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Shapeshifter and Pyro Base Clases

This article provides a quick overview of the two new base classes in the Grimoire Viperian: the Shapeshifter and the Pyro.



Shapeshifters are born or mysteriously gifted or cursed with the innate magical power to change their form, especially into that of a fearsome animal or beast. Many do not discover their abilities until later in life, when a moment of extreme stress or self preservation triggers their instinct to change, assuming the form of an entirely different person or a savage beast of legend.

Role: Shapeshifters’ shape-changing abilities greatly enhance their combat prowess, allowing them to hold their own and contribute in battle. They do well in the role of a secondary melee fighter, and can provide ranged attack support as new forms with unique and sometimes magical ranged abilities become available. As they gain more powerful forms and form powers, their combat prowess greatly increases and they gain access to new and useful magical abilities. Their varied skills and abilities allow them to be highly versatile, and ensure that no two shapeshifters are alike. Their stealth, disguise and shapechanging ability makes shapeshifters excellent scouts and spies, easily able to access hard to reach places and blend in with the local populace as man or beast.

Sample Shapeshifter: “Maulgron”

Shapeshifter 7; Medium Human; HD (7d8+14); hp 51; Init +7; Spd 30 ft.; AC 19 (+3 Dex, +5 armor, +1 buckler), touch 13, flatfooted 16, BAB +5; CMB +9, CMD 22; Atk: +11 melee (1d8+6 plus 1d6 cold, heavy frost mace +2); +9 ranged (1d8+1, heavy crossbow);

SA: Alter Self 1/day, Shapechange (tiny, small, medium or large Animal) 3/day; Form of the Mythical Beast (centaur, hellhound, or winter wolf) 1/day; Supernatural Attack (alternate form only) 3/day; Monstrous Aspect (human form only) 1/day; Favored Forms (winter wolf, dire tiger — favored form bonuses: +2 Dex [winter wolf, dire tiger], +2 Acrobatics [winter wolf, dire tiger], favored terrains); Form Powers: Knockback; Bonus Feat (Improved Natural Attack [animals, bite]); AL: CG; SV Fort +7, Ref +8, Will +4; STR 19, DEX 16, CON 14, INT 12, WIS 12, CHA 12.


Skills: Acrobatics +8 (+12 in alternate forms, +13 in winter wolf and dire tiger form), Climb +6 (+10 in alternate form), Fly +7, Intimidate +4, Knowledge (nature) +8, Perception +5, Ride +7, Stealth +7 (+11 in alternate form), Survival +5, Swim +6 (+10 in alternate form), Use Magic Device +5.

Feats: Armor Proficiency (Light), Buckler Proficiency, Cleave, Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Attack (animals, bite – alternate forms only), Power Attack, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (heavy mace), Weapon Proficiency (Simple Weapons).

Possessions: studded leather +2, buckler, heavy frost mace +2, heavy crossbow

Below are stats for just a few of the many possible forms this shapeshifter could assume:

Favored form (Dire Tiger): Spd 40 ft.; 2 claws +17; AC 17 (+3 Dex, +4 natural armor), touch 13, flat-footed 14, BAB +5; CMB +11, CMD 24; Space 10ft./Reach 5ft., Atk: +11 melee (2d4+6 plus grab, 2 claws), melee +11 (2d8+6/19–20 plus grab, bite); SA: Low-light vision, Scent, Pounce; Supernatural Attack (alternate form only) 3/day, Favored Dire Tiger Form Bonuses: +2 Dex, +2 Acrobatics, plains favored terrain; Form Powers: Knockback;  SV Fort +7, Ref +8, Will +4; STR 23, DEX 16, CON 16, INT 12, WIS 12, CHA 10.

Form of the Mythical Beast (Winter Wolf – this form is also a favored form): Spd 30 ft.; AC 17 (+3 Dex, +4 natural armor), touch 13, flat-footed 14, BAB +5; CMB +11, CMD 24; Atk: +11 melee (1d8+9 plus 1d6 cold and trip); SA: Darkvision 60 ft., Scent, Trip, When assumed using Form of the Mythical Beast: breath weapon (usable once, 15-ft. cone, 6d6 cold damage, Reflex half DC 17), immune to cold, vulnerable to fire; Supernatural Attack (alternate form only) 3/day, Favored Winter Wolf Form Bonuses: +2 Dex, +2 Acrobatics, forest favored terrain; Form Powers: Knockback; SV Fort +7, Ref +9, Will +4; STR 23, DEX 16, CON 14, INT 12, WIS 12, CHA 10.

Form of the Mythical Beast (Centaur, non-favored form): Large Monstrous Humanoid; HD (6d8+12); hp 50; Init +3; Spd 55 ft. (35 ft. in armor); AC 19 (+2 Dex, +4 natural armor, +2 buckler, +1 ring), touch 12, flat-footed 16, BAB +4; CMB +11, CMD 24; Atk: +13 melee (1d8+8 heavy mace +1), +8 melee (1d6+6, two hooves), +5 ranged (1d8, heavy crossbow); SA: darkvision; Form Powers: Knockback; SV Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +4; STR 23, DEX 14, CON 16, INT 12, WIS 12, CHA 10. Feats: as natural form, plus Run.



The pyro is an individual with a talent (and some say perverse penchant) for using fire as a weapon. They are adept at using torches as weapons, typically in their off hand, while using a standard weapon in their main hand. Pyros use their pyrotechnic alchemy skills to enhance their torch attacks. They are often explorers and treasure hunters whose travels lead them into dangerous tombs, dark ruins or underground caves and corridors. As light sources are a necessity to explore such places, pyros have learned to use torches not only to illuminate the way but also as weapons. Evil pyros tend to be arsonists whose depredations terrorize the community. Such heinous criminals are highly wanted men.

Role: Like rogues, pyros are highly skilled and versatile and tend to avoid lone hand-to-hand combat. Though they don’t possess the rogue’s ability to strike vital areas or disarm traps, they excel at using their torches as unexpected and dangerous weapons, often catching unsuspecting foes off-guard. Their scouting abilities and broad set of skills also makes them handy to have around in just about any situation.

Sample Pyro: “Angus the Red”

Pyro 10; Medium human; HD (10d8+10); hp 76; Init +7; Spd 40 ft.; AC 20 (+4 Dex, +6 armor), touch 14, flat-footed 16, BAB +7/+2; CMB +9, CMD 22; Atk: +12/+7 melee (1d6+5, 19-20/x2, cold iron shortsword +2, main hand); +6 melee (1d4+1 plus 3 points of fire damage, 20/x2, torch, off-hand), +13 ranged (1d8+2, 19-20/x2, light crossbow +2);

SA: Torch Attack (+2 competence bonus to hit flanked opponents and those denied Dexterity bonus to AC, ignite on 17-20, 1d4+4 ignited damage plus immolation, Reflex DC 17 to extinguish), Catch Off- Guard, Fire Expert, Pyro Talents: Torch and Steel (Two- Weapon Fighting feat), Finesse (Weapon Finesse feat), Combat Trick (Spring Attack), Igniter, Additional Special Torch Attack; Torch Light Adaptation, Special Torch Attacks (create 7 special torches per day): Blazing Torch, Sparking Torch (5 ft. radius, 5d4 fire, Reflex DC 22 for half), Blinding Torch Strike (Reflex DC 20 negates), Fire Breather (15ft. cone, 5d6 fire, Reflex DC 24 for half), Immolation; Evasion, Improved Uncanny Dodge; AL: CN; SV Fort +8, Ref +11 (+12 vs. fire), Will +4; STR 16, DEX 19, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 12, CHA 10.

Skills: Acrobatics +11, Bluff +10, Climb +11, Craft (alchemy) +13, Escape Artist +10, Intimidate +12, Knowledge (arcana) +5, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +8, Knowledge (geography) +5, Knowledge (local) +6, Perception +10, Ride +10, Sense Motive +8, Stealth +12, Use Magic Device +10.

Feats: Armor Proficiency (Light), Catch Off-Guard, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Spring Attack,Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (short sword), Weapon Finesse (short sword), Weapon Proficiency (Simple Weapons — includes torch), Weapon Proficiency (short sword).

Possessions: chain shirt +2, cold iron shortsword +2, boots of striding and springing, wand of magic missiles, light crossbow +2, (12) bolts, (12) torches, (3) alchemist’s fire, (2) flasks of oil, (3) thunderstones

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