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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Nov 2010
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    San Diego
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    Default What's in my City?

    Hello playground. I have a city that my players will be spending quite some time in. However, between designing encounters and fleshing out the overall plot arch I fear I may not have time to bring this place to life with characters and locations for my players to explore. So I humbly ask the playground to donate some of their creative power into building this city! Inns, shops, brothels, orphanages, guilds, schools; I need it all!

    We are using Pathfinder 1e, with Spheres of Power as the only system of magic. Magic is incredibly common so hand-waved fantastical places are not out of the question!

    As for a little info about Vitolon, it is a city-state ruled by a monarch. It is known for its powerful navy, its near monopoly on trade with a far off exotic nation from across the vast ocean, exquisite textile products and salt exports. It is 90-95% human. There is only one prominent religion (The Xelionic Pantheon) in town, with any other practice considered heretical.

    HERE'S A BASIC MAP!

    A general description about the populace from my notes. "Known to be shrewd bargainers, miserly and slow to trust. They are perhaps the least hostile towards other races and are known to be pragmatic when it comes to business. Vitolonians tend to dislike Menitians despite their mutual defense pact because they are rivals for control of sea trade. And of course, they dislike Northerners."


    Anything the playground can provide would be of great help! I can use pretty much anything! Of course if anyone has a question I'll answer if it helps your creative process. But I can always tweak your wonderful ideas if they don't fit exactly with what I have planned for this city. Thanks in advance for the help!
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    I always like to put subfactions in my factions. And religions are always a good start.

    You have a pantheon. Dont' just give every god a temple, think of a special role the priests of each god could have, and build the temples to match, it makes them more memorable. Have funerary priests, priestly judges, priestly scholars, divine advisors to the king, priests who preside over contracts or bless ships, since this is a trade port. Then have temples with legal courts, temples with libraries, dim temples with extensive crypts, temples with a lighthouse to bring the ships home, temples with courtyards for debate, temples that are also restaurants or temples that store food for the poor.

    Also, put in some disagreements between the priests of various gods, that's always good for a plot. Doesn't have violent disagreement. Just political disagreement. Perhaps the priests of two gods are disagreeing over whose god/high priest should be given the honour of blessing a particular endeavour (an ambitious expedition, a victory march, a royal wedding or baptism.)
    Last edited by Eldan; 2020-01-10 at 09:03 AM.
    "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
    Après le monde - le gris; après le gris - le monde de nouveau.
    "

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Oct 2011
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    the Netherlands
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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Pathfinder has a lot to offer when it comes to settlements. There are rules for creating settlements in the Gamemastery Guide. It helps you to tick off a few boxes, and it might help you learn something anout your city.

    The kingdom building rules in Ultimate Campaign/Kingmaker helps you flesh out settlements in a different way.

    Here are some ideas:
    - Inn of the Cursed Axe: On one of the walls of this inn hangs a cursed axe. Whoever picks up the axe is cursed and must always hold the axe with at least one hand. The axe has a +1 bonus if the wielder is chaotic and a -1 penalty if the wielder is lawful. The axe has an additional +1 bonus if it is used to attack someone who is lawful, and an additional -1 penalty if it is used to attack someone who is chaotic. On a fumble you get to roll on the cursed axe chart. (Not a good thing.) When the wielder dies the axe instantly returns to the Inn of the Cursed Axe.
    - Gnando the Gnome Tailor. Gnando is a Gnome Expert with the Master Craftsman feat. He makes customized magical clothing for anyone who can afford it. If your players aren't too specific about what they want Gnando will ask if they have any other desires. If they answer no Gnando will assume they give him free reign when it comes to the design of the item. (A bright yellow Cloak of Elvenkind with polkadots, for example.)
    - Sindri and Brokr. These dwarven smiths work together to create the most amazing magical weapons, shields and armor using the Dynamic Magic Item Creation rules from Pathfinder Unchained.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Lvl 2 Expert's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Cool map!

    Though how did the military quarter end up on the other side of the castle? it doesn't seem practical from the monarch's standpoint, so there has to be a cool story about that. Maybe there has been a coup attempt in the semi-distant past and ever since then it has been tradition that the monarch has their own guard to protect them and their castle, while the mildly distrusted and relatively underpaid military is tasked with protecting the city?

    I might add a canal, circling roughly Underbridge and Oldtown, maybe reshape Deep Water Square a bit to fit more nicely. The city gets a more trade port feel from that. It also helps define that side of the city as relatively flat, which is one of the reasons most agricultural fields are on that side of the river, to the other side of town might run on against the hills more. It makes "Uptown" nice and literal too. You could emphasize that even further by putting the Oldtown side of the city clearly in the inside of a river bend, with the river entering the city from the southwest. This makes the city a sort of reversed Budapest, where the old center and all the traditional places to be are on the hilly side, and the plains were settled after they ran out of space. Maybe here people moved into the hilly side when the city walls put limits to how much the old city could still grow. That would make the walls on the hilly side newer, with maybe some remnants of older defensive works still visible on the old side of the river shore.

    This all in turn might make all the places in the old town a bit more respected. The Crafters' Quarter sits in the new section, so those are some people who could not afford to sell their wares in the city center proper. Those that make magical items on the other hand might be living the high life in the Magister's Quarter. And the Sapphire Heights (a bit of a seaside bump in the road compared to the new side of town) is where all the rich merchants and so live. They do their business mainly out of the southern docks, while north port is where you find the bars full of sailors, prostitutes and smuggling operations, along with bulk goods for the crafters, basic food shipments and anything explosive the military ships in and such. But things are changing. Not only is Uptown rapidly becoming the hip part of town, the newest urban areas are actually those spawning outside the southern walls. With the northern walls filled up and the hills getting steeper there, the newest residents look south ones more. And this brings with it tension between city folks and farmers. The Johnson's lost most of their land to land grabs and expanding slums already. This can't continue like that!
    The Hindsight Awards, results: See the best movies of 1999!

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Nov 2011

    Default Re: What's in my City?

    He mouth of a river is a bad place to put a city because of the annual floods such places experience and because of the risks of oceanic storms. Your city may be mostly built on high ground, or protected by walls which act as levees, or magic. There may be a massive temple dedicated to the river deity which usually mitigates the deity's wrath.

    Enter the Guild of Engineers whose purpose is to maintain the many canals, storm drains, walls, and sewers which protect the city. Persons of non-noble birth may be sentanced to a period of labor with the Guild for minor crimes. Those who commit serious crimes will be punished by serving long sentances on chain gangs, usually in dark, dangerous tunnels. Their distinctive black and grey striped uniforms and the long chains which attach to their left legs draw attention from the crowds when they move around on the surface, and they coordinate everything they do with call-and-response songs.

    The Guild regularly hires adventurers to clear sewers of giant crustaceans and other monsters prior to beginning work on a section of the sewer.

    The lowest ranks of the Guild are the overseers who control the convict laborers. Above them are the craftsmen who perform the skilled labor required to maintain the city defenses. Next are the field engineers who plan and supervise projects. Above them are the regional superintendents who are responsible for an individual drainage basin. The highest tier is the Board of Engineers which coordinates the activities of the Guild and establishes priorities, standards, and procedures. The Monarch is the titular Chief Engineer. Most Monarchs, especially those with no actual engineering expertise, will appoint a retired Engineer as Special Advisor to the Chief Engineer to act in the Monarch's place.

    And finally, fresh water and the facilities for its use are extremely important to a coastal city. The river water is going to be undrinkable due to pollution, but two options cnme to mind:

    Wells. A river's flow permeates the ground and creates an aquafer. Oceanic water does the same. The soil acts as a huge filter, purifying the water, but the line between salt and fresh water will determine where wells are practical. In times of drought fresh wells may become salty and in times of flood salty wells may become fresh.

    Aquaducts. It requires a much greater outlay of resources, but aquaducts are more reliable than wells, until the barbarians knock them down.

    With lots of clean fresh water public baths become possible, while otherwise such things become a luxury for the wealthy.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Sep 2019

    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    There may be a massive temple dedicated to the river deity which usually mitigates the deity's wrath.

    Enter the Guild of Engineers whose purpose is to maintain the many canals, storm drains, walls, and sewers which protect the city.
    Or perhaps they are the same thing.

    The aquamancers maintain a good relationship with the ocean god and river spirits. They maintain infrastructure and enforce the mortal's end of their covenants. Maybe they also have some ceremonies, and their leaders enjoy political power, but such is human(oid) nature.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Dog Boys

    In each district there is an Alderman's Clerk who, among other duties, has the responsibility to pay the bounty of 1 copper piece for 5 rat tails to the boys who wander the streets at night leading their small terrier dogs in hunting rats.

    These boys know most of what goes on in the city's night, and are usually willing to sell what they know if they think they won't get caught.

    Some of them also participate in dogfights for operators who may be associated with the local thieves' guild.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    sandmote's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Starting from the top down:

    It looks like the city has shrunk in size, given it neatly fits within the walls. Perhaps the river rerouted northward (up?) and the city followed the river, explaining why the citadel (castle fairwind) abuts the outer wall of the city. Alternatively, castle fairwind and the military quarter sit on the highest ground.

    If they aren't separated for defensive reasons, I agree there needs to be an explanation of why the castle is apart from the military center. An internal rivalry between two military forces handles that nicely. Dry side is either for the landed gentry or the nouveau riche, and sapphire heights for the other one. They're allied to either military they're next to. If you put the nouveau riche next the castle, they're funding the state and getting rewards for it (which the old money resents). If they're next to the military quarter, the upstarts hold that entire side of the city.

    Separating the port and harbor isn't as interesting; the southern (lower?) one is next to an upscale area, while sea breeze shanty would be a red light district. Foreign trade in south town harbor; fishing boats in north port. North port floods more.

    The transient quarter used to be the initial, disorganized civilian area before "old town" sprang up. The initial, presumably poorer houses would be a good explanation of how the slums aren't far from the organized bureaucratic center and castle.

    Old town and south bridge market square for the traders & lower nobility, deepwater square and eastside market for less savory folk.




    On to governance:

    Definitely deities should be tied to the area most attached to what the god's domain is, as Quizatzhaderac mentioned.

    Definitely want a trade deity, and a sea deity to for their churches to compete; craftsmen favor the trade god while sailors the sea god. Law god and war god should be fairly obvious; magister's district and military district respectively.

    The northeast would likely see gang fighting, either in competition or one gang ascendant. In a major city, a single group also controlling the transient quarter and the areas the river enters the city is unlikely.

    Political conflict would likely be (as mentioned in the geography) between those with gold and those with land; each with a military ally. At a smaller scale, each run down area is assumed to house the criminals by wealthier neighbors. Both old stories.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Feb 2005
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    Santa Barbara, CA
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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    For the military castle split that people have been protesting....simple solution is that the city began as two linked cities with a a fort on either side. The northern city based around dryside, uptown, and military district (since they would all nicely away from being flooded too often by their names) and the southern focused on sapphire heights, magister, and castle region which is also nicely dry by the looks of things. Eventually the whole shebang merged with bridges and the like....kinda like Buda and Pest.

    As for interesting places. Ya know what I'm going with a theme...where dark Infernal/Abyssal Powers intersect with the Underworld. HMMM Pentagrams have five points (its in the name)...so lets do five of them.

    Spoiler: Deamon Cup
    Show
    Deamon Cup. Dark and spooky in decor this place is mostly filled with rebellious children of sapphire height. It is a place to show off, socialize, and rant against the powers that be with like minded company who are often looking for ear or shared bed. Those who are actually of truly darker bent only show up it their are idiots (which honestly isn't really uncommon), looking for pasties/recruits, or trying to get attention. The collected unholy artifacts is shown to be poor imitations with even a DC15 knowledge roll. The drinks however are quite good. Alcohol is normal but laudanum and even low level hallucinatory drugs sometimes incorporated (in spite of legal restrictions) but the conversation piece is that many of drinks have worm tossed in. This total edible worm (looks kinda like a meal-worm) is semi aquatic and slowly dies of alcohol poisoning in the drink and if anything has a calming effect on the digestion/hangover the next day but doesn't look that way. For all the magic the tavern claims their only real trick is a small box behind the bar...it casts a several hour long illusion on any tiny vermin placed within that makes it look like a small deamonic creature. The illusions individually vary and are never the same looking twice (comparisons are common between tablemates). The guard don't really care to shut the place down, many in power have children there they hope will outgrow the phase, and it attracts many of lowlife elements for easy guard collection (and for the Cup a boost to its "dangerous" reputation) All that said the place is mostly harmless even if it wishes it wasn't.

    Spoiler: D-Mercia's Lucky Market
    Show
    D'Mercia's Lucky Market....well there the is scoundrel in a frock coat behind the counter, tea, coffee, fruit juices, and nibbles sold from a side booth and a selection of tables filled with a odd assortment of people. Basically your normal meeting place for those who want to buy and sell stuff without screaming it out in a market. You know how Lloyd of Lloy'd of London never sold insurance but coffee? Same basic idea but the specialty of the house is selling and buying lucky events....well "lucky" . People don't want to buy or sell goods without a custom stamp or that are illegal....they could get in trouble...but for the right donation a load of restricted mithril might just happen to be found in your warehouse one night....lucky you. Can't unload the wine that somehow has no tax stamp? Your bad luck continues when it disappears! But luck smiles when you find a couple of gold bars in the empty jug nearby. These kinds of secret deals are made with "the house" usually after a special drink or two is ordered. D'Mercia claims suck luck is province of a whole pantheon on various luck gods from far and near who have small mostly decorative shrines dotted around the floor. d'Mercia's personal band of thieves and sorcerers actual make the deliveries and monitor the floor for requests..what fewer know is D'Mercia is also a cultist of dark powers. Those dark powers supply some of his product, magic items, and information. He trades information, slaves, and souls for such things...his favorite source of the latter are people who try to cheat another (or especially the house) from is market which makes the floor surprisingly honest and lore of "Bad luck" about cheats is a common topic of often exaggerated storytelling around the place.


    Spoiler: The Shelless Mermaid
    Show
    The Shelless Mermaid. Named fro a carving above the door this is a dining club that takes up the lower floor of this six story building but has basically become synonymous with the building itself. The various offices on the second (UK 1st) floor are considered auxiliary businesses by most even if they are independent and the rooms for let above that are often taken up by the Mermaids clientele. While the ship brokerage is technically upstairs this is where most of the deals take place. One of the best places to hire a ship, navigator, the like outside one of their usual routes. The talk is mostly of various captain's daring-do, weather predictions, charter costs, etc. The bar maids are well known for their beauty, discretion, and scaled aprons that brush the floor with a flair to imply a merfolk image. VIP areas have magical lighting (both in the dinning area and rooms for let), and cleaning is prestidigitation based. Only the sub-basement holds anything but what would be expected. Here the sea seeps through the soil between the stones that hold up the building. Here is a finger of the ocean that has collected soil, probably sewage, dead seaweed, and never seen sunlight...and comes up with a shadowy tint from it corruption. Here those who feel the need for faster winds, safety from monsters, the ability to sail through a storm, a better bargaining position, keeping a smuggling hold secret from inspections, revenge on a another, or a dozen more secret desires find a different way to make deals. The brokers know what sacrifices are needed. They know the secret names of the powers found in the deepest oceans. Be they of the far realm, the Abyss, or another ocean through which travels the river Stix only some of the participants might say. Of course those willing to truck with such powers are rarely the best behaved in other parts of their life so the regulars of the Mermaid have bit of scandalous reputation but are also known for getting things done to the terms of the deal and really what are a few more map thefts, unreported bags of holding, cuckolded locals, duel, and loud parties compared to any other group of ship captains that like to show off?


    Spoiler: Helga's Ointments
    Show
    Helga's Ointments. A northerner who claims she was driven from her lands for refusing to bow to a dishonorable jarl Helga has run a shop near the docks for several decades now. She is a known alchemist and medicine women who rarely appears in the from of her own shop anymore spending her time brewing up large batches of her most popular products she says. Her children run most of the place now, including the simpler preparations. Her own beauty at well past 50 has spurred the popularity of her age-wall skin cream and her hand-healer is popular with most stone masons and those who work sea lines (and lucky scullery maids who can afford it) for its soothing healing of the cracks and callouses common to both of those lines of work. But it is her specials that bring in the most specialist seekers. Charm potions, strength ointments (both to aid or curse) and much more is available, including those items banned by the town council, such as poisons. Basically any alchemical good, some minor magic items, many low level potions, drugs, and poisons are for sale. Now the heavier duty stuff (mid level potions, very illegal goods, and the like are also available but cost more than gold. Helga demands blood. Sometimes with a knife of obsidian or greenish steel, other times with horned leeches Helga will collect her payment. What few know is her sympathetic magic allows her to use the blood to bind the souls of the donors to her sacrifices to dark powers. They are selling their souls a drop at a time. These sacrifices allow for Helga to make many of her magic items in lieu of XP costs, power long term pacts (including that which allows her to control her own aging), and slowly give her an account in the afterlife that will will allow her (she hopes) to keep her memories as her soul skips over her lesser dark souls and become a ranking devil directly after her death. A couple of her children are looking to expand the shop's customer base into the upper echelons of society with charm person perfumes, lie detection syrups and the like. But they are patient; Helga has time as long as she has customers-even she has to move again. And frankly her hand creams are damn good at keeping food on the table in the meantime


    Spoiler: The Goathooks
    Show
    The Goathooks. A streetgang of young toughs who fancy themselves the lords of their few blocks of Underbridge. Formed from the men who made and sold meat skewers from the offal of a small butchers shop this gang still uses the small shop as a home base. The young men were slaughtering, hauling goat carcasses, and draining blood and drinking hard after when they started getting challenged to fights by other young toughs. It turned out that they were so used to blood they didn't mind a bit more on their clothes and fists and so fought harder than their opponents. Soon they started to issue the challenges, and push other local toughs away from places that didn't want their custom (for a small fee). And pretty soon a system of petty protection rackets, "taxing" other illegal activity, and mild smuggling (amazing what you can hide inside a goat, living or dead, if you are willing to get your hands dirty) had formed. But the access to blood, a rough neighborhood to numb the conscious, and animals to sacrifice led the gang to slowly take a darker course. Their brotherhood (which includes a few tough as nails females and a few favored girlfriends) has been sealed with blood borne pacts to a dark lord of violence dominance and (insert campaign appropriate trait). Small amounts of healing, a spying imp or two, and the occasional spell is now giving the gang a edge and they are ready to expand their territory.
    Last edited by sktarq; 2020-01-21 at 05:54 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Goblin

    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Where does trash go and how does it get there?

    Where does food come from? How does it get to the city? How is it distributed? When?

    How, and where, do they dispose of their dead?

    Which way does the wind blow from? Where are your stinky industries (slaughter houses, tanneries, dyers, etc..)?

    Where are your shipyards? Where does timber come from? Where is it stored to season it? Where do the nails, rope, fabric, tar, and other shipbuilding materials come from?

    What's your law enforcement situation look like? Mandatory civilian watch? Professionals? Professional soldiers instead of law enforcement?

    What's your military situation look like? How much land to they control? How do they control it? How much ocean?

    I use the Medieval Demographics Made Easy site to generate the basics and then I tweak that to satisfy specific requirements.

    You might also look at the rhythms of daily life to answer some questions. One of my cities has a daily market selling eggs, poultry, and small items. The big market is every four days and virtually all of the merchants in town are only allowed to sell at the big market (and deliver custom items). So on-demand shopping is limited. Timber moving through the town comes to a standstill on market days so it becomes a de facto weekend day for a lot of people. No sewage systems means piss buckets and latrines that need to be emptied and, occasionally, cleaned by people who do the work during the night. A bell to sound the alarm can also be used to sound the hours of the day. Being at the long end of a supply route means there isn't a lot of glass (which affects prices and requires people to use substitutes). And so on... What happens in a typical day in your city? During a festival day?

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    Earth
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    Male

    Default Re: What's in my City?

    What if there is a Winemaker's Guild that is also an Assassin's Guild at the same time. The make poisoned wines that look identical to normal ones and use them to kill enemies of the guild. They maintain the guise of the Winemakers guild and supply the city with most of its domestic wines.

    AS it turns out, the city has gained some recognition for its wine, and is attracting some tourists. because of this, the city might be hesitant to apprehend the guild as the city is earning more money through tourism. Please give me feedback on this idea.

    The guild is named something like Night Owl Vineyards or something similar.

    The HQ is located in the Westford Borough. for more info it could be on Nickel Street. It appears to be a nice looking winery. And their Vineyard is just outside of the city. Below the winery, and accessible through the undercity area.
    Last edited by D&D_Fan; 2020-03-04 at 05:24 PM. Reason: Added more info.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2019

    Default Re: What's in my City?

    If the city is known for it's powerful navy perhaps it should have a navy base and (perhaps) a separate dedicated shipyard. For a naval base you'd want:
    Docks and dry docks (military ships tend to get damaged).
    Artillery overlooking the approach to the docks (if period appropriate) so that an attacking fleet would need to face the artillery and the defending fleet at once. This should also protect the approach to the city proper, if possible.
    Support facilities: warehouses, quarters, admin buildings right next to the docks. Apart from expediency, you'd want to limit the area that needs to be secured.

    Also, the biggest brothel in town is right outside, but that's not the one to gather information from: there's a nicer one in old town that the officers go to.
    Quote Originally Posted by D&D_Fan View Post
    Please give me feedback on this idea.
    Even a rumor that that the wine is being use for assassinations would severely affect sales. And in a city known for it's wine, there's a lot more money in selling wine than assassinations.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Goblin

    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Here you go:

    James the Cartographer
    -Crippled, halfling. Employs 4 mapmakers. Pays for maps of new places and sells his own. Collects travel logs of all sorts (ship's logs, travellers' tales, histories, etc...) Dreamed of traveling as a child but has never been able to. A source of all sorts of lore.

    Bula's
    -Human, the best brewmistress in town, makes speciality beers that will knock your socks off but most people don't know about her because her bar caters to gamblers. Dice and cards, the house takes 10% of the pot. People lose their shirts, literally. Her shop is also a sort of pawnshop as gamblers pawn their belongings to Bula. Lots of violence that is sorted out by Bula's two sons and their clubs. Bula is also the premier fence in town, buying stolen goods and shipping them out for sale elsewhere through a network of independent smugglers.

    The Slop Shop
    -Goblin, 'Weevil' is the only name he answers to. The slop shop sets up in a random alley every morning and serves out stew until it's gone. Tin bowls and spoons, eat it quick while standing up and make sure you return the cutlery or you might end up in the stew. No one knows exactly what's in the stew, but it's delicious and 1cp a bowl. Many people start their morning tracking down the slop shop and making sure the watch don't catch up with Weevil.

    Fair Raymond's Inn
    -Beds, or space on the floor, for rent by the night. Meals extra and only by arrangement. No drinks, no drugs, no fights, no loud discussions. No one gets robbed at Fair Raymond's and if you pay extra for clean sheets you won't get lice, either. Raymond does a good business with the inn and a better business loan-sharking. Lowest interest rates in town but don't miss a payment 'cause it's hard to work with broken legs. Fair's fair.

    Piss Jack
    -Runs the honeywagons and dunnydivers with an iron fist. They collect the contents of the piss barrels on nearly every street corner and clean the privies of the posh houses. All resold to the tanners and alchemists after suitable processing. A corpulent half-elf who surrounds himself with incense, camphor, patchoulie, and other aromatics to unsuccessfully mask the smell of his business.

    The College of Navigators
    -A building rented by those students seeking to pass the navigation exam and become navigators in the Navy. They hire experienced navigators to lecture/teach. Almost impossible to be hired as a navigator unless they vouch for you.

    The Salt Market
    -Plain on the outside, magnificent on the inside. The guildhall and marketplace of the salt merchants. Salt is stored here and sold at auction, as required by the guild, to merchants. Bulk sales only.

    The Textile Palace
    -The guild hall and marketplace of the textile merchants. Hosts three markets each month. The fine market for sales of luxury textiles. The flash market for sales of fine, dyed textiles. The plain market for the sales of undyed and semi-finished textiles. Sponsors several craft competitions. The guild school and hospital are located next door. All dyes imported into the city must be placed at auction in the Textile Palace.

    South North
    -The street where Northerners live. Not an official ghetto, but almost every Northerner in the city lives crammed into the buildings on this street. Two cookshops selling Northern food, one alehouse, a small temple, and a bath.

    The Stewed Nuts
    -A bath house by the South Bridge run by Mistress Imelda, a dwarf. Tip the locker attendant to make sure your stuff doesn't get stolen, take a bucket bath to get clean, and then spend as long as you like soaking and socializing in the wooden tubs. Drinks are extra, massages are available for a reasonable fee, and companionship can be rented by the hour. Mornings are males only, afternoons are females only, and evenings are unisex.

    The Broken Spur
    -A solider's bar in the military quarter. No ranks in the bar, serious drinkers only, and nightly boxing matches. Prostitutes welcome but take your business outside.

    Alistair's by the Wall
    -Livery stable and smithy. No one knows who Alistair was. One-Tooth the half-orc is the master smith and proprietor. Rumor says he was a master swordsmith and a warrior until the warlord he served was defeated in battle. Asking about this will get you a thumping. Livestock shoed, horses stabled, doctors, tack, and related accessories availble with a little advanced notice to give them time to roll Master Harmon out of bed and sober him up a little.

    Master Harmon
    -Human, former necromancer. Apothecary, alchemist, scientist, alcoholic, and dabbler in recreation drugs. A manic depressive. When he's manic he's extremely bright and works non-stop for days making the minor (and not so minor) medical preparations that keep him in business and experimenting with the latest herbs, mushrooms, and potions that people have brought him. When he's down he's usually in an alcoholic stupor, a hallucinogenic stupor, or both.

    Mistress Angela
    -"The Knife". Barber and surgeon. Beards shaved, hair trimmed, blood let, limbs amputated. Employees three apprentices chosen more for their ability to hold someone down on table than their talent for cutting hair.

    The Mummers
    -A secret society that stages guerilla performances of mime plays. Heavy on social commentary and criticism of the royal family. Members wear masks and black clothing that covers them from head to toe. Their short plays are carried out with military precision and they aren't strangers to violence where the watch is concerned. Not currently under a death sentence, but that could change.

    Small Bridge
    -Furthest upstream, the oldest bridge, and the most rickety. Made of wood and constantly in a state of repair with workers dangling about it at all hours of the night and day. 1cp to cross. Rumored to be haunted by the ghosts of travelers who fell into the river and drowned. Repairmen won't talk about it.

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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quizatzhaderac View Post
    Even a rumor that that the wine is being use for assassinations would severely affect sales. And in a city known for it's wine, there's a lot more money in selling wine than assassinations.
    That's a good point. It almost sounds like a possible adventure hook

    I think that there should probably be an undercity so I will flesh out the districts.
    Each distric is ruled by a kingpin, all of which are wanted criminals.

    Undercity Districts

    Garden
    Garden is home to many illegal drugs and deadly poisons, both grown and smuggled. It is only moderately sized, but is one of the more popular districs. It is ruled by Havri Ulgor, an older dwarf man

    Hull
    Hull is located closest to the docks. It is a haven for smuggled products, and many things are available in it. for the right price, of course. It is controlled by Jakala Sarali, a middle aged human wowan who is master smuggler and pirate, and operates much of the local operations

    Crimson
    Crimson is home to many illegal fight clubs and is known for it's genaral aura of violence. It is always controlled by the reigning tournament champion. The current champion is Garaka Defrik, a human man who is incredibly strong, but also smart, and thus a dangerous combatant.

    Trove
    Trove is one of the smaller districs, and is home to much of the city's forbidden magic. Numerous tomes of dark lore, and demonic summoning spells are held here. It is patrolled by the Brotherhood of Secrets, who patroll the area, and protect their cursed lore. Their current representative is an enigmatic archwizard that goes by Zelator. No one except the inner circle knows Zelator's true identity, leaving outsiders to guess who Zelator is.

    Medium
    Medium is home to afficionados of forbidden art that has been banned in most respectable places. It is home to the Mask Theater known for showing films banned throughout the kingdom. It is controlled by an adult shapechanging steel dragon named Arthesk.

    More info
    The undercity is highly guarded, and no one can get in without an official undercity token. The tokens are made of lead with a rat engraved on one side, and are pentagonal is shape. The Brotherhood of Secrets will mindwipe anyone who finds out that shouldn’t have a token. Entrances are guarded by thugs from the Crimson district.

    Spoiler: Map here!
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    Last edited by D&D_Fan; 2020-03-06 at 08:56 AM.

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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Neighborhood watches, clubs, and gangs:

    Ring of Distinguished Slam Poets
    A club based in uptown that meets weekly at a tavern called The Spilled Tankard. The Tankard caters to the club, and the club attracts many spectators. Their leader is the longest winning poet in the club. This role is currently filled by Hornun Vanderholm, a middle aged human man who discovered hs interest in slam poetry only recently but quickly rose to the top.

    The Sewer Rats
    The Sewer rats are a gang of vigilantes that prowl the undercity. Many groups cater towards them, but they are hated by the town guard. Some notable caterers: Borgi's shrooms, a mushroom shop that sells many types of fungi, both legal and not. Tam's Jams and Sam's Jams, Two rival buisnesses that try to outdo each other in donations, and advertising. Semmethur's Catch, a seafood restaurant that caters to the Town Guard, but secretly supports the Sewer Rats as well.

    The Dandy Boys
    a group of well dressed thieves that are trying to make a name for themselves. They are unfortunately, terrible at this, and most of their members have been arrested. They are lying low for now.

    The Saltkeepers
    The salt keepers are a group that protects the cities salt. they are well known and trusted by most salt traders, though recently, there has been some suspicion, as a few boxes have gone missing as of recent. The Saltkeepers swear they aren't responsible, bu their business is losing support.

    Anyone else have ideas?
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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Day three of posting stuff on this thread:

    Obligatory Large Markets

    The Hub
    The Hub is located near the docks, and many of the salt traders go their. Whatever exists in the world can be found there. It is protected by the town guard at the edges, but is very large, and isn't well patrolled. At night, many venders leave, and so do the guards, you can find deals of questionable legality. Besides that, it is fairly reputable.

    The Dark Bazaar
    Located around the undercity, the Dark Bazaar is a massive black market where you can buy illegal drugs assasinations and worse. It is a dangerous place, possibly the most dangerous in the city, but despite that it attracts large crowds.

    The Winter Market
    In the winter season (december-ish in time) a large market opens selling winter stuff, and has parades. It is based off of a holiday celebrating the defeat of a white dragon who threatened the city. Kids run around kicking dead dragon effigies. The holiday is called Dragonfall, and is around the same time as Christmas on earth. Fun times.
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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Quote Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
    The Salt Market
    -Plain on the outside, magnificent on the inside. The guildhall and marketplace of the salt merchants. Salt is stored here and sold at auction, as required by the guild, to merchants. Bulk sales only.
    Because of history, this is also the banking district. Financial instruments tend to be redeemable in salt. Got a 5000 gp reward from a noble? She doesn't hand you a 100 pounds of gold (that would be silly); she hands you 5 paper certificates that can each be redeemed for a tenth of a ton of salt (or 10 pp).
    Quote Originally Posted by D&D_Fan View Post
    The Winter Market
    In the winter season (december-ish in time) a large market opens selling winter stuff, and has parades. It is based off of a holiday celebrating the defeat of a white dragon who threatened the city. Kids run around kicking dead dragon effigies. The holiday is called Dragonfall, and is around the same time as Christmas on earth. Fun times.
    Place this on an oxbow lake that freezes over in winter

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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quizatzhaderac View Post
    Place this on an oxbow lake that freezes over in winter
    This is a good idea, but I don't think their is an oxbow lake nearby. There is however a canal through the city, and the Winter Market could be found on, and along the canal.

    also, a more formal holiday list, in order of season.

    Dragonfall
    In the winter, celebrates the death of the white dragon who ruled over the town in days of old. Celebrations include The Winter Market, and a big feast on the day the dragon died, echoing the original feast. It shares similarities to many revolution holidays, chistmastide/christmas/saint nicks day, and even thanksgiving.

    Salt Week
    During the late summer, a more recent holiday, salt week is basically a week where salt traders have small discounts on salt. It is the fantasy equivalent of car dealership holiday sales.

    Harvestfest
    Basically Oktoberfest and Halloween at once. Lots of alcohol, and decorative gourds. people participate in the Great Harvest Dance, and there is also a contest on who can grow the biggest gourd. by Harvestfest.

    Founding Day
    A holiday around the founding of the city, there is a boat parade using recreations of the boats that first landed at the spot where the town was founded.

    Midsummer
    Midsummer is a holiday in the middle of the summer. Traditions include roasting lots of meat, and the Midsummer's Night Dance Off, an old tradition in which the victor of the dance of wins twice their weight in salt.
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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Also, put in some disagreements between the priests of various gods, that's always good for a plot. Doesn't have violent disagreement. Just political disagreement. Perhaps the priests of two gods are disagreeing over whose god/high priest should be given the honour of blessing a particular endeavour (an ambitious expedition, a victory march, a royal wedding or baptism.)
    Or even better, have internal conflict in the temple of the SAME God or goddess! Just like you know... Real life.

    The goddess of peace ironically has a internal conflict on what do to with peace? Is it solene and serious or happy and festive?

    The God of justice and law has two sects one abut the letter of the law and it's literal meaning using logic and reason and the other about the spirit of law and less logic and more raw emotion.

    That can be fun.

    Also, what's the weather of the region like?
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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Also, what's the weather of the region like?
    I know it's near a river, and the city's canal is known to flood, so possibly rainy. The weather hasn't been canonically mentioned. We're the ones fleshing out someone's city, but I think they have veto power. That said, I assume that it has average weather, but is very rainy in the spring season.

    The weather also probably affects sales. There are probably many foreign merchants that leave for the rainy season. Also, what else is the city known for besides salt and it's navy? probably availability of illegal drugs. at least two characters people came up with have no problem selling the stuff, despite the restriction, and I came up with an entire undercity district where those are readily available. Plenty of restaurants and taverns exist, but not many are notable, and the cities winemaker guild is in the midst of a scandal. There is some historical value in the city what with Castle Fairwind. The castle probably attracts tourists, ans so does the Winter Market, meaning tourism is a viable industry. That said, the inns in the city might not be the best out there; Fair Raymond's will literally break your legs if you miss a payment.

    I think I covered most of the main, and well known (in the world) things the city is known for. If I missed any, please don't hesitate to comment them.
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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Quote Originally Posted by D&D_Fan View Post
    There is however a canal through the city, and the Winter Market could be found on, and along the canal.
    The canal was also a suggestion. The oxbow lake has the benefit that it doesn't need a human reason, whereas a canal is a major undertaking and requires a major human reason to build and maintain it.

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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quizatzhaderac View Post
    The canal was also a suggestion. The oxbow lake has the benefit that it doesn't need a human reason, whereas a canal is a major undertaking and requires a major human reason to build and maintain it.
    I think you are actually probably right. The city already has a river on it, and probably wouldn't need a canal. how big are oxbow lakes though? the city is probably huge, or the river is fairly small, because rivers can be very big.

    Being along a body of water, it would likely benefit from oversea trade. What does it export? Check my post on what the city is likely known for in game. What does it import however? and what else does it export

    Imports
    Wine. one of my ideas was that the winemakers guild was under fire for being linked to the assassins guild. because of this, the city will be importing more wine, and exporting less wine.

    Salt. The city is a salt hub. It is both imported and exported frequently on a daily basis.

    Spices. The city isn't known for having much spices of its own, and likely imports them

    More Exports
    Drugs. They're grown in the city, and can be exported in secret.

    Salt. Like I said before, the city is a salt hub. It is both imported and exported frequently on a daily basis.

    Textiles. The city is on a river, meaning textile mills almost certainly exist, or are being invented.

    Local Sales
    Crops. There is much farmland, and a source of water. Fresh fruits, breads, and vegetables can be found at any market.

    Alcohol besides wine. There are many taverns in the town, and while the city isn't known for its beer, mead, ale, braggot, spirits, whiskey, etc. You can still find a quality drink in the city.

    Fish. It's on a river, and sea. Of course it has fish.

    Examples

    Salts: Red Salt, Green Spiced Salt, Sour Salts.
    Drinks: Viper Wine, Dockyard Mead, Brum's Braggot.
    Spices: Kuyri's 7 Spice Blend, Orange Pepper Spice, Teal Mint.
    Produce: White Carrots, Bloodroot ( a burgundy root vegetable), Redfruit (a citrus.)
    Fishes: Greenscale Snapper, Redtooth Finback, Bullfish (tastes (sorta) like beef, half the cost).
    Drugs: Glowflower, Purple Worms, Beetle Venom( from the exotic and deadly Shimmerbeetle)
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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Quote Originally Posted by D&D_Fan View Post
    The city already has a river on it, and probably wouldn't need a canal. how big are oxbow lakes though?
    Going off pictures, they seem to be four to eight times as wide as the river at their widest. So for a minimal change, it could circle the old town.

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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quizatzhaderac View Post
    Going off pictures, they seem to be four to eight times as wide as the river at their widest. So for a minimal change, it could circle the old town.
    Maybe it could, but it would make the town be vastly different in shape. I think that your idea is good, but it is up to the thread's creator, brian 333 to make any real decisions.

    hey brian 333, can you give input on this?
    Now that I have your attention, is the town on a river, or can it be on an Oxbow Lake?

    Also, what do you think of my examples for items mentioned in the city.
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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Quote Originally Posted by D&D_Fan View Post
    Maybe it could, but it would make the town be vastly different in shape.
    ???
    I think maybe I represented the size and shape of an oxbow badly.

    Imagine a typical rivers as being shaped like the letters "l" or "S" (just much longer). An oxbow would be shaped like a "U", and it would always be right beside a river. The "line" (aka the water) is the same thickness in each case. My "four to eight times as wide as the river" was referring to the empty space between the tips of the "U". The Empty space in the "U" would be filled with the old town, and the oxbow would replace the streets on the west, south, and east sides.

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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Re the wine wholesalers/assassin's guild, maybe it can be like that shadowrun company that was supposed to be a front for a crime syndicate but started making too much money?

    Some of those assassins turned out to be damn good at making wine, so it's really a legit enterprise now..but those in charge still know some very proficient assassins if the need arises...and that NPC at the front desk is a lot more skilled than you might expect.

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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    Re the wine wholesalers/assassin's guild, maybe it can be like that shadowrun company that was supposed to be a front for a crime syndicate but started making too much money?

    Some of those assassins turned out to be damn good at making wine, so it's really a legit enterprise now..but those in charge still know some very proficient assassins if the need arises...and that NPC at the front desk is a lot more skilled than you might expect.
    Great Idea! I will go with this for my near daily worldbuilding topic segway!

    Guilds in Vitolon

    Winemakers guild. Read the above quote. Rumors are going around, but they couldn't be true, could they? The guild is still attracting tourists, but less so than usual. They are hoping the rumors will die down.

    Salt Traders Guild. Read most above stuff. Salt is the city's most profitable business. They are very reputable, and one of the richest and most decadent of the guilds. Their HQ is near the Salt Market.

    Shipbuilders Guild. In a city known for its navy, shipbuilders are a must have. They work with the local military and guards, but can also be commissioned to build custom ships for nobles and other rich individuals.

    Textile Guild. This guild works on controlling the textile market of the city. They own and operate most of the textile factories on the river.

    Coopers Guild. They work with other guilds by making the casks and barrels that are used in shipping.

    Carpenters Guild. They build many wooden buildings in the city.

    Masons Guild. They work on building stone buildings in the city.

    Other Notable Groups

    Town Guard. The town guard protects citizens in the town. They are mostly located in richer parts of the city. They are mostly good, but some guards might be willing to accept a bribe.

    The Order Arcane. They are the city's main group of mages. They despise the Brotherhood of Secrets. They work with the Town Guard using magic to stop dangerous criminals.
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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Winemakers guild
    hmmm.... so I'm thinking wine gets poisoned, just never ever guild wine. If someone poisons guild wine and they escape the magistrate's noose then they get a knife in the back. If someone outside of the guild starts being to successful in the spirits trade they tend to have "an accident". If someone needs someone "taken care of" the person they buy the wine from will "know a guy".

    In the country, among the vineyards are the facilities that train assassins. Wealthier assassins have fine homes in the country while pretending to be commoners in the city.

    Also, I'm thinking they should be called "Spirit traffickers". Because 1) they trade in all types of alcohol 2) they sometimes direct the traffic of the spirit from the body.

    Factions
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    *Navy
    Creates city's international influence and secures favorable trade conditions. Somewhat distrusted by old ruling elite. Contains many foreigners and elevated commoners. Face many restrictions on when they can carry weapons or where they can gather on land. Early modern command structure.

    *Religions
    **chief god - This template dictate how other temples operate and legitimizes the monarch.

    **water god - Exerts enormous temporal influence because it controls the waters ways, prevents flooding, and protects the harbor. Majority of temple members are workers or bureaucrats rather than priests.

    **misc gods -
    Provides most healing services and it's considered to be on the side of the common people. Able to effectively rabble rouse.

    *Nobility

    **City lords>
    Own most of the buildings in the city and employ the builders and rent to the commoners.

    Controls the town guard. Neighborhoods without a lord are rather lawless.

    One ostensibly owns the navy shipyard but can't interfere with the navy or shipwrights guild.

    **country lords - Required to spend the winter in the city (to keep an eye on them). Controls the vineyards, salt mines, and regular boring villages growing staple crops.

    Provides and controls most of the army.

    **Army - Feudal in structure. Troops are loyal to their lord, then the monarch, then the city-state. Many of the most trusted positions are held by relatives of lords.

    **lords maritime - More like bureaucrats than true nobility. Represents the desires of the merchant guilds and navy in formal government.

    *Merchantry

    **Spirit traffickers, salt exchange: as discussed.

    **Textiles - Depends completely on trade for both materials and markets. Also supports an elaborate (dare I say fabulous) fashion scene. Big driver for naval influence.

    ***Production of dyes is shrouded in secrecy, often requiring many strange and troubling ingredients.

    ***weavers guild - Not particularly import people individually, but there's a lot of them in the city.

    Nieghborhoods
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    *Castle fair-wind - home to the monarch. Contains the treasury, the private meeting place for parliament, and the highest army office.

    Magisters' district - Home to the high temples. Contain the public meetings of parliament. Contains a public university.

    Sapphire heights - Contains the salt market (which is also the banking district). Also contains the leadership of the merchantry and is where most major deals are made. Also contains the fashion district.

    South town harbor - Mostly just loading, unloading, sorting and storing international cargo.

    Under-bridge - Home of dock workers, sailors, and fishermen.

    Old town- winter homes of the country lords. Contains private (and secretive ) universities. Many of the servants and guards that work in the magisters' district or the palace live here.

    Transient quarter - Ruling family has been mad for several generations. Attempts to replace them have met with riots. District is nearly lawless.

    South bridge - center of regional trade (that is to say, everything but international major goods).

    Westfold borough - Lots and lots of textile work.

    North Port - Naval port

    Seabreaze Shanty - Naval shipyards.

    Crafters' quarter - Craft of weapons and siege engines to support the war machine.

    Dry side - Manufactures plain goods sold to the nearby countryside.

    Military quarter - Members of the navy must reside here, as must soldiers of country lords (when not in the country). Weapons may be carried more openly and bought and sold here.
    Last edited by Quizatzhaderac; 2020-03-23 at 03:53 PM. Reason: typos

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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    More Neighborhoods

    Favored's Folly an upper class neighborhood whose main residents are gamblers and inheritors who gained a large amount of money. Many of these people buy lavish mansions, and it is one of the richest neighborhoods in the city. Many people hold much disdain for those who live in Favored's Folly, as they didn't have to work for their riches.

    The Dregs a large group of neighborhoods that hold the lowest of the low. Few guards patrol here, as it is dangerous, and provides little to no profit. Many of the inhabitants live in cramped tenements.

    Mosswalls an old neighborhood rumored to have been built as part of the original city. The walls around the neighborhood have become green with moss. It is mostly upper middle class.

    Red Bricks this neighborhood has many of the city's slaughterhouses and tanneries. It smells awful, and those who live there don't live there by choice.

    Honesty hard work is honest work. Honesty is a lower middle class neighborhood known for holding the guildhall for both the carpenter's guild, and the masons's guild.

    Floodwater an older part of the town, this neighborhood is known for constant flooding. many of the houses are on stilts. It is primarily lower middle class.
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    Default Re: What's in my City?

    Since not much has been posted in a like a week or so, I am posting more ideas.

    Guilds and Orginizations

    Gravediggers Guild
    The city's gravediggers. The main graveyard is outside the city, but smaller graves exist in the city. The guildmaster is a half-orc named Kurlog.

    Spice Traders
    In a city known for salt, being a spice trader is hard. Many spice traders hold disdain to the richer salt traders. That said, they still earn a respectable amount of money.

    The Vitolon Arts Academy
    Located in the center of the city, The Arts Academy is famous in the region for educating locally famous painters musicians and playwrights.

    Nobles

    Archduke Geltor VII
    A noble from far north, Geltor is quite unlucky. His far away homeland was ravaged by their enemy, and he was forced to leave. He has clings on to what little wealth he has left, as he no longer has any power tied to his name. He may be looking for adventurers to help him reclaim his lost glory.

    The Tirameus Family
    A noble family that has grown rich through a mine in the far south. The mine was once a depleted iron mine, but a lost meteor filled with starmetal was uncovered below the mine, and now the Tirameus Family has become one of the richest families in Vitolon from their starmetal mine.

    BTW there's another page! ==>
    Last edited by D&D_Fan; 2020-03-21 at 03:49 PM.
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