View Full Version : [CITY] Autowerk, the Clockwork City

2005-07-02, 12:13 AM
Autowerk. The Clockwork City they call it. A place where you can find clockwork creations, effigies, and golems anywhere.

As you sail up to it, the gleaming silver walls are the first thing you see. I haven't checked, but I would bet they form a perfect circle, covered with hundreds of complex, but symmetrical patterns and glyphs. The buildings are masterfully organized and aligned. I don't think I've seen a city so well planned. Nothing is out of place. Every building, every stall, every street is placed so there isn't the slightest bit of deviation or wasted space. It is almost disturbing how well organized it is.

Nothing stands still here. More than once I've found myself trying to rest, and sitting not on a normal bench but on someone's pet. Why would someone want a ticker anyway? Bloody creations can't do anything without instruction. Anyway, I suppose the city isn't such a bad place. I must admit that their artisans and craftsmen are among the best in world. I don't believe my sword was this sharp ever, even when I first bought it.

Would I go back there? Of course. There are things you can buy in Autowerk that you can't find anywhere else. I just wish I could have got into that bloody library. Of all the buildings in Autowerk, the Core Library is the most decorated. You just know that they are keeping some important stuff in there. However, no average guy will ever be admitted. They only want "qualified" and "deserving" individuals to enter that place. Hmm...maybe my crew and I should plan a twilight visit.

Stable Population: 22,001
GP Limit: 40,000 (X GP for Constructs)
Power Center: Standard/Magical
Primary Religion: None
Climate: Mediterranean
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Racial Demographic: 37% Gnome. 20% Human, 18% Elf, 10% Dwarf, 5% Half-Elf, 4% Halfling, 3% Half-orc, 2%, 1% Any Other*
*For the purposes of intergration, Any Other may be represented by a variety of races. If the game is based purely on OGL materials, then you may add the 1% to the gnome or human demographic. If using Eberron sources, the Warforged make for an interesting race. If a more exotic city is needed, adding in creatures from other planes is possible.

Over two thousand years ago, a great crusade swept through the land. Religious fanatics, many of whom thought arcane sorcery and science was an affront to the gods, began an inquisition, in order to wipe out the threat of heretics. This inquisition was to be later dubbed as the Labored March. During this time, anyone who was suspected of practicing arcane magic or making controversial scientific claims were thrown into work camps or killed on the spot. It didn’t matter whether or not an accused person was actually a practitioner of these arts. In fact, over three-forths of all prisoners were not guilty of their accusations. However, being suspected was enough to seal one’s fate. Of all the outcomes possible, those killed were usually considered the lucky ones.

The work camps were known for their horrible living conditions and their strict regulations. Many people died under the harsh environments. The point of these camps was to enforce the inquisition’s goals through fear. Oddly enough, it backfired. Many people saw the treatment of these people as cruel and inhumane. The public rebelled, and began practicing arcane arts in force. As such, the inquisition did not sop end the “heresy”, but rather fueled it.

On a small island off the coast, a city was being born. Arcane masters, architects, alchemists, and all manner of oppressed folk were gathering their strength. Of the population, almost a quarter were rescued from these camps. They knew that they couldn’t win with just brute force. Their numbers were too small. A small council was set up to try and come up with a solution. In the end, an old gnome wizard by the name of Glom Glittergem came up with a solution.

Glittergem had recently created a walking creature of metal. While far from perfect, this “metal man” never suffered from fatigue, was resistant to most physical assaults and magic, and would not stop fighting unless destroyed. These constructions, shortened to “constructs” by the worksmen, overjoyed the council as they finally had a siege weapon to help them in their battle.

In time, the local rulers sought an end to the conflict. With the appearance of constructs to help the heretics, the winner of any battle was no longer clear. What’s more, the rulers wondered why the gods hadn’t stepped in to stop what had been thought to be heresy. They decided that the old claims were not accurate, and called off the inquisition. The rulers tried to make amends, and in the end only one solution satisfied the collected scientists: They wanted a city of their own. The rulers conferred, and granted the small island its own government and land. Some of the fighters left for home, eager to be with family again. The greater majority stayed, and created the busy city of science, magic, and knowledge that is now Autowerk.

In memory of the achievements, struggles, and lives lost during the inquisition, Autowerk erected two major landmarks. The first was the gleaming silver walls that surround the circular city. These walls not only serve as a reminder of Autowerk’s history, but also as the first defense in an attack. The second and most important landmark was the construction of the Central Library. Within its halls lies thousands of scrolls, books, and other texts describing all manner of arcane arts. More importantly, it contains the original notes and texts of Glom Glittergem, describing the exact art of creating constructs.

CITY DESCRIPTION: Autowerk stands as the sole city on the island it resides on, connected to the mainland by one large, stone bridge. The city takes up approximately half the island, leaving the rest as farming land and areas for non-city residents to set up homes. The city itself is well organized, and is divided up into 4 distinct sections.

Scholastic Section: Located in the northern most part of the city, this section is known for its many tutors and researchers in the arcane arts. This modern buildings sport fanfare and banners of all types. Sculptures , marbled floors, and well kept streets are the sights that greet peoples’ eyes. In addition, one can come here for some of the most advanced and detailed studies of modern architecture, design, and other sciences. The local college (known simply as Carthage) has many talented professors in these fields, many of which whom are willing to answer questions about their fields and provide assistance for little compensation, as long as the task isn’t too demanding. Knowledge (Arcana) and Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) checks receive a +1 bonus when researching subjects with the assistance of one of the professors. This bonus may increase to +2 with a few professors, but those are likely to require something in return.

Engineering Section: It is here in the southern section that most mechanical devices are built, ranging from the simple wagon, to the masterwork sword, and all the way to the components for creating one’s own golem. These buildings lack the care and décor of the scholastic part of the city. While not rundown, one is more likely to encounter grime, oil, and trash here. The buildings are of a simple make, as crafters would rather spend their money on something more worth while than “pretty little things”. Due to craftsmanship and skill of the city, any and all Craft checks incur a -2 penalty to earn money, as competition is fierce. In addition, travelers may attempt to barter with workers for better prices, though they may find they have better chances with the merchants, as the merchants can act as the middleman.

Business Section: Within the eastern part of the city (located close to both the bridge and local port) lies the Business section, where adventures and travelers can stock up on all kinds of magical items, potions, equipment, or simply spend the night. Shops range from the large and expensive to the quaint and simple. Most popular are constructs known as “tickers”, small constructs that are shaped to look like animals. (See the “Animated Object” section of the Monster Manuel. They function as a small construct, with speed depending on what animal shape they take. No matter what shape they take, they can never fly by their own means). What makes these creations unique is that they follow the orders of their owner, not their maker. Once sold, the ticker will immediately follow its new master’s orders. Other constructs are possible as well (such as the Shield Guardian), though more expensive constructs are harder to find. Within this section, it is extremely difficult to find items with divine spell requirements, as few people within the city practice such arts. As such, most arcane items can be found, but any item with a divine requirement costs 25% more than normal (reflected in both the buying and selling price). In addition, to find such an item requires a DC 20 Gather Information check.

Governing Section: This small section of the city lies in the west, elevated slightly above the rest of the city due to natural terrain. Even more highly decorated than the Scholastic section, the Governing Section is where any and all legal problems are resolved. Whether it is a tax violation, time to vote, or simply a question about local ordinances, travelers can get all that information here. In addition, this is where the City Council meets to discuss important matters (see the Government section).

ARTS AND CULTURE: To the lifestyle in Autowerk, there isn’t a lot of entertainment to be found. The most people can hope for is to travel outside the city walls and either visit a small play in the country or cross to the mainland and visit another city. As such, any and all Perform checks gain a +2 bonus when trying to earn money. In addition, a check Perform check that equals or exceeds 20 will usually get an invitation to play at a local inn in exchange for free room and board.

RELIGION: Religion is usually not a major part of the lives of the citizens of Autowerk. Whether this represents an agnostic view of the world or simply a grudge stemming from the past inquisition, people are hard pressed to find a temple or any other place of worship. Religion isn’t outlawed however, and those who do worship usually revere gods of knowledge and law. A Gather Information check of at least 20 will allow a person to find either a small temple or local home that hosts such activities.

GOVERNMENT: Unlike most cities, Autowerk has no patronship with any other ruling state. It is truly a city on its own. The City Council is the ruling body of Autowerk, a board made up of 7 members. There is always one member to represent the four sections of the city (Scholastic, Engineering, Business, Governing), and the remainder are made up any other eligible person, though arcane casters tend to hold at least three seats on the council. While citizens vote, their choices are usually limited by city regulations and social hierarchies. Of course, citizens rarely mind, as the City Council rarely passes judgment or regulations that do not suit the average citizen.

CRIME: Crime is not usually an issue in Autowerk. There is rarely a report of murder, rape, or any other horrendous crime. In fact, the most common crimes are thefts (seeing how the city contains so many rare and powerful magic items) and fraud. However, there are two regulations that are considered serious crimes if broken…
1) Rule of Artistry
Within the walls of Autowerk, one’s property, research, and craftsmanship are sacred. Any attempt to steal or pass off forgeries of anyone’s work is considered a serious crime, and earns an immediate visit to the City Council. While no one has ever been put to death over this rule specifically, those who are found guilty must serve as indentured servants to those they wronged, until they can repay their crime by 100% (or whatever other option the City Council deems fair).
2) Library Restrictions
The Central Library is home to the world’s largest collection of writings involving arcane arts, engineering, and (more importantly) the art of creating constructs. Forced entry into the library is punishable by being stripped of everything one owns, exiled from the island, and never allowed to return. In addition, if any books or texts are damaged in any way (and the definition of “damaged” is pretty wide when concerning these texts), the Council may demand an amount of labor that may equal three to four times what that text was worth. Requirements for proper entry are listed below (in the Monuments section).

1) The Central Library
As stated, the Central Library houses thousands upon thousands of texts, ranging from the common engineering art to the most obscure arcane spell. Most notable of the collection is Glom Glittergem’s original texts, which describe the exact are of making a construct. This immense building is located close to the center of the city, leaning slightly more north than any other direction. There are only two entrances into the building, both of which are heavily guarded doors, armed by both sentries and iron golems. There are absolutely no windows in the building, as light is provided by everburning touches placed throughout the library. A few vents (carved right into the building, allow for some air flow, but otherwise the building is almost completely solid. As with the professors, a person doing research receives a +2 bonus to Knowledge (Arcana) or Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering), assuming they spend at least two hours looking and know where to go. Uninformed researching may take up to 24 hours. To gain entry to the library one must pass at least three of the following four criterias:

* Prove their knowledge of arcane arts (Knowledge (Arcana) check: DC 20)
* Prove their knowledge of science (Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering): DC 20)
* Translate and identify texts (Spellcraft DC 20)
* Be able to show superior craftsmanship (Any Craft: DC 20)

2) The City Walls
The thick, silvery walls that surround the city are covered with of inscriptions. Within these inscriptions one can read names of thousands who lost their lives in the inquisition, famous quotes, important dates in the war, and strange glyphs. The glyphs are the key part of the walls, as they can be activated with a signal from the Central Library. Once activated, the walls shimmer in a rainbow of colors. While activated, the walls act as the Prismatic Wall spell that a color hit with the appropriate suppressant will stay suppressed for 1d6 minutes. After that, the color reappears. In addition, the wall may stand for as long as needed, and people may exit from the city. However, if someone leaves the city while the wall is activated, they may not pass through again without suffering the wall’s full effects (or until the wall is deactivated).

Power Struggles and Plot Hooks will not be finished. I'll leave that to you all, seeing how I never finished these sections and it does nothing for me to spend more time designing. ;)

2005-07-08, 01:46 AM
(For any and all updates and developments)

July 4th
I've been reading through the DMG, and read about the plane made of gears and law. It kind of inspired me, though I guarentee that this city is 100% my creation.

I'm considering adding a section to the town that is made for gnomes (they were the founders). It would be a small section (forgive the pun), where all the buildings and doorways were about half the normal size they normally would be. Might be fun for adventurers if they are all Medium or larger creatures and they have to chase some random gnome or halfling.

EDIT: I finally finished a decent introduction. It may change, but it fits for now.

July 8th
I think I finally have an intersesting angle for campaign ideas. Oh the fun I'ma have...

2005-07-14, 01:56 AM
i'm no expert on copyright laws, but you may want to change the secondary name of the city, because there's a city in the tribunal expansion of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind called "the Clockwork City of Sotha Sil" that's filled with constructs.

2005-07-14, 01:06 PM
hi hi

I'm pretty sure they can't copyright clockwork, city or any combination of those two words. Sotha Sil, probably would be a good thing to leave out though.

2005-07-15, 03:21 PM
To my knowledge, "clockwork" is not something I can get in trouble for using. I am neither A) quoting a prexisting city or B) using outside information. I don't think it'll be an issue. Of course, if the moderators would like to give me a ruling here, I'd be happy to hear it.

2005-08-30, 11:56 PM
I was late in posting my entry for the last contest (I forgot to take into account the difference in time zones), but I want to post this for others to use and see.

Hope you all enjoy the finished (more or less) Autowerk.