General D&D Considerations.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
GM
 GM, 22 posts
Thu 6 Apr 2017
at 17:21
General D&D Considerations
Changelings and other shapeshifters have not taken over the world. They don't even seem to be considered a much worse threat than most other dangers of the world, even when they are well-known to exist and live among the rest of society, as is the case with changelings in Eberron.

So, what keeps changelings in check? Changelings don't have any special ability for identifying other changelings. They have a bonus to Insight, but when leveled at another changeling, their bonus to Bluff would counter that (all things being equal, assuming NPCs work exactly like PCs, which isn't always the case). Without special precautions, it must happen that without a lot of precaution changelings sometimes take the place of other changelings, without realizing it, or realizing it only too late.

This is a key reason for the existence of the Tyrants. Insofar as they command the respect of (or induce fear in) other changeling criminals, they serve as a central source for changeling crime. Changelings would check with them, and they would check their records, to make sure no other changeling was already in place.

This actually partially gets around the lack of inherent ability to detect other changelings. Changelings who just want to be left alone, either never taking other forms to deceive (i.e. only for fun, or theater) or never changing out of a borrowed form and just living their lives wouldn't attract notice, but a widespread gang of changelings would be on the constant lookout for beings who fit a changeling M.O., and trigger focused gang investigation into the matter.

Other than relying on the Tyrants, relatively simple and available magic is brought to bear, as much as possible. Alchemical and spell-based means for extracting or seeing truth are employed. However, many changelings, for their own safety and the safety of their kind, take what steps they can to hinder or disable such methods. Supplies of reagents become spoiled. Ritual books get lost or damaged. Certain professionals find themselves distracted and harried by personal problems to an extent that they can't focus well. Not all of these are the results of actions by changelings (even non-Tyrant-affiliated ones), but many of them are. But people who are in a position to effect these actions can quickly attract the attention of those on the lookout for changelings. The field of detection and counter-detection becomes one that is constantly shifting.
GM
 GM, 24 posts
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 16:08
General D&D Considerations
Along with changelings keeping tabs on an interfering with anti-changeling tactics, other monsters with the means and know-how will take steps to take their particular vulnerabilities from being exploited.

The Church of the Silver Flame has to deal with this in its anti-lycanthrope efforts. They have to carefully guard silver mines, silver shipments, silvered armaments, and anything else that could make life troublesome for lycanthropes.