Shapeshifter

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shapeshifter @ (Varies) Shapeshifter.png
HP Varies
HD Varies
XP Varies
Speed 10 (Varies)
AC 0 (Varies)
EV 10 (Varies)
MR Varies
Attack1 5 (hit: plain) (Varies)
Attack2 Varies
Attack3 Varies
Attack4 Varies
Max Chunks 4
Type of Meat Mutagenic
Resistances None (Varies)
Vulnerabilities Silver (Varies)
Habitat land
Intelligence High
Uses Open doors (Varies)
Holiness Natural
Size Medium (Varies)
Type shapeshifter, shapeshifter
Flags No skeleton
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
From forth the deeps, and found his fat calves there,
And survey'd, and number'd, and never came near
The craft we used, but told us five for calves.
His temples then dis-eased he sleeps with salves;
And in rush we, with an abhorred cry,
Cast all our hands about him manfully;
And then th' old Forger all his forms began:
First was a lion with a mighty mane,
Then next a dragon, a pied panther then,
A vast boar next, and suddenly did strain
All into water. Last he was a tree,
Curl'd all at top, and shot up to the sky."

-Homer, _The Odyssey_, IV, 602-14.
trans. George Chapman, 1857.

Useful Info

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.