Alter Gender (Pyramid 3/28: Thaumatology II, p. 14), Prerequisite: Androgyny
Duration: One hour unless made permanent. May be removed by Alter Gender or Remove Curse.
Cost: 7 to cast, 5 to maintain. May be made permanent, as an enchantment, for an energy cost of 175.
Time to cast: 2 minutes
Same costs and time for Androgyny, which just makes you look sort of neutral for the game mechanics, doesn't change organs.
But it's a weird, weird little set of spells meant for goblins
(the color text is Jareth)
and its prereq chain is basically these weird goblin spells
so it can't fit in to other GURPS magic.
The costs imply it's simpler than Alter Body, and the text specifically says if it is made permanent they can get pregnant. So I think this means GURPS considers reproductive organs to be simple, like horns and tails, rather than complex, like prehensile tails or working eyeballs. Which is quirky but makes sense in game mechanic terms. Alter Body can make you look like a specific person and is waaaaay more versatile, it's how to be Mystique, not how to transition. That bit about non functioning organs had me looking at the levelled up version instead, but that one can make you a whole different sentient species, if you want, so it is again a teensy bit more powerful in game terms.
So now I have in game costs for a world changer of a spell.
But it has some weird assumptions around it and a bit of random transphobia in the story seeds suggestions - "A long-time ally of the heroes is hiding a secret: “She” isn’t female at all, but a secret practitioner of Yellow Goblin
Magic disguising her (his) true form via Alter Gender. So many lies..."
... no, no, and also no. If someone says they're a she then lo, they are a she, whether or not they've transitioned, by magic or other means.
Why put that in? I know the game mechanic description is all about how you can usefully hide by changing your whole appearance in two minutes, but that's not why people would want it. Alter Visage is quicker to cast and easier to learn, and substantially more versatile. People who specifically and only want to change their gender have a whole different motivation than this spell write up assumes.
So, not best pleased with this particular article.
But I'll take the cost and time suggestions and put them into the ordinary Body Control College instead.
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