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Base/Lair "Themes"

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WarBird
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Base/Lair "Themes"

Okay, so this is just for fun - apologies if this is a resurrected thread

I remember a loooong time ago talking about the features we wanted in the 'base builder,' the basic mechanics of how it worked and what tools we would have to manipulate objects, etc. But I don't recall talking about what kind of specific objects we would find most useful. And, if there would be any overall 'thematic' décor choices.

What I remember from CoH were generic Sci-Fi/High Tech and Magic/Medieval. Was there a kind of Grunge/Sewer theme? Anyway, what do you think would be, say, Top 5 Themes that we'd like to see? Throw in a few specific objects that should be included in a given theme.

And just to be clear - I'm not asking about functional items or features that actually DO things in the game. Just different aesthetic sensibilities that would help satisfy your character's/group's theme. With an eye, of course, for making them multi-purpose.

blacke4dawn
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Escher style. Wouldn't need

Escher style. Wouldn't need any specific objects but rather a properly functional gravity system to really make it work.

Nature / Dark nature. Outdoor theme including forests, cairn stones, henges and other such druidic "items". The dark version would be "corrupted".

Alchemist. Essentially a magical version of a chemistry lab.

Robotics/cybernetics. Assembly line, repair table/station, installation station.

Alien worlds.

islandtrevor72
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My top five themes would

My top five themes would probably be (in no particular order):

Caves with water falls, bottomless pits, lava flows, stalagmites/stalactites and a view of a barren wasteland.
Mansions/castles that can have spiral staircases, secret doors, old timey mad doctor lab, big fireplaces, stuffed animals and coffins.
Underwater base/submarine with lots of windows to see the ocean life, a cool aquatic throne, exits that you swim from, and pools to lounge in.
Factory/warehouse, decked out with machinery, huge bay doors, giant vats of strange chemicals, shelves to the ceiling full of boxes, scissor lift elevators and stacks of pallets.
Ultra high tech lab/space station filled with undefinable equipment, alien specimen jars, cloning facility, holograms and elevators that go up to metal mesh walkways.

I would also love it if all of these could be mixed and matched as we saw fit. Some honorable mentions for decor (as in just for looks) items would be trophies, jail cells, (tame) torture chambers, customizable pictures/paintings, vaults, tongue in cheek references to pop culture (like a blue police box, giant coin or Statesman style mask), working vid screens, adjustable lighting with objects that shed light (be cool if my cave was dark but lit by the glowing green moss or lava from the cracks in the floor), statues (including ones that look like your character) and graveyards. Each of these could have various designs to make them fit the basic base styles.

Finally, I would really love it if these bases were not all completely closed so you could go 'outside'. But thats a topic for another thread.

Redlynne
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Let's just make this absurdly

Let's just make this absurdly simple for people unclear on the concept.

The entire notion is to make any kind of Environment Editor be a dual use "technology" within the game ... such that you use the same system to create the maps used for Mission Instances as you do for Player Housing (whether that be personal or communal).

One Editor To Rule Them All ... as it were.

That means that if it can be done in a Mission Instance, it ought to be able to be done (sooner or later) using the Base Builder for Player Housing.

After that, it's all just User Generated Content using the building blocks made available. I think it's safe to say that a lot of the things mentioned so far will be included regardless of other considerations. Remember, the Developers of this game are fans too ...


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islandtrevor72
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Lets just make this absurdly

Lets just make this absurdly simple for Redlynne who is unclear on the concept.

The very first line in the thread is

Quote:

Okay, so this is just for fun.

No one is unclear on the intended base builder. But you are unclear on the purpose of the thread.

Nyxz
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Treehouse base because my

Treehouse base because my teen super's mom refuses to splurge for a super base because she insists on investing in a stupid college fund instead.

Haunted House with plenty of ghosts.

Winter wonderland.

Redlynne
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islandtrevor72 wrote: Lets
islandtrevor72 wrote:

Lets just make this absurdly simple for Redlynne who is unclear on the concept.

Ah, back to your first instinct of being a troll I see. Enjoy.


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islandtrevor72
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Just in case anyone cares, I

Just in case anyone cares, I am not upset and do not have plans to continue this conversation with Red beyond what I have to say below. If Red lets it drop I will as well. I do apologize that this has come to a head here but I feel it is necessary to say some things.

Quote:

Ah, back to your first instinct of being a troll I see. Enjoy.

It doesn't surprise me that you try and twist perception in this manner as you have deluded yourself into thinking you are flawless.
Time and again you enter discussions with the idea that you are smarter and proceed to talk down to people or you simply show little respect for anyone who does not agree with you... some times you enter a thread just to throw an insulting smart ass comment. Heaven help us if someone agrees with you or shows any kind of approval for something you say because that's when your superiority complex really kicks in. Then when someone calls you on your faults you attempt to employ a reversal of perception to shift responsibility...You accused me of this once, projector is the word you used and I found it intensely funny and tragically sad that you can understand that concept but fail to see it in yourself.
So you can keep calling me a troll, keep shifting that blame and stay precariously perched on that high horse because I am not swayed by your false reality. When I express hostility towards you or anyone else it is in defence of attacks or insults, I admit when I am wrong and I know that I can come across as hostile or insulting even when that's not my intent and try to rectify it when I do. Anyone who is interested could easily check the past and see the truth of both our habits... and if they just don't care enough then your posts and my reply above will paint a partial picture.
I may be an arrogant prick who is quick to anger but at least I know it, can you be as honest about your faults?

Kiyori Anoyui
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Observation Tower/ or flying

Observation Tower/ or flying ship(like in stardust)

Lava Room(Like in The Incredibles)

Submarine(Down Periscope! xD)

Ice Cave

Old CoH ruins

The Carnival of Light in the Phoenix Rising
"We never lose our demons, we only learn to live above them." - The Ancient One

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Redlynne
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islandtrevor72 wrote: I may
islandtrevor72 wrote:

I may be an arrogant prick who is quick to anger but at least I know it, can you be as honest about your faults?

Certainly.

The title of this thread is about Base/Lair "Themes" and everyone has been offering thematics. The thing is, why would any developer, in their right mind, want to develop these things exclusively just for Bases and Lairs while not using the same elements for actual in-game content and Missions? Case in point, a lot of the elements used for Bases in City of Heroes were just assets lying around that got used in Missions, so there was relatively little "expense" in making those assets (also) available to the Base Editor.

But at the same time, in City of Heroes, the Base Editor and the developer used Mission Editor relied on distinctly different code bases and programming. This meant that over time, the two systems diverged, such that one received updates (Mission Editor used by the developers) and one didn't (Base Editor). Then came Architect Entertainment, which introduced yet a third code base for User Generated Content, which itself had to be maintained separately in order to add new content and functionality.

This is one of those things where in retrospect, you'd NEVER want to build things this way from the beginning, since it basically amounts to Hax upon Hax upon Hax, and eventually you wind up with spaghetti code that behaves like (as Arbiter Hawk once put it) "a stack of Jenga blocks that are on fire" and it becomes too "expensive" to make any changes or additions because the code base is inherently unstable.

Ideally, if starting from scratch, like City of Titans is, you want to design a programming tool that is powerful enough to serve all of these functions at once ... which essentially amounts to being an Instance Editor ... that can create Mission Instances, Bases and User Generated Content, all using the exact same code base. Reusable coding and all that. It's more complicated to do at first but once you've got the coding in place it makes life easier ever afterwards and as a developer you only have to support the one set of multi-purpose tools. It's a "pay now, save later" kind of deal, where the savings down the line can be enormous because you Built It Right™ the first time.

Consequently, that would mean that ideally, each and every single suggestion for a setting in this thread would not be something ... confined ... or limited to just Bases and Lairs. Instead, these are the things that people would want, and be able, to see as environments not just in Player Housing, but also in Mission Instances and also in User Generated Content such as the equivalent to Architect Entertainment.

In other words, thinking about this purely in terms of "what can I do with the Base Editor?" is perhaps arbitrarily limiting the scope of things to match historical expectations of a game (City of Heroes) that should no longer be relevant. Kind of like how in City of Heroes, you couldn't customize your Pets or your Powers the way we're setting things up for City of Titans ... because, why do things the "old" way if you don't have to (and there's no benefit for doing so while carrying a heaping helping of baggage).

My point is that Form needs to follow Function, and I'm pointing out that the Function we all want is broader than JUST Player Housing, no disrespect to Warbird for starting this thread the way he did.

Now, will we get EVERY setting/theme that is being suggested? Very likely not, since the amount of artwork involved with each is decidedly non-trivial. But over time, I'd like to think that the developers will be able to produce more themes and environments and be able to add them to the toolkit available not only to the developers but also to Players. Granted, the toolkit used by the Players may be "limited" in some form or fashion to not provide FULL functionality used by the developers to produce more content, but if the toolkit is built RIGHT that limitation should not extend to themes and environments.

As a practical matter, I'd expect development to concentrate on the settings and environments needed to thematically portray the elements used in the game at launch ... before branching out into creating additional settings, themes and environments. That means that some "generic" settings will probably have higher priority for development, such as warehouse, office, underground tunnels, sewers, outdoors, etc., with the rest getting put on a whiteboard list for possibly doing Later™ after the game has been released. Highly specialized environments with extremely focused themes would, I expect, be given a lower priority, simply because they won't be as broadly applicable/reusable.

Still, just like with the Costume Editor, it's variety and choices that allow breathing "life" into the creative effort, so by all means ... keep suggesting themes for Bases and Lairs. Just remember that ideally you want these themes to be MORE THAN just for Bases and Lairs. Reusable code and assets are your Friend. They may be harder to build the first time, but they're better to use in the long run.

Now, what were you complaining about again?


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islandtrevor72
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Quote: The title of this
Quote:

The title of this thread is about Base/Lair "Themes"...

Now, what were you complaining about again?

This....This entire train of thought that assumes the overly simplistic view you put forth is important to the discussion. The manner in which you initially presented this view. And your new lecture which starts off with a faulty premise and ends in a point that makes the entire lecture unnecessary. Those are my complaints.
Yes the base builder is intended to be design so that all assets are interchangeable between player bases and dev design environments. yes the devs will most likely present the assets with the broadest appeal first. And yes the ideal suggestion would be one that has equal value to both. These are obvious facts and conclusions that hardly need explaining.
But you would be a fool to think everything suggested has to have equal or even close to equal value for both players and devs. Just like the costume creator, the base builder is about creative expression and just like the costume creator there are going to be assets designed directly with the players in mind that have limited value to the developers in terms of environment creation. You know this Red, you have spoken about it before.
So even if you are right and we didn't know what the base builder is intending to be...it has next to no relevance to the concept of suggesting themes and décor.....and explaining that base builder while telling us how to frame our suggestions in a thread specifically made for enjoyment has even less relevance.
Now can we please drop this and let people have fun offering their suggestions?

Kheprera
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Quote:
Quote:

Anyway, what do you think would be, say, Top 5 Themes that we'd like to see? Throw in a few specific objects that should be included in a given theme.

And just to be clear - I'm not asking about functional items or features that actually DO things in the game. Just different aesthetic sensibilities that would help satisfy your character's/group's theme. With an eye, of course, for making them multi-purpose.

My top 5:

1) Natural: Plants for gardens, with and without pots (trees, rose bushes, flowers, shubbery), water (pools, waterfalls), rocks (various sizes, boulders, carved stones, standing stones, able to change type of stone - granite - marble - etc).

2) Magic/Fantasy/Medieval: Apothecary chests, crystal globes (glowing & non), tapestries & rugs, spellbooks (floating & on pedestals), glowing portals (floating on own & mountable on walls/as doors), floating discs of varying sizes to use as stair steps/floors, torches, ornate iron or wood spiral staircase.

3) SciFi/High Tech/Space Station: Catwalks, riveted walls/bulkhead, tech lighting, security scanners, computers, monitors, space station/ship consoles, medical scanners, wall-mounted security scanners (biometric hand/eye scanners, keycards, keypad), lighted spiral metal staircase.

4) Modern Day: Beds! Furniture (couches, coffee maker, ladders, dresser), stairs/spiral staircase, kitchen appliances (stove, refrigerator, sink), desks, chairs, French doors.

5) Dark/Horror: Twisted trees with Spanish moss (some with scary faces), portals with "ghosts" inside, creepy fireplace, vines (hanging on walls or ceiling), pools of water with "ghosts" or shifting color to dark swirling red, "wall hangings" you can place that don't seem to have anything but randomly produce a shadow that flickers on and off, pictures that move and shift.

notears
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STEAMPUNK!!!!

STEAMPUNK!!!!

not my video just one I lke ===> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6-SdIN0hsM

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> Escher style

> Escher style

Duuuuuuuude.

Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude.

That would be awesome. Let the base editor specify which of the six room planes is "down"! That could be trivial or hard depending on how the game engine works. So, too, for gravity (or no gravity!) And within rooms too, for full Escher stairs effects. Don't forget hallways!

__________________

The very existence of the taunting tank irritates, for it requires idiotic AI that obeys the taunt.

Gorgon
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I would like some kind of

I would like some kind of generic blocks so we can build things without stacking desks or stone park benches. If they want to get fancier by having a "smoothe" function ala EverQuest Landmark, go for it. How easy is it to expose the internal build tools, or a playful subset?

__________________

The very existence of the taunting tank irritates, for it requires idiotic AI that obeys the taunt.

Grimfox
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Sky. In the CoH bases you

Sky. In the CoH bases you couldn't have an "outdoor" area. You could make a simulacrum but you'd still be staring up into a blackish void of a ceiling.

StellarAgent
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Grimfox wrote:
Grimfox wrote:

Sky. In the CoH bases you couldn't have an "outdoor" area. You could make a simulacrum but you'd still be staring up into a blackish void of a ceiling.

Or a dome-like ceiling where upon you could have projected a night sky, day sky, red, green, purple, etc colored sky.

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Trailer Park mobile homes. I

Trailer Park mobile homes. I want to run Titan City Investigations out of one.
and a run down office building for my larger organization, Titan Investigative Team of Superheroes.

Radiac
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Okay, deal, but only if you

Okay, deal, but only if you call your SG "Conjectural Technologies"...

R.S.O. of Phoenix Rising

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blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

Escher style. Wouldn't need any specific objects but rather a properly functional gravity system to really make it work.

Kind of like the Squid Game house?

Even if making gravity relative proves to be too troublesome for environment design, you could still do this style for climbers or just for the aesthetics of it. You gotta admit, that is a cool style for a lair.

Yes, I know it's a necro-post, but rather than making a new thread, this seemed like the most appropriate place. There have been a few other forum threads mentioning M.C. Escher style environments, but I like this topic the best.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
Hatut Zeraze
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As I browse this thread, I am

As I browse this thread, I am thinking of not just the fun base-builders in CoX, but also of the alternative "Hideout" system from Champions Online. As much as we all recognize that CoX is the true precursor and inspiration for City of Titans, I think it also clear that Champions Online, and its attempt to be the next superhero MMO, with all of its strengths and weaknesses, is also an inspiration. After all, why would all of us even needed to bother with City of Titans if we hadn't looked at Champions Online and saw room for improvement.

THIS thread in particular, certainly asks us to look at Champions Online. CO's Hideout system IS pretty close to what is described in the opening post. Each of the hideouts has a specific theme. The big problem, of course, with the Hideout system in CO, though is that they are ONLY a visual with no opportunities to tweak or personalize at all. The way I read the opening post is that we could eventually have a system that gives us themes like those in CO, as a starting point, and then let us build out from there.

Redlynne's notes suggest we might not need any starting point or themed categories, but ultimate freedom. Of course, I think we would all dig that, BUT I am going to blow past it. I am doing so, not because I disagree with any of his ideas, but because accepting them as some kind of expectation or certainty for City of Titans means giving up thinking about location themes. Thinking about themes is fun and I want to do it.

For reference, here are the Champions Online Hideout themes:
- 60's Moonbase
- Alchemist Sanctum
- Druidic Sanctum
- Hi-Tech Cave
- Industrial Cave
- Loft Penthouse
- Luxury Penthouse
- Mom's Basement
- Mystic Sanctum
- Primal Cave
- Space Agency Moonbase
- Tech Basement
- Vigilante Basement
- Sci-Fi Moonbase

A lot of these could be fun, themed starting points, however similarly or differently interpreted from the CO version.

To summarize the rest of THIS thread, here are the cool ideas I see listed here:
- Sci-fi/Hi-tech
- Medieval/Magical
- Grunge/Sewer
- Escher Style (Squid Game?)
- Nature/Dark Nature
- Alchemist
- Robotics/cybernetics
- Alien Worlds
- Caves
- Mansions/Castles
- Underwater Base/Submarine
- Factory/Warehouse
- High tech lab/space station
- Treehouse
- Haunted House
- Winter Wonderland
- Observation Tower
- Flying Ship base
- Lava Room
- Ice Cave
- Steampunk
- Sky
- Trailer Park/Mobile Homes

I notice a lot of ideas covered in both lists. I also am reminded of the CoX Homecoming server in a few of these suggestions. For those unfamiliar, on the Homecoming server, they simply turned off the requirements to purchase items for bases or the need to earn prestige to pay for such items. To the extent I understand it, ALL base items are available for everyone (not unlike the broad base-editor ideas Redlynne talked about earlier). I bring this up because I have seen several of the recommended themes show up in Homecoming. There is a currently-existing winter wonderland, Christmas-themed base. There are several haunted house/Halloween-themed bases. These are very elaborate and well-designed.

I am thinking about what value Champions Online Hideouts bring that might be worth considering. As mentioned before, actual outdoor areas that include something as simple as a sky can't be made in the City of Heroes base-builder. In CO's Hideouts, those penthouses open out into balconies with a sky. The moonbases let you jump around in the low-gravity area covered by your hideout.

Could themes cover the outer environment SOME bases might be served by? Perhaps that could cover different skies (bases set in an area where sky is visible, bases set in the air where aircraft fly, bases set higher up in the clouds), underwater bases, creepy extra-dimensional "sky" effects (think: Ditko's Dr. Strange).

I am coming to no conclusions, but enjoying collecting thoughts about all of this.

Some themes not mentioned:
- Shrunken base theme (inside a giant kitchen or office)
- Cloud castle accessed via beanstalk
- Airfield (think Blackhawk island)
- Cyber-setting where characters have uploaded their consciousnesses into some kind of matrix (there is a great mission for this in CO)
- Inside a whale
- A prison
- An amusement park
- A city park

notears
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you know what would be good?

you know what would be good? a used future aethetic, something that high in terms of tech and age, like an abandoned mad scientist lab or a run down spaceship.

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/UsedFuture

also? Biotech

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/OrganicTechnology

not my video just one I lke ===> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6-SdIN0hsM

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Hatut Zeraze wrote:
Hatut Zeraze wrote:

Thinking about themes is fun and I want to do it.

For reference, here are the Champions Online Hideout themes:
- 60's Moonbase
- Alchemist Sanctum
- Druidic Sanctum
- Hi-Tech Cave
- Industrial Cave
- Loft Penthouse
- Luxury Penthouse
- Mom's Basement
- Mystic Sanctum
- Primal Cave
- Space Agency Moonbase
- Tech Basement
- Vigilante Basement
- Sci-Fi Moonbase

A lot of these could be fun, themed starting points, however similarly or differently interpreted from the CO version.

I like how DCUO does bases.. to an extent. I like the themes and decor options, and I like the functionality players can put in their bases; but I really don't like that things can only be placed in certain locations.
DCUO Base themes are:

  • Deco (modern)
  • Gothic
  • Dive (abandoned building)
  • Ancient
  • Atlantean
  • Brainiac
  • Bunker
  • Cave
  • Eastern
  • Industrial
  • Penthouse
  • Sewer
  • Tech

So there's a lot of overlap but a few differences.

Hatut Zeraze wrote:

To summarize the rest of THIS thread, here are the cool ideas I see listed here:
- Sci-fi/Hi-tech
- Medieval/Magical
- Grunge/Sewer
- Escher Style (Squid Game?)
- Nature/Dark Nature
- Alchemist
- Robotics/cybernetics
- Alien Worlds
- Caves
- Mansions/Castles
- Underwater Base/Submarine
- Factory/Warehouse
- High tech lab/space station
- Treehouse
- Haunted House
- Winter Wonderland
- Observation Tower
- Flying Ship base
- Lava Room
- Ice Cave
- Steampunk
- Sky
- Trailer Park/Mobile Homes

I notice a lot of ideas covered in both lists. I also am reminded of the CoX Homecoming server in a few of these suggestions. For those unfamiliar, on the Homecoming server, they simply turned off the requirements to purchase items for bases or the need to earn prestige to pay for such items. To the extent I understand it, ALL base items are available for everyone (not unlike the broad base-editor ideas Redlynne talked about earlier). I bring this up because I have seen several of the recommended themes show up in Homecoming. There is a currently-existing winter wonderland, Christmas-themed base. There are several haunted house/Halloween-themed bases. These are very elaborate and well-designed.

I am thinking about what value Champions Online Hideouts bring that might be worth considering. As mentioned before, actual outdoor areas that include something as simple as a sky can't be made in the City of Heroes base-builder. In CO's Hideouts, those penthouses open out into balconies with a sky. The moonbases let you jump around in the low-gravity area covered by your hideout.

Could themes cover the outer environment SOME bases might be served by? Perhaps that could cover different skies (bases set in an area where sky is visible, bases set in the air where aircraft fly, bases set higher up in the clouds), underwater bases, creepy extra-dimensional "sky" effects (think: Ditko's Dr. Strange).

If MWM wants to, they could put some base entries in portals and those portals can be oriented anywhere, either in the air or on a surface. MWM could determine their locations and orientation or they could let players place the portals themselves within certain x, y and z coordinates. In this way, you could theoretically have an "outdoor" base you can leave by flying up into the sky, for instance. In such a case the base can be surrounded by terrain elements that serve the purpose of walls as far as limiting exploration is concerned. So a henge in a forest glade might be a workable idea. Another option for outdoor bases is that travelling outside a certain bubble is equivalent to exiting the base and you reappear in Titan City at your portal.

Hatut Zeraze wrote:

Some themes not mentioned:
- Shrunken base theme (inside a giant kitchen or office)
- Cloud castle accessed via beanstalk
- Airfield (think Blackhawk island)
- Cyber-setting where characters have uploaded their consciousnesses into some kind of matrix (there is a great mission for this in CO)
- Inside a whale
- A prison
- An amusement park
- A city park

Love your ideas.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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How about the inside of a

How about the inside of a sunken ship. Since it's under water, parts would be sealed off to preserve a breathable atmosphere for the PCs. Also, this would allow the ship itself to be at an angle, on its side, or event upside down.
There are many variations to this. It could be a wooden sailing ship or a more modern one. Anything from a sunken Spanish galleon or pirate ship to a luxury vessel (Titanic) or even a battleship or aircraft carrier.