Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Sentient Meetings, Care Bears, Magical Meth Labs: Locations & Events for Magic, Inc

I ran Magic, Inc twice at Games on Demand: Origins and Steven desJardins has a generous assessment of one of those sessions. He mentions one of my favorite details; he altered his name tag as he traveled in time. Before and during the convention I sketched out a list of random places PCs might end up at or things that might happen to them as they trekked across the facility. These could be set-pieces, GM intrusions, or hard/soft moves. Anyway, here's what I've come up with so far. 

Fifty Places and Locations
  1. Everyone in office desperately engaged in heated phone-game competition. Option: game eerily echoes recent events, movements, or situations related to the PCs.
  2. PCs get lead on information. At location the so-called department “database” is actually 20 file directories full of spreadsheets dating back to the mid-80s.
  3. A raging and ongoing battle of one-upmanship over cubicle décor. Turning violent.
  4. Department undergoing yearly emotional fallout cleaning. Uses noisy heavy machinery. Have to be careful not to get too close as it draws off hope first. Offices may or may not be currently populated. Alternative: fumigation set up for this. 
  5. Boss has all phones programmed with an assortment of popular and/or moronic ringtones and alarms. These go off constantly.
  6. Raised floor or ceiling crawlspace conceals a secret passage or a dungeon.
  7. Department staff are robots wearing ill-fitting, obvious, and/or patchwork human costumes. Will go out of their way to illustrate how "hu-man" they are. May turn Killbot if secret revealed. 
  8. Department overwhelmed by catalog and fundraising sales obligations. They've lost track of whether these come from children/relatives of workers or some outside infestation. Sellers will latch on to new arrivals. The guilt force is palpable.
  9. There’s a never-ending cycle of carry-ins, becoming more and more elaborate. Food has begun to pile up as janitorial services refused to deal with it.
  10. Workers in office all have weird jerry-rigged VR headsets they're unaware of. 
  11. Undergoing constant renovation. Workers still required to complete tasks at their desks. Tarps draped over many them. By the time the redesign has reached one end of the office, they’re beginning a new approach from the other.
  12. Danger room for “Agile” development.
  13. Formal Mondays, Casual Fridays, Medieval Thursdays, Carnivale Tuesdays, Cosplay Wednesdays.
  14. Raised floors sufficient to hide bodies. Evidence suggests they’ve been used thusly.
  15. Wizard office. Dead apprentices everywhere. Casual magic used to do the most mundane task. Glitter in the air turns out to be mage dander. 
  16. Everything in this office has an RFiD inventory sticker: sheets of paper, coffee cups, shoes. Each doorway has an alarm scanner. Best if PCs need something from here.  
  17. Call center has removed walls and encroached into the department. It keeps expanding. A constant droning din of conversations fills air. Like a siren song, but not in a good way.
  18. Threadbare department desperately trying to survive as they engage in an unending struggle to get  purchasing approval. They will strip office supplies from any interlopers.
  19. The department's a secret, not supposed to exist. The workers will try one of three things: attempt to mind-wipe the group; immediately begin dismantling to relocate; or scatter to the four winds.
  20. Care Bears. One non-Care-Bear accounts person.
  21. Office has an open plan, and it is vast and empty. The echoing halls go on and on. Absenteeism means that most desks are empty. The sound of keyboards clicking in the distance. Crossing requires survival tests.
  22. Indoor moat. PCs need to get drawbridge lowered to talk with department or cross through.
  23. Office has been contaminated: radiation, magic, moon prism power, whatever. Everyone’s working in contamination suits.
  24. Furtive and paranoid staff. They’re hiding a fully outfitted breakroom kitchen  from the fire safety division.
  25. Local libertarian vermin infestation.
  26. Doorway leads into the middle of a dangerous team-building exercise. Instructors won't accept they accidentally wandered in. 
  27. Office located next to corporate alarm panel: there’s constant drills and vendor testing.
  28. Boss brings his beloved and ill-behaved blink dogs to work with him. They're ill-behaved and set upon any visitors, like the PCs. 
  29. Office filled with card-board cut outs or mannequins. There’s a tape on loop playing office sounds. Alternately, it's silent when they look in but they hear murmurs when they’re outside.
  30. The previous department heads have had their heads mounted on the wall. Boss very proud of the display. 
  31. Giant Wicker Man set up in the middle of the office. Staff refuse to acknowledge it.
  32. Strange commissary with mystery food. Pay for it in chits and get a boxed lunch of uncertain origin.
  33. Department split between a giant industrial shredder destroying documents and a massive team reassembling other shredded materials.
  34. Difficult to get to office reveals a Robinson Crusoe-like castaway: a drone sent down here twenty years ago to get something from the supply closet.
  35. Off-the-books homemade recreation center and jungle gym built from stray furniture and supplies.
  36. Office fight club. Two workers with hands tied together by USB cables are armed with staplers and sharpened rulers. Don’t talk about fight club. They enforce that. 
  37. Numbers station playing over the speakers here.
  38. Department on the ropes, rumors of closure. Gremlins have swooped in to scavenge.
  39. Raised floor or ceiling crawlspace conceals a multigenerational horde of vermin (spiders, rats) intelligent or otherwise. Alternately, feral Borrowers.
  40. Office actually has windows.
  41. Doorway leads through onto a stage. Massive hall filled with an audiences. PCs expected to give an impromptu "TED"-style talk. 
  42. Curse, hex, and malediction storage area. Bad leakage.
  43. Office has massive electronic background noise. Workers don’t notice and can hear the PCs just fine.
  44. Sentient and vampiric meeting draws in the PCs and drains their will to live. They’re required to give a presention on their project progress as well.
  45. Office lies in ruins from some kind of recent battle. Perhaps there's a giant footprint. Alternately a crater at the center of the devastated room has a glowing meteorite in it.
  46. Office has computer system made of a system of pneumatic tubes.
  47. Abandoned freight elevator concerted into mobile lounge and bar.
  48. Office completely dark. Populated by nocturnal creatures and/or personnel wearing night-vision googles.  
  49. Statues at each of the desks, save for terrified data entry person. He'll direct them to the medusa office manager. 
  50. Meeting room empty save for a sword in a stone at the center of the table.

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Events, Travel, or Otherwise
  1. Repossession of their office equipment, either taken away or infested with a ghost.
  2. Team is called in for training on a process unrelated to their work. Alternately, team is called in for “Retraining.”
  3. Player’s actions create a nemesis for no reason. Alternately nemesis shows up to challenge PC but they don’t remember them.
  4. Find themselves billed for hours and time: for something they haven’t done, for talking to someone, for a prophetic consultation. Alternately bill is a warning from the future.
  5. Cornered by an emotional vampire.
  6. Arrive at their own secret going-away party.
  7. Parasitic company member assigned to “assist” them.
  8. Assigned a job shadow. Could be a literal shadow. Could be an ongoing dangerous distraction. Could be a useful sacrifice. 
  9. Highly placed relative of a boss is assigned to their care. They're accident prone, self-destructive, and/or cursed, of course.
  10. Assigned experimental office equipment.
  11. PC(s) stunned and tagged by HR. Tag is large and obtrusive.
  12. Paranoid internal security personnel pin them down and ask them random questions looking for contradictory answers.
  13. Power Outage. Emergency lighting reveals strange signs, hidden messages, and/or a treasure map. Also they lose any unsaved work. 
  14. Mood-ring name tags. These shows wearers emotion and level of agitation.
  15. They're assumed to be high-power consultants. Dragged into dangerous task.  
  16. PCs' travels disrupt an ongoing experiment, project, or ceremony. Think Half Life.
  17. Stalked by a living chain letter/memo. Alternately a manifested email they’re supposed to sign off on.
  18. Reality show being filmed. Either they accidentally walk in on it or suddenly become the subject. Alternately: experimental film
  19. Battle between two departments results in barricades they must cross. 
  20. Briefly attacked or interrupted by older/younger versions of themselves.
  21. Armed security rush past the PCs several times, going multiple directions with no explanation. Later appearances see them fleeing back the other way.  
  22. Drafted into the company talent show. Happening RIGHT NOW. 
  23. Evil twin of a PC discovered. 
  24. Potential Attention Attacks: Internet rumors spring up about them; someone calls them out on Faceless Book; they receive a reprimand for future activities; they're written up in a departmental newsletter. All of these can be reactive and happen as the PCs do things.
  25. Lunch stolen.