Making a Chameleon
Why Choose Chameleon?
The chameleon is designed around the idea of altering its major class features to temporarily emulate other classes, choosing the best one for each situation. While chameleons can't ever reach the same level of skill as the classes they emulate, the fact that they can, with sufficient preparation, always have the skillset that is most advantageous for any given situation means that they will consistently be useful even when circumstances change dramatically. The chameleon possesses arcane spellcasting, divine spellcasting, melee combat power, sneaking skill and hunting prowess as its main class features to switch around, as well as changeable feats and some limited extra abilities that are usable any time. Chameleons can only focus on fulfilling one role at a time (or two at higher levels), so if you came here looking for a class able to do anything at any time then the factotum class (Dungeonscape), with its weaker but always-on abilities, will be of more use to you.
The chameleon is primarily a class for players who frequently want to change their character and party role - if you get bored quickly with a fixed role and start making new characters before your current one is even in danger, then this class is for you. The chameleon is also a good choice for players wanting to join parties that are missing two or more important party roles, filling in gaps where needed, and is also a good choice for joining parties that already have a well-rounded composition because it can always give a helping hand where one is needed and can pinch-hit for missing teammates. Chameleons underperform in parties in need of a single specific, vital role, since they will need to stay in that role for extended periods and a class more specialized for it will undoubtedly be of more help.
The entire focus of the chameleon class is to have a variable role in a party. A chameleon is usually a substitute for a role that (ideally) the party is in need of, and this can change dramatically depending on the situation and the chameleon. The chameleon's lack of well-focused training means that he can't ever fully replace the roles he plays, and thus can never be as good in a role as those who are specialized in it. But a chameleon never needs to fear being overshadowed or rendered useless by his specialized partners because of his amazing versatility, and later on, his ability to play two roles at once will increase his ability to always find something useful to contribute.
Most chameleons are humans, whose adaptability already enables them to spread out amongst all kinds of classes. Changelings (MMIII), the product of human/doppleganger unions, are perhaps even more well-suited to the chameleon class, being shape-changing role-players by nature, but are far fewer in number than humans. Dopplegangers themselves are generally less interested in the class than in manipulating others, and so generally only pursue the difficult chameleon class rarely and half-heartedly. Other races are known to have chameleons in them, but humans and changelings tend to make up the bulk of them.
A chameleon can be of any alignment. A chameleon is not always a devotee of deception (though many are), despite how well its abilities suit trickery and disguise (generally chaotic actions) because some do not assume other identities, or don't do so for their own profit and amusement. They are often highly valued for their versatility by authorities and lawful organisations, and obediance, discipline and dedication are concepts drilled into agents trained by such institutions, resulting in plenty of Lawful chameleons. Rarely will a chameleon be neutral with regard to law and chaos, but they often take a neutral stance on good and evil, since their role-playing makes them reluctant to adopt any one society's set of morals.
Game Rule Information
Strength augments a chameleon's physical (martial) power, Intelligence influences his ability to cast Arcane spells and their effectiveness while Wisdom does the same for Divine spells, and Constitution is important for survivability. Dexterity and Charisma are important for various reasons and a chameleon can certainly make good use of them, but attack/spellcasting/survivability most often need to be taken care of first. Prioritizing these can still be a handful; a chameleon's success frequently depends on the ability score the current aptitude focus uses, and few chameleons hate anything more than being 'pidgeonholed' into a fixed role. After fourth level, chameleons have less need for concern over low stats thanks to Ability Boon's variable competence bonus. Given this, a chameleon is best off with balanced stats - even mediocre ones - between those needed for his roles, and boosting specific ones at the times when they are needed.
Starting Gold: 2d4 x 10 (50gp)
Starting items: Wizard's spellbook (100 pages) containing 10 0th-level arcane spells and [3 + Int] 1st-level arcane spells of your choice.
Starting Age: as Wizard
Special: Characters with levels in the chameleon prestige class may not take levels in the base class chameleon, and characters with levels in the base class chameleon may not enter the prestige class chameleon.
Hit Die: d8
Skill Points: 4 + Int (x4 at 1st level)
Class Skills: Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Profession (wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str).
Level Base Attack
1 +0 +0 +0 +0 Aptitude Focus 1/day
2 +1 +0 +0 +0 Able Learner
3 +2 +1 +1 +1 Mimic Class Feature 1/day
4 +3 +1 +1 +1 Ability Boon + 2
5 +3 +1 +1 +1 Flexible Feat (1)
6 +4 +2 +2 +2 Mimic Class Feature 2/day
7 +5 +2 +2 +2 Efficient Preparation
8 +6/+1 +2 +2 +2 Aptitude Focus 2/day, Ability Boon +4
9 +6/+1 +3 +3 +3 Mimic Class Feature 3/day
10 +7/+2 +3 +3 +3 Rapid Refocus
11 +8/+3 +3 +3 +3 Double Aptitude
12 +9/+4 +4 +4 +4 Mimic Class Feature 4/day
13 +9/+4 +4 +4 +4 Flexible Feat (2)
14 +10/+5 +4 +4 +4 Aptitude Focus 3/day, Ability boon +6
15 +11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +5 Mimic Class Feature 5/day
16 +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +5 Primary Focus
17 +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +5 Dangerous Unpredictability
18 +13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +6 Mimic Class Feature 6/day
19 +14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +6 Ability Boon + 8
20 +15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +6 Aptitude Focus unlimited/day
Spells Per Day & Maneuvers
1 2 1 - - - - - - 3 1
2 2 2 - - - - - - 3 1
3 3 2 0 - - - - - 3 1
4 3 3 1 - - - - - 4 1
5 4 3 2 - - - - - 4 2
6 4 3 2 0 - - - - 4 2
7 4 4 3 1 - - - - 4 2
8 4 4 3 2 - - - - 4 2
9 4 4 3 2 0 - - - 4 2
10 4 4 4 3 1 - - - 5 2
11 4 4 4 3 2 - - - 5 3
12 4 4 4 3 2 0 - - 5 3
13 4 4 4 4 3 1 - - 5 3
14 4 4 4 4 3 2 - - 5 3
15 4 4 4 4 3 2 0 - 6 3
16 4 4 4 4 4 3 1 - 6 4
17 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 - 6 4
18 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 0 6 4
19 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 1 6 4
20 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 7 4
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A chameleon is proficient with all simple weapons and with light armor, as well as most shields (just not tower shields).
Aptitude Focus (Ex): A number of times per day depending on your chameleon level (see chart), you can focus yourself on one of the following areas of expertise and gain its abilities, losing any abilities from your previous Aptitude Focus. Aptitude Foci each give their own set of special abilities and give an Aptitude Bonus to certain skills and abilities; your Aptitude Bonus is one half your chameleon level, rounded up and is always a competence bonus. Individual skill bonuses granted by this ability disappear if your ranks in the skill are above what would normally be its cross-class limit.
The process of switching Aptitude Foci takes one hour, but the effect lasts until you change your Aptitude Focus again. You can use Aptitude Foci to qualify for prestige classes and feats, but if you change your current Aptitude Focus so that you no longer would meet the entry requirements of a prestige class, you lose all of that class's abilities except for its base attack bonus, saves, skill points and hit dice until you once again qualify for it. If you no longer meet the prerequisites of a feat, you lose all of its effects until you meet its prerequisites again.
•Arcane Focus: You gain the ability to prepare and cast arcane spells from any single arcane spellcasting class's spell list (you may decide on a different one each time you change to Arcane Focus). You must choose and prepare your spells ahead of time by getting a good night's sleep and then spending 1 hour studying your spellbook (the spells you prepare must be in your spellbook). At each new chameleon level, you add two arcane spells of any level (and any list) you can cast to your spellbook, and you can add spells from scrolls and other sources to it just like a wizard can. To prepare or cast a spell, you must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against your spells is 10 + the spell level + your Intelligence modifier. You may only prepare as many arcane spells as your chameleon level would indicate on the Spells Per Day & Maneuvers table, plus any that you might get for a high Intelligence score (see Table 1-1 on p.8 of the PHB). Additionally, you gain your Aptitude Bonus on Knowledge (arcana) checks and Will saves.
•Divine Focus: You gain the ability to prepare and cast divine spells from any single divine spellcasting class's spell list (you may decide on a different one each time you change to Divine Focus). You must choose and prepare your spells ahead of time by spending 1 uninterrupted hour in quiet meditation or prayer, and although you are only able to prepare and cast spells from one spell list at a time, you may select any spells on that list (that you can cast) for preparation. You may only prepare as many divine spells each day as your chameleon level would indicate on the Spells Per Day & Maneuvers table, plus any that you might get for a high Wisdom score. Additionally, you gain your Aptitude Bonus on Knowledge (religion) checks, Fortitude saves, and Will saves.
•War Focus: You gain proficiency with all martial weapons, medium armor, heavy armor and tower shields. Your Base Attack Bonus from chameleon levels improves to that of a fighter and you gain extra iterative attacks in your full attack routine correspondingly (gaining additional iterative attacks when your Base Attack Bonus reaches +6, +11 and +16 with -5, -10 and -15 penalties, respectively). Whenever you successfully attack an enemy that is adjacent to one of your allies, you can make a free Aid Another attempt to help them to defend (+2 AC) or attack (+2 attack) against that enemy until your next turn. Additionally, you gain your Aptitude Bonus to your current and maximum hit points, weapon damage, Fortitude saves, and the Intimidate, Balance and Ride skills.
•Stealth Focus: You gain your Aptitude Bonus on all Dexterity- and Strength-based skills plus Disable Device and Search, as well as on Reflex saves. You also gain the following extraordinary abilities:
◦Uncanny Dodge: You can react to danger before your senses would normally allow you to do so. You retain your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, you still lose your Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.
◦Trapfinding: You can use the Search skill to locate traps when the task has a Difficulty Class higher than 20. Finding a nonmagical trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic trap has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it. You can use the Disable Device skill to disarm magic traps; a magic trap generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it. Beating a trap’s DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check means you can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it without disarming it.
◦Hide in Plain Sight: You can use the Hide skill even while being observed. As long as you are within 10 feet of some sort of shadow, you can hide yourself from view in the open without anything to actually hide behind. You cannot hide in your own shadow.
•Wild Focus: You gain your Aptitude Bonus on Climb, Handle Animal, Jump, Knowledge (nature), Listen, Search, Spot and Survival checks as well as your Fortitude and Reflex saves. Additionally, you gain the following extraordinary abilities:
◦Blindsense 40ft: You can notice and locate any creatures within 40 ft without listen or spot checks using your hearing. Creatures you cannot see still have total concealment against you (giving you a 50% miss chance and rendering you flat-footed to their attacks). At 8th level this ability becomes blindsight.
◦Blindsight 40ft (level 8): Using your hearing, you maintain full awareness of the area around you in a 40ft radius without using your sight. Concealment, invisibility, darkness, blindness and other purely visual impediments have no effect on you. You cannot use your blindsight to distinguish color or read, however.
◦Track: you gain the benefits of the Track feat (PHB p.101)
◦Woodland Stride: You may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at your normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment unless it has been magically manipulated to impede motion.
◦Favored Enemy: At the start of each day, regardless of the current Aptitude Focus, you can select a creature type to be your Favored Enemy (you must select a subtype as well if you choose Humanoid or Outsider) for use in Wild Focus. In Wild Focus, you gain your Aptitude Focus bonus on Bluff, Intimidate, Sense Motive, and Survival checks when using these skills against your favored enemies, and you also add it to weapon damage rolls against them. See the table on PHB p.47 for a full list of the favored enemies you can choose.
•Martial Focus*: You gain proficiency with all martial weapons, Your Base Attack Bonus from chameleon levels improves to that of a fighter and you gain extra iterative attacks in your full attack routine correspondingly (gaining additional iterative attacks when your Base Attack Bonus reaches +6, +11 and +16 with -5, -10 and -15 penalties, respectively), and you add your Aptitude Bonus to Martial Lore skill checks. Choose a martial discipline; you gain the ability to ready/execute martial maneuvers and enter stances from that discipline, and your initiator level is equal to your chameleon level. Your momentary insight lets you temporarily learn as many maneuvers and stances from your chosen discipline as you can ready (see the Spells Per Day and Maneuvers table), but you cannot learn more than one of your maximum level maneuvers, two of the level below that, and three of the level below that (first level maneuvers are exempt from this limitation). You expend and recover your maneuvers in the same way a swordsage would: spend a full-round action to meditate and recover one expended maneuver, or five minutes to ready all of them. You begin all encounters with your current readied maneuvers unexpended.
*Martial Focus can be considered entirely optional and can be removed without consequence if your game does not include the Tome of Battle.
Able Learner (Ex): You gain the benefits of Able Learner as though from the Able Learner feat (Races of Destiny), without having to be first level or meet the requirements: your cross-class skills now only cost one skill point per rank, but are still restricted by their normal maximum.
Mimic Class Feature: A number of times per day, shown on the class's chart, you can use the following abilities that would normally be exclusive to other classes:
•Evasion (Ex): With a successful Reflex save against an attack that would normally deal half damage on a successful save, you can activate this ability to avoid the damage altogether as an immediate action. You can activate this ability after you have rolled a successful Reflex save, but before you have taken damage. This ability lasts for 1 minute.
•Rage (Ex): Once per encounter during the chameleon's turn, he may activate a Rage ability identical to that of a barbarian's but with a shorter duration: +4 to Strength, +4 to Constitution (adding 2 HP per level that goes away after the Rage), +2 morale bonus on Will Saves, -2 AC. He cannot cast spells, cannot use magic items that require a command word, a spell trigger, or spell completion, cannot use Combat Expertise, and cannot use Concentration or any intelligence-, charisma-, or dexterity-based skills except Balance, Escape Artist, Intimidate, and Ride. This lasts for 1 + user's newly-improved Constitution modifier rounds or until he ends it voluntarily, at which point he becomes Fatigued.
•Smite (Ex): On your first daily usage of this ability, choose an alignment: Good, Evil, Lawful, or Chaotic. You use this alignment for all subsequent uses of Smite for the rest of the day. On any normal melee attack against a target at least partly of the chosen alignment, you may add your Charisma modifier to the attack roll and half your chameleon level to your attack's damage. When used on targets not of the chosen alignment this ability has no effect but is still used up.
•Sneak Attack (Ex): When you succeed on an attack within 30 ft on a foe you are flanking or is denied its Dexterity Bonus, you can use this ability to deal an additional d6 of damage for every two levels of chameleon you have. Treat your rogue level as your chameleon level when opposing the target's Uncanny Dodge.
•Turn/Rebuke Undead: On your first daily usage of this ability, you choose to either turn or rebuke the dead; all subsequent uses of this ability use that choice for the rest of the day. You turn or rebuke the undead as a cleric of two levels lower than your chameleon level. See here for Turn/Rebuke Undead details.
Ability Boon (Ex): You gain a competence bonus to an ability score of your choice whenever you adopt an Aptitude Focus that lasts until you dismiss your Aptitude Focus. The bonus is +2 after 4th level and improves to +4, +6, and +8 at levels 8, 14 and 19, respectively. You may not use this ability to qualify for prestige classes, feats, or other options.
Flexible Feat (Ex): At 5th level, you can designate one of your existing feats as a Flexible Feat, which from then on you may change to any other feat that you meet the prerequisites for at the start of each day (unlike normal feats, you may use Ability Boon to meet requirements for Flexible Feats). You may do this with another of your feats at 13th level. You can use these feats to qualify for prestige classes and other feats, but if you change them so that you no longer would meet the entry requirements of a prestige class, you lose all of that class's abilities except for its base attack bonus, saves, skill points and hit dice until you once again qualify for it. If you no longer meet the prerequisites of another feat, you lose all of its effects until you meet its prerequisites again. If you use the feat to bring about any kind of ability or effect that would ordinarily remain after you changed the feat, its effect ends as well. Items or materials produced from your feat remain, but any costs associated with them remain as well.
Efficient Preparation (Ex): You can prepare your arcane and divine spells at the same time now, and do not need to be in the Aptitude Focus of either spellcasting class to prepare their spells, only to cast them.
Rapid Refocus (Ex): You can now adopt an Aptitude Focus at greater speed than before. After reaching 10th level, you can change your Aptitude Focus in 15 minutes.
Double Aptitude (Ex): You gain the ability to adopt two different Aptitude Foci at the same time, but your Aptitude Bonus is halved, your spells per day for each spell level are lowered by one, and your number of readied maneuvers and stances known are reduced by 1 while in a Double Aptitude. This ability also lets you gain the effects of Ability Boon twice, but they do not stack when applied to the same ability score. Remember that multiple competence bonuses do not stack and your Aptitude Bonus only provides competence bonuses.
Primary Focus (Ex): Starting at 16th level, whenever you adopt two Aptitude Foci using Double Aptitude, you designate one of them as your Primary Focus. You Aptitude Bonus is not halved by Double Aptitude for your Primary Focus and your spells per day for that Focus (if applicable) are not reduced by Double Aptitude.
Dangerous Unpredictability (Ex): You have become so adept at switching Aptitude Foci that you can do a halfway change of focus that allows you to quickly change focus for a single round before reverting to your previous Aptitude Focus on your next turn. You expend one of your daily changes of Aptitude Focus to do this, you may only do this to take on one foci at a time, and you may only use Dangerous Unpredictability once per encounter. Doing this is a free action and its effect ends at the start of your next turn.