Still taking questions for the Last BICP Character Q&A! Ask any question, for any character. (Or else I’ll have to come up with some other bonus filler for the next couple of weeks…)

Q. Are the shape shifting abilities of Being defined in the Contract, or some other way?

If they’re in the Contract, are they written permissively (“you can shapeshift into these kinds of things”) or exclusively (“you can’t shapeshift into anything but this”), and can that be rewritten to expand or restrict their abilities?

A. A mix of both. Patrick’s Contract defines his available animal-shapes in relation to “dogs”, but “dogs”, in turn, is defined by…all the dogs currently in existence. (This is why the Auroch-Being turned into a second Cow-Being after aurochs went extinct. No more referents.)

In theory you could write two sets of animal-shape referents into the same Contract, but it would be exponentially longer and more complicated, because you have to make sure every clause refers to both sets without overlap or conflicts. One dropped semicolon and you’ve got a Being that freezes whenever it tries to grow a tail.

Q. If a human in the battle world were to fall and scrape their knee, or hurt themselves/get hurt in some other way, what would happen to the wound when they returned to the real world? We know damage to Beings carries over- but does it do the same for humans?

A. A human who gets hurt in battlespace doesn’t get hurt IRL. The one effect it does have is that, if a Master is injured seriously-enough within battlespace, it counts as a loss for their Being and the battle will end.

Q. Has anyone explored the limits of using being deliberately prolonged battles as a way to get extra hours in a day, such as a writer bringing a manuscript to work on?

A. They have, yes!

Things in battlespace aren’t “real”, with the exception of injuries to Beings. So you can’t, say, take in a manuscript and write a bunch of notes and then come back and have the notes intact. What it’s good for is thinking, brainstorming, processing. You could take in your chem notes and have a few extra hours of studying. Or challenge your therapist and get an extra-long session.