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Shapechanging - mage query

Hey folks,

My DM is running a small campaign based in this system, and I’m looking at making a shapechanging mage. However, the rules around shapechanging are quite vague.

It says for example, ‘A lycanthrope taking on a form smaller or quicker than an ordinary human might take on traits such as Forgettable, Graceful, Quick Reflexes, and Sneaky.’ - This would appear to indicate that these traits occur when you transform. Is this the case?

Or do I need to buy myself loads of traits to account for all the flavours of animals I want to be?

if so, the sheer cost of this seems disproportionate. Not only do I have to be a mage to want to specialise down this route, but I also have to pay large trait point cost or 2 and then 1 per form, and use will in order to transform in and out of a form. For a +2 to a couple of skills and possibly some endurance.

It would seem to make more sense that you would automatically gain some relevant traits when transformed for free, and the text sort of supports that, but doesn’t outright say either way.

Is anyone able to shed any light on this?

My read is that you get the skill and Endurance bonuses (or penalties) for taking the Shapechanger trait. So a wolf is likely to get a +2 bonus to melee (I’d personally also give it a bonus to damage as if it were using a knife).

Other things (e.g. smaller size) are narrative permission to do things you couldn’t normally do or the GM might make things harder or easier based on form (e.g. someone who changes into the form of a bird could fly, so doesn’t need to make an Athletics roll to get over a fence).

Other Traits that would be appropriate to the type of creature (e.g. Supernatural Strength) are purchased separately but are available in both human and animal form.