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[Making a Fictional Town] Baneberry, Oregon

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  • [Making a Fictional Town] Baneberry, Oregon

    I'm bored, so I'm looking at doing a couple of WoD based projects, and the first I want to try my hand at is making a good, fictional small town that can be used as a basis for (almost) any nWoD game. I want to have a solid foundation that can be used and mutated to compensate for the themes and characteristics of any given nWoD line (though, admittedly some will be tougher than others), also allowing me to explore how to do small-town based games in the world of darkness; most of my games tend to be very urban in nature, so I thought this would be a good exercise.

    Also, this may have to do with me listening to a lot of Welcome to Night Vale recently, so expect shout-outs or inspiration from that.

    I decided to go with an American town despite being British myself because I wanted to emphasise a theme of isolation, and having a lot of country to work with makes me feel more comfortable with it, and I chose Oregon, well, because I think it's neat. I'm a sucker for temperate rainforests. I want Baneberry to be a town that's on the mend, an old mill town trying to revitalise itself after the collapse of the lumber industry. It's holding on to a lot of stuff from the past and trying to shed the, but some ghosts haunt more stoically than others. Tensions run high in the little town, and there are folks who have done and are doing desperate things to survive in the last couple of decades.

    The area I'm designating 'Baneberry' includes the town itself, the surrounding farms and areas, and a small reservation of Native Americans, all in all giving Baneberyy a population of about 3,000 (so it's a small town but with enough people to let it have some real secrets). Next time I come to this I want to sketch out some rough geography, history and set up some of the principle movers and shakers of the community.

    Any suggestions, particularly from native Oregonians?

  • #2
    Suggestion 1 - find someone born and raised in Oregon, preferably in a town similar to the one you are fictionalizing.

    Hi, you can call me Drake, and the only thing you have declared a desire for Baneberry to be like that differs from my home town of Burns, Oregon is that the mill closed back in '80s (if I recall correctly - my whole life growing up there was constantly talk of getting the mill open again, but no attempt ever succeeded for long) and that, primarily because of a second town bumped right up against Burns (called Hines), the population was around 4,500 (though it has dwindled a lot since back then). And as for the isolation theme, Burns is actually about 2 1/2 hours drive from the nearest larger town in any direction. There is even a reservation immediately adjacent to the town (with a casino, too)

    Suggestion 2 - use as much as you can that is real-life info, but then twist it for your purposes.

    You can get a pretty good look at the modern-day (and pretty bleak, almost desolate) Burns, Oregon by taking a look on Google Maps, and extrapolate or fill in details to suit your chronicles.

    Suggestion 3 - I have pretty decent amounts of free time, personal knowledge of the life and times of people in the type of town you describe, and an email address you can reach me at for any sorts of assistance you might like in the way of really getting the feel of life in such a place.

    I can even point out the various places around the area that youth (and perhaps the supernatural) spent time - from the nearby hot springs, to the other small "towns" that are barely more than a fuel station, and just a general sense of what it is like to live in a town that wants to progress, but is stuck in decline, and how that colors the views and attitudes of the locals.

    Not so noble anymore.


    • #3
      I'm starting a similar project, but i'm working on a small city in Washington. i took a look at Google Maps, at the general area i wanted the city to be in (as suggested above), and found an actual city that i am going to re-work to suit my needs. goodbye, Aberdeen, hello Westport. I'm changing the name of the town, a few of the buildings and street names, but i think i'll leave most of the layout alone, as it already has most of what i'm looking for. using a city that already exists takes a few steps out of coming up with all of the details and background that go into creating a believable world.