1. B.G. Dobbins
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    B.G. Dobbins Member

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    Plausible Transformation

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by B.G. Dobbins, Oct 1, 2016.

    Technically speaking, a person can't gain mass spontaneously, so is there anyway it's plausible for a man to transform into a larger animal?

    I'm writing a paranormal fiction series with vampires and were-creatures and such, but I want into to be more in the realm of scientific rather than magical. Of course, I'm aware that most of it will really push the limits of what's actually scientifically possible. However, I want something that can at least be believable. Similar to how we know modern day zombies could never happen due to a number of complicated reasons if you really delve into the science, but in the realm of the story it's credible.

    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Some ideas:

    The person has to ingest the excess mass prior to the transformation
    The mass has to be nearby in some form, and the person draws on it
    The person taps into mass from an alternate dimension, so there is no need for mass on hand in this one

    Opposite problems exist when the person changes back - they have to divest themselves of excess mass in a hurry.
     
  3. I.A. By the Barn
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    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

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    @Steerpike 's suggestions are what I would go for but some other ideas could be:
    The transformation requires more than one person
    They have to wear clothes like the animal they are trying to turn into, like a heavy fur coat
    They could transform as they are, just be less dense, like how birds' wings are hollow, so the mass goes elsewhere
     
  4. Sal Boxford
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    Sal Boxford Active Member

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    This is what I was going to say. I.A. has saved me the bother. Skin could stretch and bones become less dense and so on, so the person would take up more space and look like the animal outwardly, but if you cut them open they'd clearly be something else.
     
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  5. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah but if you want them to be strong, carry a lot of muscle, able to take physical punishment etc (and I don't know that you do) making them less dense is going to be a problem.
     
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  6. hawls
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    hawls Active Member

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    Maybe they draw mass from the earth? Dirt is full of minerals, nutrients, elements and other crap and literal crap. They could leave holes or craters where they have transformed. It could be a way to track them, the telltale signs of a were-beastie on the prowl.
     
  7. Iain Aschendale
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    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

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    There's a story in the "Erotica" section that involves experimental magic. The people in the lab bring in big buckets of mulch for the magicians to use for mass when the transformation takes place.
     
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  8. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Our mass is mostly water and our cells range in size dramatically—the bigger ones holding more. Your transformation @B.G. Dobbins could entail the cells' structure being rearranged so as to increase the volume of water they hold.

    FWIW plants partly transform this way (little acorn – mighty oak); they take on trace minerals and water from the ground, the sun's energy from the sky and mix it with carbon that's abundant in the atmosphere . Their bulk is again mostly water.

    By the above you also give your characters weaknesses: don't water them (after midnight :p) and keep them in the dark and all'l be well in your world.
     
  9. B.G. Dobbins
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    B.G. Dobbins Member

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    Thanks guys! I was thinking along the lines of less density, but then I did run into the problem of strength, and I want my were-beasts to be strong and scary :D. I do like the absorption from the environment and air idea. Like Seth said, we're mostly water, so they could absorb water from the atmosphere to assist in the transformation. It's not too out there of an idea, either, since we actually do absorb moisture into our skin. This will just be a supercharged version of that.
     
  10. Gadock
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    Gadock Member

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    Why is it not plausible? Mass is a form of energy. As you might know atoms is build from protons neutrons and electrons, but did you know if you had this same amount of protons and neutrons in lets say water, would way more than it would in iron. So since having to change all elements, bonds and phase anyways, creating extra mass wouldn't be considerately more.
     
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  11. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, but those kinds of nuclear reactions tend to have a pretty hefty energy cost.

    Destroying some matter entirely could provide enough energy to re-arrange the rest, but that would be something for a character or two to point out.
     
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