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Animal Form

Superpower (Power)

EFFECT

Cost 6 JP
Activate 4 PP; full-round action
Sustain 1 PP per round/hour; free action
Range self; Power Resistance no

DESCRIPTION

The superhero can change into one particular animal. This is his base animal. It always has the same shape and the same markings. It can be from large- to small-sized. The superhero can turn into a mythical creature but he does not gain any of its supernatural abilities. For example, the superhero could turn into a unicorn, but it would just be a horse with a horn. The superhero cannot change into another humanoid form, like an elvaan or a hume with a different face. The superhero eats, rests, even sleeps in his Animal Form, consuming PPs the whole time, but if he is forcibly rendered unconscious or killed, he (or his corpse) reverts to his usual shape. Any part of his body separated from his animal body reverts to its original form.

While in his Animal Form, the superhero cannot talk unless the animal in question can talk (like a parrot) and despite his Dexterity score, if he doesn’t have hands, he cannot work complex machines or controls. For example, a tiger has Dexterity 15, but it does not have opposable thumbs. His Animal Form can be a primate, like a baboon, which would be able to use its hands as well if not better than the average person.

The superhero retains his Intelligence and Wisdom scores, but the physical abilities (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution) change to the average of that animal. His Intelligence score while in Animal Form is the average of his and the animal’s. The superhero also gains the animal’s natural abilities, including mode of locomotion (walk, fly, climb, swim) and attack sequences (claw/claw/bite, swoop-and-rake, or constriction, for example). The superhero gains the animal’s natural armor to AC. He does not gain any of the animal’s supernatural abilities, if any (petrification, breath weapon, energy drain, etc.), but if it has unusual abilities due to pure physiology, like a hawk’s keen sight or a spider’s ability to climb walls, the superhero does gain those. The superhero retains his levels, Hit Dice, Hit Points, and Power Points, as well as his Base Attack sequence and Saving Throws. His Animal Form’s ability scores can and do adjust any of the above stats, as applicable. For example, a Constitution score that is lower than his own can cause the superhero to lose total HPs, and a Dexterity that’s higher than his can add bonuses to his skill checks. The superhero retains his powers in his Animal Form, although some traits might be redundant, like Natural Weapons. Additional Appendages in his Animal Form appear as that animal’s limbs. For example, a tiger might have six legs, a sparrow might have four wings, etc. Extra limbs do not automatically become part of an animal’s natural attack sequence (because they’re not natural).

His equipment does not transform to match the new form. If his Animal Form doesn’t have hands, the superhero immediately drops his items. If the superhero has a limb that could conceivably hold an object, like a bird’s talons or a prehensile tail, the superhero can make a Reflex check, DC 12, to catch falling items. Any clothing or armor the superhero wears when he shifts into his Animal Form behaves as it would logically, either falling off, bursting at the seams, or just constricting his movement. Reverting to ordinary form does not cost PPs, but doing so is a full-round action.

The superhero can freely designate physical qualities of his new form, such as gender, color (hair, feathers, skin, shell, etc.), but only within the normal ranges for a creature of that type. The superhero cannot for example become a neon-blue tiger, for example, but he can choose to be either white or orange, and he can design or designate a particular stripe pattern. The basic dimensions of the animal are also at his discretion, but they have to be within the norms of the species. If the superhero wants to be a larger- or smaller-than-normal creature, he can take Increase or Decrease Size. The superhero can, in this case, activate both powers at once, although he still pays the full PP cost for both activations (i.e., he could shift into his Increased Size and his Animal Form in a single full-round action).

The superhero can take this power multiple times. Each time, he picks another base animal.

Enhancements and limitations
  • Enhancement: Class (Cost: 2 JP): The superhero can change into any animal located in his base Animal Form’s Class, either mammalian, avian, reptilian, aquatic, or insectoid. All other rules are unchanged, including size restrictions. The superhero must revert to his natural form in order to shift into a different Animal Form within his chosen Class. The superhero can take this enhancement multiple times. Each time, it applies to another Order. Prerequisite: The superhero must have the Family and Order enhancements to buy this enhancement.
  • Enhancement: Color Control (Cost: 1 JP): The superhero can now completely control the colors of the shapes he assumes. The superhero is no longer restricted to natural coloration. Thus, he can become a neon purple Bengal Tiger if he really wants to.
  • Enhancement: Costume Shifting (Cost: 2 JP): All his worn or carried equipment now shifts with him, into his Animal Form. This includes both his clothing and protective gear. His equipment does not shift to accommodate his new body. Clothing changes shape to accommodate his new form and it will either shrink or expand to fit any size difference between the superhero and the Animal Form. Protective gear similarly shifts to fit the superhero and continue to protect him. However, if it decreases in size, however, it loses some of its protective properties. If reduced to small size, it takes a -2 penalty. When reduced to tiny, it takes a -4. At diminutive or lower size, it has no bonus at all.
  • Enhancement: Easy Shifting (Cost: 1 JP): The superhero can now shift between Animal Forms without having to revert back to his normal shape first.
  • Enhancement: Family (Cost: 2 JP): The superhero can now shift into several species directly related to his chosen Animal Form. If his chosen form was a tiger, he could change into any one of the big cats. If it were the perigrin falcon, the superhero could change into all falcons. If it were a wolf spider, the superhero could change into any kind of poisonous spider. If it were a rattle snake, the superhero could change into any kind of poisonous snake. All other rules are unchanged, including size restrictions. The superhero must revert to his natural form in order to shift into a different Animal Form within his chosen Family. The superhero can take this enhancement multiple times. Each time, it applies to another base Animal Form.
  • Enhancement: Larger Animal (Cost: 2 JP per level): Activate: +1 PP per category; full-round action. Sustain: +1 PP per category round/10 minutes; free action. For every level of this enhancement, the superhero can shift one size category larger than his normal minimum. If the superhero is a medium-sized person, for example, the superhero can shift all the way up to huge. The activate and sustain costs are an additional 1 PP per size category, on top of the base cost for the power.
  • Enhancement: Move Action Shift (Cost: 2 JP): The superhero can now shift into his Animal Form as a move action.
  • Enhancement: Order (Cost: 2 JP): The superhero can change into a more generalized group of animals directly related to his Animal Form’s Family. For example, if his Family were falcons, the superhero could turn into any bird of prey. If it were spiders, the superhero could turn into any arachnids. If it were poisonous snakes, the superhero could turn into any kind of snake. All other rules are unchanged, including size restrictions. The superhero must revert to his natural form in order to shift into a different Animal Form within his chosen Order. The superhero can take this enhancement multiple times. Each time, it applies to another Family. Prerequisite: The superhero must have the Family enhancement to buy this enhancement.
  • Enhancement: Smaller Animal (Cost: 2 JP per level): Activate: +1 PP per category; full-round action. Sustain: +1 PP per category round/10 minutes; free action. For every level of this enhancement, the superhero can shift one size category smaller than his normal minimum. If the superhero is a medium-sized person, for example, the superhero can shift all the way down to tiny. The activate and sustain costs are an additional 1 PP per size category, on top of the base cost for the power.
  • Limitation: Shape Only (Value: 4 JP): When the superhero shift into his Animal Form, he assumes only the physical shape of it. The superhero retains his ordinary coloring. As a dog, for example, his fur would be the color of his hair. The superhero also does not gain any of the physical features and traits of his form, such as physical abilities, flight, or attack routines. This Limitation is not compatible with Color Control, though it is compatible with Costume Shifting, in which case the object the superhero shift into retains the colors of his clothing or costume.