Review #24 – Dream Park RPG (G)

Ok so while I work on the editing for the last part of the Delta City postings, fiction, I thought I would post a review of a game I have never had the chance to use in its ultimate form.

So while I have reviewed material from R. Talsorian Games before, this is a licensed product of theirs that falls outside of their primary game engine. The Dream Park RPG takes place in the fictional world that was created by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes for their novel Dream Park. The role playing game was published in 1992, which is the same year the third book of the series was published. All three of the books published at that time get little call outs in the RPG.

For those who have not read any of the books the concept is that at some point in the future LARP games will become so popular that there will be an international organization that runs them, and technology is sophisticated enough that places can be set up with holograms and mock weapons so that LARP players can be filmed and their adventures in role-playing get turned into films, and even home versions so that folks can LARP along with the stars.

What makes this environment so entertaining is that it is at the heart of the concept of meta-gaming. Short and sweet, meta-gaming is when you take knowledge outside of the game into the game. Also it ends up living by the slang term ‘meta’ which means self referencing. We get to that because in the game you are playing a player who is playing a character in a game. Confused yet? Simple way to look at it … You are playing Bob. Bob is an accountant who goes to Dream Park to play the character Dubois the Slick in an adventure.

Now then if you try to do things that are in the novels you will have people who are playing under assumed identities in the game to track down criminals who are inside the game, but their crimes have happened in the world outside of the game. Getting messed up yet?

Now then imagine that you can actually put Dream Park the RPG inside of another RPG game that you are playing. Because you can. You can actually make it work rather smoothly with Cyberpunk 2020. Yeahhhh… just let that sink in. You can play a character, who is under an assumed identity, to play a character in a game to catch someone doing something in the world out side. You have to use the main RPG engine to resolve real world issues while using the Dream Park RPG rules to resolve in game in game issues so that you are not seen as being anything other than your character. To be perfectly honest I love that level of inverted strangeness but I have a feeling that is why the game never really caught on big.

There were three modules that I know of that were published for the game, and each one has a different flavor. Supers, pulp spy and Arabian knights. Just to give you a feeling for the flexibility of the system.

The actual game mechanics are rather simple and only needs a pair of d6 to play. You can play it on its own and just run a Dream Park game, but as I said before if you want you can drop Dream Park into any other RPG environment as an aspect of that world. So that you can layer things up. I ran a few games of Dream Park at a game shop back in the  early 90’s but  I could never get anyone interested in doing anything more than one off adventures with only the Dream Park setting. To this day I still look forward to being able to insert this game into another to really drive some kind of meta meta-game story line.

It doesn’t help that I love the books too. I go back and reread them every few years, and only recently found out that even though the third book was published in 1992 there was a fourth that came out in 2011. Long time to wait to do a sequel, but now I need to reread the whole thing and add that book four to the list.

One person asked me if it was necessary to be a LARP player to really get into this game and my answer is a resounding no. Even if you have spent time mocking people who play LARP games (even though I have played many a LARP myself there are some folks that I rib about it) you can enjoy this setting, and the books.

So what do the numbers look like on this one?

Overall Fluff 4/5 – Even though the book is not that big there are a lot of elements that give it a good score here. The art is clean. There are sections of the game book that appear to be written by characters in the novels and the author of the game even gives himself a position on the staff in the park. If you can find a whole copy of the game book there are cardboard cutout cards that allow you to track characters by genre type and special abilities very easily. And the art is consistent on the cards to match the art in the game book.

Overall Crunch 3/5 – The rules are a little light, while that is done to try and reflect that this is supposed to be a simulation of a simulator it does lead to the need for a little tweaking. Played on its own it can make some things seem a little to challenging or easy. But that happens in every game system. With the rules being as light as they are here that makes it easier to tweak.

Overall Mod 5/5 – Ok so due to the meta meta factor for this game I have to put the mod at 5. You can change so much just by dropping this in to Cyberpunk and making it the Disneyland there. You can drop it into Rifts and making it a lost remnant of the old world of the greatest entertainment for the masses in the new. You can drop it into a D&D game and make it run on magic instead of tech. You can toss it into SLA Industries and make it lethal. There are so many ways to work with this and to tinker it, it just blows the mind.

Overall Fun 4/5 – Ok so with all the positives why am I only giving it a four of five for fun? That comes from personal experience with the game. It is a challenge to take a setting like this and play it on its own. You really need to add an outside framework for the world the park is in otherwise you will end up with a one off game. And for someone who enjoys running stories, that just does not work for me.

Total Score 16/20 – Ok so we got a fairly high score here. However this is not a game that I am going to say just run out and read it and see if you like it. Because of the nature of the game, and the setting, you really need to know if you want to run one off games, or if you want to insert it into another game world. If you are a fan of the books and a player of RPG’s then just for the novelty of it I would say hunt it down for a read.

Anyway, now you know my thoughts, as always though think for your own bloody self and decide if something is right for you or not.

So then gimme the dice, I need to find out how many d4 I can fit into a sphere without poking holes.

Keep gaming and have fun all!



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Delta City Part 4

Welcome once again to Delta City. This post is going to take a look at specific regions in the city and some of the places of interest, businesses, and individuals that are there. As you could see from part 3 there are a lot of people in the city, and so this is not like a phone book, it is more like a game supplement so that there are some set personalities but a lot of room for other people to grow their own material. If you look at the map attached to Part3 you can see how it lines up with this one. Giving you a mix of roads and regions so you can see how you can get from one area to another.




            Covering the northern half of Industrial Island in Grays Harbor. This region is the shipping Mecca of the city. There are seven docks in the harbor capable of servicing the largest of the ocean-going freighters on the planet. With no major airports any closer than SeaTac or Portland, this is the major transit area of the city too. There is an industrial and transit rail center in this district that serves everything in the area. The light rail runs out to Olympia and connects there to the light rail of Tacoma and Seattle. This allows commute to Seattle in a reasonable time of about an hour and a half, making it possible for some people to live in Delta City and work in Seattle.

            Transit is not the only thing going on in this district. This is also the center for light industrial production and small research firms. This part of the city has its own reclamation and cleaning facilities that are contributed to by all the businesses in the area. The philosophy is that if they can keep themselves clean they do not have to worry about government intervention and lawsuits.

For a little better description of the docks themselves there are seven ramps at the docks that jet out into the waters of Grey’s Harbor. The spaces between them are great enough that they can actually fit four of the largest cargo vessels that tread the ocean today. In the older days of schooners and similar craft the docks could fit a few more and the largest space was reserved for a multitude of small ships. These days however the largest birthing space is reserved for the biggest of ships, things like aircraft carriers, and the largest of submarines. Both of those styles of ships can fit comfortably in that space.

             There is a larger dock pad that juts out in to the waters that ends in a large circle. This dock is more like a column that connects to the shore. The column itself is buried deep into the earth so that any kind of air or spacecraft that lands here will be well supported. The top of the column is studded with many kinds of hookups and connectors that run into the depths of the column. All these connectors are different ways of securing a refueling for the craft as it sits there. No one really knows all the different kinds of power available there, but so far, no craft has ever left without a recharge.

            This entire area is tightly linked to the rail yard and the storage facilities on the northern side of the island. It is nearly impossible once you are off the docks themselves to go ten yards and not cross a railroad line of some kind, be it the trolley service from the bridge near the park, or the main lines that cross off the island to the shore for cargo transit.

 So far, the area has a history of only 5 minor industrial spills but nothing that they have not been able to fix within a day or two with little or no damage to the environment. Although the public is aware of only two of these, the others were handled rather quietly.

            While these businesses may be the mainstay of the district, and dominate a good portion of the shoreline they are not the only things here. There are a lot of small bars, restaurants, and all but one of the strip clubs in the city are located here. The local papers refer to this area as not only the working man’s grail for earnings, but also the working man’s grail for entertainment. Most of the blue-collar people would take offence to this but they see it as the best way for the press not to be talking about just how many businessmen and women frequent this area in the evenings, and that makes for good cannon fodder in the comedy clubs.

            The only other region out on the island is Angel Park (P1), and the businesses and people who work here on the island are grateful for it. Even on the worst of days for the light pollution this area can and does generate, the two things that the people who work in the region can count on is that the park will be just to the south of them and that the two lighthouses on the north of the island will sound off every three hours on clear days, and every fifteen minutes when the fog rolls in. Both of the lighthouses are a little bit of a tourist attraction, and even something that a few of the people native to the city enjoy visiting from time to time due to the fact that they are manned. Unlike the lighthouse in the main business district (B1), or the one along the old beach housing (OH), or the one the college claims to run (Col 1), which are all automated. People, who have some of the most interesting stories to tell about the region and the ships that come in to the docks, run the two out here in this district.

            There are a couple of standout places in the district. They seem to have influence above and beyond the call of duty.


            Grace’s is a small but homey bar on the corner of 15th and Cross, just across the street from Angel Park. The bar has pictures on the wall of a great many people standing with the owner, and a number of pictures of all the bars in the past in Delta City that have had the name Grace’s. The smell of the open wood stove that is used for cooking in the back, and heating in the winter if it gets cold enough, is the first thing that hits someone coming in the bar, the second would be the appearance of Grace.

            Grace is a statuesque woman standing somewhere over six and a half feet tall. Her features are very well defined and pleasing to everyone who sees her. Most people cannot agree if she is just good looking or if there is something more. Everyone however, claims that they can see a little bit of their own racial background in her features. Her age is not something anyone can guess, and those who try, get a flash of her smile and a cute little warning not to try it again. She can go from mothering to frightening in the space of seconds. Most of the time she is the most polite and caring person you could ever hope to meet, but you try and get rough in her place, and she will have you out the door in a heartbeat with the warning that if you ever come back you will be less than welcome.

            Because of Grace’s attitude toward violence and even threatening behavior in her place, her bar is known as neutral ground all over Delta City. Many times, in-city businesses leaders and people like gang members have asked for permission to hold meetings in her back rooms, knowing that they are safe there.

            One of the most frequently asked questions revolves around the statue in Angel Park. Even though the statue was dedicated to the city in 1904 the image there has a striking resemblance to Grace, enough so that many who frequent both the park and Grace’s ask if her grandmother posed for the statue. This question gets a polite smile and usually a reply along the lines of “Something like that you dear person, something like that.”       

            Tides Research

            Tides Research is a very small but very advanced company dedicated to water purity and safety. Privately owned and operated the company staff can be seen all over the beaches and coves in Delta City, and the staff seems to have very little trouble navigating even in the worst of weather. Their distinctive crimson and navy-blue uniforms are seen as a good sign by most of the people in town, as the company has a reputation for taking no guff from companies and making sure they stick to any needed clean up in their operations to insure local water safety.

            The Tides company even though small seems to have resources enough to keep some of the best trial lawyers in the country on call, and they have been known to sue a company even at the slightest hint that they will delay changing their ways, let alone try to argue about fixing something. What is strange is that no one knows where they get their financial base from, or why in all the lawsuits they have ever filed that all of the dollar value of the suit goes to people affected by unsafe procedures, and the lawyers. Tides itself makes no money off of these suits, but that can help explain why the lawyers are so eager to be on call.

            Tides Research Company is one of the major reasons behind the districts very ‘together’ policy about environmental pursuits. It’s no wonder that these people in their blue and crimson are never without a reaction any matter what district they go to.

            The COO of Tides, Alexander Coleman, was elected Mayor of Delta City in 2005 to replace the murdered Mayor Anna Cross. His big pitch was that if his company could do things for the waters around Delta City then he could bring the same drive to the Mayor’s office and try to do even more for the city than just clean up the waters.


This region is home to several heavy manufacturing businesses, and quite a few small trucking companies. The uphill roads heading out of this area into the foothills split off just outside the city limits and make a wide arc to the I-105 highway both on the east and west sides of town. This allows shipping to continue late into the night without disturbing the more residential neighborhoods.

            It was not easy and it was not cheap to get those roads installed, and the city council is seriously considering making them truck only or toll roads to finish paying for them.

            To look at this region of the city, well most would say that this is the dark heart of the city. Actually though, that is in another part of the city. This small part of town is dedicated to industrial manufacturing. Even more so than out on the island this is a place where work gets done. Even with the International District (ID), one of the business districts (B2), and Sandstone Park (P2) being right on the boarders, this area has a hard time staying clean.  That is not just the physical clean, but criminally, and quite a few suspect spiritually as well. Most people who go in and out of the area get the feeling that the pollution and waste in the region knows it’s not welcome in the rest of the city and does what it can to stay put. Strangely, unless there is a very strong offshore wind flowing from the hills, it really does stay in the region. On the days that the pollution does get out of the region it usually heads to the north through Sandstone Park (P2) and China Town (C). The homeless in the park and the people of Chinatown are both used to it, and in Chinatown it is sometimes said that the pollution that wafts in on them is the breath of the dragon.

            Just like any other region of the city there is more here than just the headliners. There are several small bars and quite a few truck-stop style facilities. There is little in the way of entertainment in this area, unless of course you count the number of times the security teams from any number of the manufacturing plants have, ‘escorted’ members of Tides Research out of the area. While in this area Tides has yet to win or even really start a full-on case, this area has the feel of us versus them when it comes to the men and women in Tides colors.

            There are a few players in the area, and a lot of fakers. Here is a little information on a few of them.

             Stone, Briar, & Co.

            This company holds the largest quarry in the entire western Washington area. Located south of 39th Ave South, they supply all kinds of stonework, gravel and concrete for the city and surrounding area. They stumbled onto a vein of red rock and some quarry able marble back in the 60’s and have been slowly buying land up into the hills to expand their quarry ever since.

            Strangely this company is the only one in the area that not only accepts the existence of the Tides company, they regularly welcome their staff on premises to make sure that they are not getting wash runoff into either of the nearby rivers. This stance does nothing to endear them to the other businesses in the district, but with their control over local building materials there is not much anyone is willing to try and do about it.

            The current owners are very reclusive and leave most of the day-to-day workings of the company in the hands of the men and women on site. This policy of trust to the employees along with the company’s high pay and distinctive benefits package makes it someplace that a lot of people with the proper skills want to work. The only part of the company operations that the owners regularly take a direct hand in is the choosing of new spots for mining rock. They were the ones that found the red rock and the marble back in the 60’s, and it is rumored that there are spots that are being set aside for later work that have even more valuable assets to them.


            Weavers is a small company that specializes in cloth textiles. Built up on the southwest corner of 35th Ave South and South Anton St, this little company is a custom workshop. Doing all their own handwork they make the base materials and then do custom designs. Even though the facility is small they are capable of making everything from silk to Kevlar with a denim chaser for fun. Leatherwork is not a problem here and it is part of the regular schedule.

            The owner, Michael Weaver, is about as hands on as you can get in a business. Driven and hardworking, he expects the same from all of his employees. His personal motto seems to be if you can’t take the heat get out of my damn shop.  Even with all that push to get things done though his company is staying small for a reason. Their work is about as poor as you can get. The working conditions are bad, the pay is worse, and the schedule is something out of a management nightmare. The only people who seem to actually enjoy working here are the security people. The people Mr. Weaver hires for security have to be able to do two things, sign their names and throw anyone from the Tides at least ten feet to the curb. Actually, there are frequent tests on both of these skills.

            It seems that the only benefit you have to working here is that when you quit or get fired, you are guaranteed the same treatment as the members of the Tides staff that try to get in the door.

             Forge, INC.

            Forge is one of the biggest things in the area. In a series of structures that run from South Ashe St. to South David St., and then between South 31st Ave and South 35th Ave, this place is grandiose. To help keep the smells of heated metals and plastics from gathering into the other nearby districts, Forge has planted several different types of trees and shrubs along the edge of their massive property. Not only does this make the place look better, and truly does cut down on the scents and sounds that reach the other areas, it also gives them the only onsite training ground for a company paintball team.  One of the strange perks working for this company gets people.

            Forge is a publicly held company that offers stock and bonuses to all the employees. That and a health plan that is totally free and truly does cover everything, makes this a very desirable company to work for, as long as you’re on the outside of those trees looking in.

            On the inside Forge is about as nasty as you can get. A lack of concern for worker safety and overall push to get things done ahead of schedule and under cost, make this place a hazard to anyone that signs up to work here. Even with conditions that bad though they are inundated by people wanting jobs to get the medical bennies and some steady work. This leads to the company hiring under qualified or completely unskilled workers to do jobs that it should take at least some training to have any hope of surviving. The only reason the company can afford to offer the medical program it does is that many of the people who could use it never actually make it to the hospital to get treatment.

            People getting product from Forge are always impressed with the quality of the product they get and the fact that it comes in on time and under budget just makes them all the happier. The practices of the Forge management team are very carefully kept far from the public eye, and only a few of the management team are fully aware of what the policy is regarding the conditions. As long as they can keep what they are doing quiet and not affect the company bottom-line, it will keep right on going.

            Some of the local rumors about Forge include ones started back during World War II. Stories about underground bunkers, futuristic weapons, and all kinds of mad scientist metal works in hidden caverns abounded. All of these started up at about the same time the company put in the trees and shrubs, and went from three shifts a day to two. All of these things happening at the same time gave people a lot to talk about.

            Now this type of industry is not the only thing that happens in this area. There is also a company that specializes in custom cars and another that makes specialty chips for computers. Also, there are things that fall outside of the realm of making things like…


            This little pool hall and bar is very popular with the people who work in the area. While not a specialty club or anything like that it has some of the best cheap food and free pool tables in the city as far as most in the district are concerned.


            This business district is the big money high-rise linchpin of the economy in Delta City. This region is the only one with a steady supply of buildings over twenty stories tall. But even then, it does not have many. The largest buildings belong to banking and investment companies, with the lower floors leased out to whichever corporate interests can afford to be in the company of the larger interests. These buildings are where you will find the local offices of such companies as Boeing (even thought there are no manufacturing facilities here, which can lead one to wonder), Microsoft (some very talented code users have come out of this area and the big M has this office here mainly for recruiting), AT&T, IBM, and a few other large names all have a light presence here.

The agendas of these big names are not always clear, like why are they here in the first place, but when dealing with companies of that magnitude, asking questions about what they are up to is not always going to get you an answer you would understand anyway.

            The draw of this part of town for the larger companies is easy to see though. Right next to Kymen College (Col 1), some of the newer housing (H2), just north of the Historic Old Town (HO), and the City Center (CC), it has easy access to all the other parts of town with just a little effort. The view of Angel Park (P1), and Grey’s Harbor as your working down the hillside toward the water just make the view alone worth the cost of building.

            That view and the easy access leads to all types of high priced bars and restaurants aiming for the top floors of the tallest buildings, and terraces and skywalks between buildings that can give someone on the street the feeling of truly wandering in a glass jungle. This feeling is only enhanced by the architecture of the area. As you go higher up on the hillside the buildings get taller and taller. As if they are growing better further away from the saltwater of the harbor.

            While this region is one of the largest in the city, it also has the least notable businesses and structures. At least as far as most would be concerned. Any time you get this many large business names in the same area, with banks and investment firms in the same buildings, its like having a little piece of Wall Street right on hand.

            The major notables of the region are as follows.


            Billed as the best view in Delta City, there are many who would be hard pressed to disagree. This is the most expensive place to eat and drink in town. Only the truly wealthy can do so on a regular basis, and being known as a regular here means that you are on the top of the social scale. The waiting list to get in is over six months long and you have to put down a minimum of three hundred dollars on a valid credit card (non-refundable of course) to hold your table and make certain you will be able to pay for your first round of drinks and the mandatory appetizer. Each table has its own wait staff and there is a minimum of four bartenders on hand at the bar each night. Not only is it the top of the food chain socially, but if you are a part of the waiter/waitress or professional cooks circles, if you’re working here your seen as nearly as high on the chain as the people who eat and play there.

            The only exception to the rules about paying in advance and needing a reservation is the mayor and his staff. There is always a table held in reserve for city functions, and visiting dignitaries. No one know when this little service was set up, but no mayor since the nineteen-seventies has been disappointed that it has been there for them to use.

            The part of Echoes that makes the place really intriguing is that no one knows who the owner is. Or who may have owned it in the past. The restaurant was put in on the top floor of the Bank of America Building (then the SeaFirst Building) in nineteen-seventy-six, and no one has yet to make out the signature of the owner or meet them, although the Maître d’ and the manager claim to have meetings with the owner every week, this may just be talk.

            Hillside Couriers

            This started out a couple years back as an alliance by a few of the less hardheaded independent cycle couriers who worked in the area delivering files and notices for all the companies that operate in this section of town. As the business caught on there have been more and more people joining the ranks of the company, and now there are very few independents left on the streets. There are no corporate colors, just a baseball cap with a bike stitched on it, this is all the identification the company wants, and for most of their customers that is enough.

            The cyclists who started up this company are diehards and love what they do more than any other job could offer. There is a real sense of brotherhood about the people who work here, and it has been said more than once that some of the clues and information about drunk drivers and street criminals come in anonymously from the teams on the street. They have also expanded to working most of the city and not just the hillside they started on. As of right now the only place they will not take a delivery to is Chinatown (C). In the early days of the company they lost two people to those shifting streets, and they are not eager to lose anyone else.


            Strangely enough the city itself has nothing to say to people about this area so I guess it’s all up to me to keep people informed.

            If the other business district (B1) is the big money lynchpin of Delta City, this is the haven for fast talk. This region of the city has more small law firms, small investment companies, specialty doctors, and the like. There are a lot of sensitive people who leave this part of the city, even just driving through to another part of town that feel like they need a shower to wash off the grease.

            Where the other business district has the money to toss at just about anything that might come their way to either back it off or buy it out, the specialty around here is promises that never get kept, and promises that only seem to be made.

            When someone is in need of getting the job done in a courtroom or in financial matters, it pays to come here first. As the lawyers in this area have some of the best win rates in the nation. Even going up against the big fish they seem to win more than they lose. The law firm that the Tides works through is here, as well as several of the small private eyes that Net 7 frequently calls on when they need to outsource. There are also strong connections here to the industrial park to the east (Ind1) and the commercial interests to the west (Com2).

            Many times, in attempts to show the rest of the city just how good and useful they are, some of the small law firms and other groups that make a good amount of money here sponsor festivals and art shows in Sandstone Park (P2) to the north.

            In all reality there are too many notables in this area to go over them all, so only the top of the list will be mentioned below.

             Maddics, Crandon, & Tigue

            MCT is a law firm that boasts as to never having lost a case. In the polite sense this is the complete truth. The way they have avoided losing is that any case they feel they cannot win in court they will walk away from (even if they have been paid in full and it is the last day of the trial, they will still walk out, it’s in the contract you sign with them). The offices are located on the northeast corner of Crandon and 27th Ave East.

            What most will never know is that even though the firm sports the names of three partners, and even goes so far as to have offices for them, there is only one lawyer here. His name is Addison Maddics. On first seeing this man most would think that he is security. Large, black, and always wearing a double-breasted suit, and the apparent age of thirty-five or so, gives him a very intimidating appearance. But to look in his eyes, that is where the real intimidation comes from. He has been compared to the great hunting cats, and birds of prey. His stare seems to unnerve all but the strongest of wills. The soft, soothing, and very educated tone of his voice only gets people thinking that he must also be part snake, because to hear him in court that voice is almost hypnotic.

            Most of the time Mr. Maddics fees are outrageous, but there have been occasions where he will take a case for free, or a favor. It is said that he did some massive legal maneuvering for the owner of Echoes (and no he will not reveal who that is, or if he ever actually met with that mysterious person), and so has earned himself a reserved table in that most exclusive of restaurants right next to the mayors. 

            Black Dragon Couriers

            When it has to be there right now, and no one needs to know where it went.

            Even though that is not the company motto, it very well could be. Unlike the cycle couriers that operate in the other parts of the city, this little company is more along the lines of a very quiet UPS. The three owners also are the three operators. Their three vehicles are all tuned to racing quality, and the driving skills of the owners should not be questioned. Need sensitive information in some very particular hands in LA in the morning? Need to get a little heirloom into Canada or Mexico without questions at the boarder? Critical computer parts need to get to NY in two days? These three have a reputation for being able to do all that, and more.

            Depending on the job and the cargo the price is rather cheap, up to the point that even some companies would have to balk. But that is what you pay if you want the best on the road. Their services are on call, and to get that number from someone who knows it is not all that hard. They have no corporate headquarters, and according to the business listings in the city phone system, there is no such company. The only reason they are listed here is because in one of the older buildings, just on the boarder of the industrial park (Ind1) is where they have their garage and vehicle storage.

            People claim to have seen this group driving everything from motorcycles to cargo vans, and it is said that an interview with them is more like dealing with three Men in Black, than three people out to move something for you.

Hero’s Ltd.

            Something wrong in your little corner of the world? Under siege by the forces of darkness? Your boss is an ogre, no really an ogre? Then Hero’s Ltd. Might be able to help.

            This is the strangest temp service that you could hope to find, although finding it in Delta City seems to make it a little less strange, but not much. The people in the employ of this company are all heroes of some caliber, and they are willing to help with problems that are beyond the means of most people to handle. Need to rescue a loved one from a prison in a foreign country, it can be done. Problems with one of the local vampire clans? Just another quest for the staff. Need to get information out of the hands of people that would use it for the ill of all? Easy.

            Don’t let the list above fool you though, the heroes here are not all playing on the side of the angels. They do staff some people who handle the darker side of the streets too. If there is going to be violence and a need to keep the police out of it, then there is someone on call here that should be able to help you out. The one thing that they will not do is take on Net7, again. Someone came to them with a story that Net7 had taken personal information from them that they did not want shared with anyone else, and that Net7 was unwilling to return it. So, they came to Hero’s Ltd. to try and get the information back. Unfortunately, not only were the staffers of Hero’s conned into taking the job by someone who wanted to mess up Net7, they also had several good people put into long term medical care over the incident. So, don’t ask.

            One of the things that they are used to is that a job must start now and so they have a lot of people on call, and several that are not local. The fees are reasonable, and the service is guaranteed. The fact that the company offers insurance and cheep ammo to all employees is not something that can be easily overlooked. The turnover rate for employees is not all that high, so the number of people on call slowly grows as more and more people, beings, and entities join up to help in the fight against whatever is troubling you.

            When it comes to the staff here most of the people are not known to the city. By that there are no records of who they are and where they come from, as the city has made it very clear that there is no room for vigilante justice in the pursuit of true justice. So officially all they do is rescue lost people, hunt down escaped pets that are out of control, and do odd jobs for people in need. But that is only on the official staff. All of the other temps are on call and not really a part of the company, and if you look them up in the company records you might find them listed as ‘on call consulting staff’ but nothing more. Anyone who is part of that on call group is provided a global link cell phone and is required to check in if they are going to be out of touch for more than a day or two. This lets the staffing consultant’s call for the people who are currently active and not worry about not being able to reach a specialist they think is available.

            Even though the city’s official stand is that there is not any room for vigilante justice in Delta City, it is not uncommon for some of the street cops to call out a little help if things are beyond their control, or just too damn strange for them to handle. Word of this has reached the chief of police, and while he is not going to say so publicly he is glad to have someone available to back up his boys and girls with only a phone call.

            If someone wants to get a job with this company, then you need to go to the main office (B2), not the call center (Com2), and introduce yourself and show just what you can do to the chief of staff. After a full interview and taking a detailed list of what the applicant can do she will tell them where to pick up the phone they will have to carry and how they will get paid.


            Situated in the northeast area of the city, this commercial district has the distinction of being home to one of the largest malls in North America. The Delta City Pavilion takes up almost a third of the area in this region. The main building is three stories tall and has over two hundred shops and services. If you are interested in it you can find something in this area. If not in the mall itself, then surely in the stores, restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, and gas stations that flow to the north of the mall.

            The easy access to I-105, being right across the bridges from the City Center (CC), Chinatown (C), and Angel Park (P1), give this area a great view of a number of things that just add to the flavor. And just a few streets away lies one of the major housing regions. Overall it seems like this area was made to make money. And there is no shortage of people willing to go for the gold.

            The easy access to the area and the number of shops gives this whole area a feel not unlike the bazaars that you might see pictures of in the stories about the middle ages, or the Middle East. It seems like every month there is some little festival or event happening in the mall, or on one of the side streets. And almost every week there is a convention of some kind in one of the area hotels. This whole festive air leads to a very good feeling all over the district that is hard to ignore and harder to let go of when you leave.

            The only hardships in this region come from the occasional closing of a business, or when one of the major chain stores is advertising a sale and the people in the home office seem to lose the shipment. Even though this happens with a striking regularity it does nothing to dampen the spirits of the people in the area. A business closing its doors is just as much a reason to have a little neighborhood gathering or street festival, as one just opening up. This attitude leads a lot of the businessmen and women in the region to unite rather strongly, and there is no faster reacting neighborhood watch than on these streets. Even with all the glass doors and windows this is the least vandalized and crime hit part of the city.

            Other than the mall and some of the annual events surrounding it there are very few major notables in the area.

            Delta City Pavilion

            The biggest mall in the Pac Norwest. This place is big, and full of fun. The mall itself almost has an organic look to it that takes a few trips to get used to. This has come from the way it was built up over the years. All three of the above ground floors were designed and built by three different companies at three different times. And as each level was added to the mall new reinforcements were needed at lower levels to make sure the building was totally compliant in the structural and earthquake prevention areas. The property owners were always amused by the way people would react to the look of the structure as it changed. Today it is very easy to see from the interstate and one passerby was quoted in the paper as saying ‘Damn thing stands out like a turd in a punch bowl.’ For a week after the article ran in the paper the quote was used by the mall as a banner call. Some of the people working for the mall today still remember that event a few years ago and still get a big laugh out of it.

            The malls shopping structure is about what you would expect, the big national stores dominate the ground floor, the second floor is taken up mostly by smaller chain stores and service groups like flower sellers and tux and hardware rentals. The third floor is the home of a number of specialty shops. These days the specialty stores, most of which are owned by the locals, have a bigger draw than the national chains on the first floor.

            A massive fountain dominates the center of the mall. At one time the fountain was a centerpiece all by itself, but as the years have gone by the fountain has changed into something more. It was expanded and the ground level food court was added at a distance, and after the third floor went in the owners took a cue from the West Edmonton Mall designers and added a pair of water slides that go from a single storefront on the third floor and eventually deposit the riders in the remodeled fountain.

            With a place like this and its history of expanding of course there are all the stories of secret doors behind the walls, children who have been locked in at night and never seen again, boogie men hired as the night shift guards, ghosts of the builders haunting the finished construction, and the strangest one of all, that the mall was built on ancient grounds dedicated to a dark power that feeds off the people shopping and loving life just like a vampire drinks blood.

            Tanagers Fine Meats

            Run by a woman who only responds to what most would assume is her last name. Tanager is a true mistress of the art of carving and presenting meat. While it is generally known that the woman running the show now is not the original owner/operator of the store, it was not until she took over in 1991 that the effect she has on the business first came to light.

            Her little store offers just about any kind of meat that you can think of to serve, and several that you would probably not want to serve. Then there are the few types of meat that she offers that not only do most people have a hard time pronouncing, but an even harder time figuring out how to cook.

            What makes this place worth noting is that not only is it not in the mall, but the woman who runs it is a striking beauty. Not just in her physical appearance, but also in the way she moves, speaks, and even looks at people. The thing that makes it almost disturbing is that everyone who comments on her beauty also comments that she seems to be even better looking when she is using one of her blades on the meat she sells.

            This little shop sits on the northern end of Emperion Street N. Not the largest store by any means, but the selection is second to none and you will find customers from all over the city coming by for the product and to watch the owner in action.


            Most of the buildings here are of the same age as the structures in Historic Old Town, but have had the interiors remade to fit the nature of the store, service, or historical interest that they serve. Security systems are top of the line, and very well hidden so as not to make the customers uncomfortable. Restaurants and cafes dot the streets, and are just as posh as the stores around them. Overall this is a very pleasant part of town, things can be a little pricey though, so if you plan on going shopping, shop frugally.

            In an area only slightly larger that the City Center (CC), this little commercial district is the Rodeo Drive of Delta City. Nestled in on the south end of the city next to a business district (B2), Delta City College (Col2), and just south of the Historic Old Town (HO), this little area has access to money, tourists, and students who want the latest of fashion. The best warning to give about the area though is not to let the streets lined with trees and older looking buildings lure you into thinking that anything here is inexpensive. The rule of thumb in this region is that if you have to ask about the price, you cannot afford it. If you do ask, you will probably be asked very politely to leave. This is the only part of town other than Echoes where you need to check your credit rating before ordering a cup of coffee.

            Even though the map does not show them, there are a large number of small one-way streets in this area. All well lined with trees and small shrubs, and well lit in the evening by recessed lamps that are mounted on every building. Most of this area has the feel of walking through a very well maintained park. With that relaxed feel it is hard to see all the security watching every move.

 Pets Plus

            While there are chain stores all over the united states that are catering to the pet market, this store, which is nearly impossible to locate as it has no listing in the city, does something that none of the chain stores would be willing to do, sell just about anything as a pet.

            They employ some of the kindest people you will ever meet and some of the nastiest behind the scenes. The staff in the store is more than willing to take orders for any kind of pet that you might be looking for, even things that might seem impossible or fantastical. The only line they draw is that they are not willing to put people up for sale. The owner claims that they are too hard to keep a line on, and to tend properly in this kind of environment. But if you are looking for a dog or a cat, no problem, birds, name your breed and the age, exotic animals, give them a week or two, mythic creatures or gators from the sewers, well that can take some time to hunt one down that is young enough to still be pliable.

            Most of the creatures that they sell are young enough not to mind being pets, but sometimes someone asks for something more than they can handle, and that is when things get out of hand. They do recommend that if you are asking for something with a long lifespan or a strange diet that you check your resources before you commit to buying the pet so you don’t have to worry about either having something that will outlive you or eat you out of house and home, or just eat you and the home.


            Strangely this is another part of the city that the main city guides don’t talk about. I find that very odd due to the fact that the city would still love to have people move in, and this is an area, overall, to be proud of.

            Some of the less polite in town call this area a tribute to the fifties and sixties. With the structured layout of all the little housing communities, and the almost mirrored image of the houses, it is very easy to see where that type of identity came from. If it were not for repainting and remodeling it would still look like that in total. Fortunately the area is also on the edge of the Artists Colony (AC) and this has lead to some very interesting additions to the area.

            Overall this area follows patterns in all of the little sub sets of housing. Each little sub district has its own name and style of housing. The closer one gets to the Artists Colony district though the more unusual and free form the housing gets. Right at the edge of the Artists Colony one person has even gone so far as to tear down the old house that was on the lot and rebuild their home in the shape of a wizards tower. This is the source of a lot of jokes and strange looks from people who are very serious in the area about keeping to the old styles, and not wanting to change. It is also a source of pride for the Artists Colony, due to the fact that they feel that it is their influence on the neighborhood that has caused the structure to be built in the first place.

            Random’s Place

            This has to be one of the strangest restaurants in the city. The owner spends a lot of time trying to live up to his name with the way this place is run. There is no standing menu. He apparently decides on a few things every day that he will be cooking and lets the staff know so they can tell the people dropping in. What is strangest about it is that Random is one hell of a cook. He seems to make just about everything well and rarely gets a bad word from the guests. The only time he seems to have any planning what so ever is when he is dealing with the Kosher boards. While a great many of his cooking ideas are not Kosher, he does make them from time to time and when he does he actually has the accreditation that they will be Kosher. Following all the rules he actually has two separate kitchens in the place. And when he goes Kosher he uses number two and number two only.


            One of the most popular areas in the city for raising a family, this housing region is a good collection of various housing developments, apartments and condos able to fit nearly every lifestyle. The small stores and occasional shopping centers give this part of the city a freedom that can be almost overwhelming.

            This region of the city is considered housing only in the loosest of senses. Its close nature to both of the colleges (Col1, Col2) and both Historic Old Town (HO) and the major Business District (B1) make it a region that is littered with apartment complexes, condos and a smattering of newer homes. The elevation of the region means that the taller apartment and condo structures have great views of the ocean and that all the smaller buildings have a hard time seeing much of anything due to all the trees and mini-parks that people have put up to beautify the area.

            Woven in the midst of all these various types of houses are a small number of mini-marts, gas stations and a few schools.


            There can be no doubt that in the entire city this is where some of the most spectacular housing is. Most of the homes here are custom built to take the best advantage of the views of the ocean. The cut through the middle of the district by Old Coast Road West divides the true beach houses from the homes that just have a good view. Even though some of the houses in the Historic Old Town (HO) region are older, these are the homes that are truly spectacular.

            If you are interested in touring the area to see some of these spectacular buildings it is recommended that you do so during the day, as local police and private security firms can get a little touchy about people being in areas without owners consent at night.

The views and the money of the owners have combined to make the houses here second to none, and the owners association strives to keep it that way. Most of the lobbying for housing reform in the city council comes from this area of town.

            Even thought this area has the best homes and the best views for each family this area is also littered with a few problems. This is the only housing region in the city without its own schools, or fire, or police groups. The housing association thought that they might impede the view or detract from the value of the local land. So if there is a problem in the region they have the longest time wait to get a response from emergency services. To compensate many of the uber-rich have paid for private security, if you think cops after an I.V. feed of forty lattes is a little twitchy go ahead and swing by at night, you might actually come back with your ass intact.

            The other major problem is a lack of innovation. Much like the cities tribute to the 50’s and 60’s (H1), the buildings here are mostly older. But if you want to make a change, you will have to go through all the hoops that the housing association can throw at you to slow you down. Tearing down a building and putting up something new is almost impossible, the people who live here like their community just the way it is and they have enough money to toss around to make sure it stays that way.

            Notables in this are quite common, this much money makes you very notable, but there are two that need a lot of attention.

            Davis and Smythe

            This is not a business, or an office; these two names are part of the longest running feud in the city.

            Doctor Alan Davis, and Professor Alistair Smythe. Both men in their late fifties that have no children, so they know this is the last chance for one or the other to finally win the feud that has been going on for several generations.

            Dr. Davis teaches at Delta City College (Col2) and Professor Smythe teaches at Kymen. Both of them have very distinct specialties and this is the core of the feud. As these specialties have been handed down from generation to generation all the way back to the ‘old country’ (neither will mention which country that is, but their accents are both something European, if a little strange even then). Dr. Davis teaches Historical Metaphysics. The applied historical look into magick and all it has done in mans world. Professor Smythe teaches Science. By Science I do not mean simply a single field, but science as a whole, how all the different schools come together as one big field of study, and how they all work together.

            This is the nature of the feud, magick versus science. These two men cause a lot of trouble no only for their students but for their neighbors, as they both are looking for the way to finally prove once and for all to the other that they have the truth. That the others opinion is nothing more than mist. Both men have had to rebuild their homes more than a couple times, and both have had long talks with more than one group of people that would be very glad to help them, or destroy what ever they are working on at the time. Fortunately most of their antics seem to be confined to their homes and their offices on their respective campuses.


            A beautiful tribute to classic Chinese culture and sensibilities, Delta City’s Chinatown is a wonder to behold. Incredible buildings and art are everywhere. The seasonal festivals and New Years parties are second to none. Any serious exploration of the shops and back streets though will really require a guide, as most all of the signs and even the street signs are posted in various Chinese dialects that may seem a little obscure to someone not from the specific region that the dialects are from. Guides can be found at reasonable prices at the main entrances to the area.

            Can you imagine and M.C. Escher painting? Good, now what would it look like if you were on acid? Got it? Ok, now imagine that all the little images of people and animals were looking at you funny and most of them speak only Chinese. If you’re still with me then try to walk from one side of the painting to the other. Wondering what this is all about? I am just trying to describe what it is like for an outsider to move through this region in the city.

            Delta Cities Chinatown is just as old as the Historic Old Town on the other side of the inlet, and has even more history and intrigue. A part of this intrigue stems from the fact that Chinatown has its own in city Mayor. It is literally a city inside Delta City. The Chinatown council has cut their own deals with Puget Sound energy, with the suppliers of water, and with the garbage companies. This is allowed in the city charter because at the time of the founding of Delta City, Chinatown was working very hard at becoming a city all its own. When the State of Washington refused to acknowledge Chinatown as a city all its own, the founding fathers got together with the Delta City founders and struck a deal that would allow Chinatown to run itself no mater how big Delta City got. The deal still stands to this day, and all in all it works rather well. Chinatown makes sure it has police, power and water, and Delta City does not have to take responsibility if something goes wrong. This deal sits rather well with the mayor’s office.

            It is said by the wise in Delta City, that if you are willing to risk your self on the streets of Chinatown that any secret you can imagine is available to you for a price. The most challenging thing about Chinatown is getting around the streets. This is actually only true for people that do not live in Chinatown. The streets of Chinatown seem to have a similar quality to that of the sewer and water systems under they city. If you do not live in the region they seem to move. Just because you were on one street when you entered the little shop that caught your eye, does not mean that it will be the same street outside when you leave. It is not hard to see given this that the cycle couriers lost a couple people down here. In fact some of the stories about Chinatown include tales about people who have been lost here since the region was founded and are still trying to find their way home.

            On the lighter side there are things about Chinatown that give everyone a reason to cheer. Every Chinese New Year there is a four-day festival that seems to take in all of Chinatown and every part of the city that wants to join in the fun. Then there is the annual Dragon-boat festival. This event is said to be second only to the traditional events held on the coast of China, although some in Chinatown would argue that there festival is more traditional, more colorful, happier, better in all ways really. But that could just be local pride.

             Tea Mansion

            This is just an example of one of the large number of shops in Chinatown that you might never hear of if you do not live in the district. Tea Mansion is a small shop that looks about the size of a one bedroom apartment in the cheap areas. Floor to ceiling it is stacked with specialty teas, raw herbs, tea leaves and tea making equipment. The two people that run the store seem to know just about everything you could think to ask about tea, from mythical to medicinal.


            Many cities in the United States claim to have an international district, but in truth most of these turn out to be several small clusters of businesses and a few homes that have a population from one culture or another, in a block by block format. While this does usually give the people who come to these districts a feeling that they are in a little piece of that culture, Delta City has something truly different in their international district.

            This part of the city is not made up of little block-by-block sections ( a Little Italy here, Little Tokyo there, Little Mexico over in that block), the International District in Delta City is a real blending. Cultures from all over the world (and some would suspect other worlds as well) blending together into a myriad of influences and sights and sounds. Even though you can find and taste most everything the world has to offer here, there is usually one culture that seems to dominate the decorations and style of the district.

Some would think that having all these cultures in one area, with no separation and no lines of distinction might lead to conflict, and in the past it did. But back in the 1950’s a man from Chinatown (C) got together with some of the community leaders and they came up with a plan. Many of the Asian cultures had put up dojos in the area to help promote the skills and culture of their homelands, and the idea was to use them for something more. The community leaders accepted the idea, and they took it to the people. The idea was that every six months a contest would be held by the residents of the International District, a martial arts contest. The winner of the contest, no matter what fighting school they had attended, would have their historical heritage dominate the district, in art and public displays. The only real condition on this would be that if anyone were caught fighting outside the competition or outside of dojo sparing, then that whole culture would be out of the contest for the next six months. It took the better part of five years for the idea to get around to everyone and for the people to see the advantage of something like this in their part of town. By 1958 though the contest was at the point where it should be receiving national exposure for the system the people were using to get past the problems that heritage can bring to a city.  Today the contest is a semi annual event that draws large groups from all over the city to see the changing of the guard. The idea has not only been something that brings stability to the district, but also brought tourists from within the city to help the businesses on the blocks that the district runs through.

Even though there are a lot more notables in this area than there might seem only a couple need to have attention drawn to them.

             Shoji’s Dojo

At the very southern end of the district lies Shoji’s Dojo. Rather large and very well outfitted, this dojo is one of the few in the region that has no ties to any one culture or style of art. Shoji himself is a man who looks like a classic image of the ancient Chinese master. His short stature and obvious age should not fool you though. Shoji is a man who wants to learn everything the world of martial arts has to offer, and as far as his students can tell, he seems to have it all down already.

Shoji holds classes and teaches two days a week, the rest of the time his best students are the ones running the classes. Most of the time the classes run the gamut of all the known martial arts, so the three main practice rooms are usually being used. The classes that Shoji teaches are the ones most sought after though. He only teaches the rarest of the arts he has learned, and only to the students he thinks are worth teaching them to. If someone is attending his dojo and is made the offer to attend the classes Shoji teaches it is a good sign that the old master sees something great in that person.

There are rumors that it was Shoji that convinced the district to adopt the semi annual contest for cultural dominance, but any time he has been asked he just smiles and laughs, telling whoever asked that he may be old, but does her really look that old? The only other times that Shoji really smiles is if someone walks into his dojo with something he has never seen before. Be it a new fighting style or just a martial weapon he has never encountered. At times like this there is a spark in him that shows that age is not something that will ever slow him down.

In the last several years, due to the lack of specific culture to Shoji’s Dojo, his school has been the sight of the contest more and more often. Shutting the classes down for a week so that the contests to determine which culture has high status in the community seems to appeal to him, even if he does not smile.

            All Things Anime

            A small store to look at it from the outside, but once you are inside you would have to wonder if the name is understating just how much stuff this place has.

            The owners are a young couple from, ‘out of town’, as it were, who fell in love with the animated movies and stories that people in Japan tell. Everything from the OVA’s, to the TV series, and all the movies in between. This shop has only been open for about three years, but in Delta City it is the otaku’s choice for finding all the things for your favorite anime. They stock not only the videos and DVD’s, but soundtracks, stuffed animals, costumes, toys, models, art books, game books, computer games, and the manga that so many of them are based on. With a selection like that you can see why it is so hard to beat. When you first walk into the store you would be hard pressed to know where to find what you are looking for with the piles and piles of items all over the place, but after a short tour by one of the owners, it becomes rather easy to see what kind of a stocking system they have in place and just run with it, of course not everyone agrees with them that the hentai and bushujo are both rather romantic.

            Back to the owners though, they are a young couple it is true, but many of the people who come to the shop joke later about ‘a young couple of what?’ To look at the two of them not only is it hard to tell them apart, but also it is hard to tell if they are male or female. And the habit they have of dressing up in many of the costumes that they sell to the public only adds to the confusion. The only times that something seems to fit is when they dress up as elves or some other fantasy creatures, then their gender seems more apparent, but that could just be quality costumes. The one thing that people visiting the store can say for sure is that there is no doubting the love these two have for the product they sell, they seem to watch and listen to everything they are selling and are more than willing to talk to the customers for hours about the finer points of all the stories they have on hand.

            It would just make life easier on all their customers if they would use names that everyone could pronounce, because how do you say Krouijthanphonichx and Rhognluefurzax? Fortunately for those of us who have yet to master English, they are more than willing to let you call them Kro and Rho, but getting them to tell you which is which is a game in and of itself.


            (Photocopied from a promotional registration flyer.)

            There is a record kept in the history of the International District in Delta City. This record is about the martial arts challenge that happens every six months to determine the dominant culture in the area. The history of the challenge is rather simple. Previous to World War Two there was an area of Delta City that had originally been set aside for the use of the Native Americans in the city limits. At the time that the city had grown large enough the city leaders asked for permission and gained it from the Native Americans to let other cultures into the area, and open it to all of them as equals. With the agreement struck a great number of minority groups started setting up apartments, houses and businesses in the area. There was no plan, no organization, just a rush for space. So it came about that all the cultures that drove themselves into the area looking for a place to express themselves found that they had not gained an individual space but something shared. This caused tensions to build over and over again, fights would break out between people of various backgrounds and things overall just got rather ugly.

            On September 22, 1951 there was a town meeting to discuss the future and the problems of the International District. A man from Chinatown, who introduced himself as Long, had an idea. The main problem in the International District was culture clash. There were no distinct regions that would allow each culture to express itself as a whole. Forcing people to move from their homes and businesses would not be a good thing, but if there was a way to let the District have one major culture at a time, it would let the cultures feel like they had a stake in the area, instead of just being pressed together.

            The idea was well received, but the matter of implementing it was something that no one could agree upon, what order the cultures would be dominant, how long it would last, no one means could be struck upon. So Long made his second suggestion. There were a lot of people who wanted to fight for their culture. They were willing to say that they were better than anyone else, and fight to make sure the proof was there. Why not put the problem and the solution together. Let there be a martial arts contest. School and rank would be irrelevant, the only thing of import would be the culture that the fighters came from. A weeklong tournament. Let the people who want to fight for their culture fight for it, but in a way that would actually benefit the whole of the culture not just vent their anger.

            The second idea was also well received and a plan was beginning to form. But the question came up what about the rest of the fighting, how would they keep it in check. Long then gave the condition that made it all look like a challenge. Any one caught fighting outside of training, or the contest, would loose the chance for their entire culture to have the chance of being on top. So if one person of Japanese descent was caught fighting outside the parameters, then all of Japanese culture was out of the running for the next six months.

            Overall the city council looked at this idea like a good thing but how in the world to implement it and get everyone to play along was a little beyond them. That was when the representatives from the International District stood up and told the city council that they would take the idea to the people and inform them that the contest was in just a few months, just let the contest happen, let them see how it worked and they were sure that people would jump at the chance to show what they could do. The city council agreed to the idea and put it in the books.

            Since then the contest has happened the second week of January and the second week of July every year. It took a few years to get everyone in the district to see the light, but it is accepted that the first time that the Native American culture was highlighted throughout the entire district put a shock into the district as a whole, and most people took a second look at the idea. By 1958 most of the young gangs and the like in the area had hopped onto the bandwagon giving the contest a good dose of street credibility, and the district as a whole a second, and much more streetwise, police force. The gangs wanted to abide by the rules as much as they could, because they found out that the city did not just want to respect classic cultures, but the modern ones as well. The first time a gang culture took the title was in 1961, and the fact that the city was willing to accept that the gang and not the color of the skin or where the family came from was the culture just spurred the contest on to greater heights.

            In 1993 the challenge moved permanently to the three-story building that is Shoji’s Dojo on the south end of the district. Overall the contest has never been better received. Every six months the press and the interested crowed around the dojo trying to get seats inside to see the contests, and rain or shine the final round is held in the parking lot out back from the dojo so that all the world can see who is coming out on top.

            The rules for the challenge are rather basic, but they are all there for a reason.

  • No fighting outside the dojo’s or the challenge. Doing so will result in the loss of your culture from the chance to be the reigning expression of the region for the next six months.
  • Weapons are allowed in the challenge only if both fighters agree to the use of them. If one fighter refuses to face an armed opponent then the one wishing to fight armed must either disarm or forfeit.
  • Fights end one of the following ways. One fighter is knocked out. One fighter is disabled, examples would include breaking a leg or arm. One fighter surrenders. If the fighters agree to special conditions previous to he match, such as first blood, first strike, or even a stare down, this can become the condition for victory.
  • The fights are full contact, with appropriate pads. If weapons are agreed upon then they must be non-lethal practice versions.
  • Any fight that results in the death of a fighter will be taken from the record and the survivor will be disqualified. If this happens in the final round then the fighter that died will be awarded the title and honors posthumously.

Next comes a list of the fights in the history of the challenge. This record shows the winners style of fighting that they used, also if known, and the culture that was placed as the dominant one of the district for the next six months. Sometimes there has been a little confusion as to styles and translations of their names, so the best possible efforts have been made to make sure that all names have been translated into English properly. Please forgive and mistranslations and if you are sure of one, please contact the printers, listed on the back of this pamphlet, and changes will be made in the next edition.

1951 – The Proposal.

1952 – The first contest.

            January – Native American Wrestling – Quinault Indian

            July – Boxing – Polish

1953 –

            January – Boxing – French

            July  – Te – Japanese

1954 –

            January – Kendo – Hispanic

            July – Aikido – Hispanic

1955 –

            January – Leopard Kung Fu – Korean

            July – Shattered Forest – Elvin

1956 –

            January – Capoeira – Brazilian

            July – Street Fighting – Nigerian

1957 –

            January – Pancracean – Greek

            July – Native American Wrestling – Cherokee

1958 – The contest gets into full swing as the majority of the ID gets behind the idea.

            January – Karate – French Canadian

            July – White Crane Kung Fu – Chinese

1959 –

            January – Savate – French

            July – Boxing – American

1960 –

            January – Karate – Okinawan

            July – Native American Wrestling – Columbian

1961 –

            January – Street Fighting – Gang

            July – Sambo – Siberian

1962 –

            January – Savage Suns – Elven

            July – Drunken Fist – Dwarven

1963 –

            January – Sumo – Hawaiian

            July – Sumo – Japanese

1964 –

            January – Sumo – Swedish

            July – Choy-Li-Fut – Korean

1965 –

            January – Dragon Kung Fu – Gang

            July – Gatka – German

1966 –

            January – Jujutsu – Chilian

            July – Karate – Saudi

1967 –

            January – Boxing – Pakistani

            July – Street Fighting – Swiss

1968 – Shoji’s Dojo opens to the public.

            January – Native American Wrestling – Mohawk

            July – Savate – Sudaneese

1969 –

            January – Buddha’s Palm – Indian

            July – Taoist Demon Hunter – Mongolian

1970 –

            January – Gatka – India

            July – Muay Thai – Thai

1971 –

            January – Than Vo Dao – Vietnam

            July – Yu-Sool – Korea

1972 –

            January – Kalaripayit – India

            July – Savate – Spanish

1973 –

            January – Kung Fu – Spanish

            July – Kung Fu – Lebanise

1974 –

            January – Kung Fu – Israel

            July – Boxing – American

1975 –

            January – Sambo – Russian

            July – Jeet Kun Do – Chinese

1976 –

            January – Heart of Night – Elven

            July – Aikido – Vietnamese

1977 –

            January – Aikijutsu – Japanese

            July – Krav Maga – Israeli

1978 –

            January – Drunken Eagle Kung Fu – British

            July – Burning Tiger Kung Fu – Unknown suggested painting everything purple and calling it good

1979 –

            January – Kuntao – Indonesian

            July – Pakua – Taiwan

1980 –

            January – Pakua – India

            July – Ninjutsu – Egyptian

1981 –

            January – Aikido – Iranian

            July – Storm Bear – Dwarven

1982 –

            January – Sumo – Filipino

            July – Sambo – Australian

1983 –

            January – American Pro Wrestling – American

            July – Native American Wrestling – Ananasi

1984 –

            January – Native American Wrestling – Cherokee

            July – Ninjutsu – Chinese

1985 –

            January – Yo-yo Combat – Italian

            July – Street Fighting – Italian

1986 –

            January – Karate – Gang

            July – Boxing – British

1987 –

            January – Capoeira – Brazilian

            July – Capoeira – Columbian

1988 –

            January – Pancracean – Canadian

            July – Qwan Ki Do – Japanese

1989 –

            January – The Heart of 1000 Nights – given to 2nd place (India) for a good fight

            July – Boxing – Japanese

1990 –

            January – Tae Kwon Do – Korean

            July – Shootfighting – Polish

1991 –

            January – Tai Chi – Czech

            July – Dragon Kung Fu – Laotian

1992 –

            January – Jeet Kun Do – Afgan

            July – Muay Thai – Thai

1993 – Shoji’s Dojo becomes the sight of the contest.

            January – Shotokan Karate – Japanese

            July – Goju-Ryu Karate – Japanese

1994 –

            January – Capoeira  – Chilian

            July – Bear Style Kung Fu – American

1995 –

            January – Desert Winds – none chosen given to 2nd place China

            July – Desert Winds – none chosen given to 2nd place Lithuania

1996 –

            January – Jeet Kun Do – China

            July – Leopard Kung Fu – Vietnamese

1997 –

            January – Mantis Kung Fu – French

            July – Dragon Kung Fu – French

1998 –

            January – Drunken Dragon Kung Fu – German

            July – Boxing – American

1999 –

            January – Muay Thai – Laotian

            July – Resplendent Demons – India

2000 –

            January – Ninjutsu – Japanese

            July – Aikido – Gang

2001 –

            January – Native American Wrestling – Gang

            July – Krav Maga – Israel

2002 –

            January – Street Fighting – Cherokee

            July – Jeet Kun Do – Thai

2003 –

            January – Dragons of Winter – Elven

            July – Yo-yo Combat – Dwarven

2004 –

            January –

            July –

2005 –

            January –

            July –

2006 –

            January –

            July –

2007 –

            January –

            July –

2008 –

            January –

            July –

2009 –

            January –

            Now that the history and the rules have been presented to you, the only question you have to ask is, ‘Do I have what it takes to put my culture on top?’ If you are thinking yes then come by any of the open kiosks in the International District, or any of the associated training halls, and register for the challenge.


            Ok, now this one the city not bragging about I can totally understand. Sadly if they were to brag about it I think the city might become an even more interesting and lively place.

            This part of the city is not a business district, not a housing region, not something that generates industrial solutions, nor is it a center of collegiate learning. It is a strange mix of all those things and more. Calling it an Artists Colony is just about the only way to describe it without insulting someone, and with all the different opinions and ideas here it is easier to insult someone without knowing than anyone might ever know.

            The Artists Colony area of Delta City was originally founded in the sixties by people who had no desire to leave Delta City but still wanted to have a place to be free and live with the growing counter culture. As time went on people managed to confound city hall with the plans for buildings and businesses that they wanted to add to the area, and they came in so fast and furious that the Delta City government was not able to do much more than make sure there would be roads into and out of the area, and that water and power would be distributed to everything that got built in the area. Not as easy a task as it might seem, so the cities unofficial policy became one of, ‘If it is going up in the Artists Colony at least it will not bother anyone else.’

            As Delta City’s home for counter culture, the experience of being in the Artists Colony is unique to say the least. There are shops that cater to just about every taste, experimental dining, homes that look like a part of the trees, a house with a large Tesla Coil in the front yard, bars, clubs, and even an experimental private school (Eldryin Academy). The fire department in the area has vehicles that get repainted on the whim of the area (last year they spent a great deal of time in a flame camouflage color combination). There is even a very well hidden brothel. The place does not look anything like it is, and in fact it has a few other little shops inside, so you may have shopped there already and not even known.

            As a whole, this part of town comes together more for each other than any other district, even Chinatown does not have the solidarity that the people who live in this part of town do.

The Last Element

            This is a little shop that is almost hidden under the other buildings in the area. It is not really a shop for the curious, but a shop for the people in Delta City who are truly into magick, the occult, and all things spiritual. The hours that it is open seem to be almost as random as the owner. But if the doors are open and you have an idea of what you are looking for, there is no better place in all of Delta City to go to find things on the topics of the unusual or supernatural.

            The owner of the shop is named Mikee, and part of what makes this person more unusual than most is that Mikee is never the same being twice. Regulars in the shop are aware of this and just go with it, people new to the shop will be taken aback until they realize that this is just the way Mikee is, or get too freaked out to cope and start going to another shop. No one but Mikee knows what Mikee is and Mikee is not talking about it. At most someone will get a sly wink, or a laugh, unless you ask too often then you will find that no matter when you come to the shop the doors are locked. The one thing that the regulars do know is that in the stores down time Mikee can be often found at Graces, and that the two of them seem to go way back.

            As of December 2005 Mikee has not been seen. Someone has been running the shops for him but they make sure to tell folks that they are simply following instructions left for them by Mikee. No word on where he is, or what he is up to.

            The Flip Side

            The Flip Side is a rather unique little place in a very unique part of town. One side of the building can be entered twenty-four hours a day. That is a little bookstore and coffee house that occasionally puts up and open mike night for poetry and small performance pieces. Given the nature and hours of this side of the building there are any number of patrons in and out at any given hour. The selection of reading material is quite good and the magazine racks are second to none in the city. The only real rule about this side of the business is that if anything is damaged you must buy it. This rule goes for everything from the fifty-cent newspaper to the several thousand dollar rare books in the glass cases behind the coffee bar.

            The other side of the building is something else entirely. It is a performance club of a darker sort, and you have to be known to the owner to get in. The darker side of the club is open to just about anything that can be done in front of others, from fighting to sex. The security is very tight, and the rules about this side of the business include that you do not talk to others about the club. If someone comes to the door asking to be let in, they had better not have heard about it from a member. More than likely if someone is going to gain membership to the darker side of the club a current member will ask the owner to look into a friend, see if they can join, and the owner will look into the person and see if they have what it takes to be another quiet, well paying member of this very exclusive little club.

            The owner is a man named Candalmas, and he gives the feeling of being a very friendly older brother to anyone around him, unless he is making an advance on a woman, and then he seems to be the most charming person anyone has ever met. Just do not ask him why he never shaves his legs if you see him on one of the rare days that it is hot enough for him to ware shorts.


            (Taken in part from a brochure sent out to high schools across the nation.)

            Alternative education styles. That simple little phrase seems to do more to describe Kymen College than any other that you might ever hear.

            The general ideas that founded this college were that not everyone wanted to know the same thing about the same topics, that not everyone learned at the same rate through the same styles of teaching, and that in the end, not everyone wanted the same final degree on the topics that they learned. What will shock many is that the founder of the school, Richard Kymen, knew all of this back in 1903. Taking the lands his family had and all the land he could get his hands on nearby, he opened the school while most of the buildings were still in the planning stages, and many of the professors were still getting letters of invitation to teach at the school.

            Over the years the college has developed the resources and the staff to help students take any idea, and any dream and turn it into a field of study. It is possible on this campus to put together a degree program in any concept that a student can come up with. To help facilitate this there are no real departments to the college, and no separate mini-schools of specialization. This will lead many who get to the campus for the first time to look at all the people going from place to place and wonder just what kind of chaos has been unleashed here. In point of fact thought it is not chaos, just a very, very large pattern of order that is very hard to see until you become a part of it. There is a thirty person board of scheduling that puts together a list of possible connections between classes so that a person can find out if the Film Making 265 class they are looking at really will connect to the Masters of Underwater Cinematography program they have developed for themselves (even jobs with the National Geographic Society can get rather specialized).

            All in all this is something that a lot of people get behind and support. The ability to learn what you want in the pace you want is something that appeals to many students. The teacher’s ability to cover a variety of topics is key to this program working and the professorial staff is very well treated, and paid even better. The classes have such a profound mix of students that it would seem even more like chaos if you were from off campus. Seeing as there are rarely single topic majors in any given class, the teachers have to work with people from all over the spectrum of possible students in the classes they are teaching.

            Of note on the campus is one of the strangest running pranks that any campus has ever had the misfortune of seeing.

            The Old Light House

            On the northern most point of the campus, right out on the edge of the water, sits the lighthouse.

            Most of the time the college runs the lighthouse as part of the oceanic safety courses. Making sure that every student involved knows just how important, even in this day and age, a light in the dark can be.

            The rest of the time the lighthouse is falling victim to the students of the school, and sometimes it is a race to see if the next fix or the next prank will reach the lighthouse first.

            Pranks of the past have included turning the lighthouse into a Bat signal, a barbershop pole, a disco ball, and the largest speaker in the state. It is rare that anything new actually is done to the lighthouse in any of these pranks, but from time to time the students come up with something worth talking about for a year or two.


            For those with a taste for a more traditional education then this is the college for you.

            Smaller than most colleges that it would like to compete with, like the University of Washington, and the other schools like it. Delta City College is a specialty school, but more that the schools that are known for being science, art, or sports minded, Delta City College is known for only one of their departments, History.

            When it comes to the basics of education DCC is not a slouch. Their math, science and liberal arts departments are good. Not at the level of national acclaim, but good enough that their graduates can get good jobs and have a list of skills gained from the school that will serve them well for the rest of their lives. But the History department in DCC is what stands out in the minds of all that remember Delta City.

            One of the breaks from tradition on the campus is the absence of the Greek System. There are no fraternities or sororities. This should seem doubly odd considering the schools strong grip on history, but that is part of the reason the school has nothing to do with that system. The safety and the education of the students on the campus are the main concern of the staff in this school and it was determined quite some time ago that the Greek System, while historical in nature, was a threat to the student body. The staff and councilors do their best to make sure that the cliques that would have formed in the Greek dorms still get their space and place in the college life, but keeping them from the hazing and the housed parties, the status symbol of Greek association, and the unofficial rank that many schools seem to give to those in the Greek houses. This has been a working system for the last fifty years, and the board of directors for the school, see no reason to change now.


            When people look for a reason to come and visit Delta City this district is usually high on the list of reasons. The Historic part of the description to this part of town is not to be taken lightly. There are more, well preserved buildings dating from before the 1920’s than in any other part of town.

            It is in part from this look that this part of the city seems to be the hub of more activity than any other part of town. Even though it is not a small district, it can have a very small feel. There are a large number of small shops, sidewalk café’s and even a daily farmers market along the waterfront. Combine that with some of the older brownstone style homes in the area, and the occasional sidewalk park, a pub-crawl that is compared very favorably to the best London has to offer, and you have a very busy, very beautiful part of town. This section of town also has the city’s largest hospital (Saunders Memorial on the corner of 13th and Alder), and some of the fastest response times from all emergency services. All in all even though it takes up a good amount of space this district maintains a small neighborhood feel for most.

            The only real force around this part of the city is the Historic Preservation Society. They act like a very mellow version of the Old Beach homeowners association. Instead of putting social pressure on people who might like to change the buildings though, they have the law to back them up. This entire area is protected by the city. If something happens to one of the buildings in this region then the owner is required to rebuild in the same style as the previous building. It does not have to be exactly the same building, even though the city planners office does have full blueprints of most of the buildings here, it is required that the style be the same.

            Some of the notables in this part of town include the following.

             Marcus a.k.a. John Doe 17

            Homeless, jobless, and wandering the streets.

            Marcus can be found at various times in just about every part of the city. Ragged and worn this man will tell his tale to anyone who will listen about how Delta City is really a fiction that he created so as not to be alone with his godlike imagination.

            Most of the time he is seen it is in this part of town though, carrying a sign that reads, “The world ended yesterday”. Walking the streets and sleeping where he can, he is known to be welcome at the Flip Side, and Graces, and that even Mikee at the Last Element will put a cot down for him if he wanders by needing a place to crash.

            No one knows but Marcus why all these different people come together for him, and he is not telling.

            The Last Element

            This is a little shop that is almost hidden under the other buildings in the area. It is not really a shop for the curious, but a shop for the people in Delta City who are truly into magick, the occult, and all things spiritual. The hours that it is open seem to be almost as random as the owner. But if the doors are open and you have an idea of what you are looking for, there is no better place in all of Delta City to go to find things on the topics of the unusual or supernatural.

            The owner of the shop is named Mikee, and part of what makes this person more unusual than most is that Mikee is never the same being twice. Regulars in the shop are aware of this and just go with it, people new to the shop will be taken aback until they realize that this is just the way Mikee is, or get too freaked out to cope and start going to another shop. No one but Mikee knows what Mikee is and Mikee is not talking about it. At most someone will get a sly wink, or a laugh, unless you ask too often then you will find that no matter when you come to the shop the doors are locked. The one thing that the regulars do know is that in the stores down time Mikee can be often found at Graces, and that the two of them seem to go way back.

            As of December 2005 this shop has been closed. Mikee has not been seen and the person that is running the shop in the Artists Colony district of town apparently has no instructions or keys to open this shop. Fortunately Mikee’s lease on the property goes on until 2010 so no one will close him out as long as all the bills keep getting paid, and the shop in the AC does good enough business to cover all that and more.


            In this little district lies the main buildings for the city, City Hall, Police and Fire Central Offices, Delta City Library (main office, there are six other branches scattered about the city), The Tanner Cross Cultural Arts Museum, the offices for the city water authority, the parks department head quarters, the Puget Sound Energy offices, the city port authority, the central offices for the transportation commission, and the main offices for some of the best power and information brokers in the country if not the world. Sitting on top of the pile of information brokers, sets Net 7.

Proof that in small things there can be great power and influence.

            This is the smallest district in the entire city, but also the most powerful and influential. In this region power is the main commodity. The people who use it well, they are the ones to be watched.

            While the city offices hold most of the visible power in the city, controlling law and making decisions that will affect the day to day life of just about everyone who lives above ground, it is the power wielded by the information brokers that can shift the value of just about everything in a heartbeat. Most of the information and power brokers in this city are in competition with Net7, and that is a good thing. There are rumors about where the real power in the city lies in this district.

            With all this power in one place one might think that there was a greater chance of the usual strangeness that settles all over the city in this little area. Strangely though just the opposite is true. When it comes to the odd events that seem to characterize this city, they are absent here. Everything seems strangely mundane when in this part of town. And depending on the point of view you have that can either be a very good thing, or an even bigger reason to worry about what goes on in this part of town.

            Notables in this part of town are quite powerful and only in one case does a company merit being talked about here.

            Mayor Anna Cross

            Mom, that’s what this woman comes across like in public. Concerned about everyone and everything. If she could make it legal in the campaign she would send fresh cookies to everyone just to seal the deal. This middle aged woman of mixed ancestry does everything she can to make sure that everyone in the city knows she has their best interests at heart. Her public face is so caring and so concerned that some of her competitors in the last two elections publicly questioned if she had what it takes to stand up to anything in the city or if she would be the caring mother to everyone, even the criminals.

            People have seen no need to worry though, Mayor Cross has been elected to office three times and will soon be running for her fourth. What people do not see is that even though she comes across as a mother figure to the whole city she is one very tough, very shrewd woman who seems to not only have a mothers talent for knowing what is going on even when she is not looking at her children, but also has the mothers talent for getting even the most unruly child to do exactly what she wants.

            When she was murdered in 2004 it nearly broke the city with grief. The fact that she was murdered in her home and that the case is still unsolved is something that sits poorly with the citizens, and the fact that they elected a little cult of personality to replace her does not help.

            Chief of Police Andrew Sands

            A man of just over forty, with more than half his life in police service. The only thing he hates more than the jokes that compare his Arabic heritage and his last name is crime.

            Chief Sands is a man driven to fight crime. His history of being tough on everyone from littering to multiple murderers is known throughout the city. His stand is that if it is against the law then the offenders need to be punished to the maximum extent of the law. His views are not quite eye for an eye, but it comes as close as is publicly acceptable. He does not talk about his past, but the part of his past that is public record speaks volumes. A perfect arrest record as a police officer for over fifteen years, and over the last six years as Chief of Police he tries to spend just as much time in the field with his men and women as he does behind the desk. Not as a know it all, but as a man who wants to learn everything new that his people come up with to help the fight against crime. This attitude has endeared him to more of his people on the force than it pushes away.

            The only depressing part about his last six years in office is that there has been a slow increase in crime in Delta City since he has taken office, almost as if the city itself is against him. This gives him no end of frustration.

            Simon Tinsdale

            This quiet man in his late thirties is the city’s head librarian. Quoting from almost any book in his care and seeming to know just where every copy of a book in the system is supposed to be, his staff have tried to get him to come out of his shell for a couple of years now, but to no avail.

            Most of the time it will be the people working with him that anyone talks to, but on the rare occasions that he does talk to non-staff, his voice is clear and musical, and his knowledge of just about any topic someone would care to discuss is seemingly without flaw. No one in or out of the system of libraries is really sure why he does not have a job banking, or on Wall Street, or as an information broker, but they are glad to have someone like him in charge of the books.


            If knowledge is power then this company, if it knows all that it seems to, must be nearly godlike.

            Founded just over ten years ago, Net7 came onto the corporate scene in a flash. Offering to help any company that could meet their rather high price find out anything they needed about competitors, and have no fingers to point back to them in the end. It took the better part of six months before anyone really heard about them again in the news, but apparently the demand was high enough for their services that they were opening up their new offices, and headquarters in the City Center.

            If you want to risk your sanity, and your safety you can still go to Chinatown to look into secrets, but is you have a big enough bankroll you can just call Net7.

            The owners of the company do nothing to hide who they are, where they go and what they do. But they still seem to have enough staff and enough resources to get into just about anything. Their offer to all the hackers in the community to break into their computer system is just another expression of how good they are at what they do.

            Publicly the company is privately held by the seven key officers in the company, even though four of them are regularly seen at major events and functions, the lower ranking staff tells that they are mainly data sifters, and it is the company officers, and a few very good private eyes that do all the legwork for the companies investigations.

            Privately it is whispered that they have deals with just about every power player in Delta City, that they have high paid moles in just about every business and corporation in the country if not the world, and that most of the key officers are masters of telepathy and other such arts so that they really never have to leave their offices to get everything they need.


            The southern half of the island that sets in Grays Harbor. This part of the island is named for the large statue of a female angel that rests at its center. It is also the greatest labor of love for the parks department.

            Connected to the mainland by a bridge on the east side and a tunnel on the west side, there is a surprisingly light amount of traffic that is heard once someone is inside the park. There are a series of groves and open fields, all connected by surprisingly twisting paths. The parks department tells people that every tree, shrub and flower are well tended, and the park looks it. No mater what time of year someone visits the park the plants look awe inspiring. The trees are massive, the shrubs are full and lush, and the grassy fields are either well trimmed or seem to just grow up to a uniform height. A small number of the paths in the park are lit for night visitors, and there is a small camping area near the southern tip of the park, just out of sight of the public boat launch.

            Truly this park is one of those things to have on the must see list of any trip to Delta City.

            Those who know of Graces (STL) will tell you that someone in Grace’s family must have posed for that statue, because the statue was dedicated in 1904, and everyone will tell you that there has always been a Graces in Delta City. The statue does bare a striking resemblance to the owner of the bar.

            One of the things that very few people will find in the park are the little altars. In Angel Park there are a number of very well hidden paths that lead to small shrines and alters. Most are dedicated to one or more of the environmental religious philosophies. Like Wicca, Shamanism, or any of the Druidic paths. There are also shines for those who follow Shinto and Buddhism in the park. Strangely enough if you follow one of those philosophies it is very easy to find those places in the park, and the Parks Department is not only alright with the use of the park, a great many of the people in the Parks Department visit one or more of the shrines regularly.


            Just as people like to brag about Angel Park, most keep rather quiet about this one, and after a trip or two into it, you can see why.

            This park sets on a jutting point just north of the southern business district (B2) and the industrial region (I1). Just to the south from Chinatown (C) across the inlet, and also just across the water from the International District (ID). This gives it a very central location to the southern part of the city, and unfortunately makes it the home of a great cultural schism.

            The Parks Department does everything it can to try and accommodate all the people who want to have some kind of expressive festival, or donate some kind of art to ‘beautify’ the park. But with all the different influences that come together in the area trying to exert a little control over the area the park has a tendency to feel more like an area that has a multiple personality disorder than something that is truly beautiful for everyone.

            The trails and service paths through the area seem to be littered with all sorts of small art projects, forgotten statues, dedications to corporations, lively expressions of cultural heritage, and any number of little abstractions that someone has found beautiful at one time or another. The thing that makes some people wonder is the fact that they are not always the same piece, so the park always seems to be in motion in some way. The truth behind this is that there have been so many pieces given to the park, added, or just dropped off in the dead of night, that the Parks Department has a large warehouse in the Industrial Region that is dedicated to storing the “art” that wanders through the park. There is also a staff that is dedicated to just moving the stuff in and out of the park as often as they can, so that no one who has added something will feel left out for very long. Changes like that continue on even if the park is covered in snow or there are storms that are stopping everything else in the city.

There is more to talk about and better quotes I am sure for the city itself, but there are a few other things that I need to mention just to make sure that my guide is really complete about Delta City and the things around it.


             With all that going on inside the city you would have to wonder just what is left to go outside of the city proper. Just remember that all these places are still inside the city limits, and therefore still part of the city itself, this means that they are affected by the world walls and all the other services the city has to offer.

            McGregor Sanitarium

            Just south of the city proper, very near Delta City College (Col1). McGregor Sanitarium is the some of some of the best minds in the industry of psychology. The older gothic style buildings that make up the main structure remind one of the classic castles and some of the movies about vampires and monsters that have come out in the last several years. The grounds are well maintained, and it is not hard to forget the twelve-foot high electric razor wire fence that surrounds it all. Needless to say the people who run the sanitarium do not really want all those great minds getting out into the streets again.

            This of course raises the question, in a city that anything can, and frequently does, happen in, who defines sanity? This would be the sanitariums board of directors. And the less said about them the better, because they are all trying to lay blame on each other for a recent rash of disappearing patients. Not something that has made the press yet, but will given time, and a few appearances by the missing.

             Delta City Daily

            The local paper is just to the east of the International District (ID). This paper seems to suffer from a split personality. Or maybe it is just the editor in chief that does. Day to day the opinions expressed in the paper and the take on major news stories seems to shift from one side of radical to the other. No one can be sure why the paper swings the way it does, but the readership is very high. Most people seem to enjoy the way the paper shifts from one side to the other with a regular frequency, never staying on one side of a topic, but giving both sides equal time.

            Local Radio and TV

            There are a couple local stations in both radio and TV. Not the best offerings but the market is wide open for anyone to join in and add something new to the bandwidth. City laws restrict just what kind of transmission structures can be built in the city so most of the transmission towers and broadcast points come from just outside the city. Sometimes though the transmissions that can be picked up in Delta City are no only not local, but not from this world, so some of the things that can be seen from time to time as you channel surf could get very interesting.

            The earth based local channels include the two local network affiliates KLTE Channel 12 and KMBL Channel 6, the local PBS affiliate KNDL Channel 8. After that everything is considered rouge and broadcasting illegally. If there was more of a presence in the city by the FCC then these rouge stations would likely be taken down, but as most of them operate in the range that would require special equipment to pick up, the city has yet to take too big of an issue with it.

            Delta City Zoo and Wildlife Refuge

            Three miles south of Delta City proper but still in Delta City Limits is the Delta City Zoo and Wildlife Refuge. This facility actually covers over fourteen square miles of area. The smallest portion of it is given over to the public display of captive animals. Most of which are the standard kinds of life that you would see in any zoo in the United States. There are a few though that you cannot find anywhere else on earth and it is these few that keep even the most jaded locals coming back to visit year after year. The majority of the facility though is a complex that is walled in with thirty foot high stone and concrete walls that are covered with spikes and razor wire. While that may seem a little extreme once you get inside that portion of the facility there is little but open space, trees, and wild animals let to run as they will. That means that if someone gets in, they are on their own against all the predators and such that are inside. It is sort of a self contained ecosystem. While there are tram tours of the area once a month ( that are quite expensive by the way) most of the time even the park keepers do not enter the refuge save to let loose something that they feel would be able to take care of itself out there.


             What is left to see once you get outside the city limits?

            Not a lot but it is still rather important. All of these things are outside the city limits and therefore not hit from time to time by the thin world walls, but there are times when that might not be a bad thing.

            Delta City Penitentiary

            Built outside the city limits, this medium security prison is the last stop for most lawbreakers in the city.

            Not designed to hold the truly evil of this or any other world, the prison has a record of only one escape in the last fifty years. A great record given that they get to hold every criminal that warrants prison time from the city. Even if the prisoner in question is headed for maximum security, they usually stay a few days here while they are getting transferred to the next stop in prison life.

            This is not a bad place overall, but the warden has a very hard view of lawbreakers, and his views make the police commissioner look like a moderate. Luckily most of the guards do not share his bleak view otherwise most of the prisoners would be in solitary, fed once a week at most, and only allowed visitors after death. There is currently an investigation into the warden to see if he really should be in the position he is in. 

            Delta City Recycling

            About fifteen miles south of the city there is a small plant that works very hard to recycle all of the items that get sent its way from Delta City. There is no shortage of recycled paper and aluminum, but due to the nature of Delta City this place also has the ability to do the shredding and shipping of most metals, fiberglass and a few types of wood products.

            The only hitch in the system is that Delta City’s recycling program is a little bit behind. This means that there is no real support for the service and people who want to recycle are on their own for the most part to get things out to the site. The refund prices are good though and on average a few trash bags of crushed cans will get you enough to pay for the gas that it took to get you out there and a cup of blended coffee from one of the espresso stands on your way back into town. 

            Delta City Trash Stations 1 & 2

            Both of the companies that run trash for Delta City named their stations outside of town the same thing, so it makes it a little interesting to get out into the back woods and find the one you are looking for. Both companies see this as the first screening for new employees. If you can find the right one, cheers, now all you have to do is interview.

            As far as city records are concerned, station 1 is the burning facility, and station 2 buries trash in a very, very deep landfill. Neither one is very friendly to the environment, which is why both are over forty miles south of the city and then back into the side roads so that not only can no one see them, but also no one can smell them either.

And that walks you through a bit of the city.

I hope that folks are enjoying this place as much as I am enjoying sharing it.

Now gimme the dice. I gotta see how far a cat will chase the sparkly ones…

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Review #23- Central Casting (Heroes books) (A)

So while I am reediting more of the Delta City materials (you guys who had seen this stuff before could have said something about how crappy my editing and grammar was ya know, it would not have killed me) I wanted to keep posting weekly. So this review has come up.

I have a feeling I may have mentioned these three books before but to do an actual review on them is something else.

I am willing to bet that most gamers out there know people who really piss them off. When it comes to gaming. Those slick folks who can just nanoseconds after rolling the dice right in front of you have a fully detailed background for their character. Tying it into all the previous games you have ever played and putting in so much color and flavor you have to wonder just how all that crap came to life in under an eye-blink of time. I mean given time I can think up a fairly good backstory. I will likely tinker the crud out of it and revise it a few times before I give it to a GM but so it goes. And I know there are other players out there who feel like their character sheets should be enough work and that a background is not needed at all, “I am just here to roll up stuff and make fleshy things scream and bleed on the tips of pointy things.”

Well it is because of that frustration and the sad shaking of heads that they have to have a background that Task Force Games started up their Central Casting series of books. Published between 1988 and 1991 the three Heroes books (Heroes of Legend, Heroes Now, and Heroes of the Future) are all designed so that you can roll up (yeah completely at random) a time period correct character background. The level of detail in these books is so in depth that it makes every other background generator look like the creators half assed it.

Some of the things that this series of books does is to give you some bonus and penalty scores that would need to be converted into the game engine you are playing in. The write ups are mostly for a percent based system. So if you happen to be playing something like Rolemaster you should be fine right off the bat. In a mixed format like Palladium you are going to need to do more converting. And in something like Hero System or the original DC Heroes, it becomes a real challenge to convert the points in anything that represents a linear crossover. The thing is with a quick talk with a GM most of the time background details can get added, points can get swapped, things can get bent so that you can fit things in and make it work.

Now then you will notice that I mentioned that you can roll this all up randomly. And you can. But you can also use the books in a decision tree format to get the background that you want. Because two or three steps in you may find something clicks and suddenly you know where you need to go with this character, or piece by piece you may feel your way through until you come up with something part rolled, part chosen, and part just fate, yeahhhh it had to be fate.

What seems really strange to me about these books is that they seem to have fallen almost completely into the collectors market. You cannot find mention of them in Wikipedia, even in the Task Force Games page who originally published the books for Flying Buffalo who’s page does not mention them either. You cannot find PDF copies of them in any legal sales format. And when you can find them in Amazon or Ebay you are looking at paying anything from 90 – 800 dollars for a copy depending on condition and seller. What I have been able to find out about them tells me that they had a very short print run, like many things that TFG created. Also their publication happened at the same time that TFG was going out of business and selling their properties to other parties. So there may be some long standing issues with rights. It may be that they all went back to the original author Paul Jaquays (now known as Jannell) but even in her Wiki page the books only get a very brief mention. With the number of items being republished in PDF form in recent years and the fact that the prices for the originals are soaring I find it hard to believe that whomever has the rights has not brought them back to the digital world to try and make some money off it.

Next thing to bring up is why am I doing three books in a single review. Well that part of this is easy. All three books follow the same pattern. Birth on through the moment right before you start adventuring. Regardless of setting. They all use the same mechanics and styles. And THAT is a true miracle. When they were being published there were so many specialized game worlds with so many unique game engines that making materials to support them also became very diversified. But the author stuck to her form and format to try and make universal support. I think that was an awesome choice and it really did unify the books into a single whole support setup.

So lastly lets get into the numbers shall we…

Overall Fluff 5/5 – These books are pure fluff. It is all for story and all for fun and to add some depth to your own work and your own worlds. They work great for PC or NPC characters.

Overall Crunch 2/5 – These things are really rules light and can be used in a lot of ways. They are not directly tied to any specific RPG but are easier to use with some games than others.

Overall Mod 3/5 – There is need to mod versus fun to mod. Basically unless you are playing one of a few specific games you will need to mod your results if you want to bring anything more than a story into your game. The fun to mod side is using these books as a decision tree instead of as a random roll set of tables.

Overall Fun 5/5 – I have a lot of fun with things like this, and have in the past used these books to create back stories that are just so impossible to understand they can be used to create legends or insane NPCs. Sure I could do that on my own, but going this way I have an excuse so I dont get blamed directly 🙂

Total Score 15/20 – Overall a good score here. I have to say that I really wish these were more available and that some of the mechanics might be revisited so that a table of standard conversions could be created allowing the bonus’ to be read into most major game engines. But I enjoy using them and even still have my original copies. 😛

Well thats it for this week. Hopefully next week my re-editing will be done and I can continue to drop more Delta City goodness.

Hope everyone is having fun out there gaming.

Now Gimme the dice, I have to roll up random laundry and I am hoping to get something other than socks….


Delta City part 3

So last section was a brief history of Delta City. This next part is about the layout of the city itself. If I can make it work well I will drop in the maps I drew oh so long ago so you can get an idea of the elevations and street layouts as well as what the neighborhood/district lines are like. Details on the specific regions in the city and some of the people and places in them will be in the next part published.

Ok so lets start out with the map of the city streets. This covers the major streets in the city. I was using old graph paper to set this up and there was no way by hand I could get down to the level of a super zoom on Google Maps. Considering that I set this up based on memory from an older printed map of the Grays Harbor area you can see that some things are not really to effective scale if you look at the area in Google maps. You can also see that I added a large island to the area that is not in our current reality.


As you read what follows remember that this was originally written in the late 1990’s and into the early 2000’s. So some of the prices and other things may seem ridiculously cheap. They were intended to be cheap but not so much so that you would have your jaw hit the floor. I am trying to reprice stuff for the current era.



“The population of Delta City is a model of the length and breadth of humanity in the tradition that the founders of the United States would have given to us all had they the vision to dream that vast.”

Mayor Anna Cross during a speech to celebrate the International District in 1997

            The population in Delta City is not only diverse but it is truly unique as far as anyone can tell. The official breakdown is rather boring but it gives us a place to start.

Per the 2000 Census

Total Population: 523,402 people   

Economic break down:

  •              8% Wealthy
  •              9% Affluent
  •              70% Middle class
  •              11% Struggling
  •              2% In Poverty         

Unemployment: 3.1%         

Racial Breakdown:

  •             White – Non-Hispanic 44%
  •             Hispanic 8%
  •             Asian 8%
  •             African American 8%
  •             Native American 13%
  •             Pacific Islander 6%
  •             Middle Eastern 7%
  •             Other 6%

Gender Breakdown:

  •             Male 48%
  •             Female 50%
  •             Other 2%

Age Breakdown:

  •             Over 65      7%
  •             45-65          21%
  •             30-44         35%
  •             18-29         20%
  •             Under 18  17%


  •             No Highschool                               3%
  •             Highschool – Some                      12%
  •             Highschool – Graduate               18%
  •             Some College                              11%
  •             AA Degree                                  10%
  •             Bachelors Degree                       7%
  •             Masters Degree                          6%
  •             Doctorate Degree                       1%
  •             Multiple Degrees                        1%
  •             No formal Education noted      13%
  •             Other                                        18% 

Religious Affiliation:

  •             None                                            15%
  •             Catholic (Any Denomination)    19%   
  •             Muslim (Any Denomination)      11%
  •             Jewish (Any Denomination)      10%
  •             Wiccan                                       4%
  •             Native Traditional                     5%
  •             Buddhist                                    3%
  •             Shinto                                        1%
  •             Taoist                                       2%
  •             Hindu                                       2%
  •             Other                                       28%  

 City Size:

  •             Delta City Proper: 48.6 square miles
  •             Delta City Industrial Island: 7.1 square miles           

            Now then all those official numbers do nothing to mention the population in the Underground. In those vast stretches under the city there was an unofficial census that puts the population down there at roughly fifty to one hundred thousand other people. So that would be another ten to twenty percent of the population that lives on the streets above. All undocumented, untracked and for the most part uncared for. Considering that most of them live at or below the poverty level down there it could really skew the numbers if they though to add them into the official record.

            One of the strange things about the official numbers is under the Racial Breakdown, ‘Other’. Think about what that means. You see the same thing in Gender Breakdown, Education, and Religion. Makes you wonder just what there is in this city. Overall age categories seem unusually skewed toward the younger generations while the rest of the nation seems to be getting older.




Public transit in Delta City is a bit of a wonder. There are city buses, and on call services for the elderly and disabled. There is a light rail connection to the Olympia hub that runs north all the way to Everett. There are a large number of cycle capable paths around the city, and just as many safe-walking routes. There are also the usual assortment of taxis and vanpool set-ups. All of this makes it very easy for any resident or visitor to get to any part of the city day or night.

The wonder is not that the city has all these things, but that they work, and work very well. Not to mention that even the cabs are reasonably priced.

            One might think that with the world walls being in the condition that they are that you might have to deal with busses vanishing, or transit strikes, or cabbies that eat customers. Well even though these things do happen from time to time it is very rare, and most busses that vanish have a tendency to reappear a few blocks later, having a lot of people on board that want to go home instead of just get away seems to bring them back really fast, if they go at all. The city transit department is very proud of its record of having only one bus disappear forever, and the three that it has gained more than make up for that.

            It is also rare that any cabbie that has a taste for human flesh gets past the department of licensing, the ladies that run that place seem to have a knack for spotting potential troublemakers.

The real wonder is the cost of things. A monthly bus pass that is good all over the city will only cost someone about twenty dollars, and even this can be cut down if you can prove that your low income or unemployed. The two major cab companies got into a price war a few years ago and the public is still reaping the benefit, anywhere in the city in one of those two company’s cars will only cost you five dollars, no matter how many people you stuff into the cab, and a run from Delta City to SeaTac airport will only cost you fifteen.

            So, at that price, is it reliable? In a word, yes. The companies that run these operations are always in the black and seem to have a great desire for repeat business. This leads to the great deals, and making the systems as timely as possible and reliable beyond a shadow of a doubt just reinforces people’s opinion of a system that actually works for their benefit.


(Taken from a guide to new students at the college level. It’s amazing that they have to have this.)

Medical care in Delta City is top notch. There are a couple of large hospitals within the city limits, and a great number of small medical clinics. The clinics are both the general medical and specialist establishments. The two hospitals in Delta City are Delta City General in the south of the northern Business District just off the 105 freeway and on the boarder of the Historic Old Town district and the newer Housing District on the west side of the city, and the second is Wandering Star Memorial Hospital which sits on the boarder of both the International District and Chinatown. Both of these facilities are larger than you would normally expect of a hospital, but that is because they are the only two real hospitals in the city. The majority of other care is handled in all the various smaller offices and clinics that are in every district of the city. Many specialists work both at one of the hospitals and in one of the clinics.

Now then calling the medical care top notch may be a bit of a misnomer. There are the usual assortments of people involved in medicine in Delta City, some good, some bad, some who care, and there are those that only want to make money. The thing that makes Delta City medical care top notch is that there was a city law passed about thirty years ago that made it illegal for any insurance company that operates inside city limits to discriminate against payments for anything but truly experimental procedures. So, if your condition can be cured by an acupuncturist, or an herbal wrap, city laws make sure that your going to be covered by whatever treatment you need to get back into top health.

            The statement of care being top notch also relates to the fact that if you know who to ask and what you’re looking for, you can find doctors that specialize in just about any species that you can imagine. This is great if you’re some kind of alien blob and get a stomachache at three a.m. You don’t have to eat half the city to get relief, just ask a couple questions, and head to the right doctor. Of course, if you’re an alien blob that can get insurance you are going to want to spread that information around.

The only other thing of note is that even though Chinatown seems to be a complete maze to anyone not living in that part of town, the paramedics never seem to have a problem if they are called into the area to get someone.

“Fire response in Delta City is second to none in the nation. The teams train extensively and are constantly on the lookout for new people to enhance their already stellar teams. Do you have what it takes to be a hero like that?”

From a recruiting add in the paper.

             The fire response teams in Delta City are almost on the scale of the garbage men and women, and in fact many of the garbage men and women act as local volunteers in the fire response teams. The fact of the matter is that in a city that anything can happen in, just about anything can burn. So, the people on the fire teams need to have the ability to deal with everything from standard fires, chemical fires and even the occasional mystical conflagration. Being ready for all that all the time is no easy thing. So, the staff are usually on rotating teams, two weeks on, two weeks off, with volunteers and off duty staff on call if needed to make sure that things can be handled safely and quickly. The system seems to work.


While not crime free Delta City is one of the safest places on earth to visit. Our police force is well trained to deal with any situations that might conceivably arise in a city this size. And we are proud to report that for the fifth year in a row we are still carving critical seconds off of 911 calls citywide. If anything happens to you in Delta City you can be sure that the police are right there to help you out.

In recent years there has been a slow increase in crime in Delta City, not that the press or the ads to visit here would even mention that. Mostly in the area of industrial espionage, and embezzlement, but this does not lower the slow growth. There are dozens of little gangs and a couple larger ones. There are burglaries, assaults, robberies, rapes, and murders in this town. It is a major city after all. But the public is in no way worried. You see the rates of crime in Delta City are significantly lower than in any other city it’s size or smaller. The percentage of crimes committed is so low that it makes a major piece in the news when one does happen.

            Now this is all taking into account the public face of crime. The subtle crimes and acts taken by those with enough power and or money to make them not have happened, seem to happen far more often in Delta City than just about anywhere else in the world. Also, the no victim crimes like gambling and prostitution are usually ignored in the numbers that are given to the press but not by the police and the people that commit the crimes themselves. There have been rumors in recent years that some of the seedier parts of the city have been slowly falling under the control of certain groups, be they gangs or the mafia. The people involved in these crimes don’t really talk about it, but if you are in the Industrial areas, or the commercial areas then you know it when you see it.

            Due to reports Net 7 is under contract to the police commissioner to deliver, he is aware of this tide of invisible crime, and is out to put a stop to it if he can. Unfortunately, most of those invisible crimes are just that, no evidence, no witness, and sometimes not even a scene. This is not to say that there is some secret band of ninja, making all the crimes in the city vanish. Even if there were ninja you could not be told about them.

             The police in Delta City are just as diverse as its population. Every district in Delta City has its main house for the police and most have at least three outside branches. The District House usually houses most of the department gear and staff for any given district, while the branches are more like outposts that are not always manned but can be staffed at any given time to add presence or support in a part of the district. All of the branch houses are checked in at several times a day if they are not currently occupied by staff, assuring that there is a police presence in all areas of the city.

I am sure that you are thinking that I am going to say that this is all bull and that the cops are not all over the place like this. Well actually for the most part it is true actually. There are only a couple of districts in the city that do not get the full service of the police, and that is not an all bad thing given the way some of those districts operate. Given that in those areas even if the police are all from the district they are still seen as outsiders, it makes it a little easier for the district to police itself in the loosest of terms.

            One of the challenges that the police face is that when it comes time to investigate crimes, they have to be ready to look into just about anything. The next challenge is that they have to ready to arrest anything. The last challenge is that they have to be ready to hold and take to trial anything. Now then just because they have to be ready for anything, does not mean that they really are. There are only a few specialists on the force that have the skills and the power to really take on ‘anything’, and considering that most of the things that they face off with are just average, everyday people, being ready for everything is not all that cost effective. In the end the police have the policy that they will staff one team SSC, Special Situation Control. Sort of like a cross between CSI, SWAT, and ghost busters. They operate out of the City Center, and have a SWAT style van and a custom helicopter at their disposal. No one is really sure how many people are on this team, but so far, they have a very high ratio of closed incidents that makes them look very, very good.


The most important resource for any city is the water. Some would say it is the power, but there are a lot of ways around that. Without water a city is in a lot of trouble. Some of the best minds in the city are on the city water board. That is why Delta City is not on any one single resource for their needs.

City water districts handle everything from large production wells, limited water sheds from the rivers, all the way down to desalinization plants along the coast. There are several water treatment and storage facilities outside the city limits and the whole system is redundant so many times over that several different systems can go down and there is no change in water pressure.

This reliability is something that comes up every year in the mayoral elections. Every incumbent tries to make sure that the people know that they are responsible for it being that good, and a great many that try to get into the mayor’s office try to make it seem that it is not enough. As water is not just a survival item, it is also a comfort, and the debates about the safety and security of the water supply are very heated.

As part of its deal with the city for self-sufficiency Chinatown has its own water supply. While this is independent from the main city resources, it is linked to the city just in case either side needs help for a while. No one in the main city departments knows where Chinatown gets its supply from, but the water is pure and almost of filtered and refined quality.


Power in Delta City is bought in bulk from Puget Sound Energy, and provided to residential customers at the paltry fee of ten dollars a month. This means that if you have a one-bedroom apartment, or a thirty-room mansion you’re only going to pay ten dollars. The industrial and business areas pay the usual kilowatt hour rates that most people would see, but even this is discounted slightly by the way the city raises money to pay for the electricity. The city has a slightly higher sales tax than most other areas in the Pacific North West. Setting at about 10%, the sales tax goes into lowering the cost of electric bills and into public transit to help keep those costs down as well. This makes a great boon to the people who live and work here in the city.

Chinatown (C) in the continuing quest for independence has made its own deal with PSE and has separate cables that come into the community to provide that one community with power.

            While many areas use gas, oil, and electricity to keep everything running and heated, Delta City in the fifties started a program to fade out every kind of power but electric. Trying to be ahead of the times and be more on top of the best energy in town. It took nearly ten years but, in the end, everyone was switched over. Even though the city has been totally electric since the end of the fifties, all the old pipes and lines under the city are still there, and one city planner estimated that it would only take about three months to get them all working again. Due to the mayor’s office these systems are checked every six months to make sure that no repairs are needed. Just in case.


The Delta City waste system is one of the oldest and most reliable on the west coast. There has never been an undocumented spill and every drop of sewage and wastewater has been accounted for since 1861.

The world under the city. The sewer and water runoff pipes under the city make a massive and tangled network that would make the creator of the Minotaur’s labyrinth stare in awe.

            While some people will look at the industrial areas (Ind1 & STL), and cry out that they are the dark heart of the city, those who have worked in the sewers know better. The people who work and make a living down here are not always the same. There is a thriving culture that exists down under the streets. With their own laws and rules, they have as little to do with the surface as possible. The beings that live down here are the outcasts, misfits, and homeless with no place else to go. To come down to these tunnels is usually an act of final desperation for someone otherwise out of options.

            One of the things that make these tunnels dangerous is that they do not always stay in the same place. They have a tendency to move and shift, taking new paths as the whim strikes. While this makes them dangerous, as no one ever knows if they are going to wake up in the same part of town as they fell asleep in, it can also save lives. The shifting of the pipes has on more than one occasion helped someone fleeing from the police, or being chased by the predators that live in the tunnels. Some enlightened folk have tossed about the theory that the sewers are related to the world walls, but so far, no proof one way or the other has been produced.

            Out of all the people in the city that might know something it comes as no surprise to those that work in the city services that there is someone who seems to know what is going on. In spite of having no viable records or plans to refer to, there is someone in the city dispatch office that is called on any time someone needs to head into the tunnels. Ms. Lucy Carter, a woman who is proud of her eighty-three years on this earth (and if anyone tells her that I know this I am willing to bet that my friendly help will disappear), will gladly tell anyone who asks just where the pipes they need are, and if you’re going to be doing construction she can tell you just how far down they are going to be when you start digging. Then she sends you off with a smile and a ‘god bless’, and if you’re actually in her office her cookies are some of the best in town. Any questions about how she knows what she knows or where you can look that information up just get a little smile and something like ‘Youngster, you never ask a lady’s age or what she knows, it’s just not polite, besides if you need to know anything I will be right here. I am always right here.’ With that she will go back to typing whatever it is that she is working on. (Side note, Lucy is not on any of the payroll books, and quite literally does seem to be there whenever someone needs information, midnight or noon)

            There are a few interesting things about the underground and the most notable of them are as follows.

 The Core

            There are two things referred to by this name and since both are in the same area then it makes sense to put them both in the same entry in this guide. There are rumors that they might be somehow connected, but no one has the stones needed to ask one if it is somehow part of the other.

            The Core – The person known as the Core is a very strange individual. He seems to be a superhuman of some kind, and from the look of him he is either a mutant or from another world. This could explain why he stays underground and hides his face with a mask. It does not however explain his agenda. Several years ago, The Core started trying to find those people with gifts above and beyond the human average. The higher up the scale the better.

            Physically no one can be sure if The Core is male or female, all that can be said for sure is that it stands above eight feet tall, and seems to be built like a titan. The loose clothing that The Core favors and the neutral nature of its voice leave those who have me it wondering just what is under those clothes, and just what is behind the mask.

            The organization The Core is forming is called The Children of the Future. So far members of this group seem to be working around Delta City doing good deeds, there is a catch to what they do though. Every good deed they have done so far is for someone in a position of power, and every time they do something for someone they gain a promise from the person that they will do a favor in return for The Children at some point in the future.

            No one outside of The Core itself knows what the reason behind this is, but there are people who suspect that The Children of the Future are building a very subtle power base that they can expand on at a later date. All members of The Children are required to wear a mask that hides their face from the world, but other than that they are free to dress and act, as they will. When on a mission for The Core or The Children then the mask gets slipped on and they become their other identity. There are those who compare this to the classic superhero comics, but the mask is all they add, it is not a complete costume, and The Core seems to frown on that type of over blown showiness.        

            The Core – The place in Delta City known as the Core is also in the underground. In the area of Historic Old Town, somewhere around 21st and Main, there is something in the dark that the people who try and live in the underground avoid if they can, and the city workers who get sent into the area do their best to get away from as fast as they can.

This place seems to be the only feature of the underground that does not move or shift with the rest of the tunnels. It is always in the same place and always has the same effects on the people and the area around it.

            The Core on first being seen looks like a dark hole about twenty feet across, almost perfectly round, and if you get close enough to look into it, it seems to go down forever. There is a cool air that seems to seep from the hole, mixing with the warmer underground air it makes the area of the underground for about a block or two have a light ground fog year-round.

            What makes this place so fearsome to most is that when someone starts walking through the fog they will feel things that brush across their legs, like there are rats or something in the darkness that make no sound but are bold enough to tease at the legs of whoever is in the area. As someone gets closer to the Core there is a soft whispering that can be heard, and as a person gets closer and closer the whispering never gains in volume, but it does become more and more clear. By the time someone is close enough to see the Core the voices in the whispering are very clear, and to this day no one has reported anything kind, or positive in any way coming from those voices. But all who have heard them will agree that to them the whispering came from voices familiar to them, and that anyone with them did not hear the things that they did.

            No one who has tried to climb down into the Core has come back up sane, and everyone who has just keeps ranting about the faces behind the voices. Other experiments to find out the depth of the Core have met with no success. The plan to drop a line down dropped in a little over three thousand feet of cord and found no bottom to the Core. Sonar and radar have both failed to get a signal back that makes sense, even though the only time they tried a sonar scan the person manning the listening station started crying after about five minutes, and has never worked again.

            The Core has been here since before there was a Delta City, and as far as anyone can tell it will be here after everything else is gone. Any efforts to cover it, or build directly on top of it have failed. The only exception is the roadway above, which does need to be repaved about once a year to keep it stable.


There are two companies that do the trash and recycling hauling in Delta City. Both are based outside of the city off the I-105 Industrial loop to the south of the city. This is also where all the local transfer stations are. It should be noted that out of all the services in the city garbage is the most challenging. Even though it is a challenging job for the people who have it the level of service and the fact that the city is as clean, as it is should let everyone know just how well a job these people do for us every day of the year.

The things that add to the challenge include that there are no local landfills, trash has to be hauled at least forty miles before it can be buried or burned. The second thing that adds to the challenge is that the two companies that do this service are not only not on the city payroll (this service was taken off the city lists in the thirties when the first of the companies was started up) and as such there are occasional ‘Trash Wars’, as the companies try to undercut each other’s price, or just cut up each other’s trucks. If things get really heated between the companies there have been times that fights break out between gangs of drivers and servicemen. If all that were not enough then you also have to know that in a place like Delta City, since anything can happen, anything can get tossed out. With that possibility it is not so strange to think about the trucks that the garbage men have at their disposal, or the gear that they store within them, or the fact that there are a lot of ex-military and bio-hazmat certified people on the job.


Cable T.V. and satellite services are an area of heated competition in the Delta City region. There are three primary companies that operate in the city limits. And all three offer services ranging from basic cable, to digital cable, to computer network hookups, and even satellite receivers and decoders. All three of them buy the services in bulk from the major providers and then sell at a local discount.

The competition between companies gets nowhere near as heated as the challenges facing the garbage men, but there are nights when one company or the other has to deal with a spiked signal. This is all done with a good humor and the companies actually seem to get along rather well. In the end the antics of the three companies, the pricing games and the spiked signals and the like all seem to make the heads of the companies look like siblings fighting for their parent’s approval instead of three companies trying to make a living.


Phone service in Delta City is clear and solid. Cell phone connections and satellite service are available city wide, and there is an initiative pending that would make local access to phone services as cheap as power.

With the only showing by local power players, the phone system is rather well wrapped up. The major provider of landlines for Delta City is Qwest Communications. They seem to have a rather solid control over the industry and only every year or two do they have some small upstart company try to take a shot at the title. Most of the time when this happens Qwest just drops their prices for a few months to make sure that no one can compete, and then moves back to normal operations when the up and comer has been bankrupted. The initiative that they are trying to get passed in the city council has been there for years, I really don’t think anyone will ever see it get thru.

            With the advent of cell phones though there is another competition going on. As with every part of the world there are dozens of not hundreds of little companies trying to get all lined up to take your money and put a phone in your hand. The big boys are out in force too, as the cities low hills and access to open water makes it a great area for reception. They found out when putting the service towers in that there was less need than they could have ever thought for them in the area as signals carry clean and clear in every part of the city save for in the sewer tunnels.


Internet service in Delta City is provided by a collection of different businesses, most of which are actually local, so they will definitely know how to handle your service questions quickly. The rates for most of them are very reasonable, but due to constant competition you are advised to shop around for the best deal for your needs.

            The power of the Internet. In Delta City there are dozens of small service providers that offer everything from basic services to web hosting. Prices are fairly standard to the market. What is interesting about the internet in Delta City is that the phone systems all seem to be up to date enough to handle the better broadband services, even in the older houses out along the coastline. This is thanks to the improvement bill passed by the city council, and ratified by public vote in the early eighties, that any significant upswing in technology would be met with an equally speedy upswing in services provided. This meant that as soon as the major upgrades to the phone system were available that the city could sue Qwest unless the city was immediately upgraded, and not only would the city tote the bill for the lawsuit, but they could name every person in the city as part of a class action suit if things did not go well on the initial suit.

            All in all, this inspires a thriving hacker community. With all the business targets, and rumors of hidden secrets in the city, there is no shortage of people trying to get to the next stage and be the best the city has ever seen. There is also the open challenge by Net 7 that anyone who can hack their database and find the file marked ‘The Truth’, will be immediately hired at an annual salary of seventy-five thousand dollars a year, and if the hacker in question is under the age of eighteen Net 7 will also pay their college tuition for up to six years at a school of their choice as long as they study something in the technology field, and agree to sign on for two years with the company after graduation. So far in the three years that this offer has been offered, no one has made it in to the file in question. But there is no sign that the attempts will stop any time soon. Due to this thriving community in Delta City, the need for talented IT people, coders, programmers, hardware specialists, and all the computer related fields in between is in higher demand here than most any other place on the planet.


            The schools in Delta City deserve a little extra mention. While there are a large number of public and private schools around the city the elementary and middle schools are very similar. They all offer the usual classes but they all also have the distinction of having advanced classes for exceptional students, mystical classes for children that are so inclined, restricted classes for youngsters with exceptional abilities that may prove hazardous to other students, and direct line communications with all police and fire departments.

            While this may seem like a series of hazards spread all over the city, it was actually put to a vote in the city in 1967 and the population decided that they would rather have their children close at hand instead of bussing them all over the city to get specialized education or protection. Surprisingly to all the people that were opposed to this it seems like this has actually worked quite well, the number of incidents and disasters at the lower numbered grade is so low that it looks more like one or two problems a year for the whole city. All in all, a very good record.

High Schools in Delta City are another story though.

            At the high school level there are a total of eight schools all over the city. Five of the schools are heavily specialized in one field or another. The other three are very general, with outsource classes at other schools that count toward graduation credits. This system was part of the 1967 vote that set the lower grade schools on the path that they are on. Strangely this also seems to have worked well as the older teens seem to get along better with the students that share their fixations and hobbies.

PHS 100 (Public High School 100) – AKA Combat High

This high school is located in the International District. It is renowned throughout the city as being the most advanced combat training institute save for Koji’s Dojo. If you can find a way to integrate fields of study with something combat relevant then this school has done so in a grand scale. The sports teams here are considered to be some of the most disciplined and some of the most dangerous.

PHS 101 (Public High school 101) – AKA Machine High

This high school focuses on mechanical and industrial education. They have auto clubs and design competitions that the entire city will turn out for. It is rumored that this school alone is the reason that Boeing has a R&D branch in Delta City. The school is located in the Industrial District to the south of the city.

PHS 102 (Public High school 102) – AKA Magus High

This high school has a focus on natural history and magical theory that is impressive to everyone. The school is located in the Historic Old Town section of the city. Surprisingly the number of strange incidents in this school is rather low. This is usually accredited to the staff and the teachers being rather good at what they teach and how they teach it. There is an outreach program from this school to Delta City College, where they have advanced classes for some of the really bright students.

PHS 103 (Public High school 103) – AKA Finance High

This high school has its main focus on business, language and management. It is said that if you are looking for a future leader in this or any other community then you need to start looking here. Located in the northern Business District, this school has the reputation of releasing some of the shrewdest graduated onto the college scene that you can imagine.

PHS 000 (Public High school 000) – AKA The Invisible School

While there are only limited rumors of this school on the books there can be no denying that this school is real. Its funding is rather impressive and part of that seems to stem from the fact that the school is never in the same place for more than a week at a time. As you may be able to tell this school has its main focus on teaching the arts of espionage, stealth, and intelligence. While this may seem to be a strange thing to teach at a high school level the kids here have been credited with solving more than a few crimes in the city since the school’s inception. The hardest part of getting classes going in this school is that someone has to find it to register the students.

PHS 104 (Public High school 104) – AKA Nerd base 1

While the nickname of the school is not all that complimentary it is hard to deny the level of education that is offered here. Most of the teachers seem like the people that you would more likely see in a college setting and they tend to treat the students as if they are on that level of education already. What is most unusual is the fact that this high school is located in the Commercial District on the south of the city. One of the most affluent areas in the city.

PHS 105 (Public High school 105) – AKA Delta Rich

This is one of the three general education high schools. With no particular focus of education its nick name comes strictly from its location. It is on the south end of the Old Beach Housing district, fairly close to Delta City College.  The raw money in the area tends to mean that this school has a lot of rather wealthy students in it.

PHS 106 (Public High school 106) – AKA Shoppers Paradise

This is one of the three general education high schools. With no particular focus of education its nick name comes strictly from its location. This school is located just across the street from the Delta City Mall. A favorite school among the ‘gotta have it’ crowd. It is also the school with the greatest problem with kids skipping classes. There have been several attempts to get the school moved but the costs of moving a whole high school are currently thought to be more than the costs to the students who are missing classes.

PHS 107 (Public High school 107) – AKA Between

This is one of the three general education high schools. With no particular focus of education its nick name comes strictly from its location. This school’s location is exactly half way between both Delta City College and Kymen College. This means that this school is the most heavily recruited from school in the city. As both colleges try to outdo each other to get the best from this school in their doors, they usually end up with some rather insulted parents.

There are also a few private schools at all levels of education in Delta City but they usually come from a religious base instead of a raw interest base. The private schools also seem to have a low enough student count that they will have all levels of primary education in them at once.

St. Agrippa SR Education Facility – AKA Holy High

There is no known religion on this earth that seems to have a St. Agrippa, and the education that is offered here would tend to reflect that. While many private schools seem to teach from a single religious bent, this school has equal representation of every religion that they can add. All of the teachers seem to not only be qualified teachers, but also venerated holy beings of one kind or another. Being located in the Artists’ Colony area of the city would seem to have had a beneficial effect on this academy.


“The diversity of Delta City is second to none in all the world, the only problem that I have with that is all the damned heathens that get into this town.” – Quote from Father Eisien from the Church of the Holy Sprocket

             ‘Delta City has a racial, social, and economic diversity that is only slightly skewed from its religious openness. In a city this large and this diverse it is interesting to note that religion is not only widespread but common. Usually in such large environs you see many people of different cultures mingling and religion gets suppressed as a way to keep people focused on the good that they can do for each other instead of focusing on their differences. Then as the environs evolves over time religion becomes a way to distinguish differences even inside a culture, and a way to hold on to yourself and your culture even if there are a lot of other thoughts and ideas around.

I know that this sounds contradictory but to understand religion in a city environ then you need to look at a picture of the area that takes not just moments, but decades if not centuries.

At the start of a social grouping religion is suppressed for the need of survival, as time goes on religion becomes the central source of self-identification. Once self-identification is seated then starts social isolationism and from that comes conflict. The “I am right you are wrong, bang, bang” effect as I call it. Now then what is unique about Delta City is that as a whole the city seems to have not gone past the point of self-identification. We have Catholics feely mixing with Wiccans, Muslims, Jews, Native Shaman and the others that spring up. Conflicts between the groups are social, not physical, and not to the point of isolating anyone. It is both beautiful and scary at the same time.

Why you ask is it scary? Because when the next step comes along in the evolution of the situation, well that is just going to make the changes bigger, harder, and potentially more violent.

Class dismissed.’ – Recorded at a class in religious diversity at Kymen College.

             So, I am taking it that you get the impression that everyone is going on happy as clams in the city when it comes to religion. While that may be the case on the surface I happen to know that there have been more than a few cases of people getting hired to make sure a certain yogi, priest, or shaman has an accident. This is part of that whole invisible crime wave that is going on in the city. While the actions are rarely successful they do happen more than a few times a year. Strangely the majority of the clergy in the city do try to stress acceptance and tolerance of all the possible faiths in the city. Then behind closed doors they go at each other like mad dogs. From what I got one of them to admit under the influence of a few good drinks, and no I won’t say what group he was from, he told me that the general thought is that the clergy are going to make the sacrifice for all the flock, last man or woman standing gets the hearts and souls of everyone in the city. Now if only we could get them out of the backrooms with this and put them into the park and just have them duke it out, might get more converts that way, and a pay per view event out of it too.


Being a coastal city in the state of Washington there are a few things that can be taken for granted. Yearly rainfall is rather high, but not like in the Olympic Mountains to the north, winter snowfall is uncommon, the fall storms are heavy with wind and rain, and in the spring most rivers in the area reach or exceed flood level.

During the spring and summer temperatures stay rather mild, not reach over seventy-five degrees most of the time, but there are days on record of temperatures hitting has high as ninety. In the winter and fall temperatures rarely drop below freezing, but on the days that it does icy roads are the rule.

Rainfall in the spring and fall are higher than in winter and summer, but not noticeably so to people from out of town.

Winds are mostly from offshore helping to keep the temperatures moderate, and the air flow helps to keep potential airborne pollution at a minimum.

Now then all that is the official word but everyone who has lived here for any length of time will tell you that there is more to the weather than just the usual coastal phenomena and the Washington State terrain effects on the weather.

            Delta City also gets some of its weather from the World Walls, it is not always beings that slip thru to this world from others, sometimes effects from the weather will slip thru too. It is a good thing that earthquakes do not seem to move thru them too.


Now then I know it is mentioned elsewhere in the guide, and most people are so used to it around here that they don’t really notice but I needed to say something again here in this overview part of the guide.

            Delta City, unlike a lot of other major metro areas has taken great care to make sure that the city is not totally overrun by concrete and steel. In addition to the preservation of the Historic Old Town region and the classic buildings in the Old Beach House district, and of course the classic works in Chinatown, the city has a very aggressive stance on building and keeping things green.

            What that aggressive stance means is that the city is a little more spread out than a city of this population would suggest. It means that there are trees, shrubs, and grassy spots all over the city, in most business parks, and even on the top of some of the city’s largest buildings. This does not mean that the city is overrun with foliage, but it is there. Even in the industrial regions there are tracts of trees between buildings. All in all, the green is a great help all over, cutting the pollution by absorption of a percentage of it, soaking up rain and snow run off to cut on flooding, shading buildings naturally and even giving those damnable ninjas a place to hide.

            On the potentially bad side this does mean that there is a large population of rodents, birds, coyotes, and the occasional wolf and deer in the city limits at all times. This is one of the reasons that having the trash under control is so monstrously important. But with the trash companies doing a good job, then comes the work of making sure that they do not spread too far too fast.

            To go along with the other creatures that wander the city from this earth that also means that there may be prey creatures from other worlds all over the city. Feeling the need to escape a predator or a situation they may find enough strength of will to escape here and to try eking out a living in the hidden places like their earthen counterparts.

            Overall it is very, very beautiful. But you will see very few open trash receptacles, and you will only usually see tourists leave the top down on convertibles, because both of them are too easy to get into otherwise. And there is no telling just what might be in that tree above you.

I think I am going to hold off on posting any more about the city in this post… posting in post… in … hmmm… ok redundancy department of redundancy.

Anyway. This should give you a little more flavor for the city circa 1990-2005.

Now gimme the dice, I have to see how hazardous it is to tickle a cat that just ate…

Keep gaming and have a blast out there folks.


Delta City part 2

Ok so after a week with more sick time in the house and the internet crapping out for a couple of days I am finally back to add more to the whole Delta City post.

Now then I have decided to run what I post on here in the same order that I originally wrote it. And after doing some grammar editing on it last week I found some really interesting tidbits. Like when I created prices for things while detailing out city services I had written everything with an idealistic view of what should be able to be done in 1998 to make things cost effective. Needless to say nearly twenty years later some things are going to sound ridiculous.

Another thing is that I never really made clear is that all of the history and details of the city section should sound like multiple voices. The original document creator and then notes from another person researching the background and details of the city. I think I succeed in making it sound like multiple people, but I cannot be sure how others would read it. If I had a way to really do more styling I would have made all the notes look hand written, in a way that ties them into the hand drawn maps I created.

Ok so first section to publish to the blog is history of the city. Now then in my original documents this is about 30-35 pages of material. I have no idea if the blog host will allow me to publish that much in one go, or if I did publish that much that anyone would bother to read it. So lets experiment shall we…

                        Part 1… The city itself


(As known by a very few)

Let me just start out by saying that I am not a real historian, but with my connections in and around Delta City I have put a few things together and decided to put them down on paper so that I can get a better grip on what I do and don’t know about this place. By taking historical dates and information from the city records and some diaries that I have managed to collect I think I put together a rather solid look at the history of the local area. Then there are the notes that I have added. Investigations and strangeness that I have added to help get a clearer picture of the City history. Hopefully it is not too confusing, but some of it is very stream of thought.

If you are reading this then you should know that the runes you saw on the back of every page will make you read the whole of this document, and then remove what little mind you have, so if anyone other than myself is reading this, I will see you soon, and you are unlikely to ever see anything again. So enjoy learning what you can from this.

Just kidding, I am hoping that this little historical tour and the official tourist guide to the Delta City area that I have modified for the benefit of those new to the city will help you get acclimatized faster than if you’re just a tourist.

Welcome to Delta City. Let the fun begin.

Compiled by David Carter, Delta City Historical Society


To get the full history of Delta City going back to the very beginning of time would not be a bad idea. Looking at all the forces that conspired to make reality come together, the energies that were unleashed, and the disagreements that apparently happened between those forces that caused all the divergent realities to spring up next to each other.

But going that far back in time and looking into things so far beyond the scope of mortal minds is a little beyond the skills and abilities of this author, so we will focus instead on the flow of time in the area that would become Delta City, making jumps forward as needed to skip the periods in time that things were mind numbingly mundane.

The area that would one day be the home of Delta City has always been an unusual place. Even in the times of Pangea there were things there that would draw attention to it. The two things most prevalent to the history of that area are that the world walls, the harmonics, the forces of divergent reality, whatever term you choose to apply to the forces that keep all the different possibilities of reality from happening in the same place at the same time, have been weak in this area from the start of all things. And the pit like presence of what is now called the Core has been here just as long. If there is a correlation between the two, this author cannot say, there are others who have suggested that the Core is a pin going through the cosmic all, and since it is so far from our reference we can only see the hole that its existence leaves in this reality. But as was said the comparative discussion of that is beyond the scope of this writing.

In the past the area around Delta City has been a haven for things not of this world. Beings looking for peace, entities looking for change, and many other things for many other reasons. It is thought that a great many creatures that were in the area, including dinosaurs, would have left this world immediately after the crash of the asteroid that lead to the fall of most of the dinosaur population. This would have left the area open for new inhabitants as the world reinvented itself.

Since there is no real need to go back as far as that, in detail anyway, let us instead look at something closer, the last ice age.

Up to that point in time there were visits from other realities had put very few beings into that area for more than a little while at a time. But during the last ice age there is evidence to suggest that two clans of being came through the world walls looking for some new place to call home. One of the clans migrated to the north, and if the historical theory is correct, passed the tribes that crossed into the Americas to become the for-fathers of the Native Americans. This is mostly conjecture due to the lack of records on the Sasquatch and the Yeti. But the storytelling time lines would be appropriate. With the Sasquatch driving deep into the mountains and developing a very naturalist culture while the Yeti moved into their mountains in the Asiatic areas and to all apparent stories let flourish a very philosophical and possibly technological culture. This bridging of worlds, both literally and culturally could help explain the divergence that built up between the Native American cultures, and yet their massive similarities. This author has been assured that this version of history is indeed accurate, and the person who related the tale leaves no room for doubt in mind.

Shortly after the land bridge started to fall came the historical flood that so many cultures remember. With ice melting in years, not centuries, and water levels raised so quickly that even the most advanced human culture on the planet was caught by surprise. The Atlantis culture that had been born during the ice age was falling apart. Survivors from the culture spread all over the world, trying to help other peoples survive something that may well have been the fault of Atlantis. Some will say that they were looking for a way to warm their cities, some have suggested that they were using a weapon or magic that went far beyond their control, some say they challenged the lords of creation and failed. Whatever the reason the culture of Atlantis fell, its people scattered, and some few who knew of the area around Delta City are sure to have come to that place to see if they could find another world to call home instead of staying on this Earth with the memories they had forged.

After the Atlantis survivors that passed the world walls the area was rather quiet for several thousand years. As cultures rose and fell around the world, there were indeed visitations from other worlds. And some of those people and creatures stayed. Some became local legends to the area, some traveled the world, and more than a few left it all together. There are local stories that suggest at some thousand years before Columbus, or even Leif Eriksson crossed the Atlantic that there was another mass exodus that passed the world walls. There are stories of days of light. Stories about arrows or stars that shot from the earth and went into the sky, no evidence was left behind, but it would appear that something from somewhere else was in a great hurry to leave something behind and get as far from it as fast as possible. But this is not something to worry about unless connections are drawn to it and later events.

As time rolled on the Native American tribes in the area came to regard the area that would become Delta City as something mystical, a place of reverence. No hunting or gathering was allowed in the area, for it was hoped that by not disturbing the area things would remain in balance. There are stories in at least one of the local tribes that suggest that the Core was looked into, and that there may have been several people lost to it at more than one time. But no one can be sure just what the truth behind those tales are. Even though they suggest the Core, it may well have been a wave of illness or some other bleakness that befell the people of the area. Instead of lingering on inaccurate translations on non-linear language though let us move forward to the times closer to the present.

The following events are placed in the   years that they happened, as specific dates are a little beyond me for the most part.


1540 +- The man who calls himself Marcus, and is known to the people of the McGregor Sanitarium as John Doe 17, first appeared on this world and started to watch the flow of time at an accelerated rate. No one is known to have ever spotted him until around 2001, but my sources tell me that this is the point that he arrived in this world.

(Note – Try to find Marcus again and get the full version of his view of this place and how he came to be here.)

1774 – Spanish exploration ships begin looking over the northern areas of what would become Oregon and Washington. While they apparently spotted the inlet that would become Grey’s Harbor they did not see fit to explore it.

(Note – This could be one of the first real examples of the ‘Forgetfulness’ about the area that seems to happen if you do not live here. I should talk to some of the Native American elders and see if they have any stories about people not remembering this place, unless it was home.)

1785 – British trade ships start to converge in the area to protest the Spanish control of the area.

(Note – It seems unlikely that after eleven years of trying to build a fur and resource trade with the natives that no Spanish ship would have come into the cove area but according to the records that is just what happened. I am of the opinion that the landmass that would become known as Industrial Island might have given the illusion that there was no harbor here, or just a small inlet, but from the sea today you can easily see the open inlet. I guess someone will have to get a working, time machine for me to know for sure just what they did and did not see.)


1789 – British trade captain Grey finally explores the harbor that now bears his name. Even after the exploration of the harbor area it is discounted as a prime harbor but it is noted as a place to put up for shelter as the island in the inlet blocks much of the ocean wind and helps reduce the waves greatly.

(Note – I can only guess that Grey had no intention of making the area home, and the area responded in kind somehow. There are stories that some of the local Native Americans tell that illustrate how the British sailors did not even spend a full day mapping the area. The natives did find their schooner impressive though.)

1796 – Independent British traders establish a trading post on the northeastern corner of the island in Grey’s Harbor. The men who established this location at the time had no connection to any of the major British trade houses, but did their level best to work trades with everyone. The monies that they raised in their endeavor did draw attention to them but not until they had already made the island their home, and shortly thereafter, even the people holding grudges seemed to forget how to get in touch with them.

(Note – While the note under the 1774 entry does seem to imply the forgetfulness that this area inspires this entry states it bluntly. The men working in the area were forgotten by their enemies, very useful to have if you’re playing more than one side against the middle. Second note – Get back to the library and write down the books that this was found in for future reference.)

1801 – Local diaries tell a story about a ship of unknown origin laying anchor just off the island and a crew of very fine-featured people that brought some rather wondrous trade items to the trade post. Apparently, the local Native Americans were not surprised to see this vessel, but the level of trade items that they brought and what they asked for in return shocked the people running the post.

(Note – If I am right about the entries that I am reading in these diaries then it would seem that this was a shipload of elves, assiar, fae, whatever you want to call them, trading things like silks and wines for things like furs and a case of black powder. Overall, I think the post got the better end of the deal, but the lack of surprise by the natives seems to suggest that this kind of trading was not unknown to them.)

Also – The use of steam powered water pumps is initiated in Philadelphia.

1807 – The young United States temporarily bans all foreign trade.

1811 – John Jacob Astor’s Pacific Fur Company begins trading furs in the area.

(Note – From the records I have been able to find it would seem that not only did the Pacific Fur Co. start trading in the area in that year, but they helped set the foundations for Aberdeen with their posts. Strangely enough the records also show that most of the trading being done in the area by Astor’s company was with the trading post established fifteen years earlier on the island by the independent traders. I guess that fifteen years of good business made the locals a little wary of the new company in town.)

1812 – Tobias Alter, his Native American wife (Note – Still trying to find her name anywhere. She seems to be almost a work of fiction, but there are tintypes of the two of them so she must have been real.) and several of their friends from the Aberdeen post, join up with several of the independent traders from the island and lay the foundation for the building of a city in the area. They establish that they wish to keep trade and the city separated just in case there is trouble in the future. So, the construction of Fort Alter is started. Historically it is placed at the crossroads of 7th and Alter.

(Second note – There is no historical evidence that that really was the location of the fort, this is all local hype, or so it seems. There is an archeological dig outside of the city limits much closer to Aberdeen that may be the true location of the fort, but we will not know for sure for a few years.)

1813 – The main ships of the Pacific Fur Company are captured and sold to the North-West Company. This effectively ends the Pacific Fur Company, and allows a great many of the records about Tobias Alter and his associates disappear as well. Trade continues out of the Fort Alter area though and the island is still a point that many of the locals come to for selling furs and other interesting finds in the area. The North-West Company tries to solidify their influence on trade in the area by setting up forts and charting out trade districts. The Fort George District ends on the southern edge of Grey’s Harbor officially. Unofficially the area around Grey’s harbor remains fully in the control of Fort Alter and the independent traders.

(Note – Could the loss of records be part of the effect of the area, I know I have not bothered to file a tax return for the last seven years and no one in the IRS seems to care, could it be the same thing?)

1815 – Transient traders, explorers, and a few of the local Native Americans now permanently reside in Fort Alter. This pushes the local permanent non-native population to over 100, and the local native population residing in the fort at over 30. This is the year that the first grain mill, and wood wright’s open shop. The fort begins to become self-sufficient.

Also – Several ‘fine boned folk’ disembark from a unique trading ship in the harbor and set up residence in the fort.

(Note – This would appear to be a small group of elves, or mayhap just some fine-featured humans, not really sure. I have to admit at this point that the diaries I am using are damned old and trying to read what passes for French and English at the time is a pain in the ass, I could very easily be misinterpreting all of this. Then again, I could be right.)

1816 – A woman named Grace arrives and using money and barter opens up a bar.

(Note – Sorry but I promised not to say anything.)

1817 – Not a historical note but something that I found in the diaries of a few of the people who apparently lived in the fort. The people living in the fort seemed to start to see the effects of the area, and how it makes people outside forget about it. The diary entries seem to have a lot of heartbreak in them about families back east no longer writing, no longer making contact of any kind. If they did not really understand the effect at least they noted it.

1818 – Tobias Alter recognizing that the main trade from goods in the area is with the Chinese makes official policy regarding trade with that nation. The basic policy is that no matter which government body is in control of the area that trade relations through the fort and the island docks will remain open to the Chinese.

(Note – These rules are still on the city books and city charter. Even during the times that the United States had officially severed trade relations with China their ships and business were still welcome in this area. It would appear that you don’t have to live here to know it is an important place, because trade with China has always been good business.)

1821 – The North-West Company merges with the Hudson Bay Company. During this merger all the remaining records of the people in Fort Alter, and their business, is lost. Most people begin to disregard the area around Grey’s Harbor as unsuitable for trade. Even though the people of Fort Alter are still making a good living with trade with the Chinese.

Also – The first dredging project in the harbor begins.

Also – The first seawall is started.

Also – The two docs at the end of the island are expanded, one is ‘modified’.

(Note – Ok that is a lot to happen in one year, and it points heavily to the foresight of the people running the trade and the fort, that they wanted to make sure that the ships coming in would have all the space they needed at the docks and under their ships. What I don’t understand though is that the total population of the area seemed to be only about one hundred fifty people or so, that does not include the natives as they kept their numbers to themselves. That’s one hell of a lot of work to be done by that few people. I have a funny feeling that some of the workers on these projects are beings that stepped thru the world walls around this time. Either that or there is an aquatic race in the harbor that helped out that no one has on the books. I don’t know which idea to look into first.)


1823 – Fort Alter burns to the ground in an accident that killed only one person. This is seen as a stroke of luck and rebuilding is begun immediately. The rebuilding though is not as a fort, but the original layout of streets is mapped so that expansion can begin and so can the selling of land. The natives make Alter and his aides aware of the Core and what they know of it so that they can be sure to build around it.

(Note – If the current historical theory is correct this is when the area of the original fort was abandoned and the move a few miles away made for the start of the city to come. Some of the diaries that I have obtained speak of rumors that the fire that burned down the fort was not an accident, but set on purpose. Again, this is something that I would need a working time machine to investigate, as I have found no immortals in the city that know about this time. No not even she will talk about it.)


1824 – Alter officially changes the name from the Alter Township, to Delta Township. No one is sure why, but when it is explained that the old Greek letter for change is Delta, most of the town smiles and agrees that it fits.

1825 – Gremlins.

(Note – That’s the only way to describe what happened that year. Things breaking, people vanishing, small fires, and general chaos for over a month, then it just stopped. I have a feeling that something or some things very small or that the locals could not see slipped through the world walls and started causing trouble.)

1827 – Epidemics begin sweeping through the Native American population. The worst of them hits from 1830 – 1833. As malaria epidemic sweeps the region killing between 60 and 90% of each tribe it hits. During this time the Native Americans in the slowly growing Delta Township open their doors to the sick and do their best to help. The traders operating out on the island stop bringing in certain goods and do their best to bring in medicines to try and help. The area around Delta Township has the best survival rates in the northwest because of this.

(Note – I say it was greed. The best trappers and hunters in the northwest were the Native Americans. They could do things that no one else could on the land, and I would lay down a hefty bet that the incoming illnesses were not accidental. Then again, they could have been.)

1830’s (Late) – 1840’s – More and more settlers start moving into the area. The Willamette Valley to the south in what was to become Oregon had the most, but from time to time more and more people were finding their way north into the area of the Delta Township. The population growth from this incoming migration was not as staggering as it was for the areas like what became Portland, but the steady pace made it rather easy for the Township to control growth and do their best to keep it organized.

1830 – Electromagnetic motor invented. It would be a few years before a use was found for this invention though.

(Note – According to the diary of one of the younger people in the city at this time it would appear that the electric motor was already being used in several things in the city. There are descriptions of certain businesses humming. The way the statement was written makes me think not of something doing a lot of business, but that there was a hum coming from the structures.)

1835 – Photography invented.

(Note – Much to the bane of the ninja, I am going to find them here in Delta City, somewhere.)

1836 – The revolver changes the face of gun use.

(Note – For a period of about a month after the revolver started to go on sale in Delta City there are stories of fights, and trades with several beings that landed at the dock that had been ‘modified’. These beings looked human in the dark, but in the sunlight their skin glowed black and their ship hummed with a life its own. These beings apparently claimed that the gun would be the doom of the human race. They wanted to save us from our own self-destructive behavior it would seem. Or did they just want a bunch of guns. Sorry to be so stream of thought in this entry tortured reader, but there are 15 diary entries from this time and they all seem to view these people/beings differently. It’s amazing really)

1837 – Tobias Alter dies at the age of 59. His will states that at the point if his death that control of the Township should be put to a vote, and that he felt that everyone, white, Native American, black, and even the Chinese who had decided to make this place their home should have a say. This caused more than a little disharmony in the city as the standing of Native Americans was very much in question, and the blacks and Chinese technically had no rights in this area, but as was stated very eloquently by Mrs. Alter, ‘If you live here you are a part of this growing town, what right do those outside have to say who lives here and who does not.’ This was the only time she is known to have spoken publicly, and the only time she had the chance to as she left the area to mourn her husband’s death alone in the mountains.

Also – Telegraph invented.

Also – The first power tools are invented.

1841 – Delta City water project starts.

(Note – I found this little tidbit to be rather interesting. It would appear that the new management of Delta City knew even in 1841 that having water for everyone was going to be a key note in the future of the city. The project itself appears to have been a combination of linked wells and working on an underground system based off the structure of roman aqueducts. I think those are some of the oldest structures in the city’s underground, and they still work! From here on out I am going to include estimated Delta City population every few years, it looks like the city grew a lot faster than most in the region, and stabilized later than most. Given the nature of the area, that hardly seems surprising. Estimated population at this time is a little over three thousand permanent residents in the area that would become the city limits, this does not include the staff of the trading post and docks that is on the island. Numbers on that bunch don’t become stable enough to count for another few decades, but I am thinking from the level of trade that is being done in the area that there had to be at least a couple hundred if not more out there.)

1843 – Vulcanized rubber is invented.

1844 – The Oregon Territory outlaws black immigration.

(Note – This pathetic little law was something that stayed on the books for a long time and then vanished. It is interesting to note that when the word of the law reached Delta City, it was not only disregarded, but it was campaigned against.)

1846 – The Oregon Treaty establishes the border between the United States and Canada. This also officially puts the Oregon Territory in the control of the United States government. There is now official law and regulation in the territory.

(Note – It seems a little strange to say that there was official law and regulation. Delta City seems to have long set its own rules and laws on many topics. Sometimes even disregarding federal regulations in favor of what the locals would prefer.)

Also – Sewing machine invented.

1849 – A small group of blacksmiths and other metal workers team up to make a business in the area between them. Forge is the name they give their group effort.

Also – The Land Grant Act offers 320 acres of land to anyone willing to homestead in the western United States.

(Note – When Forge put itself together it looks like one of the reasons all the smiths involved teamed up was to come up with a way to make sure there was not another gremlin problem. It really looked more like a self-defense thing than a profit idea. Looking at Forge today though you cannot say that it was a money losing idea. Local population at this time looks to have jumped to almost six thousand. From what I can see in the local records a great majority of the people coming into the area were not arriving by boat or the Oregon trail, which would suggest that there was a lot of activity in the world walls, this may be another reason behind the Forge alliance, it would not be easy to compete with mystical or fantastical technologies if you are limited to the current technologies.)

1850 – 1855 – During this five-year period there are over twenty treaties with Native Americans that are arranged by the governor of the territory that go to congress for ratification. The only one that makes it through congress is one that was established on the behalf of Delta City residents. This treaty, unlike most of the others, does not try to establish controlled living spaces for the Native Americans, but establish their right to trade their goods and services freely in Delta City. The loose wording of the treaty effectively gives all Native Americans the right to free trade in Delta City, not just the local tribes.

1851 – Chinatown declares itself an independent city.

(Note – This might look like a strange move but if you look at the maps of the time you can see that what is now the City Center and the Historic Old Town regions were expanding in all directions. The Industrial area on the south-east side of the city was staring to build up, with the Forge alliance and other noisy and smelly [visit a leather shop that uses classic techniques if you don’t understand] businesses moving out that far to keep from hindering the growth of trade in the city and on the island.)

1853 – The Washington Territory is established.

Also – Grace’s closes the doors on its second shop. A third opens just a few weeks later, apparently owned by the ‘cousin’ of the first Grace.

1854 – With the continued growth of the city an official sewer project is started. Many end points are considered and then discarded before an underground solution is settled upon. Over the next several decades all the areas that are served by the original city water system have secondary and larger tunnels dug nearby to allow the wastewaters to flow to a point several miles south of the city. Many of these tunnels are still in use today.

(Note – When I first found out about this set up I did my best to track the sewers to the end of the line and find the dumping out ground. At first, I had my suspicions that even though the official record was south of Delta City, that I would find the dumping spot for the sewers at the Core. Strangely enough, even with nearly constant calls to Ms. Carter at the city offices, I was unable to find this endpoint. I did find venting tunnels that lead to the coast south of the Beach House district, but they are set up in such a way that nothing can go up, save for air. I found other points of exit around the waste facilities, but never a dumping ground for the waste. It is impossible for the physics of this dimension to allow something to go on forever, and or go nowhere, so I can only assume that there is a spillway into another world down there somewhere. I hope whoever the city is dumping their crap on never decides to dump back. Also, to look at the layout and the tunnels that I did find it would be safe to say that there was a massive crowd that worked on this project. The fact that is went all over the area, and into places that had no real homes and the like yet would seem to suggest that they had an idea about how the city would develop, if not a plan. Also, some of the tunnels appear not to be made by digging and then laying in massive tubes, but hollowed out of the ground itself. This is an impressive engineering feat for the times and might suggest that there was more to the project that first thought. Note to self – look into the possibility that some of these tunnels were natural and just ‘finished’ by the people making the system.)

1855 – 1858 – Several minor Indian Wars break out all over Washington, Oregon and Idaho. During all of this Delta City is respected as a neutral ground by the Native Americans, so their trade treaty stays in effect.

1855 – 1864 – Minor gold rushes in Idaho, Oregon and Eastern Washington creates and influx of new blood into Delta City. Being a very convenient waypoint for miners heading up from California, and slightly closer to Oregon but not as expensive to equip in as Portland, Delta City sees growth in a great many ways. From people just going through the city to somewhere else, to new small businesses being created to serve the moving people, the change in population is a daily thing.

(Note – Being of a conspiratorial mindset I cannot help but think that these last two sets of dates are interrelated. Yes, most of the conflicts have something to do with trying to move the locals from one place to another, but if you note that the gold was coming out of areas that no longer had natives in them, it would look like someone knew what was going to be found there and moved them out before hand. Then overcrowding and the like leads to a boiling point and the wars happen, well away from the gold mining, but they still happen.)

            1856 – A small group of very short and very large men come through Delta City to head toward the gold rushes. These people are noted due to their return late in the same year with very little gold but a fervent desire to add their skills to the Forge group.

(Note – Dwarves and what? That was the only thing that these beings could be that I can put together. It is the big ones that make me wonder, especially since none of the local graveyards from that time have any names like Flamebeard in it, so I have to wonder if they are still alive in the city or not.)

1857 – Delta City and Chinatown agree to set aside area that Native American families and traders can gather in and still be under the protection of Delta City’s trade treaty. This agreement would last until 1894, when the area is officially incorporated into the expanding Delta City and becomes the groundwork for the International District in later years.

(Note – Another strange yet forward thinking act on the part of the growing Delta City. This idea specifically put aside some area for those not belonging to either of the rapidly growing majority ethnic backgrounds, European and Chinese. Even though the area was later absorbed back into the city itself the freedom that the region would develop in mixing itself together just seems to be a natural. Local population seems to be running at about eleven thousand in Delta City, three thousand in Chinatown, two thousand on the island, and about one thousand in the Native American freehold. Just to make sure it is clear, numbers like this are unusual at this time unless you are a major city like New York or San Francisco. In a great many ways Delta City is just like them. But its seclusion from the rest of the world would seem to make this an anomaly.)

Also – The first passenger elevator is put into use.

1858 – The first electric burglar alarm.

(Note – I included this here because it would appear that in the same year that the Forge Group put some of these items into the foundry that they had established. Interesting to see a first line invention put to use by a company that makes steel items. But then again by this time Forge was starting to gain a reputation for some of the best-made steel items on the west coast. It is no secret that as soon as trains hit the area they started bringing the engines to the Forge yard for reworking and for new pipes to be fit into the boilers. While this may not seem like very technical work to some, it is technical and dangerous, but the money paid by the rail roads made it well worth the time.)

1859 – Darwin’s “Origin of Species”

Also – The first oil well is sunk.

1860 – Logging hits the Northwest. As one of the major long-term businesses of the region it will have very little impact on Delta City as a whole. The main business point for logging in the immediate area is Aberdeen. Delta City does benefit from the logging in Aberdeen though, with the city’s open trade agreement with China, and continued improvements to the mouth of Grey’s Harbor to ensure that the city remains a deep-water port, trade goods needed in the region for loggers, and wood products going out keep adding to the business in Delta City. Footnote – By 1880 Washington was ranked 31st in logging production, by 1890 it was 5th, and by 1905 it was ranked 1st.

(Note – There is actually an official city record of a vote being taken as to if the city would join in the logging industry directly or just work as traders for the lumber coming out of the area. Not only did the people vote to keep logging out of the area but also, they put a conservation act for the city limits on the bill and passed it the next year. The city’s conservation act actually states that for any tree cut down either a new tree must be planted or eight shrubs that have a tendency for high growth will be planted. Not only is this law still on the books but also the city takes it very seriously. This could explain why so many of the neighborhoods and districts have all the trees and green in them.)

Also – The repeating rifle is brought to the field.

1861 – 1865 – The American Civil War

(Note – While this may seem like a small historical note, it is not. Delta City was involved with the Civil War on a great many fronts and several books have been written on the topic already so all I will do is paraphrase what has come before. Underground Railroad, Delta City was an end point for many on that road. North or South, Delta City never officially took a side in the war. Some of the best doctors they had in town at the time headed for the war though in an effort to save lives on both sides. Some ideas for weapons and armor for the war came from the Forge group. Overall Delta City was far enough away from the main conflicts of the war that a position of neutral was maintained. These are just the highlights; there is a lot of history in those five years.)

1863 – Roller skates invented.

(Note – I figured after seeing things like guns and war a little levity was needed in the timeline. That and the fact that even with a lack of paved streets (most were stone or brick) roller skates were a very popular mode of transit in Delta City for several years after they were invented.)

1864 – Michael Stone and David Briar, both geologists from the Boston area back east, meet in Delta City and decide to team up to start a quarry with the interesting rock finds they have made in the hills around Delta City.

(Note – These two and their descendants seem to have such an affinity with the rock of the area that they could find things that normally are not attributed to the North-west. While not a major business at the moment they would see a lot of work come to them in the future. Even though it is ten years after the sewer project started I can only believe that these two helped in the making of the tunnels. As there is no official end date to the sewer project and from what I saw of the tunnels, it may still be going on today.)

1865 – Offset printing is developed.

1867 – Type writer invented.

Also – Delta City’s main newspaper, The Tradesman, is established.

(Note – It is not unusual to see a newspaper that is almost one hundred and fifty years old. Not if you are on the east coast. The archives for this paper though are very, very useful. It looks like the paper started out as a trade journal for the city. Letting everyone know what was trading the best and what the latest strange ships or lights from the sky had offered in exchange for what. It looks like instead of a fat cat paper that wanted only the rich to get richer, The Tradesman started out doing its best to get everyone in Delta City a shot at making it rich.)

1868 – The first official Unites States trade treaty with China is passed.

(Note – While this is the record of the first ‘official’ trade treaty with China, Delta City had been involved in trade with China from the start. Then again so were many of the trade towns that were built up during the early 1800’s. Even though the Delta City area is still just a part of Washington Territory at the time, this means that other areas are now opening themselves to direct trade with China. I have a feeling that if it were not for the options open to Delta City in their trade with other worlds, that Seattle and San Francisco may have taken away the trade relations that kept the area strong. But really, how could Seattle compete with the access to other worlds, even if it was not talked about loudly.)

1870 – The first pneumatic subway is put into use.

Also – A commission is set up to begin regulation of commercial fishing and hatcheries in the United States.

1871 – Delta City and Chinatown officially merge into one city. The initial agreement for Chinatown’s self-sufficiency is struck.

(Note – This was a major turning point in the history of Delta City and the surrounding area. Merging the two growing communities into one city gave them a collection of connections that would make them a trading powerhouse for a while. The local population total is somewhere over thirty thousand by this time and Delta City is starting to import food goods from outside their local area. Trade has become the only way to keep the city alive as there are not enough farms in the area to keep everyone fed.)

1874 – Three ships of unknown origin dock at Delta City for five days.

(Note – The descriptions given of these ships would suggest that not only have the elves returned, but that some other group of beings would like to make trade with the Delta City region. One of the things that apparently came from this visit was that the families of Davis and Smythe either came to town at the same time or came off the boats. There is also a report that some of the people from the ships and some of the people from Forge met and either threw a party or had a major fight. With some of the crowds around here it is sometimes hard to tell the difference.)

Also – The first structural steel bridge is erected.

1875 – The electric dental drill is invented.

Also – The mimeograph, the predecessor of the photocopier is invented.

Also – Just outside of the city limits two large objects engage in a conflict that lasts a little over three hours. Both are described as looking like men towering over twelve feet high, one covered in strange writing, the other made of metal and arcing with electricity.

(Note – I can only think that this was the first of the open conflicts between the Davis and Smythe families. I just hope that the current members of the family don’t decide to pull those things out again or make them bigger, they would do a hell of a lot more damage in this day and age.)

1876 – Early spring has reports of flying lights landing on the island and things that no one can explain trying to open up trade accounts for local food items.

(Note – I really have no idea. Aliens, other dimensional creatures, whatever they were once again the local Native Americans were not surprised, and the traders on the island seemed to get the better of the deal. Strangely though there are a few older families in the area that still have items from those trades that they cannot figure out if they are art or just what. Having looked at a few of these things myself I am sad to say I am just as confused as the people who own them.)

Also – The telephone is invented.

1870’s (Late) – Northern Pacific Rail picks Tacoma as the Puget Sound Terminus for their rail lines. The city planers for Delta City meet with the senior officials of NPR while they are in Tacoma and secure a deal that will insure that any spur of their line that goes into Olympia will also go into Delta City.

(Note – With trade being the lifeblood of this city I can only think that this deal was one of the keys in keeping the city alive. With the expanded access that rail would give them to the rest of the United States there was no way they would run out of supplies, and the items that they could get in trade from Asia and the otherworldly contacts that seemed to be slowly developing could make their way to larger markets back east and into California.)

1877 – Salmon fishing as an industry hits the west coast. Due to the free trade agreements and treaty with the Native Americans, Delta City deals itself a severe trade blow by banning any non-Native American fishing trawlers in their port. This restriction is only on the salmon trade but there are a great many other vessels that turn to Seattle as a friendlier port to the fishing trade. There is an exception to this, whaling. Although the waters around Delta City are protected by mutual agreement, there are many Native American Groups with connections to Chinatown traders that end up making alliances in bringing all things whale into Delta City.

Also – The phonograph is invented.

1879 – The first reports from people working in the underground of two things, shifting tunnels and predatory creatures. With the water and sewer tunnels size the arrival of predators should not have been a surprise, but the fact that the tunnels themselves seemed to have been in places other than where they were set was.

(Note – There are suggestions in the city records that this was not the first time something like this was reported. There are hints that even during initial construction there was an area that had to be tunneled through three times in a week before the tunnel itself stayed in place long enough to be cemented. Most of these are put off as being people out of their skulls or drunk. The fact that there is an official city record of this at this point in time suggests that it had become common enough that they needed to keep a record of it. As for the predators, the occasional wolf or mountain lion I am certain they would not have given much thought to, but ‘a thirty-foot-long serpent’, and ‘something that was all fangs and claws’, both being on record suggest that there was a lot more than wolves going on in there.)

1880 – A young woman named Lucy Carter joins the Delta City staff.

Also – Of the strange ships that dock at the city harbor from time to time this is the first time that one full of immigrants is seen. Almost five hundred people of various races and species disembark and apply for citizenship within a period of a few days. After six days another ship of similar design is seen in the harbor and the first sets sail, only to be sunk in the harbor by hostile fire from the second boat.

(Note – The descriptions of this fight in the local paper and in some of the diaries I have obtained make the fight look like it happened between mages on both boats. There is no record of the second boat leaving, nor is there word if anyone survived, or if there was anything left in the harbor. Might be worth getting a rental on a mini sub and checking out the area for leftovers.)

1881 – McGregor Sanitarium established.

(Note – This is someplace that I have strived to avoid in all my time in Delta City. I have done no personal investigation of the place, and even in my description of the city I just have the tendency to say, ‘yup’ there it is. This place was built gothic and impressive. I have never been sure if it looks like it was meant to keep people in, or keep them out. And that scares me a little.)

1882 – The United States puts an immigration ban on the Chinese. This is in response to the growing fears, outrage, and just plain prejudice that is pouring out of California and other states that have long used the Chinese people as cheap labor, but now that people are settling in greater numbers from the eastern United States, there is a need to enforce the classic ruling class. It should be noted that even with this ban in effect the official numbers for immigration are all that are on record, and unofficially there were many Chinese that entered the United Stated through British Columbia, Mexico, and Delta City. This ban would officially last for ten years, ending in 1892.

Also – The electric fan is invented.

(Note – Population seems to level out for a while, it looks like there were about one hundred ten to one hundred and thirty thousand people in the Delta City area at this time. Making it one of the largest cities west of the Mississippi. That makes for a population growth of four to five times what it was just thirty years before. I cannot imagine that would have been fun to watch. Even though I put this note here, it looks like this growth rate returns again in a few years. I wonder if I could find an accurate list of population growth in the city. I have a funny feeling that it would almost look like a tidal flow chart.)

1885 – Official records show that there were a little over eight hundred miles of rail in Washington. Over ninety of those miles are linking Delta City to Olympia and points beyond.

Also – Rabies vaccine.

1886 – Racial tensions in Seattle between whites and Chinese end up in an evacuation of Seattle by all but a couple thousand of the Chinese residents. Most of the Chinese that leave Seattle permanently go to other cities to establish new lives. Delta City is on the short list of most common places to evacuate to.

1887 – Dawes Act passes in congress. Delta City calls a local election in response to this and holding an open vote repeals the act by a 25 to 1 majority. It should be noted that Delta City was the only city at the time that not only allowed Blacks to vote but Native Americans as well, all you needed was proof of local residence.

Also – The Klondike gold rush begins. Delta City is not in as good a place as Seattle to cater to this new gold rush, but there are those that use Delta City as a launching point instead of Seattle, and a good many of the ones that do end up returning to Delta City after the rush.

(Note – It looks like there were not only people from this earth interested in the gold rush, there are a number of records and pictures of people that just don’t look quite human heading out of the city toward the gold. It would appear that a good portion of the people who came back were not only the unusual ones but the regular humans as well. Best I can tell that means that there are several not humans still out there in the world. It would be interesting to find some of them and see just how they are getting along in a world that really has no idea what they are and probably would not accept them for what they really are if it did know. For those that do not know what the Dawes Act was, and still is, it was the action by congress that gives the president the authority to not only put native populations on reservations, but generally deal with them as they are seen fit by those in power. No wonder the locals voted it down.)

1888 – Candalmas arrives.

Also – The Kodak camera is invented.

(Note – It was not hard to miss Candalmas in the records. It is not often that someone in immigration actually writes down Satyr as the race of someone. In fact, Candalmas is the only one I have seen in the city records. That by no means is to say he is the only one. There are at least two others that I know of which means that there are at least a couple more.)

1889 – Washington becomes a state.

Also – The first dishwasher.

(Note – The day that Washington became a state was met with a few parties in the city and also the first official presentation of a vote to secede from the union. There is a separatist party in the city that to this day is trying to find a way to make Delta City a place that is totally independent from the United States. There has never been enough support to get the city to give it a shot. But it does get closer every year. I would not be surprised if during the next city elections that at least one of the separatists gets into office, which will be something very interesting to watch.)

1890’s – Forrest preservation is taken up in Washington State. When the first conservation and preservation acts are passed in the State senate Delta City celebrates by establishing the two main city parks.

1890 – The Alaska gold rush begins. See notes on the Klondike.

1891 – Eight potential garbage companies start to form as Delta City officially ends its control over that business.

Also – The escalator is invented.

(Note – To those familiar with the current state of affairs between the garbage companies, and think it’s a little out of hand, check your history. It would appear that the eight companies that started out trying for Delta City’s trash were not only more violent, but also more open about it. The next several years would not be a lot of fun, at least as far as trash was concerned. I just want to know which of the companies today has their hands on the “…large glowing blob that seemed to suck everything, even my poor cat Mittzy right off the streets. Sure, it’s clean, but I miss my cat.” That’s a quote from a diary. Makes you wonder, eh?)

1892 – The gas-powered car comes to life.

(Note – There are records in the city about vehicles like the old Model T and even things like trucks and tanks before this. I just thought it was important to note exactly when we are credited on this earth with creating the damn things. Sure, if you look at the city records for 1854 there is something in them about a machine driving into the dock area, loading up stuff and driving off, and everyone on the docks wanting one. It looks like I need to look a little more closely at the whole situation with the busses. I will explain that later.)

             1893 – Great Northern Rail places its Puget Sound terminus in Seattle. Through some rather impressive negotiations Delta City managers establish a deal with GNR that matches the deal made with NPR, there by securing rail services for Delta City solidly.

Also – The zipper is brought to us. It becomes popular but will not really become famous until later.

1894 – University of Washington ground breaking.

Also – A ship of unknown origin is reported to have risen out of the harbor and proceeded to dock at the piers. Trading seemingly impossible metals and milled goods for things like roller skates, yo-yos, candies, and the recipe for Graces homemade beer. Twelve hours later the boat moves away from the docks and apparently sinks. No trace of it was ever found in the harbor though.

(Note – Ok I just have to think that this was the good fucking sub lollypop. Unless of course Peter Pan got a hold of the Nautilus. What the hell is going on with all these strange trades in the history of these boats? Here is a clue. In other times things that are considered luxuries come at a very high price to any who can afford them. Can you imagine coming home from a trade mission with a boat load full of things that while you got them cheaply could be sold for a few thousand times what you paid. And if you are the only ship that has them on board you can even trade them for so much more. The only thing that makes more money than luxuries is a weapon during wartime.)

1895 – Diesel Engine invented

Also – Radio invented.

(Note – The population of Delta City had hit about two hundred thousand at this point. That is a very large city. The diesel engine and radio started changing things even in Delta City though. Communication and power. The first diesel trains would soon follow. Radio stations and radio communication would change the way people could talk. Radio in particular would have an interesting effect on Delta City. More than once Delta City has been investigated by beings that picked up on the radio signals that slipped through the world walls. It is a good thing that more people did not try to use radio around here earlier than they did. But with the stations that we currently have locally I am surprised that anything at all would come to investigate, shut the noise down and make the pain stop I could believe, but not investigate.)

1898 – Treaty of Paris ends the Spanish/American War.

Also – The Filipino/American War starts. This conflict will end in 1903.

Also – The first real submarine.

1899 – Mount Rainer National Park established.

Also – Delta City College ground breaking.

Also – Tides Research established.

(Note – These Tides guys looked like they had something going on back in the day. There were not many people looking into the ocean and the things that it offered the world. But these guys were, and it looked like they found something interesting because in just a few years they went from being a research company to a conservation group, with an army of lawyers on call to make sure that the world was treated right. Whatever they encountered, found, whatever it was, must have been serious to take a company from leading the charge to find ways to exploit the waters of the world, to finding ways to protect it all.)

1901 – Delta City throws the Turn of the Century Party

(Note – If ever there was a party to end all parties, this should have been it. According to city records it took two weeks to clean up, and everyone was welcome. There are pictures from the paper that have shots of men, women, and things, making Mardi Gras look tame. It looks like it was an anything goes kind of time. There are even a couple of pictures from the paper that seem to show people fading in and out of the city. This might be the first and only shots that I know of that seem to show the world walls at work. I really should see if the photographer is still around or any of his kids have some of the old negatives.)

1902 – The Old Man arrives

Also – Crater Lake Park established

Also – Air conditioning invented.

            (Note – Grace told me a story about an old man once. She said the story was a few years old, but it seemed more than a little creepy even for Delta City weird. I need to put a copy of that story in here somewhere, but after she finished telling me that little story she looked me dead in the eyes and told me that he had first came to Delta City on October 11, 1902. The seriousness that she had when she told me that last bit made me think to put it in here.)

1903 – Kymen College groundbreaking.

Also – The Wright Brothers flight at Kittyhawk.

Also – Ford puts the assembly line into place.

(Note – It looks like the rivalry between the Davis and Smythe families was getting subtle. Both families invested heavily in the colleges that were built here. It looked like they did it for the privilege of not only having seats on the collegiate boards, but for the right to teach. Can you think of a better way to get people on your side than by teaching them that you’re right?)

1904 – The Angel Statue dedicated into Angel Park. The Angel Park area of Industrial Island officially declared off limits to further construction and development.

(Note – Nope still can’t talk about it.)

1909 – Phone service is brought to Delta City in a big way.

(Note – Even though it had been over thirty years since the phone was invented Delta City waited this long to officially bring the service into the city. The city council apparently wanted to make sure it was more than a passing technology fad before doing something with it. But when the city acted boy did they act. They offered the territory of Delta City to any company that would agree to certain set conditions and that they would be written into a contract that would include any and all companies that the original passed onto in the future. What is interesting is that there were at first, six companies that agreed to this. By modern times there is only one left, but the contract is still in place and still being enforced.)

1910 – Women gain the right to vote in Washington State. This is an expansion of the rights already gained by women in Delta City as they have held the right to vote since the first mayoral elections when it comes to city issues, now they can also legally vote on state issues.

Also – The groundwork for the F.B.I. is put in place.

(Note – Apparently while the F.B.I. was being formed one of the first field offices to open was in Delta City. The office was operating directly under the jurisdiction of the head of the F.B.I. and, from what I can find was supposed to be investigating the city’s rapid growth of resident aliens. When you think about it on the most mundane terms, it could be a serious problem. But looking at it from being in Delta City for a while, and it almost makes you laugh. Actually, from what I could dig up it did make the director laugh in 1916 when the first major report was made. Made him laugh hard enough that he threatened to close the office down to save tax monies. Well either the director forgot or the agents in the city did something to make him change his mind, because the F.B.I. has one of the largest offices in the downtown area. I have no idea what they are doing with all those people there, but I am going to talk to someone this afternoon that might.)

1914 – The assassination of Arch Duke Ferdinand starts World War 1.

(Note – Did anyone ever figure out who really did the deed? I met a man, looked to be in his twenties, who claimed to be the assassin. Said he worked for the secret chiefs of the United States and did a lot of work like that. They made him age slower than everyone outside the conspiracy, and still called on him from time to time to do what he was best at. Now then normally I would have put him off as being a crackpot. But considering the fact that he told me this after waking me up in the middle of the night, while holding a gun to my head, well it made me think he just might be telling the truth. Sad to say that I could not take his warning to stop looking into the past of Delta City, although I have a tendency to move at least once a month if not more these days, and pay a lot more for custom security. I still have no idea how he got in and out of that old apartment without leaving any trace, maybe he was ninja trained.)

1915 – Rail expansion in Washington State now gives the state over 6000 miles of rail lines.

(Note – Ok so we have established rail was important, what I am not going to be mentioning anymore is the continued appearance of strange ships in the harbor, trains that are not really like anything that you would know as a train, or even the little, and large, balls of light or U.F.O’s that seem to show up at the docks. By now it is so commonplace that people are only mentioning it in their diaries and in the paper if it was really strange. If you want to see what I am talking about go down to the docks and look at docks seven and four, those are the two that are modified to handle whatever comes to town. There is too much more to look into to keep adding notes on this though.)

1917 – The United States officially enters WW1.

1918 – WW1 ends.

(Note – It is a shame really to only have that little listing for all of the First World War. But to be perfectly honest even I don’t believe all the things that I have found out yet about the involvement of people and things from Delta City in the war and will not even go so far as to speculate until I have some hard evidence. Or at least a diary or three on hand that I can quote from.)

1919 – The first licensed flying carpet in Delta City

(Note – this is not to say that they have not been around for a while now but this is the first time that someone actually got a license plate for one. It’s kind of strange given the volume of magical events in Delta City that these things only account for about 0.05% of the transport in Delta City today, that’s right only 5 in every ten thousand LICENSED vehicles in Delta City is a flying carpet . You can find them just about everywhere but most of them run illegally because they are not licensed.)

             1920 – The first radio stations go on the air.

Also – National Prohibition is put into effect.

(Note – Talk about a mood killer, radio stations start popping up all over the United States just as they tell us we can’t have a beer. Ok, so I was not there for it, but to hear grandpa talk about it, it was a time that I can only imagine. I made note of the radio because according to the paperwork the two local radio stations in Delta City were actually started up just as radios were going on sale. There are a couple of radio stations locally that are just rebroadcast points for national radio, and then there are a few dozen ham style radio stations that are totally not legal. Speaking of not legal prohibition, and Delta City, can you say smuggling? I knew you could. Delta City was founded on trade, legal or otherwise. Prohibition suddenly makes a very pricey market for something that they can get cheap from just about everywhere. It’s funny because it looks like the people working on the island were actually getting smart enough not to record the trades for booze from the native craft, but did keep track of the stuff they got from the glowing balls of light, and the occasional schooner of elflike nature. I am meeting with someone tonight who claims to have one of the bottles from that time, going to have to see if the hype is worth it.)

1921 – Garbage collection and disposal is now firmly in the hands of two companies. It remains in the hands of these two up to present day.

(Note – I am not going to get into this, I could write a book on the garbage men, but I think I would fear them more than the damn ninja.)

1926 – Rockets are invented.

(Note – Found evidence of less than gravity rockets launching from outside Delta City in 1925, I am still not sure just what that means but I am going to keep looking into it until I do.)

1927 – Television is invented. It will become very popular but not get a lot of use until pay-per-view cable comes along.

(Note – These days we get channels from all over the world, and if you happen to be in an area that the world walls are thin you can sometimes get channels from other dimensions as well. I am proud to say that I have a full collection of shows that never were on this world, I don’t know why I am proud of that, must have had too much to drink last night.)

1929 – Stock Market crash.

Also – Frozen food.

(Note – As you might have guessed after the stock market crash and the resulting Great Depression really had very little effect on Delta City. Yeah some of the local fat cats got hit and hit hard, but overall the area seems to be much more interested in investing in itself than investing in outside things. While the ‘Dust Bowl’ hit the mid-west hard the northwest was still in pretty good shape, and the few remaining local farms actually managed to boost their income during that crisis. Delta City did see a good influx of people during that time, but surprisingly many did not want to stay. So, the areas growth rate, while still high, was not over the top. I have managed to collect a couple of diaries that were left from that time, and some of what they say is rather interesting. Apparently, there are people outside Delta City that know about the world walls. During the Great Depression word got out about them and some people chased the chance to not only get out of the money trouble, but out of this world all together. I have no idea where they might have ended up but I can only hope wherever they got to, they are ok.)

1931 – The first use of radio astronomy.

(Note – While radio astronomy is an interesting thing, this is also when the city got the records for the 1930 census. The returns say that Delta City had a stable population of about three hundred thousand people. There was still plenty of room to move around, and even the people who were just ‘passing thru’ could have had something if they stayed, but that’s the depression for you.)

1933 – The Grand Coulee Dam is started.

Also – National Prohibition is ended.

(Note – You will note the other dam listing for 1937, and will probably wonder why they are being mentioned at all. Well when you see in the information for the construction of the dams that Stone & Briar was one of the major contractors for the supply of raw native materials then you can tell just what the reason was. Even though it doesn’t show in Delta City itself much these contracts gave Stone & Briar a bit of influence outside the city, and added to the monies flowing into the city. I am lead to believe that the company still has contracts for government consulting, but they keep rather quiet about it, this could be why the owners are not seen much in town.)

1937 – The Bonneville Dam is started.

1939 – World War 2 starts in Europe.

Also – The first digital computer is built. The use of it and research on it will be put on hold, officially, until the end of World War 2.

(Note – Actually the computer idea was only officially put on hold, Touring Machines and the like were going up all over the place for use in code breaking, and a few other uses. The Kymen College science department was actually hard at work making the first computers that were on record, and they were sharing their findings with the government. First directly then under the auspices of the O.S.S., it’s strange to think that Delta City may have had a hand in all the code breaking that went on during the second World War, to get more on that I am going to have to see if anyone in the O.S.S. office will talk, but more on that later.)

1940 – Japan begins its invasions of Indo-China and China outer regions.

(Note – I have it, evidence of the ninja in Delta City! Right here, I can now prove since I have… … … DAMNIT!!! Sneaky little bastards! They got it, while I was writing they got it!!! SHIT!)

1941 – Japan invades China proper.

Also – The Pearl Harbor bombing by Japan enters the United States officially into WW2.

(Note – It was at this time that Forge went thru its major reorganization. They stopped working 24/7 and went to two shifts. They also started to add the trees and shrubs that surround the factory today. I can’t get close enough to the higher ups in Forge to see if they can tell me what’s up, the people working on the floor of the foundry though have heard all the stories, and there is talk, hopefully just rumors that anyone crazy enough to go looking into the stories has a massive need for the medical benefits that the company is so proud of. If they are really going to that much trouble to keep something quiet, it’s worth knowing.)

1942 – The O.S.S. is formed, this is the body that would lay the groundwork for the forming of the C.I.A.

(Note – See notes on C.I.A., it’s worth it, it really is.)

1945 – VE Day.

Also – VJ Day.

(Note – While it is a very sobering thought to know that in the year of 1945 the second World War was put to rest, that the atomic bomb was put to the test, and that there had been death on such a scale that the world hoped that such a thing would never happen again, it’s a sad thing to see the world racing to find an excuse to do it all again it would seem. The bigger thing that I have to mention here is that in the fifteen years of time from the last census it would appear that Delta City grew to a population of just over four hundred thousand. With all the death and devastation from World War Two you would think that the population would have taken a drop. This is the biggest growth spurt in the city’s history, and it makes me wonder if we do all the wars again, will Delta City grow like this again?)

1947 – The C.I.A. becomes an official agency.

(Note – The birth of the supreme intelligence gathering agency in the United States, banned from operation on U.S. soil, but charged with protecting us all, or so it would seem. The C.I.A. was born from the international code breaking teams that made up the O.S.S. during WW2, and some intelligence experts from other areas. It seems strange to think then that the offices for the O.S.S. in Delta City never closed after WW2. The people were never reassigned, and they still recruit, take missions on behalf of the government, and get paid on the government payroll, even though the O.S.S. was shut down to make the C.I.A. Then you have the fact that the C.I.A. in Delta City is working very hard at making something understandable out of Chinatown, and finds the International District to be something they feel they can operate in. Does this confuse the hell out of anyone but me, because when I finally dug up the O.S.S. offices and the C.I.A. offices in town they seemed to think it made perfect sense.)

1948 – King TV opens in Seattle.

Also – The first electric guitar.

(Note – Apparently the first TV signal received in Delta City was from another world that had the invention for quite some time, or at least something like it. TV in Delta City is a hodge-podge of not quite legal UHF signals, two local channels that are network affiliates, cable, and the leakage from other worlds, a lot like radio in the area. I just wish I could figure out where all the cables that people are hooked into go, not all of them connect to the trunk lines, and you have to know that is not the best thing in this area.)

1950 – 1953 – The Korean War

1950 – The United States starts getting involved in Vietnam

(Note – Now you are going to wonder about all the notes in here on the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The reason is simple really, both of these wars had China involved as a player on the team that the United States was up against. From those events the trade relations between the U.S. and China started to break down and at times became downright hostile. Then came trade bans and the like that made it necessary to have trade with R.O.C. Taiwan, instead of China. For those not in the know R.O.C. stands for Republic of China, but that seemed good enough to get past customs in most U.S. ports. I know that in Canada and Delta City though you could still find ships from China with a fair frequency.)

1951 – UNIVAC 1, the first mercury tube computer.

(Note – While UNIVAC 1 was the first to the outside world, some of the tech geeks in the colleges were already working on the basics for microprocessors, don’t ask me how, but I have seen the records, and there is a heck of a lot of information that suggests that Delta City has been playing with tech a little higher up the food chain for a long, long time. I am going to have to look a little deeper into this though because the old college paper that I found celebrating the announcement of UNIVAC 1, seems to have a picture of a young woman, and she looks almost like an elf to me, holding something that looks very much like a memory card for a PC.)

1954 – Boeing launches the first 707.

(Note – This was at the same time that Boeing opened up their local office. Technically it’s an R&D center, but who knows what they are looking into, I don’t, yet.)

1955 – The first nuclear submarine.

1956 – The foundations for the first floor of the Delta City Pavilion are laid.

Also – The U.S. starts training troops in South Vietnam

(Note – To look at the Pavilion today you could almost get the feeling that some massive creature of steel and stone squatted down and relived itself on that site. Not that I go inside often, but I had to when I saw the original drawings for the place. I had to see just what the hell went wrong. Apparently, the place was always designed to be capable of modular expansion, not just to spread further out but also to go up like they have. If you get into the hidden halls of the place you can see where the people building more levels to the place ignored the original steel and stone. The same thing happened with the third level. What is really strange is that I cannot find any city records that tell me just who built the other levels, and when they got the permits to do it.)

1957 – Washington Public Power Supply System established.

Also – The Hunter arrives.

(Note – I think this is when the power deal for Delta City was struck, but I really cannot find any official records of it, I think I will have to dig a little harder in the city records for that one. The Hunter though, that’s something I am trying not to find. When I was looking into the city sewers some of the people living down there told me about it, showed me its tracks, and told me the story of its arrival. Apparently, it is just as smart as people are, and has the raw power of a small tank, I am going to put a little story in here that seemed like a dream to me, but it may have been that the Hunter was telling me how it got here, I really hope it was a dream, because otherwise that means there is more to the Hunter than even the folks in the underground suspect.)

1958 – Candalmas opens the FlipSide.

Also – Mikee arrives.

(Note – It seemed a little appropriate to have these two listed in the same year. For those like me who have membership the FlipSide can be a scary place, and Mikee, Mikee is a scary individual. The FlipSide is something that has to be seen to be believed, and if you are offered a membership I suggest that unless your morals are low and you have a good amount of extra ready cash, you pass. It can be worth it to see though, but understand, once you’re a member, you’re a member. This is one of those groups that you just don’t get out of. Mikee, why is it scary? Why am I saying ‘it’? Well that is just because no one knows what the hell Mikee is. Never the same thing twice, but always the same mind. And running two shops by itself, that seems a little too much even for me. I will find out more, it’s inevitable, but I am not sure I am going to like what I find out. Mikee itself though always seems nice and polite, I really hope that if I find out anything it’s all good, I could use another friend in this town.)

1960 – The start of the “Hippie” movement. This period would run through the early 1970’s and some of the effects of it would be felt even to modern times.

Also – The first basic laser.

(Note – Is it just me or does the idea of hippies and lasers just seem like a really bad idea. Then again I think there were a few movies about that in the 70’s. Anyway, even though the space had always been there and the people using it were home owners and the like, in 1964 several of the more well-off hippies started buying up property in what is now the artists’ colony area of town. Putting up local communes and the like. And then like everything else in Delta City it just seemed to grow into more than it was. The area still has a lot of the feel of the 60’s to it, but the touch of the modern mixed in with the peace generation has not dimmed the area at all. If I could just keep the people following me off my back for a few years I think I could actually settle here. It’s good to know there are still areas that not only talk about the ideals of artistry and peace, but chase them too.)

1961 – Weavers founded.

Also – Hero’s Ltd. founded.

(Note – On the founding of Hero’s Ltd. There was a lot of press coverage over this moment. Apparently, there was a dragon that made its way to Delta City, I still have no idea if it was a native creature to this world, or came through the world walls but damn, it was laying waste to whatever it could, and those that were close to it could swear they heard it calling out form someone, but could never remember the name it was crying. The cops were at a loss, and there seemed to be nothing anyone could do, even the garbage men were keeping well away. Then a woman came on the scene, leading a large group of people that all seemed to have talents and gear that was beyond the norm, even by Delta City standards. The dragon was felled, but the body was never recovered. When the event was over the woman leading the team refused to give names to the press, but told them how to contact her if they needed help again with something like that. It looks like the business name and all was put in place shortly thereafter, and the company’s first contact list was set up just as fast. Makes me wonder if she did not have a hand in getting the dragon here in the first place and this event was just a very costly publicity stunt.)

1962 – Seattle World’s Fair.

Also – The first use of Agent Orange

(Note – I have to say it, it’s more than a little strange but from everything I have seen it looks like by this time in life that the strange is so common in the city that the mundane is starting to seem odd. But then what can you say about a place that when you go to work in the morning the bus driver is an ogre, really, and you get to work and buy espresso from the gremlin at the counter, there is an alien thing that seems to know what you want before you do at the lunch counter, your co-worker is telling you about this hottie with the pointed ears that works in the building across the street, at least three of the taxi’s have the ability to fly but you really never can get them when you need one, when you go shopping you see things in men’s, women’s, and thing’s sizes, every few days there is a ship in the harbor that either is defying time or physics, the local public broadcasts have an ‘I was Abducted Show’ where you can actually talk to the aliens who did it, and all of that is just on Tuesday. Damn I love this town, if it weren’t for all the damn ninja though…)

1963 – Mikee opens the Last Element, the first location in the Artists’ Colony. The second location in Historic Old town opens in 1974.

1964 – Pets Plus opens its doors.

Also – IBM creates OS/360, the first mass computer operating system.

(Note – Pets Plus is another one of those businesses that makes me a little worried. These guys are very good at what they do, almost too good. Once I got a look at the old records they keep it would appear that they did indeed traffic in slaves at first, but that side of the business seemed to fade away, like they just quit writing it down more than it was something that they stopped doing. Can’t prove anything though, which is a pity. I would not mind having a hand in shutting their doors for good, but when you are getting the money that they are for the things they are, they have to have bought some serious local support by now. I will say though that I am looking into the people that they have on file as having standing orders for some of the more exotic predators. That really cannot be a good thing.)

1965 – U.S. troops officially in Vietnam

Also – The First minicomputer.

1967 – The Core arrives.

(Note – This one is for the freak files. If this were any other city in the world I would think he was a work of fiction, but this guy has power, connections, and people in all the right places seem to owe him for something. I just hope that I can find out what he is up to before he does something major.)

            (Second Note – Just got word from a contact in Net7, it looks like I am not the only one looking into this one, and I have been made a very handsome offer to pass on anything I come up with. The only sad bit is that I am not sure that I want money, more information might be a better trade. Then again with the cash I might be able to finally get enough security to keep my nosy ass safe.)

1968 – Shoji opens his dojo to the public.

(Note – I really feel sorry for Shoji some days. He has been looking for something in himself for a long time, and it looks like the opening of his private dojo to the public was his attempt to see if someone might just bring it to him, instead of him searching for it. He is a nice guy, and I really hope he finds what he is looking for, even if he won’t talk about it.)

1969 – The moon landing.

(Note – It looks like the population growth in the city had slowed by this time, as the best estimates I can get put the local population at around four hundred and fifty thousand people at this time.)

1970 – Fiber optic glass is invented.

1972 – Pong.

(Note – Hate to admit it, but this is the only video game that I have ever played. Still fun though.)

1973 – The last U.S. troops pulled out of Vietnam.

1974 – Spokane Worlds Fair

Also – The events of ‘Hero?’ happen.

Also – The Freedom of Information Act is passed. This would have repercussions felt throughout Delta City for a long time to come as trade of goods started to fall and the trade of information became a larger and larger resource.

Also – The first bar code is used.

1976 – Echoes’ opens its doors.

(Note – This place is worth all the hype, the view, the food, it is all some of the best. I just wish I could afford to hit the place more than once in my lifetime.)

1978 – Tanager Meats opens.

(Note – I found out something interesting the other day. Apparently, Tanager is the main supplier for Echoes meat. Considering that Tanager has things on its sell board that I have seen nowhere else I have to wonder if there might be a connection between her and Pets Plus as well. Something to look into another time I think.)

1980 – Mt. St. Helens erupts.

(Note – The biggest BOOM in the Northwest that white man has been around for. The ash, the dark, the end of an era? If you can imagine the strangest place on earth getting stranger for a few days, the prayers to the earth spirits, the invocations, the looks of hope and fear, along with some of the strangest block parties that anyone has ever offered. What can I say but this city is strange.)

1981 – The first launch of the space shuttle.

(Note – You know that there were more people into space at this time than any other save for the moon landing, and there is a reason. Not only were there odds makers taking bets on fly or fall, but also people had hope that man would reach the stars again, and maybe go further than the moon. It would be nice to see that in my lifetime. The interesting thing is that the photos that they sent back to earth, they caught Washington state in some of them and for the life of me, I cannot find the usual city blur that you get from space when you look on a city. I am going to hit a few of the older research sites and space flight photos, but if I am right, I won’t see Delta City on any of them.)

1983 – The PC is introduced to the world.

(Note – Most of the work I am doing is on a custom laptop, I picked it up used from a little shop in the Commercial District near the mall. I know just enough to tear the whole thing down and make sure it all works before I use it, and so I did when I bought this little toy. There are copyright and trademark stamps on some of the components that apparently date as 1968. The thing is that they are better than most of the stuff that is new from the big boys. I don’t know where all the bits came from but I am working on a machine that will not have to be updated for about another six years at the current rate of growth in the industry. They had a few more on the shelf when I bought this one, but by the time I figured out what I had and went back for more, they were sold out. I hope the others are in good hands.)

1984 – The members of the Net7 board arrive. Later that year they open the doors to Net7 Data Controls, usually just called Net7.

(Note – This is a company that needs to be watched, and watched closely. The seven members of the board are all active in information gathering, electronic security, and computer safety. They are also apparently the best there is at what they do. I can find semi-official records of actions that this company has taken since 1984 for companies, individuals, and governments around the world. They have not always succeeded, but their loss rate is less than one half of one percent in the last twenty years. These people have a reputation that is well earned, and you have to respect what they can do. Examples can include the event in 1988 with Hero’s Ltd. Apparently the head of Hero’s was wary of them and sent in a team of about twenty-five to get something from them, from what I can see only three members of the Net7 board were involved in that dust up, and none of them fell. Another example includes the time they threatened to release the names of all of the people still being held in North Vietnam if there was not a compromise that let people in for atomic safety inspections. After a ten-minute meeting with a North Vietnam delegate the United Nations inspectors were allowed in. Overall these guys look like they are flying on the sides of the angels. Something in me says that not everything is as it seems though.)

1985 – The first genetically engendered food is given the go ahead by the USDA.

(Note – Sometimes I wonder if the term eugenics is not a part of the whole genetic engineering lexicon anymore, because technically everything we use these days is genetically engineered. There of course are stories about things like genetic pets and all that just blow even my mind. I hope all the things that I heard about things like that are just stories.)

1989 – Black Dragon Couriers quietly let it be known that they are in business.

(Note – Creepy but cool. I just placed an, ‘If dead’ order with these guys. They have all the access codes to my work, investigations, and theories about what goes on here and around the world. The orders they have are if I am out of touch for more than three days, collect everything and deliver it to Net7, the press, and a few people at the colleges. Not that I fear death, but that guy with the gun found me again, and told me that he did not usually give people a warning, let alone two, but he liked my attitude, and the fact that I was trying to challenge him. Hopefully no one but the Couriers and me know where everything is hidden.)

1995 – The Maddics, Crandon, and Tigue law firm opens.

(Note – My attorneys should anything happen to me. The same day I made the order with the Couriers I put this office on retainer. With that noted I also want to mention population growth. The numbers look like about half a million people at this point in the city. What I found out in the city records recently made me smile. Apparently, all you have to do to be considered a citizen of Delta City is be here for a year or so, then even if you don’t have a green card the city will treat you as if you were a full-on U.S. citizen and give you all the rights and privileges. Interestingly enough that also means that you get included on the census that the city does every five years, so this number is not just the Americans, it’s not even just the humans, it includes everything, and everyone that lives above the streets. It looks like they tried to include the underground in the 1960 census but lost too many people in the tunnels, so they let it drop. Maybe it is that attitude that leaves the C.I.A. and O.S.S. running around this city like they actually have the right to work here. Definitely something to look into.)

1998 – Hillside Couriers forms their alliance and begins working together.

(Note – A collection of more independent and free souls I have not met. Even though the symbol of the alliance seems to be a bike, it is not all that uncommon for some more interesting forms of transportation to be seen in this group, they even have a couple people who just run. If you have anything to get around the city, call them they are in the book.)

1999 – All Things Anime opens its doors.

(Note – Ok this place is just too weird, even for me. I know there are a lot of fans for this stuff, but please, life sized dolls of all the characters is just a little much.)

2000 – The Millennium Scare

(Note – interestingly enough Delta City was not immune to this phenomenon. Just as many strange cult groups and survivalists popped up here as anywhere else, and some of the theories they had were a lot sounder than you would guess. There were a few big fights, and some reports of things that sound like dragons, and other mythic beasts wandering the streets. Strange thing to all this was that it lasted all year in Delta City. People did not calm down until the clocks rolled over onto 2001. Of course, I am now waiting to see what happens in 2005, May 5th. That is supposed to be the date that there is a big planetary alignment, and the date that one of the Mesoamerican cultures put on their calendar as the end of the world, and or their return to power. I can only figure that if anything like that happens it will start here.)

2001 – The Brawl

(Note – That’s the only way to describe what happened. From the city records and my own pictures of the week-long fight it looks like someone got a bunch of students riled up over something, they started protesting, the cops tried to pull them back, Hero’s Ltd. tried to get everyone separated, and then something snapped. I still have no idea what, even though I had a great view from the rooftop I was on, something snapped and the crowd just got angry. If you have never been in a riot there is no way to describe it. After about four days of off and on violence all over the city it was the garbage companies that ended up getting everyone to settle down. They just started bringing trucks to where ever the fights were, and dumping the loads. I am still trying to figure out just what happened to set this all off, because I have the feeling that it was not your standard student protest gone bad.)

2002 – The Delegation is opened.

(Note – An interesting idea that one would think would have happened long ago. Right on the edge of the City Center, a rather large building opened its doors to the public. While there are cultures from a lot of different places in the International District, this place was set up to let people get introduced to all of them and even more that are not in the city, in a smaller area. No matter the race, creed, species, or wattage it looks like just about everything ever living in the area has a small booth or some kind of interactive display to introduce people to the culture in question. I found it very interesting because it suggests that even though all these strange things that happen in Delta City seem localized, that is not really the case. There are places here that talk about the culture of the Amazons, the underwater cities, and I am lead to believe that the Yeti and Sasquatch will soon be opening up booths of their own. It looks like that even though it can all happen in Delta City, we really do live in a strange and wondrous world after all.)


Ok so that is the history section. I know it stops in 2002, but that is for a reason. Many of the fiction pieces I wrote go from the early 2000 to about 2010 and I do not want to spoil that section of things.

Next section would be the maps and layout of the city. That may come next week or a little sooner depending.

Now gimme the dice I got another world to roll up.


Delta City part 1

Hey all

So back in the late 90’s I had the inspiration to create a place where all of my friends could write stories, set RPG’s and have fun. Well it never took off really. I could not get folks interested in sharing. But the exercise itself was a lot of fun. I also ended up creating several characters/NPC’s (however you want to view them) that sort of demanded that I block out a series of events in the timeline for the city that was more highlighted fiction than anything else.

At this point in time it has been several years since I have added anything to the timeline for the city, and I have been trying to figure out how to share it again. So I am going to do a series here on the blog that goes into the city, parse out the info and let the rest of the world do with it what it will.

That being said I retain the rights to all the characters and locations that are in the material that is published here for Delta City and the fiction that is posted. If you want to use them in any way shape or form you have to give me credit. That’s it. Other than that feel free to insert it into your fiction, your games, whatever. Simple aint it.

So this first post is going to talk a little about the city, when I post the second part, and those that follow, will be material from my documents. To be honest I have about 300 pages of material between all the different bits of fiction, timelines, maps and so on that I have created over the years.

So what the hell was I building?

Like I said I wanted to build a place that all of my friends could use in some way. That meant that I needed to have a location that could run fantasy, sci-fi, supers, horror, modern fantasy, military, espionage, and a host of other things as games, stories, debates or whatever else came to mind. So to put all that together I needed three things, a location, a reason why all these things were possible, and a way to fit it into the rest of any other world without anyone noticing. The second and third items came together for me really easy. The first one bugged me for a while until I found a place that I could put a major city in the real world that already had a couple of small towns. I am sure that if I get readers in that area they will be annoyed that I removed their towns from history, but hey, that is the way fiction works some times.

The mechanic that I came up with to explain why all these things could come together was the idea of World Walls. Sort of a dividing line between this reality and others. Not only are they very thin in the area of Delta City but there is also a focal point for them that is called the Well of Worlds. Sometimes also called the Core. For some reason the Well of Worlds bent things so that unless you called Delta City ‘home’ then you had a tendency to forget it was even there.

You may notice the use of the past tense there. Well that is because in the fiction I wrote I had a series of events happen that ended up bringing Delta City to the attention of the world. And when that attention was grabbed the whole world ended up not being able to let go and it changed things. I kinda left things there because I had so many ideas about how to take it further I could never sort out what way I wanted to go.

Eventually I moved on to other projects, but Delta City always runs in the back of my mind. The place ended up taking on a life of its own and I just wrote down the stuff I noticed going on in all the hubbub. I have so many bloody notes for where to go next, for other things that had been going on in the background, and for all sorts of one offs that I could likely spend the rest of this life and several others just fleshing out all the little details that came to mind.

Now then if someone else does want to use this as a setting, be it game or fiction, just remember that what I am presenting is my story, my idea. I would expect that for some this might just be inspiration and they build something of their own. Others might want to use it but not take things in the direction I did. Some may want to take it further. All of that is OK. Just like any RPG designer knows, not everyone is going to use the material the way you wrote it, and some folks will just rip out the one or two pieces that they feel they need. And I am good with that, as long as you remember what I said above, just give me credit for what I created.

All righty I am going to leave things there for now. Since I am going to copy stuff out of other documents I may post more than once a week while doing this section and leave Sundays for game reviews and other rants.

So gimme the dice, I need to set up a random encounter table, encounter table.


Game Review -21: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness (G)

Just because I thought it would be a funny combination of having something listed as being 21 and teenage at the same time.

So how many of you out there are familiar with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? And no I do not mean the animated ones from the late 80’s early 90’s. And no I dont mean the Michael Bay abominations that made it to the big screen. I am talking about the original Turtles. Before there was any desire to have politically correct non-lethal child friendly cuddly turtles. I am talking the original TMNT. Done in black and white. Where you could only tell the turtles apart by the weapons they carried and by actually reading the dialog to understand how different each one was. These turtles used their weapons to injure and when needed, kill enemies, who were trying to kill them.

These are the Turtles that I know and love. These are the Turtles that were created back in 1984 (or at least first published) and in 1985 there was an RPG put out about those Turtles by Palladium Books.

Now then dispite what the wiki page says these Turtles were not part of RIFTS. RIFTS did not come along until five years later. So if anything RIFTS is an expansion of the Turtles :). A more honest timeline would be that Heroes Unlimited came out, then TMNT, and in true Palladium fashion another game setting called Ninja’s and Superspies, released in 1987 could be used to expand the martial arts past ninjitsu. After publishing about seven books for the TMNT over several years Palladium and the original creators of the Turtles called it quits. Dont know why, I do care, but I cant let that drag me down. Now then one thing I cannot speak to is if the mechanic for mutation was originally part of the TMNT game or if it was first in Heroes Unlimited. I have not seen a first printing of the HU game. But I can say that it is one of the things that makes the game really cool. And it has been in every edition of the HU game that I have played and still exists in the Palladium books and it still lives in the After the Bomb RPG that Palladium still releases.

Like other licensed products by Palladium the TMNT game does its best to keep to the source material and give players a good way to get into the world of the characters they have come to love without actually forcing them to just play the characters from the source material.

The game also has one of the coolest game rules that I have ever encountered. I have modded it a little bit from time to time over the years to add it to other games that I have played. The team character rule. As originally printed if players are going to share an origin and all be the same type of mutant animal then you get extra character levels. So if you have four characters of the same animal type sharing the same origin, with the same mutations then you are all starting at level four. If you have a different animal type, or different mutations still sharing the same origin then you drop a level off of that. It was something that encouraged players from the start to build a story together. I usually found it too limiting for a game group to all want to be the same animal so I would mod that so that if they all just shared the same origin then it was all they needed to get the bonus levels.

The mutation mechanic also allows you to build just about any kind of mutant you would like. And the supplemental books added ways to give your animal super powers, and to even use animals that came from other times. Personally one of my favorite builds is a T-rex that stands about four feet tall that has super strength and practices Muay Thai. Yeah, you can do that kinda stuff with this game. I also really enjoyed making a mutant porcupine that looked totally human but still had quills and was trained as a bookkeeper/bodyguard. You can do some totally off the wall stuff with this mutation engine and it all balances out. But to do all that I brought up means you have to use multiple books and so we need to pull it back to the main book itself.

I have lost track of the number of times I have played this game over the years. And considering that the first copy I had was back in 1986… I think… It is a lot of years. Sure I have had good game sessions and bad ones, but mostly it has been fun. And considering the number of ways that Palladium books crossover, it can get really weird the things you can do. Ahem… yeah… A band of mutant animals and ninja with a couple of supers and a disgruntled mystic taking over the SDF1 and driving it to RIFTS earth to try and stop the Coalition. Shhhhh, shhhh, dont fight it… it will all be over soon.

Ahhh still trying to pull back to the main book…

Ok here we go… So this game engine still suffers from the usual issues you see in a level based engine for character growth, and it does not allow for later enhancement or alteration of mutation. Mutation is a point based system derived from potential bio energy, and that potential is usually limited only by the size of the creature. So the bigger you are the less energy you have. To get more you need to get small. Now then sadly the original engine did not completely balance that energy level and so there were one or two animals that you could mutate the heck out of  while others you would struggle to get a pair of opposable thumbs. Back when I started playing this just meant that there were a few animals that never got played. Later in life it just takes a few minutes to re-balance any animal to a set of numbers that works completely.

Ok so how do the numbers look?

Overall Fluff 5/5 – The story bits and art are mostly from the original comics and the creators. The character backgrounds and samples are also from the original character info from the comics. Some of the supplemental art is from artists who really understood the TMNT mindset.

Overall Crunch 3/5 – There was a need right off the bat with the original printing to do some game balancing, but overall the Palladium rules are a solid level based system. The rules are a bit soft on some of the gear and tools you can use and their overall game effects, but if you have other books by the publisher it works easy enough.

Overall Mod 4/5 – This particular Palladium book seems to have brought the mod to the table. It is easy to balance things out, and of course you need to mod all characters according to taste, while also having the first and best team creation rule in an RPG.

Overall Fun 5/5 – Speaks for itself. Mic drop.

Total Score 17/20 – Ok so there are a lot of points here. Is it worth it? To me this is one of those games that if you love any version of the Turtles, you need to hunt this down. You wont find any legal PDF copies online, because, licensing. You can usually find them in used book stores starting at about 10 bucks.

Ok so once again, my thoughts my opinions, get out there and game for yourself and make up your own mind 🙂

Keep it fun folks

Gimme the dice, I need to see if I can make all my skill rolls to get through all the running around today.

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The Stories We Tell

So yeah this one qualifies as a bit of a rant. Also though it is something that I would hope invites discussion.

There are a lot of reasons folks play role playing games. Sometimes it is about working out your aggression in a safe and relatively sane manner. Sometimes it is all about getting out of the current world/life you are in and wanting to see something that is better. Sometimes it is to experiment with alternatives to who you happen to be at the moment. Sometimes it is to be social and see folks. Sometimes it is to build a world. And sometimes it is to tell a story. I know there are lots of other reasons. Actually there are likely as many reasons to play role playing games as there are people who play them. But I want to take a moment to look at the story telling one.

One of the best descriptions I have ever heard about playing role playing games is that it is like playing “Lets make believe (with or without the adult parts) but with rules and paper.” The second best though is that everyone playing is doing collective story telling.

If you are not familiar with the concept of collective story telling, I think that two series of fictional works would help better illustrate the idea than me just rambling along. The first is Thieves’ World edited originally by Robert Asprin and Wild Cards edited by George RR Martin. Both of these fiction anthologies were created with characters created and written by multiple authors, and the authors all agreed to work those characters into a single world, and follow some simple rules to respect each others work. By working together they created a cast of characters, both good and evil, and built a world with them that was shared by, well, tons of people. Strangely enough both of the settings have been turned into RPG settings as well. You can see more about that in the wiki links above. You can also read about how Wild Cards started out as an RPG group that turned their game into fiction… which then turned into a game… yeah…

I know that when I set up to run a game I usually try to build up a serious plot line of some kind and then back off and let my players either run with the plot or come up with something on their own. That means I try to build out a lot of little things that they can run with. But none of them have to be followed. Hells even my main story does not have to be followed. I see that as playing sort of a Star Wars RPG vibe. I mean you cant all be Luke or Vader, but there are a lot of other things going on in the universe other than that story. So why not explore a ton of them, or even set yourself up to run the main story off its rails and create your own alternate Star Wars reality… Now then you will have to trust me that this can get stranger than any fanfic you have ever read.

This is also why I encourage players to blue book  (a term that wiki has finally failed me on. The term blue booking is encouraging players to use notebooks [originally college testing blank books called blue books were encouraged to be used because they were cheap and easy to store] to hold private communications with each other or with the game master so that not everyone was privy to everything going on) in whatever media works for them. Be it old school note books or in text messages and forum posts. So that they can build up ideas with each other and with me.

To my perception all of this work that we are doing and all the fun we are having tells a story. It may not be the one that I was originally going for, but telling the story I had set up is not the point. Telling the story that the players want to tell with me is the point.

I enjoy the process and the concept of collective story telling. Hells I have tried to write fiction with partners a number of times to try and recreate that feeling. I even got suckered in by White Wolf when Vampire first came out and they used the tagline for their game engine that it was the Story Teller game system.

So my reason for bringing all this up is not to try and pull out anyone’s preferred reason to play an RPG, or to say that any given reason is more right than any other. I want to put all this out there to try and get folks talking about the kind of story they want to tell when they play an RPG. If you want to play just to vent frustration and rampage in a world that will not arrest you for destroying the bad guy maybe your kind of story is an action story. If you want to play to be something else maybe your kind of story is a story of acceptance. If you want to conquer the world then that might be an epic adventure with political and military drama. If you want to be the bad guy it might be a drama or an assassin story. I think you get the idea.

I also think that if players and GMs can all talk about the kind of story they want to play in you can do a lot to make sure that everyone is having fun. Sure it might be a challenge to get an action adventure/romance/vengeance/quest for acceptance story. But if Deadpool can do it, I think that those of us who game can give it a go. I mean there are tons of articles and chapters in game books that talk about the player types and the character types (my favorite is still the first one I read in Strike Force by Aaron Allston for Champions second or third edition), but I have not seen anyone really talk about the stories.

The only thing that I could think to ask is that unless all the other people participating in the game you are playing agree to it, everyone’s story matters. That means that the GM may have to give up a little or a lot, the players will have to give every other person the chance to be in the lime light so their story can take the stage from time to time, and most of all everyone needs to find a way to work on it together. That is what makes it a collective story telling experience. And that to me is what a role playing game is.

All righty now that I have that out of my system and folks can dissect or destroy or ignore or whatever. I hope that everyone is having fun gaming and keeps it up.

Now gimme the dice, I need to set up a random toy encounter for my cats…


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Game Review #21 – S1 Tomb of Horrors (M)

Ok yeah so its a little odd for me to do two game reviews in a row but I have a need to get this one out there.

You see there is a movie coming out shortly Ready Player One. Based on the book of the same name by Ernest Kline. (Movie / Book) Now then I am not sure how much they are going to keep in the movie, but in the book Tomb of Horrors plays a role. I am tempted to give a book review on Ready Player One, but let me just say that if you ever played Adventure on the Atari, and geeked in the 80’s you will likely find several things to enjoy in the book.

So what is the Tomb Of Horrors? This is a module created back in 1975 for AD&D. Published in 1978, and became a tournament standard in 1981. Penned by Gygax it created the S series of (mostly) tournament modules for convention play. That means the module comes with a lot of add ons that you did not always see in D&D modules. Like art books so you could show your players just what they were facing. And a list of tournament PCs so you at home could play the same characters that came up at the convention.

Now then the S series of modules in general gets some serious crap from players. It also gets some of the best reviews. The whole batch of four modules was reprinted by Wizards of the Coast in a hardcover archive format in 2013. So you wont have to pay collectors prices to get it. You can also download it in its entirety online. There have been remastered versions that were published for D&D 3.5, 4th and I think 5th edition as well. Also a Return to the Tomb of Horrors was created to be an official sequel but to my mind its not.

The reason why it gets so much crap, and the reason I do not see Return to the Tomb as a sequel, is because the modules are mostly TPK (Total Party Kill) modules. These things are hard core and so over the top that in all likelihood your players will not get out alive. Seriously. There are steps in the module that say things like “Count to six, any players that have not stated that their characters have moved to another part of the room by the time you reach six, those characters are dead.” There are several moments like this. No chance is listed to detect the trap, high powered magic items are needed to see them, and if you are playing AD&D the old way, then they are freaking rare.

I have been a player in this dungeon twice. Decades apart in play time. The first time we had a TPK. The second time we ended up having one player make it out alive with cuttings from the rest of us so we could be resurrected or reincarnated. And when that character suggested that now that we know what we are up against we could go back and really clean up, the rest of the party killed him and refused to get him brought back to life. To be honest though, as a player I look forward to the day I have a team at the ready that can clear this place. The design is sweet, the set up is of course a challenge, and if you actually get to the real final boss you had better have some serious spells and magic at hand because that beast can auto kill up to eight party members without you getting a save.

As a DM I have looked to the Tomb of Horrors for inspiration. This thing is not a one off game night kinda place. This is what the approach to the final boss of an epic story should be. This is the place you have to bring your best, everyone on the team needs to bring their best. And if you as a DM have inspired the players with your story and your encounters that lead up to the Tomb then you are going to see them pull out all the stops and they will have one of the best games of their lives. I have not used the Tomb… yet… but I have built it into more than one of my worlds so that I can use it as the finale should the players go after the big bad.

Frankly I think that “I survived the Original Tomb of Horrors” products could make Wizards of the Coast some serious bank with old school players.

So how do the numbers look on this beast of an adventure?

Overall Fluff 3/5 – There is very little backstory as is the case with a lot of the early modules, as it was designed to be dropped just about anywhere. The added art is very VERY 70’s fantasy. Sometimes it is a little hard to look at, but the level of detail is awesome and can be useful in game. However it is also in black and white so all the color elements that come up in the module need to be described in just as much detail to really make them work well. Flavor text is minimal, which is actually unusual.

Overall Crunch 5/5 – Normally a module would not have much in the way of crunch but this thing has so many GM Fiat moments (the players get no say in the moment shit just happens) that it sort of feels like there is a good selection of new rules and the materials are presented in a way that makes it work.

Overall Mod 1/5 – Now then usually I find it really easy to change a 1st edition D&D or AD&D module over to something else like 3.0 or Pathfinder without an issue. However those same GM Fiat moments make it a pain to convert it. Other game systems might allow a save or have some kind of warning that you would have to put into place, or a character might have an ability or power that could nullify a trap or something. Meaning you need to take a lot into account if you are going to try and change it around and fit it into something other than its original setting.

Overall Fun X/5 – Ok I am fudging the hell out of this one. As I said above this thing is written as a TPK module. It is winable but it is not an easy win by any means. I have heard more horror stories about this module than almost any other adventure. But the folks who have survived and made it back with stories to tell seem to walk a little taller if you know what I mean. Having lost characters to it twice myself I am leery about going back in, but I want to. I need to rate this one as an X because sometimes I love it for the inspiration it brings, and some times I hate it because of just how lethal it is.

Total Score 9+X/20 – Ok so this is my first review with a variable score. Because I torn with the love it or hate it. So it is both a 10/20 and a 14/20 at the same time. I honestly think that if nothing else folks should look it over, and see what I mean about it being an inspiration. Then love it or hate it you can figure out what to do with it on your own.

So as always I have to say remember that this is my opinion and you need to decide for your own bloody self if this is for you or not. I am not here to make up your mind for you, just to put my words out there and see how you feel about it.

Ok now gimme the dice, I need to see how many cats would survive if I set a thousand of them loose in the Tomb. Curiosity and all that 😉

Keep gaming and have a great time folks.


Game Review #20 – Spycraft 1st edition(G)

Ok so even though I have a request in to do a review of another product I decided to go with Spycraft instead. Why, well it is a d20 game and this is the 20th game review I have set up, and my wife and I have been watching a lot of Archer lately and when I busted up during a season 4 episode I told my wife I could actually turn this whole thing into a RPG setting she actually said she would play it. Since she has never expressed even a joking interest in playing a table top RPG before it got me thinking very seriously about how to put a game together. And that train of thought lead me into Top Secret (the game not the movie), and Spycraft. Still have not settled on a game to use yet, but that is a story for another post.

So a little history on Spycraft. Spycraft is a d20 rpg that came out after the publication of the original 3rd edition D&D but before d20 Modern. Originally published by Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) currently under license to Crafty Games, unless they have finally bought it completely and I have not heard. Now then the time line is a little funky on publication as I can only find notes online that say it was published in 2002, just a few months before d20 Modern came out, but I have a PDF and a copy of the book that says copyright in 2001 and lists that for the original print date. I know that distribution may not have happened until 2002, I mean if you look into the history of AEG’s early print and to shelf history it reads a lot like Palladium Books history. Sorry guys but neither company has a rep for getting things to the stores in a timely manner or anything close to when you stated it would be published.

Not here to rant about that though.

Spycraft took the original d20 Players handbook and stood it on its ear to create a modern setting. This was not the only game to do that, but in my personal opinion it is the one that did it best. They took a few hints from the licensed Star Wars RPG that Wizards of the Coast was publishing and improved on them. Examples would include having a defensive bonus instead of just an AC and having your Hit Points/Life Points being tied more directly into your Con than being based on a roll every level. Instead of a race you would have a Department, and the classes, while they stuck to a lot of the basic tenants of D&D at the time (there is a function that each class does really well and most others can only half @$$ at best), they also established a firm role for the characters in the setting unlike d20 Modern. The fact that you can still multi-class gives you the chance to make very detailed agents and enemies. They also added class level features called Budget Points and Gadget Points. Not as quick to use as simple cash, but better than the d20 Modern finance system by far. The initial setting reminded me a lot of the old Top Secret game but with a lot better depth and detail. Making a comparison on that is not really fair as Top Secret had to come in at under a hundred pages, and Spycraft came in at almost 300.

Second edition made some very interesting changes to pull it a little further from the basic d20 system, but that is also not something for this review.

Having had a lot of fond memories of being a teenager and really messing with Top Secret game sessions… (“Ahead of you in the darkness you see a stair case.” “Ok we stare back.” and “You have successfully snuck to the door without being seen. All of your intel says your target is inside that next room.” “Ok so we open the door just a little and toss a grenade in.” “You what?!”) I was really looking forward to having some fun with Spycraft. Unfortunately the first two groups I played with were all about recreating James Bond situations, and that meant that you could not really go off the rails and one of the players was always going to be the main spy. The games rarely lead to the types of teamwork the game engine makes possible or the levels of fun I was trying to recapture. So I let it go for quite a while. The potential was there, but my game groups did not really want to go in that direction. But now with Archer on my brain, I am looking again.

Ok so that gives you some background. How does it rack up in the scores?

Overall Fluff 3/5 – The art in the game is hit or miss, and the background material is sparse in some areas. Admittedly later supplements fleshed things out a lot, but the core rule book was more about making sure you could play, than making sure you had everything you might want in a setting. Like I said earlier though it is a big improvement on the old Top Secret game. It is enough to spur the imagination and not force you down any one path.

Overall Crunch 4/5 – Being a d20 game engine much of the rules are cut and paste. Easy enough to get by with. The added rules are good and do not bog down action, they just mean you need a little more time to set everything up before you begin an adventure. Overall I think it is one of the better d20 adaptations.

Overall Mod 4/5 – Again it is a d20 engine so you can mod the hell out of it. Because of its independent concepts it is a little challenging to bring in outside source materials, but a little effort there and you can come up with some really X-files like stuff.

Overall Fun 2/5 – Yeah this score is a little low. And that is more from my personal experience with the game than from its potential. A game setting like this is going to be something where everyone wants to be James Bond or Maxwell Smart. The one person who can get it all done. But RPGs are mostly about teamwork and story telling, not being a stage hog. Same sort of challenge you usually get in a pulp setting.

Total Score 13/20 – Could have been higher if I had a better time with it originally, but I still see a lot of potential to dust it off and run with it anyway. Anyone who is into d20 games could get this running really fast. I am still looking forward to putting together a Wheel-man / Black Ops character so that I can add a Transporter like character to a Spy game.

As always my final recommendation is to look it over and decide for yourself if this is the game that will do what you want and let you play what you want. If not then toss it. If it is, then AWESOME you got a winner. 🙂

Well thats it for now. Hope everyone is having a great 2018 so far and is remembering to date documents and checks correctly. Yeah checks, some of us still use them.

Now gimme the dice. I need to check to see what sort of random encounter is showing up here next.