Bluff City is one of the primary settings of Friends at the Table's Patreon-exclusive series of the same name. It is fictional city, based on Atlantic City, New Jersey. Because of the non-chronological nature of Bluff City, the time period of the setting ranges from the late 1800s to past the 2030s. Bluff City is separated into three land masses - a smaller land mass to the north, a one to the west, and middle land mass which is considered to be Bluff City proper. It is a vibrant city, where identities are "expansive and expressive".
Two long streets named after card suits serve as the main avenues of Bluff City, with dense housing and casinos right up against the water. Red Ave, which is more retail-focused (bars, bus stations, near casinos and the beach), and Black Ave which is more residential.
The Red Card Turnpike leads towards Yolk Harbour and the expressway towards Trenton, while the Black Card Turnpike heads the other way up the Bluff City coastline.
The buildings become more residential towards the mid-north, and the further north you get the fancier you get. The majority of people who work at the casinos live along the main shore. To the west, there is an industrial dock.
In the marshlands outside the city, there were cranberry bogs, however by "modern day" Bluff City these have disappeared, possibly as a result of land development.
It is described as being "large and tall in time", with multiple time periods happening at the same time (see Bluff City Timeline).
Areas of Bluff City[edit | edit source]
Casinos[edit | edit source]
Bluff City has around ten casinos.
- The Black Star
- The Black Colossus
- The Black Millennium
- The Gilded Menagerie
- The Promenade
- The Albatross Casino and Hotel, Bluff City's first casino
Connection to Blough City[edit | edit source]
Bluff City is connected to Blough City via Shunt Points, which are used by Concern agents to travel between the cities.
In Hard Luck, it is implied that there is a “time difference” between the Bluff and Blough, with Blough City being a day ahead of Bluff City.
Infinite Love/Omega Love Era[edit | edit source]
During the era of Bluff City depicted in There Is No Greater Love, Blough City had begun to corrupt Bluff City, which combined with the extravagance of the trend of galas to create unrest in the city. These galas began in the Shore as charity galas which a group of friends began to threw for each other to support pet causes, and then slowly the focus transferred to the events themselves, losing their original focus. This trend filtered through to the upper middle class in a similarly divorced way from the direct connection to any kind of cause.
These galas also fed into the society's belief that you should “never be the first to arrive or the last to leave”, which filtered through to the rest of society.
Communication during this era had begun to be in written form rather than vocal communication.
Post-Apocalyptic Bluff City[edit | edit source]
At some point in Bluff City's future, the apocalypse hits ("the earth reclaiming itself"). Things that Bluff City citizens once took for granted to make their lives easier are now gone, creating scarcities within the city. This crisis does not hit everywhere at once, with the people of the Shore still clinging to their old ways of life ("profit eternal").
Gangs have formed a buffer between society and the enclave of Bluff City. Some of these a gig economy types (independent fishing companies, wind farms, etc), groups that are not big enough to have escaped the apocalypse but want to retain connection to the society intact. Some of these groups are motivated by revolutionary fervour, scarcity thinking, or those who used to take advantage of people but now also need assistance (like loan sharks).
Some parts of Bluff City are less wrecked than other, with smaller communities forming within the city, helping each other. At night, you can hear the sound of all different kids of music across the city, with firecrackers being set off and raging parties. Other parts of Bluff City, especially towards the northern end, are abandoned.
The casinos and hotels running along the eastern line of Bluff City have crumbled, and those that remain have been repurposed (turning meeting rooms in markets). Community gardens have been set up in old car dealerships.
The tracks of the train station still work although the trains are now gone, so people have made handcarts from repurposed cars to run on the tracks. The train station in the middle of Bluff City has forms a new hub of meting and commerce in the city. You can no longer use the bridge out of Bluff City, as it has collapsed.
Samantha's Bar is located close to the train station and the sea, ad was originally part of a redevelopment plan for the community before society crumbled. Robyn’s workshop is located near the pier and Samantha's Bar, but is closer to the train station.
Despite all of this, Bluff City is still a resort town and some casinos are still running, with shitty rich folks arriving by boat and plane, although they stay within the resorts themselves.