Ever thought of having the ability to look differently on different occasions at different times? That’s definitely what everybody would like to subscribe to.
Changelings are a humanoid race that is distantly descended from doppelgangers and share their shape-shifting qualities. Prior to the 5th edition, the origin of changelings was unknown but believed to be from doppelgangers. 5th edition changed this to changelings having originated first and then doppelgangers.
Their shape-shifting abilities have led to them being used as spies and assassins. Changelings can shift their face and form with a thought in split seconds. Even to the most astute observers, your ruse is usually indiscernible. If you rouse suspicion, or if a wary creature suspects something is amiss, you have an advantage on any deception check you make to avoid detection. Changelings thrive in deception and secrecy. This leads many people to treat known changelings with fear and suspicion.
Changelings live among humans, goblinoids, or other races. They are commonly found in large cities, where their talents can be used as entertainers, special advisers, or adventurers, but also for more criminal purposes. Some changelings live in stable communities where they are open about their true nature, while others live in nomadic communities that hide their ability to shapeshift from outsiders. Changelings also tend to ask a bit too personal questions, because they like to share with each other what kind of transformations, looks, or behaviors they prefer to use and what transformations and behaviors they have tried out before.
Ability Score Increase: Either your Dexterity or your Intelligence increases by 1.
Age: Changelings mature slightly faster than humans but share a similar lifespan. They can live for 100 years or less. While a changeling can shapeshift to conceal their age, the effects of aging are still inevitable.
Alignment: Changelings like most other creatures hate to be bound in any way, and those who follow the path of the Traveler believe that chaos and change are important aspects of life. Most tend toward pragmatic neutrality as opposed to being concerned with lofty ideals. Despite common fears, few changelings embrace evil. Changelings are susceptible to doing evil. When you have the ability to belie I mean who wouldn’t?
Size: In their natural forms, changelings average between 5 to 6 feet in height, with a slender build. Your size is Medium.
Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Changeling Names: All changeling names are unisex and are very short, usually monosyllabic.
Religion: Many changelings revere The Traveler of the Dark Six; others seek out their own philosophies. Many changelings follow a religion simply to make their disguise more realistic.
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.
Lifespan: Changelings reach maturity slightly faster than humans and live as long as humans do. typically around the range of 100-120 years.
Changeling Instincts: You gain proficiency with two of the following skills of your choice: Deception, Insight, Intimidation, and Persuasion.
Languages: You can speak, read, and write Common, the language of your parent race, and one other language of your choice, your parent race can choose from.
Names: Changelings commonly use the names of the races they were raised in which leads to a broad variety of names in their societies, that might be difficult to pronounce for untrained tongues. Because of that, many changelings tend toward short nicknames. Most changelings tend to keep the name they grew up with. Others might change their name to leave this chapter of their life behind them.
Change Appearance: You can transform your appearance and voice or revert to your natural form. You can’t duplicate the appearance of a creature you’ve never seen, and you revert to your natural form if you die. You determine the specifics of the changes, including your coloration, hair length, and sex. You can also adjust your height and weight, but not so much that your size changes. You can make yourself appear as a member of another race, though none of your game statistics change. Transforming into someone else doesn’t grant you their wisdom, knowledge or manners.
You decide what you look like, including your height, weight, facial features, the sound of your voice, coloration, hair length, sex, and any other distinguishing characteristics. You also can’t appear as a creature of a different size than you, and your basic shape stays the same; if you’re bipedal, you can’t use this trait to become quadrupedal. This change doesn’t affect the non-biological parts of you. For instance, when you change, your clothes and tools remain unchanged. This requires you to keep spare outfits so as to make the disguise more convincing and compelling.
Unsettling Visage: When a creature you can see makes an attack roll against you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the roll. You must use this feature before knowing whether the attack hits or misses. This trait reveals your shape-shifting nature to any creature within 30 feet that can see you. Once you use this trait, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
Personality: Changelings are generally harmless, anti-social, passive, and uninterested in politics. Many people have come to have little or no trust in them owing to their capricious way of life. Changelings do not have cultures that are particular to them. However, they tend to mimic other people’s culture. They enjoy the art of mimicry. Most changelings will set up a handful of personas so if one is compromised they can disappear and switch to one of their others.
Their personas are incredibly realistic and have their own personality traits, backgrounds, and network of friends. Changelings can be evasive and will often try to avoid confrontation or anything that will draw attention to themselves. In shape-shifting, they oftentimes do not assume the countenance of a known person but rather creates a whole new person.
Description: Just like Elves, Changelings lack body and facial hairs. The hair on their head is a combination of shades of gray and platinum. Rarely, their hairs can assume pink, greenish-orange, and blue colors. Changelings are mostly pale or light gray in complexion with slender bodies and large colorless eyes. Their ears tend towards a double-pointed form, like an elves ear, but with a split-tip and the noses often times flat-like. On their forehead, they have two small horns above the eyes on the hairline.
While they assume the form of anyone, they do have a true form of their own. Stories have it that, owing to the shape-shifting abilities they possess, other races tread with caution. You never know the green snake in the green grass sort of thing. Changelings have long been persecuted by other races, seen at best as tricksters and con-artists, at worst as thieves and assassins. Many people find it hard to trust changelings. Some changelings work hard to remove this stigma, but each time a changeling is caught robbing from a wealthy merchant or sneaking about where they are not welcome, it only propagates the stereotype.
Race: Changelings, Shifters and Warforged
Common changeling typically falls into one of four subsets of personal beliefs: polysubsist, monosubsist, truthseeker, or plasticiser.
Just as the name implies, Polysubsists are changelings who constantly change their shape and form. They take on many identities and lead various versions of different lives in different instances. Polysubsists are often times very deceptive, sly, and generally evil. They see their shape-shifting abilities as an advantage over other races. They are prone to do evil.
Monosubsists are Changelings who wished they weren’t changelings so to say. They rarely change to anything if not never. They are generally changelings who wish to fit in into another race and hide their identity. So did they hide their identity from the society and clone the appearance of the desired race and remain in that form. Monosubsists are the smallest group of the four mindsets and are oftentimes criticized by other changelings.
It has been argued if Monosubsists are to be considered as Changelings. The name Changelings suggest changing right? How then can a changeling deny a most essential feature? These claims however convincing they may sound are not true. Since the fact remains that it is a choice made whether or not to change. It is not that Monosubsist cannot change, but that they choose not to, argued by the other side. Most Monosubsists are prejudiced, isolated, and despised. This leads some to follow the path of the truth.
The Truthseekers seek to find the truth of what Changelings really are, how they came to be, and trace their ancestry. Truthseekers are the third largest group of the four mindsets, yet they are only a quarter the size of the group of the polysubsists. These individuals suppress their natural shape-changing abilities, oftentimes even more than monosubsists. They believe that changing to other forms could be detrimental to their formation and general wellbeing. They believe the way of the truth is not clear to everyone at first but with enough time given, the fog will lighten eventually.
Plasticers are the 4th and biggest group of all a changeling can be associated with. Some changelings just don’t fit into any of the three previous labels and treat their shapechanger trait as simply another talent that they can use as they wish. Every changeling who doesn’t fit into the three other groups is called a plasticer. Because of this, the plasticers are by far the loosest group as they share no real common goal. They are adventurous and believe that limiting themselves to just a single form is boring.