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The Hengeyokai race was introduced in the Oriental Adventure book. They showed several subraces, but said that these are the most common, so there are more out there. This is a compilation of some of the other subraces. For those of you not familiar with the race, I put in the complete description of the race, but the original subraces are not included.

Hengeyokai are intelligent, shape-changing animals. Several sub-races exist, each a different type of animal. They are found throughout the Oriental world, usually on the fringes of human-settled lands.

The ability to change shape is natural to hengeyokai. They are not lycanthropes and they do not have any of the symptoms of lycanthropy: they are not limited by cycles of the moon, are not especially susceptible to silver weapons, cannot transmit their power through wounds, and cannot heal their own wounds merely by changing shape.

Hengeyokai can be Shukenja (Priest), Kensai (Fighter), Bushi (Fighter), or Wu-jen (Mage). They cannot be Samurai or ninjas since they are not human.

An hengeyokai can assume any of three shapes: its animal form, its human form, and a bipedal form that combines both animal and human features. This ability is limited, however. The number of times a hengeyokai can change froms is in one day equals his level. Thus a 1st-level hengeyokai can change from human to animal form once in a day. He then has to remain in animal form until the next day, when he can change to human or bipedal form. A 3rd level hengeyokai can change form 3 times a day.

Changing form requires a complete round during which the character can do nothing else. Armor or equipment do not change form with the hengeyokai. The character must make provisions for the storage or transportation of his equipment in some way.

Unlike other races (including humans), hengeyokai are not members of a clan and do not gain the benefits (or suffer the penalties) of clan kinship. In general, the hengeyokai are a secretive race, preferring to avoid prolonged contact with humans. They have little desire for land or position and can never establish families or strongholds even if their chosen class allows this.

Hengeyokai have their own language, which is the same for all hengeyokai regardless of their animal type. They can speak this language in all of their three forms.

Animal Form: When in animal form the hengeyokai is virtually undetectable from normal animals. Since the change of form is real and not an illusion, it cannot be detected by spells that reveal illusions. While in animal form, hengeyokai have the abilities listed below under their animal form type.

Hengeyokai also have several disadvantages while in animal form. They cannot use any weapons, armor, or equipment, making it possible for them to be mistaken for (and even hunted as) normal animals. Hengeyokai with magical abilities cannot cast any spells in animal form, nor can they speak any languages other than those of the hengeyokai and the normal animals. They can understand any language they know, but may not be able to reply.

The hengeyokai has fewer hit points in his animal form than in either of his other forms. Hengeyokai in animal form have only one-half their normal number of hit points (rounded up). Hit points lost in one form are carried over point-for point to the new form. A hengeyokai cannot change forms if this would leave him with 0 or fewer hit points.

When a hengeyokai character reaches 0 hit points in any form, he is slain. A hengeyokai character in animal form with 0 hit points left does not instantly change to one of his other forms. He is dead.

Bipedal Form: In this form the hengeyokai appears as a humanoid animal. He stands on his hind legs (or whatever) to the height of a normal man. The front paws (or wings, or fins) change into hands, capable of gripping and using normal equipment. The rest of the body retains the general shape and appearance of the animal, including fur, feathers, wings, tail, and other characteristic features.

While in bipedal form, the hengeyokai has several advantages. He can speak any language he knows, including human and animal languages; he can use any weapons, armor, and equipment normally available to his class; he has infravision for 120'; and he has his full number of hit points.

Bipedal form also has several disadvantages. The hengeyokai cannot use the special movement abilities of its animal form. The hengeyokai's bipedal movement rate is 12". The bipedal hengeyokai is also easily identified for what it really is.

Human Form: When in human form, a hengeyokai looks like a normal human being. However, he always retains some distinctive feature of his animal form. A raccoon dog hengeyokai may have a silver stripe through his hair. A sparrow hengeyokai may have an unusually sharp nose. The choice of the exact identifying feature is left to the player and the DM.

Human form grants certain advantages to the hengeyokai. Obviously, he can pose as a human being. Like his animal form, this form is not an illusion. He can use all weapons, armor, equipment, and spells normally available to his class. He has a full number of hit points.

The following disadvantages also apply: the hengeyokai has no infravision; he loses all special movement abilities, moving at the standard human movement rate (12").; he cannot speak to animals, although he can still understand their speech.

Various animal types must be evil or good, as noted on the table below. These alignment tendencies are well known by humans from the orient, who will treat hengeyokai accordingly. A badger hengeyokai, for example, will be shunned by humans because they know it is evil.

Racial Ability Requirements


* Fighters can have exceptional scores in Strength

Alignment Restriction: Any Lawful
Racial Adjustments: +1 Str, -1 Dex
Damage (1-6)
AC (8)
Move (land 12")

Alignment Restriction: Any Neutral
Racial Adjustments: +1 Int, -1 Dex
AC (5)
Move (land 6")
It can shape change one extra time per day

Alignment Restriction: Any Chaotic
Racial Adjustments: +1 Con, -1 Int
Damage (1-4)
AC (6)
Move (land 15")

Alignment Restriction: Any Evil
Racial Adjustments: +2 Wis, -2 Dex
AC (9)
Move (land 9")
Move (swim 15")
+1 to save vs. spells

Alignment Restriction: Any Evil
Racial Adjustments: +1 Con, -1 Cha
Damage (1-4)
AC (7)
Move (land 6")
Move (swim 12")
It can shape change one extra time per day

Alignment Restriction: Any Good
Racial Adjustments: +2 Dex, -1 Wis
Damage (1-3)
AC (9)
Move (land 3")
Move (fly 15")

Alignment Restriction: Any Evil
Racial Adjustments: +2 Dex, -2 Str
Damage (1-2)
AC (6)
Move (land 3")
Move (fly 18")

Alignment Restriction: Any Evil
Racial Adjustments: +1 Int, -1 Cha
AC (5)
Move (swim 15")
25% magic resistance

Alignment Restriction: Any Good
Racial Adjustments: +1 Wis, -1 Con
Damage (1-2)
Move (land 3")
Move (fly 18")
+1 vs. spells

White Tiger
Alignment Restriction: Any Evil
Racial Adjustments: +2 Str, -2 Cha
Damage (1-8)
AC (5)
Move (land 15")

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Last Updated Sat Aug 11, 2007