In the city, streets are made of night and smooth asphalt, eating the neon brilliance cast upon them. Broken glass, scattered on the roads, forms pin-point constellations of reflected light from headlights. People, dressed in bright and varied colors move up and down the under-lit sidewalks. The cloth they wear is light itself, smoothing skin and sharpening features, leaving tracers in the wake of their passing. Everyone on these streets are Nagel portraits, perfect in the artificial light. The city lives in twilight and night, untouched by a sun's harsh glow. Days are bathed in orange, blue, and lavender, the illumination gentle upon the world. Night is moonless, a sky of prismatic, neon stars spaced with the void. The city is a place of rings, embracing one another to a black pyramid centerpiece. Each ring bears similarities to the others, though bearing their own style as well, a unique voice added to the same song.
Travel between the circles can be difficult, with direct travel being nearly impossible. Each circle is separated from one another by smooth, black walls that absorb light like the streets. Without hand-holds, the wall is nearly impossible to climb unassisted. With tools, like gecko gloves or anti-grav boots, people may climb the walls, but they appear to have no end to the one climbing them. To those who are observing the climber, they make normal progress until the mid-point. Once the mid-point is reached, the climber seems to stop their upward progress, though they continue to move as if they were climbing. The climber perceives continued progress, yet no matter how long they climb, they never reach the top. The climb down always takes as much time as it took to reach the mid-point.
The only means of travel between the circles is the deep-rail, a subway system that can connect the circles. The connections are inconsistent at the best of times, having no consistent time table of connecting trains. Each borough has twelve deep-rail stations, arrayed around the circle like the numbers of a clock. The stations have number, letter, or symbol designations, though there seems to be no system as to how the designations are assigned. The only patterns that exist are the colors of the trains and their destination. To reach the black pyramid at the center of the city, called 'The Villa of All Men', one has to take the black train from a station in the 8th circle. All trains, from every station in the same circle, will be to the same destination during a 24 hour period. While trains let people out from a particular circle, they don't take passengers back to the previous circle. Those attempting to enter a train that is the same color as their circle, will find that they always step out another door onto the platform of the station. Those that time their actions so that the doors are closed when they would normally step back out onto the platform are never seen again, outside of the occasional limb or digit that appears on the station platform days later.
The deep-rail stations are minimalist by design. The stations consist of basic, brushed-aluminum railings and fittings and unadorned poured concrete floors, walls, and ceilings. A single bathroom can be used by either sex, basic as the rest of the station. Trains arrive from other stations every 13 minutes, trains depart to other stations every 17 minutes. Departing trains rarely go to the same stations as the arrival trains come from.
Train Destinations by Color
Vestibule – White
1st Circle – Blue
2nd Circle – Red
3rd Circle – Brown
4th Circle – Green
5th Circle – Yellow
6th Circle – Orange
7th Circle – Pink
8th Circle – Purple
9th Circle – Black
Random Station Designations – 1D6
There is no set system to how the stations are designated. One station might be assigned a letter, while another station in the same circle might be assigned a shape or number.
- Greek Letters
- Opening Lines of Famous Novels
- Names of Famous Paradoxes
Letters – There are 26 in the standard English Alphabet. There are also 33 in the Standard Russian Alphabet.
Shapes – 1D20
- Curvilinear Triangle
Numbers – 1D20
While you can just assign a random number, here are some fun/strange numbers you can use.
- Pi – 3.1415926535897...
- Euler's Number – 2.7182818284590...
- Euler's Constant – 0.5772156649015...
- Feigenbaum's 1st Constant – 4.6692016091029...
- Feigenbaum's 2nd Constant – 2.5029078750958...
- The Number of The Beast – 666
- Googolplex – 10 ^ Googol (1 w/ 100 zeros behind it)
- Golden Ratio – 1.6180339887498...
- Total Number of Natural Rubik's Cube Permutations – 43,252,003,274,489,856,000
- Unlucky Western Culture Number – 13
- Unlucky Eastern Culture Number – 4
- Jenny's Phone Number – 867-309
- Liouville's Number – 0.1100010000000000000000010...
- Chapernowne's Number – 0.1234567891011...
- Square Root of -1 – i
- Speed of Light in Meters Per Second – 299,792,458
- Avagadro's Constant – 6.0022 x 10^23
- Efficiency of Hydrogen Fusion – 0.007
- Absolute Zero – -459.67 Fahrenheit / -273.15 Celsius
- Planck Constant in Joule Seconds – 6.626070040(81)×10 ^ −34
Greek Letters – There are 24 letters in the Greek Alphabet.
Opening Lines of Famous Novels – 1D20
- “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” — Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
- “Pale freckled eggs.” — Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist
- “It was raining in Richmond on Friday, June 6.” — Patricia Cornwell, Postmortem
- “Dear Anyone Who Finds This, Do not blame the drugs.” — Lynda Barry, Cruddy
- “They shoot the white girl first.” — Toni Morrison, Paradise
- “Don’t look for dignity in public bathrooms.” — Victor LaValle, Big Machine
- “I can feel the heat closing in, feel them out there making their moves, setting up their devil doll stool pigeons, crooning over my spoon and dropper I throw away at Washington Square Station.” — William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch
- “I’ve been cordially invited to join the visceral realists.” — Roberto Bolańo, The Savage Detectives
- “See the child.” — Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
- “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.” — Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
- “Kublai Khan does not necessarily believe everything Marco Polo says when he describes the cities visited on his expeditions, but the emperor of the Tartars does continue listening to the young Venetian with greater attention and curiosity than he shows any other messenger or explorer of his.” — Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
- “He speaks in your voice, American, and there’s a shine in his eyes that’s halfway hopeful.” — Don DeLillo, Underworld
- “A screaming comes across the sky.” — Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow
- “I’ll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the imagination.” — Ursula K. LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness
- “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” — Stephen King, The Gunslinger
- "Call me Ishmael." — Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
- "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen." — George Orwell, 1984
- "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair." — Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
- "Mother died today." — Albert Camus, The Stranger
- "The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel." — William Gibson, Neuromancer
List of Logical Paradoxes – 1D20
- Epimenides Paradox
- Barber Paradox
- Bhartrhari's Paradox
- Berry Paradox
- Crocodile Dilemma
- Paradox of the Court
- Curry's Paradox
- Liar Paradox
- Grelling–Nelson Paradox
- Kleene–Rosser Paradox
- Card Paradox
- Pinocchio Paradox
- Quine's Paradox
- Yablo's Paradox
- Opposite Day
- Petronius' Paradox
- Richard's Paradox
- Russell's Paradox
- Socratic Paradox
- Sorites Paradox
|Bright Lights, Big City|
Generating Circle City
In each campaign Circle City will be different, the layout being randomly generated. The rules for generating the city are relatively simple:
- Vestibule will always be the outermost circle the characters arrive in when leaving the airlock.
- The Black Pyramid / The Villa of All Men is always the innermost area.
- The areas between Vestibule and The Black Pyramid are generated using random number generation.
- There must always be a Vestibule and Black Pyramid, but the GM may add or subtract circles between the two places.
- There are 8 'official' circles, but GM's are encouraged to make up their own or change the 'official' ones to fit their story better.
- The colors of the trains always remain the same, no matter which circle a particular place resides in.