Recently Adventure Capital, my gaming group, have decided that after we finish our Pathfinder campaign, we’re going to take a break from pseudo-medieval RPGs for a few months and give the Dresden Files RPG a shot before we start our Fantasy Craft campaign. Even though the end of the Pathfinder game is some months away we’ve already started the process of fleshing out the Dresden Files campaign.
It’s been an interesting exercise in collaborative campaign building as one of the important parts of the Dresden Files RPG system is the group design of the city in which the game is going to take place. This is an aspect of the game that I really like, not only do the players get to feel like they have more input into the game, but I get plenty of stuff to play off of and get an idea of what the players want to see.
So far, though it may see some revision, we’ve finished with the high level info for the city we’ve chosen for the campaign; Las Vegas. We’ve got three good, strong themes and enough information to start fleshing out the littler details and, for your enjoyment, I present to you our version of Las Vegas.
The first Aspect is “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas.” It’s difficult to get help from the outside but, at the same time, it’s easy to keep your friends and enemies very close. Additionally, people who visit the city keep getting drawn in, and sometimes they don’t leave with all of their memories intact. One of the players suggested that this might be due to some powerful Otherworldly force that lives in the city, keeping people from leaving. We expanded this into “the Collector,” a demon that eats memories and with the city’s attempt to diversify into a more family friendly locale, has developed a taste for the memories of children. Another NPC idea that cropped up early on in the discussion of this theme was that of Charles “Chance” Callahan, a cab driver that came to the city looking to make it big, but has not been able to leave. Now, Chance seems to know everyone in the city and may very well serve as a big source of information for the PCs.
The next Aspect is that of “Sin City,” of course. Vegas is a city of excess and debauchery, and this just screamed to me of a White Court vampire that owned a casino. If you are unfamiliar with the Dresdenverse, the White Court vampires feed off of negative emotions. As a result, I created a new House for the White Court named House Mammon that feeds off of greed. This tied in perfect with the idea of the White Court casino owner, and thus we have Enzio Mammon. The White Court is likely to pay an important role in the city, and we expanded on that further later on in the process.
The last Aspect is “What are the odds?” Luck in Vegas is fickle, and if you know how to manipulate the odds you can get far. But, like any good gambling establishment, the House always wins in the end. Strange occurrences seem to pop up, and luck can swing from really good to really bad in a matter of seconds. We tied Baltimore Tony, a powerful mobster in the city who knows how to play the odds, into this concept as one of its faces.
I mentioned earlier that the White Court played an important role in the city, but what does that mean, exactly? Well, the White Court uses the city as a neutral grounds of sorts, a place where they can meet and peaceably solve inter-House disputes. Of course, there are factions within the White Court that want to shake this up and claim the city as their own, but none of those factions have, as of yet, acted.
Creatures that feed off of others, especially emotional vampires, have it good in Vegas and have no desire to see that change. However, we have the Order of the Holy Cross operating in the city seeking to clean it up both in a mundane and supernatural sense.
The mob still holds power in the city, but are aware of the city’s supernatural elements and even use it to their advantage when they can, possibly going so far as to hire various creatures to do their business for them. The police and city government, meanwhile, are pretty much in the dark about the supernatural elements in the city, but are fighting a never-ending war against vice and trying to diversify the city to make it more family friendly (and unwittingly feeding the Collector in the process).
It should be an interesting campaign….