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There are many creatures and characters in Ars Magica who can change form. Most commonly, a shapeshifter is a human or humanoid who can assume the form of an animal, but animal-to-human and animal-to-animal transformations are also possible.
Methods of Shapeshifting
Some of the methods of changing form are:
- Using a spell such as Shape of the Woodland Prowler or an enchanted item with a similar effect. Since shape-shifting spells have high magnitudes, they are likely to cause Warping.
- Supernatural Virtues such as Skinchanger
- The heartbeast of a Bjornaer magus
- The intrinsic powers of a Magical, Faerie, or Infernal creature
Rules for Shapeshifters
Official rules for calculating the statistics of a shapeshifter -- its Characteristcs, Abilities, Virtues and Flaws, etc -- are given in Houses of Hermes Mystery Cults. If you aren't using that supplement in your Saga, then you'll need to come up with your own House Rule for this situation.
In Ars Magica, spells that affect animals use the Form of Animal, whereas spells that affect humans are Corpus or Mentem. It may not be immediately clear what spells would affect a person who's been magically transformed into an animal. Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults has rules that clarify this situation.
Most shape-shifted humans (except those with an innate power to change form, such as Bjornaer magi in heartbeast form, and those with the skinchanger or shapeshifter virtues) are under magical effects and so must penetrate Magic Resistance in order to make physical attacks.
- Ars Magica Fifth Edition, p. 48, "Shapeshifter"
- Ars Magica Fifth Edition, p. 67, "Shapeshifter"
- Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults, p. 23, "Statistics for Shapeshifters" (inset)
- Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults, p. 22, "Ringing the Changes" (inset)
The history of this page before August 6, 2010 is archived at Legacy:shapeshifter