"Let me show you the darkness within nature"
Ranork, a Bakeneko
Bakeneko, or moster-cat, is a fabled cat with supernatural powers, such as raising the dead, entering one's dreams, warping it's surrounding, and similar abilities. It is rumored to play with and haunt, and even devour humans for fun. Some stories even have the bakeneko raise its own victims in order to trap others or to use as a distraction to escape. And its even been said that when a Bakeneko has lived for a 1000 years, it becomes a Nekomata, a two-tailed version of the Bakeneko that is said to somehow even be more dangerous. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. The truth is, the Bakeneko is a group of druids and similar minded clerics who have used their powers to infiltrate the house of those against the natural order of the world. Those who would perform things like extend their lifespan far beyond what it should be, destroy nature to gain power, and those purposefully go out of their way to destroy nature or go against her rules. These are their true targets, and rather than confront them directly, and risk revealing themselves, they have adopted their disguise, a normal housecat who after time, gains supernatural powers.
BECOMING A BAKENEKO
Almost all Bakeneko’s start out with druidic training, but a select few clerics who possess the right talents and are of similar belief are allowed to join their ranks.
Must be able to cast 3rd level spells
Knowledge(nature): 8 ranks
Must have the shapeshifter alternate class feature located in the Player’s Handbook 2, or the wildshape class feature. If you have access to the animal domain, have the shapeshifter subtype, and possess an alignment with at least one neutral component, you may ignore this requirement.
The Class Name's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft(Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Hide(Dex), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (nature), Listen (Wix), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swin (Str)
Skills Points at Each Level:
4 + int
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies
|Level||BAB||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Spells|
|Shapeshifting, shifted casting, housecat|| |
|Monster Cat||+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class|
|Careful Spellcasting||+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class|
|Ghostly Fireballs||+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class|
|A Thousand Faces||+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class|
|Greater Monster Cat|| |
|Haunting the Sleepers, Informative Dreams|| +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class|
|The Walking Dead||+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class|
|Nightmare Terrain||+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class|
|Nekomaka||+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class |
: A Bakeneko does not gain any weapon or armor proficiencies.
: Your shapeshifting is progressed at all levels, including the advancement of enchancement to natural attacks.
At all levels except levels 1 and 6 , your divine spellcaster level increases for the purpose of determining your spells per day, spellcaster level, and the highest spell level you can cast.
Shapeshift: Housecat form
: At level 1 you start learning the arts of the bakeneko. You have learned how to turn into a small cat as a disguise.
- You look like a small house cat. The exact appearance is determined by you each time you shapeshift. All of your equipment melds into your form and turns inactive as long as you are shapeshifted. If it has a wilding clasp on it, however, the items effects remain active, and is changed sizes as necessary for it to fit your new form.
-You become tiny sized, gaining a +2 size bonus to ac.
-Gain a +2 resistance bonus to your reflex saves.
-Gain a +4 enhancement bonus to your dexterity.
-Gain 2 claws and a bite attack dealing 1d3 damage, gain darkvision 30’, +8 to all spot, listen, move silently, and hide skill checks.
-When you reach level 5 in this class, you gain the darkstalker feat when in this form.
: A druid who infiltrates an enemies house will have to remain shapeshifted for long periods of time. This can be rather hard, however, especially when trying to figure out where the enemy is without giving him any reason for suspicion. Therefore, they have trained to overcome one of the weaknesses of those who shapeshift, they have learned to be able to limitedly cast spells while shapeshifted, replacing gestures and verbal components with grunts, cries, and paw movements. Beginning at level 1, they may cast 1st level spells while shapeshifted. At levels 3, 5, 7, and 9, the level of spell they may cast while shapeshifted increases by 1, up to a maximum of level 5 spells at level 9.
: A bakeneko of level 2 learns how to assume their signature form, the bakaneko form, also known as the monster-cat. While in this form:
-You turn into what looks like a 5ft long cat with a tail that’s about a foot long. The exact appearance is determined upon shapeshifting, and you gain the ability to walk on just your hind legs instead of all fours if you so desire. If it has a wilding clasp on it, however, the items effects remain active, and is changed sizes as necessary for it to fit your new form.
-You become medium sized.
-Gain a +8 enhancement bonus to natural armor, and a +6 enchancement to strength and dexterity
-Gain a +3 resistance bonus to reflex and fort saves
-Gain 2 claws and a bite attack, each dealing 1d6 damage for the claws and 1d8 for the bite. Count the claws as the primary attacks and the bite as a secondary natural attack.
-You gain darkvision 30’, scent(Ex), and a +8 to spot and listen checks.
: You have to be able to move about freely while infiltrating one’s home, you cannot risk ruining your disguise. Once a day per class level, while shapeshifted into your house cat, Bakeneko, or Nekomata form and are casting a spell, you may either apply the stilled or silent metamagic feat to the spell. You may apply both, but this takes up 2 uses of this ability.
: Those of the bakeneko order have always been troubled by the fact that their best spells are unavailable to them while infiltrating and shapeshifted. Thus, they have learned to channel that energy for more unique abilities. At level 4, while shapeshifted, a bakeneko may sacrifice a spell of any level to create ghost fireballs. As a standard action, by sacrificing a spell, a bakeneko creates a number of ghost fireballs equal to the spell level. They all must appear within 30’ of you, and appear as a white, ghostly flame. This otherwise acts as the flaming sphere spell, except as noted below. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to your class level + your wisdom modifier, and you may move all of them with a move action. Also, instead of a reflex save, anyone in the same hex as it must make a reflex save for half damage (DC = 10 + spell level + wisdom modifier). These sphere deal an amount of fire damage equal to 1d6 + the level of the spell sacrificed. The spheres are only 1ft big instead of 5ft, and multiple spheres may take up a single 5ft hex.
A Thousand Faces(Su)
: As the druid supernatural ability of the same name.
Greater Monster Cat
: You have grown very accustom to your Bakeneko form, and have learned how to use spells while shifted into it and other forms to a much greater effect. When casting a spell through your shifted casting class feature, you may designate a 5ft square within 20ft of yourself. You are treated as being there for all effects of the spell, including any visual effects or noises made. This, however, does not give you line of sight. Also, while in Bakeneko or Nekomata form, you enjoy a +2 bonus to your caster level.
Haunting the Sleepers(Su)
: Sometimes force isn’t needed to take care of enemy. Sometimes all you need to do is scare them. You have learned how to give one haunting nightmares as a warning. You may target one sleeping creature within 30ft of you as a standard action. The opponent then makes a will save (DC = 10 + class levels + wisdom modifier). If they fail the save, they wake up in an hour from a horrible nightmare that represents what they have done to wrong nature, and are both shaken and nauseated for 2 hours, and are treated as if they did not get a full nights rest. If they succeed the will save, they continue to sleep as normal, but appear restless in their sleep. They wake up with vague memories of the nightmare, but cannot remember the whole thing. They are exhausted for 1 hour after they wake up from the restless sleep caused by the nightmare, but are otherwise ok and are treated as getting 8 hours of sleep as normal. This is a mind-affecting ability.
: Sometimes, a Bakeneko needs to communicate with others without revealing its form. As a standard action, a Bakeneko may enter another’s dream in any form it desires, as long as it is in contact with them. It then has 1 hour, or until it stops concentrating on the effect as a full-round action, to inform the dreamer of whatever the Bakeneko needs. While using this ability, the bakeneko's really form will appear to be sleeping and remain as such until the bakeneko decides to end the ability. The bakeneko can determine the exact looks of the area in the dream.
: Unfortunately, sometimes others come and could easily interfere with yours. However, they themselves have done nothing wrong, so why would you hurt them? Other times, you want to scare and haunt the one who has wronged nature, just give them a little scare. You gain the ability to make the area around you a “living nightmare.” In a 30ft radius centered on you, the area warps and twists, treating it as difficult terrain for the purpose of moving through it. In addition, any action that requires focus and concentration (such as spellcasting) requires a concentrationg check against (DC = 15 + class levels + wisdom modifier) or the user fails in his efforts. Creating this area is a standard action that can be done in any form, and maintaining it is a standard action that requires concentration each round. Also, once per turn, by sacrificing a spell as a free action, those you designate any number of enemies within the area, and chose one of the effects below (all enemies chosen must be effected by the same effect.)
-All targets are attacked as the terrain itself warps, forming various bludgeoning weapons and swings at them. Make one attack roll for all of those you designate, adding your wisdom modifier and ˝ class levels to the result. All those hit take 1d6 per spell level of the spell sacrificed plus your wisdom modifier in bludgeoning damage. The terrain returns to normal, but one can still see small signs of warping and wear on the terrain from being warped in such a manner.
-The terrain seem oppressing and dark, forcing all targeted to succeed on a will save (DC = 10 + spell level + wisdom modifier) or become Shaken for class level rounds. This is a mind-affecting ability.
-The terrain shifts and moves around violently, causing those targets to succeed on a fort save (DC = 10 + spell level + wisdom modifier) or fall prone.
The Walking Dead(Su)
: At level 9, you gain another signature abilities of the Bakeneko. You have learned to create a figment of the past, and to haunt those still living with those that have passed one, and to remind them of what those people would think. You may, as a full round action provoking attacks of oppertunity, cause one target to see illusions of their passed loved ones, and to be reminded of what they have been doing. The target must then make two will saves (DC 10 + character level /2 + wisdom modifier). If the target fails the first save, the target sees their loved ones, and sees them scolding him/her. The target is confused for wisdom modifier rounds. If the target fails the second save, he/she hears the voices of the loved ones, and is told of their disgust with his/her actions. He/she is shaken, and futhermore suffers a -2 penalty to ac for wisdom modifier rounds. If the target fails both saves, the effects work in conjunction with eachother. The target suffers from both effects for wisdom modifier + 3 rounds, as the effects are amplified by having both together.
: You have reached the pinnacle of your arts. You have succeeded in frightening off and dealing with those who would harm nature, and have learned how to disguise yourself as a cat to lower their guard and find out exactly what their up to. Whenever you chose to shapeshift, instead of shapeshifting into your bakeneko form, you may chose shapeshift into a Nekomata, although you still have access to yoru bakeneko form. The stats are listed below.
-This form looks like a larger form of the Bakeneko form, except your tail has split into 2 tails.
-You become large size.
-You gain a +12 enhancement bonus to natural armor, and a +10 enhancement bonus to dexterity and strength.
-You gain a +4 resistance bonus to fortitude and reflex saves.
-You gain one bite, 2 claws, and 2 tail slap natural attacks. The claws each deal 1d8 damage and are your primary attacks, your bite and tail slaps are secondary natural attacks, and deal 1d10 and 1d6 damage respectively.
-You gain darkvision 30’, can see even through magical darkness, scent(ex), and a +12 to all spot and listen checks. All class features that applied to the Bakeneko form from this class also apply to Nekomata.
- Your abilities grow even more while in this form. While you are in this form and use your Ghostly Fireballs class feature, they deal an additional amount of damage equal to your wisdom modifier, and anyone hit by one must succeed on a will save (DC 20 + wisdom modifier) or be shaken for one round. When using your Nightmare Terrain class feature, you gain a more unique ability. You may, have all targets believe you have combine with the environment. This otherwise functions as the invisibility spell, although see invisibility does not see through this. Also, all of your abilities from Nightmare Terrain class feature do not count towards breaking your invisibility.
PLAYING A BAKENEKO
A bakeneko is a protector and infiltrator of nature first and foremost. A bakeneko will often be the sole resistance against those who oppose nature, although they may sometimes work with others on more dangerous tasks. They often use their housecat form to lower the guard of the unweary.
If forced into direct combat, a bakeneko will often assume the bakeneko or nekomata form if they are powerful enough. They may also assume their normal form if they need the higher level spells. Often, while in bakeneko or nekomata form, a bakeneko will use his ghostly fireballs to distract the opponent and keep him or her away while using spells or his haunting terrain ability. If not detected, a bakeneko may just keep in his housecat form while using abilities such as ghostly fireballs while trying to remain hidden.
After learning all of the arts of the bakeneko, a druid will often return to their druidic teaching. A few may go into another class if they wish to enchance the melee capabilities of their shapeshifted forms, but otherwise most see little to no reason to leave the druidic teachings.
A bakeneko may get help from the animals and even fey of the forest it defends, or may get one or two to leave to help him take care of other evils against nature. Otherwise, a bakeneko has little to rely on, as there is no central organization to the bakenekos.
BAKENEKO IN THE WORLD
T-T-They say a monster cat haunts this p-p-place…
-Rogan, a human commoner before entering the abandoned home of a bakeneko’s last target
A Bakeneko often has to rely on himself or a select few others to survive. Many go out on the roads, looking for those that oppose the rules and laws of nature, or those that directly harm her. Even more stay true to one forest, often getting to know the different wildlife that lives there and perhaps even the towns near its borders.
If not in disguise, a Bakeneko will often be on guard, keeping a lookout for any who would harm nature. While in disguise, however, a Bakeneko will often be scouting out the house of his target, getting to know his targets routine and the best way to take him/her out without giving anyone an idea about his true identity. Or he may be trying to scare the target away instead, trying to protect nature without violence.
Jovan was the original druid who started the bakeneko legend, specifically the more sinister parts. He was one of the many druids who had decided to remain in a forest and guard it. However, one day he noticed trees near a big city were being cut down. He used his spells from nature to force them to stop without hurting them. However, the next day even more showed up. He stopped them too, again without hurting them.
After this had happened about 4 more times, 2 people showed up. One of them was the one who wanted the forest cut down to expand the city. The other was a very famous and powerful wizard. Before the druid could even get off a spell, he found himself captive by the enemy wizard. He was forced to stay there and watch as the people started cutting down the forest he had held so dear for so long. When they were finally done, they decided to sell him off into slavery. He was filled and blinded by rage. Not long after being sold, he exscaped by turning into a small cat. He proceed to find the same person who cut down the forest, and stalk him in his cat form. He did this for weeks, and eventually the person let the cat in his house. For months afterwards, Jovan haunted his house and scared him, until finally he was satisfied and decided to kill him. However, a maid saw this act of murder and the haunting caused by Jovan, and ran for her live. From then on the legend of the Bakeneko spread, rumored to be a beast of death.
However, he did pass on his arts to other druids. These druids decided to follow in his footsteps and used these abilities for infiltration of those who would harm nature. However, his best student, Muran, did not use it for infiltration. Instead, he used the very abilities to protect his hometown. In his hometown, the townspeople had always taken care of nature, and kept an eye on the animals and plants in the forest nearby. However, in a cave about 2 miles to the south of it, there was a portal leading to the lower planes, and the village was frequently under attack. Muran used his abilities to protect the village without ever letting the village know who did it. He eventually passed away while protecting the village, and the village was taken over, but the stories of the one bakeneko who protected the village was never lost. The tales spread from travelers who had been to the village before, and it was then people realized, not all bakeneko's are killers.
Bakeneko's rarely work in groups, and thus do not have a formal organization. Typically, a bakeneko master will pass down the arts to a select few of his best student, for the art is hard to master.
NPC's will react in a many different ways to a bakaneko, depending on what they have heard of the bakenekos. A NPC who has never heard of them will treat them as they would any druid. But if one has heard only bad tales of the bakeneko, and finds out his true abilities, the NPC will drop down one grade closer to hostility. But, if one has heard both good and bad stories, an NPC will probably be weary of the bakeneko, but not hostile unless given reason.
BAKENEKO IN THE GAME
A bakeneko usually will be out in the world hunting his target, and will usually not openly influence others unless needed. A bakeneko also will usually be very hard to find and almost never openly show his powers.
If the campaign does not involve druids or the like, this would be most suited as a rogue/caster prc who uses his cat form for infiltration.
Unless the PC's invest heavily in time and effort to find a bakeneko, the PC's will not find a bakeneko unless the bakeneko reveals himself to the PC's.
Give an example of how one might encounter a member of this PrC.
A relatively new bakeneko has infiltrated a wealth man's home in your hometown. He has been looking to destroy a nearby forest to gain control of the land and build on it. However, the bakeneko has made a grave mistake, and the man has learned of the bakeneko's existance. Either Harry, the name of this wealthy man, or Kinoto, the Bakeneko, will approach the PC's looking for help.
NG/Male/Human/Druid 5/ Bakeneko 1
: Listen + 11, Spot +11,
13, touch 12, flat-footed (11)
58 (6d8 HD)
30ft. (6 squares)
+4 scimitar (1d6 + 2)
0 - create water x 2, detect magic x2
1 - entangle x2, obscuring mist
2 -Burrow, soften earth and stone, spider climb
3- cure moderate wounds, rogue wave
Str 15, Dex 13, Con 16, Int 11, Wis 14, Cha11
Shapeshift (Su): as in the Player's Handbook 2 ACF
Nature Sense (Ex): A druid gains a +2 bonus on Knowledge (nature) and Survival checks.
Wild Empathy (Ex): A druid can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person. The druid rolls 1d20 and adds her druid level and her Charisma modifier to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.
To use wild empathy, the druid and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.
A druid can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but she takes a –4 penalty on the check.
Woodland Stride (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a druid may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at her normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion still affect her.
Trackless Step (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a druid leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. She may choose to leave a trail if so desired.
Resist Nature’s Lure (Ex): Starting at 4th level, a druid gains a +4 bonus on saving throws against the spell-like abilities of fey.
Shapeshift: Housecat form.
1- Extend Spell
3-Spell focus (Conjuration)
6- Augment Summoning
Studded leather arrmor, scimitar, Amulet of natural health (+2)