Today I offer you the review of Recuerda el mañana, the Spanish edition of the game Remember Tomorrow by Gregor Hutton (of whom I reviewed in 2014 3:16 Masacre en la Galaxia), published by conBarba as well as some utilities you may find interesting...
Recuerda el Mañana is a role-playing game settled in the Cyberpunk genre, inaugurated by William Gibson with novels like Neuromancer, Burning Chrome or Mona Lisa Overdrive and cinema and television examples like Blade Runner, adaptation of the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, the series Max Headroom or Johnny Mnemonic, based in a story of the same title by Gibson and I also would add the comicbook series Transmetropolitan , written by Warren Ellis and drawn by Darick Robertson.
As I said, Recuerda el mañana is a game with a setting in the cyberpunk genre in which is possible to develop plots which are'nt so different of those we see every day in news bulletins mixed with technological advances of the genre (extremities, artificial sight and hearing as well as body and mind enhancements), but instead of offering a previously defined game universe such as in Cyberpunk 2020 it allows all participants to create stories together, so they can agree on a common base to build the story.
To achieve it the game is based in the shared referee role, so players in addition to creating and playing his own character they also take turns to referee the game acting as Controllers and the story is structured in episodes made by scenes of no more than ten minutes long, Controllers can choose between three distinct types of scenes: Introduction scenes, Deal scenes and Face-Off scenes.
In Introduction scenes:
- A character can be introduced (especially in the first game turn, in which all players create a scene allowing to introduce them to other players).
- A faction can be introduced (in the second game turn all players create a faction, like a corporation or a police unit, it may be the enemy of one or more characters or be seemingly sidelined, but without helping characters to achieve their goals).
- New characters or factions can be introduced throughout the game.
- A character or a faction can be enhanced if rolls are good enough.
In Deal scenes:
- A character arranges a deal with a faction, so some of his characteristics can be improved.
- The Influence os this faction will grow, which will obviously affect all characters, including who made the deal.
- The exclusive character of other player becomes the target of a faction, other character or the Controller's character.
- The goal of the scene consists in preventing him to achieve his goal or give him some troubles (as we'll see later).
Characters are defined by the following traits:
- A name or handle
- An Identity (like a hacker, a cop, a political activist or an Artificial Intelligence, these can also be chosen randomly with a dice roll).
- A Motivation (desire for freedom, revenge os survival among others, these also can be chosen randomly as before and will allow the player to think about the character's goal).
- Gear (the player can choose or randomly decide to have 3 equipment pieces, like weapons, vehicles or cybernetic enhancements like optical implants or artificial limbs).
- Three Parameters to measure his success, with a distribution of 12 points at character's creation (minimum 1 and maximum 8 for each one, with 4 as average):
- Ready: Are you ready to face a situation?
- Willing: Are you willing to to do whatever is needed to achieve your objective?
- Able: Do you have the needed training and experience?
- A Positive Condition (PCon) and a Negative Condition (NCon) to choose from those written in the character sheet (give advantages and disavantages during the game).
Billy "64 bits" McLeod
Ready 4 Willing 2 Able 6
PCon: Prepared NCon: Hunted
Goal: Escape alive from the city taking with him all the information about all trickeries, thieving and contacts with the mob done by cops of 82th street precinct from two years ago.
Description: Billy is a young an experimented hacker living in his van, he has Otomo jacked senses and a READY chip.
Factions are defined by the following traits:
- The Type of faction (like a TV network, a government agency, a corporation or freelance individual).
- A Positive Condition (PCon) and a Negative Condition (NCon), which works likewise thos of the characters.
- A Motivation (as characters).
- Its' Influence (factions don't have the parameters Ready, Willing and Able, instead they have Influence to measure how powerful and far-reaching are and initialyy it will be 4, although during the game it could increase to 8 8 or decrease to 0).
Pcon: Connected NCon: Coerced
Description: Ishikawa-Diaz Corporation has specialized in making and selling all kinds of weapons and military vehicles, due to this fact it had contacted all kind of unscrupulous individuals and organizations, one of this contacts have carried out a highly questionable use of those products and some very good journalist knew about this and is blackmailing them since then.
Non-playing character: Elizabeth Ishikawa, heiress of the corporation founder.
Recuerda el mañana uses ten-sided dice (d10) to decide characters' actions outcome, usually 1d10 is rolled for each one of the Parameters (Ready, Willing, Able) and the player asigns the outcomes to each one as he wish, if the roll outcome is lower than or equal to the parameter level he will have gained a success.
Those successes will have a series of definite outcomes depending on the type of the scene being played and if it's starred by a character or a faction:
- In aIntroduction scene allows the character to add +1 to a Parameter (or +2 if he decides to put aside a PCon) for every success and allows the faction to acquire new PCon or remove NCon.
- In a Deal scen allows the character to arrange a deal with a faction (thus increasing its Influence in 1) and the character could increase Parameters' score (as in Introduction scenes), acquire a new PCon or remove a NCon.
- In a Face-Off scene (the most complex type) the Controller as well as the other players will have todecide the goal they want to achieve in this scene, making opposed rolls and having various results depending on the winner, let's see some examples:
- If the Controller using a faction wins he will have 1 Edge Dice (max 3) he could use with his exclusive character as an extra dice when rolling.
- If the Controller wins he could affect one or more players un-ticking a Ready, Willing or Able box filled previously.
- If the Controller wins he could impose a NCon to one or more characters.
- If a player character wins he could acquire a PCon, remove a NCon, improve a Parameter in 1, achieve the scene's goal, etc.
- Impose a consequence to the loser, like decrease a Parameter by 1, erase a Parameter box, impose a NCon, etc.
- Are eliminated (in the characters' case when one of the Parameters decrease to 0 or is killed imposing a NCon having "Injured" and "Dying" conditions, if it is a faction when Influence reaches 0).
- Characters achieve the goal stated whrn created and having ticked or their Parameter boxes (i.e. all the Ready, Willing and Able rolls being successfull) and factions increasing its influence to 8.
Recuerda el mañana belongs, thanks to its shared narrative mechanics and using a minimalist ruleset (gracias a sus mecánicas de narración compartida y al uso de un reglamento minimalista (its great asset in case players and referees not having enough time for preparing gaming sessions), to the wave of independent games appearing in recent years and so it will appeal to fans of thes type of games and cyberpunk genre followers.
Recuerda el mañana also could be used for creating stories in which is important the characters' interaction like in case of thrillers and noir novels (something easy with cyberpunk works, look at Blade Runner), players only will need to agree upon initial conditions definition as well as modifying the lists available in the game to suit their needs. If players want to create a story with setting in Chicago during the Prohibition they won't have access to avanced equipment like cybernetic implants and if the story develops during the Second World War in Bletchley Park the most suitable character types will be criptography experts as well as spies to give a couple of examples.
To finish I offer you a couple of utilities I'm sure you will find interesting for your gaming sessions of Recuerda el mañana:
First of all here you have a Youtube list with themes Astradyne by Ultravox and Remember tomorrow by Iron Maiden as well as a 80's music compilation created by ThePrimeThanatos.
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