City Works, d20, Dungeons & Dragons, Fantasy, Fantasy Flight Games, Maps, New Kingdoms, RPG, Urban
Over the past two days I’ve been using City Works (a d20 supplement from Fantasy Flight Games) to design a city from scratch for my campaign world and to test out the design system presented in the book.
Today we get to see the final map of the city layout with all the districts in place and the additional major roads that we had waiting to be added.
From yesterday’s rough outline we have the city structure with some of the major economic blocks already in place (government, upper class residential, docks, markets, warehousing, travel and entertainment).
The first thing I get to add today is the middle class residential areas. They are placed adjacent to the upper class blocks and spread out in a radial manner. Since one of the upper class blocks is already completely surrounded with city structures, the decision on placement is very simple and requires no randomization – the middle class area completely surrounds the upper class hilltop part of Cruar’s Cove. (By luck, there are 4 available blocks around the upper class block, and there are 4 middle class blocks in town). It also has the benefit of being on the hilltop, making it pretty, less smelly and generally high demand land to build on.
Next up are the military areas (of which we have 2 blocks). Now, according to the book, they are there to defend the government, ports and gates in that order. I’m supposed to break up the number of blocks into 3 groups, and place one near the seat of government, one near the docks, and the rest scattered at the gates or at roads leading to the gates. With only two blocks we end up with only the Government and Docks military areas. I put a military citadel on the very north end of the old city area (which was begging for a fortress), and the second one right beside the docks, on the other side of the gate to the old city (this will be a naval base – so more docks!) This leaves Cruar’s Cove without any major military presence near 4 of the 5 gates into town, but with a lot of presence right around the two of the three gates into the old city. We know who’s important, and it’s not the townsfolk.
The Temple, University and Park are allocated in the same way: Roll 1d3 to determine how many clusters to break each into (in my case I’ll roll a d2, since I only have 2 blocks of each in this small city) (2 for temple, 1 each for park and university). Now we scatter them using the random distance and direction tables from the Upper Class districts. The Park ends up South West of the Old City district (and sits very nicely along the South road – like it was designed to be a sight to be looked at as people enter the town and head for the old city). The University is South West of the Upper Class hillside district. The temples end up South of the hillside district and due South of the Old City district. This puts one set of temples on the hilltop behind the university and the other set of temples on the main South road, across from the park and just on the other side of the Old City walls on the side of the hill so even the back temples are visible from the main road (for those temples trying to attract new worshipers, this is a key location).
The Industrial area is then jammed in as far from the prosperous, comfortable areas of town as possible while still being within the city walls. We break the industrial area (6 blocks) into 1d3 groups of blocks and spread them around. In this case I roll a 1, so all 6 blocks go together and are adjoining the ruins and warehouses in the rough West end of the Cove. This is where they process fish from the docks, lumber brought in from outside of town, and make cheese and sausages and so on. One section is up against the waterfront again, so that area will be boat-builders and repair docks.
The slums get the worst area of town. We start by surrounding ruins and industrial areas with slums. In this case, since the ruins are already completely surrounded, this means surrounding the industrial area. That fills up the remaining West end of the city and even overflows beyond the city walls a bit.
And then everything that’s left? That’s the lower class residential areas that make up the majority of the South end of town and the area to the south of the walls.
So, here’s what the map looks like now (you can click on the map to see a bigger version so you can read my handwriting).
The last things on that map that we haven’t discussed are the other major roads.I had determined yesterday that there are 5 roads into town, and 2 of which lead straight to the town centre. The remainder I roll on Table 5 to determine where they go. The first one, at the Western gate in the South wall, rolls a 98 – it runs through town from one gate to another without going through the city centre or heading for any other points of interest. That leaves only one gate left. A roll of 63 has it connect to the city’s centre and then connect to a street that leads to a random gate. I determine that it connects to the road to the South gate, so we have a slight rerouting of the road around the city centre area (that is a lot more visible in the final map, below).
This map overlay is honestly everything I need to run the city in my game. We now know what areas of town are interesting (the entire East End basically) and what areas to avoid (the West End) and what’s just boring residential (the middle and South).
But I love to map, and it is Friday, that day when I promised myself to post a new map every week. So here’s a revised version of Cruar’s Cove, with the city overlaid on the terrain and everything. Again, click on it to see a much larger version.
Great map. I like how you didn’t map out a bunch of streets and city blocks. So very often, that level of detail isn’t necessary.
By coincidence, this week I also was designing a port city using FFG’s Cityworks for my Castles & Crusades campaign.
I started by simply drawing the map and adding in major features… The seaport is located in a temperate marshy zone with some forests. Wild rice would grow naturally in the coastal marshes…
Then some background info was generated about the city…
Cultural Characteristics: Persian
Racial Stance: Completely intermixed. All sentient races are considered equal under the common Dragon law.
Races: Human 46%, Centaurs 22% Trolls 11%, Saurians 10%, Orcs 6%, Mermen 2%, Drow 1%
Government: Monarchy (The Dragon Kings)
Social Alignment: Chaotic Neutral (no central authority here)
Subsistence System: Banditry, Raiding, Trade
Population level: Average… small cities 40-80 miles apart, small patches of wilderness in between the cities.
Predominant Local Geography: Lightly forested tablelands interspersed with stream and river cut grass plains. Marsh and rice paddies with some sandy beaches along the coastal areas.
Population 14,655 (25)
Then I did a quick sketch of the main Southern Dock. I wanted a large Citadel in the bay. In fact, it was to be set directly on the largest dock…
Finally, to give this place some recent history a timeline
The Great Flood
1257 IA 3 Natural Disaster (Sea levels suddenly rise 200′)
Invasion of the Sea Peoples
1347 IA 4-I Strong Dragon Ruler
1428 IA 4-II Discovery, Magical (Water Breathing Magics)
1494 IA 4-III Religion, Cult Activity (Temple of the Sky Eagles Ascendant)
1502 IA 4-IV Invasion/Raids from the Sea Peoples
1545 IA Rebellion (Dragon Kings overruled but not replaced. Humanoids elect to attack Sea Peoples. )
1548 IA War, Foreign (War carried to other human kingdoms and the realms of the sea-peoples)
1552 IA The Treaty of Sun & Sea brings peace to the Kingdom. Feud/Rivalry flares (Sea Peoples/Dark Elves)
1557 IA Monster Incursion (Dark Elves)
I’ll be finishing a blockmap in the next week or so…
1560 IA Raids/Brigandage (Kingdom repeatedly looted by other humans, Sea Peoples, and Dark Elves )
1561 IA — Current Date…
Opps here’s a link to the city map…
Nice. I like the style you drew it in.