April Fools Archive
2004: Humorous PC Portraits
2004: Typos of Doom Illustrated
2003: Monster Mayhem: Pie Fiend
2003: Fabulous Cats!
2003: Product Preview: Diaper and Blankie
2002: Sneak peek at a new d20 Modern setting!
2002: NPC Closeup: Nijel Turnbottom, Human undead wizard
2002: Sneak Peek - Chainmail Models (Not) Scheduled for an Upcoming Release
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April Fools
Fabulous Cats!
By Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel

"Rakshasas do not flop!"

-- Mrrerrow, rakshasa sorcerer

Through the years, cats have developed a variety of techniques for managing the humanoids in their lives. A scant few of their closely guarded secrets are revealed in this article, which presents a new skill, several feats of the new feline type, new spells developed and used by cats of all sorts, a new cat domain, a new feline creature, and several new magic items designed for felines and their humanoid pets.


Many cats have ranks in Bluff, but their primary use of the skill differs somewhat from the standard. Also, felines have developed a skill called Handle Humanoid, which allows them to manage the humanoids they keep as servants and pets. Both the new skill and the specific new use of the Bluff skill can be used only by felines with ranks in the skill.

Bluff (Cha; Trained Only; Felines Only)

New Use: "I Meant to Do That!"

Whenever you fail a Balance, Climb, Jump, or Perform check, you may immediately (as a free action) attempt a Bluff check opposed by the Sense Motive checks of any witnesses. Success means you fool the witness into believing that you meant to achieve the outcome that occurred; failure indicates that the witness knows you did not achieve your actual goal.

This use of the Bluff skill is largely a matter of pride for most felines. A successful Bluff check has no game effect on a failed Balance, Climb, or Jump check, but it does enable the feline to ignore the increased DC of a subsequent Perform check against the same witnesses.

Handle Humanoid (Cha; Trained Only; Felines Only)

Handle Humanoid is the cat's version of the Handle Animal skill. You can use this skill to make a humanoid obey commands or perform tricks it knows, such as scratching your ears properly, fetching food, waving a feather toy for your amusement, opening doors on your command, and the like. The skill can also be used to teach the humanoid new tricks.

Check: The time required to get a particular effect and the DC for the check depend on task attempted, according to the table below.

Task Time DC
Handle a humanoid Varies 10
"Push" a humanoid Varies 25
Teach a humanoid a trick 1 week 10, 15, or 20*
*See the specific trick, below.

Handle a Humanoid: This usage of the Handle Humanoid skill involves getting a humanoid to obey your commands or perform a trick that it knows. For instance, commanding a humanoid to open a door requires a successful Handle Humanoid check (DC 10). If the humanoid has taken damage (specifically hit point, subdual, or ability score damage, or some combination thereof), the DC increases by +5. Handling a humanoid requires a move action. If the check is successful, the humanoid performs the task or trick on its next turn.

"Push" a Humanoid: Pushing a humanoid means getting it to perform a task or trick that it doesn't know but is physically capable of performing. This usage of the Handle Humanoid skill requires a full-round action. If the check is successful, the humanoid performs the task or trick on its next turn.

Teach a Humanoid a Trick: You can teach a humanoid a specific trick, such as "come" or "feed me" (see below) with one week of work and a successful Handle Humanoid check. You must spend half that time (at the rate of 3 hours per day per humanoid being handled) teaching the humanoid before you make the skill check. If the check fails, you cannot teach that trick to that humanoid. If the check succeeds, you must invest the remainder of the time required to complete the training. If the time is interrupted or the training is not followed through to completion, any further attempts you make to teach that humanoid the trick automatically fail.

A humanoid can learn a maximum of six tricks. Possible tricks include, but are not limited to, the following. The DC for the required Handle Humanoid check appears after the name of each trick, in parentheses.

Come (DC 15): The humanoid comes to you, even if it normally would not do so. For example, you can command it to follow you into a dangerous alleyway.

Defend (DC 10): The humanoid defends you, or is ready to defend you if no threat is actually present.

Feed Me (DC 15): The humanoid acquires and serves food on command.

Feed Me Gourmet (DC 20): A humanoid previously taught the "feed me" trick can be retrained to serve only the choicest, most palatable foods. (This trick replaces the "feed me" trick in the humanoid's trick repertoire.)

Fetch (DC 15): The humanoid goes and gets something for you.

Open! (DC 15): The humanoid opens a door, window, portcullis, or other sealable aperture at your command. You need not pass through it thereafter.

Perform (DC 15): The humanoid performs a variety of simple tricks for your amusement, such as waving a feather toy or dragging a string around.

Retry: Yes.

Special: You can use this skill on a monstrous humanoid or giant, but you take a -5 penalty on the check. Such a creature can learn the same number of tricks as a humanoid can.

Untrained: An untrained feline can use a Charisma check to handle and push humanoids but cannot teach them tricks.

New Feats

An ordinary cat from the Monster Manual has few options when it comes to feats. It receives Weapon Finesse (bite) and Weapon Finesse (claw) as bonus feat by default, but you could easily substitute any of the feats below that better fit the individual cat you have in mind.

Variant: If you want to make the feline familiars in your game more exciting, consider letting them gain additional feats at the same rate as their masters do (at master levels 3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th). In this way, a 10th-level human sorcerer could have a cat familiar that possessed four feats.

Feline: Feats of the feline type are available only to cats and other feline creatures, including Cheshire cats (see below), lions, rakshasas, tigers, tressym (Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting), and other feline creatures.

Don't Mind Me [Feline]

You have a knack for maneuvering unnoticed into position for an attack.

Prerequisite: Reach 0 feet.

Benefit: You do not provoke an attack of opportunity when you enter an opponent's square.

Normal: A creature with a reach of 0 feet provokes an attack of opportunity upon entering an opponent's square.

Flop [Feline]

You can gracefully fall down and captivate a nearby humanoid with your remarkable cuteness.

Benefit: As a standard action, you can fall prone, forcing one humanoid of your choice within 10 feet of you to make a successful Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your Hit Dice + your Charisma modifier) or be dazed for 1 round. The target must be able to see you. This extraordinary ability is a mind-affecting effect.

Healing Chi [Feline]

Curling up with you makes injured creatures feel better. You know how to focus your chi to help heal the injuries of a favored creature.

Benefit: To provide healing chi, you must cuddle up with the wounded creature for one day or more. While so tended, the patient automatically recovers hit points or ability score points (lost to temporary damage) at twice the normal rate: 2 hit points per character level plus 2 ability score points for each day of light activity, or 3 hit points per character level plus 4 ability score points for each day of complete bed rest. You can tend only one patient at a time. Using Healing Chi counts as light activity for you. You cannot use Healing Chi on yourself.

Special: This feat can be used with the Heal skill to benefit someone under long-term care. Anyone benefited by both the feat and the skill recovers at triple the normal rate: 3 hit points per character level plus 3 ability score points for each day of light activity, or 4 hit points per character level plus 6 ability score points for each day of complete bed rest.

Improved Flop [Feline]

You can gracefully fall down and captivate multiple humanoids with your remarkable cuteness.

Prerequisite: Flop.

Benefit: As a standard action, you can fall prone, forcing each humanoid within 10 feet of you to make a successful Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your Hit Dice + your Charisma modifier) or be dazed for 1 round. The targets must be able to see you. This extraordinary ability is a mind-affecting effect.

Interspecies Grace [Feline]

You can captivate monstrous humanoids and giants with your remarkable cuteness.

Prerequisites: Flop, Improved Flop.

Benefit: As a standard action, you can fall prone, forcing each humanoid, monstrous humanoid, and giant within 10 feet of you to make a successful Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your Hit Dice + your Charisma modifier) or be dazed for 1 round. The targets must be able to see you. This extraordinary ability is a mind-affecting effect.

Slow Fall [Feline]

Contrary to popular belief, you don't always land on your feet. The Slow Fall feat helps you land unhurt from a fall.

Benefit: When you're adjacent to a vertical surface, you can use it to slow your descent in a fall. You take damage as if the fall were 20 feet shorter than it actually is.

Special: You can take this feat multiple times. The adjustments to the effective height of the fall stack.

Twining Trip [Feline]

You can use your Dexterity to make trip attacks by twining your body around the opponent's legs.

Prerequisites: Don't Mind Me.

Benefit: When attempting a trip attack, first make a melee touch attack. If that succeeds, make a Dexterity check opposed by the defender's Dexterity check. Success at this check means you trip the opponent.

Normal: When attempting a trip attack, first make a melee touch attack. If that succeeds, make a Strength check opposed by the defender's Dexterity or Strength check, whichever provides the higher bonus. Success at this check means you trip the opponent.

Weight Focus [Feline]

You can accurately focus your weight to seem much heavier than you really are. In addition, you have an uncanny knack for finding sensitive points upon which to press in a grapple.

Benefit: When making a grapple check, use the special size modifier for a creature one size category greater than your own instead of the one you would normally use. If you successfully pin an opponent in a grapple, you can deal subdual damage as if you were one size category larger than you actually are.

Writhe [Feline]

You can make another creature want to pet you by stretching gracefully within its visual range.

Prerequisites: Flop, Interspecies Grace.

Benefit: While prone, you can use suggestion, as the spell, to make one creature within 30 feet of you use its next action to move into your square and attempt a melee touch attack to pet you. The target can resist this effect with a successful Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your Hit Dice + your Charisma modifier). If an affected target is somehow prevented from carrying out the suggestion, it nevertheless spends its next action in the attempt. Using Writhe is a standard action.


Few humanoid clerics even know the cat domain exists, but it is a popular choice among feline clerics and clerics of other races who serve feline deities.

Cat Domain

Deities: Bast, Felix, Garfield, Morris, Schrodinger.

Granted Power: Cats are inordinately lucky. You gain the power of good fortune, which is usable once per day. This extraordinary ability allows you to reroll any one roll that you have just made. You must accept the result of the reroll, even if it's worse than the original roll.

Cat Domain Spells
1 Cat's grace
2 Allergic reaction (see below)
3 See invisibility
4 Repel vermin
5 Commune with nature
6 Cat gravity (see below)
7 Hairball (a.k.a. repulsion)
8 Mind blank
9 Foresight

Allergic Reaction
Level: Cat 2
Components: S, M
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target: One living creature
Duration: 1 round
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates (see text)
Spell Resistance: Yes

Coughing and sneezing caused by a severe allergic reaction to your presence leaves the target dazed for the duration of the spell. The dazed subject is not stunned (so attackers receive no special advantage against that creature), but it can't move, cast spells, use mental abilities, or take any other actions.

Any bonuses or penalties the target has on saving throws against poison also apply to the saving throw to negate the effect of this spell.

Material Component: A flake of cat dander.

Cat Gravity
Enchantment (Compulsion) [Mind-Affecting]
Level: Cat 6
Components: S
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: 1 round/level (D)
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

You surround yourself with a sphere of power that has a radius of 5 feet per caster level. Each creature within this area must make a successful Will save or be affected as if by a slow spell.

[Editorial Note: We suggest you visit the artist Robin Wood's website for the complete story on cat gravity, as she is the originator of the Theory of Cat Gravity and foremost expert on the topic.]

Kitten's Cuteness
Level: Brd 2, Clr 2, Pal 2, Sor/Wiz 2
Components: V, S, M/DF
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Target: Creature touched
Duration: 1 minute/level
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
Spell Resistance: Yes

The transmuted creature becomes cuter, cuddlier, and more appealing. The spell grants the subject a +4 enhancement bonus to Charisma, adding the usual benefits to Charisma-based skill checks and other rolls to which the Charisma modifier would normally be applied. Sorcerers and bards (and other spellcasters whose daily spell allotments depend on Charisma) do not gain any additional bonus spells for their increased Charisma scores while under the influence of kitten's cuteness, but the save DCs for any spells they cast during its duration increase accordingly.

Arcane Material Component: A bit of fur from a kitten.

New Creature

The fabled Cheshire cat has long been described in bards' tales but is rarely seen because of its unusual invisibility power.

Cheshire Cat
Small Fey
Hit Dice: 3d6 (10 hp)
Initiative: +7
Speed: 30 ft.
Armor Class: 14 (+1 size, +3 Dex), touch 14, flat-footed 11
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/-7
Attack: Claw +5 melee (1d2-4)
Full Attack: 2 claws +5 melee (1d2-4) and bite +0 melee (1d3-4)
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Spells
Special Qualities: Controlled invisibility, DR 5/cold iron, low-light vision
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +6, Will +4
Abilities: Str 3, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 15
Skills: Balance +11, Climb +13, Diplomacy +8, Handle Humanoid +8, Hide +11*, Jump +7, Listen +7, Move Silently +13, Spot +7
Feats: Don't Mind Me, Eschew Materials (B)**, Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse (bite) (B), Weapon Finesse (claw) (B)
Climate/Terrain: Temperate forests
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: None
Alignment: Usually chaotic good
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +3

A Cheshire cat is a strange, fey creature that appears to be a larger-than-ordinary house cat weighing between 20 and 40 pounds. It often lurks in trees, waiting for the gullible and unwary to pass by so that it can tease them. Cheshire cats enjoy using their controlled invisibility ability and spells to create mischief.


Cheshire cats usually endeavor to avoid physical combat. They prefer to solve conflicts diplomatically or through the judicious use of their spells.

Spells: A Cheshire cat casts spells as a 3rd-level sorcerer. It prefers illusions and enchantments but avoids necromancy spells.

Typical Sorcerer Spells Known (6/6; save DC 12 + spell level): 0 -- daze, detect magic, ghost sound, light, resistance; 1st -- hypnotism, mage armor, ventriloquism.

Controlled Invisibility (Su): A Cheshire cat can become wholly or partially invisible at will. Whenever it uses this ability, it can choose the precise portions of its body that become invisible. If it chooses to leave any portion of its body visible, it gains partial concealment (20% miss chance); otherwise it has total concealment (50% miss chance). Activating this ability or changing the degree of concealment it grants is a standard action. A Cheshire cat often chooses to leave only its smile, which is unusually wide and rather unfeline, visible.

Skills: A Cheshire cat receives a +4 racial bonus on Climb, Hide, Jump, and Move Silently checks. *In areas of tall grass or heavy undergrowth, its Hide bonus rises to +8. For running jumps, its Jump bonus is +8. Like a normal cat, it also receives a +8 racial bonus on Balance checks and uses its Dexterity modifier for Climb and Jump checks. A Cheshire cat has skill points equal to 6 + Int modifier (minimum 1) x (HD + 3).

Feats: A Cheshire cat gains feats as though it were a humanoid.

**The Eschew Materials feat appeared in Tome and Blood: A Guidebook to Wizards and Sorcerers.

Eschew Materials [Metamagic]

You can cast spells without material components.

Prerequisite: Any other metamagic feat.

Benefit: An eschewed spell can be cast with no material components. Spells without material components or whose material components cost more than 1 gp are not affected by this feat. An eschewed spell uses up a spell slot of the spell's normal level, modified by any other metamagic feats.

New Equipment

Felines and the humanoids that serve them often purchase the following items.

Mundane Equipment

The belled collar is designed for the benefit of humanoids associated with felines. It enables humanoid companions to keep track of a feline's movements more easily than they otherwise could.

Belled Collar: This mundane but ornamental collar has a little bell that tinkles as its wearer moves. Its use imposes a -10 penalty on the wearer's Move Silently checks.

Market Price: 5 cp.

Magic Items

The following magic items are designed for the comfort and benefit of feline users, though other creatures can also make use of them if desired.

Collar of Perpetual Attendance: At will, the wearer of this collar can call an unseen servant, as the spell, to attend and clean up after him or another creature he designates. The unseen servant performs such mundane tasks as cleaning up hairballs and policing the wearer's litter box. It also grooms the wearer on command, removing burrs, smoothing tangles, and ensuring that the wearer's fur remains soft and well-tended.

Caster Level: 1st; Prerequisites: Forge Ring, unseen servant; Market Price: 2,000 gp; Weight: 1/4 lb.

Flea Powder: This magic dust helps rid the user of pesky vermin. A single application produces the same effect as one use of a repel vermin spell.

Caster Level: 7th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, repel vermin; Market Price: 1,400 gp per application; Weight: ---.

About the Author

Gwendolyn F. M. Kestrelworks as an editor for the Roleplaying Games R&D department at Wizards of the Coast, Inc. so that Elvis and Puck, the two half-Siamese cats that own her, can live in a lovely house with soft furniture and endless supplies of food. Gwendolyn's recent credits include editing Savage Species, Faiths and Pantheons, and Epic Level Handbook and designing part of the Book of Challenges. While she's away at work, Elvis and Puck follow a rigid schedule of maximizing the lethargic effects of the infrequent Washington sunbeams. They allow her to freelance as a frequent contributor to the Wizards of the Coast website because they can sit on her lap while she types on the computer at home. Also, check out the website they allowed her to created for her husband, Andy Collins.

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