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Old 03-14-2016, 12:31 PM   #31
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: [Horror/Monster Hunters] American Small Town Mystery

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Going to throw out a mention to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, mostly because I had plans for a game set there which never took off. Friendly people, lots of Scandinavian and especially Finnish influence. If you've read American Gods, the Perfect American Small Town of Lakeland is supposed to be just across the border in Wisconsin. Very rural and isolated, but probably less so than most of Montana. There are several nearby Ojibwe/Chippewa reservations (Yes, they're an Algonquian culture), abandoned mines from the early 1900s, Great Lakes on three sides with uninhabited islands and deep, mostly unexplored waters, and more snow than pretty much anywhere in the Lower 48 thanks to those lakes.
Not to mention abandoned battlefields. That was after all "The Great Warpath" where English, French, Iroquois, and latter, Americans spent generations butting heads. Last of the Mohicans territory.

Then there is Stevenson's story of the Highlander doomed to die at Ticonderoga for choosing hospitality over kin-duty.

And of course there is the Edmond Fitzgerald.

More then enough potential for Creepy Things.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:37 PM   #32
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Default Re: [Horror/Monster Hunters] American Small Town Mystery

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Not to mention abandoned battlefields. That was after all "The Great Warpath" where English, French, Iroquois, and latter, Americans spent generations butting heads. Last of the Mohicans territory.

Then there is Stevenson's story of the Highlander doomed to die at Ticonderoga for choosing hospitality over kin-duty.

And of course there is the Edmond Fitzgerald.

More then enough potential for Creepy Things.
While we're on that, maybe there could be a ghost or two left over from the Accadian displacement?
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:19 PM   #33
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Default Re: [Horror/Monster Hunters] American Small Town Mystery

Any suggestions about a specific small town or village in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan?

Or either Montana or Minnesota, for that matter?

How about specific locations in Maine?

Whereever I set the game, the PCs will be FBI agents sent there to interview a few locals, as part of providing support for a nation-wide investigation spearheaded by the Behavioural Science Unit. There is a suspected serial killer in custody, but the evidence suggests that he may have had an accomplice(s) for some of his crimes. He's talking to investigators, but not being all that cooperative or helpful, in that he seems to take delight in spinning a ridiculous tissue of lies in response to questions.

The small town where the game is set will be the home town of the suspect. PCs will belong to the local field office and are just expected to conduct interviews with a few local people that the suspect in custody mentioned.

If I went with a friendly Southern small town where football is all-important, the suspect would be a former high-school quarterback of a team that won the state championship several years running, but who never amounted to much in college, falling into bad company and losing his scholarship after one of these scandals, sex, drugs and young athletes. If it's more norhterly, I suppose he'd be the son of a logging mill owner or other local industrialist, or the Sherrif, possibly. Promising, intelligent, handsome, charming, but dropped out of college for some reason and only surfaced as the suspect in a series of horrific slayings.
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:43 PM   #34
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Default Re: [Horror/Monster Hunters] American Small Town Mystery

For Minnesota, I'll give a shout-out for Waseca. Especially if you go with the small unnamed community just a few miles east of town out around a small lake. I've been in a few T2K games that were set there.

And just to mention this, but there is actually a very large amount of logging that goes on in the South (mostly loblolly pine), mainly to feed the paper mills.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:23 PM   #35
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Default Re: [Horror/Monster Hunters] American Small Town Mystery

The northerly adventure seed kind of requires an area where hikers occasionally get lost in the woods and the climate is harsh enough so that ill-prepared or unlucky people die of exposure.

I know that can happen most anywhere, but which of the northerly options would be most appropriate for a place where the occasional snowstorm makes it genuinely life-threathening to be out in the woods?
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:47 PM   #36
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Default Re: [Horror/Monster Hunters] American Small Town Mystery

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The northerly adventure seed kind of requires an area where hikers occasionally get lost in the woods and the climate is harsh enough so that ill-prepared or unlucky people die of exposure.

I know that can happen most anywhere, but which of the northerly options would be most appropriate for a place where the occasional snowstorm makes it genuinely life-threathening to be out in the woods?
Pretty much any of the suggestions--Appalachians, Pacific Northwest, Maine--will give you that option. The first two are mountain regions, with multiple micro-climates possible; the latter has ocean-effect snowstorms (basically, tropical storms where the rain freezes). Particularly in the West, one could round a mountain in winter and go from fairly safe territory to high avalanche risk in hours--minutes on snowmobiles.
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Old 03-15-2016, 03:05 AM   #37
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Default Re: [Horror/Monster Hunters] American Small Town Mystery

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Pretty much any of the suggestions--Appalachians, Pacific Northwest, Maine--will give you that option. The first two are mountain regions, with multiple micro-climates possible; the latter has ocean-effect snowstorms (basically, tropical storms where the rain freezes). Particularly in the West, one could round a mountain in winter and go from fairly safe territory to high avalanche risk in hours--minutes on snowmobiles.
Hmm... somewhere old men might tell stories of ancestors performing feats of endurance and orienteering while caught in a storm while hunting. Basically, a place where there's not just a dangerous spot nearby, but it's not fanciful to think of the entire environment as hostile, at least during bad winters.

How cold is the Upper Peninsula in Michigan compared to the deepest woods of the most northern parts of Maine? How treacherous is the weather?

North Dakota gives me killing freezing temperatures, but maybe not enough woods. I'm guessing Montana and Minnesota are similar, though Minnesota may be more wooded.
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:09 AM   #38
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Default Re: [Horror/Monster Hunters] American Small Town Mystery

The Michigan Upper Peninsula looks very good, in that there are National Park forests there*, with plenty of wildlife, and it's over seven hours drive from the FBI field office in Detroit that is responsible for it.

Remote areas of Maine are about that long from the Boston field office of the FBI and I'm sure there are areas with lots of wildlife.

What are good areas of the UP or Maine for a sleepy community where pretty much the only visitors are hunters, hikers, wildlife researchers or conservationists? A place with a small Sherrif's department with maybe four or five deputies, at least one logging mill where locals can work, at least one diner and maybe some place to stay for the nature-loving visitors?

For Maine, I was thinking something like Aroostook County might do.

*I'd like an NPC that is either a part-time Park Ranger or something similar in a private capacity, i.e. maybe a contractor for wildlife researchers.
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:12 AM   #39
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Default Re: [Horror/Monster Hunters] American Small Town Mystery

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If you wanted to get a feel for Appalachian culture, in general, and supernatural folklore, in specific, you could read Manly Wade Wellman's Silver John books.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_John

Heck, even if you decide to not go with an Appalachian setting, for this, you should still read the Silver John stories. They're pretty wonderful.
I've heard nothing but good things about them and promise to find them, read them and run a game set in the Appalachians at some point. Not tomorrow, though.
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:56 AM   #40
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Default Re: [Horror/Monster Hunters] American Small Town Mystery

For Georgia, you might consider Folkston or Waycross, as those give you access to the Okefenokee Swamp.

Cordele, Georgia, is notable for having its own Titan I nuclear missile, if that's useful for a plot. (The real one is of course demilitarized, though it was an actual missile, retired. But fiction likes to exaggerate, so maybe someone kept the warhead -- you know, just in case It ever got out.) Fails the isolation requirement particularly hard, though, as it sits right on Interstate 75. As others have said, no town in Georgia is truly physically isolated.

For more of that Twin Peaks feel, you'd want to be in north Georgia, so you have more trees and mountains. Rabun Gap, Tallulah Falls, Pine Mountain, Ellijay, Blairsville. There are quite a lot of wilderness areas / national / state forests in the northern part of the state. You'll have more luck with physical isolation up there, at least on a local scale. Though Atlanta's never more than an hour or two away. A couple of convenient highway closures could go a long way.

You might also go with Darien. It's got some history, once being a relatively important port, but that's long gone. You have a lot of trackless swamp along the Altamaha River, and the coastal sawgrass and barrier islands. I-95 is nearby, but that's just people blowing by at 80 mph, not getting on or off the freeway here, headed for Savannah and points north, or Jacksonville and points south, without giving this sparsely-populated region a second glance, much less stopping. So you might be able to use that to reinforce the isolation by contrast, and make it a metaphor for the world having moved on and forgotten about the Thing They Were Not Meant To Know in their midst.
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