AD&D Monster Manual II: Even More Cats #DnD #RPG #ADnD #Caturday

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I’ve gone through all of the cats from the 1e AD&D Fiend Folio here and here, and I pretty much covered the 1e AD&D Monster Manual cats here. Now it’s time for the 1e AD&D Monster Manual II (“MM2“), which is entirely new to me. I recently got it as part of my stash of 1e purchases, so it’s time to go through MM2 cats. There aren’t a lot.

Cat (p. 22)

Umm, okay. A cat. There are two varieties: domestic and wild. As a human living in the real world, I understand that wild cats can be a pain in the ass when they’re angry, but . . . what? Okay, let’s just move on.

Level I, not included on any of the encounter tables. No idea why. 🙂

Cat Lord (p. 22)

This is the master of all cats, but he looks like an ordinary dude. Despite the art, we’re told he has ferocious bite and claw attacks, and being a level X (10) monster, that’s backed up by the numbers. I should relate to the character, but I can’t see including him in any adventures except as a joke. A level X joke, but a joke nevertheless.

Astral Plane, 5.3% chance of encounter (3 on a 2d10).

Catfish, Giant (p. 23)

No, no, no, no, no. Doesn’t count. Move on.

Level VI, 5.3% chance of encounter in tropical and subtropical freshwater.

Cheetah (p. 25)

I have to say that I’m not particularly impressed with the MM2 cats so far. It’s an ordinary cheetah. What else do you need to know?

Level III, not found in any of the random encounter tables. For creating your own random encounter tables, cheetahs are “rare” in both tropical wilderness plains and tropical wilderness deserts.

Hey, there’s a demilich on page 32!

Stop, Rob! Don’t get distracted.

Elfin Cat (p. 63)

We don’t get a picture of this cat, but it’s described as “usually mistaken for a wild cat or possibly a lynx, but this is because the creature does not wish to be recognized as out of the ordinary.” Yeah, this cat’s got some magic, including Enlarge, Reduce, Pass Without Trace, Tree, and Trip. They have limited ESP, magically resistant 20% of the time, are surprised only on 1 out of 20, and surprise 1-5 on a d6 (1-2 is normal). What the hell. They can also leap 20 feet “with ease.” So, throw a bunch of wild cats at the PCs, then have them stumble upon a pair and their kits.

Level IV, found in forests when rolling a 19 on a 2d10 (5.3% chance). For creating your own random encounter tables, elfin cats are “very rare” in temperate wilderness forests.

Wemic (p. 126)

These count. A wemic is a “lion centaur,” akin to the urmahlullu from Mesopotamian mythology. Wemic are intelligent, use armor and weapons (both melee and ranged), and may even have magic items. If they lose their weapons, they can use their claws instead, so they’re never truly unarmed. They are surprised only on a 1.

Level IV, not included on any of the encounter tables. For creating your own random encounter tables, wemics are “very rare” in both temperate wilderness plains and temperate wilderness deserts.

Well, that’s not a lot, but maybe you can make something of these in your game.

Elfin cats >> cooshees.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

Cat People v. Dog People and the MCU @MarvelStudios #Caturday #MCU

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Here’s an article pondering who in the MCU is a cat person v. dog person. I have a response to each entry.

  1. Loki, cat person: Hiddleston provided the best acting in the entire MCU.
  2. Steve Rogers, dog person: I’ve been called libertarian (or libertarian adjacent), and that label is reasonable, but Steve Rogers is the most naïve of libertarians. “We don’t trade lives.” Really? One willing life for trillions of unaware innocents? That’s a dog person for you.
  3. Tony Stark, cat person: Tony Stark is the MCU.
  4. Bruce Banner, dog person: Couldn’t figure out a woman loved him until she beat him over the head with it. Even then, walked away from it. Dipshit.
  5. Thor, cat person: Strongest Avenger and had the greatest entrance in the history of cinema.
  6. Natasha Romanoff, cat person: The glue of the Avengers. Everyone had a special relationship with her.
  7. Clint Barton, dog person: Every rule has an exception, and this is it. Clint’s alright.
  8. Nick Fury, cat person: He’s the spy. He organized the whole thing without a superpower to stand on.
  9. Sam Wilson, dog person: Really a cat person, but went dog because he does whatever Steve Rogers does, just slower. Loses respect points for that one.
  10. Bucky Barnes, dog person: He was probably a cat person until Hydra scrambled his brains.
  11. The Vision, dog person: Because dog people aren’t really people.
  12. Wanda Maximoff, cat person: Rivals Thor for strongest Avenger. Took on Thanos one-on-one.
  13. James “Rhodey” Rhodes, dog person: Iron Man wannabe. Really mean person requiring unconditional love in order to have companionship. Yep. Dog person.
  14. Peter Parker, dog person: Again, requiring unconditional love, but in Peter’s case, it’s because he’s an insecure teenager. He’ll grow out of it. He better.
  15. Carol Danvers, cat person: She can fly in space. Her powers come from an infinity stone.
  16. Scott Lang, dog person: No, he’s a cat person. They say he’s an excitable pup, but opposites attract, and the opposite of a pup is a kitty. Scott’s still okay in my book.
  17. T’Challa, cat person: Ruler of the most technologically-advanced kingdom in the world. A freaking king.

MCU cat people >> MCU dog people.

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Visiting an Old Friend, the 1st Edition Fiend Folio: More Cats #DnD #RPG #ADnD #Caturday

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My review and discussions of 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (“1e“) has me visiting an old friend, the Fiend Folio (“FF“). My impression, which is anecdotal and thus suspect, is that the FF wasn’t very popular. Oddly enough, it was the only compendium of monsters I owned as a kid other than the small collection in the AD&D Blue Box and the monsters contained in the mods I ran. Plus, none of my friends owned it, so I had something on them. Needless to say, it holds a special place in my heart. I’m not making even more “dumbest monsters of D&D” posts. We’ve all had enough of those. These are about things I like.

| Kamadan | My Favorites | Elemental Princes | More Cats | Giants | Dragons |

As you read this, I’m getting ready to check in to my hotel in Vegas. This is my annual blackjack trip, and it’s been a long time coming. Anywho, it’s Caturday, but I don’t want to spend the next several Saturdays talking about a single feline monster in the FF as I did last week. Instead, I’m going through all of them very briefly.

Caterwaul (p. 18)

Interesting because its AC and number of attacks per round vary from caterwaul to caterwaul. You determine both stats by a percentage die roll. It also has a sonic weapon, which, in a world of magic, is a reasonable extension of the fact that felines are generally known for purring.

Level IV, 2% chance of dungeon encounter. In tropical or near-tropical conditions, 1% in plains or hills, or 2 % in scrub, forest, or rough.

Guardian Familiar (p. 49)

Why are cats said to have nine lives? Because the guardian familiar has nine lives. Yep, D&D stole the legend’s origin. The guardian familiar takes the form of a housecat. It loyally and reliably sits atop a treasure chest or other container to guard it. It’s not aggressive. If everybody’s cool, no one need die. If attacked, it progressively grows to the size of a bobcat. If killed, it returns even more powerful as long as it has lives left. Kind of funny.

Level VII, 1% chance of dungeon encounter.

Hellcat (p. 50)

I could talk a lot about the hellcat, but I promised these would be very brief. Long story short, hellcats serve as familiars to devils, but occasionally travel to the Prime Material Plane to serve lawful evil mortals. There’s a nice backstory here, but unless someone in your party is lawful evil, the hellcat is nothing more than another monster with level-appropriate magical resistances. Most likely, meh.

Level VI, 3% chance of dungeon encounter.

Tabaxi (p. 86)

In 5e, the tabaxi as arrived, but these are its humble origins. They’re a low-level threat that can break up the monotony of encounters with plants, gnolls, giant animals, and anthropomorphic animals . . . with another anthropomorphic animal. That’s not as bad as it sounds. Low-level threats should leave the game somewhere different to go as PCs level up.

Level II, not found randomly in dungeons. There’s a 2% chance of randomly encountering a “tabazi” (sic) in a tropical or near tropical forest. That’s where they live, and seldom leave the area.

Caturwauls >> blink dogs.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

Visiting an Old Friend, the 1st Edition Fiend Folio: The Kamadan #DnD #RPG #ADnD #Caturday

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My review and discussions of 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (“1e“) has me visiting an old friend, the Fiend Folio (“FF“). My impression, which is anecdotal and thus suspect, is that the FF wasn’t very popular. Oddly enough, it was the only compendium of monsters I owned as a kid other than the small collection in the AD&D Blue Box and the monsters contained in the mods I ran. Plus, none of my friends owned it, so I had something on them. Needless to say, it holds a special place in my heart. I’m not making even more “dumbest monsters of D&D” posts. We’ve all had enough of those. These are about things I like.

| Kamadan | My Favorites | Elemental Princes | More Cats | Giants | Dragons |

Except this one.

Today’s post is one of a few that will discuss specific monsters that are important to me, though this one is different because it focuses on only one: the Kamadan (FF p. 55). This feline monstrosity didn’t make my cut as one of my top ten D&D cats. Maybe it would have if I hadn’t cheated on my #1, but only because there aren’t many cat-like monstrosities to choose from. Entries on my were chosen because they were either iconic or silly. The Kamadan is the wrong combination of both. It’s “clearly a relative of the displacer beast,” which makes it feel more like a rip off than a homage to of that creature, but it’s not so off the wall as to be funny. Besides, if a creature is born of magic, do the rules of evolution actually apply? Some of us enjoy overthinking these things.

The Kamadan is an oversized leopard with non-venomous (?!) snakes coming out of its shoulders. Combination creatures like this are hardly unusual, and they can work, but the Kamadan is given a sleep breath weapon that seems out of place. It appears this creature was built to be a different challenge for its own sake. And of course, the write up is sparse, so there’s no interesting history attached to the Kamadan to rope you in.

The Kamadan appears on the Monster Level IV table (p. 104; 2% chance of encounter) and the temperate/subtropical, uninhabited wilderness table (p. 118; scrub, forest, rough, and hills, each a 1% chance of encounter).

Meh.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

It’s Roleplaying Cats and Dogs! #Caturday

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File this under, “What?”

Apparently, a line of miniatures inspired it’s own RPG universe. These aren’t anthropomorphic races, but rather the animals themselves roleplayed as PCs. Again, what? The Kickstarter was successful, so if this is your thing, go for it.

Why would anyone want to roleplay a pathetic animal like a dog. Be a cat. Have an ego and kill something.

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Dungeons & Dragons and Forgotten Realms are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

Herding Adventurous Cats #Caturday

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Writing about 1st Edition D&D over the past few weeks has affected how I write on Mythology Monday, Caturday, and . . . whatever Sunday is. Here’s my example today care of MeWe.

Analogizing the herding of cats to the mustering of gamers at a convention is insulting. To cats.

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Dungeons & Dragons and Forgotten Realms are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

My Top 10 List of D&D Cats #Caturday #DnD #RPG

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Because my recent posts are all D&D related, D&D is taking over Caturday this week. Here’s my top ten list of cat-related D&D creatures. WordPress won’t allow me to use descending numbers, so in this case, my favorite will be #10.

  1. Sea Cats. Basically, they’re mentioned because there aren’t enough cat-like monsters to fill this list. Kind of funny, though, so they beat out the semi-feline dragonne for the bottom spot.
  2. Tabaxi. I’m at least curious about playing a a Tabaxi. As a cat person, I could probably make a good run of it, but I never have. Curiosities don’t get to land high on a list.
  3. Displacer Beast. These guys are probably lower on my list than they would be on the lists of most players. I never had the fanboy reaction to them that so many others did. I’m not sure why. They just didn’t do it for me.
  4. Tressyms. Clearly, I’m a cat person. What cat person wouldn’t want a flying kitty cat? But I’ve never played one because I don’t play wizards, and the only context in which I’ve seen a player have a tressym is as a familiar. As with Tabaxis, theory doesn’t rank as high as practice.
  5. Wemic. Leonine centaurs? How wonderfully majestic. In Sumerian mythology, they were called Urmahlullus, and they appear to be good guys. To my recollection, they’ve been considered neutral in D&D with respect to their alignment, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be played as helpful to a party of PCs.
  6. Manticores. Not only do manticores appear in a few of my favorite old-school adventures (ah, nostalgia), but they pose an interesting tactical challenge. Manticores can fly, and they’re equally dangerous at range or in melee.
  7. Tembos. I’m taking some license here and calling these denizens of Athas cats (from the Dark Sun campaign setting). I have doubts that they are; however, much like hyenas are feliforms (catlike) that appear to be canines (doglike) because of the space they occupy in their ecosystem, the Tembo appears roughly like a smilodon. When I first took a look at the stat block in 4e, I knew they were trouble, but when the DM threw one at our party, I realized how little I actually knew. It was hard not to immerse yourself in the gaming moment considering the unspeakable horrors it committed against you. (Unspeakable Horror was a fitting name for one of its 4e powers.) You may have well been fighting a creature three of four levels higher. Sometimes you just want a fight, and this thing delivered in spades.
  8. Sphinxes. This creature is right up my alley. My favorite aspect to D&D is solving puzzles, and a sphinx is loaded with them. Encountering sphinxes and being able to circumvent their threat using my real-world wits makes for a great and memorable encounter.
  9. Leonines. What’s better than meeting a sphinx? Playing one. Duh. Grexes was my a leonine (anthropomorphic lion) from the Mystic Odyssey of Theros campaign setting, and I presented him as someone with an obsession admiration of sphinxes. He often spoke in riddles, for example asking a greeter at the inn for “that which has four legs by cannot run.” It took a second, but the DM quickly realized I was asking for a table. Maybe Grexes should have made my list of my favorite TTRPG characters.
  10. Snuggles. Snuggles was a jaguar, but more to the point was the name I gave to my 4e beastmaster ranger’s animal companion. That was a fun class to play. Super mobile, varied attacks, high damage output, and always able to self-flank using Snuggles, which means he hit fairly often. Snuggles was the shit.

Snuggles wins. YMMV.

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Dungeons & Dragons, Mystic Odyssey of Theros, and Dark Sun are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)


Cat D&D #Caturday #DnD #RPG

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I’ve been writing a ton of content over the past few days. I’ve recently decided to try my hand at a return to 1st Edition D&D, and I’ve already finished four posts, and started two, containing my impressions of the system. As a result, I’ve got nothing for Caturday today except these.

Uhh, guilty...: dndmemes
That’s some fine-ass spelling right thar.
Attack of the D&D / RPG Memes! - SHANE PLAYS
This is an offensive, back-handed compliment.
Nerdovore: Rogue Cleric Cat
Cats were made for this game.

Caturday!

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