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Bakeneko

Small fiend (shapechanger), chaotic evil

Armor Class 14
Hit Points 36 (8d6 + 8)
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
11 (+0) 18 (+4) 12 (+1) 13 (+1) 10 (+0) 17 (+3)

Saving Throws Dex +6
Skills Acrobatics +6, Stealth +6
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages Common
Challenge 2 (450 XP)

SPECIAL TRAITS

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The bakeneko uses Mark of Envy if it is able and makes two attacks with its claws.
  • Claws (Bakeneko Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) slashing damage.
  • Change Shape. The bakeneko can magically polymorph into a Small humanoid or back into its true form. Its statistics are the same in each form. If the bakeneko dies, it reverts to its true form.
  • Mark of Envy (1/Day). The bakeneko magically marks a creature it can see within 90 feet. The bakeneko gains a bonus on attack and damage rolls against the target equal to its charisma bonus (typically +3). The mark lasts until the target is slain or 24 hours has passed.

ABOUT

A bakeneko oni stands 3 feet tall, with a lean build covered in fur the size of a human child but resembling an upright cat more than a person. A pair of sharpened claws emerges from its inappropriately large paw-hands, while pointed ears crown its head. The cat-thing smiles with a comical rictus-grin. A bakeneko weighs around 35 pounds.

Bakeneko are one of the lowest forms of oni, condemned to small cat-like bodies for failures in a past existence. These oni thrive on attention, similar to the cats whose form they imitate. A bakeneko becomes incredibly irate if attention is drawn away from them by another creature, marking such targets with an invisible brand. They are mocked by their larger giant oni kin and made to serve as spies and messengers, though whenever possible they seek to bully weaker creatures and threaten with the power of their oni kin, putting them in a strange societal structure.

Attention Seekers. As the lowest of fleshbound oni, a bakeneko indulges in its craving at all times, regardless of other concerns. Once it finds a creature or group that fawns over its appearance, the bakeneko basks for as long as it can. A bakeneko receives its greatest attention from groups of children, but other creatures can give similar attention—particularly, lonely hermit creatures or distant sages and scholars. The cat-like oni’s demeanor is pleasant enough, but once a new creature appears to take attention away from it, the bakeneko enters a fierce rage.

Jealous Narcissists. The ‘mark of envy’ is the name of the invisible brand a bakeneko places on those who steal its rightfully deserved tribute. This invisible brand is typically a single symbol, often bearing the meaning of some derogatory term the bakeneko has for its target. Such brands last for a day, during which, they fuel the bakeneko’s rage at the target, granting them strength and accuracy far beyond what their small feline frame should be able to accomplish. If its fiendish nature is revealed, a bakeneko wastes no time in retreating, marking its target before fleeing. In the next few hours, it returns, this time using its Change Shape ability to appear as an inconspicuous child. If all goes well, the bakeneko closes in on its target and reverts back to its true form, shredding its enemy with vicious claw strikes.

Section 15: Copyright Notice
Asian Monsters (5E) © 2021, Legendary Games; Authors Miguel Colon, Jason Nelson, Andrew Ha, Aurélien Lainé, Dan Dillon, Ismael Alvarez, James-Levi Cooke, Robert J. Grady, Jeff Ibach, Matt Kimmel, and Thurston Hillman