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[Setting] Twin Cities, Minnesota

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  • [Setting] Twin Cities, Minnesota

    I'm running a mage game and I've got a setting in mind, the Twin Cities in Minnesota, which is largely the metropolitan area around Minneapolis and St. Paul. I picked the area because I live here. I've got a bit of info on the Consillium and some local mysteries. You'll forgive the (clarifications) in parenthesis I hope. This is a writeup for my players and not all of them are familiar with the game.

    Primarily I'm wondering if I'm missing anything major from a writeup for a setting. Are there any recommended changes or additions you think I should look into making?

    -------------------------------------

    Consillium
    The local Consilium(Mage government) is based out of the old Metropolitan Building.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metrop..._(Minneapolis)

    Locals believe it was demolished after efforts to have it saved failed in 1961. However, the truth is that the local Hierarch(leader of the Consillium) simply wanted the building for Awakened(Mage) use, due to the sizeable Hallow in the rooftop garden. They shunted the building into a pocket dimension and it remains accessible through an elevator at 330 2nd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55401, where the building used to be.

    The local Consillium is very Libertine and democratic. Many of the local Awakened joke that they should simply convert into an Assembly already. The Council still makes decisions with absolute authority like in most Consilliums, but are influenced by the fact that they are elected through popular vote every four years. For the most part, the seats don't really change hands as most are content to leave things as they are, but getting booted out of office by popular vote is not unheard of due to an unpopular decision.

    The Seers
    While they do not have a significant foothold in the local government yet, the seers have been slowly winding their greedy, conniving tendrils into the cracks and crevices of the city. It's a careful, slow process that the Consillium and Libertine alike do their best to stamp out at every opportunity. The city is fairly low-priority for the Seers, but as the Twin Cities slowly grow in influence for the Midwest, so too do the seers show more interest. They keep their eyes out for new recruits, using their position as underdogs to play with the perceptions of the newly-awakened against the Consilium.

    Mysteries
    There are several big mysteries that are well known and entirely unexplained in Minnesota and the Twin Cities.

    The Skyways
    Minneapolis is a city of connections. In the real world, Minneapolis boasts a system of Skyways that interconnects and spans many buildings in 80 full city blocks. There are roughly 11 miles worth of traversable paths between buildings. It's possible to live, work, and shop without ever touching the ground.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minneapolis_Skyway_System

    In the World of Darkness, this system is more expansive and more mysterious. Even more buildings are interconnected, spanning the entire city in a maze of elevated walkways. To Sleepers(ordinary humans) its a confusing but navigable system. For the Awakened in the know, it is a source of wonder and ruin. Traversing the Skyways in specific patterns or sequences can lead to buildings that simply do not exist on the various maps. Pocket dimensions, Atlantean ruins, and secret hallows can be found by traversing the Skyways. It's not uncommon for Cabals to take up these places as Sanctums.

    Mages know to be careful when traversing these paths with the intention of finding something. Not every sequence leads to some lost wonder or powerful artifacts. Sometimes sinister places lurk just around the corner, places that should not and can not be. Most of the time a mage is able to see and scrutinize their destination as they walk down the last Skyway in the sequence, giving them ample time to turn around and break the sequence. But some have been lost to their curiosity.

    Sleepers who accidentally walk these sequences will instinctively avoid the last Skyway in the sequence, often talking alternate routes for reasons they aren't certain of. But some still occasionally stumble in, witnessing wonders and horrors that invoke the curse of quiescence, and in some incredibly rare cases, start them down the path to Awakening.

    The Lakes
    Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, with exactly 11,842 lakes of 10 acres or more. In truth, if you counted bodies of water over 2.5 acres the state would have 21,871 lakes.

    In the World of Darkness, this still holds true, however, their location doesn't always remain the same. Local mages find themselves often frustrated and enraptured with the local lakes, as they often rearrange themselves geographically when nobody is looking. Lakes that never were appear and some are never seen again. Infrastructure like housing, businesses, roads, and other signs of civilization rearrange themselves around the lakes as they change, and local Sleepers remember the Lakes always being there and have no trouble locating landmarks even after they've been shifted.

    Mages, however, remember exactly how the land used to be laid out, which can be a problem. Imagine the frustration of trying to take Central Avenue down to Minneapolis only to find that the road abruptly ends and merges into 35W because a lake prevents it from going all the way south. Local Awakened always keep a GPS device or locating spells handy because moving around outside the cities is an exercise in frustration when things shift.

    However other Awakened see these lakes in a different light. New lakes can sometimes be explored and kneeling at the lake edge and peering into the water can sometimes bestow a Mage with supernal knowledge, a rare insight, an artifact, or in some rare unfortunate cases the boon of becoming a lake monster's dinner.

    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by RobinCoyote; 06-23-2019, 02:25 PM. Reason: Added information on the local seers

  • #2
    Well it certainly sold me, I want to play!

    Seriously, looks to me as if you have all the important stuff worked out, but I wanted to suggest a few extra things you might want to add before session 0.

    1. Your setting has 2 really cool setting mysteries, neither of which have any hint as to possible cause. Which is fine, but it seems likely the cities resident mages must have at least some theories? Perhaps their could be competing schools of thought on the subject, with bitter political battles between those who advocate certain mutually exclusive approaches?

    2. Some local names and places. I find that doing the ground work and creating a few NPCs and interesting locales to introduce in the setting document goes a long way. Prospectice players suddenly have some human faces to put on things, as well as a pool of prospective mentors and contacts.

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    • #3
      1. I feel like that's better left unexplained. Larger mysteries are sort of a long-term thing, I feel, that are more of a set-piece that you imply people are looking into and maybe dip into a bit to daunt players with the unknowable. I feel like the only time you should come up with a concrete "reason" is if it somehow becomes necessary to the plot. But that's personal preference.

      2. I'm sort of working on that now. I'm waiting on feedback from players, I sort of want to involve them and their backstories in the NPC creation process. I've got a few ideas of people, names, and even personalities, but nothing concrete.

      Thank you though, I'll definitely take your feedback into consideration. I appreciate you taking the time.

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