Magical Kitties Save The Day by Atlas Games is an RPG that invites kids of all ages to use their imaginations to have fun and play this role playing game that might just put them down a path of a great hobby. Magical Kitties Save the Day lets players take the role of a cat, and not just an ordinary cat, but one with magical powers. This cat has a human who doesn’t quite know what their cat can do. This human has their own problems along with all the troubles the town brings.
How Does it Work?
The game uses a d6-based, three stat system, keeping the basics without adding too much complexity. The three stats that your cat possess comprises of how Cunning, Fierce, and Cute they might be. If you’re experienced in the RPG scene, you can think of these as mental, physical, and social abilities. I’m personally more into board games and don’t have much experience with RPGs, so keep that in mind when reading this review. But this review does cover views from a board gamer and intro-RPG player, which might just be you as well.
It seems to me that they decided to keep to the basics, which will really pay off when playing with younger players. Players will be rolling a number of 6-sided dice according to their stat and trying to generate successes. I’m confident that younger players can learn a base of these mechanics to later expand on when older or when playing other RPGs.
Creating a Character
This is done before playing the game and players can create their character by either choosing choices themselves or by rolling dice and letting the die decide. Both ways can be fun depending on the players you are playing with. Players will need to describe their kitty by coming up with a name, their hometown, a description of what they look like, their history like how old they are or how they met their human, their personality, and then the player will draw a quick picture of what they want their kitty to be like.
Players will start the game with an “owie” limit of 2, meaning this is how many owies your kitty can take each episode before being injured and taking penalties. Players will also start with 2 kitty treats and are used to change the story to your favor like re-rolling dice or avoiding an injury. Each kitty with start out at level 1 but can level up when playing several campaigns gaining experience.
The attributes in the game, cute, cunning, and fierce, are how the kitty interacts with the world and story. Everything the kitty does will be tired to one of those attributes, and players roll dice according to their values. To set these values, players roll a d6 and visit a chart in the rulebook that will always give one attribute a 3, another one a 2, and the last one a 1.
Players will list a talent and a flaw, something their kitty is good at and something that makes their kitty unique. There is a list of ideas in the rulebook to help the imagination. Each kitty has a magical power, which are usually things that aren’t possible in the real world. Again, players can create their own or visit a list.
The last part of character creation is also choosing the kitty’s human. The human is who the kitty lives with and its best to choose a human that’s not happy and comfortable as the kitty is there to make the human’s life better. Players will need to come up with a name, their appearance, age, their family dyanimics, and decide their job or if they go to school. Each human has a problem, either a big one, or several smaller ones. Each human problem will have a total rank of 4 between however you choose them and again there is a chart where you can roll dice to determine these problems.
Probably one of the best things for those having trouble with their imaginations is all the help the rulebook does to give their character all they need to play the game while still being detailed enough to get into the role playing mood.
Playing the Game
Like other RPGs, one player is the Game Master (GM) while all others will control kitties. The GM will explain the world or situation, setting the scene and all other players get to choose what they do in that scene including using their magical powers. The game includes rules that the GM will use when players are trying to face big problems.
In the game players will need to keep their magical power hidden from their humans. All kitties want to help their human and picked them as their human. Kitties understand humans including reading human writing but humans don’t understand the kitties. Kitties can also understand and interact with other animals and other animals can understand the kitties as well. Lastly, there is a special spot in the home of the humans that the kitties can reach without being seen to leave and come back through.
While the GM guides the story with players choosing how they interact with it, the GM will decide the difficulty of each task, and players will need to roll a higher value depending on that difficulty. The GM will describe what happens depending on your roll. At times you might suffer an owie, get into a sticky situation, become unable to act for a period, receiving a negative die on their next roll, or something else possibly bad happening. The GM might award additional kitty treats when a kitty uses their flaw, giving the story a twist.
The game comes with resources to help you put together a great story, but your ability to connect things together and think on your feet might be the most important. The GM will need to form a hometown where all the kitties live just like in a book or movie. The most important thing the GM forms is the hometown problem because players are trying to help with all the problems out there. In addition the GM will need to form different locations, and a supporting cast to help players interact more, and foes that present a conflict. At the end of each game the GM will decide if the problems of each kitty’s human gets better or becomes worse depending on how well that player performed that chapter. Ideas for all of this can be found in the book and is very handy for the GM to have and use.
The Final Verdict
This all depends on the group of players you play the game with. If players all contribute to a fun story, then the game is always very enjoyable. Kids usually have a good time because they are natural storytellers when they are in a comfortable room. I feel like the game and rules help keep the game focused on the story without getting hung up on the mechanics of the game. As an adult playing as the GM, its also a blast to hear some of the things the players, especially kids, want to do and you have to think really fast how to include their direction into the story. The theme obviously is more suited for kids, but I could see a great session if it were played with a group of adult players. So really this game would be best to play with kids, exploring their imaginations, or newer players as the ruleset is perfect to learn how an RPG is played.
Images via Atlas Games
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