Steve Jackson Games GURPS – Generic Universal RolePlaying System

GURPS Horror – Cover

Horror: Nightcat

a solo adventure for GURPS Horror
Copyright (c) 1988 by John Nowak.


"Nightcat" is a solitaire adventure for GURPS Horror, although the worldbook is not needed to play. Your character is in a world where some nightmares are real, while others are not.

Your Character

This adventure was designed for characters without magic or psionic skills. The Intuition advantage is only really useful in a gamemastered adventure; this adventure makes no provisions for it. Since any Dependent NPCs and Enemies will not show up in this adventure, it's not fair to take them. Aside from that, feel free to design any 100-point character you'd like. If the following skills aren't purchased, please calculate your character's defaults in them. You may consider this a hint for character design, though of course some may be red herrings. They are presented in alphabetical order.

  • Animal Handling
  • Botany
  • Driving/7/Car
  • First Aid
  • Guns/7/Pistols
  • Knife
  • Occultism
  • Research
  • Riding/Horse
  • Running
  • Streetwise
  • Throwing
  • Tracking
  • Veterinary

Your Equipment

Your character owns a .45 pistol, and anybody can get a good knife. You live alone in a fairly respectable three-room apartment (kitchen/dining room, living room, bedroom, and bath). Your job allows you to work more or less freelance: you won't have to devote any time to it in the course of this adventure. You do not have immediate access to high-tech weaponry (flamethrowers, LAWs . . .) or to mystic defenses (silver crucifix, holy water . . .). You do, however, have a silver carving knife which is not balanced for throwing (-3 to skill), and a supply of garlic powder. At times, some options simply are not available to you unless you can make a knowledge skill roll: please keep in mind that you are playing a character, not yourself.

The Police

Police are nice people, but they just don't understand the specialized needs of paranormal investigators. If at any point you decide to go to the police with your story, you'll be sent to the giggle-works. At best, you are prone towards paranoid delusions and a warped view of reality; at worst, you are a maniac responsible for a killing spree. Either way, you're out of the game.

Location

You live in New York City in the late 1980s. You are not in Dodge City in 1880. People do not carry weapons openly on the street, and carrying a concealed weapon gets the police very annoyed. If, at any time, you fire your gun in public, you will be nabbed by the cops unless you make a Streetwise roll. This roll is at -5 during daylight hours.

Time

You may have the option of doing research. If you do, it will be necessary to keep track of passing time. In most cases, you will simply be told what time it is.

Sleep

It is possible to sleep any time you are at your apartment, unless you woke from sleep less than six hours ago. To sleep six hours, just write the time you will be asleep before going to the next paragraph. If you sleep less than six hours in a 24-hour period starting at midnight, you must roll against your HT for each hour of sleep you have missed. Each roll which you miss gives you a Sleep Point. Sleep Points are used as negative modifiers for all HT, DX, and IQ rolls. Two hours of sleep remove one Sleep Point. The six hours of required sleep do not remove Sleep Points. Example: it's midnight and you haven't taken out any time to sleep in the past 24 hours. You missed 6 hours of sleep, so you must roll against your health 6 times. You fail the first roll: log one Sleep Point. Your next HT roll is at -1. If you make the five remaining rolls, you will have to sleep eight hours tomorrow to get rid of the Sleep Point, or make all your rolls at -1 for the entire day.

Fright Checks

At some points in the adventure, you will be asked to roll a Fright Check. The results of failing a Fright Check are not consistent with the rules in the Basic Set. Since the most likely result of failing a Fright Check is to lose time (ten seconds or thirty, through stunning or nausea), this is only a slight bending of the rules.

Start with Paragraph 1:

1

It's 12:30 in the morning and you're out for a walk. It's a cool moonlit night and Manhattan is about as beautiful as it gets. Which can be very beautiful indeed. The muted light of the streetlamps is reflected in the rippling water pouring from an open hydrant. You pause, realizing that somebody should really call the Fire Department, when you find your eyes drifting to a dark shape in an alley's puddle of darkness. Was it moving? Make a Vision roll: if you pass, go to 47; if you fail, go to 96.

2

It is Tuesday night. Even if you are equipped, you realize that you have no idea where to go hunting for the nightcat, so you must remain home tonight. Of course, you could wander the streets of Manhattan at random . . . you laugh ironically and put that foolishness from your mind. Decide how many hours you will sleep, if any, and go to 127.

3

Despite horriffic dreams of teeth and glinting eyes and angry growl, despite checking the lock on your door over and over between the dreams, the night passes without incident. It is Thursday morning, and you rise from your sweat-drenched sheets with the sick realization that it is the day of the full moon. You can spend the day reading papers (183), or searching Central Park (91).

4

The precious vial shatters on the wall. The water darkens the paint, just as mundane water would: and for all the good it did you, it might as well have been dipped directly from the East River. Before you can catch your breath, the nightcat is upon you. Go to 100.

5

"You don't know what you're doing," you start to say. Your mind races, desperately, seeking the one item, the one possibility which will save your life: but you feel despair and fear clenching your throat. "Yes, I do," she says, and laughs. "I am the werecat. And you might be dangerous to me." There is a manic joy in her eye. She enjoys this: at least, you think, the nightcat was only a hunter. You can fight (103), or you can continue to play along (161), hoping against hope that she will prolong the game.

6

Roll against your Streetwise skill. If you succeed, go to (110): if you fail, go to (174).

7

You spin the pentagram; it starts twirling like a top, suspended in midair, like some exotic Christmas decoration. You barely have time to perceive it: the nightcat doesn't even slow down. With shock, you realize she's not a demon. She tenses her muscles, flashes teeth and claws, and strikes at you. Go to 100.

8

Like Dad always said, you muse to yourself, you should never press a cat. With inhuman beauty, she glides gracefully out the window, scrambles down the wall, and vanishes into the night. Go to 53.

9

If it is after 8:00 p.m., you must go to 2. Otherwise, you may stay and do more research (137), or try to do research somewhere else (65). You may also attempt to equip yourself (187).

10

After a few minutes of scuffling about, something inhuman starts scratching, and then pounding on your bedroom door. The door is vibrating madly: the force outside is venting pure anger against it. Your eyes light on the telephone: you might have time to call the police before the door breaks (52), or you can wait (112).

11

As far as you can tell, your research leads you to suspect there are two possibilities. The nightcat might be a rather powerful werecat (since the full moon isn't until Thursday) or it might be an assassin demon. You may try to equip yourself (187) or go back home (2).

12

"She has killed your people. There is nothing you can do for her but kill her. I beg you to let me take her." Do you reconsider (87) or do you resort to violence (131)?

13

The room fills with a deep blue strobe light; the nightcat stretches her long black form towards you in a stop motion pounce, her silken motion frozen by the flashing light. As she whips by you, she strikes with her claws. Make a Dodge roll. If you succeed, go to 88. If you fail, go to 100.

14

It is Wednesday morning, and you are out of coffee. For an instant, disappointment over this triviality drives the thought of the nightcat far from you. If you have the victim's wallet, turn to 130. If not, you can try to get your place fixed up (123) by calling the superintendant, or you can try to get some information on the street (150).

15

Make a Fright Check at +5. If you fail by five points or more, go to 195. If you fail, go to 177. If you pass, go to 158.

16

At midnight, someone starts pounding on your door. It is an angry, mad pounding: almost mindless. You may shoot through it (132), let it in (35), or wait (147).

17

Make an Animal Handling roll at +5. If you fail by ten or more points, go to 100. If you fail, go to 86. If you succeed, go to 155.

18

Add two hours. You are at the Public Library. The harried librarian is clearly losing patience with you. Make a Research roll at -3. If you fail, go to 146. If you succeed, go to 193.

19

That night, she creeps through your window to visit you again. This time, she has brought her cub: a tiny, warm bundle of fur and teeth and eyes which have not yet opened. You feed her, and she allows you to stroke her and her baby (she eyes you suspiciously but doesn't get angry). She curls up on your couch, nurses, and falls asleep; apparently quite comfortable with you. You may try to kill her while she sleeps (190) or let her go in the morning (181).

20

The Bronx Zoo closes at 6:00 p.m. If it is after 5:00 p.m., you must go to 2. If not, you may choose between doing more Research (43) and going back home (65).

21

Soon, it moves out on four awkward limbs; the nightcat's cub. Its fur is a silver-haloed black; the promise of power and speed obvious in every shape of its form. It looks at you frankly with unafraid eyes and mews expectantly. You can leave (156), kill the cub (94), attempt to take the cub with you and search the nest for clues (186), or search the pile for clues and leave the cub alone (25).

22

You are in the hotel room on Wednesday night. Like all hotels, it is overpriced: but comfortable, if soulless and completely lacking in character. You muse briefly about people who are forced to live in hotels: do they begin to enjoy this grim sterility? Decide which hours you will spend sleeping, and go to 160.

23

Not surprisingly, the creature bolts away, vanishing into the night. An animal will usually run. You may pursue it (83), or inspect the gashed flesh which was its victim (117).

24

You have hit her with a silver bullet, doing 2d+1 damage. An angry howl fills the air. She has HT 10. If you have killed her, go to 61. If you have knocked her unconscious, go to 181. Otherwise, go to 49.

25

You find a note, fastidiously written with black ink on white paper: it says "Come to the Heaviside Club, 172 West 32nd Street." You sigh. An obvious trap: or an obvious attempt to link with an ally. You can go there (48), or go home (119).

26

A helpful librarian tells you about an occult library and suggests you try doing research there, since this library doesn't really have what you need. She does not seem to be trying to get rid of you: and you realize that there are many specialized texts which even superb libraries will not carry. You may go to the occult library (142), or you can go back to your apartment and try to run down another clue (44).

27

You rub your eyes: the ill-printed books have given you a headache. You may spend another three hours doing research, or you can give up. Roll your Research skill at -2. If you succeed, go to 136. If you fail, go to 36. If you quit, go to 44 and take another course of action.

28

She skitters shyly away from you and repeats herself. Her face is plaintive, expectant. You can try to feed her (113), keep walking towards her (173), or stand warily (118).

29

The pistol flies away from you, into his hand. A tear comes to your eye: the trigger guard has torn flesh from your knuckle. Go to 178.

30

In a parish home for the homeless, you hear a rumor that street people are avoiding Central Park at night, even more so than usual. Apparently, the police have found four to six partially-eaten corpses stuffed into trees in the park; it's being kept quiet to avoid copycat crimes. Rumors like this are common, but this seems it could be horribly real. Go to 55.

31

She streaks through the window, vanishing as silently and as completely as a nightmare of black silk. Go to 153.

32

"Werecat? How big a werecat?" His eyes are slightly curious, but oddly relaxed. Is he stringing you along? You can give him the correct information (71) or pretend it was a joke and go home (119).

33

The bowl arcs beautifully, spilling water as it flies. It crashes into her gun hand, and the water splashes against her. She starts screaming; from either fear, pain, or released tension, you can't tell and you don't fully understand. You can either scramble for the gun (198) or engage her hand-to-hand (154).

34

You have hit her with a silver knife. Do normal damage to her. She has HT 10. If you have killed her, go to 61. If you have knocked her unconscious, go to 181. Otherwise, go to 49.

35

You open the door, and see Paula Schreck, the widow of the nightcat's victim. She rushes into the room, carrying a gun. Go to 124.

36

The Bronx Zoo closes at 6:00 p.m. If it is after 5:00 p.m., you must go to 109. If not, you may choose between doing more Research (27) and going back home (44).

37

Why did the holy water do that? It only has an effect on were-forms. And then you realize: she was a cat who was a were-human. Go to 138.

38

"Werecat? Is that anything like a werewolf?" you ask innocently. She looks at you strangely and you bite your tongue. "I don't have the time or the inclination to play games. We can either discuss this matter like adults, or I'll call the police," she says, irritated. Do you agree to talk (77), do you leave (57)?

39

You're not certain what this means. Decide which hours you will sleep and go to 139.

40

The holy water splashes against her. She screams and drops to her knees. Soon, her scream turns animal; a throaty, terrified agony of a frightened beast, which is somehow even more disturbing. Her face distorts, dark silky fur begins to grow. She tears her clothing off furiously, turns around twice, sits down, and looks at you, puzzled. Go to 181.

41

You pray that the eldritch power of silver and your skills will be enough. But before you can can try to cut her, she strikes. Roll three dice. If the result is less than 16, she has hit you: make a Dodge roll. If you succeed, go to 88. If you fail, go to 100. If she misses you, roll against your Knife skill. If you succeed, go to 46. If you fail, go to 102.

42

You hear an animal's scream of fear and agony. You have done 2d+1 damage to her; she has DR 2 and HT 15. If you have killed her or knocked her unconscious, go to 68. Otherwise, She flashes past you; make a DX roll. If you succeed, go to 78. If you fail, go to 31.

43

You are at the zoo. Add four hours. Make a Research roll at -2: if you succeed, go to 63; if you fail, go to 20.

44

Once again, it is time to gird your loins and go against the darkness . . . at 9:00 a.m. in the morning, you can start investigating. If you make an Occultism roll, you may go to an occult library you know of (142). Or, you may go to the Public Library (120), or to the Bronx Zoo (165). If if is after 8:00 p.m. and everything is closed, go immediately to 109.

45

Do you want to mention werecats (69) or do you skirt the matter? (97)

46

Your knife bites deeply into powerful muscle. She has HT 15 and 2 DR. If she is unconscious or killed, go to 68. Otherwise, go to 158.

47

You see someone lying in the gutter. For a moment, you think he's drunk when, like a nightmare, part of the shadow moves. You hear a deep, angry, feline growl; see a flash of reflecting green eyes over bared, white teeth. For a horrible instant, the only sound is blood dripping from the nightcat's chin into the savaged chest of its victim. Make an Fright Check at -2, or -5 if you came here by way of paragraph 96. If you fail by 5 or more points, go to 199. If you fail, go to 179. If you succeed, go to 92.

48

It's odd, very odd. What's more, it makes very little sense. If the werecat is an animal, how could it leave a message like that; if it isn't why would she? It's probably just a piece of insignificant scratch paper, but it's worth a look. The club is quiet and small; an immaculate jewel in Art Deco. Business isn't that good; a waiter comes to you immediately. You can order food and go home (119) or you can ask the waiter about werecats (32).

49

She fires her gun. She has an adjusted skill of 16. If she hits, you may dodge. If you take damage, go to 93. If you take no damage, go to 124.

50

The speaker is Paula Schreck, Max's widow: a short, quiet woman who does not look quite as sad as a widow perhaps should. Do you ignore her (54) or strike up a conversation (45)?

51

The glass strikes the nightcat square on her snout and shatters. She spits out a snarl and shakes her head explosively; she stares at you and growls deep in the back of her throat. She reminds you of a tiger sneezing. Go to 158.

52

You dial 911, fingers clumsy with fear. An eternity passes while the phone connects. You hear an operator's voice just as the door explodes inwards. Go to 175.

53

Well, at least she didn't try to kill you. Go to 19.

54

What a total, humiliating, waste of a day. You accomplished absolutely nothing worth while and you risked being discovered. A few more days like this and there will be one less paranormal investigator in the world . . . one way or another. Dejected, go to 55.

55

Decide what hours you will be asleep, if at all, and go to 3.

56

Make a Guns roll at -5. If you succeed, go to 76. If you fail, go to 31.

57

She smiles contemptuously and screams "POLICE!!" at the top her lungs. You run away; nobody seems to be following you. Go to 54.

58

Make an Acting roll at +3, or roll your IQ-2. If you have the Honesty disadvantage and do not have Acting, then roll your IQ-5. If you succeed, go to 107. If you fail, go to 122.

59

Roll against your Guns skill. If you fail, go to 49. If you hit her with silver bullets, go to 24. If you hit her with regular bullets, go to 98.

60

The nightcat waits expectantly for a moment, and makes the same sound again. It is an effort for her; she reminds you of someone trying to get a foreign-tongued person to understand by speaking clearly. Make an IQ roll at +3. If you succeed, go to 108. If you fail, go to 73.

61

Her body slumps to the ground, and rapidly turns into the nightcat. You haven't been fighting a werecat - you've been fighting a werehuman. End Game. Earn 4 EP.

62

You scramble away. A few blocks later, you realize you have either outrun the nightcat or, more likely, it has decided to return to its meal. You may go back to your apartment (149), or, if you can pass a simple Fright Check, you may wait for a while and go back to check on the remnants of the victim for clues (117). If you fail the Check, you must return immediately home: creatures of the night are best contemplated with the door locked, the lights on, and the blankets firmly tucked under one's feet.

63

With some regret, you realize that you saw nothing natural last night. This is a problem to be faced with magic and faith: not nets and mace. Go to 65 and follow another lead.

64

The Occult Library is a small, dusty, ill-kept store where books go to die. Its patrons are the simple-minded babblers; and college students looking for a bargain. You wonder if you are one of the mad. It closes at 9:00 p.m. If it is after 8:00 p.m., you must go to 109. If not, you may choose between doing more research (142) and going back home to pursue another path of inquiry (44).

65

Add one hour. You may try the Public Library (18), the Bronx Zoo (43), or, if you make an Occultism roll, a small occult library you know of (137).

66

She enjoys your show, and then starts firing. End game.

67

You fail to find anything else in Central Park. Go to 119.

68

The creature keeps moving; raw momentum and hate hurling its body across the floor. It slams, violently, against the plaster wall. The strange beauty in its eyes is gone; it is nothing more than meat. End game. Get 4 EP.

69

Which approach will you take: "What's a werecat?" (38) or will you acknowledge what's been happening to you (77)?

70

You stumble on your way out, and you feel death's raven strike you with its feathers. But despite your terror, it doesn't catch you. Go to 156.

71

As well as you can, you describe the werecat. The waiter nods gravely, and speaks. "Please don't look surprised or I will have you shot. Just get up and follow me into the kitchen." You can obey (95) or try to resist (162).

72

You bolt, trying to flee the thing, but you stumble. An instant after you hit the ground, it's on you and it's all over. End Game.

73

She looks sadly at you for a minute, and pads lightly over to the window. You can let her go (8), or you can try to stop her (194).

74

Despite the coolness, you feel sweat break out. It's following you. Roll against your DX. If you succeed, go to 62. If you fail, go to 72.

75

The mark of the pentagram means that you are the next target of a were-creature. The queasy terror is tinged with an obscure joy: one way or another, it will be over tonight. Go to 139.

76

You do another 2d+1 damage to her. If she is dead or unconscious, go to 68. Otherwise, go to 31.

77

This whole thing has been getting you down. It's not just the fear of death: you have doubted your own sanity. to hear someone else ask about werecats is a tremendous relief. "We shouldn't talk here," she says after you admit your project. "There's a chapel at the entrance to the cemetary. I'll meet you there after Max is buried." You can meet her (191) or go home without speaking to her further (54).

78

With incredible speed, she is bolting for the window. You may fire one more shot at her. Go to 56 if you fire; go to 31 if you don't.

79

Frustration makes you hit the table. Despite looking through all the papers as carefully as you could, you saw nothing which struck you as useful information. Go to 119.

80

Newspapers are printed to be cheap and disposable: they are not printed to be read all day. Your head aches from deciphering newsprint, but you think you may have found something. An ad in the Personals section attracts your eye: LOST: One female cat, black. Bad temper. Named "Werecat." Call 555-1212. Reward offered. At first you think it must be a coincidence. But then again, if someone were actually looking for the werecat, wouldn't this be a logical thing to do to try to attract someone else's attention? You can make the call (188) or decide to ignore it (119).

81

With horrifying rapidity, the transformation is complete. The werecat rips free of her confining clothing and stares coldly at you with green eyes. She has apparently decided you are not worth the trouble. Before you can react, she darts out the door and vanishes into the thick green. You thank the forces of light that she had a large breakfast that morning. Make an Occultism roll. If you succeed, go to 37. If you fail, go to 138.

82

Sometimes one's brain slips into a kind of overdrive: ignoring personal danger, it becomes a cold machine for analyzing data. With cool detachment you realize you have stumbled across a dangerous animal at its meal. Your stomach heaves. Go to 129

83

Forget it. It's gone. For all you know, you may have run right by it. It's been too many years since your ancestors were hunters. You may inspect the victim (117) or go home (149).

84

On your way out, you meet the dead cub's father. End game.

85

Roll a quick contest: your Hearing against 18. If you win, go to 105. If you lose, go to 15.

86

The nightcat skitters to a halt, the throw rug bunching under her weight and speed. She shakes her head as though confused, and spits. Then, moving with incredible fluidity, she bolts for the window. Go to 78.

87

"Thank you. Perhaps some day you will be good enough to visit the Heaviside Club," he says with a slight smile on his features. Was it a friendly smile? She follows him quietly enough. You sit down, exhausted. You will have to visit that club some day. End game. Earn 6 character points.

88

You twist out of the way of her claws at the last instant. She continues past you. Go to 158.

89

Decide when you want to sleep, if at all. Go to 3.

90

You hurl the vial of holy water at the nightcat just as her form stretches for a leap at you. Make a Throwing skill roll at -3. If you succeed, go to 51. If you miss, go to 4.

91

You've been searching Central Park all day. It's getting late and you're disgruntled. There is a creature in the city and you can't find it . . . if only this was a small village in Eastern Europe. A death's head smile tugs at your features and a passing cop eyes you suspiciously. You're walking past a rock formation, eating a hot dog, when you notice a small cave. You mind clicks. Cats are usually lair-dwellers. And there shouldn't be any caves in rock like this. . . do you get a flashlight and go in (152) or do you pass it by (67)? Note: If you have Claustrophobia, you will have to roll to enter. See the Basic Set, p. 27.

92

Your heart thuds angrily in your throat, but you're in control. A section of your mind photographs the creature before you. The nightcat does not have an animal's body; despite the thick black fur which covers it like a shadow, her body is like a human's and she probably stands erect. Add a +2 to your Research and +1 to Occultism for seeing this for the rest of this adventure. Make an Animal Handling roll. If you succeed, go to 82; if you fail, go to 129.

93

Her attack does 2d damage. If you are killed or knocked unconscious, go to 171. If you are stunned, go to 124 and assume your attacks will miss. If you can still attack, go to 124 and continue the fight.

94

The cub isn't difficult to catch; it seems to enjoy being picked up by you. It mews trustingly as your fingers knot against its throat. Its struggles don't last long, and soon you put its limp form back down. You may search the nest for clues (114) or leave (84).

95

They keep you prisoner for a few days, and release you unharmed. You never see the werecat again, and the Heaviside Club is burnt down. You may never know what sort of evil your life has brushed against, but at least you're alive. End Game. Earn 3 EP.

96

The primal fear of all New Yorkers: hardwired into the human brain before humanity evolved, adapted to the urban environment. The fear that is often felt, usually wrong, but never ignored. There's something behind you. Go to 47.

97

"I think this is the year of the Subway Series," you say glibly. She looks at you strangely and you bite your tongue. "We can either discuss this matter like adults, or I'll call the police," she says, irritated. Do you agree to talk (77), do you leave (54), or do you think she's bluffing (57)?

98

You have hit her with a lead bullet, doing 3 HT of damage. She has HT 10. If you have killed her, go to 61. If you have knocked her unconscious, go to 181. Otherwise, go to 49.

99

You fire through the door, and the gun bucks in your hand like a living thing and its sharp thunder fills the room. With luck, you can wing the nightcat through its thin wood. Roll against your Guns skill at -3. If you succeed, go to 116. If you fail, go to 189.

100

Her claws slash into your body and she twirls elegantly away, trailing your blood. The pain rips you an instant after the wound is made. You have been hit by the nightcat. Take 1d-2 of Cutting damage. If you are still on your feet, go to 158. Otherwise, you are her next meal. End the game.

101

The night passes without incidents more significant than nightmares. Go to 172.

102

Your knife thrust missed. Spitting and snarling, the nightcat goes by you and resumes her position. She is a harrier, striking and fleeing. Go to 158.

103

You're not certain what's going on, but you know when you've been threatened. If you simply rush her, she'll blow your head off - so you need to throw her off balance. The bowl won't hurt her, but it might distract her. You sweep your hand towards it. Roll against your DX. If you succeed, go to 33. If you fail, go to 180.

104

As the creature leaps, you fire your gun. Make a Guns/Pistols roll at -3 to your skill. If you succeed, go to 42. If you fail, go to 125.

105

You heard a soft click of claw against linoleum - you spin and find yourself facing the nightcat. Its elegant form coils itself as though to leap. Choose the weapon you use to find the paragraph you go to. Gun, 104. Silver Bullets, 140. Knife, 197. Silver Knife, 41. Pentagram, 7. Water, 90. Lamp, 176. Talisman, 17. Black Falcon, 167.

106

The Public Library closes at 6:00 p.m. If it is after 5:00 p.m., you must go to 109. If not, you may choose between doing more research (120) and going back home to pursue another path of inquiry (44).

107

It is not too difficult for you to fit in: there are a lot of people there, and one more slightly uncommunicative mourner is hardly noticed. You drift on the edges of conversation, and just as you have the irritated feeling that you're wasting your day, you hear someone ask, as though casually, "Do you believe in werecats?" If you choose to ignore it, go to 54; otherwise, go to 50.

108

You think you may be going crazy - but you think she just said, "Hungry." How intelligent is the creature? You can see what you have in your fridge (113), you can remain wary (118), or you can move slowly towards her (28).

109

It is Monday, you are at your apartment, it is late, and there's really nothing that will get you out into the dusk. You must rest tonight. Decide what time you will sleep (if at all), and go to 101.

110

You have the victim's wallet. His name was Max Schreck. This wallet may come in useful in the future. Go to (149).

111

Almost as an afterthought, she evades your clumsy attack and slams you against the wall. In that instant, you know you are dealing with more than human strength. Then her black mourning dress splits, revealing dark silky fur. Make a Fright Check. If you pass, go to 81. If you fail, go to 185.

112

Call the police-? And tell them what? Grimly, you wait. The door won't stand up to more of that battering. You can choose to wait longer (175), or if you have your gun, you may shoot through the door and hope to wing it. If you choose to fire, go to 99 if you have normal bullets, or 121 if you have silver bullets.

113

You have some cold spaghetti and some pizza, without anchovies. Neither seems very helpful. Then you find a 25-piece bucket of fried chicken which you stole from a party last Saturday. You put it on the table and pour yourself a cold one while she tears into the meat, bones and all. You realize that she is full towards the end of her feast, because she starts nibbling delicately around the bones. She finishes and looks at you. Do you reach your hand out (126) or stand still (118)?

114

In the nest, you find an intact purse. The identification in it says it belongs to someone named Paula Schreck who lives elsewhere on Manhattan. Go to 84.

115

You are startled to find there are a few references to a society of humanoid cats born of the Egyptian goddess Bastet, but the basten are called evil, while Bastet was a rather benign, hedonistic goddess. Her sister Sekhmet was something else, but the writings do specify Bastet. Or, it may have been a werecat. Werecats almost always have motive for what they do. Since the full moon is not until Thursday, then the werecat must have a firm hold on its human host: perhaps the human actually likes being a were creature. Weres are usually defeated by their human side; this could be very dangerous indeed. Go to 44.

116

The gun goes off, punctuated by a shrieking, yowling noise outside the door that is cut off abruptly. You can rush through the door (145), approach it cautiously (135), or wait until tomorrow morning to leave the bedroom (153).

117

He's dead, horribly so. His throat was torn open; his blood a crimson highlight against his pale terrorized face. You see that the soft parts of his body have been eaten. You may take his wallet (6) and go home; or you may just go home (149).

118

She looks sadly at you for a minute, and pads reluctantly to the window. You can either let her go (8) or try to stop her (194).

119

It is Thursday night. You see the full moon through your window. As you reach your hand up to close the curtain you see a glowing pentagram in your hand. Make an Occultism roll at +3. If you succeed, go to 75. If you fail, go to 39.

120

Add two hours. You are at the Public Library. Make a Research roll at -3. If you fail, go to 106. If you succeed, go to 26.

121

The gun bucks in your hand as you fire through the door, hoping that hot lead will stop it and that you can hit it without seeing it. Roll against your Guns skill at -3. If you succeed, go to 116. If you fail, go to 189.

122

"You seem a little uncomfortable. As though you've seen a werecat. Where did you say you met my husband?" Her voice is mild, almost casual, but there is no mistaking the meaning. She knows and she suspects you know. You can leave the area (54) or try to salvage the situation (50).

123

Obviously, the nightcat knows where you live. Or, more sinisterly, she may know where you are. Going elsewhere may confuse the trail, or it may simply take away your home-court advantage. Will you stay here (89), or find a hotel room for the night (22)?

124

You are fighting a woman in your room. Select the weapon you will use and go to the listed paragraph: Knife or Silver Knife (144); Gun (59); Holy Water (134). The other artifacts are useless against weres.

125

Your gun fires; but the nightcat changes course imperceptably, crashing into your arm. Make a DX roll. If you succeed, go to 78. If you miss, go to 31.

126

She moves so your hand glides over her head. You touch her ears and she begins to purr. She rubs her face lightly against your chest: marking you by scent. After a few minutes of this, she gets up abruptly, goes to your couch, and curls up. After dozing for less than an hour, she gets up and walks over to the window. You can try to stop her (194) or let her go (8).

127

At 10:00 p.m., one of the windows in your living room explodes inwards with a tremendous crash. Glass cascades to the floor with an unforgettable sound. Was there also a soft thump, an almost unnoticible touchdown of over one hundred pounds of hunting muscle? If you were asleep, you wake up with a start in your bedroom. Otherwise, you had just stepped into your bedroom for a moment. You may remain in your bedroom (10) or creep out to investigate (85).

128

Her soft growl turns into an open-jawed snarl. She twists angrily away from you and, hackles rising ominously, her warm breath smelling of decayed warm flesh, she slips behind you. Go to 158.

129

You are not armed. You can advance on the nightcat (23), or try to get away (74)

130

The funeral for Max Schreck, the man was killed by the nightcat on Monday morning, will be held later on today. According to the obituary, he was in the Army at the same time you were. It might be possible to pass yourself off as an old acquaintance from his days in the service. The problem is that there's no way you could hide your gun or equipment in your black suit. If you go, you will go unarmed. If you decide to try anyway, go to 58. If you don't think you will, go to 148.

131

He quietly constricts the arteries leading to your brain. When you wake up, you're alone. The game is over. Earn five character points.

132

Your gun fires. Make a Guns roll at -2. If you miss, go to 147. If you hit with normal bullets, go to 98. If you hit with silver bullets, go to 24.

133

A paranormal investigator must sleep lightly. You are killed in your sleep. End Game.

134

You tug the vial of holy water free and prepare to throw it. Roll against your Throwing skill. If you succeed, go to 40. If you fail, go to 169.

135

Carefully, gun out, you scout your apartment. You do not find the nightcat. Go to 153.

136

With some regret, you realize that you saw nothing natural last night. Once again, it is time to go against the darkness. Go to 44 and follow another lead.

137

Add four hours. You are at a little-known occult library. You wonder if any of the other patrons are like you, or if they are simply mad. Or, if you are simply mad. Make a Research roll at +3. If you succeed, go to 11. If you fail, go to 9. If you have a Critical Success, go to 170.

138

Heart thudding in your chest, you are able to get back to your home without incident. Perhaps you will never fully understand what has happened, but you never see the nightcat again, except in your dreams. End Game. Earn 4 EP.

139

If you are asleep at midnight, go to 133. Otherwise, go to 16.

140

Grimly, you aim your pistol and hope the silver bullets will fire normally. You fire as she leaps at you. Roll against your Guns skill at -3. If you succeed, go to 42. If you fail, go to 125.

141

You spend the day on the streets, but nobody seems to be talking. You sense that there is a haze of fear over the city, but you hear nothing useful. Dejected, you go back home. Go to 55.

142

Add four hours. You are at a little-known occult library. Among the dusty volumes there will be some answer. Make a Research roll at +3. If you succeed, go to 184. If you fail, go to 64. If you have a Critical Success, go to 115.

143

As ack-ack blasts your Spitfire to shreds and your body is torn by enemy fire, you realize you cheated to get to this paragraph and your fate is fully deserved. Shame on you. End Game.

144

Roll against your Knife skill. If you fail, go to 49. If you hit her with the silver knife, go to 34. If you hit her with the normal knife, go to 166.

145

Despite your search, you do not find the nightcat. Go to 153.

146

The Public Library closes at 6:00 p.m. If it is after 5:00 p.m., the impatient librarians will hustle you off to paragraph 2. If not, you may choose between doing more research (18) and going back home to pursue another path of inquiry (65).

147

The door splits open; a woman you may recognize as Paula Schreck rushes in. She is holding a gun, which she points at you. Even more frightening than the gun is her eyes: there is a mad exultation in them. Go to 124.

148

You shake your head dolefully. It's too risky. All it would take is one slip of the tongue and the police would be on you. Go to 14, but don't go to 130 the second time.

149

You are home and it is Monday. You may sleep if you wish. You're safe, for the moment. Maybe. You will certainly keep your .45 close by you when you're in your apartment. And your silver carving knife. Every time a cat howls in the distance, your skin turns clammy and your jaw trembles. At 9:00 a.m. in the morning, you can start investigating. Go to 44.

150

Add six hours, and roll your Streetwise skill. If you succeed, go to 30. If you fail, go to 141.

151

Risk fighting that thing, whatever it is, in close quarters?! You wisely decide that discretion is the better part of valor. Make a DX roll. If you fail, go to 70. If you succeed, go to 163.

152

You know that you're probably going to regret this, but you work your way into the tunnel. If you are Fat, go to 157. If not, go to 182.

153

It is Wednesday morning. You have to decide. You may tell the building superintendant about the break-in (192) or not (14).

154

With a desperate cry, you charge her. Roll a quick contest of skills: your hand-to-hand skill (Karate, Judo, Brawling, DX, whatever you choose) against 18. If you win, go to 159: if you lose, go to 111.

155

The nightcat changes her trajectory in midflight, the powerful shock adsorbers of her legs make her land behind you with a sound softer than your footstep. Quickly, you spin to face her; she looks curiously back at you. Her ears twitch forward, and she makes a soft-toned mewling sound cats don't normally make. Make an IQ roll. If you pass, go to 108, if you fail, go to 60.

156

You know where the nightcat - or a nightcat - lives, but you know she'll probably move her lair once she realizes you've been there. Go to 119.

157

Spiderwebs and grit in your face, you move slightly, and have the horrible feeling it was a mistake. You try to push yourself forward and fail; your only chance is to go backwards. After a few minutes of wriggling, you are able to leave the cave. Go to 67

158

The nightcat has flashed behind you. You spin to face her again. Holding her hands to strike, she tenses her legs as though to leap. Choose the weapon you use to find the paragraph you go to. Gun, 104. Silver Bullets, 140. Knife, 197. Silver Knife, 41. Pentagram, 7. Water, 90. Lamp, 176. Talisman, 17. Black Falcon, 167.

159

You hit her a good one, but she doesn't seem to notice. Her hands are distorting, turning to claws. Make a Fright Check. If you pass, go to 81. If you fail, go to 12.

160

It is Thursday morning and you are in a hotel. Tonight is the night of the full moon. It is time to think logically. The nightcat is an animal. An urban environment may be confusing to it. Your eyes drift to a tourist's map of Manhattan, and you suddenly note a huge rectangle of green in among the gray of concrete and steel: Central Park. You may spend the day searching Central Park (91), or reading the newspapers (183).

161

"Listen to me," you say. "You're under a curse. I might be able to help you break it -" "What makes you think I want to break it?" she asks, incredulous. "As a human, I'm half dead. The werecat has power, strength, speed - I can see in the dark, I can make people my prey. Humans are all half dead; you haven't seen or smelled or touched unless you use the senses of an animal. The time for talking is over. I want to see you squirm." To squirm, go to 66. If you think your only real chance is to fight, go to 103.

162

Shots ring out, but you don't hear the last ones. End Game.

163

By running and looking innocent, you escape without incident. Go to 156.

164

It is later than you thought; later than you'd like. It is too late to go anywhere else. Go to 109.

165

You are at the zoo. Spend four hours talking with a specialist on feline predators, and make a Research roll at -2: if you succeed, go to 136; if you fail, go to 27

166

Your knife has cut deep into muscle and flesh. Do the smallest possible damage you can do to her: but at least one point. She has HT 10. If you have killed her, go to 61. If you have knocked her unconscious, go to 181. Otherwise, go to 49.

167

What's a Black Falcon? Cheater. Find your own way back.

168

You mention that you have heard that Basten are malevolent. He sighs sadly. "Those same medieval writers blamed jews for Christ's death. Not all opinions are factual. I hope you can rise above xenophobia." If you agree to let him take her, go to 87. If you want to fight, go to 12.

169

She ducks and the precious vial of holy water crashes and shatters against the wall. Go to 49.

170

There are a few references to a society of humanoid cats born of the Egyptian goddess Bastet, but the basten are called evil, while Bastet was a rather benign, hedonistic goddess. Her sister Sekhmet was something else, but the writings do specify Bastet. It seems rather odd to you. On the other hand, it may have been a werecat. Unlike most weres, werecats almost always have some motive for what they do. Since the full moon is not until Thursday, then the werecat must have a firm hold on its human host: perhaps the human actually likes being a were creature. Weres are usually defeated by their human side; this could be very dangerous indeed. Go to 187.

171

The darkness closes in and never lifts. End Game.

172

It is Tuesday. You have two basic choices: you may continue to do the research you started yesterday if you have not finished it, or, if you think you know what you are dealing with, you may attempt to equip yourself. If you wish to do research, then go to paragraph 65 and play on. If you wish to equip yourself, go to 187.

173

Before you can react, she darts to the window and is gone. Go to 53.

174

The next day, some people from the police greet you: they'd like to know why they were able to find your fingerprints around a mutiliated corpse last night. After a brief search, they find the wallet. They are now very curious indeed. End Game. Get 2 EP.

175

The door splits open, and the nightcat slinks in. She has a body more human than animal, covered with thick black fur. You'd guess that she's about five feet tall. She is growling darkly, ominously, quivering with hungry anticipation. Her ears are flat against her head and you think her razor-toothed mouth could hold your clenched fist. Go to 158.

176

Roll against your DX in order to pull the lamp out on time. If you succeed, go to 13. If you fail, go to 100.

177

You watch, a bird hypnotized by a snake, as the long dark form of the nightcat floats lazily towards you, in a horrible slow motion. You feel a tugging rip and an instant of blinding pain. Go to 100.

178

"Gently," he says. "I am not your enemy." He removes his cowl, revealing the head of a hunting cat. "She is one of my people, stolen from us in childhood by an enemy who made her permanently into a were-human. That is why she can only be harmed with silver or changed with water while in human form. Her true body asserts itself when the moon is up, except for full moons. Since she can't remember what she did as a were, she becomes . . . violent. Please let me take her home." If you have heard of Basten, go to 168. Otherwise, do you agree (87) or try to stop him (12)?

179

You're rattled, and when you come out of it, you see the nightcat fleeing down an alley, running on two legs. Its lithe, black form breaks into a pool of light and it scrambles over a fifteen-foot wall as easily as you can open a door. You may check the victim (117), or go home (149). You may not chase the nightcat: you're too shaken.

180

She swears and starts firing. She hits you four times before you can get to her. You limp to a hospital, and wake up with police by your bed. End game. Get 2 EP.

181

There is a scraping at your front door. Before you can react, a man in a monkish robe throws the door open. You can try to use your pistol (29) or wait to see what he has to say (178).

182

You move deep into the rock. Soon, the cave widens; you see a pile of ripped clothing in a corner. As you move your flashlight over the pile, you hear movement, a sharp mewling sound, and your flashlight beam catches two green eyes. You may flee (151) or stand your ground (21).

183

Roll against your IQ. If you succeed, go to 80. If you fail, go to 79.

184

In your opinion, the nightcat may have been one of two things: an assassin demon or a werecat. If it was a demon, you have nothing to worry about: it killed its target and has no reason to go after you. According to the myths, werecats do not often go on killing sprees. Of course, this could be an insane werecat. Another thing disturbs you: the full moon is not until Thursday. It would have to be a very powerful were indeed to change so far from the full moon. Go to 44.

185

Screaming, you flee the chapel and don't stop until you collapse. People eye you curiously: the mad babblers of the streets are rarely as well-dressed as you. Make an Occultism roll. If you succeed, go to 37. If you fail, go to 138.

186

The cub crawls into your arms. You check the nest for clues, but find none. You leave the cave and return to your room, somehow getting the cub past the landlady. You know the nightcat will hunt you down; so you make the cub comfortable with a bowl of milk and prepare your equipment. At night, she slips in the window, cold predator fury on her face. Go to 181.

187

You are able to find the following items: 9 silver bullets in .45 caliber. A Cartesian Pentagram, which will mesmerize and banish demons if they see it spinning. Three ampoules of Holy water in thin glass containers, which will banish the were-form of a lycanthrope if it is poured on one while in its were-form. A Distorter Lamp, which blinds vampires with agony. A talisman which helps calm animals. If you are Dead Broke, you may not buy anything except the silver bullets. If you are Poor, you may buy the bullets and one more item. If you are Struggling, you may buy any two items. If you are Average, you may buy any three. If you are Comfortable, you may buy any four. If you are Wealthy or higher, you may buy all of them. The three ampoules count as one item. List your purchases. It is 6:00 p.m. Go to 2.

188

You make the call. Nothing ventured . . . a woman answers. You identify yourself and say that you think you may have found their lost cat. "That's wonderful," she says. "The children are heartbroken. Could you tell me roughly how big the cat you found is?" If you tell the truth, go to 196. If you're convinced you've made a mistake and want to hang up, go to 119.

189

The gun goes off, punctuated by a frantic scuffling noise outside the door that is cut off abruptly. You can rush through the door (145), approach it cautiously (135), or wait until tomorrow morning to leave the bedroom (153).

190

All sentimentality aside, she is a dangerous creature who has killed people for food. The report of your pistol against her head is muffled by pillows. Sadly, you turn to her cub, snarling and spitting at you in the middle of the room. End Game. Earn 4 EP.

191

The inside of the chapel is small, only a few yards on a side. There is a bowl on the altar filled with holy water. There is nobody else inside the chapel. You back is to the door when she enters; you turn and find yourself covered by a pistol - in the hands of Paula Schreck. You can fight (103) or try to play for time (5).

192

The super tells the police. If you took the victim's wallet, they find it while searching your room for clues: End Game. Earn 2 EP. If you did not take the victim's wallet, lose ten hours because of assorted red tape and go to 14.

193

A helpful librarian tells you about an occult library and suggests you try doing research there, since this library doesn't really have what you need. You may go to the occult library (137), or you can go back to your apartment and try to run down another clue (65).

194

You step forward and grasp the soft, warm fur of her upper arm firmly. She growls, deeply and dangerously, and her ear flattens. Do you let her go (8) or hold her tightly (128)?

195

You see the nightcat, dark and sinister, coiled in a corner. Its eyes flash at you and it starts to hiss. Your home has been violated by a creature of evil. You are dimly aware that you are screaming, rushing at the creature with your bare hands, in a berserk rage. Go to 100.

196

"About five feet tall, maybe somewhere between 100 and 130 pounds, depending on her muscle structure," you say. There is a pause. "Meet me right away in the chapel at the cemetary at 11 East 33rd Street," she says, and hangs up. Do you go (191) or not (119)?

197

Going hand-to-hand against the creature seems to be your best chance. But before you can can try to cut her, she strikes. Roll 3 dice. If the result is less than 16, she has hit you: make a Dodge roll. If you succeed, go to 88. If you fail, go to 100. If she misses you, roll against your Knife skill. If you succeed, go to 46. If you fail, go to 102.

198

You have no trouble getting the gun. She is writhing on the ground. As you realize she couldn't possibly have been that hurt by the bowl, her mourning dress splits down the back, revealing fur as dark as midnight. Dumbstruck, you watch as the lower part of her face distorts, turning her mouth into jaws. Make a Fright Check. If you pass, go to 81. If you fail, go to 185.

199

You scream horribly and everything goes black. When you're aware of things again, it's 3:00 a.m. and you are cowering, terrified, in your room. You must have fled in your terror. You slowly get up, lock the door, and sit down to think. Go to 149.

#199 IS THE LAST ENTRY.


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