When breeding KittyCatS!, one of the most important considerations is the relative dominance of the trait values.
Most breeding discussions presume full knowledge of the trait values, and the dominance relationships between the values.
In actual practice, however, neither the trait values, nor their dominance relationships are known. They must be discovered by the breeders.
Saga's Charts represent the current state of knowledge on this subject. The purpose of this section is to lay out the basic rules by which the information in Saga's Charts was inferred from actual results observed through the course of the game.
Before we can begin to infer dominance relationships, we need a solid understanding of the underlying mechanisms. So, before you begin, be sure you understand everything in Breeding Basics.
We start with nothing more.
Everything which follows is simply another way of looking at the basic rule of trait values: for two different trait values, one is more dominant, and the other more recessive.
Initially, we know nothing at all about dominance other than that some traits are more dominant and some are less.
We need a Handle .. something we can grab hold of and begin to determine which traits are more dominant, and which are less.
That Handle is exemplified in the image at the top of this page. If we had taken a Black and a Red and received a Red offspring, we would have no way of knowing if Red is more dominant than Black or if the Black parent simply hid Red, Green or Blue.
The only way we can get started is breeding like-to-like. Since we know Black is equal to Black, when we get something different (Red, in the example) we learn something about dominance!
We know both parents were Black. So anything they hide must be equal to, or more recessive than Black. The Red's appearance must be the more dominant of the offspring's two trait values. But it's not Black. So it must have been hidden .. more recessive .. in one (or both) of the parents (the other could hide it, as well, or could hide something even more recessive .. we just don't know).
OK. So this seems basic and obvious. But, if we never bred like-to-like, we'd never be able to begin to infer the dominance relationships between the trait values.
So far, in the example, we bred Black to Black and learned Red was more recessive than Black when it appeared as an offspring.
Now, we could breed Black to Black and see Green or Blue appearing, learning a bit more. But what happens if we breed Red-to-Red and see Blue?
Well, that tells use Red is dominant to Blue. And we already know Black is dominant to Red. So, without ever needing to breed Black-to-Black and finding a Blue result, we know Black is dominant to Blue.
Now, we could go on breeding like-to-like, and eventually (way in the future!) we'd learn all the dominance relationships. But, if we have some knowledge already, we can leverage it to get more and don't need to breed like-to-like all the time.
Since we bred Black and Black and learned Red was recessive to Black, what happens, for examle, if we breed Black to Red? Again, we're looking for something different! Every now and then, we'll get lucky and find it.
So far, in this running example, we've bred Black-to-Black as seen Red. And we've bred Red-to-Red and seen Blue. We know Black is dominant to Red and Blue, and Red is dominant to Blue. We've not seen Green yet. But, in the course of our breeding Black and Red together, Green appears. What does that tell us?
When we breed two different trait vaues together, and we know the dominance relationship between them, if we see something different it's more recessive than the more dominant of the parents. So, if our Black and Red parents give us a Green offspring, we have learned that Green is recessive to Black.
Don't jump the gun here. Green could still be dominant to Red! If it were, and the Black parent carried the Green, we'd see Green no matter what the other, Red, parent passed to the offspring.
As we learn more and more about the dominance relationships between the trait values, we can begin to use the parents (and even further back in the offspring's heritage) to learn even more. These cases can get complex and won't be covered here. So, take extreme care to only use what is already known and proven.
At the heart of it, though, now matter how complex the specific case, determining the dominance relationships is simply a matter of taking what is already known, and proven, and applying the basic rule: for two different trait values, one is more dominant, and the other more recessive.