Author Topic: (Critter) Form and Humans  (Read 399 times)

TonalArchitect

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(Critter) Form and Humans
« on: (00:37:06/03-18-17) »
This isn't that serious of a question, but I'm currently in a silly character concept phase, so I figured I'd ask.
In 4e, I recall there being a clarification in the FAQ that (Critter) Form would allow you to transform into "bog standard" humans, which allowed for some for some shenanigans (there was even some discussion of it on this forum).
My question is this: given that the spell (Critter) Form was basically ported over with no changes in it's effect, would it still be able to transform one into a human form? I don't think I'd ever play it in a serious game, but I like the idea of going full He-Man/Captain Marvel (or Shazam, or whatever he's being called nowadays), playing a frail (appearing) character who shouts a magic phrase, and turns into a beefy bruiser

Ghost Rigger

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Re: (Critter) Form and Humans
« Reply #1 on: (14:28:16/03-18-17) »
The spell got heavily nerfed in the errata. Pity, one of my characters still on the drawing board is a mysad dwarf who basically thinks he's Vegeta, and one of his key spells was Critter Form: Giant Monkey.

Kiirnodel

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Re: (Critter) Form and Humans
« Reply #2 on: (18:33:18/03-18-17) »
Ghost Rigger, when you say nerfed, are you referring to the correction so that it could only change into non-paranormal critters? Or the clarification that each hit on the spellcasting is one attribute point, not +1 to each attribute?

The former is a correction of a contradiction (as the spell specifically states that it can't change into paranormal critters, then the "specific forms" listed paranormal critters.

The latter makes the spell reasonable and the groups I'd played in had houseruled that aspect in even back in 4th edition. 4 hits on an unopposed spellcasting test is far too easy to get to let it give +4 to all attributes.

TonalArchitect, I don't see any reason it couldn't be used to turn into a human. The ruling from 4th edition is a setting-related ruling, not purely mechanics. And it even fits in with some of the setting fluff, I believe there have been several examples of dragons using a Human Form spell to be able to walk among the "common folk" and so forth. One of the potential balancing points is that the spell lets you transform into "a critter" not a specific critter. So you couldn't use the spell as a means to disguise yourself as a specific target (that's the realm of things like Physical Mask). I've also seen tables use ruling like the spell's form is the same each time you cast it (rather than random), and potentially even based on your normal appearance. An Elf magician, for example, that casts Human Form would change appearance only slightly (ears become rounded, maybe drop a couple inches and lose the slighter build).

Ghost Rigger

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Re: (Critter) Form and Humans
« Reply #3 on: (08:45:29/03-19-17) »
Ghost Rigger, when you say nerfed, are you referring to the correction so that it could only change into non-paranormal critters? Or the clarification that each hit on the spellcasting is one attribute point, not +1 to each attribute?
The second. Maybe it was a case where it was reigned in to something reasonable, but I'm still going to lament the loss of potential power because I'm petty and self-centered like that.

Mirikon

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Re: (Critter) Form and Humans
« Reply #4 on: (12:39:31/03-20-17) »
Back in 4e, I created versions of (Critter) Form designed specifically for metahuman forms. Originally based on the concept that non-Great Dragons could use a spell to assume a human guise, I designed it for a Naga mage to be able to have a more normal face for times when being a 10m long serpent was less than optimal. Of course, that was when we had actual guidelines for creating our own spells. *sigh* I miss the customization options of 4e.

Anyways, here's the 4e version of the spell:

Metahuman Form
Type: Physical. Range: Touch (Caster only). Duration: Sustained. Drain: (Force/2)+1
[Metatype] Form
Type: Physical. Range: Touch (Caster only). Duration: Sustained. Drain: (Force/2)
[Alternate] Form
Type: Physical. Range: Touch (Caster only). Duration: Sustained. Drain: (Force/2)-1

This spell was originally designed for sapient nonmetahuman spellcasters, allowing them to assume a form that would allow them to interact with metahuman society better. The effect is like that of a Shapechange spell, allowing the caster to assume the shape and physical abilities of a metahuman. The caster keeps their own mental attributes, and assumes the physical attributes of the new form. Add 1 to the critter’s Base attribute Ratings for every hit the caster generates. The caster loses any physical nonmagical powers or abilities they may have had (Armor, natural weapons, etc.) for the duration of the spell, and replaces them with those of the metahuman form they acquire. For example, a Pixie would still suffer from Vanishing, and would lose their flight ability while in Troll form, but would gain the increased size, dermal deposits, and vision of the troll.

Metahuman Form allows the caster to assume the form of any metatype (including metavariants), with physical features chosen by the caster. Metatype Form restricts the effect to a single metatype or metavariant. Alternate Form allows the caster to assume a single form of one metatype or metavariant, with physical features chosen at the time the spell is learned.

Some metahuman casters have taken up this spell, using it as a more robust version of the Physical Mask spell, allowing for more effective disguises. However, as clothing and other gear are not affected by this spell, unless the clothes have been specially designed, they may be damaged by a form expanding beyond its normal size, or no longer fit correctly if the caster's new form is shaped differently from their old one (such as the case of an elf male taking the form of a dwarf female).
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Tym Jalynsfein

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Re: (Critter) Form and Humans
« Reply #5 on: (13:55:56/03-20-17) »
Mine were very like your Metahuman Form Spell (in that you could take on any features at casting), but the GM had me craft the actual spell as your [Metatype] Form Spell. So Dwarf Form, Elf Form, Troll Form, Human Form, Orc Form, and any Metavarient you might want also had to have an attendant spell associated. And they wer Manipulation Spells, not Illusion Spells, with Caster's Normal Mental Stats and Average Physical Stats for the form (+1 per net HIt of the casting to distribute amongst the Physical Stats).

Worked really well, I thought.   
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Senko

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Re: (Critter) Form and Humans
« Reply #6 on: (16:57:46/03-20-17) »
Purely out of curiosity did you treat it like I do where you turn into a you form, did you let them design it or did it change each time? That is . . .

1) You form: They turn into the critter you would have been if they'd been born that way e.g. a brown haired, hazel eyed elf using Human form would still have brown hair and hazel eyes or bunny form would (probably) be a brown bunny.

2) Design a form: When they first transform they can pick (within reason i.e. no "I look exactly like X") what they look like e.g. a brown haired, hazel eyed elf can't go "I look like Karen Gillan" but they can say "I will have red hair and green eyes."

3) Random form: Each time they turn into a critter form they roll on a random table for how they turn out e.g. our elf being brown haired and blue eyed one time then black haired and violet eyed the second?

Pap Renvela

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Re: (Critter) Form and Humans
« Reply #7 on: (18:02:49/03-20-17) »
My assumption is that you can have control over the melanin and keratin to the extent that any natural coloration and hair type for that critter is possible...
so a brown skinned kinky haired elf, even if the caster is Caucasian with wavy hair- but not purple skinned since it's not a within normal metahumanity coloring,.
Of course that would allow hypo- and hyper-pigmrntation.

EiraHaexa

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Re: (Critter) Form and Humans
« Reply #8 on: (18:38:52/03-20-17) »
I've had this conversation with friends in the past, and the general vibe is yes, you can use [Critter] Form or Shapechange to look like another metahuman, within reason. So, no Dwarfs changing into Trolls or vice-versa. I actually have an NPC that does this on rare occasions when Physical Mask isn't enough. She prefers Wolf Form or Gyrfalcon Form, however.
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Tym Jalynsfein

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Re: (Critter) Form and Humans
« Reply #9 on: (11:26:08/03-21-17) »
Purely out of curiosity did you treat it like I do where you turn into a you form, did you let them design it or did it change each time? That is . . .

1) You form: They turn into the critter you would have been if they'd been born that way e.g. a brown haired, hazel eyed elf using Human form would still have brown hair and hazel eyes or bunny form would (probably) be a brown bunny.

2) Design a form: When they first transform they can pick (within reason i.e. no "I look exactly like X") what they look like e.g. a brown haired, hazel eyed elf can't go "I look like Karen Gillan" but they can say "I will have red hair and green eyes."

3) Random form: Each time they turn into a critter form they roll on a random table for how they turn out e.g. our elf being brown haired and blue eyed one time then black haired and violet eyed the second?

The spells I used were very versatile in that I could design a character profile, and use it... and that profile could change upon another casting if I so chose. So, in this case, the character had multiple various identities that were implemented via the spells... Male or female, complete control of looks and pigmentation of skin, hair or eyes, etc. It worked out really well.
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Rosa

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Re: (Critter) Form and Humans
« Reply #10 on: (11:53:27/03-21-17) »
I use a Shapechange [ Metahuman ] spell on my mage that is essentially like Mirikons Metahuman form spell and it works like Senkos option 2 ( except you can design your form at each casting ), with the change that you aren't limited to shapes whose body attribute is no more than 2 points different from yours, instead you must meet a threshold based on the difference between your body and the target shapes body, also the spells force must equal  ( at least ) the threshold in question. You can't use the spell to copy a specific person, that is still the providence of Physical mask.
« Last Edit: (11:55:29/03-21-17) by Rosa »

Mirikon

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Re: (Critter) Form and Humans
« Reply #11 on: (21:40:51/03-21-17) »
Purely out of curiosity did you treat it like I do where you turn into a you form, did you let them design it or did it change each time? That is . . .

1) You form: They turn into the critter you would have been if they'd been born that way e.g. a brown haired, hazel eyed elf using Human form would still have brown hair and hazel eyes or bunny form would (probably) be a brown bunny.

2) Design a form: When they first transform they can pick (within reason i.e. no "I look exactly like X") what they look like e.g. a brown haired, hazel eyed elf can't go "I look like Karen Gillan" but they can say "I will have red hair and green eyes."

3) Random form: Each time they turn into a critter form they roll on a random table for how they turn out e.g. our elf being brown haired and blue eyed one time then black haired and violet eyed the second?
Depends on the spell formula. For the 'Metahuman Form' and '[Metatype] Form' spells, it would be option 2 (and trying to make yourself look like, say, Nadja Daviar would require a Disguise test), though most people would probably have 'presets' that they generally go to. For 'Alternate Form', the appearance is locked when the formula is written, but it need not have any characteristics the same with your original form.
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