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PF2 Rules Shapechanging

Pathfinder 2 – Reference

Rules – Shapechanging

Source: PF2 Core Rulebook (pf2-cr)

Here is my rules review on Shapechanging in Pathfinder 2.

Overview of the Rule Reference on Shapechanging

  • Animal Instinct (pf2-cr-86) – Barbarian Animal Shapechange
  • Dragon Instinct (pf2-cr-86) – Barbarian Draconic Shapechange
  • Giant Instinct (pf2-cr-87) – Barbarian Giant Shapechange
  • Wild Order (pf2-cr-132) – Druid Ability
Barbarian

Animal Instinct:

  • (1st) Animal Instinct (pf2-cr-86) – Barbarian Class Feature
  • (6th) Animal Skin (pf2-cr-90) – Barbarian Feat
  • (7th) Weapon Specialisation (pf2-cr-85) – Barbarian Class Feature
  • (8th) Animal Rage (pf2-cr-91) – Barbarian Feat
  • (9th) Raging Resistance (pf2-cr-85) – Barbarian Class Feature
  • (12th) Predator’s Pounce (pf2-cr-92) – Barbarian Feat

Dragon Instinct:

  • (1st) Dragon Instinct (pf2-cr-86) – Barbarian Class Feature
  • (6th) Dragon’s Rage Breath (pf2-cr-90)
  • (7th) Weapon Specialisation (pf2-cr-85) – Barbarian Class Feature
  • (9th) Raging Resistance (pf2-cr-85) – Barbarian Class Feature
  • (12th) Dragon’s Rage Wings (pf2-cr-92) – Barbarian Feat
  • (16th) Dragon Transformation (pf2-cr-93) – Barbarian Feat

Giant Instinct:

  • (1st) Giant Instinct (pf2-cr-87) – Barbarian Class Feature
  • (6th) Giant’s Stature (pf2-cr-91) – Barbarian Feat
  • (7th) Weapon Specialisation (pf2-cr-85) – Barbarian Class Feature
  • (9th) Raging Resistance (pf2-cr-85) – Barbarian Class Feature
  • (12th) Titan’s Stature (pf2-cr-92) – Barbarian Feat
  • (14th) Giant’s Lunge (pf2-cr-93) – Barbarian Feat
  • Animal Instinct – Provides an Anathema and Bestial Rage
    • Anathema – Flagrantly disrespecting an animal of your chosen kind is anathema to your instinct, as is using weapons while raging.
    • Bestial Rage – You polymorph your body to use attacks of your chosen animal type gaining the morph, primal and transmutation traits.
  • Dragon Instinct – Anathema and Draconic Rage
    • Anathema – Letting a personal insult against you slide is anathema to your instinct. Choose whether your character respects or abhors your dragon type. If you respect it, defying such a dragon is anathema, and if you abhor it, failing to defeat such a dragon you come across is anathema.
    • Draconic Rage – Increase damage and change type to dragon damage type and gains the arcane and evocation traits.
  • Giant Instinct – Anathema and Titan Mauler
    • Anathema – Failing to face a personal challenge of strength is anathema.
    • Titan Mauler – Using weapons larger than normal.
  • Weapon Specialisation – Extra damage with proficiency and a specialisation ability of the instinct.
    • Animal Instinct – Increase of damage for Bastial Rage attacks.
    • Dragon Instinct – Increased the damage from Draconic Rage attacks.
    • Giant Instinct – Increase the damage from larger weapons during rage.
  • Raging Resistance – Gain resistance of 3 + Con mod.
    • Animal Instinct – Resist Piercing and slashing
    • Dragon Instinct – Resist energy type
Druid

Wild Order Advancement: Becoming fully domesticated by the temptations of civilization is anathema to your order. (This doesn’t prevent you from buying and using processed goods or staying in a city for an adventure, but you can never come to rely on these conveniences or truly call such a place your permanent home.)

  • (1st) Wild Shape (pf2-cr-134) – Druid Feat
  • (4th) Form Control (pf2-cr-135) – Druid Feat
  • (4th) Thousand Faces (pf2-cr-135) – Druid Feat
  • (6th) Insect Shape (pf2-cr-136) – Druid Feat
  • (8th) Ferocious Shape (pf2-cr-136) – Druid Feat
  • (8th) Soaring Shape (pf2-cr-137) – Druid Feat
  • (10th) Elemental Shape (pf2-cr-137) – Druid Feat
  • (10th) Plant Shape (pf2-cr-138) – Druid Feat
  • (12th) Dragon Shape (pf2-cr-138) – Druid Feat
  • (16th) Monstrosity Shape (pf2-cr-139) – Druid Feat
  • (18th) Perfect Form Control (pf2-cr-139) – Druid Feat
  • (20th) True Shapeshifter (pf2-cr-139) – Druid Feat
  • Wild Shape – Access to the Wild Shape Focus Spell that can be expanded with feats.
  • Form Control – Last longer in the form in a lesser form.
  • Thousand Faces – Gain Humanoid form to wildshape list.
  • Insect Shape – Add insect form to wildshape list. If non-flying insect then the duration increases to 1 day.
  • Ferocious Shape – Add dinosaur form to wildshape list. Adds and increase to an existing Athletics modifier of +1.
  • Soaring Shape – Add bat and bird forms from aerial form to wildshape list. If you have insect form, add wasp. If you have wildshape add pterosaur. Adds and increase to an existing Acrobatics modifier of +1.
  • Elemental Shape – Add elemental form to wildshape list. Adds fire resistance to wildshape forms
  • Dragon Shape – Add dragon form to wildshape. Adds resistance 5 to selected energy type (acid, cold, electricity, fire or poison) to wild shape forms.
  • Monstrous Shape – Add monstrosity form purple wurm and sea serpent to wildshape list. If you have soaring shape you add phoenix form to wildshape list.
Wizard
  • Arcane School – Transmutation (pf2-cr-208) – Wizard Ability

Traits of Shapechange

  • Animal: An animal is a creature with a relatively low intelligence. It typically doesn’t have an Intelligence ability modifier over –4, can’t speak languages, and can’t be trained in Intelligence-based skills.
  • Arcane: This magic comes from the arcane tradition, which is built on logic and rationality. Anything with this trait is magical.
  • Evocation: Effects and magic items with this trait are associated with the evocation school of magic, typically involving energy and elemental forces.
  • Morph: Effects that slightly alter a creature’s form have the morph trait. Any Strikes specifically granted by a morph effect are magical. You can be affected by multiple morph spells at once, but if you morph the same body part more than once, the second morph effect attempts to counteract the first (in the same manner as two polymorph effects, described in that trait).
    • Your morph effects might also end if you are polymorphed and the polymorph effect invalidates or overrides your morph effect. The GM determines which morph effects can be used together and which can’t.
  • Polymorph – These effects transform the target into a new form. A target can’t be under the effect of more than one polymorph effect at a time. If it comes under the effect of a second polymorph effect, the second polymorph effect attempts to counteract the first. If it succeeds, it takes effect, and if it fails, the spell has no effect on that target. Any Strikes specifically granted by a polymorph effect are magical. Unless otherwise stated, polymorph spells don’t allow the target to take on the appearance of a specific individual creature, but rather just a generic creature of a general type or ancestry.
    • If you take on a battle form with a polymorph spell, the special statistics can be adjusted only by circumstance bonuses, status bonuses, and penalties. Unless otherwise noted, the battle form prevents you from casting spells, speaking, and using most manipulate actions that require hands. (If there’s doubt about whether you can use an action, the GM decides.) Your gear is absorbed into you; the constant abilities of your gear still function, but you can’t activate any items.
  • Primal: This magic comes from the primal tradition, connecting to the natural world and instinct. Anything with this trait is magical.
  • Transmutation: Effects and magic items with this trait are associated with the transmutation school of magic, typically changing something’s form.

Spells of Shapechange

  • (4th) Aerial Form (pf2-cr-316) Bat, Bird, Pterosaur, Wasp.
  • (2nd) Animal Form (pf2-cr-317) Ape, Bear, Bull, Canine, Cat, Deer, Frog, Shark, Snake.
  • (4th) Dinosaur Form (pf2-cr-329) Ankylosaurus, Brontosaurus, Deinonychus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus.
  • (6th) Dragon Form (pf2-cr-332) Black, Blue, Green, Red, White, Brass, Bronze, Copper, Gold, Silver.
  • (5th) Elemental Form (pf2-cr-335) Air, Earth, Fire, Water.
  • (3rd) Insect Form (pf2-cr-346) Ant, Beetle, Centipede, Mantis, Scorpion, Spider
  • (8th) Monstrous Form (pf2-cr-353) Phoenix, Purple Worm, Sea Serpent
  • (1st) Pest Form (pf2-cr-356) Cat, Insect, Lizard or Rat
  • (5th) Plant Form (pf2-cr-358) Arboreal, Flytrap, Shambler
  • (F1) Wild Morph (pf2-cr-400)
  • (F1) Wild Shape (pf2-cr-401)
  • (F1) Physical Boost (pf2-cr-407)
  • (F4) Shifting Form (pf2-cr-407)
Wild Shape

Druidic Feat Focus 1 Spell

  • You infuse yourself with primal essence and transform yourself into another form. You can polymorph into any form listed in pest form, which lasts 10 minutes. All other wild shape forms last 1 minute. You can add more forms to your wild shape list with druid feats; your feat might grant you some or all of the forms from a given polymorph spell. When you transform into a form granted by a spell, you gain all the effects of the form you chose from a version of the spell heightened to wild shape’s level. Wild shape allows you to use your own shapeshifting training more easily than most polymorph spells. When you choose to use your own attack modifier while polymorphed instead of the form’s default attack modifier, you gain a +2 status bonus to your attack rolls.
  • Heightened (2nd) You can also wild shape into the forms listed in animal form.
Wild Morph

Druidic Wild Order Focus 1 Spell

You morph your body based on your training, choosing one of
the following effects based on your wild order feats.

  • If you have Wild Shape, you can morph your hands into wild claws. Your hands transform into incredibly sharp claws. These claws are an unarmed attack you’re trained in and deal 1d6 slashing damage each (agile, finesse). You can still hold and use items with your hands while they’re transformed by this spell, but you cannot hold an item while attacking.
  • If you have Insect Shape, you can instead transform your mouth into wild jaws, an unarmed attack you’re trained in that deals 1d8 piercing damage.
  • If you have Elemental Shape, you can morph your body to be partially composed of elemental matter, granting you resistance 5 to critical hits and precision damage.
  • If you have Plant Shape, you can morph your arms into long vines, increasing your reach to 10 feet (or 15 feet with a reach weapon).
  • If you have Soaring Shape, you can cast the spell as a two-action activity ([two-actions] somatic, verbal) to grow wings from your back. These wings allow you to fly with a fly Speed of 30 feet.
  • Heightened (6th) You can choose up to two of the effects from the list. Wild claws leave terrible, ragged wounds that also deal 2d6 persistent bleed damage on a hit, and wild jaws are envenomed, also dealing 2d6 persistent poison damage on a hit.
  • Heightened (10th) You can choose up to three of the effects from the list. Wild claws deal 4d6 persistent bleed damage on a hit, and wild jaws deal 4d6 persistent poison damage on a hit.
Physical Boost

Wizard Transmutation Focus 1 Spell

You temporarily improve the target’s physique. The target gains a +2 status bonus to the next Acrobatics check, Athletics check, Fortitude save, or Reflex save it attempts.

Pest Form

Arcane and Primal Level 1 Spell

You transform into a the battle form of a Tiny animal, such as a cat, insect, lizard, or rat. You can decide the specific type of animal (such as a rat or praying mantis), but this has no effect on the form’s Size or statistics. While in this form, you gain the animal trait. You can Dismiss the spell.

You gain the following statistics and abilities:

  • AC = 15 + your level. Ignore your armour’s check penalty and Speed reduction.
  • Speed 10 feet.
  • Weakness 5 to physical damage. (If you take physical damage in this form, you take 5 additional damage.)
  • Low-light vision and imprecise scent 30 feet.
  • Acrobatics and Stealth modifiers of +10, unless your own modifier is higher; Athletics modifier –4
  • Heightened (4th) You can turn into a flying creature, such as a bird, which grants you a fly Speed of 20 feet.
Animal Form

Primal Level 2 Spell

You call upon primal energy to transform yourself into a Medium animal battle form. When you first cast this spell, choose ape, bear, bull, canine, cat, deer, frog, shark, or snake. You can decide the specific type of animal (such as lion or snow leopard for cat), but this has no effect on the form’s Size or statistics. While in this form, you gain the animal trait. You can Dismiss the spell.

You gain the following statistics and abilities regardless of which battle form you choose:

  • AC = 16 + your level. Ignore your armour’s check penalty and Speed reduction.
  • 5 temporary Hit Points.
  • Low-light vision and imprecise scent 30 feet.
  • One or more unarmed melee attacks specific to the battle form you choose, which are the only attacks you can use. You’re trained with them. Your attack modifier is +9, and your damage bonus is +1. These attacks are Strength based (for the purpose of the enfeebled condition, for example). If your unarmed attack bonus is higher, you can use it instead.
  • Athletics modifier of +9, unless your own modifier is higher.

You also gain specific abilities based on the type of animal you choose:

  • Ape Speed 25 feet, climb Speed 20 feet; Melee [one-action] fist, Damage 2d6 bludgeoning.
  • Bear Speed 30 feet; Melee [one-action] jaws, Damage 2d8 piercing; Melee [one-action] claw (agile), Damage 1d8 slashing.
  • Bull Speed 30 feet; Melee [one-action] horn, Damage 2d8 piercing.
  • Canine Speed 40 feet; Melee [one-action] jaws, Damage 2d8 piercing.
  • Cat Speed 40 feet; Melee [one-action] jaws, Damage 2d6 piercing; Melee [one-action] claw (agile), Damage 1d10 slashing.
  • Deer Speed 50 feet; Melee [one-action] antler, Damage 2d6 piercing.
  • Frog Speed 25 feet, swim Speed 25 feet; Melee [one-action] jaws, Damage 2d6 bludgeoning; Melee [one-action] tongue (reach 15 feet), Damage 2d4 bludgeoning.
  • Shark swim Speed 35 feet; Melee [one-action] jaws, Damage 2d8 piercing; breathe underwater but not in air.
  • Snake Speed 20 feet, climb Speed 20 feet, swim Speed 20 feet; Melee [one-action] fangs, Damage 2d4 piercing plus 1d6 poison.
  • Heightened (3rd) You instead gain 10 temporary HP, AC = 17 + your level, attack modifier +14, damage bonus +5, and Athletics +14.
  • Heightened (4th) Your battle form is Large and your attacks have 10-foot reach. You must have enough space to expand into or the spell is lost. You instead gain 15 temporary HP, AC = 18 + your level, attack modifier +16, damage bonus +9, and Athletics +16.
  • Heightened (5th) Your battle form is Huge and your attacks have 15-foot reach. You must have enough space to expand into or the spell is lost. You instead gain 20 temporary HP, AC = 18 + your level, attack modifier +18, damage bonus +7 and double the number of damage dice, and Athletics +20.
Shifting Form

Wizard Transmutation Focus 4 Spell

You gain one of the following abilities of your choice. You can
Dismiss this spell.

  • You gain a 20-foot status bonus to your Speed.
  • You gain a climb or swim Speed equal to half your Speed.
  • You gain darkvision.
  • You gain a pair of claws. These are agile finesse unarmed attacks that deal 1d8 slashing damage.
  • You gain scent 60 feet (imprecise).

House Rules

The rules around shapechange have a few Rules as Written and Rules as Intended issues that need to be cleared up so players have an understanding of what is expected from the gaming table.

Rules as Written:

  • Spell Form abilities granted to Wild Shape from feats grant only the base versions of the spell. The wording of those abilities can easily be argued that you only get the base forms, and nothing from the heightened abilities. This is the default stance on Wild Shape.
  • Animal Trait – once you have the animal trait you can’t use any trained aspects of Intelligence skills or speak a language.

Rules as Intended:

  • Spell Form improves for wildshape when its cast at the level of the heightened forms you are using, with the Wild Shape Focus Spell being effectively a copy of the form spell you are using.
  • Animal Trait – some aspects of using the animal trait should be allowed depending on the animal form.

House Rules:

  • Spell Form – Wildshape gains all the heightened abilities of the form spells known when of an appropriate level. This stops a lot of confusion about what is in or not in for games.
  • Animal Trait – Your form will define everything, so be aware that some forms may make you unable to speak, or do specific actions. This might be on a case by case as we try to include a shifted druid in the storyline.

Conclusion

I could spend time going into all the different rules and combinations, but at this stage I am happy with how much I have worked out relating to shapechange that I can run it with more confidence next time it comes up.

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By thedarkelf007

I am a long term gamer, I run 6 RPG's a fortnight, host board game, card game and LANs each about once a quarter and have an addiction to buying more games. Games I am currently running are Pathfinder (1st and 2nd Edition) and Dungeons and Dragons (5th Edition).

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