Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Gamandria is big and it can be a challenge to choose the best location for your campaign. One area that I myself almost overlooked, until Bill took an interest in it, is Donyra: the city of Sertori. 

The city works so well, at some point I'd like to do a guidebook or module for the area when we have some time. I definitely have enough material to work with as one of our major campaigns was set there. 

It is an interesting place and easy to over-look. Donyra is a city of about 18,000 people along an important trade route but in a somewhat isolated area. It has a long history with a number of key institutions from trade guilds to a massive priesthood. But the most important aspect of the city is its attitude to Sertori. 

Here is one of the opening paragraphs from the book describing the role of Sertori in the city:

This is why I like Donyra as a campaign hub. It embraces the core conceit of the setting and launches players into an environment where they are free to flex their muscles a bit but challenged by the abundance of Sertori. 

There are a number of different angles to take and I think it's always good to see how things play out with the players when they first enter the city because that will shape the dynamics a lot. Some players like to stay low key in a place like Donyra, while others go right to the priestly bureaucracy to test into the pantheon. Some parties like to work as a single unit, building a temple devoted to them as a group, others like to spread out in the city in separate temples building their own networks. All of these can work, since adventuring in the city doesn't necessitate the player characters live in the same location of the city. 

The thing that drives the adventures in Donyra is the factions of Sertori temples. This tends to make the them very character driven and I found it is the kind of city that works great for players who take initiative and like coming up with their own plans. If they don't take initiative, you can have one of the more powerful factions try to prod them a bit. 

It isn't all intrigue though. As gods living in their own temples, player characters hear all kinds of rumors. And the intrigue itself may necessitate the occasional foray into the wilderness in search of things like lost cities. Our own campaign in the city felt a lot like the movie Agora to me, with a splash of Conan and Game of Thrones. The heart of the campaign was an ongoing conflict between the Sertori temples, with our group teaming up with Qanoon against the Apion Faction.  

It is definitely a good place to start. Of course events may take your players elsewhere in the world once the dice start rolling. 

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