98 votes
Accepted

How would a dragon be used in a modern military?

All of his other abilities are dwarfed by the "shapeshift into a human" option, which would make him an invaluable weapon for surprise attacks and assassinations. Even if his dragon form isn't ...
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  • 2,195
95 votes

How can I make a humanoid character look less human?

Uncanny Valley The uncanny valley is an interesting phenomena discovered by Masahiro Mori, a professor who made realistic robots. Generally, the more something looks like a human face, the more people ...
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  • 37.9k
92 votes

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

I can imagine battlefield logistics would be much easier. One of the most dangerous and common tasks for infantry is shuttling supplies back and forth between the front lines and the forward camp. If ...
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  • 1,145
82 votes

How would a dragon be used in a modern military?

Logistic support Boring as hell, but that's the most realistic option. Most other uses are replaceable by other means. Why send a dragon on a special ops mission when highly trained operatives ...
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  • 4,395
77 votes
Accepted

Why would shapeshifters choose to keep an original form?

A shapeshifter doesn't "choose" an original form. A shapeshifter's "original" is whatever form it started as - that's what "original" means. That form is whatever it was in before it gained/learned/...
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  • 1,026
68 votes

How can I make a humanoid character look less human?

It doesn't blink. Unless it knows it is being observed, because a very little kid once asked it why it did not blink. It had not noticed blinking before then. Now it tries to remember to blink if ...
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  • 273k
67 votes
Accepted

How to verify or establish identity where shapeshifters exist

Dogs, Fasting, Passwords and Tokens Modern IT has a similar issue. It is generally handled by having a physical token and a user known password that changes regularly and is unique for each user and ...
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62 votes

How to Interrogate a Memory-Stealing Shapeshifter?

This is similar to the problem of finding replicants in blade runner, so just apply the voight kampff test. the point is that you ask questions that that are supposed to evoke an emotional empathy ...
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  • 1,389
53 votes

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

Stop thinking shock troops. Think strategic asset and later assassination. To start with, while your were-Rex's are still a military secret, hand them over to your espionage department and get the ...
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  • 68.3k
50 votes

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

It's just not realistic for a human-like species to not investigate something like this. Curiosity is, in many ways, a required trait or byproduct of intelligence. It's needed to explore, learn and ...
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  • 1,411
46 votes
Accepted

Survive the full moon in a country largely populated by werewolves

In a world like this, I think that the employer would sort out most of the security: 'Normal' Humans would be in demand: consider that, once a month, all of society breaks down for an entire night as ...
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  • 6,648
46 votes

Where can I transform without being noticed?

It's not villains you need fear, it's your own government. And in the modern world you're screwed. There are more cameras watching us than ever before. Heck, if a spy agency realizes where your ...
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  • 34.5k
45 votes

How can I make a humanoid character look less human?

It’s too perfect. A major breakthrough for animation was the addition of imperfections. Before high resolution texture packs allowed for the addition of skin flaws (and before people realised the ...
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  • 65.3k
44 votes

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

If you're looking for a more general method which ditches biological systems and uses Von Neumann machines, see gethubphagocyte's (now known as trichoplax) excellent answer. Otherwise: First of all, ...
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  • 3,210
44 votes

How to verify or establish identity where shapeshifters exist

It all depends on how good the shapeshifting is. Can a shapeshifter imitate something that a human would not be aware it is there - such as all the nuances of personal body smell that a trained dog ...
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  • 52k
43 votes
Accepted

Why do only clothes stay in an animal transformation?

$\tiny{\text{Since this is a "magic" question, we are only looking for explanations which don't break people's suspension of disbelief}}$ The Magic Relies On Self-Image This magic works by the caster ...
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43 votes
Accepted

How would photo IDs work for shapeshifters?

Here's the thing; any form of identification, whether it be a letter of passage from the King, a passport, a photo ID, a biometric signature, a PIN - they all require a singular ubiquitous element in ...
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  • 53.7k
43 votes

How to Interrogate a Memory-Stealing Shapeshifter?

Behavioral Biometrics In short, muscle memory. There is a section of biometrics called behavioral biometrics, which is based on your actions being different from person to person, as opposed to ...
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40 votes

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

It depends (but probably not). Some forms will be achievable, with more or less difficulty. Any form? No. There are several limitations you did not take away (some of them are discussed in the Sight ...
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  • 52k
40 votes
Accepted

Why costly time released shapeshifting drug is more popular than fast acting ones?

The cheap one doesn't last as long. You want a quick rush of being a falcon for a few hours? You can just go for the cheap one - but you run the risk of it wearing off unexpectedly at an inopportune ...
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39 votes
Accepted

How to contain a shapeshifter

drug bag drag Drug them with something that stops them from forming the self image needed for the change. Opiates or hallucinogens would probably do the trick, but details would vary. Simple alcohol ...
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35 votes
Accepted

How to differentiate between different races of shape shifters?

Mass The shapeshifters can change their appearance but are bound by conservation of mass. They average 50, 100, and 150 kg and can be generally distinguished by mass. Note that all shapeshifting ...
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  • 84.2k
34 votes
Accepted

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

The way I saw it is the villages are a large source of food a mimic could enter, and as they've blended in stay happy and fed by picking off someone night by night and reproducing. Possibly replacing ...
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  • 6,904
31 votes
Accepted

How do we catch a shape-shifter

I think there are two big points here that lead to a rather simple solution: Unlike Dave, Eden is not a criminal; she ... is only being hunted down for her abilities. They do not want to kill Eden, ...
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  • 19.6k
30 votes

Why would shapeshifters choose to keep an original form?

In many stories, shapeshifters have a lot of difficult with their sense of self. In a world where a physical shape is often associated with an identity, they would continually be bombarded with ...
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  • 129k
28 votes

How would a dragon be used in a modern military?

TL;DR: Anyway the military wants to deploy him, but watch out for anti-aircraft methods. In today's environment, the biggest challenge to a dragon as you describe would be anything with significant ...
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  • 24.9k
28 votes

How to Interrogate a Memory-Stealing Shapeshifter?

Piercings Similar to one comment about microchipping your population. A lot of cultures have a practice of ritual body-piercing. This isn't something that can be replicated by shape-shifting flesh, ...
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  • 10.3k
28 votes

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

This is known as "Batesian mimicry"; a harmless mimic species adapts the appearance of a "model" species that other animals including predators of the first species don't want to mess with. A rare ...
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  • 6,161
28 votes
Accepted

Would it make sense for animalistic shifters to have mounts?

Ricardo's Law of Comparative Advantage. It doesn't even matter whether the draft animals are as effective as the shifters. All the matters is that having the draft animals pull the carts allows the ...
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