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Old 11-07-2016, 03:07 PM   #1
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Default Questions to understand the costs of Shapeshifting - Alternate Form

Hey there,

I want to understand the costs of Shapeshifting - Alternate Form.

Imagine that my PC is a human:
Has 110 points
DX 15
Broadsword level 16
The rest of the stats are level 10
Basic Speed an Move 6
Eidetic Memory, Photographic (10)

Will turn into a crow:
Has 90 points
DX 15
Flight
The rest of the stats are level 10
Basic Speed an Move 5
HP 5, HT 7

What is goin to be the cost of my "template"? 90 points?
If the PC traits carry on, is this crow going to have Eidetic Memory and Broadsword Skill (usable in battle)?
- Note that I am considering that alternate form is free, for this example.

What do you say?
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Old 11-07-2016, 03:13 PM   #2
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Questions to understand the costs of Shapeshifting - Alternate Form

Turning into a "crow" with racial +5 DX would give him DX 20 (and +1.25 Basic Speed).

Otherwise yes, you keep all the non-racial traits that you normally have unless the crow has traits that need to negate some of them.
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Old 11-07-2016, 03:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Questions to understand the costs of Shapeshifting - Alternate Form

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Turning into a "crow" with racial +5 DX would give him DX 20 (and +1.25 Basic Speed).

Otherwise yes, you keep all the non-racial traits that you normally have unless the crow has traits that need to negate some of them.
Oh, that's great. It seems you are using a crow template from a certain source, is there a GURPS book for that?
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Old 11-07-2016, 03:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Questions to understand the costs of Shapeshifting - Alternate Form

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Originally Posted by Hide View Post
Oh, that's great. It seems you are using a crow template from a certain source, is there a GURPS book for that?
No, I'm just using the numbers you posted (that's why I used scare-quotes; corvids are smart, but probably don't have IQ 10).
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Old 11-07-2016, 03:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: Questions to understand the costs of Shapeshifting - Alternate Form

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hide View Post
Hey there,

I want to understand the costs of Shapeshifting - Alternate Form.

Imagine that my PC is a human:
Has 110 points
DX 15
Broadsword level 16
The rest of the stats are level 10
Basic Speed an Move 6
Eidetic Memory, Photographic (10)

Will turn into a crow:
Has 90 points
DX 15
Flight
The rest of the stats are level 10
Basic Speed an Move 5
HP 5, HT 7

What is goin to be the cost of my "template"? 90 points?
The key thing to remember with Alternate Form is that it's swapping out racial templates, and that's what the cost is based on. If your base form is a human, that's a 0-point racial template by default. If the above stats represent a crow's racial template (that is, all crows have DX 15, Flight, 10 in other stats, HT 7, and HP 5), then the racial template cost will be 90 points, and it will cost you 15+81 points to transform into a crow as an Alternate Form (15 points for the base Alternate Form, 90 points -10% for the template).

If, instead, you want the final version of the crow that the character turns into to have those stats, it's a little easier. Any traits that the character has that aren't part of their racial template transfer over. So a human's racial template has DX 10. The character seems to have purchased 5 levels of DX themselves, so that carries over. If the crow's racial template is also DX 10, then in crow form, the character will have DX 15 as well.

You can vary this, with GM permission - say the standard crow racial template has DX+1, but you really don't want to become a DX 16 crow (you think it's overkill, and you just want to save points). You could custom-build a crow racial template for your form that only had DX+0, or even DX-1 or more, and when you transformed, you'd apply that penalty to whatever bonus DX you had to get the crow form's final DX score. That's the way to go if you want to transform into a "normal crow", for example, rather than a crow that's as relatively dexterous, strong, etc. as your human form is compared to other humans: build a custom racial template with appropriate attribute modifiers to cancel your own bonuses and leave the creature at the right attribute levels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hide
If the PC traits carry on, is this crow going to have Eidetic Memory and Broadsword Skill (usable in battle)?
Yes, as long as those are traits the character bought themselves, rather than as part of a racial template, and as long as the new racial template they transform into doesn't include any traits that are incompatible. If you had Acute Vision, for example, and transformed into something that had Blind on its template, you wouldn't get the bonus of the Acute Vision, and don't get points for that. You keep your skills in your Alternate Form, but the form's limitations may make using those skills difficult. Broadsword, for example, may be less than helpful if you don't have hands to wield a sword (though you'd keep the effective skill for things that don't require a sword in hand - Martial Arts' rule about using your highest weapon skill to resist feints, for example).
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Old 11-08-2016, 12:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: Questions to understand the costs of Shapeshifting - Alternate Form

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
The key thing to remember with Alternate Form is that it's swapping out racial templates, and that's what the cost is based on. If your base form is a human, that's a 0-point racial template by default. If the above stats represent a crow's racial template (that is, all crows have DX 15, Flight, 10 in other stats, HT 7, and HP 5), then the racial template cost will be 90 points, and it will cost you 15+81 points to transform into a crow as an Alternate Form (15 points for the base Alternate Form, 90 points -10% for the template). <SNIP>
Would this mean that if it's a normal crow (IQ 4), that a transformed character really wouldn't have much IQ?

I'm always confused about alternate forms as well. If this works this way, all were bears, wolves etc, would not be sapient.
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Old 11-08-2016, 12:54 AM   #7
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Default Re: Questions to understand the costs of Shapeshifting - Alternate Form

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Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
Would this mean that if it's a normal crow (IQ 4), that a transformed character really wouldn't have much IQ?

I'm always confused about alternate forms as well. If this works this way, all were bears, wolves etc, would not be sapient.
Below-average IQ is one of the divergences from standard animal racial templates that Alternate Form explicitly calls out as a good idea. "if you wish to retain human intelligence in beast form, you could shift into a template that lacks the beastís low IQ (although this increases the template cost and hence
the cost of Alternate Form)."

If you want to be a sapient were-beast, with just as much IQ in your animal form as your human one, you have to pay for that. Or, at least, not get as many disad points to buy other stuff for your beast form.
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Old 11-08-2016, 01:20 AM   #8
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Default Re: Questions to understand the costs of Shapeshifting - Alternate Form

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Originally Posted by joppeknol View Post
Would this mean that if it's a normal crow (IQ 4), that a transformed character really wouldn't have much IQ?
If you used a normal crow stat block and built a template out of that (the default) then, yes, your transformed character will have his normal IQ-6. Most GMs will allow for a unique template, made by comparing your stats with the stats of the creature you want to transform into, and giving the template the proper modifiers to get the end result you want.

For example, in the Monster Hunters game I'm in right now, one of the characters is a Fae that transforms, coincidentally enough, into a crow. Because he didn't want a crow with, say, DX 20, his template has +2 DX, -10 ST, etc. And no modifier to IQ since he wanted to maintain his own smarts.


Quote:
I'm always confused about alternate forms as well. If this works this way, all were bears, wolves etc, would not be sapient.
Well, many weres aren't sapient in their bestial form.

However, NPCs have whatever stats the GM wants them to have in either (or all) form(s).

OTOH, if a PC becomes/is a were-creature, he should have his own unique template to represent his were form that will get him to whatever stats he or the GM wants.
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Old 11-08-2016, 05:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Questions to understand the costs of Shapeshifting - Alternate Form

I see, I see. How about purchasing a meta-trait as an alternate form?

My PC amounts 395 base points, plus -50.
It is a total of 445.

Now, let's say that this PC has alternate form "Body of Earth" from the meta-traits. According to B262, that is 175 points.

What would be the cost of the alternate form?
Is it 15+(175*.9)? 172 points.
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Old 11-08-2016, 05:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: Questions to understand the costs of Shapeshifting - Alternate Form

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Originally Posted by Hide View Post
I see, I see. How about purchasing a meta-trait as an alternate form?

My PC amounts 395 base points, plus -50.
It is a total of 445.

Now, let's say that this PC has alternate form "Body of Earth" from the meta-traits. According to B262, that is 175 points.

What would be the cost of the alternate form?
Is it 15+(175*.9)? 172 points.
That is right. A Racial template is a metatrait and all your doing is swapping out those templates. But if you have more than one each additional one is only 15 points.
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