Brennus File 17: Shifters

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Depending on how broadly one is willing to define, the Shifter classification (which coincides but is not completely encompassed by the Morphing rating) is the single most common type of power there is, outnumbering even Espers two to one, if not more so.

To understand why, one must understand the nature of Shifters. In simple terms:

A Shifter is a metahuman capable of changing their physical state.

This encompasses both shapeshifters and numerous other kinds of powers, which will be enumerated later in this document.

An important distinction, which will be touched upon later, goes to One-Time Shifters, metahumans whose shape changes exactly once, during their manifestation, and thereafter remains constant. While one may consider that to not be a dedicated power, nor worthy of the ‘Shifter’ label, there are certain common elements that justify it being included in this document.

Furthermore, there is a large number of metahumans who have Shifting as a required secondary ability to support or enable their main power, or to protect themselves from the effects of their own power (such as a fire manipulator whose body has adapted to be all but immune to heat, or a metahuman with aquatic powers being able to grow gills). These may often come to be from Origins which have little or even nothing at all in common with the kind of factors which normally lead to Shifter powers.

***

Common Origins

Almost all forms of Shifting powers come from Origins which involve an issue with form or image, be it physical and mental.

The physical ones are the most simple and tend to produce the most straightforward Shifter powers: imagine a girl, trapped in a burning building, slowly being consumed by flames; a man lost in the desert, slowly dying of thirst. Another who falls off a boat in a storm, going under the waves and drowning. A researcher in Antarctica whose base was destroyed by a storm, lost in the cold as she freezes to death. Or turn it around: a man has spent his whole life training to lift weights, against all derision for such a barbaric, backwards hobby until he, finally, wins the World Championship for Strongmen, manifesting upon receiving validation that, yes, his form is truly exceptional.

On the other side, there are mental triggers; in the age of body image issues, these often play a role in Origins, leading to the vast number of Physique powers amongst metahumans, usually as a lesser aspect of the ability (interestingly, there are about as many male as female Physique-powered metahumans out there, in spite of common cliches). Such are the single most common type of One-Time Shifters, and perhaps the most common power type of all.

On a more extreme level, severe mental pressure relating to one’s identity can result in some rather disturbing Shifter powers. A feeling of entrapment, relating often to one’s body, can also result in a Shifter power, or at least a Shifter element attached to other powers. Imagine a boy who’s bullied daily at school due to being overweight, having cruel pranks played on him that continually embarrass and humiliate him, until he’s pushed too far; a young girl tries to live up to her late mother’s image, only to always fall short, particularly in the looks department, seeing herself as far uglier than her mother (whether or not that is true is irrelevant to the example), until one particularly painful reminder that she’s just not as pretty as her mother was that makes her snap. A man was born to a purpose, raised to fulfill it, saddled with restrictions which bind him to the will of another; his whole life is just one, long series of reminders that he belongs to someone else, and he snaps, manifesting in a moment of weakness after being reminded by someone or something that he’s merely a plaything of a greater being.

***

Many Forms

Physique/Adonis
The most simple and common type of Shifter, and a One-Time Shifter at that, and also perhaps the single most commonly appearing power, these are abilities which permanently and lastingly improve and change the recipients’ body, usually to adhere to their beauty ideals (though they also at times come with a twist – it is not unheard of that a person may have their sex changed in this way). Like all One-Time Shifters, these variations can not be negated, dampened or enhanced, as they appear to be permanent, viable modifications to one’s biology.

Chimaera
While technically a subset of the Physique type, Chimaera’s can get strange enough that they deserve being listed separately. A Chimaera appears to be an inversion or carricature of the Adonis, a person whose manifestation has left them twisted, often to the point of being truly inhuman in body. It is particularly common for drug-related Origins (or those involving the incipient metahuman’s own death) to create Chimaeras, though they are far from the only causes and, in fact, a Chimaera trait may appear completely on its own with no clear reason why, appended to another power.

Transformers
Another very common type of Shifter, the Transformer has a basic, often plain human form and can switch into a single (or sometimes several related but distinct) form(s), often with powers which are only available in their alternate form.

Kimotas
A partially tongue-in-cheek subclass of Transformers, Kimotas need some manner of trigger in order to transform, be it a ‘magic word’, a particular substance or anything like that.

Darwins
These shifters do not (or do not entirely) control their morphing, but can morph in a variety of ways based on outside influence (be it environmental, or otherwise). Often crosses over into the Meta-rating.

Modals
The most common type of free-form shifters, these metahumans can shift within certain limitations, but are bound to these, such as a shifter who can take on any animal form, or who can take on any form but it’s always made of concrete.

Toolboxes
Less restrained than Modals, Toolboxes have a collection of options which they can mix and match at will. Depending on which options they have available, they can be incredibly versatile and even edge into a Meta-rating.

Freeforms
Can take any shape, with only minor limitations. Extremely dangerous.

***

Traits

Generally speaking, there are certain traits by which Shifters can be classified and rated. These are:

Consistency
Do they shift into a single fixed, or a variety of fixed forms, or can they come up with new ones on the fly (even if it’s just repurposing the same basic elements)?

Permanence
Are their changes permanent, or maintained by their power? If the former, than nullifying their power will only prevent them from changing away from their current shape, not force them to change into their ‘true’ form, as whichever form they’re currently in, is their true form. One-Time Shifters are always permanent.

Mass-Limitation
Is the Shifter limited to a fixed mass (usually that of their true form) or can they increase or decrease it? If so, within what limits (there is no known unlimited case).

Sympathy
A strange term, admittedly, but it refers to a very important trait – if one form of the Shifter is harmed, does that harm (wounds, power effects, etc) carry over to their other form(s) as they shift? Can make a huge difference in a fight.

Forms Per Minute (fpM)
The term for a Shifter’s speed – how often can they change their form within one minute? The record-holder here is definitely Hemming with the ability to assume hundreds of wholly distinct forms (usually assumed to be about 300 in a single minute).

***

A Common Issue

There is an issue, an ailment, a problem, which haunts many a Shifter, particularly those with multiple forms or the ability to assume any form; a problem so common it has its own scientific name that is widely used in literature dealing with powers, particulary the psychological toll they take on metahumans.

Shifter Dissociation.

Many a Shifter suffers due to feeling that their body is not their own anymore, or that it no longer truly represents their identity, due to changing so drastically whenever they use their powers. This can range from a slight unease whenever they are reminded of the fact to full-blown suicidal depression and has claimed many a life (for a variety of reasons) throughout metahuman history.

It is most common in more powerful Shifters and often appears so immediately and so powerfully that it may be considered, at times, to be a full-blown Power Derangement, though it is not always so, and most often develops over time as a Shifter comprehends the extent of their powers.

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for this, and no standard treatment has yet been invented, due to the highly individualistic nature of every single Metahuman’s power as well as their individual issues and personalities playing into this particular disorder.

***

Exemplary Shifters

  • Kraquok: One of the oldest and most famous of Shifters, Kraquok is a founding member of the Dark Five and one of the few people to repeatedly fight Lady Light and walk away (though he’s never actually defeated her). He also happens to be Severance’s archenemy and rival, an enmity that stretches back to the early 1920’s. His power allows him to grow in size and power the more damage he takes, growing faster proportional to the amount of damage he took relative to his size at the time, with no known hard limit. As he grows, he eventually develops the ability to use the Mortal Coil, one of the most lethal attacks known, a breath weapon which ages anything it touches at a frightening rate – it is all but always lethal to take even a glancing hit from it, as it is a true temporal effect, and so cuts through most defenses. His only limitation seems to be that, as he grows larger, attacks which previously caused great harm cause less and less so, and once he stops taking a sufficient amount of damage, he not only stops growing but also begins to shrink again.
  • Severance: While most of his abilities are unknown, one that is known is that he is capable of contorting and deforming his body to a ridiculous extreme, to the point where he can actually fold himself into a briefcase, for example, or squeeze himself through the gap between a door and the floor.
  • Bakeneko: Aimi’s power allows her to assemble any form she wants within the limits of her own mass out of a toolbox of options she gains through her power scanning nearby living beings (animals or plants). She ‘assembles’ a form out of several options offered to her by her power and then shifts into it and can potentially take on any form that could possibly be assembled out of pieces of all living beings, though she can not change her mass (though she can compress or stretch it, if need be, within limits).
  • Ares VII: Possibly the member of the Olympians who most closely matches his namesake both in personality and power, Ares is a brute of a man, both literally and figuratively; his power allows him to absorb non-living material in order to transform into an armoured, heavily armed form which closely resembles a warrior in arms, growing larger, denses and generally more powerful the more material he absorbs, though he can only absorb one kind of solid material at a time (he prefers steel).
  • Dionysus: The original (and current) Dionysus is a grab-bag if there ever was one, with one of his powers being the ability to take on any human or animal shape, though only one at a time. He likes to get very naughty with it.
  • Dolphin Blue: A current member of Japan’s Okinawa Sentai team, Dolphin Blue has the power to transform his body into a semi-fluid state, reshape it, then solidify into this new form. He is limited by both his total mass and the amount of time it takes to do so (several minutes per change).
  • Chrysalis: A woman or girl of unknown origin (even their original sex is unknown, though she identifies as a female now), Crysalis is a mercenary villain with the ability to spin a cocoon around herself, going into a kind of incubation period during which she designs a new shape, which she then takes on before bursting out of her namesake chrysalis. It takes hours to change form and she appears to be limited to organic ones, but she can vary her size widely (ranging from cat-size to building-size) and take on very eldritch forms.
  • Hemming: Probably the most powerful, likely the most dangerous and definitely the most evil Shifter known, Hemming is the founder and leader of the Savage Six and generally considered to be one of the single most reviled humans to ever live, rivalling if not surpassing even Weisswald. He is a monstrously powerful Shifter, capable of taking on any form he can imagine, be it organic, non-organic, solid, fluid or even gaseous. He can decrease his mass down to that of a very small mouse, or increase it to the size of a very large elephant, if not more so. He is capable of taking hundreds of forms within a single minute, morphing so fast he often eschews normal movement in favour of simply shifting himself forward, which allows him to move at super-sonic speeds. He can recreate simple technology (he’s been known to masquerade as kitchen appliances, cars, weapons; though whether he can actually be functional or merely takes on said appearance is a different matter) and adapt his body to counter anything thrown at him, meaning that most attacks will only work once or twice before he gets used to it. Being able to shift at very nearly the speed of thought (and he thinks very fast), he is effectively less of a Shifter and more of a mobile, super-fast damage effect that adapts to any resistance he meets. And that’s his lesser power, as both he and those in the know consider his Super-Intelligence to be his most dangerous ability.
    He has never been beaten and never failed to kill a target he actually went after, save for one. Pound for pound, he’s the one member of the Savage Six you least want to face in combat and anyone who knows him claims that he lacks any true weaknesses. He is also considered the benchmark against which all other Shifters are measured, as his abilities are unprecedented and unsurpassed.

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87 thoughts on “Brennus File 17: Shifters

  1. Yay, I’ve been hoping for this Brennus file! Thank you!

    DIdn’t expect Physique to be included, but I’m game. Does this mean that Vasiliki got a Physique rating because she’s comfortable with being hot? 😛

    Anybody who thinks men don’t have body image issues isn’t paying attention.

    …can transgender metahumans change their physical sex upon manifestation? (welp, nevermind answered right below.) That’s pretty commonly described as a feeling of being trapped in your own body. I’m sure I’m not the only one here who empathizes with the bullying example, too.

    Would a meta who’s mostly attractive, but with one or two inhuman features (like being a giant, or unusually colored skin and hair, etc.) still be considered an Adonis?

    You say they’re often plain, but can a Transformer have a Physique rating in their “normal” form? Even if only at the “Rank Zero” that Amy mentioned once in story?

    Never heard of Kimota, an anime thing? Magical Girls, I’m guessing? Heh, I had an idea for something like that who’d hate being compared to them.

    Damn right, Freeforms would be extremely dangerous. That’s basically the same as a power shifter…

    Sympathy is very interesting indeed… if you can fully heal just by changing back and forth, that’s pretty daunting.

    Hemming probably holds a LOT of records here.

    Shifter Dissociation… well, Aimi sure doesn’t suffer from that, does she? Like I mentioned earlier, shifting could also be a cure for body dysmorphia, couldn’t it? Yeesh. Superhumans committing suicide is pretty damn bleak. Wait, does this mean that people in-setting are aware that Power Derangements are an actual Thing?

    Could Kraquok survive, and become ginormous from, an attack that totally disintegrates him, like DiL or a nuclear bomb? Or would that bypass his power and remain an instakill?

    Yep, Hemming is just as terrifying as I thought from prior descriptions. One thing I’ve been wondering… where does his name come from? A process of folding steel, taking up pant legs, or verbal hesitation (“to hem and haw”) doesn’t really seem to have much to do with shapeshifting or super intelligence.

    • “Never heard of Kimota, an anime thing? Magical Girls, I’m guessing? Heh, I had an idea for something like that who’d hate being compared to them.”

      It is a reference to Marvelman/Miracleman(the character has two names due to legal issues)which is an old school Shazam analogue that was revamped into something great by Alan Moore in the eighties, Moore’s run being followed by Neil gaiman before stopping due to aforementionned legal issues. Kimota was the word Miracleman/marvelman used to shift from his baseline self to his superpowred form.

  2. Very informative file about one of my favorite kinds of powers(the others being time powers, space ones and of course super intelligence)I like the Miracleman reference as well as the concept of shifting related disorder…man one must wonder if it played a role in Hemming becoming what he is, perhaps not but still the guy is THE shapeshifter so it might be a possibility.

    Intel on Severence very nice, and I have a theory on how he does his shifting:guy is warping space aroung his own body in order to controt it however he wants(yes I still think he is some kind of spacetime manipulator)

    The sympathy aspect is truly a crucial thing, althought I would think that most upper tier shifters have no sympathy between their forms as it is easier to shift from hurt human to healthy human than shifting from human to eldrich abomination.

    another thing i was wondering: I seem to recall that it was mentionned that Hemming by himself is no real threat to Lady Light(might be worng on that one but still)I was wondering if this stemmed from Lady Light’s powers or her in deph knowledge about powers. Also is Hemming dating someone ? i mean if Atrocity of all people can have a signifiant other why wouldn’t he ?

    Can we get more intel on Dionysos pretty please with sugar on top ?

    • I remember the comment and I have to apologize there, as I was very inaccurate. What I meant to say, back then, was that he’s never posed a threat to her, because he does his level best never to run into her in the first place. While he could put up a hard fight, he believes he would eventually lose, and so avoids that particular confrontation.

      What do you want to know about Dionysos?

      • Ah, that’s clearer then because quite frankly I was wondering how someone with Hemming’s powerset was not a threat to her because man this guy is quite something. I mean superintellect and shifting on that level with most likely no sympathy between forms whatsoever…I can see what can be done with that and I was hard pressed to see how this could be a non threat to either the Dark or Lady Light. Still you have not said anything about if he had someone or not.

        Whatver you want to share, personnality and full list of powers would be welcome also you know how you said you would make interludes in Europe in the future ? I think a greek one might be a good idea with the number of their metahumans you mentioned.

        Question: Is it possible for a shifter to have a varying limit in mass IE someone with a power like Aimihime(not the exact same but similar)but with the ability to consume stuff(food and other)to convert into more raw mass to be used for shifting and thus the mass limit of said shifter’s forms would depend on how much extra mass they have in their reserve.

        Other question, this one crosses both meta and shifter categories: Would growing a Shapeshifting power be any different for Madeleine and the other who can do that too be any different from growing another type of power ?

        Oh and I note you did not comment on my hypothesis on Severence oh well, and most of all thanks for the answers.

      • Hemming has no lover, girlfriend, boyfriend or any kind of romantic or sexual relationship.

        That kind of shifter is possible, yes. Aimihime is technically of that type; she’s constantly eating food to increase her weight, so she’ll have more mass to work with.

        It would not really be different from any other power for a power cultivator.

        Dionysus is a cape with multiple powers. One is his shapeshifting ability. Another is the ability to turn invisible (though he can’t use all his powers while invisible), to read and emotions, and control and transmute liquids – one of his favourite combat tactics is to take a firehose or a spring’s water, transmute the water into Ouzo or some other alcoholic beverage and forcibly get his enemies so drunk they can’t fight anymore. He can also control the liquids inside plants, and thus manipulate plants, though he can’t reach into humans or animals the same way. Also, a quirk of his biology lets him get himself piss-drunk with no ill effects, including no loss of control, as well as being able to end his drunkenness at will.

        Perhaps unsurprisingly, he’s VERY popular at parties.

        No one is quite sure how or why he has so many different, unrelated powers. He claims not to remember his origin, as it happened while he was drunk out of his mind.

        He’s one of the Olympian’s most popular members and his sheer versatility makes him quite the feared figure amongst Greece’s criminal underworld; funnily enough though, he’s quite popular among them as well, mostly because he throws REALLY GOOD parties.

        He’s the first Olympian to bear the name of Dionysus and has served as such since he was seventeen – over twenty years now.

        His identity is public (Nikoleos Manopoulos) and he’s married to a Greek fashion model and film actress. They have two children, a twelve-year-old daughter and an eight-year-old son. He’s very close with his children and actually spent six years (the first three of his daughter’s life and the first three of his son’s) staying at home and taking care of them fulltime before returning to duty.

      • Okay, I was only wondering about that because of the Bombshell that Atrocity of all people had someone as I did not expect it at all, at least it seems I read Hemming right on that aspect.

        Ah good to know and point about Aimihime being one, though the scale I am thinking of is bigger than just increasing her weight.

        Ah, i was wondering about that since a shapeshifting power entails physical change so I thought it might have been more complicated…now if cultivation works on Gadgeteer powers and you grow multiple ones…yeah but that’s not the right place to dicsuss that i think.

        Thank you for the very detailed information, he seems like the kind of character that would be nice to read about and he is very versatile and dangerous and fun too, in short veery interesting and fits his chosen name perhaps more so than Ares IMHO.

        Now two things about him:

        – Can he do poissons or acid and other deadly chemicals with his liquid transmutation ?

        – “to read and emotions” is there the word control missing in this or is it the”and”that should not be there ?

      • Okay, thanks for the answer.

        Makes sense since he is a hero however the fact that he can gives him options if needed.

        Are there Gadgeteer/shapeshifters out there(IE are good in a field of tech and can thus make very advance stuff but only by shifting parts of themselves into those devices).?

      • Huh. Yeah, that’s damn versatile. Are… are we absolutely certain he’s not actually *the* Dionysus?

      • Hmmm…Well such a Gadgeteer/Shifter must be quite the thing(depending of his speciality of course)since him being able to shift into any of the tech he has in mind makes such a person utterly dangerous as it removes one of the Gadgeteeers’ problems ie not being able to pack things for everything, Gadgetshifter could just form the gear he needs on the fly.

        The vs question(just because) Weisswald vs Hemming ? Who wins ?

      • Such a gadgeteer would likely have a limit on how many different things he can form at a time, or other limitations. Might well be a case of “better at first but loses out in the long run” in comparison to normal gadgeteers.

        That fight? Assuming both are going all out to begin with, and both have equal knowledge about the other, Weisswald wins.

      • Ah, okay thanks for the clarification.

        Well I guess being able to spawn lots of very dangerous things along with other personnal power will do that, plus I suspect or friendly german tyrant to also have a form of enhanced intellect so…, also is there a reason you keep the lid on Weisswald’s full power set ?

        As for Hemming I think people can thanks whatever deity they believe in and some of the ones made up by the various Contrivers that he cannot do energy forms on the top of everything else.

        Also question from the left field: How does sympathy work for Phasma ? If her ethereal(let’s call it that)form was somehow hurt would it carry on to her human self or not ? Could she heal herself if her human form is hurt by changing and then go back to human ?

      • Can’t he do energy forms or does he simply keep it as an ace in the hole? Food for thought.

        She doesn’t heal while shifting from one form to another, though being in ghost form “freezes” her human form. so if, say, she takes a deadly wound, she could turn into ghost form so as to stay alive until she can get to some professional medical help. If her ghost form was sufficiently damaged by an applicable power, it’d force her to turn human again and prevent her from transforming again for a while.

      • The scariest thing about this is that it would totally be in character for him to keep such an ace in the hole, though if he CAN do energy forms too and given his shifting speeds I do not see how Lady Light(secret knowleddge of powers not included)could take the guy.

        Now I AM certain he has an ace in the hole, in fact I always suspected that he could either shift even faster that his”official”speed(as in 500 and 600 if he pushes it instead of 300 to 400) or that he can shift his mass more than is known(ie as small as an insect as big as a building). That is if his trump card is related to his shapeshifting at all.

        Thank you for the precisions about Phasma’s power(for some reason I like the character quite a bit and hope to see more of her soon, but then you said there would be more of her at one point)so she is not one of the most broken substrate of the shifter clad: those who can use their shifting as a free healing, still the freezing of the human form is still a very handy feature. Speaking of things having to do with hands, in the event of her ethereal form being hurt could Phasma still do her thing with her right hand ?

        Oh and another power related question: can there be Spawners/Shapeshifters hybrids ?

      • Any kind of hybrid is possible, other than Gadgeteer/Contriver. Any.

        Yes, she can, though every time she used it would slow down her ghost form’s recovery.

        Re: Hemming’s ace in the hole: feel free to defecate in your pants.

      • Okay, thanks for that answer: everything possible aside from Gadgeteer/Contriver ? Noted.

        Okay so she would not be completly defenseless if she was attacked during her recovery period, true she could defend herself with regular weapons if needed but still. the sheer variety of effects her power can induce is great good thing she just went for mercenary and not full blown hired assasin.

        I am going to fetch my brown pants first if you don’t mind, then we shall see. seriously though any of those I mentioned are worth of that, and that’s not even thinking about him also doing energy forms*shudder*.

        One of the worst would be if what he was hidning was a spawner rating which gives him the ability to make duplicates and form a hive mind but I highly doubt that’s it. That being said Hemming hiding a power he posseses on the top of his intellect and Shifting is disturbingly plausible.

      • “Hemming has no lover, girlfriend, boyfriend or any kind of romantic or sexual relationship.”
        But surely he/she has had plenty of those. They just didnt work out… well. (Probably used to be a regular on dating sites.)

  3. Hate to be pushy, but Ties, did you see my questions in my longer post up above? If there’s a reason for not answering them, that’s cool.

    • Huh, sorry. I totally missed that comment 😦

      Transgenders can change their physical sex, yes. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the transgender community has a very positive attitude, in general, towards metahumans.

      One can be both Adonis and Chimaera at once. Beauty is very subjective.

      Yes, they can. Not “Rank Zero” though, that’s a different thing.

      Miracleman is great, though I have the sneaking suspicion that Moore was either high or else severely depressed when he wrote the later parts, as things get DARK. the final two or three issues are perhaps the most violent comics I’ve ever read.

      People are aware of Derangements, yes. Lots of research goes into them. At least in the western world.

      Complete disintegration would not even slow him down, only make him grow all the bigger, all the faster.

      It’s a name derived from the Old Norse “Hemr” meaning “shape”, and may originally have referred to people believed to be shapechangers.

      • Wait a sec here, Kraqok could survive the complete disintegration of his whole body ? Damn…this guy is even more unkillable than I thought. Are there other people around who could survive something like that ?

      • Is Hemming part of that club ? Gloomy MIGHT be and then there would most likely be Kochei as well as Queen Madeleine and Diantha once her power is active as for other well I dunno.

      • Kraquok is cool. He is one of my faves. His powerset is super simple and easy to understand but is still extremely formidable.

      • Fascinating, all of that. Thanks for the reply! Yeah, Kraquok is scary… you tend to assume that a big enough gun/stick will put anybody down, but not always the case…

        And I really didn’t expect people to be aware that Derangements are a thing. I assumed it was more like the Great Curse in Exalted, where insanity was just seen as a natural outgrowth of lessened humanity. Is there any kind of social stigma to having them?

  4. I previously wrote a very long comment about a potential shifter. I don’t see it. It must have not sent. Maybe my internet service cut off at the last moment.

    I see a lot of what I wrote already addressed, so I shall be brief. For some time I have immagined what the ultimate class 13 shifter would be able to do.

    A few things that come to mind are dramatic density manipulation along with size manipulation. Taking hemming as the example, this would allow him to assume his smallest form while at the same time assuming his greatest possible mass and vise versa.

    Beyond the ability to turn into a sapient mist, the ultimate shifter would also be able to assume not only singular forms, but as many and as varied forms as desired while maintaining the absolute mass and volume limits. This would give the class 13 shifter a necessary spawner rating as well as a rather high meta rating.

    So part of the dramatic shifting would be the ability to do absurd tings like compose oneself entirely out of electrons or ones mass-to-energy equivalent in light form.

    Becomming a giant swarm of bees would also be an option.

    And perhaps the most terrifying ability would be the theoretically limitless ability to grow.

    Such a shifter could grow exponentially larger by becomming a large multitude of bacteria or fungi. Such organisms that grow at great speed, like bamboo, would also be an option made availabe to this shifter.

    This being could potentially have a body as large as a continent and be almost completely indistinguishable from any other land mass in minerals, fauna, or flora. Even the air could comprise this shifter’s body. And at a moment’s notice, this shifter could gather all their mass into a singular form to perform a focused attack on a target.

    I don’t think the current story really has room for such a superpower tbh, but maybe somewhere down the line this ultimate shifter might manifest his or her powers due to some great tradgedy and become the new record-breaking standard for shifters.

      • Could the dogking create such a creature/meta using his power? A continent is smaller than terraforming an entire planet. And could the Sleeper produce something like this if he is injected with the right samples?

      • The Dogking might be capable of it though i expect it would be a Bitch to get it right.

        Now if Emyr could do that I would tend to say yes as the guy created a whole civilisation with their own tech and powers on the top of terraforming a whole planet.

        I will also say that I find it weird that the Tenants would not allow such power while there is someone like the Godking around.

      • How and why Emyr came to be will be revealed in the future… maybe.

        Do notice though that he was only able to express the most extreme applications of power on an empty planet, not Earth.

      • How would the srewards keep the power from growing to that degree? Do they program hard limits into certain powers that can grow over time? Like that one secretary girl that generates one clone every year, if somebody used a time warp power on her right around her birthday to rapidly spawn a large quantity of clones, would that method of growth eventually stop working because the stewards programed a hard limit on her clone quantity? As with Kraquock, normally his power should let him grow infinitely as long as there is a sufficient damage source. Now I am guessing his power is programmed to stop his growth at some point before he becomes moon-sized.

      • I’m not gonna go into steward-mechanics or the deeper power-mechanics.

        Kraquok has a soft limit. The bigger he is, the less damage he takes. Attacks that used to blast away half his body only nick him, because of pure size and increased toughness. Even unblockable attacks become less, relative to his mass, due to his increase in size.

        Given enough damage, he could grow big enough to swallow the sun. But there’s nothing on Earth that can cause that kind of damage consistently enough to make him grow that big.

      • Nothing on earth…well Emyr is not around anymore and even when he was he was chilling on Mars so…Although had he to fight Kraqok I am sure he could simply instakill the guy somehow just as I am sure Bree could.

        Now we have established that a body as large as continent being in use is not possible but that something like that could happen at a smaller scale, but what about a shifter capable of assimilating such a mass but only able to have access to the mass of a big building at most at once in the form they control but able to respawn from the excess mass if the controlled mass, the body, is annihilated ?(said excess mass being either stored in a pocket dimension provided by the power or at a place/places the shifter molded as a base/bases)

      • WOAH! I did not expect that. (in regards to Kraquok) I guess his soft limit is strong enough that the stewards don’t really need to worry about him growing too ridiculous in size, but just the fact that he has that potenial is amazing.

        I am guessing the shifter power I described earlier would have a similar soft limit that would eventually require consuming mass at an almost impossible rate in order to increase by a single kilogram. Seems like diminishing returns is the name of the game.

        It is interesting that from the extradimensional mass question, mass is not the limiting factor, but it is instead “wieldable mass” And it is especially interesting that gadgeteers don’t seem to have these limits. They seem to be able to build as much as they want without any limit except time, money, and material.

      • Well to play devi’s advocate here if the Gadegeteer allies with a guy whose power is to transmute stuff into whatever is needed this might very well shave off the money and material limits leaving on the time, hell even them the time would be greatly reduced as said Gadgeteer would not have to waster time to look for materials or even gather too much money beyond what they would need for food, housing etc.

    • Really long comments sometimes don’t work. Always copy them into a word document first and repost them if they don’t appear after a few minutes.

    • Ok, now that we have brought up Dogking, that needs to become canon. I don’t care if we never actually see the character in person. Let it be a background character. There just needs to be a dogking. It could be a passionate dog trainer that triggered from seeing one of the dogs he spent a long time training and rehabilitating getting abused by it’s owner. And so he manifests a power to become the ultimate ruler of canines with powers to prevent dogs from being abused like giving them invulnerability and super strength, etc. He would also naturally have a supernatural ability to comunicate with dogs and perhaps even assume a dog-based beast-man form.

      Every world needs a Dogking. And no, this would not be plagiarising from Worm. This is very different. The dogs would not mutate. They would simply gain power. And the Dogking would also gain power, perhaps even a power that grows as more dogs join the pack.

      You can work out the details. Just please please please let Dogking be a thing. It could even be a mentally unstable homeless person that coincidentally survives every major battle wandering in the background with his dog. He could call himself the dogking.

      • Eh not a bad idea, though I would suggest a permanent beastman dog Chimera form instead of a shifting ability, said form would be complete with enhanced hearing and sense of smell associated with Dogs of course, as for the powers well I would say that for every dog in his pack(meaning dogs he enpowers) the guy would greater strength, durability and some regeneration.

      • Perhaps he would be empowered to the same degree as the dogs. So his power would increase additively. Sharing senses with the dogs would also be a great addition to this particular powerset.

        I like the idea of a permanent dog-beastman form. But what species?

        I vote CORGI! I want a corgi beastman! Pitbull is also a good option.

      • God, please no. I have so many better character ideas. I don’t want to waste this opportunity on something like a dogking.

        PS: And btw, should the dogking exist he would be a chiwawa-chimera.

      • I must admit Tibetan Mastiffs have a very high cute factor as well. I would not object to such a fluffy wonder.

      • Yup, and as the image I posted a link to shows they can be fucking terrifying when angry, which is the perfect combination: fluffy and cute under normal circumstances but when ticked off…yeah.

    • Big enough to swallow the sun… damn, and here I was about to ask what would happen if someone launched him into the sun, or a black hole or something, heh.

      • provided someone manged that and if it is in earth’s sun he is thrown in ? very bad things for the solar system’s inhabitants. As for him being thrown into a Blackhole I have no idea.

  5. As long as we are talking potential powers, I remember a villain I came up with.

    As a human, his power was basically telekinesis, with the ability manifesting in the form controlling patches of darkness. This could be used to emulate real matter. The ability required more focus the brighter the area was, which was his weakness.

    Later, he learned to heal himself by putting the pieces back together, and doing something to make them meld. Once he was confident in the healing, he would deliberately tear himself into tiny pieces, suspended in the grip of his power. This acted like a changer/breaker state, but he couldn’t survive being in it for long.

    By the end, he was something like a ghost, using his power to manifest a body. Since I mention him, here, he obviously changed that body’s shape. A lot. As in, what he considers his true form is something other people would describe as an eldritch abomination (Imagine Pride from FMA crossed with a sea anemone).

  6. I am going to guess Hemming’s secret ability is that he can turn into any gadget Atrocity has ever made wiithin his mass limits. He can probably turn into several macian gadgets as well as long as he had a moment of contact with them. I would bet atrocity has even used his body to create things she could not do with her regular equipment. She would only need to make the design, and the super intelligent hemming could simply memorize the design and become the gadget.

    • That would be rather powerful indeed and very pants shitting and worthy of keeping as an ace in the hole, besides it works well with a theory I have abnout Hemming’s power: That Hemming, like Aimihime learns things to turn into, be it materials people whatever that is made out of matter(including plasma and metamaterials) but that unlike Aimihime Hemming has to consciously analyse things in order for him to be capable to turn into them and create custom forms, and that’s where his enhanced intellect comes to play and why he has it on the top of his shifting.

      So if I am right about that and given that gadgeteering is real science, which means Gadgets can be analysed and understood, then Hemming’s intellect should be capable of doing so and alllow him to copy said gadgets as well as mundane tech. Another thing to consider: the internet is Rife with Gadgeteer shcematics which means that if he can indeed copy Gadgeteer tech and do so only looking at the schematics for some time(as I do not think the understanding is instant, at least not for gadgets) then he would have acces to more than Atrocity’s and some of Macian’s stuff. Of course he would only be able to copy what has already been done and would not be capable of creating new gadgets by himself.

  7. Power combinations were briefly mentioned, and I have decided on my theoretical favourite power conbo. Journeyman and Tachyon. The two ultimate movement powers! One has maximum mobility through space and time and the other has maximum mobility between and around spaces and times. The combination of the two would be stupidly powerful. This has nothing to do with anything except that those would be my first choices for a power combo.

    That’s all.

    • Are you sure? Having two similar powers would probably make one of them redundant.And you would probably also get both their side effects. Journeyman can’t influence history too much and Tachyon is either batshit crazy or has to/wants to influence history in a specific way.
      If I had to pick two powers I would probably go for one of these combinations:

      Macro scale telepathy and volume restricted telekinesis:
      Telepathy on a city wide scale, but limited to information about general surroundings of people, a rough idea of their current emotions and enough control to make them ignore a particular person in a crowd. The telepathy grows stronger the fewer people are effected (true mind control if the user is connected to only one other person) but at the same time the user becomes claustrophobic and paranoid.
      The second power would be the ability to have telekinetic control over about a total of one cubic meter of mater and space. Moving objects that are bigger than one cubic meter would require the user to limit his power to parts of the object that are strong enough to support the rest. The extreme of this power would be the ability to pull apart space in two areas to create a wormhole/portal.

      Modular systems gadgeteering and gadget based hive intelligency:
      Name sums it up pretty well. A broad spectrum gadgeteering theme combined with the ability to put pieces of the users soul into gadgets with enough preocessing power. Heterodyning these two powers would allow the user to survive even if his original body is destroyed.

      Modular systems gadgeteering and teleportation
      Again a broad spectrum gadgeteering theme. In theory it would allow the user to work with pretty much anything as long as some parts are modular or there is a way to connect the new gadget to some other gadget.
      The teleportation would allow the user to teleport mass from one location to another. The longer the user remains motionless before teleporting, the more mass he can teleport and the farther away he can go.
      If you combine these two abilities you could build your gadgets on earth and then teleport them up in orbit for safe keeping. During S-level threats you could then have the required gadgets drop in from above. Could be really powerful if said meta could come up with a central control system that will automatically deploy the best countermeasures for a given threat and adapt to the current situation.
      And teleportation could also be useful to ähem acquire building materials.
      (the outer space treaty might make it impossible for someone with this combo to work for any government though…)

      To be honest this is more a parody of a character than a serious idea. Mad Scientist Contriver and super intelligence:
      An IT student that suddenly developed ridiculously overpowered contriver powers. At the same time he also manifested some form of super intelligence that kept him sane and made it nearly impossible to properly use said contriver powers.
      He scrapped the idea of becoming an hero after he had to explain to an entire restaurant how his fork actually was a camouflaged probability gun and his spoon a nanotech based force field generator. After this very embarrassing incident he gave up on finding a way to make his two powers somehow work together and decided he would just become an ordinary software engineer relying purely on his super intelligence.
      Currently he spends most of his time developing non contrived cyber weapons, hoping nobody else notices how strange the university network has been behaving, ever since he handed in his essay on machine learning. At least not before he can somehow nuke the entire network.
      (Turns out writing essays when you are drunk is a baaad idea, even if you have super intelligence. Especially so if you are also a contriver)

      • Cool ideas, though I have to reiterate – it’s not possible for a person to heterodyne their powers, even if they have more than one. You need at least TWO PEOPLE, not TWO POWERS to do it.

        If I had to pick a power, it’d be gadgeteering with a focus on transdimensional technology

      • Well if we are speaking combination powers I had some ideas myself:

        A Diantha like power with teleportation; the user activate their power and this creates an expanding zone in which they can accelerate, slow down or rewind time for everyone and everything within the zone, they could do so selectively IE accelerating himself and slowing the others etc…Their rewind does NOT effect people’s minds also it does not go further than when the power got activated, he can also teleport anyone and anything in the zone anywhere else in the zone or to a destination he can picture in his mind but he cannot teleport anything from outside the zone inside nor can they teleport things or people apart or into other things, also people trying to enter their zone from the outside would be teleported to the other side of the zone without ever entering it(this goes for attacks too). The only way to enter the zone is to be their at the power’s activation or to be caught in the expansion.

        Teleportation, Duplication, Protector like protective field: The user can visualize any destination they know enough or within their line of sight and a duplicate of themselves complete with all the gear they have on themselves will appear there, the user shares a hivemind with their duplicates as well as perceptions. The Maximum number of duplicates is 12 if one more is made then the oldest duplicate and his gear dispappears(or the less healthy one if one of the duplicates is sick or wounded), the new duplicates always apepear fully healthy even if created by a wounded duplicate(as their is no longer a real original).The Duplicates and thus the user have a sort of invisible field around them that makes them very strong, fast and extremely durable(to hurt them you would have to break out medium to high end damage powers, ship main guns or weird power effects)the filed covers them and their clothes and gear(up to a very big backpack). This power is weak to telepathy as a skilled telepath could hack the connection used for the hivemind rather easily to enter the users mind and do whatever they want.

        Hemming’s power combined with Mold’s power, the power to become nearly anything or change other things in you line of sight as you like plus super intelligence. The canon powers work well for this but I also have my version of such a power:

        The user can turn into whatever he likes within the mass limit between the Chrysler Building and a common fly(this includes multiple bodies as long as the mass limit is respected) as well as change the matter(living or not)they have been in physical contact with(that means that if the user turned into air and you breathed at least some them in or just came into contact with them they could turn you into whatever they want)The changes are automatically permanent on non living materials but need some concentration to be made permanent on living beings. That power works on metahumans but only when they are weakened in some way(ie sick or wonded or under the influence of another power)this makes the user a very valued healer during crisis as by spreading into gazeous form he can touch and thus heal multiple people at once and his power is also very valuable to fix collateral damage and the user is not squishy at all and can particiapte in the fight…but if they were to be a vilain they would be dire threat.

      • Someone asked you if it’s possible for one person to heterodyne two powers and a couple of other questions a while ago and you just answered with yes. I was confused. Let’s just replace “heterodyne” with “combine”.

        And really? Wanderer? I at least tried to NOT break the setting. What you are describing is Journeyman, without the side effects and a couple of other gadgets for additional firepower. There is no way this will not make you op.

        Ok, now that I think about it modular systems gadgeteering and teleportation is also way to op. There is just no way that I wouldn’t exploit the hell out of these powers. I would probably use the teleportation to study as many other gadgets as possible so that I can integrate them into my orbital defense system. Going one on one against a S-level threat à la Armsmaster just sounds like too much fun.

        @paradigm I really like the “Diantha like power with teleportation”-idea. Are there any limits on the size of the zone? Or could you just stay somewhere long enough to control an entire city? That sounds like a Hannibal Storm v2.0 just waiting to happen.

      • Hannibal Storm is amused by your puny power idea.

        That question was, iirc, an “either or” question, so I answered “yes” so as not to actually give an answer.

      • Well concerning the dimensional Gadgeteer true he would lack the backlash of Journeyman’s power but then I would think that the materials and power requirements(at least the start for that last one hell even for the first one)would be rather hard to find and very steep.

        An entire city is indeed possible if the user stays in the same area long enough with their power active but that would be the high end limit(when I say city think New York AT MOST) but that would entail keeping the power active for days non stop which can be mentally draining.

        Well Tieshaunn i was not trying to break the setting those are power ideas I got nothing more, besides not much is known about the Hannibal storm if you are willing to volonteer information on it…

        Speaking of Heterodyning, can some members of the Six do it ?

      • There were quite a few questions that brought up heterodyning lately. You always answer(ed) with yes. No matter how many other questions were asked at the same time. And I think you once mentioned that Madeleine can somehow heterodyne her powers. Might be wrong about that.

        And Hannibal Storm is a sentient being? That kinda scares me. I am really looking forward to that prison break.

    • Hmm…I see, so you previously said that Hemming and Atrocity collaborated in the creation of gadgets, or more to the point that Hemming assisted Atrocity(by the way I am still schoked that Atrocity is actually dating someone that is not part of the six…do the other know that person ?) thanks to his super intelligence but that’s not heterodyning and I do not see his super intelligence meshing with her Precog in that way, Mindfuck is a mindfucked zombie, Seanna’s power does not seem to mesh with his or any of the others,Heretic can make space pockets and such things amongst other tricks I am sure we haven’t seen yet and Pristine has a filed making her impervious to anything even things she might want.

      So the only combination I can see would be Hemming/Heretic as they not only manifested together at the same time from the same thing but also becuse they are the only ones whose power sets I can see meshing at that level since I just do not see how the other possible pairs could heterodyne, of course their is the possibility that I am wrong about Atrocity and Hemming.

      Now that being said if Mindfuck was still truly alive and himself I could see other combinations(hmmm…now that I think about it does Mindfuck’s current state really prevent him from heterodyning ?)

      Now Macian and Amy are both true second Gen Metahumans and if I recall correctly true second gens powers come from being around frequently heterodyning metahumans and having a strong emotional link to said metahumans(given how Macian and Amy must have hated/hate the Six i think that qualifies)also that their powers when manifesting are not the same but take after their “parent” powers I would say Hemming IS one of the heterodyners(see Macian’s intelligence and ability to analyse stuff as well as the speed at which he makes his stuff and Amy’s minimal Physique/shifter power)but then the other component is in doubt as Macian’s power would indicate Atrocity while Amy’s is a strong hint for Mindfuck…Then again her second point of view could come from Atrocity’s precog somehow. But then there is a third possibility: Heretic, with Macian’s gadgeteer power being the closest gadgeteer equivalent to Heretic’s speciality combined with Hemming’s intellect and Amy’s second point of view and telepathy/telekinesis coming from Heretic’s means to see from his pocket dimension and affecting things in the regular world/his other dimensions from there through the body everyone thinks is his real body(ie the telepathy being inspired by the “mechanism”used to control the fake body and the telekinesis by the one used to affect the worlds throguh the power coming from said fake body).

      @Ansraer: While the Hannibal storm is rather interesting I more pumped about the idea of seeing the Living Trinity in action than the storm plus I am sure there are other very interesting characters in this prison we know nothing about.

      As for a breakout, well i could see this more as some Sovjet troops making sure the prisoners go out in order for them to wreck havok behind PATO lines. or alternatively i could see some idiot thinking it’s a good idea to use the monsters in the war and free them, something which would totally not backfire at all.

      • The S6 have been abducting villains all over the world lately. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they were forming a team to somehow destroy Tartarus Star. Think about it: global chaos and destruction. Who else would be insane enough to even want that?

        I doubt the Sovjets would want that. They must know that right now with most of their government and heroes dead they would suffer more from all the monsters up there than anyone else. I think that they don’t even care about PATO that much. The situation at the border appears to be somewhat stable and right now they are probably busy dealing with resistance groups in their own country. And even if the would want to bring down Tartarus Star, could they even pull it of? That thing is probably better secured than the Protectorate.

      • Good points, I could see the Six doing something like that with a team villains controlled by Atrocity’s tech as for who else could want that ? Maybe just Maybe our dear friends the Gefährten after all they enabled Weisswald…

        And the Sovejets, well it depends: If it is a bunch that is totally endoctrinated and see their beloved union being taken down by a combination of the internal rebellion and the PATO forces they might well decide that if it goes down then they will arrange for everyone else to suffer too hence freeing the pandora star inmates, farfetched ? Maybe, depends on how things go for the Union in the futre but conditionned people deprived of what they have been conditionned to believe in tend to become less than stable.

      • @tieshaunn I guessed as much considering how Hannibal Storm managed to put the hurt on freaking DiL…
        Btw, are there any telepaths that can stabilize other people’s personalities? (other than Ember)

        @Paradigm
        Yeah, thats the only scenario I can imagine that would lead to a team of sovjets attempting to destroy tartarus star. But I am not sure if a small group of extremists could even get the resources necessary to attack such a well protected place.

        And wegen den Gefährten…I think that they will be busy for quite a while trying to get their hands on a certain member of the rebellion in the Sovjet Union. Attacking an international prison would only draw unwanted attention. (Absolutely everyone would be out for them)
        Maybe, just maybe, some of them would consider doing it if Weisswald’s remains were stored up there. His diary would probably also draw them out.

      • Yes, there are.

        I’ve said it before, but the Gefährten don’t necessarily have a great interest in capturing Baba Yaga, even once they find out about her full ability.

      • @Tieshaunn: Yes that’s quite obvious given that the storm managed to fight Bree without getting destroyed and what it took to take it down after it was weakened by her, still I am more interested in seeing the trinity even though the Storm is more powerful than they are, also I’ll point out that the Hannibal Storm’s capture is a testament to how powerful Severence is as he was among the still conscious ones with The Dark, Lady Light and her Majesty Queen Madeleine the First of Australia and assorted Islands.

        As for other telepath capable to stabilise personnalities well this is a very interesting bits as such telepaths are very powerful, I would guess they are not well known and keep themselves hidden yes ?

        BTW are there other well known free form shifter aside from Hemming ?

        And could Atrocity’s power have done something to cure Prisca(disregarding who she is, just if her power could have enabled to create something to help or not)?

        PS: I also note you did not comment on my speculating on the Six’s heterodyning or Hemming’s and Heretic’s manifestations…Very interesting.

        @Ansraer: Well firstly given the Sovjet metahuman numbers that group of extremists might be larger than you might think, also people with nothing to lose and no fear of death whatsoever and driven only by spite can acomplish quite a lot, sometimes more than thought possible.

        As for the Gefährten, well they’ll already have everyone on their head once the intel on their base gets out and how the monsters that attacked multiple cities and killed loads of people all over the world came from there, not to mention that since the Sleeper got injected more blood there is a good chance that other monsters, perhaps even worse will pop up(just imagine what will come from Basil and Amanda’s blood, because I am sure THOSE will work to create Metakaiju)and that’s not taking into account what they did by Cloning Diantha to use her as a weapon, when Lady Light learns this she will want them dead then once she managed it she will find someone to bring them back just to kill them again, oh and then there is The Dark’s slight disapproval of Immanuel, pretty sure that knowing the Gefährten are his organization(or that he has a great role in it if he is not the founder)will motivate him to get his syndicate to go after them wether he manages to kill him at the base or not. So at that point attacking an international prison won’t make things that much worse for them.

        Not to mention that they already help someone breaching the protectorate which is known since Boudica told Lady Light, so then pulling the same and offering “help” to a group of nutjobs already willing to attack the prison to free some inmates would not be that farfetched IMHO.

  8. “Ares VII:”
    I wonder what material properties are relevant for him. I imagine yield strength and metal fatigue might not be all that important as he moves (read deforms himself). Good scores in impact tests might be desirable. If someone puts a dent in him is that a problem?

    “Hemming: *snip* He has never been beaten and never failed to kill a target he actually went after, save for one.”
    Whos the one?

    • The tougher the metal, the thougher he is. The heavier, the stronger. But it also makes him slower (if he uses light-weight metals like, say, aluminium, he becomes a low-level speedster, while something like tungsten basically turns him into a mighty glacier).

      Journeyman.

      • You actually answered that question? How the hell did Journeyman and Hemming even meet? Did Journeyman just start teleporting people out of their pocket dimension?

      • Why the hell did Hemming go after Journeyman and how is he even still around ?because Journeyman does not fuck around, mah might have to do with the guy’s limitation.

        I mean Hemming is quite terrifying but Journeyman seems to be in a league of own.

  9. Something just occured to me: Hemming and Heretic manifested together at the same time when they took the ascendant’s drug so since this happened the question is are they connected the same way Dearheart, Chayot, Slough and Jabberwocky or even more so like the Living Trinity.

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