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OK, so we've gotten through the first stage of city creation. What' I'd like for you folks to do is work up a description of the two locations you've all picked, the NPC who's associated with the location, and an aspect for the location.

Stacey has Central Park, which has a changeling who's running form something in it and an occult bookstore with a somewhat greedy proprietor

Josh has Union Square with Illuminated Larry, and the underground tunnels with a Black Court vampire who started living there some time after the Civil War.

Jill has Rocky Horror with a cult operating in it, and Aaron the groupie. Her other location is Saint Marks place, which is has the "psychic mishmash" aspect, and has Janice the "deeply clueless" psychic-wannabe.

Christin has Club Element, which is a bank turned nightclub that has a dedicated fetish scene, and some interesting parties. Possibly with supernatural attendees. The bartender there often sees more than he/she would like to. She also has Ellis Island, which is a supernatural point of entry. There's someone or something there powerful enough to keep serious bad supernatural news-types out of NY, or at least convince them to play nice.

Rose, who wasn't there, came up with the 7 east River Bridges that hold back some sort of entity trapped under the Hellgate Bridge. They're guarded by the Troll's Guild, also known as the Troll Patrol - a group of mostly trolls who guard the bridges, and keep nosy types away from the Hell Gate area. She's also got an entity called "The Spirit Of The City" which can speak to people through statues, carved faces, and other architectural features.

If you want to add anything to this, or correct me, let me know. I'll be creating a google map with most of your details pinned down for reference.

Stacey and Christin who stayed a bit later got some more work done on their non-supernatural characters. Stacey is playing a half trained wizard who fell in with the Rocky Horror crowd been taught by the Trolls Guild of the Winter Court of faere originally, and might have some later education form a mysterious Aunt Elena. It's a good thing to try and weave the plot lines from the area descriptions in a bit. Not overwhelmingly, but enough to have things link up when it makes sense. Jill wanted to try a White Court vampire psychotherapist, which I think is a great idea. Rose has two characters, one mundane one magical who she created form Stacey's game. They'll be added in too.

So, think about your locations, fill them in, and send the details. If you can, please also post details or questions to the dfrpgnyc community in livejournal, where' I'll be crossposting this.

The next big question is, when can we all meet up again? I'm not planning to leave town at all until middle of next month, so I'm free most of the time. Tuesday nights are out for Rose.
I've edited the character a bit to fit my understanding of aspects, and thrown in stunts and skills. [xposted to the main Dresden files RPG community]

Please comment if you think I'm doing anything particularly wrong or right :-) The formatting might be a bit off, but I don't have any examples of a finished character from the rules yet. Many of the play test examples seem to be different anyhow, so I'm not too concerned for now. It should be easy enough to reformat this later. Apologies for any typos or sentences that are badly edited.

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Ok guys.

I just go the spellcrafting portion of the game.  I will be sending it to you sometime today.  :)  Now we just have to find time to make characters.  I still need the rest of the city stuff as well, if only to get to the guys at Evil Hat at some point.  Not too much of a hurry, but I think the clock is going to start ticking soon. 


Working on my non-supernatural PC

I came up with this character after a marathon session of watching the TV shows Bones, Burn Notice and the movie Spy Games. I wanted a combination of a spy, an expert criminal psychologist and forensics guy, and I wanted to give him a reason for being driven. Obviously, loosing one's parents is trite, but it works for Batman. And his parents aren't dead, just vanished.

What I'm really liking about this is how I'm able to tie him in with our locations and potentially with our NPCs. Russians on Coney Island, his parents at the UN, and so on. It all feels very well constructed, and even if it doesn't motivate the game, he feels like a real character in a story. It's nothing like other games I've been in, where PCs were just created whole cloth with only a few ties into the pre-generated game wold. This is all starting to come together with what we've been building.

What I don't like is how the instructions seem to work for aspects. The first four seem to have no real separation. I like the SOTC steps better. This feels confusing. Also, some example of the full process being worked through all presented in one shot for a character who's not in the books would help me understand things more.

Here's what I've got so far -

Joseph Brodsky, FBI Unit Chief, Missing Persons division, New York.

High Concept: "Find out what happened to my parents"

Theme: "If I put this in one of my reports, they'll lock me up"

Background - "My parents worked as ... ah, interpreters in a variety of US embassies around the world."

Joseph's parents were spies, and they were born in Russia, fleeing when Stalin came to power. His family history before that is a mystery, one kept by the US government, and one that Joseph can't find out about. His parents were going to tell him about it before they dissapeared.

He was born in Pakistan, and traveled from embassy to embassy until his teenage years. Though scrupulous about secrecy, his parents were loving and encouraging, though strongly disciplined. from them, Joseph learned that you could be loved by people who didn't tell you everything about their lives. He never delved too deeply into the secret aspects of their lives, but he also learned how to observe the "spy game" form watching them, and observation, psychology, and interpreting a range human behavior is instinctual to him. Mundane human sometimes suspect him of supernatural powers because of his deductive abilities.

What Shaped him - At age 17, Joseph entered The Virginia Military Institute, and was expected to enter military service. But during his second year (age 19), his parents vanished after accepting what was intended to be a semi-retirement assignment to the UN in New York City. His parents were never found, and no trace of where they disappeared to was ever presented to him. After graduating from VMI with honors, he refused assignment to the military and went on to graduate work in New York at John Jay university in Forensic Psychology. Before his graduation, he was recruited into the FBI. He pulled together resources and skills developed by his parents, and is playing a double game as an FBI agent, and using all of his spy skills to find out what happened to his parents.

He's never found them, but his research into other unexplained disappearances in New York City put him on an inevitable collision course with the supernatural, and his superiors. 10 years have passed since they vanished.

First Story - "Unexplained Causes"

After several years of solving some the most baffling of cases of unexplained disappearances, FBI Special Agent Joseph Brodsky is at the top of his profession, but no closer to solving his parent's disappearance. In an investigation of a related disappearance of a US intelligence agent at the UN a year prior to his parents vanishing, he stumbles across a secret society of Russian cultists near Coney Island. (details of interaction with whatever PC seems appropriate). The results of his investigations result in the incident being classified as Top Secret, and an official reprimand.

Guest starring in -

Guest Starring in -


1) "Find out what happened to my parents" (High Concept)

2) "If I put this in one of my reports, they'll lock me up" (Theme)

3) "Tell me five facts about yourself. I'll tell you which one is a lie." (Background)

4) "Spy without a net"

5) "I don't care who or what you are. You don't get away with that in my town" (My story - "Without a Trace")

6) "I don't have friends, I have resources" (I like this quote, but I might change it later if the other person's story fits)


I have yet to figure skills and stunts because we've not gone over how many points our characters are getting.


Ok, we have:

Striver's Row
Roosevelt Island
Central Park

Four down, six to go.


Location: Central Park

Aspect. Bigger than you think

The largest park in the city, at 1.32 square miles, it makes up nearly 6% of the land area of manhattan. Such a space had not even been planned for the urban development plan of 1811, but the need for a large public park reached the hearts of poets and influential New Yorkers; and by 1853, 700 acres had been allotted for the purpose.

The 6 miles of park drive and innumerable walkways through the park are only the beginning. A total of 843 acres of meadows, forests, and public attractions fill the park and even serve as home to 18 people (according to the 2000 Census).

This block of nature attracts New York inhabitants both rich and poor, the former to parkside real estate and the latter to any number of benches or obscure underpasses within the park itself.

This center of nature in the city is logically enough, home to a spirit known to many as the Manna-Hata (the Lenape name), or the Soul of the City. It is omnipresent throughout New York; it is the manifestation of New York City's dreams and desires, but little is known what may goals it may have. 

Reports suggest that The Soul of the City can manifest through any of the large number of statues in the park. Some blessed (crazy?) individuals have even claimed to have spoken with these statues.

Strivers' Row / Calloways

Aspect: Wellspring of Creativity

NPC Evan Calloway

Strivers' Row was established in the late 1890's as a place for upper middle class whites to settle in Harlem. The original developer had trouble selling the houses due in part to the influx of black workers into Harlem. For some time, they sat empty because banks were unwilling to sell to black buyers. Eventually they were made available, and many of Harlem's more wealthy black families known as "Strivers" moved in.

As Harlem culture was always strong in art an creativity, many upper middle class black residents of the area were musicians, artists and writers.

Supernatural influence in the area is subtle, but important. The Summer Court has ties to the area, as the rebirth of creativity and growth after a metaphorical winter of discrimination resonates with some members of that court. Queen Titania's favorites are not as represented, but the more progressive wing of the court is well represented in Strivers' Row. With the energy of the Summer Court in the background, creativity and growth seems to be easier in Strivers' Row.

One of the main focal points for this energy is Calloway's, a well established jazz club, run by Evan Calloway, grandson of the great Cab Calloway. Supernatural denizens of New York are sometimes aware of this effect, and will show up to work on projects or problems. The club is dark, and has many secluded alcoves that make for nice unobservable spots to have private conversations. The food is superb, and the music is better.

Evan Calloway is a mortal, and is aware of the supernatural. He's proud of his club, and his ancestry, and often takes the stage leading a tribute band to his grandfather's old orchestra. His friends in the Summer Court keep the peace in his club, and he has the title of "Bard of the Summer Court" which is similar to the Esquire title Harry was granted in Proven Guilty, only it was granted for artistic prowess, and not might in battle.

Roosevelt Island

Aspect: Lots and lots and LOTS of Ghosts.
NPC, Lucy Tate, Necromancer Nun.

Roosevelt Island is considered a bedroom community these days. Most non-supernaturals living on the island are blissfully unaware (almost as if they were in some sort of stupor when confronted with the supernatural) of the packs of ghosts that wander the island, echoing the suffering they went through before they died.

The Island has quite a dark history. It was at various points in it's history inhabited by a prison notorious for abuse, a insane asylum, a smallpox hospital. The ominous Octagon Tower was built in 1839, and was the central point for many supernatural dark doings. In the "real world" it's a recently renovated landmark. You can read some of it's history here

In the Dresdenverse, it's slightly more crumbling, and serves as the Necromantic laboratory to the NPC Lucy Tate. It's inhabited by a high concentration of ghosts. Many inmates in the institution died suffering, in great anguish, and left tortured spirits behind. Lucy Tate, being a fairly old necromancer, has been harnessing spirits here for some time. She is currently unknown to the White Council, as she's not actively moving to do anything as momentous as the disciples of Kemler were with the Darkhallow ritual. Her goals are to keep death at bay at any cost, to acquire power over the dead, and to maintain her power base on the island uncontested.

Fortunately for Lucy, the ghosts and specters of the island make it an incredible hazard for anyone displaying a spark of the supernatural. Roosevelt Island is a known hazard among the supernatural community, but the dangers of displaying one's talent's there can make for an effective trap for the unwise, or a neutral ground for those who's magical nature is able to be masked or shut down.

Here's a link to a map of the island - http://nyc10044.com/wire/2722/map2722.pdf

The Octagon Tower is on the north. The crumbling ruin of the Smallpox hospital is on the south. The smallpox hospital has quite a few ghosts as well, and is not under Lucy's control. Think of the ghosts there as "wild" ghosts. They resist efforts to control thm

A link to the wikipedia article also notes that Roosevelt Island has an Automated Vacuum Collection System for garbage disposal.

The Automated Vacuum Collection (AVAC) system, also called "pneumatic refuse collection", transports waste at high speeds through underground tunnels to a building where it is compacted, sealed in containers and then carted away.

Several such systems exist in the world, particularly in the most modern countries of Scandinavia and Asia. In the U.S.A. only Disney World and Roosevelt Island utilize this technology.

I'm not sure how that fits into a game, but the idea of pneumatic high speed garbage tunnels is pretty awesome.

Roosevelt Island is crossed by the Queensboro Bridge, and has it's own bridge, the Roosevelt Island Bridge. Both of these bridges are "East River Bridges"

It's also quite close to the UN.


Aspect 1. Insular.
Aspect 2. Exotic Market

(Stacy's writeup NPC’s. Daji. The Fox Queen. Thousands of years ago Daji was commanded to destroy the Chinese dynasty at the time. She carried out her mission, but unfortunately did such a good job that she was brought to give an accounting. She was then executed. She wants nothing more than revenge! )

Chinatown in New York started as an exodus from discrimination against transcontinental railroad workers who tried to settle in America. The neighborhood was originally mostly bachelor men, cut off from traditional society. At one point, the ratio was about 100 Chinese women to 7,000 Chinese men.

It was these conditions that produced the desperation that summoned and sustained the spirit Daji, the fox queen.

The insular nature of Chinatown makes it possible for Daji to directly influence many mortals and to collect no small number of supernatural servitors, both Chinese and otherwise with hardly anyone suspecting until they're under her influence.

A significant number of Chinatown know of Daji and her servitors. She controls bankers, merchants, criminals and politicians, using them to expand her web of control, all with the goal of revenge on the Chinese Gods associated with her downfall. These long range goals may put people in new york in her way, she may see them as means to an end, they may end up fighting for or against Daji's enemies. Some are good, some are evil. Daji is more of a force of nature than defined by good or evil. As an entity, she's not possessed of the raw power of someone like Mab, but her seductive abilities make the white court look ugly, and she has many powerful people and supernatural creatures at her beck and call. Her personal and financial resources in the mortal world are even with Johnny Marcone.

Chinatown's insularity can affect people's dealings with residents. If they're part of the community, they can get answers, but are expected not to share secrets. If they're not part of the community, no one will talk to them.

As an exotic market, many strange items can be found in Chinatown. Wizard supplies, strange artifacts, herbs, poisons, exotic fruit, live animals and other goods. Services too - from an alchemist, a Chi-healer, a martial arts assassin to more mundane, yet exotic services like prostitution, and acupuncture.


Hey guys,

I just sent everyone the next batch of files.  :)