*Please note, you must apply and be pre-approved for these abilities before being allowed to roleplay them.
Just like changing up a weapon, changing a character’s appearance can shift how a roleplay scene plays out. From wearing a simple mask to growing into a monstrous beast, this element of roleplay can bring mystery, horror, excitement and more to an unfolding plot. However, there are a some common, different types of appearance change that players should be aware of:
- Illusion: An appearance change that, through magic or similar means, tricks others into seeing what isn’t truly there. The character’s physical body does not change, even though it may appear so to others.
(Note: This is a visual appearance change. Tricking the senses such as touch - feeling something that isn’t there - or smell - making an aroma be perceived as a different odor - are enchantments and similar manipulative magic.)
- Shapeshift: An appearance change where, through magic or similar means, the body physically changes.
(All shapeshifts are limited to a maximum of 2 shifts per day. Special circumstances, such as sim-wide event effects, are not counted towards this. Check with a mentor or an admin if you need help!)
- Glamour: A minor form of illusion where, through magic or similar means, a small appearance change is made, such as hair or eye color. Glamours do not drastically change the appearance of the character, such as facial structure or body shape. A good eye or someone who knows the individual well will be able to see through a person’s glamour.
(Note: Glamour is sometimes used to describe fae/fairy magic overall in various sources; for this article, we are using it to describe this illusion.)
Magic or supernatural means are, of course, not the only way to change a character’s appearance: cosmetics and mundane (non-magical) disguises can also be used. Before jumping to a glamour or a full shift, be sure to consider methods like dying your character’s hair, wearing a mask, or donning a big cloak to hide your features. Using these methods can also create new roleplay opportunities, such as visiting the Bath House for your hair or the Crafters for the cloak.
If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to a Mentor or Admin.
Who can do what?
All character races -- playable, standard agreement, and can use all forms of appearance change (provided it makes sense and does not break rules) except physical shapeshifting. Glamours and illusions, like any other magic, can be used provided the character can use magic (in terms of IC skill/source, energy, and focus).
Some playable races (listed on the Race Rules page) do have pre-defined forms that they can take beyond their natural/base form, such as sirens taking on a human form. Standard agreement and custom application characters (customs are no longer accepted, this refers to past custom application characters ONLY) can use physical shapeshifting if it’s been specifically listed and agreed upon in their forms.
All races may temporarily shapeshift through appropriate roleplayed means, such as acquiring a magic potion or having a curse placed upon them during a sim-wide event. However, permanent shapeshifting - such as a magical ability to change form or a non-standard race change - is not allowed without custom application or approval from the Admin Team. (A standard race change would be like a roleplay where a human gets infected with sirenium or lycanthropy or becomes possessed by a demon.)
No appearance change of any kind, however, may alter any strength, weakness or ability within agreements or applications.
|Character Race Type||Glamours||Illusions||Physical Shapeshifting|
|Pre-approved||√||√||√ (with shapeshifter application)|
√ = Clear for use!
▲ = Caution! Check to make sure this makes sense and you have RP means for it.
★ = Hold up! Check the Race Rules and any forms you’ve agreed to, then make sure it makes sense and you have RP means for it.
What can be used together?
Most types of appearance change can be used together IF it makes sense. Glamours and illusions cannot be ‘layered’ on top of each other, nor can physical shapeshifts.
Good combination examples:
- A siren shifted into a human form wears a physical disguise.
- A caster puts an illusion on a warform lycan to make them appear like a rabbit.
- A human cursed into the form of an orc wears an illusion enchantment to appear normal during the day.
Bad combination examples:
- A warform lycan self-casts an illusion upon themselves. (Warform lycans don’t have the focus in this shifted form to cast such magic.)
- A bastet witchdoctor casts a glamour upon themselves to make their fur permanently pink, no matter their form. (Goes against cartoony/unrealistic appearance rules.)
Other things to keep in mind:
- Physical shapeshifts cannot be layered on top of each other. By example, a siren in human form that has temporarily shapeshifted into an elf won’t revert to their human form if the elf shift fails-- they will go back to their base merfolk form.
- Illusions and glamours cannot be layered on top of each other. By example, an illusionist cannot go from the appearance of a dragon in full form to a warform lycan if the first illusion is broken-- their true form will be revealed, instead.
How Long do they Last?
|Minimum||Maximum||What can dispell or ‘break’ it?|
|Disguises & Cosmetics||NA||NA||
|Physical Shapeshifting||3 posts*||1 week*||
* The minimum and maximum length of time a character can stay in a physical shapeshifted form will vary depending on their race and the source of the shapeshift.
How Many Posts do they need?
|Minor Change||1 prep + 1 finalizing = 2 posts total||A skin color glamour created by an enchanted ring takes one post to activate, with the following post showing the appearance change (1 post for the spell, 2 posts total).|
|Moderate Change||2 prep + 1 finalizing = 3 posts total||An illusion spell that makes an orc appear like an elf takes one post for beginning the spell, one post for finishing the spell, and the following post showing complete appearance change (2 posts for the spell, 3 posts total).|
|Major Change||3 prep + 1 finalizing = 4 posts total||A full physical shapeshift brought on by innate power takes one post to begin the transformation, one post to continue the change, one post to finish the shift, and one post showing the complete shifted form (3 posts for the shapeshift, 4 posts total)|
What limitations and other things should I keep in mind?
- All appearances must conform to rules standards. Not sure what will work? Look over the playable races and standard agreements for ideas, then chat with a mentor!
- Temporary physical shapeshifts are just that: they’re limited in time and use. They can range in time from a few hours to a rough maximum of two weeks. The same temporary shift should not be used repeatedly in a short time frame. If you’d like your character to have a more regular or longer-lasting ability to shift, check out the playable races with shift abilities and the standards.
- Illusions and glamorous are tough to maintain and very often unusable on top of feral or wild-minded creatures. This is not only because they do not have the focus to self-cast these, but their actions are often in direct contrast to the illusion they are taking (and thus would cause a break by believability). By example, if a warform lycan is wearing an elf illusion-enchantment pendant or if an illusionist casts an elf illusion spell on them, they may look like an elf for a few posts, but their feral actions and invisible bulk will cause viewers to question and ultimately not believe what they are seeing, causing the magic to fall away.
- Watch out for having too many different appearances, especially magical or supernatural based, within a week! Playing too many distinctly separate looks for your character can cause OoC confusion (i.e., people think you are playing different characters) or OoC jadedness (i.e., players become too used to you changing your look to react). Basic changes - such as new clothes, make-up or hair styles - are completely fine to change at your leisure, of course!
- The information in this article is intended to help assist and enhance all players’ roleplay experience, and we ask that they are used in good form along with the rest of our sim rules. In the case of problems or concerns, please contact an Admin and we will do our best to resolve the issue.