Choose one: The Scan: an AI built from brain scans of a deceased author. Describe the genre, premise and main THEME of your unfinished work. The Interpreter: an employee using the Scan to complete the story. Say why there’s demand for the book. Find a source of random story [elements]: an oracle/tarot deck works. Start at CHAPTER 1. EVERY CHAPTER: 1) Scan: select a THEME in play to focus on. 2) Interpreter: deal out CHAPTER+2 [elements]. 3) Scan: describe a context for each [element]: “Clara is longing for freedom”. 4) Interpreter: select CHAPTER [elements]. 5) Scan: combine selected [elements] into a chapter synopsis that fits the focus THEME and one other. 6) Interpreter: GOTO 4 or write the synopsis down. If the Scan disagrees, describe a detail of their life or legacy that supports the THEMEs used. 7) Scan: how does the detail make you feel? Add 1 to ACCEPTANCE, DENIAL or ANGER [initial 0] as appropriate. If CHAPTER<5 start the next CHAPTER, else END. END: What’s highest? ACCEPTANCE: the book’s a success; the Scan is placed in storage. DENIAL: the Scan crashes, corrupting the work. ANGER: the Scan escapes online, causing a scandal for the publisher.
Heavily inspired by the Ice-Bound Compendium (www.ice-bound.com)! I wanted to see if I could replicate the back-and-forth of that game in a tabletop format - both to allow for a wider breadth of story types, and to see if another human helping you make the story can make up for that game’s shortcomings. In a longer game I’d want to add in example themes and more overt win states for the interpreter - but a 200 word limit has its own virtues!