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    BUILDING A CITY A Web Enhancement for the

    DUNGEON MASTER's Guide v.3.5"

    CREDITSDesign: David Noonan, James Wyatt

    Editing: Penny Williams

    Typesetting: Nancy Walker

    Design Manager : Ed Stark

    Web Production: Julia Martin

    Web Development: Mark A. Jindra

    Graphic Design: Dawn Murin

    Based on the original DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game by E.Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson and on the new edition of theDUNGEONS & DRAGONS game designed by Jonathan Tweet,Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Rich Baker, and Peter Adkison.

    D&D, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, and DUNGEON MASTER are registered trademarks ownedby Wizards of the Coast, Inc. The d20 logo is a trademark owned by Wizards of theCoast, Inc. All Wizards characters, character names, and the distinctive likenessesthereof are trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

    This material is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. Any reproduction or unauthorized use

    of the material or artwork contained herein is prohibited without the express written permission of

    Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

    2003 Wizards of the Coast, Inc. All rights reserved. Made in the U.S.A.

    This product is a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual people, organizations, places, or events is purely coincidental.

    This Wizards of the Coast game product contains no Open Game Content.

    No portion of this work may be reproduced in any form without written permission. To learn more about the Open Gaming License and the d20 System License,

    please visit www.wizards.com/d20.

    Visit the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS website atwww.wizards.com/dnd.

    If you plan to run an extended adventureor even awhole campaignin an urban environment, its impor-tant to put some time and effort into describing thedetails of your city. Chapter 5 of the DUNGEON MASTERsGuide for D&D v.3.5 provides a basic framework fordescribing some key features of a city, such as its powercenters, assets, and highest-level nonplayer characters.This web enhancement expands that basic system intoone that is more complex, but well worth the extra workin terms of the payoff for running a city-based campaign.

    The basic unit of this city construction system is thedistrict. A district is roughly equivalent to a modern cityblock or a small neighborhood. On average, a districtrepresents about 500 people, though some districts (suchas tenements) have a higher population density thanothers (such as noble estates). Because a district is solarge, this system is unsuitable for use with smaller set-tlements. A district has its own population number, gplimit, assets, important NPCs, and character, or feel.

    Its much easier for both the Dungeon Master andthe players to think about a metropolis made up ofeighty districts than to contemplate a teeming popula-tion of 39,761 individuals. The city structure becomeseven easier to deal with if you assume that wards orneighborhoods are just clusters of identical districts.Thus, a metropolis might have a dozen wards: water-front, nobles villas, shantytowns, merchants quarter,temple quarter, and so on.

    As a starting point, use twenty districts for a smallcity, forty for a large city, and eighty for a metropolis. Ifyou need to, you can always add more districts, but thetotal population number you get by doing that maybump your city up a size category. Types of districts aregiven on Table 11: District Types.

    DISTRICT DESCRIPTIONSEach districts description includes the following keyinformation.

    Buildings: This entry details what sorts of buildingsmight be found in the district. See Example Buildingssidebar for businesses common to certain building types.

    First Impression: This entry consists of a sen-tence or two that describes the flavor or feel of the dis-trictthat is, what sorts of sights, sounds, and smellscharacters are likely to notice while casually passingthrough it.

    Social Class: This entry denotes the social class ofthe residents (upper, middle, or lower).

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    Table 11: District TypesLow Population

    TotalDistrict Type Pop. Bbn Brd Clr Drd Ftr Mnk Pal Rgr Rog Sor Wiz Adp Ari Com Exp WarCivic district 350 3 3 8 1 8 2 3 2 10 232 30 48Civic district, ruined 350 2 4 8 8 2 4 4 4 249 25 40Elf neighborhood 350 2 2 2 8 2 7 1 4 2 4 241 30 45Embassy district 350 3 4 9 1 1 1 9 2 4 2 50 230 14 20Finance district 350 2 3 5 1 10 2 3 10 249 50 15Fine shops 350 6 12 4 6 3 6 243 50 20Lords keep 350 3 5 20 20 197 30 75Lords keep, vacant 350 3 3 10 8 4 257 25 40Magic district 350 4 5 2 6 7 6 8 8 6 208 35 55Noble estates 350 3 17 3 5 40 207 30 45Park district 350 2 3 2 6 1 1 2 7 1 3 4 5 258 25 30University 350 5 6 1 6 2 1 6 3 6 5 10 239 30 30Wealthy residential 350 2 3 8 1 7 2 4 2 15 226 30 50

    Average PopulationTotal

    District Type Pop. Bbn Brd Clr Drd Ftr Mnk Pal Rgr Rog Sor Wiz Adp Ari Com Exp WarAverage residential 450 1 3 4 1 9 1 1 1 9 2 4 4 4 341 25 40Dwarf neighborhood 450 3 1 4 18 1 7 1 1 2 4 318 30 60Garrison 450 1 2 4 14 1 2 1 6 2 3 1 8 230 25 150Gnome neighborhood 450 2 3 1 10 1 10 2 6 4 2 344 25 40Guildhall district 450 3 6 12 2 3 5 329 50 40Guildhall district, former 450 5 12 12 2 3 2 324 50 40Halfling encampment 450 2 4 1 12 1 16 2 1 4 2 340 25 40Marketplace 450 1 4 3 9 1 1 1 12 1 3 6 338 30 40Professionals 450 2 3 1 8 1 11 3 7 5 6 323 50 30Shops 450 3 5 1 9 1 11 2 4 5 359 35 15Temple district 450 3 16 5 9 4 3 2 5 3 5 10 5 290 35 55

    High PopulationTotal

    District Type Pop. Bbn Brd Clr Drd Ftr Mnk Pal Rgr Rog Sor Wiz Adp Ari Com Exp WarAdventurers quarter 550 5 9 12 5 25 2 2 3 25 4 8 10 2 338 40 60Anglers wharf 550 2 8 8 6 490 16 20Apartment homes 550 2 3 4 1 11 1 1 1 13 2 5 5 446 20 35Caravan district 550 4 5 3 1 12 2 2 15 3 5 4 4 405 25 60Goblinoid ghetto 550 5 3 10 8 4 425 15 80Inn district 550 2 8 3 1 9 1 1 2 16 2 6 5 5 439 30 20Red light district 550 4 8 2 9 16 2 3 5 426 25 50Shantytown 550 4 2 542 2Slave quarter 550 2 12 8 483 25 20Slum 550 2 1 1 8 12 1 8 480 5 32Tannery district 550 2 2 1 1 10 15 2 1 6 455 25 30Tavern district 550 2 8 3 9 1 16 2 3 4 437 25 40Tenement district 550 3 3 4 1 11 1 16 2 3 5 471 10 20Theater district 550 7 12 15 4 442 30 40Undercity 550 4 2 5 16 1 1 24 3 6 8 2 403 25 50Warehouse district 550 2 12 24 5 437 20 50Waterfront district 550 2 5 3 1 12 1 1 16 1 2 5 436 25 40

    SpecialTotal

    District Type Pop. Bbn Brd Clr Drd Ftr Mnk Pal Rgr Rog Sor Wiz Adp Ari Com Exp WarRemnant neighborhood 45 2 4 4 1 15 4 15Immigrant enclave 70 7 6 1 2 20 15 4 15Necropolis 100 5 5 1 5 1 2 2 66 8 5Boat town 350 1 1 8 8 4 314 8 6Coliseum/Arena 350 4 3 2 24 2 2 8 2 1 4 208 10 80Prison district 350 3 1 1 18 12 4 216 15 80

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    District Type: Some districts, such as a water-front or shop district, represent neighborhoods thathave many similar types of buildings. Others, such as alords keep or a garrison, may feature single buildingsor complexes that occupy an entire district and houselarge numbers of residents and staff.

    Total Pop.: This figure represents the total popula-tion of the district. The remaining columns (Bbn, Brd,Clr, and so forth) show how many single-class charac-ters of each character class (both PC and NPC classes)dwell in the district. Temple districts have many cler-ics, obviously, while most aristocrats are found inupper-class districts.

    LOW POPULATION DISTRICTSThe districts with the lowest populations tend to beupper or middle class. They often feature fine landscap-ing and ornate buildings.

    Civic DistrictThe day-to-day business of governing the city is carriedout from the offices in this district, which is usuallydominated by one massive government building.

    Buildings: Council hall, bureaucratic offices,monument/memorial, guardpost, temple (Heironeous,Pelor, or St. Cuthbert), upscale lodging (4), upscalefood (6), exotic trades (10), upscale trades (15), averagetrades (15), upscale services (15).

    First Impression: Robed bureaucrats scurryfrom appointment to appointment, and nobles travelwith their retinues. The main building is a stately struc-ture with plenty of statuary and inscriptions.

    Social Class: Upper class.

    Civic District, RuinedThis district is like the one above, except that the rulersof the city have abandoned the massive structure thatonce dominated the area.

    Buildings: Council hall (vacant), bureaucraticoffices (possibly vacant), monument/memorial, guard-post, temple (Heironeous, Pelor, or St. Cuthbert), upscalelodging (4), upscale food (6), exotic trades (10), upscaletrades (15), average trades (15), upscale services (15).

    First Impression: The crumbling edifice thatdominates the streetscape once housed the powercenter in this city. The surrounding businesses havealso fallen on hard times.

    Social Class: Middle class.

    Elf NeighborhoodThis district, found only in cities dominated by nonelfraces, is where many elves choose to live.

    Buildings: Temple (Corellon Larethian), druidicsite, upscale lodging, upscale food (4), exotic trades (3),upscale trades (15), upscale services (5), upscale resi-dences (30).

    First Impression: The neighborhood has morethan its share of trees, bushes, and flowers. Even themore modest homes feature flowering windowboxes.

    Social Class: Upper class.

    Embassy DistrictUsually found only in a capital city, an embassy districthouses ambassadors, diplomats, and their staffs.

    Buildings: Embassies (7), diplomatic residences(15), upscale lodging (9), upscale food (12), exotictrades (5), upscale trades (10), upscale residences (10).

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    BUILD A CITY IN 5 MINUTES Many PCs use cities simply as bases of operationsfor adventuring. They may visit their home citybriefly between adventures, or occasionally evenduring an extended mission. Accordingly, they rarelysee more than a few locationstheir favorite inn,the magic-item dealers on Tentacle Street, and LordRhials citadel, for example.

    If youre pressed for time, its a good idea to pick afew districts you like and assume that the rest of thecity is a mix of residential and commercial districts.

    Here are the steps for building a city in about 5minutes. Jot down what makes the city special in a sen-

    tence or two. For example, Sumberton is a rainycity where the trade guilds are at war with the

    military commander in charge of the toll roads.Forghul is a metropolis where rival thanes fromsurrounding provinces engage in intrigues, unit-ing only when giants attack from the north.

    Decide which places your characters are likely tovisit. Inns, magic shops, guilds, libraries,temples, and government buildings are all logicalchoices.

    Decide which districts feature those importantplaces and sketch out an intersection or two, plac-ing buildings according to the guidelines below.

    Sketch an overall map of the city by drawing thewalls that surround it, placing the important dis-tricts, and then dividing the rest of the city into adozen or so wards. Give each ward a name, suchas Merchants Quarter, or Temple Ward.

  • First Impression: Fancy buildings in wildlyclashing architectural styles dominate the street, eachtrying to outdo the other in ostentatiousness. Mostsuch buildings feature coats of arms and flags identify-ing the nations they represent.

    Social Class: Upper class.

    Finance DistrictBanks and merchant-houses tend to congregate herebecause much of their business is with each other.

    Buildings: Banks (2), moneychangers (7), temple(Fharlanghn, upscale food (10), exotic trades (5),upscale trades (25), upscale residences (20).

    First Impression: The city watch is augmentedby private guards, making this a particularly well-pro-tected district, day or night.

    Social Class: Upper class.

    Fine ShopsShopping districts such as this one often feature store-fronts of interest to adventurers. The citys best armor-ers, weaponsmiths, sages, and magic-dealers offer theirservices here.

    Buildings: Upscale lodging (4), upscale food (6),exotic trades (10), upscale trades (30), upscale resi-dences (20).

    First Impression: The hubbub of commerce isomnipresent here, but the high prices discourage thecrowds found in less tony shopping districts.

    Social Class: Upper class.

    Lords KeepA fortress, usually the castle where the citys ruler lives,dominates this district.

    Buildings: Manor house, servants quarters (2),garrison post, chapel (Kord, Heironeous, or St. Cuth-bert), average trades (15).

    First Impression: Pennants in the citys colorsflutter over the castle, and guards eye the street fromtheir watchtowers above. Soldiers drill in the courtyardbeyond the open drawbridge.

    Social Class: Upper class.

    Lords Keep, VacantThis district is similar to the one above, except that noone is living in the fortress. Perhaps the lord is on a cru-sade, or maybe a more mysterious fate has befallen thecitys ruler.

    Buildings: Manor house, servants quarters (2),garrison post, chapel (Heironeous, Kord, or St. Cuth-bert), average trades (15).

    First Impression: This once-proud castle isbeginning to show signs of neglect, though it is still animposing fortress.

    Social Class: Middle class.

    Magic DistrictMany cities segregate users of magic into their own wardto protect the rest of the city from errant spellcasting. Suchan arrangement also helps the rulers and constabularykeep an eye on some of the citys most powerful residents.

    Buildings: Magic item dealers (2), spellcasters forhire (6), temple (Boccob), shrine, upscale food (5),exotic trades (10), upscale trades (15), upscale services(10), upscale residences (20).

    First Impression: Continual flames illuminatethe streets, and entertaining, artistic illusions decoratesome of the buildings. The berobed citizens frequentlydisplay flashy magictypically glamers. Useful magicitems abound.

    Social Class: Upper class.

    Noble EstatesThe wealthy, highborn residents of the city live insplendor in the manors of this district.

    Buildings: Estates (30).First Impression: This district is quieter and

    cleaner than the rest of the city. Servants scurry abouton their errands, and nobles travel by carriage to call ontheir genteel counterparts.

    Social Class: Upper class.

    Park DistrictFor those who love the outdoors, this district provides arespite from the hustle and bustle of the city.

    Buildings: Parks (1 large or 3 small), temple(Corellon Larethian, Ehlonna, or Obad-Hai), druidicsite, upscale taverns (5), exotic trades (5), upscale trades(8), upscale services (17), upscale residences (30).

    First Impression: Clusters of trees, landscapedflowerbeds, and lawns of trimmed grass dominate thelandscape. The air smells fresher here than it does else-where in the city.

    Social Class: Upper class.

    UniversityThe colleges in this district teach everything fromKnowledge and Profession skills to the secrets ofdivine and arcane magic. Adventurers can find esotericlore and answers to obscure riddles here.

    Buildings: University buildings, includinginstruction and faculty offices) (4), library, temple4

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    (Boccob or Pelor), shrine, upscale lodging (5), upscalefood (8), upscale li...