Kingmaker in Eberron
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.
Personality: The personality and behavior of shifters are influenced by their animal natures. Many are boorish and crude, while others are quiet, shifty, and solitary. Just as most lycanthropes are carnivores, shifters have a predatory personality and think of most activities in terms of hunting and prey. They view survival as a challenge, striving to be self-reliant, adaptable, and resourceful.
Physical Description: 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 beastial 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 think and worn long.
Relations: 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.
Shifter Lands: 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.
Dragonmarks: The fact that none of the dragonmarked houses includes shifters cements their place outside the mainstream of society.
Languages: Shifters speak common and rarely learn other languages.
Names: Shifters use the same names as humans, often ones that sound rustic to city-dwellers.
Adventurers: 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 in their village or forest, for example, or a guide job gone sour.
- +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Int
- Shapechanger Subtype: Shifters are humanoids with the shapechanger subtype.
- Low-light Vision: Shifters can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
- Beastial Nature: Shifters get a +2 racial bonus on Acrobatics, Climb, and Swim checks.
- Shifting (Su): A shifter can tap into her lycanthropic heritage to gain short bursts of physical power.
Once per day, a shifter can enter a state that is superficially similar to a barbarian’s rage. Each shifter has one of nine shifter traits— characteristics that manifest themselves early in a shifter’s life.
The secondary ability of each trait is considered always active, while the increase to a physical stat (Str, Dex, Con) activate only during the actual Shift.
Shifting is a free action and lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the shifter’s Con modifier. (If a shifter trait or other effect increases the character’s Con modifier, use the newly improved modifier.)
A shifter can take feats to improve this ability.
Every shifter feat a character takes increases the duration of shifting by 1 round. For every two shifter feats a character takes, the number of times a shifter can tap into the shifting ability increases by one. So, a character with two shifter feats can shift two times per day (instead of the usual one), and each use of the ability lasts for a number of rounds equal to 5 (instead of 3) + the shifter’s Con modifier.
Shifting, though related to and developed from lycanthropy, is neither an affliction nor a curse. It is not passed on by bite or claw attacks, and a shifter can’t be cured— shifting is a natural ability of the race.
- Shifter Trait: Each shifter has one of the following special traits, which is selected when a character is created and cannot be changed thereafter. These abilities represent inherited traits from the lycanthrope ancestry in the shifter bloodline.
- Beasthide (Su): A Beasthide shifter gains a +2 bonus to their natural armor, and while shifting gains a +2 bonus to Constitution.
- Dreamsight (Su): The Dreamsight trait is the rarest of all shifter traits, and many dreamsight shifters become Druids within their communities. Unlike other shifter traits that boost a physical ability, the dreamsight trait sharpens a shifter’s instincts and awareness. A Dreamsight shifter gains the ability to communicate with animals as if under the effect of a permanent speak with animals spell. In addition, the shifter gains a +2 bonus on Handle Animal and Wild Empathy checks. While shifting, a Dreamsight shifter gains a temporary +2 bonus to Wisdom.
- Gorebrute(Su): A Gorebrute shifter has two powerful horns that can be used as a natural weapon only during a charge attack, as they are too awkward to use otherwise. The horns deal 2d6 plus 1 point per four character levels in damage as a natural weapon. A gorebrute shifter can’t combine a charge attack with his horns with any other attack, even if he has the ability to make more than one attack as part of a charge (such as from the pounce ability). While shifting a Gorebrute shifter gains a temporary +2 bonus to Strength.
- Longtooth (Su): A Longtooth shifter grows fangs that can be used as a natural weapon, dealing 1d6 points of damage (plus an additional +1 for every four character levels she has) with a successful bite attack. The shifter cannot attack more than once per round with her bite, even if her base attack bonus is high enough to give her multiple attacks. She can use her bite as a secondary attack (taking a -5 penalty to her attack roll) while wielding a weapon. While shifting a Longtooth gains a +2 bonus to Strength.
- Cliffwalk (Su): A Cliffwalk shifter has a climb speed of 20 feet. While shifting, a cliffwalk shifter gains a +2 bonus to Dexterity.
- Razorclaw (Su): A Razorclaw shifter grows claws that can be used as natural weapons. These claws deal 1d4 points of damage (plus an additional +1 for every four character levels she has) with each successful attack. She can attack with one claw as a standard action or with two claws as a full attack action (as a primary natural weapon). She cannot attack more than once per round with a single claw, even if her base attack bonus is high enough to give her multiple attacks. She can attack with a claw as an off-hand weapon while wielding a weapon in her primary hand, but all her attacks in that round take the TWF -2 penalty. Razorclaw shifters gain a +2 bonus to Strength while shifting.
- Longstrider (Su): A Longstride shifter gains a +10 bonus to her base land speed. While shifting, a longstride shifter gains a +2 bonus to Dexterity.
- Truedive (Su): A Truedive shifter gains a Swim speed of 30 feet (which grants the shifter a +8 racial bonus on swim checks), and the shifter can also hold his breath for a number of rounds equal to 5x his Constitution score before he risks drowning. While shifting a Truedive shifter gains a +2 temporary bonus to his Constitution.
- Wildhunt (Su): A Wildhunt shifter gains the Scent ability. This ability allows the shifter to detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell. A wildhunt shifter can identify familiar odors just as a human does familiar sights. A wildhunt shifter can detect opponents within 30 feet by sense of smell. If the opponent is upwind, the range increases to 60 feet; if downwind, it drops to 15 feet. Strong scents, such as smoke or rotting garbage, can be detected at twice the normal range. Overpowering scents, such as skunk musk or troglodyte stench, can be detected at triple range. These stronger scents block other scents, so they can sometimes be used to confuse or hamper this shifter trait. When a wildhunt shifter detects a scent, the exact location of the source isn’t revealed— only its presence somewhere within range. The shifter can take a move action to note the direction of the scent. Whenever the shifter comes within 5 feet of the source, she pinpoints the source’s location. While shifting, a wildhunt shifter gains a +2 bonus to Constitution.