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Polymorphing the shape shifter

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
    Modifying or altering a template so that it can't do something is beyond the purview of normal magic. It doesn't matter how you cut it or how you try to wiggle around it.
    Does that mean that a Mind spell can't be used to command a werewolf to not change shape?

    I feel as though there should be a line between a generic imposition to prevent somebody from using one of their own powers and some more specific things that happen to present obstacles to struggle against. Particularly if Clash of Wills provides a conflict resolution system to this by which the target gets the chance to assert themselves.


    I have approximate knowledge of many things.
    Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
      Does that mean that a Mind spell can't be used to command a werewolf to not change shape?
      No, because the ability is still there, they're just not using it.

      Involuntary shifts could still happen, as well.

      Similar to how you could make being in sunlight safe for a vampire by altering the properties of sunlight around them, but you couldn't erase the bane of sunlight. You're going around the issue, which is frankly the smarter way to do it (though binding a sapient being to act against their interests is an Act of Hubris). Or how you could render a mage unable to perceive anything through their senses, so they couldn't target anything but themselves. The ability to cast is still there, they just don't have any targets. For a better example just using Mind to make them not want to cast a spell.
      Last edited by nofather; 03-05-2021, 10:28 PM.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

        Does that mean that a Mind spell can't be used to command a werewolf to not change shape?

        I feel as though there should be a line between a generic imposition to prevent somebody from using one of their own powers and some more specific things that happen to present obstacles to struggle against. Particularly if Clash of Wills provides a conflict resolution system to this by which the target gets the chance to assert themselves.
        Using mind control is an option. Whether it works or not depends on the mage but yes it does get around that because it doesn't stop them from being able to do it. However, Mind's always been capable of telling someone what to do.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
          I disagree. A spirit using an active power to hide itself isn't the same as trying to bar someone from using an innate ability. This just leads to being able to stop someone from casting magic. Modifying or altering a template so that it can't do something is beyond the purview of normal magic. It doesn't matter how you cut it or how you try to wiggle around it. This isn't something magic can do without being 8 dots.
          I understand the hesitance against template-altering effects. But that's simply not what is being suggested here. For one, a mage's spells are almost always of a limited duration, and even those made Indefinite are still active effects that can be dispelled or disrupted (or, say, overcome with a Clash of Wills). For another, the spell would not actually change the werewolf's shapeshifting ability at all. In fact, the only way it interacts with it is to come into conflict with it. The werewolf is not metaphysically any less a werewolf for having been turned into a sheep by a Mage, and very much can attempt to overwrite the spell by virtue of that fact. Nothing about how the werewolf assumes an alternate form is any different, save that he has to overcome some external magical resistance against him doing so. And it's not like shapeshifting is always a perfectly easy and automatic thing for a werewolf to do in the first place.

          It is possible to prevent or hinder a mage from using magic (knock them unconscious, drain their Mana, remove their Yantras, mind control, etc). Actually removing their ability to cast spells, is of course, another matter entirely. Granted, there is very little that can stop a mage's attempt to cast a spell full stop. But it's the same with Uratha shapeshifting: very few things actually come into direct conflict with it. A spell that attempts to impose a specific shape happens to be one of them. Were a mage to use a Legacy Attainment (aka an innate ability) that lets them shapeshift, it too would trigger a Clash against sheep-polymorphing attempts.

          Again, I'm not arguing that the Mage's spell automatically "wins" over the innate shapeshifting (which would require fundamentally undermining the werewolf's innate abilities). The two powers would be in conflict, so it comes down to a contest of mystical might to determine which one takes effect. And this is assuming the mage managed to overcome all of the problems of casting such a spell in the first place (which is a bit of a tall order, as Satchel describes above) .
          Last edited by Scriptorian; 03-06-2021, 12:30 AM.


          The longer I study science the more I am convinced that it is functionally indistinguishable from what our ancestors would refer to as sorcery. And I would know, being both scientist and sorcerer.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Scriptorian View Post

            I understand the hesitance against template-altering effects. But that's simply not what is being suggested here. For one, a mage's spells are almost always of a limited duration, and even those made Indefinite are still active effects that can be dispelled or disrupted (or, say, overcome with a Clash of Wills). For another, the spell would not actually change the werewolf's shapeshifting ability at all. In fact, the only way it interacts with it is to come into conflict with it. The werewolf is not metaphysically any less a werewolf for having been turned into a sheep by a Mage, and very much can attempt to overwrite the spell by virtue of that fact. Nothing about how the werewolf assumes an alternate form is any different, save that he has to overcome some external magical resistance against him doing so. And it's not like shapeshifting is always a perfectly easy and automatic thing for a werewolf to do in the first place.

            It is possible to prevent or hinder a mage from using magic (knock them unconscious, drain their Mana, remove their Yantras, mind control, etc). Actually removing their ability to cast spells, is of course, another matter entirely. Granted, there is very little that can stop a mage's attempt to cast a spell full stop. But it's the same with Uratha shapeshifting: very few things actually come into direct conflict with it. A spell that attempts to impose a specific shape happens to be one of them. Were a mage to use a Legacy Attainment (aka an innate ability) that lets them shapeshift, it too would trigger a Clash against sheep-polymorphing attempts.

            Again, I'm not arguing that the Mage's spell automatically "wins" over the innate shapeshifting (which would require fundamentally undermining the werewolf's innate abilities). The two powers would be in conflict, so it comes down to a contest of mystical might to determine which one takes effect. And this is assuming the mage managed to overcome all of the problems of casting such a spell in the first place (which is a bit of a tall order, as Satchel describes above) .
            Again, I disagree. I don't really care how much of a tall order it is, it's basically leading to using prime to prevent someone from using magic and making them essentially a sleeper. Also, it's impossible to remove their magic by the way you site. You can remove their ability to want to cast spells but you can't remove their ability to remove their magic. Draining their mana doesn't do shit against most spells. Neither does removing their yantras. Compelling them to not use magic can work but that's basically at the same level of mind controlling them to shoot themselves in the head. This really shouldn't be up for debate. Abilities that are innate and part of the template shouldn't be tampered with by magic short of archmastery.

            Edit- Before you use Death and sever the awakened soul. This is a side effect where they've lost ability magic because they've lost their soul. In my opinion it's basically just prolong death that can be reversed rather than a spell that directly affects the core abilities of any innate ability.
            Last edited by Epimetheus; 03-06-2021, 12:56 AM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
              Again, I disagree. I don't really care how much of a tall order it is, it's basically leading to using prime to prevent someone from using magic and making them essentially a sleeper. Also, it's impossible to remove their magic by the way you site. You can remove their ability to want to cast spells but you can't remove their ability to remove their magic. Draining their mana doesn't do shit against most spells. Neither does removing their yantras. Compelling them to not use magic can work but that's basically at the same level of mind controlling them to shoot themselves in the head. This really shouldn't be up for debate. Abilities that are innate and part of the template shouldn't be tampered with by magic short of archmastery.
              I'll just add this: even at the very bottom of your slippery slope, the worst that happens is a high-level Prime spell that triggers a Clash whenever the subject attempts to cast a spell (or, at a stretch, activate Mage Sight, Pattern Restoration etc.). Nothing to sneeze at, but hardly makes them a Sleeper any more than taping someone's mouth shut makes them mute. We both agree that mortal magic should not be able to modify innate abilities. I just don't see needing to overcome an opposing ability via Clash as actually modifying the ability. But if that's where we disagree, then I guess we disagree.


              The longer I study science the more I am convinced that it is functionally indistinguishable from what our ancestors would refer to as sorcery. And I would know, being both scientist and sorcerer.

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              • #22
                Personally, I find the idea of a werewolf becoming a sheepwolf for the duration of the spell ridiculously amusing. The near-wolf and true wolf shapes rather resemble Labradodles.

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                • #23
                  Having reacquainted myself with the Werewolf rules, I feel as though the most... dramatically resonant way to resolve the subject is that a mage could attempt to confine an Uratha to an unnatural shape... which is definitely the kind of thing that will provoke Death Rage, and I absolutely think the shift to Gauru pushed by that would just blast right through such a spell.

                  I do think that even for the Uratha, wilful shapeshifting is an application of power that can struggle against spells, but Kuruth lies deep in the werewolf nature that common Practices cannot touch or overcome.


                  I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                  Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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