I also have this worked up:
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The Build a City Thread IVA History:
A long, long time ago Abbacabba started the very first Build a City thread (hereafter known as TBACT). Deanrule said of it, "(the thread) lasted for some time and made quite an impression on some of us. The premise was to let the posters create a town bit by bit using the D&D rules so that eventually a truly organic city would be made. One that actually felt like a town bred in a land of magic rather than a medieval European hamlet thrust into a world it didn't belong in."
And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth. In other words, the search function can no longer find the first build a city thread, which, by deanrule's account was "a town so overflooded with doomsday artifacts, undead, wizards, and villains that an average day in town was like a Flamethrower fight in a fireworks factory." Hence deanrule's foray into TBACT building, "The Build a City Thread!"
TBACT was fifty-one pages long, covering an impressive sixteen years in the life of the City of Eckland. Deanrule laid the groundwork for the rules that would be adopted in later TBACT's, like the commonality of PC's, the artifact ban, major event proposals, and STOP rules. The first TBACT was retired and planning was made for TBACTII.
TBACTII, despite the best efforts of the OP (Rockjaw), burned too fast and too bright. A lot off good ideas went into the TBACTII, and there was a bit of new blood as well, namely my own, but infighting quickly spiraled out of control and the thread went down in a blaze of glory. My last 3.5 campaign was centered on the events of Tuskbay, the island city of TBACTII, lasting far longer than the thread itself. The groundwork done there kept my group entertained all the way up into the release of 4E.
People can only guess as to why "TBACT3!!!!!!!!!!!" was a failure. Perhaps the TBACT community was burnt out after TBACTII. It may have been that incorporating the anime genre (after "the Last Airbender") turned off too many fantasy gamers. Whatever the cause, TBACT3 was little more than a flash in the pan. One good thing did come out of it, however. Dougan_Axehammer's "Open discussion: BUILD A CITY 4.0!!!" was started in the aftermath of TBACT3, just after the official announcement for Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition.
In closing, I would like to give a special thanks to Abbacabba, deanruel, Rockjaw, Sylvaroth, SupercrazyDM, Dougan_Axehammer, and everyone else who has contributed so greatly for all of your dedication to the TBACT community. Thank you. :DLooking Forward:
So here we are, twenty-one pages of preparatory material and a fresh batch of new blood to infuse into TBACT.
Dougan_Axehammer got us underway with his vision of adopting the 4e tenant of the world as a dark, mysterious place with points of light where civilization exists. His origional thoughts spawned the idea of a city, Thorast Kax, ravaged by a cursewarped gold dragon, the refugees from which would find someplace new to settle down. As a point of light, this new place, Terrapin Falls, should not benefit from a rapid influx of new residents (unlike previous threads which felt a little inorganic). He proposed that the population should grow very slowly as a rule, and that adventuring class characters would not be necessary for starting a town, stating, "any character can fill the role of a leader, and we can always introduce PC classes later."
With that admonishment, I would also like to encourage everyone to be civil in this thread. Before we list any rules, we will call this rule zero. There will be arguments and debate, passions may flare, but it is important that we all stay civil if we are going to make a good run of this. Respect the other posters, no matter their maturity level. Try to ignore any trolls which may wander through. Remember, "do not feed the trolls!"
No one "owns" any of the characters, no matter how much favoritism they may be shown in a poster's chronicle or how many diary/journal entries they may write, none of the characters are player characters and none of us are the players. The same rule applies to ideas for the thread; Once you have ventured an idea, it belongs to the TBACT community.The TBACT4 RulesRule 0:
No fault finding.
Of another soul, ever."~UnknownBooks for TBACT4: 4E PHB, DMG, and MM.Rule 1: OP Rule of Law.
I am sorry to say it, as OP of this thread, I am in charge. This is not a democracy. When I make a ruling as the OP, it is final, and only I can overturn my own rulings.
This does not mean that anything I say goes. I will be participating in this thread like anyone else, though I am tasked with keeping the thread within the spectrum of its original vision. I am also a (somewhat) reasonable person, meaning, I will try and listen to all parties involved and adjudicate accordingly. If ever anyone feels that they have been slighted, feel free to PM me.Rule 2: Majority Rule.
Anything in TBACT4 (other than Rule 1) can be put to a vote. Most voting is as simple at three votes to pass (in favor or against). At the request of a community member, an extended vote may be called for, where a true majority vote of the active community will be taken. In this instance, the OP may rule that an extended vote is not required, and revert to the simple (three votes to pass) voting procedure.
Major events in chronicles, such as zombie invasions, dragon razings, and disintegration of major characters, will be
proposed and put to a vote rather than enacted by the poster. This is the most frequent reason for a STOP (see rule 3
), and can be very disruptive to the continuity of the thread. The word propose or proposal should be bolded for the sake of clarity.
EXAMPLE-RIGHT: I propose
it would be interesting for Bobville to be raided by a squad of Hobgoblins.
EXAMPLE-WRONG: Bobville is raided by Hobgoblins and dozens die in the ensuing melee. Also, everyone is now a Vampire.
Here is a list of Major Events that can be used as guidelines. These are to be used with common sense so if your satyr invasion only kills 4% of the population then it's still probably not going to fly.
- Any event that kills a named character or more than 1% of the population (eg., zombie invasion, the plauge, etc.).
- The introduction of an individual of equal or higher level than the highest level person in town (eg., "King" arrives in town).
- The introduction of a "character" (eg., the warlock Zell arives in town).
- The introduction of a group or organization (eg., A member of the Black Thieves Guild arrives in town).
- Any event which irrevocably changes the way the town will function for the foreseeable future (eg., the warlock Zell builds an enormous Magic Academy).
- The death or permanent altering of any "character" in town (eg., the warlock Zell gets disintegrated in a duel).
- The introduction of any monster or group of monsters which cannot be reasonably defeated by the town (eg., a black dragon takes up residence in the nearby hills).
When in doubt as to what is or is not a major event, ask.Rule 3: The STOP Rule.
Any poster may precede the body of his post with the word "STOP
," capitalized and bolded to make it very clear that the thread is stopped. This means that the poster has taken serious issue with some event posted in the last chronicle. Further posts should not be made directly chronicling the town's events until the issue has been decided as either canon or non-canon. Without an OP posting, an event can be considered "decided" with a resolution vote as to whether or not the event is canon. Both the offending chronicler and the poster who stopped the thread cannot vote (effectively canceling each other out) in the "stop resolution vote."
Poster 1's chronicle: Blah, blah, blah... Everyone is now a Vampire!
Poster 2: STOP.
That is ridiculous.
Poster 3: I agree. The vampire thing is stupid as hell.
Poster 4: Vampires could be cool! I vote for vampires!!!
Poster 5: No vampires.
Poster 6: I agree. And that’s three of us so it's out. Next person can chronicle without it.
Poster 1's chronicle: Blah, blah, blah... Everyone is now a Vampire!
Poster 2: STOP. That is Ridiculous.
Poster 1 again: VAMPIRES ROCK IT's CANON!
Poster 1 again: It's Canon!
Poster 1 again: It's Canon!
Poster 1 again: OK. Now that everyone's a Vampire........
Chronicle: Posting Rules. Each chronicle details one month in the life of the city. This is more restrictive than previous threads, and has been put in place so that other posters do not feel shorted. This does not restrict any events to a single month, and the chronicler may dictate (non-major) resolutions of events that begin within the month of their chronicle, though the dictated resolution is subject to the (dis)approval of the community.
Until further notice, the characters and events involved in these chronicles are restricted to heroic level. Even a community vote may not overturn this guideline. Special exceptions to this rule may be requested of the OP.
How many stunt men do you know? How about professional basketball players? How about astronauts, celebrities, CIA agents, rap stars, or SWAT commanders? The answer is probably "not a lot" and the reason I ask is to give you an idea of the general rarity of PC's in the world.
In the D20 system the above mentioned people are the PC's and in the D&D system "Adventurers" are no more common. As such while it's perfectly acceptable to have people with PC classes move into the town they should not generally be more than 1% of the population. Most should be "monsters" of the appropriate type and when heroic class characters do come into town they should generally be of 1st-5th level, and not of the actively adventuring type.
Before posting (or even writing out) a chronicle, the prospective chronicler must post a treatment/synopsis for the intended chronicle, including important details and a listing of events/plots that will unfold during the chronicled month. This should include any major events and characters that have been approved since the last chronicling. Arguments for and against, changes, etc may then be made/proposed. Once the synopsis is given the "all clear," the chronicler may post his chronicle.
Chronicle: Format. First, the title, in the following format:
The Chronicles of Terrapin Falls:
Year 1, Month 1 (July)
Next, a synopsis of the month's events will be given (sblocked at the beginning of the post), the chronicle itself follows (as elaborate or detailed as the chronicler pleases, though may be concise at to the point as long as it gets the point across), and the updated details of the city are last (sblocked at the end of the post).