It seems like most of the modern rpgs that I end up playing in are set in the area I live in…
Currently, I’m playing in a Mage campaign set in Champaign-Urbana and a post-apocalyptic game set in Illinois (we haven’t actually been to C-U yet, but we’ll end up there at some point).
I have mixed feelings about this sort of thing.
It relieves the GM from needing to explain a lot, but it also allows players to depend upon things that the GM hasn’t explained… and, indeed, might not know about.
It allows for people to make inside jokes (HaHa! I blew up the building you work in!), but… after a few campaigns, those jokes get very old.
Local legends and landmarks can be mined for ideas, but… again… repetition of this (The English Building is haunted! The bad guys are hiding… in the steam tunnels! Surprise!) doesn’t hold up very well.
Also, one of the reasons I roleplay is for escapist purposes. This is somewhat less effective when your game includes a lot of the same issues and places as your everyday life…
I’ve been vaguely sick for most of the last week, so excuse me if I am being whiny.