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Old 10-03-2017, 10:36 AM   #1
shadedmagus
 
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Default Druid Shapeshifting: Alternate Form or Spell?

I'm trying to come up with a simplified way of implementing Alternate Forms as character advancement for druids in DFRPG, since Kromm introduced one type in the "Beast Flight" druid ability. But I'm having trouble with this aspect of it:

Basic Set, Alternate Forms, p. B84:
Quote:
If you have multiple forms, pay full cost for the most expensive form. The less powerful Alternate Forms cost a flat 15 points apiece. Minimum cost
per form is still 15 points.
DF 5, Becoming the Beast, p. 8:
Quote:
In particular, remember that a druid who knows multiple forms only pays full price for the most expensive one; all remaining forms are a flat 14 points apiece.
(I understand that the power modifier accounts for the change in point cost.)

The thought I keep coming back to is to have the druid pay most of the point cost up front for the ability to take Alternate Forms, so that all the actual forms only cost 14 points. But I'm having a hard time coming up with a cost that would cover the wide range presented in DF 5 (between 70 points for the Wolverine form and 183 points for the Bear and Great Cat forms, with most of the others coming in around 127).

Is this a good way to approach this? Or should I just have them use the Shapeshifting spell for the more expensive forms and keep Alternate Form for smaller creatures?
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:46 AM   #2
ericbsmith
 
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Default Re: Druid Shapeshifting: Alternate Form or Spell?

You're over-complicating things for yourself. The cost structure for Dungeon Fantasy is simple:
Pay full cost for the most expensive form, as listed in Dungeon Fantasy 5. Each additional form after the first is a flat +14 points.

If you want to change into a Boar per Dungeon Fantasy 5 that is 127 points. If you add an Anaconda to that then the total cost is 127+14. If you want to add a Bear to the Boar instead then the total cost is the cost of the Bear plus one more form, or 183+14=197. This means it costs +70 points to add a Bear to the Boar.

The "Beast Flight" form listed in the DFRPG simply has a base cost of 14 points. If you start out with Beast Flight and want to add the Boar form the cost to upgrade is 127+14=141 total, or an additional +127 points.

If you want to allow the Shapeshifting spell instead that'd be fine too. The biggest disadvantage of doing so is that the energy cost is pretty high for most of the forms.
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Last edited by ericbsmith; 10-03-2017 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:18 AM   #3
shadedmagus
 
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Default Re: Druid Shapeshifting: Alternate Form or Spell?

You say that is simple? Your explanation seems more complex than what I quoted. :)

In all seriousness, that kind of point accounting seems wacky to me, and is what I'm trying to avoid. I'd like to make it so the capability itself is the most expensive portion of the cost, and then be able to list each form as 14 points apiece (or maybe 28 or 35 for the more powerful forms).

If there's no way to do it the way I'm thinking, that's fine. It will just be energy-expensive for my druids to turn into bears or big cats.

EDIT: To elaborate, I was thinking that small forms could just be the set 14 points, like for Beast Flight, and then have an Ability called Greater Beast Form that would cost e.g. 120 points, then list available forms as racial templates with a 14-35 point cost or whatever the difference would work out to.

Last edited by shadedmagus; 10-03-2017 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: Druid Shapeshifting: Alternate Form or Spell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadedmagus View Post
In all seriousness, that kind of point accounting seems wacky to me, and is what I'm trying to avoid. I'd like to make it so the capability itself is the most expensive portion of the cost, and then be able to list each form as 14 points apiece (or maybe 28 or 35 for the more powerful forms).
Then you make the power cost as much as the most expensive form they could ever take...

So if you make it say Small Animal Form 50 points (+14 per extra form) then their most potent form has to be 50 points or less.

Quote:
If there's no way to do it the way I'm thinking, that's fine. It will just be energy-expensive for my druids to turn into bears or big cats.
You can always "do it" the way you're thinking. You're the GM... just do it.

Will it be 'balanced'? Eh.... there's the rub.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: Druid Shapeshifting: Alternate Form or Spell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadedmagus View Post
You say that is simple? Your explanation seems more complex than what I quoted. :)
Not really. You pay for the most expensive form you can change into. Each added form is +14 points more. That is as simple as you can get.

It only gets slightly more complex when you want to upgrade to more forms later and one of them is more expensive than your currently most expensive form, because you have to pay for the difference between your current most expensive form and what will be your new most expensive form, plus the usual +14 points for being able to change into another form. It's no different than if you want to go from ST 15 [50] to ST 17 [70] and have to pay the difference in cost between them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadedmagus View Post
In all seriousness, that kind of point accounting seems wacky to me, and is what I'm trying to avoid. I'd like to make it so the capability itself is the most expensive portion of the cost, and then be able to list each form as 14 points apiece (or maybe 28 or 35 for the more powerful forms).
You can do that, but at that point you are not even trying to convert Shapeshifting rules from GURPS/DF to the DFRPG, you are just making it up as you go along. If that's OK with you then just make it up and assign whatever you think is an appropriate point cost. However, if you want it to have a foundation in the existing rules then you cannot do it that way.
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Last edited by ericbsmith; 10-03-2017 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:48 AM   #6
shadedmagus
 
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Default Re: Druid Shapeshifting: Alternate Form or Spell?

I'd like for it to have a basis in the rules; the rest of what I'm coming up with does. I like the changes to ability presentation that Kromm came up with, where the under the hood is hidden but is still adhered to, and I'd like to stick with that. That way, as evileeyore stated, things would balance out.

I'll continue to think on it. And I invite everyone to use this thread for their ideas on Shapeshifting as well.
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Druid Shapeshifting: Alternate Form or Spell?

Shapeshifting, 14/70/90/127/183
You may shapeshift into one creature of the appropriate level. Additional forms are a flat +14 points each and must be the same level or less than the Shapeshifting advantage.

Creatures
Level 1: "Beast Flight" form
Level 2: Wolverine, Skunk
Level 3: Any of the Familiar animals (Cat, Dog, Bat, Chimp, etc), but with the Familiar disadvantage removed.
Level 4: Anaconda, Boar, Great Eagle, Gorilla, Hound, Kangaroo, Kraken, Shark, Stallion
Level 5: Bear, Great Cat, Timber Wolf, Insect Swarm


This doesn't make it any simpler or easier, it just changes the rule wording from "you must pay for the most expensive form" to "you must pay for a level that covers the form you want."
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Last edited by ericbsmith; 10-03-2017 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:44 PM   #8
shadedmagus
 
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Default Re: Druid Shapeshifting: Alternate Form or Spell?

That is a really well-done rewording, Eric. I don't know why I didn't look at it from that perspective; I saw something similar in a Pyramid article regarding Aura-based abilities for clerics a while back (don't remember which one; I'd have to dig). That would absolutely work for what I'm trying to do, which is make the ability presentation as drop-dead easy for my players as possible.
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