Katanga are a race of intelligent shape-changing animals. Their ability to shapeshift is natural to the katanga and is not a form of lycanthropy. Katanga appear as normal animals to spellcasters who detect for illusions or use true seeing.
Katanga can shapeshift between three different forms: animal, biped, and human. Each form has its own advantages and disadvantages.
In human form, katanga retain one or more distinctive feature of the animal form. For instance, the caiman katanga’s skin has a leathery texture when the creature is in human form. In all other respects, they have the same abilities as a normal human and may employ weapons, non-weapon proficiencies, and class-based skills.
In biped form, a katanga looks like a humanoid animal that can stand on its hind legs. The front appendages change into hands capable of gripping and using weapons, though they can still use a limited form of their natural attacks.
The rest of the body retains the animal’s general appearance, including fur, tail, or any other characteristic features. In this form, katanga can converse both with people and with animals of their same type. Some katanga are actually more formidable with their natural claw and bite attacks in this biped form.
In animal form, katanga are indistinguishable from normal animals of their type. They can use their natural attacks to the fullest, employ special attacks and movement, and may have other special animal abilities.
Katanga in animal form cannot, however, cast spells, use weapons, wear armor, or use non-weapon proficiencies which require a human form (rope use, for instance). Also in this form, katanga can communicate only with other katanga or animals of their type, though they can still understand any languages they have learned.
Regardless of their current form, katanga always cast a shadow in the shape of their animal forms.
The pangolin is a small tropical mammal whose body is covered in plate-like armor. The pangolin katanga can roll itself into an armored ball for protection, gaining an AC of 2, but limiting its own movement to an awkward rolling 3".
Only creatures with large jaws (great cats and garuda) have a chance to unroll them. Pangolin katanga are common to the savannah and jungle, but rarely travel into mountain regions. The pangolin has a prehensile tail which it uses to hang from trees, while on the ground this katanga is incredibly fast. The pangolin katanga also have long claws used for digging burrows (rate of 3"), and can climb trees at a base percentage chance of 80% at half their movement rate. Pangolin eat insects and larvae, though in human form will consume limited amounts of vegetables and meat. Pangolin katanga live on the edge of the jungle, sometimes venturing out into the savannah where they form burrows or families of 4-8 creatures. They forage on the ground, taking to the trees to rest or escape from predators. Pangolin katanga are rarely found in human or demi-human savannah or jungle tribes.