The Memory Game Tradition / Ritual in Acaelica | World Anvil

The Memory Game

The Memory Game is a recently developed Necini party game in which players extract their own memories using a Mnemomantic device called a Nemo before others blindly consume those memories and place bets on guessing their source.


Originally conceived by Castian and the mnemomancer Petran Vipho (who was famously expelled from The Mnemomantic Guild for his contributions), the game has seen enormous demand from the city's wealthy elite.


The Nemo

The Nemo is a contraption that looks not unlike a fanciful, golden hookah with a spherical, rotating base and a single hose attachment that terminates into a kind of crown. This crown is worn by each player both to extract their memories initially and then to consume others during the course of the game. The base contains small storage comparments for up to ten unique tokens (into which the device deposits extracted memories).


Building one of these devices is a painstaking process that cannot so far be performed by anyone but its inventors. Castian and Vipho have been understandably secretive about the magic involved in their construction. Fewer than ten are said to exist at this moment and future development is uncertain given rising tensions between Vipho and his former Guild.


Unsurprisingly, these devices are prohibitively expensive for all but the wealthiest individuals. This group, therefore, exclusively makes up the game's current playerbase (excepting those individuals hired to act as surrogates--usually in games with high maximum bets).


Playing the Game

After a group agrees to the minimum and maximum bets allowed during the game, each player selects a unique identifier token (into which they can deposit their memories using the Nemo) before placing the crown on their head.


They then use the device to extract two specific, non-identifying memories. The donation of two memories is required to prevent the process of elimination in later rounds of guessing (as one player may have both of their memories chosen and another player may have neither).


After all memories (and tokens) are stored within the device, the game is played in turns. Each player identifies themselves to the Nemo by removing their own token from the base before "locking" the device, resulting in the stored tokens being hidden from view. The player then consumes a single memory at random from the memories tied to the remaining tokens by again wearing the crown.


This player then tells the story of that memory aloud to the group before placing a wager on which other player donated the memory. Once the player submits their bet, the device reveals the memory's original donator and money changes hands. If the player guessed correctly, the donator of the memory pays the guesser what they waged. If the player guessed incorrectly, the guesser instead pays the original donator.


The game repeats until as many memories remain as players, at which point the remaining memories can be consumed by their original donators.


Forgive and Forget

Consumers of each memory are given the right to keep the memory as their own if they choose. Demands for the return of a donated memory are considered extremely gauche and those who make such demands are unlikely to be invited to future games.


Given the exclusivity of these games (and the ravenous appetite for them), this line is effectively never crossed.


Raising the Stakes

A somewhat unexpected side effect of the game's popularity has been an uptick in thrill-seeking (as well as the risks associated, including fatal accidents as an example).


Over a short period, the game has become increasingly about the social capital gained by having one's daring and exciting story told in an open setting, free of any possible concerns of boasting or self-indulgence. As players have tried to curate dangerous and thrilling memories to donate, some have (perhaps unsurprisingly) met untimely ends.

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