October 15

October 2015 Blog Carnival: What Walks Into Town

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This month the host is Scot Newbury of Dice and Dragons .

It’s been a few months since I wrote for the carnival and when October rolls around I seem to have a dozen or so ideas rattling around in my skull which is the perfect thing for this months carnival.

Picture the scene, a small 1950s town in California where things seem to be perfectly normal on the outside but beneath the town has a dark underside.  The residents go about their daily lives blissfully unaware that in a few days a time traveller will appear that will set a chain of events in motion which if unchecked threaten to unravel the fabric of space and time firstly by killing the family and friends of this stranger;  then slowly erasing the whole world from existence.

Our time traveller finds himself stranded in his new time, his time machine requires a specialised fuel to power it and that is something that is very hard to come by in the 1950s.  If there is one thing in his favour is that when he landed he did so at the edge of town so his arrival goes largely unnoticed by the general population; the only contact he has is with a deranged farmer who was convinced he came from outer space to eat his brain.

Also, since he has travelled through time and not space he can blend in with only a few odd looks from the locals, his clothing is slightly different and made from an advanced fabric, he speaks in a strange slang which is unknown to the good people.  Conversely there are things here that are alien to him;  auto-mobiles are very low tech and all appear to be stick shift and not the automatic vehicles from his home time.  People gather at the bandstand to listen to music being played, this structure has a very different use in his time; this is very much the era of live music, the theatre and going to school dance; even getting a simple shave or h.aircut can be entertaining with a quartet of barbers to hand.

After a chance encounter with a friend from his own time he is made aware that every interaction he has causes ripples that subtly alter the time-line around him; he has become like a butterfly flapping his wings here and a storm occurring over there.  A second accidental encounter means he meets his own parents and must atone for the damage he has caused to their relationship or else the aforementioned doom will befall him.

All the while he wanders he has knowledge of what is to come, maybe not to all the residents of this sleepy town but there are a few important people here and there with an important part to play in the future of this town.   So our poor traveller stuck in his past must tread a fine line or risk upsetting the cosmic apple cart.

Note.

When I wrote this I was going to reveal the identity of the traveller as it is based on someone but then I realised that it would spoil the set-up of the mysterious stranger and this would no longer be What Walks Into Town but Who Walks Into Town. So take what I have given you, change it if you will and use your own time traveller rather than mine.

I won’t stop you having a guess if you want in the comments below but even if you guess right; I won’t publicly acknowledge it.


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Posted October 15, 2015 by GeneralTangent in category "horror", "Modern", "RPG", "sf", "Time Travel

About the Author

I've been gaming on and off since about 1989 and during that period have played with numerous game systems. I'm fluent in a few, have a basic understanding of quite a few more and can get by in others. Somewhere along the way I found time to be a playtester, contribute to an unpublished game supplement and be associated with another gaming magazine written by far more talented people than I. This lead to one infamous article being written in which I followed the letter of the adventure and torched the parties river barge. I'm also listed on http://rpggeek.com as a game designer.

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