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Saturday, November 18, 2017

#SGAM2017 Remember Tomorrow - Maxim Wargentin - Intro Scene

I've posted only the resulting fiction here. Though based on Neuromancer concordances, no one is going to confuse it with William Gibson. I have found a talent to mangle his beautiful prose into my own tortured crap.

Still, the prose is hardly the point; it's all about the process as a fun game. So fear not, for I am not going to force anyone to read bad fan fiction without seeing the process behind the game part. I am taking a page from Todd Zircher, and using a spreadsheet to separate the game parts from the resulting fiction. The concordance generated phrases that inspired each line are in column A, the resulting fiction in column B, and the (very) sparse mechanics in Column C.

I have some thoughts about the solo process I've been using. I feel this mode is a bit more arduous than when I wing it with an Oracle. Partly due to real life reasons that limit my time, and my energy (I feel solo play demands a fresh mind).

At the same time, I've consistently found it more fulfilling of my RPG needs. When I look at random pieces of fiction together and the suddenly they say something that makes a sort of sense, it feels like I've discovered a pre-existing message, as opposed to being inspired to create one.

I particularly feel pretty good about this scene (as I did with some of the scenes in my OLBH game), because it's not an action scene and it's a sort of interesting hook.

Link to spreadsheet with game stuff at end of post.

Actual session:

Somewhere near Tokyo bay in a room with a fireplace, the Tokyo billionaire with a passion for art sat behind a vast desk across from Maxim. Painted steel sculptures flanked them on either side. It wasn't every day that you sat across from someone like Gengyo Sakuraba-- owner, chairman and CEO of Mitsubishi bank.

Paintings and other works of art adorned the walls. Maxim's optic chip flared alphanumeric information as it analyzed the cool geometric intricacy of an Elia  Aescher painting. It was an artwork of great beauty and it suffused his being with a quiet ecstasy.

"It fills me with a sense of elation as well,"  said Gengyo Sakuraba, as if able to sense Maxim's emotions.

Maxim shifted in his chair, feeling something like embarrassment. He smiled, "It is very beautiful."

The old man returned the smile. "It is said they are beautiful because he was crazy."

"Artists are a funny class of people, Sakuraba-sama"

"Truer words were never spoken. Yet, the predicament of the true artist may lie in his devotion."

"I understand that loving dedication." He felt it too. Perhaps that was why he was too much the unfortunate artiste and not enough the formiddable art business man. He was always in debt and eating the kind of food that came in packets and canisters.

"Yes, my people have told me about your love for art, and also your knowledge of it."

"In my line of work, it pays to know beyond what art history programs and database tables can provide. I feel it's my duty to find the best work out there."

"I understand what you mean, for a part of me also feels it's my duty."

"Such dedication in a man of commerce is something to admire, Sakuraba-sama."

Sakuraba nodded a thank you. "Maxim-san, I feel a certain fraternity between us in our mutual search for beauty...Perhaps we might also be able to help each other by doing some business together."

Sakuraba had finally gotten to the point. He obviously had some idea about Maxim's economic predicament. Not hard to imagine given the resources a chairman of a bank had at his disposal. Perhaps his luck was finally changing and he would come into some money. Yet, would the potential trouble be worth it?

"I am in awe of the fact that you would honor me with such an offer, Sakuraba-sama."

"I have confidence in your intelligence and your knowledge, which is why I also know that before you accept, you will want to know more about what it is I am proposing."

Sakuraba turned on a video that looked like the kind that was a cheap production. A beautiful  synth voice began narrating about enamel craftmanship in Zurich. Maxim already knew a great deal of information on the subject. Thankfully,  just as the video was becoming rather boring Sakuraba interrupted it.

"As you undoubtedly know, Maxim-san, Nino Rall and Res Levi were Swiss enamel artisans who both lived in Paris for a time."

"I am familiar with their devotional art.  I've seen some of their more esoteric worship pieces."

"It is rumored that they collaborated at one point."

Maxim found this very unlikely. It was well known neither that Res Levi could not deal with Nino Rall at all. No one would ever call their relationship a love story. Still, he felt a stab of elation at the mere possibility of such a collaboration. He was suddenly eager to cooperate with whatever Sakuraba had in mind. He began to rationalize to himself that he really needed the money, anyway.

"What exactly can I do for you, Sakuraba-sama?"

"I would like for you to find this artwork and return it to me."

"We have a deal," said Maxim.

After the meeting, Maxim soon found more obscure information on these two artists' personal life that he felt might lead him to some clues.

Spreadsheet link: Remember Tomorrow - Maxim Wargentin - Intro Scene (spreadsheet)

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