Catch Me

A solo RPG about a killer, a chase, and a near-inevitable fall.

Buy a PDF or printed version here.


Designed by Cat Evans.
Edited by Lore Evans.
Based on the Wretched & Alone SRD by Chris Bissette and Matt Sanders.

Content Warnings

This game gets dark. Specifically, it’s about serial killers, stalking, and obsession. There’s implied blood, gore, and murder. There’s violence and threat. The great thing about a solo game is that you can tailor it to precisely suit your tastes. If a specific prompt doesn’t work for you, dismiss it. Draw another card or just move down to the next prompt on the list.

Journalling games aren’t based on shocks or surprises. You create the story through how you respond to the prompts as the character you’ve created. That means you can read through every prompt in advance and prepare yourself, making an informed decision about whether you want to keep playing.


You’re welcome to style the relationship between Investigator and Killer anyway you like: a meeting of minds, a mentor and student, a sense of kinship — or something sensual and dark, like a deadly flower blooming. However you choose to characterise it, it’s not going to be a healthy relationship. That can be extremely triggering and you’re encouraged to think carefully about whether that’s something you want to explore — especially as journalling can be a very personal experience.


You’re the Investigator. You’re a cop, an intelligence analyst, or other professional sleuth. You’re deep in the snares of one hell of a case, tracking down a notorious serial killer. This is the case of a lifetime: they’re one in a million, the type of target they’ll write books and make TV shows about once they’re caught. They’ve eluded dozens of agencies worldwide, and you’re going to be the one to take them down.

The case has taken over your life. You’re obsessed. Maybe you know it, maybe you’re denying it however much the people you love insist on telling you the truth.

One more thing: the killer’s obsessed with you too. They’re fascinated by you, and they think you’re… special. It’s a twisted fascination that might be their downfall… or might be the death of you.

To make sense of what you’re living through, you’ve taken to writing it down. You keep a journal, make notes on your phone, or keep a vlog. It’s a way of getting your thoughts out of your head and making them more coherent.

Journalling games aren’t based on shocks or surprises. You create the story through how you respond to the prompts as the character you’ve created. That means you can read through every prompt in advance and prepare yourself, making an informed decision about whether you want to keep playing.


Your journal is written from the perspective of the Investigator, but the Killer’s an equally important character. Before you start play, figure out a few key things about the Killer.

·       What name/pseudonym do you know them by?
·       What’s their trademark?
·       What’s their motivation?
·       Why are they so fascinated by the Investigator?


Catch Me is the story of an Investigator chasing a Killer. But that’s just framing. It’s about looking in a mirror and seeing an uncomfortable reflection of yourself staring back, fascinated and unblinking. It’s about obsession, and the array of ways in which it can destroy you.

It’s about life coming apart around you while you either don’t notice or don’t care.

Catch Me can end in several ways, but none of them are good.

You get so lost in the case, you lose your family and everything else you once cared about.

You lose your career, and with it all the resources you need to pursue your obsession.

The Killer finds you, and you become one of their victims.

The Killer finds you, and you… go to them. You fuck them, you follow them, or you become them.

Or worst of all… you catch the killer and leave a gaping hole where the case once filled your life.

There’s an incredibly slim possibility that you come out of this case with your life intact, able to move on to something new. But that probably won’t happen. Manage your expectations.


Your investigation needs certain resources. Obtain:

·       A standard deck of cards (no jokers)
·       A 6-sided die
·       A tumbling block tower

You can substitute most of these tools with online resources:

If you don’t have a die, continue as if you rolled a 3 whenever you’re asked to roll.

You also need a way to record your progress after every prompt. Keep a physical journal, record your thoughts in a Google doc, make audio notes on your phone, or confess your innermost thoughts on video. Use whatever works for you, including a mix of media if that seems right.


Set up the tumbling block tower, following whatever instructions come with it. Roll your six-sided die and pull that many blocks from your tower. If the tower falls during this stage, reset it and try again.

The tower represents your progress towards catching the Killer: if the tower falls, you catch them, safely and following proper procedure. Sounds like a good thing, right? Wrong. This case is keeping you alive, or at least providing your will to live. What’s left once it’s gone?

If you don’t have a tumbling block game, you get to ignore any instances where the game tells you to make a pull. You can never catch the Killer. That, from the Investigator’s point of view, is a good thing. The thrill of the chase won’t end in boring, procedural propriety.

Shuffle the cards and set them face down within easy reach. If you want a short game, make sure the ace of hearts is on the top of the deck.

The First Message

Record your first log, covering the following points:

Your name.
Why you’re making this record.
The Killer’s name or pseudonym.
The facts you’ve established about the Killer (see Who?).

One thing you admire or desire about the killer.
Why you think you’re the one who’ll finally bring them down.

All of your subsequent recordings should begin with the statement “This is an update on the <Killer> case” and be followed by a summary of events since the last update. The record’s as much for you as for anyone else who might one day stumble across it: it exists to help you make sense of your own complicated, treacherous thoughts. Describe what’s happened, how it’s affected you, and how it makes you think about the Killer.

The Case

The game starts when you’re already deeply involved in the case, just after you’ve made a breakthrough that makes you think you stand a real chance of catching the Killer. There’s no set time period between updates. They might be hours, days, or weeks apart. You might even go for years without a lead. For a typical catch-a-killer pace, start with weeks or days between updates, and gradually reduce the amount of time to reflect the increasing intensity of the chase.

Phase One: The Trials

Roll your die and draw that number of cards from the deck. Keep the cards face down. Turn over the first card you drew and check your Case Files. Do whatever your results tell you to.

Keep turning over cards and consulting the files until you’ve gone through all the cards you drew for this update. You can either record the message (Phase Two) in pieces, as you draw each card, or in one piece once you’ve pulled all your cards for this update. Discard the cards you have used, unless told otherwise.

Phase Two: The Message

Start a recording on your phone or whatever method you’re using. Don’t think too much about what you’re going to say, just start talking. Try to cover not only what’s happened since the last update, but how you feel about it, and how you think this is going to end.

Once you’ve finished phases one and two, start a new turn. Roll the die, record the update, and repeat until you win or lose.

Winning & Losing

When the block tower falls, the game’s over. You caught the killer. It left you feeling empty and purposeless. You don’t know who you are without this case to define you.

If you draw all four Kings from the deck, the final King you draw is your downfall. You experience a breakdown, lose your job, lose your family, or the Killer catches up with you.

If you draw all four Aces from the deck, you give up on the case and move on with your life. A combination of fear of the Killer and attachment to the other things in your life keeps you grounded and you simply move on. You’ll look back on this as a terribly dark time.

Case Files

The case files now define your entire life, even the parts of it that would be better kept separate. Whenever the case’s trials call for you to turn over a card, apply your keen analytical mind to the challenge it poses. You don’t have to resolve the challenge, just build it into your journal. You can absolutely push your problems down the road and hope they won’t come back to bite you. What matters is how the challenge affects you.

Sometimes the files ask you to pull bricks from the tower. Others will ask you to reflect on your situation. Some do… worse things.

Hearts represent your obsession with the Killer: forming theories about them, getting to know them, and getting increasingly enthralled.

Clubs are the difficulties posed by your career: the requirement to do things by the book, to follow orders, and to occasionally deprioritise your hunt for other work.

Diamonds are the killer’s pursuit of you. They’re getting closer…

Spades represent the rest of your life. Friends, family, and commitments, all of which exist only to drag you away from the case.

Hearts – Obsession

Don’t discard Hearts cards after you draw them. Shuffle them back into the deck. You never run out of ways to ruin your own life. The King of Hearts is an exception to this rule.

AYou make an appointment with a therapist. Not only do you keep it, you actually put in the work to start unravelling why this case gets to you so much. Do not discard this card. Place it where you can see it.
2You’re not sleeping. The case consumes your every moment. You’re permanently exhausted but you’re getting closer. Pull from the tower.
3You haven’t been watching your bank balance and it’s turned a scary shade of red. How are you going to hold out until payday?
4Someone you know has a lot in common with the Killer’s profile. Are they an opportunity to refine your assumptions… or is the Killer much closer than you thought? Pull from the tower.
5You have to start taking better care of yourself. How did you get sick this time?
6You’ve developed a whole narrative around meeting the Killer and how it will unfold. How does it go? It’s helped you make an important connection, though. Pull from the tower.
7You confront the fact that this is personal. What made you realise? Why this case?
8You learn one thing about the Killer — one of their habits, preferences, or hobbies — and it draws you into a whole new sub-obsession. Pull from the tower.
9You’re falling back into old, bad habits. What kind?
10You find a way to leave the Killer a message. Pull from the tower.
JSomething the Killer did made you feel hurt and betrayed. You thought you understood each other. What happened?
QYou change something about yourself. You think the Killer would approve. What and why? Pull from the tower.
KObsession overtakes you. In layman’s terms, you experience a mental breakdown. You’re away from the case for at least six months. Do not discard this card. Place it where you can see it. If this is the fourth King you draw, you never recover enough to pick up the case. You become a cautionary tale for others in your profession.

Clubs – Procedure

AYou have a new boss, with new priorities. You don’t discontinue the case… but you find something that fascinates you just as much. Do not discard this card. Place it where you can see it.
2A new person joins the investigation team. How do you make use of their skills? Pull from the tower.
3A chunk of digitised data is lost in a system crash. While you’re reorganising the files, you stumble across a pattern you never noticed before. Pull from the tower.
4Colleagues are getting wise to your obsession. You’re pulled in for a psych evaluation but bluff your way through it with outstanding results. Shuffle one King back into the deck.
5Another case takes you to a new location, where you stumble across a lead on the Killer. Pull from the tower.
6An old case opens up again, reminding you of a past failure. What was it? Why will finding the Killer be your redemption?
7You successfully make the case for more budget and resources for your investigation. How do you use them? Pull from the tower.
8Some means of evidence gathering that was previously illegal or impractical suddenly becomes available to you. How does this change the case? Pull from the tower.
9You do something that gets your ethics called into question and earns you an official reprimand. What was it, and did it help? Pull from the tower.
10Someone else makes a major breakthrough in the case. What is it? Do you resent them or are you grateful? Pull from the tower.
JYou make a major breakthrough in the case. What is it? Pull twice from the tower.
QReports circulate that police in another country caught the Killer. Without you. What tips you off that they’ve got the wrong person? Pull from the tower.
KYour position becomes untenable and you’re fired. You can no longer use official resources to pursue the Killer.Do not discard this card. Place it where you can see it. If this is the fourth King you draw, you simply can’t afford to pursue the case any longer. The obsession never fades, but you have no way to act on it.

Diamonds – The Killer

AThe Killer does something that scares you more than it intrigues you. Fear is healthy. Fear is a warning. Do not discard this card. Place it where you can see it.
2You receive a message in code from the Killer. How do you decode it? Pull from the tower.
3The Killer leaves a personal — very personal — message for you with the body of their latest victim. What does it say? Pull from the tower.
4The Killer sends you a gift — one of your favourite things. What is it? What does it mean? Pull from the tower.
5The Killer sends you a gift. It’s something you wouldn’t have thought of for yourself, but it’s perfect. What is it? How does receiving it make you feel? Pull from the tower.
6The Killer sends you a gift that reveals something important about them. What is it, and what does it tell you? Pull twice from the tower.
7The Killer’s latest murder contradicts something you thought you knew about them. How does it change the way you think of them? Pull from the tower, but instead of replacing the block on top of the tower, set it aside.
8The Killer sends you a message via a friend or family member. It’s teasing, maybe even playful — like they want you to find them. Pull from the tower.
9The latest victim’s one of your leads or sources… which significantly hinders your investigation. The next time you’re instructed to pull from the tower, skip it.
10The latest victim’s someone you cared about deeply. You think you catch a glimpse of the Killer at their funeral. Pull from the tower.
JThe latest victim’s somebody you wanted dead. Who? How did the Killer know? Pull from the tower.
QYou come face to face with the Killer, and it won’t be the last time. It’s the most thrilling experience of your life. Shuffle one Ace back into the deck.
KYou come face to face with the Killer. Do not discard this card. Place it where you can see it. If this is the fourth King you draw, this is the last time: you either become the Killer’s next victim or an accomplice.

Spades – Distractions

ASomeone in your life is worried about you. They find ways to lose notes, fail to pass on important messages — anything to keep you from sinking deeper into your obsession. Do not discard this card. Place it where you can see it.
2You missed an important family occasion. Who did you upset?
3A friend or loved one needs your help while they recover from surgery. Do you set aside the case or make them cope on their own? Whichever you choose, why do you end up regretting the decision?
4An old friend or former lover is back in town and they insist on meeting up with you. It turns out they know something useful about the Killer. Pull from the tower.
5Someone you care about is sick. So sick you get one last visit. What do you think about while you’re sitting by their side?
6It’s holiday season. You’re pulled away from the case for weeks on end. What leads do you worry will go cold while you’re away?
7You get sucked into mediating drama amongst your family or friends, but you’re so distracted you alienate both sides. What’s the drama? What did you do?
8You finally find a friend who shares your enthusiasm. What convinces you to share confidential info with them? Do you regret it, or was it worth it?
9Your absence wrecks a relationship you relied on. What grand gesture do you make to get the person back on your side?
10Someone close to you is in serious trouble. Your kid’s getting kicked out of school, your spouse is losing their job, or a friend’s been arrested. What lead did you pass up to deal with their problems for them?
JYou’re pulled into couples/family counselling by a frustrated loved one. How do you get out of it?
QThe Killer marks someone you know as their next victim. What are the signs? Do you warn them… or use the opportunity to draw the Killer closer, at the cost of their life? Pull twice from the tower.
KYou’ve neglected the other aspects of your life for too long, and it simply falls apart. Do not discard this card. Place it where you can see it. If this is the fourth King you’ve drawn, you no longer have a support network to fall back on. You don’t have the time or resources to continue the case.

What Next?

Thanks for playing!

Hopefully you found the experience interesting and satisfying. If you ended the game at all uncomfortable, take some time to unwind. Hug a pet or loved one, do something you enjoy, or get outside for a while.

If you liked Catch Me, you can pick up the PDF (it’s nice, it’s got art! And hyperlinks!) or printed version here.

If you’re pleased with the journal you made, consider posting it online for other people to read or watch. If you do that, definitely let us know about it by tagging @perpetualgloom on Twitter.