What is Castles & Cats?
Castle & Cats is a Introductory Tabletop, Role-Playing Game. Castles & Cats sets itself apart from other role-playing games by providing quick combat, original visually engaging components, and simplified game mechanics. With the help of a game master, players will explore, fight and role-play their way through any adventure.
I started working on Castles & Cats when my oldest son was three and my youngest only one. It was quite a year, both started speech therapy and my youngest was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder later the same year. The game sat in the dark for quite some time but as life settled progression on Castles & Cats grew. At that point I had a solid combat mechanic, but the game was still missing art and other key components.
My youngest son is nonverbal and has been using a PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) to communicate with us for the past couple of years. The system allows a nonverbal child to use a series of pictures to request items or convey information, which would otherwise be spoken or written in text. It was my youngest son, and his way of communicating through pictures, which inspired the Castles & Cats’ visual character building system, bringing my game the breath of life it was missing.
My goal for Castles & Cats is to introduce young kids to the world of role-playing games while also building on age appropriate, social, communication, and critical thinking skills in a fun and imaginative environment.
Castles & Cats News
Update: May, 20th, 2019
Encounter Testers have all received kits and I have already received some really awesome feedback! Everyone seems to be having a great time, it warms my heart!
Card organization is one of the areas that I have been working on and I have created a solution and discuss it in this week's Storm the Castle. Check it out here: https://www.castlesandcats.com/adventurebook
This week I am wrapping up illustrations on Adventure 1 and final color correction for the base game so that I can order a final prototype for the base game and test prototype for the Adventure sets!
I have an organized timeline of what needs to get done and I am sticking to it! I’m hoping to be fully wrapped up by the end of July so that I can get final prototypes in and make final changes. I want to get Castles & Cats on your doorstep asap but I also want you to open that box and find a beautiful quality game inside.
Once again thank you to everyone for all the support!
Update: May, 6th, 2019
Just wanted to post a quick update on what’s been going on since the Kickstarter ended!
This past week I worked on printing, cutting, and assembling encounter test kits. Test kits include a demo adventure and allow testers to run/test all the encounters for Adventures 1 - 3. I will be passing those out to my test team this week.
If you pledged to any of the custom character or custom art rewards I will be contacting you via email later this week.
Backer surveys will go out in August so that I can collect current shipper information closer to the shipping date.
If your cat has been chosen to appear in Adventure 3: Castles & Cats via Facebook random drawing, I will be sending you sketches periodically but hope to have the final fully illustrated pictures in July.
For all the littles that entered their character creations on the Facebook page I will be posting a character creation blog/gallery featuring your characters as my next update!
Thanks to everyone again! The Kickstarter campaign was an amazing experience and I am so excited to share Castles & Cats and all the adventures I have planned with such an amazing group of people!
New Look! Arcane Magic
Week 3 Update: The Final Week!
Castles and Cats is at 68% with 9 more days to go!
Starting today Castles & Cats shirts can be added on to any pledge for $25 dollars to be mailed out in July.
For the home stretch of the Kickstarter I will be doing some live videos or blogs on the Castles & Cats base game taking a look inside the box, character creation and organization and game play from the first five pages of Adventure I: Forest, Fungi and Flowers that I released last week!
Don’t forget to post your kiddos character creations for the drawing Wednesday night on the Castles & Cats Facebook Page!
If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me via Facebook, Kickstarter or at castlesandcats.com!
Week 2 Update: Sneak Peek & Kids Contest!
We hit $5000 today! Amazing! I am so excited by how many of you want to help bring role-playing games to new players! In celebration for hitting this milestone I have released a sneak peek of Adventure I: Forest, Fungi & Flowers to the Kickstarter page under “Campaigns”, to castlesandcats.com and Facebook! Keep in mind these pages are still in the editing stage. I hope you love them as much as I do!
I am honored by how many of you have pledged and shared the campaign thus far. The middle of a kickstarter campaign can be very uneventful but I have been amazed by the progress we have made this past week. Let’s keep that energy going!
On the the Castles & Cats Facebook page I have released another random drawing for all our little designers and illustrators! Make sure to check it out!
Thank you again!
Castles & Cats is Now Live!
Make sure to check out Castles & Cats on Facebook for exclusive updates!
Castles & Cats is designed for a game master and 1-2 players. For larger groups the Full Party Expansion can add up to 2 more players onto the base game. Castles & Cats includes:
The full party expansion adds 20 cards and 48 chits to the base game. This provides components for a max of 4 players and will fit into the Castles & Cats Box.
Cards are made from a 12 point 305gsm black-core matte card stock.
Chits are 1x1 inch, double sided, and laser cut; their final weight is 12g.
Laser cut items will have a slight amount of soot upon arrival. Chits will need to be wiped down with a damp cloth.
The Digital Copy of the game can be printed for a game master and 1-4 players, and will come with a D6 conversion table to maintain quick and easy combat with regular six sided dice. The digital copy does NOT include any 3D components or campaigns. Castles & Cats campaigns are not needed to play the game, and the game master can chose to create a original campaign of their own. However Castles & Cats campaigns can be added on at a later time.
To play Castles & Cats you will need: The Castles & Cats base game, a set of role-playing dice and a campaign.
Unlike many other pen and paper role playing games, players do not level up in Castles & Cats. Instead, players will gain abilities and progress through class items they buy or find on their adventures. Classes, Weapons, Armor and Companions add special abilities or spells which allow players to customize their characters. Each Class will have 5 sets of Armor, 4 companions, and 5 weapons.
The visual organization of the item cards provides players and game masters with a quick and simple reference. Players will use cards and chits to build their character.
Pretend & Play
Castles & Cats strikes a balance between exploration, combat, and role playing. Similar to other role playing games, players will use a D20 die to check the success or failure of their role playing actions.
As an example, the players start approaching a bridge, out of the shadows jumps a large troll who begins flailing his arms and grunting.
It is the players’ role to make choices for their characters and it is the game masters’ role to react to those choices while also keeping the players on track towards a goal.
With new players ideas can get very silly and out of the box, but those ideas are one of the reasons I created Castles & Cats. Meet the child halfway and roll along with their ideas, those are the adventures which create the most wonder and fun.
On each players’ turn during a combat encounter, the player has 3 chances to roll combat dice and damage monsters. The number of dice the player rolls is indicated by the power number on the player's weapon card. On the first roll, the player rolls all dice and then selects the element they want to cast as damage, In this example we will select fire. The player picks all the fire sided dice out and places them to the side.
The player has two more chances to roll the remaining dice and collect more fire dice. Once a player picks an element they can not change the element mid turn. At the end of the third roll the amount of fire dice collected is the amount of damage the player deals. Dealing damage ends a players turn.
After all players have taken a turn, any remaining monsters get a chance to attack. Monster combat is a bit more technical taking player armor and monster attack power into consideration. More about monster builds and facts can be found in the Castles & Cats game guide and in official campaigns.
Campaigns are stories or guided adventures. Castles & Cats campaigns are written to be one to two hours long. The number of game sessions it takes to finish a campaign is very dependent on the players. A game master's’ responsibility is to keep the players engaged and wanting to return for more adventures. Stopping a game session too early is better then stopping too late.
Like any role-playing game, campaigns are a core component to Castles & Cats. Game masters can use the official campaigns or make their own. Game sessions will consist of a game master and the players navigating through these stories and interacting with the characters in them.
Official Castles & Cats Campaigns will be available for purchase here, on castlesandcats.com. Game Masters are also encouraged to create their own adventures. Game Masters who create their own adventures will want to pre-plan similar elements included in an official campaign. One of the best aspects of being a Game Master is to build your own Adventures or even to collaborate with your players to make a unique world together.
Keep in mind Castles & Cats campaigns are generally a one time use, so the digital copy is going to be the better price option.
At release there will be three campaigns available. New Campaigns will be released on a 2-3 month basis. For more check out the Future Plans section of the Castles & Cats site.