The Road to Nowhere: game setup.   Posted by The Master of Ceremonies.Group: 0
The Master of Ceremonies
 GM, 1 post
Mon 27 Aug 2018
at 15:57
The Road to Nowhere: game setup
The game info is up in the upper right hand corner of the RPOL layout. You can find links to the game PDFs there.

What archetypes do you want to play?

What city should we base this in? (Washington, DC, perhaps?)

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:58, Mon 27 Aug 2018.

The Master of Ceremonies
 GM, 2 posts
Tue 28 Aug 2018
at 05:05
The Road to Nowhere: game setup: meta-info
In reply to The Master of Ceremonies (msg # 1):

Expectation setting: I'm probably up for GM'ing through the end of the year, at which point we should re-evaluate. Someone else could take over -- with a sequel, prequel, or entirely new setting or system -- and/or we could shuffle the cast. (I might want to play a game that can include Noah at that point, for instance. He's dying to play one of these.)

Archiving/resuming: it's a bummer that we lost the old campaign, so when we pause or segue, I'll make a backup of this one. It would be cool if it was readable later as a narrative (both just for fun, and also for getting back into the campaign later). What if we put all the mechanical, out-of-character stuff (what move you're making, what you rolled, what you're picking from a picklist, player chat about the situation, OOC quips) in spoiler tags? (There's a "spoil" linky thing at the bottom of your editor when you post). So that all the unspoiled text is something your character (with an unbroken fourth wall) would recognize as their story? I think that might be a cool experiment.

Pacing/narrative authority: I think we all have a pretty good feel for this, but when you post, try not to play too much past your move, to avoid quibbling and rollbacks. So narrate up to the point you make a move -- then, in a spoiler, say what move, what you rolled, what options you're picking, your intent and assumptions, and let me narrate resolution and set you up with more questions and so on.

This message was last edited by the GM at 05:12, Tue 28 Aug 2018.

The Master of Ceremonies
 GM, 3 posts
Tue 28 Aug 2018
at 05:11
setting
In reply to The Master of Ceremonies (msg # 2):

The argument for DC is we all know it.

The argument against is we all know it maybe too well? Might not yield as much imaginative room, might lead to quibbling, might be inadvertently depressing or awkward. Also, DC, so federal-level shenanigans might intrude too much (though we could make a decision to keep the action local).

Another possibility would be somewhere none of us know too well, or that we know principally from fiction: New Orleans, Albuquerque, Toronto, London, Tel Aviv, Kinshasa. Or somewhere near DC but that we don't have as much immediate experience of: Charlottesville, Baltimore, Frostburg, MD.
Andy's Character
 player, 1 post
Tue 28 Aug 2018
at 09:18
The Road to Nowhere: game setup
In reply to The Master of Ceremonies (msg # 1):

PDF links in Game Info are asking for basic auth login to access - was that intended (and if so can you post the creds)?
The Master of Ceremonies
 GM, 4 posts
Tue 28 Aug 2018
at 09:58
The Road to Nowhere: game setup
In reply to Andy's Character (msg # 4):

sorry; emailed.
Andy's Character
 player, 2 posts
Tue 28 Aug 2018
at 12:04
setting
In reply to The Master of Ceremonies (msg # 3):

I think one important factor in city choice is size - a megacity is going to have very different plot options from say, Frostburg or Charlottesville.  I'm a bit drawn to bigger/more impersonal cities for this, like New York or London, say.

Another possibility is to choose a city that has a longer historical timeline, which pretty much rules out the US (unless there is a crossover to a First Nations timeline or something like that).  Interesting possibilities there could be Prague (with its alchemical past) or Edinburgh with its "undercity" for instance.  Or any of the great cities of Europe.

I personally think a city we collectively have no real-world experience with (or reasonable fictional familiarity with at least) is too hard given tight timelines for play, since I know I'll be frustrated by not having enough time to adequately research it, even though I'd love to.

And lastly, there is always the possibility of a purely fictional city that we collectively create... maybe with loose attributes of real-world cities, a la "Gotham"...
The Master of Ceremonies
 GM, 6 posts
Tue 28 Aug 2018
at 13:01
setting
In reply to Andy's Character (msg # 6):

The rules do recommend a real-world city.

I suggest somewhere we at least all have some passing acquaintance with, I guess, whether from life or art...
Jamey's Character
 player, 1 post
Sun 2 Sep 2018
at 19:37
setting
In reply to The Master of Ceremonies (msg # 7):

How about Amsterdam?

Andy can help us keep it real.
Andy's Character
 player, 3 posts
Tue 4 Sep 2018
at 11:43
setting
In reply to Jamey's Character (msg # 8):

It's a city I know rather well, for sure :)  It also has a lot of "color" to play off of - history, crossroads of Europe, lots of arcane secrets and hidden corners.  Junkies, tourists, hookers, Jehovah's Witnesses, Moroccan gangsters who leave the occasional severed head on a bucket leering into the front window of a shisha bar, etc.   There is also a fascinating Indonesian subcultural element here from the colonial days.

Lots of angles to play here.
Andy's Character
 player, 5 posts
Wed 5 Sep 2018
at 15:43
setting
In reply to The Master of Ceremonies (msg # 7):

Sooo... I guess from Jamey's character post, we are going with Amsterdam?  I'm not pushing for it, really, I just wanna make sure before I pull the trigger on my character decisions :)  I'm fine with something different, though I'm also fine being "location scout" here if we go with it.  I'll even volunteer to write up some color guides for people, interesting locations, cultural quirks, etc. if people want some help or food for thought.  Or even actually go take photos or video of something here if you want me to :D
The Master of Ceremonies
 GM, 8 posts
Thu 6 Sep 2018
at 15:12
setting
In reply to Andy's Character (msg # 10):

I'm into it.
Ramin's Character
 player, 1 post
Sun 9 Sep 2018
at 02:53
setting

This message was deleted by the player at 03:10, Sun 09 Sept 2018.

Andy's Character
 player, 8 posts
Mon 10 Sep 2018
at 10:57
setting
In reply to Andy's Character (msg # 10):

So Janet's character brings some things into focus for me in terms of reconciling the direction we're going in vs. the "real" city of Amsterdam - we should definitely focus the "gentrification" theme on the Noord neighborhood.

Jamey started us in the direction of having BZBB gentrifying around the old Jewish Quarter - it's definitely an intriguing part of the city, but it's all long-gentrified after a big (and contentious) push in the 1970's.  Now it's swanky and very expensive real estate in the heart of the city, making it very hard to reconcile a "gentrification" storyline there.  But there are lots of other things about that area - including its haunting past as the Jewish quarter that was cleared out by the Nazis - that we can work with in the game.

Noord, however, is a perfect candidate for the gentrification storyline and the direction our characters are moving in.  Until recently it was a "brownfield" industrial wasteland of shipyards and chemical plants and such bordered further north by a sprawl of low-rent housing.  It's on the bleeding edge of development and gentrification - it has a recent history of crime and gang activity, sprawling low-rent areas, and lots of warehouses, junkyards, garages, and other small scale industrial works.  However, very recently (like, last month!) the Metro line extended smack into the middle of this, and has spiked property values, spurring a spreading wave of redevelopment.

The first wave of redevelopment started along the waterfront just across from Centraal Station, including some funky re-use of the sprawling old shipyards - a maze of huge derelict buildings with cavernous spaces that were taken over first by artists and hipsters - but with the advent of the Metro, this is now pushing north into the heart of the older low-rent districts.

Janet's character Terry is a perfect denizen of this zone - it's pretty much the only place in the city where his garage makes sense, and it would fit in perfectly there.  Also, his tangling with the vampires in Centraal Station makes so much sense since until last month the main way to travel between Noord and the rest of the city was either by a ferry to Centraal or a more roundabout driving route through a highway tunnel under the IJ harbor to the east.

This is definitely the most "raw" part of the city, with lots of interesting material to work with.  For instance, there is an abandoned (and easily accessbile!) Russian sub just sitting in the water near the old shipyards - the ferries pass within meters of it.

The ties of this area to the faded commercial glory of the NDSM and KNSM (the grand shipping lines of the Netherlands in the early 20th Century) is also a very intriguing theme, that could help tie things back to many other parts of the city as well.

This message was last edited by the player at 10:57, Mon 10 Sept 2018.

Andy's Character
 player, 9 posts
Mon 10 Sep 2018
at 11:17
setting
In reply to Andy's Character (msg # 13):

For reference, a good overview neighborhood map of Amsterdam can be found here -
https://amsterdammap360.com/amsterdam-neighborhood-map

Centrum is the oldest part of the city, and I'll post a separate drill-in map just of that as well, since the layout of that part is likely to be interesting in the game.

You can see Noord (mentioned in my previous post) on the other side of the body of water called the IJ (the river estuary harbor that connects the city to the ocean to the west).   Fun fact - IJ is a one-letter name - "ij" is a single letter in Dutch, basically like "y" - hence both I and J are capitalized in the name IJ.

Zuid-Oost ("southeast") is where my character lives - Bijlmer is in there.

Zuid-Oost has a large community of immigrants from African and Caribbean locales.
Nieuw-West is dominated by Middle-Eastern and Arabic immigrants (Moroccan and Turkish mostly).  The Moroccan drug gangs tend to operate out of here.

Zuid is very well-to-do and staid, older money, and it's also where the remnants of the Jewish community relocated to after WWII.

West (also called "Oud-West") is also expensive real estate, but with a funkier more hipster-y feel.

Westpoort is not heavily developed at all yet - nobody lived there until recently.  There is a large park up there (Westerpark) that is the former city gasworks, now a hip conference center where you can hold a wine festival inside a huge redeveloped gas holding tank.  Some housing is going in there now but most of it is office parks.  It's not particularly sinister - other than the Westerpark it's not a very interesting area.

Oost is very middle-income (to lower-middle) residential - not particularly remarkable for anything - neither slummy nor swanky, just very vanilla.  It's where your teachers and firemen and plumbers live.  Oost also includes some recently redeveloped docklands with higher-rent housing.  KNSM also used to use the docklands area for passenger line terminals, and there is a swanky first-class lounge that's still there called the Kompaszaal.

Let me know if you want any research material to drill into any of these!
The Master of Ceremonies
 GM, 12 posts
Wed 12 Sep 2018
at 16:32
setting
Okay, so how about this:

https://drive.google.com/open?...qX4F&usp=sharing
Mama Asia Amafo (Oracle)
 player, 11 posts
Thu 13 Sep 2018
at 07:18
setting
In reply to The Master of Ceremonies (msg # 15):

Nice!!
Master of Ceremonies
 player, 1 post
Thu 14 Mar 2019
at 12:52
setting
In reply to Mama Asia Amafo (Oracle) (msg # 16):

Test