I was thinking about what you’d need to write to make a new BitD city.
- Notable Assets
If one were feeling lazy, they could probably get away with only the clocks but the rest makes running games in Doskvol so easy.
- New Contacts
- Turf Descriptions
- Names/Family Names/Aliases/Looks?
- Dangerous Friends and Rivals
I think, in part, that it would largely depend on some different factors.
First, are you building something for your home/table group and how much detail do they/you need for this location?
Second, if it’s something for wider distribution, you’re going to want more detail (as you’ve outlined) but the amount and depth of that detail should also vary slightly depending on what the location is.
For example, on the old maps, there’s that rail line that shoots off across the sea “to Tycheros.” So, for my home/table/pbp game, there’s an actual, albeit small, settlement at that rail junction. I think it was called something like Raven’s Reach or the like, but the name isn’t that important.
Basically it was a military outpost with small local village to support it. I used some altered pictures of Mont St Michel as inspiration and examples. The outpost/village is a tidal settlement that becomes an island at high tide. The area around is basically mud flats/shallows and the local villagers use that for farming, clamming, etc. The ‘rail line’ that heads out into the sea? Heads out to some crazy undersea tunnel that only actually extends few meters below the surface at high tide. Then it terminates in some sort of weird magi-tech portal that allows trains to enter/exit at certain times. The rail jacks who come in on those trains don’t like to speak of the journey and spend a great deal of time drowning the memories in alcohol and drugs at the fort. The Tycherosi seem less affected by it, but clearly no one likes the journey overmuch and thus it’s only done on rare, but scheduled occasions.
If I was going to write that place up, I could go into a bunch of information to hit the things you’ve got outlined above, but the end result would be far smaller/shorter than if I was to write up Illysia or Lockport.
I meant as a playable setting for a Blades in the Dark campaign.
I"m not sure if you have access to the U’duasha city but that is a good indication of what can be switched up?
I think the bigger question might be “how many factions and/or districts?” . Like is this going to be the Imperial Capitol and be huge, or we going to visit a small mining town?
I’ve got it from the KS. Good call. I should look at that more carefully.
U’duasha is really cool. I’m planning to use it for my next campaign with Johnstone’s Iruvian playbooks.
I’ve already stolen a lot from them for Blades one-shots & they’d be useful to look at when thinking about Contacts, Factions, Districts, etc.
Be warned that Johnstone’s playbooks don’t mesh very well with U’Duasha, in my opinion. They’re too “arabian nights” for my taste. Iruvia has its own lore and really doesn’t need rakshasas, ghouls, conniving viziers, and such.
Someday I’ll carve out the time to finish my own playbook tweaks for Iruvia (spoiler: they’re pretty minor changes to the standard Blades playbooks – Iruvia has scoundrels, too).
I would think that one of the big things you’d need to address, as the U’Duasha entry does, is how the city deals with the ghosts. Are there lightning barriers? Some alternate method like U’Duasha? Something else?
I think that’s one of the major elements that would give the city a particular feel.
Good to hear about more Iruvian lore coming! I hadn’t thought about the U’Duasha pairing more closely than admiring and stealing some of Johnstone’s mechanics. I see what you mean about the “Arabian Nights” thing and I’d noted how none of the material was actually set set in U’Duasha as-written.
I admit my game has been a bit unconventional (one day I’ll post some kind of AP write-up, if I can make enough sense out of 2 1/2 years’ worth of entirely inadequate notes ), but my approach to the cities of Skovlan that I’ve been working on is both more and less than this, focusing first and foremost on the spirit of the place and what makes it different to exist in from Doskvol, and letting the specifics of your list flow from there bit-by-bit.
I started by sketching the broad geographical and socio-political layout of the country, which you can find some basic notes on here on the Blades Community, and went right in allowing play to flesh things out in more detail. Per city, I used a map generator (linked within the same thread, by @BryantD) for rough layout and then made notes on the districts and what things are like there, which I’ll also add once a bit more is done. Notable people and factions were either tailored to my players or built from the politics of the place. I do plan to build things a bit more with the mechanics in mind when I have time, but with the weird way our game has been, this felt like my personal best route into world creation. I’m pretty in love with how things feel for present purposes. It should end up as a fully fledged setting with all the required mechanical features, but for me the feel had to come first, then looking at which box each aspect fits into comes second.