I have a character concept inspired by a race/class combination from D&D 3.5e that I'd like to play in Cypher System: a Changeling Chameleon.

  • The Chameleon is a prestige class for rogues that lets you meditate and "become" any class for a day: you can become a fighter and handle weapons with proficiency, or you can become a cleric and heal people, etc. Humans, Doppelgangers and Changelings can become this class. It involves being selected by other chameleons and receiving training at a far-off temple.

  • Changelings are a race that can modify their appearance, so they're perfect for the chameleon class: they can play many roles with their abilities and change their appearance to fit it as well.

If I were to adapt this to a homebrew setting that uses Cypher, how would I do it? I'm not familiar with how to apply racial bonuses in Cypher. Presumably, the character would be an Explorer or Speaker. I'm not certain what tier the character would have to be, or how I would build further attributes.


1 Answer 1


To truly modify this combination, I think you would require a custom Descriptor based on your Changeling race (Race as Descriptor, page 89 Core Rulebook) and a custom created Focus (maybe "Impersonates Others" or a similar title)?

The design of the Cypher System game is intended to allow for a strong level of distinction between characters, so it seems unlikely that there is a Focus intended to copy other Focuses.

Suggestions (with Experience)

I think that in this case, you would want to select an Explorer and then use the optional rules for ability replacement to take some skills from all of the associated fields (Magic, Skills and Knowledge, Combat, and Stealth).

If you are looking for specific thoughts on how to emulate a chameleon's flavor or style, perhaps consider a Focus ability that allows a daily reallocation of X points from one pool to another, and/or allows the player to select between X separate special abilities each day? In the single campaign I have run, we had a custom class for an alchemical "Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde" style of character. A custom Focus that allowed him to reallocate points between Might and Intellect proved both effective and interesting for the player.

To emulate a Changeling's ability, simply give a Changeling Descriptor allowing for him to transform into any humanoid of similar mass that can be imagined, with some suitable bonuses and drawbacks.

The Expanded Worlds splatbook from Monte Cooke Games has a Focus called Changes Shape. This may also serve as a guide to making a custom Descriptor with similar features.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd define the character as a Changeling Explorer who Imitates Classes, I guess. I think the "imitates classes" focus should perhaps allows the character to take a focus for the day, like "Casts Spells" or "Channels Divine Blessings" and like you said, allows for daily reallocation of pools. I don't know if I agree that the custom focus shouldn't allow for imitating other foci, even as a limited imitation (for example at a tier lower than the character's). I think that works perfectly, presuming it is allowed by the GM. \$\endgroup\$
    – Hal T
    Jan 20, 2017 at 21:00

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