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Author Topic: Fantasy RPG Cities Too Small For Some Tropes?  (Read 1419 times)

Algolei

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Fantasy RPG Cities Too Small For Some Tropes?
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2006, 11:50:35 PM »
This thread hasn't answered the question I was hoping it would.

What's a "Trope?" :confused:
 

Dacke

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Fantasy RPG Cities Too Small For Some Tropes?
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2006, 08:55:17 AM »
Quote from: Algolei
This thread hasn't answered the question I was hoping it would.

What's a "Trope?" :confused:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trope
 

ColonelHardisson

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Fantasy RPG Cities Too Small For Some Tropes?
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2006, 01:17:24 PM »
Here:

Quote from: specifically from that Wikipedia entry
In literature, a trope is a familiar and repeated symbol, meme, theme, motif, style, character or thing that permeates a particular type of literature. They are usually tied heavily to genre. For example, tropes in horror literature and film include the mad scientist or a dark and stormy night. Tropes can also be plots or events, such as the science fiction trope of an alien invasion that is deterred at the last minute.
"Illegitimis non carborundum." - General Joseph "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell

4e definitely has an Old School feel. If you disagree, cool. I won't throw any hyperbole out to prove the point.

Acinonyx

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Fantasy RPG Cities Too Small For Some Tropes?
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2006, 04:43:49 PM »
Quote from: ColonelHardisson
A number of city-oriented classes showing up in some WotC products prompted me to think about whether fantasy RPG cities are big enough and numerous enough to engender such things. I'm thinking of the Urban Ranger and Urban Druid, and the Vigilante, Scar Enforcer, and Urban Soul.
The way I see it they may not fit in very well in the Realms or Greyhawk but they seem well suited to something like Sharn in the Eberron setting. Or, dare I say it, Sigil. They don't have to fit in every setting. But options are always good. And like you said, they fit in your own setting. I kind of think it's good that not everything WotC writes fits into their core setting.

While 1 million + cities aren't historically acurate for the usual era of fantasy settings a more Steam-punkish setting may have a few of them. Think of New Crobuzon, from Perdido Street Station. I personally like a renaissance level of tech in my fantasy. God know you see enough anachronistic tropes in vanilla D&D that a few more won't hurt. So, while they may not be the norm they certainly are out there.
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JMcL63

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Fantasy RPG Cities Too Small For Some Tropes?
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2006, 06:56:35 PM »
Many years ago I created a fantasy world inspired by the original Thieves' World anthologies, among other things. I decided I wanted really big cities, so I started my campaign off in a city the size of modern Glasgow with twice as many people (1 million over 500,000 today). And that at an approximately renaissance tech level.

Sometime thereafter I was lucky enough to meet Terry Pratchett at an SF con in Glasgow itself. I'd heard that he played RPG's, so I decided to put to him a question. I explained the basic premise of my setting and of the great city, then asked him what single thing he could think of that would make my idea plausible.

He paused for thought for a few moments, then replied, "Have good drains."

I was (and remain) well satisfied. ;)
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Nicephorus

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Fantasy RPG Cities Too Small For Some Tropes?
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2006, 10:41:33 AM »
Quote from: JMcL63

He paused for thought for a few moments, then replied, "Have good drains."

"Plumbing, it's the newest thing. Pipe the shit right out of your house."  -paraphrasing from History of the World.

Janos

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Fantasy RPG Cities Too Small For Some Tropes?
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2006, 12:05:24 PM »
When I think of the Urban Avenger, I conjure images of Greyhawk as EGG wrote it, a sprawling city of mystery.  The people count matters less than the foreign, unknown, and mysterious nature of the city.  Sanctuary from Thieves World is another city I see having these people.

It's not about overall population, it's about a city suffering great hardship, with an almost emotional character of it's own that pervades it's denizens.
 

ColonelHardisson

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Fantasy RPG Cities Too Small For Some Tropes?
« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2006, 02:39:37 PM »
Quote from: Janos
It's not about overall population, it's about a city suffering great hardship, with an almost emotional character of it's own that pervades it's denizens.


Maybe, but even so, it strikes me as rather ridiculous for such small population center to produce such a character. Like I said above, it'd be like Batman patrolling Mayberry. But that's just my impression. Obviously others disagree.
"Illegitimis non carborundum." - General Joseph "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell

4e definitely has an Old School feel. If you disagree, cool. I won't throw any hyperbole out to prove the point.

Nicephorus

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Fantasy RPG Cities Too Small For Some Tropes?
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2006, 03:18:06 PM »
Quote from: ColonelHardisson
Maybe, but even so, it strikes me as rather ridiculous for such small population center to produce such a character. Like I said above, it'd be like Batman patrolling Mayberry. But that's just my impression. Obviously others disagree.

I guess it also depends on how different the city dwellers are from the rest of the population.  A city of 20,000 where almost everyone has specialized, industrial jobs with a unique fantastic urban environment would give rise to its own class or prestige class.

Modern small towns aren't very urban, most of the people are farmers living in town or have the same outlook as farmers.  That may or may not be the case in a fantastic medieval city.


By the way, I love the image of Batman patrolling Mayberry.  I imagine Floyd and Gomer discussing the events of the day while Batman crouches hidden two stories above them.  Batman would get stuck alot as there aren't enough shadowy buildings to hide on.  Imagine the trouble Spiderman would have on a visit with no tall buildings to swing from.

I imagine Batman would have a hard time of it.  As there is no big crime to fight, he must turn to increasingly smaller fare to justify his existence.  Before he knows it, he's patrolling the night to make sure all cars are parked between 6 and 18 inches from the curb.  His combat skills and physique atrophy from lack of use.  He soon devolves into Barney Fife.

Dacke

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Fantasy RPG Cities Too Small For Some Tropes?
« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2006, 03:59:55 PM »
Quote from: Nicephorus
Imagine the trouble Spiderman would have on a visit with no tall buildings to swing from.
I distincly recall a Spider-Man comic where he had to go to the suburbs for some reason. I think he had to hitch a ride on a bus.

That must have been early 90s/late 80s some time.
 

Gunhilda

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Fantasy RPG Cities Too Small For Some Tropes?
« Reply #25 on: June 02, 2006, 11:49:16 AM »
I can't see justifying those classes in the base settings, no.  Of course, I can't see Greyhawk being as small as it is -- if it's the hub of the fucking Flaeness, it should have at least hundreds of thousands of people.
 

Xavier Lang

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Fantasy RPG Cities Too Small For Some Tropes?
« Reply #26 on: June 02, 2006, 06:38:58 PM »
There is a certain point in any game where you have to decide how much research into how the world works do you want to do before playing.  Some research is a good idea, but every person running a game can't research everything.  That's how you get Batman in a city of under a million and so on.

Have you ever sat down and tried to figure out if there was enough farmland to feed everyone in your worlds?
Do all your dungeons have recreation rooms, storage, bathrooms, laundry, kitchens, etc...?  

Your best bet, from my perspective, is look at the kind of details that are important to you and your players.  Try and cover for and make sense of those sorts of things and take your best guess on the rest.  An example would be I game with lots of computer geeks.  If we play modern, future or sci-fi there is more to the digital side of things than there might otherwise be.  The base knowledge of the players encourages/demands it.  Our botany, on the other hand, is pretty limited so you could hand wave just about anything invovlving rare herbs and plants without anyong caring.
 

Aos

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Fantasy RPG Cities Too Small For Some Tropes?
« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2006, 03:48:29 PM »
Quote from: Acinonyx
Wow. I remember when Magic used to be understandable. :emot-geno:



Heh, I was just thinging the same thing about D&D (i've been out of (non-homebrew)RPG's since around 1999 and just getting started again)
You are posting in a troll thread.

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