Re: Lynx = Alynx?

From: Alex Ferguson (
Date: Thu 09 Mar 2000 - 05:21:25 EET

Mikko Rintasaari on alynxes, and their tailses (and their DEXes):
> They are short. And the lynx/bobcats proportions are not meant for
> agility, but pouncing. All the lynx species are basically the same, just
> scaled up or down.

Well, you try pouncing on a bird or two, and see how little 'DEX' it
takes. Tail length is indictative mainly on how much running they're
likely to do, rather than 'agility' in the round (and nor is DEX
precisely just agility), and I do think of them as being more pouncers
than chasers, myself. Or at least, I haven't seen many sprinting at 100
klicks across the wide open Sartar Veldt, anyway. ;-)

> Indeed. I think the shadow cat is somewhat like the lynx in being a "big
> small cat". Small (sylvestris) cat's being the ones with slit pupils and
> being able to purr, and unable to roar. (generally speaking, that is,
> let's not go to taxonomy here)

Oh, but let's. ;-) Yes, they'd definitely be Felinae (I think the
Bestiary even calls them Felis alynx, or some such), though when
you bear in mind that mountain lions aren't 'big cats' by that
definition, one's intuition may start to flounder a bit.

Disclaimer: zoological taxonomers may have changed their minds about
all this again, that is it they really ever made them up in the first

> Too bad. I like lynxes, but a shadow cat is supposed to be something much
> more magical and mysterious. And they aren't supposed to be bred for
> interesting fur color and an obidient nature!

I don't see them as being especially _un_like lynxes, but they need
hardly be 'lynx clones', of course. But I agree very emphatically
on that second point: I don't much care for the readings of them as
being highly 'domesticated', or 'cats of all work', so I deal with such
material in the best traditions of Gloranthan Inclusivity: i.e. I
don't use them in my games, and I make occassional sarcastic comments
about such notions on the Digest.

If nothing else, their wide range of size confuses the 'analogising'
somewhat, unless you can imagine one terrestrial animal that 'scales
down' to the niche of a wildcat, and 'scales up' to that of a small
panther (another animal not noted for running a long way after a
square meal, when it could... well, do anything _other_ than running
a long way after a square meal, pretty much) or perhaps a shady-looking
puma, if you can to keep it all 'small cat'. Though HW is as we keep
saying supposed to be a 'scalable' game, so maybe that's no real problem. ;-)



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