Shift ability

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The Shift ability allows Empaths to change the physical appearance of other adventurers, from hair and eye color to the shape of the nose, face, body, and other features. Highly skilled Empaths can even change a character from male to female or even make someone appear to be younger or older.

Contents

Requirements

Quest

Once you have attained 30th circle, the ability to Shift is gained by completing a quest. Details are considered an in-game secret, but you can find some hints if you read The Twist of Mindy and Jomay's Story. Then speak to the lutenist in the Crossing Temple.

Skills and Stats

Shifting relies heavily on Empathy, but Scholarship and Appraisal also play a role. Charisma doesn't affect which options are available to you when you type SHIFT HELP. Rather, it is a secondary factor that, like race, affects how difficult it is to perform the shift.

The difficulty of year shifts was reduced on June 18, 2010, when the new aging mechanics were released. Year shifts are now about as difficult as month shifts used to be.

I had the following skills when the age shift option opened: Empathy (457), Mechanical Lore (217), Scholarship (461), and Appraisal (372). -- Sarkranis
I had the following skills when the age shift option opened: Empathy (450), Mechanical Lore (243), Scholarship (339), and Appraisal (405). -- Sophieann Love 11.04.11
I had the following skills when the age shift option opened: Empathy (435), Mechanical Lore (288), Scholarship (365), and Appraisal (387). -- Parcere Subjectis 11.05.11
I had the following skills when the age shift option opened: Empathy(497), Mechanical Lore(255), Scholarship(353), and Appraisal(331). -- Mizehra 05.08.12
I had the following skills when the age shift option opened: Empathy(413), Mechanical Lore(304), Scholarship(421), and Appraisal(360). -- Alry Tyrrien 06.19.12

Legality

The guild's official stance is that shifting is dangerous and therefore forbidden. (That's why it's not taught by guildleaders.) Attempting to shift within the guild results in the Empath and the shiftee being forcibly removed.

At first, the guild merely tried to suppress this knowledge. However, as of 34 Shorka 406 (August 30, 2012), shifting is also illegal. Empaths who are caught shifting within a justice zone will be charged with the crime of forbidden practices. (You can use the JUSTICE command to check whether you're in a justice zone.)

See Shift Debacle for background information and a summary of the current conflict within the guild.

Usage

To initiate a shift, you must first have a diagnostic link with your target. Next, offer the shift to your subject by entering the appropriate command for the type of shift you wish to perform (see below). Your target must then accept the shift by entering ACCEPT TRANSFORM. Finally, you begin the shift by entering SHIFT (PLAYER).

Note that in The Fallen, confirmation steps aren't necessary, and you can change someone's appearance without his consent!

Since the various races are so physically different, many shift options are dependent on the race of your subject.

Both you and your subject will be completely immobilized while a shift is in progress, so pick a safe spot before starting. Shifting is also considered somewhat taboo among many of the Empath guild's leaders, and if you attempt a shift inside a guildhall, you will be expelled.

Although you are immobilized you can still speak (but not whisper).

Help Menu

  • SHIFT HELP - This help screen.
  • SHIFT HELP GENERAL - General information on the SHIFT System. (IC)
You think briefly back on the final conversation you had with Bruwster when he taught you to alter features...

"The Shift ability is a talent rooted back in the days before the fall of the Seven-Star Empire, allowing the user to alter the appearance of others. It is unknown why the ability cannot be done upon oneself directly. Previous Empaths who attempted to do so have failed miserably, causing themselves to experience sudden lashes of pain.

"To use it, the Empath must first establish an empathic link with the recipient. From there, the Empath needs to firmly picture what sort of metamorphosis they want to cause on the patient. Oddly enough, the simplest forms to picture and to enact are those that are closest to the Empath's own physique and not the ones closest to the patient's. The sole exception to this is realigning a person back to their original appearance...

"The Empath then creates a base mental link to the patient, thrusting the image into the mind. It is believed that Empaths used to be able to simply go from this step straight into altering features, but now the patient must also relax his or her body, mentally agreeing to the change, before the Empath can complete the final step and attempt the transformation."
  • SHIFT HELP SPECIAL - General information on the SHIFT System. (OOC)
The Shift skill is an ability that allows you to alter other players' physical appearances. As time goes on, other abilities will be introduced deriving from this base system.

To alter another player's appearance, you must first establish an Empathic link via TOUCH. After that, you can SHIFT the patient's appearance by SHIFT {PLAYER}{BODY AREA} {END RESULT}. The patient then has the option of accepting or refusing the Shift. (ACCEPT TRANSFORMATION). Finally, the Empath must SHIFT {player} to initiate the Shift process.

After successfully completing a Shift, the Empath will be unable to shift again for a set period of time. This duration depends upon the Empath's skills and the difficulty of the Shift.
  • SHIFT HELP ATTRIBUTE - Describes what body parts you are presently able to shift.
    • SHIFT HELP HAIR - Listing of possible HAIR shiftings.
    • SHIFT HELP EYES - Listing of possible EYE shiftings.
    • SHIFT HELP SKIN - Listing of possible SKIN shiftings.
    • SHIFT HELP FEATURES - Listing of possible FEATURE shiftings.
    • SHIFT HELP FACE - Listing of possible FACE shiftings.
    • SHIFT HELP NOSE - Listing of possible NOSE shiftings
    • SHIFT HELP BODY - Listing of possible BUILD and HEIGHT shiftings.
    • SHIFT HELP AGE - Listing of possible AGE shiftings.
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} {BODY AREA} {END RESULT} - Sends a shift link invitation to another player.
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} {BODY AREA} ORIGINAL - Causes the body part to return to its original form.
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} - If a shift link has been accepted, initiates the shift process.
  • SHIFT CANCEL - Prematurely ends a shift attempt.
  • SHIFT EVALUATE - Evaluates a shift in progress.

Features and Syntax

To make this section easier to read and to reduce the amount of redundant and contradictory information, some of the feature lists have been moved to Character Manager. (There are links below each command.) Those lists also indicate which features are available in the Character Manager and which are Shift-only.

The options absent, standard, and original don't appear verbatim in a character's description.

  • absent: feature is not mentioned in the description
  • standard: the default value for your race (often absent)
  • original: the value that the character had when he left the Character Manager (often inaccurate)

See also: Shift Options by Race


Hair

Gor'Togs and S'Kra Mur don't have hair.

  • SHIFT {PLAYER} BEARD {LONGER, SHORTER OR FREEZE}: affects beards and mustaches
The "freeze" option removes the facial hair line from the player's description. It only works when the player is clean shaven.
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} HAIR LENGTH {SHORTER OR LONGER}
    • Options: reduces or increases hair length by one step
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} HAIR COLOR {COLOR}
    • Options: grey, white, snow-white, silver, platinum, silver-gilt, flaxen, blonde, ash-blonde, honey, golden, amber, bright orange, red, ginger, red-gold, strawberry, auburn, russet, golden brown, mouse brown, light brown, brunette, brown, dark brown, black, blue-black, bright green, deep blue, deep purple, lavender, original
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} HAIR STREAK {COLOR}
    • Options: grey, white, snow-white, silver, platinum, silver-gilt, flaxen, blonde, ash-blonde, honey, golden, amber, bright orange, red, ginger, red-gold, strawberry, auburn, russet, golden brown, mouse brown, light brown, brunette, brown, dark brown, black, blue-black, bright green, deep blue, deep purple, lavender, standard, original, absent
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} HAIR TEXTURE {TEXTURE}
    • Options: fine, thick, curly, wavy, straight, peppered, original

Eyes

  • SHIFT {PLAYER} LEFT EYE {COLOR}
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} RIGHT EYE {COLOR}
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} BOTH EYES {COLOR}
    • Colors: blue, gold, crystal blue, sapphire, turquoise, blue-green, emerald, crystal green, moss-green, leaf-green, green, jade, hazel, topaz, milky blue, amber, ale-brown, brown, dark, dark brown, black, silver, milky white, steely grey, stormy grey, grey, blue-grey, violet, red, original, clear colored
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} EYES SHAPE {SHAPE}

Skin

  • SHIFT {PLAYER} SKIN/FUR/SCALES COLOR {COLOR}
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} PRIMARY MARKINGS {OPTION}: fur markings for Prydaen and Rakash
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} SECONDARY COLOR {COLOR}: face-masking for Prydaen and Rakash
    • Options: white, silver, grey, blonde, tan, ruddy, sable, silvered black, black, sepia, standard, original, absent
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} SECONDARY MARKINGS {MARKING}: for Prydaen
    • Options: stripes, spots, rosettes, marbling, standard, absent, original

Features

  • SHIFT {PLAYER} DIMPLES {PRESENT OR ABSENT}: having dimples alters emotes like SMILE
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} CHIN {PRESENT OR ABSENT}: cleft chin
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} TUFTED TAIL {PRESENT OR ABSENT}: for Prydaen
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} BELLY {PRESENT OR ABSENT}: gives the S'Kra Mur "a pale silver underbelly"
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} EAR SHAPE {SHAPE}: not available to S'Kra Mur
    • Options: slightly pointed ears, pointed ears, standard, original
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} TAIL SHAPE {SHAPE}: for S'Kra Mur, Prydaen, and Rakash
    • Options: slender tail, crooked tail, long tail, stubby tail, thick tail, kinked tail, straight tail, curving tail, original
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} DISTINGUISHING MARK {SHAPE}
    • Options: elegant arched eyebrows, heavy jowls, laugh lines, missing tooth, frown lines around her mouth, generous mouth, pouting lips, standard, absent, original

Face

  • SHIFT {PLAYER} FACE SHAPE {SHAPE}
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} TUFTED EARS {PRESENT OR ABSENT}: for Prydaen
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} HEAD CREST {PRESENT OR ABSENT}: gives the S'Kra Mur "a flexible ridged crest which follows the shape of his/her skull"

Nose

  • SHIFT {PLAYER} NOSE SHAPE {SHAPE}

Body

  • SHIFT {PLAYER} HEIGHT {SHORTER OR TALLER}
    • Options: reduces or increases height by one step
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} BUILD {SHAPE}: With the exception of "matronly," all builds are now available to both sexes.
    • Options: rotund, portly, pot-bellied, slender, emaciated, scrawny, thin, lean, wiry, plump, stout, matronly, lithe, lissome, athletic, brawny, burly, svelte, stocky, shapely, hefty, curvaceous, generous, fat, standard, original
  • SHIFT {PLAYER} GENDER {MALE OR FEMALE}

Age

  • SHIFT {PLAYER} AGE {A YEAR} {YOUNGER OR OLDER}: makes the character appear younger or older; the chronological age doesn't change

Bugs and Troubleshooting

The current shifting system has several problems and can be unpredictable. The most common errors are "There is a problem with the shifting system. Try again later." and "Character's appearance/features cannot be altered at this time." Should problems arise, try removing anything that alters or hides the characters appearance (both the Empath's and shiftee's) or any items that hide other items, including gweth or fluff hiders. Items in the character's hair and certain types of jewelry are often required to be removed, though some "floating" and atmospheric jewelry do not interfere with shifting. If removing the items alone does not help, re-logging will sometimes solve the problem.

The error "Character's appearance is too difficult to alter at this time. Perhaps another time?" can be caused by certain spells, such as Mantle of Flame, which are intended to protect the caster from pickpockets and harm. RELEASE the spell, and try again.

Shifting is very syntax-specific. A player must type a command exactly for it to work with very few exceptions. Due to the nature of different races and shifting options, this often leads to confusion for players in regards to what is available to whom.

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