Matter Shifter (3.5e Class)

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Matter Shifter [edit]

"These bars of steel, you act as if they will hold me here, and to this, I laugh in your face,"Livion Galstrom, Human Matter Shifter.

Welcome to the Strange[edit]

Whenever a Matter Shifter is about, never expect anything to be what it seems, as these strange arcane magic wielders have the ability to bend the very atomic structure of their surroundings. Wood that conducts electricity, a fog that is as solid and hard as pure iron, or copper that is so soft you can bend it and tie it into knots as if it were made out of cloth. You might think this ability is a mere joke, but maybe you should ask the group of goblins that were chasing one and were buried to their shoulders in liquid stone. Stone that quickly solidified and crushed them with the pressure. You could also talk to the king that was saved when an assassin's arrow stopped in mid-flight. Matter Shifters are far more than jesters and pranksters, they can be down-right deadly in a combat situation.

Making a Matter Shifter[edit]

Abilities: Matter Shifters are a combination between spell-casting and physical combat, and need their Dexterity for avoiding damage when in the thick of melee combat, and a high Intelligence to work their limited, but very effective spells. Wisdom helps determine the effectiveness of some of their special abilities.

Races: Any race can train to be a Matter Shifter, but they most often come from those races that seem to focus on the Arcane arts.

Alignment: Most Matter Shifters lean to the Chaotic side with their abilities, but there are a few occasions when they have found other alignments.

Starting Gold: 4d6×10 gp (140 gp).

Starting Age: Complex, as Wizard.

Table: The Matter Shifter

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Transmutations Per day
Fort Ref Will Novice Adept Master Arch Mage
1st +0 +1 +0 +2 Inventor's Eyes, Atomic Knowledge, Novice Bonus Spells 1
2nd +1 +1 +1 +2 Matter Weapon, Armored Mage (Light) 2
3rd +2 +2 +1 +3 Matter Weapon Bonus Feat 2
4th +3 +2 +1 +3 Matter Weapon +1 2
5th +3 +2 +2 +4 Atomic Knowledge +3, Adept Bonus Spells, Gaseous Matter Manipulation 2 1
6th +4 +3 +2 +4 Matter Weapon Bonus Feat 2 1
7th +5 +3 +2 +5 3 2
8th +6/+1 +3 +3 +5 Matter Weapon +2, Solid Matter Jaunt 3 2
9th +6/+1 +4 +3 +6 Matter Weapon Bonus Feat, Master Bonus Spells 3 3 1
10th +7/+2 +4 +3 +6 Align Matter Weapon, Atomic Knowledge +5, Liquid Matter Manipulation 3 2 1
11th +8/+3 +4 +4 +7 4 3 2
12th +9/+4 +5 +4 +7 Matter Weapon +3, Matter Weapon Bonus Feat 4 3 2
13th +9/+4 +5 +4 +8 Arch Mage Bonus Spells, Liquid Matter Jaunt 4 3 2 1
14th +10/+5 +5 +5 +8 5 4 3 1
15th +11/+6/+1 +6 +5 +9 Matter Weapon Bonus Feat, Atomic Knowledge +10, Solid Matter Manipulation 5 4 3 2
16th +12/+7/+2 +6 +5 +9 Matter Weapon +4, Matter Weapon Transmutation 5 4 3 2
17th +12/+7/+2 +6 +6 +10 Gaseous Matter Jaunt 5 4 3 2
18th +13/+8/+3 +7 +6 +10 Matter Weapon Bonus Feat 6 5 4 3
19th +14/+9/+4 +7 +6 +11 6 5 4 3
20th +15/+10/+5 +7 +7 +11 Matter Weapon +5, Atomic Knowledge +15, Arch Mage Bonus Spells 7 6 5 4

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Appraise, Bluff, Concentration, Craft (Any), Disable Device, Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (Architecture), Knowledge (Science), Profession (Any), Spellcraft.

Class Features[edit]

  • All of the following are class features of the Matter Shifter.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Matter Shifter is capable of using all Simple Weapons, but no shields. Starting at 2nd level, a Matter Shifter can wear light armor only with no chance of arcane spell failure.

Transmutation Spells: A Matter Shifter specializes in the ability to change one form of matter into a different one. This is trained through practice and study, many long hours of studying and practice, in fact. Because of their limited spell list, a Matter Shifter is able to memorize their fairly short list of spells, unlike a wizard who must carry a heavy tome of magic around. Most of these spells will be listed and detailed later in a linked article under the Matter Shifter spell list.

Matter Shifters choose their transmutation spells from the following list:

Novice— Alter Accuracy, Alter Conductivity, Detect Substance, Lesser Alter Size, Lesser Harden Air, Locate Stash.

Adept— Alter Integrity, Armor Piercing, Jury−Rig, Plasticity, Redesign Object, Shape Liquid, Transmute Solid, Transmute Liquid, Transparency.

Master— Annihilate Common Matter, Common Forging, Greater Alter Size, Improved Harden Air, Liquid to Solid, Shape Air, Transmute Air, Transmute Gold.

Arch Mage— Auto-Repairing Object, Greater Annihilation, Greater Transmutation, Mystic Forging, Raw Creation.

  • When a Matter Shifter needs to figure out their casting level, take the total levels of the Matter Shifter class, divide by half, and round up

Inventor's Eyes: From the very first day of training, Matter Shifters are taught how items go together and how they function, and because of this, Matter Shifters gain a +5 to discern the purpose and working mechanisms of any non-magical object using sight alone, and a +10 bonus if the Shifter is able to touch or interact with the object. This bonus can be used to help other party members on skill rolls, such as a Rogue's Open Lock skill.

Atomic Knowledge: One of the core teachings of Matter Shifters is to understand how the universe fits together at the atomic level. Understanding various individual substances and their purpose in the world is the reasoning behind their magic. Due to this training, a Matter Shifter can identify any common substance, its weight, reactivity with other substances, and possible harm it can cause to organic material (animals, insects, etc). This allows the Matter Shifter to take the new skill, Knowledge (Science), as a class skill.

  • Starting at 5th level, the Matter Shifter gets a competence bonus to the Knowledge (Science) skill when attempting to identify substances and their related weight, reactivity, and their effects on creatures. This begins with a +3 bonus at 5th level, going to +5 at 10th, +10 at 15th, and +20 at 20th level.

Matter Manipulation: As a matter shifter learns more about the world, they gain the ability to directly manipulate the matter that the world is made of.

  • At 5th level, the matter shifter becomes able to control up to his wisdom bonus +3 cubed feet of gas that is not part of a living being.
  • At 10th level, the matter shifter becomes able to control up to his wisdom bonus +3 litres of liquid that is not part of a living being.
  • At 15th level, the matter shifter becomes able to control up to his wisdom bonus +3 lbs of solid matterthat is not part of a living being.

Novice Bonus Spells (Sp): At first level, a Matter Shifter with a Wisdom modifier of +2 or higher gains an additional spell per day from their novice spell list.

  • Adept Bonus Spells: At 5th level, a Matter Shifter with a Wisdom modifier of +3 or higher gains an additional spell per day from both the novice and adept lists.
  • Master Bonus Spells: Upon reaching 9th level, a Matter Shifter with a Wisdom Modifier of +4 or higher gains an additional spell per day off their novice, adept, and master lists.
  • Arch Mage Bonus Spells: With a Wisdom modifier of +5 or higher, the Matter Shifter gains an additional spell per day off each list, including the Arch Mage list. This occurs at 13th level, and again at 20th.

Matter Weapon (Su): Upon reaching 2nd level, a Matter Shifter can take a single weapon they are proficient with and bond it to themselves. This weapon vanishes whenever it leaves the hands of the Matter Shifter, and only appears in their hand when they desire it to. If a ranged weapon is selected as the Matter Weapon, only the weapon itself, not the ammunition, is bound to the Matter Shifter. Drawing this weapon takes the same time as pulling out any other weapon. The quick draw feat can reduce this time to a free action.

  • At 3rd level, and every 3rd left after (6,9,12,etc), the Matter Shifter may select an additional weapon-based feat to use with their Matter Weapon. The Matter Shift must meet the requirements for using the feat they select. Feat examples are: Improved Critical, Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Weapon Focus, and so on.
  • At 4th level, the Matter Weapon gains a +1 magical enhancement bonus to its attack and damage rolls. This bonus goes up every 4 levels, to +2 at 8th level, +3 at 12th level, +4 at 16th level, and so on. This is a magical bonus for the purpose of bypassing damage reduction.
  • At 10th level, the Matter Weapon becomes aligned based upon the alignment of the Matter Shifter. This is to aid further in the purpose of bypassing damage reduction and immunities.
  • At 16th level, the Matter Shifter can use their ability to alter atomic structure and substances to change the materials their Matter Weapon is made from. This can be Cold Iron, Adamantine, Mithral, Diamond, or any other similar material. This further assists in the ability to break through damage reduction and immunities. For ranged weapons, this modification is applied to the ammunition once the weapon is loaded. Each time the Matter Weapon is brought out, the Shifter must declare which material it is formed of.

Armored Mage (Light): Because of their training with atomic knowledge, the Matter Shifter is able to wear light armors with no arcane spell failure. This begins at 2nd level.

Matter Jaunt (Sp): As a Matter Shifter gains experience and uses his magic more often, he eventually gains the ability to use common matter to transport himself around. This is similar in ways to a shadow-walker stepping into one shadow and appearing out of another. By using this magical ability, the Matter Shifter may teleport through the matter up to 100 feet away. This ability begins at 8th level, and improves as the Matter Shifter gets better with his magic. He must be able to see his destination, or use the "Detect Substance" spell to locate his destination. A Matter Shifter may use their Jaunt ability a number of times per day equal to half their Wisdom modifier, rounded down.

  • Solid Matter Jaunt: At 8th level, the Matter shifter may use one form of solid common matter to teleport to an object of the same matter. So he may use the glass of a bottle to teleport to a glass window in a castle, but could not go from the glass bottle to the steel bars of a prison cell.
  • Liquid Matter Jaunt: Gained at 13th level, and just like the Solid Matter Jaunt, the Matter Shifter may now teleport using liquids in the same manner. Unfortunately, this does not allow a Matter Shifter to teleport from a liquid to a solid.
  • Gaseous Matter Jaunt: Although they still cannot transport from a gas to a liquid to a solid, at 17th level, the Matter Shifter can now use common gaseous matter such as air and carbon monoxide to teleport. Like the previous Jaunts, they may only move using the same matter for both the vanishing point and destination.

Epic Matter Shifter[edit]

Table: The Epic Matter Shifter

Hit Die: d8

Level Special
21st Matter Weapon Bonus Feat, Greater Matter Weapon
24th Matter Weapon +6, Matter Weapon Bonus Feat
25th Arch Mage Bonus Spells
26th Weapon of Devastation
27th Matter Weapon Bonus Feat
28th Matter Weapon +7
30th Matter Weapon Bonus Feat, Arch Mage Bonus Spells, Greater Matter Jaunt

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Greater Matter Weapon: The Matter Weapon gains the damage dice of a weapon one size larger than itself.

Arch Mage Bonus Spells: At 25th, 30th, and every 5th level after (35, 40) the Matter Shifter gains additional spells per day from each list as long as they maintain a Wisdom modifier of +5 or higher.

Weapon of Devastation: Upon reaching 26th level, a Matter Shifter's special weapon, the Matter Weapon, becomes a truly terrifying force of destruction. It has fused even further with the powerful magic of its weilder, and is now capable of casting a variation of the the spell Greater Annihilation upon a successful critical hit. This destroys all matter, both living and inanimate, in a 30 foot cone beyond the target. Any save DC is per the spell.

Greater Matter Jaunt: At 30th level, the Matter Shifter can use his Matter Jaunt ability to now step from into one type of common matter, and appear from different type up to 250 feet away. He may use this ability a number of times per day, equal to half his Wisdom modifier, rounded down.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Matter Shifter[edit]

Religion: Because of their knowledge of atomic structure and how molecules fit together, most Matter Shifters do not follow a religion, instead relying on their knowledge of science. There are a few that work with religious organizations, and may hold a bit of respect for the deities of those they work for.

Other Classes: The Matter Shifter often works well with combat-oriented and stealth-oriented classes, using their spells to control the battlefield and manipulate the terrain.

Combat: A Matter Shifter relies on his/her spells to control the battlefield, halting enemy progress so they can move in close with their Matter Weapon without the risk of getting damaged.

Advancement: Advancing a Matter Shifter with ranks in Fighter will greatly improve the ability to strike with the Matter Weapon, while taking ranks in Rogue will allow him/her to become a cunning thief or assassin capable of literally passing through walls and ignoring terrain-related issues.

Matter Shifters in the World[edit]

"I don't care, there is nothing you can do to stop me from reaching my goal. For I can bend this world to my will."
—Pierre LeBerette, Human Matter Shifter

Daily Life: When not adventuring, Matter Shifters often pursue lives deep in study, or using their knowledge to craft and build things. It is a fairly well known fact that Matter Shifters are intrigued by how the world fits together. Some find themselves employed by high-ranking officials because of their knowledge, where they are often tasked with designing new and better weapons to win wars.

Organizations: Matter Shifters often stay in close tight-knit groups of architects, engineers, and scientists, gathering together to discuss their latest findings and tasks.

NPC Reactions: Because of their powers to bend matter and change the atomic structure of various materials, Matter Shifters are often held on high by the people who have witnessed their magic.

Matter Shifter Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) can research Matter Shifters to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (Arcana)
DC Result
5 You have discovered that Matter Shifters can bend solids, liquids, and gases to their will.
10 You find that a local school trains Matter Shifters, and are taking applications.
15 Through research, you have discovered that Matter Shifters have used their abilities to build several buildings in town.
20 You have found out that a high ranking official in the area's government is using his magic as a Matter Shifter to give himself an unlimited supply of wealth.

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