Tuesday, March 1, 2011

City Supplement Wishlist

(<--this picture has nothing to do with this post but I like it. Anyway...) Ok, putting the final touches on Vornheim: The Complete City Kit. James is finalizing the layouts and I'm finishing the pictures and seeing just how much extra space is left over in the layout--because I want to cram every single inch of this little book with stuff you can use during a game.

So, since we're in the middle of that, here's a question for you, gentle readers:

Is there anything you would like to see in a book about running D&D cities?

Speak now or forever hold your piece.

This is Raggi testing layouts:

50 comments:

  1. If you need to fill out pages, I suggest a series of slightly annoyed (or realistic) portraits of Satine, Connie, Frankie, Mandy, Kandy, et al. as their characters, mis en scene, as it were. Maybe these are 1/2 scale images put 4 to a page. This might serve in lieu of a playtester-credit page.

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  2. Everything I can think of you've probably already done.

    A street name generator maybe?

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  3. The organization and workings of street and urchin gangs. The hidden social scandals of sewer rats. Ways in which various temples and cults surreptitiously attempt to undermine each other without getting caught in blatant sabotage or fighting. Fantastical options for rented (or, heck, even outright owned or leased) private dwellings.

    Really looking forward to this book. :D

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  4. Something dealing with the general timing of activities; likelihoods of particular stores being open or closed, what services available when, deliveries being made, etc.

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  5. Random generation charts for "downtime" events, Something along the lines of Midkemia / RQ Cities but a lot simpler. I. e. something like the aforementioned "hangover chart". Sometimes in life you wake up not from a night out, but from many nights out. I realize that some may not consider this old-school DnD, but I've found such tables very useful in certain campaigns.

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  6. @huth

    Please do the guy with the paintings in the MOMA and the MFA from Yale School of Art the favor of assuming he grasps basic graphic design concepts.

    And, if we do something you wouldn't in the final product, assume it was on purpose.

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  7. Random tables, random tables everywhere.

    Little stuff like your "key" mechanic (roll d% for key number, test against result to see if it fits door).

    Similar tricks, rules, subsystems for city-based activities.

    But you probably put all that in already.

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  8. Er... Where did Huth say anything? I'm not even seeing the standard "This post has been removed by a blog administrator". Did you delete it and don't have that, or was it a mistype?

    Anyway...

    Concealed wall bypass generator. Information on what kinds of things are fire resistant when you're building walls. Random table so that you can determine where that teleporting building landed, and what effects it'll have on anything it merged with (I could probably come up with some interesting things if it happened at the end of a session, but when they just shunted it elsewhere in the middle of a battle, I don't have time to think about it for an hour or two). Information on what kind of materials and construction techniques would best repel what kind of projectiles (Mages with telekinesis are even worse than a cannon, and catapults, etc. are always nice in a siege...).

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  9. Argh. Sorry about double posting - I realize that you can't divulge specifics about what's included, but some sort of "General categories of stuff included" would be nice, so that we don't give you a bunch of stuff that you've already used.

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  10. I'm a sucker for materiel that covers sewers, undercity inns, troll markets and the denizens who abode there.

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  11. I second the real estate idea. One of my players kept wanting to buy a house when he was flush with cash and I kept putting it off because I didn't want to think about it. A short list of some ideas about why a house might be available at a cut rate (haunted is the obvious one I used, what about some other hooks). Rough guide to which parts of town are expensive/cheap/delapitated. Rental costs? Maybe that sort of thing is easy for experienced DMs but I coulda used that.

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  12. I've always wanted a "Build Your Own Community" list of practical things. "You need X farmland to support X people. Population increases exponentially but land only increases arithmetically!" & "You need a staple grain, a feed grain, & a domesticated animal type." "You need a blacksmith, a ferrier, a cooper, an X, a Y..."

    Just like a checklist for different settlements of various sizes.

    I bet such a thing already exists but I haven't found a satisfactory one.

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  13. Lots of colour and detail on garbage disposal, recycling, scavenging, mudlarking, ratcatching and the like.

    Cities are money-making machines packed with lots and lots of dirty people, so industrial and domestic waste products add up to a *lot* of detritus over time. Please do something interesting with that.

    Giant rats, otyughs, goblin dunnymen, river monsters/godlings ticked off over pollution, and housewives rioting coz the city decides to burn trash on laundry day should be the merest tip of a big, stinky iceberg.

    What? I was raised on WFRP. If the city isn't reeking; "I disbelieve".

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  14. Powergroups and rules how to get poltitcal in your city campaign. The easier, the better.

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  15. Random event generator? Something interesting but totally unrelated to what the PCs were up to ought to be just around the corner.

    Random sewer flowchart (no pun intended)? If the PCs follow somebody down below, I'd like to be able to whip up some convincingly byzantine twists & turns on the fly.

    Also, "wondering harlot" says to me that all the prostitutes in the city are also sages. Maybe you can only be one if you're the other. Which would require a big ol' table of specialties. (Subject knowledge, I mean. Or not, as you prefer.) Or maybe in Vornheim courtesans are supposed to be able to debate philosophy & theology too.

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  16. Zak, I assume my response won't be the specificity you were looking for, but if your book can help me out with what happens next when my party makes a left turn in my homegrown city instead of a right then I'm on board. Right now I use a combo of: stuff I already know but didn't expect to use yet, stuff I makeup on the spot, stuff I yank from the old City of Lankhmar AD&D supplement. I'd like to put Vornheim up on the shelf next to that.

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  17. Oh, and maps. Any kind of map of anything you'll find in the city.

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  18. Yes, lots of little maps of shops, cul-de-sacs, pub basements, etc.

    I am sure this is going to be great!

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  19. Zak, If you don't want opinions on the layout, you could simply say so.

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  20. D10000 WONDERING HARLOT TABLE

    +1

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  21. random mission generator, "interesting npc" generator
    section on GMing, tricks of the trade, tips, what a good GM should do and why, etc.

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  22. No suggestion. However I love Raggi's suggestion of using Anal Cunt song titles in test layouts. We are from the same hometown by the way.

    That's Anal Cunt and I, not Raggi and I.

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  23. Beats the pants off lorem ipsum, doesn't it?

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  24. "General stores" seem anachronistic to me, so what I want is a chart listing a kind of good, service, or item (adventuring related items higher priority) and match that with what kind of individuals/operations would sell them (specific craftsman's workshop, lady with basket, market square stall keeper, etc).

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  25. I liked the bit in Baldur's Gate II where you were just wandering about the city, and there's this innocuous back door into a house, and you go in and BAM! it's the HQ of the Twisted Rune and you're suddenly neck deep in beholders and mind flayers.

    So it would be fun to see some sort of random table of completely incongruous items/events/people that you might find behind a door, but I suppose that's the kind of thing that we'd be better off creating ourselves.

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  26. Hmmm.. how about a minor random quest generating bulletin board?

    with 4 variables, A Whatting Who wants you to Get/Do a Thing from/to Someone.

    - a *Dwarven* *Cook* wants you to *Retrieve a Deed* from *the Leader of some local Half-Ogre Thugs*

    Perhaps it could piggyback on other tables you already have so it could specify locations and such.

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  27. @thornboy

    I didn't post the layout, I posted a picture where James makes jokes while trying to figure out the layout.

    AAAAND, even if I posted the layout, then you could say "I prefer x" or "I prefer y", not what huth said: "Whitespace is your friend" which is condescending (and not necessarily true).

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  28. A random hawker generator, so you can have miscellaneous street vendors or market stalls full of none standard merchandise.

    Anything from some bloke trying to sell you knock off watches (or period appropriate stuff) all the way up to a back alley jewellers who has "a couple of interesting and rare items he's been holding back for a connoisseur such as yourself".

    Pretty much any city people design has the standard blacksmith, innkeeper, general store full of stuff out of the players handbook, what I would like to see is a quick way of creating curiosity shops.

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  29. For running cities in D&D, it's good to have tools for the DM to deal with the unexpected. Random tables for the win!

    Examples: A player wants to go find a vendor selling some specific type of item. Another player wants to find the nearest tavern to get drunk. And yet another player wants to case around for good loot to steal. (To sell later for starving orphans, of course.)

    Big city maps aren't that much use, really. I find small maps of buildings the most useful, so you can throw a tavern down in a quick moment. Random NPC generation is great as well. A quick roll on a table and he's got an annoying visible quirk and a potential secret.

    For actual city layouts, randomly generating city maps would be much more cool to have than set map layouts. Random street encounters for the odd chase or night-walk is useful as well.

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  30. Another vote for curiosity shops! Also, thank you Feystar, you have now inspired me to create the Emotion Merchants.

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  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  32. just add whatever you like, i'm sure it will be awesome anyway

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  33. Random landmark generator? Every city has, at least in its collective mind, at least one good landmark (i.e., "Go two streets past the dinosaur next to the furniture shop").

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  34. A secret identity chart for random beggars would be fun. As in, maybe he's a mutant, maybe he's a king with amnesia, maybe he's just got a lousy job.

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  35. Zak: Ok, I see your point. I nearly made the mistake of commenting on the layout myself, that's why I reacted.

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  36. There is one fantasy city supplement that really has stood test of time; RuneQuest Cities, I have been particulary fond of it's random tables that determinate events happenings, even downtime between the adventures events of characters lives. Something like those would be nice.

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  37. Sounds like what's needed is a random table generator generator.

    There are so many tables, or ruminations, or adventure seeds I'd love to see you do. A "where did the assassin go?" table, or a random mutant generator, or an overarching secret generator (this city is secretly... inside a monster's gullet). But I figure you've got that covered.

    At the risk of pissing you off because these are obvious (even though they're often missing from otherwise very smart products):
    - an index
    - a "further reading" Appendix N type list
    - something inspirational about what (beside law and order) distinguishes cities from dungeons; why are cities awesome?

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  38. Random Landmark Generator is a awesome idea. I second that. I was going to post the same idea as trollsmith, "The organization and workings of street and urchin gangs. The hidden social scandals of sewer rats." If I on the fly introduce a street gang, my players are likely to start along the line of thinking, "are they connected to a legitimate power structure in the city? how do they organize their cult/gang/thieves guild? and how do we exploit that..." A organized crime organizational table would be great. Especially when they get to, "Wait, does this gang have a rival? who are they and what do they do? Sow discord and unrest! Divide and conquer!"

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  39. Anything about cities would be great... But what about sewers and catacombs and cool stuff like that?

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  40. affordable public transportation!

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  41. Please do the guy with the paintings in the MOMA and the MFA from Yale School of Art the favor of assuming he grasps basic graphic design concepts.

    I thought Raggi was doing the layout?

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  42. @huth

    Then why would you post your comment -here- ?

    And why did it not say "white space is James Edward Raggi III's friend?"

    Anyway, point is...wait, I already said it twice. You must have it by now.

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  43. 'Cause it was posted here, heh. Why would you think I think you aren't thinking about it, though?

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  44. I mean, i'm not saying i don't think its done deliberately. I just don't really know how to phrase it as 'what's up with this thing, why isn't it like this other thing?' otherwise, you know, it's not really referencing any specifics and you then (as my thinking goes) won't know what the hell i'm talking about.

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  45. I'm just the layout monkey. Zak tells me what he wants and then I have to fumble around until he says "That's it!"

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  46. Modifiers to local prices based on economic conditions; season; how much gold the local adventurers have just dumped on the market.

    Scams aimed at fleecing adventurers out of their coin. ("Genuine magical sword!" "Treasure map I got from a guy dying of the plague!" "I have a lovely bit of property for sale." "I'm researching a new spell and I just need a little bit of investment and we can both make a fortune.") Couple this with a matching set of LEGITIMATE opportunities that look suspiciously similar (and that may or may not have interesting twists; like the guy actually did have a moldering castle, he did actually sell it to you, but did I mention the mega-dungeon in the basement?).

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  47. Chase through the city streets table/minigame. Some kind of system where you don't have to look at a map to figure out a chase scene, and random stuff that happens while chasing (apple carts! Panes of glass! Old women! Girl scouts!)

    An old 2e AD&D book had something like it(something to do with thieves guilds, I think), but I'm pretty certain it could have been done better.

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  48. Hello all!

    Sorry if this is already mentioned, but I did not read all the comments....

    I'd very much like to see a random "interesting-place-that-could-be-our-semi-secret-hangout" table.
    We used to have all these cool hangouts, and we even named each and every one....

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