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madock345
2011-01-27, 11:20 PM
Ok, so I want to include a city where only spell casters are allowed to live. Other people can visit, but have to get special papers and are basically second class and prejudiced against. All casting classes welcome, even rangers and paladins high enough level to cast spells. I know itís probably been done before, but I was wondering about any potential problems that can occur in a game that includes something like that. Any advice for how to play it would also be welcome (I am a pretty new DM, this being my second run game.)

Amnestic
2011-01-27, 11:37 PM
I suggest you make it flying.

Because flying cities are awesome, and it adds an extra level of being separate from the non-magic society.

It should also be pretty. Wizards and Sorcerers can be a bit vain; their spells flashy. The architecture should reflect this with huge gleaming spires made out of all kinds of material and weird floaty things which don't do anything except float and look pretty.

Should think about how big it'll be (population? "Temporary" population?), and whether there'll be districts (Class-based? Social hierarchy based? Spell school based? Will any spell school be looked down upon?), how will they get their food? Will it all be magic? If it's flying, does it move or stay in one position?

Will magic be allowed in the streets, or controlled to stop the city being torn apart? Who will run the city (Monarchy? Direct Democracy? Theocracy (doubtful)? A Council?)? Will there be Anti-Caster Guards specialised at nullifying magic to gain control if something should go wrong/a fight should break out?

Just a few ideas/questions I think should be considered off the top of my head.

Tvtyrant
2011-01-27, 11:38 PM
I'm not sure I understand the point; after a certain point a Wizard can buy 15 GP worth of materials and live like a king for the rest of their life off of Mansion. Clerics get create food and water, etc. Basically you have a group of super beings, why would they decide to live together like that?

However if you really want to do it, I suggest making the city be in a place where it takes a lot of mages together to make it work: Flying city, underwater city, space city, extraplanar city, etc. Make the location so beautiful and exotic that mages want to live there.

tzaan
2011-01-27, 11:41 PM
why are they prejudiced? what constitutes spellcasting - spell like abilities? Psionics? Could you trick your way in via magic items?

you could get around the whole question of what to do with the technology levels (continual flame lanterns, a dimension door transit system - y'know general abuse of magic etc) by making the citizens incredibly hidebound about the application of magic - it's not for convenience, power= responsibility blahblahblah

it also makes the justice system a lot more....precarious. Want to know if someone's guilty? Read their mind, Zone of Truth and what have you...but then Enchantment becomes an issue. Civil liberties are massively curtailed if there's a literal Thought Police roving around. Any renegades would have to have constant magical protection from being discovered.

Imagine the punishments....Baleful Polymorph for 5 years 'cos you dealt some drugs. Dominated to do community service with a Mark of Justice to compel you to do right after your sentence is over. Hell, why not Mark of Justice everyone to 'keep the peace' forever?

If structures are magically supported (it's a magic city after all...) then a dispel magic would be a literal wrecking ball. An anti-magic zone would reduce everyone inside to a bunch of weak old men armed with big sticks....which would be amusing if they're evil old men and the PCs deliver some righteous smackdown with their oh-so-mundane fists

look at Sharn for ideas (Eberron setting) - massive towers and walkways connecting them. They sell feather fall amulets so you don't necessarily just splat on the pavement 1000 feet below because you tripped on a crack. Stuff like that oozes flavour

edit: and the Suel Arcanamach from Complete Arcane would be a groovy elite guard...or an army of duskblades with Warmage artillery. Actually, yeah...why would this city not have conquered at least a country for itself? What's stopping it rampaging about doing what it wants?

oh and a reason for the mages coming together is simple: they want to pool spellbooks and reagents. It's easier to get hold of eye of newt if there's a demand for it and in a city of mages they'd import it by the wagonload....or pay a high enough level cleric (or in Eberron, a heir of Siberys with the mark of Making) to cast True Creation and make a toss load of that particular reagent

madock345
2011-01-27, 11:44 PM
Ok, sorry for lack of clarification in the first post.
Mages want to get together in city because in this game, magic is rare and usualy feared and prejudiced, the mages all get together somewhere were no one is afraid of them.

I think the city would probably either be ruled by a single Epic level wizard or a council of very poweful members of each casting class.

While a flying city would indeed be awsome, and it probably does look cool, I dont know how you would implement that under the 3.5 system.

tzaan
2011-01-27, 11:54 PM
While a flying city would indeed be awsome, and it probably does look cool, I dont know how you would implement that under the 3.5 system.

make an artifact that powers a permanent fly (or similar) spell with the target being the city. You're a DM: make it up and add fluff

netheril did it, so can you :smallwink:

for people to get into it, have a portal on the mainland or have vendors sell an item that teleports you there

Amnestic
2011-01-27, 11:56 PM
Ok, sorry for lack of clarification in the first post.
Mages want to get together in city because in this game, magic is rare and usualy feared and prejudiced, the mages all get together somewhere were no one is afraid of them.

I think the city would probably either be ruled by a single Epic level wizard or a council of very poweful members of each casting class.

While a flying city would indeed be awsome, and it probably does look cool, I dont know how you would implement that under the 3.5 system.

I think the Council with powerful members might be better than just a single Wizard.

As for how it stays up, some sort of Epic-level Hover/Flight spell should handwave it away :smallwink:. Maybe whatever deity(ies) of magic originally created the city to give casters a place to live free from prejudice, and thus it's the work of the gods rather than a mortal caster.

Tvtyrant
2011-01-28, 12:03 AM
If your going with a flying city you could always make it "Inside" a gate to the air dimension, which doesn't have normal falling rules. Then it would be suspended in air both in the Air Plane and in the real world.

Othniel Edden
2011-01-28, 12:56 AM
Ok, sorry for lack of clarification in the first post.
Mages want to get together in city because in this game, magic is rare and usualy feared and prejudiced, the mages all get together somewhere were no one is afraid of them.

I think the city would probably either be ruled by a single Epic level wizard or a council of very poweful members of each casting class.

While a flying city would indeed be awsome, and it probably does look cool, I dont know how you would implement that under the 3.5 system.

Ah, Genosha (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genosha) and the epic level wizard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magneto_%28comics%29)

Divayth Fyr
2011-01-28, 05:06 AM
While a flying city would indeed be awsome, and it probably does look cool, I dont know how you would implement that under the 3.5 system.
Didn't one of the FR books (Lost Empires?) have a spell designed for making flying cities?

Jair Barik
2011-01-28, 05:57 AM
Perhaps have a council of wizards one of whom is epic (not necessarily their aknowledged leader though)

If there is a definite rank order that would open up all sorts of paranoia, politics and scheming with wizards challenging one another for higher ranks or bumping one another off.

umbrapolaris
2011-01-28, 07:24 AM
Didn't one of the FR books (Lost Empires?) have a spell designed for making flying cities?


no, it was an artifact called Mythallar, a man-sized crystal that "creates a city-sized envelope of pure magical energy. Unlike a mythal, however, a mythallar always incorporates a major special ability that permits the creation and use of quasi-magic items."

the spell however can be found (if my memory is good) in the supplement of the AD&D 2E "Arcane Age: Netheril" and many homebrews create a 3.5 epic version of that spell.

Hail Netheril ! Hail Netheril ! death to the jealous elven high mages who stole the Nether Scrolls. KILL THE ELVES !!!!

Hazzardevil
2011-01-28, 11:22 AM
I reckon that a good idea would be to have a generater or something in teh city that allows you to create a anti magic field spell that covers teh whole city. That way If you are a player and teh people are revolting then you can activate, turn the citizens into squishy old men and use teh guards to capture them and kill ringleaders.

Volthawk
2011-01-28, 01:35 PM
Well, I think constructs (and perhaps undead) would be used as general muscle, and also perhaps if they try some military excursions.

Silverscale
2011-01-28, 05:32 PM
Though not exclusively magical, you might look at Ishka for insperation. You can find links to both the forum thread and the Wiki I made, in my sig.

Please do not post on the thread since it's old enough you might get hit for Thread-Necro by a Moderator.

Kobold-Bard
2011-01-28, 05:44 PM
Would this not be a forerunner to the Tippyverse (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=125538#post6958029)?

Orbin Dules
2011-01-28, 06:01 PM
I would envision that this City would be divided into various areas where one type of caster prevails, such as the Wizards area where the towers and buildings are precise, with lots of right angles.This would be to represent wizard's usual discipline. In the sorcerer's area, conversely, the architecture would be wildly different, all of it designed with the wild mentality that most sorcerer's bring.

Jack_Simth
2011-01-28, 06:13 PM
Nah. Tippyverse uses mundanes a plenty (mostly to keep them out of the hair of the ruling class, mind....).

However, a lot of the same stuff would apply. Abuse of the trap rules to feed everyone? No problem... although here, Energy Transformation Fields would be preferred (as they mostly need a caster to activate, and noncasters are second-class citizens, don't you know...).

How do you make a flying city? Eh, who knows. Lots & lots of Immovable Rods could do it, as could a lot of Carpets of Flying (which can be commanded to hover, after all). If you really want something nutty, put pairs of Ring Gates on flying carpets, command the carpets to hover, stick posts into the ring gates, and then anchor the posts together. Push down on one end of the post, and you get exactly as much force coming up off the other - which means there is 0 force applied to the flying carpet. You essentially end up with a city standing on a bunch of pylons .... Just make sure nobody attempts to dispel them (this can be accomplished by building around the carpet completely - pylon supports the top of a shell, and the shell wraps back around the carpet. No Line of Effect to anything inside, and you have, to all outward appearances, a flying nonmagical box, which will support however much weight the pylon can carry (which can be quite a lot). Each pylon costs 60,000 gp (plus the cost of mundane materials... which can be dirt cheap, thanks to Wall of Iron and Fabricate, or Wall of Stone and Stone Shape), and will support a truly enormous amount of weight (how much force will an 18-inch diameter iron or stone disk support before it crumbles? That's your limit).

If you want a flying city, that is, that's one way to go about it.

Kobold-Bard
2011-01-28, 06:16 PM
Stronghold Builders Guide has rules for flying strongholds. Get everyone over Level 9 to take Landlord as a Feat and you could get enough cash to make a flying city state.

Lord Raziere
2011-01-28, 06:24 PM
I suggest you make it flying.

Because flying cities are awesome, and it adds an extra level of being separate from the non-magic society.

It should also be pretty. Wizards and Sorcerers can be a bit vain; their spells flashy. The architecture should reflect this with huge gleaming spires made out of all kinds of material and weird floaty things which don't do anything except float and look pretty.

Should think about how big it'll be (population? "Temporary" population?), and whether there'll be districts (Class-based? Social hierarchy based? Spell school based? Will any spell school be looked down upon?), how will they get their food? Will it all be magic? If it's flying, does it move or stay in one position?

Will magic be allowed in the streets, or controlled to stop the city being torn apart? Who will run the city (Monarchy? Direct Democracy? Theocracy (doubtful)? A Council?)? Will there be Anti-Caster Guards specialised at nullifying magic to gain control if something should go wrong/a fight should break out?

Just a few ideas/questions I think should be considered off the top of my head.

why choose? why not choose all of them, make TONS of flying mage-only cities with different forms of government, with cultural differences and views on magic and mundane foreigners! make the mage-only cities look upon each other in distaste for their differences! better, have these cities be in magical arms races and be at cold war with each other with intrigues and spies and espionage abounds! have the mundane governments on the ground meddle to!

and while we're at it, why not have clerics trying to manipulate the mage-cities into joining their religion so that their gods can have a valuable resource? I'm sure a mage-only city would be a powerful weapon for a god to wield against their enemies. :smallamused:

The-Mage-King
2011-01-28, 06:25 PM
Or... You can just go with Proctiv's Move Mountain. It's in the Player's Guide to Faerun, it's an Epic spell, and it gives you a mile-wide flat surface to play with.

Gamer Girl
2011-01-29, 01:35 AM
Everything does not need to be by the 3.5 rules. After all the rules don't cover everything. If you want a flying city, just say it flies. If you must have a reason why if flies, just give it one (That Epic Mage summoned an Elder Air Elemental to carry the city around or cast an 'unknown super levitate Epic Spell')


One thing to watch out for...don't make non spellcasters 'too' much of second class citizens. Then any player of a non spellcaster might feel a bit left out and under attack.

A good trick for such societies is where the second class citizens get a lot of unofficial power. For example, spellcaster must buy magic items at the city run shops...but non spellcasters can use the black market.

Zaydos
2011-01-29, 01:56 AM
Well one question is what level of magic as technology do you want to have?

Do you want tippsyverse-esque Create Food Traps?

You could make it a utopia fueled by magic. Great towers, everyone is well-off; resources are near infinite (Wall of Iron makes all the iron you'll ever need, food and water are created by traps, druids cast Plant Growth multiple times a day so that you have 10 years growth in a single day), menial labor is all done by constructs.

Or you could emphasize the "magic users are feared/hunted" aspect. In that case make it somewhere hard to reach, if not unreachable without magic. This brings me to saying a flying city would be a good idea, as mundanes couldn't reach it. Another option is somewhere secluded. A village hidden in a forest within a valley ringed by treacherous mountains. Illusions ward all paths to make things even more difficult to enter.

You could easily make it into a Shangri-La like place. Really, though, there are a lot of options depending upon what tone you want to set, both for the city and the world.

Temassasin
2011-01-31, 11:12 PM
i like a demi plane, but i also like the magical arms race idea and i don't see how we could do both

centuriancode
2011-02-01, 01:08 AM
You said that it's a comparatively low magic campaign, and casters are feared/hated? In that case, you can very easily have it so that the city only exists because the casters had to form at least a loose alliance to survive. In such a world, a city full of casters is unlikely to be an utopia, instead leaning towards a choatic mix of buildings and areas representing the fragile alliances keeping the place together. Severe magic limits would be in place (you're the DM - make up a mechanism for it, or just say that it happens and no-one's quite yet figured how), and probably policed by a council (makes more sense than one uber-wizard - any wizard that powerful wouldn't actually have to care about even an entire world's worth of hatred towards casters) that is responsible for the city not being destroyed, either by internal disorder or outside attacks.

The primary dangers (that I see) are threefold. First, non-caster players are descriminated against, and very often they feel that they are less powerful in the party anyway. Second, the caster city becomes absurdly powerful and the players can't see a way to not be completely outdone by it. Third, the players enter it, and then, taking note of the rules abuses, replicate all the over-powered potential of the city (like the create food traps). So be careful how you design it, don't tell the players too much about it to begin with, and be ready to move quickly to head-off rules abuse. Other than that, it should be fine.

PetterTomBos
2011-02-01, 08:47 AM
What about putting it in some magically important location. Like some sort of "crossroads" that leads to especially beautiful or useful locatios in the different planes! That's why they picked their location in the mortal realm!

Let the city have the worlds largest "ressurection-diamond"-mine, or an entrance to the plane that has! Let it be the only place where the <component item> of <spell> grows/is mineable/floats as shrapnel from the plane of <something>/was put by the gods or whatever. Give the mages a reason to want the city held by fair magicusers!

I don't enjoy the idea of a 100% floating city all that much, I'd rather see it more layered, somewhere at the ground, somewhere steep walkways (or tp.s or levitation like halo, or w.e.) go up to other layers, or to some mountainside mine, or a permanent gate or whatever exotic.

Heck, you might let the council consist of really exotic beings. The gold dragon "ambassador of the metallic dragons", a much needed, but hated, mindflayer, or why not an avatar of the god of knowledge, Boccob, himself? He should be interested in keeping magic alive on the mortal plane.

Perhaps the aura of the area gives + CL when making items or scrolls, when casting specific spells or something?

Throwing out ideas :)

Temassasin
2011-02-01, 05:16 PM
I don't enjoy the idea of a 100% floating city all that much, I'd rather see it more layered, somewhere at the ground, somewhere steep walkways (or tp.s or levitation like halo, or w.e.) go up to other layers, or to some mountainside mine, or a permanent gate or whatever exotic.
that seems a bit to much like Ishka

Heck, you might let the council consist of really exotic beings. The gold dragon "ambassador of the metallic dragons", a much needed, but hated, mindflayer, or why not an avatar of the god of knowledge, Boccob, himself? He should be interested in keeping magic alive on the mortal plane.

Perhaps the aura of the area gives + CL when making items or scrolls, when casting specific spells or something?

Throwing out ideas :)
that would be rily cool in my apinion

Ajadea
2011-02-01, 08:33 PM
Nah. Tippyverse uses mundanes a plenty (mostly to keep them out of the hair of the ruling class, mind....).

However, a lot of the same stuff would apply. Abuse of the trap rules to feed everyone? No problem... although here, Energy Transformation Fields would be preferred (as they mostly need a caster to activate, and noncasters are second-class citizens, don't you know...).

How do you make a flying city? Eh, who knows. Lots & lots of Immovable Rods could do it, as could a lot of Carpets of Flying (which can be commanded to hover, after all). If you really want something nutty, put pairs of Ring Gates on flying carpets, command the carpets to hover, stick posts into the ring gates, and then anchor the posts together. Push down on one end of the post, and you get exactly as much force coming up off the other - which means there is 0 force applied to the flying carpet. You essentially end up with a city standing on a bunch of pylons .... Just make sure nobody attempts to dispel them (this can be accomplished by building around the carpet completely - pylon supports the top of a shell, and the shell wraps back around the carpet. No Line of Effect to anything inside, and you have, to all outward appearances, a flying nonmagical box, which will support however much weight the pylon can carry (which can be quite a lot). Each pylon costs 60,000 gp (plus the cost of mundane materials... which can be dirt cheap, thanks to Wall of Iron and Fabricate, or Wall of Stone and Stone Shape), and will support a truly enormous amount of weight (how much force will an 18-inch diameter iron or stone disk support before it crumbles? That's your limit).

If you want a flying city, that is, that's one way to go about it.

Actually, since there's an Enter and an Exit side on a ring gate (putting something through the exit side is no more exciting than sticking something through an iron ring is normally), you might need to utilize an infinite loop: One ring gate above the other, and the pylon falls forever. If you can, put sovereign glue on one end of the pylon, and when it falls, it hits the other end, sticks, and voila: weightless pylon.

Jack_Simth
2011-02-01, 08:57 PM
Actually, since there's an Enter and an Exit side on a ring gate (putting something through the exit side is no more exciting than sticking something through an iron ring is normally), you might need to utilize an infinite loop: One ring gate above the other, and the pylon falls forever. If you can, put sovereign glue on one end of the pylon, and when it falls, it hits the other end, sticks, and voila: weightless pylon.
Nah, that'd be constantly falling, and so doesn't work for supporting anything (although you do have the curious question of what happens when you attempt to push paired ring gates together when they've got something between them...). Anything you you try to anchor to it hits the ring gate itself, and your weight limit becomes based on that.

With the paired gates on flying carpets, what you're doing is setting things up so that pressing down on one pylon pushes up on the adjacent pylon - which is anchored to the one you're pressing down.

You stick a pillar partway through, then flip the ring gates around so that both are pointing up. Then you set them right next to each other, and put a plate on top. The only weight on your flying carpet is that of the ring gates themselves; any weight applied downwards on the pillar is mirrored upwards, exactly. The "Pillar" doesn't need to be very tall, because of this - an inch will do, really. So the only limit to how much that flying carpet can support is the crumble strength of your pillars (which can be a LOT with an 18-inch diameter circle) or the shear strength of the connection between them.

Edit:
Oh, hey: With enough ring gates, and some supporting structure, you can get away with just one flying carpet!

Method:

1) Put the flying carpet up.
2) Put a few paired ring gates on the carpet, such that anything dropped through one of the ring gates is immediately spat out the other, going upwards.
3) Put pillars into each of the gates, as described.
4) Hang stuff off the pillars. To deal with balance issues, you want to hang stuff over the edge and around the carpet.
5) If you get to where you start to be concerned about the strength of your materials taking the load, stack more paired ring gates around the edges of your existing structure, and treat your existing structure as you did the original carpet.

Flying Carpets can fly unattended (Command them to Hover, then walk away), and Ring Gates used this way don't seem to transfer weight - so you can stack things like this forever (there must, however, be something other than a ring gate supporting something somewhere - otherwise, everything falls as a unit, and there's no force going through a ring gate to get turned around, as the ring gates themselves are subject to gravity).

Of course, you probably *don't* want to pin your entire city on a single, unattended magical item with a caster level of ten... but it could make an interesting plot hook if you do.

ericgrau
2011-02-02, 12:21 AM
As most people are level 1, I'd suggest making 95% of the casters level 1, and most of the rest low level. The D&D world assumes that things with a lot of class levels are rare, and it gets borked if you let too many exist. That's not to say that some great and powerful casters ever can't live there. It only means that there are maybe 4 of them in a city of thousands. Likewise there might be a few dozen level 5 casters, etc. The higher level ones would be well known legendary figures or around level 5 they'd be leaders or part of elite squads.

Likewise the city could in fact afford a handful of expensive and amazing structures for you to get creative with, they just won't be in every household. After all a house is 5,000 gp and larger structures in the tens of thousands of gp. Magical constructs of similar value aren't unreasonable.

Reminds me of a current campaign with a plague in the city. Ya the city has level 5+ clerics with remove disease but there are 10 of them and thousands of people who can't afford to pay the clerics. Thus you don't end up with a city where all common problems are solved yet there is a lot of magic.

Ajadea
2011-02-02, 01:07 AM
With the paired gates on flying carpets, what you're doing is setting things up so that pressing down on one pylon pushes up on the adjacent pylon - which is anchored to the one you're pressing down.

You stick a pillar partway through, then flip the ring gates around so that both are pointing up. Then you set them right next to each other, and put a plate on top. The only weight on your flying carpet is that of the ring gates themselves; any weight applied downwards on the pillar is mirrored upwards, exactly. The "Pillar" doesn't need to be very tall, because of this - an inch will do, really. So the only limit to how much that flying carpet can support is the crumble strength of your pillars (which can be a LOT with an 18-inch diameter circle) or the shear strength of the connection between them.


Ah, I see. I think taller might be good though, especially if you need to ever replace a pillar. Also: use riverine. It will support a lot.

Mayhem
2011-02-02, 01:40 AM
In Umbragia: Realms of Shadow, There is an entire nation of mages. The population makeup is as follows; Various Mages (5%), Various Freemen (45%), Various Slaves (50%). There are 4 status levels: mage, apprentice, freeman, slave. The mages make up the entire nobility, military and administration of the nation.
Apprentices are mages who have not yet mastered their art and live under a mage master. They have near complete authority over freemen and slaves, however a master may take the life of an apprentice without a bat of an eye from anyone, and an apprentice must answer to any and all of their actions to their master.
Freemen are employed for tasks where a task is just more easily done with skill. They are paid by the mages and may own slaves, but have no say in the laws. There's many mercenaries among them employed by the government.

Since only those rare few dubbed "dragon touched" have the natural ability to learn magic, and the gods are dead, it's no surprise arcane spell casters band together. There are also entire races completely incapable of magic, so it wouldn't be surprising for communities to be distrustful of a magical minority.

So anyway, take from that what you will.

Cheers,
Mayhem

PetterTomBos
2011-02-02, 03:30 AM
that seems a bit to much like Ishka


Ishka? *Blush*

Temassasin
2011-02-06, 08:32 PM
Ishka? *Blush*

i mean it looked like ishka (layers?) but those emissaries look really cool