Beyond The Veil
“Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.” – The Wolf Man, 1941.
What Is A Shapechanger?
In the world Beyond The Veil, many creatures can partially or totally change their shape. However, by mutual agreement the term “Shapechanger” is reserved for those who have been infected by some form of the magical virus that creates Were-animals: were-wolves, were-leopards, were-rats and several others. The virus is a symbiotic one which gives its host certain powers to protect itself: increased strength, resistance to damage and access to its own magical nature for other abilities. However, by its very nature the virus is tied to the phases of the Moon and most Weres, unless they are very powerful ones, find themselves uncontrollably shifting to their animal form at certain Moon phases.
So far, there are several types of Shapechanger known. Were-wolves and Were-rats are the most common (and the virus type the carry is the most easily transmitted), followed by various forms of Were-cat including leopards, lions and tigers. However, Were-bears, Were-hyenas, Were-cobras, Were-pythons, Were-jackals, Were-coyotes, Were-owls, Were-seals, Were-sharks and even Were-spiders have been encountered. each has a different Template and a different minimum points cost. It is possible to improve upon the basic template, including by buying off Disadvantages.
The virus that causes each were-form seems to be mutually incompatible with all others and with vampirism. Once you have one, it is highly unlikely that you will catch another. Only two “pan-weres”, people able to hold more than one kind of animal shape-shifting virus, have ever been documented. One was infected by the other and it is theorized this was a chance mutation of the virus. Only a few true vampire-shape shifters have ever existed, and all were made a very long time ago by the entity thought to be the very first vampire. Technomages theorize that the two viruses – vampire and shape shifter – may have a common origin and perhaps even a link to the Mage DNA that naturally occurs in some humans but that the various forms have diverged over millenia.