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Battle cosmic horrors as kitties in rules-light RPG Cats of Catthulhu, back with a 10th anniversary edition

Dare you read the Nekonomicon?

Image credit: Joel Sparks

Gleefully mashing together the cosmic terror of horror RPG Call of Cthulhu with a beginner-friendly set of rules and - most importantly - a whole bunch of feline friends, Cats of Catthulhu has returned with a revised and expanded edition of the charming roleplaying game for its 10th anniversary.

Joel ‘Mr. Joel’ Sparks’ rules-light delight was released back in 2014 as a playful take on the world-saving adventures seen in the likes of Call of Cthulhu. Instead of humans fighting back otherworldly monsters and Old Ones, the task fell to a group of cats (led by their “Cat Herder” GM) facing down the Chaos-worshipping cultists of other animal species.

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In keeping with its lighter atmosphere, Cats of Catthulhu did away with the crunchy maths of its TRPG inspirations in favour of an easy-to-learn system powered by rolls of two six-sided ‘cat dice’. Standard challenges would be passed by a single success - a result of three and up - on either die, while more difficult tests required successes on both. This being cats, there were also treats to go around. Spending a treat - earned in a similar way to inspiration in Dungeons & Dragons - would allow a reroll.

Cats could further boost their odds of success by using their role and skills to prove they’re the Right Cat for the Job, earning a free success - a default pass for normal challenges. Doubles sixes added even greater success through a Triumph, earning additional advantages from their prowess. On the other hand, rolling double ones - Snake, I mean, er, Cat Eyes - led to an embarrassment for the cat performing the test, potentially leading to extra complications.

The original Cats of Catthulhu was followed by several more charming homages to Lovecraftian horror, including an expanded core rulebook in The Nekonomikon, GM guide Unaussprechlichen Katzen and a selection of alternative settings in Worlds of Catthulhu. The books were later collected into a ‘DeLuxe’ set.

Image credit: Joel Sparks

Now, the game is back to mark its 10th anniversary with a newly revised set of rules - simplifying challenges, tweaking combat (or ‘scraps’) and revisiting its campaign settings - in an expanded core rulebook accompanied by a collection of cute accessories, including cat-face dice, fish-shaped treat tokens and cat meeples.

Cats of Catthulhu’s 10th anniversary Kickstarter will also crowdfund De Felis Mysteriis, an adventure collection with 10 scenarios that can form standalone sessions or a complete campaign. The scenarios have been penned by designers including Jiangshi: Blood in the Banquet Hall co-creator Sen-Foong Lim, Adventure Time RPG designer Matt Fantastic, Marvel Multiverse co-creator Matt Forbek and Teatime Adventures author Grace Collins, among others.

The crowdfunding campaign has already exceeded its $25,000 goal with over three weeks left on the clock. The 10th anniversary edition of Cats of Catthulhu is expected to release this August.

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Cats of Catthulhu

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Matt Jarvis avatar

Matt Jarvis

Editor-in-chief

After starting his career writing about music, films and video games for various places, Matt spent many years as a technology, PC and video game journalist before writing about tabletop games as the editor of Tabletop Gaming magazine. He joined Dicebreaker as editor-in-chief in 2019, and has been trying to convince the rest of the team to play Diplomacy since.
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