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Tikbalang

Tikbalangs are forest creatures that delight in leading travelers astray. They deceive and mislead with their formidable magic, leaping from tree to tree while laughing, or neighing, uncontrollably. While not malicious, neither are they empathetic to the plight of their victims. They would sooner forget about those whom they have played tricks on and leave them to die than lead them back to their intended path through guilty altruism.

A tikbalang's occult magic stems from the esoteric mystery of believing the lie. In the moment of crafting illusions or conjuring extradimensional spaces, the tikbalang themself believes that what they are creating is real. This makes their spells harder to resist, and this same principle also makes them very effective liars. But this readiness to believe also makes them susceptible to deceptions and illusions in turn, and they are particularly vulnerable to mind games. Lone travelers without magic of their own often learn riddles, sleight of hand, or other tricks to defend against a tikbalang's oft-deadly entertainment. Other whispers suggest wearing one's shirt inside-out to confuse the creatures, or passing by a tikbalang's forest quietly to avoid drawing their attention.

Unlike most illusionists, tikbalangs can also rely on their physical prowess should the need arise. They have unusually long legs that end in cloven hooves, and they stand as tall as ogres when upright. Skilled climbers and leapers, they are also well known for being master wrestlers, where their long limbs put them at a distinct advantage over their foes. They have elongated faces that, when combined with their well-kempt hair, suggest an equine appearance—although some tikbalangs have saurian or birdlike faces instead.

Recall Knowledge - Beast (Arcana, Nature): DC 28

TikbalangCreature 9

UncommonCNLargeAmphibiousBeast
Source Bestiary 3 pg. 267
Perception +16; low-light vision
Languages Common, Sylvan
Skills Athletics +20 (+22 to Grapple), Deception +21, Nature +14, Stealth +17, Survival +16
Str +5, Dex +4, Con +4, Int -1, Wis +3, Cha +6
AC 27; Fort +19, Ref +17, Will +14
HP 197; Weaknesses mental 10
Believe the Lie The tikbalang takes a –2 circumstance penalty to saves against illusion spells, and to their Will DC against checks to Lie to them.
Speed 30 feet
Melee Single ActionSingle Action fist +20 [+16/+12] (agile), Damage 2d6+8 bludgeoningMelee Single ActionSingle Action hoof +20 [+15/+10] (reach 10 feet), Damage 2d10+8 bludgeoningOccult Innate Spells DC 29; 8th maze (once per week); 4th hallucinatory terrain, hypnotic pattern
Change Shape Single ActionSingle Action (concentrate, occult, polymorph, transmutation) The tikbalang takes on the appearance of any Medium or Large humanoid. This doesn't change the tikbalang's Speed or their attack and damage modifiers with their Strikes.Flailing Thrash Two ActionsTwo Actions The tikbalang makes two fist Strikes, with each Strike dealing an extra 1d6 damage against creatures grabbing or grabbed by the tikbalang. The multiple attack penalty doesn't increase until after both attacks.Unnatural Leap Single ActionSingle Action The tikbalang jumps up to their Speed horizontally, or half that vertically

Sidebar - Treasure and Rewards Golden Strand

Why do adventurers go through the trouble of wrestling a tikbalang? Hidden among the luxurious, ebony mane of the creature is a single strand of golden hair. Anyone who successfully Grabs the tikbalang can Seek (DC 29) the strand and Interact to pluck it from their head. Made of actual gold, this strand (worth 150 gp) holds magic particularly well and is highly sought after for creating magic items. A tikbalang regrows their plucked golden strand in a year.