Actual Play - [Remember Tomorrow] Somewhere, part 2

Posted by: Malcolm Craig On: Jul 7th 2010

A few weeks ago Gregor, Per, and I enjoyed the first part of a Remember Tomorrow game (the original AP thread can be found here). For those not familiar with it, Remember Tomorrow is Gregor's new game of literary cyberpunk, in the tradition of Gibson, Rucker, et al.

Picking up were we left off from the last game, it was easy to get back into the swing of things. The scene notes sheet was a big help with this: the brief line on who was in each scene helped refresh our memories and, for a game as scene based as RT, it's useful to have an aide memoire such as this.

To recap from last session, the characters and factions we had in play were:

Zatumo, a murderous sociopath (PC)
Alex Brabham, a photojournalist (PC)
Reif Jonz, a conflicted editor (PC)
Sue Kovacs, a driven private detective (F)
Jari Hirvonen, father to a murdered son (PC)
Allied Carbide, industrial combine (F)
Templar Sec, private police corporation (F)
Menwith-Fylingdale, orbital corporation (F)

No new PCs or faction were added during the game (although we could have done), which kept the entire thing pretty tight and focused. One thing that really struck me as the game progressed was how the disparate threads of the characters and factions really stated to come together in a very natural, unforced way. Obviously, we were making conscious decisions, or being prodded by the outcomes of conflicts, but at no time did anything feel like it was being crowbarred into the story.

This time around we had ten scenes in total, split into three 'deal' scenes and seven 'face off' scenes. From my point of view, it seemed that deals really come to the fore in the second half of a story. To give a brief rundown:

  1. Jonz and Brabham meet to discuss the use of photographs. Three crosses came out of this one scene* (face off)
  2. Jonz and some lawyers back in Berlin. Jonz is questioned regarding the 20,000 Euros Brabham bribed him with. (FO)
  3. Jonz and Templar Sec (deal)
  4. Brabham and Zatumo. Zatumo brutally assassinates Brabham somewhere in a Liverpool industrial estate. (FO)
  5. Brabham and Kovacs. Brabham (still in hospital) makes a deal with Kovacs to find out who it was that nearly killed him. (D)
  6. Kovacs and Hirvonen. Kovacs figures that the same man killed Jari's son and tried to kill Brabham, so meets Jari in a park in Liege. Jari ends up developing a fatherly affection for Kovacs. (FO)
  7. Zatumo and Templar Sec. Templar attempt to arrest Zatumo in Dublin and royally screw up. Zatumo, now being ready, willing, and able to get his goal of being fabulously wealthy, is written out! (FO)
  8. Kovacs and Jari. They meet again and Kovacs wins the conflict, increases Influence to 8 and is written out. (FO)
  9. Hirvonen and Templar Sec. Templar try to kill Jari at his hunting lodge somewhere in Finland, but he makes them look like incompetent bully boys. (FO)
  10. Jari and Allied Carbide. Jari makes a deal with AC. (D)

So we had two write-outs, one for a PC and one for a faction. Both were fictionally appropriate and created some interesting stuff for the remaining characters and factions.

In those ten scenes, Brabham was certainly more of a background character, and Allied Carbide and Menwith-Fylingdale were certainly background factions. But, what was cool is that they were still there and still important. The game works really well to allow characters and factions to have their own arcs without (again) it feeling forced.

Personally, I found the developing story of Jari and Kovacs the most interesting out of everything that happened. Although I felt fairly invested in Brabham as a character, I enjoyed having him take a back seat (he'd been fairly prominent in our first session) and leave the stage more open for Reif and Jari (and Zatumo, to a certain extent) to be the most prominent PCs.

All in all, I'd play this again in a heartbeat. Remember Tomorrow has very quickly established itself as one of a set of games I'd pick up and play any time.

That's the broad-brush outline of the game and I'm sure Gregor and Per will be able to fill in games and add their own thoughts on it.


Posted by: Per Fischer On: Jul 7th 2010 edited

Yes, really enjoyed this. 10 meaty scenes, bulging with intensity and unexpected twists and turns. This game delivers.

I consciously chose not to introduce new PCs, as the more and more intertwining stories between the characters/factions already in play seemed more than enough.

I was in control of Reif from the start of the game, and I tried to play him hard, but nothing, NOTHING, seemed to go right for the poor man. After being completely exposed for having taken the $20,000 bribe (which, btw, were only mentioned briefly by Malcolm playing Brabham in the previous scene. I said nothing about Reif taking, or leaving the bribe, it was all left hanging, very cool), Reif tried to make a deal with Templar Sec (scene 3), where I completely botched the roll, and he got nothing out of it.

After scene 3 I threw Reif back on the table and picked up Zatumo instead I think. I really appreciate that the player characters can rotate this way. If you want to play the same character, you just hold on to him/her, if you want to try something else, you aren't stuck with the same character for the entire game.


Posted by: Malcolm Craig On: Jul 7th 2010

I found the horrible downward spiral of Reif to be quite compelling, especially his failed deal with Templar Sec. The fact that nothing went right for him added a certain element of welcome tragedy.

And yes, it seemed a conscious decision on all of our parts to keep the PC/faction level as it was. The two write-outs were actually, for me, quite unexpected (not the write-outs themselves, but the PC and faction it happened to) in terms of the way things started out.


Posted by: Gregor Hutton On: Jul 9th 2010

Yeah, I had a great time.

Zatumo getting out was great -- he really didn't deserve it (but he totally did!). Kovacs exiting to work for an Orbital rather than the bumbling Templar Sec was just so right too.

There is a lot of other cool stuff going on as well. Jari (whose son was killed by Zatumo) has now started powering up by facing down Templar Sec (and I dropped their INF from 5 to 4) and then being lied to by Allied Carbide (a Deal where they want Jari to kill off Brabham!).

We rolled a surprising number of crosses too! As Malc notes we all rolled doubles on scene 1. Other times there were 2 crosses coming out too.

The third out is going to be interesting. I can see a great number of possible options, each one pretty exciting.

Will Jari find out who killed his son? (And set up an attempt to kill Zatumo on Episode 2?)
Will Reif get Freedom from his Corp?
Will Brabham get killed? Or get his Goal?
Will Allied Carbide make it all go away and emerge triumphant?

It will be interesting for sure, and I'll find out in August!

Posted by: Gregor Hutton On: Jul 9th 2010

Oh, Deals! Yes! Jari cut a Deal with AC and got three successes! Reif cut a Deal with Templar (and "gave up" info on Brabham I think) ... and he got nothing.

That is just great.

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