Dark City is a horror campaign set in White Wolf’s original World of Darkness campaign setting. It is the setting for tales of dark hope and bright despair, where hope leads to tragedy and tragedy to hope. The City is meant to be nameless, to emphasize how it’s a template for the characters to write their stories on. The city is a fictional location combining elements of several real life cities. The metropolitan area is huge, much bigger than any real city on earth, and is surrounded by a wide belt of suburbs and smaller cities. This vast sprawl is what gives it the difficulties it faces; the city has grown too big to be managed. Like Chicago, it is the center of a rusting belt of burned out, abandoned, aging factories and the dying communities that supported them. Like New York, it has a large densely populated urban high rise center. Like New Orleans, it is a port city on a vast river, with a colonial past that includes a lot of European influences. Like Mexico City, it is violent, corrupt, and overrun by crime. It has two vast cemeteries that are essentially cities of the dead, as well as an old colonial area that was the original settlement. The location is on the Mississippi River, somewhere between New Orleans and Vicksburg, along the east bank of the river.
All the elements of the White Wolf universe combine in Dark City. It was constructed by a mad vampire who dreamed of becoming a god. A dark legacy of blood and terror clings to the decaying buildings of the city, affecting the inhabitants. Vampires carouse and scheme in the shadows, their glittering yet rotten courts reflecting the City itself, unaware of how their intrigues are eating away at the City around them, content in their decaying illusion of opulence. Werewolves prowl the dark streets, raging against the many bane spirits and Wyrm creatures lurking in the City, proud of their war against the Wyrm, yet unconcerned at how that war destroys mortal lives unaware and unconnected to the Apocalypse. Mages wage their private feuds and schemes, dismissive of how their actions leave bodies and destruction in their wake. Changelings, refugees in the City, seek Glamour to retain their existence at the expense of the very creative forces that help sustain the City. Wraiths lurk among the sad sites of their death, products of centuries of violence and disaster, holding old grudges and feuds that spill over into modern nights and onto the modern inhabitants of the City. Hunters fight their own war to protect mortals, and in the process cause even more damage and chaos in the City. In their pride and arrogant certainty that each, and each alone holds the key to salvation, the supernaturals tear apart the City that nurtures and protects them.
This is the City the characters live in, choosing to try to merely survive or to protect it and strive to keep it together for one more day. They must decide how to deal with not only the tensions and pressures caused by the permanent supernatural inhabitants of the City, but also deal with the Gaian Cult of Jormungar, which unites shapeshifters and mortals who desire the City’s destruction, the Setites seek to take over the City, driven by their Priest Khaba Payne, who desires control of the City and its supernatural heritage, as well as vengeance for his many dead childer slain by the City’s protectors, the Oblivion worshiping wraiths, specters, and Risen of the Order of the Obsidian Eye who seek to sacrifice the City to the nameless, ancient powers of the Dark Umbra, and the remnants of the Court of des Caradas, the mad vampire Prince who founded the City with demonic aid in an attempt to become a vampire god, who still strive to resurrect their dark master and finish his apotheosis. Under the aid, and guided by, City Mother, the enigmatic, half mad spirit of the City, the characters will have to decided if they will face these challenges, or abandon the Dark City to its fate.