Monday, May 2, 2016

Limits of Stericksburg's "Safe" zone

As my players discuss some plans for next session by email, the limits of "town is safe" came up indirectly.

Here is how "safe" works.

North of Stericksburg are some run-down slums. All that's there are run down houses, tents of the truly poor and desperate, some criminals and exiles, and a few shops and stands that provide a modicum of a market for all of them.* And yes, the statue of Baron Sterick on his horse, arms raised holding his axe and sword.

These areas are not explicitly safe. Although I generally don't have encounters in these areas, trouble can follow you from the dungeons to these areas if you attempt to make a run for town.

Not accidentally, the North Gate, that leads to the Stone Bridge over the Silver River, is closed and guarded in the small hours of the night. You can leave town during these hours, potentially, but you can't easily get back in. During the day, the guards would be quick to seal off the North Gate if trouble is seen coming, without really caring if some delvers made it inside before they did.

Short version?

Safe stops at the southern bank of the river. Don't raid the dungeon and flee to the slums to wait it out.

"Town is safe" works as a central conceit of the game only if you aren't trying to use it like base in a game of tag. Not that my players have done so, or even suggested doing so - but like I said, it came up indirectly and I figured I made as well explicitly explain my thinking.

* Obviously, this includes a stand that sells cursed frogurts that contain potassium benzoate.


  1. "Obviously, this includes a stand that sells cursed frogurts that contain potassium benzoate."

    Sounds like a Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler Food Cart.

    1. It's a Simpsons reference. To be honest, I never even thought of the Pratchett character. The only reason there are shops at all is so people can potentially get cursed frogurt.

  2. Well, that definitely adds character to that part of town...I can almost smell it. Pretty sure I just heard a guy get got around the corner from the market, too. Yeah, I'm going back to the walls, see ya.

    (Got a map of this town?)

    "Obviously, this includes a stand that sells cursed frogurts that contain potassium benzoate. "

    That's bad :(

    1. But it's closed on Sundays, and the PCs generally delve on Sundays.

      That's good. :)

    2. Heh.

      In a related ruling, if you go back to town, the delve is over and the session is over.

    3. Oh, classic Simpsons.

      Good strategy on the town=session end. Prevents the quick turnaround on goods and constant resupply of consumables (which DF delvers likely go through in spades). I'm guessing it also helps you get time to re-supply the dungeon itself, and deal with player's needs from the town?

      "Going to town" has always been a bit of a chore from what I remember last I played, since everyone wants to do all their stuff at once and it splits my focus (especially when I had that 8-12 player group). Much easier to deal with it between sessions one-on-one.

    4. Mostly it's to avoid consequences being solvable with a quick hike home. Going home vs. pressing on is a larger decision if you can't swing by town for a quick Power Item recharge, a Remove Curse casting, and some forgotten gear between room room 15 on level 3 and the steps down to level 4.

      I've nothing against the 15 minute workday, but if town is just a quick hop back between fights, I may as well just have the dungeon be a series of rooms in town or give them unlimited Town Portal scrolls and not even pretend a dungeon is more than X number of rooms you feel like going to without a safe break between them.

  3. Why is it so hard to find frogurt that isn't cursed? Am I just looking in the wrong slums?

    1. You need to be looking for Traditional Style rather than Orcish Nouveau.

    2. I never buy Orcish anything. Gives me hives.


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