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Urban Adventures: The Great City Campaign Setting (OGL) PDF

****½ (based on 3 ratings)

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Based on their acclaimed The Great City Blueprints Series, 0one Games introduces an ambitious and detailed look at the locations behind the maps.

This sourcebook portrays a struggling mercantile colony ruled by the incompetent son of a brutal emperor—a city whose earliest citizens proudly trace their history back for thousands of years, but now struggle against social and political oppression; a city where a brooding underbelly of resistance fighters, and crime syndicates, and a proud but disillusioned military all wait for their lord to fail. It is a city where night cloaks the deviant works of social outcasts, mad alchemists, and corpse robbers.

The Great City is rife with excitement, intrigue and adventure; dare your characters make it their home?

This book contains the detailed description of the six wards of the Great City, including most relevant NPCs, adventure locations, encounters and more.

  • A large, gorgeous two-page map of the city is included, with detailed key.
  • Within each chapter you'll find a full-page map detailing the ward.
  • "The Cost of Freedom," a short introductory adventure by Tim Hitchcock, is provided for a fresh start of your Great City campaign.
  • A chapter with unique creatures of the Great City provides you with some foes to throw at your group.
  • A separate chapter with 3.5 statblocks for each NPC complete the book.

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Product Reviews (3)

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 3 ratings)

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Campaign setting for the Great City.

****( )

The Great City Campaign Setting by 0Onegames

This product is 162 pages long. Cover, credits and ToC. (4 pages) There is far far to much information for me to get into a detailed review, so I will give a overview as best I can.

Forward (1 page)

Introduction (6 pages)
Gives a general overview of the city. Including taxes, politics, and two page map of the city.

History (3 pages)
Gives a brief overview of the history of the city.

City Wards
It breaks the city down into wards. Each section list it's Special Interest, Power Groups, Citizens and Activities, Notable NPC's, Keyed Locations, Wandering NPC's and Adventure Locations. Each section has a map of that ward of the city and several maps of key locations in the ward. A note about the wards. The truth is they are so detailed I could have written a full paged review easy for each one.
Army Ward (15 pages)
Home to the cities military. As well as a guild and some other power groups.

Castle Ward (15 pages)
Seat of the rulers of the city.

Dock Ward (12 pages)
Covering the docks, warehouses, fishermen and taverns and such that serve them.

Residential Ward (15 Pages)
Former nobles district now taken over by the middle class and poor of the city.

Temple Ward (17 pages)
Where most of the temples are located. It also includes information on some of the gods and price of healing magics.

Trade Ward (16 pages)
Mostly shops, while the owners typically live above their shops. Where most things are bought and sold in the city.

The Cost of Freedom (8 pages)
It introductory adventure. A merchant is on trial for murder and the PC's have 3 days to find out what really happened. It does a good job of introducing many aspect of the city. It is fairly short adventure but looks like a fun adventure that will help players want to learn more about the city.

Monsters (6 pages)
There is 5 new creatures in this section will full stats.

Important NPC's (30 pages)
In this section is gives stat blocks for all the NPC's mentioned in the varies ward sections. This section is broken up by ward as well to make finding the NPC you need pretty easy.

It ends with a OGL, 1 page of add, 1 blank page and the back cover. (4 pages)

Closing thoughts. This book is just stuffed with neat locations, groups, NPC's etc. I could have easily done a full 1 page review on each ward alone. There was just no way to give a detail review and actually cover all the good points in this book. There is enough plot hooks with a little work you could set a whole campaign here in the city and never leave. Also when a section touches on something they have done another product about it mentions the name of the other product. So you can find it if you would like more information. It has extensive bookmarks. There was a few spelling errors and grammar errors but honestly with a book this big that is to be expected. The artwork is mostly fair to good.

My only real critic is I would have liked to have seen this book cover the culture of the city a bit more. What do the people dress like, maybe even cover popular foods are drink. Really that is the only thing lacking from being able to really bring this city to life. If you want a in depth city to drop into your campaign or looking for a well done city to center a campaign on, then this is a very good pick up. Even if you don't want to use the city as is, it is still a good pickup. There is plenty of locations, groups and NPC's you can steal for your own stuff. My rating is a 4 star. I liked the book, I think it is a good pickup. But I do think with a dozen more pages it could have been fantastic.


A wonderful setting

****( )

This campaign setting/city source book is 162 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page blank inside front cover, 1 paged editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page blank inside back cover and 1 page back cover, leaving a whopping 154 pages of content for us to lose ourselves in, so let's check it out!

Due to the size of this book, I'll not comment on each and every nook and cranny of the city as detailed in this pdf, but rather give you an overview, some examples and generally tell you which components caught my fancy.
After a 1 page foreword, we're treated to an introduction to the city per se in chapter 1, complete with a nice map, heraldry of the noble houses and basic information such as political positions and taxation. The basic premise for the general political landscape is that there are two human ethnicities, the Azindraleans and the Kortezians and the latter have subjugated the land in the past, now having been installed for a very long time. While this might look like a colonial backdrop, it really isn't - the city is aptly named after London in its imperial heyday, as it is a blistering metropolis of trade, intrigue and adventure, at the same time blessed and cursed by the cultural discrepancies between the houses of its ruling class.

Set against this backdrop of a now semi-independent metropolis with political unrest, we are introduced to the individual wards of the city, all of which get their own maps. Even better, we get personalities of interest, a huge plethora of interesting locations that fit to the ward and even some more than interesting adventure locales. Each of the wards comes with such a distinct flair that they might actually serve as their own towns and the distinctiveness of the wards lends itself to comparisons of the best among modern urban fantasy writing: Though I happen to love the work of e.g. China Míéville, you don't have to necessarily dwell upon the more urban/steam-punkish/weird elements of the city, as this setting succeeds in walking the tightest of lines, providing on the one side all you'd need to do to steer your campaign in that direction, while still having the option to ignore the almost industrial-revolution feeling of the city. Nice bits of details like parade, festivities, etc. are also presented as are new and old street names, taking to conflict between Azindraleans and Kortezians and their supporters to the linguistic level. That being said, on to the wards (which all get their alternate monikers to choose from depending on the NPC):

-The Army Ward contains both a coliseum and of course, the judicial branch as well as the barracks for the military. Consequently, we are also introduced to several generals and to the intrigues within the military.
-The Castle Ward contains, surprise, the castle and the manions of the ruling class. As such, it's of course heavily patrolled And features some nice ideas with regards to the politics of the city. We also get a sidebar detailing the prejudices of the different ethnicities towards other factions and people, which proved to be immensely useful. Once again, the adventure hooks are plain awesome.
-Dock Ward, the trade-hub could have easily fallen prey to feeling somehow like Freeport. Thankfully, due to the great writing, the docks feel unique and even comes with a ncie, creepy children's rhyme.
-Residential Ward: Probably one of the coolest districts, at least in my humble opinion, this is the hot-bed of Kortezian resistance against their oppressors. The district is almost catatonic in day-time. At night, however, the whole district erupts into an extremely atmospheric carnival and drunken revelry, including a butcher that makes entertainment of his slaughtering pigs likened to the nobility, a group of creepy mimes as well as hilarious jokes played upon the tax-collecting lord. This chapter alone is probably cooler than almost any ward I've ever read in any medium.

-Temple Ward: A rather safe place, the temple ward features a procession of benevolent ghosts that seek to ease the burden of the downtrodden, cultist and clerical intrigues and a disfigured, albeit brillant soprano who has become a kind of celebrity with a nice twist and potential for political unrest.
-Trades Ward: This is where both mercantile feuds and criminal syndicates/gangs clash, where the slave-trade is orchestrated and where adventueres can both spend and earn money in a plethora of different ways.
After that, we get a great investigation-style introductory adventure in whcih the PCs have 3 days to prove the innocence of a man who is charged for murder and can expect no justice from the court.
We also get some nice monsters, one of which, an aberration, is just plain genius.
Finally, we get a huge amount of pages devoted to providing stat-blocks for all the NPCs introduced in the book.

Conclusion:
Layout adheres to the two-column standard, is clear and concise and printer-friendly b/w. The book is extensively bookmarked, but could have used another pass at editing: I noticed a bunch of minor typos & editing glitches as well as some minor homophone-errors. While none impeded my ability to understand the content, it's the only significant problem I have with this book. The writing of the were-cabbages is absolutely stunning and the city comes to life in a way I have rarely encountered in any work of fiction, be it RPG-book or fantasy novel. The huge amount of unconventional ideas and hooks for adventures is enough to keep a DM going for years and even make you actually want to do it. While the details presented, the setting falls somewhat short on the item/drugs/poison/etc. section, but with e.g. 4Wind Fantasy Games "Luven Lightfingers"-book, you can easily remedy that. Usually, I'd settle for a verdict of 3 or 3.5 stars due to the amount of editing glitches, HOWEVER: Even if you're as nitpicky as I am, at least think about giving this book a chance - the writing is that good. Yeah, it's 3.5 and while the stats thus are not PFRPG, the writing alone is more than sufficient to make up for that. My final verdict will thus be 4 stars: One of the best, most imaginative city-sourcebooks out there.


An RPG Resource Review

*****

Over the past few years, 0one Games has been regaling us with a series of exceptional city maps, laying out in minute detail The Great City. It's just been crying out for information about who lives there, what's going on and even some adventures to await visiting characters - and here at last is a campaign setting worthy of those map!

You get detailed descriptions of each Ward including notable NPCs, locations and adventure ideas, plus a full-blown adventure for 1st-level characters.

Overall, this product really brings The Great City to life, while providing enough about the layout that it should not pose a problem if you do not have the earlier maps. You'll probably want to get them if you decide to spend much time here - and after reading this, I for one want to do so! Apart from a few niggling mis-spellings that a good proof-read should have caught, presentation is good with clear maps which are an advance visually on those in the previous maps, yet of course fully-compatible with them. Definately recommended to anyone who likes city-based adventures, or whose campaign needs a well-designed city as a base or place to visit.




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