Role Playing Lessons from Cats

20150314_210104Cats are some of the noblest damn creatures on the planet. Cultures around the world have been inspired by cats, praising them in song, art, and even religions. Cats continue to inspire us today – statistics show the internet is actually 58.3% cats. Why shouldn’t role players continue this age-old tradition? Cats have many things to teach us about playing and running role playing games*.



1. Dice are better on the floor.

silly human, insisting on keeping your dice on an elevated surface. The fall from the average table allows for 2.3 more revolutions on a property balanced D10. Use it to your advantage.

2. Become one with your character.

The best role playing experiences come when a player understands their character inside and out. Create a clever backstory for your character (of course you’re an exiled royal on a quest!) and immerse yourself fully. See Fandible mascot Gopher demonstrating proper osmosis technique.IMG_20150228_185702

3. Nap time can save your life

Napping is easily a cat’s greatest strength, and it really should be your goal to emulate that as much as possible. As an adventurer in an RPG, take every opportunity you can to rest and regain your strength before your blood nemesis The Red Dot returns for another bloody battle.

4. Leave Your Mark

What is the point of being a great hero if no one knows you were there? Much like cats shed their fur everywhere, so should you find a way to effortlessly leave your mark on the landscape and the people your character has met.

5. The GM is always right.

Have you ever tried to argue with a cat? Bet you didn’t get very far. Cats were once gods, you know, and gods are never wrong. Your GM is the same way.

6. I meant to do that.

cat falls off tableMaybe you have wasted hours watching funny cat videos of cats jumping and falling, laughing at the graceful creature’s misfortune. What you don’t know is that every apparent pratfall is actually a carefully orchestrated move. Embrace this philosophy in your role playing and never bemoan a critical failure again.

7. Barter is acceptable payment

Armor is notorious for not having adequate pockets for carrying currency. Much as your cat accepts ear scratches and tuna as payment in exchange for their glorious presence, always remember that there are ways of paying for that massive tavern tab you racked up while waiting for a strange old man to show up to give you your quest.

8. Charisma is not a dump stat

puss-in-bootsCats are glorious goddamn creatures, have I mentioned that? The soft glossy fur, big eyes, and soothing purr are all proof that cats have maxed out their charisma score and put it to good use. Never underestimate the power of a gentle nudge and some soothing noises to smooth over any rough negotiations.



9. Play Favorites

Even if a cat “belongs” to a family, we all know that cat is going to choose a favorite. Whether it’s the person who brings the food or the one who sits around like another piece of furniture to be shed on, I would never try to predict who the cat will choose, I just know the choice will be made. As a GM, follow the cats example and unabashedly play favorites with your players. Don’t explain your reasons, and change it up often so they will always be trying hard to stay in or become part of you favored circle.

10. Speak up when you’re feeling ignored

Cat leaps on dogDoesn’t matter whether your character is in this scene or not, whether someone is on the phone or eating pizza. If you haven’t received at least your fair share of attention, cry, shout, or get in someone’s face until they give in and start making you the center of attention again.

*Disclaimer: Fandible provides this list for reference only. We hold no responsibility if you use these tactics at your game table and someone scratches your eyes out or pees in your favorite shoes. Leave your own role play advice you’ve learned from cats (or other, less-awesome, animals) in the comments!


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About the Author
A city girl with midwestern roots, Angela has been on the internet for far too long. A geek of many stripes, when Angela isn't pretending to be a different person every weekend she can be found reading, writing (that novel will come out some day!), or preparing for her eventual life as a crazy cat woman. Angela also blogs about gaming at the blog Gaming as Women http:///

2 comments on “Role Playing Lessons from Cats

  1. Sewicked says:

    Always be willing to share your food.

    -Thanks, Jinx, for the half mouse. In my bed.

  2. CallmeIshma3l says:

    Always be willing to follow the shiny laser pointer of plot the GM puts in your path.

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