There exist several variant types of kitsune, each with their own unique abilities and characteristics. Alternate kitsune still count as kitsune for the purposes of taking alternate racial traits, choosing favored class bonuses, and meeting prerequisites and requirements. If a kumiho or zenko takes the Magical Tail feat, they may choose to base the feat’s save DCs on Wisdom, rather than Charisma.
Though these hyena-like humanoids are often mistaken for gnolls, they are actually a distant relative of the kitsune, having diverged long ago. Master shapeshifters and witches, they are looked upon with immense distrust by their neighbors, only further heightened by their perceived relationship with gnolls. In truth, buda are a peaceful and noble folk whose accomplishments have been buried by millennia of prejudice and misinformation. Forced into the shadows, they strive to uphold the rich—and yet outwardly sinister—culture of their people.
- +2 Strength, +2 Intelligence, –2 Charisma: Buda are powerfully built and well-versed in arcane lore, but loathe to challenge other’s views. This racial trait replaces the normal kitsune’s racial ability modifiers.
- Evil Eye (Su): Buda gain a +1 bonus to the save DCs of effects with the curse descriptor they use. This racial trait replaces kitsune magic.
- Tradesman (Ex): Buda gain a +2 racial bonus on Craft (armorsmithing), Craft (weaponsmithing), and Profession (blacksmith) checks. This racial trait replaces agile.
Not truly a kitsune, but a closely related species, the coyotl share their eastern cousin’s affinity for trickery and manipulation. Like kitsune, they are master shapeshifters, but their carrion-heavy diet and heavy spiritualism has led many to believe—including the majority of coyotl themselves—that they possess power over life and death. And yet, in spite of this burden, they live life one day at a time, cheerful and impulsive, fast-talking their way out of any trouble they find themselves in.
- +2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma, –2 Strength: Coyotl are excellent at reading and exploiting people, but find brute strength unappealing. This racial trait replaces the normal kitsune’s racial ability modifiers.
- Liminal Mediator (Ex/Sp): Coyotl add +1 to the DC of any saving throws against death effects that they use. Whenever a coyotl uses an ability that would heal a creature by a number expressed in dice, they heal an additional 1 hit point per die of healing. Finally, coyotl can use bleed and stabilize as spell-like abilities once per round as a free action (caster level equals the coyotl’s character level). This racial trait replaces kitsune magic.
- Trickster (Ex): Coyotl gain a +2 racial bonus on Bluff checks. This racial trait replaces agile.
These kitsune have a reputation for being dangerous seductresses and malevolent tricksters. Born with the ability to drain energy, they possess a hunger for the essence of living beings, gaining sustenance and immortality through the consumption of others’ lives.
- Humanoid (akashic, kitsune, shapechanger): Huli jing have the akashic subtype in addition to the normal kitsune’s type and subtypes.
- Devour Essence (Su): A huli jing can drain the vital essence of a living creature they lure into an act of passion (such as a kiss). During combat, this can be done once per round as a move action against a pinned or helpless creature adjacent to them. The huli jing deals 1 point of Constitution damage to the target and forces them to succeed at a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the huli jing’s character level + the huli jing’s Charisma modifier) or become nauseated for one round, potentially making it difficult for them to escape further draining by the huli jing. Against a veilweaver or other creature that possesses akashic essence, the huli jing can choose to inflict 1 point of essence burn instead of Constitution damage with this ability. A huli jing who successfully uses this ability does not need to eat or drink for one day per point of damage or essence burn dealt, and does not age for an equal duration (this effect is cumulative). This racial trait replaces kitsune magic.
- Essence of the Succubus: Huli jing are always considered to have the Essence of the Succubus veil shaped, and do not count it against their total veils shaped or their veil slots. However, they cannot invest essence in this veil normally. Any time the huli jing uses their devour essence ability, they gain a point of temporary essence that is automatically invested in this veil and cannot be reinvested. This essence lasts for one day, and stacks with itself up to character’s cap on invested essence (normally 1 essence up to 5th level, 2 essence from 6th through 11th levels, 3 essence from 12th through 17th levels, and 4 essence from 18th through 20th levels). As this veil does not count against the huli jing’s veil slots or chakras, they can still shape a different veil into the same slot as this it freely. If the huli jing uses another ability to shape the Essence of the Succubus veil (such as a veilweaving class), they can invest essence into it normally in addition to the temporary essence gained from this ability. This racial trait replaces agile.
The bloodthirsty kumiho is a particularly vicious variety of kitsune; these foxfolk tend to dispense of the goodnatured trickery that kitsune are known for, instead using force and violence to achieve their goals. They possess a natural talent for combat and the instincts needed to hunt their prey easily—evil kumiho make little distinction between “person” and “food,” stalking the night to find their meals before returning to their homes during the day.
- +2 Strength, +2 Wisdom, –2 Constitution: Kumiho are dangerous ambush predators, with little need for stamina. This racial trait replaces the normal kitsune’s racial ability modifiers.
- Darkvision (Ex): Kumiho see perfectly in the dark up to 60 feet. This racial trait replaces low-light vision.
- Primal Hunter (Ex): A kumiho gains a +4 racial bonus on Survival checks to follow tracks. This racial trait replaces agile. Whenever a kumiho eats the heart or liver of a creature with an Intelligence score of at least 3, they do not age for one day. This effect is cumulative.
- Tooth and Nail (Ex/Su): A kumiho has two primary claw attacks that deal 1d4 points of damage and have a critical range of 19-20/x2. When in human form, they have the supernatural ability to hide (or reveal) their claws as a free action; the kumiho can’t attack with their claws while they’re hidden. A kumiho can do the same for their bite attack, allowing them to use it in human form. A kumiho’s bite is also a primary attack. The kumiho loses their racial bonus on Disguise checks to appear fully human while their natural weapons are revealed. This racial trait replaces kitsune magic.
Another race closely related to kitsune, the round-eared, black-marked tanuki are better known for being jovial entertainers over wily tricksters. Happy to be left alone but even moreso to entertain others, the Tanuki have a reputation for song, dance, and romance... and yet, unlike kitsune, the bed is always found empty in the morning.
- +2 Constitution, +2 Charisma, –2 Wisdom: Tanuki are charming and possess great stamina, but are typically unconcerned with long-term consequences. This racial trait replaces the normal kitsune’s racial ability modifiers.
- Eighth Form (Su): Whenever a Tanuki gains a bonus on disguise checks from a transmutation, illusion, or psychometabolism effect, they increase the bonus by half their character level (minimum 1). This racial trait replaces kitsune magic.
- Entertainer (Ex): Tanuki gain a +2 racial bonus on Perform checks. This racial trait replaces agile.
The zenko are a divinely-empowered cousin of the kitsune. The first zenko were the result of normal foxfolk being empowered as messengers and vassals by powerful celestials or gods. Nowadays, they are a particularly rare race with a strong affinity for the upper planes and driving instincts towards good. Zenko tend to become guardians, protectors, or mediators, bringing their talents to those who need aid, guided by their celestial superiors.
- +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, –2 Strength: Zenko are naturally swift and wise, but are no stronger than other kitsune. This racial trait replaces the normal kitsune’s racial ability modifiers.
- Outsider (good, kitsune, native, shapechanger): Zenko are outsiders with the good, kitsune, native, and shapechanger subtypes. This racial trait replaces the normal kitsune’s type and subtypes.
- Celestial Messenger (Su): A zenko has a connection to the whims of celestial beings and powerful gods; once per week, while the zenko sleeps, they can contact a powerful good-aligned being and receive a message or duty. If they know of a particular being, they can attempt to contact them (if that being is willing); otherwise, the contacted being is determined by the GM. If the zenko delivers the message properly or fulfills the given duty, the next time they contact that being, they are entitled to answers as if they had used a commune spell with a caster level equal to the zenko’s character level or Wisdom modifier, whichever is higher. A zenko that repeatedly fails to deliver messages or fulfill duties may find themselves cut off from new or easy jobs when they use this ability. However, when a zenko contacts a celestial, they become aware of the zenko’s strengths and abilities. Most celestials will assign duties that befit the zenko’s standing or power. This racial trait replaces kitsune magic.
- Darkvision (Ex): Zenko see perfectly in the dark up to 60 feet. (Editor's Note: Though not listed in the original source, the Outsider type always grants the darkvision ability, so I have listed it here.)
- Sworn Secrecy (Ex): A zenko cannot be magically forced to reveal the details of a message or duty they have received with their celestial messenger ability, even if an effect would normally cause them to do so. This ability even protects against compulsion or dominate effects, allowing the zenko to ignore orders to reveal the secrets in question. In addition, zenko gain a +1 racial bonus on saving throws against mind-affecting effects. This racial trait replaces agile.
Alternate Racial Traits
The following are new alternate racial traits available to all kitsune.
None of that Weeaboo Crap, Either (Ex)
Some Kitsune have no ability to shapechange. Trapped in a monstrous form halfway between man and beast, their disfigured form grants them a +2 racial bonus on Intimidate checks. In addition, they make Intimidate checks to demoralize enemies as a move action. If they later gain the ability to demoralize enemies as a move or swift action, once per round, they may instead demoralize enemies as a free action. This racial trait replaces change shape and agile.
The kitsune gains the beastblood subtype, and their natural form is a single specific Small-sized fox; they have the ability to change shape as if by the beast shape I spell, but only to this form. The kitsune can still assume the appearance of their specific human form, but cannot take the form of a humanoid fox. Antimagic fields and effects that return the kitsune to their natural form revert them to their fox form, and effects that pierce through magical disguises (such as true seeing) reveal the kitsune’s true form. Because of telltale foxlike features (such as a poorly concealed tail or sharp fangs), a kitsune with this racial trait only gains a +5 bonus on Disguise checks to appear fully human when in their human form. However, they gain a +20 bonus on Disguise checks to appear as normal foxes when in their natural form, and do not take the normal penalty for disguising as a smaller creature when doing so. As a yokai kitsune’s natural form is a fox, they gain their racial bite attack in that form. The kitsune can speak and cast spells in their fox form, and has access to any material and focus components that are melded to their form when they transform back into a fox (though expending them will cause them to be used when the fox transforms into a human again). This racial trait alters change shape, but otherwise functions as that ability.
Yokai kitsune reach adulthood at 50 years of age, and use the the table on page 11 for their aging effects, rather than aging like a normal kitsune.
For every 100 years a yokai kitsune is alive, they grow one additional tail. This tail is purely cosmetic and does not grant them the Magical Tail feat (though one with that feat may appear older to other kitsune). A yokai kitsune who reaches 1,000 years of age ascends, body and spirit, to another plane (treat this as if they had died of old age). Normally, a kitsune can only grow a maximum of eight extra tails (if they have the Magical Tail feat, they will eventually stop growing extra tails from age once they’ve reached the limit, and further selections of that feat will replace existing tails). A kitsune who slows their aging in some way, such as through a huli jing’s devour essence ability or the timeless body class feature, will still grow additional tails as they age.
The following is a Race Trait (not an alternate racial trait) for Kitsune.
Celestial Essence (Race, Huli Jing)
You can draw essence from the light of the sun and moon, instead of (or in addition to) that of other living beings. By spending 1 hour in direct sunlight or moonlight, you generate a point of temporary essence for your Essence of the Succubus veil, as if you had drained a creature. You can only generate 1 point of essence per day in this way. You do not need to eat or drink, nor do you age, as long as you get at least 1 hour of sunlight or moonlight each day.