[Monsterhearts] The Kitsune - Yes, Another Shapeshifter

edited May 2013 in Make Stuff!
OK. So I really felt like I was staring to hijack @horn_head_o's Doppleganger thread, which is jus tplain rude. So I've started a new thread for my shapeshifting Monsterhearts Skin, The Kitsune.

It's still very much a work in progress (the Darkest Self, Playing the Kitsune, and other flavor text is missing), and any and all feedback is very much appreciated. As @Cneph and @jackson_tegu have very nicely pointed out, the Kitsune's motivations to change shape are different from those of both the Cuckoo and the Doppleganger. The Kitsune takes on other people's forms specifically to trick others or to cause trouble for the person who's form they stole. This realization has allowed me to keep developing it, when my first instinct was to simply give up given the presence of other shapeshifters.

Comments

  • So, a skin is both a type of monster and a type of student. I sort of get the type of monster a kitsune is, but what type of student is a kitsune? Well, perhaps "what type of teenager?" is the better question.
  • Hmm... I see what you mean. I've written a Skin about the mythical Japanese creature, but not the Monsterhearts high school student version. Right. In your opinion, is that something that could be addressed with the (currently missing) flavor text? Or do the Moves themselves need to say "high school"?
  • edited May 2013
    Well, the 'Playing the...' section tend to spell out what the skins teenage 'deal' is. What issues in teenage life it explores. Sometime fairly explicitly, sometimes not quite so directly.

    Commanding, irresistible, bitchy, sexy. The queen is about turning cliques and popularity into weapons.
    Passionate, violent, muscular, fickle. The werewolf is all about using physical violence and transformation to get what it wants.

    So, I think Lisa is asking, what is this 'teenage life Big Deal', for the Kitsune? And when you work that out and articulate it, you can go back through the moves and check that they grab hold of these issues, tear them open and lay out their bloody entrails for all to see (and sure, with an eye on doing that in a high school context).
  • Right. Thanks for that @Cneph. So like this:

    Seductive, manipulative, malicious, paranoid. The Kitsune is a pathological liar who can't help but cause trouble for others even if means getting caught in the fallout themselves.

    Now go back and make sure the Skin's Moves support that concept. Thanks.
  • edited May 2013
    You're welcome. Not that I've written any skins, but that's the approach I'd take.

    Is the Kitsune actively malicious, or just mischievous?
    So with the moves you can cover variants on the theme if necessary - maybe the liar, the blame-shifter, the shapechanger (see Playing the Ghost) or simply offer sexy, monstrous options for how the skin goes about their thing(s) and screws up their life.
  • In Japanese folklore the Kitsune is similar to European faeries; they can be malicious, mischievous, or helpful depending on the story and how the Kitsune feels at any given moment. Some Kitsune intentionally take the form of young women walking alone at night specifically so they can waylay and eat travelers. Others take that form because they've fallen in love with a human. I rolled a bit of the Korean Kuniho into the skin too, which is always malicious (that's where one of the names and the "devoured a thousand livers"origin comes from).

    The malicious bent of the skin is intentional, both to help give it a "real world, non-supernatural" identity (the pathological liar), and because my buddy and I think we have to do a skin for the Tanuki, another shapeshifter. Where the Tanuki is just mischievous and playful,the Kitsune is malicious and dangerous.
  • A list of ideas because foxes are rad:


    There seems to be a common theme with the Kitsune, where they often have some tell tale sign, like a tail.

    Don't limit yourself just to one mythological area. Selks steal from sirens and mermaids. The Vampire is all the vampires, not just Buffy-style. The best skins are flexible enough so that you can make them what you want. Make this skin all the Foxes and run with it. Can you get any mileage out of Whiskey Jack? Or the Robber Bridegroom?

    The Fox in the Well. Cadmean Vixen. Fox fires. Silver fox.

    Take up the whole mythological space. Stretch your arms.

    What kind of teenager? Hot and crazy? (Hot and Volatile?) Stay away from "crazy chicks are hot" it is played out and too difficult to do respectfully at the table.


    Names: Anderson, Vicky, Fenton,

    Look: silver, fiery, calico

    Eyes: Squinty, drawn, furtive, knowing
  • Right! Like Reynard.
  • So, I think Lisa is asking, what is this 'teenage life Big Deal', for the Kitsune? And when you work that out and articulate it, you can go back through the moves and check that they grab hold of these issues, tear them open and lay out their bloody entrails for all to see (and sure, with an eye on doing that in a high school context).
    Yes, that's what I'm asking.
  • Thanks for all the feedback guys.

    Embarrassingly I had to go to Wikipedia to to research the Robber Bridegroom and Wisakedjak, @Mathalus. To the internets! I realize that good Skins have several "flavors" or "modes" in them that touch on either their different natures or the different mythologies of the thing that Skin is about. As you said, The Vampire isn't just one version of the vampire; it's all of them (or at least quite a few of them). Foxes are the trickester figure in a lot of cultures' folklore and mythologies. I even considered mixing some Coyote elements into the Skin.

    All that being said though, I'm trying to retain a distinctly Japanese feel to the Skin. My friend (who I bounce idea off of and keep trying to get to join the damn forums) and I have brainstormed several creatures from Japanese folklore that we think would make good Skins. Our goal (though it is a lofty one which may never see completion) is to eventually put together a small Monsterhearts supplement called Foreign Exchange Students. We're envisioning it as a collection of distinctly non-European Skins divided into sections based on country or geographic region. Each section would have a few new Skins based on iconic creatures from that region, and possibly even new Moves or new names for the original Skins to give them the flavor of a different culture. It's a big goal as I said, and it may never happen. But we're still going to try.

    I hadn't thought of the "crazy chicks are hot" image when choosing stats, though making hot and dark their high stats could look that way. I simply thought "Kitsune are manipulative and magical, so hot and dark". Maybe that should be reexamined.

    Stories do often have people catching glimpses of the Kitsune's tail or other fox features, especially when they are fleeing from danger. The 'Sunshower' move was trying to capture a bit of that, but the move is getting scrapped. Perhaps a modification of the 'run away' move. Like "When you 'run away' add this option to the 7-9 list: people catch a glimpse of your tail; you gain the Condition suspect." Why someone would take that when there's no real benefit is problematic. Hmm...
  • edited May 2013
    ...you gain the condition suspect and someone who sees gains the condition intrigued.
  • Also, Volatile is crazy. Dark is like, sooooo deep.
  • edited May 2013
    Our goal (though it is a lofty one which may never see completion) is to eventually put together a small Monsterhearts supplement called Foreign Exchange Students...

    ...I hadn't thought of the "crazy chicks are hot" image when choosing stats, though making hot and dark their high stats could look that way.
    Oh man, Foreign Exchange Students sounds rad! I am so into it.

    Y'know what would be cool is if Foreign Exchange Students were spins on current skins. Like the kid from Mongolia is an Alma, not a Sasquatch, and has just a couple different moves. Then you can steal moves from the main skins like gangbusters. Way less work that way. You could pick the least played or least favorite skins and rework them to make them more interesting. I have trouble getting into the Fae, for example. Maybe if they were rewritten as a Yaksha, it would give me more to work with.

    Also, I wasn't calling you out on the "crazy chicks" thing. My mind went there immediately and I was like, "whoops, try to keep the unhelpful sterotypes out of it, Morgan."
  • edited May 2013
    Echoing what Lisa was saying above, & adding something that Jay Loomis said at Fabulous Replacement - Jay said, approximately & better,

    These aren't monster teenagers with monster problems - these are monster teenagers with teenager problems. It's about how they react to school, and parents, and love, and feeling left out. The needs they're trying to get met have to do with immediate things, things that touch on what we players went through as teenagers.

    Edited to say: Foreign Exchange Students sounds super rad!
Sign In or Register to comment.