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Sorcerer's Guide to Kits


In short: Shapeshifter druids gain their shapeshifting ability earlier than other druids. They can shapeshift at 1st level (instead of 7th), but are restricted to creatures having hit dice less than or equal to half of the druid's level. The Shapeshifter can shapeshift twice as often per day as normal druids, but if done more than three times per day, the druid must make a saving throw or be stuck in animal form.

If three such saving throws are failed in a row, the druid will permanently keep the animal form. At 7th level, the shapeshifter can transform only parts of his body if so desired. Unlike normal druids, hit points are only gained when changing back into human form.

Description: Shapeshifter druids master their shape-changing powers at a lower experience level than other druids. This ability takes a special gift (perhaps a taint of lycanthropic or silver dragon blood in the druid's family tree) and intense training. But those who persevere, gain unusual metamorphic powers.

Shapeshifters have mercurial personalities. Although by no means chaotic, they are quick to anger, and easily moved to joy or tears. They make excellent spies or messengers and stand a good chance of being picked as servants to high-level druids, archdruids, or great druids.

Equipment: The druid should spend his initial allotment of gold pieces entirely on equipment, as he loses any unspent starting money in excess of 1 gp.

Special Benefits:

Shapeshifters gain their branch's shapechanging power at 1st level rather than at 7th level. However, until they reach 7th level, these druids can assume only the form of natural creatures whose Hit Dice total no greater than half their level (a 1st-level Shapeshifter only assumes the form of a creature with 6 HD or less). They can shapechange twice as often as their branch normally allows, which doubles the number of changes they can make daily (forest Shapeshifters, then, can change to animal, reptile, and bird form, each twice per day). Using this power more than the normal three times per day, however, may have dangerous consequences.

At 7th level, the Shapeshifter can transform only parts of his body if so desired.

Special Hindrances:

A Shapeshifter regains hit points only when resuming human form, and then recovers only 1D4 HP. If the druid has 0 HP or fewer, he regains none with his human shape.
If a Shapeshifter uses his power more than three times per day, then he must make a saving throw vs. spell after each extra use. A failure locks him into his current form until the next day, when he can attempt a new saving throw. However, for each failed save, the druid's next one bears a -1 penalty. If he fails three saving throws in succession, he keeps his current animal form permanently, as if he had been reincarnated as that creature. Only a polymorph any object, limited wish, or wish can turn him back to human or another form.

Source: The Complete Druid's Handbook
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