Lunar Shapeshifting Charms by CrownedSun
Subtle Tell Method
Cost: 3 motes/difficulty, 1 willpower Duration: One scene Type: Simple Min. Manipulation: 3 Min Essence: 2 Prerequisite Charms: Masking the Brilliant Form
This Charm enhances the natural illusions that protect a Tell, making it even more protean and hidden than normal. For every 3 motes spent activating this charm, the Lunar can add one to the difficulty to spot the Tell. The Lunar cannot increase the difficulty to spot his tell by more than his Manipulation attribute. This charm stacks with the tell-hiding capabilities of Hide of the Cunning Hunter and Masking the Brilliant Form (CrownedSun/CharmChangesLunar]]) if such charms are activated. This charm can raise the difficulty to spot a tell from 0, but has no effect if the Lunar reaches the 4-7 motes level of anima banner display. The charm ends if the Lunar's anima becomes that intense.
Masterful Transformation Method
Cost: None Duration: Permanent Type: Special Min. Charisma: 3 Min Essence: 1 Prerequisite Charms: Deadly Beastman Transformation
A Lunar who learns this charm develops new avenues of his Deadly Beastman Transformation, becoming more powerful without the customary increase in the obviousness and size of his tell. When the Lunar first learns this charm, he gains a single additional Gift -- if he chooses Horrifying Might, treat the gift as if he had purchased it on his initial purchase of DBT. Otherwise, all rules for Gifts (especially prerequisites) must be obeyed for purchasing a gift with this charm. A Lunar may take this charm again at Essence 3, 5, 7, and 9.
Discovering the True Shape
Cost: None Duration: Indefinate Type: Special Min. Charisma: 4 Min Essence: 2 Prerequisite Charms: Finding the Spirit's Shape
This Charm allows the Lunar to grow increasingly comfortable in one of his library shapes, making that shape a true form. This allows the Lunar to spend more essence in that form, and even display an anima banner, without having to revert his shape. The Lunar can change into this form using Finding the Spirit's Shape, instead of the more expensive natural shapeshifting.
You can only take this charm a number of times equal to your Essence. It's only possible to use this charm with animal shapes (though a higher Essence variant might work with Human forms as well), and you have to have the appropriate charm to take a larger or smaller animal than normal as a true shape (just as you need it for a larger/smaller totem animal).
Donning the Chimera
Cost: None Duration: Indefinate Type: Special Min. Manipulation: 4 Min Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: Many-Faced Moon Transformation
This charm was once much more popular among the Lunar Exalted, but in recent times -- with their near absorption by the Wyld and the loss of some of their Lunar brethren to it's ever-mutating influence (who are now called 'Chimera') -- it has grown into disuse. Even so, it is still occasionally learned and used and remains part of the bag of tricks available to some Lunar Elders. When this charm is taken, the Lunar enters into a deep trance for several days during which he meditates on the beasts in his library and their natures: their habitats, their differences and similarties. Descending into his animal mind, shapeshifting into multiple beasts, stretching his limits.
When this meditation period (typically one day or so per dot of Permanent Essence) ends, the Lunar has forged whole a new animal shape from his library that combines the traits of two (or, at Essence 4, up to four) animals from his library. The exact traits of this new shape depend on the storyteller, and particularly nonsensical combinations should not be allowed. However, keep in mind that many REAL Mythical beasts that combine several different animal traits are not entirely sensical.
You can only take this charm as many times as you have dots of Permanent Essence.
One-Thousand Formed Beast
Cost: 6 motes, 1 willpower Duration: One scene Type: Simple Min. Charisma: 5 Min Essence: 4 Prerequisite Charms: Prey's Skin Disguise
The Shapechanging Abilities of the Lunar Exalted are both flexible and powerful, but perhaps not the most efficient use of Essence – most especially when the Lunar desires to shapeshift several times within a short span of time, such as for complicated deceptions or combat maneuvers that require on the ability to be in one animal form at one moment and another the very next.
Once a Lunar learns this charm however his options open up considerably; once activated, the Lunar can shapeshift into any form in his library as a free reflexive action with no further cost. He can even do this during other peoples turns, though this in no way gives him any more actions and cannot be used effectively as a defense – while the Lunar can shapeshift quite quickly it’s not quite fast enough to change into a heavily-armored shape before a blow lands, much less changing into a fast shape to dodge and THEN a heavily-armored shape.
This can have effects in a battle, however, such as turning into a snake to help escape from a clinch or into a mammoth shortly after flying into a group of people as a Eagle.
Mole Burrowing Method
Cost: 6 motes Duration: One scene Type: Simple Minimum Manipulation: 3 Minimum Essence: 2 Prerequisite Charms: Tool-Hand Technique, Rat-Head Technique
By means of this charm, the Lunar grows short and extremely hard claws that are able to dig into the smallest cracks and tear into them, becoming an extremely efficient burrower. While he isn't quite up to tunneling through solid stone, he can make decent progress through all different kinds of soil and hard-packed earth. In addition, the claws are extremely good at widening existing cracks in stone and can tear down most barriers that aren't particularly strong or resistent to damage -- such as some First Age materials, or exceptionally well-crafted mateirals. The Lunar can dig stable tunnels about one yard per minute in loose packed soil, or the same distance in hard-packed earth in twice that time. If trying to tear apart barriers, the Lunar's claws are considered to inflict Strength +7L damage (applied as a whole, not rolled, as normal against inanimate objects). In addition, subtract the Lunar's soak from the soak of the material being ripped apart.
What kind of stuff comes after One-Thousand Formed Beast? Feel free to decide that yourself, by making charms that branch off that charm! I've been focusing more on making low-level charms, with the occasional Essence 3-4 charm here and there. I find that, when making characters, it's the base-level stuff that I need more often than huge high-level charms that only a few Elder Exalts are going to have. However, that shouldn't stop you!
I like Masterful Transformation Method as an alternative to hulking-out on DBT, but the way it's written, it's just as useful, if not more so, as a supplement to maxed DBT. If it were written specifically as the anti-DBT, to be used only by those without DBT, I'd love it to death. - Quendalon
It's kind of intended to be supplemental, as well as an alternative. I've always been fond of the idea that there were ways for a Lunar to grab a few extra gifts, here and there, thus making his DBT a bit more powerful than it might otherwise be. If it was anti-DBT, anyway, I think I'd have to change it a little. It'd give EITHER a Gift, OR the +3 attributes, while counting against the character's DBT max. That's certainly a viable alternative, but I think I like this version best for my game.
- While I don't know that I'd go out on a limb and call it "unbalanced," I will say that it totally qualifies as a "gimme": it seems so potentially cost-efficient that, no matter what your character build, you'd want to grab it as soon as you got DBT. On the other hand, I feel that way about DBT itself, so the argument may not hold water. :) - Quendalon
- I don't know, actually. The main thing that I find so badass about DBT is the attribute boosts, rather than the gifts per se. While there are a lot of very very good gifts, and this charm can certainly help you to "round out your selection a bit", I don't think Gifts are necessarily THAT much better than charms in general. Yeah, they're free and of instant duration, but as noted -- that's part of DBT itself:) -- CS