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Start up recommendations:

Obviously the key to playing any D&D campaign, and the biggest reason most people play, is your player character. In this campaign, your player character will play a key role in building a major city from the ground up. With this in mind, it is recommended that you devise a character with the following attributes:
1. An established name in the community. This can be through politics, military, or fear/ruthlessness (for the evil characters).
2. A reason for knowing the other Player Characters. This is not as important, as it can be made up on the spot, but the game would likely run more smoothly from the start if the player characters all knew each other, or were even related to each other! (Spouse, brothers, cousins, tribesmates, etc).
3. An alignment that could conceivably fit with the other Player Characters alignments. This will require some collaboration, but will be quite a bit mroe rewarding in the end. An interesting concept that the DM could consider is to allow every player to start out as neutral (that is, lawful neutral, true neutral, or chaotic neutral) regardless of class, and through persuasion, convince the party to do things that would make them all lean towards one alignment. This would require some structure in class choice, as a Paladin could not team up with an Assassin, and a Cleric from the healing domain would have difficulty getting along with a Warlock.
4. Collaboration regarding race, as its less likely, though acceptable through backstory explanations, that a gnome and a half orc would see eye-to-eye.

Cities take time to grow, they do not simply sprout up from the ground. With this in mind, the aging system will be implemented. Should your character die as a result of old age, be prepared to create a beneficiary character. Consider making your initial character young for their race, yet old enough to conceivably be chosen to lead an expedition to build a city. Perhaps only one of the party’s characters (leader) is the one chosen, and the rest are the people that character chose to accompany him – a group of smart, young, enthusiastic individuals with a good work ethic, and eager to make a name for themselves. Regardless, if you want to see your small fishing village become the central trading port for a great empire, then prepare to create new characters down the road. Consider having a family with your first character.

The DM will define how much in-game time will pass between sessions based on how many improvements are being made to the city, how long those improvements take, and how soon the next big historical event should take place. In this time, it is up to the Players to fill the party in on what has been happening in their character’s personal life while the party is not adventuring or acting as city council.

Building a city.
Buildings

The basics of the city you are building are split into area (actual land used/size of the city) which is determined by how much land has been worked (Forests cleared, farmland turned, etc), and capacity (how many people your city can support) which is based on food production, and also plays a role in determining the rank of the city. Capacity is raised by increasing the % of villagers dedicated to producing food (hunting, farming, fishing). As the city grows, more famrs will have to be built, more fishermen hired, and more hunters will have to go hunting. Should the % of food output drop below 50%, the population will begin to decrease, and the wealth of the city will go down in turn. A city is not simply a bunch of farmers and fishermen though. A city is made up of a great variety of people, goods, and services. Throughout the campaign, you will need to meet the city’s growing needs by building upgrades. Upgrades are things like merchants shops, storehouses, sewers, estates for nobles, etc. This is where great customization, and strategy, come in to play. The DM will let you know what upgrades to the city are available to you, how the upgrades effect the city, and the cost to perform such upgrades. There are three categories of upgrades that the city can undergo. Basic, Discovered, and Advanced. Basic buildings are buildings that can be built based on common knowledge, do not need any special requirements other than enough capacity to support them, and do not require special people to run. Basic upgrades include things like a bakery, a hunting lodge, a town hall, a tavern or inn, and a storehouse. Basic upgrades usually lead the way and unlock more advanced upgrades. Advanced upgrades are upgrades that have requirements that need to be met. Estates for nobles, for example, require that a noble would actually want to live in your city. The city must have a number of inns, an upgraded town hall, and at least one district of expensive housing. Advanced upgrades are usually costly, but have a larger effect on the city in general.

Discovered upgrades are special in that the player characters actually must go adventuring to find them. These include things like mines, and shops selling exotic wares. Some discovered upgrades have requirements just like advanced upgrades do, and some even fulfill requirements themselves! (Mines fulfill requirements for a smith)

Friendly hint from the DM: Hiring a city-planner will be very beneficial in the long run. His knowledge and experience will prove vital in raising a successful city.

One other thing to consider is the happiness of your people. If your city is built on merchants, your people will be happier with upgrades that promote trade, and boost economy. If your city is made up of soldiers, then training grounds and the like are what make them happy. If your people ever become so unhappy that they must speak out, they most certainly will do that, and you will hear about it!

All said, this should be a fun game, and as the DM is treading into quite a bit of new territory, assistance will be appreciated, and toleration of the odd slower time will be rewarded.

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