Karakuri (5e Race)

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"Standing by the tree,

I see the frog swim in circles

I stoop down to look

But my cord, strained, prevents me

I too am trapped in a pond"

-Shinbo a Karakuri Poet

Physical Description[edit]


Karakuri are made from ivory wood and metal and are powered by a spirit. Their structure is composed of a metal frame, layered over in certain places with wood for added flexibility. Above this, they have an outer shell of ivory and sometimes porcelain that covers all of their body except for around the joints.

Karakuri's outer shells are fashioned to resemble a human body and the face of a Karakuri is in the appearance of a young man or woman. However, this face is only a mask and can be removed and replaced at the Karakuri's will without affecting the Karakuri's speech or other motor functions.

From their back, usually between the Karakuri's shoulder blades, a 10-foot tube extends down to a small box called a Shibari. These boxes, which all Karakuri have, are where the spirit that powers them are contained, and is the source of the Karakuri's movements. The boxes are usually 5 inches by 8 inches by 5 inches and about 6 pounds. They are carried by the Karakuri whenever they have to move, usually being put in a bag or carried around by hand. The charms carved into the Karakuri's boxes are unique per individual as they were used to invoke a specific spirit from the Spirit World.

Karakuri are asexual, however, they often define themselves as a certain gender, usually as the gender they were modeled after, but, due to their ability to be modified by artificers or even themselves, this is not always the case.


Karakuri were originally created as simple mechanical dolls used to fascinate the masses as performers, maintain the temples as caretakers, and fight in wars as soldiers. However, as years passed it became clear that the spirits that powered the Karakuri, not only made them move but endowed them with sentience. Artificers still argue whether the sentience was of that of the spirit, able to communicate now with the Material Plane, or of a completely new entity that the spirit simply nourished. Even the Karakuri themselves cannot answer the question.

Karakuri were eventually freed of their servitude and now do what they please where they please, whether they write poetry, fight in wars, or even partake in adventuring.


Being a fairly new race Karakuri have no society to call their own and usually integrate with other races. They are most commonly found among humans as they were originally designed to appear human, though they have been known to get along with gnomes as well quite well.

Some Karakuri decide to dedicate their life to a single goal or a perfection of a skill and often wander in pursuit of it.

Karakuri Names[edit]

Many Karakuri base their names off of the spirit that is bound in their boxes. Others, name themselves after a concept or a goal.

Some refuse to take on names at all, either waiting until they find a true name that fits them or seeing it as superficial.

Karakuri Traits[edit]

A mechanical race, each bound to a small box containing a spirit.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2.
Age. Karakuri are made fully matured and live for a very long until their bodies begin to fail. While there are no confirmations on the maximum age of a Karakuri, it is speculated that if a Karakuri keeps itself well maintained, and its Shibari safe, it could live till about 500, at which point the Shibari might start to malfunction.
Alignment. Karakuri are not restricted to any alignment but tend to be good or neutral as most of them were created to give, not take. However, evil Karakuri do exist either believing themselves superior to other races, or sacrificing people to reach their ambitions. Most are lawful. However, this too cannot be said for all Karakuri.
Size. Karakuri tend to be the size of humans, ranging from 5~6 feet tall. Musha Karakuri tend to be taller, sometimes 7 feet tall, and bulkier. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Living Construct. While you were constructed you are still considered to be living. You don't need to eat or breathe and can fall into a trance for 4 hours per day to gain the benefit of sleeping for 8 hours. In this trance, you are perfectly aware of your surroundings. You are also immune to diseases.
Spirit Ancestry. The spirit in your Shibari not only powers you but it also protects you. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed and magic can’t put you to sleep.
Shibari. You may not travel more than 10 feet from the Shibari to which you are attached to. The Shibari weighs 6 pounds and can be carried around in one hand or put in a bag for transport. When the Shibari takes damage, you take damage. If the Shibari is destroyed, you drop to 0 hit points and are rendered unconscious. You do not need to make death saving throws. However, you cannot gain hit points until the Shibari is repaired. After it is repaired, you regain consciousness and revive with the same amount of hit points you had before the Shibari was destroyed (minimum 1). If you die, but your Shibari is intact, an ally can either fix your dead body or create/find a new construct body. It takes a successful DC20 Tinkers Tools check to repair you.
Languages. You can speak Common and one other language of your choice.
Subrace. Chose one from Butai Karakuri, Dashi Karakuri, and Musha Karakuri.

Butai Karakuri[edit]

Butai Karakuri were created for the purpose of entertaining, whether through theater or tea ceremonies. They were built to be adaptable and look the closest to humans.

Ability Score Increase. You were built to be more nimble and graceful than the other Karakuri. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Born to Act. You are proficient in the Performance skill.
Stage Trick. You were created to perform and modified to surprise. You gain one bard cantrip of your choice.
Almost Human. You have an advantage in Charisma (Deception) or Charisma (Performance) checks to pass yourself off as human.

Dashi Karakuri[edit]

Dashi Karakuri were made to tend to shrines. They may seem to be more simply built than other Karakuri but this is because their creators focused more on the Dashi Karakuri's Shibari spiritually purer.

Ability Score Increase. You are more in-tune with the spirit of your Shibari. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Pious. You are proficient in the Religion skill.
Tranquil Mind. When you are forced to make an Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma saving throw against magic that affects your mind, you may grant yourself advantage on that saving throw. This effect can only be used once before you must complete a short rest to regain use of this trait.
Spirt's Guidance. You can ask the spirit of your Shibari to aid a friend. You know the guidance cantrip.

Musha Karakuri[edit]

Musha Karakuri were made for war. They do not have as fancy outer shells as others of their kind, instead of using a harder material to protect their bodies. Musha Karakuri have faces crafted to represent Oni to inspire fear in their enemies on the battlefield.

Ability Score Increase. You are made of tougher stuff than the rest of your kind. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Terrifying Visage. You are proficient in the Intimidation skill.
Warriors Armor. Your outer shell was made to be durable. When unarmored, your Armor Class is equal to 11 + your Dexterity modifier.
Darkvision. You were given superior eyesight to fight in the dark. 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.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

Table: Karakuri Random Height and Weight
Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
4′ 8″ +2d10 110 lb. × (2d4) lb.

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