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Tengu (13 RP)

Tengu Bard by Brian Brinlee, Copyright 2015 Jon Brazer Enterprises
Image used by permission of Jon Brazer Enterprises
Random Tengu Starting Ages
Adulthood Intuitive1 Self-Taught2 Trained3
15 years +1d4 years
(16-19 years)
+1d6 years
(16-21 years)
+2d6 years
(17-27 years)

1 This category includes barbarians, oracles, rogues, and sorcerers.
2 This category includes bards, cavaliers, fighters, gunslingers, paladins, rangers, summoners, and witches.
3 This category includes alchemists, clerics, druids, inquisitors, magi, monks, and wizards.

Random Tengu Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male 4 ft. 0 in. +2d6 in.
(4 ft. 2 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.)
65 lbs. +(2d6×3 lbs.)
(71 - 101 lbs.)
Female 3 ft. 10 in. +2d6 in.
(4 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 10 in.)
55 lbs. +(2d6×3 lbs.)
(61 - 91 lbs.)
Table: Race Point Costs
Racial Traits Race Point Cost
Type Humanoid (tengu) 0
Size Medium 0
Base Speed Normal 0
Ability Score Modifiers Standard (+2 Dex, –2 Con, +2 Wis) 0
Misc. Linguist 1
Misc. Gifted linguist 2
Skill Bonus Perception 2
Skill Bonus Stealth 2
Misc. Natural weapon 1
Misc. Swordtrained 4
Senses Low-light vision 1
Total 13

The crow-like tengus are known as a race of scavengers and irrepressible thieves. Covetous creatures predominantly motivated by greed, they are vain and easily won over with flattery. Deceptive, duplicitous, and cunning, tengus seek circumstances in which they can take advantage of the situation, often at the expense of others, including their own kind. They can be highly competitive, but impulsive and rash. Some claim their behavior is innate, while others believe their selfish mannerisms are cultural and developed as a learned adaptation that has enabled their people to endure through centuries of oppression.

Tengus are natural survivalists. For many, only theft and guile have afforded them the temporary luxuries other races take for granted. In the past, both humans and powerful races such as giants sought the bird-folk as slaves and servitors. Many tengus scavenged for survival, scraping for food in the shadows of cities or living as subsistence hunters and gatherers in the wild. Their descendants now struggle to find their place in contemporary society, often competing against negative stereotypes or driven to embrace them, and they rely on thievery and swordplay to get by in a harsh and unforgiving world.

Physical Description: Tengus are avian humanoids whose features strongly resemble crows. They have broad beaks and both their arms and their legs end in powerful talons. Though tengus are unable to fly, iridescent feathers cover their bodies—this plumage is usually black, though occasionally brown or blue-back. Their skin, talons, beaks, and eyes are similarly colored, and most non-tengus have great difficulty telling individuals apart. Tengus who wish to be more easily identified by other humanoids may bleach certain feathers or decorate their beaks with dyes, paint, or tiny glued ornaments. Though they are about the same height as humans, they have slight builds and tend to hunch over. A tengu's eyes sit slightly back and to the sides of his head, giving him binocular vision with a slightly more panoramic field of view than other humanoids. Like many avians, tengus have hollow bones and reproduce by laying eggs.

Society: Tengus live in close-knit communities in which they keep to themselves. In urban centers, they tend to group in communal slums, while those living in rural areas establish isolated settlements. Overall, they remain secretive about their culture, which is a combination of old traditions laced with newer bits of culture scavenged from the races common in the neighboring regions. Cultural scavenging also extends to language, and regional dialects of Tengu are peppered with terms and colloquialisms from other languages. Unsurprisingly, tengus have a knack for language and pick up new ones quickly.

Most tengu communities tend to follow a tribal structure. Tribal rules remain loose and subjective, and tribe members settle any conflicts through public arbitration (and occasionally personal combat). While every tengu has a voice in her society, in most settlements, tengus still defer to their revered elders for wisdom and advice.

Relations: Few races easily tolerate tengus. Of the most common races, only humans allow them to settle within their cities with any regularity. When this occurs, tengus inevitably form their own ghettos and ramshackle communities, typically in the most wretched neighborhoods. Regardless of their tolerance, most humans maintain as little contact with tengus as possible. Tengus occasionally make friends with halflings and gnomes, but only when they share mutual interests. Conversely, most dwarves have no patience for tengus whatsoever. Other races tend to view tengus in a similar fashion to humans, though many actively discourage them from settling in their realms.

Alignment and Religion: Tengus tend to be neutral, though those who allow their impulsiveness to get the better of them lean toward chaotic neutral. Religious beliefs vary from tribe to tribe; some worship the traditional tengu gods (most of which are aspects of better-known deities), while others take to the worship of human gods or celestial spirits. Tengus can be fickle with regard to their patrons, quickly abandoning religious customs when they cease to provide any tangible benefit. Many embrace polytheism, picking and choosing to uphold the tenets of whatever deities best suit them at the time.

Adventurers: With little at home to leave behind, many tengus turn to a life of adventure seeking fame, fortune, and glory. A common tengu belief portrays a life on the road as a series of experiences and trials that form a path to enlightenment. Some take this to mean a path of spiritual empowerment; others view it as a way to perfect their arts or swordsmanship. Perhaps in spite of the prejudices upheld by outsiders, many tengu adventurers embrace their stereotypes. These individuals seek to succeed by epitomizing tengu racial qualities, and proudly flaunt their heritage. Despite their avian frailty, with their quick reflexes and quicker wits, tengus make excellent rogues and rangers, while those with a strong connection to the spirit world often become oracles. Those disciplined in the practice of martial arts take jobs as mercenaries and bodyguards in order to profit from their talents.

Male Names: Bukka, Chak-Chak, Chuko, Ebonfeather, Highroost, Kraugh, Pezzack, Taicho, Tchoyoitu, Xaikon.

Female Names: Aerieminder, Aikio, Cheetchu, Daba, Gildedhackle, Kankai, Mikacha, Ruk, Zhanyae.

Standard Racial Traits

  • Ability Score Racial Traits: Tengus are fast and observant, but relatively fragile and delicate. They gain +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, –2 Constitution.
  • Type: Tengus are humanoids with the tengu subtype.
  • Size: Tengus are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Speed: Tengus have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Languages: Tengus begin play speaking Common and Tengu. Tengus with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want (except for secret languages, such as Druidic). See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages.

Feat and Skill Racial Traits

Offense Racial Traits

  • Swordtrained: Tengus are trained from birth in swordplay, and as a result are automatically proficient with sword-like weapons (including bastard swords, daggers, elven curve blades, falchions, greatswords, kukris, longswords, punching daggers, rapiers, scimitars, short swords, and two-bladed swords).
  • Natural Weapons: A tengu has a bite attack that deals 1d3 points of damage.

Senses Racial Traits

  • Senses: Tengus have low-light vision allowing them to see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.

Alternate Racial Traits

The following alternate racial traits may be selected in place of one or more of the standard racial traits above. Consult your GM before selecting any of these new options.

  • Carrion Sense Many tengus have a natural ability to sniff out carrion. While their sense of smell isn't as keen as that of other species, it is particularly attuned to the scent of injuries or death. Tengus with this racial trait have a limited scent ability, which only functions for corpses and badly wounded creatures (50% or fewer hit points). This racial trait replaces gifted linguist.
  • Claw Attack Tengus with this racial trait have learned to use their claws as natural weapons. They gain two claw attacks as primary natural attacks that deal 1d3 points of damage, and are treated as having the Improved Unarmed Strike feat for the purpose of qualifying for other feats. This racial trait replaces swordtrained.
  • Exotic Weapon Training Instead of swords, some tengus are trained in exotic weaponry. Such tengus choose a number of eastern weapons equal to 3 + their Intelligence bonus, and gain proficiency with these weapons. This racial trait replaces swordtrained.
  • Glide Some tengus can use their feathered arms and legs to glide. Tengus with this racial trait can make a DC 15 Fly check to fall safely from any height without taking falling damage, as if using feather fall. When falling safely, a tengu may make an additional DC 15 Fly check to glide, moving 5 feet laterally for every 20 feet he falls. This racial trait replaces gifted linguist.

Paizo Favored Class Options

The following favored class options are available to all characters of this race who have the listed favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the favored class reward.

  • Barbarian Add +1/3 to the bonus from the superstitious rage power.
  • Fighter Add +1 to the fighter's CMD when resisting a grapple or trip attempt.
  • Monk Add +1/4 point to the monk's ki pool.
  • Oracle Add +1/2 to the oracle's level for the purpose of determining the effects of the oracle's curse ability.
  • Rogue Choose a weapon from those listed under the tengu's swordtrained ability. Add a +1/2 bonus on critical hit confirmation rolls with that weapon (maximum bonus +4). This bonus does not stack with Critical Focus.
  • Sorcerer Select one bloodline power at 1st level that is normally usable a number of times per day equal to 3 + the sorcerer's Charisma modifier. The sorcerer adds +1/2 to the number of uses per day of that bloodline power.
  • Witch Add one spell from the witch spell list to the witch's familiar. This spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level she can cast. If the witch ever replaces her familiar, the new familiar knows these bonus spells.

3rd Party Publisher Favored Class Options

  • Aegis Add +1 to the aegis’ base speed. In combat this option has no effect unless the aegis has selected it 5 times (or another increment of 5). Each 5-foot increase in speed counts against the maximum number of times the aegis can take the speed customization. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Alchemist Add +1/6 to the save DC of poisons applied to swordlike weapons. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Antipaladin Add +1/4 to the number of times the antipaladin can use touch of corruption per day. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Arcanist Add +1/4 to the arcanist’s effective class level when determining the effects of the energy shield (electricity only) and lightning lance arcanist exploits. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Bard Add +1/3 to Perform checks for the distraction bardic performance ability and to the bard’s effective class level when determining the number of creatures affected by the fascinate bardic performance ability. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Bloodrager Add +1/2 to concentration checks made while bloodraging when casting defensively or when injured while casting. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Brawler Add +1/4 to attack rolls with the brawler’s bite attack as a secondary attack (maximum bonus +3). [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Cavalier Add +1/4 to the number of times per day a cavalier can use the tactician ability. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Cleric Select one alignment component (chaotic, evil, good, or lawful) Selecting this option three times suppresses the aura class feature with respect to this alignment. Selecting this option six times treats the alignment component as neutral for harmful spells or effects that affect creatures based on their alignment, such as holy smite. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Cryptic Add +1/2 to the damage of the cryptic’s disrupt pattern ability. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Dread Add +1/2 to the dread’s daily uses of terrors. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Druid Add +1/2 to animal companion’s attack rolls when using the bombard trick and to the animal companion’s CMB when attempting the steal or dirty trick maneuvers. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Gunslinger Add +1 foot to distance moved when using the gunslinger’s dodge deed. This only has an effect for every 5 increases in distance. If selected ten times, this movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Hunter Add +1/2 to the bonus from the falcon and owl animal focus abilities. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Inquisitor Select one inquisition power granted at 1st level that is normally usable a number of times per day equal to 3 + the inquisitor’s Wisdom modifier. The inquisitor adds +1/2 to the number of uses per day of that inquisition power. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Investigator The investigator gains +1/6 of a new investigator talent. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Magus Choose a weapon from those listed under the tengu’s swordtrained ability. Add a +1/2 bonus on critical hit confirmation rolls with that weapon (maximum bonus +4). This bonus does not stack with Critical Focus. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Marksman The marksman gains 1 psionic talent. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Ninja Add +1/2 to the ninja’s CMB when using the dirty trick combat maneuver. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Paladin Add +1/4 to the number of times the paladin can use lay on hands per day. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Psion Reduce the cost to augment psion powers with the mind-affecting descriptor by 1/3 points. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Psychic Warrior Add +1/3 to the psychic warrior’s manifester level when manifesting a path power. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Ranger Add +1/2 circumstance bonus to the next melee attack roll against an enemy you damaged with a ranged attack in the previous round (maximum bonus +4). This bonus does not stack with Opening Volley. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Samurai Select this option four times to select an additional weapon for the weapon expertise ability. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Shaman Add +1/3 to the shaman’s effective level when determining effects from their wandering spirit. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Skald Add +1/6 to the number of times per day the skald can use the spell kenning ability. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Slayer Increase the studied target bonus on Bluff and Perception checks by 1/3. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Soulknife Add +1 to the soulknife’s CMD when resisting a grapple or trip attempt. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Summoner Add +1/4 evolution point to the eidolon’s evolution pool. These bonus evolution points must be spent on the flight, wing buffet, minor magic (comprehend languages or vanish only) or major magic (daze monster or invisibility only) evolutions. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Swashbuckler Add 1 foot to distance moved when using the swashbuckler’s dodging panache deed. In combat this option has no effect unless the swashbuckler has selected 5 times (or another increment of 5). If selected 10 times, this movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Tactician Add +1/3 to the tactician’s saving throws versus mind-affecting effects. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Time Thief Add +1/2 bonus to all Perception and Stealth checks. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Vitalist Add +1/2 to the maximum number of creatures allowed in the vitalist’s collective. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Warpriest Add 1/2 to the number of times per day the warpriest can use blessings, but he can use these additional blessings on only those from the Air, Knowledge, Rune, Travel, Trickery, or Weather domains. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Wilder Reduce the cost to augment wilder powers with the mind-affecting descriptor by 1/3 points. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]
  • Wizard Add +1/3 to the wizard’s caster level when casting spells with the language dependent descriptor, or those creating magical glyphs, runes, or symbols. [JBE:BoHR:AFCO]

Racial Archetypes

The following racial archetypes are available to tengus:

Racial Feats

The following feats are available to a tengu character who meets the prerequisites.