Kitsune Shapechanging and Realistic Likeness


Rules Questions


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I searched and didn't find anyone having asked this point, so ... reading through the descriptions of the racial traits, I noticed that the change shape description lists +10 racial bonus on disguise checks to appear human.

Quote:
Change Shape (Su): A kitsune can assume the appearance of a specific single human form of the same sex. The kitsune always takes this specific form when she uses this ability. A kitsune in human form cannot use her bite attack, but gains a +10 racial bonus on Disguise checks made to appear human. Changing shape is a standard action. This ability otherwise functions as alter self, except that the kitsune does not adjust her ability scores.

... but then reading the description for Realistic Likeness... it provides +10 circumstance bonus on disguise checks

Quote:
Realistic Likeness: You can precisely mimic the physical features of any individual you have encountered. When you use your racial change shape ability, you can attempt to take the form of an individual, ]granting you a +10 circumstance bonus on Disguise checks made to fool others with your impersonation.

Since it specifically states two difference types of bonuses, that would stack, does this mean that a level 1 Kitsune with realistic likeness would have an automatic +20 to be disguised as any individual they've met before?

Lantern Lodge

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Since the two bonuses are granted from different bonus types, to my knowledge, the answer is yes.


dang ... after building my 3rd level kitsune rogue (who has 3 ranks in disguise and a +3 charisma bonus) he's got a +30 on disguise rolls to look like anyone he's met before. Added to that, the GM understanding my intentions suggested that I equipment him with a hat of disguise adding yet another +10 bonus ... +40 to disguise... As much as I love gimme's, that seem a lil broken to me


Ar'ruum wrote:
dang ... after building my 3rd level kitsune rogue (who has 3 ranks in disguise and a +3 charisma bonus) he's got a +30 on disguise rolls to look like anyone he's met before. Added to that, the GM understanding my intentions suggested that I equipment him with a hat of disguise adding yet another +10 bonus ... +40 to disguise... As much as I love gimme's, that seem a lil broken to me

That's not how I'm reading it. The Change Shape ability gives you +10 to appear human. This just means that when you use Realistic Likeness and someone thinks you're not human, you have a +10 vs. the check to see if they realize that you're not human. It does not give you the +10 racial bonus to appear to be that individual.

Further, the +10 from the Hat of Disguise can be disbelieved with a Will save.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

If they're poking a finger through the disguise, right?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

BetaSprite ninja'ed me on this. He/she/it is right, those separate bonus' apply to separate conditions.

Appear human +10
Appear as a particular humanoid +10
Hat of Disguise will add 10 to each of those though and you can lose that bonus if they interact with your disguise (say a guard tries to frisk you for weapons or a pickpocket attempts to lift something). Which means you'll almost never lose your bonus.

Still a killer disguise build

Liberty's Edge

Change Shape gives you a +10 racial bonus to appear human, but a specific human who does not look like any specific NPC or another PC (same as any human PC in fact).

Realistic Likeness gives you a +10 circumstance bonus to appear as a specific human you encountered (ie, not your "human" self).

Thus the two bonuses will never stack.

Also, as a GM, i consider that interacting with a person wearing a hat of disguise is indeed interacting with the illusion, and thus gives the save.


my one contention would be that this is a shape change, not an illusion... wouldn't that be different than an illusion which would be a mask over what was really there...

but in other words, Kitsune shifts into her 'generic' human form and with the hat receives a +20 vs people realizing that she's in a shifted form? Then she shifts into Richard Dreyfuss and gets a +20 vs people realizing that she's not actually Richard Dreyfuss... with each being a bonus against the d20 check roll...

Liberty's Edge

Yes. And that is when you grovel and beg your GM to let your Kitsune enter the Halfling Opportunist Prestige Class which uses Disguise in place of Diplomacy.


It makes sense to me that these shapeshifting bonuses would stack if we think of it this way: realistic likeness is just meant to offset the penalties for impersonating someone while also appearing human.

Though, it doesn't seem quite right to me that the bonus from disguise self would stack with the bonus from alter self. After all, wouldn't disguise self hide most of the changes/benefits from alter self in the first place?


one thing is that it does specify that it is that the kitsune must be the same gender. Still, I'm gonna have a lot of fun with this character.

Raven: it's interesting that you mention the Halflings, my social trait is adopted (Halfing) - Helpful ... I'm already halfway there...

Matrix, the way it plays out though is that if I shift into Generic Human Male, I get +20 bonus to my disguise check (+10 from racial ability, +10 from skills) ... If I shift to mimic a specific male human I get +20 bonus (+10 from Realistic Likeness, + 10 from skills) ... If I want to impersonate a female, +20 (+10 from the hat of disguise, +10 skills).

I think this is good and fleshed out ... thanks folks.

Liberty's Edge

Actually, the same gender bit is from Change Shape, thus applies to your "human" self.

It does not apply to Realistic Likeness which you can use for any gender (but only for humans I think, despite the feat's crunch description which only mentions "individuals").

I could see an Improved Realistic Likeness homebrew feat allowing a kitsune to impersonate any humanoid they encountered (rather than any human).


Just of note, both Racial bonuses and Circumstance bonuses stack with themselves as well as others. So, even if both of these were racial or circumstance, they would actually still stack together.

That said, I am in agreement that they do not apply to the same thing. Change Shape applies to looking human, in general, such as hiding mannerisms or something behind the fact that you look just like a human, so people might not realize you aren't one. Realistic Likeness impersonates specific individuals, which seems, to me at least, to be a bit of a different ball game.

Scarab Sages

In PFS, my friend almost got married to a Blakros Daughter with it, almost.

DM - "There is about a hundred people that you have to decieve to make everyone believe you are what you say you are."

Friend - "LET'S DO THIS!"

Me whispering to Friend - "What about that Candle of Truth that you say would blow your cover?"

Friend to Me - "Shut....Up...."

All and all, it was a hilarious experience that threw the whole party off.

Shadow Lodge

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My Daughter is playing this build. I disagree with anyone who does not think that they do not stack. First off, you have to have the one and use the racial shape change ability for the realistic part to kick in. So obviously they are meant to stack. 2nd, Alter self and disguise self work together.

Change Shape (Su): A kitsune can assume the appearance of a specific single human form of the same sex. The kitsune always takes this specific form when she uses this ability. A kitsune in human form cannot use her bite attack, but gains a +10 racial bonus on Disguise checks made to appear human. Changing shape is a standard action. This ability otherwise functions as alter self, except that the kitsune does not adjust her ability scores.

This is the same as alter self spell in reality. Just with out the bonus to dex and str from size change.

Then there is Realistic Likeness
When you are in human form, you can take the shape of a specific individual.
Prerequisite: Kitsune.
Benefit: You can precisely mimic the physical features of any individual you have encountered. When you use your racial change shape ability, you can attempt to take the form of an individual, granting you a +10 circumstance bonus on Disguise checks made to fool others with your impersonation.

This is purely a disguise check, much like disguise self spell. So instead of taking the 2 spells, your taking a racial ability and a feat meant specifically for a racial ability. And saying they do not stack? That is ridiculous.

Why do we not have someone like Mr Brock chime in on this for faq?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Blackdragondisciple wrote:
My Daughter is playing this build. I disagree with anyone who does not think that they do not stack.

The number of people you disagree with doesn't make you any more right. What is fact and fiction is not an autocratic processs any more than it is a democratic one.


My thoughts.

What you are trying to ACHIEVE is slightly different.

The Kitsune ability is to appear Human.So going about without people noticing the 'not-quite-rightness', of your 'human' form.

Realistic Likeness is to appear like a specific Human. Another step up in difficulty because (like any human) you would then need to pass as someone with different features.

Should the two bonuses stack? I'm inclined to say yes, BUT because you are in effect trying to do TWO things with your disguise (appear human and then changing the human appearance to be a specific human) I would increase the DC also (but not by 10 so the pcs would still have a net gain).

Shadow Lodge

So LazarX, your saying that Alter Self and Disguise self do no stack? When in fact they do. Are you saying that a racial bonus and a circumstance bonus do not stack? When in fact they do?

Now if said character where to cast Alter self on one self, I agree it would not stack since the racial bonus is alter self. But its as clear as my nose on my face. Alter self and disguise skill/self/etc all stack. So these two things do in fact stack. Regardless of how many thousand say it does not. If 5000 society members all jump off a bridge, are they correct in doing so? No, the one who decided to climb down is still correct.

Alter self gets you to look like the human, and disguise self or realistic likeness puts the finishing tough to make it even better.

Not only that, these two in combo only can do human. Not any other race. So its very limiting. And you want to nerf something as insignificant as this? One can achieve the same results with the spells alter elf and disguise self, and be any race. Remind me never to sit at your table as if you rule this way on this combo, then I am guessing you would say that one can not power attack and cleave together as well.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Blackdragondisciple wrote:

So LazarX, your saying that Alter Self and Disguise self do no stack? When in fact they do. Are you saying that a racial bonus and a circumstance bonus do not stack? When in fact they do?

Yes I'm saying EXACTLY that. They are essentially overlapping, not stacking effects. The major difference is that Disguise Self is appearance only so any physical interaction entitles someone to a saving throw to disbelieve whereas Alter Self is a physical alteration of the subject. On the flip side though, Disguise Self has a far longer duration.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

There is two exceptions in the Kitsune`s Change Shape Ability.

First: A kitsune can assume the appearance of a specific single human form of the same sex. The kitsune always takes this specific form when she uses this ability

Second: the kitsune does not adjust her ability scores

Kitsune`s Change Shape only allows it to change its shape to a specific individual. No more, no less. If you choose Silvester Stallone face, you will have that mug always you shapechange to human form.


Sorry for the forum necromancy but by RAW the general consensus of this thread is incorrect. and here is why.

Combining Magic Effects

Spells or magical effects usually work as described, no matter how many other spells or magical effects happen to be operating in the same area or on the same recipient. Except in special cases, a spell does not affect the way another spell operates. Whenever a spell has a specific effect on other spells, the spell description explains that effect. Several other general rules apply when spells or magical effects operate in the same place:
Stacking Effects

Spells that provide bonuses or penalties on attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, and other attributes usually do not stack with themselves. More generally, two bonuses of the same type don't stack even if they come from different spells (or from effects other than spells; see Bonus Types, above).

Different Bonus Types

The bonuses or penalties from two different spells stack if the modifiers are of different types. A bonus that doesn't have a type stacks with any bonus.

One Effect Makes Another Irrelevant

Sometimes, one spell can render a later spell irrelevant. Both spells are still active, but one has rendered the other useless in some fashion.

So if a Kitsune wanted to look like any given human met before here are the modifiers gained
Racial Shape change with Realistic likeness feat
+10 Racial bonus to appear human
+10 Untyped bonus Polymorph subschool spell
+10 Circumstance bonus to look like a particular human you have met
Apply any of the following modifers that are applicable
Minor details only +5
Disguised as different gender –2
Disguised as different race –2
Disguised as different age category –2
Disguised as different size category -10

Disguise self may or may not apply to this based on how your GM interprets one effect makes another irrelevant and the application of these 2 abilities. if it does you get an extra +10 bonus if it does not then you could be disguised as someone who is disguised as someone else making for some really weird scenarios and very complicated rules.

Hope this helps


Sorry for the necro, but I get the feeling this will become a lot more relevant in two weeks with Kitsune becoming PFS legal.

My interpretation is that they don't stack, since they are for different uses of the disguise skill (specifically "to appear human," and to "impersonate an individual"). Under the disguise skill you get a penalty for impersonating a different race. I would allow a kitsune to avoid that penalty using their natural shape change ability, though that's not RAW.

I don't see any reason why disguise self wouldn't stack with this or alter self, it essentially just makes the disguise better with illusions. People would be more likely to give you a close look if you're impersonating someone important or well-known, though, so there'd be more 'interactions' and saves vs the illusion.

One of the big issues is that kitsune can do this without worry about spell durations. If they were allowed to stack I expect we'd see issues with *huge* disguise DCs and important NPCs that could be hard for some GMs to handle.

Shadow Lodge

-yay for necromancy- anyway i have a question about the realistic likeness. when they turn into the person, is it like full plumbing? lol for instance a male kitsune turns into the queen of a contry or something, would he have full female plumbing or is it just a illusion? lol either way would be intersting RP moments lol


Raphael Valen wrote:
-yay for necromancy- anyway i have a question about the realistic likeness. when they turn into the person, is it like full plumbing? lol for instance a male kitsune turns into the queen of a contry or something, would he have full female plumbing or is it just a illusion? lol either way would be intersting RP moments lol

It does specifically say that when they turn into a person (their one and only) it has to be the same sex; so yes that includes plumbing. When they fake the appearance of a specific person they have met, it's an illusion so it doesn't.

I realize that's being a killjoy, esp. since historic kitsune were under no such limitation.

Shadow Lodge

i was wondering since in the feat theres no such mention of illusion lol, since normally with illusion stuff in pathfinder theres a will save to disbelive it but not for realistic likeness, so im still a bit curious lol

Shadow Lodge

I think the modifiers on the opposed rolls needed to detect the impostor may render the stacking issue moot. I'm on the side of the modifiers stacking, but I see why there is a disagreement.
A FAQ would be nice, but I don't see this issue coming up enough to prompt one.

What is the difference between a +20 Disguise check and a +30 disguise check...

How many NPCs are going to have the Sense Motive skill ranks?
How many NPCs are going to have the Perception skill ranks to detect a mundane disguise enhanced by these abilities?
Taking 10 for a ~30 Disguise roll makes discovery quite challenging, if not completely impossible.

There are no Will saves to detect this ability. It is not an Illusion. It's a (Su) Transmutation(Polymorph) effect.

There are a couple of important hang-ups with Realistic Likeness that no one seems to be acknowledging:
You don't sound like the person you're impersonating.
There's a spell for that.
You don't act like the person you're impersonating (accent, mannerisms, body language, etc).
There's a spell for that too.

I imagine many inexperienced Kitsune spies have been abruptly discovered this way.

Queen: "You don't sound like my husband..."
PC: "I have something stuck in my throat <cough, cough>"
I think that would be one heck of a Bluff check. I'm sure the Queen would have a huge circumstance bonus on her roll.

Sleeves of Many Garments makes this tactic a lot easier.

Shadow Lodge

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i was thinking about that too Tomos, its very intersting and makes it possible for some funny RP moments

king: you dont sound like my wife
Kitsune: i do too, you just never listen to me!

LMAO XD


1 person marked this as a favorite.
daimaru wrote:
Raphael Valen wrote:
-yay for necromancy- anyway i have a question about the realistic likeness. when they turn into the person, is it like full plumbing? lol for instance a male kitsune turns into the queen of a contry or something, would he have full female plumbing or is it just a illusion? lol either way would be intersting RP moments lol
It does specifically say that when they turn into a person (their one and only) it has to be the same sex; so yes that includes plumbing. When they fake the appearance of a specific person they have met, it's an illusion so it doesn't.

Where does it say that the appearance is an "illusion" rather than a more-nuanced shapeshift?


seebs wrote:
daimaru wrote:
Raphael Valen wrote:
-yay for necromancy- anyway i have a question about the realistic likeness. when they turn into the person, is it like full plumbing? lol for instance a male kitsune turns into the queen of a contry or something, would he have full female plumbing or is it just a illusion? lol either way would be intersting RP moments lol
It does specifically say that when they turn into a person (their one and only) it has to be the same sex; so yes that includes plumbing. When they fake the appearance of a specific person they have met, it's an illusion so it doesn't.
Where does it say that the appearance is an "illusion" rather than a more-nuanced shapeshift?

You're right that it doesn't say, I just feel it's implied by their "true human form" having to be the same sex. After all, where does it say it is a shapeshift?


daimaru wrote:


You're right that it doesn't say, I just feel it's implied by their "true human form" having to be the same sex. After all, where does it say it is a shapeshift?

Pg. 192 of the ARG it states "Kitsune: Kitsune are humanoids with the kitsune and shapechanger subtypes." It's only shifting ability is it's Change Shape ability and corresponding feats. I don't think a Kitsune would have a shapechanger sub-type if it's only shapeshifting ability was an illusion.


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Thanks for the Necromancy Black Fox

Prerequisites: Kitsune.

Benefit: You can precisely mimic the physical features of any individual you have encountered. When you use your racial change shape ability, you can attempt to take the form of an individual, granting you a +10 circumstance bonus on Disguise checks made to fool others with your impersonation.

The bolded part is mine. Now because it specifically calls out when you use your shapeshifting ability I believe this means they do stack. Otherwise you wouldn't need to point out that it is only when he use your racial change shape ability. Also this feat seems to suggest that is bypasses the specific rule on limiting it to 1 specific form. You can attempt to take the form of an individual(Human) seems to be that is it suggesting your shapeshifting into them as a Feat allowed advancement of your natural ability.


I always read the as being a true Shapeshift. Their transformation is a true shift, realistic likeness says when they use their ability they can TAKE the form of a specific individual so to me that means they can turn into whoever they like.

Also what's that about Kitsune being PFS legal do in need a. Boon or Cann I just take them now?


This is what http://www.d20pfsrd.com/races/other-races/uncommon-races/arg-kitsune says on the subject (bold is mine):

Kitsune, or fox folk, are vulpine shapeshifters known for their love of both trickery and art. Kitsune possess two forms: that of an attractive human of slender build with salient eyes, and their true form of an anthropomorphic fox.

Physical Description: A kitsune has two forms—a single human form and its true form, that of a humanoid fox. In their human forms, kitsune tend toward quickness and lithe beauty. In all forms they possess golden, amber, or brilliant blue eyes. In their true forms, they are covered with a downy coat of auburn fur, although more exotic coloration is possible.

I am rather new to this, so I don't know if it is a reputable site for source material, but I have seen people use it as a source.

*edit
I believe this would mean they have a specific form they can turn into, that is their human form and no more. I do agree however that this is not how kitsune abilities are traditionally, where they could literally change (not just an illusion) into whatever they please.

*edit 2
I just read about the feat "realistic likeness" without that, you cannot change to imitate another human.
pardon my blabbering.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

FYI, you get the +10 Realistic Likeness bonus when you look like your humanoid self as well. You are a specific individual in your own right, thus the bonus applies, per the feat.

They're all different bonus types with potentially overlapping conditions.

I for one believe they all stack.

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