|Dungeons & Dragons creature|
|Alignment||Any, though often Neutral|
|Source books||Eberron Campaign Setting, Races of Eberron, Monster Manual III|
Changelings are a character race in the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game Eberron campaign setting. They evolved from the union of humans and doppelgangers and are now a distinct race. Changelings have a limited ability to alter their forms, making them particularly suited to spying and criminal activity. Unlike doppelgangers, changelings have gender in their natural form, and lack full shapechanging ability.
In their natural form, changelings stand between five and six feet tall, with pale gray skin, thin, fair hair, and disproportionately long limbs compared to humans. Their facial features are more distinct than those of doppelgangers but less finished than those of humans; they have a hint of nose and lips, and blank white eyes.
Changelings are generally prudent and cautious by nature. They enjoy the finer things in life and take pleasure in the comforts of wealth when they can obtain them. They are deceptive and subtle, preferring stealth to direct confrontation. They are soft spoken conversationalists with a gift for drawing out information.
Many Changelings fall into three psychological groups:
- Passers: the most humanlike in their attitudes, passers want to be a part of their community and repress their shapeshifting ability. They use their abilities to fit in with their community and identify closely with the races they portray. They rarely travel. Other changelings call them "actors or "pretenders" and view them with contempt.
- Becomers: these changelings believe that mutability is the central aspect of changelings, and express this belief by adopting many different identities. They have a dual nature, considering themselves to be both mutable shifters and the transient identities they portray.
- Reality seekers: These changelings believe in the existence of an ultimate truth, and seek to discover what is real. They prefer their natural form and tend towards lawful alignments. They prefer the company of fellow changelings and generally avoid deception. Since the Last War, many reality seekers have been inspired by warforged attempts to found their own community, and have formed utopian changeling communities in Khorvaire.
Culture and society
Other races treat changelings with extreme caution, but many have reason to do business with them. Dwarves have little patience for them. Halflings enjoy matching wits with them, even though they are often rivals in subterfuge.
Many changelings revere a chaotic neutral shapeshifter deity known as the Traveler. The Traveler is one of the outcast Dark Six, a group of deities banished from the Sovereign Host pantheon because of their evil ways, though the Traveler is unique among them being neutral. Other changelings follow an amoral philosophy of the perfect form, in which physical transformation mystically symbolizes spiritual purification.
Changelings have no homeland; they live among humans in Khorvaire, blending in and living in their shadow. Changelings form the backbone of the criminal underworld in Khorvaire's large cities. Some work as entertainers, inquisitives (investigators and mystery solvers in the world of Eberron) and government agents. Occasionally they pursue careers as adventurers. Some changeling adventurers are simply not inclined towards crime or stealth, and so traditional changeling careers are closed to them; others may be fleeing a crime, seeking revenge, or seeking spiritual perfection through shapeshifting. Changelings prefer character classes that mesh with their powers of deception. Rogue is their most common class.
Changelings do not develop dragonmarks, though they can mimic the appearance of dragonmarks. They speak common, and often learn many other languages to aid their disguises.
Changeling names are monosyllabic and seem more like nicknames to other races. Changelings may go by different names depending on their social circles. They make no distinction between male and female names.
- Keith Baker, Bill Slavicsek and James Wyatt (2004). Eberron Campaign Setting. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3274-0.