Welcome to a city of shadows

New Jerusalem used to be a pretty nice city once – back when the mines still produced ore and the harbour supported a fishing industry, back when there were jobs and tourists and money.

But that was a long time ago. Now the jobs are gone, the mines are dry, the fish are dead and the tourists go anywhere else. Buildings are falling down, infrastructure is failing, the authorities are corrupt and people stay only because they have nowhere else to go. New Jerusalem is a dying city, and everything is slowly backing away from the murder scene.

Except for secrets. Secrets and mysteries still lie thick around New Jerusalem, thanks to the thin places where mortals, mages and monsters can travel between this world and the Other Realms. As the city crumbles and the ley lines fray, the Other Realms come closer than ever before, bleeding away reality and leaving relics, mysteries and corrupt flecks of magic in their wake.

All of which the members of the Shadow family are happy to find, steal and sell.

Welcome to a town without pity

Shadows of New Jerusalem is a collaborative urban fantasy/horror campaign, run using Fate Core. The players and GM developed the core setting concepts, themes and elements together, and the players are encouraged to suggest new setting and character elements as the game progresses.

The game revolves around the fortunes of the Shadow family, who run New Jerusalem’s underground Shadow Market – a place where dreams, relics and secrets can be bought and sold by both mundane citizens and the denizens of the Other Realms.

Game/setting principles

  • There are more worlds than this. There are multiple Other Realms and pocket dimensions that exist beside the mortal world; they’re not as ‘real’ as our world, but they persist and can be reached. Passageways between worlds always go to the same Realm, and can usually only be created and opened from this side. There are different beings, factions and locations in the Other Realms, which have their own rules and agendas.
  • Magic has limits. Magic can’t do everything, and the things that it can do have significant flaws and drawback. It takes time and effort to use magic, and it calls up entropy into the world that manifests in various ways. Mortal magic is unreliable in the Other Realms, often having different effects and drawbacks if it works at all. Magic brought back from the Realms is similarly unpredictable in the mortal world – but may be more powerful in some ways.
  • Mortal lives matter. Magic and the supernatural exist, but it’s the work and lives of ordinary people that truly make a difference. Changes in the mortal world cause changes in the Other Realms (both physical and metaphysical), but not vice versa, and the Realms rely on mortals for power, influence and control. Magic and technology are unreliable in the Realms, but mortal skill is unchanged, and humans working together can prevail.
  • Things fall apart. New Jerusalem is a city in decline. The economy is in bad shape, unemployment is high, services are unreliable and many people have left the city. In addition, the ley lines that underpin magic are fraying and failing, and magic causes entropy to surge, accelerating the city’s physical and metaphysical decay. Something or someone may be able to stop the rot, but right now, the city is in bad shape, and dangerous to boot – especially as more citizens begin to witness signs of the supernatural.

Shadows of New Jerusalem

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