Kitsune and disguise?

Rules Questions

Just wondering what the ruling is on a kitsunes change shape.

Do they get +10 racial bonus to disguise, then an additional +10 for the polymorph subschool bonus totaling + 20 at level one?

or do they just get the +10 when the use their change shape?

Shadow Lodge

Ungey wrote:

Just wondering what the ruling is on a kitsunes change shape.

Do they get +10 racial bonus to disguise, then an additional +10 for the polymorph subschool bonus totaling + 20 at level one?

or do they just get the +10 when the use their change shape?

While using their change shape ability to take their human form, they get a +10 racial bonus on Disguise checks to appear human (not Disguise checks in general). Since this aligns with the +10 to Disguise that polymorph spells provide to checks to appear as the creature whose form you've taken, it's a pretty safe bet that these are supposed to stack, seeing as they're both given for the same reason.

I'm actually inclined to say these wouldn't stack because they appear to come from the same source.

But, it's a good question.

The only other monster that has disguise in the change shape description is Faceless stalker


A faceless stalker can assume the form of a Medium humanoid at will but requires 10 uninterrupted minutes to alter its body. Performing this transformation is somewhat painful, but the faceless stalker can maintain its new form indefinitely once it has achieved it. It can change back to its true form as a swift action and gains a +2 morale bonus on attack rolls, damage rolls, skill checks, and saving throws for 1 round after it does so.

Faceless stalkers retain their own innate abilities when they assume their new form and do not gain any of those belonging to the creature they mimic. A faceless stalker gains a +10 bonus on Disguise checks when they are used in conjunction with this ability."

However this is untyped and the only other mention of anything gaining a + to disguise It is also pre calculated into their stat block.

The monster Entry for Kitsune does not have the Shapechange pre calculated into their stat block in fact none of the other sifters that I have looked up do.

Lamia Matriarch

None of these have any bonus that shows up even though they have Change self So I would think the +10 from Polymorph subschool is just simply not calculated into any of the entries for change shape. The universal ability actually does not state that it gives a bonus to disguise.

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.

So I think It should be the 20 and not the 10. but I wish there was an faq about this because it really could use some kind of official answer. And I would still like to see other opinions about it.

Shadow Lodge

You're basing an argument on how the races are edited, but Paizo is well know for inconsistent editing. Also, of course the faceless stalker has its Change Shape bonus included in the skills section of its statblock: disguising itself as another humanoid is the monster's entire schtick, far more than disguising itself as a human is for a kitsune.

Look, you're trying to argue that a single racial trait grants two separate +10 bonuses to the same skill in the exact same circumstances, without even directly mentioning one of them, let alone specifying that they stack. These clearly aren't separate bonuses; the +10 racial bonus from the Kitsune Change Shape racial trait is just the bonus from the polymorph subschool, directly mentioned (and given a type, which doesn't actually change anything seeing as racial bonuses stack) to you don't have to go down a rabbit hole to find out about it.

Kitsune are not supposed to be the the premier shapeshifter of the Pathfinder system, such that they are literally a better shapeshifter (to the tune of a huge +10 bonus) than races that specialize solely on disguising themselves via shapeshifting.

Also, this should probably be in the Rules Questions forums, as this is in no way a Pathfinder Society question...

Scarab Sages

Honestly, I think kitsune should be the premier shapeshifters...for looking human. They can spend as much time as a specific dude as they want, I don't see a big bonus out of line, especially because they're one dude and not many dudes like a faceless stalker.

Sovereign Court

Can my kitsune spend all his time in his human form if I want to keep his being a kitsune a secret?

The two bonuses stack for a total of +20 as they have different types.

Kitsune wrote:
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.
Polymorph wrote:
While these spells make you appear to be the creature, granting you a +10 bonus on Disguise skill checks, they do not grant you all of the abilities and powers of the creature.

So, being a polymorph effect grants an untyped +10 bonus, while change shape gives a typed racial bonus of +10. That's why they stack. There really shouldn't be room for argument here.

Taking it further...

If you're a Kitsune using the Realistic Likeness feat, what bonuses do you get...?

When trying to pass for human?

+10 circumstance?
+10 racial?
+20 = +10 circumstance +10 untyped?
+20 = +10 circumstance +10 racial?
+30 = +10 circumstance +10 racial +10 untyped?
As above, but with a -2 as the Kitsune is disguised as a different race?

When trying to pass for a specific human?

+10 circumstance?
+20 = +10 circumstance +10 untyped?
+20 = +10 circumstance +10 racial?
+30 = +10 circumstance +10 racial +10 untyped?
As above, but with a -2 as the Kitsune is disguised as a different race?

Yeah, if the types are different, it looks like they stack. Weird.

Realistic Likeness wrote:
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.

While it probably should have a qualifier, Realistic Likeness gives a bonus just for using it, and not just for trying to appear to be the target. It'd even apply if you were trying to pass as a different gender or age while using it.

So, I'd say +30 for passing as human, as the untyped polymorph and circumstance Realistic Likeness bonus are just always applicable when being used.

For trying to pass as a specific human, it should only be +20 as that's a different task than trying to simply appear human, which is all that the change shape ability covers. I could see some argument on that part, but I feel pretty sure that would be the official response.

And then last, there's the question of if you can use Realistic Likeness to pass as any race or just humans. Of if there's a middle ground of you take the human likeness of an individual. So, if you target an elf, you turn into what that elf would look like if he were human, which would still allow you to use disguise to get the rest of the way towards passing as that individual.

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