5th Edition Changeling Race Option

Changeling

Contributions by James Musicus and Q Hendricks

Changelings are a humanoid race who possess a shapeshifting ability similar to doppelgangers. Abuse of their shapeshifting talent for espionage and assassination has in led the Changelings to being mistrusted amongst other races. Changeling do not duplicate a person’s appearance, but create a whole new identity when taking on a race’s form. It is not uncommon for changelings to aggregate multiple disguises and personae in case one becomes compromised.
Their natural form can appear somewhat ghastly to other races, given their almost featureless faces and skin in shades of white and grey. They have large, single coloured eyes with no pupil. Their noses are small and subtle with no detail. A Changeling’s hair is often silver or white as pale as their complexion, with a hint of blue, pink or green hue. Their bodies are thin and smooth, similarly hairless as an elf.
There is an unfounded rumour amongst commoners that attractive escorts and adult entertainers are secretly male Changelings.

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2.
Age. Changelings mature a little faster than humans, reaching adulthood at 15. On average, they live about as long as humans do.
Alignment. Changelings tend to be neutral, favouring individual choice over strict creed or law. They avoid unnecessary risk, and direct confrontation unless they feel the reward is worthy.
Size. Changelings tend to be slender beings with an average weight of 140 lbs and heights between 5’ and 6’. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Change Shape. As an action, you may take the form of any medium sized humanoid race. The transformation is painful, and doing so causes you 1d4 damage.
Changeling Trick. While using the change shape ability, creatures have a disadvantage on checks trying to see through your disguise.
Mental Defense. You have advantage on saving throws against Charm spells and cannot be put to Sleep by magic.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one other language of your choice.
Subraces. Three main philosophies of Changelings have emerged as predominant groups. They are referred to as Passers, Becomers, and Reality Seekers. Passers choose not to employ their Changeling abilities and choose only one appearance. Becomers use their abilities to it’s full extent, constantly changing appearance to stand out or blend into different societies. Reality seekers prefer their natural Changeling form and aim to advance and improve the Changeling community, reclaiming it’s name from the current reputation of cowards and tricksters. Choose one of these subraces.

Becomers
Altering your appearance comes almost as easily to you as changing your clothes. Becomers believe that Changelings don’t have a singular appearance, and therefor can inhabit multiple identities as well. As a becomer, you feel that Passers aren’t using the gracious gift that has bestowed upon on your race.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Chameleon. You can alter your complexion to help blend into your surroundings. You have advantage when making stealth and deception checks to hide.

Reality Seekers
The group called reality seekers believe that there is a great truth that Changelings can discover. They do not shy from appearing in their true natural form as Passers do, and are proud to exhibit the progressiveness of Changeling society. As a reality seeker, you are the closest thing Changelings have as a liaison to other races.
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Foreign Scholar. Choose an additional language to write and speak.
Tool Proficiency. You gain proficiency with the Navigator’s tools.

10 thoughts on “5th Edition Changeling Race Option”

  1. Double proficiency bonus on hide checks for Becomers will likely get out-of-balance real quick. I think it might be best to restrict that to just advantage on hide checks instead, so the racial bonus isn’t always stacking a ton.
    Everything else looks really freakin’ good. You guys put some work into this!

    1. It doesn’t say a Changeling has advantage against spells that would make the Changeling sleep, it says that it CANNOT be put to sleep by magic (aka. if you use the Sleep spell, then a Changeling is not affected at all and the spell is wasted)

  2. my question would be why even play the race when at level one you chance taking 1/4 to 2/3 of your life to use its feature ability.

  3. Would you say that the change shape ability works like the alter self spell? Meaning that the changeling could choose to alter their physical form in ways other than completely changing their race, like growing gills or fangs and so on?

    Just curious on your take on this, I’m going to play a becomer according to your guidelines in my upcoming campaign and it’s sure to be a lot of fun! You’ve done a really good job with this!

    1. I think that would be a DM call, giving yourself extra abilities like water breathing and such from shapeshifting is really interesting but it could be abused.

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