The Shapeshifter Categorization System (SSCS) is a complete categorization and sorting system for shapeshifters, form-shifters, and TF-focused critters of all stripes and colors (literally!) You may view all currently registered characters (WIP), or create your own!
To get started, enter your character's name below and tap Next.
Your character's preferred or default sex/gender, and whether they are tied to or may alter it. Many tell me that a shapeshifting character to them is a way to be unbound from the expectations of our world of binary choices, and express how they really feel. So I've tried to be as inclusive as possible here.
The overall genre of your shapeshifter. This is more about how they shapeshift rather than the genre of the lore they're set in. For instance, Mixed means their transformative nature is explained by both science and magic, not that they are set in a mixed world of science and magic.
is entirely biological, with no synthetic or artificial element. In many cases, shapeshifting is accomplished through magic, an extremely flexible body, or some form of rapid cell division.
has a biological or bio-synthetic core surrounded by a synthetic body, thus shielding any biological and organic components from damage or harsh environmental conditions.
's body is made up of synthetic, inorganic compounds, making them quite hardy compared to most biological beings. This category incudes most robots and artificial lifeforms, including AIs, as well as enchanted items.
's body consists of both biological, organic elements and synthetic, inorganic elements which have been fused or grafted together. This category includes cyborgs, bio-programmable hybrids, and those who have been subjected to nanotech-enhancement which enables shapeshifting.
's body consists of chemically organic compounds, but is not technically a living being in the traditional sense. This includes everything from reanimated bodies to organic computers (not to be confused with cyborgs/bio-computers) that do not contain living tissue.
only mimics the appearance or effect of having a physical, organic body, when in reality they are an ethereal entity, dimensional projection, or some other form of non-matter-based enigma.
A Solid Core shapeshifter consists of a central, solid shape of some sort within or on the body, typically towards the center, which represents the core of their very being. Around this is typically some sort of medium or substance that enables shape-changing, or in other cases, the true being comes in the form of an enchanted item, which manifests a body for itself.
uses an instant, non-physical shifting method which manipulates mental perception. This often doesn't work through video cameras, and when it does, may be detectable via slow motion or other editing tricks. This method may be defeated by another psychic individual, however it can appear solid due to manipulation of the observer's senses. This type is most often seen in High Fantasy and Mystery genres.
achieves non-physical shifting through optical illusion or light manipulation. This method works through cameras, but other sensors may detect anomalies. Psychic users usually can't detect this. Illusion is the only form of shifting that isn't solid to the touch. It's also the type that Zorua and Zoroark are known for.
shifts via a combination of psychic mental manipulation and optical illusion, achieving a balance between the advantages of both approaches.
Not to be confused with goo, is a slime! Their body is made of a gel-like substance that is naturally amorphous, but can alter its shape freely. Some slimes have visible organs floating around inside them, but others don't, and not all are transparent. Slimes multiply through mitosis, but the copies are typically their own entities, effectively children. Unlike goos, pulling apart a slime forcefully will generally cause harm, as their body is not quite as loose.
is a liquidshifter, also known as a goo creature or goofur. While goos and slimes are similar on the surface, there are differences. Liquidshifters are more likely to have a natural form, but not all do. Goos serve as better damage-sponges than slimes due to their squishy, melty nature, allowing them to be squeezed and stretched into a loose pile of semi-liquid and just shake it off. Many can appear fully solid, however they may have trouble maintaining this state under certain conditions. Slicing a goo in half is unlikely to cause damage, it may even double your problems!
is a living virus! Sentient viruses live off their hosts' bodies and use them as a vector to spread to as many hosts as possible. As symbiotes, living viruses have similarities to parasite shifters, but those generally count as Possession type instead. Virus shifters may have limited transformation due to their reliance on the host's body as a starting point. However, many have multiple stages of infection, leading to increasingly mutated and transformed states. Goo-viruses in particular typically gain full transformative freedom over the host once the right stage is reached. Needless to say, virus shifters are most often seen in the Horror genre.
transforms indirectly, by possessing and taking control of living bodies or inanimate objects, taking on their abilities or functions along with. In the case of those that possess objects, the explanation is generally magical, but for living being possessors, there are limited sci-fi explanations. This type of shifter is most seen in Fantasy and Superhero genres (generally as a villain or bringer of chaos.)
shifts by copying the forms of living beings or objects. This often works via magic, or some means of DNA duplication of the host. The process requires physical contact with the host or object, and may or may not be harmless. Colorshift is common for this type, else they can only copy objects in monotone. This type of shapeshifter is most often seen in Sci-Fi Thriller and Fantasy Horror genres.
can take the form of living beings. This doesn't necessarily mean they can perfectly copy them. See Bio-Shift.
can take the form of inanimate objects, potentially taking on their functions as well.
is able to take on various color(s) outside their natural palate. This is highly useful for camouflage purposes. Implied for PSY shifters; Incompatible with Possession.
can either grow true fur and/or skin (True Bio-Shift), or accurately replicate the texture and appearance of it (False Bio-Shift). True implied for Biological shifters; Only False is compatible with Synthetic.
can split, willingly or unwillingly, into multiple entities or pieces. This can lead to distinct entities with separate personalities (Asynchronous), who nevertheless may be able to rejoin and resynchronize, or as a single, shared hivemind (Synchronous) where all separated pieces think and act as one (this may have a limited range in some shifters.) Mixed is the most chaotic option, and may occur in otherwise highly capable hiveminds who have difficulty controlling their divided attention! Implied for Virus; Incompatible with Slime and PSY types.
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