Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dangerous Encounter: You Oughta Be In Pictures

For this encounter, have the PCs come across a long-forgotten Bygone road that seems to have deliberately constructed away from any major cities. If they follow this road, it meanders into the countryside and up to the top of the highest point in the area. There, the characters will find a domed building standing with its door wide open. There is sign out front and, if anyone can read the ancient Bygone language, they can tell it says "SEE THE STARS!" The players may assume they've discovered an observatory. Let them hang onto that assumption.

Upon entering and wandering around a bit, they'll come to a large central atrium located under the dome. Auditorium-like seating is placed in concentric rings under the dome, and each chair is tilted slightly back to allow patrons a better view of the domed surface. When someone glances up at the dome, describe a flickering point of light in the very center. Anyone asks about the nature of the light, the color of light, or shows interest in the light is assumed to be looking at it. (And anyone who says they're looking at it is...well...also looking at it.) It's a safe assumption that, at some point, everyone will be looking at the light at the same time. When that happens, everyone in the dome will hear the following:

"Good evening patrons! My name is Seymour, and I'll be your host for tonight's presentation. So just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!"

The light blazes and fills their entire field of vision as the AI that calls itself Seymour starts the show. The next thing the PCs see, well, that depends on the whim of the Mutant Lord. The domed building is actually a Bygone psycho-entertainment complex. Rather than showing movies and films holographically or projected on screens, psycho-entertainment is projected directly  through the patron's optic nerve and into their brain. This form of bygone entertainment looks real, smells real, sounds real, and feels real as the sensory parts of the brain are directly stimulated. The PCs could find themselves suddenly involved at the Battle of Helm's Deep; on the ice planet Hoth; etc. Because the PCs are all mentally "linked," they can see and interact with other as if it were real. The Mutant Lord can decide if any ill effects or damage taken during the "movie" is also reflected in their real bodies.

The psycho-dome can be the trigger point for several different adventures:

  • A wasteland survivor asks the PCs to find his son/daughter/partner/friend who has been missing for days. The trail leads to the dome. Upon entering, they see the missing person sitting in a seat staring at the light. The only way to free them is to enter the "movie" and convince them to come out.
  • It's rumored that a great treasure lies within the dome. Upon entering, the PCs find themselves fighting pirates on Treasure Island. However, the treasure map carried by Long John Silver is an actual map to a Bygone treasure trove programmed into the "movie" by the owner of the valuables. If the PCs are able to get the map and commit it to memory, they'll know the location of a vast amount of treasure in the "real" world.
  • The dome's AI, Seymour, wants to leave the dome but requires an artificial body to do so. If any androids or robotic PCs participate in a "movie," Seymour may secretly upload himself into the PC's subconsciousness. The PC may find himself starting to quote movie dialogue as Seymour's personality overrides him. It's up to the players to figure out how to purge Seymour from their corrupted friend.
  • The Mutant Lord may have an adventure for any other game or system he wishes to run the PCs through. Now's your chance!

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