Absolutely loving Pugmire. Going to let hubby (who I bought it as a gift for) give review:
I love idiosyncratic games. I love games that fill niches I didn't know I had. I love games that take an idea and make magic out of them. Pugmire is all of those things. I'm aware that Pugmire uses something similar to 5e D&D rules, but to be honest I'm enjoying being introduced to some of those mechanics this way rather than in 5e D&D. Why? Because this world feels perfect with the rules. How do you build a breed? Based off of the role the breed fills. That's how you fit hundreds of different possible breeds (and mutts!) in. Classes? I love the names and the variants. Currency? Plastic coins?? Delightful!
The setting itself is a slice of wonderful. Sort of like Numenera in that it's post-mankind, but not so...serious. The game focuses not on the eternal struggle of good versus evil or the struggle to survive, but instead it focuses on being a Good Dog. If you were a Bad Dog once, you can always be a Good Dog again. It may or may not have been your fault. You may have been given a raw deal in life or you may come from privilege and eat from the finest dishes. You may be educated or you may be a wild dog. But you can always, always, find your way to being a Good Dog. It's beautiful. It's simple. It's elegant. And because it wraps that ethos in the form of dogs, it's easier to get to the core of the matter. You don't get tangled up in human complications when you're playing a bunch of Good Dogs.
This is the sort of game that touches the part of me who still enjoys Disney movies as an adult, the part that loves my own furbabies, the part of me that cries at Old Yeller and gets a little choked up when dogs in movies survive disasters. The part of me who felt for the Rats of NIMH, and has had no problem identifying with dogs in any other media.
And the monsters...Like I said, the setting is Numenera-ish, and without giving anything away I think they found clever ways of fitting posthumanity technology in without ruining the aesthetic. At the same time magic appropriate to the setting is equally present. And if you don't like the posthumanity technology angle, just ignore it. It's a neat idea but it's not absolutely REQUIRED. But it's all awesome. I'll definitely be snapping up the next few products that roll out, as well as the Monarchies of Mau (my wife won't forgive me if I don't get a game that lets you play as cats)
Is it Furry? Well it has a wagging tail and a damp nose, so...eh. Maybe. But it's not necessarily a Furry game. It's not about that. Remember: It's about being a Good Dog.
Be the Good Dog you were always meant to be.
[5 of 5 Stars!]