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I'm Sorry - The Shapeshifter's Kit Description is *Really* Lame (An Old-School AD&Der's Perspective)

The Shapeshifter sucks. Not the class mechanics, but its rationale / description...

I quote (from the kit description)

"The Druid has willingly allowed himself to be infected with lycanthropy, but due to intense study and training he has the ability to control this affliction. The creature he becomes is that of the werewolf, the most famous of lycanthrope shape changers."

Maybe I'm just old and cranky (is 31 old?) , but in the AD&D I played (mostly 1st edition) lycanthropy is described as a magical curse. It is supposed to suck, and being a curse, there is no amount of "training" or "studying" (seriously - wtf is that?) that you can do to control it. You're never willingly infected... Lycanthropes cast fear into the hearts of adventurers because of how horrible it is - not cool. On top of this, the True Neutral druid turns into a Werewolf. Yeah... they are the most famous of lycanthropes. They are also *evil as hell*, at least in AD&D. Why would a druid who wishes to maintain the balance, be willingly infected by a disease that turns him into an evil killing machine?

... but maybe I'm too Gygaxed for my own good.

Kristie83MelicampDebaser[Deleted User]zwadekMoomintrollChow

Comments

  • KidCarnivalKidCarnival Member Posts: 3,747
    The name also sucks. Really, why does that kit have the name Shapeshifter and not something specific to this one shape, lycanthophy or werewolves? I find it irritating that the Avenger has more shapes. If the druid chose to dedicate all his energy to one shape, revenge on an enemy particularly vulnurable to evil werewolves (good-aligned chicken?), it would explain why it had to be THIS shape... But the names simply seem off to me.

    HaHaCharadeDebaser
  • NifftNifft Member Posts: 1,065
    a) Yeah, they are pretty dumb, and I'm going to replace them in my mod; but

    b) Druids are magic using mysterious nature priests, so "it's magic" is an explanation which can go pretty far.

    HaHaCharade
  • HaHaCharadeHaHaCharade Member Posts: 1,574
    edited February 2013
    Jalily said:

    The Shapeshifter's name has bothered me for a long time.

    But in BG, werewolves are not inherently, unchangeably evil. Most of the named ones on the island are in fact good or neutral, although the leadership is evil (go figure).

    I find it weirder to consider how you were infected in Candlekeep.

    True, though I was going more off the classic AD&D Monster Manual description of Werewolves. Yeah the canned Candlekeep origin does preclude some background possibilities, that's for certain. Good point.

  • KidCarnivalKidCarnival Member Posts: 3,747
    I would imagine that druids only decide to take such a... dedicated path under the instruction of a more experienced mentor. As in, a druid who already successfully mastered the werewolf thing, in a druid... circle (or wherever they live). It seems an odd thing to do for a greenhorn in Candlekeep indeed.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    I always kind of just assumed that the Shapeshifter kit represented a "natural" lycanthrope--i.e. a child born of a lycanthropic parent, born with lycanthropy, and therefore born with the ability to control the shapeshifting.

    HaHaCharadeAntonSilverstartoanwrath
  • HaHaCharadeHaHaCharade Member Posts: 1,574
    edited February 2013
    Aosaw said:

    I always kind of just assumed that the Shapeshifter kit represented a "natural" lycanthrope--i.e. a child born of a lycanthropic parent, born with lycanthropy, and therefore born with the ability to control the shapeshifting.

    That would make more sense with the character's origins in Candlekeep as well as the AD&D mechanics.

  • SeveronSeveron Member Posts: 214
    Aosaw said:

    I always kind of just assumed that the Shapeshifter kit represented a "natural" lycanthrope--i.e. a child born of a lycanthropic parent, born with lycanthropy, and therefore born with the ability to control the shapeshifting.

    What kind of kinky things was Bhaal up to back in the day O.o

  • SilverstarSilverstar Member Posts: 2,192
    The name of the kit kind of bugs me as well. As for the description, not so much, since I've barely played any p&p D&D and I've just assumed the classes were largely based on the "real" ones.
    Severon said:

    Aosaw said:

    I always kind of just assumed that the Shapeshifter kit represented a "natural" lycanthrope--i.e. a child born of a lycanthropic parent, born with lycanthropy, and therefore born with the ability to control the shapeshifting.

    What kind of kinky things was Bhaal up to back in the day O.o

    He wasn't picky at all. Must've been quite the ladies' man cause he got around to a looot of races.

    typo_tilly
  • KidCarnivalKidCarnival Member Posts: 3,747
    My issue with the name probably comes from playing Neverwinter Nights. I had a druid and went for the prestige class "Epic Shifter", in German more poetically "Wahrer Wandler" (more like "true shifter"). It's described as a druid who doesn't feel he has a "main" shape anymore and exists in different forms basically to see what perspective he gains from it. I loved the class and strolling through a city as a basilisk or ilithid for the heck of it. In BG, whenever I think "hm, yes, I want the kit with the many shapes"... I think it's "Shapeshifter", because why the hell would it be called anything else?

  • MadhaxMadhax Member Posts: 1,416
    This just in: Bhaal was a furry.

    MoomintrollDebaserMokonarderekp
  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 7,129
    Severon said:


    What kind of kinky things was Bhaal up to back in the day O.o

    He got it on with all the races in all the places - gnomes to half-orcs and everything in between.

  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 7,129

    My issue with the name probably comes from playing Neverwinter Nights. I had a druid and went for the prestige class "Epic Shifter", in German more poetically "Wahrer Wandler" (more like "true shifter"). It's described as a druid who doesn't feel he has a "main" shape anymore and exists in different forms basically to see what perspective he gains from it. I loved the class and strolling through a city as a basilisk or ilithid for the heck of it. In BG, whenever I think "hm, yes, I want the kit with the many shapes"... I think it's "Shapeshifter", because why the hell would it be called anything else?

    Yep in shapeshifting in NWN is great. Shifter was something completely different than what we are seeing in BG series. Rakhasha and Risen Lord were great.

  • KidCarnivalKidCarnival Member Posts: 3,747
    After NWN, I wanted to run a druid from the very start in BG1 and keep importing to the next game until NWN expansions... and was so underwhelmed, I gave up after half of it (somewhere in the middle of BG2) when I realized it would never live up to NWN shapeshifting.
    Of course, Epic Shifter is one of the prestige classes that would be hopelessly overpowered in BG, so I doubt we'll see any changes in the current shapeshifting. I also loved Pale Master because it took a medicore magic school and made it something more.. fitting. I'm actually a bit bothered by the fact that the Black Pits necromancer (who can't be beyond level 6) can summon skeletons as it should be, and Xzar (or necro charname) can't.

  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    edited February 2013
    From a lore POV, it could be that CHARNAME's mother was a werewolf and it's been passed down the generations. As I understand it this is what's happened on the werewolf isle. This is not what the bio will say though, unless you change it.

    My main problem with the kit description is that it doesn't describe the stats of the shifted forms in any way. As it is you could read the description and think "werewolves will be fun and powerful" instead of "by my metagame knowledge I know that these forms are pretty nerfed".

    KidCarnival
  • ScytheKnightScytheKnight Member Posts: 220
    Yeah, you're right the werewolves are lame and underpowered... should be werebears instead. (sorry, just couldn't resist.

  • MoomintrollMoomintroll Member Posts: 1,481
    tango with Ursula and you'll be an intensive carebear.

  • The_Shairs_HandbookThe_Shairs_Handbook Member Posts: 219
    edited March 2013
    Selûne : Also known as Our Lady of Silver and the Moonmaiden, she is the Faerûnian goddess of light, the moon, stars, navigation, navigators, wanderers, questers, and good and neutral lycanthropes.

    Her specialty priest are called: Silverstar their misson is to kill Shar and Malar Priest and turn or help evil lycanthropes to change their aligment to Neutral or good aligment.. if they can't that they will kill them...
    Silverstars turn undead works on Evil lycanthropes

  • FrozenCellsFrozenCells Member Posts: 379
    It would be a cool if there was a mod that shifts your druid into a shapeshifter during the events of TotSC leading to a less bloody resolution. Probably a better explanation as well, not sure how cool Ulraunt would be with a Bhaalspawn lycanthrope chilling out in Candlekeep. He's already pretty pissed with just the former.

    DJKajuru
  • KidCarnivalKidCarnival Member Posts: 3,747
    Corvino said:

    My main problem with the kit description is that it doesn't describe the stats of the shifted forms in any way. As it is you could read the description and think "werewolves will be fun and powerful" instead of "by my metagame knowledge I know that these forms are pretty nerfed".

    Same with Avenger. It just lists the additional shapes, not what they do for AC and such or what their special attacks do. Of course, you know that if you met the listed creatures in game, but I'm not sure where in BG you meet a fire salamander.

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    @KidCarnival: fair point, there are no fire salamanders anywhere in BG1/BGee (except yourself if you're an Avenger), they're a BG2 monster. (And IWD - you meet hundreds of them in IWD!)

    I agree with others, it'd be a considerable enhancement to the Druid and Druid-kit descriptions if the text explained the stats you get from the various shapeshifting options.

  • KidCarnivalKidCarnival Member Posts: 3,747
    In the Black Pits, with the Fire Giant... are those elementals or salamanders...? Na, elementals, I think, but not sure. Even if there was a salamander in Black Pits, it's still not in BG and a player wouldn't encounter it and think "hey, that thing was cool, I wanna be that in my next run". A simple list what shape changes which stat would help in any case.

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