This article was originally posted on the Chuck Moore’s The Realm Gate Blog (How to Build your Free City) and has been republished here with permission. As well as at his blog, you can find Chuck on Twitter (@odiamh)
Hey Everyone! The Warhammer Community team released an article earlier this week on generating a random Free City (Check out the original article here). The concept really captured my imagination so I wanted to dive into creating a randomly built Free City within Age of Sigmar using the Charts from the Article as well as various other tools online. I might even paint up a hero or unit to represent a city in the future, but my current project is taking up all my time so a side project like that will have to wait for a bit.
I have always enjoyed tools such as this as it leaves it up to Luck, Fate, or whatever you wish to call it. The fun of finding out what you might get is a thrill in and of itself, much like opening a random pack of Magic The Gathering Cards I feel. I don’t play Magic The Gathering anymore, but I still buy a blind pack from time to time for the fun of what I might get (hopefully Elves). After you have the basics from your randomly generated city you can them craft its story in as much detail as you wish. With the Cities being set within The Mortal Realms almost anything is possible.
The Warhammer Community Free City Generator
To begin building the city we can use the charts from The Warhammer Community Page’s Article. We will also need a few D6 as well to use the charts. You can roll physical dice, but if you are wanting to build a Free City along with me you can use this Random Dice Generator here.To Begin we need to generate our Free City Name. First, we Roll D66 (using 2d6). My dice came up 52 so I will begin with “Bale”. Secondly, we roll D66 again and my result is 25 so my Free City is named “Bale Port”!
Next, we need to generate a bit more detail about our new City “Bale Port”. First, we will see what Realm or Realms we will be settled by rolling D33 (roll 2d3). My Result came up as 5 and 6 so it looks like “Bale Port” will be a Twin City. After 2 more rolls on the chart, Bale Port is a Twin City between the realms of Chamon and Ghur. Second, we need to see how large our new city will be so we roll a single D6. I toss the die and get a 5. It seems “Bale Port” is a decently sized City. Last we should find out who lives in Bale Port so we go to a single D6 once again and roll it D3 times. I rolled a 4 so there will be three races making up the sum of the city’s populace as I get a bonus roll due to the size of my city. I roll a 2, 1, and 3 which gives me Aelves, Humans, and Duardin which seems a pretty typical cast of characters.
After we have the basic Census of “Bale Port” generated it is time to add the exciting and strange details about our city that we can use to expand upon within our Narrative. Since I am City Sized I will add 1 to my D6 roll to a maximum of 6 for the Number of Distinguishing Features my City contains. I roll a 2 and add 1 to give “Bale Port” D3+1 Distinguishing Feature of General Novelty which gives me D3+ 1 Features. I roll a 4 on the die and then add one for a total of 3 Distinguishing Features
To find out my features I go back to D66. I roll 25, 52, 46. “Bale Port” will have a Kharadron Overlords Trading Port, a Notable Freeguild, and a Relic from The World That Was. Not a bad selection at all.
Creating maps for your city
Next, we need to find out what our city looks like on paper. We could draw out a map or simply let your imagination dictate how everything is laid out. However, for our purposes, we will use a City Map Generator that was shared by Runebrush over on The Grand Alliance Thread about the article.
The City Map Generator is located here and after we adjust a few settings we can randomly generate out the city. Since I have rolled a Twin City I will be making 2 maps to fuse together.
Now that I have a layout for my city I can begin to see where my Landmarks might be at and begin crafting my story, but before I dive into Bale Ports Narrative I must first find some colors for Bale Ports Flags! Once again I decided to go to a Random Generator for Colors to see what fate has in store for me.
Picking a colour scheme for your city and army
The Color Scheme Generator I used can be found here. I let the colors generate a few times and eventually locked on one I liked and proceeded to generate a few more times to find something suitable for my needs. The colors are a bit dark, but I can work them into my narrative quite well.
So we now have everything our city might need except its story. Why is it here and why is it still here? Who are the major players and their motives? How does this Twin City rely on each other for survival? Now is the time to answer all these questions and the real crafting can begin. Time to put on my NEO hat and get to work.
Working on your city’s background
“Split between the Realms of Ghur and Chamon is the City of Bale Port. Each Sector was it’s own Hamlet without a connection until the Relamgate was discovered and they merged into a single thriving City after the Realm Gate Wars in what was known as The Seeds of Hope.
The Chamon Sector was founded by the Dispossessed Clan Guinnieson who lost their Mountain Hold during an assault by Tzeentch Daemons. Despite their defenses, the Daemons found their way into the hold where they began melting into Molten Lead, filling the entire hold and eventually solidifying. Clan Guinnieson has held a Grudge against Tzeentch ever since and developed a grim nature even for Duardin. This sector is also home to a Kharadron Overlords Trading Post which offers support in defense as well as trade. The Trading post is maintained by Clan Guinnieson and sees various Skyports coming and going. Its reinforced structure offers a safe harbor from the Copper Storms prevalent in the area for their vessels.
The Ghur Sector was is home to Aelves from many walks of life. Aelves known as Wanderers Keep the sector safe from the outside preferring to stick to the wild over a walled city. Inside the walls, the core sect of Aelves identifies as part of the Darkling Covens know as The Duskhearts. They rule with a hard, but fair hand. They work closely with a group of Scourage Privateers who are given free reign of the docks in exchange for their food, clothing, and if the rumors are true slaves for the unseen, but the still known Daughters of Khaine presence. The Daughters of Khaine are more than simply tolerated however, they are the keepers of a great artifact. This artifact is also why Wanderers have kept so close the area and offered their service. They hold the remnants of “The Reaper” which to the Wanderers is a legend beyond legend as it was believed to be the greatest of work by a great weaponsmith from the World that Was and during the time long lost was wielded by their ancestors. The Daughters of Khaine and Darkling Covens also know the legend, but know that the weapon is but a shard of the great blade originally wielded by Khaine himself.
Normally these two different races would be hard pressed to live in peace, but a Freeguild of Notability occupies both halves of the city and while they don’t involve themselves in the public affairs of each sector they do garrison and patrol the city as a whole and are the core defenses within the city. The Freeguild is known as “Amala’s Adamant” are veterans who held secure Greywater Fastness during The Seeds of Hope and after boredom set in shortly after setting off for more adventure. They are who found the Realmgate connecting the cities and have been the guardians of it ever since, which helps to keep the separate sectors working in cooperation.
Despite the differences amongst the races within Bale Port, they have found a working relationship that has allowed the city to grow and thrive. Both sectors rely on the other for support and while tensions run higher than other Twin Cities both sides offer full aid when the other comes under attack. Both sectors also maintain a small garrison of Honor guard who resides in the opposing sector as a sign of their willingness to work together and to keep an eye on each other as well if they are being truthful. Together they survive and together they thrive as they all shout “No City for us beyond Bale Port!”
The Banner of Bale Port
There you have it, a narrative for my generated city that is even now making me want to create a small army to portray them on the battlefield. I really encourage everyone to try this exercise for themselves and create your own part in The Mortal Realms and perhaps inspire yourself on your next army! If you do run through this exercise please let me know as I really enjoy seeing what everyone created or feel free to head over to The Grand Alliance Thread created about others Free Cities. I truly hope Games Workshop continue to give us these tools in the future as they are fun to use and help spur our hobby forward. Until next week, may your Free City’s banner always fly and Happy Hobbying!