Shapeshifting is the ability (or curse) of changing form between human and animal. For most shapeshifters, the transformation is involuntary, triggered by stress, danger, or the full moon. They lose all memory of their humanity, becoming animal in body and mind. Hero Point-rated shapeshifters maintain a modicum of self control when shifted, though there are risks even for them. When a player chooses shapeshifting, he must take the skill as the character's tag skill. When a character shapeshifts, he transforms into another creature, typically a wolf; a player may choose a different animal for his shapeshifting if the game master agrees with the choice. The shapeshifter's animal form may be larger or smaller than his human form. The maximum difference is the characters initial adds in shapeshifting. Once chosen the size does not vary.
Example: A character with with a weight value of 10 and three initial adds of shapeshifting may choose as his animal form a beast with a weight value of from seven to 13 (25 to 400 kilos). A shapeshifter has the same total of attribute points in either form, though they can be distributed differently in each form. The Spirit attribute must be the same for both forms. In animal form a shifter may have very high attributes, beyond the normal character limits.
Example: Bill is a were-tiger. In his human form he has: DEX 9, STR 9, TOU, PER 10, MIN 9, CHA 9, SPI 11. Bill's player decides that his were-tiger attributes are: DEX 12, STR 14, TOU 12, PER 10, MIN 4, CHA 3, SPI 11. Both sets of attributes total to 66 points; the Spirit is 11 for both forms.
The shifter also has two completely different sets of skills. When a player designs a shapeshifter, he has 16 skill points for each form. He must assign three adds to shapeshiftng for each form. If he wishes to have any other skill in both forms, he must also purchase the skill separately for both forms. When improving skills, skills are improved independently for each form. Shapeshifting adds must be improved simultaneously for each form; going from shapeshifting +3 to +4 costs eight Possibilities. Human forms may start with any skill available. They may learn others throughout their life. Animal forms are limited to skills which animals might normally know. The game master must approve all skill choices. When in animal form shapeshifters have a primary attack form with a damage value equal to their Strength plus their shapeshifting adds. A werewolf with a Strength 14 and shapeshifting +3 has a primary attack damage value of 17. For a werewolf, his bite is his primary attack. As the the shapeshifting adds increase, the damage value of the primary attack also increases.
A shapeshifters animal form also has the following power and weakness:
Resistance to Normal Weapons: The creature can transform wound damage from standard weapons (non-magical swords, lead bullets) into shock damage. The first five wounds taken from an attack are converted into shock damage, one shock point per wound. Knockout conditions are ignored. A single attack which causes six or more wounds can wound a creature with this power. In addition, the "shockwounds" are treated as wounds when spending a Hero Point to remove damage.
Example: A werewolf takes "2 Wnd 04" from a conventional weapon. Spending a Possibility allows the creature to cancel the two "woundshocks" and three of the four regular shock. He takes one shock point from the attack. If the proper weapon is used against the creature with this power (in this case silver or magic it does normal damage.
Severe weakness to silver: Silver causes damage if placed against the creature's flesh. If the item is normally used to cause damage, such as silver bullets, use the damage value of the item. Otherwise the damage value of the touch is the Spirit or faithl of the person wielding the item (unless the item itself has Spirit or faith). If the character did not have to roll a bonus to touch the monster, she rolls a bonus to generate a damage total.
This power and weakness do not apply to the character's human form. Human forms can be damaged by any normal means. A shapeshifter whose animal form fall unconscious automatically reverts to human form. No shapeshifting total is needed. If the damage is from friendly sources (i.e. players trying to avoid having the shapeshifter lose control) the gamemaster may insist on a shapeshifting total, as described below, too see if the gamemaster takes control of the character. The difficulty of voluntarily shifting into animal shape is 10. The character involuntarily changes shape when:
• The character is in danger and the character receives a setback. The set-back may be from any source.
-The moon is full and the character receives a setback. The setback may be from any source.
-The character takes a wound in combat.
If the character wishes avoid involuntary shifting the difficulty is 10 plus the amount of shock damage taken. When in animal form, the difficulty of returning to human fonn is equal to the time value of the number of minutes spent in animal form. This number is increased by the amount of shock damage the character has taken. If a character were in animal form for one hour, the shapeshifting difficulty is nine. If the character had six shock points at the time he tried to change back, the shapeshifting difficulty is 15. If a character fails the shifting roll to return to human form, the animal nature has taken over. The gamemaster takes control of the character for a time equal to the time so far spent in animal form. During this time the gamemaster takes control of the character's sheet, and decides all actions for the character. At the end of this time the character automatically reverts to human form. Shapeshifting cannot be used unskilled..