Hengeyokai (5e Race)

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No one knew how the phantom thief Goyo Tazune broke through the Daimyo's securest vault, nor how he escaped from the most secure prisons of the province.

Only on his execution day was his secret revealed. When the blade came down on the neck of an old greying man, there was a sudden puff of smoke and he was gone, replaced by an old fox that scurried off into the forest. And he has never been seen since.

—Excerpt from the biography of the legendary phantom thief Goyo Tazune.

Physical Description[edit]

By Eric Belisle and Wayne Reynolds.

Hengeyokai are animals that have lived an extraordinary amount of time, usually a thousand years or so, when it becomes truly obvious this creature is no longer a normal beast. They are amazingly long-lived and usually do not show any signs of aging. As animals, they may be indistinguishable from their common animal counterparts. However, they often have some kind of sign that alludes to their magical nature which accrued in them over the years. Suppon, for example, have hands with opposable thumbs, unlike regular turtles. Bakeneko are known to walk on two legs and have a split tail, unlike normal cats.

All hengeyokai gain the ability to change into a humanoid form. Usually, this form is pretty perfect to save some flaw that transferred from their animal form. For example, tanuki transformations tend to leave a fat bushy tail out by the coccyx. Mujina hair is often black and white striped even when they transform, which can be a big giveaway. Animals that become hengeyokai include raccoons, sparrows, turtles, cats, and badgers.


Hengeyokai are known to originate from ordinary animals. These animals exhibit extraordinary intelligence and lifespans before anyone realizes anything is amiss. It is believed they acquire this from being touched by the Spirit Realm at an early age, which starts their change. As they age, they acquire vast amounts of magic power in their body, which eventually culminates into the ability to change form. Using this ability, hengeyokai have gained a reputation as tricksters and conmen, which makes it harder to call them endearing. Some hengeyokai bear a grudge from their younger days and go to enact revenge. Most people show distrust of them like any shapeshifter.


Hengeyokai society can differ on the subrace. In general, however, most interact with humans on a mainly superficial level, using them as entertainment and examples of stupidity and naivety. Most keep their societies at an arm's length from humans, while others are more secretive and isolated. Hengeyokai sometimes mean well and can aid humans as callers of omen who warn of disaster, due to a hengeyokai's connection with the spirits. They usually are said to be in opposition to humans due to their feeling of superiority from their affinity magic, however.

Hengeyokai Names[edit]

Hengeyokai usually follow the naming conventions of nearby human societies, particularly that of oriental tradition.

Male: Shouta, Hengemaru, Touya

Female: Kiriko, Hime-Sama, Ruri

Hengeyokai Traits[edit]

Design Note: This race uses the Tiny Player Characters (5e Variant Rule)

Animals of longevity and shapeshifting.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Age. Hengeyokai reach maturity at 12 months. The exact length of their lifespans vary but records show that the oldest kitsune to date was 623.
Alignment. Hengeyokai tend to be chaotic due to their wild nature. Whether they are evil or good depends on individual hengeyokai.
Size. Hengeyokai often appear like regular animals. Your size is Tiny.
Speed. While a human you have a base walking speed of 30 feet.
Change Form. As an action, you may polymorph into a human as per the polymorph spell and back into your true form as a bonus action. If you are reduced to 0 hit points in this form you revert back into your true form. Any damage you take in your changed form is transferred over to your own hit points.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write in Common and Sylvan.
Subrace. Choose from the Tanuki, Suzume, Suppon, Nekomata, and Mujina subraces.


Tanuki are raccoon-like creatures that live in clans in the forest and elect a leader called the "Great Tanuki" to oversee the clan's land and organize its members. While the most jovial of the hengeyokai, they are also the most vicious. Elections for the overseer position often break down into faction conflict between rival families, which usually end with one family is completely eliminated. However, when not at war, tanuki enjoy drinking, playing pranks on humans and, in general, having a good time.

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Clan's Warrior. Tanuki clans train to fight like their human neighbors. You have proficiency with the pike and shortbow.
Natural Instinct. When in forest terrain, you have advantage in Wisdom (Survival) and Intelligence (Nature) checks.


Suzume have the least amount of contact with humans, preferring to keep to themselves in their mountain homes. They are sparrows and are known to only fly, only walking in their human forms.

Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Speed. You have a flying speed of 30 feet. To use this speed you must not be wearing armor or in your human form.
Birdsong. You can accurately recall any tunes you've heard within the last three months.


Suppon are turtle creatures that commonly are rather peaceful. However, they rally against humans when it comes to their own kind of being eaten.

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet. You have a swimming speed of 25 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.
Amphibious. You can breathe in both air and water.


Nekomata usually lead lives relatively independent from other cats. However, once a year they gather in prepared locations to trade information and socialize. They occasionally masquerade as regular household cats for shelter.

Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet with a climbing speed of 20 feet.
Alley Cat. You are proficient in the Acrobatics skill.
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.


Mujina are territorial loners that are more likely to attack another of their race on sight for trespassing than engage in pleasantries. When engaging in pranks on humans, a mujina takes delight in scaring at best and killing the human at worst.

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Honey Badger. You don't care. When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1 hit point instead. You can’t use this trait again until you finish a long rest.
Claws. In your animal form, your claws are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

0′ 10'' +1d8 6 lb. × 1 lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

(2 votes)

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