In one of the D&D campaigns I’m playing in, we started by building the city that the game would be set in together. The result was The City of Shells (or just “Shells”) – a desert city of religious importance to the Empire but that is controlled by a puppet government installed a few generations ago, and just recently replaced entirely with a new Satrap under Imperial law.
Shells was built up over a number of ruins of previous cities that came before it and was originally built in times of constant warfare and raiders, so many city walls have been built over the ages and then outgrown. Shells is at the largest it has ever been now, with fine outer walls to keep it safe (and even specifically to contain new growth – food is grown in a series of valleys upriver of the city, and too much growth will only increase food prices as the supply isn’t very elastic.)
The map above shows the city with the various districts labelled. The city is exceptionally large with a population in the 100k to 200k range, and the fortifications are specifically not to scale so it is easier to see the structure of the city and major roads.
But when I first started working on the map of the City of Shells, there was a bit of a miscommunication and I thought we were dealing with a city 1/10th the size… So I worked on a much larger scale map of the city showing individual buildings instead of colour-coded neighbourhoods.
While this map doesn’t specify the individual neighbourhoods in question, they follow the same organization as the colour map of the smaller-scale map of the city. And if you want to be able to poke around with it more, I’ve got a black and white ultra-high resolution version to play with…
While the drawing is all mine, the structure of the city needs to be credited to everyone in the group – our DM Olivier who has painstakingly written up descriptions for each district, and the player group consisting of Jamie, Pollux, Reive, Ryan, and myself.