Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Moving on from the original version

I started this post way back in January and planned to publish it before it fell through the cracks. It references my first post, The Original Vision, so you should probably go back and read each section along with its companion here. I am posting this now, because I do need to say what I plan to change from the original vision. I want to write a few posts about the power structure in the city from a very high level so revisiting what I have already written about them is obviously important.


I want to read over my original draft again. I am going to take this section by section and go over what I like and what I dislike. You can find the original overview here and then read my comments on each section below.

I like the first paragraph. 'Nuff said, now onto the real sections:


I think the opening is strong. Nine worlds however, says too much. For my new version, I am going to cut that down to two or three (not including self-contained worlds like the Day Palace). Nine worlds is just too chaotic for me, marrying the cultures of just a few worlds is going to be difficult enough, there is no need to go over-board.

Power Centers:

Whoops, I don't know what happened there. Obviously, that is terrible writing. Somewhere along the way, Count Vanus has turned into a Duke but I don't really care. In my palaces post I didn't name the duke. This is a problem of mine in general, I don't really do people well and it is a struggle to add a bit of life to my locations. The general idea here is good though, a powerless, insane ruler and scheming guilds. I have hinted at that already, with the Night Palace playing host to several Guildhalls. I will have to remember to add in some religious organisations as well.


Some good and some bad here. Although I like the general plot, some details will need to change. The discovery of the extra portals will have to go. To replace the xenophobic invaders, I have some swamp kobolds from the second world lined up. I am going to ditch the mines. There are plenty of other reasons that the pits could be built.


I would like to up the population a lot. I will have to do some research on the population density of Victorian Edinburgh and London. I love the idea of seafaring orcs ever since I read Louise Lawrence's Llandor Trilogy so I must find a way to keep them.


I will get rid of the adamantine mines, but I need to come up with some more trade goods that would be traded between the two worlds. I can see a Dungeon Dozen style list coming on!


I am fairly happy with the military section, although it slightly contradicts an earlier section. The military power of the city has to be enough to fend off potential invaders, although not necessarily the invaders themselves.


The Book of the Righteous was one of my favourite books of the early 3.0 D&D era and the home hearths of Anwyn was my favourite church. Not being religious myself, but a lover of history, religious architecture and art, I still like the idea of fantasy religions being a big part of every-day life. I think this is missing from many campaign settings, so including it here should be fun. The mad, frenzied priests and cultists of Greek mystery cults and sword and sorcery novels must also be included.

Magic in Nocte:

I now prefer a low magic, gritty approach to magic; but I still want mages in the city. I guess what I want to avoid is the magic as technology approach. Magic should be dangerous, risky and unpredictable. I have experimented with different mechanics in various roleplaying games to attempt to simulate this, mostly unsuccessful.

Underworld and Security:

Merging the Underworld and Security section with the Military section would probably be wise. They seem to be talking about the same group of organisations. I am sick of the concept of thieves' guilds, the concept seems mostly to cater to rogue/thieves who want to join an organisation. I hope I can come up with something a little more original that would motivate these characters to get involved. It also stretches my suspension of disbelief too much to have a 'city wide thieves guild'. Dinji is a hilarious name for a goblin though, so I will have to use him elsewhere.

The Pits:

Inspired by the caves and passages beneath Edinburg, the pits are one of my favourite things in the city. I can't wait to revisit this idea in a bit more detail. There is an abundance of information about Victorian slums, and I will draw heavily on these sources. I have no intention of pulling punches here and ideally, my audience should be a little disgusted by the inhumane conditions of the pits.

The Aqueduct:

I am pretty happy with the Aqueduct. Water sources are rife for intrigue and sabotage. Given the Aqueduct's importance to the city, I think a militia dedicated to protect it would be interesting, not to mention being used by one guild or another for their own political purpose.

The Guildhouse:

Should that be Guildhall? The headquarters of the guild of merchants and traders is obviously going to be an important building in the city. That said, it is not inspiring me at the moment and so I fear I will not return to this building any time soon.

Ten Thousand Tavern:

I am toying with the idea of creating a 3d model in order to map the city. A 2D map will never be able to capture the many layers and higgledy-piggledy nature of the place. A good practice run would be to map this place, I can image corridors leading through other random buildings to yet more rooms of the tavern. I will probably ditch the gladiatorial style battles. I think sublimating the violence of the city behind a veneer of civility will be more effective at highlighting its brutality. Having open battles in a pub takes something away from this approach.

Through the Portals:

Benoch is the name of one of my homebrews, have you noticed yet that I am terrible at naming things? Look out for a post on naming in the near future! I will probably ditch these worlds and start again. I mentioned swamp kobolds above, and seafaring orcs. I also need some human civilisations on each world to trade between. I also have the option of only using one prime world, with the portals sufficiently far apart to encourage trade.


Well, there it is, a little analysis of a ten year old bit of writing I did. Clearly it needs work, but that is a good thing given I have dedicated a blog to this.

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