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My group is playing Swords and Wizardry, they just went through Grimmsgate and we're branching out from there. I've never ran a city adventure before, but my group is really interested in more in depth cities so I'm trying to figure out how I could/should run a city adventure.

I've got a city they are traveling to but have never been to so I'm trying to flesh it out and give them things to do in the city.

I've been looking at vornheim but seem to have gotten lost in all the bizareness that is.

For someone who has never created an in depth city, what suggestions do you have for a first timer? I'm looking for resources you use and things you try to avoid when creating a city, especially things that are useful for a beginning to end build of city.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Wibbs, SevenSidedDie, doppelgreener, C. Ross Jul 29 '14 at 23:34

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

You tagged this as [system-agnostic], but it would be easier to answer if you could provide a genre of city you're looking at. A medieval fantasy city (D&D, Dark Age WoD) will not share a huge amount with a modernish city (Shadowrun, WoD), or a future-tech/alien city (Traveller, Deathwatch). – Bobson Jul 29 '14 at 21:13
I edited the OP, we're playing Swords and Wizardry rules and the party just finished Grimmsgate. (So medieval fantasy) – JB4times4 Jul 29 '14 at 21:16
This seems too broad and unclear for an answer here: "I want to run a city adventure, what do you suggest?" At the moment it's just leading to people suggesting arbitrary city campaign stuff. We handle questions best when they have a practical problem with a single correct answer. What problem do you want our help with? If you just want to discuss city adventure possibilities in general, this might be better off in an rpg discussion forum or a chat room. – doppelgreener Jul 29 '14 at 22:14
Welcome to RPG.SE. Your question is a a little vague for our format, can you narrow it down so we can get you better answers? I've put it on hold till you get a chance to edit it. – C. Ross Jul 29 '14 at 23:34
It's still asking for a wide variety of material rather than something that could in theory be definitively answered by a single person in a single post. This might just not be a problem that you can solve using the SE tool, which is designed for one-best-answer types of problems. Is what you really need a tool that gathers lots of wisdom and ideas that you can absorb and pick-and-choose from? (If so, the right tool is a forum—SE isn't designed to supply that kind of help because it was never intended to compete with what forums do well, just what they do poorly. If not, try another edit?) – SevenSidedDie Jul 30 '14 at 19:01

Flying Buffalo used to publish a series of generic "City Books", with lots of details to help you flesh out your towns and cities.

They're probably out of print by now, but I'd bet you could find them via Amazon.

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I always have liked CityWorks, publised by Legends & Lairs for designing cities. You can read an account of one person following the process here.

The book itself gives suggestions for hooks you can watch for as you create the city, and suggestions for fleshing it out with NPCs. Overall, it's a very top-down approach to populating a city, just waiting for your PCs to enter it and start interacting with it.

However, that doesn't address the kinds of adventures you find in a city. The book may give advice on that, but I don't remember. However, on a high level, they're pretty straight forward - all the generic quest archetypes ("Fetch", "Kill", "Explore", "Talk to", "Survive", etc) work just fine in a city. The PCs could be sent by the thieves guild to steal from the king, sent by the king to wipe out the thieves guild, sent by the merchants to explore the ruined sewer and clear out the rats, etc.

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