View Full Version : Kappa: 3.5 PC race

2010-09-20, 10:32 PM
Kappa PC race created for my Dai Nippon campaign setting, closely based on real-world kappa myths and legends (Yes, even that. You'll see what I mean). The setting itself is still a WIP long from being finished, so please ignore references that dont make a lot of sense out of context ^__^;.

It bears mentioning that there is a subset of spells in this setting that effect only spirits in a similar vein to those that effect only humanoids (Enlarge/reduce person, Hold person, charm person, etc) so as far as power is concerned, spirit is about equal with humanoid in this setting.


Kappa are aquatic yokai that live in freshwater rivers, lakes and streams across Nippon. These mischievous spirits are the source of many legends that portray them as everything from benign and helpful to ferocious and monstrous. Kappa love cucumbers and eggplants, preferring them to all other foods. Villagers often toss the first cucumbers of their harvest into the local streams and ponds as offerings to the kappa to ensure their favor. Kappa otherwise primarily eat fish and some insects, such as water beetles, worms, and dragonflies.
Personality: Kappa are mischievous creatures. They like to play pranks on people, like looking under women's kimono, farting loudly, stealing crops, etc. This may sound cute and funny, but they can also be serious troublemakers. Feral kappa are known to attack cattle, children and people, drag them into the river, and drown them. Of course, some kappa do good things. There are several shrines around Nippon that celebrate the deeds of these good kappa. They are known as masters in the art of bone setting and it is believed hat they taught the humans how to do it. They also know medicine and have also been known, once befriended, to help people irrigate their fields. Strangely, Kappa are also sticklers for etiquette; once they make the promise to help someone, they never go back on their oath. Common belief states that if you ever find yourself chased by a kappa, stop and bow to it deeply; the kappa will return the bow, thus emptying the water from the cavity on its head.
Physical Description: Kappa possess frog-like bodies cased in a soft turtle-like shell and faces that end in broad, pointed, bird-like beaks. The kappa's limbs are long and gangly, and its elongated fingers and toes are webbed like a duck's or frog's, giving it remarkable powers of swimming. Kappa's bodies are usually green, but can also be any shade between green and yellow, as well a blue. Kappa smell like fish and they have a small round depression that contains water on the top of their heads. This hollow space is usually surrounded by long hair. Kappa lose much of their strength and can even die if they lose the water in their dish.
Relations: Kappa tend to avoid humans, who mistrust them due to their bad reputations. Before the mingling of spirits, there were no laws preventing a human from attacking and killing a kappa, as they were thought to be dangerous. Now that it has become illegal to do so, the kappa are venturing into human lands more and more. Kappa tend to get along well with most other spirits, preferring the company of other water spirits. They view the tatsu with admiration and the Akiba with fearful respect.
Alignment: Most kappa are lawful, keeping their word and adhering to the rules of etiquette. Aside from this, kappa display a variety of alignments. Evil kappa are murderous monsters, while good kappa are helpful healers.
Lands: Kappa may be found living in swamps, rivers, ponds, and lakes throughout southern Kyushu and central Honshu. They prefer lands where humans are scarce, but many live in rural areas as well.
Religion: Though they themselves are water spirits, kappa often worship stronger deities of water and the weather. They also revere their ancestors, much as humans do.
Language: Kappa speak common and their own language, Kappa, which uses the spirit tongue alphabet.
Names: Kappa names are often merely a single syllable, but sometimes two.
Adventurers: Kappa adventure out of curiosity. Most have never left their home ponds or streams and are curious about the world at large. Kappa may also adventure to gain wealth, power, and prestige among their own kind. Kappa who travel the world earn much respect from sedentary kappa. Some merely wish to do good in the human lands to make reparation for those kappa who have caused trouble.

Kappa Racial Traits:

Small Monstrous Humanoid (Spirit)

+2 Str, -2 Dex. Kappa are unusually strong for their size, but aren’t very graceful.

Small size

Speed: Base land speed is 20ft., Kappa have a swim speed of 40ft, which grants the Kappa a +8 racial bonus on swim checks.

Low Light Vision: As Monstrous Humanoids, Kappa have low light vision.

Amphibious: Kappa can breath water just as easily as they can air.

Head Dish: The indentation on the top of a kappa’s head is filled with water. Kappa are amazingly skilled at keeping the water in their head dish from spilling. Movement and ordinary actions (even combat) do not cause the water to spill; however, a character grappling a kappa can empty the bowl by winning an opposed grapple check. This causes the Kappa to be treated as if Exhausted until the head dish is refilled with at least an ounce of fresh water. If, after three hours, the dish is not refilled, the kappa takes an additional -1 penalty to strength which repeats every hour until the Kappa reaches 0 Str and falls unconscious. A Kappa regains strength lost in this manner at a rate of one point per round once the dish is refilled.

+4 Racial bonus on Heal checks. Kappa are skilled in the art of herbal medicine. In addition, they are masters of bone-setting, having taught the art to humans.

Sumo Mastery: Kappa are treated as if they were one size category larger for the sake of resolving Bull Rush, Grapple, and unarmed Trip attempts. In addition, they receive a +2 racial bonus on Grapple, Bull Rush, and unarmed Trip attempts. Kappa love to sumo wrestle and are more proficient than most humans at the sport.

Turtle Shell: A Kappa’s soft shell provides it a measure of protection in the form of a +1 Natural Armor bonus to its AC.

Noxious Fart (Ex): Once per day, a Kappa can unleash a horrifically odorous fart that effects a 10ft radius spread, centered on itself for a number of rounds equal to the kappa‘s Constitution modifier. Creatures within or passing through the area must succeed at a fortitude save (DC = 10 + the Kappa’s Con Modifier + ˝ the Kappa’s HD) or be sickened for one round. A creature remaining in or re-entering the area of the effect must make the saving throw each round to resist its effects.

Weapon Proficiency: As Monstrous Humanoids, Kappa are proficient with all simple weapons.

Automatic Languages: Common, Kappa
Bonus Languages: Any

Favored Class: Monk. (See the monk class entry in Chapter 2: Classes for more information regarding kappa monks.)

2010-09-21, 02:42 AM
its good and fairly balanced, especially the head dish thing. I LOVE THE NOXIOUS FART ABILITY.
when i first saw +2 str and -2 dex i thought it might be over powered but you manage to keep it pretty balanced.
It is slightly overpowered though i think that removing sumo mastery and just leaving the favored class monk might keep the style of martial artist without overpowering the class to much.

2010-09-21, 04:57 AM
its good and fairly balanced, especially the head dish thing. I LOVE THE NOXIOUS FART ABILITY.
when i first saw +2 str and -2 dex i thought it might be over powered but you manage to keep it pretty balanced.
It is slightly overpowered though i think that removing sumo mastery and just leaving the favored class monk might keep the style of martial artist without overpowering the class to much.

Glad you like it. :smallbiggrin:

The bonuses of the sumo mastery ability are offset by the head dish thing, meaning that anyone making a serious grapple build is always going to have an albatross hanging on its neck in that one failed grapple means you're exhausted for what amounts to the rest of the encounter. If you eliminate both of those facets from the stat block, you'll see that what's left isnt much better than a kobold or goblin, albiet with a few added tricks.

Edit: Oh, and Kappa monks need not be lawful nor is their ki strike necissarily lawful. Kappa monks gain their abilities as a natural extension of their spirit powers, and can thus be of any alignment. When they would get anything "lawful", kappa have the option of choosing Law, Chaos, Good, or Evil, but their choice must be within one step of their alignment.

2010-09-21, 06:29 AM
ok i see your point
i want to see what more experienced players say i think it can be very valid.