Index | Above Us The Waves? | Creating a Character | Shapeshifting Power
Shapeshifting is a power which does not have to be taught (though it is much easier to learn that way). Instead simply a great desire for it, or at least for something which the subconscious could interpret as it can bring it on; this is probably a holdover from the origin of humanity in Chaos. Because of this, although it does not have as much active power as Pattern or Logrus, it is just as 'real' a power as either of them.
Clearly shapeshifting is one of the fully Real powers. It works throughout shadow and, as Dara demonstrated, works even on the Pattern. However, the stress of walking the Pattern made Dara's shapeshifting work without her conscious control, and others of Amber blood who are shapeshifters will almost certainly show similar effects when walking the Pattern.
The most important statistics for shapeshifting are Psyche and Endurance. Psyche governs the maximum rate at which changes can be safely made (if shifting is done at a faster rate there is the risk of injuring oneself, or even worse of inducing Chaos Cancer into oneself), while Endurance governs both how long one can keep shifting shape, and also how long a form can be maintained once it is achieved. Because of this a typical Chaosite, with both of these statistics at roughly Chaos ranked, even if they are a full shapeshifter will be both slow at shifting shape and unable to maintain any form other than their Avatar or Demon form for very long.
Shapeshifting comes in two basic levels of knowledge, the basic and the advanced. However, the advanced knowledge divides further into three branches which are essentially independent of one another. These are :
- general enhancements
- shapeshifting matter apart from ones own body
- moulding ones spirit and powers
Each of the basic forms requires greater definition of the advantages, disadvantages, and expectations of that form.
With basic shapeshifting one's clothes do not change with you (that requires the Mould Matter portion of Advanced Shapeshifting); however, in Chaos, at least, it is common to have clothing which shifts to accommodate the changes in ones body.
Also, pregnancy has effects on a shapeshifter's abilities. The growing baby somehow inhibits the power where it would affect them - that is, shifting the womb and other essential areas. Only a shapeshifter with the advanced ability Mould Living Non-Self Matter can overcome this limitation. Even then it is not considered something which is good for the child.
Depending on one's heredity (for example the amount of demonic blood one has) it may be impossible for one to shapeshift into a fully human-seeming form. This was the case with (for example) Dara's mother. A character with this problem does not suffer any other limitations on their power, but it does have an effect in Chaos society, where they will be looked down upon for having too many 'demons in the woodpile'.
Known/Basic Forms come in 3 versions
1) HUMAN/ DEMON FORM
This form is the standard / default form for the character. This form is expected to be humanoid. The humanoid form sets the character apart from the lower creatures of Chaos, who for one reason or another find it difficult to maintain a form of this complexity and exactness. Though this form can have demonic, animalistic, or other qualities making each character's unique, this form has no real advantages or disadvantages. Unless you have the Demonic Bloodline disadvantage the default is human.
2) AVATAR or DEMON FORM
the most basic shapeshifting powers, bringing out the basic alternate forms. These can be larger or smaller than basic human form, the extra mass generally being gained or lost from the air (with a rush of wind). The amount by which these forms can be larger or smaller is dependant on Endurance. The demon (or combat, or war) form has intrinsic Extra Hard claws, teeth etc., and intrinsic armour equivalent to Resistant to Normal Weapons. These forms are much easier to maintain than any other forms the shapeshifter may know. The Avatar form allows Pattern Initiates to return to their form much faster (and to a degree automatically which makes it more difficult to enforce shape shift on them ), but in turn they do not acquire a demon form and shifting away from the Avatar form is much slower. The Avatar for Pattern types is also their Human form.
3) CHAOS (Survival) FORM
This form is used mainly for two purposes: for combat and for surviving in hostile shadow environments (of which Chaos has many). Chaos forms often have more demonic features such as claws, spines, scaled or armoured skin, and other protective / adaptive features. The energy and concentration required to maintain this form are higher than those required to maintain the human form. The Chaos form seeks to utilise every available survival / combat option , according to the skill the user.
| For how many extra points you can spend at each level use the table below
| Shapeshifting Powers
|| Points that can be spent
At level 0, you have:
Inherent Crisis Management
This level of shapeshift is the most basic, and the user has no control over their ability whatsoever. However, it will ensure survival of injuries and hostile environments, with the proviso that it takes about 1 minute for this to kick in and work. So you need to avoid situations which will get you dead faster than that, or you will still die.
| Abilities available with 1 or better Shapeshifting
| Abilities available with 2 or better Shapeshifting
| Abilities available with 3 or better Shapeshifting
| Abilities available with 4 or better Shapeshifting
| Abilities available with 5 or better Shapeshifting
| Abilities available with 6 or better Shapeshifting
| Abilities available with 7 or better Shapeshifting
| Abilities available with 8 or better Shapeshifting
| Abilities available with 9 or better Shapeshifting
| Abilities available with 10 or better Shapeshifting