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Odd Places that Make Decent Locations in Game

MGibster

Explorer
I'm running a Vampire 5th edition chronicle set in modern day San Francisco. The Malkavian primogen is very religious and I was hoping I could find an abandoned church for him to live in. And I did! Sort of. Thanks to the wonders of the internet I came across the Church of 8 Wheels which is a very large former Roman Catholic church which was converted in a roller rink.

The primogen is very old and religious but when I found this skating ring it changed how I envisioned the character. Instead of being a fire and brimstone type of preacher I made him kind of a hippie. He's nearly 1,000 years old but he was influenced by hippie Christianity in the 1960s and 70s. He's a holy rollerskating vampire.

Anyone have a real life location serving as an influence for their game? Any setting.
 

uzirath

Villager
Anyone have a real life location serving as an influence for their game? Any setting.
The internet is especially helpful for modern or alternate-history modern games. I love the roller skating vampire idea. Brilliant.

For my fantasy games, I can't think of anything I've used directly from the modern world, but I constantly pillage maps. I use a lot of real-world topographical maps to represent wilderness locations. I have a city in a bunch of canyons that is based on maps of badlands and canyons in the American West. My tropical archipelago is mostly made up of Indonesian islands rotated and rescaled so that it doesn't appear like Indonesia to casual observation. I used before and after maps of Thera/Santorini to model an island volcano that blew during an adventure (including this one from 1848). I've used a lot of historical layouts of Egyptian, Aztec, and Mayan architecture (e.g., the Karnak Temple Complex). I use these as a base and then add fantasy elements (floating pyramids, planar gates, rivers of molten mana, all the usual stuff). In my rare forays into a more European setting, I'll pillage historic maps of cities, towns, villages, and castles (I love Dan Howard's Compact Castles). For some European urban settings, a modern map redrawn to appear old works pretty well since many of the roads were laid out prior to the automobile.

I used to have a fairly large library of reference books that basically supported my gaming (other things too... but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't mostly for gaming). With the rise of the internet, I rarely hit the books anymore. It's just so easy to find information and useful media (maps, diagrams, photos, etc.).
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
When I was a kid, we visited the ruins of Knossos, the palace of King Minos of Crete. Years later, I photocopied the map from the tourist material onto graph paper to use as a dungeon.

I also look at unusual architecture and locales on the internet for locations, like the Gates of Hell in Turkmenistan:


Catatumbo Venezuela:


Gilroy Gardens:


The Cave of the Crystals:


The Buludzha Monument:


And right now, I’m looking hard at the Centralia Mine Fire:
 
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dragoner

Dying in Chargen
In the Bay Area -

Grande Vista Sanitarium, later known as Belgum Sanitarium in Alvarado Park (across the bay from SF), it's largely burned by now, but my ex-wife and I used to ride horses around there, it's a fairly creepy area.

https://logdriver.tumblr.com/post/107069551757/belgum-sanitarium
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvarado_Park


Claremont Hotel in the Oakland/Berkeley hills, old and historic, another creepy vibe, like the Shining could have happened there.

https://www.fairmont.com/claremont-berkeley/


Sutro Baths is kind of a trippy place: https://www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/cliff-house-sutro-baths.htm


There are a ton of old fortifications on the coast, as it was once one of the most heavily fortified coasts in the world, and many of the hills in the Marin Headlands are said to be filled with old military tunnels:

http://fortwiki.com/Harbor_Defense_of_San_Francisco


Angel Island in the Bay that has had a military base, Quarantine Station, and Immigration Station:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel_Island_(California)


There is a Mission on the southern part of the city, it called "Mission Dolores" or the Mission of Sorrows or Pain, where legend has it that they built the Chapel, held a huge festival inviting 1000's of Native Americans, and at the end told them to come in to be converted, some came in, the doors were closed, and then the Conquistadores rode from the surround forests and massacred those that didn't go inside to be saved.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission_San_Francisco_de_Asís


The Legion of Honor fine arts museum is a beautiful building housing many great works of art and interesting historical objects:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legion_of_Honor_(museum)


I know this isn't exactly what you asked for, but I thought they might be of help in an SF based game.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Which reminds me...

The Bridge is a documentary about the Golden Gate Bridge, in particular, its status as the #1 location in the world for suicides.

In the context of a V:tM campaign, that could be prime hunting for a vampire of the right type. Not only as a place to hide their kills, but also as a way to feed guilt free on “willing” victims.

(If the vampire has an issue with that, of course.)
 

MGibster

Explorer
The Legion of Honor fine arts museum is a beautiful building housing many great works of art and interesting historical objects:
I've been using Google Maps, Wikipedia, and other online sources to get a better idea of what's in San Francisco and selected the Legion of Honor museum as the location of my chronicle's next Elysium. While I'm sure I could have used any general art museum it's really nice to be able to use real locations. I've also been using real businesses and locations in my game. One of my player's character owns The Power Exchange (club) in San Francisco and I have a Ventrue set up in the Transamerica building.
 

MGibster

Explorer
In the context of a V:tM campaign, that could be prime hunting for a vampire of the right type. Not only as a place to hide their kills, but also as a way to feed guilt free on “willing” victims.
I hadn't given the bridge much thought but now I think I'll find some poor vampire whose been given that as a territory. And of course it's haunted. Thanks for the suggestion!
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
I've been using Google Maps, Wikipedia, and other online sources to get a better idea of what's in San Francisco and selected the Legion of Honor museum as the location of my chronicle's next Elysium. While I'm sure I could have used any general art museum it's really nice to be able to use real locations. I've also been using real businesses and locations in my game. One of my player's character owns The Power Exchange (club) in San Francisco and I have a Ventrue set up in the Transamerica building.
Legion of Honor's location is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, right on the bluffs above the pacific at the mouth of the bay.

Getting out of SF, not too far up north there is Bohemian Grove, which is pretty well known among conspiracy theorists:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohemian_Grove


Down south there is Hearst Castle, a huge and ornate mansion:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearst_Castle
 

aramis erak

Explorer
Not in San Fran... but some great locations come to mind.

Derinkuyu (as mentioned by others)


Kowloon, the walled city by Hong Kong, where population density was worse than Singapore... https://www.businessinsider.com/kowloon-walled-city-photos-2015-2
https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/community/article/2138495/rats-were-something-else-25-years-hong-kongs-kowloon-walled

The underground city of Seattle... https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/seattle-underground

A list of undergound cities at https://www.history.com/news/8-mysterious-underground-cities
 

Imaculata

Explorer
I ran a Call of Cthulhu campaign that took place in Evan's City (Pennsylvania), made famous by Night of the Living Dead. Several locations, such as the cemetery from the movie featured prominently in the campaign. The campaign didn't revolve around zombies however, but about a cult that was messing around with some sort of Lovecraftian timemachine. But it was fun to incorporate some actual historical trivia about the city in the campaign, and tie that to the supernatural events that would occur.
 

MarkB

Adventurer
I often use Google Earth to 'scout' locations for an RPG setting. It's great for getting the lay of the land, linking to local information, and dropping down to Streetview to 'drive' through a place at ground level.

One place I found this way for an alien-infiltration game was Morro Bay on the California coast, a small town with a distinctive dome-shaped volcanic rock sprouting out of the shoreline.



For the game, I had the place being used as a location for production of a super-low-budget B-movie about fish-aliens, resulting in the authorities not taking any genuine reports of alien sightings seriously.

 

Tonguez

Adventurer
Antelope Canyon is what engendered my love of “natural dungeons” as adventure sites to be explored, so now I tend to use lots of canyons, caves and forested gorges as places to explore
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member


The Stone Forest near Kunming, China. The sharp edges of the limestone formations mean it is largely unexplored.
 

Hand of Evil

Villager
Back in March, was in French Lick IN, to watch my father fly planes inside the West Baden Springs Hotel, was once one of the largest domed hotels. 7737_l.jpg
 

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