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Appearance: Kappas are humanoid creatures typically depicted as child-sized, with scaly, reptilian skin ranging from green to yellow. They have a distinct dish-like depression on the top of their heads filled with water, which is essential for their survival. Kappas have webbed hands and feet, and a turtle-like beak protruding from their face. They often wear a dish-shaped hat made from a water plant, symbolizing their need for water.

Behavior: Kappas are mischievous and cunning creatures known for their love of mischief and pranks. Despite their playful nature, they can also be dangerous and violent if provoked. They are highly intelligent and possess knowledge of various skills, particularly in water-related activities such as fishing and swimming. Kappas are also known to be skilled in medicine and are believed to possess magical abilities.

Habitat: Kappas are primarily found in freshwater sources such as rivers, lakes, and ponds, particularly in rural areas of Japan. They are solitary creatures and are often elusive, preferring secluded areas away from human settlements.

Modus Operandi: Kappas are known for their trickery and mischief, often playing pranks on unsuspecting humans and animals. They are infamous for their habit of kidnapping and drowning children and livestock, particularly if they venture too close to their watery habitats. Kappas are also believed to be skilled at wrestling and may challenge humans to sumo matches as a form of entertainment.

Motivation: The primary motivation of kappas is to survive and protect their watery habitats. They are believed to be guardians of freshwater sources and may become hostile towards humans who threaten their environment or disrespect nature. Additionally, kappas are said to have a particular fondness for cucumbers, which are often used as offerings to appease them and prevent their mischief.

  • Kappa 5e
  • Kappa Pathfinder
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Small Monstrous Humanoid (Aquatic), Chaotic Neutral

Armor Class 15 (natural armor)

Hit Points 19 (3d10 + 3)

Speed 20 ft., swim 40 ft.

12 (+1)17 (+3)13 (+1)8 (-1)15 (+2)10 (+0)

Skills Escape Artist +5, Perception +4, Stealth +5, Survival +4

Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 14

Languages Aquan, Common

Challenge 2 (600 XP)

Amphibious. The kappa can breathe air and water.

Head Bowl. The basin atop a kappa’s head contains water from its home river or lake. If the water is emptied, the kappa becomes immobile and staggered. It can still take actions, but it cannot move from the spot on its own. If the emptied head bowl is refilled with water, the kappa recovers from this condition immediately.


Multiattack. The kappa makes two claw attacks.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4 + 1) slashing damage.

Water Pull. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: The target is pulled 10 feet toward the kappa if it is Medium or smaller.


The kappa is a strange amphibious creature of Japanese folklore, dwelling in freshwater bodies such as rivers and ponds. Its scaly green skin is complemented by webbed hands and feet ending in short claws. A basin atop its head holds water from its home, vital for its strength and survival.

Kappas are mischievous and cunning, known for their pranks and trickery. They often target unwary travelers, luring them into the water with promises of fun or assistance, only to pull them beneath the surface. Despite their playful demeanor, kappas are fiercely territorial and will defend their homes aggressively if threatened.

In battle, kappas use their agility and cunning to outmaneuver foes, employing their claws to slash and Water Pull ability to drag victims into the water. They are typically encountered alone or in small groups, lurking near the water’s edge, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike.

Kappa, Image copyright Matthew Meyers. See more at
Image copyright Matthew Meyers. See more at

This humanoid turtle crouches near the water, a suspicious look in its eyes. The top of its bowl-shaped head is filled with water.

[This content was created for the Pathfinder rules by Paizo Publishing LLC and is part of the Pathfinder RPG product line.]

Source: Pathfinder

A kappa is a strange amphibian resembling a humanoid turtle. It dwells in fresh water, preferring a stream or river to a lake or pond. It has a small shell on its back, a blunt face, and webbed hands and feet that end in short claws. A typical kappa is green in color, but kappa skin tones can vary toward blue or yellow hues. The creature has a shallow basin in the top of its head, in which the creature carries water from its home at all times.

Kappas are puckish and like to play tricks on those who pass near or swim in their home. Kappa pranks are usually harmless and annoying, such as peeking under robes, stealing a bathers’ clothing, or pretending to be an aquatic predator. A kappa might also challenge others to grappling matches, hoping potential foes underestimate its wrestling ability. An angry kappa can be dangerous, attempting to drown mounts, animal companions, or even people who enter its home waters. The most degenerate kappas have been known to drown bathers and eat them.

Those wise to the ways of kappas know the creatures have a few weaknesses. First of all, kappas love cucumbers and horseflesh. If plied with such treats, a kappa is likely to not bother intruders, and might even be convinced to offer aid. Further, despite a kappa’s penchant for pranks, it is unfailingly polite to courteous visitors. A kappa confronted with a verbal rebuke rather than combat quickly and almost shamefully apologizes for its pranks, begging for forgiveness.

If its head bowl is emptied, a kappa usually remains stationary and pleads for help, continuing to fight only if forced to. An opponent who refills the kappa’s head bowl after spilling it receives the kappa’s deepest gratitude. Only the wisest and smartest of kappa carry flasks of water with them when they are forced to travel far from their home ‘most kappa don’t think this far ahead.

Kappa CR 2
XP 600

CN Small monstrous humanoid (aquatic)

Init +3; Senses Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +2
AC 15, touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+3 Dexterity, +1 natural, +1 size)
hp 19 (3d10+3)
Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +5
Resist acid 5, cold 5 Weaknesses head bowl
Speed 20 ft., Swim 40 ft.
Melee 2 claws +5 (1d3+1 plus grab)
Special Attacks grab (Medium), rake (2 claws +5, 1d3+1)
Strength 12, Dexterity 17, Constitution 13, Intelligence 8, Wisdom 15, Charisma 10
Base Atk +3; CMB +3 (+7 grapple); CMD 16Feats Great Fortitude, Nimble Moves
Skills Escape Artist +10, Heal+5, Sense Motive +5, Swim +9; Racial Modifiers +4 Escape ArtistLanguages Aquan, Common
SQ amphibious
Head Bowl (Su) The basin atop a kappa’s head contains water from its home river or lake. The water is emptied only if the kappa willingly tips its head or a creature pinning the kappa forces it to do so (requiring a grapple check while pinned). If the water is emptied, the kappa becomes immobile and staggered. It can still take actions, but it cannot move from the spot on its own. If the emptied head bowl is refilled with water, the kappa recovers from this condition immediately. This replacement water doesn’t have to be from the kappa’s home, but the kappa refills its head bowl from there  at its first opportunity.
Environment any lake or river

Organization solitary, pair, or bale (3-6)

Treasure standard

Section 15: Copyright Notice – Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 3

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 3, © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors Jesse Benner, Jason Bulmahn, Adam Daigle, James Jacobs, Michael Kenway, Rob McCreary, Patrick Renie, Chris Sims, F. Wesley Schneider, James L. Sutter, and Russ Taylor, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.

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