Catfolk

Despite the strangeness of both Faerie and the Prime, cats are common to both worlds. It might be that cats are magical to begin with, or that there is something endemic to reality that no matter how fantastical, cats are a part of it. Whatever the case, cats are everywhere through Faerie and some have inevitably wandered into other worlds.

Tricksters and Travelers

Catfolk are like every other cat in that they’re fond of traveling the world, inspecting everything they find, and disdainfully turning up their noses at it. Catfolk in particular are envoys from Merryland, so they make it their business to learn about worlds they are not familiar with. This makes them seem aloof when in reality they are merely curious.

They are most comfortable in the forests, but rarely stay there, instead choosing to pass through as many varied lands as they can find to maximize their experience. Catfolk value new experiences above all else, which makes them frequent adventurers. Those who stay in one place tend to follow the arcane arts, finding solace in an endless quest for knowledge.

Catfolk are often spies and emissaries of Malefica’s court, and as such see themselves as important roles in fey standing … but jealously guard their true forms in the company of lessers. Catfolk tend to be haughty and arrogant, but the wiser ones become very fond of humans over time.

Friends and Enemies

Catfolk aren’t afraid to express their appreciation for meat. Tiny species may find them intimidating as a result, but a catfolk is just as likely to consider a sentient being an ally if they prove themselves. It’s not unheard of for catfolk to serve as mounts for rampsy, for example; assuming the catfolk doesn’t eat them first.

Names

Catfolk tend to use a description of themselves as the prefix for their name and an attribute as a suffix. Their family names are grouped by one of the four elements and a phrase for cats (clowder, clutter, or glaring). Catfolk combine the names of the four elements with the aspect of a cat. The elements include air (umbra-, schrott-, luft-), earth (berg-, erde-), fire (vulca-, fewr-) and water (wasser-). Cat aspects include claw (-klaue), ear (-ohr), fur (-pelz), paw (-pfote), run (-lauf), step (schritt), tail (-schweif), whiskers (-schnurrhaare).

Adult Male Names: Adderclaw, Crowpelt, Leopardfur, Nightstorm, Tallfoot, Tigereye

Adult Female Names: Hazelfoot, Smallflower, Snowleaf, Thistlefall, Thrushclaw, Whitestep

Family Names: Earthglaring, Fireclutter, Seaglaring, Windclowder

Traits

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
  • Alignment. Catfolk follow their own directives seemingly disconnected from anyone and anything else. As such, they tend to be chaotic, with the majority being chaotic.
  • Cat Form. Your unusual shape prevents you from wearing armor that isn’t specially made for your form (at four times the cost). You can wield a weapon or item in your mouth but have disadvantage on all attacks and checks with it. In cat form, you appear to be a Small beast with the exception that your fur color matches your element.
  • Claws. Your claws are a natural weapon, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with it, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.
  • Darkvision. Catfolk senses are sharper than that of a human. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, as if it were dim light.
  • Keen Smell. You have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.
  • Languages. You can speak and read Ulthese and Common.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 40 feet. You have a climb speed of 30 feet.

Catfolk have immense pride in their species and expect to be treated accordingly. They react with fury to anyone who treats a cat—of any species—poorly. Woe to the adventurer who mistakes a catfolk for a cat!

Subspecies

Aydon

Aydons are shapeshifters, the blessed of Felis, the King of Cats who serves in Queen Dolly’s court. Queen Dolly, in turn, hires them out as mercenaries by partnering with King Gugu, who provides the polymorph phrase. They are most often employed by Malefica, tasked with gathering arcane secrets and delivering them to the Queen back in Faerie.

In Cat Form, aydons are almost indistinguishable from normal cats. Naturally, their behavior often provides proof of their intelligence, so careful observation of an aydon in cat form can reveal that it is not what it appears to be.

Aydons can also assume a bipedal, animalistic (“hybrid”) form. They stand on their hind legs to the height of their humanoid form. Their front paws are capable of gripping and using normal equipment. The rest of the body retains the general appearance of a cat, including fur, tail, and other characteristic features, but in the overall shape of a humanoid head and torso.

In humanoid form, aydons have elfin-like features with slightly pointed ears, almond-shaped eyes, and hair color that runs the spectrum, including purple, blue, orange, red, and pink.

Aydons are generally loners, prone to visiting human settlements and infiltrating them. Some operate in secret, while others are open about their nature—their hair color often makes this a necessity. Aydons begrudging follow more organized societies but prefer to be lazy and carefree as the moment takes them. They rarely stay in one location for very long, but will dawdle if they are sufficiently entertained and challenged with new experiences.

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma Score increases by 1.

Change Form. You can transform to your humanoid form or hybrid form by saying “Pyrzqxgl!” You must be able to speak to switch between forms. You can use this feature once. At 3rd level, you may use it twice, and at 6th level you may use it three times, regaining the uses after a short or long rest. Your cat form is considered your “true” form. You can revert to your true form at will. Each form has a set appearance based on the individual. The mechanics of transforming to your Cat Form works the same as the Druid feature Wild Shape except limited to your chosen animal. Transformation takes one round to complete and the aydon can take no other actions during this time. When slain, aydons do not change shape. When you transform, you retain your own hit points and Hit Dice. You retain the benefit of any features from your class or other sources and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so. You choose whether your equipment falls to the ground in your space, merges into your new form, or is worn by it. Worn equipment functions as normal, but the DM decides whether it is practical for the new form to wear a piece of equipment, based on the creature’s shape and size. Your equipment doesn’t change size or shape to match the new form, and any equipment that the new form can’t wear must either fall to the ground or merge with it. Equipment that merges with the form has no effect until you leave the form.

Fey Ancestry. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can’t put you to sleep.

Humanoid Form. As the animal is undetectable from other animals, so is the humanoid form from other humans. Aydons look like half-elves. In humanoid form, you can cast spells, wear armor, wield weapons or use equipment. You can understand the language of animals, but you cannot speak it. You do not gain the benefit of the Cat Form movement abilities as a human. You have full hit points in your humanoid form.

Hybrid Form. In your hybrid form, you have a humanoid body but the head of a cat. You retain the Darkvision and Cat’s Claw traits.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Sylvan. You can speak Ulthese in your hybrid or cat forms.

Size. Aydons in their humanoid form average between five and six feet tall, much like humans. In hybrid form, they tend to be a few inches shorter. In either form, however, your size is Medium. When in cat form, an aydon is a Tiny-sized cat.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet in human from and hybrid form.

Ulthar

Catfolk claim that all other cats from the land of Ulthar. While this may be debated by some, there’s no denying that all felines speak Ulthese on the Prime and that catfolk can communicate with them. They also seem to have a kinship with aydon, lending credence to their claim of belonging to the original home of all cat-kind.

Whatever the case, catfolk have immense pride in their species and expect to be treated accordingly. They react with fury to anyone who treats a cat—of any species—poorly. Woe to the adventurer who mistakes a catfolk for a cat!

Ulthar Traits

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
  • Cat Agility. You have advantage on Dexterity (Acrobatics), Strength (Athletics), and Wisdom (Perception) checks.
  • Fey Ancestry. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can’t put you to sleep.
  • Moon Jump. You can cast the misty step spell once using this trait. You regain the ability to do so when you finish a short or long rest. Your long jump is up to 10 feet and your high jump is up to 5 feet, with or without a running start.
  • Nimble Escape. You can take the Disengage or Hide action as a bonus action on each of your turns.
  • Size. In cat form, ulthar cats appears to be large cats. They weigh about 10 lbs. and are 18 inches long, without their tail. Your size is Small.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

5E RPG: Species of the Multiverse. Copyright 2021, Mal and Tal Enterprises, LLC; Author Michael J. Tresca

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