(Discussion) City of Orussus Description - Page 2




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  1. #11
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    Um... the population is not something that's up for debate really. I established that Orussus is a Large City on the low end of a Large cities population. Not all of that is current residents, about 40-60% of the people in town at a given time should comprise temporary townspeople (including merchants that live in the city for less than 6 months a year).
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  • #12
    Creamsteak, forgive me, I'm a little new to 3.0 and 3.5 and I missed the reference to the city size. But now I'm still confused.

    Table 5-2 in the DMG sets a 3,000 GP limit on items that are readily available in a Large Town, which has a population of 2,000-5,000. The same table sets a limit of 40,000 GP on a Large City, which has a population of 12,000-25,000. So, should that mean that Large City was a typo and that you really meant Large Town? If so, that fits the stated GP limit of 3,000, and also fits the map in the other thread.
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  • #13
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    The stated GP limit in Orussus was NOT 3,000. I'm not sure where you got that. It was either 25k or 50k, I forget which at the moment. It is a large city as I said, and with high commerce traffic I think that it warrants the 50k.
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    In a recent General Discussion thread, I dug out this:

    The GP limit in Orussus is 20,000 gold pieces. This is pretty high, and mostly because of the Red Dragon Inn, which fuels the magic item community around there. Any items up to 20,000 gold pieces in value can be purchased with a smaller amount of time invested.
    20,000 would be high for a small city (normally 15,000), but low for a large city (normally 40,000).
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    Thanks. So high-end small city or low-end large city.

  • #16
    <sheepish grin> The real reason for the sewers paragraph was so that there would be a close 'dungeon' available where a party could readily delve then return to the city. Due to magic I have always thought that D&D cities could afford things that mideval cities didn't have. Working indoor plumbing and the sewers that go along with it would be one of them. However, that is just IMHO. The line about the sewer system being oversized was to mean that someone could enter the underground outside the city and walk under the walls then come up in the city. This is so that bad guys can get into the city or escape without being seen by the authorities. I guess it doesn't make much sense. Why doesn't the town guard collapse those tunnels? :\

    The 'sewers' in Crocodile Rock are actually modeled after the storm drains I used to play in when I was growing up. I had always imagined that there were secret doors somewhere down there that lead to treasure, adventure, and Ninja Turtles. I never did find them.

    I had pictured that Orussus was a city that had been inhabited for a very very long time. It may have even been the first city ever but was eclipsed by other cities. Orussus has been attacked and destroyed several times in its history. It was always rebuilt but not always in the same place. Modern Orussus lies a few miles from the ruined sites where the city stood in ages past.

    For inspiration I was thinking of Jericho. The city has has been a human settlement since around 8000 BC. The walls of Jericho have come down many times throughout history (see Joshua 6 ). The biggest difference is that Jericho is a desert oasis where Orussus is a port town. Orussus is going to need a large navy to deal with pirates. Or perhaps the government hires privateers to do it?
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  • #17
    Well, let's forget 3,000 GP. I don't know where I saw that, and I may have gotten it confused with the paragraph about availability on page 112 of the PHB.

    If the 20,000 GP limit is "pretty high...because of the Red Dragon Inn, which fuels the magic item community", that argues for a small city with some inflation due to an influx of adventurers...or, a population of 5,000 to 12,000.

    But a "Large City on the low end of a Large cities population" would be at least 12,001. I guess if we say that "40-60%" of that are transients, that gives us about 5,000 permanent adult citizens with a total population of 12,000, so I think that's about where we are at.

    As for the prevalence of sewers, I guess the DMG on page 101 answers that.
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  • #18
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    By the way, why is the population so important to you?

  • #19
    Well, it's a very important part of the feel of a place. Life in say, Kennebunkport is very different from life in New York City. The pace is different, the goods and services available are different, the size of the city government is different, and all of these things affect gameplay in a fantasy city. For example, I can easily accept that the Red Dragon would be the only inn in even a large city that adventurers would note and seek out, but just how much does it dominate city life for the locals? Can you step outside and either be outside the city gates or at the opposite side of the city in 5 minutes? Or does it take an hour of walking just to get to the nearest gate?

    Getting that feel right is an important part of creating a persistant, believable world. In a small city, there will be a handful of prominent local NPC's that pop up over and over again. EVERYONE will go to "Bob the Armorer's Shop" and "Jim's House of Magic Supply" because Bob and Jim are the only two guys in town who sell that sort of thing...it makes sense to create Bob and Jim as NPC's, and to create a little background and personality for them.

    But in a very large city, there'll be a whole street full of armorers, and another street full of weaponsmiths, and at least 3 or 4 places to get magic supplies. Instead of, "You go to Jim's, and Jim recognizes you from the last time", it's "You go to Magic Alley, and after a half hour of shopping, you find that one of the merchants will sell you a Quasit's tail for 75 GP." The "magic merchant" can be nameless and faceless, because there's no compelling reason for a particular character to ever see him again, as the PC will just as likely do business with a different merchant the next time. It's that "look and feel" thing again.

    Also, bounding the city size bounds the size of the city map, and quite possibly bounds the amount of detail that you want to put in the map. It makes sense to mark every tree, hitching post and outhouse in a small hamlet. In a really huge city, everything gets abstracted to laying out large districts, noting the most important streets, and highlighting a few points of interest...there's neither need nor time to lay out thousands of houses, shops, taverns, temples, etc.
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  • #20
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    Orussus is a large trade city with a port. Without giving you some arbitrary population, I can tell you that there ARE going to be guilds of armorsmiths, wheelrights, carpenters, bakers, and other jobs. The local inns are going to be well established and will try and hedge out any competition when it pops up. Everyone should know the "big" names of merchant companies and city officials, but nobody has met every person in the city. Not even Joe the bartender and innkeeper.

    But saying, "The "magic merchant" can be nameless and faceless, because there's no compelling reason for a particular character to ever see him again, as the PC will just as likely do business with a different merchant the next time. It's that "look and feel" thing again." is like saying that the kobold that runs away is as good as a dead kobold. Your oversimplifying things, because this sort of interaction depends upon the Players and not the population of the city. It's up to the players to decide whether Jacob, son of Ramthils, blacksmith of all Homlett is important. Not the fact that there are 100 odd smiths in Divers.

    The same logic applies to detailing a large city street by street. It's up to the designers how much effort to put in. Orussus, being our sort of central pivot, would be fine to detail out completely in a Freeport sense where there are troves and troves of information on a large city.

    So, my opinion is that the actual number for population is fairly trivial. I'd "guess" that the population of the city fluctuates from 8,000 to 14,000 depending on time of year and current market. Throw in a few big changes (the city of Allimon is burned to the grond and survivors scramble to their families in Orussus for safety) and things could go up or down in big numbers. Dragon burns down half the city? Same thing, it's going to change things.
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