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Shape Changer

This article is a development from the MERP 2


nd
ED rules for shape shifting. These rules are also
converted to RM2 with concern to the special set of houserules in use by my gaming group.
A shape changer is a character that can change to and from an animal form while still maintaining his
normal human persona (e.g like Beorn in the Hobbit). In MERP, hape !hangers must "e Beornings
that can change into "ears. #he skill "onus in the secondar$ skill ontrol !ycantrophy is used to
perform a controlled change. #he skill cost for ontrol !ycantrophy is lowered to %&' for Beornings.
A hape !hanger can attempt to (oluntaril$ change form (human to animal or animal to human). #he
character must make a static maneu(er)
*pen+ended %+%,, roll
- his !ontrol .$cantroph$ "onus
-/ for e(er$ consecuti(e round that he concentrates
-0, for a successful Meditation static maneu(er
If the result is %,%-, the change take place (takes one full round).
If the result is 12+%,, there is no change, "ut he can tr$ again ne3t round (an$ rounds of
concentration remain consecuti(e).
If the result is 02+1/, there is no change and the character loses his concentration (he must
start o(er at 4ero consecuti(e rounds of concentration).
If the result is less than 0/, there is no change and character ma$ not tr$ again until he has
slept a normal sleep c$cle.
A hape !hanger also has a chance of in(oluntaril$ changing from human to animal whene(er he is
angr$, he is struck or he falls. #hat chance is e5ual to ',6 minus his skill ranks in ontrol
!ycantrophy, although ne(er lower than 7M,/. *ther modifications can "e decided "$ the 8M
dependent on the campaign and situation. If an un(oluntaril$ change occur, he will react as a wild
"east (i.e he will attack the target of his anger, whoe(er struck him or the closest target 9 8M choice).
:e will continue to act as a wild animal until he makes a successful ontrol !ycantrophy static
maneu(er as outlined a"o(e (he ma$ tr$ once a round).
A Beorning hape !hanger in "ear form is a fearsome sight for most. A normal "ear might "e
dangerous enough, "ut the hape !hanger is alwa$s larger than its natural counterpart. #hose few
among the Beornings that ha(e the a"ilit$ to shape change also ha(e recogni4a"le faunas, i.e the$
alwa$s change into the same "ear form (e3cept for si4e which increases with e(er$ le(el).
E3ample) 8rim"eorn the *ld, son of Beorn, took the shape of a uni5uel$ gre$skinned "ear with a "old
spot on the head and neck. Before his death, 8rim"eorn in "ear form weigh %2/, l"s and was %' feet
tall on his hind legs.
Size
#he si4e is calculated from the characters inherent si4e and his le(el. ;irst, take characters weight
multipled "$ three (in 8rim"eorns case he weighs 0/, l"s in human form, that makes 1/, l"s "ear),
then add the le(el times fift$ (as 8rim"eorn is %<
th
l(l that makes another =,, pounds, which makes
his total si4e %2/, l"s, or 1>= kg). As $ou ma$ notice, this is far "e$ond the si4e most natural "ears
reach, "ut 8rim"eorn was the son of Beorn the 8reat, who?s si4e was e(en "e$ond that of his son.
Abilities and Drawbacks
A hape !hangers capa"ilities change when in animal form. #o keep track of the usea"le skills and
a"ilities the pla$er might wish to download the "hape hanger character sheet (pdf) from the
@ownload section of this we"page. #he following is a list of capa"ilities and draw"acks)
:it points are dou"led (when character changes "ack to human form, he has taken e5ual
amount of damage in percent).
Ahen the "ear form has taken its total hits the hape !hanger will return to human form,
which will ha(e passed out due to the amount of hits taken.
#he following "onuses are dou"led) 8eneral Perception, !lim", #racking, @istance running,
Endurance, printing, Melee cuffle, Instincti(e Maneu(er, tunned Maneu(er, Blind
;ighting (smell), Aa$ of the Aarrior, @irection ense, ense Am"ush&Assassination and
;oraging.
#he following "onuses are normal) .ore skills, understanding languages, ;ren4$, Adrenal
Mo(es (e3cept for Buickdraw which is unusa"le), Beast Master, #um"ling Attack, Cumping,
!ontrol .$cantroph$, wim, talk D :ide, Adrenal @efense, Meditation, all stat "onuses and
all RR "onuses.
#he following "onuses are hal(ed) Am"ush, Acro"atics, Animal :andling, !a(ing,
!ontortions and ignaling.
All other skills are normall$ not usa"le at all (8M discretion).
:is Armor #$pe is :ea($ :ide A#&> with -0 per le(el @B (inherent, i.e the "onus is drawn
from all incoming attacks)
All criticals against him are resol(ed on the .arge !reatures !ritical #a"les (and as usual for
.arge !reatures he ignores all EAF se(erit$ crits).
:is @B is %, plus his B7+"onus, plus his Adrenal @efense "onus (if skill is de(eloped).
#he hape !hanger de(elops special attack skills for his animal form. #hese skills are primar$
skills for which he has / de(.pts e3tra in addition to his regular de(elopment points. :is attack
is either a Bite (A8&EB&#, Medium, cost 0&>), a !law&#alon (#&#&A8&EB, .arge, cost
%&'), a Bash (#, Medium, cost %&0) or a 8rapple attack (A8&#, .arge, cost %&'). :is *B is
0/ plus his appropriate skill "onus. .e(el"onus for !om"at applies. #he attack si4e increases
with le(el (see .e(el dependent a"ilities in ne3t chapter).
:e ma$ not speak human languages, "ut he can understand those that he could in human form.
:e ma$ con(erse fluentl$ with other "ears, and he ma$ communicate at Rank I with "adgers
and other E"ear+likeF creatures.
:e ma$ not cast an$ spells or use an$ items. @uring the transformation clothes and items fall
off. .eather straps holding armor might "urst and tight clothes might "e ripped off during
transformation. ince such action hurts, most hape !hangers dress in lose clothes.
Level dependent abilities
Ahile "ecoming larger and more e3perienced in his "ear form, additional a"ilities is "estowed upon
the hape !hanger. #hese a"ilities start at %,
th
l(l. #he list "elow should "e considered optional and
not complete, the 8M should feel free to add additional a"ilities for powerful shape shifters and
withdraw a"ilities he not see fit.

10
th
lvl abilities
o .arger attacks, the hape !hanger has the a"ilit$ to do .arge Bite, :uge !law&#alon,
.arge Bash and :uge 8rapple.
o Reduces "leeding "$ % hit point e(er$ round (i.e after one round a ' hit&rnd "leeding
onl$ "leeds at a rate of 0 hits&rnd, after 0 rounds it onl$ "leeds % hit&rnd and after '
rounds it has closed).
15
th
lvl abilities
o lower the se(erit$ of criticals "$ % degree.
o does 3%,/ concussion damage.
o :eals % hit point per round while not engaging in com"at or other straining acti(ities.
o a -%, initiati(e "onus.
o Ignores one round of stun from e(er$ critical.
20
th
lvl abilities
o :alf+:ide Plate A#&%%.
o ma$ use spells that are listed as EelfF considering he has the spell list and
powerpoints re5uired in human form.
o a -0, initiati(e "onus (replaces the "onus gi(en on %/
th
l(l).
25
th
lvl abilities
o ;ull+:ide Plate A#&%0.
o does 30 concussion damage.
o Ignores 0 rounds of stun from e(er$ critical.
30
th
lvl abilities
o :it points are multiplied "$ 30,/ in "ear form.
o :ide is so thick that it pre(ents some damage (0/6 chance of ignoring an$ criticals).

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