Kingmaker in Eberron
Changelings are subtle shapeshifters capable of disguising their appearance. They evolved through the union of doppelgangers and humans, eventually becoming a separate race distinct from either ancestral tree. They do not possess the full shapechanging ability of a doppelganger, but they can create effective disguises at will. This ability makes them consummate spies and criminals, and many changelings live up to that potential.
Personality: In general, changelings are prudent and cautious, preferring to take risks only when they feel that their chances of success are good or the payoff is worth it. They appreciate the finer things in life and take great pleasures in the comforts of a wealthy lifestyle when they can obtain it. They avoid direct confrontation, preferring stealthy strikes and hasty retreats whenever possible. In conversation, they are soft-spoken but have a gift for drawing out more information than the other party intends to reveal.
Physical Description: Changelings strongly resemble their doppelganger lineage, with only a passing nod to their human heritage. All changelings fall within the boundaries of Medium size, usually standing between 5 and 6 feet tall. Unlike true doppelgangers, changlings do have gender in their natural form, although they can adopt any shape they like. Changelings have pale grey skin, and their hair is thin and fair. Their limbs are long and slightly out of proportion compared to other humanoids. Their faces have slightly more distinct features than a doppelganger’s, including a hint of nose and lips, though their eyes remain blank white and the rest of their facial features don’t look quite as finished as those on a human.
Relations: Nobody with any sense completely trusts a changeling. Many people, however, have reason to do business with them. Most members of other races treat changelings with extreme caution. Dwarves have little patience for their deceptive and subtle manner. Halflings on the other hand, enjoy matching wits with changelings though they are often rivals in certain shady activities.
Changeling Lands: Changelings live wherever humans do in Khorvaire, blending in among them and living in their shadow. They are most commonly found in the large cities of Khorvaire, where they form the backbone of the criminal underworld, though many find more respectable work as entertainers, inquisitives, government agents, and sometimes adventurers.
Religion: Many changelings revere the deity known as the Traveler, one of the Dark Six. Others follow a personal philosophy of the perfect form, in which physical transformation is a mystical practice symbolizing spiritual purification. This philosophy is curiously amoral, and its practitioners include both assassins and saintly ascetics.
Names: Changeling names are usually monosyllabic and seem to other races more like nicknames than proper names. In fact, changelings collect names and may go by entirely different names in different social circles. They make no distinction between male and female names.
Examples: Bin, Dox, Fie, Hars, Jin, Lam, Nit, Ot, Paik, Ruz, Sim, Toox, Yug, Cat.
Adventurers: Changeling adventurers might be fleeing from past crimes, seeking revenge for a wrong done to them, or striving for spiritual perfection through the use of their shapechanging abilities. Others are driven to adventure through a simple lack of palatable opportunities: Changelings who are not inclined toward crime or stealth often have difficulty finding steady work.
- +2 to one ability score of their choice.
- Shapechanger Subtype: Changelings are humanoids with the shapechanger subtype.
- Slippery Mind: Changelings get a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against sleep and charm effects.
- Deceptive: Changelings can intuitively interact with people in almost any situation, learning to ‘read’ others at an early age. This gives them a +2 bonus on Bluff, Intimidate, and Sense Motive.
- Natural Linguist: Changelings add Linguistics to their list of class skills.
- Minor Shape Change (Su): Changelings have the supernatural ability to alter their appearance as though using a disguise self spell that affects their bodies but not their possessions. This ability is not an illusory effect, but a minor physical alteration of a changeling’s facial features, skin color and texture, and size, within the limits described for the spell. A changeling can use this ability at will, and the alteration lasts until she changes shape again. A changeling reverts to her natural form when killed. A true seeing spell reveals her natural form. When using this ability to create a disguise, a changeling receives a +10 circumstance bonus on Disguise checks. Using this ability is a full-round action.
Alternate Racial Traits
- Live the Role: Some Changelings revel in having several persona they can take on at a moment’s notice. A noble from Aundair, a Lhazaar Pirate, a priest of the Silver Flame, all are merely roles that the Changeling can personify. Changelings with this trait choose two favored classes at first level instead of one. This racial trait replaces Slippery Mind.
- Friendly Face: A Changeling with this racial trait grew up learning how to interact with people, studying their emotions, and learning that a keen eye and words of honey often work better than vinegar. The Changeling gains a +2 to Diplomacy, Handle Animal, and Perception. This racial trait replaces Deceptive.
- Worldly Scholar: Seeing the world is much more important to a Changeling with this trait than understanding it. Filled with a wanderlust they often travel from country to country, taking in the sites, learning old legends and hearing all the juicy gossip. Changelings with this racial trait gain Knowledge (Local) as a class skill. This trait replaces Linguist.