As part of my commitment to producing more regular content for Too Many Dice, I decided to shine a light on the City Creation elements of the Dresden Files RPG, in particular, the themes and threats we created for Dresdenverse Sheffield. If you're a regular listener to City of Steel, don't worry, I'll avoid spoilers for future episodes, but you might find these posts can enrich your listening, and perhaps provide some greater context for the ongoing conflicts within the podcast.
The slow death of Sheffield's primary industry –steel manufacture – in the late 80s and early 90s, hit the city hard, and many regions never recovered. Whilst employment is on the rise and middle-class areas of the city flourish, many families barely live above the poverty line, and reliance on social housing in the inner city and outlying council estates remains a grim reality for many. The atmosphere in these poor, disaffected communities is one of tension, and crime – drugs, vandalism, anti-social behaviour, theft and violence – is a constant threat. Numerous gangs have festered in the open, infected societal wounds the recession has left behind. Charismatic or powerful individuals have capitalised on the social division in the city, using these gangs and the apathy of the general public to further their own ends.
The City Stands Divided.
- Madam Troya is one of these individuals, a charismatic leader for the Blackstock Hoods. Little is known about the Hoods' boss, thus far she has evaded public attention but she's a figure of interest to the Investigative Procedure Department (dubbed "Investigation of the Paranormal Department" by Rupert Sewell) of the local police. Gang legend suggests she brutally removed her competition for leadership of the Hoods, though no police reports have been filed and no bodies have ever surfaced.
- DCI Amanda Sewell heads up the Investigative Procedure of the South Yorkshire Police, an experienced police officer with years of service on the beat and in front of government budget and disciplinary committees. Rumour has it that DCI Sewell continues a long family legacy of witch-hunting, fighting back the tide of supernatural threats against the mortal citizens of the city, a mantle she has passed on to her son, Rupert.
- It's an open secret that no endeavour happens on the Manor without Terrence Molvard's permission. Within the run-down estate, the gangland boss lives like a king, but so far the local police have been unable to tie him to any criminal activities, at least never long enough for the witnesses to make it to trial.