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Shapeshifting is a very internal power that naturally appeals to Wild Incarnae. It relies on the principles that all living beings have some chaos in them, and that the mundane flesh is malleable in the face of a determined spirit. Nevertheless it’s not an intuative power for everyone, and even for those with talent for shapeshifting the learning and use of this power can be quite painful. Unleashing mystic chaos inside your body in order to reshape it to your desires is not a comfortable process.
Shapeshifters are often split into two camps, those who use the power to become terrifying to their foes in battle, and those who use it to advance deceptions and plots. There’s nothing to say that a character with this power can’t do both, it’s just that those two personality types are among the majority of Incarnae that are drawn to shapeshifting.
Courage is an excellent attribute for Shapeshifters. Wisdom and Cunning play a minor role in this power. The physical attributes of Strength and Prowess are often good for Shapeshifters since the power emphasizes the physical and immediate over mystical and deliberate.
Simple Shift – 30 points
When the Shifter first learns this power, it’s difficult to do any kind of full-body shift. Most of the initial applications of the power focus on the potential of just shifting part of the body. Practice makes perfect for a Shapeshifter, especially one who’s just learning the ability. The more often a specific shift is used, the more naturally and painlessly it comes to the fore. Most shapeshifters build a repertoire of useful shifts that come to define their personal style with the power.
Shapeshifting is a power that tires a character rapidly. There’s a serious drain on physical and mystic energy with every shift, and that drain gets worse the bigger the shift. At this level most shapeshifters can support at most three shifts before they need to rest for a bit. For as long as the character maintains a shifted bodypart, that shift is a drain on his energy.
Gird: Characters that rely on Strength often use this power offensively to give themselves an edge in hand to hand combat. Characters who are less Strength oriented find it’s defensive form is more valuable when they are caught in a combat they couldn’t prepare for. Gird is a somewhat gruesome power that allows the growing of bone or horn on the outside of the body.
Offensively, these tough spurs and spikes can serve as weapons. Alternately the shifter can grow claws, lengthen and sharpen the teeth, or even grow horns on the head. The effect is to give the shifter some natural weaponry with which to tear up his foes in close quarters.
Defensively, the same material can be flattened out to protect vital areas, and/or bulk up the body’s bone structure. Plates of bone or horn are most commonly used to protect the heart, eyes, forearms, and legs. Areas that have to remain flexible, like the belly and the neck often get scales instead.
Enhanced Senses: A rare passive power, this ability is a boon to all shapeshifters. The act of learning to channel wild and feral energy sharpens the senses of the shifter to somewhere between the human and animal level.
Using a shift to enhance those senses further makes the affected organ much more feral looking, but gives top-quality ability in that sense.
Pain Resistance: The process of successfully shapeshifting is quite painful. An unsuccessful shift can be agonizing. Thus, any shifter learning the art becomes intimately familiar with pain right away. Over time this translates into a general resistance to pain. Whenever the character has to resist a pain-type effect with Courage, he gains a boost to his attribute.
Unlike Enhanced Senses this ability is completely passive, it cannot be enhanced to turn pain receptors off completely. Indeed, it doesn’t dampen pain at all, the character just learns not to care as much.
Shift Features: This power can do one of two things, though it can be used more than once to perform both duties. As a more fine-detail shift, it can shift the facial features of the character, making him appear to be an entirely different person. The character can’t become some kind of monster or fantasy creature, but features can all be shifted about a bit and changed in size and shape. Skin and hair color can be altered as well.
As a more gross shift, the character’s build can change. This doesn’t allow a bulky ex-football player to look like a petite ballerina, but it can change height, weight, and general silhouette by a percentage, enough to seem very different from the norm.
Using both of these powers counts as two shifts, but the combination would make any mortal witness swear that it was a completely different person whom they saw doing whatever the shifter would prefer not to be seen doing.