Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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Cat: In which you play a cat. Or, sometimes, a dog.

In my Sunday RPG group yesterday, we played Cat (Revised92647 and Expanded), by John Wick. It’s a fun, lightweight RPG in which you play a Cat.

It has pretty much everything you could ask for in an RPG, in 48 pages:

  • A simple dice-pool mechanic that anyone who can count to 6 can use.
  • A built-in conflict (cats are the protectors of the world, against the invisible Boggins, which represent various negative emotions, like envy and depression)
  • A magic system that isn’t too burdensome.
  • A set of text-based traits (cat reputations) that can be applied to your actions for a bonus.
  • Benny dice (bonus dice you can bank up in various ways)
  • A non-realworld setting where you can break the laws of physics.

What it needs:

  • Clearer instructions for creating boggins and other enemies on the fly, or statted templates.
  • A cheat sheet for players and GMs.

I drew a rough map of the town and had everyone add their characters’ homes to it and describe how they know each other, and some of their backstories.

In our game yesterday, we had:

  • Fuzzball, a cat from a wealthy family
  • Professor F, a British-accented cat who lives with an elderly woman next to the school
  • Sweetie, a kind of distractable cat who lives in a lighthouse
  • Chocolate, a chocolate labrador service dog (and his human, Bobby).

What I’d planned, roughly, was that there is a very dangerous boggin in town, and Sweetie has seen it in the dreamland and needs to kill it. Meanwhile, Fuzzball’s housekeeper recently left the house with a green-eyed boggin (envy). What I ended up with was about an hour trying to get these cats and a dog to all end up in the same place at the same time (PLEASE, people! RPG characters have to be pro-active! Yes, it’s meta-gaming, but for crying out loud!) and once there, they decided to work together to find Fuzzball’s housekeeper and fight her boggin, at least.

The PCs went to “Susan’s” house and found that she had gone to “visit Michael” and that she’d taken some flowers from her garden. I asked Professor F where she might have gone, and she suggested the hospital. After a moment’s thought, she said “no, wait– the cemetary,” because the hospital wasn’t on the map.

I drew a hospital on the map.

They ended up at the hospital. Because Chocolate was a service dog, everyone at the hospital knew him already and was happy to see him. His human went to visit a friend there, so the cats and dog were all at the hospital to fight boggins. Eventually, they found the biggest boggin in the hospital, a “heavy” (depression) that was weighing down a doctor and had even planted spider-like eggs all over her.

They fought valiantly, eventually killing the boggin! By then, it was 4 and time to wrap up. Sweetie determined this was in fact the boggin he’d dreamed about. Our heroic cats went home to dinner, but of course, poor Susan’s boggin is still around…. perhaps to be faced in a future adventure!

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