Hengeyokai (5A)

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Starfox's 5th Edition Fan Page

This is an original Sorcerous Origin for 5A.

Hengeyokai is a group of supernatural creatures in Japanese mythology, shape-changing animals capable of taking human form. Here, it has been rendered as a type of shape-changing sorcerer that can be a human or anthropomorphic animal that learns to shape-shift and other magical powers. A hengeyokai can be a human that can assume an animal and hybrid form, an anthropomorphic animal that can assume human and animal form, or an animal that can take human or anthropomorphic forms, tough in game terms this would be either a human or an anthropomorphic animal.

Hengeyokai are shape-shifters, capable of taking animal, human, and hybrid humanoid animal forms. This can be an inborn ability inherited from a magical ancestor, a mystic ability derived from close identification with a particular animal, or a gift given by another hengeyokai. People in shamanistic societies might become hengeyokai by associating with a totem animal, coming to the same abilities from the other direction.

Greyhawk Anthropomorphic animals have a strong presence in Nippon and Wrang. Hengeyokai are most common in these areas, but they also exist in other places, particularly the Celestial Empire. Hengeyokai in other cultures are rare, but exist.

Racial Limits and Variants

Depending on the setting, hengeyokai may have racial limits. The most suitable races to be hengeyokai are anthropomorphic animals, such as Aarakocra, Aven, Centaur, Giff, Hadozee, Harengon, Hybsil, Kenku, Khenra, Kitsune, Leonin, Locathah, Owlin, Sagittarian, Satyr, Tabaxi, and Tortle. Other races can also be hengeyokai, but to do so they must associate themselves very strongly with a particular animal, often a shamanic totem animal.

Certain hengeyokai undergo physical changes to their animal forms as they advance in level. Kitsune (fox-hengeyokai) are famous for gaining additional tails, one for each level of spell they are capable of casting. Tanuki (racoon dog hengeyokai) grow fantastically large testes. Such changes are always optional, and can be used or not whenever you change shape.

Subclass Features

Hengeyokai Spells

Starting at 1st level, you learn additional spells when you reach certain levels in this class, as shown on the Hengeyokai Spells table. Each of these spells counts as a sorcerer spell for you, but it doesn't count against the number of sorcerer spells you know.

Whenever you gain a sorcerer level, you can replace one spell you gained from this feature with another spell of the same level. The new spell must be from the bard, druid, or sorcerer spell list.

Aberrant Mind Spells
Sorcerer Level Spells
1 Animal Friendship, Speak with Animals
3 Alter Self, Summon Beast
5 Aura of Vitality, Nondetection
7 Charm Monster, Polymorph
9 Commune with Nature, Dream

Triple Form

Starting at level 1 your creature type gains the shapechanger tag. You can use a bonus action to change form into one of three different shapes, an animal form, a human shape, and an anthropomorphic animal form. Each is detailed below. In each case, this is a single form that is identical each time you assume it, and you keep physical traits between forms, making you somewhat recognizable regardless of the form you assume—at least to people used to creatures of the types you change into.

Animal Form. When you first gain this ability, select a beast with a challenge of 1/2 or less. Typical hengeyokai animals are foxes, crows, badgers, sparrows, and tanuki (Japanese raccoon dog), but any animal from tiny to large in size can be the animal form. You can change into the form of this beast. Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the chosen beast. You retain your alignment and personality, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores and related skills, and hit points. You are limited in the actions you can perform by the nature of this new form, and you can’t speak, cast spells, or take any other action that requires hands or speech. You retain your skills, and the bonus in each skill rather than recalculating skill bonuses based on the ability scores of your assumed form.. Your gear melds into the new form. You can’t activate, use, wield, or otherwise benefit from any of your equipment.

At 6th level you retain your ability to speak and cast spells in animal form, using your limbs for somatic components and a specific part of your body as an arcane spell focus. You must decide what part of your body this is, common picks are horns, tail, ears, snout, or paws. If this part of your body is bound, even by such simple means as a loop of string, you cannot cast spells or use Hengeyokai features. You cannot remove such a seal yourself.

Anthropomorphic Form. You can assume the form of a humanoid with traits that are a mix of human and animal. This is mostly a cosmetic effect, you assume an alternate shape, but still retain your racial abilities. If you are an anthropomorphic animal, this is your natural form.

Humanoid. You can assume a humanoid form. This is mostly a cosmetic effect, you assume an alternate shape, but still retain your racial abilities. If you are human or other humanoid that is not an anthropomorphic animal, this is your natural form.

Equipment Transmutation

At 6th level, when you transmute yourself into a new form, you can simultaneously create equipment appropriate to that form. You can create clothes and other everyday accessories to flesh out an assumed form. When you assume a form that has a stat block that includes equipment, you can spend one sorcery point to create all equipment listed for that stat block. You can create additional significant items of equipment at a cost of one sorcery point each. This includes, weapons, armor, and adventuring gear.

You cannot create magic items this way, instead creating mundane duplicates. Items created this way are a part of you, and if you Shapeshift again or when a piece of equipment ends a turn 10 feet or more feet away from you, it disappears.

Focused Transmutation

Beginning at 6th level, while you are concentrating on a transmutation spell that affects only yourself, your concentration can't be broken unless you become incapacitated.

Polymorph Mastery

Beginning at 14th level, when you cast Polymorph on yourself, you can use a higher level spell slot to change into alternate types of creatures. 5th: Humanoid, Construct, Giant, Monstrosity. 6th: Elemental, Ooze, Plant. 7th: Aberration, Dragon, Fey. 8th: Celestial, Fiend. You cannot assume the form of a creature with the shapechanger tag. You can assume the form of an object by polymorphing into an Animate Object and remaining stationary.

Shape Mastery

Beginning at 18th level, you gain advantages when you are under the effect of Animal Shapes, Mass Polymorph, Polymorph, Shapechange, True Polymorph, and similar spells that replace your attributes with that of another creature. You retain your Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. You also retain all of your skill and saving throw bonuses, in addition to gaining those of the creature. If the creature's bonus listed in its statistics is higher than yours, use the creature’s bonus in place of yours. You can’t use any legendary actions or lair actions of the new form. You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them, provided that your new form is physically capable of doing so. You can’t use any special senses you have (for example, darkvision) unless your new form also has that sense.

Designer's Notes

This is a tricky subclass in that it goes deep into the rules for polymorph and transmutation spells. I tried to be practical about it, to make this into concrete rules that can apply to specific game situations, but I am afraid I have not done this far enough.

In the future I may wish to link this more to sorcerer class mechanics like sorcery points.