🎨 Creative Let's create "realistic" fantasy cat-people

soltakss

Simon Phipp - RQ Fogey
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Arms built for running on might not do terribly well for throwing.
That's what Blasters are for.

Are their martial arts intended for killing prey, or fighting each other? Also, while lions often kill by strangulation, smaller cats often don't.
If they used weapons, they might have something that extends their Bite, like leopard fangs, or gives them better claws.
 

Lukas Sjöström

Society of Unity scholar
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The thing is, predators and other creatures that have vicious natural weapons are actually more restrained when they fight each other for dominance, because there is in fact very little use killing the loser. By contrast, creatures that don't have them tend to have fewer such restraints; wolves will stop fighting when one shows their throat, while pigeons are vicious fuckers. So are humans. Catfolk might have more superficial violence and play with their prey before eating it, but at the same time be horrified at the human capacity for atrocity.
 

DarkStarling

Brilliantly Crazed
Banned
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The thing is, predators and other creatures that have vicious natural weapons are actually more restrained when they fight each other for dominance, because there is in fact very little use killing the loser. By contrast, creatures that don't have them tend to have fewer such restraints; wolves will stop fighting when one shows their throat, while pigeons are vicious fuckers. So are humans. Catfolk might have more superficial violence and play with their prey before eating it, but at the same time be horrified at the human capacity for atrocity.
That's an interesting take on it.

Strategically, this is an advantage for them. They'll almost always accept surrender, and everyone knows it. Which makes it really hard to get your soldiers to fight to the death against them, when instead they can throw down their arms and live.

Also, in terms of larger strategy, they think like ambushers. They're much more likely to try to avoid a major clash entirely, and go for guerrilla actions against supply lines. Which humans do too, sure, but for them it's their first approach rather than what they do if they can't assemble a big pile of dudes to throw at a problem.

So they're like the Asari of Mass Effect actually, whose approach to military could be summarized as 'more than the usual number of ninjas'. Their territory can get conquered pretty easily...but good luck holding it, cause you're going to need it.
 

DarkStarling

Brilliantly Crazed
Banned
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Oh by the way, interesting trivia that's mostly relevant if you've read Animorphs. Lions fighting tigers, the tigers win. It annoyed me at the time, and it turns out I'm justified. Woo!
 

Eled the Worm Tamer

Spider Jeruselem's Warior
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That's an interesting take on it.

Strategically, this is an advantage for them. They'll almost always accept surrender, and everyone knows it. Which makes it really hard to get your soldiers to fight to the death against them, when instead they can throw down their arms and live.

Also, in terms of larger strategy, they think like ambushers. They're much more likely to try to avoid a major clash entirely, and go for guerrilla actions against supply lines. Which humans do too, sure, but for them it's their first approach rather than what they do if they can't assemble a big pile of dudes to throw at a problem.

So they're like the Asari of Mass Effect actually, whose approach to military could be summarized as 'more than the usual number of ninjas'. Their territory can get conquered pretty easily...but good luck holding it, cause you're going to need it.
Except for... The second time they try that, the humans who invade their lands just fell the trees put fire to the underbrush. Forest takes a fair while to regrow without magical aid and far less time to fell and plough over. Holding catfolk forest against catfolk? almost impossible. Holding it long enough to stop it being a forest? exponentially easier the less you care about the lumber.
 

g33k

Registered User
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The thing is, predators and other creatures that have vicious natural weapons are actually more restrained when they fight each other for dominance, because there is in fact very little use killing the loser...
I don't think it's so much that there's "no use" in killing the loser; if we've gotten that violent, you probably have no use for me, nor I for you... it's that those really dangerous weapons are REALLY DANGEROUS. The victor who walks away unscathed (from a deathmatch is) a rarity, unless the fight is REALLY uneven.

What use to you is your victory over me, if I've injured you enough that you cannot hunt efficiently for a month? You'll starve before you heal. What too if you're easy meat for your next challenger?

We must BOTH show restraint, or we will BOTH die; the "victor" just has the painful, lingering death ...
 
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g33k

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Wild cats are mostly solitary, domestic cats, including feral domestic cats are not. Here's one discussion about this, there are quite a number of others.
TYVM! This is rather fascinating!

Note that their root species (the African / Middle-Eastern Wildcat) is much LESS social... and yet is still enough the "same species" to commonly hybridize where they overlap. I am unclear as to whether socialization habits were somehow "enculturated onto" the domesticated feral populations, or if there is actually an inherently more-social neurology/biochemistry in the domesticated cat. Very intriguing!

For purposes of this conversation, I'm not sure it's relevant -- we humans seem to have "domesticated ourselves" & something like that is probably a requirement of having anything as collaborative as "a civilization."

N.B. in the wild, the social structure of the wildcat seems to vary a bit. Females tend to have smaller territories, with some overlap at the peripheries. Males' territories are much larger, and usually overlap several females' territories. Males aggressively scent-mark, females mostly only mark to signal estrus, Females sometimes maintain a small family group for a while, but usually not for very long. Females have (very occasionally) been seen collaboratively hunting with one another. I hypothesize the family groups and collaboratve hunting are linked behaviors: Mom raises/trains the young, so she knows the advantages multiple hunters can accrue.

For the OP -- between these and lions, you have AFAIK all the "real-world" precedent for feline "groups" that might engender a "civilization." Extrapolate as desired, then add in various "fantastical" elements to paper over the gaps, I guess ... ?



One other semi-random notion -- you might emphasize the sexual dimorphism. Males run human-size, females range halfling-to-Elf size (for example). If the males are relatively rare, you could have most of the "need-less-food" benefits of a smaller species, so the civilization doesn't outstrip resources as readily.
 
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Rupert

Active member
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Why is that? D DarkStarling brought up Harry Potter's werewolves, whose hands are definitely not made for bow and arrows and other missile weapons, but...


Consider the shoulder on those beings. It lacks the free range of motion of a human shoulder, which will limit movement. They might well have quite powerful under- and side-arm motions, though.

Oh, and if they are forest-dwellers, descended from forest-dwelling felines, they will quite possibly be short-sighted, and never really considered long range missile weapons. So, formidable melee and short-ranged throwing, but not great long-range missile users - which only matters on a battlefield, or for open-plains hunting, pretty much.

Good question. There's probably two different fighting styles. I imagine cat-martial-arts as entertainment and training for the military. And wildly, wildly popular. I imagine cat-people even bringing in human martial artists and other fantasy races. Thrill of the fight might be a huge thing. Cat's have mirror neurons, and kittens love play fighting more than human babies. (I think.)
Hard to tell - we tend to strongly limit our children's fighting these days, if only for our own peace of mind.
 

Rupert

Active member
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Also, in terms of larger strategy, they think like ambushers. They're much more likely to try to avoid a major clash entirely, and go for guerrilla actions against supply lines. Which humans do too, sure, but for them it's their first approach rather than what they do if they can't assemble a big pile of dudes to throw at a problem.
Humans often also think in terms of ambushes and raiding. Big arse armies and set-piece battles are an invention of farmers, who want to get the thing out of the way so they can go back to raising crops.
 

g33k

Registered User
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Oh yeah -- RE their art -- I could definitely see a "tactile" artform. Think how cats knead things...
 
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