Rafael ran the Pathfinder version of Cat and Mouse, and he shared some of his notes about the experience with us! Take a peek at what you might encounter in the adventure, but be aware that you’ll see spoilers!
Recently, we played the Pathfinder version of Cat and Mouse. The party consisted of an aasimar bard, a female gnoll barbarian, and a tosculi blight druid. I like this setting because you can have such a diverse and original party composition. Midgard in general (and especially Southlands) does this very well.
The description of the NPCs in the module is great and helped me a lot when roleplaying them. I used a mellow, rhythmic voice mixed with purrs for Henna and an annoying high-pitched laughter for Haakan. My players loved it. The descriptions also helped with their personalities. I described the large feast at Hakaan’s table and then he told the players that he would love to offer them some food, but there was only enough for one (himself). The players were served only water!
Two things must be said, though: first, I think the module should have provided a few pieces of artwork depicting the main NPCs of the adventure (at least Raheed, Henna, and Hakaan). In an adventure so centered on theses NPCs, it should had been worth it, especially since they are so out of the ordinary. Second, the description of Haakan’s home is nice but seems like a waste. Most parties will probably not explore it beyond the courtyard.
When I ran the Bastet cat scene, it turned out to be a very funny, light encounter. My players had a lot of laughs as the gnoll barbarian was charmed into petting the cat and the tosculi druid was hit with eggs for killing one of the chickens in the cart. The laundry women were also a joy to roleplay. Their dirty talk took the players by surprise and the bard had to kiss “aunt” Oumayna to get the information they needed. Promises of date invitations were made and I used the “seer” to foreshadow some glimpses of the Tomb of Tiberesh (the next module I intend to run for them).
They went straight to Festering Heth’s shop, but the gnoll fooled them and sent the party to Raheed’s home. There they met the ratfolk and discovered that Raheed was imprisoned inside Heth’s shop. The ratfolk were really upset because Raheed had promised them that with the money from the eye they would go to “the land of eternal cheese.”
The party came back to Heth’s house ready to kick down the door. During combat, Heth was trapped in a corner and eventually killed with a nasty critical hit, but not before doing some serious damage with his bombs! After that, the bard convinced the gnoll brothers to go their own way while they dealt with the frenzied cheetah. By the way, it would had been useful to have the stats for the cheetah on hand, especially since it was templated (young). If you’re running this game, the template is easy to apply, but still took a little time to do it before combat could start (so consider preparing ahead of time). Later the party explored the house and eventually opened the trapdoor to the room where Raheed was. He immediately jumped and attacked the bard, but after a quick combat (in which Raheed mainly tried to escape), the wererat was killed with a 42 damage critical hit from the barbarian.
After the game was over, I kind of regretted having Raheed attack the party immediately. I played him like a cornered animal, but maybe I could have assumed that in that moment Raheed, seeing that the person entering the room was not his captor, would be capable of talking with the party. Alas, what’s done is done, but by killing Raheed, the party never got to learn how he found the eye.
By this point, the party was severely wounded and decided to rest inside Heth’s shop while deciding what to do with the eye. Unfortunately, none of them could identify the item on the spot, but the druid got close enough that I told him about the need to attune with the eye everyday. After much discussion, they decided that neither Mistress Henna nor Hakaan deserved the item, and so they decided to deliver it to the Temple of Bastet, or to whomever intercepted them on the way!
The next day, while on their way to the Temple of Bastet, both Henna and Hakaan intercepted the party. It was amazing to watch the group try to figure out what to do on the spot, with no idea of whom to ally with or what to do. As it turned out, the party killed Henna and one of her followers, who in turn killed some kobolds. Hakaan got away with his life and a single kobold slave left, swearing to take revenge upon the party.
After this, the party arrived at the temple of Bastet and requested to see the High Priest—as if! The PCs were directed to one of the priestess, where they told their story and delivered the eye. After the temple checked all the facts, the group received a generous reward both for delivering the eye and for helping capture the sacred cat. Roll credits.
After playing this module, I can say that Cat and Mouse was a very fun, short adventure worth a night of play. The key to making the module work lies on understanding the NPCs and making them interesting, while also reacting to the party decisions and not forcing them to follow a specific path. All the scenes were well developed and unique, and the descriptions in the module helped a lot in roleplaying NPCs. There are many ways for the party to solve all the obstacles they have to face in this adventure, and it’s quite possible to beat them all without ever drawing a weapon. It’s very rare to see a published adventure that does not resort to any sort of railroad, which is something that I appreciate a lot.
In the end, I can honestly say that we had a wonderful night playing this module, and I think this is the best and most sincere compliment I can give it.