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City Builder: A Guide to Designing Communities $24.99
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!

[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.
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City Builder: A Guide to Designing Communities
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