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Subject: Help me create a world rss

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Wim van Gruisen
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I am creating a game that is set in a fantasy world, in a city with oriental influences (think Thousand-and-one-Night). And now I'm trying to fill that city with interesting locations and characters. Which is where you come in.

The city is divided in five quarters:
- The palace district
- The merchant district
- The harbour
- The bazaar
- The warrens (the ghetto, the low-life district).

What locations would you expect or want to see in such a city? And what people would you meet?

I already have my own ideas on these, but am curious about what other people can come up with.
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It's just a ride...
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Five quarters? devil
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Wim van Gruisen
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It's more than just a city. 25% more, to be precise
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Wim van Gruisen
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It's an adventure boardgame. Players will have encounters, make plans, face opposition to those plans, and so on. Story is an important element of the game. I haven't decided yet whether it will be competitive, cooperative or a bit of both. At the moment I'm working on making the city a place that is vibrant, alive.
 
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M@tthijs
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Did you visit my www.kobudovenlo.nl? It has game info
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What's the difference between the merchant and the bazaar?

Anywayz, locations:
Teahouse, also for smoking water pipe,
Religious buildings,
Bath house,
Rich part (villas)
Governmental: city hall, military baracks and/or police
Typical 1001-night factories, like olive oil producing ones, either mule- or slave-driven.
Markets and Shops. Sorted, like in mediaval times: whole street of leather workers selling belts and armor, or like in modern days: whole street selling leather bags to tourists
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Matthew Kloth
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I suggest you "steal" as many ideas as you can from source material. What are people going to use as a reference point for this world... go take all the good ideas from those references.

Looking at other games is useful since the designers have to do the same thing you're doing. RPG are quite useful since they're usually made mostly of creative ideas derived from source material.
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Dan Cain
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You might want to look into Al-Andalus as a starting point to develop your fantasy setting. Many historical figures came from this time in Spains history, incorporating everything from Religion, Military, Mercantile Trades, Government, and Poetry. Many different cultures also met at this crossroads between the East and the West, and being at the outskirts of Muslim expansion there was always an oppurtunity for military clashes.

I know Guy Gavriel Kay wrote a fantasy novel set in a very similar world as Al-Andalus called the Lions of Al-Rassan.

There are also a number of non-fiction books that will give you something to work with in terms of character development.

One of my favorites is Samuel HaNagid. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_ibn_Naghrela

Good Luck,
LA
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Gordon Adams
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Corruption (fraud)
Economic crisis
Harbour strikes affecting imports/exports
Fires in certain districts (or even epidemic outbreaks)
Civil unrest in poor districts
Pick pockets
Scandals in Palace (making the Middle-classes uneasy particularly with civil unrest in the poorer districts.

Better stop here....getting carried away with my imagination !

Good Luck.

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Wim van Gruisen
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_Kael_ wrote:
What's the difference between the merchant and the bazaar?

The merchant district is where the merchants live. Generally, they are the gentry, the upper middle class. The merchants here are the ones who undertake (or at least finance) voyages to other lands in search for trade. They are importers and exporters.

The Bazaar is the market. Shopkeepers buy stuff from merchants (or smugglers, or fence goods from thieves) and sell it to the public.
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Celina
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Ex-pat suburb or walled area. Could be an area that you need passes to get into/out of. Like the Legation Quarter in Beijing
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beijing_Legation_Quarter

Embassy row - merchants need passports.

Graveyard! Maybe with people living in it. Like the City of the Dead in Cairo.

Universities & Religious school complexes.
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Wim van Gruisen
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KenHR wrote:
I'd key locations to whatever goals the players can set in your game.

I agree with that, but ...
KenHR wrote:
Think about what objectives your players will be able to pursue, and your locations should come easily from that.

I sort of do that, but mainly want to do things the other way round. Add a location or another element, and then make sure that it is relevant for the game.

Say that one of the goals of the players is to gather money. That is so broad that you can go in all directions with it. The direct approach is to introduce a lot of banks and merchant houses to rob, gambling dens, and people hiring the players to do jobs. Pretty standard stuff. But I think that going the other way brings more atmospheric content. For instance, Celina came up with the idea of a City of the Dead. Not something that one would usually think of when coming up with ideas to get money. But starting from this location, I could introduce a rumour that a rich merchant has been buried with all his wordly possessions.

I'd still end up with a city where every location exists for a reason and is closely linked to the players' goals, but the locations will be much more evocative.

In general, a location should have two functions:
- It should be relevant to the game, and
- it should be evocative.

I choose to look at the second function first.
Edit: That is, when asking the question above, I want your input on what you think is evocative. Relevance to the game is something that I cannot ask of you all without telling a lot more about it, and then we risk getting in a discussion about goals and rules and all that. I'd like to do that some time, just not yet. Asking for evocative elements is so much easier.
 
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Romian Tuesta-Vilca
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Palace district:
-A fat Califa
-Skinny vile Vizir
-Soldiers with simitars
-Elephants
-Sexy Arab girls
-Palm trees
-Golden palaces
-Jewels
-Archivist
-Publc workers
-Embassadors
-Assassins
-Tourists

Merchant district:
-Merchants
-Camels
-Exotic animals
-Soldiers
-Caravans
-firethrowers
-jugglers
-Foreigners
-Burgoises
-stores

Harbour
-Soldiers
-Sailors
-MArines
-Ships
-Foreigners
Merchandise
-containers
-animals
-beasts
-sirens and harpies
-roc birds

Bazaar:
like the merchant district
without burgoises
and with tents instead of stores

Warrens
-Assassins
-Hitmen
-Ninjas
-Gangs
-Poverty
-Revolution fighters
-Revolution supporters
-Ghosts and spirits
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Steven Metzger
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You need a hookah lounge.
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James Hutchings
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Ragged prophets haranguing passers-by (or each other) in the public squares.

Evil cults, looking for victims who won't be missed.

You might find my online game Age of Fable interesting, as it's largely set in a vaguely Middle-Eastern fantasy city.
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j b
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Skokie
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Some other locations...
Catacombs
Farms/Plantations
City Walls/City Gates

Also, I think it could be fun to set up a few sections that represent different centers of power vying for control of the city. You have a palace and a place for merchant guilds. How about a religious center and a military stronghold?

I don't know if you've seen the HBO series Rome - but it had a cool subplot about gaining control of a criminal syndicate, which was a semi-official part of the city government. It had a inn as a headquarters. I think the idea was that the city didn't have enough of a regular police force to keep the peace, so they made deals with one or a few criminal gangs to keep things under control in exchange for looking the other way
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Dylan Kirk
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In Dubai, the souks (markets) are specialized to a degree, so the old souk, the gold souk, etc. are all interconnected but they sell different stuff. In one part of the souk you'll find spices, in another you'll find household items.

Depending on whether this is pre or post Islamic, you'll need either temples with different clan Deities or Mosques.

Depending on the layout of the city, the gates will mean different stuff too. Different gates are used by different people and handled by different guards. Near the gates where the caravans come in, you'll need inns, sources of water for camels and horses, warehouses to put wares, and open areas to set up market stalls.

Strictly speaking, cities were not planned in ancient days as they are now, so you'll likely see palatial houses in each quarter depending on the family that got most powerful there doing that quarter's business for the longest.

In all, think logically about what would need to be where given the technology of the time. For instance, people don't want pack animals in the middle of the city because it means clogging up roads with both animal bodies and what they deposit while they are there. You'd expect to find those animals boarded near the gates... then that means you'll find the markets selling those animals near the gates... then you'll need a line through which those animals can get water... then you'll have to think of where the farmers come in with fodder... and then the merchants will stay near the animals they own... etc.
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