judd_sonofbert put forward a really fascinating challenge to try to capture the feel he enjoys about China Mieville’s New Crobuzon (The city from Perdido Street Station and other books) using D&D and it’s magnificent weirdness as a starting point. The rules, such as they are, can be found here, but in short, they call for taking three humanoid races and three monsters, and using them in the city in a way that brings it to life. Examples of other people’s cities can be found here, and they’re really fantastic.
I ended up overwriting this a bit, simply because I _love_ this sort of thing. It’s the kind of thing I can’t not write, and I provide a little warning right now that this is perhaps a little long. So with that in mind, I present Vicida.
The walls of Vicida come as a surprise to visitors. Traveler’s pass through miles of foggy wetlands to get there, and are ambushed by the abrupt appearance of the low grey wall and high golden towers of the city whichstand so tall it seems impossible that they stayed shrouded so long.
Most travelers come over the water. Vicida sits astride a great river, just before it passes to the sea. This position has made it rich on trade, and at any point more than half the people in the city are on their way someplace else. It’s no surprise – Vicida is a wonder, but not a welcoming one. The towers, walls and much of the city are made of blackened iron that juts forth from the swamp and constantly corrodes (yet never quite corrodes away completely). By the river and in the highest towers, this decay is concealed by a gilding of gold or similarly durable metals. Most of the citi’y buildings nestle up the bases or crawl up the sides of these towers.
More than six miles across, the sheer size of the city is preposterous in the face of its location – were it not for the traffic from the river, it could barely support more than the population of a small village. The wetlands around it extend for miles more, growing more and more hazardous the further you go. The river is the only reliable route in and out, and much of the Autharch’s power rests on his ability to keep the river safe. His choice to run the government from The Platinum Tower, which stands in the center of the river, is a sign of this dedication and, some say, a sign of his indifference to the rest of the city.
Within the view of the Platinum Tower, Vicida is everything a bustling port should be. Rivermen and merchants tout their wares. Inns, warehouses and trading houses are built very nearly on top of one another, packed in as tightly as possible. Every civilized race has a presence here, and these docks are the engine that keeps the city alive.
Past the docks, things thin out quickly. There is simply too much city for too little population, and streets and buildings often go deserted and forgotten for weeks at a time. A man can live like a king in the deep city, but only if he is willing to go to the docks for food and human contact. This is not to say the deep city is deserted – most neighborhoods bustle with activity around their central squares, but it is often a long, dark journey from square to square. Worse, while the towers themselves always seem maintained enough to keep from corroding away entirely, attention to other structures and roads is a little more haphazard, and swings wildly between extremes. A marble boulevard may terminate at a sinkhole with a rickety rope bridge across it.
The highest of the golden towers holds the Bullywug clans., seven (or thirteen, depending how you measure) extended families who are collectively the primarily landowners of the city. These bullywugs, referred to as “The Gilded,” would be unrecognizable to their primitive ancestors who held this city when the humans came. Generations of wealth and success have lead them to abandon stone and spear for pen and dagger. Some observers take the fact that the Gilded live in the highest towers as a rejection of their past, but the more simple reality is that it stems from the disdain they have for those who live below them. To their eyes, it is their city, and the humans may ply their trade so long as it keeps filling their coffers.
At first glance this seems a boastful position. The Autharch has clear military superiority, and his control of the river would make it hard for the Gilded to bring in mercenaries to push the issue, but the reality is less clear cut. Practically speaking, the Gilded would be hard to root out. They know the city well, including parts below the waterline that they can travel uncontested. Their exploration of these depths has also uncovered the odd treasure or secret of the city which makes their full capability hard to predict. The Gilded also take great pains to demonstrate that they are still on good terms with their wild cousins, who wander the deeper swamps in numbers beyond counting. This last is an absolute fiction – the bullywug population in the swamp is not large, and the Gilded have nothing but disdain for them. However, the Gilded get great mileage out of being the Autharch’s great allies, keeping the dangers of the swamp at bay. For his part, the Autharch finds the Gilded a tremendous pain in the ass, but a necessary evil.
Much of the Gilded’s time is spent on internal struggles over property and inheritance. Bullywug’s breed fast but don’t live long, and their mating patterns are complicated to say the very least. This means that inheritance is a constant consideration, and the basis of unending argument and occasional violence. If you imagine the biggest, richest family you can, and then imagine that the patriarch or matriarch (who uses the purse strings to control the next generation, which is rife with a sense of entitlement) keels over every decade or so, you’re off to a good start.
The Gilded are not often seen in public. When they travel it is usually in ornate carriages or otherwise cloaked, and when they do business it is most often through agents. Many visitors to the city (and a fair number of natives) have never actually seen one. Visitors who hear of them usually think they’re some sort of inbred clan of dwarves. While their true nature is not an actual secret, it is simply not discussed in polite company, so misapprehensions and rumors abound.
The Gilded produce few merchants or workmen, and look down on those among them who choose these pursuits. Since the Gilded make a steady stream of income from the property they own, they concentrate most of their efforts on consumption. Often, a merchant becomes rich because some trinket of his becomes the object of Gilded fashion, though many find themselves out on a limb when fashion passes them by and they’re left with a full warehouse of their surefire sale item. The only exception to this is perfume – the Gilded are always in the market for new perfumes, colognes and other scents. These items are so important that, perfumier is one of the few professions that one of the Gilded can enter and still maintain his family’s respect. While the Gilded have no shortage of ostentation for the other senses – gold, silk, wines and such – their greatest decadence is in scent, and arena that few appreciate. While this perhaps started as an attempt to mask their natural odor, it has evolved well beyond that. If one is lucky enough to sup with one of the Gilded, if you compliment his home and fine clothes but neglect to praise his scent, do not expect another such meal.
While it is not inappropaite to speak of the Gilded in general, the bullywugs do not respond directly to that designation, viewing themselves as “The Gentlefolk of the City” and expecting to be addressed as such by those who lack the distinction and breeding to properly address them by clan and title. Some merchants have made the effort to learn to pronounce the clan names (which include such gems as “Kfnninipa” and” Mmrglpb”) but it is generally accepted that the titles – which the clans more or less make up as suits them – are something of a loss.
The city creates Warforged. Every now and again a new one emerges from one of the towers and starts going about his business, whatever that may be. These creatures are not limited to the humanoid forms commonly associated with the warforged. Equivalents of city fauna – notably rats, pigeons, cats and dogs all get generated from time to time and wander the city like their natural counterparts. The human-shaped warforged, called ‘cityborn’, tend to remain in the city, and can sometimes be found making repairs. When asked about this, they’ll explain that the city told them what needed to be done, and of course, they did it. Natives suspect this is a joke, but no one is completely sure of that.
Those who know this much tend to assume that the Cityborn are some sort of automata, controlled by the towers for its own purpose, but the truth is far less sinister, though perhaps a bit odder. Certainly, many of them have an apparently supernatural sense of the state of the city, but they are under no compulsion of service. Rather, they have a sense of civic pride and a pragmatic, can-do attitude that simply makes it hard from the average Cityborn to walk away from this problem. These aren’t universal characteristics. The Iron Raptor, a warforged cat burglar, made use of his knowledge of the city to engage in a still-unequaled crime spree. And as with any population, some leave home to see the world. But the majority of warforged live in small, well maintained communities and make their living as day laborers. It is far from glorious, but it’s not a bad life.
Because of the curiosity of their creation, Cityborn have no sense of a family unit. The closest equivalent is a work gang, usually consisting of a half dozen to a dozen warforged. The gang has a boss, usually selected by seniority or group consensus. The bosses meet occasionally to discuss matters affecting the community at large, to resolve disputes or to choose representatives to speak for unions of gangs when large work contracts are on the line. They’re well organized and willing to apply a little pressure for the good of the community, and the main thing that keeps them from completely dominating the labor market as a whole is that they lack the population for it.
The warforged are also the strongest single presence in the city watch, such as they are. It’s not a glamourous job. River guard duty is safer and vastly better paying, so the Cityborn are one of the few groups willing to join the watch in any real numbers (though this has become self-perpetuaing over time). Ask them why, and they’ll explain its an extension of that sense of civic pride. They probably won’t mention that the watch is about as corrupt as the Autharch will tolerate, with most of the money and work going back into the warforged community. While their authority is mostly limited to the deep city, where they must give the Gilded proper deference, they have a great deal of influence over day to day life in the city. So long as their activities don’t disturb the docks, the Autharch more or less allows them a free hand.
Warforged from other places are welcomed warmly by the Cityborn community, and some make their home here in time, finding the idea of a community welcome, but a subtle divide often remains. Few species are as aware of their own origins as the Warforged, and they often ask whether their differences in origin mean there are other, deeper differences. No one has been able to prove that such differences exist, but for Warforged who know what lab they were made in, the somewhat more miraculous-seeming creation of the cityborn can inspire wonder or jealously equally easily. Similarly, the Cityborn can find the constructed Warforged more than a little disturbing, raising questions about their own origin. This is a subtle current of emotion barely visible to outsiders, but it never quite goes away.
To most of the city, the masked are a small cult of The Changing God, Mother of Moons. Properly, they are the Masked Order of Hidden Constancy, but everyone just calls them The Masked or “Raiders” – a corruption of “masqueraders”. The nicknames derive from the masks they wear. Each member of the congregation wears a unique mask, though the differences are often too subtle for outsiders to notice.
They have has taken up residence in one of the out of the way neighborhoods of the city and built a small community. Like most such groups, they mostly just want to be left alone to practice their faith in peace, and while they don’t always get their wish, they’re a little bit more lucky than most.
What only a few know is that the masked are that rarest of things, a community of dopplegangers. Dopplegangers are usually solitary creatures, and in large part this is because they cannot tell each other apart any more than anyone else can. This make it hard to form permanent relationships or communities, so each Doppleganger is usually an island.
The inspiration to change this was born of a powerful doppleganger, known only as The Old Man. He was a legend in Assassin circles, so much so that it was often thought that it was a title rather than a person. He had lived long and seen much, and as he grew old, he had come to regret that there was no such thing as doppleganger culture. He had seen the great and terrible things that had been born of the other, lesser races, and he came to understand how powerful that sense of community is. The masked are his first step to build that same community among his people.
The ultimate goal of The Old Man (Now simply called “grandfather” by the community he founded) is to gather his people and find them a homeland. He is still in the ‘gathering’ phase, and has discovered it’s all a little more complicated than he expected, especially with a lifetime of instincts that suggest the best solution is just to kill everyone who creates a problem. He recognizes that while that might be an effective short term solution, in the long term it will draw enemies to his community and drive them to scatter, destroying all he’s worked for.
He has a deal of some sort with the Autarch which presumably makes his services available in return for safe haven until enough of his people have gathered to be able to strike out on their own. It’s a tense relationship, but a necessary one. The nature of the masks is a secret, but not one so closely held that they have no enemies. The Autharch’s protection goes a long way towards mitigating those risks, so he remains an ally of necessity.
Among themselves, the Masked are making a go at creating a culture. They know what it looks like, but so far they are pretty bad at it. They have no tradition of art or music, and it is not easy for them to ask for help or take lessons from lesser species, so whatever their natural talents, the results are often crude. This is a constant source of frustration for a proud people, and is one more strain on the intricate web the Old man holds together by main force.
One thing that those outside the masks do no know is that each member of the community has a small, intricate tattoo which they cannot conceal. This is a sign of their commitment to the Old Man’s ideals. It is also symbolic of their declaration of identity, which is ultimately expressed through the mask they wear. The masks are only removed in private, and in many ways the mask represents the static identity of each community member. That’s the theory. In practice, there are always those who get bored and ditch the mask to assume a face and mingle in the crowds of the city, pursuing their pleasures. The Old Man has managed to keep such exuberance in check so far.
There is a statue, carved of metal and dark stone and decorated in gold and gems, which shows up in various places around the city. Those who have sought to pilfer its treasures meet a bad end as they discover that this statue is actually a motionless Marut, one with no mercy for thieves.
Metringal is a Marut Executioner of exceptional power – his decorations include at least one which is can be interpreted as “god-killer” – who was sent to this city to perform an execution that the sages of the cosmic orrery deemed absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, they were not clear on details like when this should happen, so they sent him to the city with orders to wait there until his services were needed. Metringal is a dedicated, true believer, and in his initial enthusiasm for doing his job, he jumped the gun a little and more or less depopulated the city of its original inhabitants “just in case”. In the centuries of standing in an empty city that followed, he concluded that he had perhaps been a bit hasty, so he decided to be a little more patient as the new population arrived and grew. It’s not hard. Patience is part of his nature. He has a job, and he is going to do it. If the sun dies and the world cracks in the time it takes before his appointed task, then so be it – his duty is eternal and unwavering.
But for all that, he is very, very bored. So he has three things he does to pass the time.
The first thing, from whence he gets his moniker, is arbitration. A few centuries back, he overheard a discussion of contract law in one of the market squares and startled the hell out of everyone present by offering his opinion. It was, naturally, well thought out and displayed a profound understanding of law and legal nuance. Brave people began taking thorny legal questions to him, and eventually bringing personal and contract disputes for him to resolve. His answers have not always been what people want, and his retribution against breaches of contracts he has overseen is biblical, but he is unshakably neutral and fair. That fairness (and his bloody-handed dealings with those who abuse it) have not exactly made him popular, but it does mean that a number of the most important contracts of the city have been signed under his eye. He won’t leave the city for any reason, so it is possible for a contract-breaker to escape his wrath in that fashion, but few people know that.
The second thing, which makes people a bit more nervous, is his occasional forays into law enforcement. Lawbreaking (or, specifically, any act that he perceives as lawbreaking) performed within his sight is dealt with quickly and brutally. He is utterly indifferent to the station, rank or situation of the lawbreaker, and the punishment is always a quick death. No one completely understands which crimes will trigger him and which won’t, and he is not interested in explaining, but this has lead to the birth of a strange phenomena called “The Arbiters Market”. This is a moving market that sets up shop in whatever corner of the city Metringal has decided to stand for the day. It is probably the safest market in the city, and merchants with valuable but easily stolen goods (such as jewelry or magic) who want to save some money on security often set up shop there. Naturally, it is also a place where you can always find a barrister.
The last pastime is more simple – Metringal has a great fondness for chess. He has perfect recollection of the board positions of countless games, and plays by messenger with several of the cities notables, including the Autharch. This gameplay makes for a strange sort of immortality, as Metringal rarely bothers to remember anyone he meets in this transient world, but he remembers every chess game he has played in perfect detail, and he is happy to discuss them with anyone who seems like they can genuinely keep up with him on the topic. Once the audience starts just nodding and going “Mm-hmm”, the conversation is over He has had celestial chess training, so his references to theory and chess history almost always end up going there. He is a fantastic player, but not unbeatable, and he can be a somewhat petulant loser, taking it out on others while insisting on a rematch.
One important thing that Metringal does not know about his situation is that the sages actually did have a general sense of when he needed to do his job, but they did not pass on that piece of information. See, for a Marut, Metringal is annoyingly enthusiastic, like a big (incredibly powerful, incredibly lethal) puppy dog. Things like killing the whole city? Exactly what they’d expect. So they sent him off to spend a millennia or three to do busy work in hopes that it might season him a little bit, or at the very least get them out of their hair for a while. And it’s worked pretty well (though Metringal would be mightily pissed if he knew) but it’s actually creeping up on the window where he’ll need to actually do his job.
The other thing that the Arbiter does not know is that outside of his hearing, people call him “Bart”. Or at least people hope he does not know this.
The Thing In The Basement
The bottom floors of the Platinum Tower are below the waterline, and it is the common consensus of among natives that the Autharch keeps something down there. Something big and profoundly unpleasant that occasionally causes really loud, disturbing sounds to emerge from the river. This would normally just be the sort of thing people tell their kids about to scare them to behave (‘Be Good, or the Autharch will toss you in the basement!’) but it’s reality is very well established. In fact, the Thing is the Autharch’s last line of defense for the city, and it has been unleashed twice in living memory against pirates or raiders who have attacked down the river. It mostly stays beneath the muddy (and quickly bloody) waters of the river, so reports of what people have seen are sketchy at best. Huge tentacles, a giant maw, poisonous stingers that can pierce a man’s body and drag him below – all this and more has been attributed to the creature.
Whatever its nature, it’s suspected that the Autharch’s control over it is not absolute. On each occasion of its release he has cleared the water of all local ships, even guardboats, and it has often been days before the all clear has been sounded to allow their return. While this was frustrating, the incredible effectiveness of the creature (and the extent of the carnage) kept it from being much of a matter for debate.
The truth is only known to the Autharch and a few of his trusted handled. The creature is a great old Mottled Worm, a purple worm adapted to an aquatic environment. The Autharch controls it through its breeding cycle, keeping its eggs and young nearby, but not releasing them when he must release the creature. It wreaks havoc for a time, but it will return to its nest and its young and the exit is sealed once again. Simple enough in theory, but in practice it introduces numerous complications, including “How do you keep a mottled work breeding in captivity?” and “What do you do with the little worms?”
The first problem is mostly one of chemistry and nutrition – the worm is ultimately asexual, but it has certain needs that must be met to lay a new clutch of eggs. Meeting those needs often calls for rare ingredients, which the Autharch acquires through third party channels (such as adventurers). Disposal of the little worms (where “little” often means “only the size of a small house”) introduces similar complications. Still, the Autharch is not one to waste resources, and a few enemy port cities have sometimes received a young worm as an anonymous “gift”.
The Thing also serves as a powerful political tool. So long as the secret of its nature stays in the hands of the Autharch, it provides insurance. People who have thought about usurping his power realize that in all likelihood his last action of defiance will be to release the Thing and throw away the key, poisoning the usurper’s prize.
Stretches of the city see little or no traffic over time, and as they are neglected they tend to get overgrown. This is not a huge problem – it is rare for a corner of the city to go undisturbed for so long that wildlife truly takes over, and the watch makes occasional rounds with fire and hatchet to clean out the bad areas, but there are a few exceptions. Some neighborhoods are overgrown with vines, as plantlife from the swamp flows in and finds itself well suited to the relatively dry streets and vast climbing surfaces of the towers. A few towers lave been lost to these growth, and these neighborhoods feel more like jungles than anything else – a few steps in among the vines and greenery, and all evidence of the surrounding city is obscured from view.
These neighborhoods are called “twists” and while the locals are loathe to go too deep into them, they treat them as a resource. Some of the vines produce fruits and legumes, while others can be dried and burned. This is less expensive than buying peat form the swampwalkers, so poor families are willing to hazard the twists to gather vines for drying on the cold nights of midwinter.
No one does this too casually, though. The twists can be dangerous for the unwary. In addition to providing refuge for city and swamp-born creatures, the plants themselves can be lethal. Poisonous creepers are a concern, of course, but more dangerous are the animated trappers like Bloodthorn. It is said that even more dangerous plants, like Ambush Vines and Demonthorn, exist deeper in the twists.
While this is a danger to citizens, it’s a boon to scholars and researchers, and Vicida’s small botanist guild is one of the most respected institutions of its kind on the continent. They fund expeditions to gather samples, and posit theories about the anomalies of the Twists (which include flora that cannot be found in the surrounding swamps). A popular theory of the moment is that there may be a passage to the Feywild in the center of one or more of the twists. A countertheory posits the presence of alpha plants, larger and more intelligent, at the heart of each twist. No evidence for either claim has been gathered yet, though word is there’s a large reward if anyone can prove it to be true or false.
To give a sense of proportion, Vicida is a little bit bigger than modern day Manhattan but is only a fraction of the population, and most of that is concentrated around the riverside. The rest of the city is so big that it can often feel like a ghost city. In some ways, it is the “points of light” model writ small – pockets of safety separated by stretches of the unknown.
For campaigns taking place outside of Vicida, the strangeness of the city should only be something visible around the edges. Riverside (that is to say, the docks) seems much like any other port city, and most travelers will never see any more of the city than that. Vicida is a city that people travel through, not too. In some ways it is comparable to the downtown of many modern cities. Think of the several square blocks of neat, interesting stuff that is appealing to the tourists, but as soon as you go beyond that perimeter, the city is abruptly a strange, often unwelcoming place. Vicida thrives on that paradox, that sense that the city is a strange place where you don’t want to be and the city as home to thousands of people for whom this life is no stranger than any other.
Campaigns starting in Vicida can actually follow a very normal model of progression from the small town to the bigger town to the big city, with dungeon trips along the way, all without leaving the city. For most of the city’s populace, Riverside is a promised land of wealth and work that lays beyond their grasp (to say nothing of the high towers of the Gilded and the Autharch). If you can make enough money to live in Riverside, you’re a success by the standards of the city (though doing so means leaving your own community behind, not a trivial decision).
Players should all come from the same neighborhood, under the shadow of the towers. Any race could find their way to one of these communities through luck or intent, and one of the first thing players should talk about among themselves are their families. Why do their parents or guardians or gang live here? What do they do to get by? What is hard and bad enough about it that a life of going into holes full of deadly things for questionable reward seems like a good choice?
Once they have fleshed out their families, the group can use that as a starting point to think about other elements of the neighborhood. Where do people go for food, water, medicine? Who collects rent? Where do people get jobs? The answers to these questions can flesh out the neighborhood far more than any graph paper map showing the location of the blacksmith and the adjective animal tavern.
The city and the swamp provide no shortage of dungeon locales. The towers are still in large part a mystery, and they extend well below the surface of the town, sometimes connecting below the surface (forming a sort of ad-hoc sewer system). While some towers have simple and obvious means of entrance and egress, others remain sealed, or are accessed only through secret ways. The Gilded know more of these than anyone, but even their knowledge is incomplete. Information on a new tower entrance can sell for a pretty penny, but that is often far less than rewarding than actually entering the towers themselves. Sure, there are ancient traps, constructs, the occasional undead or monstrosity man was never meant to see, but the trinkets and treasures left behind by the builders of the city (before their apparently quite abrupt demise ) are well worth it.
As characters succeed, they’ll begin to draw attention from folks like neighborhood leaders, and in time from the Gilded and even the Autharch. Around Paragon level or so, the PCs may be movers and shakers in their own right, and may find themselves drawn into Gilded political conflict, surreptitiously hunting rogue masked before they doom the community, facing incursions out of the twists or helping the Autharch with his “pet”. At this level, there are still monsters to fight and dungeons to explore, but the players’ success starts impacting the city as a whole, for good and ill. This offers the opportunity for great triumphs, as it shows what individuals can accomplish, but also great tragedy, since no person or group can accomplish everything, and some problems are resistant to a strong arm, magic or even liberally applied gold.
Epic level characters may seem to have outgrown the city, but they are likely to find themselves drawn back into it as the Arbiter’s duty comes closer to manifesting. Star spawned appear in the city, and the question of who built the towers and to what purpose starts becoming more and more urgent, as hints begin to be found that the entire city is a single device of unknown power and purpose. It may be designed to open the way for the darkest of stars to our world, or it may be a star-killing weapon, but no one seems to know for certain which (and some powers are willing to destroy it all just to remove the uncertainty).
It wasn’t always like this. I ate meals on plates of silver and gold. Drank wines you couldn’t even afford to hear pronounced. But now? Now? Ah, it is nothing.
You lived a life of luxury among the Gilded before your fall. Perhaps you are a cast off member of one of the clans, or perhaps you were a servant ot plaything now fallen from favor and cast aside. One way or another, you had it all, but it is now all gone. You’ve sold what you could, and now you need to fend for yourself.
Benefits: Begin play an extra 100gp. Once per session, if you take the opportunity to live the “good life” by refusing anything but luxury goods and services of a cost of at least 5x normal, you treat it as if you reached a milestone.
Mark of the Masked
Who am I? Who are you? Who is anyone? You think you have an answer because when you look in the mirror you know what to expect? That’s nothing. I have made my reflection, my face, and in doing so I make my own answer.
You are one of the masked, a true believer that your people can be better than they are. You have been trusted to go out from th ecommunity, to see the world, and to always keep an eye out for those of your kin who have not yet heard of the cause, and to look for a place that might someday be home.
Requirements: Dopleganger or that other non-GSL race that reminds you of dopplegangers.
Benefits: You may take Diplomacy or Insight as a class skill, or gain a +2 bonus to your Diplomacy or Insight. Once per session if you opt to keep yoru mask on when faced with a situation that could be easily resolved by removign it and changing shape, treat it as if you reached a milestone.
Other Notes: Somewhere on your body you have a small, ornate tatoo which does not change along with you. It is easily concealed, but if it is visible to someone who knows what it signifies, you lose all power bonuses to bluff against that person.
There aren’t many paces in the city where the rooftops are flat enough or close enough together to travel on, but the streets aren’t always much safer. So we make do.
The terrain of Vicida is haphazard at best, and often the structural soundness of buildings depends on leabing against the nearby tower for support. This haphazard arrangement makes it hard to simply climb buildings and cross their roofs. That doesn’t stop people though. There’s a highway of strategically placed ropes and bliond drops that allows for fast travel across the city if you know the way, or a long drop and a sudden stop if you do not.
Benefits: You may take Athletics or Acrobatics as a class skill, or gain a +2 bonus to your Athletics or acrobatics. When you are in Vicidia and make a saving throw to avoid falling off a building, you may roll two dice and choose which one to keep. If you succeed, you may immediately shift two spaces, as you find a secret handhold or rope and regain control of your situation.
Spark of the City
I remember no more of my birth than you do, but I knew my mother as soon as I laid eyes on her. This city gave birth to me, and I can hear it whisper to me. She is not the kindest of parents, but then, I am not always the best of children.
All of the cityborn have a tie to Vicida, but for you it is particularily strong. While the city does not literally speak to you, it often feels as it it wants to.
Requirements: Cityborn Warforged
Benefits: You may either take Streetwise as one of your class skills, or you gain a +2 bonus to your streetwise skill. Once per session, if you perform a task which helps the city (such as makign a repair or prevent damage), that is treated as successfully passing a milestone.
Crafted of the same black metal as the towers, this pitted and tarnished blade is virtually indestructable
Level 4: +1
Level 9: +2
Level 14: +3
Level 19: +4
Level 24: +5
Level 30: +6
Property: The DR of the sword is increase by 5 for every point of enhancement bonus. Additionally, the enhancement bonus is added to all defenses and saving throws against effects which would damage or destroy the weapon.
Power(Daily): Invincible Parry: Immediate reaction, triggered by being damaged by an attack: reduce damage by half, ignore one condition the attack would impose, but you are immediately pushed a number of squares equal to the number of dice of damage of the attack.