YOU: Unknown Armies Fiction

YOU is a new book by author and game designer, Greg Stolze, that is now up for funding on Kickstarter. You can find the link here. The book takes place in the Unknown Armies setting.

From the Kickstarter page:

YOU is a second person novel, so it’s told as if it’s happening to the reader. These aren’t common. The most popular second person literature is probably the Choose Your Own Adventure genre, only in YOU there are no choices. It could be described as an “endure your own adventure” story.

In the book, you are Leo Evans. Leo is disgruntled, middle-aged, unhappily divorced, and a cultist who has developed genuine extra senses and paranormal abilities by adhering to a set of beliefs he freely admits seem preposterous.

In the course of the book, you get punched, kicked, and you accidentally injure yourself while pulling a concealed brush axe from beneath your jacket. You are enjoined to feel hatred for the person you love the most in the world. You punch a guy in a strip club and get manhandled by bouncers. Your apartment is broken into with distressing regularity. You are subject to multiple enchantments, one of which causes you to feel overwhelming affection for a woman you’ve never met. People scheme to murder you, to duplicate you, to deceive you, and to make you live forever.

Unknown Armies is one of my all time favorite roleplaying games. It also clearly falls into the category of “Favorite Game I’ve Never Played”. When I had heard about the new edition that was being produced by Greg Stolze and the folks at Atlas Games, I was really excited. When the Kickstarter dropped, I backed it right away. In the last few months, I’ve been getting the backer PDFs of the new edition and I’ve continued to be excited about the game and have several ideas about for a campaign (the newest idea, thanks to a segment on Ken & Robin Talk About Stuff, takes place in Disney World).

It is a modern occult setting with the tagline of “broken people trying to save the world”. Magickal adepts cast spells based on movie tropes or the impact of guns or the freedom of the open road. People seek to embody the principles of the True King or the Captain or the Mother. It’s a world which resets when all 333 archetypes ascend and combine into one demiurge and remakes the world into it’s image. It’s about damaged people seeking to change something that they don’t like about the world.

Greg Stolze has visited this world in his fiction before. Godwalker was his first novel set in the Unknown Armies universe. SwitchFlipped, while reported to not actually be set in the Unknown Armies universe, has many ideas that are very UA.

Even if you aren’t interested in Unknown Armies, Greg Stolze is a good writer. Beyond the two books I mentioned above, Mask of the Other is one of the best Cthulhu Mythos books I’ve read. His characters are always colorful and the dialogue is entertaining. I’ve loved every book of his that I’ve read and I have a virtual stake of his work that I still have to read.

As of this writing, the Kickstarter for YOU just broke through the halfway point. If you like Unknown Armies or just like modern occult stories with quirky characters and situations, you should check it out.

While you’re at it, you should check out his other fiction as well.

And if you want to play the game that goes along with the fiction, you can pre-order it through BackerKit.