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[SPC2] Shape Change + Chameleon Interactions?

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  • [SPC2] Shape Change + Chameleon Interactions?

    This came about after a discussion I had with a buddy of mine who's about to run a Supers campaign. In that game, I plan on playing a shapeshifter with both Shape Change and Chameleon. We discussed the character's mentor, who's a martial artist with a similar power set, except he uses it to just channel the animals' traits. This brought up a few questions.

    1: Can Chameleon ever render you able/unable to wear/utilize gear, since per its description, it can allow you to take on the physical appearance of an animal? (This extends to a potential +/- 2 Size.) If yes, does that mean if you look like a horse, you have to wear barding, or do you have to wear human armor? Assuming it's not an illusory appearance change, I mean.

    2: Could a character, rules as intended, use Shape Change to assume, say, a bear (+2 Size) form, then use Chameleon to look like themselves? Obviously, they could not then speak, but could they then don armor? If they did, would it be strictly visual, gaining them no protection? Could they still make use of their hands? (This came about because of the martial arts master "channeling" animal abilities.) I imagine any physical trait they planned on using would have a visual tell, but because Chameleon doesn't state as much, I'm not sure.

    3: Does it create balance issues to have a trapping that you can only change your own body, and thus cannot incorporate your gear? (Potentially destroying armor, shredding clothes, or just getting tangled up.) Seems like a reasonable limitation for Chameleon, but I'm worried it might unbalance Shape Change. (GM's seems fine with it, but I'd rather avoid anything too over-the-top.)

    I like the idea of a character with morphable physiology, but it doesn't make much sense for them to incorporate clothes into it unless it's straight-up magical. I'm just trying to make sure I'm not royally messing anything up. I know a lot of this comes down to GM discretion; I'm just curious if there's an official answer. Thank you for your time.

    (Edit: Could I just make Shape Change Contingent upon Chameleon, so that I had to look like an animal to have its traits? That might work.)
    Last edited by Wikrin; 09-16-2018, 09:50 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Wikrin View Post
    This came about after a discussion I had with a buddy of mine who's about to run a Supers campaign. In that game, I plan on playing a shapeshifter with both Shape Change and Chameleon. We discussed the character's mentor, who's a martial artist with a similar power set, except he uses it to just channel the animals' traits. This brought up a few questions.

    1: Can Chameleon ever render you able/unable to wear/utilize gear, since per its description, it can allow you to take on the physical appearance of an animal? (This extends to a potential +/- 2 Size.) If yes, does that mean if you look like a horse, you have to wear barding, or do you have to wear human armor? Assuming it's not an illusory appearance change, I mean.
    Whether Chameleon could "ever" render a character unable to wear utilize gear is a vastly open question. Trappings could allow for a variety of answers, but the only "official" answer would be that it depends on whether the GM and player agree that would be an aspect of the power.

    It certainly could make sense for a character who only altered their physical appearance, and it has both drawbacks and advantages. The character might not be able to wear gear, but they would also sense completely as the new form even to abilities which could "see through" an illusion.

    Originally posted by Wikrin View Post
    2: Could a character, rules as intended, use Shape Change to assume, say, a bear (+2 Size) form, then use Chameleon to look like themselves? Obviously, they could not then speak, but could they then don armor? If they did, would it be strictly visual, gaining them no protection? Could they still make use of their hands? (This came about because of the martial arts master "channeling" animal abilities.) I imagine any physical trait they planned on using would have a visual tell, but because Chameleon doesn't state as much, I'm not sure.
    Nope. Per Shape Change <italics added>, "The super retains her other powers while in animal form, unless the form prevents her from using them for some reason."

    The entire point of Shape Change is altering the character's shape, changing it back to human using Chameleon would basically "turn off" Shape Change. A character can't have the abilities of a form without being in that form.

    A character who wants an animal's abilities would just buy them as individual powers. Or perhaps create sets of powers which could be swapped between using Switchable.

    Originally posted by Wikrin View Post
    3: Does it create balance issues to have a trapping that you can only change your own body, and thus cannot incorporate your gear? (Potentially destroying armor, shredding clothes, or just getting tangled up.) Seems like a reasonable limitation for Chameleon, but I'm worried it might unbalance Shape Change. (GM's seems fine with it, but I'd rather avoid anything too over-the-top.)
    As noted above, it has advantages as well, so it really comes down to more of a trapping decision which falls under GM allowance.

    Hope that helps.
    Clint Black
    Forum Admin & Rules Answer Guy
    Savage Worlds Brand Manager

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