Skinwalker (10 RP)

Racial Traits

  • +2 Wisdom, -2 Intelligence, +2 to one physical ability score while shapechanged (1 RP): Skinwalkers are well attuned to the natural order of things and value passion above reason. While in their bestial form, they gain a +2 racial bonus to either Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution (see Change Shape).
  • Medium: Skinwalkers are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Normal Speed: Skinwalkers have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Low-Light Vision (Ex): In dim light, skinwalkers can see twice as far as humans.
  • Animal-Minded (2 RP): Skinwalkers have a +2 racial bonus on Handle Animal and wild empathy checks.
  • Change Shape (Su, 5 RP): A skinwalker can change shape into a bestial form as a standard action. In bestial form, a skinwalker gains a +2 racial bonus to either Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution. While in this form, a skinwalker also takes on an animalistic feature that provides a special effect. Each time a skinwalker assumes bestial form, she can choose to gain one of the following features:
    • 2 claw attacks that each deal 1d4 points of damage
    • Darkvision to a range of 60 feet
    • +1 racial bonus to natural armor
    The racial ability score bonus and additional feature last as long as the skinwalker remains in that form, and a skinwalker can remain in bestial form for as long as she wants. While in bestial form, a skinwalker takes a -4 penalty on Charisma and Charisma-based checks when interacting with humanoids that lack the shapechanger subtype. A skinwalker can return to her humanoid form as a swift action. To change forms and gain a different benefit, a skinwalker must first return to her humanoid form then use her shapechange ability again. A skinwalker can shapechange into bestial form a number of times per day equal to 3 + 1/2 her character level. Different skinwalker heritages allow skinwalker characters to select from different sets of bestial features.
  • Spell-Like Ability: Skinwalkers with a Wisdom score of 11 or higher can use speak with animals once per day as a spell-like ability. The caster level for this ability is equal to the skinwalker's character level.
Blood of the Moon
Most people believe skinwalkers are half-breeds of lycanthropes, or that they share some slight version of the curse of those creatures. Skinwalker shamans say they are chosen by nature or the gods to be a bridge between the world of humanity and the animal world. The truth may lie somewhere between these two ideas. For indeed, skinwalkers are those with a lycanthrope crouching somewhere in the branches of their family tree. These distant progeny of monstrous werewolves and other creatures of the night have special talents unlike those of most civilized peoples, and they arise randomly among remote humanoid populations as well as within their own secretive sects. A pair of humans may give birth to a skinwalker—the dormant lycanthropic ancestry making itself known in a child neither beast nor human—or a pair of skinwalker parents may produce a skinwalker child, though these couplings can sometimes produce human children as well.

Skinwalkers resemble humans much of the time, but they possess the uncanny ability to transform into bestial humanoids who combine the most fearsome aspects of flesh and fur. It's largely believed that skinwalkers originated far from the Inner Sea region, on the distant continent of Arcadia to the west, though their prevalence in Avistan and Garund leads many to question this theory.

Physical Description: Outwardly human, skinwalkers are virtually indistinguishable from others of the ethnic group into which they are born. Those rare skinwalkers who have bred true for generations tend to have dark eyes, straight dark hair, and richly colored skin. Skinwalkers' features vary greatly when they shapechange. They gain a bestial visage evoking the creatures they emulate; the snout elongates, teeth become more prominent, claws emerge from fingertips, and skin toughens into hide. Despite their shapechanging abilities, they are not immune to infection from full lycanthropes.

Society: Skinwalkers sometimes weave themselves into other societies, hoping their peculiar talents go unnoticed. They may also be nomads found in lands with wide-open spaces. Groups of skinwalkers hidden among a larger community of non-skinwalkers may regularly gather for lunar rituals or nocturnal pack hunting.

Relations: Skinwalkers mostly populate human settlements and communities. They tend to get along with catfolk, tengus, and members of other animal-like races (including lycanthropes), and are comfortable taking their animalistic forms in the company of these fellows. However, many natural lycanthropes see skinwalkers as weaker, inferior versions of their own kind, and some lycanthropes even take to infecting or even hunting their distant kin.

Alignment and Religion: Skinwalkers tend toward neutral alignments, but may be of any. Many follow the Green Faith or venerate deities with close ties to nature and the animal world, as well as those connected with hunting, transformation, travel, and trickery.

Adventurers: Often on the move, skinwalkers make for excellent adventurers. Once they become comfortable in a group, most skinwalkers come to see their adventuring allies as their pack or herd.

Names: Skinwalkers born in human and humanoid societies share the naming conventions of the surrounding culture. Skinwalkers born in their own packs typically have names similar to their overarching ethnicities appended with flavorful, animal-inspired appellations such as Bearmaw, Wolftamer, Fangblood, or Owlmarked.

ALTERNATE RACIAL TRAITS

The following racial trait may be selected instead of existing racial traits. Consult your GM before selecting this new options.
Non-Human Skinwalkers

Skinwalkers are found mostly in human populations. However, because of the nature of lycanthropy, skinwalkers can feasibly be of any intelligent humanoid race. So while uncommon, a lycanthropic bloodline can descend through non-humans like halflings, dwarves, orcs, or elves. Non-human skinwalkers perhaps more closely resemble their non-lycanthropic parent race, but possess the same abilities as human-descended skinwalkers with the exception of size and effects dependent on size, such as the damage die of natural attacks. For example, a gnome skinwalker is Small, but otherwise is statistically identical to the base skinwalker race presented in this book (unless, of course, the character is descended from an alternate skinwalker heritage, in which case she has the abilities of that heritage). Regardless, skinwalkers of non-human descent are typically raised in the same culture as their parent race, and thus usually have the same cultural understanding and education that anyone in their community possesses. So while a half-orc skinwalker raised in an orc tribe might not gain automatic proficiency with the orc double-ax, that doesn't necessarily preclude him from honing his aggressive battle tactics and learning how to fight like an orc.

Alternate Ancestry

Werebat-kin (Bloodmarked)

Those skinwalkers known as bloodmarked are a hungry lot— their predilection for blood is matched only by their flock mentality and adherence to strict hierarchy.

Ancestry: werebat
Typical Alignment: NE
Ability Modifiers: +2 Int, -2 Wis (+2 Dex while shapechanged)
Alternate Skill Modifiers: Fly, Perception at night
Alternate Spell-Like Ability: obscuring mist 1/day
Bestial Features:

Werebear-Kin (Coldborn)

Coldborn are remarkable among skinwalkers for their awareness and their potential for discipline, as well as for their hidden rage.

Ancestry: werebear
Typical Alignment: LG
Ability Modifiers: +2 Con, -2 Cha (+2 Wis while shapechanged)
Alternate Skill Modifiers: Climb, wild empathy
Alternate Spell-Like Ability: calm animals 1/day
Bestial Features:

Wereboar-Kin (Ragebred)

Ragebred, even more so than other skinwalkers, find both their greatest strength and direst weakness in their choleric emotions— from unstoppable rage to tempestuous affection to reckless spite.

Ancestry: wereboar
Typical Alignment: CN
Ability Modifiers: +2 Wis, -2 Cha (+2 Con while shapechanged)
Alternate Skill Modifiers: Handle Animal, Perception
Alternate Spell-Like Ability: speak with animals (pigs and boars only) 3/day
Bestial Features:

Werecrocodile-Kin (Scaleheart)

Scalehearts are of an exceptionally cold aspect—few others can so easily toss aside inhibitions in the name of their ultimate goals.

Ancestry: werecrocodile
Typical Alignment: NE
Ability Modifiers: +2 Int, -2 Wis (+2 Str while shapechanged)
Alternate Skill Modifiers: Stealth, wild empathy
Alternate Spell-Like Ability: scare 1/day
Bestial Features:

Wereraptor-kin (Aerieborn)

Ironfang Invasion #1—Trail of the Hunter
Skinwalkers descended from wereraptors, aerieborn, lack beaks but have feathers in their bestial form.

Ancestry wereraptor
Typical Alignment LN
Ability Modifiers +2 Wis, -2 Cha (+2 Dex while shapechanged)
Alternate Skill Modifiers Perception, Sense Motive
Alternate Spell-Like Ability feather fall 1/day
Bestial Features:

Wererat-Kin (Nightskulk)

Nightskulks combine the versatile aspect of the skinwalker with the ambition and necessary ingenuity of the wererat to become some of the most creative and surprising of their kind.

Ancestry: wererat
Typical Alignment: LE
Ability Modifiers: +2 Int, -2 Str (+2 Dex while shapechanged)
Alternate Skill Modifiers: Handle Animal, Stealth in urban environments
Alternate Spell-Like Ability: speak with animals (rodents only) 3/day
Bestial Features:

Wereshark-Kin (Seascarred)

The seascarred draw on the majesty of the shark and the society of skinwalkers to produce shamans and pirates with the ability to impose their will on anyone or anything that gets in their way.

Ancestry: wereshark
Typical Alignment: N
Ability Modifiers: +2 Wis, -2 Int (+2 Con while shapechanged)
Alternate Skill Modifiers: Perception, Swim
Alternate Spell-Like Ability: charm animal (aquatic animals only) 3/day
Bestial Features:

Weretiger-Kin (Fanglord)

Fanglords are skinwalkers of a most regal lineage, well aware that they carry the blood of kings and tyrants—and just as confident and imposing as their forebears.

Ancestry: weretiger
Typical Alignment: NE
Ability Modifiers: +2 Dex, -2 Wis (+2 Cha while shapechanged)
Alternate Skill Modifiers: Acrobatics, Perception
Alternate Spell-Like Ability: jump 1/day
Bestial Features:

Werewolf-Kin (Witchwolf)

Witchwolves are skinwalkers of the open field and quiet forest, almost human in their ingenuity and free spirits, yet carrying a seed of those most terrible and brutal monsters—the werewolves.

Ancestry: werewolf
Typical Alignment: CE
Ability Modifiers: +2 Con, -2 Int (+2 Wis while shapechanged)
Alternate Skill Modifiers: Perception, wild empathy
Alternate Spell-Like Ability: magic fang 1/day
Bestial Features: