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Guinaur
2007-07-25, 07:48 AM
I want to make a large arcane city for my current campaing (the players will be making a stop there, and it will be the largest assembly of arcane power in the material plane), and I would like some help from this forum.

I would like to use all the RAW of spells and magic-items for the creation, maintenance, and everything else of the city. I was thinking that the leader is a lvl 20 - wiz/Archmage/something(maybe) and then he/she has an specialist wizard for each school of magic under him/her. It would also be a school/univercity of some sort. I would also like it to be under the effects of some major illusions most of the time to prevent most "unintelectual" beings from entering.

Now, any interesting ideas for such a city?

PS: Oh, and this will be the only city where the players can buy/sell/create magic items on the material plane.

Shhalahr Windrider
2007-07-25, 08:05 AM
I suggest modifying various bits of Wondrous Architecture from Stronghold Builder's Guidebook for use in delivering various city services.

Thinker
2007-07-25, 08:08 AM
Decanter of Endless Water is a good one for this. It provides an endless amount of water. Having several of these would be reasonable.

Also, Screen may be what you're looking for as a spell:

Screen (http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/spellsS.html#screen)

Illusion (Glamer)
Level: Sor/Wiz 8, Trickery 7 Components: V, S Casting Time: 10 minutes Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) Area: 30-ft. cube/level (S) Duration: 24 hours Saving Throw: None or Will disbelief (if interacted with); see text Spell Resistance: No

This spell combines several elements to create a powerful protection from scrying and direct observation. When casting the spell, you dictate what will and will not be observed in the spellís area. The illusion created must be stated in general terms. Once the conditions are set, they cannot be changed.

Attempts to scry the area automatically detect the image stated by you with no save allowed. Sight and sound are appropriate to the illusion created.

Direct observation may allow a save (as per a normal illusion), if there is cause to disbelieve what is seen. Even entering the area does not cancel the illusion or necessarily allow a save, assuming that hidden beings take care to stay out of the way of those affected by the illusion.

Funkyodor
2007-07-25, 08:35 AM
Frank, Give everyone magical Message stones (cell phones). Dome the structure to provide weather desired by whoevers in charge. Good ideas for flagrant and excessive magical enhancements of city structures can be gotten from The Darksword Trilogy by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman. Most of the city is only accessable via flight. Polymorphing Halloween could be a fun time to introduce the characters to the city. Pie is king don't ya know.

its_all_ogre
2007-07-25, 09:18 AM
disintegration chambers to get rid of refuse.
decanters of endless water is indeed a good buy.
force bridges to connect parts of the citadel to others, you can amend these so they are visible if you like.
look through all of the spells and check the environmental ones especially.
heroes feast for every meal!

puppyavenger
2007-07-25, 09:28 AM
rock riding!

Matthew
2007-07-26, 10:40 PM
What is the character of this city? Is it repressive? Benevolant? Hard to say how magic would influence it without more information.

Tor the Fallen
2007-07-26, 11:13 PM
Also, what's the power level of your campaign world?

1 level 20 wizard in charge isn't that super high level, especially for the might that magic commands, and the sort of powers it tends to, ah, attract. Personally, I'd make the leader an epic caster with a small cabal of epic casters. This pretty much lets you ignore any pesky xp/gold/you can't do that! from the players. It also means that in a city of extremely powerful characters, there will be somethings they can't take out. They can also serve as a source for extremely rare, CL20+ stuff.

Mayor of the City:
10 wiz/10 IotSV/5 Archmage
IoTSV gives a bunnch of great defensive spells, perfect for what a mayor would need to defend a city, and archmage is, well, precisely what this guy is.

With magic, most of the inhabitants probably aren't living on the material plane- they're likely living in some demiplane. You could have a very small city with a very large population. I imagine most of the space would be dedicated to shops and studies/libraries. Perhaps split the city's market district into 8 sections; one for each school of magic. (The universal school would have a bunch of misc stuff).

It'd probably be a neutral city- other than your typical "no rape, no murder, no theft", anything would go. Selling of poison, slaves, magic animals, bodyparts, etc. Very free-trade minded place.

Guinaur
2007-07-27, 02:35 AM
Well, this is a low powered campaign (sort of). After the players reach about lvl. 10+, they will be spending most of their time on other planes, so the material plane is reserved for low-lvl beings. I was thinking that the leading Archmage and his specialist advisors will run this place as a hub for all things magical on the material plane (and now that I think about it, there may be a even bigger arcane univercity/thing on another plane where all the lvl.10+ spellcasters hang out. The Archmage and his advisors are the "middlemen" between these two places).

Kami2awa
2007-07-27, 11:10 AM
The city should have a several buildings that have interiors larger than their exteriors.

spotmarkedx
2007-07-27, 11:34 AM
disintegration chambers to get rid of refuse.

I've always used bags of devouring for that. Just be sure to get a giant sized version :D

Dragonmuncher
2007-07-27, 12:00 PM
A lot of golems- guards, trash collectors, and the like.

A lot of artificers around, tinkering. Crazy golemish prototypes wandering around- wings, two heads, six legs, talking, grunting, singing, whatever.

A guy on a street corner with a little organ-grinder, and a tiny dancing golem!

Arbitrarity
2007-07-27, 12:32 PM
Actually, most efficient build for an uber archmage is something like wizard 5 Incantatrix 10 Archmage X (probably 3 or so).

CASTLEMIKE
2007-07-27, 01:18 PM
Is it a Magocracy? Does it have a history? Is it limited to the city or the country?

The old Glantri Kingdom of Magic or College of Wizardry might be useful used or as a pdf for under $5.

Permanent Gates for travel and trade.

Consider throwing in a toned down mythal like Silvery Moon in FRCS for the city proper.

ECS has things like flying ships and magical vehicles like trains with suggested
costs.

Consider making spellcasters more common demographically as they would be drawn to this focal point.

Consider a lesser wizard NPC class like Magewrights with Spellbooks instead of Spellmastery along with the sorcerous DMG Witch.

AkumaWolf
2007-08-13, 11:21 AM
Hey Guinaur man...

Aren't you forgetting that I'm IN that campaign. :P

Watch the spoilers man, you don't want to have me killing some BBEG in one go because you posted his weakness... XD

stupidmonkey
2007-08-13, 04:23 PM
Hey Guinaur man...

Aren't you forgetting that I'm IN that campaign. :P

Watch the spoilers man, you don't want to have me killing some BBEG in one go because you posted his weakness... XD

If you know it's your campaign, don't read then... he's looking for help and its gonna be offered.

AkumaWolf
2007-08-13, 04:31 PM
If you know it's your campaign, don't read then... he's looking for help and its gonna be offered.

Hahaha... nah, I'm just saying.
Don't want to read something from him that looks harmless then BAM, instant spoiler.

But then again, he's not stupid enough to post something really important.
The guys a secret freak when it comes to D&D

(frikkin uppercuts you if you try to sneak a peek :smalltongue: )

sophosbarbaros
2007-08-13, 08:20 PM
I like that specialist wizard cabinet idea you have going.
It may not be necessary (depending on the city's operations) to have a specialist of every school, but I think an Abjurer/Diviner or maybe both as law enforcement heads, Trans/Ench for city operations, Illus/Abj or security vs outside forces. And depending on how deeply your players will get involved in city politics you could have some power struggles going on between different government branches.

and I think a loremaster would make a great head of the library/university, but of course that is kind of their thing

EDIT: ooo and conj for your travel bureau of course

goat
2007-08-13, 08:30 PM
Why use a disintegrating sphere when you can teleport things to over your enemy's city and dump all your rubbish on him?

sophosbarbaros
2007-08-13, 08:38 PM
cause then someone has to sort through it to make sure no one threw out any credit card receipts or the cell phone, uhhh... I mean message stone bill

Yahzi
2007-08-14, 01:00 AM
Hallow and Zone of Truth. No 1st lvl peon is gonna get away with anything in that city. A trip to the local temple and your confession is gauranteed.

Locate Object. Did I mention no ordinary person will get away with anything? Petty theft will be unheard of, since anything can be found again.

Cure Disease. The only people who die of disease are poor people. And even then, the rulers won't let sick people go untreated: one case of the plague, and they will be all over it before it spreads. Also, there are no blind or deaf people in the city.

Speak with Dead. Standard practice for any murder investigation. Assuming they don't just raise the victim and ask him.

Commune/Contact Other Plane. This city isn't going to be invaded by surprise. Any event large enough to threaten the city as a whole is going to be public knowledge well in advance.

Charm Person. If your city is Good, this is illegal. If your city is Evil, this is a cruel fact of daily life, like getting mugged, assaulted, or raped.

Wall of Stone. Over time, this adds up to some serious fortifications.

Mud to Rock. Even better. Have the peasants fill wooden molds with mud, then six seconds of a wizard's time later, you have a wall/bridge/statue/whatever. Over time, this adds up to serious fortifications. We're talking walls sixty feet high.

Wall of Iron. Mining is for gold, silver, or copper. Iron is something you get out of a wizard. Cheap.

Continual Flame. Expensive, yes, but they never wear out. Over time the city is going to build a nice stock of them. Eventually every house will have one, and streetlights will be commonplace. The temple district will be so lit-up, it will look like Las Vegas at night.

Golems/Zombies. Dangerous (or maybe even just dirty) work will be done by constructs. Mining, underwater work, sewage, etc. Also, consider grindstones that are turned by golems (or just turn themselves).

Disguise Self. When you hire a hooker and she tells you she can be whoever you want her to be... she really can! Given items (like hats or rings) that can cast this, ordinary people might use them as marital aids. Variety is the spice of life. If you know what I mean. Nudge nudge wink wink. A nod's as good as wink to blind man, if you know what I mean.

Prestidigitation. How expensive can it be to make a permanent 1/use per day object with Cantrip? Now you have a bottle of spice that never runs out... (as long as you eat dinner within the hour, hehe). Real imported spices are virtually worthless. How about Cleaning people's teeth? A medieval town with modern dental hygiene.

Lyre of Building means peasants are for making raw materials. Skilled craftsmen don't exist. One bard with a Lyre replaces all the carpenters, stonemasons, and architects a medieval city can support.

Decanter of Endless water. Duh.

Inyssius Tor
2007-08-14, 01:27 AM
Excellent work, Yahzi!

You could theoretically improve the living conditions/technology drastically in a city with a single Decanter of Endless Water.

Charm Person had better have some pretty steep punishment, or it will be a real plague on your city.

If you want cheap, mindless labor, use skeletons. Zombies are disgusting, but skeletons can be hygienic and even impressively aesthetic if properly cleaned and decorated.