The staccato click of flint on steel echoed from the cold stone walls of the dank subterranean chamber. The drip of dirty water could be heard somewhere behind Rudy as he held the flame to a stubby candle, and set the dim light down on an old crumbling section of retaining wall. His companions could now see what had forced them underground, as Rudy drew a bloody vestment out of his knapsack and reverently laid it over his arm. All them stared uneasily at the cloak until at last Derek spoke.
“How long ago?”, he inquired, visibly shaken by the evidence of violence against one of his order.
“Hard to say”, Rudy offered. “There were signs of a struggle, but the blood had time to dry. Maybe eight hours, maybe more. The weird thing is…” Rudy paused. “The room was locked from the inside, there were slivers of broken glass amidst the blood, but every window in the place was intact. No evidence of forced entry either.” He shot a quick glance at Peter. “Ever heard anything like this before?”
Peter hung his head and let out a sigh. “I wish I could help. Did you happen to bring any of that glass back with you?”
Rudy grinned and opened his handkerchief. “As a matter of fact…”, he began. Tiny bits of glass shimmered in the candle light.
Tenderly lifting one from the worn cloth, Peter turned it over and over in his nimble fingers. He held it up to his piercing eyes, then pressed it to his cheek. “It’s definitely from a window pane. The weight, the grain, the way it broke apart. It’s glass from a window, and it may even be the murder weapon. Without seeing the window, though…”. His voice trailed off. “It could be anywhere in the city.”
Silent until now, Adrian stepped out of the shadows and cleared his throat. “I think this is where I can help,” he said. He lit another candle from the sputtering wick of Rudy’s first and drew a weathered piece of parchment from inside his long coat. Adrian rolled out the intricate, hand-drawn map and looked at his compatriots. “Where shall we begin?”Cities are an integral part of any campaign world. They may be small hamlets, fortified encampments, ancient capitals, or futuristic urban hives. They may offer just about anything a party could ask for: food, shelter, entertainment, information, employment, equipment, and transportation. They may also offer an unending array of locations and buildings that can be used as game-ready settings in any number of systems. Adaptable to the ever-changing campaigns and caprices of your gaming group, the Cityscape System Spawner can easily add some texture to your topography! Just roll on any or all of the following tables to help your urban landscape come to life.
POPULATION SIZE (D8)
- Camp. Usually populated by a single family, company, gang, or troupe, camps tend to be only as permanent as their inhabitants need them to be. As such, a camp has no Defining Features.
- Settlement. A settlement is typically the result of several groups of interested parties congregating around a valuable resource or natural wonder. A settlement always has one Defining Feature.
- Village. A collection of homesteads and minimal commercial endeavors, a village still depends heavily on the outside world. A village has D3 + 1 Defining Features.
- Town. A town enjoys some self-sufficiency, and may even be called home by multiple bloodlines. It also tends to attract newcomers with its untapped opportunities. A town has D4 + 2 Defining Features.
- City. A city can meet the needs of its many diverse inhabitants through the efforts of its own citizens. Clear sections of both residential and commercial properties are also evident. A city has D8 + 3 Defining Features.
- Metropolis. The metropolis is a thorough blend of shops, trades, and municipal amenities as well as distinct racial, ethnic, or cultural neighborhoods. In addition, a metropolis is frequently engaged in trade with neighboring regions, and may supply smaller communities with necessary goods or services. A metropolis boasts D10 +5 Defining Features.
- Principality. A collection of occupied lands with a city as its central hub, a principality is capable of providing resources and security for more than just its core population. Outlying regions included in the principality are often expected to provide tributes and taxes to the governing body in recognition of these considerations. A principality has D12 + 8 Defining Features.
- Megalopolis. Frequently referred to as ‘city-states’, a megalopolis is an anchor of national power and a multilayered fusion of a country’s social, economic, ethnic, and religious populations. A megalopolis produces more than its citizens can consume, and so can engage in trade with other countries freely. It contributes large amounts of resources- both financial and human- to the national government, and wields a great deal of political power as a result. A megalopolis has 2D10 + 12 Defining Features.
LOCAL SENTIMENT (D6)
- Hostile. The population is actively opposed to outsiders; as such, it is difficult for a party to deal with them or earn their trust. This may result in higher prices, false information, or an outright denial of rights or services.
- Suspicious. It is the natural tendency of the population to be wary of new faces. While they won’t go out of their way to aid a party, they could eventually be won over with deeds, gifts, or coin. Earning their trust or their aid should prove a challenge however.
- Ambivalent. The people of this region are content to go about their business and let others do the same. They make no effort to stand in another’s way, but neither will they take pains to aid someone who may need it.
- Ambivalent. (See above)
- Supportive. It is the natural tendency of the population to be friendly to new faces. They don’t go out of their way to aid a party, but are easily won over with friendly words, deeds, or gifts. Earning their trust or their aid shouldn’t prove a challenge with a bit of effort.
- Hospitable. The population is actively welcoming to outsiders; as such, it is easy for a party to deal with them or earn their trust. This may result in fine accommodations, reliable information, or an outright gift of goods or services.
DEFINING FEATURES (D20)
- 1. Necropolis: Includes cemeteries, mausoleums, catacombs, crematoriums, or other places related to the dead.
- Shrine: Includes monuments, reliquaries, prayer gardens, reflecting pools, or other places related to remembrance or meditation.
- The Docks: Includes public piers, shipping ports, air terminals, landing pads, or other places related to travel.
- Mercantile: Includes bazaars, strip malls, commercial districts, commissaries, or other places related to business.
- Station House: Includes military barracks, police departments, watch towers, or other places related to security.
- House of Worship: Includes temples, churches, cathedrals, mosques, or other places related to the divine.
- Stockyard: Includes animal auctions, used car lots, holding pens, warehouses or other places related to storing goods.
- Accommodations: Includes hotels, inns, boarding houses, ship cabins, or other places related to lodging.
- Bibliotheca: Includes public libraries, ancient scroll caches, book stores, computer mainframes, or other places related to reading.
- The Courts: Includes criminal trials, public hearings, military tribunals, religious inquisitions, or other places related to law.
- Galleries: Includes art exhibitions, sculpture gardens, historic artifacts, museums, or other places related to culture.
- Medicine: Includes hospitals, shaman, sick bays, private physicians, psychiatrists, or other places related to medical care.
- Penitentiary: Includes prisons, stockades, penal colonies, county jails, holding cells, or other places related to incarceration.
- Estates: Includes apartment towers, stately mansions, urban hab-blocks, rural homesteads, or other places related to residence.
- Public House: Includes dive bars, night clubs, taverns, saloons, cantinas, and other places related to socializing.
- Arenas: Includes circus tents, live theaters, opera houses, gladiator combat, sporting events, and other places related to performance.
- Education: Includes universities, monasteries, training grounds, arcane studies, apprenticeships, and other places related to learning.
- Underworld: Includes gambling dens, drug parlors, gang hideouts, brothels, and other places related to vice.
- Trades: Includes factories, industrial colonies, smiths and craftsmen, guild houses, and other places related to production.
- Harvesting: Includes farms, mines, open waters, timber forests, hunting grounds, and other places related to natural resources.