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Urban Fantasy general discussion thread

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Very cool! I was referring more to the different factions (like your Thule Society) reminding me of the Nazi Order of the Black Sun and others in Achtung. But cool that the mythologies are kind of similar too!
Oh yeah that makes sense. Part of the game is leveraging connections to get things done. More should be happening than the PCs can deal with by themselves. So, in my game, the cops do take care of some of the problems. The guy who mentored your sword-master does help solve problems. It just happens off screen or in a way that supports the story of the PCs.

So in the 30’s, you might call in a favor from the Knights of The Red Dragon by giving them a tip that a dangerous Thule sorcerer is trying to call a demon to swallow the entire town where his rival lives, and the Knights go and deal with that, which also ties up Thule/Nazi SS resources, and thus depletes the forces guarding the Nazi base you need to infiltrate.
 

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I’ve had several ideas for worldbuilding urban fantasy.

One idea I had was basically to flesh out the conceit in Urban Arcana that magical creatures were immigrants from other planets. In UA the “Shadow” force wipes their memories, but I had this idea for that not to happen and for these other worlds to have their own histories that explain why the magical creatures work the way they do. The PCs could potentially visit these worlds, a la the “Vampire World” story arc in Necroscope. (Btw, Necroscope is basically Agents of Psi taking place during the Cold War with vampires.)

Another idea was to take inspiration from Dresden Files and American Vampire. Rather than just one kind of vampire, werewolf, or w/e, there would be several varieties with wildly different capabilities and vulnerabilities. A “vampire” could be a reanimated corpse, succubus, a fallen angel, or the victim of a science experiment gone wrong.

I also had this idea to create a spin-off based on Feed (since the rules are released under Creative Commons) that would tackle the concept of werewolves. Where Feed depicts vampirism as a downward spiral into addiction, I wanted to depict lycanthropy as a balancing act. Tipping towards either humanity or lycanthropy would have downsides. Too human and you have difficulty controlling your inner wolf, too wolfy and you have difficulty being human.
 


babi_gog

Villager
There is also Urban Shadows (2nd edition on it's way) as another option for urban fantasy. A quick look on DTRPG gives 3557 items under the urban fantasy heading, so a few things there.
 


The one that I want to play, I've not seen an RPG for: Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson. What can I say? I like my heroes way overpowered, and the villains more so.
The problem is picking a suitable engine for that setting.
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
There is also Urban Shadows (2nd edition on it's way) as another option for urban fantasy. A quick look on DTRPG gives 3557 items under the urban fantasy heading, so a few things there.
Considering the diversity of magical "types" in most urban fantasy, and the wide swath of possible abilities, a PbtA type game with playbooks for various types does make a lot of sense.

If I wanted some more crunch and specificity, I think playing Chronicles of Darkness 2e, and using a bunch of the splats with the lore filed off would also make a lot of sense. I mean, they already have vampires, werewolves, mages, ghosts, and fae, that's a pretty broad swath of urban fantasy concepts covered.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
As a PbtA example, Monster of the Week covers a lot of genre ground with it's playbooks. I'm using it right now to some X-Files/BRPD type stuff, but it can do Buffy or Dresden pretty well too.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Considering the diversity of magical "types" in most urban fantasy, and the wide swath of possible abilities, a PbtA type game with playbooks for various types does make a lot of sense.

If I wanted some more crunch and specificity, I think playing Chronicles of Darkness 2e, and using a bunch of the splats with the lore filed off would also make a lot of sense. I mean, they already have vampires, werewolves, mages, ghosts, and fae, that's a pretty broad swath of urban fantasy concepts covered.
Urban Shadows is pretty much already WoD with the serial numbers filed off anyway.
 


Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Yea, but the engine is pretty different. I agree, Monster of the Week is great for urban fantasy (haven't tried Urban Shadows), but some groups may want more crunch.
For sure. There are a couple of OSR games that work as well - Kevin Crawford's Silent Legions is great for Mythos stuff, and Emmy Allen's Esoteric Enterprises is also excellent. Obviously the Dresden Files RPG is a good choice too, at least for anyone who like the FATE engine.
 



Sithlord

Adventurer
There are too many low or unpowered people for the average supers game to handle. I've considered Hero System, since it's the one that does street level the best, But I no longer feel like teaching it to new players, and the prep time is too high in play.
I like PL6 mutants and masterminds games for low level games. Especially games without superpowers. It’s a great system in my opinion.
 

Yea, but the engine is pretty different. I agree, Monster of the Week is great for urban fantasy (haven't tried Urban Shadows), but some groups may want more crunch.
I’d prefer to make my own rules rather than try forcing WoD thru a differently shaped hole. I’d need to rewrite everything anyway, so why make things more difficult for myself?

WoD is basically horrible for anything that isn’t WoD. You don’t need more than one universal system with flavor tweaks to represent splats, but WoD deliberately makes things over-complicated by having every splat run on a different engine. At that point I’m better off using a different game like Buffy, WitchCraft, Everlasting, Nephilim, Invisible War, or even GURPS.

If I was making a crunchy WoD heartbreaker from scratch (but I’m not interested in doing that), then I’d probably use an OGL system like Action! System or Opening the Dark. I used to think crunch was important, but nowadays it’s more of an impediment than anything else.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I definitely enjoy urban fantasy. When I did my Champions:1900 game using HERO 4th, there were definitely fantastic elements...because almost any supers setting will have SOMEONE using magic.

And there’s a lot of fodder out there in fiction from pure urban fantasy to horror to stimulate the ol’ noggin.
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
I once had a forgotten realms setting that took place in waterdeep in the year 1995. And I had some badass orc biker gangs. And it was obviously set with technology like 1995 earth
 



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