The Book of Namys, The Conclusion!
(This is a continuing post that records a play through using the FU roleplaying game/story set in a Lovecraftian genre of the 1960′s. We were using the basic FU rules with a small hack set up for Sanity as well as the ascending die roll hack instead of evens and odds. To see Episode One, just click here.)
Sorry for the delay in this one! I thought this had posted and then somehow missed that it had not!
I’ve decided to wrap it all up in this final post for this series. If things move a bit fast or you have a question about how something was resolved, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. When we last left our intrepid characters they had gone to a police contact to try and find a lead themselves.
The police encounter ended up to be informative and slightly comical. In the end, Rowan gave up all of what they had experience but skillfully left out the part about the mutated black-eyed farmer. He did a pretty good job and their contact took it all in carefully. He warned them to not leave the city and to be available for more questioning. He gave them more details on the wreck and they, I thought I had been clear on this, finally realized that the book had been hijacked on it’s way to the house. *sigh* They immediately started back on the farmers which had tried to kill them.
I saw their confusion growing and wondered if maybe I had dished too much complication on them. I let Rowan roll his Knife-Edged Mind and he got a simple “Yes” answer. This was enough for me to go through things, step by step and then ask them the all important question, “Why would someone go to the trouble of heisting a book that was waiting for someone else only to steal it and commit murder for it while it was enroute to it’s delivery?”
I gave them time to chew on it as we had a quick bite to eat and they discussed it among themselves. One of them, finally, looked at me and said, “Because someone ELSE wanted that book!”
I gave them each a FU point for working it out.
As you’ll see in the adventure write-up, someone else definitely wanted that book. Unfortunately, we were running out of time again and I knew I needed to speed things up. I now needed them to get to Dr. Scala so he could lead them to the finale. Happily, they both agreed without my prompting that things were getting deep and they needed to see Scala. A few pay phone calls (remember those?) later they had discovered that Dr. Scala had left a message for them to come to his office in the morning. The two decided to get caught up on a bit of work in the office (I had thrown Rowan a surprise deadline that he needed to have done) and get some rest. We fast forwarded to the next morning.
They arrived at the office only to be told that Dr. Scala would meet them at a coffee shop a few blocks away. The secretary finished with, “He sometimes has his students meet there. He probably just wanted to get outside since it’s SUCH a beautiful day.” Meeting Scala he directs them to walk with him in a nearby park. He is taking NO chances since he is about to have a very serious conversation and giving the players a data dump.
He went on about strange things that man was not meant to know, of course. How could he not? He talked about things from space and about dark otherworldly knowledge that darkened men’s minds. Why wouldn’t he? He then gave the full details on the Book of Namys and that he had been watching and trying to get it from his friend, Werner, for a very long time. ”
The players asked him if he knew anything about who else wanted the book. “Yes, yes, of course, there are two parties after the book. Three if you count me!” Do you know anything about them? “I know only what I can discover about one but too much about the other.” One wants it back because it actually belongs to them. The other, well, the other wants it for dark and selfish purposes. He told them about a small but powerful cult that had come to the city many years ago. Somehow they must have found out about the book and intercepted it.
“How do you know the cult is the one that grabbed it at the car wreck?”
Dr. Scala replied, “Because the other group does not use cars…”
Heh. I enjoyed the look on their faces on that one. He then went on to plead with them and ask them to please, with whatever means necessary, recover the book for him and for the entire world! The technology and the information in that book must never be unleashed!
And… there we go. The players accepted and Scala gave them the location of the cult’s hideout; an old warehouse on the far south side of the city and near Lake Michigan. Around the game table, time was running short and I had to REALLY ramp things up to get it all done. This added nicely to the building excitement but was a little TOO fast for my normal style.
The players went home and got their weapons and suited up. They were very worried about what the Hell they were doing and why they had agreed to such a thing. They decided to go into the warehouse at night, attempting to sneak first and possibly shoot their way out later. When they arrived, the warehouse was oddly quite and, of course, this cued the spooky Youtube music. Both players remarked how they hated it when I did it.
This pleased me greatly.
Creeping right up to the front doors, they found them ajar and open. One bank of lights in the warehouse flickered on and off as if there was a bad circuit while the other bank shone brightly. (There’s that lighting again.) It didn’t take them long to find their first clue; a freshly severed arm.
I was still needing to move fast so I had to build the tension a bit faster than I would normally prefer. The next scene was a grisly one of several human bodies thrown about an intersection between packing crates. Bloody. Messy. One of the players missed their sanity check on that one but it proved to not be too damaging. They moved away from the scene and were discussing what to do next. This was bad and they were a little concerned.
Then, a cry and a shot rang out in the distance. I yelled, “BLAM!BLAM! AHHHHH!!!”
The poor player of Hammich jumped out his skin and grabbed his chest. He glared at me briefly and then started laughing. “Gah, don’t DO THAT!”
They followed the sound to the far end of the warehouse and what appeared to be another larger office. They could hear sounds coming from within the office area but could not place what the origin might be. They pressed onward, occasionally stepping over bodies or bits of bodies. To add more confusion I had them find a large three clawed talon spattered with greenish, thick liquid.
Once in the office they found a revealed secret hatch that led to an underground tunnel of sorts. To their credit, they did not discuss the situation much but pressed on when they heard another yell. As a GM I was talking and moving them along fast in order to get their hearts racing; quick descriptions, asking fast questions, etc. They moved into the tunnel and as they did they could hear someone yelling, possibly chanting. They also heard a weird droning and buzzing noise. The tunnel led to the larger room and Hammich was the first one through. He saw Gordon Taylor (remember him from the estate?) dressed in ceremonial robes, a necklace of small, faintly glowing crystals, and holding the Book of Namys as well as a staff. He was chanting loudly and facing a creature out of nighmares.
A large 6 foot tall winged insect-like creature was stalking towards him. Another lay bleeding and immobile upon another dead cultist. These were the Mi-Go and they had come to get their book back! When Taylor saw Hammich his eyes widened and he screamed, “Help Me and I promise you anything!” Hammich succeeded at his fright/sanity check and so the fun officially began!
I gave Hammich about five seconds to tell me what he wanted to do. He halted a bit, “I made my check so I can do anything I want, right?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“I open up on it!”
As he began firing on the Mi-Go, the creature took the opening provided by Taylor being distracted and pounced onto the poor man. Hammich rolled his attack dice (2 dice this time) and rolled the FU equivalent of a critical success, a pair of 6’s. His weapon’s rounds pounded into the Mi-Go, bleeding it and blowing off one of it’s wings. It crumpled a bit but continued on it’s mission which, the players did not know, was to kill Taylor. Nothing else mattered to the Mi-Go.
Rowan got a chance to enter the room and missed his Sanity check AGAIN. He wilted a little and lost an action. Hammich did not and continued to blast away at the Mi-Go while it ripped and tore into Taylor. When he rolled to hit again he rolled, you’re not going to believe this, double 6’s AGAIN!
The Mi-Go dropped as a leg was blown off and Mr. Taylor, severed by the creatures pinchers, fell in two different directions. As the Mi-Go turned on Hammich he, flush with success, charged forward. It swung at him and attempted to bite him. A complete miss and it actually rolled a “No and…” So, I had it miss and stumble as it tried to use it’s missing leg. Hammich’s shotgun spoke another round and the Mi-go fell backwards, bled from it’s carapace and finally fell, quivering and twitching. As it died I burned my throat out by immitating a buzzing, screaming cry of death. As an homage to the classic movie The Fly I even threw in a “Heeellllp meeeee.”
It was over much faster than I had planned! Rowan had barely been able to fire a single round. Hammich’s player was pumped up and he decided to reload and empty a few more rounds into the Mi-go. For fun, I had the other Mi-go, the one they thought dead, quiver and buzz loudly. Rowan emptied his pistol into it and it stopped.
All that was left at this point was the clean-up! They grabbed the book and Rowan was smart enough to grab the staff. Hammich reloaded and double checked Taylor. Somehow… SOMEHOW… they both had gotten through it without a single scratch. I knew it was mainly due to the two critical successes in a row at just the right time. What I was happy to hear was that they, in character, talked to themselves about being so fortunate. They decided to get out of the area as quickly as possible and headed back up and outside to the car.
As they went outside I checked the clock and decided to give them one more little thrill. As they stepped out of the warehouse I had them both roll and after getting mid-level successes I told them, “You feel as if you are being watched.”
They stopped and Rowan’s player said, “From what direction? Can we tell?”
I smiled at them and said, “It feels like it might be above you. Maybe in the sky?”
Both of them literally cussed and Hammich said, “I take off. I’m booking it to the car!” Rowan followed suit. I had them make a few rolls and told them they felt like something was chasing them, flying towards them.
“It’s getting closer! The car is right there. You’re almost there! You continue to run. You’re almost there. You can almost feel a pressure on your back!”
They made the car and slammed the doors shut. As Hammich started up his lucky Bel-Air I described the sound of a solid THUMP on the roof of the car and then the shocks squeaking as something then propelled itself off of the car. Hammich floored it and sped off into the night!
As time was up and Hammich’s player needed to head home, we RP’d the rest on the drive to take him home. The pair decided enough was enough and so they drove directly to Dr. Scala’s home. There, Scala greeted them with a bit of concern but when he saw the Book and the staff his tune changed. He glanced looked skyward nervously and invited them inside quickly. He urged them to sit and then he walked into another room, leaving them alone. When he returned he carried some sandwiches and more to drink. (This disappearance was because he was casting a little protection and obfuscation spell over his home since he was quite sure the players had been followed by the Mi-Go. If one of the players had followed him, they might have seen this but.. oh well!)
Through a very cool scene he answered most of their questions over the drinks and food. I allowed him to basically wrap everything up for the players and their characters. He explained that Taylor had been trying to gather the magic and technology of the Mi-Go with his cult for many years. The Book of Namys was actually an ancient tome of their knowledge, written down by a shaman from a forgotten age. He figured Taylor had somehow inserted himself into the Werner estate to get the book and to investigate what else Kristov’s father REALLY knew. Somehow, the Mi-Go had discovered the book as well and had sent human servants to acquire it. Through this, the players learned they had actually stumbled onto a very old war which had been going on for decades if not longer.
Scala was impressed and told them as much. He mentioned that he had a few other “acquaintances” who might need men who could look such horrors in the eye and still act. (HINT HINT) He finished up by encouraging them to stay at his home for the evening. At this point the characters were exhausted and we were at Hammich’s player’s home. We wrapped with the characters agreeing to spending the evening under Scala’s protection and hearing more about Scala’s “aquaintances.”
Fade to black.
I’ve probably got one more post in me about this game. A wrap-up, maybe, of everything that went down, etc. Keep your eyes open for that one. I also plan to post the second part of the planning process now that everything is wrapped up and finished.
What this game did for me was to personally “seal the deal” on my love of the Fu game system. It was fast, elegant and never once did it stand in the way of the pacing of the game, the scene or, more importantly, the player’s actions. More to come on this game system and I encourage everyone to check it out.
All for now! I hope you enjoyed the write-up and this little tale of alien horror.