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Urbanized areas may be used as a setting for an adventure. Urban adventures refer to any story that occurs within the boundaries of a specific community. Adventures of this particular ilk include criminal investigations, assassination attempts, reconnaissance missions, and so on. They can provide a substantial challenge for a player group, since their opponents are more likely to be fellow sapient beings (as opposed to relatively unintelligent creatures).

Adventures in an urban setting are likely to mess with the players a bit. Characters may have random encounters in urban areas similarly to wilderness adventures or site adventures, though they will tend to include more interaction with NPCs. Unlike wilderness or site adventures, a group of characters cannot simply do as they please when they please. Communities usually have laws, which all persons (regardless of whether they are permanent residents or visitors) within its boundaries are expected to obey; those who don’t obey can either expect to be fined or to be thrown into jail by the local constabulary. Laws can include restrictions on the use of weapons, armor, vehicles and equipment (such as lock-pick kits). The problem with laws is that they may prevent characters from being able to help others the way they may normally do. Vigilantism is usually frowned upon in civilized society; upholding the law is a job for recognized policemen. Tricky situations may arise when a character inadvertently breaks the law; fighting the police often gets a character into deeper trouble, and killing them is almost always a Very Bad Thing. For this reason, an encounter in a community almost always presents a challenging dilemma. Sure, the characters may need to defend themselves against a mugger with a knife, but how to do it without violating the community’s laws against weapons in public themselves...

If a community is to be the site of an adventure, its description will need to be more thorough than what the community creation engine provided in Chapter 10.2.5 normally produces by itself (although that procedure is an excellent place to start). A map of the community will need to be provided, with all buildings pertinent to the adventure designed well before it begins. Communities have many elements that a designer would be well advised to add. All communities have roads to handle commercial and domestic traffic; larger communities will often have wider roads in heavily trafficked areas. Communities may also have a power grid, lighting for streets, sewers, recreational areas, religious buildings, schools, medical care facilities, walls, gates, shield generators, defensive batteries, and so on; this largely depends on the community's overall level of technology and the strength of any military presence within its boundaries. Finally, all communities have people, and these people have various jobs and live in various types of structures. Communities tend to be divided into three general district categories as a result: residential, commercial, and industrial. Residential districts are comprised of houses, apartment buildings, tenements, and the like; the community's population lives there. Commercial districts are comprised of shopping centers, restaurants, offices, etc.; they are where the community conducts business. Industrial zones include power plants, factories, mines, and so forth and are where the community produces services, sometimes for export to other communities. Naturally, characters may expect to find other elements in towns, such as a good pub in which to begin an adventure or an inn to which they may retire at its end.


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