Wednesday, November 4, 2009

From the Attic: City-State of the Invincible Overlord Part 1

Yesterday I posted some excerpts from my version of City-state. But what does the real deal look like?

The map of the City State of the Invincible is the product that started it all for Judges Guild. After securing a license from TSR Bob Bledsaw and Bill Owens went to GenCon with sets of 34" by 44" inch maps of the City-State and a plan to sell subscriptions to the later products.

You can read some of the history here and at Wikipedia. Also you can buy a pdf here for the same price they sold it back in the 70s!

So what inside this product?

First off on the cover map we see an early sketch map of the Wilderlands

The northernmost bay was my inspiration for the Wild North in Fight On! #3.

Inside we get the Background Guidelines. Until the Mines of Custalcon was released in 1979 it was the primary source of information on the Wilderlands. Although Tegal Manor was set in the Wilderlands it's background was high local. Even with Custalcon it wasn't until the City-State of the World Emperor was released a year later that we get an major expansion of the Wilderlands.

In the Background Guildelines you get

Chronology of the Dragon Kings a bare bones calender of years with evocative names.

We learn about F.E.A.R. Fraternity for Eradication of Armored Riffraff. Watch out you low level wearers of plate armor!

How nasty the Waterfront Quarter is along with the Mer-Mist Swamp. Make those Disease check rolls folks!

The mysterious Barbarian Altanis with their female psionic Protectors.

The Wild Orcs of the Purple Claws. They worship the Blood Stained God and led by a Amazon Queen/Priestess.

The madcap Goblin Reservation and their fetish with tunneling.

Finally a bullet list of minor details like a guideline for gambling, the role of slave grooms, and how it is against the law for anybody make change unless they have a moneychanger's license.

On Page 5 we leap into the city proper. The book is laid out by streets. The authors start at one end and work their way down. Fortunately the streets are in a rough alphabetical order so it easy to find a particular street. Once you figure out which end they start on you can look up the specific shop fairly quickly.

City State is a crazy mixed up city with all kinds of folks and races rubbing shoulders with each other. At the end of Regal Street are the three great temple of CSIO which has the CE Temple of Harmakhis next to the LG Temple of Oden next to the CG Temple of Thoth. Behind them is the Hellbridge Temple home of the Baleful Eye of Morg a LE deity. Makes for exciting times yes sir!

There are nearly two dozen taverns ranging from the all female She-Devel Tavern to the dive that is the Water-dog flophouse. Sage, check, Thieves, check, assassins, check, and mercenaries check. There nearly 400 entires depending on how you break it up.

Most are short and to the point looking somewhat like this.

By Page 53 we get to the Southern Keep and Paramswarn the Red a CE 16th level MU! the last of the entries.

Tommorrow the rest of CSIO!


Michael S/Chgowiz said...

Rob - do you have a copy of the PDF and if you do, what condition is it in? There's a review up on that says it's a bad scan.

(BTW, if I put this elsewhere, my apologies... I thought I posted this comment earlier, but I couldn't find it. :/)

Robert Conley said...

The text is OK. The only major issue Various maps don't overlap so there are a missing chunks. The worse are the sunstone caverns. The city map it self only has a small sliver missing on the upper half of the map.

Noble knight games has copies of the original city map for sale for about $5

The prices are climbing on the better Judges Guild stuff so despite the flaws it may be worth to get.

Michael S/Chgowiz said...