Cat Wizard

C_W“You press “go”. Three other avatars start blinking dully on the screen. Looking up, you see three other faces peering over their bus seats. Looking around, trying to identify the other wizards. Your eyes connect. Finally one of you, a woman in her late twenties with a snake pattern tattooed on her neck, gets up from her seat. Approaches you, waves at the others. She leans in, smelling of cigarettes. “Are you ready to do this fucking thing”?

Cat Wizard is a roleplaying game about a renegade app and its maverick users. The app is banned from app stores in its current incarnation, but is still downloaded and put to use by those who want to affect change in themselves and the world. (…)”

Download the game here (PDF).

Cat Wizard won the competition Båtsj today. It had a setup similar to Game Chef: make a playable roleplaying game in a week.

As one of the authors, together with Trond Ivar Hansen, I must admit I don’t really think we delivered that. But it’s a nice concept sketch, with some good ideas we might develop further someday.

It’s the first time in a couple of years we’ve had a competition like this locally. Michael Stensen Sollien ran the R.I.S.K competition for about ten years, the last time was in 2013. It resulted in some of the earlier games you find on this blog, and created a good creative buzz in our tiny community of game designers.

Båtsj, this year’s new competition, was hosted by Christine Vean and the Facebook group 6 games were delivered by the deadline. By way of comparison, the recent international #Threeforged contest had 102 contributions. And the annual international Game Chef now runs parallel competitions in several languages.

For Båtsj, the games could be written in any of the Scandinavian languages or English. The winner, Cat Wizard, happened to be one of two English contributions. The other one was Bunker 13 by Wilhelm Person. The experienced Swedish game designer has promised he’ll develop the concept further in the coming months. Check out his contribution here.

It was fun and frustrating to try out this kind of challenge again, and I really liked the buzz it created in our teeny tiny scene. Just like the good old days.


1. it is possible there is love. let us pretend there is. but not in this game.
2. you still need love. or money. or something else. you need.

your character wants something. they are driven by it.
they might admit it to themselves.
they might not.
you will play with one other person.
their character also wants something.
you have it.

you want love, to be loved. you work hard and make money.
they want money. they can fake love.
you want to be good. you can provide a house, stability.
they want safety. they can fake that you’re a good person.

the lie
you never, ever, ever say out loud what you want. you never, ever, ever say out loud what you provide.
neither do they.

the scenes
1. you meet. you talk about whatever, do whatever.
underneath it all, the animals inside you sense that the other can provide what you want.
keep on talking about whatever.
do whatever.

2. you are apart.
the need.
you have found someone who can provide.

3. you meet again, and again.
let’s see some short scenes. montage. just sentences, vignettes.

4. now what?
how long do you keep it up?
let’s see some more scenes.
and more.
and more.

5. did you say it out loud?
did you mention it?
what happened?
what happens now?

6. can you live with each other, and with yourself?
this might be a happy ending.
or a redemption.
or splitting up.

7. epilogue
fun! will you fall into the same pattern?
will you break free?
who the hell are you, really?

Do You Want To Interact With Me At All We Are Adult Strangers Right Now !!!

These are two games with the same title. (Which I got from Jackson Tegu!)


1. First, the easy game. This is a short game for 4 players, which will take 5-15 minutes depending on your mood.

Two players will be the Commuters. They will be silent for the entire duration of the game. They will communicate with eye contact and facial expressions. As the game progresses, they may choose to become more physical, possibly touching.

Two players will be the Human Dream. They will do the talking, describing the inner life and soul of the Commuters – possibly a form of shared subconscious or dream. Sometimes, they will briefly announce stops and portray other passengers.

The game ends when one of the Commuters gets off at a stop.

The game goes like this:

– The Commuters sit facing each other on chairs. They both look down. Perhaps they have phones they’re playing with or papers they’re reading.

– At some point, their roaming eyes meet and lock. This signals the beginning of the game.

– One of the Human Dreams starts talking. They describe some image or thought that arises from the Commuters. Do NOT specify which Commuter; this might come from any of them, or both of them together. – The other Human Dream continues. This goes back and forth.

– Meanwhile, the Commuters can, if they choose, do little physical things. Put down phones, or scratch, or smile, or make facial expressions. Sometimes there are stops:

– After a while, one of the Human Dreams can announce a STOP. This means the train or bus or whatever stops and lets new passengers on. Say the name of the stop, and talk in that loud abrasive loudspeaker voice that all commuters know.

– The other Human Dream very briefly portrays one or more other passengers, saying a few words or lines that commuters might say when getting on the bus/train.

– At this point, any of the Commuters may choose to end the game by getting up and leaving. If not, the game continues, with the Human Dreams talking.


2. Then, the hard game. This is very simple, but also hugely challenging, and there’s no saying what it will lead to.

When commuting, try to find someone friendly-looking to sit next to.

Think back on your childhood, on what you used to do when you were on the bus or train.

Then start a conversation with this line: “I remember when I was a kid and rode the (bus/train), I used to…”

See what happens.

“Don’t Read the Comments!” (A new game).

A while ago, there were all these comments on Twitter about the different stretch goals for James Wallis’ “Alas Vegas” kickstarter. On a random impulse (both because I love James Wallis & his games, and because I like to make fun of all these Kickstarter campaigns that are everywhere), I wrote:

“If the KS for @JamesWallis‘ ALAS VEGAS reaches £20K, I write a completely unrelated mini game just for the hell of it and put it on the net.”

And it did.

So I did.


Oh no… you went and did it again. You’re sitting there reading the comments. The news article itself was actually pretty interesting… so why the hell didn’t you just leave it? Why did you enter this realm of trolling, strawmen, false dichotomies, badly concealed agendas, and ideological sewage?

It’s too late now. You feel yourself being drawn into it. Into the comment itself. That one, on the screen, there.

It’s not just somebody’s warped, malicious, imbecilic and ignorant idea anymore.

Now it’s reality. And you’re inside it.

Luckily, you brought your friends.


Read it here! (And feel free to comment, too!)

Three encounters with yourself by means of guided and alert meditations in a natural setting

I’ve got a virus, and spring is coming, so here goes the head.

The title of this game is because I tried writing something atmospheric, but it ended up being pretentious and clichéd, which would prevent people from understanding what the game was about.

The idea is simple. Do this:

– Go outside with two friends. Be sure to dress right for the climate; you need to be comfortable.

– At some point, one of you will guide one of the others in an encounter with the supernatural.

– Then go to a new place. A new person will be the guide; the previous guide will have an encounter.

Okay. So what’s an encounter?

An encounter means that you get into a headspace where you, for a while, believe in something that isn’t there. You imagine a forest creature, for instance. You talk to it. You feel its presence. As you touch the bark on the tree, you feel how it manifests itself.

At the same time, it lives inside you, because everything we see is made from something we carry within us. We’re part of a big channel of energies and modes of being, and here, you allow the expression of one of them through your imagination and interaction.

Your guide will mostly ask you questions, and encourage you to see and open up.

What’s the supernatural?

This will be some form of natural spirit or force, for instance: a water nymph, a stone spirit, Crow or Coyote, a huldre, etc.

Any more tips?

Play slow, and take it as it comes. Don’t expect anything huge or mind-blowing. You’re just letting some stuff out, some stuff in, breathing. Let the mood guide you.

La Máscara de la Muerte Roja – an Archipelago scenario

José Carlos de Diego Guerrero has written a scenario using Archipelago. My Spanish isn’t very good, but the game seems to have an interesting take on scenario setup, with several decks of cards describing characters (Ada Lovelace, Robur el Conquistador), elements (the Babbage machine, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), locations (Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace), connections, motivations and destinies.

This looks like a very fun and interesting setup – check it out here!


Øivind Stengrundet, designer of “Wanderer” (it’s in the Nørwegian Style book), has gone forth and designed this game – “L.A.R.S.”

L.A.R.S. is a universal roleplaying system designed to be fast and easy to use. The rules are few and flexible, making them perfect if you’re just out to play a quick adventure. But, they can also be used for campaigning, and examples are given on how to adapt the system to your own setting.

Download the rules here!