Welcome to Ten Forward Fridays, where a new playable species is presented for the Star Trek Adventures roleplaying game, filling in some gaps until official material can be released.
For January we’re venturing into the semi-canonical television show, Star Trek: the Animated Series. This week is the feline Caitians.
Of all the aliens from The Animated Series, Caitians are the most official, as two Caitian individuals appeared in the backgrounds of the courtroom scene of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. The first Caitian character, M’Ress, was also featured in numerous comic books, and was brought into the 24th Century for later novels.
Caitians were supposedly descended from an ancient Kzinti colony; the Kzin being Larry Niven’s feline race from his Known Space series that also appeared in Star Trek: the Animated Series (in an episode written by Niven). This version of the Caitians should also function for the Kzin, as well as the Ferasans from Star Trek Online, which are the Kzin but renamed for legal reasons. (The Kzin’s psychic abilities can easily be replicated with Betazoid talents.)
Cat-people are a popular type of human-animal hybrid, being common in anime and even Western science fiction (such as Red Dwarf), making them innately desirably to players. First contact with the Caitians was placed in the middle years of the 23rd Century, a few decades before The Original Series, making them uncommon during Star Trek Discovery. As such, the species works best for campaigns set later in the timeline. (However, the aforementioned Kzin could work in their place prior to Caitian first contact.) But it does seem like they rapidly joined the Federation following contact, with many quickly joining Starfleet and rising through the ranks, so they should be fairly common in later eras.
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