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In the Eberron: Rising from the Last War book the Changeling "Shapechanger" ability (page 18) begins by stating that:

As an action, you can change your appearance and your voice.

However it ends by stating that:

You stay in the new form until you use an action to revert to your true form or until you die.

Were one to be in an adopted form and wish to use an action to change into another, a literal reading of these two quotes seems contradictory. At the very least it seems ambiguous whether the latter rule is intended to limit the prior.

On the one hand it seems obvious that at least one of the intentions of the second passage is to make it clear that only death can undo your "disguise". On the other hand it may also imply that shapechanging from an adopted form requires turning to your true form ("pale, with colorless eyes and silver white hair" as per the description on page 18 of the same book), and then turning into a new form.

Since this would require briefly being in a distinctly changeling form (giving away to observers the source of your shifting ability) and require an extra action, it would be a slight limitation on what is obviously a rather strong racial ability. Also it seems like the second quote could easily have been written "you stay in the new form until you use an action to change into another form" rather than "to revert to your true form". But once again, it also just seems like the concern might be about whether you can be forced to revert or whether you do when you fall unconscious or some such, and the first thing the ability says is that you can shift "[a]s an action". Basically I'm stumped.

My personal interest is that I have a Changeling character who identifies primarily as human, keeps roughly the same human form unless there is a specific reason to do otherwise, at which point I've always had her shift directly to a new form rather than into a pale changeling "true form". I've played the character for about four months but am trying to follow the published E:RftLW rules now that they have been published.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Were-creatures have the same problem; the way their Shapechange feature is worded, RAW (an extremely literal reading of it) it appears they cannot shift between animal form and hybrid form, even though narratively that makes no sense. Presumably any answer to this question would also resolve that ambiguity as well. \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Nov 21 '19 at 8:52
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You can change directly from one form to another

You stay in the new form until you use an action to revert to your true form or until you die.

"Stay" means "to remain in the same state". This means there is no duration, and unless you revert or die you will remain in the new form.

You can still shapechange to another form as an action.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @Eternallord66 If you read the OP, this passage was misinterpreted as limiting when you can shapeshift. As you just pointed out, this passage only shows how long you can stay shapechanged. There is no reason to believe that you cannot shapechange while shapechanged. \$\endgroup\$ – pllpnakjlx Nov 21 '19 at 22:31
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With a literal interpretation you cannot change to a new shapechange form while shapechanged.

You stay in the new form until you use an action to revert to your true form or until you die.

Things do what they say they do and nothing more so since it does not say that you have the ability to go from one form to another unless it is from a shapechanged form to your true form or vice versa, You can not go straight from a shapechanged form to a new shapechanged form unless you first revert to your true form.

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