Here’s my take on the much requested hegeyokai for Blood & Treasure. I tried to keep it simple, since they’re a playable race. Let me know what you think.
Magical Beast, Alignment Varies, Average Intelligence; Solitary
ATK Staff (1d6) or dagger (1d4) or by animal type
SV F 11, R 11, W 13
The hengeyokai are magical beasts that can take human form, usually to play tricks on human beings. They can also take a hybrid form of animal and human, often to good effect when attempting to shock their human victims. Some hengeyokai are rather malevolent, others merely mischievous.
Hengeyokai are usually tiny or small animals in their animal form. When in their animal form, they have the same armor class, movement rate, attacks and damage as that animal form, as well as any special abilities that animal might have. When in hybrid form, they retain the animal form’s attacks, but inflict +1 damage due to their larger size. Hengeyokai can change their shape (i.e. from animal to hybrid, or hybrid to human, or back) three times per day. In animal and hybrid form, hengeyokai have darkvision to a range of 60 feet.
Hengeyolai in hybrid and human form have the following additional abilities, depending on their type:
BAKENEKO (Cat) are usually malevolent creatures. They are immune to poison and can cast dancing lights once per day. Bakeneko with 6 or more hit dice or levels can also cast animate dead, turning corpses into zombies by leaping over them in cat or hybrid form.
INUGAMI (Dog) are loyal and generally lawful in alignment, the protectors of humanity from other hengeyokai. In human form, they typically take the shape of an armored warrior. They can cast cure light wounds once per day, and can cure disease once per week by licking a wound in dog or hybrid form.
JORŌGUMO (Giant Spider): Like the kitsune, the jorōgumo is a temptress, her human form being that of a willowy, elegant woman. They can cast spider climb and web once per day each.
KITSUNE (Fox): Kitsune, or fox maidens, may be the most famous of the hengeyokai. They appear as beautiful women and use their powers to charm and seduce men, using them as bodyguards and servants. Kitsune can charm person once per day and, when they have an instrument, fascinate as a bard with as many levels as the kitsune has Hit Dice. For each additional level or Hit Dice a kitsune gains, they grow an additional tail in their fox form, up to a maximum of nine tails.
MUJINA (Badger): The mujina are not particularly evil, but they do delight in frightening people. They can use the spell change self once per day to give themselves a frightening appearance, and cause fear once per day to frighten those who are not shocked by their appearance. Like badgerd, they are tenacious and ill-tempered when their tricks go awry.
TANUKI (Racoon Dog): Tanuki are pot-bellied tricksters, often drunk and always in good spirits. They can change self once per day, using this ability to make humans feel foolish.
HENGEYOKAI AS CHARACTERS
Hengeyokai characters are whimsical and capricious, and thus suffer a -1 penalty to their starting wisdom score. Bakeneko and jorōgumo gain a +1 bonus to their starting dexterity score, kitsune and tanuki a +1 bonus to their starting charisma and inugami and mujina a +1 bonus to their starting constitution score. They retain the ability to change shape and to cast the spells of their normal type. Hengeyokai cannot take levels as clerics, but can advance as druids. They can multi-class as fighter/sorcerers or sorcerer/thieves.
6 thoughts on “Hengeyokai for Blood and Treasure”
I like this. Simple, to the point and versatile. However one simple question about the hybrid form – does it allow for weapons attacks, wearing of armor etc? Or would it be just basicly a bigger base animal form? Would you be able to mix attacks in that form – namely go for a sword strike and then say a bite?
Also how would you handle hengeyokai like wolves, tigers etc.?
I guess I didn't address it, but yeah, you could wear armor and wield weapons in the hybrid form. Mixing attacks can become an issue, of course, in terms of making them playable. I'd maybe say the hybrid creatures can either attack with a weapon, or make a single unarmed attack that deals 1d4 damage.
As for tigers and wolves – I wouldn't use the hengeyokai for them. In game terms, a tiger hengeyokai as an encountered monster might not be an issue, but I wouldn't let it be a playable thing since in animal form, a tiger (and to some extent a wolf) considerably outclasses most low level characters.
Thanks for the clarification on the hybrid form – this is very helpful. If I can follow up with some advice – include the bit about the hybrid form on the actual race description in the book.
Also how would you handle the animal/hybrid forms in terms of level growth/stats? Would be hybrid form have the stats of the character or the animal in question? Also would the animal form grow in power with the hengeyokai? Meaning if you are a 6 level warrior and turn into a dog – the dog would be 6 hit dice dog?
I'll add it.
As far as scaling – I wouldn't. The point of the animal forms isn't combat – you don't want 12th level cats attacking dragons and winning. The animal form is the animal form, and should primarily be useful for sneaking around. The human and hybrid forms are what you want to take for combat and skill use.
Okay – thanks for the quick answer.
I recon the hybrid form has the rolled stats of the character. Would you include the +1 damage for weapon attacks also in the hybrid form or not really? Also I asume the hybrid form would be medium in size?
No, the +1 to damage was to simulate the natural damage from a larger creature, since the hybrid form is larger than the animal form. The hybrid and human forms would have the same stats.
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