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Alter Transformation sting


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A few days ago, we had a changeling round where tge transformation sting was used extensively, leading to half a dozen Fortune Bloises running about. While this was actually quite fun, it did bring up an issue, if you are transformed, and the geneticist isn't making backups, or you have yet to get one then, boom, no chance of return, you are that character for the entire shift; which can be irritating and breaking when the 'ling is just stealth stinging everyone.

So my suggestion is that when you are transformed, a record of your original DNA is kept somewhere internally, possibly in a tumor or similar; allowing a dedicated searcher to find it, and use it to restore your DNA. This tumor wouldn't be easy to find, especially for dead bodies.

The tumor could also cause various illnesses, slow toxin increase, organ/genetic damage.

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What reasonable explanation is there for it actually being present? How the hell does a ling morph other crew with a sting?

The above example being fun gives little redeeming value, considering that 99% of the time it doesn't help RP in any way, but either is used as borderline grief or brakes whatever RP was going on. A good example is, a captured ling, turns every officer that tries to get them out of their cell into another person. Its fucking annoying and everyone is like 'What?... how did this happen?', when in truth, every player in the general vicinity just wants to take a laser rifle and melt their head.

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Completely altering someone's DNA is a massive endeavour, I believe the Changeling does it through aggressive cells carrying the DNA being injected into the victim; this would quite likely leave nodules or tumors as I have suggested.

Whenever I use it, it is to disguise a victim; generally as a living crewmember. It could also be an idea to raise the chemical cost, as it is a major change; or have the effects take place over time, and the character slowly shifts into the new DNA.

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The only problem I have with transformation sting is, as mentioned, the inability to reverse it if you don't have a backup. I try to get people in for backups as standard practise, but so few actually turn up. It's one of the reasons that spurred me to suggest alterations to genetics instead; namely giving them a PDA DNA scanner cartridge so you can collect backups quickly, easily, and without making someone come all the way to Medbay.

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I can think of a few solutions to the ling sting

1. Keep it as is, but make the sting a publicly visible action.

(X 's lunges at Y, his/her hands changing into claws and stabbing them!

Y transforms!

X cocks his/her head back and launches a tiny dart at Y!

Y transforms!)

The biggest offense of this sting is that you can do it with zero repercussions whatsoever, even in the middle of a crowded hallway. Forcing people to reveal themselves (or only use it in a room where they have significant cover, such as a large number of transformed people) would make it less obnoxious, but still potent in the hands of a skillful antag.

2. Give transformation sting a time limit

The target keeps their original DNA, and after a set amount of time (let's say an hour) they revert back to themselves along with gaining a fair amount of toxin damage (20-30). This would make transform sting less of a FUCK YOU and more of a targeted escape/confusion mechanism.

3. Change it so that transform sting changes appearance, but not DNA.

It is possible to change the appearance of the mob without changing its DNA, as seen by mirrors or by editing VV. Having it so that transform sting only transforms your body, but not your DNA, would allow for a "cure" to be found through genetics even for post-sting victems.

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What reasonable explanation is there for it actually being present? How the hell does a ling morph other crew with a sting?


We're talking about aliens that can morph into different forms, suck the juices out of people, and have telepathy. Common sense and reason have no place here. I think it's a good idea, it makes them seem more like hostile, terrible alien creatures, rather than just people with proboscises sucking your brains out.

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I personally would just make the transformation sting much, much more visible to bystanders in the area. Lings that do this get away with it 90% of the time, so people really can't make backups of it without borderline powergaming it.

Might add a significant cooldown period for it as well, so that an antag can't spam it in the bar, and have half the station be Fortune Bloise in thirty seconds flat (or for people to fire extinguisher + monkey cube their way to victory from a maintenance closet five minutes into a round).

Especially not without Urist McOfficer seeing his buddy get jabbed in the back by a giant stinger.

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Transformation stings require a massive amount of genetic buildup to use. 40 out of 50, I think.

In addition, you also need the Extract DNA sting to effectively turn everyone into Fortune Bloise.

You're sacrificing potentially helpful stings for more gimmicky or confusing stings.

That round as the changeling that was wholly responsible for literally 16 Fortune Bloises, I was practically laughing my ass off until 30 minutes into the round where people finally decided to stay in their own departments and wait the conflict out.

And then I realized how fucking stupid this sting was and decided to never do it again.

Back on point, however. You need a significant amount of set-up time to pull off shit like this.

In addition, are we really looking to nerf an otherwise really overwhelming antagonist? Unless the ling manages to pull off several kills and attach some meaningful RP to it, the changeling is an extremely weak antagonist with very little threat outside some borderline griefy stings that make the gameplay for the crew less fun.

The above point there? Kind of proves two things. One, the antagonist mechanics need some tweaking. Two, antag ability is rather lacking within the playerbase.

You could probably fix one thing but not be able to fix the other. You don't have any real control over either. Nobody really does, until they decide to apply it themselves.

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Might add a significant cooldown period for it as well, so that an antag can't spam it in the bar, and have half the station be Fortune Bloise in thirty seconds flat (or for people to fire extinguisher + monkey cube their way to victory from a maintenance closet five minutes into a round).


It is limited by your chemical reserve, like all ling abilities, and that takes a fair amount of time to recharge. Currently lings can only spam it because they can use it /everywhere/.

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An idea, if I may?

Instead of making the ling's actions visible, you can make the victim's change of appearance draw more attention. Something along the lines of, "Target McGoo's skin starts to morph and bubble, their body rapidly changing shape and form." Maybe add in a forced scream and slightly blurry vision for a second.

Voila. You have something that grabs attention to the act and victim, not necessarily to the ling. It would also leave a rather horrific IC scene, enhancing the image of the changeling as a force of terror.

Also, kind of need to shack up with Delta's line of thought. There doesn't need to be an easy fix to what an antag does. If you deem the mechanic abused, write a player complaint.

It's actually kind of interesting for the geneticist to actually have engineering to do. Grab a protohuman, start messing with them until you get a desired form, inject and done.

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There is already a fairly obvious emote when it happens.

"X transforms!"

The emote is intentionally identical to the changing transformation emote, as the transform sting was originally designed with the intent to cover a changeling's transformations.

The issue is that it's a very easy, low-level way for a ling player to grief be antaggy with little risk to themselves. While it was fine during the objectives era, objetiveless antagonist play has shifted transformation stings from a means to an end (cover and confusion to work), to the end itself (transform as many people into a single person as possible!). As such, it needs to be made riskier or at least less overwhelmingly terrible for the target(s).

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I've just had a thought that might help with the transformation sting. What if it was temporary? Say.. X number of minutes, with X either being a set amount, or variable between two numbers (Maybe anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes?). When the time expires, 'X transforms!' happens again and they're back to normal. That could present some new oppurtunities for antags creating confusion and cover - Particularly since the antag doesn't have to be physically present for the transforming back portion, so security can't just say 'Oh, you were right next to him when it happened so its obviously your fault and you're obviously going to kill us all!' (OF course, if you're transform stinging every single person that walks past you, that's still going to come up.. But that's your fault).

It would also solve the player complaint that the transform sting completely mucks up people's rounds since there's 'no way' for them to change back currently.

In regards to the idea of the transformation sting's text, why not just make that the text for transformation in general? We have this more in-depth, thought out text for when a changeling is absorbing someone, but currently a transform is just 'transforms!'.

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