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Marine Cat

by Jamie Baty

Tiny Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 1d10 (5 hp)
Initiative: +3 (+3 Dex)
Speed: 35 ft. (7 squares)
Armour Class: 15 (+2 size, +3 Dex), touch 15, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/-10
Attack: Claw +5 melee (1d2 -3)
Full Attack: 2 Claw +5 melee (1d2 -3) and bite +0 melee (1d3 -5)
Space/Reach: 2-1/2 ft. /0 ft.
Special Attacks: Pounce, rake 1d2-3/1d2-3
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60ft., low-light vision, welfare of the ship
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +1
Abilities: Str 4, Dex 16, Con 10, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 13
Skills: Balance +11, Climb +7, Hide +15*, Jump +11, Listen +5, Move Silently +7, Spot +5
Feats: Alertness, Weapon Finesse (B)
Environment: Shipboard
Organisation: Solitary or Pair
Challenge Rating: 1/4
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 2 HD (Tiny)
Level Adjustment: -

Found only on sailing vessels, this rare breed of cat is thought to bring luck on long voyages.
Marine cats are slightly larger and faster than normal cats and tend to be longer-lived as well. Most tend to be female, so males are both rare and valuable. Coloration resembles that of regular cats, with a tendency toward dark shades and bright eye colour.
Marine cats leave their vessels only for a brief tour of the docks. Though they sometimes visit other ships, they never board one that has its own marine cat. This is simply a manner of etiquette. Marine cats meet each other either on the docks or if one captain brings his cat to "visit" the other's ship. These creatures are never taken by sailors from other ships, because it is very bad luck to steal another ship's marine cat.
On the vessel a marine cat can get into any area. Sailors often find their cats up in the rigging, in locked staterooms, or sleeping in the weapons magazines. A marine cat loves to generate surprise and will seek to position itself high enough that when a nearby person turns around he is staring right into the cat's unblinking eyes.
Sailors often feed their cats by hand, offering pieces of fish and beef from their own plates. Marine cats also hunt the cargo holds, feeding on rats and keeping the ship free of rats and voats. Strangers taking passage on the vessel will find themselves under constant scrutiny by the cat, who likes change only when it is the one causing it.
Marine cats do protect the welfare of the ship. If someone is not where he is supposed to be, likely as not he will step on the cat's tail, causing it to cry out and notifying everyone nearby of his presence. When a lookout falls asleep, oblivious to a nearby danger, the cat may then decide that the man's earring makes a perfect toy.

These cats attack with both front claws and a bite. They can be very nasty if threatened, often aiming straight for an opponent's eyes. The marine cat likes to pounce if possible.

Pounce (Ex): When a marine cat makes a charge, it can follow with a full attack, including its two rake attacks.

Rake (Ex): A marine cat that gets a hold can make two rake attacks (+5 melee) with its hind legs for 1d2-3 damage each. If the marine cat pounces on an opponent, it can also rake.

Welfare of the Ship (Su): Marine cats bring their ship good luck. All aboard a marine cat's ship gain a +1 morale bonus to all Balance, Climb and Profession (Sailor) skill checks made for shipboard activities.
Skills: Marine cats have a +4 racial bonus on Climb, Hide, and Move Silently checks and a +8 racial bonus on Jump checks. Cats have a +8 racial bonus on Balance checks. They use their Dexterity modifier instead of their Strength modifier for Climb and Jump checks. *In the lower decks of its ship, the Hide bonus rises to +8.

The Red Curse
Marine cats are occasionally born with Legacies, but they never require cinnabryl. They always acquire Legacies such as Swim, Breathe Water, or another similarly water-oriented Legacy. Such marine cats are very rare, and sailors consider them even luckier than normal. No vessel captain would dare part with such a cat.