Unfortunately, it does indeed mean that. I wish they had just left
Alter Self off the list. I have no problem with a relatively high level
arcane caster being able to take Shifter once they develop a real love
for other creature's forms, but I just don't see that happening with the
Alter Self spell. Also, as written, it is even EASIER for an arcane
caster to take Shifter than a Druid! You need two feat slots taken up
with Altertness and Endurance to take the P-Class, and Arcane casters
can get a free Alertness with a familiar.
But, stupid or no, the P-Class is core, and yes there will indeed be
Shielded Hasted Dire Apes running around as Shifters at some point. My
character won't be one of them, because I'm progressing from Druid and
the class naturally extends from my character's established role-playing
motivations. However, the potential for major power gaming abuse does
exist once you start mixing a lot of arcane spells with the Shifting
ability. And, if your region also allows Natural Spell, expect to see
some real balance issues in arcane casters.
Dmitry Omelyanenko wrote:
> Browzing through the latest version of the D&D FAQ, I stumbled on the
> (p. 71)
> Q: "Does a character have to be able to cast a spell to meet the
> shifter's alternate form requirement?"
> A: "You can meet the requirements with any spell from the list on
> page 69 of 'Masters of the Wild'. You also meet the requirement if
> you have a spell-like ability or supernatural ability that mimics one
> of the spells on that list."
> The spells on the aforementioned list are shapechange, polymorph
> self, and alter self. Polymorph is banned in LG, shapechange is a
> level 9 spell, but alter self is easily accessible as a level 2 spell
> for sorcerers and wizards. So does that practically mean that any
> fifth-level or higher arcane spellcaster can qualify for the Shifter
> prestige class by taking Endurance and learning alter self?
> Break out the hasted, shielded dire apes :~]
> -Dmitry O., a.k.a. Shyft the Pyro
> Who is actually considering going bananas over this
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So, let me fill my childrens' hearts
with hero's tales, and hope it starts
a fire in them; so, deeds are done,
with no vain sighs for moments gone.
Here is strength for us to find,
and turn the old to new:
to wipe our eyes of misty years,
and see the future through.
--"Eiledon" / The Seer
-- Big Country