Changeling, 4th Variant (5e Race)
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Changeling, 3rd Variant
Long ago there was a woman named Jes, and she had one hundred children. Her rivals conspired against her and swore to kill her children. Jes begged the Sovereigns for help, but their only answer was the wind and rain. In the depths of her despair, a lonely traveler took her hand. “I will protect your children if they follow my path. Let them wander the world. They may be shunned and feared, but they will never be destroyed.”Jes agreed, and the traveler gave her his cloak. When she draped it over her children their old faces melted away, and they could be whoever they wanted to be. And so it remains. Though the Children are shunned by all, the gift of the Traveler protects them still.
—Chance, changeling priest
A changeling can shift its face and form with a thought. Many changelings use this gift as a form of artistic and emotional expression, but it is an invaluable tool for grifters, spies, and others who wish to deceive. This leads many people to treat known changelings with fear and suspicion.
Changelings are spread across the world. Wherever humans can be found, there are changelings; the question is whether their presence is known. Changelings are born to one of three paths. A few are born and raised in stable communities, where changelings are true to their nature and deal openly with the people around them. Some are orphans, raised by other races, who find their way in the world without ever knowing another like themselves. Still others are part of the nomadic changeling clans spread across the Five Nations who keep their true nature hidden from the single-skins. Some of these clans maintain safe havens in major cities and communities, but most prefer to wander, following the unpredictable path of the Traveler. In creating a changeling adventurer, consider the character’s relationships with the people around them. Does the character conceal their true changeling nature, or do they embrace it? Do they have connections to a changeling community or clan, or are they alone and in search of companions?
Masks and Personas
In their natural form,changelings are slender and pale with colorless eyes and silver-white hair. A changeling can alter its physical appearance with a thought. While this can be used to deceive others, it is a natural form of expression for the changeling. A changeling shifts shapes the way others might change clothes. A casual shape—one created on the spur of the moment, with no depth or history—is called a mask. A changeling mask can be used to express a mood or to serve a specific purpose and then never used again. However, many changelings develop identities that have more depth. They build an identity over time, crafting a persona,with history and beliefs. This focused identity helps a changeling pinpoint a particular skill or emotion. A changeling adventurer might have personas for many situations, including negotiation, investigation, and combat. Personas can be shared by multiple changelings; there might be three healers in a community, but whoever is on duty will adopt the persona of Tek, the kindly old medic. Personas can even be passed down through a family, allowing a younger changeling to take advantage of contacts established by previous users of the persona.
Most Changelings fall under one of four groups of mindesets; the Polysubsists, Monosubsists, Truthseekers, and Plasticers.
Polysubsists are the 2nd biggest group of the four mindsets belonging to changelings. A polysubsist is a changeling that tries to constantly take on different shapes and forms to assume many different identities and live many different types of lives. Most polysubsists are ok with managing to live like 2 or 3 different identities, as long as they can live without their secret possibly being discovered. Some older changelings might have taken on even so many identities in the past, that they can not keep them all straight and constantly mix them up. Others might overwork themselves while trying to manage all their different identities and developed a case of DID (dissociative identity disorder) in consequence.
"No, why?~ What do you mean with I should slow down and lay off one or two identities? He's right you're running on fumes! Take a break. No, please! I don't wanna die! This can't be happening! Not now!... And what is going to become of my important meeting then? I have places to be!... Wait, who said that? Where did this come frome?..."
Monosubsists are changelings who wish to fit in, mostly where they grew up, and try to live their lives in only one form, by denying their true nature and keeping it a secret if possible. Monosubsists are the smallest group of the four mindsets and therefore are sometimes confronted with criticism and contempt by other changelings and are referred with nicknames such "denier", "oneform" or "husk". Denier, for turning their backs on their own kind and denying the fact that they are changelings themselves, creatures whose very nature it is to change. Oneform, for limiting their appearance to one shape and wasting their talent. Husk, for trying to continue to live the life they lived before experiencing their "turnout". If the common folk finds out the true identity of a monosubsist changeling, the topic might become teased, joked upon, or even become a victim to straight-up racism. If the prejudice against changelings are strong enough in any given society that they are living in, it might even lead to the changeling becoming isolated in the community or worse. Some monosubsist might come to terms with their natural shape-changing ability and may no longer hold steadfast to their belief that they should stay in their one chosen shape. Others might start to follow the path of the truth.
A: "...It was nice to meet you, but I am needed elsewhere, so if you would please excuse me, I must go now. ("...") I-I don't know what you are talking about. I'm not a changeling. Why would you think that?"
B: "I did not choose to be like this! I just want to live a somewhat normal live as who I grew up!... Please keep it secret. I don't want to lose my home again..."
C: "I grew up as this person and I'm going to live as this person. I don't have the need to express my self much further like others of my kind do."
Truthseekers are the third largest group of the four mindsets, yet they are only a quarter the size of the group of the polysubsists. The truthseekers seek to find the great truth of what changelings are and why they were born the way that they were among various other questions about themselves. These individuals suppress their natural shapechanging abilities, even more than monosubsists, in the belief that taking on other peoples shape or lives is interfering the development of their real personality and own mind and prefer to live or socialize with other Changelings. Truthseekers could be described as monks or hindoos of some sort as they seek answers to complex questions about themselves and their place in the world.
"The way of the truth is not clear to everyone at first. But with enough time given, the fog will lighten eventually. Are you willing to follow the way?"
Plasticer are the 4th and biggest group of all a changeling can be associated with. Changelings are as varied in mind as they are physically, and some changelings just don't fit into any of the three previous labels and treat their shapechanger trait as simply another talent that they can use as they wish. Every changeling who doesn't fit into the three other groups is called a plasticer. Because of this, the plasticer are by far the loosest group as they share no real common goal.
"Why should I seek to limit my self? It is my life. Having just a singular form is boring and I am not interested in living multiple lives. I believe in my freedom of expression!"
A changeling might use a different name for each mask and persona, adopting new names as easily as they develop new faces. The true name of a changeling tends to be monosyllabic; however, there are often accents to a changeling’s name that are expressed through shapeshifting, something single-skins will likely miss. For instance, two changelings might have the name Jin, but one is Jin-with-vivid-blue-eyes and one is Jin-with-golden-cheeks. Changelings have a fluid relationship with gender, seeing it as one characteristic to change among many others.
Changeling Names: Bin, Cas, Dox, Fie, Hars, Jin, Lam, Mas, Nix, Ot, Paik, Ruz, Sim, Toox, Vil, Yug
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2 and your Dexterity or your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Age. Changelings mature slightly faster than humans but share a similar lifespan—typically a century or less. While a changeling can shapeshift to conceal their age, the effects of aging still catch up to them.
Alignment. Changelings hate to be bound in any way, and those who follow the path of the Traveler believe that chaos and change are important aspects of life. Most tend toward pragmatic neutrality as opposed to being concerned with lofty ideals. Few changelings embrace evil.
Size. In their natural forms, changelings average between 5 and6 feet in height, with a slender build.Your size isMedium
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Change Appearance. As an action, you can transform your appearance or revert to your natural form. You can’t duplicate the appearance of a creature you’ve never seen, and you revert to your natural form if you die. You decide what you look like, including your height, weight, facial features, the sound of your voice, coloration, hair length, sex, and any other distinguishing characteristics. You can make yourself appear as a member of another race, though none of your game statistics change. You also can’t appear as a creature of a different size than you, and your basic shape stays the same; if you’re bipedal, you can’t use this trait to become quadrupedal, for instance. Your clothing and other equipment don’t change in appearance, size, or shape to match your new form, requiring you to keep a few extra outfits on hand to make the most compelling disguise possible.
Even to the most astute observers, your ruse is usually indiscernible. If you rouse suspicion, or if a wary creature suspects something is amiss, you have advantage on any Charisma (Deception) check you make to avoid detection.
Body Augments. When you use your Shapeshifter trait to transform you can augment your transformation in one of the following ways:
• You web your hands and feet gaining a swimming speed equal to your walking speed.
• You strengthen and harden a part of your form to turn it into a natural weapon such as claws, fangs, horns or other similar features. Unarmed strikes with this feature deal piercing, slashing or bludgeoning damage, appropriate to the feature, equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier.
• You create a membrane between your arms and body that grants you a glide speed of 20.
Changeling Instincts. You gain proficiency with two of the following skills of your choice: Deception, Insight, Intimidation, or Persuasion.
Unsettling Visage. When a creature you can see makes an attack roll against you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the roll. You must use this feature before knowing whether the attack hits or misses.Using this trait reveals your shapeshifting nature to any creature within 30 feet that can see you.Once you use this trait, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
Stealthy Movements. Thanks to the fluidity of your body and your doppelganger heritage, you are proficient in the Stealth skill.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and two other languages of your choice.