Journey: City Mechanics

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Under-construction.jpg This page is currently under development, and as such is somewhat in limbo regarding playtest viability. It is not recommended that information on this page be used or considered for playtesting until it has reached a more stable revision.

Some goals for this page.

  • Need to interact with and impact the in-game economic system.
  • Need to be sufficiently detailed to make a working, simple mass-combat system.
  • Need to be able to inform the world what the city contains.
  • Need to interact with the terrain generation system to produce a simple geography of the city.
  • Need to interact with certain social skills (ie, Gather Info) to produce a reasonable NPC to interact with; may also require calling upon the Ethos subsystem to pull this off.


Cities are concentrations of humanoid populations, in which a number of beings gather for mutual protection, sharing of resources, and a central locale for those who practice useful skills.

Much like a character, cities in Journey are mechanical constructs, with rough facsimiles to attributes, skills, and specials. The level of detail in city mechanics here are understood to be a necessary facet of how the game functions - as we have discovered in working with character Specials, any and everything we want to know about a city must be mechanically represented and accountable: if a piece of data is not represented mechanically, we have no means to access it.


All cities have the following attributes, called ratings. These function similarly to character attributes, in that they have no root value. Unlike character attributes, however, they are prone to fluctuation over time and in response to changes in the city's immediate environment.

Much like everything else, these values can increase over time. A city gains experience towards its ratings through vastly different methods than a character gains experience towards their own values.


The population of the city. All cities have at least a Rank 1 Size rating; a city whose Size drops below Rank 1 is no longer a city, and is considered instead to be a loose group of individuals (meaning that they must be dealt with individually, rather than through city-specific mechanics).
A city's Size rating increases through having sufficient food yield from nearby terrain hexes to warrant growth.


The range of the city's cultural influence. Within a city's influence range, individuals will tend to consider themselves members of the city's community; influence also impacts the economic situation within the hexes it affects.
A city's Influence rating increases by having reasons for individuals to visit it. Artists, craftsmen, and strong political or religious presence are among the ways that a city can improve its Influence.


The general healthiness of a city. Health fluctuates with population, certain resources, and certain types of buildings (industrialization, in particular, harms a city's health), as does the presence of certain terrain or terrain modifiers in nearby terrain hexes.


The economic power of a city. A city's Commerce rating fluctuates in response to existing roads and sea-lanes, importation and exportation of goods and services, and the presence of individuals who practice a trade.
...the journey of a thousand miles...
...begins beneath your feet...
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