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Author Topic: Druid Shapeshifter house rule  (Read 884 times)

RobRendell

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Druid Shapeshifter house rule
« on: May 19, 2016, 08:26:30 AM »
So, I've read the discussions here and here and here about the Druid's Shapeshifter ability, but none of them addressed the main problem I have with it, which is that the 7-9 result isn't really very interesting.

Most active moves have some concrete drawback on a 7-9 result which modifies the fiction in some interesting way, as well as the character achieving what they wanted.  Shapeshifter on the other hand simply gives the druid 2 hold instead of 3.  More passive moves like Spout Lore, Discern Realities or Defend have nothing bad happen on a 7-9, but since Shapeshifter's hold can be spent directly on active moves, the risks should be more commensurate with active moves like Hack and Slash or Defy Danger or Cast a Spell or Arcane Art (IMHO).  In fact, the justification for the druid being able to spend their hold to perform moves in their animal form without rolling is "they're spending saved-up successes, they've already risked failure when they rolled to shapeshift", so that risk should have some actual teeth.

So, I'm planning on house-ruling the 7-9 result for Shapeshifter in my game:

Quote
On a 7-9, hold 2, but also choose one:
  • You draw unwelcome attention or put yourself in a spot. The GM will tell you how.
  • The spirits tire of your demands; take -1 ongoing to Shapeshifter until you spend some time quietly communing with the land.
  • Your mind begins to slip; when you attempt to leave this form (for example when you are out of hold), you must defy the danger of forgetting yourself, remaining trapped in this form and acting as a natural animal for a while.

I quite like the first option of drawing unwelcome attention... as well as the more obvious ones of "the monsters decide you're the biggest threat" or whatever, possibilities abound around the fact that you're now an animal, and other animals will react accordingly.  A mob of smaller birds swooping your eagle form to drive you away from their nests aren't a real threat to you, but it's not like you're just going to kill them - you're a druid!  Not to mention the PepĂ© Le Pew-like possibilities of other animals of the same type treating you as a potential mate or rival (or just reacting to you invading their territory).

The second option is obviously an analogue to the similar option in the wizard's and cleric's Cast a Spell move.

The idea behind the last option is that you get to spend your hold and do what you want initially, but once you're out of hold you need to Defy Danger to remain in control of your rational mind and revert to your normal form.  It also covers the case of shifting directly from animal form to animal form, if druids can do that in that game.

Does the proposed house rule look like it would be workable and interesting?  Would anyone who has played a druid care to comment?
« Last Edit: May 19, 2016, 08:39:02 AM by RobRendell »

RobRendell

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Re: Druid Shapeshifter house rule
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2016, 03:02:25 AM »
Based on feedback on the G+ group, I've amended the third option.  The move doesn't need to spell out the mechanics ("defy the danger"), it just needs to present the fictional complication; the details can be worked out during play.

Quote
Change the 7-9 result: hold 2, but also choose one:
  • You draw unwelcome attention or put yourself in a spot. The GM will tell you how.
  • The spirits tire of your demands; take -1 ongoing to Shapeshifter until you spend some time quietly communing with the land.
  • The animal spirit takes a strong hold; you are not completely in control, and the spirit will take time or effort to dismiss when you try to leave this form.