Shifters

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 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.

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.

Alignment

Shifters are usually neutral, viewing the struggle to survive as more important than moral or ethical concerns about how survival is maintained.

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.

Religion

Most shifters incline toward the druidbased 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.

Language

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 into their village or forest, for example, or a guide job gone sour.

Shifter racial traits

Shifter traits

Each shifter has one of the following special traits, which is selected when a character is created and cannot be changed thereafter.

Beasthide (Su)

While shifting, a beasthide shifter gains a +2 bonus to Constitution and natural armor that provides a +2 bonus to AC.

Longtooth (Su)

While shifting, a longtooth shifter gains a +2 bonus to Strength and 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. She 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 on her attack roll) while wielding a weapon.

Cliffwalk (Su)

While shifting, a cliffwalk shifter gains a +2 bonus to Dexterity and has a climb speed of 20 feet.

Razorclaw (Su)

While shifting, a razorclaw shifter gains a +2 bonus to Strength and 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 can not 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 a light off-hand weapon while wielding a weapon in her primary hand, but all her attacks in that round take a –2 penalty.

Longstride (Su)

While shifting, a longstride shifter gains a +2 bonus to Dexterity and a bonus of +10 feet to her base land speed.

Wildhunt (Su)

While shifting, a wildhunt shifter gains a +2 bonus to Constitution and 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 ranges noted above. Overpowering scents, such as skunk musk or troglodyte stench, can be detected at triple normal 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 who has the Track feat can follow tracks by smell, making Survival checks to find or follow a trail. The typical DC for a fresh trail is 10 (regardless of the surface that holds the scent). This DC increases or decreases depending on how strong the quarry’s odor is, the number of creatures producing the odor, and the age of the trail. For each hour that the trail grows cold, the DC increases by 2. This ability otherwise follows the rules for the Track feat. Shifters tracking by scent ignore the effects of surface conditions and poor visibility.

When not shifting, a wildhunt shifter gains a +2 bonus on Survival checks due to the lingering effects of the scent ability.