Post by Rigil Kent on Dec 29, 2015 16:11:42 GMT -6
Started rethinking the high level City Sheet stuff (from the Dresden Files RPG which I'm using.) Currently, I have "Just Looking For Some Respect", "Something Wicked This Way Comes" and "The City of Exiles" as Themes/Threats for the city but I'm thinking about revising them to this:
Just Looking For Some Respect - no change. "Oklahoma City so badly wants to be respected that it is almost physically painful. Everything the government and the criminal element (which might be one and the same) does is with an eye on elevating their presence. Watch the news: there must always be an “Oklahoma Connection” to major events."
Aggressive Expansion - replaces "Something Wicked..." Essentially, this will cover the drug and gang issues that OKC evidently has (who knew? I spent some time researching online and we apparently have a shitload of gangs.) The supernatural aspect will obviously play a role here as well, with someone (or something) muscling in to take over and/or consolidate gang/drug power.
Unknown 3rd Theme/Threat. I'm not entirely satisfied with existing ones and am not quite sure what should replace it.
I am also seriously tempted to spend a game session working through the city creation rules as a group (which is how it is supposed to be done) as opposed to me just creating it...
Post by Rigil Kent on Dec 29, 2015 20:35:49 GMT -6
Well, to be fair, I am kind of deviating from the source material when I want to. Plus, DF is a "kitchen sink" kind of thing so if there is something from urban fantasy (or hell, regular fantasy) that someone likes, it can probably be fit in there. Want to do something with the Greek gods? I can work with that. Trailer park trash elves? Gotcha covered.
I don't want to sound a little dense City creations rules, where are you going with that? And what are they? Are we recreating OKC? Soo many questions, so few answers
I guess I should have gone into more detail. With the Dresden Files RPG system (which I am admittedly not using, even though I am very influenced by it), City Creation is actually part of the character generation process. The players and the GM get together and hash out the basics of the city before the characters themselves are generated. Even character creation is a cooperative process. If I were not already wedded to GURPS, I would be seriously tempted to make a go of trying out that system. But I (we) already know GURPS and I don't want to try and learn yet another system.
The steps for character creation are thus:
Choose the city. Everyone (players, GM) agrees on some basic facts, the sorts of problems the city is facing (which are called Themes and Threats) and how the supernatural intersects with the city.
We then come up with various Locations in the city. Everyone will get to make at least one, where individual problems are fleshed out and the Faces for those locations - the people who represent them - are noted down.
The actual player characters are then generated. Bizarre how this is 3rd, huh?
Finally, everyone finishes up the city where those themes and some of the threats are turned into Aspects
We sort of skipped straight to #3 so I wanted to go back and review/revise/generate 1 & 2.
A city's Theme is a statement about something that recurs in the stories we tell about it. It could be something that the mortal population tells about themselves and their city, or it might be something that the supernatural denizens talk about behind the scenes. For example, New York might have "The City That Never Sleeps" whereas Vegas would have "What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas." Some themes are general, things everyone talks about (even if not everyone is directly affected). A city known for corrupt politicians might have a theme like “If he’s a politician, he’s mobbed up.” Some themes are more specific to a group in the city. A college town with a notorious fraternity of wealthy troublemakers might have “If the Beta Alpha Chis want it, they get it.” Some themes are about cautionary tales people tell each other. Imagine the city where “If a pretty girl wanders alone at night, don’t expect to see her again” is a theme. You’ll note that each of these themes is a little dark, a little troublesome. There are two reasons for this: first, your heroes need something to struggle against, and second, there’s a real sense of accomplishment that happens when, at the end of a story, one of these themes gets turned into something positive.
On the other hand, a city’s Threat is a person, monster, group, or even a condition or circumstance that makes (or wants to make) life in the city worse for the mortal occupants. Sometimes this threat comes from outside, like a monster from the Nevernever. Sometimes it comes from inside, like a vengeful father who has decided to dabble in magic.
Initial creation calls for three themes or threats. Note here and here as examples (those two sites, apart from being utterly gorgeous, are using the Dresden Files RPG system.)
Aspects really don't translate well to GURPS; they're both advantages and disadvantages as they sort of define what makes the character unique. We probably don't need to worry a lot about these, really.
I had already decided that I wanted to have a Theme of "Just Looking For Some Respect" before based on my observations of OKC over the years. Essentially, I view it as the city and its denizens having a sort of self-esteem issue. People here are tired of constantly being compared to larger cities like Dallas or Kansas City, so this theme would manifest as over-compensation in a lot of ways. Gangers and criminals would react violently if "dissed", politicians and businessmen make questionable decisions to elevate state/city influence, the media always tries to find the "Oklahoma Connection" on any national or worldwide issue. And so on.
I also thought "Aggressive Expansion" might work as a threat with the conceit that the city is growing and those who survive have to be stronger and tougher than their competition. Drugs and gangs are a worsening issue, organized crime is creeping in now that we have have a professional sports team, and so on. Unfortunately, this might be too close to the before-mentioned Respect theme...
Other themes/threats might be linked to the environment. Clearly, the Summer Court of fae is dominant here, but with how crazy our weather is sometimes, maybe not? What about all of those earthquakes? That obviously has a supernatural explanation.
Feel free to chime in with your thoughts or ideas about themes/threats.
Here are the three city sheets. If you recall, I actually did start sort of half-assed working on these here but never quite finished.
Last Edit: Dec 31, 2015 10:21:15 GMT -6 by Rigil Kent
So, I'm thinking about doing the co-op city thing first thing on Friday, which will give us all an opportunity to refresh our memories regarding the characters. If you guys can, keep this in mind and have some ideas about "Faces" for areas.
Originally, I used Neighborhoods of OKC as the arrangement with 9 city regions plus a couple more for this arrangement:
Now, however, I'm thinking of using something more like OKC Metropolitan Area and split it up thus (or like this):
North of OKC
NE of OKC
E of OKC
SE of OKC
S of OKC
SW of OKC
W of OKC
NW of OKC
Which do you guys (and gal) think would be the smarter way to do this?
Addendum: Hmm. Based on my re-reading, we should probably just pick 9 or so recurring locations and use them as opposed to the entire neighborhoods... specifically "There are two general types of locations: neighborhoods and points of interest." followed later by "That said, don’t try to catalog every single neighborhood or point of interest. Doing one or two per player (including the GM) is a good ballpark. If you find the story goes to a new neighborhood or point of interest in the middle of play, and seems to return there fairly often, then flesh out that location some more."
So, with that in mind, everyone should have in mind 2 "Locations" for Friday. They could just be points of interest (the OU Library, for example) or an entire neighborhood (Midwest City)...
As GM, I'll handle four: "Devon Tower", "Neutral Grounds", the "Botannical Gardens" and "Bavinger House" (so LabRat can't cheat and use that one.)
Last Edit: Jan 3, 2016 17:00:12 GMT -6 by Rigil Kent
I think everyone's going to have a "Home" area—but will that be extra?
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Depends, I guess. Principally, these would be common locations that keep popping up in adventures. If this was a crime show, one of them would be the dangerous park where random victims are killed every other week. Using "Person of Interest" as a basis, I think I'd say the library and the homicide area where Carter & Fusco have their desks are the initial Locations. Beyond that, they don't really have a lot of repeat use locations thus far ...
So my recommendation would be "pick two places that you would like your PC (and perhaps other PCs) to frequent a lot." Adding a supernatural flair to that location is optional (but probably recommended for at least one.) With Lee in mind, you might do the Gym and some other place OSBI HQ? A dive bar he hits every now and then? A big mansion in Nichols Hills that will/does house a Big Bad? Or hey, maybe you could use your parents' new place but drop in some bad guy mafia guy or a monster or something there...
Here's the pertinent bit in the Dresden Files rulebook:
...a city is a lot more than a high concept and a few threats. No one is just “in Chicago;” they’re “in Hyde Park” or “on the observation deck of Sears Tower” or a thousand other places. While a city is more than just the sum of its parts, we still have to think about those parts—that’s where the stories really take place.
There are two general types of locations: neighborhoods and points of interest. Neighborhoods are where people live or work, and points of interest are where people go to do or experience something specific. When coming up with these locations, here are some bits of advice to keep in mind:
Pick locations that seem to have their own story or character. People might talk about the seedy happenings down at the Waterfront, making that a prime location.[*]Pick locations that have a little action or conflict built in, so that something’s always going on even when the PCs aren’t there. The Strip in Las Vegas is a prime example.
Pick locations that tie in with city themes and threats. Not all of them need a direct link, but most of them should have an arguable connection to at least one.
Pick locations emblematic of the factions and organizations you enumerated in the previous section.
That said, don’t try to catalog every single neighborhood or point of interest. Doing one or two per player (including the GM) is a good ballpark. If you find the story goes to a new neighborhood or point of interest in the middle of play, and seems to return there fairly often, then flesh out that location some more.
And FYI? Intentional inaccuracies are fine.
Last Edit: Jan 3, 2016 18:49:01 GMT -6 by Rigil Kent
Two other things that occurred to me last night (after I'd turned off my computer, of course):
First, players should do two Locations, one Theme and one Threat.
Also, there is nothing saying you can't tie this to previously existing character(s) and background elements for your PC. For example, Carter put Larry Terry away so MagMan could conceivably do "The OKC Jail" as a Threat with Terry as the Face (which would mean I, as GM, would need to ensure that you guys visit that place fairly frequently which, given Carter & Lee's job, isn't a stretch. At the same time, LabRat might have an OU or OU Library Theme with either Adina or Will as the Face. And so on...
Which reminds me: I'll end up needing to get with WxMAN for the three NPCs, but at the moment, I don't think they're entirely necessary since we might end up rejiggering his PC anyway...
Last Edit: Jan 4, 2016 15:02:05 GMT -6 by Rigil Kent
Clearly incomplete - most of these new Locations don't have actual pages yet - but I wanted to share what I had.. Main Wiki page has placeholders for all locations we went over - I added one more in the form of "Gangland Eastside" which will be the Crips. Based on my research, this is the closest approximation in terms of general location for their activity. Decided to call the Museum of Osteology (sp?) something that was more evocative of the supernatural. Take a look, let me know what you think...
Post by Rigil Kent on Jan 11, 2016 16:53:39 GMT -6
I have all of the Locations up on the portals site. Theme/Threat songs are subject to change - WxMAN, I think you'll like the one I found for "The Boneyard" - and I'm still waffling on a "Face" for Bricktown. Please chime in with suggestions or revisions to pages that you think should be reworded (or are just craaaaap.)
Post by Rigil Kent on Jan 12, 2016 11:24:20 GMT -6
I need a Face for Bricktown, ideally someone with a supernatural turn. I originally wanted to use a "Crossroads Demon Working as Used Car Salesman" but that doesn't track with the location. Anyone have any ideas? That's the only Location that currently does not have a "Face."