What do you like in a modern setting?

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY HELP & DISCUSSION' started by Minibit, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. Modern Earth can be one of the hardest settings to expand upon, because we already have a huge existing model of information! Making a creative and unique modern setting is a special kind of challenge, especially if you're leaving fantasy and scifi twists like magical powers, aliens, or human mutations out.

    So, what kinds of creative spins do you enjoy in a realistic modern world? You can cite examples from books, movies, and TV shows as well as Roleplays you've been in and your own ideas that haven't been applied to anything yet.

    I like it when a writer goes out of their way to make the city/town unique. Whether by giving it a new, widely-believed superstition, or creating original businesses and attractions instead of the usual Wal-Mart, 7-11, and Denny's. (Nothing wrong with those, but making the local businesses original can make the setting more interesting, I find.
  2. It comes down to politics and more politics. What kind of city are your citizens in, what kind of policies does it keep? How does it affect the people living there. And whats the cities main income, what is its landmark. Does any kind of tensions run back in the towns past. If you are just going with a local sphere of influence like say a single town, your political spectrum boils down to Police, citizens and criminals. Is crime a problem? Are your charachters cops? Then gangs or maffia may be important, their income and their turfs are important.

    Is your setting more fantastical, but grounded in reality. Is your scale more global then local? Well then, geopolitcs. What is the tensions between groups, what place is a hot bed for trouble. Why is it a hotbed? If you establish these, making a world grows instantly easier.

    Is your settting less dire, is a school kind of deal? Teen love? well then, what places do the teens hang at. How is the night life? What is the schools great pride. Where do the stoners hang out etc etc. All worldbuilding comes down to people and politics.
    • Thank Thank x 1
  3. What I like most about modern settings is that their mundaneness can effectively contrast what makes main characters and plots unique. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya does this extremely well, though it has supernatural elements, as the otherwise super-normal setting allows Haruhi's character to flourish in her search for strange and for a more distinguished identity. You could also take the works of great horrors that are set in modern times, and that can happen.
    • Thank Thank x 1
  4. To me, the only thing that can make a true modern fantasy setting interesting is either being under-the-radar (the mob, some paramilitary group or other shady organization of your choice) or uncovering ALL the dirty little secrets of that setting (corrupt politicians, secret groups, etc).

    Overall, modern fantasy can be pretty bland.
  5. I prefer to draw upon the concepts of Lovecraftian horror or concepts and tone from the "World of Darkness" series of roleplaying games, at least where modern day fantasy is concerned. Also, I like to do period/cultural research. Many of the people around the world are awash in religious, spiritual and cultural lore that I can easily use the concepts for that in stories and roleplays.

    At least that's what works for me. :3