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First City Session, how do I plan?

Content of the article: "First City Session, how do I plan?"

Hello Reddit !
I have still a somewhat new DM doing a homebrew campaign, and sunday evening I'm going to do my first city session.

We have done about 15 session, and so far it's been pretty much only railroad because no one in the party seemed super interested in taking decisions, they rather just follow the story ( which is easier for me, but a bit frustarting also.)

The group is somewhat murder-hobo-y. They dont really kill inoncent but they simply get quests, then go do quest by killing things, so i'm a bit nervous at what will happen if they are suddently thrown in a city with no clear indication of what to do next and no combat. I know I will have to improvise parts of it but I dont know how much and I dont know how to prepare for that.

How do you guys typically handle that?

So far I planned :

  • A map of the city with main locations. ( its still a WIP, but any feedbakc on the map is welcome!)
  • A list of names/races/personnalities so I can create NPC on the fly.
  • A few random minor roleplay event that can happen in the city.
  • They will find some letter that will give them clear indication of 2 things hapenning some other places ( 2 following quests with no immediate danger to chose from. ) so they have things to do after they decide to leave the city
  • I will probably also sort out a random travel encouter in case they want to leave the city immeditaely.
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Is there any good video or guide taht I could refer to ?

TL;DR: How do you prepare a city session, when your party typically like fighting, does not make a lot of decision and is used to getting railroaded ?

For a bit of extra context:

They are currently in a semi-plane and they are (hopefully) going to free a entity that own/is this semi plane. The demi-plane will become a tavern that is located in the capital city and so the player will suddently and unexpecteadly gain acces to that city.

From there that will be up to them to decide what they will do

I have note a few ideas for minors city events that will mostly be small role play:

  • Some one tell them they cannot wear armor in the city and they have to pay a fee, but he is a scammer
  • One of the player was bitten by a ghoul and could use medical help but the official hopsital is full or very expensive
  • Some kids tries to steal from the party, and one of the player might recognise them as they grew up as a thief in that same city
  • An animal merchant tried to buy the ranger's new exotic pet.
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Any other suggestions are welcome.

Other than that, the players might wanna try to reach the local authority to make a report of what they saw in the previous weeks.

Their current main bad guy is going to run away from the semi-plane into the city, trying to lose them in the crow, and they might wanna investigate on her.

For both ideas above I dont relaly have anything planned but I might need to look further into it

Finally, I want to speicfy that we are playing Pathfinder, on roll20. I dont beleive that changes much, and any ressource even if supposed to be speicfic to DnD is welcome

Sorry for the wall of texta nd thansk for reading though it 🙂

Source: reddit.com

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