PDA

View Full Version : Shapeshifter durations?



shonuff
12-08-2014, 08:23 PM
Set 3 arrived today, and I noticed something odd: Small/Large Animal Form duration is in rounds; Vicious Animal Form is in minutes. I'm assuming one is in error.

Personally, I think even if the duration is in minutes, it might be too short - iirc Morrigan talked about transforming for days at a time.

OzMills
12-09-2014, 02:23 AM
Set 3 arrived today, and I noticed something odd: Small/Large Animal Form duration is in rounds; Vicious Animal Form is in minutes. I'm assuming one is in error.

Personally, I think even if the duration is in minutes, it might be too short - iirc Morrigan talked about transforming for days at a time.

I was also perplexed. I suggested to my players that Minutes was the intended duration. I welcome correction and reasoning, however.

Vosoros
12-09-2014, 02:33 AM
Might I suggest the rounds apply whilst in combat and the minutes be disregarded. Out of battle, you can remain in your chosen animal form until you choose to revert to your human form or another animal form. It sounds reasonable to me...

OzMills
12-09-2014, 02:49 AM
Might I suggest the rounds apply whilst in combat and the minutes be disregarded. Out of battle, you can remain in your chosen animal form until you choose to revert to your human form or another animal form. It sounds reasonable to me...

So once a fight starts, there's a strange metaphysical change to the environment which means you can't maintain your form?

DrawGreeny
12-09-2014, 04:01 AM
Set 3 arrived today, and I noticed something odd: Small/Large Animal Form duration is in rounds; Vicious Animal Form is in minutes. I'm assuming one is in error.

Personally, I think even if the duration is in minutes, it might be too short - iirc Morrigan talked about transforming for days at a time.

It's conceivable that Morrigan was exaggerating (or outright lying), although I actually believe her. It might also be that she's just an exception to the rules; being a daughter of Flemeth probably has its perks.

shonuff
12-09-2014, 04:41 AM
Conceivable, but doubtful - she had no reason to lie. And I don't think Morrigan would gain anything by being one of Flemeth's daughters that someone else couldn't gain. She's neither Flemeth nor Flemeth's blood.

shonuff
12-09-2014, 04:48 AM
Might I suggest the rounds apply whilst in combat and the minutes be disregarded. Out of battle, you can remain in your chosen animal form until you choose to revert to your human form or another animal form. It sounds reasonable to me...

I don't see a reason to do that. A small animal is weaker than a level 6 mage, a large animal is probably weaker than a level 8 mage. I'd have to look again at the vicious animals. I don't see a balance reason to impose an MP cost, major action, and potential mishap on becoming something weaker.

shonuff
12-09-2014, 04:57 AM
I was also perplexed. I suggested to my players that Minutes was the intended duration. I welcome correction and reasoning, however.

With minutes you're still running into the problem that you'd be weaker in combat, but a duration of minutes wouldn't really let you explore the RP benefits of a different form

I'm thinking about:
1. Double MP cost and no maintenance.
2. Duration - until reverts back or caster loses consciousness (including sleep).
3. Cannot regain MP while shapeshifted.

Reasoning: First, I believe Morrigan about her duration, and once you get past the minutes unit, a duration is somewhat pointless, IMO.

eliastion
12-09-2014, 05:26 AM
One other possible homerule would be that a "better" shapeshifting spell gives you one "category" of duration more. So Changing to a dog with Large Animal Form would last minutes. Changing into a bear with Vicious Beast Form would last hours (a "category" above minutes). And using that same spell for changing into a dog or some other "easy" form would actually let you maintain the spell for days.

shonuff
12-09-2014, 05:51 AM
Yeah, I thought about something along those lines, as well. And while it probably makes more sense to show a growing power, my issue is that once you get into a duration of hours, duration becomes meaningless - MP expenditures are regenerated. More bookkeeping for little gain.

eliastion
12-09-2014, 11:54 AM
MP doesn't regenerate as fast as you seem to imply. It requires resting - for high-level mage it would be around an hour of rest for a single tick of vicious beast form. And if you change into some animal it's probably not to relax in your new form. Even if your GM allows normal resting and keeping such spells going at the same time - and I'm not sure if I would allow such a feat. Mana is closely tied to your lifeforce - can you really rest if you keep expending it to sustain your spells?
Also, I don't think it would require a lot of bookkeeping. It's a simple subtraction plus a bit of figuring out how long the mage managed to rest/meditate between casting the spell and moment-when-it-gets-important-how-drained-of-mana-he-is.

shonuff
12-09-2014, 04:10 PM
MP doesn't regenerate as fast as you seem to imply. It requires resting - for high-level mage it would be around an hour of rest for a single tick of vicious beast form. And if you change into some animal it's probably not to relax in your new form. Even if your GM allows normal resting and keeping such spells going at the same time - and I'm not sure if I would allow such a feat. Mana is closely tied to your lifeforce - can you really rest if you keep expending it to sustain your spells?

It does if you get into hours and days for your durations - 8 hours rest has you at full MP, regardless of the total expenditure. So if SAF has it's duration in days, 8 hours of sleep would have you at full, so you could maintain the spell indefinitely. If the max duration of LAF were in hours, it would only take approximately 100 MP for about a 14hour duration (assuming a MAG of 6), which is easily attainable, especially with the MP reductions. That gives ample time to get an 8 hour cat nap, or bronto nap.... And then you can keep extending.

The spell doesn't stipulate when the extra expenditure is spent... Whether at the beginning, in the middle, or both. Rock Armor, for example, is all spent at the beginning, and there is nothing that says Rock Armor expires if the caster isn't awake. The MP is expended and the spell is cast. Even then, strictly speaking, mages are conscious while they are in the Fade or dreaming - that's why they are so susceptible to possession.

And if a mage is an animal for hours or days, they would have to rest. And when they rest, they regain MP.

So once you get into durations of hours, duration ceases to matter. It's essentially indefinite.


Also, I don't think it would require a lot of bookkeeping. It's a simple subtraction plus a bit of figuring out how long the mage managed to rest/meditate between casting the spell and moment-when-it-gets-important-how-drained-of-mana-he-is.

Not a lot. More.

If you wanted to be a horse for a day, you have to figure out the initial casting time, the current casting time, and the MP expenditure. All of that is more than "Did you sleep?" And ultimately, little gain.

On a side note, the MP ticks in the RAW need work. As-is, it costs more/round to maintain than it does to cast, especially if you factor what is reasonably expected for a mage to have. LAF is 10/3, so the price/round is double to maintain at MAG 6 (a reasonable expectation).

DrawGreeny
12-09-2014, 06:26 PM
Conceivable, but doubtful - she had no reason to lie. And I don't think Morrigan would gain anything by being one of Flemeth's daughters that someone else couldn't gain. She's neither Flemeth nor Flemeth's blood.

Was it definitively established that Morrigan wasn't Flemeth's biological daughter? One of the dialogue options in Origins has you asking something of the sort, but my recollection (which is admittedly a little fuzzy) is that Morrigan wasn't really sure of the answer herself; she ends up sidestepping the question by saying that whether or not Flemeth gave birth to her, Flemeth still raised her--which makes her Flemeth's daughter, for all intents and purposes.

Even if Morrigan wasn't Flemeth's blood, the fact remains that Flemeth--who clearly isn't bound by the shapeshifting rules in Set 3, given that she could assume the form of a high dragon--was her teacher; Flemeth could have taught Morrigan not only the art of shapeshifting (as represented in the Set 3 rules), but possibly how to overcome the usual limitations. And while it's true that someone else *could* gain that knowledge as well, it doesn't mean that they *will*. I have a hunch that Flemeth wouldn't be willing to share those secrets with anyone but her daughters; while it's true that others might also figure out how to indefinitely extend the duration of a shapeshift, it doesn't mean that such people are common--or that they'd part with such information very easily.

Having said all that, I agree with you, inasmuch as the duration for remaining shapeshifted seems way too short. If your group decides to house-rule this one so that Shapeshifters can remain in animal form for hours (or even days) at a time, more power to you; I'll probably do the same thing, if I ever run the game.

Havokk
12-09-2014, 07:28 PM
To turn the question around, what is so bad about a shapeshifer being a dog or cat for several days?

After all, that is several days where they cannot cast spells or use items or communicate in any way except writing (something animal paws are very bad at). Days where they are eating whatever the animal normally eats (if you've turned into a cat then you'd beter like raw meat :-). Days when their clothes and gear has to be either well-hidden or carried by someone else in the party. Are you going to carry the mage's backpack while she frolics in the trees as a squirrel?

What is wrong with a shapeshifter turning into a bear for an hour? They still have their own health, so they are a pretty fragile bear. They can't cast spells (which includes Heal!), they can't use skills (like Healing!), they can't use items (like healing potions, if there is no-one near them to unstopper the flask and pour it down their throat!).

Personally, I'm not seeing any bonus from the spec, either in the computer game or the pen-and-paper game.
Accordingly, I'd rule generously on the duration.

I'd also change the requirement from CON to WIL - Morrigan says what is important is to understand the animal.

shonuff
12-09-2014, 08:14 PM
To turn the question around, what is so bad about a shapeshifer being a dog or cat for several days?

Nothing. It's more of a discussion on "long duration" vs. "other long duration."



I'd also change the requirement from CON to WIL - Morrigan says what is important is to understand the animal.

I agree with your why but IMO it would fall under PER (which is what I'm using).

shonuff
12-09-2014, 08:21 PM
Was it definitively established that Morrigan wasn't Flemeth's biological daughter?

It wasn't definitively established, but I'm almost positive that Flemeth cannot have children (which was also hypothesized in DA:O. Morrigan's extended durations, IMO, would be more the nature of shapeshifting rather than a bonus imparted by her teacher. The reason Flemeth can break the Set 3 rules is because she's Flemeth, whereas Morrigan has to turn into spiders and bears.

DrawGreeny
12-10-2014, 07:32 AM
It wasn't definitively established, but I'm almost positive that Flemeth cannot have children (which was also hypothesized in DA:O.).

I definitely don't remember anything in-game about Flemeth being *incapable* of having children. Mind you, I could have just missed that part. I do recall Morrigan speculating that Flemeth not only wasn't entirely human anymore, but may have never been human to begin with; I suppose that could have had something to do with it.


The reason Flemeth can break the Set 3 rules is because she's Flemeth, whereas Morrigan has to turn into spiders and bears.

Well, yes; I thought that Flemeth being the exception to the rules *because* she's Flemeth was sort of implied in my previous post. I feel that my point still stands though; if anyone (for some reason) wanted to just use the Shapeshifter rules as written, but also want to reconcile the fact that both Flemeth and Morrigan are canonically capable of breaking those rules, you just say that a.) Flemeth isn't bound by the same rules that most Theodosians are, and b.) she can teach others how to break (or at least bend) some of those rules, assuming it suits her whims to do so. If you have no intention of using the RAW, there's no conflict and thus no need to say that Morrigan is an exception to the rules (although Flemeth probably still is, just because).

shonuff
12-10-2014, 08:08 AM
I definitely don't remember anything in-game about Flemeth being *incapable* of having children. Mind you, I could have just missed that part. I do recall Morrigan speculating that Flemeth not only wasn't entirely human anymore, but may have never been human to begin with; I suppose that could have had something to do with it.

I believe there was speculation of that in DA:O. I must admit I'm also being a little vague to prevent spoilers.




Well, yes; I thought that Flemeth being the exception to the rules *because* she's Flemeth was sort of implied in my previous post. I feel that my point still stands though; if anyone (for some reason) wanted to just use the Shapeshifter rules as written, but also want to reconcile the fact that both Flemeth and Morrigan are canonically capable of breaking those rules, you just say that a.) Flemeth isn't bound by the same rules that most Theodosians are, and b.) she can teach others how to break (or at least bend) some of those rules, assuming it suits her whims to do so. If you have no intention of using the RAW, there's no conflict and thus no need to say that Morrigan is an exception to the rules (although Flemeth probably still is, just because).

IMO, I don't think Flemeth could teach anyone to break the rules, much like a lich couldn't teach a puppy to be immune to cold. So (again IMO) what Morrigan can do anyone else should basically be able to do.

So, I'm doing the latter - HR to extend duration. Those particular spells need work - duration consistency - it's cheaper to cast VAF than LAF, for example, and either the ticks should be less or the initial cost should be more. Essentially what I'm doing is no duration, which fixes both of those issues and brings it closer to canon than RAW.

eliastion
12-11-2014, 11:53 AM
Considering that Flemeth was supposedly preparing Morrigan to become vessel for her soul...
But even without that it's obvious she could've done lots of strange thing to her "daughter" - and some of them could have either a purpose or side effect of making the girl especially gifted as a shape-shifter.
Basically, while the lich couldn't teach a puppy to be cold-immune, you wouldn't be exactly surprised to find a cold-immune puppy in his lair - result of some strange experiment. Or just a puppy-undead, 'cause why not, immortal puppy would be a perfect pet for some soft-hear... soft-somethinged lich ;)

shonuff
12-11-2014, 01:16 PM
But that would no longer be a puppy! :)

All-in-all, from what I think I know about Flemeth, the only way Morrigan could be Flemeth's daughter is if she were Flemeth's daughter before Flemeth became Flemeth. I would assume that would ease the soul transferral and possibly explain the desire for Morrigan to have the OGB. But then Morrigan wouldn't have the DNA of the Flemeth entity to be the rule-breaker.... All conjecture, of course.

eliastion
12-11-2014, 08:35 PM
Either way, close connection with Flemeth - even without being actually by blood too, which I find rather unlikely - is explenation enough for Morrigan's superior aptitude for shapeshifting. What measure is non-puppy? Are Grey Wardens still human/elven/whatever? Are ghouls? Are abominations? It's likely that Morrigan has been changed magically in some way, perhaps even her being a mage is artificial - it's a rare gift and I don't think we heard of any "child" of Flemeth that wasn't gifted. It's quite possible that some rules don't apply anymore.
And if we assume she didn't lie (nor retcon it out) AND we treat RAW as canonical, then it's not a speculation even - we know Morrigan broke the rules, perhaps not even knowing some should restrain her. So, in this case, she definitely is special in some way and the simplest explanation points at Flemeth as the cause.

Vosoros
12-12-2014, 02:49 AM
So once a fight starts, there's a strange metaphysical change to the environment which means you can't maintain your form?

No, but the change is born of the mental capacity to mystically create a physical change. I imagine a low-level of concentration maybe needed to maintain it, and hence the heat of battle is more difficult. I trued to reason that as the number of turns noted.

I dunno, just a thought some may like and others...not so much. Regardless, let's hope the complete ruleset book addresses/amends this oversight in the mechanics hey.

:)

shonuff
12-12-2014, 04:59 AM
Either way, close connection with Flemeth - even without being actually by blood too, which I find rather unlikely - is explenation enough for Morrigan's superior aptitude for shapeshifting. What measure is non-puppy? Are Grey Wardens still human/elven/whatever? Are ghouls? Are abominations? It's likely that Morrigan has been changed magically in some way, perhaps even her being a mage is artificial - it's a rare gift and I don't think we heard of any "child" of Flemeth that wasn't gifted. It's quite possible that some rules don't apply anymore.

Except Flemeth is some sort of abomination (at least as of DA:O). And Morrigan is not. And while it is possible Morrigan could have changed for the ritual, she may not be ready for it.

As for Flemeth's daughters. I don't know what's simpler? Her changing people to become magi-capable, or her adopting those that are.


And if we assume she didn't lie (nor retcon it out) AND we treat RAW as canonical, then it's not a speculation even - we know Morrigan broke the rules, perhaps not even knowing some should restrain her. So, in this case, she definitely is special in some way and the simplest explanation points at Flemeth as the cause.

except RAW aren't canon. They're a quasi-semi-canon. When AGE was announced, someone from Bioware or EA said they were excited to expand the canon, but then Gaider has been quoted as saying the only thing that's truly canon are the video games.

eliastion
12-12-2014, 07:29 AM
Where does your knowledge of Flemeth being an abomination come from? Morrigan states she is not.


except RAW aren't canon. They're a quasi-semi-canon. When AGE was announced, someone from Bioware or EA said they were excited to expand the canon, but then Gaider has been quoted as saying the only thing that's truly canon are the video games.
Perhaps I wasn't clear enough due to how RPG campaigns are treated by me and friends... Basically: every GM or even every campaign creates its own continuity and it's the only important one for the game. Basically: your game has its own canon. And, of course, rules you use are part of it. Interpretations the GM considers binding, any choices made by this world's Wardens and Hawkes - all that is canonical within your game. The official BioWare canon, on the other hand, remains sort of a distorted alternate reality - a nice source of information about things that were not mentioned yet, but if anything contradicts established facts - all the worse for BioWare version. In the end, the game is played in the world created by GM and, to some extent, players - not the one created, changed and at times retconned slightly by BioWare ;)
That's why, if you honor the RAW, limitations imposed by them become canonical. There are many obvious differences between DA:computer_game and DA:rpg already: you need to rest to regain mana, for example. It's a simple mechanical fact that affects the world since the mage can be rendered helpless just but not letting him get any rest, while going by DA:O rules all the mage needs is a couple minutes to calm down and he's back at full strength. There are also spells/effects that can be maintained indefinitely (even if they "lock" some of your mana) in DA:O while in DA:RPG you can keep them going by a couple minutes at best. Shapeshifting is one of cases where we notice similar change. If you honor it - as part of how the world works and always has - but not retcon the fact that Morrigan managed to maintain animal form for days, it's obvious that she has to be special in some way. It's that simple.
Of course, you can change how the spells work or determine that Morrigan never said (or did) something like that. But unless you do at least one of those things (change spells, change what Morrigan was capable of doing), you must either acknowledge that some rules don't apply to Morrigan for some reason or...
well, there's no "or": if she broke the rules and the rules are there and there is no special Morrigan-specific perk allowing her to break those rules... you got yourself an ugly inconsistency.

shonuff
12-12-2014, 01:02 PM
Where does your knowledge of Flemeth being an abomination come from? Morrigan states she is not.


You're right. Morrigan says she's not... It's just everyone else who does. Regardless, Morrigan admits she thinks that Flemeth isn't human, more of which comes out in DA:I. So to remain spoiler-free for the latest game, I'll just stop by saying Flemeth isn't human.



Perhaps I wasn't clear enough due to how RPG campaigns are treated by me and friends... Basically: every GM or even every campaign creates its own continuity and it's the only important one for the game. Basically: your game has its own canon. And, of course, rules you use are part of it. Interpretations the GM considers binding, any choices made by this world's Wardens and Hawkes - all that is canonical within your game. The official BioWare canon, on the other hand, remains sort of a distorted alternate reality - a nice source of information about things that were not mentioned yet, but if anything contradicts established facts - all the worse for BioWare version. In the end, the game is played in the world created by GM and, to some extent, players - not the one created, changed and at times retconned slightly by BioWare ;)

That's true with everyone. No table is official canon, with exception to itself. Of course, I think you're going a little far when you call that canon. IMO, there is one canon: what the creators name as such, and this has bearing when you discuss anything in order to retain some semblance of consistency. This is why GR has a published set of rules, even though they encourage HRs. However, when discussing the rules, it's important to discuss RAW as opposed to all of the various HRs as if they are universal.

Gaider said that outside of the games, it's canon if it doesn't contradict the games.


That's why, if you honor the RAW, limitations imposed by them become canonical. There are many obvious differences between DA:computer_game and DA:rpg already: you need to rest to regain mana, for example. It's a simple mechanical fact that affects the world since the mage can be rendered helpless just but not letting him get any rest, while going by DA:O rules all the mage needs is a couple minutes to calm down and he's back at full strength. There are also spells/effects that can be maintained indefinitely (even if they "lock" some of your mana) in DA:O while in DA:RPG you can keep them going by a couple minutes at best. Shapeshifting is one of cases where we notice similar change. If you honor it - as part of how the world works and always has - but not retcon the fact that Morrigan managed to maintain animal form for days, it's obvious that she has to be special in some way. It's that simple.

A lot of those instances are translations of mechanics from video to tabletop games. MP is a fine example of that - naturally refilling vs. rest, it's just different ways of portraying MP regen. You also don't sleep in the video game, but I wouldn't call that breaking canon if you have it in the RPG.

Shapeshifting is different. Morrigan talks about spending days with animals, with absolutely no reason to lie. She can teach the Warden the same skillet with no apparent difference from herself - so it's difficult to argue that Morrigan has the sparkly variant of shapeshifting whereas the Warden has the regular version.

And in the GR version, you can only spend days as an animal if you mean "as a max level mage burning all your MP you can spend 30-40 minutes in a form."

IMO, that's a pretty big contradiction with game lore.



Of course, you can change how the spells work or determine that Morrigan never said (or did) something like that. But unless you do at least one of those things (change spells, change what Morrigan was capable of doing), you must either acknowledge that some rules don't apply to Morrigan for some reason or...
well, there's no "or": if she broke the rules and the rules are there and there is no special Morrigan-specific perk allowing her to break those rules... you got yourself an ugly inconsistency.

all of which is why I'm suggesting changing the spell. You actually left out another option: admit GR's spell version isn't accurate. Whether or not you use it is up to your table, but it's got a number of issues:

1. Not accurate to game lore
2. Inconsistent MP to extension rate
3. Inconsistent durations
4. VBF is cheaper to cast than LAF (RAW)
5. Violates, IMO, the "rule of cool" - any use of shapeshifter other than "Grrrr! I'm a bear! Claw-claw-bite." is pretty much negated due to the durations.

DrawGreeny
12-12-2014, 08:09 PM
You actually left out another option: admit GR's spell version isn't accurate.

I don't think Eliastion left out any options--"admit GR's spell version isn't accurate" doesn't resolve the problem, so much as lead to two possibilities: a.) change how the spell works, which he specifically suggested, or b.) leave the spell alone, which he also allowed as a possibility. (When he says, "if she broke the rules *and* the rules are there *and* there is no special Morrigan-specific perk allowing her to break those rules... you got yourself an ugly inconsistency", the phrase "the rules are there" is equivalent to "you're using the rules as written".)

shonuff
12-13-2014, 03:56 AM
I don't think Eliastion left out any options--"admit GR's spell version isn't accurate" doesn't resolve the problem, so much as lead to two possibilities: a.) change how the spell works, which he specifically suggested, or b.) leave the spell alone, which he also allowed as a possibility. (When he says, "if she broke the rules *and* the rules are there *and* there is no special Morrigan-specific perk allowing her to break those rules... you got yourself an ugly inconsistency", the phrase "the rules are there" is equivalent to "you're using the rules as written".)

Except the majority of this thread has been about changing the rules, so saying you can change the rules is a little redundant. Additionally, the tone of the post made it seem like changing the rules is changing canon, as opposed to the rules themselves being the issue.

eliastion
12-14-2014, 05:46 AM
Ok, since it apparently wasn't clear - DrawGreeny is right about my intentions. And this thread, quite some time ago actually, abandoned the problem of fiddling with rules and focused on how RAW supposedly contradict what Morrigan said about her abilities. It doesn't, it only contradicts your assumptions, specifically the "Morrigan is a normal human and her origin has no effect on her shapeshifting beyond the fact that she learnt the specialization".
It's not a fact within the official canon - it's your assumption. Though you're free to make it and change the rules to match it, of course. And I think I would somehow fiddle with those durations a bit to make the specialization more interesting, but that's beyond the point. The point is - RAW neither contradict lore nor make Morrigan a liar, you just have to accept that she's not a normal human/normal mage if you keep both what she said and the RAW.
All that said, your mechanical concerns with mana cost (I don't really feel like looking through them at the moment so I'll take your word for it) are probably valid and the specialization definitely could benefit from a bit more utility (though even with those pitifully short durations it's much better than you suggest). I can understand changing the rules, I'd probably do it myself if I wanted to use this specialization, but just don't draw your assuptions to it claiming they're "game lore". In fact, with different "strictness" as to what the canon is:
1. BioWare canon - we don't really know much about Morrigan, probably an orphan, possibly one that were being prepared to be a vessel for Flemeth... She can shapeshift and probably could maintain form for days.
2. RPG canon - based on BioWare canon + normal shapeshifting is quite short-duration thing. Ergo - Morrigan's shapeshifting (if she could maintain it for days) wasn't normal.
3. YOUR canon (or call it head-canon or campaign-canon if you want to stress the difference from official material) - whatever you like, whatever you change for your campaign, however you fiddle with the rules, continuity and/or cosmology... of course at some point you encounter the question "is this Thedas anymore?", but it's a setting with lots of place for interpretation and blanks-filling activity to re-sape the world to your liking.

There are things in RAW that contradict the lore - this just isn't one of them. Though if the specialization stays as it is now and we at some point get Morrigan's stats and she has only ordinary shapeshifting there - then, yep, it would be a contradiction.

shonuff
12-14-2014, 11:08 AM
Ok, since it apparently wasn't clear - DrawGreeny is right about my intentions. And this thread, quite some time ago actually, abandoned the problem of fiddling with rules and focused on how RAW supposedly contradict what Morrigan said about her abilities. It doesn't, it only contradicts your assumptions, specifically the "Morrigan is a normal human and her origin has no effect on her shapeshifting beyond the fact that she learnt the specialization".

Now you're getting to a point where Occams Razor comes into play. My assumption is based on what someone with no reason to exaggerate or lie claims. If everything is going to be second-guessed to the nth degree, then it's all interpretation.


It's not a fact within the official canon - it's your assumption. Though you're free to make it and change the rules to match it, of course. And I think I would somehow fiddle with those durations a bit to make the specialization more interesting, but that's beyond the point. The point is - RAW neither contradict lore nor make Morrigan a liar, you just have to accept that she's not a normal human/normal mage if you keep both what she said and the RAW.

And what if she is a normal human being? When she teaches the Warden shapeshifting, it is the exact same as hers.

The point is, if Morrigan is a normal human, RAW does contradict lore, and that Morrigan is not a normal human is your assumption.


All that said, your mechanical concerns with mana cost (I don't really feel like looking through them at the moment so I'll take your word for it) are probably valid and the specialization definitely could benefit from a bit more utility (though even with those pitifully short durations it's much better than you suggest).

Feel free to look, and tell me what someone could do as a bird or dog for 10 min. Or a bear for 6ish. Other than combat, because a mage would be better off with spells.


1. BioWare canon - we don't really know much about Morrigan, probably an orphan, possibly one that were being prepared to be a vessel for Flemeth... She can shapeshift and probably could maintain form for days.

Bioware's canon is the only canon.


2. RPG canon - based on BioWare canon + normal shapeshifting is quite short-duration thing. Ergo - Morrigan's shapeshifting (if she could maintain it for days) wasn't normal.

It's not canon though if it contradicts the games. So either Morrigan is special or GR made a mistake. There is zero evidence of Morrigan being anything other than a human mage, while there are errors in GR's works.

So if you are using RPG "canon" as canon, did Bann Wulf transport his territory to the northwest? Did demons become Darkspawn?


3. YOUR canon (or call it head-canon or campaign-canon if you want to stress the difference from official material) - whatever you like, whatever you change for your campaign, however you fiddle with the rules, continuity and/or cosmology... of course at some point you encounter the question "is this Thedas anymore?", but it's a setting with lots of place for interpretation and blanks-filling activity to re-sape the world to your liking.

Not canon.


There are things in RAW that contradict the lore - this just isn't one of them. Though if the specialization stays as it is now and we at some point get Morrigan's stats and she has only ordinary shapeshifting there - then, yep, it would be a contradiction.

Except the Warden was a shapeshifter as well, and there were no differences between Morrigan and the Warden. And, as of right now, we don't have a statted Morrigan. So you only have her dialogue and RAW. Anything reconciling those is automatically an assumption, so it's best to use evidence to support said assumptions.

shonuff
12-14-2014, 11:28 AM
Ok, since it apparently wasn't clear - DrawGreeny is right about my intentions.

And in case my intentions aren't clear, your intentions on giving the same level of authority to GR and Bioware and your assumption that GR is not mistaken should be a part of the discussion, as opposed to "Welp, GR wrote it so it's canon."

It's honestly more likely that the tabletop spell was written with balance in mind and no thought to what was previously said.

Darkdreamer
12-15-2014, 10:29 AM
And in case my intentions aren't clear, your intentions on giving the same level of authority to GR and Bioware and your assumption that GR is not mistaken should be a part of the discussion, as opposed to "Welp, GR wrote it so it's canon."

It's honestly more likely that the tabletop spell was written with balance in mind and no thought to what was previously said.

Its not like they didn't rework some spells almost entirely, after all.

shonuff
12-15-2014, 11:11 AM
Its not like they didn't rework some spells almost entirely, after all.

Yes and no. For the most part, the re-worked spells are just translations from video games to tabletop. Rock Armor goes from a mode to a duration, they factored in SP on some, etc. they're different ways of achieving a similar effect with different underlying mechanics. They did other things, too, like lowering specialization levels and more realistic economies.

My issue with shapeshifter is two-fold:
1. It is such a departure from the in-game description. Unless you're assuming that Morrigan has some special magic Flemeth sparkle, at the level of her introduction, she could only assume an animal shape for like 5 minutes at a time, contradicting her description of her backstory (which she has no reason to lie about).

2. With the durations as written, they're basically combat or flight. At 6, you can be a dog for 5 minutes, so you probably have better physical attacks than you did as a mage.... But not by much, and you would be much better with spells. The other forms are much the same, IMO.

Where shapeshifting really shines is in the RP aspect. Change into an ox to help the farmer; change into a mouse to scout the castle; into a hawk to hunt; into a dog to track; and so forth. But none of that can be done with the extremely limited duration that's currently RAW. Even if you bumped the duration into minutes, that only slightly increases the utility.

Red Eye
12-15-2014, 02:35 PM
I think it would make sense, and not really go against lore, to assume that a Mage could stay in a form for either Magic or Willpower days (I can see arguments for it being either of those stats really, though the tabletop seems to take a bit more of the focus off Willpower for Mages since they coupled Mana to the Magic rating as opposed to Willpower).

That could allow for what Morrigan describes, but still imposes some limitation on the duration that the Mage can actually do it (we would have to assume it requires some exertion like the rest of magic does). It opens up enough room for RP as well. One could also easily impose, if wanted, a blend of the two stating that the added stress of combat makes it more difficult to maintain the form and limit it to the RAW duration while outside of combat you could use the Stat days duration.

eliastion
12-15-2014, 10:22 PM
I'm afraid the discussion about Morrigan is a bit distracting from the topic at hand, but I can't seem to help myself... Even though I already made my point and can't do much beyond re-stating: no, the spells as written do not contradict the lore, they contradict the theory that Morrigan is just a normal mage. I just wanted to clarify one thing - you misuse the Occams Razor. Assumption that Morrigan is normal human being is ok when there is nothing contradicting it. If, however, we get additional information contradicting the fact, assumption ceases to be valid. Occams Razor does not let you discard evidence in the name of simplicity.
And spells introduced by Green Ronin ARE binding no less (in fact more) than anything said or withessed in the computer game - that's because this here is the RPG game created by GR and NOT the computer game created by BioWare. Of course, you can houserule and get your own version of the rules (and the world). You can, say, introduce D&D-ish clerical magic, or you can make all qunari hornless, or say that Sten in fact did have the horns... All that is in your power. But that will be your own take on it, deviating from Green Ronin's; unless they change things in next edition or issue an errata changing that, shapeshifting in RPG canon (yes, canon) works as the spells dictate.


Feel free to look, and tell me what someone could do as a bird or dog for 10 min. Or a bear for 6ish. Other than combat, because a mage would be better off with spells.
10 minutes as a bird? How about getting to restricted-access room in closed tower in enemy castle? Getting yourself to enemy general's tent before battle? Do things like that sound useful enough?


Bioware's canon is the only canon.
When it comes to video games and video games ONLY. We're not playing a video game here but a pen&paper RPG created by Green Ronin


So either Morrigan is special or GR made a mistake. There is zero evidence of Morrigan being anything other than a human mage, while there are errors in GR's works.
There is also zero evidence that she actually is a normal human. The only thing pointing at her being one is that it seems to be default for creatures looking human with no hints otherwise. You can't contradict something that is never confirmed as an official fact, now can you? You can contradict certain fans' expectations, but that's about all.


Except the Warden was a shapeshifter as well, and there were no differences between Morrigan and the Warden.
Ok, I know it'll be a low blow, but what? A shapeshifter? Obviously not, Warden being a mage is not canonical, how can you even use it as argument...
But, a bit more seriously - mechanical differences with many spells were huge. There is quite a lot spells I (with my mages) had turned on literally for weeks in the game while in the RPG couldn't keep them up for an hour. So the fact that mechanically Morrigan's and PC's shapeshifting worked the same isn't a good evidence for anything, really. We have RPG rules that replace any videogame rules and we have the quote from Morrigan. That's what we have. She said she did it for days. RPG rules say she couldn't. And do with it what you wish - consider her a liar or consider her special, or change the rules or just discard her ever saying something like that - whatever you do it's ok with me. Just don't say "those rules can't be right 'cause Morrigan said...". And what of what she said? There is no conflict with what she said, really. Please, do concentrate on your quite valid concerns about whether those rules are fun enough and/or whether mana spending rate seems ok for you... Those potentially are real problems. Supposed "contradicting lore", however is an imaginary one... that just made me write a long post only loosely connected to the problem of fiddling with shapeshifting durations so that we have a more enjoable game than with RAW.
So I guess I won't answer any further arguments about how lack of pre-RPG evidence somehow proves Morrigan to be a normal human in RPG and how some other game is more canonical within the scope of RPG than the RPG...
Though I'm still open to discussion about how the actual spells work or could be improved upon ;)

And, concerning the last part... just giving the spells a couple days duration is an easy solution, but in this case you could just as well make them toggeable. If you just cast it and then don't have to pay mana every hour/day/whatever, that pretty much means that you need to - at worst - re-cast the spell before going to sleep every couple days. It can come in relevant in very peculiar situations (being trapped/imprisoned somewhere) but I'm not sure if it's worth it. Shonuff mentioned extra bookkeeping for long durations, but I still did see some point to the durations being there. Here, however, there will be less of it (you just need to count days) but also very little to gain, as refreshing the spell (rather than paying mana at some interval) means there are no reasons to limit your resting capability and for all intents and purposes, unless you are really unlucky, you start any possible encounter in animal form and with full mana...
Still, the bookkeeping would be minimal, so if you find the benefits (shapeshifting limitations, even as liberal as you described) worthwhile, why not ;)

Another thing that came to my mind is a bit more technical and possibly a bit more important than any bickering about durations themselves. If we do have durations, whether they last for minutes, days or years, the spell should end by itself at some point. But what if the mage CAN'T assume his proper shape? Let's say we put a steel collar on our mage's neck when he's a small dog. Then the spell's up - what do we have then? A dog? A mage with crushed neck? A broken steel collar that normally couldn't be destroyed without proper tools? If there are no durations, the solution is simple - just disallow changing form to one that you can't fit into available space (even if it means that you can't change back from something smaller). If the spell is supposed to end on its own, this solution doesn't work anymore...

shonuff
12-16-2014, 05:05 AM
I'm afraid the discussion about Morrigan is a bit distracting from the topic at hand, but I can't seem to help myself... Even though I already made my point and can't do much beyond re-stating: no, the spells as written do not contradict the lore, they contradict the theory that Morrigan is just a normal mage. I just wanted to clarify one thing - you misuse the Occams Razor. Assumption that Morrigan is normal human being is ok when there is nothing contradicting it. If, however, we get additional information contradicting the fact, assumption ceases to be valid. Occams Razor does not let you discard evidence in the name of simplicity.

What's contradicting that? AFAIK, there is no special sparkle on Morrigan other than she's a mage?



And spells introduced by Green Ronin ARE binding no less (in fact more) than anything said or withessed in the computer game - that's because this here is the RPG game created by GR and NOT the computer game created by BioWare.

Based on a video game and IP set in Thedas... All of which belong to Bioware. Most people play licensed properties because of the license. As long as whatever (book, comic, movie, RPG) is set in their IP, saying GR's rules should be considered more canonical than Bioware is silly.



10 minutes as a bird? How about getting to restricted-access room in closed tower in enemy castle? Getting yourself to enemy general's tent before battle? Do things like that sound useful enough?

And if you're below level 10, you're probably not going to be able to do those unless your GM is forgiving. And even then what would you when you got there - little to no MP. And you wouldn't be getting away - again little to no MP.

Besides, it's not that there's no utility, it's that there is very little.



When it comes to video games and video games ONLY. We're not playing a video game here but a pen&paper RPG created by Green Ronin

Set in an IP belonging to Bioware....


There is also zero evidence that she actually is a normal human. The only thing pointing at her being one is that it seems to be default for creatures looking human with no hints otherwise. You can't contradict something that is never confirmed as an official fact, now can you? You can contradict certain fans' expectations, but that's about all.

It's impossible to prove a negative. Prove that I'm not one of Santa's elves. The evidence that she's a normal human though is that she is not different than the other normal humans.



Ok, I know it'll be a low blow, but what? A shapeshifter? Obviously not, Warden being a mage is not canonical, how can you even use it as argument...

Haha, I know it's a joke, but that's only as canonical as the graphic novels.


But, a bit more seriously - mechanical differences with many spells were huge. There is quite a lot spells I (with my mages) had turned on literally for weeks in the game while in the RPG couldn't keep them up for an hour. So the fact that mechanically Morrigan's and PC's shapeshifting worked the same isn't a good evidence for anything, really.

How do you know you kept them up for weeks? The only time reference for spell durations is shapeshifter.


We have RPG rules that replace any videogame rules and we have the quote from Morrigan. That's what we have. She said she did it for days. RPG rules say she couldn't. And do with it what you wish - consider her a liar or consider her special, or change the rules or just discard her ever saying something like that - whatever you do it's ok with me. Just don't say "those rules can't be right 'cause Morrigan said...".

Um. I haven't been. I have about a half dozen reasons why I dislike the spells. You're just taking issue withe Morrigan one. A conversation requires two (plus) people to exist.


So I guess I won't answer any further arguments about how lack of pre-RPG evidence somehow proves Morrigan to be a normal human in RPG and how some other game is more canonical within the scope of RPG than the RPG...
Though I'm still open to discussion about how the actual spells work or could be improved upon ;)

I'm fine with that. My issue is with the spell. I have numerous reasons why I dislike it. But if you talk about the internal inconsistencies, I'll talk about those, if you talk about uses, I'll talk about those, and if you talk about contradicting canon...

Heck, to be honest, if the situations were reversed, I'd be fine with it. My canon issue is that GR took something and made a less fun variant.



And, concerning the last part... just giving the spells a couple days duration is an easy solution, but in this case you could just as well make them toggeable. If you just cast it and then don't have to pay mana every hour/day/whatever, that pretty much means that you need to - at worst - re-cast the spell before going to sleep every couple days.

Yeah, if the duration is in days, I would just make it a mode or an ability - no MP.


Shonuff mentioned extra bookkeeping for long durations, but I still did see some point to the durations being there. Here, however, there will be less of it (you just need to count days) but also very little to gain, as refreshing the spell (rather than paying mana at some interval) means there are no reasons to limit your resting capability and for all intents and purposes, unless you are really unlucky, you start any possible encounter in animal form and with full mana...
Still, the bookkeeping would be minimal, so if you find the benefits (shapeshifting limitations, even as liberal as you described) worthwhile, why not ;)

Once you get of encounter durations, I find time to be hand-waved. So I find any more bookkeeping than a simple yes/no check to be more work than it's worth.

That's why I essentially just went with a doubled MP cost - 10/25/50. The caster doesn't regen MP, and must make increasing TN WIL (Self-Discipline) checks to maintain the form - min. 1/day, but also at GMs discretion during stressful/active periods.


Another thing that came to my mind is a bit more technical and possibly a bit more important than any bickering about durations themselves. If we do have durations, whether they last for minutes, days or years, the spell should end by itself at some point. But what if the mage CAN'T assume his proper shape? Let's say we put a steel collar on our mage's neck when he's a small dog. Then the spell's up - what do we have then? A dog? A mage with crushed neck? A broken steel collar that normally couldn't be destroyed without proper tools? If there are no durations, the solution is simple - just disallow changing form to one that you can't fit into available space (even if it means that you can't change back from something smaller). If the spell is supposed to end on its own, this solution doesn't work anymore...

One of my original thoughts was an unlimited duration, but mana had to be expended to revert forms as well, which would make it possible to be trapped in an animal form. Ultimately, I discarded that.

And for balance sake, I've ruled that nothing transforms with the caster. So, a leash on a dog would just poof to the ground.

eliastion
12-16-2014, 09:03 AM
And for balance sake, I've ruled that nothing transforms with the caster. So, a leash on a dog would just poof to the ground.
Would it, really? A person's neck is thicker than that of a normal dog... Also it doesn't have to be something you wear - imagine a small animal stuck in some narrow hole or a strong cage.

Besides, if nothing transforms with the caster, it's not a slight balance change, it's pretty much re-inventing the spell. Spells become completely useless in battle (you don't really want to lose all your gear), nearly useless for purposes of running away, any sneak-by kind of utility is taken away... I don't say the spells won't have their uses (and it saves you the questions of "can I transform with this big bag of this big bag of loot I just snatched and can't really carry since it's too heavy for me"), but you're nerfing shapeshifting, a lot, and in a way that takes away more utility than short durations would.
And as for contradicting canon... well, there's that too, if you care for such things...

shonuff
12-16-2014, 03:36 PM
Would it, really? A person's neck is thicker than that of a normal dog... Also it doesn't have to be something you wear - imagine a small animal stuck in some narrow hole or a strong cage.

As to the collar, if gear doesn't tranform with you, then yeah to the ground. If gear does transform with you, it would be the same as armor, I'd imagine. Basically, once you get into that situation, you get into the question of what exactly is your gear and what exactly happens to it once you transform.

As for the hole/cage, there would be damage inflicted.


Besides, if nothing transforms with the caster, it's not a slight balance change, it's pretty much re-inventing the spell.

Eh. Yes and no. As-is, it's a weak combat spell. Re-worked, it's a RP/exploration spell that needs some checks in order to not be OP.


Spells become completely useless in battle (you don't really want to lose all your gear),

You only lose your gear if you lose. Furthermore, if you're relying on animal forms in combat it's because your combat spells are nonexistent.


nearly useless for purposes of running away,

Which first of all rarely happens, and second of all would only factor with the small animal form.


any sneak-by kind of utility is taken away...

Have a party member carry your stuff.

All of your issues are minor inconveniences compared to what you can do in your forms, or in the case of combat, better suited to other magic to begin with.


I don't say the spells won't have their uses (and it saves you the questions of "can I transform with this big bag of this big bag of loot I just snatched and can't really carry since it's too heavy for me"), but you're nerfing shapeshifting, a lot, and in a way that takes away more utility than short durations would.

There's a lot of munchkin things you can do if your gear transforms with you.

Need to kill a boss? Bring poison or a Lyrium bomb into their chamber, plant it while they're sleeping. Get out.
Snatch and grab? Transform, grab, transform. Done.
Money? Worthless. Sneak into a vault grab all you can. Transform and done.

With gear transforming, you get into meta-gaming questions about what transforms and why or why not, and everything is up for debate and wishy-washy. If nothing does, there's no question.


And as for contradicting canon... well, there's that too, if you care for such things...

Well, if you go by your earlier logic, then the spell as written is canon, and it says "... transform yourself..." not "... transform yourself and your stuff..." :)

Other than that, there are numerous changes that need to be made translating from console to table. Having possessions change is way too overpowered and way too murky.

And besides, anyone who takes the specialization gets a personalized bag of holding that sucks up all their crap and then locks while they're in a different form. Artful? Maybe not, but it keeps gold in banks and no munchkin assassins.

Havokk
12-16-2014, 09:07 PM
And besides, anyone who takes the specialization gets a personalized bag of holding that sucks up all their crap and then locks while they're in a different form. Artful? Maybe not, but it keeps gold in banks and no munchkin assassins.

For example, from an AD&D campaign many, many moons ago.

The Druid transformed into a horse. The party loaded him up with weapons, armour, food, rope, all sorts of adventuring gear. The Druid then changed back to human. If the party was captured and thrown into a dungeon naked then all the Druid had to do was transform into a horse and now the party has all their gear.

The party broke into a house to steal stuff. They loaded the Druid with stolen loot, the Druid then transformed into a mouse. Another character put the mouse into a pocket. When captured and searched, they had none of the stolen loot on them so the guards let them go. Once back at their home base, the Druid transformed back and the party enjoyed their loot.

While I like it when players get rewarded for coming up with cunning plans, I think this is just lame.

On the other hand, the GM of that campaign used it to really, really get back at them. A dragon shapeshited into a flea and rode around on one of the party's horses for months, observing them all the time. She learnt all their hiding places, their safe houses, their passwords, their contacts, the lot. She then took off with most of the party's gear and, using the stolen gear and disguise spells, framed the party for crimes the length of the land.

eliastion
12-16-2014, 10:17 PM
You only lose your gear if you lose. Furthermore, if you're relying on animal forms in combat it's because your combat spells are nonexistent.
If anything breaks your spell or you end it prematurely, you're naked and weaponless. Also all your gear becomes pretty much free for taking or destroying by anyone.


Have a party member carry your stuff.
If you need animal form to sneak into somewhere, how is a party member supposed to sneak there while carrying your stuff? o_O


There's a lot of munchkin things you can do if your gear transforms with you.
Attempts at creatively using your (otherwise weak) abilities aren't automatically "munchkin things". Though limiting possibilities of transforming along with things just picked up definitely seems like a good idea and I admit the rule of "nothing" is easier for the GM (most limitations on spell utility do that, though).
Besides, long durations also create their own brand of, as you say "munchkin things" as you, as a mage, can pretty much get ANYWHERE no matter how far and how well guarded the place. And - especially being a mage - you don't really need your stuff to assassinate someone in their sleep.
Basically, any king is at your mercy at that point, while with short durations you would at least need to find some hiding places along the way.


With gear transforming, you get into meta-gaming questions about what transforms and why or why not, and everything is up for debate and wishy-washy. If nothing does, there's no question.
Though I do agree to some extent, some problems remain. I still don't get this falling to the ground thing (back to dog collar's example) - unless it's not the body changing but rather disappearing and then another one appearing at roughly the same coordinates (after a moment any equipment needed to fall to the ground), the collar should stay around the neck of whatever you transform into. Also, in some particular cases the question of "what is part of your body" remains. A food eaten a moment ago? An item swallowed? Poison in your blood? Tattoos on your face? Those are relatively minor questions (compared to what you have to deal with in case of gear-inclusive transformation) but they do exist.

Darkdreamer
12-16-2014, 11:07 PM
Yes and no. For the most part, the re-worked spells are just translations from video games to tabletop. Rock Armor goes from a mode to a duration, they factored in SP on some, etc. they're different ways of achieving a similar effect with different underlying mechanics. They did other things, too, like lowering specialization levels and more realistic economies.


How about Force Field becoming, in practice, irrelevant in an attack on a mage? With Mental Blast acquiring range? Those two are just two out of the gate that changed in rather important ways for no particularly self-evident reason.

shonuff
12-17-2014, 04:04 AM
How about Force Field becoming, in practice, irrelevant in an attack on a mage? With Mental Blast acquiring range? Those two are just two out of the gate that changed in rather important ways for no particularly self-evident reason.

True. you are right in those instances. I would also put Crushing Prison in the same camp as Force Field.

shonuff
12-17-2014, 04:31 AM
If anything breaks your spell or you end it prematurely, you're naked and weaponless. Also all your gear becomes pretty much free for taking or destroying by anyone.

Oh no, drama! Tension! I think those are good things. And your gear is pretty much free for the taking every time you sleep.



If you need animal form to sneak into somewhere, how is a party member supposed to sneak there while carrying your stuff? o_O

With DEX (Stealth)? If you need an animal form to sneak someplace, I'd assume that a warrior with heavy plate and a two-handed sword would have just as much of a problem as a warrior with plate mail, robes, a two-handed sword, and a wand.

Yes, your gear becomes a problem. Yes, it's a purposeful limitation of the spell. Yes, there are ways around it.



Attempts at creatively using your (otherwise weak) abilities aren't automatically "munchkin things". Though limiting possibilities of transforming along with things just picked up definitely seems like a good idea and I admit the rule of "nothing" is easier for the GM (most limitations on spell utility do that, though).
Besides, long durations also create their own brand of, as you say "munchkin things" as you, as a mage, can pretty much get ANYWHERE no matter how far and how well guarded the place. And - especially being a mage - you don't really need your stuff to assassinate someone in their sleep.
Basically, any king is at your mercy at that point, while with short durations you would at least need to find some hiding places along the way.

Being creative is fine. Assassinations and theft without consequence are not creative. Mage's would still have the run of places, but they would have before. And yeah, a mage can still kill someone, but it takes them being present to do so. So there are consequences.

Not just:
1. Walk in.
2. Wait for duration to expire.
3. Free action - Create Fire. Minor Action - Light Bomb. Minor action - Place Bomb.
4. Major Action - transform.



I still don't get this falling to the ground thing (back to dog collar's example) - unless it's not the body changing but rather disappearing and then another one appearing at roughly the same coordinates (after a moment any equipment needed to fall to the ground), the collar should stay around the neck of whatever you transform into.

Why would a collar not be the same in both? If your armor changes, why would a collar not? So, with nothing transforming, a collar wouldn't either. Just on the ground. How it happens, I don't know. The body could either go incorporeal or pseudo-transfer to the Fade while it changes. It could shrink to the size of an atom and then reform.

I don't know. A wizard did it.


Also, in some particular cases the question of "what is part of your body" remains. A food eaten a moment ago? An item swallowed? Poison in your blood? Tattoos on your face? Those are relatively minor questions (compared to what you have to deal with in case of gear-inclusive transformation) but they do exist.

Maybe.
1. Food - a part of your body
2. Item swallowed - not part of your body
3. Tattoos - part of your body
4.?Poison - part of your body
5. Prosthetics - part of your body

Although, if I had any shape shifters, and they had the idea, I'd let them look for the means to swallow something and transform (like a gel-tab for a pill). But that would be expensive and/or its own quest.

NickMiddleton
12-17-2014, 04:46 AM
...Based on a video game and IP set in Thedas... All of which belong to Bioware.

And BioWare chose Green Ronin to do the table top RPG in that setting.

http://roninarmy.com/gr-forum-archive/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=7725


...from the beginning BioWare understood that our game couldn't just be a transliteration of theirs. The lead designer told me straight up that I wouldn't want to use their resolution system, for example. So you’ll see the same spells and classes, but you shouldn't assume that everything is just like it is in Dragon Age: Origins.


Most people play licensed properties because of the license. As long as whatever (book, comic, movie, RPG) is set in their IP, saying GR's rules should be considered more canonical than Bioware is silly...

On contrary, suggesting that the rules of a tabletop RPG should play second fiddle to the rules of other games in different mediums (what about how combat works in Heroes of Dragon Age?) is silly - and BioWare know that, which is why they told GR NOT to try directly translating the CRPG to the table top.

The setting canon needs to be as consistent as possible but lets be honest: the mechanics of the CRPGs frequently don't mesh with the lore of the setting as established in codex entries, canon fiction or character dialogue either.

Now, all that said, is there a problem with Shapeshifter? As a COMBAT ability not hugely IMO, and I'd be wary of expanding its features for role playing reasons without carefully assessing the impact such changes could have - D&D 3.x had / has serious issues with the likes of the Druid's Wildshape and Polymorph spells. However, I could be persuaded to let Journeyman bump the duration of Small Animal to minutes, and Master increase it to hours... and I'd also be entirely happy with the idea of the durations for all three being being "indefinite whilst not stressed" - so whilst out of combat / not being hunted etc. a Shapeshifter can remain transformed as long as they wish but if you are for example in mouse form and Ser Pounce-a-lot decides you look tasty, the duration comes in to play (the transformation is stable until the fight / flight instincts of your non-transformed mind get triggered, basically). But I'd probably also have some nebulous but real risk of the transformation becoming PERMANENT (and the character losing their Cunning and Magic) if the mage spends too long in animal form - simple because it's a cool and iconic notion of the side effect of shape shifting magic in traditional myths and stories.

Cheers,

Nick

shonuff
12-17-2014, 06:14 AM
On contrary, suggesting that the rules of a tabletop RPG should play second fiddle to the rules of other games in different mediums (what about how combat works in Heroes of Dragon Age?) is silly - and BioWare know that, which is why they told GR NOT to try directly translating the CRPG to the table top.

The setting canon needs to be as consistent as possible but lets be honest: the mechanics of the CRPGs frequently don't mesh with the lore of the setting as established in codex entries, canon fiction or character dialogue either.

Except it is an issue of setting canon. Morrigan refers to her time spent as an animal and all that. By the rules, she couldn't have done that. Obviously there will be mechanical differences, based on the medium.


Now, all that said, is there a problem with Shapeshifter? As a COMBAT ability not hugely IMO, and I'd be wary of expanding its features for role playing reasons without carefully assessing the impact such changes could have - D&D 3.x had / has serious issues with the likes of the Druid's Wildshape and Polymorph spells.

Really? SAF has no combat utility, especially at 6+. I would not trade a 8 mage for a black bear, bronto or Mabari. And I definitely wouldn't trade a 10 mage for a spider... Maybe a drake.

There are always issues with polymorph abilities, which is why one of my fixes prevents gear from changing. Perfect? No. ButIMO, it allows for the increased duration without it being game breaking.


However, I could be persuaded to let Journeyman bump the duration of Small Animal to minutes, and Master increase it to hours... and I'd also be entirely happy with the idea of the durations for all three being being "indefinite whilst not stressed" - so whilst out of combat / not being hunted etc. a Shapeshifter can remain transformed as long as they wish but if you are for example in mouse form and Ser Pounce-a-lot decides you look tasty, the duration comes in to play (the transformation is stable until the fight / flight instincts of your non-transformed mind get triggered, basically).

For starters, once you get into a duration of hours, it's easy for the spell to become essentially indefinite. If it's indefinite already, I don't see the need for the separate duration. The forms are already weaker than equivalent combat spells, and you retain your own CUN. Others have suggested it, and others have refuted it.


But I'd probably also have some nebulous but real risk of the transformation becoming PERMANENT (and the character losing their Cunning and Magic) if the mage spends too long in animal form - simple because it's a cool and iconic notion of the side effect of shape shifting magic in traditional myths and stories.

Cheers,

Nick

I liked this idea, and I thought about including it in the spell originally, but I would never use it. It's either so remote it would never happen, or too real a chance to become save-or-die for me. I'm still considering it as a plot device, but I would never allow it to happen to a PC.

Darkdreamer
12-17-2014, 07:37 AM
True. you are right in those instances. I would also put Crushing Prison in the same camp as Force Field.

Seems like there were others, those were just the blatant ones that jumped out at me.

eliastion
12-17-2014, 07:54 AM
Maybe.
1. Food - a part of your body
2. Item swallowed - not part of your body
3. Tattoos - part of your body
4.?Poison - part of your body
5. Prosthetics - part of your body

Although, if I had any shape shifters, and they had the idea, I'd let them look for the means to swallow something and transform (like a gel-tab for a pill). But that would be expensive and/or its own quest.
So, looking at item swallowed, poison, food and prosthetics - basically, it's just arbitrary decisions, no better than "no, this bag of loot you just snatched is NOT your personal gear", just moved to a place where you don't need to deal with them as often.
It would, in fact, make more sense to include a weight limit + some more vague rule of "things the caster is considering personal gear rather than load he's carrying" that would leave some room for debate, but have some proper in-game explanation as to why a peg leg and robes are transformed and a bag of loot isn't (while there seems to be no proper reason for differentiating food, poison and swallowed item - what exactly makes food food?).


Not just:
1. Walk in.
2. Wait for duration to expire.
3. Free action - Create Fire. Minor Action - Light Bomb. Minor action - Place Bomb.
4. Major Action - transform.
Instead you have:
1. Walk in
2. Change into human
3. Major action - coup de grace
4. Major action - transform
What differnce dos it make if you leave behind a bomb with its fuse lit or a dead body? Face it - if you can actually get unnoticed into the room of a sleeping enemy that doesn't wake due to your presence, he's dead. It doesn't take an expensive bomb or a whole lot of thinking to succesfully murder someone sleeping.


Why would a collar not be the same in both? If your armor changes, why would a collar not?
We're talking about your version. If an armor changes, collar would probably too.


So, with nothing transforming, a collar wouldn't either. Just on the ground. How it happens, I don't know. The body could either go incorporeal or pseudo-transfer to the Fade while it changes. It could shrink to the size of an atom and then reform.

I don't know. A wizard did it.
With handwaves like that you have Weave Wind effect as a free bonus :D

shonuff
12-17-2014, 08:06 AM
Seems like there were others, those were just the blatant ones that jumped out at me.

Yeah, I would agree with you, but for the most part the differences are mechanical in nature, and when they're not I see it as giving a target some options. Sitting out is boring, after all.

I can't say that I agree with all of the changes, but none of the spell changes strike me as useless as the form changes.

shonuff
12-17-2014, 08:17 AM
So, looking at item swallowed, poison, food and prosthetics - basically, it's just arbitrary decisions, no better than "no, this bag of loot you just snatched is NOT your personal gear", just moved to a place where you don't need to deal with them as often.
It would, in fact, make more sense to include a weight limit + some more vague rule of "things the caster is considering personal gear rather than load he's carrying" that would leave some room for debate, but have some proper in-game explanation as to why a peg leg and robes are transformed and a bag of loot isn't (while there seems to be no proper reason for differentiating food, poison and swallowed item - what exactly makes food food?).

Not so much arbitrary as pointed. I'm borrowing a little from Shadowrun mechanics. Basically the same piece of gear can be acquired two ways in many cases: by spending money and having a piece of equipment, or by spending money and Essence (a stat denoting your humanity) to have something surgically attached to you. The bonuses and abilities attached differ depending on whether or not you spend Essence.

Obviously, there isn't a similar stat in DA, but I'm using the general idea. Food, poison, and a prosthetic are apart of you - admittedly a bit of a stretch with a prosthetic. An item that is swallowed to be pooped/puked out later isn't a part of you.



Instead you have:
1. Walk in
2. Change into human
3. Major action - coup de grace
4. Major action - transform
What differnce dos it make if you leave behind a bomb with its fuse lit or a dead body? Face it - if you can actually get unnoticed into the room of a sleeping enemy that doesn't wake due to your presence, he's dead. It doesn't take an expensive bomb or a whole lot of thinking to succesfully murder someone sleeping.

Except you can't coup de grace a sleeping opponent. You would actually have to fight them, and even with several rounds of surprise (initial plus I'd add a severe penalty for waking up, if nothing else the multiple minor actions for getting up and getting a weapon) could be a difficult fight for a naked character.

Whereas placing a bomb with just enough fuse to get away takes little time, little noise, and you could be gone before the effect happens.



With handwaves like that you have Weave Wind effect as a free bonus :D

Sweet bonus! A shapeshifter on every ship! :)

OzMills
12-17-2014, 08:26 AM
Except you can't coup de grace a sleeping opponent.

"I put my sword carefully at their naked and unprotected neck and push downwards sharply with the axe, severing all their major airways and blood vessels"
"Roll to attack"
"What?"

This is a time when the GM should contravene the rules for storytelling, as it's a case the rules don't cater for.

eliastion
12-17-2014, 09:17 AM
Of course you CAN coup de grace a sleeping opponent - if your walking up to his bed doesn't wake him (and planting a bomb could do it just as easily), the sleeping target is unconscious.
You perhaps refer to the "sleep" spell effect, but if you read that one carefully, you notice that effects of that spell don't actually make targets fall asleep - it only makes them too sleepy to do anything other than try to pull themselves together with Willpower(self-discipline) rolls each turn. They're apparently still standing, even.

And if you really want to make killing something in their sleep a combat encounter, then you should probably also roll damage for your "lyrium bomb". Any and all explosives and traps in DA (and damaging poisons too) are laughably weak in DA: RPG.
"The bomb* exploded under enemy warlord's bed, dealing 12d6 damage! He was dealt around 40 damage! He'll need some HEALING"
*I was nice and assumed a big bomb to be equivalent to four fire grenades

shonuff
12-17-2014, 09:43 AM
"I put my sword carefully at their naked and unprotected neck and push downwards sharply with the axe, severing all their major airways and blood vessels"
"Roll to attack"
"What?"

This is a time when the GM should contravene the rules for storytelling, as it's a case the rules don't cater for.

Except they do. Coup de grace is only for dying, unconscious and Harrowed characters. The descriptions of both Sleep and Paralyze specifically state that they can't be subject to coup de grace. And with Paralyze, they can't do anything, and with Sleep, they're asleep.

Normally, I'd agree but in this case I would say the rules are clear - unless you're implying that sleep from Sleep is somehow different.

shonuff
12-17-2014, 09:56 AM
Of course you CAN coup de grace a sleeping opponent - if your walking up to his bed doesn't wake him (and planting a bomb could do it just as easily), the sleeping target is unconscious.
You perhaps refer to the "sleep" spell effect, but if you read that one carefully, you notice that effects of that spell don't actually make targets fall asleep - it only makes them too sleepy to do anything other than try to pull themselves together with Willpower(self-discipline) rolls each turn. They're apparently still standing, even.

Eh, you're sure? I'd have to read it again, but I recall damage 'waking' targets.


And if you really want to make killing something in their sleep a combat encounter, then you should probably also roll damage for your "lyrium bomb". Any and all explosives and traps in DA (and damaging poisons too) are laughably weak in DA: RPG.
"The bomb* exploded under enemy warlord's bed, dealing 12d6 damage! He was dealt around 40 damage! He'll need some HEALING"
*I was nice and assumed a big bomb to be equivalent to four fire grenades

heck, bigger. Why not 30d6? :) I'm assuming a lyriim bomb to be much more damaging, dependent on the amount of lyricism, of course. I'd also say penetrating, but that's open to interpretation I guess. Regardless, if there's no limitation on what is transformed, you can carry as large a bomb as you want.

And you could always go the poison route.... Enough doses of a poison would kill anything.

eliastion
12-17-2014, 10:15 AM
With Sleep they are NOT actually asleep in a way that normally sleeping character would be; please do read the spell description carefully and note how the test to break the spell remains Willpower(self discipline) and there is no indication of the sleeping characters as much as falling prone. It definitely seems like they are more half-asleep and fighting it rather than anything else.
And as for Paralyze, I'd consider it more of a mistake in set2 - it doesn't make sense for completely paralyzed person to be immune to coup de grace any more than unconscious character would be. Compare Paralyze and Mass Paralysis effects, (the latter being two steps deeper into the spell tree and introduced one set later):

Paralyze:
Paralyzed characters lose the Dexterity bonus to their Defense and can obviously take no actions, but are not subject to a coup de grace unless they are otherwise unconscious or dying.

Mas Paralysis:
Paralyzed characters have a Speed of 2 yards per turn, lose their Dexterity factor to Defense, and can take no actions, but are not subject to a coup de grace unless they would otherwise be vulnerable.

The single obvious reason for the latter spell to be different is the coup de grace rule. If paralyzed target would really be unable to move at all (with no other important changes like being petrified) it would make no sense for it to be immune to ctg as being unable to react in any way is effectively no different from being unconscious.

EDIT:
As for sleep, yeah, damage "immidiately awakens" target, but the target still appears to remain standing and fights drowsiness by Willpower(self-discipline) test that really seems inappropriate if the character were... well, actually sleeping in a way similar to non-magical sleep.

EDIT2:
And as for poison, I believe a simple rat could carry quite a lot of poison if you only find someone to strap it to him in a little bag; poisons don't take a lot of space. And I wouldn't really allow this spell to transform you into anything smaller than a big rat, as the staple animals for the small animal form seem to be dogs and falcons.

shonuff
12-17-2014, 10:54 AM
"... falling asleep on their feet..."

They're asleep.

Furthermore, even if you want to make the distinction that a slept character is at a different level of sleep, you're equating unconsciousness with sleep is fundamentally flawed. If you're unconscious, you don't respond to external stimuli; if you're sleeping you can and do. So, because sleeping is neither dying, unconscious, nor Harrowed, a sleeping person would not be subject to ctg. unless of course, you house rule it.

eliastion
12-17-2014, 12:25 PM
Leaving for a moment description analysis and tenses used in it, and even extent to which sleeping character can be considered conscious, let's ask ourselves a more fundamental question: what is coup de grace for in the game?
Beyond finishing off dying characters the obvious reason for having something like this would be situations where you have a person/creature stripped of its ability to react effectively and another one attempting to finish the former off. It's an effort at maintaining a semblance of realism since while in battle grazing your enemy time and time again is ok, suspension of disbelief shatters to pieces when you have a helpless captive and need to spend, say, 10 turns on cutting his throat since he just WON'T DIE with the amount of hp it has.
Many hp-based systems provide explicit rules to go around this problem, DA isn't the best at this as it reserves coup de grace for people bleeding out and unconscious, implying that anyone who is conscious can still fight back to some extent. But at least when they aren't - we have the rules for killing them.

And now back to the topic - is sleeping character conscious? They certainly have better chances of waking up than someone who got knocked unconscious - that's why, perhaps, a Perception check (with heavy penalty, though) would be in order. If they don't suddenly wake up alarmed by movement in the vicinity, though, how exactly are they different from a mage that got Lost in the Fade or Harrowed? Even their spirit is in the Fade (well, unless thy're a dwarf at least) and they failed to wake up.
Of course, you could defend the distinction, but then again - what for? Ok, let's consider sleeping characters conscious (and, therefore, non coup-de-graceable) - does it add to the game or subtract from it? Basically, any attempt at "classic" assassination is automatically reduced to a combat encounter - but we already have countless other possibilities of combat encounters... Coup de grace is severely restricted as it is - is there any sense in weakening it further by some bizarre interpretation where a sleeping person is considered conscious for purposes of being ended by a single attack?

shonuff
12-17-2014, 01:00 PM
Ctg is for finishing people. If ctg can be used for sleeping characters, it can be used for PCs, and IMO isn't very game-like. That aside, you can do with it what you want, but it will be a HR. But any expansion of ctg rules would have to take into account Paralyze and Sleep. If you can't make any movement or are even lightly asleep, OzMill's description of killing someone would apply.

But as it stands, it doesn't apply, and it's a HR. However justified, reasonable, realistic, etc., still a house rule.

eliastion
12-17-2014, 02:55 PM
As I said, I'm convinced you misunderstand the Sleep spell. As for paralyzed characters, all the Paralyze spell needs is a slight correction to make it consistent with how being paralyzed is defined in later Mass Paralysis. In fact it's something that could well happen in set 2 Errata... if it ever comes to existance.
Also, no, it's not a HR - whether sleeping character is considered conscious or not is a matter of interpretation at worst - with strong hints everywhere that it's the proper interpretation. Just look at how every single strong disable explicitly states that it doesn't enable ctg. If, as you suggest, ctg rules were ONLY for targets dying or knocked unconscious, why would they need to state it over and over every time, as if it was an exception, rather than clarify the fact?
When I have two possible interpretations (is sleeping character rather conscious or unconscious) and one makes more sense when it comes to being realistic AND opens more possibilities AND seems more supported by constant exclusions that would be completely unnecessary were the alternative chosen... I'm pretty sure I'm not houseruling by taking what seems sensible.

But, leaving that aside (as it's ultimately unimportant what is a houserule since whatever the GM chooses - stays), why would possibility of getting killed in your sleep be "not very game-like"? PCs are expected to display a healthy level of caution - if you set up a camp for the night, you need precautions so that they won't just "wake up dead" because some thief/bandit/whatever just walked in and murdered everyone in their sleep. I don't see anything "not game-like" in the fact that having lots of hp doesn't make you immortal or assassination-proof. PC can still get executed with one swing of executioner's axe and he can never wake up if he goes to bed with someone that wants to kill him.

shonuff
12-17-2014, 05:20 PM
As I said, I'm convinced you misunderstand the Sleep spell. As for paralyzed characters, all the Paralyze spell needs is a slight correction to make it consistent with how being paralyzed is defined in later Mass Paralysis. In fact it's something that could well happen in set 2 Errata... if it ever comes to existance.

I don't know, it's difficult to misinterpret "falling asleep"... :) as for Paralyze, errata might fix it, it might be intended to be like Mass Paralysis. Or maybe Mass Paralysis is slightly weaker because it affects multiple targets. Intentions aside, which aren't known, until there's errata its guesswork.


Also, no, it's not a HR - whether sleeping character is considered conscious or not is a matter of interpretation at worst - with strong hints everywhere that it's the proper interpretation.

Except if you're not unconscious when you're sleeping it is a house rule, as ctg wouldn't apply.



Just look at how every single strong disable explicitly states that it doesn't enable ctg. If, as you suggest, ctg rules were ONLY for targets dying or knocked unconscious, why would they need to state it over and over every time, as if it was an exception, rather than clarify the fact?
When I have two possible interpretations (is sleeping character rather conscious or unconscious) and one makes more sense when it comes to being realistic AND opens more possibilities AND seems more supported by constant exclusions that would be completely unnecessary were the alternative chosen... I'm pretty sure I'm not houseruling by taking what seems sensible.

Personally, I assumed the ctg clarifications as just that - clarifications so you didn't have to dig out a separate book with those spells. That could be just me though.

However, when the only mention of sleep specifies that you're not subject to ctg, to me it seems sensible that it would apply to all sleep.


But, leaving that aside (as it's ultimately unimportant what is a houserule since whatever the GM chooses - stays), why would possibility of getting killed in your sleep be "not very game-like"? PCs are expected to display a healthy level of caution - if you set up a camp for the night, you need precautions so that they won't just "wake up dead" because some thief/bandit/whatever just walked in and murdered everyone in their sleep. I don't see anything "not game-like" in the fact that having lots of hp doesn't make you immortal or assassination-proof. PC can still get executed with one swing of executioner's axe and he can never wake up if he goes to bed with someone that wants to kill him.

Mainly because it lacks drama.

First, opponents. Currently, there's no defense against shape shifters. There are few general wards, people wouldn't typically have guards inside their chambers. There's no teleportation that would concern people, and few would take shape shifters as more than a myth. Almost any inner chambers would have cracks, etc., that would allow a rodent or insect to squeeze through. Ctg. Leave. Rinse repeat. Eventually, that's just the plan.

As for PCs, one bad roll = TPK, which is never fun. PCs establish watch, and band of weak assassins try to kill party. Not really kill, but just provide an adventure hook. Lo and behold, the one on watch bombs the PER check. Now any sleeper hit is dead, and they will be hit. So now it's either fudge rolls (blatantly) or wipe the party. And to me, a TPK is indicative of something being wrong.

So yeah, in general I'm not a fan of ctg. that said, it does have its place, especially for silencing captured allies. If the drama of the action is achieved by all of the hook-and-crook of gaining access to the boss's bedroom, then yeah I'd probably allow a ctg as a payoff.

OzMills
12-18-2014, 04:30 AM
Except they do. Coup de grace is only for dying, unconscious and Harrowed characters. The descriptions of both Sleep and Paralyze specifically state that they can't be subject to coup de grace. And with Paralyze, they can't do anything, and with Sleep, they're asleep.

Normally, I'd agree but in this case I would say the rules are clear - unless you're implying that sleep from Sleep is somehow different.

If you're in the middle of combat and attacking people willy-nilly, then I'd treat it as the Sleep and Paralyze spell treat it, as it reads as though you're in a frantic situation with people put into magically-induced unconciousness, with you attacking them bodily.

If you're out of combat and carefully going up to someone and slitting their throat, I make a call as GM that the rules as written do not cover simulating slitting someone's throat accurately, and I would make a call to do it differently from as is written.

shonuff
12-18-2014, 06:14 AM
I make a call as GM that the rules as written do not cover simulating slitting someone's throat accurately, and I would make a call to do it differently from as is written.

Obviously, that's in your realm as GM to make that call. The only distinction that I would make is that (by your description) that would be a house rule, so only really applicable to the discussion if everyone is using the same HR.

And while I'm not placing a judgment on that particular HR, I also don't think it can be used to describe a benefit/limitation of either RAW or another HR.

That said, I think expanding RAW ctg could be problematic with any kind of shapeshifter (either RAW or one of the HRs found in this thread). You would need expanded defenses, which are neither present nor accounted for. None of this, of course, invalidates the ruling (and in fact only applies if you have a shapeshifter).

OzMills
12-18-2014, 07:53 AM
Obviously, that's in your realm as GM to make that call. The only distinction that I would make is that (by your description) that would be a house rule, so only really applicable to the discussion if everyone is using the same HR.

And while I'm not placing a judgment on that particular HR, I also don't think it can be used to describe a benefit/limitation of either RAW or another HR.

That said, I think expanding RAW ctg could be problematic with any kind of shapeshifter (either RAW or one of the HRs found in this thread). You would need expanded defenses, which are neither present nor accounted for. None of this, of course, invalidates the ruling (and in fact only applies if you have a shapeshifter).

Gamemaster Guide - Page 1

Adjudicating the Rules
Like all games, Dragon Age has rules, and those rules sometimes require some interpretation to determine an exact outcome during play. It is the Game Masterís job to decide rules questions and make decisions regarding the implementation of the rules in the game. The rules provide a framework for you, but they cannot cover every contingency. You must be ready to make the call when the players do the unexpected. And they will!

shonuff
12-18-2014, 08:10 AM
Right, and GM interpretation/adjudication is essentially a house rule.

Darkdreamer
12-19-2014, 09:00 AM
Yeah, I would agree with you, but for the most part the differences are mechanical in nature, and when they're not I see it as giving a target some options. Sitting out is boring, after all.

I can't say that I agree with all of the changes, but none of the spell changes strike me as useless as the form changes.

Well, I'm not going to disagree about Shapeshifting, I just was noting that there was some pretty big shifts in how a lot of spells carried over.

(One of the most striking actually are the Glyphs, which for the most part turned from "These are battlefield access control spells" to "these are traps I can lay down if I have a few rounds. Arguably the latter seems to fit better with them, but they change the dynamic of how they're used considerably).

Darkdreamer
12-19-2014, 09:02 AM
Right, and GM interpretation/adjudication is essentially a house rule.

In fact, I consider it essentially house-ruling on the fly; its just usually with things too one-off to justify writing down.

shonuff
12-19-2014, 11:39 AM
Well, I'm not going to disagree about Shapeshifting, I just was noting that there was some pretty big shifts in how a lot of spells carried over.

(One of the most striking actually are the Glyphs, which for the most part turned from "These are battlefield access control spells" to "these are traps I can lay down if I have a few rounds. Arguably the latter seems to fit better with them, but they change the dynamic of how they're used considerably).

Yeah, you're right, but I think in most cases they are more due to changing mechanics, but they keep the same "feel" as the source. I would say the same is true for glyphs - different, but they have a much broader usage possibility in a PnP game than in a combat heavy video game.

Darkdreamer
12-19-2014, 04:11 PM
Yeah, you're right, but I think in most cases they are more due to changing mechanics, but they keep the same "feel" as the source. I would say the same is true for glyphs - different, but they have a much broader usage possibility in a PnP game than in a combat heavy video game.

I don't disagree. I just think this is an area where, by itself, "That's a lot different from the video game" can't get too much traction given all the extent changes here.