Changelings are a player race in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th editions of Dungeons & Dragons. They are an exclusive race to the Eberron campaign setting being first featured in the Eberron Campaign Setting book in 2004. Changelings are a humanoid race who are distantly descended from doppelgangers and share their shapeshifting qualities. Their shapeshifting has led to them being used as spies and assassins which has, in turn, led to them being mistrusted amongst the people of Khorvaire.

Anyone, anywhere, hidden in plain sight

Changelings are subtle shapeshifters capable of disguising their appearance, making them consummate spies and criminals.

Personality[edit | edit source]

Changelings are commonly harmless, passive people and are uninterested in politics and social affairs. Due to their capricious ways of life, many people have come to distrust changelings which has led to them becoming social recluses or more commonly has pushed them to create fake identities to escape persecution.

Having no culture of their own, changelings slip into other's societies and blend in. Rather than creating their own art and achievements, changelings are happy with claiming other societies' as their own. This nomadic lifestyle has led changelings to become exceptionally adaptable people. Changelings will not simply shapeshift into a new person but rather create a new whole one. Most changelings will set up a handful of personas so if one is compromised they can disappear and switch to one of their others. Their personas are incredibly realistic and have their own personality traits, backgrounds, and a network of friends. Changelings can be evasive and will often try to avoid confrontation or anything that will draw attention to themselves.

Description[edit | edit source]

A male presenting and a female presenting changeling.

Changelings can look like anyone at any given time though they do have a true form. Their natural look can be scary to some due to their lack of detail and distinctive features. Their skin tone is always pale, the darkest tone some have is a light grey. They have large colorless eyes and are circled by thick black rings. Their noses are small and subtle with no detail.

The changeling's body structures are slender, even more so than elves and border on being frail. Their hair color is most commonly a light shade of silver followed by platinum and blonde. In rarer cases, their hair can be pale shades of green, pink, and blue. Also similar to elves, changelings lack body and facial hair.

Lifespan[edit | edit source]

Changelings reach maturity slightly faster than humans and live as long as humans do; typically about 100 years.

Alignment[edit | edit source]

Most changelings are neutral. They prefer to keep a low profile and often do not take passionate stances that would draw attention. However, changelings can be any alignment, and often readily adapt to the culture they are raised in.

Gifted or Cursed[edit | edit source]

Changelings have long been persecuted by other races, seen at best as tricksters and con-artists, at worst as thieves and assassins. Many people find it hard to trust changelings, and while their talents make them natural spies and criminals, in reality, a changeling is just as likely as any creature to turn to good or evil. Some changelings work hard to remove this stigma, but each time a changeling is caught robbing from a wealthy merchant or sneaking about where they are not welcome, it only perpetuates the stereotype.

Wary and Deliberate[edit | edit source]

In general, changelings are prudent and cautious, preferring to take risks only when they feel that their chances are good or the payoff is worth it. They appreciate the finer things in life and take great pleasure in the comforts of a wealthy lifestyle when they can obtain it. They avoid direct confrontation, preferring stealthy strikes and hasty retreats whenever possible. In conversation, they are soft-spoken but have a gift for drawing out more information than the other party usually plans to reveal.

Searchers[edit | edit source]

Without a longstanding history or home of their own, changelings have a natural curiosity about the cultures of other races. Many strike out as adventurers to learn (and adopt) as much as they can.

Changeling Names[edit | edit source]

All changeling names are unisex and are very short, usually one syllable.

Example Names: Bin, Dox, Fie, Hars, Jin, Lam, Nit, Ot, Paik, Ruz, Sim, Cas, Toox, Yog.

Naturally Deceptive[edit | edit source]

Changelings' inborn abilities leave them uniquely suited to professions that rely on subterfuge or disguise.

Assassins Changeling assassins, thieves, and spies avoid detection by adopting the form of an unassuming commoner or trusted ally to get close to a target.
Performers Due to the persecution and mistrust of their race, many famous changeling performers (such as actors and acrobats) keep their true form hidden from their audience at all times.
Diplomats Changelings have a gift for languages and are quick to pick up the social cues and manners of other cultures.

Changelings in Eberron[edit | edit source]

Virtually all changelings take up one of three philosophical beliefs when it comes to their mutable forms and these philosophies guide many aspects of a changeling's day-to-day life.

Passers are changelings who wish to fit in with conventional society and live life in only one form or at the least suppress their shape-changing abilities to better fit in with those around them. Other changelings will often view passers with contempt and use slang words such as "pretender" or "actor" to mock them.
Becomers believe that to be a changeling is to possess many different shapes and often different identities and lives altogether. A becomer takes the concept of a dual life to a whole new degree and some will successfully live as several "different people" for many years.
Seekers or "reality seekers" are convinced that a great truth exists which only the changelings can discover; they suppress their shapechanging abilities even more than passers and prefer to live or socialize with other changelings.

Changelings do not manifest dragonmarks.

Sarlona[edit | edit source]

The changelings of Riedra experience far more respect than those that inhabit Khorvaire due to them being embraced by the Inspired. Any hopeful changeling can make their way to Riedra in search of acceptance - however, it comes at the price of losing ones' individuality as Riedran changelings are specifically tutored on how to relinquish all sense of individuality so that they may further serve the Inspired.

Riedran changelings are invariably drawn into the service of either the Thousand Eyes or Iron Gate and most are deeply loyal. Due to their devoted service to the Inspired, changelings are feared and distrusted in the other lands of Sarlona. This devotion is often exploited by the changelings who serve the Inspired's enemies. The dragons of Argonnessen, for example, use changelings to infiltrate the ranks of the Inspired and other nations often find changeling agents are better suited for operations in Riedra.

5e Rendition[edit | edit source]

Changelings do not build cities of their own, but live among humans, goblinoids, or other races, blending in among them and living in their shadow. They are most commonly found in large cities, where they form the backbone of the criminal underworld, though many find more respectable work as entertainers, government agents, and sometimes adventurers. Even in large cities, they do not cluster into extremely large groups. A changeling “clan” is actually a voluntary association of changelings grouped together for mutual protection rather than a group of blood relatives. Clan heads govern by the consent of the clan, and this position tends to change hands frequently. Bosses maintain order and help organize the clan for common purposes.

History[edit | edit source]

Due to their nature, changelings do not have much recorded history. It is thought that they are the result of interbreeding between humans and doppelgangers.

During the Last War, changelings were often employed as spies and assassins, only reinforcing the stigma most other races show towards them to the present day.

Religion[edit | edit source]

Many changeling revere The Traveler of the Dark Six; others seek out their own philosophies. Many changelings follow a religion simply to make their disguise more realistic. 

Notable Changeling[edit | edit source]

Prestige Classes[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

In 3.5e, "changeling" refers to the PC race of distant descent from doppelgangers, the latter being a more monstrous and powerful race which is thus generally not playable. They first appeared in the Eberron Campaign Setting.

In 4th edition, the words "changeling" and "doppelganger" have the same meaning, though the latter carries a more negative connotation.

In 5th edition, changelings originated first, and doppelgangers are believed to be changelings who were twisted by the Daelkyr.

References[edit | edit source]

Civilized Races: Changeling | Drow | Dwarf | Elf | Gnome | Goblin | Half-Elf | Half-Orc | Halfling | Hobgoblin | Human | Kalashtar | Orc | Shifter | Warforged
Monstrous Races: Armand | Asherati | Bhuka | Doppelganger | Dragon | Dragonborn | Gnoll | Kobold | Lizardfolk | Medusa | Sahuagin | Shulassakar | Thri-kreen | Yuan-Ti
Outsiders: Aasimar | Angel | Archon | Daelkyr | Demon | Devil | Elemental | Genie | Githyanki | Githzerai | Inevitable | Mephit | Quori | Slaad | Tiefling
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