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Machiavelli
post Jan 28 2011, 07:38 PM
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Besides all the questions that have already been discussed regarding this topic, i was thinking about some new problems the spell carries along. These are no real issues but things that hasnīt been clarified up to now:

1) if you change e.g. into a cat, does the incease in attributes also manifest into the result of the spell? This means: does a raise in e.g body incease the size of the cat? What about a cat with body 6 or higher?

2) is it now completely cleared that there are maximum attributes that have to be noted or does the spell ignore the maximum attributes?

3) how do you look after you change into another being? What about Surge Effects like strinking eyes, hair etc.? Do they come along?

4) if you are a human, can you still change into "human form" and raise your attributes?

Thatīs it for the moment.
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Yerameyahu
post Jan 28 2011, 08:21 PM
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1. No.
2. Critters don't have max attribs, but you can change things if you want your game to be less broken.
3. Normal; Yes, only if they hurt you (no Celerity, Reach, etc.). (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) Just kidding on the latter there, AFAIK 'no'.
4. No, God no, facrissake. It's a hack to even allow 'human form' in the first place. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Fatum
post Jan 28 2011, 08:30 PM
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QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jan 28 2011, 11:21 PM) *
4. No, God no, facrissake. It's a hack to even allow 'human form' in the first place. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

It's canon. Dragons (non-greats) use it all the time when they want to blend in.
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Yerameyahu
post Jan 28 2011, 08:41 PM
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Yes. Dragons. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Fatum
post Jan 28 2011, 08:50 PM
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How any other metasapients worse?
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Seth
post Jan 28 2011, 08:54 PM
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QUOTE
How any other metasapients worse?

Well the really cool thing about dragons is that they can do things that other mere metahumans cannot. Effectively as far as I can see the dragons (and maybe the immortal elfs) have their own magic system for the GM to decide how it works.

If you find a canon metahumanity caster of the spell "human form" I would be interested: Otherwise its just a cheesy munchkin power.
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metonymy
post Jan 28 2011, 09:12 PM
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QUOTE (Seth @ Jan 28 2011, 01:54 PM) *
If you find a canon metahumanity caster of the spell "human form" I would be interested: Otherwise its just a cheesy munchkin power.


From the SR4 FAQ (http://www.shadowrun4.com/resources/faq.shtml):

Can you take Human Form as a version of the (Critter) Form spell? What about Troll Form?

Yes, since humans are, strictly speaking, non-paranormal animals. Metahumans and metavariants are paranormal, so Troll Form, Nartaki Form, etc. are not viable versions of the (Critter) Form spell.


So, it's cheese, but it is canon cheese.
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Draco18s
post Jan 28 2011, 09:25 PM
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Lol, the FAQ is canon.
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Yerameyahu
post Jan 28 2011, 09:26 PM
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If the FAW is canon. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) I think Seth meant an example, though.
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sabs
post Jan 28 2011, 09:26 PM
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well the FAQ is A cannon?
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Yerameyahu
post Jan 28 2011, 09:29 PM
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I don't think the FAQ is A cannon, no. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)

Anyway, yes. If you don't care about breaking the game (especially for mages), then Shapechange (Human) is only slightly worse than Shapechange (Monkey) or (Eagle) or whatever. They're all quite awful, after all; there's no reason for +hits to all attributes.
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Fatum
post Jan 28 2011, 10:44 PM
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QUOTE (Seth @ Jan 28 2011, 11:54 PM) *
Well the really cool thing about dragons is that they can do things that other mere metahumans cannot. Effectively as far as I can see the dragons (and maybe the immortal elfs) have their own magic system for the GM to decide how it works.

If you find a canon metahumanity caster of the spell "human form" I would be interested: Otherwise its just a cheesy munchkin power.

Metasapients != metahumans, omae.

Also, yes, dragons have their own magic tradition, after all. Doesn't mean that they can't use the spells metahumans do, or that all the spells they use are dragon-only.
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Seth
post Jan 29 2011, 07:05 AM
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QUOTE
I think Seth meant an example, though.

Yup.

I'm quite good at spotting munchkin, but this one is probably the best I have ever seen.

Shapechanging into a tiger:
Lets look at at from the point of view of a mage with 1 in all physical attributes
  • the improve attributes spell give you one attribute at your value + successes
  • this spell gives you the tiger attributes + your successes
  • but you have some disadvantages: cannot use tech (armour, guns, armour, lockpicks, armour, comms, armour...), its a waff in a dungeon (taking off clothes, putting them back on again, not loosing stuff...)


Shapechanging into a troll:
  • You buff every physical attribute by successes, and your body/str gets buffed by 4 more
  • Its like a combination of improve attributes 4 times, with a free physical mask
  • there are no downsides.


Now as a GM I will really struggle accepting that the first spell is in any way balanced. Its one of those sad moments when you realise the game writers have %@!*!ed up. The second spell (which needs GM approval - and that is canon - and it won't be getting mine or most other peoples) is so far out of balance that I use it as a shining example of what not to do in spell design.

So this argument is based on what's reasonable in a game, and not what is correct. The reason that I am arguing for it to be RAW (without care or consideration of FAQ which is deeply flawed) is that generally shadowrun is a pretty decent system, and I emotionally want this carbuncle of a spell to be the delusions of a munchkin, and not RAW or RAI.

My second argument is much more straightforward. Canon spells are those in the published works. Anything else needs GMs permission. The spell description says "The
subject can only assume the form of a critter whose base Body rating is 2 points greater or less than her own". In the critter section it lists "ordinary critters" which are cats and dogs and animals and stuff, spirits, dracoforms and paracritters. My interpretation of this is that shapeshift lets you have ordinary critters. My supporting evidence of this is that otherwise you could shapeshift into a spirit...and I am pretty sure thats not the case. (Mind you now I am waiting for the munchkins to say..."shapeshift spirit" thats the way of the future).
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Neraph
post Jan 29 2011, 04:40 PM
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By the FAQ and rule books you can (Critter) Form into a human, and only a human - metahumans are "magical" or "Awakened" or something, so you can't turn into them.

On the other hand, a proposed fix I have is to add a new spell with the same drain as (Critter) Form, but limited to metahumans only, and you get stuck with the average attributes of the metahuman form you take. It looks simply like a meta version of the caster (what the caster would look like as a human, an elf, an ork, ect.), which keeps the Mask spells viable, and the average attributes of the meta form keeps other options viable.
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Glyph
post Jan 29 2011, 10:05 PM
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One thing to keep in mind about great dragons assuming human form is that humans do have established Attribute maximums. So even assuming the great dragon version raises Attributes, they will still cap out at 9, which is far lower than "normal" for a great dragon. So for them, it is a potential weakness instead of a cheap power boost.

It is the bonus to physical Attributes that makes shapechange/human such a broken spell. Making it purely a change to physical appearance is more balanced, although you have to be careful with that, too, or there will be no reason for anyone to use physical mask for anything.
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Yerameyahu
post Jan 29 2011, 10:14 PM
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I know I've said it before, but it's probably on-topic: one good way of 'fixing' Shapechange is to make the Body +/- based on the hits, and no attribute bonuses at all. Then you've fixed the imbalance, given a reason to have Force, and expanded the range of critters.

I guess Physical Mask is for looking like anything *not* a critter, including any kind of metahuman, as well as making small changes, etc. In addition, it can be better (or worse) in that you don't actually become whatever.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Jan 29 2011, 10:17 PM
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QUOTE (Glyph @ Jan 29 2011, 03:05 PM) *
It is the bonus to physical Attributes that makes shapechange/human such a broken spell. Making it purely a change to physical appearance is more balanced, although you have to be careful with that, too, or there will be no reason for anyone to use physical mask for anything.


I see that as Flavor though... Shapechange (Human) or even Critter Form (Human) is a great spell for those individuals who prefer a real, physical change, instead of an Illusory change. As long as you remove the boosts to all physical stats, then it is no more powerful than Physical Mask is, and that is okay. Some people like Illusions (which will affect the image of items and clothes worn), and Some people like true Physical Changes (which would not change the equipment the character uses or wears, that is the perview of another spell entirely). I really see it as no different than having a Lightning Ball spell and a Fire Ball Spell... Two different effects that do approximately the same thing, damage the opponent, from different perspectives... It is just a different Flavor is all...

Anyways... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wobble.gif)
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Fatum
post Jan 29 2011, 10:21 PM
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QUOTE (Glyph @ Jan 30 2011, 01:05 AM) *
One thing to keep in mind about great dragons assuming human form is that humans do have established Attribute maximums. So even assuming the great dragon version raises Attributes, they will still cap out at 9, which is far lower than "normal" for a great dragon. So for them, it is a potential weakness instead of a cheap power boost.

We are specifically talking about non-greats.
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Yerameyahu
post Jan 29 2011, 10:27 PM
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Tymeaus, that is just completely and totally ridiculous. … everyone knows that lightning ball stuns and incapacitates, while fire ball ignites. ;D
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Jan 29 2011, 11:09 PM
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QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jan 29 2011, 03:27 PM) *
Tymeaus, that is just completely and totally ridiculous. … everyone knows that lightning ball stuns and incapacitates, while fire ball ignites. ;D


You funny... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wobble.gif)

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Machiavelli
post Jan 30 2011, 10:41 AM
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Ok, so if i play a 1,95 m tall surged (strinking eyes (white), striking skin (white), striking hair (white) elven woman and i cast "Shapechange (human) with 6 hits, what do i get? Do i get a causasian 1,75m sized black haired woman with muscles like arnold at his best days, do i get a blonde haired caucasian woman looking "average" in size or do i get a completely white human with huge muscles or average appearance? What happens acc. to RAW?
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Yerameyahu
post Jan 30 2011, 02:46 PM
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Well, first, by RAW you can't do human form. That's FAQ, not SR4A.

Otherwise, the RAW says nothing about distinctive features; you become a normal, average human (male or female) with subtly maxed attributes.
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Fatum
post Jan 30 2011, 02:47 PM
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Aren't SURGE qualities still with you after you change forms?
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Fatum
post Jan 30 2011, 02:49 PM
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[double post]
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Fatum
post Jan 30 2011, 02:50 PM
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[triple post], hell yeah!
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