Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Work of a City Setting

Running dungeons and adventures out in the wilderness is fairly easy.  You have your set adventure, random tables, maybe a couple of set up encounters and bam, you got your self a cool night of dice rolling.

City adventures.  Especially in the biggest city in the realm becomes a bit more detail oriented.  The thieves guild alone is a convoluted organization that has its fingers into a lot of stuff.  Not to mention there are three of them, and they don't including the freelancers.  Having this kind of diversity sparks a ton of adventuring possibilities, but is also a lot of work.  Here is a short break down of each guild.

The Brotherhood

Brief History
A guild originally built out of necessity as the Gynorians (racial group, think of the Spanish) were being ensalved by the Tharians (racial group, think of the Italians, Romans specifically).  The Brotherhood found it leadership through the clergy, a string religious group of Delaquain.  The Brotherhood attacked, sabotaged and assassinated Tharians for their crimes against the Gynorians.  In time the Gynorians were give freedoms and became rulers.  They found themselves on equal footing with their rival.  But the Brotherhood continued.  Money could be made and so evolved into less of a religious body, but into a guild of thieves and thugs.  Now a days there are those who could care less about Delaquain and what she stands for who call themselves of the Brotherhood.  And there is a small sect within that believe the Brotherhood should rise again with their patron goddess showing them the way instead of the obsession of gaining wealth. 

Rival
The Beggars.  A street group made of Tharians who are considered second class.  They have existed just as long as the Brotherhood and fight over territory.  Their rivalry is only increased due to the cultural and racial differences between the two groups.

Another group, small, but powerful, call the Ullich House.  They seem more interested in information than robbing merchants and nobles.  The Brotherhood has come against a few of their members recently and suffered humiliating defeats each time.

Organization
The Brotherhood is run by five Princes.  These Princes are unknown to most.  Even in the Brotherhood their identities are kept secret.  It is an unfortunate thing to know the name of a Prince.  The Princes delegate their authority through trusted Doggers.  The Doggers are who most of the members know as their leader.  The Doggers are in charge of a number of trainers, recruiters, gangs and informants.

As you can see this is one group in a city where there are hundreds.  This is what makes city adventures so great and such a pain in the ass.  I'm looking forward to our game next week.  Seeds have been planted for adventure.

7 comments:

  1. I like take on a Thieves Guild. There are a lot of interesting things to be done with organizations that are mostly glossed over as "it exists"--even in a lot of published settings.

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  2. All this from a single throw away line in the original City-State

    Page 20

    "They hold the new order in hatred and disdain for having forgotten their god and deeds."

    They refers to the skeletons of dead thieves wandering the lowest dungeons of the guild hall.

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  3. Thieves' Guilds fascinate me, but I have rarely seen them done well in gaming. This set of rival Guilds looks good. I like the way that the main one recalls the alleged origins of the Mafia.

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  4. @Rob - that's basically the dead thieves under the Lankhmar Thieves' Guild.

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  5. Ok since nobody made any off-color remarks about the gynorians I'll refrain :)

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  6. I find it increasingly useful with complex political situations to create a mine map showing relationships, antagonisms, alliances, key groups and power factions, etc. I do it when researching Middle East politics today, but works well for RPGs too, especially urban adventures.

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