Memories of Connor's Adventures

Orlando the Adventurer pulled a Scimitar from beneath his Robes and smiled...

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Dungeon Mastery: All your human towns are alike

If you are yet to enjoy the Forgotton Realms comic series I suggest you do so now. We can wait....

Okay? Right...lets talk urban planning vs adaptive growth. Cities like New York and Melbourne are basicaly surveyed grid cities where a surveyor came along and slapped down a grid and lots became little suburban farms progressing toward crowded residential clusters and basically huge towers...but in another reality towns progressed from villages. Walls encompassed smaller areas only to see the population boom live beyond them. Wall sections, remnant structures, forgotten dungeons all left behind. Huts either side of a road, taverns at crossroads; rivers separating industry from residential activities. The ancient Castle is in ruins while the gate keep is the new center of authority.

How is there a market place just up the street no more than two blocks? Basically its a maximum distance over which one might porter goods...between harbour and market or home and market...without a wagon.

Previously I suggested rolling a handful of D6's on a piece of paper and the orientation and number on individual dice are position and population of huts.

This location and population concentration method can be used but you might prefer to create based on your narative needs.

If it is a crowded urban ruin of multi levels then the number on the dice might be physical height (levels).

Draw an odd shape on a paper and the dice dropped into the area represent buildings. Those falling outside might be dug into the walls of the narrow pass.

The fact is most fantasy cities violate the rules that govern how and why they exist in the real world. So instead of looking at the dungeon filled with humanoids as a nest, look at it as a village. Without farmland these people are going hungry and cold. They are going to be in conflict with others. Chaotic urban structures with narrow alleys and long distances between residence and market place will be traffic heavy with fights between travellers pushing through one another. Trade might literally occur outside the city walls in an open market if markets dont exist within the city.

I proposed once that pandora's box was originally a doll house made of scraps of valuable goods that drove those who looked to jelousy.

Pandora's Box
Minor artefact of entropy
powers: wish(specific).
Once opened it creates Tight timber dwellings and narrow alleys.
penalties & handicaps:
(A) It eats wealth to create a structure of equal value. It sucks minerals (copper, silver, gold, platinum) from the earth, or from chests, coin purses, or stray to function. It begins to create urban sprawl once opened.
(B) Those who see into the box are driven mad with greed and desire.

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