Innate Spellcasting. The men-shen’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 13). The oni can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
- At will: darkness, eldritch blast (5th level), invisibility
- 1/day each: astral projection (as the spell except that the men-shen’s physical body is transported as well), banishing smite, charm person, gaseous form, greater invisibility, sleep
ESP. The men-shen can sense the presence and location of any creature within 30 feet of it that has an Intelligence of 3 or higher, regardless of interposing barriers, unless the creature is protected by a mind blank spell. Any creature that it detects using ESP can not surprise it. It otherwise acts as the detect thoughts spell.
Magic Weapons. The men-shen’s weapon attacks are magical.
Regeneration. The men-shen regains 10 hit points at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hit point.
Special Equipment – +4 Nodachi. The men-shen’s magical greatsword is +4 on attack and damage rolls, but must return daily to the Celestial Court to retain their potency. Each day spent away from these realms causes the sword to lose 1 point from its bonus until it becomes a masterwork weapon (nonmagical weapon that does +1 damage).
Spell Resistance. If the men-shen is subjected to a magical effect that allows him to make a saving throw to take only half damage, the men-shen instead takes no damage if he succeeds on the saving throw, and only half damage if he fails.
Ward – Doorway. Each kami is mystically bound to a natural feature — small spirits to a branch, small stone, or stream, medium spirits to a tree, flower, rock, or bamboo grove, and large spirits to a mountain, boulder, ancient tree, or small island. The men-shen cannot stray more than 300 yards from the doorway or locale it is guarding. If it does, it becomes ill and dies within 24 hours. If the feature to which it is bound is destroyed, the nature spirit dies. Animal kami can move around freely as they essentially fuse with their animal ward permanently.
Exception: A kami may move anywhere within the same natural feature its ward resides in. For example, a men-shen could move anywhere in the same building that its ward is affixed to or resides in even if it is more than 300 yards away.
Multiattack. The men-shen may use Terror then makes two attacks with its Nodachi.
+4 Nodachi. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (2d10 + 8) slashing damage, or 13 (1d10 + 8) slashing damage in Small or Medium form.
Terror. The men-shen targets one creature it can see within 60 feet of it. If the target can see the men-shen, it must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw against this magic or become frightened until the end of the men-shen’s next turn. If the target fails the saving throw by 5 or more, it is also paralyzed for the same duration. If the target is actually trying to illegally enter a place guarded by the men-shen it has disadvantage on the saving throw. A target that succeeds on the saving throw is immune to the Terror of all men-shen (but not men-shen lords) for the next 24 hours.
Change Shape. The men-shen magically polymorphs into a Small or Medium humanoid, into a Large giant, or back into its true form. Other than its size, its statistics are the same in each form. The only equipment that is transformed is its +4 nodachi, which shrinks so that it can be wielded in humanoid form. If the men-shen dies, it reverts to its true form, and its nodachi reverts to its normal size.
Men-shen are guardian spirits, assigned by those they serve to protect a place or person against intruders, evil spirits, or whatever else is named. They appear as florid-faced humans of great size, dressed in the regalia of an army general. Each carries a large red sword. They are able to speak the languages of all men and the language of the Celestial Court. They are sometimes assigned by the Celestial Emperor to specific tasks, but are more often invoked or summoned by mortals. Their guardian duties normally only extend from dusk to dawn. They will faithfully discharge their duties unto death.
The first men-shen were originally famous generals of a good emperor. When he fell ill due to the nightly visits of an evil dragon, these generals volunteered to stand watch at his door. For several nights nothing hap- pened, yet they never deserted their posts or slept. Finally, the emperor, concerned for his generals, ordered paintings of the two done on the door posts. So effective had been their vigilance that even the paintings served to frighten the dragon away. Now the two reside in the Celestial Palace, supervising the activities of all men-shen. So were they rewarded for their loyalty and faithfulness. Since that time, mortals have painted the images of men-shen on the doorposts of houses in hopes of frightening away evil spirits. There is a 5% chance that any painted image of a men-shen will be occupied by a men-shen.
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