The greatest asset of any kingdom are its cities. It is here that the bulk of a kingdom’s citizens live, its armies train, its culture develops, and its future is forged. The city grid provided will gives players a visual representation of a city as they build using the following rules.
Reading the Grid
The city grid consists of 36 city blocks, each arranged into 9 larger squares. Each block is separated by alleys, while each square is separated by streets. The 9 squares are enclosed by 4 borders to make city district. A district border can represent a city wall, a river, a lake or ocean shore, a cliff, a street or alley, or merely the transition from one city district into another. As the characters build, they should write the type of building in the appropriate block.
Preparing the Site
Once you select a location for your city (which must be in a hex you have explored and claimed/settled), you must pay to have the site cleared and prepared to support the city’s roads and buildings. The cost and time required to clear the location is determined by its prominent terrain. Once you finish preparing the site, decide the makeup of each of the district’s borders and record your choices at each border of your city grid. Adding a city district to a kingdom increases its Consumption by 1.
The City Grid in Play
You can use your city grid to aid in resolving encounters and adjusting kingdom/city statistics.
Destroyed Blocks: If an event destroys one or more blocks, the devastation causes +1 Unrest per destroyed block. The cost to rebuild the block is halved if the replacement building is the same type of structure as the one that preceded the destruction.
City Grid Scale: Although encounters in a city are played out normally, you might need to determine how long it takes to travel from one location to another between encounters. Treat each city block as a 750-foot square and an entire city district is about 1 square mile in size.
Building A City
Once you’ve prepared your city district, you can start to build. The placement of a building represents the notable structure within the block. When you build, write the name or create an icon for the appropriate type of structure on your city grid. Two-block and four-block structures cannot be split up (although they can span streets). It takes 1 month to construct a building, no matter what size the building is and its benefits apply immediately.
Population: A city’s population is equal to the number of completed blocks within its districts × 250. A city grid that has all 36 blocks filled with buildings has a population of 9,000.
Defensive Modifier: A city’s Defensive Modifier can be increased by building certain structures (such as city walls) and has an impact on mass combat. Keep track of your city’s Defensive Modifier on the city district sheet to assist in combating invaders.
Base Value: When using these rules to build a settlement, the city’s base value (see the “Purchasing Magic Items” section in Chapter 15 of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game) starts at 200 gp. It increases as you construct certain buildings, like shops and marketplaces.
The base value therefore is tied not to its size but rather to the number of Economy-based buildings it has. Cities with multiple districts add the individual base values of each district together to determine the entire city’s base value, with an upper limit of 16,000 gp per city. Any nonmagical item from the equipment chapter in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook is always available for sale or use if its cost is lower than the city’s base value.
Magic Item Availability: Any magic item equal to or lower than the city’s base value is available for purchase 50% of the time — this check may be made every month during the Upkeep Phase. A certain number of more powerful and valuable magic items, however, may be available for purchase in any city. Although these items tend to be of a somewhat random nature, as new items are found or created and enter the economy. A city’s size does not influence the number of magic items above base value that are available for purchase. Instead, these items become available as certain buildings (like academies or magic shops) are added to a city. Whenever such a building is added to a city, place an “X” on one of the lines below the appropriate item category on the city district sheet to indicate that the city has gained a “slot” in that category. There are no limits to the number of slots that can be gained in any category. (The GM may wish to consider a rule of limitation depending on the setting specifics.)
During every Upkeep Phase, randomly roll a magic item of the appropriate category for each “X” line. After it is generated, a magic item remains on the market until it is purchased. Once per Income phase, a kingdom can make Economy checks to try to sell items. Once the item is sold, its slot remains empty until the next Upkeep Phase.
NPCs: Players may also record NPCs of note in the city. A city should gain a new notable NPC every month the city is in operation until all available slots are filled (4 per district). Half of all notable NPCs should have NPC class levels only. New notable NPCs have 1d4 levels and each has a 50% chance of gaining a new level every year. Players and GMs should agree on notable NPCs.