in the Shadow of Greatness


June 17, 2002

Shapeshifting: Worth the 35 Points?

Shapeshifting. An idea floated on the AML.
Is Shaping worth 35 pts of game power? Perhaps not. In my campaign, I use a Broken Shaping (18 pts) that allows specific changes of form, but only to acquire specific abilities. In short, this form of shaping has limited numbers of changes, and then specific abilities associated with each change. How is that different from what we see in the books? It isn't. The Amber DRPG describes Shaping in a grand and dangerous manner that appears nowhere in the canon. No one shapes at combat speed, no one dismisses wounds quickly, no one does any shaping that affects the PLOT or gives them an advantage over someone else in the story. Not once. The most amazing examples of shaping are more eye-candy than anything else. Characters become towers of ash, or liquid flame, or even squirming carpets of doom. But while these changes are disconcerting to characters in-story, they don't produce advantage. As such, it might be fair to propose that there is a variant of Shaping called Common Chaos Shaping (18 pts):

Chaos Shaping

1. You have one extra form for every rank of endurance. Human Endurance would give you one extra form. Chaos Endurance would give you two extra forms. These forms are detailed to the GM at game start.
2. You change forms based on speed of Strength, this means that Endurance and Psyche are faster than form changes, but not Warfare.
3. You may leave one form "slot" as "un-fixed form" for every 4 ranks of Psyche. Amber Psyche would allow one "flex" slot.
GM is free to designate more powerful shapers per the normal 35 pt power in the Amber DRPG. Note: this does not make it so much easier for Logrus Masters to appear, depending on your campaign, but it does mean that Logrus Masters are not necessarily weak on Attributes. Fun, eh?

Filed under : Amber at 17.06.2002