A Space Vermin RPGA Production
Once nestled on a small neck of land in a harbor guarded by islands, the City of Boston has expanded to include just about all land inside the old Route 128 belt. Arms of sprawl extend north through Lowell and Lawrence to Nashua New Hampshire, north along the coast to Portland, west to Worcester and the northwest corner of Connecticut, south along the coast to Taunton, New Bedford, and Fall River, and southwest to Rhode Island.
Nor is the Boston Sprawl a lone island of sprawl, like Seattle. The edge of the New York sprawl is a short hop down the fast surface or air service through Connecticut. Some social commentators feel it IS one sprawl clean down to DC, and that the thinning between Hartford and Worcester, along the New Hampshire and Maine coasts, or New Haven and Providence, don't count as edges.
The Boston Sprawl is generally divided into Downtown, North shore, Metrowest, South shore, Maine, and Rhode Island (only in Providence do they believe that Rhode Island is really a separate entity).
Folks used to call these people Police. In Boston, we still do. During the last decade of the last century and the first decade of this one, the Boston City Police, the Metropolitan District Police, the Capitol Police, and the Federal District Police, and few other local Police forces (Government is big on police 'round here; a couple hundred years ago, there was an armed revolt over excessive taxation (another problem around here)) were slowly combined into one force called the Boston Metroplex Police (BMP). The services provided by the Mass Bay Transit Authority Police were subcontracted the BMP by Greater Boston Transit, Inc when public transport went private. Doesn't mean there were any fewer cops, though.
What we call a city government is supposed to be in control of them. Yeah, right. Mostly the cops do what they want, which is to keep the hassle level low. If that means letting parts of the 'plex sink lower into hellhole status, so be it. The SINless don't pay their salaries anyway.
The larger Corps have their own security teams or hired security firms in their buildings and grounds. These guys can't legally pursue you off Corp property. It hasn't been known to stop them in the past, though; "heat of the chase" is a popular court defense. Besides, the BMP is usually very willing to assist the corps that pay all those nice taxes anyway.
Other New England cities rent their cops. Lone Star has contracts in Lowell/Lawrence, Springfield, Nashua, and Bangor. Knight Errant has the Worcester and Pittsfield contracts. Minuteman Security has contracts for Cape Cod, Taunton, and Providence. Various towns may have either their own small police departments or may have hired smaller security companies.
The State Police were absorbed into the Massachusetts National Guard as adjunct
military police under direct control of the Governor in 2012 to help "manage"
public safety during the Ghost Dance disturbances. The Governor's office
never quite saw fit to release them to separate control, but it has shrunk
the force significantly. They currently perform two noteworthy duties:
Boston Metroplex Police: The BMP union is strong enough to keep the big security companies from patrolling the streets at large where the old MDC and BPD had its hold. And they do a fair job at patrolling for the nice taxpayers. Well, there was that two week lapse in 2037 when the police remained in their stations that broke some stalled contract talks... In Boston, it isn't a crime to be a Metahuman (yet!) and the BMP won't hassle you for that, but they sure will try to hurry you along. Best be squeaky-clean and quiet.
Knight Errant: (Part of Northeast Division)
Lone Star: (Part of East Coast Division)
Minuteman Security: Not related to the Boston Urban Brawl Team except by name, this security firm holds the lucrative Cape Cod contract, as well as the Providence City contract. Much of their stock is held by some of the leading families resident on the Cape. Their general patrol and investigative performance is nothing spectacular, but their Rural Special Assistance squads have training that rivals UCAS military special forces, especially for amphibious operations. Minuteman Security also holds a contract for the York region of Maine (another sea-side resort area).
New England Security, Inc: Based in the North end of Boston proper, this organization is somewhat enigmatic. Their official offices are two rooms without training or warehouse facilities. They do not appear to have regular employees, but numerous individuals claim employment with them. They are licensed to have a small arsenal of handguns, but various reports have shown them using heavy support weapons and explosives at times. They are listed as "security consultants" for the BMP for various neighborhoods of Boston. They do not appear to have any corporate income or profits, and yet past audits seem to turn up no illegal activities. However they don't seem to have any problems staying solvent.
Public transport is by maglev line, underground in much of downtown, switching
to above ground out past the Route 128 belt. Downtown routes follow the old
T routes they've followed for 150 years (Boston had the first public subway
system). The old MBTA gave way to Greater Boston Transit, Inc (pronounced
Gee-Bitty) during the 2010s. A trip through most of the Downtown region
costs a mere $4 UCAS (1 nuyen accepted). Trains run every 5-30 minutes.
Further lines (including express trains) extend out to the I-495 belt, Worcester,
Newburyport, Providence, Falmouth, and New Bedford. Trains less than hourly
go out further in all directions (New Haven and New York, Springfield and
Albany, Portsmouth and Portland. Almost all commuter lines run in to Boston
and then back out -- still no lateral lines. Train fare for these further
rides is usually two to five times as costly as the short rides.
Surface buses make other links between towns. Most within the Route 128 belt
are run by GBTI. Beyond 128, bus lines are regional, with some areas only
receiving sporadic coverage.
A good rule of thumb is that if the community is rich, it is well served
with transit. The poorer areas are not as well served (not enough paying
Most GBTI trains have some security -- either a roving rentacop or on-board
cameras. Problems can be reported ahead and the rentacops at the next station
can be alerted to trouble.
There are also harbor ferries available across the bay. The ferries are usually
passenger-only hydrofoils (how else would they compete?).
Land: Parking has been a problem in Boston for nearly a century. When the cows laid out their paths in the 1600s, they did not envision the need for major parking areas or extra wide streets for parking space. For more than 50 years, parking in Boston meant getting a ticket that you could ignore. In the 1980s, Police used the Denver boot for frequent offenders. In the 1990s, the city and state government started to cooperate-no registration renewals until you paid up your parking tickets. In the early 2000s, towing cars for resale by the city caused riots. The die-offs of the next thirty years eased the parking and traffic problems.
Over the past couple decades, however, the parking problem has reared its ugly head once more. After a few fire-fights over financial district parking spaces erupted during the hot summer of 2045, Boston began issuing a limited number of parking permits (one for each legal space in Boston). Get caught without a permit and the BMP armored tow truck hauls your car off. Expect to pay through the nose to get your vehicle back. That if it doesn't get towed to a chop shop and the paper work gets lost.
Permits are issued on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis. Passes are sold
by GBTI (dial-up order line for monthlies; weekly and daily passes are sold
at toll booths when you drive in and wherever lottery tickets are sold).
However, if you are waiting to buy a daily pass and they pass the magic number,
they wave you off. Park outside and T in, chummer.
Air: Private aircraft can land at Logan International, but generally only top corp types land there. The landing fees are steep, especially for one-time landing rights. There can also be delays getting in and out due to the commercial traffic.
In addition to the aforementioned Worcester Airport, the region is dotted
with smaller fields easily capable of handing VSTOL/VTOL/LTA aircraft. Some
are even close to T lines: Norwood Airport, Weld Memorial Field
(ex-Weymouth NAS), Hanscom Field (ex-AFB in Bedford).
Sea: Boston started as a port town and remains one, even to private
There are a few marinas right along the waterfront in downtown. Expensive,
with year-plus long waiting lists. Single night tie-ups are also available,
but expensive. These marinas usually feature some tight security, including
electronic and sonar detection devices.
There are additional marinas extending up the Charles River as far as Watertown
(where dams make unimpeded traffic impractical), up the Mystic into Somerville
and Chelsea, one in Southie, and several along the shore between Hull and
Revere. These vary in status, safety, facilities, and cost from Mick's Boat
Yard in East Boston (chain link gate at the end of a single pier) to the
Revere Beach Yacht Club (yachts owned by Mafioso, protected by soldiers)
and the Marblehead Boating Club, where the largest Corp yachts are moored.
Even lower down the social stratum, of course, are the peculiar home-builts that the river-folk use. These raft/houseboat vessels form floating slums that move about-chased away by the police and drifting near manual labor sites. They tie up wherever it's convenient, preferably in company for some mutual protection. Sometimes, these folk are preyed upon by goons at their tie-ups. Sometimes the police find the river-folk in their own blood. Sometimes, the goons become fish food. "Why no, sir. Ain't seen nobody like dat down here."
Beacon Hill: Originally settled by continental low-lifes in the 17th century, it became the residence area for the elite in the 19th and 20th. Today, it has fancy townhouses (twice-refurbished shells from the 1880s), elite shops and cafes along Charles Street at its foot, and the center of state government, the gold-domed 300-year old State House, at its peak. In front of the State House is Boston Common, open land whose access by anyone is still protected by 17th century law, ill-kept, crowded, and fenced in. West of the Common is the Public Garden, which is more heavily patrolled and whose access is carefully controlled-no street hawkers, no street walkers, no public tirades, no ill-clad allowed to detract from the public's experience. Security Rating AA; C in the Common.
Copley Square: Corp playground. Walled in, with BMP checkpoints. SINless
need not apply. Inside the walls are chic clubs, topnotch outlets from Paris,
Rome, Athens, Tokyo, and Osaka, live theater, licensed joygirls and joyboys
of every stripe and color. Most buildings are interconnected, with some number
of corporate checkpoints at places a given corp feels is important to its
best interest. The Boston Public Library is still public, but is about the
only place the general public sees in Copley square. Security rating AAA+.
Financial District: After the NYC quake of '05, the New York Stock Exchange moved to Boston, absorbed the small Boston Stock Exchange, and changed its name to the US Stock Exchange. (For the record, the American Stock Exchange moved to St. Louis, Mo.) The addition of the Exchange kindled great growth in this district. However, due to limited space, most of the growth was up. Big Corp towers were constructed, including some built just off shore in the harbor. In the wake of the Ghost Wars, the union with eastern Canada, and the Second Southern Secession, the Exchange changed its name in 2047 to the North American Stock Exchange, partly to reflect the international flavor of the exchange (many firms based in the CAS, once traded on the NYSE, have remained) and partly to piss off the NAN, which is represented only by a few issues from Salt Lake City corps. Police: Boston Metroplex Police and various Corp forces. Security rating AAA+.
Backbay: Includes Boston University, Northeastern University, Berkeley School of Music, Symphony Hall, and the Mother Church of Christian Science. BU has a decent graduate magical studies program. Northeastern's magical studies are primarily undergraduate programs. The co-op program is still strong there, providing Northeastern students working in many fields for both magic and technology in corps throughout the greater Boston area. The area residences and hotels have run down, becoming cheap student housing since their last renaissance in the last decades of the 20th century. BU has a joint program with Berkeley for Magical Full Performance, providing the ultimate in mixed media entertainment arts.
The Mother Church Center (cathedral and office tower complex) is an odd island of calm in the area, its open reflecting pool still providing a safe haven to just sit and take the air. Witnesses have reported watching fleeing criminals slow to an amble to cross the open square, visibly relaxing (as does their pursuit) until they reach the other side. Study of the area has revealed a high background mana level, but no good reason for the effect.
The Charles River Esplanade, a park along the south bank of the Charles, is still accessible by the general public. Many try to use the area to break into Copley Square.
Security Rating: On campuses and Church Center AA; elsewhere B.
Chinatown: Slick and pretty on the outside (next to financial district). Rough and dirty underneath. Includes a "Little Saigon" section. The Tong (Chinese organized crime) controls this area, with the winking consent of the BMP (the Tong keep order and the BMP keeps out). Often at odds with the Arlington Yakuza (clash of flavors). The local street gangs are mostly under their control, although they allow the Chinese and Vietnamese youth gangs to fight evenly and grant favor to the winner. The gangs clash with Maf street gangs in the bordering Southend and the orc and troll gangs from the Depart. Security Rating: B-D (occasionally dropping to Z)
Southend: Rough-handed Mafia controlled area of low-grade residential streets and shops. Security rating drops after dark (can you say 'Z') when the local gangs come out in force. Expect only light BMP patrols during daylight and none at night. Most of the cops in this district are on the Maf payroll to look the other way. Security rating B-D
North End: Mafia Central! This has been an Italian neighborhood for
more than a century. Security rating A, even though lightly monitored by
the BMP. New England Security Inc. has the exclusive contract here with the
"official" approval of the BMP. NESI is Mafia-owned and operated and keeps
the peace -- except for "family arguments." The BMP only shows up if asked
or a full scale military-grade fire fight breaks out (and lasts more than
South Boston Waterfront: South Boston's waterfront district, after nearly 50 years of idleness, became a functioning port again with the pickup in water-borne transport since 2015. South Boston's warehouse district expanded, so the rail, road, and water hubs all mated. This shrank the lower-class housing available in Southie and drove all but the dregs from the area. Police patrolling is light. Most Corps supply their own warehouse security, which can run the gamut from passive alarm systems, to an old man with a flashlight, to a full combat team with magical support. Security Rating D.
Chelsea/Mystic River Basin: This upper harbor is similar to South Boston's Waterfront. The UCAS Navy and Coast Guard Bases are in the lower end of the Basin. There is a major (wholesale) produce market where goods going between trucks and ships are bought and sold. This is also a popular smuggler connection point (hiding in the midst of a lot of legitimate business). Security Rating D.
Dorchester/Hyde Park/Roxbury/Mattapan: Security Rating D-Z. Surrounding
neighborhoods spend most of their security budget to patrol the streets bordering
this area. This area is effectively a waste, although some city services
are provided (but when they break, no one goes to fix them). This is squatter
country. The only semblance of order in this area comes from the few heavily
guarded storage areas. The Roxbury BMP precinct is a fort where squad-sized
units of police venture out to keep open warfare from breaking out in the
daylight hours. After dark, the cops travel in Citymasters with a couple
of Yellowjackets that operate off the rooftop helipad.
The City government invites corps to build (or grab) facilities in this area, cheap. However, what is saved on property cost is spent (and then some!) on security to keep the local gangs from walking off with the bricks. Recently, a group with ties to the IHA policlub set up a one-block encampment/fortress called Fenia in the southern end of Hyde Park.
Some of the best local urban brawl talent appears by surviving childhood in this area.
Jamaica Plain/Roslindale: Security Rating D-Z. Includes Arnold Arboretum
and Franklin Park, open natural natural areas rather awash in spirits and
a small modern tribe. The well-protected Franklin Park Zoo, reopened in 2042
after being closed for 50 years, has a thorough collection of small and mid-size
paranormal creatures. Culturally very diverse. Street gangs routinely clash
with the BMP and Corp security (factories) for control of the streets. Recently
the gangs have been getting a better class of cyber and weapons. No knows
from where. Street says it's not the same group backing the Lynn gang.
Charlestown: The UCAS navy maintains a small fleet here. The group is built around the assault carrier Trudeau. Included is a Marine transport vessel. The UCAS Marines claim the Charlestown bars for their own and don't get much argument from anybody. Their commander (Colonel Charles "Crazy Charlie" Steele) longs for the old days, with real wars. He overlooks a few "live fire" exercises his men may partake in. Near the Navy Base is a red-light district equal to any that existed 100 years earlier: bars, brothels, flop-houses, gambling dens, and pawn and curio shops of many stripes, flavor, and color. Further from the base, Charlestown becomes shabby and colorless. On June 4, 2051, the Bunker Hill Historic Recreation Center opened, featuring a simcreation of the Battle of Bunker Hill. Net security is said to be very tight. Security Rating: C near Navy Yard and Bunker Hill monument; D elsewhere.
Logan Airport: This is still the major New England airport. Daily flights from Quebec, Europe, the West Coast, and Asia (transpolar and suborbital) make this a very busy place. Logan has expanded out into the bay and into East Boston, using landfills, ex-slum blocks, and anchored floating runways. There are two terminals, one for suborbital rocket craft and one for everything else. Security at Logan is tight, doubly so at the suborbital terminal. Security takes a dive for all the small, intra-UCAS services that operate off the smaller local runways. Security Rating A
East Boston: Wageslaves who staff the airport staff and many of the airport hotels live in the remaining housing in East Boston. Security Rating C.
Cambridge: Friendly to Metahumans (as long as you're a dwarf, or even
better, an elf). Orcs and Trolls get polite snubs and seating in the back,
unless their credsticks talk loud enough.
Somerville: Many Harvard and MIT&T students live here, including a lot of grad students and dropouts. The by-products of magical studies programs make this an interesting hang out. You know-malformed creation spells, erroneous transformation spells, and a surprising number of free spirits run about. Some of these free spirits caused quite a scene at the 2038 Head-of-the-Charles Regatta. The residents are pretty anti-establishment here, having driven out all but the most stubborn of the previous blue-collar families. Some of the better shadowbars are here, since the magical chaos screws up most of the BMP mages. Remember that the first T in MIT&T stands for Technology. Some students from various technical study programs (including computer science, electronics, chemistry, and biotechnology) left because they could make a better (certainly more exciting) living as free-lancers than they could by graduating and working for the corps.
Dwarftown: A section of the Underground beneath Cambridge and Somerville. Mostly populated by Dwarves. They have expanded the tunnels into an small city. Most of it is mapped, legal and open to tourist trade. Security Rating A (dropping to C-D at the fringes).
Arlington: Massive property purchases in the early 21st
made this area a "Little Tokyo". Mid and upper level Jap corpers live here
and commute to the Corp towers in the old downtown. Rank and file Japanese
fill the outskirts. Yak controls BTL and drugs in this section. For the more
expensive tastes, they have more expensive pleasures. MCT is building an
Arcology centered on the old Arlington Square. Security A-B.
Lexington and Concord: Rich residential districts. Every 25 years or so, they become trendy for anglos with an historic or patriotic bent. In 2025, the Lexington Historical Simulation Center opened, where visitors can rent access to a simcreated reality of 1775, and view or take part in the Battles of Lexington and Concord. In 2049, a decker team of MIT students loaded a full simulation data base that showed the British winning at Concord. Security rating A.
Newton: Once a prosperous town, Newton has slid downhill for the last 50 years. The rich folks moved out to the Worcester area and subdivided their housing. Residences rate low to medium as you head southwest toward Wellesley. Mostly residential, with some light manufacturing along the banks of the Charles. Light rail transport available. Security Rating: B-C (B nearer Wellesley, C toward the Waltham/Watertown borders).
Waltham-Watertown: Working class wage slaves. Many commute into the
old downtown. Light factories and a couple of college enclaves. Street gangs
are common. You find go-gangers farther out in the sprawl. Security Rating
West Roxbury: Nice lower middle-class residential area suffering from nearness of Roxbury. Irish are moving in here, too. The older Italian and Black populations are happy to sell out of neighborhoods near the border. Security Rating B-C.
The Underground: Boston has had two major T overhauls in last fifty years, mods made to the harbor tunnels, and a sewer system that's been around longer than the Kennedys. Boston also features the DepArt (Depressed Artery), an eight lane highway running under the North End, Financial District, Chinatown, and South Boston, that was damaged and sealed off after the big northeast 'quake of 2005. There is a lot of space under Boston that's not listed on any city maps anymore. These have been interconnected by a rather complex tunnel system built by some of the city's Metahumans (mostly of the Troll, Orc, and Dwarf types) and the SINless. Dwarftown is connected at several places.
BMP barely acknowledges the existence of most of it. They only go down if
forced and then in platoon sized group, armed with heavy armor, gas, and
autofire weapons. Word is certain Metas on the force know the tunnels and
travel them freely. Don't expect them to stick to the letter of the law down
there. Security Rating E-Z.
Deer Island has been the dumping ground of Boston for many centuries. It has featured POW camps during King Philip's War (1650s; many inmates died) and the American Revolutionary War (many inmates died), hospitals for immigrants 1850-1900 (many residents died), homes for the indigent (1800-1890), reform schools, prisons (1850-2021), and sewage treatment centers (1880-2050). The misery of the earth itself and the human misery imprinted on the land make this a very unpleasant place for the magically aware and none too enjoyable for anyone else, either. Currently, its only residents are the crew of the automated sewage treatment system and the workers for the factories that incorporate sewage waste into products. Toxic spirits and unhappy ghosts abound. Security rating B within plants, E elsewhere.
Lynn: Run down, dirty and nasty. Most of the residents are SINless. Boston area orcs and trolls end up here. The only human gang left in the area has been fighting back hard and winning. No one wants to talk about their backing. Security Rating: C-E, spots of Z.
Revere: People still hang at the beach, chummer, but they don't go in the water without a chemsuit. The Mafia controls the beach-side bars, most non-public transport services, the company that holds the local sanitation contract, and... (you get the idea). However, the Mafia splits the brothel biz with the Arlington Yakuza. The Yakuza owns the BTL and drug trade. Working class stiffs and folk on dole live here. Gangs are common, street rather than go-gangs. The gangs that survive and grow are eventually contacted and then supported by the Mafia. Members can graduate to work elsewhere in the Metroplex. The wall along the beach is still the place to hang and chill.
Burlington-Reading: light manufacturing, low-end residential. Mid-class shopping malls, some hi-tech enclaves. Security Rating A-C.
Lowell-Lawrence: in the 1860s, Lowell was on the cutting edge of industrial social development. It has been behind ever since (hard to recapture that tax base). Lowell and the neighboring city of Lawrence are home to some of the worst squat housing in the northeast, as well as some of the worst-run chemical plants. Mafia have control of the organized crime scene in town, though there has been some recent Yakuza competition in the BTL trade.
To be completely fair, there are some nice residential sections, especially northeast between the two cities, and some of the industrial base is reasonably cleanly run hi-tech. Most of those workers live across the border in New Hampshire, further removed from problems near the office.
Lone Star's contract does not provide for a large force. While lacking the
man-power to cover the whole area, Lone Star covers the higher priority areas
of luxury housing and the hi-tech industries. Security Rating C-E, with patches
Marblehead/Salem: Marblehead is home to upper Corp management, living in flashy complexes, nice homes, and estates. Salem is almost as nice, becoming quite fashionable with the coming of the 6th world. There are numerous covens in Salem, including a few rambunctious witch-gangs competing for turf and causing the police no end of trouble. The official Town Witch (an elected office, and rather prestigious as the oldest such office in North America) complains that these few gangs give the quiet majority of witches a bad name. Security rating AA-B.
Gloucester/Rockport/Cape Ann: Similar to Marblehead. Gloucester has a small waterfront that some of the local fishing industry calls home port. Most of the critters they catch are used as base components for cosmetics, plastics, and other odd products. Would you really want to eat anything that came from the ocean directly, chummer? Smell it lately? Across from the Coast Guard station is a display of the skeleton of a small kraken that sank four fishing vessels in the middle 2040s. At least they are fairly sure its the skeleton of that one. Security Rating AA-B.
Ipswich/Beverley: Beverley and Ipswich are similar to Salem in wealth,
without the glimmer or glamour of Salem's witch-craft. The neighborhoods
are spacious. Even the condo towers have park land surrounding them. Security
Quincy/Braintree/Randolph/Hull/Weymouth: Good wageslave housing by the bay, decaying somewhat as you head inland. BMP maintains order with regular patrols. Uniformed Corp security roam their Corp or condo housing complexes as well. The night life is aimed toward the residents. Enough wildness to let the corpers let loose, but not enough to make them miss work. Quincy is the site of one of the major water purification plants for the Boston Metroplex. Security rating B-C.
The Cape: (Cape Cod to you non-natives...) The Cape is an exclusive area, protected by MinuteMan Security contracted through the Barnstable County Consortium (BCC), which is almost exclusively controlled by the ultra-rich and real estate barons. The real estate barons convinced the ultra-rich Brahmin class (and their new Japanese and European Corp competition) that they wanted and deserved somewhere to be alone. They began hideously expensive de-development (bought out whole vacation developments, tore them down, built palatial estates). A few sections of the Cape are set aside as resorts for the middle to upper middle types. Access to these is strictly regulated. The rest is larger exclusive estates. The Canal is highly patrolled, as are the sky and sea approaches. Nantucket Island is similar. Security rating AA.
Provincetown: This eccentric town is perched at the tip of Cape Cod. This is a very strange town steeped in magic, magicians, and artists-usually combined. Provincetown is only accessible by ferry from Boston. It is sealed off from the rest of the Cape and the wall is heavily patrolled. However, for all its strangeness and peculiar residents, it's a rather peaceful place. Trouble-makers are not appreciated (the odd folk don't want to lose their refuge). Security Rating B.
Hingham/Cohasset: Hingham is an old town populated by middle-management corpers. Includes a large state forest and a large privately owned park (World's End, on the southern edge of Boston Harbor). Includes harbor ferry connections and rail links to Boston. Cohasset is a small town of sea-side estates, top-level Corp staff only. Also home to the Kantor School, an exclusive prep school for the rich and magically active. The surrounding towns house wageslaves, offices, and factories. Security Rating A, C in the state park and surrounding towns, AA at World's End.
Martha's Vineyard: Taken from its anglo residents during the Ghost Dance Wars by its native Wampanoag tribe, Martha's Vineyard survived a 6-month naval siege and bombardment. In its final treaty negotiations, the Wampanoag agreed to accept the Narragansett tribal group (which gave up its land claims) and a few other smaller tribes in exchange for independence and peace. Martha's Vineyard is still a favored vacation spot (less restrictive than the Cape) and its major industry is still tourism. It is also host to small scale smuggling efforts. Security is provided by the 50-man Wampanoag Army, although they contract out specific heavier duties. Security Rating A.
Plymouth Waste: At the far end of the Boston commuter chain is a small station in Plymouth. Lasting far longer than its intended design life, the Pilgrim nuclear plant had a partial melt down on Aug 19th, 2022. The town is in ruins with no services. There are a few SINless fools who squat here. The surrounding towns of Scituate, Marshfield, Carver, and Duxbury are little better off. Security Rating D-Z.
New Bedford/Taunton/Fall River: Industrial and fishing towns full
of low-end wageslaves and doleys. Security Rating C-E.
The Boroughs, section between Boston and Worcester made up of several towns: Framingham, Marlborough, Northborough, Southborough and Westborough: High tech enclaves. Computer hardware/software R&D and production. Nice wageslave housing. Knight Errant has the security contract. Security Rating A-B.
Wellesley: Money still lives here. The town has its own Lone Star contract. Expect to see Lonies patrolling the T stops here. BMP retains jurisdiction over the area, but don't expect to see them around except for something serious. SR: AA.
Natick: The west end Natick has become the largest shopping mall in the MetroBoston sprawl. The old malls that sat on either side of the Natick/
Framingham border were connected in the late 90's. Since then, the mall grew east, south north, up and down. It now covers half of the town of Natick for at least three stories up and two stories down. The mall has two heliports, it's own T stop and direct bus service to the rich outer ring of Worcester. The rest of Natick houses workers for the mall. Security for the Mall is handled by Knight Errant. They rate the security there from A to B. They don't like to mention the occasional Go-Ganger raids on the parking lot...
Medfield, Millis, Medway, Milford, Hopedale, Mendon:
Norwood/Westwood/Canton/Stoughton: Extremely Irish, extremely human. Lots of humans displaced by the Awakened take-over of Ireland. IHA (Irish Humanist Army, a terrorist policlub) with the goal of retaking Ireland strongly supported here. Local gangs love to find Metas traveling through their turf. Bad news for the Metas, though. Some neighborhoods better off than others. Security Rating A-D.
Walpole/Norfolk: Home to a major prison and a major sewage treatment
center (Toxis). Once pleasant middle-class towns, these places have gone
a bit to seed. Norfolk Center still rebuilding after some Wiz kids called
forth and lost control of some Toxic spirits powered by the repressed anger
from the century-old prison on Halloween Night, 2044. Security Rating B,
A near the prison.
Lincoln/Wayland/Sudbury: Quiet residential area of large homes/small
estates. Security Rating A.
Maynard: The small town of Maynard was bought out in 2018 by a large computer conglomerate, which already owned large portions of the town, anyway. The precedent-setting action was legally OK as Maynard was an incorporated town, and the computer conglomerate disbursed stock to each resident in exchange for their share of the town's assets. In 2039, the company went bankrupt. What should happen to the town is still tied up in the courts. A court-appointed lawyer administers the town, but has no funds-except by selling off town assets. Security Rating D.
Worcester: This city has managed to maintain a pseudo-seperate identity from Boston. Due to the ever rising property rates inside the 128 (and then the 495) belt, Boston money families started purchasing estates around Worcester. These families are the ones who really decide what goes on, regardless of what the suits on the city council tell you. Downtown Worcester is pretty run down. It's when you get to the outskirts of the city that you start noticing a lot of patrol cars (Knight-Errant). The city is a hub for ground transport in New England, cargo mostly. The armored semis and cargo rail trains run through Worcester. The only mag-lev connection goes into Boston, which is the hub for passenger service.
The Worcester Airport is mostly used by cargo traffic. There is no
intercontinental service here, but there is plenty of International service
to and from the NAN, CAS, CFS, Aztlan, the Caribbean, and Quebec. Security
is more lax that at Logan -- a fact well known to importers on both sides
of the law.
(various peculiar places (remember Lovecraft?))
Providence Proper: In the early 21st century, urban decay
reached critical mass in Providence, and its surrounding towns. Portions
of central Providence, with its office buildings, Brown University, and the
old money living on Federal Hill have maintained themselves, but large sections
of Providence, North Providence, Pawtucket, and Warwick are nearly wastes.
Many lower-class wageslaves commute to the industrial areas further southwest.
Security Rating AA-B in central Providence, C-D in outlying areas.
Woonsocket and the Blackstone Valley:
Newport: Home to the rich and exclusive (still). Ferry service to New York
and Providence. Security rating AA.
Rehoboth: This four-hundred year old small mill town has a statistically
high population of magic-sensitive folk (five times as above normal). Magically
active background for no known reason. Security Rating C.
(Mentioned by HP Lovecraft in a few of his stories as having folk who are a bit more attuned to peculiar stuff than other folk.)
Point Judith to Pawtuxet: The west side of Naragansett Bay is covered
by a set of industrial centers and the sprawling suburbs for the workers
that populate them. Security Rating A in industrial sites, C-E in surrounding
Inman Square (Somerville/Cambridge border) is a particular hotspot for
Shadowrunners, centering on one disco. Simply called Tianeman Square after
a Fifth World political confrontation in Beijing, this large establishment
is carved underground in the Inman Square T station (T-Inman Square,
get it?). Distinctly outre and rad, runners come here to relax and hang.
Wanna-bes come here in their bizarrest to try the look and feel. Tourists
come to gawk. The bands are loud, the dance floor flashy, the booths dark.
Outsiders are accepted here, as long as they stay out of the way. Flashmages
and whiz-kids show up especially thick for the Fat Tuesday Dance Contest
the second Tuesday of each month to show off their best sfx to a raging
Not a lot of business goes on in Tianeman Square. However, within two blocks are several shadow bars, including Liquid Memory (a deckhead hangout), Jerry's Crystal (a shadow-mage bar), Virgin's (a general shadow-runner's pub frequented by established teams), and Strip-Strap (various tech-heads and those seeking their services).
Also popular in the square is Rosie's (dessert bakery and coffee shop), the Affi (a Jazz club), Essewerken (a restaurant featuring German and Polish
cuisine), and Black Mambo (a dance club and restaurant).
Boston still is a big sports town. The Celtics (basketball) and the Red Sox (baseball) field some of the best talent and cyber money can buy. The Bruins are still the hockey team and the Patriots are the only major football team between Buffalo and Quebec (much to the dismay of New England football fans). The Boston Bolts soccer team came into it's own in the last 20 years and now gives the Euro teams a run for their money. The Boston Massacre is one of the best rated Combat Biker teams on the east coast. The New England MinuteMen Urban Brawl team is drawn from the toughest street gangs in the Northeast.
Toxic spirits sites: Background
Plymouth (Pilgrim) nuclear disaster 3
Deer Island 3
Spectacle Island 2
Johnston, RI (RI's largest dump site 1975-2025) 1
High Populations of Free Spirits: Background
Cambridge (MIT) 1
Other peculiar background sites: Background
Mother Church Plaza 4
Provincetown, MA 2
Old North Church, Boston 1
King's Chapel, Boston 1
Rehoboth, RI 1
Pawtuxet to Point Judith 0-2
Shadowrun and other related material copyright FASA Corporation, or whomever owns the Shadowrun copyrights after FASA went under.
All original material is Copyright © 1992-2015 by Mitchell Schwartz and Mark Urbin. All rights reserved.
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