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Youkai Drifter

Youkai drifters are sensitive to the happenings of the spirit world, as well as the mysterious youkai who flit between it and the mortal realm. Compared to other rangers, youkai drifters come about their trade not by choice, but by happenstance or inheritance. The gift of spiritual sensitivity is fleetingly rare, after all, and most youkai drifters are inspired to take up their trade after a childhood of fleeing from terrible spirits that only they ever seemed to be able to see. Such rangers are usually found in places where the divide between the world of spirits and the world of mortals is dangerously thin, but they travel anywhere that the fates of mortals and youkai are intertwined.

Ranger Level Feature
3rd Ritual Casting, Spirit Sense
7th Rites of Banishment
11th Rites of the Shikigami
15th Rites of the Sealed Name

Ritual Casting

Starting at 3rd level, you gain the ability to cast purify food and drink and speak with animals, but only as rituals. You gain the ability to cast additional spells as rituals at the levels specified on the following table. If a spell doesn’t appear on the ranger spell list, the spell is nonetheless a ranger spell for you.

Ranger Level Spells
3rd purify food and drink, speak with animals
7th beast sense, locate animals or plants
15th speak with plants, water breathing
18th banishment, locate creature
20th seeming, scrying

Spirit Sense

Starting at 3rd level, you become sensitive to the presence and goings-on of youkai. You have a special sense that allows you to perceive youkai that are normally imperceptible, as well as objects and structures related to them. Most aberrations, beasts with magical abilities, celestials, dragons, elementals, fey, fiends, giants, and monstrosities are considered youkai, as well as most non-humanoid creatures with the shapechanger tag. This sense doesn’t foil magic that renders such creatures invisible, such as invisibility, but it does negate invisibility gained from special traits, such as that of an invisible stalker. You also gain proficiency in the Insight and Perception skills. If you are already proficient in these skills, you add double your proficiency bonus to checks you make with them when used against a youkai.

The GM decides which creatures qualify as youkai for the purpose of this feature, with oni and rakshasa being the most common examples.

Rites of Banishment

Starting at 7th level, you learn secrets that allow you to banish or seal away youkai. You gain the ability to cast banishment and imprisonment, but only as rituals. You can only target youkai, as defined by the spirit sense feature, whose challenge rating or level is equal to or less than your level with these spells. Since the GM has the final say over what creatures qualify as youkai, they also have the final say over what creatures you can banish or imprison with these spells.

When you cast banishment or imprisonment as a ritual, you can choose to target a 10-foot-radius area instead of a creature. If you do, the first youkai to enter that area within the next 10 minutes becomes the target of the spell.

Rites of the Shikigami

At 11th level, you can conduit a ritual that binds a youkai to your service. Choose a youkai that is no larger than Medium and that has a challenge rating of 1/4 or lower. That creature becomes a shikigami companion that accompanies you on your adventures. Add your proficiency bonus to the shikigami’s AC, attack rolls, and damage rolls, as well as to any saving throws and skills it is proficient in. Its hit point maximum equals the hit point number in its stat block or four times your ranger level, whichever is higher. Like any creature, it can spend Hit Dice during a short rest oo regain hit points.

The shikigami obeys your commands as best as it can. It takes its turn on your initiative, though it doesn’t take an action unless you command it to. On your turn, you can verbally command the shikigami where to move (no action required by you). You can use your action to verbally command it to take the Attack, Dash, Disengage, Dodge, or Help action. Once you have the Extra Action feature, you can make one weapon attack yourself when you command the shikigami to take the Attack action. If you are incapacitated or absent, the shikigami acts on its own, focused on protecting you and itself. The shikigami never requires your command to use its reaction, such as when making an opportunity attack.

While traveling through your favored terrain with only the shikigami, you can move stealthily at a normal pace.

If the shikigami dies, you can obtain a new shikigami by spending 8 hours magically bonding with a willing youkai that isn’t hostile to you and that meets the requirements.

Rites of the Sealed Name

At 15th level, you are able to perform a ritual that grants you possession over a youkai’s name, binding them to your service.

You gain the ability to cast planar binding as a 9th-level, but only as a ritual. You can bind any youkai with this ritual rather than being restricted to celestials, elementals, fey, and fiends only.

Since the GM has the final say over what creatures qualify as youkai, they also have the final say over what creatures you can banish or imprison with these spells.

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5e Files: Kitsune © 2020, Everybody Games; Authors: Alexander Augunas.