What should I put in my mad science lab? Setting is futuristic, lab is biology based. You know the kind; Frankenstein "meddling in god's domain" sort of deal. I've got my players coming over tomorrow and I've got some stuff done but I've also got a migraine.
Please help. Any suggestions are welcome.
I've always been a fan of rooms with giant dead things. Like the ones in evangelion that you see every now and again. Just skeletons or partial corpses of giant things in an otherwise austere and sterile environment.
Even if it's biology based, I'm sure you could put a lot of dangerous chemicals around. Tubes and dishes filled with bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other microorganisms could fit too.
Alternatively, green goop is spread across the floor with giant holes in each of the vats. Half formed clones violently dismembered using a fire ax and are spread across the floor.
"Project Phoenix didn't work out."
Large, covered in heavy fiberoptic cables that lead into large metal boxes that are affixed around the room on the walls and ceiling. The cables are broken and frayed into thousands of individual fiberoptic filaments, each end blackened and melted. The floor, a tiled white ceramic, is warped and distorted. A black, swirled crater sits in the center of the room, surrounded by the ends of the cables. The room reaks of burnt plastic and chemical odors. It makes your eyes sting. The lights in the ceiling have been smashed inward, as though by a shockwave. The walls and ceiling are covered in short metal ridges and appear to have been designed to function as a heat sink. It looks like there was a console set into one corner of the room, but it has been reduced to slag and splattered against the wall. There are several black char marks on the walls and floor that resemble human shadows.
>Even if it's biology based, I'm sure you could put a lot of dangerous chemicals around.
Having worked in a molecular biology lab, can confirm. By and large it's a lot more tame than a stereotypical chemistry lab, but there's definitely some pretty toxic and/or volatile stuff that you use reasonably regularly.
And if you're a mad scientist type, odds are you're synthesizing a lot of your reagents in-house rather than ordering them from Thermo-Fisher or the like, so at that point you can have pretty much any of the same hazardous chemical stuff as you'd have in a chemistry lab.
A reinforced gymnasium-type room for testing the physical capabilities of your abominations.
Banks of freezers with
A quarantine room for contagious specimens. Hazmat suit required for entry.
A clean room for specimens with sensitive immune systems (which for a mad scientist might mean more "will mutate into something very nasty and dangerous when exposed to normal microflora", rather than "will die to the common cold"). Hazmat suit also required for entry, to keep your own germs away from the specimens.
*Banks of freezers with cell cultures, bodily fluid samples, body part samples, entire bodies...
Thought of the quarantine room idea and got so wrapped up in it I left off my earlier thought halfway.
I doesn't matter what you put in there, just use whatever sounds most scariest from the arsenal of the era. Lobotomy tools? ECT straps? Radiation therapy machine? Lots of little cages?
What matters is that you foreshadow slowly and with atmosphere. The players should dread what's behind the next door more than they fear it when it is revealed. No undead mutant creature is scary if you just drop it in front of the party.
Start with a scene that raises questions but could still be explained away. Then make a mundane explanation even less likely, but still possible.
Then you show a pushed in wall, torn out door frame, or any other feat of supernatural power and disregard. Maybe add a blood trail.
Next there's some lab notes or a journal outlining a little of the sick inhuman experimenting that went into bringing the creature into this world. Conclude it with a dire warning or implication about the danger the thing poses. This is also a great place to put Chekhov's Gun and tell the players what must be done.
Now go back and show how something big must have disturbed a scene after the party investigated it. Use noises and tracks, make the players feel watched.
Challenge time! Use an action sequence, can be a fight, a chase, running away, breaking down a door in the nick of time, whatever gets the dice rolling. It is important that there is a real threat, and that it cannot be defeated, only avoided.
Only now you start the showdown, reveal your creature in person, and press the PCs for real.