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MoonHunter Sayeth 20180718


Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
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Setting: Brimstone
An Urban Fantasy piece in the Western Vein

It is the 1870s in Brimstone, Colorado Territory. Brimstone is actually a fairly nice place to live, despite the name. It is in an area of the low hills of the territory, rather than the high mountains. There are sulfur springs in the tiny valley where Brimstone is situated. The warm waters might cure what ails you. There is a tiny hospital and spa for those that take the waters. The Town (just short of a city) is just off the Joshua Trail. It is not too far from the railroad. There is regular stagecoach traffic here from the rail point.

Brimstone gets a lot of traffic, but not much attention. That is just how most of the locals like it. Most peoples here like the status quo. It has most of the thing a large town or small city might. Saloons, stores, newspapers, the county office, a doctor or two (related to the waters), and such. The business used to be mining, but nothing but haunted places these days. Brimstone is a gambling hotspot, known for a number of tables (and quite a few extra beds ... if you get my drift). The town is a bit more lawless than most, orderly... but not lawful.

Brimstone is an interesting place. You might want to see it someday.

On the Point Rock, jutting out into the valley a ways, is a node of moderate power. Such a place of power calls to Certain Peoples.

Calling them "people" might be a bit incorrect. They are the people of the shadows, people who live on The Outside. People with secret abilities and agendas. Most can "fit in" with the common folk, if not scrutinized too carefully or too many questions asked. They all make up a lesser, but important part of the population of Brimstone.

It seems those of Celestial origins - high and low - consider this place neutral ground of sorts. As long as no one exceeds the bounds of propriety, they are content to keep the status quo. (This does not keep the red eyes completely in check, nor the meddling of one of the "soiled doves with a golden heart".)

Others follow their lead, as an angry or even just cranky celestial type can be more dangerous than most could handle.

Thus the area has quite the Illuminated populous of magic types. More than a few fey can be found in its borders, mixing with the good folk (and bad) as there is a trod point in the woods. More traditional monsters who walk as men (vampires, werewolves, etc) can be found in the borders. The forest, up the far valley side, has become a home for some "other creatures" (insert supernaturals of choice). Mostly they appear as normal creatures, and occasionally appearing as strange or unusual.

There is a town council that does more than determining if someone can build a building... if you get my drift.

Brimstone is an interesting place. You might want to see it someday.

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Urban Fantasy in a Historical/Western setting. Here you have a town/city and a population of paranormals trying to hide among the normals while taking advantage of the "extra power" of the node.

This is a period piece urban fantasy, with more of a Deadwood feel. While powers are always simmering under the surface, they are seldom seen. It is mostly about the positioning, posturing, and scheming/ defending yourself. If artfully done, nobody would pull out their powers - and if you were watching this as a TV series you hadn't seen before - there would be a complex social interaction that would not scream supernatural forces.

The main conflicts here are those trying to get their slice of the power here. Then the people who are here defending their slices and stopping those who are misusing the power and disrupting the status quo. Alternate conflicts are what happens when a new supernatural comes into the area, often not being as careful as the locals would like (especially if it is a creature). The other alternate conflicts are the straight personality/ moral code conflicts that with other locals. There will also be western elements, so dealing with gamblers, gunslingers, town folk, and the few homesteaders in the area. So what happens when you are dealing with a gunslinger (and what happens when he shoots a vampire?) Do you want the railroad to come here or is the shuttle/ stagecoach enough? Then there are the mixes. What if someone wants to start a lumber business.... that will make many of the local supernaturals and critters upset. The Local Indian are not happy about these white monsters here.

What I like about this one
  • It is a mix of genres - combining memes from westerns and urban fantasy.
  • Sessions will shift between western plots and supernatural plots.
  • The characters will all be locals and be part of the community (make that plural as they will have a part of regular society and supernatural/ shadow society.
    Someone wants to be the loner passing through, sure they can be. But then they need to leave or become part of the fabric of the locations.​
  • Characters need to be able to hide in plain sight and need a bit more complexity of background that is often used. Especially that some of these characters have relationships that go back thousands of years.
  • There will be a relationship situation, conspiracies, back-end deals, and such. So the town will be a complex place.
  • There is no "party". They might work together or they might be in opposition on a given session depending on the events going on.
  • There is a complex background "outside the area" that will have some impact on today. (Have the players help you work out what is going on in the rest of the world.)

What do we learn from this setting?
  • Using Multiple Genres memes gives you more options to pull from. Even if you emphasize one over the other, it is nice to have more options.
  • Players will need to give some input - okay a lot of input - to make an interesting setting and the setup work. .
  • Doing foundation scenes between the characters will make it work well. It will let them prework the chronicle. This will help them work out those relationships and come up with ideas.
  • Using Data Maps to keep track of protagonist/ non protagonist character relationships, any conspiracies, any deals, and probably the various plotlines too. Organizational tools will make your GMing easier.
  • Character plotlines will be supplemental to the events of the week going on in and around town. Sometimes the plotlines will be primary and the GM can bypass any events of the week.
  • Players should provide plot bits they want to see (either urban fantasy or western). They should also be giving a number of plotlines and an "interesting relationships with the other characters (and important NPCs). If you want complex adventures that interest the players, tap them to help you create them.
  • There will be multiple stages being played on a regular basis, as the characters are not a "party" that goes around together.
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