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Oni

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)

Creatures in "Oni" Category

NameCR
Atamahuta11
Earth Yai13
Fire Yai15
Ice Yai14
Ja Noi5
Kigyo6
Kuwa4
Najikai8
Nogitsune7
Ogre Mage8
Spirit Oni2
Void Yai20
Water Yai18
Wind Yai16
Yamabushi Tengu5

Oni, Spirit Oni

This evil-looking animated mask shows the face of a horned fiend, its eyes popping and its leering smile full of fangs.

Spirit Oni CR 2

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 209
XP 600
LE Tiny outsider (native, oni)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft., detect magic; Perception +7

Defense

AC 17, touch 16, flat-footed 13 (+4 Dex, +1 natural, +2 size)
hp 19 (3d10+3); fast healing 2
Fort +2, Ref +7, Will +4

Offense

Speed 10 ft., fly 30 ft. (good)
Melee bite +9 (1d4–2), gore +9 (1d4–2 plus poison)
Special Attacks poison
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th; concentration +8)
Constant—detect magic
At will—invisibility (self only), mage hand
1/day—command (DC 13), sleep (DC 13)
1/week—commune (CL 12th, 6 questions)

Statistics

Str 6, Dex 19, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 15
Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 13 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +7, Bluff +8, Fly +16, Knowledge (arcana) +7, Perception +7, Sense Motive +7, Spellcraft +4, Stealth +17
Languages Common
SQ mask symbiosis

Ecology

Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or rack (3–12)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Mask Symbiosis (Ex) A spirit oni can be worn as a mask by a willing Small or Medium creature. While worn in this way, the wearer can see through the oni’s eyes and speak through its mouth, although the wearer retains its own senses and voice. The spirit oni remains a separate creature, and must detach from its host’s face (as a move action) if it wishes to take any action of its own (including attacking or using a spell-like ability). While a spirit oni is worn as a mask, it grants a +2 insight bonus on its host’s Perception checks.

Poison (Ex) Gore—injury; save Fort DC 12; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d2 Cha; cure 2 consecutive saves.

Description

Most oni that emerge on the Material Plane do so into a new body of humanoid flesh, yet this is not the case for all oni. Periodically, when an evil spellcaster wishes to engage the servitude of an oni as a familiar, the result is something relatively unusual—an oni made flesh directly from its spiritual form rather than one who takes the features of a humanoid as its own.

Any lawful evil 7th-level spellcaster who takes the Improved Familiar feat can gain a spirit oni as a familiar. The ritual to gain such a familiar requires the spellcaster to craft a particularly fiendish and fierce-looking oni mask—this does not require a Craft check or any additional expenditure of gold, and is assumed to be part of the overall ritual for securing the familiar. When the ritual is complete a raw oni spirit is lured into the mask, which immediately transforms it into the animate, living creature presented here.

While the ritual binds the oni to its new master, it also robs the oni of its immediate chance to achieve a human form. As a result, spirit oni are foul-tempered and cantankerous creatures, even to their masters. They must be regularly reprimanded and disciplined, lest their jealousy and bitterness get the better of them.

When a spirit oni’s master dies, the spirit oni gains free will and the ability to make its own choices—but the spirit oni’s innate cowardice and dishonor usually prevents it from taking its own life in hopes of returning to true spirit form and then returning as a proper oni. Rather than extinguishing themselves, such masterless spirit oni seek out more powerful oni and offer their services to their superiors, in hopes that they might someday be granted a promotion from their lowly state to something more befitting their egos and desires.