Hi, I'm getting back into gaming and I'm interested in taking another crack at DW using the Dis setting presented in "Dark Heart of the Dreamer" It's brief but evocative and I love the idea of the neighborhood being a dungeon until you get to know it, but the next parish is still unfamiliar and risky.
I thought it might be a lot of fun to start off with characters who are freshly come to Dis as refugees when their homeland got consumed, with only the clothes on their back and the holy books of their faith and maybe some knives, and have to take odd jobs as they find their way around. If the game lasts long enough, they'll grow to be cocky adventurers, then notables of the parish, maybe get secure enough to start hating on the planar refugees that show up looking for work as newcomers.
Are there any big disadvantages to this approach that I'm not seeing -- the main thing I can think of is the lack of backstory that develops with time, but I'm not sure how big an absence that would be. I suppose I could specify that the characters have been in Dis for a year or so before the start of the game, so they've had time to know their way around a bit and make some friends/enemies before things start.
It seems to me that one way of creating some background development in an infinite city that never stops growing is to come up with events based on what new planes have been contacted and how they're effecting the city over time. Like:
--Dis starts consuming an alternate plane which is like a miniature Carceri, inhabited by prisoners and their jailers. What happens now that the plane is breaking down and prisoners are being freed to take revenge or flee into the city?
--The Heralds, a cult that believes that Dis is the one true God and will become Heaven when it has consumed all other planes, send missionaries to the planes that are being consumed. One missionary recently made a remarkable conversion, of a whole warrior tribe who packed up, marched forth into Dis, and now call themselves the Herald Crusaders. What will they do, now they have an army?
--Dis has just opened portals to an archipelago of wizards and spice plantations, a civilization so wealthy that ships from the elemental fleets are abandoning their usual routes to play pirate.
Is this kind of thing helpful, do you think, or should I be focusing more on the emergent story of the characters as it develops?