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Shape Change power and Dragons

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Simaruk View Post
    Don't forget breath weapon can also fail. Your character needs to succeed on an athletics roll each time she uses the breath weapon.
    Where is this rule? I can’t seem to find it.

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    • Simaruk
      Simaruk commented
      Editing a comment
      Read page 129, Area Effect Attacks, starting from the second paragraph.

  • #17
    To answer your question, yes it is very strong. I don't think you're missing something. Shape change has always been powerful because it is so flexible, it is hard to balance a cool spell.

    For me, it depends on why the player is doing it. If the player is purely doing it for power gaming reasons, I'll usually power-game them right back. Like some of the suggestions, you could increase the threat, target the player more (they do turn into a dragon). Also, you have your GM bennies to turn the tables on them every now and then.

    If the player is doing it cause turning into a dragon is at level 1 is neat, it seems fine to me. In either case, I'd probably add a "flavor tax." If you're turning into a gold dragon, I might limit what other dragons you can turn into (basically, make the PC add an appropriate trapping to their power). Something along those lines.

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    • #18
      There is also another method: Remove magical creatures from teh shapechange list, and say: "Dragons are magic."

      If it's that disruptive, smack it.

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      • Deskepticon
        Deskepticon commented
        Editing a comment
        Yep, then "Edge-gate" the ability.

      • Ndreare
        Ndreare commented
        Editing a comment
        I would not mind an edge gate in place of a modifier. Either way as is, the ability feels way to powerful and makes me wonder if they play tested a Veteran or higher ranked shape changer.

    • #19
      Here is my thoughts on the subject: The Shape Change power only lets you copy the shape of someone or something, not any special abilities or powers. So no breath weapons, gaze attacks, spells/powers, etc. unless the target could do them normally and the new shape still lets them access the power. At higher character levels, a few of the restrictions on how abilities are imitated are relaxed:

      Novice (may only glide from a height with wings (not actually fly). may swim as a fish, use claw and bite attacks w/o mods)
      Seasoned (can now actually fly with wings or burrow as an earth elemental or badger)
      Veteran (can now imitate Mild Poisons, and Armor +1)
      Heroic (can now imitate Paralyzing or Knockout Poisons, up to Armor +2, and AP 1 on attacks)
      Legendary (can now imitate Lethal Poisons, up to Armor +3, and AP 2 on attacks)


      So if you are imitating a snake that normally has Lethal poison, but you are only a Veteran character, your poison would only be Mild.
      Last edited by Samurai007; 09-27-2021, 09:50 PM.

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      • Deskepticon
        Deskepticon commented
        Editing a comment
        Seems arbitrary. Why not just use the Familiarization rules?

      • Samurai007
        Samurai007 commented
        Editing a comment
        "Familiarization rules"? What and where are those?

        I tried to give greater abilities at higher levels, so that the change becomes more capable/have more possible choices the further in your career you go, looking at movements, attacks, and defense capabilities instead of just a physical disguise.

        The argument seemed to be "Should Shape Change let you use/imitate lots of other creature capabilities, from flying to breathing fire?" In general, my response would be "If you can fly in your normal shape, you should be able to when transformed, unless the shape somehow interferes (maybe you need to access a magic item). If you can't normally fly, you should be able to at least glide (and at Seasoned rank fly in a proper shape), but other more magical capabilities I'd curtail (breath weapons, gaze attacks, etc), and simple combat bonuses (heavy natural armor and AP weapons) I'd allow as gradual improvements by ranks.

      • Deskepticon
        Deskepticon commented
        Editing a comment
        Samurai007 I don't know what page it appears in PFSW, but Familiarization is on page 36 of the Adventure Edition rulebook.

        When a character is "out of his element", he might receive between a -2 to -4 penalty on certain tasks. So let's say they shape change into a dragon. Well, that's a strange new body, with all different center of balance and movement. Very easy for the GM to say the character is at -2 to all actions (-4 while flying) for the duration/encounter. By the third time or so the character shifts into a dragon, the penalties might drop to -0/-2, respectively (flying with wings is still odd for a human). After another few shifts, the character has "familiarized" themselves with being a dragon and no longer receive any penalties.

    • #20
      I think that most of us can agree that there needs a rebalancing when it comes to the Shape Change power. Devs often chime in on the discussions. I wonder why they are avoiding this one.

      Comment


      • Donald Schepis
        Donald Schepis commented
        Editing a comment
        Please don't imply things about the motivations of the dev team when it comes to engaging with the community, it's uncalled for. I'm probably the only one who's read the thread and I've got nothing to add because I'm not read up on the latest version of Shape Change that's going into the next revision.

      • Jason_Sunday
        Jason_Sunday commented
        Editing a comment
        Donald Schepis I wasn't trying to imply anything about the motivations of the dev team. I apologies if it came across that way. I didn't understand why this thread wasn't commented on and other had. The emoji I used is labeled "Confused" and I thought that would convey my tone more than it apparently did. Thank you for responding.
        Last edited by Jason_Sunday; 10-04-2021, 09:54 PM. Reason: added user tag

    • #21
      I think the power is mostly fine as is.

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      • #22
        Shapechange, in any game, has always been one of the most problematic powers in the list, right along side of mind reading, flight, and wishes.

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        • #23
          According to the latest version (dropped today), Shape Change no longer lists Dragons as an available type of creature for that power.

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          • #24
            Originally posted by redcap57 View Post
            According to the latest version (dropped today), Shape Change no longer lists Dragons as an available type of creature for that power.
            Even though the next column in the power description gives an example of a player becoming a copper dragon, which was not part of the previous version's description (it referred to just "a dragon"). The devs might need to tidy that up a bit for clarity...
            Last edited by Sarigar; 10-19-2021, 02:23 AM.

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            • #25
              Originally posted by Sarigar View Post

              Even though the next column in the power description gives an example of a player becoming a copper dragon, which was not part of the previous version's description (it referred to just "a dragon"). Might need to tidy that up a bit for clarity...
              Uh, I DID say the latest version which lists the available types as "Animal, Elemental, Humanoid, Plants." Dragons are none of those, according to the Bestiary. The designers may need to clarify that further or just cut out the example, but that solution seems a bit ... draconian ...
              Last edited by redcap57; 10-19-2021, 02:23 AM.

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              • Sarigar
                Sarigar commented
                Editing a comment
                Right, I wasn't disputing that, I was just pointing out that even though they removed Dragon as a type, they also changed the text to refer to a different type of dragon. I meant the devs needed to clarify, not you.

            • #26
              Originally posted by Sarigar View Post

              Even though the next column in the power description gives an example of a player becoming a copper dragon, which was not part of the previous version's description (it referred to just "a dragon"). The devs might need to tidy that up a bit for clarity...
              I did find that somewhat amusing. And while removing Dragon isn’t a bad idea, I think it would be worth allowing with an Epic power modifier.

              Comment


              • Ixat
                Ixat commented
                Editing a comment
                I agree here. I think removing the example and adding additional types as an Epic modifier makes sense. I was building a Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer yesterday and wondered this morning why I had missed that Shape Change would let him get this powerful. Makes sense that in a prior version this was possible but it's been tightened up.

            • #27
              Originally posted by Dogfisc View Post

              I did find that somewhat amusing. And while removing Dragon isn’t a bad idea, I think it would be worth allowing with an Epic power modifier.
              I plan to make it an epic modifier for my own setting, and probably magical beasts as well. I like the players to have a diverse toolkit to play with, and really, this is exactly the kind of thing Epic Modifiers are meant for!

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              • #28
                Dragon was removed from the core shape change power (but we did miss the example of dragon in the description )

                This doesn't mean there won't be another power later that includes creature Types that aren't listed in the shape change power.

                Comment


                • Samurai007
                  Samurai007 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Even without dragons, many shapes are possible, so I included a few more guidelines in my house rules, (including what kinds of poisons you can mimic at each level and how much natural armor and natural weapons you can create). It doesn't stop you from taking the appearance of a creature beyond your abilities, but the strength of the armor, weapons, and any poisons created by the power will be limited, despite the appearance.

              • #29
                I love that you left the Elemental option. It inspired me to make a character who turns into elementals as his "thing".

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                • #30
                  Removing Dragons from the list of forms available via Shape Change makes sense to me. There was always a strange discrepancy between Shape Change and Dragon Disciple, since the regular Shape Change power provided far better dragon shapes (in addition to all its other benefits), despite the Dragon Disciple's Dragon Form being the pinnacle of an entire series of prestige edges.

                  Perhaps more high-level prestige edges for Dragon Disciple could be added in the future, allowing for larger dragon shapes and longer durations?

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