Author Topic: Blocks versus Shapeshifters  (Read 1334 times)

Offline blackstaff67

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Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« on: August 04, 2014, 11:47:16 AM »
Is it even possible and if yes, how can it be done?  Grapple seems counterintuitive, so I'm thinking a Maneuver to place the Aspect "Physically or Mentally stunned" is more appropriate.  Your thoughts?

If there's another thread that links to this, I'd appreciate it.

For the sake of argument, we'll assume it's voluntary shapeshifting.
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Offline Tedronai

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Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2014, 11:51:32 AM »
Given that there is no roll involved, I'm not sure how that would work.
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Offline JGray

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Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2014, 11:59:10 AM »
There's no roll in drawing a gun, either, but I think you could block that. Shapeshifting does require some amount of concentration generally. It can be disrupted.
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Offline bobjob

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Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2014, 03:07:13 PM »
Maybe a Transformation and Disruption maneuver and a FP to tag an appropriate aspect?

I dunno... I'm coming up dry for this one.
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Offline Baron Hazard

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Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2014, 03:56:42 PM »
It depends, as usual, on the narrative. Something like the naagloshi? Id say no, its too inherent to its nature, i cant think of a narrative way, so i wouldnt allow a mechanical one without magic. A newbie werewolf still has to focus on the spell, so definately.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2014, 04:07:22 PM by Baron Hazard »

Offline Haru

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Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2014, 05:05:36 PM »
Feels like it should be thaumaturgy. Something like what Harry did to the Loup Garou. Only you'd need the targets blood/hair to pull it off. An figure like Barbie or Ken, depending on the target could be used to symbolize the human form. Weave the targets hair into the dolls, smear the targets blood on the body, pour energy into it, and he should be forced to stay human for a while.

Mechanically, I would do this as a maneuver and then tag it for effect, so the target gets compelled to stay in human form.

And I agree with Baron Hazard, something like the naagloshi is going to be infinitely more difficult, since they don't really have a default form to lock them into.
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Offline Taran

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Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2014, 01:54:17 AM »
maybe an assessment on an appropriate aspect...then using that against them and paying a FP to invoke it.

For instance, if they are part fae, then putting an iron collar on them or sticking a nail in them and then invoking their High Concept, you could potentially prevent them from shifting.

Really depends on the shapeshifter. 

A block on all actions could work in the narrative sense...actually a maneuver would be more appropriate: see below:

If you somehow trap the shapeshifter (in shackles)  in a box - whatever.  But basically saying, "you can't shapeshift into a bear because the cage you are in is too small to fit your new size (like if they had hulking size.)

Or putting a very tight collar around their neck so when they shift, they'll strangle themselves.

It gets harder if they shift into a smaller form.


Offline Haru

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Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2014, 01:55:40 AM »
It gets harder if they shift into a smaller form.
In that case, you just let them shift and trap them in a jam jar. ;)
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Offline PatchR

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Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2014, 02:32:06 AM »
Could use some sort of magical cuffs, like we've seen cancel Wizard powers.
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Offline solbergb

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Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2014, 02:53:13 AM »
Mental or social blocks seem like they'd be more likely to work than physical ones.  That helps with the die roll issue...to overcome the block you need to use the right skills.

"Your muggle boss is looking right at you.  You probably don't want to Ghoul Out right now...."
(deception to create a distraction could overcome this block - as no supplemental action is needed to activate the SU powers no -1, but and hopefully your boss won't recognize the tie the slavering monster now present is wearing your tie).  This is a block.  The ghoul is free to do anything except turn into a ghoul, and it takes some kind of social skill to keep the muggle's attention on the ghoul to sustain the block.

Or you know...you want to remain in human form because you're all overcome by lust for that white court vampire that just ran his finger down your cheek...(this would normally be discipline, and if you want to shift into a potted plant that would be unlikely to be affected by lust powers in the same round, you'd need to take a -1).    This is more likely a maneuver given how the incite emotion powers work (they don't normally allow blocks) to put something like "humanity feels SO good" and use the free tag to compel against shifting.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 03:01:36 AM by solbergb »

Offline blackstaff67

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Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2014, 04:19:07 AM »
For clarification:  Assume target is lycanthropic or other were-type.  I'm starting to think something based on their Catch would be more appropriate.  My thanks to everyone who chimed in. 
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Offline Tedronai

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Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2014, 07:23:41 AM »
Mental or social blocks seem like they'd be more likely to work than physical ones.  That helps with the die roll issue...to overcome the block you need to use the right skills.

Blocks do not have a 'physical, mental, social' distinction of their own.
Blocks impede actions (which may or may not have such a distinction).
The only actions which cannot overcome a block are the actions that are not impeded by the block.

This is RAW.  Houserule as you will.
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Offline solbergb

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Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2014, 01:29:04 PM »
Blocks impede actions.

Shapeshifting is an action.  It can be blocked.

The die roll to overcome the block depends on the specifics of how the block is set up.

Eg, blocking movement with athletics usually requires athletics to overcome, but shapeshifting into mist will also do it without a roll.  Blocking movement with a wall of force likely requires might to overcome normally, but someone immune to magic might just walk through it. Blocking movement with Rapport to have a crowd of bystanders become very interested in you generally requires a social skill to defeat, assuming you care about your reputation in that situation...if you don't you can just push past them.  Nothing I said in my above post is a houserule.  A social block is shorthand a block set up because of the social situation, and usually requires a social skill to overcome it's meaningless if you don't care about that in the current scene.

With respect to a catch, it could set up a situation where an unusual skill allows a block, as Conviction can block a Red Court vampire when combined with a symbol of your faith.   It could also make a block automatically effective for an exchange, by compelling the high concept, via the fate point economy or free tags from prior declarations or assessments.   Usually though, presenting a critter with its catch makes it harder to stay in HUMAN form, their human guise slips if they fail discipline.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 01:47:49 PM by solbergb »

Offline solbergb

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Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2014, 02:40:14 PM »
>The only actions which cannot overcome a block are the actions that are not impeded by the block.

True, bypassing a block instead of overcoming it doesn't destroy the block.  It can make it irrelevant though.  I also think you are vastly underestimating the ways a block can be overcome.  The action is "to move" if the block is "against movement".  The skill used "to move" depends on the nature of the block.

So in my example above (Rapport block against movement) you could destroy the block with something like Intimidate (make the bystanders back off), Rapport (explain you're in a hurry without offending them), Presence (have the crowd move with you in an organized way, or somehow get them to cooperate based on who you are) or Deceit (create a distraction that is more interesting to the crowd than you).  Even Perform might get it done under some circumstances (moving through a dance floor, weaving the crowd into your performance and disrupting the block).  Resources too under some circumstances (toss money into a crowd of beggars, briefly dispersing them).  Contacts might allow someone in the crowd to rescue you with their own social skills.

Or if you were Molly you could leave an image of yourself to engage with the crowd while sneaking off under a veil.  The block's still there (crowd of people interested in image-Molly) but Molly bypassed it without destroying it, because she rendered it irrelevant to "invisible Molly".


All of the above assumes some kind of aspect where you care what the crowd thinks, and your reputation.  That kind of block on a Ghoul might be a discipline check to avoid feeding on the crowd instead of moving, for example, because of its Insatiable Hunger aspect instead of, say, Murphy's police lieutenant aspect vs a crowd of reporters.   A lot of blocks seem to tie into either scene aspects or personal aspects, and I'm not clear on whether they must be tagged/invoked to set up the block.  I think the way it works is a true compel gives the individual a fate point for automatically failing to move, where setting up a block doesn't use the fate economy but instead allows a chance to succeed, against an obstacle set by the block.

A more mundane example....critters bypass the zonewide version if Harry's shield spell all the time by going around or over it.  The shield spell is still there, blocking anyone else from moving through it, but it doesn't stop a critter that can fly over it from menacing those behind it.  If Harry explicitly makes it a bubble to prevent such tricks, then his own people are also affected by the block, or not protected by the block.

More typically Harry's shield is only a block against attacks, and doesn't impede movement of the enemy at all.  Either way though, the method to bring down the block is generally to attack it with sufficient force (might, or a physical attack of some kind) even though in one case it is blocking movement and in the other it is blocking attacks.   It's still a wall of magical force.  The means of defeating it are usually the same regardless of what you're blocking with it.   Harry's hand got burned when Mavra bypassed it with pure heat...the block was not overcome, it was irrelevant to Harry because his hand had to be close to the wall, but everybody else was safe, because the napalm that contained the heat was blocked successfully.  When Harry redefined the shield to include heat energy (he is, after all, a master of Fire as well as Spirit), it still had some gaps in the coverage to other exotic attacks because it is defined as a shield of force (eg, it won't help if the ground reaches up to grab him, or somebody sucks all the air out of the area of he has not explicitly set it up as a bubble).

« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 03:11:49 PM by solbergb »

Offline Tedronai

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Re: Blocks versus Shapeshifters
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2014, 03:11:41 PM »
None of the actions you describe to 'overcome' a block against movement actually effect physical movement at all.  And thus are not impeded by the block.  And thus cannot overcome it. (movement in a 'social' or 'mental' conflict is an issue far more abstract)

Barring the involvement of Aspects, any roll that would effect an action impeded by a Block can overcome that block.
A 'rapport block' against (physical) movement can be overcome by an Athletics Sprint action.  And almost nothing else.


I'll say it again:
Barring the involvement of Aspects, any roll that would effect an action impeded by a Block can overcome that block.

(Shapshifting into mist to overcome a block against movement without a roll almost definitely involves an Invocation-for Effect, probably following a Declaration.  Same with 'image-Molly', critters with flight, etc.)
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