Looking for a place to start a discussion on the somewhat shonky rules we have for this race. I am looking to get some answers to a few questions and get some idea's from other people before writing something up. Mandos 13:32, 11 Jan 2007 (NZDT)
Are the rules for Shape-changers Broken?
I think they are, the race is so rarely chosen by players it barely exists, mostly due to the vague/incomplete stat rules, the high EM and the confusion surrounding how it all works.
- Another thing to think about is do we want them as a available PC race? There are issues with the whole EM concept (especially considering the difference in PC lifetimes in our campaign vs the presumed expected length in the original rules). Having the biggest EM, we can expect PC S-Cs to have more issues than most. What "normally" happens with PCs who become S-Cs in the course of play? Does their EM increase (I expect not). Do their write-ups normally reference the standard S-C rules? --Errol 15:20, 11 Jan 2007 (NZDT)
Things to fix
The things missing from the stats at the moment are guidelines on how they interact with ranking. Are they simply a mod to the human stats? Should they affect mental attributes, should ranking stats allow them to go over the max's for the animal etc.
If they are more intelligent than animals can they rank their bite/claw attacks? If so how? If not, why not? If it makes them too tough is there a better balancing mechanism than the silly EM. Why do you need magical weapons to harm?
What is the benefit to having rules for them to get stuck in animal form? Presumably this is to stop them staying in animal form all the time, but does it actually work as a mechanism. How does this interact with True Form, Curse Removal, etc. "know a really powerful wizard" - well we do know several. Also, at a minimum, it takes them out for an extended period. Other penalties like a temporary %age reduction in some stats (WP/sanity, or MA/sentience) may be a better mechanic for losing one's humanity, with the stats coming back at an unalterable 1/day that they don't change shape again.
The creatures all have natural armour, plus the Shape-changers get 5 points removed from blows by creatures of 25+PS, do these stack? Should they?
Shape-changers are really tough at low, and top out rapidly at medium, when there is little point in shapechanging, as everyone has magic and does more damage than even a 5 attack tiger, and the 1.5 EM becomes crippling. I've heard this is a problem for many. Maybe it's just a feature, but then it should be a recognised feature. Another way to avoid this is to give them a low EM, say 1.1, and a racial skill/talent to rank, which means they are low initially, can rank it until it stops being useful, and then move onto the next skill to rank without a 0.5EM tax. Like Elven witchsight, except this gives control of shapechange, damage immunity, maybe weapon forms to rank, etc. Then the shapechanger has a real progression track, and need not be so overwhelming at low, or neutered above medium.
These are excellent questions. However, we may want to avoid taking too much of the "magic" out of the rules - we used that on Char Gen a few years back, and it's now insipid and dull, having being balanced until it's flat. Having wierd things is good, we maybe should just try to specify some of the vagaries. Andreww 17:12, 11 Jan 2007 (NZDT)
I concur, which is why I am keen to get an idea of how people play them as well as how GM's have handled the creation before thinking about how to change them. Unfortunately it is so broken so few of them have been played it might not work like that :-) Mandos 06:47, 12 Jan 2007 (NZDT)