categories: Body Modification
6 levels, 2 points per level
not available to items of power, magic spells, or metamorphosis forms
A character with this attribute can transform into a swarm of small creatures: rats, bats, wasps, crows, or other miscellaneous things, such as tiny monsters. Vampires and demons most often possess this dramatic ability.
The type of swarm must be determined when the attribute is taken, but additional types can be added for 2 more points each. The number of critters that can be created is based on the level of the attribute and the current number of health points possessed by the character. (Note that it is current health points, not maximum. A character down to half her normal HP would only be able to swarm into half as many tiny creatures as normal.)
When transformed into a swarm, the character cannot use any of his or her existing attributes or skills. The actions of the swarm are basically limited to three options: move, observe, and attack. Characters with Groupthink can hear other characters "speak" to them using the ability, but cannot respond while in swarm form. Additionally, all the critters of the swarm must remain within close proximity of each other (within two yards per level). A swarm's AV is equal to the level of the attribute, plus 4. Its attack damage is not based on AV, however. Instead, it inflicts 1 point of damage for every 10 tiny creatures in the swarm (round down). A swarm has an effective energy point total of 0.
A swarm can be attacked normally, and each creature in it dies if it is hit (there is no defense roll). Unless an opponent is using an area-effect or spreading attack, however, only a single member of the swarm can be killed per attack. Consequently, a swarm of 200 creatures requires 200 successful attacks to completely destroy, and each round, the swarm can inflict up to 20 points of damage by biting or stinging! If a swarm's opponent lacks an effective area-effect or spreading weapon, he or she should consider running away very quickly!
It takes one turn to become a swarm, and one turn to return to normal form. (The effect of transformation can be anything the player specifies in advance, most commonly a puff of smoke.) In order to return to normal form, all critters in the swarm not trapped or killed must join together, in a space large enough to accommodate the normal body. The rejoined body will have HP equal to the number of critters divided by the level of the attribute (round down). For example, if a character with 50 HP and Swarm level 4 swarmed into 200 critters later recombined with only 130 critters, the character would have a current total of 32 HP (130/4=32). Any trapped creatures would die instantly. If part of the swarm is trapped, the rest has to pass a soul check (even if it takes repeated attempts) into order to break away, killing the trapped ones.
Level One: The character can transform into one critter for every current health point.
Level Two: The character can transform into two critters for every current health point.
Level Three: The character can transform into three critters for every current health point.
Level Four: The character can transform into four critters for every current health point.
Level Five: The character can transform into five critters for every current health point.
Level Six: The character can transform into six critters for every current health point.