View Full Version : City-based Campaign Setting - Stealing your ideas! [3.5, but mostly fluff anyway]

2008-11-06, 04:05 PM
This concept has been in floating around in my mind for some time: a city based campaign setting. Where cities normally dot the landscape, cities have taken over, and now it's the wilderness you have to travel for half a day to get to. Basically, it's one big city, covering a whole plane, except for the oceans, of course.

So, what I'd like is if someone wants to come up with some ideas to expand on this. If you want to help me create this setting, I'd appreciate every single idea you've got. Everything are still missing, as this is the only thing I've got: a plane with only one big city covering almost everything.

Of course, this won't be possibly without either really high-level magic, very strict laws and an enormous police force - or some kind of mafia, or brainwashing. Or a combination of those. And I think that's where we gotta start. Finding out why this is possible and how would give us a base, which we can then tag ideas to and build out from that.

Da Beast
2008-11-06, 04:21 PM
What sort of world are you thinking of? Fantasy, sci fi, or modern day?

2008-11-06, 04:28 PM
What sort of world are you thinking of? Fantasy, sci fi, or modern day?

Knew I forgot something. That is an excellent example of how absent-minded I am.:smallsmile:

Anyway, Sci-fi cities tend to be such ones already, and I don't think there's much fun in the modern day one, so, I'll guess it'll be fantasy then.

Emperor Tippy
2008-11-06, 04:37 PM
You do realize the population levels you are likely to have? I made a setting a while back that was a SciFi empire except with magic instead of tech and had worlds that could hold trillions without stretching disbelief as far as starwars does.

If it's what you want, feel free to ask me questions and I'll tell you what I did. Be warned that it is incredibly high magic.

2008-11-06, 04:43 PM
Check out the resources on Magic: the Gathering's Ravnica set/setting. It was literally a city-plane with nearly no wilderness, and took fantasy measures to deal with population, entertainment and the like.

2008-11-06, 04:46 PM
Coruscant (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Coruscant) and Trantor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trantor) may be good references, assuming you torque them down to fantasy level.

Resources aren't too hard in a high-fantasy setting. Create food/water, portals to the Elemental pland of Water, polymorph....

2008-11-06, 05:03 PM
Could you provide a few more specifics.


What is the dominant race?

What is the dominant alignment among the ruler/ruling elite?

What level of magic are you using and how controlled is access to it?

What plane is the city on?

Storm Bringer
2008-11-06, 05:17 PM
fanstsy world-city....... let's see...........

frist off, you'd need a butt-load of magic, for things like food and waste disposal. bland food is magically produced and sold en masse, with more expansive foods being more appealing, and the sewers all lead to magical disintergrate traps or somesuch (at a few centrally located sites, which lets you have extenisive sewer networks for adventuring in).

second, long distance travel is managed by permenant gate spells at certian locations, all of which lead to all the other gates (i.e. you can walk into any gate and come out of any other gate of your choosing). this allows a city spread across thousands of miles of terrain to retian some form of cohsive culture and identity. even so, different ends of the city are going to have 'local' traditions. espically if they live some distance form a gate.

third, the futher away form a Gate node a site is, the poorer the neighbourhood. quite simply, the rich people will live close to the gates and have easy access to the facilites they offer, while poorer people will live futher away, and so not be able to acess the gate as freely.

As a rule of thumb, the majority of any population is going to live within maybe 2 or three miles (or more accuratly, within a hour or twos walK) of it's preffered places of work and relaxsation. the population of a city built like this would be clustered close to the gate nodes, with large tracts of fairly lightly populated areas between this nodes. anyone living more than 8-10 miles from a node would be effectivly 'out of the loop' as far as city culture goes: going anywhere that needed a gate to get to would be a all-day activity, somthing they'd need to plan ahead for. they'd be likey to develop distinct cultural quirks, and show either non-standard fashion tastes or styles a few seaons behind the trends.

these 'outback' region is a great place for slums, ghettos and over adventure fodder

Now, humans normally prefer to build out rather than up, but the advantages of the gate nodes would mean that the builds near them would be built as high as the local techology allows. With magic, this means as high as you want, really. historically, it wasn't practical to make buildings more than about 6 stories high, as people would just refuse to climb up all those stairs all the time. However, with magic, elevators and other modern work arounds are availible, though they kinda move the setting from 'magi-tech' to 'sufficently advanced tech'. I'd recommend just keeping to the 6 story limit. that's still pretty tall.

I'll assume that all standard fantsy races are alive and active in the city unless told otherwise. I can see the standard player races working fine in the setting: gnomes running the bearucracy, dwarfs working the forges, elves running the theatres, and so on. but the non-standard ones would make intresting sub-cultures for the players to explore.

for example, the kobalds are mostly found at a few gate nodes, working as miners and craftsmen. Goblins live in neat little neighbourhoods controled by rivial organised crime sydicates. Orcs and hobgoblins form a major part of the city guard, enforcing the laws with rather too much relish (and not a little bribary). Fey races have retreated to a few nodes that were the sites of old eleven tree-cities, which still retain a semblance of nature. Mer-folk live in coral reefs off the coasts, trading fish and underwater goods with the surface dwellers.

you get the idea.

wow, that's quite a wall of text........

Lady Tialait
2008-11-06, 05:37 PM
This (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65259) is nothing like your talking about..nosirree

Emperor Tippy
2008-11-06, 05:44 PM

Why use gate nodes? Much better off with permanent teleportation circles (they are cheaper, easier to construct, and requires less homebrew.

Storm Bringer
2008-11-06, 05:52 PM

Why use gate nodes? Much better off with permanent teleportation circles (they are cheaper, easier to construct, and requires less homebrew.

whatever works.

The point was instant two-way travel between arbitary number of set points. 'gate nodes' was just a phrase used with only minor reference to the spell Gate.