Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ratnyvarosh, the Arena City

Well, I made a whopping one post throughout all of 2013. I am hoping that the numbers will increase considerably in 2014.

I suffer greatly from Gamer ADD (I'm curious if that has anything to do with my actual ADHD), and even going through blog posts past, you can see I start and discards with disappointing frequency. My goal during this semester away from graduate school is to actually finish a project, to the point where I could consider collecting it and distributing in a PDF format.

The bi-weekly AD&D group I play in recently started a new shared-world campaign, allowing us to rotate through the DM position. I was considering creating a Tekumel-style undercity for our tentpole crater city, but during research, the idea morphed into my current project--Ratnyvarosh, the Arena City. I was researching Roman architecture and stumbled upon the Wikipedia entry for the Arles Ampitheatre. The idea of an arena being turned into a town fascinated me, and that's what I've been working on.

I am probably cramming more people into this city than existed in Arles, although the footprint is largely the same. There are close to a thousand "buildings" in the town, the majority small 10'x10' cubicles or shacks. So the image that is slowly being constructed is a densely packed, grimy, smoky town with plenty of dark alleys for illicit activity juxtaposed with some elaborate mansions and palaces.

The world surrounding Ratnyvarosh is a largely ruined post-apocalyptic wilderness. It has to be to keep the Varoshi penned up in a cesspool. I've started throwing around some ideas of what is around the city, using a pointcrawl motif where wilderness site like the Blasted Ruins and Barren Shores are linked to specific locations such as the Citadel of the Bound and the Wrecked Spaceship. Serious development on that will come if I actually finish a treatment for the city itself.

I've finished the preliminary maps, so now I am going to pore over them over the next few days and figure out what makes sense. There are three locations which are large enough to warrant being considered their own "sections"--simply called The Citadel, The Palace, and The Mansion. Other than that, I've got an undercity I need to break up into neighborhoods and the town that is exposed to sunlight to suss out.

I'll keep you posted. Here are some snaps of the maps.