Game Design and Project Resources: The Workshops Quarter => Tabletop Design - The Senet House => Guns, Swords, and Steam => Topic started by: Jubal on April 07, 2014, 06:14:33 PM

Title: Preview: The City-State of Orendorf
Post by: Jubal on April 07, 2014, 06:14:33 PM

Here's the first preview, for the city-state of Orendorf! Please do ask as many questions as you can and help us flesh out the history and culture of this magnificent hive of wealth, villainy, corruption and idealism. All the previews will take roughly this format, with the core rulebook descriptions and rules accompanied by artwork, maps, designers' notes, and FAQs. The more interest, the faster you get the next preview!

History, Geography, and Culture
As a city-state, Orendorf does not have much beyond its immediate borders. The city lies on the west side of the Felden River, and has two lines of strong defensive walls surrounding it on all sides except the river. The city spills out from the walls however and about a quarter of the population live in the booming small towns nearby; Kalen to the north and Urner to the southwest. The river docks are a bustling haven of life, protected by watchtowers but frequented by everyone from thieves to royalty to merchants. Further into the city, the Grand Market (with the guild chambers of Orendorf’s leaders in the centre) is the largest haven for commercial activity in Sarpedonia.

Historically, Orendorf was the centre of the Ostern League. The Ostern Order of knights (usually seen as rather a relic of a bygone age) still has its headquarters there, and it is a common place for diplomatic meetings. It switched sides no less than ten times in the religious wars, and its fickle friendship lost it much of its international muscle (though not its commercial power). It is still one of the most important in the patchwork of former Ostern states, however, and is often seen as an alternative when the rulers of Durginfeldt negotiate with too heavy a hand.

The state is mercantile, sprawling, and metropolitan; there are rules, laws, and watchmen, but they are most definitely subservient to bribery, subversiveness, and the art of making money. Orendorf is the classic destination for those looking for loans, trying to sell or buy rare or stolen goods, or simply politicking and thieving busily in a setting that will accommodate (almost) anyone who keeps their nose down.

Leadership, Politics, and War
A guild council leads the city of Orendorf, with one vote per guild and one for the temples of Jupiter. The Guild of Market Traders is the greatest, with the Eastern Merchant Company (dealing with the dangerous Great Plains trade) and the Northern Company (the main rival to the Union for gaining vital iron from the frozen far north) also fulfilling important roles. The Ostern Order interferes in politics when it can, though it is more of a rag-tag collection of minor nobles and sellswords than its high-minded leader (Grandmaster Karl Von Hutten III) would ever care to admit.

The city fights its wars almost exclusively with mercenaries. The Ostern Order, long since a relic politically, is still happy to provide some military services for a price: the sons of petty princes, deserters, and simple bandits all come together to the call of gold if Orendorf needs defending. Generally Orendorf considers itself neutral, but allows troops through its lands for a suitable price.
Orendorf In-Game/Special Rules

Favoured Career: Merchants & Shopkeepers

Special Items:
Guild Ring
Gives a bonus +1xp for every successful haggle roll.
Poison: -2 to detect poison rolls, takes c. 30 mins to take effect. 
Ostern Horn
Theoretically only available to members of the league. Their horns, as used by their founder Roland of Wurttembuch, are an iconic sound that will summon any nearby League knight to their aid.

Unique Skills:
Whilst learning in Orendorf “Dealmaker” counts as a level 3 skill (not 4) and “Master Trader” as a level 5 (not 6).

Pictures & Notes

Karl Von Hutten
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Creator's Notes
Orendorf was more or less bound to turn up at some point, and it made sense to start the previews with it as it's such an obvious place for campaigns to start or even run in their entirety. The trope of a mercantile, sprawling city of great wealth and great poverty is one that needs very little introduction and there's a huge amount to be got from it. Nevertheless Orendorf has its quirks - I particularly want to explore the history of the Ostern Order at some point. I have at least one set of campaign notes that start here as well - it's such a central place for the eastern part of the map that it's hard to avoid!
Title: Re: Preview: The City-State of Orendorf
Post by: comrade_general on April 07, 2014, 09:05:06 PM
I like Karl's Bob Fett-esque helmet.  8)
Title: Re: Preview: The City-State of Orendorf
Post by: Glaurung on November 08, 2015, 08:06:26 PM
The image of Karl von Hutten seems to have disappeared :( Has the link broken?
Title: Re: Preview: The City-State of Orendorf
Post by: Jubal on November 11, 2015, 09:47:30 PM
The link that was broken has been forged anew :)