Here’s the first session of my second player.
Please choose your level of difficulty:
- Take me for walk in the park
- Give me a challenge
- Grind my bones and drink my blood.
Let’s start with a challenge.
Please choose your level of absurdity:
- This is pretty reasonable
- Maybe you should not have eaten those mushrooms
What… How do you define “WTF” absurdity compared to “pretty reasonable”?
Let’s keep it pretty reasonable.
Is your persona:
- A man
- A woman
- A person of mysterious and indistinct gender (Write my story so that it stays a mystery and NPCs are unsure)
- Does it matter, really? I find it offensive you would even ask that. (Write the story so that it’s gender neutral and NPCs don’t care)
Would you like to specify a theme or go with the narrator’s choice?
Standing on a grassland path with a large, ginormous city on the far horizon, but something feels wrong.
Please confirm: You will awake as a man seeking a challenge in a mostly believable world who starts his adventure with a metropolis in sight and a feeling of uneasy in his heart.
You open your eyes and look straight ahead. You must’ve fallen asleep sitting against this medium size rock. Far on the horizon you can see Romanique, the city you have heard so many stories about. A city that never sleeps. A city in which all men and women are equal. A city like no other. A place of discoveries and innovation. Your clothes are slightly stained from the grass you are sitting in. There’s a book lying next to you in the grass. It looks like it has been placed there very carefully.
I pick up the book and open it slightly confused after just waking up.
There’s a dedication in the book.
You did well in the last round, so here’s a little gift. Make sure you fill it with notes of your adventures. ~ a friend
Strange. I look at it for a moment, flip through the other pages, then stuff the book in my backpack and get on my motorbike.
Aside from the dedication, the book is completely blank. You do not have a backpack, so you put the book into the tiny storage compartment of your motorbike - the one directly beneath the handlebar - and climb on.
Just big enough to fit the book in sideways, that’s convenient. Now I better put the pedal to the metal if I want to reach the security check by the evening.
You start the bike and drive towards the city. Maybe you should experiment a bit? What can you do? How fast does this go? After a moment you remember that the bike has a radio that transmits its music to the rider wirelessly.
I check my fuel gauge. It’s still 80% so I decide to swirl down this small path back onto the main road, and once there, I go as fast as I, can zooming past the other people - dangerously weaving in-between, hyped by the music to reach my goal.
The radio plays a mix of Stars and Flowers by Keiichi Okabe & Kuniyuki Takahashi.
Reaction check. required: 20. current: 47. luck: +0. major success. On the main road you are blazing ahead of everyone else, while some other drivers are giving you the finger. You arrive at your destination - city portal NNW - before it’s dark. You used 2% of the fuel.
Ooh, I better hurry inside, past the city portal.
Guardsmen at the city portal block your way and you slow down, reluctantly, and eventually stop. “Do you have anything to declare?”, the man wearing a red uniform asks you.
Nothing unusual, sir. A few books, a camera with accessories and some clothes. Oh, and a bike, sir, in case you hadn’t noticed.
“Surely you jest. Nobody here has seen a book for decades.” He shakes his head in disbelief. “Please stop wasting my time. You may pass.” The guards let you pass through the city portal. You are now in Romanique, Outskirts.
Hmm, I rush off and head straight for Crystal Beach on the far end of the city. Underway to there I’m still thinking about what that guard said. “Nobody has seen a book? Surely he must be joking right? What the hell was he thinking, my home is filled with books from wall to wall, after all my wife loved only two things in life, the sunset at the beach and her job as a librarian.”
Reaction check. required: 13. current: 47. luck: +2. major success. You arrive at the beach just in time to admire the sunset after parking the bike without any traffic incidents. You are now in Romanique, Crystal Beach.
I pull my camera out, put the stand down in the beautiful shimmering sand and dial down the exposure. Snap. I look at it. “That’s one of the most gorgeous views I’ve ever seen, damn it was really worth coming out here during spring, and I even managed to snap the picture today. I was sure it would take me at least another week.” I start laughing out loud staring at the picture on the display, and eventually sit down in the sand to enjoy the last rays of sunlight sinking down.
“Wanna buy some walnuts? Almonds? Cashews? Got all the nutty things you can imagine, lad. Bottled water too.”, a big man pushing a ridiculously colorful cart in front of him yells. You are startled. Romanced by the view you were close to drifting off again - something that happens often lately.
Ooh, how much are the walnuts, sir?
“20 credits. no discounts.”
Hey, that’s quite cheap, sure. Give me that bag in the corner there.
You pay the man, receive your snack and watch him push his cart off.
After eating most of the walnuts, I close the bag and put it in my pocket, heading back to my bike.
You’re tackled from the back by a child. Reaction check. required: 35. current: 47. luck: +1. major success. You catch the tiny criminal that was about to nab your nuts and your purse.
“Bwahaha, want a walnut kid? Don’t try to steal my purse while you’re at it though, this evening is too beautiful for that.” And with that I toss him the bag, I wasn’t going to finish it anyways.
The kid stares at you in disbelief for a moment and then scuttles off, his reptilian tail flying as he hurries out of sight. It’s getting dark.
I watch him run out of sight, then walk the last few paces back to my bike, unlock it from the lamppost I chained it to just as the light flickers on.. Guess i should go looking for a place to spend the night. And with that i head into the city.
You head into the city. Reaction check. required: 26. current: 47. luck: +2. major success. You arrive in the city center, near the University Grande Halle, the Recipio Grande Halle and stop on Grande Halle Patio to consider your next actions. You arrive there speedily, using barely any fuel and with little difficulties despite the sun having set. Of course, the street lights help. You are now in Romanique, Center.
I’ll look around for a nice place to stay in, on the slightly more expensive side with promises of a good breakfast. Credits aren’t too big of a deal since I’ve been saving over a decade for this adventure anyways.
There’s a good hotel a few hundred meters down the road. There’s also a decadently expensive place you passed on the way here.
I’ll drive to the good hotel, park and lock up and go inside.
A woman standing at the reception who was looking at the back panel with the keys on a wall turns her owl head almost 180° to look a you. “Welcome to Eden Center, dear guest. Do you have a reservation?”
“No, i was looking if i could still get a room until the end of the week, with breakfast included.”
She turns around to face you properly. “Give me a moment to check.” She types a few keys on her computer and adjusts her glasses. “I don’t think we have…” Charisma check. required: 10. current: 5. luck: +1. failed. “…no, really, there’s no empty room for you, but maybe there might be something we can do about that if you’re really in a pinch. Otherwise I’m extremely sorry to have to refer you to another hotel.”
“Oh that’s fine, got any recommendations for hotels around the area miss?”
“Well, there’s the Nightingale Inn, that’s about 1 km towards the Crystal Beach. There’s also the motel a few blocks away. And of course, there’s the Grande Halle Palace but you don’t strike me as the type to waste your money on extravagance.” Perception check. required: 5. current: 5. luck: 0. minor success. You don’t like the emphasis she places on the motel. It’s getting very late. You should rest soon.
“Aah, thanks then I’ll go and check with the Nightingale Inn, good evening… eeh.. night.” I travel to the Nightingale Inn.
The clerk at the Nightingale Inn barely looks up from the video game he’s engrossed in.
“Hello! Sorry to ask so late but do you have any free rooms left?”
The clerk grumbles “Reservation?” but it is barely understandable.
“I eeh, no I don’t have a reservation.”
The clerk sighs and unwillingly puts his game away to check the computer for open spots. He replies: “We still … room, yes. How long… intend to stay?”. Perception check. required: 6. current: 5. luck: +1. minor success. He’s mumbling because he’s hiding something in his mouth.
“4 nights if possible please”. I smile.
“… credits. cash. up front.” You don’t understand the actual amount, only that it starts with “3”.
“I’m sorry, can you repeat that?” In the meantime I get my actual wallet out from the inner pocket of my jacket and check how much cash I have.
The clerk rolls his eyes and speaks again, just a hint more clearly this time. “3200 credits.” When you fiddle with your jacket he notices the stitched part of it where you had the logo removed. He eyes you suspiciously. “…you trouble?”
“Nah mate, that was a mistake from a long time ago, as long as I get a nice breakfast in the morning you won’t have trouble with me. I laugh.
“…not be trouble. Owner said make trouble disappear.” This time he spoke clearly on purpose. Perception check. required: 10. current: 5. luck: 0. failed. But you could not make out what he’s hiding in his mouth. What he said was not exactly a subtle threat. He puts a small input terminal for you to fill the form on the counter. You are starting to lose his interest.
I quickly fill it in reassuring him I’m fine, and pay.
He hands you a key with the number 5 on its keyring and goes back to his video game. Looks like you’ll have to find the room yourself. There’s a hallway and there are spiral stairs.
Well it’s just number 5 right? It can’t be that far I walk down the hallway.
The hallway ends in a dining room. Everything is neatly arranged for the next morning already.
Whoops, at least I already found where the dining room is, better go check upstairs for number 5. I head upstairs to the first floor, looking around.
Upstairs you immediately find number 5 as it’s the door that’s visible at the end of the corridor from the stairs. You unlock the door and enter. It smells a bit of cleaning solution. Everything is very clean and again, the items are neatly arranged. There’s a white gift box with a golden ribbon around it on the bed.
I unpack my stuff and then look inside the white box.
There’s an elegant wooden pen in it and a card. The card says
I thought you might end up here eventually. This will make your beginning a bit easier. ~ a friend
What the heck, this is getting creepy. Oh well at least I don’t have to worry about how I’m gonna write in the book anymore. With that thought, I grab the book, sit down in a chair and flick through it looking at it and the pen in detail.
Apart from the mysterious dedication at the start, the book is empty. Its pages are of great quality paper and the binding is beautiful mahogany coloured leather. It’s supposed to be tied shut by a leather string. There’s a linen bookmark with golden stitching on it, should you require it. The whole thing is likely handmade.
I take the pen and try writing in it, just a small footnote with my name and the date to see how it writes.
The ink dries instantly, something as simple as a name and a date looking like a work of art inside the gorgeous book. Something urges you to write more.
I’ll write a few paragraphs about my journey so far, the names of the few beaches so far, and the Crystal Beach from today. After that i put the book away, and walk up to the mirror in the bathroom, inspecting myself to check that I don’t look filthy or anything, and practice having a conversation with myself in the mirror for a bit, before taking a shower.
The book seems satisfied for now. The mirror politely asks you not to over-exaggerate your mimics while you’re trying to convince someone you’re an honest person and respectfully suggests taking a shower.
You’re all clean after your shower. It’s the dead of the night.
Happy with everything I got done today I head to bed, but first I make sure to put the book in my bag on the chair, far away from my bed.
sessions.XN 1 is part 1 of sessions.XN: