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Pinjata
2016-09-20, 11:07 AM
Hey guys,

My PCs will stop in Baldurs Gate, Waterdeep and Neverwinter. How do I present all three cities as a bit different and most importantly, as different from one another? How could ports in all three cities differ from one another (perhaps ships from Calimshan in BG, ships from Mintarn in Neverwinter)? I intend to present Waterdeep as "London of Sword coast" by NPCs talking about it. Are there two or three things I could mention about each city that separate them, that make them unique in my players' eyes? I could have NPC mention Underdark for Waterdeep and have Uthgard barbarians in Neverwinter.

Got anything else for me?

thanks

TheFamilarRaven
2016-09-20, 01:09 PM
Assuming you've read the wiki for all three cities? Granted that's updated for 5e, so that might be a problem for you if you're playing an earlier edition.

If you're player's no absolutely nothing about these cities then make up whatever the Hell you want about them. For Waterdeep, mentioning Halaster and Undermountain is a start. Have them stop by the Yawning Portal. IIRC, Waterdeep is a little more cosmopolitan than Neverwinter, so make note of the multitude of exotic races strutting about.

Neverwinter is farther up north, and IIRC is more homogeneous than Waterdeep. Mention the Uthgard barbarian tribes n the region, the rivalry with Luskan.

'Fraid I can't help you much with Baldur's Gate, I'm not too familiar with the lore of that city.

One thing you can do is pick a unique style of architecture for each city.

Edit: hilariously enough, the plot of the hack 'n slash game they made in the early 2000's "Baldur's gate: Dark Aliance", seems to be cannon according to the wiki. Dunno if it was cannon before or after, but it's cannon.

Mark Hall
2016-09-20, 01:36 PM
If Waterdeep is going to be your London, then Neverwinter is Edinburgh, and Baldur's Gate works well as Barcelona (or Lisbon or Seville). It's got an influence from Amn, its neighbor and rival, while also having influence from the East, as the Heartlands flows towards it.

All are going to have similarities, since they're fairly cosmopolitan cities on the same coast, but I would give Baldur's Gate a pseudo-Iberian flair, with more people from the south who complain about how obnoxiously cold it is compared to home. More exotic spices and foods. Lots of influence from noble houses.

Waterdeep is going to be cold, but vibrant. Lots of people, but they'll tend to be from the North, with Southerners and Islanders being more rare. You can have your adventurers, and there will be nobles, but I'd put a lot of influence into the merchant class... they're the movers and shakers of the city.

Neverwinter is unnaturally warm, due to the Neverwinter river. If Baldur's Gate is about the nobles, and Waterdeep is about merchants, Neverwinter should be about the guilds. "What do you make?" might even be a standard opening conversational gambit, implying that everyone makes some sort of thing with their skills. Those guilds would help organize the city, and not being associated with a guild could be a social hurdle.

Yora
2016-09-20, 01:39 PM
My impression is that they aren't. Waterdeep and Baldur's Gate seem to be pretty much identical with no distinguishing features other than Undermountain. Neverwinter is far enough north to be more subarctic in it's environment, but having an unusually mild climate for the region is even highlighted in their name.

I think Neverwinter seems to have somewhat of an atmosphere of a large town instead feeling like a huge regional power like the other two cities with their big walls, big castles, and council of lords. Neverwinter appears like a less busy place with much less political drama. But I have not the slightest clue how such a difference could be made apparent to players in an actual adventure.

Darth Ultron
2016-09-21, 12:57 AM
For more American ones: Waterdeep: New York City, Baldur's Gate: Chicago, and Neverwinter: Seattle.

On the surface each city is the same: a place with a bunch of people. You can really run any generic urban adventure.

You can name drop things like ''well your in city X so Y is here'' if that is enough flavor.

It does depend ''when'' your game is set though, even more so the ''it's 4E lets ruin everything to make it video game cool'' and 5e's ''Um, wait, lets sort of recon most things...but you know keep the cool stuff''. Below is for anything before 1375 DR.

Waterdeep is a very big city with a very cosmopolitanism attitude. Nearly all types are welcome in the city. Anyone can be friends or allies with anyone in Waterdeep. The city is big on education, so the vast majority of people will be quite knowledgeable. Though they are also quite jaded as they think they have ''seen and hear it all'' (and this might have some truth to it, sometimes). The city is also big on art. The city is a mix of old traditions and new ideas. The city is also big on secrets and intrigue.

Baldur's Gate is a big city. Keep in mind the video games just use the name for the ''awesome video gamey zap pow zoom adventure city''. Is an open city, but slightly less so then Waterdeep. Trade opens all doors and the people of the city will trade with anyone...but keep them at arms length. The city has more of a martial history so there are a lot of warriors and war friendly and knowledgeable people here. They are big on piratical things, and not so much arts. The city is much more about new things, ideas and fads...with only a few lip services to the old ways. Crime and corruption are just ways of life here.

Neverwinter is a large city. Same video gamey warning. The city makes that perfect balance of being cultured without being arrogant, bustling without being greedy, and charming without being quaint. Folk are not much educated in book learning, but are master craftsmen. Art is very, very important here to all. The city is big on mechanical devices and such things. Neverwintans tend to be quiet, mannered, literate, efficient, hard-working folk.

Though the time frame does matter a bit, as for example 5E Neverwinter blew up when a volcanio or something erupted and they just forgot about the mechanical devices and just said ''wow, this city is so awesome it has awesome video games here and Drizzt was here so it must be mega super cool awesome!" And Baldur's Gate was over run with werewolves and vampires just like them cool teen movies and TV shows.