New Skin: The Kitsune

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New Skin: The Kitsune
« on: June 18, 2012, 02:21:41 AM »
Even though I'm still kicking around ideas for a collection of different vampire skins, the Shinto spirit Inari Okami dropped an idea into my brain that won't go away; The Kitsune. Since I've been a resident of Japan for the last 6 years I figured it was kind of my duty to make this skin happen.

For those who aren't familiar with them, kitsune (pronounced kit-sue-nay) are Japanese fox spirits noted for their ability to assume human form, to step into people's dreams, to possess people, and for their role as consumate tricksters and/or protectors. The form most often taken by kitsune are young girls or beautiful women, and Japanese folklore is rife with stories of men taking "fox wives" who often pass on some sort of magical or supernatural ability to their children. The fact that this romantic (or at least sexual) aspect is already present in their legend makes me think they'd make a great Monsterhearts skin. Of course they wouldn't only be limited to assuming a female shape in the game.

I'm still brainstorming ideas, so this thread will slowly grow as I add to it. I'm trying to decide what aspects of the kitsune to set in stone (making them mandatory moves) and which should be optional. Part of what makes the other skins so great is that they capture many different (sometimes disparate) aspects of the creature they're emulating.

This Kistune Skin Move (or some variation of it) would be mandatory.
Quote
Fox's Mask
Choose one:
  • a bundle of reeds
  • a broad, flat leaf
  • an animal skull
As long as you wear your chosen item on your head, you may assume human form. You can appear however you wish, and your form may include functional clothing, jewelry, and personal accessories. You may change your appearance each time you transform, though you cannot take the form of a specific individual. Once placed, the chosen item will not fall off under normal circumstances, but whenever you suffer damage or encounter dogs while in human form, you must either hold steady or run away.

I toyed around with making the loss of your item it's own separate "roll with Cold" move. On a 10 up you were fine, on a 7-9 someone saw your fox tail or shadow and gained a String on you, and on a Miss everyone got a String since they all saw you. It just got too clunky though and didn't seem to make sense for both dogs and losing your special item.

In Japanese folklore, the fox woman almost invariable flees when her cover is blown (usually leaving behind her husband and children) so giving the player the option to run away seems appropriate. I couldn't figure out how to work a "you stand your ground" option into the 10 up result of the move though, which is why I gave the player a choice about which one they want to try. Maybe that's being too nice. Maybe the player shouldn't have a choice about what they do, but should have to hold steady after suffering harm and run away when confronted by dogs. Or maybe just always run away. Hmm.
If you see my post in your thread, it'll die within 24 hours. You've been warned.

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Re: New Skin: The Kitsune
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2012, 03:46:45 AM »
Turns out there's the kitsune in Japanese folklore, the huli jing in Chinese folklore, and the kumiho in Korean folklore. All are multiple-tailed (usually nine) fox spirits that can assume human form (most often that of a young girl or a beautiful woman). The kitsune was "generally" good though there were mischievous or malicious versions called nogitsune), the huli jing had that changeable faerie morality, and the kumiho were always malevolent (often depicted as killing people and eating their livers).

While part of me hates to lump all the "Far East" mythologies together (since they're distinct cultures) the different takes on a similar folktale creature will hopefully provide good fodder for the different options under the origin section.
If you see my post in your thread, it'll die within 24 hours. You've been warned.

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Re: New Skin: The Kitsune
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2012, 11:20:03 PM »
I plugged the first kitsune skin move into the InDesign template I set up based on the actual skin books, and it was absolutely massive. It took up almost the entire first column on the inside right-hand page. Way too long. So I cut it down and changed the name.

Quote
Skinchange
Choose an item (circle one):
a bundle of reeds, a broad leaf, an animal skull

When you place this item on your head you assume human form, though you cannot mimic a specific individual's appearance.

If you suffer damage or encounter dogs, choose one: roll to hold steady or run away.

I tried to put too much information into the first version, I think. It's tough to boil something down to it's component elements sometimes. I also have a bad habit of trying to direct people too much. You know. Push them towards the way I think something should be done.
If you see my post in your thread, it'll die within 24 hours. You've been warned.

@HyveMynd on Twitter