The shapeshifting system as described in the books is a bit wonky. In my opinion, the rule book limits BSS too much, and ADSS too little. Let’s face it, some of the powers the book ascribes to ADSS are just silly (the “oops, I’m Benedict” one is a prime example). So; here is a breakdown of the powers available to shapeshifters.
- BSS = basic shapeshifting
- ADSS = advanced shapeshifting
Basic Shapeshifting (35 points)
- The three “learned” forms (Human, Demon and Avatar). Primal form is a freebie.
- Minor shifts (ie sharpening senses, closing wounds, changing appearance, growing claws), given time and practice.
- The ability to shift into other forms, restricted by time and knowledge (need practice to do different animals properly; cannot use a creature’s inherent powers).
Advanced Shapeshifting (30 points)
- The three “learned” forms (Human, Demon and Avatar).
- Much faster shifting; minor shifts are almost instantaneous.
- Instinctive shifting into other forms (does not need to learn a new form).
- Ability to use a creature’s natural powers (ie a dragon’s flame, a blink-dog’s teleport, a vampire’s inherent magic).
- Shifting internal structure (ie growing eyes in odd places, shifting location of organs).
- Perfect mimicry of people (in a purely physical sense).
- Ability to shift auras and scents.
- Ability to digest any kind of matter (this is still shifting and will tire the shifter).
- Blood creatures (creating servants independent of the shifter).
- Forcing shapeshifts on another person.
A shapeshifter cannot
- Mimic another person’s mind.
- Mimic major powers such as Pattern and Trump.
- Create Amberite blood.
With BSS, a full shift into a learned form should take a couple of minutes, longer for unlearned forms. With ADSS, a full shift should only take a matter of seconds (let’s say half a minute).
BSS must retain mass. Size is not an issue, but changing it a lot will mean heavy mice and hollow elephants. ADSS can change mass at will. This involves either sloughing off body mass or drawing it in from the surroundings. Changing mass is quite draining.
ADSS needs as much energy to fuel it as BSS. At Amber level Endurance, a full body shift should leave you wanting dinner, two will have you running for the nearest cow. The threshold then rises every ten points above that (at two shifts per threshold). So; a shifter with 15 points of Endurance can perform four full body shifts and will then want to go eat a cow and have a nice lie down.