Gaming Where You Live

Hail and Well Met, Sean and Brett!

First off, let me just say that your podcast has been a big help in my GM’ing, as well as a bright light in this dark time with all the quarantine and whatnot. While I haven’t worked my way through the backlog of episodes, I have managed to take note of a number of things you’ve suggested to make games run smoother - like using the “average” dice rolls to speed game play.

On to the topic: When it comes to historical or even modern and near-future games, have you ever run or had an urge to run a game set in the city where you live? Does running such a game hold a special place in your polyhedral hearts or is it something you avoid at all costs and why?

From my own experience, I have mixed feelings. I’ve lived in a number of places over the years, but I would never run a game set in my childhood hometown. Running a game set in a larger city I’ve lived in, like Sioux City or Omaha, I have no problem with. I’ve even ported the concept of Omaha (historically known as “The Gateway to the West”) into SF gaming with the idea of Port Omaha.

Granted, it can be a bit of a challenge when you’re a newcomer or transplant like myself, but if you have good friends and players to help you fill in the blanks for the game lore, it lightens the load and makes the game a labor of love for everyone involved.

Keep up the good work and may you always make your saves.

Harl Quinn

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Running in your home town? Interesting. I don’t think it would be emotionally troublesome for me, but for earlier times, would require significant research, as I didn’t explore much on the "other side of the tracks.

I was raised in a community of about 1,000, with family from both my mom and my dad’s side living in town or in surrounding communities, so it’s a lot more personal. Had I been born and raised in a larger town, say, 15,000+, it would be a bit different.

As for the history side of things, that’s the nice bit about having the local historical society as a resource. :wink:

I ran a Call of Cthulhu game set in my rural county during the depression and dust bowl of the 1930’s. I even had the PC’s run into their players grandparents as young adults and teenagers.

I came from a rural farming county. The largest town was 350 people. I had 45 people in my high school class which consisted of all the towns from the west side of the county.

We did that a few years ago when I was back home for about a month and it was a lot of fun!

I’ve been in two. One was a superhero game. We called our team ‘Defenders of Austin’ (mainly for the acronym, I think.) The other was a nWoD game. We made extensive use of the tunnel network below the University of Texas.

My D&D campaign just before this one had, for home base, an analogue to our shared town. It worked very well. Everyone could visualize everything perfectly. It was my favorite work.

For the new campaign we didn’t return to it because, for whatever reason, a new player didn’t like the flavor of it, based on the campaign notes. So we built a new, wholly original world, which offers its own pleasures (though higher barriers to immersion, I have found, at least myself).

I’ve never done that, but I have stolen buildings for things. Running Blade in the Dark at a local convention I used local buildings as templates just so people could easily “see” the building (think of this bar or that shop, etc).

Also, I’ve never heard of anywhere other than St. Louis referred to as the Gateway to the West. Interesting.

I grew up in a similar-sized town. I haven’t tried using (a version of) it in a game before, but none of my current gaming groups are from there, so even if I did, they wouldn’t know unless I told them.

I have used a map of the region with town and river names changed, and some exaggerated topography (mountains instead of hills, etc.) as a campaign setting, but that was mostly out of laziness.

Same, but I grew up near there so people may have been biased.

I’ve run Vampire games set in my hometown when I lived there ages ago - it was a horrible flop of a game.

In more recent years my group and I have created a sort of “World of Darkness” setting out of the town in more recent years - Towns original name was Big Bull Falls, so we call them BBF games. The adventure I ran in it was a LotFP game where we created the “how did BBF turn into what it is?” story. A sort of fantastic myth story of why time moves so slowly, and how/why certain families and powers in the town came to be.

Normally though, we use the New World of Darkness system for the campaigns. One game was a Stranger Things type of game (years before the show came out actually, but it’s just a good way to describe what it was like), others have been more of a “standard” X-files type of mystery with bits of Cthulhu Mythos, cryptids, and other strangeness.

I’ve been reading Ron Edwards’s Champions Now. Interestingly, Edwards recommends setting the campaign in a “real” town with which at least one player is intimately familiar.

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I did the same thing, @LaramieWall. In a recent game of PunkApocalyptic I used the layout for my local Sobey’s (grocery store chain in Canada) to come up with the floor plan for the parties mission. I thought it really helped with the setting narrative.

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