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Ponderings on Golarions Kitsune


Pathfinder Campaign Setting General Discussion


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Okay, so after reading through the new Dragon Empires Gazetteer pdf. Some things strike me about the Races or more actually the Kitsune. Please bear with me.

The other races detailed in this volume have a "homeland" where they make up the ruling class/ majority population (before you ask I know wayangs technically don't either, I feel they make up for it based on Minata isles and having apparently pretty good influence in the "dark places" of Tian Xie). While Kitsune populations are present in most all of the other nations they hold the top spot in none of them. An exception may be made for the Forest of Spirits though the majority population there is technically Fey/Kami with "small settlements" of kitsune living among them.

Kitsune technically have the second shortest lifespan of any of the normal player races in golarion yes their max life can rival humans and exceed the average half-orc but still their maximum age is 97 which means the average kitsune would be probably mid 60s-70s at the time of death.

Given the lack of homeland and being noted as a minor population group in the various countries as well as age limits. It causes me to wonder about this race in terms of setting story. Are they a "dying" race? A short life span coupled with a small population anchor may imply this. Are they like gnomes whose "homeland" was in the first world and they were chased out. The fact they still have a deity ascribed to them as a mother goddess /founder asks, are they a "young" race which was just recently created and are only beginning to spread through the world?

It may just be the fact I love a story that has just enough melancholy to tug at the emotions but I like to envision them as a quietly dwindling race with strong ties to the spiritual/natural world, but mask the sadness of losing their place with the joie de vivre personalities of the artist and tricksters that the other races would describe them as.

Thoughts? Other speculations?


That's interesting.

The Kitsune and the Huli Jing of China were actually famous for their long lives. But I think PF may have hinted at the traditional legends in an interesting way (or at least this is how I imagine things):

If a race has a fairly short life-span, like the Kitsune or Humans, then they might have a propensity to attempt to extend it by unnatural or difficult means. The Huli Jing in particular is believed to steal life-force (Ki or Qi) from its victims to extend its life and increase its powers, like a sort of psychic vampire. While rarely a part of the Japanese version of the creature, this might indicate that instead of reacting with melancholy, there's a subset of the species that have taken a necromantic approach to the problem.

After all, stealing life is only a part of the whole trickery continuum they partake of - albeit the evil side.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

To a certain extent, the Forest of Spirits is the kitsune homeland... but you're right. They do not have their own nation. This doesn't mean they're a "dying" race, though... after all, there's no half-elf, half-orc, halfing, or gnome nation in the game yet.

But yeah, kitsune are indeed somewhat adrift when it comes to their history and homeland.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There isn't Gnomelandia yet? :(


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
"Jeff de luna wrote:
*Info on Huli Jing*

Now that is interesting, I consider my self well versed in Japanese, Norse, Greco-Roman, Native American, and Irish/UK folk lore but Chinese myth is not somthing that I've spent alot of time on, Oh I know journey to the west but thats about it. So foxy essence/soul vampires neat!

James Jacobs wrote:

To a certain extent, the Forest of Spirits is the kitsune homeland... but you're right. They do not have their own nation. This doesn't mean they're a "dying" race, though... after all, there's no half-elf, half-orc, halfing, or gnome nation in the game yet.

But yeah, kitsune are indeed somewhat adrift when it comes to their history and homeland.

You've got me on halfings and gnomes , but half-orc and half-elves are splinter races as long as orcs and elves live close enough to humans to interbreed your probably not going to run out of them. Also it seems to me that in order to be in the running the race has to breed true with another of its kind and I don't know if that is true of the half-whatever races of Golarion so they didn't really figure into my assumptions.

As far as my speculation is concerned, note that the "dying" option was only one hypothesis I put forth and is a favorite theme of mine because I do have a perverse love for a good emotion crushing story (i.e. the passing of the elves from Lord of the Rings) it would make me equally happy though to learn that they were a "young" or "new" race.

As it is I will eagerly await the day Kitsune of Golarion hits the store shelves to learn what may be the "reality" of the situation. Meanwhile I will ponder what mysteries may be crafted into interesting story hooks to throw at one of my players who has now sworn all of his characters from this point on will be a Kitsune.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

James Jacobs wrote:
after all, there's no half-elf, half-orc, halfing, or gnome nation in the game yet.

YET??? That means there will be! Now is the time to blow the word 'yet' out of proportion again!

Finished reading this newest Gazetteer. I was not really expecting to like this book. I really like the Kitsune though. Can't wait to see the feats for them.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Cheapy wrote:
There isn't Gnomelandia yet? :(

There was, but they blew it up.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Do Kitsune gain additional tails as they gain age and power?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Lord Fyre wrote:
Do Kitsune gain additional tails as they gain age and power?

Sort of. They gain additional tails as they gain kitsune feats.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

James Jacobs wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Do Kitsune gain additional tails as they gain age and power?
Sort of. They gain additional tails as they gain kitsune feats.

It is real pity that the Gazetteer and the Primer had to be shipped separately. :(


The DGS will be pleased to inform you that there is nothing wrong with the Gnomeland. It is just... Unavailable at the moment.

Sovereign Court

I guess it's weird to visualize. Kitsune being sneaky by nature (and need) could pass each other in the night so to speak. So how do distant Kitsune have children? Luck out and maybe find another out in the various nations and lands they cover?

Is there a cultural or spitual draw that brings them back together?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Cheapy wrote:
There isn't Gnomelandia yet? :(

Just south of the Blink Dog nation.


Would be awesome for sorc to have a kitsune bloodline.. just sayan.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion Subscriber

Prior to the announcement of the Kisune being a race, I had been playing a barbarian with a Kisune spirit as his Spirit Totem, and the spirit-tails being his spirit attacks.

I will perhaps need to revisit this concept now that there is actual Kisune information out there.


James Jacobs wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Do Kitsune gain additional tails as they gain age and power?
Sort of. They gain additional tails as they gain kitsune feats.

Does this imply that there are a possible of 7 (or 8 should the ever coveted Nine Tails be available to non deific kitsune) special feats for them? :D

Sovereign Court

Prestige Class for the 9?


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ThatEvilGuy wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Do Kitsune gain additional tails as they gain age and power?
Sort of. They gain additional tails as they gain kitsune feats.
Does this imply that there are a possible of 7 (or 8 should the ever coveted Nine Tails be available to non deific kitsune) special feats for them? :D

It seems that the Kitsune goddess' favorite form is a white nine tails so since kitsune gain tails as they gain kitsune feats (and if previous fiction is to be taken as an example advance in importance in kitsune society) It may very well be that the maximum number of tails is 8 as 9 seems to be the deification number.

*Note: I am typing while somewhat inebriated at the moment if the post above makes no sense please disregard.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

ThatEvilGuy wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Do Kitsune gain additional tails as they gain age and power?
Sort of. They gain additional tails as they gain kitsune feats.
Does this imply that there are a possible of 7 (or 8 should the ever coveted Nine Tails be available to non deific kitsune) special feats for them? :D

Nope. There are only 2 or 3 kitsune feats. You can take some of them more than once.

Chances of us (or someone else) designing additional kitsune feats in the future, I would say, would be 100%.


Can we beg for a spoiler?

Bad question let me rephrase it, I'm already begging, what's the chances that we'll get a spoiler?


Abraham spalding wrote:

Can we beg for a spoiler?

Bad question let me rephrase it, I'm already begging, what's the chances that we'll get a spoiler?

Don't do that! He'll just say that one of the feats allows you to beast shape into a fox!

~shifty eyes~

That being said, I scrapped an entire character concept for an upcoming Jade Regent campaign that I had been working on, on and off, for months and built a kitsune.

I WAS THAT LAME!

...

Spoiler?


Their faults for giving us such a torturous, "The best parts are yet to come" teaser!


ThatEvilGuy wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:

Can we beg for a spoiler?

Bad question let me rephrase it, I'm already begging, what's the chances that we'll get a spoiler?

Don't do that! He'll just say that one of the feats allows you to beast shape into a fox!

~shifty eyes~

That being said, I scrapped an entire character concept for an upcoming Jade Regent campaign that I had been working on, on and off, for months and built a kitsune.

I WAS THAT LAME!

...

Spoiler?

I did the same thing I totally changed my character concept just to build a kitsune. Now to convince my DM to let me play it for Jade Regent.


Instead of a direct spoiler... are there any kitsune feats available, that you know of, Mr. Jacobs, that can be taken at 1st level?


I'd also like to know if any of them are semi-class specific..

Like one of those ones you can take multiple times only useful if you are a spell caster?

Sovereign Court

I am curious. Can Kitsune breed with humans? Is it possible for a classic "Fox Wife" senario to explain a character being a Kitsune or some of the 'fey/spirit' aspected Sorcerer Bloodlines?


TheLoneCleric wrote:
I am curious. Can Kitsune breed with humans? Is it possible for a classic "Fox Wife" senario to explain a character being a Kitsune or some of the 'fey/spirit' aspected Sorcerer Bloodlines?

I also wish to know this. Especially if as long as one parent is a kitsune, are the children full-blooed kitsune as well?


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kazarath wrote:
TheLoneCleric wrote:
I am curious. Can Kitsune breed with humans? Is it possible for a classic "Fox Wife" senario to explain a character being a Kitsune or some of the 'fey/spirit' aspected Sorcerer Bloodlines?
I also wish to know this. Especially if as long as one parent is a kitsune, are the children full-blooed kitsune as well?

If the children ended up as full-blooded kitsune, it would go a long way towards explaining how they survive as a race when they're so spread out. Not to mention that they likely have trouble finding one another since they often pose as humans, lol.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Well maybe they have to breed with pure humans and the children of the same gender as the kitsune parent breed true? My kitsune legend fu is lacking.

Aside, anyone want to take up the challenge of a kitsune bloodline for sorcerers?

Sovereign Court

Having a Kitsune in the family somewhere would make for a great excuse for a couple of fey/verdant/destined bloodlines. No reason to have a Kitsune one. But hey, if Paizo is willing, I'll play it. :)


Matthew Morris wrote:

Well maybe they have to breed with pure humans and the children of the same gender as the kitsune parent breed true? My kitsune legend fu is lacking.

Aside, anyone want to take up the challenge of a kitsune bloodline for sorcerers?

Kitsune, like Cats and Dogs or Tanuki, if somehow are in human form (Kitsune are foxes who learn how to take human form in Japanese and Chinese legend) are capable of fathering or bearing young, but these children are essentially human with some magical traits (i.e., a bloodline). In order to breed more Kitsune (or Bakeneko) or whatever they have to breed with their animal form.

Interestingly, I discovered the other day that Kitsune are described as Yakan - or Dakan in Chinese, and are hence associated with Dakinis, the Khandro, or nymphs of tantric enlightenment in Esoteric Buddhism, who were sometimes depicted as having Jackal familiars (Jackals were seen as a type of fox by the Chinese). This explains the, um, sensual aspects, of their legend a little better. These creatures could have human children, it looks like (in fact they were sometimes seen as the spirits of women who died in childbirth), and were sometimes transformed female tantric practitioners, but were also seen as evil witches - in India. So someone could become a Dakini/Kitsune later in life.

This doesn't resolve much, but it's grist for the mill...


James Jacobs wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Do Kitsune gain additional tails as they gain age and power?
Sort of. They gain additional tails as they gain kitsune feats.

I've read both the Gazetteer and the Primer, and there must have been some rules changed around, since it doesn't seem to list anywhere how Kitsune gain more tails (if they do at all). It can't be because of Kitsune Feats, since there's only 3 of them and you can't take any of them multiple times.

Sovereign Court

Harrison wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Do Kitsune gain additional tails as they gain age and power?
Sort of. They gain additional tails as they gain kitsune feats.
I've read both the Gazetteer and the Primer, and there must have been some rules changed around, since it doesn't seem to list anywhere how Kitsune gain more tails (if they do at all). It can't be because of Kitsune Feats, since there's only 3 of them and you can't take any of them multiple times.

Yeah, what's up with that? Also, why do all the kitsune feats favor classes with 1/1 BAB? My kitsune enchanter can't get a fourth tail before level 21!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber

Resurrecting this thread with a simple question: Are kitsune considered fey, or non-fey?

Believe it or not, it's important to how I play out a certain section of an AP.


Standard Pathfinder kitsune are medium humanoids with the kitsune and shapechanger subtypes.

In addition to their anthropomorphic fox appearance they can also take a single human form of the same gender.

The feat for them to gain additional tails is in the Advanced Race Guide.

Their entry from Advanced Race Guide also appears in the PRD here:
http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/advancedRaceGuide/uncommonRaces/kitsune. html


I'll leave a dot here due to interest towards the topic.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Pawns Subscriber
Wolf Munroe wrote:

Standard Pathfinder kitsune are medium humanoids with the kitsune and shapechanger subtypes.

In addition to their anthropomorphic fox appearance they can also take a single human form of the same gender.

The feat for them to gain additional tails is in the Advanced Race Guide.

Their entry from Advanced Race Guide also appears in the PRD here:
http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/advancedRaceGuide/uncommonRaces/kitsune. html

Thanks. I have the ARG and it doesn't say 'fey' anywhere, but I just wanted to be sure. 3 of the 5 party members are fey, and they're going to experience things the non-fey don't. Just wanted to know which side to throw the kitsune on...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Why were the Kitsune given such a short lifespan in Pathfinder? They are essentially the same kind of near-fey creatures as Elves and Gnomes, they should have the lifespans to match.


NobodysHome wrote:
Thanks. I have the ARG and it doesn't say 'fey' anywhere, but I just wanted to be sure. 3 of the 5 party members are fey, and they're going to experience things the non-fey don't. Just wanted to know which side to throw the kitsune on...

In my opinion, the kitsune have at least a slight fey theme to them. They start knowing Sylvan, which is the language of the fey for starters. Also their race is based in the Forest of the Spirits, which is a fey themed area, and kitsune abilities seem similar to a watered down version of the Fey Creature template.

Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
Why were the Kitsune given such a short lifespan in Pathfinder? They are essentially the same kind of near-fey creatures as Elves and Gnomes, they should have the lifespans to match.

I have often wondered the same thing. *Especially* when you take into account the 'RL' legends say a kitsune has to live for 1000 years to gain nine tails.

My best guess is that the devs wanted to do something 'different' with their version of the kitsune instead of having them be too similar to the 'RL' version. They probably gained a shortened lifespan because of their close relationship with humans.

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