Your race is the heart of your character. It is who they are at their core. Their thoughts, feelings, and upbringing are influenced by their race. In this series we’ll be taking a look into the races of D&D and how they shape your character. Today we’ll be talking about the enigmatic Eberron race, the Changeling. As their name implies, Changelings can alter their appearance on a whim. They can be whoever they want at a moment’s notice. This makes them very useful, but also very mistrusted.All changelings have a base form. This form is extremely pale, white even, with silver hair and colorless eyes. This form is rarely used, as the mere knowledge pf a changeling’s existence can put others on edge. Changelings instead prefer to have identities they have built for themselves. Usually these identities will align with a set of skills they have, or a mood they are feeling. For example, a changeling who has lost a lover may adopt a persona of grief as a way to pay respects. They may also form a persona around a skill, such as a merchant with great bartering skills. In rare cases, several changelings might share one persona. This is particularly handy in cases of political leaders, giving the general public the appearance of the leader never needing to rest. Changelings can fit into society in a variety of ways, most of which the people of that society don’t even recognize.
Changeling adventurers are an interesting bunch. Their ability to be whoever they want is useful in virtually any social situation. But they don’t need to be all about subterfuge. A fighter may adopt their opponent’s appearance mid fight to throw them off guard. A cleric may change into a loved one to aid the healing process. There are more uses for the changeling’s signature trait than just sneaking around. It’s such a simple concept, but it’s powerful enough to spawn many new ideas and uses.
Similar to this idea is that the forms the changeling adopts don’t necessarily need to be taken from another person. Their personas can be exclusive to themselves. What I mean by this is that a changeling can have different identities to use in different situations, each of which they made up themselves. An example of this would be Rick Diggins, played by Justin McElroy on Dimension 20. Rick is a totally-not-Lego man who changes his parts to become different versions of himself. He changes from a wealthy man, to a police officer, to an astronaut all on the fly. Each of them appear and act different, but they’re all still Rick. This is a perfect example of what a changeling can do better than a disguise self spell can. The change in changeling can be for more than deceiving.
Changelings are one of the most adaptable races out there. Their ability to adopt appearances is a handy tool, and one that takes thinking to get the most out of. A changeling even be many characters rolled into one. What character will you create? Will it be a changeling, or one of the other races that we’ve covered? Let me know in the comments below.