Reading through the W20 Changing Breeds, I realized either the writers overlooked something, I missed something or Swara are ludicrously fast:

Swara can start with Diamon Claws or Impala's Flight [as Speed of Thought] (Level One) and Speed Beyond Thought (Level Three) [W20 CB p.90]. There is also Impala's Flight (general gift of rank 3) [W20CP p.83]

Impala's Flight (the general one) [W20CP p.86] does double movement speed for a number of rounds as an (Athletics+Body vs 6) test results.

Speed of Thought [W20 p.191] plainly doubles movement speed for 1 scene for 1 Gnosis.

Speed beyond Thought [W20 p.193] plainly grants tenfold movement speed for up to 10 hours, but nothing but running can be done. It costs 1 Gnosis.

A Swara can have up to 9 dexterity in feline shape with a 5 dexterity in human shape. This results in \$((20+3*9)*2)=97\$ yards base running speed. That is including the feline shape multiplier [W20 p.296].

With all the three gifts started up, this grants an initial speed of 3760 yards per combat round, till impala's flight runs out, and then 1880 yards (1719.072 m) per round.

Assuming one combat round is 5 seconds (the median between 2 and 10 seconds that are used commonly), this would be a speed of 343.8144 m/s - or Mach 1.01 (and subsequently Mach 2.02 on the Impala's flight turns).

That would mean, with the 5 second turns, that the reach within 8 hours would be 9901.8 km / 6152.7 miles without impala's flight, as long as this run does constitute as a single scene, and with constant access to impala's flight twice that.

For comparison: The direct line from Kairo to Capetown is ca 7250 km, while the shortest land route is around 10500 km.

Question: Is this combination of gifts legit to use and did I calculate the outcoming speed right after that?! Does a Swara of rank 3 travel faster than sound in the atmosphere (depending on combat turn length)?


1 Answer 1


Yes, it's legit.

After reading the books and doing the math, we have the fastest shapechanger around. I would not be surprised if this was overlooked but even if it wasn't, you can only achieve that speed while doing nothing but running and travel time isn't a big concern at W20.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Add a Scar of Swiftness for a top speed of Mach 17.6 \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Aug 30, 2018 at 20:21

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