Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
Recruitment Play-by-Post Play-by-Post Discussion
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

PaizoCon 2014!

AlanM's Untitled Campaign

Game Master AlanM


1 to 50 of 68 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Qadira

Warsorr, DunDjinnMasta, John Frink, LastNameOnEarth, Omega9, Hawx74, Fredrick, Tilnar, Arknight, James Martin, Sir Jolt, Jack Barb, Jacinta T, and Harakini: It is now time to start on the city! Wooo!
Because of how many people may be inputting, it may get a bit chaotic, so the first thing is everyone that has an idea for a Theme or Threat, post it. Once sufficient time/posts/ideas have been given we'll have hopefully come to consensus/agreement on what themes and threats we'll use and if not, we'll figure it out!

So: Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

Taldor RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32

I'd like to propose a Theme:

Good as Gold at Half the Price: to reflect the fact that Hollywood is always using Vancouver to double for some American city in order to save costs. It could be invoked to have people who'd usually not be there show up, scouting locations or sightseeing. Also to reflect the history of gold rushes.

Or:

Deadman's Island: Tread Lightly On Hallowed Ground: the site of a tree burial commemorating an ancient First Nations battle, this island sits uneasy and close to the Nevernever.

Based on this story, I'd say we need something about "Something Strange is Afoot in BC" to reflect the odd fact that feet wash up on shore sometimes...


M humanish

hmm ill toss a threat out i suppose (never been good at city building stuff)

Running off what omega9 said earlier about vancouver being a good place to live,

Threat: Crumbling throne

A skinwalker rules in vancouver, has for a rather long time. It rules through puppets, a sort of power behind the throne. unfortunetly that throne is crumbling. The growing jade court menace, ambition in the white court, Ghouls, a paranoid and desperate white council, red court attacks, mortal disobendience, seelie manipulations and other problems are beginning to undermine the ancient beings hold, a hold which while brutal, was efficent made things quiet and held back chaos.

Not much is known about the skinwalker besides its existance (rumors now spread that there is no such creature a hoax to keep the super natural in line), it supposedly has many allies, enforcers, and agents placed methodically throughout the city. the creature only ever makes itself know to the leaders of the various major groups within vancouver, if it does at all.

in short, fear is being replaced by ambition.


I've found the motto for Vancouver, it's "By Sea, Land, and Air We Prosper". When I combined that with the "It's a nice place to live in", I started to get some sinister overtones.

I see a couple of possibly themes.

* Firstly, it seems there's a Utopian thread running through this which offers a theme around the establishment and survival of the perfect state requires some kind of "noble lie" all the top level of government know about, but the rest of us don't

* Or there's an obsession with the idea of Utopia. The rulers are convinced that it is possible, and they are willing to do anything to obtain their version of it.

* There's another angle this could head into. Vancouver is obsessed with projecting an image of wholesome happiness. This flawlessly crafted facade hides a real city that's almost breaking into tiny little pieces in order to keep up the deception. What's underneath could be hollow, crazy or depressing.

BTW - one of the nicknames for the city is "City of Glass", which seems like it could have something.

Lastly, I found a great resource - http://vancouverhistory.ca/ There's heaps of info on the little things and history (including street names and stuff) of Vancouver.


In a jumping ahead kinda way, I have a possible location -

The skytrain uses tunnels under the downtown city. According to http://www.vancouverhistory.ca/archives_skytrain_tunnel.htm:

The tunnel's eastern end was also rebuilt. A short new section of tunnel was bored ending at the Stadium-Chinatown SkyTrain Station. “The old portal,” says transit buff Jim McGraw, “is to the south of where the SkyTrain comes out from under downtown to Stadium-Chinatown Station. The original portal, which is near Georgia, is now completely hidden by a new condo. You can't see the other end either because Cordova has now been extended west and new buildings now completely hide it from public view.”


Thought I would repost this here, since its highly relevant.

omega9 wrote:

Since it seems that people aren't crawling over each other as much to get into the game, I'm gonna start mining for things that can be used to Dresdenify Vancouver.

Vancouver is really rainy in the winter: In winter, Vancouver can get rain up to 50% of the time, which means a LOT of snow and freezing rain. I'm thinking some influence on the city from the Winter Fae is a shoe in here. Especially since there also seems to be a very artsy side to Vancouver. Maybe a Leanan (not THE Leanansidhe) claims Vancouver as her own six months out of the year?

Vancouver is "Asia West": Vancouver has the highest Asian population of any city in North America. Personally, I think this opens a lot of cool doors. The presence of the Triads, Yakuza, or other organized crime element can provide a good mortal threat/organization. Seeing how elements of oriental mythology interacts with native Canadian supernatural forces could make for a decent plot device as well. We could also use the Jade court, if we knew anything about them beyond the fact that they exist.

Vancouver is a nice place to live: This is the Dresdenverse, so either this will have to change, people are completely oblivious, or something big is keeping the peace. I think this could be worth toying with.

This is all I have for now, but I'll keep searching.
Thoughts?

The part about Vancouver being a really nice place to live may not be entirely true, since its is also known as a "world crime superpower." So in one form or another, we should really have an organized crime faction.

I like Jack's Crumbling Throne idea, and I think we should use it even if we change the details. For example, there is a neighborhood in Vancouver that is known for having a young and artsy population that is in the process of having its tenants pushed out and the apartments torn down to be replaced by "higher quality apartments for higher quality tenants." Drawing on the Leanan idea, maybe someone or some group are trying to push the Leanan out of Vancouver, and this is that conflict playing out in the mortal sphere.

We need to do something with the Vancouver Film Festival. Even if we rip off Jim Butcher by having the splattercon events play out there, that's still the potential for an awesome game.

On a slightly relevant side note, the idea of undead canadian hipsters amuses me.

Taldor RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32

I don't think "nice place to live" and "world crime superpower" need to be mutually exclusive. Maybe some criminal element is responsible for keeping it so nice to live, so as to allow their business to prosper without undue examination. Perhaps the White Court keeps it so nice to heighten the terror/despair/fear when it all crumbles for that special some-food.

Also, Splattercon West is a fun idea!


Omega9 mentioned Vancouver is "Asia west" and bought up the jade court. Given this is the time of the vampire wars, I really like the idea of having a strong jade court presence in the city.

If Jade court are Jiang Shi (which seems a reasonable bet) they are breath/life-force eaters, and either spirits animating corpses or something akin to the black court.

I noticed that one of the major pushes in Vancouver is Green Vancouver. Green makes me think of the Jade Court, but it could be a nature spirit. While environmentalism seems "summer court", the fact it is seeking to stop global warming makes me think "winter court". On the other hand if the Jade court have a decent organisational structure and a belief in the balance of nature it seems reasonable this might be one of their initiatives. Possibly there's a global backup plan about culling humanity...

While I like Jack's incorporation of a Skinwalker, that feels more like a force for chaos than order to me. I could see it representing one of the dangers from the wilderness...

So, Theme (not a threat because killing one guy won't end it).
The aspect: "A bright green future"
The idea: The Jade court "run" Vancouver, and while they might be monsters, they're immortal monsters with a long term view.
How to use: a dual aspect. Can be used to represent the power and rise of the jade court, or the environmentalism of vancouver... but one ties into the other.
Why I like it: brings the jade court in, adds some moral ambiguity, and if people get too comfortable with monsters in charge AlanM can reveal "phase 2" of the plan.


Depending on the "real-world" when of things, there's also an element of "fading jewel" happening in Vancouver -- something that we might want to make sure the theme addresses.

For instance:

Like much of North America, real estate prices have burst -- and Vancouver real-estate was the most valuable of any major Canadian City.

At the same time, over the last few years, there have been a large number of people returning to Hong Kong (back when it was a British colony, before it reverted to China, Commonwealth rules made immigration to Canada relatively easy) now that the Chinese economy seems "safe".

Further, they're coming off the "high" of having hosted the Olympics and seeing that the long-term economic effects aren't as rosy as they hoped (much of this is linked back to the real-estate thing -- they'd planned to turn a lot of Olympic Village into condos to recoup costs).

And there's been a marked increase in gang violence - primarily Asian gangs (though, in this, way, way, way less than Toronto).


So, to reflect things breaking down in Vancouver, "Crumbling Throne" as a threat and something like "Slow Decay" or "Not What It Used To Be" as a theme?


Ok, I've been doing some digging on Vancouver, and a couple of things inspired some thoughts :)

1) "That Which Lies Beneath" (theme) - Chinatown has a myth of many tunnels running underneath it. What if it were not a myth but a disguised fact? What if this tied into the Jade Court? A small Jade Court group has resided beneath Chinatown for a century, using it and the rumored tunnels as a place of safety and gathering for their work on shaping the city.

2) "Bathed in Blood" (threat) - late nights in Blood Alley have gotten strange with disappearances and the appearance of dark, dried old blood in the early morning hours, fading as the sun rises and leaving behind a lingering sense of unease. Is this something out of the past trying to push to the present? Or is someone or something using the alley for sinister plots?


However -- getting back to a more game-like mentality, James' theme suggestion "Good as Gold..." (though without the tax breaks from the government, I'd dispute the half-the-price statement these days, the Canadian dollar's been running above parity with the US for the larger part of the last 4 years...) -- but it got me thinking about a theme which, I must admit, I'm having trouble condensing into a single pithy statement -- so let me describe what's bubbling in my head and see if anyone can hone it down for me.

Present-day Vancouver is, in a lot of ways, a proxy or a stand-in for... well, almost everywhere.

As Hollywood North, Vancouver's film industry is thriving, and a number of deals happen up here instead of in California. So, it's already a proxy for Hollywood, and owns a piece of Hollywood's magic.

However, as Hollywood North, Vancouver also acts as a stand-in for... well... pretty much every major American city... in some film or TV show... which makes it magically linked (because of the belief of others) to many of those cities.

Beyond that, the flux of (primarily Asian) immigrants have led to the creation of a number of sub-communities, including a massive Chinatown, and a (fading) Japantown, a Little India, etc .. and it even has a number of European communities (such as a Little Italy) -- though some of these are fading.

Anyhow, this all sort of rolls up to say that: Vancouver is a city that's trying to find itself and its own identity, while under all of these influences, because... Vancouver, the city itself, is a changeling.

As such, it is *literally* the real-world (or new-world) stand-in, stunt-double or proxy for... well, pretty much everywhere. And, because of it's ability to act as a proxy or a stand-in, what happens here has an effect back at the homelands of all the powers that are now playing here.

[The rather consistent climate fit this nicely, because it puts the City in a more-or-less constant balance between the Summer and Winter courts... Not because it's neither, but because it's both.]

Of course, as I said, I'm not quite sure how to distill that into a simple and small, easily digestible statement.

But -- it does open up a lot of potential threats -- because there would be players from the hundreds upon hundreds of petty powers trying to maintain, reinforce, gain, grow, etc, their influence (often at the expense of others).... especially at a time when the White Council and it's pesky Wardens are busy doing something else. [As are the Red Court and the remains of the Black].

This would put the Jade Court's growing influence into more direct play as a threat -- both on its own -- and how the other Powers would likely be reacting to that -- especially if we consider that under this interpretation, Vancouver is the opposite of Las Vegas -- in that what happens in Vancouver goes everywhere.

Anyhow, just the ramblings of a twisted mind.


Since normal people are, generally, completely oblivious to what's going on in the supernatural world (except for the rare few) it could be a "Good by Day, Foul by Night" concept. During the day, it is a friendsly city where people help each other out and feel safe because, during the day, not much does happen. But at night it a complete 180º. People always double-check the locks on their doors without thinking about why. There are fewer streets that people will walk/drive down at night but they'd be hard pressed to explain the reason.

Now, to a certain extent, that's already true in many major cities but I was thinking of something more extreme. For example, Burns Bog is a nice safe tourist attraction during the day, but at night it's a den of elemental evil that everyone just habitually avoids without even thinking about it. So normals would think of it as a nice safe place to live while those "in the know" would think of it as a nightime cesspit.

The Jade Court are nice because there's less concrete info on them so more room to play around with what they really are. Heck, you could even have Canada firmly under the thumb of the Indigo Court, without anyone even knowing it, and they're not too keen on anyone else butting in. Or maybe the reason it's so nice during the day is become someone, at some point, made a "Deal with the Devil" so that it is safer during the day at the cost of it being much, much worse at night.


Tilnar wrote:

Of course, as I said, I'm not quite sure how to distill that into a simple and small, easily digestible statement.

How about, "Vancouver: Daydream of the World"?

Taldor RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32

Maybe Vancouver doubles for so much of the world because of some influence of a dreaming entity that sleeps beneath it? Maybe its dreams are of the world and architects have been influenced by it for years, thus allowing them to mimic other cities enough to look like them? Maybe because of this Vancouver is a haven for doppelgangers. Perhaps that's also why the peace and quiet, because everyone subconsciously knows that they don't want to awaken what is sleeping, so it creates an aura of enforced calm. So a theme for this would be:

The City That Dreams or Prey It Does Not Awake (with prey being intentionally misspelled to reflect the idea that supernatural hunters might contribute to the spell that keeps the Thing sleeping.)


Tilnar: Would "Everywhere but here, everyone but us" catch the feeling that you're going for?

Jolt: I like that idea, especially since I read somewhere that the city tries to keep the nightlife to a minimum (restricting bars and clubs that can open, etc.). Maybe there are individuals in the city government that are in the know and trying to keep people safe, even if it detracts from the "fun" people can have in the city? Maybe the clubs and bars that do open and stay that way are linked to the supernatural community (territory?) in one way or another?

JM: I'm always a fan of great big cthulian nightmares being threats that lurk in the background, so I'll second the idea.


Male Human Sorcerer 1

(Sorry going to withdraw myself.)

Qadira

Also, as a heads-up: I usually can't post on Fridays. FYI.


M humanish

james: I like the sleeping entity thing alot, im gona give into temptation here and suggest, how about sacrifice? Some group, the jade court or skinwalker guy has been sacrificing people or something to keep this power sleeping. Now someone wants to wake it up. Or now everyone knows about it and the jade court/skinwalker's actions. (yes this is ripping off cabin in the woods, but it was awesome right?)

this could tie into the night time evil thing, sleeping creatures power is more potent or manifests itself at night. This draws unsavory types to the area.

To nail something down though, I think we can all agree that the jade court is something we want to be in the city in some big way.


Personally, I think it would be most interesting for the person/thing/faction at the top of the food chain to have been performing any sacrifices or rituals to keep the sleeper sleeping. That way if/when they fall from power, people will go "oh s!$&, we needed him..."

Building on that idea, maybe there are those who remember from some long existing pact that ______ is supposed to be at the top of the ladder for a reason, even if that reason has been forgotten.


Having the reason being forgotten opens up some possibilities. If it's something that happened a few thousand years ago, even vampires might have trouble remembering why they're doing something. Or even if they do remember, maybe the "younger" generation of vampire doesn't buy it and thinks of it as a stupid traditon. Or worse, they think they can control whatever it is that's been trapped. Or more worse, they've already started to release it. Even if they realize their mistake, the entity would already be, however slowly, starting to awake. This could cause all manner of bad things to happen and put the entire supernatural community on edge. As things got worse, everyone would start blaming everyone else. Part of the game would then become trying to figure out who was actually responsible while avoiding any blame themselves and not getting killed by crossfire between whatever factions happen to be present.


I like idea. Things falling apart seems to be a major theme that we all have going on.

Did a little research on points of interest in Vancouver via Google. Here's the most noteworthy things that I found.

Stanley Park: One of the "great urban parks of the world," Stanley Park is a large island covered in forest in the middle of Vancouver. Its 1000 acres large (Central Park in NYC is 843 to give you an idea of how huge this place is), and has a LOT going for it. Points of interest include the Lost Lagoon, which should spawn plenty of ideas, Siwash Rock, a 32 million year old pillar of rock in the middle of the ocean that natives claim was once a man who was transformed into an "indestructible monument to clean fatherhood/a reward for selflessness", a hollow tree thats about 800 years old, and a variety of totem poles and other monuments.

We could have any number of things going on here. Maybe things just sort of disappear around Lost Lagoon. Siwash Rock could be a major key to keeping whatever is sleeping in that state. The Hollow Tree could be a place of power for certain types of magic. Given the relative isolation of the place, it could also be a meeting place for the supernatural community, especially for negotiations; it could even be accorded neutral grounds. Which would make the "freak windstorm" that severely damaged the park in 2005 potentially very, very significant.

Playland Park: Playland park is your average large amusement park, with lots of rides, games, and other attractions. It also closes for the winter season. To me, this screams stronghold of the Winter Court, since a creepy, abandoned childrens park covered in a few feet of snow seems to be the sort of place that they would decide make their own. That, and running through a blizzard that wraps around the rides and disorients everything while being hunted by winter court horrors would make for an interesting game. Oh, and they have a house of mirrors. What can't you do with that?

Museum of Anthropology: Part of the University of British Columbia, the Museum of Anthropology frequently brings in new exhibits that contain artifacts from around the world. Which basicly turns this place into McGuffins'R'Us. And if the curators are in the know, that can completely change place in the greater scheme of things. If its aligned with the White Council, maybe its a front for where they study and store magical artifacts. Maybe a Dragon owns it, and uses it to show off its hoards of treasure to the mortal and magical community alike. Lots of potential here.

Dr. Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and Nitobe Memorial Garden: Someone had previously mentioned having the Jade Court having a major role in environmental protection. If we go that route, these could be among their holdings. Or maybe a sect of Buddhist/ninja vampire hunters (the first is park is Chinese, the second Japanese) use one of these as a base of operations for fighting the Jade court. Either could be a lot of fun.


I am really digging the Sleeping Entity, because of the Lovecraft feel that it gives.

Everyone keeps throwing around the whole "Nicest place to live" thing and I think it can definitely be mixed with the criminal elements, much like "Sons of Anarchy" for Charming. 'They' like to keep it nice.

Since there isn't much on the Jade Court, then we could go for something a bit different with an Asian feel as well. A dragon / dark power of asian origin...

And speaking of Vancouver being a stand-in for Hollywood (Dresden Files Chicago = Vancouver in the film). I think we maybe to tie this one in with one of the criminal organizations as well with ties to Hollywood.

Qadira

Yay, loads of ideas! Thanks all!

Okay, a quick heads-up: after getting a new job, I'm going to be a bit hammered with work and getting acquainted, exams, etc... So if I don't post much until Thursday, that's why.
So sorry, but I'll get something more concrete by Thursday.


M humanish

So sleeping entity seems to be a must.

jade court a must.

Who should be running things/keeping the sleeping entity down?

I vote skinwalker with jade court being the primary (for a lack of a better word) threat against its hold on the city. call the threat "New problems" to reflect the skinwalkers deteriorating situation and the rising of the creature?

Not trying to be pushy just wana nail something major down so we can flesh out these ideas. :)


My guess is that we might have to figure out who's keeping Sleeping Beauty under control. I would also guess that Vancouver is Jade Court territory but it will be interesting to see how solid that control is.

Taldor RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32

I think who is keeping the entity under would be whomever is running the show, supernaturally. It's always in the ruling party's interest to maintain the status quo. It would be interesting to have it be a tenuous alliance of Jade Court, White Court (Hollywood types) and some group of First Nation skinwalkers. No one is powerful enough to seize control absolutely, but the peace is always in tension and is always prone to small outbursts before cooler heads prevail.


M humanish

James, I like that idea alot.

Sounds like a threat, hmm name it Sleep war (lol sounds cheesy please tell me someone has a more creative vocabulary then me)?

referencing cold war, all sides building up forces and grudges but unwilling to break the peace out of fear of awakening the sleeping thingy?


Jack Barb wrote:

hmm name it Sleep war (lol sounds cheesy please tell me someone has a more creative vocabulary then me)?

Somnambulist Struggle? ... ... Okay, I've got nothing.

Taldor RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32

Trouble Brews Just Below the Surface?


By "skinwalker," are we talking a native shapeshifter like Listens-to-winds or are we talking a shagnasty/naagloshii? It would make a bit of a difference.

If its the first, the big bad sleeping thing could be a particularly nasty and shaggy Naagloshii. If the person keeping BBST down is a Naagloshii, then whatever is being sealed away would need to be something scarier than it. Like, a LOT scarier. I can only think of a few things that could do it.
--An insane/malevolent deity of some sort.
--An outsider.
--A true Dragon.
--Something from Native or Chinese mythology.
--Some combination thereof.
With any of these, just deciding how it got sealed away is a little bit of an issue, since they're all supernatural heavyweights. If the thing comes from asia, it could give the Jade Court a potential reason for letting whatever-it-is out.
In either case, I think that the BBST should be sealed away in Siwash Rock in Stanley park, which is neutral ground under the Accords.

Throwing in a name for the threat/theme: "A Lullaby Above Sharpening Blades."

Taldor RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32

I think having the BBEG be undefined at this point allows for more possibility. I think if the third of the triumvirate is an old naagloshii, powerful but ailing, then it adds to the history and sets up a power struggle if/when it dies.

Has anyone ever read American Gods by Neil Gaiman? I think having a powerful player in the Hollywood/Vancouver connection be a "new" god or even an old one that has branched out in worship through box office attendance or Neilsen viewers. This god would have an interest in keeping things peaceful and insuring a good business environment.

Perhaps the theme or threat could be "Old Gods, New Business" or "I have a Proposition to make..."


M humanish

omega9, love the threat name and second it.

I like the idea of the weakening naagloshii, opens alot of doors for the future and history, make the naagloshii the coyote (darker dresdenified version) from native american lore? Trickster spirit thing, happened to trick BBST into a trap and has been stuck keeping it that way for a long time now, with help.

Not sure I understand the new god concept james, its power comes from people watching movies? I like the triumvirate image though. And the hollywood guy being the voice of reason and good business makes sense, cant think what it could be though.

Im kinda of the opinion that the jade court should be left to AlanM to flesh out, so we can all be surprised by what he comes up with. Mysterious and all that, not much currently possible to know about them besides they are one of the three bigs.

So for triumvirate of keeping BBST down and ruling vancouver.

old native boss- Naagloshii (coyote?)
new business focused boss- hollywood interest
mysterious boss- jade court


For organizations sake, I complied all of the themes, threats, and locations that have been mentioned so far. Should make things a little bit easier.

Themes:
--"Good as Gold at Half Price": Vancouver as Hollywood North, gold rushes.
--"Deadman's Island"/"Tread Lightly on Hallowed Ground": First Nations holy site, close to nevernever.
--"Noble Lie": Looks like a utopia. From it.
--"World Crime Superpower": Self explanatory.
--"Nice place to live"
--"A Bright Green Future": Jade Court presense, and they're environmentalists.
--"Fading Jewel"/"Slow Decay"/"Not What it Used to Be": Vancouver in a state of decline.
--"That which lies beneath": Undercity around china town, Jade Court stronghold.
--"Good By Day, Foul By Night": Self Explanatory
--"Vancouver: Daydream of the World"/"Everywhere But Here, Anyone But Us": Vancouver as a city without its own identity.
--"The City that Dreams"/"Prey it does not awake": Big Bad Sleeping Thing locked somewhere in the city, and keeping things that way is a priority.

Threats
--"Crumbling Throne": Ambitious minor factions could unseat ruling powers.
--"Bathed in Blood": Nastiness without explanation in Blood Alley.
--"New Problems"/"A Lullaby Above Sharpening Blades": Skinwalkers deteriorating political status, and rising of Big Bad Sleeping Thing.
--"Old Gods, New Business"/"I have a proposition to make": A businessman-like deity of some sort is looking to use movies as a way of keeping itself strong.

Locations
--Skytrain
--Wherever they hold the Vancouver Film Festival
--Stanley Park
--Playland Park
--Museum of Anthropology
--Dr. Yat-san Classical Chinese Garden
--Nitobe Memorial Garden
--Chinatown/Undercity

Also want to add the Theme/Threat "Vancouver Standoff" (a play on mexican standoff) to show the tenuous relations that our three major factions have. I didn't add it to the above list because its new as of this post.


M humanish

thanks omega9, so where do we go from here?


I think narrowing down the list of themes is a good place to start. We have quite a few, and will only have three come game time.

Here are my favorites thus far:
"Everywhere But Here, Anyone But Us"
"A Bright Green Future"
"That Which Lies Beneath"

I'll admit a bit of a bias with the first one since I made it up, but I like how it captures Vancouver's lack of a solid, unique identity. It could also show how Vancouver get influences from all over the place, which means that any faction can change the face of the city at any time.
I like the moral ambiguity of "A Bright Green Future." It shows that even the monsters of the city can have some positive role to play in it, which presents a nice and tasty moral grey area to everything. For example, the party could end up sacking the Jade Court, only to see all the parks and wild areas fall apart. So if all supernatural elements go, so too goes the city.
"That Which Lies Beneath" is great for representing how great the city seems - until you peel back that first layer on the top. Then you have the Jade Court, Skinny, and all manner of things that bump in the night that are as much (or more) responsible for running the city as humanity. And, of course, there's always the Big Bad Sleeping Thing.


M humanish

I like em, but from the way you explained "that which lies beneath" id say we rename it to "Shiny on the outside", focusing on the theme of the city and less on the threats ie BBST.

Other then that I like those three themes, I think they narrow down our thoughts and explain what vancouver is about pretty well.

How about the threats?

Id say

"A Lullaby Above Sharpening Blades"- For the awakening of the BBST, and the growing tension and desperate arms race between the triumvirate of big baddys.

"Crumbling throne"- For the failing political power of the ancient skinwalker, and the recent ambitious (perhaps nieve of BBST situation) advances of minor factions within the city.

"Good by day,foul by night"- make this a threat, bad things come out to play at night, the BBST's power is felt most strongly at this time, the nights are getting worse, bloodier (bathed in blood scenario + that whole creepy foot thing).

Should we nail down what the BBST is? Or just leave that for AlanM?

Qadira

Sorry about my absence recently, the new job's been crazy. But hey, you guys have compiled a hell of a lot of good stuff, which is awesome.

So, here are the ideas that I really like:
Threat: "The City That Dreams and Prey It Does Not Awaken" - The Old God Raven (the Pacific Northwest analog to Coyote) sits on top of the supernatural food chain in Vancouver, or at least he used to. As adaptable as he may be (hey, if ravens in Japan can learn to use cars as a tool for opening nuts...), his power has waned significantly in recent years. He still has enough juice to keep whatever it was that he bound millenia ago, but with the recent power plays from the relative newcomers, there are now multiple threats that may topple him, and if that happens, who knows what might happen to the binding...

Theme: "Vancouver: Daydream of the World" - Used in countless movies and shows as a stand-in for all manner of major American cities, having thousands upon thousands of immigrants from across the world swarming its streets, and after centuries of being a major port, Vancouver is a quintessentially cosmopolitan city, and as such it has a significant metaphysical connection to virtually anywhere in the world.

Theme: "A City Bathed in Blood" (this is a combo of several of the above ideas) - Between the Jade Court presence beneath the city, one of their first excursions out of Asia and away from their usual isolationist behavior, the White Court presence in the city (House Skavis preying upon Downtown Eastside), the near-constant presence of doppelgangers and other shapeshifters, and more, Vancouver is a city that is constantly under attack from all manner of supernatural predators. And it doesn't help that strange and bloody events that keep happening either, such as the strange disappearances in Blood Alley and the resulting blood in the morning or the feet that keep washing up on shore that just keep adding to the blood covering the streets of Vancouver.

Thoughts?


Looks to cover all the major bases to me.


M humanish

yup works


I like it.


Male Canadian

I've pretty much just been lurking as work has been pretty intense lately and I haven't been left with a lot of free time. It is interesting to see the outside perspectives of a place that you have lived.

The downtown east-side is truly one of the most unbelievable places you'll ever see. The city has brought in experts from many other large cities including Toronto, LA, Detroit, and a few others, places with severe violence and drug problems, and their reaction is pretty much always, This place is worse than our town ever was in terms of the sorry state of the people living there, and it's running free, without any successful attempts to curb it. The area on a map is centred around a street called Hastings. West Hastings is relatively nice, and has quality shops and such on it, but it is a rather short street. East Hastings, everything East of Main St. is a land time forgot. Drugs are used openly in the streets everywhere, and drug addicted prostitutes can be found working there at any time of the day. It really has to be seen to be believed. In truth, it may be a bit better than it was a couple of years ago, due to the major efforts to clean it up, but said efforts are meeting severe resistance.

The Museum of Anthropology at UBC is beautiful. I went to school at UBC and took a lot of Anthro courses. The museum is primarily dedicated to native culture and relics (and a whole lot of totem poles), but they have a few other departments. My then girlfriend (now wife) discovered some very isolated shady nooks in the ceramics/pottery wing. The museum as a whole is right atop a cliff overlooking (though line of site is blocked by trees) the Northern stretch of Wreck Beach; Canada's only legal clothing optional beach. It is not particularly exciting of course, as it tends to be a place where old men take the excuse to let it all hang out, and homeless people set up tents and shanty towns.

The Nitobe Gardens have to be the most beautiful Japanese gardens I've ever seen. They are utterly tranquil and feel perfectly peaceful no matter how busy they are. They have a huge pond filled with Japanese coy, which are essentially 2 ft long, 30 lb Goldfish. I once saw a bald eagle hunting there, swooping over the pond. Unfortunately I was late for a class and couldn't stay to watch him make off with the fish. Bet he ate well that night. One interesting note on the place is that the entire complex is essentially maintained by one man (or at least was when I went to school there a decade ago). He was an elderly Japanese man (early seventies) who lived in a small shack on the garden grounds and had been the main caretaker for 40 years. Sounds more like a movie character than a real person, but he was there! Might make an interesting NPC.

Speaking of the Asian population as there have been a lot of references to them, Vancouver does indeed have a large asian demographic, but the area called Richmond (technically a separate city, but usually lumped in to the Greater/Metro Vancouver area)is much much higher. Chinese is the most common, though Japanese, Korean, and South East Asian (Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand) are also pretty common. The city of Surrey has a very visible Sikh (East Indian) component. Surrey is considered a dangerous town due to the large number of very violent confrontations between east indian gangs, and the violence is often quite brazen (gunfights in broad daylight, and drug trade related mass murders with 4+ victims at a time are not unheard of).

Unrelated but interesting is that both Surrey and Richmond have major problems with illegal street racing.


Solid themes. It's interesting that so many people brought up the Museum of Anthropology as that's where I got the idea to play an anthropologist.

One interesting thing about Vancouver being used for so many movie/show purposes is that it gives access to regular mortals "in the know" that have tons of wealth and power to have major influence. When you have that much money and that many lackies underneath you and you know how to use them (because you really know what's going on) you can be a practical puppetmaster.


Since we seem to be on the topic, do we want to set the themes/threats in stone and start to work on important location in the city? Or do we want to do balance of power/movers & shakers/who's in the know first?


M humanish

id say do balance of power/movers and shaker/whos in the know first, since we have so many potential baddies, and supernatural contenders.

my first question would be who is running the hollywood side of things?

Big crime? seems like a natural place for them, wana make money etc etc. Honestly I cant think of anything right now.


A big part of the movers & shakers phase is determining where factions are on knowledge of the supernatural and whether they want to change the city or keep it the same, which is easy to do with a diagram of some sort. Unfortunately, this would be hard to do without being face to face. So I think we should use the following system:

If we put the "Current Order" aspect on the X-axis and Supernatural Awareness on the Y-Axis, we get a nice co-ordinate system for where factions fall into society. Using the way its set up in the core book, defenders of the status quo would have a negative X-coordinate, agents of change would have a positive X-coordinate, those in the dark would have a positive Y-coordinate, and those in the know would have a negative Y-coordinate. Scores on both axis's would go from +10 to -10.

Some examples:
--Your average member of law enforcement would probably be at about (0,5), since they don't have much interest in the power structures of the city and don't believe in the super natural. If they encountered enough nastiness, their Y-score would drop to indicate knowing more about supernatural, even if they don't quite believe it.
--SI from the Dresdenverse would probably be at (0,0), since they don't care about politics outside the office and have very, very strong suspicions about the supernatural.
--A group protesting corrupt government and city crime would have high X and Y values, since they want to rock the boat, but have no idea what kind of forces they're dealing with.
--Mac from the books would score around a (0,-10), since he doesn't interact in power struggles in any way, but he knows pretty much everything thats going on at all times.

Thoughts?


I'm also liking the themes -- sorry for the posting delay - I was out of town until, well, today. :)

In any case, I'd say that the threats are looking pretty good -- at least good enough to get us all in the right headspace -- and so we might be smart to skip to people/places -- especially since some (at least) of that should be able to inform the threat discussion.


AlanM wrote:

Sorry about my absence recently, the new job's been crazy. But hey, you guys have compiled a hell of a lot of good stuff, which is awesome.

So, here are the ideas that I really like:
Threat: "The City That Dreams and Prey It Does Not Awaken" - The Old God Raven (the Pacific Northwest analog to Coyote) sits on top of the supernatural food chain in Vancouver, or at least he used to. As adaptable as he may be (hey, if ravens in Japan can learn to use cars as a tool for opening nuts...), his power has waned significantly in recent years. He still has enough juice to keep whatever it was that he bound millenia ago, but with the recent power plays from the relative newcomers, there are now multiple threats that may topple him, and if that happens, who knows what might happen to the binding...

Theme: "Vancouver: Daydream of the World" - Used in countless movies and shows as a stand-in for all manner of major American cities, having thousands upon thousands of immigrants from across the world swarming its streets, and after centuries of being a major port, Vancouver is a quintessentially cosmopolitan city, and as such it has a significant metaphysical connection to virtually anywhere in the world.

Theme: "A City Bathed in Blood" (this is a combo of several of the above ideas) - Between the Jade Court presence beneath the city, one of their first excursions out of Asia and away from their usual isolationist behavior, the White Court presence in the city (House Skavis preying upon Downtown Eastside), the near-constant presence of doppelgangers and other shapeshifters, and more, Vancouver is a city that is constantly under attack from all manner of supernatural predators. And it doesn't help that strange and bloody events that keep happening either, such as the strange disappearances in Blood Alley and the resulting blood in the morning or the feet that keep washing up on shore that just keep adding to the blood covering the streets of Vancouver.

Thoughts?

Sorry, been without the net for a few days...

I like all of these.


M humanish

To get things rolling on this segment of the creation.

jade court (8,-8)
they are agressively pursuing their own objectives gaining ground against Raven. They also somehow seem to know just about everyones secrets and weaknesses.

Raven (-10,-9)
He rules vancouver and would like to keep it that way, His vast network of spies cohorts and puppets keep him informed of everything, also he is a god...which helps.

p.s.
been thinking about the jade court and while i dont want to have us players decide what their deal is, since i would rather be surprised, i would like to throw a suggestion AlanMs way.

All vamps eat something, emotion, blood, flesh, I think the jade court should eat thoughts, memories, souls (depending on your point of view). This is the reason they are so unknown, they eat your memory of them! basically vamp version of the silence from doctor who...just thought id throw that suggestion out there.


Gangs (5,3)
With the exception of any street gangs that we decide to flesh out, the typical street gangs generally just want more; more guns, more money, more territory, etc. Sure, they also want to keep what they have, but like most agents of disorder, they just want to grab whatever they can, and don't have any grand designs past that. They generally don't believe that anything goes bump in the night, even if Sang might have seen an impossibly beautiful lady (probably just tripping), and even if they never did find Trevor (must've been those damn triad wanna-be's).

Vancouverwood (-7,0)
Business for the Vancouver film industry is good; every show wants to film there, the Vancouver film festival brings in the best major and independent movies, and Vancouver is known throughout the world as being one of the best places for future stars to get their start. And many vested interests want to keep things this way. Being on the line for knowledge of the supernatural shows just how much variance there is in that category. The average nameless film extra or coffee mook likely has no idea who is involved with the industry, while some directors might bring in some Skavis to give their horror movie that extra edge. Hell, the director might be from House Skavis. The man/woman/thing at the top of the film industry is very, very in the know...and is probably on a first name basis with Raven.

1 to 50 of 68 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Community / Online Campaigns / Play-by-Post Discussion / City Creation and Stuff! All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.