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Message no. 1
From: Nightfox <DJWA@******.UCC.NAU.EDU>
Subject: Panther Totem
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1993 16:46:48 -0700
SUBMISSION: Panther Totem
DESIGNER: Daniel Waisley
E-MAIL: Djwa@******


Well first of all I have been doing a very nebulous panther totem for many years
now. I never have actually used the totem in combat, just in my imagination.
Well I finally decided to do it right, so I went and looked up Panther in the
library. I did actually find information in about five books.

The term Panther can either be used for the leopard (in certain parts of Asia)
or Concolour (in certain parts of north America). I decided that I was going to
use Concolour because it was the more impressive animal (to me) and was native
to North America. Now Concolour goes by many names, just a few are - Mountain
Lion, Cougar, Puma and Panther (in fact the Panther has more names in the
dictionary then any other predator). They all are used for Concolour, and
greatly add to the confusion over it. In fact I have found two different
scientific names for Concolour - Puma Concolour, Felis Concolour - from books
printed 11 years apart. In all even scientists give it many names.

One thing that did startle me was the lack of information on the Black Panther.
It is my favorite animal and is what I based my original Panther on, the black
Panthers that I thought existed in Florida. What I did find out was that there
are a whole heck of a LOT of misinformation on Panthers. First of all, Black
Panthers as they are called are really Black Phase Leopards - which can be found
in India. The has been much confusion over Black Panthers or Pumas. There is
much confusion as to whether they were even black, or whether they were Pumas,
Jaguars or even bobcats. Black Pumas do exist in Central America, at least that
is the information I found stated a few times in one source and mentioned
briefly in another.

"The puma is prominent in American Indian mythology, with its cunning, agility,
and strength respected and admired by many tribes.The animal figures in the
magic and shamanism of nearly all ancients as their progenitor, protector, or as
a source of power to ward of disease or to excel as a hunter. Others are awed
by the animal and consider it an omen of disaster."
The PUMA, legendary lion of the Americas - Jim Bob Tinsley

As to Indian myth, which most of the totems are taken from, Panther is feared
and respected, and in some is regarded as the Protector of the universe. The
Zuni believed that he ancient ones wanted the world to be guarded by those keen
of sight and scent. The puma (the greatest of them) was the sentinel of the
north (the most important position). The Miwoks believed him to be the ideal
hunter, while the Apaches and Hualapais thought her wailing was the omen of
death. In Navajo myth a hero was wounded by witch objects shot into his body.
Puma extracts them and save his life. They also thought that the Puma benefited
them by leaving the better part of the portion of its kill for the people to
eat. Conversely the Papago and the later white settlers considered the cougar a
flesh eating beast. The Inca hunted many animals in great round-ups where they
would hunt the hunter. They found it much easier to catch bear and deer in the
rounds-ups then panthers. To many Indian societies it was both a Totem and a
source of help for hunting and warfare. In fact the Hopi and Zuni took carved
mountain lions when hunting deer in hopes that they would be as good at it as
the mountain lion was. In many cultures the puma was often deified for its
ability to hunt.

The panther is the largest Lone carnivore in North America. It is known for its
strength and speed. In fact - a Panther will often beat the larger Jaguar in
battle. Of all the great cats the panther is the one to hunt the most out of
proportion to its size. The tiger and jaguar my hunt large animals, but they
only hunt prey to about 2-3 times their size. The panther on the other hand is
known to hunt animals up to 3-4 times its, giving precedence to the fact that it
is one of the most dangerous of hunters. Panthers are also very quite hunters
and make little noise when hunting - ie. what you see in the movies is drek.

Panthers are noted to Purr and scream (best description) much like a tabby but
10 times as big and loud. Panthers also have round not slitted eyes. They tend
to rely on eyesight for hunting, but have acute hearing and smell.


Creator: Daniel Waisley
Totem Identification: - Panther, Mountain Lion, Cougar, Puma, Catamount and
assorted other English and Indian names (the America's)

Characteristics: - Panther goes by many names and faces; to some He is
Panther, to others She is Puma and some know It as Mountain Lion. Panther
likes it this way, for Panther believes in stealth. His prey never hears him
before he strikes. Puma is a great warrior, but prefers the stealthy approach,
for it does not do to go off half cocked. Cougar is very patient and quite, he
will wait for the right moment to strike. Panther tends to try and protect
mankind and innocents from harm. Puma mostly solitary but will sometimes have
close companions who she will defend to the death. Cougar kills quickly and
will use the most efficient means to do so. He also tries to leave little
evidence of his acts. Mountain Lion hates Evil and will try to hunt it down and
slay it.

Environment: - Forest and Mountain

Advantages: - +2 dice for combat and illusion. +2 dice for summoning Either
forest Or mountain spirits (choose).

Disadvantages: - minimum quickness and intelligence of 4, Puma believes in
attacking prey intelligently and quickly. Panther also believes that her
shamans should be able to hunt and kill without magic (the need to take stealth
and either unarmed or armed combat as skills). When in the midst of a large
combat the shaman must make a willpower test tn# 5 to stop fighting as his
instincts tell him to keep on lashing out.

Quirks: - Puma is not a coward, he will attack powerful enemies if need be,
but will try to shift the odds in his favor and will wait for the right moment
and not charge right in. Panther shamans are know to be quiet individuals, and
will not get into needless arguments or conversations. Cougar shamans are also
known for using the bare minimum of words or gestures when doing magic, they do
not like to be noticed. The shaman will use the name he or she feels most
comfortable with in talking about his totem, for the shaman realizes that they
all describe the totem equally well.

Note: the use of all the different names and he/she throughout the text was
intentional. After all its like Orou said -
'Panther believes in smoke and mirrors.'
Message no. 2
From: "Jason Carter, Nightstalker" <CARTER@***.EDU>
Subject: Panther Totem
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1993 10:27:27 -0800
Dan said:

>>PANTHER totem.

>>I will try and look at a few different disadvantages. But these are the best
>>so far.

The disadvantages are fine. They are very similar to those possessed by
Sun who's disadvantages are +2 to summon during the night and Must have
Charisma of 4.

>>Its not really all that powerful. It only has +2 dice to 2 spell catagories
>>and +2 summoning dice to one spirit type (choose). There does need some work
>>on the disadvantages

Anybody who tells you the advantages are too strong is off their rocker.

>>I might remove the attribute thing

See Above.

>>WHO all wants the intro to Panther totem removed? just one mention right now.

The intro is nice for explaining why you made it, but considering all the totems
that will be in NERPS: Magic I don't think it will be necessary. All the new
totems should be consolidated into one file, where the big intro will get in
the way.

>>also - I find it rather annoying that you folks say that the other Panther
>>totem should be removed. I think it was a fine piece of work. I had
>>personally asked him to tell me what his panther was like - which he did. I
>>then finally got around to doing everything on my Panther totem that I could
>>do - and posted it so that he could see.

>>I do not believe that one is nessarily better than the other. Rather they are
>>two different ways of looking at the totem. Having both in the TOME will show
>>just how differently people look at Panther.

No totem has two different descriptions with different powers. Panther should
not be the first. Since I found your version to be the better of the two, I
think it should be the one included in NERPS: Magic.

See Ya in Shadows, "I can count the number of days I've worked
Jason J Carter since graduation on one hand." - ME!
The Nightstalker Carter@***.EDU

Further Reading

If you enjoyed reading about Panther Totem, you may also be interested in:


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