City and Square

A few years ago, I ran a fantasy game set in a vast city. Well, not just in a vast city; there was dimension hopping and time travel and navigating heavenly bodies. But I started with the ambition of telling the story of the city. I’d been subsisting on a literary diet of Warren Ellis’ Transmetropolitan and M John Harrison’s Viriconium and naturally I’d read Gormenghast and others.

The system was terribly generic, at least to start with, and I was never truly satisfied. I went through at least one complete shift to a different system (originally BRP, then some kind of Storyteller variant). I doubt the players minded nearly as much as I did. Looking back the system did a few things right but it was a terrible muddle.

Years later I came up with a tool I called the City Accelerator, which was the best name I could come up with at short notice. It’s the tool I would have used to map the city, if I’d thought of it at the right time. Since I didn’t, I decided to turn it into its own game.

The game isn’t about that city, it’s about any city where people are living anonymously, cheek-by-jowl. The City Accelerator is just one component; people will be another, and character a third. More to follow, TTFN.

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2 thoughts on “City and Square

  1. That City Accelerator looks like a cool tool. I’d be interested to see it used at the gaming table (rather that as prep), but whatever you do with it, having so much character in a city can’t be bad.

    • The plan is to make a system that works for brainstorming but changes dynamically during the game. I’ve used it before just to signpost features in a game world and it got a positive response, but the mechanics need playtesting.

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