Bakemono

The word “bakemono” means “a changed thing”, something gone beyond its natural state into a perversion. These small goblinoids have the latent capacity to become shapeshifters. Their penchant for mischief is legendary, especially where it concerns technology and magic items. They avidly collect magic items and they have a love/hate relationship with mechanical things. The individual bakemono’s clan and his or her current appetite indicate if they try to sabotage machines or if they become inventors and tinkerers of machinery themselves.

Bakemono possess the ability and biological need to chew and digest metals in small quantities; the more precious the metal, the more delicious and nutritious it is for them. So, they covet gold, but their reasons are more about survival and the pleasure of eating a delicacy.

Personality

Bakemono love physical pleasure and fun, though with a touch of cruelty or a morbid sense of humor. They are quite egotistical, enjoying praise, whether it is deserved or not. They enjoy food, drink, song, dance, sporting challenges (with just enough of a one-sided edge to make things interesting), and gambling. While they are not morally righteous or innocent, they reserve a special kind of displeasure for those who falsely behave in such a manner. Bakemono develop elaborate plans just to bring social, psychological, and physical harm to those who offend them or earn their displeasure. They justify their actions as lessons taught for the good of society. As any bakemono will tell you, “Anyone can come up with an evil scheme; the trick is to pull it off with a certain cruel beauty, delicate irony, and panache.”

Physical Description

All bakemono are small in stature. They have sharp and powerful teeth that can crush rock. They all have almond-shaped, catlike-eyes and pointed ears. Beyond that much of the similarity ends. It is hard to believe that the two genders of the bakemono are the same race.

Male bakemono have a single, short horn that grows from the center of their head. They have long, muscular, ape-like arms and walk with a rolling gait and hunched posture. Their hairy skin has a sickly green, blue, or red tinge that gives off a strong, musky odor. They have bushy brows and large noses, the latter of which they boast about.

Female bakemono are delicate, fey beauties with cream colored, porcelain skin that has just a hint of a light green, blue, or red tinge. Their frames are small and lithe, so they move with a grace that contrasts sharply with the awkward gait of the males. They have delicate and thin, but long, almost antennae-like eyebrows. Their dark, lustrous hair smells of sweet cinnamon, jasmine, or other spices. The females lack horns of any kind. When selecting prospective husbands, the females favor males with prodigious noses and horns.

Other races often wonder at what the beautiful females see in the ugly males. When they learn what the females are like in private, they wonder how the henpecked males survive, much less the bakemono as a race.

Relations

The bakemono make their displeasure of the dahren and the sanesaram known through mischief, though they can work out a mutual respect with individuals if they must work towards a common goal. They are no friend to the halflings or gnomes either. This may be some lingering jealousy or the bakemono may despise their weaker origins. They have respect for races that earn places of power through force or deception. Bakemono are indifferent towards most races, though they have a special curiosity in the properties of the yueren homeland, and thus, the yueren (moon elves).

Outlook

Many bakemono have an affinity for technology, for its creation or its destruction. Urban tribes tend to like technology’s power and convenience, while wilderness tribes possess a near pathological hatred of technology and those who use it, including other bakemono. Being evil is a part of what they bakemono are rather than a function of who they are. They are born with a taint from their long-ago association with the asuraryu, but they are not limited to evil behavior. Unfortunately, given the history of the bakemono and their penchant for mischief, few other races realize this.

Bakemono Lands

The nocturnal Bakemono tend to live away from places of bright light. They make their homes in caves, underground dwellings, mist-shrouded swamps, dark and ancient forests, or even in urban locations where they can stay indoors. Many a bakemono community appears in mountains known to be rich with metal ore deposits due to their love of precious metals. The bakemono are a fractious lot. Tribes contend for territory with each other and other races.

Bakemono clan totems designate them while showcasing a new physical form for cultivating their latent shapeshifting talents. Most races consider these to be vermin. These totemic clans include the Kumo (spider), Tsuruchi (wasp), Nezumi (Rat), Tengu (Crow), Hebi (Snake), and others - GMs and players are encouraged to come up with their own clans as appropriate. These tribes range through a wide area. The bakemono might interact socially if they have the need or desire to gather into war parties. Otherwise they maintain their privacy and isolation from each other.

Religion

Most bakemono dislike religions that encourage one to escape the karmic wheel of death and rebirth. They feel that such religions dupe their adherents for some nebulous purpose. Bakemono who do care tend to worship out of fear or a personal need to appease local spirits and gods.

Languages

The bakemono speak their own dark language, called bakemono, and the common tongue of their home region. Bakemono keep their language a forbidden secret. They do not speak it around non-bakemono. They spread horrifying stories about how speaking the dark, bakemono tongue causes curses. Outsiders who hear their language may note similarities to a halfling dialect known as Yuni.

Names

Bakemono don’t care about personal names. The care about truenames and their family names, they borrow personal names that they like the sound of from neighboring races. They even change their names as they grow older. As they enter a new phase of life, their personal names must change. Some bakemono have upwards of eight different names during their lifetime. They love taking personal titles appropriate to events in their lives, collecting and hoarding titles as if they were precious gems or valuables. They never discard an old title. Once a bakemono lays claim to a title, he never forgets it. Some say that titles bakemono collect are their truenames.

Unlike personal names, bakemono take their original halfling and gnome surnames seriously. They preserve them to remind them of where they came from. If they should encounter a halfling or gnome member of their family someday, they might wreak a dark vengeance using their powerful curses upon those who would dare mock them with their purity.

Adventurers

Curmudgeons by nature, adventuring and taking great risks discourages bakemono. But working hard also inspires an equally allergic reaction. Some become reluctant adventurers, surviving and gaining power where they may. Classes that take up skills of deception, such as the rogue, have a certain appeal. Others might become rangers or druids due to an affinity for the wilderness. Many bakemono practice magic for power. Females become oracles, sorcerers, or summoners over other spellcasting classes. If a male can bully others with a class’s magical force he will do so, while females are more subtle. Bakemono avoid any class that requires harsh discipline and perseverance, such as paladin or monk. They frequently enjoy having fun at such a profession’s expense.

Favored Drink: Sake and other strong spirits; Favored Food: Precious metals, cucumbers, and peppers; Favored Weapon: Spears.


Bakemono Racial Traits

  • Male Bakemono: +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence -2 Charisma.
  • Female Bakemono: +2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma, -2 Strength.
  • Small: As a Small creature, a bakemono gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Sneak checks. He uses size Small weapons. His lifting and carrying limits equal a Medium size character.
  • Bakemono base land speed is 20 feet.
  • Evil Goblinoids: Bakemono have the goblin and evil subtypes. However, bakemono player characters need not act in an evil manner.
  • Darkvision: Bakemono can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight. Bakemono can function just ine with no light at all.
  • Light Blindness: Abrupt exposure to bright light (such as sunlight or a daylight spell) blinds bakemono for 1 round. On subsequent rounds, they are dazzled as long as they remain in the affected area.
  • Iron Teeth (Su): Their fearsome teeth can bite through most any metal. They chew through iron without even scratching their tooth enamel. Outside of combat, a bakemono may inlict 3d6 bite damage to any nonmagical object, 1d6 damage to magical objects and 1d6 to any living or undead creature. Bakemono can chew through one cubic foot of material per five minutes. Consuming more than one cubic foot in a day causes them 1d8 points of subdual damage per additional cubic foot consumed. If the bakemono consumes more than his Constitution bonus in cubic feet in a day, he becomes nauseated for a number of hours equal to the number of cubic feet consumed. He cannot consume magic items or materials.
  • +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison.
  • Bakemono affinity grants them a +2 racial bonus on Appraise and Craft checks related to metal.
  • Tribal Totem: The bakemono must determine which tribe he is from. He cannot later alter his choice. The tribes (and their totems) are: Hebi (snake), Kaeru (frog), Koumori (bat), Kumo (spider), Mukade (centipede), Nezumi (rat), Tengu (crow), and Tsuruchi (wasp). At the GM's discretion, other tribes and totems can be made.
  • Automatic Languages: Common (usually Nihon), Goblin and Bakemono.
  • Bonus Languages: Any.
  • Racial Levels: Bakemono can take levels in “bakemono” as a class to develop their racial qualities more.

Bakemono Paragon Levels

Some bakemono develop aptitudes and abilities beyond the norm. These few revel extensively in their mischievous nature and adaptable physical forms, even controlling their size and shape as they grow in experience and power.

In their normal form the bakemono paragon’s ears grow longer and more sharply pointed. Teeth grow to razor sharpness and jaws become stronger, more muscular, and capable of opening to unreal proportions. Their smile can be most disconcerting. They gain dark tiger-like or leopard-like markings along their backs and limbs. Body scents (females) and musky odors (males) are more pronounced. Males develop a larger nose, larger horn, and longer, apelike arms. Females grow ever more attractive, their hair growing extremely long and lustrous.

Bakemono can take up to six levels in “bakemono paragon” at any time. Not all bakemono take paragon racial levels (or all six of them). Bakemono levels stack with a spellcasting class level for purposes of determining spellcaster level. If the bakemono has two spellcasting classes, add the paragon levels to the higher of the two.

Hit Die: d8

“Class” Skills: The bakemono racial “class” skills are Appraise (Int), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Stealth (Dex), and Survival (Wis).

Skill Points: 4 + Intelligence modifier.

“Class” Features

Table: Bakemono Paragon Class
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spells per Day
1 +0 +0 +2 +0 +1 Strength males; +1 to Charisma or Wisdom females; gains Bite as a natural weapon +1 level of existing class
2 +1 +1 +3 +1 +1 Constitution males; +1 Dexterity females; Medium-size Shapeshift, Shapechanger +1 level of existing class
3 +2 +1 +3 +1 Large-size Shapeshift, Spell-like ability +1 level of existing class
4 +3 +1 +4 +1 Totem Shape +1 level of existing class
5 +3 +1 +4 +1 Consume magic, Sundering Bite +1 level of existing class
6 +4 +2 +5 +2 +1 Strength males; +1 to either Charisma or Wisdom females, Swarm Shape +1 level of existing class

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Bakemono with levels only in bakemono paragon are proficient in the use of all simple weapons, light armors and shields.

Shapechanger

The bakemono gains the shapechanger subtype.

Medium-Size Shapeshift (Sp)

As a spell-like ability usable a number of times per day equal to bakemono paragon levels, the bakemono can become Medium-sized at almost 6 feet tall. This ability lasts 1 minute for each character level. When the bakemono becomes Medium, he no longer receives the benefits of being Small, losing a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Sneak checks. However, his lifting and carrying limits are the same as those of a Large character (do not make other modifications based on the change in size, such as those suggested in the Pathinder® Roleplaying Game Bestiary™). Using this ability takes a full round action.

When bakemono paragon magically grow to this greater size, their gear also changes to an appropriate size.

Large-Size Shapeshift (Sp)

As a spell-like ability usable a number of times per day equal to his bakemono paragon levels, the bakemono can become size Large, at around 10 feet tall. This ability lasts for a number of rounds equal to his character level. When the bakemono becomes Large, he no longer receives the beneits of being Small, losing a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Sneak checks. The bakemono paragon gains a 10-foot Reach, but suffers a –1 size penalty to Armor Class and attack rolls. (Do not make other modifications based on the change in size, such as those suggested in the Pathinder® Roleplaying Game Bestiary™). His lifting and carrying limits are the same as those of a Huge character. Using this ability is a full round action.

When bakemono paragon magically grow to this greater size, their gear also changes to an appropriate size.

3rd-Level Spell-Like Ability

At will—detect magic. This is in addition to any other spell-like abilities the character may already have. Use the bakemono’s character level as the caster level.

Totem Shape (Sp)

The bakemono paragon can change himself into a chosen animal or vermin form as beast shape (except he can take the form the chosen vermin as well) of his tribal totem with a full round action. He can take this form once per day. CL is equal to his character level. At character level 7th this becomes beast shape II, At character level 9th this becomes beast shape III, At character level 11th this becomes beast shape IV.

Choose from one of the following according to the bakemono’s tribal totem. Though limited to this form, he is only limited by the beast shape spell in its actual size and can take monstrous and dire versions of the form.

  • Bat (Koumori): The Koumori can take on the form of a bat
  • Centipede (Mukade): The Mukade can take the form of a centipede:
  • Crow (Tengu): The Tengu can take the form of a crow.
  • Frog (Kaeru): The Kaeru can take the form of a frog.
  • Rat (Nezumi): The Nezumi can take the form of a rat
  • Snake (Hebi): The Hebi can take the form and of a snake.
  • Spider (Kumo): The Kumo can take the form of a spider:
  • Wasp (Tsuruchi): The Tsuruchi can take the form of a wasp.

Consume Magic (Su)

The bakemono’s Iron Teeth ability now lets them chew and digest magical items and substances.

Sundering Bite (Ex)

The bakemono gains the beneits of the Improved Sunder feat when using his bite attack, even if he does not meet the prerequsites.

Swarm Shape (Sp)

The 6th level evolved bakemono can change shape into a swarm of his tribe’s patron totem animal with a full round action as per polymorph any object. He can take this form once per day for up to 10 minutes per paragon class level. The bakemono retains his normal Intelligence score. If slain, his body reverts to its original form. The individual swarm creatures are no larger than Tiny-sized vermin or animals. While in swarm shape, the bakemono controls his constituent creatures like a hive mind. Equipment worn subsumes into the form of the animal or vermin, but it is nonfunctional.

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