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Tabletop Game / Monarchies Of Mau

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Monarchies of Mau is a roleplaying game published in 2018 by Onyx Path Publishing with Pugsteady. Like it's sister game Pugmire it takes place in a distant future where humanity has mysteriously disappeared, leaving a variety of Uplifted Animals to fill the void they left behind. In this case, the game focuses on the cats of the titular Monarchies of Mau amid their rivalry with the dog kingdom of Pugmire and their own inter-house scheming.

The rule system is heavily influenced by Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition, with the six major houses (plus the up-and-coming Shadow Bloc) acting like "races" and six "callings" (like Mancers who study human relics to claim their power for their own, Champions who defend their house's honor with sword in paw, and sneaky little Footpads dedicated to ferreting out secrets) filling in for classes. Stories can involve good-old-fashioned dungeon delving and protecting the weak from monsters, but there's a distinct emphasis on noble intrigue here.


Tropes found in Monarchies of Mau include:

  • Adventure Guild: Trillani's Trailblazers, comparisons to the Pugmire Pioneers are not appreciated.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Sabian Sphynx von Angora and Blayze Rex von Rex, the example Mancer and Footpad characters in the core rulebook, address the reader in sidebars throughout the book to provide commentary on various subjects or further explain certain concepts. When they're not arguing with one another.
  • Cats Are Magic: Not naturally, but they have the ability to absorb powers from human masterworks they've studied and broken, and then refine those powers much like dogs refine their use of masterworks. The initiation ritual for a Mancer involves the breaking of a masterwork implied to be of the same types that Artisans use as foci, while Ministers are initiated in a ritual where at least three existing Ministers chant power into them.
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  • Cats Are Superior: Most cats think they are at least, they have this idea that the Old Ones worshiped them and uplifted them as a show of their devotion.
  • Cats Have Nine Lives: The common cat religion of the Nine teaches that their souls are reincarnated eight times, it's a matter of theological dispute whether reanimation as one of the undead counts against that count.
  • Clarke's Third Law: Quoted in the Guide Advice chapter, with the implication that "magic" is just technology the user doesn't understand yet.
  • Elective Monarchy: Trillani Persian von Mau managed to get herself unanimously elected the first Monarch of the united Monarchies by the Dynasts of the great houses, but since her death a year ago the ruling council has been too busy to hold an election (supposedly).
  • The Federation: The six Monarchies only united recently in order to present a united front against Pugmire.
  • Fantastic Naming Convention: Cat names are formatted [given name] [surname] von [sworn house name], the surname and house name typically only match for nobles, but it's not unknown for a scion of one house's founding family to defect to another house, i.e. Bina Korat von Siberian. And since cats value family ties less than personal loyalties they often drop the surname in casual conversation.
  • Good Republic, Evil Empire: Cats will be the first to admit that the Monarchies are more of a backstabbing oligarchy than democratic, but they still think it's better than Pugmire's Empire.
  • Klingon Promotion: Explicitly mentioned as a means of advancement within House Mau, and mentioned to be a reason for the low average age of its' current membership.
  • Magic Knight: Wanderers are martial artists who can add elemental damage to their unarmed strikes, while any cat can pick up a few spells with the "Magical Aptitude" secret.
  • No Social Skills: Sabian von Angora has his flaw explicitly spelled out as "no matter what, I just can't manipulate people." His habit of dressing in dark robes bedecked with bronze rodent skulls and casually talking about the undead don't help.
  • Rare Candy: Cats can destroy some masterworks they've studied in order to absorb their powers, often gaining a new Secret (feat) for free, they can then refine that Secret as they level up.
  • Rebellious Princess: Blayze Rex von Rex, the sarcastic thrill-seeking Footpad, is a daughter of House Rex's founding family, but she prefers slumming it with commoners.
  • Riddling Sphinx: The highest CR monster in the book is the Sphinx, which may answer any question asked of one who solves its' riddles.
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: Unlike dogs, who will at most use human masterworks and more often stash them in a museum, cats prefer to study and dismantle masterworks to gain their secrets.
  • Unperson: The demon-corrupted House Smilodon, whose anonymous descendants are slowly infiltrating the Shadow Bloc. The same happened to Caesar von Rex, inventor of the plastic-hulled ships that can sail the acid sea, after Smilodon corrupted him.
  • Wild Magic: Cat magic, since it's internalized rather than stemming from external devices like dogs, is a little unstable. What a cat caster critically fails a roll or their target crit succeeds bad things happen.
  • Whatevermancy: Cat arcane spellcasters are actually known generically as "Mancers", Necromancers are not uncommon.

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