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Old 10-23-2017, 08:39 AM   #1
dwightemarsh
 
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Default Shapeshifting (Cats)

In Magic, the casting cost of a spell to change the caster into another form is 1/20 of the point value of the physical characteristics to cast and 1/60 to maintain. Is Perception a physical characteristic? If so, is the cost the difference between ca cat's normal intelligence and the cats perception (40 points) or between a base 10 and the cats perception (10 points)

Also, does the form have the normal skills of the form? Would a mage who shape-shifted into a cat have Brawling 16, Jumping 14 and Stealth 14?
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Old 10-23-2017, 09:19 AM   #2
ericthered
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Default Re: Shapeshifting (Cats)

Perception is a mental characteristic.

skills are not gained when you shape change, unless the form has racial bonuses. I might give a cat a jumping or stealth racial bonus, but not brawling.
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Shapeshifting (Cats)

That's a tough one, though, because the cat's high perception score is clearly the result of a number of physical traits -- large, directional ears, eyes evolved to function in twilight, and the presence of dedicated touch-sensitive whiskers.

I'd call them physical Advantages along the lines of Keen Senses. Strictly speaking, they should be on the Cat template instead of the Per, but it makes sense that for most in-game cats that level of detail isn't warranted.
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Old 10-23-2017, 04:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Shapeshifting (Cats)

And I disagree with cats necessarily getting Per 15. The number of times I've snuck up on cats...

They should get Per 10, Discriminatory Smell, Parabolic Hearing, and some sort of "Keen Sight (Only for moving objects)".
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Old 10-23-2017, 07:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Shapeshifting (Cats)

Magic tends to assume archetypal animals, not our dense domestic individuals. My feline nitwits are no more agile or perceptive than I am, and that ain't much.
But Cats in myth and magic are insanely dextrous and perceptive.
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Old 10-23-2017, 07:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Shapeshifting (Cats)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightemarsh View Post
In Magic, the casting cost of a spell to change the caster into another form is 1/20 of the point value of the physical characteristics to cast and 1/60 to maintain. Is Perception a physical characteristic?
Does the caster get any increase in Perception in cat form. If so, it counts toward calculating the cost of the spell, you don't get anything for free. If his senses are unchanged (and this is the precedent in RPGs dating all the way back to Polymorh Self) then you don't have to pay for something you don't get. I do think most players would expect at least some Night Vision to be included.

Quote:
Also, does the form have the normal skills of the form? Would a mage who shape-shifted into a cat have Brawling 16, Jumping 14 and Stealth 14?
Not unless he had them before he shape-shifted.
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: Shapeshifting (Cats)

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
And I disagree with cats necessarily getting Per 15. The number of times I've snuck up on cats...
Try that on cats who work for a living, not lap cats, barn cats, and porch cats.

We have bobcats here, I hear them at night during mating season, and occasionally see tracks. In 39 years I've never seen one. I have seen cougars twice, and see foxes every two or three years.
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Old 10-24-2017, 12:10 AM   #8
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Default Re: Shapeshifting (Cats)

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Try that on cats who work for a living, not lap cats, barn cats, and porch cats.
I have. At least feral 'domesticated' cats.

Don't have too many wild bobcats in Central Florida and the only wild great cat I've ever seen in person was up on the mountain... and we all kinda hoped she stayed up there (it was a very bad winter and we suspected she coming close to see if any of our pets or animals were lose. Never saw any tracks closer than the mountain top).
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:37 AM   #9
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Default Re: Shapeshifting (Cats)

Remember that wild cats that "work for a living" have sunk lots of practice into sneaking up on things and hearing things, and ones that aren't good at it wind up dead. That's not racial skill, that's just plain skill. I don't think a wizard shapeshifting into a cat should get that for free.
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Old 10-24-2017, 12:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Shapeshifting (Cats)

Perhaps. If we want to talk about story, though, then you can either have a humorous story about a wizard turning into a cat and then barely being coordinated enough to jump on a table, or you can have a wizard turn into a cat and slink away silently or pounce nimbly onto a human's shoulders from the ground.

Depends on the genera, really.
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