Changecat

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Greyhawk creature
Changecat
Changecat01.jpg
A changecat "trees" a group of humans. From Greyhawk Adventures (1988).
Alignment Neutral (good tendencies)
Type Magical beast
Subtype Shapechanger
First appearance Greyhawk Adventures (1988)

Changecats are shapechanging felines with two basic forms; appearing either as an ordinary house cat, or as a large plains cat -- similar to a cheetah. They can change between these two forms, at will, up to five times per day. Normally they spend most of their time in their smaller shape and only enlarge when threatened.

Ecology

Changecats typically live on small prey such as mice, small rats, and birds that they can hunt in their smaller form. In their larger state, they can bring down deer and antelope. Like cheetahs, large changecats stalk their prey until they are within 100 yards, and then sprint in order to run their victims down. They are required to eat the amount of food necessary to support their "current" form's caloric needs and for this reason they find it easier to maintain their smaller form as much as possible. They never hunt humans or demihumans, nor do they attack them unless provoked. They rarely attack any intelligent creature.

Changecats breed once a year and produce a small litter of one to three kittens. They have a great fondness for humans, elves, and half-elves, but are reserved towards "smaller" demihumans, such as halflings, gnomes, and dwarves, treating these races with suspicion. They have a strong dislike for half-orcs.

Environment

Changecats originated east of the Grandwood Forest, but since their creation they have spread steadily westward and throughout the world.

Typical physical characteristics

Changecats are indistinguishable from common domestic cats when in their smaller forms. They have the same range of colors and patterns as found in domestic cats, but their eyes appear steadier and more confident.

In their larger forms, changecats have tawny, lion-like hides without spots or stripes (if the individual cat has stripes in its smaller incarnation, these temporarily disappear when its enlarged). Their build is similar to that of a cheetah: sleek, powerful, and built for speed. Like the cheetah, an enlarged changecat's claws are non-retractable.

Alignment

Changecats are neutral in alignment, but their natural affinity for humans, elves, and half-elves results in a marked tendency toward self-sacrificing good, in regards to those whom they may have chosen as a companion, and a manifest good will toward humans and elf-kin in general.

Society

Changecats are generally solitary creatures and only interact with other changecats during mating season, or when disputing with them over territory. They only interact with other feline species when these intrude upon their territory. If they are treated kindly by a human or demihuman, however, they will likely "adopt" this person and travel with them, even defending them when necessary.

Notable changecats

The only known changecat of note is Tiddles, the familiar of Tobin Potriades, former Senior Tutor at Greyhawk's University of Magical Arts.

History

Changecats were created decades ago by a forgotten Rel Astran wizard who sought to create the "ideal" animal companion and guardian. To the wizard's surprise, the changes bred true.

Bibliography