Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Handling Cities Idea: Neighborhoods are Terrain

Notion towards getting cities right: Neighborhoods in fantasy RPG cities are best treated as terrain. Let the players see the map, do it up tourist map style with some key neighborhoods indicated along with key features/goals and let the players see it, even present it like a hex map board game.

Each neighborhood can have a movement rate, a chance to get lost, a random occurrence or two, maybe a chance to catch disease by eating iffy street food and meat pies from alley shops, taverns where you get drunk and lose movement points could be treated like traps as could harlots. Maybe the placement of city guards checkpoints is relevant and the players will be trying to dodge those so they can move about with all their armor and double-sized magic swords.

Cities and respectably sized towns are big and a DM is going to go crazy and waste a lot of time trying to detail it in the same manner (even in passing) as a dungeon. The difficulty and hazards of
Fisher's Row and Slopside can serve as a swamp and mountain hexes do in wilderness travel.  Keep it big, treat it big and you don't have to sweat the small stuff ; no one ever tries to map every tree in a forest, the sames sort of treatment can apply to buildings in a city if they are not important features.

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