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Old 03-10-2018, 08:39 PM   #1
ajardoor
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Default [Setting/RPM] The City of Triangle

In the year 2016 C.E., a magically adept humanity has established settlements and colonies in minor dimensions ("demi-planes", if you will) named The Outer Planes. Travel to the Outer Planes is made easy through magical gates from Earth. The first such Outer Planes to be discovered and explored was named Chesed.

And the greatest free city of Chesed, the New York City of Ritual Path Magic, is Triangle. It is a hub of interplanar trade and travel, an ancestral homeland for magicians.

Side note: Okay, while I originally wrote this up for my own fantasy setting, but you don't need to have read that for this thread - just basic facts should be enough for this thread. Ask questions, if you feel you need more information. Also, Ritual Path Magic is the only magic system, but I use a modified version of the Metatronic Generators system rather than the Magic Tools section of RPM.
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Triangle City Stats

Population: 110,500 (Search +3)

Physical and Magical Environment
Terrain: Plains
Appearance: Attractive (+1)
Hygiene: +0
High Mana (Very Common Enchantment)

Culture and Economy
Language: English, Korean, Spanish, Russian
Literacy: Native
TL: 8^
Wealth: Wealthy (5x)
Status: -2 to 5

Political Environment
Government: Representative Democracy
CR: 3 (Corruption -2)
Military Resources: $29.73M
Defence Bonus: +12

Notes:
The city is a central haven of Thaumaturgy, home to major corporate HQs (+2 to Search rolls), the Three-Points Thaumatological University & Research Institute (+3 to Search rolls for Thaumatological information), and the biggest enchanted items market in the outer planes (+3 to Search rolls).


Chesed

The first outer plane to be settled, and still the most prosperous, is an odd region - it's general climate is typical of the Mediterranean on Earth, but with plentiful unnatural features. Travellers have spotted streams of water flowing up into the sky, large metal structures in the shape of a citadel, floating islands, mushrooms bigger than humans, animals turning to stone and lightning storms producing instrumental music instead of thunder. If you're hunting for treasure, exploring the countryside of Chesed makes for a chaotic but profitable venture.
The signature magi city of Triangle is home to quite a few corporate HQs, the Three-Points Thaumatological University & Research Institute, and the biggest enchanted items market in the outer planes.
Perhaps the worst domestic threat to the good people of Triangle is a growing underground Mage supremacist movement becoming more and more violent. Despite the apparently underwhelming (and nakedly megalomaniacal) leadership of these domestic terrorists, they all still endanger the civil peace by attacking mundane nationals and those co-operating with them, causing anti-magic sentiment to rise on Earth.
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Feel free to suggest and detail any of the following (be sure to note what category of content it is);

Special Interest Groups
Cabals, covens, corps, clubs, cults, clans, conspiracies and other organisations. Detail size, membership demographics, motivations, and leadership dynamics.

Important Individuals
The good, the bad and the ugly. Backstory, appearance, general abilities, goals, etc.

Places to Go
Landmarks, neighbourhoods, and districts.

Adventure Seeds
Jumping-off points for a scenario.
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Old 03-11-2018, 10:48 AM   #2
temp
 
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Default Re: [Setting/RPM] The City of Triangle

Ok, question, have you lost some zero's? For a "New York City of Ritual Path Magic...hub of interplanar trade and travel", at TL8, a population of 110,500 seems off by a couple of orders of magnitude...
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:13 PM   #3
ajardoor
 
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Default Re: [Setting/RPM] The City of Triangle

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Originally Posted by temp View Post
Ok, question, have you lost some zero's? For a "New York City of Ritual Path Magic...hub of interplanar trade and travel", at TL8, a population of 110,500 seems off by a couple of orders of magnitude...
Hmmm, you do have a point, but...

"The New York City" is a bit of hype. An exaggeration. It is a hub of trade and travel, but crossing planar borders also makes it more risky than simply staying on Earth. Likewise, the market for magic has a bit of a hump - it's generally costly for magicians and those buying.

Also, I'd forgot to mention the outer planes were only discovered in the mid-80's, so the city is very old or established as it could be.

Nevertheless, how much higher should the population be, you think? Compared to real world TL8 cities of similar reputation and wealth, how much bigger?
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:35 PM   #4
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: [Setting/RPM] The City of Triangle

It sounds more like a college town than a real city. 100,000 is a small city by modern definitions, so I really do not see it as being that important unless it is a college town. If it possesses a major university, the university will be the primary employer of the area, as it would presumably possess a student body of 30,000 people and employ around 12,000 people, making it the equivalent of UNC Chapel Hill in the USA (which is surrounded by an urban around of 100,000, made up of the cities of Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough).
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Old 03-12-2018, 05:25 PM   #5
tshiggins
 
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Default Re: [Setting/RPM] The City of Triangle

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
It sounds more like a college town than a real city. 100,000 is a small city by modern definitions, so I really do not see it as being that important unless it is a college town. If it possesses a major university, the university will be the primary employer of the area, as it would presumably possess a student body of 30,000 people and employ around 12,000 people, making it the equivalent of UNC Chapel Hill in the USA (which is surrounded by an urban around of 100,000, made up of the cities of Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough).
I'd agree with this assessment. Boulder, Colorado, had a population of 97,000 and change within the rather tight city limits. The home of the University of Colorado, Boulder froze its town limits nearly 30 years ago, bought all of the surrounding farm land, and declared it open space in perpetuity.

That means the city's population hit a hard upper limit (given zoning restrictions) by the late '90s, and bedroom towns began to spring up outside its open space. That's because, in addition to the university, Boulder has a cluster of federal offices (including a large NOAA facility); numerous information technology firms that sprouted in the dot-com years, a large number of outdoors outfitters, and all the entertainment and shopping venues you'd expect, given its combination of affluent professionals and college students.

If you include all of Boulder County, much of which serves as (effectively) suburbs of Boulder, the population exceeds 300,000. That makes Boulder a small city with a much more diverse economy that's still heavily skewed toward STEM and knowledge industry sectors.
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Old 03-12-2018, 05:28 PM   #6
temp
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: [Setting/RPM] The City of Triangle

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajardoor View Post
Hmmm, you do have a point, but...

"The New York City" is a bit of hype. An exaggeration. It is a hub of trade and travel, but crossing planar borders also makes it more risky than simply staying on Earth. Likewise, the market for magic has a bit of a hump - it's generally costly for magicians and those buying.

Also, I'd forgot to mention the outer planes were only discovered in the mid-80's, so the city is very old or established as it could be.

Nevertheless, how much higher should the population be, you think? Compared to real world TL8 cities of similar reputation and wealth, how much bigger?
Personally, I'd add at least 1 zero - Ballpark minimum estimate, according to your description, the driving economic employers/forces are

Big University - Harvard has 16000 employees (and 22000 students ) - round up to 20000 for this place
Corporate HQ's Plural - How many & How big? Amazon has 40000 employees in Seattle. Call it 100000 as a placeholder for multiple corporations.
"Biggest Enchanted Item Market in the Outer Planes" - Again, this is very campaign dependent - but call it at least another 20000 directly employed.

So that is 140000 people directly employed. Supported service employment (teachers, sewer-workers, house-cleaners, restaurants, whatever) at a minimum another 140000 (this is a guess, it could be a much larger number). So a minimum of 280,000 employed. Assume an employment rate of 66.6% gives another 140000 unemployed for various reasons adults, for a 420000 adults. Add a 25% for kids.

Minimum Population of 525000. Could obviously be a lot larger - it really depends how much inter-planar trade you actually have going on.

Also, a "Free City" in a TL8 culture that only discovered the "outer planes" in the last 40 years? How many major trading port free cities can you think of in the modern world (I can only think of Hong Kong and it's not independent in any real sense)? How many combat divisions do it's neighbors have on it's borders to contain potential outer-planar problems? How many does the city have to retain it's independence (note that these people would count as directly employed in the above estimate).

Last edited by temp; 03-12-2018 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:42 PM   #7
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: [Setting/RPM] The City of Triangle

Singapore would probably be the closest real world analogy, and it has 5.6 million people.
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: [Setting/RPM] The City of Triangle

How long has the city been established? With substantial travel bottlenecks, it's probably not going to be able to grow its population that quickly.
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:30 AM   #9
ajardoor
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Default Re: [Setting/RPM] The City of Triangle

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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
How long has the city been established? With substantial travel bottlenecks, it's probably not going to be able to grow its population that quickly.
The city was established around 40 years ago, but didn't "hit its stride" until about 25 years ago. The "travel bottlenecks" applicable here are shifts in the area's natural planar gates - sometimes they switch off or change destination every six months, which disrupts trade. Magi can use magic to create their own gates, but this means further issues. Government oversight, sabotage, corruption, extra costs - all these explain why relying on "artificial" gates rather than existing natural gates would be less attractive until you have no choice.

Quote:
Also, a "Free City" in a TL8 culture that only discovered the "outer planes" in the last 40 years? How many major trading port free cities can you think of in the modern world (I can only think of Hong Kong and it's not independent in any real sense)? How many combat divisions do it's neighbors have on it's borders to contain potential outer-planar problems? How many does the city have to retain it's independence (note that these people would count as directly employed in the above estimate).
The "Free City" thing mostly indicates that the outer planes are mostly a No-Man's Land. Earth governments prefer to offload the inherent risk of colonising the dangerous outer planes to multi-national corporations, and stick to soft power and indirect influence. Claiming outer planes settlements for a Earth nation does happen in small amounts and very rarely because it is a bit of an money sink AND it can make waves. Better to let NGOs carry the burden and responsibilities, and then take a piece of the profits by selectively opening your markets to them.

In other words, Triangle owes its political independence (if it has any below the surface) to Earth nations trying an "hands-off" approach that frees them of messy responsibilities - conquering Triangle would just make them a target, while letting it be gives them a chance to leech off the city. No doubt, the Earth nations do try to manipulate Triangle power struggles through money. If Triangle explodes, it just means a pawn is sacrificed rather than a leg cut off.

"Neighbours" and "borders" get a little blurry when interplanar gates are involved. Suffice to say, both sides of every gate are fortified checkpoints with tight security (or so we hope...criminals can make a mint off an unregistered gate). The City of Triangle itself doesn't have any outstanding outer planar problems in its area (no monsters, for instance), which is why it has prospered so. I'd imagine the city of Triangle allows certain Earth nations to station some troops and military bases to protect the city as part of their trade agreements - you deploy some men in case of monster attack and we lower some prices here or there.
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