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.