Idea for an Open City

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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby shonuff » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:37 pm

Ghostdanser wrote:
shonuff wrote: But access to a long lost thaig (one either abandoned before a Blight or completely cut off) would work

If the lost Thaig idea is implemented, then it is definitely cut off from the Deep Roads and the Surface Dwarves probably aren’t too keen on trying to reopen the path, the threat of the Darkspawn is just too much for such a small number.


What about an thaig that only had one entrance to the Deep Roads? At the beginning of the first Blight, the Tevinter and the dwarves flooded a portion of the Deep Roads, essentially blocking the thaig permamently from the rest of the Roads. This made the thaig unsustainable, so the dwarves left. The thaig's refugees were massacred en route to Orzammar, so the thaig was considered destroyed.

Ghostdanser wrote:
shonuff wrote:I would think that it makes the most sense that the original Tevinter fortress would have been abandoned during the First Blight. The keep would have remained standing, much like the Tower of Ishael. However, many of the walls and outbuildings would have fallen into disrepair (and those that did would be cannibalized for building homes and businesses).

Cannibalized ruins makes sense. So the city would be near the Keep but not in it, although it would still make sense to use the central tower for their lighthouse, rather than building a new one. No real adventure prospects for the ruins, they would be well picked over. There’s always a chance of a well hidden cache, but the odds of finding anything are slim.


The Tevinter could have installed a lighthouse, so the settlers wouldn't have had to repurpose the keep.

Ghostdanser wrote:
shonuff wrote:I was thinking that, too. Given the original calculator, 5K population could support 2.5 inns, and my phantom population could support 3.75 inns. I could see more, especially if you factored in a quality inn and a ramshackle one. If you throw brothels into the inn category, it could go even higher. However, I see most people passing through would actually keep their berths on the ships, as they wouldn't be travelling to the city, but rather to someplace else.

The thing about ships is that the sailors will most likely sleep on their ship (or in a gutter), but any passengers on a ship are just as likely to stay at an inn…you don’t see too many people getting sea sick in an inn. The more expensive the passenger the greater the likelihood of staying at an inn. Brothels may or may not be considered inns…but then again they rent by the hour and may have trouble with the math if you try to rent for an entire night. 8) So I think Inns - 6 will work, with the understanding that some bars (and other establishments) might rent rooms.


Good points. What about bumping up number of inns to say... 10? 15 if you include brothels?

Ghostdanser wrote:
shonuff wrote:Sure. I don't know if I would necessarily call that a category

Yeah…probably not really an industry, but the divers that do it have incredible stamina.
From Wikipedia: “The crew went out into the Mediterranean Sea in a small boat, and used a cylindrical object with a glass bottom to search the ocean floor for sponges. When one was found, a diver went overboard to get it. Free diving, he was usually naked and carried a 15 kilograms (33 lb) skandalopetra, a rounded stone tied on a rope to the boat, to take him down to the bottom quickly. The diver then cut the sponge loose from the bottom and put a special net around it. Depth and bottom time depended on the diver's lung capacity. They often went down to about 30 metres (100 ft) for up to 5 minutes.”
I just think it’s nifty idea for a plot hook actually, they could also be used to salvage wrecks.


Yeah, it makes sense that there would be pearl divers... I just wouldn't call it a business (but then again, pearl divers might disagree with me -- haha). Your numbers make sense to me, though.

Ghostdanser wrote: Back on topic…the ruling families, let us say 8 major families that make up about 10% of the population, that’s pretty significant. We can work on details, but I am thinking that one of the families never has had a family member hold the Viscount position. This is by design, that family prefers to work behind the scenes, if their candidate is Viscount they manipulate their decisions without any direct ties to show they are the power behind the throne. If an unsuitable (to their mind) candidate becomes Viscount, they work to poison their reputation, ultimately getting them removed…and if poisoning their reputation doesn’t work, then there is always the other kind of poison…


Sounds good. Throw in Orlais, Nevarra, etc., and it can be an interesting mix in politicking and intrigue.

Ghostdanser wrote: Which brings me to...what should we call the council leader/members, Viscount or should we pick something else? Also, how willful should the current leader be…a puppet, a true leader or somewhere in between? Note that a true leader is not necessarily at odds with the family that likes to rule from behind the scenes, depending on which direction he is leading.


Although, I originally wasn't a fan of Viscount, I changed my mind because of the probable Orlesian control in the city's relatively recent history. However, with the ruling families, I'm against Viscount again, as I would say that they wouldn't want to choose a Viscount. What about Lord Mayor, Governor, or Archon?

Ghostdanser wrote: Also, I have to admit that I am not particularly bugs about Lindscrag as a name. I like the crag part, but I'm not sold on Linds. I basically just looked at the naming convention for the Free Marches, all of the cities had fairly short names all with different enidngs, Mark-ham, Ost-wick, Kirk-wall...so I figured something-crag would work. If anyone has a suggestion put it in...or if Lindscrag works then we'll just go with that.


I understand. I like the "crag" but I think I might like it more for a non-focal city. Too harsh sounding, I think, as is, and I'm big on how words sound -- I don't like pork because I hate the word "pork" lol. But I've got no real alternative, either. Keeping Lind, you might be able to do something like Linderskeep, and say the Lind was the name of the person who re-discovered it or founded the city.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby shonuff » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:45 pm

Loswaith wrote:A number of the businesses may be pooled togeather too, rather than directly specailised. So while you have the numbers, you may actually have less establishments. For example Tailors may also be Coblers.


Right. I was figuring that the bookmakers, booksellers, illuminators, and copyists would be consolidated in some way, shape, or form.

Loswaith wrote:As to leadership; a council position is likely to be as much family based (as in merchant families) or guild based (as in crafting style merchant guilds).
Overall though I wouldnt think they would be inclined to have a single leader as there is likely that element of untrust (and possible power strugles) among the more powerful famlies/merchants/guilds, so a smallish council seems a bit more appropiate than any single figurehead type role.
Unless you are thinking a single family/organisation was heavily responsible for the build up of the area. In which case I cant see them sharing the full power that much so a figurehead role would be more appropiate.


I can easily see an aversion to a hereditary power after a probable revolt from Orlais. But then again, with the chaos and flux of a buffer-state, I can't imagine a (very limited) democracy being able to remain without someone taking over and becoming a dictator.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby ColdSteel1 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:12 pm

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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby shonuff » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:48 am

ColdSteel1 wrote:I'm partial to Cragsport as Lind remains me of Charles Lindbergh.


LOL. Good a reason as any. I prefer it to Lindscrag because I like that "port" is in it.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Ghostdanser » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:40 am

Loswaith wrote:As to leadership; a council position is likely to be as much family based (as in merchant families) or guild based (as in crafting style merchant guilds).
Overall though I wouldnt think they would be inclined to have a single leader as there is likely that element of untrust (and possible power strugles) among the more powerful famlies/merchants/guilds, so a smallish council seems a bit more appropiate than any single figurehead type role.
Unless you are thinking a single family/organisation was heavily responsible for the build up of the area. In which case I cant see them sharing the full power that much so a figurehead role would be more appropiate.

What I’m looking at is as a council of ruling families and sufficiently strong interests. That would mean each family would have a member on the council, which would most likely be the patriarch or matriarch of the family, although it may be another family member if sickness or infirmity prevent one from attending. So that would make a council of from 8 to 12 unelected members. The Raiders would most likely have a council seat, that one is decided by the law of “I am the biggest and baddest around, so I am the Raiders representative” although the biggest and baddest may also choose to delegate the position. The three remaining seats are the most powerful guilds or factions on the island. The thieves guild, if one exists is a family enterprise, so they already have a seat (and my recommendation is the family which never has a member elected to Viscount, they prefer to control from the shadows). The Viscount (Lord Mayor) would be elected by the council and serve as the functional head of the council. They serve for an indefinite period of time, they can step down voluntarily or they can be voted out by a simple majority vote. They make the day-to-day decisions concerning the running of the city, and may or may not wield a fair amount of power depending on their willpower and how much support they have in the council. As we like to say where I work…one “aww shit” can wipe out a hundred atta-boys. So keeping the council happy is important if they want to keep the job. So that the kind of basic idea I’ve been toying with…but I’m not designing this to be my city, so if this government doesn’t work then we can create something else.


shonuff wrote:What about an thaig that only had one entrance to the Deep Roads? At the beginning of the first Blight, the Tevinter and the dwarves flooded a portion of the Deep Roads, essentially blocking the thaig permamently from the rest of the Roads. This made the thaig unsustainable, so the dwarves left. The thaig's refugees were massacred en route to Orzammar, so the thaig was considered destroyed.

Massacred on the way to Orzammar was pretty much what I was thinking for backstory. As for the Thaig itself I was thinking that any access it has to the Deep Roads is blocked to start with. Someone found the Thaig, the Surface Dwarves heard about it, so a slow migration is starting. At the beginning there is no access to the Deep Roads, I was thinking collapsed tunnels, but flooding is a very good idea, so there would be a debate as to whether to open the way (clear the collapsed tunnel or drain the water) allowing access. There is a potential for accessing the Deep Roads and there may even be a hidden passage from the Thaig that hasn't been located yet, but for the moment the Thaig is isolated…now that said, darkspawn may not be a threat, but what might lurk in the waters of those drowned tunnels, especially with taint and lyrium in the water? I like that a lot.


shonuff wrote:The Tevinter could have installed a lighthouse, so the settlers wouldn't have had to repurpose the keep.

Poor wording on my part, the Tevinter Keep tower would have always been a lighthouse, so no need to build a new lighthouse, just use the one the Tevinter left behind.

I am comfy with the Inns – 6 number, we just have people list in the description if a Tavern also rents rooms (or a brothel…but damned that renting by the hour is hard to calculate…anyone got an abacus handy? Do you have an adventurers discount?)

shonuff wrote:Although, I originally wasn't a fan of Viscount, I changed my mind because of the probable Orlesian control in the city's relatively recent history. However, with the ruling families, I'm against Viscount again, as I would say that they wouldn't want to choose a Viscount. What about Lord Mayor, Governor, or Archon?

Archon would probably be bad ju-ju with the Chantry and the city is probably content not to prod that sleeping giant. Governor is usually reserved for a region…so not really feeling it’s that grandiose. Both Lord Mayor work for me…I could go for that or Viscount. The only defense I can offer for Viscount is that Kirkwall has a Viscount and it's an appointed position, not hereditary. But Lord Mayor works for me.

ColdSteel1 wrote:I'm partial to Cragsport as Lind remains me of Charles Lindbergh.

shonuff wrote:I understand. I like the "crag" but I think I might like it more for a non-focal city. Too harsh sounding, I think, as is, and I'm big on how words sound -- I don't like pork because I hate the word "pork" lol.

So ummm…Porkscrag is off the list of potential city name. But seriously, I was taking crag as a terrain feature, so something-crag would imply “a steep rugged mass of rock projecting upward or outward” but something-port is good. Personally I like something-port, but no offense Cragsport sounds like it was founded by a monosyllabic barbarian (So why’s it called Cragsport? Because Conansport was already taken.)

So I think the name is heading in the right direction…something-port is the way to go with Lind out the door. Sure you don’t want Porkport? It has rhythm...nasty connotations, but it does have rhythm.

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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Loswaith » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:38 pm

Ghostdanser wrote:...
What I’m looking at is as a council of ruling families and sufficiently strong interests. That would mean each family would have a member on the council, which would most likely be the patriarch or matriarch of the family, although it may be another family member if sickness or infirmity prevent one from attending. So that would make a council of from 8 to 12 unelected members. The Raiders would most likely have a council seat, that one is decided by the law of “I am the biggest and baddest around, so I am the Raiders representative” although the biggest and baddest may also choose to delegate the position. The three remaining seats are the most powerful guilds or factions on the island. The thieves guild, if one exists is a family enterprise, so they already have a seat (and my recommendation is the family which never has a member elected to Viscount, they prefer to control from the shadows). The Viscount (Lord Mayor) would be elected by the council and serve as the functional head of the council. They serve for an indefinite period of time, they can step down voluntarily or they can be voted out by a simple majority vote. They make the day-to-day decisions concerning the running of the city, and may or may not wield a fair amount of power depending on their willpower and how much support they have in the council. As we like to say where I work…one “aww shit” can wipe out a hundred atta-boys. So keeping the council happy is important if they want to keep the job. So that the kind of basic idea I’ve been toying with…but I’m not designing this to be my city, so if this government doesn’t work then we can create something else. ...

I can see that working and there is always some flexability in what is determined by a 'family' for an aspiring group or one that has some power as well.

Ghostdanser wrote:...
shonuff wrote:What about an thaig that only had one entrance to the Deep Roads? At the beginning of the first Blight, the Tevinter and the dwarves flooded a portion of the Deep Roads, essentially blocking the thaig permamently from the rest of the Roads. This made the thaig unsustainable, so the dwarves left. The thaig's refugees were massacred en route to Orzammar, so the thaig was considered destroyed.

Massacred on the way to Orzammar was pretty much what I was thinking for backstory. As for the Thaig itself I was thinking that any access it has to the Deep Roads is blocked to start with. Someone found the Thaig, the Surface Dwarves heard about it, so a slow migration is starting. At the beginning there is no access to the Deep Roads, I was thinking collapsed tunnels, but flooding is a very good idea, so there would be a debate as to whether to open the way (clear the collapsed tunnel or drain the water) allowing access. There is a potential for accessing the Deep Roads and there may even be a hidden passage from the Thaig that hasn't been located yet, but for the moment the Thaig is isolated…now that said, darkspawn may not be a threat, but what might lurk in the waters of those drowned tunnels, especially with taint and lyrium in the water? I like that a lot. ...

A bit of a spin on that, being the Thaig itself is actually flooded.
Having found it, they now employ divers (likely paying fairly well compared to normal pearl diving pay) to retrieve stuff from it. Prehaps even looking for possible ways to drain the water currently in it (or speed up any natural drainage). We can even assume cave-ins, sediment and the like have sealed off most of the water from getting in so it's not as full as one would expect and has the potential to still be drained.
With a collection of pearl divers in the region it makes for a bit more experienced assistance on hand for the dwarves and also avoids the darkspawn figuring a way out in the region.
Sure it would be less likely that it can connect with the deep roads proper, atleast without the possibility of sending further flooding into tunnels. Though I can see that being the appeal of it to surface dwarves who for the most part don't have many prospects with Orzammar, and can stay away from the bagage that is inherent in dwarven society.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby shonuff » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:52 pm

First things first, the templar attachment to the chantry will have to be re-worked. Would they remain once the civil war starts? A handful of templars would be cut off an unsupportable, IMO, and might be withdrawn to be better support elsewhere. That would make the city a haven for apostates, especially if they didn't summon demons and practice blood magic overtly.

Ghostdanser wrote:
shonuff wrote:Although, I originally wasn't a fan of Viscount, I changed my mind because of the probable Orlesian control in the city's relatively recent history. However, with the ruling families, I'm against Viscount again, as I would say that they wouldn't want to choose a Viscount. What about Lord Mayor, Governor, or Archon?

Archon would probably be bad ju-ju with the Chantry and the city is probably content not to prod that sleeping giant. Governor is usually reserved for a region…so not really feeling it’s that grandiose. Both Lord Mayor work for me…I could go for that or Viscount. The only defense I can offer for Viscount is that Kirkwall has a Viscount and it's an appointed position, not hereditary. But Lord Mayor works for me.


You're right about Kirkwall's being appointed... I could see viscount because Kirkwall still has one, but I could also see a different title because... well, Kirkwall has one. LOL. Good points about Archon and Governor, and I think Lord Mayor might be too restricted for a city-state. Marquis?

Loswaith wrote:A bit of a spin on that, being the Thaig itself is actually flooded.
Having found it, they now employ divers (likely paying fairly well compared to normal pearl diving pay) to retrieve stuff from it. Prehaps even looking for possible ways to drain the water currently in it (or speed up any natural drainage). We can even assume cave-ins, sediment and the like have sealed off most of the water from getting in so it's not as full as one would expect and has the potential to still be drained.
With a collection of pearl divers in the region it makes for a bit more experienced assistance on hand for the dwarves and also avoids the darkspawn figuring a way out in the region.
Sure it would be less likely that it can connect with the deep roads proper, atleast without the possibility of sending further flooding into tunnels. Though I can see that being the appeal of it to surface dwarves who for the most part don't have many prospects with Orzammar, and can stay away from the bagage that is inherent in dwarven society.


Sounds good to me, although I think if the thaig itself were completely flooded then it would be difficult to salvage. But partially flooded thaig, lyrium, and taint seems to be a good recipe for adventure hooks.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby ColdSteel1 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:04 pm

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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby ColdSteel1 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:53 pm

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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby shonuff » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:21 pm

ColdSteel1 wrote:I think we should try to keep events that happened in the games as vague as possible as i hated DA2 with a passion to the point that i not only removed Hawke and his family of freaks from my own campaign but i had Kirkwall completely destroyed by the Blight.

(Don't ask me what i did to Varric. >:) )


I think the overall plot should be treated as canon (eg, the Blight, the mage-Templar war, even probably the Dark Ritual if it were to somehow come up). However, things like who is king/viscount, or siding with elves vs. werewolves would be left obscured.

ColdSteel1 wrote:The Hole:


Certainly doable, as alienage elves could certainly have their own thieves guild.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Bardwulf » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:52 pm

To follow up from the flooded Thaig idea mentioned above (which I too like), I was thinking before that off the shore somewhere could be a known difficult diving area which leads down to fissures in the rocky section of sea floor there. These winding twisting confusing fissures eventually lead into a separate underground section of the Thaig, but one that is cut off from the other route by severe widespread mortar collapse being thus far impenetrable from the other side (that of the inland entrance).
This separated area is now home to wild dangers that inhabit the "grandiose caves", as creatures will fill spaces where people are absent.

I foresee semi flooded and much non flooded passages here. Same sort of vibe as World of Warcraft dungeon: Blackfathom Deeps
see link - http://www.wowwiki.com/Blackfathom_Deeps

I quote that merely as precedent and not for any other reason ;)

I'm thinking they could simply refer to this cut off section as something simple as 'The Sink'. Of course, the Dwarves would have their own name for it!

This could allow us to play with some real interesting marine style foes. I mean, just how much has the DA sea been confirmed as life bearing for sentient creatures? I guess we can't break canon, but something like Kappa would be brilliant! Even justified by a blight source.
See this entry on Folklore Kappa: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kappa_(folklore)
The River Children.

(Though I still might add them in my campaign anyway even if you guys don't! hehe)
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby shonuff » Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:37 pm

That definitely sounds possible. Lyrium and/or taint can help explain some nasty enemies. I don't know if lore would support sentient life, but it could still support some nasty encounters.... maybe water drakes of some sort?
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Bardwulf » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:07 am

The thing to consider is that blight taint passes through blood and if the blight infected end up in the sea, the creatures will eat them. Then whatever else eats those creatures and before you know it you have a digestion culturing mutation being directly and indirectly spread. Perhaps warping the already present sea life (like birds and wolves are on land) and perhaps changing some things.

What if a person swimming fell into difficulty. Attacked by a taint blighted sea creature, such as a small shark. The man fights back and tears a tooth out of the creature in his struggle. Blood fills the water around them in a huge cloud as he succumbs to the struggle and drowns. His body falls before settling on the sea bed. His body exposed to taint, adapting in his dying state while the taint addresses his system. 99,000 times out of 100,000 he may still die, but what if, what IF a mutation sparked as an adaptive change to the environment. What if he already had the right ingredients in his bio-chemistry to begin with?

Or one could ask the question, what if a Grey Warden drowned to the bottom in this fashion. Perhaps that could set it off. Once one is created, other humans could be taken, stolen from the water's edge and changed.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby shonuff » Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:54 am

As the city would be a focal point for shipping and commerce, I imagine that they would be more of an international carta hitting all of the ports with trade routes to and from the city. 5K isn't that large of a population where they would both tolerate AND support a guild. I imagine they would also be smugglers of some sort.

Also, I imagine that Orlais, Tevinter, and Nevarra would all have both official and unofficial presences. I don't think that they would be overtly hostile, trying more to maintain the balance unless a clear and decisive victory could be won. That's not to say that they would be completely peaceful and pleasant, either. Rather, I think that there would be more of a proxy war -- Tevinter's hired thieves trying to steal from Nevarra's hired explorers. Exploring the lost thaig could be additionally bloody as hired groups tried to stop each other away from the city's eyes.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Ghostdanser » Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:36 am

Another big post...so bear with me...

Loswaith wrote:I can see that working and there is always some flexability in what is determined by a 'family' for an aspiring group or one that has some power as well.

As far as the Thieves Guild goes…it may be a family run enterprise, but not everyone in the guild would be a member of the family…so yeah there’s family and then there’s “family”. And every extended family has the black sheep they disown, and names can be deceptive, names can change due to marriage, but family ties may not. “I had no idea that Jane Smith’s maiden name was Jones…” So yeah extended families can get complicated.


shonuff wrote:Sounds good to me, although I think if the thaig itself were completely flooded then it would be difficult to salvage. But partially flooded thaig, lyrium, and taint seems to be a good recipe for adventure hooks.

On the Thaig…partially flooded sounds like the way to go. Lets start with say 4 levels in the Thaig, then the first two are dry and the lower two are flooded. The Dwarves have room to live to start and the lower levels can be drained over time. Until then, God (that is to say the GM) only knows what will swim/crawl out of those depths.

shonuff wrote:First things first, the templar attachment to the chantry will have to be re-worked. Would they remain once the civil war starts? A handful of templars would be cut off an unsupportable, IMO, and might be withdrawn to be better support elsewhere. That would make the city a haven for apostates, especially if they didn't summon demons and practice blood magic overtly.

Well it depends on the year in game time, I want to baseline the city for 1 year prior to the Blight (Set 1 friendly). So at the start of the game there would be increased travel by the Grey Wardens, rumors of a Blight on the horizon, that sort of thing. Once we have the baseline set we can adjust the time and reflect any changes that are needed for the passage of time. Before the blight the Chantry would be present with a few Templars…some 12 years later when the Chantry and Templars split then it’s a different story. Once we get the basics set up we can work on a timeline, sound fair enough?

shonuff wrote:Good points about Archon and Governor, and I think Lord Mayor might be too restricted for a city-state. Marquis?

Marquis IRL is hereditary and higher than a Viscount. We’ll figure this one out one way or another…how about Chancellor…pretty nondescript and is used in many countries to describe a variety of positions.

ColdSteel1 wrote:I think we should try to keep events that happened in the games as vague as possible

shonuff wrote:I think the overall plot should be treated as canon (eg, the Blight, the mage-Templar war, even probably the Dark Ritual if it were to somehow come up). However, things like who is king/viscount, or siding with elves vs. werewolves would be left obscured.

We can play with how much detail is needed once we start a timeline…vague works for me to a degree. Outside events may get a footnote, the whole thing in DA2 with the Champion of Kirkwall has no impact on this city since they don’t have a Mage Circle here and the Templars are just there to protect the Chantry…so there may be a mention in the Timeline of a Mage rebellion in Kirkwall…but no mention of the results. I think we can work it out. But we can't completely ignore DA2 plotlines or Dragon Age: Asunder.

ColdSteel1 wrote:The Hole:

Sounds doable…


Bardwulf wrote:To follow up from the flooded Thaig idea mentioned above (which I too like), I was thinking before that off the shore somewhere could be a known difficult diving area which leads down to fissures in the rocky section of sea floor there. These winding twisting confusing fissures eventually lead into a separate underground section of the Thaig, but one that is cut off from the other route by severe widespread mortar collapse being thus far impenetrable from the other side (that of the inland entrance).

Possible exits from the flooded sections into the ocean are definitely feasible.

Bardwulf wrote:This could allow us to play with some real interesting marine style foes. I mean, just how much has the DA sea been confirmed as life bearing for sentient creatures? I guess we can't break canon, but something like Kappa would be brilliant! Even justified by a blight source.

I was pretty well thinking along the lines of blight or tainted creatures that are not necessarily intelligent. Creating sentient sealife could swerve too far from canon, but blight eels, blight sharks (urk!), lyrium twisted critters…and natural creatures that don’t exist IRL like sea serpents, giant octopus should be easily integrated. Not sure about kappa…but then they had Fire Sprites in the Amber Rage adventure…Water Sprites might not be out of the question. That may be something GR could provide a ruling on.

Bardwulf wrote:The thing to consider is that blight taint passes through blood and if the blight infected end up in the sea, the creatures will eat them. Then whatever else eats those creatures and before you know it you have a digestion culturing mutation being directly and indirectly spread. Perhaps warping the already present sea life (like birds and wolves are on land) and perhaps changing some things.

Blight disease and blood taint are two different mechanisms. The blight disease is spread as the hoard passes through an area…but it happens regardless of whether or not blood was spilled…kinda like a mystical disease that infects everything. Drinking or getting tainted blood in cuts creates a ghoul or kills…unless it has had the taint concentrated via a ritual, in which case it creates a Grey Warden or a dead body…concentrated tainted blood is the equivalent of archdemon blood (or pretty darn close). Now that is the nutshell version as I understand it, but pretty close. Lyrium though, with the different varieties out there, could create odd mutations…and when combined with blight or tainted blood could be unpredictable. I wouldn’t rule out anything as such. We could always explorer the possibilities, but that is probably fodder for a different thread. We really don't have a good mechanism for how it all really works.

shonuff wrote:Also, I imagine that Orlais, Tevinter, and Nevarra would all have both official and unofficial presences. I don't think that they would be overtly hostile, trying more to maintain the balance unless a clear and decisive victory could be won.

I hadn’t considered that aspect of foreign politics very much. It reminds me of the early days of the Korean armistice negotiations…to quote Wikipedia:
“During one of the initial negotiations of the armistice, the UNC side went into the truce tents one night and sawed down the chair legs of the KPA/CPV delegation. The next day, when the KPA/CPV delegates arrived, they were forced to sit lower than their UNC counterparts and lost face, so they quickly left the meeting. At a later meeting, the UNC delegation brought a flag into the truce tent and set it up on the meeting table. Again, the KPA/CPV delegation left after losing face, but showed up at the next meeting with a flag that was larger than the UNC flag. At the following meeting, the UNC delegation brought in a slightly larger flag. This kept up until a special meeting was called just to discuss the size of the flags, as they had grown too large to fit within the tents. The size of the flags within the meeting building have stayed about the same since then, with only minor changes.”
Now imagine Orlesian, Nevarran and Ferelden Ambassadors all trying to out do each other…Orlesians host a party…the Nevarrans host a bigger party…the Fereldens respond with a bigger party…I imagine no one wants to be seen as lesser than the others…with the exception of the Antivans…they don’t need to host parties. But the point is…foreign politics can be both ugly and amusing.

So I would say Fereldan, Orlais, Nevarra, and the Free Marches all have Ambassadors in the city…all have been restricted to similar size mansions that are not exactly embassies, but are as close as I can get without calling them that. The Antivans have an Ambassador, but he has a much more humble abode (with access to certain tunnels that the others don’t know about) but it is tastefully furnished for more intimate meetings (meaning privacy is ensured, you rarely have a dozen people showing up to hire assassinations, so a small secure meeting room is better than a huge ball room). The Anderfels and Rivain may not have Ambassadors, though I won’t argue if they are wanted. I really don’t see a Qunari Ambassador, nothing in the lore suggests they have them. The Tevinter Empire is a tricky beast…but I would say they do have an Ambassador…just what his goals or motives are we can work out…but they have to abide by the no slavery law…an inconvenience they probably are unhappy with (why pay servants wages when you should be allowed to just buy the servant outright from a dealer?) One last thing…the Free Marches Ambassador is probably from Starkhaven, since that is listed as the largest of the Free Marches city-states.

shonuff wrote:As the city would be a focal point for shipping and commerce, I imagine that they would be more of an international carta hitting all of the ports with trade routes to and from the city. 5K isn't that large of a population where they would both tolerate AND support a guild. I imagine they would also be smugglers of some sort.

The Thieves Guild (if you can call it that) probably makes most of its money off smuggling and fencing…the Raiders need a way to convert their plunder into gold, and the island would be a good place to fence items…the Raiders steal a shipment of goods from Orlais going to Fereldan, the “family” buys it at low price and sells it to a merchants in the Free Marches for a profit, the Raiders may make less money, but don’t have to deal with finding a buyer, so everyone is happy. There’s probably not a lot of crimes against locals, mostly crimes are against travellers. IRL in Key West there weren’t too many house burglaries, a 2x4 mile island means everybody knows everybody else’s business…however there were always crime reports in the paper about a tourists rental car being broken into…because the tourist can’t stay there forever and the hassle of returning for a trial means that most will cut their losses in the long run. Now the Carta probably gets a portion of the profits from the “family” because the Carta allows them to stay in business and the Carta has contacts everywhere. The Carta would be able to wipe out the family, but no one wants a blood bath and it would probably upset the other families on the island…they are probably tied to all of the other families through blood relations after all…and even if they are smuggling scum, they are OUR smuggling scum and that could lead to a bloody fued that the Carta would rather not waste time and resources on. The “family” and the Carta should have some sort of agreement… we can work on the details.

That’s what I got for the moment…
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Loswaith » Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:48 pm

shonuff wrote:...
Sounds good to me, although I think if the thaig itself were completely flooded then it would be difficult to salvage. But partially flooded thaig, lyrium, and taint seems to be a good recipe for adventure hooks. ...

A partially flodded Thaig is likely a good way to go too as it gives that bit more flexability to individual GMs to determine exactly how much that partial is, where as if you simply completly flooded it doesn't have that same level of flexability about it.
As to the effect of lyrim/taint in the area that too can be left up to individual GMs as to how large the impact is. Though adding a few creature ideas like the Kappa cant hurt for GMs to take or leave as they see fit.


Ghostdanser wrote:The Thieves Guild (if you can call it that) probably makes most of its money off smuggling and fencing…the Raiders need a way to convert their plunder into gold, and the island would be a good place to fence items…the Raiders steal a shipment of goods from Orlais going to Fereldan, the “family” buys it at low price and sells it to a merchants in the Free Marches for a profit, the Raiders may make less money, but don’t have to deal with finding a buyer, so everyone is happy. There’s probably not a lot of crimes against locals, mostly crimes are against travellers. IRL in Key West there weren’t too many house burglaries, a 2x4 mile island means everybody knows everybody else’s business…however there were always crime reports in the paper about a tourists rental car being broken into…because the tourist can’t stay there forever and the hassle of returning for a trial means that most will cut their losses in the long run. Now the Carta probably gets a portion of the profits from the “family” because the Carta allows them to stay in business and the Carta has contacts everywhere. The Carta would be able to wipe out the family, but no one wants a blood bath and it would probably upset the other families on the island…they are probably tied to all of the other families through blood relations after all…and even if they are smuggling scum, they are OUR smuggling scum and that could lead to a bloody fued that the Carta would rather not waste time and resources on. The “family” and the Carta should have some sort of agreement… we can work on the details.
...

I wouldn't realy think the Carta (as in Orzammar Carta, ignore this comment if thats not what you are refering too) would have enough influence in a remote location like this to enforce that kind of ability to wipe out any organised crime family. A thieves guild running here there is the potential for contacts between the two groups, however.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Bardwulf » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:52 am

I wouldn't realy think the Carta (as in Orzammar Carta, ignore this comment if thats not what you are refering too) would have enough influence in a remote location like this to enforce that kind of ability to wipe out any organised crime family. A thieves guild running here there is the potential for contacts between the two groups, however.


I'm not so sure myself, after all this is considered a potentially rich place of pickings for Dwarves. Why wouldn't they get it on that action? With new expansion and wealth abound in a new Thaig, and a strong Dwarf presence on the island it seems fairly do-able to me.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Ghostdanser » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:26 am

Loswaith wrote:I wouldn't realy think the Carta (as in Orzammar Carta, ignore this comment if thats not what you are refering too) would have enough influence in a remote location like this to enforce that kind of ability to wipe out any organised crime family. A thieves guild running here there is the potential for contacts between the two groups, however.


Actually, if you look at DA2 with the Carta running around Kirkwall, I do think the Carta could muscle the manpower required to wipe out the thieves guild for a city that has a fraction of Kirkwall’s population. They don’t have to necessarily take out every man woman and child, just the top 10 or 12 people, the organization would then fall apart. Which leads to the old caveat that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. What do they gain by attempting such a feat? If they fail to get some of the top people things could get really messy, but even if they succeed they will still upset all of the other families on the island, resulting in them constantly having to look over their shoulders. Even if they had total success…it would take them years to learn the ins and outs of the local terrain…when is the time right to smuggle goods across the reef and when is it too shallow…where are all of the sandbars…when is the weather too rough or how to tell the signs for an approaching storm.

So in the end the Carta’s best bet is to ally with the family…an agreement of sorts. The family handles the smuggling and fencing of goods, and in return the Carta provides contacts in foreign ports. The Carta also probably advises them of the local conditions in an area...”Now may not be the best time to dump that shipment in Highever, there seems to be a lot of soldiers in the docks lately looking for something…best to send it to Amaranthine.” In return for this information and support the family pays the Carta a percentage. The collaboration between the two would lead to increased profits for both.

Now that said…I don’t need to have that even mentioned in the information for the city…that’s just how it would run in my game. So all that needs to go in the description is that the “family” has ties to other crime syndicates in the neighboring countries.

How each GM chooses to handle it is not really an issue for me. I probably shouled have thought that through before posting...sorry for the confusion. :|
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Ghostdanser » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:55 am

So I decided I want to stop referring to the Thieves Guild as the "family". This is my proposal for the family that likes to operate in the shadows. I probably have information in here that would be better off in a Thieves Guild section, and am missing information that should be included under families. But how does the general layout work for describing the ruling families?

Family Surname: Ilwedyr
Name Meaning: ill weather
Current Family Head: Mauve Ilwedyr
Industry: Mostly fishing and diving…which covers for their more lucrative smuggling and fencing operations.

This family got its name from their reputation for taking their boats out in weather that others refused to launch in. “There’s no way I’d go out in these seas, it’s not worth my boat or my life. If you really need to go out past the reef before the weather clears you should talk to the Ilwedyr’s…they might take you…for a fee.”

The Ilwedyr’s are one of the oldest families on the island, and are originally of Alamarri descent, but have long since abandoned any pretense of being pureblooded. It is quite possible that they are the most comingled family on the island, with blood from every country (and race) running through their veins (and some would even suggest various farm animals as well…but they wouldn’t suggest that too loudly). Like many of the families on the island the Ilwedyr’s are best known for fishing and diving the waters around the island…and while they make some money at it, their real money derives from their smuggling and fencing operations. If it could be said that the island has a Thieves Guild, then it could be said that it’s this family’s true business.

There is actually little crime on the island proper, and that which does take place usually falls into two groups…those committed by the Ilwedyr’s against outsiders…and those committed by outsiders against the locals. Any thief attached to a guild in another location is probably warned against committing petty thievery on the island before embarking there. Freelance thieves who don’t know better run the risk of getting in trouble if they are caught by this family (beyond the strictly legal repercussions for thievery in general)…how much depends on what they did…and how willing they are to make amends. This may be as simple as returning what was stolen, agreeing to not undertake any additional freelance activities, and/or performing some additional small task for the family. If a rogue proves capable and reliable they may find other lucrative work passed their way…the family doesn’t generally operate in other countries, but on occasion they may have someone requesting a certain skill set in Nevarra or Orlais that would be more suitable for an outsider. Truly established rogues may find themselves invited into the extended family, not considered a blood relation, but considered a true ally, and if they marry into the family then they are true familia.

Mauve Ilwedyr is the current matriarch of the family, however this family is ruled by the most capable, and whether or not the most capable is a male or female is relatively meaningless., however the leader will always bear the Ilwedyr name. If they had another name before being selected leader then they must change their name to Ilwedyr in order to accept leadership of the family. Example: Bryan Lawson marries Selene Ilwedyr…he keeps the name Lawson at marriage, but after years of loyalty and shrewd decision making the family decides that he should become the new patriarch. In order to become the patriarch he must change his name to Bryan Ilwedyr. The name is the only inviolate requirement for accepting the leadership, it ensures that there will always be an Ilwedyr family, and that the family leadership is strong.

Curiously enough, there has never been an Ilwedyr elected by the council to be the islands Chancellor. This is most assuredly by design. The Ilwedyr’s prefer to manipulate from the shadows, rather than rule directly over the people. Not being in charge has made them a surprisingly popular family on the island…since they can always say an unpopular act by the Chancellor wasn’t their decision. While they may portray themselves as a working class family…they are actually adept politicians.

Thoughts?
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Ghostdanser » Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:09 pm

Quick post on the city name. I just reviewed a bunch of medieval names and combined them with port and here are 10 that sounded decent to me. Feel free to comment and recommend others.

Birinsport
Camsport
Carlesport
Erigsport
Galesport
Gavinsport
Klovisport
Malinsport
Mavinsport
Warinsport

I really don't have a preference.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby shonuff » Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:59 pm

I could definitely see the Carta attempting to make inroads, coming with the surface dwarves/casteless. However, I could definitely see them entering a symbiotic relationship with the established thieves guild. They could provide access to the thaig and to Orzammar in exchange for the guild's expertise in smuggling and far-reaching contacts. That's not to say several years down the road they won't turn on each other, but if the relationship is mutually beneficial...

The Ilwedyr family seems fine to me. I think you're correct in assuming that they wouldn't steal (much) from locals, and I doubt they would do too much thieving against the travellers. Rather, as suggested, I think they would focus mostly on fencing and smuggling.'

Ghostdanser wrote:Quick post on the city name. I just reviewed a bunch of medieval names and combined them with port and here are 10 that sounded decent to me. Feel free to comment and recommend others.

Birinsport
Camsport
Carlesport
Erigsport
Galesport
Gavinsport
Klovisport
Malinsport
Mavinsport
Warinsport

I really don't have a preference.


Not too keen on Klovis, Malin, Mavin, or Marin. I like Birins, Carles, and Gales.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Loswaith » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:51 pm

Bardwulf wrote:
Loswaith wrote:I wouldn't realy think the Carta (as in Orzammar Carta, ignore this comment if thats not what you are refering too) would have enough influence in a remote location like this to enforce that kind of ability to wipe out any organised crime family. A thieves guild running here there is the potential for contacts between the two groups, however.


I'm not so sure myself, after all this is considered a potentially rich place of pickings for Dwarves. Why wouldn't they get it on that action? With new expansion and wealth abound in a new Thaig, and a strong Dwarf presence on the island it seems fairly do-able to me.


Ghostdanser wrote:...
Actually, if you look at DA2 with the Carta running around Kirkwall, I do think the Carta could muscle the manpower required to wipe out the thieves guild for a city that has a fraction of Kirkwall’s population. ...


Well the Carta only realy started looking at spreading their influence 'topside' after the events of DA: Oragins. So it's fairly new that they are brancing out across surfact towns.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Bardwulf » Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:16 am

Perhaps the solution is that is is a pre existing criminal gang network that the Carta has freshly turned up, gone to war with underground and taken over?
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Loswaith » Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:17 pm

Thats a possibility, but also brings into question of how tied into the political structure of the island the currrent criminal gang is, as well as how much can they call on the raiders for assistance.
Along those lines is the head family one that is used to dealing with the current crimminal gang and thus has numerous deals to keep the status quo (keeping the devil you know so to speak), that they may then throw out the window if extra support isnt offered should the gang need it to fight off the Carta.

There is the counter to that though, in that if the Carta makes some kind of pact with the current ruling family they may have some internal support or atleast have them look away from the activites the Carta undertakes in taking over the role as the crimminal gang/organisation. Though if the current crimminal gang has a seat in on the council that could open a whole new can or worms.

Shoud the Carta try and take over more deceptivly, they will likely find it fairly difficuilt as dwarves cant realy masquerade as humans, making it harder to infiltrate key positions in the short term.

I don't mean to be sounding difficuilt on the issue, it's just things I think about when making functional dynamic worlds. IE. The how and why things come about.
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Re: Idea for an Open City

Postby Bardwulf » Sat Aug 18, 2012 11:48 pm

Do you think it's possible that the existing criminal family pick their leadership on the council based on family bloodline? Next in line.
If so, that could be a way in. I'm getting all George R R Martin on you here, but what IF the current head of the family died an unfortunate death that seems perfectly natural and while they prepare to give the next in line the position, and the search is difficult because he left no children, then the Carta pop up and produce one of their own as the true next in line, as bastard child and heir.
Maybe because it's not royalty, a bastard would be okay.
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