Monday, 15 November 2010

Adventure Hook: A Little Piece Of Home

A play on the classic timeslip as well as a bit of an autobiographical indulgence.

A Little Piece Of Home


TARDIS sensors, uchronal energy detectors, or the sharp eyes of a visitor from the future notice something amiss in the Tate Modern's new exhibition of work by emerging artists. One of a series of "found object mashup" sculptures is actually a broken 26th Century ray shield emitter, an anti-laser defence from the frontline of the Antares Campaign. So what's it doing here?

The artist, Philip Browder, claims to have found the piece in a skip two months ago, and can't really remember where although he narrows it down to a few streets around Camden. No other interesting crosstime junk can be found, but timey-wimey detectors go ding when pointed at a nearby tenement building.

It has somehow become unstuck in time, and shifts with little warning between the past, present and future. Events in its history and future play out in different rooms, ghostly images not quite seeing each other but visible to the time-aware and psychically sensitive. Walls suddenly gain old paper and Victorian daguerreotype photographs - or turn into the automated doors of a 26th Century frontline facility.

A squad of soldiers of the breakaway Antares colonial military escaping a blast by Earth forces was thrown here, and a few of them are still stuck in the present, and really not happy about it. They widen the rift in order to escape, making the house more temporally unstable, and then charge on Browder's studio to reclaim the other items he stole and hid when questioned. Using these, they plan to send themselves back to their own time - which will also result in the southern half of Britain and a fair-sized chunk of northern France being snapped between three time periods, ageing everyone there to death in seconds.

Things To Do: Track down the disturbance and deal with the Antereans however possible.

Antagonists: Antares Shocktroops. And underground art scene hangers-on.

Action Scenes: Exploring the house out of time, returning the ray shield emitter to its rightful owner in the middle of a massive space battle.

Visuals: Futuristic space marines stomping around a modern art gallery and Camden streets. Walls changing from past, to present, to future d├ęcor. A character disappearing as the room changes time period.

Problems: It's possible that the characters could be separated in time as well as space. And the art scene is largely an amusing red herring rather than a key plot point, but players often find red herrings fascinating...

Things To Prepare For: Brush up on hardbitten futuristic military jargon and highflown artspeak.

Continuing the Adventure: How did they get back here? And what else might have come with them?

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