Augmented Druid: The Planeshifter
A Human woman centers herself in the middle of a firefight, and suddenly her body is engulfed in spectral flames. The form of a fire elemental surrounds her as she strides into the fray.
Arms spread wide, a Piranthi draws on their power. Floral vines spring up from the metal floor of the space station, slowing the armed guards in pursuit.
The hotel room is silent save for the quiet muttering of a Kygad man who sits at the foot of the bed, a circle drawn in front of him. As the last words leave his mouth, the circle alights and a fairy appears at its center.
Planeshifters are individuals who connect deeply with the planes of existence, so much so that many consider them to be extensions of those planes. Their connections with the multiverse allow them to take on ethereal shapes and harness powerful, enduring magic. Like druids before them, they are powerful spellcasters and shapeshifters.
Reach Across Planes
Though the planes of the galaxy – Infinite Overlay, Mirrored Heart, Material, Elemental Sphere, Eternal Prism, and Outer – have been a subject of interest to much of the galaxy, none understand them the way planeshifters do. No matter the affinity, a planeshifter’s magic and shapeshifting are a reflection of the plane from which they draw their power. There are many established groups of planeshifters, but it is not uncommon for a single person to find their way to such power on their own, borne of a potent attachment to another plane. In the time before space travel when the planes were less understood, many individuals with skill sets like the planeshifters were part of druidic orders or hermitages.
A planeshifter’s ability to speak to and understand all manner of creatures and peoples makes them a valuable asset to governments and explorers everywhere. However, many planeshifters prefer to live reclusive lives like their forebears, focusing on the threads that bind them to the planes. Planeshifters often live in places where the barrier between planes is thinnest, but they delight in understanding the world around them, which leads many to become adventurers.
The core ability a planeshifter gains from their connection is that of spiritual shapeshifting. The spectral form of a creature or entity overlays itself upon the planeshifter, creating an eerie dual appearance. Depending on the plane a planeshifter is attuned to, their spirit shape can take on many forms. A planeshifter of the elemental plane, for example, might appear to be enveloped in the form of a fire elemental.
Creating a Planeshifter
When making a planeshifter, consider which plane your character has a connection to and why. Were they part of an order of planeshifters and made an intentional connection to a specific plane? Perhaps they were a researcher who stumbled into their planar bond, or even an average citizen who formed an attachment to a plane after a chance encounter with a creature of that plane. Whatever their backstory, it is also important to think about the differences in their life before and after forming a planar bond, and the lasting marks it has left upon them.
You can make a planeshifter quickly by following these suggestions. First, Wisdom should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. Second, choose the naturalist background. Finally take a bolt action rifle, a carbon fiber breastplate, spirit focus, and a quarterstaff.
Archetypes: The Planar Bond
At 2nd level, you choose your planar bond. It is the ultimate expression of your connection to a specific facet of a plane of existence. The ones included in this primer are the Bond of Elements, Bond of the Fae, and Bond of Flora. Many other planeshifters are connected to a piece of the Material Plane and for those that are, you may select an available 5th edition Druid Circle instead. Some alterations might be necessary in regards to referring to Wild Shape vs Spirit Shape.
The full Planeshifter can be found in the upcoming Galactic Primer on Natural Environments, one of the rewards of the Spaceships & Starwyrms Kickstarter launching on April 25.