Here are five ‘box-text’ descriptions for the town of New, New Tinkertown, a technologically-forward city that acts as a magnet for inventors. This town was designed by Eric Lochstampfor, and you can find his full design layout here. His idea was expanded upon with permission for this post.
The purpose of ‘box-text’ descriptions is to set the scene by reading them aloud during your game.
The main business and tour district.
“Welcome to Center Town!” loudly proclaims the giant sign atop New New Tinkertown’s Grand Pavilion. Under the pavilion, an automaton band continuously plays the latest hit tunes, although it’s hard to hear with all the other sounds competing for attention. People rush by in vehicles of all sorts: odd two-wheeled ‘cyclers,’ golem carriages, even giant kites which soar through the air. Inventors’ contraptions whirl, blink and dance outside the shops to lure customers inside.
An area abandoned after a Tinker’s invention violently exploded.
While a few steps away the streets hum with traffic, here not even a stray haunts the burned-out ruins. Boards halfheartedly cover windows, char marks stain the bricks, and gashing holes pockmark the street. The destruction worsens down the road and culminates with a deep orange, building-sized smear. When the wind blows in just the right direction, it seems to carry the faint scent of burnt cherries.
A popular place to shop, or get blown up.
Behind heavy walls, and for a hefty entrance fee, a treasure trove of junk awaits. Stinking fumes rise in thick columns from deep within the junk heaps. Occasionally, something explodes and sends shrapnel flying. Scrappers climb over the junk piles in search of anything salvageable. Prudent scrappers wear masks, goggles and thick suits to protect against injury. The most cautious scrappers (and the longest-lived) carry long poles and check the ground before taking a step. Even then, sometimes a heap will spontaneously collapse, leaving only a yawning hole.
An experiment gone wrong.
Tourists lean against the Bubble’s clear surface trying to peer inside. An old woman quickly shoos them off shouting that this is a memorial site and they could at least show some respect. Mourners lay flowers in piles along the Bubble’s perimeter. A group of people dressed in white robes attempts to hand out pamphlets by a sandwich board which states “There is Hope! They are Not Lost!” The old woman gives them a weary look as she passes, but says nothing. The Bubble itself stretches for several blocks, and inside everything appears exactly as it did years ago. People, vehicles, and animals stand frozen in a singular moment of time. Near the center of the Bubble a faint, purplish light glows.
Where only the best (the crack) inventors live
Light in a rainbow of colors from the streetlamps bounces off the gleaming sidewalks lining the streets of Crack Town. The well-heeled footsteps of the pedestrians harmonizes with the hissing of well-oiled machines. Each house boasts an array of modern conveniences and unique inventions from automatic-extending awnings to transparent walls. In the street, construct trashcans suck up litter and dirt, leaving behind clean flagstones. A white iron fence sculpted with moving animals stretches across the end of one street. Behind it, a beautiful blue mansion floats on a hill of red roses. All kinds of colorful automaton birds and butterflies flutter around the mansion, their humming forming a pleasant melody.