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By Katsushika Hokusai - Unknown source, Public Domain,, Rokurokubi
By Katsushika Hokusai – Unknown source, Public Domain,

The Rokurokubi is a supernatural creature from Japanese folklore, its name derived from the words “roku,” meaning “six,” and “roku,” meaning “neck.” This unique entity is known for its extraordinary ability to stretch its neck to great lengths during the night, while appearing as a normal human by day.

By daylight, the creature lives its life just like any other human, blending seamlessly into society. However, once night falls, its true nature is revealed. The Rokurokubi’s neck can extend and twist in an almost serpentine manner, allowing it to reach incredible lengths. This transformation is often accompanied by unsettling and eerie creaking sounds as the neck stretches.

The behavior of the Rokurokubi during its nightly escapades varies in different folktales. In some stories, the creature is depicted as being unaware of its own transformation, leading to surprising and sometimes frightening encounters with others. In contrast, other versions suggest that Rokurokubi are able to consciously control their ability to stretch their necks, using it to play pranks or spook unsuspecting individuals.

Despite their eerie appearance and supernatural ability, Rokurokubi are not necessarily malevolent. In many accounts, they are simply curious or mischievous beings who enjoy observing human activities and reactions. Their actions can be unsettling to those who come across them in the dark, but their intentions may not always be malicious.

The Rokurokubi is a fascinating example of the blending of the ordinary and the uncanny in Japanese folklore. It embodies the mysterious and otherworldly aspects of the supernatural realm, making it a captivating and enduring figure in Japanese myth and storytelling.

  • Rokurokubi 5e Stat Block
  • Rokurokubi Pathfinder Stat Block


Medium Monstrosity, Neutral

Armor Class 12 (natural armor)
Hit Points 52 (8d8 + 16)
Speed 30 ft.

10 (+0)16 (+3)14 (+2)10 (+0)12 (+1)10 (+0)

Skills Perception +3, Stealth +5
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Japanese


Neck Stretch. The Rokurokubi can extend its neck up to 20 feet in length. This ability is used for both attacks and exploration, allowing the Rokurokubi to make melee attacks against creatures within range.

Daylight Appearance. During daylight hours, the Rokurokubi appears as an ordinary human, indistinguishable from regular individuals.


Multiattack. The Rokurokubi makes two attacks: one with its bite and one with its claw.

  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 3) piercing damage.
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d4 + 3) slashing damage.
  • Stretching Attack. The Rokurokubi’s neck extends rapidly to make a surprise attack. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 15 ft., one surprised target. Hit: 9 (1d8 + 3) slashing damage.
  • Eerie Creak. Once per day, as a bonus action, the Rokurokubi can emit an eerie creaking sound that startles creatures within 30 feet. Each creature in that area must succeed on a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened until the end of their next turn.


Twisting Evasion. When a creature makes a melee attack against the Rokurokubi, it can use its reaction to twist its neck out of the way, granting it advantage on Dexterity saving throws against the triggering attack.


The Rokurokubi is a humanoid creature with a normal appearance by day, but its supernatural ability to stretch its neck becomes apparent at night. Its skin is pale, and its eyes often have a slightly distant and curious gaze. The creature’s movements are fluid and almost serpentine when using its neck-stretching ability.

Roleplaying Notes

Rokurokubi are curious beings that are fascinated by the activities of humans. They may appear friendly or mischievous but rarely pose a serious threat. Their ability to stretch their necks can be both a source of intrigue and unease to those who encounter them. While they enjoy observing humans, they are cautious about revealing their true nature and may avoid interactions during daylight hours.

This peasant woman sprouts a grotesquely long neck that coils about like a snake, with razor-sharp teeth filling her gaping maw.

Source Bestiary 4 pg. 227, Pathfinder #54: The Empty Throne pg. 90 Originally posted in Archives of Nethys

A rokurokubi is an evil hag-like creature who seeks to spread as much mayhem and despair as possible. Her skin ranges in hue from pale blue to muted green, so to disguise herself she must cover up her flesh with makeup and clothing, and retract her neck so it is no longer than a human’s.

A rokurokubi can mate with almost any male humanoid, monstrous humanoid, or humanoid-shaped creature. Her offspring is always a rokurokubi. The mate is usually devoured once the rokurokubi tires of his presence.

Rokurokubi CR 14
XP 38,400

LE Medium monstrous humanoid

Init +10; Senses Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +21

Aura nightfall (15 ft.)
AC 28, touch 16, flat-footed 22 (+6 Dexterity, +12 natural)

hp 195 (17d10+102)

Fort +11, Ref +16, Will +13

DR 5/cold iron; Immune sleep; SR 25
Speed 30 ft.

Melee bite +24 (2d6+4/19–20 plus rokurokubi’s curse), 2 claws +23 (1d6+4)

Space 5 ft., Reach 5 ft. (20 ft. with bite)

Special Attacks elongate neck, rokurokubi’s curse sorcerer

Spells Known (CL 12th; concentration +17)
6th (3)—permanent image (DC 21)

5th (6)—feeblemind (DC 20), nightmare (DC 20)

4th (7)—charm monster (DC 19), confusion (DC 19), locate creature  

3rd (7)—dispel magic, fly, keen edge, wind wall  

2nd (7)—ghoul touch (DC 17), invisibility, knock, touch of idiocy  

1st (8)—charm person (DC 16), disguise self, obscuring mist, shocking grasp, sleep (DC 16)

0 (at will)—arcane mark, detect magic, detect poison, ghost sound (DC 15), mage hand, message, open/close, prestidigitation, read magic
Strength 18, Dexterity 23, Constitution 22, Intelligence 15, Wisdom 12, Charisma 21

Base Atk +17; CMB +21; CMD 37

Feats Combat Casting, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Deceitful, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (bite)

Skills Bluff +26, Climb +24, Disguise +26, Intimidate +25, Perception +21, Stealth +26

Languages Aklo, Common

SQ no sleep
Elongate Neck (Ex) She can stretch her neck from a normal human length up to 20 feet, giving her reach with her bite attack and threatening all squares within that range.

Nightfall Aura (Su) She can create an aura of darkness and silence (CL 12th) with a radius of 15 feet. The rokurokubi is immune to the effects of her aura, and can activate or suppress this ability as a free action. These aura effects can be dispelled as if they were spells.  

No Sleep (Ex) A rokurokubi does not need to sleep and is immune to all sleep effects.  

Rokurokubi’s Curse (Su) Bite—injury; save Will DC 23; frequency 1 day; effect 1 Charisma damage and permanently silenced after 4 Charisma damage. Fully healing the >Charisma damage cures the silence. The save DC is Charisma-based. Spells A rokurokubi casts spells as a 12th-level sorcerer.
Environment any ruins

Organization solitary, pair, or harem (3–6)

Treasure standard

Currently in the World

Under the cover of night, the Rokurokubi undergoes a peculiar transformation that reveals its true nature. Its once-human visage shifts as its neck elongates, allowing its head to detach from its body. The head hovers several feet away, connected by a sinewy, spectral tendril. This bizarre appearance creates an unsettling and otherworldly sight, the creature’s disembodied head casting an eerie glow in the darkness.

As the moonlight bathes the landscape, the Rokurokubi’s head darts and weaves through the air, its eyes gleaming with an inscrutable mix of curiosity and mischief. It hovers closer to villagers’ homes, drawn by the soft light filtering through windows and the sounds of their evening activities. The creature’s mood shifts from passive observation to a hint of anticipation, as if it contemplates revealing its true form to those who remain blissfully unaware of its presence.

With a blend of eerie fascination and hunger for the fear it can invoke, the Rokurokubi extends its neck to peer into windows, allowing its ethereal form to cast strange shadows across walls. In these moments, it becomes an embodiment of the supernatural, a creature of legend that blurs the line between reality and myth. The Rokurokubi’s actions reflect a delicate balance between its inherent nature and the thrill it derives from exploiting the human realm’s vulnerability during the cover of night.

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