New Ability: Chameleon

The ranger branch of Tse Gaiyan.
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Rias
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New Ability: Chameleon

Post by Rias » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:27 pm

Udemi rangers can now learn the Chameleon spell!
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Post by KianTheArcher » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:34 pm

Sounds AMAZING. Gonna work on getting it, soon. :D



EDITED to add


This ability IS amazing!
Last edited by KianTheArcher on Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Reynard » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:52 pm

Woah, nice. Glad I have an ability point in reserve.

edit: It just occured to me that I have trouble making sense of this as as Druidry spell. I mean, it's nature-y and all, but it seems to be more self-modification than asking-Gaea-for-aid.
Last edited by Reynard on Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Rias » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:07 pm

It's not obvious in the description I guess, but the spell involves you calling on nature to grant you the ability.
cast chameleon
You close your eyes a moment, calling on nature to grant you the ability to blend in with your surroundings.
A tingling sensation courses through your skin.
Your metallic armor prevents your spell from taking hold, the tingling sensation fading quickly.
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Post by KianTheArcher » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:09 pm

You're asking Gaea to help you blend in with your surroundings, by emulating something a natural creature can do. I'd say it's similar to what the Dwaedn Wyr can do with Hallowed Burial, given the Dwaedn and Faewn Wyr both have druidic backgrounds.
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Post by Reynard » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:57 pm

If I remember correctly from a previous conversation, what the Dwaedn Wyr do is like Druidry but with different spirits than Gaea. This feels like the kind of thing that the (hypothetical) Great Chameleon Spirit might do for you if you called on it.


....Maybe that's what this is? Using Druidry to call on an animal archetype that has allied itself with Udemi? That actually sounds pretty cool to me, but obviously it's up to Rias and Rithiel. (Particularly because of the doors it opens.)
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Post by Rias » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:03 pm

Well, Druidry is considered communicating with the Gaea, which is believed to be the ultimate creator/master of all (non-human) animal and plant life. Animal spirits would fall under that umbrella, even if they aren't the same entity as the Gaea.

That said, I think this is more the Gaea granting the Udemi an ability like that of an animal, not really involving any other entities, such as the Animal Spirits that the Dwaedn Wyr deal with.
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Post by KianTheArcher » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:10 pm

You aren't really beckoning to any hypothetical animal spirits with Druidry though, as far as I can tell. Rather, you are asking for aid directly from Nature/The World, and Nature/The World responds by going "Here you go, buddy. Here's a present".

That's what it seems like to me, at least. I was just comparing what the Dwaedn do with the actual Druidry abilities, and how the Chameleon spell (in my mind) is fitting for Druidry.


EDITED TO ADD

I was writing this and walked away from it, then posted it after Rias had posted his without realising Rias had posted.
Last edited by KianTheArcher on Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Reynard » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:26 pm

All the other Druidry spells "ask" Gaea to influence or manipulate plants or (non-human) animals. This one changes the body of a human to be more like an idealized animal. (Real chameleons don't blend in with their environment nearly as well as this power lets you.) Gaea doing this does not mesh with the feedback I have gotten in regards to Druidry.
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Post by Rias » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:36 pm

The fact that no previous druidry spells have directly effected the caster doesn't mean that it isn't possible. The Gaea can do more more than wiggle its fingers (plants) and put in a good word with its kids (animals) for you.
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Post by Rias » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:49 pm

Regarding the spell name, it was just named by people who observed its effects and thought, "Hey, that's kind of like what a chameleon can do!" It's not literally transfiguring the Udemi's skin to an exact copy a chameleon's.
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Post by KianTheArcher » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:50 pm

I don't see how it does not mesh with Druidry.

The Udemi is asking the Spirit of the Earth for aid. Gaea responds by creating a natural effect, although exaggerated. In real life, vines do not often wrap around a person's legs, pinning them in place.

It's, to me at least, less about calling upon specific totems and more about emulating the actual animals themselves. Where the Dwaedn fill themselves with the power of the Spirit Animals, the Udemi essentially go to Gaea and ask for aid. The Gaea goes "Well, there's hundreds of animals that can blend into their environment perfectly. I am going to help this Udemi by allowing them to blend into whatever environment they are currently in."

You are taking on the aspects of ALL of those animals simultaneously, through the power of Gaea. It's most likely called Chameleon because a person came up with that, instead of the Giant Spirit of Everything Alive saying "Hey. You are a chameleon now."
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Post by Reynard » Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:00 pm

[h]How does druidry work, anyway?[/h]
A: According to the majority of its practitioners, druidry is calling on the aid of the Gaea, the spirit of the planet itself, and asking for its aid and assistance in influencing and manipulating plants or animals, which the Gaea is believed to have ultimate control over. Some consider druidry to be respectfully asking favors of the Gaea, others consider it to be willfully manipulating the ambient energy of the Gaea to their own purposes - either way, it tends to work so long as the channeler doesn't end up being ultimately destructive to nature.
Is this explaining my confusion yet? Because I am confused. Is the description above outdated? Is there some way that Chameleon fits into the description that I am not seeing? If Druidry can be used to alter human bodies, then is it possible to use it to close wounds? Is it possible to alter the body of other people? If so, do they need to be willing? I don't want to be argumentative about this; I'm just really confused.
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Post by Zoiya » Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:02 pm

Humans are animals. Just sayin'.
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Post by Reynard » Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:07 pm

Well yeah, but it's been implied that the more intelligent (or more free-willed) something is, the less control that Gaea has over it. It's definitely been indicated that Gaea has no (or almost no) power over humans, and that Gaea's control over other animals is less direct or more tenuous than it is over plants.

edit: This actually invalidated some of my earlier ideas for spells.
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Post by KianTheArcher » Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:24 pm

Considering the FAQ has a single entry about Druidry and Gaea, I would just say that the entry is incomplete. Druidry is a VERY new magic comparatively. Gaea is, I imagine, an immensely powerful spirit. To say that Gaea is incapable of altering a human is a bit silly.

As for Udemi being able to heal, I very much doubt that will ever come into play just as an "exclusivity by design" thing. It isn't fair to the healing class if Druidry can actively heal in combat. And Druidry, as far as I am concerned, should be emulating nature, if exaggerating it a bit. So while they wouldn't be able to heal, perhaps it would be reasonable for a Salamander's Skin spell, that allows for a little regen.

As for Druidry affecting other people directly, I would assume no on this. Mostly because the Udemi is asking for a favor, and I don't see Gaea as helping someone who did not ask themselves. Druidry is the Udemi specifically asking Gaea themselves, whereas something like Thaumaturgy is calling upon one's Inner Flame to heal, rather than relying on an external force.
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Post by Reynard » Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:49 pm

As far as closing wounds goes, I was thinking "stop bleeding" more than "heal damage" or "restore stamina". (Closing a wound would not magically give you your blood back or heal internal organs.) Not that I am actually advocating this be implemented. I would also assume "no" to Druidry affecting other people directly, but I have already made several false inferences about Druidry before.

Anyway, going on to more philosophical concerns: Allow me to replace a few words in your statement on Gaea's power. This is going to sound like I am mocking you (which I suppose I am in the stricting-mimicking sense), but I assure you that this is just the best way I have to lucidly put forward my argument. "Magneto is, I imagine, an immensely powerful mutant. To say that Magneto is incapable of manipulating a plastic is a bit silly." Power-limitations aside, there might be some sort of ethical code aspect to what Gaea "can" or "can't" do.
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Post by Rias » Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:01 pm

You're correct on the idea of the Gaea having greatest influence over plants, less over animals, and not much at all over humans. Druidry, however, is the ability for humans to open a channel of communication to the Gaea, thus bypassing the "barrier" that normally prevents the Gaea from influencing humankind.

As is evidenced by Tangle Root, druidry is capable of altering physical matter. These roots aren't creeping around in an ever-present 'thick root layer' all over the world, just below the surface. The Tangle Root spell takes roots that are already there, often very small, and temporarily enhances them, turning them into thick roots that are capable of binding and holding creatures in place. When the Gaea's influence and power is released (after the spell duration), the roots wither and dwindle away again. This is to say nothing of the fact that the roots are twisting and writhing around with such speed, which is uncharacteristic of your typical roots.

However, like all forms of channeling, druidry and the Gaea's power appear to follow patterns. Tangle Root is essentially speeding up the root's natural growth using a burst of energy provided by the Gaea. This is more evident with the idea we've tossed around about using seeds to "fuel" the Tangle Root spell in non-natural areas. The roots can't simply come from nowhere, or from any type of matter - it comes from, at the very least, a seed, whose natural process is to become a plant with roots. The druidry speeds up this process, and influences it to be somewhat different as well (becoming mostly a long, thick root rather than an entire plant along with the root).

Rithiel and I have been discussing the possibility of some regenerative aspects of druidry, involving speeding the natural regrowth process in creatures that already regenerate (so it wouldn't work on things like constructs, wraith, and so forth). Again, this is following a natural pattern, but speeding it along and enhancing it a bit. (For those concerned, no, it would not be a "burst heal" to rival thaumaturgy, but a temporary regenerate-over-time effect, like unto poultice bandages)

Getting back to the Chameleon spell, this is another instance of the Gaea altering something physically, based on a pattern it is used to. There are a whole lot of animals that can change the pigmentation of their skin, some to blend in, some not. Regardless, it's something the Gaea is familiar with and can mimic. Just as a seed can be altered to produce a single thick root instead of small roots and the rest of the plant, the Gaea temporary adjusts the pattern of the Udemi's skin, altering it to be an enhanced version of that of animals who are naturally able to change their skin color for camouflage purposes. When the Gaea's lingering influence and power fade, the Udemi's skin reverts to its natural state.
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Post by KianTheArcher » Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:11 pm

I don't really see how this is a confusing subject. In the terms of regenerative abilities, you would be naturally healing yourself (restoring your body's blood, healing internal organs, everything that happens naturally), except sped up. Again, you are taken on an exaggerated characteristic of one or more animals (in this case, amphibians and reptiles primarily), many of whom have the ability to drop their tail and regrow it back. While this is not healing major damage (though it can be fatal if the tail drops too close to the base), Gaea is again bestowing upon the Udemi something characteristic of this.

By the same token, let's look at Geomancy. Geomancy is the conjuration of and manipulation of Earth. But what is not explained in any depth is how, for instance, Geo shield works. It is simply accepted that the Geomancer is able to employ some means of telekinetic control specifically over that material. Despite the fact that in nature, rocks do not typically float about willy nilly, Geomancy accomplishes this.
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Post by Reynard » Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:26 pm

Wow, that... first paragraph Rias wrote pretty much fixed my confusion. O_O Channeling Druidry moves you up the list.
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Re:

Post by Kiyaani » Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:12 am

Would it be possible to change it so that this spell works in forested towns, hamlets or hunting areas? We have several places in-game where it seems like you should be able to use this based on how the area is described (ie: A barely discernible path wends through a thick conifer forest.), but because it's considered an urban area we get: You don't feel close enough to nature in your current location to channel this spell.

I mostly noticed this in places like Emleth, Keth, Ashdell, and Westbrook which all feature forested rooms. It also seems to affect some underground locations, but not others and some consistency would be nice.

I'd also like to request a way to toggle Chameleon off as well as turning it on. Maybe there is one already and I just haven't discovered it yet so if that's the case please let me know.

And since I was reading through this old thread anyway... has there been more thought put towards what Rias described below?
Rias wrote:Rithiel and I have been discussing the possibility of some regenerative aspects of druidry, involving speeding the natural regrowth process in creatures that already regenerate (so it wouldn't work on things like constructs, wraith, and so forth). Again, this is following a natural pattern, but speeding it along and enhancing it a bit. (For those concerned, no, it would not be a "burst heal" to rival thaumaturgy, but a temporary regenerate-over-time effect, like unto poultice bandages)
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Re: New Ability: Chameleon

Post by Rias » Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:56 am

If a room consists of a barely-discernible road through some trees, it shouldn't be tagged as urban, so go ahead and bug those as you see them. Urban generally means there should be man-made structures around.

The druidry regeneration/healing concept was dismissed a long while ago, but maybe Jirato would be willing to re-visit it.
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Re: New Ability: Chameleon

Post by Lysse » Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:04 am

Rias wrote:If a room consists of a barely-discernible road through some trees, it shouldn't be tagged as urban, so go ahead and bug those as you see them. Urban generally means there should be man-made structures around.

The druidry regeneration/healing concept was dismissed a long while ago, but maybe Jirato would be willing to re-visit it.
Regeneration as described above at the cost of a higher than normal need for nutrition/food compared to normal spellcasting and channeling/energy loss for a Druidry spell or ability could be quite neat.
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Re: New Ability: Chameleon

Post by Fayne » Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:06 am

So, what if there are buildings around in the description, but only a handful? Will any amount of manmade structures weaken the Gaea's influence, or can it push through a few before being cut off? Also, I would guess Wilderness Stealth should work in these areas as well?

As for the regenrative ability thing, I'd love to see it, if it were limited to less severe wounds and still took a while to heal them.
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Re: New Ability: Chameleon

Post by Rias » Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:32 am

A handful of buildings in a room is enough to be considered an "urban" area, for CLOK purposes. I'm frankly not sure why druidry is cut off just because an area is tagged as urban - I thought it was due to a lack of things like forest/grass/foliage/etc. Because in an "urban" area like Keth or Emleth or Ashdell or Westbrook, I could absolutely see druidry working just fine. Might be worth a re-consider, if this is really the way it works. (Obviously I don't use druidry very often.)
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