Monday, September 16, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Day 12 - Favorite Dungeon Type/Location

It's the 16th and I'm on challenge number 12.  I knew I'd fall behind on the weekend!  Sadly, had to watch my Aggies (two time alumnus) lose to the Crimson Tide, but honestly, I can't argue with what was a really great football game.  To add insult to injury, the first topic in my quest to get caught up today is favorite dungeon type.  Luckily, it's slashed with Location, because I have no favorite dungeon type, I hate dungeons (the next challenge is even worse.  I hate traps and puzzles.)

So, by hanging on as if to a lifeline to the Location option, I'll grab on to fantasy cities.  From Sanctuary (of Thieves' World) to Haven (of Hawk & Fisher); to the Maul (of Conan) and Lankhmar (of Fafhrd and Gray Mouser fame) fantasy urban cities tend to err on the side of being "wretched hives of scum and villainy" and that's exactly how I like them.

I actually have a number of fantasy city sourcebooks, or fantasy city descriptions in other form (as in for an Adventure Path in Dungeon magazine) and some of them are among my favorite setting sourcebooks around.  These include Five Fingers, Freeport, Cauldron, Sharn, Riddleport, Magnimar, Katapesh, and more.  I like having these, because they havemaps I can raid.  I also like having lots of locations I can potentially raid.

That said, as with all officially published setting documents, I can't ever really use them as is.  I have to simply borrow from them instead and use them in my own way.  Part of this is because it's too much work to memorize all the details, and I'd rather just have a big pool I could pick through for details when needed.  Part of it is because I just always like to put my own spin on things, and have the ability to cherry-pick ideas from others, as well as my own ideas, or even invention as the son of need on the spot.

I do have to admit, however, that my cities tend to feel the same.  It is often difficult for me to make really meaningful distinctions between cities in my settings, that come up often enough to really feel significant.  Then again--this is often true for actual real cities that I've been to as well.

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