Metamorphs: The Shifters of Mystara?

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Havard
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Metamorphs: The Shifters of Mystara?

Post by Havard » Sun Apr 05, 2015 3:27 pm

Over in the Baldandar thread some comments were made on the Metamorph Race:
Sturm wrote:Curious, in the wikipedia entry they're clearly shapeshifter who try to experience as many forms as possible, while in the Creature Catalogue they're not truly shapeshifter but only use complex illusions...
Among the shapeshifters in Sind anyway I'd probably use Baldandar, Doppleganger, Metamorph, Mujina, Polymar, Randara and Rakshasa. I'd link them all to the Unseelie court, it seem to me a good origin for them. Note however that Metamorph and Polymar are not described as evil, so they could be from the Seelie court instead. Either would fit with the literary description of Baldender on wikipedia, I think.
Adaptor are other shapeshifter, but explicity described as extraplanar.
agathokles wrote:True, the literary Baldanders is a protean creature with no other powers, whereas the D&D Baldandar is mostly an illusion master -- although it does have a polymorph self innate power, once per day.

Regarding the other shapeshifters, I'd keep the Metamorph in a separate class, since they cannot polymorph to human or demihuman forms -- only animal forms. Also, AFAIR their only appearance is in the outer plane where Five Coins for a Kingdom is set.

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Metamorphs first appeared in the D&D Master Set Rules. They appear as humans, but with pale white eyes and pointy ears. They can alter their shape, but only into that of various normal animals. They are sometimes confused with Lycanthropes. We also learn that:
D&D Master Set wrote:Metamorphs have good relations with elves, halflings, and druids, but avoid most human settlements. They live in strongholds similar to
those of demi-humans, but with many differences, adapted to their special abilities. Most are Chaotic (though Neutral and Lawful ones
are possible), but few are noticeably evil or good.
One thing that struck me were that Metamorphs are fairly similar to the Shifter race of Eberron. We have earlier discussed how Goliaths, another 3E race is similar to that of Mystara's Stalwarts. I wonder if we could find further ideas for Metamorphs by looking at the Shifters? Has anyone created Metamorphs as a playable BECMI race? They are only 3HD creatures so it would not seem too crazy to allow them for players.

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Re: Metamorphs: The Shifters of Mystara?

Post by NPCDave » Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:00 pm

How do shifters in Eberron work?

Metamorphs can shapeshift into so many forms it is almost, but not quite limitless. Are shifters like that or do they have a fixed form they can shift into?

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Re: Metamorphs: The Shifters of Mystara?

Post by agathokles » Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:02 pm

AFAIK, Shifters are essentially "powered down lycanthropes" -- mostly to make them playable in 4e. They have animal features, which become more evident when their racial powers are activated.

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Re: Metamorphs: The Shifters of Mystara?

Post by LibraryLass » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:38 am

I think metamorphs are more like hengeyokai than Shifters...

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Re: Metamorphs: The Shifters of Mystara?

Post by agathokles » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:54 am

Indeed, except that Metamorph are more versatile in their shapechanging.
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Re: Metamorphs: The Shifters of Mystara?

Post by Havard » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:21 am

LibraryLass wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:38 am
I think metamorphs are more like hengeyokai than Shifters...
Thread necromancy!

I like the comparison to the hengeokai. Perhaps this suggests Metamorphs are more prevalent in Ethengar, Ochalea, Sind etc?

I think they could make for a great pc race if powered down a bit...

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Re: Metamorphs: The Shifters of Mystara?

Post by Sturm » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:32 am

IMO Metamorph fits perfectly with Outer Planes Fairy Folks.
The hengeokai instead could simply be another name for Oriental pookas.

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