The Shift Life (Changing Breeds + GMC)


  • Tutorialist

    So I've been thinking about doing a GMC based Changing Breeds game. I've got a list of animals that I'm going to allow, that someone will be making stats for. We're going to use the rules from War Against the Pure for form bonuses, but go with the other aspects/gifts/whatever from Changing Breeds.

    I will likely write up background stories / myths for each of the species myself, so it might be a little while before this becomes open to the general public.

    But since I've lost my Vienna-based grid, and my Fort Lauderdale-based grid, my options are /yet another Washington Game/, or make a new grid. If I do that later I'd need someone to help me do it, or it'll be a small one set up so it can be expanded by players as we go.

    If I do make a new grid -- anyone got suggestions on where to set it?

    Should be somewhere on a coast so that those few folks who want to play sea-shifters can.


  • Coder

    I know you're maybe hesitant about yet another Washington Game, but it seems like it'd still be a good setting for something like Changing Breeds. Particularly if you're looking to allow for sea-shifters.


  • Tutorialist

    That is true. I could possibly expand the forest grid a little bit more, and some of the harbor area. IDK, part of the benefit of using the original Port Angeles Grid is not having to do more grid work.


  • Pitcrew

    Why not Seattle? Everyone loves Seattle- For some godly reason. I'd love to dabble with it, and I am curious to see how CB's will be well adapted into 2nd Edition.


  • Tutorialist

    If I do Washington I might as well stick with the grid I've got. Unless someone is going to offer to build a Seattle grid for me.


  • Pitcrew

    What about the Carolinas? The outer banks of NC flood a lot and there is a lot of interesting culture to look at there. I also can't think of a game based out of there yet.


  • Tutorialist

    Anywhere in particular in the Carolinas? I could try, but I might need someone to help me with the grid. :<


  • Pitcrew

    I know Charlotte, NC and Rock Hill, SC. Actually Rock Hill is a college town, 2 exits from Charlotte and 1 exit from Carowinds (Six Flags). I know a bit of Charleston too. However, you could just make a fictional city around the area. That way, less rules lawyers.


  • Politics

    I'd suggest a place with as many topographical variations as possible; especially if you're allowing wildly different animals who are from different types of geography.


  • Tutorialist

    @Coin said:

    I'd suggest a place with as many topographical variations as possible; especially if you're allowing wildly different animals who are from different types of geography.

    I've had this suggestion before but I feel like if a place is used that the human side has a reason to be there, one doesn't have to worry too much about making sure there's a large stretch of plains for lions, etc. Shapeshifters are more than their animals. A werelion in lion form might not be the most comfortable in a forest, but if their human side has a reason to be in the area-- they'll put up with it.

    ETA: The only real exception I see to this is water-creatures. They /have/ to have a body of water to be in animal form.


  • Politics

    Yes and no, in my opinion. The reason should be really good? In general, though, I tend to want variety even without the animal element, just because variety in types of setting also foments more variety in the RP.


  • Tutorialist

    Well the Darkwater grid does have some variety to it. The weather is also usually pleasant (being temperate compared to the rest of the area). It has city, outskirts with farms / lavender fields, and a temperate rainforest on grid, as well as a waterfront, and a mountain section.

    I'm not really sure I could get more varied than that. It'd be weird to have a forest and a dessert, and/or a tropical rainforest, etc.


  • Politics

    That should be plenty of variation. I'm honestly more interested in what the origins of each species is going to be like. Often, the lack of purpose is what made the Changing Breeds so insipid. If it's going to be just a Changing Breeds game, you might want the different breeds/types to have different types of origins, too. Just a thought.


  • Tutorialist

    @Coin Oh, they will. The different breeds will have different thoughts on how they were created. Whether or not those are real, well...

    Some of the breeds will have somewhat 'samey' stats, but I'm going to try and make them each have unique or unique-ish origin stories.

    Housecat shifters might believe they are descendents of the familiar of a powerful sorcerer who bestowed a human form on their progenitor as a reward for faithful service, and thus to this day they tend to be obsessed with finding occult knowledge.

    While werebears might believe that they are the origins of the word 'berserker', being descendents of long forgotten fierce warriors that bonded with bear souls to gain their power. They might be compelled to try and reclaim their (believed) former glories.

    While octopus shapeshifters might believe that they originated from Akkorokamui, and have a propensity toward healing and bestowing wisdom. But be fickle creatures who are just as likely to do harm.


  • Politics

    Might be fun to let the players decide what sort of belief their characters take up; i.e. some werebears might think that, others might believe they descend from native American shamans, etc.


  • Tutorialist

    @Coin But that then leaves them pretty generic and defeats the purpose of customizing them, aside from giving them different stat bonuses.


  • Politics

    It only leaves them generic if the players don't have the wherewithal to give their characters depth beyond "rawr i r shepsheeftur". If you can establish some parameters for each type that are immutable and leave the rest in player hands, that can be a great source of RP when it comes to two shapeshifters that do the same thing discussing and debating why each think they are right, or comparing and contrasting their beliefs, trying to suss out the truth.


  • Pitcrew

    If you leave it too open ended- you might have your theme running away from you in some regard. If you want your game to have a nitty gritty feel....

    having a were bear convince everyone else that they are meant to be... the decedents of fairies who laid with humans might not be the sort of theme you want to go for in your crazy survival stories. More choice- and appending some ?'s to the end of those statements and orgin stories are not bad. Let players speculate- never spell things out... but you want to at least have a rigid outline and guideline as to orgins of your species-

    its better than the alternative- I think? Probably? Not that the crazy I'm not descended from badassmcbaddassery person who is also religious- and proselytizes, is a common character archetype in these games.


  • Politics

    These are, to me, separate things. You decide the theme of the game and you enforce it with plots and the setting; you spell out the theme's limits and boundaries and when a player is deviating too much you decide whether that's a reason to tap them on the shoulder or not.


  • Tutorialist

    That ... did not work very well on Darkwater The Original. It was one of the lessons learned. I'm not going to say that the origin stories are the Be All End All-- but they will be the "base guidelines" -- these are what people of that species typically believe about themselves. Some might not believe it, some might have their own ideas, some might not care.

    Just like there are some human beings who believe we were created by an All Power All Knowing God in 7-days. And there are those who believe they have empirical proof that we evolved over time. It is put this way because I'm not OOCly planning to argue with people over RL creationism vs evolution.

    But, actually, that's it exactly.

    Think of the origin stories as that. Creationism vs Evolution.

    Traditionalists believe X, but modern shapeshifters may believe Y.


  • Creator

    @Coin said:

    I'd suggest a place with as many topographical variations as possible; especially if you're allowing wildly different animals who are from different types of geography.

    Portland and/or Oregon in general (Eugene would also work). You've got mountains an hour away, ocean an hour and a half away in the opposite direction. If you go further east, you hit desert. Oregon has the widest biome range in the continental United States.

    The area is close enough to Washington that you could still reuse parts of your old descs from Darkwater. Of course, you'd probably end up with werebears in skinny jeans drinking PBR and talking about how they liked loci back before they sold out, when they had integrity. And then they'd all go to a Decemberists show. So, good with the bad.


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