Getting together for the first time we set out to created the backdrop for our new campaign.
As the GM I took the initiative to make the first suggestions. I wanted to use something near a coast as I wanted to see what influences the oceans would have on the game. Additionally I was looking to avoid cities we had used in the past. The players threw around some suggestions and eventually decided on Seattle because it had many interesting traits that could be used in the game.
Themes and Threats
In choosing themes and threats I kind of just let the players speak their minds about what they thought would be interesting and what they wanted to see in the game. This resulted in a lot of cool ideas, but many of them proved to be better fodder for single adventures rather than campaign-long concepts. In the end we decided on three that would allow for a maximum amount on influence from the supernatural world, the players were clearly interested in seeing how crazy things could get.
Next we started talking about locations, this started by everyone using their phones and the group computer to pull up interesting facts, images, and attractions in the Seattle area.
The Pike Place Market came up quickly as the players knew about it before any research was done. Upon skimming basic info about the market the players learned that there was a man known as the “king of the market”. This man was also nicknamed “The Codfather”. This tidbit was too interesting to pass up and the group had him pegged as a mafia-style don in no time.
Next was another attraction that Seattle is famous for: The Freemont Troll. Continuing their theme of all-out supernatural presence though the crew decided that he was a face, not simply a location. This led me to suggest that the location could be Freemont. The group agreed and further suggested that freemont could be a place with a lot of crazy fey influence.
Next on the list was a suggestion from me. I wanted a place that the youth of the city could hang out and I could place nightclubs and the like. A quick search on google revealed a location called Bell Town that could be flavored for exactly what I wanted.
Fourth came the suggestion of the famous Space Needle. Looking at the wikipedia article on the structure we found a picture of one of the engineers for the project: Victor Steinbruek. One glance at him and we all decided that he was clearly a magic user, and by turning him into a warlock we ensured that the location would have some interesting story tie-ins.
Our fifth location took a little more thought. We began by searching for more giant attractions in the city and found the Seattle Great Wheel, a giant ferris wheel on Pier 57. I made a comment that a ferris wheel may not have the most story potential in the long run, so we expand the location to include the whole pier. To us, ferris wheel screamed carnival, and carnies screamed changelings.
The next place we created to account for all of the wilderness that surrounds the city. We simply chose one of the state parks, ending on Olympus State Park because it had a giant mountain and that’s cool. Since we had already created two locations that had fey populations the group decided that shapeshifters were demanded. A look at the local wildlife led us to bears as the most interesting option.
The second to last location was based on a giant corporation based out of Seattle: Starbucks. The suggestion was to use the original Starbucks as the location. Thinking more about the theme of this place we associated things like addiction, rampant growth, and power seeking. These things all seemed to point towards Red Court vampires. As a base for vampires I decided that a single store was likely to be a little lacking, so we changed it to the Starbucks HQ. There was some call for a massive underground base, which I had a hard time seeing as a likely scenario, but who knows what those vampires have going on in that base?
The last location was left up to Michael as he had not had the lead roll in a pick yet. He looked around for some options for a White Court vampire presence and decided on a destination wedding resort. Thornewood Castle would be a resort run by a smaller house of the White Court. Using the themes of weddings there is the potential for two sources of feeding: lust and despair.
I tried to stay hands-off during character creation providing only suggestions on how to reach the goals the players were trying to get to.
The party started by thinking very macro to make sure they were not going to overlap too much. Michael came out of the gate gung-ho to play a wizard. Rachael was split between a shapeshifter and a changeling. Geddy decided he would prefer to play a shifter so Rachael chose fey to keep things interesting.
From here I kind of just let them write their stories and aspects and give each other suggestions resulting in the following party:
- Michael is an upstart young wizard with more power than he may know how to use responsibly.
- Rachael is a kitsune changeling from and adopted household trying to find where she fits in.
- Geddy is a nomad were-moose, far from home and trying to get use to his powers.