Cogs in the Machine
The World of Darkness
The World of Darkness game setting takes place in the real world, and it takes place in present day. If your character travels to New York, they can expect to find the Empire State Building. The Pyramids are in Egypt, and Stonehenge was built outside London (although London wasn’t there at the time). The difference is in the details.
Perhaps the architect of the Empire State Building knew that there was a spirit of storms that wanted to harm the city, and so he designed it as a huge lightning rod. The Pharaohs that built the Pyramids may have been ancient mages that wanted to preserve themselves and their knowledge for such time as they would rise again, after the curse of the mummy came to fruition. Stonehenge could have been built by ancient druids as a way to cross over in to the Hedge, and from there Arcadia. Maybe it just needs to be fixed and it will open once more.
For the most part, anything that you would expect to find in the real world, you can find in the World of Darkness. Not much has been removed… but plenty has been added. There are any number of supernatural creatures, both good and bad, that lurk at the corners of Average Joe’s vision. Nine times out of Ten, Joe will never notice they are there, or if he does, he will soon rationalize it away. Your characters will be that one in ten, when you peer in to the darkness… you begin to realize that something is peering back.
The 300 Block
The game will be beginning in the Neighborhood known as “The 300 Block”, located in Surprise, Arizona. A description of the area is located on the main page, so here I’ll get into a little more detail.
The 300 Block is a neighborhood, first and foremost. People here are comfortable within the block, and they can get anything that they need without leaving the area. There’s no big box stores, but there are plenty of small shops and grocery stores, and there’s always Amazon. Lots of people in the neighborhood don’t leave unless they have to. “Shop local” is something the locals take pretty seriously.
The block was originally built up around Mercy General Hospital, a training hospital. Most of the housing was originally built to house students and medical professionals, but the neighborhood has grown to house some retirees, lower income families, and a few other people looking for a quiet neighborhood in a growing city.
The neighborhood is quiet and calm, enjoying a much lower crime rate than the rest of the city. Locals attribute it to good upbringing and healthy living, but there really isn’t anything to explain why crime doesn’t spill over into the neighborhood, like it does so many other areas.
The Wellington School for Gifted Children is located in the area as well, though not on the block itself. Many of the students in the area attend this school, and a good portion of the faculty are from the area as well. It is nearby, on the outskirts of town, and caters to brilliant and troubled students. The school has often been accused of cutting corners, or hiring sub-par staff, but so far the school has gotten results, and so no one has complained too much.
Another location of interest in the neighborhood is Frazier Park. Located across from the hospital, this is as idyllic a park as can be found in Arizona. The town prides itself on their award winning park, and is the greenest place around.
Player Created Set Pieces
Spur Cross Ranch: Hopi Indian Cave
Back in the late 80s and early 90s Jake and his uncle used to go hunting for mule dear in Spur Cross Ranch. On one such occasion while trekking up Elephant Mountain the two discovered a small cave in the side of a mesa that bore a bit of rock art. In the two went to see what else they might find. The interior of the cave also bore a series of pictographs. Jake got the eerie sense that something was watching him from within the cave, but shine the torch though he might he never discovered anything. For weeks after that trip he awoke in the night screaming. Bizarre and horrifying images of manlike beasts haunted his dreams.
Spur Cross Ranch has since become a Maricopa County Park. Now that Jake is back in the area he feels under a strange compulsion to go back and visit this cave. Up till now he has brushed this aside since there is much work to be done. “One of these weekends,” he tells himself, “I’ll go up there again.”
Mercy Hospital R&D Labs
Split into two sections, the Research and Development Labs at Mercy Hospital are one of the more curious aspects of the constructions in the 300 Block. The first and primary office is located on the 2nd floor, and is where the majority of the day-to-day work is performed by the technicians who work there. This is where the on-call techs are staffed, with the remainder working on projects in the second department of the labs.
The second, and lesser known part of the laboratory is located in the sub-basement, accessible only via an elevator shaft that empties out into the new location of the R&D office. The original purpose of the connection is unknown, but the technicians have been able to restore elevator to working order, and use the walled-off portion of the sub-basement for their more complex and delicate work that requires concentration and a lack of interruption. Despite having new equipment in the elevator, Quinton has noted that lately it has begun to get stuck at random places, and the supply of power isn’t as constant as his tools say it should be. Still, one of these day’s he’ll get it working right…
Wellington School, Mathematics Department, Agustus Halter’s Office
It’s not much, but it has a window, a nice desk and chair, a white board, and a bookcase. On the bookcase shelves rest the textbooks he teaches from, books on teaching techniques, along with books on Mathematical computation, theory, and other analysis. Across from his Desk sit two hard plastic chairs. Seats for students should they ever have questions for him. Intentionally miserable, designed to get students up at the whiteboard working through their problems instead of sitting and suffering a free lecture.
It’s here Gus plans his classes and grades homework when he’s not taking it home with him. He holds office hours during his prep and for an hour after school. Though, it’s usually more discussing upcoming material than assisting those falling behind. The average student at Wellington is exceedingly skilled at math.