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Urban Developments


If you haven't already done so, you should read the Wilderness and Rural rules, and take note of the parts that talk about upgrading to a town Hex. Unless you have a great many BP available to you, you will need to start small and work up - even if your eventual goal is to be Lord of a City Stronghold. Be careful, because a hex that contains a Town or City built under these rules may lose some of the rural or wilderness developments that already exists in the area.

Every time you invest BP into a town/city hex a number of things happen. Your business and some minor housing ‘appears’ in the town. NPC investors build houses and set minor businesses for the extra people that town can support. Other NPCs build small holdings (etc) in the hinterlands, to supply you and your employees with extra food, casual labour and anything else you need. But all that happens automatically, and you don’t have to worry about it unless you want to build a home or estate close to the city.

These are a bit more complex than the village rules, but follow the same pattern.

Clearing the Land

To start with you must prepare the settlement area for building. This means cutting down scrub or trees, removing boulders, levelling hummocks, so that you have a reasonable place to build. The cost of preparation varies according to the terrain you choose.

TerrainPlainsHillsForestMarshMountainDesertJungleCaverns (*)Tunnel(*)
Initial Land Prep 1 1 2 3 3 4 4 5 10
Subsequent and Upgrade 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 -

(*) Caverns covers existing caves, disused mines and underground passages that you have dug out yourself. Tunnel means that you dig rock out to form a series of tunnels and chambers that will serve as a subterranean district - if you want proper underground sewers for your city, you have to dig tunnels BEFORE you can start building them.


Towns and cities are divided into districts. You should build a one or two district town to start with, then add more districts when your town/city can afford to expand. The more districts that you have, the more expensive it is to run, so you need to make sure that the town/ earned enough in taxes or commercial income to support that growth. Remember that good Stewardship will make it easier.

Each district can only sustain a fixed amount of development and different buildings take up different amounts of that development space. When we talk about a 'building', we are not really talking about a single building, but a set of business and residential developments. Take a simple shop, for example. You only need a small building for the shop, but you also need a home for the shopkeeper and other accommodation for ant staff. There need to be homes, food and employment for people that use the shop. So the 'development' covered by the single word 'Shop' - might actually be a tenement block, with a shop and a “bunks for rent hostel” on the ground floor, with a series of residential rooms above, and small holdings in the hinterland. However, The Shop is the main economic factor behind the development.

I have chosen to use a very simple way to measure how much space a building uses up. Look along its stats line and find the largest value - it might be Economy, Stability, Loyalty or Defence - BUT not Special Economy. The largest value represents the size of the development. So a building with Defence +3 is size 3, A building with Economy +1 is size 1. Etc. Each district can hold up to twenty units (size) of 'Development Space'

Population: Size x 50 gives a fairly accurate estimate of your settlement's population.

Type Total Building Size Base LimitPurchase LimitPopulation Range
Small Town 4+ 1,000 gp 5,000gp 201–2,000
Large Town 40+ 2,000 gp 10,000gp 2,001–5,000
Small City 100+ 4,000 gp 25,000gp 5,001–10,000
Large City 200+ 8,000 gp 50,000gp 10,001–25,000
Metropolis 500+ 16,000 gp 100,000gp 25001 +

NOTE: A settlement must attain the Size (shown above) to gain the status, regardless of how many (half empty) districts it might have. It makes sense to start new districts before you have filled the old ones - that allows buildings space to upgrade when they need to.

Building Restrictions. You may only have one of each building per district. That doesn’t mean to say your town can only have one pub - but it means you have to think about it a bit more. There might be a hotel, an inn, a tavern, a restaurant and innumerable smaller bars, cafes and take-aways spread around the place. It just means that you can only have one of each particular building type (per district) that contribute to the city’s stats.

Non-Commercial Homes are not restricted – you can have as many homes in a district as you want. Differentiated buildings are not restricted either: for example you could have a Craft Workshop (Leather Work) and a Craft Workshop (Wood Work) in the same district or a Sword School and a normal School.

One per district doesn't mean that the buildings have to be physically placed in separate districts. If you have three districts you can build (or upgrade to) three Hotels all in the same district, next to each other - so long as they are the only three hotels in your town.

Spending BP

Every development in the Lists has a BP price associated with it. Each building will give something to your town – measured in Economy, Loyalty, Security, Defence and Magic Items. You need to keep Economy, Loyalty and Security about level for your town to stay a nice place to live :}. Get them out of Sync and your town becomes more difficult to manage - then the DM gets to roll on the ‘Bad Things Happen’ table.

There will be business people who wish to invest in your stronghold - but they will want to develop buildings that add to your economy. To balance that out, you might want to concentrate on Loyalty and Security developments. Just remember that no-one can build in YOUR city (or on your land) without your permission. You will want to 'cut a deal' with an Investor - and only allow them to develop commercial building IF they contribute towards the cost of a civic building. Example 1 Remind them that the whole point is to keep Economy, Loyalty and Security in Balance - and if everything goes pear shaped, it will be their economic investments that suffer :)

You need to invest in building that give you defence points as well. Defence points represent a mixture of static defence (walls), policing and soldiers - they are what keep your people safe - if you drop below 1 Def Point per District your town will be unable to control local criminals. Your chances of getting a noble title are affected by the number of defence points you control.

pathfinder/campaign_systems2/urban.txt · Last modified: 2022/07/17 09:44 by johnb