Giant , Goblin , Nezumi , Spirit Tongue Description Hengeyokai are intelligent, shapechanging animals, able to shift freely between human and animal forms, as well as a bipedal, animalistic form. Several subraces exist, defined by the kind of animal form they can assume. They are typically found on the fringes of human-settled lands, where they can mingle in human form but retreat to solitude when they desire. Hengeyokai are not found in Rokugan.
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Favored Class Alternatives Our natural form is the body of a man with the head of an animal , but we can change this appearance at will.
The ability to change the face, to take on different forms, forms of man and beast, is what humans would say most defines us. Perhaps it is our ability to change our face which so causes men to fear us, dependent as they are on their eyes. Yet, in this we know that men are mistaken. More than any other race, we know that it is not the outward face which matters, it is the heart within.
No matter our form, no matter which face we wear, we remain the same. If we take on the form of the beast we become no more bestial.
It is simply a part of us, like our feet or our tongues. Rather, what defines us is how we act in the world. Our reverence for the sacred kami, our loyalty to family, our personal honor, our sense of humor; these are the things that make us who we are. Physical Description: Hengeyokai are shapeshifting humanoids able to take one of three forms. Their true form is that of a humanoid with the face of an animal. There are many clans of hengeyokai, each associated with a different animal.
When two hengeyokai from the same clan marry, their children are always of the same clan. When two from different clans marry, their offspring can belong to either clan. If one learns how to take a form other than the one to which they are born, they are still considered to belong to the clan to which they were born.
Their desires are for the necessities of life and the companionship of others. Hengeyokai typically do not enjoy living alone, and generally feel safer when with a group. Superficially, hengeyokai social structure is similar to that of men, though lacking a caste system or a feudal nobility. Instead, the basic social unit is the family and a hengeyokai is loyal first to their family and then to their clan. A typical family has three to five children. Twins and triplets are not uncommon.
Most marriages take place within a clan, but there is no taboo against marriage between the clans. For that matter there is no taboo against marrying humans , though this practice is deemed foolish, doomed to end in tragedy. There are three kinds of henge communities. The most common sort of community is familial in nature.
That is, some families maintain their own homesteads, with children building new homes near their parents. These communities can grow quickly from one generation to the next, especially in families with many sons. When such an endeavor experiences true success, it frequently forms the basis for the second sort of community, the clan. Clan communities are generally comprised of four or five families, with the head of each family, whether a patriarch or a matriarch, serving as one of the village elders.
The third sort of community, one in which the clans mix, is the rarest sort, though the oldest and largest hengeyokai villages are mostly of this nature.
These villages are also led by village elders, though the elders are selected by reason of age or ability, rather than their position within a given family. Hengeyokai Clans: Hengeyokai clans are divided as follows based on the clan into which the hengeyokai is born and the animal shape they can take: Inu Batsu Dog Clan : The closest thing to a warrior clan amongst the hengeyokai. Possessing a fondness for tales full of noble and heroic deeds, the inu are among the most loyal and steadfast of the hengeyokai.
Seriousness, patience and honor are all characteristics one expects to find in an inu. That is not to say they are without humor, but, as a rule, even their jokes are meant to teach a moral lesson and they frown on cruelty for the sake of cruelty. This is not to say they are without faults.
As a clan they are very possessive of anything belonging to themselves and can be easily angered if they think someone is trying to cheat them. Furthermore, inu are known for well intentioned, but impulsive acts which often, it seems, create trouble for themselves and others. Mujina Batsu Badger Clan : The mujina batsu are typically thoughtful, and among other henge, they have a reputation for seriousness, rivaled only by the Inu Batsu.
Yet whereas the inu are given to impulsive actions, the mujina seldom do anything without a plan. The mujina batsu have a talent in the healing arts and a fondness for religious study and tend to produce many of the hengeyokai priests and clerics.
A possible fault of the mujina batsu is their tendancy to hoard, although a mujina would claim that this habit has little to do with greed and everything to do with being prepared for an emergency. More than any other hengeyokai, they are predisposed towards malicious humors and violence.
While the neko are not exactly greedy, they have a poorly defined sense of property and when something catches their fancy, if it is not obviously and vigorously claimed, they will take it for themselves. Nezumi Batsu Rat Clan : Scholarly wisdom is the hallmark of the Nezumi Batsu clan, though they are far from pretentious and seldom derive a living from academic pursuits.
Yet, even a simple nezumi farmer is likely to be learned in at least one academic field and more often than not, will have monastic training.
Similar to the mujina, the nezumi produce many priests. They also produce a large number of the hengeyokai monks. Despite these achievements, they rarely seek leadership positions and their clan is marked by a general lack of worldly ambition. A saru is frequently an annoying, mischief maker, yet, they nonetheless, as a whole, possess a certain whimsical charm. Despite their cheerful exuberance, the saru are actually slow to make true friends or share their thoughts, even amongst themselves.
Lazier than even the neko, the saru are full of grand schemes that seldom come to fruition. This is not to say they are without talent. The Saru Batsu has produced great sorcerers , artists and even adventurers. Their skills, however, frequently need careful management and subtle encouragements to blossom.
The tanuki are surpassed only by the saru in their love of practical jokes, yet, whereas the capers of the saru are, as often as not, the whim of a moment, a tanuki plans his pranks out, almost as carefully as a mujina. No one is safe from the humor of a tanuki, including their closest friends; but they reserve their largest, grandest efforts for humans.
Unlike the saru, for whom labor is often anathema, the tanuki are typically diligent in both play and chores. There are no henge clans more productive than the Tanuki Batsu and many of the greatest hengeyokai craftsmen are tanuki. Add to this the fact that the Tanuki Batsu is as large as any two of the other hengeyokai clans combined, and one can understand, pranks aside, why the tanuki form the backbone of henge society.
Even those who have not traveled far are likely to have explored every square inch of their local environment. The usagi are fond of good natured jokes and pranks They are also, as a rule, extremely devoted to their immediate families: their parents, siblings and children.
In matters of war, among the henge, the Usagi Batsu is second only to the Inu Batsu. Masters of the bow and spear , a unit of usagi warriors is a fearsome force and many of the henge villages are kept safe thanks to their constant vigilance.
Relations: Amongst themselves, the hengeyokai have few conflicts. What disputes they do have with one another are most often about property, territory in particular. Their wars are brief and seldom lead to bloodshed. In part, this is because of their shared faith and values. In larger part it is because they recognize the threat from men is of such a nature as to make internecine struggles foolish.
Hengeyokai have a much more strained relationship with humans. In some areas, humans fear the hengeyokai, calling them devils and demons and worse. Such humans typically view the hengeyokai as monsters and baselessly accuse the hengeyokai of foul crimes, including eating human flesh and consorting with the oni. Not all men are against the hengeyokai, and the hengeyokai are typically open to such relationships, doing what they can to cultivate these individuals. Some of hengeyokai actively live among men, using their shapechanging powers to hide in plain sight.
The reasons for such endeavors are many. Sometimes, a henge, having fallen in love with a human , marries a human spouse. Frequently, those that do so hide their true form from even their beloved. Such arrangements almost never end well, resulting in heartaches and broken homes. Others live among humans as spies, sending reports on human activities back to a henge village so they might be better prepared to deal with human incursions.
Even when hengeyokai do not live among humans , hengeyokai are not completely distant from them. Henge merchants, hiding their true form, sell in the markets of men. The hengeyokai count the tengu of the mountains as allies, despite their warlike ways. Many hengeyokai weapons and armor are tengu made, and, in turn, the hengeyokai share the bounty of our harvest with the tengu. The kappa are also frequent visitors in hengeyokai villages, though they seldom stay long, preferring, as they do, isolation.
It is true that each clan has a stereotypical attitude towards life. The Inu are known to have a very good and upright nature. The Mujina are highly organized in both deed and thought. The Neko, conversely, resent being bound by rules and generally do as they please.
The Nezumi, while not as regimented as the Mujina, are nonetheless sticklers for tradition and tend to be kindly. The Usagi are not as freespirited as the Neko, but they strive for as few rules as possible. However, like the Nezumi, the Usagi are also kindly. The Saru are typically chaotic in manners and life. They are seldom malicious, but they are typically thoughtless concerning the feelings of others.
Finally, the Tanuki are a mixture of extremes, balancing diligence and sloth, creativity and order in a single package. Though these are the stereotypes, like all such caricatures, they are an exaggeration and there are many individuals within each clan who do not conform to the standard.
In meta-game terms, the various clans are inclined toward the following alignments: Inu: Lawful Good.
Favored Class Alternatives Our natural form is the body of a man with the head of an animal , but we can change this appearance at will. The ability to change the face, to take on different forms, forms of man and beast, is what humans would say most defines us. Perhaps it is our ability to change our face which so causes men to fear us, dependent as they are on their eyes. Yet, in this we know that men are mistaken. More than any other race, we know that it is not the outward face which matters, it is the heart within.
Fox, Hengeyokai (4e Race)
In 2nd edition, the hengeyokai received an informal update in the Kara-tur Monstrous Compendium , which updated all of the 1e subraces. As for their stats 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.