Skinchange and HP

How does Skinchange effect a caster’s HP if at all?

Also do they get the benefit of their attributes like Con or Str? I assumed not.

Skinchange does not affect a caster’s HP.

According to the spell description, “the caster gains the physical capabilities, physical attacks, special abilities, and statistics of the animal form he assumes, while retaining his own mental abilities.”

So what are the monster’s physical abilities and statistics?

One thing is clear: Monsters do not have ability score modifiers in ACKS the way they do in, for example, 3.5. In D&D 3.5, for example, a Lion has +11 STR, +7 DEX, +5 CON, -8 INT, +2 WIS, -4 CHA.

In ACKS, rather than assign ability scores to monsters based on a human mean, we implicitly assume that each monster has an ability score of 10 based on its own species’ mean. For example, an average Lion has STR 10, DEX 10, and CON 10 on the Lion scale. One can imagine a Lion with STR 18 (on the Lion scale). Such a Lion would be +3 to hit and deal +3 damage per attack. Or one could imagine a Lion with DEX 18 (on the Lion scale), gaining +3 AC and initiative rolls. Such a monster would, of course, be very rare. [Note that this is a way, way simpler method than the way 3.5 deals with things.]

Skinchange seems to suggest you take on the physical capabilities of an average member of the species, presumably one that has ability scores of 10. So therefore there is an argument that the shapechanged character does not get the benefit of their attributes like Con or Str. That might mean, of course, re-calculating hit points.

You could also rule that the character’s ability scores do apply. In that case he might skinchange into a wimpy lion (if he has a low STR) or a burly bat (if he has a high STR) and so on. This would be consistent with why HP stay static.

Finally, you could hand wave it.

Thanks Alex. I assumed that the ability scores were ‘rolled into’ the stat block as written (which seems right), but wasn’t sure if HP were considered a ‘physical ability’ or not.

Cool, cool. Thanks for that.

Oh good, when I turn into a robin to scout, I don’t have to worry about an errant breeze killing my 1 hp character. :stuck_out_tongue: