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mistformsquirrl
2008-07-21, 08:04 PM
Hey all <. .>b I've been working on and off on this project for a good while now, but I think I'm finally satisfied to show it to the gaming public at large.

The race is designed entirely from a player's standpoint; though I may get around to making a "Monster Manual" style entry for them eventually as well.

Anyway, here we go! <@[email protected]> (This is my first real homebrew to go on the web at large <~_~>m)



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v213/mistharm/catpeopleoflustriadatasheetfemale.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v213/mistharm/TribalCatfolkMaleDatasheet.jpg

Nekomimi

Nekomimi are the most prevalent and common cat people in existence. When a human thinks “Cat person” this tends to be the image they conjure. Specifically, nekomimi are similar to humans in most respects except they are shorter and have a pair of feline ears and a cat-like tail. They tend to be a bit more muscular than humans for their size however, and thus generally have a well built and athletic appearance. Nekomimi tend to settle along coastal regions with good fishing waters.

Personality: With few exceptions, Nekomimi are friendly, inquisitive, and extremely welcoming of strangers. Nekomimi are fond of athletic competitions, especially swimming, climbing, and racing, but tend to care less about the result of the competition than with the actual act of competing. Even elder Nekomimi find ways to continue competitive play amongst one another, sometimes taking the form of boardgames with pieces of seashell, or artistic pursuits born of simple natural materials.

Most Nekomimi train with the bow and the spear, both for hunting, and for the rare occasions they are forced to defend their villages from orcs and sea trolls. Although quite proficient with these weapons, Nekomimi rely most heavily on making allies of nearby groups of humans and humanoids, willingly moving on if an area becomes too dangerous to be sustainable.

Nekomimi are tied to the earth itself. In a sense, they are the third in a chain of species. Humans seek to overcome nature, or at least survive it. Elves venerate the natural world and seek to exist alongside it. Nekojin exist almost as an extension of nature, their villages typically subsisting in a simple and sustainable fashion. Some would consider Nekomimi a bit primitive, as they only make use of metal they have traded for, and in their natural environment tend to shun extravagance for functionality.

Physical Description: Nekomimi generally resemble humans, though they stand on average 1 to 2 feet shorter. Unlike elves, who tend to be thin and slight, Nekomimi are muscular and broad. Females stand a bit shorter than the males, but the difference in height is much less pronounced than in most races.

Both male and female nekomimi can have noses that vary between an extremely feline nose and a human-like one. Though neither is special in any way and the nekomimi themselves hardly seem to notice a difference between the two rather distinct types, humans and others are sometimes surprised at the variation in look. Two nekomimi might look so different in the face due to this one feature that one might believe they are separate subspecies.

Relations: Friendly and benign, most of the common races get along well with nekomimi. Trading for pearls, fish, and artistic crafts and works are common and the nekomimi usually ask for things they may not have available to themselves, like worked metals and heavier leathers. Nekomimi villages are an extremely welcome sight for most beleaguered adventuring bands as the cat people tend to put anyone up for a night or two without any fuss. Often, they’ll allow one to stay even longer provided they pull their weight.

Nekomimi who have left their homes, while rare, sometimes find their way into human cities and bring some of their specialized knowledge with them. Humans and elves tend to rather enjoy having Nekomimi about, Elves tend to appreciate their natural harmony and humans their kindness and ability to be light hearted in even dire circumstances. Dwarves often find them annoyingly cheerful or overly excitable and impatient. Halflings rarely understand why an adventuring Nekomimi wants to be moving all the time and find them a bit too excitable. Gnomes and Nekomimi get along famously as both enjoy light hearted conversation and humor, as well as having some level of innate understanding of nature. They view each other with some level of curiosity as they are quite similar, and yet so very different. Half-orcs and half elves alike generally appreciate having someone who is more interested in their friendship than parentage; and more than one has held thoughts about the Nekomimi's seemingly hybrid appearance.

Alignment: Most Nekomimi tend toward Neutral Good. Much like gnomes they have a strong sense of community and a love of benign humor. Nekomimi are much more focused on being free as a community and openness with others than being individualistic; however they tend not to burden themselves with bureaucracy and can sometimes be found bending the rules as long as its for a good cause.

Nekomimi Lands: Nekomimi almost never claim any territory as their own. More typically, a group of nekomimi will settle on a coastline or a river bank, and leave their community relatively open to travelers. It is rumored that high in the mountains, Nekomimi once lived in a manner more similar to modern humans in great walled cities. These lands are long lost to them however, and modern Nekomimi tend to be rather innocent of such sophistication.

Religion: Nekojin are highly polytheistic and also animistic. They tend to worship entire pantheons of good and neutral deities loosely, while also venerating the spirits of the elements. Nekomimi are rarely druids despite their natural attachments, perhaps because as a part of nature, it is hard to separate oneself enough to draw power from it. More often, Nekomimi serve deities of water, sea creatures, woodlands, or much more rarely, storms.

Language: Nekomimi have their own language, Nekogo, which sounds to most humans as something akin to the mewing of kittens. However it is much more complex and a Nekomimi’s ears can pick up the subtle changes of tone a human might miss. Nekomimi almost always know common as well, as they like to have good relations with all they meet. Nekomimi also have the tendency to purr when contented; though this is not Nekogo, and doesn't have any special meaning beyond the obvious.

Adventurers: Nekomimi adventurers are uncommonly common. Most Nekomimi spend their early life in the village, helping it to grow and prosper. However, after a litter of kits or two, most females leave the village for a time, driven by some internal wanderlust. Males are less frequently adventurers as they comprise only thirty percent of the population. However, males, typically younger ones who hear the “different drummer”, leave the community for a long period, sometimes never returning and founding their own villages elsewhere. These are the most common nekomimi to be life-mated to other nekomimi.

Nekomimi Society: Nekomimi society is very commune based. To survive, Nekomimi have become adept at putting the community’s overall well being at their focus. Children are raised as a part of the community at large, and it is common for Nekomimi to not know specifically who their birth parent is, but rather, consider the entire village as family; with blood relation being given almost no importance at all.

This also helps insure that the best individual gets the right job. Leaders are often chosen by the previous leader, however, the community does take a vote. Usually this is merely a formality as the elder is considered wise enough to choose a good replacement.

Common positions in a Nekomimi village are:

Head Fisher – Typically concerned with taking just enough from the sea for the village to prosper, without taking enough to deal damage. Often considered the leader of the village, the Head Fisher tends to consult with others before making final decisions. (In the rare wilderness Nekomimi community, this is usually the “Lead Hunter”; with the same duties, goals, and level of respect.)

Teacher - While a village will have many teachers in many basics of life for young nekomimi, the title of Teacher (capitalized) only goes to one. This Teacher typically helps instruct nekomimi in ethical behavior and stewardship of their homes as well as the duties they might be asked to perform later in life. Usually the Teacher is the second highest official in the village.

Biter – The Biter of a village is its champion and ultimate warrior. Though Nekomimi are generally peaceful and well regarded by their neighbors, they are not fools and every Nekomimi adult has been taught at least some combat techniques by a Biter at some point in life. Nekomimi Biters tend to be well respected, but also regarded with a bit of solemnity as they are forced to do things most Nekomimi would are loathe to contemplate. Combat is an ugly necessity, not something to be sought out.

Nurser – The Nurser is, essentially, the mother or father figure to all of the village’s very young children. Those in this position help designate feeding duties, and make sure every child gets plenty of care. They also act as a sort of events organizer for the young, holding races and teaching them games that help build them up physically and mentally for the next stage in life where they will learn more practical skills. Many of the childhood games the Nursers teach are still played as adults in the spirit of good sport. A Nurser is admired perhaps even more than the Head Fisher simply because of the devotion those in this position give to bringing up the next generation and heralding in the future of the entire species.

Nekomimi are special creatures, in that, to say the community is their life, is no exaggeration. Nekomimi require social interaction to function. Some distant time in the past, nekomimi physiology mutated, most likely magically, to where a Nekomimi requires meaningful physical contact with another creature at least once a month or risk falling into a special type of depression. (Meaningful physical contact means a hug, kiss, snuggle, hold, or any other acknowledgment of the Nekomimi’s being in a physically appreciative manner. (Being a magical affect, it must be genuine or it will fail.)

Should a Nekomimi go an entire month without anyone offering such a gesture, they start to suffer from depression. Initially they just lose some optimism and cease to be quite as playful as usual. Eventually though, if more than two months pass and this requirement is still not met, the Nekomimi begins to suffer physically from it, taking a -2 penalty to constitution, strength and dexterity, as well as a -2 to will saves. If another month passes, the penalties double; and for each successive month, the penalties double again until such time as the Nekomimi simply lies down and dies. It is quite possible for a nekomimi to die of a broken heart. This vulnerability is kept secret from most non-nekomimi partly because it is such a sensitive thing emotionally. Of course, in a typical nekomimi village this is almost never a problem, hugging is the common greeting among males and females both and the village tends to act as a large family in most respects.

A nekomimi out in the world tends to be searching for something inside themselves, there are two possibilities for a character of this sort (either way, this is commonly an adventurer).

The first is a mutant. Some rare nekomimi are extremely antisocial, sometimes downright cruel and mean. Other times they are simply quiet loners who keep to themselves. These rare individuals have an actual physical mutation that is a throwback to the ancient past of the nekomimi. This mutation eliminates the need for physical contact in order to survive, but imposes a -2 charisma penalty on the character, and the character does not receive the usual +2 charisma bonus Nekomimi enjoy. Almost all evil nekomimi have this mutation. The rest of a nekomimi community usually feels especially sad for one with this mutation as even the kindest of these cannot fully experience the connection to the rest of the village everyone else enjoys.

The second option, and more common, is that a wandering nekojin, often female, has already had a litter or two of kits and is now seeking a life-mate.

Unlike most common species, Nekomimi rarely equate love with the reproduction of their species. Nekomimi females outnumber the males a little over two to one and as such, for the survival of the species, they instinctually come into periods of their lives where they become fertile and join with another. A female-male pairing tends to remain together until slightly after the kits are born and ready to be handed over to the Nurser; at which time the instinctive hormonal urges that brought them together usually subside and the pair simply drifts apart.

Male and Female, Nekomimi often still wish for a lifelong partner. Most females simply leave the village for a time and, while they may not know it, often this journey is in search of someone to share the rest of their lives with. Nekomimi especially commonly join with gnomes and humans in these types of arrangements as gnomes suit a nekomimi’s temperament well, and good humans usually find the nekomimi’s curiosity and passionate drive to do ‘something’ in the world very attractive. It is not unusual for a Nekomimi to return home with a life-mate from another species and live for a time as a couple inside the village or near it. It is nearly as common for the Nekomimi to remain with their partner wherever they might go.

While more common for females, males too get this drive. Often, either extremely young males, just entering the age where their hormones shift toward mating, or older males who have already sired many kits and are looking to settle with someone long-term.

Though rare, some nekomimi do in fact life-mate with other nekomimi. It is very rare quite simply because males are uncommon. Often this puts a strain on the female as she is forced to either share, or, as some nekomimi couples do, run away together. This practice is not looked down upon, as the villagers usually are glad that the couple can be happy together, of course, they would likely be less tolerant if it ever became commonplace.

Some nekomimi also bond with others of the same gender, be they nekomimi or no. This sort of life bond is not at all uncommon, but less common than more traditional relationships.

Nekomimi Statistics:

+2 Charisma -2 Wisdom; Nekomimi are cheerful and kind, making them easy to get along with; however they can be rambunctious and leap into things without thinking.

+2 Listen; Nekomimi have an acute sense of hearing, equaling that of an elf.

+2 Swim, Jump, Climb; Nekomimi’s spend a large chunk of their lives swimming, climbing, jumping and running as sport. As such, they’re exceptionally good at these abilities.

Soultouched (Su): Soultouched requires that a Nekomimi character without the Physical Mutation trait to receive meaningful physical contact (a hug, a kiss, hands held, etc…) from someone they care about. The species of the individual does not matter, but the gesture must be genuine as the magical nature of this ability will ignore anything less.

Mutation (Ex): (Optional Trait, Replaces Soultouched) A physically mutated Nekomimi loses 2 charisma and does not receive the nekomimi charisma bonus either. They regain their lost Wisdom points and receive a bonus feat. Physically mutated Nekomimi suffer a -2 penalty on social I interaction checks with other nekomimi lacking their mutation. They do not look any different than a normal member of their species.

>.>

erikun
2008-07-22, 05:30 PM
Overall

I think the race works rather well. The biggest complaint would be "it's a catgirl!", mainly because almost everyone has designed a catgirl race at one point or another. :smallwink: However, I wouldn't let that stop you. It works for what you want it to do, and the Nekomimi don't look too be overpowered or with any unbalancing abilities. Nice artwork, by the way.

Recommendations

The biggest recommendation is to merge the Soultouched and Mutation abilities into one. That is, if the Nekomimi goes one month without being touched, they suffer a -1 CHA and enter into depression. After a full 4 months (-4 CHA), they have been reduced to the anti-social, untrusting members of the race. I think this works a bit better than having them drop dead, and removes a "mutated" race that has almost completely different stats than standard Nekomimi.

Nekogo is too subtle for most humans? The average Nekomimi has only a +1 in listen (-1 Wis modifier, +2 Listen) over an average human. Elves have better hearing.

Critique

Besides being carfolk? Well, I'm not sure if you want a harsh critique or not. I'll stick in it spoiler tags, so you can easily ignore it if you didn't want it.


First, they're Gnomes. No, really. They're short (4'), friendly, naturalistic, curious, playful, joking humanoids. Heck, you admitted yourself that they can fully integrate with Gnomes, indicating that the two races don't have many differences. To be sure, this is a big problem with most catpeople - they're either curious and jokesters (Gnomes) or likeable and sneaky (Halflings) or hunters and naturalists (Elves). Still, don't be suprised if someone else makes the connection.

Second, they're too good. They're friendly, pleasant, likeable, considerate, normally good, and physically close. Everyone likes them, except stuffy dwarves and mean orcs. Besides being naive, there really isn't much bad to say about the race as a whole, and nobody actually dislikes them. That's rather unusual for a race. Plus, it's almost a universal fact for the race - only a few evil "mutants" are the ones who are bad. (Assuming you don't change them as recommended above.)

They have no culture to speak of. They grow up, have sex, have children, then wander off. Speaking of which, the fact that there are large numbers of available catgirls looking for a lifetime "bond" to a male compatriot is not lost on me.

Beyond that, though: like I said before, the race is fully functional as it is. If this is what you're looking at making, and don't mind the above, there is no reason to change things from your current setup. Just remember that some players may have similar questions/concerns as listed above.

mistformsquirrl
2008-07-22, 05:51 PM
I like constructive criticism <^_^> believe you me, it helps!

Actually they're a bit taller than 4' <@,@> Averages are listed in the pictures! But I do see what you mean, they are pretty similar to gnomes in personality in a lot of ways.

I think you're probably right about the Soultouched trait/Mutant trait being combined. The more I think about it, the more it sounds just a bit too over the top the way I had it. (I admit to being a hopeless romantic <~_~>; but I can see the flaw pretty clearly. Plus it'd suck to have a character you loved die during 'downtime' because you're stuck in a dungeon waiting for rescue)

The population imbalance... Admission - stolen from FFXI, and indeed horribly fanboish of me <T_T>; I really should rectify that (and will); along with making their culture more visible. They do have one, in the back of my head; but I clearly didn't communicate it well at all; thus it needs work! (Authors fault if something wasn't written <,<)

Hmm... I definitely need to give their flaws more pronouncement too.

Clearly - work is necessary still!

<. .> I shall attempt to do some fixing tonight!

(And I kinda figured that most people had done a catfolk race hehe <,< I just have to have my own, givin that my 'avatar' character is just that <~_~> This race is actually for my own (underdeveloped) campaign setting)

Thanks again for the thoughts, they are much appreciated!