When we built the game, we didn't build werewolves in as a separate species from other Shifters. So instead of taking on a "garou" form (to harken back to the days of White Wolf RPGs), they would just shift into unnaturally large wolves. Of course, you can make your wolf as scary looking in that form as you want; we're willing to give everyone a healthy amount of creative freedom.
Other Shifters are similar. While they can, with time and lots of practice, shift only specific parts of their bodies in order to utilize some of their animal gifts while still in human form, none of them have a "monster" form, so to speak. All shifters will be able to shift into their animal forms, but will only appear as unnaturally large versions of their animals.
What happens to shifters during the full moon?
The answer depends a lot on whether the shifter is bitten or hereditary, and then on how much control they have over their shifting. Bitten shifters feel the pull of the moon more strongly than hereditary shifters, probably because born shifters have more practice with how to control their abilities. Bitten shifters don't learn this stuff from birth, so it's more difficult for them to control.
Either way, if a shifter can control their response to the pull of the moon, they don't have to be locked up. (This does not mean that they do not shift, only that they do not take on the uncontrolled animal instincts and stay themselves mentally. All shifters still shift on the Full Moon days.)
Shifters are excused from their duties on the nights of the full moon, and other employees take up the slack. If they can't control themselves well enough to confine their killing instinct to a semi-controlled hunt, they have to be caged. This is overseen by the Ringmaster, with assistance from the Coven and some of the more fearless roustabouts.
The circus does try to make sure that, wherever they are, there's some sort of semi-wilderness nearby where the shifters can hunt. This may be a forested area, or even just a large park if they're in a big city. During the full moon, though, the shifters that can control themselves are responsible for getting off the grounds and not returning until dawn. If they can't do this, they'll be caged as well.
What are the standard weakness for all Shifters?
• Silver (allergic to silver and feel physical pain from even skin contact.)
• Decapitation/Heart Extraction (instantaneous death.)
• Broken Neck (instantaneous death.)
• Magic (susceptible to the powers of witchcraft, mystical objects and dark objects.)
• Eventual Old Age (even a shifter can die of old age.)
How do Shifters age?
The rate is normal for shifters adolescence; they mature at the same rate that a human does until their late teens/early twenties. Upon reaching adulthood, the aging process slows to half speed with the average life expectancy being 150 years old. Example: 150/2=75 This means that a shifter being 150 years old is like being 75 as a human. 75/2= 38-ish So, a shifter that have been living 75 years would be viewed as roughly 38 years old in look and their life cycle. Bitten shifters see their age slow down at whatever point they're bitten at.
Can my character be a hybrid species?
No, as with all supernaturals, the more powerful supernatural genes will win over the 'weaker' genes every time. If your father was a Shifter and your mother a Gifted Human, you're going to be a Shifter.
What about between two Shifter species?
Still no hybrids, but it is a matter of taking after one shifter parent or the other. For the most part, this is up to players to sort out – it isn't a matter of the more powerful type of shifter blood winning out. With very rare species, however, generally children will be of the more common species. For instance, if a komodo dragon shifter mates with a wolf shifter, their child would almost certainly be a wolf shifter.
Can Fae be turned into Shifters? Can my gifted human keep their gifts if they become shifters?
Only human-types can be turned, and when a witch or gifted is turned they lose their gifts. Bitten Fae are usually just pissed off at being attacked/gnawed on.
Can my Shifter sense what others are?
Unlike more magical species, Shifters can only tell what someone is by scent. They are more likely to recognize fellow Shifters, Vampires, Demons, and some Fae, as each of those have relatively easy scent markers to understand. Not all Fae will be recognizable by scent though, all humans whether supernatural or not smell like standard humans. Sirens, Merfolk, and Other species would not have common enough smells for Shifters to distinguish, though enough time around Merfolk and Sirens will lead the Shifter to recognize the scent, though like humans both species smell alike.
Can Shifters decide to stay in their animal forms? For how long?
Born shifters can choose to take their animal forms indefinitely, but the longer they remain in them, the more animalistic they become. So a born shifter who spent a year as their animal would find it difficult to drop the habits of that animal when they shifted back. A born shifter who chose to spend ten years as their animal would find it difficult to shift back at all, and would need to re-integrate socially to become a functioning human again.
A bitten Shifter would find it difficult to keep their animal form for long periods of time, at least for quite some time after their change. They would need years of practice before they were able to reliably stay an animal, and then would have the same difficulties coming back as a born Shifter should they choose to remain an animal long-term.
Does clothing shift with my Shifter?
Nope! Better strip down or invest in cheap clothes you don't get attached to, because you can't take them with you.