|Pic by Alan Lee|
In an urban setting, player characters are not so much restricted by resources as they are by other factors. Unlike the remote wilderness, legal and social consequences loom large in a typical city. For example, if I am use Constantinople as my historical foundation for the campaign setting, there are a couple of legal items that are big deals:
- Most Forms of Magic Are Highly Illegal
- Being Armed and/or Armored Is Illegal for Most People
To be clear here, I am not trying to do a historical simulation as I create my setting, so I do not feel bound by these two provisions. However, the idea of keeping some of these restrictions and watching how the players work around it might end up being one of the best aspects of the setting.
I can really see how this would work well with the system like GURPS. There might be a premium on unarmed combat, stealth, social skills, creative spell selection/use, and socio-economic status. Reputation and connections become critically important even as the importance of a shiny suit of armor fades into the background.
I think the challenge is in the implementation. I do plan to keep the setting as simple as possible, particularly at the start of the campaign. I also think it would be great to have the players participate in the creation of the setting. This assumes that they are interested, but that is a topic for another post.