The Little Big Book of Shapechanging


Introduction

Shapeshifting is the power which enables you to use your body as your canvas, reshaping it into whatever you can imagine...within limits.  With time, even those limits can be escaped from, however.  It is the specialty of Chaosians, but Amberites and Shadow dwellers can get in on it as well.

Shapeshifting has no prerequisites, although having a good psyche and endurance helps a lot.  Even someone with all human atttributes can shapeshift.  Not very often or very well, but they could.  It doesn't require the blood of anything, either.

Shapeshifting works virtually everywhere, just as well in the Pattern Chamber as inside the Logrus, although there are a handful of shadows where it doesn't work for some strange reason.  There are also some where it is limited to powers that entirely affect one's body only (ie, you could use Shift Wounds, but not Shapeshift Others or Absorb Mass).

Learning to Shapeshift

Learning to Shapeshift requires a teacher and the potential to shapeshift.  In general, just about any Amberite or Chaosian can learn to do so.  Shadow dwellers may require a story reason, although plenty of Shadows exist where everyone can shapeshift.

It takes weeks to months to unlock your basic forms, depending on your Psyche.  From there, it takes a few more weeks to months for each of the abilities up to Automatic Shapeshift.  Abilities beyond that tend to be highly variable as to learning times.

Basic Forms

When you first learn shapechanging, you pick your basic forms.  One of these is your birth form, the form which it is easiest for you to assume, although all three basic forms are very easily assumed by you.  For Amberites and Shadow dwellers, this is usually a human form.  For Chaosians, it is usually the demon form.  Amberites and Chaosians typically have three basic forms:  Human, Demon, and Avatar.  Shadow Dweller shapeshifters usually only have two of those forms, although some may have all three.  [Having three basic forms costs five points, having only two costs three points].  They also can, potentially, have Avatar as their birth form.

Human form is just that.  An utterly ordinary human form.  It's always the same appearance, though it ages as you age.  Higher shapechanging powers can enable you to impersonate other humans, but this form is unique to you.

Demon form (also called Combat Form) is an armored and weaponed form.  At its base cost, it gives you armor and weaponry about as good as a suit of chainmail and a couple of swords and axes, although you can invest more points into it to boost its capabilities.

Avatar form varies, dependent on what you are.  For Amberites, it's an animal form.  For Chaosians, it's some sort of elemental creature.  For Shadow Dwellers, it could be just about anything.

You can spend up to five points each on your Demon and Avatar forms, investing them with Item Qualities.  You get three points of Item Qualities (not Powers) for those forms per point you spend.

Example:
Paul decides he wants to play a Shadow Dweller, a Werewolf.  In fact, just to be strange, he wants to be a wolf who turns into a man, instead of vice versa.  He goes ahead and pays the full five points for three forms.  His human form is just that, a human.  His Avatar is a wolf.  And his combat form is a wolf-man, half-human, half-wolf, a furry humanoid with claws and sharp pointy teeth.  He then buys the following qualities for those forms.
 

He has thus spent a total of 11 points on his basic forms.

Minor Shapeshifting

Shift Body Parts

This is the first step, in which you become Mr. Fantastic, able to stretch or compact your existing body structures like play-doh.  You can turn your bones into stretchy stuff, then resolidify them to sustain your warped form.  This does not enable you to create new body parts, just to compact or elongate what you have and move your body mass around to some degree.  Useful for things like slapping someone from eight feet away, escaping manacles, getting a drink from the fridge without leaving your chair, and other such tricks.  But rather paltry by the standard of later powers.  But it's a prerequisite to just about everything.

Shift Wounds

In a matter of minutes, you can knit any wound back together, which makes you hard to kill.  On the downside, this takes time, so it's best done after the fight ends or while you hide somewhere.  If you're too cut up, you'll knock yourself out from the exertion this requires if your endurance is low.

Shift Features

At this point, you now have enough fine control to take on the appearance of other people.  It's child's play to disguise yourself as just some random person, and fairly easy to take on an appearance of your choice.  Imitating specific people requires you to spend time studying them, preferably naked if you want complete authenticity.  Even then, you may be spotted by your lack of their mannerisms.

This can be used in one's combat and avatar forms, as well as one's human form.  It takes minutes to hours, depending on how different they are in appearance.  It does allow one to change one's physical sex if one really wants to.


Automatic Shapeshifting and Primal Form

The next phase of shapeshifting is learning how to adapt to changing environments.  This is known as automatic shapeshifting.  At this point, the shifter learns how to consciously or subconsciously quickly change to deal with adverse conditions.  Throw him in a fire and he gets abestos skin and his lungs automatically filter smoke.  Fall in water and you develop gills.  Need to cross a burning desert?  You'll become heat resistant and your body will become more efficient in its use of water.  And so on.  The more Psyche and Endurance you have, the faster your body adapts.

Should stress levels become high enough, you'll automatically slide into primal form, which is how shapeshifters refer to the ultimate survival state in which you can adapt to just about anything.  Primal Form has the disadvantage, however, that you become survival obsessed and considerations like your friends, your goals, your towel, or your reason for entering the danger in the first place are forgotten.  You simply head for safety, regardless of other considerations, even if this means leaving your buddies to die.  With experience, you can learn to enter primal form automatically if you want to.


Impersonation Powers

Shift Persona

It's not too hard to imitate someone's body, but to pass as them convincingly, you have to learn to adopt all their little mannerisms, idioms, and tones of speech.  Otherwise, everyone will start thinking your imitation subject is acting strangely.  You now learn how to do this; this can even be used to take on a measure of their skills.  This is a somewhat risky thing, however, because you do it by shapechanging your own mind, and if the target has too much psyche, you may become buried by the persona, and lose your identity until the next time you sleep.

Shift Aura

You now learn how to shapechange your aura, so that you can pass psychically as someone else--a plant, a normal human, Gerard...If someone overcomes your defenses, unless they have a serious psyche advantage, they will find what you want them to find.  Like Shift Persona, this is dangerous, as you may become submerged for a substantial amount of time if the other person's psyche is too strong for you.

You can use this ability to hide your Logrus or Pattern or Broken Pattern Imprint to some degree, making it hard to detect, and you can use it to change your 'trump phone number' so that existing Trumps of you will fail to reach you.
 


Creatures of Blood

Basic Creatures of Blood

Every cell of a shapechanger's body has the potential to become a completely new life form; with this power, you learn how to activate that potential, shaping some of your own body into a small, simple creature.  It can have up to Chaos in all stats, and a single power inherent in your blood (such as shadow walking or being able to shift its wounds shut or whatever)  At this level, such creatures make good messengers or spies, but little else.

It takes 3-5 minutes to create such a creature, depending on psyche, and the more endurance you possess, the more frequently you can make them.
 
 

Advanced Creatures of Blood

You can now create creatures with up to your body mass.  This includes duplicates of yourself or others, though they only have up to Amber in stats.  However, you can invest them with a number of powers inherent in your blood equal to the # of levels of Creature of Blood you possess.

You can also make blood creatures out of other people's blood.
 

Master Creatures of Blood
 

They can possess up to 1/3rd of your stats, and up to 1/3rd your points in your powers.  They can resemble real people if you so desire.  Over time, they tend to become independent unless you High Compel them, as they respond to their experiences.  Should you so desire, you can now create simple creatures of blood from other people's blood if they possess Shapeshifting or Pattern Imprint.

It takes 5 minutes for every point of attributes (imbuing human takes 1 minute, Chaos takes 2, Amber takes 3), and 10 minutes for every point of powers.

The closer such creatures come to your body mass, the less frequently you can make them; this is modified by endurance.  If you possess the Absorb/Eject Mass power, you can simply keep eating stuff and cranking out Creatures of Blood as fast as you want.
 

If you possess Forms of Power, you can create blood creatures with the corresponding abilities.
 

Exalted Creatures of Blood

At this level, your Creatures of Blood can now possess up to 2/3rds of your stats and up to 2/3rds your points in your powers.  Advanced Creatures of Blood tend to become independent of you fairly quickly.
 


Shapeshifting Other People

Shapeshift Others

At this point, the Shifter learns how to extend his powers to affect other people.  This requires you to defeat the victim in psychic combat, which can take quite a while.  If they are willing, it is quick and easy, usually taking about as long as it would to perform the effect on yourself.

Imbue with Power

You now can not just use your shapeshifting on others, but you can attempt to fundamentally rewrite their very essence.  This works well on Shadow Dwellers, but Amberites and Logrus Initiates will eventually throw off the effects.  People can be imbued with any Shapeshifting powers you possess, and also with any Trump or Magical skills you wish to burn into them; similarly, they can be stripped of such powers if you're feeling cruel.  You must actually possess the powers to be imbued, but you don't need to possess a power you wish to suppress.

If you possess a suitable template (such as yourself), you can perform a blood transfusion and rewrite the target to effectively gain the Blood of Amber or of Chaos.  You can also suppress such blood in a person who possesses one or the other, if they haven't already walked the Logrus or the Pattern (in which case they're beyond your power).

This can be used to create an unstable possession-like effect, melding two or more beings together into one.  Sufficient application of Pattern or Logrus, a sufficiently skilled Shapeshifter, walking the Pattern or Logrus, or similar things will undo the effect, splitting the beings apart and probably leaving them with weeks of bad side effects.
 
 
 

Possession

This power lets you infiltrate someone's body and make it your own.  You effectively merge your forms together and gain the best of both worlds.  This can only be done either by consent (generally not very likely) or by utterly defeating the victim in psychic combat.  It takes about a week to do this properly, so you're advised to find somewhere you won't be disturbed.

The resulting form looks like the victim, and has his Strength and Endurance, while retaining your Warfare and Psyche.  If the victim possessed the blood of Amber or Chaos, you now possess it.  If they had an active Logrus or Pattern Imprint, you now have the basic Imprint if you didn't have it before, but all learned powers are gone and must be relearned by you.  (And yes, your new imprint costs you points if you didn't have it).  Walking the Pattern will not expel you from the body, as you have fused with it to become a new being.

If the victim had shapeshifting, your basic forms are replaced by his.  If he did not, your human form becomes his normal appearance, but you retain your own demon and avatar forms.

Be warned, this process is irreversible.  Also, you inherit any blood curses the victim may have suffered, but you don't gain any benefit of any good karma they had.
 
 


Miscellaneous Shifting Tricks

Shift to Animal or Plant Shapes

You can shape shift into any animal form of comparable mass that you have studied, i.e. that you have a full Psychic impression of.  In this context, 'animal' means an organic non-vegetable form.  These are Named and Numbered forms that you practiced in - you will not be clumsy or disoriented, so there is no bad effect on Warfare, Psyche, etc.  You can also get the locomotive abilities of the studied animal...flight, swimming, etc.  Other abilities such as poison, fire breath, etc. are beyond the scope of this ability and are part of Shift Anatomy and to Animal Abilities.

This power also allows you to become a plant.  The definition of what a plant is varies by Shadow, so in this context it means a largely non-mobile form that has the ability to gain sustenance passively. For example, in a hostile Shadow, take the shape of a local tree and you will have food and water enough to heal and rest without doing any work. Plant forms are particularly excellent for meditation and mental rejuvenation.  You also discover your Plant Form, an appropriate vegetation Basic Form.
 
 

Shift Anatomy and Structure, Shift to Animal Abilities

Instead of having to shift into animal form to gain the animal's ability, you can simply change your own form to add the ability.  For example, you can have your character sprout wings like a bird or a bat, or develop claws or armored scales.  In addition, you can move around, change, duplicate, and augment the body's internal organs.  Aside from the obvious benefits of generating two hearts, or a sub-brain, you can use this ability to regenerate lost body parts, which takes about a week of total concentration.
 

Absorb and Eject Mass

Many forms cannot be adequately done with the mass possessed by a Human sized character.  It is for this reason that a character with Shape Shift can use his/her power to absorb mundane Shadow Material into him/herself to take on sufficient mass for the desired form.  For example, when the Demon Servant, Gryll, came to Merlin to take him back to the Courts he lacked sufficient mass and size to carry Merlin on his back.  Gryll then proceeded to absorb some furniture from Merlin's room in order to gain the desired size and mass.

The Shadow Material which the character absorbs cannot be magical (living creatures can be absorbed, but you'll need to catch and eat them instead of just fusing with them).  It must be considered generally mundane in the Shadow in which the material exists in order for the Shape Shifter to be able to assimilate it into themselves.  This process increases the time required to Shape Shift greatly, adding up to 15 minutes, and if the Shape Shifter wishes to then go to a form with less mass/size he or she will have to expel the absorbed matter first, which will take twice as long as absorbing it.  Note that the character may not decrease their mass less than their smallest Basic Form's original starting total.


Creatures of Power
based on the system developed by Alan Harnum.
 

BASICS

Each beginning Form of Power (henceforth generally referred to as FoP) is constructed from a pool of points determined by the shapeshifter's Psyche, and by just how powerful the form assumed has the potential to be.  This pool represents just how powerful a form can safely be assumed by the shapeshifter without risking loss of self.

_Standard Forms of Power_

Creatures with a fair bit of bite to them, capable of posing a threat to ill-prepared lesser Amberites, but no real danger to Elders or groups.  Examples might include lesser dragons, gryphons and manticores (as encountered by Corwin in the Chronicles), and lesser Chaos demons.

The pool of points for creating a Standard FoP is equal to Psyche for all Shape Shifters capable of assuming FoP.  Up to four points may be spent in each category of FoP Qualities or Powers.  A standard form can have a maximum of 16 points worth of qualities.

_Advanced Forms of Power_

Nastier beasties whose abilities could potentially give a lone Elder trouble.  Examples might include greater dragons, tarrasques (from AD&D), and mid-level Chaos demons.

The pool of points for creating an Advanced FoP is equal to 1/2 Psyche for Advanced Shape Shifters, and to Psyche for anyone able to create Master or Exalted Forms of Power.  Up to eight points may be spent in each category of FoP Qualities or Powers.  You can have a maximum of 32 points in an Advanced Form.

_Master and Exalted Forms of Power_

The big nasties, the kind of things that can crawl out of Shadow and threaten Amber every few centuries or so.  Examples might include the most powerful Chaos demons, Great Old Ones, and black dragons the size of continents capable of eating Amber.

The pool of points for creating an Exalted FoP is equivalent to 1/2 Psyche for Shape Shifting Masters, and to Psyche for Exalted Shape Shifters.  They are unavailable to Advanced Shape Shifters.  Up to sixteen points may be spent in each category of FoP Qualities or Powers.  You can have a maximum of 64 points in an Exalted Form.

_Number of Starting Forms_

Determined by a pool equal to Endurance.  One point allows you to create a single Standard FoP, two points allows you to create a single Advanced FoP, four points (really only applicable for NPCs or starting characters more powerful than most) allows you to create a single Exalted FoP.

This represents the number of true FoP possible for the shapeshifter to contain without falling risk to nasty things like Primal Chaos Cancer.

_Free Stuff_

The basic physical form and its means of locomotion (at standard animal speeds) is free, as are basic natural armaments, etc.


FORMS OF POWER QUALITIES

Like items granting Transferal, the effects are not additive, in the cases of forms that grant certain attribute levels.  However, they don't replace the attribute if it's already better--the shapeshifter can shift selectively enough to choose those aspects of the form that grant advantages, and exclude those that don't.

_Composition_

The basic structure of the creature's body.  The further away it gets from a normal physical body, the more difficult it is to assume.

Multiple forms for a FoP may be purchased.  Their primary advantage is their speed of transformation: a FoP with a Physical form and an Energy form, for example, may shift quickly into the Energy form to avoid attacks or make rapid movement as a lightning bolt, then return to its Physical form to make attacks.  Their primary disadvantage is that the tremendous strain of shapeshifting within a shapeshifted form limits them to those shapeshifters with very powerful minds and bodies: Multiple forms for a FoP costs the number of forms multiplied by the total cost of all the forms; i.e. a form with an Energy form and a Physical form would cost sixteen points for Composition.  The total cost of the Composition in the case of multiple FoP forms _cannot_ exceed the Endurance of the Shapeshifter.
 

Physical: The body is composed of flesh, skin and blood, or something similar.  Unless armoured, it's as vulnerable to physical attacks as a human being.  Zero points.

Fluid: The body is composed of water, acid, or some other fluid.  In a fluid environment, it can maneuver normally; outside that, it tends to have trouble moving, attacking or otherwise.  Difficult to damage physically without powerful magical weapons.  One point.

Immaterial: The body is gaseous, composed of living air, or otherwise, but is not an energy form.  May have difficulty maneuvering in some environments, or attacking, although it could potentially do damage through poisonous vapous or limbs formed of solidified air.  Difficult to damage physically without powerful magical weapons.  Two points.

Malleable: The body is fluid, but is capable of holding itself together into defined shapes outside a fluid environment.  Examples might include water elementals and the T-1000.  Physical damage is again difficult to inflict, as weapons simply tend to pass through the body without doing any damage.  Four points.

Energy:  The body is living lightning or something like a sentient laser or otherwise. Potentially vulnerable to all kinds of things that wouldn't bother a physical body, but also very difficult to hurt with normal weapons.  Can attack through blasts of energy or bolts of lightning, or otherwise.  Potentially includes shapeshifting into the form of a living nuclear explosion, but that probably won't win you many friends. Eight points.

Extra-Dimensional:  The body is utterly alien, a living mathematical abstraction like Kergma or a free-floating consciousness capable of possessing bodies like a Ty'Iga.  Physical attacks?  Pshaw.  Sixteen points.

_Mass_

The standard rule about not being able to subtract or add to your mass applies for a FoP unless you take this.  So, you can transform into a dragon or tarrasque, but you'll be a human-sized one.  Size doesn't really matter all that much as far as power goes, but it can have its advantages, and it's kinda fun to be able to stomp Shadow Tokyo in the form of Godzilla.  Mass increases and decreases are achieved through some esoteric means involving the manipulation of Chaos that they don't bother to explain to non-shapeshifters.
 

Small Increase/Decrease:  Up to a 100% increase in mass, or a decrease to 50% mass.  One point.

Minor Increase/Decrease: Up to a 200% increase in mass, or a decrease to 25% mass.  Two points.

Major Increase/Decrease: Up to a 400% increase in mass, or a decrease to 10% mass.  Four points.

Exalted Increase/Decrease: Up to a 1000% increase in mass, or a decrease to 1% mass.  Eight points.

Godzilla/Atom Ant: Crush cities!  Cause tidal waves just by wading! Or become a sentient flu germ or a flea with a Destructive Damage bite.  Sixteen points.
 

_Vitality_

A measure of the raw physical power of the form: how hard it can land blows, how much it can carry, etc.

Double Vitality: Roughly twice as strong as an animal of comparable size.  The equivalent of Chaos Strength.  One point.

Immense Vitality: Capable of remarkable feats of strength.  The equivalent of Amber Strength.  Two points.

Incredible Vitality: _Way_ stronger than your average bear.  The equivalent of a low-Ranked rating in Strength.  Four points.

Epic Vitality:  Toss boulders.  Topple small buildings.  Armwrestle Gerard and lose without having your arm torn off.  The equivalent of a mid-Ranked rating in Strength.  Eight points.

Exalted Vitality:  Armwrestle Gerard and possibly give him a good run. The equivalent of high-Ranked rating in Strength.  Sixteen points.
 

_Speed_

Covers how fast the form can run, fly, swim, etc using its natural means of movement.  Energy forms, some of which can move at the speed of light, don't really need this, nor do Extra-Dimensionl forms that skip about from one reality to another in the blink of an eye.

Double Speed: Roughly twice as fast as a comparable animal form. Around 30 MPH.  One point.

Engine Speed: Lets the form move fast enough to keep up with standard powered land vehicles like cars.  About 75 MPH.  Two points.

Racing Speed: The form can match bullet trains and race cars in sheer speed.  About 200 MPH.  Four points.

Airplane Speed:  Can outrun, outfly or outswim a single-engine plane. About 500-600 MPH.  Eight points.

Jet Speed: Capable of moving at something approaching the speed of sound.  Sixteen points.

Enchancement - Water Walking: Some mechanism allows the creature to move over water, mud, swamp, and other unstable or fluid ground as though over normal terrain.  One point.

Enchancement - Wingless Flight: The creature is capable of running upon air or flying through telekinesis or other means not requiring physical wings.  Two points.
 

_Stamina_

How long the form can keep running, fighting, etc before needing rest.

Double Stamina: About twice as much stamina as an equivalent animal.  Equal to Chaos Endurance when it comes to stamina.  One point.

Amber Stamina: What it sounds like.  Two points.

Tireless: The form can exert itself at full potential until it drops dead from exhaustion.  Four points.

Needs No Rest: What it sounds like.  It keeps going and going and going...  Eight points.

Godlike Stamina: Needs no rest.  Keeps going at full capacity despite any wound until actually killed.  Sixteen points.
 

_Aggression_

The form's combat ability with its natural weapons, a combination of physical power and speed, and of battle instincts.  Grants no tactical or planning ability.

Proficient: Better than an average creature at the use of their natural weapons, rather like a very well-trained guard dog.  Grants the equivalent of Chaos Warfare with natural weapons.  One point.

Skilled: Extremely good, good enough to kill any "normal" human easily and enough to be a threat to average Amberites.  The equivalent of Amber Warfare in its area.  Two points.

Master: Better than an Amberite.  The equivalent of a low-Rank Warfare in its area.  Four points.

Grand Master: Capable of going toe-to-toe with some of the less proficient Elders.  The equivalent of mid-Rank Warfare in its area.  Eight points.

Exalted: Might actually give Benedict some exercise before he wins. The equivalent of a high-Rank Warfare in its area.  Sixteen points.
 

_Armour_

Purely a measure of resistance to physical damage, either from physical weapons or spells that attack using energy.

Resistant to Normal Weapons: Your average sword, arrow or other non-technological weapon won't even scratch the surface.  One point.

Resistant to Firearms: Immune also to standard low-tech and medium-tech weapons like pistols, rifles and powerful crossbows.  Also protected from explosions and fire.  Two points.

Invulnerable: Immune also to high-tech energy attacks, lasers, very large explosions, and other nasty things.  Four points.

Impregnable: Survive without a scratch the physical damage of large nuclear blasts, meteorite strikes, and other very nasty things.  Eight points.

True Invulnerability: Cannot be hurt by physical means that do not draw upon one of the Primal Powers.  Sixteen points.
 

_Weaponry_

The damage potential of the creatures natural weaponry.  Enhancements to this can roughly cover such things as the
fire-breathing abilities of dragons, manticore tail-spikes, etc.

Extra Hard: The natural weaponry can be used against stone, metal, etc without any risk of damage.  One point.

Double Damage: Not only resistant to damage, but also inflicting more serious wounds than usual and with extra armour penetration ability. Two points.

Deadly Damage: Severely damaging weaponry, capable of killing a normal human being with a casual swipe or seriously wounding an unarmoured or unwary Amberite.  Four points.

Destructive Damage: The natural weaponry may carry deadly poison, or may simply be incredibly powerful.  Rips easily through even Invulnerable armour, almost always doing a serious wound.  Eight points.

Apocalyptic Damage: Even Impregnable armour falls before this.  Single hits can cripple or kill Amberites.  Only armour forged somehow with Primal Power has a chance of resisting.  Sixteen points.

Enhancement - Secondary Ranged Weapon : The creature has something (tail spikes, an acid spit) that can be used to attack a single opponent at long range.  The damage is one rank below that of the primary natural armanents.  One point.

Enhancement - Secondary Area Weapon : The creature has an attack (fiery breath, lobbing very large balls of acid spit) that can be used to attack a large number of opponents at long range, provided they're close together.  The damage is one rank below that of the primary natural armaments.  Two points.

Enhancement - Primary Ranged Weapon : As Secondary Ranged Weapon, except that the damage is equal to the primary natural armaments.  Two points.

Enhancement - Primary Area Weapon: As Secondary Area Weapon, except that the damage is equal to the primary natural armaments.  Three points.

Enhancement - Secondary Decimator : The creature has an attack (atomic Godzilla breath, the very largest dragon fire attacks) capable of destroying chunks of armies in one go.  The damage is one rank below that of the primary natural armaments.  Four points.

Enhancement - Primary Decimator : As Secondary Decimator, except that the damage is equal to the primary natural armaments.  Six points.


FORMS OF POWER POWERS

_Psychic Abilities_

Some powerful creatures may display abilities such as telepathy, precognition and danger sense that aren't normally part of the standard human mind.  The effectiveness of these abilities is generally dependent upon the Psyche of the shapeshifter.  Each level includes the abilities of the level below it.

Psychically Sensitive: The form has a "feel" for psychic power. Powerful Psyches will stand out unless shielded, and it will be able to sense generally the use of magic, Trump, etc in the near vincinity. One point.

Danger Sense: The form can sense impending danger in a general way, although not from inanimate traps.  Two points.

Minor Psychic Powers: The form is capable of a more focused danger sense, mild precognition and conversational telepathy (not enough to allow a Psyche battle).  Four points.

Major Psychic Powers: Danger sense expands further to include sensing traps and other inaminate dangers.  Precognitions can be frighteningly accurate.  Telepathy can allow mind contact enough for a Psyche battle against any mind that can be sensed, and makes cross-Shadow telepathic contact and conversation possible with some effort.  Eight points.

Exalted Psychic Powers:  Danger sense and precognition are nearly always accurate and detailed.  Can make multiple telepathic contacts in the same Shadow, and can make cross-Shadow contact with known minds with ease, as long as they're initially willing.  Sixteen points.
 

_Psychic Defenses_

Creatures may have inhuman abilities that allow them to defend their minds against psychic attack or detection.

Psychic Neutral: The mind is cloaked and indetectable.  Psychic communications are also cloaked.  One point.

Psychic Barrier: The mind has a permanent and powerful resistance to Psychic contact, but cannot receive psychic contacts, or communicate psychically.  This is thus incompatible with all Psychic Abilities above Psychically Sensitive.  Two points.

Improved Psychic Barrier: As Psychic Barrier, but can be turned on or off, thus making it possible to receive or make psychic contact, or use danger-sensing abilities.  Four points.

Psychic Void: The mind literally feeds upon and absorbs psychic attacks.  It is also almost undetectable by any psychic means.  Eight points.

Alien Psyche: The mind of the form is profoundly _different_ from a normal human mind.  Its perceptions, thought processes and structure are so incomprehensible that any psychic contact with it risks the sanity and is almost impossible to maintain.  No restrictions upon receiving or making psychic contact, but any contact made by the form can drive people of low Psyche into temporary or permanent madness.  Sixteen points.
 

_Movement Through Shadow_

Some forms may be able to make their way through Shadow through some means.  Each level includes the abilities of the level below it.

Shadow Trail: The form has the ability to "track" someone or something else through Shadow, sensing and following their trail.  One point.

Shadow Path: The form can find its way, eventually, to any Shadow it has visited before.  Ranges from Hellride speeds to extremely slow, depending on distance and familiarity with the route.  Two points.

Seek In Shadow: The form can sense the route to a person, place or thing, and move through Shadow towards it.  Tends to be slow, and often hit and miss.  Four points.

Shadow Movement: The form can move more freely and faster in Shadow, finding better routes of movement to reach the intended destination and arriving more quickly.  Eight points.

Shadow Walk: An ability to move through Shadow equivalent to that of an intitiate of the Pattern.  Sixteen points.
 

_Control of Shadow_

Forms may be able to manipulate Shadow, the most powerful ones being as capable as a Pattern Intitiate or Logrus Master.  Each level includes the abilities of the level below it.

Mold Shadow Stuff: Can change the features of inaminate Shadow objects.  One point.

Mold Shadow Creatures: Can affect living creatures of Shadow, changing their attitudes and otherwise.  Two points.

Mold Shadow Reality: With time, the creature can do the kinds of tricks a Pattern Initiate can: temporarily changing the "rules" of a Shadow, affecting probability, etc.  Four points.

Mold Shadow Essence: An ability to manipulate Shadow equivalent to a Pattern Initiate.  Can also do the kinds of tricks an Advanced Pattern Initiate can do, given time.  Eight points.

Free Control of Shadow: Create new Shadows.  Destroy ones you don't like.  Mold Shadow like wet clay.  Laugh at the puny Amberites with their mere Advanced Pattern abilities.  Sixteen points.
 

_Healing_

Shapeshifters tend to have pretty astonishing healing abilities by themselves, but some FoP may have an even greater ability.

Rapid Regeneration: Slight wounds heal in seconds, more serious ones in minutes.  Severed parts can be reattached in a few minutes, or regenerated from scratch in a few hours.  Eight points.

Unkillable: Wounds close almost as soon as they're made.  If struck a fatal blow, the wounds continue to heal, and the form is back on its feet as soon as they do.  Primal Damage and Raw Chaos will kill it permanently, as will such drastic measures as flinging it into the heart of a star or into a nuclear reactor.  Sixteen points.
 
 

_Magic Manipulation_

Creatures may have the ability to utilize magical energy to some degree, from merely being able to sense it all the way up to being able to manipulate it into extremely powerful effects.  Each level includes the abilities of the level below it unless otherwise specified.

Magical Intuition: The form can see and feel the use of magic, detect magic users, etc.  One point.

Magic Manipulation: The form can utilize magical energy for minor effects such as glowing lights for illumination, minor telekinesis, "magic missile"-type attack spells, and other little tricks.  Two points.

Advanced Magic Manipulation: A greater ability to wield magical energy, allowing for flashy attacks using bolts or explosive balls of raw magical energy, sleep or confusion spells, and other magical abilities of considerable power.  Four points.

Magical Well: The form cannot manipulate magical energy, but it's an expert at dissipating, grounding or negating any spells tossed at it.  Does not include the abilities of lower levels.  Four points.

Master Magic Manipulation: The form can shape raw magical energy into almost any effect of its choosing, given time.  Eight points.

Magic Eater: Cannot manipulate magical energy, but can "eat" any spells aimed it or used in the nearby vincinity, and can also draw power from raw magical energy.  Does not include the abilities of lower levels.  Eight points.

Magic Domination: Almost absolute control of magic energy.  Makes Doctor Strange look like a sissy.  Can manipulate magic to the point where the abilities of your average human sorcerer are useless against it.  Sixteen points.


GENERAL COMMENTARY ON FORMS OF POWER

Assuming a FoP is one of the most draining things for a shapeshifter.  The longer the form is retained, the greater the chance of becoming lost in the persona of it, particularly for an Advanced or Exalted FoP.  Thus, shapeshifters learn FoP with the intent of using them selectively and for brief periods: for a single battle, for a quick journey through Shadow, etc.  FoP are not chosen as possible permanent states; they're exhausting, both physically and mentally.

When making lengthly journeys through Shadow in a FoP, the shapeshifter generally makes stops to rest in a natural or animal form for safety purposes.  If something (pursuit, for example) makes this impossible, the chance exists that too long in a FoP will begin to warp or even permanently change the shapeshifter's mind.  Shapeshifters learn to recognize the subtle changes of perception that are the first sign that a FoP has been retained too long.

Forms of Power are generally learned through intensive study of the creature, including Psychic contact, and are not easily come by, particularly the more powerful ones.



 

SHAPE SHIFTING--Partial Powers Writeup

Basic Forms Shapeshifting: 5
Shapeshifting: 35
Advanced Shapeshifting: 65
Master Shapeshifting:
Exalted Shapeshifting: 125


Other Links on this Site


Last Update February 3, 2002