Vulpine are most commonly mistaken to be normal wild foxes. Because they cannot communicate verbally with other races, there isn’t a lot they can do to convince speaking races otherwise. As a result, Vulpines are typically aloof creatures that hunt at night and primarily live far away from urban populated areas, though some have adapted to living in the alleys of densely populated metropolises.
>*"Foxes? They roast good over a fire."*
-- Dryden, dwarven barbarian
## Vulpine Names
Because Vulpine language is not spoken but communicated telepathically, their names for themselves and each other come from physical characteristics or actions they have performed for which they are known. There is generally no distinction in vulpine names that would be considered masculine or feminine -- their concepts of self and gender only apply to mating and in all other things they share equal responsibility in their packs.
**Example names:** Red Tail, Jumper, Quickbite, Blood Socks, Gray Eyes.
## Vulpine Traits
Your vulpine character has a number of unique physical and mystical qualities due to their nature and environment.
**Ability Score Increase.** Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
**Age.** Vulpine reach adolescence at 1 year and adulthood at 2 years. They typically have a lifespan of 20-30 years but often live much shorter lives depending on environmental and predatory conditions.
**Alignment.** Vulpine do not have a tendancy toward good or evil but living most of their lives outside of normal society tend toward chaotic alignments having not much patience for the laws of others.
**Size.** Vulpines range in size depending on their species (subrace), however they average in height between 2-3 feet at the shoulder and their body measures and average of 3-5 feet in length with a tail (or multiple tails) between 2-4 ft.
Your size is small.
**Speed.** Your base walking speed is 35 feet but can trot at no additional cost for a total of 70 feet. (This can be represented on a character sheet as 35/70.)
At a run, you can travel as much as 250 feet per turn (30mph), but cannot maintain this for more than 10 minutes without gaining a point of exhaustion.
**Quadrupedal.** Vulpines are quadrupeds and cannot walk on their hind legs. They also lack opposable thumbs, making them unable to manipulate objects beyond what they can hold in their mouths. All spells, class features and proficiencies must be cleared by the DM due to the limitations of their body type.
**Languages.** Vulpines do not speak. They can communicate with each other through body language, scent, and through high-pitched yips to communicate over long distances.
Some vulpine have adapted to life with others by developing a form of telepathic communication and can also communicate with each other and any other creature with the ability to read/sense thoughts through telepathic communication. For the purposes of mind reading and similar spells/abilities, they are judged to possess the ability to comprehend language though they have no actual form of verbal or written communication. This form of communication should be cleared with your DM to determine whether it's allowed in your campaign.
**Subrace.** Two main subraces of vulpine populate the worlds of 5e: Desert Fox (also known as Ivory Fox or Badlands Fox) and Kitsune (also known as Huli Jing, or 9-tails). Choose one of these subraces.
### Desert Fox
Desert foxes are adapted to be desert hunters. They are nocturnal and sleep in dens most of the day. They are larger in size than their magical cousins (their adult size is closer to that of a large wolf), but their growth does not continue into adulthood and they lack the longevity of Kitsune.
Desert foxes can be any class in 5e, but generally tend toward the non-magical classes (with exceptions made due to their inability to manipulate objects. For example, a Desert Fox Ranger cannot use a bow, a Desert Fox Fighter cannot use a sword). Desert Foxes make excellent thieves due to a fascination with shiny and man-made objects and their natural stealth and speed.
In settings where gladiatorial combat is a normal occurance, desert foxes would never choose to be gladiators, but they have, at times been captured and used as “monsters” in gladiatorial arenas.
**Ability Score Increase.** Your Strength score increases by 1.
**Naturally Stealthy.** You can attempt to hide even when you are obscured only by a creature that is at least one size larger than you.
**Natural Weapon.** You are proficient with your unarmed strikes. Your bite deals 1d6 damage on a hit and your claws deal 1d4 damage on hit.
**Nimble.** You can move through the space of any creature that is of a size larger than yours.
**Savage Attacks.** When you score a critical hit with a melee weapon attack, you can roll one of the weapon’s damage dice one additional time and add it to the extra damage of the critical hit.
**Superior Darkvision.** You have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 120 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
#### Optional Rule: Attack Prowess
As an optional rule, if allowed by your DM, desert foxes gain the *Attack Prowess* ability -- an ability that scales with them as they level.
##### Attack Prowess
| Level | Feature |
| 1st | **Silent Strike** (15ft) |
| 5th | **Silent Strike** (60ft) |
| 7th | Extra attack |
| 10th | **Predator** |
| 15th | Extra attack, bite damage increased to
2d12, claw damage increased to 2d8 |
| 17th | Extra attack |
| 20th | **Ravager** |
At level 3 you gain the **Silent Strike** ability. You can make a sneak attack to an enemy within 15 feet of you that has not noticed you.
At level 5, the range of your **Silent Strike** extends to 60 feet.
At level 7, you gain an extra attack per turn.
At level 10 you gain the **Predator** ability. Choose one enemy that is currently visible to you. For the next 24 hours or until the enemy is defeated, this is your *prey*. You will single-mindedly hunt this creature relentlessly until it is caught or dead, even to your own disadvantage. You gain advantage on all rolls against this creature during this time and critical hits are 19-20 against this creature.
At level 15 you gain an extra attack per turn and damage from your natural weapons increases. Your bite does 2d12 base damage and your claws do 2d8 base damage.
At level 17 you gain an extra attack per turn.
At level 20 you gain the **Ravager** ability. Your criticals against all enemies are 19-20. Against your prey, your criticals are 17-20 and all your normal attacks do double damage.
Image Credit: Yoshitoshi / Public Domain
9-tails get their name from the number of tails they are able to grow. The number of tails is based on their age or experience and it is believed that they gain additional tails as they get older, culminating with 9 tails when they are over 1,000 years old. At this point, their fur turns completely white or golden and they are the equivalent of an elemental being. Their tails are always an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7, 9).
Kitsune have extended lifespans due to their magical nature and do not die easily of old age or disease.
When kitsune reach 50 years old (todo: add level requirement and ability), they gain the ability to shapeshift into humans, often taking the form of beautiful women, young girls, elderly men or sometimes young boys. Kitsune sometimes have difficulty concealing their true nature (todo: perception check to detect a kitsune), particularly when intoxicated, and especially have difficulty hiding their tails, which can be a way to detect a kitsune.
Young Kitsune are smaller than other vulpine, and they are generally 1-2 feet tall at the shoulder and 1.5 - 3 feet in length, however their tails can range in size between 1 and 5 feet. Kitsune continue to grow throughout their lives at a rate of roughly ~ ½ foot every year after reaching adulthood until they are 100 years old. The largest Kitsune can grow to be as large as 5 feet tall at the shoulder and 15 feet in length.
9-tails are naturally attuned to magic or psionics (but never both) and are most commonly magic users of some kind. The tails of kitsune magi are attuned to their spellcasting level (see *Tails* below). Non-spellcasting kitsune will have only one tail unless they take levels in a spellcasting class. Kitsune rarely multiclass unless it's to add a spellcasting class.
**Ability Score Increase.** Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
**Cunning.** You have advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws against magic.
Kitsune are named for their multiple tails. Their tails correspond to their magical or psionic abilities and as they gain new tails, they automatically gain knowledge of higher level spells/psionic abilities. Up to level 7, your access to spells or psionic abilities follows the normal progression of your class. At no point can a kitsune gain earlier access or more spells from their class abilities than their racial abilities allow.
While kitsune mages do not have an upper limit to the number of spells they may know, they need to see or be taught a spell before it is available to them. However, they only need to see a spell performed once before they can reproduce it -- their magical nature allows them to grasp the fundamentals of working the spell based on a single observation even if it’s performed by a mage of a different class than them.
At level 7 you gain your second and third tails and access to 4th level spells. You can cast 10 spells per day between long rests.
At level 10 you gain your fourth and fifth tails and access to 5th level spells. You can cast 12 spells per day between long rests.
At level 15 you gain your sixth and seventh tails and access to 6th level spells. You can cast 18 spells per day between long rests.
At level 20 you gain your 8th and 9th tails and access to 7th level spells. You can cast 25 spells per day between long rests.
#### Optional Rule: Beyond 20th Level
At the DM's discretion, kitsune may gain additional spell levels beyond 20th level.
At level 22 you gain access to 8th level spells and can cast 30 spells per day between long rests.
At level 25 you gain access to 9th level spells and can cast 40 spells per day between long rests
#### Optional Rule: Shapeshifting
Kitsune in mythology are known shapeshifters (though sometimes not very convincing ones). As an optional rule at the DM's discretion, your kitsune may possess shapeshifting abilities that scale with them as they level.
Mechanically speaking, the ability is similar to the Polymorph spell. The appearance passes at first glance, but upon closer inspection, there may be flaws or elements of the disguise that seem out of place, based on a successful Perception check against a **DC10 + proficiency + Charisma modifier**. On a successful check, an observer is able to see through the disguise and glean a hint of the kitsune's true nature. The difficulty of this check is lowered by 1d4 per level of exhaustion or 2d4 if the kitsune is drunk. (DM’s discretion may change the difficulty based on the situation.)
At level five you gain the ability to shapeshift into a humanoid child or halfling for 8 hours.
At level 8 you gain the ability to shapeshift into an elderly humanoid for 8 hours or a humanoid child or halfling for 12 hours.
At level 12 you gain the ability to shapeshift into an adult humanoid or any humanoid you have seen for a full day. (DC15 or higher, per DM's discretion, to shapeshift into exact clone of a humanoid you have seen fewer than twice.)
At level 15 you gain the ability to shapeshift into any creature you have seen no larger than medium size for a full day.
At level 20 you gain the ability to shapeshift into any creature you have seen, regardless of size, for a full day.
Image credit: Unknown / Public Domain
Image credit: Utagawa Kuniyoshi / Public Domain