Microgame of the Month: Ghost Writer
By Jay Iles | Inspired by ice-bound.com
There are two players. Each player picks a role:
A flawed AI made by a publisher from brain scans of a deceased author. Describe the genre, premise and main THEME of your unfinished work.
An employee using the Scan to complete the story. Say why there’s demand for the book.
Find a story [element] generator: oracle/tarot decks, random word generators, story dice, etc.
Start at CHAPTER 1.
S: Select a THEME in play to focus on.
I: Deal out CHAPTER+2 [elements].
S: Describe a context for each [element]: “Clara is longing for freedom.”
I: Select CHAPTER [elements].
S: Combine selected [elements] into a chapter summary that fits the focus THEME and one other.
I: Generate a new summary by returning to step 4, or write the summary down. Describe a new detail of the Scan’s life, death or legacy that supports the THEMES used.
S: How does the detail make you feel? Add 1 to ACCEPTANCE, DENIAL or ANGER [initial value 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.
WHO MADE THIS?
UFO Press is an Oxford-based publisher dedicated to making offbeat RPGs that take players to new worlds. Its games include Legacy: Life Among the Ruins, where players are survivors of a reality-twisting apocalypse rebuilding the world over generations, and What Ho, World!, which gives players the chance to weave a story of 1920s gentry pursuing petty ambitions and comedic hijinks in an hour. Find out more at ufopress.co.uk.
This game originally appeared as Microgame of the Month in the September 2019 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.