City Creation Rules

Ok, here they are, after many trials and tribulations, the Rules for creating cities, based on the Palladium point system, written by Captain Napalm, with a few suggestions from The Devourer of Small Dogs. There are a few areas that could use some more options, and any other suggestions are also appreciated.

Step One: Size

  1. Hamlet: A small community of no more than 50 people. The hamlet generally has very few resources and can offer little to passing travelers, other than a warm place to sleep, a little food, and maybe some hospitality. Cost: 60 pts
  2. Village: This is generally the largest wilderness communities ever get, ranging up to around 250 inhabitants. It's likely that modern weaponry is used, but facilities for repairs and the like will be primitive at best. The village will be similar to the hamlet in terms of resources. Cost: 120 pts
  3. Town: At 2000 people, a town is what most weary travelers look for during their journeys. While it's no guarantee that a town is any better equipped than a village or hamlet, the odds are considerably better. A community of this size usually resembles the towns of the Old West, with a main street, and not many other roads. Cost: 180 pts
  4. Small City: Few communities ever reach this plateau in growth. Cities of this size almost certainly have some "edge," be it technology, magic, or something else. They are likely to trade regularly with other communities, and probably have a few villages and hamlets that depend on it for support. Cost: 240 pts
  5. City: The communities of Los Alamo, Juarez, and Kingsdale all fall into this category. They are bustling centers of the population, and will be known stops for travelers, mercenaries, and other groups. It is likely that expeditions are launched from cities, as they are the best places for gathering provisions and supplies. Cost: 300 pts.
  6. Metropolis: In the decimated planet of Rifts Earth, few communities ever reach 100,000 or more inhabitants. There just aren't that many people. Nearly all of the cities of this size are famous or infamous for their advanced civilizations. Most of the major population centers of the Coalition States, Lazlo, and Tolkeen fall into this category. Cost: 500 pts

Step Two: City Features

A. Government

  1. Anarchy: This community really isn't a community at all. Most residents are scattered miles away from each other, with the only common bond being some kind of supply depot somewhere in the middle. Cost: None
  2. Oppressive Dictator: The ruler of this town is a selfish or evil despot who controls every aspect of the city. The people are heavily taxed, and laws are generally might makes right. Cost: 5 pts
  3. Commune: The inhabitants of this community live in a free society. Everyone is considered equal, and disputes are handled by a group of elders. While this might sound idyllic, this form of government usually results in being conquered by outside invaders, as the residents are usually disordered and poorly trained. Cost: 10 pts
  4. Benevolent Dictator: While this city is still ruled by a dictator or monarch, he/she is honestly concerned about the welfare of the citizens. The laws are fair, but harsh, and the members of the military/police are usually only given a slap on the wrist for their crimes, if that. Cost: 20 pts
  5. Aristocratic Republic: This town is controlled by a highly selective group, who may or may not care about the needs of the people. Democracy exists, but only in the aristocracy or oligarchy. In other words, less than 25% of the general populace has a say in the running of the community. This government usually changes to some other form relatively quickly. Cost: 30 pts
  6. Democracy: In this city, all citizens are given an equal say in the government. The system might be republican in nature (elected officials), or be a true democracy, with the citizens voting on all of the issues. Cost: 50 pts

B. Natural Resources

Unlike other categories, various elements of natural resources can be bought to give a different feel to the community.

  1. None: This community has few or no resources at all. It exists purely as a result of outside influences. Cost: None
  2. Isolated: This city is in the middle of nowhere. This has it's advantages, and disadvantages. Isolation can be good for a city, because it is far from anybody who would do it harm, and thus, it is safe, allowing to advance in ways it may not have normally. However, being isolated is very bad for trade. If anybody even knows about the city, it is hard to get there, and not usually worth their while. Isolated cities usually develop qutie slowly. Cost: 10pts
  3. Water: Towns with this resource are located near a body of water of some kind. Being located near a river provides a form of transport, as well as benefits to farming. Lakes allow fishing industries to thrive, as well as limited naval potential. A city located on the sea has the greatest potential, but also is vulnerable to serious storms and outside invaders. Cost: 20 pts
  4. Forest: This community is located near or in a forest. It will rely on the timber industry as a source of income, and most inhabitants will be experienced woodsmen. Cost: 15 pts
  5. Agriculture: Nearly all towns farm, but a community with this resource farms a lot. The surrounding countryside for miles will be devoted to growing crops. A river or some sort of water source is needed to make an agricultural community survive. Cost: 15 pts
  6. Mineral: This city has the good fortune of being located near large mineral deposits. Whether it be coal, gold, or something else, this community relies on mining for a large chunk of its revenue. Cost: 30 pts
  7. Petroleum Products: This is an invaluable resource in the days of the Rifts. Most people can't afford nuclear power, so petroleum is used as a major source of fuel. Communities with access to petroleum can become wealthy overnight, with people flocking to them to trade. This has its downside, as greedy invaders may seek to take over the oil fields. Cost: 50 pts

C. Location

  1. Aggressive neighbors: A city with aggressive neighbors is bound to have constant conflicts and skirmishes. On the upside, inventions are fueled by conflict, and the city may have some kind of technological or mystical revolution. Cost: 3 pts
  2. Active Rift: Being located near a rifts can be a boon, or a pain. Magic users will welcome the extra energy and power, while magic-phobes (eg the CS) will do everything in their power to destroy the rift and everything that comes out of it. Cost: 5 pts
  3. Monster Zone: As with most other locations, being near a monster zone has its ups and downs. The monsters can be used for a variety of things, and might just turn out not to be monsters after all. However, supremacist communities will despise every monster, and will kill them on sight. Cost: 5 pts
  4. Trading Route: Every community wants to be located near trade routes, as trade is the means to wealth. Optimally, this city has something to provide to traders (either by being a good stopping point along the way, or having tradable resources). Cost: 20 pts

Suggestions here would be most appreciated for other locational aspects of a city.

D. Attitude Towards Outsiders

  1. Reclusive Xenophobes: These people hate and fear all outsiders, and react by trying to remove themselves from all outside influences. If the community is invaded (defined as anyone who doesn't belong coming in), the residents will react violently and attack. Cost: None
  2. Aggressive Isolationists: At first glance, this seems a contradiction in terms, but this is the way many isolationists and xenophobes handle outsiders. The Coalition is a perfect example of this. They react to undesirables by attacking and destroying them. The war against Tolkeen is only the most recent instance of this policy. Cost: 5 pts
  3. Wary: The inhabitants of this community are suspicious of non-residents. They are likely to overcharge, be close-mouthed, and suspect outsiders of being evil and dishonest. Cost: 10 pts
  4. Neutral: Communities that take this attitude are generally subjected to a large transient population, like traders or other travelers. They are a necessary fact of life, and might even be considered friends, but they are still outsiders. On an ideological level, all people are equal, but the villagers maintain a superior air. Cost: 20 pts
  5. Open Arms: Outsiders are welcomed as total equals. As a matter of fact, the community has a high turnover rate, with people coming and going constantly. Cost: 50 pts

E. Racism

  1. Racial Supremacists: The Coalition typifies communities with this attitude. The town is made up of predominantly one race and members of any other race are considered worthless, if not attacked as monsters. Cost: None
  2. Slave Owners: This city uses members of other races as slaves. Abuse and mistreatment is commonplace, and killing slaves is completely legal, if a bad investment. The denizens of Atlantis hold this attitude. Cost: 5 pts
  3. 2nd Class Citizens: The inhabitants of this community are rather diverse, but one group is dominant. They hold all of the power, and look down on the others. The sub-races have some rights, but will always be discriminated against. Cost: 10 pts
  4. Coexistence: This is a very unusual situation. Several different races all live in the same area, yet retain their autonomies. Trade goes on between the different groups, and they would come to the aid of the others, but the situation is somewhat similar to present-day Europe. Cost: 25 pts
  5. Total Equality: In communities with this attitude, all people are treated as equals, regardless of species. Tolkeen typifies this view. Cost: 45 pts

F. Technology Level

  1. Preindustrial: These people have developed metallurgy, basic machines, and other limited technology, but definitely can't offer the kind of services the average adventurer requires. They will be somewhat afraid of high-tech, but will quickly adapt. Cost: None
  2. Industrial Age: The tech level of this community is around the level of the late 19th century. Firearms and other explosives are well-known, and semi-advanced machinery (steam power, basic planes, etc) are utilized. Cost: 5 pts
  3. Atomic Age: In this city, the people have advanced to the level of the late 20th or early 21st century. Nuclear technology is known of, but not widely used. Energy weapons are almost available for manufacturing, and basic repairs might be possible. Cost: 10 pts
  4. Advanced Tech: Northern Gun represents this level of technology. Mega-damage weapons and armor, simple robots and war machines, and other modern amenities are commonplace. Cost: 25 pts
  5. Cutting Edge Tech: The leading nations of Earth are at this level of advancement. Whether it be from Pre-Rifts discoveries or new designs, a community with technology of this kind is a force to be reckoned with. Cost: 50 pts

G. Magic Level

  1. Anti-Magic: Similar to the Coalition, the members of this community violently hate magic, mages, and everything related to them. Wizards are hunted down and killed as monsters, and anyone even suspected of practicing magic is watched and mistrusted. Cost: None
  2. Disbelief: The residents of this town don't hate magic, they simply don't believe in it. If exposed to wizardry, they will respond by trying to debunk the "tricks". If the existence of magic is proven, their attitude towards it will be based on how the first few mages act. Cost: 5 pts
  3. Limited Magic: Various people in this town use magic, but they are few and far between. As with number 2, the reaction of the general populace will be determined by the alignments and actions of the mages. Cost: 10 pts
  4. Prominence: Numerous mages live and work in this city, but the people as a whole don't use magic. The wizards are considered to be important parts of the community, and magic is usually considered to be a neutral force. Cost: 25 pts
  5. City of Magic: The entire community uses magic in various aspects of life. Doctors, mechanics, everyone uses magic to enhance and better their lives. Attacks on this town will be met with deadly force from the paranormal. Cost: 50 pts

H. Psychic Level

Levels one through five parallel magic. Simply replace magic with psionics, and modify to suit the situation.

I. Military

  1. None: No organized military exists in this community. Any invaders will be met with little resistance. Cost: None
  2. BYOG (Bring Your Own Gun): The town has some kind of plan for being invaded, but there is no training, and everyone is expected to supply their own weapons. Cost: 3 pts
  3. Militia: Like number 2, this option requires each person to supply himself, but the training is provided by the community. The level of training varies from place to place, but this town can survive against fairly formidable foes. Cost: 5 pts
  4. Mercenaries: If a town has enough cash to fund a mercenary army, they will be well defended, but it costs a fortune, and mercenaries are notorious for being rowdy and untrustworthy. Cost: 10 pts
  5. Standing Army: This city has the resources to field, train and supply a standing army. Gear is provided, and the troops generally have some combat experience. Enemy forces generally think twice before attacking this army. Cost: 30 pts
  6. Crack Troops: The members of this city's army are known throughout the area as being formidable. They train constantly, have the best weaponry, and can hold their own against forces many times their size. Cost: 60 pts

J. Notable Businesses

These elements may be purchased several times to provide atmosphere for the community.

  1. Bar/Tavern: The standard plot device for almost any campaign. The bar can be sleazy or high class or anything in between. If this option is purchased several times, the taverns will be in competition, and should try their hardest to bring in new customers. Cost: 5 pts, or 10 pts for a high class establishment or club.
  2. Weapons Dealer: An arms merchant might be an independent, or a licensed dealer for a specific company. Either way, the merchant should have access to a variety of weapons, ranging from SDC hand to hand to heavy energy weapons to missiles. Cost: 15 pts
  3. Library: With the literacy rate being so low, a library, and the employees who work there can be invaluable to a community. Generally the staff is made up of rogue scholars and scientists, who earn their living translating documents, identifying artifacts and chemical compounds and potentially making repairs or offering basic medical services. Cost: 25 pts
  4. Operator or Techno Wizard: Repairs are vital to travelers. If a town has an operator or techno-wizard running a garage, it will be made a regular stop on trade routes, thus bringing in revenue to the community. Cost: 25 pts
  5. Marketplace: While most towns have some kind of a market, this goes beyond the average. At any given time, the market will have 3D6 merchants (most transient) and on special days, that number may increase by five times or more. Any variety of goods can be found, but no guarantee is made, and prices range dramatically. Cost: 30 pts
  6. Vehicles and Robots Dealer: A weapons merchant rarely has the resources to supply vehicles, robots and power armor. This store will have access to numerous kinds of simple SDC vehicles, hovercraft, and light MDC armored vehicles. Common robots and PA will be available, with "special" orders available at a high markup and possibly a long waiting period. Cost: 45 pts
  7. Alchemist or Magic Shop: Depending on a town's views on magic, this store could be an important part of the community, or an out-of-the way seldom used hole in the wall. An alchemist can have access to rare mystic components, spell lore, and information about the world at large. Cost: 60 pts

K. Power Source

  1. None: This village expects the inhabitants to provide their own sources of power and heat. Cost: None
  2. Basic Water: This is basically the same as number one, except the town has developed simple hydropower for certain businesses, like water wheels or irrigation. Cost: 3 pts
  3. Coal: This fossil fuel is utilized for the creation of power. Each building still has its own furnace, but the town sells coal, as opposed to the residents being required to cut their own wood. Cost: 5 pts
  4. Oil/Natural Gas: A town with this resource has a central power plant, with power lines linking the buildings to provide electricity. Cost: 10 pts
  5. Nuclear: Nuclear power is one of the most efficient sources of power for a wilderness community, but it's expensive to acquire and maintain, and potentially dangerous if something goes wrong. Cost: 35 pts
  6. Alternative Fuel Sources: This could take the form of solar power, advanced hydroelectric, or some other unique form of power. These forms have their advantages in being relatively free, but they usually don't provide much energy for the maintenance costs, and are susceptible to destruction. Cost: 50 pts
  7. Mystic Power Generators: A town that chooses this option obviously must have a favorable view towards magic. The mages and Techno-Wizards of this community have developed a mystic generator that provides enough energy to power an entire town! Depending on the size of the community, one or many generators may be used to provide power to all of the inhabitants. Cost: 45 pts
  8. Rift Power: To acquire this option, C. 3. (Location: Active Rift) must also be purchased. This gutsy invention provides limitless power for a community of any size, but is also extremely dangerous. Playing with the energy provided by an active rift is a dangerous move at best, requiring safety measures for times of high rift activity (Eclipses, Solstices, etc.), as well as the creatures that might want to enter our dimension through the rift. Even so, towns that have the ability to tap this vast resource are willing to take the risk to possess the immense power a rift can provide. Cost: 60 pts

L. Wealth

  1. Impoverished: The vast majority of the residents of this community are barely eking out an existence, and many die of starvation each year. Cost: None
  2. Poor: While most people make enough to live on, very little is left over, and if something goes wrong with crops or other money-makers, the village will revert to number one. Cost: 3 pts
  3. Survival: This represents a lower middle class society. Generally, the people can survive a few lean years on their reserves, and a little bit of extra can be made each year. Cost: 5 pts
  4. Middle Class: The vast majority of communities live at this level. The people can afford a few luxuries, and the town has enough revenue sources to be able to continue to prosper during a bad year or two. Cost: 10 pts
  5. Wealthy: Few places manage to make it to this level. The people can afford numerous luxuries, drive expensive vehicles, wear fancy clothes, and look down on everyone who doesn't. Cost: 35 pts
  6. Filthy Rich: Possibly only the higher levels of Chi-Town and some of the more wealthy regions of the NGR attain this level of wealth. The city is dripping with money, and even the poor are at level 3 or 4. Cost: 60 pts

City-Creation-Rules.php -- Revised: January 27, 2021.