The RPG of the Hastur Mythos
Welcome to the Insylum — the place where the world of madmen congeals and intersects with reality.
Explore the Night World and bring back the shattered fragments of your memory, as you struggle to reassemble your shattered past.
Travel to the nether-lands of imagination and discover what happens when the clock strikes midnight...
It's hard to really detail the background without giving too much away. The game allows the players to know this much before play begins:
- You are here — in the Asylum — because of something you did. You don’t recall the specifics; not yet, but you’re here to work through your problems in a constructive manner. To learn from mistakes and move on with your life in what they call “the world”. It’s arts and crafts, lunch, meds and therapy. The life of a pet. Cared for, groomed and maintained, but not permitted past the boundaries into the outside.
- You’re Insylum to remember.
- Something important was lost. Something more important than anything you’ve ever known before. And late at night, after therapy and TV time, you sit awake and think back. It’s like reaching into a darkened drawer filled with sharp, rusty implements of some forgotten operation — it’s easy to hurt yourself, it’s easy to bleed.
- You remember a party. A mask.
- A play…
- You remember the end of the world.
- Sometimes, you have no idea what you’re doing here. It’s like trying to cure a drunk by locking him in a brewery. You and your friends — what of them you have — talk and talk. About the past. About the things you think are real.
- You differ on many points, but you can all agree on one thing:
- Sometimes it’s best not to remember.
Yes, absolutely! Although the patients (the players) know very little about what is going on, through their (mis)adventures they will discover elements of the Night World, based almost completely upon the The King In Yellow (The Play), plus the recent additions to the mythos by John Tynes and Dennis Detwiller himself.
Character creation is simple. You are asked to write down your character's name, height, weight, apparant age and any distinguishing features. "First name and last initial please. Look in a mirror and jot down these facts about yourself. Try to be honest."
Game play involves only three statistics, Fatigue (for most physical challenges), Lucidity (for attempting to make sense of the world around you) and Memory (for remembering why you're locked up). Conflict is based upon a bidding system, where the maximum you can bid is your current Fatigue, and both parties tend to lose Fatigue as a result of the fight. Quick graphic examples are given of combat, but the game needn't be quite so bloody as this suggests.
The game can be played in two ways, through sessions described by the GM (or facilitator). Firstly there are normal doctor-to-patient sessions, where the facilitator and patient(s) try to pin down elusive and supressed memories. These sessions can be 'requested' at any time, and can fit easily into short periods when the player and GM have a bit of downtime spare. Secondly the patients can be involved in what is perhaps best described (at least here) as a group hallucination, grander adventures which takes the characters ever closer to the heart of Carcosa.
The goal of the patients is (perhaps) to boost their Memory up to 20. At that stage, they remember all.