Great Cats

Powerful and impressive, cats have fascinated people for centuries. The largest feline predators are the great cats. Among them, the tiger and cheetah hold positions of significance.

Cheetahs are tall and slender cats with evenly spaced, circular spars over a tawny, cream background. The cheetah is adapted for speed with long, thin, and muscular legs. Unique among cats, it cannot fully sheath its claws, which are blunt like a dog’s, making for better traction when running. The sexes are nearly identical in outward appearance, although males are larger and have a more pronounced wiry mane on the shoulders.

Cheetahs are very vocal and frequently emit chirps, purrs, hums, and yelps. The most striking contact call is a yelp that can carry for up to two kilometers.

Cheetahs once roamed throughout Africa and southwest Asia; however, they are now only found south of the Sahara and are extinct in India. Cheetahs are indigenous to open areas such as desert and savannah, but they will also make use of scrub, bush, and open woodlands.

Unlike many other cats, the cheetah hunts mainly by day. This is probably to avoid competition from nocturnal predators such as lions and hyenas. Prey is stalked to within 30 meters before the cheetah uses its incredible speed to give chase. The cheetah will lock its eyes on to its victim and when running, swerves in unison with the prey. The chase only lasts about 20 seconds, and most attacks are unsuccessful. A fully grown cheetah can reach speeds in excess of 110 kilometers per hour and can easily outrun any animal over shore distances.

Cheetahs have a unique and highly flexible social structure compared to the other big cats. Females tend to be solitary unless they are accompanied by their cubs. Most males also live alone, but some live in coalitions of two to four, which last for the male’s lifetime. Males in coalitions tend to defend territories, whereas solitary males are inclined to lead a nomadic lifestyle. Cheetahs rarely have been tamed and used as hunting animals usually only by chose working for the very rich or powerful. They are a good choice for a predator in a “you are free if you can leave my estate” scenario.

Tigers are the largest of the cat family, with the Siberian tiger being the largest of the species. Tigers are easily recognizable by the thick black vertical stripes covering an orange body. The belly and throat are a cream white. Male tigers have a ruff around the back of the head. No two tigers have the same stripe pattern; each is unique.

Tigers prefer a forest hunting ground, but they can also be found in grassland and swamps. Tigers are solitary (with rhe exception of mothers with cubs), although they sometimes come together to share a kill. Unlike other cars, tigers are fond of water and are strong swimmers.

Tigers stalk and ambush their prey, using foliage to conceal themselves. When the tiger is close enough it suddenly rushes its prey and kills it by grabbing the creature’s throat or nape of the neck with its powerful jaws. Such attacks are usually instantly fatal.

More than other big cats, tigers have a reputation as man-eaters. In story and legend, man-eating tigers are the most vicious and crafty tigers, making for interesting tales (in truth, it’s usually only sick or injured tigers who attack humans). Tiger hunts were the sport of kings and nobility in India and were adopted by the adventurers of the English Raj to prove their skill and daring.

Typical Cheetah

Reflexes 4D+1 : brawling 5D, climbing 4D +2, dodge 5D+1, jumping 5D+1, sneak 5D

Coordination 1D+2

Physique 4D: running 8D

Knowledge 1D

Perception 2D: hide: self only 4D+2, search 3D, survival 4D, tracking 3D

Presence 2D: intimidation 4D, willpower 3D

Strength Damage: 2D

Move: 10

Fate Points: 0

Body Points: 22

Character Points: 0

Wound levels: 3

Natural Abilities: fur (Armor Value +1); claws (damage +1); bire (damage +1D; +5 to combat difficulry); small size (scale value 3)

Note: Large cats can leap up to 10 meters horizontally or two meters vertically.

Typical Tiger

Reflexes 4D: brawling 5D,dimbing 5D+1, dodge 5D, jumping 5D+1, sneak 5D

Coordination 1D+2

Physique 5D: lifting 6D, running 5D+1, swimming 6D

Knowledge 1D

Perception 2D: hide: self-only 4D+2, search 3D+2, survival 4D, tracking 3D

Presence 2D: inrimidation 5D, willpower 4D

Strength Damage: 3D

Move: 10

Fate Points: 0

Character Points: 0

Body Points: 25

Wound levels: 3

Natural Abilities: thick fur (Armor Value +2); claws (damage +1D+2); bite (damage +1D; +5 to combat difficulry); large size (scale value 0)

Note: For a legendary man-eating tiger, add +1D to brawling, intimidation, and sneak. Large cats can leap up to 10 meters horizontally or two meters vertically.

D6 Adventure Creatures (WEG 51021), © 2005 Purgatory Publishing Inc.
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