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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:57 pm 
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Has anyone done a translation of the Rathurbosk Bridge article in Abenteuer #1?

It was a German RPG fanzine/magazine that had a print run. The PDF of the issue is available as a pay what you want on DtRPG.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/20 ... s_id=10985

I tried doing a google translate of the text but it wasn't giving a readable translation


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:33 pm 
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I hope this helps. I make absolutely no guarantees that it's in any way accurate, though...


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Rathurbosk article by Dirk Remmecke (Abenteuer).docx [854.93 KiB]
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:39 pm 
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Thanks, much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:33 pm 
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Thanks for posting that. Short, but interesting.

"Weapons must be surrendered"…

I read this quite often in game supplements regarding entry into cities and started thinking*... How does that actually work? Where are the weapons stored (there could be quite a few)? Is there a charge?
* Yes, it hurts.

Especially in this case, where the city is a bridge; how do merchant guards (either heading into Krarth, or travelling south into Kurland) bring their weapons across? Are they carried across for them? Who does this – and when? Do merchants have to hire guards to get to the Rathurbosk and then hire a new set once they've crossed the bridge? How would anyone else travelling to or from Krarth on legitimate business get their weapons across (travelling without weapons in that area must surely be unheard of)?

A sword to a knight is more than just a weapon, it is his 'badge of office'. I don’t see many knights casually handing over their swords to a lowly gate guard (either at the Rathurbosk or elsewhere)...


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:17 pm 
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Read your post and this stuff popped to mind.

A gate guard could have the charters report to a nearby building and the weapons are turned over to an official who records the weapons and other details as to identify the owner. The weapon owner is also asked if he or she is crossing through or if planning to stay and exit the way they arrived.

If crossing the bridge the weapons are transported to the other end of the bridge in a certain amount of time to a similar building like they one they are in. A transport fee may be incurred or it may be that there isn't one as the city makes money by the weapon(S) owner being forced to stay in the city for a day or two and have to get logging, food, etc. which the city will get money from via taxes of business while wasting for the weapons to be transported.

A dagger or small knife wouldn't normally turned over as people used those to eat with in addition to them being weapons. If a person had multiple small knives or dagger they could keep one.

Traveling without weapons while in the city wouldn't be an issue depending on how ell the town guard is at ensuring safety of people in it.

Starkad wrote:
Thanks for posting that. Short, but interesting.

"Weapons must be surrendered"…

I read this quite often in game supplements regarding entry into cities and started thinking*... How does that actually work? Where are the weapons stored (there could be quite a few)? Is there a charge?
* Yes, it hurts.

Especially in this case, where the city is a bridge; how do merchant guards (either heading into Krarth, or travelling south into Kurland) bring their weapons across? Are they carried across for them? Who does this – and when? Do merchants have to hire guards to get to the Rathurbosk and then hire a new set once they've crossed the bridge? How would anyone else travelling to or from Krarth on legitimate business get their weapons across (travelling without weapons in that area must surely be unheard of)?

A sword to a knight is more than just a weapon, it is his 'badge of office'. I don’t see many knights casually handing over their swords to a lowly gate guard (either at the Rathurbosk or elsewhere)...


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:20 pm 
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That does make a certain amount of sense. It would also encourage people who are passing through to actually do so...

I bet there would be exemptions for nobles, though (there always are).

I also warrant there's a thriving black market in weapons smuggled into the city for people who "need" them... ;)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:55 am 
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Starkad wrote:
I also warrant there's a thriving black market in weapons smuggled into the city for people who "need" them... ;)

I imagine that official wagon, transporting visitors' weapons to the other side of the bridge, would be quite a target for that community - after all, they've got to get their weapons to sell on the black market from somewhere. And, if the PCs lost a valuable weapon in a raid on that wagon, that could be the basis of an adventure to get it back.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:12 pm 
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They city most likely has several things in place to deter raids on the transport.
Some ideas that come to mind:

1.) Magical chests that can't be opened via simple key or picked.

2.) The exact time weapons are transported varies and is altered often. All that is know is that the weapon will be available for pick up at a certain time and day. So a weapon could be transported over in a day, a few hours, etc. but the guards well just say it is in transit whether it has left to go to the other end of the bridge and is being transported, all ready there, or still in the transit station awaiting to be transported. Not knowing exactly when transports occur helps reduce trouble.

3.) The city may let certain trusted individuals, noble & well known merchants, accompany the weapons transport and give extra defense. Possible adventure idea is the characters are hired to help transport across the bridge.

If weapons aren't claimed after being checked in after a certain amount of time, or no notice is given that the owner is staying in the city longer. The city could assume ownership of said weapons. This is another incentive to travel and not stay in the city who are just passing through.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:16 pm 
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Quote:
They city most likely has several things in place to deter raids on the transport.

Would they? That's a lot of effort to protect outsiders' trinkets. Maybe they simply take reasonable precautions, but don't do anything excessively difficult or expensive.
(Thieves might know that taking a reasonable toll is tolerated, while attacking every wagon would lead to reprisals.* There's also probably a limit to the number of ordinary weapons they need, so they might only target certain transits...)

* Maybe there's a new gang in town and they don't know the "rules". Perhaps the PCs are recruited (officially or otherwise) to deal with them. Authorities may think "set a thief to catch a thief."

Quote:
1.) Magical chests that can't be opened via simple key or picked.

Fine. Take the whole chest and either (1) smash it apart, or (2) find someone who can get into such things.
Or just bribe some of the guards...
(I can't help thinking that having such a valuable magical item for such a mundane task is perhaps not in keeping with the low magic setting of Legend. But then, the Rathurbosk is one of the few places where characters might encounter 'high fantasy'...)

Quote:
2.) The exact time weapons are transported varies and is altered often.

Despite the city having a clock, I bet transit times aren't that precise anyway & patient thieves will simply wait. Or they can bribe a guard to let them know when the wagon is to move...
Perhaps the wagon is taken along some of the tunnels that run through the structure of the bridge?

Quote:
3.) The city may let certain trusted individuals, noble & well known merchants, accompany the weapons transport and give extra defense...

This seems a bit unlikely, as it goes against the point of handing over the weapons in the first place.
But, if a consignment is lost, there may be some leeway to allows characters to go looking for their stuff. Taking weapons into the city, even in these circumstances, may still require the greasing of a few palms...

Quote:
If weapons aren't claimed after being checked in after a certain amount of time, or no notice is given that the owner is staying in the city longer. The city could assume ownership of said weapons.

Seems reasonable. The city's storage space is not limitless.

The question is; how long do the city authorities turn a blind eye until the situation gets out of hand? Perhaps every so often raids are organised to tackle the thefts and smuggling operations. Outsiders (i.e. characters) may even be hired under a temporary license to assist the city guards - they would probably also be viewed as expendable (sent into the worse danger).*
* Like any other mercenaries.

Weapons are one thing... What other things might be traded across the bridge between Krarth and Kurland? Characters visiting or transiting through Rathurbosk might well stumble on something distinctly unsavoury - something that powerful/rich people might want to keep very quiet...


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:28 am 
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I have been giving some more thought to the article. I like it (particularly the descriptive text boxes which add atmosphere to the place) but there are some points which niggle me...

1. "The bridge itself is... between 40 and 50 metres wide" (presumably thinning a little towards the mid-point), which is followed by "Rathurbosk consists of a single elongated street, between 4 and 5 metres wide that runs down the middle of the bridge". This allows for buildings some 17m to about 22m deep on either side of the street – relatively grand by medieval standards, depending how narrow they are (and there would probably be some variance. The depth allows for the "side lanes (which) end after a few metres, either in a narrow courtyard, in a front door, or out into the abyss"...

Note, however, that the description in DW Book 6, page 24, says "a tiered plaza that climbs the curve of the bridge." 5m wide is hardly a plaza. I think it becomes necessary to increase the width of the bridge (by, say, 10m?) and then you can have a plaza which would be 5 + (however much you have widened the bridge by) across.

Wider plazas also allow for grander and stairs and impressive vistas.

2. We have already discussed potential issues with surrendering weapons and how these get across the bridge. But what about trade?

The map on pages 260 to 261 of DW book 6 shows that the Rathurbosk is a focal point for trade routes travelling from Krarth and down through Kurland. The book itself describes the bridge as "constructed in the distant past by the magi of Spyte... in order to facilitate trade between Krarth and the lands to the south." It then seems a nonsense to have constructed it in such a way as to have made "it impossible to cross the city with a cart" (as the article says).

Two possibilities spring to mind. Either there are ramps leading up the tiers of the central plaza, allowing laden wagons to be hauled over the bridge, or there is a tunnel (or more than one) running through the bridge’s structure which allow wagons to pass through. The description in Book 6 does say "a sprawling bridge-city covered with marvellous edifices and honeycombed with innumerable chambers and corridors that run throughout its structure."

I’m toying with introducing the following:

Inside the gates and at the far side of the first plaza are two vaulted entrance ways to tunnels that run inside the structure of the city. These two tunnels begin separate, but then merge as the city narrows slightly – traffic for each tunnel now separated by a row of massive stone pillars that support a barrel-vaulted ceiling.

A pale, silvery light of unknown source illuminates the interior of the tunnels, allowing travellers to see where they are going and revealing images and pictograms that cover the entire ceiling; depicting scenes from Krarth's myths and legends. These images can be quite disturbing to the new visitor, but those who travel the length of these tunnels regularly are used to them and spare barely a glance upwards.

Doors in the side of the tunnel give access to other corridors and chambers within the structure of the bridge. While some reveal stairs leading to the surface, others lead away or down to little-known places. The inner depths of the bridge comprise a warren, the furthest reaches of which are not well known. It is rumoured that the Guidor family have a plan of sorts but, if true, this is never shown to outsiders.

While practical for those who wish to cross the bridge, the experience is not all that pleasant. Despite several ventilation shafts, the air within the tunnel is often quite stuffy and the smell of animal dung (from the multitude of horses and mules that draw wagons along its length) is ever-present. A sturdy and tall pair of boots is recommended.


Having corridors honeycombing the structure make practical sense too; they lighten the structure, making it less likely to collapse under its own weight.

3. "Only when the city sleeps may horses be led through the city"... Well, possibly. But for a city that has grown fat on trade, to make things difficult for merchants seems a bit foolish. If you accept the idea of cross-bridge tunnels, then horses may simply not be led through the upper city (they would find stairs difficult anyway – especially going down the far side). Otherwise night-time would be very noisy for the bridge with the sound of hooves and the rumble of wheels.

(It wouldn't just be cross-bridge trade either; there would be visitors and deliveries of food and other essentials to the residents.)

4. If the Flynt Rydd is a narrow building then, presumably, the balconies and central atrium comprise the entire width of the building. That means that any rooms for guests would be to the rear (cheaper quarters mean sleeping on the balconies).* As it is the "first house on the Square" then it probably benefits from being at the widest part of the bridge and would stretch back some 20+ metres (see above).
* Or maybe there are no rooms – just one big room where everyone sleeps on the balconies (with sections curtained off)?

5. It also occurs to me that one thing is missing from any description I have read of The Rathurbosk; considering its location, it would be renowned as a windy city.

Erm. I think that’s enough from me for now. :roll:


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