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Author Topic: Cainsworth: City of the Damned and Dicty (Gothic Horror, Dieselpunk)  (Read 951 times)
Straight Outta Johto
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« on: February 15, 2018, 11:57:23 PM »

Welcome to the city of Cainsworth. A once booming industrial city, this city used to be consumed by the smog of several factories pumping out cars, trucks, televisions, radios, and other goods. The City was also a beacon of progress and innovation with the city university producing some of the greatest minds of a generation. A Monorail ran through the city carrying bustling people to and from their occupations that kept the engine of the economic giant that was Cainsworth running. But then one day the city became consumed by darkness... Literally.

Almost sixty years ago, a strange black cloud surrounded the city, and cut it off from the rest of the world. No one gets out, and so far as anyone knows, no one gets in either. But everyday, goods come in on trains and bring food, and other necessities from the outside world. Every time people try to walk beyond the clouds however, they wind up on the opposite side of the map.

Where once innovation and economic might drove Cainsworth, now the force that propels the city is despair, turmoil, and madness. Where scientists once gave us technological progress, now mad geniuses give oppressive machinery and abominable monsters birthed from ungodly methods. Where the police once protected teh citizenry under the guidance of a functional city government, now the police have been divided into sub military groups that  act as the instruments of corrupt politicians, corporate overlords, or as vigilante groups that in act their own laws, armed to the teeth with airships, guns, tanks, and walking robots. Where civil homogeneity once reigned, gangsters now roam the alleyways, and impoverished neighborhoods fighting for turf and glory in bloody and chaotic street wars. And just to make things worse, many of these gangsters are demons.

Another thing that needs to be said is that on top of the strange cosmic nature of the dark clouds (affectionately dubbed "the Smog" by the layman), they also brought forth beasts and monsters from what could only be assumed to be from a hellish abyss. Monsters roam in the shadows of the city and sewers attacking citizens, police, gangsters, children, elderly, with no regard for life at all. Demons who are smart enough to manipulate lesser creatures wind up forming gangs and mafias to gain power and whatever else they desire. Vampires also lurk in the darkness of the city. Thankfully though, their is a slight cure for vampirism, but no matter how hard science, and witchcraft has tried, there will always be a slight taint of vampirism in a person.

In case it wasn't clear from the term "witchcraft", there is a mystical presence in this city. The people that make pacts with the Smog gain magical power, but more often than not, people become consumed by the smog, and at best lose their sanity, and at worst become hideous monsters. In many parts of the city, magic is outright banned by gangs, police, or local corporate masters. But in some cases, Witches rule over parts of the city. Usually they are... Interesting places to live.

If the people of this city are going to survive, someone must find the secrets that are underlying the Smog, and figure out a way to break its grip. On top of all that, the several Conspiracies and secret organizations that vie for power must be vanquished. But who's stupid enough to even begin to do something so ludicrous?

So here's the lowdown.

The basic theme of this setting is:

Gothic Horror/Pulp-Noir
Dark Deco
Dieselpunk

Media Inspiration:

Batman The Animated Series (Where the Dark Deco Theme came from)
The Big O (Giantish robots, and Cityscape setting).

I don't know what system I'm using for this. I'm tempted to use Pathfinder, but my group I play with are obsessed with 5e.

If I could sum this setting up in one sentence it's "What if Gotham was consumed by Ravenloft (Don't ask me who the Darklord is)?"

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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2018, 10:04:34 AM »

LoA

I don't know what system I'm using for this. I'm tempted to use Pathfinder, but my group I play with are obsessed with 5e.
Maybe you could houserule the Call of Cthulhu RPG? Just ignore the Mythos stuff and stat your own monsters?
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Straight Outta Johto
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2018, 12:57:12 PM »

Ghostman

LoA

I don't know what system I'm using for this. I'm tempted to use Pathfinder, but my group I play with are obsessed with 5e.
Maybe you could houserule the Call of Cthulhu RPG? Just ignore the Mythos stuff and stat your own monsters?


True, but this could easily turn into a vigilante's vs super villains campaign, and I don't know if CoC was meant for superhero simulation.

Thing is about half my group is Chaotic Evil most of the time, so I need to know what they want to play before I begin hammering out. Rule is you can either be villians, heroes, or layman, but if you're going to be villians, no heroes, and vice versa.
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2018, 10:49:06 AM »

I like the concept of dark deco + dieselpunk + pulp noir. With the addition of witchcraft and supernatural horrors, it fits right in with the New Weird sub-genre. Moreover, it sounds like a fun, easily digestible while still multi-faceted setting. I look forward to seeing more of this. As for a rules system, I might recommend FATE or the Cypher System, as both are designed to cater to a wide range or games, from pulp noir to superheroes to magic-focused campaigns. Also, both of the above have been created to be agnostic in regards to settings, unlike Pathfinder.
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2018, 03:44:45 PM »

I definitely like the feel of this. The aesthetic of the setting seems to fit well with the horror vibe that you're introducing.

As for system, I'd also +1 the Fate recommendation, though that's maybe not too surprising coming from me. If your group prefers 5e, that could sort of work, if only because 5e is pretty rules-light so you'd be kind of winging it anyway-- the system won't give you much help, since what you want to do is so different from a typical 5e game, but 5e is a bit sparse on the details anyway. That said, you'd likely have a far easier time with Fate.
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2018, 12:57:52 PM »

This looks super great! I think it could easily run in either Pathfinder or 5e. I've used both to run big urban games.

Reminds me a bit of Bloodborne, in a good way.

I'm curious what the districts of the city are like, what kind of people are in charge, what these witch-zones are like, and how religion has changed.
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Straight Outta Johto
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2018, 08:58:28 PM »

Steerpike

This looks super great! I think it could easily run in either Pathfinder or 5e. I've used both to run big urban games.

Reminds me a bit of Bloodborne, in a good way.

I'm curious what the districts of the city are like, what kind of people are in charge, what these witch-zones are like, and how religion has changed.

I'm working on a map right now, and it'll show the various districts, and who's in charge.

One segment of the city is a technocratic dictatorship run by a giant supercomputer (subconsciously ripped off from Fallout 3 and NV without realizing it), and is one of the potential supervillians or allies that the players can interact with.

I need to come up with more interesting ideas for local horrors to rule over the fearful masses. Perhaps one of you beautifully twisted people had resources for random horrors?
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Straight Outta Johto
Giff
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2018, 06:09:16 PM »

I'm still working on the map. I was inspired by Steerpikes Hex Map, so I'm making neighborhood maps like his, but I'm using these designs as inspiration for what the buildings are going to look like.

As for races, I was just tempted to have this be human only, but I had some interesting ideas. Androids, Dhampirs were in the first article, and I'm thinking a race of genetically enhanced Gecko's who were bred by mad scientists in order to act as brainless drones, but it didn't work. And to add to that, I was thinking about adding creatures called Moureaus, animals and or genetic hybrids imbued with sentience, whether by witchcraft, or science.
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