... now with 35% more arrogance!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

City Districts

I left something out of yesterday's post about developing towns and cities as you play and never planning them in advance. When I realized I forgot it, I thought, "I won't edit the post, I'll just do a follow-up later." Then I forgot what it was for a while. Since I've just remembered what it was, I'm doing the post now in case I forget again.

The quarter system can be used recursively: as I've mentioned in the original post, you can divide each quarter into four districts around a central "hub district", with each district getting its own flavor. In really huge cities, you can keep doing this (it's districts all the way down!) But that's not the point I wanted to make. Rather, I'd like to point out that each district can be designed as a hamlet or village, using the town table. The district will have houses/shops dedicated to the main trade or occupation of that district, plus at least one central building or feature relevant to that trade (a guild hall, for example,) plus miscellaneous trades useful or interesting to the district inhabitants. The district may also have one or more taverns or other public gathering places that cater specifically to people in that district, and may even have its own informal methods of justice. The weekly/daily market can be replaced with an informal trade network, and the blacksmith can be replaced with some other support craft relevant to the district's occupation. Here's an example:

Bigvillia's Temple District (in the noble quarter)

inhabited by priests, temple workers, and those with a religious bent
  • Unique Feature: Conclave of All Faiths, where priests go to argue.
  • Tavern: replaced with tea house w/ meditation garden.
  • "Smith": replaced with incense maker.
  • Trades: 2 other church support trades.
  • Market: an informal trade in relics and religious texts meets at the Conclave every week.
  • Moral Leader: The Revered Master Polygarth is respected as a great peace-maker between the teeming sects of Bigvillia
  • Justice: there's a Masked Inquisition that secretly roots out atheists and those who endanger all cults or sects.

Edit: Forgot to add that you would, of course, develop specifics for the Temple District during play with the rules from the previous post. You would want to roll for the general characteristics of NPCs in the district, using the NPC/Town Type system; I just rolled "Petty" for mine, which would mean that most priests in teh district are concerned with trivial personal interests (increasing the congregation, keeping a tight fist on the church's purse, vying for preeminence among priests...) You might roll Compassionate instead, or Unpleasant, or Scheming, any of which would give your temple district a different flavor. And, of course, you'll have a few outsiders living in the district, which could be a spur to adventure; why does that retired carpenter live in the temple district, and why does he keep his windows covered?

No comments:

Post a Comment