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Oni, Kigyo

This humanoid has the lower body of a giant seahorse and a round, colorful face dominated by wide, staring eyes and hideous fangs.

Kigyo CR 6

Source Pathfinder #124: City in the Deep pg. 90
XP 2,400
LE Medium outsider (aquatic, native, oni, shapechanger)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +11


AC 19, touch 13, flat-footed 16 (+2 Dex, +1 dodge, +6 natural)
hp 66 (7d10+28); regeneration 5 (electricity or good spells)
Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +6
Immune cold; SR 17


Speed 5 ft., swim 50 ft.
Melee mwk trident +13/+8 (1d8+4)
Ranged mwk triden +11 (1d8+4)
Special Attacks grasping eddy
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th; concentration +10)
At will—invisibility (self only)
3/day—charm person (DC 13), enthrall (DC 14), hydraulic push
1/day—freedom of movement (self only)


Str 19, Dex 15, Con 18, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 14
Base Atk +7; CMB +11; CMD 24 (can't be tripped)
Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Spring Attack, Weapon Focus (trident)
Skills Bluff +12, Intimidate +12, Perception +11, Sense Motive +11, Stealth +12, Survival +11, Swim +22
Languages Aquan, Infernal
SQ amphibious, change shape (Small or Medium humanoid; alter self), trident mastery, underwater grappler


Environment any water
Organization solitary, pair, or band (3-12)
Treasure standard (mwk trident)

Special Abilities

Grasping Eddy (Su) As a standard action, a kigyo can create a powerful underwater eddy that holds its enemies in place. The oni selects a grid intersection within 30 feet on or beneath the surface of a body of water as the center of the eddy. The oni can attempt an immediate grapple combat maneuver check against any enemies within a 10-foot radius of this point, as though the targets were within its reach. As a swift action in each subsequent round the eddy remains in place, the oni can maintain the grapple on those targets caught within the eddy’s grasp (attempting a separate combat maneuver check for each target). In order to pin a target or deal damage with this effect, the oni must take a standard action as normal. The eddy persists as long as the kigyo continues to take at least a swift action on its turn to maintain a grapple. The effect immediately ends if all targets escape the eddy or if the kigyo does not spend any actions to use this ability, falls unconscious or dies, or moves more than 30 feet from the eddy’s center. The kigyo can maintain only one grasping eddy at a time.

Trident Mastery (Ex) Kigyos are experts at employing tridents as deadly weapons. The oni gains Weapon Focus (trident) as a bonus feat and treats a trident as having a range increment of 20 feet when underwater, even though throwing weapons underwater is normally ineffective for most combatants.

Underwater Grappler (Ex) Kigyos are skilled grapplers and know how to use their underwater environs to their advantage when in close combat with their foes. A kigyo gains a +4 racial bonus on grapple combat maneuver checks while it or its target is at least partially underwater. This bonus also applies to grapple combat maneuver checks the kigyo attempts while using its grasping eddy ability. The kigyo gains no bonus to its CMD against grapple attempts.


Oni are most often found in Tian Xia on the opposite side of the world from ancient Azlant, though some, such as the powerful ogre mage, have expanded their influence to include other continents including Avistan and Garund. Not all oni live on land, however, and the vengeful spirits have been known to take the form of humanoid species that dwell mostly or entirely underwater. While most oni are rare, those that take aquatic forms are scarcely ever encountered by terrestrial folk, though locathahs, merfolk, and other aquatic races are more likely to encounter these sea-dwelling oni than they are to meet ogre mages or other land-borne spirits. The most common submarine oni is the kigyo, which adopts a form resembling a corrupted parody of a merfolk.

Like merfolk, kigyos have a torso and arms, with an aquatic lower body that allows them to maneuver lithely through the water. Unlike a merfolk, however, a kigyo has a monstrous face and its body more closely resembles that of a seahorse.

A typical kigyo is 7 feet long from its head to the tip of its curved tail and weighs 190 pounds.


As with many types of oni, kigyos are hateful, vengeful creatures that prey upon mortals not out of necessity but out of spite and malice. Kigyos enjoy seeing their victims drown, and they are said to be drawn to the sites of shipwrecks or tragic deaths at sea where mortals met their end in the unforgiving ocean. While this may not be true, plenty of kigyos have been the cause of such deaths, either in combat or by manipulating their victims into dangerous situations from which they could not escape. Kigyos have the ability to create powerful underwater currents that swirl in tight eddies, latching on to multiple creatures and holding them in place until they either drown or fall victim to the oni’s other attacks.

In the same way that a kigyo draws a sense of accomplishment from drowning a victim, it also feels a sense of superiority at making an enemy willingly give up something of incredible value in exchange for its life or that of a loved one. To oni, life and mortality are foreign concepts, and they can derive only so much pleasure out of seeing a living creature’s essence snuffed out by death. As jealous and possessive beings, however, kigyos can more easily comprehend the sacrifice of giving up something other than one’s life. Many kigyos develop obsessions with a single type of ransom they demand, such as firstborn children, spouses, a victim’s reproductive or sensory organs or lungs, or even (in rare cases) pure material wealth. Those who hunt kigyos or research kigyo activity across the world can sometimes follow a single oni from nation to nation and from ocean to ocean by the specifics of what it demands of its victims. Thus have specific kigyos developed almost mythic status while victims across both distance and time suffer the same sadistic fate at the oni’s hands.

Habitat and Society

Kigyos rarely congregate with others of their kind, preferring instead solitary lives in the forms of aquatic elves, gillman, locathahs, merfolk, or other aquatic or shore-dwelling humanoids. In these forms, kigyos attempt to seduce unsuspecting mortals, and trick them into bringing the oni—who usually pretend to be castaways or injured victims—onto their vessels or into their seaside communities. Once in these societies, kigyos bed unsuspecting mortals who take pity on them and then abscond with items of value while their partners are sleeping. After amassing particularly valuable or numerous prizes, a kigyo reveals itself to its victims and demands a ransom of something far more precious for the items’ return.

Like all oni, kigyos are filled with hatred, especially for their uncorrupted kami counterparts. Kigyos see suijins in particular as contemptible, and they are known to form elaborate hunting parties to seek out the benevolent nature spirits and destroy them and the untainted waters they protect. These raiding bands constitute the few large groups of kigyos on Golarion, and they can present deadly threats to those who encounter them, be they kami or other creatures. The oni fight tactically in tandem, half of the kigyos using their grasping eddy abilities to hold their foes in place while the other half surround and stab at them with their tridents. Even when encountered alone, a kigyo presents a formidable challenge to even the most adept underwater fighters, as it can hold an entire party in one of its powerful whirlpools, reducing its foes’ ability to conduct their own group fighting tactics.

Creatures in "Oni" Category

Earth Yai13
Fire Yai15
Ice Yai14
Ja Noi5
Ogre Mage8
Spirit Oni2
Void Yai20
Water Yai18
Wind Yai16
Yamabushi Tengu5


Source Bestiary 3 pg. 205
Oni are a race of evil spirits, native to the Material Plane, that manifest physical bodies based upon the shapes and desires of humanoid mortals. In pure spirit form, an oni is nothing but a disembodied evil longing for the sins of the flesh. In this form, oni are harmless and invisible. The majority of these bodiless oni were once kami who failed their wards, or more often, who deliberately abandoned them. As punishment, they were stripped of their ability to form a physical body and then cast into the void. Rarely, a mortal creature's soul can become a disembodied oni upon death, or in even rarer cases, after a truly evil individual has undergone a particularly vile ritual that ends in suicide. These oni are more often destined for positions of great power and strength than most.

Eventually, an oni's spirit manifests a physical body on the Material Plane. The methods by which this may occur vary, but the process generally takes place in areas already despoiled by sin, tragedy, or cruelty. The type of oni a spirit transforms into is influenced by a wide variety of variables, ranging from the nature of what the oni spirit was before to the location where it is reborn into the realm of flesh and blood. Once an oni manifests its physical body, that body becomes its true form for the rest of its life—all oni are shapechangers, but this original form is the form in which they are born and the form they revert to upon death.

An oni's true form is always similar to that of a specific type of humanoid, save that it is always deformed and monstrous to look upon. Tusks, additional eyes, or strangely colored skin are common physical attributes. Yet while they have hideous forms, all oni are capable of changing their shape to assume forms more pleasant to the civilized eye. The type of shapes an oni can assume depend upon its species, but all can transform into some form of humanoid. Oni use this ability to infiltrate humanoid societies, either to prey upon the weak or to rule them in disguise.

In order to understand oni, it is important to consider that most of these beings were once spirits tasked with protecting a material realm they now believe is undeserving of such care and concern—indeed, the physical world is to be dominated and consumed. They arrive in physical form starved for sensory experience, and never fully sate their desire to gorge on such experiences. Most oni seek to attain positions of leadership and power, often in the guise of a normal humanoid, in order to secure a never-ending supply of sensory experiences. It is also important to understand that oni's immoderation is also motivated by their corrupted and evil natures—that is, no pleasure is more enjoyable than one that deprives or wounds another.

Oni retain their hatred of the kami upon reentering the Material Plane as physical creatures, and often their depredations and violations of the world can be directly tied to their efforts to destroy kami or the kami's works. Oni tend not to congregate with others of their kind, being most comfortable in positions of leadership over enslaved or oppressed societies populated by humanoids they can masquerade as. Yet, at times, particularly powerful oni abandon this mindset and instead gather to their side entire legions of oni drawn from all types. The oni known collectively as the yai—oni with an affinity for true giants—are most often responsible for such actions, and when a yai builds such an army of oni, the humanoid lands shake with terror.

Theoretically, as many types of oni exist as there are types of humanoids, although in reality, certain types of oni are much more populous than others. The ogre mage, an oni associated with ogres, is the best-known and most commonly encountered type of oni, for reasons that still send scholars of oni lore into spiraling arguments with seemingly no end. Beyond the oni detailed on the following pages, the atamahuta (ettins), ja noi (hobgoblins), nogitsune (kitsune), and wind yai (cloud giants) are relatively well known. Oni with associations to bugbears, great cyclopes, stone giants, trolls, troglodytes, and other races exist as well. And above even the mighty void yai there exist the oni demigods—entities of nearly incomprehensible power known as the oni daimyo.

Known Oni Daimyo

Countless oni stalk the world, slaking their greed and bloodlust to the misery of humanoids. The great leaders among the oni, beings known as daimyo, are as numerous as the nations of the world, and all oni seek to climb the rungs of power to become such powerful entities. The following list includes oni daimyo that have power in ways that make them known and feared outside their own domains. Most of these nefarious oni command armies or control points through which other oni can enter the world.
  • Akuma, the Horned King (ogre mage)
  • Chimon, Hunter of Blood (ogre mage)
  • Guyuku, the Sea Devil (water oni)
  • Inma, Empress of the World (void oni)
  • Muronna, the Dark Mother (ogre mage)
  • Nataka, the Red King (fire oni)
  • Onmyuza, Dancer in Flesh (ogre mage)
  • Ushitora, Keeper of the Oni Gate (void oni)
  • Uzumae, Daimyo of the North (kuwa oni)
  • Yabu, Lord of the Kazan Caldera (fire oni)