Deep Dive-The Rakshasa

Rakshasa is an interesting creature. They are included in every issue ofDungeons and Dragonsthat has evolved over the years. We don’t meet them very often, and that’s a pity, because they are among the creatures that have endless possibilities to play with them.

The Rakshasa are mythical demons of the Hindu religion. Created by Brahma, the Hindu god of creation, Rakshasa immediately turned to his creator and began to eat him. Vishnu was the first god to help Brahma and Rakshasa was banished to earth. In the Hindu religion they were depicted as fierce and enormous creatures with two canines and sharp nails in the shape of claws. Those big, mean creatures who love human flesh and are called ogres. Some Rakshasa were so ferocious that they were set on fire with eyes and red hair and drank the blood of their victims with their hands or from a human skull. They could fly, disappear and master the power of illusion, allowing them to change size at will and become the creature they wanted. The women of Rakshasa were known as Rakshasa, and they used their power of illusion to transform themselves into beautiful women who seduced their victims. Later the Rakshasa were incorporated into the Buddhist religion.

One more thing about the Rakshasa before we start… They have some of the best illustrations of all the editions of all the creatures for which we have made deep dives… which doesn’t raise the bar very high.

OD&D – Rakshasa (Demons of India)

Booking class: –5
Movement: 18/36
Positive results: 200
Magical power: (see below)
Combat power: 15. Level
Psionic power: Class 6

Rakshasa was first introduced in 1975 in the official TSR newsletter,Strategic Review No… 5. The first addition to the Rakshasa was Annex IV to:. Gods, demigods and heroes (1976)and there are several big differences between them.

They are somewhat weaker on the mailing list, although they do point out that they can cast magical and clerical spells, that they are not subject to level 8 or lower spells, and that they have the ability of ESP to confuse and cast their prey unprepared. Annex IV does not mention these abilities, but says that they are so powerful that even the gods fear them, and that they have these abilities: , to fight invisibly except against the gods, to regenerate like a troll, to thirst for the taste of human flesh, and to not be able to give up the game. I’m not sure that the inability to give up the game is a force, but it is one!

This is our first look at the Rakshasa, and it’s clear they’ll be complete scum. They fight against the gods, restore health, eat people and can change their shape! It is the ability to change shape that makes the Rakshasa a truly destructive creature. Shape Shift in OD&D is an incredibly powerful level 9 magic user spell that allows you to take the shape of any creature and you can change shape multiple times while under the spell.

The example in the description of an OD&D spell makes it possible to know the power of the spell, but it is not crazy enough. Suppose you and your army fall on Rakshasa. As a level 15 fighter he can easily beat you, but since there are so many of you, Rakshasa can become a spectator. When the owner of Rakshasa starts destroying your army, gather the troops and attack the creature. Then Rakshasa can turn into a dragon and fly over your troops. Before you get the chance to spread your troops, the dragon Rakshasa dives in with bombs, and with his fiery breath he’s a waste of time for the rest of your army. For fun, Rakshasa’s dragon can turn into a huge rock and crush all survivors. Rakshasa is a real asshole, and he’s probably the kind of person who doesn’t remember explosions when he leaves them in silence.

Although most gods have the ability to change shapes, you can’t even imagine what these crazy battles look like.

AD&D – Rakshasa

Frequency: Very rare for rare
No Appears: 1-4
Reservation class: -4
Movement: 15
Success dice: 7
% in protocol: 25%
Treasury: F
Attack number: 3
Special attacks: See
Special protective equipment:below See
Magical resistance:. See
Courier service:below. Very
Orientation: Straight outlet
Size: M
Version capacity: Zero

Sample guide, 1977 TSR Inc.

The Rakshas was introduced in the Monster Control Manual(1977)and contains the same information as in Strategic ReviewNo. 5for OD&D. This means that while they are still strong, they are far from being the terrible demon gods they once were. Although the gods are no longer afraid of these creatures, you and your party must be very careful.

The first line of his description is extremely expressive and should appeal to most dungeon masters. It starts with… these evil spirits, wrapped in flesh, spread out… keep telling you how much they love human flesh, that they have ESP and are masters of illusion. The animal guide does not mention their physical characteristics, although there is a picture of a tiger that can probably walk on two legs. This cool cat sits at the table, burns incense and lights a long pipe. This gives the Rakshasa a feeling of freshness, although it is an interesting choice because, according to Hindustani myths, Rakshasa does not have a uniform physical appearance.

Dragon magazine № 84, 1984 TSR Inc.

Dragon Magazine #84 (1984)published an article about the history of the Rakshasa, as well as strategies and two more Rakshasa in case one of them in the Pets Guide isn’t enough to kill your group. The image they give you looks more like a monkey with claws sewn with poison. Next, the article and the animal guide describe how the Rakshasa will use the power of the PSE to confuse his prey and attack the weakest… which is good, because there’s not much to say about the Rakshasa’s physical attacks.

Rakshasa gets three attacks per turn, but her melee attacks consist only of claws and a bite. You can cast spells, but only mage users can do so up to levels 3 and 1. Although it is rather disappointing that their attacks are so weak, they are more than just makeup in their defense. With -4 AC, which brings Rakshasa to the same level as the great demons, it is incredibly difficult to beat -4 AC in AD&D. Worse, attacks with non-agic weapons are useless, and a magic weapon with less than +3 will only do half the damage.

Our user magician, who’s behind all this with his d4 bones, may think it’s time they shine. Maybe they realize it’s not the enemy who solves the fireball, they take out the spell book and decide it’s time to take out the big guns and throwat Rakshasa,collapses. Unfortunately, the spell is useless because the creature of the tiger devil doesn’t care. Spells below level 8 have no effect on the Rakshasa, which means that all Ecclesiastes and Druids spells have no effect. I hope they have very good magic weapons.

The pastor who is an underestimated and undervalued member of the party has a silver bullet to save our friends, and it is a simple levelBlessingspell. The strangely accurate description in the AD&D Monster Handbook says that crossbow arrows blessed by a priest will kill Rakshasa, probably with a single blow. The spell has nothing to do with the attacks, but for some reason it works.

2nd – Rakshasa

Climate/training: Tropical or subtropical forest, primeval forest or marsh
Frequency: Rare organization
: Single activity cycle
: Night
Power supply: Carnivore
Treasury: F
Courier service: Usually: Very (11-12)
Orientation: Legal no.
Appears: 1-4
Reservation class: -4
Movement: 15
Dice: 7
THAC0 : 13
Attack number: 3
Damage/attack: 1-3/1-3/2-5
Special attacks: Illusion
Special protection: +1 or better magic weapon to hit
Magic resistance: Special
Size: M 6 inches high
Moral: Champion(15-16)
XP value: 3,000

Monstrous Compendium, Volume I, 1989 TSR Inc.

Published in theMonstrous Compendium Volume 1 (1989) and again in the Monstrous Manual (1993), the second editionRakshasa develops the Rakshasa in much more detail about its appearance, ecology and possibilities. We’re also getting three other Rakshasa’s with different powers… …although none of these Rakshasa’s are the creatures you want to contact.

Although the introductory paragraph states that no one knows where they come from, it is assumed that they are… the embodiment of nightmares. Normally our nightmares don’t consist of pipe-smoking demons, but if they did, it would certainly be scary. We have received additional information about their physical characteristics, namely that Rakshasa does not have homogeneous characteristics, although they are most similar to various humanoid animals, mostly tigers or monkeys. In addition, most of them are between 1.80 and 1.80 m tall, often have hands with their palms bent backwards, and the strongest rakshaki have multiple heads. Do they also prefer to wear human clothing of the highest quality, look down on you and even joke about your appearance?

Sample guide, 1993 TSR Inc.

The only problem we have with his description is that there are not many reasons why his palms bend back and no legend or story explains why his palms do (L. Ron Hubbard). We suppose it could be the drug they were smoking at the time, but maybe it was just an artistic decision to make them not just look like Veretigers.

The Rakshasa are no longer described as lonely tramps, but as part of a very strict caste system in which you were born – and in which you will remain throughout your existence. Of course, women, as wives, are stuck to the bottom and are only honoured for their loyalty and their ability to fight with their children, which of course is absurd. Above them are ordinary Rakshasa men, with the same statistics as Rakshasa women. A higher level are the hands, also called knights, led by the Rajas, also called Lords, who act as clan leaders. The highest ranks are those of the Maharajahs, who control several small clans or a really powerful clan. What really counts is the fact that, since they are spirits that inhabit the flesh, they are welcomed into their ranks every century with the same number of Rakshasa who have died, which usually makes them immortal in one way or another.

Fighting skills do not change too much, because they put their victims to the test mainly through ESP and illusions. Their point-blank attacks are still pretty weak, but they still have the ability to cast spells. The higher the caste system, the more powerful the spells you can cast. All of Master Rakshasa’s spells can be cast by a level 3 wizard and a level 1 priest, while Maharaja’s more powerful spells can be cast by a level 7 wizard and a level 5 priest.

Not too hoarse once you start fighting the Rakshasa at a higher level, although even those underneath are still immune to weapons and non-magical spells at level 8 or below. On the other hand, no matter how strong they are, if you hit them with a blessed crossbow arrow, they will be killed on the spot.

Overall, little has changed for our common Rakshasa. But with the introduction of three new great Rakshasa, you may have to avoid encountering a clan fortress. Either that, or it goes really fast.

3rd/3.5e – Rakshasa

Dimensions/type: Middle outsider (native)
Dice of success: 7d8+21 (52 HP)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 40 ft. (8 boxes)
Armament class: 21 (+2 dex, +9 natural), sensory 12, flat foot 19
Attack/feeling base: +7/+8
Attack: Claws +8 Scrum (1d4+1)
Full attack: 2 Claws +8 in Scrum (1d4+1) and Bite +3 in Scrum (1d6)
Space/range: 5 feet / 5 feet
Special attack: Thought Tracking, proverbs
Details: Mold Shift, Damage Mitigation 15 / good and penetrating, Dark 60 ft, Spell Resistance 27
Saving: Strong +8, Ref +7, Will +6
Skills: 12, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 13, Delete 13, Cha 17
Skills: Bluff +17, concentration +13, diplomacy +7, camouflage +17 (+19 actors), intimidation +5, listening +13, quiet movement +13, performance (rhetoric) +13, sensual motif +11, spell +11
Performance: Alertness, struggle, evasion: Hot marshes
Organisation: Single
Call evaluation: 10
Treasury: Standard parts; dual products; standard products
Alignment: Always a legal evil
Transport: Character class
Level: +7

Sample guide, WotC 2003

The Rakshasa is published in the3rd Monster Manual (2000)and the 3.5thMonster Manual (2003)with some changes compared to previous editions. Although there is a significant change in 3.5 that is not in the 3rd. they lose their immunity to spells and get enchantment resistance instead, which is a pretty difficult break for our favorite tiger demons.

Despite this insult to the Rakshasa, they still look good in the 3rd. Their art looks good, although in the painting Monster Handbook they are shown with the wrong hands, because according to the legends everyone has Rakshasa palms on their hands, which they claim to have: Although it does not diminish the capacities of the creature, the rakshasa seems very disturbing to those who are not familiar with the creature. The management of the sample simply can’t take any breaks!

The Guide of the Beast further explains that all Rakshasa resemble ordinary humanoid animals, except that they have tiger heads and a layer of tiger skin on their bodies. They always love their fashionable clothes and find the battles close up ignorant. They prefer to keep their accomplices or spells out of battle. What’s more, if they decide to attack you, they don’t have to write off their modified form, and they can stay in the form they want, even if they lose their claws and make bites… that aren’t as big as you start.

Another change, probably for the better, is that the blessed bolt of the crossbow is not just a shot, a murder. Well, in 3.5 Rakshasa it is, but in 3.5 Rakshasa gets 15/good and penetrating shock resistance, which only means that they resist any damage, unless they are captured by a well-aimed weapon that causes penetrating damage… like a blessed crossbow bolt. At least it won’t kill her right away.

Sample Guide III, WotC 2004

InMonster Handbook III (2004)gives us two more Rakshasa’s to send to our party – Ak’chazar and Naztarun. Ak’chazar is a master of necromantic magic, and the Naztaruns are murderers. The Ak’chazar are bald tigers who are masters in the art of manipulation. They travel by plane in search of undead followers who can force them into slavery and places of power that they can control. Because they prefer to work behind the scenes to strengthen their power, they use a network of spies, murderers and the undead to carry out their plans. The Nazaruner use their skilful scam skills to kill their victims, sneak up on their prey and kill them hand to hand, resembling light black tigers.

Sample Guide III, WotC 2004

The special thing about the Rakshasa in this publication is that it contains a lot of information that is not included in the animal guide. The Eberron campaign gives us Zakia Rakshasa as a gift. These mighty warriors ruled Eberron in ancient times for thousands of years. They have the same skills as the ordinary Rakshasa, which can be found in the animal guide, with some important changes. Although they have limited capabilities, similar to spells, the rabbit can turn his hands to possess weapons like a normal humanoid. They are recognized as talented fighters and really enjoy the fight from man to man.

Looking at the story of the Rakshasa of Eberron a little further on, the dark princes of the Rakshasa are depicted in DragonNo.. 337 (2005). These masters are not looking for power, but for the release of their masters who were captured thousands of years ago and who are awaiting their release in a fabulous state. Supreme Lords have an enormous power, such as the Keeper of Kashtarhak, the Voice of Chaos is a CR 24 creature with 29 percussion bones and can cast seven level 9 spells a day. If they are the servants of the greatest lords, let us all hope that they can never free them.

Our most recent legend for the Rakshasa appeared in Dragon magazine No. 326 (2004), which wrote an article about the ecology of the Rakshasa. Although there is not much new information that has not been covered in previous issues, it is possible to collect some interesting points. Rakshasa likes to ruin people’s lives, even more than they do. When they enter new territory, they gain strength and influence for years, wearing different personalities and masks. As their power grows, they will demand more and more of their followers, as well as their wealth, power, and freedom. Meanwhile, Rakshasa will also build a network of spies and easy to buy politicians and civil servants. When they feel the time is right, they will do their best to gain more power by taking control of the thieves guilds and local mercenary units. If they ever find another Rakshasa on their territory, there will be a shadow war between them until one of them comes out victorious.

4th – Rakshasa

Rakshasa Warrior – Warrior 15 Level
Natural Humanoid Average XP 1200
Initiative +13 / Sense Sense +16; Low Light Vision
HP 142 ; Blood 71
AC 31; Resistance 29, Reflex 28, Becomes 28
Speed 6
> Long word (standard; at-city) – weapons. The Rakshasa warrior makes two attack roles and keeps the best result: +21 against AC; +5 damage and marked target until the end of the next Rakshasa claw (standard; to the city) +21 against AC; +5 damage by Tiger Strike (immediate reaction when the marked opponent is within 5 hexes of the Rakshasa warrior movement; to the city) Rakshasa moves to the field closest to the enemy and executes the main attack against him.
Deceptive veil: (G minor; on the wall) The Rakshasa warrior can disguise himself as any average humanoid. A successful introspection test (as opposed to a gunshot test) breaks the camouflage.
Alignment Mal / General languages
Str 20 (+12) | Dex 18 (+11) | Delete 18 (+11) | Con 14 (+9) | Int 12 (+8) | Cha 14 (+9)
Hardware Scale defense, heavy shield, long word

Sample guide, WotC 2008

Introduced in the anti-monster manual(2008), the Rakshasa contains little information, but can take many new forms. The Rakshasa is still known for its intelligence and malice, but also for its desire for luxury products. They all take the form of different felines and can use their innate magic ability to disguise themselves and look like other humanoids.

Although the Rakshasa still prefers to manipulate others, there are many Rakshasa who fight fiercely and mercilessly and approach them with swords and daggers. However, if their weapons are unavailable, their claws can do the same damage and even dazzle the target, depending on who is behind the claws.

Sample guide, WotC 2008

We also get more information about the background of the Rakshasa and especially about its origin. Some scientists theoretically claim that the Rakshasa come from the abyss and are descendants of demons. Of course the Rakshasa aren’t very enthusiastic about it, and they claim that their species could never have such a degenerative origin… although they’re rather cruel creatures, so they probably came from the abyss.

Another important point about 4th is that there is no information about spelling resistance, and frankly they don’t feel special anymore. They simply look like a generic breed of felines that accidentally have their palms upside down and can disguise themselves. The only grace that saves them is that they are practically immortal, because their minds can regenerate. According to the guideline for animals it is … evil spirits veiled in the flesh, the Rakshi are bound to the world.As such, they will be completely rebuilt within days, weeks or even years, and although it may take some time, they will return. When they are finally reborn, they are very angry because it hurts them. Their only goal now is to find the person who killed them and make them suffer… which is normally associated with death.  The only way to really get rid of Rakshasa is to use a specially blessed weapon that pierces her heart… like a crossbow slide.

Sample guide, WotC 2008

The fourth. Edition presents five types of Rakshasa : Warrior, archer, murderer and nobleman. Each of them has a unique ability.

WarriorTiger Jump. If a creature hits the target, the warrior marks it and can follow it on the battlefield.
SagittariusPhantom Arrow. The archer can shoot a deadly arrow that stops the target from healing it.
AssassinsDeviation and Phantom Shadow Form. These Rakshasa can turn into shadows so they can move through obstacles and creatures. They’ll be able to stun the targets, allowing them to launch further attacks.
PreciousScary Ghost andGhost Image . These nobles repeat previous editions of the Rakshasa in the sense that they do not like to fight hand in hand. They will try to scare the other creatures, and if this doesn’t work, they will use their ability to blind the creatures and force the targets of the attack to make two attack roles, which will give a worse result.
Fearsome KnightKnight’s movement and triple attack. Everybody wants to be able to fly, but Dread Knight really can. He will fly to the target and use his triple attack power to hit it three times.

5th – Rakshasa

Rakshasa / Medium Bath, Legal Malfeasance
Armor Class 16 (Natural Armor) / Point of Impact 110 (13d8+52)
Speed 40 ft.
Str 14 (+2) | Dex 17 (+3) | Con 18 (+4) | Int 13 (+1) | Delete 16 (+3) | Cha 20 (+5)
Skills Deception +10, Insight +8
Weaknesses , Penetrating magic weapons, belonging to good creatures
Immunity to damage , piercing and cutting during a non-agic attack
Feelings Darkvision 60 feet., passive perception 13
Languages General, Hel
Call 13 (10,000 XP)
Limited magical immunity. Rakshasa is immune to spells of level 6 or lower, unless she wants to be affected. It has the advantage of protecting the scrolls from all other spells and magical effects.
Internal notation. Rakshasa’s innate ability to cast a spell is Charisma (except DC 18, +10 for hitting with spells). The Rakshasa can, by nature, depict the following enchantments without the need for material elements:
Anything: Discover thoughts, disguise yourself, the hand of a wizard, an insignificant illusion. 3/day: charm a man, discover magic, invisibility, the main image, suggestion. 1/day: dominate a man, fly, push the plane away, the really boastful Rakshasa makes two attacks with his claws. claw. Melee Weapons Attack: +7 hits, range 5 feet, one target.Strikes:9 (2d6 + 2) Cutting damage, target is damned if it is a creature. The magic curse is always triggered when the target rests for a short or long time and fills the target’s thoughts with terrible images and dreams. The cursed target doesn’t have to take a short or long break. The curse lasts until it is cast by aspell that removes aspell or similar magic.

Sample guide, 2014 WotC

And now in the fifth. In the 4th edition the Rakshasa is presented in Monster Manual(2014), and we come back to only one type of Rakshasa that looks very well dressed, like a tiger that smokes a long tube, with his hands behind his back. Unfortunately there is little new information about the Rakshas, although we learn that after their death they return to the Nine Hells, where they reform within a few months… and are listed as Fiends… So it looks like it wasn’t an evil alien after all, but an evil alien! Now we can rest in peace at night!

This is confirmed by the fact that they were real devils, the creators of obscure rituals… that released their essence from the devil’s bodies to escape the lower levels. I’m not sure it turned out to be super awesome for them, because it doesn’t mention whether the Rakshasa remember their time as mighty demons, even though they hate every creature that kills them in the Plane of Matter, so it is quite possible that they remember a time when they were once demons.

The current interpretation of Rakshasa is quite boring, they have a rather weak claw attack, although their ability to cause nightmares and prevent you from enjoying short or long rest periods is quite strong… except that the magic formulaRemove Cursecompletely removes it. If you fought the Rakshasa and survived, you probably have a simplesource to break the curse.Although it is not mentioned that blissful crossbow bolts cause additional damage, they are now vulnerable to all attacks from good creatures that possess magical piercing weapons. That’s another reason to always play Good Chaotic!

The fifth. The first edition of Rakshasa is rather boring and brings little new information inDungeons and Dragons. Rakshasa began as powerful, almost divine creatures for intelligent beings who formed spy networks in the shadows for a particular race of Tiger ancestors, and returned to the Shadow Devil who pulled all the strings.

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