A Changeling is an alien creature that is intelligent and able to morph into humans. Changelings are aliens in a form of a headslug, but before a shift starts, they either transform as someone while they're off-station or rather they somehow killed someone and made into a Changeling through unknown ways. They, as well, also take contacts from Syndicate forces in order to steal Nanotrasen tech or impersonate various personnel due to their adaptabilty and infiltration abilities. The main weapons of the Changeling are its ability to internally synthesize dangerous chemicals, morph into other creatures that it has absorbed, and blend in with humans.
The changeling must have a quiet spot and an immobile victim in order to absorb their body, so stealth is absolutely necessary. The changeling has other weapons at its disposal, such as a cryo sting and an armblade, but is largely stealth-based.
The changeling can be anyone it's absorbed, it can switch identities instantaneously, only absorbing takes time and peace. Like the Traitor, the Changeling will most often have an objective to accomplish before the Escape Shuttle arrives, usually absorbing a certain amount of people's DNA before escaping. Remember that Changelings are not obliged to work eachother as a team, and some may go solo/rogue depending on how they like it.
I've turned into myself, what do?
As a space shapeshifting lifeform, there are a few basic concepts you must understand before wreaking havoc on
your dinner the crew.
The goal of many changelings is to absorb 6-8 DNA strains, for some unknown and alien reason. To do this, it must take ANY human, living or dead (even thrown away bodies from cloning), and absorb them using either its special proboscis, or the DNA Extraction Sting. You can only have a maximum of 5 DNA strands at a time, and must transform to obtain more.
DNA can be acquired in two ways:
- The DNA Extraction Sting, which is instant and does not give any alert to the target, unless they are also a changeling.
- Absorbing the victim, which results in a gruesome husk. Notice: Absorbing everyone is dickish and shouldn't be what you always use.
Acquiring DNA via absorbing requires grabbing the victim, and a fair bit of time as it stabs the victim with its appendage until it has all of the DNA drained. You need a good grip to absorb victims properly, and choking them has the added benefit of subduing your target as well. A choke hold can be attained by grabbing someone repeatedly until you're holding them by the neck, then double-clicking the KILL button that appears in your active hand in your HUD so that it is flashing red.
- Absorbing a victim will fill your chemical storage some, give you the target's DNA, and allow you to rechoose your abilities.
- Absorbing another changeling gives you all its chemical storage, and allow you to rechoose your abilities.
- Absorbing victims who have been husked via burns or space will not add to your total genome count.
- Absorbed victims cannot be cloned unless genetics uses a monkey creatively, or the cloner is upgraded. They can still be turned into cyborgs because the brain is fine.
You exclaim, "I am the only one here!"
Changelings are limited, however, to how much DNA they can absorb at once! If a changeling has 5 DNAs stored and attempts to gain another, they must purge the older DNA by transforming. Eventually, any changeling will have to be a twin of someone else on the station, living or dead.
The changeling can shift its appearance, making them look and sound exactly like a victim of which they have absorbed. This can be massive compromise in security, especially if command staff are absorbed and the changeling is able to imitate them.
Changelings can also, via their lesser form ability, transform into monkeys and do monkey things.
Transforming is subtle and does not give a message in chat, though an observant crew member may notice that you're suddenly someone else entirely.
Also known as Regenerative Stasis, changelings have the ability to 'kill' themselves, and appear dead for 50 seconds. After this period is over, the changeling can revive at will, fully healed of all injuries and illness. Both entering stasis and leaving it costs 15 chemicals. Chemicals will still regenerate while a changeling is dead, meaning it can always enter stasis unless it's been borged or cremated. When leaving stasis any grabs on the changeling will immediately be broken and stun the grabbing user.
This makes them nigh-unkillable, as they can fully regenerate themselves even from death if their head is intact and they have enough chemicals. Spaced changelings may also be able to make it back on station given enough time. The best way to permanently deal with a changeling is to gib it or cremate it.
Changelings may have the following objectives:
- 1. Absorb 6-8 DNA strands: All changelings get this objective and it can be fulfilled via DNA extract stings or Absorbing.
- 2. Theft/Debraining: All changelings are always assigned either a mission to steal a high value object from the station or the brain of a specific crew member.
- 3. Destroy AI/Assassination: If an AI is present in the shift, a changeling may be ordered to destroy it. The changeling might also instead be ordered to assassinate a crew member and escape the station using that crew's identity.
- 4. Escaping: If a changeling is not already tasked with leaving the station disguised as one of their victims, it will receive a fourth objective to either disguise themselves as someone else or simply escape undetected.
Going Solo or Teaming Up
Like traitors, changelings operate individually and are in no way obligated to assist each other. It is not required for changelings to even reveal their identity to each other, as it's not uncommon for changelings to receive other changelings as objectives or backstab each other to remove competition.
Even so, a coordinated group of changelings is truly a terror to behold especially since they can share absorbed genomes via hivemind. DNA shared in this manner does not count towards your personal absorption count.
The changeling possesses other dangerous abilities including precooked stinger abilities, which it can fire out of a crafted dart at a moments notice! Their stored chemicals regenerate at a rate of approximately one chemical every two seconds, with a maximum of 75 stored chemicals.
Changelings start with 20 evolution points. The cost of abilities (if applicable) are listed in parentheses after their entry. By husking a lifeform, the changeling gains the ability to reset their learned abilities and choose new ones, adapting to situations as they arise. This will reset their evolution points back to the starting 10.
Note that changelings are immune to each others' stings. If you try to sting someone and they don't react, THEY'RE ONE TOO!
|Opens the evolution menu where the changeling can buy the following abilities with their 10 evolution points.
|If strangling someone, the changeling will absorb them and extract their genetic information, which will give the changeling the option to readapt their evolutions. The target will be husked in the process. Helps reach the genome objective.
|The changeling can fake its death and enter a stasis for a small cost. After some time, this stasis can be left it to heal all its wounds, using Regenerate. This ability, when used correctly, renders a changeling impossible to kill outside of decapitation or cremation. Chemicals slowly regenerate while a changeling is dead, meaning it can still eventually enter stasis even if it dies with no chemicals.
|Regenerate on command after using Regenerative Stasis.
|Extract DNA Sting
|Silently stings an organic target to extract their genetic information, allowing the changeling to later transform into them. Helps reach the genome objective.
|The changeling can transform into any of the DNAs they have stored, allowing them to become nearly anyone. Doesn't come with clothes or acting ability.
|Reforms one of the changeling's arms into a grotesque blade, composed of bone and flesh. The arm blade does 25 damage per hit and can be retracted; however, it is visible on your body, and a dead giveaway to anyone that you are a changeling. It can also be used to pry open depowered doors like a crowbar, and to force open unbolted powered doors, after a few seconds. Costs 0.75 chemicals per every 2 seconds to upkeep.
|The changeling silently stings an organic target, completely blinding them for a short time, and rendering them near-sighted until occuline is applied. May be used while under the effects of Lesser Form.
|Inflates the changeling's body into an all-consuming chitinous mass of armor. Provides extensive protection against physical damage, but less against other types. Its mass slows the changeling's movement, and maintaining its shape slows chemical generation.
|The changeling injects an organic target with a blend of chemicals that chills the blood. The victim will walk slower and take some damage over the full duration. Victims wearing armor, or insulated material will take more damage. Can be countered with space heaters, coffee, and other warming objects and foods.
|The changeling emits an EMP, which disables technology in the surrounding area, including radio headsets. Good for escaping borgs.
|The changeling injects an organic target with a small dose of chemicals, that gradually reduces their stamina. The victim will slow down and be incapable of moving or making a sound, however, this is not lethal to them. Countered with any purging chemical.
|Reforms one of the changeling's arms into a large, fleshy shield. Blocks attacks automatically, and has 6 uses in total. Breaks after the 6 uses, and can't be used with Lesser Form.
|The changeling emits a tone beyond the range of human hearing, causing deafness and disorientation in an area around itself, and bursting lights in the area. Good for escaping groups, or hindering people from fleeing.
|One full grown hunter spider spawns from the changeling mouth, being loyal to only their changeling master, and friendly with other spiders. You can spawn up to three spiders total, and change their orders via remote hivemind with Alt + Shift Click. IMPORTANT: You need at least 7 DNA absorption to gain enough power to use this ability!
|The changeling reduces lactic acid buildup in their leg muscles, allowing them to move at extremely fast speeds. While active, the changeling will take steadily increments of stamina damage and eventually pass out. Attempting to run while exhausted will result in gradual health damage, though never to an outright lethal capacity.
|Cures the changeling of diseases, disabilities, radiation, toxins, drunkenness, and brain damage. Generally covers the things that fleshmend doesn't; it can be used to purge the poison that the chemist just shot you up with, or to get rid of that debilitating mutation from an absorbed identity.
|The changeling evolves additional features in their eyes, giving them a toggleable xray and flash protection modes. The changeling will become more vulnerable to flash-based devices while in xray mode.
|The changeling evolves to have the ability to stalk their victim. They can detect where their target is, the exact location and whether they are injured or not.
|The changeling vomits a caustic substance onto any restraints they may be wearing, allowing the changeling to break free. This ability is very obvious to others nearby. The changeling can also break out of closets with this ability. Using this ability while being grabbed will spit acid in your attackers face, dealing 5 burn damage, stunning the attacker, and releasing you.
|The changeling alters the pigment in their skin to match their surroundings, rendering them invisible after a short time and silencing their footsteps. Can be toggled on and off.
|Prevents the AI from tracking the changeling's location while active, as well as making them fully invisible to the AI.
|Removes all stuns instantly, and adds a short-term reduction in further stuns. Can be used while unconscious. Continued use poisons the body.
|The changeling will rapidly heal itself. Unlike Regenerative Stasis, this does not cause them to go into a dormant state. Significantly Weaker when below 50 normal body temperature.
|The changeling abandons its current body and becomes a headslug in a last ditch effort to evade discovery or capture. As a headslug, the changeling can ventcrawl and lay eggs inside any body, dead or alive, by alt clicking it. After laying eggs, the headslug dies, and 4 minutes later, a monkey with the original changeling's consciousness and abilities will burst out of the host body's chest.
|The changeling transforms into a monkey after a brief period of time. Causes all equipment to be dropped on the floor. It can then return to human form by using Human Form. Note, transforming into a monkey also drops your cuffs.
|The changeling transforms into a human after using Lesser Form
|Halts while active
|Allows the changeling to form their voice to that of a name they enter.
|The changeling silently sting an organic target, completely silencing them for a short time. Does not provide a warning to a victim that they've been stung, although they may notice when they try to speak and can't. May be used while under the effects of Lesser Form.
|Organic Space Suit
|Inflates the changeling's flesh into a huge, bulky, spaceworthy mass of pressure and temperature-resistant organic tissue, in order to facilitate space travel. A source of oxygen is still required for spacewalking, and because the suit is made up of the changeling's flesh, it provides no damage resistance, and allows direct injection with syringes. Slows chemical regeneration while active.
|The changeling swaps bodies with an individual it currently has an aggressive grab on, transferring its consciousness and all current abilities to the new body. This process causes both parties to convulse, and is very noticeable. The victim of this attack will be transferred into the old ling's body, and then shortly stunned right after transfer. No implants, including mind-shields, are destroyed during this process.
|An arm tentacle that can retrieve items or attack people from afar. Cannot be used while in lesser form. The effect depends on the intent:
|Allows the changeling to upload or absorb DNA in the airwaves. Does not count towards absorb objectives. Costs 10 chemicals. Tunes our Chemical receptors for hivemind communication, which passively grants us access to the Changeling hivemind, and the ability to speak over it using the :g "radio" keyword.
|Allows the changeling to contort their body, making them capable of fitting themselves in and under things where they normally don't fit, such as tables and closed airlocks. Also allows the changeling to fit in crates. Can't contort under bolted airlocks.
Changelings are mechanically unable to use Holoparasites, as well as Martial Arts. Stealing or otherwise obtaining other gear, syndicate or not, is free game. Keep in mind however that being too powerful may have consequences. See: Rule 6.