Iconic Design: All the Tails

It’s no secret that I’ve done plenty of design work for the kitsune race, both 1st Party and 3rd Party. One of the big aspects of the race’s mechanical design that I’ve taken numerous stabs at is the “nine-tailed fox” fantasy, which is a core part of the kitsune both from a mythological and gameplay standpoint. But man was it difficult to get a decent number of Magical Tails for a VERY long time.

With my work in Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Beast, I think I’ve managed to significantly help bring the nine-tailed fox fantasy into Pathfinder, and today I’m going to talk about a few player options that makes it work MUCH better than it used to.

Build Concept

Here’s the basics of what you’ll need:

  • Classes: sorcerer (nine-tailed heir) 7
  • Favored Class Option: 1/6 of a new Magical Tail feat.
  • Feats: Magical Tail (1st), Magical Tail (3rd), Magical Tail (5th), Magical Tail (7th)
  • Traits: nine-tailed scion (race)

Okay, so let’s talk about each of these moving parts in turn, and how it helps you to have more tails then any artist knows how to effectively draw on a single body. (Its totally true, by the way.)

First, you have the nine-tailed scion race trait from the Dirty Tactics Toolbox. This trait allows you to pick Magical Tail as a bonus feat with a whole bunch of different feat types. Bloodline feats are on this list, so we can trade the sorcerer’s bloodline feat gained at 7th level for Magical Tail. (1 tail down.) Since you’re 7th level, you have four feats to your name from character advancement, while we’ll also use for Magical Tail (5 tails down).

Next, the nine-tailed heir archetype from Blood of the Beast trades away all of your sorcerer bonus spells for the ability to gain Magical Tail as a bonus feat at 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter. This means that you’ll effectively gain two tails at 3rd level and two tails at 7th level. (7 tails down).

Finally, the new favored class option for kitsune grants the character a new Magical Tail feat for every six times the bonus is chosen, granting the character a new tail at 6th level. (8 tails down).

So, yeah. If you want to be a nine-tailed fox, you can officially do it as a sorcerer by Level 7, which is nice because its right in the middle of the PFS playing track.

Is it the most effective sorcerer build ever? Well, yes and no. On one hand, you’re not improving the spells you would normally gain and have significantly fewer spells known as a result of losing your bloodline spells. (One spell per level can hurt as a sorcerer, especially when you only gain one new spell known for each new spell level initially.) But that being said, Magical Tails allows a kitsune to diversify the abilities she has access to—why take disguise self as a spell known when you can cast it twice per day as a spell-like ability? Same with many other spells on the list, most of which are perfectly good spells that you might not want to allocate precious sorcerer spells known slots to. (Wizards, admittedly, don’t have this problem.) By the end, though, you’re getting powerhouse spell-like abilities such as dominate monster and confusion, and considering you’re getting these abilities at 7th level, one level before sorcerers would normally have access (and at the same time as the wizard), it’s a pretty decent deal.

Continuing the Build

Honestly, once you get all your tails you should really just start picking up standard sorcerer fare: things like Spell Focus and whatnot. Those are effective uses of your abilities, after all, and specializing down on your favored school of magic is ultimately a good thing for any spellcaster. If you’re REALLY in to magical tails, the nine-tailed heir archetype lets you continue to take the feat beyond 8 in order to add uses per day to your spell-like abilities. That’s probably overkill, but its there if you want it.

That’s it for this week’s Iconic Design! I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving if you’re stateside, and a generally awesome week if you’re abroad. I’ll see you back in two weeks for another new build.

Alexander “Alex” Augunas has been playing roleplaying games since 2007, which isn’t nearly as long as 90% of his colleagues. Alexander is an active freelancer for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and is best known as the author of the Pact Magic Unbound series by Radiance House. Alex is the owner of Everyman Gaming, LLC and is often stylized as the Everyman Gamer in honor of Guidance’s original home. Alex also cohosts the Private Sanctuary Podcast, along with fellow blogger Anthony Li, and you can follow their exploits on Facebook in the 3.5 Private Sanctuary Group, or on Alexs Twitter, @AlJAug.

Alex Augunas

Alexander Augunas lives outside of Philadelphia, USA where he tries to make a living as an educator. When he's not shaping the future leaders of tomorrow, Alex is a freelance writer for esteemed Pathfinder Roleplaying Game publishers such as Paizo, Inc, Radiance House, Raging Swan Press, and more, and also acts as a co-host and blogger on the Know Direction Network, where he has earned the nickname, "The Everyman Gamer." Recently, Alex has forayed into the realm of self-publishing through his company, Everyman Gaming, LLC. If you like Alex's writing and are interested in supporting him while getting professional-quality material for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game while doing so, check out the Everyman Gaming, LLC catalog, which is listed under Rogue Genius Games at the following locations: http://drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/6101/Rogue-Genius-Games/subcategory/19574_25289/Everyman-Gaming-Catalog

1 Comment

  1. Dustin Knight Reply to Dustin

    The “conceal spell” feat is great for Kitsune spellcasters, since it’s one of the few spell-like ability enhancers legal in PFS and many of their tail-SLA are difficult to use if your targets (or their allies) know what you cast.

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