“The Traveler gave her his cloak. When she draped it over her children, their old faces melted away and they could be whoever they wanted to be. And so it remains. Though the children are shunned by all, the gift of the Traveler protects them still.”—Eberron: Rising from the Last War
What are Changelings in 5e DnD?
Changelings are humanoids descended from a race of doppelgängers, from which they get their shapechanging abilities. Their natural ability to change appearance has meant that they have long been recruited as spies and assassins. For this reason, great mistrust has grown around them and the other races.
They are naturally passive and harmless people largely uninterested in the greater world affairs. But their nature and the mistrust with which they are, on the whole, regarded has forced them to become ever more elusive to avoid confrontation and persecution.
They have no collective culture of their own, preferring to hide in plain sight within the towns and villages of other races, often creating several personas and moving between them as required.
Many human settlements have at least a few Changelings hidden within, generally living their lives (or perhaps even simultaneously multiple lives) without their friends and neighbors ever suspecting that they were anything other than what they appear to be.
There are even roaming Changeling tribes, whole caravans crossing the land along its backroads and byways living the life of their traveler deity and never stopping in one place long enough for their true nature to be found.
These groups will sometimes take the guise of traveling players or merchants or even wandering detachments of the Thieves’ Guild.
Although they can alter their appearance to look like anyone, they have a natural form. When encountered in their true body, they will have pale or grey skin, slender bodies, and slightly elongated limbs.
Changeling Racial Stats 5e
- Ability Score Increase. 2 points increase a Changeling’s Charisma score and another ability score of their choosing by 1.
- Age. Changelings mature slightly faster than their human counterparts but have a comparable lifespan, typically around a hundred years or slightly less.
- Alignment. Changelings are pragmatic people and tend to be neutral in outlook. However, some do embrace evil.
- Size. In their natural forms, Changelings will average a height of 5 to 6 feet. They have a slender build and are rated medium.
- Speed. A Changeling’s base walking speed is 30 feet.
- Shapechanger. Their ability to change their shape and appearance means they can affect all aspects of their bodily form, not just physical shape but skin color, hair length, and gender. They can change their height and weight, but only if they still conform to being medium build. They can even change their outward appearance to resemble a different race.
- Despite all of these changes, their game statistics remain the same. Any creature they duplicate must be one they have seen ad are reasonably familiar with, and it must conform to the same humanoid form. (i.e. not snakes or bugs etc.) The Changeling can stay in this new form indefinitely and will only change back when they choose to revert to their true form or die.
- Changeling Instincts. Changelings automatically have a natural proficiency with two of the following skills— Deception, Insight, Intimidation, and Persuasion.
- Languages. They can speak, read, and write Common and choose two other DnD languages to be similarly familiar with.
What classes work best for the Changeling race?
Although a Shapeshifter can appear to be any vaguely humanoid creature it wants, its actual statistics don’t change. Any class abilities or restrictions are permanently based on its actual statistics, irrespective of what form it is currently taking. The following classes work well for a Changeling character.
The chance to get to a very persuasive 18 Charisma at first level, several valuable skills, and the Shapechanger ability makes for a pretty potent character. They would be better suited to some Bardic paths than others, but any Changeling Bard will be a pretty good combination.
The crucial Wisdom increase and the Changeling’s inherent proficiencies make for a very persuasive character indeed. Just what you need for turning heathens into your faith.
The combination of a +1 to either Strength or Dexterity, plus an increase in Charisma, again makes for a very persuasive character. Great for a natural leader and champion of the faithful.
The Changeling’s tricky and often deceitful background might seem like an odd choice for a Paladin. The best way to play this is to treat the shapechanging ability more like a character quirk than a core trait. Keep away from using this ability to deceive and dupe people, and it works as a Paladin.
Perhaps the most obvious choice for a Changeling. The Rogue’s skill set is based around trickery and skullduggery, and the Changeling brings a lot of additional abilities to enhance these. The Dexterity increase piles on the agility, and the Charisma increase is great for when you need to turn on the charm.
A Sorcerer who can achieve 18 Charisma at level 1 will have an excellent start to their career.
Again, the ability to attain 18 Charisma at level 1 is useful, though the Mask of Many Faces is partially canceled out with the Changeling’s Shapechanger ability.
Final Thoughts on Changeling Race 5e
Although they lend themselves to careers based around deception and hiding, The Changeling can be a fun character to play, especially if you want to use the naturally high Charisma and shapechanging to get the most out of roleplaying a situation rather than just charging in, all swords blazing.