| A disturbing creature with the power to change its form. It is very rarely observed alive in its natural state.
"And then th' old Sea God crept
-Homer, _The Odyssey_, IV, 602-14.
Shapeshifters are unique and potentially deadly monsters with the ability to transform into almost any other monster in the game, though they usually pick monsters with HD similar to their own. This transformation is more than just cosmetic; the shapeshifter's stats and special abilities will match whatever they become, and XP will be adjusted as well. The only differences between an actual monster and a shapeshifter in its form are the corpse left behind (shapeshifters return to their natural form upon death) and the fact that the monster may change form again at any moment, becoming something new and healing significantly in the process. Shapeshifters can be found in the middle floors of the Dungeon.
Tips & Tricks
- No matter what you're facing, shapeshifters should always be one of your first priorities to kill. Although they're often harmless, they can always surprise you by becoming something you're just not prepared for at the worst possible moment.
- If you don't want to face a shapeshifter's current form, you can flee and face it later on once it's shifted. Alternatively, hitting it with a wand of polymorph or the Polymorph spell will force it to change form immediately.
- Shapeshifters often choose extremely rare monsters for their first form. If you come across a random elf, dwarf, or uncolored draconian outside of a special vault, expect it to be a shapeshifter.
- Hitting a shapeshifter with draining will reduce its HD, forcing it to pick from a weaker selection of monsters the next time it shifts. Although this significantly reduces your XP gain, it can also save you from an embarrassing death or a costly run in with a shadow dragon.