Changeling

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EXTRATERRESTRIAL STAFF
Changeling.gif
Changeling
Access: Whatever your job is
Additional Access: Any place you or your victims had access to
Difficulty: Hard
Supervisors: The Syndicate, probably
Duties: Drink people's DNA, fool people.
Guides: This is the guide
Quote: "Uh...THE HEAD OF SECURITY IS A CHANGE-" *BZZZZZRT* *CRUNCH* "Nevermoind, everything's OK. Go back to work."

A changeling is a highly intelligent alien predator that is capable of altering their shape to flawlessly resemble a human. They are typically deployed in simple social groupings, although they maintain total autonomy and act individually, so long as they do not have a team objective. As a result of their expertise in infiltration, the Syndicate often hires Changelings to steal high-risk items from Nanotrasen. The Changeling hunts with its ability to synthesize deadly chemicals internally, adopt the form of it's past victims, and even directly alter its form to be more suited to the task at hand.

The Thing From Spaaaaaaaace!

A changeling has boarded the station! It has had time to "familiarize" itself with the ins and outs of its primary victim's identity, ready to take anything it desires -- be it your equipment, your faces, or your lives!

Even if a changeling has not attacked any other crew members, it is highly likely it has attacked or killed others in its infiltration.

Ok, now what do?

Important: Changelings can communicate with one another using 'say :g' before their speech. Use alt+click or middle mouse button to sting someone.

First:

  1. Learn about your available abilities
  2. Use them to absorb people
  3.  ???

Your goals:

  1. Absorb 5-7 DNA's
  2.  ???

Choke.png DNA Absorption

The goal of many changelings is to absorb 5-7 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's can be acquired in two ways:

  • The DNA Extraction Sting, which is instant and does not give any alert to the target.
  • 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 a grab, and a little bit of time as it stabs the victim with its appendage till 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 and give you the target's DNA.
  • Absorbing another changeling gives you all its chemical storage and allows 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. They can still be turned into cyborgs because the brain is fine.

"No, I'm the real one!"

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.

Transforming

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 crewmember may notice that you're suddenly someone else entirely.

Regeneration

Also known as Regenerative Stasis, changelings have the ability to 'kill' themselves, and appear dead for two minutes. After this period is over, the changeling can revive at will, fully healed of all injuries and illness. Both entering stasis and leaving it cost 10 chemicals, so make sure you have at least 20 before you are slain and must activate it.

This makes them nigh-unkillable, as they can fully regenerate themselves even from death if their bodies are 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 in the chapel.

Objective

Changelings may have the following objectives, Be aware that some objectives may not show up depending on what type of Team Objective the changelings have:

1. Absorb 5-7 DNA stands: All changelings get this objective and it can be fulfilled via DNA extract sting or Absorbing.
2. Assassinate/Maroon a person: All changelings get this objective and it can be fulfilled via normal methods or some of your various abilities.
3. Steal an object: Steal a special or rare object from the station, you will be informed of what to steal.
4a. Escape alive: All changelings get an escape objective, to fulfill, be on the escape shuttle or a pod when they land at Central Command.
4b. Escape with identity: In addition to escaping alive, the changeling must have transformed to the target person and wear an ID card with the target's name on it to succeed.

Team Objective

Changelings may have one special Team Objective that is given to all changelings in the round, these are generally too hard or impossible for one changeling to complete alone.

1. Impersonate Department: A department is chosen (Security, Medical, Engineering or Science). As many staff members from this department as logically possible (Based on the number of changelings in the round, the number of staff members in the department, etc.) are chosen as targets that the changelings must kill, transform into and escape as. This objective ignores the head(s) of that department. A Changeling does NOT need to personally be one of the targets to succeed. This objective requires 3 changelings to be chosen for a round.
2. Impersonate Heads: Like Impersonate Department, except the "department" is always the Heads of Staff (Captain, Head of Personnel, Head of Security, Research Director, Chief Engineer and Chief Medical Officer). The changelings must kill, transform into and escape as the specified heads of staff. This objective requires 3 changelings to be chosen for a round.

Going Solo or Teaming Up

If the changelings have a Team Objective they should be treated as any other team antag, this means they are NOT allowed to betray the other changelings. If there is no team objective then everything is on the table, from stealing an absorb target to killing another changeling.

Make sure you know which of the above is true before you act!

Regardless of Team Objectives, changelings can share absorbed genomes via hivemind. DNA shared in this manner does not count towards your personal absorption count.

Changeling Abilities

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 quickly at a rough set rate of half a chemical per second.

Changelings start with 10 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.

Changelings can store up to 6 DNA strands, acquiring them either by husking or DNA stinging people; if they acquire more, the oldest will be overwritten.

Note that changelings are immune to each others' stings and are able to notice they've been stung. If you try to sting someone and they don't react, they might be one too!

Starting Set


Reviving Stasis

A free evolution. The changeling can fake its death and enter a stasis for a small cost, and after some time, can leave it while healing all wounds and status effects. Can be used while dead. Renders the changeling very hard to kill, but if its corpse is gibbed or incinerated it won't be able to revive.

Uses 15 chemicals.

Regenerate

A free evolution. The changeling instantly regenerates lost limbs and organs. If it is regenerating limbs, it will make a loud and obvious sound.

Uses 10 chemicals.

Transform

A free evolution. The changeling can transform into any of the DNAs they have stored, allowing them to become nearly anyone. It will also mimic their clothing and IDs, if you're not already wearing one in those slots; they will however be nonfunctional and cannot be removed except by retransforming or using the Drop Flesh Disguise option from the transformation menu. Uses 5 chemicals.

Hive Channel

A free evolution. The changeling can channel a selected genome into the airwaves for other changelings to absorb and use. Also useful for storing important DNA without it being overwritten.

Uses 10 chemicals.

Hive Absorb

A free evolution. The changeling can absorb DNA from the air that has been channelled by a fellow changeling. Doesn't help the changeling reach their genome objective.

Uses 20 chemicals.

Extract DNA Sting

A free evolution. The changeling can sting a target to extract their genetic information. They can then use the DNA like they just absorbed it. Helps the changeling reach their genome objective.

Uses 25 chemicals.

Absorb DNA

A free evolution. Another way to acquire DNA: the changeling fully drains a body's fluids, husking it in the process and making it uncloneable and unidentifiable. In addition to giving the changeling the DNA, it will also give it a few samples of speech to better imitate them and it will allow the changeling to reset their abilities.

Hivemind Link

Allows you to connect another non-changeling to the Hivemind. For when some one agrees to help you for what ever reason. Has the same requirements as Absorb DNA: needs a KILL level grab and a short channel. The victim will be kept stabilized while linked to the hivemind; so don't worry about time constraints.

Abilities Available via Evolution Menu


Augmented Eyesight

The changeling evolves additional features in their eyes, giving them a toggleable night-vision and thermal-vision mode. The changeling will become more vulnerable to flash-based devices while this ability is active. While it's inactive, it will instead protect you from flashes and bright lights, such as welders. This cannot be detected by normal means.

Costs 2 evolution points and uses no chemicals.

Digital Camouflage

Makes the changeling invisible to the AI, and prevents the AI from tracking the changeling's location while active, but makes you look strange when examined.

Costs 1 evolution point and uses no chemicals.

Adrenaline Sacs

Allows to the changeling to make use of additional adrenaline to instantly recover from stuns, and gives a temporary reduction in further stuns, which may cause toxin damage as a side effect. High chemical cost.

Costs 2 evolution points and uses 30 chemicals.

Fleshmend

The changeling will rapidly heal brute, burn and oxygen damage over 10 seconds. Can be used more than once in a row, but with reduced effectiveness. Usable while unconscious.

Costs 2 evolution points and uses 25 chemicals.

Last Chance

For when you are well and truly fucked. Creates a small silent explosion, gibs your current body, and spawns a headcrab -- a creature that can infects corpses to plan a hidden changeling egg. The changeling egg grows into a monkey changeling after ~180 seconds.
If you're killed while in this form and you haven't infected any corpse, you won't be able to revive!

Costs 1 evolution point and uses 20 chemicals.

Lesser Form

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 that transforming into a monkey also drops your cuffs.

Costs 1 evolution point and uses 5 chemicals and 5 to shift back.

Mimic Voice

Allows the changeling to form their voice of a name they enter.

Costs 1 evolution point and slows chemical generation while active.

Arm Blade

Reforms one of the changeling's arms into a grotesque blade made out 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 onlookers and silicons that you are a changeling. It can also be used to pry open doors when on harm intent (powered ones will take longer).

All form-altering mutations cause a form of genetic damage, preventing the changeling from changing shape for a time after their deactivation.

Costs 2 evolution points and uses 20 chemicals.

Tentacle

Reforms one of the changeling's arms into a tentacle. This tentacle can be fired towards a target, with different effects depending on your intent. If it hits something, the tentacle is used up; otherwise, it can be reused after a short cooldown.

  • Targeting an item: Grabs the item and throws it in your hand.
  • Help intent: Grabs the mob and pulls it towards the changeling, without any additional effect.
  • Disarm intent: If the mob has any item in hand, that item will be pulled away and put into the changeling's hand, otherwise it has no effect.
  • Grab intent: Grabs the mob and pulls it towards the changeling, aggressively grabbing it once it lands.
  • Harm intent: Grabs the mob and pulls it towards the changeling. If the changeling is also holding a sharp weapon, it'll automatucally stab the mob on landing, ignoring armor.

All form-altering mutations cause a form of genetic damage, preventing the changeling from changing shape for a time after their deactivation.

Costs 2 evolution points and uses 10 chemicals.

Organic Shield

Reforms one of the changeling's arms into a large, fleshy shield. Blocks or mitigates a number of attacks, the amount increasing by 3 with each genome absorbed.

Costs 1 evolution point and uses 20 chemicals.

Organic Space Suit

Inflates the changeling's flesh into a huge, bulky, spaceworthy mass of pressure and temperature-resistant organic tissue to facilitate space travel. While it's active, you'll also regenerate oxygen damage quickly enough to not need air. Because the suit is made up of the changeling's flesh, it provides no damage resistance and can be injected directly into with syringes. Slows chemical generation while active.

Costs 2 evolution points and uses 20 chemicals.

Chitinous Armor

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.

Costs 1 evolution point and uses 20 chemicals.

Anatomic Panacea

Cures the changeling of disabilities, radiation, and toxins. 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. Can also remove alien larvas. Usable while unconscious.

Costs 1 evolution point and uses 20 chemicals.

Resonant Shriek

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, while overloading cyborg sensors. Good for escaping groups or preventing people from fleeing from you.

Costs 1 evolution point and uses 20 chemicals.

Dissonant Shriek

The changeling emits an EMP, which disables technology in the surrounding area, including radio headsets. Good for escaping borgs and preventing people from shouting over the radio.

Costs 1 evolution point and uses 20 chemicals.

Spread Infestation

Two spiderlings crawl out of the changeling's mouth, eventually growing into deadly beasts. They will attack the changeling as well, if they see it. IMPORTANT: You need at least 5 DNA absorptions or stings to gain enough power to use this late-game ability!

Costs 1 evolution point and uses 45 chemicals.

Strained Muscles

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 incrementing stamina damage and eventually pass out, if he doesn't take a rest.

Costs 1 evolution point and uses no chemicals.

Transformation Sting

The changeling injects a retrovirus that forces their human victim to transform into another. When extracting the sting the changeling can choose which of the DNAs in storage it wishes to use. They'll also carry over genetic powers and disabilites. Damages the changeling's genomes when being used, requiring it to wait before reusing it.

Costs 3 evolution points and uses 40 chemicals.

Mute Sting

The changeling silently sting a human, completely silencing them for about thirty seconds. Does not provide a warning to a victim that they've been stung, until they try to speak and can't.

Costs 2 evolution points and uses 20 chemicals.

Blind Sting

The changeling silently stings a human, completely blinding them for a short time and rendering them permanently nearsighted. Costs 1 evolution point and uses 25 chemicals.

Hallucination Sting

The changeling injects large doses of hallucinogenic chemicals into their victim. Effect occurs after 30 to 60 seconds. The victim does not notice they've been stung until they start tripping.

Costs 1 evolution point and uses 5 chemicals.

Cryogenic Sting

The changeling injects the target with a blend of chemicals that begins to turn their blood to ice. The victim will walk slower and take some damage over the full duration. Victims wearing armor or insulated material will take more damage, since they are insulated from the ambient warmth. Can be countered with space heaters, coffee, and other warming objects and foods.

Costs 2 evolution points and uses 15 chemicals.

False Armblade Sting

The changeling silently injects a retrovirus that mutates their victim's arm into an armblade. The victim will form an armblade much like a changeling would, except the armblade is dull and useless. The transformation occurs immediately after the sting, and will last for about a minute.

Costs 1 evolution point and uses 20 chemicals.

Tips

  • As a changeling, the absolute best item for you to get is a wallet (From the crew quarters, in either cabin's personal closet, in the leather satchel.) It goes in your ID slot and holds up to 4 ids, all of which work for automatic access and none of which change your mouse over identity.
  • Only take a few abilities at round start! Once you take an ability, it is locked in unless you husk someone. Husking someone is time-consuming, leaves obvious evidence, sort of dickish, and if anyone interrupts you then you're boned. If you leave a few slots open, though, you can easily adapt to whatever shit you find yourself in.
  • Transformation Sting is robust. Not only does it confuse the fuck out of people and is silent, but it's easier to hide in a forest than on an open plain. Make 555 of the guy you are changing into for more genomes. Transform the guy you are husking/impersonating into someone else, so you're the only one. Transform a ling who is caught if the scene is chaotic enough that he might escape. The possibilities are endless. ADDED: Wear some generic clothes from arrivals or locker room. Then if somebody's chasing you, run out of their line of sigh, quickly transform and run backwards.
  • As a ling you are able to explore space, either staying as a regening corpse until you hit something or through a combination of fleshmend, engorged chem sacs, and a fire suit.
    • There are edible clown corpses on the clown shuttle.
    • You can of course find spaced people randomly, which is a great way to pick up an identity provided everyone doesn't know they were spaced.
    • Cryosting is very robust on people with insulation which makes it really effective in space, where they won't have a choice about staying dressed up in their suit.
  • Hive channel is free genome storage for identities.
  • Mimic voice and subverted AI, or mimic voice and digital camo go a LONG way in completely getting the crew against each other (ie: "one day, woody got wood").
  • Keep in mind that if you space yourself and let your corpse husk from the burn damage you'll still be a husk when you get back up. You can clear this effect by transforming to another form and back again. You could also buy voice changing and play a zombie.
  • DNA contains all the genetic disabilities/powers in addition to visual appearance, so if you want to be mean to people you could create a humanized monkey with all the disabilities, extract its DNA, then go around silently turning people into blind deaf convulsing gibbering heaps. It's the closest thing to a parasting we have now.
  • Blind sting + Lesser form = Freedom
    • Cryo Sting + Lesser form = Freedom
    • LSD Sting + Lesser form = Maybe freedom if it reaches the point of holodamage knockouts.

Tips for Fighting Against Changelings

  • Changelings do not need heads, and brains are therefore vestigial. Don't debrain a changeling while the body walks out of the door behind you.
  • As long as you can talk and you're within 1 tile of an intercom, you can type :i in front of what you say to say it over the intercom. Even when you're stunned and/or on the ground.
  • If you get cryostung as a Security Officer, remove your armor and helmet. REMOVE THEM. Or else you will die. Sec armor has somehow some heat tampering properties, which means you won't heat up as much as you would normally be, and will consequently die of cold. Same goes if you are wearing an hardsuit/space protective gear/anything that could have thermal properties. If you get cryo'd, REMOVE THOSE THINGS ASAP.
  • The bane of lings is N2O. None of their powers will help them. Unless they use internals.
  • Never fight a Changeling alone if you can help it. Unless they're hilariously unrobust, chances are they will almost always win a melee confrontation. The best tactic is to get a buddy to stun the changeling while you handcuff/beat it to death and take it to be gibbed/cremated.
  • Changeling flesh clothing is completely cosmetic/non-functional and cannot be removed. If during a strip-search you can't remove an article of clothing from a person, chances are they're a Changeling unless they're cursed in some way.
Jobs on /tg/station

Jobstemp.png

Command Captain, Head of Personnel
Security Head of Security, Security Officer, Warden, Detective
Engineering Chief Engineer, Station Engineer, Atmospheric Technician
Science Research Director, Scientist, Roboticist
Medical Chief Medical Officer, Medical Doctor, Chemist, Geneticist, Virologist
Service Janitor, Bartender, Cook, Botanist, Clown, Mime, Chaplain, Librarian
Civilian Quartermaster, Cargo Technician, Shaft Miner, Assistant, Lawyer
Non-human AI, Cyborg, Positronic Brain, Drone, Personal AI, Construct, Ghost
Antagonists Traitor, Changeling, Nuclear Operative, Wizard, Abductor, Xenomorph, Spider, Revenant, Space Ninja, Holoparasite, Swarmers, Blob, Devil, Clockwork Cult, Cortical Borer
Special Centcom Official, Death Squad Officer, Emergency Response Officer, Ian
Races Humans, Lizardperson, Flyperson, Plasmaman, Podman, Golem, Miscellaneous