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Shapechange options
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    What basis should be used to determine what forms are available for a character to shapechange into? I was thinking about requiring the character to at least have seen the creature that they wanted to take the form of. Does this seem reasonable?

    What about having Knowledge (Monster) of the appropriate type?

    What has worked in your games?


    This is a veteran spell! On this rank our hero would have travelled through or has heard or read about most parts of Rassilon and beyond, so our spellcaster has a great repertoire of creatures to mimic.

    Ubiquitous creatures should be now problem to shape change in. With rare and unique creatures i would call for a smarts or fitting knowledge roll, especially if there certain behavioral or outer details to be taken care of.

    I won’t go into too much detail here, unless the player wants to copy a truly exotic creature. Most of the details (and if they work or not) are covered by the spells modifiers anyway.

    But it’s your game… 😉

    High Priest of Hoenir & Champion of Qedeshet


    Enno, first thanks for your response. Second, of course it is a Veteran spell, but it is the signature power of The Unknowable One. So a Novice character could definitely have this spell. In this case, the character is Seasoned, but that is because it is coming in as a replacement character caused by a death in the party.

    So, if you have a new character coming in at Seasoned, and let’s say they are Elderly so they have lived a full life and therefore have had a good many life experiences, and they want to Shapechange into a dragon. A dragon is huge (-4), with special abilities (-2), and intelligent (-2). Assuming the character can change into a dragon, it may take a few castings of the spell in the morning to get it right, even with a d12 in Faith, but eventually they will. Then they are a dragon for the rest of the day and since dragons can speak can further boost their dragon form with additional spells (boost, invisibility). Is any of that beyond the rules as written or as intended?

    TAG Wiggy

    It’s not beyond the rules as written, but having a dragon around is going to cause problems. Fear affects everyone — that’s innate to it being a dragon. Normal people are going to run screaming in terror at the mere sight of it. Soldiers will be called to fend it off. No Huge creature is going to fit into a building (or monster’s lair).

    Still, shapechange is very powerful. You’d be within your rights as GM to tone it down if you think it would be abused rather than used as a handy tool, and ruin the game. Limit the spell to normal beasts is one option. Giving -2 for each special ability is another. You could limit the Size change to +1 difference to the caster for each level ABOVE Novice. A Legendary hero could thus handle Size +4 at most (Large).

    Shapechange will be looked at in detail when we get around to a second edition (no plans yet). We’re also very likely to introduce the rule from SWD that if you fail a spell roll every Maintained spell ends immediately. That would affect clerics and mages equally.

    Triple Ace Games Creative Director


    Generally, as Wiggy sez! 🙂

    IIRC i had a shapechanger in one of my groups once, who tried to imitate a certain creature from the stories and sagas he heard. Then he met a warrior who knew said creature from firsthand experience. He simply walked past him laughing. Said magician left town in shame because the story got around the taverns like wildfire. 😛

    It’s your right as a GM to limit a spell. We had the same discussion with certain Detect spells years ago. Or you try something like i did (give the creature flaws)…

    A dragon isn’t very scary if it looks like that…

    High Priest of Hoenir & Champion of Qedeshet


    As far as Maintained spells are concerned, they are always disrupted in the most inconvenient moment … and there are many ways to disrupt a spell.

    High Priest of Hoenir & Champion of Qedeshet

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