Still on the interview trail. Have only spent about 8 of the last 14 days at home (I think?) and flying out again on Friday. Have a couple gaming-relevant notes from yesterday's travels, though.
First - while bored and delayed in the Baltimore airport, I called my dad. This was unusual in itself; his response on picking up was "Hello John. You're calling (rather than emailing) so it must be important." I was amused. But in any case, we eventually got to discussing gaming. He and my brother made it to DragonCon this year, and I hadn't heard his stories yet. Apparently many seminars were attended, and he also got to play in a Savage Worlds game that was supposed to have a really interesting setting - archipelago in an infinite ocean, where historical humans from Earth's Age of Sail sometimes appear mysteriously, transported by their ships, and mingle with the native races. As a result, character options included pirates of the Spanish Main, Chinese and Arab merchants, famous explorers, and similar, in addition to the aquatic native species. Sadly the GM for that setting got sick and the backup didn't have his notes, so they ended up running an Urban Arcana-flavor game, but the system was still good. I am intrigued with the notion of a setting where historical characters appear; kind of reminds me of Riverworld. We've already had a little bit of historical planeshoppery in my ACKS game, since The Albanian was, well, a very confused medieval Albanian, but it would be fun to make it a policy rather than just a bit of weirdness.
In related 'blending the real world into my games' news, after the aforementioned delay terminated and we were in the air, I started ruminating the notion of running a game on a medieval post-apocalyptic fantasy version of North America. Keep the place names, keep the geography, and D&D-ify everything else. This may have been inspired by Shamus Young's comment on this strip, as well as pondering Chicago's nickname of "The Windy City." Maybe wind wizards live there. Pittsburgh, an Iron City of many dwarves, is clearly home to the order of knights known as the Steelers. Charleston, the Holy City, is the center of some religion or another (or several). New York, the Empire State, is not unlike the City State of the Invincible Overlord. Vegas... pretty much stays Vegas, except that the magic shows are a little more real. And of course Seattle is home to the coastal wizards... You get the idea.
It would be very, very silly, but it would let players use their out-of-game knowledge of geography (or lack thereof), and provides plenty of good hooks for character generation and background. I am told that originally Greyhawk's Oerth was centered on Chicago and Gygax and Co. changed all the names, so perhaps this is not such a loony idea after all...