Monday, April 18, 2016

Expanded Vision for Metropolis of Chaos

Original Map for Abyssal City
So, I'm kind of chewing over this "Metropolis of Chaos" thing in the Abyss, looking at my maps from 1980 or so, and it doesn't look so much like a city-size, let alone a "metropolis." Of course there are corridors and chambers underneath this visage which is where much of the old adventuring took place, but it still isn't what I am looking for as a preeminent location to cavort with demons in the deadly and ceaseless combat I envisioned for goodly adventurers entering this locale. Too "granular" for something I'm wishing to be an unworldly large cesspool.

I was reminded of the original 1980 City State of the World Emperor map versus the 2005 tentatively released and never consummated re-imagined Virdidistan (as the World Emperor's City State was named).

Original 1980 City State of the World Emperor Map (Viridistan)
2005 "reimagioned" City State of the World Emperor Map (Viridistan)
First off, the size of the two cities are completely different. The original is at best a half mile across, where as the modern imagined Viridistan is nearly two and a half miles. Secondly, the modern version has, for me at least, a much more aesthetically pleasing shape for an exotic metropolis that once was the capital of a vast empire - much more "Roman" and cosmopolitan whereas the original looks dark ages medieval. Lastly, the modern map looking at it now, is much more playable in that the different quarters and significant locations stand out and are not lost among the "granular" maps of shop interiors, streets and alleyways.

Interestingly, the original did not, a'la City State of the Invincible Overlord, assign shopkeeper and other denizens to specific locations throughout the City State, which actually irked me at the time. However, in theory as I have never tried this, a game judge could use the Shop Guidebook and run players through Viridistan without needing specific streets. Locals would know where they were going and foreigners would be hopelessly lost most of the time anyway. (See, try to imagine life with no GPS)

What I think I might do is establish an area map along the lines of the modern Veridistan map, and run up some various "quarter" or area encounters that could be dropped in anywhere within a region of the Metropolis of Chaos, and then have primary locations for crazy temples, castles, and such for Demon Lords. Even though I will be "reimagioning" my maps, that means I don't necessarily have to throw out the various encounters I wrote for my old scenario. Just widen the proscenium a bit...

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