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.
Tiger katanga are solitary hunters, though a few individuals enjoy the company of a human tribe, where they often rise to positions of respect or leadership. Older, more experienced tiger katanga often appoint themselves guardians of the jungle. In human form, tiger katanga appear with faint orange or off-white striping on much of their bodies. In animal form, tiger katanga are always small tigers. They enjoy the protection of a common jungle tribe taboo against killing any tiger. The myth of a terrible animal called Lion does not worry the tiger; none has seen Lion, or if one ever did, it refused to acknowledge it as Lion. Legend has it that if Lion ever appears in the jungle, no more tigers will be born. Tiger katanga are carnivores.