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Shifters, also sometimes called the weretouched, are a race of humanoids descended from interbreeding between lycanthropes and humans. Fierce and wild-spirited, shifters are feared by many as much as their shapeshifting brethren.
Shifters resemble humans, their close brethren, but with distinctively bestial features such as sharp teeth, claws, pointed ears, or fur. Compared to humans, shifters are somewhat short, the average height range being between 5'7" and 6', though shifters are lithe and strong and, as a result, are slightly heavier for their size, weighing between 130 and 180 lbs most commonly. In many other ways, however, shifters look like humans.
However, to a human's eye, the resemblance is less obvious than the differences. Unlike humans, shifters have flat, animal like noses, larger than usual eyes which allow them to see better in low light, heavy eyebrows, pointed ears, skin that is often of a brownish shade, and much more hair, also commonly brown, than is typical for the common human Because of this shifters, to a human, more closely resemble their lycanthrope ancestors that is sometimes confusing and shifters are sometimes mistaken for true lycanthropes, but a shifter can avoid this by shifting minor parts of their body to look like a normal human. Like their more feral brethren, shifters are capable of minor shapeshifting and can manifest animal-like traits when under stress, such as a tail, fangs, claws, wings, gills, and more, they basically adapt to what ever environment that they're in.
Shifters live to about as long humans do on average.
Shifters are commonly self-reliant and free-spirited. However, shifters are restrained in their actions by a fear that they might become lost in the savagery that dwells in their blood. This fear of losing control makes many shifters confrontational and reclusive. Some shifters overcome this self-doubt, however, becoming true friends to those they fight beside. However, this feral predator nature can be to the shifter's advantage, and they make excellent rangers or druids.
Shifters are often feared wherever they go, much like their lycanthrope ancestors. This is due to a common misconception that all lycanthropes are invariably and irreversibly evil, including shifters. Though false, this conception shapes the lives of shifters, who rarely achieve a prominent status in civilized society. Instead, shifters prefer either a nomadic lifestyle or living close to the edges of society, supporting it as fishers, trackers, hunters, guides, or scouts. Others take up the call of an adventurer's life while yet others give in to the expectations of society, letting their primal bloodlust fuel them in a life of crime.
Just like lycanthropes, shifters can be found scattered throughout all of Faerûn, but a few gather in larger communities. The Werewoods near Baldur's Gate and the Glimmerwood in Luruar are two such locations where lycanthropes are found in larger numbers and hence, as a result, so are shifters. However, most shifters, even in these regions, stave away from the dark influence of their ancestors. Other large shifter communities are found in the Great Dale and the Forest of Lethyr, as well as Dambrath where the local culture is xenophobic and has a hatred for drow.
- Longtooth shifters
- Longtooth shifters are athletic and durable, while remaining wise to the world around them.
- Razorclaw shifters
- Razorclaw shifters are agile and subtle, with a high degree of perception to aid them in their hunts.
- Cliffwalk shifters
- Cliffwalk shifters gain a bonus to Dexterity and much improved climbing ability.
- Beasthide shifters
- Beasthide shifters can increase their natural Armor Class, making them harder to damage, while gaining a bonus to Constitution and therefore extra Hit Points, making them harder to bring down.
- Longstride shifters
- Longstride shifters become fleeter of foot and gain an increase to their Dexterity score.
- Wildhunt shifters
- Wildhunt shifters gain the extraordinary ability to smell as well as a predatory animal, allowing them to track by scent, as well as a bonus to Constitution. Wildhunt shifters also gain a permanent bonus to their tracking ability even when not shifted, due to their residual ability to smell well at all times.
- Dreamsight shifters
- Dreamsight shifters are the rarest of all. While shifting, they gain a bonus to their Wisdom as well as the ability to speak with animals in a supernatural manner. Dreamsight shifters, like Wildhunt shifters, also have a permanent bonus to their skills, but in the case of Dreamsight shifters it is an increase in their ability to communicate with animals (reflected in the skill Handle Animal).
- Gorebrute shifters
- Gorebrute shifters gain a pair of horns which can thereafter be used in a natural charge attack, as well as a bonus to Strength.
A shifter can have all of these abilities and more, as a shifter increases his shapeshifting powers.
- Matt Sernett (December 2010). “Born Under a Violent Moon: Shifters in the Forgotten Realms”. In Steve Winter ed. Dragon #394 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 60–64.
- Keith Baker (May 2010). “Winning Races: Shifter, Shifters of the Cities”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #387 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 47–49.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 233. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Andrew Finch, Gwendolyn Kestrel, Chris Perkins (September 2004). Monster Manual III. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 150–151. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
- ↑ Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, James Wyatt (March 2009). Player's Handbook 2. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 16. ISBN 0-7869-5016-4.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, James Wyatt (March 2009). Player's Handbook 2. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 17. ISBN 0-7869-5016-4.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 20. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
- ↑ Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, James Wyatt (March 2009). Player's Handbook 2. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 16–17. ISBN 0-7869-5016-4.
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