"The Secrets of Cats" is a Fate Core campaign framework where the main characters play sentient cats which can cast thier own magics based on true names and sacrifice to help keep thier 'burdens' (thier word for us) safe from weird threats humans cant even see or know about.
Im going to just leave that one sentence hanging as its own paragraph because quite frankly its too awesome to mess with from there. Imagine being an intelligent cat which lives in the world of man. Some animals are sentient... cats all the time, other animals and dogs... sometimes. There are other things which go bump in the night. Since the Dark Ages, when man was hurling left handed women and any cat they could catch into bonfires as witches and thier familars, cats have taken great care to hide what they can do from the eyes of man. Oh, and I didnt say the best part of it all... all of the material needed to play in this very enigmatic world are for free.
I think I have something very interesting and unique to offer here. Are you a cat lover? The way they move and express themselves... do you find yourself fascinated by them? Has a story like Watership Down
or The Secret of NIMH
entranced you about what might happen just outside of our races gaze? Why not inhabit part of thier world with a little magic thrown in for fun? Imagine trying to keep your bumbling burdens safe from whatever eldritch being which might follow them home. Imagine trying to outsmart a physically superior Animal Control officer to release your friends from his van. Now are we starting to see where we can go with this. The whole wide real world can get a lot bigger and scarrier and nastier very quickly.
Now to the free part. There are three books which will constitute this game. What follows is a short description and a site where you can download the book. These are fully bookmarked high quality pdf products. Now each can be downloaded for free, but if you can spare a dollar or two for the awesome artwork and the prospects of future products of a similar quality, please feel free.
Fate Core System
This is the main system everything hangs on. It is simple and cinematic. I think it is better then d20, which kind of grew out of historic miniatures game and never lost that grinding attention to stupid mathamatic, legalistic details like price and weight and volume and really inane stuff like that. It lends itself well to story with Aspects acting as direct game mechanics of whatever phrase you want to describe someone or something with. Even ways to spot and use these Asepects in play. This is a sound investment of time and attention and has a lot of very good lines supporting this system. Dresden Files. Starblazers. Spirit of the Century. Agents of SWING. Modernity. Bulldogs! All these and many more use this system or an iteration of it.http://www.rpgnow.com/product/114903/Fate-Core-System
The Secrets of Cats
This is the main book on which this campaign will run. I probably wont use the story attached to it, because everybody already knows everything who has the book, but I will use the setting detailed in it. It lays the setting about how cats see things and how the world reacts to them. It is a fun short book of about 50 pages and lavishly illustrated. This book details all of the magics which cats can use.http://www.rpgnow.com/product/134533/The-Secrets-of-Cats--A-World-of-Adventure-for-Fate-Core
The Secrets of Cats: Animals & Threats
This is the first FATE world book to get a sequal. This is additional material added to the Secrets of Cats line. It includes details on dogs, rabbits, some insects and ghosties. It only serves to add more options with the general mechanics of each as well as an example. It is as well written and illustrated as the original book and clocks in at a little over 40 pages.http://www.rpgnow.com/product/147773/The-Secrets-of-Cats-Animals--Threats
Now after you have read all of these free or dirt cheep e-books if you find yourself later reflecting about them and almost saying to yourself, "Self, I wonder what a game of The Secrets of Cats would actually play out like." Then fire me a PM and we can talk.
Here is what I am interested in running. I want to use the setting detailed in the main book Silver Ford, Maine. I would like to use the Fate Core system and would like to play this to about as potentially gritty a level as 'Watership Down'. Though such scenes would be brief in the lives of pampered magical cats, the potential for such situations should exist. Its a nasty world out there for animals who fall into places they shouldnt be. If you cut open a big bad wolf, grandma doesnt just pop right out like in the old 'Red Ridding Hood' tales.
Id like to stay mostly with cats, though perhaps a couple of exceptions can be made. The cost of such diversity is all will have to stretch thier stories to include reasons why the non-cat is involved in cat affairs. Which can usually be explained with a bossy cat friend who wrangles whoever around, I guess. Perhaps someone will step forward to play the 'wrangler' who acts as a tie between the non-cat and the rest of the story.
This covers everything I can think of now. There is a lot more to do with this, but frankly I wanted to check to see if there is interest in such an unusual idea. Id like to know what specificly interests each of the more vocal players and perhaps tailor make the story so we all feel included into it. With a kind of laid out setting, its easy to coordinate who is where in our setting and everyone will have a copy of the rules. I think this will make a good basis to begin with and craft the rest mostly based on reactions to the PCs, their ideas, and their characters.
A couple fun facts. When cats are meowling to each other loudly and you yell and they quiet down for a bit and start again, its because you interupted a ward. They have to start all over from the beginning. Also cats often times cast such wards on tiny non-sentient animals whose corpse acts as the center of the spell. So they hide it because it lasts longer. Once found and disposed of, the ward is gone as well. A cat will seem to 'play' with a prey, when in reality they are asking it questions... trying to see if it is sentient and can talk. Cats are very ethical creatures and will not knowingly kill or sacrifice sentient cretures. At least, the ones who arent Evil...
I hope to hear from you soon.