Bakeneko, Idleness and Intensity

“It does good also to take walks out of doors, that our spirits may be raised and refreshed by the open air and fresh breeze: sometimes we gain strength by driving in a carriage, by travel, by change of air, or by social meals and a more generous allowance of wine.
-Seneca

Playtest Version

This material is still in the process of being playtested. It is fully usable as written, but may be refined or changed in later versions. As always, this content should only be used with GM permission.

The Bakeneko


Bakeneko are often mistaken for other types of cat folk, but as they age, their tails fork beginning at the tip and eventually—in old age—will become two entirely separate tails. Scholars who study the rumors and folklore regarding bakeneko consider this a sign that they are, in fact, more closely related to the many-tailed vulpine kitsune than to other humanoid felines. Also like kitsune, they can naturally take the form of other types of humanoids and live secretly within other civilizations. Unlike their fox-like kin, however, rumors about the bakeneko are far more likely to be ominous warnings and boogeyman tales than stories of spiritual achievement.

Natural Shapeshifters

Every bakeneko has two forms. One is their bakeneko form, and the other is that of another sort of medium-sized humanoid. If the bakeneko in question has a non-bakeneko parent, their guise is usually the same species as that parent. Furthermore, regardless of form, bakeneko do not have an inherent sex or gender, and can freely change them as they see fit. The general appearance of either form does not shift radically with such changes, so people may assume the bakeneko to be a fraternal twin. Sometimes the bakeneko may have even more subtle differences than that when changing sex and/or gender.

Easygoing Unless Angered

Typical bakeneko are fond of relaxation and leisure. They are slow to anger and happily spend significant amounts of time lounging under trees while fishing, dancing and singing drinking songs, whittling or other such simple pleasures. Even when traveling or adventuring, they will take what opportunities present themselves for idle relaxation or casual entertainment. However, each bakeneko has a very strong sense of propriety about a few principles or values they hold personally dear. If they witness someone violating these principles, especially at the bakeneko’s personal expense or that of someone they care about, they will become single-minded and vindictive in (at minimum) teaching the offender a lesson they will not soon forget. These principles are frequently related to showing hospitality, courtesy to those less prosperous, or not abusing family.

Bakeneko Names

Bakeneko who live within another culture will normally be named according to that culture. However, since bakeneko have no fixed sex or gender, they might take multiple names to avoid confusion, or they might have a unisex name. Bakeneko raised within a community of other bakeneko usually list their family name before their personal name.

Bakeneko Family Names: Asahina, Baishou, Doigawa, Ebihara, Futaba, Himura, Ichinose, Kikuchi, Mochizuki, Nobutoki, Outsubo, Shiranui, Takana, Yukimura, Zaizen
Bakeneko Personal Names: Akiho, Chiaki, Haruka, Hibiki, Itsuki, Kazu, Kunie, Mitsuki, Nao, Rei, Setsuna, Shun, Tomoe, Yasu, Yoshiko

Bakeneko Traits

Your bakeneko character has a number of abilities related to their magical nature.
    Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2 and your Intelligence score increases by 1.
    Age. Bakeneko reach maturity at the same rate as their non-bakeneko form would naturally, but they usually live to about 600 years old.
    Alignment. Bakeneko tend slightly towards good alignments, but are primarily driven by individual personal values and principles that may potentially correspond generally to any specific alignment.
    Size. Bakeneko in their natural form, tend to be roughly the same height and weight as humans, typically from five feet to over six feet tall. Their guise form is generally a height and weight typical for that species, although possibly on the end of the range closer to their natural form’s height and weight. Your size is Medium.
    Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
    Bakeneko Magic. You know the produce flame cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the enlarge/reduce spell targeting yourself once without any material components. When you reach 5th level, you can also cast the alter self spell once. You regain the ability to cast these spells this way when you finish a long rest. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
    Deceiver. You have proficiency in the Deception skill.
   Gone Fishing. You have advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks to forage if you are able to fish.
    Guise. You have a specific humanoid appearance that you can adopt. This form is typically human, but may also be an elf, a dwarf, or another medium sized player character race. As an action, you may shapeshift to change your physical sex, and/or change your appearance to or from that of the chosen race. This is not an illusion but an instantaneous physical change, and it does not modify your clothing, attribute scores, or abilities. Changing the physical sex of your bakeneko or humanoid forms does not radically change appearance beyond the specific physical traits modified. Skin color, tattoos, fur patterns, hair color, length, and style, and other such traits remain similar. The true sight spell or other abilities that can detect shapeshifters will show your bakeneko form, and if you die you will revert to bakeneko form if in humanoid guise.
    Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one other language of your choice, typically one that is often spoken by their guise race.

Random Height and Weight

Base Height Base Weight Height Modifier Weight Modifier
4’8″ 110 lbs +2d10 x(2d4)

New Feat


Quick-Change

You have a habit of preparing in advance to disguise yourself on the fly, using reversible fabrics, lightweight accessories that are easy to add or remove, straps for changing the length of garments, wigs, collapsible hats, and the like. You gain the following benefits:

  • Your Charisma or Wisdom score increases by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • You gain proficiency with Disguise Kits. If you already have proficiency with Disguise Kits, you gain proficiency with your choice of either Cobbler’s Tools, Jeweler’s Tools, Leatherworker’s Tools, Tinker’s Tools, or Weaver’s Tools.
  • As an action, you can swiftly and dramatically change your appearance even without access to a Disguise Kit or prepared disguise. You can use this ability a number of times equal to your Proficiency Bonus before you must prepare new materials during a long rest. You cannot impersonate a particular person with this ability, only to change your appearance enough to look like you are not the same person.
Legal Appendix

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System Reference Document 5.1 Copyright 2016, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Chris Perkins, Rodney Thompson, Peter Lee, James Wyatt, Robert J. Schwalb, Bruce R. Cordell, Chris Sims, and Steve Townshend, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Bakeneko, Idleness and Intensity Copyright 2019, Malachite Idol; Author Patrick Johnson.

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