Pugmire – A doggy RPG

Who’s a good doggy? That’s right, you’re the good doggy – Will YOU be a good dog? Catharsisjelly checks out Pugmire, a doggy RPG.

So on a recent quest to scour the internets for interesting things to talk about for this site I sometimes come across things purely by accident. If you’re a fan of RPG games in the style of Dungeons and Dragons then stay tuned because today I introduce you to the world of Pugmire.



The project itself has had a successful Kickstarter campaign and you can now pre-order the final product via BackerKit for $45 (USD) (plus $20 for shipping to UK). Set many years into the future, the world itself is going through a re-evolution and is currently in the middle ages. A land run and populated by Dogs who although come from very different backgrounds all strive to have the same principles. Commonly known as the “Code Of Man” and often thought of as a religion this is Pugmire’s equivalent of the 10 commandments

  • Be a good dog
  • Obey the master
  • Bite only those who endanger you
  • Protect your home
  • Be loyal to those that are true
  • Protect all from the Unseen
  • Fetch what has been left behind


The characters that you build are like any other RPG and based on races, but in the world of Pugmire these are based on breeds, these are split down into seven types.

  1. Companion – A companion dog is social, they have bonuses to Charisma, imagine dogs that like company, Pugs, French Bulldogs
  2. Fettles – The hardy dog of the bunch, resilient and get bonuses to Constitution with their natural ability to resistance to sickness, think Afghan’s and Springers
  3. Herders – Instead of heading sheep; Herder dogs are able to look into the hearts of others and guide other dogs away from evil, they get a bonus to Wisdom
  4. Pointers – The research and academic breed with bonuses to Intelligence, some of them take to learning the art of magic or having devout faith in the Old Ones (aka Man).
  5. Runners – Runners are known for their speed, of course, they often make great hunters and get Dexterity ability bonuses
  6. Workers – Strong dogs that make great warriors or labourers, stocky builds often make for a great tank/brute class with bonuses to strength
  7. Mutts – Of course you have to include mixed breeds, think Labradoodle that gets the advantages of a working dog’s strength but also can be good companions.

Each breed gets a few tricks, think of these like your specialised skills. things like being able to charm people with your puppy dog eyes and then gets to choose a second trick that helps compliment their characters background story.



In every RPG it’s not all about the combat but you cannot deny that combat plays a sizable part of any RPG. You can let your imagination run a bit as to how other creatures have evolved but animals like badgers, giant ants and of course the dogs potential arch-nemesis, cats. Combat in Pugmire works in a very similar but slightly simplified fashion to D&D, let’s take a look at how they do things in detail.

Determine surprise

In a similar way to standard D&D if you are surprised then you do not get a turn during the first round of battle. The state of surprise is generally determined by a Wisdom roll against an opponents Dexterity role.

Establish positions.

The GM decides how far away each dog is from the enemy they are fighting. The players may have previously suggested a running order but the GM makes the final say in this


Roll initiative and start the first round.

Every character that is not surprised makes a dexterity roll, the character with the highest roll goes first. If two players have the same roll then the character with the highest natural dexterity goes first.

Take a turn

Each character takes a turn. You can do one of each of the following per turn

  1. Move up to the character’s maximum speed.
  2. Take one action.
  3. Take one free action.
  4. Take one bonus action, if available.
  5. Take one reaction, if necessary

Once a turn is over, choose who goes next. Which could be either one of the playing characters or an enemy that the character knows about? This is distinctly different from standard D&D and I can see where there might be times when you would want the enemy to go before the next playing character. Once everyone has taken a turn, a new round begins. The player of the last character to go last round chooses who starts the new round.


Wrapping up

There are some really nice touches in the Early Access PDF. One of them was simply the fact that the writer changes the gender of the GM without you really noticing. This endorses that Role Playing Games can be played by any gender and there is no harm in one gender playing an entirely different or maybe even fluid gender character. This feel like a step forward for role-playing games, it’s not exactly a massive leap and is done so subtly within the text you may not immediately notice it. This is, in my opinion, the sign of good writing.

If you would like to read more about Pugmire then take yourself off to The Onyx Path to read more or if you would like to grab the Early Access PDF you can grab that from Drive Thru RPG for $1.99. All artwork in this article was provided directly from The Onyx Path and all artist credit goes to them, we thank them for sending us material. If you’re into seeing a game played you can watch/hear people playing it via the fantastic Geek And Sundry who are doing a Pugmire Twitch show. Take a look at this interesting twist on a standard RPG and let us know what you think via the comment section or Reddit, Twitter and Facebook

Author: catharsisjelly

Geek, writer, baker and traveller. Open minded introvert with a slight extrovert streak

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