The Scattered Isles
No one knows how, centuries ago, the changelings first came to be. Born to human parents, they were first thought to be simply deformed or sick. When they first began to manifest their power to change their shape and appearance, panic and paranoia quickly surrounded them. They were mistrusted, mistreated, and pushed to the edges of human society. The changelings were second class citizens, housed in walled-in ghettoes in human cities.
That is, until the War of the Falling Tide changed their fortunes. Valuable intelligence and operations provided by changeling spies helped the united forces of the humans, orcs, and gnomes to defeat the elves at Lor’danel. In gratitude, King Brand elevated the status of the changelings to equal that of his human citizens. Changelings still face mistrust from most other races, but many are optimistic that their lot in life will continue to improve.
All changelings fall within the boundaries of Medium size, usually standing between 5 and 6 feet tall. Changelings do have gender in their natural form, although they can adopt any shape they like. Changelings have pale gray skin, and their hair is thin and fair. Their limbs are long and slightly out of proportion compared to other humanoids. Their faces have mostly indistinct features including a hint of nose and lips. Their eyes are blank white and the rest of their facial features don’t look quite as finished as those on a human.
Changelings are by far the least numerous race on the Scattered Isles. While changelings do breed true, successful births of purebred changeling children are rare. Most changelings are still born of human parents, and are usually abandoned, taken in by changeling parents or orphanages. Changelings may form small communities, but such groupings are not common since they are no longer forced into them.
There are three basic philosophies among the changeling people, which of these philosophies the changeling holds to guides their way of life.
Passers act to hide their changeling nature. They do not want the conflict and challenges associated with the species. A passer adopts a single identity, including race and gender, and endeavors to live his life in this way, without change. The passer lives in constant fear of discovery. Most communities that discover they’ve been harboring a passer react harshly, occasionally even violently, against the changeling.
A becomer knows that he has multiple identities inside him. He brims with the potential to become a young male elf, an old female orc, a middle-aged male gnome, and many, many other personas. A becomer wants to explore and stretch these multiple identities. He likes to sample the grand variety of humanoid life as if eating from a grand banquet table, adopting one role after another. Some of these assumed identities become favorites, to be returned to many times; other personas are discarded after only short trials.
A reality seeker may adopt other forms but is first and foremost a changeling with his own true form. The concept of ideal form and ultimate truth occupies a treasured place in a reality seeker’s identity. Each reality seeker adopts a personal code of conduct that defines these concepts and then strongly adheres to it.
Mistrust colors every race’s relationship with changelings. Humans and changeling relations are improving, though prejudice and resentment still color many of their dealings. Changelings are generally friendly with gnomes, though often unsettled by their intense interest in their abilities. Changelings have little contact with orcs and gol, and neither race is sure what to make of a people so rooted in deception and change. Most changelings share the other races enmity for the elves, but some feel pity for another people attempting to change their fortunes in a world that does not trust them.
Alignment and Religion
Changelings of all alignments exist, but most gravitate toward the neutral alignment. They focus on their own concerns without any meaningful regard for laws or morals. Changelings worship a wide variety of deities in the pantheon, though nearly all pay respect or prayer to Darius. Despite his death, the changelings feel great kinship with the Lord of Lies; some believe that it was his influence that created the changelings.
Changelings may turn to the adventuring life for many reasons. The thrills and freedom of being an adventurer holds great appeal to a people emerging from oppression. Changelings often turn to adventuring for a lack of any other opportunities. Mistrust and prejudice still keep many known changelings from finding steady work.
Changeling culture is an offshoot of human culture; their names are varied in style, meaning, and origin. Passers will take a name for whichever race they adopt as their own. Becomers have many names, though they often have on name to encompass the multitude they contain. Reality seekers take a name for their true form, often short and original, something they find pleasantly unique.
+2 to one Ability Score: Changelings gain a +2 bonus to one ability score chosen at creation, to represent their varied nature.
Medium Size: Changelings are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Changelings have a base speed of 30 feet.
Shapechanger Subtype: A changeling has the shapechanger subtype and is counted as a humanoid (shapechanger) for any effect related to race.
Slippery Minds: Changelings have a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against sleep and charm effects.
Deceptive: Changelings have a +2 racial bonus on Bluff and Sense Motive checks.
Natural Linguist: Linguistics is always a class skill for Changelings
Minor Change Shape (Su): Changelings have the supernatural ability to alter their appearance as though using a disguise self spell that affects their bodies but not their possessions. This ability is not an illusory effect but a physical alteration of a changeling’s facial features, skin color and texture, and size, within the limits described for the spell. A changeling can use this ability at will, and the alteration lasts until he changes shape again or dies. A true seeing spell reveals his natural form. When using this ability to create a disguise, a changeling receives a +10 circumstance bonus on Disguise checks. Using this ability is a full-round action.
Languages: Changelings begin play speaking Common. Changelings with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Gol, Orcish, Elven, and Gnome.
Among Humans [Racial]
Life among humans has given you experience in a variety of trades and talents.
Benefit: You receive 1 bonus skill rank. Whenever you gain another Hit Die, you gain an additional skill rank. You cannot gain more than four skill ranks in this way.
Special: You can only take this feat at 1st level.
Quick Change [Racial]
You can quickly alter your features and physiology.
Benefit: You can use your minor change shape ability as a move action.
Normal: Using the minor change shape ability is a full-round action.
Seen and Unseen [Racial]
Your anonymity makes you difficult to find through magical or mundane means.
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on all saving throws against scrying or divination effects. Additionally, you gain a +2 bonus on all Stealth checks, and non-changelings take a –2 penalty on all efforts to track you through the Survival skill.
Shared Manipulation [Racial]
You can subtly bolster allies’ ability to misdirect and infuriate their enemies.
Prerequisites: Cha 13, Changeling.
Benefit: As a move action, you can grant all friendly creatures within 30 feet who can see or hear you a +2 bonus on Bluff or Sense Motive checks (choose which skill to affect each time you use this ability) for a number of rounds equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum 1 round).