(Discussion) City of Orussus Description - Page 3


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  1. #21
    8-14,000 is plenty precise enough for me -- it beats the heck out of the 2,000-25,000 spread we had when this thread started. And most of your last message is very good, as it establishes the "look and feel" much better than a mere number can. Thanks!

    As for the rest, I agree that "can remain nameless" is not the same as "will remain nameless". Really, that's in the hands of the DM and judges. If there's a good in-story reason for characters to seek out a specific merchant, he better have a name and a face. But at least in a large city, the possibility of anonymity exists. It seems a little phony for multiple groups of adventurers to say, "Ok, now we go to the blacksmith's shop", when they are all passing through the same small town with only one smithy. Sooner or later, there will be a valid in-game reason for one of the PC's to know the name of that smith, so you might as well flesh that detail out and be done with it. In a large city, you have more options...if the encounter is intended to be routine, you can omit some detail at first, then add it in if the developing interaction demands it. For example, if one of the PC's attempts to swindle a merchant and fails, sooner or later that NPC's name and possibly even his personality is going to affect the outcome, even if you originally intended the encounter to be routine. But for a routine interaction, such as, "I go to the Street of Swords and buy a short sword." "Ok, you find one you like in one of the shops there for 10 GP.", you can dispense with the details if you'd like.

    If it sounds like I'm belaboring this, I guess my point is that in some of the adventure threads I was reading, the level of detail was so far from "Freeport" that I was having a hard time imagining just what kind of place Orussus was. But thanks to this thread, it's all coming into much better focus now.
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  • #22
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    Speaking of dragons, I just tossed out this blurb as the result of a Knowledge (history) check related to my new treasure hunting adventure...

    "In the early days of Orussus, A great many dragons inhabited the area... Especially the Stonespike mountains and the Larkenvald Reach. Some think they might be the reason the previous inhabitants of the city left. It is certainly the impetus that originally drew so many adventurers to the city. There are many tales of dragon slayings that detail the magnificent hordes recovered. There some that tales that do not mention a horde at all. But there are none that tell of the death of a dragon, and a horde that was left behind... After all, if you killed a dragon but couldn't find its horde, would you tell people that?"

    Not that these sorts of rumors and legends need necessarily be truthful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pbartender
    Speaking of dragons, I just tossed out this blurb as the result of a Knowledge (history) check related to my new treasure hunting adventure...

    "In the early days of Orussus, A great many dragons inhabited the area... Especially the Stonespike mountains and the Larkenvald Reach. Some think they might be the reason the previous inhabitants of the city left. It is certainly the impetus that originally drew so many adventurers to the city. There are many tales of dragon slayings that detail the magnificent hordes recovered. There some that tales that do not mention a horde at all. But there are none that tell of the death of a dragon, and a horde that was left behind... After all, if you killed a dragon but couldn't find its horde, would you tell people that?"

    Not that these sorts of rumors and legends need necessarily be truthful.
    What came to mind when I read that was, "What kind of dragons were they?" Naturally, most people would assume they were evil. That they deserved to be killed and robbed by racially motivated thugs. Who knows what really happened?
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  • #24
    Quote Originally Posted by CCamfield
    Some thoughts

    - Personally, I like the idea of a ruling council better than mayor and council. If there's a mayor, then he's probably got final say - more power, anyhow. If it's just the council, then more things will be decided by vote, and that will mean more interesting politics. That isn't to say that there wouldn't be a (perhaps rotating) President of the Council, who runs the meetings, but it would be more of an honorary position than a powerful one.

    - The encyclopedia entry mentions that minotaurs once lived there. Could it be that at least part of the "sewers" are in fact the labyrinthine underground portion of their city? Minotaurs being minotaurs, they wouldn't have gotten lost down there, and with an underground tunnel system, they could have made their entire city virtually a fortress (for purposes of protection should they be attacked).
    I didn't want to lose the idea of this message while we were off getting the city size and atmosphere straightened out. I suppose we ought to defer to Creamsteak, since he seems to have done most of the construction on this city concept so far, but if he hasn't worked this out, I'd like to endorse this idea. I like the idea of a representative council, not in the sense that each block or each district gets a vote, but in the sense that each guild or established power group gets a vote.

    As for who's in charge in a crisis, there are many ways that could be handled. As has been mentioned, there could be a rotating president of the council position. Alternatively, the council could elect a "disaster coordinator/minister of war" to preside over such times of crisis, with the proviso that only the council could declare a crisis and that a supermajority of the council could remove the "disaster coordinator" at any time. The "disaster coordinator" need not be a regular member of the council, indeed, there may be a city law forbidding the "disaster coordinator" from holding a seat on the council.

    As I mentioned earlier, there might be some special status awarded to members of the judiciary. Maybe the council elects the judges and the judges elect the "disaster coordinator"...who knows? I just wanted to point out that there are many possibilities, and the intricacies of city government need not be well understood by most outsiders.
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