Hengeyokai

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Hengeyokai are a category of monster (or "yokai") within Japanese mythology. Technically a subcategory of obake (shapechanging monsters), although the terms are often used interchangeably, hengeyokai is a generic title used to cover an array of monsters based on the idea of magical animals who can transform into human form, and often times into other shapes as well. The term is actually pretty rare, and more usually these critters are identified as "bakemono" instead. The term is real, and would translate from Japanese as something like "changing phantom", it's just not commonly used - but then, Japanese mythology can be a right clusterfuck to try and unravel.

The list of hengeyokai is pretty damn long, and this is more a collection of the species most obviously connected to this term. It's muddled somewhat because many individual yokai of assorted species can learn to shapeshift, but these species are known to have it as inherent abilities.

Kitsune: Without a doubt the most iconic of all hengeyokai, the kitsune is a shapeshifting fox, often described as gaining multiple tails as its power increases. Cunning and seductive, but as likely to help humans as harm them, it has achieved a great deal of fame. A common myth-related saying suggests kitsunes tend to have seven different forms they can assume.

Tanuki: As popular as kitsunes in its home country, the tanuki myths have had a hard time getting abroad, mostly because of a certain bowdlerization issue. See, the jolly and happy-go-lucky tanuki are considered symbols of good luck, which is most prominently manifested in their enormous ball-sacks. Ironically, although typically depicted as more oafish and goofy than the sleek, elegant kitsunes, tanuki are even better shapeshifters, able to assume eight different forms - which may not be accounting for the stories of them turning their scrotums into things like the shop around them or a palanquin with servants to carry them about. Add in that the real animal, commonly known as the "raccoon dog", was only native to East Asian and that this sometimes lead to translators referring to them as "raccoons" or "badgers", and they've had a hard time getting known, although since the 2000s that factor has basically gone away.

Bakeneko: Shapeshifting cats are one of the most famous of the "lesser" hengeyokai. In fact, there are three different varieties of bakeneko at the least; the common bakeneko, who can be benevolent or malevolent as it sees fit; the two-tailed, almost always malevolent nekomata, who love to enslave, kill and eat people; and the kasha, particularly large and fiendish bakeneko who have a taste for corpse meat and are often servitors of hell. All varieties are known for having fire-creating and necromantic powers in addition to their shapeshifting.

Mujina: are shapeshifting badgers, very frequently confused with tanuki in the stories, to the point it's hard to really define them. Like tanuki, they are said to be capable of eight different transformations, and they're supposedly very shy and reclusive, which makes them much more careful about not giving themselves away when they do decide to walk amongst humans. Ironically, this means that Japan's badger-spirits have an attitude closer to the typical D&D elf, despite being more thematically associated with the dwarf.

Itachi: Without a doubt the most obscure of the "true" hengeyokai, itachi are shapeshifting weasels feared for their potent non-shapeshifting magic, which includes hypnotising people to become their slaves and gathering in groups to create huge firestorms. They are said to be the masters of shapeshifting, attributed with wielding nine different forms. Their cousins the Kamaitachi, a trio of super-fast weasels who run around knocking people over and cutting them with sickles, are much more famous.

Kawauso: A more obscure hengeyokai, the kawauso are jovial and friendly shapeshifting otters, who mostly take on human form to play tricks and buy booze.

Sazae-oni: These aquatic hengeyokai are based are turban snails - a sort of spiky sea snail native to Japan - that learn to take on the form of beautiful women in order to lure victims to their doom.

Jorogumo: These are the closest thing in Japanese mythology to a succubus; female spiders who assume the form of beautiful maidens in order to seduce and usually devour men. Their name literally means "whore spider" in its original format, although politeness means the modern version of their name is written with characters that translate as "entangling bride".

Tsuchigumo: Like the jorogumo, these are shapeshifting spiders, but tsuchigumo are more powerful, ambitious and politically minded. The other big difference is in the species; jorogumo are based on golden orb-weavers, whilst tsuchigumo are based on purseweb spiders.

Unagi-hime: Among the more obscure hengeyokai, these are female eels who assume human form in order to interact with humans, often to beg for their assistance in battling other yokai who want to claim their homes.

Contents

/tg/ RelevanceEdit

Beyond being natural monsters to try and include in games with more of an oriental theme, hengeyokai have appeared in a couple of different roleplaying games.

Dungeons & DragonsEdit

First introduced in the very first edition of Dungeons & Dragons via the "Oriental Adventures" splatbook, the D&D hengeyokai is treated as a singular race divided into sub-races based on which animal forms it can take. This is perhaps the laziest way to handle it, because hengeyokai actually covers a wide variety of different animals who just happen to have "assume human form" as a common trait, but it seems fairly cemented in tradition: D&D has had the hengeyokai appear according to this formula in every edition from 1st to 4th, and they're absent only in 5th edition so far.

Precisely what animal forms of hengeyokai have been availible have varied depending on the edition:

  • In 1st edition, appearing in the 1e Oriental Adventures, the hengeyokai species available were Carp, Cat, Crab, Crane, Dog, Drake, Fox, Hare, Monkey, Raccoon Dog, Rat and Sparrow.
  • In 2nd edition, the hengeyokai received an informal update in the Kara-tur Monstrous Compendium, which updated all of the 1e subraces. Their ranks were then bolstered by Dragon Magazine #266, which added more races to the lineup: Badger, Dolphin, Falcon, Frog, Lizard, Lynx, Octopus, Owl, Panda, Turtle and Weasel.
  • In 3rd edition, under the 3e Oriental Adventures, a new lineup appeared that blended elements of both of the previous lists: Badger, Carp, Cat, Crab, Crane, Dog, Fox, Hare, Monkey, Raccoon Dog, Rat, Sparrow and Weasel.
  • In 4th edition, hengeyokai were again relegated to Dragon Magazine, with the lineup of volume #404 starring the Badger, Carp, Cat, Crab, Crane, Dog, Fox, Hare, Monkey, Raccoon Dog, Rat and Sparrow.

As for their stats... for those relating to the Fox and Raccoon Dog hengeyokai, check out the Kitsune and Tanuki pages, since these are basically genericized depictions of both races.

AD&D 1e PC StatsEdit

Ability Score Minimum/Maximum: Strength 12/18, Dexterity 9/18, Constitution 12/18, Intelligence 12/18, Wisdom 12/18, Charisma 12/17
Class & Level Limits: Shukenja 8, Kensai 6, Bushi Unlimited, Wu jen 9
Movement Value: 12'
Shapeshifting: A hengeyokai can change form once per day per level; once it has exhausted this ability, it must remain in its current form until the next day. Changing form takes a full round to complete, and all armor & equipment is left behind when it transforms. Spells that reveal illusions do not affect a hengeyokai in its animal or human forms.
Animal Form: A hengeyokai in animal form can only speak the hengeyokai and animal languages in this form. It cannot use weapons, armor or equipmient, nor can it cast spells. In animal form, its maximum hitpoint value is halved (round up); damage from one form carries over and it cannot assume animal form if this would leave it with 0 or less hit points. If reduced to 0 HP in animal form, the hengeyokai is slain outright. It gains certain other traits in animal form dependent on its subrace. All hengeyokai have infravision 120 feet in animal form.
Bipedal Form: Now appearing as a humanoid animal, the hengeyokai retains the ability to speak to animals and its infravision, but has access to all of its normal abilities. However, it loses any special movement rates, such as fly, swim, or increased/decreased land speed, cannot use any natural attacks, and does not benefit from an altered base Armor Class.
Human Form: In human form, a hengeyokai loses its animal-speech, infravision, natural attacks, base armor class and special movement traits, but retains all of its class abilities.

Carp Hengeyokai: +1 Wisdom and -1 Strength, AC of 7 in Beast Form, Swim speed of 12' and Land speed of - in Beast Form, Alignment Restriction: Any Good.

Cat Hengeyokai: +2 Dexterity, -1 Wisdom, AC of 9 in Beast Form, Claw attack (1d3) in Beast Form, Alignment Restriction: Any Chaotic.

Crab Hengeyokai: +2 Strength, -2 Charisma, AC of 8 in Beast Form, Swim speed of 6' and Land speed of 3' in Beast Form, Pincer attack (1d3) in Beast Form.

Crane Hengeyokai: +1 Wisdom, -1 Dexterity, AC of 9 in Beast Form, Fly speed of 12' and Land speed of 6' in Beast Form, Peck Attack (1d2) in Beast Form, Alignment Restriction: Any Good.

Dog Hengeyokai: +1 Constitution, -1 Intelligence, AC of 9 in Beast Form, Bite attack (1d6) in Beast Form, Alignment Restriction: Any Good.

Drake Hengeyokai: +1 Charisma, -1 Dexterity, AC of 7 in Beast Form, Fly speed of 12', Swim speed of 9' and Land speed of 6' in Beast Form, Alignment Restriction: Any Good.

Fox Hengeyokai: +1 Intelligence, -1 Wisdom, AC of 6 in Beast Form, Bite (1d3) in Beast form, Speed increases to 15' in Beast form, Alignment Restriction: Any Evil.

Hare Hengeyokai: +1 Wisdom, -1 Strength, AC of 5 in Beast Form, Speed increases to 18' in Beast Form, Alignment Restriction: Any Good.

Monkey Hengeyokai: +2 Dexterity, -2 Wisdom, AC of 6 in Beast Form, Alignment Restriction: Any Chaotic.

Rat Hengeyokai: +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma, AC of 5 in Beast Form, Speed decreases to 9' in Beast Form, Bite attack (1d3) in Beast Form, Alignment Restriction: Any Evil.

Raccoon Dog Hengeyokai: +2 Strength, -2 Wisdom, AC of 9 in Beast Form, Speed Decreases to 9' in Beast Form, Bite Attsack (1d6) in Beast Form, Alignment Restriction: Any Evil.

Sparrow Hengeyokai: +2 Charisma, -2 Constitution, AC of 3 in Beast Form, Fly speed of 15' and land speed of 3' in Beast Form, Alignment Restriction: Any Good.

AD&D 2e PC StatsEdit

The basic mechanics for hengeyokai literally does not change between editions of AD&D, given how the underlying mechanics remained so similar. Their appearance in Dragon #266 instead clarifies a few details about their access to non-Oriental classes and presents the mechanics for the new varieties of hengeyokai.

Non-Oriental Classes: Cleric, Druid, Specialty Priest, Fighter, Ranger, Thief, Wizard (any)
Hengeyokai druids who reach 7th level do not gain the ability to shapechange into other aniamals; instead they increase their shapeshifts per day +3.
Crane, Drake and Swallow hengeyokai have maneuverability class C when flying in their beast form.

Badger Hengeyokai: +1 Strength, -1 Charisma, animal form grants Burrow 3, Move 6, AC 4 and a 1d3 bite attack, Alignment Restriction: Any Evil.

Dolphin Hengeyokai: +1 Intelligence, -1 Charisma, animal form grants Swim 30, Move 1, AC 5 and a 2d4 slam attack, Alignment Restriction: Any Good. Dolphin hengeyokai forced to move on land in their animal form tire out within (2 times Constitution score) minutes.

Falcon Hengeyokai: +1 Strength, -1 Constitution, animal form grants Fly 36 (B), Move 1, AC 5 and a 1d3 claw attack, Alignment Restriction: Any Good. +2 bonus to attack rolls made by swooping down when in animal form.

Frog Hengeyokai: +1 Dexterity, -1 Constitution, animal form grants Swim 9, Hop 6, Move 3, and AC 9. Are ampihibious in animal and hybrid form.

Lizard Hengeyokai: +1 Dexterity, -1 Wisdom, animal form grants Move 9, AC 7 and a 1d2 bite attack. Are cold-blooded in hybrid and animal form.

Lynx Hengeyokai: +1 Intelligence, -1 Charisma, animal form grants AC 6 and a 1d3 claw attack, Alignment Restriction: Any Evil.

Octopus Hengeyokai: +2 Dexterity, -2 Charisma, animal form grants Swim 6, AC 9 and a 1d3 bite attack, Alignment Restriction: Any Evil. An octopus hengeyokai that leaves the water in animal form has its Move rate drop to 2, and begins taking 1d4 damage per turn after it has been out of water for an hour. They are also deaf in animal form, using telepathy to communicate with animals and other hengeyokai.

Otter Hengeyokai: +1 Dexterity, -1 Wisdom, animal form grants Swim 18, AC 5 and a 1d2 bite attack, Alignment Restriction: Any Chaotic. When in animal or hybrid form, can stay underwater for 6-8 minutes.

Owl Hengeyokai: +2 Wisdom, -2 Constitution, animal form grants Fly 27 (D), Move 1, AC 5 and a 1d2 claw attack, Alignment Restriction: Any Good. In animal form, opponents suffer a -6 penalty to their Surprise forms against owl hengeyokai.

Panda Hengeyokai: +1 Charisma, -1 Dexterity, animal form grants AC 7 and a 1d4+1 claw attack, Alignment Restriction: Any Good.

Turtle Hengeyokai: +2 Constitution, -2 Dexterity, animal form grants Swim 3, Move 1, AC 7, and a bite attack that inflicts 1 point of damage.

Weasel Hengeyokai: +1 Intelligence, -1 Charisma, animal form grants Move 15, AC 6 and a 1d2 bite attack, Alignment Restriction: Any Evil.

D&D 3e PC StatsEdit

-2 Wisdom, +2 to a physical attribute determined by its subrace - depending on your reading, this +2 bonus may only apply in hybrid form and not in human form.
Size: Medium in Hybrid and Human form, determined by subrace in Animal form
Base Speed: 30 feet
Type: Shapechanger
Alternate Form (Su): A hengeyokai can assume one of three possible forms at will; an animal, a hybrid, or a human. This functions as a Polymorph Other spell that can be used 1 + character level times per day. Changing form is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity.
Animal Form: In animal form, all equipment the hengeyokai is wearing or carrying is melded into the hengeyokai's form, with magic items ceasing to function. It also gains a +10 racial bonus to Disguise checks made to pass itself off as an animal, Low-Light Vision, and the ability to communicate with other animals of its type. In animal form, a hengeyokai has the Size, Speed, AC, attack options, Strength, Dexterity and Constitution determined by its specific subrace.
Hybrid Form: A hengeyokai in hybrid form cannot wear Heavy Armor, but all of its equipment functions as normal. It gains Low-Light Vision and the ability to speak with animals of its own kind, as well as other special bonuses based on its race.
Favored Class: Wu jen
Level Adjustment: +1

Badger Hengeyokai: +2 Constition. In hybrid form, a badger has a speed of 20ft and a Burrow of 10ft. In animal form, a badger is Tiny, has a Speed of 30ft and a Burrow of 20ft, an AC of 15, 2 claw attacks doing 1d2-1 damage each, a Bite attack doing 1d3-1 damage, a Strength of 8, a Dexterity of 17, and a Constitution of 15.

Carp Hengeyokai: +2 Dexterity. In hybrid form, a carp has a Speed of 10ft and a Swim of 30ft. In animal form, a carp is Dimunitive, has a Swim Speed of 10ft, an AC of 19, a Strength of 1, a Dexterity of 20, and a Constitution of 10.

Cat Hengeyokai: +2 Dexterity. In hybrid form, a cat has a +4 racial bonus to Balance checks. In animal form, a cat is Tiny, has a Speed of 30ft, an AC of 14, 2 claw attacks doing 1d2-4 damage each, a bite attack doing 1d3-4 damage, a Strength of 3, a Dexterity of 15, and a Constitution of 10.

Crab Hengeyokai: In hybrid form, a crab has +1 natural armor and a +4 racial bonus to Swim checks. In animal form, a crab is Dimunitive, has a Speed of 15ft, an AC of 18, 2 claw attacks doing 1d2-5 damage, a Strength of 1, a Dexterity of 17, and a Constitution of 10.

Crane Hengeyokai: +2 Dexterity. In hybrid form, a crane has a Speed of 20ft and a Fly of 20ft. In animal form, a crane is Small, has a Speed of 5ft and a Fly of 60ft, an AC of 14, a bite attack taht does 1d4-2 damage, a Strength of 6, a Dexterity of 16, and a Constitution of 10.

Dog Hengeyokai: +2 Constitution. In hybrid form, a dog has a +4 racial bonus to Wilderness Lore checks made when tracking by scent. In animal form, a dog is Small, has a Speed of 40ft, an AC of 14, a bite attack that does 1d4+1 damage, a Strength of 13, a Dexterity of 17, and a Constitution of 15.

Fox Hengeyokai: +2 Dexterity. In hybrid form, a fox has a +4 racial bonus to Escape Artist checks. In animal form, a fox is Small, has a Speed of 40ft, an AC of 15, a bite attack that does 1d4 damage, a Strength of 11, a Dexterity of 19, and a Constitution of 11.

Hare Hengeyokai: +2 Dexterity. In hybrid form, a hare has a Speed of 40ft. In animal form, a hare is Tiny, has a Speed of 40ft, an AC of 16, a bite attack that does 1d3-5 damage, a Strength of 1, a Dexterity of 19, and a Constitution of 10.

Monkey Hengeyokai: +2 Dexterity. In hybrid form, a monkey has a +4 racial bonus to Climb checks. In animal form, a monkey is Tiny, has a Speed of 30ft and a Climb of 30ft, an AC of 14, a bite attack that does 1d3-4 damage, a Strength of 3, a Dexterity of 15, and a Constitution of 10.

Raccoon Dog Hengeyokai: +2 Strength. In hybrid form, a raccoon dog has a +4 racial bonus to Wilderness Lore checks while tracking by scent. In animal form, a raccoon dog is Small, has a Speed of 30ft, an AC of 13, a bite attack that does 1d4+1 damage, a Strength of 12, a Dexterity of 13, and a Constitution of 12.

Rat Hengeyokai: +2 Dexterity. In hybrid form, a rat has a +4 racial bonus to Hide checks. In animal form, a rat is Tiny, has a Speed of 15ft and a Climb of 15ft, an AC of 14, a bite attack that does 1d3-4 damage, a Strength of 2, a Dexterity of 15, and a Constitution of 10.

Sparrow Hengeyokai: +2 Dexterity. In hybrid form, a sparrow has a Speed of 20ft and a Fly of 20ft. In animal form, a sparrow is Fine, has a Speed of 1ft and a Fly of 50ft, an AC of 24, (attack), a Strength of 1, a Dexterity of 23, and a Constitution of 10.

Weasel Hengeyokai: + Constitution. In hybrid form, a weasel has a +4 racial bonus on Move Silently checks. In animal form, a weasel is Tiny, has a Speed of 20ft and a Climb of 20ft, an AC of 14, a Bite attack that does 1d3-4 damage, Strength 3, Dexterity 15, and Constitution 10.

In the 3.5 update of Oriental Adventures in Dragon 318, their level adjustment was reduced to +0, and their type changed to Humanoid (shapechanger). This makes them more playable, since LA sucks.

D&D 4e PC StatsEdit

Ability Scores: +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom or Charisma
Size: Medium (Human/Hybrid form) or Tiny (animal form)
Speed: 7 squares (35 feet)
Vision: Low-light
Skill Bonuses: +2 Bluff, +2 to a skill determined by your hengeyokai subrace.
Elusive: +1 racial bonus to Reflex
Fey Origin: You are considered to be a Fey creature for effects that relate to creature origin.
Beast Nature: You are considered both a magical beast and a humanoid for effects that relate to creature type.
Shapechanger: You have the Shapechanger subtype.
Languge of Beasts: You can communicate with any natural or fey beast that either shares your animal form or is closely related to it (for example, Dog Hengeyokai can speak with wolves). You can understand and speak to animals in animal and hybrid form, but in human form, you can only understand them.
Racial Power - Nature's Mask: At-Will Polymorph Minor Action power that you can only use once per roud. You immediately change into your human, animal or hybrid form as you wish. In human and animal form, you gain a +5 bonus to Bluff checks made to disguise yourself as your apparent species. In animal form, you cannot use attack powers, although you can sustain them, nor can you speak any humanoid languages, although your statistics are otherwise unchanged. Equipment melds into your animal form; you continue to gain the benefits of all equipment bar shields and item powers.
Hengeyokai Subraces:
  • Badger: +2 Endurance, in beast mode you gain a Burrow speed equal to half your land speed.
  • Carp: +2 Endurance, in beast mode you gain a Swim speed equal to your speed, your land speed drops to 1, and you can breathe underwater.
  • Cat: +2 Acrobatics, in beast mode you gain a Climb speed equal to half your land speed.
  • Crab: +2 Intimidate, in beast mode you gain a Swim speed equal to your speed, your land speed drops to 1, and you can breathe underwater.
  • Crane: +2 Nature, in beast mode you gain a Fly speed of 6 and your land speed becomes 1.
  • Dog: +2 Insight, in beast mode your speed increases by 2 squares.
  • Fox: +2 Stealth, in beast mode your speed increases by 2 squares.
  • Hare: +2 Athletics, in beast mode your speed increases by 2 squares.
  • Monkey: +2 Athletics, in beast mode you gain a Climb speed equal to half your land speed.
  • Rat: +2 Thievery, in beast mode you gain a Climb speed equal to half your land speed.
  • Raccoon Dog: +2 Stealth, in beast mode you gain a Climb speed of 3 squares.
Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition Races
Core: Dwarf - Elf - Gnome - Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling - Human
Dark Sun: Aarakocra - Half-Giant - Mul - Pterran - Thri-kreen
Dragonlance: Draconian - Irda - Kender - Minotaur
Mystara: Aranea - Ee'ar - Enduk - Lizardfolk (Cayma - Gurrash - Shazak)
Lupin - Manscorpion - Phanaton - Rakasta - Tortle - Wallara
Oriental Adventures: Korobokuru - Hengeyokai - Spirit Folk
Planescape: Aasimar - Bariaur - Genasi - Githyanki - Githzerai - Modron - Tiefling
Spelljammer: Dracon - Giff - Grommam - Hadozee - Hurwaeti - Rastipede - Scro - Xixchil
Ravenloft: Broken One - Flesh Golem - Half-Vistani - Therianthrope
Complete
Book of X:
Alaghi - Beastman - Bugbear - Bullywug - Centaur - Duergar
Fremlin - Firbolg - Flind - Gnoll - Goblin - Half-Ogre - Hobgoblin
Kobold - Mongrelfolk - Ogre - Ogre Mage - Orc - Pixie
Satyr - Saurial - Svirfneblin - Swanmay - Voadkyn - Wemic
Dragon Magazine: Half-Dryad - Half-Satyr - Uldra - Xvart
Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Races
Player's Handbook 1: Dragonborn - Dwarf - Eladrin - Elf
Half-Elf - Halfling - Human - Tiefling
Player's Handbook 2: Deva - Gnome - Goliath - Half-Orc - Shifter
Player's Handbook 3: Githzerai - Minotaur - Shardmind - Wilden
Monster Manual 1: Bugbear - Doppelganger - Githyanki
Goblin - Hobgoblin - Kobold - Orc
Monster Manual 2: Bullywug - Duergar - Kenku
Dragon Magazine: Gnoll - Shadar-kai
Heroes of Shadow: Revenant - Shade - Vryloka
Heroes of the Feywild Hamadryad - Pixie - Satyr
Eberron's Player's Guide: Changeling - Kalashtar - Warforged
The Manual of the Planes: Bladeling
Dark Sun Campaign Setting: Mul - Thri-kreen
Forgotten Realms Player's Guide: Drow - Genasi

Legend of the Five RingsEdit

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These are mentioned in the very first RPG product for the setting, but information is sparse. Stats for for playing them is included in and Fortunes & Winds.

World of DarknessEdit

The Old World of Darkness attempted to broaden its appeal by doing "Oriental Flavors" for several of its gamelines. Out of the original Changing Breeds sourcebook, came the Oriental Therianthropes of the World of Darkness, in the form of the Hengeyokai: Hakken (werewolves), Khans (weretigers), Kitsunes (werefoxes), Kumo (werespiders), Nagahs (wereserpents), Nezumi (wererats), Same-Bito (weresharks - one of which you fought in the Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines vidya game), Tengu (wereravens) and Zhong Lung (weredragons).

Mists of AkumaEdit

In the Mists of Akuma setting for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, hengeyokai are believed by legend to be beings from the dawn of time who could not choose between the world of humans or the world of animals. They are generally accepted, but have often faced societal prejudice. In appearance, hengeyokai resemble beastfolk, blending the defining features of human and animal, but they can also shapeshift into a purely animal or purely human form.

Hengeyokai culture varies greatly between subraces and regions. Most of the shapeshifters live together in small communities known as packs, ranging from close-knit family units to sizable communities. Members of a pack work together to provide for one another, sharing food and shelter, remaining flexible so that members may join and leave as they see fit.

A pack has two different leaders—one representing physical might and the other spiritual power. A physical pack leader generally rises to the position by competing against the other members of the pack while spiritual leaders find themselves chosen by their kin or a learned elder. Both types of leaders change frequently, allowing for the position to be filled as need demands.

Hengeyokai that live away from a pack tend to gravitate towards similar groups. These might be good friends, neighbors, or close allies, but a hengeyokai may find themselves vulnerable or uncertain without an obvious leader to look toward (sometimes stepping up to fill the role). Hengeyokai who live on their own usually stay hidden in their animal form, living a solitary life or among others of its parent animal.

Soburin hengeyokai are divided into the following subraces: Inu (dog), Kitsune (fox), Kumo (spider), Kuren (crane), Neko (cat), Nezumi (rat) and Saru (monkey). A sidebar titled "Secret Hengeyokai" explains that whilst the Itachi (weasel), Koi (carp), Mujina (badger) and Usagi (hare) subraces did exist, their population was ravaged during the Kengen Occupation, and they are believed to be extinct, although this may not necessarily be the case. The Anniversary Edition of the sourcebook added the Hebi (snake) subrace.

Soburin Hengeyokai PC Stats=Edit

Ability Score Increase: +2 Dexterioty, +1 Charisma
Size: Medium
Speed: 30 feet
Natural Disguise: You can cast disguise self without the need for any components but you can only change into a specific human. You may use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus before requiring a long rest.
Nature Form: You can transform into the creature of your subrace as polymorph without the need for components. Unlike the spell you keep your mental scores, the feature has no duration, your hit points remain unchanged, your gear does not meld into your form, and you can still talk but not cast spells. You may use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus before requiring a long rest.
Subrace: Choose the Inu, Kitsune, Kumo, Kuren, Neko, Nezumi, Saru, Itachi, Koi, Mujina, Usagi or Hebi subrace for your other racial abilities.

Inu Subrace:

Ability Score Increase: +1 Constitution
Canine Scent: You gain Advantage on scent-based Investigation, Perception, and Survival checks.
Faster: Your base speed increases by +10 feet.

Kitsune Subrace:

Ability Score Increase: +1 Intelligence
Bite Attack (1d4 piercing)
Scent: You gain Advantage on scent-based Perception and Survival Checks.
Mystical Tails: You gain one tail for every ten years of life. You are unable to carry a weapon or shield with your tail, nor can you manipulate fine objects. You can cause one tail to wither and fall off to treat a death save as a natural 20 (you must choose to use this feature before the death save is made). For every tail withered this way, you suffer one level of exhaustion for one week.

Kumo Subrace:

Climb Speed 20 feet
Fling Webbing: Once per short rest, you can fling a streamer of webbing as a ranged weapon attack with a Range 30/60ft. This attack can only affect a single Medium or smaller creature. On a hit the target is restrained by webbing. As an action, the restrained creature can make a Strength check (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Constitution modifier), escaping from the webbing on a success. The effect also ends if the webbing is destroyed. The webbing has AC 10, 5 hit points, vulnerability to fire damage, and immunity to bludgeoning, poison, and psychic damage.

Kuren Subrace:

Wing-Arms: So long as you have both hands free and are carrying no more than half your capacity, you have a Fly speed of 15 feet.
Preternatural Grace: You have Advantage on saving throws and ability checks against effects that would move you or cause you to gain the Prone condition.

Neko Subrace:

Naturally Lucky: You have +1 to all saving throws.
Naturally Stealthy: You have Advantage on Stealth checks.

Nezumi Subrace:

Bite Attack (1d4 piercing)
Crawl: Whilst prone, you can move at half your speed each turn without provoking opportunity attacks. Additionally, you do not suffer from Disadvantage on attack rolls made whilst prone.

Saru Subrace:

Climb speed 15 feet
Acrobatic: You have Advantage on Athletics checks made to jump, and double your jumping distance.
Dextrous Tail: You have a tail. You are unable to carry a weapon or shield with your tail, but you are able to use it while climbing and to manipulate fine objects. You may use the Sleight of Hand skill with your tail but do not gain your proficiency bonus when doing so, even if you are proficient with the skill.

Itachi Subrace:

Bite Attack (1d4 piercing)
Naturally Stealthy: You have Advantage on Stealth checks.
Pliable: You have Advantage when making an ability check to squeeze into or out of narrow openings or hard-to-reach places.

Koi Subrace:

Water-Dweller: Your base walking speed is 25 feet, but you have a Swim speed of 30 feet.
Amphibious: You can breathe both air and water.

Mujina Subrace:

Bite Attack (1d4 piercing)
Berserker: When you take more than half your hit points from an attack or are reduced to 10 hit points or less, you go berserk for 1d4 rounds. On each of your turns while berserk, you attack the nearest creature you can see. If no creature is near enough to move to and attack, you attack an object, with preference for an object smaller than yourself. While berserk and taking the attack action, you gain advantage to melee attack rolls and make an additional attack each turn.

Usagi Subrace:

Acrobatic: You have Advantage on Athletics checks made to jump, and double your jumping distance.
Faster: Your base speed increases by +10 feet.

Hebi Subrace:

Bite: You can make a bite attack that deals 1d4 piercing damage. When you critically hit a creature with your bite attack, that creature make a Constitution saving throw (DC 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus) or gains the poisoned condition for 1 minute or until that damage is healed.
Kontorōra Transformation: When exposure to the Mists of Akuma would transform you into adeddo-oni, you are changed into a hebikontorōra instead.
Poisonous: You have advantage on saving throws against poison, and resistance to poison damage. When a creature hits you with a bite attack, it makes a Constitution saving throw (DC 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus) or is poisoned for 1 minute.

MonstergirlsEdit

It goes without saying that hengeyokai are actually pretty classic monstergirls, with many real-world myths revolving around them assuming the form of sexy human women for a night of fun or even to score themselves a cute human husband. Of course, some of those stories also depict them as seductive predators who eat their would-be lovers, either before or after the sex, but that is why they call them monstergirls.

Precise behavior will depend a lot on which type of hengeyokai you're actually dealing with, and even then, there's often a certain amount of fluidness - kitsune, for example, can be anything from free-wheeling hedonistic party-girls to enigmatic seductresses to playful pranksters. The most common trait is that the hengeyokai will usually be desperate to hide what she is at first, often because she's scared that the guy will freak when he learns she's really a cat or a weasel or whatever.

Appearance, likewise, is heavily fluid; a hengeyokai can appear as anything from a human with some "symbolic" traits of their animal form to the classic "girl with animal ears and an animal's tail" to a full-on beastfolk. Add in their shapeshifting abilities, and things get more complicated. There is a slight tendency to give them three forms; human girl with animal symbolism, girl with beast ears & tail (which the Japanese call "kemonomimi") and either female animal or female beastfolk. Four-fold or five-fold shifters are very uncommon.

See AlsoEdit