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Since it's around that time of year again, does anybody feel up for some more chinese take-out? Or maybe a trip to the bodega?

Previous threads:
I ran a silly one-shot based on those once. Was planning to write something more serious as well, but never got around to it, thanks for reminding me.
Anyway, good call, but I think that the apartment subject has been pretty much milked dry, we should come up with some other urban unease setting. I tried starting a boarding school one a month or so ago, but it died pretty quickly(even though it did manage to get few interesting suggestions before it did)
I think I remember you, or somebody with the same idea anyway, talking about running a game based on it. Glad to see you got a game out of it. How'd it go?

But yeah, I think we need a new setting for it. An Apartment complex, and the Subway. What's another normal place that naturally conjures up uneasey thoughts?

My friend took some buddies and tried to go to Salem on Halloween once, it was a bust, apparently everyone does that so there's road blocks and police everywhere that night.

But apparently on the way there they stopped at the Creepiest Highway Reststop Ever (e.x. they only stopped because it looked so creepy from the road) and found a vending machine full of egg salad sandwiches.

That always stuck with me.
Aw damn why didn't I think of that. Hospitals are a bit cliched for horror though, but it would be easy to make things for

Rest stops are cliche too, but definitely have a stronger sense of mystery to them imo.

Also, egg salad sandwiches? What kind of vending machine even sells those?

The one at the creepiest rest stop in the world.
(No, it wasn't refrigerated)
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abandoned building site
run down, half-empty, maze-like office complex
municipal infrastructural building that no-one ever enters or leaves
dying shopping mall
unused warehouse in the industrial district
the airport (airports are just kind of inherently uneasy imo)
vagrant hangout under the highway interchange cloverleaf
grotty strip mall with a liquour/check cashing store, tiny hairdresser's, and a bunch of incomprehensible ethnic stores
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I think one thing to keep in mind is that it needs to be a location that one would reasonably have to visit regularly or stay at for an extended period of time. In the case of things like abandoned buildings, empty warehouses, and hobo jungles, the question becomes what the players are doing there unless they're bums or vagrants, but I feel like that sort of misses the clash of normal and abnormal, because hobos tend to be fairly odd to begin with. Of course, I'm not sure what a good example a place that's both uneasy and in need of regular visitation, since that naturally builds familiarity. Spooky apartments are kind of unique in that regard, as far as I can think of, though it's also late and I'm tired. Maybe some kind of general store, or some kind of government office? Maybe even an entire slum or something?
What about a theme park resort?

The trick is not to go too cliche into the horrible, haunted park shit but just eerieness and general unease.
Underground car parks.
I like the dying mall. The strip mall just sounds like a soap opera.
But a mall... Multi-leveled, confusing layout... Actually, you know what's perfect? Pike Place Market in Seattle. You won't find good pictures on google, but lemme give you a run down (and the official map).
You have multiple buildings designated as one market. THe main market is carved into the hillside (okay, an artificial cliff that covers the burned ruins of Old Seattle), going down 6 levels. Then there's the other confusing market buildings, the park where homeless people sit all the time, Upper Post Alley (which is also partially carved out of the hillside), and Lower Post Alley, which has the gum wall and a ghost.
All you know about the ghost is that he died in the alleyway, outside the theatre, and you never hear the same story twice...
Oh yes, that second elevator? the one that doesn't go into a parking garage? There's an apartment building right next to it. The parking garage goes underground, so you can imagine the fun there...
Oh, and there's a planned expansion that they're working on.
In short, something like Pike Place is perfect.
Having visited Pike place myself, I'll say you're right. Downside is: how do you expand? All you need is to basically plop down Pike place and call it a day.

For the hell of it, my own pitch for a spooky mall like that:

>The mall holds a few holsout stores of hains gone pretty much everywhere else. And a few store chains that have been closed for decades, even still carrying their own store-brand of merchandise.

>A popular fast food chain has a restaurant in the food court here. You can't place it, but their food tastes different from any other example of the chain you've eaten at. So etimes better, sometimes worse, but always nothing exactly like what you'd expect, even when you see them use the same ingredients and prep.
Ah, but we can strip down to the basics, and keep that feel, but still make it our own.

>The outskirts of New England Towne
>Or some Japanese town
>Cut into a cliff-like hillside is a shopping center
>Legend says there's old mineshafts in the hill
>It started off in the mid 1800's as japanese immigrants, stuck on the east coast and given just that spot to live in, terraced the hillside to place shops and homes
>The shops expanded greatly. Bridges, new walkways, increased heights, even tunneling into the hill itself.
>Now, the semi-historic district is a shopping mall and small (strangely cheap) apartments/motel rooms, 8 stories and two basements of rambling semi-japanese architecture, with more modern buildings attaching at the bottom of the hill.
>They say the main halls are safe, almost disappointingly normal and american
>But there's the side halls and pseudo alleys that are on no map... Only barely remembered directions and every changing landmarks
>Where they say you can buy anything your heart desires
>Like an actually tasty veggie burger
>What store do you work at?
Probably a lot more fantastic than what we're looking for, but eh.
captcha: apartment buildings
On bump won't hurt
Having worked in an actual Mall at one point in my life, there are a shit ton of back-passages and such that the public doesn't get access to. If, say some of those back tunnels expand further into realms less understood that would be interesting. Walk far enough in and it starts to look like Kowloon walled city, with tiny cramped spaces with merchants selling strange goods you barely understand for odd prices. Maybe different directions and turns get you to different time periods or different ethnic stores depending on what floor and turns you take? Who knows, if you explore enough maybe you'll find medieval swordsmiths, ancient Arabic traders selling gold items for ridiculously low prices or the El Dorado Diner, where the water of youth comes with every meal. The thing about malls though, is you have to get out before the mall closes for the night or you're locked in. Who knows what happens to people who get locked into the mall?
Round back every morning there's a bunch of lorries delivering stock.

And covered wagons

And camel drawn wagon.
I should've remembered that, since I'm a stagehand and deal with the back areas of buildings all the time.
I actually like this idea more than mine.
There's one loading dock on the map. You know of five.
I like your idea, it's definitely urban fantasy without being straight-up horror.

Maybe expand on it a little: every single shop belongs to a chain that closed down long ago (or ones that are effectively dead, like Blockbusters) - except for a few novelty stores with unusual names.

Each stores is a snapshot of the era in which they were strongest, with appropriately dressed workers, old music playing, etc. The people inside never seem to age or leave the story, and conversations with them reveal they still think it's whatever year their store 'represents' (the vinyl shop owner talks about Pink Floyd as promising up-and-comers, the army surplus store keeps going on about how someone needs to take care of the Reds, etc). They don't like talking about other shops ("competition", they say, even when they sell completely different things). They adamantly refuse to acknowledge the strange novelty shops.

There's construction on the outskirts, even though no workers ever show up. Every now and then, when the newspapers announce a major chain is shutting down, the mall becomes a little larger.

Some say that, if you go beyond the closed-off sites, you'll find older parts of the mall long forgotten, selling illegal wares like opium or slaves. Just be careful with those sections: some of the merchants accept only currencies found in museums, and have a tendency to severely punish shoplifters.
>you'll find older parts of the mall long forgotten, selling illegal wares like opium or slaves.

"illegal stuff" or just selling stuff that USED to be legal hundreds of years ago?

Not a bad expansion on the "mall museum" idea.

Not too sure about making them ALL like that myself, if only because it limits things, but I think it could be worked into an interesting campaign.
>What kind of vending machine even sells those?
One that's trying to poison you
Stuff that used to be legal makes it more interesting, I think. If you could legally own and purchase it in a large goods-exchange location (like a marketplace or bazaar or whatever) then you can find it here = note that most of human history has been very light on regulations, so you can find pretty much anything you want from the pre-modern period. That way you can cleverly interpret it and look for stuff instead of it just being a bizarre bazaar.

If by all you mean all malls then yeah, that would be silly. If by all you mean all stores in the mall I guess that's just the way it works? But also you could have the first level/building/whatever's closest to the entrance be currently-existing stuff to make it more mundane to the unsuspecting.
Some say there's a service elevator that takes you to floors still unfinished. Clever people use this to find out which stores will go under next.

The really clever keep going, hoping to grab some futuristic merchandise. None have returned so far, signaling one of two things (that the mall is carnivorous is the less horrible option).
On that note, what if the mall ended up being reversed? The windy twisty passages that most normal malls have in the back are actually the 'storefronts' and the normal mall storefronts are actually the backrooms?
There's a door on the third floor that only opens up during the summer. After a short walk down a hallway, you come out to a private oceanside beach, reserved for the tenants. The price of admission is that everyone who uses the beach has to make a statement to the effect of "ITS THE SEA!" when they come out. If someone doesn't a nasty thunderstorm washes in and causes the beach to get shut down. No one ever gets hurt but boooooy does it piss the other people off that you shut the beach down because you didn't want to look like a goober.
The backrooms are shared.
With another mall, which always changes, and sometimes may not be... Normal. Sometimes their stock gets mixed in with yours, or you get their employees, or even their customers.
You don't even sell fidget spinners, let ones that attack people!
SO I'm looking at hacking together a loose system to play in The Building (no matter the setting, it is always The Building), are there any suggestions?
Other than FATE? I'm thinking either AW or Traveller.
I mean all stores in the mall, but, yeah, a lot of potential in just a time-trapped mall.

God, though, that place must be great for shopping for old toys.

Battletech Atlas action figure from Fedco, here I come again!

I'm sure most newcomers would end up shouting "It's the sea!" anyway out of sheer shock. Still, I do like how the punishment is more just because you pissed off everyone else.

... what is the more horrible option? And how can they be so clever if they end up never returning?

Anyway though, some other ideas for the mall that aren't necessarily time related:

>the TVs in the display windows of the electronics store will sometimes show you despite no visible camera hookups.
>othertimes, they might show you at different points in your life, often during moments that were frightening, even traumatic

>About half of the pets in the pet store have human-like eyes regardless of species. Those that do seem to have a strangely longing look whenever they see humans. The pet store refuses to sell these animals

>(Bog standard) Did those fucking mannequins just move?!
I meant it more sarcastically, aka they think they're really clever but not really.

My reasoning is, either they disappear forever because the mall is evil or whatever and kills them, OR - since this is supposed to be the more distant future (since this is beyond the near-future-predicting forbidden floors that people do come back from) that humanity has no future beyond the immediate.
>Gothic Revival
>Basement Apartment
>Crazy Dan's Genre Supplies
>Irregular Grocery
>The Pawn Shop
>Uncle Icky's Takeout
>Vending Machine
>First Aid Kit
>Local Channels
>Multi-Faucet Sink (and buy an electric kettle from the Pawn Shop)
>Painter's Memento
>Charm Giving Lass
>Delving Adventurer
>Basement Apparition
>Yarn Spiders
>Marxist Mice
>Chronicler (Free smokes, fuck yeah!)
>Standing Stones
>Hallway Wanderer
Paranormal Phenomena
>Infinity Line
>Odd Jobs Listing
>Outdoor Courtyard
>Infinity Loop Staircase
>Stairs To The End
>Illustrated Stalls
>Night Fair
>Stairwell Windows
>Gravity Anomaly
>Courtyard Chapel
>Shop - Heretic's Library
>Shop - Abandoned Store
>Shop - Gunrunner's Depot
>Shop - Blockbuster
>Shop - The Lost and Found
>Open Door Day

All in all, a pretty good setup, especially since the original Infinity Line would take you to other universes if your work (like freelance dungeon raiding) was there.
Funnily enough, I came up with the Infinity Line, Crazy Dan's, and the Courtyard Chapel. I'm most proud of the chapel, it even had a schedule of creepy cults cycling through it, with different interiors every time
What do you think the floor plan looks like for that place?

Looks like the apartment entrance is on the bottom left. Stairs in the lobby to each floor? Elevator? 12 apartments and a penthouse? Or smaller apartments for 18 + penthouse?
As in, it's all of those. At once.
It's The Building after all!
What's wrong with FATE?
Nothing, but I prefer a system where you don't have to buy special dice.
And I want a bit of a challenge, even if FATE is one of the perfect systems for this (the other is WoD).
To be fair, I've never run a horror themed game as it seems very hard to actually use combat but (1) make it so hard it is frightening and (2) it doesn't outright kill all the pcs
By the way, we are on sup/tg/ now, in the Urban Unease tag.
Now lets work on shit again.

You know how those big malls have these big atriums, to reduce the number of supports they need in public areas?
Well, go down to that service door, and open the second janitorial closet on your right. Don't take any turns getting there. Close the door, flip the light switch twice, then open it and walk back.
It's something to see the changes. Sandstone and wood, carpets and glass boats moored to the walkways... Goods from all over the worlds we've voyaged to...
Just don't let the guards see you, or else... Well, you're young, you look strong. You might survive.
Okay, it's a weird trick that goes against all D&D math, but here it is -
Cheat. The monster doesn't have to be hard to beat the players, the monster is beating the players by weakening them. Throw a -5 fear penalty (Or appropriately large penalty for level or system) on everything they do. Make em flat-footed if they don't spend an action on defending themselves, or make an appropriate save (at -5 or more). Boost the monster by stacking penalties on the players, and let them know - it's the monster. Or it could be themselves.
Nothing is scarier to a modern player than removing options and abilities.
Naturally but what I did mean is that everytime you use it you have to shout "Its the sea!" and you know just how self-concious people can be so just being known as that fun-killing jerk is a bad enough punishment.

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