Monday, April 29, 2013

Vimary Redux


When Tribe 8 first came out, it wasn't a huge secret that the setting, Vimary, was the remains of Montreal, Canada (Vimary is a play on Ville Marie). But there wasn't a whole lot to go on, aside from looking up other maps and information on the area on the Internet. We didn't have Google Maps or Google Earth to get a bird's eye view of the locations in the game. Looking over street view and photos of different locations in Google Maps, I think there are some tweaks that can be made to Vimary as a whole.

First is the proximity of the Z'bri to Tribal lands. They're just too close for me to find it believable that half of the Tribes don't see them as a large threat, at least in the default starting point of the game. My solution, at least in my game, is to move the Z'bri lands on Vimary proper back across the river. The areas where they were become a no man's land, an extension of the Discarded Lands that acts as a buffer between the Z'bri and the Tribes. This can be seen as a mutually agreed upon DMZ. It facilitates all kinds of story opportunities for the Z'bri to harry the Tribes by releasing monstrosities into the no man's land and fostering Serfs, forcing the Joanites from the Seven Fingers to have to deal with them.

A corollary to this is the Seven Fingers gets an upgrade. In the canon setting, the wall is a very porous border. In my game, it gets beefed up into a formidable fortification. There aren't any holes to exploit (except going underground), and the Joanite population is increased. The line of the fortification actually crosses over and continues toward Duskfall, although the actual Seven Fingers are still located where they are now. In addition to the increased fortification, the Seven Fingers are also imbued with Synthesis to repel Z'bri (similar to how The Wall in A Song of Ice and Fire is warded against the White Walkers). In fact, I see the Seven Fingers as being a spiritual counterpart to The Wall.

Similarly, I think the Jo'han Skyrealms are too close for comfort. I can see a handful at most taking residence  high up in the remains of skyscrapers on the outskirts of Tribal land where they can't be reached from the ground. I think parts of the underground would be better suited for the Jo'han than living atop a skyscraper.

Speaking of the skyscrapers, these are structures I think the Tribals would generally avoid being near period so the Skyrealms might work out. Anyone who's seen Life After People knows that the elements, lack of maintenance and time conspire to bring these buildings down. They're just not that safe to be around. I do think the Tribals would make extensive use of the Emporiums year-round as opposed to in the winter season. The majority of the population in and around Bazaar probably live down there. It also gives them refuge in the event of some kind of attack.

There's a fort on the island. Why was that never mentioned?
As far as Hom, I've always envisioned that the amusement park that makes up the center of the settlement is in relatively decent shape. Part of this is due to once the Fall began, it just wasn't a place where people went to and suffered relatively little damage. The other part is due to the spiritual nature of the setting. Sure the place is still a shambles, but there are some structures that are not doing too bad. These are the structures like the ferris wheel, carousel, funhouse, etc. Maybe whimsical things like statues or whatnot are still mostly intact. Also, a lot of buildings on the island look really cool. I mean, there's a freaking fort there. As the Fallen come into their own, the place starts to look better and better. It gains less of a depressed, tent city atmosphere and more of a vibrant one. Part of this is going to be tied to the spiritual nature of the setting and things happening like when Lilith [REDACTED].

Access to Hom over the Fallen Bridge (the Pont de la Concorde) to me is not realistic. I think that the bridge would have near completely collapsed and would not be an easy access point onto the island. This is noted in Tribe 8 1e, but I think even "makeshift" efforts aren't enough to allow access. The South Tier (Jacques Cartier) bridge, on the other hand, would still be mostly intact. For some reason,  the rulebook doesn't make mention of the off ramps leading from the bridge to the island. While they might have partially collapsed, I can see access to the bridge being easier the other bridge. It would be the primary means for Fallen to get on and off the island (besides boats). Thematically it works well too - Tribals are perpetually looking down on the Fallen from the bridge, and Fallen going to the island have to descend to get there.

I've always assumed it's not important to get things 100% right - it is a fantasy game. The landscape will have changed through altered river courses, erosion, natural disasters, etc. Supernatural influences can shift things around and cause conditions that can't exist in the real world. But going back and looking over Google Maps and Google Earth...there's a lot of awesome stuff in Montreal and little tweaks that can make Vimary come alive.