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Jarrick
2010-09-20, 11:11 PM
Playable race of the legendary bird-like spirits created for my Dai Nippon campaign setting, based on real-world mythology (Ok, they're something of a raptoran knockoff, but whatever works, right? :smallyuk:).

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.

Description:

Tengu are an ancient and noble race of warriors and priests. They are scholars and teachers, imparting their wisdom to those who seek them out and prove worthy and honorable. Such was not always the case, however. The first tengu were born of Amonozako, the foul-tempered, monstrous goddess that Susanoo vomited out in a fit of rage. They were birthed to act as servants and messengers of the evil spirit. It wasnít long before the tengu rose up and destroyed their creator, however, using martial arts they developed in secret under the watchful eyes of Sojobo, AmonozakoĎs first child and consort. It is said that it was the Tengu who taught mankind the original martial arts and the paths of the nine swords, as well as the ways of the Shugenja. If one were to ask an elder Tengu, however, he will tell you that the arts were once one and the same, though the secrets of their origin are lost to history, even amongst the Tengu. The Tengu race is in decline, however, as was destined to happen to a race born of malice and rage. For every wise scholarly Tengu in the world, there are five more who run wild through the forests and mountains, causing mischief wherever they go.
Personality: Most Tengu are arrogant. They seek vengeance for wrongs or slights of any magnitude, and their anger is legendary. If shown proper respect, however, they are merely obnoxious. Innately mischievous, Tengu are fond of pranks and tricks that make others look foolish. They enjoy spreading chaos and confusion among the vain and powerful, while helping and rewarding the humble folk. Not all Tengu are so abrasive, however. The older and wiser of their kind, as well as the enlightened young, called Yamabushi Tengu, are devout priests and martial artists who dwell deep in the mountains in hidden monasteries, training themselves and teaching those they deem worthy to receive their teachings.
Physical Description: Common Tengu, called Karasu Tengu, appear as human-sized, bipedal crows with feathered bodies, pointed beaks, and huge wings. They wear clothing and occasionally armor pieces like those worn by humans, and wield human weapons (particularly the katana). They also typically wear awkward-looking geta sandals with only one tooth in the center, called Tengu geta, with the same ease as a human in ordinary geta. While most Tengu have the heads of crows, a few have more humanlike heads, though these have incredibly long, pointed noses. These Tengu are called Daitengu, or great Tengu. The Tengu race is almost entirely male. Only about one out of five Tengu are female, so competition among males is common. Tengu mate for only one season; long enough to see to the hatching of its offspring. Tengu hatch from giant eggs. Woe betide anyone caught stealing a Tengu egg.
Relations: Tengu get along well with anyone who treats them with respect, becoming fast friends and loyal allies to those who donít pretend to be better than themselves. This often puts them at odds with the gruffer races.
Alignment: Stories abound of Tengu making life miserable for the noble, proud, and vain, while simultaneously helping the meek and humble. They are as likely to help someone who is lost in the woods find their way out as they are to put them there in the first place. As such, Tengu are almost always Chaotic. The yamabushi Tengu, however, tend toward law and order. On the good-evil axis, Tengu are mostly neutral, but good and evil Tengu arenít unheard of. A good Tengu seeks to aid others and spread the teachings of asceticism. An evil Tengu is a terrifying monster, who commits malicious deeds out of spite or for pure enjoyment.
Lands: Tengu hail from high mountains and pine forests all over Nippon. They are somewhat more common in the lands to the north. Tengu are fiercely protective of their territory and sternly punish those who enter areas under their control. They often clash with the namahage.
Religion: While the Yamabushi Tengu tend to revere the gods, the vast majority of the race couldnít care less. So arrogant are they in their own prowess that they see little need for divine intervention.
Language: Tengu speak common and their own ancient language, which uses the Spirit Tongue alphabet.
Names: Tengu names always end in ďoboĒ, examples include Tsujobo, Narobo, and Kageobo
Adventurers: Tengu adventure to test their skills in combat, acquire wealth, or just to cause trouble. Some yamabushi are given missions by their superiors to roam the outside world, doing good deeds, applying the teachings of the ascetics, or simply to report back on the condition of the world. Tengu favor martial classes, especially that of the Swordsage and Warblade, but Shugenja and Sohei are also common.

Tengu Racial Traits:

Medium Monstrous Humanoid (Spirit)

Base land speed: 30ft

Abilities: +2 Dex, -2 Charisma. Tengu are quick and agile, but also crude and arrogant and have an unsettling appearance.

Darkvision 60ft.

+2 Racial bonus on Intimidate and Spot. Tengu have a frightening demeanor and sharp eyes.

Mimicry (Ex): A tengu can perfectly mimic familiar sounds, voices, and accents. This ability does not enable the tengu to speak languages it canít normally speak. To duplicate a specific individualís voice, a tengu makes a Bluff check; a listener familiar with the voice being imitated must succeed on an opposed Sense Motive check to discern that the voice isnít genuine.

Wing-Aided Movement: Tengu can use their wings to help with movement even if they canít fly yet. The extra lift from his wings gives a Tengu a +10 racial bonus on Jump checks.

Gliding (Ex): A Tengu can use his wings to glide, negating damage from a fall of any height and allowing 20 feet of forward travel for every 5 feet of descent. Tengu glide at a speed of 40 feet (average maneuverability). Even if a Tenguís maneuverability improves, she canít hover while gliding. A Tengu canít glide while carrying a medium or heavy load. If a Tengu becomes unconscious or helpless while in midair, his wings naturally unfurl and powerful ligaments stiffen the wings. The Tengu descends in a tight corkscrew and takes only 1d6 points of falling damage, no matter what the actual distance of the fall.

Flight (Ex): When a Tengu reaches 5 Hit Dice, he becomes able to fly at a speed of 40 feet (average maneuverability). A Tengu canít fly while carrying a medium or heavy load or while fatigued or exhausted. Tengu can safely fly for a number of rounds equal to their Constitution modifier (minimum 1 round). They can exert themselves to fly for up to twice as long, but then theyíre fatigued at the end of the flight. Tengu are likewise fatigued after spending a total of more than 10 minutes per day flying. Because Tengu can glide before, after, and between rounds of actual flight, they can remain aloft for extended periods (even if they can only use flight for 1 round at a time without becoming fatigued). When they reach 10 Hit Dice, Tengu have enough stamina and prowess to fly for longer periods. They can fly at a speed of 40 feet (average maneuverability), and flying requires no more exertion than walking or running. A Tengu with flight can make a dive attack. A dive attack works like a charge, but the Tengu must move a minimum of 30 feet and descend at least 10 feet. A Tengu can make a dive attack only when wielding a piercing weapon, a naginata, or a katana; if the attack hits, it deals double damage. A Tengu with flight can use the run action while flying, provided he flies in a straight line.

Children of the Storm God: Because of the TenguĎs descent from the sea and storm god Susanoo no Mikoto, Tengu spellcasters cast spells with the air descriptor at +1 caster level.

Unerring Direction: Tengu have an instinctive sense of which direction is north, even when they are underground or otherwise unable to see the sky or other visual cues. Beyond the Material Plane, this ability doesnít function.

Weapon Proficiency: Tengu are trained from an early age to wield weapons of all sorts. They are automatically proficient with all simple weapons.

Automatic languages: Common, Tengu

Bonus languages: Any

Favored class: Swordsage

Feats:

DAITENGU [RACIAL]
You are a human-headed Tengu, also known as a Daitengu, or Great Tengu. You possess mystic powers beyond those of your lesser kin.
Prerequisites: Tengu, 1st level only
Benefit: Your appearance is that of a red-, blue-, yellow-, or green-skinned humanoid with an unnaturally long nose (2d4+4 inches). You gain Disguise Self and Ghost Sound as spell-like abilities usable at will. (Caster level equal to the Tenguís HD. Save DCs are Wisdom Based) You also gain Spell resistance equal to 3 + your HD. Finally, you gain a +2 bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, and Sense Motive checks.

WING BAFFLE [RACIAL]
You can use your wings in melee to disorient your opponents.
Prerequisites: Tengu, Base attack bonus +4
Benefit: Each round, in addition to your normal attacks, you can make a Bluff check (opposed by its opponentís Sense Motive check). If this check is successful, your attack rolls that round gain a +2 circumstance bonus.
Special: A tengu fighter may select this feat as a fighter bonus feat.

Owrtho
2010-09-21, 12:15 AM
I'd suggest replacing the sound imitation ability with the Mimicry ability of the kenku (MM3 p.86). It does about the same thing fluff wise but uses a bluff check vs. sense motive instead to determine if they fall for the sound.

Owrtho

Jarrick
2010-09-21, 12:29 AM
I'd suggest replacing the sound imitation ability with the Mimicry ability of the kenku (MM3 p.86). It does about the same thing fluff wise but uses a bluff check vs. sense motive instead to determine if they fall for the sound.

Owrtho

I based that ability on the Tengu in Oriental Adventures, but I like the kenku's version better. Change made.

Interesting sidenote: Kenku are a type of smaller tengu in real-world mythology. I think they could fly though... :smallconfused:

Thanks for the idea. :smallbiggrin:

Morph Bark
2010-09-21, 02:57 AM
A sort-of combo of Kenku and Raptorans, eh? Intruiging. When I saw the wings part I was worried for unbalance a bit, but with the Raptorans it was done well, so good that you used something similar.

For the Daitengu feat... an idea that popped in my head would be that the tengu's bird-face comes off when they take that feat, as if it were a mask all along. Kind of as if all tengu wear bird-masks to hide their strange appearance, but end up failing that.

Jarrick
2010-09-21, 05:02 AM
A sort-of combo of Kenku and Raptorans, eh? Intruiging. When I saw the wings part I was worried for unbalance a bit, but with the Raptorans it was done well, so good that you used something similar.

For the Daitengu feat... an idea that popped in my head would be that the tengu's bird-face comes off when they take that feat, as if it were a mask all along. Kind of as if all tengu wear bird-masks to hide their strange appearance, but end up failing that.

That's a cool idea, but that feat is only available as a first level character, meaning you have to be born that way. Becoming enlightened and transforming into a higher self, however, is very befitting the race. I might end up doing it that way.

Morph Bark
2010-09-21, 06:17 AM
That's a cool idea, but that feat is only available as a first level character, meaning you have to be born that way. Becoming enlightened and transforming into a higher self, however, is very befitting the race. I might end up doing it that way.

Might be a good idea considering you get two useful spell-like abilities at-will.

Overall, I like this race.

IcarusWings
2010-09-21, 01:13 PM
I would suggest a penalty to wisdom rather than charisma, as many stories featuring the tengu have them being almost comically easy to outwit.

Jarrick
2010-09-21, 01:51 PM
I would suggest a penalty to wisdom rather than charisma, as many stories featuring the tengu have them being almost comically easy to outwit.

I was thinking the exact same thing when I started creating, but the daitengu are supposed to be wise, and I couldnt figure out how to make that work, so I focused on the tengu's other famous trait; being arrogant, rude, and disrespectful...

Its an unfortunate design descision, since they're essentially two races at once. If anyone has any thoughts on how to make that work aside from making Daitengu its own race, I'd be more than happy to hear them.

IcarusWings
2010-09-21, 02:14 PM
I'd say Daitengu are just PCs who have pumped their wisdom so much that the penalty doesn't matter.

Jarrick
2010-09-21, 02:23 PM
I'd say Daitengu are just PCs who have pumped their wisdom so much that the penalty doesn't matter.

That works, I guess. I'll go ahead and make the change.

Edit: Bah, but then I'd have to rewrite the fluff and make them less abrasive. I think I like my tengu annoying.

I could penalize both and give them some other benefit to counterbalance it, I suppose...

Or make the feat eliminte the wisdom penalty...

Morph Bark
2010-09-21, 02:30 PM
Or make the feat eliminte the wisdom penalty...

That'd make the feat extremely powerful though.

Jarrick
2010-09-21, 02:35 PM
That'd make the feat extremely powerful though.

I meant make the feat eliminate the wisdom penalty if I apply both ability penalties. That wasnt very clear, I was thinking out loud, sorry. I think I'll just leave it how it is, wis +0, citing that they are observant and strong-willed, and excellent martial artists, despite being comically gullable.

First-level-only feats are allowed to be a little stronger, according to various sourcebooks, mostly forgotten realms books come to mind.

As a side note, I need to make their wing baffle abilty from OrAd into a feat.