The Book of Namys, Episode Two
So far, the adventure had been pretty railroady. Go to A to get to B to head over to C. I knew this and it was actually quite purposeful. Scene Three is where all that came to a complete halt and we would see if the players were REALLY ready to handle some Cthulhu action. If you’ve read “It Came From Friday Night” then you know I stopped at Scene Two and then did not continue because I realized that my son might actually be reading this blog. This scene was why I held everything up short.
And for the record, until the game gets finished (which should hopefully happen in a few days) I can’t finish “Friday Night, Part Two.” So, I think I’ll leave you the reader a bit in the dark as well. More fun for the price of admission, right?
By the time the characters had arrived at the rural address of Mr. Bill Jones night had fallen. In order to find the address correctly I had Hammich roll the dice. He was driving his “lucky Bel-air” but it was a team project. I also allowed him an extra dice for Rowan’s directions with his Knife-like mind. Here’s a quick example of the FU dice rolling. Each number equals 1 six-sided die. Base die is 1. Hammich was given +1 for his Lucky car and +1 for Rowan’s Mind. I gave them a -1 for the condition “Remote.” Total dice to be rolled ended up being 2 and he would take the best result. He rolled and the best result was a 4, a simple Yes.
So, they came to a stop at what appeared to be a small one lane gravel road with a beat up metal mailbox that featured numbers which matched the address they had been given. This was the place. I set the scene to the best of my abilities as the lucky Bel-Air bounced and jostled down the thin gravel driveway. I had special fun with the lighting effects of the car’s headlights sweeping over the run down and derelict farm house and the yellow and weak porch light. Thinking no one was around they got out of the car to have a look around. Both made their Mind rolls to notice that the grass and nearby trees appeared to be dead and brown.
At this point I had the nicely dressed and clean Farmer #1 come out to the porch and greet the characters. Behind him came Farmer #2. I played them woodenly and added a blank look to my eyes when I spoke to the players. The conversation went as expected which led Farmer #1 to explain that “Yeah, there was a delivery here today. It was sorta odd. We didn’t know what to do with it so we stuck the box in the barn over there. If you wanna go check it out, feel free.”
Looking over at the barn the players and their characters began to get a little concerned. Maybe it was because I chose that moment to subtly play a Youtube video that featured spooky and creepy atmosphere music which they did not notice at first. There was a fun conversation of who would go in first. They then asked if the farmers had a flashlight they could borrow. Not a problem, of course. Help yourself. No problem, city slicker.
In a flash of inspiration, they agreed it would be a good idea to roll the Bel-air up to the farm doors so the headlights could illuminate things a bit better. After doing that, Hammich was the first one into the barn. The players were on literal pins and needles. The barn was a pretty typical old, run-down barn with very little in it. There were rotting hay bales of course. A few small wooden boxes. Farming implements hung on the walls. The barn was large and appeared to have a stable or two near the back. A hay loft stood above them. Hammich went to the left first and then the right. There appeared to be no sign of a newly discovered box.
They were just realizing there was no box for them to find when out jumped the hissing gray skinned person with shark black eyes who had been hiding up in the hayloft. Hammich was, of course, his target.
I had them make a Sanity check against their Mind stat and anything else that might help. Hammich ended up with only one penalty die but made the roll nicely. Rowan had two dice in his favor and blew it by rolling double ones. He spent a FU point to re-roll one of the dice and rolled another one. Ouch. I checked the Psychosis chart in my D20 Call of Cthulhu book very quickly and the end result? Satchel Rowan with the knife-edged mind fainted right there and then, dropped like a potato sack and leaving Hammich all alone to deal with things. I decided I would let Rowan wake up in a round or two.
Hammich was worried but he did very well! Getting out his butterfly knife, he scored a nice hit on the creature and it continued to miss him even though Hammich’s Body trait of Round was not helping much. What Hammich didn’t notice was one of the other farmers entering the fray!
Fortunately (or unfortunately) I allowed Rowan to wake up just as the grimacing and quite insane farmer was standing above him and readying his log-chopping axe! Rowan rolled out of the way in time as the axe thudded into the dirt where his head had once been. Then, things started going his way. He pulled out his “Ol’ .45” and before the farmer could free the axe-head from the ground, he pumped a close range .45 round into the man’s leg. The farmer dropped. Of course, I decided to up the ante slightly by having him not scream and grab his leg. Oh no no no. Far too easy.
Instead I had him begin hissing and twitching, convulsing all over the place. Rowan’s player was not happy about it and I almost made him roll Sanity again. Rowan got to his feet and ran to the Bel-air.
Meanwhile, Hammich had managed to drive the creature off and had also turned for the Bel Air. Rowan got behind the wheel and Hammich dove in the passenger seat. Rowan, being a bit angry at this point, saw the creature moving in the headlights and heading for the back of the barn. Rowan floored the gas and drove the Bel-air directly into the barn after the creature.
There was a bit of screaming from Hammich at this point. Hammich’s player was trying to point out that it was HIS lucky Bel air, not Rowan’s and so HE should have been the one driving. Rowan’s character did not seem to care. It’s so funny when PC’s get bloodlust in a game when or where they really really should not. Regardless, FU seems to reward the dramatic. We asked, “Does Rowan succeed in driving the car through the barn?” The resulting die roll after modifiers told us, “Yes but…” So, he made it through the barn without jamming the car up too badly but he was unable to really connect with the creature which lurched off into the darkness.
Rolling the car through the other side of the barn, Rowan made for the driveway.
Enter Farmer #2 with a shotgun.
Again, there was a bit of argument as to whether they should run him over. The shotgun blast answered their question and spiderwebbed the windshield. Rowan, undaunted, continued in his manic quest to run someone over. He rolled and came up with the rough result of “No and…” which meant something bad had happened. At this point, Hammich’s player spoke up and said he had an idea as to what happened.
“It might be bad but it will be fun,” he quipped.
“Well, that sounds awesome,” I replied. “If you do it, whatever it is, I’ll give you both a FU point for it.”
They went for it and Hammich’s player described how Rowan missed the farmer and connected with one of the dead trees instead. It brings the car to a halt. The car is still working but it’s banged up really bad. I loved it and dished the FU points.
Hammich, thinking fast, started to kick out the windshield. Rowan looked behind them and saw Farmer #2 running up to the car in the red glowing haze of the brakelights. (I love lighting.) He tried to get a shot off with the ol’ .45 but the Farmer was faster and emptied another barrel into the Bel Air. Rowan ducked back inside.
As the Farmer reloaded his double barrell, Hammich finally demanded that “I drive my own lucky car!” So, in the middle of this scene they decide to climb over each other and switch drivers. Hard to keep the scary going when this stuff is happening. They finished about the time the shotgun was reloaded. Farmer #2 ran up with full intent to empty both barrels into the drivers side window. The question was “Does Hammich floor the gas in time?” (Basically an automotive dodge roll.) The answer came back as a simple Yes. Whew!!! I told them that Hammich floors the gas just as both barrels go off and rake the back passenger door instead of the driver’s compartment.
The characters fly off down the gravel road and back into the night. Around them the Bel-Air is a little wobbly with no windshield and one dangling side-view mirror. I had given the Bel Air the conditions of Battered and Buckshoted. The players sat back on their couch and let out a heavy breath of air. They were amped up and twitchy.
I let the music play a little bit longer before going to the next scene…