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Offline Strolen

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Isolated City
« on: December 07, 2002, 05:13:54 PM »


Forgot a road to the town on the bottom...guess they take the boat.  :oops:

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Offline manfred

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Isolated City
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2003, 08:07:15 AM »
Hmmm... a town only accesible with boat or such...
would make some general attitudes for its inhabitants against the outside world. A general lack and no need of wagons.
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Offline Strolen

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Isolated City
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2003, 02:59:35 AM »
Didn't even think of that.

Surrounding by mostly impassible mountain ranges, only excessible by small boat/raft down a white water river. I like the thought of a one way river. Too much big white water to make the trek upriver, and it is Grand Canyonlike in some areas so a portage is sort of out of the question. There is a better route on the other side of the river that has a mountain passage that is useable by wagons so once the boats leave the town and reach the southern dock, they could then portage all the way around the west side till they arrive upriver and can again visit the town.

Why bother? Huge gold or platinum or other rare metal, maybe a magical metal found nowhere else. It can be incredibly secure and since they are rich, can afford to hire those that can create a rather impressive fortress using all the available rock from the surrounding mountains. I really like the idea of this mountain fortress. Might be worth some time to write up a history and such and use in a game?

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Offline manfred

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Isolated City
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2003, 07:26:53 AM »
History?

Hmmm... probably originaly of dwarven built, so nicely isolated, nice nature if you want it, otherwise nice gold to dig  :wink: . Those pesky humans moved in, good for some agriculture and stuff, but soon multiplied and sort of took over the city. Trading would be the main interest for anyone, as the city would have a hard time without it. Maybe a temple of certain god of trade would be in place...
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Offline Strolen

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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2003, 05:21:41 PM »
It would be a pretty secure place I would guess. There might be other entrances to the city through the mountains but they would be well known and well guarded. If it was a dwarven city, makes perfect sense, then there would be some other tunnels possible making secret unknown passages. Rival clans making passages to help smuggling and such.

The river entrance would have a fairly strict entrance procedure and a doubly strict exit procedure. Nobody wants wealth leaving the city unless it is spoken for. Probably a riverfront security guild sponsored by all the other guilds to make sure everything leaving is properly documented and signed for. This guild could most certainly be corrupted to some point, but most wealthy merchants would know this and hire their own people to do a double check to try and keep things as honest as possible.

The town would be merchant ran in some kind of ruling body where each has a equal vote on decisions that affect the city. Each guild gets a representative. Guilds are/were formed by asking permission of the ruling body and once sanctioned they get a representive on the council. Yearly votes determine who heads the meetings, in charge but vote is still equal to everybody elses. Need somebody to keep things straight.

One of the most expensive towns anywhere. The immediate access to wealth makes everything outrageously expensive, but those that live there can afford it.

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Offline manfred

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Alternative: The Free City of Vaduz
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2003, 05:59:45 AM »
City:

The city has a population of about 12.000, with 20% dwarven population and 60% humans being the most dominant races. The city is originally of dwarven origin, which even to this date strongly influences everything in the city. Founded 475 years ago, numerous traders made this city their home. A small hobbit community produces fine pottery, known far and wide.

About 10% of the population are Citizens.


Citizens:

A Citizen (or The Honorable Citizen) is more than a simple visitor or inhabitant. Citizens pay less taxes, they can vote the City Council, and can be members themselves.

This 'title' can be awarded under special circumstances from the City Council (very rare), or is received after two years of service for the City's Militia. Being a Citizen is in most cases a desirable position, and even poor Citizens are in some little ways favoured.

The citizenship cannot be inherited.


Justice

Except for the smallest offences, that may cost one a few coppers, or let one spend a night in prison, fined and/or imprisoned by a Captain of Militia, most of the law is governed by judges. It should be noted most judges are honorable dwarves that take their job seriously.

Minor crimes and offences are handled by the judge himself, medium crimes require 5 Honorable Citizens, and major crimes are examined by 10 Citizens, in both cases the judge oversees their decision-making.

If a Citizen commits a crime, (s)he can expect a slight favour of the court. Of course, this is not guaranteed and major crimes are usually judged even more harshly than for other inhabitants.


Economy:

Dominantly mining and iron-forging.

Has: quality weapons and iron tools, pottery, armours
Needs: wood, skins, various other goods

Has a river nearby (in fact, the river is the only way to transport their goods), so can rely on a diet on fish, if nothing else.


Surroundings:

Located next to a river, surrounded with mountains, the city stands on a minor plateau, lightly forested.

A few tiny villages and settlements around the city recognize it as superior. Mostly farming communities, they do a little wood-cutting and hunting, thus covering a part of the city's needs. Dominantly human, the few elves are mostly found here.


Politics:

Thanks to a good position, separated with mountains and connected to the outside world by a river, the city has maintained its freedom till now. Valuable ore deposits are a sure attractor, both of tradesman and occasional invaders.

The city is on relatively friendly terms with most nearby kingdoms. To make it not too easy, a few ogres live nearby, occasionally some orcs manage somehow to get here and make trouble. Peaceful otherwise.
Do not correct me, I know I am wrong.

Offline ephemeralstability

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Isolated City
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2003, 06:52:21 AM »
The fact that Vaduz is an independent city state is resented by the King of Smarind (the large town in the delta of the River Ursk). The humans living in Vaduz escaped from the tyrannical rule of his predecessors to seek asylum with the Vaduzian dwarfs.

The King frequently sends delegations to confront the Vaduz authorities and demand their submission to his rule, on pain of attack. He never follows his threats through, since he is too worried of Vaduz's famed military power (those dwarfs know how to wield hammers).

By the way, is two years in the militia long enough for dwarfs who would naturally live for a few hundred years?
"Happy is the tomb where no wizard hath lain, and happy the town at night whose wizards are all ashes" - H P Lovecraft, The Festival

Offline manfred

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Isolated City
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2003, 06:40:20 AM »
Good note... in my world they seldom live over 200 years, but still...

It may be enough for a human (certainly for me :wink: ). Was thinking about letting adventurers start in the Militia, it may be right that time. Forgotten to consider it from the ordinary people's view :roll:
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Offline manfred

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Isolated City
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2003, 06:49:17 AM »
Beginning in Vaduz


One possibility is to begin in the City's Militia. Obviously, there are only volunteers, and expect (some really hope for) some action. A party, once assembled, must stick together, and is sent on missions (aka adventures) on command. Very nice from the DM's point of view. :twisted:

A special beginning:

I hate 'loosing' time with creating characters on the first session. No problem with giving characters more character, as you might say. It's just to see players yawn while rolling dice, choosing equipment and skills and spells and whatnot. They want ACTION.

Here it comes:
Given a little background before (about the city), the players expect some rolling and similar boring stuff, trying to come up with some history for his character. Not this time:


... They came, they are sitting. The DM has suddenly a speech of some military officer being ALMOST glad they got newbies in the militia, pity they are such weaklings. Insert a sergeant from certain movies, of the shouting-only kind. To give them amateurs their first task, they shall create a unit worthy of belonging to the famous City's Militia.

The DM throws 40-50 papers with pre-made characters on the table. With some background, some weak and strong points, and a reason to be in the militia. No numbers/stats. To make it worse, the DM gives a time limit to choose a character, right now. Once chosen, they get their characters, including the necessary stats, skills etc.

A member of militia has to be trained first. Training is a way for everyone to get some combat skills, and others (like often forgotten First Aid). Another time limit (say 2-4 weeks) limits the number of possible skills lerned.

Once trained, they are equipped with uniforms and equipment for their next mission. Off they go...


Plus:
- Fast beginning, possible to create characters and play within the same session.
- Already some background, and plenty of space to expand, for players that want.
- No problem to get them where you want them to be... most of the time. :wink:
- Them munchkins are not allowed to roll and min-max, at least not now.
- A character that does not 'fit' in the group can be relatively easily replaced.
- Some obvious plot-hooks and types.

Minus:
- More work for the poor DM, much rolling and thinking of balance, give "weaker" characters other interesting aspects, etc.
- Rail-roading. Pushing them in this role, force upon them their (however brief) history, more creative players may not be happy.
(Can be by-passed, if agreed before.)


What to do?

We Are The Law(tm) - whenever something 'chaotic' happens, militia has to intervene. Disasters, panicked animals, landing aliens... whatever.

From upholdin order to gathering news - from simply standing on the spot, and trying to not fall asleep, through regular patrols in- and outside the city, to scouting unknown and/or dangerous places. (Even strange underground lacations- for good ole dungeon-crawls.)

Action! - bar fights, riots, larger conflicts, attack by (insert enemy), outright war... all kinds of combat and stunts and special effects can happen, militia having to solve it.


Why join the Militia?

- less taxes (seldom the only reason)
- it is a duty and honour; may be a family tradition
- wants to be a right man, ego-building
- right to vote, perhaps be voted himself
- currently no job, poverty; accepted this instead of prison
- boredom, wants risk+excitement
- to escape one's family, don't want to be "mamma's little boy" anymore; OR wants to avoid marriage
- prone to violence, likes to beat up others; hates a certain group of creatures/beings
- for some reason wants military training(revenge? future terrorist? mercenary? foreign spy?)
- actually wants to stay in the militia, and make career there

And many other reasons.


Join the Militia NOW!
Do not correct me, I know I am wrong.