Catgirl: The Storytelling Game (Types of Reality)

I’m still not sure what to call the overall setting that Catgirl takes place in. Stuff like “World of Insufficient Light” both has been done and doesn’t fit where the game wound up going. The best I’ve come up with so far is “Age of False Innocence,” which is actually the title of a Blind Guardian song. So anyway, time for some more on the cosmology.

There are two distinct modes of existence: material and immaterial. Beings that are purely immaterial are called Figments, while beings that are purely material are called Others. Humans are among those who have some of both the material and immaterial within them, though it’s at best an oversimplification to call the immaterial side a “soul.” Not a few of a human being’s cognitive functions–including things like language and to some extent emotions–are at least partly a function of a physical, biological brain. On the other hand there are things like the Linker Core, an immaterial component that facilitates connections to other people, and allows one to dream. Those who are properly aware of the material and immaterial sides of themselves are called Awakened, so naturally those who are not–the great majority of mankind–are called Sleepers.

Figments are relentlessly created, disintegrated, and reformed. Every casual thought creates minor Figments, but the thoughts and dreams of many people, or even of one very determined person, can crystallize into an immaterial form that can endure for eons. For the Figments there is no such thing as “not real.” The concept of unreality is simply a fiction as far as they’re concerned, an impossible paradox. While Figments begin their existence as creations of others, especially Sleepers, they can acquire a life of their own and can change over time. The immaterial world contains entire worlds formed from the dreams of humanity.

The Others are more common and more powerful than you might think. While human science has unlocked many of the material world’s mysteries, complete understanding is still a long ways off. Thus there are Others who possess secrets and abilities that rival or exceed the greatest of the Awakened. Among the most dangerous of the Others are the Obliviators. These beings are painfully aware that beyond death only oblivion can await them, and have taken to doing anything and everything in their power to extend their lives. To that end they seek to steal the very essence of existence. They take on human form, and infiltrate the world of humans. Sleepers provide them with some sustenance, but the Awakened provide far more and far sweeter, so it is the Awakened that all but the weakest Obliviators choose to hunt.

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