Playing a one-on-one D&D game at home with Janaki. The Bingo XP Variant doesn’t work for 1 player, so I whipped up a milestone XP sheet that we’ll use to futz with the timing of leveling up. As we do with the Bingo board, we’ll use it to open up that discussion of what we’d like to see in game and how we’d like to see Makaris the Druid challenged.
Makaris is a Tiefling Druid returning to her birthplace, the Tiefling capital of Asmodeen. Makaris has been away from her home for a decade after a job for her criminal family went bad. During that decade was a war with the Dragonborn and the treaty ending that war has just been inked.
You’ve got that fantasy city you made up on the map – here are some neighbors beyond the map’s edges:
Asmodeen: former capital of the Tiefling empire, back when there was an empire. Made to honor the God-Tyrant, Asmodeus but was never officially recognized as His unholy capital city. The city is guarded by the 13 Altar-Fortresses, each commanded by a warlock-commander.
Exports: goats, obsidian, indentured devil tutors
Bahamudad: holy city of the Dragonborn, where it is said that Bahamut and Tiamat’s high priests and priestesses made a peace accord and gathered to create the species after the first Dragon War.
Exports: lumber, ancient coins, accountants
The Walking Cathedral: an ancient, lumbering machine said to be built in a collaboration between saints, sorcerers, devils and gods before the world knew of war and blood. The path it lumbers along is completed once every season, said to be on guard against the Tarrasque.
Exports: buffalo, holy books, oracles and scribes
Pentacle: a new and growing metropolis made by a cabal of five mages who have built a merchant house from their money made from stolen dragon’s hoards and looted lich’s tombs, surrounded by five towers that are still under construction and stout walls.
Exports: vellum, ink, map-makers
High Fell: a city in the middle of the Bright Bay, built atop the skyships, airships and spelljammers that fell to the earth during the Storm Wars. The ships are connected via tunnels and gangplanks, purchasing a ship entangles one into complicated relationships with one’s neighbors.
Corvuston: the holy city of the Raven Queen with necropolis walls and many murders.
Exports: marble, embalmers, morticians and undead hunters
Ulula: the city that clings to the fortress built by the owl god is known for its giant owl steeds and the city’s knights who ride them – delivering messages and slaying monsters that haunt the night.
Exports: wool, flying steeds and astonishingly recent news from afar
Endë-Osto: the deepest city of the Drow is ruled by a matriach whose throne is said to float in the center of the earth. Her queensguard is made of the palest of the drow sword-maidens who have never seen sun, moon nor stars; they ride dinosaurs bred for traversing tunnels.
Exports: mushrooms, ore, gems and Underdark guides
Three Giants Dam: Before the Curse fell upon the Giants and damned them to mindless savagery, they used their magics to raise a dam that stretched miles wide and half a mile thick and high, sealing the Sunset Ocean off from the Inner Sea, and creating the lush Valley of Indris. The dam still stands inviolate, the three carved giants on its face standing testament to their once-mighty craft. The smaller races have built a city of interlocking platforms, scaffolds, and houses all along its inner face, with the world’s greatest and most dangerous harborage spilling over the top.
Exports: wine from scaffold-grown grapes, old Giantish machina from the access tunnels, magebred messenger monkeys.
By Jim DelRosso
J’arr: also know as the City of a 1000 ports it is said to have been created in a single night by a djinn of the first order. J’arr sits at the mouth of the mighty river All’taugh, the Sweet, known for its refreshing and soothing waters. High minarets and brightly colored palaces speckle the skyline and merchants and creatures of all sorts walk its streets. It has been thousands of years since the city’s founding but the mage with ruby eyes still rules as he always has. It is said that in the dunes that surround the city a giant insect god with glittering eyes watches from beneath the surface.
Exports: olives, diplomats, (there is a school for diplomatic and negotiating skills within the city), and pepper.
by Anthony Loinaz
Big Shire: a sprawling series of hills inter-connected with hobbit holes, weed dens and sabbatical hostels for over-stressed wizards. The Big Shire is governed by a complicated morass of mayors and sheriffs.
Exports: pipe weed, cabbage, fireworks, burglars
Labyrinth: an urban maze created by and constantly kept up and altered by minotaur architects and masons. The city is a philosophical statement about choice and free will and is said to be slowly dying along with the minotaur species.
Exports: bricks, architects, book-binders
NOTE: When it came time to use this, Endë-Osto didn’t fit, so I used the following:
Vault: in the wake of terrible wars, feuds and kinstrife, the dwarven merchant class has taken over its society and Vault is the ultimate expression of that. This holdfast is a mountain carved into a work of art, where dwarven crafts are constantly exported in armored caravans, guarded by dwarven soldiers.