Catgirl: The Storytelling Game (Setting Stuff)

As usual, I found something to distract me. I’ve been working more on Catgirl: The Storytelling Game, though mainly in terms of setting stuff. I even went so far as to order a $2 copy of the first edition of Werewolf: The Apocalypse from Amazon Marketplace, to get a blast of the wackier yet more pretentious original White Wolf feel.

The overall setting/cosmology is sort of a mix of weird ideas I’ve been trying to do something with and some Neil Gaiman influence, plus of course otaku culture. So far it’s turning out much more serious than I’d intended, but also cooler. The material world we live in is not a lie or an illusion, but rather an equal partner to the immaterial. There are Figments (purely immaterial) and Others (purely physical), and there are those who have some of each, though few truly realize it. There was no Golden Age that was shattered by hubris; on the contrary, the invention of stories let people look beyond the darkness and fear of the Dawn Time and start to dream. Some see the world as a tapestry, others as a song, a story, a painting, etc. Seeing the world as such is the easy part; the hard part is making the world see itself as you do.

Beings who consciously straddle the line between the material and immaterial worlds are collectively called “Awakened.” Catgirls (and other kemonomimi) are one type of Awakened, but there are also Shinigami, Magical Girls, Mascot Girls, Dreamers, and others besides. Catgirls are in a unique predicament in that all of the catboys are gone, and even the story of how they disappeared is lost. In a desperate bid for survival, 108 catgirls gathered and performed a ritual that made it so catgirls would be born at random among humans and even cats. There are three “Breeds” of catgirls: Homid (born to human parents, or to a catgirl mother who mated with a human man), Feline (born as a cat), and Transformed (a human turned into a catgirl by magic, not necessarily willingly). Although they don’t know why, catgirls are divided into five castes: Claws (warriors), Ears (diplomats/socialites), Glasses (scholars), Paws (athletes/spies), and Tails (priestesses/magicians). And yes, castes affect skills and charms. There are no Anima Banners, though I’m thinking of adding some kind of special ability per caste. Catgirls have two “Kitty Quirks,” mannerisms that mark them as being part cat. I put in a heading for “Meow Points” in the file, but I can’t remember what it was supposed to be… There are going to be some catgirl factions, including nekomimi maids, and a group that goes around finding humans to punish by transforming them into catgirls.

The Shinigami are the other Awakened that I’ve gotten the furthest in developing, and I’m very happy with how they’re turning out. There are 5 main Shinigami factions, most of which come from different anime. There are the Black Angels (ruthless death gods with black feathered wings), Chosen of the Middle Way (katana-wielding guys in black Buddhist robes), Corpses of the Unrelenting Night (amoral, decaying creatures who use a Shinigami Notebook to extend their own lives), The Girls in Black (gothic lolita girls who can work magic through their cell phones and the attached charms), and Reapers of the Gentle Dawn (kind Shinigami who see themselves as having a sacred duty to departing souls). I’m not really planning to actually make splats/spinoff games for the other Awakened, but if I did, the Shinigami book would be the first one.

8 thoughts on “Catgirl: The Storytelling Game (Setting Stuff)

  1. As mentioned over on LJ, I’m definitely keeping an eye on this one. And I like the additional detail about the types of catgirls (and the mystery of the missing catboys – I wonder if anyone has tried any rituals to bring any into being and whether the rituals simply did nothing or had more interesting failures). The Feline Breed almost makes me think of Free Collars Kingdom, with its cats who look like normal cats to all the humans but like are catboys and catgirls in their interactions with each other.

    The Shinigami look interesting too. And the Magical Girls almost requires a clueless newbie in denial (a la recent Megatokyo) version.

    I’m also thinking I ought to actually work on my idea for a Truth & Justice convention game scenario in which the heroes are a team of catgirls and/or catboys. Each, a few weeks back, saved or did a good dead for a cat. So now they been empowered by the Feline Avatar so they can make the city safer for feline kind, “Oh, and humans too. I’ve got nothing against humans, many of my best servants are human… Anyway, time for me to take a nap, so go do hero stuff…”

  2. Fine, fine, fine.

    I’m officially abandoning the old angsty gothic lolita magical girl game idea of mine that I wasn’t making any progress with for the past three years anyway ;)

  3. This one sounds pretty interesting, especially if you keep the serious tone. This makes everything even more bizare and crazy ;) !

  4. This idea seems like a mixture of Changeling: the Dreaming, Werewolf: the Apocolypse, and Sentai: the Merchandising.*

    *this is another fan-created suppliment that parodies anime.

  5. Something like that. There’s some Neil Gaiman and such in there too :3 I am familiar with Senshi: The Merchandising, though it’s been years since I last read through it.

  6. Hmm… I recognize the Corpses of the Unrelenting Night, but would you mind telling me what the other four are based on?

    And would you mind a fanfiction based on this, once you either finish developing the world or decide that you’re not going to develop it any further?

    robert mason

  7. Let’s see… Black Angels are generic crazy killer angels. Chosen of the Middle way are from Bleach. Girls In Black are general goth-loli. Reapers of the Gentle Dawn are from Shinigami’s Ballad.

    I would *love* to see some fanfic stuff based on it, though I’d prefer to develop it a bit more first. There are a lot of (IMHO) really neat setting elements, but they’re still some things that aren’t quite there. I don’t think I’ve posted about (for example) the Empowered or the Dominators just yet.

  8. No, you haven’t. :Waits in anticipation:

    And to think that you can actually sell this, and make a profit off of this, and not get sued all the way to Hell and back…

    You know, once you’ve published the game, you should definitely get some stories published for this. Light novels, I’d think.

    And now I’m trying to figure out how the stories could be combined with the gamebooks…

    If you do any sourcebooks, I’d suggest having two or three short stories (3-7k words long) revolving around the subject of the book. So if you ever did the Shinigami splatbook, for example, a couple of stories involving, well, the Shinigami.

    Definitely have the fluff material like White Wolf does, as opposed to the bare bones of DnD and its like. I can guarantee that you’d sell a LOT more that way (I’m actually one of those people who doesn’t even play World of Darkness. I just read all the books. XD).

    Robert Mason

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