Kitsune Impersonators1 choose a clan and family they depict as in character generation. This solves the main problem of making them, but...

The sidebar there also claims they could choose at any moment to depict as a different person, based on the school ability and the red sidebar right at their school:

[...]As a Scheme and Support action, you may transform between your human and true forms, or into another silhouette 1 or 2 natural creature at the GM’s discretion (you cannot mimic specific individuals).[...]

[...] As a kitsune, you must forfeit 1 honor to appear as a samurai of higher status (in addition to any honor you must forfeit for any dishonorable actions, such as lying, that you take under that guise, as usual).

Now, let's paint a situation that might lead to a fox wanting to have a different guise:

The little fox Ball (Tama) is interested in talking to a Kaiu engineer they saw gazing down at their home from the wall across the river. So they follow the only human daring to enter the area they live in, a Hiruma Scout, and accordingly choose to present as a Hiruma Scout in their character generation. That started their long game of impersonation down at the Carpenter wall, following that particular engineer in between gigs that are meant to keep up the charade.

Months later, they end up in Otosan Uchi and managed to get close to the palace, where said Engineer is tasked with constructing a new pagoda. They can't get into the palace as a scout, so raise their stakes and want to play off as a member of the court and call themselves Eyes-of-Seaweed-color (Tamamo-no-Mae), a Courtier of an imperial family...

What happens to their stats and knowledge if they construct a different false identity, as those come as packages with the clan and family? Do they just pay the price of honor in sneaking in and need to survive with the knowledge, skills, and rings they actually have? Or do they gain a different set of traits for the other identity?

  1. Emerald Empire (5th Edition, 2020) p. 239

1 Answer 1


I can't find any official answer so it's up to the GM.

My personal take is that your Human and Fox Form are set in stone. These are what you truly look like and you are not considered "shapeshifted" when you take either form.

Your school ability allows you to shapeshift into a Natural Animal (which can be human) but this is a temporary form, a Mask, that only changes your appearance.

The bonus you gain from a Family and Clan come from living among them long enough to internalize their values. I would allow a kitsune that hasn't done that to use the rules for creating Ronin/Peasants (Core, p. 306) or Gaijin/Ronin (Path of Waves p.33) instead of picking a family/clan.

To actually change your False Identity in a manner where I would allow changing answers on your 20 questions I would require the Kitsune to spend a long time as a fox in Chikushō-dō detaching from their life in their previous false identity. This is essentially the ego death of the character and assuming your Kaiu Engineer is still alive at the end of this, Tama might never be able to find them again if they even remember the reason they had for following them around in the first place.


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