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Currently i am planning a new char which is basically a siberian-tiger shapeshifter. My GM recommended a realistic set of background informations and fitting handicaps. The rules havenīt been a problem up to now, but the more i think of the concept at all, the more i ask myself why the hell a siberian tiger would leave the wilderness and enter the "civilization". The new setting should take place in Berlin, but this doesnīt make the problem better. So please help me and give me a frame for this character. Why is he/she in germany. Why does he/she enter the shadows? Why should he/she stay there? Which gender should i take? Is there anything "cooler" than a siberian tiger or lion? (i tend to powergame, so i not only chose this species for coolness and style, but also for high attributes). Ist here e.g. some comparable critter that fits to middle europe (same stats preferrable). Is there any mentioning of extinct critters (like sabretooth-cat shapeshifters, cave-lion-shapeshifters, eg.)

I hope i could make the problem clear. I am highly thankful for any good backgorund story, appearance of the char-tipps, etc.

Revenge / Rescue is a classic theme. It's mate or cubs could have been killed or taken and it's looking for them or revenge on the hunters. Maybe it was a couple of S-K execs out on a lark.

Arriving in Germany is going to be a big change and it will have to adjust to the new terrain, though some things remain the same. Various tiers of predator and prey.

He will need a guide/contact to show him/her around. Maybe on their first few nights in the Big B, they chased off some young punks who were harassing an older couple who take in this stranger and help him while he adjusts. (think of the old couple in Wolverine who lend him clothes and the motorcycle)
Hm. Furry Deviant sex?
QUOTE (Voran @ Aug 19 2013, 05:04 PM) *
Hm. Furry Deviant sex?

That's more Amsterdam nyahnyah.gif

Though to be fair, I do know a few places in Berlin......
Who says you came willingly? Maybe you were caught and taken to be put in a zoo, or to be slaughtered and used for magical reagents. And I'd assume you would be against that, so left, and now your a fish out of water (not literally, though can there be shape changing sharks? That'd be cool, and then it would also be more literal in that case).

And if you do that, you can also take the enemy and wanted qualities. Because presumably those people would still be interested in capturing you again.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (DeathStrobe @ Aug 19 2013, 04:17 PM) *
Who says you came willingly? Maybe you were caught and taken to be put in a zoo, or to be slaughtered and used for magical reagents. And I'd assume you would be against that, so left, and now your a fish out of water (not literally, though can there be shape changing sharks? That'd be cool, and then it would also be more literal in that case).

And if you do that, you can also take the enemy and wanted qualities. Because presumably those people would still be interested in capturing you again.

A Shark Shapeshifter would be interesting. smile.gif
That is a good point.

With Regen you gotta figure a live shapeshifter can yield quite a bit of blood, tissue and even bone over time. All very valuable reagents.

Be funny if somewhere down the line the party mage pulls out a carved bone or piece of fur for using in spell casting and the Shapeshifter realizes it's came from them. Awkward.....

And yes, Weresharks are some mean Mofo's, thankfully they usually don't stray far from the coast without a good reason.

But if you are ever down in the Keys and need some sea going muscle for both above and below the water line, see an old man on the Key Largo pier with the handle of Sharkey.

Yeah I know, they don't do subtle wobble.gif
Good morning Folks,

thanks for all your replies, but i have to admit that they didn’t help me as much as I expected it. wink.gif Of course it would be a valid setting to check for your cubs to rescue them, or to take revenge for the murder of a pack/familiy-member. But how long does such a thing take? A week? A month? If the GM really spins that out maybe a year of game-time, but than that’s it. Why should you accept to risk your life in shadowruns (that have nothing to do with your main-task) over a longer period of time? Addiction to side-quests? wink.gif

And most important: why should you stay afterwards? I donīt want to play the stereotype tiger-shapeshifer-assassin-striper-clone, and what else can a tiger / bear / wolverine / *put in random predator do*? What is he interested in? I was shortly thinking about a char that want to hunt down the most dangerous prey (humans), but in 2070 humans are not the top of the food chain anymore and dragons are too powerful. So I am back where I started from.

I would also appreciate, if someone could give me a good character-picture of a male tiger-shapechanger. How should he look as a human? How big? Hair-color? Genotype? What do Japan think of shapeshifters? The same as they think about metas?

Thanks in advance for your further help.
Well I play a Bear shifter. (Okay, I hadn't taken him into 5e yet due to the fact the new book isn't out yet but I'm pretty sure I can use the 4e version without problems.)

In his case, he actually was found by a man one day after he was hunted(Colorado.) The man found what was essentially an elven boy and a bunch of dead poachers. One of the things he has is 'mood hair'-so the poachers thought this color changing bear would be awesome to make coats out of. (And when I say boy, I meant about 12 or so-in bear form he was big enough to swat the heads off of poachers. His bear form is an enormous Kodiak, and he has Shift: Elf.) The man was a mage, and he could sense in the boy as well. He's a mystic adept, all told; the adept side is his physical might(he is a bear), the magic side he follows Oak and has a lot of healing and protective things.

He was brought into society at first because he decided he liked the guy, and eventually started liking the companionship humans offered. He still goes out into the woods and does his bear-stuff but after awhile he sort of started to enjoy human life, and realized that he could do a lot of good where he was. He knew he didn't have much of a chance out of the shadows, so that's why he does things under the radar-but he's lucky to have gotten an education from this man, and now if he's in his elven(albeit a taller, broader-shouldered elf with long hair, sideburns, and some strange fur on the backs of his arms) form he likes the feel of hanging out with people, especially since his 'mentor', if you will, saved him from a life of being hunted. Now he lives both lives fairly equally comfortably, though his own house is a simple Low lifestyle thing out in a more woodsy area of Colorado.

As for your tiger, maybe physically he's a big fella-built like a sorta bigger martial artist gymnast to kinda show how tigers are both strong and athletic types. He might have some of the stripes in his hair; though I really don't think a character needs to adhere 100% to the appearances in the book(my elf doesn't have a terrible high amount of body fat, being an elf like some Bear shifters do-but he does have more body hair than an elf does and has thicker muscle, for example), so maybe he doesn't. I can totally see a bit more of a wild look(longer hair, maybe some sideburns or something). I can't help you on Japan in the newer days, but I can see a Tiger shifter maybe resembling someone like-if you play videogames-this guy: . Shaggy hair, and while you can't see his build it's tall, defined, and strong looking but not as bulky. He'd probably be a natural at melee/unarmed combat and the Agility boost would make him great at firearms and athletics as well. Perhaps he's curious about things. Perhaps he noticed things while skulking about. Maybe he was in a group of tigers who were stolen for research and escaped-but then thought that humans were interesting and decided to hang out more with them. Just a few things off the top of my head.

(and thank for for not wanting to play ANOTHER damned striper clone. If I never see one again, I'll be happy. I got to the point where I meet those with vicious mockery on account of make up something that's )("&Ī/" original. Yes, I'm mean. nyahnyah.gif)
Well first off, Shapeshifters are sapient. Sapience comes with its own demands; maybe roaming siberia just is not enough anymore. It may well be, that yout character is not all that reflected about the why or what, but maybe he wants to stay. Reasons for that can be manifold. Things could have (for example) started off with revenge and the simplest kind at that. People may have hurt him (they tend to do that to tigers), so he hunted them, killed them and got the hang of it, for the challenge (and even get rewarded for it). While humans may not be the biggest fish anymore (hunting might demand for a degree of ignorance he does go by) humanity is something even dragons have a hard time handling.

As a variant, he could habe started as a vory "pet", maybe even killing for that guy, till he died recently. Now Tigger prefers to run on his own.

Maybe he is young and grew up in a zoo of sorts (private?). He bonded with his handler but an entity (a kartell or corp) is direktly or indirectly responsible for his death (got fired and the heart gave out? collateral? ) and Tigger holds a grudge now.

What ever it may be, Shapeshifters that enter human society usually have ties and or an interest in it. It maybe as simple as: "hunting deer is boring, let's see what all the twolegged fuss is all about". Again, you are sapient and even animals without sapiens are curious and get bored. A Tiger probably doesn't look for a reason, as why to investigate something of interest, lacking social boundaries, he is more likely, not to see, why he shouldn't do what he wants to.

All in all, something inside you chooses to mimic humans, that in it self can and should make one a bit curious.
While a shapeshifter's animal nature is vital to remember, I have to echo Isath's sentiment that you also have to pay proper tribute to their Sapience.

Take, for example, The Awakened Yakut - an entire nation where militant Shapeshifters are the dominant political force. You don't take up arms and stage a revolution if all you care about is eatting and breeding. Shapeshifters have clearly developed their own human-like cultures and societies, even if they originate from entirely separate species.

I like to compare Shapeshifters in Shadowrun to the more exotic races in Earthdawn, like the T'skrang and the Obsidimen. They act like ordinary people in many ways, but they're also distinctly foreign and bizarre because of their differing natures. T'skrang live in villages and wear clothes and create crafts and wield weapons and sing songs just like anybody else, but they also live underwater and have tails and all these other strange things that influence them and shape their culture into forms humans and the like would never develop. Obsidimen likewise do most of the things ordinary people do, but they also do weird things like literally meld with giant magical communal boulders called Liferocks for decades or even centuries at a time, and they have a hard time grasping concepts like "hurrying" because they live on such a different timescale compared to others.

Shapeshifter are very much the same in my eyes. Not only do they have human-level intelligence, but they magically turn into "humans" when they shift their shapes, so clearly they have some sort of intrinsic connection to humanity, operating on a fundamental, even universal level. Whatever the cause of their specific nature, it is clear that their existance is one that is inextricably bound to humanity. Consequently, it seems only logical that they would at the very least seek to explore their own strange nature, which would seem to necessitate studying humanity. In order to understand themselves, they would have to understand us - and that's a fact that is true for any animal, sapient or not. Shapeshifters merely have the chance to actually seek that understanding, unlike their unawakened brethren.

Great answers, thank you very much. You showed me the other side of the medal i wouldnīt have thought about on my own. Sometimes i am quite insular in my thinking processes. wink.gif

But now to something completely different: have there ever been ratings for shark-shifters? And does anybody have an answer to one of my first questions "Is there any mentioning of extinct critters (like sabretooth-cat shapeshifters, cave-lion-shapeshifters, eg.)"?
Have not seen mention of extinct varieties, shapeshifters tend to be linked to their animal counterparts and the extinction of one tends to reflect in the other in most literatures. However in an Awakened world one could see the return of species thought gone so the potential of their shifter brethren is also possible.

For ideas on shark shifters and attitudes the Rokea writeup for WoD is a good source, though bear in mind their version has a demi-human mode as well as full human and shark mode so just ignore any reference to the hybrid mode.

From old D&D the stats bonuses were Str +6, Dex +4, Con +2, Int +2, Wis +2, but again keep in mind different system and stats went from 3-18.

I would probably take the stats for Seal shifter and maybe tweak Str a bit higher to around 6/12 (15).

Swim would be like seal's swim rate.
Remember than Siberia turned into Yakut, and its government is pretty straightforward fascist. Maybe your character just happened to have a few philosophical differences with that because he was too pro-human?
He could also be a Yakut spy sent to Berlin keeping an eye on things. He's the Berlin station chief biggrin.gif
Nice try Makki. wink.gif Actually i am thinking about making him an Vory-executor from Yakut that was send to Berlin to keep an eye on the local members and the organization at all. Something like that....

I have to admit, that it was never harder to create a char. than this one. Usually some kind of inspiration comes to my mind and the rest is just RAW, but this time it was the other way round. Creating a Shapeshifter was easy, but i really donīt find a concept that makes me feel home.
Cooler than a Siberian Tiger?

How about a Bengal Tiger? Seriously, the orange and black doesn't get nearly enough love.

As for a reason to leave the wilds, well... Remember, Shifters are sapient. That means they can evaluate things rationally. It could well be that she (Gonna presume she here,) came to the realization that the wilds were going extinct and the few places she could live as a tiger would be places which are unregulated and which consequently people are trying to kill you in for your pelt (and that's just if they think you're a regular tiger.)

It could be she got a taste for technology and the power that comes with it. I don't know if Shifters are automatically magicians or Adepts, but if they're not, and she's neither, then it stands to reason that a sapient apex predator would realize that she's far, far more dangerous and effective a predator with a long rifle (and other forms of firearms) than she could ever be with claw and tooth.

It could be she was Running for a bit just to make money and, fell ill or was injured in the wild, the kind of illness or injury that even apex predators die from, but which was easily patched up by having a friend pull some strings and hire a vet under-the-table to fix her up, and thus she got a taste for medical care. (Though regeneration might make this unlikely.)

It could be that somewhere along the way, she shed a bit of Essence for a Datajack and got herself a taste for the world of the Matrix, and since there isn't any such thing as an Emerged Shifter (yet, though that would be pretty cool,) she stays where commlinks and augmented reality are to be found.
QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685 @ Aug 21 2013, 04:52 PM) *
at somewhere along the way, she shed a bit of Essence for a Datajack

I really do not think so. Regeneration rules that out.
Depends, in the Runner Companion they could get a deltaware model installed, but it only really functions when in animal mode and is not available in human mode.

So if you see a large tiger strolling down a Berlin avenue with a commlink collar and AR googles wired to a jack in the neck, just nod politely and move along. nyahnyah.gif

Sadly that would only be the fourth-strangest thing I have ever seen in Berlin. wink.gif
QUOTE (Isath @ Aug 21 2013, 09:58 AM) *
I really do not think so. Regeneration rules that out.

QUOTE (Runners Companion)
Most enhancement technologies available to metahumans are also available to animals at similar Essence and nuyen costs.

Shapeshifter characters, however, face several disadvantages when considering augmentation: their Regeneration power heals incisions rapidly, Shift rejects any foreign matter, and any loss of Essence will cause them to lose Magic—which could potentially cause them to be stuck in critter form permanently.

Modern science can circumvent certain of these restrictions using specially-formulated materials and surgical techniques—for a price.

In practice, this means that shapeshifters can only accept deltaware implants, and only in their natural animal forms. These implants do not carry over to their human form, but they don’t disappear either—they’re simply not available while the character is in human form.

No, it doesn't rule it out. It just makes it tricky. However, that which is paid for with Essence stays paid for with Essence.

(As a GM, I'd overrule the "does not carry over" bit, personally, because if you're going with a concept like that, you need all the help you can get.)
QUOTE (Sendaz @ Aug 21 2013, 03:11 PM) *
Depends, in the Runner Companion they could get a deltaware model installed, but it only really functions when in animal mode and is not available in human mode.

But in Storm Front vampires suddenly start rejecting even Delta, while this is obviously part of the "Infected have it harder" campaign it might also affect shifters. No rules are given yet. but depending on how future-proof you want to build...
QUOTE (Sengir @ Aug 21 2013, 05:15 PM) *
No rules are given yet.

It depends on the edition we are talking about, but in the cases of SR4 and 5 rules are given.
In SR4 augmentation by implants was possible for characters with regeneration. What I was
refering to however is the SR5 rules for regeneration; These clearly state, that regeneration
is incompatible with augmentations.
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