This rather modest website exists to bring together the authors working on the serial shared fiction story entitled "Total Immersion", abbreviated as "TI". The concept is simple; bring together a team of writers well-versed in story telling in the ASFR genre, offer them an intriguing cast of characters, and let them loose in a playground of perils that can turn people into statues, waxworks, mannequins, or other immobilized figures. A collaboration will be formed to create the initial starting point, after which individual segments will be written by separate authors. Everyone will come together again for the finale. The completed story will then be electronically published on the net.
- Authors [10-Mar-99]
- Map of the Adventure Levels [21-Apr-99, new sections at end]
- Character Sketches [02-Apr-99]
- Perils and Traps [02-Apr-99]
- Inspirational Pictures [15-Apr-99]
Picture the ultimate D&D Game; now jump into it. A combination of Dream Park, Fantasy Island, and the Holodeck. Only one catch; you're playing for keeps. Odds are offered and risks taken, with vast wealth awaiting the victor and an altogether different kind of notoriety reserved for the defeated. Into this web of intrigue comes Bob Paddington and his lady friend Brenda Jimenez [now named Gretchen Velasquez].
He has 'won' a visit to participate in a scenario and invited her as accomplice. Together they have been very much into FRP, SCA, and other role-playing fantasy games and in fact met that way. 'Total Immersion' has always been his ultimate challenge, Bob says, but he seems to know far too much about the place and their upcoming adventure.
They arrive and are costumed/armored for 'Commander Lepton's Quest', a 50's SF themed scenario, joining a group of about 5-8 others, some experienced, some not really knowing what they are getting into.
Thus begins a quest into a fantasy world where nothing is quite what it seems.
The general concept for the story involves a few other co-authors who will participate in defining the characters and some of the settings, then write individual segments where the gamers venture into the game in various groups to encounter (and succumb to) some very ASFR-like perils:
- Paralyzing Rays
- Freezing Chambers
- Mind-control Bracelets
- Time Standing Still
- Gilding Sprays
- . . . your favorite here . . .
The theme of this particular adventure is a 'Buck-Rogers' 50's view of the future with the same kitschy 'bad' special effects, Art-Deco scenery, and oddly envisioned technology (some robots that look like oil drums; mega-computers with lots of tape drives; rocketships with wings etc.)
The clothing and equipment also reflect this campy design sense familiar to anyone who has seen Flash Gordon or the recent Star Trek Voyager (tm) episodes featuring 'Captain Proton'. Use lots of fetish-like styles:
- Brenda's costume choices as 'Warrior Princess Flexia' seem limited to variations on skintight Lycra, including one silvery number entitled "7 of 9". Diaphanous sheer veils are also very common.
- Bob ends up looking more like The Rocketeer in leather, glass, and polished brass.
Our adventure takes place in a specially-constructed gaming arena which might be an actual island (similar to the 'Dream Park' stories). Some sets have been constructed, others are fakes or holograms (just light, unlike ST) Possibly use contact lenses to allow the participants to 'see' some 3D effects. Other characters seems to be live actors, and can take a role in the action though they fall victim before the ending. Toss in a few actual automatons too, or genre references (e.g. Robby the Robot, Indy Jones)
Sometimes the NPCs can 'let the mask drop' to interact with the players in amusing, sexual, or sinister ways. Clearly there is more than meets the eye.
The game begins, and it is a vibrant wondrous mixture of superb multimedia, stagecraft, and live action, like the best interactive ride they have ever seen and then some. NPCs appear and interact with the adventurers. Challenges are found or appear; both physical and mental with a healthy amount of athletic ability needed too. Look for a rope swing or ladder across a chasm, rocketship battle across the sky (Flash! Ah-ahhh) and similar Pulp SF clichés.
Occasionally things take a more ASFR turn as the perils result in the victims being immobilized or transformed in some way - sometimes these are NPCs but at other times one of the party disappears only to be found later turned to stone or enraptured by a mind-control helmet (BTW, some robots are silvery-colored people who seem almost alive).
A different author should take different parts of this adventure, and different groups of characters, and throw them into situations. Try for at least two or three distinct 'levels' (with increasing difficulty/peril) and bring the group together (possibly exhanging members) between these scenes. As the game proceeds, the players start to succumb so for the finale there are only 5 or so, including our heroes. There is a lot of opportunity here for indulging in a particular fantasy in these mini-scenarios; always describe the victim's fate thoroughly.
Here's the sketch of the ending that is planned. Let's work together on this part too, like the beginning:
Eventually the band of adventurers reach the palace of "Ming" (use a different name) and battle towards his throne room. More folks fall prey to a paralyzing ray although 'Lepton' and 'Flexia' make it through almost to the endgame. 'Flexia' is captured by robots while 'Lepton' finds the evil emperor and confronts him civilly (as heroes do) and asks him to surrender. 'Ming' retorts (lots of scenery-chewing here) that it "is Lepton who must yield, else his princess be lost forever". Flanked by guards, they move to a laboratory, where 'Flexia' has been locked into a large glass tube. Misty, cold-looking gases begin to flood the chamber, but she manages to yell out "Hurry, they're going to freeze me!" before succumbing. Our hero leaps into action, engaging 'Ming' in swordplay or another anachronism, while the fog swirls about her as she starts to stiffen into position. Action swings to the battling pair and Lepton finally runs 'Ming' through in a theatric manner. The villain's dying words are "You have beaten me, Lepton, but it is far too late for your companion!" He coughs once, and expires. Lepton looks back at the chamber, which is now opening to reveal Flexia completely encased in crystal-clear ice. Her eyes are frozen blankly open and Gretchen's rigid expression is one of open-mouthed fear. "Sorry, honey," he says, just as the "house lights come on" signalling the end of the adventure.
Now for the kicker: Bob knows he has lost again, on the very same level as before. A smarmy corporate type comes up and congratulates him on almost winning the game but that since he did not succeed, the 'quid-pro-quo-s' of the contract kick in and she becomes a chattel of the "XYZZY Corporation" until he can buy her release (Gretchen had signed some papers back then but not read any).
Catch is, the only way Bob can raise that much $$ is to play again and risk losing once more. The company wins either way.
Crestfallen, he wanders past the dressing room and into the empty waiting area for the adventure. He is all alone when he notices the surrounding garden has been decorated with Grecian-style statuary of females on pedestals. Drawn to one of them, a young damsel holding an urn, he looks carefully into the hard stone woman's face and says "Don't worry, Lydia, one of these days I'm going to beat them....."
Sequels and spin-off potentials abound! Who's interested?