Some week ago I finally got my copy of Writ of the Wilds. And reading it, I stumbled over one thing: My beloved Kitsune Impersonator class ability was suddenly made obsolete and overshadowed by a Ritual available for any [Yokai].1, 2 And the retroactive change to the school was making them a Yokai.3
So as to show my problem, let me show the two for comparison:
|Kitsune Impersonator School 1||Chikushō-dō’s Guile Rank 1 Ritual [Yokai] 2|
|Fox Spirit (School Ability): Your true form is that of a large fox with up to eight tails if you are a full-blooded kitsune, or a human with certain vulpine traits if you possess human ancestry as well.
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). Observers with vigilance lower than or equal to your school rank plus your ranks in Performance do not detect any flaws in your façade. However, certain key features persist across all of your forms. If you become Compromised, your disguise slips, subtly revealing your true tails, ears, feet, or shadow.
|Activation: As a downtime activity, you may make a TN 1 Survival (Air) check to tap into the power of Chikushō-dō and Sakkaku, shrouding yourself in human form.
Effects: If you succeed, you transform into a human form that is derived from your true form. You are functionally human (and are unable to use techniques that require aspects of your true form). Observers with vigilance lower than or equal to your ranks in Performance do not detect any flaws in your façade. However, certain key features of your body persist across all of your forms, such as the color of your feathers or fur becoming part of your hair or clothes, or identifying scars remaining on your body. If you become Compromised, your disguise slips, subtly revealing your true form in your feathers or fur, feet, or shadow. As a Support action, you may transform back into your true form.
*: You may choose a form of another creature of silhouette 2.
**: You may choose a form of a creature of silhouette 1 or 3.
Now, as you see, the effect of the two is almost the same. The only difference is basically the shift-time, and the new opportunities for the Ritual:
- The Ritual takes a downtime action to turn human, while the Impersonator has a scheme or support action.
- Returning to animal form is a support action for the Ritual, while it is a Scheme or Support action for the School.
- The view-through trigger is identical.
- The compromised effects are the same.
- The School Ability does not need opportunities to turn any other silhouette 1 or 2 creatures while the Ritual only comes with one form intrinsically. The ritual allows any other silhouette 2 creatures for 1 opportunity and 1 or 3 creatures for 2 opportunities.
It appears to me, that on paper, the Ritual is in some regards more powerful than the school ability (unlocking silhouette 3 creatures), and otherwise very much intrudes on the school ability's special factor: any other school ability is unique and can't really be mimicked by any simple Rank 1 Ritual... and then came that one...
Do I miss some errata to the Kitsune Impersonator School or a fact that makes the school clearly superior to the Ritual? Might there be an easy fix to regain the school ability's superiority over a ritual?
1 - Kitsune Impersonator Tradition. In: Emerald Empire (5th Ed), p.239.
2 - Chikushō-dō’s Guile. In: Writ of the Wilds, p.118.
3 - Sidebar: Who's a Yokai?. In: Writ of the Wilds, p.117.