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Subject: Kitsune Thoughts rss

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Elijah Kautzman
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So my friends and I have been tooling around with the Shogun pledge content, and I want to ask what people's thoughts on the Kitsune are? I want to be clear here, this isn't a rant against FF or SoB. I love SoB, I adore it, I'm going to continue to throw money at it for forever. I just wonder what people think about this particular character...am I missing something here?

I'm referring to early-game play, first few levels, as of course players become wildly overpowered in the later half of their development, but it's been my experience, and my prediction based on what I'm seeing, that the Kitsune kind of sucks. From what I can tell, it's supposed to be a jack-of-all-trades sort of character, except rather than being master of none, it's just bad at everything. It isn't merely that anything the Kitsune can do, another character can do better, but moreso that anything the Kitsune can do, most other characters can do, better, and the actual specialists at that are so vastly superior to the Kitsune at whatever the task at hand is that it's laughable.

Unfortunately, SoB is not a forgiving game. Characters who specialize in something can usually do that sort of thing reasonably well, with a still high degree of failure. This in turns means that characters that don't specialize in something, tend to fail that thing the majority of the time which in turn means that the Kitsune fails at everything, the majority of the time.

This is in turn compounded by the fact that leveling up, and starter abilities, are both specializations of a sort. The Kitsune's generalist nature is undercut by the specialized nature of these abilities, which means again you have a character that's bad at being a specialist, but also bad at being a generalist.

For example, the Kitsune can build into a fast light melee character. Well, there's already one of those, so let's compare. The Kitsune aims to have high initiative, getting bonuses from that, and getting +1 Initiative from their starting gear. The Assassin has two higher initiative than the Kitsune, though, and so gets double the bonus, while not needing any hands to do it, while simultaneously getting the Move bonus from the starting ability for free, while simultaneously getting the ability to move through models for free, while simultaneously getting the ability to ignore armor, another situational damage buff, a ranged attack, better melee attacks, the ability to reroll defense dice, an improved critical range...and this is all before they've even chosen a starting ability, and a ninja clan.

In exchange for this the Kitsune gets to reduce accuracy against them, and to win Initiative ties. Well, the Kitsune has a base Initiative of four, +1 from the starting gear if you keep using it, but 4~5 is an awkward space. Most enemies don't have initiative that high anyway, except for the ones that are intended to always go before heroes anyway, who have 7~8 or so, meaning that the ability to win ties rarely actually comes into play. The accuracy debuff, meanwhile, competes with the Assassin's defense reroll, existing in similar space, and I won't lie, it's nifty, but it still leaves the Kitsune leagues behind the Assassin for offense, and with no ranged DPS, no magic, no support abilities, no...anything.

The Kitsune is great at getting to places, and then doing nothing once it gets there. Points for punctuality though, I guess.

This is then exacerbated by the general lack of class fantasy associated with the Kitsune. I mean...consider the Rancher, for example. When one thinks of a "Rancher", you immediately think of someone who delves into claustrophobic spaces to show off their rapid-fire stunt shooting, of course.

...

Okay, yes, I was kidding there, but it's important to note that the Kitsune is very different from any character that has come before. The overwhelming majority of the characters in SoB are variations of a dude with a gun. The Kitsune is an entirely different species, and moreover one with very defined physical, mental, social, magical, and spiritual capabilities in their associated lore. I'll grant that this is SoB, not classical Japanese literature, but nevertheless there are a few things commonly associated with Kitsune. Let's run down the list.

Multiple tails: entirely missing, not even mentioned as a gee-whiz thing on any of their level up abilities. Now, this can go a couple ways, as a century is hardly passing over your character's span, but it would have been very easy to throw in as a random blurb on the magic starting ability, maybe.

Shapeshifting: entirely missing.

Foxfire: entirely missing.

Trickery: largely missing. There is an ability associated with this, in title, but it actually only affects you which is pretty much the opposite of trickery. This is also a decent place to mention that the Kitsune only has 2 Cunning.

Illusion magic: largely missing, although their "Hide in Plain Sight" ability could be attributed to this.

So with all that said, what I'm seeing and experiencing with the Kitsune is a character that's bad at being a generalist, bad at being a specialist, bad at literally everything in the game except for being fast, with poor abilities, bad starting gear, and generally weak level up skills, while simultaneously almost entirely ignoring existing Kitsune lore.

Am I missing something here? I'm asking this genuinely, I would like to hear what people think and to have an actual discussion about this.
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Lou Michalski
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I don't have temple of shadows yet, but your write up makes me think of the opinion of the Indian scout from original SOB. Is the kitsune worse than the indian scout?
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Elijah Kautzman
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I'll be honest, I haven't played the Indian Scout. A friend did, and she seemed to enjoy it well enough, but I don't know much about it personally. What's the issue there?

EDIT: Did some research, I see the issues that people have with the Indian Scout. I still haven't played one though, so I can't comment on the comparison there.
 
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Jamie Vantries
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I actually really like the Kitsune and it's one of the four I'm considering for our campaign (and if I don't use it for that, it will be part of my solo campaign).

1- I don't understand why the comparison is only based on early levels? I'm not saying the Kitsune is or isn't, but there are some characters that really don't get good until they've raised a few levels. So of course they're not going to match up to somebody that's good right off the bat.

2- Regarding the comparison to the Assassin:
- When the Kitsune is two-handing the weapon, it and the Assassin are effectively the same Initiative (they'll both go after enemy 6s but before enemy 5s.
- 34% of the enemies from the Shogun KS are Initiative 4 or 5- I think that's a pretty significant number. Oh yeah, 71% of the enemies are Initiative 5 or lower (for purposes of Pounce).
- Kitsune has a better defensive ability.
-"no ranged DPS, no magic, no support abilities"- umm, one of it's starting upgrades literally lets it use magic. And Trickster is a hella useful support ability.

3- Regarding the class fantasy:
-Multiple tails- just from skimming part of the wiki entry for kitsune, it'says in folklore 1, 5, 7, or 9 tails are the most common number. Also, probably would have been hard to model nine tails (either each tail would be tiny or the whole thing would be huge).
- Trickery- is HUGELY present in the game- First off the actual starting upgrade called Trickster- it can affect literally any die rolled. If that doesn't constitute trickery in this game, I can't possibly fathom what could?
Second, it has an entire upgrade tree called "Deceiver" and all four of the ability names are fitting and tie well to what the actual mechanics for each of those abilities do too.
-I tried googling "foxfire" but all it mentioned was some bioluminescent fungus and I'm guessing that's not what you're referring to. (and I didn't find anything in the wiki kitsune article either (though I was only skimming it)
-Illusion Magic- I feel like this maybe ties into the Deceiver tree again. Also, Kitsune can get magic spells.

4- I'm not saying the Assassin isn't better at damage dealing at all points of the game, but I find it odd that you're comparing starting characters based on their ability to deal damage when the Kitsune's main ability is a defensive ability, it hasn't started building to offense. Of course the character with offensive abilities is going to be better at offense than the character that doesn't have any offensive abilities. Plus, I mean you could reverse it and complain that the Assassin sucks because it isn't as good at the Kitsune at taking a beating.

5- And finally, (and this is a HUGE point), a lot of people that play SoB aren't solely interested in being "the most powerful character possible". Personally, my group "roleplays" the game a bit and we pick our characters because they interest us thematically and/or they seem fun to play. (Granted I will concede that it can be fun to deal lots of damage. But I'm more interested in HOW the damage is dealt- ie does the character have fun mechanics, play style, and special abilities, etc.?


(FYI I don't know if I did, but if I did, I didn't intend to come off as mean or attacking you.)
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Elijah Kautzman
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Hey, interesting points, and thank you for the response.

"1- I don't understand why the comparison is only based on early levels?:what: I'm not saying the Kitsune is or isn't, but there are some characters that really don't get good until they've raised a few levels. So of course they're not going to match up to somebody that's good right off the bat."

Simply put, because that's what I've played and so was more familiar with. I made sure to put that up front in the post to make that clear, as again, I'm not necessarily looking for people to tell me I'm right, just to talk about the topic. :)

"2- Regarding the comparison to the Assassin:
- When the Kitsune is two-handing the weapon, it and the Assassin are effectively the same Initiative (they'll both go after enemy 6s but before enemy 5s.
- 34% of the enemies from the Shogun KS are Initiative 4 or 5- I think that's a pretty significant number. Oh yeah, 71% of the enemies are Initiative 5 or lower (for purposes of Pounce).
- Kitsune has a better defensive ability.
-"no ranged DPS, no magic, no support abilities"- umm, one of it's starting upgrades literally lets it use magic. And Trickster is a hella useful support ability."

Well, my point in comparing to the Assassin, in answer to a question you asked later in the post, was that one of the Kitsune's starting abilities gives it similar movement to the Assassin, with a Combat damage boost, so it was a logical comparison since that baseline was now so similar, and that, in comparison...
1) They ACT effectively at the same initiative, although the Assassin will still go first which is largely irrelevant. That said, the Kitsune still has lower initiative, which impairs their ability somewhat, and moreover requires a two-handed weapon to do so.
2) I'll take your word for this, as I don't have it in front of me, but I've been using the FF core set, and Temple, and the Kitsune's ability doesn't come up much. That's more an issue with those set's initiative distribution, then.
3) I did acknowledge the defensive ability. In fairness, I do like that one.
4) Yes, one of their starting abilities lets them use magic, and one is a support ability. Both of them, however, negate the starting ability I was using as a baseline comparison to the Assassin offhand, again, due to their inherent similarities (fast melee damage dealer), and so I was saying if one goes this route, they have those limitations I mentioned (no ranged DPS, no magic, no support abilities). If we wanted to compare the Kitsune to the Sorceress, I would use the Magic one as a comparison, etc., but it would become more nebulous.

"3- Regarding the class fantasy:
-Multiple tails- just from skimming part of the wiki entry for kitsune, it'says in folklore 1, 5, 7, or 9 tails are the most common number. Also, probably would have been hard to model nine tails (either each tail would be tiny or the whole thing would be huge).
- Trickery- is HUGELY present in the game- First off the actual starting upgrade called Trickster- it can affect literally any die rolled. If that doesn't constitute trickery in this game, I can't possibly fathom what could?:what:
Second, it has an entire upgrade tree called "Deceiver" and all four of the ability names are fitting and tie well to what the actual mechanics for each of those abilities do too.
-I tried googling "foxfire" but all it mentioned was some bioluminescent fungus and I'm guessing that's not what you're referring to. (and I didn't find anything in the wiki kitsune article either (though I was only skimming it)
-Illusion Magic- I feel like this maybe ties into the Deceiver tree again. Also, Kitsune can get magic spells."

Tails: I wouldn't want or expect a model for multiple tails, which is why I mentioned that it could easily just be a blurb on an ability somewhere. Plenty of other cards and abilities already do this sort of thing, so the precedent exists. Additionally, I also mentioned that this one was a bit nebulous, as it also would imply centuries passing so...eh.
Trickery: I might have to re-read the cards and abilities then, I may have misread them. Again, I'm willing to take your word for it on this one.
Foxfire: Well, the Japanese term is "kitsune-bi", but simply put foxfire, or a will o' wisp, is a mythological concept found in many cultures to explain the phenomenon of swamp lights, or ignited swamp gases which create spontaneous bursts of flame in swamps. This phenomenon, in Japan, is blamed on foxes.
Illusion Magic: Kiiiiiind of, and like I said, it's kiiiiiiind of there. It's just very nebulous at best.
Shapeshifting: Just incidentally, Kitsune are not only close to the best shapeshifters in Japanese lore, but they're some of the best shapeshifters in nearly any lore anywhere in the world, and again, this ability is completely missing, from a class which already apes abilities from other classes, in a game which has a shapeshifting class.
Juuuuuuuuuust sayin'. :)

"4- I'm not saying the Assassin isn't better at damage dealing at all points of the game, but I find it odd that you're comparing starting characters based on their ability to deal damage when the Kitsune's main ability is a defensive ability, it hasn't started building to offense. Of course the character with offensive abilities is going to be better at offense than the character that doesn't have any offensive abilities.:what: Plus, I mean you could reverse it and complain that the Assassin sucks because it isn't as good at the Kitsune at taking a beating."

Ultimately I was using the Assassin as a figure for comparison because when coupled with the aforementioned starting ability, a level 1 Kitsune becomes extremely similar to a level 1 Assassin, albeit dramatically worse in nearly every conceivable way save defensiveness, and even then their respective defensive abilities are closer to each other than their offensive abilities are.
The point I was making is that a character which is still quite specialized, such as the Assassin, is still better than the Kitsune at not just the think the Assassin specializes in, but also a variety of other things as well, which undercuts the Kitsune's generalist nature.

"5- And finally, (and this is a HUGE point), a lot of people that play SoB aren't solely interested in being "the most powerful character possible". Personally, my group "roleplays" the game a bit and we pick our characters because they interest us thematically and/or they seem fun to play. (Granted I will concede that it can be fun to deal lots of damage. But I'm more interested in HOW the damage is dealt- ie does the character have fun mechanics, play style, and special abilities, etc.?"

Don't get me wrong here, I'm currently playing a Kitsune. I'm not saying I want to be the most powerful character possible, I'm playing the Kitsune because it interests me thematically. :P It struck me however as very noticeably inferior to everyone else in the party, consistently, across multiple games, and so I was just curious if anyone else had this experience. Incidentally I'm running in a group with an Assassin, a Sumo, and an Enforcer.

"(FYI I don't know if I did, but if I did, I didn't intend to come off as mean or attacking you.)"

Not at all! You actually delivered precisely what I was hoping to get, and I thank you for it.
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Jee Fu
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At first glance the class seems fine to me, thematically and mechanically (my wife is absolutely in love with it, to the point of cosplay). Obviously I don't have a lot of experience with the Kitsune since it just came out, but I do agree that a Cunning of 2 seems odd. I'm not like, learned in Japanese Folklore tho, so there could be some justification for this I'm unaware of. Perhaps Kitsunes in Japanese lore aren't necessarily any more cunning than humans, they just have a much higher propensity for trickery. I have to believe that FFP had this conversation internally, and that their resident Japanese mythology expert OK'ed it.

It could also simply be that the class needed a 4 Spirit in order to justify its existence as a actual fox spirit and this caused a cascade of balance changes that led to Cunning = 2 (and while no one was necessarily "happy" with that decision, it was still the best option).

- Jee
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Jamie Vantries
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-super minor point regarding Initiative- I don't really understand why the Assassin going first really matters since it's a cooperative game and they'd both be working together toward the same goals.

-Good points about the the Assassin comparison (that it was in regard to using the Kitsune's melee upgrade).

-Thank you for explaining Foxfire.

-I agree that illusion magic is only "sorta" there.

-Ok, that totally sucks about complete lack of shapshifting. I'm guessing that FFP either couldn't come up with a mechanic for shapeshifting that is sufficiently different enough from the Darkstone Shaman so as to not encroach on it's territory, OR at least that they couldn't make it different enough without having shapeshifting being the Kitsune's entire identity.

-Regarding Kitsune being worse than the rest of the party: Regardless of the "build" I don't think Kitsune will get "play of the game" very often, but I do think it will regularly play a clutch role in the group's successes, err, depending on the build. Like, I think taking the melee upgrade and going all the way down the Fighter tree is probably a recipe for mediocrity (at best). But, I think right off the bat, regardless of upgrades or leveling it can probably "tank" fairly decently. I think Trickster could probably be hugely useful. I also think the tier 4 ability "Interfere" is a REALLY powerful ability (especially if you've got Trickster so you'll often have plenty of grit).
I do think the two non-Trickster upgrades fall into the category of ones that you take not because they're good, but because they're fun. (Just like the shotgun preacher- it's definitely worse than either of the other two upgrades, but the idea of a shotgun wielding preacher just sounds cool).

When I play a Kitsune I'm going to take the spellcasting upgrade- I just love the concept of a tank that can heal a bit AND has limited spellcasting capacity. Definitely won't be the MVP of the group, but I do think it will be the most fun member.
 
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Tom Dean
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I will preface this response by noting two things: first, our group in general and our kitsune player in particular was very excited for this class and second, we have only played about six games with the Kitsune with variable 2-6 players.

Overall, the impression of our six members sits between disappointed and disillusioned. The lady who selected to play Kitsune did so for her love of Japanese mythology and especially Kitsune literature. Her disappointment centers on the model itself (she feels it is too masculine, should have been more human-like) and mechanically. The rest of the gaming groups opinions soften from that start.

The Kitsune seems to be an excellent all-rounder. Yet every game she never seemed to live up to the groups expectations. I think, in reflection, it was because we tried to pigeon hole her into a combat class. Our Kitsune player ultimately tried sorceress and enjoyed the experience more, and nothing is wrong with that.

Objectively, it should be a competent melee character or an okay magic user, but I feel (and we are now in opinion zone) that it is a waste to spec in this way. The Fighter tree just does not provide enough to make it worth investing in IF you want a combat character. Better options will avail you. I also think going magic is a waste, because sorceress does it better with more options for success.

Instead, I am convinced trickster is the best way to play the Kitsune. And from there, you should either go Watcher or Deceiver. That feels more in-line with the mythological Kitsune which tends to use deception and guile rather then brute strength. Granted, exceptions of the powerful nine-tailed fox exist, but you're not going to be that character. Trickster's dice capturing ability is a weaker gambler trick, but it can SAVE a party. That critical throw that would wipe someone out, for the cost of one grit it is now a miss. That miss you really needed to pass a test, you just swapped that early critical hit for your own critical success. It's one of those abilities you may only use two or three times per game, but it feels powerful when you do.

Under deceiver, shift adds an extra layer of protection. You are outlasting your opponents and redirecting damage is so very satisfying. Manipulate allowing you to force a chart re-roll is again, very powerful. Obscure can be used to avoid some nasty darkness or perhaps threat card you just are not prepared to face and blur, for the cost of 2 grit, I think is superior to using 1 grit for an extra dice roll or even re-roll due to the ability to re-position, re-engage, etc.

Watcher, on the other hand still gives powerful utility. A chance for grit for every threat? Always useful. Rarely is your party swimming in grit unless you're so powerful that all encounters are trivial, and at that point, weaker characters bring back challenge which makes it useful again. Darkness draws bring healing? Check mark for me. I'll always take a top-off. Force of Good is just more of the same good. And Interfere is now imminently usable, as is trickster, because of all the extra grit you're getting from Foretell and Force of Good.

I think Kitsune brings amazing party benefits and synergy with a lot of strategies, but you are sacrificing pumping up your personal damage. And for some people, like our original Kitsune player, that is simply not the class they want to play. That's fine. But if you like playing a more support class, Dark Stone Shaman with magic, or a Frontier Doctor, or an Indian Scout, I think this is more of the same with some strong choices for skills.
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Elijah Kautzman
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Burnham wrote:
-super minor point regarding Initiative- I don't really understand why the Assassin going first really matters since it's a cooperative game and they'd both be working together toward the same goals.
I agree, actually. It isn't a big deal, it's at best circumstantial evidence, but it's worth pointing out that with multiple Initiative upgrades and abilities that trigger off of having high Initiative, that's supposed to be something the Kitsune is good at, but the Kitsune has to layer multiple abilities, a level up, and both of their hands, to come out slightly underneath what the Assassin gets for free.

Quote:
-Good points about the the Assassin comparison (that it was in regard to using the Kitsune's melee upgrade).
It was just too direct of a comparison to pass up, really.

Quote:
-Thank you for explaining Foxfire.
Sure thing. It's very common to portray it as an ability on the myriad fox characters one finds throughout video games, anime, etc.

Quote:
-Ok, that totally sucks about complete lack of shapshifting. I'm guessing that FFP either couldn't come up with a mechanic for shapeshifting that is sufficiently different enough from the Darkstone Shaman so as to not encroach on it's territory, OR at least that they couldn't make it different enough without having shapeshifting being the Kitsune's entire identity.
I don't see that as being a problem though. Plenty of characters are extremely similar anyway, depending on their builds, and the Kitsune could use Shapeshifting spells to turn into random nonsense, not just animals, which opens up a different space from the Darkstone Shaman anyway.

Quote:
-Regarding Kitsune being worse than the rest of the party: Regardless of the "build" I don't think Kitsune will get "play of the game" very often, but I do think it will regularly play a clutch role in the group's successes, err, depending on the build. Like, I think taking the melee upgrade and going all the way down the Fighter tree is probably a recipe for mediocrity (at best). But, I think right off the bat, regardless of upgrades or leveling it can probably "tank" fairly decently. I think Trickster could probably be hugely useful. I also think the tier 4 ability "Interfere" is a REALLY powerful ability (especially if you've got Trickster so you'll often have plenty of grit).
I do think the two non-Trickster upgrades fall into the category of ones that you take not because they're good, but because they're fun. (Just like the shotgun preacher- it's definitely worse than either of the other two upgrades, but the idea of a shotgun wielding preacher just sounds cool).

When I play a Kitsune I'm going to take the spellcasting upgrade- I just love the concept of a tank that can heal a bit AND has limited spellcasting capacity. Definitely won't be the MVP of the group, but I do think it will be the most fun member.
Well like I said, I do find the idea of the Kitsune inherently fun, I'm just not sure about the execution. Yes, it can be fun to deliver the occasional big helpful support ability, but when you can do that 2~4 times per adventure, and everyone else does everything else, what you find is that you're playing a character that sucks and drags the group down 90% of the time.
 
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Elijah Kautzman
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Obligatory123 wrote:
The Kitsune seems to be an excellent all-rounder. Yet every game she never seemed to live up to the groups expectations. I think, in reflection, it was because we tried to pigeon hole her into a combat class. Our Kitsune player ultimately tried sorceress and enjoyed the experience more, and nothing is wrong with that.

Objectively, it should be a competent melee character or an okay magic user, but I feel (and we are now in opinion zone) that it is a waste to spec in this way. The Fighter tree just does not provide enough to make it worth investing in IF you want a combat character. Better options will avail you. I also think going magic is a waste, because sorceress does it better with more options for success.
This is, in my opinion, part of the problem. As I mentioned, things like foxfire, illusions, and especially shapeshifting are entirely missing, and they have at least one, if not two entire level up trees they COULD have used for that sort of stuff, which they instead elected to use to make dramatically inferior versions of characters that already exist.

Quote:
Instead, I am convinced trickster is the best way to play the Kitsune. And from there, you should either go Watcher or Deceiver. That feels more in-line with the mythological Kitsune which tends to use deception and guile rather then brute strength. Granted, exceptions of the powerful nine-tailed fox exist, but you're not going to be that character. Trickster's dice capturing ability is a weaker gambler trick, but it can SAVE a party. That critical throw that would wipe someone out, for the cost of one grit it is now a miss. That miss you really needed to pass a test, you just swapped that early critical hit for your own critical success. It's one of those abilities you may only use two or three times per game, but it feels powerful when you do.
Fair, but my question then is...what are you doing when you aren't doing that thing that you do two or three times per game?

Quote:
Under deceiver, shift adds an extra layer of protection. You are outlasting your opponents and redirecting damage is so very satisfying. Manipulate allowing you to force a chart re-roll is again, very powerful. Obscure can be used to avoid some nasty darkness or perhaps threat card you just are not prepared to face and blur, for the cost of 2 grit, I think is superior to using 1 grit for an extra dice roll or even re-roll due to the ability to re-position, re-engage, etc.

Watcher, on the other hand still gives powerful utility. A chance for grit for every threat? Always useful. Rarely is your party swimming in grit unless you're so powerful that all encounters are trivial, and at that point, weaker characters bring back challenge which makes it useful again. Darkness draws bring healing? Check mark for me. I'll always take a top-off. Force of Good is just more of the same good. And Interfere is now imminently usable, as is trickster, because of all the extra grit you're getting from Foretell and Force of Good.

I think Kitsune brings amazing party benefits and synergy with a lot of strategies, but you are sacrificing pumping up your personal damage. And for some people, like our original Kitsune player, that is simply not the class they want to play. That's fine. But if you like playing a more support class, Dark Stone Shaman with magic, or a Frontier Doctor, or an Indian Scout, I think this is more of the same with some strong choices for skills.
It's a lot harder to compare support skills for their value, as their conditional nature makes them inherently less reliable, and harder to nail down if they'll ever actually contribute anything or not, hence one of the reasons why I was comparing to the Assassin. I didn't think, on a read-over, that the Kitsune's support abilities seemed all that beneficial when compared to alternative options presented by other characters. Again, I could be very wrong here, I'd be quite curious to hear from someone that's played a Supportsune a decent ways as to what it brings to the table in practice.
 
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Tom Dean
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I confess that you have posed an interesting question and one that I think gets to the heart of the nature of support classes.


I fully agree it seems more difficult to determine their contribution, but I would also argue that it is because most players are often not making note of the contribution and fail to remember the contribution. For example, our geisha last game rolled two critical hits and two six damage rolls. Everyone was talking about that "clutch roll". The tengu six I swapped to a one with my trickster ability barely warranted a post-game mention. Though realistically I stopped a KO from occurring (but we will never know, we did throw a save roll just to see, and it would have been a KO).

Personally, I like the Watcher tree. During a playthrough, I made some notes on what would have happened if I had access to certain skills. I immediately saw where our play would have been significantly eased if I were higher level. The guaranteed healing would have avoided a KO. The guaranteed grit would have given the Soldier a grit needed to roll that extra d6 that might have killed the boss a round earlier, etc. I don't think you need to worry about whether or not the kitsune will ever contribute, I think the better question is based upon the other players\characters, will the type of contributions you bring be beneficial. If you have another way to cancel darkness cards, provide healing, or generate grit for the party, the kitsune's contribution is diminished.

I gave up +1 move and a few points of personal damage, but I was by no means useless. I still have hidden in plain sight for damage reductions, I still have high initiative to get damage in, and instead of augmenting my personal damage, I enhanced other players damage or stopped them from taking damage which allowed them to make decision to maximize their own personal damage.

Ultimately, playing a support character to me feels less glamorous, and I always have a nagging feeling that if I could have rolled x extra damage it would have been better, but really, everyone else in the group likes support kitsune for extra grit, manipulating some extra damage, healing etc.

It is most certainly not for everyone though. If you want to be the whirlwind of death killing machine, I don't think kitsune is the best choice. And I'm still not happy that the other ways to play seem less viable, but I would by no means says it is useless or that it doesn't bring enough to the table. Just my two cents.
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Elijah Kautzman
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Obligatory123 wrote:
I took the support Kitsune out for a spin today, and we all had a much better time. I was having more fun, everyone else was having more fun, the entire general atmosphere of the game just overall felt dramatically improved. I agree, the Watcher tree definitely seems the way to go, personally, 4/3 with Deceiver.

I had wanted to see if the fast melee guy was viable when I first tried the Kitsune, as they seemed to have a lot dedicated to it and I was hoping alpha striking something into oblivion would result but the extremely poor level up abilities coupled with near non-existent offensive capability to start with just didn't really make that happen.

Overall with a broader spectrum of experience with the character, I'd still say the character doesn't really feel like a Kitsune terribly often, and is likely an inferior support character to other options, but is dramatically better as a support character versus anything else.
 
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Jamie Vantries
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FWIW, regarding the comparison between Assassin and damage dealing Kitsune, ~29% of the enemies in FoFo are immune to critical hits, so the Kitsune's Kama Knives would actually be more useful against them than the Assassin's Ninjago.
I'm not saying that makes them equal, but it Does lessen the disparity in their damage dealing potentials a little.
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chang chang

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that`s the character that i`m planning to play 1st. it looks so fun; might not be the best OP, but maybe that`s better lol

i think my bf is gonna go with samurai warrior; and i`m between sorcerer or kitsune, with the later winning. the die rolling (trickery) thing and playing with spells and support sound really fun
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Jamie Vantries
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chang_1910 wrote:

that`s the character that i`m planning to play 1st. it looks so fun; might not be the best OP, but maybe that`s better lol

i think my bf is gonna go with samurai warrior; and i`m between sorcerer or kitsune, with the later winning. the die rolling (trickery) thing and playing with spells and support sound really fun
FYI you can't have both Trickster AND the ability to cast spells. It's one or the other. Sorry.soblue
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Tom Dean
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One thought our group had, was if you paired Daimyo with his ability to grant +2 initiative with Kitsune you can be pretty much guaranteed to activate before all other enemies. As it is, we have a Daimyo granting it to a samurai warrior because she has a sword that grants +x damage where x = difference in initiative.
 
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Lucifer Domine
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An issue I always have with class comparisons is it tends to ignore the fact this is intended for group play and it's more about teamwork than what one class can specifically do compared to another class.

Kitsune adds so much more to the group than just filling in a role of DPS and can be further augmented in their contribution by other heroes (the above example of giving the +2 Initiative from the Daimyo is a good one). A Kitsune also has the ability to tank with less drain on resources of those keeping the tanks alive. Instead of looking at how well a class personally performs in a specific role, it's better to look at how well that class compliments and fits in with the group as a whole, taking into account the full group composition and how they can assist each other (yes, this still makes Trickster the most appealing choice for Kitsune).

As for support classes being underrated, I fully agree. I had a Dark Stone Shaman who took a lot of sanity damage attempting to control Darkness with his Shaman Staff and he's remembered for chugging Whiskey like mad (drunken Iriah Hayes) and not for the three Darkness he DID cancel that would have almost certainly spelled doom for the Posse. Even the support aspect of tanking is sometimes neglected - Does a Propector get remembered for blocking a chokepoint so only he has to make Willpower saves against mobs with Terror despite his crappy Willpower because he has a Miner's Canteen that can heal himself when the rest of the Posse is out of means to restore sanity or just for the time he one-shots a full health Crimson Hand Inquisitor who was enhanced by an $800 artifact because his Crimson Hand Robes gave him 6 Combat Dice? Been my experience that bouts of luck (good or bad) are more memorable than the actual actions taken by a Hero player.
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Tom Dean
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Our group has gone full circle and we're once again looking at the Kitsune. Our original kitsune player has gone through four classes (sumo is still a close second) and is considering going back to Kitsune due to pounce's ability to move through other models. She found despite having high initiative as a samurai warrior, she completely fell apart due to hallways blocking movement and ended up being unable to actually melee. The kama's ability to turn 3-4 defense monsters into two defense monsters is pretty handy as well. If she were to level up, she'd be at 8 initiative (with daimyo augmentation) and that's nothing to sneeze at.

I'm not sure it'll be a monstrous damage dealer, but it may just end up being acceptable for what she wants. Or there's sumo, lol.
 
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Andrea Florio
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I have never player the Kitsune yet so my opinion is based only on my extensive experience in playing the original SoB (and making over 100 videos of my playthroughs!)


Kitsune is one of the characters that mechanically interested me more than anyone else. My only issue with her is that I don't like the model. I even considered playing her with a regular human model pretending that's a Kitsune using Illusion magic to appear as a woman instead.


Her starting magic skill upgrade screams to me Hero Quest Elf.
Then her guaranteed new spell and/or mana at level 2,4 etc... makes her a really competent caster, with the added bonus of being competent in melee and a lot more sturdier than the sorceress.

I know I would love to play a Earth or Water magic casting Kitsune.

Her starting weapon, the Kama, is one of the strongest starting weapon in the entire set imho.
Reducing higher defense to 2 is huge, especially with the high number of crit ignoring enemies in the game.


The watcher upgrade tree is also amazing. I consider manipulating the flow of Darkness Cards, Growing Dread cards and Grit one of the strongest skills in this game.

More often than not a Grit can save a game, as much as the wrong Darkness card can kill that game.
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