Questions tagged [shapeshifters]

Questions dealing with creatures that have the ability to change their body form into someone or something else, voluntarily or involuntarily. Consider also the [chimera-folk] tag.

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70
votes
14answers
18k views

How would a dragon be used in a modern military?

The military of (insert nation here) has finished training its latest asset: an adult dragon. Let's call him Private Firestorm. He's got everything the top brass wants from a soldier: he's ...
65
votes
27answers
10k views

How to verify or establish identity where shapeshifters exist

No magic exists in this setting beyond what is explicitly described in this quesiton. The setting is vaguely European medieval. The question centers around a town large enough to support a nobleman ...
64
votes
19answers
8k views

Where can I transform without being noticed?

I'm just your average person. Not rich, or particularly skilled at anything. Until a few days ago, when (for a reason I can't disclose) I got some amazing superpowers: I can fly, I'm completely ...
60
votes
8answers
6k views

Is there a credible way a shapeshifter could gain/lose body mass when changing forms?

Shapeshifters are creatures which are able to, based on will or some sort of external stimuli, change between different forms while still remaining the same individual. Sometimes they retain the same ...
50
votes
18answers
9k views

How to Interrogate a Memory-Stealing Shapeshifter?

There are shapeshifters who can perfectly replicate a person, and eat their brains to absorb all their memories. These shapeshifters are cunning and predatory, and so humans form extremely close knit ...
49
votes
25answers
11k views

Would a squad of soldiers who can shapeshift into T. Rexes be useful in a modern battle?

Take a country in the modern day, like the U.S., which routinely makes use of weapons such as guns, artillery, drones, tanks, et cetera. Now imagine that everyone in one of its elite squads of ...
46
votes
31answers
9k views

How can I make humans NOT WANT to investigate how a supernatural ability works in an intelligent, non-human creature?

We've had a few questions where answers state, to a lesser or greater degree, "humans would investigate this ability to figure out how it works" in another creature with abilities not readily ...
38
votes
16answers
7k views

Why do only clothes stay in an animal transformation?

I have a race in my world that has the ability to transform into animals at will. For reasons of practicality, the animals do not wear clothes and the clothes disappear during transformation. For ...
35
votes
14answers
7k views

How can I make a humanoid character look less human?

I have a shapeshifting character who isn’t human but pretends to be one, but people who look at them notice something is wrong, but can’t quite place it. What kind of features could I give them that ...
34
votes
9answers
8k views

Why would shapeshifters choose to keep an original form?

In any modern story nowadays, shapeshifters always have an original form; Andalites from Animorphs or Mystique from X-men to name a few. It raises the question of why something that can change forms ...
34
votes
20answers
6k views

Survive the full moon in a country largely populated by werewolves

You're planning to move to the rich country of Lycania (names are a work in progress, ok?), a country as big as the USA plus half of Canada, where you have been offered a good position which would ...
27
votes
7answers
5k views

If a person had control of every single cell of their body, would they be able to transform into another creature?

If a person had control over each and every single cell in his body, I.e: Cell growth Cell multiplication Shape and form of cells How cells bond/bind with each other Cell Function Would they be able ...
27
votes
11answers
5k views

Anatomically Correct Werewolves

Could werewolves exist in a realistic world? All that is required for an accepted answer is the ability to change shape over night. Bonus points will be awarded if you can explain a bite spreading ...
23
votes
20answers
8k views

How to contain a shapeshifter

As mentioned in an earlier question of mine, my particular world has a class of humanoids which have the magical ability to change into a single animal form at will. As detailed in the linked question,...
22
votes
7answers
5k views

How to catch a Faceless Man?

Imagine that in modern world, a Faceless Man of Braavos is walking among us. He is able to completely change his appearance in a split second, and, unfortunately, keeps killing people. Would it be ...
21
votes
23answers
7k views

How to differentiate between different races of shape shifters?

In my world I have a race of god-like beings who I've recently decided should be shapeshifters. However everything in my world comes in threes, and there are three races / clans of these beings. For ...
21
votes
11answers
6k views

How would photo IDs work for shapeshifters?

Photo IDs (for instance, a driver's licence or passport) are essential in many aspects of life (driving, buying alcoholic beverages, crossing international borders, voting in many places, etc.). As ...
20
votes
5answers
4k views

How do we catch a shape-shifter

Some Background The government is very good at catching people. Even the few who can keep away from them are forced into a life of running. Many years ago, a teleporter named Dave was discovered and ...
17
votes
8answers
2k views

Would it make sense for animalistic shifters to have mounts?

Would it make sense for animalistic shifters to have mounts when they can shift into a large feral-like form? That is, not humans that turn into animals, but a species of large humanoids that can ...
17
votes
3answers
475 views

What sounds would be common for both forms for a human/wolf shapeshifter?

Here's a world much like Earth, except it's inhabited by a race of shapeshifters. On one side of the appearance divide there is an appearance much like a large Earth wolf; on the other is an ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

Shapeshifter problems: Mass conservation

Note I am aware of these previous questions How quickly could a "shapeshifter" lose mass, realistically? Is there a credible way a shapeshifter could gain/lose body mass when changing forms? ...
16
votes
8answers
4k views

What are some ways to explain how a shapeshifter retains his/her mental capacity?

Magic conveniently "explains away" many things associated with shapeshifting, but in the course of some of my fiction writing, I endeavor to include some slightly more plausible explanations when ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Lycanthropy & clothing

In a medieval fantasy setting, if you had to regularly deal with transforming into a beast that's taller, stronger, and that have a much larger build overall than your frail priestess body, what would ...
14
votes
11answers
1k views

Reasons to voluntarily change into a fantasy race?

So one of the biggest quirks of the world I'm building is that, along with supernatural powers suddenly becoming real in modern day, the human race is granted multiple separate opportunities to ...
14
votes
8answers
2k views

Preparation for Lycanthropic Transformation

So, I'd love to have werewolves in the world I'm building, but as it's a sci-fi setting I don't really want them to be magical. I can stomach some pseudoscience, but I want the process to be as ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

What would be some realistic social reactions to a shapeshifter?

I'm working on a story where the main character gains the abilities of a shapeshifter. In this case, defined as a human who can become any non-human animal, indistinguishable from the real thing, and ...
11
votes
9answers
3k views

What would be a plausible reason for a prey animal to mimic its own predator?

The saying goes "a wolf in sheep's clothing", which is a biblical idiom to refer to someone pretending to be harmless. This got me thinking about if the reverse could also be true. So I came up with a ...
11
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5answers
3k views

What foods will lycanthropes and vampirism-afflicted individuals need to avoid?

In an alternate version of our world, lycanthropes and vampires were introduced about 300 years ago and are coexisting with us. Unfortunately, they had to adapt to our cuisine and avoid certain ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

Realistic shapeshifting? [duplicate]

How could I justify shapeshifting into a large-ish monster using hard science? The transformation from man to monster is pretty drastic, so I'm assuming the transformation would at a minimum take ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Increasing the density of the human body

A lot of people are probably familiar with this sort of handwavium in fiction when it's asked where a shapeshifter's extra mass comes from. Most choose to ignore that question. In works that pretend ...
10
votes
19answers
4k views

What flaw keeps the mimics out and keeps the humans in?

A set of small isolated human populations, villages, although geographically close stay separate for one reason and one reason alone. Terrifying beasts that hunt human flesh and terrify children at ...
10
votes
10answers
2k views

How does the full moon effect the human body? (CONTEXT: Possible causes for werewolf transformations) [closed]

This question doesn't concern how it might be possible for a human to take on werewolf form. I'm asking about what impact the lunar cycle has on a human body and any other possible ideas of what might ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

How can blue blooded shapeshifter blush like a normal human?

An intelligent race of shapeshifter came to settle on present day Earth, they managed to clear the custom and are placed on 24hr monitoring by MiB agents. It is illegal for them to expose their kind ...
10
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5answers
1k views

Dragon shapeshifting and memory mechanism

Dragons are biologically immortal creatures that have evolved the most versatile sexual reproduction in existence, they can morph through a cocoon into any other species from the animal kingdom that ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

How can the Animal Court perform its duties in an increasingly developed world?

You may not realise, but animals no more run by instinct than do humans. Like humans, they too have needs. These needs are served by the Animal Court, lowest of the heavenly courts. Formed from the ...
8
votes
6answers
491 views

Ways to spot non-sentient, non-conscious, telepathic shapeshifters [closed]

In my world, there is a race of shapeshifting creatures, capable of convincingly looking like normal humans in order to lure them and prey upon them. These creatures, however, are non-sentient and non-...
8
votes
2answers
466 views

Anatomically Correct “Stranger Things” Mindflayer's Monster

Background, with potential spoilers: In the Netflix show Stranger Things... If we skip the psychic stuff, there's still a pretty interesting creature there. To qualify as a Mindflayer monster, an ...
8
votes
4answers
649 views

How can a team of shapeshifters communicate?

There is a group of people who can shapeshift. They send out hunting parties, scout teams, etc. In a circumstance where a group of ten people can look like ten different species (one human, one wolf, ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Does a human-animal transformation also transform DNA?

If a human were cursed with the need to transform into a specific animal (i.e. a canine), would his DNA change after the transformation? I would appreciate help in answering this question. This is ...
7
votes
5answers
487 views

Recovery time after major bodily alteration (shapeshifting)

In fiction, beings that can change shape can do so extremely rapidly and are immediately able to function in their new shape. While there is some precedent for the latter in nature (butterflies can ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

How to Train Your Mimic (or, why would a Mimic be capable of domestication)

I'm making a world where I want domesticated Mimics to be a thing. These Mimics are pretty similar to the original concept of D&D Mimics: shapeshifters that imitate objects, and hunt by imitating ...
7
votes
5answers
868 views

What implications would proof of “supernatural” phenomena have for modern science?

Edit: Thanks for the answers I've gotten so far, and sorry the original question was so long and unclear. Here's a shortened and reworded version. I'm writing a treatise or research paper from the ...
7
votes
2answers
731 views

What kind of technology would be developed in the process of creating shapeshifters?

After years and years of genetic advancement and research, a group of cutting-edge scientists have finally perfected the technology of shapeshifting. They can blend select DNA strands of a given ...
7
votes
3answers
549 views

Could An Intelligent Werewolf Talk?

So I've got a werewolf species inspired by this Tumblr post. Basically, the default form is somewhere between human and wolf, but gets hairier and more muscular over the course of a month as the full ...
7
votes
3answers
599 views

Shapeshifters - Shared language between human and animal forms [closed]

Some background on the shapeshifters in question: Shapeshifters can shift between a human form and a single animal form; all the members of a given group of shapeshifters shift into the same species ...
6
votes
4answers
949 views

Is there any scientific reason why only a silver bullet can harm a werewolf?

According to a common horror trope, a werewolf can only be killed or incapacitated by the element silver. I'd like to know if science can explain why no other metallic element except silver is ...
6
votes
2answers
267 views

Can you replicate a being's DNA just from observing it?

In the movie Captain Marvel, the main antagonists (at least for half the movie), the shape-shifting Skrulls, can change their appearance to perfectly match any humanoid creature, down to DNA. ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

How would shapeshifters be affected by their abilities?

So I have a race of shapeshifters in my world, and in order to change shape or make adjustments to their body (grow wings, arms, tails etc.) They rearrange the atoms in their body, probably through ...
6
votes
2answers
328 views

Anatomically Correct Pinocchio

Pinocchios are known to be mischievous creatures, but why did they evolve that way and how do they survive? The creature has the following properties: Appears to be made of wood Not taller than a ...
6
votes
2answers
270 views

How quickly could a “shapeshifter” lose mass, realistically?

Shapeshifters and mass... ever the bane of realistic science fiction. Basics: Let's say someone is changing shape (for whatever reason, voluntary or involuntary, it doesn't matter for this purpose). ...