Racial Paragon Class

In most campaigns, the ideas of class and race are separate concepts. But, with racial paragon classes, the line between the two becomes blurred.

Racial paragons are, as the name suggests, nearly ideal examples of the strengths and abilities of the character’s race. Unlike members of other classes, however, racial paragons are more than merely powerful individuals. They are strong in all the ways that their race is strong, while still vulnerable in the ways that their race is vulnerable. Beyond that, they possess powers and capabilities that supersede those of normal members of their race.

Racial paragons rarely undergo the rigorous training or study that members of other classes commonly undertake between levels. Their experience, wisdom, and heroic abilities simply manifest in the form of superior innate racial abilities. Despite this strong association with race, racial paragons need not have specific views or special dedication to their race’s beliefs or typical attitudes (although many do). Obviously, a character can only take levels in the racial paragon class associated with his race. Like the fighter, wizard, and other standard character classes, racial paragon classes have no prerequisites (other than being a member of the appropriate race). Levels in racial paragon classes are considered to be advancing in a favored class.

The mushakemono is a racial paragon class for hengeyokai characters.

The ideal hengeyokai warrior is one which combines fierce determination with a quick wit and ready humor. Success, it is believed, is achieved by being able to maintain control of a situation, and by creating a desirable chain of events through a combination of adaptability, forethought and innate luck. The mushakemono, or beast warrior, is a racial paragon class available to hengeyokai. The class allows a henge to reconnect with his spiritual roots, manifesting spell-like abilities, additional shapechanging powers, and an increased ability to take advantage of natural surroundings. In combat, the mushakemono prefers hit-and-run tactics and, similar to a rogue, is at its best when the opponent is off-balance.

Role: Mushakemono are capable skirmishers, able to move about unseen, catching foes unawares and off-guard. A mushakemono prefers to avoid melee engagements until she has created an ideal situation for success and a wide selection of skills and versatile magical tricks allow each mushakemono to do just that. A mushakemono is quite capable of operating either alone or in a group, adapting to each situation as necessary.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d8.

Class Skills

The mushakemono’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (geography), Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (religion), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis).

Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Table: Mushakemono

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Henge trick, shapechanging +1
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Fast climber, sneak attack +1d6
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 Woodland stride
4th +3 +1 +4 +1 Bonus feat, henge trick
5th +3 +1 +4 +1 Shapechanging +2
6th +4 +2 +5 +2 Favored terrain +2
7th +5 +2 +5 +2 Henge trick
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +2 Sneak attack +2d6
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +3 Bonus feat, evasion
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +3 Advanced tricks, henge trick, shapechanging +3
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +3 Favored terrain +4
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Master climber
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Henge trick
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +4 Bonus feat, sneak attack +3d6
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +5 Shapechanging +4, timeless body
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Henge trick, improved evasion
17th +12/+7+/2 +5 +10 +5 Hide in plain sight
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6 Favored terrain +6
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6 Bonus feat, henge trick
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Henge trick, master shapechanger, sneak attack +4d6

Class Features

The following are class features of the mushakemono.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

The mushakemono is proficient with all simple and martial weapons. She is proficient with light and medium armor.

Henge Trick

As the mushakemono gains experience, her connection to her spiritual roots grow stronger, manifesting in an increase in magical abilities. Beginning at 1st level, then every three levels after, and at 20th level, the mushakemono learns a new trick. A mushakemono cannot select an individual trick more than once. The DC of any save to resist one of the tricks is equal to 10 + 1/2 the mushakemono’s level + the mushakemono’s Charisma modifier. The tricks are as follows.

Bestial Warrior (Su): By utilizing one use of her racial shapechanger ability, the mushakemono can increase her fighting prowess while in her natural form. She gains a +4 bonus to her Strength and Dexterity and a bite attack which does 1d6 points of damage. She enjoys this bonus for a number of minutes equal to 1 + 1/2 her character level + her Constitution bonus.

Drowsy Slumber (Su): As a standard action, a mushakemono can enspell an animal or humanoid creature within 30 feet causing that creature to become either drowsy or asleep for a number of rounds equal to twice the mushakemono’s Charisma modifier. A drowsy character suffers -4 on all d20 rolls, including attacks, initiative, saving throws and skill checks. A sleeping target is in a magically induced slumber but awakens upon taking any damage and suffers no further penalties upon awakening. A target may only be affected by this effect once in a 24 hour period. A Will save negates both forms of this effect.

Duplicate Self (Su): As a standard action, the mushakemono can create a duplicate image of herself. By concentrating, as a move action, the henge can make this image move and talk. The image has a range of 100 feet and is considered an illusion and can be disbelieved with a successful Will save. The image has an AC of 10 + Charisma modifier + size modifier and if the image takes damage, it disappears.

Elemental Child (Su): As a standard action the mushakemono can cast resist energy and fireball. She can cast both spells a number of times per day equal to 1/2 her class level. A mushakemono must be at least 4th level to gain this ability.

Fortune’s Son (Su): The mushakemono gains a +2 bonus to all saving throws.

Hidden Object (Su): As a standard action, a mushakemono can make a small or tiny object invisible. This invisibility lasts for as long as the object is on the mushakemono’s person or for a number of minutes equal to the mushakemono’s class level. Invisible weapons benefit from concealment against sunder attempts (50% miss chance) and opponents defending against an invisible weapon have a 50% chance per round of being denied their Dexterity bonus to AC.

Plant Friend (Su): As a standard action, a mushakemono can cast barkskin and plant growth. She can cast both spells a number of times per day equal to 1/2 class level. A mushakemono must be at least 4th level to gain this ability.

Shadow Walker (Su): The mushakemono gains a +5 class bonus on all Stealth checks. In areas of dim light or less, this bonus increases to +10.

Stolen Face (Su): When a mushakemono uses her racial shapechanger ability to adopt a human form, she may attempt to mimic the face and shape of an individual human she has seen. Using this ability adds a +10 bonus to Disguise attempts made to impersonate the individual in question. A mushakemono must be at least 4th level to gain this ability.

Shapechanging (Su)

The mushakemono learns to use her racial shapechanger ability more frequently, gaining an extra use of her shapechanger ability at 1st, 5th, 10th, and 15th level.

Fast Climber (Ex)

At 2nd level the mushakemono adds +10 feet to her climb speed.

Woodland Stride (Ex)

Starting at 3rd level, a mushakemono 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. Thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motions still affect her.

Sneak Attack (Ex)

Beginning at 2nd level, the mushakemono gains a sneak attack. This ability functions identically to the rogue’s sneak attack. The mushakemono’s sneak attack ability improves every 6 levels past the 2nd.

Bonus Feat (Ex)

At 4th, 9th, 14th and 19th level the mushakemono gains a bonus feat chosen from the following list: Acrobatic, Alertness, Deceitful, Dodge, Extra Hengeyokai Shapechanging, Fleet, Improved Initiative, Improved Unarmed Strike, Practiced Climber, Weapon Finesse, and Weapon Focus (bite).

Favored Terrain (Ex)

At 6th level the mushakemono may choose a single type of terrain.

The hengeyokai gains a +3 bonus on initiative checks and Knowledge (geography), Perception, Stealth, and Survival checks when she is in this terrain. When traveling through her favored terrain, the mushakemono leaves no trail and cannot be tracked unless she chooses to do so. This bonus increases by an additional +2 every 5 levels after the 6th.

Evasion (Ex)

At 9th level the mushakemono gains the ability to avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. Any time she makes a successful Reflex save which would normally result in half damage, the mushakemono instead takes no damage.

Evasion can only be used if the mushakemono is wearing medium, light or no armor. A helpless mushakemono cannot benefit from evasion.

Advanced Tricks

Class Specific Feats

The following class specific feats are available to a mushakemono who meets the prerequisites.

At 10th level, in addition to the henge tricks already available, the mushakemono may also choose from the following tricks when learning a new trick.

Dire Beast (Su): When using her racial shapechanger ability, the mushakemono can now adopt a large form of her animal shape gaining a bite attack (1d8 damage), a +6 bonus to Strength, +6 natural AC and a 10-foot reach. She also suffers a -4 penalty to Dexterity in this shape. She can maintain this shape for a number of minutes equal to 1 + 1/2 her character level + her Constitution bonus.

Elemental Form (Su): The mushakemono can employ one of her uses of her racial shapechanger ability to take on the form of a small elemental, as if casting elemental body I on herself. If damaged with a cold-iron weapon, the hengeyokai reverts to her natural form.

Gaseous Form (Su): The mushakemono can use one of her uses of her racial shapechanger ability to cast gaseous form upon herself.

Invisibility (Su): The mushakemono can cast greater invisibility upon herself a number of times per day equal to 1/2 her class level + her Wisdom modifier. If damaged with a cold-iron weapon while invisible, the spell ends.

Object Shape (Su): When using her racial shapechanger ability, the mushakemono can adopt the outward shape of a Small or Medium inanimate object. The object cannot have moving parts more complex than that of an umbrella. While in this shape, the hengeyokai is still a living creature and can see and hear as normal. The hengeyokai gains no hit points, hardness, or natural AC from the transformation. If scrutinized, the hengeyokai must succeed at a DC 10 Disguise check to successfully imitate the object. If damaged with a cold-iron weapon, the hengeyokai reverts to her natural form.

Plant Shape (Su): When using her racial shapechanger ability, the mushakemono can take the shape of a plant as if casting plant shape I or tree shape. If damaged with a cold-iron weapon, the hengeyokai reverts to her natural form.

Master Climber (Ex)

At 12th level the mushakemono adds another +10 feet to her climb speed. She is considered to have a natural climbing ability and can take 10 on any Climb checks.

Timeless Body (Ex)

After attaining 15th level, a mushakemono no longer suffers ability score penalties for aging and cannot be magically aged.

Any penalties she might have accrued already remain in place. Bonuses from aging still accrue and the mushakemono still dies of old age when her time is at hand.

Improved Evasion (Ex)

At 16th level the mushakemono’s evasion improves. While she continues to take no damage on a successful Reflex save, she now also takes only half damage on a failed save. The same conditions affecting evasion likewise affect improved evasion.

Hide in Plain Sight (Ex)

Beginning at 17th level, the mushakemono can use the Stealth skill in her favored terrain, even when being observed.

Master Shapechanger (Su)

At 20th level the mushakemono gains the outsider (native) type. She can now use her racial shapechanger ability at will.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

In the Company of Henge copyright 2011, Steve D. Russell and Michael Tumey. All rights reserved; Author: Jonathan McAnulty.

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