Head Hunters of Eberron
Changelings are subtle shapeshifters capable of disguising their appearance. They evolved through the union of doppelgangers and humans, eventually becoming a separate race that is distinct from either ancestral tree. They do not possess the full shapeshifting ability of their doppelganger ancestors, but they can create effective disguises at will. This ability makes them consummate spies and criminals, and an unfortunate number of their kind live up to that potential.
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 to 6 feet tall. Unlike true doppelgangers, changelings do have gender in their natural form but their shapeshifting quality allows them to adopt and function as whatever gender suits them. Changelings have pale-grey skin, and their hair is thin and fair, often a vibrant white or shimmering like platinum Their limbs are long and slightly out of proportion compared to other humanoids. Their faves have slightly more distinct features than a doppelganger, favoring a hint of a nose and mouth, but their eyes remain empty white orbs staring blankly into space. The features of a changelings face and body don’t look as “finished” as they do on other humanoids, making the changeling resemble a canvas a painter begun and then forgot.
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 shad activities. The gnomes of Zilargo are rightfully wary of changelings, viewing them with the kind of respect two warriors might afford one another; life and society in Zilargo is a very subtle affair, steeped in espionage and secrets, and few races can insert themselves into, and disrupt, gnome life so easily as the changeling. Gnomes that aren’t native to Zilargo and have few ties to the homeland, however, pay changelings no more attention than any other.
Changeling Lands: Changelings live wherever humans do, blending in among them and living in their shadow. They are most commonly found in the larger cities of Khorvaire, where they form the backbone of the criminal underworld, though they some of the more scrupulous among their number might be attracted to the same places to make a living as entertainers and performers, scribes and sages, government agents or inquisitives, and the like. There are no changelings in the mysterious continent of Sarlona, as the Inspired use their psionic might to sweep the land for foreign invaders and are especially paranoid about an infiltration of changeling spies and saboteurs. As of the modern day, changelings have no established homeland of their own.
Dragonmarks: Changelings never develop true dragonmarks, though the rare individual among them has been known to develop an aberrant dragonmark. A changeling can, through the use of shapeshifting, mimic the form of an established dragonmark if not its power.
Religion: Many changelings revere the deity known as the Traveler, the only member of the Dark Six who is not overtly evil and granted some minor sense of welcome by the world at large. In the enigmatic and unknowable purpose of the Traveler, changelings sense a kinship to the mutable and mysterious nature of their own bodies and destinies. Some changelings, however, follow a philosophy, instead of a god, that they call the Way of the Perfect Form. Adherents to this philosophy are often referred to as reality seekers, and their ability to alter their form is treated as a mystic practice that symbolizes spiritual perfection. Reality seekers are in pursuit of finding the “perfect form,” which will open the doors to unknowable cosmic truths. The Way of the Perfect Form is curiously amoral, however, focused solely on the pursuit of this goal – its tenets care little for how a changeling chooses to seek the truth. Since each reality seeker is then left to shape his own morals, this philosophy counts both cruel assassins and saintly ascetics in its numbers.
Language: Changelings have no language of their own, but speak Common. This allows them to easily integrate themselves into a variety of cultures and locales, and also makes it easier for the changeling to move to another home when things get too hot to stay. However, the smart changeling learns as many languages as he can to facilitate many disguises.
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 other palatable opportunities: Changelings who are not inclined towards crime or stealthy often have difficulty finding steady work.
Names: Changeling names are usually monosyllabic and seem to other races more like nicknames the proper names. In fact, changelings collect names and may go by entirely different names in different social circles. A changeling’s “true name” makes no distinction between male and female. Examples include: Bin, Dox, Fie, Hars, Jin, Lam, Nit, Ot, Paik, Ruz, Sim, Toox, and Yug.
Changeling Racial Traits
+ 2 to One Ability Score: Changeling characters get a +2 bonus to one ability score of their choice at creation to represent their varied nature
Medium: Changelings are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Changelings have a base speed of 30 feet.
Resistant: Changelings recieve a +2 racial bonus to saving throws vs. mind-affecting effects and poisons.
Minor Shape Change (Su): All changelings have the ability to transform themselves at will. This ability is similar to Alter Self with the following exceptions.This ability is a supernatural ability, akin to a lycanthrope’s shapechange, and thus, it is not subject to dispelling. Using this ability is a full round action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. While this ability does not affect clothing or gear, it does effect the tactile, olfactory and audible aspects the new form, thus granting a +10 circumstance bonus to Disguise checks. This ability does allow changelings to appear as specific people, including those of other genders. This ability does not grant any new abilities or movement rates. Likewise, this ability does not allow the changeling to change its size category. It lasts for as long as the changeling desires, even if unconscious or sleeping (although changelings do revert back to their natural form upon death). Anything that can see through or acts on a shapechanger’s alternate forms applies to a changeling in the same manor. Changelings with grievous physical wounds (lost eye, severed hand, etc) cannot disguise that injury regardless of their form, nor can a changeling mimic such an injury intentionally.
Deceptive: Changelings receive a +2 racial bonus on Bluff, Intimidate and Sense Motive skill checks.
Skill Familiarity: Disguise and Linguistics are always class skills for a Changeling.