Etatia is a multicultural empire simply by virtue of its immense breadth. While it does its share of “exporting” Etatian values as the “proper” way to be, for the most part it is simply too diffuse to even consider any kind of cultural hegemony. So what kinds of generalizations can we make?
In the LARPening you play a LARPer who LARPS. LARPening is not itself a LARP, but a tabletop roleplaying game. You can probably make a LARP version of the LARPening but this is not recommended.
Superheroes are reactionary. Not all of them, of course, there are no absolutes, but by and large mainstream “classic” comic book superheroes are reactionary and they serve a reactionary purpose. I’m not talking “modern politics pejorative reactionary,” but reactionary in the sense that they seek a return to the status quo.
Etatia is an elective empire in the west of the Old World, north of the kingdom of Vaquero and south of the Staten. It is a vast feudal nation that imagines itself the heir to a much older empire of the same name.
We have our broad-strokes campaign setting, some history, fuzzy notions about incorporating the quirks of FRPG systems as setting conceits, but nothing we can actually use to play with. It’s time to get down to the nitty gritty of implementation. How exactly we do this has a lot to do with the kind of game we’re planning to run, so at this point we need to step away from the theoretical and make some solid choices about the game we’re going to be playing.
Two-thousand years ago, our Heroic Explorations setting wasn’t too different from Earth’s own Iron Age, with the addition of nonhuman races, powerful magic, and active gods. There are a number of powerful empires, but nothing on the scale of the earlier Atlantean or Elven civilizations. There are powerful Dwarven kingdoms as well, but the Elves are still sequestered away, and the other races don’t organize above the community level.
The gangs of Chicago were uniquely situated to survive after the collapse of mainstream authority in the city. While their populations were no more spared the initial die-off than anyone else, they were more accustomed to the violence that followed, had organizational hierarchies to follow, had caches of weapon, and were psychologically prepared to take harsh steps when required. They acted swiftly to appropriate foodstuffs and supplies, which they used themselves and sold to what civilians could afford their prices.
When we were talking about the setting’s magic and cosmology, we decided that the Gods had once been more active and communicative, but were no longer, and that’s one of the reasons why there are so many monsters running around tearing up the countryside. Let’s expound upon that a little.
Before the apocalypse Chicago was organized into 77 community areas, each of which contained multiple neighborhoods. This division is useful to us in designing our version of it, because it allows us to parcel our information out in manageable chunks. As our PCs move through the city, we can use these areas and neighborhoods to tell them where they are, without having to track them block by block, street by street, building by building.
The way that languages are presented in a lot of FRPGs has always bothered me. Intellectually I understand that they’re playable abstractions, that the players usually don’t care, that it really doesn’t matter, but emotionally I’m still attached to the way that linguistics actually work, how mutable language is, and how they impact the very way we think.