Societies often have a difficult time accepting people who can alter their form. Those who can mysteriously fashion claws or a tooth filled muzzle out of a body where no claws or muzzle existed can find little acceptance in the bustle of a mundane town. Societies quantify and define the qualities of those living within them, and not everyone is that easy to measure. For those who have the passion for altering their appearance yet still need a place to call home a home can be found among the ranks of the formbound surgers.
The formbound surger is a class that focuses on shapechanging, interaction with nature, and the animal companion aspects. The wild surge and psychic enervation mechanics have been thrown in to give the formbound surger a wilder and larger-than-life feeling as they manifest their powers. The formbound surger should feel like a class that can take on a variety of tactical risks but still succeed even if the first risk doesn’t work out as expected.
In games where psionics and magic both exist, there is no reason that druids, transmuters, and formbound surgers cannot simultaneously exist in the world. They could be allies who find collegiality in their different yet similar talents. However, they could just as easily be antagonistic towards one another as they view the other’s ways of life as threats to their own. Games that include druids, transmuters, and formbound surgers shouldn’t have any trouble mixing the mechanics – even allowing multiclassing should it be desired.
Making a Formbound Surger:
The role of a formbound surger is typically to provide an offensive force and limited access to healing through powers such as empathic transfer and body adjustment. His ability to alter shape through powers such as claws of the beast, bite of the wolf, and eventually assume form make the formbound surger a formidable opponent even when unarmed. Additionally, the formbound surger’s animal companion gives it an extra punch when needed.
Charisma determines what level of psionic power a formbound surger can manifest, how hard his powers are to resist, and his bonus power points. Of course, high strength and dexterity scores will help the formbound surger succeed in combat. A high Constitution is also important for the formbound surger as he might need to use his body to transfer other’s damage to himself through his powers.
Formbound surgers come from all races, although the naturally psionic races do tend to draw more formbound surgers than those races not born with psionic power. Often smaller races enjoy the power of this class because the assume form power allows them to literally be larger than life. In a similar light, larger races occasionally value the shapechanging ability of this class to allow them to get access to areas that their size would normally make uncomfortable. Races with a tendency to revere nature will often find appreciation for the skills that ranks in the formbound surger class has to offer.
Formbound surgers come from all walks of life. Those characters with a desire to protect others can find success among the ranks of the formbound surgers. Characters who wish to surprise and physically dominate their opponents can also find gratification. Characters who tend towards logic are the least likely to become formbound surgers, but it is not impossible to bring logic into the ways of the formbound surgers.
GAME RULE INFORMATION
Hit Die: d10
Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (psionics), Listen, Profession, Ride, Psicraft, Spot, Survival, and Swim. Skill Points: (4 + INT). Skill Points at 1st level: (4 + INT) x4
All of the following are class features of the formbound surger.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Formbound surgers are proficient with the following weapons: club, dagger, dart, quarterstaff, scimitar, sickle, short spear, sling, and spear. They are also proficient with all natural attacks of any form they assume through a Formbound or Shapechanging power. Formbound surgers are proficient with light and medium armor. Formbound surgers are also proficient with shields (except tower shields).
Power Points/Day: A formbound surger’s ability to manifest powers is limited only by the power points he has available. His base daily allotment of power points is given on the table above. In addition, he receives bonus power points per day if he has a high Charisma score, if his race provides bonus power points, or through certain feats and items.
Power’s Known: A formbound surger knows all the powers available to him in his class list up to his maximum level known, but on any given day only has access to as many powers as can be seen on the table above. Each day, when a formbound surger rests to recover power points the character can choose to rotate one or more powers onto their powers known list so long as they rotate an equal number of powers off of their known powers list to end up at the total on the table above. Each power rotated in this manner must be found on the formbound surger’s class list. Essentially, the formbound surger knows their entire class list of powers but must choose each day a small subset of those powers to be available for the day. As with the formbound spiritist, a formbound surger who wishes to make use of a class feature that keys off of the Formbound descriptor must have at least one Formbound power selected as available for the day.
The feats Expanded Knowledge and Epic Expanded Knowledge do allow a formbound surger to learn powers from the lists of other classes. However, these powers cannot be rotated on or off the powers known list as can the powers gained through the class.
The Difficulty Class for saving throws against formbound surger’s powers is 10 + the power’s level + the formbound surger’s Charisma modifier.
Animal Companion (Ex): A formbound surger gains an animal companion exactly as a druid with the following exception: the Share Spells ability is renamed Share Powers. This ability functions identically to Share Spells except that it only works with psionic powers instead of divine spells. The formbound surger is able to select from the alternate animal companion lists using the same rules as a druid of an equal level.
Wild Surge (Su): A formbound surger gains the wild surge ability as described in the Wilder class. The only difference in the functioning of this ability and that of the wilder is that the formbound surger increases his wild surge to +2 at 8th level and +3 at 15th level.
Psychic Enervation: As with wild surge, the formbound surger also gains the psychic enervation ability as the wilder class.
Psionic Body (Ex): At 2nd level a formbound surger gains access to the Psionic Body feat. If this feat has already been chosen, the formbound surger can select another psionic feat of their choosing.
Formbinder (Ex): At 5th level a formbound surger gains access to the Formbinder feat. If this feat has
already been chosen, the formbound surger can select another feat of their choosing.
Superior Assume Form (Su): At 10th level the formbound surger gains the following augments to the assume form power:
- If you spend an additional 6 power points, this power’s duration becomes “1 hour (D)”.
- If you spend an additional 2 power points, you gain all the natural and extraordinary senses of the form you assume, including blindsense, blindsight, darkvision, lowlight vision, scent, and tremorsense as applicable. You also gain the creature’s racial bonuses on skill checks.
Frightful Presence (Ex): A formbound surger can unsettle foes with his ability to manifest powers. This ability takes effect whenever the formbound surger manifests any power that alters his form. Enemies within a radius of 30 feet are subject to the effect if they have fewer HD than the formbound surger’s minus 2. A potentially affected creature that succeeds on a Will save (DC 10 + ½ * [formbound surger’s HD - 2] + formbound surger’s Charisma modifier) remains immune to that formbound surger’s frightful presence for 24 hours. On a failure, creatures with 4 or less HD become panicked for 4d6 rounds and those with 5 or more HD become shaken for 4d6 rounds. Formbound surgers ignore the frightful presence of other formbound surgers, but they are susceptible to the frightful presence of any other creature unless they have some other ability that makes them immune.
Animal Walk (Su): At 20th level, a formbound surger gains the ability to be absorbed into any living animal of small size or larger who is in direct contact with the ground. The formbound surger immediately gains knowledge of all the animals of the same type that are also in contact with the ground within 50 miles. After one hour, the formbound surger can reappear out of any animal (including the one the formbound surger entered) of the same type as it entered so long as the formbound surger stays within the 50 mile radius and the animal used as an exit was within the range of this ability when the ability was used. A formbound surger simply disappears during the use of this ability and cannot be interacted with in any way until this ability is resolved and the formbound surger finishes their animal walk.
Alternatively, the formbound surger can chose to move outside of the 50 mile radius if they are willing to spend an additional hour in travel. For each hour that they desire to stay in travel they can move an additional 50 miles, up to a maximum movement of 1,200 miles over the course of one day. At the end of the 24 hours, the formbound surger must return to their natural form. There is nothing preventing the formbound surger from returning to the same animal in which he entered even after traveling for 24 hours.
A formbound surger is not aware of anything about the territory that he travels through except how many potential exit animals are available to him. The formbound surger cannot view any of the land, the people within it, or any other aspect unless they terminate their animal walk and return to their natural form. A formbound surger can use this ability once per day.