Kyoukotsu (5e Race)
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In a town, there lay an old well. It was the dry season, had been for a while now. The poor who could not afford burials in sanctioned ground instead dumped the bodies in the well, leaving them to rot. Animal remains were also dumped there for convenience. There was only a little at first, then enough was there that you could look in on a moonlit night, and see the white bones gleam an otherworldly light.
One night, a child who lived near the well heard a strange sound. It was not quite cackling, but it sounded a little like it. He peered out his window to see a grotesque shape haul itself over and out of the well's edge. It clattered and clacked, making sounds like sharp laughter, as though cackling through its movements. Rearing on its stolen spine, the thing arched up at the moon, clickety-clackety. The child could see that the body was eerily reminiscent of a human skeleton, but the legs were of a dog, the arms of a pig, and the head of a human. The dark sockets glowed now with new life, and the thing scurried off on all fours out of town.
|By Matthew Meyer|
Kyoukotsu are a varied type of skeletal creatures. They can range in size and shape based on what was used in their constructions. Many may have a part that is human, but many other parts of various animals. Kyoukotsu can also find limbs they prefer otherwise and attach them, thus changing in appearance. As such, it is rare to see the same kyoukotsu look the same twice. Usually, from their dark and hollow eye sockets shine their "eyeballs," which are luminescent circles that move and follow as eyes do.
Skeletons in Faerun are a common undead type. However, kyoukotsu are strange, as they resemble haphazardly assembled skeletons from numerous beings. It is theorized that when mass graves bury many skeletons without distinction of man or beast, the result comes forth in discontented bones, which attach themselves onto whatever other bones are nearby. But this theory is very weak in circles discussing necromancy. The actual phenomena remains to be fully explained. Some think spirits find it funny to possess such strange looking bodies and prance around, mocking the living. A more cohesive theory is that the remains had vestigial consciousness left, which melded together to form one mind, which then manifested in the mix of bones.
Kyoukotsu are known as "crazy bones" because of their strange appearance, as though a crazy person assembled them. They tend to move erratically, often looking as though they are cackling or giggling, which creeps most people out. They are renowned for their "laughing," which is when they take the pose of someone who may be laughing with their jaws wide open, and shake uncontrollably in small vibrations, thus making clickety-clack sounds with all their being. Historically, these noises are used as cautionary tales for children, or as omens of evil passing through town.
Kyoukotsu are very strange indeed. But they are not mindless. Some that have acquired more humanoid bodies, albeit some animal parts, have learned to cover up and live and trade with other races who may otherwise be frightened. Kyoukotsu, when freshly formed, often seem to run without direction. But in fact, they are eventually drawn to other kyoukotsu, preferably the more advanced ones. As a result, kyoukotsu foster a rather lively, but secluded, community of skeletal beings that can "grow up" simply by mish-mashing newer parts and acquiring newer abilities. The towns inhabited by kyoukotsu often resemble ghost towns, and so are shrouded in superstition and left alone. Curiously, their towns are often founded near sites of mass graves.
The kyoukotsu culture is mainly "mind over the flesh and bone." They are very engaged in contests of mental strength and their town leaders are usually elected through shows of wit. However, that is not to say they do not engage in physical activity. A small portion of kyoukotsu towns are always allocated for hunting, who usually are followers of the doctrine of no waste. They take the meats and furs and sell them, often harvesting the bones for themselves. From these remains, kyoukotsu may build their bodies or make jewelry and tools from scraps.
Kyoukotsu are an isolated race, often keeping to themselves until they have gained enough parts and clothes to camouflage effectively in outside society. Often, they find work in the entertainment industries, as kyoukotsu are very good at story-telling and acting, as well as the occasional singing gig. The way they rattle like a crazy person who's lost their marbles, or their eyes glow from their darkened sockets, make them quite appealing to crowds who listen to them as bards. Many remark that kyoukotsu are usually very formal and cordial, particularly those of human shape.
From their isolated towns, kyoukotsu receive visitors and wanderers with suspicion. They are very long in memory and few of words, giving them the facade of unfriendliness. They are known to entertain guests however, often with riddles and mendacity that they delight in watching people unravel. Thus, they are known to be very cerebral, even the animalistic kyoukotsu, who may give puzzles of physical nature more than verbal.
Kyoukotsu additionally trade with dwarves and elves, marketing a rather lucrative medicine made of ground bone powders. It is a secret they keep well guarded and is known to work wonders for the elderly, restoring some vitality. In addition to that, kyoukotsu produce weapons of discarded bone that none in their society use.
"Crazy Bones" for people who like mismatched skeletons.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2.
Age. Kyoukotsu, once formed, do not age further physically nor die of age. But if a bone wears away, they must find replacements.
Alignment. Kyoukotsu are usually of chaotic alignment. Older ones shed that nature and tend towards more neutral alignments.
Size. Kyoukotsu's size depends on the subrace.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 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.
Skeletal Nature. You do not need to eat, drink or breathe. Instead of sleeping, you enter an inactive state for 4 hours each day. You do not dream in this state; you are fully aware of your surroundings and notice approaching enemies and other events as normal. You are vulnerable to radiant and bludgeoning damage.
Trickster. You may, as an action, collapse your form into a pile of bones. While you remain motionless, you are indistinguishable from a normal pile of bones. In this state, you are prone your speed is 0, and the only action you can take is to revert to your normal state.
Languages. You can speak, read and write Common and one language of your choice.
Subrace. Kyoukotsu subraces are largely defined by what appearance you wish your character to have. Choose from the following options: Almost Human and Beastal
You are mostly composed of human bones. Maybe your head or arms are out of place, but that's it.
Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Wizened. You have advantage against being charmed and frightened.
Lithe. You are proficient in the Performance skill.
Silvertongue. You have advantage on Charisma checks involved in telling stories.
You are composed of thick, brutish bones of the fiercest creatures.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Strong Bones. When unarmored, your Armor Class is equal to 12 + your Dexterity modifier.
Beast Like Skull. You are proficient in the Intimidation skill.
Primitive. You have proficiency in simple weapons.
Random Height and Weight
|5′ 11″||+3d8||150 lb.||× (3d8) lb.|
*Height = base height + height modifier