A blog about games, gamers, and various and sundry geek culture-related ephemera and paraphernalia.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Hoary Gambrel Roofs of Ancient and Witch-haunted... Winter Creek?

I've been running and playing in the same contemporary horror campaign on and off since around 1989. That's 20 years of (basically) the same bunch of players and characters... wow.

From the very beginning, we'd been basing our campaign in a contemporary version of Lovecraft's "witch-haunted Arkham," starting with Beyond the Supernatural, and progressing through Cthulhu Now, Chill (the Mayfair version - not my beloved Pacesetter edition), a couple of home-brew systems, and - finally - Bureau 13: Stalking the Night Fantastic. By the late 90's, after so many years of basing our adventures in Arkham, I thought it was time for a change of location.

The city had grown so familiar, it was starting to become a bit boring and predictable. I know for some, that's perfectly acceptable. But I'm not one for letting things stagnate; I like change - it keeps things fresh and interesting. And it's especially important, IMHO, to keep things fresh and interesting - and somewhat unfamiliar - when running a horror game. Familiarity brings a sense of comfort, which can be anathema to a spooky game.

So, I decided it was time to leave Arkham behind. Since I'd been making maps of my own fictitious hamlets, villages, and towns for years, it was not an ordeal to come up with yet another. Enter Winter Creek, Vermont, a small New England town richly steeped in American history, home to a prestigious university and private prep school; a civilized village hidden amidst the wilderness of Vermont's Green Mountains.

I gave the village several interesting historical and physical features, and a few noteworthy NPC groups and individuals. I set several games there, in hopes of enticing players into moving their PC's to fresh stomping grounds.

Alas, it was all to no avail. Nobody seemed interested, as I should have expected. They were comfortable with Arkham - too comfortable to let her go. As a result, "witch-haunted" Winter Creek became yet another in a long list of visited locales, rather than the new home for the campaign I had hoped it might become.

So, that's the real-world history of Winter Creek. Now, here's the map:


. . . . .

2 comments:

  1. Wow, Bureau 13...

    Imagine B13 + Fringeworthy + Freemasons + Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Band. I was a player in that game.

    Back to Winter Creek:
    It sounds neat. You should write it up as a .pdf. :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yikes! Who was the GM - Hunter S Thompson?? ;)

    As for making Winter Creek into a PDF - too much labor for something that's essentially a gaming dead-end for me. I will probably throw together some of the other bits of the setting that I already have made (what I can find of them) and post them here, however.

    ReplyDelete