Last night, my fledgeling Thursday group got together to play Cat: Revised, by John Wick.
Like Our Last Best Hope, Cat is a story game, so the main focus is on storytelling and “what do you do?” types of questions. Unlike Our Last Best Hope, however, Cat has a GM/Narrator who helps drive the story along and spring surprises on the players.
I was the Narrator last night, but the storytellers were definitely the players. A big part of GMing story games is “get out of the players’ way!”
Last night, we had 3 players: Lee, Justin, and Brian. Lee played “Cardamom,” an all-seeing feline whose owner runs a food stall in the marketplace. Justin played “Salvatore,” a beautiful long-haired creature with yoga-loving owners. Brian played a high-magic cat named Delphi who had a young girl as his human. His young girl’s mom was the head doctor in the medical bay.
Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention that part. When we were deciding on setting, I suggested that our map be a space station.
At first, there was some hesitation, but once they embraced it and started planning out the modules and zones of the station, they really got into it.
Suddenly, we had a space station populated by dogs, a number of weird scientific lab animals, a few pests (cockroaches are always present), and of course, our three cat heroes.
I decided on a fairly simple premise: something bad had just been brought onto the station, and the normal cat dynamic of fighting boggins (unseen monsters that cats protect humans from) and avoiding dogs was interrupted for the day. What was brought on board was a strange, alien “goo” that did something to people in the dreamland, erasing them entirely. It may, in fact, have been the very essence of Boggin.
Things were further complicated as the medical bay and docking bay were shut down and locked into quarantine due to the goo.
As things progressed, the cats found that Delphi’s human was ensnared in this terrible goo, and one of the more crazed critters from the science lab (an insane gecko named only “THE GECKO… that’s MISTER THE GECKO, to you, bub!”) was somehow involved and probably working with the goo in some way.
In the end, they defeated the goo for now, by waking up the people who needed to be awoken (i.e.: we started running low on time, to be honest).
For the next time we play, I should definitely re-read the combat rules, since I didn’t run them at all correctly and the cats and other critters should definitely have taken a lot more damage through their shenanigans. Nonetheless, the game went fairly well, with very story-oriented play at the table overall.
Also: I did a pretty good job of staying out of their way in telling the story.
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