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austenandrews

Looking For Resources: Urban Caverns

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My current Champs PC has a "base" under NYC, comprising a series of abandoned subway tunnels, electrical substations, water channels, etc. I'm looking for Web resources about real (or even legendary) abandoned underground spots in modern urban areas. What sort of places are there? What might you find in them?

 

I'd like to cobble together ideas into a slightly more realistic version of the setting from the old Beauty and the Beast TV show. Something fantastical but not totally implausible.

 

Anyone have some good links?

 

-AA

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Re: Looking For Resources: Urban Caverns

 

Anyone have some good links?

 

 

Here's a couple I had already:

 

For some great photos of abandoned places:

http://photos.dobi.nu/

 

For a list of links to abandoned places:

http://www.deathrock.net/ariadne/ruins.html

 

Google-fu time...

 

Try the following searches:

"Urban ruins"

"Abandoned subway" (check out the cincinnatti one)

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Re: Looking For Resources: Urban Caverns

 

No web resources but I know from personal experience that most storm drain tunnels in urban areas tend to be only five-six feet in diameter for the large ones.. mostly five feet as I remember crouching a lot.

 

storm drains underneath things like strip malls tend to be more of the three to four foot diameter variety, and smaller.

 

Utility tunnels tend to be nice things, eight feet talll in may cases, with lights, but never run very far and tend to have only one, perhaps two, access points - both go above ground. It was rare to find a Util Tunnel with underground access as they were mostly underground transformers and telco mini-central offices/frames.

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Re: Looking For Resources: Urban Caverns

 

No web resources but I know from personal experience that most storm drain tunnels in urban areas tend to be only five-six feet in diameter for the large ones.. mostly five feet as I remember crouching a lot.

 

storm drains underneath things like strip malls tend to be more of the three to four foot diameter variety, and smaller.

 

Utility tunnels tend to be nice things, eight feet talll in may cases, with lights, but never run very far and tend to have only one, perhaps two, access points - both go above ground. It was rare to find a Util Tunnel with underground access as they were mostly underground transformers and telco mini-central offices/frames.

Not true of every urban area: Houston has (for some years now) been installing monstrous square storm drains under all the major roadways [because Houston is flat as a pancake, and floods easily]. The smaller ones would be easy to walk upright in; the larger ones you could drive a semi down!

 

It's certainly true that many storm drain/sewer pipes aren't really all that big, but larger ones do exist!

 

As for resource for your PC's base: you could grab Underground by David MacCaulay; it's a cool depiction of what kinds of things are under a city. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0395340659/absolutsearch05/103-8221395-2308631)

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Re: Looking For Resources: Urban Caverns

 

In the X-Men, tha Alley, the largest space in the Morelock tunnels, was a bomb shelter secretly built under Central Park during the Cuban Missle Crisis. There could be others.

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Re: Looking For Resources: Urban Caverns

 

This is not NYC, but St. Louis has a number of abandoned caves underneath downtown. At various times they were used as part of the underground railroad, Civil War arsenals, brewery caves, speakeasies, ballrooms, theaters, pools, and more.

 

The best-known is probably Cherokee Cave, aka Lemp's Cave: http://www.prairieghosts.com/lostcave.html

 

Cherokee Cave is also known for being haunted. And for having bones of prehistoric animals found therein.

 

There are other caves under St. Louis, but the only one I remember offhand is Uhrig's Cave (another speakeasy).

 

And? They're all still there. They've been sealed off in most places, but kids regularly break in, and they're still accessible from some of the breweries and the US Post Office downtown.

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Re: Looking For Resources: Urban Caverns

 

Detroit has extensive underground salt mines now abandoned. They figure significantly in our current campaign. A web search should turn up a bit, sorry, my URLs on it aren't quite that handy - there may be a reference though at http://www.asterick.com/realschluss/x-champions/x-champions_setting/x-detroit.htm at the bottom of the page among those URLs - probably easier though to Google it.

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Re: Looking For Resources: Urban Caverns

 

Detroit has extensive underground salt mines now abandoned. They figure significantly in our current campaign. A web search should turn up a bit' date=' sorry, my URLs on it aren't quite that handy - there may be a reference though at http://www.asterick.com/realschluss/x-champions/x-champions_setting/x-detroit.htm at the bottom of the page among those URLs - probably easier though to Google it.[/quote']

Zornwil, I could kiss you! You have no idea how incredibly good your timing is!

 

Tonight, during our weekly Champions game (of which I'm co-GM, though it's now my turn to play) we were discussing setting up a "secret" second base. That's because our current base is very public...the top four stories of a hotel near downtown Detriot (now Millennium City) that happened to have survived "The Event", though strangely transmuted. The building and all permanent fixtures got turned into an unknown metal that cannot be analyzed or affected by anything yet tried on it...it is, as far as anyone can determine, truly indestructible. The metal also has the odd property of attracting and soaking up any nearby electricity or magic. It is possible to use magic in the place, if you know what you're doing, but if your spell tries to affect an area that would have to be reached by going through a wall (say, Clairvoyance), the spell gets "sucked up" by the metal.

 

There is one other unusual aspect to it: it's haunted. Literally. The unfortunate staff and patrons who were present in the hotel at the time of the Big Blast are still there, and can never leave. The hotel is still in operation (with new staff, owners, etc.) but the 'ghost staff' still help out, though not always when you'd expect it. We've gone to great lengths to strike up good relations with the ghosts, and they've helped us out on a couple of occassions because of this good relationship. There are down sides to it...once, while I (Dr. Anomaly) was away, there was a major supernatural assault on the team. The ghosts helped out, but in order to affect the physical world, they needed a big boost of power...so the other team members fed them the contents of my magic lab. All the contents. (sigh) When I got back and discovered what had happened, I didn't really regret the loss, since it was in a good cause...but I was a long time rebuilding my lab, supplies, and pre-made potions, scrolls, amulets, etc.

 

These properties make it a nearly-ideal headquarters.

 

Just recently, though, while all members of the team were away dealing with a "problem", an entity (still unidentified) entered the base undetected, even by the "staff" (ghosts), bypassed all our physical, technological, and magical security (including a watchdog salamander [the small fire elemental variety, not the moist-skin variety]), "cracked" a safe we were using as a vault (it is as indestructible as the rest of the hotel...the entity figured out the combination and opened it that way), and made off with a very nasty item we had in custody...a talisman of dark magics that enables a mage to cast a spell called the Soul Rend (it will kill any norm and many superhumans in one shot, and there is no effective defense -- this thing is really bad news!). The item has since been recovered, but not before it was used to murder a very influential mage in an ancient order of mages. :(

 

This event has caused us to come to the conclusion we need a "secret" second base, unknown to the public, where we can store things like this (so if someone breaks into our known base, they won't find them) or where we can "fall back" to in an emergancy. We kicked around ideas all night, and are currently scouting/evaluating locations around MC we could buy (through a dummy offshore company) and then use our magic and/or super-tech to excavate a base beneath...the ordinary-seeming structure above ground (low rent housing, warehouse, whatever) would be mearly an access point.

 

This information on the abandoned "salt city" could not have come at a better time! :D Our group is meeting again Saturday night (not to game, to watch Pitch Black) and I'm going to spring "the perfect solution" on them! :D

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