Roleplaying The 80s With Tales From The Loop – Part Three

October 10, 2018 by lancorz

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Welcome to Part Three of Roleplaying In The 80's with Tales From The Loop. In this article, I will be supplying one of my very own custom scenarios, which has been played and very well received.

Roleplaying The 80s With Tales From The Loop - Part Three

Click here to see more Tales From The Loop

Creating custom scenarios is very simple and, if your group takes control of describing your story collaboratively, they can be very fun, creative and interesting for storylines within your games. I'd like to make a point that my stories are unique and open for direction, which means that I may not add certain phases that TFTL requires, but instead let the story guide itself with a few bullet points to steer my players in the direction of the conclusion.

This story is inspired by the 80s classic, Honey I Shrunk The Kids (1989) and in parts Big (1988)

Holy Crap! We Shrunk Ourselves...

To give some context, we play our scenarios in our local town. This so happens to be alongside a seaside town with an established arcade along the promenade. This particular scenario takes place within the arcade and requires one of the kids to cause a malfunction with the Ghost Train, transforming themselves and discover the true Mystery of the Arcade.

Introducing The Kids

Each kid needs a reason to visit the seaside town. Perhaps they're all on a school trip, or ditching their last classes on a Friday. I like to ask at least two of the kids what's happening that morning, such as "it's 8am, Dad's cutting the lawn outside, a loud bang is heard and you smell smoke drafting through the window" what's happened? Ask them to describe the events that follow.

You should then tease a small part of the mystery, in this case; one of the kids overhears mom gossiping with the neighbour that Mike Holland, (Suzie Blair's uncle by marriage before she was divorced) is still missing after three months.

Try to make your introductions dull; this is when life is mundane. Not so uninteresting that your players will become bored, however, so try to make it dull but with exciting hints of the events to come.

Introducing The Mystery

Six months ago it was rumoured that the Arcade had introduced Small-Ville. It was all the rage when the kids found out that they would be able to drive small remote controlled cars, fire engines and police cars around the miniature city.

Upon appearing at the Arcade it seems that it's now been closed off mid-construction and none of the staff know what's happening with it. Since the head engineer, Mr Holland, disappeared three months ago, it's sat in limbo until he returns.

After this sad discovery the kids will make the best out of their time at the Arcade. Make sure to test their heights against the certain rides and reward them tokens for their prizes

Allow one of your players the chance to acquire the mysterious Queen's Nose token from a vending machine, random passer by or lying on the ground outside one of the rides. This is where our Big (1988) influences come in.

Treat the Queen's Nose as the magical token that glimmers in their hand. The kids won't notice it immediately though, it may shine brighter or heat up in their hands.

It's getting late; 8:15pm and the Arcade will close soon for cleaning and maintenance. Allow the kids to catch the last ride of the evening at the Ghost Train, where one of the kids will drop the Queen's Nose into admissions, triggering a paranormal event within the ride.

Solving The Mystery

The Ghost Train ends in a big, bright flash of light. The Arcade has seemingly changed for the kids; it's much later than expected, it's quiet, barren of activity and most of all... it's much, much bigger.

The kids have shrank to such an incredibly small stature that even the chewing gum pasted on the floor of the Ghost Train carriage requires a wide berth to be avoided.

You can either:

  • Allow them to panic.
  • Let them explore a whole new world of the Arcade.

Remember, as players of TFTL, they/you are children. Sometimes logical solutions aren't immediate and it's much more fun to play or freak out in these scenarios. Let your players decide what happens next.

During the excitement or panic in your players, they will  have the chance to witness a wild array of activity around the Arcade in the form of a small golf cart, no bigger than three inches tall.

The golf cart swerves around the rides, stopping off at the vending machines before returning towards Small-Ville past the barrier that mentioned it being "Under Construction" leaving behind it a wisp of wrapping papers and crumbs of chocolate chip cookie.

Following the small golf cart into Mini-Land the kids will discover the small city campsite of Mike Holland who has been living in the area for quite some time.

He has managed to acquire a small vegetable patch, sowing un-popped popcorn kernels, a miniature lavatory that definitely needs to be swapped out soon, and a small pocket sized stereo radio that is quietly announcing the recent rugby scores from today's match.

After talking with Mike, the kids will find out that he's been living there for three months without being discovered or returning to his normal state. He can't go out during the daytime in fear of being stood on by people walking around and all the notes he's attempted to leave around the area are mistaken for receipts and sweet wrappers, inevitably to be cleaned up and disposed.

If you haven't played around earlier, allow the players to explore with Mike and have fun on some non-conventional rides, such as the Candy Floss Float where you hold onto the candy floss and float around the Arcade.


It's time now for your players to realise that perhaps the Ghost Train wasn't in it's normal state and it could have been something to do with the Queen's Nose.

At this point it's good to allow your players the freedom to come up with their own ideas to save themselves and Mike from spending an eternity as Legos in Small-Ville. If they begin to show some difficulty, remember that the ticket booth can be accessed by other means than climbing, such as the Candy Floss Float if it were directed with some momentum...

As the Queen's Nose was last used on the Ghost Train, it'll be quite simple to access with Mike's technical knowledge. Allow Mike to boost the kids' Tinker, Comprehend & Lead skills with an additional two dice if required.


Once the kids and Mike are successfully transformed back, the Arcade is back to normal. Mike has included a whole new dimension of play to the Arcade, which includes a very expensive late night option that allows visitors to shrink down in size and experience the Arcade from a new perspective. He's even designed a small railway around the Arcade walls that they can ride along while he walks with them in normal size.

The kids get a considerable discount from the Arcade, courtesy of Mike. However, if anyone asks, they can agree or disagree to keep the mystery secret.

Give each of your players experience that should be noted during the playthrough and discuss any improvements that could help your players or your GM run their future campaigns. Open criticism will always improve your games, stories, and friendships in the long run.

Check out Part One here

Check out Part Two here

Next time in Roleplaying the 80s: Dad's Grass, 32nd Annual Lawnmower Races

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"Let your players decide what happens next."

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