Metamorpher (5A)

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This is an Artificer Specialization for 5A.

A metamorpher is an artificer who specializes in transforming their own shape. Most metamorphers use alchemy to transmute themselves, but each metamorpher develop their own specific technique, such as weaving clothes incorporating parts of the creature to metamorph into or crafting effigies of the forms you are to assume. Changing shape to suit the needs for the situation, a metamorpher can be a resourceful ally and a dangerous and unpredictable enemy.

Greyhawk: Humans and forest gnomes are common metamorphers, along with some elves. Among the older artificer specializations, metamorphism has been studied over generations but is becoming increasingly rare.

Source: Original

Subclass Features

Tools of the Trade

At 3rd level you learn the Deception skill. If you already know Deception, you gain proficiency with any one skill of your choice instead.

Metamorpher Spells

Starting at 3rd level, you always have certain spells prepared after you reach particular levels in this class, as shown in the Metamorpher Spells table. These spells count as artificer spells for you, but they don't count against the number of artificer spells you prepare.

Metamorpher Spells Table
Artificer Level Alchemist Spells
3 Gift of Alacrity, Longstrider
5 Alter Self, Dragon's Breath
9 Nondetection, Protection From Energy
13 Freedom of Movement, Polymorph
17 Reincarnate, Skill Empowerment


Beginning at 3rd level, you can change your shape. You can change into the form of any beast who you have a body part of and whose challenge rating is equal to or less than your level and which lacks a flying speed, swimming speed, burrowing speed, the ability to teleport or planar travel, or the shapechanger tag. You can only change into generic creatures, not into specific named creatures. This means you cannot change into Tom the Pirate Cat, but you can change into a generic cat. The DM is the final judge of which creatures are eligible, but changing into other player characters and named NPCs is impossible. You can however change into a generic cat in order to more easily disguise yourself as a specific cat and so on with other types of creatures.

Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the chosen beast, including Hit Points. You retain your alignment and personality, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. You retain your skills, and the bonus in each skill, rather than recalculating skill bonuses based on the ability scores of your assumed form. You lose all abilities of your original form except as noted. You can use the assumed form's skill value with Strength and Dexterity skills if they are better than your own.

You can use any action available to your assumed form except as noted.

  • You cannot use legendary actions or lair actions.
  • You cannot use any of the assumed form's spells or spell slots.

You retain your ability to speak and cast spells you know. Your transformed form can incorporate a single spell focus you are carrying as a crystal on your brow that you can use as a focus to cast spells. If this crystal is covered, even with paint, you cannot use it as a focus. Your other equipment merges with your form and cannot be used, even if you change into a form that could normally use such items.

The transformation lasts for a full hour, until you end it as an action, or until you drop to 0 hit points or die. When the transformation ends, you resume your normal form and you return to the number of hit points you had before you transformed. If you revert as a result of dropping to 0 hit points, any excess damage carries over to your normal form. As long as the excess damage doesn’t reduce your normal form to 0 hit points, you are not knocked unconscious.

You can use this ability a number of times equal to your Proficency Bonus and regain all uses when you finish a long rest.

Wild and Tame Metamorph

Beginning at 5th level you can metamorph into a beast, giant, humanoid, or monstrosity. You can now transform into a creature with a swim speed but you still cannot metamorph into a creature that has a flying speed, burrowing speed, the ability to teleport or planar travel, or the shapechanger tag.

When you assume a form able to manipulate objects, mainly humanoid and giant, you can exclude potions and scrolls from the objects that transform with you and can use these items in your transformed form. You cannot use your other gear, even if the form you are transformed into uses similar equipment.

You can create clothes and other everyday accessories as appropriate to flesh out the assumed form. When you assume a form that has a stat block that includes equipment, you gain all equipment listed for that stat block. This can include, weapons, armor, and general gear. You cannot create magic items this way, instead creating mundane duplicates. Items created this way are a part of you, and if you Metamorph again or when a piece of equipment ends a turn 10 feet or more feet away from you, it disappears.

Supernatural Metamorph

Beginning at 9th level you can metamorph into a beast, elemental, giant, humanoid, monstrosity, ooze, or plant. You can now metamorph into creatures that have a flying speed or burrowing speed, but not creatures with the ability to teleport or planar travel or the shapechanger tag.

Planar Metamorph

At 15th level you can metamorph into an aberration, beast, celestial, dragon, elemental, fey, fiend, giant, humanoid, monstrosity, ooze, or plant. You can now metamorph into a creature with the ability to teleport or planar travel, but you still cannot metamorph into a creature with the shapechanger tag.

Designer's Notes

This is a subclass that can never be truly balanced. As the game expands, more creatures will be added, increasing the power and utility of the subclass. It is balanced against the Polymorph spell, which is itself pretty sketchy, and adding creature types makes it even more shaky. That said, the fact that you need a body part from the creature whose form you are to assume gives the DM some control over what forms can be used. Basically, any creature the DM uses against the player's become available to metamorph into. In addition, the DM may allow the metamorph to find or buy parts of other creatures to expand the number of available forms.