11:50:53 AM Dec 2nd 2012
Would a formerly human shapeshifter whose default appearance is that of her original body, but with a great deal of scarring from prolonged torture removed, fall under Type A, or Type B? I can see a case being made for either, seeing as their 'true form', for purposes of spells and dispelling effects, is considered to be the one with the scars, thus rendering the one they normally use their preferred form, but it's also what they'd look like had they not undergone that experience, so a good case could be made for it being what they/their species normally look like.
09:53:14 PM Aug 9th 2012
I don't know if Envy from Fullmetal Alchemist counts as Type A. At least, if we're talking "default," then in both continuities he's the palmtree-haired teenager thing. Still, the big green Giyagas monster and "Hoju" aren't shown as his default, so...I don't know. To me, he fits Type B a lot better, since in both versions his usual self was never his true form.
12:52:41 PM Aug 31st 2011
If the most powerful form for Type-B was always the default, wouldn't the character be more likely to run into the Worf Effect?
08:29:30 PM Jan 25th 2011
Anti-Type-A Argument: I've always wondered why a true shapeshifting race would have a "default" form at all. Wouldn't it be far more plausible to assume that they are shapeshifting ALL THE TIME? Why would there be an "inherent" default?
01:03:26 AM Dec 2nd 2012
Mostly, because otherwise you have issues like 'what the hell is this thing born as?'. If there's no 'default form', then they can't be anything before they're capable of shifting, thus, you end up with a species that has invisible energy babies. Of course, there's nothing saying they can't all start life as energy-babies... Except that that's also a default form. Admittedly, it's a default form of 'forcefield', but it's still a default form. So they have to be born as nothing at all... Which raises the question of 'how does something start life if it's nonexistent at birth?'. An easier way to get around that would be that that the default form is an individual thing, so that the forms of the parents at the time of conception determine the default form of the child, but that doesn't seem to be what you're arguing for.