The Observant Eyes of Gaia

Details: The most common and diverse Changing Breed beyond the Garou themselves, Bastet favor large cats in scope and temperament. Tigers, lynxes, leopards, jaguars, cougars, lions, and other, less obvious species have corresponding shifter kin. In general, a werecat’s physical shape and emotional timbre echo her feline ancestry; a tiger’s monumental grace carries over into her human aspect, while a skittish Bubasti shares dark coloration and delicate build in every form. Werecats are particularly curious and observant and many can be observed as stereotypically vain, mischevious and obnoxious. They are collectors and traders of secrets. At one time many were so annoying about sharing those secrets with others but times are tough and some of those secrets keep people alive, including themselves. Of course, it still matters with -who- they share their secrets with and some do love a good enigma game.
The Nine Tribes of Bastet

The Bagheera – Werepanthers and wereleopards who may be the wisest of their kind. Though ruthless in war, these Fera display innate nobility, intellect, and calm. Once drawn mostly from Indian and South Asian ethnicities, this tribe has spread across the world. Of all Bastet, they may now be the most numerous and are certainly the most diverse.
Sokto: Str: +1, Dex +1, Sta: +2, Man -1, App -1
Crinos: Str +3, Dex +3, Sta +3, Man -3, App -2
Chatro: Str +2, Dex +3, Sta +3, Man -3
Feline: Str +1, Dex +3, Sta +2, Man -3

Initial Rage: 2
Initial Willpower: 4

The Balam, a bloody breed of jaguar-folk who once enjoyed the reverence of South American civilizations but have since been hardened (and nearly exterminated) by the Amazon wars. Until recently, no European, Asian, or African person was good enough to share the Balam inheritance; even now, the tribe is near-universally of South American blood. Necessity and camaraderie, though, have brought a handful of outlanders into the fold, and in recent years this tribe has begun to recover. Old wounds run deep, though, and few creatures hold more bitterness than a grizzled old Balam.
Sokto: Str +2, Dex +1, Sta +2, Man -1, App -1
Crinos: Str +3, Dex +3, Sta +3, Man -4, App 0
Chatro: Str +3, Dex +2, Sta +3, Man -4
Feline: Str +2, Dex +3, Sta +2, Man -3

Initial Rage: 4
Initial Willpower: 3

The Bubasti are an eerie and often despised tribe of sorcerer-cats. Descended from the theoretically extinct cats of Kyphur (an Egyptian species revered as god-avatars), the shadowcats are always hungry: Food, sensation, knowledge — a Bubasti can never get enough of anything. Universally thin and uncannily attractive, these folk have prospered in the information age, and while their typically Middle Eastern heritage marks them for suspicion in a post-9/11 world, their voracious intellect and tastes continue to serve them well. Built for stealth, not fighting, these are the most delicate catfolk. In human form, Bubasti have dark skin and hair regardless of their ethnicity; their feline forms resemble large Egyptian cat-statues: midnight black and with no markings of any kind.
Sokto: Str: +0, Dex +1, Sta +0, Man +0, App +1
Crinos: Str: +1, Dex +3, Sta +1, Man -2, App -3
Chatro: Str +2, Dex +4, Sta +1, Man -2, App 0
Feline: Str -1, Dex +4, Sta +1, Man +0

Initial Rage: 1
Initial Willpower: 5

The Ceilican were once thought extinct but are now fairly common. A European breed linked to wildcats, domestic species, and a vanished type of lion, these cats were almost eradicated during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Justly or otherwise known as “witch-cats,” the Ceilican then hid themselves in plain sight throughout human cities, concealing their existence even from other Bastet. With the New Millennium, however, the tribe’s cosmopolitan affinities have helped them prosper. Their survival is now an open secret, and when other Bastet need information, they often look for a Ceilican.

Sokto: Str +0, Dex +2, Sta +1, Man +0, App +1
Crinos: Str +1, Dex +3, Sta +1, Man +0, App -2
Chatro: Str +0, Dex +4, Sta +1, Man -2, App -2
Feline: Str -1, Dex +4, Sta +0 Man -2

Initial Rage: 3
Initial Willpower: 3
Khan are weretigers; the most formidable of their kind but also nearly extinct. These “Bright Kings” reach deep into the lore of ancient Asia and India. For millennia, the Khan dominated the courts, temples and jungles of their world; as Muslims and white men carved their empires from those regions, though, they brought true tigers, as well as Khans to near-extinction. Born warriors, often too trusting and passionate for their own good, the Khan soon found themselves embroiled in the region’s many wars or just caught in over the heads with some and also there would be no peace from poachers either. Khans now do not trust as much as they used to and lead a pretty lonely life, feeling fortunate if they run into one of their kind anywhere.
Sokto: Str +2, Dex +1, Sta +2, Man -1, App -1
Crinos: Str +5, Dex +2, Sta +3, Man -3, App +0
Chatro: Str +4, Dex +2, Sta +3, Man -3, App +0
Feline: Str +3, Dex +2, Sta +3, Man -3

Initial Rage: 5
Initial Willpower: 2

Pumonca are cougar-folk are native to North America and reflect that region’s laconic curiosity. Once known as Storm Walkers, these brawny predators pick off people who’ve grown too evil or careless to survive. When Garou invaders poured into their territories during the conquest of North America, most solitary Pumonca died as well. Recent years have revitalized the Tribe; even so, few other Bastet despise werewolves on general principle as the Pumonca do.
Sokto: Str +1, Dex +2, Sta +2, Man -1, App +0
Crinos: Str +3, Dex +3, Sta +4, Man -3, App +0
Chatro: Str +3, Dex +3, Sta +3, Man -3, App +0
Feline: Str +2, Dex +3, Sta +3, Man +0

Initial Rage: 3
Initial Willpower: 4

• The riddling Qualmi’s lynx ancestry appears in their solid builds and peak-tufted ears. Also native to North America, these Bastet have had to learn to speak more straightforward in terminology, though sometimes they revert to their old ways and avoid that. Everything can be a riddle, a joke, a tall tale, or a surreal narrative that says everything even if it sounds like nothing, but this tends to be for those they do not like or for entertainment purposes. In modern times, lynx populations are dwindling so the Qualmis have had to become more serious too. Unlike their puma cousins, the Riddle Dancers enjoy the company of wolves, most especially the Uktena, with whom they share ancient bonds. More magical than warlike, these cat-folk enjoy technology, too… especially once they’ve altered it a bit. Supposedly, they shape-shift across other species too, adopting many different forms in order to understand the world more deeply.
Sokto: Str +0, Dex +2, Sta +0, Man +0, App +1
Crinos: Str +1, Dex +3, Sta +1, Man -2, App +0
Chatro: Str +1, Dex +4, Sta +1, Man -2 App +0
Feline: Str +0, Dex +4, Sta +0, Man -2

Initial Rage: 2
Initial Willpower: 5

• The Simba, “Lords of Sunlight,” have leonine ancestry that manifests as power, sociability and arrogance. Supposedly, they once ruled the Nine Tribes by divine right… and even now, most consider themselves to be the brightest stars in the room. Bred from among the bravest and most powerful people, these Bastet have decimated themselves with endless wars. Men, hyena-kin, fomori, and almost anyone else foolish enough to stand face to face with a lion — all have been prey for the Simba, and have often killed the Simba in return. These days, the tribe’s in steep decline… not that any Sun Lord would ever admit as much.
Sokto: Str +2, Dex +1, Sta +2, Man -1, App +1
Crinos: Str +4, Dex +2, Sta +3, Man -2, App +0
Chatro: Str +4, Dex +2, Sta +3, Man -2, Man -2 App +0
Feline: Str +3, Dex +3, Sta +2, Man -1

Initial Rage: 5
Initial Willpower: 2

• The fleet Swara are cheetah-folk with a deep secret: Like Garou (but unlike most Bastet), they step sideways easily. While cat-kind generally stick to the mortal plane, these wanderers pass among spirits, puzzling out the enigmas of the outer worlds. Descended almost entirely from the peoples of sub-Saharan Africa, the Swara avoid people on general principle and have had to witness a steep decline in the number of cheetahs about. These “Silver Folk” favor the Paths of the Moon over mundane concerns, and care little for luxury or home.
Sokto: Str +1, Dex +2, Sta +1, Man -1, App +0
Crinos: Str +2, Dex +4, Sta +3, Man -3, App +0
Chatro: Str +2, Dex +4, Sta +3, Man -3, App +0
Feline: Str +1, Dex +4, Sta +2, Man -3

Initial Rage: 2
Initial Willpower: 4

Distinguishing Traits of all the Bastet

Breeds: Like Garou, the Bastet have two breeds: homid and feline. The human-bred folk are by far the most common for Bastet. Given the global decline of large cats, the feline breed is rare these days, born more often in captivity than in the wild. Like werewolves, Bastet manifest their First Change around puberty. Bastet do try to be there as guides for the young, even if after training them, they are eventually sent away to make their own way in the world. This doesn’t always work out, as the world is a dark and very hard place for Shifters in this setting. As with Garou, a werecat’s breed determines his Gnosis, while the character’s tribe determines her Rage and Willpower (see above).
Homid Bastet begin with Gnosis 2.
Felines with Gnosis 6.

Instead of auspices, each werecat has three different “faces”: a public face (his Demeanor), the personality he shares with his close friends (his Nature), and his pryio (the hidden “true face” that each cat keeps to himself). Often, but not always, inspired by the time of day in which a Bastet achieved his First Change, the pryio reflects the capricious nature of cats themselves.
The three pryios are:
Daylight — a friendly, sociable and nurturing personality
Twilight — a tricky personality that’s even more inquisitive than usual
Night — a deceptive, solitary, and often very dangerous personality.
• Like Garou, Bastet heal quickly, resist disease, transform and get extra actions through Rage, are vulnerable to silver, inflict aggravated damage with their claws and teeth, and use their Gnosis to manifest spirit-Gifts and rituals. They also share a common Bastet language that transcends forms or human cultures.
• In all forms, werecats are unusually perceptive. Except when in her human form, a werecat reduces all Perception-based difficulties by two.
• Aside from the Swara, Bastet cannot normally step sideways into the Umbra.
Renown: Tekhmet, Aka, Tilau, Hani, and Bon Bhat are the Ranks recognized by the Bastet universally, which are equivalent to the Garou 5 Ranks. This basically comes in handy for tales of Renown and also that a character can try to demand some respect if the Spirits recognize their achievements and place them at higher Ranks.
• Cleverness, Ferocity, and Honor are their 3 Qualities that are similar in function to the Garou’s ‘Glory, Honor and Wisdom’, for earning Renown, though this also acknowledges the cat’s Renown as operating independent to support their purposes and how they deal with Spirits of the Umbra.
• Rather than Weaver, Wyrm, and Wyld, werecats speak of Rahjah the Maker, whose ambitions brought form to the Earth; Cahlash the Unmaker, who grants mysteries but also destroys; and Nala the First Mother, the ever-dancing lover of them both. Rahjah and Cahlash are both also referred to as “the King of Cats,” a fact that does not please the few Garou who know of it.
Forms: Like their lupine cousins, each werecat has five forms. The specific modifiers vary by tribe, and can be found above. The non-Homid forms are:
Sokto: An uncanny cat-like person, the Sokto form features tiny whiskers, elongated limbs, slitted eyes, pointed ears, sharp fangs, and small yet vicious claws. These fangs and claws inflict the character’s Strength rating in lethal damage. Eerie as it is, this form can be quite compelling and frighteningly beautiful.

Crinos: This fearsome war-form looks like a cross between a muscular human and a big cat of the appropriate species. Usually more lithe than a Garou war-form (though Khan and Simba get more massive than werewolves), a Crinos werecat seems to ripple with mystic energy. Such creatures evoke the Delirium, though all but the Balam, Khan, and Simba trigger it to a lesser degree than wolves do; in game terms, a character confronting a Crinos Bastet from a tribe other than those “big three” is considered to be one step higher on the Willpower scale than he would be if he’d seen a Garou.

A titanic cross between the appropriate big cat and a saber-toothed tiger, the Chatro form evokes the full effect of the Delirium and adds an extra die to the Crinos-form bite damage.

Like the Garou Lupus shape, this form resembles a large but otherwise normal member of the appropriate species. Given the might of normal tigers, cougars and so forth, this shape is still impressive… and far harder to conceal.

Sample Gifts:
Werecats enjoy a vast range of magical Gifts — most of which revolve around grace, luck, charisma, and speed, and may be duplicated by certain Garou Gifts like Hare’s Leap or Razor Claws. The most powerful Bastet Gifts channel the power of the elements, or turn a werecat into godlike manifestations of feline fury. Bubasti, Ceilican, and Qualmi are renowned for sorcery and have a wide array of tribe-specific Gifts.