Fantasy Flight Games has put out a book on cities by Mike Mearls. Its

called _City Works_ and does a nice job on governments, politics, conflict

in cities, and constructing a city setting. Its a fairly weak on economics,

many are not interested in the structures which enderlay a setting, but a

small chapter on the economic function of cities as consumers of resources

and converters of resources would have been nice. Social structures and

politics are where the strength of this book lays and its well worth it just

for that.

For Birthright, its easy to use holdings as a framework to construct

specific cities which a DM plans to put front and center in their campaign.

It can also be used more broadly to inspire social and political conflicts

within or between holdings, not just within or between cities. This is

especially useful for campaigns which put the players below the level of

ruler of a whole domain, or is just detail oriented.

City Works include some of the standard elements found in a good number of

sourcebooks, including classes, PrC`s, spells, and special equipment. These

offerings are pretty light (26 pages out of 173) and are for the most point

right on point. The spells especially seem to make the city setting more

specific. For example, a 2nd level divination allows you to touch a

building and know its floor plan and purpose. One PrC in particular stands

out as especially intriging for both players and DM`s: the Kingpin. Its a

crime lord type PrC which could be either an excellent rival for PC`s or a

career path for them.

Overall, very high marks for City Works.

Kenneth Gauck