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lieN drawdE
We have a Cobra Shaman(Full-Mage) in our game, who every morning after he wakes will cast the Spells Shapechange(Changes into a Tiger) then will cast Physical Mask(Human) so that he is getting the physical bonuses, but can still walk down the street without causing an uproar of panic. After casting both of these, before leaving his home, he waits out the drain effects(players says he waits 3 hours before going anywhere) He has 2 sustaining foci he is using for the spells to keep from having increased target number modifiers. As far as I can tell, what he is doing is fully legal(Though he wouldn't be able to use any gear he has on him, since he no longer has a thumb?) but my main question is if he can actually talk while doing this. The spell Mask/Physical Mask reads, "The Mask Spell alter's the targets voice, scent and other physical characteristics. The target assumes a physical appearance (of the same basic size and shape), chosen by the caster. Observers can make a resistance test to attempt to overcome the illusion. Mask affects the minds of viewers. Physical Mask creates an illusion that affects technological sensors as well." So, my look on this is that the spell alter the sound of the character voice, but not what he is saying, so if he is shapeshifted into a tiger, it seems to me that if he tried to talk, then it would just sound like a human trying to growl like a tiger. His argument is that it is an illusion spell, and he can use the spell to say whatever he wants. Can anybody give some info on this?
he's going to look like a human crawling around on his hands and knees. same basic size and shape, remember--tigers are shaped long, not tall. and like you said, he's going to sound like a human growling like a tiger. he's intelligent, so you might allow him to try and talk in tiger form, but tigers don't have the jaw structure to talk like a human, so he's probably going to sound wetawded. which, given that he's crawling around on the ground, might help his disguise. and i hope he's not trying to accomplish anything in tiger form that requires opposed thumbs.
Every morning eh? So first, he gets naked, since he can't take gear exceptbound foci and fetishes with him while transforming. He is now using an anchoring sustaining focus to keep that spell up and then he casts a physical mask. Well the Physical mask would work wonders to make the tiger look like a large dog or whatever else 4 legged creature but as a man? Well for starters that's a man walking on all fours, who can't speak (a tiger's voice box just isn't built for it) and is a giant walking magical infraction.

2 active bound sustaining foci and 2 spells on him. I'm guessing they at least force 3 each so let's assume for fun that everything is force 3. Your mage, when seen from astral space, is high conspicuous. 2 foci and 2 spells on him. Does that mean hes gonna get spotted by some astral security? Not automatically but if this how he walks around all day, it's really just a matter of time, depends where he likes to hang out.

The whole thing smells like cheese to me. Only reason is doing it is for the stats, there's no real reason for a cobra shaman to want to be a tiger all day long. Remember the difference between his body and the tigers body can't be greater than the transforms force. Sooner or later he's gonna get seen, I hope he has permits for all that. He might want to consider that he's walking around with astral objects all around him (the foci and spells) and assumedly not walking around astrally percieving. Broadcasting his status to the astral world at large every hour of every day. It'll take no time at all before cops find him ( again, depends on where he hangs but if he's ALWAYS like this, it's just a matter of time.)

Your game, handle things the way you see fit but this would be considered "foolhardy" behaviour in one of my games and the player would no doubt come to regret this decision.

I would say that Mask/Physical Mask can't translate tiger growls into Human speach, because growls aren't words. Changes in voice could mean that he now sounds like a human growling, but not a human speaking. Trid Phantasm, on the other hand, could create whatever noises (including human speach) that the caster wanted. It also wouldn't be limited by the size/shape constraints of Mask.
lieN drawdE
Trid Phantasm is a programed image tho isn't it? So he would have to have set speach patterns all set up, or am I wrong about that?
Trid Phantasm is a programed image tho isn't it? So he would have to have set speach patterns all set up, or am I wrong about that?

I think that's open to GM interpretation. Some GMs play it so that the mage can alter things on the phantasm 'on the fly' as long as the spell is sustained. Others go to the opposite extreme and rule that the phantasm can't be altered without re-casting.

I personally would probably say that the player could modify the image/sounds/smells/etc that he was projecting with a complex action without re-casting.

I might say that each time the caster changes the phantasm the targets get another resistance throw, though. Haven't decided yet.
I think that any mage that spends 3 hours each day in such a way is a little messed up in the head.

I would simply recommend that he creates a new spell that will give him a more humanoid form rather than shapechange the way it is. That way, the mage has earned it a little more rather than just taking advantage of a gm's good nature.
Tell him that if he wants improved stats then he should learn the improved stat spells, go under the knife and take a geas, or just build them up the old fashioned way.

If he wants to be a tiger, he should keep shapechange but Physical Mask won't make him look human. At best, it would make him look like a naked human who is walking on all fours and growling like a tiger. It won't be long before the nice men in white coats come to take him away.
The way we use trid phantasm you have a fully functional sustained illusion. You can some awesome things with that spell, including covering a tiger but it would get hard staying inside your illusion as a tiger, the spell won't make you invisible, you'd have to either fit a tiger into your setting or make an illusion big enough for a tiger to hide in.

Either way it's an area effect spell. so the more things in the area, the crazier and impossible it becomes to maintain a convincing illusion. Your option is to restrain your area but that'll send the TN through the roof.

The trid Phantasm's a nice bit, but it comes with it's own problems. First off you can't use it with a sustaining focus (no target that the spell is cast on, since it's an area effect, so nothing to use the focus with), second off it takes a complex action to move the area affected by the spell (MitS pg 51), so it quickly becomes a pain in the ass.
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