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Oni, Yamabushi Tengu

This humanoid creature has a fearsome mien, with a cruel red face, glaring yellow eyes, a prodigious nose, and large ravenlike wings.

Yamabushi Tengu CR 5

Source Pathfinder #49: The Brinewall Legacy pg. 88
XP 1,600
LE Medium outsider (native, oni, shapechanger, tengu)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, see invisibility; Perception +15


AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 14 (+2 armor, +4 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 57 (6d10+24); regeneration 2 (fire or acid)
Fort +9, Ref +9, Will +4; –2 vs. illusion (pattern) spells
SR 16
Weaknesses susceptible to patterns


Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft. (average)
Melee +1 kusarigama +10/+5 (1d6+4/×3), bite +3 (1d4+1)
Ranged composite longbow +10/+5 (1d8+2/×3)
Special Attacks steal voice
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th; concentration +8)
Constant—see invisibility, ventriloquism (DC 14)
3/day—dimension door, hideous laughter (DC 15), ray of enfeeblement (DC 14), scorching ray
1/day—blur, glitterdust (DC 15)


Str 15, Dex 19, Con 18, Int 12, Wis 15, Cha 16
Base Atk +6; CMB +8; CMD 22
Feats Combat Casting, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative
Skills Acrobatics +13, Bluff +12, Disguise +12, Fly +13, Knowledge (planes) +10, Perception +15, Stealth +13; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception
Languages Common, Tengu, Tien
SQ change shape (Medium humanoid, alter self ), yamabushi weapons
Gear leather armor


Environment temperate mountains
Organization solitary, pair, or patrol (1–2 plus 3–8 tengus or dire corbies)
Treasure double (leather armor, +1 kusarigama, composite longbow [+2 Str] with 20 arrows, other treasure)

Special Abilities

Yamabushi Weapons (Ex) A yamabushi tengu is proficient with all monk weapons and all swordlike weapons (including katanas and wakizashi), and gains a +1 bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls with such weapons. Yamabushi tengus who do not use swords favor the kusarigama.

Steal Voice (Su) Up to three times per day, but no more than once per target, a yamabushi tengu can attempt to steal a victim’s voice as part of its bite attack. When it does so, the creature bitten must make a DC 16 Will save or lose the ability to speak aloud. This prevents the use of any spell with verbal components and the use of command-word- activated magic items, among other difficulties. The yamabushi tengu’s voice changes to match the one stolen. The victim’s voice remains stolen until the oni steals another voice, until the oni agrees to give the stolen voice back (a standard action requiring the oni to touch the victim), or until the next sunrise. Any effect that removes curses (such as remove curse or break enchantment) can restore a stolen voice (DC for success equals the save DC of the steal voice ability—DC 16 for most yamabushi tengu), as does the death of the oni who stole the voice in the first place. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Susceptible to Patterns (Ex) A yamabushi tengu takes a –2 penalty on all saving throws against illusion spells of the pattern subschool. For 1 round after a yamabushi tengu either makes a successful save against a pattern or recovers from the effects of a pattern, it is dazzled.


Yamabushi tengus are oni with a predilection toward thievery and trickery, wearing the flesh of wicked, fiendish tengus. When a yamabushi tengu first appears, its first course of action is invariably to seek out a well-hidden nest or other nook to serve as a lair. Despite their ability to fly, most yamabushi tengus are nervous in open areas, since it’s easy to be seen in such environs. A yamabushi tengu is more at home indoors or at night, where it can skulk in the shadows when it’s unsure of its surroundings.

A yamabushi tengu is 5 feet tall and weighs 120 pounds.


While most yamabushi tengus look like normal tengus, they can actually manifest in a number of humanoid bird shapes. Ravens and crows are the most common model which these creatures take their appearance from, yet tales exist of yamabushi tengus with features more akin to cranes, eagles, peacocks, gulls, vultures, and even pelicans. Only the features of ducks and other billed avians (like geese) are notably absent from yamabushi tengus. In fact, yamabushi tengus have a strange loathing for ducks—they find these birds to be a mix of comic tragedy and pitiful hideousness, from the blunt shape of their bills to their distinctive gait and their warbling quacks. The presence of a duck can often provoke even the most restrained and crafty yamabushi tengu into making poor choices: faced with choosing between attacking a truly dangerous foe or using their weapons and magic against a nearby duck, most yamabushi tengus make the choice to kill the duck, even if such an act might compromise their position to their actual enemy.

Habitat & Society

Yamabushi tengus are driven by greed, particularly for shiny treasures like coins, jewels, gems, and polished weapons. Many extend this obsession to clothing (favoring brightly colored silks) and armor (preferring light armor over medium or heavy armor). Most of what a yamabushi tengu plots or plans can be traced to a desire to gather as much shiny treasure as possible, but they are also especially entranced and intrigued by avian humanoids—particularly tengus, dire corbies (see Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Misfit Monsters Redeemed) and garudas (see Pathfinder Module: Cult of the Ebon Destroyers). Yamabushi tengus share the most in common with tengus, of course, for it is from these creatures that the oni take their forms. Dire corbies and garudas, being non-humanoid monsters (monstrous humanoids and outsiders respectively) are in strange ways both similar and quite different from tengus, and as such yamabushi tengus find them endlessly fascinating. In the case of dire corbies, the creatures’ feral natures, xenophobic personalities, and overall lack of civilization make them ideal groups for a yamabushi tengu to infiltrate and take control of—although in most cases, a yamabushi tengu who infiltrates a dire corby flock eventually grows tired of the crude creatures and moves on. Garudas are more difficult for yamabushi tengus to interact with, for these outsiders are generally good. Encounters between garudas and yamabushi tengus almost always end in combat, typically with the more powerful garuda the victor. As a result, when confronted by a garuda, most yamabushi tengus choose subtlety over direct confrontation. In a best-case scenario, a yamabushi tengu’s minions or allies capture and restrain the garuda, giving the yamabushi tengu ample opportunity to interrogate or even vivisect the garuda prisoner.

Most yamabushi tengus, though, find greatest comfort dwelling among thieves’ guilds—particularly among those populated by tengus, in which case a yamabushi tengu appears in its natural form, using its wings as an obvious badge of superiority over its f lightless tengu kin. Among thieves of other races (such as humans), a yamabushi tengu prefers to stay in its humanoid form. However, when a yamabushi tengu assumes the form of anything other than a tengu, its true nature is difficult for it to hide, for invariably the shapechanged oni’s nose remains quite prodigious, usually to an almost comical degree. Strangely enough, however, yamabushi tengus generally don’t think of their unusual noses as flaws in their magical disguises. A yamabushi tengu can also retain its wings when using its change shape ability, and these pinions, as well as its beaklike nose, are a sure way to tell a disguised yamabushi tengu apart from others.

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)