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City Builder: A Guide to Designing Communities $24.99
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City Builder: A Guide to Designing Communities
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City Builder: A Guide to Designing Communities
Publisher: Skirmisher Publishing
by Derek B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/05/2020 15:27:40

This book is meant to be a resource, and it does that job excellently. There is a wealth of information in this book about all aspects of the life and functioning of various sized settlements in the pre-industrial world, and most of this information is going to be applicable whether you are creating something in a fantasy setting or working on a historical fiction setting.

The primary function here is to help make realistic and seemingly alive settlements for a game setting. As such it details the kinds of things that adventurers are going to interact with, and it does so in a rules agnostic way so that the information is usable in most any game system. Found here are various adventure hooks, for those times that your party inevitably wanders off from the thing you were planning on them doing and finds themselves befriending the random shop keeper you had to name gen during the drink break.

This is the kind of resource for a GM that is not happy with their towns being an inn and a ‘general store’ that totally has whatever cross section of the item list they decide they want the party to have access to. Here you will find loads of material aimed at fleshing out everything from that hamlet that the party stumbles into on the way to the mountain dungeons that are their true goal, to making the capital city of your setting feel grand, and gritty all at the same time.

Don’t think that this is a resource soley useful for a GM though, if you are doing any sort of worldbuilding in a fantasy or pre-industrial setting this will be something that will be useful to you. With the wealth of information in this book it will take a lot of the guesswork away about what types of goods, services, and personnel should be present and available in a settlement of any given size.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
City Builder: A Guide to Designing Communities
Publisher: Skirmisher Publishing
by Xorn X. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/01/2020 06:23:51

Well, if you have never read a book about how to flesh out a city, this book is for you. It has 238 pages that describe that a city has different quarters and that you will find several craftsmen, government-buildings and so on in a city. BUT it does not do more than describe each of these craftsmen/buildings on one or two pages. So if you need help by imagining how the shop of a blacksmith or a clothier or a brothel would look like, this book is for you. However, if that is not enough for you, you will find (like me) that this book could have been trimmed down to ten pages (at most), consisting of a list of craftsmen, government-buildings and so on. You will not find much on a cities economy, military, demographics, disease, sanitation, water supply, population size of at typical city in pre-modern times, the ruling classes or the role of a city in the middle-ages (or any other period of time). You also will not find much on typical city adventures or the like. In my opinion, this book is just a bloated list! I would not buy this again!



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Xorn, we are sad that you are having issues with “City Builder” and very much hope the following will help you to get the most out of it. This edition of the book was a labor of love for our team and we spared no effort to create something that would have immeasurable ongoing value to storytellers and game designers of all sorts. First, please ensure that you have downloaded the correct file for the most recent version of this book, titled “City_Builder(03-05-2020).pdf”. Around April 7-8 there was a file download problem with this title in which customers could not access the correct file and, even worse, were being prompted to download ones that were not even associated with this book. DriveThruRPG helped us to sort that out very quickly but we want to make sure this is not accounting for the problems you are experiencing. Second, we would like to direct you to the specific topics, as per your comments, for which you were unable to find information in “City Builder”: * We address the economies of communities throughout this book, to include a brief section on Availability of Goods & Services (p 23); an entire large chapter on Mercantile Places that looks at the role of 10 different sorts of institutions, including Banks, Brokerages, and Trade Fairs (pp 125-143); and entries on Guildhouses (pp 87-90) and Guilds (pp 95-99). Most of the 85 entries devoted to types of places also describe their roles in the local economy. * We address military matters throughout the book, a few notable examples being a discussion of military bases (pp 20-21), the section on Law & Order (pp 23-24), the section on Community Defenseworks (pp 26-28), and in entries devoted to Barracks (212-214) and Guardhouses (pp 215-216). * We address demographics in general on pages 13-15 and almost every one of the 85 entries devoted to types of places includes at least one paragraph that addresses how it might be used by members of various socioeconomic groups or be differentiated by members of specific races (e.g., Dwarves, Goblinoids). We explicitly use the word “demographic” five times throughout the book. * We address the topic of disease in the section on Disasters (pp 28-34) and several other places throughout the book, including in the entry on Hospitals (pp 90-92) and on pages 17, 106, 122, 178, and 205. * We address the population sizes of Small Communities, Towns, and Cities on pp 15-18. * We address sanitation and water supply extensively in this book, some notable examples being throughout the entirety of the Introduction and in entries devoted to Hospitals (pp 90-92), Bathhouses (pp 147-148), Laundries (157-160), and Watering Points (pp 170-172). * We address the ruling classes of communities throughout the book, notably throughout the Introduction and in an entire 10-entry chapter on Governmental Places (pp 209-227). * Finally, every one of the 85 types of places covered in this book includes two or three adventure hooks and most have a paragraph on activities characters might do at them, meaning about 20,000 words of this book are specifically devoted to the topic of adventures. Beyond that, of course, the entirety of this c. 120,000-word book is designed to show how communities and places within them can serve as venues for adventure.
City Builder: A Guide to Designing Communities
Publisher: Skirmisher Publishing
by Tom H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/25/2017 20:41:29

Another winner from Skirmisher. A great resource for GMs who are looking to create memorable world and environment for their players. Recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Tom, we are glad the previous version of this book was useful to you and very much hope you are enjoying the revised, re-edited, and expanded edition of it that we just released even more!
City Builder: A Guide to Designing Communities
Publisher: Skirmisher Publishing
by Martin M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/14/2011 12:19:18

“City Builder: A Guide to Designing Communities” is exactly that: A manual for the Game Master to design communities. It answers such crucial questions as: What types of communities are there? Which buildings are to be expected in which type of settlement? What types of work shops, shops, religious places, government institutions/facilities and so on can be found in which community? The descriptions are system-independent and best used with “ancient, Dark Ages, Middle Ages, Renaissance, fantasy” RPG setting. They give a lot of background (even real live history) and do not restrict the GM by giving maps and inventories of single, specific locations. On the other hand for each place one to four adventure hooks are presented. When not building a community from scratch, each place can be used independently, of course. While the individual chapters are also sold separately, this compilation covers some additional places but nevertheless is cheaper as the sum of the single chapters. Thus, you get more for less! The lavish illustrations, appendix on Guilds, versions for screen and printer must not go unmentioned, neither the intelligible style of writing. While City Builder: A Guide to Designing Communities encompasses all volumes of the City Builder series (and additional material), in each issue of d∞ (d-Infinity) the description of a bonus place is contained. (d∞ 0: “The Shape of Things to Come” is even available for free – check it out there: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product_info.php?products_id=81842). One thing, though: You might want to think about purchasing this (also) in print.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
City Builder: A Guide to Designing Communities
Publisher: Skirmisher Publishing
by Nicholas B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/02/2009 15:33:31

This is easily one of the most useful PDFs I have purchased to date. It's universal (system free), filled with handy advice, scenario seeds, and informative data on constructing fantasy medieval cities. This particular version is the compiled set (the individual chapters appear to be sold separately).

LIKES: engaging, informative style of writing, well researched and filled with useful ideas and concepts drawn from historical examples, while also offering ideas on integrating such in to a fantasy environment. Great scenario ideas laced throughout as well.

DISLIKES: This book should have a print edition, but I will be firing up the printer soon to fix that issue.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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