This is my absolute favorite thing about shapeshifters. I mean sure, there’s plenty to be said for functional invisibility, the power of flight, and getting a boatload of hit points tacked onto your suddenly-furry butt. But when my dude is the one suffering from a case of polymorphamory, it’s the thrill of the doppelganger that I sign up for. I’m talking about those shenanigan-rich sessions where you actually impersonate another character, trying to fool your enemies into thinking that you’re the real Krarg Bloodnut, and that the feared war leader of Clan Killstuff is suddenly more interested in trading with the humie scum than murdering them.

“Me write new treatise. It called The Wealth of Nations. Here, let Krarg tell about invisible hand.”

My favorite example of this mess happened in an Exalted 2e game. It was a lunar game, and so everyone was shapeshifters. The target was this Immaculate temple, which was guilty of starving the province by forbidding worship of a local harvest god. The abbess was this badass kung-fu master, and she commanded an unassailable number of similarly badass kung fu masters.

“Ha-ha!” said I to myself. “They cannot attempt the usual frontal assault! Let’s see if they can get by on their wits!”

Oh boy did they.

First they went small, entering incognito mode as pigeons or stray cats. They all converged on the abbess’s office, and there they went very large very quickly. It’s hard to charge up your super kung-fu attack when you’re pounced out of nowhere by a room full of dinosaurs, and so the fight ended without an alarm. But then, once they’d packed the unconscious abbess into a crate and shipped her off to a distant corner of the empire, the tricksiest member of the group took on the form of the abbess herself.

Weeks passed, and the abbess took up drinking. More weeks passed, and she stopped bathing. Rumors began to circulate about this devout warrior-monk performing unnatural acts with ponies in her off hours, helped along by other players turning into strangely perfumed equines. And when at last it came time to add heresy to the repertoire, the other monks split into factions. Some defended the abbess, others tried to depose her, and a crazy kung fu civil war began. The monastery tore itself apart while the players sat back and watched. The plan was a smashing success. If memory serves, the last man standing left in disgust when an unusually well-coiffed pony snuggled up to the abbess amidst the piles of bodies.

So what about the rest of you guys? Have you ever enjoyed an impersonation caper? Did you get away with it, or were you spotted by suspicious enemies? Let’s hear all about your best shapeshifting shenanigans down in the comments!


ADD SOME NSFW TO YOUR FANTASY! If you’ve ever been curious about that Handbook of Erotic Fantasy banner down at the bottom of the page, then you should check out the “Quest Giver” reward level over on The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. Thrice a month you’ll get to see what the Handbook cast get up to when the lights go out. Adults only, 18+ years of age, etc. etc.