Rakshasa (Villain)

TN to Be Hit: 25

Brawn: 3
Finesse: 3
Wits: 4
Resolve: 4
Panache: 3

Attack Rolls: 6k3 Bite, 6k3 Claws
Damage Rolls: 4k2 Claws

Knacks: Ambush 4, Climbing 4, Double Attack (Claw/Claw) 4, Eye Gouge 3, Footwork 4, Grapple 4, Leaping 3, Stealth 4

Description: Rakshasas are cunning shapeshifters native to the Crescent Empire, particularly the northern mountains, where the slave warrior Dur-Kan was one of their greatest generals (though he feigned ignorance at the prophecy of the lion raised by wolves, he believed it referred in some way to the rakshasa he served). In its natural form, a rakshasa is a bipedal humanoid with thick furred, scaled, or feathered skin, a wild mane of hair (if appropriate), and facial features reminiscent of a tiger, hawk, jackal, or some other predator. They do have opposable thumbs, but their hands are oppositely jointed, with palms curling away from the body.

Rakshasa society is bound by rigid castes; each rakshasa is born into a particular role in life and cannot advance. (Rakshasas with lupine features are considered the lowest caste of rakshasa society.) Rakshasas are divided into clans, with each clan led by a rajah (lord). The rajahs are protected by ruhks (knights) who serve as bodyguards, and served by vast armies of slaves and as many as a dozen wives. Their society is entirely male dominated; females (known as rakshasi) are fit only to be consorts, honored solely by their faithfulness and the intelligence and fighting ability of their children. All rajahs owe fealty to a single maha-rajah (duke), whose harem and army far outstrip the others in size and potency.

Special Abilities: A rakshasa who successfully hits an opponent with two claw strikes (either as the result of two separate strikes or a single Double Attack) is considered to have an opponent Grappled, and may attempt a Bite attack unless the opponent breaks free. A successful bite automatically inflicts a Dramatic Wound and breaks the Grapple.

Rakshasas are insufferably arrogant. Each considers itself superior to others of its species, and especially to mere humans. All rakshasas have the Arrogant Hubris, and cannot oppose the activation of this Hubris under any circumstances. Rakshasas are seldom bothered by adverse weather, and are considered to have both the Warm Climate Conditioning and Cold Climate Conditioning Advantages. Similarly, they seem to shrug off blows that would cripple lesser creatures. When a rakshasa suffers damage, the number of Flesh Wounds inflicted is halved, unless the damage comes from a dracheneisen, sidhe, or similarly “magical” weapon. However, rakshasas are particularly vulnerable to Djinn Weapons or weapons crafted from ivory. Flesh Wounds inflicted by either of these types of weapons are doubled, rather than halved.

A rakshasa’s most potent ability allows it to “steal the soul” of any unconscious creature it encounters (whether that creature is sleeping, drugged, or Knocked Out due to injury). By standing over a victim and spending one full Round (or three consecutive Actions, spread across two Rounds) doing nothing but inhaling deeply, the rakshasa can draw in the breath from the victim’s lungs. Thereafter, the rakshasa has access to all the victim’s memories, Skills, and Knacks, and can take the shape of that individual at will, though it retains its own Traits and Hubris. While the rakshasa is in possession of a victim’s soul, the victim remains unconscious; once he is sufficiently rested or healed, he may make a contested Resolve roll with the rakshasa to draw his soul back, waking instantly and forcing the rakshasa back into its own form (a rakshasa anticipating the need for a lengthy deception will keep a victim drugged and unable to attempt such a roll). If the victim fails this roll, he may attempt another every twenty-four hours.

If the rakshasa loses this roll, or if it wishes to voluntarily release a soul it has stolen, it must spend one full Round (three Actions) coughing violently, expelling the victim’s soul as a cloud of white mist which will rapidly return to its body, allowing it to awaken. During this Round, the rakshasa is unable to attack (though it may Actively Defend itself), and its TN to be hit drops to 5. A rakshasa can only steal one soul at a time; it must release one it has already stolen before absorbing another.

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