CRB is a repository of all the creative things that float through my mind about the RPG Pathfinder. Two major features are random character generation and building characters based on the god they worship. Anything that seems like it adds to the creative aspects of the game will pop up from time to time, including location descriptions, adventure ideas and even short stories. CRB won't just be my own creativity, it will open the floor to anyone who has an idea sparked by what I present to you.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

World Building - (re)Building a City

I’ve had a lot to talk about over the last two months, and my series on world building kinda fell to the wayside. That doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about our little Ratfolk city. Today we’re going to continue to move forward with fleshing out our location by adding some local color to the town, including neighborhoods or cross-sections. On a larger scale these could be regions and you can almost definitely use the same methods to build on that scale.

First we can take a look back at the prep I did here, then the first steps I chose to do, which was factions. Some of my research and a few of the factions have sparked ideas for places within the city for adventurers to visit. There are always general ideas for locations that should be present in just about every city.

The Rubble

One of the first things that came into my mind when thinking about the City of Whispering Swords was the fact it was at one point an old ruin before being given to the Ratfolk to inhabit. In the time the rats have been there I imagine there has been a lot of infighting as they fought to crown an established ruler. To me this means that much of the city still lies in ruins, and so I picture a good half or more of the city is just vacant, or mostly vacant.

I see the rubble actually being two separate sections in and of itself. The shadows, an area close to where the rats inhabit and the places the Ratfolk are beginning to reclaim one building at a time. Then they’ll be the deep ruin, an area where the buildings aren’t just dilapidated but completely reduced to rubble. A place where mighty stone structure once exist and now lie In piles of stone and wood.

The Shadows

Although this areas is not considered reclaimed by the Ratfolk, the Shadows actually has inhabitants. Those who are outcast even among the lax laws of the rodent folk find homes here. True and dire rats run the streets along with other fauna that had taken up residence; everything from wild dogs to more exotic beasts. Much of the architecture is overgrown with vines and weeds that many vermin find suitable for their homes.

Being a kind of middle land, still accessible to everyone but mostly shunned, I imagine it as a place of covert meetings. The thieves’ guild, the worshipers of the evil god, and those plotting against the royal family come here for clandestine meetings. No one group makes this place home, it is unofficially considered neutral ground.

The Deep Ruin

Very little is known about the City of Whispering Swords, what little has been excavated and made habitable has been residential districts. Governmental buildings, temples, schools must have all been in the part of the city known as the Deep Ruin. Although those of inquisitive minds long to delve into the mysteries of the old  city, the fact that some who have already ventured into the broken bones of the past have not returned keeps that curiosity at bay.

I see this as a place where you can have traditionally outdoor adventures within the city limits. Hidden temples, old barracks, monster having taken root. Anything from the restless dead of the old city, to roosting magical beasts, to true dragons could be buried out here. The one thing I do know is that whatever dark being the evil god worshipers follow, his temple is here among the refuse of an older world.

Screecher’s Way

One of the few things that all rats can agree on is the need to relax. They live in a war torn city with a fledgling and struggling monarchy. Screecher’s Way is the place the rat folk come to unwind. As I flesh the area out there will be inns and teahouses, geisha and troubadours. But this will also be a place to find other ways to take you mind off of the world. A thriving drug culture will exist here with opium dens that move from place to place.

Screecher’s Way will also be home to the thieves’ guild. As mentioned in the factions write-up, the rogues of the ratfolk’s society aren’t just common thieves; they act openly. This region of the city will include a very public chapter house of the guild, as well as a number of more secret holdings to keep special goods and conduct business away from prying ears.

The Warrens

Much like true rats, Ratfolk are used to living in a close proximity, almost on top of one another.  To outsiders the warrens might seem as haphazard as the broken buildings of the shadows Shadows, but all of the buildings are now rebuilt and structurally sound. However, the haphazard construction of additional structures in the empty space between buildings along with extra rooms built on top of preexisting structures make the Warrens appear disjointed to non-ratfolk

Walk of the August

The smallest region in the city, the Walk of the August, is where the royal palace is located. The actual royal housing of the old City of Whispering Swords is believed to be somewhere in the Ruins. The current home of the royal family is a large manor that seems to have been on the outskirts of the city itself. The Walk of the August now includes a promenade that has been built to connect the manor to the city and a number of newly constructed houses that are used for foreign diplomats, honored guests, and a few of the more prominent members of the court. As of yet there is little aristocracy among the rats of the city.

As you can see I left out a religious center, learning facilities, or even a wizard’s guild. The City of Whispering Swords is growing location. I see the ratfolk as worshiping their gods on a more individual level, which helps hide those in the dark god’s cult. Until they can reclaim or build better facilities, they are forced to send those with talent to schools outside the city, just as the Jueyin’s sonLung Bingci, the random character that all these ideas spawned fromwas sent off to Wizarding School.

I’m sure there are things that I’ve left out. What neighborhoods or regions would you add to a city growing on the bones of an older one? What specific locations would you add to the locations I already have?

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