I'm looking for inspiration for an urban D&D campaign

11 posts / 0 new
Last post
I'm looking for inspiration for an urban D&D campaign. Figure this will add a new twist to the standard D&D adventure, and it'l give the characters a new reason to go to the worlds largest city instead of just to buy rare items and high level services.

I usually make all my own adventures unless I'm strapped for time but I have never really done anything with large citys in my campaigns and I would like to take advantage of the opportunities they can present.

My setting right now is a small fee state on a larger continent. It is a republic governmental society run by 9 persons who represent the common citizens. The capital city is located on the edge of a mountain range to the east and is situated in a vally with a large forest to the west. It has about 14,000 ppl.

Characters are 7th lvl.

I'm looking for some help with adventure ideas or plot hooks, either referencing to published works or simple ideas.
Player to DM: I want to buy a rooster. DM: A Rooster? Ummm ok, You want to raise it or eat it? Player: I want to cast enlarge on it.
Hi an urban campaign sounds really fun!


My first thought when you said that it was a free state was maybe the city is some sort of italian style city state run by a doge or patrician?  You could have a group of powerful (evil) merchants try to start a war with a rival city in order to make money.  They could plan to buy up lots of grain then start this war so that the resulting food shortage drives up prices.


The leader of the city could be someone who is trying to balance various different merchant guilds and noble houses and asks the players to investigate why someone is buying up all the grain.  Possible encounters could be trying to sneak into a trade office to find incriminating papers, being attacked by hired assassins once the merchants get wind of the PCs interference and trying to protect the cities grain silos from being sabotaged by cloaked and hooded figures.



For city campaings generally I always thought you could have a really cool chase scene where the players are chasing someone through twisted streets and allyways.  You could do this as a skill challenge or a series of encouters where the PC's are trying to quickly break-through the enemies rather than kill them all.  You could have archers on rooftops shooting down at them while thugs block the street using an overturned wagon and the PC's are trying to get past them to continue the pursuit.


Feel free to use/ignore any of the above as desired               
Pick up "Sharn: City of Towers." You don't have to use the setting, but it will give you lots of ideas for what can go on in a large city.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy



My first thought when you said that it was a free state was maybe the city is some sort of italian style city state run by a doge or patrician?          



It is actually more like an ancient roman state, roughly 200 miles east/west and 250 miles north south with 5 major city/towns ranging in size from 14k to around 1200 in population, which pools its citys resourses together for the greater good.



You could have a group of powerful (evil) merchants try to start a war with a rival city in order to make money.  They could plan to buy up lots of grain then start this war so that the resulting food shortage drives up prices.



This could work with a few tweaks, it would give me a reason to expand my world a bit because i havent fleshed out the full continent.


For city campaings generally I always thought you could have a really cool chase scene where the players are chasing someone through twisted streets and allyways



Absolutly! This is what i am envisioning also, encounters that lead to different encounters elsewhere in the city which lead to more ect. with false trails and shady characters mixed with honest ones so that the characters have to work out which leads are worth taking.

Pick up "Sharn: City of Towers." You don't have to use the setting, but it will give you lots of ideas for what can go on in a large city.



Thank you, I was looking for a good product that would help with city campains, I planned on picking up the waterdeep setting as well
Player to DM: I want to buy a rooster. DM: A Rooster? Ummm ok, You want to raise it or eat it? Player: I want to cast enlarge on it.
There's plenty of City Adventures that you could come up with.
If you like ambiguous Plays, go for mediation, RP, and some (deadly) intrigue in the middle.
Have it such that the Bad Guys are pretending to be the Good, using the Players to get rid of the Good others, and then set up the Players for the Fall so they can proceed on Uninterrupted. The usual.

Give some "Item Recovery" quests that involve some items, which the Characters can eventually elect not to turn in for a reward.
Hat of Disguises is great here, as are other useful things like Bag of Holding, etc.
For this they could become the "wanted" people.

At some point, include some Noble or Baron to have a rescue. You can even set things up so that the target of the rescue dies or is otherwise near-death. The Players can spend gold to revive him, or diguise as him and claim the reward! They may even kill off the Noble and "inherit" his estate and belongings etc. Its all good.

I am Blue/White

Pick up "Sharn: City of Towers." You don't have to use the setting, but it will give you lots of ideas for what can go on in a large city.



+1. This is my favorite book from 3.5e. Not only is it packed full of useful stuff, it's an interesting read. I've read it cover to cover several times (especially since I ran an all-Sharn campaign back in the day).

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals  |  Full-Contact Futbol   |   Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs  |  Re-Imagining Phandelver  |  Three Pillars of Immersion

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

Hi an urban campaign sounds really fun!


My first thought when you said that it was a free state was maybe the city is some sort of italian style city state run by a doge or patrician?  You could have a group of powerful (evil) merchants try to start a war with a rival city in order to make money. 



You're kind of describing the Dark Sun world.  In Dark Sun, there's several major city states each ruled by a sorceror king.  Except the city of Tyr where the sorceror king was killed, and it's now sorta-free...

Along with the other stuff mentioned, maybe pick up or look through the Dark Sun campaign setting book (4e), there's sections on each of the city states, in greatest detail on Tyr, information on groups that populate it, secret sewer tunnels, the different district, etc.  Even if you're not running Dark Sun, the info on the cities is a good structure to take a look at.
i don't have any overarching plot ideas for you, but this thread may be of use to you:community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...(1001)_In-town_Mini-adventures?pg=1
i don't have any overarching plot ideas for you, but this thread may be of use to you:community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...(1001)_In-town_Mini-adventures?pg=1



Nice Thank you. And How is Dark sun for 3.5? I havent made the switch to 4E yet and so buying a campaign book for 4E before buying the core rulebooks is out.
Player to DM: I want to buy a rooster. DM: A Rooster? Ummm ok, You want to raise it or eat it? Player: I want to cast enlarge on it.
well, theoretically if there were ANY book you'd want to buy beore the core rulebooks, it'd be a campaign setting.

campaign settings have rules, sure, but they are mainly intended to establish and flesh out a world.  the VAST MAJORITY of the information in the dark sun campaign setting is either story and fluff, or rules with a strong framework of story and fluff (in which case you toss out the rules and just use the fluff, like the various themes)

   
well, theoretically if there were ANY book you'd want to buy beore the core rulebooks, it'd be a campaign setting.

campaign settings have rules, sure, but they are mainly intended to establish and flesh out a world.  the VAST MAJORITY of the information in the dark sun campaign setting is either story and fluff, or rules with a strong framework of story and fluff (in which case you toss out the rules and just use the fluff, like the various themes)

   


True but, as I stated earlier, I write all my own material for my campaigns. If I buy a campaign setting its just for ideas as we have discussed doing in previous posts. So technically, the core books would be my first priority. =P
Player to DM: I want to buy a rooster. DM: A Rooster? Ummm ok, You want to raise it or eat it? Player: I want to cast enlarge on it.