Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Setting Idea: The Blue Lamp

This week's post is a Setting Idea I've recently had, one that is a sort of British counterpart to A Thin Blue Line. The Blue Lamp is reference to the lamps that sit outside the entrance to British police stations, first used in Victorian times and are still in widespread use today. This is important as the setting is intended to be partially historical and partially modern day, but I'll explain further on.

Woolwich Police Station
Setting Name: The Blue Lamp

Elevator Pitch: Police officers finding themselves misplaced in time confronting weird happenings.

Genre: Police, crime, supernatural horror.

Inspiration: TV series Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes.

Overview: The Blue Lamp is inspired by the British TV series Life on Mars and its spin-off Ashes to Ashes. The basic premise of both series is that a modern day police officer wakes up in the past with full memories of their 'modern day' life. Weird and unusual things happen to the main characters in both series as what happened to them is slowly revealed. Its not until the finale of Ashes to Ashes that we learn that the characters find out that they are in a sort of limbo for police officers who had died through different means.

This would mean that the characters themselves are already dead but don't realise this or had forgotten all about it, so they carry on as normal police officers trying to solve crimes. Its possible that some may have memories of their old life, which may or may not be useful to events during the game. To begin with a campaign should be run as a police based game, but gradually supernatural elements and weird happenings can be introduced. This could range from characters hearing voices of loved ones on telephones or radios through to the characters being stalked by shadowy creatures intent on claiming their souls.

There is a broad scope for campaigns, the period of choice to set a campaign is from the 1960s up to the 1990s. Likewise there are different locations to use such as 1960s London ruled by the Kray Brothers, the hunting ground of the Yorkshire Ripper in the late '70s and any big city in Thatcherite Britain during the 1980s. These are just some examples but campaigns could be set in other periods such as Victorian times or the Interwar period between the World Wars.


  1. That's a cool setting idea. I like the dead twist.

  2. Interesting, but why limit the time periods so much? I see no reason you couldn't have modern cops transported to the foggy, gaslit streets of Victorian London, or rubbing elbows with the characters from Foyle's war (or even refugees from Narnia) during WWII.

    1. Did mention there was a broad scope and suggested Victorian times and the Interwar Period. If I develop this idea further I'm thinking of starting with the Cold War period, its similar yet different to our own modern day and has the chance of the characters running into their younger selves and/or parents. The other reason for going with this period is the changes that the police experienced over the years, plus big changes in the law.

      That said I'll still cover earlier periods, it just going to require alot more research.

    2. Ah, that's what I get for skimming instead of reading carefully. :) Sounds very cool.

  3. Great ideia. I'll use in some Fate Core game. Thanks