Premise for a Fear Itself one-shot
Distribute these pregenerated characters, either casting the parts for a group you know or giving them out randomly for a convention run. They’re missing Sources of Stability, which don’t come into play here, and have higher than usual Health pools. You’ll be dropping the latter almost immediately.
Also give all but one of the players two slips of paper to fill out privately and give back to you.
The first reads:
Every character has a secret. Other players are making up their own, but yours is predetermined. You’re a werewolf, who turns on the night before, night of, and night after the full moon. Briefly explain how you became a werewolf.
The second reads:
Every character agreed to spend a long weekend at a hunting lodge, receiving a payment of $3000. Briefly explain why you accepted.
The ringer player instead receives two slips, one blank, the other containing this:
All of the other characters accepted a payment of $3000 to spend a long weekend at a hunting lodge. They don’t know each other, but you have read their dossiers. Each of them is a werewolf. None knows the others. All assume they’re the only werewolf present. You are not a werewolf, but a human hired by a shadowy consortium to assist its executive in hunting the others for sport. When they arrive, your first job is to spur the targets to interact and get to know one another. Now write something on this and the other slip so it looks like you’re answering the same questions they are.
(Obviously you’ll handle this differently if running online.)
Play out the arrivals of the group at the hunting lodge, with your ringer assisting. Mention offhandedly that it is the night before the full moon. Throw in ominous foreshadowing of the hunt where possible.
When night falls, describe the PCs as gathered in the grand hall of the lodge. A false ceiling drops open, and a chandelier falls into place. Shown above, it incorporates the stuffed corpses of several werewolves.
Then the moon comes out, and everything goes red.
They wake up the next day, bandaged from various wounds. One still has the head of a crossbow bolt in the shoulder. These are werewolves who do not remember what happens when transformed. One of the rules appears to be: anyone not killed by the hunters receives first aid for any injuries sustained.
The object of the scenario from this point on is for the main PCs to investigate in and around the hunting lodge to discover a way to get at their pursuers before the moon comes out, and they lose the ability to think and act on plans. Meanwhile the ringer tries to draw them astray and keep them panicked and off-guard, without giving away their identity. Direct the ringer with notes as need be.
Based on actions while human, choose one character who doesn’t make it the second night. Join with them to flash back from the awakening in the morning scene to describe their werewolf demise.
Do the same with another PC the second night—if the group gets that far without locating and striking back against their hunters.
Fear Itself is a game of contemporary horror that plunges ordinary people into horror situations. Use it to run one-shot sessions in which few (if any) of the protagonists survive, or an ongoing campaign in which the player characters gradually discover more about the terrifying supernatural reality which hides in the shadows of the ordinary world. Purchase Fear Itself in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.