From Guidebook

The Shifters are the therianthropes of our world. Whether they're called lycanthropes, beastmen, or werewolves, they've been around for as long as humanity has. In time immemorial, these humans acquired the power to change their bodies and assume the shapes of animals while (allegedly) keeping their human minds. Is it Artemis' Curse? A forest god's gift? Are they protectors or ravagers?

The myths, legends, and historical accounts are as varied as the predators these humans can become, but they all have one thing in common: they are bound by the phases of the moon. Whatever it is, their magic is as sharply focused as the evolution that made the predators they turn into: they are made for the hunt. Shifters come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all of these are mammalian apex predators.

Whether they were born this way or afflicted, the magic settles into their very being—even in human form, they may take on bestial characteristics. Magic that completely changes a form is vanishingly rare amongst half-bloods and unbelievably dangerous for arcanists to employ. More often than not, attempts to replicate this magic result in disaster.

The Shifter Path[edit | edit source]

These once-humans are forever tied to the phases of the moon. They will feel the pull of it leading up to the full moon, the time when they are at their strongest, and seem almost exhausted or muted during the new moon. In concordance with their bestial alternate forms, Shifters are stronger and faster than humans, and they have heightened senses to match their animal forms. While not true members of the animalia kingdom, they still need to eat proportionally to their animal forms. For example, a werefox will not eat as much as a human, while a werewolf will need a great deal of food.

Along with great strength, comes weaknesses. All shifters are vulnerable to silver and aconite. They are highly durable against all other kinds of damage, including magical damage and poison. As a result of the energy needed for the transformation and handling their magic, shifters naturally have a higher body temperature than humans. When wounded, they can heal more quickly than humans, and when they’re injured badly enough to lose a limb, the limbs can grow back completely, but the process is slow and painful.

As powerful as they are, shifters have not surpassed humans in number because female shifters have much lower fertility than the human average. In addition to this, a male shifter only has a minuscule chance of producing shifter children with a human and will only have half-blood children with a half-blood woman.

Shifter Animals[edit | edit source]

Shifters are mammalian, and almost exclusively apex predators. This includes both terrestrial and aquatic mammals, although aquatic shifters often spend their lives in the ocean in order to sustain their incredible caloric needs. ```They do not include supernatural predators. Shapeshifters of that ilk are usually half-bloods.```

Control and the Beast Inside[edit | edit source]

Control varies from shifter to shifter, depending on their mindset, willpower, personality, or other factors. During the transformation, the shifters with less experience, especially the afflicted, may have blackouts when they lose control. As they develop and become better at controlling their shifts, they may be able to retain memories of the experience, but it is not a guarantee.

There is no separation between human and animal minds, as shifters are a complete meld of human and beast. While some shifters may compartmentalize, potentially have no memory of their shifts, or create a mental distance of their own, this is by no means a universal experience. That said, in many ways, shifters tend to take on their beast form characteristics. For example, a werewolf may be more comfortable in a group while a weretiger prefers solitude. However, when shifters find each other and if they get along, the camaraderie often overrules the animal tendencies.

Although shifters are shaped by the various aspects of their supernatural existence, from the kind of beast they turn into to how they view their affliction, one must remember that shifters are just as much human as they are beast. Even those born to the life run the gamut of personalities, moralities, prejudices, and other human characteristics.

Wild Magic[edit | edit source]

The magic of a shifter is quite unlike ritual or blood magic. Very little is known about it as shifters are secretive and clannish about their abilities, and on death their physical forms become inert and useless to any other magic. Still, it appears to be magic inherent to the fabric of our world, a form of wild magic. It grants them a few boons and oddities to their physical matter. Due to their healing and regenerative abilities, shifters can often live upwards of two hundred years, although they clearly age in both animal and human forms.

When a shifter dies or is killed, they remain whichever form they died in. This quality has allowed them to stay firmly in the realms of myth and legend, with mundane hunters often finding nothing more than the body of a wolf, or a human. In this same spirit, s shifter cannot be reanimated as an Undying by any form of magic, their natural magic at opposition with otherworldly magic. They can, however, manifest as spirits either in their beastly or human forms.

Unlike the other Paths, shifter magic is very physical in nature, and as such can use both their Strike and Cinder pools when utilizing their Path keywords. Naturally, using a different pool changes the nature of the magic, from something intangible to something physical, so be sure to flavour it accordingly.

Codes of Conduct[edit | edit source]

Shifters are subject to Oaths, Thrice Asked, and Favours in the Codes of Conduct.

Shifter Culture and Communities[edit | edit source]

With the ability to walk camouflaged in the human world, secrecy is, naturally, quite important to the average shifter for a variety of reasons, including the security of their human lives. Superstitious humans have historically hunted them and may do so to this day. Many shifters provoke it accidentally or on purpose, while others keep their heads down. Shifter communities tend to be very small and close-knit, due both to their low numbers and the threat of persecution, but hostility or openness towards newcomers and outsiders tends to be unique to each group, much like human communities.

Historically, natural and afflicted shifters have not always gotten along. Natural shifters often see the afflicted as a threat to their safety and secrecy, with good reason. However, others see them as one of their own and like to foster them so they can regain control. This is a fairly individual character decision.

Central Features[edit | edit source]

Shifter Abilities
The scope of shifter shapeshifting and other abilities that defines them as shifters.
The central aspect of shifter life, staying in control.
Shifter Path Keywords
All the keywords shifters have access to, to define their abilities and special skills.
Shifter Advancement
The advancement requirements for both natural-born and afflicted shifters.

Quick Creation[edit | edit source]

Natural-born Shifters
Those who are born to the life of a shifter.
Afflicted Shifters
Those who have forcibly entered the life of a shifter after being infected.

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