Orphic Institute for Advanced Studies


Have you lost your memory? The Orphic Institute for Advanced Studies offered to help with its revolutionary Mnemosyne™ treatment process. By ordering their useful treatment guide, you can learn how to get your memory—and your life—back.

The content below is from the 2009 archived pages of the Orphic Institute for Advanced Studies.

You can order a pdf. version of A Penny for My Thoughts for $7.95 at www.evilhat.com/home/a-penny-for-my-thoughts-old/


Reassurances & Facts


While Mnemosyne helps to break down the barriers between your mind and the minds of your fellow patients, it also weakens  the barriers between the compartments of your mind. Memories, dreams, books, paintings—all of these may mix together. To help you distinguish fact from fiction, we have prepared this guide to the world you live in. You may treat the following statements about the world as true:
•       You were discovered in the aftermath of a battle against a terrible horror beyond the understanding of man.When you came to,you remembered nothing of the terrible destruction that happened, of the lives lost, of anything about your past. While it was our hope that you would live out the rest of your days in peace without the memories of your former life, a great crisis is looming.  Locked inside your fractured psyche is knowledge that could help mankind survive in the time to come.
•   It is the early twentieth  century.   Human technology—motor cars, telegraph, electric streetlamps, radio, etc.—has not advanced beyond your hazy recollection of it, nor has humanity yet been thrown into a new dark age. If images of sinister alien weapons, portals to otherworldly places, horrific methods of surgery or other such inhuman things enter your mind, it is likely that they are not of human  origin.
•   To most people, the world is a mundane place.  People see wonders  and terrors from simple and personal things, like the birth of a child or the death of a loved one.  But beneath this calm veneer is a harsh, uncaring truth—there  are things beyond time and space that would crush this world without any sense of human remorse.  Few know about such things, and even fewer live to tell tales. If you recall spirits, monsters, aliens, and terrible gods in your therapy, do not immediately discount it as fantasy.
•   You are a normal, everyday person.This isn’t to say that you might not be a remarkable individual, as you have fought against the nightmarish darkness and still live, but feats like leaping across rooftops or manipulating the minds of others are impossible without super- human intervention.
We hope that this will aid you in recovering your identity and helping us defend ourselves. Please know that we are monitoring your progress throughout the treatment, though, for reasons explained earlier, we cannot intervene during it.  Should you accidentally recall false memories, we will collect you once the process is complete  and attempt your treatment again. Please know that if your memories are too much to bear, we will help you and continue your treatment in our facility.



My Fam: Recently I was visiting my mother in New Hampshire. I see her every several months to make sure she is doing ok living by herself now that my father died several years ago. She's an opinionate lady who is quite self sufficient. But she also is aware that she occasionally needs help. On this visit she wanted to have me show her how to order prescription glasses frames online. Well that was how she put it. What she really needed help with was placing an order for replacement lenses on a website, Eyeglasses.com, she had found. This site not only sells eyeglass frames but they also will replace lenses, including prescription lenses. All you do is mail in your frames, send them your current prescription and they will replace them. I had to call my mother's optometrist to get her prescription but once I had that info I was able to show her how to proceed. Once that was taken care of I took my mother out to lunch. We started reminiscing, as we often do, about some of my father's quixotic searches for the meaning of life and the self and lost or repressed memories. We sat quietly for a moment and then simultaneously said "Orphic Institute for Advanced Studies." Oh yes, my father ordered the pdf. version of A Penny for My Thoughts pamphlet and listened to all their podcasts. Eventually he became distracted with another potentially enlightening method. Towards the end of his life he started following the buddhist philosophy and finally found some peace. Update: My mother's new replacement lenses arrived in her favorite eyeglass frames about two weeks after we made the order. She is so pleased with the results she sent in another pair of frames for replacement lenses, placing the order without any help!



Posts 2009


Links To Further Information

July 13th, 2009 Doctor Tompkins

The weeks since the publication of our instructional text,A Penny For My Thoughts, have generated quite a bit of discussion about it. We have added a section to our Resources & Downloads page for links to these podcasts, forum threads, and blog posts in the hopes that will help answer questions you have about our therapy process.

Instructional Text Now Available

June 16th, 2009 Doctor Tompkins

We at the Institute are pleased to announce that the manual for our Mnemosyne Treatment process is now available. Order by the end of June to receive the print version along with a PDF copy of the text for only one penny more than the book’s cover price.


Important Papers

June 10th, 2009 Doctor Tompkins

There are two foundational documents in our procedure. The first, the Facts & Reassurances, gives our patients a solid grounding in reality by laying out certain truths they can rely on. The other document, a Questionnaire that patients fill out as the therapy progresses, comes in several forms. While there is a standard format, which we have used for years at the Institute, we have found that one size does not fit all when it comes to memory loss. Because the format and order of the questions guides and structures the process, some variation can be useful. To that end, we have created two variants. The first focuses less on the progression of the patient’s actions that led to the trauma and more on the patient’s inner state. The other inverts the normal order and instead regresses the patient back through their past. It is our hope that if the standard Questionnaire does not work for a particular patient, one of these alternate versions may.


This Is Strange…

June 8th, 2009 Doctor Tompkins

While assembling our instructional manual, I came across a peculiar object. It was a piece of paper, covered with scribbles and connecting lines. It seemed to comprise a number of quotes from Proust. Strangest of all, it appeared to be in my handwriting, though I have no memory of writing any of it. What compelled me to put it in the book, I cannot say.


Sample Treatment Transcript

June 4th, 2009 Doctor Tompkins

In order to give you a complete picture of what a therapy session can look like, we have included in our instructional text a transcript of an earlier group undergoing the treatment. It not only demonstrates how the procedures described in the book can translate into action, it is also annotated to point out how the techniques we have developed can be applied more effectively. 


The Mnemosyne Treatment Process

June 3rd, 2009 Doctor Tompkins

Our goal at the Institute to provide treatment for conditions that traditional medicine has deemed incurable. In the case of acute global amnesia, we have come to rely on Mnemosyne, an experimental drug that allows those who take it to access one another’s unconscious memories. In the wake of this startling breakthrough, we have developed a therapy manual  that guides you through the steps of the procedure. In our Resources & Downloads section, you can find both a flowchart providing an overview of the process and an excerpt of the procedural text itself.


Introducing Doctor Tompkins

June 2nd, 2009 Doctor Tompkins


I am Dr. Peter Tompkins, Director of the Orphic Institute for Advanced Studies. I am very pleased that we will soon be bringing a version of our revolutionary Mnemosyne treatment for acute global amnesia to the public. While some of my colleagues have suggested that such a move is foolhardy, I know that if we keep our methods to ourselves, we cannot possibly reach all of the people who might benefit from them.

The instructional text is already available for pre-order, and over the coming days and weeks we will be bringing you more information about its contents. Today, we preview the first chapter,How We Can Help.


A Penny For My Thoughts: Instructional Text Preorder

June 1st, 2009 admin

Have you lost your memory? The Orphic Institute for Advanced Studies can help, with its revolutionary Mnemosyne™ treatment process. By ordering this useful treatment guide, you can learn how to get your memory—and your life—back. Order today.

The Orphic Institute for Advanced Studies: Bringing the Truth out of Darkness™.

For a limited time, you can preorder this instructional book together with the PDF for only one penny more than the book’s cover price. Take back your memory today with A Penny For My Thoughts.



May 26th, 2009 Doctor Tompkins

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.


Resources & Downloads

Excerpts & Notes From Our Instructional Manual

  • How We Can Help
  • An Excerpt of Our Process
  • Sample of Treatment
  • Proust Diagram

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

  • Podcasts:
    • 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)
  • Forums:
    • 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:
    • Review of A Penny For My Thoughts (Gaming Brouhaha)
    • Interview with Paul Tevis (Gamegrene)
    • Review of A Penny For My Thoughts (Purple Pawn)
    • Review of A Penny For My Thoughts (Game Cryer)
  • 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