You know what would be handy for Planarch Codex?  An oracle of urban topographies and architectures.

You know what would be handy for Planarch Codex?  An oracle of urban topographies and architectures.

You know what would be handy for Planarch Codex?  An oracle of urban topographies and architectures.

* Winding spaghetti streets like Istanbul

* A tidy grid of steel and brick buildings like Manhattan

* Broad boulevards like Moscow

* Piled-up shanties and mud paths like a Brazillian favela

Can anyone add any others?

48 thoughts on “You know what would be handy for Planarch Codex?  An oracle of urban topographies and architectures.”

  1. Buildings built from stone protrusions like in Cappadocia. [edit: Oops, should have refreshed first]

    Buildings built all on top on each other like in Santorini.

    Underground cisterns like in Istanbul.

    Houses with fallout shelters like in the 60’s.

  2. Cities built on/out of the remains of behemoth creatures.

    Imagine these huge lumbering things, worshipped by the people that colonized their carapace. After enough age or violence, their skeletons or shells or whatnot become vast necropolis/temples, the memory of the dead little god held fast by a city of devotees.

  3. You know, with access to elementals and djinn and efreets and the like, I would expect to see a beautiful desert oasis surrounded by glass palaces. Fluted crystal-clear towers more like instruments than battlements, playing music in the breeze. Enormous glass-domed observatories. Stained glass floors and walls.

  4. The city as emergent market town. Diffused workers sell their goods and services at a regular appointed date in the city, but structures in the area have only recently founded.

  5. Slightly off format, but:

    A city in negative, where earth elementals and Paracelsus’s gnomes live in sold rock spaces surrounded by walls of air.

    Cities like Çatal Hüyük, every building sharing its walls with earlier buildings and with doors in the roof.

    A necropolis, a city of the dead that acts as a graveyard, perhaps dominated by the vast tombs of the rulers and mazes of mausoleums.

    A city built on top of a still-living earlier city, where each ascending level trades with those above and below.

    The mounds of ruins of former cities, overgrown. Abandoned by the current inhabitants who eke out an existence on the lower slopes.

    A city of nomads, population fluid and changing as new groups migrate in their yurts and wagon-temples.

    A moving city, built on rails or vast wheels that lumbers on its course, bearing the inhabitants onward.

    A city of steel and steam, elevated railways connecting tenements suspended above the forges and smoking metalworks.

    A city with street placement drawn by lots, or bet on in complex games of chance. Or being remade by rival groups of urban renewalists, after the form of Crassus and Nero. 

  6. Slightly more on format:

    Tiny neighborhoods, divided from each other by looming walls.

    Large, self-sufficient walled compounds. The clients of patrons take shelter within.

    Vast concrete mazes, like Roman concrete tenements designed by Le Corbusier.

    Facades that reassemble themselves into new streets, like Samaris.

    A city connected by elevated aqueducts rather than streets, with only tiny courtyards between buildings.

    A city of many towers, like the Italian nobles’ tower houses.

    Towers built on steep slopes and overlooks, like Himalayan star-shaped towers.

    A city that is entirely one vast building, like Gormenghast.

    A city that is mostly blank walls and empty rooms adorned with illusions.

  7. A giant mimic-like creature serving as a neighborhood, or a whole city, reshaping itself to the whims of its inhabitants. Willpower forces the creature to respond to desires. When equal wills conflict over the layout, the city just eats both/all parties.

    See Encounter At Farpoint and… some city in Planescape for examples.

  8. Ooh, conversation just sparked another idea. Suppose one of the planes that gets absorbed into Dis ceases to exist (thank you, Higgs Boson…) – the fundamental concepts that support the place are gone (its creator god got snuffed, whatever).

    The parish crumbles, leaving an infinite chasm in the middle of Dis. Say hello to infinite balconies of cheap, chisled-out condos. Perfect for flight-capable residents.

    And just what does Dis lay on top of? What are these ruins the chasm runs through? And while the hole is infinite, are the foundations of Dis also infinite? And what the hell is that I can hear slithering down there?

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