Jump to content

Transform vs Shape Shift: How to Change Oneself


Sveta
 Share

Recommended Posts

 

6th edition vol 1 page 307 left hand column

 

Characters cannot use Transform on themselves.

Changing one’s own shape is either a

special effect of certain powers, or requires Multiform,

Shape Shift, or the like.

 

second paragraph under the heading "Transform and Other Powers." Yes, the rules do explicitly forbid one from targeting oneself with Transform.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

On the other hand, no rule forbids the palindromedary from targeting me with a Transform

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, clnicholsusa said:

It just occurred to me that a certain character (Chameleon) had a belt and costume that allowed him to duplicate the appearance of anyone he could sneak a picture of. For that, a cosmetic transformation of the costume (sight/hearing only) makes more sense than shape shift as the character doesn't change. This also seems point efficient enough to drop into an enemy agent's equipment pool (holograms and voice modulation) in a heroic game for those GM's that aren't devious enough on their own.

FWIW, I avoid shape shift. If I can't get the same effect with a multiform or power pool, I'm probably just trying to glean too much power from the points I have.

 

Could potentially use images to represent this ability

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Transform is one of the few Powers that explicitly says you can't use it on yourself; for a number of reasons, but mostly the one's outlined by Christopher: it's just far too abusive given it can replace the mechanics of any other Power by actually allowing you add a Power to yourself...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, ghost-angel said:

Transform is one of the few Powers that explicitly says you can't use it on yourself; for a number of reasons, but mostly the one's outlined by Christopher: it's just far too abusive given it can replace the mechanics of any other Power by actually allowing you add a Power to yourself...

This is true.  A character can't apply transform to themselves because they could give themselves powers. BUT, if Magnet Man wants to use his 10d6 severe transformation only affects inorganic objects composed of metal to turn the Volvo he's driving into a suit of powered armor, it is, technically, permissible. In fact, in my book, the same page that contains the text "Characters cannot use Transform on themselves" includes the side board describing "Instant Change" and indicating "(To Transform a costume into any clothing, add Improved Results Group (+1⁄4), for 6 Active Points, total cost 4 points.)"

A similar Shape Shift power would cost ten times as much (literally, Shape Shift, Sight 8, Touch 5, Change into a limited number of shapes (articles of clothing) 5, Instant Change 5, at 0 END +1/2, Persistent +1/4, 40 points)

The minor differences between the two powers (the transformation is healed away, and the costume MUST be recognized as breakable) don't seem worthy of the point spread.  As I've said, previously, I tend to avoid shape shift. By the time you've packed enough adders and advantages on shape shift to have a worthy concept, it has become pricey enough to become the focal point of the character. Which brings us back to the OP, now aware that Transform is out and Shapeshift is pricey.

For most of the appearance stuff, make sure the character has disguise and mimicry then purchase the maximum number of skill levels calling out "malleable form" as a special affect. If you truly need to mimic DNA, get a multiform with the alternate form having ONLY the shape shift power. It might take longer to change, but it would allow you to become indistinguishable from any target you desired to become while leaving enough room in the 'true form' for other powers you might desire.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Technicality, the "Instant Change" Cosmetic Transformation doesn't target the person of 'self', but the things upon the character's 'self' instead. Being cosmetic, it doesn't provide defenses.

 

I'm sure the op is annoyed at us by now, telling him he can't do x cause the rules say so, even if doing x fits the character concept. But many people have posted some great workarounds. So, enjoy the workarounds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, steriaca said:

 

 

I'm sure the op is annoyed at us by now, telling him he can't do x cause the rules say so, even if doing x fits the character concept.

 

Oh, I'm not saying he can't do it. I just pointed out the rule against it.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

No rule against a palindromedary here

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

Oh, I'm not saying he can't do it. I just pointed out the rule against it.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

No rule against a palindromedary here

The thing about Role Playing Games is that the rules are not iron clad by nature. If your not having fun, then change them rules till you are. IYG after all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The thing about mechanical rules is they're often put in place for various reasons, game balance being the primary one.

 

Now, let's say a group does decide to use Transform - if you have to be at the Major or Severe level to do what is being asked; and I'm not sure that's cheaper than Shape Shift, and mechanically it's much more clunky as it involves Dice, or at least an average, and quite possibly utilize more phases/time than the imagined ability would need.

 

So while Transform looks enticing (and it's right there in the Power name to change things); it's mechanically an unwieldy fit to begin with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Are you sure about that? That’s not feeling it get sometimes on this board. ?

 

People will say that X is not supported by the rules; few will say AND YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG or anything (from what I've seen.)

 

We say what the rules support and/or what we do for our games, in an attempt to help, generally speaking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eh. Personally? This is as much the reason I asked as the actual curiosity for the answer. I had missed the section listing explicitly that Transform couldn't be used on oneself. Had I found that, likely the post wouldn't have been made in the first place. Finding the mechanical workarounds and different standpoints, that's pretty neat actually, even if at the Cosmetic or Minor level the inability makes me want to scratch my chin. 
But, I've harped on that enough, and most people seem to know where they stand on the issue. But the long and short of it? It all depends on where and how the game runs. RPG's you know. Regardless, thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/9/2018 at 6:40 AM, steriaca said:

I'm sure the op is annoyed at us by now, telling him he can't do x cause the rules say so, even if doing x fits the character concept. But many people have posted some great workarounds. So, enjoy the workarounds.

 

On 6/9/2018 at 8:25 AM, Lucius said:

Oh, I'm not saying he can't do it. I just pointed out the rule against it.

 

On 6/9/2018 at 8:40 AM, steriaca said:

The thing about Role Playing Games is that the rules are not iron clad by nature. If your not having fun, then change them rules till you are. IYG after all.

 

18 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Are you sure about that? That’s not feeling it get sometimes on this board. ?

 

6 hours ago, Funk Thompson said:

 

People will say that X is not supported by the rules; few will say AND YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG or anything (from what I've seen.)

 

We say what the rules support and/or what we do for our games, in an attempt to help, generally speaking.

 

Lucius' and steriaca's statements are great illustration of what Funk just said. 

 

That's not to say that some people don't get all judgemental and in-your-face about it.  But I find that's more the exception than the rule around here.  (That's why I love coming to this discussion board.)

 

Personally, if the rules say something I generally follow along as I trust that most of the time Steve Long and the PTB** have put more thought than I have into the repercussions of variations on said rules.  But of course YMMV, and often does. 

 

**Powers That Be, not Pepper-Topped Bacon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/7/2018 at 8:02 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

Transform doesn't work on yourself...

Except that it very explicitly does. "The basic target of any Transform is “anything.”" (CC 107). Anything includes yourself unless the rules explicitly state otherwise (which they do not). However while "A Transform can take away or alter a target’s Skills, Powers, Complications and/or other abilities, or grant a target Skills, Powers, Complications and/or other abilities it doesn’t have."... It remains a valid point that "The  GM  should  regulate  this  aspect of Transform carefully as well." (CC 109; bolded for emphesis).

 

Further, there are no general rules against using an Attack Power against yourself (besides it usually being stupid), and there are general rules explicitly stipulating that you may choose not to apply an appropriate defense against a power used against you. For example, you can but are not generally required to apply your Power Defense against any Healing you recieve, although a psychological complication might compel you too anyway (such as "Distrustful Of Magic" in a fantasy campaign). So by the same standard... you can lower your Power Defense in order to be Transformed (even by a power you activated, such as one that came from an elixir you drank).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to scan through my copy of Champions Complete to see exactly if it says "you cannot use Transform on yourself". If it is not there, I think that is an oversite on the writers part. Remember, Champions Complete is not meant to negate or replace Hero System 6ed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, steriaca said:

I have to scan through my copy of Champions Complete to see exactly if it says "you cannot use Transform on yourself". If it is not there, I think that is an oversite on the writers part. Remember, Champions Complete is not meant to negate or replace Hero System 6ed.

Erroneous opinions regarding the purpose of CC/FHC aside for a moment.* 6e1 says the same thing: "The basic target of any Transform is “anything.”" (6e1 305). The section on Adding or Removing Abilities in 6e1 also includes the same warning as CC/FHC. Also see 6e1s Using Transform section which is where such a prohibition would be noted in either edition if they existed (it does not).

 

*  CC & FHC are literally replacements for 6e 1&2, created expressly for players daunted by the unaproachability of the original 6th edition core rulebooks. They are also the most recent printings of the 6th edition rules, which by common sense indicates that they are the most up-to-date and accurate versions of the core rules (aside from purposeful omisions like excluding optional rules and corner-case rulings for the sake of brevity). I do recognize that they have flaws... but it would be more condusive to a positive discussion if we didn't have to keep defending the credibility of Hero Games' flagship products on their own forums... 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Page 94 of Champions Complete, under "Transform And Other Powers". Champions Complete does not exactly forbid it. What it forbids is using it to allow the character to do things other powers can do.

 

Sorry, they mean do things with the Transform power which mimic other powers, including things to your characters self.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A fair point, but the referenced section doesn't actually forbid anything. It is a list of things you shouldn't do. Not things you can't do.

 

In one of the 6e examples Arkelos has a Transform to turn people into Gargoyles. He probably shouldn't use it on himself... but he is technically allowed to. The GM can discourage abuse by imposing unintended consequences like Arkelos losing his spell-casting abilities while so Transformed (meaning he can't just turn it off like he could a Multiform).

 

The section applies much more I think to situations like trying to use Transform repeatedly (or assigning certain Heal Back conditions) to simulate the ephemeral and largely advantageous effects of Shape Shifting and Multiform.

Using Transform on yourself and others to impose semi-permenant powers boosts just needs to be checked for abuse like any other method of acquiring phantom points.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about 6E1:307, as explicitly quoted by Lucius above:

Characters cannot use Transform on themselves.  Changing one’s own shape is either a special effect of certain powers, or requires Multiform, Shape Shift, or the like.

 

Or CC:93, which states:

Don’t Transform yourself; take Multiform or Shape Shift.

 

"Cannot" is a far cry from "shouldn't."  So is "Don't."
 

Of course, you can choose to ignore this as you wish.  As I'm sure some will.  Just pointing that out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, steriaca said:

Page 94 of Champions Complete, under "Transform And Other Powers". Champions Complete does not exactly forbid it. What it forbids is using it to allow the character to do things other powers can do.

 

Similarly, the proper way to re-purpose your Volvo* into powered armor would be with a variable power pool. So if that sentence were to end "other powers or power frameworks can do", it would probably be clearer.

 

*Those of us with Volvo envy will just have to settle for transforming our vintage Ford Pintos.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, clnicholsusa said:

 

Similarly, the proper way to re-purpose your Volvo* into powered armor would be with a variable power pool. So if that sentence were to end "other powers or power frameworks can do", it would probably be clearer.

 

*Those of us with Volvo envy will just have to settle for transforming our vintage Ford Pintos.

And to transform a VW Bug to a VW Van takes a Tiger.

 

Hope some clown gets the reference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, BoloOfEarth said:

How about 6E1:307, as explicitly quoted by Lucius above:

Which looks really supportive of your point when quoted out of context... like when I quote from the exact same section: "Transform And Other Powers" where its opening thesis is "Characters should not use Transform to simulate other Powers." Making every statement that follows a supporting statement for that core principle.

 

Semi-permenently changing yourself or others (mostly others) into horrific Gargoyles (granting them some powers, but also imposing significant Complications) is not a breach of the spirit of that guideline because:

Multiform and Shape Shift would be terrible substitutes for Transform in this instance, as would any of the Adjustment Powers.

The alternative methods I would consider using are either a "Custom Growth Template", or a "Granted Power" (using Differing Modifiers); however neither of which have an appropriate duration or useability mechanics for this specific example.

 

However, building a Dismissable Constant Cosmetic Transform, Limited Target (Self Only), Improved Results (Anything) because you somehow made it cheaper than a similar level of Shape Shift is an obvious breach of that clause, and more likely the sort of situation it was included for.

 

Personally I'm glad CC/FHC omitted the internally contradictory parts you've quoted from 6e1 and clarified the language use.

 

1 hour ago, BoloOfEarth said:

"Cannot" is a far cry from "shouldn't."  So is "Don't."

Trying to equate "you should not do [blank]" and/or "do not do [blank]" with "you cannot do [blank]" is a poor arguement. "Don't" really is a far cry from "Can't"... for example, you don't have to tell me not to do something I can't do. The fact that the rules bother to tell me I shouldn't do something can only mean it is a thing that I can do... but shouldn't. As a GM I am free to take or leave their usage suggestions, but as a new player those suggestions serve to help teach me the system's principles and make the GM's job of auditing my sheet easier.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry mate, to Transform yourself into a Gargoyle use Shape Shift or Images.

 

Transform very specifically, in short sentences no less, says not to use it on yourself. Full Stop. There's no Context here - don't use it on yourself, especially if another Power does the same thing. That's why the sentence was broken out without any other clauses to it.

 

It's not a contradiction, its a condition. You can do whatever you want, but RAW is very clear on the topic: Transform cannot target the Self.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, ghost-angel said:

Sorry mate, to Transform yourself into a Gargoyle use Shape Shift or Images.

That cannot fly... literally cannot (as opposed to does not or should not). Neither Shape-Shift nor Images can grant any of the abilities of a Gargoyle, so it really hurts the credibility of your following statements when you lead with something so utterly wrong.

 

1 hour ago, ghost-angel said:

It's not a contradiction, its a condition. You can do whatever you want, but RAW is very clear on the topic: Transform cannot target the Self.

False. The section on Transform And Other Powers does contradict itself in 6e1 (but thankfully not in CC/FHC). The only part the RAW is clear on is that Transform shouldn't be built or used to simulate other powers. I presume because as written it easily could, producing countless corner cases in the process.

Nevertheless there isn't really another power that can turn a target semi-permenently into a gargoyle always built on more points than their original form. Note that Multiform expressly prohibits you from having a better alternate form than your base form, and Shape Shift cannot grant actual abilities so... Yeah my example is fine (which makes since since it's taken straight out of the rulebook).

 

That doesn't mean that I am suggesting you should allow players to buy cheap Constant Transforms to turn themselves into "Gods" just because its heavily discouraged instead of outright prohibited by the rules... what I am saying is that it a Character (but not necessarially a Player Character) can technically do so per RAW (and assuming a permissive GM). CC, FHC, and 6e are all in agreement that Transform has to be watched for Abuse, parricularly with regard to Adding or Removing Abilities.

 

Hrmm the idea of a villain using such a "God-Mode" spell as some slow, easily foiled ritual is basically the plot of a thousand fantasy novels and several anime... I think I might just use that for an adventure hook. The longer the heroes wait to take the villain on... the more powerful he is when they meet him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...