Urban Crawls?

Does anyone have any resources they like to use for urban crawls? I got a little too specific with my players moving around the city and we’re both bored of doing that, but I want there to still be some mystery and surprises while in the city.

I already have Vornheim, which i may adapt pieces of, but most of it is a little too wacky for my ACKs campaign.

Yeah, the keyed encounters in Vornheim are pretty gonzo but his general ideas of dealing with a wandering around in a city campaign seem to work out pretty well.

I did like Vornheim’s neighborhood / district layout and on-the-fly street map generation schemes. Have also enjoyed employing the fortunes at the very end.

A lot of the old Judges’ Guild material is pretty cheap in pdf these days; might be some good resources intended for the City-State in some of those, but I forget.

It’s not available at dndclassics on PDF yet, and I don’t know if it ever will be, but when I was younger I found the AD&D Lankhmar setting book pretty inspirational for city adventures.

Ooh! Anything for Thieves’ World might be useful too, while we’re talking pulp setting books. I think Green Ronin had a 3.x version, though I cannot attest to its quality.

Ah yeah! Thieves’ World would have some good stuff in it I bet. There are a lot of city setting books but Lankhmar had a real gritty, decadent, back-alley-dangerous feel that I really loved. I believe it also had a bunch of city-block templates. Most of the other city books were far more ‘nice’ and clean - like the Waterdeep and Greyhawk boxes from the '80s.

I’ll have to look into this for inspiration, though I don’t know how much I’ll get. I’m not looking for a new city, I have my city pretty well understood (I even have a fairly detailed map). I’m just realizing that abstract movement and events are going to work better than “You stand at the intersection of Serpent’s Road and the Way of City Lords, which way do you go?”

I liked some of the ideas proposed by Vornheim, but I feel like a lot of them fell flat in execution, and there weren’t really a lot of good suggestions for making a city that’s quite different from Vornheim (which, while a very cool setting, isn’t really congruous with the city my players are in).



I may have some more stuff at home; this is just hunting through my bookmarks while at work.

Yes, the old City of Lankhmar (TSR 9162) has city geomorphs. It used a partially-defined setup - the buildings from the stories were marked as being in specific places, while areas without any of those buildings would be geomorph-sized blanks. Through the city as a whole, there are 86 blank spots for geomorphs to be inserted, and 12 different geomorphs. There are also some building maps, random building generators, and a poster map of Lankhmar.