Chrono Stars Wiki
Advertisement
Chrono Stars Wiki

Centuries ago, the shape-shifters were a group of politically dissident humans that fled their homelands on Raljikka to escape the growing influence of the Alamo Empire. They arrived in the wildlands of southern Sigzlor and became one with the unforgiving wilderness there, refusing help from others and relying only on themselves to survive. Their bodies fluctuated and changed from the overwhelming Chrono there across generations, and their original search for salvation led them to carving it out both in the untamed wilds and out of their own bodies, changing both to suit their needs.

Etymology and Other Names[]

The shape-shifters' most distinctive feature is in their name; however, this trait is less unique to denizens of Sigzlor, who frequently come into contact with the morpher race. Sigzlorian languages' terms for shape-shifters instead tend to emphasize their proficiency in changing into animal shapes, or they might call them along the lines of "human-morpher" in reference to their natural forms' appearance.

Biology[]

As a derivative of the human race, shape-shifters greatly resemble them, though not perfectly. On a genetic level, the two are distinct and cannot crossbreed; the inability for a human and shape-shifter to have children together was long ago one of the reasons shape-shifters were recognized as their own race. Shape-shifters have pointed ears that can very greatly in length from individual to individual. Some have short ears that are barely distinguishable from the rounded ears of their parent species, and others have long ears that protrude from their hair and might be seen as analogous to the animals the shape-shifters tend to have an affinity for.

Shape-shifters' skintones range from light brown to pale, and their bodies are crisscrossed with unique markings primarily in the form of stripes or other similar shapes. Their markings are typically bright and stand out compared to the rest of their body; many shape-shifters have symmetrical markings on both sides of their bodies, but it is not uncommon for shape-shifters to also have some asymmetry, especially on their faces. Relatives will typically have similar markings to one another in shape or color.

The hair of a shape-shifter will often grow at accelerated, messy rates and can require regular tending to keep maintained. Not all of their hair will grow at the same rate, which can give many of them an unkempt, wild look to their appearance. They often have dark hair and small eyes, which are typically, though not always, dark as well. Light-colored hair and eyes are more common amongst shape-shifters than they are with humans. Because shape-shifters can change their appearance, they may deliberately present themselves with colorations that are impossible to have naturally, giving others the false impression of what a shape-shifter's natural form looks like.

Sociology[]

Independence tends to run through shape-shifter societies; they are raised to be reluctant to ask for help, as their natural adaptability means that they ought to be able to solve their problems themselves. An inflexible shape-shifter is a dead one, and more traditional societies may even go so far as to exile shape-shifters who cause more problems than they solve regardless of familial ties or their history with the group. Form-stagnant shape-shifters -- those who cannot change shape for whatever reason -- face this attitude especially harshly. Because they cannot alter their bodies to suit the problem at hand, they will often struggle to keep up even in the most basic of everyday problems. Form-stagnant shape-shifters raised in shape-shifter societies will often leave for somewhere their disability will not be noticed; the rare few that stay may delve heavily into unorthodox technology or magic to make up for what they cannot do naturally.

Shape-shifters often dislike being tracked, taught from a young age that if anyone can find them, the worst sorts of people will. In the wilderness, this manifests with their settlements comprising of things that can be packed up at a short notice, or they will employ means of covering tracks and masking their current position. This can range from manipulations of the natural environment to even trying to confound would-be onlookers with illusionary effects. In a digtal world, shape-shifters can be extremely thorough about cybersecurity and not leaving behind digital footprints; some say it is only rare to see a shape-shifter in cybersecurity professions because they intentionally do not reveal their presence there. Much like they can change into animals to solve a problem at hand, shape-shifters can have a variety of personas that cannot be traced back to their true identity to function in high-technology areas without compromising their self-security.

Because of their reliance on their surrounding environments to keep them safe, shape-shifters can strike as conservative in not wanting things to change around them. They seek independence for themselves and want to pursue their own agendas, but that becomes more difficult if the world around them is unpredictable and too spontaneous. This can range in behaviors such as environment preservation or supporting traditions they do not practice themselves to even trying to manipulate democratic voting with their multitude of identities. After all, if each persona occupies a different role in society, it is only fair that their voices are heard.

Racial Traits (D&D 3.5e/Pathfinder)[]

Overview[]

Shape-shifters are a Medium race with the alterum subtype and have no penalties or bonuses associated with their size. Shape-shifter characters may choose either +2 Dexterity and -2 Constitution or +2 Wisdom and -2 Charisma to be applied to their starting attributes, representing many shape-shifters' inclinations to rugged lives in the wilderness. Even shape-shifters that live within mainstream society find that their senses are keener than many others around them, and they often have more precise and rapid reflexes. However, their small frames are often vulnerable to injury because of their shifting ability, and sometimes their various animal forms' behavior can bleed into their own and make them struggle with relating to others.

Shift (Ex)[]

Flavor[]

Unless they are form-stagnant, shape-shifters can all transform themselves into animals. While these forms may not have all the skills and aptitudes that a true animal does, shape-shifters' affinity for the wild manifests in their transformations. Even those that live in sprawling metropolises can find themselves developing a kinsmanship with the local animals, and they can use these forms to their advantage, reaching places no one else can and evading detection by posing as a common beast.

Mechanics[]

Shape-shifters can assume the form of an animal as a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity. A shape-shifter has a number of points in their Shift pool equal to their character level, which determines how many times they may shift into a form other than their base humanoid form in a given day. Reverting back to the humanoid form does not cost any points from their Shift pool and is a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity.

At character creation, a shape-shifter chooses two forms as their favored forms, which they may shift into at a cost of 1 point from their Shift pool. All other forms cost 2 from their Shift pool.

While Shifted, a shape-shifter counts as a magical beast for the purposes of effects based on creature type. They are unable to speak while in their animal forms, even if that animal might be able to mimic language. Worn items also meld with the shape-shifter and return once in humanoid form again. Realizing that a shifted shape-shifter is not a normal animal requires a Perception check made against the shape-shifter's Disguise check.

The following forms are general guidelines for what the corresponding animal may be. Per a GM's decision, these forms can represent animals other than the named animal for the form, such as Bear Form being reflavored as a dinosaur form; there are otherwise no changes to these abilities. While in a given animal form, a shape-shifter inherits all its listed qualities, and they are assumed to have their usual statistics if there is no replacement in the animal's entry.

  • Avian
    • Size: Small
    • +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom
    • +2 Fly, +2 Perception
    • Natural Weapons: Bite (1d4)
    • Fly Speed: 40ft with good maneuverability
  • Bear
    • Size: Large
    • +2 Strength, +2 Constitution
    • +2 Climb, +2 Intimidate
    • Natural AC: +1
    • Natural Weapons: Claws (1d6/1d6 plus grab)
    • Climb Speed: 20ft
  • Boar
    • Size: Medium
    • +2 Strength, +2 Constitution
    • +2 Perception, +2 Intimidate
    • Natural Weapons: Gore (1d6)
    • Movement Speed: 50ft
    • Scent up to 30ft
  • Crocodile
    • Size: Large
    • +2 Strength, amphibious subtyping
    • +2 Swim, +2 Stealth
    • Natural AC: +1
    • Natural Weapons: Bite (1d6)
    • Swim Speed: 30ft
    • Darkvision up to 60ft
  • Lynx
    • Size: Small
    • +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom
    • +2 Acrobatics, +2 Stealth
    • Natural Weapons: Claw (1d4/1d4)
    • Movement Speed: 40ft
    • Darkvision up to 60ft
  • Rat
    • Size: Tiny
    • +4 Dexterity
    • +2 Stealth, +2 Survival
    • Natural Weapons: Bite (1d4)
    • Burrow Speed: 10ft
    • Scent up to 30ft
  • Shark
    • Size: Large
    • +2 Constitution, aquatic subtyping
    • +2 Swim, +2 Perception
    • Natural Weapons: Bite (1d6, plus 1d6 bleed)
    • Swim Speed: 50ft
  • Wolf
    • Size: Medium
    • +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom
    • +2 Perception, +2 Survival
    • Natural Weapons: Bite (1d6)
    • Darkvision up to 60ft
    • Scent up to 60ft
Keywords: Active, extraordinary ability, full-round action, standard action, limited

Acute Senses (Natural Ability)[]

Flavor[]

Many shape-shifters learn to hone their senses no matter what form they are in, knowing that their senses can tell them things that their conscious mind may overlook. While certain animal forms may be more naturally perceptive than others, some of these perceptive abilities carry over even into the shape-shifters' natural forms, blending the senses of a beast with the mind of a cunning hunter.

Mechanics[]

Shape-shifters have a +2 racial bonus to Perception.

Keywords: Passive, natural ability

Wilderness Guide (Natural Ability)[]

Flavor[]

Even without an animal nose to guide them, shape-shifters can pick out tracks easily and follow even difficult trails through treacherous stretches of wilderness. Shaking off a hunting shape-shifter is a difficult task even for the most experienced of scouts. Some learn this skill to hunt common prey for food; other shape-shifters learn it so that they can find out who might be following them.

Mechanics[]

Shape-shifters have a +2 racial bonus to Survival.

Keywords: Passive, natural ability
Advertisement