[SPC] Chameleon and appearance

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SavageGamerGirl
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[SPC] Chameleon and appearance

#1 Postby SavageGamerGirl » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:34 pm

I originally asked these in the rules forum, but they're more "how would you rule this" questions than actual rules questions so I moved them here.

Would you rule that a character with the Chameleon power gets the benefit or penalty of any appearance-based Edges or Hindrances their subject has?

I know the general rule of thumb is that you don't get anything 'for free' unless the power says you do, but if you mimic someone with the Ugly Hindrance or the Very Attractive Edge, doesn't it follow that you'd look enough like them to gain those Charisma effects?

Another, similar question...

If a character has the Chameleon power, should he or she be barred from taking the Distinctive Appearance and Ugly Hindrances?

If you can change how you look on a whim, those Hindrances can't really hinder you much.

What are your thoughts?
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#2 Postby ValhallaGH » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:05 pm

In order:
Sort of; their own edges still exist (beautiful people move and present themselves like beautiful people, and it makes a real difference), but they're picking up the appearance of the subject and that has some complications. I'd be inclined to give them all the drawbacks of appearance hindrances (Ugly, One-Eye, etc), but only half the benefit of edges. The reason is that previously-mentioned movement and presentation.

It does follow. If that's too much, you could halve the effects. Alternately, throw some RP complications at them that are a side effect of those edges and hindrances.

Nope. Everyone has a base appearance, and a number of chameleons have very limited durations on their looks. Mystique (X-Men) comes to mind; she's got a very distinctive appearance that causes her issues when she's not in disguise. Her disguise is not explicitly limited, but she seems to come out of it when incapacitated or unconscious, as well as under certain painful stimuli. And sometimes she's got to "be herself" to get others to deal with her in a non-violent manner.
The other aspect is that ugly people have a different sense of self-worth and self-presentation than normal people; and beautiful people are another style. This changes body language, stance, and presentation, all of which are keyed in our socially-oriented brains to impressions of attractiveness or unattractiveness, even when we can't see the person's features. These unconscious cues are one of the reasons I don't argue about the massive size of the bonuses from the attractive edge-chain; it's not just looking good, it's knowing that you look good and presenting yourself as someone who looks good.

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#3 Postby kronovan » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:11 am

I had a player play a PC (KopyKat) that was an alien that looked like a hideous flying insect that remained in mimic mode almost all the time. I allowed them both the Ugly and Outsider hindrances because the way I saw it, they're both only minor and if that character had their mimic power disabled they'd have major problems. That PC was the healer in the group so that didn't happen often, but the 1 time it did it was a major challenge for the PC and the party to role play around. ;)

From my experience with that campaign, I'm of the opinion that the hindrances for both their true identity and the one they mimic should count.

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Re: [SPC] Chameleon and appearance

#4 Postby Clint » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:46 am

SavageGamerGirl wrote:I originally asked these in the rules forum, but they're more "how would you rule this" questions than actual rules questions so I moved them here.

Would you rule that a character with the Chameleon power gets the benefit or penalty of any appearance-based Edges or Hindrances their subject has?

I know the general rule of thumb is that you don't get anything 'for free' unless the power says you do, but if you mimic someone with the Ugly Hindrance or the Very Attractive Edge, doesn't it follow that you'd look enough like them to gain those Charisma effects?


Well, this was the "official" reply a while back if it helps...

Clint wrote:At its base ability, Chameleon allows the character to assume another being's appearance, which does include knowing that appearance and having seen the emulated being in some way.

The GM might allow a Modifier to just appear as non-existent beings but that ability isn't presumed by the power.

And yes, since Attractive and Very Attractive (and Ugly for that matter) are all appearance-based, the character would gain those if the emulated character had them. Of course, in the case of someone that famous, they would also have to deal with the downside of appearing as them. And even if it was an unknown person, if the character made a habit of using the appearance of someone Attractive or Very Attractive to facillitate their Persuasion of Streetwise, the GM should consider the potential repercussions of appearing as someone else in those situations.
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Zadmar
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Re: [SPC] Chameleon and appearance

#5 Postby Zadmar » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:49 am

SavageGamerGirl wrote:I originally asked these in the rules forum, but they're more "how would you rule this" questions than actual rules questions so I moved them here.

Would you rule that a character with the Chameleon power gets the benefit or penalty of any appearance-based Edges or Hindrances their subject has?

Hindrances perhaps, but probably not Edges, otherwise they'd just turn Very Attractive for social encounters.

SavageGamerGirl wrote:I know the general rule of thumb is that you don't get anything 'for free' unless the power says you do, but if you mimic someone with the Ugly Hindrance or the Very Attractive Edge, doesn't it follow that you'd look enough like them to gain those Charisma effects?

You could argue that the edge isn't purely down to physical appearance, but also due to the way you act, move, etc. Or you could rule that you look like that person on a "bad hair day", perhaps adding an additional modifier that allows you to look hot.

SavageGamerGirl wrote:If a character has the Chameleon power, should he or she be barred from taking the Distinctive Appearance and Ugly Hindrances?

I'd argue that Mystique has Chameleon and Distinctive Appearance. I can also think of various monstrous shapeshifters that I'd probably represent with both Chameleon and Ugly.

SavageGamerGirl wrote:If you can change how you look on a whim, those Hindrances can't really hinder you much.

Not often, true. But you also wouldn't earn bennies for them if they didn't cause you an inconvenience.


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