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The flexibility of transmutation magic can be a detriment at times as mentioned previously; the lack of definition in some spells leave them very open to interpretations both good and bad. Although many transmutation spells have nigh-infinite potential, this can be for naught if the player of a transmuter and the Games Master cannot agree on what they can do. That is where these new feats come in.
A defined feat can provide structure to the open abilities of a spell or magical power, allowing a basis for agreement and a good starting point for further definition. Bodycrafter, for example, grants several new functions to the spell alter self. By doing so, it expands the spell in question while strictly denoting what it can do. Body Channel does essentially the same thing, taking its cue from burning hands and addressing the ‘altering the body to emit energy’ ability inherent in that spell.
Not every feat herein addresses existing material, of course. Many are completely new, granting new powers or taking transmutation in directions never before explored. Spell Artistry lets a spellcaster craft new special effects for his spells on the fly, making them both unique and difficult to identify effectively. Lifebound Spell is a metamagic feat that allows a spell to become a permanent effect that cannot be dispelled while the caster lives.
No spell effect, no matter how modified or expanded, is of any use if it gets resisted or the target is immune. Many forms of creature are effectively immune to transformation, being either formless, defended against alterations, or possessing of a very high Fortitude save. As transmutation magic is worthless if the target is immutable, the feat Cumulative Alteration can work wonders. It allows each successive use of the same spell against a single target to become more difficult to resist.
Expertise and visualisation skills are vital to a successful transmuter; these skills can be emulated with some of the feats in this section. Form Focus lets a transmuter choose a creature type and increases the DC of her transmutation spells when she tries to transform targets into representations of that type. Combined with other feats that improve spell DCs, feats like Form Focus can make a transmuter’s magic extremely difficult to overcome.
Anatomical Mastery (General)
Your innate ability to expertly cast polymorphic spells, knowledge of anatomy, and attention to detail allows you to perform fine and exacting work easily.
Prerequisites: Knowledge (anatomy) 4 ranks or Sneak Attack +2d6 or greater, Spell Focus (transmutation)
Benefit: When you cast a transmutation spell that affects one or more ability scores, you add +1 to the resulting modification. If your spell grants a bonus to the Disguise skill, you may treat the Disguise check rolled to determine your success with the spell as a natural 20. Also, if the transmutation spell is one that would affect the physical body and targets creatures, corporeal undead are not immune to it as they normally would be. Undead targeted in this way still benefit from a Fortitude save.
This feat cannot be taken more than once.
Body Channel (General)
You possess an ability to alter your body to emit energy.
Prerequisites: Constitution 13+, Caster Level 1+, Ability to cast transmutation spells
Benefit: Choose a form of energy from fire, cold, electricity, acid, or sonic. At the cost of any 1st or higher level spell you have prepared or can cast without preparation (in the case of a sorcerer), you can generate one of the following effects using the chosen energy type. You may emit a five feet long by 15 feet wide fan, a ray (ranged touch attack) with a 30 foot range, or a melee touch attack. Damage for this energy attack is 1d4 + 2 points per caster level to a maximum of +20 points. In the case of the melee touch attack, the base damage die is increased to 1d8.
This feat can be used as often as desired as long as you have spells to expend for it. Expending a spell requires the same kind of action it would take to cast. The energy attack is considered a transmutation spell effect and may be Spell Resisted normally. The fan form of this feat offers a Reflex save (DC 11 + Caster’s spellcasting attribute modifier) for half damage, but the other two forms do not.
You understand how the physical bodies of living creatures work. This lets you do more with alteration spells than would otherwise be possible.
Prerequisites: Spell Focus (transmutation), Knowledge (formcraft) 5 ranks
Benefit: When casting the spell alter self, you may incorporate one exceptional ability, attack form, or movement mode from any animal or beast type creature into your resulting form for every three caster levels. If you choose flight as one of these choices, you gain average maneuverability instead of poor. A second choice of flight (taking up another feature choice) will grant the ability to hover. Choosing gills will grant not only water breathing but also modifies the resulting form to see clearly underwater to a distance of 60 feet.
Attack forms grant damage type and dice, but they must be adjusted to match the caster’s size. Supernatural and spell-like abilities, if any, are not duplicable by this feat in any way.
Your transformations via the spell shapechange are extremely powerful, completely transforming your body to duplicate the desired form in every respect.
Prerequisites: Bodycrafter, Primary Spellcasting Ability Score 20+ , Knowledge (formcraft) 15 ranks
Benefit: Whenever you benefit from the spell shapechange, you may choose to use this feat. If you do, the first form you take grants you all of its abilities except those that also provide the ability to change shape or that summon other creatures. Physical ability scores and traits (natural armour, base attack bonuses, etc.) change to match the assumed form. Mental statistics remain the same as yours, regardless of form.
You gain all the advantages and disadvantages of the new type instantly, and can take on any creature type or subtype with the exception of undead or construct. If you also possess the Spell Focus (necromancy) feat, you can even attempt to take on the undead type. To do so, you must make a Fortitude save (DC 20). Failure negates the shape change spell and inflicts a backlash of 9d6 negative energy damage on you.
If you later take on another form during the duration of the shapechange, the effects of Chrysalis end and the spell is treated as normal until its duration runs out, even if you adopt the initial form again.
Cumulative Alteration (General)
Your transmutation spells have a lingering effect when they do not successfully transform a creature.
Prerequisites: Any metamagic feat pertaining to spell duration, Concentration 5 ranks
Benefit: Whenever you cast a transmutation spell that is negated by Spell Resistance or a successful saving throw, you may make a Concentration check. The DC for this check is either the saving throw rolled against your spell or 5 + the Spell Resistance of the creature or object in question. If this check is made, the subject now carries a residual trace of your spell that lasts as long as the spell would have normally or one day, whichever is less. You can hang as many traces on a single target as you have points of Intelligence modifier.
For every trace of a given spell on a target, it suffers a -2 to its Spell Resistance and saving throw against that specific spell. This penalty is suffered regardless of caster, so a team of spellcasters with this feat can quickly overcome even the strongest of defenses. Note that once a target creature is successfully affected by a spell, all traces left by failed castings of that spell are erased immediately.
Form Focus (General)
You are extremely effective at transforming targets into one specific type of creature.
Prerequisite: Spell Focus (transmutation)
Benefit: You choose one creature type as listed in the SRD. Whenever you cast a spell that can transform or polymorph a target into that type of creature, the DC of the spell increases by +2 and the duration of the spell is automatically extended to 150% of normal. Any feat or effect that would extend the duration further uses this increased value as the spell’s base duration for calculating its effect.
You may take this feat multiple times, but its effects apply to a new creature type each time.
Greater Transmutation (General)
Your ability to change yourself and others is more powerful than your experience would normally allow.
Prerequisite: Spell Focus (transmutation)
Benefit: When casting spells from the school of transmutation, all level dependent variables are calculated as if you were four levels higher than your actual caster level. No aspect of a spell can be advanced in this way past the spell’s listed maximum, if any, for that variable.
At the Games Master’s option, this feat can easily be changed to apply to any other school of magic. Each one would be a unique feat unrelated to the others of its kind. This feat can not be taken more than once, but an altered version like Greater Conjuration could also be selected as they apply to different schools.
Lifebound Spell (Metamagic)
Your magic can be made to live as long as you do, far surpassing its normal duration.
Prerequisites: Extend Spell, Caster Level 7+
Benefits: This is a costly and difficult metamagic feat to use, but its effect is quite extraordinary. A spell cast with Lifebound Spell drains you of one hit point per original level of the spell immediately. If the spell successfully affects the target, this feat increases its duration to indefinite. As long as you live, the spell continues and cannot be dispelled, negated, or suspended by any mortal means. If you are ever killed, any Lifebound spells you have currently active are negated instantly.
The hit points lost by casting a Lifebound spell remain gone and unrecoverable as long as the spell lasts. If the spell does not succeed in affecting its target, the damage can be healed immediately if you have some way of doing so. Otherwise, the hit point loss is permanent until your target is freed by your death. If you are brought back to life subsequently, you must make a Fortitude save with a DC of 10 + the number of outstanding hit points lost to Lifebound spells. Failure means half the hit points spent are lost permanently. After this save, half or all of your spent hit points return.
Memorising a spell with Lifebound Spell uses up a spell slot three levels higher than the original spell. The spell must have a duration other than instantaneous and cannot be one that affects hit points or ability scores.
Tainted Transformation (General)
When you cast certain polymorph spells, potent dimensional energies influence the result.
Prerequisites: School Focus (transmutation), Ability to cast spells from the school of conjuration
Benefit: When you cast alter self, polymorph or any spell that directly duplicates these effects, the end result is always modified by the inclusion of dimensional energies. The physical form desired by the spell is changed somewhat to mirror the kind of influence that occurs. Because the energies of the lower planes are often easier to draw on, as is the nature of evil, your polymorphs are influenced by the lower planes automatically until your caster level reaches 5th. After that, you have developed enough control to choose upper or lower planar energies as you desire.
The influence is not merely a physical one. Any creature polymorphed by you takes on the Fiendish template from the SRD until the spell ends. This foul energy also shifts the polymorphed creature one alignment step towards evil for the duration of the spell. At caster level 6+, you can choose to make this influence Celestial instead. The alignment shift is towards good in this case. The alignment shift caused by this spell is not cumulative; only one step of alignment shift occurs in a given subject regardless of the number of tainted transformations cast. Also, a Will saving throw against a DC 16 prevents this shift from occurring at all.
The Games Master may choose to have this feat represent some part of your character’s background, like a tainted bloodline or an ancestor’s pact with extraplanar forces. In this case, your character may not even realise he has this feat. Also, the possession of this feat can alter the appearance of any transmutation spell you cast, but only alter and polymorph spells have any direct game effect applied to them.
Spell Artistry (General)
You have acute control over the various sensory effects of your spells.
Benefit: When you cast a spell, you may make a Concentration check at a DC of 10 + the level of the spell to alter the way it manifests. The basic effects of the spell do not change, but the appearance of it can be virtually anything you can imagine. With a successful check, you can for example modify magic missiles to appear as ghostly crossbow bolts or tiny arcs of lightning. Even spells that do not normally have a manifestation can be given one. A teleport could leave a flash of incandescent light behind after you depart or cause one to appear moments before you arrive at your destination.
None of the visual effects from Spell Artistry can have a true game effect, but modifying a spell through the use of this feat does make it more difficult to identify. Any Spellcraft check made to figure out the spell being cast with Spell Artistry has its DC improved by 5. Unfortunately, if the Concentration check to use this feat fails, the spell is negated and lost. You may not ‘take ten’ on this roll.