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D&D 3E
Alter self for fun and profit 
9th-Apr-2007 12:25 am
Sir Black
I'm looking for forms I can take with Alter self, specifically forms that will save my ass.

I'd like forms that can either:

A) Fly
B) Burrow
C) Swim (And breath water, if Alter Self allows for that)
D) Have some sort of natural combat ability

Flight is my chief priority, since I'd love to provide air support for my party with my spells.
9th-Apr-2007 10:23 am (UTC)
Sadly, Alter Self does not allow any of that unless you can do it already. Page 197, PHB, first line of the spell description says, "You assume the form of a creature of the same type as your normal form."

Polymorph could give you those alternate abilities, but you would most likely lose your spellcasting.

The Fly spell is your best bet.
9th-Apr-2007 12:29 pm (UTC)
You assume the form of a creature of the same type as your normal form

The type of most PC races is "Humanoid" so all you need is a Humanoid that can burrow, or fly (e.g. a 5HD raptoran).
9th-Apr-2007 12:48 pm (UTC)
Correct, finding the humanoid is a little trickier, unfortunately.
9th-Apr-2007 10:49 pm (UTC)
Don't ignore the fact that the rules change a lot between 3.0 an 3.5. The original 3E book says that if the form you become has wings you can fly and if it has gills you can swim. Nothing says his game has to go by the 3.5 rules.
9th-Apr-2007 02:26 pm (UTC)
Alter Self:
In particular,
"You acquire the physical qualities of the new form while retaining your own mind. Physical qualities include natural size, mundane movement capabilities (such as burrowing, climbing, walking, swimming, and flight with wings, to a maximum speed of 120 feet for flying or 60 feet for nonflying movement) ... "

Raptorian's fly and are humanoid.

Variant Races have a lot of the movement types (aquatic variants get swim; several Jungle types get Climb speeds
10th-Apr-2007 08:10 am (UTC)
Raptoran's are a no go. for one, the flight assuming the DM allows it, is hit die based, and weak at a maximum of 5 hit die (the max allowed by alter self-caster level in hit die, max 5)and secondly, its not a mundane movement capability. check the book, its extroidinary, which alter self specifically precludes.
9th-Apr-2007 11:28 am (UTC)
Way's right..Alter Self is essentially a magic disguise kit.....
9th-Apr-2007 03:21 pm (UTC)
no, disguise self is a magic disguise kit, and it's an illusion. alter self does exactly what skybreak_seeker's looking for, and it's a transmutation, an actual change.
9th-Apr-2007 12:25 pm (UTC)
I think you folks are giving skybreak_seeker bad advice. Disguise self is the spell that creates an illusionary disguise. Alter Self allows you to turn into a creature of the same type. For example, assuming that skybreak_seeker's character is a humanoid, the character could use alter self to turn into an orc, hobgoblin, elf, or anything else with the humanoid type that is within one size category of the caster's normal size. There are various restrictions on what abilities you get when you use alter self, but you can figure that out from the spell description. Personally, I find the irritation inherent in trying to parse what abilities alter self will and will not grant overshadows the potential benefits, but if you're willing to deal with it more power to you.

In terms of suggested forms from the SRD (again, assuming your caster is a humanoid), I'd check out lizardfolk, locathah, and troglodyte. I'm not aware of any humanoids in the SRD with Fly or Burrow speeds. You may have to look further afield. Good luck!
9th-Apr-2007 03:27 pm (UTC)
i was gonna tell about the alter self cheat sheet you gave me for our game. if you still have it you should email it to skybreak. it's been really useful for me.

skybreak, i play in andyiii's game and he gave me a cheat sheet for my bard who uses alter self for what you're looking for all the time. i don't have the sheet handy. i'm not sure i ever use any forms that can fly, we're in a seafaring campaign so swimming is often a lot more useful to me. but i'm pretty sure that the winged elves... are they avorals? i forget what they're called... anyway i think they'd work for you.

and like andy said, there are lots of useful humanoid forms. kobolds are good because you get an AC bump from the smaller size and a natural armor bonus. just flip through the monster manual (or mm2 or mm3) and see what you can find. anything humanoid goes, but monstrous humanoid is out. for that you need polymorph.
9th-Apr-2007 01:14 pm (UTC)
Hasn't been updated in a while, but this might help: http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=176246
10th-Apr-2007 09:10 am (UTC)
The Aventi from stormwrack have a base swim speed of 30 feet and are fully amphibious
the darfallen have a base swim speed of 40 feet but only have extended holding of breath
The Hadozee have a gliding ability and look pretty funky
The Dwarven Urdunnir from ROFaerun have a cool stone walk and shape ability set
The Aarakocra from ROFaerun have a very good fly speed, but im not sure if they count as humanoids, though they should.
...there are also some new races in the monster manuals II and III that are worth checking out, like halfling bats and the like. All I got for now
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