Building Cities

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Building Cities





The greatest asset of any kingdom are its cities, for it is here that the bulk of a kingdom’s citizens live, its armies train, its culture develops, and its future is forged.


Reading the Grid:

The city grid consists of 36 city blocks, each arranged into nine larger squares. Each block is separated by alleys, while each square is separated by streets. The nine squares themselves are in turn bordered by four sides—each side represents a border to the entire city district. A district border can represent a city wall, a river, a lake or ocean shore, a cliff, or merely the transition from one city district into another. For larger cities, you can prepare multiple districts sharing common borders.

As the PCs build structures and locations, they can place cut-out representations of their buildings into these city blocks, eventually creating a visual representation of their completed city.


Preparing the Site

Once you select a location for your city (which must be in a hex you have explored and cleared), you must pay to have the site cleared and prepared to support the city’s roads and buildings. The cost and time required to clear space in various terrains is detailed on this table:



Preparing a city districtPreparing a city district



Once you finish preparing the site, decide which of the district’s borders are water (in the form of riverbanks, lakeshores, or seashores) or land. Record these choices at each border on your city grid. In addition, adding a city district to a kingdom increases its Consumption by 1.

The City Grid in Play: You can use your city grid to aid in resolving encounters or adjusting kingdom or city statistics.

Destroyed Blocks: If an event destroys one or more blocks, the devastation causes +1 Unrest per destroyed block. The cost to build the replacement structure is halved if the replacement is the same type of structure as the one that preceded the destruction.
City Grid Scale: Although combat encounters in a city should still be played out normally, you might need to determine how long it takes for someone to travel from one location to another in the city in the case of multiple encounters. In this case, treat each city block as if it were a 750-foot square—this means that an entire city district is about 1 square mile in size.

Base Value When using these rules to build a settlement, the city’s base value starts at 200 gp. It increases as you construct certain buildings, like shops and marketplaces.


Building A City

Once you’ve prepared your city district, you can start to build. The placement of buildings in your district is left to you, but two-block and four-block structures cannot be split up (although they can span streets). When you decide to place a building, you can use the cut-out icon for the appropriate type of structure and affix the building where you wish in your city grid. It takes 1 month to construct a building, no matter what size the building is—its benefits apply immediately.

< Population: A city’s population is equal to the number of completed blocks within its districts × 100. A city grid that has all 36 blocks filled with buildings has a population of 3,600.

Defensive Modifier: A city’s Defensive Modifier can be increased by building certain structures (such as city walls) and has an impact on mass combat. Keep track of your city’s Defensive Modifier, but until the city is attacked by an invading army, this value is not used.

Base Value: The base value associated with a city built in this manner is tied not to its size but rather to the number of Economy-based buildings it has. Each such building, whether it’s a shop, tavern, or brothel, increases a city’s base value. Any magic item equal to or lower than this base value in cost is available for purchase 75% of the time—this check may be made again every month (as new stock comes and goes). Any nonmagical item from the equipment chapter in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook is always available if its cost is lower than the city’s base value. Cities with multiple districts add the individual base values of each district together to determine the entire city’s base value, with an upper limit of 16,000 gp per city. Using construction magic (such as a lyre of building or spells like fabricate or wall of stone) can reduce the cost of a building’s BP by 2 (minimum of 0 BP). This is a one-time reduction, regardless of the amount of magic used.

Magic Item Availability: A certain number of more powerful and valuable magic items are available for purchase in any city, although these items tend to be of a somewhat random nature as new items are found or created and enter the economy. As with base value, a community’s size does not influence the number of magic items above base value that are available for purchase. Instead, these items become available as certain buildings (like academies or magic shops) are added to a city. Whenever such a building is added to a city, place an “X” in one of the boxes next to the appropriate item category to indicate that the city has gained a “slot” in that category. During every Upkeep phase, randomly roll a magic item of the appropriate category for each empty slot.

After it is generated, a magic item remains on the market until it is purchased. Alternatively, once per Income phase, a kingdom can make Economy checks to try to sell items; once the item is sold, its slot remains empty until the next Upkeep phase. (see Ruling a Kingdom)

Building Cities

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