Pandemonium! provides am “Introductory Scenario” for first time players and Editors of the game. The Story Section advises the Editor:
After you’ve finished playing this introductory scenario you may want to create more Stories of your own. Optionally, you may want to throw this game out the window, and curse yourself for ever wasting good money on such a ridiculous piece of trash.
Presuming the game isn’t defenestrated, Pandemonium! offers the Instant Story Generator. While one may argue about the validity of “Instant,” the Generator provides the Editor with the basic elements of any good Story: What Happened, Where it Happened, Who Did It, and Why.” (emphasis in original) The Instant Story Generator “also helps the Editor create a number of incidents and encounters that could happen to the P.I.s during the course of their investigation...”
The Generator consists of four percentile tables:
- Manifestations – The primary focus of the Story; a list of twenty-three possibilities ranging from “Mass Hallucinations” to “Elvis Sighting.”
- Location – Where the Manifestations transpire; a list of twenty-four places from “New Mexico” to “Nightclub (in city of choice).”
- Major Phenomena – Source of the Manifestations; a list of nineteen occurrences from “Hoax Perpetrated by Local Publicity Seeker” to “Alien Abductors.”
- Minor Phenomena – A list of fifty-three incidents from “Mundane Encounter” to “Elvis Sighting in the vicinity (authentic).”
There is some overlap among the tables. Using the Generator, an Editor can obtain, for example, “Mass Hallucinations” for both Manifestation and Major Phenomena. Fortunately, Pandemonium! grants “Editorial License” which the game describes as...
– a colorful euphemism that basically means 'fudging the die rolls until you get what you want.' In other words, Editors should feel free to alter, revise, warp, twist, or if all else fails ignore the Instant Story Generator die results anytime they don't like them.
Pandemonium! contains a sixty-two page section – about one-third of the total page count – called the Encyclopedia Paranormal. Among other details, this section contains entries that provide information about many of the listings in the Instant Story Generator tables. Within the environment of the game, the encyclopedia functions as an item of equipment for player characters. “All sentient inhabitants of the Tabloid World universe recognize the Encyclopedia Paranormal on sight,” we read, “and may think twice before bothering any entity who is so enlightened as to carry a copy on his/her/its person.” This statement is immediately qualified: “Naturally, the authors cannot guarantee that this will be true in all cases.”
A result of 98 on the Manifestations table indicates “Animal Mutilations Reported.” The Encyclopedia Paranormal has this to say about Animal Mutilations:
Cattle and other types of farm animals are the most common victims of this phenomenon, though household pets or strays may also be affected. Victims typically show evidence of laser-like incisions, and may be missing body parts such as tongues, entrails, and/or reproductive organs. Though the subjects will often be found to have lost a substantial amount of blood, the surrounding area will usually be devoid of bloodstains.
These occurrences may be attributed to such Mundane explanations as wild animals, or paranormal sources such as Vampires, Deranged Serial Killers, Satanic Cultists, or UFOs.
A result of 55 on the Location table refers to “Louisianna” (sic), about which the Encyclopedia Paranormal says:
Louisianna is another place that gets a bad rap in the tabloids, though not entirely without reason. The bayous and parishes of Louisianna offer a melange of Voodoo cults, Hoodoo (a combination of Voodoo, European witchcraft, and Amerindian magic), Bigfoot kidnappings, Elvis sightings, close encounters with UFOs, and so on. Plus there's the city of New Orleans, and all the weird stuff that happens around Mardi Gras time.
The listing on the Major Phenomena table for a die roll of 13 is Practical Joke Played by EBEs. According to the Encyclopedia Paranormal:
EBEs (pronounced EE-beez) are Extraterrestrial Biological Entities who hail from the Betelgeuse galaxy (sic). They are a technologically, if not emotionally, advanced race of beings who span the galaxy in flying saucers. Standing less than four feet in height they are the original 'little green men' of popular folk lore. The old legends of 'faeries' and 'changelings' may be attributed to these mischievous creatures, who've probably been playing humans for saps for thousands of years.
EBEs are inveterate practical jokers who love to play pranks on other life-forms. Typical EBE 'jokes' include leaving fake Bigfoot prints in wooded areas, impersonating Elvis, scaring people by faking alien invasions or Abductions, leaving Crop Circles all over the place, creating phony miracles, and so on.
EBEs are not evil; they're just a pain in the neck. They will never deliberately cause harm to other life-forms, though frankly, accidents have been known to happen.
If threatened, EBEs will defend themselves, using a peculiar type of stun gun that can be made to resemble any sort of harmless object or device – stun guns shaped like bananas, cameras, or pickles are especially popular with EBEs. Once their pranks have been discovered or have had the desired result they will usually hop into their disk-shaped spaceships and head back to Betelgeuse, laughing all the way.
For Minor Phenomena, the Editor should “roll or choose at least 3 entries from this table...” Rolls of 25, 36, and 81 correspond to the following:
- Outbreak of Forteana delays the characters.
- Out of Body Experience: a P.I.'s astral self suddenly flies forth into the Astral Plane, where he or she is approached by a benevolent ghost offering advice.
- A group of drug-crazed Satanic Cultists, chanting evil rock & roll lyrics, puts a curse on the characters.