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A 2E City

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  • #16
    Laptop's finally done defragging, so now I can get real verbose again.

    Originally posted by HunterInTheNight View Post
    You think so small.
    I think in terms of the thing that I am building for, which is how you think when you are building to a purpose without diverting effort from the thing you are trying to accomplish.

    The basic small scale geopolitics is only a portion of what I'm looking for, but a vampire's blood supply and a promethean's wasteland are two entirely different things.
    Yes, because those are different categories of problem. A Promethean's Wasteland and the extended consequences of feeding and using the Predatory Aura on a vampire's Feeding Grounds, however, both fit the category of "region where a monster's presence is messing with public health," and human contact and the humour-derived sources of Pyros per Lineage fill the same role as blood does for vampires at a lower degree of urgency.

    Resources are resources. Doesn't matter whether they're material resources like money and supplies, social resources like trust and connections, geographical resources like access and security, or other things, designing a city's supernatural element as more than a freestanding collection of monsters stapled onto a mortal locale means looking at how those groups interact with their needs in that area.

    Hunters are humans, which means most of their geopolitical game is in the mundane sphere, notwithstanding the heightened importance of knowledge, security, leverage, secrecy, and other things that hunting monsters renders extra important. Compacts and conspiracies tend to have more of these things than most characters thanks to institutional inertia and the ability to pool resources, but they still operate most plainly on the fundamentals of setting construction because more esoteric problems are such a regional/case-by-case thing to address.

    Even at the basic level, you are going to need to supply 11 different answers.
    Again: Many of the root questions about How To Build A City are generalizable and/or heavily dependent upon what you're aiming for in a game.

    Does a type of monster need something for its purposes? It will favor settings where that thing is easy to get without too much trouble. Vampires go where the people are. Mages seek out Mysteries. Changelings and werewolves bias their territorial dynamics toward trods and loci. Mummies and Beasts will tend to stick around their Tombs and places they've made Chambers out of. Demons look out for Infrastructure, Hunters look out for monsters, Sin-Eaters look out for the dead, and Deviants look for things to fuck with (preferably conspiracy-related). Prometheans are a smattering of autonomous change-distilleries, but they'll tend to favor places with people to interact with or features that resonate with their humour.

    Are there a lot of one type of monster in one area? Depending on how badly they need certain resources, this will have an impact on the surrounding area, individual monsters, and/or the relationships between those monsters based on how they approach acquisitions. Too many vampires in one place means lots of people dying or lots of vampires spreading themselves thin to hunt far from home. Changelings in need of Glamour are either highly active or under attack, and depending on their approach they'll either amp up their emotion-harvesting activities and leave a trail or start foraging/cultivating goblin fruit in the uncertain ground of the Hedge. Demons in a place with lots of Infrastructure have plenty of reason to collaborate and that means opportunities to sell each other out.

    Does the monster have pursuers? How committed are they, how obvious are they, and how common are they? How worried is it about them? This will affect individual behavior and group dynamics depending on whether the threat is infiltrators or wolves at the door. Strix, Reapers, and Huntsmen all play on the same paranoia that hunters live with from monsters that can pass for human, whereas Pandorans and Amkhata and the Hosts tend to be a little more stalking-creature threats that you can pin down in isolated incidents as grand cooperative gestures; mixing those two types of threat tends to be a recipe for high tension in a community because the stakes are raised and trust and security become more scarce.

    Is one group dominant in the area? On what strength? Are two or more groups in direct or indirect conflict? Over what and to what extent? What, if anything, could undermine the current dynamics of the region? These questions don't change too drastically in their application by gameline, save that some games may have few enough monsters of a type that they're about humans or other kinds of monster instead of, say, bunches of Prometheans in a mid-sized suburb.

    Localized weirdness provides some of the easier ways to skew these things, but again, there's relatively little distinction between "a cohort of Devoted has used their conspiracy's Icons to supercharge their Variations, to the consternation of the Renegades trying to take them down" and "the pack of Ghost Wolves that run the interstate have taken a crossroad devil as their totem and now they're unstoppable on the highways and expanding their influence."

    The basics will take you a long way.

    And if you're going to have all the gamelines being answered at the same time, if will become a pile of confusion, people answering other people, mistakes on which splat they are talking about, turning it into a logistical nightmare.
    People are usually pretty clear when they're talking about vampires versus when they're talking about werewolves et al.

    There's no logistics here. You ask questions and people answer them or they don't based on what they know. Unless you think such a thread is going to be dozens of times more active than all the individual-line threads you've made combined, it's going to be pretty easy to keep track of the discussion on any given day.

    Resident Lore-Hound
    Currently Consuming: Demon: the Descent 1e


    • #17
      You've done nothing but prove my point. Now if we only had separate threads to go in depth on each of these splats instead of a bare bones skimming of them, we'd be getting somewhere.

      Originally posted by Satchel View Post
      Unless you think such a thread is going to be dozens of times more active than all the individual-line threads you've made combined, it's going to be pretty easy to keep track of the discussion on any given day.
      No I don't. And that is also my point. Its not going to be more active than all the individual threads. Its not going to be a tenth as active as the individual threads. That's why I'm doing the individual threads, because while all the splats are connected, they mostly spend their time apart. While keeping in mind that the other gamelines exist in the city, how do hunters fit in? We aren't ignoring the other splats, but they take a back seat, are background characters to the hunters that the topic is about. There is a fully functioning vampire society, how does that affect the hunters. There are multiple werewolf packs, how does that affect the hunters. This topic is about the hunters. Not how vampires work, or geists, just hunters. The rest of the gamelines just set up the context of the city. Because when making hunters, you need to think about the vampire society, you can't get away from that, but its not the focus, and keeping people focused is the goal here. If someone wants to run a hunter game, but have it be a multisplat city, they'd go to the Hunter sub forums and look around. And they'd find this thread and get their answers. I mean, not now. Too many people have posted things off topic in response to the mod's posts, thus making this thread mostly useless. And this is exactly what I was trying to avoid.