Tsukumogami (5e Race)

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When Wild Magic grows strongest, it sometimes finds an outlet by creating entirely new beings from common items, resulting in the spontaneous animation of a well-used tool or trinket.

A nonmagical item that was well-used and well-kept by its owners, but left untouched for a full hundred years, can become imbued by a spirit called a tsukumogami. Creating their own physical body, modeled after the item's last living owner, the spirit will pick up the patterns of use where the item's previous owner left off, whether they were chores, music, or just being worn. Eventually, the tsukumogami will become self-aware and move on from their longtime home in search of purpose.

Physical Description[edit]

When a tsukumogami forms in an item, they create the shape of a face somewhere on that item if there isn't one already present. The tsukumogami can see, hear, and talk from this face. The spirit's vessel is not changed in any other way, and otherwise looks completely normal.

A tsukumogami also manifests their spirit body, a magical construct that resembles the last person to have made regular use of their vessel before the spirit formed. This body wears the same clothes, speaks the same languages, and even displays the same mannerisms as that person did, yet gives the spirit none of their memories. A tsukumogami can see, hear, and talk through this body just as through their vessel, and controls it as completely as any other creature controls its own body.


Though an item will exist for a long time before forming a tsukumogami, the spirit themself has no memory from before then. Given the unpredictable and sporadic nature of tsukumogami formation, what records there are of them have little apparent correlation, and there is no one thorough study of them.


Being as they are essentially living flukes of magic and circumstance, few tsukumogami will ever meet another of their kind. Given the process of their creation, they often find it hard to relate to other creatures who have strong ties to a family or society. Over time, though, a tsukumogami will usually grow accustomed to, and even comfortable with, other people.

How well a tsukumogami integrates into a given community depends largely on that community's attitudes towards outsiders and unique creatures, but also on how the tsukumogami deals with being around other people. Some will flee into the wilderness, finding peaceful existence in isolation, while others will stick it out, possibly even discovering that the routine they mimic by habit can lead them to a useful skill and a paying job. A few manage the difficult task of living with other people without ever revealing their true nature.

Tools and Trinkets[edit]

Any kind of item, whether it is a book, ring, rake, or frying pan, can become home to a tsukumogami. The type of item that forms a spirit will usually determine what kind of tsukumogami will form. Tools most commonly form strong, orderly spirits, following the patterns of an item that, while used often and lovingly, had only one or two uses. Toys, jewelry, musical instruments, and other trinkets or household items will often take on a more sporadic spirit, in line with the passions and emotions they were exposed to before the 100 years of abandonment.

Tsukumogami Names[edit]

A tsukumogami has no reason to call themself anything until they meet another creature, and will often invent a name on the spot in response to being asked. Though a tsukumogami will sometimes name themself after their vessel, they will more commonly name themself for either the next concept to pass through their train of thought or the next thing to catch their attention. A tsukumogami usually assumes the gender of their last user as their own.

Possible Names: Body, Face, Horse, Lookout, Path, Town, Voice.

Variant: Reincarnated Spirit:
Sometimes, a creature that died while using or wearing a nonmagical item will be pulled from their afterlife years later and imbued into the item, essentially being reincarnated as a tsukumogami. In this case, the reborn creature will retain all their memories, but not all of their abilities; a dwarf won't be able to see in the dark, a magic user may not have all or any of their magic, and even a warrior will have to train their new body to do what they want.
Using this variant rule does not alter any of the race's mechanics.

Tsukumogami Traits[edit]

A spirit formed by an inanimate object after 100 years of neglect.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age. A tsukumogami commonly runs in their groove for anywhere from three to ten years before suddenly deciding to leave their home, and takes another several years before truly getting used to being around other creatures. The spirit will generally last for around two centuries before fading.
Alignment. Tool tsukumogami, being used to and comforted by routine, tend towards law and neutrality. Trinket tsukumogami, being more emotional, tend towards chaos, and extremes of good or evil.
Size. Your vessel's size is Tiny; your spirit body's size is probably Small or Medium, depending on what race your last user was.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 ft, whether using your spirit body or by moving your vessel along the ground.
Spirit Body. Your spirit body has the physical appearance of the last person to have made regular use of your vessel but grants you none of that person's traits, features, equipment or memories. You can use your spirit body to wear armor and clothing and to carry things. Damage dealt to your spirit body is subtracted from your hit point total, as is damage dealt to your vessel regardless of whether you are being worn or carried by another creature; however, a single effect cannot deal damage to both at one time. Your vessel's Armor Class is equal to 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your proficiency modifier, and is unaffected by class features, worn armor, and other effects.
Spacious Vessel. You can use an action to dismiss your spirit body and every nonliving thing on its person into a pocket dimension. You must maintain concentration, as if concentrating on a spell, to keep items stored in the pocket space they must be one-tenth of your carrying capacity. You can use your action to end this effect, manifesting your spirit body and everything on it within 5 feet of your vessel; However, if you lose concentration on this effect, your spirit body is manifested but everything on it is deposited in the space around you instead. Items dismissed in this way have no effect while dismissed.
Aberrant Nature. You are a living spirit, a contradiction in terms that only the wildest of Wild Magic can create. You have both the Humanoid and Aberration creature types. You still need to eat and drink like most other mortals, but need to use your spirit body to do so; your vessel doesn't need to breathe, but your spirit body does while it is manifested. If you are dying, a character attempting to stabilize you must make a successful DC 10 Intelligence (Arcana) check, rather than a Wisdom (Medicine) check.
Spirit Link. You and a friendly creature can spend an hour meditating together to become linked to one another. You can only have one creature linked to you at a time, and you or the creature can break the link at any time as a bonus action. While linked, you and that creature can communicate with each other telepathically as long as you are within 30 feet of each other, and gain other benefits depending on your subrace.
Languages. You can speak, read and write Common and one other language of your choice.
Subrace. Tsukumogami fit into one of two categories, dependent on their vessel; tool tsukumogami and trinket tsukumogami. Choose one of these subraces.

Tool Tsukumogami[edit]

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2.
Intuitive Weapon. You gain proficiency in one simple melee weapon of your choice, typically one that resembles your vessel.
Spiritual Weapon. Your vessel can be wielded as a weapon, either by you through your spirit body or by another creature. While a linked creature is wielding your vessel, both you and the linked creature can make attacks as normal, and both can choose whose bonuses to attack and damage rolls to use when they attack. You cannot make attacks this way if the linked creature is incapacitated, and if they are prone or restrained, your attack rolls have disadvantage.
Magic Weapon. While being wielded by your spirit body or a linked creature, your vessel counts as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.

Trinket Tsukumogami[edit]

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2.
Spiritual Focus. You can use your vessel as a spellcasting focus for spells as long as your spirit body or a linked creature is holding it, and you can cast spells as normal while your vessel is being held by a linked creature (using them for any somatic components). A linked creature can also use your vessel as a spellcasting focus for their spells.
Shared Spell Slots. When you or a linked creature use your vessel as a spellcasting focus to cast a spell, you can use your reaction to allow the linked creature to expend one of your spell slots and the creature can use its reaction to do the same for you.
Empathetic Repair. You know the mending cantrip.

Variant: Grimoire Tsukumogami Subrace:
The concentrated magic packed into a wizard's spellbook makes it a prime candidate for creating a tsukumogami. The resulting creature might have the memories and personality of the book's former user, as in the above Reincarnated Spirit variant rule, or it might be its own creature. Either way, the process unfortunately wipes away most or all of the spellbook's contents, leaving the tsukumogami to start anew (unless it doesn't; this is just a game balance copout to be used if needed).

Grimoire Tsukumogami[edit]

Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 2.
Spiritual Focus. You can use your vessel as a spellcasting focus for spells as long as your spirit body or a linked creature is holding it, and you can cast spells as normal while your vessel is being held by a linked creature (using them for any somatic components). A linked creature can also use your vessel as a spellcasting focus for their spells.
Shared Spell Slots. When you or a linked creature use your vessel as a spellcasting focus to cast a spell, you can use your reaction to allow the linked creature to expend one of your spell slots and the creature can use its reaction to do the same for you.
Grimoire Traits. You or a creature linked to you can copy new spells into your vessel, as long as you have the necessary resources and time.

Clothing Tsukumogami[edit]

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Spiritual Expertise. You can share your skill with the linked creature. When you link with a creature, or after a long rest, select a skill both you and the linked creature are proficient in. You both have expertise in that skill.
Shared Skills. When you or a linked creature wear your vessel while conducting a skill check, the creature not conducting the skill check can use their reaction to grant a bonus equal to their or your proficiency bonus.

Specifics and Rules Interactions[edit]

Specifics and Rules Interactions:
This is a very unique race, and figuring out how it should work within the game rules can be complicated. To avoid cluttering up the Traits section, here are some tips:

  • When you die, your spirit body disappears and your vessel breaks, and you depart for the afterlife like any other soul. Your vessel can be used to bring you back with a raise dead spell or similar magic, but only if it is repaired as required for the spell. Spells like the mending cantrip cannot be used on their own to revive you or restore hit points to you.
  • Your vessel doesn't give you any tool proficiency related to actually using it as intended, since your affinity to it comes from habit rather than knowledge. If you want your tsukumogami character to have that proficiency, create the character with either a class or background that does provide it, to reflect that the spirit did learn how to use it properly in the process of figuring out their place in the world.
  • It's intended that tool tsukumogami are formed from objects that are not intended to be used as weapons, but that when used as improvised weapons, can be treated as equivalent to existing simple melee weapons; some examples are a table knife (dagger), hatchet (handaxe), pot or pan (mace), smith's hammer (light hammer), or walking staff (quarterstaff). At your DM's option, your character's vessel can be a martial weapon, or be used as one.

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