Designing districts / 101 District Traits

I’m currently writing up my own setting, and I could use some ideas for the mechanical perks and penalties for operating in a district. I think this forum could also use a setting-neutral thread for that sort of thing. I’m open to constructive criticism and guidelines on what makes a good district trait.

Information black market: You may gain +1d gather information in this district, but word travels fast here, meaning you take 1 Heat if you do so.

Money Shrine: You may obtain 2 Coin here as a downtime activity, but start a 4 segment clock representing a curse or vengeful spirit. Your crew may pay 4 Coin as recompense to appease the site’s supernatural guardians. Alternatively, you may pay 2 Coin to gain +1d to your next engagement roll if you have not previously angered the guardians.

Security Monitoring: The prevalence of special surveillance methods means non-social scores get -1d to the engagement roll. You may get increased effect when you gather information about anything in the district, at the cost of a 4 segment clock representing owing a favor to the devil informant inside the system.

1 Like

Districts having a mechanical benefit or tradeoff is one of the aspects of BitD I really glossed over on my first read through the book. However, upon my subsequent reviews of the document, I found I really do like how each district has an ability that helps to mechanically reinforce the narrative of that district.

I would be hesitant to try to create too many “generalized” districts that you can drag and drop into any given world, but I do like the idea of creating “seed” districts that can act as a starting point for developing interesting locations in a variety BitD or FitD games.

Perhaps each district could have a narrative and mechanical seed with leading questions the GM or players have to answer about the district that help flesh it out. Likewise, the landmarks, scene, example street names, buildings, and notable NPCs should all be incorporated into either the seed itself or the leading questions that help develop the seed further. Combined, this could set the traits of the district as a guideline and quick reference for GMs and players.

1 Like