There are a few awkward spots in this sub, but then I remember "We are being narrated to by a small town girl who has seen her share of strange things," and I realize that it works. This is equal parts silly, interesting and creepy. Way to go! Go to Comment
I actually like this a lot. It's a small-town microcosm of weird. I don't need to know why the national guard hasn't been called in or why the townsfolk aren't more up-in-arms. This is their hometown. This is the way it is. And the idea is internally consistent.
The friendlies are very interesting (especially the Overcoat Men). The formula might be something like: serious thing + silly strange thing + strange thing. I also really like all the questions that are unanswered, and the imperfect knowledge of the narrator.
The NPCs are okay, (although Betsy stands out as a mold-breaker). And the modular idea of this piece makes it seem like a collection of separate entries, rather than a single place. How does a tourist handle a chaser, anyway? Go to Comment
Flamingos arrive in flocks of 10-20 individuals. They show up in the spring months are gone as soon as summer ends.
Flamingos look almost exactly like lawn flamingos. They run around in quick, darting flocks and accost anyone they come across. They will crowd around a person and jostle against them until they are given a gift. If they are not given a gift, they may even grow hostile. Giving them food is the worst thing you can do, and causes them to fly into some sort of rage. They seem to especially enjoy hats, and may even follow you around and protect you for a short while if they are given a crisp, new fedora (for example).
Flamingos wear the gifts that they are given, whether it's a shamrock sticker, red lipstick, a chain of postcards, or a leather belt. Older flocks are often a motley assortment of knick-knacks and cheap jewelry. Once every bird in the flock has an ornament, the flock will settle down by rooting themselves in a quiet place. Oddly enough, the area around these rooted birds will grow grass, no matter where it is. Cul-de-sacs will erupt into grassy lawns in a few days if the flamingos are not chased away with loud noises. Once, they even got into the high school's gymnasium. The basketball court was filled with wildflowers by the time school started up again.
Lawn ornaments are rare in the Nexus, as the flocks of roaming flamingos will steal them and bury them. This is true even for lawn ornaments such as lawn gnomes. Flamingos seem to have an instinctive hatred for Cavemen, and will attack them on sight, perhaps because of the cavemen's habit of using lawn ornaments as weapons. Their greatest enemy is Hot Wind, which can (and has) instantly reduce a flock of flamingos to puddles of melted plastic and steaming cowboy hats. Go to Comment
And don't forget Old Man Stockard. His house is one of the safest places in town near the end of the summer, on account of all the flamingos he attracts. He has boxes of hats and baby costumes (tiny tuxedoes, army fatigues, etc) in his garage the he uses to bribe the flamingos. They roost all around his house. He sometimes gives the birds real gold jewelry; he must spend a fortune on that stuff. Go to Comment
I'm not sure it needs a villain. I see this more like a zombie-themed d20 modern sort of game, except the goal is normalcy instead of survival.
None of the NPCs listed are heroic-sounding, nor are they especially interested in eldritch lore. They're just people with other jobs who want to live a normal life in their town. I imagine quests would be more like "clear the football stadium of chasers and cavemen before the season starts" or "figure out why the tourists are bringing thousands of cans of cranberry sauce to the old mall and refusing entry to everyone else."
But that's just my take.
But if you want to have villains, here's some brainstorming: (1)carnivorous Santa Claus. (2) Evil sentient restaurant that never appears in the same place twice. (3) The Electric Company, whose bills require very strange payments. (4) The Internet itself (which is very different in the Nexus than anywhere else), intent on animating junkers and building a spaceship. (5) The Captain, who lives in the gigantic cargo ship in a parking lot and frequently unleashes strange things from his shipping containers. (6) Poppa Zombie. (7) Dr. Fetus. (8) The Party Animal. Go to Comment
Sometimes, after a particularly heavy spring thunderstorm, you might come across big, white bulbs in the soil. They're like mushrooms, except not as spongy as your average mushroom. Anyway, these white domes grow until they are ovals about a foot long. A few more days, and the things look like helmeted heads, buried in the ground up to their noses. If you actually put your face down there for a good look, you can see that they are helmeted heads, with ears and sunglasses and everything. After a couple of more days, the bicyclist will wake up, pull himself out of the dirt, and start walking around.
Brian Cooper says that he dug one up before it was done growing, but whatever it looked like scared him so bad that he's not talking.
Bicyclists look like people, except they're really skinny and they haven't got a butt. Like, at all. Their entire body is covered in black, foamy skin that looks like the stuff that real bicyclists wear. And I'm pretty sure that the helmet and sunglasses are actually part of their head (I've never seen under their glasses, or seen them remove any of their gear).
After they pull themselves out of the ground, they usually go into a corner and make a bicycle. I'm not sure how they do it, but Alana McBride told me that they make it from their spit, and shape it like a spider weaving a web. But she was finishing a bottle of scotch, so she might have just been pulling my leg.
The tend to bike around town furiously for a couple of weeks. I talked to one soon after he was 'born', and the bicyclist was only interested in learning which roads he could take in order to map a perfect rhombus. I told him we didn't have any roads like that. Then he wanted to find a route he could ride that would take him on a perfect circle "about six or seven. . . no! eight miles in diameter!" I eventually just showed him a map, and he settled for a square route, but he didn't seem happy about it.
Bicyclists will pretty much always give you a ride somewhere if you ask. It might not be where you want to go, though, but I've ridden on their handlebars before to get to work. They bike really fast, too. I've seen one go 75 on the freeway before.
After biking around for a few weeks, though, they die. They just keel over while biking. Usually Silver River Trash Removal picks them up, but if they fall in a ditch someone's got to get them out of there. Once, I guess one died while it was biking, and flew right under Betsy Burnam's porch. I helped get the body out from under there. I guess it had hit pretty hard, because it had split open. On the inside, the bicyclist was filled with stuff that looked like chocolate cake, but smelled like vomit.
I still have the bike, though. I used to ride it to work until it started getting kinda crumbly. Go to Comment
. . . huh. I have no words for this, other than to ask what you were smoking when you came up with half of this. Well-written, impressively odd and imaginative. Not really to my tastes but I can't fault it for that -- it's still a great setting. Well done!
P.S. love the additions by Forganthus as well. The flamingos were one of my favorite creatures, right next to the tourists. Go to Comment
I like this one a lot! Fun and entertaining to think about how it can be used. I would be tempted to go with Mourn's comment as well so the players could use it. Hate to see them die "by accident." Go to Comment