Old Gods of Appalachia

Randy J Mull

Explorer
That last statement is arguable.

I’m not interested in further discussing a system I have played several times and disliked every time, especially when BRP is a distinct thing from the actual suggestion from a different poster I first responded to.
Then don't reply it's your prerogative but I will continue to discuss its merits and possibly other superior systems to Cypher and reply to comments in this public forum.
 

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IMO that’s all a bit of a stretch to justify it after the fact.
Is it? Personally, I feel Lovecraft traffics particularly heavy in the trope that the Good, Proper Civilized Urbanite can barely navigate outside of the city proper. Look at Shadows over Innsmouth where the character is at a serious disadvantage because of being the Good, Proper Outsider - the first piece of help he gets to be warned isn't because he's understood any social clues that he's not welcomed, he has to be put on the path by the grocery clerk... who is also an outsider.
 

innerdude

Legend
I spent a couple of years in and around Knoxville, Tennessee a while back, including Knox, Sullivan, and Johnson counties.

I'm not a native, but grew to greatly appreciate the people and culture in the area. I have to say, I was looking forward to OGoA, but now seeing how deeply embedded it is within the Cypher system is a turn off for me.

It looks much more like something I'll pick up for the lore and port to use Ironsworn: Starforged or Savage Worlds.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Yeah, Cypher it's going to take some getting used to. I think game devs underestimate just how much of a deal-breaker "just learn a new system" can be. It's certainly a hard sell with my gaming group, anyway. I'm probably going to end up incorporating the lore and setting into my Call of Cthulhu campaign since my group is already familiar with it.

Which is a shame, because Cypher is a pretty slick system.
 

The Appalachian Mountains extend from the southeastern US all the way up to Canada. But the borders of what you see in the map seem to reflect the boundaries as defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). I do think that this was a somewhat controversial choice, because the ARC is less of a cultural map of the Appalachias, but, rather, it represents a government policy one oriented around rural poverty development. So there are areas outside of the Appalachian cultural regions that sought to be included in the ARC because it entitled them to additional government money for socio-economic development. You can see the differences in the map included in the spoilers below. The darker shades of red typically being considered the cultural core areas of Appalachia.
That said, this book provides an overview for six states in Appalachia: Pennsylvannia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. That's not every state that touches the Appalachian cultural area, as notably northern Georgis is missing, but it does cover most of the main ones. But that is clearly more than four states.


This is what it says:

So it only claims to be the heart of Appalachian North Carolina. Certainly debatable, but I do get where they are coming from, since Boone is the socio-economic center of the High Country region of the North Carolina Appalachias. (FYI, Western NC is broken up into three regions: High Country, Western, and Foothills. Me and most of my kin are from the Foothills.)

Now you claim that Boone is just "an outta the way minor college town," but that wasn't the case at all. Boone was and still is the county seat for Wataga County. Much as it says in the book above, Boone sat at an important railroad junction between Tweetsie Railroad and the Barrow & Locke trains, which connected a lot of trade up and down the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is the reason why Boone was selected for the site for a college for the purpose of training teachers for western North Carolina in 1899, which would eventually become Appalachian State University in 1967. (Both of my parents graduated from Appalachian State University in the late 1970s. ;)) Of course nowadays, when most people in western NC think of Tweetsie Railroad, we think of the small, but fairly fun amusement park of the same name, but Tweetsie was an important railway for the Blue Ridge Mountains until a flood in 1940 destroyed the tracks. But I can also understand if you think that it's outta the way, because nowadays Interstate 40 doesn't go through Boone, but, instead, it goes through Asheville, which is further south in Buncome County.*

By the way, if you ever go outta your way to no note Boone, I recommend going to the Daniel Boone Inn. There is a long line there, but I promise you that it's worth it for the family style meal. The food is excellent. Free refills on everything except the country-style ham biscuits.

* Interesting point of trivia: Buncome County is where the words "bunk" and "debunk" are derived, at least as the former pertains to nonsense. It's not a flattering origin. Let's just say that the House of Representatives thought that the then representative of Bumcombe County was speaking such nonsense that he may as well be speaking "bunkum."


I think that the book is not meant to detail all the interesting and lore rich parts of the Appalachian Mountains, but, rather, to represent the setting of the Old Gods of Appalachia podcast.


I agree that the map could be better at representing the Appalachian Mountains. Some places of interest in North Carolina, for example, are missing (e.g., Asheville) and some of the points of interest are slightly misplaced (e.g., Newland, which is depicted as due east from where I'm from in Burke County, but Newland's northwest of us and much closer to Boone). However, I suspect that this map may represent areas of interest for the podcast's Old Gods of Appalachia setting.
Fellow North Carolinian? Sup! Really, Asheville is kind of the new hub in the mountains, but Boone is a great option for the heart as well IMO.
 

Retreater

Legend
I'm enjoying reading "Holler" - which I'm guessing is a similar flavor (but designed for Savage Worlds). It's one in the list for a future campaign for my group.
If anyone is interested, maybe give that a look?
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Yeah, Cypher it's going to take some getting used to. I think game devs underestimate just how much of a deal-breaker "just learn a new system" can be. It's certainly a hard sell with my gaming group, anyway. I'm probably going to end up incorporating the lore and setting into my Call of Cthulhu campaign since my group is already familiar with it.

Which is a shame, because Cypher is a pretty slick system.

I suspect that's because at least at one time, for a lot of people, it wasn't that much of a deal-breaker.

I mean, there's always been the "we play D&D and nothing else" crowd, but if that stopped people from doing other systems, there wouldn't be any. I've probably ran at least 50 (and I'm likely being very conservative) systems over the years, and the only time I got serious pushback was when people already knew the system and actively disliked it, or my summary actively put them off. Learning one was, per se, never the issue (and that's accounting for a lot of us, to be charitable, getting a little long in the tooth).

Cypher isn't my cup of tea, but it seems to be as popular as any system of really recent vintage.
 

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