Cat Men Version 2

Cat Men v. 2

A creation of the ancient high elves, cat men resulted from mixing humans with felis domesticus. The resulting hybrid had the intelligence of humans and the will of feral cats, and proved useless as servants to the high elves. Left to their own devices, the cat men retreated to isolated forest communities usually ruled by a chief who proved himself in combat. They have very little need to trade with the world of men, but occasionally travel and interact with them. Rare cat men are known to take up adventuring with parties of humans. They care not for monetary wealth, but do value gems and jewelry as decorative trophies.

They’re dexterous warriors, leaping from trees and the shadows to ambush their prey and foes alike. They are excellent infiltrators, charging past enemy formations to attack them from behind. They speak their own tongue and a variant of the common human tongue. They are naked and not ashamed, but will wear simple tunics or trousers to fit in among other humanoids.

While they prefer their claws in combat, cat men are known especially for hunting with knives, bola, javelins, and thrown nets.


-Cat men have Dexterity plus whatever else they roll.

-If an unarmed cat man forgoes his combat action, he can move at double movement rate.

-On a successful save, cat men can detect invisible enemies within 30 feet, including spirits.

-Cat men have the dodge maneuver at level 1.  Cat men gain combat moves at 3rd level, and every 3rd level thereafter.

-Cat men do not wear armor.  They wield small one handed melee weapons and missile weapons.

HP 7, +2 per level thereafter

Designer notes:

My Cat Men are public domain. Enjoy them.

This is version 2 of the Cat Man. My previous version had too much mechanical fluff compared to the character classes in P&P. I look at the Aaron Gustwiller’s Durulz duck-men and see simple elegant mechanics and the rest taken care of by role play. That seems to be the heart of P&P and I wish to replicate that.

After both reading about and observing feline reactions to paranormal phenomena, I gave the cat men the power to detect invisible enemies.

Since the cat men have dexterity and claw attacks, with the ambidexterity rule they inflict +1 damage on a successful hit, and can divide that between multiple targets in melee range.

With dexterity, the cat man can effectively sneak, and thus I don’t think it needs an extra bonus to ambushes. Ambush attacks would warrant an attack bonus anyway (such as +1 for outflanking) And secondly, I don’t see the need to tread too much upon the niche of the thief.

I’m still torn about the movement rate. I want them to be faster than the typical hero. I’m not sure if the double move is the way to go, or if I should just boost the base movement rate. I must playtest this.

Given their preference for bare handed combat, I figured they would not train with shields. And given their nakedness and speed, they would not wear armor. The weapons choices are vague, but sufficient to keep magic longswords out of their hands and in the hands of the warrior classes.  I’m also torn on giving them combat maneuvers.

I erased the original mechanical comment on hunting for food as hunting is mentioned in the race description.

Observing my own cats when they fight or stalk each other, I imagined the cat men as agile infiltrators, ambushers, scouts and escorts. Being glass cannons, they get in quick, hit hard, and need to otherwise avoid prolonged melee with heavily armored foes. Think of them as a hybrid of the Monk and the Thief.