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Defining the Cities

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Before we add a new city it's been pointed out it might be good to help define the cities we have already. We can then add them to the beginners guide so players new and old can see what kind of stuff goes on in each city. We could also consider splitting FC down but districts and the best types of stories as well


So I suggest we give a one sentence description, them a few examples from various medias, then any PL limits put on characters. 


Anyone want to start?

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Freedom City: A shining beacon of hope for the future, a metropolis that's quite literally at the center of the universe. Think Metropolis, Astro City, or Marvel's Manhattan.


Via @Ari

Emerald City: Where being human is optional, being rich is a must and a techno-futurist haven hides ancient, cataclysmic secrets in the Pacific Northwest fogs. Think Star City or San Francisco 


Bedlam City: A dying, grimy Rust Belt town with a towering Gothic skyline of crumbling buildings. Think Gotham, or Hub City, or Detroit.


Vibora Bay: A stormy Southern Gothic metropolis, where the gumbo is as spicy as the music, a tourist mecca with a history at once glorious and terrible. Think Opal City with a soupcon of New Orleans



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Freedom City - The shining city where superhumans are as common a sight as fancy cars and where super-fights break out in the open though it is flexible with less-powered stories can still be told. - Metropolis. Marvel's New York City. DCAU. Netflix MCU. PL 7-15.


Emerald City - Northwestern Gothic, where a retro-futuristic city with small-town vibes hiding strange secrets in the dark woods and conspiracies and danger beneath the gleaming glass. Gravity Falls. Stranger Things. The X-Files. Vancouver. San Francisco. PL 8-12.


Bedlam City - Gritty and once-grand city that is dying in hacking coughs, and with everything about it, from its citizens to its infrastructure, rotten to the core. - Gotham. Sin City. Fight Club. Black Lagoon. Detroit. PL 7-10.

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue
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Yea, I'm thinking that moving away from a geographical view and more to a narrative one could help to differentiate.


Kinda hit the core story beats.  What role do heroes play in the city, underdogs, paragons, etc.  How do they interact with authorities.  How has the presence of heroes changed the city, how does the public feel about that and them?  What kind of story is this city a setting for.


Right now I'd say we have Freedom City is the place where the heroes are larger than life and have changed the face of the city to it's core.  Heroes are the celebrities and the protectors adored and trusted by the bulk of the populace.   It has seen terrible attacks and invasions, monstrous villains but come back stronger for it and more united.  That's a pretty generic high power kind of super city the tone is hopeful and doesn't focus on 'real world' implications of superpowers.  This is the place for classic "comic book" stories of good guys being good bad guys being bad and it all being resolved by the end of the issue.


Bedlam is more a place where the heroes failed, they were either as bad as the villains or just were not able to overcome the entrenched forces of corruption and urban decay.  The populace might be grateful for an individual hero or being rescued but still don't trust heroes on the whole and they are illegal, the very act of costumed vigilantism puts heroes in opposition not only to the corrupt powers but the legitimate laws of the city.  The tone is grim, it's not a battle to win but  a battle to extend how long it takes to lose.  This is the place for stories where the hero doesn't get there in time or maybe stops one plot only to let another rise.  Moral ambiguity, grey areas, and impossible choices are the bread and butter narrative of bedlam.


Space is less defined but it's a higher tech environment where everyday citizens are super by earth standards.  This makes the stakes higher and the pay offs bigger.  It's a big setting of big personalities and big stories.  Stories here are cultural conflict, war, and exploration.  


I don't have that kind of insight into the goals for EC nor Vibora Bay.  Best I get is that EC has most of the Freedom stuff but also the bad guys have some hidden entrenched power but in secret so interacting with it in a story isn't straightforward like in bedlam.  Most I've gotten other than geographic descriptions of Vibora Bay is "Magic".  


That's not to say other kinds of story can't be told in space, Bedlam or Freedom but those are the stories best suited.  And obviously that isn't all there can be to EC or VB but the point would be what should EC have to stand out and what could VB bring?

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The thing we tend to forget about Freedom is that it's put together to allow different style to be done in the same city, as well as the big high level stuff, I'd also say that Claremont should be given it's own section, whilst its not a city it has it own distinct style.


Space as I understand it has two styles the more structures Legion of Superheroes style team dynamics and the looser Guardians style fun romps, though they've fallen at the wayside for a little while.

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Most I've gotten other than geographic descriptions of Vibora Bay is "Magic".  


History, mythology, etc in a way that the other regions don't really have - the Southern Gothic ethos applied to superheroic adventures, with enough diversity in a million+ metropolis that PCs aren't limited to that particular aesthetic. 


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  • 1 month later...

From the books at least, Emerald City is suppose to be an idyllic city with a long history of basically being a place for super villains to hide out and retire. The Silver Storm (Which I am pretty sure did not happen here, I could be very wrong) ruined that status quo with a bunch of very active supers running around doing hero and villain stuff. Kind of like a wild west sort of thing. Without the storm, it probably leans more towards secret conspiracies. There is like, five or so different secret organisations running around there


Bedlam has a lot of themes about decay. Lot of public personalities are getting old or getting emotionally eaten alive by guilt they are ignoring, infrastructure is breaking down and getting swallowed up by the mob and whole sections of the city are rules by gangs. Everything is breaking down and no one is around to try and fix things. Hell, even the supervillains baked into the setting are a step down from the typical megalomaniacs the other cities have, usually its a bunch of idiots trying to cause mayhem or wrapped up in their own mental issues. 
Another is Beldam has a streak of black comedy going through the book. It is so overwhelmingly terrible that if it was played 100% straight it would get depressing and unappealing after a while. Hitlers brain exists! And is quite dead, usually used by people to get nazi fanatics to do whatever they want via a speaker attached to the brain. A librarian has decided to send debt collectors and leg breakers to get overdue books and so on. 

Know it it lot more than one sentence, but I figured it would help somehow.

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