Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Bridges of Shadelport

Shadelport has two of the worlds biggest bridges in use and they are almost suburbs in their own right. Based on London bridges but longer and wider and taller. Plus I have taken bits from different time periods and mashed them together. Some other great cities have copied the two great bridges but non will succeed. The base part of the bridge is thousands of years old built by giants. There is another bridge higher up the river closer to Elfland but it is not occupied.

The great mile-long city bridges have been used as foundations for centuries for shops, apartments, arcades, factories, tombs, cathedrals, palaces and more. The northern bridge has two main lines one for the lowest of the low for workers, slum dwellers, goblinoids, orcs and mutants and costs 1cp per person plus some tax for goods or livestock. The second road is 1sp and is used by well-heeled persons. The regular users pay a yearly licence. The poor lane is named the sewer by better persons.

The royal bridge has three roads and simply does not allow them a processional way used only by nobility whose servants show documentation like a seal, lineage documents or royal documents if not recognised. Servants often do this well before their masters arrive to avoid delaying or embarrassing their masters. The second lane is for the monied classes and costs a gold to pass and a third lane for the better off merchants.

Sometimes a person is trapped on a bridge for years because their papers are stolen or lost (probably stolen) and it can be very difficult to prove your status and leave. Luckily each bridge is a thriving community with work, accommodation and places to eat and during. Some structures on the bridge are luxurious and fashionable.

Every section has its own guards and a fire station. The firemen also light street lamps. In most of the city firemen charge to help or dues prepaid and may offer to buy a burned-out property. The bridge firemen with work to save the bridge and will destroy any building or attack suspected arsonists with axes while performing their duties. They also inspect businesses to make sure fire risks are minimised. They are brutal fanatics who chop up people on the spot for offering them bribes. Of course, the law and firemen treat the nobles best then the rich and the lesser sorts are unimportant unless they serve important masters.

All sections can be sealed in event of an emergency or an urgent manhunt with priority to richest lanes to escape first or be inconvenienced less. Sections have burned down with all the poor trapped inside killed before.

The graphics above can be cut and pasted, reversed and rearranged for more bridges.

Decide how many segments you want for a bridge and roll or choose functions and choose which bridge bits best represent them. The long strip on the bottom has probably 12 segments. Usually, the road of the bridge merges straight into the local streets and it is possible to cross over and not see any river or even a seagull.

d12 Bridge Segment Structures
1 Shops & apartments - with open streets 
d4+2 stories
2 Townhouses - well off houses
 with open streets
3 Religious - d4 1=cathedral 2=church 3=shrine 4=monastary
4 Shopping arcade - market places of goods with several floors above the road
5 Sweatshop factory - often with water wheels or dump lots of waste
6 Palace complex - often several built against each other stories above the road
7 Fortress - with d4 1=drawbridge gate 2=prison 3=millitary base 4=knight order HQ
8 Gatehouse - militia act as police stations on bridge and monitor water traffic
Arts & Education - some sections infested with scholars apartments and bookshops d4 1=boarding school 2=bohemian district 3=magic academy 4=library
10 Open section - d4 1=fair ground for frequent festivals 2=park with trees for commoners 3=open market area 4=parade ground
 for executions & military drills
11 Ruined building - d4 1=fire damaged 2=collapsed 3=hainted 4=construction
12 Monument - d4 1=private menagerie 2=private museum 3=famous tomb 3=

d12 Rooftop Encounters
1 Flock of waterbirds d8 1=gulls 2=pelicans 3=pigeons 4=puffins 5=ducks 6=crows 7=ibis 8=
2 Lone Bird d4 1=sehawk 2=shag 3=cormerant 4=talking parrot
3 Rooftop animals d4 1=rats 2=giant rat 3=roof frogs 4=monkeys 
4 Chimney stacks with choking smoke cloud
5 Weakened roof easily collapses inwards
6 Difficult weather usually rain but in summer roofing gets got
7 Watchman in post or on patrol takes note of strangers
8 Tradesmen working on a rooftop with permits d4 1=roofer 2=builder 3=rat catcher 4=plumber
9 Criminals d4 1=theives d4 2=gang d4+2 flee the watch 3=two gangs fighting 4=gang on move, will note any witnesses to clear up later
10 Stranger d4 1=roof gnomes 2=robed cultists d10 3=masked serial killer 4=roof hermit
11 Strange critters d4 1=giant roof frog 2=panther 3=carniverous ape 4= 
12 Flying d4 1=knight on griffon 2=orc secret police on wyvern 3=magician riding magic item 4=druid riding giant bird

d12 Corridors of a Posh Building
1 Servants carrying goods
2 Important lady with a d4 maids and two guards
3 Knight with d4 servants, a squire and a pageboy
4 Geriatric d4 noble with a servant each and two guards 
5 Guards on patrol for riff-raff or thieves
6 Young noble with a servant
7 Noble youths d4 with an elderly chaperone and d4 servants
8 Loner skulking about d4 1=burglar 2=grifter 3=spy 4=assassin
9 Attractive charlatan and servant seeking rich lover to fleece
10 Magician with d4 students and four guards
11 Attractive friendly strangers d4 1=faerie changeling 2=animal spirit changeling 3=hungry doppelgangers 4=planar visitors in disguise like a devil or demon
12 Strange sights d4 1=cultists 2=an imp possibly in animal form 3=hell cat 4=witch up to magic crime

d12 Corridors of a Common Building
1 Resident working chores d4 1=crafting 2=childcare 3=cooking
2 Residents relaxing d4 1=gambling 2=drinking 3=chess 4=practicing fighting
3 Resident children d4 1=skipping and singing creepy songs 2=questioning strangers 3=playing ball 4=chasing a rat
Bailiffs d4 1=looking for someone 2=with prisoner 3=searching house 4=seizing property
5 Elderly person living in corridor with all worldly goods
6 Landlord with guards shaking down tragic tenants for cash
7 Shady figure offering deals d4 1=drugs 2=magic items 3=magic pets 4=magic pets that are really imps
8 Gang loitering and charging tolls for non-locals
9 Gang of thieves sacking an apartment while helpless residents were held at knifepoint
10 Robed cultists on the move d4 1=on the run 2=with a bound prisoner 3=intimidating a resident with aggressive proselytising 4=collecting for some strange charity
11 Shifty strangers d4 1=lycanthrope 2=doppelgangers 3=vampire 4=
planar visitors in disguise like a devil or demon
12 Spirit seen haunting the halls may be contacted with magic, locals have a nickname for itm personality varies wildly d4 1=wants justice 2=angry 3=gloomy 4=helpful protector of residents

d12 Common Street
1 Wagon of goods d4 1=fish 2=vegetables 3=crates 4=barrels
2 Street vendor d4 1=food 2=scrap 3=saucy pamphlets 4=used goods
3 Busker with a small audience
4 Local crier spreading news brought to you by local sponsors
5 Pickpocket often working with a team, often a child who cries help if caught 
6 Beggar d4 1=elderly 2=child 3=crippled war vet 4=mutant
7 Preacher on soapbox d4 1=church 2=cult 3=paranoid pundit 4=miracle medicine
8 Militia d4 1=chasing fugitive watching street 3=searching suspicious people 4=arresting someone 
9 Filthy street urchins d4 1=theiving 2=spies for a gang 3=playing games 4=being chased by a professional child catcher who wants to sell them to an orphanage or sweatshop
10 Locals d4 1=throwing rubbish off side 2=fishing 3=chatting 4=playing a game 5= having loud fight 6=gossiping
11 Wanted criminal seen on posters d4 1=highway robber 2=pirate 3=traitor 4=tax evader
12 Someone tells of a strange sight seen on bridge d4 1=ghost 2=monster 3=masked murderer 4=cannibals 

d12 Posh Street
1 Vendor from a shop presents luxury items to view or sample while bowing
2 Nobles having a duel
3 High ranking palanquin cor carriage coming through, lesser people make room or guards strike with halberds
4 Window displaying delicious treats or luxury items
5 Nobles shopping d3 with d4 servants and 2 guards
6 Posh people dining outside restaurant with servants to shoo away the riffraff
7 A thief or squalid urchin or giant rat has got loose in a nice place for rich people
8 Nobles run over a servant d41=horses 2=carraige 3=chariot 4=exotic mounts
9 Nobles having public argument over a topical issue draws a crowd as they make more personal attacks
10 Procession with many armed guards and a noble coach
11 Large procession of an important person with forty-odd servants and guards
12 Fancy dandies wearing outrageous new fashion

d12 Interior Tunnels
1 Rats d4 1=a few harmless 2=swarm 3=giant rats 4=bear size colossal sewer rat
2 Animals d4 1=cats 2=owls 3=bats 4=toads
3 Sewer workers unblocking drains or chasing rats
4 Secret police with orc guards investigating something
5 Gang of criminals moving unseen
6 Filthy homeless tunnel folk d4 1=hermit 2=urchin 3=beggar 4=witch
7 Militia with penal work gang in chains repairing the bridge
8 Filthy dodgy adventurers
9 Cultists with a prisoner d4 1=sacrifice 2=initiate undergoing test 3=hostage for blackmail 4=possessed maniac in need of exorcism
10 Primitive creatures d4 1=ooze 2=jelly 3=ambulant fungus 4=algoid
11 Dangerous vermin d4 1=giant frog 2=stirges 3=giant bat 4=giant lizard
12 Horror of the tunnels d4 1=wight 2=lycanthrope 3=troll 4=beast abhuman wizard with minions

d12 Interior Chambers
1 Storage area or warehouse d4 1=abandoned 2=homeless squatter families 3=cult ritual place 4=beggers guild
Storage area or warehouse d4 1=merchants goods 2=city siege supplies 3=building supplies for bridge and workers tiny shelter with stove 4=theives guild occupied  
3 Storage area or warehouse d4 1=black market 2=monster lair 3=fungus filled 4=vermin infested
4 Sweatshop often operated by guild with workers locked in depths of the bridge for years workers are d4 1=blind elderly 2=children 3=convicts 4=slaves 
5 Prison d4 1=secret police station with a torture chamber and cells 2=temporary cells for militia 3=fancy private prison for nobles 4=tiny dark cells where victims kept for life in dark
6 Sealed chamber d4 1=prisoner living off scraps dropped through a hole 2=long lost hidden treasure 3=secret wizard lab 4=?
Graves d4 1=Mousoleum 2=stacked coffins 3=victims bricked into walls 4=ossuary for storing flensed bones 5=crypt 6=prison for supernatural evil being
8 Secret society hall for elites with secret hidden doors and guards d4 1=power & influence 2=occult knowledge 3=hedonism 4=exploration & learning
9 Non-human species have colonised area d4 1=demihuman 2=goblinoids 3=orcs 4=beast humans
10 Hidden hideout d6 1=serial killer 2=cultist 3=wanted criminal 4=witch 5=druglab 6=torture chamber
11 Lair of a monster d4 1=marine troll 2=sewer octopus 3=giant mutant salamander 4=friendly neo otygh eating poo 5=mimic 6=pudding
12 Secret lair of a supernatural creature d4 1=demon 2=lycanthrope 3=kelpie 4=hag

d12 Pylon Exterior Features
1 Landing and boat wharves and rickety wooden ladder to street level through a sewer tunnel
2 Fishing jetties where workers catch fish and trash
3 Mudlark colony of people who make a living at low tide sifting for good scrap in the mudflats
4 Private Landing d4 1=gang of river hoodlums 2=wealthy or noble family 3=church use 4=river militia station
5 Waterwheels with some close chamber using power a mill or other machinery
6 Notorious for stabbings, hauntings and wild stories, only the most desperate sleep here
7 Colony of creatures d4 1=puffins 2=sealion 3=bats 4=giant frogs
8 Society for river rescues where well-meaning persons with boats and untrue first aid and medicine rush to aid any falling off the bridge. From clubhouse and wharf, they patrol the bridge and try to save drowning or helpless people. Using pipes of tobacco smoke and saltwater enemas to revive the unconscious is the current fad  
9 Church built into pylon with own mausoleum level, ossuary, temple, library and residence. This ancient shrine has a famous relic and is quite poor and modest. Popular with the poor
10 Prison built into pylon with some windows visible where criminals bricked in for years. Heads of executed men are displayed here also so river traffic can see pirates and river bandits punished
11 Customs wharf where suspicious boat cargos are searched by tax agents and their orc guards. Other food vendors and peddlers also sell goods to those waiting for searches or tolls
12 Secret police wharf with own prison, torture chamber and boat shed disguised as private troops of the ruler

d12 Pylon & Deeper Chambers
1 Stairwell to higher levels of bridge
2 Enterance to partially flooded caverns under part of bridge
Sweatshop often operated by guild with workers locked in depths of bridge for years workers are d4 1=blind elderly 2=children 3=convicts 4=slaves 
4 Semi collapsed chamber with prehistoric art depicting mammoths and humans fleeing into the bridge interior from hungry giants, no buildings on the bridge back then
5 Forgotten cell with chained skeletons
6 Cult secret chamber highly decorated in prehuman fashion with remains of ancient bodies
7 Haunted section crawling with undead from crumbling old tombs
8 Fungus filled chamber with giant bugs
9 Giant frogs in semi flooded chamber
10 Strange tunnel to a deep chamber of the forgotten old ones before the giants built the bridge
11 Lair of sad minor river goddess shackled by the bridge for thousands of years now she look like old woman covered in mud and trash. She could be useful to know and is still dangerous
12 Lair of a river dragon lives here in human form in remains of a forgotten decaying palace

d12 Encounters in the Deepest Bridge
1 Abhumans up to no good d4 1=frog folk 2=fish folk 3=frog folk 4=rat folk
2 Beast abhuman magician with d4 guardians and a pet d4 1=lamprey folk 2=catfish folk 3=bat folk 4=snake folk
3 Cultists chanting for a ceremony heard d4 1=summoning 2=sacrifice 3=sound poetry night 4=secret magician training
4 Demihumans d4 1=sewer gnomes 2=river elves 3=chaos dwarf cultists 4=feral drain halflings live in secret luxury burrows
5 Gelatinous horrors d4 1=ooze 2=jelly 3=slime 4=pudding
6 Prehistoric horrors d6 1=giant trilobites 2=giant chaos mutant hermit crabs 3=giant salamander 4=cave fisher 5=giant cave lobsters 6=giant sea scorpion
7 Undead roaming hungrily d4 1=3d4 zombies 2=2d4 ghouls 3=wights + d3 thralls 4=wraith + d3 thralls
8 Undead roaming hungrily d4 1=4d4 skeletons 2=mummy 3=2d4 shadows 4=vampire
9 Prehuman automaton often modelled on some prehuman species, exposed and might awaken d4 1=bronze golem 2=stone golem 3=clay golem 4=clockwork golem 
10 Dinosaur ghosts from the distant past create all kinds of haunted phenomena before manifesting in person from the ethereal plane
11 Eldritch abomination d4 1=gibbering mother 2=grell 3=shoggoth 4=baby froghemoth
12 Mutants! d4 1=hidden village of mutant outcasts 2=ordianry marine creatures mutated by alchemical waste like giant cave clams, lobster 


  1. Replies
    1. thankyou - yes i rather thought it was one of my better efforts for the year


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