Bakemono, Form and Fortune

“I cannot, for my soul, remember how, when, or even precisely where, I first became acquainted with the lady Ligeia. Long years have since elapsed, and my memory is feeble through much suffering. Or, perhaps, I cannot now bring these points to mind, because, in truth, the character of my beloved, her rare learning, her singular yet placidcast of beauty, and the thrilling and enthralling eloquence of her low musical language, made their way into my heart by paces so steadily and stealthily progressive that they have been unnoticed and unknown.
-Edgar Allen Poe, “Ligeia”

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 Bakemono

The mysterious shapeshifting creatures known as bakemono are usually indistinguishable from the other folk they walk among, but in their natural forms, resemble humanoid versions of various animal that are commonly associated with magic and spirits, especially foxes, cats, or racoon dogs. It is possible these folkloric associations that the animals possess are, in fact, due to their own resemblance to bakemono, who universally possess at least some innate magical talent. Their long lives and ability to disguise themselves means sometimes a single individual bakemono can be the cause of generations of folklore and urban legends.

Natural Shapeshifters

Every bakemono has two forms. One is their bakemono form, and the other is that of another sort of medium-sized humanoid. If the bakemono in question has a non-bakemono parent, their guise is usually the same species as that parent. Furthermore, regardless of form, bakemono 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 bakemono to be a fraternal twin. Sometimes the bakemono may have even more subtle differences than that when changing sex and/or gender.

Legends Walking in Secret

The most famous story about a bakemono is that of a man who had such expectations of beauty that he rarely met a woman he found appealing, but after many years he met a woman in the marketplace that exceeded even his elevated standards. He courted her and they married, but once she was pregnant he tired of her and mistreated her until one day she revealed she was not human at all and left him to be lonely forever. There are many other tales, often involving unjust mayors, greedy landlords, and other such figures meeting poetic justice at the hands of a secret bakemono.

Bakemono Names

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

Bakeneko Family Names: Aoki, Baishou, Chiba, Fuuma, Futaba, Imamura, Kuzunoha, Kikuchi, Saikawa, Sugawara, Outsubo, Watanabe, Yamada, Yukimura, Zayasu
Bakeneko Personal Names: Akira, Chihiro, Haruka, Hikaru, Itsuki, Jun, Kei, Mitsuki, Makoto, Natsuki, Rei, Shizuka, Tamaki, Yoshiko

New Species: Bakemono

    Requirements: Sorcery campaign quality
    Common Personality Traits:
Cunning, Sneaky, mysterious
    Common Physical Traits: Intense eyes, casual posture, shapeshifting
    Splinter Race Feats: Field-Spirit or Zen-Spirit (kitsune), Sake-Spirit or Tea-Spirit (bakedanuki), Mountain-Spirit (nekomata) or Shore-Spirit (bakeneko); otherwise you’re ‘Wild-Spirit’ (hengeyokai)
    Type: Medium biped fey with a Reach of 1. Your maximum wounds equal your Constitution score.

  • Attributes: +1 Dexterity, +1 Intelligence, -1 Constitution
  • Base Speed: 30 ft.
  • Guise: You ignore Species and Gender penalties with Disguise checks and you are always considered to have actor’s props when making Disguise checks. Furthermore, at Career Level 1 before spending skill points you gain 1 rank each in Bluff and Disguise even if they are not Origin or Class skills for you.
  • The Gift: You gain The Gift as a bonus feat.

New Species Feats


Yako kitsune are strongly in tune with arcane energy, civilization, and people. They may still become clerics or priests, but usually of gods related to magic, travellers, money, or the like. They frequently become magic users, con artists, or thieves as well.
    Prerequisites: Bakemono, Level 1 Only
    Benefits: Once per round you may feint as a free action targeting a creature that missed you with an attack since your last turn. Furthermore, you gain a +2 bonus on checks made to Earn Income. Finally, when taking the Basic Skill Mastery feat you have access to a new skill pair: Troublemaker (Crafting & Prestidigitation).


Nekomata 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 nekomata 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 nekomata are far more likely to be ominous warnings and boogeyman tales than stories of spiritual achievement.
    Prerequisites: Bakemono, Level 1 Only
    Benefits: Your attacks inflict an additional die of sneak attack damage, you have Reach 2 for the purposes of taking the Feint and Trip actions, and you are always have Climber’s Gear.


Masu tanuki are usually boisterous, uninhibited individuals who can handle truly astonishing amounts of alcohol. In addition to their fondness for strong drink and company, they tend to be easily excited by bold new business or financial ventures, some of which might even be entirely legal. Some tales say their involvement will bring good luck to such endeavors.
    Prerequisites: Bakemono, Level 1 Only
    Benefits: Your Charisma score rises by 1, you gain a +2 bonus on saves against diseases and poisons, and you receive a 20% discount when buying food & drink.


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.
    Prerequisites: Bakemono, Level 1 Only
    Benefits: The lower of your Dexterity or Charisma scores rises by 1. When you use a fishing pole/net, it grants a +7 gear bonus to Forage checks when fishing. Furthermore you gain 4 ranks in Resolve (not to exceed your maximum ranks).


Chawan tanuki are typically more reserved and traditional than their masu siblings, but they are just as fond of good living. They value their privacy quite strongly and their talents make them excellent at evading pursuers. Those chawan tanuki who seek law-abiding professions frequently become priests, herbalists or makers of exceptional teas.
    Prerequisites: Bakemono, Level 1 Only
    Benefits: You may temporarily gain chameleon I as a 1 minute action, matching the surrounding terrain. This camouflage is lost when you sleep or replace it with a new terrain. Furthermore, you gain a +5 bonus to Bluff checks to mimic voices and sounds you have heard, and may have these sounds manifest from any point within 30 feet of you without disrupting Hide or Stealth checks. Finally, while you are using a Cook’s kit, it gains the masterwork upgrade.


Zenko kitsune tend to be more attuned both to divine energy and to nature, whether it be agriculture or the untamed wilds, frequently becoming either clergy or guardians of shrines or sacred places. They also often serve as messengers, either between mortals and the divine, or in a more mundane capacity.
    Prerequisites: Bakemono, Level 1 Only
    Benefits: Your Wisdom score rises by 1. You gain 4 skill ranks split as you choose between medicine or crafting (these cannot exceed your maximum ranks). You gain a +5 bonus on Influence checks.
    Special: If you have an alignment, when you gain this feat you may choose reduce any of your attributes by 2 to gain the Blessed feat.

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