Fantasy role players often get deep into their games, but 13-year-old Keith Croft is about to take it to a new level. He’s been invisible for seven years, smart but not working hard, athletic enough, but too lazy to excel. His parents are sort of cool, but only two weeks into his eighth-grade year, his friends are all busy with sports or projects and can’t hang out.
On the way home one day, he stops at a neighbor’s yard sale and discovers a book for Crypts & Creepers that the lonely old woman says belonged to her granddaughter who disappeared without a trace. Days after he convinces his friends to try this bizarre game that doesn’t require electronics, strange noises in his closet wake him. His increasing inability to focus on anything other than a girl who vanished before he was born - and his obsession with her NPC ranger - drives him to dig deeper into the past, searching for what really happened to her.
By the time Keith realizes the Gamemaster’s Codex holds something darker than rules within its pages, the curse that claimed the soul of a girl in 1987 has its claws in his group as well. Keith vows his friends will escape - even if he can’t.