Advanced Shapeshift Proposal

Random discussion, related to the game, but not really of a rules nature.
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Joshua
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Advanced Shapeshift Proposal

Post by Joshua » Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:47 pm

So, I am not big on the current incarnation of Advanced Shapeshifting. For two reasons… one, there is a bit of overlap with conjuration. Two, it breaks with the pattern of 5 points per power and a 5 point discount for everything.
The proposed change corrects the cost. It also ties Shapeshifting back to Sorcery, as it is in the Courts of Chaos. How does this sound?

Unchanged:
Advanced Shape Shifting 65 Points (Basic + 30)

Shape Shift Aura, 5 Points, alter your mystic Aura at whim, also what your mind feels like to external mental touch. (Because getting mental impressions is important for things like Trump and Logrus and Shapeshift Persona, this is left as is.)

The following are updates to the corresponding lower level powers. As such they remove the concentration aspect. Although they do require sufficient psyche to keep your personality separate from what you are mimicking.
Shape Shift Features, 5 points, Mimic another physical appearance, can be done piecemeal, doesn’t require concentration.
Shape Shift Persona, 10 Points, (Shape Shift Feature + 5 points), mimic another’s personality.

Shape Shift Internal Structures, 5 points, add an extra heart or other organ, or move your own. You may also regenerate now.

New Powers:
In order to shapeshift into a form that uses a power you need to have an appropriate level of Sorcery, Conjuration or Power Words. In addition, you must have designed an appropriate spell / ritural using Theory or have a psychic impression of a creature that can do so. Because these are based on Shapeshifting, they are harder to dispel and are based on your endurance instead of psyche.
  • Internalize Simple Power: (5 Points) Replaces Animal Abilities. In addition, with Basic Conjuration, you can alter your mass when you shapeshift. Shadow Shape or Empowerment allows you to gain armor or other simple physical and internal abilities. (Such as resistance to fire, the ability to breathe methane, hibernation, or razor-sharp retractable claws.)
  • Externalize Simple Power: (5 Points) Similar to Creatures of Power, you may develop simple offensive abilities. Dragon's Breath, frost auras, electric eel bioshocks, and other simple, physical powers. you may also summon basic creatures of blood (purely physical creatures). This requires an appropriate spell, although it need not be identical. So, even something like Power Word: Spark (Aflak!) could be used to create fire breath.
  • Shift Complex Power: (5 Points, must have BOTH previous powers.) No longer bound by the simple powers, your ability to change mass is limited only by your endurance. You can create complex magic effects such as a medusa's gaze, wingless flight, or the ability to travel through Shadow. You may attempt to shapeshift others by touch (either through transformative poison or a mutation-based aura. Remember, this is now Endurance vs Endurance). Creatures of Blood may have other powers, such as Shadow Seeking, and can be built with the creature rules (as if you were conjuring the creature normally).
For reference, here are the powers that were replaced/combined:
Shape Shift to Animal Abilities, 15 points, (Persona + 5), mimic part of an animal’s ability, without becoming that animal. This includes instincts of how to use the abilities.
Shape Shift to Creatures of Power, 20 points, (Animal Abilities + 5) mimic fantastic creatures, even those that can shift through shadow.
Shape Shift Blood, 10 points, (Internal Structures + 5), This is the start of being able to split parts of your body off as independent beings. You must have Shape Shift to Creatures of Power if you want to imbue your blood with any abilities.
Shape Shift Others, 5 Points, by touch. This requires you defeat them in Psyche.

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Joshua
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Re: Advanced Shapeshift Proposal

Post by Joshua » Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:06 pm

I was thinking that a Troll, who wanted to regenerate and have its severed limbs animate and attack would take Shapeshift Wounds (from basic) and then (with permission) take Shapeshift Internal Structures and Externalize Simple Power (Animating severed limbs seems more external than internal.) Because of the nature of this singular use, the required spell would be hand-waved. Said troll could not take additional Shapeshifting Powers, and if he did, would likely have to pay for Externalize Power a second time (or just buy the Basic Conjuration for 5 points when he gets to advanced Shapeshifting).

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Re: Advanced Shapeshift Proposal

Post by Wyvern » Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:00 am

As one of two people that this proposal would (immediately) impact, I'm in favor of it - though, admittedly, some of that is entirely self-serving, as this sort of sorcery + shapeshifting path dovetails nicely with what I'd planned for Alys anyway...

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Joshua
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Re: Advanced Shapeshift Proposal

Post by Joshua » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:12 am

Do people want me to explicitly state what you can do with these without any additional power?

Something like:
Internalize Simple Power: (5 Points) Without additional powers, you can mimic any basic internal / defensive animal abilities of animal forms you already know. This allows you to shift into a form with functional wings if you know how to turn into a bird, or gain claws or teeth if you know how to turn into a wolf.
Externalize Simple Power: (5 Points) Without additional powers, you can mimic more external powers in your human form. Examples include pheromones, spinning spider silk, or the spray of a skunk.
Shift Complex Power: (5 Points, must have BOTH previous powers.) You may mimic any strange powers of your Avatar form (if it's not an animal) or your Chaos Form. In addition, when you use Shape Shift Persona or animal shape, you may mimic any magical abilities of what you are turning into. Your ability to shapeshift others is limited to triggering their own abilities. (Such as reverting a shape shifter to human form.)

Note: Your primal form has full access to the above versions of this power. Thankfully, your primal form cannot combine these powers with Sorcery, Conjuration or whatnot. (Probably...)

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Re: Advanced Shapeshift Proposal

Post by The Raven » Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:42 pm

I'm thinking you should just drop shapeshift other into sorcery (or whatever) entirely, but it's limited by whatever shapeshifting abilities you have. It seems kind of out of place. (still!)

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Re: Advanced Shapeshift Proposal

Post by Wyvern » Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:59 pm

Hm... Actually, I think I can agree with that. Shapeshift other (versus targets that have shapeshifting) makes sense as a psyche attack. Shapeshift other via sorcery is just classic. Shapeshift other via logrus or pattern makes perfect sense (against targets that aren't too "real"). Shapeshift other as an aspect of pure shapeshifting, though... you'd need something like "advanced creature of blood: symbiote" or the like. Doable, but much much harder; I'd be fine with bumping that up into exalted shapeshifting instead of "mere" advanced.

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Joshua
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Re: Advanced Shapeshift Proposal

Post by Joshua » Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:07 pm

The thought is: Shapeshifting is an infection of primal chaos. The ability to change another person allows you to express this internal chaos by touch. It also allows you to do it as an Endurance vs Endurance challenge, effectively pitting your skills in shapeshifting against each other. This is the classic power of creating lycanthropes by biting them or a vampire creating ghouls by feeding them blood. (if you make it about their shapeshifting.)

You still have the option to do so with psyche. And CAN do that with anything that allows mental contact (including sorcery, logrus, trump, compelling, advanced broken pattern and physical contact when you have amber or higher psyche). At least against voluntary or subconscious shapeshifting. Undoing a curse is basically sorc to dispell or conjuration to force another change.

Conjuration can change someone else directly through conjure shadow shape or Empowerment. This is psyche vs psyche OR psyche vs endurance.

Oh yeah, and there's a power word for "revert to normal form" can't forget that.

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Re: Advanced Shapeshift Proposal

Post by Wyvern » Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:10 am

Hmm... Shapeshifting as a function of Primal Chaos... that makes it sound kinda like shapeshifting is Logrus...

Interesting thoughts. (Someday I may build an Amber game based on the Merlin books being non-canon. It'd be an interesting setting, where shapeshifting can't turn you human without the blood of Amber, where Logrus doesn't exist and the forces of Chaos are limited to black roads and sorcery...)

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Re: Advanced Shapeshift Proposal

Post by Joshua » Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:03 pm

This was accepted: for archiving, here is the old power.

Shapeshifting: 35 Points (All of the below, you get a 5 point discount for taking all of the below)
Let's start with some basics. This power can be used to mimic a number of non-major powers. For example, a werewolf PC (or someone from Rebma who can turn into a sea-turtle) can simply take Avatar Form for 5 points. The trolls in game effectively have Shapeshift Wounds and/or Shapeshift Internal Structures (only for healing) and/or Shapeshift Blood (Only for animating severed limbs). At 5 - 15 points, it allows for a breadth of abilities without dipping into the weird implant creature powers rules. Such things do require GM permission, but if it fits your character, why not ask? Technically, such powers are not "Shapeshifting" per se... but close enough.

Some endurance powers require concentration. (As do most defenses and things like Pattern lens.) Concentration means you have to "pat your head" while "rubbing your tummy". At Amber level psyche, you can maintain concentration during most activities, although you will be distracted in combat and will have trouble if actually wounded. Multiple things that require concentration gets progressively harder, especially if you're using powers that don't like each other, such as Pattern and Shapeshifting.
Higher levels of shapeshifting require less concentration, and you can resist most physical shocks with endurance instead. So, if you don't have a great psyche, more shapeshifting or more endurance will help you.

Remember: At Human endurance, you can shapeshift once a day, if you're lucky. At Chaos, several times a day. At Amber, as much as you'd like, thought you might get hungry. Endurance helps you shift faster and keep your new forms under control.

Shape Shift Wounds, 5 Points, Stop bleeding and repair, cannot actually regenerate lost limbs. Much faster, easier and safer then other forms of shifting. Typical healing can happen faster than your endurance would suggest, although regrowing things that are completely lost is still problematic.

Shape Natural Forms (Avatar Form), 5 Points, “natural” form of an avatar animal or elemental. You can chose this to be your normal form, in which case this power is "Human form" for 5 points. (Identical but in reverse.)
Shape Facial Features, 5 points, shape basic external disguises at your desire, requires concentration. Not limited to just your face, but again, purely cosmetic.
Shape Body Parts, 10 points, (Shape Facial + 5), Shape more complex forms, requires total concentration during shift, and concentration to maintain. Extra limbs, tentacles, any kind of major shape change is possible. If taken out of order, you may do partial transformations into forms you know (such as your avatar form), but cannot make new abstract forms.
Shape Natural Form (Chaos), 20, (Avatar + Shape body Parts + 5), basic combat form. We should sit down and design what kinds of abilities it grants you.

Shape Shift Animal Forms, 5 (must have avatar form), An add-on to Avatar form, allowing you to change into other animals. Please note, that without local magic to draw on, you cannot change mass, nor do you gain the instincts of the new form. (And need Amber Strength to fly.) That being said, with practice you can learn these forms as if they were skills. If you also have Shape Body Parts, you can do partial transformations into learned forms.
New Animal forms work best if you can make psychic contact with an example animal. (Fairly easy to do if you have Walk to Complex Desire from Pattern.)

Automatic Shapeshift, 5 points, Respond to outward events instinctively, may occur spontaneously. This includes forming armor, reenforcing bones, or making flying-squirrel style glider wings when you fall. As a warning, suffocation causes your body to shut down to conserve oxygen.
Primal Form, 10 points (Automatic + 5 points), Throw yourself on the mercy of your shapeshifting, may occur spontaneously. Anyone CAN do this, but having the power makes it much less of a shock.

Advanced Shape Shifting 65 Points (Basic + 30)
Note: These abilities add up to 40 points. If you spend 20 points on them, you get 25 points worth of abilities. 25 points, gets you 30 points of abilities, If you spend 30 you get all 40 points worth.)
Shape Shift Aura, 5 Points, alter your mystic Aura at whim, also what your mind feels like to external mental touch.

The following are updates to the corresponding lower level powers. As such they remove the concentration aspect. Although they do require sufficient psyche to keep your personality separate from what you are mimicking.
Shape Shift Features, 5 points, Mimic another physical appearance, can be done piecemeal, doesn’t require concentration.
Shape Shift Persona, 10 Points, (Shape Shift Feature + 5 points), mimic another’s personality.
Shape Shift to Animal Abilities, 15 points, (Persona + 5), mimic part of an animal’s ability, without becoming that animal. This includes instincts of how to use the abilities.
Shape Shift to Creatures of Power, 20 points, (Animal Abilities + 5) mimic fantastic creatures, even those that can shift through shadow.

Shape Shift Internal Structures, 5 points, add an extra heart or other organ, or move your own. You may also regenerate now.
Shape Shift Blood, 10 points, (Internal Structures + 5), This is the start of being able to split parts of your body off as independent beings. You must have Shape Shift to Creatures of Power if you want to imbue your blood with any abilities.

Shape Shift Others, 5 Points, by touch. This requires you defeat them in Psyche.

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