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So in a recent errata and update, they brought the Hengeyokai out of Playtest. It still seems confusing though about the benefit for Nature's Mask in regards to being a hybrid of the animal and human forms.

You gain a movement benefit based on your form

For example, if you choose Cat for your animal form, you gain a climb speed equal to your speed.

So would you be getting the benefit only as the animal form or would you get it on hybrid form as well?

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oh, good question. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Jan 16 '12 at 21:01
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up vote 9 down vote accepted

I'm the author of the "Ecology of the Hengeyokai" article. The movement benefits apply only when the hengeyokai is animal form. The hybrid form is indeed the hengeyokai's base form; it has to use its nature's mask power to assume animal or human form.

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welcome to the site! –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Jan 17 '12 at 16:25
    
Well hey there! Thanks for coming. So its indeed just for animal form. Thanks also for the clarity about the base form. –  zapoqx Jan 17 '12 at 22:33
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Just the animal form gains the movement benefit

Part of the Nature's Mask description includes this:

None of your game statistics change in human or hybrid form

Also earlier in the description, there is this part:

Speed: The creature’s speed increases to 7; it also gains a special mode of movement while in animal form (see the table below).

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Well that last part is for monsters though. In the player block though, it doesn't exactly say that. That is what makes it confusing. But if its held true, sans the RP point, what is the point to being hybrid if it serves as much benefit as human form with the only thing that human gains the bonus of +5 Bluff vs the opposed insight check to see through the ruse that may or may not have an impact in the campaign (sans Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, etc)? –  zapoqx Jan 16 '12 at 22:19
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@zapoqx - why does it need to do more? At at-will that allows a character to fly/burrow/climb/swim (choose 1) looks like a pretty nice racial power to have. –  Pat Ludwig Jan 16 '12 at 22:28
    
Idk. It just seemed weird that your base choice, you are stuck with it and can only access it while in one particular form. When you have an at-will power to change your appearance, it mostly is useful for out of combat, but not as much in combat and human falls in the same category where its more or less just RP reasoning (which the background itself has quite a bit of RP to it already). The only other being the changelings have the change at 1st level. But one thing is true is that while this is more limited in the change, it does have its potential over changeling. –  zapoqx Jan 17 '12 at 22:37
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The only (rule) difference is that in human form you can comprehend but not speak with animal of your kind (see Language of the Beast).

From a background point of view, maybe the hengeyokai true form is the hybrid one, and the one they are most confident with. But this is only a personal speculation (I haven't thoroughly read the article).

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