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A collection of sapient animals and bone-chilling threats to use with The Secrets of Cats or your own urban fantasy Fate Core game.
A collection of sapient animals and bone-chilling threats to use with The Secrets of Cats or your own urban fantasy Fate Core game.
123 backers pledged £1,073 to help bring this project to life.

About

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The Story So Far

A few months ago I had the great pleasure of working with Evil Hat Productions to make a Fate World called The Secrets of Cats. It's a Fate Core roleplaying game in which you play sapient, magical cats working to protect their human burdens from the things that go bump in the night. Or the day... or both.

Cats know the power of names and of sacrifice, and for thousands of years they've used their legacy of magic to hold back the tide of darkness at humanity's door. 

I'm proud to say that the game went platinum on Drivethru RPG and has recently been released by Evil Hat in paper form... but I'm not finished with this setting yet.

I only had limited space in the book and a lot to do in it, so I couldn't lavish as much detail as I'd have liked on the other sapient animals that cats share their world with. I also wish I'd had more space to talk about the threats faced by cats and their human burdens.

Foxes and ravens and snails, oh my!

Enter this book!

Animals and Threats is a ten-thousand word companion to The Secrets of Cats that's split into two roughly equal parts. 

Part One explores the nature and powers of other sapient animals in the world of cats, including dogs, foxes, spiders, rabbits and ravens. I've tried to cram as much flavour into each of these as I can, and every one comes with new stunts and a sample character for you to use.

Part Two gives similar treatment to some of the magical threats in the world. From the classic staple of the undead to the very particular threat posed by cats who have turned to evil, this part of the book gives you the tools to create your own variations on a theme that you can use to surprise your players.

Speaking of evil cats, I round out the book with a description of some forbidden magical powers that cats can only access by sacrificing other sapient beings. Not only are these great tools for your antagonists to use, but they can also pose a sharp temptation for your players. What price will they pay to keep their burdens safe?

The book is already written so this is a very low-risk Kickstarter. If you back at any tier you'll immediately get access to the unedited, unformatted proof of the book. 

If you haven't already, check out The Secrets of Cats on Drivethru RPG

It's available on Pay What You Want, so you have nothing to lose if you don't like it! 

If you do like it, I would love for you to help me develop the world further by backing this project.

Why This Kickstarter?

So if the book is already written, why am I Kickstarting it? Well, the book is currently in a draft form in Google Docs with no formatting, layout, hyperlinking or anything else that would make it easy and fun to use. The primary goal of the campaign is to pay for the professional development costs needed to turn it from a text document into a proper book.

Secondly, I want to get the book professionally edited, and that involves paying the going rate to an editor. I'm lucky enough to have Josh Yearsley aboard. Not only is Josh experienced with editing Fate, he's the one who had the dubious pleasure of editing The Secrets of Cats into a well-polished tome.

The remainder of the goal is to absorb taxes and fees and to bring the total to a nice round number.

Add-On: Print on Demand At Cost

If you pledge an amount £5 or higher than your chosen tier, once the book is complete we'll send you a voucher to buy a softcover, premium colour, print on demand hard copy of the book from Drivethru RPG at cost. That means you'll have to pay somewhere between £5 - £8 or $7 - $12 plus shipping to receive a hard copy of the book (on top of your pledge). 

Please note that these numbers are estimates and are subject to change depending on the final length and format of the book, which depends on the level of success achieved by this Kickstarter.

Stretch Goals 

If we achieve the base goal I'll be able to produce a nicely laid-out, edited, formatted PDF version of the book, but it won't have much in the way of artwork. I will draw upon my own limited talents to illustrate the book, use public domain artwork, or prevail upon my friends or fans to provide artwork for free or very cheaply. After we beat the base goal the extra will go towards buying professional art.

The one, the only, the amazing Crystal Frasier (who was responsible for the jaw-dropping art in the original The Secrets of Cats) is on board with the project and eager to do some more work in this universe.

[UNLOCKED] Stretch Goal 1: £520 - Cover 

Thanks to you guys helping me reach this level of funding, the book will now have an awesome full-colour front cover from Crystal Frasier. 

[UNLOCKED] Stretch Goal 2: £600 - Art

This goal being reached means I can fund a piece of interior art from Crystal for the book. I'm thinking I'll get her to draw Kubla Khan, the signature evil cat...

[UNLOCKED] Stretch Goal 3: £700 - More Art

Thanks to your backing the book will now have a front cover and two items of interior art by Crystal Frasier. For the next piece of art I think I might ask Crystal to draw The Lop.

[UNLOCKED] Stretch Goal 4: £800 - More Honorary Members of Parliament

Woo-hoo! You guys have unlocked the Honorary Members of Parliament reward tier for two more backers! That means potentially another 2,000 words on sapient animals in the world of the Secrets of Cats for two lucky backers.

[UNLOCKED] Stretch Goal 4: £900 - Yet More Art

This level of funding will buy another interior art piece from Crystal, and I'll unlock another Honorary Member of Parliament slot.

Because we reached this funding goal thanks to a generous Patron of the Arts, we actually get TWO more pieces of art at this level, so we're now up to a grand total of four items of interior art from Crystal.

I've also unlocked the Honorary Member of Parliament tier for another backer.

[UNLOCKED] Stretch Goal 5: £1,000 - MORE ART!

This level of funding will buy another piece of interior art from Crystal, and unlocks another Honorary Member of Parliament slot.

Stretch Goal 6: £1,100 - ART! ART! ART!

This level of funding will buy another piece of interior art from Crystal, and I'll unlock a final Honorary Member of Parliament slot (total 10).

Stretch Goals at £1,200 + 

For each £100 I'll commission another piece of art from Crystal, up to a total of 15 pieces of art including the cover; that takes us up to £2,000.

Mystery Stretch Goal: £2,500

I'll reveal this stretch goal if we get to the £2,000 level!

Sample Excerpt

Read on for a short excerpt from the unedited draft of the book!

Nature's Victims - Rabbits

Rabbits are very rarely sapient, to the relief of all ethical predators. Of those who are, some rule over warrens of normal rabbits while others are solitary wanderers. Rarely, sapient rabbits meet each other on their travels and dig new warrens that become populated by their thinking offspring. A rabbit’s life tends to be nasty, brutish and short due to its position at the bottom of the food chain. 

As a result most are timorous creatures that exist to eat, flee from danger, and reproduce. The same can not be said for their sapient brothers and sisters, who are capable of impressive feats of violence in the name of survival. Sapience and powerful hind legs are not enough to protect a rabbit from anything inclined to eat it, kill it, or destroy its warren, but magic is another matter.

On reaching maturity, each sapient rabbit experiences a troubling dream in which they are called by a mysterious force. Most reject the dream out of fear or confusion, but the bravest or most stubborn accept the call and depart their sleeping body to quest on the astral plane.  

The rabbit is tested during her spiritual journey, encountering dangerous spirits and frightening situations. Much is at stake, for if she quails or is defeated she returns to her body and will never again have an opportunity to take up magic. If she wins her way through then she finds herself in the presence of a powerful spirit that resonates with her personality. The spirit congratulates her on the strength she has shown, and offers to enter into a pact that will grant her the ability to use magic.

If she accepts she becomes a shaman with the spirit as her totem. In turn she becomes the spirit’s anchor (see The Secrets of Cats page 46), and agrees to perform occasional services for it in exchange for its power. Most rabbit shamans bond with spirits of nature or the elements–growth, plants, wind, rain, fire. Some instead find urban or emotion spirits, while particularly tormented rabbits sometimes join forces with ghosts, or spirits of death, decay, hatred, or pain.  

Risks and challenges

The book is already written so there really are minimal risks in this Kickstarter. The draft version will be released immediately on pledging at all tiers, so you'll know roughly what you're going to get right from the start.

If Josh or I became unable to work on the project for a time it could cause delays in the editing or layout process.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.51

    Feline Acknowledgement: You'll earn a grudging nod of thanks from our feline patrons and immediate access to the unformatted, unedited draft of the book.

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    Pledge £3 or more About $5

    Burden No Longer: You'll get immediate access to the unformatted, unedited draft of the book and our feline patrons will admit in the credits that you're not so much of a burden after all. Nothing can compare to such a reward, but at the end of the project you will also receive the finished book as a PDF.

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    Pledge £10 or more About $15

    My Virtual Pet: You'll get all of the rewards from the Burden No Longer reward level PLUS if you send us a photo and a description of your pet (of any kind!) and their personality traits we'll write them up for you as a "Secrets of Cats" character. The write-up will include at least one custom stunt.

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    Pledge £15 or more About $23

    My Virtual Pet (Latecomer!): You'll get all of the rewards from the Burden No Longer reward level PLUS if you send us a photo and a description of your pet (of any kind!) and their personality traits we'll write them up for you as a "Secrets of Cats" character. The write-up will include at least one custom stunt.

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    Pledge £30 or more About $45

    Honorary Member of Parliament: You'll get immediate access to the unformatted, unedited draft of the book. You'll also get the final PDF when it's done and our feline patrons will acknowledge you in the credits as an honorary member of the Parliament of Cats. Once you've recovered from the heady thrill of recognition, we'll write about 1,000 words on a sapient animal or supernatural threat of your choice for your own personal use.

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    Pledge £35 or more About $53

    Inner Circle: You'll get immediate access to the unfirmatted, unedited draft of the book. You'll also get the final PDF when it's done and our feline patrons will acknowledge you in the credits as part of the Inner Circle. Finally, I'll run a one-off Hangouts game of "The Secrets of Cats" with a full setting and character creation sitting for you and up to four other backers at this tier.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $151

    Patron of the Arts - You'll get immediate access to the unformatted, unedited draft of the book. You'll also get the final PDF when it's completed and our feline patrons will acknowledge you in the credits as a member of the Inner Circle and a Patron of the Arts. You will also be directly funding a piece of interior art for the book. I will consult with you on the art direction for the piece that you funded and you'll get to see and comment on the preliminary sketch. If you're already backing at the £30 or £35 tiers but want to take advantage of this reward, increase your pledge accordingly and send me a message and I will sort it out with you. The art you fund at this reward tier is in addition to any funded via stretch goals.

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Funding period

- (27 days)