Changelings are a humanoid race who are distantly descended from doppelgangers. Changelings possess a natural ability to alter their physical appearance much like their monstrous progenitor race, but are somewhat limited in the forms they can take compared to a doppelganger. That being said changelings are able to alter their height by as much as a foot growing either taller or shorter, change their physical features to appear as another humanoid race and even take on the appearance of either gender (though changelings are sexually dimorphic with clear physical differences between males and females). Changelings cannot, however, change the clothing or equipment they are wearing with their natural abilities and this is often one of the few clues that two different people may in fact be the same changeling in two forms. Able to assume many different forms at will, changelings only revert to their natural form when killed or when viewed with a true seeing spell. In their natural forms changelings resemble gray skinned humans but lack some facial definition such as nostrils or lips (though they still have noses and mouths). As noted above changelings can indeed take on the appearance of either gender but in their natural forms they are clearly either male or female.
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.
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. Many changelings also revere the shifting deity known as The Traveler, and identify with his ever-changing nature and neutral alignment.
Changelings do not have their own homelands and do not manifest dragonmarks. Most changelings blend seamlessly into the background of other cultures, preferring life in large cities and other urban areas. While rogue is the most popular class among changelings, they can take on any role, as befits their nature, and are as likely to be skilled wizards as deadly fighters. Changeling names are usually short and monosyllabic with no distinction between male and female names.