Hey all, Sam and David here.
Okay, so today has been an interesting day. I was peeling potatoes for lunch and the peeler went a little wild and I ended up peeling off a bit of my pinkie finger (non-dominant hand, thankfully enough). But it is certainly making typing a bit difficult…and David had to finish making lunch for me. I’m thankful he was willing to step in, since I was trying to make him lunch before he had to go to work.
Anyway, while we ate, we talked over our thoughts for the book we’re discussing today for the Tabletop Tuesday post. It’s a wonderfully useful book by a company I’ve collected quite a number of products from. Of course we’re talking about Kobold Press. We have most of their books, and have backed quite a few Kickstarters by them.
Today’s TTRPG focused post is for one of Kobold Press’s most recent Kickstarter projects: the Campaign Builder: Cities & Towns book. So let’s go ahead and jump into it.
A Homebrewer’s Guide to Fantasy Cities!
Campaign Cities & Towns provides a complete toolkit to create, expand, and enhance the cities and towns in your 5th Edition game, whether running an established setting or working with an original or homebrew setting. From guilds to temples, and from useful NPCs to wild tables of plots and rumors, this tome strengthens and expands your game’s world immediately.
Campaign Cities & Towns brings you everything you
•City character sheets to help build and track your settlements
•Guidance on all aspects of urban planning, from trade goods to architecture
•NPCs, rulers, guilds, and cults to populate your metropolis
•New character options to help urban heroes survive and thrive
•A bounty of tables, from menu generators to public events
Start building better cities today!
In short, we really like this book, and think it will be incredibly useful to both of us in a myriad of ways.
This book is broken down into five chapters, each with a focus on an element of building a city or town, and honestly this is a book that will work nicely for GMs working on worldbuilding for a campaign as well as authors building a world for a story.
Chapter 1 is all about City Planning, asking about the age, primary function, trade goods, size and population, government structure, and impact and purpose of magic within a city.
Chapter 2 is Anatomy of a City, and goes into geography and climate, mapping the city, architecture and how it can reflect the age, technology, climate, and culture of the city, and actually gives some details about certain districts (docks, government, guards, market, religious, residential).
Chapter 3 is City Inhabitants, and so it goes through things like rulers and city officials, nobility, guilds and other organizations such as adventuring companies, city watch, cults, and secret societies, while also covering information for henchmen and hirelings, as well as monstrous city inhabitants.
Chapter 4 is City Campaigns, and this particular chapter is one that is more focused on TTRPGs but with a little work can be adapted for creative writing as well. This chapter talks about quest hubs, crime and punishment, restocking supply, types of encounters, earning rewards, and how to incorporate themes, handle logistics, and structure urban campaigns.
Chapter 5 is City Heroes, and covers owning property, titles and privileges, contacts, relationships and favors, and then breaks down backgrounds and some class options for 5e gameplay, as well as including some spells and magic items.
Finally, there is an Appendix that gives you some naming tables, encounters, battle maps, and examples of town and metropolis growth.
David is already planning on utilizing this to help build up some of the towns & cities for an upcoming campaign we’re doing with some friends. And Sam is definitely using this book to help flesh out some of the cities in her fantasy novels, although it will be used in future for campaigns.
Honestly I’m just hoping that Kobold Press makes more books and turns this into a Campaign Builder series. Sure, they are no longer creating their content for 5e, but considering a lot of the content is generalized, I’m sure it will translate well. The main connections to 5e are in the design of the backgrounds, class options, and some of the magic items and spells. This Cities & Towns book is pretty darn great, and I’d love to see it expand to more campaign building options…so wilderness options would be nice, and maritime details, and even bigger scale campaign building such as countries, worlds, planes, etc.
We can definitely say that we’d recommend this for folks trying to build a city for tabletop games or for books. It definitely has some useful information and charts, and it is full of different things to think about when creating settlements for the characters to explore.
Well, that is all from us for today. Thank you so much for stopping by, and we’ll be back soon with more geeky content.