, as per the special weapon property, on the maker’s physical body only, and true seeing, usable only to see Astral, Ethereal, out-of-phase, or incorporeal creatures. This ability also grants the ability to see alignments, though doing so requires a minute of uninterrupted study and is blocked by any form of mental protection or the feat Iron Will. The power of Spark of Life can not be suspended for any reason, and it does carry the limitation that incorporeal creatures do not need to manifest to harm her physically.
Aqua Vitae: Creating true life is a complicated and expensive process, part of which is alchemical in nature. A vital ingredient in magical genesis for a maker is the substance aqua vitae. Created through a blending of magic and alchemy, this prismatically shimmering clear liquid looks like liquid diamond and vaporises rapidly if exposed to the air. Difficult to make, it requires concentration and focus on the maker’s part. Any tiny slip during the making of aqua vitae can ruin the procedure completely.
To create aqua vitae, the maker must have a masterwork alchemist’s lab and 10,000 gold pieces in extra equipment. This expenditure must be paid again every time the brewing process fails, as the extra equipment is ruined when this occurs. The materials cost for a dose of aqua vitae is staggering: 50,000 gold pieces in precious gems, oils, essences, and biological ingredients. At the Games Master’s discretion, some or all of this cost can be reduced if the maker gathers the ingredients herself.
When all of the components are available, the maker begins work. Creating aqua vitae is a one week brewing process, does not require the Brew Potions feat, and requires a Craft (alchemy) check with a DC of 40. Taking 20 on this roll only increases the time needed, not the cost. The DC is lowered by five if the maker has the Brew Potions feat, and can be further lowered by five if she is willing to sacrifice one permanent hit point (which is unrecoverable, even with wish) to the mixture. Only one hit point can be spent in this manner. Failure occurs halfway through the process, which means only three days are lost if the aqua vitae is not successfully made.
Aqua vitae keeps indefinitely once made and can be stored under any conditions. If imbibed by a living being, it acts as a heal spell and is not ruined or prevented from working by dispelling magic or anti-magical fields. Only makers can brew true aqua vitae; other alchemists can use the formula, provided a maker will teach it to them, to make a potion that acts as a heal using the process above, but it will not suffice for the purposes of a maker’s Creation powers. Note that a normal alchemist can not lower the DC of aqua vitae’s creation by five through the sacrifice of a hit point.
Awakener’s Gift: By touch and concentration over the course of an hour, a maker can cast awaken as a spell-like ability. This power is amazingly only a side-effect of her burgeoning powers and not actually required for her true creations. The 250 experience points listed as a cost for awaken must still be paid, although if this power is used while feeding a dose of aqua vitae to the subject, the cost is waived and the hit points gained by the creature for its additional Hit Dice are maximised.
Simple Creation: The true power of a maker begins to show itself now. With a dose of aqua vitae and a special laboratory (25,000 gold pieces to stock and furnish), a maker can create any corporeal, living creature known to her. For any given creature to be made, the maker must have been able to examine either a living specimen and make a Knowledge (anatomy) check at DC 20 or a 90% intact dead one with a DC 30 check. The CR of the creature can not be greater than the maker’s level in this prestige class, and all beings made with this power have the average statistics for their race as listed in the SRD.
Crafting a living being with Simple Creation takes a number of days equal to the creature’s Challenge Rating squared. The maker can craft an outsider, but the creation process must take place on the outsider’s appropriate home plane. All beings made with this power are loyal to the maker, retain their natural alignment or have the maker’s alignment (maker’s choice), are not magically controlled in any way, and are completely alive. They are, however, invariably sterile. Only one creature can be Created at a time.
Spiritshaping: This power occurs in two stages. Spiritshaping I allows the maker to alter the life force of a being she is working on in certain subtle ways. She can raise or lower Intelligence, Wisdom, and/or Charisma by up to two points each. All additions must be balanced by subtractions. She can alter the creature’s alignment one step in any direction. She can also trade out any one feat the resulting creature would have for any other feat she knows of from other ‘learned’ creatures. Item Creation feats cannot be shared this way.
Spiritshaping II is considerably more powerful. All six ability scores can be modified by up to three points each, alignment can become whatever the maker desires, and any number of feats can be traded out provided the maker either knows of the feat from a researched creature or possesses it herself. Item Creation feats cannot be shared this way. This power also makes any creature the maker creates fertile, though this can be suppressed if the maker wishes.
Complex Creation: As Simple Creation, but the creature created can have various traits from different creatures. Any one ability score, other statistic, or group of special qualities or attacks can come from any creature with a Challenge Rating lower than the maker’s prestige class level, but the maker must have a physical sample of the donor creature(s) on hand during the creation process.
For the purposes of this power, the resulting creature’s CR is the sum of all the creatures that went into its formation, and Complex Creation can not make a creature with a final CR of greater than the maker’s prestige level. Using Complex Creation, an 8th level maker could make an elf (CR 1) with a formian’s natural armour (CR 3) and a displacer beast’s displacement and resistance to ranged attacks (CR 4) for a total of CR 8. Only one creature can be Created at a time.
Unbound Creation: Not quite as unlimited as the name suggests, this level of power allows a maker to exceed the previous limits of her Simple and Complex Creations by half again what they were before. Only the end challenge rating of a creature is modified in this way, so a creature made by Complex Creation can still only have traits from any being of a CR equal to the maker’s prestige level, but it can have a final CR of 1.5 times that level.
Also, if the maker wishes to use Simple Creation to make up to one dozen beings of all the same type (though gender and basic appearance may vary as she wishes), only one dose of aqua vitae is required for all of them and they can all be created at the same time. With Complex Creation, this can be done with up to six beings simultaneously, but they must all have the same modifications and aqua vitae is still required for each being separately.
True Genesis: The summit of a maker’s power occurs with the power of True Genesis. When making one creature at a time with Simple Creation, no aqua vitae is required. When selecting traits to blend into a creature with Complex Creation, character class levels can be used on a one level per CR basis. These levels must come from someone the maker has studied with Knowledge (anatomy) at a DC of 15 plus the character level of the creature studied. Any class can be transferred this way, and multiple classes count as separate additions equal to their individual levels.
Additions to abilities using Spiritshaping no longer have to be balanced with subtractions and outsiders can be made without having to be on their home plane. Perhaps most spectacularly, the maker can now apply templates to her creations through Complex Creations as if they were traits equal to the additional Challenge Rating they impose.
Thought of as a brutal savage with shamanic powers and a wild, untamable nature, this opinion is not entirely inaccurate. Even skinshifters from civilised lands tend to cultivate that reputation for the fear and intimidation it engenders in others. Skinshifters practice a form of transmutation magic that is animistic and primal; this easily leads to others assuming that they lack the finer points of higher spellcraft. When a skinshifter drops his bestial façade and works a complex spell as easily as the most refined wizard, this opinion changes quickly.
Most skinshifters come into their power as a matter of heritage. The lore and teaching of the path are almost entirely verbal and tend to be passed down along family lines only. The occasional skinshifter learns his craft from a recorded text written by a member of the class, but this is a rare occurrence. When an outsider learns the art, it is more likely taught to him by an elder skinshifter without heirs who does not wish his skills to die with him.
From father to son, mother to daughter, the art carries on; whispers in firelight impart the wisdom of the owl and the strength of the bear. From the cunning fox to the noble wolf, all creatures become part of the lore passed from one generation to the next. When the child throws off his mannish form to run howling in the woods at the heels of older skinshifters, the parent proudly knows that blood of their blood has joined the pack.
Hit Dice: d6
To qualify to become a skinshifter, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Spellcasting: Must be able to cast 3th level spells, and must not have transmutation as a banned arcane school.
Skills: Handle Animal 4 ranks, Survival 4 ranks
Class Feature: Barbarian Rage, Nature Sense, or Track as a class feature.
Special: The nature of this class is one of primal teachings and ancient animal wisdom. As such, characters who do not come from an appropriate background must have Games Master approval to take levels in this class.
The Skinshifter’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), and Survival (Wis).
Skill points at each level: 4 + Int modifier
|Class Level||Base Attack||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Spells per Day|
|1||+0||+2||+0||+2||Consume the Savage Spirit||+1 level of existing class|
|2||+1||+3||+0||+3||Animal Communion||+1 level of existing class|
|3||+2||+3||+1||+3||Skin Shape 1/day|
|4||+2||+4||+1||+4||+1 level of existing class|
|5||+3||+4||+1||+4||Become the Beast||+1 level of existing class|
|6||+4||+5||+2||+5||Skin Shape 2/day (dire)|
|7||+4||+5||+2||+5||Primal Power||+1 level of existing class|
|8||+5||+6||+2||+6||+1 level of existing class|
|9||+6||+6||+3||+6||Skin Shape 3/day|
|10||+6||+7||+3||+7||Share the Savage Spirit||+1 level of existing class|
All of the following are class features of the skinshifter prestige class.
Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Skinshifters gain no proficiency in any weapon or armour.
Spells per Day: A skinshifter continues training in magic as he explores the mysteries of the animal world and the beast within him. Thus, when a new skinshifter level is gained (except at 3rd, 6th, and 9th), the character also gains spells as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any additional benefits a character of that class would have received, only the new spells.
This essentially means that she adds the level of skinshifter (except for the 3rd, 6th, and 9th levels) to the level of another spellcasting class the character already has and then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly. If the caster has more than one spellcasting class before she became a skinshifter, she must decide to which class she adds each level of skinshifter for the purposes of determining spells per day when she adds the new level.
Consume the Savage Spirit: The path of the skinshifter begins with a feral hunt usually led by other, more experienced skinshifters. This hunt, which takes place over an entire night, must occur with the skinshifter assuming the form of some predator animal though whatever means are at his disposal. Polymorph is perfectly suitable for this transformation. The hunt ends after the new skinshifter takes down, kills, and eats an animal of at least two Hit Dice. The skinshifter then sleeps the rest of the night and upon awakening feels the stirring of primal energies within him.
This hunt can be recreated whenever the skinshifter wishes, up to one per night. He must adopt an animal form to hunt with and may not attack the creatures he hunts with anything but his new form’s natural weapons and extraordinary abilities if he has any. After the skinshifter awakens from a successful kill, he will be considered fully rested even if he only got an hour or more of actual sleep and he will have recovered as many hit points in healing as the animal he killed and fed upon.
Animal Communion: A skinshifter can communicate with any animal he can make physical contact with as if he had the constant ability of speak with animals. If he is wearing a more a 50% complete pelt of the same animal type as the one he is conversing with, touch is not required. Only one such pelt can be used in this manner at a time.
Skin Shape: The primary ability of a skinshifter, this power mimics the druid class ability Wild Shape in all respects. To use this power, the skinshifter must have and wear a pelt or important physical part (such as a full spread of wing feathers, etc.) of the animal type he wishes to change into. This power can take the skinshifter all the way down to Tiny or up to Large size. At 6th level, the skinshifter can use this power to assume a dire animal’s form. Most skinshifters choose a focus animal for their transformations, but it is not required.
Become the Beast: By harnessing the transmutation powers of his magic and the residual energies in a pelt he wears, the skinshifter can call upon the extraordinary abilities of the animal that pelt came from. This ability is usable at will, but it takes a standard action to invoke and requires concentration to maintain. If concentration is broken for any reason, the abilities gained linger for one round and then fade. While using this power, the skinshifter takes on subtle traits of the animal in question.
Primal Power: Whenever the skinshifter casts a transmutation spell that involves an animal, an animal form, or any kind of extraordinary power possessed by an animal, he does so at +2 caster levels and any saving throw necessitated by the spell is increased by +2. This bonus stacks with all others.
Share the Savage Spirit: Often used to initiate a skinshifter’s first hunt, this power allows the skinshifter to share a use of Skin Shape with up to five other beings, provided they are all in physical contact with him at the time of transformation. Only the skinshifter requires a pelt as the power dictates, but every other person being changed must have a small piece of the same animal type in their possession. Using Share the Savage Spirit drains a skinshifter of all remaining uses of Skin Shape for the day.
If the skinshifter wishes, the people sharing his Skin Shape can also partake in a hunt as described in Consume the Savage Spirit. Only one animal needs to be killed, but everyone involved must take part in the hunt. The kill is shared among the group, as are all of the benefits of doing so. This special hunt can take place once a month and traditionally occurs on the full moon, though this is not an actual limitation.
A free spirit, unbound by rules or limitations, the windchaser is a transmuter who has learned a powerful secret: form is meaningless. Both inspired and challenged by the ever-changing and never solid wind that blows over every land without respect for boundaries, a windchaser is as chaotic as they come and as mercurial as the element she seeks to embody.
The abilities given to a windchaser seem to literally come from thin air. No windchaser really knows what powerful force grants them the miraculous things they can do, but most are content to know that the air they love adores them enough to lift them up into itself and set them free to fly. As the windchaser grows in experiences, the breeze that constantly surround them acts as protector, weapon, and companion. Dubbed a ‘zephyr’ in the parlance of the windchasers, this friendly gale serves much like a familiar.
As one might assume from the personality types involved, windchasers do not have a close-knit society to speak of, but they are more social than one might guess. All winds are part a single whole, after all, and windchasers feel much the same way about each other. Even members of their ‘family’ that are plainly evil and vicious are treated with a level of respect and patience, though their depredations are not tolerated any more than normal. The wind may be a welcome friend, but you still go indoors when it starts to hail.
Hit Dice: d4
To qualify to become a windchaser, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Spellcasting: Must be able to cast 3rd level spells, including the spells fly and alter self. Must not have transmutation or conjuration as banned schools.
Feats: Dodge, Mobility
Skills: Perform (dance) 4 ranks, Jump 2 ranks, Tumble 2 ranks
Alignment: Any chaotic
Special: Must have made peaceful contact with an outsider from the elemental plane of Air.
Games Master’s Note: This class can be easily adapted to any element simply by altering the powers gained to reflect whichever plane the character in question has a sympathy for. Suggested names for these new prestige classes are Stonestriders, Wavewalkers, and Flamedancers.
The Windchaser’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Tumble (Dex).
Skill points at each level: 2 + Int modifier
|Class Level||Base Attack||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Spells per Day|
|1||+0||+0||+2||+2||Windriding, Weathersight||+1 level of existing class|
|2||+1||+0||+3||+3||Bonded Breeze||+1 level of existing class|
|3||+1||+1||+3||+3||Whispered Kiss||+1 level of existing class|
|4||+2||+1||+4||+4||Zephyr I||+1 level of existing class|
|5||+2||+1||+4||+4||Wind’s Embrace||+1 level of existing class|
|6||+3||+2||+5||+5||Zephyr II||+1 level of existing class|
|7||+3||+2||+5||+5||Call of the Stormborn||+1 level of existing class|
|8||+4||+2||+6||+6||Zephyr III||+1 level of existing class|
|9||+4||+3||+6||+6||Body of Air||+1 level of existing class|
|10||+5||+3||+7||+7||One with the Wind||+1 level of existing class|
All of the following are class features of the windchaser prestige class.
Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Windchasers gain no proficiency in any weapon or armour.
Spells per Day: A windchaser continues training in magic as secrets of arcane lore come whispered on the breeze to her. Thus, when a new windchaser level is gained, the character also gains spells as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any additional benefits a character of that class would have received, only the new spells.
This essentially means that she adds the level of windchaser to the level of another spellcasting class the character already has and then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly. If the caster has more than one spellcasting class before she became a windchaser, she must decide to which class she adds each level of windchaser for the purposes of determining spells per day when she adds the new level.
Windriding: When using any transmutation spell that allows flight of any kind, a windchaser gains a +10 ft. bonus to her movement rate and her maneuverability rate improves by one step. These bonuses are automatic, cannot be suppressed, and do not require any additional casting time or effort.
Weathersight: A windchaser always knows what the current weather is, even when she is indoors or underground and cannot see or hear outside. With a successful Wisdom check against a DC of 20, a windchaser can accurately predict the next day’s weather. This can be done as many days in advance as the windchaser wishes, with a separate check for each day, but once she fails a roll, the forecasting ability can not be used again until the days that were successfully foreseen elapse.
Bonded Breeze: Considered by many windchasers to be their most valuable and beloved gift, a small air elemental is gained at this level as a companion and familiar. Any previous familiar the windchaser had is retained, but its progression of abilities based on the windchaser’s level ceases to improve after she gains the elemental. This can cause slight animosity between the former familiar and the windchaser, but it does not have to. Appropriate role-playing can soothe ruffled feathers, so to speak.
The elemental familiar begins with all the abilities of a familiar gained at 1st level and progresses as the windchaser’s caster level does. It also gains special powers detailed in the class ability Zephyr, detailed below. If a windchaser’s elemental familiar is slain, it reappears when the current season ends and a new one begins and can not be regained before that.
Whispered Kiss: As long as there is open air between the windchaser and her intended recipient, she may use the spell whispering wind at will. This version of whispering wind sends to a specific person instead of a target location and will not deliver a message if the wind can not carry it to the recipient. For the purposes of this power, the range of one mile per caster level remains and the subject can be indoors as long as there are sufficient cracks and opening in the structure for a draft to enter. Targets who are underground beyond at least one closed door cannot be reached.
Zephyr: The elemental familiar the windchaser has been blessed with becomes more powerful as its bonded mistress gains experience. At Zephyr I, the elemental can act as a shield spell at will. Doing this occupies the familiar’s full attention and leaves it unable to do anything else each round it provides this protection. When Zephyr II is reached, the familiar can generate shocking grasp twice a day and ice storm once each day. Both of these effects occur at the windchaser’s level. Zephyr III increases the elemental’s size to medium (along with all commensurate ability and statistic changes as noted in the SRD) and allows it to generate sound burst at the caster’s level twice a day as massive booms of thunder.
Wind’s Embrace: The windchaser can finally express to her companions some of the wonder that she experiences when dancing among the clouds. Whenever she casts fly, it affects every ally she wishes it to within a 10 ft. burst centered on herself. All the improvements inherent in the power Windriding occur for every recipient of the fly spell.
Call of the Stormborn: The windchaser learns the secret language of flying creatures, allowing her to converse freely with any creature that possesses flight as a natural movement rate. This power also teaches the windchaser a special song that she can sing once per day. Using this song as a full round action, she can duplicate the effect of any summon nature’s ally spell up to VI. The only type of creatures that can be called with this spell are those capable of flight or elementals from the plane of Air. The windchaser is free to use the summon to call multiple creatures of lower levels, as detailed in the spell description.
Body of Air: The windchaser has become so favoured of the air that she may now transmute and transcend her physical form and move as wind itself does. She gains wind walk as a supernatural power usable once per day at her prestige class level of ability.
If the windchaser wishes to, she may expend any remaining duration of the wind walk ability to plane shift to the elemental plane of Air. This is an exhausting effort requiring 5 full rounds, but it cannot be hindered, even by effects such as dimensional anchor.
One with the Wind: The windchaser fully escapes her mortal beginnings at this level and becomes an elemental creature of Air permanently. Her physical form echoes some hint of her new nature, and she takes on the type Elemental with all commensurate changes and advantages. Regardless of her alignment, all forms of protection spells ward her out, unfortunately, as she is no longer a child of the Prime. Most windchasers consider this a small enough price to pay as they fly unfettered through the air they can now truly call home.