Time for Cat~
Part 1 : or, cat planet cat planet cat planet cat planet
(When I'm talking about the game I'll be capitalizing Cat, if talking about the animals I'll use cat. God help us if I have to start a sentence with the word)
I like Cat. Cat is a very, very simple game that doesn't really get the attention it deserves. It is the perfect book for teaching someone how to roleplay, and we aren't getting into changing breeds territory I swear .
The book starts with a short story; 'I know I'm dreaming', which sets the stage for what Cat is about. Long story made short; Cats are the secret kings of the world. Well, that's a little simple. In setting, every thousand years, the prime example of each species battles it out in a dream world, and the winning race gets a bunch of perks, the prime example of which is 9 lives. This time, cats won, with dogs coming in second, getting the runners up prize of 7 lives (And no I don't know why something like sharks or elephants lost to cats, just run with it), which is why dogs hate cats.
At any rate, the major catch that comes with being kings of the world is that whoever comes in first has to take care of who comes in bumfuck last, which this time, was humans (Apparently you're not allowed machine-guns or BattleMechs in dreamland, JUST RUN WITH IT). At any rate, humans need protection from Boggins, creatures who feed off the negative emotions of people and animals, using the power they gain from doing so to perpetuate these emotions, with the end-goal being to have enough power to physically manifest with a host. Humans are unable to see Boggins, or perhaps innately ignore them, which means that cats have their work cut out for them protecting humans.
And that's... that's really all the setting information we get, although I'm leaving out that cats are masters of the dream and can communicate with their human owners through dream, although their owners can never really remember what their cats say (Which is the medium through which this story takes place). I like it. It's a little minimalistic, but Cat is really nothing if not minimalistic, but it doesn't leave gaping plot holes and wouldn't take hours to explain to new players. It also lends itself to leaving itself open so you can run whatever the fuck you want with it, is a very catchall explanation for all the crazy shit you see cats getting up to and is competently written , doing a very good job of creating a dream-like feel to the story.
And best of all, it's not chapters one and two of Infernals .
UP NEXT Part 2 : or, NO YIFFING
Time for some more Cat~
Cat 2 : or, I like saying the word 'cat'
With the wonderful introduction out of the way, we're straight smack-dab into the middle of making character for your game, but not without a shameless plug from the author, encouraging you to buy many many copies of the game, including some for you friends. I don't really know much about the author, unlike some other people in the thread, so I don't know if this is taking the piss or not.
At any rate, the core mechanics of the game are base around your six traits, which are;
Claws : Which is important for fighting and climbing.
Coat : Which is both your armor and how pretty you are, which means that the prettiest cats are also the hardest to hurt. RUN WITH IT.
Face : Which is important for determining how strong your senses are.
Fangs : Which are used for fightin' and carrying things.
Legs : Which is used for jumping, balance, and running.
And finally Tail : Which determies how magically strong your cat is. Yes, magic. Yes, even cats without tails have a Tail trait. RUN WITH IT.
To determine the bonuses you receive to your traits, you assign one trait as being your BEST , which gives the trait a bonus of 5, three traits are STRONG , which give them a bonus of 4, and finally, two are GOOD , which give them a bonus of 3. It's a simple, compact system which I'll be getting more into when I give the actual mechanics a look, but first, there's a character attribute that Mage players will notice, which is Name.
You have your first name, given to you by your owner (Say, Mr Tiddums), your second name, which other cats call you, and your secret name, which you don't know, but would give you power over other cats if you knew theirs. It seems simple enough, but the book doesn't give any examples of second or secret names. Maybe it's a little pedantic or nit-picky of me, but not having examples seems like a pretty big oversight to me. Calling my Cat characters whatever comes off the top of my head seems a little weird, given all independence that cats have from humans in this setting, I would assume they'd have some naming conventions of their own. But I digress.
The third kind of character attribute is 'Reputation'. Think the Renown attribute from nWerewolf, but better. It's a bunch of things that your character is particularily good at, and has earned some kind of title for, like 'Boggin Killer', or 'Door Opener'. You have 7 points to distribute amongst your reputations, and once again, we're going to have a look at how Reputations work in play once we get to the mechanics. Suffice to say, they work far more naturally and less hamfisted-ly than Renown.
Finally, you have 9 lives. The King of Cats won them, remember? These are pretty important, and I'm betting you can guess what they do, but they're a little more involved than that in game, which I'll get to eventually! Ain't I mysterious.
And that's all that's involved in creating a character. Quick, isn't it?
UP NEXT: Part Cat : or Cats are serious business!