SG: Shape Changer Powers
Shape changers of all types might have additional powers. Most of the time these are things they simply can do. Other powers are something they grow into. In your game, you should decide if a character has only those special powers they start with, or if you might allow them to develop more powers in time by spending Refresh later to purchase them.
Many of the stunts described in Fate Core are very appropriate for shape changing characters. Pay particular attention to Athletics, Notice, and Physique stunts in the core rules if you wish to create a physically imposing shifter.
As always, the listed stunts are examples. You can always create custom stunts for your character.
These stunts are of a social nature. Examples for the Provoke skill are details below.
- Alpha Wolf
- You gain a +2 bonus for actions directly related to showing dominance. This usually takes the form of an intense stare and a growl. You also can use Provoke to defend against Provoke related to dominance.
- Dominance is a common trait of pack-oriented shifters and while it is more typically associated with the beast side, the human side can also access this ability. Establishing dominance usually begins with a mental battle using Provoke against Will, and ends there. If one side of the chest-pounding contest gets desperate enough, it can lead to a physical contest as well. The Alpha Wolf stunt can only assist in the mental battle.
- Just Marking My Territory
- You can use Provoke to mark your territory. Often this is with urine, but might also consist of markings or symbols that others of your kind can recognize. This stunt allows you to place one or more Marked Territory situation aspects (one per place so marked) that are persistent. When other shifters that can understand (or smell) the mark perceive it, they must overcome a Fair (+2) difficulty with a Will roll to work up the courage to cross territory boundaries. If the marking character is currently somewhere within his marked territory, he may actively repel interlopers using Provoke. This works best against lone interlopers. Small groups of shifters can use Teamwork (at least, those with the Will skill can) to overcome the difficulty. The mark informs others who can detect and understand it whose territory it is.
- The mark remains until removed. For areas marked with urine, a good rain storm and some time may be sufficient for the mark to fade, but at least it is hidden from mortal eyes and avoids the issue where a mortal might mistake a pack sign for graffiti and remove it.
- Marking territory can be done without use of this stunt. However in these cases, no Will roll is called for in order to intrude on the marked territory.
Therianthropes have legendary powers of perception. Notice and Empathy stunts are described below, but you may find that creating Investigation (used to track quarry) stunts also works well for many types of therianthrope characters.
These powers roughly fall under the Notice skill but are restricted to characters with a therianthrope stunt.
- Beast Sense
- The animal senses you normally have in beast form are available to you in human form without having to invoke your high concept. This might mean you have access to the ability to track by scent, or “see” via sonar, etc.
- Scent Supernatural
- Supernatural creatures smell different to you. You can use the Notice skill to detect whether a subject is a supernatural being or not by scent. This won’t necessarily tell you what type of supernatural being the subject is; use normal Empathy and interaction for a chance to determine that.
These powers roughly fall under the Empathy skill but are restricted to characters with a therianthrope stunt.
- Lie Detector
- As long as you are in person with someone, you can determine whether that person is lying by carefully noting their scent, heart rate, perspiration, and subtle changes of tone and inflection. You gain a +2 bonus on Empathy rolls to detect lies. This is a re-skinned version of Lie Whisperer from Fate Core.
- Pack Ties.
- This stunt can work for packs, prides, or any sort of group-oriented shifters. Pack is used here for the sake of brevity. You are able to sense when a member of of your pack is injured or suffering from extremes of emotion. This requires an action to be taken and an overcome roll needs to be made reflecting the distance separating your character and your pack. If members are all in the same room or even the same house, the difficulty would be Mediocre (+0). If members are spread all across a mountainside, the difficulty might jump to Good (+3).
- Pack Ties work on an intuitive level. It assumes the character is intimately familiar with all his pack members, not necessarily in a sexual way, but a social bond is in place. Then with this stunt, the character is able to intuitively know without needing to speak with, or even see the member of the pack he is trying to read. He need only picture the pack mate in his head and concentrate for a few moments.
Stunts listed here describe were-creatures’ physical powers.
These powers roughly fall under the Athletics skill but are restricted to characters with a therianthrope stunt.
- Supernatural Grace
- Your movements are graceful and your body lithe. Every movement is reminiscent of a predator on the prowl. Gain a +2 bonus to actions where balance counts.
These powers roughly fall under the Brawl skill but are restricted to characters with a therianthrope stunt.
- This might describe fangs or powerful jaws or both. On a successful Brawl attack, you add +2 stress when in animal form. This is considered Weapon:2 in some versions of Fate.
These powers roughly fall under the Physique skill but are restricted to characters with a therianthrope stunt. Take a look at the Physique skill for even more great stunt ideas for shape shifting characters!
- Requires the Primal shape changer aspect. This stunt may be purchased more than once. You have the extremely rare ability to shape shift into more than one kind of beast. Each time you purchase this stunt, you may choose an additional beast form, and therefore have an additional skill shuffle like the one you made when taking a therianthrope stunt.
- Shifter Regeneration
- You may reduce the severity of one physical consequence one step. You must have a slot open in order to do this. So, if you reduce a Moderate physical consequence to Mild, you must have a Mild consequence slot open. After this, you gain the Exhausted aspect, as regeneration is physically taxing. This remains until your character has a chance to sleep it off and get something to eat. So long as you have the Exhausted aspect, you cannot regenerate physical consequences — unless you spend a Fate point. This allows you to ignore the normal requirement of becoming Exhausted. Spending a Fate point this way you can downgrade a consequence one step, though you may continue to do so for as long as you have Fate points to spend.
- Regeneration is always available in the character’s beast form, but can be accessed in human form by mentally tapping into it. This costs the character 1 point of Mental Stress. Once this is paid, then Shifter Regeneration is available for the scene.
- Be it from the curse, feral affliction or your primal nature, you have supernatural strength. You gain +2 to Physique actions to overcome weight-based difficulties and to create advantages using your great strength.
- This stunt may be purchased more than once. You can add one physical stress box each time you purchase this stunt. You also gain the ability to absorb a point of physical stress from physical attacks. This is like gaining Armor:1 in some versions of Fate. This “armor” improves every two times this stunt is purchased.
- For example, if Toughness is purchased once or twice, you gain Armor:1. If you purchase it three or four times, you gain Armor:2. And so on.
- Toughness is always available in beast form. A character can access this stunt as a human by marking off one mental stress box. Regardless how many times Toughness was purchased, it never costs more than one mental stress for its benefits to apply for one scene.
These powers roughly fall under the Stealth skill but are restricted to characters with a therianthrope stunt.
- Natural Camouflage
- In animal form, your coloring allows you to blend into your natural environment. Gain a +2 bonus to stealth rolls to avoid being seen in the wilds.
- Pad Foot
- Your shape changer’s animal form is that of a soft, pawed animal such as a wolf or cat. When in animal form, gain a +2 bonus to stealth rolls to avoid being heard.
Next: Shapeshifter Magic