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Racial Prestige: Kyubi Paragon (PFRPG) PDF

***** (based on 2 ratings)

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By Alexander Augunas

Make sure those magical tails aren’t just for show with Racial Prestige: Kyubi Paragon! Within, you’ll find:

The Kyubi Scion, an all-new 10 level prestige class available to any kitsune character. This prestige class features the aligned class mechanic, allowing any character to gain new powers while still progressing the powers of their original class.
Three embodiments that allow you to customize your paragon powers: magic, might, or skill!
Kyubi tricks, all-new powers available to all kitsune that enable them to mirror their race’s mythological origins like never before.
Player options old and new that are compatible with the kyubi scion class.
And much more!
With Everyman Gaming, innovation is never more than a page away!

Page Count: 16

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Product Reviews (2)

Average product rating:

***** (based on 2 ratings)

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

This installment of the Racial Prestige-series clocks in at 17 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 10 pages of content, so let's take a look!

This review was moved up in my reviewing-queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.

If you're somewhat of a Japanophile, you'll certainly appreciate the pdf specifying the origin of the word "kyubi" as a bastardization stemming from "kyuubi no kitsune" - and btw., if you're looking the currently by far best take on the kitsune race as a proper race with options galore, be sure to check out the Dynastic Races Compendium.

Anyways, let's move on to the racial paragon class: To qualify, you must be a kitsune with the Kyubi Awakening and Magical Tail feats and either have 5 ranks in a skill, BAB of +5 or higher or the ability to cast 3rd level spells. The class nets 4 + Int skills per level, nets no armor or weapon proficiencies and a 3/4 BAB-progression as well as no good saves. It should be noted that, at 3rd level, you get to choose two saves and gain +1 in them, which increases to +2 at 9th level, evening out at two medium save progressions at the higher levels.

The Kyubi Awakening feat, just fyi, nets you a kyubi trick, though you still have to meet the prerequisites of the trick.

Here's the thing, though - Everyman Gaming Racial Paragon PrCs have a so-called aligned class: Upon taking the PrC, you select one class and treat kyubi paragon levels thereafter as though you had progressed in that class for the purpose of its class features. This cannot let you exceed your character level, though, and does not yield new class features that would have been gained: Basically, scaling abilities are not crippled by taking the class, which is something I enjoy. In case you were wondering, the class nets Magical tail as a bonus feat at 2nd level and every 3 levels thereafter, with alternate choices being covered as well.

The class begins play with a so-called chakra reservoir equal to 1/2 PrC level + the number of Magical Tail feats possessed. As a swift action, the kyubi paragon may expend a number of such points to cast a spell-like ability gained from Magical Tails or use a kyubi trick without this counting against the daily limit of that SP. The cost is equal to the spell-level duplicated. The reservoir replenishes after rest. The astute reader may have noted that this allows for some serious action-economy tricks, which is pretty potent from the get-go.

Starting at 3rd level, the paragon may spend 1 point from this reservoir as a swift action accompanying the casting of a Magical Tail SP or kyubi trick to add the benefits of Conceal Spell, with 8th level unlocking the option to spend 2 such points to gain the benefits of Improved Conceal Spell. Furthermore, 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter unlock a Metamagic feat chosen from a list, which can hereafter be applied to the SPs and tricks, but at the cost of a number of points equal to the spell level increase of the feat in question, minimum 1.

Now, I have been mentioning kyubi tricks before - these basically constitute the talents of the class and the first one is gained at 1st level, with an additional trick every 2 levels thereafter. They are categorized and differentiated further by being grouped in tail-categories: There are tricks that require 2, 5 and 9 tails to learn. Saving throw-wise, we use either 1/2 HD or spell-level to calculate the saves, with Charisma being the governing attribute for these tricks. The kyubi tricks allow for a variety of different options: From improving upon Realistic Likeness with benefits of vocal alteration and more control over age, height etc. to using Occult Adventure's Chakra system to disguise other, point-powered Arcane Strike, rogue talents to gliding and gaining darkvision, these are interesting and sufficiently versatile. It should be noted that all those examples were from the first category of kyubi tricks, for the talents differentiate between 2-tail, 5-tail and 9-tail tricks . guess what the prerequisites for taking them are. Yeah, self-explanatory.

Using tails for simple tasks, gaining Psychic Sensitivity or the ranged legerdemain feature rank among the more intriguing ones and the strong leitmotif of magical trickster is also represented by the potential to gain access to ranged legerdemain.

Starting at 4th level, the class gains the shapeshift shaman hex, using the aligned class + PrC levels as shaman level and is treated as a racial shapechanging ability for the purpose of ability interaction. This is relevant, since quite a few kyubi tricks blend the shapechanging and trickster themes, offering e.g. a means to greatly increase the chance to escape bonds via shapeshifting or use shapeshifting while in your natural form to temporarily adapt to e.g. water etc.. Similarly, at higher levels, we do get the more potent plant/vermin shape and form of the (exotic) dragon/giant form options added to shapechanging with the right talent. And yes, the level prerequisites/unlocks of this trick make sense. Similarly, the potent Acrobatic Pounce is well-placed with an additional minimum-level caveat.

It should also be noted that the 5 tails-option potentially ties in with the Everyman Mini: Kumiho, allowing you to assume kumiho or pipefox shapes, with all required rules represented herein. Quick change and reservoir-based telekinesis can similarly be found. The highest-level and most potent of tricks, from screen to constant greater age resistance, are obviously the 9-tails options. Speaking of age: Really cool: We get modified age tables for kitsune with more than one tail! See, that is really thinking through the subject matter, going the extra mile. And before you're asking: Yes, you can gain an extra kyubi trick via a feat introduced herein. For your convenience, the contagious suggestion and form of the exotic dragon-spells have been btw. reprinted here, so no, you do not need those Player Companions to get all out of this pdf.

The class has more to offer, though: At 2nd level, the kyubi paragon chooses the embodiment he wishes to pursue - this choice cannot be changed once made and determines the abilities gained at 2nd, 6th and 10th level. 3 of these are provided: The Embodiment of magic allows the paragon to continue gaining new spells with the aligned class, allowing for basically 9/10 spell-level progression, with 6th level allowing for the use of chakra reservoir points in conjunction with the spells of the aligned class, which is VERY potent, even at 11th level, the earliest you can have it. This is thankfully balanced by double costs for doing so, reigning in the ability to strong, but sensible. The capstone here provides the option to employ multiple Metamagic feats in conjunction with his options. The Embodiment of might turns the class into a full BAB one with d10 as HD and also provides either a bonus feat or proficiency with all simple and martial weapons. 6th level nets a further bonus feat and makes PrC-levels count as fighter levels for prerequisite purposes and as a capstone, we have transformation for 3 points.

The third embodiment, embodiment of skill, nets 8 skill ranks at 2nd level and an additional +4 at every level thereafter. Additionally, if he's trained in a skill or uses an ability check, even if it's not his turn, the paragon can expend a point from the reservoir to add PrC levels as an insight bonus to the check - even when taking 10 or 20, but the decision must be made beforehand. 6th level allows for a reroll instead and allows for the use of all skills untrained (and the reservoir-based boost on them, conversely, may also now be used on untrained skills). The capstone lets the paragon take 10 or 20, even when prohibited from doing so, but at the cost of chakra reservoir points. These embodiments are genius, as they actually make the class feasible for pretty much all base classes - big kudos there!

One final thing to mention: At 4th level, the kyubi paragon gains the racial paragon vigilante talent, using class level plus aligned class level as vigilante level. He gains this talent a second and third time at 7th and 10th level, respectively. What does this talent do? Well, as a move action, the vigilante can gain access to a chosen feat that corresponds to his race for 1 minute, but still must fulfill the prerequisites. This can be used 3 + 1/2 vigilante class level times per day, with limited use feats taking away from the uses of the talent instead. Taking the talent additional times, the character may choose to either get one more racial feat or decrease the action required to activate the ability. Big kudos: This gets duration, interaction of wildcard feat-trees etc. right.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch on both a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming's two-column full-color standard and the full-color artworks are nice indeed. The pdf has no bookmarks, but doesn't necessarily requires them at this length.

Alexander Augunas' kyubi paragon is AMAZING. A) It is feasible for all types of character. B) It represents the iconic trickster style of the kyuubi no kitsune better than any other take on the trope I have seen so far and c), it does so while also providing a distinct and rewarding resource-management mechanic. In short: If there were more PrCs of this caliber, they wouldn't have such a bad rep. The balancing is also rather precise, with the limited resources putting hard and sensible, but not crippling caps on the most potent of tricks available. In short: 5 Stars + seal of approval, given sans hesitation.

Endzeitgeist out.


Gain the magic and might of the nine-tails

*****

This PDF covers a new prestige class, the Kyubi Paragon class for players of kitsune characters who want to go for the classic nine-tailed fox character. Normally this is difficult in the name, because the only way to do so is to take the Magical Tail feat. You have to do that once for every new tail, so if you want a full nine tails, your feats are eaten up until level 15 just for that. And since the feat only provides one spell-like ability per time its taken, usable twice a day, it feels like a large investment for very little payoff. Everyman Games and Mister Augunas have come to the rescue with this PrC, designed to work with nearly every character class and concept for kitsune willing to sacrifice to achieve the dizzying heights of power.

The PDF itself consists of seventeen pages, of which ten are devoted to the crunch of the class proper, with the rest given over to the OGL, cover, introduction, and such. The PrC requires that the prospective kitsune must have chosen the Magical Tail feat at least once, as well as Kyubi Awakening (a new feat described within). At first level you choose an 'aligned' class, which means that your levels in kyubi paragon add on to one of your old classes when it comes to determining your level-dependent effects from it. It doesn't grant any new class features or spells per day as you level up, which sounds problematic, but wait.

The kyubi paragon also gets a pool called their Chakra Reservoir. They can use points from this to cast any spell-like abilities gained from either Magical Tail or any kyubi tricks from their class without expending a normal per-day use. As they rise in level the kyubi can also use chakra points to add the effect of certain metamagic feats to their spell-like abilities. The class also grants a new Magical Tail feat starting at 2nd level and every three levels from them on. They also eventually get as many as three uses of the racial paragon vigilante talent. That works like the brawler's martial versatility ability, but it grants use of a feat with a racial prerequisite he meets but doesn't have. (So I guess no using this one for a few more tails when you need them.)

The class also eventually grants improved shapeshifting via the shaman's shapeshift hex. This counts as the basic kitsune change shape for the purpose of all effects that interact with it, like quick change spell or the lesser mimicry kyubi trick.

And there's still more. You also can choose what Embodiment you are. This is related to the aligned class ability and comes in three types. The Embodiment of Magic gets new spells per day as they level up, and at 6th and 10th level get other benefits. At 6th they can use their Chakra Reservoir with their aligned class spells as well as their Magical Tail and kyubi trick spell-like abilities to apply metamagic, though it costs far more chakra points to do so. At 10th level the kyubi can apply two such metamagic feats to any spell or spell-like ability as they cast it regardless of source, and when they do its caster level rises by one.

The Embodiment of Might shows us that martial classes are not forgotten. The martial kyubi paragon treats their BAB as equal to their PrC level, and their class hit dice is d10 instead of d8. You also get either improved weapon proficiencies or a bonus combat feat. At 6th level you get another combat feat, and can treat your kyubi paragon level as fighter levels, which they also stack with, for the purpose of meeting feat prerequisites. At 10th you get the ability to cast transformation on yourself.

The Embodiment of Skill gets extra skill points as well as the ability to spend chakra points to add their class level to the results of any ability or trained skill check. At 6th they can instead reroll any skill check, and can attempt all skill checks untrained. At 10th, the kyubi paragon can use chakra points to take a 10 on any skill check, or spend a few more to treat the roll as a 20 instead.

I have also mentioned kyubi tricks from time to time. These are a wide variety of special abilities the paragon gets as they rise in level, with the choices depending on how many tails they have. Most of them relate to either the kitsune's magical abilities or their shapechanging. They can also enhance their speed or senses, shapechange their way past bindings and grapples, shapechange to heal or gain prehensile tails, gain wickedly sharp claws, and more. Many of these also grow stronger as the kyubi gains more magical tails, giving you an incentive to keep taking those Magical Tail feats as well.

At five tails you can gain tricks that permit your shapeshifting to allow you to take on draconic forms, or create even more potent illusions and charms. Among the other lofty gifts for those exalted nine-tailed kitsune, they can turn a foe's sanity inside out – literally, or just rewrite reality to better suit themselves (worried GMs relax, that just means they can cast limited wish 1/day, though they still have to pay the material component cost to do so).

There are so many potent and amazing kyubi tricks it seems a shame you can choose only five. So, thankfully. I can report that you can take the Extra Kyubi Trick feat for more. The Kyubi Awakening feat is also described. It grants one kyubi trick, as well as the classic extended kitsune lifespan determining on how many tails you have. It also replaces the standard aging list for determining the bonuses you get on your mental ability scores. This part alone gives me some amazing plot ideas, like having to meet and talk with an ancient nine-tail to learn about some similarly ancient foe or curse the PCs have to face. Of course, their time is valuable, so you have to prove you're worth their time before they speak with some less than a century old child.

At the end we get some new spells, mostly the form of the exotic dragon I-III spells that permit you to transform into either primal or imperial dragons. We also get contagious suggestion, which makes the first person affected pass the suggestion along to other targets. And the secondary target can in turn pass it along to others! This can be one nasty spell in the wrong hands!

So there you have what I find to be one of the best prestige classes I've read in a long time. Admittedly, it is limited to kitsune, but if you play one and ever wanted to be one of the magical nine-tails, you can do so in magnificent style now. The amount of choices you get is amazing, all but guaranteeing that no two members of this class will resemble each other. You could easily have a small party of kyubi paragons and have everyone feeling that their character is 100% unique. If I have to make a complaint, it's that one or two abilities rely on Mister Augunas' Dynastic Races Compendium, but any kitsune fan will probably be getting that one if they don't already have it. After seeing what was done here, I know I will.

I give this one nine tails, er, five stars and a delighted recommendation to everyone who has ever even thought about playing a kitsune!


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