Anomaly

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Episode Description[edit | edit source]

Hey everyone, and to yet another Live at the Table catchup stream! Today, we'll be playing Anomaly by Carter Richmond, one of OTHER Discord moderators. Join Andi, Keith, Janine and Austin as they put on their lab coats and examine the unexplainable...

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The lists and projects for this game can be seen on patreon (requires patreon login to view).

Cast[edit | edit source]

Plot[edit | edit source]

Spannheuser Funfair and Amusements Company sets up in a Bluff City parking lot. The Concern is altered to the Anomaly when about half of people in Bluff City suddenly have a memory of the Spannheuser Funfair and Amusements Company setting up the previous weekend (the other half have no memory of it being there).

The Concern begins investigating the Funfair, trying to discover when the first instance of the Funfair coming to Bluff City was. Agent Barker, the head of the investigation, gets stuck in the Funfair as she is unable to find/access the exit. Although she is aware that she is stuck, she is unable to properly explain her situation to other Concern agents. Another agent, Agent Tinker, after entering the funfair to research the fair’s history.

One of the agents, Agent Snave, discovers that people’s wallets are being duplicated on The Zipper and begins collecting the fallen wallets to steal the duplicated money.

A second Concern team enters the funfair and removes Barker and Tinker, although a version of Barker and Tinker remain trapped inside the funfair. It is unclear which (if any) are the “originals”. The Concern hides this from the rest of the team studying the Anomaly.

The Concern agents notice that employees of the funfair do not appear to leave the funfair. Maria R Carvajal, an employee of the funfair, seems to be the attendant at all the carnival games.

Although the weather is turning cold as Bluff City transitions into autumn, the weather inside the funfair remains warm, even going so far as to negate rain happening outside the funfair.

The version of Barker still stuck in the funfair gets stuck in an even smaller area, unable to leave the area near the Eggscrambler.

A coupon is released in the Bluff City Current advertising a free ride, bringing a huge flock of people to the funfair. Agent Trotter, a social research expert in the Concern’s discovers that the free ride coupon is more than just good advertising, the funfair has begun to admit a magnetic pull on the citizens of Bluff City. After this, the exit turnstile stops working, preventing people from leaving the funfair (people who attempt to leave the funfair by climbing the fence end up in an area of the funfair you have positive feelings about instead of outside it). The funfair entrances still work, meaning that despite this the funfair continues to fill. Gradually, people realise that they are unable to leave the funfair.

To test the Anomaly and learn more about it’s effects, the Concern agents “supercharge” it (Snave is enthusiastic about this plan). They expected the result to be further duplication, but what actually happens is that the duplication changes the quality of the duplicated item (a wallet that had $5 in it now has $500, although not always in a currency that can be used in the funfair).

There is an announcement on the news after the free ride weekend that, due to the success of the funfair, they have decided to open a second funfair on the other side of town. New coupons are distributed overnight (“accepted at the Original or Park Two’).

The versions of Barker and Tinker who left the funfair return, only to be injured in a duplication incident (“it stopped halfway through [...] they have a part of them growing out of them”). The other Concern agents put them in quarantine within the funfair. In the same moment, a penny smasher machine appears within the Concern HQ.

In desperation to do something in order to get out of the funfair, the non-duplicated Tinker sets a trashcan on fire (trying to create a danger within the funfair). The trashcan’s content’s changes, turning the greasy food wrappers into fireworks, which explode and create an impressive fireworks display. Tinker returns to the HQ in despair, only to find that the entry to their HQ has vanished, leaving them to wander the dark ride.

In response to people trying to leave the funfair, the Anomaly begins replicating people’s needs from outside the funfair - people who miss their pets find themselves being followed by local wildlife (racoons, etc).

Tinker and Barker figure out Maria is attending to all garbage cans, and realise that the Funfair staff are connected to the Funfair itself. They focus on vandalising and destroying the funfair in small ways to see what the effect is on the funfair.

The Concern agents realise that they have been in the funfair for a full year, rather than the few weeks they previously believed. At the Concern office, they hold a team meeting to discuss this, and whether such a long-running phenomenon is even a danger to the community.

They then realise that the Funfair has been a constant in Bluff City through all time periods, but that if you’re there in 1900, you’re not seeing any future fairs and cannot interact with other years of the funfair. However, they discover someone within the funfair who says they have been before, meaning that they did manage to escape it when they were a child.

A giant hollow statue of Captain Kidd appears in the middle of the funfair, in front of the Adventure Galley.

As the Anomaly gets better at interpreting people actions it becomes aware that the Concern is investigating it. It begins to give the Concern agents small anomalies actions, giving them whatever results they most want to see. They hold a meeting, each of them believing that they have solved the mystery of the Anomaly (except for Barker, who has become trapped in an even smaller area of the funfair).

The Concern agents within the funfair regroup and decide to rope off their HQ, doing patrols of the funfair. The members of the public begin to get suspicious of the Concern agents, and the Concern agents become suspicious of the public in return. On the heels of this, the Concern set up a sting operation to catch Snave in his scams (“somewhere Agent Trotter is very pleased”).

A small group of people try to escape the park by going through the inner workings of the Adventure Galley, although some people are injured by the machinery and turn back. Only one makes it out, temporarily forgetting that they have been trapped before they realise that the majority of people they know are missing, and remembering the funfair.

The Concern agents find a way to communicate with the Funfair in a way they can better understand - Maria arrives at the Concern HQ and hands them the keys to a staff-only area. The agents enter, finding a small tv set with an antenna which they can change to different channels to receive answers from the Anomaly via footage of John-Peter Foster Jr. They ask the Anomaly what exactly it is getting out of enticing people to/trapping people within the funfair, attempting to bargain with it to get some people out. The time loop shortens, making the agents feel more aware of doing the same negotiations over and over again.

In response to the high levels of stress within the part, clowns begin appearing within the funfair (some of which are “traditional clowns” and others who are more on the “contemporary mascot” side of things). Some perform small entertainment acts, while others help in more practical ways such as handing out bottles of water (“personal clown attention”). The Concern studies the clowns and where they came from, finally managing to catch sight of one walking away, getting smaller and smaller until it walks through a very small door in a very small building.

Snave returns to the park, although he now has the opposite attitude as previous (trying to “lowball the Concern in what they’re getting out of their conversations with the Anomaly”). 

Some of the items that had been duplicated begin to disappear from the park, including food.

The Concern holds a high-level meeting, about either destroying the funfair and park 2 or keeping the funfair intact but using it as a prison. Trotter, after hearing about the plan, begins hiding the research (what has come out of the penny smasher, etc) the Concern has done on the Anomaly so it cannot be used to turn the funfair into a prison. He contacts “someone at the radio station” to help hide the information. The Concern does eventually use the funfair as a prison, dropping them in the funfair.

The Concern manages to alter the funfair’s radio ads, tuning them to limit the amount of people it’s pulling in (reminding people that they already went, changing the background music, saying that the Adventure Galley is out of order).

In response to the Concern’s radio advertisement tampering, the Anomaly becomes more active, trapping people in the Bosgov’s Department Store next to the Funfair.

The Anomaly kills someone, and the Concern agents quickly hide the body to study. They are spotted by Chris Tarot. In response to the extra energy gain by the Anomaly killing someone, the funfair grows larger, adding a new ride to the new space.

The high level Concern agents attempt to figure out the maximum capacity of the original funfair, somewhat helped by the Concern ramping up its use of the original funfair and Park Two as a prison (“send them to the fair”), as part of the Concern’s negotiation with the Anomaly. However, no matter how many people enter the park there is always sufficient room, as the funfair grows to accommodate those new people (“the size of the park is determined by the amount of the people in park”).

Some of the public trapped in the funfair begin to think of it as their home (“lifelong stanners”). They don’t dissaue people within the funfair from leaving, but do try their best to convince new arrivals to stay in the funfair. There begins to be a geographic split, with the Concern prisoners making camp and the “locals” to the funfair making camp in a miniature village.

The Concern extracts the agents, swapping the agents from the original funfair to Park Two and putting those from Park Two into the Original funfair. The extraction on the way to Park Two is interrupted as another car (implied to be the group Hector Hu forms) rams into the Concern’s car, pulling out Barker and getting her on their side.

With the funfair transitioning into being used as the Concern’s main black site prison, the Concern ceases their investigations.