|Access: Any place you or your victims had access to, or anywhere you can break in.|
Supervisors: The Syndicate, probably
Duties: Drink people's DNA, fool people.
Guides: This is the guide
A changeling is an alien creature that is intelligent and able to morph into humans. Changelings are solitary hunters, but also take contracts from syndicate forces in order to steal Nanotrasen tech. The main weapons of the changeling are its ability to internally synthesize dangerous chemicals, morph into creatures it has absorbed, and blend in with humans.
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.
Changelings can communicate with one another using 'say :g' before their speech
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.
Acquiring DNA via husking 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.
- 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.
Absorbing everyone is dickish and shouldn't be what you always use, as DNA extraction sting is entirely covert and does not kill the target while still counting for objectives.
Acquiring DNA via DNA Extraction Sting, however, is instant and does not give any alert to the target.
- Costs 25 chemicals.
- Counts towards DNA absorption objectives.
"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.
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.
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.
Changelings may have the following objectives:
Absorb 5-7 DNA stands. All changelings get this objective and it can be fulfilled via DNA extract sting or Absorbing.
Assassinate a person. All changelings get this objective and it can be fulfilled via normal methods or some of your various abilities.
Steal an object. This takes up the same slot as Debrain a person; you will only get one of the two. It is generally considered easier than Debrain a person. Debrain a person. This takes up the same slot as Steal an object; you will only get one of the two. It must be done by obtaining surgical tools, then subduing the target and debraining them via surgery.
Escape on the shuttle alive. All changelings get this objective, to fulfill, be on the escape shuttle or a pod when they land at Central Command.
Like traitors, changelings operate individually. It is not required for changelings to 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. They are in no way obligated to assist each other. 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 quickly at a rough set rate of half a chemical per second, which is doubled with Engorged Chemical Glands.
Changelings start with 5 evolution points. Each current ability costs 1 point, excluding the free ones. By husking a lifeform, they gain the ability to reset their learned abilities and choose new ones, adapting to situations as they arise.
Note that changelings are immune to each others' stings. If you try to sting someone and they don't react, THEY'RE ONE TOO!
A free evolution. The changeling can channel a selected genome into the airwaves for other changelings to absorb and use. Costs 10 chemicals.
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. Costs 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. Costs 25 chemicals.
A free evolution. The changeling can enter a stasis for a small cost, and after some time, can leave it to heal all wounds, also with a small cost. Renders the changeling very hard to kill. Costs 10 chemicals to enter, and 10 to leave.
A free evolution. 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.
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 5 chemicals and 5 to shift back.
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 25 chemicals.
Engorged Chemical Glands
A passive ability that increases the changeling's maximum storage capacity of chemicals to 75, from 50, and doubles the rate of chemical regeneration.
Allows the changeling to form their voice of a name they enter. Prevents chemical generation while active.
Prevents AIs from tracking the changeling's location while active, but makes you look strange on examine.
Unlike Regenerative Stasis, the changeling will rapidly heal itself without the need to go into stasis. Costs 30 chemicals.
Cures the changeling of diseases, 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. Costs 25 chemicals.
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 preventing people from fleeing from you. Costs 25 chemicals.
The changeling silently sting a human, completely blinding them for a short time and rendering them permanently nearsighted. May be used while under the effects of Lesser Form. Costs 25 chemicals.
The changeling silently sting a human, completely silencing them for a short time. Does not provide a warning to a victim that they've been stung, until they try to speak and can't. May be used while under the effects of Lesser Form. Costs 20 chemicals.
The changeling injects a retrovirus that forces their human victim to transform into another. Costs 40 chemicals.
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. Costs 5 chemicals.
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. Can be countered with space heaters, coffee, and other warming objects and foods. Costs 15 chemicals.
Two spiderlings crawl out of the changeling's mouth, eventually growing into deadly beasts. IMPORTANT: You need at least 5 DNA absorptions to gain enough power to use this late-game ability! Costs 50 chemicals.