Created by Roger Moore
FREQUENCY: Very rare
NO. APPEARING: 1 (5% chance of 3-6)
ARMOR CLASS: 7
HIT DICE: 1+1
% IN LAIR: Special
TREASURE TYPE: Special
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Psionics
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Hiding, silence, psionics
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Standard
PSIONIC ABILITY: 170-220
Attack/Defense Modes: All/all
Several centuries ago a Wizardess named Magenta began experimenting to try to produce psionic ability in her familiar, a large black cat called (predictably) Midnight. Though she was successful in making Midnight psionic, an unintended side effect caused the cat to be released from its obligation as a familiar, and it escaped.
Though Midnight was never found again, it would seem that the cat was able to breed with others of the normal variety and produce psionic and intelligent offspring. The special genes for these powers are recessive, and thus the probability that any cat today will possess the powers of its ancestor is very low (something like 1 in 1,000).
All known psionic cats (called Magenta’s Cats) are reputed to be of the same deepest black color as the original. About two thirds of these cats are female. All have exceptional night vision, allowing them to see well in anything but absolute darkness, and very sensitive hearing. These senses make the cats impossible to surprise. The silence with which they move and their dark color allows them to surprise opponents on a 1-5 in shadowed areas and at night.
Magenta’s Cats are intelligent in the extreme, and can apparently communicate with all feline creatures by means of a sort of limited empathy/telepathy. They may speak up to three languages besides the feline tongue and the language of neutral alignment. It is 90% likely that at least one of these other three languages will be the common tongue, and 60% likely that another will be elven.
Magenta’s Cats are aloof and somewhat conceited; they all seem to feel they are vastly superior to any other thinking creature, although they are not given to “broadcasting” their powers. It is likely that any Magenta’s Cat aware it is being watched will act like a normal cat, not revealing its true nature until it chooses to or is forced to.
Though these creatures usually travel alone, it is possible to run into a small group of them, all adults, who have gathered to exchange information, feed, or mate. Singly or in groups, these cats are only known to inhabit towns and cities. Litters have 3-5 kittens, with only a 10% chance of each offspring having the special powers of the psionic parent(s). The chance is the same whether one or both parents are psionic.
The psionic powers of a Magenta’s Cat are as follows: Each has the Minor Devotions of Invisibility, Body Equilibrium, Cell Adjustment, and Molecular Agitation. These powers are used at the seventh level of mastery. Psionic Invisibility will only be used as a last resort if the cat’s normal methods of staying out of sight fail. Body Equilibrium explains why Magenta’s Cats often leap from high buildings and cliffs to escape pursuit, since they are able to slow their descent to prevent harm, and also explains why now and then a confused peasant or traveler will report seeing a black cat walk across a lake or pond and not get wet. Cell Adjustment removes any damage to the cat (unless it was killed outright) completely in one round. Molecular Agitation is rarely used, but explains why the homes of known cat-haters sometimes burn down inexplicably. Most people believe this is the vengeance of the Egyptian cat-goddess, Bast, or a likeminded deity. Magenta’s Cats probably know differently.
A magic-user of true neutral or partneutral alignment who has psionics may receive a Magenta’s Cat for a familiar if the spell Find Familiar is cast successfully and a black cat is indicated as the type of familiar received. The base chance is 5%, plus an additional 1% per level of experience of the magic-user over the first. For a magic-user of true neutral alignment, this chance of success is unmodified; however, subtract 2% from the figure arrived at if the magicuser is neutral good, neutral evil, lawful neutral or chaotic neutral. Magic-users of other alignments will not be able to find a Magenta’s Cat for a familiar even if they are psionic.
In addition to the normal powers of a black cat familiar, the Magenta’s Cat makes the magic-user impossible to surprise and can add its psionic strength points to its master’s in multiple psionic operations. The magic-user may likewise add his or her points to the cat’s to extend its powers, but the magic-user will not gain the cat’s psionic disciplines as his or her own, or vice versa. If the Magenta’s Cat familiar is killed, the magic-user immediately loses twice as many hit points as the cat had, permanently, and also loses all of his or her psionic
powers forever. Like all other familiars, the Magenta’s Cat gets a saving throw vs. magic when the Find Familiar spell is cast.
There is a 5% chance that a Magenta’s Cat will be acting as a familiar if encountered normally. If so, it will be linked to a Wizard of 11th to 18th level (d8 + 10, to generate level randomly) who will react with all powers possible if his or her familiar is threatened. There is a fair chance the cat will be wearing a jeweled (and possibly enchanted) collar of considerable value, as determined by the Dungeon Master.
A Magenta’s Cat acting as a familiar will be very near to its master or mistress, or to the home of that character. Aside from this sort of “lair,” Magenta’s Cats have no lairs and collect no treasure.
From Dragon #58 (1982).