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Kitsune is the Japanese word for "fox," although it's never really used for that in the context of /tg/ content. If someone talks about a kitsune, they're probably referring to the shapeshifter fox spirits of Japanese mythology. They are a player race in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
In Japanese mythology the kitsune are fox spirits who serve a couple of different roles. They are usually thought of as tricksters, often pulling pranks on samurai and Buddhist monks. They are also divine messengers associated with Inari, the Shinto god of rice. The divine servant kitsune are portrayed as white in color, while the tricksters can be any color.
Kitsune are also said to be great lovers. Female kitsune are said in many stories to take the form of a beautiful woman after falling in love with a human man. These stories are generally positive and romantic in nature, unlike most similar mythological stories, making them the proto-waifu in a lot of ways, and showcasing just how long Japan has been embracing monstergirls. Not all stories end well however. Although they can be great lovers, sometimes even equally great wives and mothers (it can happen), they must however hide their true identities in complete secrecy. If discovered, they'd leave forever their lovers/husbands/families.
Similar creatures appear in China and Korea as well, although each culture puts its own different spin on them. The Chinese fox-spirit, the Huli Jing, is effectively a kitsune succubus: possessing only Yin ("female") spiritual energies in their bodies, they seek to correct this by seducing men, as they can suck their Yang ("male") spiritual energies out through intercourse. This is not necessarily lethal, but usually portrayed as a bad thing, whether from direct spiritual malaise or from just being an "evil" act. The Korean fox-spirit, the Gumiho, is also a trickster, but is generally described as much more malevolent than the Kitsune; Gumihos generally like to kill people, and are typically described as literal man-eaters. Eating livers (or hearts, depends on the story, but most say liver) ripped from human victims is generally stated to be the key to a Gumiho increasing her power.
Kitsune in Dungeons & Dragons
Kitsune have long been absent from Dungeons & Dragons, and for the stupidest of reasons: when David Cook wrote the first Oriental Adventures splatbook, for whatever reason, he decided to simply jam together all of the various shapeshifting animals (and other magical animals) of Japanese mythology, the hengeyokai, and boil them down to a single bland, generic race. Thusly, kitsunes have long gone unnoticed in D&D, as instead they have been presented by the basic name of "Hengeyokai, Fox".
In this form, kitsune have (technically) been a PC option in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, D&D 3rd edition, and D&D 4th edition.
Fans of Planescape also got together in the 90s and reimagined the kitsune as an Oriental Adventures version of the werefox for the netbook known as the Planescape Creature Codex, alongside three other Good-aligned therianthropes: the werebunny, werestag, and peganthrope. Here, kitsunes are depicted as elf therianthropes who can assume the form of an elf, a fox, or an elf/fox hybrid - as they gain levels (males as Thief or Mage, females as Bard or Mage - no multiclassing)), they gain a new tail with each level, capping at 9th level and 9 tails. Young (1-3 Tail) kitsunes tend to have ruddy colored hair, reddish-brown in fox form or red-gold in elven form. Older (6-9 Tail) kitsunes usually have silver hair. They are Chaotic Neutral in alignment, and incredibly agile and good-looking (base values of 18 for both Dexterity and Charisma). They cannot spread their own condition, unlike most therianthropes, but a human or elven woman who has been truly savaged by a kitsune (50% or more HP lost to kitsune bite attacks) will become a standard foxwoman within 3 days unless a priest of at least 12th level casts both Cure Disease and Remove Curse on them.
- Ability Score Modifiers: +1 Intelligence, -1 Wisdoim
- Ability Score Minimum/Maximum: Strength 12/18, Dexterity 9/18, Constitution 12/18, Intelligence 12/18, Wisdom 12/18, Charisma 12/17
- Class & Level Limits: Shukenja 8, Kensai 6, Bushi Unlimited, Wu Jen 9
- Movement Value: 12'
- Shapeshifting: A kitsune can change form once per day per level; once it has exhausted this ability, it must remain in its current form until the next day. Changing form takes a full round to complete, and all armor & equipment is left behind when it transforms. Spells that reveal illusions do not affect a kitsune in its animal or human forms.
- Animal Form: A kitsune in animal form can only speak the kitsune and animal languages in this form. It cannot use weapons, armor or equipmient, nor can it cast spells. In animal form, its maximum hitpoint value is halved (round up); damage from one form carries over and it cannot assume animal form if this would leave it with 0 or less hit points. If reduced to 0 HP in animal form, the kitsune is slain outright. In animal form, a kitsune has Infravision 120 feet, a movement rate of 15', an Armor Class of 6, and a bite attack that does 1d3 damage.
- Bipedal Form: Now appearing as a humanoid fox, the kitsune retains the ability to speak to animals and its infravision, but has access to all of its normal abilities. However, it reverts to its base armor class and movement rate, and cannot use its bite attack.
- Human Form: In human form, a kitsune loses its animal-speech, infravision, AC of 6, 15' movement and bite attack, but retains all of its class abilities.
- -2 Wisdom, +2 Dexterity - depending on your reading, this +2 bonus may only apply in hybrid form and not in human form.
- Size: Medium in Hybrid and Human form, Small in Animal form
- Base Speed: 30 feet
- Type: Shapechanger
- Alternate Form (Su): A kitsune can assume one of three possible forms at will; an animal, a hybrid, or a human. This functions as a Polymorph Other spell that can be used 1 + character level times per day. Changing form is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity.
- Animal Form: In animal form, all equipment the kitsune is wearing or carrying is melded into the kitsune's form, with magic items ceasing to function. It also gains a +10 racial bonus to Disguise checks made to pass itself off as an animal, Low-Light Vision, and the ability to communicate with other animals of its type. In animal form, a kitsune is Small, has a Speed of 40ft, an AC of 15, a Bite attack that does 1d4 damage, a Strength of 11, a Dexterity of 19, and a Constitution of 11.
- Hybrid Form: A kitsune in hybrid form cannot wear Heavy Armor, but all of its equipment functions as normal. It gains Low-Light Vision and the ability to speak with animals of its own kind, as well as other special bonuses based on its race. In hybrid form, a kitsune has a +4 racial bonus to Escape Artist checks.
- Favored Class: Wu jen
- Level Adjustment: +1
The official 3.5 update in Dragon Magazine #318 changes them to Humanoid (Shapechanger) with no level adjustment.
- Ability Scores: +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom or Charisma
- Size: Medium (Human/Hybrid form) or Tiny (animal form)
- Speed: 7 squares (35 feet)
- Vision: Low-light
- Skill Bonuses: +2 Bluff, +2 Stealth.
- Elusive: +1 racial bonus to Reflex
- Fey Origin: You are considered to be a Fey creature for effects that relate to creature origin.
- Beast Nature: You are considered both a magical beast and a humanoid for effects that relate to creature type.
- Shapechanger: You have the Shapechanger subtype.
- Languge of Beasts: You can communicate with any natural or fey beast that either shares your animal form or is closely related to it (for example, Dog Hengeyokai can speak with wolves). You can understand and speak to animals in animal and hybrid form, but in human form, you can only understand them.
- Racial Power - Nature's Mask: At-Will Polymorph Minor Action power that you can only use once per roud. You immediately change into your human, animal or hybrid form as you wish. In human and animal form, you gain a +5 bonus to Bluff checks made to disguise yourself as your apparent species. In animal form, you cannot use attack powers, although you can sustain them, nor can you speak any humanoid languages, although your statistics are otherwise unchanged. Equipment melds into your animal form; you continue to gain the benefits of all equipment bar shields and item powers. In fox form, your speed increases by +2 squares, giving you a base speed of 9 squares.
Kitsune in Pathfinder
Kitsune are a race of fox-like humanoids known for their trickster nature and love of beautiful things. They are also shapeshifters in the setting and hail from Tian Xia, from which all things weeaboo hail. Their racial stats and attributes are detailed in the Dragon Empires Gazetteer source book and later in the Advanced Race Guide. Statistically they are the most popular non-core race (Counting Tiefling and Aasimar as core). If this a result of being the only "asian" race that's actually from east Asian mythology and doesn't have a crippling constitution penalty without useful abilities, the only practical way to have innate shapeshifting in Pathfinder, being one of the non-Core races that can be used in organized play without jumping through hoops, or furries (or a combination of any/all of these) is unknown. Whatever the reason, they were popular enough to actually be supported beyond their initial appearance, a privilege few non-core races got.
- +2 Dexterity
- +2 Charisma
- -2 Strength
- Medium Size
- Base Land Speed 30 Feet
- Low Light Vision
- Agile (+2 on acrobatics tests)
- Kitsune Magic (+1 to the DC of any saving throw versus enchantment spells)
- Change Shape (can change between humanoid and natural form)
- Racial Disguise Bonus (+10 to disguise tests in humanoid form)
- Natural Weapons (1d4 bite attack while in their natural form)
Alternative trait options
- +2 Intelligence (instead of +2 Charisma)
- +2 to bluff and disguise (instead of Kitsune Magic)
- Speak more languages (replaces Agile).
- Human bonus to number of skills (replaces Agile and Kitsune Magic)
- Gain the feat to shapeshift into a non-anthropomorphic fox at level 1 (replaces Kitsune Magic)
They also have access to the Realistic Likeness feat which allow them to use Change Shape on any individual they've encountered instead of their specific human form (it's unclear if this is intended to be limited to any human or any humanoid), making Kitsune the race to pick if you've ever wanted to be an effective spy in D&D, and the source of all kinds of clever tricks for almost any class with only a little work. The second unique feat they have access to is Magical Tail, which lets them grow an additional tail and nets them a spell-like ability they can use 2/day. The feat can be taken a maximum of 8 times, netting the following spells in order: disguise self, charm person, misdirection, invisibility, suggestion, displacement, confusion, dominate person. There is a Sorcerer alternate class feature called Nine-Tailed Heir that lets you give up your Bloodline Spells class feature to get the Magic Tail at level 3, 7, 11, 15 and 19. If this were to give you this feat more than 8 times you get one additional use out of one of your Magic Tail SLAs that you don't already have extra use out of. It might appear to give up the Bloodline class feature entirely when you read the archetype on PFSRD, but that is simply due to the hyperlink only encompassing one word.
|The Races of Pathfinder|
|Player's Handbook:||Dwarf - Elf - Gnome - Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling - Human|
|Aasimar - Catfolk - Changeling - Dhampir - Duergar |
Drow - Fetchling - Gillman - Goblin - Grippli - Hobgoblin
Ifrit - Kitsune - Kobold - Merfolk - Nagaji - Orc - Oread
Ratfolk - Samsaran - Strix - Suli - Svirfneblin - Sylph
Tengu - Tiefling - Undine - Vanara - Vishkanya - Wayang
|Bestiaries:||Android - Astomoi - Caligni - Deep One Hybrid - Gathlain |
Gnoll - Kasatha - Munavri - Naiad - Orang-Pendak
Reptoid - Rougarou - Shabti - Trox - Yaddithian
|Adventure Paths:||Being of Ib - Kuru|
|Inner Sea Races:||Ghoran - Monkey Goblin - Lashunta - Skinwalker |
Syrinx - Triaxian - Wyrwood - Wyvaran
|Ultimate Wilderness:||Vine Leshy|
|Blood of the Sea:||Adaro - Cecaelia - Grindylow - Locathah - Sahuagin - Triton|
|Planar Adventures:||Aphorite - Duskwalker - Ganzi|
Whilst there are stories of kitsunes doing evil things even in Japan - Tamamo no Mae in particular is the most famous of all the Japanese kitsune, and is known as one of the Three Terrible Yōkai of Japan for crimes that concluded with causing the Genpei War - for the most part, the most popular kitsune stories are those of the kitsune bride. There's a reason calling a woman "foxy" is a huge sexual compliment in Japan. As such, kitsunes are enormously popular in the monstergirl fandom, and alongside catgirls are considered basic entry-level examples.
Monstergirl kitsunes usually take a form similar to the catgirl; a pretty woman with fox's ears and one or more fox's tails. The more tails a kitsune sports, the more powerful a spirit she is (and the more fluff there is to touch), with nine tails being the maximum. They tend to be intelligent but playful, with a pronounced love of trickery and mischief. Many are also very fond of booze, although that's actually more appropriate behavior for other hengeyokai. If the setting includes magic, they will usually be very skilled at magic. That said, as wild as they can be whilst still free to do as they please, they are usually also depicted as very loving and devoted brides.
Monstergirl kitsunes are often shapeshifters, and because Japan lacks quite the same antipathy towards furries, kitsune who can shapeshift from/into the form of an anthropomorphic vixen are roughly as common as ones who only shift between "human girl" and "human girl with ears & tail".
The Monster Girl Encyclopedia famously explores multiple aspects of the kitsune legend in its monstergirls.
The basic "kitsune" of the MGE world is called a Youko, and is characterized by being basically a party-girl; these kitsunes care only about sex and pleasure, and they are some of the sluttiest monsters in Zipangu. In fact, their lore notes that they originally came from the Mist Continent, which means the Youko owes its inspiration to the more succubus-like Huli Jing of China, and/or to Korea's cannibalistic Gumiho.
Another kitsune variant is the Inari, who is still a horny fox-girl, but far more in control of herself; she prefers to seduce and tease men into wanting her, rather than aggressively throwing herself at them the way her youko cousin does.
Both types of kitsune "leak" magical energies, which can spontaneously form another mamono called the Kitsune-bi - which the actual name the Japanese use for "fox-fire", a will'o'wisp-like phenomena they believe to be created by kitsunes. The kitsune-bi mamono is a living embodiment of their horniness, made manifest as a ghostly loli foxgirl with tails of ethereal bluish-purple flame.
Kitsune-bi can create a fourth mamono by possessing human women to better enact their desires; these victims manifest ghostly vulpine ears and tails comprised of the same ethereal blue-purple fire as the kitsune-bi controlling them, and become vastly more lustful. Ironically, kitsune-tsuki is the actual name used in Japanese folk-lore for people believed to be possessed by kitsunes. The kitsune-tsuki mamono is mostly stuck as she is, although in some rare cases they meld with their possessor and transform into a full-fledged youko or inari.