Sunday, February 11, 2018

Character Creation: The Secrets of Cats

It's Sunday, so it's time to make a character!

The Game: The Secrets of Cats
The Publisher: Evil Hat Productions
Degree of Familiarity: Some. I've played it once (a friend ran a one-shot), and of course I'm pretty well-versed in Fate core.
Books Required: The Cats book and I think the Fate Core book.

So, Secrets of Cats is one of several RPGs in which you play cats protecting people from supernatural evil. It's also probably the best-realized one just in terms of a solid system, a solid backstory, and some good support, but then again, that would all fall apart if you don't like Fate.

Anyway, in this game, cats refer to their humans as "Burdens," and they have to protect them from the kind of standard array of supernatural badness (ghosts, monsters, etc.). There's also quite a bit of detail given to cat magic. When I played this before, my cat was basically the Cat Who Walks By Himself (from the Kipling story of the same name), so this time, I think I'd like to play a pussycat who's a little bit more friendly to people. I also want to use Naming magic, which allows for said pussycat to animate dolls and other such objects. My cat is a burnt orange color with black spots on his back and tail, and black on the tips of his ears. His Burdens call him Freckles, but other cats know him as Cinders.

I happen to know that one of the stunts I can take allows me to be a reincarnated cat, so I'm gonna say that Cinders has been with this particular household for more than a century, in one form or another. The house he lives in used to be a farmhouse, and his then-incarnation was a mouser. Over time, the house expanded but the land got sold off, families came and went, but they always had a cat (whether they knew it or not). Now, the family living there has a little girl who's five years old and a tiny baby Burden, and "Freckles" just showed up one day while the girl (then only two) was outside playing. The family let him stay, and here we are.

So, we start off with High Concept. I have to use "Namer" if I want to be a master of Naming magic, which I do, so let's say his is Old Soul Namer.

Next up we have his Trouble Aspect. And...ooh, this'll be sad and fun.

Cinders' soul is tied to the house and the farmland (which is mostly developed now), and in previous lives that hasn't been a problem. He liked his Burdens well enough, but if the choice was between letting some silly human brush or pet him and taking care of business outside, well, he could groom his own self, thanks. But he loves the little girl, and he loves the little baby, and he even loves their parents. If the time came to leave the house to protect the territory, or if they had to move away...would he go with them? And would that mean he wouldn't reincarnate? His Trouble Aspect is I Love My Family.

Next Aspect is Burdens, which is where the conflict comes in. His Burden Aspect is The People Who Live in the Old Farmhouse.

And then we get True Name, which is an Aspect that really shows what Cinders is all about. I kinda already refer to the reincarnation thing in his High Concept, so I think I want to drift from that a little and call this one Quiet Protector.

Finally, I get a free Aspect. This time I do want to refer back to the past-lives thing. I'll call this Aspect Secrets of 99 Lives (that's 11 cats, 9 lives each).

Now, Skills. I get the standard Fate Core Skill ladder (one Great, two Good, three Fair, and four Average), but I add Territory and the four magic Skills into the mix.

OK, I know I want my Great Skill to be Naming magic, so that's easy. My Goods, I'll take Athletics and Investigation. Fairs, I'll take Stealth, Territory, and Warding (more magic, but it fits with my Protector concept). And then for Average, we'll take Fight, Empathy, Will, and Rapport.

Now I get three magic stunts and three normal stunts. We'll do magic first. I want Animate, and I'll take Multitasking, too (so I can animate two things at once). I'll also take Invisibility (which is a Warding stunt).

Right, now I get three non-magical stunts. Hmm. Many Lives, which I want, actually keys off of Lore. No matter. I'll take a version of it that keys off of Territory, and say that it only works within the old farmland (which is actually most of the neighborhood/suburb now).

I'll take Stalk, off of Stealth (+2 to Stealth when hearing is the most likely way to detect me). And finally, I'll take Pounce, giving me +2 to Fight when I attack from concealment (which plays into Cinders' proclivity to be stealthy and careful).

Now, I could spend refresh for more stunts, but eh. I think we're in pretty good shape, actually.