Amusement parks are fascinating places, designed strictly to entertain. Some are generic, while others have a theme, like pirates or medieval times, which all of the rides, games, and employee uniforms match. Some are massive, sprawling places, while others are tightly packed little park. They could be located on the outskirts of the city, out in the country, or (more rarely) nestled in between skyscrapers and office buildings.
Most often, they have rides and games. The rides can be massive open-air structures, like a roller coaster or a Ferris wheel, or less thrilling but more atmospheric rides like the Tunnel of Love.
Funhouses are also common – these are similar to rides, in that people wander through them and are entertained by their surroundings, but in a funhouse, people usually walk through (instead of being transported), and the idea is to be scared, surprised, or confused. The attractions could be brand-new, comfortably worn, or completely run down, or different attractions might be in different stages of repair or development.
Games are either games of skill, like the ring toss or the waterguns, or games of chance, like Spin the Wheel. Some amusement parks still have old carnival attractions as well. These can be little games like Guess Your Weight or Strongman (where the participant tries to hit the target with a mallet and make the indicator to strike the bell at the top of a measuring pole) or sideshows with strange sights like the Bearded Lady and the Serpent King (which are becoming more rare in the twenty-first century).
Parks that exist as permanent fixtures are more likely to offer a variety of rides, games, funhouses, and the like. Traveling shows, however, could still have Ferris wheels and some other rides, but might not have roller coasters, and most of its rides and booths would be smaller and more portable) Amusement parks want people to come and spend the entire day there, so they provide bathrooms, benches for taking a break, and concessions. The food can range from surprisingly good to barely edible, but it’s rarely fancy and generally consists of things people can eat while walking around – slices of pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, cookies, and ice cream are the most common. Some amusement parks charge an entrance fee, which includes all of the games and rides. Others charge nothing to walk around, but each game and ride has a separate cost.
Traditionally, the amusement park is a place to take the whole family, to go on a date, or to go hang out with friends from school. People rarely go alone, unless they are meeting someone else there. Because the park is filled with sights and sounds, it is an easy place to get lost – or to do something without being noticed. Teenagers often take advantage of this to steal candy or pull pranks, but adults also use the park’s cover for affairs, drug deals, and anything else they do not want to be seen. Even though amusement parks are supposed to be fun, some actually feel a bit sad, if the place is run-down and barely making money, or even sinister, particularly traveling shows.
Don’t Miss …
The Happy Time Amusement Park was built on a large square lot. It has a massive, aging roller coaster along the back end, a ramshackle House of Mirrors and a cheesy Tunnel of Love on one side, a brightly painted merry-go-round and other kiddy rides on the other side, a peeling Ferris wheel at the center, and a small, sagging ticket stand right in front. The park also has a concessions stand and several game booths (like Whack-a-Mole), plus a pair of small but clean bathrooms. The manager’s office is along the same side as the funhouse, back toward the corner and near the roller coaster. An access road enters between the manager’s office and the roller coast, and then loops around. Once upon a time, this was a wonderful park, and everyone came here on the weekends and in the summer evenings. But it has definitely seen better days, and now it’s just a sad reminder of its own former glory.
Things to See
+ Bags of yellow popcorn
+ Wands of light-colored cotton candy
+ Red hotdogs on white buns, slathered with mustard, ketchup, and sweet pickle relish
+ Wide slices of thin, greasy pizza
+ Waxed-paper cups of fizzing soda pop
+ Brassy arcade and video tokens
+ Dustpans and brooms
+ Green trash barrels mostly filled with crushed cups and half-eaten food
+ Backpacks and purses
+ Baby strollers (sometimes with babies in them)
People to Meet
Most amusement parks have ticket-takers, booth attendants, roustabouts (workers), barkers (salesmen), security, and the manager. Everyone should have at least one pip in con or charm, and everyone except security has one pip in business. The barkers have +20 or more in con or charm, and the manager has +2D in business.
Roustabout: Reflexes 2D, brawling 2D+ 1, climbing 2D+1, Coordination 2D, throwing 2D+2, Physique 2D, lifting 3D, running 2D+1, Knowledge 2D, business 2D+l , scholar: amusement park 2D+1, Perception 2D, streetwise 2D+2, Presence 2D, charm 3D, con 3D. Move: 10. Strength Damage: 2D. Body Points: 10. Wound levels: 2.
Things to Do
+ Kids are going missing, and each of them had been at the amusement park within days of their disappearance. The manager claims he knows nothing about it and that all of his employees are law-abiding citizens. But many of the workers vanish whenever the police show up to ask questions, and it is true that the attendants pay a lot of attention to small kids. Is that just good salesmanship, or something more sinister?
+ The amusement park seems to stay open late, with odd customers arriving in dark vans. They go directly into the covered rides, then emerge and go straight to their vehicles again and drive away.
+ An escaped murderer has vowed to get revenge against the woman who testified against him – her and her family. The police continue looking for him, but they’ve found no sign yet. Little do they realize chat the amusement park is always hiring people shore-term and rarely asks for references. Because the woman’s two kids love going there, it would be the perfect place for the man to go – he can watch her and her children and wait for the right moment to strike.