Open discussion: BUILD A CITY 4.0!!!

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For the location of the city, so that we see the most diversity, I vote for something akin to the coastal region northwestern United States. It is temperate, mountainous, forested, coastal, etc. This will give us a climate that we are all familiar with, with the benefits of limitless lumber, fishing, our caves, etc.

I would prefer a more tropical setting , but that is neither here nor there.

On to the topic of dragonborn and tieflings. I think that we should try and dodge that bullet altogether by including them from the start. The people of the city should be comfortable with all of the civilized races. They should also be comfortable with magic, etc.

I have not seen it mentioned anywhere, so why does everyone keep assuming the refugees are from a "human" city. Perhaps it was a tiefling or elven city and humans are in the minority.

Why a dragon? Because it wouldn't take the time to destroy every last inhabitant, but is powerful enough to demolish a city. It would leave many survivors and refugees in it's wake, to include the aforementioned paladin and warlord. It is iconic and classic, and makes the city easily portable into any world.

Depends on the dragon, I have played in several campaigns where some of the worst dragons were very methodical, and with their lifespans would see nothing wrong with taking a year to hunt down and kill every surviving being from an attack they start on a city. This could provide a strong foe though, the dragon destroyed most of the city and is now hunting the survivors. He was slaughtering another group but now is turning his attention these refugee's way.

Now, I have been reading the Wizard's Presents Worlds and Monsters book and the sections on the Feywild, Shadowfell, Underdark, and Underdark Feywild.

This section of text reminded me of the concept of Regio's in Ars Magica. A Regio is the concept of areas that have simultaneous regions neighbouring upon each other. Particularly magical areas can butt up against each other. A person normally can not cross the borders between these regions without some sort of guide, magic, or particular event (like longest night of the year).

This made me think that instead of thinking of a 'normal' border that the Dwarves had established the Redoubt against but instead this cross planar dimmension. This would be a secret that most people in this age would not realize (likely take a Dwarven Sage and some research to find out this history).

This would mean that deeper in the caves their might be found a Dwarven Temple that was originally established to help strengthen the resistances to things from the Underdark, Feywild Underdark, and Shadowfell. All of these 'mirror' regions could normally be reached within the wandering caves often by accident.

If we go with the earthberg idea (I just really like the concept of a mountain/hill floating in the sky :D ) we could even have the deepest cave of the mountain, with the magic the most concentrated, act as a natural planar gateway. Perhaps the dwarves built there redout here to prevent the formorians from the Feywild from crossing into our realm to aid the giants in the giant/dwarf war (whether the formorians would even be willing to have helped the giants is another matter).

I also had an idea regarding a magical source to bring several of the ideas together. I started by taking the idea of a coastal city possessing a similar lighthouse like on the earthberg. Powered by magic (nexus perhaps or a trapped entity similar to Final Fantasy espers), the city was a true point of light. But, like all lights, eventually they get too hot and burn out. In this case, though, it exploded, unleashing a torrent of magical energy across several countrysides, thus bringing us to the present. Now the city lies in ruins, the lighthouse is erratic and dangerous, and a redoubt in a nearby mountain valley is the last refuge for a mere handful of survivors. After that, the redoubt, an ancient dwarven structure, is used as the basis for the new city; think Helm's Deep (from Tolkein) or Thorbardin (Dragonlance setting/Dwarven Nations Trilogy.)

EDIT: I had another idea, spawned by the lighthouse idea. Perhaps the lighthouse is powered by a trapped entity. After centuries of confinement, a crack in its crystal "cage" allowed it to break free, causing a massive explosion. Now, the dragon (not necessarily red, or even chromatic, chaos perhaps), driven mad by slavery, lays waste to the surrounding countryside before departing into locations unknown, as a reminder to the survivors of their folly.

Perhaps as the crystal cage is only cracked, the entity is only able to come out periodically or at random times (slipping its bonds as it were) before being magically recalled to the crystal prison. If we use something like a fire archon as described in the article on the WotC site, I could easily see it laying siege against the city that kept it prisoner, preventing it from fighting in the war. If we say the creature can not damage the crystal itself, and the presence of other living beings near the cage dramatically increases the likelihood of it slipping free (unstable magic and an inability to fix the cage because you can not get close enough) so much the better. This also leads to a semi-permanent guardian of the old city ruins, especially if the creature is automatically pulled back into its prison if it travels to far when "free".
I like the lighthouse/floating earth idea, but I'd like to modify it a bit.

Most of the cities we have done have been coastal, so I'd like to try something a little different. Like I said previously, I imagined the area being similar to Central Pennsylvania, Ireland, or the Scottish Highlands. I wouldn't mind the tropical idea that surfaced a few posts back, but that might be an idea for the second BaCT4 - only because I was under the impression we were trying to build something that would focus on the new core rules that could fit nearly anywhere.


Instead of a lighthouse, perhaps the town that the refugees came from used the dragon as power source for some technologies that they had available in their town (i.e. street lights, arcane cannons for defense, etc.) The cracking of the power crystal was the source of a two-fold problem: 1) outside hostile forces started to become more of a threat due to the defenses of the city being weakened. Since they had relied heavily on these defenses for a long time, most of the citizens had little to no experience with fighting. 2) Eventually the dragon would break free of the crystal.

On the night of a large scale attack by a group of insert hostile humanoid here, the dragon broke free. In a strange sort of irony, the dragon's hostility was the source of their ability to safely escape. Having no regard for life, the angry dragon assaulted both the villagers and the raiders. The few refugees who managed to escape managed to do so because the insert hostile humanoids here were held at bay by the wrath of the dragon. Unfortunately, the wrath of the dragon also slaughtered most of the population of the town; some of the refugees found themselves with missing family members and loved ones.
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I was doing some more reading of the Wizard Presents World and Monsters and I was also thinking on the idea of the cave gateway and the crystal prison/cage.

I also combined that with the earlier mention of the idea of a well and a thought occured to me.

What is the Well of Worlds look like? The Well of Worlds is the name given to an artifact for planar travel and has been in DnD since at least 1e. Yet, what might this item really look like?

Then I had a further thought on the name, 'Well of Worlds'. The name makes you think of something like a well that you stick a bucket down. Names though have often not had such a litteral translation. The name 'Spear of God' could refer to a mountain, a person, a book of scripture, or a nail that was used against a god. Taking a name too literally is the traditional mistake that people make.

Maybe the cave system is really what is meant by the artifact term, 'Well of Worlds'. It is thus a place that if a person were to learn the correct paths and ways of the caves that they could litteraly gate to any plane of existence.

What does this do for the storyline of the town? I think this turns the future potential of the town into a storyline like Deep Space Nine or Sigil. It is a potential crossroad to any place in existence without having long commute distances. Given that the goal is to have chronicles centred around the town then this gives an infinite source of complications for the growing town to deal with.

First, when this resource is discovered then you are going to have to deal with the Dwarves of the Empire that abandoned the area and will now want to claim ownership.

Second, you will have a number of adventures, merchants, sages and other types moving into the town to find out more of this gateway to everything. Some will come for study and some will come to exploit this gateway.

Third, you will have creatures on the various planes learning of the site and wanting to come through from the other way. Some may be neutral in their desires, some may be benevolent, and some may want to exploit or corrupt the gateway and people that use it.

Fourth, beyond the dwarves, you will have any strong kingdoms within range of placing a claim trying to claim the town as their property.

Given all the trouble that the above would cause to various levels of order in the planes and world, it is likely that their might even be a secret god patron behind the location of the Well of Worlds and that could be a god of chaos (like the Apple of Discord).

This discovery would likely be a few years down the chronicle path.

I also might note that if we have refugees moving into the Redoubt/lighthouse then you can figure that mirror events could be occuring in the Shadowfel and Feywild. What those mirror events might look like and effect on the developing town could be another interesting angle to the story.
If we use the 'Dragon Gone Mad' idea, I think it would be interesting to use a dragon which is normally good aligned. An insane Gold Dragon ravaging the country side.

I just think it would be nice to try to use something different; give PCs (possibly once they are high enough level) a chance to fight a monster which they normally don't get to see as a monster.

The gold dragon was trapped via magic by a less than good mayor/other official of the town a long time ago. She didn't care what kind of creature she trapped; all she needed was a power source, and she figured out a way to tap into the dragon's magical energies by trapping him -similar to espers as you mentioned.

I like the lighthouse/floating earth idea, but I'd like to modify it a bit.

Most of the cities we have done have been coastal, so I'd like to try something a little different. Like I said previously, I imagined the area being similar to Central Pennsylvania, Ireland, or the Scottish Highlands. I wouldn't mind the tropical idea that surfaced a few posts back, but that might be an idea for the second BaCT4 - only because I was under the impression we were trying to build something that would focus on the new core rules that could fit nearly anywhere.


Instead of a lighthouse, perhaps the town that the refugees came from used the dragon as power source for some technologies that they had available in their town (i.e. street lights, arcane cannons for defense, etc.) The cracking of the power crystal was the source of a two-fold problem: 1) outside hostile forces started to become more of a threat due to the defenses of the city being weakened. Since they had relied heavily on these defenses for a long time, most of the citizens had little to no experience with fighting. 2) Eventually the dragon would break free of the crystal.

On the night of a large scale attack by a group of insert hostile humanoid here, the dragon broke free. In a strange sort of irony, the dragon's hostility was the source of their ability to safely escape. Having no regard for life, the angry dragon assaulted both the villagers and the raiders. The few refugees who managed to escape managed to do so because the insert hostile humanoids here were held at bay by the wrath of the dragon. Unfortunately, the wrath of the dragon also slaughtered most of the population of the town; some of the refugees found themselves with missing family members and loved ones.

Yes, brilliant! This is exactly the type of thng I was thinking about for a ruined coastal city. It not only explains the origins of the refugees, but it also gives us two antagonists for later in the chronicles (which we can of course discuss in more detail later.) For the new city, though, I would like that to be nearby in a somewhat mountainous valley that is mostly grassland dotted with small copses. Near the top of the valley -- where the redoubt would be located -- the land is most fertile, with a flood plain large enough to support several farms, including on stream leading out of some caves behind the redoubt. This is not to say that the valley should constitute some sort of paradise, far be it; there could still be other threats looming in the hills and mountain ranges beyond, such as the aforementioned insert hostile humanoid here, as well as weather that is sure to plague mountainous valleys on regular bases (flash floods, wash outs, snow.)

P.S. You know the more I reread my posts, the more I notice how brutal I'm becoming.
Let's develop a map as we are discussing the city's location. That's one of the things ALL of the past threads have lacked, and which always lead to confusion and misunderstandings.
Let's develop a map as we are discussing the city's location. That's one of the things ALL of the past threads have lacked, and which always lead to confusion and misunderstandings.

Agreed. We could also include on the map both cities: the ruins and the new place. Then we could show the path that the survivors took, and we could add paths for any other refugees that may come. But, lets dicuss what we're doing and how we're doing it first; then we can get a better picture (although I guess orientation wouldn't matter much.)
Greetings all! I'm a bit late in coming to this thread. I'm not sure what the previous chronicles entailed or whether you're looking for other contributors, but I love this sort of thing.

I noticed you guys seem to be set on the idea of refugees in a cave complex, but I thought perhaps I might suggest another idea for defensible positions. Get out your worlds and monsters book and find the big two-page piece of the castle on the cliff. Large castles with lots of space are great for defending residents, since the populace can spread out around the walls, then in times of danger can all use the castle for refuge. The cliff provides the extra bit of protection in that an attack can't come from both sides.

If you're set on caves, it might further be interesting to put those cave complexes in the cliff. This particular cliff might house ancient tunnel complexes that are discovered during the reconstruction of the city walls. They have fresh water because of the river, and it's pretty hard to attack a cliff on a river. If the castle falls, the residents can all fit inside the cave complex, which goes far deeper than even the river, and the surface entrances can be easily blocked with rock traps.

I like cliffs...I do not know why...

Cheers

Kyle
The castle idea is good, but I think we were going with the idea of an old castle or fort that was run down and a bit crumbled.


It's not exactly a cave complex (at least I don't think.) It's just a small cave that was made into a fortified position. The main reasons for choosing the cave were because of the availability of water inside the cave, and because it was both faster and cheaper to build something as part of the cave instead of building an entire structure.


You're not too late though, and right now is just a brainstorming phase, so feel free to participate in the discussion.



I was thinking though... How would the refugees know about the cave/fort/redoubt/whatever? We could go with the idea that they just stumbled across it, but another idea could be that one of the refugees was an old soldier or historian who knew the general location. Maybe the town they were originally from was actually part of the kingdom who built the structure in the first place, but over time they didn't have a use for it anymore, so they didn't take care of it. Over the years it became mostly forgotten about because nobody ever went there.


Problems...

On a more realistic level, I was thinking that possibly a bear or some other animal might make the cave its home. That would create a lot of things for the story: 1) an ending conflict to complete the journey to the safe haven, 2) a source of food to last a few days, and 3) a seemingly minor plot point which could come back to play a part in the story. How does #3 make sense? In many stories, a character suffers some sort of injury or setback at the beginning, but it doesn't really seem to make much of a difference throughout the story. However, at some later point in the story, said character is either killed or fails at something important due to that original injury...or perhaps the character succeeds despite the injury. Either way, it's a classic story element.
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The consensus on our site seems to be (as others have mentioned) ruins of some defensive position that were build in/around a cave. Why the ruins are there is still unclear. In order to move on to clarify and eventually map out our location (thanks Syl!) I think we should focus our brainstorming on the origin and state of affairs in the cave.

I am suggesting our first round of voting in one (1) week. Up until that time we will continue to focus our brainstorming on the cave, its origin (i.e. dwarven redoubt, natural cave, etc.) and the "state of affairs" that the cave is found in (i.e. fully abandoned, home to a bear, etc.).

To formalize this, and in the spirit of former "build a city" threads, I would like three votes in favor of my proposal to make it official. If the proposal is adopted, I will compile the ideas, post them for review, make necessary changes, and facilitate voting next week.

I am open to ideas about how this voting will be conducted. I was thinking about two rounds of voting, the first would narrow it down to two or three ideas with the most votes, and the second would be a vote on those two or three ideas, the winners of which will be our official site and its state of affairs.

If this idea floats, we should also discuss a topic for next week's brainstorming and voting to be spearheaded by another poster, to share the wealth so to speak. Also, OP privileges should be determined at the end of the open discussion thread before we dive into the 4E Build a City Thread.

In summary: Vote on my proposal, 3 votes can carry, change, or veto the suggestion.
Proposal: Brainstorm about the cave, voting begins in one week.
I like the lighthouse/floating earth idea, but I'd like to modify it a bit.

Most of the cities we have done have been coastal, so I'd like to try something a little different. Like I said previously, I imagined the area being similar to Central Pennsylvania, Ireland, or the Scottish Highlands. I wouldn't mind the tropical idea that surfaced a few posts back, but that might be an idea for the second BaCT4 - only because I was under the impression we were trying to build something that would focus on the new core rules that could fit nearly anywhere.


Instead of a lighthouse, perhaps the town that the refugees came from used the dragon as power source for some technologies that they had available in their town (i.e. street lights, arcane cannons for defense, etc.) The cracking of the power crystal was the source of a two-fold problem: 1) outside hostile forces started to become more of a threat due to the defenses of the city being weakened. Since they had relied heavily on these defenses for a long time, most of the citizens had little to no experience with fighting. 2) Eventually the dragon would break free of the crystal.

On the night of a large scale attack by a group of insert hostile humanoid here, the dragon broke free. In a strange sort of irony, the dragon's hostility was the source of their ability to safely escape. Having no regard for life, the angry dragon assaulted both the villagers and the raiders. The few refugees who managed to escape managed to do so because the insert hostile humanoids here were held at bay by the wrath of the dragon. Unfortunately, the wrath of the dragon also slaughtered most of the population of the town; some of the refugees found themselves with missing family members and loved ones.

I love the idea of the original city being destroyed by a previously bound monster. I do have a problem with the bound creature powering "magical technology". I don't think that it is fitting with the points of light setting, as Worlds and Monsters explicitly stated that they were trying to stay away from such things.

When I went to reply to this I had another idea. What if the bound creature was a good creature bound by an evil city for unknown purposes (to power a ritual, gate, etc.). Long after the fall of the city, the forgotten bound creature (powerful enough to ravage a countryside) breaks loose and delves the surrounding area into chaos. The ruins of the evil race's city could even be the very place where the origin city was built, thus making it undeniably uninhabitable, and forcing our settlers to the rumored abandoned dwarven redoubt (or whatever we decide).
When I went to reply to this I had another idea. What if the bound creature was a good creature bound by an evil city for unknown purposes (to power a ritual, gate, etc.). Long after the fall of the city, the forgotten bound creature (powerful enough to ravage a countryside) breaks loose and delves the surrounding area into chaos. The ruins of the evil race's city could even be the very place where the origin city was built, thus making it undeniably uninhabitable, and forcing our settlers to the rumored abandoned dwarven redoubt (or whatever we decide).

Or, alternatively, the origins of the redoubt hail back to the inhabitants of the evil city.

Perhaps the rulers of the city, upon its founding, made a pact with some sinister power, and bound the good creature beneath the city as the price. In return, the sinister power guaranteed that the city would stand as a beacon of prosperity for, oh, five thousand years. A generation or two into the life of the city, the original corrupt rulers were pot down, and the city flourished. Meanwhile, the sinister power has been working it's vileness upon the good creature, keeping to the bargain even if the bargainers were gone. When the five thousand year alarm clock went off, the sinister power unleashed the corrupted good creature upon the city to show the consequences of faustian bargains.
Or, alternatively, the origins of the redoubt hail back to the inhabitants of the evil city.

Perhaps the rulers of the city, upon its founding, made a pact with some sinister power, and bound the good creature beneath the city as the price. In return, the sinister power guaranteed that the city would stand as a beacon of prosperity for, oh, five thousand years. A generation or two into the life of the city, the original corrupt rulers were pot down, and the city flourished. Meanwhile, the sinister power has been working it's vileness upon the good creature, keeping to the bargain even if the bargainers were gone. When the five thousand year alarm clock went off, the sinister power unleashed the corrupted good creature upon the city to show the consequences of faustian bargains.

I think this is a great idea.

But why the gold dragon?

My thoughts...

Perhaps the gold dragon originally helped the town to be founded. Going back to one of the original ideas, it was mentioned that a good dragon was helping to protect the town. Perhaps a few members of the original town council became unsatisfied with the dragon's "rule" over the town. The reason could be anything from feeling that the town was developing too slowly in comparison to a rival town or perhaps they just found the dragon to be overbearing and resented it. Perhaps the reason has been forgotten and various outlawed historical texts have a few versions of the story.

At any rate, at some point the unsatisfied council members made contact with a devil who appeared as a benign entity and promised that the town would be both prosperous and free of the dragon for no less than _______ amount of years. The devil only asked two things: the entire council (including those who had no qualms about the dragon) had to offer the dragon to the devil as a sign of submission, and the town had to build sculptures to worship the devil as a god and praise the devil in their religious services. In fact, the devil at the time claimed to be a deity; the false name that the devil gave became the local deity (or patron saint or whatever) of the town. For thousands of years the inhabitants of the town had/have worshipped the being who would be the reason for the town's destruction.

The amount of time the deal was made for has passed; now the gold dragon (no longer good due to torment and being imprisioned for so long) is released and ravages the town. From here we can tie in the idea I had of this occuring the same night as an attack from a group of hostile humanoids.


One of the huge secrets of this idea is the true story behind the dragon and the devil. Possibly one of the refugees is even a clergy member of the church which praises the devil's false identity (cleric with a few warlock abilities); he starts to notice that some of his cleric abilities are working unusually or maybe not working at all.



A question was raised about how races such as dragonborn and tieflings would be viewed in the new point of light. Overall, I don't see where it would be a problem. I imagine that the original settlement that the refugees came from was a fairly good sized settlement, so I also imagine that it would have been more diverse than the typical thorp or hamlet. Certain individuals may view certain races in a less than positive light, but overall the community as a whole would welcome diversity in their population.


That's how I see it anyway.
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Ok so, A small cave or Dwarven redoubt, refugees from a large settlement.

So what if it wasn't some super magical fantasy event, what if the city just happened to be in the path of a murderous horde or even be caught between two opposing empires. With either of these the city could have had some production capability that was lacking, making it the sole producer of something. With the two of these the refugees would have a nice mix, and would have a resentment toward either the horde or the empires. So they had to find some defensive position, and it has now become a militia of sorts, they fend for them selves and strike at either the horde or the empires, gaining resources to increase the defense and offense capabilities of the new "town".
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The consensus on our site seems to be (as others have mentioned) ruins of some defensive position that were build in/around a cave. Why the ruins are there is still unclear. In order to move on to clarify and eventually map out our location (thanks Syl!) I think we should focus our brainstorming on the origin and state of affairs in the cave.

I am suggesting our first round of voting in one (1) week. Up until that time we will continue to focus our brainstorming on the cave, its origin (i.e. dwarven redoubt, natural cave, etc.) and the "state of affairs" that the cave is found in (i.e. fully abandoned, home to a bear, etc.).

To formalize this, and in the spirit of former "build a city" threads, I would like three votes in favor of my proposal to make it official. If the proposal is adopted, I will compile the ideas, post them for review, make necessary changes, and facilitate voting next week.

I am open to ideas about how this voting will be conducted. I was thinking about two rounds of voting, the first would narrow it down to two or three ideas with the most votes, and the second would be a vote on those two or three ideas, the winners of which will be our official site and its state of affairs.

If this idea floats, we should also discuss a topic for next week's brainstorming and voting to be spearheaded by another poster, to share the wealth so to speak. Also, OP privileges should be determined at the end of the open discussion thread before we dive into the 4E Build a City Thread.

In summary: Vote on my proposal, 3 votes can carry, change, or veto the suggestion.
Proposal: Brainstorm about the cave, voting begins in one week.

I do believe we are make enough significant progress on the origins of the refugees (a prologue if you will), that we can now think about turning our attentions toward a discussion about the new location. It might also be prudent to expand the discussion into two separate brainstorming sessions: one for the cave's origin, and one for it's current state. I think the former will also allow us to get more cohesive ideas for the latter. We do have several months to discuss the city, so there really isn't much need to apply any sense of urgency at the moment.

Alternate Proposal: Spread out the brainstorming over two weeks or so, and divide the brainstorming into separate sessions regarding the cave's origins and the cave's current state, respectively. And I'll agree, we can begin voting in a week.

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I love the idea of the original city being destroyed by a previously bound monster. I do have a problem with the bound creature powering "magical technology". I don't think that it is fitting with the points of light setting, as Worlds and Monsters explicitly stated that they were trying to stay away from such things.

When I went to reply to this I had another idea. What if the bound creature was a good creature bound by an evil city for unknown purposes (to power a ritual, gate, etc.). Long after the fall of the city, the forgotten bound creature (powerful enough to ravage a countryside) breaks loose and delves the surrounding area into chaos. The ruins of the evil race's city could even be the very place where the origin city was built, thus making it undeniably uninhabitable, and forcing our settlers to the rumored abandoned dwarven redoubt (or whatever we decide).

Admittedly, I haven't had a chance to delve much into Worlds & Monsters (and only half-way through Races & Classes), but I was becoming rather attached to the bound creature in a lighthouse idea. I agree, I don't think that the creature should be powering the entire city, but a lighthouse shouldn't be too bad. Perhaps the lighthouse was built as a testament to the "devil-god's" 'benevolence' and 'protection', and the light to remind the citizens of their faith (blind or not.) Unfortunately, it also happens to be the place where the creature (I like gold dragon) is imprisoned. However, if it is contrary to the intent of the new rules, then I will be happy to compromise my position; this new city is meant to highlight some of the new features of a 4th edition campaign, and I would like to adhere to that concept if possible.
While it is true the designers have mentioned trying to avoid "magic as technology" in the default setting, if we have a single use (the lighthouse in this instance) we are not really promoting that; anyways its just like continual flame wrought large (if you had the spell continual flame and were making a lighthouse, even if you never used any other magic as a base for "technology" wouldn't you atleast use a bunch of castings so you had a permanent light source that could not be put out by wind and rain). In addition, if the lighthouse was created by the "devil-deity" or some other similar supernatural power, it is not something that can be easily duplicated by the people at large.
Hey there everybody. Sylvaroth, Johnny_Angel, PerennialRook, god to see you guys still alive and healthy in one-these ol' threads. I like this thread Dougan. You're doing a good job maintaining it and keeping a properly moderating attitude towards the proceedings. This will, perhaps more than anything else, ultimately allow for it's success. Kudos.

Anywho don't go with a tropical setting. They don't work, people won't respond to it. Keep to the standard England/Europe/Some of North America grassy hills and woodlands and etc. Now I've heard a lot of talk about being a coastal city and this could work some. What I would reccomend is to put them up high on a cliff with a large grassy area around them and then trees. Trees, Water, and Fortification are your three most valuable assets in creating a town.

Good to be back :-)
Hey there everybody. Sylvaroth, Johnny_Angel, PerennialRook, god to see you guys still alive and healthy in one-these ol' threads. I like this thread Dougan. You're doing a good job maintaining it and keeping a properly moderating attitude towards the proceedings. This will, perhaps more than anything else, ultimately allow for it's success. Kudos.

Good to see you. And thank you. I am honored by your praise, and I shall endeavor to give it my best.

Anywho don't go with a tropical setting. They don't work, people won't respond to it. Keep to the standard England/Europe/Some of North America grassy hills and woodlands and etc. Now I've heard a lot of talk about being a coastal city and this could work some. What I would reccomend is to put them up high on a cliff with a large grassy area around them and then trees. Trees, Water, and Fortification are your three most valuable assets in creating a town.

Good to be back :-)

While I agree that we shouldn't do a tropical setting at first (not basic enough), I think we could make it work if we put some effort into it. Although, I don't think we should make it as 'successful' as Tuskbay (which I thought was too busy anyway.) Building a tropical city should be a long, difficult, extremely grueling process. There are lots of hazards involved (harsh climate, illness and disease, malnutrition, hostile natives, limited resources), and if there isn't sufficient resources the city must struggle for that slim chance to survive. But, I do think we could make it work.

However, I think (think) that we're already forming a consensus around a redoubt in a sub-temperate mountainous region with a fertile valley and some forested areas (like Northwestern U.S. or Irish/Scottish climates), nearby which lies a coastal region with a similar climate (again like Northwestern U.S.) where our ruined city will reside. Switching to a tropical setting at this point means changing a lot, and I don't think that's in our best interest. If we'd like, we could bring this idea up in a year or so for our next installment and discuss some concepts then. For now though, we can keep what we have.

In any case, welcome to the project; we are priviledged to have you here. I hope you bring plenty of ideas to share and discuss.
Ahhhh, I see. So our redoubt will be nearby the coast and nearby the ruins but not on or within them. I understand now. Interesting.

I think, and thought a number of times in old Eckland, that it would be fun and interesting to have a river or rivulet run right through the town. As the town is near the coast it would make geographical as well as practical sense to build on a flowing water body and I've always thought it would be a fascinating idea for a town to have it wholly integrated around it's river. As a source of food, power, transportation everything. I'm talking houses on or above the water, a boat for every family (something like that italian city whatever it is), a half a dozen water wheels providing the basic power for a number of major agricultural buildings and whatnot. Stuff like that.

Something to ruminate on :-)
After reading the last 2 posts I can't help but make a connection between N.W. US (ex. eerie canal) and Venice (that aforementioned italian city) perhaps clearing and maintaining a series of canals and locks that lead to the ocean (and shipping lanes) could be a project for the citizens of our new city as well. These types of architecture are often destroyed before the rest of the buildings etc, because of the destructive power of the water in them.
This does not even need to change the "freshwater spring in the cave" idea since the water in ruined canals and waterways is likely to be stagnant and undrinkable, maybe even full of monsters. It doesn't need to be "in" the city, tho it could, but I imagine it outside the city. Repairing it wouldn't be the most immediate project, but opening access to the ocean would cut down on shipping costs and create a thriving trade route.
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Ahhhh, I see. So our redoubt will be nearby the coast and nearby the ruins but not on or within them. I understand now. Interesting.

I think, and thought a number of times in old Eckland, that it would be fun and interesting to have a river or rivulet run right through the town. As the town is near the coast it would make geographical as well as practical sense to build on a flowing water body and I've always thought it would be a fascinating idea for a town to have it wholly integrated around it's river. As a source of food, power, transportation everything. I'm talking houses on or above the water, a boat for every family (something like that italian city whatever it is), a half a dozen water wheels providing the basic power for a number of major agricultural buildings and whatnot. Stuff like that.

Something to ruminate on :-)

Show
After reading the last 2 posts I can't help but make a connection between N.W. US (ex. eerie canal) and Venice (that aforementioned italian city) perhaps clearing and maintaining a series of canals and locks that lead to the ocean (and shipping lanes) could be a project for the citizens of our new city as well. These types of architecture are often destroyed before the rest of the buildings etc, because of the destructive power of the water in them.
This does not even need to change the "freshwater spring in the cave" idea since the water in ruined canals and waterways is likely to be stagnant and undrinkable, maybe even full of monsters. It doesn't need to be "in" the city, tho it could, but I imagine it outside the city. Repairing it wouldn't be the most immediate project, but opening access to the ocean would cut down on shipping costs and create a thriving trade route.

But how would this work in a "mountainous valley"; having never been to the Erie Canal, I don't see that working. Perhaps if someone could draw a diagram? Maybe we could see it as a future development.

On the other hand, I most definitely see the ruined city being a cross between Venice and the Seattle/Tacoma area (not to kiss up or anything :D ) complete with locks, canals, old boats, floating houses, and even an earthberg. But having a trade route running through or even near the ruins could pose a problem; surviving humanoids, survivors warped by magic, connection to some other plane, still crumbling buildings all pose a threat to any shipping lane. Also interesting for future development, but I honestly don't see the resettled refugees having any sort of trade route very soon. However, once trade does open, more persons should emigrate to the new city, potentially creating a population boom.
rather lengthy idea
Thorast had great potential, wise beyond what his youth should have allowed. A strong spirit burnt within him whose drive even gods could recognize. Some learned men might say that his power came too early, that Thorast Kax was doomed from birth, but this is hindsight and old men are prone to speculate on such things when they are no longer important.

Before the city was known as Thorast Kax, it was simply Nesbith, a small sanctuary in the wide woods of the Doulogg Forests. Hardy men cleared out their living from the ever growing circle of trees, others followed in their paths and sowed seed, and a mill made Nesbith a center of agriculture. It was a quiet time in the world.

Trouble never lets peace rest, and the word of the town's success traveled to ears of those who would take advantage. It was only a few gnolls at first, a small band that thought they could easily take what men had made. But the men had a forge, and hard wills, and they held strong against the first threats.

This act of resistance angered the pride of the proud gnolls, and soon it was war. Packs of gnolls gathered to storm the town, ravage it, and leave their mark.

In a twist of fate, such attention from the monstrous races stirred the interest of yet another force in the world, a gold dragon. Gnolls would pose little threat to it, and it's protective nature called out to it. A town worth defending. One that could pay homage to it.

On a fateful morning, the young gold dragon swooped in over the tree line and perched itself atop the mill in the center of town. It was a spectacle than none in Nesbith had ever seen nor imagined. And nary a soul had the courage to approach.

"You have defended yourselves valiantly," boomed the dragon in the common tongue, "but your good efforts do not go unpunished."

Fear gripped the hearts of the people, they saw their end in the gleam of the beast's eye. The dragon saw one who dared glare back, not but a wyrmling, the youth had a bold spirit. You could say that the young Thorast Kax resented the dragon from that moment.

"Armies of gnolls are assembled. They march here to defend their honor, and the honor of their god. But theirs is a twisted honor, corrupt and vile. They will ravage this town and leave no plank unburned or child living."

"We defended ourselves, 'tis all," called the blacksmith, a mighty fighter of age old wars, "and have no quarrel."

"I am bound by truth," roared the young dragon. "My word is law."

The young dragon had a gleam in his eye, hatred boiled within him.

"You will cower down before me, and supplicate yourselves, and I will be your might against the gnoll army."

None opposed him.

When the time came, and preparations had been made, the might of the gnoll tribes were nothing in the face of the gold dragon and the fighting men of Nesbith.

The young dragon took pride in the town, and ruled fairly over them, taking only what grain and livestock he needed to subsist. The town grew rapidly under the watchful eye of the dragon, as did Thorast, who was soon a man.

Thorast resented the rule of the dragon, and remembered the might of men. He knew that the city was capable of defending itself against hostilities, such as the first gnoll raiders. The dragon had even relied on men to defend the town when the gnoll army was on their doorstep, not caring that men lived or died, as long as he triumphed. And now the sloth taxed the town of its very livelihood, literally eating away their profits rather than hunt for himself in the wide woods.

In a dark place of which no men speak, the silent prayers of vengeance were heard, and supernal beings dispatched to his aid.

No one saw the tall eladrin noblewoman enter the town. Illehandir was her name, and she sought the young man Thorast. They conspired. Seeds of discord were planted, and they quickly grew into fruition.

"If you can convince the dragon scoundrel to willingly spill his blood on this contract," spoke Illehandir, weaving her spell over the young Thorast, "he will be bound and in his place you will rule over Nesbith in prosperity until your death, when you will be vaulted up into the heavens to take your place among the noble souls of our god."

Man is corruptable. Thorast was a man.

It was late autumn when Thorast went before the dragon with the contract. His plan hinged on the impetuousness of the young dragon. Were the dragon to read the contract, Thorast would surely die. But his time with Illehandir, sowing seeds of hate among the people of Nesbith, had granted him a silver tongue, and hubris to choke a horse.

"I am owed a debt, fair king," Thorast began his gambit.

"I will judge fairly, as ever," stated the dragon. "With whom is your quarrel?"

A small crown gathered in the center of town, to behold the laying low of the beast.

"Oh great lord, it ways heavy on my heart, but the quarrel is with thee. For I have carried this burden in my heart for fully half of my years and yet the torment still lingers."

"I have wronged no man."

"Nor spilt blood, when men have."

"I am lord of this people for my might, and have never spilled my blood upon the ground."

"Yet my father gave his life in this town's defense along side you."

The dragon thought on this, it being a fair statement.

"What will settle this debt?"

"This is the but the will of my father, and I ask only that you spill your own blood upon this parchment, that we might see it, and know that you are with us and not over us as a tyrant would."

The dragon thought on it, and, without reading the parchment, drew his own blood and dripped it onto the parchment.

His folly cost him his freedom, as chains rose up from the ground and dragged the beast down into the depths of the earth. Where he had stood there was now a gigantic well which descended into the darkness.

The town cheered, free now of the tyranny of the beast. Thorast was exalted as a hero, and a feast held in his honor. He was a king among men, and given place as ruler over the town. For who else could outwit a dragon?

Illehandir, the eladrin noblewoman, ruled by Thorast's side, though he knew her true nature. He had sold his soul for his people, and she only waited to collect it. The eladrin form allowed her to pass as mortal, yet never age.

Nesbith was ruled in peace under the careful eye of Thorast. Seventy years he had reigned before Illehandir approached him with a gift. No more powerful a sacrifice had been made in the name of her lord, than had been done by his hand, and as a gift to the mortal, the lord of the hosts would impart one wish to Thorast.

Thorast thought long. He was damned as sure as he'd been born. His consequence had seemed so far off when he had first beguiled the dragon, but now his time was near at hand. When he fell, he knew that his great city would fall with him, and this saddened him most of all. For all his power, he was impotent.

In a dark chamber, with Illehandir at his side, a mark was set, and her lord called. From the smoke and fire of the mark appeared a great fiend, a lord of the pits of hell.

In that dark room, Thorast made a deal most unspeakable, for knowledge most vile and reprehensible. And in the coming years Thorast did not die. Instead he seemed ageless.

War fell upon the empire of Thorast Kex, though he went undefeated. He was a legend among his own people, Thorast Kex the Ever Living.

Thorast became twisted with the war, sacrificing his foes to the gaping mouth of the dragon pit at the epicenter of his empire.

He was invincible.

Just an idea I had about the original city and the origin of the insane ravaging gold dragon in captivity.
I was under the impression that the thread was going to start not long after the refugees had arrived at the safe haven. I had imagined that it was just starting to be fixed/turned into a point of light. If it had been there for long enough to establish a few buildings, I didn't see it as being very big. A few small shelters and perhaps a crop or two at first. I seem to be on the wrong page though.




How does everyone else view it?
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You're on the right page. And I think that too much might be going into the origin of the refugees. The city we build in the thread will be started from scratch. A few people with a few supplies against the world.

We really should be focusing in on something simple. Deanrule has said before, and again in this thread, that the place should be fertile, with plenty of timber, water, and a good defense.

A cave/abandoned redoubt seems to be the front runner as far as defenses go, and most likely a starting water source. Were we to connect it to a fertile valley up against the foothills where the redoubt is, run a river through it, and surround it with alpines and a few deciduous trees, we would have ourselves something to go on.

The refugees show up with a few tools and the will to survive, and carve out a living from the land.

A lot of ideas here have been very extravagant, and they have their place, but I think deanrule is right when he says we should focus on the simple things.

For those of you that don't know, deanrule was the OP of the first TBACT. So he knows a little about what he's talking about. FYI, the TBACT2's OP was Rockjaw, which had great potential, but went down in flames, though we learned a few lessons.
Just a thought on the idea of emulating Venice with canals.

The cave behind the redoubt was the outlet of a small underground river, which flowed from the cave mouth, through the redoubt, and joined with a more significant river downstream. The original designers of the redoubt must have had grander plans for the fortification, for in the mountains behind the redoubt there exists the pieces of a selective series of aqueducts, designed to channel the mountain streams for miles around into various inlets to increase the flow of the underground river. The inhabitants of the New City have found these aqueducts and repaired the system.

---Ideas following from this, assuming the New City has been inhabited for a generation or more...---

From the mouth of the cave, the river enters a spiderweb of canals radiating out from the redoubt. The canals closest to the redoubt are dug deep and covered with stone, with the roof of the canals acting as the surface of the main streets of the inner city. Various shops and businesses have waterwheels built right into the streets, taking advantage of the stronger currents close to the cave to allow simple machines to aid in everyday tasks like grinding wheat.

Past the wall separating the inner city from the central city, the canals become uncovered, and the the waterways and streets are used in equal measure for transport around the city.

The various waterways all flow to the moat, which separates the central city from the outer city. A natural elevation change in the area allows a 10-15 foot vertical difference between the sides of the moat, giving the New City an outer line of defense.

Instead of the waterways spider-webbing away from the moat, only two or three outlets flow away, passing through the slowly expanding outer city to the farmland outside the city, irrigating crops and providing water for livestock before eventually joining with the river downstream.

Think this might work?
You're on the right page. And I think that too much might be going into the origin of the refugees. The city we build in the thread will be started from scratch. A few people with a few supplies against the world.

We really should be focusing in on something simple. Deanrule has said before, and again in this thread, that the place should be fertile, with plenty of timber, water, and a good defense.

A cave/abandoned redoubt seems to be the front runner as far as defenses go, and most likely a starting water source. Were we to connect it to a fertile valley up against the foothills where the redoubt is, run a river through it, and surround it with alpines and a few deciduous trees, we would have ourselves something to go on.

The refugees show up with a few tools and the will to survive, and carve out a living from the land.

A lot of ideas here have been very extravagant, and they have their place, but I think deanrule is right when he says we should focus on the simple things.

For those of you that don't know, deanrule was the OP of the first TBACT. So he knows a little about what he's talking about. FYI, the TBACT2's OP was Rockjaw, which had great potential, but went down in flames, though we learned a few lessons.

The need of a water source is why I mentioned the possibility of a water source inside the cave. I also thought that the bear idea (or something similar) would give a small food supply to last until they could either start a crop or learn the migratory patterns of the local wildlife.


I vote yes on your proposal to start brainstorming about the condition of the cave.



I like the river idea, but I think it's too similar to Eckland. I'd prefer that the main water source be contained within the cave. I feel that this would also provide a tactical benefit and another reason for choosing the cave as a site to build a defensive structure - no threat of outside enemies blocking the water source or poisoning it.


Alternatively, if the river idea is what we go with, I think it would be cool to have the river run through the cave. Perhaps the cave is actually a hole in the side of a cliff (since the cliff idea seems to be popular also) where a waterfall comes out of and starts. The fort could still be built in the same way we described; in and around the cave. The cave would be connected to the bottom floor of the main defensive tower (which is semi-battered and semi-broken down) via a large well in which there is also a secret spiral stairway which leads down into the cave area.

I dunno...just brainstorming a bit
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I think that a stream from the mouth of the cave/redoubt is a grand idea, with prospects to diverting more water as someone mentioned, though I shy away from the venetian waterway idea, though I could warm to it. For a starting community, a medium sized stream should be more than enough water.

If the cave/redoubt is placed in the foothills of a mountain, other runoff from the mountain, combined with the stream from the cave, could easily form a small river which could be incorporated into the town as it expands, the river would then make it's way to the ocean, perhaps just a day's barge ride downstream, making the coast close, but keeping it something for later development as the town grows larger (the whole concept of this thread).

If the cave were near a pass, the north side of the pass might be higher in elevation and filled with trees, while the south side (where the opening of the cave is) could lead into a fertile valley, across which the clear mountain fed river would wind until it made it out to sea.

A setup like this gives us plenty of fertile land (the valley), lumber (the forest), and a defensible position (the cave/redoubt in the pass).

The stream could cascade down the steps up to the pass like a waterfall, making the place a nigh impenetrable fortress (an uphill battle to a stone redoubt), the city proper would sit on the steps of the pass, some of it build right over the waterfall and stream, while farmland would stretch out as far as the eye could see. Over the river you could have another center of the town (later) with a large bridge and plenty of docks for barges.

Again, just thinking with my keyboard.
If the cave/redoubt is placed in the foothills of a mountain, other runoff from the mountain, combined with the stream from the cave, could easily form a small river which could be incorporated into the town as it expands, the river would then make it's way to the ocean, perhaps just a day's barge ride downstream, making the coast close, but keeping it something for later development as the town grows larger (the whole concept of this thread).

If the cave were near a pass, the north side of the pass might be higher in elevation and filled with trees, while the south side (where the opening of the cave is) could lead into a fertile valley, across which the clear mountain fed river would wind until it made it out to sea.



The stream could cascade down the steps up to the pass like a waterfall, making the place a nigh impenetrable fortress (an uphill battle to a stone redoubt), the city proper would sit on the steps of the pass, some of it build right over the waterfall and stream, while farmland would stretch out as far as the eye could see. Over the river you could have another center of the town (later) with a large bridge and plenty of docks for barges.

The narrow pass gives me another mental image (thinking with my keyboard as well)

Starting with the idea of the stream/small river emanating from a cave as the mouth of an underground body of water, what if the cave and redoubt were at the upper elevation of a river valley with a relatively steep grade (20-30%)?

This would create a city with a rather linear design as it keeps to the confines of the valley and expands downward from the cave mouth. More importantly, this could also explain why the redoubt has remained uninhabited for so long... with no threat to warrant the redoubt, it was just too darned inconvenient a climb. The inhabitants of the new city have had to make due with the steep slopes, and likely have built up areas as flat earthen platforms to have level areas for buildings and districts.

The geography would give a lot of interesting design challenges, as the vertical dimension becomes very important. The visual appeal of the grown city becomes apparent, as the river winds its way down through the city, while the major thoroughfares wind back and forth through the city, slowly progressing uphill to the redoubt. Sites of importance such as markets and churches would be built at the switchbacks, designed to catch the eye of riders as their carriage makes their slow urns to the next uphill leg of the street, not to mention the occasional street vendor with a mule cart and a keg of ale, providing relief to the thirsts of those unfortunates who have to walk uphill.

I picture someone of importance in the city (high priest, governor, lord marshall, whoever) standing upon the wall of the redoubt, looking down the slope of the city, watching citizens and mule-carts making the plodding journey uphill, while an equal number make a more relaxed journey down. As a gentle wind brings the smells of stove smoke and evening meals to the watcher, (s)he watches the last rays of the setting sun through the mouth of the valley.
I think that the imagery with which Kopesh imbues his ideas is something noteworthy and exceptional.

I like the idea of the cave being the source of the water, and going briefly back to Kopesh's last article I LOVE the idea of a huge moat and then an "inner city". The idea that 90% of the citizenry might never set foot inside it makes it seem so posh. It would make the town a great site as a base for a parties adventures because when they were finally invited into the "Inner" for whatever reason it would be such a fantastic moment. Them walking down the streets with gilded signs on all sides, magicians and bards performing on the streets and nobility walking around in their finest livery. That's sweeeeeet rp juice.

For those of you that don't know, deanrule was the OP of the first TBACT. So he knows a little about what he's talking about.

Ohhh Perennial, you old charmer. Thank you. I'd like to think we all got to know what we did right back in those old glory days of Eckland. It's always been a shame Rockjaw's didn't take off. He was a great guy there were just a few bumps in the makeup of the thread that made things go awry. Luckily I think with the points you're hammering home (making sure to have the basic neccesities, keeping things simple, having enough materials around) this new town won't make those mistakes. I have high hopes for this venture.
Khopesh122
The narrow pass gives me another mental image (thinking with my keyboard as well)

Starting with the idea of the stream/small river emanating from a cave as the mouth of an underground body of water, what if the cave and redoubt were at the upper elevation of a river valley with a relatively steep grade (20-30%)?

This would create a city with a rather linear design as it keeps to the confines of the valley and expands downward from the cave mouth. More importantly, this could also explain why the redoubt has remained uninhabited for so long... with no threat to warrant the redoubt, it was just too darned inconvenient a climb. The inhabitants of the new city have had to make due with the steep slopes, and likely have built up areas as flat earthen platforms to have level areas for buildings and districts.

The geography would give a lot of interesting design challenges, as the vertical dimension becomes very important. The visual appeal of the grown city becomes apparent, as the river winds its way down through the city, while the major thoroughfares wind back and forth through the city, slowly progressing uphill to the redoubt. Sites of importance such as markets and churches would be built at the switchbacks, designed to catch the eye of riders as their carriage makes their slow urns to the next uphill leg of the street, not to mention the occasional street vendor with a mule cart and a keg of ale, providing relief to the thirsts of those unfortunates who have to walk uphill.

I picture someone of importance in the city (high priest, governor, lord marshall, whoever) standing upon the wall of the redoubt, looking down the slope of the city, watching citizens and mule-carts making the plodding journey uphill, while an equal number make a more relaxed journey down. As a gentle wind brings the smells of stove smoke and evening meals to the watcher, (s)he watches the last rays of the setting sun through the mouth of the valley.

You read my mind... Witch! Witch! Burn the witch! ;)
After reading the previous posts, I decide to look around the web for some images to give us a general picture of what we might create. I figured real world examples might make it easier to relate to. Granted the towns in these images are a little steep, but it rounds out to about the same appearance.

Note: In these, (ignoring the ocean for a moment) we can see how a cliffside city might look from several angles. Situated inside a pass, I could see great defensibility.
Note: Just thought I'd share.
Note: While it is in ruins, you can still picture where the buildings might have been in relation to the valley.

After seeing these I'm starting to see the potential in such a design. Using an idea from before, small aqueducts could be built throughout the city, providing fresh, running water to everyone (ingenious folks might even find ways to heat the water.)
Aqueducts are a possibility, but that's of later concern, now a stream would be a good start for a village, but the stream is likely to be fast flowing (rocky hilly area) so any barges have to be launched from a slower point. Perhaps in the valley there is a kind of natural reservoir/small lake where barges could be build perhaps that's the way most refugees reached the valley. It is certainly a good way to travel I can see a river flowing from this lake to the city they fled from.

The lake could be full of fish and if the refugees came from the sea there are likely fisherman. Giving them a food source. Just food for thought. The lake also allows for the new halfling concept. The rocks are excellent for dwarfs. If the area is forested maybe a tribe of elves are around?
Showcasing 4e concepts was a reason for this new Build a city thread, was it not?
Like several others, just thinking at my keyboard here.

Just a thought on the idea of emulating Venice with canals.

The cave behind the redoubt was the outlet of a small underground river, which flowed from the cave mouth, through the redoubt, and joined with a more significant river downstream. The original designers of the redoubt must have had grander plans for the fortification, for in the mountains behind the redoubt there exists the pieces of a selective series of aqueducts, designed to channel the mountain streams for miles around into various inlets to increase the flow of the underground river. The inhabitants of the New City have found these aqueducts and repaired the system.

...

While I like the idea of canals in an aesthetic sense, from a defensible standpoint having multiple entrances from the surrounding hill's water sources is troublesome. While each can be designed to withstand an attack, being attacked at several ready made entrances has issues. I like the idea, but I think if we have a canal system it should all originate from a single source; perhaps the water from the stream/river from the cave.

After reading the previous posts, I decide to look around the web for some images to give us a general picture of what we might create. I figured real world examples might make it easier to relate to. Granted the towns in these images are a little steep, but it rounds out to about the same appearance.

Note: In these, (ignoring the ocean for a moment) we can see how a cliffside city might look from several angles. Situated inside a pass, I could see great defensibility.
Note: Just thought I'd share.
Note: While it is in ruins, you can still picture where the buildings might have been in relation to the valley.

After seeing these I'm starting to see the potential in such a design. Using an idea from before, small aqueducts could be built throughout the city, providing fresh, running water to everyone (ingenious folks might even find ways to heat the water.)

I like these pictures; even better I like the sharp angle of the cliffs that they are built on.

Here is an idea (going with my favorite earthberg concept :D ), what if the original dwarven redoubt built in the side of a mountain overlooking a valley and atop a magical spring where the magic (?) of the spring water never really extended beyond the initial pool, even though the water flowed out of its initial cave. At the end of the dwarf/giant war a great titan struck down the redoubt. Most of the building was destroyed and the cave collapsed; the mountain itself was cleaved in two. In fact the piece with the redoubt did not crumble but instead rose up several dozen feet into the air (creating the earthberg). The dwarves seeing the redoubt destroyed and the spring (which had poured down out of the mountain around the other side) no longer flowing they abandoned the ruins.

In fact the spring was just blocked off and while small outflows existed (creating very small waterfalls from different areas of the berg), it required several decades to work out a new exit/cave to exit out of. This new exit is on the cleaved side. From this exit it falls down on the sharp cliff face of the mountain below where overtime it has carved a series of switchbacks and waterfalls down the face of the cliff. The cliff is sharp enough, and the earthberg is far/high enough that a reasonable amount of light falls on the face. At the base of the cliff face a larger pool/small lake forms in the valley before a small river/stream forms which travels down the valley into the woods towards the far end, from there it travels to the sea (however far that is).
After reading the previous posts, I decide to look around the web for some images to give us a general picture of what we might create. I figured real world examples might make it easier to relate to. Granted the towns in these images are a little steep, but it rounds out to about the same appearance.

Note: In these, (ignoring the ocean for a moment) we can see how a cliffside city might look from several angles. Situated inside a pass, I could see great defensibility.
Note: Just thought I'd share.
Note: While it is in ruins, you can still picture where the buildings might have been in relation to the valley.

After seeing these I'm starting to see the potential in such a design. Using an idea from before, small aqueducts could be built throughout the city, providing fresh, running water to everyone (ingenious folks might even find ways to heat the water.)

I like the picture of the Cliffside township overlooking valley. It's pretty close to what I imagined.

Where the big rock on the right hand side of the photo is where I imagine the cave would be. If we go with the river idea, that is also where I imagine that the waterfall would start.



I also liked the second temple picture as well.
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Hi, I've been reading this forum for a while and I like where it was going. Hope you don't mind me contributing.

I figured that town would be located in a small valley between two mountains. A couple thousand years ago the caves below the valley sank, creating a big sinkhole which houses the city today. Some caves may still be structurally sound underneath the city, but nobody has gone looking.

The town's name is Daja, daja being a dwarven term for the blue-grey stones found around the area.

So I drew up a quick map for the place. I like the idea of many terraces and a steep slope, so I'd like to keep that, maybe try to add a very crowded feeling, it's a pretty small area that more and more people are trying to pack into. Also, I think the people there would not try to advertise their presence, they don't want the lighthouse creature to find out anyone survived.


Area A is fields right now, depending on how many people live here it could be expanded to be more city. This provides most of the food for the city.

Area B is the original redoubt with the cave off to the northeast. A small trail northwest leads into the rest of the valley. A middling sized stream comes out of the cave, pools down in area A, then continues southwest as a small river. Other small rivulets may feed into the lake/river.

Area C is the river bed. If the town expands the fields might be moved here. There'd be a small outpost a bit farther downstream.

PS. Thank you Dougan for telling me 'bout sblock
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Hi, I've been reading this forum for a while and I like where it was going. Hope you don't mind me contributing.

I figured that town would be located in a small valley between two mountains. A couple thousand years ago the caves below the valley sank, creating a big sinkhole which houses the city today. Some caves may still be structurally sound underneath the city, but nobody has gone looking.

The town's name is Daja, daja being a dwarven term for the blue-grey stones found around the area.

So I drew up a quick map for the place. I like the idea of many terraces and a steep slope, so I'd like to keep that, maybe try to add a very crowded feeling, it's a pretty small area that more and more people are trying to pack into. Also, I think the people there would not try to advertise their presence, they don't want the lighthouse creature to find out anyone survived.

Area A is fields right now, depending on how many people live here it could be expanded to be more city. This provides most of the food for the city.

Area B is the original redoubt with the cave off to the northeast. A small trail northwest leads into the rest of the valley. A middling sized stream comes out of the cave, pools down in area A, then continues southwest as a small river. Other small rivulets may feed into the lake/river.

Area C is the river bed. If the town expands the fields might be moved here. There'd be a small outpost a bit farther downstream.

Nice map, I like it. It is a good, defensible location, and you've included some resources that the settlers could exploit. There is room for expansion on all sides, and the redoubt has a decent view all around. The relatively small lake is a nice touch as well. It should also be noted, however, that being in a mountainous valley, the river would likely be too shallow for barges and ferries; any sort of trade would need to be done either by foot or carriage.

P.S. I think the name is interesting too. Maybe we'll adopt it.
I was just wondering, as a momentary aside from the geography thing, about something. I'm wondering what aspects of 4E we can try to work into this project. Now I'll openly admit to not being very up to date about the 4E developments (it's always been my plan to wait till the release, peruse the books in the store and then decide whether I'm staying or going), so I'm wondering if some of you guys could help me out here.

As far as I can figure the only parts of 4E we can work into the town right now are the races. Making an effort to use Dragonborn or Eladrin as a mainstay of our settlement and thusly help out that way. We don't know enough about the classes now to make them have any real addition to the setup. Does anyone know what else we could insert into our town to develop new 4E ideas?
I like the map, as long as the forest represents densely forested mountainsides. If the forest were level, it would offer a concealed approach for invaders and would likely be clearcut away during the early settlement of the area to provide a unobstructed view of likely approaches.

The name Daja I'm not as impressed with, though I could see it being kept as the name of, or part of the name of the redoubt. The city itself would likely be named by the first refugee settlers. Sorrowclimb, Riverhaven, Ascent, Flight's End, Sanctum; these are the sort of names that appeal to me. I like Sorrowclimb, as it really paints the picture of the refugees, exhausted from their flight, too tired to be terrified anymore, making that last steep climb up the valley to the redoubt, hearts heavy with the thoughts of their former lives gone forever.

(indulging farther into the imagery)
The river that flows from the cave is thick with the essence of the mountain, the mineral deposits the water picks up as it percolates through the soil and flows underground. One of the first crops the river feeds is a vineyard, cultivated from wild grapevines from the mountains. The wines from these vineyards seem to carry the deep chill of the mountains, coupled with the tears of the hardships borne by the people there. These are not wines to celebrate and make merry with, nor are they wines to drown away pain; these are wines for quiet suffering... for sucesses contemplated in silence... for melancholy...
Ascent! Sorry, but Sorrowclimb, while descriptive, is very... limiting? I'm trying to find the right word, but it seems too... sorrowful? Still not the right word... grumble...elusive...grumble
It's really a shame that "Solace" is already an important location in Dragonlance, 'cause that would be the perfect name for this town methinks.
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I was just wondering, as a momentary aside from the geography thing, about something. I'm wondering what aspects of 4E we can try to work into this project. Now I'll openly admit to not being very up to date about the 4E developments (it's always been my plan to wait till the release, peruse the books in the store and then decide whether I'm staying or going), so I'm wondering if some of you guys could help me out here.

As far as I can figure the only parts of 4E we can work into the town right now are the races. Making an effort to use Dragonborn or Eladrin as a mainstay of our settlement and thusly help out that way. We don't know enough about the classes now to make them have any real addition to the setup. Does anyone know what else we could insert into our town to develop new 4E ideas?

It hasn't really been finalized yet, but we were considering starting off the refugees (and possibly the city) without using any PC classes. In previous threads, the city had always been started with a PC class of significant level, which made it appear as though the city couldn't be started without one. For this city I thought we might deviate from that and show how it could be possible for non-player characters to form and build a successful city. Later, we could add PCs to the city as it grows in size (50 NPCs to 1 PC) and strength; I think this would highlight a "point-of-light" theme far better than making the city just an extension of PC accomplishments.

Now we do have some semblance of what will be going into the new rules based on the Wizard's Presents series Races and Classes and Worlds and Monsters. Much of that we have already touched upon here. There is also a thread here that gives a compiled list of confirmed rules for 4th Edition for those that can't access those books, though the information is only drawn from Races and Classes. Admittedly, I'm also not well versed in these and will probably also wait until the core books are released to stores before knowing anything about the game. However, this is merely a discussion thread; nothing we say or do here will have much affect on the official BAC4.0, at least not until we get the official rules. It would be hard pressed for us to finalize anything only to discover that we have to retcon everything simply because we got a few things wrong.

So, in a nutshell, anything you wish to contribute may be submitted here. This is an idea thread, and any idea is welcome. We will discuss it, critique it (maybe add to it), and when the time comes it may be included in the chronicles. And while most ideas will be addressed, just keep in mind that it may not be in the final product. For now though, we seem to be on the subject of concept: what is the city going to be like, how will it be built (slowly IMO), what will the environment be like (looks to be decided already), and what kind of folk live there. It may be prudent to keep our focus on that so we don't end up horribly disorganized at the last minute.

P.S. When we are ready to start the city, I (or someone else) will create a separate thread for the city and any related material (journals and such.) This thread will remain open for the purposes of discussion and proposals with regards to the city. And like this thread, I'll attempt to sticky it so anybody can view it and get ideas. In this way, I hope to avoid the mistakes of the last two installments, and allow the "city thread" to focus on the story instead of getting bogged down by differences of opinion.