How do you view Kitsune alternate forms?


Rules Questions


I know this is really a GM call but I'm curious how people see this. Is it more of a ongoing change e.g a Kitsune that takes human form has to constantly concentrate on maintaining it and will shift back to their base form if knocked unconscious or falls asleep. Alternatively and how I saw it is the change a one off thing e.g once they change forms (human, fox, a specific individual with realistic likeness) they'll stay that way till they choose to change shape again with no need to maintain it meaning they can safely sleep without instantly revealing what they are?


Since the lore includes kitsunes marrying humans for years i'd be inclined to let them sleep like that.

I do however like the werewolf thing where you can lose your form if you lose control.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Since the lore includes kitsunes marrying humans for years i'd be inclined to let them sleep like that.

I do however like the werewolf thing where you can lose your form if you lose control.

I tend to view it as once a form is assumed it remains till they take another however they need to learn to control their abilities and direct the change. So you have young Kitsune who'll have a fox's, ears or tail, fur over their body or the like because they didn't get the change right or older ones affected by injuries e.g they burn a paw they may not manage to change it to a human hand.

EDIT
Like the one here. . .
http://mangafox.me/manga/ghost_sweeper_mikami/v36/c005/11.html
http://mangafox.me/manga/ghost_sweeper_mikami/v36/c005/12.html
http://mangafox.me/manga/ghost_sweeper_mikami/v36/c005/13.html
http://mangafox.me/manga/ghost_sweeper_mikami/v36/c005/16.html


Lore does include kitsune losing partial control when frightened, particularly by dogs. Also has kitsune able to turn trash into the illusion of something else, particularly leaves into money. Since they can't do the second in Pathfinder and nothing mentions the first I'd be strongly inclined to let them sleep as humans and not lose control. As an NPC or house rules, almost anything goes of course.


daimaru wrote:
Lore does include kitsune losing partial control when frightened, particularly by dogs. Also has kitsune able to turn trash into the illusion of something else, particularly leaves into money. Since they can't do the second in Pathfinder and nothing mentions the first I'd be strongly inclined to let them sleep as humans and not lose control. As an NPC or house rules, almost anything goes of course.

Leaves into money is nicely covered by the illusion spells for a magic user and if I get a nice gm I can go with partial shifting e.g. Popping out the ears/tail when scared for better hearing or balance. Since I'm going with the Kitsunes compendium of storytellers spreading multiple tales about their abilities and the like a deliberate shift in reaction to a perceived threat becomes a lose of control when frightened.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I allow kitsune to maintain their shape indefinitely, despite the rules not quite allowing it. My bard has only revealed herself maybe twice in the entirety of her PFS career.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
I allow kitsune to maintain their shape indefinitely, despite the rules not quite allowing it. My bard has only revealed herself maybe twice in the entirety of her PFS career.

Yeah its the otherwise functions as alter self that worries me it gave me an image of a first level Kitsune trying to blend in ducking behind various objects every 50 seconds to reapply the change for another minute.


After having given this a look multiple times due to threads on this forum, I've ended up with the conclusion that it's just a change shape ability and treat it as such. The description of the ability and the universal change shape are very, very similar.

I personally believe that the reason the ability is written like something standalone is so they didn't reference the reader to the Bestiary. Core books will reference you to other core books, but never the bestiaries from I've seen.

Contributor

Liam Warner wrote:
I know this is really a GM call but I'm curious how people see this. Is it more of a ongoing change e.g a Kitsune that takes human form has to constantly concentrate on maintaining it and will shift back to their base form if knocked unconscious or falls asleep. Alternatively and how I saw it is the change a one off thing e.g once they change forms (human, fox, a specific individual with realistic likeness) they'll stay that way till they choose to change shape again with no need to maintain it meaning they can safely sleep without instantly revealing what they are?

Its actually not a GM call at all. Change shape (which is what kitsune possess) has its own universal monster abilities entry in the bestiary, which reads as follows:

Change Shape wrote:
A creature with this special quality has the ability to assume the appearance of a specific creature or type of creature (usually a humanoid), but retains most of its own physical qualities. A creature cannot change shape to a form more than one size category smaller or larger than its original form. This ability functions as a polymorph spell, the type of which is listed in the creature’s description, but the creature does not adjust its ability scores (although it gains any other abilities of the creature it mimics). Unless otherwise stated, it can remain in an alternate form indefinitely. Some creatures, such as lycanthropes, can transform into unique forms with special modifiers and abilities. These creatures do adjust their ability scores, as noted in their descriptions.

The bold emphasis is mine.

Kitsune can sleep in their alternate forms and maintain them if they fall unconscious because their change shape ability lasts indefinitely. Technically, the rules don't even say if you return to your true form when you die, as lycanthropes have their own, unique version of change shape that has its own, unique rules that go with it. (One of those rules is that a lycanthrope returns to its true form if it dies.)

One can take this as meaning that no other creature with change shape is forced to return to its true form when it dies, as that notation is mentioned in one specific monster's entry and not the universal monster rule.

So basically, you can remain shapeshifted while sleeping, there's no question about that. You also probably don't return to your true form if you die, but that's slightly less clear and left up to your GM as a result.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
Liam Warner wrote:
I know this is really a GM call but I'm curious how people see this. Is it more of a ongoing change e.g a Kitsune that takes human form has to constantly concentrate on maintaining it and will shift back to their base form if knocked unconscious or falls asleep. Alternatively and how I saw it is the change a one off thing e.g once they change forms (human, fox, a specific individual with realistic likeness) they'll stay that way till they choose to change shape again with no need to maintain it meaning they can safely sleep without instantly revealing what they are?

Its actually not a GM call at all. Change shape (which is what kitsune possess) has its own universal monster entry in the bestiary, which reads as follows:

Change Shape wrote:
A creature with this special quality has the ability to assume the appearance of a specific creature or type of creature (usually a humanoid), but retains most of its own physical qualities. A creature cannot change shape to a form more than one size category smaller or larger than its original form. This ability functions as a polymorph spell, the type of which is listed in the creature’s description, but the creature does not adjust its ability scores (although it gains any other abilities of the creature it mimics). Unless otherwise stated, it can remain in an alternate form indefinitely. Some creatures, such as lycanthropes, can transform into unique forms with special modifiers and abilities. These creatures do adjust their ability scores, as noted in their descriptions.

The bold emphasis is mine.

Kitsune can sleep in their alternate forms and maintain them if they fall unconscious because their change shape ability lasts indefinitely. Technically, the rules don't even say if you return to your true form when you die, as lycanthropes have their own, unique version of change shape that has its own, unique rules that go with it. (One of those rules is that a lycanthrope returns to its true form if it...

The issue is the Kitsune ability refers to alter self as its base spell whereas change shape refers to polymorph.


Liam Warner wrote:
The issue is the Kitsune ability refers to alter self as its base spell whereas change shape refers to polymorph.

Polymorph as in the type of spell, not the polymorph spell. Change Shape refers to any polymorph spell. See Succubi and Imps. Alter Self and Beast Shape Change Shape respectively.


If it says "polymorph" (italicized), it means the spell. Spell names are always italicized. If it says "polymorph" (not italicized) it means a general polymorph effect.

Contributor

Liam Warner wrote:

The issue is the Kitsune ability refers to alter self as its base spell whereas change shape refers to polymorph.

As others have said, you're confusing the polymorph subschool for the polymorph spell; the former is always in standard font while the later is italicized. Example:

polymorph = subschool
polymorph = spell

To further illustrate the point, dopplegangers (the iconic shapeshifting monsters) list alter self as the spell by which their change shape ability functions, not polymorph.


This thread made another similar question pop into my mind. I couldn't decide if it belonged in here or separate, but here goes.

I have a kitsune rogue with only average strength who benefits from fast and agile movement. That means I really want to keep his load down. It occurred to me that I could ditch his sleeping gear and just have him sleep in his fur coat if the weather turned cold.

So the question:
Any chance he could sleep warm while in human form because he's "really" a fur covered kitsune?

I would think not, since he loses his bite attack as a human I'd assume he lost his "furry warmth" too. Any opinions?

Contributor

daimaru wrote:

This thread made another similar question pop into my mind. I couldn't decide if it belonged in here or separate, but here goes.

I have a kitsune rogue with only average strength who benefits from fast and agile movement. That means I really want to keep his load down. It occurred to me that I could ditch his sleeping gear and just have him sleep in his fur coat if the weather turned cold.

So the question:
Any chance he could sleep warm while in human form because he's "really" a fur covered kitsune?

I would think not, since he loses his bite attack as a human I'd assume he lost his "furry warmth" too. Any opinions?

Well, um, technically the game has no rules for temperature-related effects until you start getting REALLY cold (below 40 degrees). The game also doesn't discriminate between creatures with fur and creatures without fur in this regard, so TECHNICALLY having fur isn't going to help you. You make the same saving throws against cold weather regardless of how much fur you have.

So realistically, there's no reason that you couldn't just ditch your sleeping gear and sleep butt-naked in human form (let alone your true form) as long as it wasn't colder than 40 degrees out. But ditching your sleeping gear and sleeping in your fur when its colder than 40 degrees will provide you with no additional benefit over a human that does the same.

Contributor

daimaru wrote:


So the question:
Any chance he could sleep warm while in human form because he's "really" a fur covered kitsune?

I would think not, since he loses his bite attack as a human I'd assume he lost his "furry warmth" too. Any opinions?

As for this specific part of the question, change shape is a transmutation (polymorph) effect, which means when you turn into a human your body is literally changing. It is not an illusion. So you don't have a fur coat while you're in human form, so you would regulate body temperature as a human does.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

The only questions is if "This ability otherwise functions as alter self, except that the kitsune does not adjust her ability scores." includes the duration of the spell. Since it would fall under the 'otherwise stated' clause of change shape and negate the indefinite duration rule. I don't interpret it to negate the change shape rule, but it can be read that way.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
daimaru wrote:


So the question:
Any chance he could sleep warm while in human form because he's "really" a fur covered kitsune?

I would think not, since he loses his bite attack as a human I'd assume he lost his "furry warmth" too. Any opinions?

As for this specific part of the question, change shape is a transmutation (polymorph) effect, which means when you turn into a human your body is literally changing. It is not an illusion. So you don't have a fur coat while you're in human form, so you would regulate body temperature as a human does.

OK, what I figured. :) So I guess it's just useful for roleplaying, why I like to sleep away from the group to keep my secret or why I let them know I'm a kitsune, or whatever.

Contributor

TriOmegaZero wrote:
The only questions is if "This ability otherwise functions as alter self, except that the kitsune does not adjust her ability scores." includes the duration of the spell. Since it would fall under the 'otherwise stated' clause of change shape and negate the indefinite duration rule. I don't interpret it to negate the change shape rule, but it can be read that way.

It does not, because all change shape abilities function as a specific polymorph spell. Normally in a stat block, you would have a special qualities (SQ) entry that says something like, "change shape (alter self)" or whatever. For character racial traits, you typically don't have a stat block, so the ability needs to iterate some of those important notes that would normally have in a stat block, such as the type of polymorph spell.

That said, the kitsune's stat block DOES list out all of the special rules for the kitsune's change shape because specific rulings trump general rulings. In this case, the kitsune's change shape needs to modify the fact that change shape can't normally be used to take on the likeness of specific individuals.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Alright, clears that problem up!


daimaru wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
daimaru wrote:


So the question:
Any chance he could sleep warm while in human form because he's "really" a fur covered kitsune?

I would think not, since he loses his bite attack as a human I'd assume he lost his "furry warmth" too. Any opinions?

As for this specific part of the question, change shape is a transmutation (polymorph) effect, which means when you turn into a human your body is literally changing. It is not an illusion. So you don't have a fur coat while you're in human form, so you would regulate body temperature as a human does.
OK, what I figured. :) So I guess it's just useful for roleplaying, why I like to sleep away from the group to keep my secret or why I let them know I'm a kitsune, or whatever.

I rather like the 3rd party supplements for this as they actually discuss things like the Kitsune having different teeth and finding human form better for eating various foods or keeping cooler in summer.

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