Changeling Race Details
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.
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’s an invaluable tool for grifters, spies, and others who wish to deceive. This leads many people to treat known changelings with fear and suspicion.
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 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. Others are part of nomadic changeling clans spread across the Five Nations who keep their true nature hidden from the single-skins. Some clans maintain safe havens in major cities and communities, but most prefer to wander the unpredictable path of the Traveler.
In creating a changeling adventurer, consider the character’s relationships with people around them. Does the character conceal their true changeling nature? Do they embrace it? Do they have connections to other changelings 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 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 a 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.
A changeling might use a different name for each mask and persona and adopt new names as easily as they develop new faces. The true name of a changeling tends to be simple and monosyllabic; however, there are often accents to a changeling’s name that are expressed through shapeshifting, something single-skins will likely miss. So, 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.
Changeling TraitsYour changeling character has the following traits.
Ability Score Increase
Your Charisma score increases by 2, and either your Dexterity or your Intelligence increases by 1 (your choice).
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.
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. Despite common fears, few changelings embrace evil.
In their natural forms, changelings average between 5 to 6 feet in height, with a slender build. Your size is Medium.
Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
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.
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.
You gain proficiency with one tool of your choice. Define a unique identity associated with that proficiency; establish the name, race, gender, age, and other details. While you are in the form of this persona, the related proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses that proficiency.
You can speak, read, and write Common and two other languages of your choice.