Saturday, May 19, 2018

city at the gates of hell, pt. 2: generation

Let's get to work. We're gonna need some city-making rules. I like the look of these ones, from Last Gasp Grimoire.

A note to newer DMs: Systems like these exist only to get the juices flowing. They are the canvas we're painting on, and that's it. Maybe some of that canvas will still be visible at the end - but it certainly doesn't need to be, and (arguably) is better if it isn't.

The table should work for you, not the other way around.

We start by grabbing a bunch of dice and dropping them, like so:

This displays the relative locations of the city's districts.

The hit location die marks where the center-most d20 was. Since I don't have enough d20s at the moment, I rerolled it back into the [conglomeration?] I also used a d30, because I like d30s. Finally, I added some extra d6s to give us a bunch of Additional Undefined Boroughs, which we will hopefully make completely our own.

(No, I don't know why I'm using the royal we. If this annoys you, then perhaps the knowledge that my brother plans to work on this with me will assauge you - you can pretend I'm speaking for us both).

So the next step is to draw lines from the vertices of the top-most face of each die. If a line intersects another die, then those districts are connected. After that, we go down from the largest die size, getting rid of duplicates. Those two steps produce this:

EP = Emerald Pit, X = Undefined
Now we can look up what those districts actually are. Each district has an associated wealth level, and here's where I'm going to make my first major diversion from the stock Corpathium rules. In order to express some of the themes I touched upon in my previous post, I want navigating the city to feel very constrained by wealth level. In particular, the poor should find it difficult to access the rich parts of the city. We can figure out exactly *why* it's so difficult to access these districts later, but I expect a lot of them are imposing gated terrace-boroughs, looming over teeming slums. Mechanically speaking, we'll check each of the connections from rich boroughs: if the connection leads to another rich borough, it stays. If it leads to a middling borough, it has a 3-in-6 chance of being deleted. If it leads to a poor borough, it has a 5-in-6 chance of such. That gives us this, a final product for now:

I debated about it for awhile, but ultimately I decided to add one connection, from the Wheel of Gold to the nearest Rich district.
Already I'm liking how this is looking - that line of Rich districts (Wheel of Gold - Van Goethe Gardens - Flesh Market - Lilacs) is great. Maybe that line represents the actual side of the mountain, with those communities existing on separate platforms above the main platform of the city? That implies (to me at least) that the Rookery is actually physically inside of the mountain itself. I'm already giddy thinking of the possibilities! The city is also a lot more difficult to navigate now, which is a good thing in my book. Crossing the city early on should be a perilous proposition. And these only represent the connections that A. everyone knows about and B. everyone can use. In later posts, we'll add connections back in, but they will all be restricted access in some sense. Getting to use these alternate routes will be a mark of progression in and of itself.For an example of what I mean, we could maybe add in a network of shittily protected and maintained sewer tunnels connecting far-flung poor or middling districts together. That's all for tonight. I conclude with a list of all the city's districts and their wealth levels.

2. The Rookery of Van MoldusPoor
3. Temple DistrictRich
4. The Twin NestsMiddling
5. The Sporous ApiaryPoor
6. LilacsRich
7. The Wheel of GoldRich
8. Van Goethe GardensMiddling
9. The Crystal PondsMiddling
10. Flesh MarketRich
13. The Old FolkRich
The Emerald PitPoor
Undefined 1Middling
Undefined 2Middling
Undefined 3Poor
Undefined 4Poor

- kill your dungeon master -

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