Iconic Design — Werewolves of Absalom (Hooooooooooowl!)

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Guidance!

We’re approaching the twilight of Pathfinder 1st Edition, so I thought it would be fun to put together a quick build for a character that thrives in twilight. The shifter is a cool class with a lot of potential post-Errata, and I thought I would take some time to show you a neat build that you can make using Paizo’s new-ish Player Companion, Wilderness Origins!

Strap in for a howling good time below.


Any information important to understanding the build goes here.

  • Class: shifter (weretouched)
  • Base Ability Scores: You’re going to want to start with a 16 in Wisdom and a minimum 13 in Strength. When you get your ability boost at 5th level, put it into Wisdom so you can have a Wisdom of 19 when adding in a headband of alluring wisdom. You’ll need this stat by 7th level in order to qualify for my suggested feats.
  • Feats: Power Attack (1st), Weapon Focus: claws (3rd), Shifter’s Rush (5th), Mutated Shape (7th), Raking Claws (9th), Frightful Shape (11th)
  • Class Features: defensive instinct +3, lycanthropic empathy, lycanthropic wild shape, shifter claws (1d8/1d6), shifter’s fury, woodland stride, track, trackless step
    • Lycanthrope Aspect: wolf. Gain DR/silver equal to half the shifter’s level and is immune to curse of lycanthropy.

Playing the Build

So, what kind of neat stuff can you do with a weretouched shifter?

Well, its important to remember that this build basically loses EVERYTHING associated with having multiple aspects. Choose one aspect and choose it well. My sample has wolf for iconicness, but if we’re being real the most optimal choice is tiger. Now, you basically play the same as any other shifter except you have DR/silver up until 5th level. At this point, you get a hybrid form instead of any additional aspects. Your hybrid form works like a lycanthropic form; your size and general body shape is unchanged except for some bestial flourishes, like digitigrade legs or shaggy fur. The real advantage here is that your armor and gear doesn’t meld into your body when you go hybrid, and even provide a size bonus to Strength and Con as if you were one size category larger. This comes with numerous benefits; for one, if you pick a smaller aspect (say, rat), you’re not penalized for being forced to shrink small; your lycanthropic form is basically a battle shape for you. If you have an aspect with a Large major form, your hybrid form gives you an equally good option for fighting in close quarters where being Large is a hassle while also leaving you with all your weapons and equipment.

Now, what else do we have in this build? Power Attack and Weapon Focus: claws are fairly standard; they’re solid damage-boosting options that will help you out big-time no matter your build. Shifter’s Rush is an action economy saver, allowing you to basically turn a standard action (wild shape) into a free action whenever you also move 10 feet or more. In short, this is an excellent initiator. Mutated Shape is absolutely worth budgeting a 19 Wisdom for; it basically gives you another attack. I would recommend something that has a damage type your form doesn’t normally have, like a tail slap for your werewolf or a slam for your tiger. Remember, the tin might SAY mutated but that doesn’t mean you need to be a mutant if you don’t want to! Raking Claws is VERY strong damage; it basically gives you the rake universal creature rule for 1d6 damage, though it doesn’t stack. (If you go tiger aspect, however, you get rake baseline AND get to use this for even more damage! Bleed away!) Finally, Frightful Shape is this AWESOME cool ability that basically gives you frightful presence, but you can only affect any given creature once per day. Honestly, often times this is going to be worth it. If you’re in a campaign where lots of things are immune to fear, however, I recommend making sure you have 5 ranks in Knowledge (planes) so you can take Planar Wild Shape instead. Gaining the ability to smite a foe who could use a good smiting is NEVER a bad idea!

Whelp, that’s the build for this week! Did you like it? Leave your thoughts and comments below, and tune in next time for even more interesting character builds for Pathfinder and Starfinder! I did some work in this month’s new Player Companion, Heroes of Golarion, and I’m really looking forward to building some characters with it. Is there a build you want me to try? An option from a new Player Companion I might have missed? Shout out to me in our Know Direction Discord and let me know; yes, I do take requests.

Ciao everyone, and have an awesome week!

Alexander “Alex” Augunas has been playing roleplaying games since 2007, which isn’t nearly as long as 90% of his colleagues. Alexander is an active freelancer for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and is best known as the author of the Pact Magic Unbound series by Radiance House. Alex is the owner of Everyman Gaming, LLC and is often stylized as the Everyman Gamer in honor of Guidance’s original home. Alex also cohosts the Private Sanctuary Podcast, along with fellow blogger Anthony Li, and you can follow their exploits on Facebook in the 3.5 Private Sanctuary Group, or on Alexs Twitter, @AlJAug.

Alex Augunas

Alexander "Alex" Augunas is an author and behavioral health worker living outside of Philadelphia in the United States. He has contributed to gaming products published by Paizo, Inc, Kobold Press, Legendary Games, Raging Swan Press, Rogue Genius Games, and Steve Jackson Games, as well as the owner and publisher of Everybody Games (formerly Everyman Gaming). At the Know Direction Network, he is the author of Guidance and a co-host on Know Direction: Beyond. You can see Alex's exploits at http://www.everybodygames.net, or support him personally on Patreon at http://www.patreon.com/eversagarpg.

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1 Comment

  1. AlphaWolvesGamer

    I won’t lie… I am a little sad that PF1e is almost done, but there hasn’t been any option to Channel Negative Energy for the Oracle or the Shaman. Especially when Oracles have the Black Blood Archetype and can only be healed by negative energy with it. It was a great read though, I really love the Shifter class and its nice to see this isn’t a Dino-shifter like what you ALWAYS see if you see them in PFS. Lmao