RFC: Iconic D&D Cities

Pauper

That guy, who does that thing.
Forgotten Realms: Waterdeep. I'm rather surprised there's any debate over this. FR has a ton of cities, but Waterdeep is the city, no question.

I agree with you, though I can imagine a few old-school folks naming Suzail, as the capital of Cormyr (i.e.: where many campaigns were actually run in the early Realms).

Ravenloft: The Village of Barovia. Normally I'd consider Barovia to be more of a Pastoral Starting Town, but let's be honest, anything outside of Barovia is kind of an afterthought for Ravenloft.

Disagree when it comes to being the 'big city' in Ravenloft, regardless of how you define Ravenloft.

If you define it by the campaign setting (and the inclusion of Ravenloft on a list of other settings suggests you want to), then Jester David's suggestion of Paridon is a good one -- it's basically a city-domain with an attached subterranean domain, each of which has its own darklord. Much of the Core isn't really defined by the cities of the Core, but the closest to an iconic city in the Core is probably Il Aluk (which became the pocket domain of Necropolis for a time) in Darkon, also pointed out by Jester David.

If you're talking Ravenloft as in the original I6 and as re-interpreted in adventures like Expedition to Castle Ravenloft and Curse of Strahd, then the Village of Barovia is probably the best known location, but Vallaki is a larger town (roughly 1600 compared to just over 500 in the village) with a lot more going on, due to its position on the Old Svalich Road, the major trade route through the Southern Core.

Just my $0.02US.

--
Pauper
 

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DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Setting-neutral is Cauldron.

As I was going through the lists earlier in the thread I started brainstorming other ideas in my head for cities outside the standard D&D campaign settings and then remembered "Hey, wasn't there that city inside a volcano that they made for the first adventure path in Dungeon Magazine?" and about three posts later I notice that you mention that exact same city! Good show! :)
 

Aldarc

Legend
Nentir Vale: probably Fallcrest
Ghostwalk (3e setting): Manifest

Though not "official D&D," Paizo's Golarion setting has its fair share of iconic towns and cities: Sandpoint, Absalom, Magnimar, Korvosa, etc.
 

gyor

Legend
Hello!

I'm enworld commenter Troy McClure, and you might remember me from such educational threads as Lead Paint, Delicious but Deadly and Here Comes the Metric System.

Lately, I've been working the threads in that new-fangled "realty-thread" mode the kids are calling SURVIVOR! And prior to having the Royale Rumble of Subclasses (winners only!) I thought it would be good to have a palate cleanser of gin ... well, gin and iconic D&D cities!

Unfortunately, I can't find a good and neutral (or even incredibly biased) source for iconic cities. Here, have a look at Wikipedia's comprehensive list-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Dungeons_&_Dragons_cities_and_towns

That's right .... five cities, plus a list of Forgotten Realms cities.

So I'm throwing this out there so people have a chance to chime in and I can set it up for the next Survivor thread; what are the iconic D&D cities? I'm looking for examples from each major campaign world (GH, FR, DS, RL, EB etc.). I'm also looking for ones that are iconic because of use in modules (Village of Hommlet) and, perhaps, even others that might be grandfathered in due to use in D&D (Lankhmar? City State of the Invincible Overlord?).

So ... ideas? Or resources? Or is this just not doable?

Most of the Iconic cities are in the Forgotten Realms. Outside of FR there are only a handful of iconic cities because few settings are as big or developed as FR.

Few from outside FR the main city of the Githyanki (I forgot the name, but it will be in MTOF), Sigil, Sharn, Storm Reach.
 
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gyor

Legend
Menzoberranzan, Calimshan, Skuld, Untherlass, Waterdeep, Baldur's Gate, Suzail, Saerloon, Neverwinter, Djerad Thymar, Djerad Kethendi, Myth Drannar (toast again), Shade, Raven's Bluff, Tantras, Brightwater.
 
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Pauper

That guy, who does that thing.
Menzoberranzan, Calimshan, Skuld, Untherlass, Waterdeep, Baldur's Gate, Suzail, Saerloon, Neverwinter, Djerad Thymar, Djerad Kethendi, Myth Drannar (toast again), Shade, Raven's Bluff, Tantras, Brightwater.

Good list. It also got me thinking that this, like many attempts to define 'iconic' for D&D, is going to end up very different for different players. Good example: if you started playing D&D with Fourth or Fifth Edition, you may well not know or remember where Raven's Bluff is. But if you played Living City, one of the Third Edition Organized Play campaigns, you know perfectly well where Raven's Bluff is, because it was your city -- it's where all the action started from.

At the same time, dividing the concept of 'iconic cities' by edition doesn't really work either, as I realized when I remembered that, if Baldur's Gate can be considered an iconic city for its placement in a number of D&D video games, then the city of Phlan should be iconic as well (and has the advantage that it also got featured for a season of Adventurers League, so newer players are aware of it, if not necessarily its history).

That tells me that, when the bracket is finally set, Sigil is going to win it, and the final matchup will be against one of the handful of iconic Realms cities, because those are the cities the fans who frequent these boards know best. I wouldn't say that makes Sigil the most iconic city in D&D, though, since in many ways Sigil is quite unrepresentative of D&D as a whole (but very representative of its specific setting).

--
Pauper
 


paintphob

First Post
If a village like Hommlet can make the list, what about Shadowdale? Considering its most famous resident, it is pretty well known.
 


Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
Well, I do think this depends on your immersion in FR. For those who played in FR or read novelizations of FR, this might seem obvious. For others, less so.

I'm think that to make this clear, it would be best to keep it to a max of three cities for any given campaign setting, with wildcard entries for other reasons (such as Baldur's Gate).

And I should have specified that "cities" doesn't necessarily mean "largest city," but more "iconic urban-y gathering places," which would include places such as Village of Hommlet (the ur village) as well as larger cities.

So far, a lot of good suggestions!

GH
Free City of GH

FR
Waterdeep

DL
Palanthas?
Istar

DS
Tyr

RL
Village of Barovia

EB
Sharn

Mystara
Specularum

Blackmoor
Um, Blackmoor

PS
Sigil

AQ
Huzuz

Birthright
Anuire?

NV
Fallcrest?


Others
Village of Hommlet (module)
Lanhmar (Campaign Setting)
City State of the Invincible Overlord (3PP, Judge's Guild)
City of Brass
Menzobarranzan
Baldur's Gate
Neverwinter
Phandalin?
Saltmarsh?

Ideas? If there is something missing (and I am sure there is) that you think ABSOLUTELY has to be included, make the case.
I second the vote for the Rock of Bral from Spelljammer. It had its own supplement and everything.
 

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