In the shadow of the Space Needle in Seattle is a brightly colored, strangely-shaped building. It's made of sheet metal bent in twisting organic forms, including elements evocative of a giant shattered electric guitar. The nearby Seattle Monorail actually runs through a twisting tunnel between upper sections of the building. This unique architecture houses the Experience Music Project and the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, also known as EMP/SFM.
EMP: The Experience Music Project has several exhibits related to music, and especially rock 'n' roll. Permanent Exhibits include:
- History of music and musicians of the Pacific Northwest
- The Guitar Gallery features a history of guitars. It includes some of the earliest surviving examples of Electric Guitars, which date to the 1930s, preceding rock by decades.
- Interactive Exhibits where recordings, computers, and specially marked instruments will teach you the basics of playing many different type of instruments, and simulate the experience of playing a concert.
In addition, Temporary Exhibits rotate over time. Jimi Hendrix was born in Seattle, and the museum owns a lot of Hendrix artifacts, so there's frequently some sort of exhibit related to him or his music.
SFM: The Science Fiction Museum has numerous exhibits on the history of Speculative Fiction. It's divided into different galleries arranged around themes. Each gallery has the actual props, models and costumes from Sci Fi tv and movies. Interactive exhibits feature computer graphics and data so you can compare the technical specs on spaceships from different settings, in case you've ever wondered whether or not the Enterprise can hold its own against an Imperial Star Destroyer. It also features rotating and temporary exhibits.
Game and Story Use
- The God Of Rock might be born unto this earth at the EMP (Experience Music Project), taking the form of Jimi Hendrix, since he was born in Seattle and many of his guitars and costumes are kept there.
- Kurt Cobain was also a Seattleite. Maybe The Power Of Rock will be enough to raise them both from the dead. The PCs might be attacked by Zombie Guitarists wielding priceless guitars as weapons.
- Speaking of priceless guitars - the two museums have some very unique items on display. One could be a MacGuffin, or the just the prize that an especially nerdy four-color villain is scheming to steal.
- What if one of the sci-fi props weren't just a prop?
- Alien technology sent to prep mankind for First Contact or some other harsh galactic truth, such as in The Last Starfighter.
- In a world where Gods Need Prayer Badly, perhaps the "worship" of Trekkies empowers the artifacts.
- Along the same lines, ever seen Night In The Museum? If it were set here, it'd have spaceships and aliens.
- Maybe they have a copy of the Necronomicon, one that's not just a prop from Army of Darkness.
- PCs needing a remote robot to explore a gateway, toxic spill, or dimensional rift might try to "borrow" the one at the SFM. It's specifically the Hazbot III, a robot built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratories. This particular robot was also loaned out by NASA for use in the movie Stargate. I imagine it's probably decommissioned and might even be no longer functional in the real world, but The Rule Of Cool suggests it's in prime shape for whatever mission you have in mind.
- EMP is a useful resource for Time Travelers who expect to need A Little Something We Call Rock And Roll continuous visits to the hands-on exhibits can teach them the basics of numerous instruments without having to spend a lot of time in close proximity to a teacher. Won't be nearly as good as studying under a master, but it won't leave any knowledgeable witnesses, either. See Instant Guitar Lesson.
- If nothing else, the EMP/SFM is at least a fun, borderline-surreal place to stage a meeting, chase, or fight scene.
- Anything weird that happens here is likely to spill over into the surrounding Seattle Center.