Open discussion: BUILD A CITY 4.0!!!

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Considering the city is located next to mountains I can see a ton of different mines forming around the mountain side to provide materials for trade and construction. If anything they could build a quarry to help with city construction, as stone is much sturdier then timber and can't be burned down. Heck, if the town could get some decent workers in they might even be able to build a pretty nice place to live.

And in response to an earlier post about placing minerals there just because they would be easy to find: Iron originally wasn't that hard to find and was much more common then tin, which is required in order to make bronze. Hence, if there is a mountain, one can be sure that it will have iron content.
Considering the city is located next to mountains I can see a ton of different mines forming around the mountain side to provide materials for trade and construction. If anything they could build a quarry to help with city construction, as stone is much sturdier then timber and can't be burned down. Heck, if the town could get some decent workers in they might even be able to build a pretty nice place to live.

Nice idea. I could also see some of the stonemasons getting involved as it would apply to their own skill. Perhaps upon finding it, plans cold also be made to further fortify some of the existing structures, as well as new structures to ensure defense.

And in response to an earlier post about placing minerals there just because they would be easy to find: Iron originally wasn't that hard to find and was much more common then tin, which is required in order to make bronze. Hence, if there is a mountain, one can be sure that it will have iron content.

I wasn't saying that it couldn't be in the mountain. It just seemed too convenient that an iron (or other metal) deposit just happened to be in caves near the redoubt that hadn't been depleted by previous inhabitants. If someone could explain why dwarves (we suspect) wouldn't utilize such an easy resource to supply (and possibly expand) their garrison, then maybe I'll change my opinion.
The art looks great. Thank you. I have some food for thought about the "convince" of ore, food sources, and anything else. If this has been stated already, please forgive me for missing it.

Two points I would like to make:
1. As the creators of the city, we are looking to see it prosper in the long term. It is our best interested to place the odds in the refugees favor.

2. The prior occupants would have had time to survey the location. A lot can be explained by the dwarves having taken the time to find the ideal spot. So the coincidence because the refugees finding the old location, not find the ideal location. Make sense?

3. I know this was a military installation, but did the dwarves ever prospect the nearby areas?

Hope that helps any.
H_B, I was just reading the backlogs of The Commoner, and ran across the name of Alun's daughter. Jessie the stablegirl? Nice.
I now have images for 43 of the refugees. And I'm getting lots of practice with photoshop! Anyone have comments/concerns/considerations for the images?

~Nan Kya~
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This particular redoubt is the cave, not a wall. The cave/redoubt is at the top of steep switchbacks. There is suitable farmland in the valley below (along with rabbits, I would think), and timber up into the mountains behind the redoubt. The small river that runs through the valley most likely is a tributary to the river that flows out to [Old City].

For our purposes, the environment is probably enough of an adversary for now. There is also a green dragon somewhere between the old city and the new, and there are a significant number of gnolls (who raided the old city after the cursewarped dragon got free). So savage beasts, yes, savage humanoids... not yet.

Also, does anyone have any thoughts on the current resident of the redoubt/cave? Bear? Too cliché... hmmm.
I'm not too sure about stone, but Koren will be instrumental in building the new city. As for stonework, it may be best to look to the dwarves. The dirt farmer's father perhaps...

A bear might possibly be a little too cliche, but I think that a basilisk would be tough to justify. I'm just basing this on my 3.5 experiences, so it could be totally off, but I see no reason why a basilisk wouldn't kill the refugees.

I would suggest a Sphinx with a riddle, but that would be pretty cliche as well.

just a few quick ideas off the top of my head



1) Some sort of gollem or other mindless guardian left behind by the original inhabitants of the redoubt. The machine or whatever seems unstoppable as it maims a few people; out of pure dumb luck one of the refugees figures out how to turn it off. It could also be some sort of room based trap akin to the hex-lightning trap from 3.5's Dungeonscape instead of a gollem or guardian.

2) The refugees walk in on a small group (3-5) of bandits who were sleeping in the cave. Their lookout fell asleep on watch, one of the bandits happens to wake up as the refugees come into the cave; battle ensues. Even though the bandits are trained a little better than the common person, they can't overcome the numbers advantage that the refugees have and are slain and/or run off. (more than likely a few of the refugees would be wounded in some fashion)

3) The "Rat King" - A goblin living among a rat swarm. (could turn out to be somewhat cliche, but it might provide a basis for a low level quest)

4) "Demon Door" - somewhat stealing an idea from the video game Fable. There were talking doors that would only open if you could answer a riddle or if you had a certain item or performed a certain task. This could also serve as the guardian from idea #1. The refugees have to sleep outside of the cave for a few days until they figure out the solution to the door or until they perform the required task. One the solution is reached, the door vanishes because its magic is dispursed once the conditions are met.

5) Venomous snakes
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I just realized that my previous post probably came too late. For some reason the last few pages weren't showing up for me until just now.
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 The Best in Gaming!
The art looks great. Thank you. I have some food for thought about the "convince" of ore, food sources, and anything else. If this has been stated already, please forgive me for missing it.

Two points I would like to make:
1. As the creators of the city, we are looking to see it prosper in the long term. It is our best interested to place the odds in the refugees favor.
2. The prior occupants would have had time to survey the location. A lot can be explained by the dwarves having taken the time to find the ideal spot. So the coincidence because the refugees finding the old location, not find the ideal location. Make sense?

3. I know this was a military installation, but did the dwarves ever prospect the nearby areas?

Hope that helps any.

I agree, but I also feel that having some hardship lends itself to a more organic and believable developement. I want to see the refugees succeed, and I want to see the story progress; however I feel that we need to be careful about becoming too emotionally invested in the refugees. Sometimes character have set backs and/or die. I think it would be acceptable if not every need is met when they first arrive at the redoubt.
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Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both orderly and selfish. I act mostly for my own benefit, but I respect and help my community - Specially when it helps me. At best, I'm loyal and dedicated; at worst, I'm elitist and shrewd.
 The Best in Gaming!
Two points I would like to make:

Two points? :P Anyway, to address them:

1. As the creators of the city, we are looking to see it prosper in the long term. It is our best interested to place the odds in the refugees favor.

While I too would like to see the the city to prosper in the long term, the only thing that matters (to me at least) is the city's ability to endure through both good and bad times. Besides, we've already set the odds in the refugees favor by placing the city in an arable, easily defended valley using a well fortified (and still intact) redoubt that overlooks everything. We've provided the refugees plenty of resources to exploit and trade (such as lumber), and we've even allowed our first citizens to bring a hefty amount of supplies and provisions of their own. And we've given the population enough numbers to allow for attrition, especially during the tough times.

And speaking of tough times, it wouldn't be too out of place to include some hardships in some of the chronicles. Putting some sort of calamity into a chronicle every so often (whether it be weather, war, famine, or something else) would allow us to display the city in a more dynamic fashion. Plus, it would counteract the good times, and discourage a "prosperity for prosperity's sake" tone in the chronicles.

2. The prior occupants would have had time to survey the location. A lot can be explained by the dwarves having taken the time to find the ideal spot. So the coincidence because the refugees finding the old location, not find the ideal location. Make sense?

3. I know this was a military installation, but did the dwarves ever prospect the nearby areas?

These last two points are actually part of the contention I have with the placement of the ore.

The prior occupants (likely dwarves) probably would have had the time and the resources to survey the location. For any military installation, studying the available terrain is very important in choosing the best and most defensible location. After the fortification is set, and patrols are scheduled, their next course of action would be to find any weak points in the defenses by exploring the surrounding terrain; for our redoubt, that would include the caves.

Assuming for a moment, that there was at some point a vein of iron located in the caves behind the redoubt, such exploration would have discovered it. Dwarves, having an industrial culture, would likely have not hestitated to exploit the ore, especially when trying to support a full garrison. Requiring only a few minutes to travel, such a deposit would have been easily defended. Likely, in the time of their stay, they would have depleted the vein completely, with only a few things left behind as evidence.

In light of all that, I find it a bit contrived to have a (still usable) deposit of ore that just happens to be in the caves that the city is situated at. It's as if we're putting the ore there just so the settlers can find it and exploit it quickly and easily. Now as an alternative, if settlers were to happen upon the remnants of some mine left in the cave (things left behind) then perhaps that will inspire the settlers to seek ore elsewhere in the valley. In my humble opinion, it sounds more organic that way.
I like the idea of setting a completely empty iron vein with traces of evidence that there was once a vein there. It would encourage the people to search the rest of the caves or the surrounding mountains for another source. How about we simply place it in a cleft in the valley behind part of a small waterfall? It would make the location difficult to spot, far enough away the dwarves may not have bothered to look for iron there and close enough that the refugees can eventually exploit it. Placing it behind something like a waterfall also forces the refugees to build a sort of aquaduct to redirect the water before mining is profitable.
I like the idea of setting a completely empty iron vein with traces of evidence that there was once a vein there. It would encourage the people to search the rest of the caves or the surrounding mountains for another source. How about we simply place it in a cleft in the valley behind part of a small waterfall? It would make the location difficult to spot, far enough away the dwarves may not have bothered to look for iron there and close enough that the refugees can eventually exploit it. Placing it behind something like a waterfall also forces the refugees to build a sort of [aqueduct] to redirect the water before mining is profitable.

Sounds like an okay idea. Having the ore behind the waterfall gives the city something to explore. It does need to be far enough away, though, that the dwarves would not have even considered such an expenditure of resources.

I also like the idea of a potential aqueduct system, and that looks like a good starting point (dwarven engineers would have a field day :D ). But I think that it would need to be a some point in the distant future. For one thing, I can't imagine why the settlers would think of building an aqueduct system when they don't need one right away. Secondly, we don't have anyone with the necessary skills to design a working system.

I think, for now, that it might be best to place the ore somewhere in-between; far enough away that the dwarves wouldn't have exploited it, but not a location that would be terribly difficult to access (though not nearly effortless.) It should also take them time to find it before being able to reach it.

Having the settlers explore the valley a little, to find some of the resources that the valley offers, is probably in our best interests for the time being. Giving them the lumber right away is probably the most they should be allowed to have at this point. Showing the effort the settlers choose to put into building their city would go a long way in portraying a city that strives to prosper.
We have a lot of stuff in the valley below the redoubt. Why not have the mine somewhere up above the redoubt? This also means that the ore will have to be moved downhill, rather than uphill. Not so easy that it is right in their laps, but not so hard and arduous as to discourage the use of iron ore all together.

My thinking in that there should be a small (nearly) mined out iron vein somewhere within the redoubt, as it would be apropriate for dwarves and explain some more area to add to the map (allowing for greater space for our refugees).
H_B, I was just reading the backlogs of The Commoner, and ran across the name of Alun's daughter. Jessie the stablegirl? Nice.

I swear that was entirely subconscious (and the proof is that I didn't even notice until you pointed it out!).

As for the ore question, we have a hot spring in the caves. What if the dwarven builders mined out the actual veins of ore, but the running water has since leached mineral ores out of the rock upstream and deposited them as crusts and stalagtites around the rim of the spring and the falls?
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That's a cool idea, iron stalagtites and such around the cave? But again it leads to the ease of practically giving the iron to them. I agree with Perennial on placing the iron above the area to be discovered in the future.

As for the denizens of the cave, I think we should specify what we intend area-wise on this. Some people seem to think immediate denizens in the redoubt itself while others think of something far back, deep within the cave. My vote is for something fairly deep in that won't be a worry to the villagers. Perhaps its dwelling inside a small watchtower or some such that the dwarves built long ago.

I really like the idea of there being multiple threats, perhaps one intelligent and humanoid and one some sort of aberration or magical animal. I like some of Johnny Angel's ideas. The first one gave me an intriguing idea that perhaps we could place a small group of tribal warforged or such deep in the caves. Former soldiers made by the dwarves and left behind for some reason they slowly turned feral and cruel.

The Demon door idea is actually really cool! Sure it may be stolen from something, but change the name and perhaps make it a series of riddles and it gives us a great way to explain why whatever is deeper in the caverns doesn't kill off the villagers in addition to supplying adventure hooks for future use.

The use of bandits using the redoubt is also pretty good. It gives us some conflict and makes the situation a little more difficult on the refugees. Hell, we could even have one or two of the bandits surrender giving us people with interesting background and perhaps filling in skills. Maybe masonry/knowledge of the area. Maybe they know of the iron ore mine to the north and when the issue comes up mention it. ...yea just spitting out ideas at this point.
The iron ore is deep in the rock and nearly impossible to get to by conventional means. However, a rare type of moss grows in the cave. This moss leeches minerals from the stone around it. Waste, such as ferrous material, is depostied upon the moss' surface.

While it takes a little while to gather mass amounts of iron (perhaps a month per pound) the ability to do so is there. The price of iron ore and iron products, if this idea were to be implemented, would be high.

Take care, friends.
This moss could also support a small clutch of rust monsters that the villagers have to routinely contend with for the ore.

Take care.
Another thought: since the moss depletes the surrouding rock of minerals and therefore support, certain portions of the caverns could be inherently dangerous. Cave-ins and sinkholes could be a threat to any who enter the cavern complex.

Take care, friends.
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Well what is ultimately available in terms of metal would depend on what the dwarves were doing and the cause for their disappearance. If the dwarves left in a hurry there will be plenty of metal in the forms of debris and remains along with hints of where to find more (I.E. the remains of cart tracks). If the dwarves had time and decided to abandon the site, just about everything of use would have been taken with them. Now, I don't see any reason why dwarves would just decide to abandon a site, especially a military outpost. There could be dwarf remains scattered about.

Oh, and on a side note I've heard that barley is a fairly hardy crop that can survive high altitudes, so the farmers could be growing barley. :D
Well what is ultimately available in terms of metal would depend on what the dwarves were doing and the cause for their disappearance. If the dwarves left in a hurry there will be plenty of metal in the forms of debris and remains along with hints of where to find more (I.E. the remains of cart tracks). If the dwarves had time and decided to abandon the site, just about everything of use would have been taken with them. Now, I don't see any reason why dwarves would just decide to abandon a site, especially a military outpost. There could be dwarf remains scattered about.

So far, we've decided that the redoubt was built long ago by the dwarves in response to the war against the giants, who left at the end of the war when the redoubt lived out its usefulness (but there could be the remains of a dwarf or two around.) If the dwarves were looking to supply a garrison, having immediate access to available ore is practically a godsend. If they had enough time, they would have depleted any and every vein of ore that they could reasonably get their hands on, especially ones that were right out their "backdoor".

On the other hand, I do support the idea of a vein in the valley above the redoubt. It would be far enough away to escape the attention of the redoubt's former masters (the dwarves), but not so far, or difficult, for the settlers to find.

I'm also curious about the idea presented about iron "crusting" about the cavern area. It still seems contrived (i.e. conveniently placed) but it does allow the refugees access to a very minimal amount of ore (I don't really think we'd get more than a few bars.) It could also be possible that the dwarves did leave some metal objects behind, though they’d be rusted well beyond use.

But again, I'm hesitant to allow the iron to be such a convenient resource. Pardon me for being so persistent in this matter, but I guess I'm simply trying not to make the area too easy for the refugees (we’ve already given them ready access to lumber.)

For one thing, it would (subconsciously) convince us to make the plot "busier" by default. Such a fast moving plot would not only be unnecessarily complicated, it would also present too much information too soon. A slower plot would read more fluidly, and it would allow us to be more descriptive in the evolution of the city and its inhabitants.

Secondly, part of our BACT story should include some lengthy periods of time where the citizens simply must struggle to survive, let alone prosper. A culture that is constantly succeeding is not only bland, it becomes complacent and weak. It is hardships that shape and define how the city prospers. (It also adds that element of drama and uncertainty that makes a story worth reading.)

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So far, we've decided that the redoubt was built long ago by the dwarves in response to the war against the giants, who left at the end of the war when the redoubt lived out its usefulness (but there could be the remains of a dwarf or two around.) If the dwarves were looking to supply a garrison, having immediate access to available ore is practically a godsend. If they had enough time, they would have depleted any and every vein of ore that they could reasonably get their hands on, especially ones that were right out their "backdoor".

On the other hand, I do support the idea of a vein in the valley above the redoubt. It would be far enough away to escape the attention of the redoubt's former masters (the dwarves), but not so far, or difficult, for the settlers to find.

I'm also curious about the idea presented about iron "crusting" about the cavern area. It still seems contrived (i.e. conveniently placed) but it does allow the refugees access to a very minimal amount of ore (I don't really think we'd get more than a few bars.) It could also be possible that the dwarves did leave some metal objects behind, though they’d be rusted well beyond use.

But again, I'm hesitant to allow the iron to be such a convenient resource. Pardon me for being so persistent in this matter, but I guess I'm simply trying not to make the area too easy for the refugees (we’ve already given them ready access to lumber.)

For one thing, it would (subconsciously) convince us to make the plot "busier" by default. Such a fast moving plot would not only be unnecessarily complicated, it would also present too much information too soon. A slower plot would read more fluidly, and it would allow us to be more descriptive in the evolution of the city and its inhabitants.

Secondly, part of our BACT story should include some lengthy periods of time where the citizens simply must struggle to survive, let alone prosper. A culture that is constantly succeeding is not only bland, it becomes complacent and weak. It is hardships that shape and define how the city prospers. (It also adds that element of drama and uncertainty that makes a story worth reading.)

Take a gander at the posts I presented above. That idea may solve your problem.

Take care, friend.
Another idea that could be utilized is the "yearly harvest" of iron. Perhaps the ore lies in an area of thick ice that thaws briefly once each year. Being within a mountainous setting, there could easily be a glacier that contains the ore; such a drawback might have diseuded the dwarves from considering it a viable source.
Thus the folk of the village would not be able to rely heavily on the ore, but would be able to count on it at one point during the year. Of course, the villagers would have to guard the secret of the area from prospectors and thieves that might be interested stealing their ore. Who knows? The location of the ore could very well be known only by a select few that the information has been intrusted to. Sort of a family secret that is passed down over the years.

Take care, friends.
Just a quick thought about the presence of a ore vein of some sort... I'm not sure if these ideas have been floated or not.

I'm in favor of a presence of ore, but one that is hard to reach and exploit. Perhaps the vein was simply not discovered in the time of the original dwarves.

What if, back in the day, the underground stream flowing through the caves was not heated by a geothermal source. After the redoubt was abandoned, a small earthquake deep underground opened fissures deep in the cave. These fissures ran down to geothermal heat sources, and when the fissures filled with water, the water was heated, and warmed waters began to flow from the cave.

When the settlers explore the caverns during the coldest part of the winter, when the waterflow slows to a trickle until the spring thaws begin, the ore veins could be discovered. This would limit the exploitation to the coldest winter months, and could also be tied to the origin of the 'Well of Worlds', which may lie deep within these fissures.

*EDIT* This would be another way to implement graddlin's 'Yearly Harvest' idea, although I'm ambivalent to iron being the specific ore found. The fissures could have exposed veins of gemstones, precious metals, or, if the well of worlds is down there somewhere, veins of something semi-supernatural.

I'm picturing the harvest season now as a fantasy version of 'Deadliest Catch' or 'Ice Road Truckers'. Daring, desperate miners descending into hot fissures deep in the mountain, the air thick and humid, with the occasional superheated gout of steam coming from the cracks.
So we go from arguing if just giving the ore is too easy to killing off some who try to harvest it? That's just cruel! ...but I love it.
Qlirtuaelimn? I don't know all I can manage is something sounding like a horrid mix of aztec language and strange sounds. I vote for making it be pronounced like an irish-gaelic word, simply make 3/4 of the letters silent! Qlirtuaelimn becomes "Litulin"

Do you speak Irish Gaelic? I'm guessing not... Irish Alphabet has no "Q" but yeah, I write all my maps and stuff in Gaelic because in my world only nobles, priests and wizards aren't illiterate and the adventurers started out as farm boys or apprentices. My gods are all Irish named and based: My war god is based off of Cerunnos, stag antlers and all.

You guys are doing a good job on that city. :D
Yea..took a 16 week course but they sort of skipped the "This is how the language works" part. So imagine a handful of non-born americans trying to learn irish without that as a basic. We can do basic conversations..and barely spell. Reading is also pretty rough.

I can pretty much manage Dia Dhuit, Conas Toim? Ta an aimsir ag cor baishti! (Damn weather..) and another half dozen words forweather + vowels and such.

Gaelic was not meant to be written! Favorite example: Ta me ag caitneamh tobac. No way a word spelled caitneamh should be pronounced Cahev, although it makes more sense if you know mh = v sound. (Which they didn't really go over either...Silly UCC teachers)
Yea..took a 16 week course but they sort of skipped the "This is how the language works" part. So imagine a handful of non-born americans trying to learn irish without that as a basic. We can do basic conversations..and barely spell. Reading is also pretty rough.

I can pretty much manage Dia Dhuit, Conas Toim? Ta an aimsir ag cor baishti! (Damn weather..) and another half dozen words forweather + vowels and such.

Gaelic was not meant to be written! Favorite example: Ta me ag caitneamh tobac. No way a word spelled caitneamh should be pronounced Cahev, although it makes more sense if you know mh = v sound. (Which they didn't really go over either...Silly UCC teachers)

ahh left out the Broad mh=v slender mh other than at the begining= w lol
Gaelic was meant to be written, just because we were raised speaking English we don't associate a C with the K sound or Mh with the V/W sound
Gaelic makes sense if you speak and write it a lot... keep in mind the were raised with an alphabet of: A À B C D E
Just a quick thought about the presence of a ore vein of some sort... I'm not sure if these ideas have been floated or not.

I'm in favor of a presence of ore, but one that is hard to reach and exploit. Perhaps the vein was simply not discovered in the time of the original dwarves.

What if, back in the day, the underground stream flowing through the caves was not heated by a geothermal source. After the redoubt was abandoned, a small earthquake deep underground opened fissures deep in the cave. These fissures ran down to geothermal heat sources, and when the fissures filled with water, the water was heated, and warmed waters began to flow from the cave.

When the settlers explore the caverns during the coldest part of the winter, when the waterflow slows to a trickle until the spring thaws begin, the ore veins could be discovered. This would limit the exploitation to the coldest winter months, and could also be tied to the origin of the 'Well of Worlds', which may lie deep within these fissures.

*EDIT* This would be another way to implement graddlin's 'Yearly Harvest' idea, although I'm ambivalent to iron being the specific ore found. The fissures could have exposed veins of gemstones, precious metals, or, if the well of worlds is down there somewhere, veins of something semi-supernatural.

I'm picturing the harvest season now as a fantasy version of 'Deadliest Catch' or 'Ice Road Truckers'. Daring, desperate miners descending into hot fissures deep in the mountain, the air thick and humid, with the occasional superheated gout of steam coming from the cracks.

I dig that take on the idea, friend. The "Deadliest Catch" reference is pretty cool. Geothermal hazards always make everyone's life that much better.

Take care, friend.
I'm reluctant to run with the idea without more people weighing in, but here's some more...

I could see a small but locally powerful Miner's (and Smelter's?) Guild growing around this seasonal mine. The guild collects the ore and takes responsibility for the distribution of either the raw ore, smelted but raw metal, or finished product to the outside world. The Guild works to keep the seasonal nature of the mine a guarded secret to protect the community. If the nature of the lode was known, adventuresome miners would flock to the town during the rush season and cause havoc, until the season ended and they took their newfound wealth with them to more prosperous communities. By keeping tight reigns on the finished product's dissemination to the outside world, the rich but seasonal mine is seen as an underperforming one, keeping the community from being upturned once per year.

On the other hand, such a guild could put a dampener on the activites of exactly the sort of people that heroes and adventurers represent, unless they're locals or the need is great.

Just typing as the idea develops...
We've talked a lot about the resources that the refugees will have.

What are some of the things they won't have? What things will be hard for them to get? What are the drawbacks to this area?
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I think that's partly been discussed. The river overflows during certain times making crops in the arable land difficult. Also, there is something as yet undecided dwelling in the caves making life difficult with perhaps the occasional violent attack.

Also, we could have the area get little precipitation thus the city will rely even more heavily upon the river. And of course there are the occasional crises thrown in. Plague, famine, floods, earthquakes, etc.
Wow, Wow...........!

This is insanely creative, I am truly impressed of the energies expended here. Everyone should be highly comended for these efforts, and I am humbled to join in...

Everything I've read lately about resources is fantastic, the "fleshing-out" of the resource pool is extremly important, and only in the sprit of adding reality would I ask....

1. Smelting ore is and was a potientialy fatal occupation, always involving extreme heat, mostly toxic off-gassing and the likely explosive result in the case of accident. If indeed the ruin is a Dwarven Hold, then yes the equipment may just need to be fired up to work again, but if the ruin is a humanoid settlement then would thier possibly be a smelting operation in place..? If yes then like most other 'smelly' and 'dirty' operations it should be located far away from the general populace. What is the real chance that among the refugees is a trained and apprenticed Smelter, or Ore-Master ready to assume command of this operation.

Again I love this concept, both in the reality and the fantastic and I do see the value in either style.

**at this point a small forge hidden deep in the caves possibly powered by lava may be a long-term option**

Just thinking.......
Should I mention that geothermal springs are not subject to the same rise and fall with the changing seasons that surface streams are? Not that I don't like the dangerous mine deep inside the caves. I would like to support whomever suggested that the mine contain gems (or some other resource less susceptible to heat).

On the subject of smelting: Senzer (the old one-armed dragonborn weaponsmith) would most likely know the trade, having not always had ready made steel at his disposal.
Before I get too far behind in the discussion, I have a few concerns that must be reiterated.

At first it was a vein (which is probably depleted), then it became deposits crusting around the stalagmites, then moss leaching the ore out of bare rock, and now we're having a ‘seasonal vein‘. There seems to be no consistent reason to place the iron (or whatever) in the redoubt's caves other than to have the settlers find it. Again, placing exploitable ore where it just so happens that the settlers live seems too convenient.

I'm not saying that there shouldn't be any ore in the valley at all. Nor am I saying that it should be difficult to find. But I don't think we need to have it in the caves just for the sake of having it. And having all these alternatives reasons for the minerals to be there just seem to be vain attempts to rationalize an ill-fitted concept. It's as if we want the settlers to have ore so badly, that there must be some reason for the ore to be so conveniently placed. It's too unnatural.

However, I do think that some of the ideas are interesting, and with some changes would even be natural additions for our city. Moss leaching ore out of bare rock would make for an interesting component for the herbalists; also, the minerals the moss excretes could be carried away by the stream, providing extra nutrients to the farms in the valley. I can even imagine water depositing mineral crusts around the stalagmites, and actually relates to the minerals being consumed by the moss. But there wouldn’t be enough ore to collect in any useful form; for that, the settlers need to have a vein that they can access readily.

I’m unsure what to say about the ‘seasonal vein’. I think the idea might be a fun romp every now and then, but I hesitate at the verisimilitude of it. Geothermal activity would not be affected by changes to weather and climate; in deed, quite the opposite is true. So the ore would still be accessible all year round. A “Deadliest Catch” scenario would be interesting, but I think it lacks a sense of believability.

I’m also still opposed to having a deposit in the caves. For one thing, its putting everything in the hands of the settlers, almost guaranteeing their success. Even I would like to see the settlers succeed and prosper, but it is just as likely that the settlers and the city succumb to other forces; putting the ore in the cave simply isn’t necessary. Secondly, I don’t see any deposit in the cave that wouldn’t have been depleted by former occupants (assuming their dwarves.) Again, it lacks believability. This is the first BACT for a set of rules that haven’t completely been seen yet, so really, believability and verisimilitude should be our primary goals for the time being.

P.S. If the majority decides that their should definitely be ore within such easy reach of the settlers (i.e. putting it in the cave), then I shall bend to it.
P.S. If the majority decides that their should definitely be ore within such easy reach of the settlers (i.e. putting it in the cave), then I shall bend to it.

FYI, I am with you on this one. I think that not enough ore will leave our city high and dry, so to add some difficulty, moving the ore to up into the mountains a day's hike makes the most sense. That way it takes a full contingent of people to get to the mine (safely) which is something that our refugees will not be able to handle for some time. Then, as the city grows and expands, it will be easier and easier to get to the mine to the point where it might be worked year round (what with constant temperatures and all). The best thing to do is to chalk this up under "future developments" (which we should start keeping track of).

As for the "deadliest catch" mine, I think it best to use the gem idea (high payout for high risk).

And for the metal-leech moss, what happens when the moss leeches carbon? Does it form graphite? coal? diamonds? Would the moss grow on anything metal kept in or near the cave where the moss is found (problematic)? Does the moss exchange some substance for the metal, or, is it destroying the integrity of the cavern as it leeches the moss?

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I'm not sure that I like the idea of an ore vein being inside the save cave that the redoubt was built into/attached to. I feel that the main purpose for the cave should be to serve as shelter.


I wouldn't mind ore being available from somewhere around the area, but I'm not sure that it really makes sense to have access to an ore vein inside of the redoubt cave. It would create another entrance into the defensive structure which wouldn't really make sense from the point of view of the people who first built the redoubt in the first place; even if they did find a way to securely do so I don't see why the original inhabitants wouldn't have used most of the raw materials by now. You'd think that such an easily defended source of raw materials would be heavily mined and used to support the rest of the empire who owned the location.

If ore becomes available, I think that should be a developement which occurs much later in the story of the settlement. It seems a little too forced to say that there's a steady source of ore at the fingertips of the refugees as soon as they get to the redoubt.

I think it would be more interesting if there was a source of fool's gold nearby.
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Should I mention that geothermal springs are not subject to the same rise and fall with the changing seasons that surface streams are? Not that I don't like the dangerous mine deep inside the caves.

In defense of the seasonal access scenario, it is not the geothermal source that varies seasonally. The underground stream/river, which is (theoretically) primarily fed by the snow thaws and would rise and fall depending on the season.

If the water is heated by flowing into and through the geothermal source, then in the autumn and winter, when the seasonal flow would be at it's low point, the fissures could start to empty and expose the veins.

Using a hot water heater as a metaphor... In essence, water comes into a residential hot water heater, which is heated in the tank and comes out hot. If you turn on a hot water tap, assuming the heater is powerful enough and the tap flows slower than the pipe going into the tank, hot water comes out indefinitely. If the pipe into the tank is slowed to a trickle, the tank empties over time. Of course, if the tank is big enough, it won't empty in time before the pipe in is opened up again.

I'll grant you that such a scenario is absolutely convoluted. I'm just saying it's not impossible.

If the water source lies within the geothermal source, then the flow would not have such a seasonal variance, and the scenario falls apart completely.
I'll third for an iron vein away from the redoubt. A day or two sounds like a good estimate also, finding it would be difficult but even worse would be making use of it. It'd require perhaps a monthly or so trip to the mine to gather ore and return to the shelter of the cave.

What else do we have to deal with? The resources of the individual refugees was set up/established. I think that Moses' story was decided upon? (Not really positive on that).

Other issues that need to be addressed still that I can recall:
1) Occupants on cave. Alot of ideas were proposed for this already, I suggest we build or decide on what was already put forth.

2) Other difficulties faced by the city