Two women and a man, all dressed in white jumpsuits, sit around a table with a bowl of pennies in its center. Each of them has a small stack of pennies and a printed form. In front of the older woman sits a scrap of paper with the words “a taffy stretching machine” written on it. “… and my father looked down at me and said, ‘If you don’t want to ride the roller coaster, you don’t have to. You can wait here in the candy shop while your brother and I go,’” says the older woman. “I was scared.” As she speaks, the remembered terror creeps into her voice.
Her expression suddenly goes blank. She turns to the man. “What did I do or say then?” she asks, offering him the single penny in front of her.
The man considers for a moment, his brow furrowed. Staring at her, he replies, “You said, ‘No, I want to come with you.’”
She turns to the younger woman. “Or was it…” she begins, offering the same penny.
“You stayed there in the candy shop, chewing your taffy,” the other woman says.
She pauses before speaking again. “Yes, I remember now. I said, ‘No, I want to come with you.’” She hands her penny to the man. “And I had a fantastic time. It was so thrilling, so wonderful. That’s when I knew what I wanted to do with my life. And that is what I remember.”
She smiles as she writes on her sheet of paper, “When I think of taffy stretching machines, I remember how I discovered what I wanted to do with my life. I’d never felt such a sense of purpose before.” After she finishes, she takes a penny from the bowl.
“A penny for my thoughts,” she says.
Excerpts & Notes From Our Instructional Manual
Handouts & Treatment Materials
- Facts & Reassurances (Standard)
- Questionnaire (Standard)
- Variant Questionnaire 1
- Variant Questionnaire 2
- The Mnemosyne Treatment Process
- Materials (The ? Identity Scenario)
- Materials (Shadow Out of Memory Scenario)
Links to Discussions Elsewhere
- Announcement on HG,WT: For A Few Games More #44
- Interview on Canon Puncture #72
- Conversation on Master Plan #50
- Brief mention on Pulp Gamer: Out of Character #77 (starting at 15:01)
- Session recordings on Story Shtick: Parts 1, 2, and 3 (Note: This is recording of an earlier version of treatment and differs slightly from the published version.)
- Interview and play discussion on Narrative Control #35
- Play discussion and review on This Modern Death #43 (starting at 40:32)
- Brief interview and explanation on Virtual Play #41 (starting at 4:12)
- A Penny For My Thoughts is coming soon (Story Games)
- A Penny For My Thoughts now shipping (Story Games)
- A Penny For My Thoughts: This book is amazing (Story Games)
- Alternate settings (Story Games)
- Audience Investment and Distributed Fictional Entities (The Forge)
- A Penny For My Thoughts Q&A (Story Games)
- Reviews and Interviews:
- Blogs & Others:
- Chad Underkoffler: Hating Tevis
- Will Hindmarch: Tevis and Macklin Talk Shop
- Mick Bradley: Waypoints: A Penny For My Thoughts
- Sean Nittner: I’m an 8 year old that doesn’t like mustard and you’re an international bank robber?
- Sean Nittner: Actual Play – A Penny For My Thoughts
- Sean Nittner: A Penny for My Superpowers
- Seth Ben-Ezra: Amnesia and Improv
A Penny for My Thoughts by Paul Tevis